This is a work of fan fiction. No monetary profit has been gained from its production and no copyright infringement is intended. The Star Wars characters and events used in this fan fiction are the property of George Lucas. Mike Stackpole and Aaron Allston invented or shaped most of the characters with whom I'm playing, so my special thanks go to them for writing such great novels and comics. If you would like to republish the fanfic, please ask me. Any comments are very welcome at email@example.com.
Past and Present
While he was walking through the almost deserted hallways of the +Chimaera+, Wedge couldn't help but let his thoughts wander back to the past. Not just because he was onboard an Imperial star destroyer; the New Republic used them for years and by now they'd become so common that many people didn't even connect them to the Empire anymore. Wedge himself had served on several star destroyers in the course of his career and knew their design by heart. Even without the escort Admiral Pellaeon had appointed to him, he would have had no trouble to find his way to the +Chimaera's+ sim room. Fortunately, the young sergeant who was supposed to keep an eye on him followed him quietly, without interfering.
The officers' meeting on the +Chimaera+ had taken longer than expected -- as usual --, and as the commander of the ship's TIE squadrons hadn't been able to attend due to the investigation of an accident that had happened in one of the hangar bays, an additional brief meeting had been scheduled right before the reception on Ithor would start, in about one hour. But Wedge needed some relaxation, some time away from battle planning and desk work, and flying was the best way he knew to achieve that. Even after all those years away from Rogue Squadron Wedge still missed his cockpit every day he wasn't able to fly, which unfortunately happened more often than he wished. As time was short he'd asked if he could use one of the +Chimaera's+ simulators instead of those onboard the +Ralroost+, his own ship, before he had to head back to the meeting and then down to the +Tafanda Bay+ for the reception, and thankfully Pellaeon had granted his request.
There weren't many crew members in the hallways Wedge came through, and the few he met only glanced at him shortly. While a New Republic general certainly was a curiosity on an Imperial ship, Wedge didn't detect any hostility. Still, the memories were vivid. The +Chimaera+. Grand Admiral Thrawn's command ship. It wasn't just any other ship; it had played a crucial part in a campaign that had endangered the New Republic like no other before and afterwards. Sixteen years ago. It had been sixteen years since the Battle of Bilbringi, since Thrawn had been killed by his own bodyguard, and still Wedge felt a shiver creeping up his spine each time he set foot onto this particular star destroyer.
Which had happened quite often during the previous two weeks. Since the New Republic and Imperial fleets had arrived at Ithor after rescuing the Jedi team at Garqi, Admirals Kre'fey and Pellaeon and their senior officers had been busy preparing the defense of Ithor against the coming attack of the Yuuzhan Vong. The Yuuzhan Vong. Another shiver ran along Wedge's body. *If we don't stop them here at Ithor...*
Lost in thought, Wedge stepped around a corner and suddenly froze in horror. Barely three meters ahead of him Grand Admiral Thrawn was standing in the hallway, staring at Wedge with his menacing red eyes. For a second Wedge just stood and stared at the white-clad, blue-skinned humanoid, too shocked to think or to react. Only when a second blue-skinned alien -- a female -- joined her male companion, he slowly overcame his shock. *Chiss.* There were two Chiss squadrons onboard the +Chimaera+. How could he have forgotten? He had even simmed against them once, during one of the all too few periods of time he allowed himself the luxury to fly again, and they really should have been hard to forget. It had been a long time since he'd encountered squadrons that good, and he was glad that they were fighting on his side.
But he'd never met one of them in person. None of the New Republic pilots had, as far as he could tell. They kept to themselves, and Wedge hadn't missed the annoyed whispering among the Rogues about Chiss arrogance. But he didn't mind. Those guys were very good pilots, and that was much more important than their social manners.
Realizing that he was still frozen at one point, with his right hand on his holstered blaster, Wedge quickly started to walk again, throwing a casual salute to the two Chiss as he passed them. Both replied with a slight, but very formal bow. If they were surprised by his appearance or annoyed or amused by his awkward reaction, they showed no sign of it. They just seriously regarded him with glowing red eyes that made Wedge's hair stand up. *They are our allies, and just another alien species. I don't feel uncomfortable around humans, even though the Emperor was human. So I should stop feeling menaced by them. They are not Thrawn,* he scolded himself. Nevertheless he was glad when he reached the sim room without running across another one of them.
