A Soul Adrift
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....
A Soul Adrift
Ryloth, the homeworld of the Twi'leks,
is in chaos. Slavers constantly raid the
towns and villages across its vast surface.
The rural folk live in constant fear, afraid
that the slavers will come and carry them
away to an unknown fate.
Some Twi'leks have managed to escape their
homeworld and have gone to the Republic
Senate and the Jedi Order to help, but their
pleas do little. The Republic's troubles are
threatening to overwhelm the Senate. As
for the Jedi, the number of Force-sensitive
children born in the Republic is mysteriously
declining, and the Jedi ranks are thinning
at an alarming rate.
Most officials on Ryloth have given up trying
to end the lucrative slave trade and have
given the slavers free rein outside of the
main cities. The situation seems hopeless.
Tribes are disappearing overnight. Many
have fled into the uninhabited mountains
in hopes of losing their potential captors,
but very few hopes become realities....
Forget the 'requested a review for this thread via automatic private messaging', I didn't mean to do that. I'd edit it out, but I don't know how. :¬: Just go ahead and post comments on this thread.
Alright you have me slightly intrigued by the opening crawl. I hope your first chapter is as good.
I am guessing that your protagonist is going to be a Twi'lek. Am I correct?
I'll freely admit that the title caught my attention :p The opening lines sound promising, so let's see how your story plays out!
Taisan'kye shivered in the cool breeze of the Rylothian mountains. He pulled his ragged coat closer about him and paced back in forth in front of the small cave restlessly. His wife was in there, and she was having their first child. What if something went wrong? They'd been in there so long!
An old midwife stepped out of the cave and beckoned to him. He darted over and started babbling questions in a jumble. "Is she all right? How's the baby? What color is it? Is it a--"
The midwife held up her hand and said soothingly, "Your wife is fine, Taisan'kye. Come and see your daughter." She smiled and went back inside, Taisan'kye close at her heels. His wife was lying asleep in a narrow bed, holding a small bundle in her arms. The nervous father gulped hard and knelt down beside her. He pulled back the cloth around the child's face and caught a glimpse of her. The man closed his eyes, and his shoulders slumped. The midwife asked in surprise, "What's wrong? I thought you'd be happy!"
He looked up at her and attempted a smile. "I'd hoped for a girl, but--but not a red one. Now, when the slavers come, they'll take her first."
The midwife shook her head as if he were being foolish. "Come now, Taisan'kye, be sensible! This whole village has managed to stay hidden in these mountains for three years! I doubt the slavers will ever venture this far in, it's too dangerous for them. They'll never find us here."
Taisan'kye's eyes were bitter as he replied, "They'll find us. They always find us."
The midwife got down beside him and rearranged the blanket over the sleeping woman. "She has the eyes of her mother, Taisan'kye. Her eyes are as black as night, and they're the eyes of the Kamala! Your daughter will be beautiful when she grows up, a true honor to her family and her tribe! Cheer up, and, for goodness' sake, stop worrying!" The old woman stood and walked out of the room.
Taisan'kye took his wife's hand and rubbed it gently. The woman's eyes fluttered open, and she smiled wearily. "Taisan'kye, our daughter. Have you seen her?"
Taisan'kye put on a smile and replied, "Yes, I have. You need to rest now, go back to sleep."
"What should we name her?"
Taisan'kye shrugged. "I don't know. Do you have any ideas?"
The woman looked down at the sleeping babe nestled in the crook of her arm. "My great-grandmother was red with black eyes. Her name was Sri'lo--Sri'lokamala. That's what we'll call her, Sri'lo."
"I like that. Go back to sleep now, dear."
"But what about your supper? I've got to get up and fix it for you!"
He placed a gentle but restraining hand on her shoulder as she attempted to get up. "No, you stay there. I used to be a bachelor, I can fix my supper this once. Rest, I'll bring you something to eat. Are you cold, do you want me to get you another blanket?"
"No, I'm fine. I'm not hungry, don't bother to bring me anything. Go tell the elders what we've named her so they can make the record of her birth. Taisan'kye, Sri'lo is something special, I can feel it!" A bright smile lit up her pale yellow face.
"I'll go see the council right away." Taisan'kye rose abruptly and left. His wife stared after him, surprise showing in her dark, expressive eyes. She shook her head slightly and turned her attention to her child.
Taisan'kye went to the edge of the rocky, almost lifeless valley and stared out at the labyrinth of fallen rocks. Three years ago, they had come from that direction when the slavers attacked. But someday, he knew the slavers would make their own path from that same direction, and they would find him, his wife, and his child.
Thanks for the comments, guys! :D The first chapter was ready, so I figured I'd go ahead and post it! Hope it's not too horrible.
This is my first fan fic, so I'm probably going to make a zillion mistakes. Please, give your criticism! I need it! Chances are, that was really cheesy, using the opening crawl like that, but I couldn't think of a better way to introduce it. Sorry about the first chapter being so short. I have the next few chapters mostly done, but they need some major-league polishing before they're ready to post. I'll try to have the next one out sometime tomorrow. :)
It's not horrible at all:) It's quite well-written, with a few small errors (e.g. shoulder's instead of shoulders), but doesn't really detract from the story. I find how they're living so tribally rather strange, but I suppose not *everyone* on Ryloth has access to modern technology at the moment. Btw, what is the timeline of this story relative to the movies/games?
Thanks Bee! I just went back and fixed that typo and a couple others I saw. If I missed any, please point them out to me. This takes place about eight years before the Battle of Naboo.
I'm currently working on the second chapter as fast as I can! Yes, I know that's the highlight of your life... :rolleyes:
Special thanks to my beta reader, Andurilblade, whose creative streak and superior knowledge of grammer has helped me immensely! :D
You've done a WHOLE lot better than me with the first fan-fic, lol. You should've seen mine. Mistake after mistake after mistake. It was horrible!!!! :lol: [[Of course, I wasn't smart enough and got a beta-reader xP ]]
This was, on the other hand, completely different.
Well written, well thought out and put together well also. I can't wait to read some more.
lol thanks BFA. I'm just praying the rest of it turns out okay!
Sorry about not having the next chapter up. I read through it and decided that it needed to be totally rewritten. I'm keeping the chapter title and that's about it! :lol:
Interesting start here - never read anything quite like it. And it's your first? I didn't think it sounded like a first - it was quite good. Some people have written some awful fics, out there ;) don't worry about it, at all.
I look forward to future instalments.
I like my Twi'leks! :D Its always good to see a new writer on the forums. I'm new to the CEC as well, so, I know your trouble with this. Don't worry about cranking out chapters too fast. We'll wait for you. ;) As Bee said, this is not "horrible", I like it. Especially for a first fic this is well done. Honestly if you had not said it was a first fic, I never would have guessed.
Just a question though: Why would Sri'lo be taken first just because she is red? I don't want you to give anything away, if is has a great impact on the rest of the story, I'm just curious. :)
I'll keep my eye out for more chapters, Edorenna.
Almost have the second chapter done; approaching final draft.
HIGH ON PIE, in answer to your question, I'll quote Wookiepedia, which is where I get all this junk anyway. ;)
'Rutian referred to one of the many skin tones of the Twi'lek species. Generally denoting a color somewhere between dark blue and aquamarine, of which other variations included teal and turquoise, this was among the rarest skin hues among Twi'leks, second only to the red-skinned Lethans.'
