Luke rushed out of Wedge's office after Lorelei and caught her just before she hit the floor. Now concerned for her health, he put one of her arms over his shoulder and got her to sickbay just in time to see the doctors putting a sheet over the General. He set Lorelei gently on the table then cornered the nearest doctor, "Will you please..." he said restraining himself, "Tell me exactly what is going on here?"
Luckily he didn't see Nac, it was taking all of his Jedi training to keep himself under control. Diplomats were one thing... his Jedi were another. Luke finally got himself under control enough to speak. He glanced towards the ring of doctors around Lorelei, "The negotiations aren't going anywhere anyway."
Wedge watched as Luke left his office, "Hobbs, go with Luke, see if he needs any help."
"Sure thing Wedge," Hobbie said, setting down his empty glass and heading out after Luke, catching up with him in the sickbay. "Wedge sent me to see if you need anything, Luke," he said walking up behind the Jedi as he laid Lorelei on the table. Looking around, "What happened to him," he asked, indicating the General being covered with a sheet.
Leia and Han looked at Nac. He was furious that the New Republic could let a thing like this happen to an official, such as Tesseli.
"Do you have ANY idea what will happen now?!" Nac blurted out. "Now we have no leader!"
"Sure you do Nac, YOU." Han commented in an angered tone. "Your the advisor, right? That means you take his place if anything happens to the General."
"And what is THAT suppose to mean?"
"You know exactly what it means an-"
"Han." Leia intervened. She looked over to see Luke enter with Lorelei, followed by Hobbie, and place Lorelei on the med table. Han's face turned white, Sith, another one, he thought. The two ignored Nac and went to Luke's side as Hobbie asked curiously, "What happened to him," as he saw the General being covered.
"He's dead." Leia answered. "Poisoned."
"Dead," Hobbie echoed, "Sithspawn." He thumbed his comlink, "Wedge, I think, Wes and Tycho better get down to the sickbay, fast. No, I can't say. Please Wedge; just come. Klivian out." Hobbie looked to Leia,
"Wedge is on his way and he's bringing Wes and Tycho with him," he offered quietly.
Ten minutes later, Wedge, Tycho and Wes came through the sick bay doors followed by Emote and Emic. "Ok Hobbie, what's wrong," Wedge demanded.
"The General is dead. Leia says he was poisoned."
Wedge's jaw dropped, "Leia?"
Leia looked at Wedge and lowered her head mournfully. "That is what the doctors say," she answered quietly. The situation was almost unreal; it was one thing trying to get the two leaders to talk peace, now there was only one leader and one planet that was bound to be full of angry citizens, "I don't know what to do."
Wedge reached up to his collar and thumbed his comlink, "Seal off the ship. No one on, no one off. The culprit is here somewhere," he stated into the device.
"What do you mean, 'No one on, no one off,'" Nac interrupted, "I have a planet out there that needs governing! Is this some sort of joke!?"
"It shouldn't be a joke to you, I would think you would WANT this type of protection, after all your boss was just murdered." Han commented cockily.
"There is a difference between wanting protection and acting like lunatics," Nac argued.
"We aren't acting like lunatics, Luke wants everyone here, including you, to be safe."
"I am NOT staying on this sorry excuse for a bucket of bolts!"
"Why? Have something to hide?"
"You are staying on board this ship," Wedge growled, "Even if I have to place you under protective guard for your own good. Since this is my ship, I can do what I want on it to protect all those aboard. Now shut up and sit down!"
Nac fell quiet; arguing with these 'barbarians' was no good. Besides maybe, this could work to his advantage. Suddenly, Nac's thoughts were interrupted by the presences of General Maharba entering the room.
"I came as fast as I could..."
"Hello General." Leia said in a low tone.
The general looked at the covered body of his once long time friend, he forgot how much they had been together. Now there was no possible way they could amend their broken friendship. He looked up as one of the doctors examining Lorelei came to the group.
Leia looked up hopefully. "Will she be ok?"
"Yes, she is alive…barely," The doctor stated. A brief sigh of relief hit all in the room. "She is lucky to be a Jedi, I must say; she has built up her immune system, without that, she would have been dead before making it to the med center. We gave her a few stabilizers, she is awake but she is weak."
