Okay, this is something that I've been playing around with in my own head as I also move on with multiple other projects. I have to get this first part out of my head due to an infestation of bloody plot bunnies. Let me know what you think.

Chapter One

He sat there in the semi-darkness, the only light in his office – or rather the room that had been repurposed as such in the massive structure that lay over his head, with a durasteel door to protect his computer and the precious files that it contained – being the screen he was staring at.

He was supposed to be looking at the latest raw material numbers for the construction of the prototype of the Dauntless-class cruisers that had finally been designed, but the numbers kept blurring together as his eyes kept flickering to the countdown on the screen to one side.

Worry was gnawing at him, a deep and growing dread. The plan was a good one, a tight one, but no plan ever survived contact with the enemy and above all this plan had been launched sooner than he had hoped for.

Yes, the pieces were in place, a lot of training had been done, people were ready for what had to be done and their chances of success had been increased when that old shuttle had arrived with that trio of help from a faraway place that no-one had called for or even expected.

But he knew that there was always the chance that something could go horribly wrong somewhere. All that planning might be for nothing. They had to succeed in this. They had a planet to save. But the cost…

People would die. A lot of people would die, regardless of what happened. And amongst those who might die were two who meant everything to him.

A smile crossed his face as he thought about just what his family meant to him. About just how much he had changed because of his family. What would he be like without them?

Closing his eyes he leant back in his chair and massaged his forehead for a moment. And then the door opened and closed as someone slipped in. He sighed and opened his eyes. His wife was standing there, carefully hidden strain on her face.

"It's almost time," she said. "They'll be there soon."

"I know." He gestured at the countdown on the screen. "Sithspit, I know."

She walked to him and he stood up so that they could hug, before she buried her head in chest and he lifted his chin and placed it on top of her head. They stood there for a long moment, silent, taking comfort from each other.

"I wish I could be there," he said eventually. "I wish I had command, not Ackbar. But he's better than I am. I just…"

"I know," she replied. "But they have a fighting chance. She's in a B-Wing and he's in a Gunship, and they both have people looking after them. And they have the plan."

He sighed. Then he paused. "Where's Galen?"

She laughed softly. "In his own office, with Lyra, worrying just as hard as we are." She sobered. "Jyn should be safe on the Valiant."

They stood there for a long moment more, until a low chime sounded and a voice on the public address system announced: "All senior commanders are asked to assemble in CIC. I repeat: all senior officers are asked to assemble in CIC. Ten minutes until contact. I say again: ten minutes until contact."

He hugged her and kissed her and then he left, tugging his uniform into place. As he strode down the corridor a door opened to one side and Galen joined him, with a nod and a clap on the shoulder. His oldest friend looked as strained as he felt and as they reached the entrance to CIC he looked at him and smiled a taut smile.

"They'll be fine," he said as he held out his ID to the stone-faced guard with the distinctive white helmet who was the guardian to the Combat Information Centre. "We have a plan."

"Tarkin probably has one too," Galen replied darkly as he held out his own ID.

As the guard nodded at the pair of them after scanning their IDs and allowed them to enter the room, he grabbed Galen's arm in a grip of iron. "Yes," he said, "But we are better than Tarkin. We always have been. Remember that."

And then they passed into the dimly lit room filled with computers and screens, where a hologram of a visibly worried Bail Organa was talking with Jan Dodonna, Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis. As they approached the little group Mon Mothma looked up and smiled slightly.

"Gentlemen."

They both nodded formally, before turning to the holotank which was displaying the latest information from the Alderaan System. The Death Star was an angry red spot there, along with the smaller dots that were the Star Destroyers that should have been accompanying the battle station. The latter were lagging the former. Tarkin wanted his object lesson, he could see that at once.

"Contact in ten seconds." The announcement from the Twi'lek at the communications desk was curt. "Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Contact – Alliance forces have entered the Alderaan System. Commencing Attack Plan Alpha."

"And so it begins," sighed Orson Krennic. "May the Force be with us all."