Log:Resistance: The Funeral of Wedge Antilles
No more a patrol to fly, old pilot, for you are drifting through a peaceful night Whereupon waking you'll find your solace among those stars, where many a soul take flight.
At long last, Rogue Leader, General Wedge Antilles, has been exhumed from cold storage and made ready to be laid to rest. To be launched on a final voyage among the stars.
The Resistance (with assistance from the few Republic remnants to have made it safely to Naboo) has done their best to recreate a suitable Rep Mil Dress uniform for the iconic flyboy, complete with badges, medals - anything salvaged or able to be recreated. They wanted to do this right.
Wedge was garbed accordingly, complete with sidearm, helmet, and a few of his favorite snacks, then sealed within the streamline casket. His name, rank, and a quote befitting of his nature has been laser-etched into the casket's face, thereabouts where what's left of his rests within.
When the small, private endeavor was complete, word was sent to all Ops personnel, Crewmen, and SFC squadrons to gather in the staging area, then form a dual-file line from bay to Airlock number 1. This is the aisle through which Rogue Leader will be paraded toward his final destination.
After all have assembled and the weight of solemnity in this air is near crushing, the order goes out for "ATTEN-TION!"
Except for those designated as pallbearers. They are motioned to proceed with their task of encircling Antilles' casket and lifting him up upon shoulders. All eyes are upon them, so coordination is key!
A few bodies are notably absent from this initial phase of ceremony. High Command has sequestered itself away on the bridge, in the company of a few bridge officers, but keeping an eye in form of vid relay to monitor the progress of things and to prepare for the next phase. Brigadier General Ambrosia Greystorm is part of that company, and it's a blessing when things kick off with the command to attention, as it brings an end to her uneasy prowling between terminals and viewport. Her rigid posture faces the screen, flinty eyes staring down the formed tunnel of personnel through which their comrade and friend will glide, effortless on the backs of others.
Poe is dressed in his finest uniform and boots for this occasion, and awaits the command for the crew to come to attention. At that mark, he nods to his squadron, and steps off as the leader of the small pack to take the front left position. When all pilots are in place, Poe issues a quiet countdown to signal their synchronized lifting motion.
"On three-- one, two, three.."
Poe lifts his portion up, awaits for it to settle, then allows for a brief pause before issuing the next command. "Forward--- March."
Miri Sakir hefts the casket on three, not quite sure how this is going to work with the varying heights, but ready to compensate as necessary.
Stepping crispy into formation the newest captain, certainly among the youngest, steps into the fourth position among the pallbearers at the head of the casket. Tallissan's face is rigidly blank, strain and grief held at bay. Blinking rapidly, she takes one deep breath as the weight settles on her shoulder and she takes her first forward.
Synchronized, uniform movements are the work of quiet, silent pacing and timing. Jessika Pava allows that timing to determine her movements, and when the timing isn't required, she relies on the firm, respectful rigidity in Poe's voice. The count goes through. Jessika, like Poe, lifts, so there's a concert of simultaneous movements to secure General Antilles' casket with.
Merek has put on his uniform, clean and presentable. He even has managed up his beard which he wears also, as he moves to attention when it's said, shifting his feet together while he stands up also straight with his arms to sides while he looks forward as well.
Ektor is toward the back of the eight pilots placed as corpse-carriers. He's in a clean Lieutenant's uniform, and has a quartet of distinguished service medals pinned to his chest. From a distance, he actually looks like a proper soldier. Up close, the harsh light of truth reveals several imperfections: the medals are in the wrong order and his rank placard is technically upside down, but it takes a close and keen inspection to spot such things. Effort is put into masking his limp as the Tionese moves with the rest of his squad, lifting on cue. The scarred corner of his mouth briefly twitches upward as he realizes he can't fully shoulder the casket, and ends up holding it at about upper bicep level to keep the thing level with the other pilots.
Karas is dressed in his best uniform today, and moving with the other pilots. He steps up into position and takes ahold of the casket and on three he lifts with the others. This was hard for him, Wedge Antilles was a pilot he followed along with Luke Skywalker and now both are gone. This meant a lot to him so keeping in unison he lifts along with the others, making sure to compensate if need be.
