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In The Line Of Battle

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This is a fanfic I've been trying to touch up for a while... you can read the one before this here.

In the Line of Battle

The Andrew Janson Chronicles, Volume II

By Ender

The small, dirty freighter came out of hyperspace. The freighter, named Millennium Falcon, came around Yavin?s bulk and headed towards the small, blue white moon Yavin 4. A Rebel scout atop his sentry tower lifted up his electrobinoculars, saw the ship, and lifted up his comlink to inform the hangar crew of the Falcon?s arrival. The sentry lifted up his binoculars once more, and watched the ship fly into the hangar of the main Rebel base.

Six passengers came down the ramp, three humans, two droids, and a Wookiee. The single woman among them was greeted by the Commander and they walked off. The droids went with her, and the other three hung around the ship.

Leaning against a Y-wing fighter, watching the events, was a tall, lean man with dark, almost black hair, wearing an orange flight suit. His name was Andrew Janson, and he was a Lieutenant in the Rebel Alliance. His R2 unit, Nerf, tootled at him from atop the Y-wing, telling him that the repairs to his ship.

?Good. Go charge up, I think the attack is on. You?re gonna need all the power you can get.? Andrew replied.

Nerf beeped a reply, then got off the top of the fighter and rolled away. Andrew walked off to his quarters.

He had joined the Alliance a few months back with his brother Wes. Only Wes wasn?t here now. He was recovering from a case of Hesken Fever, so Jek Porkins had been sent in his place. Porkins was an excellent pilot, but Andrew still missed Wes.

Janson opened the door to his quarters, and flopped down on his bed. He let out a long, deep sigh, and closed his eyes. He would need all the energy possible for the coming battle.


Janson awoke two hours later, got up, put on his flight gear, and walked towards the briefing room. He got Nerf out of the recharging station, and they continued to walk. He entered the room, and sat down next to Wedge Antilles and one of the passengers of the Millennium Falcon. He looked at Wedge and said, ?Who?s the civilian??

Wedge elbowed the passenger. ?Luke Skywalker, meet Andrew Janson. Janson, vice-versa.?

Andrew shook his hand and said, ?Pleased to meet you.?

Luke nodded. ?Yeah, you too.?

More pilots entered the room, and finally, General Dodonna appeared. He was an older, gray-haired man. He cleared his throat, and started the briefing.

?The Death Star is heavily shielded, and carries a firepower greater than half the Starfleet.? He said. ?However, using the technical readouts provided by Princess Leia, we have discovered a weakness in the battle station.?

?Begging your pardon sir, but what are our snubfighters going to be able to do against that?? a pilot asked.

?Well, the Empire doesn?t consider a small, one-man fighter to be any effect, or they?d have a tighter defense. You are to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point.? He showed on the projector. ?The target area is only two meters wide. It?s a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft is ray-shielded, so you?ll have to use proton torpedoes?

?That?s impossible, even for a computer.? Wedge protested.

?It?s not impossible. I used to bulls-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home, and they?re not much bigger than two meters.? Luke said.

?So man your ships.? Dodonna said. ?And may the Force be with you.?

And the pilots exited the room.


Janson ran into the hangar bay, helmet under his arm. He ran over to his Y-wing and climbed up the ladder into the cockpit. Behind him, two techs inserted Nerf into his socket while Janson did his pre-flight checks. He finished them, strapped on his helmet, and started his engines. Nerf beeped at him, telling him that everything was okay with the Y-wing. The flagger on the ground signaled that it was his turn to fly out of the hangar, so he raised the ship, put up his landing struts, and accelerated out of the hangar. Once out of the atmosphere, he formed up with the rest of the fighters. As they came around Yavin?s bulk, he saw their target. The Death Star.

?Fighters, report in.? Red Leader said.

Janson listened to everyone checking in, and when his time came, he checked in as Gold Nine, like always. He set his shields to full front and accelerated to attack speed. His wingman pulled up beside him.

?Nine, Ten here. What are we going for first? Trench or turrets??

?Three Flight is going to cover for One and Two Flights as they go for the trench. So, it?s the turrets for us.?

?Roger that.? Ten replied.

?Three Flight, form up on me. We?re going in.?

Gold Ten came up on his left, Eleven on his right, and Twelve on Ten?s left. They came in fast, firing as they went. They took out several of the turrets. Then a radio transmission from the base came in.

?Squad leaders, we?ve picked up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters coming your way.?

?Break by pairs and engage. Give the other Golds a chance.? Janson ordered.

?Gotcha, Lieutenant.? Ten said. ?Engaging.?

Janson spotted a formation of TIE?s coming in fast. He broke off and came up behind one of them. The TIE tried to evade, but Janson vaped him with a quick twin blast from his lasers. He rolled left and formed up with his wingman again.

?Nine, break hard right on my mark. You?ve got two eyeballs coming up behind you. Mark.? Ten said.

Janson rolled, and saw an explosion as Ten hit the TIE and sent it spinning out of control towards the surface of the station. They formed up again and went looking for more. A sudden crackle over the comlink startled Janson.

