Project Echo: Part 22
Rating: PG
Gillian F. Taylor

The Pulsar Skate was coming in for a fast but controlled landing. Tycho's attention wasn't on either Mirax's deft handling of her ship, or the blocky towers and dull industrial units that made up the view of Visalux generally visible through the front viewport. Instead, he was listening to the reports that Winter was picking up via the ship's sophisticated comms system and relaying throughout the Skate. They'd learned that Wedge had switched from the speeder he'd first taken, and that he'd been spotted and chased.

"Suspect last seen at the speeder park of Valleyrest shopping mall, at the junction of Broadwood Ave and Junhansi Street."

Tycho keyed the street names into the ship's computer, which searched the citymaps he'd just downloaded from the local networks. A streetmap flashed up on his screen, with a white cross blinking at the centre.

"Found it," Tycho said. He touched the display, widening the visible area to include the spaceport. "It's just a couple of klicks from here. I'm sending the maps to everyone's datapads and the nav in the repulsorvan."

Rather than hiring locally, the Rogues had brought their own repulsorvan in the Skate's hold. It was equipped with specialist comm equipment, other security equipment, much of it in hidden compartments, and medical emergency support equipment. The Pulsar Skate itself had a decent basic medbay, though Tycho sincerely hoped it wouldn't be needed.

"Landing in ten," Mirax announced.

"Unit 62. I think I saw him heading east on Meggaron Street. In pursuit."

Tycho hastily entered the street name and the road was highlighted on the map.

"He's aiming indirectly for the spaceport," Tycho announced. "Winter, can you get me locations of police units?"

She was already busy with her sophisticated datapad, which was linked to the ship's own computer. "I need to slice into their systems; high levels of security. It'll take a couple of minutes."

The Skate settled on the duracrete of the landing bay, the whine of the repulsors dying down as Mirax closed down systems. Tycho turned in his seat.

"Hobbie. Tell Gavin to stand by; we're likely to want them sooner than we thought."

"Got that," Hobbie answered, opening a secure channel to the distant X-wings.

"Repulsorvan is free from magclamps," Corran reported in from the hold. "We'll be ready to go when you get here."

"Good," Tycho answered. He turned back to the co-pilot's board in front of him and helped Mirax with the post-flight checks. He wanted to get out and in search of Wedge as quickly as possible, but it was likely they'd have to make a rapid departure from Benzalko, and it was important that their transport offworld should be ready and in prime condition. Whistler had come with them, and the astromech would be ready to start prepping the ship for departure when signalled.

"Got it!" Winter said triumphantly. She made another entry on her datapad and new images appeared on the map displayed on Tycho's datapad. "Transponders on the local police speeders."

Tycho looked at the map and whistled at the number of icons. "They're serious about catching Wedge again."

"Or killing him," Mirax said, unbuckling her seat harness and standing up.

"The local police forces don't know who it is they're chasing," Winter reminded them. "The ones out there in speeders have only been told it's a dangerous criminal who's attacked the Moulante Bio Lab." She unplugged her datapad from the ship's computer.

"They probably won't be expecting Wedge to have back up," Tycho said, following the two women as they left the Pulsar Skate's cockpit.

"Wedge isn't expecting back up," Mirax said. "We need to go find him now."

Tycho nodded once. "We'll find him."



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