Disclaimer: I guess I do own most of this chapter. Gwyn and Jarik are mine, but anything Star Wars-y isn’t.
It was a Tuesday. A normal, boring Tuesday just like every other Tuesday of Gwyneth Smith’s rather ordinary life. A normal day of school—right up until sixth period. That’s when it all changed.
Sixth period was about to start, and Gwyn was nowhere near her classroom. And typical of her usual luck, Mr. Taylor had threatened her with detention if she was late again.
Never mind that I know all the stuff. No, that doesn’t matter at all “Be late one more time and I’ll see you after school,” Gwyn mimed the teacher in her head, trying to force her way through crowded hallway. Never mind that I’ve got gym right before and being on time is literally impossible. No, just “be late one more time…”
It was a normal Tuesday. Not a particularly good Tuesday, but a normal one nonetheless.
Someone cut Gwyn off and she sighed,annoyed. Pulling her bag higher on her shoulder, she started forward again when a deafening crack rang through the air. Somewhere further down the hall, there was a bright flash of light. And a very ordinary Tuesday became the most extraordinary day of Gwyn’s life.
For a moment, everyone was still. Then someone screamed and the spell was broken. The hallway turned to chaos. People started trying to run away from the source of the commotion , but the people behind them blocked the way. Teachers were coming out of the classrooms, trying to settle the students down. Mr. Taylor, shoved his way though the crowd, white as a sheet and sprinting away from where the light had been. That was enough for Gwyn. She ran after him.
She had barely reached the end of the hall when the screams began to cut off one by one. Gwyn glanced over her shoulder and felt her stomach clench into a tight, terrified knot. There were three tall, cloaked figures walking towards her from a little ways down the hall, leaving a trail of motionless bodies scattered in their wake. Gwyn turned to keep running, and felt her first scream claw its way out her throat.
It was a Centaxday. A horrible, frantic Centaxday that was at least ten times worse than every other Centaxday of Jarik Thorne’s rather secretive life. But he assumed that was how it was supposed to be. After all, it was only the second week after his induction into the Society. Some things were bound to change.
What he didn’t realize was just how much things would change.
He’d been having issues with his swapper all morning. It didn’t want to turn on, its controls didn’t respond, it was slow to send him anywhere… but he didn’t think about it too much. He was too busy trying to avoid getting killed to do more than curse at it for being sluggish.
That is, until it stopped working entirely half-way through a jump, stranding him on the Other Side.
No, nonononono. Please don’t. Jarik slapped the device on his wrist desperately, but the display flashed once then blinked out entirely. “Shavit!”
That was when his hearing came back, and he heard screaming. And a very ominous humming Jarik’s head snapped up, and he managed to leap back just in time to avoid being decapitated by the Sith in front of him.
“What the hell are you guys doing here?” he asked. The Sith ignored the question and took a step forward, still swinging its lightsaber. Ducking out of the way, Jarik unholstered his blaster and let off a few shots. To his amazement, the Sith only managed to block one of the bolts, and fell over with a smoking hole in its chest.
Jarik looked down at the dead Sith in disbelief. “C’mon, I know I’m good, but no one’s that good. What’s going—” Someone tackled him from the side, sending them both sprawling. Jarik turned his blaster on his attacker, but the other was already on his feet, firing at another Sith. This Sith was standing where Jarik had been a second ago, and had been apparently been coming up on him from behind. Jarik gulped and looked up at his savior, a middle-aged man with greying blonde hair and an archaic blaster. He wasn’t a very good shot, but just that he had a blaster… I thought I was on the Other Side. They aren’t supposed to have that sort of thing here.
The Sith was too close for comfort, and getting closer, so Jarik shoved his thoughts away for the time being and rose to his feet. He started shooting, and between him and the older man the Sith hit the ground in just a few moments.
“What’s wrong with them?” Jarik asked. “They shouldn’t be this easy to kill.”
