Fiola Shaku awoke with a start, shaken out of sleep by a blinding white light in her eyes and emergency klaxons ringing in her ears. Her bunkroom's door seemed to have opened on automatics, and the corridor outside was a cacophony of shouts and running feet, punctuated by flashes of coloured light.
Rubbing her eyes confusedly, she tried to recall where she was. Right, she remembered, the Star Queen. She'd been performing for passage in one of the liner's many casinos, on her way to Mimbos, a planet with a suddenly booming economy and a reputed desperate need for entertainment. However, the Star Queen was not due at Mimbos for at least another three standard days.
"Then what...?" Fi mumbled, rising from the bed.
By way of reply, a cheery, automated voice echoed down the corridor and into her bunkroom. "All crew and passengers, please make your way calmly to the escape pods. Abandon ship. Repeat, abandon ship."
Struggling hurriedly to pull on last night's clothes, Fi grabbed her treasured mandoviol in its case, and slung it across her back. Suitcase clenched in one fist (she'd never been one to unpack a suitcase), Fiola flew out the door and into the rushing crowd, cornering the first steward who happened by.
"What's going on here?", she demanded, trying to halt the rushing crewman.
"Outta the way, pipsqueak," the steward shouted, roughly elbowing his way past her and retreating down the corridor, "It's every man for himself!"
Looking around in bewilderment, Fiola felt her insides suddenly flip-flop, despite the vessel's still-functioning artificial gravity. The Star Queen seemed to have been hit hard by something, and judging by the stars viewed out a nearby port, had begun to spin... fast.
Swept along by the panicked crowd, Fi shortly found herself in a large chamber with numerous hatches on one side. Passengers and crewmembers alike were throwing themselves into the hatches, which were closing hot on their heels. As the pods behind the hatches ejected one after another, fights were breaking out all over the chamber for the remaining pods.
Being thankful she was so small, Fi ducked under numerous swinging arms, pointed blasters, and attempted bribes as she bee-lined for one pod which had an empty seat visible. Throwing herself inside, she yelped as the hatch door came down on her heel painfully, pulling it out of the threshold just seconds before it would have been crushed.
Falling into the only empty seat of twelve, Fiola Shaku barely had time to strap in as the pod erupted from the doomed Star Queen, and began tumbling away toward who-knew-where...