'Lethan Twi'leks were Twi'leks who had the rarest of all skin colors: red. This was caused by a mutation in their genetic code.'
Good to know. I use wookiepedia for stuff like that to, but I did not know about the whole red skin thing. Thanks for clearing that up. :) Happy writing!
The Same Path
Twi'leks were running, children screaming for their parents, women frantically trying to find their children, smoke, fire everywhere. Taisan'kye stumbled out of his home, choking and calling for his older sisters. He heard one of them scream, and he saw a slaver grab her by the wrist. She took a knife from her belt and viciously slashed at him. He pulled out a blaster and shot her in the face. She fell dead. As he ran off, Taisan'kye rushed to his sister's side, not hearing his own screams. What was left of her face was bloody and mutilated. He felt tears streaming down his cheeks. His father grabbed his hand and started running, dragging Taisan'kye behind him. Suddenly, he, too, fell dead as a blaster bolt tore through his chest. Taisan'kye ran from the body as a blaster bolt missed him by a fraction. He heard his mother's voice as she tried to get some of the children safely away, and he ran towards her. A volley of stun blasts cut through the air where she was, stunning her and the children. Taisan'kye saw his other sister kneel beside her and try to pick her up, but a stun blast felled her as well. Taisan'kye began running through the hellish ruins that were once his home, trying to find a way of escape, coughing and gasping for a breath of air. He heard another familiar voice, and he turned towards it. Sri'lo! What was she doing here! A slaver grabbed her--
Taisan'kye's eyes flew open, sweat pouring down his face, his heart pounding wildly and his breathing erratic. He leaped out of bed and ran into the next room. Sri'lo was sleeping peacefully in her own small bed.
Taisan'kye stared at her face for a few long moments, telling himself over and over again that she was safe. He swallowed hard and lurched into the small room that served as a kitchen.
Half an hour later, Taisan'kye's wife walked in, her eyes bleary from lack of sleep. Taisan'kye was staring moodily into a cup of hot tea. She asked quietly, "Was it the same dream?"
He nodded grimly. She sat down beside him. "I dreamed of the time you crawled into my village, bleeding and wounded, when you told the elders what had happened--and the time they came." Her eyes became hard.
Taisan'kye gave a shuddering sigh. "It's been over twenty years since I first came in contact with the slavers, but the nightmares bring it back as if it were yesterday."
Her deep brown eyes held sympathy as she replied, "Thirteen years have passed since my village--our village--was destroyed. My nightmares haven't faded either."
Taisan'kye asked quietly, "Atan'il, do you think we've done the right thing, teaching Sri'lo Basic?"
Atan'il asked in surprise, "What?"
"We've told her about the galaxy, about the thousands of planets and the many different aliens and the technology, and we've taught her how to speak with them. I'm afraid that when she's grown and she's leaving us, she'll go out there--and something will happen to her. What if she dies? Should we have just left her in the dark about the outside?"
The woman shook her head and replied gently, "As much as this pains us, we must realize that eventually, she might be captured and enslaved. It would be better for her not to be too overwhelmed by her surroundings."
"I know, but what if--"
"Taisan'kyekamala!" Atan'il exclaimed sharply. "Don't become enamoured with 'ifs'. Anything could happen. We can't control that."
"Can't we?" He raised his purple head, his face almost desperate. "There are other places to run, other holes to hide in! We can keep ahead of them!"
Atan'il replied kindly, "Taisan'kye, we can't do that; you know it. Sri'lo's too young for a life like that."
"I know how to keep the lyleks away. We could--"
"Taisan'kye, there's still a chance the slavers won't find us here. Would you rather Sri'lo stay here and have a chance to grow up, or face certain death out in the wild?"
Taisan'kye rose and began to fretfully pace the room. "You're right, of course, but--but she's so small, so fragile; if she fell into their hands--!" His voice trailed off as his jaw tensed in fury.
Atan'il smiled. "Taisan'kye, she's small, but I would hardly call her 'fragile'. In the past, she's broken her arm and had more bloody noses than I care to remember." She sighed resignedly. "Sri'lo can be a spitfire, at times. I do wish she didn't have such a temper! Sometime she might get into a fight she can't win. After all, she's only nine."
"Ten in a week, remember that." Taisan'kye drank the last of his tea. "We'd better get back to bed. If Sri'lo wakes up and finds us in here, she'll want an explanation."
Atan'il stood and stretched stiffly. "Yes, you're right." She paused a moment as Taisan'kye added one more question.
"Atan'il, are you sure we should wait to tell her about the slavers?"
Atan'il nodded. "Yes, we should wait a few years. She's not ready to know about them yet." Taisan'kye and Atan'il returned to their bed and went to sleep without any further conversation.
The next day, Sri'lo woke early. She quickly dressed in her sturdy, light-weight clothes and crept into her parent’s bedroom. They were both still asleep. She pursed her lips in frustration. Didn’t grown-ups ever get up as early as she did?
Sri’lo quietly went back into the kitchen and ran outside. She stood at the edge of the cliff and smiled as the cool breeze blew against her face. The girl ran along the rough-cut path, not even thinking about fearing the long fall if she slipped. Her uncle, Gaeva’ib, would be up. He was always up early.
A minute later, Sri’lo reached his cave. She pushed through the heavy curtain that hung across the door and walked in. Sure enough, Gaeva’ib was up eating breakfast. A smile creased his green face when he saw her, and he exclaimed, “Sri’lo, come here!” She ran to him and threw her arms around his neck. He gave her a hearty hug in return and asked, “What are you doing here?”
Sri’lo replied, “Mama and Daddy are still asleep.”
“But you aren’t. I know how you feel, Sri’lo, the exact same thing used to happen to me. You know what always made me feel better?”
Sri’lo smiled. “What?”
“Breakfast.” He stood and walked over to the narrow shelves that made his cupboard and got out a plate. Sri’lo shook her head. “I’m not hungry, Uncle Gaeva’ib.”
“Really? A growing girl like you not hungry? That’s a first.” Gaeva’ib sat down again. “Well then, what are you here for?”
“I just wanted to come in.”
“Well, that’s as good a reason as any! How are your flute lessons with Nya’van coming?”
“She said I’m doing better. Today she might start me on a harder piece.”
“Good! You keep working hard on that, hear?” She smiled and sat down in a chair. Gaeva’ib watched her, a strange look on his face. It disappeared as she turned her head towards him.
“Uncle, the other day, Daddy told me about some important people out in the galaxy called Jedi.”
“What of them?”
“He said that they were good and powerful, and they could help me if I ever got into any trouble.”
“Have you ever met a Jedi?”
Gaeva’ib smiled and shook his head. “Never! The Jedi are too few and far between for me to ever meet one.”
“Are they as good as Daddy says they are?”
“The Jedi are good, Sri’lo. In fact, some people even think they’re perfect.”
Sri’lo’s eyes sparkled with wonder. “Are they?”
“The Jedi aren’t perfect. No one is, it’s just that the Jedi are closer to it than most of us.” Gaeva’ib smiled to himself and started fixing a cup of tea. “Do you want some?”