Having a grunt in the ranks of pallbearers probably isn't an insult to a man who created two squadrons of commando-pilots. At least, Nova hopes it isn't. She reaches down, timing her motions with the others of the pallbearing party. It's a lot like offloading a shuttle, really.
It's also the most precious burden she'll ever bear. She lifts her part of the casket to her shoulder and begins to move, pacing her steps carefully.
It's all preparation for a voyage, the last Wedge Antilles will ever take. It has to be perfect.
Rey stands off to the side of the ceremony. She's here to pay her respects to the fallen. Wedge Antilles is a man she'd never met, but a man she had read about in the recovered recordings that she pulled off of the ships back on Jakku. His named had come up a number times amongst her favorite records, the ones associated with the pilots of the Rebellion. Rogue Squadron in particular was a group of pilots she was always eager to read about when she was a kid back alone on that dusty planet.
So now, here today, she stands in a hooded robe of light sand hue, the hood is drawn up over her head and her arms are resting at her sides, her hands are in front of her lap with one softly holding the wrist of the other. She listens to those speaking, she watches the casket lifted and she otherwise remains motionlessly observing.
As procession begins and Poe gives the order to march, an older man, in a New Republic SFC uniform and the rank of Major, steps out of the dual line and takes his place behind the casket and its bearers. Quietly Kort Greystorm marches, never missing a step, his expression solemn as they carry the fallen hero through the dual line performing his part of the ceremony.
Off to the side and across from Rey stand a pair of civillians, a young woman that looks alot like a certain General Greystorm, but minus decades of war and disapointment in new recruits. She stands solmnly and respectful. The other was her brother, Jax. He was in civillian dress clothing but at the call for attention, he snaps to attention. Some old habits die hard.
Another motionless figure bearing witness to this sobering ceremony is one who does indeed strike uncanny resemblance to the Brig Gen. If not for her father's nose sculpted centrally on face, the silent form of Anora Greystorm would pass as hologram of her mother's younger self. She spares her older brother a glance when he snaps to attention, but says nothing. Flighty eyes dance another quick peek away from the procession to give the robed figure a cursory sweep of inspection. Some of the faces here today are familiar to her, but only in holoview form, as seen posted in bounty announcements. She doesn't look particularly at ease, here among legends and fiends, but an order's an order. Even among civilians in the Greystorm household.
As the casket is carried through the columns of attentive personnel, another command is issued from the lead Deck Officer in attendance. "About-FACE. In sequence!" Two by two, the bodies left standing in the procession's wake perform a snappy 90-degree turn to face the direction in which the pallbearers march. The wave of motion continues, no faster than the pace of the funeral march.
Ahead, the end point is illumated softly by a large, glowing screen and strip lighting. The Renegade's Commanding Naval Officer's face is visible upon that screen, flanked by the unmistakable, doe-brown gaze of their General Organa. Blurred, hazy forms of other overseeing bodies color the background.
Poe Dameron sets the pace, keeping his gaze locked on their destination. He has a focused expression and intense eyes that never seem to falter despite the urge to watch as the rest of those in the ceremony turn at their passing.
When they finally reach their destination, Poe calls for a halt that's in time with their slow march. A subsequent facing command is given, then they can see one another. Poe gives a tell-tale nod to signal their lowering of the casket.
When it's finished, Poe signals for everyone to take their designated places until it's time to head to the bridge.
Miri Sakir lowers the casket carefully, then moves silently to her spot. It's rare that the pilot is this serious.
In sync with the others Tallie lowers the casket. She is reluctant to step back from her contact with the metallic coffin, her last with the man that had mentored her in the Resistance. She keeps form, the stiffness of her face the only sign of struggle to those who know her well, and takes a pace backwards.
