Star Wars: X-Wing:
Lusankya — Chapter Ten

Rating: R
Shadow Chaser

Author’s Warning: This fic is rated R for heavy graphic violence, torture, and imprisonment.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Star Wars characters except those of Akiba Muune, Lieutenant Dysune Tayib, and Captain Falco Avin. All other characters belong to Lucasfilm and their respective authors. I am not making a profit out of this story, it is only written for fans to enjoy.

The bar was musty and dank and it reeked of a certain odor about which Winter did not care to know.  She cradled a tumbler of lomin ale, occasionally sipping it.  She didn’t really drink a lot, but to blend in this kind of crowd, one had to drink, or one would be noticed immediately.  Surprisingly, her cropped white hair did not stand out as much as she had thought it would, noting that many of the patrons at the bar had wilder and more exotic hair colors than she did.  Her partner, now out of her guise as Ella Westerly was nursing a Corellian whiskey, occasionally taking gulps instead of sips.

But Winter wasn’t worried about Iella Wessiri getting drunk.  No, she knew that her partner drank responsibly, and considering the fact that they only survived an assassination attempt twelve hours ago was to their credit.

“No ... sorry,” her partner replied shaking her head. “I think its reason to say the Imps either got the agent or they killed themselves.”

“Did Page contact you about--”

A sudden knock startled the two Intelligence agents and they looked at each other before looking at the door. It was all they got to do before an explosion blew everything sky high.

Winter found herself thrown forward by the force of the explosion and immediately reacted by instinct.  Rolled away from the explosion and her eyes quickly sought out any type of covering.  Finding a desk overturned by the blast, she crawled towards it, not caring if glass was digging painful lines into her arms.

Fire roared all around them and Winter knew that they had to get out before the building collapsed.  She peered out from her hiding place.  “Iella!” she called out.

“Here!” was the faint reply and Winter realized that her hearing was very muffled.  She reached up and took off the wig that was half burnt from the explosion and felt wetness around her ears.  Taking her fingers away she saw blood.  Concussion, she realized as she crawled towards where Iella’s voice had come from.

She found Iella half buried underneath rubble, scratched and bloodied, but not seriously injured.  “Don’t worry, I’m all right,” the brown-haired woman said, crawling out of the pile.

Together they crawled out of the blaze through the back door that had been blown open by the blast.  Sweet cool air greeted them, and Winter breathed in heavily, coughing as her smoke-filled lungs protested.  She stood up, ignoring the fiery lines of pain that were threatening to overwhelm her senses.  Slapping her hand to her side, she felt that her blaster was still secure and drew it out, just as Iella drew hers out too.

The bomber still had to be here, especially if it was a professionally done job.  Which meant they were still in danger.  Winter lead the way, with Iella watching her back as they made their way through the underground streets of Courscant.  A few of the citizens stared at them, but most ignored them.  No one wanted to be the center of attention by two bloodied women and they knew when to back off, especially with them holding their blasters like professionals.

Winter suddenly ducked behind a pillar as shots rang out.  “Iella!” she called to her partner.

“Ahead, roughly 100 meters to your left!” her partner replied back through the din of blaster fire.

Winter checked her surroundings before slipping off to her left.  She signaled for Iella to draw the fire while she tried to ambush whoever was trying to kill them.  Jogging inside a strip mall of sorts, she ducked pass people as she saw through a few shops’ windows that the blaster fire had changed direction and was now tracking Iella.

She brushed past shoppers and a few security guards who started chasing after her.  Sithspit, she swore silently to herself; guards were going to be a lot of trouble and they needed a cover quickly.

She burst through the other side of the strip mall and stopped.  Turning to her right she saw blaster fire and ran towards it.  Stopping under a flight of stairs, she looked up and saw some cloth hanging from a particular spot in the ducts.  She turned slightly and made a slashing motion to stop the security guards before pointing up at the person.  They understood and stopped quietly, the leader of the security guards motioning to his men and women to fan out in case she didn’t finish the job.

She climbed quietly and stealthily up the stairs before pulling herself up to the ducts.  There, she stomach crawled until she was just feet away from the traitor who was still shooting at Iella, oblivious to anything behind him.  Flipping her switch to stun, she fired and the traitor slumped to the ground immediately, unconscious.  He was good at bombing the place, but not good enough to watch his own back.

Winter brought herself up to the traitor and stared at his face.  She narrowed her eyes as she recognized the member of her team.  Triton Aedies was someone that had joined the Rebellion long ago ... she wouldn’t have expected him to be a traitor ...   He was loyal and proved himself many times ...

