QI’RA: Chapter One

Reaching Dathomir

Qi’ra’s hands were shaking as she stared at the blue streaks of hyperspace racing by. She gripped the windowsill, urging her hands to stop trembling as she bowed her head. She almost felt queasy. Like she was going to be sick. She couldn’t understand why she was feeling this way.

She didn’t believe it was fear that was making her feel like this. And then again, maybe it was. Maybe the realization that she was flying to a planet where she would meet one of the almost-mythical beings in the galaxy, a former Sith Lord, was dawning on her.

Her gaze rose to meet the vague reflection of herself in the window’s glass.

Yes, she was afraid. And there was no reason not to admit it.

A beep resounded on the bridge. She hurried over to the console, looking at the screen before her.

She had reached Dathomir.

Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she pressed a button. The glow of hyperspace painting the room in a blue hue dissipated as the ship lurched to a halt before a red planet splotched with patches of brown land. Her throat muscles contracted as she stared at the orb sitting in the middle of space. Its red areas disconcertingly reminded her of blood.

She apprehensively eased First Light to the planet, half-expecting a squadron of Stealth fighters to appear and blow the ship to smithereens. And they would be able to. The ship had no defensive mechanisms. It was purely a leisure vessel, used for conducting meetings, having parties, and going to sleep.

Instead, the console beeped. Someone was trying to send a message from the planet’s surface. She adopted a stern expression. She couldn’t look frightened even though her heart was pounding in her breast. She tapped a button and a small hologram appeared.

It was a woman shrouded in a robe that hid nearly all of her features except her mouth which quirked upward in a devious smirk.

“So you have arrived,” the woman spoke. Her voice was hoarse. “I almost thought you wouldn’t come.” Qi’ra’s expression soured. “Follow these coordinates,” the woman continued.

The hologram flickered out of existence. Qi’ra looked toward the planet that sat immobile before her. For a second she considered the possibility of turning tail and running. She could jump into hyperspace and arrive in an undisclosed location. She could ditch the ship and use persuasion, or deadlier methods, to acquire a ship and race to the Unknown Regions. She could live a life free from the burdens and responsibilities of being a member of the Crimson Dawn.

She knew, however, if she did that, she would be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. She would spend the rest of her days mortally afraid of everyone and everything, for with every thought, with every step in the right direction, there would always be the notion that she could be found…and killed. She didn’t want to live that nightmare.

So, she flew toward Dathomir’s surface, dipping beneath the planet’s atmosphere and making her way to the coordinates with the realization that there was no turning back now. This was the life she had chosen and she would see where this life would take her.

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