“So what do we know?” the Emperor asked. He was seated at the head of a long table. Immediately to his left was the Arch-Wizard, and to his right was the new Chancellor. Further down the table were various governors, advisors, and military commanders. Opposite him at the other end of the table was the Seer who was wrapped in black robes.
“To the east of my province the land has blackened, and it seems to be spreading. Several towns and villages have been engulfed by this blackness. We’ve also had reports of garns attacking towns.” the Governor of Antearl reported.
“Garns? Aren’t they the foot-soldiers of the Shadow Lord?” the Chancellor asked.
“Yes they are.” the Emperor confirmed.
“I’ve heard reports the same thing is happening in the south. The kingdoms below Yastell are being overwhelmed by garn armies and other creatures. There have also been rumours of large swathes of land also succumbing to this blackening, as though the land itself is rotting away.” the Commander of the Empire’s Southern Armies added. The Emperor looked directly at the Seer.
“Can you enlighten us at all with what seems to be happening?” the Emperor asked her.
“The Shadow World is trying to consume ours, and it’s speed is increasing.” the Seer replied.
“Can anything be done?” the Arch-Wizard asked.
“Possibly.” the Seer answered.
“Is there anyone that can help us?” the Emperor asked her. The Seer smiled.
“There is one, but she’s probably the last person you would want to see.” she replied cryptically. The Emperor sighed and sat back in his seat with a wry smile on his face.
“Ask her to come.” the Emperor commanded. Everyone at the table looked at him in surprise, except the Seer.
to be continued…
About time I began my sequel to the Sky-Pirates of Durn…
It’s Pride Month! Why not support a queer writer – Ko-fi 🏳️🌈
The blows from the Inquisitor’s lightsaber forced Sadeya backwards. He was definitely much stronger then she was. She parried with her lightsaber, but each blow from him almost wrenched it out her hands. As he brought another blow down on her, she unexpectedly sidestepped it and his blade instead hit a container. Sadeya counterattacked, but he quickly spun round and parried her blow. He was much stronger than her, but she was more agile. Know your opponents strengths, and your own, for once you know these, then you are more evenly matched, Master Ordol had told her.
“Do you think you can defeat me with just brute strength?” Sadeya asked. The Inquisitor smiled. His yellow reptilian eyes stared directly at her.
“For a padawan, you are more skilled than I had expected. Master Ordol taught you well. This might be a decent fight after all.” The Inquisitor replied. “Of course if you join us, I can complete your training.”
“Never.” Sadeya responded defiantly.
“I can feel your anger. It must have been so difficult to have been abandoned by the Jedi and trying to survive on your own all this time. There is darkness in you, I can feel it. Join with me and I will spare your friend. I know you have feelings for her.”
“No!” Sadeya shouted. She launched an attack at him, but he parried it with ease. He smiled again.
“That’s more like it! I can feel your hatred. Let out your anger, and you will be more powerful.” The Inquisitor taunted. Their blades met. He pushed her back again. “It’s the only way to defeat me.” As he attacked, Sadeya dodged and swung her blade round. Again, he quickly parried her, but her blade skipped onto his lower arm making a small cut. The Inquisitor laughed.
“Why are you Sith always overconfident? You think hate and anger is the only path to victory, when clearly it isn’t.” Sadeya told him.
“Why do you Jedi think you can only win without the Dark Side?” The Inquisitor countered. He launched another attack at her. She parried, but was driven back until she hit a wall. “You have nowhere to go.” He began a series of savage blows against her, and the only thing she could do was parry them. While he showed no sign of tiring, she knew she was. It was only a matter of time until he broke through her defences… Then unexpectedly there was a laser blast. It had come from Will’s light transport. Losa must have opened fire on him with the ship’s gun. While the Inquisitor was momentarily stunned, Sadeya chopped off his right arm. His arm fell to the ground still holding on to his lightsaber. Before he could react, Sadeya then drove her blade into his head. The Inquisitor’s lifeless body collapsed before her. Sadeya sighed, and then collapsed herself. She lay there shaking as Losa ran over, and helped her up to her feet.
“We’ve got to go now!” Losa urged. She supported Sadeya as they walked over to the spaceship. Sadeya reflected The Inquisitor had not considered Losa a threat, and that was his downfall in the end. Maybe love and friendship was more important than the Sith realised.
to be continued….
