In the conclusion to Episode 5 of this Star Wars fanfiction, Kaila and the three Rebels learn the unintended consequences of Kaila’s vendetta.
Nile and Corana watched the monitor’s display of the activity outside the detention area.
The ISB commander Nile previously had duped into letting her escape had arrived and assumed authority over the situation. She’d had the stormtroopers with the heavy repeating blaster stand down.
“Least we don’t have to deal with that,” Corana said.
“I encountered many of those during the Clone War,” Nile said. “It would take several barrages to break through the door. If they’ve abandoned it, they could be moving to demolitions. Much faster.”
Corana nudged her Jedi companion. “Always a cheery one, Nile. Thanks. You have anything better, Piani?”
“Not much,” the Twi’lek replied, her fingers still dancing over the terminal’s keys attempting to keep up with the evolving code of Kaila’s worm program. “Found the mess hall dinner menu. Not very appetizing.”
Corana rolled her eyes. “Glad you still have jokes,” she said.
Nile smiled, appreciating the levity in this dire situation. They needed to know just how dire.
Stepping away from her companions, the Jedi focused her control of the Force and reached out to Kaila. She touched the woman’s surface thoughts and found a surprise.
Nile was about to stretch her ability to communicate when she felt a cold chill run through her. The Dark Side beckoned, urging her to control Kaila, to have her attack the other Imperials.
Nile immediately severed her connection with Kaila.
Corana noticed her discomfort. “How bad is it in her head?” she asked.
Rubbing her temples, Nile said, “She’s concerned about getting in here too soon.”
“My guess is she’s stalling for her program to finish its routine,” Piani said.
Nile thought for a moment. “We have to take out the commander, returning command to Agent Ores.”
Corana blinked. “Right. Soon as they open that door, I’ll dodge the twenty or so blaster bolts —”
“No,” Nile said. “We don’t wait on them. We open the door.”
It took only a few minutes for the demolition team to reach the detention area. Rundsor ordered them to work. To do the job safely would take up to twenty minutes.
The ISB commander wanted into the room yesterday.
Kaila had no choice but to follow the order.
The ISB agent covertly checked her chronometer. It was linked to the datapad running its worm program and displayed a readout of the worm’s progress. It was eighty percent complete.
“We’ll have you home in time for dinner with mother,” Rundsor said with her scorn on full display.
Suddenly, the door to the detention area slid up half a meter. The members of the demolition team fell back from the door as multiple blaster bolts erupted from the room beyond.
Waiting for the detention area entrance door to slide up, Corana kneeled in a shooter’s stance with a stormtrooper’s blaster she’d pulled from a weapons locker.
She took a final glance at the monitor displaying the hallway, memorizing where the ISB commander stood as well as other targets of opportunity.
“Ready?” Piani asked.
Lining up her shot, Corana said, “Can you really ever be ready for a hairbrained idea like this?”
“I’ll take that as a yes. Here we go!”
Piani pressed a button on the computer terminal.
The door started up — but abruptly stopped half a meter up.
“Frak!” Corana yelled. She immediately dropped to a prone position; her blaster fell under the frame of the partially open door.
Drawing from memory and what little visual she had, the Pantoran sharpshooter fired off several blasts.
On the monitor, Nile and Piani watched two of the blasts hit the blonde-haired commander in the chest and stomach. She fell back and crashed to the floor unconscious.
A third shot singed Kaila’s leg. Her leg gave out; she fell to one knee.
Corana squeezed off another round that took out the power battery for the repeating blaster rifle. It caused an explosion that blew its assault crew and several other stormtroopers across the hall.
The blast also pushed Kaila and the commander aside.
“Drop the door!” Nile said.
Piani typed some code. Nothing happened. “Trying!”
Outside, the demolitions team scrambled to get out of point-blank range. Two stormtroopers near the commander and Kaila were collecting their blasters. Corana took one of them out and aimed at the other.
Then Corana heard a scraping sound. Corana looked up to see the door coming down on her. She rolled back out of the way as it slammed shut, smashing the blaster’s muzzle and barely sparing the Pantoran.
“Little warning next time!” she yelled back to Piani.
The Twi’lek shrugged as an apology.
In the hallway, Kaila started up but failed to stand. She winced at the pain in her leg and her side that had impacted the wall after the power battery’s explosion.
Glancing at her chronometer, Kaila saw the worm had reached ninety percent.
Close enough, she thought.
The ISB agent picked up her commlink. “This is Agent Kaila Ores speaking to the entirety of ISB headquarters. As of this moment, I am assuming command of Imperial Security on Naboo.”
“When my magistrate was charged you said you believed in the efficiency of your slicers,” Queen Dalné began her taunting of Grand Moff Tretyro. “Why would you doubt them now?”
Kaila watched as Tretyro stood before the Naboo queen, his hands balled into fists at his sides. He wanted to shout but had no grounds for a defense.
Kaila’s worm had not only revealed the Empire’s duplicity of framing Magistrate Aadhar, but it had also re-coded the information to place the blame for the crime of aiding the Rebels at Rundsor’s feet.
Rundsor being an Alliance spy made more sense than an Alliance prisoner using mind control to get Rundsor to escort her out of ISB headquarters.
Tretyro was pissed that the queen had the upper hand, that his number one had seemingly betrayed the Empire. Worse, he had not only misinformed the emperor but failed to find the Jedi.
