Fear. I always thought that was just being afraid. But now, I know better. Oh, emperor help me, I haven't even started my adventure and I found a new definition of fear. I'd hate to admit it yesterday, but now I don't care.
It, simply put, is the thing that runs down your spine. It eats you inside out. It creeps up from nowhere and strike you in the heart. It... I could go on forever and can't express how truly I was fearing that things can get worse.
I know, I know, I'm a coward, but I found out that I really do have something to loose. I have Eroda and Ward, my best friends. I developed a bond I can't really explain with Barriss and Kalifa. And, at the bottom of the list, I have my life. If I need to die to get out of this miserable existence, I will. It didn't occur to me before that I could just kill myself, though. I guess I still have my mother in me.
I woke up today just like that- not because of a scream or anything, but a stirring inside me. The long forgotten hopes of changing my destiny... and along that came fear. But I was ready to do this because I have to do it. So I will.
A few minutes later they were all awake and we're ready to go. Kalifa gave me an encouraging smile and a warm hand on my shoulder underneath the dirty rag. Instantly, a voice so like my mom's echoed through my head- the soft, melodic voice that flew through my ears and echoed pleasantly through my mind.
"Courage, dear one."
I looked around, but no one seemed to have heard it. As strange as it was, I was too occupied to puzzle much. Still, it gave me exactly what I need: courage. As Kalifa took her hand off my shoulder and walked down the hall, I felt a sense of warmness. This was the gray, dirty hall I walked on every morning in my life for fourteen years. This could be my last walk.
I did not puzzle my thoughts about that either. There will be time later when we finish the adventure... if we finish it. No. I take that back. We will finish it. I'm in one of the best hands in the Galaxy. Or so I hope.
The dull, yellow lighting casts a spooky shadow as we moved down the narrow hall. Yet my mom's voice still echoed inside me and gave me the courage to move on. Though the place was as as noisy as usual, I didn't give it a second thought. My heart was pumping too loud to even hear a blaster bolt streaking by and hitting a prisoner. Nor did I give a second thought when Kalifa nudged Barriss and directed her eyes to a person in the midst of the crowd.
We ate breakfast as usual. At the corner of my eye I saw a group next to us that normally headed for the far west side of the room that led to the factory. Instead of going there as usual, the guards herded some people to another place. I don't need Kalifa's and Barriss's expertise to be able to sense the fear in air, or even see it on their faces. One resisted, but then got shot. No big surprise. The others got the message went along quietly.
I can see Kalifa mentally crossing off the seconds in her head before the bell rings. Just a second before it did ring, she stood up quietly so not to attract attention. She motioned us to do the same. Then, through the chaos, we followed her through the room. Out of the corner of my eye I saw prisoners taken doing a retina scan. Looks like they chose it really carefully and meant it to be that way. I also saw one prisoner trembling with fear as they scanned his eye, and it didn't match. The meaning couldn't be plainer: he tried to sneak on. You know what happened to him.
We reached the line doing the scan but didn't enter it. Behind me, I heard loud crashes of plates and stuff. Strangely, no one was there. I finally had enough sense then to see how bizarre it was, like the pair knew that it was going to happen. I convinced myself that there were rebels helping out... but then it wasn't like Kalifa and Barriss to leave them behind. Maybe they got an escape plan... or... ugh. I didn't puzzle it out more because Barriss pushed us forward and encouraged us to run. The Imperials were running to clean it up when Kalifa grabbed my hand and squeezed me into a large ventilation shaft. I could feel Eroda, Ward, and Barriss behind me as I grabbed Kalifa's shoulder in front of me to make sure everything's okay, and we all pushed forward.
All I just did was follow Kalifa's lead as we crawled through the maze. Left, right, down, right, right, left, and something... I lost track of it all. Kalifa, however, seemed to know what she was doing and did not say a word. The silence was cracking my nerves. I was never a talkative person, but then I've never been through such a quiet environment. All I can hear was my heart thumping. I can't wait to get to get out.
I didn't need to wait for long. Below, I heard troopers marching the prisoners. That was good. It meant we were close. Or were we?
When she stopped, I knew Kalifa had the same question. "It isn't right," she murmured, "The ship is on the east, and the sounds from the west."
Stang. We all reached the same conclusion with a strike of fear. They were after us.