It’s been over a month since the last installment of this this story. Sorry for the wait.
The next morning I awoke feeling quite excited about seeing my first patients. My housekeeper Mrs Stewart brought up some breakfast and I got quickly dressed and ready to face the day. That first morning I saw only two patients. A woman had a sprained wrist, and a man in his sixties had a bad cough. I suspected he had had that cough for quite a while. As soon as he left my surgery, I saw through the window he immediately lit up a cigarette and walked off. I had told him to cut down on smoking. I also recommended he go to the mainland for some further tests. He shrugged that idea off. I was then about to have lunch when a man burst through my door. He smelt strongly of fish, so I reckoned he was a fisherman, but many of the men that lived here were.
“Doctor, you’re needed on the beach!” he exclaimed. I grabbed my bag and followed him out to the beach. A fishing boat was there with a large group of people assembling in front of it. I ran up to them and they parted to let me through. There on the ground lay a man. He was very pale and completely wet. I kneeled in front of him and found there were no life signs.
“He fell off the boat into the sea. He suddenly thrashed about. When we brought him back onboard he seemed to be dead.” One of the fisherman told me. I nodded at his words. When I moved his head, I was rather taken aback: the left side of his face had deep claw marks down it. It was something I had never seen before.
“Was there something in the water? Was he attacked?” I asked hurriedly.
“No, the claw marks were there when we brought back onboard. We didn’t see anything else in the sea.”
“Have you ever seen anything like this before?” All the fishermen shook their heads.
“No. I have no idea what caused that.” Another fisherman said. I stood up.
“Can anyone help me take his body back to my surgery?” I asked. Thankfully plenty of them volunteered to help, and we quickly got his body back to my rooms. I had them lay the body on a table.
“Is he dead Doctor?” One of them asked. I nodded gravely.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Was he married?” They all nodded. “Can someone fetch his wife, so she identify him?” Not much later Catriona, the man’s wife, was brought in. She looked down at his body rather sadly, but did not say a word. When I asked if it was her husband, she nodded silently. After that she left without saying a word, which struck me as odd, but I was new to all this.
The rest of the afternoon I examined Leslie Scott’s body. The claw marks went down the left side of his face and down his neck. As ghastly as they were, I knew these claw marks hadn’t killed him. When he had been brought ashore there was water in his lungs. He had drowned, but whatever creature had clawed him could have possibly held him down in the water long enough to drown him. It was hard to know.
It was getting towards the evening when I had a visitor. It was a tall thin man wearing a long black gown. He had short dark hair and wore glasses. He smiled at me.
“Forgive me, I was going to introduce myself a wee bit later, but since we’ve had a tragedy I thought I should come around to see you now. My name is the Reverend Ewan Cameron. I’m the minister here.” He held out his hand. I shook it, but found his hand was cold and clammy.
“I am Doctor James MacMann.” I replied.
“Aye I know.” He replied smiling. “So how soon will you release Leslie Scott’s body to his family?” I was rather taken aback by the suddenness of the question.
“Well, I want to have the marks on his body looked at. There are deep claw marks on the left side of his face. I would like to have his body sent to the mainland to be examined.” I told him. He frowned at me.
“Surely there’s no need for that Doctor. The marks were probably from his face being dragged across the side of the boat.” Revered Cameron assured me. I shook my head.
“To me they look like claw marks.” I insisted.
“And what could make marks like that?” He asked.
“I have no idea.”
“Then you don’t know what they are. I have been here for a while now, and sometimes things aren’t what they seem.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just what I said.” He replied. I noticed a flicker of anger in his voice. “Are these claw marks what killed him?”
“No he drowned.” I admitted. His eyes looked heavenwards.
“Then if those marks had no bearing on his death, surely they don’t really matter.” He pointed out.
“But something may have held him down.”
“I see. You think some sea monster clawed him and dragged him down to this death?” He asked sarcastically.
“That’s not what I said.”
“Do I have to get the Laird to force you to release the body?” He threatened.
“You can try, but he’s away at the moment.” Just as I said that, another tall man walked into the surgery. He had greying short hair and a beard. He was wearing a tweed jacket and a kilt. He held out his hand.
