Scene by Tussy HERE.
I’m out of breath, I’m stressed to breaking point. This isn’t right. We shouldn’t be here. I don’t know why we ever thought anything good could come of this. But even if we’d decided it was a setup from the start, would we really have gone about it differently?
I didn’t want to come here. Damn it, I would have been happy if I’d never had to set foot on this kriffing planet ever again. Once upon a time, this place was everything, but now... now, everything stinks. Even those fragmented memories of my youth, of times when the only things that mattered were the lessons we learned in those hallowed halls... hah! I can’t help but feel bitter. They weren’t perfect, far from it. They let all this come to be. As glorious and fantastic as they might have been, in peaceful and ignorant days, they were not the be all and end all. If only more of them had dared to speak up, dared to think like my Master, and like he taught me to...
He’s hurt. Everyone’s hurt, I don’t know, I might have been the only one to get away from that unscathed. It all smells burnt and charred, I try not to focus on the bodies around us, only the one in front of me. I fumble with the cold pack, take a breath and force my hands steady as I administer the shot. He’s hurt, but these physical scrapes are nothing compared to the hurt that’s inside him. I can feel it, I know it. He’s drunk and desperate, but that doesn’t disguise everything. I help him back up on his feet, and as he spends a moment leaning on me I can feel that terrible sensation flickering, deep in my guts.
How easy it would be, to just let loose, to let myself passionately hate whoever did this to him. I know I could, I know that I could let it fill me and drive me and oh, not a force in the world would be able to stop me. But I can not, will not go down that road. I want to. I want to badly. I can smell the whiskey on his breath, feel the sickness in his presence, and the suspicions in the back of my mind are slowly but surely gnawing away at my resolve. I’m better than this, I tell myself. He is better than this, I remind myself. I will not sit idly by and watch him spiral away, I will not let him go.
How long since the last trooper fell? Seconds? Minutes? Who knows, who cares. This is all just kriffing wrong. There is movement. We all sense it, see it, lift our heads as one. We watch her move into plain view, at the entrance of the academy. She is clapping, the slap of her palms together is slow and condescending.
At first sight, she means nothing to me, but then recognition starts to sink in. She was there... there, on Madalore. She was with... oh, kriff. My stomach plummets. She’s saying something, I’m not really paying attention, distracted by a flash of memory. The fields, the stream, the bridge. The meeting. The data chip. The fight. We let her live. I let her live. And now, now, now...
“I had to call in a few favours.” I catch her last words plainly, and she can’t hide the smugness, the pleasure from her voice.
And the crack and buzz and the hot red glow floods my senses a dozen, no, more than a dozen times over, the sound and the smell and the colour, oh that damned blinding blistering colour, I don’t want to give her another instant to gloat. I charge.
We all charge.
The courtyard is a seething mass of movement in the floodlights, my yellow and my Master’s blue cracking against the Empire’s red, blaster bolts flashing, grunts of pain and cries of triumph ringing out into the cold, cursed night. I steel myself against all emotion, my focus put to the ultimate test. I don’t dare let myself think about our odds of survival. There are so many of them. The anger, the fierce hatred in the air is thick and tangible, the Force is hot and wild and corrupt. I take hits, I know I do but I block out the feeling, I can’t afford to acknowledge the pain. I pick out my targets, I let the Force guide every strike, and I don’t let myself hesitate for even a fraction of an instant. I feel the ground sweep away from under me, I try to gasp but it sticks in my throat. I can’t breathe. I struggle, I grasp for every ounce of strength I have within me and I then I feel myself plummet. My knees jar, but I land upright, and surge forwards again with a roar. I know I am weakened. I don’t care. Again I feel the ground rush away, and this time I am thrown violently across the courtyard, and there is nothing elegant about my landing. I skid in the gravel, it gets up my nose and I cough and choke and start to pull myself up, I hear a short laugh that chills me to the core, there is a flash of red above me; a saber, no, the light of a saber glinting off the head of a vibro-axe, it is swinging, falling, there is no time and yet there is all the time in the world. I can’t die. I can’t die, I’m not ready!! Who will look aft--