Timeframe: Roughly 5 years Post-NJO
Characters: Jaina Solo, Wedge Antilles, Soontir Fel, Syal Fel, Jagged Fel, and Lowbacca
Genre: Humor, Drama, Romance
Notes: This is the first SW fic that I've written in about three months, since I left the 'net because I was getting burnt out with everything. I haven't abandoned all of my other stories, and I have every intention of finishing them, just not quite yet. This plot bunny just bit me and demanded to be written. I'm just trying to convince it that it needs to be a very short plot bunny! Oh, sith, I almost forgot. Jaya! Many thanks for helping me out with this!
Jaina Solo was running through the corridors of Borealis, her lightsaber banging against one hip and her blaster holster banging against the other. She dodged between two slow moving pedestrians and threw herself around the corner. Only the Force stopped her from plowing directly into a large Mon Calamarian. She quickly ducked around him and kept running. It was hardly the behavior expected of a senior Jedi Knight, and Jaina was old enough and experienced enough to know better. Still she was late and this was one moment that she couldn't afford to be late.
Her orders had come in less than an hour earlier, when she had still been sleeping. Her uncle, who had been speaking as the leader of the Jedi Council rather than her uncle, had given her simple orders: do whatever Wedge Antilles asked of her.
As orders went, Jaina decided, they were fairly good orders. Wedge Antilles was one of the few military officers that Jaina had no reservations about serving under or working with. Still Wedge's request to meet so soon had surprised her, but she had caught the subtle tension in his voice. It was enough to make Jaina realize that whatever Wedge was dealing with was a serious and important matter.
Nothing, however, could have prepared Jaina for the delay that she had faced on the way to meet Wedge. Even now, five years after the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War and the reclamation of Borealis, surprises left behind by the Vong occasionally popped up. This particular bio-technological Vong surprise had not proved to be lethal for a Jedi Knight, but it had sufficiently annoyed Jaina enough to leave her late and irritated.
As it was, when she arrived in the hangar bay and finally slowed down enough to meet Wedge, she looked as if she'd just run a five day marathon through the jungles of Yavin IV and as mad as if a Rancor had just stepped on her toe.
"Wedge," she said shortly, adding a clipped nod of acknowledgement to the man that had once been her superior officer.
"Jaina. Glad you're here. I heard that there was a delay?"
Wedge had smiled slightly in her direction, glad to see her, but he was clearly distracted by what was going on. Wedge stepped forward quickly, moving towards a medium size vessel that was powering down a short distance away from them.
Even through Jaina's distraction, the vessel immediately caught her attention. It was of a design that Jaina didn't recognize and that was enough to make her look twice at it. She focused first on the basic make of the ship and thought she recognized some of its basic build as Corellian. Something else about its design tickled at the back of her mind as familiar, but she couldn't place it. With three more quick searching glances, Jaina identified the subtly placed armaments that were studded around the ship. There were only two visible gun emplacements and Jaina was willing to bet that the shields the ship possessed could match its weaponry.
It intrigued her in the way that ships of unfamiliar design always intrigued her. It also made her immediately wary. The ship was definitely designed to defend itself and to fight back as well. It only took Jaina a few seconds to make her assessment and she took two large, quick steps to catch back up with Wedge.
Jaina immediately came face-to-chest with a very familiar towering wall of ginger colored fur.
"Lowie!" she exclaimed, a bright smile appearing on her face at the sight of her longtime friend.
Lowie growled and bellowed a loud and happy greeting at seeing her, and she was immediately wrapped up in the Wookiee's two strong arms. He held her up in a crushing embrace, that she happily returned, before he put her back down and released her.
"What are you doing here?" she questioned him with surprise, "I thought you were on Ossus with Mom and Dad."
Lowie rumbled with Wookiee laughter and replied. I was just passing through to Mon Calamari by way of Borealis, when Master Skywalker contacted me and asked me to assist General Antilles with this mission. He suggested that you might need a wingman.
Lowie's growls softened towards the end of his statement. He had known Jaina long enough to know that his friend hated it when someone suggested that she might need help. Instead she surprised him only slight by latching on to the first part of what he had said.
"Ossus to Mon Calamari by way of Borealis? Isn't that a bit out of your way?" Jaina questioned rhetorically, stepping back from her friend, suspicious now of what was going on. It seemed as if everyone knew more than she did now.
Jaina felt her temper rise again as Lowie didn't respond. His warm brown eyes met her own eyes with a look of calm tinged with wry amusement that infuriated her.
She exhaled sharply, pushing her anger away with it. With time had come experience, and with experience had come a sense of calm and maturity in the Force that Jaina had felt severely lacking during the Vong war. Her anger still came to her far too easily, however, reaching out to her and ready to embrace her fully once again if she showed the slightest sign of faltering in the light. It was why she had worked so hard.
"Fine," she conceded at last, putting the issue aside temporarily. "At least you're in this with me."
Lowie growled out a positive response and slapped her heartily on the back. It sent her stumbling forward several paces, but left her with a smile on her face when she caught her balance again.
She and Lowie reached Wedge's side just as the ramp began to descend from the ship's hull. Quickly they took their places flanking Wedge and adopted identical poses. It was a typical Jedi pose, or what Jaina liked to call "the bodyguard stance". Her arms were folded across her chest and her weight was balanced back into her heels, leaving her rocking back slightly on her feet while she stared solemnly and intensely in front of her.
A hapless Bith had once suggested that given their height and species difference, she and Lowie looked more comical than intimidating in that posture. One combined glare from she and Lowie had been more than enough to convince the Bith that he was mistaken.
The clank of the ramp hitting the feracrete of the landing area brought Jaina back to the present moment. She watched closely as a being began to descend the first few steps of the ramp slowly.
He was a tall human male with a sharply defined military bearing despite his lack of a uniform of any kind. His hair was graying, but still carried some traces of the jet black color that it had once been. An eye patch slashed across an otherwise strong face.
Jaina immediately felt her stomach tighten. The man was as familiar and yet as impossible to place as the ship's design. It was beginning to make her nervous.
The man turned away from the group waiting at the bottom of the ramp and extended a hand to someone behind him. Jaina barely noticed Wedge take a half-step forward then, but she was watching carefully when a hand with long slender fingers wrapped around the man's hand. The man gently pulled the woman that he was escorting down the ramp, and closer to him.
The couple reached the bottom of the ramp without a word and then stopped. Slowly the woman stepped forward away from the man.
"Wedge," the woman whispered the name so softly that Jaina could barely hear it.
The General grinned brilliantly and stepped forward, catching Jaina off guard by wrapping the woman in a tight embrace.
"Syal," he replied, delighted.
In that instant, it all snapped into place for Jaina. The familiarity of the unknown ship was, in its incorporation of designs and styles, similar to a clawcraft's.
This couple, these people, were Jag's parents: General Baron Soontir Fel and Syal Antilles.