A Tale of Two Planets
Part Five
byCommander Wedge

Leia had gone to her guestroom in the palace on Aquilla after she returned from the meeting on Terra Firma. She sat down on a large white, velvet couch in her room and looked out at the balcony. It was a perfect view of the marketplace down at the base of the city platform. The view of the ocean was vast but beautiful. The meeting had not gone well; they seem to think the New Republic is useless and a joke, Leia thought to herself. That was why she decided to come to the system as a representative before her brother, Luke, brought the Rogues and the fleet. She hoped she could peacefully discuss a neutral agreement between the two fighting worlds. She knew Luke would talk it out first. Aggression with the fleet was definitely out with this system; however, if the rumors and information brought to the New Republic were true, about one of them harboring a destructive weapon capable of freezing entire worlds, the New Republic needed to stop it now, with force if necessary. However, Leia wanted a chance to stop it peacefully. If only she had the chance to talk with Terra Firma's general, who seemed to disappear the moment she came to the planet. She did not like it one bit that Firma was treating the entire situation like it was nothing. It was as if they WANTED to have the war. But, why? From the holo records, Aquilla did nothing to provoke the war, and vice versa. Something was up; she wanted to know what it was.

* * * * * * * * * *

"Han," Luke chided him gently. "It doesn't take any Jedi talents to see that something IS going on. It also doesn't take much to see that it involves Leia." He stood, "However, I know how stubborn you can be, so I'll trust you to tell me about it when you're ready." Luke slipped quietly out of the Falcon and went back to his quarters to meditate until they dropped out of hyperspace.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Rogue pilots seemed nice. Lorelei thought to herself. She hoped she didn't offend the one with her womp rat joke. Perhaps she would go find him later and apologize. Lorelei walked down the hall when she saw Master Skywalker walking towards her; he was coming from the ship's hangar. She smiled and met up with him, "Hello Master Skywalker."

"Lorelei," Luke acknowledged her presence with an inclination of his head. He looked down and saw the sketchpad in her hands. "Have you been drawing?" he asked.

"Yeah," She said with a smile, "I was drawing General Antilles and some of his officers." She opened the pad and showed him. "I think Captain Celchu is a cutie, very photogenic," she laughed. She then noticed her Master was a bit distressed. "Master Skywalker, is something wrong?"

Luke smiled at Lorelei's perception of his mood. "No nothing's wrong," he said, "I'm just concerned about Han, he hasn't been himself lately."

Lorelei followed along after her Master quietly as they walked.

"I am sure he is alright. My perception of Captain Solo is that he is a very strong man, and if he needed any help, he would come to you but for now, he will need to take care of it himself."

"Who is the Master here, you or me?" Luke Skywalker grinned at the young Jedi.

Lorelei smiled slightly. "I DO sound like a fortune cookie, don't I," she laughed. The two came to a hall of the ship where their sleeping quarters were, "Well, here is my stop, I am going do some history research on the system to occupy my time."

"That sounds like a good idea." Luke said with a hint of a frown through his smile.

"Do you know how much longer the trip is going to be?" Lorelei asked. "Not really, Wedge would know though; I think I will go see him now," Luke replied.

Lorelei smiled at him, "You would love to be in the cockpit of one of those X-Wings again, just like General Antilles, wouldn't you?"

"And you would like to be as far away from them as possible," the Jedi Master retorted.

Lorelei playfully stuck her tongue out and laughed, "See you in a little bit."

Luke nodded as Lorelei walked into her quarters. Yes, Luke WOULD like to be in his X-Wing again but that was the adventurous side of him, the reckless part. He sighed, recklessness is NOT a Jedi trait; however, even a Jedi needs some fun. Right?

He always seemed to be worrying about everything lately, so serious. Was he ALWAYS like this? Was he even boring? Luke wondered as he walked towards Wedge's office. He always had a good conversation with Wedge; maybe he could shed some light on it someday. Luke arrived at Wedge's office and knocked on the door. He pondered momentarily as to whether or not Wedge might be in the mess hall as he waited for a response.

At the knock, Wedge looked up from the datapad he was working on, "Wes? Thanks."

Wes got up from the couch where he was reading to Emote and opened the locked door.

"Hello," Luke said to Wes, when he opened the door, "Is Wedge around? Is everyone else as bored as I appear to be?"

Luke looked around the office and saw Emote, "Hello there," he said.

"Hey there Luke, come on in. Find a place, if you can and sit down," Wedge said looking up as Wes opened the door. "Yeah, I guess we are pretty bored. There's not much for us fighter jockeys to do in hyperspace."