Jessika's grip on the casket is iron. So is the expression on her face. Maintaining an unfaltering, unwavering sense of military bearing, she steps in time with Poe and keeps her gaze and head forward. Except for the movements saying otherwise, she's a statue of inexpression. Nothing catches her attention. Nothing causes a deviation. The only guidance for her actions is the commands she takes from the Major coordinating this display. Her feet come together at the heels at the halt, with the polished, gleaming toes of her boots split away from one another. The facing command sees them move in sudden unison, one with its toe lifted, the other with its heel, so that she excutes a sharp turn in one smooth, concentrated motion, and then rests.
On the signal, Jessika helps lower the casket.
Merek shifts at the call for them to about face, then he moves to do so, his feet moving to shift with him, while he looks to that way.
Callax, for his part, is content to simply move along with the rest of his fellows, no personal flourishes - he knew this man only through the lens of history, and a history distorted by years growing up among formerly pro-Imperial nobles. Nobles don't like rebels. He knows that well enough.
Still, as he stoops to lower the casket, a slight smile quavers at the corners of his painted lips. /But they can go to hell./
Ektor's eyes move around a bit too much as they march. Small ticks of movement in his face suggest some unspoken thought process. Though he draws a breath as if to say something twice during the process, his thoughts remain unspoken. A sidelong eye is kept on Poe, looking for the signal to lower, and once it's given, he formal-limps to the appointed place.
Just like a marching formation: Move until everyone stops. Then turn, lower the casket in unison. Nova does her best to match the seven other pallbearers. They're all different heights, and that makes it tricky.
But the job is done in moments, and she straightens and slow-marches to take her place in the formation. She takes a deep breath, and turns her face to stone. But her eyes aren't stone, even cased, and her mind goes over and over the things she's read about Wedge Antilles, a living legend whom she'd dearly wanted to meet when he was alive.
She never thought she'd meet him this way. Tears bead in her eyes, and she does her best to blink them away.
As they pass in front of her, Rey's eyes lower down toward the deck in front of her booted feet. She remains standing perfectly still as they move in front of her, her senses reached out to simply absorb the ambiance of the situation around her. Its a meditative state-almost.
Once they pass her by, the young woman's gaze raises up a few seconds later to watch them go. She parts her lips and draws in a light breath. Her grip upon her opposite wrist is released and she lets both of her hands hang at her sides, the left brushing past the weapon resting from a clip on the leather belt around her waist.
The one thought that continues to roll through her mind is that she wishes she'd gotten to meet the man in person.
Kort knows his part and performs it well. His face set in stone, any thoughts he keeps to himself. As the casket is laid in place, he comes to a stop and offers the fallen hero the slaute of the New Republic. Then with shrap turn still in beat he goes to join his place among those come to observe.
Jax ignores his sister for the moment. He remains at attention and even offered a salute as the casket passed by him. When the last of the service men and women have filed past in formation, Jax breaks his stance and with his sister move to follow the last of the Resistance Military to thier place to observe. He offers his sister a small smile before his expression returns to his solemn stone expression.
Leia Organa's face is visible on that screen wearing an expression of carefully measured sorrow that only hints at the wealth of grief unseen beneath the surface, so still as she watches the procession that she might be carved from stone. It's only once the casket is placed on the ground that she turns her eyes from the vid relay. There are no tears shed, not now, but seeing the casket as it was lowered brings with it a sense of solemn finality that this loss is real, and there is no going back from it. Only forward.
Anora numbly follows along in Jax's wake, keeping her stare locked upon their father. One hand tugs a little at the fluttery cap on her left sleeve, feeling the need to anchor herself in reality. Stay focused.
Once Wedge is lowered into the airlock and pallbearers retake their places in assembly, the command "SALUTE" is barked, albeit with a touch of emotion putting an extra pitch into the tailend. The sound of snapping sleeves and sharp hisses of drawn breath execute almost in perfect unison.
<<Sealing Airlock.>> Says the vidscreen attendee. A long four or five seconds stretch between the time the announcement is issued and the moment it's carried out. The sleek, gray hull of Rogue Leader's last bird he'll ever fly is visible for those final heartbeats, and if one stares long enough (or has been sleep deprived enough) they might envision him there, giving a casual wave in turn with crinkle-eyed smile.
