My Month with the Gods
I awoke feeling squeamish with a blinding headache, signals that the drug was beginning to work its way out of my system. I looked around the unfamiliar bedchambers trying to get my bearings. The curtains had been drawn to darken the room and there was an empty place in the bed next to me.
I felt a moment of panic but quickly calmed when I remembered who had been with me when I had lost consciousness. Tycho, Hobbie and Luke were gentlemen and, even if I was not seeing Wedge, I knew they would never take advantage of the situation. The images that flashed through my brain of the three comparatively conservative blonds told me that the drug was not completely out of my system yet and caused me to blush feverishly.
A soft beeping from beside the bed drew my attention to a white and blue R2 unit that I recognized immediately, remembering that Luke had suggested we be brought to his apartment. I smiled; glad the little droid was not able to interpret my reddening cheeks. "Well, hello there. You must be Artoo."
He chirped in response, a little too loudly and my head felt like it was about to explode. "Not so loud," I pleaded. He let out a soft apologetic whimper and swiveled his dome toward one of the two doors in the room.
I could hear voices and Tycho's unmistakable chuckle coming from the next room so I climbed gingerly out of bed and headed that direction, Artoo close at my stocking feet. I smiled to myself as I imagined the unfortunate Rogues having to put me to bed, still fully clothed.
Poor Wedge appeared about as dreadful as I felt; he was sitting on the couch, elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. Tycho and Luke were sitting across from him, looking somewhat amused.
I vaguely remembered seeing a pair of white dress jackets lying on a chair in the bedchambers. Force, the three of them look good in black, I thought before I could stop myself. The Jedi must have picked up on my embarrassment because he looked up just at that moment and gave me a surprisingly Wes-like grin.
The other two had not yet noticed me as I padded into the room and sank down onto the couch next to Wedge. I moaned pitifully as I rested my head on his shoulder and draped myself across his back; he gently turned his head to touch his cheek to mine.
"Good afternoon, sunshine," Tycho greeted me, all too cheerfully. He was trying valiantly to control the laughing fit he was on the verge of. Unfortunately, Luke wasn't far behind him.
"I'm glad you two think this is funny," Wedge growled. If looks could kill...
Luke, still smirking, leaned over and patted Tycho on the back. "Well, Tych. It's been nice knowing you."
The Alderaanian gave his former CO a hurt look. "So much for 'till death do us part' Rogue loyalty," he commented acerbically.
Luke chuckled, "The way I see it, this is an internal Squadron matter. Besides, I wasn't the one who gave Wedge the drugged drink. He might be a little on the shy side with the ladies but even I know better than to give an aphrodisiac to a Corellian."
Wedge barked a laugh, which was followed quickly by a groan as he wrapped his arms around his sore ribs. I nuzzled his ear in apology and he put an arm around my shoulders reassuringly.
I had too much of a headache plus I knew all too well what kind of chaos had been narrowly averted to join in their amusement. "You boys won't think this is so funny when you find out just what that stuff is capable of," I scowled.
I think that got their attention as all three turned fully to me. Luke grew extremely uneasy, as if I was about to confirm his worst fears. I took a deep breath and continued, "You are familiar with Moon's Lust which is indeed nothing more than a powerful aphrodisiac. What we were given last night was Xocite which is the pure form, before distillation."
"Cordello III," Luke stated softly. I nodded and he shifted uncomfortably, turning to Wedge. "It was after I left the Squadron; while I was looking for Jedi artifacts. I happened to be in the area when the Alliance lost contact with one of their outposts." He paused and took a deep breath, "We lost seven good beings; they killed each other."
Wedge straightened and gave me a puzzled look, "How does an aphrodisiac fit in with that?"
"Xocite was developed with specific properties in mind. It was derived from a concoction of several different sets of pheromones. The life forms that were used all had one thing in common." I paused, uncertain how to tactfully phrase what I was about to say. "Following mating, the female kills her mate," I finished softly.
Wedge paled, "You mean... if we had... you would have..?"
Luke buried his laughter in his hand, "You know, Tych, it's been a while since I've seen him this articulate."
Tycho snickered, "I guess all those rumors about Corellians and weird sexual habits have some truth to them after all."
I gave both blonds a Look that quickly silenced them and turned my focus back to Wedge. "That's not all. The drug's main affect is that it increases strength and produces an almost unstoppable sex drive; causing anyone exposed to mate as many times and with as many partners as possible while under its influence." I finished softly, "Not always with their partners' approval and killing anyone who tries to stop them."