Winter shook her head, snapping herself out of her reverie.  Dealing with the security guards was easy enough.  She had identified herself as part of the secret bureau of investigations and they had left it at that.  Immediately after the guards left, she had contacted Kapp to forge some quick data files and identities for her and Iella to convince the guards if they did do a check.

It had been two months since she was assigned to Courscant, and in the span of two months they had not found their mission intelligence agent who had come before them and coordinated with Iella.  This meant that either the agent was captured or already dead.

“Commander?” the voice of Ensign Page, one of the brightest in the field of Intelligence, came over and Winter looked up.  Her rank as a Commander was a heavily guarded secret and not many people knew it.  Only Page, Iella and a few others knew because of her status and contribution to the Intelligence committee, and not even Tycho or any of the Rogues knew of her status.

It wasn’t an official military commission, but it was official enough that General Cracken had her as one of his top agents.

“What is it Page?” she asked.

“We’ve got the message through and Cracken says to head back to HQ,” Page replied, looking as casual as possible, but Winter noticed that his hand wasn’t straying far from the blaster attached to his left leg.  Caution in a seedy place like this was good, but Winter knew that she would have to remind Page that he was showing too much caution at the moment.

“All right,” Winter said before Page walked away, taking a swig out of his own bottle, a hurt expression on his face as he faked rejection by the two women.

“I’ll set up the death reports and forge my new identity while you’re gone,” Iella said, taking a sip of her whiskey before she leaned back in the booth.

“The Lusankya thing is what worries me,” she said in quiet voice.

“Me too.”

After they had gotten Triton Aedies tied up and he had revived, he had started to whisper a single word: Lusankya.  It had gotten to a point where he was nearly shouting it that they stunned him again before drugging him for transportation back to Home One.

“We should get going,” Winter got up and tossed a few coins before downing the rest of her lomin ale.

“The Force be with you,” she heard Iella whisper before she walked out of the bar alone.

* * * * *

Wedge tossed another report to the side of his desk.  Everyday there were more and more reports for him to read over.  In ways he was kind of glad that he hadn’t been promoted to General yet ... then he would have to spend all of his days inside an office and probably become pale from the lack of sunlight.  But still as a Commander who had no squadron to command he was stuck doing a desk job for the last month or so.  The Rogues had been disbanded, and he had tried to submit a proposal to Admiral Ackbar and General Cracken to reform it with better pilots who had different skills but they told him to wait on it.

Their excuse was that it was too soon and Luke’s campaign in the Milagro System was just wrapping up.  But before the official disbandment of Rogue Squadron, they had them do a small tour to give hope to the newest worlds they had freed.

Oddly, during one of the tours, Soontir Fel had disappeared and while Cracken had set his Intelligence people on it, they had returned after a week and half with no traces of Baron Fel.  Wedge had wanted to search for his brother-in-law, but Cracken had told him his agents would be on it for a long time.

Now, the rest of the Rogues were assigned elsewhere.  Many of them had opted to become instructors and were at other locations, teaching and forming new squadrons.  Some had been assigned to other squadrons while others decided to retrain on other fighters.  He, however, had been left alone with a desk job that he hated and barely any flight time left.

Leaning back in his chair in his office on board Home One, Wedge scrubbed his face and wondered why Ackbar kept him here.  He could have been training a new squadron or even been assigned to another squadron, perhaps with Luke, to help liberate worlds from Imperial rule.

The only other person technically, that still kept Rogue Squadron alive was Tycho, but after two months he still hadn’t return from his mission and Wedge was beginning to worry.  Cracken hadn’t told him anything ... and all of his requests to find out about his good friend were shunted away.  A sudden burst of anger made him throw his stylus against the wall where it made a small clang before dropping to the ground.  He was frustrated and there was nothing he could do ...

Wedge closed his eyes briefly before opening them again and he decided that he would take his X-wing out, do a flyby of sorts, maybe a quick patrol to help calm his nerves.  A beep on his comlink interrupted all thoughts and he flicked it on, a bit angrily.

“Antilles,” he said in a curt voice, not really in the mood for whoever was on the other side of the line.

“Commander, please report to my office immediately,” Admiral Ackbar’s ruddery voice came over and Wedge noticed the tension that was in the Mon Calamari Admiral’s voice.

“On my way,” he replied before shutting the link off.  He stood up and grabbed his jacket before going out of the door.