Emote looked at the new comer, "Hello," he said back to Luke holding his book out to Wes. "Wes, finish story." Emote got up and went to Wes, grabbing him by the hand and taking him back to the couch, "Wes, finish reading." The two sat down, Wes glaring at Wedge, "I'm going to get you for this Antilles, you know that don't you."

"Aww come on Wes, read to him. He thinks you read the best out of the four of us because you do the different voices." Wedge teased his friend.

Luke found a seat and smiled at Wes and the little Ewok. "Go ahead, don't mind me, finish the story," he said grinning, "I'm just coming to see what you were all up to. Any idea how long this trip is going to take?"

Wedge turned his attention to Luke. "As you can see, my office is the hot bed of entertainment right now," he said smiling; then turning serious, "This whole trip is going to take a week, we've been in hyperspace six days, so that's one more day I have to find something for my pilots to do to keep them out of trouble. Why?"

Luke sniggered, "Wedge, I never thought of you to be the type to play house with Janson and an Ewok droid." Luke's voice lost its teasing edge, "No reason Wedge," Luke said with a smile, "Just wondering how long we would be cooped up here." Luke then reflected for a moment and chuckled, "You know, I haven't been on a ship for a while, but I guess I am not the type to have people fly me around, I would rather be cooped up in my X-wing." He knew he sounded impatient which wasn't very Jedi like but how could he not be impatient, he was human after all. Luke looked at his hands, he could not believe what had just come out of his mouth, he must have been possessed; however, he smiled, "I've been having a hard time keeping my Jedi apprentice busy." The smile turned into the boyish grin he had not worn in a long time.

Settling into a chair, he steepled his fingers, "So what do you do during long, boring hyperspace trips?"

"Playing house with Wes - I think not Luke, I think not. I just have to keep him busy and out of my hair for the week or he'll be pulling pranks on me, you, Tych, Hobbie, and the rest of the Rogues and Wraiths," Wedge bantered back, "Yeah, I know what you mean, most of us would rather be cooped up in the cockpit of an X-Wing, but we've sort of gotten use to being hauled around the galaxy in order to conserve fuel. Besides, the food is better on board The Echoes; at least its hot and not stale ration bars. We play a lot of Sabacc. I try to keep them busy in the Sims and working out in the gym, meetings, I get more than my fair share of those. We spend time in the lounge socializing, reading, and sometimes drinking. We are Rogues after all and the Wraiths have picked up our bad habits. And of course I also have Emote to take care of."

At the sound of his name, Emote wriggled away from Wes, toddled over to Wedge and climbed into his lap. "Wedge not right. Emote and Wes take care of Wedge. Emote not need taking care of. Wedge does. Wes and Tycho and Hobbie tell Emote so."

Wedge looked to his small Ewok and then to Wes, who is doing something Wes rarely does, blushing, "They told you what?"

Emote reached up an patted Wedge's face, "They tell Emote they take care of Wedge. Tell Emote take care of Wedge."

Wedge shook his head and sighed, "See what I put up with? Now you know why I try to find so many things for my pilots to do."

Wes glared at Wedge from the couch. "Come back, Emote, so I can finish the story. I don't have all day, I have work to do, and I need sleep."

Emote toddled back over and Wes finished the story. "...and the three little banthas lived happily ever after. The end. Boss? I'm done! You promised when I read a story to Emote I could go back to work. I read a story. I can't believe I'm begging to do this, but can I please go back to work now?" Wes looked pleadingly at Wedge.

"Sure Wes. Go back to work, knock yourself out," Wedge grinned at him, "And thanks, you know how much Emote loves to hang out with you."

* * * * * * * * * *

Lorelei sat on the small bed that was set on the far wall of the room; she was looking at a holo of some old historical reports about Aquilla. She thought knowing more about the planets would help her in the mission there. She was quite amazed at the amount of fresh water Aquilla harvested with their recyclers. With the recyclers, Aquilla gathered the ocean's salt water and filtered all the salt and unnecessary elements out, leaving enough drinkable and usable water for both planets. Both planets were very technologically advanced enough to help both civilizations but now greed has taken over and they were at war; she just didn't understand that, how could it be that two neighbors just all of a sudden become enemies. Was there more to the story? She took a deep breath and cleared her head; she hoped she would find out soon. She then got up and decided to take another walk, maybe she could find Wes and apologize; she still felt bad about her "joke."

Continued in Part Six