Star Wars: X-Wing:
Lusankya Chapter Fourteen
Authors 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 days blurred into almost one continuous loop of waking, eating protein mush, going digging in the mines, coming back into the prison-pit, sleeping, then waking up again and doing it all over made time seem like an endless loop. But if Tycho had to guess, he would have pegged almost a couple of weeks had gone by since his encounter with Davion. And in that time, the man had just given him looks of amusement to which Akiba had asked him, but he refused to answer. He didn't need to have her worrying for him, and tried at times, to distance himself from her so that if Davion was planning something, she wouldn't be caught up in it.
But to his dismay, she would have none of it and insisted that she stay with him, partially because while he was healing from his injuries sustained at his time in Lusankya, he was still not yet acclimated to the real harsh life in the prisons of Akrit'tar. He personally thought that he had been already acclimated to the life on Akrit'tar, but apparently Akiba didn't think so. He didn't mind her presence as much, but was constantly worried over her safety. He also kept an eye out for the stormtroopers and officers that watched them as he silently planned his escape. He knew that from where the pit was, there were three entry points one lead to the mess hall, one lead to the mines, the route which they came back from, and the other was a sure bet that it lead to the Imperials' quarters. From there, probably the docking bay of this facility.
The route with the most guards was obviously the one to the Imperials' quarters, but if he could create a distraction in any of the other two routes, then that would draw the guards away. He had a rough estimate on how many troops were stationed here, but only stormtroopers. He didn't know how many fighters or even cruisers were stationed on this barren rock and that was probably the trickiest part of all if he were to make his escape.
Then there was Akiba…
He knew that if he were to make a successful escape, he couldn't leave her behind – especially not to the mercies of Davion and his men, nor could he leave her to the Imperials who have probably seen him in her company ever since he arrived in this godforsaken planet. She would be brutally tortured if he left her behind.
The Mon Calamari had been right in saying that the tools on their belts weren't sharp enough to be used as weapons, but Tycho had an idea. He had been taking the same drill bit he had been using for the past week or so, making sure that he always got his hands on the same belt whenever they headed into the mines. Sharpening it in the cramped hole he shared with Akiba, he was slowly sharpening it into a file of sorts instead of a pointed weapon. He didn't want any of the guards who inspected their belts afterwards to notice what he was doing.
During that time, Akiba had given him sidelong glances at what he was doing, but didn't say anything. Now, as he held up the tool in the dim lamp light that lit up the small hole, a wiry smile turned up on the corners of his face.
"Sharp enough?" Akiba asked and he glanced at her, not surprised at how close their faces were to each other. He had long gotten used to that fact and knew that his old self would have blushed to be in such proximity to a woman, no matter alien or not. But Akiba was a good friend, a comrade, and most of all, someone he could trust.
"I hope so ..." he replied, before tapping the flat head of the tool against the wall, his fingers a bit numb from the cold, letting some of the fine dust on it flake off and settle to the ground.
"What are you going to do with it?" she asked, the first time she had said anything remotely about what he had been doing.
"Stab a stormtrooper in the neck and grab his blaster, then hope to the Force that the crowd of prisoners will surge up and overpower our captors," he said. He knew that his plan would have casualties, but based on his observations and chats with some of the prisoners that he worked the shifts with, they would be willing to do anything for a chance at freedom. It was only Davion and his men that worried him. The former Red Hand Squadron member had said that he had Imperial connections ... so did that mean that he would help out the stormtroopers and fire upon the other prisoners if he led a revolt?
"You'll be seen, and most likely be shot that way," Akiba frowned through her breather mask, "don't throw your life away so foolishly."
"Then what do you suggest?" Tycho asked a bit irritated.
"Let me do it," the Mon Calamari replied, giving him a half-smile.
"You're most likely to be shot than I am if you do it," Tycho frowned.
"You forget," she suddenly lifted the tool from his fingers, hovering it in front of their eyes with the Force, "you said so yourself, I have the Force."
"But you didn't believe me back then!" he protested, confused.
"I didn't know if I could trust you," she replied before guiding the tool back into his fingers.
"Why did you help me then?"
"Like I said, my hunches told me that you were someone I could trust and help, that these hunches told me that you would need my help when you arrived here," she replied as if it was the simplest explanation in the world.