Tycho grew thoughtful, "So, if I had not given my drink to Wedge, you and he would have... And I would have..?"
I nodded, "Chances are, Wedge would be in a bacta tank and the two of us would be in the brig on assault charges."
"With plenty of witnesses, too," Luke added wryly.
"Well, I'll say this for the Vipers: they're original in their approach," Wedge observed acidly. "But if Tycho had passed out like I did...?" he asked thoughtfully.
I sighed and close my eyes; I had hoped to spare Tycho what I was about to say. "It is usually only first timers that pass out. The Vipers developed that stuff for Isard and I am sure they were counting on him having been exposed before."
I opened my eyes to see Tycho sit back in his chair; he grew quiet and still as Luke and Wedge watched him closely. "Lusankya," he said softly, his eyes not leaving mine. I nodded once and it was his turn to close his eyes.
We sat like that for a few minutes before Luke leaned over and put his hand on Tycho's forearm. The Rogue opened tormented eyes and nodded to the Jedi, smiling thinly.
I sighed, coming to a difficult decision. "Wedge, I think I should leave... Go back to Jovan."
He shook his head; "I don't think that's a good idea until we can find out who in Admiral Helto's office is working with the Vipers."
I lifted my chin stubbornly. "Wedge, I will be in danger either way. At least if anything happens on Jovan, the New Republic can't be blamed. Besides, I don't like the affect the situation is beginning to have on the Rogues."
"Here we go again," Tycho muttered under his breath to Luke.
Wedge glared at me, "And just when did the Rogues become your responsibility? Last time I checked, I was still Rogue Leader."
Luke chuckled and glanced at Tycho, "Should we tell him?"
The Alderaanian shook his head, "You tell him; I'm already on his bad side. Besides, you're not under him every day -- you can escape his revenge."
That seemingly innocent comment floated some rather interesting images across my mind's eye, causing me to blush. Wedge must have followed a similar train of thought because he, too, reddened. Tycho's eyes widened and he shook his head, chuckling, when he realized what we were thinking.
Luke smirked as he picked up on our imagery, "Guess the drug still hasn't worn off yet."
"Speaking of that drug and its affects," Wedge said as he held out his hand to me, palm up. "Hand it over."
"What?" I asked innocently.
He glared at me, "You know what."
I sighed theatrically and reached under my dress to remove the knife and sheath I was wearing on my upper thigh. I wrapped the belt around the sheath and placed it in Wedge's outstretched hand.
He immediately handed it to Luke. "She doesn't get that back till cleared by the medical staff."
"Gees, she's as bad as Wes," Tycho commented in surprise. "Maybe you should strip search her, Wedge. Just to make sure there aren't any more hidden surprises," he added teasingly.
Wedge glanced at the suggestively smug grin on my face and shook his head, "I think she would enjoy that way too much right now."
I chuckled and nuzzled his ear. "Party pooper," I pouted.
Wedge ducked his ear to his shoulder and tried to ignore my advances by steering the conversation back to its previous topic. "OK, you two. You're not getting off that easy. Tell me what?" Wedge address the pair across from us.
Tycho groaned and looked at Luke, "He remembered. Can't you do one of those Jedi things to make him forget we mentioned it?"
Luke shook his head, "Wouldn't work on Wedge."
"Spit it out," Wedge snarled.
Tycho shifted uncomfortably, "Well, Admiral Ackbar really was the one who pointed it out."
Luke snickered, "It seems that Sandy was promoted to General a few days after you turned down your second promotion. So... technically... she outranks you."
Wedge blinked in surprise as I tried hard not to burst out laughing. "And I bet Admiral Ackbar is having fun with that one," Wedge commented acidly when he had recovered.
"That's what you get for turning down all those promotions," Luke teased.
Wedge glared at the Jedi, "Look who's talking, Commander."
"Look, if you three are going to sit here and discuss seniority, I'm going back to my quarters. I would like to get out of this dress," I huffed and stood to retrieve my shoes from the bedchambers. I immediately regretted my decision as another wave of nausea hit me.
Wedge steadied me from his still-seated position and sighed. "If you will wait a moment, we'll go with you."
Luke smirked, "I'll come, too. Just in case the two of you get out of hand again."
Continued in Part Twenty-three