QI’RA: Chapter Forty-Six

Nienye’s Sentence

Sitting in her room aboard Dryden Vos’s yacht, First Light, Qi’ra couldn’t believe T-38 was dead. She had taken the cyborg for granted and now that her voice was missing, that her presence was no longer felt aboard this yacht that she called home, she now realized how much he had grown to need T-38’s companionship.

Now, without her, there was a deep void. A void that Nienye had created. She couldn’t believe it. She trusted Nienye. She even had admitted to herself that she was in love with him. Only for him to stab her in the back and T-38 would end up becoming the consequence of this deception.

Her gaze fell to her quivering hand which clenched in a fist. She wanted to kill Nienye. He deserved it, didn’t he? And yet, she couldn’t stop thinking about what he told her. About Maul’s plan to get rid of her. Maul had corrupted Nienye. He was the one who turned one of the closest people she knew against her.

T-38 had warned her that Nienye was a survivor. He, like her, was willing to do anything to make it, to keep from being enslaved again as he once was. She understood him better than anyone could. In fact, she had killed Dryden Vos with no persuasion in order to usurp him in power.

Could she really blame Nienye when she was the exact same person?

Her jaw clenched.

She stood, walking across the room and grabbing her sword before leaving her quarters. It was time.

Qi’ra wore a grim expression as she stood in Dryden Vos’s office. Her sword was in her hand and Nienye, his dark face bruised and swollen from where she had kicked him, knelt before her, his arms pulled behind him as her all-female personnel held him in place. The expressions they wore as they gazed down at the man who had one of their own killed were wrought with fury and disgust.

“You have committed a terrible crime against Crimson Dawn,” Qi’ra began. “One that shouldn’t be excused, no matter the circumstances.”

Nienye’s gaze fell.

“You thought by having me assassinated you could take my place in Crimson Dawn. That you would gain power in the galaxy by standing on my corpse. Your actions are inexcusable…but you are not the real enemy.”

Nienye’s alerted gaze rose to meet hers. So too did her female guards.

“Maul tried to have me killed and in doing so dragged you into the darkness. Can I truly say that if I was in your shoes and had been afforded the same opportunity would I not have done the same?”

Nienye’s eyes shimmered with hope. She averted her gaze, taking a few steps to the right.

“T-38 is dead because of you. No matter what you could ever do nothing can bring her back.”

She closed her eyes, envisioning T-38 standing beside her, placing a hand on her shoulder to offer assurance, and yet there was no weight of a hand. Just emptiness and the soft swirl of air that flowed through the room that grazed her shoulder.

She opened her eyes, turning to look at Nienye.

“I will not kill you but I do hereby exile you from Crimson Dawn.” She looked at the guards. “Release him.”

The guards seemed hesitant to do so but they eventually did, throwing him to the ground. Nienye grunted as he caught himself before looking up at her. His expression was completely dumbfounded as he found himself still breathing. He knew he should be dead by her sword but somehow she was letting him live. He would’ve smiled if he wasn’t so shocked.

“Leave this place,” she told him. “Find a way off of this planet and never return. If I ever see you again, our next encounter may not go so well.”

He stood, understanding her words. As he moved to leave the room he looked back at her one last time and once again he spoke the same words that he had been telling her since after he kissed her the previous night.

“I’m sorry.”

With that, he hurriedly left the room. She waited several seconds before leaving the room herself, walking across the landing until she found herself at the railing which overlooked the yacht’s expansive lobby currently devoid of any frivolous activity.

She watched as Nienye quickly limped his way to the elevator. When he entered the lift he turned and stopped. Even from such a lengthy distance, their gazes locked and for a split second, Qi’ra almost thought he was going to step out of the elevator and run to her. Run to her and tell her how sorry he was and that he would never betray her again.

But of course that didn’t happen and as the elevator door closed the sorrow in Qi’ra’s stomach coalesced into a wave of burning anger that made her want to scream as hard as she could to the ceiling.

She had lost two people she cared about in the span of a day all because of Maul who watched over her like a pesky ghost. He thought she was weak. That she would constantly grovel at his feet while he basked on Dathomir and let her do all the hard work in making Crimson Dawn the greatest crime syndicate in the galaxy.

She looked down at the sword in her hand, the sword was given to her by The Emperor himself in his endorsement for her to kill Maul. Her hand tightened around the hilt and her expression became determined.

No. She wouldn’t let Maul get away with this.

As her guards emerged from the office she turned to them.

“Fetch me my ship.”

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