Pulling himself out of one of his X-wing's Incom 4L4 fusial thrust engines, Cole Carithlee straightened up into a sitting position, wiping his greasy hands with a rag. He'd spent the good part of the past few hours tinkering around with the innards of his fighter's sublight drives, determined to get every little bit he could out of them. With the Rebel Alliance being as strapped for credits as it was, sometimes they couldn't afford the best equipment. Case in point, Cole had salvaged two of his X-wing's engines from crashed fighters. Remarkably, they were the two that had rarely given him problems; it was the two factory-manufactured ones that were finicky. Go figure.
Setting his booted feet on the ground, he lurched off the mechanic's plinth, turned and ducked under the locked S-foils and looked up towards his cockpit. Jigen, his R2 astromech droid, turned its domed head to focus its photoreceptor on Cole. "Jiggsy," he called out, "fire up engine 4 and give me a readout."
The little droid chirped an assent and did as it was told. Cole grabbed a datapad hanging out of his cockpit by a cable and studied it intently as the engine roared to life. A small smile crossed his face as he read the test results. "I think that's as nominal as we're going to get it, eh?" he told Jigen. The droid beeped at him curtly, then flashed a message across the datapad. Cole laughed as he read it. "Yes, I know you're overdue for your oil bath, you little prima donna. Engage the shutdown sequence and I'll get you out of there."
After dropping Jigen off at the droid mechanic's, Cole walked over to the lift and hit the call button, intent on heading up to the mess hall for a hot cup of caf. As he waited, he glanced over across the hangar at his commanding officer, Captain Xander Thray, sitting next to his fighter. The captain looked as if he had a lot on his mind, and Cole wasn't surprised if that was the case. Xander was a good man who had had a lot of bad things happen to him. There were a lot of people like that in the Rebellion and each dealt with it in his or her own way. Xander's method of coping was to sit in the cockpit of his X-wing and destroy as many enemies as he was able, as if he could regain some of what he lost to the Empire by doing so. Cole felt for the captain and would have liked to have offered his support, but his status as a former Imperial held him back. He wasn't quite sure if Xander trusted him yet, but he was determined to prove his worth in whatever mission they were thrown into.
The lift rumbled to a halt and the doors slid open. Cole stepped inside and hit the button for the mess deck.
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