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Old 08-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #1
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[Fic] No Escape

No Escape

Part I – Wrong Place, Wrong Time


Magnat Interplanetary

Personnel file no. 8867351

Employee name: Lima Toral

Position: Security Officer
Location: Magnat Interplanetary HQ; Coruscant
Clearance: Level 4
Efficiency rating: 9.5
Status: Promotion pending

Five thirty. Just a half an hour away from the end of the shift. Lima liked her job, or at least she never complained about it. Security may not have been the cosiest profession, but it wasn’t too demanding and it paid the bills and brought food on the table. The most important thing is that her shift ended early enough for her to be with her kids. Her two angels, she liked to call them. She would give and do anything for them. They were her world.

Lima was doing her standard rounds, just like any other day. Accounting, three hundred ninety seventh; Marketing, three hundred ninety eighth and R&D, three hundred ninety ninth floor were under her jurisdiction – that means she, along with eight other colleagues, was responsible for the safety of nearly two hundred employees and, of course, for every piece of corporate property that was on those three floors, from an ordinary datapad to the most sophisticated computer.

Research and Development was up next. Lima usually liked to patrol here, regardless of her limited access, since it was here that she saw the most amazing things in her life, the most unexpected advancements in technology. Every time she saw a piece of technology assembled, her ocean blue eyes would almost sparkle with excitement. It reminded her of her childhood, since her father worked as a technician in an engine factory and would often bring her along.

She’d gaze at the R&D assembly for a few minutes and then routinely brush her ponytail to the back. Then she’d continue with her round – across the catwalk and left from the Biotech department door. She didn’t have access to it yet, but it didn’t bother her. Ordinarily, she’d simply pass by and go about her business. She would have done it this time too, but there was a scream.

As she neared the Biotech department, the door suddenly opened and out came a middle-aged scientist, his left hand pressing the bloody wound on his stomach and his right gripping a small black data stick. The gray haired man limped towards her as fast as he could, panic and fear apparent in his eyes. Lima sped up to meet him. The first thing on her mind was to get an explanation, but before she could say a word a shot was fired and the poor man stumbled into her arms, forcing the data stick into her hand and crying out one last wish: ’’Don’t let them get it.’’

The scientist’s body stumbled onto the floor, smoke still coming out of the fatal wound on his back, bringing with it the smell of burned human flesh. Lima glanced at the body with terror and looked back at the Biotech door. A male Nagai with trimmed blonde hair, which was unusual for the species, dressed in a security guard uniform stood there now, pointing a blaster directly at her.

’’The data stick, if you please.’’ The Nagai guard said calmly.

’’What’s going on here? Who was this man?’’ Lima asked, her confusion mixing with fear.

’’The data stick, girl.’’ The Nagai reiterated, ’’Give it to me and forget what you saw here, if you know what’s good for you.’’ He slowly approached, still pointing the blaster at her with his right hand, while slowly holding out the left, expecting to get the data stick.

Thousands of possibilities passed through Lima’s mind like a whirlwind. She chose one finally and relinquished the data stick, convincing herself that the dead man on the floor was some kind of thief.

’’Thank you.’’ The Nagai said. ’’I knew you’d see reason. You can go.’’

Lima nodded her head and turned around to leave, but then she heard a click. In an instant she dropped to the ground, avoiding the deadly shot. She pulled out her own blaster and fired straight at the Nagai’s leg. He shrieked, dropping to his back and grabbing the injured limb, while Lima made her escape.

The Nagai pulled out a small bacta syringe and injected it into his wounded leg. With an expression of relief he pulled out a small comm device.

’’Yes, Vynn?’’ The voice sounded from the comm. ’’What have you to report?’’

’’I have secured the data, Mr. Magnat.’’ Vynn replied.

’’Excellent.’’ The deep and arrogant voice commented. ’’Lock it down in storage and report back.’’

’’We still have a problem, sir.’’ Vynn added. ’’There’s a witness. An employee.’’

’’Might it be the panicking brown haired woman that just rushed into the elevator?’’ The voice probed.

’’Yes, Mr. Magnat. She’s a security guard that…’’

’’I know very well who she is, Vynn, but I don’t know what are you still waiting for.’’

’’Sir?’’ The blonde Nagai asked.

’’Damage control.’’ The voice coldly replied.

