Thread: [Fic] A Soul Adrift
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:37 AM   #104
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You're in luck, guys! Anni and I just finished beta'ing the next chapter!

Okay...well, actually, the part of the chapter I was having trouble with, I transformed into a summary instead. Sorry about that, but I figured I'd better post something!

Also, one final thing before the next chapter--I'm sending a PM to everyone who's posted on this thing, soooo...that's what the PM that just showed up in your inbox is about.

And, without boring you further--Chapter 6!


Chapter 6
Two Collars

Summary: Sri wakes up back in her cage. She discovers that there’s now a metal collar around her neck; she can’t get it off. The Twi’lek realizes that her plan has been foiled, and for lack of anything else, she unleashes her wrath on the bars, almost breaking her hands in the process. A few minutes later, Cor arrives. He informs her of what took place after she was stunned, and he tells her that she’ll make her debut in the same fight Kazic had planned for her, but for Cor instead. Sri’s temper snaps, and she flies into a rage, defiantly shouting that she won’t obey him, and she definitely won’t appear in any arena for him. Cor merely takes a small remote from his sleeve and presses a button on it. Sri’s fears about the collar are confirmed. It’s a device that can give off electrical charges of varying length and intensity. Cor tortures her with it for about half an hour before her body can’t take the pain anymore. Her mind simply shuts down, throwing her into unconsciousness once more.

“Sri’lo? Sri’lo! What have they done to you?”

Someone was shaking her shoulder. That voice…she knew it. Her eyes opened half-way. “Nya’van?”

Nya’van smiled, a few tears shining in her eyes. “I wasn’t sure you’d wake up.”

Sri retched and swallowed bile. “I-I feel weak.” She slowly started pushing herself up, her nerves groaning in pain. A fierce growl left her throat, and she shoved herself to her feet. “Where’s Cor!”

Nya’van stood beside her and replied gently, “He’s not here. Sit down, you need rest.”

The Lethan winced and pressed her fingers against her temples. She said numbly, “I have a headache.” Her knees gave way, and she sank to the ground.

Nya’van knelt beside her. “Sri’lo, what happened? You’ve been unconscious since I got here an hour ago.”

Sri’s hand traced down her cheek to the collar around her neck. Her questioning eyes turned to Nya’van. “Nya’van—what are you doing here?”

“Lord Cor questioned me about you, then he had me brought here. He didn’t tell me why.” The green Twi’lek sat in front of her. “I didn’t tell him anything. Sri’lo, why are you in here? What did they do to you?”

“After they took you away?” Sri asked bitterly.

Nya’van nodded. “Yes. I’ve tried to ask some of the guards about you, but they didn’t even know you existed.” She glanced around. “Answer me, Sri’lo. Why are you in here?”

Sri sniffed and gestured towards the bars. “Welcome to my home, Nya’van.”

Nya’van exclaimed in horror, “They kept a child in here! What did they do to you?”

“I’ve been taught to fight!” Sri snapped.

“Fight? What do you mean?”

“You know what I did a few hours ago? I killed my master, Kazic, and over a hundred of his guards!” Sri’s lips twisted into a spiteful smile. “I was so close to escaping—!” Her voice cracked into a slight sob.

Nya’van swallowed hard. “I’m sorry, Sri’lo.” A tear trickled from her eye. “You—kill people now, Sri’lo?”

Sri shouted, “Yes I do, Nya’van! Haven’t you heard what I’ve been saying! I don’t just kill people! I enjoy killing people!” She gritted her teeth and hissed out a curse. “I planned to kill Kazic for years, and Cor ruined my victory!”

Nya’van bit her lip and said quietly, “Sri’lo, I—“

Sri sprang to her feet and shrieked, “Don’t call me that!”

Nya’va stared up at her, her eyes full of hurt and surprise. “But—but that’s your name.”

“No it’s not!” Sri spat defiantly. “I’m no longer Sri’lokamala! My name is Sri Kamala!”

Nya’van’s mouth dropped open with a gasp. “Sri’lo—Sri—why did you separate from your people! You did nothing wrong!”

“I don’t want anything to do with Gaeva’ib!” Sri’s lips parted into a chilling smile. “When I kill him, I don’t want to see the blood of my people soaking into the sand. I want to see the blood of my enemy!”

Nya’van stood, her jaw tense. She shook her head firmly. “I don’t know what they’ve done to you, Sri, but when I look at you, I don’t see a shamed Twi’lek. I see a lost little girl whose parents were killed and whose trust was betrayed.” Her hand touched Sri’s arm. “I know you, Sri. That sweet little girl is still there. You’re just drowning her out with your hatred for Gaeva—“

“Shut up!” Sri shouted as she slapped Nya’van’s hand away. “That sweet little girl died the day her parents did, and Sri Kamala was born! My hate keeps me alive! I draw strength from it!”