It's your turn.
His watch is finally at end. An abrupt hiss of air slams the dual blastdoor shut, and a sequential click-thuds of locking mechanisms secure it in place. The starfighter pilot is readied, his craft prepared for flight. All that need happen now is for the bay doors to open...
<<Proceed to Bridge.>> Says the same attendee, stoic expression continuing its duty and commanding attention away from Leia's averted gaze.
Poe left the airlock area and proceeded through the Renegade to the bridge. He posted up by the main door and programmed it to remain open while the rest of the funeral guests walked through. He remains quiet, and simply gestures toward the direction they should go.
Part of her duty is done. What remains is no less bitter. Jessika endures it with the same hushed silence as before. When orders to gather on the bridge pass through, she moves with a distinct purpose, head high and no effort wasted on any frivolous movement.
Tallie follows the procession onto the bridge. After a quick glance around her to find her place, she stands at ease, hands behind her back, looking at the screen. She lifts her chin, a faint crease forming between her brows as she studies the casket.
Merek makes his way to the bridge, while he makes to settle in to watch from the view while he keeps to the tradition also. He lifts up a hand so he can salute with the people also.
Difficult duty, a final farewell. The last of the vigil is on the bridge, and Nova joins her fellow Resistance there to watch the final voyage of Wedge Antilles. Taking her station, she clasps her hands behind her, fiddling them momentarily and swallowing. She blinks hard to clear away tears; it takes two blinks.
Rey waits for the rest to make their way forward through the ship. She's been through the interior of this a number of times, though not as much lately. Staying near to the end of the pack she keeps her eyes up and lets them flicker left and right, the hood over her head gently sways to the motions of her movement and the breezes that the slow pace rushes over her.
Once they all eventually file into the bridge. She catches a signal from her friends, Finn and Rose who were already on the bridge. She moves to stand aside to them, giving them both a light nod before she turns to look forward, keeping near to the back of the room to watch as much of the gathering as she can and also stay out of the way in a respectful fashion.
Karas makes his way to the bridge and as he makes it there, he moves out of the way so that the others following up behind him had a place to stand and the door is cleared. Taking a look around the bridge, he sees all of the solemn faces, but right now he's more determined than anything else right now.
Kort makes his way along with the others to the bridge. As he draw up to the door that Poe stands guard a solemn pat on the shoulder and a nod before disappearing inside. He find his way to Ambrosia's side. His hand reaching out almost stealthly to take her hand and give it a squeeze for a moment before letting it go.
Jax's notices his sister Anora's look of loss and offers her his arm. There's a quiet word to her. He guides her along towards the bridge where the rest of the mourners have came. He whispers "I know it's not the arm of the flyboy you wanted to be on, if any. But I got you."
[Ektor] Ektor brings his hand up for a salute in time with the others, taking an instant to discreetly itch at his nose in the process, before making his way toward the bridge along with the others. One finger is slipped under his collar to itch at his neck.
Celes is quiet about her entering and stands near the back of the procession. Watching the assembled send off one of their own with a muted and distant expression, she fits into the puzzle picture like a circle piece in a square hole. Usually, she'd have avoided this kind of gathering. Her purpose in the Resistance, and the Republic before it, was a far more subtle affair than public engagements, but the grandure of this was appropriate for small breech of her self imposed protocol.
She does not salute. She does not do this because she is not Military and doing so would be inappropriate. She does close her eyes though, at least for a spell dictated by the snap of fabric when everyone else salutes.
And there in the back, standing with Tallie, Callax watches the casket on its way - carrying on this somber watch, perchance to hopefully never do it again after this terrible loss. May the enemy's own losses be far more vital, and far more numerous, than that which they've inflicted.
Karas stood withe the rest of his squadron once everyone has entered. He stands at attention, his body fully rigid, his head raised honoring the man who have gave his life for the Rebel Alliance, New Republic and the Resistance.
