My Month with the Gods
Our planet was a recently signed member of the New Republic, which entitled us to military counsel, and I had been chosen to go to Coruscant for a month as part of some exchange program. I hoped this was because I had advanced through the ranks of our own Starfighter Command and had more field experience than our other wing commanders. The alternative being, I got stuck with the assignment since I was the youngest and newest member of the Admiralís staff not to mention the only female.
Therefore, I went to the Capital of the New Republic expecting to spend a lot of time in boring meetings with some stuffed shirts reviewing old battle footage I had seen numerous times before. Some of it first-hand; what I didnít expect was to meet a god, or maybe I should say gods...
I thought if I was lucky, maybe, just maybe, Iíd get to spend a little time in an A- or X-wing simulator. I had always wanted to learn to fly the crafts that were so much more than the snub fighters used by our planetís defense corps.
Not that Iím complaining, my family was heavily involved in the production of those same snub fighters and other military craft; I had grown up with them and could fly almost anything I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, that also meant that since my planet had been under the Empireís control most of my life, I had had more experience with various TIEs than with any of the New Republicís fighter crafts.
Since I was traveling alone I had decided to take my fighter. Though small, it was more comfortable to me than one of the plush diplomatic shuttles (complete with its own pilot) I had been offered. This produced a number of sneers from my colleagues on the Admiralís staff but I didnít care. I was first and foremost a fighter pilot not the image-conscious desk jockey they were trying to turn me into.
Not that Iím unaware of my image, quite the contrary, I have worked very hard to maintain it even after my promotion to Commander and then more recently to General. The brass wanted their token, high-ranking female to look good for the holo-recruitment posters and visiting dignitaries but the image I had was that of a one-of-the-boys, not-afraid-to-get-her-hands-dirty, loyal and capable leader. And I enjoyed flaunting that image whenever I got the chance.
Oh, and they didnít like me showing up for staff meetings in my flightsuit. It tended to remind them of just how young I really was. Not to mention how old they were getting... On second thought, maybe they sent me on this assignment to get me out of the way for a while but that was fine; I needed the break too.
These were the thoughts that followed me as I set my fighter down in the hanger - right in the middle of a squadronís worth of X-wings. I went through shut down trying hard not to be distracted by the presence of the crafts or the contrast between them and my own; mine was smaller and just as sleek but plain and lacking somewhat in character.
A tech brought a ladder and I climbed out of the cockpit. A Twiílek with a limp and an artificial leg introduced himself to me as Captain Narawa Ven. I blinked and looked around again at the X-wings in the hanger. Sure enough, they were painted in the unmistakable markings of the legendary Rogue Squadron. I was so surprised that I almost dropped the duffel I had retrieved from my shipís limited but adequate storage compartment.
He gave me a sly smile. It was one of those that, if he were human, I would have interpreted it to mean he was in on some joke I was not yet privy to. Maybe this month wasnít going to be all that bad...
Continued in Part Two