Alive… On Coruscant… The Empire… How can this… What happened? Shamila shook her head in disbelief. From all the events they’d been through since they left Talus, this was without doubt the most confusing and terrifying. As she recovered from her fractures and wounds, she had been lying in this medbay for several weeks, and constantly she had been in fear. Here deep in the base of the enemy, the Empire and the Sith, the destroyers of the Jedi Order, she did not know what to expect. Why hadn’t Master Vhiran told her more yet? What’s g…
The door slid open. “How are you feeling today?” Vhiran said upon entering. “You certainly look a lot better than when you came here.” He smiled kindly.
Sitting on the side of the bed Shamila looked up with an uncertain look on her face. “I can walk,” she said softly. “But, I feel I’m losing my mind here! I don’t know what happened at all and you’re not telling me anything! How are the others?! How come are we still alive?! Why are we here, in the capital of the Empire, of the ones who are trying to kill us all?!” The girl looked her Master angrily. “The questions are going through my head, all the time! And I don’t know what to think of it all! What’s going on, Master?!” she called out, trembling, barely able to contain her tears.
Vhiran nodded and lowered his head for a moment. “I’m sorry. I should not have left you out of the loop like this,” he said softly, then stretched out his hand. “Come. There’s someone I’d like you to meet. I’ll tell you as much as I can on the way.”
The halls of the Imperial Palace were massive. In-between the half pillars placed along the black cortosis walls, towering over all that passed by them, there were numerous round windows at the top, letting through the rays of the Coruscanti sun in such a way they beautifully highlighted the ornate carved friezes that covered the ceiling. Although it had a darker mood about it, it somehow reminded Shamila somewhat of the halls in the Jedi Temple. And as much as she hated to admit it, she found it beautiful unlike anything she had ever seen. The mere sight of the building’s stunning interior no less than overwhelmed her, took her breath away.
“After the crash on Kessel we had apparently been lying unconscious for a while,” Vhiran interrupted her thoughts. She noticed he kept his voice down as to not let his words echo all through the halls. “They found you first, near their shuttle. You were pretty beat up, the medics told me. With countless broken bones, bleeding from your head, and cuts and bruises all over your body, they were shocked to see you were still showing signs of life. Despite your severe injuries, you remained strong and you lived through it all. I’m proud of you, Shamila.” He smiled down at her and carefully patted her on the shoulder. “After they took you in, they decided to track down the fighter they had seen crashing down just before they found you, not far from their position. And there they found me, seemingly in not much of a better state than you. They…”
“Who are they? Who found us?” Shamila interrupted shortly.
“You were found by Lord Vader himself. Commander Bow of the 501st and his troop found me and the remains of our ship.” He looked at his Padawan with a wry smile. “It sounds odd but, it was the Empire that saved us.”
Shamila gulped. This was the hardest to believe of all! Yet, it did make some sense. It would explain how they got here, in the heart of the Empire of all places. Still… “Why would the Empire save us?” she replied in a tone of disbelief. “We’re Jedi! Everywhere we came they hunted us down! And now they would suddenly save us?! I just can’t believe that!”
“That was my exact reaction when they told me.” Vhiran’s voice sounded continuously calm. “I could not believe those that had tried so hard to kill us would come to our rescue all of a sudden. But, it did not take long before I realized: it was true. Think of it. How can we, as Jedi, just walk around here, in the residence of the Emperor himself, without anyone coming after us to kill or even arrest us?” He paused a bit, then continued as Shamila did not answer. “It’s because, the Empire is not our enemy.”