The narrow (by comparison) penninsula of bridge stretching out toward the viewport and its command consoles thereabouts cannot accomodate all personnel, for obvious spatial limitations, but the broader space of flooring near the entry hatch and the open floorplan below provide attendees with more elbow room. The corridor beyond the entry hatch is likewise filled with overflow, heads craning best they can to observe some of what's taking place. The screens on this side of ceremony still display a clear view of the airlock and the soon-to-be literal flying coffin within.
Anora issues a soft snort of disgust under breath in response to something Jax whispers at her, but takes his arm obligingly. There is a moisture condensing on the brim of her golden lashes, but it isn't exactly a soulfully sorrowful look that she's channeling through the masses to the weathered soldier standing so stoically up there near THE General. More like a quiet glare of accusation.
As for that weathered soldier, she tips her face aside just a half degree toward the retired fighter pilot appearing at her side. Her hand swivels just enough, meeting his palm with her beaten knuckles. It's not a fully committed handhold, but a brushing of skin against skin, a crook of finger folded into his.
By Greystorm standards, it's sappy, done subtley.
Her hair's been woven into as ornate a wreath of braids as it gets these days, save for the little wisps framing her face as she tips two degree further to breathily murmur "Maybe they'll find each other..." Wedge and his namesake still adrift out there somewhere, in the heartless void. And then her head turns away, ignoring the noted presence of her surviving offspring in the crowd, in favor of studying Leia and awaiting the words of wisdom and memory that the more eloquent relic of rebellion has to offer.
"General Wedge Antilles played a prominent role in our story, from the very beginnings of the rebellion to victory, through the more stable era of the New Republic, and into the rise of the First Order. He stood in opposition of oppressors until his very last breath, and he will be forever remembered as a leader, a great man, and a friend." Leia's slightly amplified words hang in the air, allowing silence to swallow up a moment before she carries on.
"I know that the loss of Wedge, of the Gial Ackbar and every single brave soul who committed their lives to this cause, it can feel too great--" The words break off as she draws breath, squares her shoulders, and resolves herself to continue on. "-unbearable even, but I ask you all to not surrender to the weight of that grief. Instead we must honor their sacrifice, give it meaning, and draw strength from it. Though we will mourn in our hearts, our spirits must rally so that we can preserve the dream that the New Republic once represented, and what we stand for today."
There's another momentary break in the speech so that she can look out at the faces of those who have gathered here today. "So now I say to you, it's your turn. You, the next generation of freedom fighters, the next generation of people to oppose those that would entrap us all beneath their tyrannical thumb. It is your turn to not only carry on the legacy of Wedge Antilles, but all who have gone before you. General Antilles served with honor for over thirty years because he believed in what we fight for. May we all endeavor to follow in his example."
And then softly, "We'll miss you, Wedge." The smile that follows is tinged with sadness, but behind that is steel of a woman who is still unbent after so much. "If anyone else would like to say a few words..." And with that she surrenders the spotlight to those that would speak.
Poe nods to Kort who had shared something briefly at the door in the form of hushed whisper. When everyone was inside, Poe programmed the hatch to shut, and it did, piercing the reverence with a hissing snap. He steps along toward the others, taking his place with all the troops. Leia's speech hits home, and leaves Poe looking down a moment, thinking.
"Wedge said; There's a time in every soldier's life where you have to stop a moment, and look back. He said what you see when you look back will be enough to rekindle the heart and drive you forward." Poe clears his throat and looks up. "It's my hope that Wedge is looking back now, and in seeing us all here, his hope is rekindled and worries laid to rest. It is our time, like he said, and I have no intention of letting that man down."
Poe pops off another salute, and cuts it sharply. "To General Wedge Antilles, the soldier's soldier! May he find the peace he fought for his whole life."
Eyes bright with unshed tears Tallissan's gaze moves over the other mourners, the smoothness of her young face set in stone. She draws herself up, shoulders back, medals winking in the overhead lights with her movement. .
Voice raised enough to carry through out the room, "Wedge Antilles quite simply was my hero. He embodied all that I have ever admired in a pilot - quick, decisive, tactically among the smartest men I have ever known. But more than that: he had heart, he followed the recruits. He had time for all of us from the youngest to the most senior among the squadrons." Her voice roughens and she pauses to clear her throat. "He encouraged me to be the best by being the best that he could be. He encouraged us to continue in the face of every adversity. I can never thank him enough for those lessons."
