Notes: This is a translation of my short story Pour toi, Tarania. It is a side story for both Star Wars Episode VI and my fan-fiction novel Dark Claria : Dame rouge des Sith. It features Myrette Davani, a Star Wars Legends character left in draft form (she only appears in the short story Carida: Heavy Duty) and an original character, Tarania Keitan.
For you, Tarania
Super Star Destroyer Executor, first battle of Endor, 4 ABY
Above the forest moon of Endor, a fierce space battle was raging. Counter to Emperor Palpatine's certitudes, a rebel commando had just managed to deactivate the field generator on the moon that protected the Death Star. This success had galvanized the rebel forces that were now attacking the battle station and imperial star destroyers with renewed strength. Admiral Firmus Piett was beginning to be worried and to nervously pace the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor back and forth. Shots from rebel cruisers and fighters had already successfully crossed the shields several times and inflicted damages to the capital ship, shaking the bridge. Piett didn't expect the rebels to engage his ships in close combat to escape the Death Star's superlaser. He wasn't even informed that the station's weaponry was operational and didn't prepare battle tactics for this scenario.
Piett's nervousness was starting to affect the other officers on the command bridge who felt that the situation was seriously deteriorating. Among these officers was a twenty years old young woman, ensign Tarania Keitan. She was from Coruscant, rather small, blonde with blue eyes and assigned to the Executor out of the academy one year ago. A communication operator in charge of the link with the TIE fighter squadrons engaged in battle, she was the only woman present on the bridge that day.
"Executor, this is Saber five." said a warm-toned female voice in her earplug. "A group of A-Wing fighters are heading towards your command tower. I'm chasing them."
A wave of emotion swept over Tarania as she heard that voice. It was that of flight captain Myrette Davani – Rette for her friends – one of the best pilots in the fleet, assigned to the one hundred eighty-first fighter wing of colonel Fel, in Saber Squadron. Her Myrette Davani, the woman of her heart. They met three months ago, when Myrette was transferred from the seven hundred twenty-second fighter wing. Tarania had always known she was a lesbian, she had never felt any attraction for men. As she first saw Myrette, at the officers mess, sitting at the table next to hers with other pilots of her squadron, it was love at first sight. She couldn't help watching this beautiful young athletic brunette, with her caf-colored skin, short black hair, beautiful brown eyes and nice smile. But she was shy and didn't dare to talk to her, especially in front of the other male pilots. So she was quite surprised when it was Myrette who sat in front of her the next day and began the conversation. She told her she had noticed how she looked at her the previous day and that she also loved women. That evening, they exchanged their first kiss out of prying eyes. The next evening, they spent the night together in Myrette's quarters, their first night of love.
"Roger, Saber five." she answered. "Admiral, a group of enemy A-Wing fighters came through our TIE's blockade and are headed straight for us." she announced on the bridge.
"Artillery stations, be ready to fire!" ordered admiral Piett.
Usually, in combat situation, Tarania was worried about Rette. Her life was far more at risk, in her weakly protected TIE interceptor, than her own on board the Executor, a nineteen kilometers long Super Star Destroyer. But now, she was beginning to worry about her own life, feeling how the rebels were concentrating their forces against the imperial capital ship, in order to destroy her. She hoped that Rette and the other pilots of Saber Squadron would succeed to protect her. But soon, another explosion shook the bridge.
"Sir, we've lost our bridge deflector shield." an officer announced.
"Intensify the forward batteries." answered admiral Piett. "I don't want anything to get through."
Commander Gherant pointed his hand forward, showing an enemy fighter in distress, shot by artillery and headed straight to the command bridge.
"Intensify forward firepower!" repeated Piett desperately.
"Too late!" answered Gherant while diving into the crewman pit.
Yes, it was too late, knew Tarania. In a few moments, she would die and diving for cover would not save her. There was no escape. But there was still one thing she could do that would not be entirely futile. She opened the communication channel with Saber Squadron and sent a last message, her eyes full of tears.
"Goodbye Rette, I love you!"
As soon as she uttered these words, she heard a big noise, a heat wave swept through her, she briefly felt intense pain and then drowned into a black void. It was all over before she even had time to scream.
On board her TIE interceptor, captain Myrette Davani started to chase a group of enemy A-Wing fighters who managed to pass the blockade of her squadron and headed now towards the Super Star Destroyer Executor. As the TIE interceptors' life support systems were minimal, she wore, like all imperial pilots, a black-colored pressure suit that completely hid her face. Nothing showed that a lovely young woman was hiding under that armor, nothing but her warm-toned voice when communicating with her teammates or the Executor.