Tycho minutely shook his head, not understanding what she said ... it was almost like listening to Luke a few times when he talked about certain things about the Jedi. He didn't get some of what Luke said, but implicitly trusted his former commander and friend. But what Akiba was saying ...
"You're not trained are you?" he wondered if she really was who she claimed to be, a prisoner of war since the Battle for Endor ...
She laughed lightly, a bubbly-water filled laugh that sound musical to his ears. "Jedi trained? No ..."
"Then how ?"
"I met Luke Skywalker shortly after he returned from Cloud City. He sensed the Force within me and taught me a few rudimentary exercises he learned. He asked if I wanted to join him after the war was over to rebuild the Jedi Order and I accepted ..."
"Until you were sent here," Tycho finished for her, finally understanding some of the mystery that surrounded Akiba.
"I know I'm not that strong with the Force, but I also know that the Force has told me that I was meant to help you. I can feel your connection to Jedi Skywalker," she replied.
Tycho didn't know how to reply to someone whom he had only met a couple of weeks ago who basically had sacrificed her mind and body to help him. What could he say?
Akiba must have seen the appalled expression on his face before she shook her head slightly, "Don't worry about me, Tycho, worry about how you will escape after this." She motioned for him to slip out of the tunnel and he realized their shift was almost at an end. If was going to act, now would be the time. Slipping the sharpened tool back into its pouch, he painfully slid out of the compact tunnel-hole and carefully stood up, making sure that he would windmill into the abyss behind him as he stretched his cramped muscles and tried to warm up.
Feeling as warmed up as he could he reached his hand out to help Akiba up and she did a few stretches before gesturing for him to follow her as they made their way back to where the line of prisoners were gathering, the bright white stormtrooper armor a beacon.
They shuffled into the crowd that was slowly moving up back up to the holding room and Tycho slowly removed the latch that had been holding onto his tool, his other hand keeping Akiba's webbed ones in his own. Making sure his gaze was nonchalantly focused on something else, he could feel the lessening of a small weight on his belt and knew that Akiba was using the Force to slowly draw it out and hover it into the air.
He waited until they were within the center of the crowd of prisoners before he squeezed Akiba's hand, a signal for her to act. Suddenly the stormtrooper nearest to them yelped and gurgled before his hand slapped to his neck, the distinct handle of the small tool poking out from he neck.
The cramped room broke out into chaos.
The prisoners surged, seeing as an opportunity to escape or attack their captors and the stormtroopers and guards drew out their blasters and stared firing wildly into the crowd. Screams filled the air along with the smell of charred flesh and somewhere, Tycho lost his grip on Akiba's hand as he was pulled along by the surging crowd.
He fought his way towards the exit of the room, towards where the three forks lead, trying to make his way towards the fork that lead to the Imperials' quarters but it was tough. The crowd of prisoners were scared, some running the opposite way, others still surging towards the stormtroopers who were still firing away. He ducked under a stray bolt that whizzed past his head before another one caught a hapless woman in the back, pitching her towards him, knocking him to the ground.
Tycho threw up his hands to prevent himself from being trampled over before he was boldly lifted up from the ground and lowered his arms slightly to stare into the blank face of a stormtrooper who suddenly threw him against the retreating crowd before aiming his blaster carbine at him.
His eyes widened of their own accord at the blaster pointed at him. A million thoughts flitted through his head as he realized that he was going to die ... and only one stayed with him. Winter ...
The trooper squeezed the trigger-
"What in the name of the Empire is going on here?!" a loud booming voice shouted above the din, silencing everyone save for a few moans of those who were injured.
"Prisoner revolt, sir," the stormtrooper that had almost shot him turned around and saluted the officer who appeared before them.
Tycho stared at the officer ... a vague feeling of recognition shooting through him. He knew the officer ... knew his narrow jaw line and those piercing eyes that raked over him and the other prisoners with disdain.
"One of my men was stabbed with a tool that was apparently sharpened, sir," the trooper explained.
"And pray tell, how did you let this happen?" the officer sneered.
The trooper was silent before another voice within the crowd spoke up, bringing Tycho's head around.
"It was her, sir," Davion spoke up before dragging a battered looking Akiba next to him, the crowd of prisoners shrinking away, wanting nothing to do with what was going on. "She threw the weapon that killed one of your troopers."
"Oh?" the senior officer, a Captain, Tycho noted, raised an eyebrow, "very well then, bring her forward."
