Jeff looked out onto the horizon of Tella IV wondering where his life was going. He had just six months earlier renounced his loyalty to the Empire and joined the rebellion after learning Imperial forces were responsible for the death of his parents. Porky, the call sign he had assigned himself because of his previous TIE Bomber experience, had joined Bandit Squadron following his defection.
The group had seemed perfect after he left the Empire. It was filled with people who all had colored pasts, but after a while he felt more out of place than ever. The only reason he had joined the Imperial Navy was to get back at who he'd thought had murdered his parents. However, Porky under his avengers surface, didn't have the smuggler personality. So after weeks of deliberating he had decided to put in for a transfer. He was accepted aboard the CRS Liberty as an A-Wing maintenance technician. He'd always liked flying and tinkering with the fleet ships. He was anxious and eager for the chance to work with the famed Rogue Squadron. He couldn't wait to get there. After a few blissful moments of daydreaming, he was interrupted from his reverie by a deep bass voice.
"All right that's about it," Flyin' Ace, leader of Bandit Squadron, said. "You're all set, good luck, and try not to get yourself into too much trouble."
"Yes sir," Porky responded. "I hope you all do well out there."
Porky walked aboard the Lambda class shuttle that he had been assigned for the trip. He was glad that they hadn't sent a pilot to cart him over, he would enjoy this trip to the Liberty, as it might be his last chance to fly for a while. Still, he eagerly awaited a chance to implement some of his special "modifications" to the Liberty's A-Wings.
"Control this is Shuttle Dallen requesting permission for departure."
"Control to Shuttle Dallen you are clear for departure from hanger 2A."
Porky worked the controls easily as he pulled out of the hanger and calculated the coordinates for the jump to hyperspace. A few moments later the ship lurched into hyperspace and sent him on his way.
Hyperspace jumps were often boring. Porky had just dozed off when his ship was ripped back into real space by the sound of his approaching vessel alarm. Porky was very much awake now and searched for the cause of the abrupt motion and ringing alarms.
There was an Imperial Interdictor Cruiser ahead on his scopes. It's gravity well projectors were what had pulled him out of hyperspace.
His communications system squawked. "Unidentified Shuttle, identify yourself. Repeat, identify yourself immediately."
Porky's mind was racing, he knew there was no way he could escape. His only chance was to make a desperate gamble, but he had very few options.
"This is Shuttle Della. I have just escaped from rebel captors on the fringe, and request permission to land," Porky crossed his fingers, hoping he knew what he was doing.
There was a pause as if the communications officer aboard the Interdictor was confused at what to do. Then he heard the response, "Stay on present course and stand by."
Porky slowed the shuttle and tried to think of some other way out of his predicament. Suddenly the comm came alive once again.
"Shuttle Della, this Captain Katron. Identify yourself."
Porky responded, sensing the distrust in the Captain's voice. "Sir, my name is Jeff Leddy, rank Lieutenant, Service Number is 6121067. I was captured on the assault on Cevis IV." Porky crossed his fingers and waited for the response.
A few moments later the Captain replied, "Very well Lieutenant Leddy you are clear to land in Hanger 2."
Porky could still sense the distrust in his voice, but he had little choice but to land. He maneuvered the shuttle onto the landing trajectory and was met by two TIE Fighter escorts.
As he set the Shuttle down he noticed several Storm Troopers awaiting his arrival. He shut down all of the ships systems and emerged from the shuttle. The Storm Troopers immediately greeted him and he and the shuttle were subjected to a thorough search. As it was concluding Porky saw a man dressed in the uniform of an Imperial Captain emerge from the Turbolift and begin walking toward him. He was middle-aged and balding slightly. He was in good physical condition, thin and wiry, with sharp facial features, and a long bulbous nose.
"Well Lieutenant Leddy, I apologize for the precautions, but we had to make sure you weren't smuggling any unwanted equipment onboard." The Imperial Captain stopped and waited for Porky's reply.
