Ahsoka looked at the control panel of her Y-Wing fighter to ensure that all her ships’ systems were working perfectly. She looked outside the windshield and saw all the other Y-wings, X-wings, and the Trailblazer, an Alderaanian Corvette, that served as the fleet command ship. Her entire squadron sat in the Ejer Nebula in the Outer Rim, with the intention of assaulting an Imperial convoy that was transporting war materials, weapons and ammunition mostly, to fight the growing rebel movement against the Empire. If they could stop the Convoy, it would mean that Stormtroopers in the Outer Rim would be short of weapons and Ammunition. As she sat in wait, an X-wing entered the nebula, just having returned from a scouting mission to assess how powerful the Star Destroyer’s escorts were. “Commander Tano”, said the X-wing pilot, “this is rogue 2. Do you copy?”. “Colonel Antilles, this is Commander Tano. Reading you loud and clear” said Ahsoka. “I saw what we’re up against” said Antilles, “it doesn’t look good. We’ve got at least a few dozen TIE fighters escorting a Star Destroyer”. “Our fleet won’t do much against that Wedge” said another pilot. “Don’t worry Porkins” said Ahsoka, “I think I might have an idea. If we can get the whole squadron to draw the attention of those TIEs, you, me and Wedge can fly in behind the destroyer and knock out their hyperdrive”. “And how do you suppose we get those TIEs to follow the squadron?” asked Wedge, “We’ve got at least 40 TIE fighters against a dozen X-wings and a couple Y-wings”. “And the trailblazer” said Ahsoka, “After we knock out their hyperdrive, we can send the trailblazer in to give us some cover fire while we make the jump back into hyperspace and back to base”. “If we go in and attack them, there remains a possibility that one of the TIEs could tag one of the fighters and track us all the way back to Yavin” said Wedge. “Well, I guess that is a risk that we will have to take”, said Ahsoka, “If we don’t do anything, it will mean stormtroopers with more weapons and ammo, and it could result in higher casualties for us. Captain Ackbar, do you approve of this assault?”. Captain Gial Ackbar paced around the bridge of the Trailblazer thinking of whether or not the assault should take place. He knew that they had enough firepower to take out the Star Destroyer’s hyperdrive, and not much else. He also knew that the weapons and ammunition that was onboard the Star Destroyer could be used against the Mon Calamari people, his own people. From their location, they were only a few parsecs away from Mon Cala, so there was a good possibility that at least some of the weapons and ammo on that ship were heading there. It was no contest. He approved of the assault. As the fleet sat in the nebula, waiting for the Star Destroyer and its escorts to come into view, all the ships got ready for the assault. Crewmembers on the trailblazer cleaned and recalibrated its turrets, and the X-wings locked their S-foils into attack position. Within moments, the Star Destroyer Conqueror came into view and the first wave of fighters began their assault. “When do you want us to join?” asked Wedge. “Wait for it…” said Ahsoka. “If we keep ‘waiting for it’, there won’t be enough fighters left to distract those TIE fighters” said Zonia who was sitting in the turret on Ahsoka’s ship. “Zonia”, said Ahsoka, “you should know better”. “How could I forget? The first time you came across one of my people, she knocked you on the ground. Ventress told me all about it” said Zonia as she snickered behind Ahsoka. Ahsoka turned away from Zonia and rolled her eyes. “I could really use Barriss right about now” she whispered to herself. “Commander Tano” said Ackbar, “The fighters have all of the TIEs engaged. Commence your attack now!”. “Get ready boys” said Ahsoka, “here we go!”. As the Star Destroyer started listing to its port side to avoid the rebel fighters that were harassing it, it concentrated their shields to the front, where the fighters and TIEs were engaging each other; leaving the stern dangerously exposed. Ahsoka, Antilles, and Porkins pushed their engines to full throttle and charged at the Conqueror’s stern. As they came into visual range of the Star Destroyer, the commanders on the ship saw the three rebels ships coming in at high speed, and braced for the worst. Within moments, Ahsoka released a Proton bomb towards the Conqueror’s engines. Suddenly, a powerful explosion rocked the whole Star Destroyer and came to a standstill. After the Star Destroyer was crippled, the Trailblazer came out of the nebula and began firing on the TIE fighters. Within minutes, all the surviving fighters regrouped with the