Vong War Annals – “Minor Tactical Updates” 09.23.2013

“How bad were our losses?”

At the other end of the comm channel, Izra Dargan grimaced. He looked no worse for wear except for a cut above his eyebrow and some soot on his face. “Six pilots and almost a squadron’s worth of fighters. Ten more wounded to varying degrees and another squadron’s worth of starfighters damaged, but repairable.”

Indy grimaced, massaging her forehead just above her knitted brows. “Carlos hasn’t let me know how bad it was for the GDF contingent.”

“Worse than it was for us, but it’s not my place to say. I’m sure he’ll get you the full report after phase two.”

“Phase two,” Indy echoed, half in question. “Right. Of course. Phase two.”

“He has Slate held in reserve,” Izra said. “Don’t worry.”

Because my brother is wholly incapable of taking care of himself. “I’m only worried because Slate’s in reserve.”

“If it turns ugly in there, Indy, he’s got to have someone reliable to lead the cavalry that isn’t him.”

She winced, know it was the truth. Besides, Slate’s good for close-quarters, but against this? No. This isn’t his forte. I’m sure that Carlos has men and women that are better suited to combat in the corridors of whatever the hell those motherships are than my big brother the urban commando. “Of course. What happened to your face?”

“My X-wing was one of the ships that’s damaged but repairable. I lost my forward displays in the middle of the fight. Luckily, I speak astromech.”

“Luckily indeed.” Her lips thinned. “How’d the rest of Lightning do? And Eagle?”

“Eagle’s fine—three wounded, but one of the X-wings is a total loss. Corsem and Mary are flying a CAP right now with some of the GDF flights. Lightning…well. I’ve got a few letters to write.”

The words hit her like a physical blow. She swallowed bile and winced. “Izra, I—”

“It’s okay,” he said softly. “They fought hard and died well. That’s all we can ever ask, right?”

Except we always hope that they’ll come home instead. She shook her head slightly. “Wish them luck,” she said. “The ones that are involved in phase two.”

Izra nodded. “I’ll relay the message, Admiral. Was there anything else?”

She hesitated. I imagine telling them to step lightly and be careful is a little late at this juncture. “May the Force be with all of you, Wheels.”

His voice softened. “Roger that, Admiral. Hope Leader out.”

The comm shut down in time to glance up and see her recently appointed and erstwhile XO enter Operations, Alex Grentarii at her heels. She arched a brow slightly. “I didn’t think you’d be making it in today, Jan. Not with everything that’s been going on—and your early morning visitor.” She straightened, cracking her neck with a slight wince. “Come on. I’ll brief you on what you’ve missed in my office.”

She headed for the corridor off of Ops. “I’ll be in my office if something comes through, Tinian.”

“Roger that, Admiral.”

~ Erin

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