Everything in my life seems to be that. Wake up by a scream. Lie awake. Get up and eat breakfast of slop. Work all day. Eat dinner of slop. Go back to cell and try to sleep.
It's only lately that I see weird Déjà vu stuff. But still, it's a Déjà vu.
The weird Déjà vu stuff started when I screamed in the morning, then I saw the whole scene acted out when Kalifa first arrived, and now what? I can only imagine...
I stumbled into my cell. It has been a long day. Though the nights were usually the worst, today I looked forward to sitting still for many hours, just simply resting down on hard cell floor. I had seen nothing better in my life, but I knew there was better stuff than this.
Uh huh. That's yesterday. And today as well, actually. Great. Another Déjà vu. I'm getting tired of that. Sheesh. Will I ever get out of this stupid cycle?
Kalifa came next to me. As soon as the guards were out, she became herself. Her face had a soft smile that curved up, transforming her into a whole new being. Her gait became graceful (not that there's much place to walk). Her back came up straight. Her eyes had a positive spark. The only thing that still remained was the annoyance and sadness in her eyes. She took a deep breath, and most of that was gone, too. Most. Not all.
The only thing that was new was her skin. It was turning gray, like the bright skin tones of other species are. She'd been here for only a day and she, one of the toughest I've seen, was already showing the effects of the lack of sleep and food.
Kalifa looked at the world around her and said, "I'm still getting used to this place. It's so... gray."
True, like I've said. But I've been here my whole life, so I was used to the gray world as well as the lack of food and sleep.
"You haven't told me how this prison works," she reminded me suddenly.
"You seem to be doing fine."
"I might do fine working, but I won't do fine escaping if I don't know."
I took that by surprise, even though I knew deep down that she's gonna do it. "A day before you came, I would've said death was your only escape. But now... I know better. I've seen what you've done."
A smile flicked up her lips and her eyes soften more and more as she said, "Thank you."
I dismissed that and said, "It's simple. The prisoners work to make something big, which makes money, which makes the emperor rich, which he use to pay the guards, which keeps us in line." I twisted my last words with contempt. If looks could kill, the one on my face then would do the trick at the guards.
"Which makes the prisoners work to make something big. If if you die, it's your problem. What a swell system to be stuck in," Kalifa finished.
"Yeah. You've seen prisoners go down that nightmare place. And they can't wake up. We're lucky not to be there."
"There's no such thing as luck."
"Whatever. Now you've got some explaining to do. Who's that you cursed at, going down the entire alphabet?"
She smiled. "She's a chance for me to escape. For us, I mean."
"We're gonna escape?" A hopeful yet doubtful voice behind me told us that Eroda and Ward has entered the conversation.
Kalifa hesitated, and was about to say something when the door beside me creaked open. Great. Another Déjà vu coming up.
"I think she's gonna explain everything," Kalifa said.
I felt a warm glow beside me, similar to Kalifa's. Weird, huh? But what haven't been weird in my previous days, anyway?
"Who?" Eroda and Ward said together. It looks like they didn't feel it.
"The woman who was at the platform," Kalifa and I said at the same time.
Kalifa looked at me, surprised. "How did you know that?"
I shrugged. "Lucky guess"
"There's no such thing as luck," she responded, studying me.
"You don't need to remind me. I-"
Before I could continue, the Déjà vu came up. Swell.
"So you work in the hangar I came in. Great job they gave you."
That was the women. She said the exact same thing Kalifa said to me. Like everything else these days, it was bizarre.
"Stop reading my mind," Kalifa snapped, "And why the hell are you here?"
The women looked at her in mock hurt. "To save your sorry neck from hell, of course."
"This isn't so bad. We've seen worse. Besides, they don't know who we really are, so this is not the worst in the galaxy."
"It sure isn't. But I don't think you wanna die in this trash dump."
"Nah. I got better plans. Once we get out of this place, I want to give you a good talking to."
She smiled. "Now you're talking!"
I decided to enter the conversation. But I had nothing to say, so I said, "uh..."
They turned to me, the women having a surprised look in her eyes. A second later it vanished and she smiled warmly. "Hi," she said, holding out her hand.
I took it. She squeezed it so hard I felt my hands turn into hutt slime. Ouch. But just when my bones felt like breaking, she let go and looked deep into Kalifa's eyes. An unspoken message passed through them that left me curious.
"How did you get here?!" That's from Eroda.
"Easy. I wanted to break into prison to save Ah-"
"Kalifa," Kalifa interrupted firmly.
"Kalifa," she repeated. Another unspoken message passed. A tingling feeling passed through me. It was odd... something's out of place.
"Whatever," the women continued, "As I was saying, I broke into prison to save... ah, Kalifa's sorry neck. And yours now too. So I came in during a droid security sweep, and they took me up and dumped me here. I had to go through a couple of check points, so I had some tricks up my sleeve to get things in here. I had to convince the guards to put me into this cell. That's all the easy part. The hard part is getting out, which we're about to do. By the way, my name's... Barriss."
Yet another unspoken message passed through the pair, and then she pulled out some comlinks and a set of stuff. she gave them to me, explained how they work, and I gave two to Eroda and Ward.
Barriss's eyes glittered at us. "You haven't told me your names."
"Kaayla, Eroda, and Ward," Kalifa said.
"Okay. Eroda and Ward, sorry I'm not gonna be able to sake your hands, we're just too far and the darn cell is keeping me inside."
They nodded, somewhat relieved. I guess they saw on my face that it was a bone-crushing grip.
With incredible speed like Kalifa had, Barriss grabbed a rock a smacked it hard on the ground, making us jump up. Then she threw the rock away. It skittered across the floor. Lying in front of her was her handiwork- a dead fat rat. One of the biggest I've seen.
"Those reflexes come in handy," she said.
"You should leave it there. The others will get the message," I said.
She put on a disgusted face similar to Kalifa's sometimes (I thought of Déjà vu again), but said, "All right. Kalifa here will tell me the wonders of the prison while you guys should sleep. It's been a long day for you guys, I guess. Good night."
Eroda and Ward went to sleep in their cell and I laid down and closed my eyes.
"...and use your boots as a pillow, so rats won't eat on them," Kalifa was saying.
"er... the duracrete floor is nice enough for me. I went through a run in the junk. Then they told me not to ask anything because I won't get it anyway, just when I was opening my mouth. I asked, 'Not even a blankie?' and they gave me a blow on the ribs. I guess that was stupid. I need some time to adjust to this place, like you do."
I could hear the grin in Kalifa's voice as she said, "All right. We should get some sleep. Tommorow we can plan out escape with them. Good night."
My last thought before I went to sleep, hopefully not awoken by another scream, is that I could trust these guys, even though I know they're keeping something from us. And, oh yes, they know that I heard what they were saying.
I felt Kalifa next to me as I drifted away...