Luke brightened at the news that Lorelei would be ok. He then turned to Wedge. "We have a murderer on this ship Wedge, we need to find them." He knew that was obvious, but didn't have any suggestions on where to start.
Wedge finished speaking into his comlink then spoke to Luke, "I have the ship on lock-down. No one on or off the ship and no one has come on or left since the reps from the planets came on board so who ever it is, is still here." Wedge looked around at those assembled in the sickbay. "I think we need to go back to my office and work on a plan."
He turned to leave, Wes, Hobbie and Tycho with him, "Stop by when you're done here Luke, Han, Leia." With that, the Rogues left.
Leia watched as the Rogues left; she looked at Han and Luke, "You know it is obvious who did this," she said low enough so not to be heard by anyone else.
Had looked suspiciously at Nac and nodded to Leia, "Why don't we just nab him now?"
"We don't have sufficient evidence," Leia stated flatly, frowning. She looked over to the reddish creature, "Besides, what are we suppose to say? We arrested him because he was carrying water."
Han frowned, she was right if the group was gonna catch the murderer, they had to get him red handed.
"I'm gonna get Chewie and head to wedge's office."
"Ok, Han, see you in a few minutes," Leia said as she kissed him good-bye.
Luke left sickbay silently, and wandered the halls for a few minutes before going to Wedge's office, just to think things through. Then, getting an idea, he made his way to Wedge's office and waited for Han and Leia.
Leia went over to Lorelei at sat for a moment, the girl's face was pale, but regaining color. "Hey there" Leia smiled.
"Hi," Lorelei said a bit sheepishly, "I didn't mean to scare you all."
"It wasn't your fault." Leia said in a saddened tone.
Lorelei looked at Leia, and through the Force, she could sense something was not right. "When...when did he die," Lorelei asked out of the blue.
Leia sighed, "A few minutes before Luke and Hobbs brought you in." "I think it was Nac."
"'So do we, if only there was a way to prove it."
Just then, Leia's comm link went off, it was Han.
"Get down to Wedge's room right away, I just saw Luke in the hallway and he has an idea."
"I am on my way," Leia said getting out of her seat. She smiled at Lorelei, "You stay there and rest, we are gonna get him, don't worry."
"May the force be with you," Lorelei said with a smile. She laid her head down and went back to sleep as Leia made her way to Wedge's office.
Han finished contacting Leia and was waiting with Chewie and the Rogues when Luke walked in; the look on his face was that of someone who just came up with a brilliant idea.
Han was eager to hear anything that would crack this case.
Wedge looked around at his senior officers and his very full office; sighing, "Ok LUKE, what's this 'brilliant idea' of yours," he asked rubbing his tired eyes with the thumb and forefinger of his left hand. He hated dealing with diplomats and now one of them was dead - give him a squad of TIEs to vape and he was happy; sometimes he'd like to do the same thing to the diplomats. Great, to top everything off, he thought to himself, feeling a tickle in the back of his throat as he waited for Luke's reply, I think I'm coming down something. Emote, sensing Wedge's distress, even though he was careful not to let it show, crawled up into his lap and put his arms around Wedge's neck and buried his face on Wedge's shoulder making little Ewok purring like sounds. Absently, Wedge stroked his charcoal grey fur.
Leia looked at Wedge, she knew this wasn't his element, but she had a bad feeling it was gonna get worse. She then noticed his expression. She sitting across from Wedge at his desk and waiting for Luke to speak, "Wedge, are you ok? You didn't touch that water too, did you," she asked concerned.
Wedge glanced over to Leia; he shook his head, "It just feels very warm in here all of a sudden." He looked at the indicator on his datapad that gave a read out of the room's temperature; it was 70 degrees in the room. "Well," he stated hesitantly, "I may have taken a small sip to confirm my suspicions about the water's funny smell," he continued as he went white and fought not to cough, pass out, throw up, or all of the above at once, none of which would be a very dignified thing for a general to do, even among friends.
Emote looked at Leia too. He shook his head to try to tell her that he didn't think that Wedge felt well either. Gently he stroked Wedge's face.