At the entrance door his escort broke the silence for the first time. "Do you require my assistance with the simulators, General?"
"No, I'll be fine." *I've spent more time in TIE simulators than you in your uniform, boy,* Wedge thought amused.
The sergeant nodded. "I'll wait outside, then."
"As you please." When Wedge entered the room, he was surprised to find another Chiss standing near the entrance, talking with someone who was hidden behind one of the simulators in a language Wedge didn't recognize. *Probably Chiss, or whatever they call their own language.* The woman didn't notice his approach immediately, so this time Wedge had the opportunity to regard one of the blue-skinned aliens more closely without embarrassing himself. The female Chiss was tall, almost a head taller than Wedge, and had a wiry build with muscles that were clearly visible underneath her black jumpsuit. Her hair was black and combed back to a tight braid.
Eventually she noticed him and turned around. Wedge tried not to fidget under her scrutinizing red-eyed stare. As with the others, he could detect no emotion in her face. After a few seconds she bowed slightly to him. "General."
"Greetings, Major." Only when he'd said it he consciously noticed that she wore Imperial style rank pipes. Strange. He hadn't known that the Chiss were so influenced by the Empire. As the major didn't react, Wedge added, "I would like to use one of your simulators if you don't require them at the moment. I need to relax a bit." He smiled, trying to ease the tension.
The Chiss nodded curtly. "That will be no problem. Our exercise is finished." She turned into the direction of the unknown person she had spoken with when Wedge had arrived. "Are you finished, Colonel?" This time she spoke Basic.
"Almost," a muffled reply came from behind and underneath the TIE simulator Wedge and the Chiss major were standing at.
*Colonel.* So that had to be the Chiss leader. Wedge hadn't met him yet, as he hadn't met any of the Chiss, but he'd flown against him, and Tycho and he agreed that the guy was the best pilot they'd encountered for years. *Definitely Rogue Squadron stuff,* Wedge couldn't help but think with an inward smile.
Curious to get a look at the Chiss commander, Wedge stepped forward and glanced around the corner. But all he could see were two black boots, as the Chiss was lying on his back, his body hidden underneath the simulator. Wedge's body language must have betrayed his surprise. "We've modified the simulators to better resemble the behavior of our clawcrafts," the major answered his unspoken question.
*And you're not planning to keep the modifications in place for others to see,* Wedge thought. Judging from the place the Chiss was tinkering with, he supposed that they'd changed the setting of the engines that simulated the fighter's movements in space.
Obviously finished with whatever he'd been doing, the Chiss leader pulled himself out of the small opening. When his head appeared Wedge felt his jaw drop. All the time he'd automatically assumed that the Chiss leader was a Chiss. But he wasn't. For a moment Wedge just stared at him open-mouthed, glad that neither the colonel, who was still occupied with getting up, nor the major, who was standing behind him, could see the stupid expression he certainly wore in his face.
Standing up before Wedge was a young human man, almost a boy. He couldn't be older than twenty. His hair was dark and short-trimmed in a military hair-cut, and he was wearing a black jumpsuit with red stripes along its sleeves and pants.
It probably were the red stripes that triggered a thought in Wedge, a memory long buried but never forgotten. The last time he'd seen a jumpsuit like that, more than twenty years ago... Suddenly something Tycho had said about the Chiss leader during the sims resurfaced in his mind. "I begin to think that every good pilot sounds Corellian, even if he's a Chiss. That's a very bad sign." It had been a joke, and neither Wedge nor Tycho had thought anything of it. But what if... it couldn't be true, it couldn't. But the uniform, the way the boy was standing before him now...
"I'm Colonel Jagged Fel, General," the Chiss leader said with a crisp bow, his voice neutral.
*Jagged.* Wedge felt his legs turn to jelly and he quickly grabbed the simulator railing with his right hand to steady himself. A blaze of heat ran through his body while at the same time his stomach turned to ice. *Jagged.* A picture of his father, dead for thirty years, flashed before his eyes. *Jagged Fel. Syal. Fel. How can that be? I believed them dead, dead for years...*
It took all of Wedge's experience to pull himself together and manage a return salute. "General Wedge Antilles." The words came out hoarse, but he was glad that he was able to speak at all.
The man before him showed no sign of surprise or emotion. If he'd noticed Wedge's shock -- and it certainly was hard to miss -- he didn't react to it. Face and voice remained neutral. "Nice to meet you, sir." He bowed slightly again to emphasize his words.
