After The Revolution
by Karen Winter
The man pushed his hand through his hair in a frustrated gesture. I wonder if it's getting gray yet. I wish they'd let me have a mirror. His forehead felt sticky, and he looked at his hand. Blood. Must be from slamming my fist into the wall, he thought dully. Didn't even notice. Thought I was over it by now. But that last one sounded so damned much like my ship.
A pang of almost physical pain lanced through him at the memory of his ship. With his eyes closed, he could see every detail of her ungainly souped-up frame: the maze of instrumentation, the engines he had spent so many hours doctoring, the savagely powered guns. He remembered the cool smoothness of her hull under his polishing rag. She was more dear to him than any woman. He was in anguish at the thought of whatever clumsy fool they had given her to shredding her delicate machinery with his clumsy piloting.
The authorities hadn't been able to touch him in all those years. Now, here he was - jailed, his ship confiscated - by those he had supposed were his friends. He remembered his last interview with the baby-faced Republican general: "I saved your life, you sanctimonious bastard! What do you mean, I'm an 'incorrigible'? I don't even run the hard stuff."
"I'm truly sorry," the little blond twerp had said, "but the New Republic has an obligation to protect its citizens from undesirable influences. ...Equal justice for all... no special privileges... uphold the moral standards of the New Order...."
"You were willing enough to help me get by the Imperials."
"But this is not a tyranny. This is a democratic government of free beings."
The sound of another light freighter landing brought Solo back to the present. By standing on his toes at the bars and craning his neck he could just see it coming in. Maybe this time it would be the Millennium Falcon.