?This is Twelve? I?m hit badly? stabilizer gone? left engine nacelle completely blown away?? A burst of static signaled what they all feared. Twelve was gone.

?Dammit.? Janson said. ?Ten, break off and destroy any you can. We need to keep these fighters at bay.?

?Roger that, Lieutenant.?

Janson broke off and started searching. He took out three TIE?s before another distress signal came over the comm.

?This is Seven; I?ve got two on me! Help me!?

?I?m on my way, Seven. Hold on.? Janson said

Janson scanned for where he was, and then he saw them. Seven was definitely in trouble. He came up behind the first TIE and fired off a quick burst of fire and destroyed him. The second TIE noticed Janson, however. The TIE broke off his pursuit and came at Janson. It fired several bursts of fire at Janson, but his shields held. Janson juked, rolled, and dove, but he couldn?t shake the TIE.

?This is Gold Nine; I?ve picked up a tail. I could use some help right about now.?

Janson took more shots into his shields, and his shields finally dropped and Janson took hull damage.

?This is Nine, I?ve lost my shields and I?m not gonna hold much longer.? Janson said. ?Now would be a good time for some help.?

A bright flash of fire behind him caused Janson to whip his head around. An X-wing looped up and away.

?Who was that?? Janson asked.

?You owe a drink to Red Five, Gold Nine.? Luke Skywalker said.

?You?ll get it, Skywalker. Thanks.?

Janson looped up and away and vaped a TIE on an X-wing?s tail, and then heard a crackle of static.

?This is Gold Ten; I?m hit!? was the call.

?Ten, pull up!? Janson shouted. ?Get out of there!?

But it was too late. Ten was gone.

Janson swore. His entire flight demolished.

?Gold Five, this is Nine. Three Flight is completely gone, except for me. What?s the squadron?s status??

?One Flight is gone.? Five replied. ?Three TIE?s down the trench. They had no chance. Two Flight is going for the trench. Give us whatever cover you can.?

?Roger that, sir.? Janson said.

But at that moment, something hit Janson from behind. Three TIE?s, two regular, one advanced. Janson?s shields dropped, and he heard a squeal from behind him.

?I?ve lost my R2!? Janson said.

The TIE?s then broke off, and headed for the trench. Right for Two Flight.

?Oh no you don?t.? Janson said. He tried to break for the fighters, but his controls wouldn?t respond. Janson tore open his control panel and began hotwiring the controls. About fifteen minutes later, a call came across his comm.

?Gold Nine, this is Red Five. Are you okay??

?Hell no.? Janson said. ?My ewoking control panel is lying in my lap, and my controls are shot. I?m gonna try and bring them back.?

?Roger that. We?ll cover you.?

?What happened to Two Flight? Did they make it??

?No.? Luke said solemnly. ?Vaped. Our One Flight just failed its run, so we?re going in.?

?Roger. I?ve pretty much got my controls back, so I?ll give you as much cover as I can.?

?Thanks.? The three remaining X-wings broke off and entered the trench.

Janson slumped in his seat. His entire squadron demolished. He couldn?t believe it.

Janson turned and started skimming just above the trench. He didn?t draw any turbolaser fire at first, but then he saw the flash, and tried to swerve away? but no good.

His comm was out. His systems were fried, and his weapons wouldn?t fire. His Y-wing was a broken, charred mess. He mustered what he could from his controls and broke out of his covering pattern and flew away. He tried to repair his comlink, and was able to get it working a bit. He saw a badly damaged X-wing coming towards him.

?Wedge, is that you?? Janson asked.

?Yeah, it?s me.? He said. ?What the hell happened to you??

?This is what happens when you get too close to a turbolaser.? Janson said. ?What about the others??

?Biggs is gone.? Wedge said. ?Luke is going in alone.?

Janson was about to reply when he saw a beaten-up Corellian YT-1300 transport fly in and blast the TIE fighters. A voice over the comm said, ?You?re all clear kid, so let?s blow this thing and go home!?

Janson heard a gasp of relief over the comm, and bugged out as fast as he could.

Behind the four survivors, the Death Star blew apart in a brilliant supernova.


Janson had landed his destroyed Y-wing in the Yavin hangar and popped the hatch. He took off his helmet and started unbuckling his harness. Wedge climbed up the ladder and made a face.

?Sithspit, Janson, do you do this to all of your ships??

?No, this is the first time.? Janson stood up and groaned. ?I am never flying a Y-wing again. Got any openings in an X-wing unit??

?Yeah. We?d be glad to have you.?

Janson climbed down, clapped Wedge on the back, and joined the celebration.


Janson stood next to Wedge as Luke, Han, and Chewbacca walked down the carpet of the Grand Hall. He watched from a distance as Princess Leia placed medals around their necks. Janson leaned over to Wedge.

?You know, the Empire is gonna come right back at us here.? he said.

?I know. We?re bugging out right after this.?

Janson nodded, and clapped along with the rest of the personnel assembled. There was still much work to do to win the war against the Empire.


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