As promised, here is the new chapter. This one gave me a lot of trouble, thus the long delay. I think once you read it, you'll understand why. Ly'ana is one of my favourite characters and I didn't like putting her through this. At all. Still, the next chapters should come more quickly now that this one is out of the way!
Another alarm, another day. As Ly’ana swung her feet down from the bunk, the light blinding her as it always did, she suppressed a shiver. Not just another day. Not today.
Across the room, Leia Skywalker slid out of bed, avoiding Ly’ana’s eyes. Ly’ana knew that the other woman was afraid of what she might see there, unwilling to think about what was about to happen. Considering that Ly’ana was the one who had to go through it, though, she found it a little infuriating.
The least you could do is meet my eyes
, she thought bitterly. I’m doing this for you.
As usual, the steady whir of the holocam followed her from the bed to the fresher and back. Today, the sound seemed to leave a dirty pall on Ly’ana’s skin. Always before she had steeled herself against the knowledge that the troopers were ogling her body, probably making some disgusting comment about her breasts or her legs. She hadn’t cared until today, but now she wondered whether she would ever be able to reclaim that feeling.
After using the fresher, she picked up the dirty jumpsuit and slipped it on. Leia continued to sleep in hers, refusing to give the troopers the satisfaction of seeing both of them. I know what you think about me
, Ly’ana thought. Well, I hope you’re happy.
The two of them had been cell mates for three days now. In that time, Ly’ana had found herself dragged – against her will – further and further into the mad schemes of the Alliance prisoners held in the containment centre. The first morning after Leia’s incarceration, as they had entered the common area, the young human girl had let out a cry that had drawn the troopers down on them. Ly’ana had been forced to lie for her, claiming that she had stubbed her toe. It had earned her a slap on her behind from the trooper with the scar and a grateful glance from Leia.
Later, she had learned that the reason for Leia’s reaction had been the sight of the human male who had come to talk to Ly’ana on the day Leia arrived. Lance. Who, it turned out, was Lance Organa – Prince of Alderaan, Alliance leader and Leia’s fiancé.
Things had only become more complicated after that.
As Leia and Ly’ana stepped up to the door now, waiting for it to open, Ly’ana was surprised to feel Leia’s hand brush against hers. She glanced at the human woman, who smiled.
“Thank you. I- I don’t think I could do what…” She trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. Ly’ana felt a lump in her throat, but she forced it down with a few harsh swallows.
“Thank me once we’re out of here.”
The door slid open. As she had every day since her arrival in Internment Camp 12, Ly’ana stepped out, eyes unwavering as they studied the wall opposite. Footsteps echoed – the other prisoners taking their place, ready for inspection.
The crank of motors announcing the arrival of the two troopers responsible for their level sent flocks of anxious butterflies spiralling through Ly’ana’s belly. Unable to help herself, she glanced to her left, both anxious to see the familiar face and terrified that she would. He was there, though, the trooper with the scar on his face, the one who never missed an opportunity to leer at her or touch her or hit her. She was almost certain that he was the one who watched her through the camera.
Nausea threatened to overwhelm her and she swallowed back a rush of metallic saliva. Both troopers walked past the Rodian and Gungan females from the cell next to Leia and Ly’ana’s. Ly’ana could already see the one with the scar slowing his pace, a lazy smile twisting the scar on his cheek.
Scars gaped at her. In the weeks she had been imprisoned, Ly’ana had never once responded to his morning greetings. Today, not only had she answered, but she had done so with obvious intent, putting every ounce of seductive force she could into her voice. Ly’ana had been practicing for two days.
Ever since the secret meeting with Lance, Leia and the other Alliance members in the common area during the evening meal.
Scars’ green eyes lit up at her words and he stepped closer. Ly’ana could smell sweat and an overpowering cologne. Her eyes watered, but she batted her eyes to hide the tears and smiled.
“How are you this morning, officer?”
He grinned. “As well as I ever am after your little morning show,” he whispered, winking at her. Confirming what she had suspected. Pig.
“Oh, were you the one watching?” she simpered. She forced a giggle. “I had. No. Idea.”
Scars allowed his hand to come to rest on her hip. She felt his fingers tighten on her, nails digging in to her flesh. Turning a pained gasp into a moan, Ly’ana forced herself to lean in to him.
