An even longer time ago, in a galaxy just as far away...
Cecilia leans back in her cockpits seat, letting go of her controls with a small sigh while she watches the last of the Rebel ships make the jump to lightspeed in the skies over Denevor.
"Attention all craft, this is Commander Crewholt, begin regular area patrol. Shadow Squadron you have been ordered to return to the Malachor by order of the Admiral who is on his way in his shuttle."
"This is Shadow Leader, copy that Commander. We are returning to the Malachor now, Shadow Squadron form up on me and prepare for landing back on the Malachor."
"This is Shadow 5, acknowledged Shadow Leader."
With the other flight leader checking in, and the squadron forming up behind Shadow leaders craft they start flying back towards the Malachor in the centre of the Imperial fleet, as they see a Lambda-class shuttle flying into and landing within the Malachors hanger as they get closer before they begin their landing sequence. Cecilia is one of the first out of her tie, climbing down the boarding ladder before she takes her helmet off and holds it under her arm while she waits for the rest of the squadron to do the same. While she is waiting she notices an Imperial Navy Officer quickly running over towards them, the officer comes to a quick stop before taking a breath before announcing their orders.
"Shadow Squadron, fall in and prepare for inspection from the Admiral!"
Cecilia quickly moves to fall into line with the rest of her squadron by flight, with her and her flight on the end of the line the pilots of Shadow Squadron glance at each other for a moment in confusion before looking straight ahead when they hear the Admiral and his bodyguard's approach. The Admiral comes around one of the TIE Interceptors across from Shadow Squadron with an escort of six Death Troopers and two junior Imperial officer aides. The Admiral comes to a stop in front of Shadow Squadron; their death troopers fanned out behind him.
"Shadow Squadron...you have failed me, the Empire and the Emperor in all the previous engagements with this Rebel cell, only one of your flights has even given me results I am willing to accept. One could almost think you had sympathy for them, who is in command of the squadron?"
The pilots take a deep breath while the Admiral speaks before the Squadron leader steps forward slightly,
"I am Admiral, Comma...."
The Squadron leader is suddenly cut off when the Admiral pulls his blaster pistol out of its holster and fires a blast straight into the commander's chest.
"I do not care what you have to say for your self, all that matters is that you failed time and time again and proved your self weak, time and time again and the Empire does not suffer failures within its ranks. Only one flight of this squadron has even given me results I am willing to accept, Lt. Skye step forward."
Cecilia slowly steps forward, looking straight ahead without a hint of emotion on her face.
"Your flight is the only flight in the squadron that I am willing to accept the skill and results shown. Bring your flight and walk with me we need to discuss your future in the squadron with the new openings."
Cecilia turns on her heel to fall in behind the Admiral, with her flight falling in behind her, the group of them are heading towards the exit from the hanger. While they are walking, they suddenly hear the click of blasters being readied behind them along with the scrambled voices of the Death Troopers and brief few words of panic from the other pilots in the squadron before a burst of blaster fire followed by the sound of seven bodies hitting the floor.
"Well, then Lt. it seems like you, as the only remaining flight leader you are now the squadron leader and are going to have to reform the squadron. Congratulations Lieutenant Commander."
Cecilia nods slightly, taking the entire situation in her stride seemingly without being phased at all by it.
"Thank you, Admiral, I won't let you down like those weaklings that used to make up the squadron."
"Good, Good. Also along with your promotion the Imperial Security Bureau need to confirm your loyalty and obedience to the Empire, with the history of your sister deserting and the apparent sympathies of your squadron leader they want to do another one of your checks now. They are in their office aboard the Malachor, waiting for you. You are all dismissed now."
Cecilia nods slightly before she and her flight turn to head into their locker room to get changed.
"Of course Admiral, I will get out of my flight suit and then head there right away."
When Cecilia was turning to head into the changing rooms to get out of her flight suit a junior naval officer comes running up to the Admiral.
"Admiral Skye, the Firestorm has just sent a message over for you with new orders for the 9th Fleet. Orders from Imperial Command have the 9th Fleet being redeployed to Mandalore."
Admiral Vislor Skye nods slightly to the officer.
"Good, send the word out to the fleet to prepare to make the jump to hyperspace, we will have the Steadfast stay in orbit while it completes final sweeps of the base."
"Of course Admiral, right away."
With that, the Admiral turns away with one final glance over at the remaining pilots of Shadow Squadron, before he starts walking back towards the hanger and his shuttle. Cecilia watches the Admiral leave for a moment before she steps into the locker room and starts to get out of her flight suit and into her officers uniform. She nods lightly to Alexis when she starts to exit the changing room and the two other pilots, both of who still look like they are in a bit of shock from the sudden execution of the rest of the squadron. Once Cecilia has exited the locker room she starts to make her way through the corridors of the Malachor striding towards the Imperial Security Bureaus office aboard her. As Cecilia enters the ISB office, she is greeted by two of the ISB agents assigned to the Malachor.