“Hello Doctor, I am Alasdair Ferguson. The Laird of this island.” He had a deep voice.
“Your son, Jamie, told me you were away.” I replied feeling rather surprised. I shook his hand.
“I just got back today. Sorry I wasn’t here to greet you when you arrived.” The Laird told me. I knew of no boat arriving today. I felt mystified.
“Perhaps you can help me. The Doctor will not release the body of Leslie Scott.” Reverend Cameron stated to the Laird. The Laird smiled and looked at me.
“There are strange claw marks on his body. I want the body sent to the mainland to be examined.” I told the Laird.
“Are these claw marks the reason he was killed?” The Laird asked.
“No he drowned.” The Reverend shot in. The Laird looked at me.
“That’s not certain. Whatever made the claw marks could also be responsible for his death.” I explained.
“Yes some sea monster killed him apparently, or so the Doctor thinks.” The Reverend responded.
“I never said that.” I replied.
“Surely if he drowned, it would be better to release the body now to his family, so they can bury him.” The Laird suggested.
“I would rather not until I can be sure of what killed him.” I replied. The Laird looked displeased at my reply.
“You have only just started here Doctor. Do you really want to start off on the wrong foot with both myself and the Reverend here? On your first day? You may end up having a shorter stay on this island than you expected.” The Laird threatened.
“Fine. I will release the body.” I relented. The Laird smiled.
“Be sure to put drowning as the cause of death on the Death Certificate. Please don’t mention the claw marks.” The Laird advised. “You must come for dinner sometime Doctor.” With that he left.
I wasn’t happy about giving in, but I’d rather not have gone against the Laird the first time we met. As he advised I put drowning as the cause of death on the Death Certificate and nothing else. The body was taken away and the Reverend looked at me with a smug look. I would certainly never forget that look, nor would I ever forgive it.
Sadeya stood up looking at Will’s body which lay lifeless on the floor. She brushed the tears from her face while watching Losa still crying uncontrollably over him.
“I’ve got to go now.” Sadeya said. Losa looked up at her uncomprehendingly.
“You can’t just leave me here alone!” Losa cried out.
“If I don’t go, that Inquisitor will come back and kill us both.”
“Then take me with you.” Losa demanded. Sadeya shook her head.
“No I’m bad luck for anyone around me.” She said looking down at Will’s body again.
“We can use my father’s freighter. I can pilot it. At least let’s get off this planet and then decide what to do. If you leave me here, then they might come back and kill me anyway.” Losa explained through her tears. Sadeya thought on it.
“Okay we’ll both get off the planet and then decide what to do.” Sadeya offered. Losa packed up a few things and gave her last respects to her father. Then they both left the building.
They did their best to get to the docking bay unseen, despite the increased Imperial presence at the spaceport. They stuck close to buildings, used back alleyways, and even joined large throngs of people when it was possible. Eventually they got the docking bay that housed Will’s light freighter completely undetected. It sat there still fully loaded up and ready to go. Will had planned to leave later this day. They both ran to the ship.
“I knew you’d come here!’ A deep voice boomed out. Both Sadeya and Losa stopped in their tracks and spun round. There he was, the Sith Inquisitor, waiting there in the shadows for them. Sadeya looked at him. He had dark red skin and yellow eyes. He was taller than them and his thick arms looked as though they were solid muscle. He seemed to have no hair on his body and though he was humanoid, he seemed slightly reptilian.
“Losa, get to the ship and take off!” Sadeya ordered. Losa ran to the freighter. “I’ll deal with him.” The Inquisitor advanced on them.
“I knew he was lying. All I had to do was wait here for you to turn up eventually.” His deep voice reverberated through the docking bay. “Be assured, once I get rid of you, I will also kill your friend.”
“You’ll have to get through me first.” Sadeya said defiantly. The Inquisitor smiled.
“If that is your destiny.” He replied. Sadeya brought out her lightsaber and stood ready.
“Bring it on then!” She stated.
“Foolish girl! I know you were only a Padawan when Master Ordol was executed. You offer no threat to me. Surrender and I will spare the life of your friend.” The Inquisitor offered. “I’ll even complete your training, if you so wish.”