As the Nagai moved out, Vaalton Magnat, the Arkanian businessman switched his camera monitor to Parking Bay Three. The screen displayed a brown haired woman rushing to a red speeder and taking off on it. Magnat switched his attention now to a second screen. A file from the Hall of Records was displayed there. Magnat typed something and sent the whole thing to Vynn. The Arkanian stroked his bald head, grinning with satisfaction.

Part II – Living a Nightmare


Coruscant Hall of Records

Personal file no. 335992

Name: Lima Toral
Species: Human, caucasian

Relatives: two; children; Keya, 4; Daren, 6
Residence: #24 Eden Way

Other notes: --

Erasure procedure approved. –M

Lima rushed to her red speeder and hit the gas. Two thugs in sleek dark green outfits followed on their speeders. Lima rushed through the traffic, avoiding the other vehicles as best she could and speeding up along the way. The thugs rose above the traffic line and sped up to catch up to her. The chase went on and on, the thugs, unable to shoot her down with all the witnesses around, simply kept up with her, knowing that she couldn’t elude them forever.

A darker path, free of traffic finally came along. Underneath their helmets, the thugs smiled. She’s done for. Unlike Lima, the thugs’ speeders were equipped with two blaster cannons and as soon as they entered the dark path, it lit up with blaster fire.

The first shot missed Lima by a decimeter and she was prepared for more to come. The thugs kept firing, but Lima somehow managed to avoid their shots. She spun around, she slowed down and sped up and she managed not to get hit. Suddenly she saw an opportunity and hit the gas pedal. The thug closer to her didn’t see what’s coming and he crashed into the wall of the building, while Lima slipped into the narrow passage. The second thug followed.

The thug fired again, figuring his chances of hitting her were better now that she had so little space around her. The passage was indeed narrow, but you could still go up and down as much as you wanted to. Lima used that. She avoided shot after shot until she saw the end of the passage and heard a loud sound coming from there. She sped up again and rushed into the open. The thug rushed to follow her, but ended up crashing into the coming waste transporter that released its warning sound seconds earlier.

Lima appreciated those few seconds of relief, but she rushed home. After all that’s happened, she knew she had to get the kids and disappear.

Fifteen minutes later she arrived home. It was a decent residential skyscraper. Her apartment wasn’t too big, but it was enough Three rooms – one for the kids, one for her and a living room – then a small kitchen and a bathroom. She couldn’t afford anything more after her husband died and, with her salary, she couldn’t afford to keep living in her husband’s luxurious penthouse, so she sold it and bought this, smaller apartment.

Lima entered the elevator in the lobby and repeatedly pressed the appropriate button. She was nervous and with good reason. What made her endure everything that happened this evening was one thought – the safety of her children.

As the elevator stopped, she rushed out and ran to her apartment. She slowed down when she saw the door wide open. She pulled out her blaster and slowly approached. The lock was busted. She didn’t like this. Fear started creeping into her mind, but hope still prevailed. Hope that the kids are alright.

But all her hopes were extinguished the moment she entered her living room. What she saw there filled her hearth with indescribable terror. The furniture was tossed around and ruined and in the center of the room, almost like on display, laid her children. Each of their small, frail bodies mutilated by a single blaster wound on the back. Every parent’s worst nightmare. Lima was living it.

Despair took her. She dropped to her knees and leaned over the corpses of her children. And then tears started pouring out like waterfalls. But her cry was cut short by a swift kick in the back. She fell. Her assailant remained behind her.

’’Did you really think you could get away?’’ The assailant said with a gloating tone. Lima recognized the voice. It was the blonde Nagai who killed the scientist.

’’I knew you’d certainly come here so all I had to do was wait. Your pursuers were only there to stall you, I assumed they wouldn’t get you. Not with your skills.’’ Vynn said.

Lima turned her head a bit, so she could see him. She was still in shock.

’’Yes, I read your file.’’ Vynn added. ’’A former New Republic fighter pilot who settled down and started a family with a politician. Ain’t it a love story?’’

Lima kept staring at him. Just staring and trying to think.

’’Too bad your politician wasn’t very popular.’’ Vynn gloated, ’’Otherwise he wouldn’t have been assassinated.’’ He allowed himself a wicked smile.

Lima kept looking at him. She didn’t see a person there. She saw a ruthless beast, a killer with no emotion. She hated him. Her hatred slowly grew into anger until something within her snapped and there was only one thought – kill.

