"Rapier Squadron, role call," her voice came through the
comm crystal clear. Her A-Wing banked and pulled out of the Resistant's hangar, as eleven
acknowledgements rang back. Captain Miranda Losoda had only been a squad leader for three
months now, her squadron and the wing it belonged to had the job of protecting the
Resistant, a stolen Imperial Maurader Corvette. This ship was a research platform, funded
by then Imperial funds to create the most fearsome weapons or war ever known to the
galaxy. The Resistant had served that purpose well. And it served that same purpose for
the Alliance. Now, with it's prototype fighters taken away to a safe hiding place, the
ship was like any other warship in the Alliance Fleet.
The Resistant had a number of modifications on it to improve it's ability to fight and run. Today, she would be fighting. Their mission was to patrol this space lane, and interdict Imperial supply convoys.
They hung in space, 12 A-Wings and an old cruiser. Waiting.
* * * *
"Miranda?" a signal came from her door, a muffled voice just after. The door slid open, and in walked a dark haired man of below average height. His brown eyes scanned the darkened room looking. Miranda lay slumped over her desk, with a bottle of Corellian Whiskey empty at her side. Not a drop of the strong drink remained. Dalsuna looked in concern. He laid a hand on his sister's shoulder and shook gently.
"Sis, you got to get up. We've got visitors today, we can't have you laying around half drunk."
"I'm not half drunk," she slurred. "I'm three sixteenths sober."
"That's not funny, Miranda, we're going to see Admrial So."
"Just gimmie a minute or two, I'll be right up," she stood up to take a few steps, and just as quickly, fell over. Dalsuna caught her before she hit the ground. She looked up at her brother, her green eyes distant. "Why is it that every friend we've ever made on this ship died in that battle?"
Dalsuna picked up his sister and helped her into the hallway, half carrying her to the sickbay. "Miranda, what did I tell you when I found out you were going to be a pilot in the Alliance?"
She raised a finger in protest, "Don't be bringing that up now, Dal," she blinked, thinking of something to say, "I can't remember what I did yesterday, don't make me think that far back, you'll make my head hurt."
"I'll remind you then. Miranda, this is war, you will make friends, and you will lose friends. Enemies will be killed, but at the cost of who you love, and what you care about dearly. You can't make the mistake of getting too close to your squadmates. If you do, you will get hurt when they don't come back from a mission. I'm not saying you should forget who they are, or what they meant to you, but there are no winners in war. Both sides fight for the greater good, both sides lose. Innocent people can die, those who get involved can die. You have to move on, and accept that. It's been ten months since we lost Knight Wing in that battle in the Minos Cluster. I need you on your feet, doing what you do best, that's in a fighter, and on the bridge of this ship."
"I can't forget, how can I forget what I lost? How can you forget?" she said.
"I will never forget, that is why I'm fighting. Our goal is to bring freedom to the galaxy, to give people the right to decide what their lives will be like." Miranda didn't argue, she just staggered into the sickbay, where she was left to mull over her thoughts.
* * * *
"I have a squadron of Imperial Gunboats incoming,
at three zero, mark two four," the voice of Rapier 7 broke the silence of the
squadron as twelve imperial fighters emerged from hyperspace behind and above them.
"This is Rapier Lead, I see them, engage at will," Miranda kicked her throttle up to full and headed straight into their attackers.
"This is Imperial Gunboat squadron Nova-S-9-K, Rebel ships, surrender your vessel to us or be destroyed."
"Nova-S-9-K, this is the Resistant, you are out numbered, why don't you surrender your ships to us?"
There was no reply, only a volley of torpedoes launched at the ship. A group of freighters followed the gunboats into the area, all started veering off in other directions, looking for an escape route.
"Saber squadron, Lancer Squadron, launch now," the upper and lower hangars of the Resistant looked more like blaster cannons as the two squadrons of X-Wings and A-Wings emerged from the ship.
Over her comm system, Miranda heard the chatter from the Imperials, "Freighter convoy, jump to our back up location, they have no ion cannons to disable you."
"Saber Squadron, move into attack posistion of the freighters and lock on warheads," Dalsuna's voice came over the comm.
"This is Saber 2, acknowledged Captain," the other replies came in as the first wave of warheads streamed into the freighter convoy. The first warhead hit, and the shields of the freighter fizzed out, the second detonated against the stardrive section, sending a shower of sparks in all directions. The freighter started drifting as it's power systems shut down.