“The Sith are my enemy.” Sadeya stated. The Inquisitor looked slightly disappointed with her reply.
“Then I will destroy you.” The Inquisitor replied. He ignited his lightsaber. It shone a deep red. In response, Sadeya ignited hers; the green blade sharply contrasted with his. They advanced upon one another.
to be continued…
Links to previous episodes are on my Star Wars page.
My name is Doctor James MacMann . I received my education and training at the University of Glasgow School of Medicine. Not long after I had received my qualifications, a position for a doctor became available in the island of Roake in the Hebrides. Roake is a small island yet with a large enough population to warrant the need for a doctor. As I was young and keen to carve out a place for myself in the world, I decided to take the position. I initially only planned to be there for a year or so, as I was used to city life and thought I would find being on an island far away from anywhere else too dull and quiet for my tastes, but I could always decide to stay there longer if I so desired.
So it was in the late summer of 1930, that I found myself traveling by boat to Roake. It was an unpleasant journey for me. I was not used to being on boats and that journey was made while a storm passed over us. I found myself heaving over the side of the boat frequently due to the savage pitching the boat made in the swirling seawater. Maybe I should have taken that journey as a warning. Maybe I should I have realised this post was not for me and should have immediately got the boat to turn back to the mainland. However, I failed to heed this warning and instead endured the jeers from the sailors who laughed at my inconvenience. “Do you need something to settle your stomach Doc?” one of the sailors asked before he broke into uncontrollable laughter.
By the time we arrived at Roake, the wind and the sea had died down, and I had regained my composure. When I set foot on the wharf at Roake, I was so pleased to be back on the terra firma I found renewed joy and excitement in my new post. The township we had come to was small. There were a couple of stores, a church, a few old houses and other buildings. I assumed my new surgery was in one of the these buildings. At the end of the wharf was a young man in his early twenties I guessed. He was wearing a tweed jacket and a kilt and had dark brown hair and pale skin. I walked up to him carrying some of my bags.
“Are you Doctor MacMann?” he asked as I got nearer.
“Aye.” I replied. He smiled and held out his hand.
“My name is Jamie Ferguson. I am the son of the Laird. My father sends his apologies, but he is away at the moment and is sorry he cannot meet your arrival. He sent me in his place.” He informed me. I shook hands with him. “You’re younger than I was expecting.”
“Aye, I’m only just starting out as a doctor, but I can assure you I am fully trained to deal with any ailment that may arise here.” I assured him. He nodded and smiled.
“I’ll show you to your surgery and your accommodation.” Jamie offered.
“Please lead the way.” I told him. He led me through the town until we came to an old stone house. On the way various locals took a long look at me, as if they were already making judgements about my abilities from the way I looked. My lodgings were above my offices. Though it was still summer, inside the building felt cold. I wondered what it would be like in winter. “So what happened to the previous doctor?”
“He retired and headed back to Edinburgh, I think. He was here for many years. It was a great relief to all the islanders that the vacant position was filled so quickly. We were all worried it might be sometime before we got a new doctor.” Jamie told me. For better or worse I was here now. It was after 9pm and the sun was finally setting. I decided to retire early as I was tired and feeling drained from my travels. I intended set up the practice tomorrow morning and see if there were any patients needing my assistance. For now, I collapsed onto my bed and slept the rest of the night away wondering what the morning would bring.
“Open up in the name of the Empire!” The loud banging on the door continued. Sadeya, Will, and Losa stood there momentarily frozen in horror.
“Quick follow me!” Will suddenly said as he grabbed hold of Sadeya’s arm. He led her to another room and kneeled down to open a concealed hatch in the floor. “Get down there and don’t make a sound.” Sadeya followed his directions and found herself in a small room below the house. Will closed the hatch and she was left in complete darkness. Listening, she heard Will and Losa walk towards the front door. It was then opened and she heard a number of footsteps come through into the house. She guessed they were stormtroopers searching the house for her, but then there was a heavier footstep and with it came a sense of dread. Sadeya suddenly felt cold and she tried her best to block her presence; she knew something evil was above.
“We are searching for a fugitive Jedi. A girl by the name of Sadeya Tatvea.” said a rather coarse deep voice.
“Well she’s not here.” Will replied.
“A girl matching her description has been seen helping you with your shipments and also living here.”