“I hear that you might be able to get a girl special privileges if she’s nice to you.”
It was one of Lance’s Alliance women who had told them, a Bothan from another cell block who had heard it from a human prisoner who shared her cell. Scars’ reputation amongst the female inmates was legendary – the last woman he had his eye on, another Twi’lek, had been given her own quarters near the trooper’s barracks, special food and three nights out a week. All she had to do in return was…
“You heard right,” Scars whispered, his hand easing up over her belly, over her jumpsuit. Ly’ana fought the urge to cringe. “Why? Do you think you could be… nice?”
Ly’ana knew that if she had to endure this for a moment longer, she would vomit. She had to complete these “negotiations” now. Burying the last shreds of her dignity, she reached down, grabbed his hand and lifted it to her breast.
“I can be very nice.”
Scars’ shocked expression gave way to one of pure lust. For an instant, Ly’ana was terrified that he was going to push her back into her quarters and have her right there and then. The moment passed, though, and Scars regained some kind of control over himself. Squeezing her breast one last time, he took a step back.
“I’ll send someone for you tonight. Be ready.”
“Oh, I will,” she said, holding his gaze.
Chuckling, Scars turned and joined the other trooper – who looked excited and jealous at the same time. They continued on with their checks, though neither one of them seemed to be particularly concentrated on what they were doing. Ly’ana returned her gaze to the wall, but she could feel the disgusted looks from the other prisoners. It’s not real
, she wanted to scream. Couldn’t you tell it was all an act?
What was likely to happen that night, though, would not be an act.
The worse thing was that it had been Ly’ana’s idea.
After Leia recognised Lance, she had convinced Ly’ana to join her over by the ‘fresher pipes. They had been forced to wait until the evening meal, but the moment they reached them, Leia collapsed, sobbing, in Lance’s arms. Very quickly, the whole story had come out.
Leia Skywalker, pilot and Jedi Knight. Lance Organa, prince and diplomat. Padme Naberrie, Leia’s mother, ambassador and victim of the Empire. A scattered remnant of Alliance pilots hiding somewhere in the city above.
Talk had turned to how Leia had come to be in the Internment Camp. Ly’ana had been shocked to learn that the young woman had been kept as a personal prisoner by the Emperor himself. When Lance asked her how she had come to be moved, the young Jedi had broken down. Through her sobs, she had confessed: she had given the Emperor the location of the Jedi Temple.
“Are you sure?” Lance had asked, his expression stricken but his eyes full of compassion. “You said he was drugging you, maybe you imagined it.”
Leia had shaken her head. “I’m sure. I told him about Yavin, Lance. I… I didn’t want to but he… I thought I was…” She had covered her face in her hands.
The Alliance prisoners had seemed to lose what little composure they had, their shoulders slumping and their faces draining of colour. All except for Lance. Ly’ana had watched him straighten his back, determination flooding his features, and for the first time saw him as he must have been before his incarceration. As a prince.
“We’ll have to move up our schedule,” he had said.
While the others broke out in murmurs, Leia and Ly’ana had both frowned.
“For our escape,” he had said matter of factly. “We think we have found a way out of here, but have no idea how we might escape once we reached the surface. We’ve been trying to get a hold of a comm. system so that we can contact someone on the outside, maybe one of the Rogues who escaped Tarkin.”
“You think some of them got away?” Leia had asked.
“I’m sure of it. But so far, we haven’t been able to access a comm. system and-“
“Are you all out of your minds?” Ly’ana had demanded. All eyes had turned on her, but she had been too angry to care. “Escape? Do you know what they do to people who try to escape? When they catch you-“
“They won’t,” Lance had said. “There is a way out. Why else do you think we spend all our time here
Ly’ana had looked around and for the first time took in the ‘fresher pipes behind them. Although she had never studied them before, she did so now and realised how wide they were. Still, she had not been able to hold back a sardonic snort.
“You really think you’re going to be able to get in…”
She had trailed off as three of the prisoners twitched back the sides of their cloaks, revealing small knives. Another of them peeled back one of the metal plates on the nearest pipe.
They’ve actually done it
, she had thought. They’ve actually managed to find a way out of here.
“Unfortunately, getting up to the surface is only half of the trouble. We then need to find a way off Coruscant. Even with a comm system that would be difficult, but without one it is impossible.”
