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Old 03-16-2006, 09:24 AM   #35
machievelli
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Escape

Holani stared at the wall. Her back was a mass of pain as the torturers began flaying her slowly in strips. Her teeth bit, and she tasted blood. She steeled herself not to scream. Yet when something burned into the wound she couldn’t help herself.

*****
Breia moved slowly, the rhythm of the dance of death, even without a sword in hand was unhurried, casual to those that only watched. But every move she knew would bring death or salvation if she ever held a sword again. Forgive me Echana. My worst fears are realized, death will be mine soon enough, and I do not even have the means to properly pray, She thought. [i]Is my life worth the pain of the woman in the next cell?[/]

She had been trying to sleep when the screams began a short time ago. With her extraordinary hearing she could see the knives cutting flesh, feel it ripping free. There were taunting demands, telling her that the pain would stop if only briefly if she begged Breia to surrender.

Yet while she screamed, cried out in her anguish, the words they demanded never came.

So strong of will she is Breia thought. I know he will never let her go. Will kill her by centimeters if I do not submit. My death is ordained as is hers. Only the manner now remains. Do I have the strength of will to die so she might die a merciful death?
She had not told the woman of the coins she had in her pocket. Soo-ti taught how to throw any object with deadly accuracy. She could kill the first guard through the door, then charge them. No one would expect a blind woman to fight back. If she could lay her hand on a sword she would teach them master lessons in Mah-rehal, the ‘dance with eyes closed’ before they killed her.

But that would only be an option if she could send Holani on her way first.

*****

The grating slid aside, and Darshan stuck his head up. “I never pictured me breaking into jail. Breaking out is more my style.”

“Not good at it were you.”

Darshan looked back into the hole, then climbed out. “So you know about that?”

“Behave your self than you should.” Dor stuck his head up. That way they are.”

“Right-o.” Darshan walked down the hall, freezing as he looked into one of the cells.

The Lortu were hominids with tightly curled fur standing about as tall as Darshan’s 1.75 meters. He knew without any closer examination that this being would never stand again. That was the least of his injuries. “What kind of monster does this to people?” He whispered in horror.

“Kind that his own superiority assumes.” Dor said. “Help him we cannot. Hurry we must .”

“I can open the cell, put him out of his misery at least.” Darshan protested.

“And what of hundreds more here?” Dor asked gently. “Every door behind is more horror. Days we do not have.”

Darshan shook his head, and followed. He refused every desire to look.

*****

Sogor paced angrily. Something didn’t feel right. Something was out there, something that would end his reign if he wasn’t careful.

The pacing slowed. Some-

He spun, calling for his Ever Living Guard. The best warriors of his world. They charged toward the cells ten floors below.

*****
The halls seemed endless. The design used every available space, halls formed it into separate boxes with dozens of cells on each stretch left and right, other halls every fifty meters. Pain and suffering cubed and neatly organized. Darshan considered what would happen if he flared the engines on the way out, vented half a ton of fuel as plasma. Would it reach up high enough to put all of these poor people out of their pain? or merely make it worse?

He heard something, and stopped. “What was that?”

“Torture done is. One we seek to save they do this to.”

Darshan felt something give inside him. He was moving fast, suddenly he was running. One cell ahead of him was open, and he heard a gruff laugh from within, a whine of someone in unspeakable pain.

He rounded the door, and even as he plunged forward his eyes recorded it all. The woman held against the wall with manacles, her back a bloody ruin. A face he saw only in profile tugging at his heart, two Lortu turning stupidly as he charged forward.

He slammed one against the wall, feeling bones snap, not caring if they were his or the enemies. The multitool snapped out, the other Lortu falling, blood geysering from his throat.

Then it arched back, the Lortu in front of him spasming as the multitool punched into his head so that the handle stuck out.

Darshan followed the body down, suddenly wanting to scream as he felt his dislocated shoulder. He knelt, wanting to vomit, wanting to scream in joy that he was still alive, and the others were dead. He gagged fighting the natural reaction.

“At least miss my legs if you can.” The woman gasped.

“We’re here to rescue you.” Darshan gritted out, standing. Her eye looked at him.

“Dislocated your shoulder?”

“How did you know?”

“I’ve had it done. My luck I have a klutz for a knight in shining armor. Next time maybe you should plan the operation better. If I‘m still alive I can give you a few pointers.” She winced as she laughed, gasping in pain. “I think maybe you should hurry. But that’s just me talking.”

Darshan reached down, and the multitool came out of the corpse’s head. He wiped it off on the dead man’s clothes, adjusted the tool option, then leaned up, wincing as overstressed tendons stretched to unlock the right manacle. The woman flinched as her arm dropped. He moved past her and started on the opposite manacle. The left arm dropped as well. He dropped to his knees, attacking the ankle cuffs.

She tried to laugh, wincing in pain, but humor was in her voice. “My fondest dream, to have a man at my feet on his knees.” She shook her head as the cuffs fell away. “Not as good as the fantasy.”

“Give me time, I grow on you.”

“I am not a tree, and you’re not moss.” She turned around, then caught his hanging arm. Before he could do anything She whipped it out, set her foot in his armpit, and pulled.

Darshan started to scream. then he stopped. He swung the arm experimenting. “You reset it!”

“Said it had been done to me.” She looked toward the door where Dor stood. “Whose the little friend?”

“Dor of Monastery of Jedi am.”

“Jedi?” She shook her head. “As if the situation isn’t bad enough!”

“Why do you say that?” Darshan asked.