“No, thanks. I’m not thirsty.”
“Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.” He chuckled at his own pun. “Anything happen with Oko’nas yet?”
Sri’lo shook her head. “No. I told Daddy what he said about being tougher than me, but Daddy still won’t let me hit him unless he hits me first.”
Gaeva’ib clucked his tongue. “Too bad, too bad. I wouldn’t mind seeing you take him down an inch or two.”
Sri’lo’s face brightened. “Maybe he will hit me!”
“Or maybe you could come home.” Taisan’kye stuck his head in the door. “I thought you’d be here. Come on, Sri’lo, your mother wants you.”
Sri’lo reluctantly got to her feet and started walking back to her home. Suddenly, she realized that her father had fallen back a few feet. She turned and saw him staring at the pass only a quarter of a mile away. His face was grim, his eyes almost frightened. Sri’lo pursed her lips. He always looked like that when he looked at the pass. She asked curiously, “Daddy, what’s wrong?”
Taisan’kye started as if she had woken him from a dream, and he smiled. “Nothing, Sri’lo. Run along, Mama’s waiting for you.”
Sri’lo started running back to her home, but her mind was working. He was afraid of that pass, and whenever she asked him about it, he would just smile and say that it was nothing, but his eyes were never smiling. They were always—fearful. Many times, when he was watching her, his face would pale slightly, and he would get the same expression on his face as he did when he looked at that pass. Whenever she asked Mama about it, she would laugh and tell her to go play. But there was always a nervous ring to her voice. Sri’lo slowed to a walk as she entered their cave.
Atan’il looked up as Sri’lo entered the kitchen. “Where were you?”
Sri’lo replied, “I went to see Uncle Gaeva’ib.”
“Well, eat your breakfast.” She set a bowl of porridge on the table.
Sri’lo protested as she sat down, “But I’m not hungry!”
“You will be later, now eat it while it’s hot. Nya’van stopped by and asked if you could come for your lesson a little earlier than usual. She said she was going to start teaching you a new song today.”
Sri’lo started eating. “Should I go over there as soon as I finish this?”
“Probably. Don’t forget your flute!”
Sri’lo swallowed. “I won’t.” She hurriedly finished eating, ran to her room, grabbed her flute, and left. The little girl ran down a path to Nya’van’s cave. She stopped in front of the curtain door and knocked beside it politely.
Nya’van called, “Come in.” Sri’lo walked in and said, “Mama told me you said to come early today.”
The green teenage twi’lek smiled prettily and asked, “Have you been practicing every day like I told you to?”
“Let me hear you play.” Nya’van sat and cupped her hands together under her chin expectantly. Sri’lo took her flute out of its box and put it to her lips. She blew into it hard.
“No, Sri’lo, not so hard. You have to be gentle with it.”
Sri’lo nodded and blew a little more softly. A few slightly wavering notes came out as her small fingers moved across the holes clumsily. Nya’van shook her head and took the flute from her. “You’re holding it wrong again.” She smoothly moved it into position and played the same notes, her long, slim fingers smoothly dancing over the instrument. The teenager held it out to Sri’lo. “Try again.”
Sri’lo took it from her and held it up to her mouth. She copied how Nya’van had been holding it and blew the same notes. This time, they were a lot smoother and didn’t shake. Nya’van grinned. “Very good, Sri’lo! You’re doing much better!”
Sri’lo sighed. “I’ll never play it as good as you do.”
“Sri’lo, I’ve known you ever since you were born. You’re far too stubborn to just give up because it’s hard. Remember when you were climbing up the cliff and fell?”
Sri’lo wrinkled her nose. “I broke my arm.”
“But as soon as it was healed, you were off climbing that cliff again. You’d figured out what you’d done wrong the first time and learned from it. It’s the same thing with the flute, though the consequences of a mistake aren’t nearly so painful.”
Sri’lo nodded thoughtfully and licked her lips. She lifted the small instrument to her mouth again and closed her eyes. The girl began to play it. The tune was short and simple, but the notes were clearer and prettier. As soon as she was done, she looked up at Nya’van and asked,“Was that okay?’
Nya’van smiled broadly. “Sri’lo, you’re progressing far more quickly than I did! That was beautiful!”
Sri’lo replied doubtfully, “I didn’t think so.”
“It was, believe me. Today I want to start you on a new piece. Are you ready to hear it?”
Sri’lo nodded eagerly as Nya’van took out her flute and put it to her lips. Some low, slow notes came from the flute, and then Nya’van’s fingers began to move faster, and the notes sped up. It reminded Sri’lo of hunters seeking their prey in the Shadow Lands, where no light penetrates the engulfing darkness. The tune became mournful, as if one of the hunters had fallen and could not rise. It finally faded into low breaths of never-ending sorrow, its cries echoing into the emptiness.
After the last note had faded, Sri’lo asked, “Does it have words?”
“It’s a very ancient song of the Twi’lek people called ‘The Song of the Lylek.’ Someday I’ll teach you the words, but for now, let’s get the tune.”
That night, Sri’lo had just finished getting ready for bed, and she went to say goodnight to Taisan’kye. She walked into his bedroom and saw him sitting on his bed, staring at the floor, deep in thought. His face was the same as it was when he had been staring at the pass. The girl silently padded up behind him and watched him for a moment. Suddenly she asked, “Daddy, what’s wrong?”
Taisan’kye leaped to his feet with the hasty exclamation, “Nothing, Sri’lo!” She crossed her arms. “Daddy, it is too something. You looked just like you do when you look at the north pass.”
Taisan’kye managed a smile and asked briskly, “Are you ready for bed?”
Sri’lo gave an exasperated sigh. “Daddy, why won’t you tell me what’s wrong?”
Taisan’kye turned and started walking into her room. She said resolutely, “Tomorrow I’m going to ask one of the Elders what’s wrong with that pass.”
Taisan’kye stopped stock-still and closed his eyes. Those Elders were crotchety old men. They would bluntly tell her everything about the slavers and the fate of those taken by them! It would be far better for her to learn about the slavers from him. He walked back to his bed and sat down, motioning for Sri’lo to sit beside him. She climbed up onto the bed and sat down, hugging her knees to her.
Taisan’kye quickly began working out his explanation in his mind. “Sri’lo, do you know the reason we live so far from other villages?” The little girl shook her head and rested her chin on her knees. “Sri’lo, we’re hiding.”
“Hiding from what?”
“Slavers.” He held up his hand before Sri’lo could interrupt. “Slavers are greedy men. They capture Twi’leks and they sell them to other people out in the galaxy like animals.”
Sri’lo’s eyes got big. “They sell Twi’leks! That’s horrible!”
“Yes, Sri’lo, it is.”
Sri’lo interrupted again, “Why would they do that! How could anyone—“
“It’s hard to understand how any beings could be so evil, but they are. Unfortunately, Twi’leks are worth a lot of money, and that’s why they hunt us.”
Sri’lo shivered. “Daddy, what if they find us? Are they going to sell me, too?”
Taisan’kye hugged her tightly and replied firmly, “No. I won’t ever let them sell you, not while there’s a breath left in me!”
