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Posted: Oct 5 2009, 07:21 PM
Member No.: 128
Joined: 8-January 06
Everything belongs to Mr. Lucas.
Takes place shortly after the Dark Forces Trilogy.
Some Things Change
“So this is it?” Luke said skeptically, scratching the blond stubble that dotted his chin. He thumbed to the next datascreen, quickly skimming though the text as a rude blast issued from the small blue astromech droid standing to his right. “I know, Artoo. I just can’t believe such a simple group is behind all the rumors we’ve been hearing. It should be relatively easy to seek out the pirates and observe the methods in action.”
Artoo trilled, running from a high pitch of outrage into a low, scolding tone.
“We’re not going to lure out an entire pirate fleet and engage them in combat just to see if their leader is Force sensitive,” Luke replied with a slight grin, “all by ourselves, that is.” Before Artoo could ramp up another chastising whistle, Luke held up a hand. “Han may be off trotting the galaxy with Leia and the children, but I’m sure we can find some other Corellian willing to charge into harebrained scheme with me. In fact, I know just the one. And he has a whole squadron of back up at his command.”
He pulled out his comm and keyed it to a familiar number. “Wedge, it’s Luke. I think I may have something suitable to Rogue Squadron’s expertise. I need you to grab the Rogues and meet me in the squadron briefing room in fifteen minutes.” After hearing a sleepy mumble, Luke clicked the comm off.
Tucking the datapad and his comm in a pocket in his black robes, Luke strode confidently down the hall of his Coruscant apartment, memories of adrenaline pumping adventures that had begun so similarly stirring his blood and spreading his grin from ear to ear.
Artoo followed his master, tweetering mournfully.
The briefing room was dim and cool. Luke sat on the edge of the raised speaking platform, watching the Rogues slowly trickle into the room. After five minutes of waiting, only two young Rogues had arrived. Neither one was familiar to Luke, but they obviously recognized him, watching him in awe with red rimmed, bloodshot eyes. A few minutes later, a familiar mandibled visage entered, Findsmen Ooryl Qyrgg. Luke exchanged a nod of greeting, privately wondering what was keeping Ooryl’s wingman, Corran, and the other senior members of the squadron. Young Gavin Darklighter wandered in, followed by a familiar woman whose name he couldn’t recall, neither of them looking quite awake, both holding large steaming cups of caff.
The silence in the room was uncomfortable, but Luke was hesitant to start the briefing without any of the commanding officers present. Instead, they sat and fidgeted, listen to one of the rookies’ deep snores and enviously watching Gavin and the woman drain their caff. Shortly after Gavin had drained his cup dry, Hobbie arrived, cheeks dark with stubble, hair mussed. He slumped heavily in a seat, not even recognizing Luke’s presence. Luke approached him, intent on teasing his old friend about the Rogue’s slow scramble time, when Tycho finally entered the room.
Tycho, a usually distant but amenable man, scowled at Luke. “Winter wants to speak with you,” he said gruffly, not even bothering with a greeting.
Luke felt a swell of fear at the thought that the children’s nanny needed to speak with him, but immediately damped it down when he reached out and found Leia and the children’s glowing presence in the Force. “What’s wrong?” he asked lightly. “The children are okay.”
“Yeah, but you won’t be,” Tycho grumbled, and plopped heavily down next to Hobbie, who had already dozed off in his chair.
Luke opened his mouth to respond when he caught sight of Wes Janson. Janson was rubbing sleep out of his eyes, wrapped in a crimson robe and dressed in loose grey tie-up pants decorated with what appeared to be cartoon nerfs. Luke found himself glancing down, just to double check that Wes’ running shoes weren’t really fuzzy slippers. “What?” Wes croaked, his throat still filled with morning gravel. “I don’t spend all night awake in drunken debauchery. A guy needs his beauty sleep.”
“Can we get started?” a female voice, Inyri Luke realized, called out. “I think Gavin is starting to drool on my shoulder.”
Luke nodded and mounted the stage, surveying the room. All of the Rogues looked tired and worn. Unlike him, none of them had yet donned their flight suits. Frowning, he ignored their state of unreadiness and instead inquired about the missing Corellians, “Where’s Captain Horn?”