Tycho knew that whatever the Captain was planning, it would be bad. He stood up, "No! It was me. I threw the tool that killed that trooper."
That brought everyone's gaze upon him and he refused to blink as the Captain's cold gaze pierced him. The familiar feeling that he should know this man crept up him again, and he raised his chin in defiance. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Akiba shaking her head, trying to warn him away.
"That Mon Cal was next to me when it happened. She had nothing to do with this," he said, marveling at how steady his voice was when moments before, a blaster was pointed at his face.
"Really ..." the Captain said skeptically, before waving his hands to two of the stormtroopers who dragged him up onto his feet, "take him ... and the alien scum."
Before he could further protest a painful blow to the side of his head knocked him out and he fell limply into the arms of his captors.
* * * * *
Wedge knew he looked like a mess. With an unshaven stubble two-days old thick, he knew he would have to shave soon, especially if Admiral Ackbar or General Cracken called for him. It had been nearly a month since he and Winter had found out Tycho was missing, presumed dead from his mission to Courscant.
Over the course of the last few weeks, he had slowly notified the rest of the former Rogues, all whom had expressed sadness and frustration at the death of one of their own. In ways, he was glad that they weren't a part of the Rogues anymore; he couldn't walk in on a briefing to see so many sad faces, so much morale lost.
He had also heard a rumor that Winter had let the Alderaanian council and Princess Leia know of Tycho's presumed death and that the Alderaanians were preparing a rather large memorial to honor one of their fallen heroes.
He was going to ask Winter if he could speak at the memorial, but was told by Kapp Dendo, the Devonarian partner she occasionally worked with that she had been reassigned to analyze the data Tycho had successfully transmitted back before he went missing and wasn't available to talk. He also heard from Kapp that Cracken had suspended all missions regarding the whereabouts of Syal Antilles, especially since Fel went missing. The Devonarian also told him that they were preparing steps to launch a major offensive towards Courscant and so when Admiral Ackbar finally granted his approval to reform the squadron, Luke's campaign having wrapped up at least three weeks ago, he had jumped at the opportunity to shove the thoughts of his lost best friend to the back of his mind.
Now he had been staring at the hundreds of applications he had received from those who wanted to join the Rogues. While he would have liked to grab all the old Rogues back together, he knew that their skills were needed elsewhere and had first told those that had reapplied that Ackbar wanted a squadron that was going to be built on a multitude of various skills. In fact, the Admiral had sent him a specific list of what he wanted the new squadron to be composed of and Wedge realized that Ackbar was going to use them to the fullest extent and also to spearhead the campaign to retake Courscant.
Even though he had accepted the fact that his best friend was missing, he couldn't accept the fact that Tycho was dead ... and blinked in surprise as he moved a file from the pile only to reveal the Alderaanian's which he had originally buried deep beneath the large pile of files. A surprising anger filled him and he quickly took the file and shoved it in a file drawer.
Slamming the drawer close, Wedge folded his arms across his chest and leaned back against his chair. Rubbing his eyes with his wrists tiredly, he didn't know why that brief shot of anger had filled him. He had seen many of his friends die time and time again, fighting the empire, so why did Tycho's death disturb him? He had seen Porkins, Biggs, Dack, Commander Narra, and many others die ...
With a start and a painful banging of his knee against his desk, he realized that he didn't accept Tycho's death because there was no body, no evidence; just the fact that he had been listed as missing, presumed dead. He had seen others shot down in the cockpits of their fighters, seen them shot by stormtroopers ... and like his surrogate uncle, Booster Terrik had said, no body meant no evidence that a person was truly dead.
With a fresh wave of determination, he hunched over his desk again, checking the roster list he had started composing. He knew how to reform the squadron. This new Rogue Squadron was going to be a squadron where when they were going to attack the Imperial Center, they would also help find Tycho and bring him home. This was going to be a team where no one was left behind, and no one would end up missing, presumed dead. This was going to be the squadron that did the impossible ...
And wherever Tycho was, he knew that his best friend would be proud.
* * * * *
Authors Notes: Kind of a short chapter ... this story is nearing the end of its second part (next chapter will be the end of the second part). And I realized it was a short second part, but I hope I detailed it enough so that you, the readers, get a feel for what Tycho's life was like for the past few months he had been captive. ^_^ Enjoy!
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