There weren’t many places to run to in a ship.
No places to hide.
No time to rest.
Elan and Vergere tried hard to run faster than the blaster fire from the peace brigaders behind them. Showolter followed behind,
Every now and then, he would push them around a corner and out of the line of fire.
So far, they hadn’t gotten injured, but they all knew they were running out of luck.
Finally, the corridor ended into a turbolift.
Showolter showed Elan and Vergere into a dark storage room and turned around to face their pursuers.
Elan and Vergere struggled to slow their breathing. Outside, they could hear rapid shooting and occasionally screams.
“Are you hurt?”, Vergere asked. The darkness in the room swallowed every bit of light; she could barely see her
But neither of them dared to turn the lights on. They couldn’t move from fear.
“No. But I’m scared. I shouldn’t feel like that. I’m weak. I’m a shame for the whole Yuuzhan
Vong.”, Elan spat out.
“No, you’re not. You’re doing an honorable job. You will bring respect to your domain”, Vergere disagreed,
“We’ll just have to make sure you’ll get to the Jedi.”
“What do you mean by that?”, Elan asked, suspicious by her tone.
“I’ve heard them talking. They don’t want to bring you to the Jedi.”
Elan inhaled sharply. “Traitors!”
“What now?”, she wanted to know. Then a smile spread over her face, invisible in the darkness.
“The Jeedai girl!
She’s a Solo, her death will bring much honor to my domain, even though my original mission was a failure”, Elan
“Showolter won’t let that happen. You haven’t entirely convinced him yet to trust us”, Vergere said
“Then we’ll get rid off him as well”, Elan said coldly.
Aha. So she hasn’t fallen for him despite all the flirting and growing attraction between them. Interesting,
Suddenly, the door swung open and the females were blinded for a moment. Showolter, looking exhausted and sweat running down
his face like rain, motioned for them to get out.
“We have to find a safe place to wait for Jaina”, he told them, while they stepped into the turbolift.
The cabin dropped down and stopped at the deck containing the small hangar of the freighter.
“Are you insane?” Elan blurted out, “Their ships and men are here!”
“Don’t worry”, Showolter assured her, “this is the last place they’ll look for you.”
“I hope so…”, Elan murmured.
“Trust me”, Showolter flashed her a grin.
* * *
“Hey, looks like we’ve found them!”, Han exclaimed enthusiastically.
Jag looked at the mess of oddly shaped ships around a medium-sized and frowned doubtfully.
He didn’t quite share Han’s joy.
They had been pulled out of hyperspace by a dovin basal close to the edge of the Bilbringi system; a fact that Jag didn’t
like. It meant the ones attacking the freighter were Peace Brigaders.
Cowards, he thought angrily; his face again hardening after Anni had just managed to soften it with her charm a few
Quickly, he made his way to the quad cannons and took the upper one.
He would be able to get rid of his anger soon.
Jag carefully aimed at the ship closest to the freighter and pulled the trigger.
* * *
A shredder went through the ship and Jaina struggled to keep her balance. Then she continued jogging through the corridor
she had seen the other ones in last time.
Every time another corridor crossed hers, she tried to find traces of Elan, Vergere or Showolter through the force, but the
only thing she could pick up was a distant feel of fear and her own anguish that they could have been killed already.
She was supposed to protect them….
“I won’t disappoint you.”
Jaina closed her eyes briefly at the memory and sighed heavily.
Trust the force, she could almost hear her uncle say.
Leaving her eyes shut, she gave her legs fully to the force.
When she stopped walking some time later, she had totally lost her orientation. Silently, she admired Showolter’s work.
She would have never found them, that skillfully he had led them.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and frowned irritatedly at the door in front of her.
She stepped in and was disappointed to find – nothing!
It was empty.
That can’t be!, she thought angrily.
Then she reached out with the force again in case she had overlooked something.
A strong sense of fear caught her attention. She put one hand against the wall and followed in. It led her out of the room
and into a turbolift.
Now she only had to find the right deck.
Jaina crossed her arms in front of her and tried to think like a Showolter.
* * *
Due to the sudden attack of the original attackers, the hangar bay was empty. All other ships had departed to response to
the new threat.
Showolter shoved them behind some cargo boxes. The wall behind them contained escape pods, opened wide.
Elan reached for Showolter’s arm.
“Colonel?”, she asked politely.
“I want to thank you….for what you’ve done for us.”
They were standing close to each other, unmoving and silent.
Then, Elan pressed her lips to his forcefully.
Showolter’s arms went up immediately to hold her head while he deepened the kiss.
He stepped backwards – and fell back into an escape pod. Elan hit the button to close it and another one, causing the
escape pod to be launched.
Her hand still rested at the window to the pod after Showolter was already gone.
Vergere hissed behind her and Elan whirled around to find a light freighter landing. She recognized it instantly and pulled
Vergere down behind the boxes.
“That’s the Solo’s ship”, she whispered.
“Then Jaina Solo will get here soon?”, Vergere concluded.
The priestess nodded.
“And then we’ll kill her.”