"Wedge," Wes cried, jumping up to come to his friend's side as he heard Wedge's admission, "You didn't, did you?"
"It was barely a sip, Wes," Wedge admitted softly.
"We better get him to the sick bay." Han ordered. "Unlike Lorelei, he can't fight off the poison with the Force." Han went to Wedge.
Wedge weakly fought Han's and Wes' attempts to take him to sickbay,
"I'm ok, just a little warm," he said right before passing out at his desk. Emote looked around, scared, "Wes? What wrong?"
"Wedge is sick, Emote and we need to get him to the sickbay. Go to Hobbie and he'll take care of you."
"No. Stay with Wedge."
"Hobbie will come with us too, ok," Wes said to the Ewok. Then turning to Hobbie and Tycho, he gave them a worried look, "I'll help Han with Wedge." He helped Han get Wedge to the sickbay where the EmDees scurried over to see what was wrong with the General.
Nac hid in his guest room thinking about the events of the day; what began as a simple peace talk, turned into a riot on the ship, most of his opponents were dropping like flies. It was almost his chance to take control of what rightfully was his.
'This system belonged to MY ancestors! Nac thought, And now it is run by weak-minded fools. Why were GENERALS and not kings running these worlds!?
Nac thumbed a data pad in his hand. With all that was going on, he was surprised the New Republic officers didn't take any personal possessions, such as the comm units, away from the outsiders. Still trying to be diplomatic I guess, he thought.
The comm on the datapad turned on and Nac set it for a private channel, "This is Nac, did you get the ships ready like I told you? Good. I will be here for a while, we need to change the plans around...no, he is dead as promised...yes, it is spreading like a forest fire in here soon not one member of the ship will be left...I know, I know, but I want it destroyed anyway. I don't want any sign the New Republic was ever here. Get the ships in orbit away from this ship and wait for the signal. Good work. Nac out." A devilish grin grew on the creature's face; power would soon be his once again.
The EmDees went right to work on Wedge as soon as he was brought in by Wes and Han; Luke and Leia, as well as the pilots, hurried back into the med bay. The commotion woke up Lorelei. She looked to see what was going on when they laid the General in the bed next to her.
"Master Luke, what's going on," she asked but she didn't need the answer; she knew he was another victim to the poison that was plaguing the ship.
"This has got to end!" Han said roughly.
Wedge moaned softly as the EmDees went to work, stripping him out of his uniform, hooking him up to monitors, starting IVs, running drugs into his system to fight the fever and counter act the poison. Wes, Tycho and Hobbie looked on with worried expressions; Emote struggled out of Hobbie's arms and on to Wedge's bed. "Wes, what wrong with Wedge," he asked as he snuggled up to Wedge, much to the EmDee's dismay.
"Major Janson, you can't let that animal in bed with the General," said the human doctor as he approached the group.
"Doc, leave Emote with Wedge. It will be good for both of them. He is Wedge's Ewok droid not an animal, and he has had Emote for years," Wes almost yelled at the man. "You just make sure Wedge pulls through. We," he indicated to the other Rogues, "will worry about Emote. But don't touch him if he wants to stay with Wedge."
"Emote," Lorelei called to the little Ewok sitting on Wedge's bed; she extended her hands to him. "Do you want to sit with me? You can see Wedge from where I am. The doctors need to fix him up. You want Wedge to get better, don't you," she asked in a soothing voice as soothing a voice as she could get considering she was still healing from the poison. "I am sure the doctors will let you sit with Wedge after they are done. And if they don't, I'll use a Jedi mind trick on them," she quipped jokingly.
Emote looked at the young Jedi and back to Wedge, then to Wes, Hobbie and Tycho. Wes nodded to him that it was ok if he wanted to sit with Lorelei while the doctors worked on the unconscious Wedge. He looked thoughtful for a moment, "Wes, help go to Jedi? Yes, Emote want Wedge better." He gave her a quizzical look, "Jedi mind trick? What that?"
"Sure," Wes said as he picked up the small Ewok and handed him to Lorelei.
