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“Star Wars” Fanfiction – Episode 4.3 (of 4.6)

In the latest Star Wars fanfiction from Mark Wooden, Jedi Nile Chinelo has her first meeting with Force-sensitive ISB Agent Kaila Ores. Meanwhile, Nile’s partners Corana and Piani try to stay on the Imperial’s good side.

Want to read from the beginning? Go to Episode 1.1 here! Go to Episode 4.1 here!

The Rebel Alliance logo from "Star Wars"

Corana and Piani moved through an open market in Naboo’s capital city Theed.

Despite the beauty of the city’s ancient stone buildings, majestic statues and abundance of color, the two Rebel smugglers were no freer in this open space than their willingly captured partner, Nile.

Both women were acutely aware of the four Imperial stormtroopers following them. ISB Agent Kaila Ores had assigned the men to escort Corana and Piani as they picked up their shipment from Transfrag Parts.

“So how do you think that conversation’s going?” Piani asked Corana. She referred to the conversation Nile was having with Agent Ores back at the Imperial Security Bureau’s headquarters.

“Well let’s think on that,” Corana said, feigning interest in a trinket she saw on a cart.

“’Hi! I’m from a damn near mythical religious warrior cult. You and I share great powers. We’d really appreciate it if you’d give up your career with the Empire and come slum with the Rebel Alliance.’”

Corana and Piani looked up. The cart’s merchant, a small man with more wrinkles on his face than hair on his head, had a wide-eyed expression.

Piani took the trinket from Corana, placed it back on the cart and dragged her away.

As they moved through the crowds of shoppers, the Twi’lek whispered, “We’re going to die on Naboo if you keep that up!”

“Better here than Crait!” Corana said. “Now that place —” She stopped talking when she saw Piani flash her that look mothers give their children when they’re one more word away from a spanking.

The women continued their walk, occasionally glancing back at the stormtroopers, who stuck out like white and black sore thumbs in a sea of the Naboo locals’ multi-colored clothing.

“About when do you think they’ll realize we have no idea where Transfrag Parts is?” Piani asked.

Glancing back, Corana saw the stormtroopers spreading out, boxing her and Piani on the street for what they assumed would be an easy takedown.

“Think they already know,” Corana told her partner. “Unfortunately, no blasters for us.” She referred to Agent Ores demanding they leave their personal weapons behind on the ship — or spend time in a Naboo cell.

Corana and Piani didn’t know if leaving the weapons was a Naboo law or just the ISB agent being difficult. Their third partner, the Jedi Nile Chinelo, suggested they follow Ores’s demand. Best to appease the Empire.

“Not gonna look good when we duck out on the escort,” Piani said.

“Look even worse when they figure out we’re fakes and drag us back with Nile,” Corana replied. She surreptitiously looked at the chronometer on her wrist.

“Took us thirty minutes to get here. Split up, lose your tail. Circle back in fifteen and we’ll high tail it for the Bev.”

Piani nodded.

The women stopped near a fountain. Corana sat on the fountain’s edge, dragging her fingers through the water. Piani stood a few feet away from the edge of the fountain.

Two of the stormtroopers watched her and Corana from across the fountain. The Twi’lek waved to them.

Some locals crossed between Piani and the stormtroopers.

In the next moment, Piani was gone.

Logo for the Empire in "Star Wars"

Kaila sat on one side of the steel table in the interrogation room. She leaned forward, her elbows resting on the table, studying the brown-skinned woman across from her. There was nothing remarkable about this Nile Chinelo.

Nothing except the fact she too shared Kaila’s special abilities.

“For someone who wanted to talk,” Kaila began, “You’ve been very quiet.”

“What I have to say is for your ears only,” Nile said.

Kaila leaned back in her chair. “Which is why I’ve turned off all surveillance of the room, much to my superior’s dismay.”

Crossing her arms, Kaila added, “Say what you have to say before I put you and your two cohorts in a cell.”

“This is your interrogation.”

Kaila frowned. She threw up her hands. “Fine. Why can’t I read your thoughts?”

“Wrong.”

Kaila blinked.

“What you should ask me,” Nile said, “Is why you can read minds at all.”

Kaila’s hands came palm down on the table. “And you know why?”

Nile slowly nodded. Kaila cocked her head to one side, expecting an answer.

“It is a gift, Agent Ores, one your emperor will kill you for having.”

Kaila slowly sat back in her chair. Nile continued.

“You know this. That’s why you haven’t told a single soul.”

“Then how do you know?”

“People like us can sense one another, even when one’s ability is as weak as yours.”

Kaila didn’t appreciate her ability described as “weak” but opted not to belabor the point. The other woman continued.

“As there are so few of us left, word gets around. Be thankful my people found you first.”

“Your people?”

Nile remained silent.

“What? Some cult? Are you using those other women to ferry you around?”

“Come with us and I can tell you everything.”