"Glad to meet you, too." But that was all the formality Wedge could muster at the moment. He didn't care what they would think of him, he had to know. "Are you Syal's son?"
Still no surprise showed in the colonel's face or in his movements. He just nodded solemnly. "Yes, I am, sir."
Wedge continued to stare at him, not able to answer. There were dozens of questions whirling inside his head, but he had trouble focusing. Syal and Fel had disappeared half his lifetime ago, and after years of searching for a sign of them he'd finally given up and accepted the fact that they were most likely dead, killed by the Empire. And now their son was standing in front of him, and he didn't seem to find anything unusual about this meeting. "Do you know who I am?" Wedge asked finally.
"Yes. You are my mother's brother. I knew that we would meet in person eventually, though I hadn't expected that it would be in the +Chimaera's+ sim room." The colonel turned to the Chiss who was still standing wordlessly next to them and said something in the Chiss language. Obviously a dismissal, as the major bowed slightly and retreated from the room.
"Why didn't you contact me? You knew that I was on the +Ralroost+," Wedge asked, not able to keep accusation entirely from his voice. It was bad enough that neither Fel nor his sister had contacted him for so many years, but that their son had been so close to him for almost two weeks now -- they had even simmed against each other once -- without talking to him was hard to understand.
"I expected you to be busy. We are preparing for battle. Besides, I didn't know that you were interested in meeting me. I thought you would have contacted me if you were. "
*'I didn't know that you were interested in meeting me?' That had to be a joke.* "I didn't know about you," Wedge explained. "No one told me who is leading the Chiss squadrons. In fact, I thought that your parents had died years ago."
His answer seemed to puzzle Fel. "You believed them dead? Did Jedis Skywalker and Jade never tell you that they'd met my father? He thought they would."
"Mara and Luke met your father? Where? When?" Wedge was too surprised by the revelation to care about appearances. Forget the cool, all-knowing general.
"On Nirauan, about six years ago. And a few years later, during the search for Outbound Flight, they had contact with us again, though I think they didn't meet my father at that time. Although they did meet-" He faltered briefly. "Anyway, my father was quite certain that they would tell you about him, and he wondered why you never tried to contact him during the last years."
*What?! Now all of a sudden it is my fault? It was +him+ who didn't contact me for years, though he certainly knew how to reach me.* With difficulty Wedge held back the angry reply he had on his tongue. Fel had known that Wedge cared for his sister, and still neither he nor Syal had ever tried to contact him after their disappearance. A simple note that they were alive would have been sufficient.
But why hurl all of his frustration at their son now? Whatever his sister's and brother-in-law's reasons for staying in hiding were, the boy had nothing to do with that decision. And there was something else that made Wedge refrain from showing his anger openly. The sentence that the young colonel hadn't finished. At that moment, for the first time in the course of the conversation, Wedge had been able to detect an emotion in the young man's pale green eyes. It had been just a fleeting moment, and Wedge wasn't even sure what exactly he had noticed -- sadness maybe, a painful memory -- but whatever the colonel had been about to say, it was important to him, and it had immediately sparked Wedge's curiosity.
But he knew better than to inquire further. He longed to see the man behind the distant colonel -- arrogant the Rogues had called the Chiss leader repeatedly, but Wedge had enough experience with pilots to be careful with that adjective --, but that would require patience and care. Accusations directed at his parents or too-curious questions would hardly gain anything, but drive the young man away, and with him the only link to a part of his family he'd thought lost forever.
Besides, Wedge planned to question Luke and Mara about their secret missions as soon as possible anyway. The thought let him back to the subject at hand. "Mara and Luke never talked much about their trip to Nirauan, and even less about their search for Outbound Flight. I doubt that anyone, even a Jedi or member of the Advisory Council, knows any details about both missions. And as neither Luke nor Mara knows about my relationship to your father, they had no reason to let me in to their secret."
"I understand," Fel remarked matter-of-factly.
Wedge sighed inwardly. All these years Luke had known where his sister lived now, or at least where his brother-in-law was. If only he'd told Wedge. For sure he'd have tried to contact her. Finally, after all those years. And even if that had failed, at least he would have known that she was still alive. *Was she?* A bolt of fear jolted through his body. Fel hadn't told him anything about his mother yet. She might be ill, or might even have died.