Callax's slender fingers graze the back of her hand, she hooks them into her own and squeezes.
For a few long moments, Jessika Pava merely breathes and stares ahead. The drawn out seconds start to tick by too long, and she clears her throat.
"I grew up on stories of the greatest fighter pilot's the galaxy has ever seen. General Wedge Antilles was one of them. His dedication to justice, and to the people of this galaxy, is an example that burns bright across the darkness of space. It motivates me, every day, to aspire to the honor and sacrifice exemplified in one of the most valiant men to carry the ideals of the Republic. May he never be forgotten, and may we carry his example into the cold of the void, so that the way may be lit for others."
Merek nods a bit, while he takes a moment to consider his word, "He was, and will be, the amazing hero," he offers, then he salutes to the pilot again also.
Tallie's words sting Callax's heart, even as she squeezes his fingers - her hero, the old stalwart of the rebellion. The sting is one of guilt, not sorrow, because he knows he could have broken off and saved the man from peril, and very nearly did. But he did not, and the sting fades all too quickly with the knowledge that he did his duty. He says nothing, simply playing her support. So he just nods, a tight, quiet smile on his painted lips. And promises the general's departed shade that he'll water his corner of the garden of heaven with the blood of many more First Order warriors in future.
Listenin as words are being said about Wedge, nodding his head just slightly at the care of these words. Karas knew he wanted to say something and so he waits. Upon hearing Leia, Poe than Tallie, Karas clears his throat just slightly. "I never met Wedge, though my parents talked about Rogue Squadron and Wedge Antilles." He pauses. "I idolized him and was able to hear him speak a few times, but a lot of my training revolved around a lot of his instructions. And I knew he was someone I would follow. I learned a lot of things about him and from him, not personally but still he was someone I wished I was able ot meet at least once."
After watching the view outside of the ship, Rey's eyes drop down to look before her again, with the hood over her head shielding her from some of the ambient light from above her, it allows her to feel a little more somber in an already somber situation.
Her gaze rises once more when the speeches start. She shows a brief and soft smile to Leia's words before she watches the others come up and speak, share their personal ways in which they were touched by the efforts and actions of the fallen Rebellion legend.
To Poe and Jess, Rey offers them both a nod should they happen to make eye contact from where she stands in the back of the room near to Finn and Rose. To the others she simply listens to them, moments like these being another reminder in why they're fighting and why they have to continue onward and ahead.
Nova clears her throat quietly, squaring her shoulders and letting her hands fall to her sides. "Wedge Antilles was someone I only read about... in databooks I wasn't supposed to be reading. To the side of right, he was a daring and cunning warrior of the stars, the best of the best. To the side of wrong, he was the Wampa seen over their shoulders: Fierce, unyielding, and with a hunger to swallow them whole. Hero, monster, or just a good pilot, it all depended on your point of view. And then there was his sister, who married another great pilot named Soontir Fel. He was much like Wedge himself, on a different but not always opposite side. Hero, monster, or just a good pilot."
She takes a breath, blinking back tears. "He inspired me by teaching me that there are two sides to every story, and that you have to look at both of them to know your own side... and sometimes just to know yourself, as he also taught me. I never got to thank him for that. Maybe I'll have a chance, once I arrive where he's going now." She smiles sadly, the tears coming again. "But I'm sure I'll have to stand in a very long line."
Ektor says nothing, letting dry eyes wander over those assembled for the funeral ceremony. If he looks bored, that may just be his normal 'serious' expression, who can say? Something in the litany of honorifics spoken by his fellows- while Nova speaks- brings a crooked grin to the Tionese pilot's lip.
Celes did not know Wedge, excepting by reputation maybe. And after listening to the things said of him, she looks as though she would be hard pressed to cover anything not already addressed by them who did know him. So she remains quiet, arms folded, silently watching the black of space beyond the viewable screen. Unable to see the coffin containing the hero all are here to celebrate, but trying regardless. Her expression is cool, but neutral, but her posture remains unreasonably stiff. Even for a military funeral.
