Obviously, this owes a great deal (understatement of the century candidate) to George Lucas, and to Michael Stackpole's "X-Wings" series of novels. All of the Rogues (except Wedge, Tycho, and Wes) are mine. The phrase "Patrol Posted" belongs to the great Andre Norton.
No copyright infringement is intended.

Vignette 5: Patrol Posted

“It’s a good idea. I wish we did it more often,” said Wedge.

“Why?” asked Tycho, honestly puzzled.

“Why?” Wedge sounded surprised. “Because it’s a chance to get some decent intelligence on where we’re going next. I wish to hell we’d had a little information on Versace. Not to mention Polon.”

“But,” Tycho started, and Wedge laughed suddenly.

“This is not the Imperial Fleet,” he said. “We don’t have reconnaissance droids and overflights and whatever else you’re used to. We have us. Or nothing reliable... just what somebody else tells somebody. Trust me, this is a good idea.”

Tycho shook his head. “I’ll get used to it. In time. I hope,” he added, grinning.

Wedge paused outside Tycho’s room. “Put this on,” he said.

“What?” Tycho said, catching the bundle Wedge threw at him.

“Put that on,” Wedge repeated. “We’re covert, remember? Uniforms won’t be a good idea.” He headed towards his own room, presumably to change his uniform as well.

Tycho realized that was true. He put on the dark grey jumpsuit Wedge had provided, wondering where it came from. It was a relatively okay fit, but it clearly hadn’t been made for him. Of course, he was starting to get used to that.

He picked up the blaster the jumpsuit had been wrapped around. A couple of leather thongs dangled like fringe from the end of the holster; Tycho snapped them off and then buckled the belt around his waist. He settled it so his elbow missed hitting the grip, and then, feeling a little foolish, he drew the blaster and pretended to shoot. He felt like a kid, playing games; he’d never yet used his sidearm in the military. He reholstered the blaster and, somewhat self-consciously, went out to the office; he had a feeling he looked like one of those mercs he’d seen on Versace when he joined the Rebellion. But he lost the feeling when Wedge joined them.

Tycho felt his jaw drop as he stared at the Corellian. Wedge was definitely not in uniform, although the boots might be from somebody’s. Dark trousers, a dark brown vest over a faded green shirt ... funny how the little details in a garment could make it seem so foreign, the narrow upstanding collar and the open throat and lack of any cuffs gave the shirt a very unAlderaanian look. The neckline revealed a glint of gold around Wedge’s throat, and the whole look was completed by a well-worn blaster belt, with blaster, of course. He had used the leather thongs to tie it to his knee, because he was wearing it low on his leg, where his hand could easily rest on its grip. Those were surface details; the effect seemed to spring from far below the visible. Wedge’s stance and movement had always been unmilitary, casual yet careful; now Tycho felt he was seeing his friend in his native element. And the contrast was startling.

“My god,” said Tycho, finally finding his voice. “You look like you belong on Patrol Posted.”

“On what?”

“It was a holoshow they had on when I was a kid,” said Tycho. “It was about brave Galactic Patrolmen tracking down vicious outlaws.”

“I look like a cop?” He sounded appalled.

“No,” said Tycho. “You look like their quarry.”

“Good. That’s the image I was going for,” Wedge grinned. He surveyed Tycho and shook his head. “You, on the other hand, still look military. We can only hope the locals think you got cashiered.”

“With you? They’re bound to,” said Tycho. “You do not look respectable.”

Wedge laughed. Tycho had the feeling he thought that was a compliment.

The End


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