"Rapier Lead, I have two on my tail," Rapier 3 called in slightly panicked, "They have warheads and they're trying to get a clean lock, I can't hold them off."
"I'll be right there," Miranda targeted the closest fighter to her wingmate and engaged, ravaging the gunboats engines with laser fire. The engines exploded in a fireball, sending the fighter spinning into deep space. The other gunboat remained, firing relentlessly into the A-Wing's shields, which failed. A few shots made it into the hull, which melted some of the hull plating. Miranda brought up her missle display, and closed the distance between herself and the gunboat. She fired a pair of missles at point blank range and veered off, when she came about, only debris remained. Her wingmate made a slow labored turn back towards the Resistant. Just like that, the battle was over. Twelve Gunboats destroyed, and six freighters drifting.
"This is Saber lead, Shuttle group Runner, commence your run," half a squadron of shuttles dropped out of hyperspaced and commenced their boarding operations. This was a fine day. Only minor damage and no friendlies lost, thought Dalsuna.
* * * *
Miranda stepped out of the of the Resistant's sickbay and found her way to the bridge. Dalsuna stood waiting for her has she nearly stumbled down the stairs to the command chair.
"Captain Losoda, the chair is yours," Dalsuna said, getting out of the Captain's chair. She sat down carefully, almost not sure of herself. Some members of the bridge crew gazed with concern, others went about their business. Miranda called up the mission report, and skimmed over it, blinking once to straighten her vision.
"Stupid medical droid tried to get me sobered up," she grumbled.
"What was that?" her brother asked.
"Nothing, just trying to get my wits about me," Miranda turned to the navigation officer. "Ensign, turn us ninty degrees and shut down main stardrive, take us into the shipyard with thrusters only."
"Yes ma'am," the navigator swung the ship around and the noise on the ship decreased tenfold as the main engine reactor went offline. The thrusters pushed the Resistant into a docking stall and held it there as the tractor beams onboard the shipyard took over and secured the ship into the berth. Two docking tubes were extended from either side of the berth, and connected to the ship.
"Docking procedure complete, Captain," the Ensign rang out.
"Shut down all engines and combat stations to station keeping,"
"Time to meet the Admiral," Dalsuna said, watching Miranda stand and stretch. Her brown hair showed signs of unrulyness, she had not been taking proper care of herself since the Minos Gambit. He had watched her become more and more distant, and uncaring in the past months, as she fought with herself to overcome the loss of thirty pilots, their friends, the only family the Losodas had. The corridor was quiet, as Commander Selan met them at the hatch.
"Commander Selan, make sure they upgrade our sensor array, we've been having problems with it all month.
"Sure thing, boss, anything else you need?" Selan ran his hand through his unkept hair. He was in worse shape then Miranda, only because he was the ship's engineer, and spent his time crawling through duct work to repair or upgrade a system.
"A new supply of Corellian Whiskey," Dalsuna muttered and opened the hatch. The trio was greeted by two officers, one dark skinned and standing tall, back straight, and nose almost pointed straight up. The other was shorter, and younger looking.
"General," Dalsuna saluted the darker man, "Wish you were out there with us Lucas, we sure could've used you in that last battle we had with the EH."
"Don't sweat it none, Knight, we got em licked," Lucas Benoit Stark looked behind Dalsuna, spotting Miranda, "Ah, Miss Losoda, a pleasure again to see you,"
"I'm sure it's all yours sweetie," she said, patting his grinning face as she walked by into the shipyard's airlock.
"You're such a suck, IM," Dalsuna said, following the Admiral into the airlock, "Admiral, our repair list is pretty lengthy this time, we'll be stuck here for a while."
"That's not a problem, we're so far back from the frontline that we don't have much to worry about by ways of attack."
"That's good to hear. There's another matter at hand," Dalsuna stopped, making sure Miranda was nowhere around, she was not, she had disappeared from the corridor, looking for who know's what. "It's been ten months since the Minos Gambit and she's still stuck over losing Rapier Squadron to the EH."
"I see," Jim raised an eyebrow, "She's developed a condition about this then?"
"She has, she's been pretty much locked up in her room with nothing else but a case of Whyren's Reserve Whiskey and her thoughts,"
"Whoa, that's nasty," Jim replied, shocked.
"Maybe I should have a chat with her, you know, straighten the chick out," Lucas Stark offered with a grin and a half wink.
"IM, she needs to be counciled, not driven completely to insanity."
"Knight, quit sweatin' me."