“There has to be a way,” Leia had said, the excitement obvious in her voice. “There has to be.”
“Only the guards have comm systems,” one of the other Alliance soldiers had said. “They never leave them unattended. The only way to get at one would be to…”
As the Alliance soldiers continued to talk, Ly’ana had felt a sick feeling deep in her gut. The only way to get at one would be to place yourself in a situation where one of the trooper’s would let his guard down.
In his quarters. Although she had known that they weren’t, Ly’ana had not been able to shake the sensation that the Alliance soldiers were looking at her.
Don’t do it, Ly’ana.
The voice in her head had been Han’s. You don’t owe them anything. Look out for yourself, keep your nose down and you can…
She had demanded, anger prickling her eyes. I can do what? Spend the rest of my life in here until one of the guards decides to take what I won’t give up willingly? End up beaten and bleeding out in some cell, or passed from one trooper to the next? This is a way out. I’m the only one who can do it.
The others had still been talking when she had stepped forward, debating the chances of trapping one of the troopers in the corridors between cell blocks. All of them looked up at her in surprise, Leia most of all.
“I’ll do it,” she had said, the words turning to ash in her mouth. “I’ll get you the comm.”
The rest of the day passed too quickly. Before she knew it, the siren rang announcing the end of the work shift. Ly’ana had hoped to have the time to return to her cell, but Scars was waiting for her. Grabbing her arm, he grinned at her.
“You’re coming with me, Tails.”
Ly’ana sensed Leia on the periphery of her vision. She forced a smile.
“I was hoping you would say that.”
Allowing Scars to lead her down the corridor, Ly’ana prayed to any gods who might be listening that he would be gentle.
Hours later, trying not to make a sound, Ly’ana rolled out of the bed, clutching her robe to her naked body. She paused as Scars coughed softly in his sleep. Eyes closed, she waited to see whether he would make any more noise. Moments later, he started breathing normally again. Ly’ana left her eyes closed for a moment more, fighting back tears. Once she had herself under control, she got to her feet and padded over to the desk.
She winced slightly, the bruises left by his pawing hands sending sharp darts of pain through her body. The memories left her feeling sick, but she pushed them away.
I had no choice
, she reminded herself. I was the only one.
Reaching the desk, she dropped to her haunches, glancing back to make sure that Scars was still asleep. He had rolled on to his back, his scarred face relaxed, his mouth open and blowing little spit bubbles. She turned away, fighting off a desire to go back to the bed and push one of the pillows down on his face.
He had left his uniform strewn haphazardly on the desk and chair. Ly’ana rummaged through it until she felt the cool metal and plastic of the comm unit. Pulling it out from beneath a set of armour, Ly’ana checked it over, turning it this way and that to make sure that it was functional. Once she was sure, she wrapped her robe around her more tightly and walked over to the door out into the corridor.
Praying to any god who might be listening that the sound of the door opening wouldn’t wake him, Ly’ana pressed her hand against the panel. It swished open, casting a rectangle of artificial light on the floor.
Leia Skywalker stood on the other side. When she saw Ly’ana, her face crumbled slightly.
Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare feel pity for me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold it together if you do.
As if she had sensed Ly’ana’s thoughts, Leia steeled her own face to a neutral mask. “Did you get it?”
Ly’ana nodded, handing the comm unit over. “You know who to contact?”
“I think so,” Leia said. “Solo, you said. You’re sure he can help us?”
If anyone can.
She had suggested they try to contact Han once the decision had been made that she would seduce the guard. With his contacts, he should be able to arrange their safe passage off the planet. She nodded. “You have the frequency?”
“Then you’d better go. Remember, you have to have it back to me before morning.”
Leia hesitated. “Will… Are you going to be alright?”
Do I have a choice?
“I’ll be fine. Get on with it.”
The young human looked at her for a moment longer and then shook herself. Squeezing Ly’ana’s hand, she turned and ran back down the corridor. Ly’ana watched her go and then stepped back into the guard’s room.
“Where do you think you’re going?” The guard’s gruff tones sent shudders down Ly’ana’s spine. She turned slowly to see him sitting up in bed, pressing himself on his elbows, eyes bleary.
She forced a seductive smile and allowed the robe to fall to the floor. “Just trying to get your attention.”