Battle Scars
Rating: PG-13

Bethany Handcuff

Authoress' notes: The following story takes place approximately two and a half years after Natasi Daala is removed from power as Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance. I've taken a few liberties with the end of FOTJ. Please read and enjoy all of my stories, please leave me feedback, public or via email. ahandcuffgirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

General Jaina Solo took a moment to check herself out in the mirror of her ready room.  She was wearing a crisp Galactic Alliance Starfighter Command duty uniform.  It was black, with flight-suit orange accents.  Underneath that she was wearing a black bodysuit.  The bodysuit was armored, and would serve as a vac-suit in an emergency.  Her brown hair was cut short, just a few centimeters long.

Glossy black knee boots with chunky ten centimeter high heels were on Jaina’s feet.  The heels gave her an extra bit of height among her subordinates.  A six centimeter wide silver durasteel chrono cuff was maglocked around her left wrist, with a matching comlink around her right one.  Both were barely visible underneath the sleeves of her tunic.

The top of her bodysuit ended in a high, stiff, glossy black collar.  While Jaina had worn a collar for various fetish reasons over the years, the primary purpose of this one was to function as part of her vac-suit.  The fact that it helped hide the large acid burn on the left side of her neck had also factored into her decision to wear this style of protective bodysuit.  She had chosen glossy black PVC for the look though; and because it matched her boots.

The acid burns extended from the left side of her chin — where a large one was partially visible above her collar — down the left side of her torso, to midway down her thigh.  Splotches extended down most of her left arm to the back of her hand — where one was also visible past her chrono — and the outside of her left breast.

The acid was specifically engineered to be resistant to bacta.  She had gotten the injury in a fight with a Sith Lord and Saber the previous year.  Neither of them had survived.

Jaina's right eye was covered with a glossy black PVC patch.  She had lost it in a fight with another Sith Lord just a couple of months ago.  He hadn't survived either.

Besides the large acid burns and missing eye, Jaina had an assortment of smaller scars that hadn't been bad enough to get bacta treatment for.  A small cut above her missing eye.  A long scar ran from the point of her right elbow, to the thumb side of her wrist, disappearing underneath her comlink.  There was a puncture wound through her left palm where she had stopped the tip of a shikkar. 

She had a jagged scar from the right side of her ribcage down to just below her belly button.  She had several more obvious ones on each leg, and a couple on her back.  Most of the time other people had needed the bacta a lot worse, so Jaina had often refused even a bacta patch.

Amazingly, Jaina still had both hands and feet.  Lightsaber battles often tended to cause them to come up missing on the participants.

A lot of Sith — and Jedi — and her friends, hadn't survived the last two and a half years.  Mom.  Uncle Luke.  Master Cilghal.  Zekk.  Jag.  Wedge.  Still, there were several hundred Sith out there, and most of them were in the fleet they were about to attack.

Jaina took a deep breath, and strode out into the Rejuvenator-class Star Destroyer's hangar. 

"General Solo," Captain Hikks, her aide, greeted her as she stepped through the hatchway.

There were six squadrons of X-wings arrayed in the hangar.  Not only was she in charge of these seventy-two starfighters, she had another fifty-five squadrons under her command, spread out on other ships in this part of the fleet.

"Captain," Jaina replied with a nod.  "Status update?"

"All squadrons report they are at full strength, and ready for combat, Ma'am," Captain Hikks answered with a nod.  "And Admiral Daala would like you to contact her at your earliest convenience."

"Of course," Jaina responded with a nod.  She still couldn't believe she was on the same side as Natasi Daala.

When the former Imperial Admiral and Galactic Alliance Chief of State had found out the Sith were back though, she had quickly organized her fleet, and pledged her allegiance to Admiral Bwua'tu.  She still wasn't a great tactician, but she fought hard.

Jaina stepped over to the holocom suite and activated the holoprojector.  A moment later, Admiral Daala appeared.  While both Jaina and Admiral Daala held flag rank, the Admiral did outrank Jaina.

"Admiral," Jaina greeted her with professional nod — as much as her collar would allow her.  "My squadrons are standing by."

"Excellent, General," Admiral Daala replied.  "Admirals Bwua'tu, Darklighter, and Makin's, General Phennir's, Queen Mother Tenel Ka, and Moffs Garreter and Sarreti's fleets are ready as well.  Master Durron and the Jedi are also prepared to strike.  We will follow Moff Garreter's fleet, as we've planned."

"Yes, Ma'am," Jaina replied obediently. 

Before Admiral Daala could reply, her aide, Jedi Ta'tan'ia, who was also an Ensign in the Galactic Alliance Navy, handed her a datapad.  While Admiral Daala was looking it over, Ta'tan'ia glanced towards Jaina, and gave her a brief nod.  Her ever-present cheerful smile was on her face, and her permanent beskar collar was around her neck.  Jaina smiled and nodded back as Admiral Daala scanned the datapad.

The combined Galactic Alliance-Confederation-Hapan-Imperial worlds vastly outnumbered the Sith-Imperial-Mandalorian worlds, even though some worlds had defected from the Galactic Alliance and Confederation to the Sith side.  The main thing that had kept the Sith going so long was that there were a lot more actual Sith than Jedi.    

