The door slammed close behind me.
Maybe this was a bad idea after all. I can't go against a strong man who can take me down in a second, DC-15 in my hands or not.
But there's no going back now. There's only going forward. So that's what I did. I ran after him, but he was faster and more agile. When I turned a corner, there was only an open door and (yes, I checked) no air vents or anything big enough for him to crawl through. So I went in the door, my blaster ready.
Fear crept through me, but so did alderaline. The occasional zap I first heard when the fighting began back in that room got louder and louder as I moved forward.
The room was fully white, and there were many instruments. I felt compelled to break them, but I didn't because I don't wanna get distracted and that traitor Vines may hear me. Besides, it may be dangerous.
I climbed up to an air vent on the other side of the room, making sure that Vines is too big to fit in there. As I crawled on and on, I wondered what Kalifa and Barriss are doing right now. Probably protecting Eva's limp body from more damage, because a shot in the arm probably won't kill her. When I realized that, my heart got a bit lighter.
My distraction cost me a bit, since I slammed my head at a corner and lost my comlink. It hurts, but thankfully it had no noise. The comlink is probably going to stay there to the end of time, so I didn't bother risking to take it back. So I just turned right and made my way on in the direction of the zap sound.
Finally, I came to an end and I peered through an opening. There was that mean looking officer I saw pacing before the battle began. He was speaking to something inside a tube.
"Your friends are coming, my dear. So let's have a little chit chat before they break through."
My stomach plummeted. Eroda.
"If you don't talk, I'll talk with your boyfriend. The reward for talking is freedom. The punishment for not talking is a very painful death."
My eyes watered as I aimed my blaster at him. I never shot someone before, but I'd get the hang of it. I was carefully not to hit Eroda too. But where's Ward?
The zap I heard suddenly got louder, but was drowned by a scream. A high pitched, terrified scream that unleashed the madness in me and almost got me to shoot. That was painful. Not only to her, but to me.
"Willing to talk now?"
I moved myself a bit, and now I saw Eroda. She was hanged up in some kind of device. Her hair was dirty and her face was covered with blood. Her lips trembled, but she still didn't talk. Despite everything, I still felt pride that she was my best friend.
Suddenly, Ward moved into view. He looked like Eroda, but worse. He probably had some cheek. Their appearance tore my heart. At least the blaster is in aim...
Ward was dropped down from the device. I let out a sigh of relief, which got my blaster out of aim. I mentally cursed.
"See him, girlie? I will break every bone in his body, pluck out his eyeballs out, and crush his skull. I will leave him bleeding to death, while electrocuted, and I will make you watch every minute of it. So talk."
Eroda's lip trembled even more. Now even I am trembling. But to come this far and lose them is unacceptable. I got my blaster into aim again.
"Kalifa! Kalifa and Barriss! A Togruta and a Human female. They sided with the Republic in the Clone Wars. When the Empire came, they joined the resistance army. The Eleven."
I gasped and dropped the DeeCee. I mentally cursed again. But did my ears hear right? At least the lie indicator wasn't beeping, and it read out that that was probably all they know. So the officer let them down and kicked them. They scrambled together and hugged, and I felt so bad. I picked up my blaster as the officer turned to the other side and started ordering droids to pick up Barriss's and Kalifa's profiles.
Eroda and Ward love each other. I always thought it was brother and sister kind, but seeing that kiss made me have a second thought. I don't feel 'that way' about Ward, but if I was in Eroda's position, now I'm beginning to understand that I would probably give it away too.
"Barriss Offee: Mirialan Jedi Knight and General during the Clone Wars. A skilled Jedi Healer, Offee utilized her abilities at a Rimsoo on Drongar during the galactic conflict. She carried a blue lightsaber and was a practitioner of Form III: Soresu. Offee could be easily identified by the tattoos on her face. She was one of the victims of Order 66.
Kalifa: A female Human Jedi Initiate who once studied to become a Knight of the Jedi Order during the final years of the Galactic Republic. During her training however, Kalifa was abducted by Trandoshan hunters and taken to the Trandoshan moon, Wasskah, where she was tirelessly hunted by her captors. Ultimately, they succeeded."
The officer looked confused. Now this is my perfect chance.
"Trooper! I need a new lie detector! Now I'll deal with these two un-"
Yep, I shot him finally. I jumped down and hugged the two, finally reunited...
The droid started firing. But it wasn't that that made me stop.
"Stop." A single voice said.
I froze. The officer was holding a button with one hand while his face was contorted with pain. Another hand was nursing his stomach- where the blaster wound is.
"If you go another step, I press this. They die."
Another shot came out of nowhere and hit his arm. He released the button with a grunt of pain. Eroda let go of the blaster, and I ran to get the button.
I must reach the button.
I moved onward, ducking blaster bolts with seeming ease. The ozone was thick in the air, but I did not smell it. The smoke blinded everything, but I did not see it. All I thought of was reaching the button.
An agonizingly slow second later, I just in front of it. I thrusted my hands out to press it. I'm almost there...
I stopped. I dreamt this moment before. At the prison. The next thing I knew was a leg was swinging towards me. Before I could react, it hit me hard.
For a second, I did not feel the pain. I blinked. Reality hit me. I must hit the button.
The pain is just searing in and I fell, the button just a hair width away from my fingers. My mouth opened up for a scream...
Then I was pulled by hair out. In my excitement, I forgot completely about Vines. My blaster lay with Eroda, who was now scrambling to shoot. But the power cell ran out. Oh no. We're in deep trouble.
He took a piece of stray stick, just out of anger, and began beating me. I ducked. Skills in prison finally came in handy. I know I won't win this, no matter how pathetic that stick is, so all I did we running. Hopefully I'd find Kalifa... and I now that that isn't her real name anymore, but at least the Empire won't know her real name too. Which means she did the right thing.
I couldn't think much about that now, since he's chasing me.
Then... we came into a dead end. Oh no. The only option left is fight. He swung at me several times, and I managed to block them. But when he forced me to move right I slammed against the wall and he got me. He beat down on me, starting with a slam in the back, with ferocious intensity and I'm not going to even begin describing the pain or counting to number of bones he broke.
I was dying. I knew that. Oddly, I was calm. A voice rose in my head. It was not a voice of fear or terror. It was a voice of courage- a voice I didn’t hear for a long time.
“If you’re about to die, then show some guts, dude,” it said.
I laughed and coughed up blood. He stopped beating me and looked at my eyes, confused. “You think this is funny?” He asked in a threatening voice.
“Getting beat up to death, no. But the fact that you’re beating me up with a stick showed me how desperate the empire is. How pathetic is that?”
His eyes flashed anger. He raised his poor stick to give me a last blow that would end my life.
A man who I once thought was my friend, a man that was a great ally, the man that I thought I knew of. The man I know now is a man that is my enemy, the man that is my foe, the man that I know nothing of. He stabbed my back. Literally. But now it doesn't matter.
If I am destined to die here, then so be it. I won’t die as a prisoner getting on with her empty life, but as a free person dying for something she believes in. A life without hope is worse than no life at all.
I prepared for the blow. But it never came.
For a moment his expression was shock. An emerald blade came through him and disappeared. He crumpled to the ground. In his place stood a Jedi. The Jedi.
“Hi… Kalifa,” I struggled to say.
“Kaayla,” she whispered, bending down.
I smiled as a warm glow spread through me. Then the world went black. I was falling…