Kort's expression softens to a smile as he listens to Leia's speech and then the speechs of the next generation. Once he would have spoken and would have carried the burden solemnly. Now it was this generations turn and he would let them speak and have their say. His eyes look up in time to notice his daughter-in-law arriving to the even before flicking back to those speaking.
Jax looks as he hears the door to the bridge begins to close. There's a sigh of relief as he sees his wife make it at the last moment. It also keeps him from inquiring something form his sister. He pats his sister's shoulder before turning and offering an arm to Sesti.
Where she has been, she won't say at this moment. She had parted ways with her husband shortly after landing, being led in a different direction. Now, after her medic guide has returned her to the memorial she's found her way to the side of her husband, opposite her sister-in-law. She doesn't speak, although purple eyes find and rest on the casket ready to be launched. She bears the tribute of the missing warrior in the way of her clan, empty sheaths at her hips to indicate the empty place of a missing weapon, a missing warrior. Her hand threads through Jax's arm as it is offered, without even having to look at it; light brown fingers find his and squeeze lightly. The jota that make her look her fierce on a good day stand out starkly on the slight pallor of her normally light brown skin.
Anora takes a break from her troubled looks to flash her sister-in-law a brief, close-lipped smile.
Ambrosia's complexion has turned a bit ashen, staring at the casket on screen, waiting patiently for release. There's a faint hitch on the breath in, but a smoother ride out as the starchly pressed shoulders rise and fall - a break in her stiffness. Might be there's some stirring of grief hidden away behind the pensive frown. Some deep well of memory sequestering all her feelings. It isn't just that they've lost a skilled pilot and family friend. It's the beginning of the end, she feels, for them all. For an era.
"Clear skies," is all the old Ice Queen feels she need say. Succinct, to a fault.
Captain Kross clears her throat softly from beside her chair on the bridge and casts a long, sideways look to Leia, seeking silent confirmation that it's time. It is. "Attention!" She calls, demonstrating the act herself while continuing to deliver orders. "Officer Erach, prepare to v--prepare to launch, on my mark." Because this is more than just a /venting/. The Twi'lek passes a solemn nod to her and all, then echoes back "Prepared."
"General Antilles, we salute you," Capt Kross does just that, then extends her arm toward Erach. "Launch."
On screen, the visual stirs just slightly from the sudden change in pressure as the external hatch opens and Wedge is set free. "Rogue Leader has been deployed."
"Officer Fyr," Kross addresses the next Bridge Officer assigned a task.
"Tractor beam array ready to receive, Ma'am," says the nasally Rodian. And it is. As the Renegade softly adjusts its bearing to assist in the whole maneuver, the sight of a tiny, gray capsule drifts into sight. The beam is activated, from multiple terminals, and General Antilles is drawn into its shimmering embrace. He is cradled there but a moment or three, then with a calm, coordinated handling of controls....
He is away. Swung in a gentle arc and set loose on trajectory for the sun. It's a long flight he faces. Long and peaceful. Many hundreds of years from now, when the man and all those in this fight are forgotten, his journey will end in a little spark of glory.
Rest in peace, Rogue Leader, for the Force is with you.
Following the tearful duration of silence and sniffling as all personnel watch Antilles slowly disappear from sight...
"In honor of General Antilles and all our Republic allies upon which we did so heavily rely, I've arranged for a little reception at the Swamp Rat," Ambrosia clears her throat after a sufficient period of silence has passed. "Open bar. However..." That familiar mom glare replaces whatever sadness was once sneaking into her stoney visage. "Over-indulgence won?t fly as an excuse for any tardiness or sub-par performance of duties on your next shifts. Anyone found abusing this night of memorial and camaraderie will, in turn, suffer some abuse." One finger uplifts into the air for emphasis. "You?ve my solemn vow." And she's out, collecting her brood as she goes, after a brief brush of sleeve against Leia's.