Emote sat on the edge of Lorelei's bed, swinging his feet and keeping a close eye on Wedge and the doctors. Every time Wedge made even the smallest sound, Emote would tense and fight the urge to go to him. "What wrong with Wedge? Wes? Hobbie? Tycho? Please tell Emote. Emote want to help."
Lorelei ignored Emote's question about the mind trick; she didn't was to confuse him with Force talk while he was so worried. As the Ewok droid sat and nervously watched Wedge, Lorelei scratched behind his ear to try to calm him down. She herself was watching as the doctors worked on the General. He will be ok, he has to be, she thought.
Then as she looked at all who were in the room, doctors, EmDee droids, the Rogues, Leia, Han, Luke, Chewie, an idea then came to her. "Wes," she asked. She was too tired to worry about rank or names. "What about you, Tyco, and Hobbie? The others? Could you all have been contaminated too?"
Wes gazed at the other Rogues who shook their heads, "Wedge warned us off in time. I just didn't realize it that he had actually ingested any of the water. I mean, he had to, even if he just tasted it on the tip of his tongue."
Emote asked once more, this time to everyone in general, "What wrong with Wedge," he demanded.
Wes walked over and got down to eye level with the Ewok, "Emote, Wedge is very, very sick. He's been poisoned. By someone on board this ship."
Emote's eyes went wide with fear; he knew what it meant to be poisoned, "Wedge die," he asked, his voice seeming small and very scared. "Wes, Wedge no die! What Emote do to help?" he demanded suddenly scrambling from Lorelei's bed and up onto Wedge's before Wes could stop him. The human doctor stepped over to remove Emote from Wedge's side: Emote bared his teeth and growled at him. "Tell Emote how he help Wedge!!!!"
Wes sat down next to Emote and looked down at Wedge and all the tubes and wires running in and out of his arm and off his chest. Without realizing what he was doing, Wes reached out and brushed the hair that always seemed to find its way across Wedge's forehead and into his eyes out of the way. "Emote, there's nothing we can do, you included, other than let the doctors work on Wedge, let them do their job."
Emote gathered his legs under him and stood; leaning over he wrapped his arms around Wes' neck and began to cry. "What we do if Wedge ---"
Wes didn't let him finish his question, "Wedge wont Emote," he answered, his gut filled with the same fear for Wedge that gripped the Ewok. "Wedge is still young, he's strong and healthy. Now you go back to Lorelei," he said standing, tears filling his eyes as well. "Tych, Hobbie and I have to go with Luke, Leia and Han and work too," he said trying to hand Emote back to the young Jedi woman, "We have to find the person or people who did this to Wedge."
"Emote, you will help best by staying here and keeping an eye on Wedge." Wes' voice caught in his throat. "Guard him. And Lorelei. Make sure that no one hurts them anymore. Can you do that for us? For me? For Wedge?"
Emote relaxed his grip on Wes' neck, "Emote fierce Ewok warrior. Emote can do that." He looked at Lorelei, then released Wes' neck and went to sit with her.
Luke looked at the assembly in sickbay solemnly. This was getting way out of hand. He took one of the doctors quietly aside, and found out that there was a way to test for the poison in water. He relayed this information to Tycho, suggesting that the ship's water supply be tested. He then tapped Wes on the shoulder, "Go find who did this," he said seriously, "I'll take care of Wedge." Turning, he pulled a chair over to be near his long-time friend and taking his hand, sent healing energies through him on contact. He then proceeded to go into a trance to magnify the healing, but the trance left him unresponsive to the others in sickbay.
Lorelei was lying on her side, watching Master Luke work on Wedge. The General's body seemed so pale and lifeless; unlike the man the rest of the Rogues were playing 'keep-a-way' with earlier in the cafeteria with her drawing pad. That scared her more than her own illness from the poison.
Emote had crawled back on her bed and she gently pulled him to her and the two laid in the bed and watched Luke and Wedge. Lorelei brought her hand up and ran her fingers in the Ewok's fur; he was like an innocent child about to loose his father. Seeing the small Ewok so distressed, it almost broke Lorelei's heart.
