The New Adventures of Nomi Darklighter Ch. 107- Chapter 107 - Before the Battle Nomi looked at her youngest son, removed the headset and stood up. “Ask everybody to come into the hangar.” Then she turned on her heels and made her way to where the members of her Resistance cell would gather soon. While walking she heard her son’s voice over the speaker system. Lando was right, it was now or never. This was their only chance to end the terror which was spread by the First Order over the galaxy and to prevent what might come by the Emperor himself. When she entered the hangar the members of her Resistance cell were gathered already. It was the usual hubbub to be heard, while she made her way through the crowd. Her family was standing in the first row as usual. The tension was almost palpable, since they were only gathered if major events were looming. Nomi climbed up the crate standing in front of the crowd and commanded silence with a hand signal. It took a while until there was silence and she begun to speak. “I have information that a major strike against the First Order and the Emperor is imminent.” The hubbub begun anew after the Emperor was mentioned by the commander. Nomi knew that that news would cause excitement. The Resistance had fought the First Order for years and now there seemed to be the opportunity to end it once and for all. The Jedi Master commanded silence again and continued to speak. “General Calrissian contacted us and asked if we would take part in this mission. I agreed. He sent us the coordinates where to meet with the strike force he assembled. From there we will see how it goes.” Then Dash Rendar climbed on the crate and stood at his wife’s side looking at those he had fought alongside. He was well aware that this battle would be their last chance. Dash took the word, after he cast a glance at Nomi who nodded her head. “We know neither how many fighters General Calrissian was able to assemble, nor how strong the enemy forces will be, which we’re about to take on. The odds could be worse.” Some of those gathered chuckled, well knowing that Dash as a Corellian didn’t care for the odds. Dash continued to speak when the chuckles faded away. “We don’t know where we will fight, but we will do our best.” With a nod he gave the floor to his wife again and leaped down the crate. The commander cleared her throat, before speaking. “We will prepare for battle right after this gathering; that’s all for now. I expect you to be ready to go in two standard hours.” The Resistance members scattered and headed for their fighters and ships. All of them were eager to take part and to make their vessels battle ready. It wasn’t much they had to add to Calrissian’s strike force, but the Galactic Civil War veterans among them recalled that it wasn’t always the firepower, but the determination that mattered. The asteroid’s hangar bay was like an Alderaanian bee hive. Ammunition for the board cannons was loaded and the hangar crew fueled the ships and fighters. Two standard hours later every pilot was ready to enter their vessels and to launch. There were embraces and farewells, since nobody could know if they would come back. Nomi was walking up the ramp and entered the Aquarius followed by Corran, her youngest son; the one of her children who had suffered the most during this undeclared war. The commander had said goodbye to her husband who would join in battle with the Outrider, with Dash Jr. and Biggs onboard. When Nomi looked out of the cockpit she saw Tasherit and Jaden enter the Trader’s Luck and Tarik climbing in his X-wing. She made the preflight check while Corran was feeding the coordinates provided by Lando Calrissian in the nav computer. When everything was set she started the engines and launched, followed by the other vessels one by one. After reaching the jump point the Resistance fighters entered hyperspace leaving their save haven behind, not knowing if they would ever come back there. When they fell back in real space at the given coordinates, after a long and uneventful journey through hyperspace, they saw what they hadn’t expected. Lando Calrissian had amassed the biggest strike force the galaxy had ever seen. Ships and fighters of all sizes and shapes were floating in space, its pilots waiting for the signal to move to where the battle would take place. Nomi was hailed by one of them and she was astonished to hear a voice she hadn’t heard in decades. '"Aquarius, this is the Millennium Falcon, good to have you and your people with us.” She answered the call and was unable to hide her joy. “Wedge Antilles, is this really you? I thought you are retired.” There was a chuckle to be heard, before her old friend answered. “Frankly there were some recent events which caused me to leave behind my lazy life of a retired guy. I might be too old to fly an X-wing, but my eyes are still sharp enough to be Lando’s gunner.” “Either way, Wedge, it’s good to have you with us, old friend,” the Jedi Master replied. “May the Force be with you. I hope we have time for a chat after the battle.” “I hope the same, Nomi. May the Force be with all of us,” Wedge’s response came. Nomi cut the connection and looked over the ships gathered; they must have been from all over the galaxy. It was an impressive sight, but would it be enough against the combined forces of the First Order and Palpatine’s Empire reborn? They would learn it soon. After several hours of waiting and even more ships and fighters following the ragtag fleet, Lando got finally the signal he was waiting for. He relayed the jump coordinates to the other pilots and shortly after they made the jump to hyperspace one by one with their destination Exegol.
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