"Of course not, sir, you did everything to protect the welfare of your ship." Porky hoped that the response would temper the distrust the Imperial officer no doubt felt toward him.
"Well, Lt., Commander Draxon will love to hear your story, and all about your rebel captivity." The Capt. signaled to the Storm Troopers and said, "Take him to the Commanders 'office' and tell him to do with the Lt. whatever he feels necessary."
With that, he turned quickly and left, followed by many Storm Trooper guards.
Porky's stomach plunged as the realization came to him that his hope of escaping all hinged on this Commander Draxon's opinion of him.
Porky was escorted to the Head of Security's office to meet with Commander Draxon. Two of the troopers entered first, and after a few minutes they directed him into the office.
The office was nothing spectacular. Bare walls and undecorated...very Imperial. The centerpiece of the room was Draxon himself. He calmly looked up from us datapad, and said, "Ah, Lt. Leddy, please take a seat."
"Yes, sir." Porky responded, trying not to sound nervous.
"Well I see in the basic explanation you gave upon your approach that you had just escaped Rebel captivity."
"Yes, sir that is correct."
"The report from Crevis IV mentions that you were one of the MIA, and supposedly dead. Tell me about your captivity. Were you on a ship or planet? Where was it? How did you escape?" The commander looked back awaiting his response.
"Well sir, after the I crash landed I was recovered by the rebels and brought to their small outpost where they interrogated me. All they got out of me was my name, rank, and serial number. Since rebels don't pursue more effective ways of interrogation I was brought to a Frigate and put in the Brig when they abandoned the outpost. I stayed there until there was a prison transfer when the Frigate came under attack. At this point, I seized the opportunity to get away. I stole a shuttle, and was on my way to Coruscant when you pulled me out of hyperspace." That was the best Porky could come up with on the spot, and hoped it was good enough to fool the Commander, but the Commander didn't get to where he was by being stupid.
"That is an interesting story, too bad you are lying." The Commander remarked coolly.
Porky looked surprised and said, "Sir, I swear I'm tellin'..."
He never got a chance to finish. Two Storm Troopers came in and grabbed him by the arms, and put restraints on him. Porky resisted little, knowing it would only get him killed.
"You see, if that shuttle came from a Frigate there would be data on the sensor logs, or memory stating that it had been detected when it left. The memory of the shuttle has been purged except for your hyperspace course. Nothing about where it had been until you went to hyperspace. There is no information in the system about where you came from." He raised a sharply etched eyebrow in Porky's direction.
Porky was truly confused. He hadn't erased the memory, although he knew he should have. A look of befuddlement crossed his face as he thought about this dicey situation. The answer came quickly: Bandit Squadron. Their base was supposed to be secret, so they probably had erased the sensor logs.
Draxon stepped directly in front of Porky with thin arms crossed behind him.
"Your ship was not on its way to Coruscant, but an area of space known to contain Rebel activity."
Porky cursed for giving himself away on that Coruscant reply. Damn he should have known they would find where he was going. Which meant, they might know where the Liberty was. This was beginning to get worse and worse.
Porky was led to the brig by four Storm Troopers. He was processed like any other prisoner and given the standard issue dress. Then he was shoved into a cell. It had an extendible plank, that some may call a bed, and four walls, ceiling and floor. They were all the same gray color.
"Great," Porky thought, "just great. Now what am I going to do." He was looking forward to his future, but now it looked as it was fading, and fast. He had to do something about it.
The guards fed him once a day. For a week the same old boring gray walls, and still nothing. Jeff wasn't much of an escape artist. And this was an Imperial brig. He was beginning to feel as hopeless as the situation seemed.
The door opened suddenly, and Porky jumped. Lt. Commander Draxon looked down at him. "We have discovered something of interest that I would like to discuss with you."
Porky sat nervously wondering what they had discovered.
"Do you know the whereabouts of a small group of Imperial traitors called Rogue Squadron?"