One of the younger pilots piped up, “On shore leave.”
“Like we should be,” muttered someone in the back.
“He went to go see that hot little number of his – ow!”
“Settle down,” Luke said, but he was secretly pleased to hear something more Roguish from his audience. “Well, I spoke to Wedge earlier, so I guess we’ll get started until he arrives. Over the last few months, there have been a series of well-organized attacks on luxury liners along the Hydian Way. The pirates attack, loot, and withdraw, leaving their victims alive and the ships in good condition so that they can be raided again when they return with more valuables. Given the level of coordination involved and the level of skill the pirates have demonstrated, rumors have sprouted that…” He broke off as he noticed the arrival of Wedge, looking more frazzled than Luke had ever seen him in the course of their long friendship. Like Wes, he was dressed in his sleep clothes, except that Wedge had a small bundle strapped to his chest and a large bag pulled over his back. “Wedge, are you okay?”
Wedge tossed the large cloth bag, causing Hobbie to jerk to alertness as it landed in his lap. “I’m tired,” he stated, only a tinge of annoyance coloring his heavy voice. “We’ve spent the last month on long patrol, guarding against the Yevetha. Now that we finally have time to catch our breath, I haven’t managed to catch more than a few hours sleep. To top it off, it is impossible to find a babysitter with fifteen minutes notice at two in the morning, so the first Rogue to wake her up will find himself on K.P. duty from now until eternity.”
Wes reached for the small bundle Wedge had un-strapped from his chest, cradling it gently. “Daddy’s cranky with mommy gone, isn’t he?” He reached out and gently stroked the tuff of blond hair that stuck out from the mess of blankets, “Yes he is, yes he is.”
“Stop that, you’re going to wake her,” Tycho hissed, carefully extricating young, tiny Syal from Wes’ arms. He rocked her slowly and turned to Wedge, raising his brows and jerking his head towards Luke.
Luke had been observing the odd sight in stunned silence. He had forgotten that Wedge had a child. He had forgotten that even young Gavin had two sons to go home to at night. He was so used to being on his own. Even at the Academy, he drifted at will, never devoting too much attention to any one subject or student. He had never considered that his friends were no longer the drifters that they had been, that he still was.
Wedge approached Luke, gently laying a hand on his arm. “Luke, are you okay?”
Luke smiled sadly, suddenly feeling old and worn. “What ever happened to only needing a ship and a rock to land it on?”
“We grew up,” Wedge replied gently. Then he smiled, “And we got old. Some of us don’t have super Jedi restorative powers.”
“I don’t know about that, it appears you have at least one bundle of super restorative,” he nodded towards were the Rogues, many of whom had been dozing minutes before, were gathered around the small bundle in Tycho’s arms, each grinning as they gazed at the tiny child. “Why don’t we reconvene when your shore leave is over?” Luke said in a louder voice.
“Are you certain?” Wedge asked. “If it’s that urgent, we can go now. I just have to wait for Winter to pick up Syal.”
“No,” Luke said quietly. “It isn’t anything that can’t wait. The galaxy won’t fall apart.”
Wedge nodded. “You’re welcome to join us for dinner tomorrow night. Wes, Hobbie, and Tycho are coming over to watch a shockball tournament. Wes has promised to change Syal’s diapers if I promise not to cook.”
Luke sighed. He could feel the datapad filled with the pirates’ coordinates and strategies of attack waiting impatiently in his pocket. But it could wait. It was time to move on.
“I think I’d like that.”
Posted: Oct 6 2009, 02:17 AM
Member No.: 86
Joined: 12-July 05
Is it strange that I really felt bad for Luke?
Sleepy Rogues are really adorable by the way. Not too mention how they all gather around Syal.
Posted: Jun 26 2011, 09:45 AM
Member No.: 72
Joined: 16-June 05
I felt bad for Luke too. You really feel his detachment from the group despite some of them being his good friends.
Another great fic, Astronut.
Posted: Jul 29 2011, 09:40 AM
Member No.: 147
Joined: 18-June 06
Found this just now. This is simply lovely!