Trailblazer and made the jump into hyperspace and soon made it back to base in the Yavin system. After they landed, Ahsoka and Zonia climbed out of their Y-wing and stumbled on the ground. They had been sitting in that little tiny fighter for several days, so it took them a while to regain strength in their legs. As soon as Ahsoka finally recovered from her long mission. She went back to her quarters to sit down and try to meditate. It had already been a while since Barriss was captured from the Empire. The last thing she had heard about her was that she had been relocated to Serreno and that was it. She had no idea if she was even still alive. As Ahsoka sat and tried to meditate, Zonia came into her room. “You should give up” said Zonia, “You know neither Ackbar nor Organa will approve of a rescue mission”. “I know” said Ahsoka, “but I refuse to give up on her. I know she is still alive. If she was killed, I would’ve felt it”. “What do you want to do?” asked Zonia. “I have an idea”, said Ahsoka, “get the entire squadron mobilized” said Ahsoka, “I’ll try to contact the other rebel cells for help”. “What are you up to?” asked Zonia. “You’ll see” said Ahsoka, “tell them to meet me in the conference room”. Within a few minutes, about a half-dozen pilots, including Wedge Antilles and Porkins, waited for Ahsoka in the conference room, along with Zonia. As Ahsoka went into the room, all the others stared at her as she prepared to talk. “I know that we have been through a lot together”, said Ahsoka, “and I know that we have all lost so much, and have gained very little. Not too long ago, one of our own was captured by the Empire. A Jedi Padawan, by the name of Barriss Offee. I know that we can’t do anything about our own that the Empire’s captured, but this one’s different. She sacrificed herself so me and others in my rebel cell could get away. Now, I know that her name means nothing to you all because, well, none of you even know her. This Jedi, she is very vulnerable to the dark side. Even if they don’t kill her, they could force her to fight against us. And I’ve seen what she is capable of doing when she embraces the dark side. I’m not ordering anyone to help me. I’m begging you to help me”. “What is it you want us to do?” asked Wedge. “I want to launch a rescue mission. Neither Senator Bail Organa, Captain Ackbar, nor any one of our commanders will approve of us going after her. So what I am proposing is nothing short of mutiny. If anyone wants to opt out of this mission, please leave now”. None of the rebel pilots walked out of the room. “If it’s her you’re going after, count me in” said Captain Rex as he walked into the room, “I managed to convince Gregor and Wolffe to stall everybody else so we can leave”. Ahsoka smiled at Rex. “If we go on this mission, it will be us and us alone. None of the other rebel cells will be able to help us unless they want to, and I guarantee that most rebel cells will not want to help us because this is an extremely dangerous mission, far out of reach of any rebel cell. Who’s to say that we can’t pull it off? We took out a Star Destroyer without having to blow it up with a handful of fighters! If we can pull that off, then I am sure we can pull this off”. Are you all with me. “Aye” said all the rebel pilots in the room. “Gear up gentlemen”, said Ahsoka, “We leave now”. As the pilots and volunteer soldiers got ready for the mission, Zonia grabbed Ahsoka by the shoulder and pulled her back in the conference room just as she was about to walk out. “I don’t know what you’re planning”, said Zonia, “But I don’t want any part of it”. “Hey”, said Ahsoka, “You know Mother Talzin had your mother sacrifice herself so you could live. Are you really not going to take any part in this?”. “Ahsoka”, said Zonia, “The last time I saw people close to me make a stand against anybody, I was two years old. My Mother hid me in a tree while she and the other Nightsisters took on General Grievous’ army. They were all wiped out. All of them. I lost everybody I knew and loved to that attack. And when they found me still alive, they tried to turn me into an inquisitor. Grievous would’ve killed me then and there, but Dooku ordered him not to kill me, and instead had me brought to Serreno. I didn’t know why they killed them all, but let me live. I was three years old Ahsoka. Three years. When the Empire came to be, they finally made it clear why they kept me. They tortured me. Starved me. They tried to turn me into a weapon. They tried to destroy who I was. When I was 12, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore and I escaped the training center when they were due to move me to another facility