Sri’lo wrapped her arms around him and snuggled up against his side. After a minute, she stood up and started towards her room. Impulsively, she turned back and hugged his arm as she whispered, “It’s okay, Daddy. Nothing’s going to happen to me. I’m safe here with you.” Taisan’kye pulled her into another embrace and held her tightly for a few moments. “Go on to bed, Sri’lo, it’s late.” She nodded and walked into her room. The girl let the curtain fall behind her, cutting her off from Taisan’kye’s view.
Taisan’kye stood and slowly walked into the kitchen. He sat down at the table and put his head in his hands.
Atan’il came in from outside and saw him. Her eyes melted into pure concern, and she asked softly, “Taisan’kye, what’s wrong?”
Taisan’kye replied in a husky voice, “I told her.”
“Told her what?”
“I told Sri’lo about the slavers.”
“What!” Atan’il exploded. “I thought we agreed to wait a few years!”
“I had no choice! She said she was going to ask the Elders!”
“You should’ve told her not to!”
“She would’ve asked them anyway! She would’ve thought she was helping me!”
“Enough! What’s done is done!” Atan’il spun on her heel and stomped into the bedroom, closing the curtain behind her. Taisan’kye remained seated at the table for the rest of the night.
A week later, Sri’lo’s birthday came. There had been a small celebration, with Nya’van giving her a flute case, Gaeva’ib giving her a small bracelet of smooth black stones, and her parents giving her a necklace with a pendant of a faceted crystal her father had found. In the mid-afternoon, Taisan’kye decided to go foraging in the valley below, and Sri’lo wanted to come with him.
Taisan’kye took up a shoulderbag, his knife and his bow and set out. They descended the winding path down into the basin and set to the task of searching under the rocks for mushrooms. Sri’lo soon lost interest in the tedious task, however, and wandered off to collect some pretty stones.
There was a sound from somewhere behind her, and she heard a furtive whisper. Her eyes narrowed. That didn’t sound like any of the Twi’leks...
Suddenly, there was a sound right behind her. Sri’lo glanced back, and her mouth dropped open, letting out a scream.
There was a tall human man standing behind her. He cursed and dove for her. Sri’lo was up and running, but his hand grasped her arm. She tried to pull away and screamed at the top of her lungs, “Daddy, help! He’s got me!”
Taisan’kye came running, unslinging his bow from his shoulder. The slaver turned and saw him just as he loosed an arrow straight at him. The slaver dropped Sri’lo and darted to one side, letting the arrow plunge into the throat of another slaver. Another man leaped down onto Taisan’kye from a rock, breaking his bow. Taisan’kye whipped out a dagger and stabbed it into the man’s heart, all the while shouting, “Sri’lo, run! Hide, now!” The brave Twi’lek threw the dead slaver off of himself and leaped to his feet. Another slaver ran at him with knife upraised, but Taisan’kye ducked under it and slashed his throat open. Sri’lo ran past him, and Taisan’kye whirled to follow, pulling out a hunting horn and blowing an alarm blast to the rest of the village. Suddenly, the first slaver Sri’lo had seen grabbed Taisan’kye from behind. Sri’lo dove behind a boulder and peeked out from behind it, watching her father in terror. Taisan’kye managed to break free and turned to stab the slaver. The slaver caught his wrist and twisted it sharply, wrenching the knife out of his hand. There was a short struggle between the two, ending with the slaver flat on his back on the ground, Taisan’kye lunging for his throat. The slaver threw out his hand and caught Taisan’kye by the throat, and he squeezed. His other hand felt the ground for something sharp and happened upon the knife Taisan’kye had dropped.
Sri’lo’s eyes widened in horror as the slaver stabbed Taisan’kye to the heart.
Blood spilled from the dead Twi’lek’s chest. The slaver disgustedly threw the body off of himself and pointed down towards where Sri’lo had gone as several other slavers ran up. He exclaimed, “The Lethan went that way! Get her!” Sri’lo shrank further behind the boulder as they passed. Once they were gone, Sri’lo crept out from behind the rock and ran to her father’s body. She turned it over with shaking hands and stared at his face, her own face paling under her red skin. His eyes were dull and lifeless, his body limp. Sri’lo felt something wet cover her hands, her breath coming unevenly as the magnitude of what had just happened dawned on her. Taisan’kye’s blood covered her hands. Her eyes filled with tears, and she stood, backing away from the body in shock.
Suddenly, screams echoed towards her from the direction of the cliff! Sri’lo’s eyes widened as she realized that her mother was there. She whipped around and ran back towards the cliff, a strangled cry tearing from her throat.
Sri’lo started climbing up the cliff, ignoring the path. She heard more screams from above her and started climbing even faster. Smoke was pouring out of the caves above her, and she heard strange sounds as flashes of red and green light flashed on top of the cliff. Sri’lo pulled herself over the edge. Slavers were everywhere. Twi’leks she had known from early childhood were lying dead and stunned on the ground. Atan’il stumbled out of the smoke and saw Sri’lo. Her eyes widened when she saw her daughter, and she screamed, “Sri’lo, climb down! Quickly!” Sri’lo stood stunned for a moment, and Atan’il ran towards her, intending to help her down. Just as she reached Sri’lo, a stray blaster shot found its way over to her. Atan’il fell over the edge with a horrible scream as the energy bolt hit her in the back. Sri’lo grabbed at her hand. She, too, was pulled over the edge.
They landed at the bottom of the cliff, Sri’lo landing right on top of her mother. The little girl staggered to her feet and shook Atan’il’s shoulder. She was dead. Sri’lo felt more sticky, wet blood flowing onto her hands as she hugged her mother’s body, tears streaming down her face.
Suddenly, Gaeva’ib appeared from behind a rock a few yards away. Sri’lo raised her tear-streaked face.
“Gaeva’ib, they killed Mama and Daddy!” Impulsively, she leaped up and ran for the security of her uncle’s arms.
He took a blaster out from behind his back, aimed it at her, and fired. Sri’lo fell to the ground, stunned.
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Okay, guys, here it is!!!!!!!
I think I should have put that before the chapter...
Very nice detail and beginning. I eagerly await more
I was too entranced by reading it so I didn't pick up any mistakes, if there were any that is. Sorry.
Action and suspense. Sadness. Happiness.
This story is full of emotion and I am loving every single sentence of it.
Great work, Endo!
PS: I wonder why Uncle stunned. Is he getting her out of there, or turning her over to the Slavers to try and save himself?
Oh well ... Guess I'll have to wait and see!
Very emotional chapter for me. I like how it started out with everyday life and suddenly turned into unanticipated action. The ending was sad. :( Excellent job here, Endorenna!
I curious about Gaeva'ib's action at the end - guess I'll just have to wait and see.
Sorry for not getting back to ya'll sooner. I've been furiously playing the TFU demo multiple times 'cause I can't get the game yet! :headbump
I'm relieved that ya'll didn't think the everyday life part was boring. I kinda thought it was! :lol: I'm also glad to see that I have you all on edge with the last part! :007:
Well, I'll tear myself away from the demo and write s'more! :xp:
Intriguing chapter! First off, I'm a little skeptical about the slavers using blasters--a dead Twi'lek is a wasted asset, so to speak. It's more likely that they will try to subdue them first, especially Taisan'kye and Atan'il as they are young and healthy (presumably). Random slaughter is dramatic but slavers (or good ones anyway) would be more efficient in maximising the number of slaves that they get.