Forcing himself to move slowly and casually, Wedge walked to the row of simulators at the opposite wall and sat down on one of the access ladders. He motioned the colonel to sit down on the ladder in front of him, and to his surprise the man complied without hesitation, though Wedge thought that he detected some irritation in his body language. "Please tell me about your parents. Are they well?"
"Yes, they are."
Wedge exhaled relieved. As sparse as the answer was, at least it pacified his worst fears. But he couldn't shake the feeling that it would be hard work to worm more detailed information out of his nephew. *Nephew.* The word sounded strange to him. "Do you have siblings?"
"Yes, I do." Wedge already thought that that was all the colonel would tell him, but fortunately Fel continued after a short pause, not forcing Wedge to inquire further. "I have two brothers and two younger sisters. My older brother and my oldest sister died in combat recently. My other brother is serving in the military; my youngest sister is still at home."
*By the Force, no.* Wedge felt as dizzy as if someone had hid him, and he was glad that he was already sitting. *To lose two of your children to the war….* The thought alone made him shiver. To imagine how terrible it must have been for his sister... He scrutinized the young man who had just told him about his siblings' deaths as if he were reciting today's weather report. His face still was the same neutral mask he'd worn during the whole conversation, but like a few moments before, Wedge thought that he detected sadness in the boy's eyes. Obviously he wasn't as cold as he seemed. "I'm very sorry to hear that." Wedge wished that he could think of something more empathic, more comforting to say, but he was still too shocked to find suitable words.
"Thank you, sir." A brief bow of his head underlined his words.
Wedge couldn't help but think that Jagged's body language was more Chiss than human. That should have been no surprise, considering that he apparently spent most of his time around Chiss, but still it seemed odd to Wedge. The boy had a slight Corellian accent, and when he watched him Wedge could very well imagine a young Soontir Fel sitting in front of him -- there was no striking resemblance, but the closer Wedge regarded his nephew, the more he reminded him of his long-lost brother-in-law -- but Jagged's behavior was a stark contrast to that. As disciplined and distant as he had been, Fel had never been so cold and in control as his son. Especially not when personal matters were concerned.
"Please tell me about your family, Colonel. I haven't heard any news about my sister or your father for more than twenty years. Since your father left Rogue Squadron. When he never came back, I believed him dead. How did he end up in the Unknown Regions?"
"My father was captured by Ysanne Isard," Jagged explained. "On behalf of Grand Admiral Thrawn, as it turned out. He brought my father to one of his secret bases. Realizing the dangers that lurked in those regions of space, my father decided to join Grand Admiral Thrawn's Household Phalanx. A reunion with my mother was arranged, and she decided to stay with him. Ever since my family has served Syndic Mitth'rawn'uodo's household phalanx. We protect the Chiss territory, the Empire -- and your precious New Republic as well -- from enemies you don't even know about, as they live in a region of space you still call unknown."
*Your precious New Republic.* Wedge had to gulp down his rising anger. As unemotional as Fel's voice was, his choice of words clearly indicated his political standpoint. So it wasn't just the uniform. The colonel sounded more imperial than Admiral Pelleaon. And the respectful way he pronounced Thrawn's name.... As if time had stopped sixteen years ago, at the height of Thrawn's power. But his nephew's hero worship of Thrawn wasn't Wedge's main concern in the moment. He was eager to learn more about his sister's fate. "So you grew up in the, sorry, Unknown Regions?"
Fel nodded solemnly. "Yes, I did. My siblings and I grew up among the Chiss. There are other humans who like my parents joined Thrawn's secret forces, but most members of our household phalanx are Chiss, of course. I was raised among them, competed against them, and finally earned their respect." A hint of a smile crossed his face. "Which wasn't easy. The Chiss are convinced of their race's superiority. But they respect others if they prove their abilities and acknowledge the principles the Chiss have deep respect for."
Wedge smiled. "As you are leading two Chiss squadrons, you apparently impressed them with your skills. Rightfully, if I may say so. You are a superior pilot, Colonel. I was very impressed when we simmed against each other, and I've flown against many pilots in my life." To his surprise Wedge felt some pride in his nephew's skills. Which was stupid, of course, as he had nothing to do with them. But despite the fact that just minutes ago they'd met for the first time, Wedge already felt a connection to the man that both puzzled and pleased him. Jagged was his sister's son, a member of his family.