Vynn decided he’d done enough toying with his victim and went for his blaster. That’s when she struck. Lima kicked him in the crotch and swiftly flipped over and got back on her feet. She then turned around and kicked the Nagai once again, this time in the face. He fell on his back, still holding his crotch. Lima kept kicking him. Harder and harder. There was no control. She started stomping his face and she didn’t stop when she saw the blood pouring out. She kept stomping and stomping until Vynn’s skull was completely crushed. She knelt down, swiped across the puddle of blood with her finger, brought it to her mouth and licked the Nagai’s blood off. So that’s what a killer tastes like.

’’Vynn, report!’’ A voice sounded from one of Vynn’s pockets. Lima searched them and found the small comm device he was carrying.

’’Vynn, this is Magnat! Report at once!’’ The voice shouted through the comm.

Vaalton Magnat. So he’s the one who let the Nagai animal loose. He’s the one who killed my angels. Lima thought. All the anger, all the hatred she had for the Nagai was now multiplied tenfold. There was nothing to lose. All she had was revenge and she would get it. She would make the arrogant Arkanian pay. She didn’t care about anybody’s innocence or guilt anymore, if they stood in her way, they would die.

’’Vynn, are you insane!? Report, damn it!’’ Magnat’s voice shouted again.

Lima pressed the small button on the device and replied: ’’Vynn’s not with us anymore, but don’t worry, I’ll be visiting you instead.’’

Back at the top floor of Magnat Interplanetary the bald Arkanian businessman grew nervous. He finished editing one last file and started packing his bags.


Magnat Interplanetary

Personnel file no. 8867351

Employee name: Lima Toral

Position: Security Officer
Location: Magnat Interplanetary HQ; Coruscant
Clearance: Level 4
Efficiency rating: 9.5
Status: Termination pending

The End

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Old 09-15-2007, 01:45 AM   #2
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While it was original, I'm afraid that I could see what was coming from the start. The Nagai learned the hard way that one should kill first and gloat later, I suppose Magnat would probably have more people working for him, and explaining the significance of the datastick would have been a nice touch as well.

The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:34 AM   #3
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Well, the topic is called ''The Great Fall'', so it's expected that the reader knows what will happen to the protagonist in the end. Originally I did intend to reveal the contents of the datastick near the end of the story, but I decided it was not crucial for the reader to know that, so instead I worked more on the scene of Lima's fall.

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Old 09-15-2007, 10:15 PM   #4
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The nicest touch to this story, I believe, is the cold, calculating and detached tone of Lima's employee files as transitions between its three parts. It made me shiver when I realized that Lima, as the protagonist, was a character of flesh, blood, and feelings, yet when it comes to her future "termination" under Magnat Interplanetary, it's all business. As Bee Hoon mentioned, I would have liked to see the information on the datastick, or even just a glimpse of it. I wonder if the data had anything to do with Lima's late politician husband, or more likely, the dealings of Magnat Interplanetary.

When Lima "fell", I did not feel sorry for her or revolted at what she had done, but rather energized. She kind of reminded me of Jennifer Lopez in the film "Enough".

On a technical note, a few more commas and semicolons would have polished this.

I believe there might be an escape for Lima Toral, if you continue to write about her.

My honest score: 7/10
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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Definitely a justified fall to the dark side there. I liked the data file entries and the fic was written well, though I'd have liked to have known what was in the data cylinder - not knowing why the events in the story happened in the first place detracted from it. Nice entry, though.

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Old 09-16-2007, 01:33 PM   #6
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Well-structured and cleanly written, the story keeps you reading - if it were a published, it would keep people turning the pages. It's not particularly stylishly written, however. 6.5/10?

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Old 09-26-2007, 05:28 PM   #7
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You kept me engrossed through the story. A little punctuation editing would help with clarity. The licking of the blood of her victim was an almost vampiric touch and was to me a symbol of victory in her hatred. That image has stayed with me. As a parent, I can understand the visceral hatred for anything that harms one's children, so her fall was very believable. There were a couple things that pulled me out of the story that had 'Modern Earth' written on them, such as 'she stepped on the gas'. I figured they'd gotten past using fossil fuels by this time. Consider substituting 'she stepped on the accelarator' instead. You could add a few extra details during the final battle, particularly sound--is she grunting as she stomps him? Does she look at him in the middle of the stomping and say something in her frenzied hatred? I think those little details would add even more richness to the story, which I did enjoy.

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Old 10-12-2007, 02:18 PM   #8
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Well, I just finished the Jedi Archives version of this fic. What you'll probably be glad to hear is that I have made a small modification, revealing the contents of the datastick. I have also tried to fix one small issue that mach addressed in his review.

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