If Only She Could Tell the Truth: Part 36

Qi’ra watched as Han began to inch his way toward the case of coaxium but Beckett caught him.

“Ah, ah, ah,” Tobias said, drawing his blaster. “Stay away from there.” He pointed the blaster at Chewbacca. “Chewie, paws up where I can see them.” He gestured at one of the two guards in the room. “Check that lid.”

The guard did as he commanded and soon found Han’s blaster attached to the lid. Beckett nodded in appreciation.

“Good thinking but not good enough,” Tobias said.

“Enfys Nest is still going to get away with the coaxium,” Han said.

Beckett smiled smugly. “Well, we figured that.”

Qi’ra pretended to look flabbergasted as his words sunk in. She scanned the room and it suddenly became clear why there were only two guards in the area. The rest had been sent to apprehend Enfys and her marauders.

A second later Dryden’s comlink crackled to life and she could hear one of the guards telling him of their successful capturing of Enfys Nest and the pirates. Dryden looked pleased.

He spoke a quick command into the comm before practically charging Qi’ra, grabbing her by the back of her neck and sitting her down in front of him. She winced as her fingers dug into her flesh with barely controlled anger.

“Tell me Qi’ra,” he seethed, “what would you do if the person you most trusted in the world betrayed you?”

His expression was so pained that she found herself getting a bit teary staring at him. He had, after all, rescued her from a terrible situation and he had helped make her much stronger than she had ever been. For those things, she was grateful and it almost made her feel bad for betraying him…almost.

“I would ask that person,” she spoke shakily, “if it was a moment of weakness or something else.”

He tightened his hold on her neck. “And then what?” he continued, his breaths coming in short bursts of anger.

“And then I would ask that person to prove themselves by sacrificing something they love.”

His expression softened and he began to tenderly rub the back of her hair. His gaze turned to Han’s who was watching their exchange very carefully. Even though Dryden’s hold on her neck was no more the pressure of his fingers seemed to linger, leaving her feeling shaken.

As Han’s gaze briefly met hers she tried to give him a reassuring twitch of a smile but it came out as more of a wince.

Han turned to look at Beckett once more.

“You told Chewbacca people are predictable.” Han smiled. “You’re no exception.”

At the very same moment he said that, Dryden’s comm crackled back to life and all Qi’ra could hear were the frantic screams and cries of Dryden’s guards. Dryden jumped to his feet.

“What’s going on?” he asked. “Aemon, tell me what’s going on.”

More indistinct yelling could be heard before the guard named Aemon yelled through the comm, “It’s a trick. There’s no coaxium. Enfys Nest is–”

He was cut short by what sounded like an explosion.

Qi’ra smiled at Han. Their plan was working. Oh, it was working.

Dryden yelled Aemon’s name twice but there was no response. Beckett’s expression was truly bewildered.

“So, if Enfys Nest didn’t have the coaxium then that means the real coaxium…?” Beckett deduced.

Dryden’s slack-jawed gaze focused on the cases of coaxium in utter disbelief.

“Is in this room,” Han finished proudly.

Tobias nodded in understanding before shooting the two guards in the room in quick succession. This legitimately shocked Qi’ra.

“Beckett, what are you doing?!” Dryden screamed.

“Improvising,” Tobias said. “And I’d like to be the only one with a blaster while I’m doing it.” He gestured at Han. “Kid, get those vials of coaxium, put it back in the case.” He turned to Chewbacca. “You and I, big shot, we’re getting out of here.”

Qi’ra’s startled expression whipped to Chewbacca. She found herself shaking her head. No, this wasn’t how the plan was supposed to play out. Han slowly placed the vial of coaxium back into the case, too slowly for Beckett’s liking as he tapped him with his blaster and told him to back away.

Dryden took a tiny step forward, pointing at Beckett.

“Beckett, this is a terrible mistake,” he said.

Tobias smiled, pointing the blaster at the three of them as Chewbacca entered the elevator behind him. “I’ve made worst mistakes before,” he said.

“I promise this will be your last,” Dryden growled through clenched teeth. Qi’ra watched as Beckett stepped into the elevator with Chewbacca still wearing that smug smile on his face.

“Oh, come on. Why do you have to be so negative?” he asked just as the elevator doors shut.

Qi’ra looked to Han and then the sword lying by one of the fallen guard’s sides. Han looked to Dryden before eyeing his blaster. Dryden Vos looked to Han before averting his gaze to his daggers. An instant later, they dove for their weapons.

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