A few minutes later he entered Admiral’s Ackbar’s office, the familiar draft of humidity immediately made his clothes a bit sticky on his skin.  He looked around and was mildly surprised to see Winter standing next to Ackbar’s fish globe, staring at the fishes as a few jumped out and in.

“Winter,” he greeted her and she turned around, giving him a faint smile and a nod.  He noticed that she looked a bit disturbed and wondered why.

“Commander,” Admiral Ackbar walked from a walled section of his office and Wedge saluted before standing at ease.

“Please, sit down.  This is important and though we have not released any official information yet, our intelligence sources have confirmed it,” Ackbar gestured for them to sit down in an oval-ish table.

Wedge sensed that Ackbar didn’t have good news ... but about what he didn’t know.  He had a niggling feeling that it had to do with Tycho, but that just wasn’t possible, was it?

“As you know Captain Antilles, your second-in-command, Captain Celchu was sent out on a top secret mission two months ago,” Ackbar started and Wedge nodded.  The Mon Calamari Admiral turned to Winter, “Your partner Iella Wesseri was in charge of relaying communications with an agent we sent out, correct?”

“Yes sir,” Winter nodded.

Ackbar sighed and blinked his bulbous eyes a few times before he said in a quiet voice, “Captain Celchu was sent to Courscant to gather data to help us take over the capital when all of our resources have been pooled together.  A month and half ago he was captured by Imperial agents and is now presumed dead.”

The last words hit Wedge like a sledgehammer and his whole body suddenly felt like lead.  He knew that his expression was that of a shell-shocked person.  He couldn’t move as his brain tried to comprehend what Ackbar had said ...   Tycho...captured ... dead?  That wasn’t possible ...

“That’s ... not possible,” he managed to get out in a barely heard whisper, but Ackbar heard it and turned his head to look at him.

“It’s true,” Ackbar said sadly, “the agent Winter turned over to us provided us limited information, but the data we gathered provided the fact that Captain Celchu was betrayed and captured.  We presumed that Celchu as a trained agent and one of our best infiltrators would sooner kill himself than let his captors find out what information he holds.”

Wedge blinked, still unable to comprehend the loss that had been inflicted on him.  He glanced over to see that Winter still had her icy expression on, but he read the pain in her eyes.  Though she was very good at internalizing her feelings, he realized that this was as hard on her as him.

“I’m sorry, Commander, Winter,” Ackbar apologized shaking his head, but Wedge barely heard the apology.  “We held out hope for as long as possible, but ...”  The Admiral trailed off as he stood up.

Wedge forced his legs to stand up and he saluted a bit stiffly at Ackbar before walking out.  Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Winter stay behind before the door to the Admiral’s office closed behind him with a gentle hiss.  Walking back towards his own office, the X-wing ride he was going to take all but gone from his mind, he passed by the mess hall and stopped.  Turning back around he headed into the chamber and sat down heavily in the bar.

“Corellian whiskey,” he ordered in a quiet voice, trying hard not to let his grief show.  Tycho was his good friend, one of his few best friends ... what had happened?

As the servo-droid returned with his whiskey, he placed a few coins on the table before taking a long drink from the glass.  He forcibly swallowed the whiskey past a lump in his throat, letting the drink burn all the way down to his stomach before thunking the glass back onto the bar table.

Rogue Squadron had been two ... but now, it was just him.  Him alone.

* * * * *

Winter locked the door behind her to her own private quarters.  She had only taken a few steps towards her bed when her legs gave way beneath her and she crumpled to the ground, tears falling from her face.  Her icy façade shattered, she cried for the loss of her love.

“I have to apologize again for the mix-up, Winter.  I didn’t really mean to worry you that way.”

“I was only worried about one thing, Tycho; that I wouldn’t be able to give you that kiss I promised when you first arrived.”

“It’s not the difficulty of the task, m’lady, but the degree of motivation.  You once rewarded me with a kiss, and for the chance at another, I’ll tear this ship apart.  Believe it.”

“If it wouldn’t get us kicked out of here, I’d pluck that flower and let you wear it in your hair.”

Winter felt so alone, but she knew that in her heart, she would make the Empire pay.  Alderaan had lost another of its survivors to the Empire’s black heart, but she was determined to stab deep into that heart and make it bleed.

* * *

Author’s Notes: Don’t know when’s the next update, but hopefully soon!

To Chapter Nine | To Chapter Eleven

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