"It's ok Emote," she said in a weak but gentle tone, "He will get through this. He's survived everything else imaginable, a little poison can't hurt him," Lorelei wished with all her heart that those sentiments were so true and not just words she was uttering to ease Emote's fears as well as her own. She was so weak, she just wanted to go to sleep, but she knew if she didn't keep herself up, she would sleep, and might never wake up as she was using all her knowledge in the Force to keep awake. However, Wedge didn't have that power; he was helpless against the poison, helpless to help himself heal. He had to rely on the medical expertise of the New Republic and its doctors. Lorelei knew those words weren't working at comforting Emote, Perhaps if he took a nap, she thought. She continued to soothingly pet the Ewok's fur and then started to lightly hum the lullaby "Stars and Comets."*** She continued to hum, then started to sing in a sweet, gentle, but weak voice loud enough for Emote to hear, but not enough to disturb the doctors.
She continued so sing to herself, even after Emote finally fell asleep. His sleeping in her arms comforted her a bit, then she closed her eyes, and sent a small wave of the Force to her Master and then into Wedge helping the healing energy pass though his body. ***Thank you to Iris Bailey for the name of the lullaby.***
Jedi Knight Leda 'Jaded' Skywalker walked briskly through the corridors of the ship, only years of self-discipline keeping her from sprinting to sickbay. Finally, after what seemed like forever she walked into the room, and saw Wedge on the table, pale. She could still feel him, and knew he wasn't dead, but also knew that he was very close. Walking over to him, and Luke, she settled into a chair next to the bed, across from Luke, taking Wedge's other hand. She reached up and pushed the hair back off his forehead, then settled into a trance to help Luke heal her friend.
Lorelei backed off using the Force to help Wedge once the new woman came in. she felt out of place. She let out a sigh and looked at Emote sleeping beside her, she absently started to pet him. She was tired and weak, she just wanted to sleep and really didn't care anymore…just wanted to sleep. She snuggled against the Ewok and closed her eyes.
Wedge's world was dark; he didn't know where he was but he somehow knew that things were not good for him. He tried to open his eyes but his body would not respond to his commands. The last thing he remembered was sitting in his office with Tycho, Wes, Hobbie, Leia, Han and Luke waiting for Luke to tell him his brilliant plan to capture whoever it was the had poisoned the General/Diplomat, from…from…he couldn't remember the name of the planets, when he felt as if the thermostat and the heat in his office had been cranked way up. Now he felt like he was back on Hoth and caught in one of the planet's numerous blizzards. As he began to shiver in response to the cold, the monitors that he was hooked up to began to blare out their alarms - the poison was making him begin to crash and he was helpless to stop it.
The blaring alarms yanked Jaded out of her trance, quickly looking down at Wedge, she moved over him, close, letting the Force flow through her to him. "Antilles, I am not going to let you leave me, Jagged or Zena, do you hear me," she said, her voice rough as tears streaked her cheeks. She reached into him, using the Force, looking for him, to find him and lead him back to them.
The blaring noises of the alarms quickly woke her back up as well as waking Emote too. He immediately tried to jump down to see Wedge, Crying "Emote help Wedge" but Lorelei grabbed him and held him tight as the doctors came running back in. The human doctors pushed Luke and Jaded away, and tried to work as hard as they could but nothing seemed to be working.
Emote kept yelling, "Emote help Wedge."
"Emote! Emote, look at me," Lorelei said quickly. She turned the Ewok around to face her and hugged him tight. "He will be fine, keep hoping."
"Wedge die! Emote want to help save Wedge."
"There is nothing we can do right now," Lorelei tried to explain. She looked at Wedge's helpless body and thought for a moment.
"Emote, you know, it has been proven that when people are comatose, they can sometimes hear what the people on the outside are saying." She said calmly.
"Wedge hear Emote?"
"It is possible." She soothed. She turned him around on her lap, closed her eyes and searched through the Force. This was something she didn't normally do. It was an odd technique, she thought. She found a small part of Wedge's mind that was black, and alone. That was where she was to work.
"Ok Emote, call out to Wedge; tell him to come back, tell him it is not his time yet," she said staying with the force. Hopefully, if this worked, Wedge, in his unconscious state, would be able to hear Emote in his mind. Lorelei had tried this one other time with a long time friend and it worked. There is no danger with this ability; she just hoped it comforted Emote. It was then, the rest of the Rogues, Leia, Han, and Chewie came in.