For this battle though, the GACHI fleet outnumbered the SIM fleet nearly three-to-one.  There were also nearly three-quarters as many Jedi in the GACHI fleet as Sith in the SIM fleet.

Admiral Daala handed the datapad back to Ta'tan'ia, and nodded her head in approval.  Then she turned her attention back to Jaina.

"General Solo, we'll be engaging the enemy in twenty-eight minutes.  I look forward to celebrating our victory after the battle," she said.

Jaina found herself nodding her head — as much as her collar would allow her — in agreement.  "As do I, Admiral," she answered.

While Jaina certainly didn't consider Admiral Daala a friend, she supposed they did have some things in common now — besides the fact that they both were missing an eye.  Victory would certainly put them both in an amicable mood.

Less than half-an-hour later, Moff Garreter's fleet entered hyperspace.  Admiral Daala's was right behind them.  The rest of the GACHI fleet was staged in separate locations, and would be jumping into battle in a coordinated attack.  In addition, Admiral Bwua'tu had staged smaller fleets in the most likely places the SIM fleets would jump when they retreated.

While Jaina was still an absolutely lethal pilot, she would be managing her starfighter forces from the flight ops center on board Admiral Daala's flagship, the Chimaera II.  The original Chimaera had finally been destroyed early on in the war.  Admiral Bwua'tu had assigned Admiral Daala a brand new Rejuvenator-class Star Destroyer, which she had promptly named Chimaera II.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Jaina felt the ship shudder from a direct turbolaser hit.  Luckily there hadn't been many.  Admiral Daala had been doing a pretty decent job of leading her fleet.

"General Solo, we've lost two more cruisers to shadow bombs!" Captain Hikks shouted over the alarms and other sounds of a flight ops center in the middle of a battle.

Jaina muttered a curse.  She hated losing so many capital ships, even if a lot of the enemy fighters were being piloted by Sith.  Instead of commanding their capital ships, it seemed like every Sith was in a starfighter full of shadow bombs.  They had already taken out nearly a dozen Imperial ships, and several of Admiral Daala's.  Jaina had also lost an obscene number of starfighters.

Now certainly wasn't the time to place blame, but Moff Garreter's fleet had been torn to shreds inside of thirty minutes.  Admiral Bwua'tu had sent reinforcements, but they were still taking a pounding.  They just couldn't stop those kriffing shadow bombs.  Overall, the battle was going very well, but not as well as they had expected.

With Sith-piloted starfighters making seemingly random runs in ones and twos on capital ships, it was impossible for the GACHI battle computers to come up with a coordinated counterattack.

Captain Hikks had already voiced her displeasure with the situation several times.  Jaina activated her wrist comm, and contacted Admiral Daala.  She spoke to her a few moments, and deactivated the link.  Then she turned to Colonel Barro, her second-in-command, and turned command of the flight ops center over to him. 

"Captain, have my fighter prepped for takeoff," Jaina instructed her aide, Captain Hikks, as she turned and marched towards the hangar — and her X-wing.  "I'll have to destroy them ship-to-ship."

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Jaina watched her quad-linked lasers puncture the Sith's X-wing, just behind the cockpit.  As she watched it explode — and for the Sith ejecting — she also kept her eyes on her HUD for another target.  There weren't any close enough to worry about. 

There was a fighter tagged friendly nearby though.  Not only was Rogue Leader friendly, she was a friend.  Jaina activated her comlink to contact her.

"Sword to Rogue Leader," Jaina called once the link was made.

"General Solo, I'm glad you're still with us," Rogue Leader replied.

"You to, Colonel Antilles," Jaina replied as she continued to watch her HUD and other instruments, and listen to the Force.  "I'm sorry about Myri ... and your Dad."

"Thanks," Syal Antilles responded.  "I'm sorry about your Mom, and Master Skywalker."

"Thanks," Jaina told her.  "It looks like we're getting some payback now, though."

"It looks that way," Syal agreed.

While the Galactic Alliance-Confederation-Hapan-Imperial fleet had taken some significant loses, the Sith-Imperial-Mandalorian fleet had been crushed.  Jaina estimated almost three-quarters of their ships were destroyed or disabled.  The survivors were retreating, and trying to get far enough away from the Alliance's Interdictors to enter hyperspace.  Admiral Bwua'tu and the other GACHI fleet commanders were making them pay a steep price though.

"We've got to keep our boot on their necks," Jaina said resolutely.  "Until every last Sith is dead."

Before Syal could reply, Jaina's astromech began scrolling orders from Admiral Bwua'tu across her screen.  He was ordering Admiral Daala's, Makin's, and the Hapan fleets to accompany his ships in pursuing the retreating SIM fleets.  The other GACHI fleets, as well as the disabled ships, would be staying behind to finish off the SIMs here.  The orders included each fleet's starfighter squadrons. 

Jaina immediately began contacting her squadron commanders, repeating the order.  While she was doing that, her astromech was receiving the jump coordinates from the Chimaera II.  Some units were already starting to make their jumps.

