Kalifa called Eva and her boyfriend, who looked like a mean officer. I didn't like that look on his face. It sent shivers down my spine. I was glad when a soldier came along and blocked the view.
"Generals," the soldier said formally, saluting, "It is a pleasure to see you back. However, I am under orders to tell you to-"
"-yes, Dack, we will," Kalifa interrupted, "but we're going to take a short trip first. To Zhar."
Zhar? I never heard of it. Are they there? Short trip? So she's sure we're coming back? I wish I had her confidence.
Dack started, "Generals, the planet has a moon with an Imperial enclave-"
"We know, Dack. Tell them that we'll come back soon. We have personal business. Our comlinks are always here," said Barriss.
He saluted and went. We turned to Eva. "We're going to get Eroda and Ward, Eva," said Barriss.
Eva nodded as if expecting this. "I know you want me to come along with you. To handle some stuff. Okay. But Vine is coming too," she said, jerking her head to her boyfriend.
We agreed and the next moment we were blasting off. I slept while the ship was in hyperspace. I wanted to go look at the streaked stars, but I was too worried. Besides, you never know when you can sleep again.
When I got to the cockpit, we were coming out of lightspeed. Pretty early, since there may be ships patrolling the place. We waited. And waited. And waited some more.
Finally I couldn't take it. "Kalifa," I said in my most controlled voice, "why in the name of the nine Corellian hells are we waiting?"
"Meteor shower. So we can get in undetected."
While we sit, Eroda and Ward is in the tenth Corellian hell if possible. Agonizingly slowly, we waited. Finally, it came, which may be pure luck or something Kalifa knew about and just took advantage of it. Or something she made up through the Force. I didn't know and I didn't care.
We landed our ship with the rest of the asteroids. Even with Eva and Vine tweaking around, we still took a good battering. Or maybe it's because they were too busy looking at each other. I have no idea what made Eva fall for him.
Once we got out, the storm cleared a bit. "It's pretty remote here. That's why there is not much security. The enclave here holds prisoners that aren't dangerous, but may be useful. Like Eroda and Ward," Kalifa explained to me.
I nodded, hardly hearing. I just want to tear through that enclave I see in front of me, but Kalifa's hand is reassuring me that that is a bad idea. So all I did was gulping my throat dry as we edged nearer. I can see the two Jedi concentrating, probably using the Force to blur cameras so we can get in without knowing. Still, we're taking precautions in case the Force is not enough.
As we trekked toward the site, the banthas were edging away from us with an air of suspicion. I can't blame them. Hell is going to start once we get inside. If we're lucky, we'll be in the first Corellian Hell.
I couldn't stop thinking about how Eroda and Ward would be feeling. What if they're dead? I don't know how I can live without them. If they're still alive, just how exactly alive are they? I hope they're not being tortured. The idea could collapse me. I finally stopped thinking about it when Barriss's hand is on my shoulder, gently urging me on.
When we were very near the enclave (and still miraculously undetected) Kalifa turned me around. "All right. Before we get inside, I want you to promise me one thing. You won't go straying away, and if I order you to duck, run, or turn away, you do it. I can't protect you if you go straying away. All right?"
I nodded instantly, figuring it's the only way to get me into the enclave and get out alive.
Kalifa smiled, lighting up her face a bit. Her eyes are still haunted by her mysterious past, but at least we can all find some comfort. As we stepped closer and closer, I realized that only a few days ago I was dreading the morning, where I have to get up and clean the platform. Now it seemed like a lifetime ago. Lots have happened since then. I thought my adventure was finally ending- with me free and all, with not much déjà vu.
But, as a blaster bolt ripped past my ear, I realized that my adventure was just beginning.