“I left home because of one of them.” Holani said in her fury. “One minute my father loves me, the next every little thing they thought I did is laid out like a trial.”

“Holani name yours is?” Dor nodded. “Young one did arbitrate. Learned lies and accepted truth they were. Others followed and proved innocent you were.”

“So one of you condemns me another exonerates me!” She winced as she felt a laugh bubble up. “My luck runneth over.”

“Hey, you were on my list to be rescued, so give us some thanks, okay?” Darshan said. “Where’s the other one?”

Both Holani and Dor pointed to the wall. “In there. Go first this time I must.”

*****
The door slid open, and Breia felt with that sense she had discovered. The half credit coin lay in her hand, 20 grams of metal, enough to crack a skull at this range. But the figure merely stood there. “You to rescue have we come.”

She laughed. “Right.”

Trust us you do not. Understand I do. Listen to Holani will you?”

Breia stood slowly. Holani came rushing in, and Breia hugged her. She felt the woman wince, and her hands could feel ragged tears in her skin.

“Oh Holani...”

“No time for that. Let’s get the hell out of here then we’ll both cry until our eyes dry up.”

They hurried down the hall. Suddenly Breia whirled, a coin flashing from her hand, and they stared at the soldier that staggered into the wall, blood pumping from the wound in his head as he collapsed. Before anyone could stop her, Breia ran back, snatching a sword and a pistol from his belt. She was grinning when she rejoined them, handing the gun to Holani.

Darshan reached the grate, and lowered Dor first. Then he handed down Breia, then Holani before following.

*****
Dor motioned, stopping the others, and moved down to the grating they had merely jammed back in place. There was grumbling, and his eyes tightened. He moved back up to them.

“Guards there are below.” He whispered.

“I knew that might happen.” Darshan sighed. “People will forget their prejudice when someone screams loud enough at them.”

“Considered this I did not.”

“Good thing I did.” Darshan lifted his com link. “A1, emergency start. vent plasma.” He ducked, and everyone else did the same as there was a blast of light and heat from below, followed by screams. When the sound died, Dor moved carefully to the grate. The blast of heat had been sufficient to melt the weapons of the guards around the ship into puddles, and Dor leaped down past them. The mass of fecal matter had been turned into a crackling dust, and they coughed as they staggered across it. The ship, still sealed, sat in the middle of a lot of carbonized people. The ramp came down at Darshan’s command, and they ran aboard.

Breia spun on the ramp just as shots rang out, and Dor staggered. Three bullets whined into the darkness as she deflected them away. The firing stopped as the Guard stood stunned. Holani spun, her gun tracking, and she returned fire at the group that had been far enough back to escape immolation. “Get us out of here!” she screamed.

Darshan caught the little being, lugging him aboard. He dropped him in the mess hall, threw a med kit to Holani, and ran forward. He could hear bullets like a lethal hail slamming into the hull, and he slapped the controls, lifting the ship. He started to spin it, stopping when he realized that it was too long to fit. He jacked up the nose, dropping the tail, and the ship spun in place with centimeters to spare. Then he goosed the engine, the ship leaping forward as those behind them died in a massive fireball.

If someone had told Darshan that he would fly at high speed down a corridor this small, he would have told them they were insane. Yet flight was their only option, and the faster the better. They bulleted out of the tunnel as all of the waste dust in the air ignited. As the ship rose toward the heavens they missed the explosion that first lifted the building as if it were a toy, then leveled the pyramid.

They screamed out of atmosphere, the nose aimed at the Corellian hyper cannon. Alarms screamed at Darshan as he saw fighters, old L7 Tomcats that were obsolete on Coruscant, but deadly enough to kill an unarmed ship. One of them fired, and the ship staggered as the Nav-computer blew up.

*****
Aft Breia despaired for the little being that had led her rescue. She couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. Dor’s eyes opened, and he looked around wildly. “Forward I must go.”

“We can’t move you, you’ll die!”

“Dead am I already. All will die if forward I do not go.”

Holani caught him up, staggering forward as the ship seemed to try to fly up it’s own butt. She collapsed into the copilot’s seat, bringing a grunt from the injured monk.

“Trust me you must, Darshan. Turn over to me navigation.”

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Unless pain you enjoy, do this.”

Darshan hissed, flicking the switches. “All yours!”

“Fly toward farthest cannon. Vector to home is there.”

Darshan shrugged. The com panel flashed and he slapped it. “Not now I’m kind of busy.”

“Dor, my old friend. We meet again.” A voice answered.

Darshan rolled the ship, a fighter coming up from behind dodged to avoid ramming. “Who ever you are this is a really bad time.”

“Sogor it is.” Dor husked. “Redemption you want my student?” His fingers flickered across the keyboard, eyes tightly shut.

“Don’t be naive. If only you knew the power I have gained since I left.”

“Since thrown out you were.” Dor snapped. He paused, then his fingers again began their desperate tapping.

“I will spare your lives if you return. That ship is worth more than the Echani slut and that failed spy.”

“This ship you will not have.” Dor said. “If my death is needed to stop you.”

“And theirs?” Sogor was amused. Darshan caught a motion, and saw one of the fighters paralleling him. “To fly without the stricture of the cannon. Will Echana be able to stop my next invasion?”

“Tell you a secret I will.” Dor answered. “Invasion, happen will not.” He hit a last button, then his fist came down on the red initiate button.

Sogor screamed as the ship leaped into hyper and away. He vented his spleen for a few seconds too long. As he spun to return, the mines around him detonated, turning his ship into shards that continued into deep space.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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