Out of the seven hundred and thirty two starfighters under Jaina's command, approximately two-thirds of them were still in the fight.  She ordered them to form up as best they could, and jump with a capital ship if possible.

A few moments later, Jaina, and Syal were part of a mixed group of about thirty starfighters.  They jumped with a Nebula-class Star Destroyer and a Republic-class cruiser.

When they exited hyperspace Jaina's HUD immediately began identifying threats.  There was a fleet of about fifteen GACHI ships engaging approximately twenty or so SIM ships.   Admiral Daala's flagship, the Chimaera, was among the GACHI ships.  Almost as quickly as she assessed the situation, two friendly Bothan Assault Cruisers and a Galactic-class battle carrier jumped in, accompanied by about three squadrons of snubfighters.

The SIM fleet was definitely taking the worst of it.  They were doing their best to separate themselves from the GACHI ships, to retreat again.

Jaina reached out with the Force to sense any Sith, or immediate danger.  There were at least eight or ten Sith among the SIM ships.  She also sensed about as many Jedi among the GACHI fleet.

Jaina quickly spotted a pair of Sith in X-wings making a run on the Chimaera, and set course to intercept them.  Her temporary wingmate, Syal, was right behind her.  Two friendly Eta-5 interceptors accompanied them as well.

The Sith evaded the Chimaera's gunners and each dropped a pair of shadow bombs.  Jaina watched the ship's shields weaken as the first pair of shadow bombs exploded against them.  Then she sensed Ta'tan'ia's relief as the Chimaera's gunners destroyed both of the second pair.

Before they reached the Sith, Jaina and Syal's wingmates split off to go after more enemy starfighters that were attacking them.  Jaina and Syal caught up with the Sith X-wings before they could make another pass on the Chimaera.  The Sith changed course to meet them head-to-head.

Both sides held their fire until they were just over a kilometer apart.  Jaina and Syal both concentrated their fire on the lead Sith, while both Sith aimed for Jaina.

All four pilots were extremely skilled.  In spite of her best efforts, Jaina's shields took multiple hits.  She and Syal both did quite a bit of damage to the lead Sith though.  At the last instant before the two sides passed each other, Jaina switched targets and fired a torpedo point-blank at the second Sith fighter.

Through the Force and her HUD, Jaina knew he had survived the torpedo.  She quickly pulled her stick back hard to get the Sith in her crosshairs again.  Syal was doing the same just behind her.  Jaina glanced at her HUD to track the Sith, and any other threats.  Mid-way through her loop, the trailing Sith starfighter winked out of existence.

"Scratch one Sith," Jysella Horn announced over the comlink.

"Thanks, Rogue Nine," Jaina replied with a slight smile.

"Thanks," Syal — Rogue Leader, added from her own X-wing.

As Jaina watched her HUD, the other Sith broke off its attack on the Chimaera.  A few seconds later, she saw that he was flying towards a Hapan Nova-class cruiser.  Jaina, Syal, Jysella, and her wingmate had changed course to go after him.  Before they could catch up to it, a pair of Mandalorian fighters locked onto them.  Syal and Jysella's wingmate split off to deal with the Mandos while the two Jedi stayed on the Sith.

The two Jedi began firing at extreme range, just so the Sith couldn't aim his shadow bombs.  Several seconds later, Jaina sensed him release them, and he veered sharply off to port.

"I've got 'em," Jysella said quickly over the comm.

Jaina clicked an acknowledgement, and went after the Sith.  She could feel his ... evilness through the Force.  He felt like a medium-powerful Saber.  Since she was behind him when he turned, she caught up with him in seconds, and began pouring laser fire into his shields.

The Sith juked and evaded, but Jaina doggedly kept him in her crosshairs, firing away.  At the same time, she relied on the Force — and her HUD — to alert her of any imminent danger.

Nearly a minute later, Jaina's lasers blew his starboard engines off the X-wings fuselage.  His port engines immediately sent the snubfighter into a spin.  Jaina fired another quad-linked laser burst straight at his cockpit.  Just as her lasers hit, the Sith ejected.

He was a split-second too late.  As he ejected, one of her lasers vaporized the lower half of his body.

Jaina immediately checked her HUD for another target.  Syal and her wingmate were still dealing with the Mando fighters.  Jaina quickly changed course to assist.  She also noticed that Jysella was on an intercept course as well.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

General Solo sat her X-wing down on the hanger deck with a sigh of relief.  After two and a half years, they had finally destroyed the last major SIM fleet.  They had also killed over a hundred Sith.  The war wasn't over, but she could see the end from where she was at.

Jaina sat in her cockpit a few moments, and let the feeling of exultation from everyone else in the hangar wash over her through the Force.  In just a few seconds, one of the crewmembers had pushed a ladder against the side of her X-wing.  She opened the cockpit, stepped over onto the ladder, and down onto the deck.  Everyone was so busy celebrating their victory, only a handful even noticed her.  It was just the way she liked it.  She didn't want glory, she just wanted victory.


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