Her eyes shot open. She stared at the ceiling above her and kept lying still, still terrified of what had just happened, that awful nightmare she had just awoken from. Or had she? For all she knew she might have woken up from one horror just to be dragged into another. What’s going to happen? She lied still. Where am I this time?
“I’m glad to see you up, instead of thrashing around in your sleep.” A voice sounded from her side. It was yet again a familiar one, but she couldn’t place it, still feeling a bit dazed. She gulped, afraid of a repeat of that dream. “Hey.” A hand gently touched hers. “How are you feeling?”
Her eyes widened when her look quickly turned to the sound, and even with the bandages covering a part of his head she immediately recognized the person at her side: steel blue eyes, long dark brown hair hanging down his shoulders, a short scruffy ring beard surrounding the kind smile on his lips. “M-master, V-vhiran… Is that, is that…” Her voice sounded hoarse.
“Yes.” The man nodded, continuously smiling. “It’s me, Shamila.”
Breathless the girl kept her eyes fixed on him. Was this really him? It was so hard to believe. With that terrible dream she just had, she just didn’t know what to expect. And, now she slowly recalled shards of what had happened. The attack by Imperial fighters at Kessel. The burning ship crashing down to the planet. Her fall from the ship. Vhiran’s motionless body in the cockpit. His glazed, hollow eyes. Both of them, she was certain their lives had been forfeit. How can he be here? He can’t be! And how can I be here?! This is impossible! She shut her eyes tight again. It has to be dream! There’s no way we…
“You must be confused, huh?”
She felt Vhiran’s hand on her head and opened her eyes. “H-how?” She sobbed softly, her lips trembling as she spoke, her eyes full of uncertainty as she watched her Master.
Vhiran took a seat and sat down at her side. His look had turned serious. “Shamila, do you remember anything that happened?”
“A, a bit.” The girl tried to sit upright, but a fierce surge of pain shot through her body the moment she moved. She gritted her teeth.
“Easy now,” Vhiran said calmly. “You have numerous bone fractures all over your body from your fall. They’ve been healing fast, but don’t move around too much.”
Shamila tried to make a short nod in reply, but groaned in pain as she slightly lifted her head. She stared at the ceiling a bit. The longer it went on, the more it looked like this was all actually happening. But, it just couldn’t be. It all seemed so unreal. “I, remember a bit… The attack, the fall…” The young Padawan finally said. “You… I, I thought you were… I was…” She bit her lip, but was unable to fight off the tears that slowly started flowing down her face. “You… I thought you had died!” Shamila then screamed. “And I fell down, for so long, and I thought I was going to die too! I thought everything was going to end and I was so scared! What’s going on, Master?! What is all th…”
“Shhh.” Vhiran placed his finger on her lips. He looked at her sympathetically and began wiping the now countless glistening tears from her face. “I’m sorry, Shamila. I’m so sorry I made you worry so much,” he said softly, stroking through her black hair while the girl’s sobbing turned softer. “A lot has happened since Kessel, some things that will be difficult to take. It has been almost two weeks since we came here and I still find it hard to fathom everything myself.” He let out a soft sigh. “Please rest now. Once you’ve recovered enough to be up, I will explain everything to you. Alright?”
“Y-yes, Master.” Shamila sniffed. “But, but could you tell me… Where are we?”
The Master nodded. “I know this will be hard to believe, but…” He smiled faintly and the girl’s eyes widened in shock as he continued. “We’re on Coruscant, at the Imperial Palace.”