The injuries I've sustained aboard the Dantooine were almost healed. There was now nothing to stop my training.
The Alliance had built an outpost for the X-wing training on an asteroid in the Anoat System.
I was lucky to be personally trained by Commander Wedge Antilles. The training was hard and consisted of simulator practices during the first weeks.
I should familiarize myself calmly with the controls of an X-Wing without endangering myself or others.
The programmed exercises were tough and Commander Antilles was a rigid instructor. How often he lectured me when I've failed. This was such a day when all went wrong during training.
"Lieutenant Darklighter, how often must I say that an X-wing isn't a freighter? Commander Skywalker told me that you flew through Beggar's Canyon together with him and Biggs on Tatooine.
The controls of an Incom T-16 Skyhopper are equivalent to those of an X-wing. I don't get it why you have such difficulties."
When he mentioned Biggs I broke out in tears. He looked in consternation at me and then happened something totally unexpected. Commander Antilles took me in his arms and tried to comfort me.
"It's ok, Nomi. Stop crying, please. I can't stand seeing tears. C'mon we go through the exercises again. I want to make you such an ace pilot as your late cousin Biggs was.
I feel confident that you'll make it." He hesitated. "I somehow feel guilty for Biggs' death, you know."
I looked at him. "No, Commander, you're not guilty. Luke told me. If you had stayed in the trench you would have also been killed."
"Please don't call me Commander, Nomi. I'm simply Wedge for you. Maybe you're right. But I think it would be better to continue practicing now."
As time passed my piloting skills improved. Wedge was deeply contented. When I climbed into a real X-wing for the first time I was very proud.
We had had drone ships as targets, and I could hardly believe it when I learned I had a hit rate of 100%.
When we had landed on the base, Wedge came towards me and hugged me.
"Congratulations, Nomi, you're a member of Rogue Squadron now."
After he had congratulated me, that I was accepted in Rogue Squadron he whispered in my ear: "I hope you know what you get yourself into, Nomi. The Rogues are fighting on the front line.
We're under the best fighters of the Alliance and we're respected and admired by all. But you must be aware that most of the Rogues are dying young.
I would understand if you prefer another unit, Nomi."
I get clear of him. "I'm aware that maybe I won't get old when being a Rogue. Nevertheless is my decision firm, I'll serve in Rogue Squadron. Nobody discourages me from doing this, Wedge.
I must do this in memoriam of Biggs."
Wedge stared at me. "It's your decision, but I can't say that I'm glad about this."
Perhaps he is afraid to see again a Darklighter die.
When I was back in my quarters I sat down at the table. I was thinking about Dash, wishing that he would be with me. It was long ago since I've heard of him the last.
He would be proud of me when he would know that I'm a fighter pilot in Rogue Squadron. Even if I try so hard, I can't forget him. I miss him so much.
I'll probably never see Dash again and he will never know what happened to me if I am killed in battle.