The cool blue-green light of the bacta tank fills the medical chamber, the ancient stone walls softened by its radiance. Metal glints off Rhys’ face as he reclines in one of the beds, slowly clenching and unclenching his remaining hand, working through exercises that seem deeply familiar.
Nearby, Airal Syko, Captain of the Flaming Star Wolves, stares up at the ceiling, her eyes haunted. Rhys looks over at her and after a while says, “I know that look. I’ve been where you are – lost, feeling dead or next best thing to it. You’ve lost most of your crew – I lost my whole squadron. Stars, it’s a horrible feeling.” He seems lost in his own thoughts for a while, reliving painful memories.
“Like I said, I’ve been where you are. Shot down, sitting in my enemies medbay, not sure why I’m alive and others are not. Not sure who to hate, drowning in my own misery, my own inadequacy. In that black moment, I had someone offer me a way forward. She pointed out that I was where I was because of the Empire and its failures. Sure, not proximately – she shot me down herself – but ultimately I was in that dark place because the Empire has turned the Galaxy upside down, and honest people are forced to do terrible things to survive.”
He shrugged, “I don’t know if you are one of those honest people, deep down, but I do know that you are one hell of a fighter, and that you have a rare courage, the kind I can respect. I can’t fix what happened, can’t turn back time to make things right for you. So, I’ll give you the offer she made to me – come fly with me, and turn the galaxy right instead, so that no one else winds up like us – broken and adrift at the edge of hope.”
With that, he stands up and heads out of the medbay, leaving her to her thoughts in the dark.