The young man bowed again, this time probably a sign of gratitude. Wedge sighed inwardly. *I guess in order to understand him better I need to find out if the bows differ in any way and what they mean.*
"Thank you, sir. But you are an excellent pilot yourself. Rarely someone manages to beat me as you did."
A rueful smile crept to Wedge's face. "I wish I were twenty years younger again. Then I would really give you a run for your money, kid." Obviously irritated, Jagged raised his eyebrows slightly. *He's not used to someone calling him 'kid,'* Wedge thought with a barely suppressed grin.
Apparently deciding not to mind, Jagged's surprised expression disappeared quickly and was replaced by a smile, the first real smile. "That's what my father says sometimes, too."
"Twenty years from now you'll understand." Wedge hesitated, regarding his nephew carefully. He wasn't sure how to word his next question without sounding disrespectful or belittling. Eventually he settled for the direct approach. Diplomacy had never been his strong point. "May I ask how old you are?"
"Sure." There was no sign of irritation in Jagged's voice. "I'm eighteen standard years."
*What?* Despite his own first guess of Jagged's age this information hit Wedge unprepared. He hoped that his shock didn't show in his face. *Eighteen? He's just eighteen?* He didn't look much older, but from the things he'd told Wedge and from his rank Wedge had expected that he was in fact older. Painfully he remembered that Jagged had told him that a younger sister had been killed in action recently. *How young had she been? And when had the colonel started his military career to have achieved his rank at such a young age?* "For how long have you been a fighter pilot?"
"I've learned to fly almost before I learned to walk." Again a hint of a smile which disappeared quickly. "With twelve I began my training at a Chiss military academy, and I've been a fighter pilot ever since."
"With twelve?" Wedge blurted. He hadn't meant to show his surprise, but that casual statement had caught him unprepared.
"Yes. Chiss don't know adolescence. Children become adults at the age of ten," the colonel replied with a brief nod and an expression that Wedge interpreted as slightly amused. "As humans unfortunately mature more slowly, I waited two more years until I felt up to the challenge."
*But you were still a child at that time.* Wedge bit back the comment. His nephew wouldn't understand. "Obviously you succeeded. You've reached a lot in your life already."
"I worked hard." To Wedge's surprise sudden sadness crept into Jagged's expression again, and he watched his hands thoughtfully for a moment before he continued. "I grew up in a time of war. All my life Grand Admiral Thrawn's forces have fought against enemies that would have endangered the Empire and the New Republic if we hadn't dealt with them. War brings out the best in us, enables us to reach much in a short period of time. But it comes at a price. Most of my successes are connected with tragedies." He sighed, and for a moment the stiff Imperial officer was gone, and he looked like a young man who had seen far too much pain and death in his young life.
"Yes, many of mine are, too." *Yavin. Endor. Bilbringi.* They'd been victorious, but many of his friends hadn't lived to celebrate with him. In the joy of victory the high price that had been paid was all too often forgotten. Wedge was amazed by the insight his nephew showed, and especially that he'd talked about it so openly to an almost completely stranger. "Since when are you commanding your squadrons?"
"For two years, sir." There was a last brief flicker of pain in Jagged's eyes, making Wedge suspect that the achievement of that command had been connected with a tragedy, too, but then the colonel's barriers went up again. "Do you judge me by my age?" The question was asked in a matter-of-fact tone, without annoyance audible in his voice as Wedge would have expected considering the question. "I noticed that humans seem to do that a lot."
"Do we?" Wedge couldn't help but stress the 'we'. The phrasing suggested that his nephew didn't really consider himself belonging to the human race. *Weird.* Wedge had to remind himself again that Jagged had grown up among the Chiss, had been raised in a different culture with different values and customs. He smiled calmingly. "I don't judge you by your age, Jagged." He paused for a moment to evaluate the colonel's reaction to his familiar address, but without success. The man's expression was unreadable. "Do you mind me calling you Jagged?"
"No, I don't. You are my uncle, after all." He smiled. "But I would prefer you calling me Jag. Only my mother still calls me Jagged." Obviously noticing Wedge's puzzled expression, he added, "There's nothing wrong with the name. It's just that to me it sounds more like a children's name, the kind that only mothers continue to use all your life."
That revelation brought a grin to Wedge's face. "That I understand." He chuckled. "I hope that some of my friends will never discover the nickname I had as a child."
