Hobbie and Ty checked and rechecked the blasters that had been hidden in their duffels. They were two hours into the hyperspace jump and the nervousness of the mutineers was becoming contagious. Ty jumped and almost discharged the blaster rifle he'd been inspecting when a soft knock sounded through the door.
Hobbie glared at his roommate and answered the knock to a dressed and pressed Rogue standing in the ship's cramped corridor. "I was just going around and checking to make sure our group was all prepared and briefed." Hobbie nodded and waved her in, shutting the door cautiously behind her.
"The others are absolutely terrified something will go wrong." Her eyes moved from Hobbie's equally worried face to the blaster rifle that Ty was holding. He clutched it against his chest, his finger crooked near the trigger, the other hand on the barrel grip, ready to aim if needed. "You still don't trust me."
"No. I don't." Ty set his thin lips in a stern line, his dark eyes sparkling blankly at her like pools of engine lubricant.
Rogue nodded once and leaned against the wall next to the door. "I guess the only way you'll trust me is after we've pulled this off." Ty nodded solemnly. "Just remember that you need me. I'm your way onto the bridge." She hated using that as her shield, but she could tell that Ty's nerves were starting to affect his trigger finger.
Hobbie's fingers slipped into hers, giving her what they both took as a comforting squeeze. Red warning lights started silently flashing through out the entire ship, warning the passengers of the impending reversion to real space. Hobbie handed Rogue the blaster in his hand and left her side to grab another. Ty stood, blaster rifle still hugged to his chest and the three of them piled out of the small room, taking the head of the growing crowd of armed mutineers.
Biggs and Porkins caught up with the three-member spear head as Rogue entered her clearance code in the panel next to the door that would lead to their freedom. The large double doors slid away, revealing the five-teacher crew, startled by the door's unexpected opening.
"D'Andrea, what is this?" The acting captain of the ship demanded of the highest-ranking cadet he could see.
Rogue waved her right hand and all hell broke loose.
Some of the students had broken off the larger group en route to the bridge and taken up guard positions through the ships main passages. The rest had followed the five leaders to the bridge where they now battled with the unarmed, retired military teachers. Besides the original five, six other students had followed them as planned, now there were two students per teacher, each pair effectively rendering their target helpless.
Hobbie and Biggs were still struggling with the acting captain when he pulled a holdout blaster from his uniform sleeve. Rogue turned towards them, focusing on their progress, preparing herself to help them.
The teacher fought against Hobbie and Biggs, both students struggling to get the blaster from his hand. His finger tightened around the trigger, shoving the end of the blaster against Hobbie's chest. Hobbie slapped it away a split second before the trigger was pulled. A red blaster bolt rang through the air, immediately forgotten by everyone as they herded their teachers towards the entrance to the bridge.
Hobbie and Biggs finally managed to wrestle the acting captain to the ground, disarming him. Hobbie tucked the blaster in his belt and turned a triumphant smile to where he'd last seen Rogue standing. His eyes moved to thin air and he climbed the three steps to the upper level of the bridge. It took him a solid minute to think to look at the floor where Rogue lay.
"No! No. It wasn't supposed to happen this way." Hobbie fell to his knees once again next to his friend, his hands taking her firmly in his, fingers brushing her loose hair from her face. "Rogue! Rogue? Hold on, we'll get help. Just hold on, ok?" Hobbie looked pleadingly to Biggs who was pulling the ex-acting captain to his feet.
Thumping foot falls echoed through small corridor as Ty and two other students came sprinting back to the bridge. His mind raced from Biggs with the teacher in custody, and Hobbie kneeling next to Rogue's body. He nodded once to Biggs and waved the other two students to take the teacher from him, then he slid to a halt on his knees next to Hobbie. "Is she..."
His words were cut off by a harsh whimper from Rogue. Her eyes fluttered open slowly, connecting instantly with Hobbie's. "Did we succeed?" She coughed gently, a tiny drop of blood catching itself on her bottom lip.
Hobbie's chin quivered and he nodded. "We won. Can you hold on until help arrives?" He squeezed her hands, stopping his own from shaking.
"N-no." She tried to sit up, her face twisting in pain. Hobbie's hands left hers and he propped her up on his lap, his hand touching very gently on the blaster hole near the center of her chest. Her eyes fluttered and she coughed again, the fluid sound of her cough accompanied by another spot of blood staining her teeth. She breathed very slowly and looked to Ty. "Do you believe me now?"
Ty nodded quickly as his eyes filled with tears. "Yes. Just hold on so Biggs can bring help back." Ty's hands reached out and gripped one of Rogue's, trying to offer her the friendship he denied her out of suspicion.
Her dull, green-brown eyes trailed weakly to meet with Hobbie's once more. Hobbie's face was streaked with tears and he fought to keep his eyes open. "It was great for a first time. We would've had a hell of a second." Her body shuddered violently, causing her eyes to roll back into her head. She released her final breath there on the bridge of the Rand Ecliptic, in Hobbie's weeping arms, her revenge for her father and brother exacted.
"If I like the name you come up with, I'll give you a two-day pass as soon as possible." Luke Skywalker stood before the seated assembly of pilots. Twelve in total and all the first pilots in a new elite squadron. They were all gathered in a small conference room on one of the Rebel Transports headed for Hoth. "Not that you'll want to use it on our next base."
Soft chuckles and the hum of budding conversation filled the room. Hobbie sat in the center row of all the pilots, next to Janson and behind Antilles. They were all starting to become very close friends; all of them helping each other mourn lost friends. Hobbie and Janson had been assigned a room to share and they quickly became best friends and partners in crime.
Hobbie's eyes dulled and a faint grin touched his lips. Janson turned to him, some joke or quip ready on his tongue. He stopped when he saw the lost look on Hobbie's face. "Where did you go now, Hobbs? "
Hobbie ignored Wes and slowly raised his hand. It took Luke a moment to turn his attention to Hobbie. He pointed at Hobbie, "Yes, Hobbie?" It was rare when Hobbie spoke at length, and the rest of the room quickly hushed their conversations.
"How about Rogue?"
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