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from the door. Wedge looked up and said, "Open."

The door slid open to reveal a flame-haired man of above-average height wearing the uniform of a Captain in the New Republic Armed Forces. He started to salute, then hesitated, then completed the gesture in a crisp and respectful manner.

Wedge smiled and stood behind the table. He returned the salute, then waved the man into the office and toward a chair. "Good to see you again, Pash. I see you've got your rank back. You're rejoining your flight group?"

Pash Cracken nodded, then shook hands with both

Tycho and Wedge before seating himself. "Good to see both of you as well." His green-eyed gaze flicked down at the floor for a moment. "I really wish I were going to be with the rest of you. Just say the word, Wedge, and I'm a civilian."

The pain in Pash's voice started a sympathetic aching in Wedge's chest. "We'd love to have you with us, but there's no way you can resign and join us. Your father's the head of Alliance Security. If you came with us there would be no way anyone would believe we're operating independently. I know you'd not be reporting to your father, but the appearance would cause trouble for the New Republic."

"I know." Pash took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm back as part of Commander Varth's wing. While the bulk of the fleet is off chasing Warlord Zsinj, we're being pulled Core-ward to cover some of the sectors where Zsinj used to run around. It's going to be something of an adventure for our people, because we'll be staging from Folor, that moon base orbiting Commenor."

"I remember it well." Wedge smiled. "Not a lot of creature comforts there."

"It'll beat what we've got out on Generis. It's backward enough that most folks there don't even realize the Old Republic has fallen.
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