QI’RA: Chapter Thirty-Nine

Ambush

T-38 rushed to Qi’ra’s side, her eyes wide as she beheld her boss. Her skin was getting paler, her breaths were heavy, and she seemed barely on the cusp of consciousness. She hurriedly picked Qi’ra up and took her into the bedroom. As she lied her on the bed Qi’ra grabbed her arm.

“Nienye,” Qi’ra said softly. “Where’s Nienye?”

“He left,” T-38 told her bluntly. “Now stay here. I need to find out what’s wrong with you.”

Before Qi’ra could reply T-38 ran out of the room, hurried to her quarters, grabbed her bag which was full of first-aid materials and medicines, and scurried back to Qi’ra’s room where Qi’ra was lying as she had left her a minute ago.

She opened Qi’ra’s lid, gazing at her reddened eye, and immediately she knew what was wrong.

“Poison,” she stated grimly.

Qi’ra’s eyebrows slowly creased. “What?”

As T-38 grabbed a syringe and began pouring a blue liquid into it she said again, “You have been poisoned, Qi’ra.”

Qi’ra tried to sit up, her eyes widening. “Poisoned?” she drawled. “How could I be poisoned?”

T-38 gripped her forearm tightly before giving Qi’ra a stern look. “How do you think?”

Qi’ra gazed at T-38 with glazed eyes. “You can’t possibly be considering the idea that Nienye poisoned me, are you?”

T-38 cocked her head. “What was the last thing you ate or drank?”

Qi’ra’s expression changed as realization dawned on her. She sank back onto the bed as if struck. “Nienye made me a drink. It wasn’t long after when I began to feel sick. But why? Why would he do that?”

“Why did you betray Dryden Vos?” T-38 asked plainly.

Qi’ra’s teary gaze met hers. T-38’s jaw clenched. “This is gonna hurt.”

T-38 jammed the syringe into Qi’ra’s arm, causing Qi’ra to yelp in response.

“It’s a good thing the poison was only a slowing agent, otherwise, you might have been beyond saving when I arrived.”

A single tear rolled down Qi’ra’s face as she looked at the ceiling. “Why would Nienye betray me now? It doesn’t make sense,” she said as if to herself.

“We’ll learn soon enough,” T-38 assured her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll personally wring the information out of him myself.”

Suddenly there was a thump from the other room followed by the sound of more distinct thumps that unmistakenly sounded like footsteps.

T-38’s head whirled as she looked toward the half-open door. Qi’ra’s eyes widened as she noticed the several shadows elongating across the floor as her unwanted guests crept through the suite. T-38 unholstered one of her blasters, rising as she inched herself toward the door, ready for anything.

Qi’ra–with her heart hammering in her breast, her head pounding, and her body covered in a cold sweat–slid out of bed, crouching as she struggled over to her sword, the one given to her by Palpatine.

T-38 and Qi’ra’s eyes locked. They knew what they were up against. Behind this door, a small army had come to kill her at her weakest and it would take everything they had in them.

“Nienye set us up for an ambush,” T-38 mouthed.

Qi’ra’s lips set in a grim line. As much as she didn’t want to believe it all evidence was pointing to the very obvious fact that yes, Nienye was a traitor. She could still feel when his lips touched hers. How could something so good have turned so bad so quickly?

“On my mark,” T-38 mouthed again.

Even though Qi’ra felt weak in the knees, sick in the stomach, and sweaty on the palms, she was ready to use every last bit of her strength to survive, even if that meant tearing a rip in this beautiful but unfunctional dress to move freely.

T-38 unholstered her other blaster before mouthing, “3…”

The shadows were getting larger, meaning the intruders were getting closer.

“2…”

Qi’ra took a deep breath.

“1.”

There was no turning back now. as Qi’ra and T-38 charged forward to an uncertain fate.

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