Revoked: Part 3 Wedge
Syal is visiting today. She looks more grown up every time I see her. I grin with pride whenever I see that little sparkle in her eye. She looks so much like her mother. But she looks like me too, every time that sparkle disappears behind a hardened wall of pain and loss. Every death chips away at my little girl's heart, dimming that sparkle a little more. I've been there, I know what it's like to see your friends and comrades fall around you, their deaths seeming to power some mystical shield around you so that you may live, if only to regret surviving. I want to hug her and comfort her and tell her it will be all right, that the dying will stop, but I know I can't do that. She's no longer my little girl. Syal's old enough, smart enough, to understand it on her own and wallowing in our mutual grief is not the way to enjoy this brief reunion.
When she comes to visit, we both make a point not to treat it as a special occasion, even though travel between Coruscant and Corellia can be difficult. Maybe it's because we both know how valuable 'normalcy' is. It's nice to have memories of your family doing normal things together. I have so few. One of my treasured memories is of the night Iella made cocoa for the girls during one of Coruscant's turbulent storms, with Syal and Myri huddled under a blanket with me on the sofa while she looked on with her concerned frown while stirring the cocoa. Those are the times with my family I like to remember, not the hurried and tearful goodbyes during the wars, or the reunions at the end when the dead are so fresh in the mind.
We both continue with our routines. She's keying up some mission report while I watch the holonews. Actually, I'm trying to watch the holonews. It's very hard to do when you can't actually see the image being projected. "Syal, have you seen my glasses?"
She looks up from her datapad, that sparkle back in her eyes. "Daddy, did you loose them again? You're getting old."
"I'm not old," I respond crossly. I'm really not. If Luke Skywalker can still run around saving the galaxy, I'm not old. Well, I am two years older than he is, but still. "My eyesight is bad from all those mission reports I've written over the years in the dead of night and I haven't lost my glasses, someone must have picked them up. I put them down right here." I point to the little spot on my low caff table where I always put them. Iella used to tease me about loosing them all the time after I first got them, and now it seems my daughter is determined to carry on the tradition.
"Dad, if keying mission reports is what gave you glasses, why hasn't Uncle Tycho gotten them? After all, you always made him do all the datapading. Did you check the top of your head?" She keeps keying as she talks. I don't mind. I know as Rogue Leader she has a lot of responsibility and it wouldn't do to fall behind on her filing. Besides, it gives me a chance to discreetly check the top of my head. Nope, not there, just my thin grey hair. At least I have hair. Poor Hobbie.
"Your Uncle Tycho doesn't have glasses because he just makes Winter read everything to him later. And even if he did, at least she'd remember where he put them." I've given up with being discreet. The cushions to the sofa are now on the floor, and if it wasn't for the twinge of pain in my back, I'd be overturning the sofa too.
Finally, I decide to stop searching and I begin piecing the living room back together. I'm not giving up, merely retreating long enough to devise a proper plan of attack. They have to be here somewhere. My plotting is interrupted by an excited child's voice. "Grandpa! Grandpa! Look what I can do!"
Kirana is standing at my side, close enough I could clearly count the freckles on her nose, holding my glasses. But it's not the glasses that interest me now, no, it's what's she's doing with him. A small glowing pinprick of light is floating behind them, where my head would be were they on my face. The light flickers and dances and then as it passes through the glasses is focused into a dazzling display of multicolored lights. As I watch, little Kirana bites her lip and I see the lights join and flit by in the clear image of an X-Wing before diverging once more into diffuse light.
I gather her in my arms and give her a hug. "Strong in the Force, this one," I tease. I'm still adjusting to having Force sensitives in the family. As Han once told me, it's not something you get over in a day. What Kirana can do, what her father can do, seem like little miracles to me and I still have a tendency to praise even the slightest demonstration of ability. My daughters just roll their eyes. They know what it's like to grow up normal around Jedi. I'm probably detrimental to the whole 'we want them to be normal' thing, but that's what grandfathers are for: spoiling their grandchildren rotten. I trust my girls to repair the damage.
"Kirana, give back your grandpa's glasses. You know he can't see with out them," Syal scolds her daughter absently. She does look up and offer her a small smile. "Your father will be proud of your progress."
With a bounce, Kirana plops down next to me as I perch my glasses on my nose and turn on the holoprojector. But as it goes on, Kirana screams. I turn to her and see tears washing down her face as sobs rack her small body. I hear Syal knock over her chair as she rushes to her daughter's side. "Ana, dear, what's wrong?" she asks soothingly as she pushes a few strands of blonde hair from Kirana's eyes.
But little Kirana only shakes her head and cries. Syal gathers her into her arms and the girl's own arms latch on to her neck. They leave the room as memories of Corran's sorrowful pauses and Luke's grim looks surface in my mind. I know whatever is wrong with Kirana is Force related, and it pains me I can't help. Even Syal can only do so much, and she returns to the living room with a shake of her head. Kirana will have to wait for help until her father arrives, which should be soon.
In the meantime, Syal and I return to our normalcy. It's a small comfort. The reporter is droning on in heavy tones about the price of Whyren's and potential spikes in the market. Kirana's sobs have quieted and my own thundering heart begins to slow. I'm back to my idle peace, which I've been absorbing in haulerloads ever since the last war.
Then that peace is shattered once more, this time by the musical chords of the holonews. Each station has that special little ditty they use when they break into a program, and my heart begins to beat faster. More often then not, it's an announcement that another Solo or Skywalker has been born or a planet has entered into some new treaty. But I lived through too many wars not to dread the unexpected.
The reporter begins with the usual gruff apologies, but then the torpedo is fired. "Approximately fifteen minutes ago, this network learned that Jedi Master Ben Skywalker, his wife Myri, and his daughter Nelani were killed in a speeder accident on Coruscant."
It takes a moment for my mind to register his words, a moment that has nothing to with my age and everything to do with the utter shock and horror coursing through my body.
My baby girl.
"Their son Kale received lift threatening injuries and is currently undergoing bacta treatment."
I hear the words as if they were broadcast over the old Alliance comm systems; they're full of static and they're barely sensible. But I hear them nonetheless, even if, just like orders received long ago, I don't want to listen. My heart is beating wildly and I feel like I've taken a punch to the gut.
"Authorities say the Skywalker family airspeeder was struck by an X-Wing attempting to land at a private facility. The X-Wing was piloted by Rebel Hero, Major Wes Janson, formally of Rogue Squadron."
My chest tightens as I gasp for air.
"Sources say that Janson's piloting license was revoked earlier this week after an incident with a landspeeder convinced doctors that the aging pilot's reflexes were no longer up to the task of controlling any vehicle."
I feel a strange numbness spreading as the pain in my heart overtakes me.
Kirana's lights dance before my eyes.
"As the X-Wing was shielded, Janson was not injured in the crash. It is unknown if he will face criminal charges."
"Call for help! Daddy, don't you dare!"
The sounds and lights converge to a familiar welcoming whisper as the darkness falls.
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