CHAPTER II“Gods, Leia. It is you!”
She felt a hand against her shoulder and her eyes strained in the sunlight to see who this person was that had finally come to help her.The dark hair was what she noticed first, followed by the concerned, hazel eyes looking back at her. She was almost ready to throw her arms around his neck, but her vision traveled lower and saw the unmistakable orange flight suit of a Rogue Squadron pilot. “Wedge?” She croaked out through her dry throat.
“I’m here, Leia. I’m here. We’ve been scouring the galaxy looking for you. Can you stand?”Leia took a moment to shake the fog out of her head, finding the wave of nausea subsiding quickly. Reaching an arm up to grasp Wedge’s shoulder for support, she allowed the pilot to help hoist her off the ground.
Having been in too much shock from the sight of a friendly face, she had almost forgotten to ask. “Wedge, what about everyone else? Where’s Han? Luke, Chewie?”“We’ll get to that, Leia. Right now we have to get you out of here. Come on, we have to rendezvous with the medical frigate.”
Leia wanted to protest, to get answers before they went any further, but she found herself unable to form words as they slowly made their way to the B-wing ready to take her to freedom.How long it took to dock with the medical frigate, she didn’t know. She'd been grounded for what felt like months and the near-empty belly left her having to shut her eyes tightly in order to keep from spewing what little contents of her stomach remained all over the ship from her spot in the gunner’s chair.
With her eyes shut she felt the motion ceasing and the hum of the engines shutting down. “All right, Leia. Let’s get you some help,” she heard Wedge say before he reached back and undid her restraints. Opening the cockpit hatch she heard him yell a little too loudly, “I need a medic!” The echo rang through her ears and caused her to wince, but before she knew it, she was being gently lifted out of the ship and taken away.Her eyes darted at the unfamiliar faces around her. She vaguely recognized one or two of them from the med ward for the Rebellion, but knew none of them by name. What she needed more than anything was to see someone she loved, someone who she knew would wrap her in a tight embrace and make everything better. But no one like that materialized in front of her eyes.
“Where-“ she croaked out before she felt an oxygen mask being placed over her mouth.“Shhh, Princess. Don’t try to talk now. We’re going to take care of you.”
Unable to argue, she leaned her head back against the stretcher, trying to focus on the good fortune of being free for the moment, even if she still hadn’t seen anyone who she really wanted to see.She opened her eyes sometime later, having no recollection of how she got to where she was currently. She appeared to be in a private room in a comfortable bed. She had forgotten what it was like to sleep on one of those. Blankets were pulled up to her waist and her body was draped in a standard-issue gown. She noted several IV’s attached to her arms, pumping in fluids of various types.
Aside from the vast amount of medical equipment, the room was empty. She felt a wave of sadness, wanting nothing more than to have someone there to hold her hand and talk to her. It had been so long since she’d talked to anyone…“Hey,” she heard from the doorway.
Looking up, she saw Wedge standing with a half-smile on his face, for once dressed in normal, civilian clothes instead of his Rogue Squadron orange.While he wasn’t first on the list of people she’d wanted to see right now, any familiar face was better than none. And at that moment, she owed him her life. Holding her hand out, wanting more of the novel feeling of a friendly touch, she said, “Wedge.”
Taking her invitation, he moved forward and took her hand in his. “How are you feeling?” He asked.“Honestly? I have no idea,” she said. “I can’t feel much of anything.”
“Well, I’m just glad we got to you when we did.”“Wedge, thank you. I don’t know what…” she trailed off, and Wedge looked down at his feet, obviously uncomfortable with accepting gratitude.
“It’s okay, Leia. It’s over now.”She smiled back at him and was just about ready to open her mouth to ask one of the dozens of questions swirling around in her brain before she saw a doctor enter the room.
“I see we’re awake,” the tall, salt and pepper-haired man said.Wedge looked at the doctor and back to Leia. “I’ll leave you two alone,” he said.
His hand released hers and he disappeared through the doorway and Leia turned back to the doctor who was checking her vital signs on the readout screens.“Everything seems to be going okay up here. How do you feel, young lady?”
“I don’t feel much of anything,” she said, repeating what she’d just told Wedge.“Well, that’s not unusual. We’ve got a lot of medications coursing through you right now.”
“Am I going to be okay?” She asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.“Well, when they brought you in you were malnourished and extremely dehydrated. At some point you contracted some sort of intestinal bacteria, likely from tainted food. But I believe we’ve cleared that out of your system. Right now we need to get your fluids back in balance and get some calories into you. You’re quite a bit underweight at the moment. I’m glad to say that physically you don’t seem to have sustained any damage during your captivity. You will make a full recovery.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, she looked up at the doctor again and asked, “Do you know where Han Solo or Luke Skywalker are?”His brow furrowed in thought and after a moment he looked down at her and shook his head. “I’m sorry, I don’t. I haven’t been stationed here long, just volunteered recently when the Empire ran an ambush on my home planet and forced us out. I will let you know if I hear of them.”
She heaved a frustrated sigh and sat back against the pillows, and he noted that her heart rate went up. “Try and get some rest. It is the quickest way to get you out of here, and I know that nobody likes being here.”Leia nodded weakly while the doctor smiled at her one more time and walked out of the room. She tried to sit up, but the wave of dizziness that accosted her told her that she was far from being able to hold her head up on her own, let alone walk around demanding answers. But somebody soon was going to have to tell her what was going on and how long she’d been out of it.
---------------------------------------------There it is, chapter 2! Now, don't be mad at me. Push sent me the opening chapter and told me that in my continuation, whoever had come to rescue her could NOT be Han, Luke or Chewie. So, as Han would say, it's not my fault!