by Commander Wedge
Asyr, sitting quietly next to Gavin, finally spoke up, "Admiral, General, I get the impression that I should not have come with Gavin, but now that I am here I would like to be of some help, any help that I can offer."
"That is very kind of you, Flight Officer Sei’lar," General Cracken stated, acknowledging the Bothan female for the first time, "But one thing you must all understand, what is being discussed here is not to go beyond this room and if you need to speak about it amongst yourselves, do so in a secure location."
A soft voice was heard coming from the corner where Wes Janson sat quietly - Hobbie, Tycho, Corran and Gavin were certainly handling this better than I am, he thought before he spoke up, "When can we see Wedge, General," he said, his voice trembling, catching in his throat.
"Lieutenant Janson," Ackbar said, turning his attention to the Taanabian pilot, "We are still awaiting word from the medicos - I am anticipating that it will be soon but Commander Antilles was in a dire condition when he was brought in and the General and I have been informed that it could be some time before he is fully stabilized."
Tycho placed a restraining hand on Wes’ forearm as he stood to confront the Mon Cal Admiral, "No, Admiral, I need to see him now - I need to confirm for myself that it is Wedge in that room down the hall and not someone, who when beaten up, looks like him," the dark-haired pilot declared firmly and then continued, shaking off Tycho’s hand as he did so, "General, Admiral, Wedge, ah Commander Antilles, is the closest thing I have to family - please let me see him."
"We understand and share your concerns, Lieutenant Janson, Wes," Ackbar said, his voice softer than before, filled with his own emotions, "We had thought of that and had the medics confirm Wedge’s identity though his DNA plus we also had them cross-reference both his dental and retinal profiles with his medical records that Starfighter Command has on record for him - there is a 100% match and confirmation."
Wes’ shoulders slumped in an attitude of defeat and dejection at Ackbar’s reply: he briefly hung his head before snapping it up, "Admiral, with or without yours, or anybody else’s permission, I am going to go see Wedge - NOW," he stated emphatically as he rose and stormed out of the room.
"Wes, wait…" Tycho called out at the back of the disappearing Rogue but Cracken interrupted him.
"Let the Lieutenant go, Captain, all of us here understand how he feels - we might as well join him, but let’s give him some time alone with Commander Antilles so that he can try to come to grips with all that has transpired."
Hobbie spoke up for the first time during the meeting, "It really is Wedge then, isn’t it Admiral, General," the tall blonde pilot with the perpetually mournful face stated flatly, matter-of-factly - no emotions betrayed in his voice.
"Yes, Son, it is - as regretful as I am to say it," General Cracken answered, "But now it is up to all of us to figure out just exactly what happened tonight to land Commander Antilles in the Medical Center - and more importantly," the General paused for a few beats, "Why."
Darkness and light of varying colors - blues, blacks, reds, greens, hot pinks, white, greys, mauves, turquoises - swirled in intricate patterns in Wedge’s subconscious while his conscious mind remained numb not knowing where he was and the information on who he was danced at its dark, jagged edges - just out of reach. He had heard people near him, heard the whispered words, spoken in hushed tones, but he could not make them out - he heard the people go away and a door quietly shut - how he knew it was a door he did not know but something deep inside told him that that was the word for what made the soft sound. Wedge’s subconscious willed him to move but he found out that his arms, hands, legs, feet and chest where held firmly in place at the edges and corners of the soft surface upon which he laid. His mind struggled furiously towards consciousness, clawing its way through the dark morass that claimed him when he heard a commotion off to the side where he thought there was a door; next he heard two rapid blaster shots and the door whoosh open - footsteps rushed towards where he lay, defenseless, a voice that sounded familiar but he could not place calling a name he did not recognize. His conscious mind finally won its battle- he opened his eyes and stared up unknowingly at one of his best friends - the man who was more like a brother to him than any biological sibling could ever be - yet he could not give him a name.
