Obviously, this owes a great deal (understatement of the century candidate) to George Lucas, and to Michael Stackpole's "X-Wings" and Kevin J. Anderson's "Jedi Academy" series of novels.
No copyright infringement is intended.

Vignette 7: Sunrunner

Wedge braced himself for the inevitable chaos that was waiting inside the deceptively quiet building. He knew what he was going to find, what he’d found every time the squadron had relocated: pilots assigned four to rooms that held two while other rooms stood empty; mechanics complaining about lack of working space, T-65s missing crucial bits and pieces, and the utter impossibility of getting replacements; half the paperwork missing and the other half due yesterday; people snatched by other units and total strangers dumped on his doorstep; at least five people whose personal belongings had either not arrived at all, been dumped on the wrong side of the planet, or been delivered in small pieces. And they would all be wanting him to take care of their problem before he’d even gotten his office unpacked.

Wedge sighed, and Tycho, who’d been reaching for the door, paused and laughed. “Into the breach,” he said, “this is what they promise to pay you the big bucks for, after all.”

“Very funny. As my exec, I think you should-” he stopped.

There was only one person in the outer office, a small, slender fair-haired man wearing the tan of a private in the Starfighter Forces of the Alliance. There were some data pads on a chair, but otherwise the office was neat. Actually, bare would have been a better word. “Captain Antilles?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Wedge. “Is this not the right building for Rogue Squadron?” That was something new, but hardly surprising.

“No, sir,” the private said. “This is your offices, sir.” His accent was purest Coruscant, too pure, perhaps; Wedge guessed he’d learned his Basic from tapes.

“Where is everybody?” asked Tycho.

“I sorted out the room assignments, sir,” the man said, “and got tracers on the lost baggage. I also arranged for the initial inspection of the mechanics’ bays to take place this afternoon, so all the support staff are there. I made appointments for you tomorrow, sir, with several pilots who seemed to have pressing problems; the rest I’ve set up for later this week, to give you a chance to see what you can do first. And--”

“And?” Wedge said, slightly stunned.

“I’ve ordered caff and something for you and Lieutenant Celchu to eat to be delivered here, sir. It should arrive soon.” His composure was absolute. After he had finished his catalog of miracles, he simply stood and waited.

“Caff?” Wedge asked, faintly.

“Yes, sir.” A slight look of worry appeared on the private’s face. “That is what you prefer to drink, isn’t it, sir?”

“Yes, it is,” said Tycho, grinning. It hadn’t escaped his notice that nobody was providing him with Faloran tea. “The captain lives on caff.”

“Yes, sir. So I understood.”

“Who sent you here?” Wedge asked, ignoring the by-play, if that word could accurately be applied to the private’s calm acknowledgment.

That question disconcerted him for a moment. “I took the liberty, sir,” the man said. “As you and Lieutenant Celchu weren’t here, I mean... I thought, if I could-”

“Bring order out of chaos?” said Tycho, wryly, as he looked around.

“Yes, sir. I mean-”

“Take liberties,” said Wedge. “Whenever you like-?”

“Sunrunner, sir. Lase, Private,” he snapped to attention.

“At ease,” Wedge said hurriedly. “Tatooine?” he asked as he opened the door to his inner office.

“Yes, sir,” Sunrunner answered. But Wedge hardly heard him. “Did you do this?” he demanded, staring at the crowded but orderly desk in front of him.

“Yes, sir,” Sunrunner said. “I didn’t ... I mean, I just sorted through, sir. The middle just needs your signature, sir, the out box is waiting for the inter-office mail, and the in is sorted in priority order. I took the liberty of for-sigging a few things, sir, and got some of the more pressing requests answered, and I went ahead and prepared your quarterlies, that just took a little looking around. And I set up your calendar... Sir?” His voice had gotten more explanatory, more defensive, less certain, as he went on, and he finally trailed to a stop.

“Wedge,” said Tycho after a couple of minutes. “Say something.”

Wedge shook himself out of his stunned amazement. “Private Sunrunner,” he said, “where are you assigned?”

“Umm....” the young man began, but Wedge interrupted.

“Here,” he said decisively. “You are assigned here. I don’t know how to pull it off, but I’m betting you do... My quarterlies are done?”

“Yes, sir, they are. And, yes, sir, I do.”

“Then, do it. I just have to sign this pile?” Wedge glanced at the first few data pads.

“Yes, sir-”

“Wedge,” Tycho interrupted. “You might want to read it first.”

“Oh, sure,” Wedge said. But he had a warm and fuzzy feeling about this diffident young man with the spiky blond hair, and there was no force in that agreement. “Sunrunner, find yourself a desk.”

“I know where there is one, sir,” the man said.

“Of course you do,” Wedge agreed. “Do I,” he paused for a moment, savoring the experience, “have any appointments the rest of the day?”

“No, sir. You’ve just relocated the squadron, sir, you don’t have time for other appointments. There’s too much to do here.”

Wedge sat down. “Of course,” he said. He sighed blissfully, ignoring Tycho’s amused smile. “Get your desk, Sunrunner, and then--hold my calls.”

“Yes, sir.” The private left, closing the door behind him.

“Hold your calls?” Tycho said after a minute.

“I have always wanted to say that,” said Wedge.

The End


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