Knocking on the rock walls of caves is quite painful and not terribly useful :lol:
Sri'lo's flute-playing seems to improve with improbable speed! Despite her daily practice, she still had difficulty at the start of the lesson, and managed to play so much better within the space of one lesson?
Besides that, why was Atan'il so reluctant to tell Sri'lo about the slavers? I'm also a little surprised that no one has mentioned them within that nine years:P The part about Taisan'kye sitting up all night at the table mystified me as well!
It should be "stabbed Taisan'kye in the heart", imho. There's a couple more small mistakes, but nothing major. And what would be faster--climbing up the cliff or running up the path? Since I'm not suicidal that way, I don't know :lol:
The descriptions are well done, with a good variety of sentence structures and word choice. Keep writing!
P.S. Try not to double post. Use the edit button instead ;)
Talk about migraine! :migraine:
I need to fix that scene.
It seems that one of my biggest problems in writing is remembering that the writer is omniscient and the reader isn't. Sorry, that was totally my bad! :(
Also, Atan'il was mad at him. :lol:
Very unexpected ending, there, with her uncle shooting her. That was just cruel of him :xp: .
I loved the fight scenes, and the slow moving calmness between them. It created a sort of 'hopelessness' for Taisan’kye, I think, and that reflected in what I, as a reader, thought, also.
Great work, I can't wait for more. :)
ps. power to the twi'leks!
Awsome read Endorenna! :D
Will there be another chapter? :D
Thanks Burnseyy! Thanks Yar-el! :D
The next chapter is coming along very nicely. It should be up in a day or two. :xp:
!!!! When I seen you had posted, I was like, "W0ot!!! Another chap!!!!"
But nooooooooooooooooooooo, you decide to break my spirit and not post one at alllllll!!!!
Sri’lo became conscious, vaguely aware of being held by someone. The little girl heard a man’s voice. She gave a sigh of relief when she recognized the tone as Gaeva’ib’s.
“Here you are, Jehal, as promised.”
“Excellent work, Gaeva’ib! Just drop her over there with the other females.”
Sri’lo suddenly realized what she had just heard. She struggled to free herself from the man’s arms. Gaeva’ib dropped her in surprise, and Sri’lo leaped to her feet. She looked up at him, horror stretched across her face.
Gaeva’ib’s face creased into a casual smile. “Helped the slavers?”
Sri’lo nodded dumbly.
“Yes, I helped them. Helped them arrange the whole attack.”
A few tears crept out of Sri’lo’s eyes, and she exclaimed, “What? But—but Mama and Daddy both died! I saw them die! I—I got their blood on my hands, I—“ She starting backing up. “How could you—it’s your fault, I—I trusted you, t—they trusted you, I—I hate you! I’ll always hate you!” Sri’lo whirled and saw Nya’van sitting with a group of women, and she ran to her, burying her face in her shoulder.
Nya’van hugged Sri’lo tightly. The little girl felt a tear from her teacher’s face drip onto her shoulder. Sri’lo swallowed hard and tried to process the emotions she felt running through her. There was grief, grief that made her want to cry until she could cry no more, but there were other things too. Anger...anger filled her. Anger at her parents’ deaths, anger at the slavers, anger aimed in many directions, but mostly directed towards Gaeva’ib. He had betrayed her! He’d worked with the slavers! He’d given her to them! He caused her parents’ deaths! He caused everything! Everything! She felt a tear run down her cheek. Gaeva’ib had been like a second father to her, and then...then this happened.
There was more talking, she could hear. Gaeva’ib was speaking, and she pushed herself away from Nya’van so she could turn and watch.
“Now, the money.”
Jehal, obviously the leader of the slavers, smiled. “Of course. Two thousand credits, was it?”
“You know how much you owe me.”
“Two thousand credits...or—“
“Or what?” A dangerous look crossed Gaeva’ib’s face.
“Perhaps you would consider a different offer. One thousands credits, and a place in my little band. I could use a man like you, Gaeva’ib. A man willing to sell his own flesh and blood for a few paltry credits.”
A grin spread across Gaeva’ib’s face. “Done.” They shook hands, and Jehal walked away to attend to other matters.
Sri’lo glanced around, suddenly feeling very small and insignificant. They were all in a large metal—thing. It was a bit dark, and panels covered with flashing lights covered much of the wall space. Sri’lo bit her lip and tried to remember what her parents had taught her. This...this was a space ship, and those panels were consoles. Those strange weapons that the slavers—and Gaeva’ib—had used were called blasters. She saw that she and all the other captured Twi’leks were sitting in an octagonal area. There was a metal post at every corner of the shape. Sri’lo shivered. This was called a Force Cage. Her mother had told her about them, but she’d only said that animals were kept in them.
Sri’lo glanced at Gaeva’ib, and her eyes hardened with hatred. He had sold her like an animal. Her hand closed around the bracelet her uncle had given her just a few hours before the attack. Her mouth twisted, and she ripped the jewelry from her wrist and threw it on the floor. Sri’lo’s hand found the necklace that her parents had given her and closed on the crystal pendant. Her emotional storm seemed to calm slightly as she fingered it, knowing that Taisan’kye had worked for hours to polish it to perfection.
A few moments later, Gaeva’ib walked over and squatted down in front of her. Nya’van put a protective arm around Sri’lo and asked tersely, “Must you torment her even more, traitor?”
Gaeva’ib laughed. “Nya’van, I meant to thank you. You helped increase my little girl’s value.”
Nya’van’s eyes were icy cold. “Leave Sri’lo alone.”
“You taught her to play the flute. That could easily add a thousand credits to her price.”
“Filth!” Nya’van hissed.
Gaeva’ib shook his head. “I didn’t come over here to talk to you.” He picked up the bracelet he’d given Sri’lo and glanced at her. His face took on another smile. “Sri’lo, thank you for reminding me. I almost forgot.” His hand brushed hers from the pendant. He took hold of it and gave the necklace a swift jerk. The Twi’lek held it up, inspecting it. “Yes, Sri’lo, my dear departed brother-in-law did a fine job with this. This crystal’s valuable. I should be able to sell it for a good price.”
Nya’van slapped him as hard as she could, and she exclaimed angrily, “Can’t you see you’re hurting Sri’lo! Go gloat somewhere else, and leave us in what little peace we have left!”
Gaeva’ib’s eyes took on an evil glitter, and he crooned softly, “Careful, Nya’van. Your next master won’t like it if you start hitting people. Do you know what happens to troublesome slave girls?”
Nya’van’s eyes met his firmly. “I know well enough. At least have the decency to leave before Sri’lo does.”
Before the conversation could continue, some loud shouting was heard from the other end of the ship. Jehal was ‘addressing’ some young, scruffy-looking punks of various species.
“Don’t you have any brains? I said to set your blasters on stun, not kill! Do you know how many valuable Twi’lek girls we lost today because of your stupidity? Do you? We lost thirteen! We’re lucky we didn’t lose the Lethan, but we would’ve if it hadn’t been for Gaeva’ib! Follow orders next time! If you don’t, you’re out! Permanently! Now are you all sure we picked up all the live girls?”