Jarik hadn’t expected an answer, but to his surprise, the older man gave him one. “It’s the force.” The man knelt next to the Sith and started rummaging through its robes.
“What about it?”
“There isn’t any.” The man moved to the other Sith, not noticing Jarik’s bewildered look.
“Like hell there isn’t any! I’ve seen it, and it’s very real.”
“Damn it!” The older man stood, ignoring Jarik. “Neither of them have it. Where’d the last one go?”
Jarik pointed down the hall. “That way. But—”
The older man set off running down the hall and, grumbling, Jarik chased after him.
They were trapped. There was no way out of the classroom. Well, there was the window, but they were on the third floor so that wasn’t much of a choice. They couldn’t get to the stairs because the… person… who had been chasing them was in the doorway.
He pushed back his hood to reveal a heavily scarred face and a pair of deep-set pure black eyes that were fixed squarely on Gwyn. His lips pulled back into a grin and in a low, growling voice he said, “Gwyneth Smith.”
A buzzing red blade—no, that’s impossible. Don’t call it that, those don’t exist—slid out of the device in his hand—call it a flashlight, that’s all it is. That’s all it can be. He took a step forward and Gwyn jerkily tried to back up. Her foot hit something and she went sprawling, still scrambling away. The knot in her stomach had turned icy, and she noticed in a detached way that everyone else was staying as far away from her as possible. No one was going to help. The cloaked man took another step forward, and her panic went up another notch.
“Here she is,” he growled. “Gwyneth. My master will be happy to see you.”
Something in the pit of Gwyn’s stomach began trying to force its way out her throat. She tried to back up more, but her back hit the wall. The man laughed and reached down, hoisting her to her feet by her throat Gwyn gave a strangled yelp as he pulled her face up to his, feeling her windpipe close.
Leaning in so his face was inches away from hers, her attacker growled, “But he’d understand if I couldn’t get you out alive.” He lifted her even higher, so her toes were barely touching the ground, and black began to creep in on the edges of her vision. “You put up an incredible fight. I had no other choice.”
Her attacker spun towards the door, dropping her . Gwyn pulled in a shuddering breath then coughed, her throat raw.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?” said a voice she didn’t recognize. Looking up, Gwyn saw a young man in the doorway point a—no that’s not… oh, forget it—a Star Wars-type blaster at the man standing over her. She could barely see him from her angle, but he could obviously see them well enough. “Step away from the girl and put your hands behind your head,” the newcomer continued. “Your buddies are dead, and you’ll be joining them unless you do as I say.”
“The girl belongs to my master now. Leave, or you will suffer his wrath through me.”
“If you were that impressive, you’d be attacking me right now. We’re outside of your master’s domain now, and you will leave. Her. Alone.”
Gwyn had just managed to get her breath back when the Sith pulled her up roughly, her back to his chest. She could now see the boy clearly, with his gun pointed directly at her. And now she could see a figure behind him.
“Don’t worry, sweetie,” her father said. “We’ll get you out of this.” He lifted a blaster of his own, not quite pointing it at her. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
“Really? How do you figure that?” the boy asked, not taking his eyes off the man behind Gwyn.
The intruder shouted something, and raised his lightsaber in front of Gwyn, who gulped. The newcomer went pale.
“Where did you get your hands on one of those?”
The Sith laughed and said something else before wrapping the arm holding the lightsaber around Gwyn. Letting go of her with his other hand, he reached for something strapped to his lightsaber wrist.
“No!” Gwyn’s dad pushed past the newcomer and charged the Sith. The newcomer shouted something and launched himself forward, the buzzing red blade swung, Gwyn screamed, and her dad fell against her, clutching the Sith’s wrist as he stared at her with blank eyes. The Sith shoved him off and hit a button on his wrist just as the boy reached them. And everything vanished.
A/N: There will be actual KotOR characters in the next chapter. I promise. hides from readers who expected someone they recognized The next chapter is mostly written, it just needs another page or so of writing and a whole bunch of editing. But reviews will make me update much faster. Hint hint…
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