"Ahh Lieutenant, or should I Lieutenant Commander now? Anyway, you know why you are here."
"It's Lieutenant Commander now, and I do yes. I'm here so you can test my loyalty and obedience to the Empire again."
The two agents nod to each other while they escort Cecilia into one of the sub-rooms of their office with the heavy interrogation equipment.
"You are correct, though I don't think we have to test that now after the number of times you have already been tested and after what you did to that convoy a couple of months ago."
Cecilia shrugs slightly before she is locked into the interrogation equipment to suspend her, with her arms in metal clamps.
"I was just following orders..."
"You did more than just that; you made sure that no one who had or supported people who had betrayed the Empire could escape, even after the agents on board reported children on board you still opened fire along with your flight."
"I only did what had to be done to protect the Empire from any traitors."
The agents nod again slightly between them at that, before they remove Cecilia's uniform jacket in preparation for the interrogation revealing all the scars on her back from all the previous interrogations and loyalty tests she has been through.
"Good to hear, but anyway the Admiral has had a new agent come to perform this test for you. He is one of our best interrogators and he has been told to not go easy on you."
Cecilia nods slightly while the two agents exit the room and leave her on her own for a while until the new agent enters the room without saying anything, they slowly bring out some of their equipment and begin Cecilia's latest loyalty test.
Having been able to escape the Imperial fleet, Denevor Fleet with the escort of the MacAlpine group, after regrouping at their rally point, have made their way to the Rebel High Command base on Yavin IV with Nicole and Nalans X-Wings bringing up the rear of the fleet. Once Nicole has exited hyperspace the rest of the fleet would have already started landing on the planet.
"This is Commander Earart to Denevor fleet; all ships are clear to land at the base. We will be guided in once we have entered the atmosphere."
"Copy that Commander, this is Falcon Leader. We are the last ship to make the jump."
"Acknowledged Falcon Leader, proceed to immediate landing on the planet, we need to get your squadron reorganised after it's losses."
"Copy that Commander, breaking for the planet now."
With that and the rest of the fleet signalling in their acknowledgements, Nicole and Nalan both fly their X-Wings down towards the planet, flying in between the remaining ships of the fleet taking in the damage they suffered.
"My word...we took so much damage..."
"That we did Nal, but don't be afraid, we will come back from this. The Empire will not get away with what they have done to the Galaxy or your homeworld."
"I know Nicole, I trust you. But it's just shocking still that they could do this."
"I know, but the force is with us, and we will just grow stronger the tighter they squeeze..."
The two of them fall silent as they are on final approach to the Massassi temples with ground crew in the observation towers waving them in before flight control crews on the ground guide them into land just outside the temple. Once the pair of X-Wings has touched down, ground crews come running over to help them get out before starting to move the X-Wings into bays to allow more ships to land. Nicole takes a deep breath of fresh air as she stretches before taking her helmet off, a few of the crew around her notice the lightsabre on her belt as murmurs of Jedi pass through the area. The murmurs are silenced quickly as a path is opened towards Nicole and Nalan who has moved over to Nicole, her helmet under her arm. The two of them look down the path, noticing the three people walking towards them. The front and centre one was an older woman who appeared to be in her mid 40's in a long white robe, on her left was an older man in his early 60's with a receding grey hairline and a full beard in Alderaanian style military uniform. And on her right is a middle-aged man with black hair and a goatee with a brown cape around his neck. As they walk up to Nicole and Nalan, the woman speaks first.
"Falcon Leader I presume, and...?"
Nicole lightly places her hand on Nalans shoulder while she introduces them.
"Squadron Leader Nicole Skye and this is Flight Officer Nalan Eyan, Falcon 13."
"Good to meet you, your exploits have reached us within Sabre Squadron, I just wish our meeting could have been under better circumstances. I am Mon Mothma, on my left, this is General Jan Dodonna and on my right is Senator Bail Organa."
"Same, I wish our meeting could have been under better circumstances but thank you for your assistance at Denevor."
"It is not a problem Commander; we had the MacAlpine group on standby while it got equipped after coming out of hiding. Also, I've noticed and heard about what you did with that."
Mon Mothma points at Nicole's lightsabre as she says that, with Nicole shrugs slightly.
"I did what I had to do to buy time for the rest us to get to the transports, and even that wasn't enough."
"You did what you could, and that is all any of us can do, though I think there might be someone you want to meet..."
Mon Mothma stands to the side slightly, revealing someone standing a couple of metres behind her in a dark brown robe with its hood thrown up hiding their face but when she slowly steps forward the light sabre on their belt is revealed before they throw back their hood revealing her old and worn face but still full of life.
"Hello Nicole, been far too long..."