Nya’van pursed her lips. “No. Your hate is destroying you. I can see that.” She cast Sri a pitying look. “You know what really frightens me, Sri? The fact that you’re so blind you don’t realize your hate is perverting everything your parents ever taught you. As soon as it finishes its work, they will truly be lost forever.”

“Stop it!” Sri shrieked. She darted forward, slamming Nya’van back into the wall, her hand around her throat. The Lethan growled, “If you hadn’t been my friend a few years ago, you would truly have reason to fear me, Nya’van, because I would break your neck for saying such a thing!” Sri jerked her hand away and stepped back.

“Quite interesting.”

Both Twi’leks whirled to face the bars. Cor was standing there with two large, burly bodyguards at his side. Sri hissed angrily, “Take my 'friend' away from here!”

Cor smiled pleasantly. “I intend to—but what state she leaves in is up to you.”

Sri felt the nausea of dread creeping through her, and she snarled, “What do you mean?”

“Would you prefer her to leave alive or dead?” Cor extracted a small, handheld remote from his belt and tapped a button on it. Nya’van screamed and dropped to the ground, writhing in agony. Sri was at her side immediately. She saw the glint of a collar around her old teacher’s neck. Her hands flew to it, desperately trying to pry it off. Sri felt a few tears roll down her own cheeks, but she didn’t care. All she could think of was helping Nya'van. After several moments of futile endeavor, Sri leaped to her feet and lunged towards Cor. “Stop it! I beg you! Please!”

Cor folded his arms across his chest. “I have no intention of doing so until she’s dead or you’ve been tamed. It’s your choice, but I advise you not to think too long. Another minute or so, and your friend will die.”

Sri fell to her knees. “I’ll do it! I’ll fight for you! I’ll obey you, just stop it!”

A self-satisfied smile spread across Cor’s white face, and he tapped the remote again. Nya’van’s screams subsided into a few low moans of pain. Sri bowed her head, part in relief and part in despair. Cor had won.

“Sri? Come here!”

Sri was back at Nya’van’s side in an instant. The green Twi’lek stared up at her hazily as she grasped her hand and whispered, “You’ll always be Sri’lo to me.” Her head lolled to one side as she lost consciousness.

“Get her out of there!” Cor ordered his bodyguards curtly. Sri kept her head down as the door of her cage opened and the two men walked in. One of them accidentally brushed against her shoulder as he bent down to pick up Nya’van.

Sri moved with reflex, like a finely-tuned machine. She sprang lithely to her feet and darted behind him. He started turning to face her, but it was too late. One of her hands grabbed the right side of his forehead; her other hand clamped against the left side of his jaw. A swift jerk was all it took to snap his neck.

Sri stopped in mid-motion as a sharp frazzle of electricity emanated from her collar. She stared at the body of the dead man as she stepped back, allowing the other bodyguard to carry Nya’van out of the cage, somehow managing to close the door behind him. He strode down the hall, leaving Cor and Sri alone.

Cor crossed his arms. “I told you I would break you.”

Sri glared at him in open scorn. “You’re a coward, Cor. You don’t even have the courage to torture me with your own hands! Instead you use a machine, a toy. You disgust me!”

Cor smiled thinly. “Only a fool would risk coming within your reach. Beware, or you’ll be subject to my ‘toy’ again. Tomorrow morning, you’re going to go to my training grounds, and you’re going to remain under the supervision of thirty men until you’re returned to your charming residence at nightfall. Do you understand me?”

Sri lowered her head again, her face contorting. Finally, she replied in a low rumble, “Yes, Master.”

Cor walked away without another word. Sri watched him until he left her range of sight, then she crept back to the corner of her cage. She crouched there for a few minutes, trying to sort everything out. As much as she resented Nya’van’s words, she didn’t want to see her dead. Nya’van had been the closest thing to a sister she’d ever had! If she killed Cor, then Cor’s servants would kill Nya’van. If she escaped—she didn’t know what would happen. Either way, Nya’van was a new hindrance—a second collar.

Sri clenched her fists, trying to steady her mind. Finally, she slammed her fist into the wall as hard as she could. There was no way out of this! All she could do was wait even longer. Eventually, something had to happen, some hole had to open up! There was no prison built that was completely escape-proof! But for now, she would continue training herself. If she could just stomach Cor long enough, he would let down his guard. Sri rubbed her eyes. She needed rest if she was going to make it through tomorrow.

Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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