‘There was a Frifac. She helped us for a while, but then moved on.” Will told him.
“Where did she go?” the menacing voice asked.
“I don’t know. She saved up enough credits to go to another system. She caught a transport, but I don’t know where to.”
“Did she ever mention where she was planning to go?”
“I know she was wanting to go to Corellia, as I think that’s where she was from. That’s the only place she ever mentioned.”
“Corellia? Really? Is that the best you can do?”
“What do you mean?” Will asked perplexed.
“Everything you have said to me has been a lie. Why are you protecting a traitor to the Empire? Are you one yourself?” The voice asked with even more added menace.
“Of course not.” Will answered. Sadeya thought she heard the hum of a lightsaber.
“You are a liar and a traitor!” the voice shouted. Sadeya heard Losa scream and then the thud of something falling onto the floor. “I can feel her presence here, so she must still be close. Search the streets nearby!” She heard Losa wailing as the evil presence withdrew.
Once the sound of footsteps had dissipated, Sadeya cautiously climbed up to the hatch and opened it. She slid out and crept to the doorway. Looking around into the hallway she saw Will’s body lying on the floor with Losa sitting over him wailing. She crept closer and saw there was a lightsaber-sized hole in Will’s chest where his heart would have been. Emotions began flood through her as she kneeled beside his lifeless body.
“I should never have come here. This is all my fault.” Sadeya said as tears began to fall.
A month had passed since Sadeya had agreed to work for Will Letgar. Everyday she helped with loading and unloading stock, as well as accompanying him on supply runs occasionally. She also made friends with his daughter Losa, who often worked alongside her. It felt strange to have a regular place to sleep and eat without having to constantly to keep an eye on others around her. Gradually she let down her guard.
One afternoon, after loading Will’s light freighter, Losa and her climbed up to a roof to sit in the sunlight and have some food. Losa was around the same age as Sadeya, and had long brown hair and rather pale skin. She sat cross-legged while she ate and watched Sadeya.
“So how old were you when you became a Jedi?’ Losa asked.
“Well I was very young when I was taken to the Jedi Temple. I don’t exactly remember when. That’s when my training began. Technically I never became a Jedi. At least not a knight. I was still a padawan when the Purge happened.” Sadeya answered.
“So what happened in the Purge?”
“My master and I were with some clone troopers on the planet Ivol. There were Separatists there. We were in the middle of a battle when our troopers suddenly turned on us with no warning. They shot Master Ordol in the back. Terrified, I just ran away as fast as I could while our own troops shot at me. I was lucky to escape. I was so confused. I didn’t know why they had suddenly turned on us. Later on I found it had happened to all the Jedi.” Sadeya explained.
“The Emperor says the Jedi tried to kill him and take over the galaxy.” Losa stated. Sadeya gave her a brief uncertain look.
“I find that hard to believe.”
“My father doesn’t particularly like the Empire and he always told me to be wary of what anyone from the Empire says.”
“Wise words.” Sadeya remarked.
“Do you have a laser sword?”
“Yes I have a lightsaber, but I try not to use it.”
“Can I see it sometime?” Losa asked.
“What else can you do?” Losa asked. Sadeya smiled. Using the Force, she picked up the metal food container that sat by Losa and moved it over to her own side. Losa smiled. Without warning, an Imperial Shuttle passed directly overhead. Sadeya’s feeling of calm suddenly gave way to panic. She quickly stood up looking terrified. Losa saw her swift change of mood.
‘What’s the matter?” Losa asked.
“An Imperial shuttle!” Sadeya shouted out.
“They come to this spaceport sometimes. Don’t worry about it.” Losa replied. Sadeya quickly packed up her things and jumped down.from the roof. Losa quickly followed her looking confused. “You really don’t need to worry about this.” But her words were unheeded. Sadeya ran to their house. Once inside, she went to her room and started packing her things up. She had stayed here too long, and now they had found her. She could feel the Sith presence aboard that shuttle.
“What are you doing?” Will asked her, when he found her packing up.
“I need to run. The Empire is here.” she replied.
“Relax. It’s all in your head.” Will told her. Sadeya turned around with her bag packed. Both Will and Losa stood before her in the doorway.
