My Month with the Gods
The next morning promptly at 0900 found me outside General Antillesí office. I hoped I didnít look as nervous as I felt. I took a deep breath and knocked on the frame of the open door.
General Antilles looked up from his datapad and smiled when he saw me. "Sandy, please come in," he said as he stood and walked around the desk.
I tried hard to control my breathing as I entered his office and sat in the chair he indicated. For those of you who havenít met him, his wanted posters do not do him justice. He stood about Wesí height with the lithe build of a fighter pilot. His dark hair nearly covered his dark eyes, which were watching me intently, almost expectantly, as he leaned against his desk.
I was taken somewhat off guard by his rather relaxed, casual manner. I tried to cover, "General Antilles, itís an honor to finally meet you."
He smiled that Corellian smile I had seen so often on almost every male I had ever met or seen from that planet. I was beginning to wonder if perhaps it was genetically encoded in their DNA. "You donít remember me, do you?" he asked.
I began to shake my head when it hit me. The hair was shorter and he was no longer scrawny but the eyes were the same. "Captain Kid?" I gasped. I should have jumped up and thrown my arms around him but I just sat there with my mouth open in disbelief.
I was beginning to realize what my grandfather had seen in him all those years ago. My friend, Captain Kid, was none other than General Wedge Antilles, legend and hero; revered by many, including myself, as being close to a living god.
His smile turned into a smirk. "I take it you didnít know."
I shook my head, my eyes never leaving his face. I was shocked, but at least Iím not nervous any more. "My grandfather never told me your name. And to be honest, your wanted posters really donít look much like you, either."
He chuckled and it was the deep, rich sound I remembered. "Youíve changed quite a bit yourself, too. And I never told your grandfather my name, at least not my real name anyway. Besides, I liked your name for me better."
It was my turn to laugh. "Does that mean youíd like me to call you Captain Kid for the next month?"
He winced and shook his head. "I donít think Iíd ever hear the end of it if you did. Wedge will do fine."
I was still somewhat stunned, "Well, I guess I know now why you chose me for the Roguesí observer. I have to admit, I was rather nervous about meeting you."
"Really?" The Corellian grin was back and my heart skipped a beat.
"I canít wait to tell my grandfather. He always thought very highly of you, you know."
His eyes clouded slightly, "I always thought a lot of him, too. How is he?"
"Retired and driving my mother crazy," I answered. "One of my cousins and her husband run XM now." The thought of my motherís reaction to the revelation of Captain Kidís identity brought a fresh round of laughter.
"Your mother never liked me much, did she?" he snorted.
I shook my head. "She thought you were just another one of those Ďspace bratí freighter pilots. Her idea of the young men I should have been spending time with were Imperial officers with a bright future. You know, she even had the nerve to try to set me up with one of the Moffs."
"Bet that went over well," he replied wryly.
I was laughing so hard I almost couldnít answer. "Yeah, my grandfather was furious when he found out. He finally convinced her to let me live my own life. She wasnít too happy when I became the person she always wanted me to marry."
We were talking and laughing about old times when a voice from the door interrupted us. "There is entirely too much joviality going on in here of which I am not a part." I turned to see Wes standing there with an impish grin.
Wedge looked up from the chair next to me where he had sat, "Youíre not Tycho."
Wes grinned even wider as he answered his CO, "Heíll be here in a few. He needed to stop by his office." Wedge frowned at the dark haired pilot. "Since you didnít seem to understand me the first time, Iíll try it again in Basic: Why are you here? Youíre supposed to be in the sims."
Wes pretended hurt innocence and failed. In the little time I had spent with him, I had discovered that innocent was a term that in no way could be applied to Wes Janson. "Tycho asked me to let you know he was running a little late. Besides, I wanted to tell Sandy good morning." This last comment was accompanied by a playful wink.
"Good morning, Wes." I ducked my head and rolled my eyes. From his smirk, I could tell Wedge saw me.
"I did not ask, you volunteered," came a voice from behind Wes. I could tell by his soft accent that he had to be Colonel Tycho Celchu, the Alderaanian.
Wesí eyes widened in surprise at being caught. "Gotta go," he replied hurriedly and was quickly gone.
A man slightly taller than Wedge with dark blond hair and blue eyes took Wesí place in the doorway. As I studied him, I couldnít help but wonder what was it about this squadron that attracted gorgeous men? And why did their holos never do them justice?
With a warm smile, Wedge introduced us, "Sandy, Iíd like you to meet Colonel Tycho Celchu. Tycho, General Sandra Xen."
Tychoís expression was one of studied seriousness but I could see the grin threatening to break through. Wedge had told me Tycho had had breakfast with Hobbie, Wes and Gavin -- apparently, it had gone rather well. "Itís a pleasure to finally meet you. Wedge has told me a lot about you over the last few weeks."
Wedge was tentative as he turned to me; "I wasnít going to tell anyone but he and Narawa threatened to rally the squadron to mutiny for agreeing to participate in the exchange program this year."
I couldnít help but laugh, "I guess that explains Narawaís grin; I thought it was just a Twiílek thing. Who else knows?"
"I only told Tycho and Narawa. I wasnít sure you knew and I didnít want anyone to spoil my surprise if you didnít. Besides, I wanted to get an honest opinion from everyone first."
Tycho began to squirm in his chair. "Well, Wes managed to drag it out of me this morning over breakfast so the rest of them will know soon, too."
Wedge moaned. "So much for unbiased first impressions."
"Well, you sure made an impression on the ones youíve met so far. I donít think Iíve seen Gavin in that good a mood since before Asyr died," Tycho admitted.
We spent the next few hours talking and laughing about what had happened in the years since Wedge and I had last seen each other. Tycho seemed to enjoy our exchange and I think Wedge was ready to kill him as he added a few rather embarrassing stories that Iím sure Wedge would not have shared otherwise.
I was still in a state of disbelief and every so often I found myself smiling at Wedge and shaking my head. Tycho finally leaned toward me and stage-whispered, "Yes, heís real." This brought a fresh round of laughter from both Wedge and myself.
The morning passed quickly and the three of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a nearby cafe while discussing the next few daysí plans. Soon it was time for me to meet the rest of Rogue Squadron...
Continued in Part Five