But A-Wings were fast ships, and she was not herself at firing range when one of the fighters launched its proton torpedoes on the shield generator of the Executor command tower. The generator exploded, leaving the bridge without protection.
"Oh no, this can't be true." she muttered under her helmet. "You're going to pay for this, rebel scum!"
She continued to follow the fighter who had destroyed the shield, approaching slowly, but still out of firing range, when she heard a familiar voice speaking to her on the communication channel of her squadron.
"Goodbye Rette, I love you!"
These last words were followed by a loud noise, then by static crackling.
"Tarania? TARANIA! By the Emperor's robe, NOOO!"
She watched in horror as a huge explosion engulfed the Executor command tower and the Super Star Destroyer started to dive towards the Death Star surface. This fireball was consuming Tarania's body, the young communication operator she felt in love with, this body she still embraced forty-eight hours ago. Her eyes filled with tears as she recalled her fiery kisses and her sweet touch. Myrette understood she loved women when she was a cadet at the academy and the boys she dated brought her little satisfaction in bed. She had then started to feel desire for her roommate and friend Shira Brie but had never dared to tell her, as Shira loved boys and she didn't want to risk losing her friendship. Out of the academy, Myrette joined the seven hundred twenty-second fighter wing while Shira entered the intelligence services and the two young women lost contact with each other. But this impossible love had locked Myrette's heart and she had long been unable to love another woman.
Then, five months ago, she heard terrible news: Shira was dead, killed in an infiltration of the Rebel Alliance mission and her heart was broken. At first totally devastated, she recovered and vowed to avenge the death of her friend. She kept her word, quickly becoming the best pilot of her fighter wing and finally got her transfer to the one hundred eighty-first wing of colonel Soontir Fel, the squadron of aces. Transferred on the Executor, Lord Vader's command ship, she noticed how a young blonde ensign, Tarania Keitan, gazed at her, a gaze of desire of a woman for another woman. For both of them, it was love at first sight and they quickly became lovers, meeting in the evening in Myrette's quarters, who as a captain, had private quarters at her disposal. Their affair lasted three months, until this terrible moment. They were told this battle would be decisive, that it would see the end of the rebellion and war. Hopeful, Myrette and Tarania had decided to get married after the war ended and maybe even to adopt children among war orphans. But one more time, her heart was broken; rebel scum, REBEL SCUM!
While part of Myrette's mind was lost in her thoughts and grief, the other still continued to pilot her TIE interceptor and the enemy fighter that destroyed the Super Star Destroyer shields, allowing another fighter in distress to crash on the bridge, was now almost at firing range. Three seconds before target lock.
It was her squadron leader, colonel baron Soontir Fel calling, but she ignored him. Two seconds, one, target locked! Myrette opened her communication frequency.
"For you, Tarania!"
She pressed the fire control even as she said this. Green laser bolts struck a direct hit on the enemy fighter. It exploded in a fireball.
"Saber five? What in the nine hells of Corellia are you doing, captain?"
Regaining her mind, she finally decided to answer.
"I'm listening, Saber leader!"
"We have orders to stop fighting and meet with the Chimaera. Get out of here, the Death Star may be destroyed any time now. You heard me, captain?"
"Understood sir; I got the scum who destroyed the Executor's shields."
"Congratulations captain, and... Rette, my apologies for your girlfriend."
"Thanks sir. You knew?"
"Yes captain, I saw you so often smiling together that I realized you were a couple."
"We've all heard her last words of farewell, Rette." intervened major Turr Phennir. "I'm really sorry."
Turr Phennir was her main rival within Saber Squadron, they both had killed nearly the same number of enemy fighters. He was a cold hard man, not used to express feelings.
"Thanks major." she replied. "It means a lot to me."
"Are you all right captain?" asked colonel Fel.
"I'll make it sir, but a bottle of your corellian whisky might help."
While the survivors of Sabre Squadron were busy docking on the Star Destroyer Chimaera, the Death Star suddenly exploded in a dazzling flash. Soontir Fel could not help thinking that Emperor Palpatine and Lord Vader were probably on board at the time of the explosion. He began to fear that this decisive battle, which was to mark the end of the rebellion, may well, on the contrary, finally announce the end of the Empire.
"I guess we could share it all together," he said, "in memory of the men and women killed in action today."