The Womp Rats pile into the Luck Ord Mantell. Jonas calls ahead as Neeka is the first on board, “Get yourself sealed in somewhere Neeka, we’re going to get these guys quarantined in the Med Bay.”
Raine pushes past on the loading ramp and heads for the cockpit, “I’ll call Daki. He’s suppose to be part of the advance fleet support.”
Jonas nods while helping the staggered Twi’lek on board, “ohhh, good idea.”
“Good idea? Who’s Daki?” Mada inquires while shoving the backside of the Twi’lek.
Jonas strain to pull the Twi’lek back up on his shoulder, “You remember Daki. The Twi’lek captain on Kashyyyk several months back. He commands a medial frigate now and owes us a favor. We’ll get the bacta everyone needs.”
Six hours later the Luck has docked with the Lomai, Captain Daki’s medical frigate. Neeka turns over all the data recovered from Dericotte’s lab and is cleared of the virus after a through medical check. Mada gets fitted in a large diaper and submerged in a tank of nearly pure bacta.
The crew of the Luck settle down to wait. Neeka shut up somewhere tinkering, Raine listening to reports of the invasion progress, and Jonas pouring over maps trying to discern the location of the Imperial’s secret facility, Lusankya.
Raine is equally pleased and concerned by the invasion results. The Empire hardly put up a fight and conceded the planet almost instantly. Cases of the Krytos virus started being reported almost simultaneously with the arrival of the New Republic’s provisional council. Within hours the New Republic had declared Coruscant as their new capital and immediately inundated with requests to deal with the new virus infecting Invisisec. Isard’s use of Dericotte was advancing precisely as he said it would, and this frustrated Raine to no end.
Jonas found the New Republic’s response more troubling. The political landscape was busy pointing fingers and trying to focus on appearing sympathetic their new non-human citizens instead of seeking a cure.
Most troubling was the impending trial of Rogue Squadron second in command Captain Tycho Chelchu. In the early moments of the capturing of Coruscant Rogue Squadron pilot Lieutenant Corran Horn lost control of his Z-95 Headhunter to an outside remote and crashed. Many believed that Chelchu was the culprit. Well specifically Chelchu’s mind was controlled as a result of his time at Lusankya. The media had already convicted him and many groups are looking at the results of the trail yet to come as proof of the New Republic’s human centric policies if Chelchu were to be found innocent.
A knock sounds at the end of the docking ring connecting the Lomai to the Luck. An aids voice follows, “Captain Rigger?”
“Yes, come abroad.”
The aid clamors aboard and rights himself. straightening his uniform he extends a data out to Jonas.
“What’s this?” Jonas inquires while eyeing the aid.
“New orders, sir.” the aid replies flatly.
“Unusual to have an aid deliver orders, don’t you think?” Jonas takes the data.
“Best if you simply read and acknowledge receipt, sir.”
Jonas looks down at the datapad and quickly looks back at the aid in disgust, “what?”
“What is it?” Raine enters and eye the aid.
“They want me to testify at Chelchu’s tribunal.”
“They want to speak to me about the Headhunters I acquired for Rogue Squadron with that race.”
The aid clears his throat, “Sir, please note the date and time, and I’ll be on my way.”
“Yes, yes. I have the stupid orders. Not like it matters. They’re going to hang him no matter what I say.”
The aid nods and heads out off the Luck, pausing briefly at the docking tube. “Sir, for what it’s worth, no one here thinks Chelchu is guilty.”
Jonas was able to find a dress uniform for the tribunal. He hadn’t held on to his since they were issued. The Womp Rats didn’t need them. Jonas tugged that the collar, and their stuffy as all get out. Stuffy uniforms for stuffy lies.
The trail was being broadcast to all the citizens of the Republic as a show of transparency, but it was having little effect covering up the bacta shortage the Empire had been able to create. Jonas answered questions of the prosecutor about the acquisition of the Z-95 headhunters.
“… and then they were turned over to the second phase of the mission.” Jonas finished.
“Yes, and who had control over the Headhunters at that time?” asked a shifty eyed Bothan.
“Well, frankly, I don’t know who got them after that.”
“But isn’t possible that Chelchu could have been the one to tamper with them before giving one to Lt Horn?”
“I don’t really see why…”
“Just answer the question Captain. Don’t dance around the subject to protect your friend.”
“In my opinion, no, I don’t see how he would have done that.”
“I didn’t ask you how, I asked you if it were possible. Don’t LIE to me captain.”
“I don’t have any answers for you. See the mission’s success required the utmost secrecy in case one group was captured. Just like we did in the Rebellion.”
The Bothan flashed in anger and turn to address the tribunal, “Your honor! I move to strike Captain Rigger’s testimony as we have not released the details the Coruscant mission to the public. This entire line of questioning has no place in our broadcast.”
“Agreed, this segment will be edited from this evening broadcast. Captain Rigger, you may step down.”
Jonas scoffs, “you can’t just get rid of my testimony because it doesn’t fit your narrative! There’s no justice in that.”
The Bothan turned slowly with a sly smile speaking quietly only to Jonas, “the truth is captain you better hold your tongue. You wouldn’t want the Womp Rats implicated as conspirators would you?”
“The truth? The TRUTH?! You can’t handle the truth. The Empire is rebuilding and breaking us down and you all have time for a shame trial. I loth you, I loth you all for what you’ve made us. The New Republic was suppose to mean something, to be something better. But YOU’RE not better, and so we aren’t. I’ve had enough.” Jonas huffs and promptly storms out of the court.