Kalifa's lightsaber is out in a flash, and the next thing I knew was the trooper going down. Never seeing that blade in action, I stared at it in awe and wonder. It was emerald green, and the other one hanging on her belt, already deactivated, is bright lime green. She looked like a queen of deadly beauty, standing proud and tall over the fallen enemy.
I did not get to admire it for long, because Barriss grabbed me and pulled me to the side of a wall. More patrol guard troopers are coming, I guess.
Actually, no. She pulled me away so dirt won't get in my eyes. Kalifa was digging the hard ground up, and putting the trooper underneath to hide him. She did it very vigorously, yet it wasn't fast enough. Barriss went to help her, while I stayed with Vines and Eva.
"I didn't know we were going to infiltrate an enclave," Vines said, clasping his hands in front of him.
"Me neither," said Eva.
"Nor me," I agreed.
Was it just my eyes, or did I see a reflection of blinking red lights in Eva's eyes? It looked beautiful on her, but what is it?
I did not get to admire this for long either, because the next moment Kalifa called me out to help. We all went to dig. Suddenly ,we couldn't dig any further. I found out that there was a big grey metal slab down there.
Kalifa stopped and straightened. So did Barriss.
"Sewage pipe. We can use that."
Barriss and I exchanged dubious looks. Then I shrugged. "It couldn't be worse than Raxus Prime."
The next thing I knew, we fit the body in, but we had to remove the helmet because it couldn't fit. Vines carried it. There lay a heavily scarred man with black hair.
Kalifa took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Then we piled the dirt on him. Barriss gave her a sympathetic look, which turned into a focused look when she had to defend us against five stormtroopers coming in. Something shot through me, but it wasn't laser. It was fear. Through my desperation to get down I actually tripped a stormtrooper.
We buried some more, and when we were sweating and dirty, there was a beeping on Vines's clothing. Looking puzzled, he took it out, and there was a blinking red light. It came from inside the helmet. Oh. So that was why there was a reflection in Eva's eyes.
Kalifa put on the helmet, and when she took it off again, she said, "There was a voice coming through commanding all troopers to report in. Of course, I didn't reply, but when they hear silence they thought it was because of the meteor shower interference. Which is good. So everyone take the comlink out of the helmets that we've got, and let's put 'em on to see what the enemy is saying."
We all did, and we found another spot to bury the helmet. By this time I was wondering why they haven't picked us yet, but Barriss an Eva explained to me that there are supposed to be patrol guards here, and all the cams go in front.
When we were done, the comlink felt alien to my ears. I'll get used to it, I thought as we moved on to the next step: infiltration.
Okay, it was way worse than Raxus Prime. At least we were a bit filtered from the smell there. Here, we can smell the full stink of waste stuff as we crawl through the thankfully dry drain. We climbed up- Kalifa first, then throwing a rope down. I'd rather be out there fighting the troops than down here climbing up a rope through the muck. The voices blaring in my ears don't help either. Only the thought of seeing Eroda and Ward again made me move on.
When we finally got out of there, we were in bathroom. A bathroom for stormtroopers. Men. I wish I just didn't care at this point. We washed a bit as fast as we can, in case troopers come in.
Next we were stuck in an air vent, which is okay apart from the fact that we're squished in. Kalifa seems to know where we're going. She probably memorized the map of the enclave before.
"So where exactly are we going, general?" Vines asked.
"Dunno..." Kalifa replied.
"Don't you have a plan?"
"We'll make up along the way," Barriss whispered.
Those two scare me sometimes. But they always seem to get it right.
Finally we got to a room where there was blinding white light and an occasional electric zap sound. When my eyes finally adjusted, there was a very terrifying officer in a green suit down there, pacing. Kalifa stopped and motioned everyone to freeze.
"Reporting place. Many stormtroopers down there," she mouthed, putting one finger over her mouth.
Oops. Too late. The helmet of the trooper suddenly dropped out of Vines's shaking hands down to the hole. It clattered on the floor just before the officer whirled around.
And the troopers opened fire on where we are, cramped up, and unable to move.
Kalifa dropped down, then Barriss, then Eva. Gracefully. Then me. Not so gracefully. Then Vines, who I swore sprained a foot.
Kalifa had her two blades out, and Barriss her single blade, slashing and cutting down troopers with extreme intensity. I joined until an invisible force pushed me back to the small section hidden in the wall, where I hid.
The two deadly beauties cut down troopers until it was clear that the battle was winning for us. Eva picked up a fallen blaster and shot with deadly precision. Vines, however, did the most unexpected thing. And it isn't cowering, since that coward had been the one with the shaky hands that got us in this mess in the first place.
He smiled, folded up his sleeves, and enjoyed the luxury of not having troopers shooting at him.
Rage coursed through me. "Traitor," I seethed. "Traitor!" I said, louder this time. Kalifa turned to look.
"TRAITOR!" I screamed. His smile vanished, to my satisfaction, as Kalifa headed toward him.
I can barely hear Barriss telling me to control my rage and the voice in the comlink calling for reinforcements. But I calmed down eventually, and felt rather bad for bringing parts of the ceiling down.
Eva stood there, frozen. Her eyes watered up for a moment, before she angrily blinked it away. I felt bad for her too. I felt bad for myself. I felt bad for everyone now. What was I even thinking in the first place, coming to this hell hole? This is the mess I've made.
But Eroda and Ward are my friends. Every breath I had, I was close to them. Even though we were in a prison where smiles and laughter are rare, we shared every little one we had. We loved each other.
Eva loved Vines. I didn't want him to be a monster, but letting it remain hidden is worse. I cursed fate for making it like this. She had to feel the pain of losing him in the worst possible way.
So maybe this mission was good after all. It brought out a hidden identity, and hopefully bring back my best friends. I hope it won't kill anyone who has friends to mourn them, because I know that that friend will feel the same thing as I did, only multiplied because they know for sure that they are dead.
So was I being selfish by helping out two people? My best friends?
That is a question that I think only a Jedi can answer.
While all this was going through my head, lots happened. Eva was standing there, heartbroken. I hoped she won't get hurt. To her.
A bolt hit her arm and she grunted. I screamed. The last thing she said before crumpling with pain was, "I trusted you."
Vines, who heard that, smiled again, but wider. "Gee, love you too, Eva darling."
Kalifa and Barriss, who was still busy with droids and troopers, are trying to get him. They didn't seem surprised. Maybe they were already suspecting.
The only option left is me. This may seem crazy, but all I did up to now is crazy. And I get lucky many times, so perhaps my luck has not run out yet.
I did not bolt for him, but edged my way. Now that all the attention is on the two Jedi, I did not have much problem picking up a DC-15 and aiming at him.
He saw me and said, "Oops. A girlie is about to shoot. Better get going."
I calmed down before I proceeded.
He took that red blinking light on his wrist up, which was after all not the troopers but his. Now I saw the flaw in my logic. He didn't have the trooper's helmet when I saw the red blinking light reflection in Eva's eyes. Kalifa must have seen it. That's why she called me to help- to protect.
So he held it out to the door and went on. I ran after him before the door closed. Then the real fight would begin.