It was a strange thing.
Normally, to hear someone utter that dreaded petname of mine, 'Haddie', would immediately incite rage. The nickname would make me grit my teeth, even, when I was younger, lash out and strike at anyone who dared to use it. Only my brother Izak could get away with it, and even then, only just. But when Darth Metus addressed me, there was nothing. No anger, no vehement frustration. There was... nothing. Was it because, as strong as I was becoming, I knew I'd never land a hit on the old man if I tried? Was it because I was far more familiar than I'd like to be with what reprimands would follow such an outburst? Was it simply because he was my father? The one man in the entire universe who held my respect?
My thoughts were buried as I turned to face him, listening as he motioned towards the prisoners that stood before us, led by an attendant droid. I paid the machine no mind, watching only father as he explained.
My heart raced in my chest, father's words, deep and solemn, set my chest ablaze. To be given access to such a tool... no, not even that, for the Sith lord to consider me worthy of such an art... I swallowed, forcing my mind back into calm for the moment. Then came the price. Life. Even as he told me that the men were guilty... even as he that they were doomed to die anyway, I knew what was coming next. I let my father's touch guide me, walking with him towards the closest of the prisoners. He'd clearly lived long, and by the looks of it, not pleasantly, at least in recent times.
He turned to me, clouded, watery eyes wide with pleading, brow furrowed. His shoulders were slumped in defeat, bony back slumped. And yet... he looked at me with the tiniest glimmer of hope. Of course, I knew why. I'm a girl, technically an adult but still young enough to be looked down upon. Did he think that because of my youth I was innocent? Did he expect that because of my sex I was soft?
The heat of the tropical air suddenly turned ice cold as two words passed through my father's lips; a command that I was to obey. Staring directly into the eyes of the first prisoner, I unclipped my blaster pistol, lifting it and placing the barrel against the aged, mottled skin of his forehead. I kept my gaze firmly on his as I spoke quietly to the man behind me,
A shot rang out, sending a cluster of birds to the sky, startled. In that same moment, a shudder raced down my spine, from the recoil, maybe? I wasn't sure. Accompanying the ringing blast was the hot spray of blood, an angry cough of liquid life splattering across my hand and arm. Then... silence seemed to befall us for a single moment, my ears ringing as the planet seemed to hold its breath, time slowing for a moment. It was almost... a moment of disbelief.
Then it ended, with a dull thud and a jangle as the body slumped to the ground.
Stepping over him, I moved my pistol to the second man. There was no glimmer of hope in his eyes. He stood taller than me. Even stood in the chains as he was, I had to raise my hand above my head to place the blaster against his temple. He whimpered... maybe a word, it could have just been dribble. I didn't care.
Another squeeze of the trigger. Another body slumped to the ground.
The third and fourth were exactly the same. One pleaded softly, the other simply closed his eyes. I kept mine narrowed in determination, studying their forms as I ended their lives in my father's name. The last man turned to me, staring desperately into my eyes. He opened his mouth to speak. A plea, perhaps? A curse? I didn't leave the time to find out.
One final shot rang out, and he slumped to the ground.
Five bodies lay in a line, connected by chains. Blood splattered up my arm, painting me with their life force. Before turning back to the sith I drew in a deep, shuddering breath. My heart was pounding, my head spinning. No, Hadashah I scolded myself, you are a Vi'drera. You are stronger than this.
Pursing my lips, I turned back towards father, holstering the pistol. I opened my mouth to speak, but decided against it. Better to remain quiet and strong, than to speak and risk my voice trembling. So instead, I simply gave him a slight nod, it is done.
Edited by Hadashah Vi'dreya, 02 May 2018 - 01:55 AM.