Should Have Known Better
Diana DeRiggs

In her dream, she heard the crackling of a comlink and a familiar voice alerting her to "Stand to beds!". She knew that this meant there was a surprise inspection, potentially a real nightmare. But she consoled herself, telling herself it was just a dream. She even dreamt that blankets and sheets were piled atop her, and a more familiar voice whispered to her, "Shh!" She heard someone tapping on the thermostat, which beeped for every increment, and she felt the room cool suddenly. She was grateful for the extra blankets, but needed to know, "What's going on?" She was shushed again. "Please! I have to go to the refresher!"

A hand reached under the blankets and clamped over her mouth. "Don't move, not a muscle!" Then his hand was gone and she heard him running aroung the small room. She heard the sounds of drawers opening, things being swept up, closet doors shutting.

Despite his order, she slowly crossed her legs and prayed she wouldn't burst. Her bladder felt enormous and the pressure was unbearable; she really needed a refresher. The soreness and slippery residues -- reminders of last night's activities -- made it very uncomfortable.

She heard the room alarm chime and then the whooshing sound of the hydraulic hinges opening the door. Then it was silent except for the sound of military footsteps. Finally, she heard an older voice command, "At ease."

The footsteps clopped slowly around the small room, and stopped almost directly in front of her head. She held very still.

"Why is this bed unmade?"

"Sir, I was on leav-"

"All the other officers inspected were already up and about, Lieutenant."

"Yes sir, I simply overslept. I woke up only moments ago."

"Why are there so many blankets on this bed? There must be at least half a dozen! You are issued two, which should be adequate."

"Yes, sir. I couldn't sleep, so I lowered the room temperature. I sleep better under a lot of blankets in a cold room, sir. I intended to return the excess to the quar-"

"I have never seen such an unkempt room, Lieutenant," the older voice was very tense. "You could at least have slept tidily!"

"NO! Wait, sir ..."

What's the big deal? She felt the rush of cold air on her nakedness and she shut her eyes in response to the bright light. Then a older voice bellowed out, "Ameeli!" Now that it wasn't muffled, it sounded quite familiar. "What are you doing here??"

Another voice interjected, "General, please calm down ..."

That other voice was also familiar. It belonged to Commander Antilles. The first voice was-

"Do your parents know you are off-planet??"

She started and blinked her eyes. Spit ... he knows my parents ...

Looking up at the officer, the girl suddenly felt really sick, and heaved hard. Her bladder couldn't hold up against the pressure and she wet the bed, too.

* * * * *

"You have got to be kidding me, Wes! You didn't know she was related to the General? Her name is Ameeli Salm! You should have known better!"

"Wedge, give me a break!" the officer being scolded was testy, "There must be millions of Salms! Oh, all right, she bears a certain resemblance to General Salm, but I swear I didn't notice it last night! Don't give me a hard time, she's a good kid, and really sexy! She does the best cir-"

The commander blinked at Wes Janson, "We're not talking about a fellow officer, or even an enlisted solider ... we are talking about a very young civilian woman found naked in your bed, and a charge of rape!"

"Hey, she's not that young!" Wes was silently glad he'd double-checked her age before taking her to bed, "And she's not closely related to the General, she's like a fifth cousin three times remov-"

He stopped when the door to the interrogation cell opened. It was supposed to be locked and both men looked toward the entrance in surprise.

"Hi, Wedge, Wes," Han Solo nodded to both men, then stepped inside the threshold and resealed the door. He checked that the listening and recording devices were turned off, then sat down and grinned at them.

"What, no salute? Gee, no respect in the modern military." His joke met with confused stares. Barking out a laugh, he threw a datapad onto the table, "Wedge, I brokered a deal. You won't loose Jansen here, and the Rogues are still a unit. But you'd best watch yourselves, you'll be observed more closely."

Wes found his voice first, "I know it's my fault, Han. Salm chewed me out not even an hour ago. He said he'd disband the squadro-"

"And I saw him just three minutes ago, wiseass," retorted General Solo, "Here's the deal. Janson will still be restricted to barracks for a while till it cools down. But Salm doesn't make a formal report, drops the civilian rape charge, and we never discuss this issue ever again."

Wedge's face lit up in comprehension, "You mean this will make Salm look bad somehow? How'd you manage that?"

Han flashed that infectious grin again, and grabbed both men by their shoulders. He dragged them out into the corridor and out to a waiting speeder. He ordered Janson to clean up and report for KP duty immediately and to continue that detail until further notice. He tossed Wedge into the land vehicle.

Wedge tried to sit upright, rubbing the back of his neck, "You didn't have to do that! That hurt!"

Han took the controls and drove away from the base, and spoke only when many klicks away, "I was surprised to find out the girl was related to Salm, too."

Wedge stared at him, "What do you mean? What do you know?"

"Because the last time I saw her," Han's face was serious, "she was dressed, more or less, in a manner similar to how you found her this morning."

Wedge scowled, "Please tell me you did not sleep with Ameeli Salm!"

The older man snorted in laughter, "Not me! Salm!"

"You slept with Salm??" Wedge's astonished look didn't last long. Han left a bruise on the younger man's forehead that would sting for the next few days.

"You know, playing stupid doesn't suit you, Wedge. The General was with Ameeli the last time I saw her. I walked in on them by accident. We were at a higher officer's party, and he didn't know that the girl was his cousin or that she was part of the "entertainment" -- no, I won't tell you who I was with, but sufficient to say I was looking for a room and the General was well underway.

"He knew I knew, and we never talked about it or breathed a word to anyone, and neither will you. I called in the chip today; he should have known better than to come down on you so hard. Anyway, you, the pretty boy, and Rogue Squadron all owe me big. Lucky for you I don't need a bitch right now." Han pulled into a starship maintenance shop.

Speechless, Wedge wondered if he could talk Mirax into intercepting several cases of Whyren's for him. Then noticing where they were, he decided he'd simply supply lots of spare parts for the Millennium Falcon instead.


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