A Twi’lek slaver spat on the floor and growled, “We got ‘em all. Let’s get off this rock and into space.”
“Fine, then. Someone turn on the Force Cage, don’t want anyone getting any bright ideas and trying to crash the ship like last time.”
Gaeva’ib darted back just in time to avoid a yellow, glowing force field that was activated between all of the pillars. Sri’lo watched him as he turned and walked towards Jehal. Her lips pursed tightly. Nya’van tried to hug her again, but the little girl pushed her away. The teenager nodded and moved a foot or two back. There was a gentle jolt as the ship lifted off the ground.
Sri’lo sat staring at the floor for the better part of an hour, thinking about what had just happened. Her thoughts dwelled on Gaeva’ib, what he had done to her...and the growing hatred that was consuming her. It was enveloping her from the inside out, clinging to her like a sweaty garment. Her black eyes closed for a few minutes, and she concentrated on her hatred. It made her feel—better, somehow.
Finally, exhaustion took her, and she slumped down to the floor, asleep.
A few hours later, the force field snapped off. Sri’lo was jerked awake by the sudden noise, and she glanced up to see Gaeva’ib approaching with a human man she’d never seen before.
“Lord Kazic, as I told you, we have only one Lethan, and she’s just a little girl. However, we do have several other slave girls that you might be interested in.”
“Shut up and let me see them.” He stopped a few feet in front of Sri’lo and began glancing over the captured Twi’leks with cold, heartless eyes. Sri’lo glared at him, the hatred inside her spilling out onto her face. Kazic sighed and asked, “Did you say these were Kamalan?”
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Hmph.” He was about to continue when he noticed Sri’lo glaring at him. Kazic saw the look in her eyes, and he studied it for a moment. He suddenly turned his gaze back to Gaeva’ib and said shortly, “I’ll take the Lethan.” He glanced down at Nya’van. “And that one. My master will be most pleased with her.” Nya’van cringed slightly and glanced at Sri’lo, a worried expression on her face.
Gaeva’ib flashed the perfect businessman’s smile and said smoothly, “Excellent choices, My Lord. This female is skilled with the flute, perfect for soothing your master’s nerves when he’s ill. And the Lethan is also skilled with the flute, for her age.”
“Save it. I’ll give you ten thousand credits even for the both of them.”
Gaeva’ib’s eyes glistened greedily. “You are most generous, My Lord. I’ll have the men place your purchases on your ship immediately.”
“Just make it quick. I need to get back to Rattatak soon.” The human whirled and strode away, his very walk proclaiming his arrogance. Sri’lo winced as a slaver’s large hand closed over her arm and jerked her to her feet. Gaeva’ib took a last look at Sri’lo, and he gave her a broad wink and flashed a smile. Sri’lo cast him a hate-filled glare as three slavers hustled Nya’van and Sri’lo away to Kazic’s ship.
Everything happened too fast for the young Twi'lek to take in, but when she finally got her bearings again, she found herself in a small, dark metal room with Nya’van. The door clanged shut, and there was a loud click as it locked.
Nya’van shuddered and pulled Sri’lo closer to her. The little girl whispered into the dimness, “Nya’van, where are we going?”
After a moment, she replied, “We’re going to a planet called Rattatak.”
Sri’lo said after a moment, “We’re going to be separated, aren’t we?”
Nya’van bit her lip and bowed her head, her face twitching with emotion. She nodded. “Yes.”
Sri’lo gritted her teeth and snarled, “I hate them! I swear, Nya’van, one day I’m going to kill them, and then I’m going to find you and rescue you!”
“No!” Nya’van exclaimed. “Don’t say things like that, Sri’lo! You—you never know who might be listening.” She glanced around fearfully and lowered her voice. “Sri’lo, promise me something.”
“When we get to where we’re going, I want you to try to escape.”
“I will—as soon as I kill them all.”
“No! Don’t kill them all, they’ll just kill you! Get away, far away!”
“And go where?” Sri’lo asked bitterly.
“Go—the Jedi. They can help you.”
“They didn’t help when our village was attacked!”
“Please, Sri’lo, promise me!”
Sri’lo reluctantly replied, “I promise.” Her eyes lit with fire again. “But I’m going to come back and get you!”
Nya’van shook her head gently. “No—no, don’t. Stay away. Don’t give them a chance to catch you again.”
“I’ll be all right, Sri’lo. Just worry about yourself.”
“Nya’van, I’m not going to desert you!”
Nya’van exclaimed sharply, “Sri’lokamala!” The little girl stopped her tirade. “Sri’lo, I want you to do as I ask. Don’t return for me. Leave me behind.”
“I can’t just—“
“Yes, you can! You must! Please, Sri’lo! I don’t want them to catch you after you’ve escaped! Promise me you won’t come back!”
Sri’lo pursed her lips, and her jaw tightened. She nodded once and said stiffly, “I promise.”
A relieved smile crossed Nya’van’s face, and she hugged Sri’lo. A tear found its way out of her eye, but she wiped it off before it dropped onto Sri’lo. Sri’lo pulled away from her and said flatly, “We need to rest.”
Nya’van started to say something, but she stopped herself and nodded. “You’re right. We do.” The Twi’leks each lay down, Sri’lo keeping to the wall away from Nya’van. The teenager watched her back for several minutes before closing her eyes and falling into a troubled sleep.
Sri’lo wasn’t asleep. Her mind raged as she thought of Nya’van’s words. Why couldn’t she come back and help her! She’d lost everyone else! Why was Nya’van insisting so hard! It wasn’t fair! She could save her! She could! If only she had a chance!
Several hours later, Sri’lo felt the ship shake again. They had landed.
Nya’van sat up and broke the sudden silence with the frightened whisper, “We’re here!”
Suddenly, the door burst open, and two guards walked in. One of them grabbed Nya’van and dragged her away. The teenager shouted back to Sri’lo, “Remember what I told you! Rememb—“ The guard struck her and pulled her around a corner.
Sri’lo started after her, but the other guard grabbed her arm and yanked her after him. After a few twists and turns through the narrow corridors of the ship, Sri’lo felt a hot blast of air hit her face and saw a ramp leading out of the ship onto a dirty metal floor. She was pulled down the ramp by the guard, and she saw the surface of Rattatak. It was hot, dusty, rocky, barren, devoid of almost all life. Sri’lo felt a pang go through her. This was much like Ryloth. The guard yanked her around and strode towards a door in a nearby wall. He entered, taking Sri’lo with him, closing the door behind them. Sri’lo shivered. It was cold in here, especially after the heat of the outside. She glanced from side to side as she and the guard proceeded down the hall. The walls were made of rock. There were metal grates on the floor, and every heavy footstep of the guard clanged loud and clear, echoing far down the tunnel. Every now and then they passed a side hall, stretching far out of sight. Several minutes later, the guard stopped at one of the intersections. A tall, rough-looking Twi’lek walked up and asked the guard a question in a language Sri’lo didn’t understand. The guard nodded. The Twi’lek grabbed Sri’lo’s sleeve and started down a side hall, leaving the guard behind.