“I really need to go now. I’m putting you both in danger by being here.” she informed them.
“Please stay.” Losa pleaded. There was a sudden loud banging on the front door.
“Jedi? I’m not a Jedi.” Sadeya lied. Will raised his eyebrows at her words.
“You were using the Force to lift those containers into the ship. I saw you doing it. There is no way you could have lifted them by yourself. The stormtroopers were looking for a Jedi, just after you appeared seeking passage to escape the authorities. You’re going to tell me that was all a coincidence?” Will asked her. Sadeya looked down on the ground.
“Maybe it was.” she replied. Will laughed.
“You’re safe here. I’m not going to turn you in to the Empire. I just want to talk. Is that okay?”
“Fine.” Sadeya answered.
“Is Frifac your real name?” Will asked.
“No, my name is Sadeya Tatvea. I’m sorry for the deception. I don’t know who to trust.” Sadeya told him.
“That’s okay. You’re a particularly bad liar, if that helps. I’m guessing you would have been a padawan when the purge happened.” Sadeya looked up at him when he said this.
“Yes, my master was killed when our clone troopers suddenly attacked us. It happened with no warning. I ran as fast as I could and manged to evade their shots. They spent days searching for me. I hid in a small cave until I reckoned it was safe. I then stowed away in a transport and managed to blend into the crowds after landing at a spaceport.”
“Have you killed many others since you ran?”
“No only the one I killed recently. They attacked me and tried to steal what things I had left. I just suddenly felt angry and cut them down with my lightsaber. It’s never happened before.”
“So you’ve been on the run since the Republic became the Empire?”
“Yes I’ve been in hiding since then, waiting for the remaining Jedi to regroup and restore the Republic.” Sadeya replied. Will gasped.
“It’s been six years since the Purge. You’ve been on the run all that time? I would guess you’d be one of the last remaining Jedi, but maybe there are others out there. I think if they were going to restore the Republic, they probably would have done so by now.” Will informed her. Sadeya’s head was swimming. Had it really been that long?
“I guess I’ve lost track of time.” she admitted.
“I have a home at the next spaceport and a daughter who is around the same age as you. You’re welcome to stay there as long as you need. There will be a soft bed, food and shelter. You can even help me with my trade runs if you want. You could be useful. You’re still young, maybe you should think about creating a new life for yourself, rather than staying on the run forever, because eventually they will find you.” Will offered.
“Thanks.” Sadeya replied. Will nodded his head and headed back to the ship’s cockpit. At least she now had somewhere to stay for a while. That was the best prospects she had had for such a long time…
Sadeya walked though the crowded streets that seemed to get busier the closer she got to the docking bays. At one point the crowds parted as a patrol of stormtroopers marched through. Sadeya hid behind a partition once she saw them. When they were gone, she continued on her way. She came to a docking bay and saw that a light freighter was being loaded with supplies. She stood in the entrance way watching. The older male who was loading up the ship noticed her.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“I’m wanting to get off this planet and was wondering if you take passengers?” she replied.
“No, I just want to get away from here.” she told him. He grunted.
“Trying to avoid the authorities?” he asked pointedly.
“In a manner of speaking.” He stood there for a moment and regarded her.
“Are you able to pay for passage?”
“I don’t have a lot of credits, but I can work it off. I can help you load those supplies.” Sadeya offered. He looked at her small frame and thin arms doubtfully. Sadeya looked up at him hopefully as he looked deep in thought.
“Okay you can help me, but I’ll only take you as far as the next star system I’m heading to. After that, you’re on your own.” he informed her. “What’s your name?”
“My name is Frifac.” she said.
“Okay Frifac, I’m Will Letgar. You hear they’re looking for a Jedi? They found a dead body that has lightsaber cuts on them, apparently.”
“No I hadn’t heard that.” Sadeya replied. She spent the next couple of hours helping to load the freighter, using the Force surreptitiously to help lift the heavy containers onboard. Once they were done, Will began getting the ship ready for take off.
“That went quicker than expected. Get on board we’re about to go.” Will told her. Just then a squad of stormtroopers entered the docking bay.
“We have orders to search every ship for a Jedi fugitive.” the lead stormtrooper announced.
“Okay, search away. All you’ll find is containers of Yoseon grain though.” Will told them.
