Luke is missing at night, in the open, on Hoth, ice cube of the universe. with those words coursing through my mind endlessly, I can't sleep at all. The fear, the dread that maybe, maybe a frozen corpse would be found keeps me awake. But I know that the odds of anything at all being found are high enough that even I, a loyal son of Corellia, should pay attention to them. I sit in the bed we share at Echo Base, hug my knees, and pray. Pray that I might see him again, or, if nothing else, his body. I know that the fact that I have never seen the bodies of my parents has robbed me of closure, a feeling of fulfillment. I know that it has messed me up inside, not seeing them, knowing that there are no bodies. Maybe actually seeing his body would free me from at least some of the pain.
I don't know how I get through that night. I finally give up all pretense, dress and go down to the ready room to wait for dawn. I know that at dawn, someone will be sent to look for Luke and Han. A frown creeps across my face. Han Solo. Is there something there that he blindly rushed to look for Luke, risking his own life to possibly save Luke's? Or am I such a coward that I, his lover, sworn on countless occasions to love him forever, hide under my sheets while another actually takes action?! I sit, and wait, for hours, or at least that's what it seems like. The other Rogues filter in. I look at them, mark the fear for Luke on each of their faces. Zev Senesca comes over to me, sits down.
"Sithspit, Wedge, you look terrible," he says. Of course, I look terrible! How can I not?! My lover is missing at night, in the open, on Hoth!
Zev continues. "Wedge, I know this has to be harder for you than for any of us. I mean, he is a friend and fellow Rogue to us." He waves his hand to take in the entire assemblage. "But I know that you and Luke are very close. I know how you two are."
Tycho comes over, perches on the arm of the sofa I'm sitting on. He studies my face for a minute, then gets up and, followed by Zev, walks over to where the rest of the Rogues are grouped together, talking. He speaks to them in a low voice. He, Wes, and Hobbie start towards me but stop with the entry of Leia Organa, who appears to have been crying. Crying? What for? I wonder. The possible answer hits me in the gut. Luke? And the princess? I know that they are close. Just how close I don't know. Wait, she could be crying for Solo. Yeah. Solo. She and Solo are close… about as close as a Wookie and a Trandoshan are. I look at her, a knot of pain and anger forming in my stomach.
Tycho sketches a brief bow towards the princess, then comes towards me. "Wedge, how much sleep did you get last night?" he asks.
"Uh…" I stutter. "In minutes? Seconds?"
"About one and a half. Maybe."
"That's what I thought." He looks me square in the eye. "Wedge, you are not fit to fly."
"Yes, I am!"
"No, you are not! You haven't slept, you look awful-"
"Do you expect me to look my best?!"
"No, we do not," Hobbie breaks in. "Wedge, Tych is correct. You are not fit to fly. You are not going out!"
"Wedge!" Wes bursts out. "Dying in a plane crash is not the way to prove to Luke that you love him!"
Furious that Wes, who has no idea what he's talking about, would say something like that in public, I surge to my feet and lunge towards Wes. "How DARE you?!" I scream. I'm so angry, wrapping my hands around Wes's face, choking him, that I don't even notice when Hobbie yanks out his blaster and stuns me.
Continued in Part Two