Chapter 5

    "You did well Captain Losoda, drawing out that many ships, and destroying all the support ships on your way through," Admiral Jim was standing at a viewport, in his office on board the Ad Astra, looking out to the stars.
    "At what cost sir? I lost my pilots, my friends. I almost lost what is left of my family too."
    "Miranda is recovering, she will be fine in a week, but I fear that that may not be the end of her problems," Jim said, turning to Dalsuna. "The Resistant will have to be drydocked. She's almost unsalvagable. You sure you want to keep her?"
    "She's a good ship. She needs a good Wing to fill her when she's space worthy."
    "I'm afraid AHC can't give you that. We can't spare any pilots or craft for Knight Wing. AHC has offically dissolved your command. You do, however get to keep the Resistant. I'm sorry."
    Dalsuna closed his eyes and sighed. He saluted the Admiral and left. He boarded a shuttle bound for the planet... Greeop it was called. He shook his head. Where was he again? The Minos Cluster? He looked around the shuttle, but recognized no one. The pilots of Knight Wing had had no families, they had not links outside the Resistant, but he felt that he needed to write letters to their next of kin, but he decided that it would do no good, for people that never existed. White squadron's expliots were known to few, Knight Wing's pilots had mostly been drawn from the test pilots from the experimental fighters. No records were allowed to be kept, for fear of being captured by Imperials or even pirates. The only family Knight Wing and White Squadron ever knew, was onboard the Resistant. The shuttle landed softly on the ground, he had barely noticed the flight down. Dalsuna headed to the space port infirmary.


    His sister lay in a bed, out of bacta treatment. She was pale, and frowning at something on the wall, but her mood changed when Dalsuna stepped in. Her green eyes regarded him with question, her hair had been brushed, and tied back with her usual red bow. She wore her squadron uniform, a deep purple shirt, with black slacks.
    "Dal, who's idea was it to send us into that death trap?"
    "AHC," he muttered, in no mood to talk about such a depressing subject, "They say the Resistant can be ready to fly in who knows how long, she's in pretty bad shape, as I see you are in that same area."
    "They tell me I can leave now," she said, "See, I'm already dressed to get out of this depressing place... I need a drink. A good strong drink... Corellian Whiskey sounds good... really good," she sat up. Stepping out of bed she nearly fell over, Dalsuna caught her, and steadied her. She stood nearly two hand widths taller than him. It was something he hated, he was a little short, his younger sister was taller than him. Together, they stumbled out of the infirmary.
    "I hate bacta... I never get my balance back for days after a single treatment," she complained.
    "Yeah, well, nothing's perfect, just be thankful that you're still around. By the way, should you be drinking after this?"
    "I need that drink to get this taste out of my mouth."


    They were seated over looking the airfield. X-wings and an assortment of other fighters took off and landed. Miranda looked out absently over the airfield, her colour leaving her again. Dalsuna eyed her cautiously.
    "You sure you're alright?"
    "Yeah, I just don't think I can fly again," she looked down into her drink, stirring it absently.
    "Don't worry, I'm sure it will pass, we lost a lot of good friends. We all knew the risks when we signed on to the Alliance." At that moment, an elderly admiral approached them, his moustache covered the smile on his face.
    "Mr. Losoda, Captain Losoda," he said, gesturing to the empty seat at the table, they both waved him to sit, Miranda a little slow to react. "I am Admrial Castor, I command the New Republic Fleet in this sector."
    Dalsuna started to salute, but the admiral waved him off. "Tell me Admiral, I am curious. You called me Mister, yet you called my sister by her rank. Why is this?"
    "Ehhh, it's a topic I did not wish to discuss right away, but I must. AHC has assigned the Resistant and what remains of its staff and crew to Rebel Squadrons, my fleet. It seems it is a stolen Imperial ship correct? Your sister doesn't appear on the orignial crew manifest."
    "The latter is easy to explain. She enrolled in Alliance flight training back before Yavin. She transferred to the Resistant after Endor."
    "Ah I see. Now the problem lies with you. You don't appear on any records, Imperial or Alliance."
    "That is a little more difficult to define. I led the crew to defect from the Empire, and stole various bits of technology as well."
    "While your actions have been recorded, and well apprieciated, I have discovered that you have not ever, completed your starfighter training, nor any Imperial training at all. So, how did you get aboard the Resistant in the first place?"
    "A long story short, sir," Dalsuna cleared his throat, "I was a science officer, a simple engineer that loved flight Sir. I was just recognized for the work I did."
    "So you have no official rank or anything?"
    "Not that I am aware of. I was just called Captain because AHC believed I was the captain of the ship."
    Castor seemed to regard this for a moment and sighed, "I'm afraid that I can't give you the Resistant back. In the most probable case, Miranda would get command of the Resistant. Even though you have performed well above the call of duty, the New Republic is moving in a new direction. We must set an example that all our officers are qualified for the job they are doing. I'm afraid you'll have to enter in the academy."
    Dalsuna tried to stifle a laugh, "I have to go throught the academy? You must be joking."
    "I'm afraid not."

    They stood in a hangar, a squadron of A-wings and a squadron of X-wings sat on the deck, untouched. Miranda quietly stepped up to one of the A-wings and laid her hand on it's hull. She bowed her head, and her shoulders shook, as she quietly shed tears for lost friends. Dalsuna approached her, and gently laid a hand on her shoulder. She raised her head, but didn't look at him. Before he could say anything, she ran from the hangar. He had experienced it before, once. He had gotten too close to some of his White Squadron pilots, and a few of them died on missions and test runs. He had made it habit not to get that close to his pilots, not to let it hurt him. His sister was young, he had objected to her entering the war, their parents disappeared from Corellia a number of years before, and he had made his best attempt to take care of her, but she couldn't stay away from flying. She was the youngest squadron leader he had ever known, and wondered if she would ever see the stars from a cockpit again. All his family had slowly dropped from his life, soon, Miranda and what was left of the White Squadron Project were the only things he had left. Dalsuna walked over to the squadron of X-wings. They were marked in blue, on each nose cone, there was a jumping dolphin. He looked at them in awe, he had to get the Resistant back, he had to reactivate Knight Wing. It was the least he could do, for what was left of his family.
    "Can I help you?" a young looking officer approached Dalsuna from behind. He held out his hand, "Major Doth Raandu, Commanding Officer of Aqua Squadron."
    Dalsuna turned, and looked at Major Raandu's extended hand. He hated losing friends, he thought for a moment. He looked up, brown eyes alight with a certain fire and saluted crisply. "Cadet Dalsuna Losoda."

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