Chapter 5. Coruscant Exodus
Part 2. Connected
“I think we lost them,” Bultar said through the comm. system as her damaged Delta-7 Aethersprite-class starfighter lowered speed.
Vhiran checked his radar, sensed the area, then nodded. “We lost them,” he replied. “Just had to fly right into a blockade and get swarmed by enemy fighters,” he sighed. “R3, what’s the damage?”
The astromech droid in the back ran a quick check through the systems and beeped.
“I see,” Vhiran replied. “Sublight engines still working?”
Worried beeps came in reply.
“Then that is a risk I must take,” Ashukahwa said grimly. “Bultar, my sublight engines are damaged, but still working. And apart from the light damage to its hull my Aethersprite’s in flyable condition. How’s yours doing?”
“Pretty bad. Shields down, heavy hull damage, overheated lasers.” She looked outside at the left wing. “And one of my wings looks like it can fall off at any time,” she sighed. “I’ll be glad if this thing makes it Cato Neimoidia in one piece. But on the bright side, my eng…” At that moment Bultar’s starfighter took a dive. “Vhiran!” a faint scream was hard through Vhiran’s comm system.
“Bultar, what’s wrong?!” Vhiran called out worried. No reply came for several moments. “Bultar!” Vhiran called again as the Bultar’s Aethersprite got back on course.
“I’m ok, I think,” Bultar’s faint voice finally said.
“I felt really weak all of a sudden. Still do,” she replied. “I think, Nillanthir, is in trouble. And because of the connection, I felt it too. We have to go back.”
Vhiran shook his head. “Too dangerous. Numerous clone forces on the surface and in the state our fighters are in I don’t give them as much chance of getting through the blockade without being blown to space dust.”
“We have to help. Anything that happens to either of us affects the other as well.”
“Then it certainly wouldn’t do him any good if you got yourself killed while getting to the surface,” Vhiran said. “If we had a chance we’d go there, but we haven’t.” He bit his lip. “But don’t worry. I know Nillanthir. He’s strong enough to get out of there alive and well. He’ll be fine,” he said in an assuring tone. “And I’ll make sure you’ll be as well,” he added.
Bultar smiled faintly. “Yeah… Thanks…,” she mumbled and wiped the cold sweat of her forehead. After being quiet for a bit she said, “Off to Cato Neimoida then?”
“You said it.” Vhiran nodded. “R3, give me beep when those sublight engines are about to blow,” he laughed, making an attempt to break the darkened mood that hung over them.
The droid beeped in affirmation.
“Alright then,” Bultar said. “Let’s go. Master Koon’s probably waiting for us.”
Vhiran nodded. Only a moment later, the two nearly wrecked Jedi Starfighters set off to their plotted course.
Nillanthir could feel Bultar’s strength returning along with his own. He now had the strength to regain consciousness once more. It took a toll on him. Now he had made it so both Jordan and Bultar survived, but at the deadliest price. If one died all others would likely follow. Nillanthir knew the risk but he also knew he had to save them as well. As he opened his eyes he looked and saw that Master Jordan, Nor-Ca and Amakusa were all standing over him, concerned for his safety. “So,” Nillanthir said “Shall we leave? We have to find a safe haven before we decide what to do.” He then got up and nearly fell over again but Nor-Ca was quick and held him up.
“Are you sure you can fly?” said Jordan.
“I’m sure,” Nillanthir said in reply. “But for now it is important that we get out of here. I sense Nienna and Churro coming back to Coruscant. We have to go out and get to them before the clones do.”