Jaded grabbed the doctor, and moved him abruptly taking Wedge's face between her hands, "I can find him, you can't," she hissed at the doctor, part of her still with Wedge. She closed her eyes and entered again, looking through the dark. Sensing Luke's apprentice she turned toward her presence, calling out to Wedge, "Wedge, come back to us, please, we need you," she called, moving to find him in the darkness. Han watched helplessly as the three Jedi tried to save Wedge. He couldn't believe one of his friends could die like this, there has to be a cure for this poison and he knew just who would have it.
Nac sat is his room reviewing a data pad of numbers and accounts. The manufacturing base had been left to work without his supervision and he was making sure everything was working smoothly. Finally, when the number data for a large missile came to the screen, a toothy grin came to Nac's face when he saw that project had been completed weeks before schedule. "Excellent. I can use this one now," he said to himself. He called more of the data up to the screen and started keying in the codes set to activate the machinery when suddenly, there was a loud pounding sound and then the door slammed open with Han standing in the center.
"What is this Solo!?" Nac yelled jumping up off the bed.
Han had a look of hate and anger on his face. "You know exactly what, Nac! I know it was you who tried to poison the general, and know the entire ship is being checked and two of my friends might die!" Han grabbed the red creature by the collar of his shirt and yanked him out of the room. "You are gonna give us the cure, or I am gonna give you more pain then any poison can give you."
"Such anger in you Solo," Nac grinned, "You have no proof I poisoned anyone!"
"Oh yeah? I am taking you to the med bay; Lorelei had a trace of that stuff on her hands and you will too, as soon as we find it, you'll be caught, red handed."
"This is a joke right? I am already red handed."
Tycho, Wes and Hobbie rushed to the bed were Wedge laid lifeless and Luke and Jaded both were calling out to him not to leave them. Emote held his arms up for Tycho to hold him, "Wedge die," he wailed.
"No Emote; Jaded, Luke, and from the looks of it Lorelei as well, will do everything they can to help the doctors so Wedge wont die." Fear tinged his normally calm voice. He looked over at his friend of many years, memories flooding his mind of how when he was accused of Corran's death and being a traitor to the New Republic and Wedge was one of the very few who never lost faith in him, who believed with all his heart that he was innocent; no, Wedge could not die. "Wedge," he whispered, "Please." Then he noticed Wes.
Wes was sitting in the chair Luke had so recently vacated, cradling Wedge's hand in his, his head on the bed next to Wedge, tears running down his face, his lips moving. At first Tycho couldn't make out the words Wes was saying but as he listened closely he could hear him muttering; "Wedge, please don't leave me. You're the only family I have left anymore. You're my brother, my mentor, and my best friend. Please Wedge. Please."
Tycho's heart almost broke as he listened to Wes pleading to Wedge to not leave them; he knew just what Wes meant, Wedge was more than their commanding officer to him, Wes and Hobbie - they were like brothers. Hobbie! Oh, Sith, I almost forgot about Hobbie, he thought and looked over at the tall, quiet pilot. Hobbie was almost as white as the sheets covering Wedge's inert form, his eyes showing the fear he felt for the man who was lying in the bed in front of him. Tycho walked over to him, "Hobbie. Hobbie! Can you take Emote for me? Hold him and take care of him for Wedge?" Hobbie reached out as though he were in a trance; nodding his head, he took Emote from Tycho. The little Ewok transferred his death grip from Tycho's neck to Hobbie's.
"Hobbie, take to Wedge." Hobbie looked to Tycho, questioning him with his eyes. Before Tycho could answer, Han rushed into the room.
Han yanked Nac harder for the joke as he dragged him and walked into the med bay. "Tycho," Han called. He stepped in front of the Rogue and threw Nac in front of him. "I want him checked for that poison. See if there is any of it on his hands or ever was on his hands."
