Mark Wyler held his hand out behind him for the tool he’d requested. Not feeling the cold steel slap into his hand as he expected, he repeated the order a bit louder. Still nothing. Grumbling, he backed out from beneath the control panel he was working on and found himself alone. Then he remembered Trevvik’s return, smelling of alcohol and full of stories that distracted Asya from assisting Mark in the job he was wrapping up, and then the two of them heading back to the living complex. That was hours ago. That recollection was followed soon after by that of the conversation he’d been carrying on.
To no one. Probably for quite some time. He sighed and rummaged around for the tool himself. Coming up with it, he put the final panel in place and locked it down.
“What’s this about?” Alextravia Grantarii asked Janet Wyler as they headed to a meeting at ops.
“I…well, it’s…something I should know but…it’s secret. Top secret,” she replied to her old friend from back in the Katarn Commando days. She winced at her lame excuse. Was she getting that old and forgetful? “It’s not to be discussed until we arrive.” Alex seemed to accept this and she breathed a sigh of relief.
Trevvik strode into the Stormcrow like he owned the place, calling loudly for his brother. Suddenly Mark appeared before him, looking very surprised to see him. Trevvik stood, swaying unsteadily, chuckling at the bewildered look his appearance had produced from his older brother, and couldn’t be happier to see a grin spread across his face.
“What the heck – Trev?” Mark rushed at him like he’d tackle him, but in spite of the drink, Trevvik was unmoved by his fierce embrace. Wrapping his big arms around him, he laughed and slapped the smaller man across the shoulders. “What are you doing here, you big bantha?” he exclaimed, backing away to see that he had indeed returned apparently unscathed from his Vong hunt.
With Les’ departure, the apartment seemed to settle into a peace that was slightly less uneasy. Mark and Janet stood in the living room, now lit with a single lamp by the door, staring blankly at the door after their wayward Jedi was taken away so suddenly in the night.
“How does it look?”
Robyn sighed, hanging up her jacket on the rack by the door, avoiding her husband’s gaze for a moment. He’d been waiting for her—she was late getting in. She shook her head slowly, finally looking at him. “Our defenses can’t stand up to an assault like the one against Xenen. They just won’t handle it.”
William Scarlett, governor of Conceli VIII, winced visibly. “What can we do about that?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know. Request a detachment of NRM forces, I guess, to keep an eye out for trouble. Get our evac plans in order. The military-grade reports that are being disseminated…”