Kaila didn’t bother hiding her smirk of approval as she watched the queen dressing down the grand moff. All he could do was take it. The junior ISB agent wished she could make a holovid to play back later.
Her main satisfaction was the knowledge that this was only the beginning of Tretyro’s misfortunes. Rundsor took the fall for him now. His time would come soon.
Nile, Corana and Piani sat in Kaila’s temporary quarters. All three Rebels were relieved it wasn’t a jail cell. Their curiosity burned as to why it wasn’t.
After nearly an hour of waiting with no information, Kaila returned. Corana motioned to the ISB agent’s leg.
“Nice limp you got there,” the Pantoran said.
Kaila’s eyes narrowed. “It happens when you get shot.”
Corana shrugged. Kaila shook her head.
“I’ll ask the obvious question,” Piani began. “Why aren’t we in jail?”
“For your service to the Empire,” Kaila responded.
All three Rebels looked at one another, neither understanding the meaning of Kaila’s words. The ISB agent let them stew for a moment before explaining.
“Turns out Commander Rundsor was a Rebel Alliance mole,” Kaila said. “You helped ferret her out.”
“Your worm was rewriting code,” Piani said. “You planted the evidence against Rundsor.”
Corana piled on with, “Just like you had that Jafan guy lie about being an Alliance sympathizer, which helped establish your entire Rebel gambit.”
“We were a convenient happenstance,” Nile said.
“Or maybe your mystical Force brought us together?” Kaila said.
The touch of sarcasm in the ISB agent’s tone prevented Nile from finding a sense of hope in the woman’s statement.
Corana approached Kaila. “You used the frak out of us,” she said. Staring the ISB agent down, she added, “I should have aimed higher.”
Kaila returned Corana’s ire with a smile. “But you haven’t heard the best part, the answer to your Twi’lek’s burning question,” she said.
“I don’t think I want to hear it,” Corana said, turning away from Kaila.
“I told Grand Moff Tretyro and Queen Dalné that you three were mercenaries working for me to help ferret out the Rebel’s high-level mole within the Naboo ISB.”
“What about your work with the Odoum miners?” Nile asked.
“A cover for my real investigation with you.”
Piani looked at Corana, then at Nile. Both women shared the same sense of dread. “So wait,” Piani began. “Does that mean…?”
“Yes,” Kaila said. “You’re now on the payroll of the Empire.”
The ISB agent allowed the Rebels a moment of silence to contemplate.
The door chime interrupted that silence. Kaila looked at the door as if it were an unwelcome intruder. Reaching out with her Force ability, the agent detected her mother outside the door.
Her mother’s thoughts were extremely conflicted.
“Kaila Ores!” her mother demanded. “I saw you come in earlier! Open this door right now!”
Reacting to Kaila’s mother’s anger, Corana said, “Quite the fan club you have on Naboo.”
Kaila flashed the maroon-haired Pantoran a glare before opening the door. Her mother pushed past her and into the room.
“You have put us all in a grave —” Imeda stopped, startled by the presence of the three Rebels. She looked at them as if they were a danger to her.
Kaila moved to Imeda’s side. “Business associates of the Empire,” she explained. Motioning to Imeda, she added, “This is my mother.”
Corana beamed a smile. “Let me be the first to say how charming a daughter you have!”
Sensing the Pantoran’s sarcasm, Imeda said, “How’d she screwed up your life?”
“Stop being so dramatic, mother,” Kaila said, walking to another area of the main room.
“Dramatic? Your damned crusade against Jasper —” Imeda caught herself. She glanced at the strangers as a reminder they were there and then said, “against Grand Moff Tretyro has put us all in jeopardy.”
Corana raised her hand. “Um, we were already in —”
Nile pushed Corana’s hand down and signaled for her to remain silent. Corana shrugged.
Kaila sat down and looked squarely at her mother. “I told you I would not allow Tretyro to frame another innocent man.”
“But also taking down his ISB commander?” Imeda said. “Was she even guilty, or did you merely do the same thing you’ve accused Tretyro of doing?”
Kaila remained silent. She caught Nile’s disappointed look and turned away.
Piani exchanged glances with her Rebel allies, who also remained silent but collectively had a sense of dread.
Imeda knelt in front of Kaila. “You don’t get it, Kaila,” she said. “You’ve boxed Tretyro and created such a crisis the emperor has his eyes on Naboo.”
Kaila started to get up. Imeda stood as well and pushed Kaila back down. The younger Ores glared up at her mother. Imeda spoke first.
“The emperor is sending an agent specifically to check those files, Kaila. To check you. Tretyro won’t stop him. I won’t have any sway with Tretyro. It will be the emperor’s word against you.”
“And, thanks to Kaila,” Corana began, scorn in her voice, “All of us too.”
Kaila thought back to Nile’s words in the interrogation room. “Palpatine will kill you if he finds out you have this ability.” If he made her an inquisitor, “you will wish he had killed you.”
Brooding, Kaila thought, “As long as I get to Tretyro first…”
Well, that was dope!
I had a really good time with that one. Thanks to the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars RPG, I had a bunch of surprises as to where the narrative went.
Go check out their game before it gets lost in the company shuffle at that company.
Meanwhile, I have ideas for the back half of the story, but life and all. I hope to get around to it as I miss these ladies. I’ll let you know when I do.
In the meantime, check out these comic book-related fanfictions! Also, check my original fiction available on Amazon!