The Twi’lek girl glanced from side to side, a chill of fear creeping up her spine. There were cages lining these walls. Many of them were empty, but some held animals. They all had a hungry, lean look about them, and several of them snarled and tried to attack her through the bars. Finally, Sri’lo spoke up.
“Where are you taking me?”
The Twi’lek struck her hard across the face and growled, “You don’t have permission to ask questions!”
He struck her again. “You will not speak unless spoken to!”
Sri’lo bit her tongue hard and shut her mouth.
A few twists and turns later, the Twi’lek opened one of the empty cages and threw Sri’lo in. She looked up at him, startled. He slammed the door and locked it.
Sri’lo exclaimed, “What’s going on?”
The Twi’lek snickered. “Lord Kazic told me to make special preparation for you!”
“But why a cage?”
“Arena slaves deserve no more! Be silent, or I’ll come in there and make you silent!” The Twi’lek stomped back up the hall. Sri’lo crept over to a corner and glanced around. Three sides of the cage were made up of bars. The side she had her back to was solid rock. She slid into a sitting position and hugged her knees to her. Sri’lo felt empty inside, as if her heart had been cut out. The little girl glanced around. There was a loud growl from down the hall, and something roared in reply. She shivered again and wished that she were back home. Her eyes darkened. Gaeva’ib...
Sri’lo felt angry tears well up in her eyes. She had trusted him so much, and then he had sold her! Nya’van might’ve made her promise not to rescue her, but she hadn’t made her promise not to kill Gaeva’ib! She didn’t care how long it took!
The faces of the slavers passed into her vision. The slavers—half of them had been Twi’leks.
Sri’lo felt the anger inside her threaten to explode, and she ground her fingernails into her palms until she felt blood flowing. If that’s what regular Twi’leks were like, she couldn’t trust any Twi’leks, not now, not ever! She whispered fiercely under her breath, “I want nothing to do with them!” The girl slammed herself into the bars and screamed furiously at the hall where the Twi’lek guard had gone, “I want no part of you!”
She remembered that once, Taisan’kye had told her about a punishment reserved for the worst of Twi’lek criminals. They were exiled, cast out into the Bright Lands or the Shadow Lands to die. But before they left, their names, the very things that identified them, were broken, and they were forever separated from their people.
Sri’lo’s eyes darkened as she said out loud, “My name is Sri Kamala.”
There ya go, BFA. :D
Wow, I would say this is the most emotional chapter yet! I could feel Sri'lo's hatred, especially for her uncle. I like where this story is going...well of course I don't like enslaved twi'leks, but you know what I mean. :)
I hope Sri'lo gets her revenge one day, though I think she willhave to wait a while. I think this was the best chapter so far.
BFA is quite the impatient one, isn't he? :xp:
I can't help it! :lol:
Wo0t! New chapter! My spirit has been re-forged!
Damn Uncle. I can't wait until Sri gets her revenge on him for what he's done. This is a very good fic indeed. Indeed this was the best chapter so far and I can't wait for more. [I will though, :lol: I think I've been annoying enough as it is :D ]
OK, that was long enough .. When's the next chap due? :xp:
Glad you liked the chapter, guys! (BFA, you need to get a hobby or something...;))
JK. Okay, the main reason I made this post was as a disclaimer and apology to Darth Yuthura. I just read her story, Shrouded in Darkness: Yuthura Ban's Tale, and I want to apologize for any similarites, most especially the necklace/pendant Taisan'kye gave to Sri'lo; I read Shrouded in Darkness after I made Sri Kamala's story.
BTW, BFA, I'm already working on the next chapter. :D
I've got a hobby!!!! It's reading and writing Star Wars fics! :D
Haha, I've got a couple of days off and the band is waiting to hear from the studio so we can't go in and record yet so life is going a bit slow at the moment and I need something to occupy meeeee!!!!!! :D:D:D
With regards to the previous chapter, what you said about the Council in reply to my post was at odds with what was portrayed in the story, where Taisan'kye decided to explain it to Sri'lo because he was afraid that the elders would tell her with disregard for tact :p
Overall, this chapter has a less polished feel than the first. The best advice that I can give is to take it slowly; there is no rush to post as your fans will always be hanging around anyway :) The dialogue between Nya'van, Sri'lo and Gaeva'ib feels a little stilted. Nice touch with the slavers getting scolded! :xp: You could work in more descriptions about the pain Sri'lo felt, as I seem to see her as a somewhat pampered child, never punished and thus never experiencing physical pain (besides breaking her arm).
I was half-expecting Nya'van to attempt some sort of diversion so that Sri'lo could escape (although expecting her to survive a desert alone might be foolish). I also thought that the Twi'leks working for the slavers would have been the ones cast out, hence I was a little surprised when she broke her own name (especially given the connection with criminals). I suppose it could have gone either way, but you might want to have Sri'lo think more about it, and sort out her reasoning so that the reader can follow her train of thought:)
Overall, though, pretty good!
Hi guys! I just dropped in to apologize for not having the next chapter up. I'm working on a Javyar's Cantina entry, so I haven't had much time to work on the next chapter. And the power cord for my laptop died just after I posted the last chapter. :compcry: Unfortunately, all my Sri files are on there (including names/memory hints/outlines/roughdrafts/etc.). As soon as I finish the Jav. Cantina thing, I'll be back on Sri!
BTW, thanks for the comments, guys! Bee, about the 'waves of anger' bit, that was a complete and total cop-out. :fist: You're absolutely right about me needing to change that.
No need to rush, Endo!
(Wow, did I just say that???? :0 )
Can't wait to read both the Jav entry and the next chap. :)
Okay, quick update. The computer cord finally got here (yes!!!), and the next Sri chapter is almost done. Hopefully, I'll have it out later today or tomorrow. Hopefully. :)
One long, elongated word: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-ooo-OOOOOOOO-oooooooo-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTAAAA-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Arr har, looking forward to it! :lol: :D
WOW! This story is excellent! I've been sitting on the edge of my seat for every chapter. Can't wait till the next one. Post it soon!
When you wrote the 2nd and 3rd chapters, did you start a new thread or did you post it using the quick reply box? I'm planning the second part of my story, but don't know how to post it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Please avoid double posting whenever possible. Use the edit button on the bottom right corner or your post instead ;)
Thanks, CommanderQ! :D
Yea, to put the second part of your story in, use the 'reply to this thread' button and type it out. (I had mine on my word processor, so what I did for the second and third chapters was copy it off of Word and paste it into the reply box. You have to go through and put italics, boldface, etc. back in, but it sure saves a lot of typing time!)
...sorry for the outburst I'm better now. :) As BFA said, take your time. We will wait...some of us more patiently than others. *looks pointedly at BFA* :D :xp: (I know, I'm a hypocrite :))
Passing of Days
Sri lay down in the chilling darkness of her cell. Three years had passed. Every day had been a constant nightmare. It hadn’t taken long to find out what her purpose was. The day after her arrival, a man had come and taken her to a large warehouse, around the edges of which lay many open cases of weapons. Then he’d told her that he was supposed to train her to fight. When she’d asked why, he’d said something about Lord Kazic having high hopes for her in the arena. Almost every day, Sri had trained, slowly building her skill and physique. She had one day every moon to rest—she was usually recovering instead of resting. Every few days, Kazic had paid her a visit, seeing how she had progressed; but before he returned to his normal life, he’d always beaten her severely. Once, one of the trainers had tried to make him stop, but had relented when Kazic told him that he was building Sri’s immunity to pain, besides making sure she remembered who her master was. Sri used to cry and scream, begging for him to stop, hoping for any relief, but then she’d found out that it only increased the sadistic pleasure he took in hurting her. She had then resolved not to give in to his cruel nature. After several months, only her eyes and what cries of pain she couldn’t suppress showed what she felt. Not one tear had ever trickled down her face since then, no matter how much she hurt.