“And who is this?” the stormtrooper asked pointing directly at Sadeya.
“That’s my daughter. She helps with my supply runs.” Will told them.
“And where’s your wife?”
“She died many years ago.”
“Do you have identification?”
“Sure, I have both mine and my daughters with me.” He handed over a couple of datapads to the stormtrooper who checked them over. Once the stormtrooper appeared satisfied, the other stormtroopers searched the ship. After a few minutes of searching they left.
“Thanks for that.” Sadeya said, still wide-eyed with surprise.
“Luckily for you I do have a daughter that helps me, sometimes. She’ll be at the next port. Now we better go, before we attract anymore attention.” Will suggested. Shortly afterwards they took off. Sadeya watched the planet recede from view. Aside from the usual Imperial Customs Frigates, there was also a Star Destroyer now in orbit around the planet. Once the ship went into hyperspace, Will joined her in crew quarters. He sat down in front of her and looked at her.
“Is there a problem?” Sadeya asked. Will shook his head.
“Now we’re away from that planet, we need to talk, Jedi.”
Freya opened her eyes. She was in a rectangular shaped room, the walls a light grey colour. She was lying on a stiff bed. She slowly sat up and sniffed the air. There was virtually no smell at all, which she found disconcerting. There were lights in ceiling, as well as a camera. When she stood up and walked around, the camera followed her. There were no windows or doors. It was as though she was in a box. The room had an institutional look to it. She guessed she was deep underground.
“Well I’m definitely in The Institute.” she said to herself. The Institute: the one place she had always feared to end up. She would rather they had just killed her than for her to be here.
A slot in the wall suddenly opened up. A stainless steel cup on a small stainless steel tray appeared through it and rested on a small table. She could smell the blood, and instantly felt the cravings of her hunger. Unless you were a vampire, you didn’t know what the hunger for blood was like. Once you needed to feed, it became your sole imperative, over anything else in your existence. She went straight for the cup and drained it within a second.
Once she had drained the cup, one side of the wall instantly became see-through, and there he was, standing there dressed in a grey suit and wearing his black thick-rimmed glasses. He was smiling.
“There’s a lot more where that comes from.” he said. It was the man she knew as Robert Thompson,and also Alejandro Cortez. Doubtless he had other identities.
“I thought I killed you.” Freya said to him walking up to the now clear wall. Robert continued smiling.
“I guess I’m not that easy to kill, but then again neither are you.”
“I know you’re not a vampire, so what are you?” she asked him. He looked at her keenly.
“Let’s just say working for the The Institute has many benefits. It also has a great healthcare plan!” He said chuckling.
“What about the other agents I killed? Are they walking around again too?” Freya wondered.
“Angela Haynes is. She’s a good field agent. Been with us a long time now. Tom Mitchell, unfortunately, didn’t make the grade.”
“So I guess he remains dead then?”
“Well he was of little use to us in the end.” Robert admitted.
“So what are your plans for me? Am I going to be imprisoned here for ever?” Freya asked. Robert laughed again.
“Forever is a long time, but no, certainly not. We brought you here because we hope you will help us.”
“Help you? What makes you think I would ever want to help you? You have stalked me for many years. I would never help you.” She turned away.
“Not so fast. We have an incentive for you.” Robert told her. Freya stood there with her back to him.
“And that is?”
“We can give you Sarah back. I know you liked her. Work for us and you can be with her again.”
“Your colleague turned her to dust. There’s no bringing her back from that.” Freya replied.
“You’d be surprised. We have her dust. We know the process to bring her back. Just say the word and she’ll join you here.” Robert offered. Freya turned back around to face him again. She walked right up to the wall and stared at him intensely.
“You lie. I will never work for The Institute, just as I will never work for The Council. Both of you are two different sides of the same flawed coin. I hope you eventually destroy each other.” She turned around and walked back to the bed.
“The offer’s always there, should you wish to take it up.” Robert told her. The slot in the far wall opened again and the metal cup was removed, and then was instantly replaced with another full of blood. “While you mull this offer over, please enjoy another complimentary cup of blood.” Robert smiled again. The wall went opaque again. Freya wandered over to the cup and drained it. She had some thinking to do if she was ever going to get out of here.