Kaila stared at Nile. She laughed. “Right. Give up my role in the ISB to go on some damned fool crusade with a… what are you, anyway?”

“It may behoove you to remain with the ISB,” Nile said. “Your place there could be useful.”

Kaila repositioned in her chair, her eyes studying Nile. “So what? You teach me to use my abilities, I spy for the Rebel Alliance?”

To Nile’s credit, she didn’t react when Kaila called her out. The ISB agent sat back in her chair, her arms once again crossed over her white tunic.

“You intrigue me, Nile Chinelo. Taking the chance, entering the belly of the beast, all to lure me to your side.”

“I didn’t lie about Palpatine,” Nile said. “He will kill you if he finds out you have this ability.”

“He may recruit me to train as an inquisitor. I hear they have abilities as well.”

“If he does that,” here Nile lowered her voice to something with a tinge of the sinister, “you’ll wish he had killed you.”

The Rebel Alliance logo from "Star Wars"

Piani had ducked down behind the passing locals and slipped away with them from the fountain area. Now she mixed with a thin crowd moving to a set of stairs leading to a courtyard surrounded by round, domed buildings.

The Twi’lek turned the corner beside one of the buildings. Looking back, she saw two of the stormtroopers yelling at a local. Worse, the local cowered before them, pointing in Piani’s direction.

Before she could slip around the next corner, the stormtroopers were pushing through the crowd toward her.

Once around the corner, Piani quickly studied the building. It had plenty of columns. Its surface was textured but with little hope of handholds to allow her to climb up to a window.

The smuggler pressed on, hoping to move to a new area and avoid her pursuers.

Moving to the street, Piani saw a moderate amount of vehicle traffic. Locals waited at intersections for an opportunity to cross. She didn’t have that luxury.

Continuing into the easy flow of speeder bikes and landspeeders, she took steps forward but then leaped back from an oncoming vehicle.

Piani thought she was safe when a repulsorlift truck barreled at her. She tried to dodge, but the truck caught her leg, sending her spinning to the ground.

Piani looked up as a landspeeder swerved to a halt just before hitting her.

“You there! The Twi’lek!” came the voice of one of the stormtroopers over his helmet’s external speaker. “Remain where you are!”

Piani could do that… but then she’d be dead.

The Rebel Alliance logo from "Star Wars"

As soon as Piani had slipped away, Corana stood and walked away from the stormtroopers. The plan was to draw two after her, while the others went after Piani. The plan worked like a charm.

Now Corana had to get her troopers off her tail.

The smuggler walked to a courtyard beyond the fountain. Swerving calmly through the afternoon pedestrian traffic, Corana noted a street busy with speeder traffic on the other side of the area.

Corana angled as if headed toward the street. Glancing behind her, she saw the stormtroopers frantically looking for her.

At the last moment, she turned from her path and headed straight for the building on her left. She slipped inside, carefully closing the door behind her.

Said door had several small, glass windows. Corana watched from behind one of the windows as the stormtroopers moved past the building and looked down the street for her.

Pulling out her commlink, Corana called Piani.

She didn’t get an answer.

Logo for the Empire in "Star Wars"

“Satisfy my curiosity,” Nile said to Kaila. “Who were those people you pursued in space?”

“The ISB doesn’t make it a habit to tell Rebels their business.”

“Were they Rebels?”

Kaila didn’t answer; instead, she stroked her chin with her hand waiting for Nile to say something of import.

“I could read your mind and find the answer.” Nile was bluffing. She could sense emotions, influence them using the Force and read surface thoughts.

However, it was a step on the Dark path to forcibly draw out the deeper thoughts from another’s mind without their permission.

That Kaila could do so and did it regularly worried Nile. Had she already gone too far to the Dark to be saved?

Kaila answered. “They were terrorists fighting for workers’ rights at the mines on Odoum. They blew themselves up before I could link them to the Rebels.”

“I can assure you they weren’t Rebels.”

Kaila’s hand lowered to the armrest. “And you can prove that?”

“As a member of the Alliance, I can assure you there were no Rebels on this planet until I got here.”

Kaila balled her hand into a fist as if capturing an entire Rebel cell in her palm. If Nile’s revelation was true, it confirmed what she believed about Grand Moff Tretyro’s lie — the lie that got her father executed.

“You will confirm this to my superiors,” the ISB agent demanded.

“On the condition that you hear me out on the use of your abilities.”

The ISB agent stared at Nile. The Rebel continued.

“Have there been times when you used your power but felt a wave of cold consuming you? Feelings of anger?”

Kaila played it straight, giving nothing to her adversary.

“That’s the Dark side of the power calling to you, Agent Ores. One day you won’t resist it. On that day, you’ll be lost.”

A half smile formed on Kaila’s lips. “Then we’d best get you to the Grand Moff before then. You have a story to tell. And I have his ass to hand to him.”

To be continued…

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