This is a work of fanfiction. Star Wars is the property of George Lucas and LFL. No profits were made and no disrespect is intended with this fic.

From Empire to Rogue
Part One
by Banshee

Lt. Tycho Celchu awoke with a start. His clothes were soaked with sweat and he was shivering. It was the same dream -- nightmare, actually -- he had had every night for the past several weeks. Ever since he found out that the transmission from his family was interrupted due to technical difficulties of the worse kind: his planet, his family, his fiancť, had all been destroyed by the Death Star.

His family had called to wish him a happy 21st birthday when the transmission had been cut off. He had put it down to mechanical problems and planned on teasing his father, who ran Alderaanís largest HoloNet Company, when he got the chance.

He looked around his quarters in the dim light from the viewport; his roommate, Lt. Adair Bryant, was thankfully still asleep. Tycho and Adair had attended the Academy together and had become close friends. Adair had been rather sympathetic and supportive since the news had come down about Alderaan, allowing him his space and privacy.

Tycho was being watched rather closely, as were all the Alderaanians currently serving the Empire. He had to keep up the pretense of loyal soldier long enough to get away. Which meant three more sleepless, nightmare-filled nights until his next leave.

He was thoroughly exhausted from lack of sleep and was afraid of growing careless. As a result, he was jumpy and irritable; that was on top of the grief, guilt and rage currently coursing through him. He had trusted the Empire -- serving with loyalty and pride. They had repaid that trust by destroying everything he held dear.

He took a deep breath and made himself relax, eventually falling into a troubled slumber. The next morning, he awoke to cold steel against his back from where he was leaning against the wall -- or more accurately, trying to burrow back into it.

This brought back memories of one of his dearest friends, Terra Sharlee. Since they met almost eleven years ago, she had always been able to soothe him when he was upset, wrapping her arms around him protectively as he slept.

She was a number of years older and he had come to rely on her presence especially when she moved in with the Celchuís while attending the nearby University. To Tycho, she had been a combination older sister, mentor, and guardian angel, always having the uncanny ability to show up when he needed her most. Right now, she was probably the closest thing to family he had left assuming she had not been on Alderaan at the time of its destruction.

With a heavy sigh, he dragged himself out of bed and began preparing for the long day ahead. Adair was just beginning to wake up and gave him an encouraging smile. He knew Tycho had not been sleeping well and hoped his friend would be able to come to terms with his loss before he drew the attention of their superiors.

The next three days were the longest of Tychoís life. Thankfully, his schedule was rather busy and the area they were patrolling was quiet, having seen no pirate or rebel activity in several months. He knew Adair was growing concerned and tried to pretend.

The morning of his four-day leave arrived and he packed carefully. There were several items he wanted to take with him but knew if he took too much, someone would become suspicious. He had managed to store copies of his family holos on datacards that he tucked into the folded clothes he had packed into his duffle.

He and Adair joined Wahl and Mounsey -- the two others that composed his squadron wing -- on the shuttle that would take them dirtside for their long-awaited and well-deserved leave. He strapped in and almost began to relax but stopped himself; he still had to make it through customs once they landed.

Not to mention, he had to make contact with the Rebels and convince them his desire to leave the Empire was genuine. Of course, that would be a mute point if he couldnít slip away from his squadron-mates. Briefly, he thought about telling Adair his plans but changed his mind. Although sympathetic to his plight, Adair had not yet reached the point where he was ready to leave.

Tycho thought about their reaction to the news that Biggs Darklighter and Derek "Hobbie" Klivian, classmates at the Academy, had defected shortly after their graduation, taking the Rand Ecliptic with them. Hobbie and Biggs were a semester ahead of Tycho and Adair but the four had had several classes together and had become friends.

Having been isolated from the Empireís atrocities while at the Academy, Tycho and Adair had been stunned by Biggs and Hobbieís actions at the time. After Tycho and Adairís own graduation, their patrols aboard the Accuser had focused on areas of pirate activity and therefore, the pair still viewed many reports as being Rebel propaganda. Tycho was just now beginning to understand what was really happening but it had taken the destruction of his homeworld to wake him up.

The shuttle touched down softly and they disembarked, heading toward the starportís customs exit. Tycho took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. He had taken part in the conversation on the trip down but grew restless and uncommunicative as they waited in line at customs.

He was the first one through and stopped to await his companions. He was surprised when an attractive blond woman threw her arms around him. The woman was several inches shorter than he and extremely strong. He was trying to disengage from her when he looked closer and realized she was actually Terra in an extremely seductive disguise. He started to call her by name but she stopped him with a finger to his lips.

When Wahl and Mounsey caught site of Terra, Wahl commented, "Hey, Tycho. Arenít you going to introduce us?"

Mounsey chuckled, "And does she have any friends?"

Terra pretended shyness and hid behind him. Tycho had to think of some way to send his squadron-mates away; he knew Terra was willing and more than capable of killing to protect him and didnít want their deaths on his conscience. Even though Wahl and Mounsey were rather typical of Imperial pilots, they had saved his life several times and didnít deserve to die because they couldnít take a hint.

"Not real talkative, is she?" Wahl persisted.

Tycho noticed Adair approaching and was sick about what he was about to do and say but realized it was necessary. He chuckled, "Itís not her vocal skills Iím interested in."

He felt Terraís arms around his waist and she nuzzled the nape of his neck. He relaxed slightly at her encouragement; her presence giving him renewed strength. She "nervously" peeked over his shoulder at his companions and handed Tycho a credit chip from a nearby tavern. He tossed it to Mounsey and said, "Try here."

Adair had joined them by this point and Tycho could feel Terra tense against his back. She had visited the Academy often and was fond of Adair but Tychoís safety was her first priority. Adair did a double take when he saw Terra, recognition and understanding flashing briefly across his face.

"Come on, guys. Letís leave Tycho to his friend," Adair said. He gave Tycho a brief smile and a nod in farewell, knowing that they would probably never see each other again. Tycho and Terra returned his silent farewell and then the two groups headed their separate ways.

Continued in Part Two