Sri’s sharp ears listened for any sound of guards coming. Nothing. She got to her feet and pressed her face against the bars, glancing down the hall both ways. Good, she was alone. The girl backed away from the bars and began stretching.
Sri had never complained about the harsh tutelage she endured. She’d absorbed all of the training she could. But, instead of using all of her skill against the ‘tutors’, she’d kept her true capabilities hidden, watching and waiting for the day when she could kill Kazic and escape. Ah, killing Kazic—she would enjoy that. He would regret all those beatings he had given her! Her eyes gleamed in the darkness as she thought of it. Once that was done, she would leave and find Gaeva’ib.
Her eyes became bitter at the memory of her parents’ deaths. The images of that horrible day had branded themselves in the forefront of her mind, the mangled bodies of her parents and the smirk on Gaeva’ib’s face giving her strength. The anger and hate lurked inside of her like crouching predators, ready to spring up and strike, but only when the time was right. They’d grown stronger over the years, feeding on her bitterness, their vicious fangs dripping her own poison back into the bottomless well of her soul. It was difficult to keep them from taking complete control of her. Now, it was hard to imagine how life had been without them. There was no peace in her mind, just an all-consuming need to fulfill her one purpose left in life: revenge.
Someone was coming! Sri silently dropped to the stone floor and pretended she was asleep. Two guards were walking down the hall. She could hear them conversing in Rattataki and smirked slightly. There was one more thing they didn’t know about her. Daily exposure to the Rattataki tongue had helped her understand it, and now, she was fluent in it. Her face relaxed back into a stolid expression as they drew closer.
“Come on, let’s hurry up! I want to get back to sleep!”
The other guard grunted, “I don’t even know why Lord Kazic’s having us check on her. She’s just some kid.”
The first guard asked in a lower voice, “Haven’t you seen her lately?”
There was a coarse laugh. “’Course I have. You think I’m blind or somethin’? She’s gonna look real good in a year or two—”
“No, you don’t understand what I’m saying!” the first guard snapped. “When she looks at me, I don’t know why, but I’m suddenly—afraid.”
The second guard snorted in disgust. “Afraid of some kid? You’re a coward!”
“Just wait until she glares at you, then you’ll know what I mean!”
They halted in front of her cage. The second guard suddenly slammed the end of his rifle into the bars, sending a loud ring through the cage. Sri leaped to her feet as if startled.
The first guard exclaimed, “What do you think you’re doing!”
The second one laughed and replied, “If she’s so scary, I’ll know soon enough.” He switched to Basic. “Hey, girl!” Her black eyes darted to him and remained on him, glaring, boring into his face. He was visibly shaken at the effect they had on him. Fear possessed his entire being, making him want to run away as fast as he could. He could feel her hatred, as if it were a snake slithering closer, wrapping around him, its mouth opening, its fangs folding outwards--. The guard whirled abruptly and walked down the hall again. His friend followed suit, laughing at his retreating back.
Sri’s mouth twisted into a smile. Those two guards had unwittingly informed her of her greatest weapon; her eyes! They had finally finished developing! A few times, Atan’il had told her about the effect they had on other tribes and races. When a full-blooded Kamalan looked at you, you could feel his emotions towards you. Sri’s smile darkened. Her hate was serving her once more. These eyes of hers eroded the will of her opponent, planting an irrational fear of her in his soul! The young Twi’lek continued stretching her slim figure, readying herself for her nightly practice. Now was the time when she would exercise her hidden talents against invisible foes. It wasn’t nearly as good as fighting real people, animals, or the holograms she used to learn to battle against numbers, but it would suffice until the time came to exact payment from Kazic.
Another year passed. Her situation had changed little. Sri’s skills had exponentially increased, for some reason, and she was having trouble hiding them now. Her weapons had changed as well. Instead of wielding two vibroswords, Kazic had found two new toys for her to use, some things called lightsabers. Their energy blades were weightless and glowed a bright, piercing blue. It had taken several weeks to learn how to balance them in her hand, since her trainers knew nothing about these lightsabers. Now, she was just as proficient with them as she was with the vibroswords. They would cut through almost anything. The only real threat to their power seemed to be an element called cortosis. Some swords, her trainers said, had this rare element mixed in with the metal of their blades. But those swords were supposed to be rare, so she had little to fear from them.
But matters were beginning to get out of hand. Sri had almost killed one of her instructors during a bout of hand-to-hand combat. For the past four years, he and the other trainers had wisely taught her a style that made her natural inability to reach a man’s strength invalid. She’d almost broken her trainer’s neck with her last strike. Sri didn’t care. She hated him as much as she hated all the others around her. She was just sorry that his spinal cord hadn’t shattered completely from that strike.
Sri flexed her sore muscles in the dim light of her cell. She’d taken a serious beating for that ‘accident’. As usual, it was extremely painful, but left no scars to mar her skin. The girl crouched in the back corner of her cell as footsteps approached. A guard walked up and set a bowl of water and a portion of food through the bars. He left as quickly as possible. Sri crept over to the food and tore into it with all the manners of a ravenous wolf. It tasted terrible, but it would keep her alive and healthy, and that was all she cared about. As soon as she swallowed the last bite, she drank the water from the bowl. In a few minutes, her instructor would come by and take her back to that cursed room, and another day would begin.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, her instructor and a guard showed up. Sri glared at the instructor out of habit. He shivered as he grabbed her arm and pulled her down the hall after him. The guard remarked glumly, “At least you don’t have to put up with the little beast anymore after this, if Kazic likes what he sees. It was a lucky break for you, the other guy getting himself injured.” He lowered his voice to a confidential whisper. “I heard someone say that he’s showing her off to a special guest today, and he might go ahead and throw her into the arena next week.”
The instructor gave a relieved smile. “Good! I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I accepted Lord Kazic’s offer to train this girl! She gives me the creeps; I’ll be more than happy to get her off my hands!”
“Huh, guess who’s probably gonna have to put up with her for the rest of his life? You’re looking at him!”
The instructor laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you can get out of here eventually. Tell you what, for a hundred credits, I’ll take you with me when I leave. I know a Hutt on Tattooine who can always use another guard like you.”
The guard replied apprehensively, “I dunno, a Hutt…”
“His name’s Jabba.”
“Jabba? You’ve got a deal!”
Sri stopped listening to them at that point. Her eyes sparkled fiercely. Today was the day; it had to be! Kazic would die before the sun fell from the sky, and then she’d be free to wreak her vengeance on Gaeva’ib!
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Yes, I finally got it out!!!!! :D Sorry about the long wait guys. I feel kinda bad giving you this dinky little chapter instead of a nice long one... :(
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