The Stolen Pilot (1/?)

Fandom: Star Wars: X-Wing Series
Characters: Derek ‘Hobbie’ Klivian, Wes Janson, Wedge Antilles, OFC
Disclaimer: Star Wars was created by George Lucas and is currently owned by Disney. I’m just borrowing their world to play in for a bit.
Summary: The newest member of Rogue Squadron just wants to fly under the radar, however her past has other plans.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the newest member on a squadron will be the victim of a great many pranks. Especially if the squadron happens to be the famous Rogue Squadron.

Which was why Anagha found herself checking both the interior and the exterior of her flight simulator as if it were her x-wing. She even went as far as having her droid, Shorty, check the programming to make sure there were no last minute changes to the system. Specifically no changes by anyone with the name Wes Janson, or his partner in crime, Derek Klivian.

Once she was assured nothing horrible was waiting for her, she finally slipped into the simulator and let herself breathe a sigh of relief.

Pranks were nothing new to Anagha. She had seen her fair share while in the academy – but they had always happened to someone else. To suddenly be the brunt of them was something else entirely, and, frankly, she was getting a bit tired of it. But she was afraid that complaining or fighting back would bring even more unwanted attention her way. So she kept her mouth shut and her head down in the hopes that, maybe, eventually, Janson would get tired and move on.

Of course, keeping her head down and her mouth shut had been her plan ever since leaving her childhood home and look how well that had turned out.

She leaned forward and turned the simulator on, feeling muscles that she didn’t even know were tense loosen when the test flight the Squadron’s Commander, Wedge Antilles, had requested she run finally loaded without any unusual hiccups. The rest of the members of her flight checked in as she powered up and she allowed herself to relax even more.

The simulation was a routine one that she had flown many times before, one that she could probably fly with her eyes closed. The thought was more than a little tempting – in fact she had done it a couple of times at the academy when instructors had gotten a little too suspicious of her perfectly average scores. Antilles had caught on too, judging from the chat they had earlier that day. Though, he had probably known from the get go that she was a far better pilot then she let on, since he had chosen her to join the squadron instead of one of the top ranking members of her class.

Anagha had joined the New Republic because, honestly, there had been no where else to go after she had finally escaped the mess she had escaped from. At least at the Academy she had three meals a day, a warm bed, and roof over her head. It was better than sleeping in an alley on the lower levels of Coruscant and feeding herself with scraps. Plus, she had hoped that once she graduated, she would be assigned to a squadron in the outer reaches of the galaxy far away from anyone who might still be looking for her.

Only here she was, still on Coruscant. Unless the Rogues had a mission. At which point they might be moved anywhere at a seconds notice. But either way, she was safely ensconced in the barracks, and when she wasn’t, she was in the cockpit of her x-wing.

Now if she could only get Janson and Klivian to leave her alone…

The otherworldly blue glow of hyperspace abruptly ceased around her. There was a bit of static that raced across the screens of the simulator, faster than she could blink. In an instant her defenses were up – both the simulators and her own.

“Shorty, what was that?” Anagha asked as she brought her X-wing into formation with the others.

The droid crooned mournfully, letting her know that he hadn’t the faintest clue.

“Are you sure you scanned all the files?”

He answered her with an indigent series of beeps. Of course he had, while he might not understand what a prank was, or why his owner was so tired of dealing with them, there was no way he wouldn’t follow through with one of her requests.

Anagha took deep breaths, trying to reassure herself that everything was fine. It was probably just a glitch in the system from these simulators being so old. Also, many of their parts had been repurposed from Imperial materials – which was why the stick in front of her was actually something out of a TIE fighter instead of an x-wing.

Unless…

No, it was silly. There was no way he, or Klivian would pull it. Even in their quest to give her as hard of a time as possible, they wouldn’t dare touch another pilot’s droid.

Or would they?

There was no time to check. TIE fighters and interceptors were sweeping in from all angles while bombers poured out of an Imperial frigate in the distance. There also larger ships doing battle above them – though above and below were relative terms in space – the glow of their cannon fire streaking across the black void like shooting stars.

This was totally different from the simulation run she remembered, and judging from the cries of surprise of her wingmates, they were just as surprised as she was.

“Dammit Janson,” Anagha hissed as she lit up a fighter that had targeted her wingman. Then she eased her stick to the port and forward. Her stomach dropped as her x-wing responded, and her shields lit up as a laser blast hit them. “That was a little close for comfort.”

She swung to the right to avoid another blast. An interceptor crossed her path, and she fired, whooping when it exploded. Her celebration was short lived though when warning signals flashed across her controls. She had been hit again. However, instead of showing any damage from a direct hit, everything rest to normal. “What the hell?” She flicked the comm on with her fingertip. “Anybody else seeing this?”

“Seeing what?” Pedna’s voice crackled over her headset.

“Your shields going back to normal after taking damage?”

“No. Mine are responding exactly as intended.”

“Enough chatter.” Gavin Darklighter’s voice snapped at them. “Stay focused.”

“Yes sir.” She swung around to go after another TIE fighter, and asked Shorty to tag three more. However, the situation with the shields continued to gnaw at her. Why the hell would Janson reprogram the simulators to behave in such a fashion? Why not tweak with things so that they fell faster, and the run ended faster than intended? Hell, why even bother with the simulator programming at all? Why not stick to silly pranks like foam spraying out of the control panel, or streamers, or a plain old whoopie cushion?

More and more Imperial forces continued to appear. Despite their best attempts, one by one the rest of Anagha’s flight were taken out. Soon only she was left, dodging and diving, twisting around TIE fighters, Interceptors, and Bombers as if they were all a part of some intricate dance. The endless volley from their weapons meant that alarm claxons were going off all around her, and the warning lights on the control panel were flashing like strobes at a club.

The nictitating membranes of her eyes closed to protect them from the abuse, but it was still too much and she quickly shut her eyelids. Unable to take the noise anymore, she hit the power button and cracked the door of the simulator.

Only to find cold water pouring over her as a strategically placed bucked upended it’s contents over her head. The water soaked her hair, sending rivulets tinted black with hair dye dripping into her face, and penetrated into her flight suit.

Laughter filled the room as she gasped in surprise. Anagha opened her eyes to find Janson and Klivian busting up over her misfortune. The rest of her wingmates looked on, just as shocked as she was, but slowly began to chuckle too.

Rather than scream like she wanted to, she calmly stepped out of the simulator, and closed the lid. As she turned to leave the room, her eyes met Klivian’s for a split second. The amused smile on his dour face faltered and he cleared his throat. Rather than stay to hear what he might have to say, she turned and left the room, her boots squishing as she stomped away.

“Hey!” Janson called after her. “Aren’t you going to help us clean up?”

“It’s your mess. You deal with it.” She shouted back as she put as much space between herself and the rest of them as possible.

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