Pre-flight checks were always so redundant. The 42nd’s Gamma Flight Leader and ACE, Major Jayan “Spanner” Mako hastily checked his fuel levels and ordinance while the remainder of his squadron did the same. However, it just wasn't the same. While this ship had all the markings to remind him of his three tours of duties, including the exodus from Hoth to the Battle of Endor, running in a Y-Wing was the last thing he’d imagined.
He'd always been an X-Wing jock. Had a small stint with A-Wings during Endor… but a Y-Wing?! They could have at least given him something more modern, he thought. Why not a B-Wing? R5-J1, his astromech droid, gave a soulful chime trying to let his pilot know that everything was in order.
Shaking his head, “Hey… you said that last time when we were jumped by the Hutts after our hit on Nar Shadda.” R5-J1 whistled defensively. Jayan chuckled, “I know… I know… it wasn’t your fault. The techs found that the central core computer was tampered with and that the spaceport droids were at fault for deactivating the Hyperdrive.”
Jayan sighed. While cliché, he never thought he would admit it. That little droid had saved his life more than a numerous times and has gotten him out of tight situations, especially with the law. On Corellia, the Hutts had started to make political and underground advances knowing that the Imperial grasp had started to loosen.
Jayan was on an intelligence gathering mission as a member of CorSec (Corellian Security), courtesy of Rogue Squadron’s Lt. Corran Horn, when he was jumped by a small group of smugglers and was framed for their deaths by Imperial Security. As Imperial Intelligence was still active at Nar Shadda, he had ditch his cover and regroup with the Alliance to report the Hutt connection.
As he fled, his CorSec X-Wing was intercepted by two Imperial Star Destroyers and almost destroyed. With his shields nearly gone from concentrated fire from Tie Fighters, he made preparations to jump to hyperspace when his hyperdrive failed. If it weren’t for R5-J1, he’d be sitting in an Imperial Intelligence detention center on Coruscant or possibly dead.
“Hey J1, hand me that hydrospanner would you? Looks like I have a gunked up fuel assembly.” Jayan spat in disgust. These Y-Wings were truly “Hogs.” While they were top of the line and some of the best fighters during the Clone Wars, it had nothing on his X-Wing.
“Major?” A familiar voice permeated the busy sounds of the flight deck. Jayan looked up and saw his unit XO leaning on his astromech droid. R5-J1 hooted with disgust. “Jayan I see you haven’t gotten rid of this bucket of rusty nails,” Zeb retorted while rapping the domed droid on the head.
“Did we get the green light from General Dodonna?” Jayan inquired while wiping his hands on his coveralls and throwing the spanner back in the toolbox. Major Akarimas smiled. “Yeah… both Ackbar and Dodonna green lit our op. You know this would have gone to Rogue, but you brought back enough intel from Corellia to convince the brass to give it to us. Let’s not disappoint them. I think Tycho was disappointed, he really wanted this op. He may have a past with the governor that we’re about to bag.”
The both of them laughed because they knew that Tycho Celchu was a man of no emotions. Hence making him the best selection for XO of Rogue Squadron. Both Zeb and Jayan posted for the position however, even with their multiple tours with the Alliance, the brass had wanted them on the frontline as they were more valuable there rather than campaigning for other worlds to join their cause against the remnants of the Empire.
“So they think capturing this governor is going to give us an edge on curbing the Imperial threat?” Jayan threw Zeb a hesitant look. “I mean come on… they have me flying this pig slop here,” pointing to the dripping seals on the leaking fuel assembly of the aging warbird.
Zeb leaned over and took a look. While the Y-Wings were not the most visually appealing starfighter in the fleet, he did have a certain respect for them. “Jayan… look you are the best pilot we have. If we were going in for a furball then I’d give you choice of the litter, but this time the prize is the corvette. Capt. Qieles has been able to confirm the intel on its flight plan. You got the stick and a steady hand that will bring down its shields so we can get our troops to board and secure its crew. If we didn’t have a possible Star Destroyer breathing down our necks, you know you’d be in the mix. This one is simple, we’ll keep them off of you. We get in and get out with our prize. Rogue Squadron has nothing on us.”
Reluctantly Jayan shook his head and began working on clearing the fuel leads. “So when do we go?” Zeb pulled back, and lightly kicked R5-J1 in the rear panel as it moved to hand Jayan some cleaning solvents. The astromech squealed in defiance. “Briefing is at 2100 hours, get your flight ready.”