Tycho returned his gaze to Hobbie, "Go ahead Hobbie. Take Emote over by Wedge. Maybe if he can feel the presence of all of us ---," he said softly as his voice trailed off. He reached up, brushed the tears from his eyes, and then turned to Han and Nac. Before Han could stop him, Tycho had the larger red creature pinned to the wall with his forearm against his throat. "You are coming with me Hutt slime," he snarled. "If ANYTHING happens to our friend, I promise you that I personally will see to it that you pay for what you've done. That is if I can keep Janson over there from shooting you first - and Wes is a dead shot, he never misses." Tycho then spun Nac around and back up against the wall, "Han, get me some binders from the guards in the hall," Tych said through clenched teeth. Han did as he was asked, handing Tycho a pair of binders, which Tycho placed on Nac's wrists behind his back.
"Han, let's take this piece of Bantha dung to the lab and run a few tests on him." The two men left with Nac in tow - Han covering him with his blaster as they walked.
Hobbie stood at the foot of Wedge's bed, just staring at his friend. He had known Wedge since just after Yavin IV and couldn't believe what was happening to him now. He could feel Emote trembling in his arms and he tried to sooth Wedge's terrified Ewok. It always amazed him how Wedge treated the droid as if he were a living creature but standing there holding him, he was beginning to understand - Emote was not a typical droid, he was reacting like a real Ewok, one who was afraid for a long time friend. Hobbs felt the soft pad of one of Emote's paws on his face wiping away tears he didn't know he was shedding.
"Hobbie? Set Emote on bed?"
"I don't know, Emote. You don't want to be in the way, do you," Hobbie asked gently.
"No. Want to help Wedge. Be near Wedge."
"I know, so do I but we have to stay out of the way."
They continued to watch everyone work at trying to keep Wedge from leaving them.
Leia was watching as Han and Tycho left with Nac. She was afraid what would happen. He was an annoying creature, she knew he was to blame, but there was something else she feared and didn't know what. She watched as Luke, Jaded and Lorelei tried to help Wedge. Lorelei was getting incredible pale, she wasn't well enough to help like she was, and it could be bad for her health.
She walked to the girl and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Lorelei, take a rest," she said softly.
"I can't. Need to help him," She responded with a heavy breath.
"You are weak, you aren't going to be any good to anyone if you pass out again."
Lorelei opened her eyes and looked at Leia, "Then what can I do?"
"Stay with the Rogues here. I need to find Han and Tycho to make sure they don't tear our only suspect apart." Leia said.
Lorelei nodded as Leia left. She looked around and saw Wes. He was white as a ghost, crying and in pain. She took a deep breath and got up from her bed. Slowly, she moved to Wedge's bed where Wes was sitting. Standing beside the man, Lorelei placed a hand on his right shoulder, and clenched it a bit to let him know he wasn't alone. She didn't know what to say to him, she didn't know him too well, she just wanted to let him know she was there if he needed anything.
A young girl of about 12 ran into the sick bay, "Mom?" Zena Padme Skywalker-Antilles said looking around and seeing Jaded leaning over the person lying on the bed. From the sounds of the alarms, she knew that person was in great distress. She walked over recognizing her Uncle Luke and his student Lorelei also trying to help the person. Looking down she saw Wedge laying there, "NO, Dad!" she cried. Looking down at Wes sitting in the chair, she put a hand on his shoulder,
"Uncle Wes, what happened?" she asked.
Wes looked up first at Lorelei giving her a small brave smile and then at the young girl calling him Uncle - it was Wedge's and Jaded's daughter Zena, named after both their mother's. "Someone tried to poison Wedge and everyone else involved in the talks," he said softly as he took her hand in his.
Emote, seeing Zena, struggled out of Hobbie's arms while he was
distracted by seeing her, and scurried across the edge of the bed and
to Jaded and up by Wedge's head. He was torn between being near Wes,
Zena and Luke or Jaded - he decided to be near Jaded, Besides, more
room to sit that side, he thought. Sitting next to Wedge's head, on
the side of the bed Jaded was on, Emote slowly, tentatively, he
extended a paw towards Wedge's face and began to caress his cheeks,
"Wedge can no leave Emote. Wedge come back. Who take care of Emote if
Wedge leaves him?" Quietly the small Ewok kept repeating Wedge's name
and calling for him to come back.
Continued in Part Nine