Wes dropped his blaster from nerveless fingers as he rushed across the room - disbelief and horror filling his deep blue eyes and drawing his usually merry and boyish features into a mask of rage and anger as he saw the side rails up on the bed, restraints securing Wedge’s extremities to the bed plus the restraint across his chest preventing his friend from making any movement other than his head, tubes running in and out of Wedge’s body and the machines hooked up to him pinging and beeping. "Wedge," he cried several times as he moved across the room but he received to response from the dark haired man laying in the bed: reaching Wedge’s side, Wes grabbed and held firmly to one of Wedge’s hands with one of his own - with his free hand, he reached out and brushed the dark wisps of hair that always seemed to be in Wedge’s eyes, off his forehead. "Wedge, its me, Wes - you know Wes, your best friend," the Taanabian whispered as he gazed into the dark brown eyes of his Commander - Wedge’s normally serious looking eyes stared blankly back at him giving no indication that he knew who Wes was or who he was speaking to - as Wedge lost the struggle to stay conscious, he closed his eyes and passed out; the Corellian pilot still had no clue as to who he was, where he was, or why he was here. Wes laid his head down on his friend’s chest and began to silently cry, mumbling as he did, "Why, Wedge, why? Why?" never hearing the sounds at the door.
At the sound of the blaster shots, the Rogues, led by Tycho, shot out of the room followed closely by Admiral Ackbar and General Cracken bringing up the rear - fear that something had happened to either Wedge or Wes spurring them on; Tycho skidded to a halt in front of Wedge’s hospital room almost relieved to see that it was the two guards who had been stunned and not one of his friends. He looked down at the pair of security guards - they were still breathing; he turned his attention to the open door and saw Wes next to Wedge, his head on Wedge’s chest, holding one of Wedge’s hands, his shoulders heaving. Holding up a hand, he stopped the others to prevent them from entering the room: he then bent down and picking up Wes’ dropped blaster he tucked it into the waistband of his trousers, "He had it on stun," the blonde, crystal blue-eyed Alderaanian said quietly to Cracken and Ackbar who were bent over the unconscious guards, "He wasn’t out to hurt anyone - only to see Wedge."
"This is my fault that he stunned them," the General stated, his voice struggling to hide the emotions threatening to over take him at the sight of Wes bent over Wedge’s bed, "I should have commed them to let them know that they were to allow Lieutenant Janson to entrance to Commander Antilles’ room," he then thumbed his comlink calling for medics to come and claim the guards and to take them to a room where they could recover - he would take their statements later but he already knew that neither he or the Admiral would be pressing charges against the emotionally wrought Rogue.
While Cracken and Ackbar tended to the guards, Tycho, Hobbie, Gavin, Asyr, Corran and Mirax slowly, quietly entered the room - trying hard not to disturb either Wes or Wedge, and approached Wes; Tycho laid his right hand on Wes’ left should, the shoulder attached to the hand that held Wedge’s tightly - Wes did not more or acknowledge Tych’s presence - the two old friends held their respective positions for some time, drawing strength from each other without saying a word - Hobbie joined them, placing his hand on Wes’ other shoulder, and stood there quietly looking down at Wedge unconscious and unable to move. Finally, Wes looked up at the two blonde men who were sharing their pain with him, "Tycho, Wedge doesn’t know me," he said quietly, trying to keep his voice from breaking, "And worse yet, he doesn’t know who his is either - I could see it in his eyes when he looked at me," the dark haired pilot stuttered.
"Wes," Tycho whispered to also keep his voice from cracking, "That is not all that uncommon - Wedge has head trauma and it may take a while for his memory to come back, we just have to be patient and trust in the Force to bring him back to us." Hobbie nodded in agreement.
Mirax stepped up behind the Rogues and tapped Tycho and Hobbie on the shoulders nodding to them to indicate that she wanted to speak to Wes - the men stepped back, joining Gavin who was holding Asyr tightly to him while she struggled against tears, and Corran. Mirax grabbed Wes gently by his shoulders and turned him to face her - he stood and looked into her red rimmed eyes but holding back on letting her draw him to her; he finally gave in as she reached around him, hugging him and holding him close while his tears still fell, "Wes, you know Wedge is like my brother - we were raised together and after his family was killed Booster and I were the only family he had - we have to be strong now for Wedge and find out what happened, who did this to him, and why." The two stood there holding on to each other for comfort and support - they were Wedge’s family along with the other Rogues and he needed them now more than ever.
To be Continued...
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