He's Gone!
by Wedge

Wedge's combined office and quarters were a shambles; datapads and cards were strewn on the floor, the cushions from the sofa and chairs tossed in a pile, the bunk stripped of all its blankets and pillows, the doors to the closet flung open, dresser drawers pulled out and dumped, their contents scattered and books and holos tossed and askew. Wes Janson sat at his desk out side his commanding officer's office listening to the cussing and swearing that was accompanying the destruction coming from within. Wes didn't know what set Wedge off but it must be something bad he thought, too afraid to go beyond the door to investigate. If Wedge needed him, he'd yell; Wes just hoped Wedge wouldn't.

Wes had been concentrating on his work and it was several long minutes before he realized that the noise coming from Wedge's office had stopped. He set aside his datapad and stood up. Janson knocked softly on the door that separated his outer office from Wedge's and waited. He received not response so he knocked again, harder this time. Still no response. Slowly he reached for the door control and waited as the door slowly opened.

Wes was not prepared for what he saw next; sitting cross-legged in the middle of the chaos was Wedge Antilles, the Hero of the Rebellion, his face buried in his hands and his shoulders shaking. Wes stood in the doorway uncertain of what he should do. "Ah, Boss," he asked. "Wedge?" Wes began to thread his way towards his long time friend and commanding officer. As he drew closer, he could hear soft sobs escaping from Wedge. He knelt down next to Wedge and put an arm around his shoulders; Wes had never seen Wedge this upset before, so upset that he would be crying. "What's wrong, Wedge?"

"He's gone, Wes. I can't find him anywhere. I've looked all over and I can't find him!"

"Who, Wedge? Who can't you find?" Concern was evident in Wes' voice as he tried to get Wedge to look at him by tilting his chin up. Wedge's eyes were red-rimmed, his face streaked with tears. "Wedge? Come on, tell me, who can't you find?"

"My stuffed bantha. He was on my bunk this morning and now he's gone, Wes." There was pain in every word.

"Your what?"

"I said my stuffed bantha. He was here this morning and now he's gone." Wedge sniffed and wiped at the tears on his face with the sleeve of his shirt.

Pulling Wedge close to him in a brotherly hug, Wes confessed, "Ah, I know where he is, Wedge. If I'd known you'd get this upset, I'd never have given him to Squeaky when I found him to have him cleaned. He was filthy."

The End

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