Porky's mind raced and he lied, "Yes, sir they were the group I believe that held me captive."
The Commander leaned back and smiled, "Well, Mr. Leddy, I do not appreciate being lied to. You see I know you defected to the Rebellion, which brings a monumental amount of charges upon you. Punishable by death, I might add," he remarked pleased. "But you may be able to save your skin. Cooperate and answer the questions and we might not kill you."
Porky's heart sank to the bottom of his rib cage. He had two choices: die loyally for the Rebellion or betray them and answer these dumb questions.
Porky made the obvious decision, "I'll never tell you anything you arrogant, Imperial swine." Every muscle clenched in his body as he tried not to think about what might happen.
The Commander smiled again and replied, "A typical Rebel response. You think it courage and bravery. I just brand it stupidity!"
The high pitched drone of a black interrogation droid signaled it's approach into the room, and went to work.
The door opened as the prison guard brought in the crud that they called food. He set it down as the two Storm Troopers waited outside. At that instant the ship shook violently and the guards and Porky were knocked to the prison floor. Porky grabbed the opportunity snatching a guard's weapon and fired several shots.
The first two hit the first guard in the chest. The second two hit the second guard right in the head, and the rest missed their target. Porky rolled away from the third guard, who had begun to pull his blaster. The guard fired a few shots that harmlessly bounced off the wall, and Porky did the same. The ship rocked again, and he caught the Storm Trooper off guard and cut him down. The ship was hit again and again.
Porky stunned the two operators who were overseeing the Brig. He had time to change the setting on his blaster, and he figured by the time they would came to, he would be off this ship. He grabbed one of the operators' uniforms, and put it on. He then put the operator in a cell and left the brig.
Porky looked at into the hallway and found it virtually empty. Everyone must be at battle stations. The ship felt like it was ripped out from under him and Porky was slammed into the floor. He pulled himself to his feet feeling a lingering pain, but couldn't think about that now. He had to run as fast as he could to the hangers.
Porky ran across the room to one of the shuttles, recognizing it as his. A technician realized this new person wasn't supposed to be there.
"Sir, get away from there that Shuttle! It is under investigation. Sir, what are you doing..."
Porky turned and fired several shots at the technician who tried in vain to dodge the weapon. He was hit and dropped to the floor unconscious. Porky jumped into the other Shuttle and got in. He knew that his shuttle would not be prepped and ready so he would have a lot have explaining to do when he tried to land an Imperial shuttle on a Rebel cruiser supposing he got there.
He gripped the controls and lifted the shuttle out of the hanger and into space...
"Guardian! There's an Imp Shuttle on my scope! Oh my god! What do I do?"
"Be calm, to start", Guardian advised. "Roo, ask the Shuttle's pilot to identify himself."
Rooster pulled the mic closer and took a deep breath. "Unknown Shuttle, please identify yourself. This is the Mon Cal Liberty Shuttle Compassion." The two Rebel pilots waited patiently for a reply.
"Shuttle Compassion, my name is Lt. Jeff 'Porky' Leddy. I am your new A-wing technician. Over."
"Who the heck is that?" Rooster asked. "Nobody told me there was a new person coming aboard. For all they tell us, he could really be an Imperial spy and we could all end up dead or worse, imprisoned on an Imperial frigate!" Guardian gave Rooster a look of disbelief. "Roo," he replied, "it might be a good idea if you request ID confirmation from the Liberty, before you jump to wild conclusions."
A few minutes later, the Liberty had confirmed Porky's identity
and the Shuttle Compassion escorted him home. Later that
evening, Rooster was buying her new friend on the Support Team a
drink in the Lounge while listening to his daring adventure. "Wow!
That was some escape Porky! I sure am glad we got things squared
away!" She smiled grandly at him as he thankfully gulped what she
called a Full Throttle. Porky raised his frosted mug in the air
and stated, "To the Liberty. Long may she fly."