"What was it?"
"Ask your mother about it when you see her." Wedge became serious again. "As I said, I don't judge you by your age, Jag, but by your actions. And I'm sure most others do, as well. But you have to understand that most humans grew up in a society in which ten-year-olds are considered children, and even eighteen-year-olds are just at the edge to adulthood."
"But some of your pilots are younger than I am," Jag interjected. "Jaina Solo, for example."
"Yes, I know. And she's not the only one. Colonel Darklighter likewise joined Rogue Squadron when he was just sixteen. As you said previously, in times of war things often are different." Wedge rested his chin on his folded hands and regarded his nephew seriously for a while.
"When I was your age, I didn't understand why anyone would consider me young, or even too young. I felt as grown-up as anyone else. But now, in my mid-forties, married with two daughters, I understand those sentiments a lot better. My daughters are ten and eight standard years old, Jag, and it is very hard for me to acknowledge that with the Yuuzhan Vong invasion they'll most likely grow up in galaxy at war. I want them to be safe and happy, to protect them. I can't imagine that they would leave for a military academy at the age of twelve, or even that they would join the military with seventeen like I myself did."
Wedge smiled sadly as he remembered his daughters. It seemed to be just yesterday that he'd hold the newborn Myri in his arms, that he had taken the two-year-old Syal for a first flight in his X-wing. "The older you become the faster time races by. Just a few days ago your children were babies, and then suddenly a young woman stands before you with plans of her own. It is hard to accept." He smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry for my ramblings. I guess I didn't make much sense."
To his surprise his words seemed to have affected Jag much more than he'd expected. The young man had leaned back and obviously considered his uncle's words carefully. "I think I understand what you're trying to tell me. To me, as to the Chiss, a ten-year-old is no child, but an adult already. But for my parents it must have been hard to let me and my siblings go at such a young age. I've never before fully appreciated that."
"Yes, I imagine that it was very hard for them." *And then to lose two of them to the war. Had that ever made them question their decision to stay in the Unknown Regions? Had they ever blamed themselves for their children's fate?* Wedge sighed. More than ever he wished he could meet Syal once more. He'd been a child when she'd left home, and therefore he'd never really got to know her, even though she was his sister. But to imagine her feelings when her children had left for the military academy wasn't hard. The sole idea that his oldest daughter would leave to become a soldier in just two years from now caused Wedge's stomach to tighten. To imagine that she would be killed...
A voice abruptly awoke him from his brooding. He turned around. The major had returned, now wearing a white uniform that triggered painful memories of Grand Admiral Thrawn again. She spoke in her own tongue, and Jag responded in kind. The language sounded quite different from any language Wedge knew. When the major had left the room again, Jagged stood up. "I'm sorry, General, but I need to go."
The brief moment of familiarity was gone, and his nephew had become the stiff, distant colonel again. Wedge suppressed a sigh. It would take much longer than those few minutes to build up a relationship. He glanced at his chrono. "I'll use the remaining time for a short flight in the simulators before I need to get ready for the reception, as well, Colonel. I need some relaxation before I have to face a bunch of politicians." Curiosity succeeded one more time. "The Chiss language sounds very alien to me. Is it difficult to learn?"
"Cheunh is a dense language in which complicated ideas are expressed by uniting related words into larger words." Jag started to move toward the exit door, and Wedge fell in step beside him. "It is difficult to learn, but as I grew up with it, it wasn't very hard for me." A wry grin tucked at the corners of his lips, cracking his formal demeanor one last time. "Written cheunh on the other hand was a real hassle to learn. It is a beautiful form of writing, but it took me years of diligent studying to master it."
The colonel stopped as they'd reached the hallway. "I suppose we'll meet at the reception down at the +Tafanda Bay+. Maybe we'll get an opportunity to talk to each other again."
"I hope we will." *There is so much I would like to know.* Wedge extended his hand for a handshake, but then thought better of it and placed it on his nephew's shoulder instead. "I would love to learn more about you and your family." He let go of Jag's shoulder and retreated a step. "Until later."
"Until later." Jag bowed crisply one more time, then turned around and quickly disappeared around a corner into another hallway. Feeling happy and sad at the same time, Wedge slowly returned to the sim room. He definitely needed some time in a cockpit now to sort out his thoughts.
(c) Petra Genske, May 2004