on Lothal. I knocked out the inquisitor that was escorting us, I stole his lightsabers, and I ran off”. Zonia started to tear up a bit. “I have been running ever since”, said Zonia, “I don’t want us to go because I don’t want to lose you too”. “Zonia”, said Ahsoka in a calming voice, “I know you’ve been through a lot. I don’t know what it must’ve been like being forced to become a living weapon. But part of the reason I want to do this is for you”. Zonia looked up to Ahsoka. “This Jedi, she fell to the dark side before, you know that”, said Ahsoka, “but she was able to overcome it. She has knowledge of the dark side that I don’t. She can teach you what she knows so that you’ll never have to be like them again. Who knows, she might even put you on the path to becoming a Jedi”. Zonia smiled at Ahsoka. “Thank you”, said Zonia. “Now lets get ready”, said Ahsoka, “We’ve got a lot of work to do”.
While Ahsoka prepared her rescue mission, Barriss woke up in a dark cell, with little memory of what had happened before. As she opened her eyes, she could barely see. All she could make out was that she was in a dark room, with red lights shining dimly from the ceiling. She struggled to move, but couldn’t. As she squirmed around, she realized that she was in a restraining chair. With her arms and legs completely immobilized. When she tried to use The Force to free herself from her motionless state, she felt a powerful electric shock surge throughout her body. As she screamed in pain from the shocks, she realized that the cuffs that were used to restrain her were Separatist era binders designed to immobilize captured Jedi. As she sat in her tiny prison, she tried to meditate on what had happened before. As she meditated further, she began to recover partial fragments of her memory. She remembered her first exposure to the Dark Side. The Geonosian Brainworms she was infected with during the Clone Wars hypnotized her into tapping into the dark side, something she wouldn’t have done if she had free will. She started remembering even more, and suddenly recalled the role she played in bombing the hangar in the Jedi Temple. Very soon, she remembered when she murdered Letta Turmond, another key participant, to keep her silent just as she was about to reveal to Ahsoka Tano that Barriss was the mastermind. Then, she was struck down harder when she remembered that Ahsoka received the blame for bombing the Jedi Temple. She not only allowed Ahsoka to take the blame, but also made sure that Ahsoka would receive the full consequences by making her stumble into a crate of Nano-droids, similar to the ones that were used to bomb the temple. Barriss struggled to control her dark thoughts and memories, almost as if they were trying to take their hold on her. Then she remembered when the Jedi Council decided to spare her to see if she was worthy of redemption, she recalled her experience on Felucia, when she was put on the Battlefield to try to heal wounded clone troopers. That was when Order 66 was enacted, and she was forced to watch Aayla Secura get gunned down by her own soldiers. Soldiers that she trusted with her life, but in the end, literally shot her repeatedly in the back, even after she was already dead. “Why did they spare me, but want to condemn Ahsoka?” she thought to herself. As she wondered why, it soon became clear why the Council didn’t want to spare her. Because she was his apprentice. Because she was Skywalker’s apprentice. When Anakin confronted her and forced her to confess before the senate, He used his dark side and unleashed all his fury on Barriss. While Barriss only tapped into the dark side to keep up against the relentless attacks, Skywalker unleashed all his anger and hatred and forced her into submission. The council didn’t want to spare Ahsoka because they feared she would end up like Skywalker. And Barriss knew all too well what he had ultimately become. Very soon, memories of her duel on Kashyyyk against a dark and powerful figure began to reappear in her mind. “The fear, the anger, the hate. And the breathing…” she thought to herself. From the moment she began to duel the dark figure along Zing, her exiled Yuuzhan Vong companion, she knew that what she went up against was not an inquisitor, it was a Sith Lord. And it became much worse when the Sith Lord was able to identify her as the one responsible for bombing the Jedi Temple. The shock and fear that Barriss felt when the Sith Lord knew who she was drew her into trying to connect to the Sith Lord through the force, and soon wished she hadn’t. As she connected to the Sith Lord, she began to feel an increasingly familiar presence. And as she connected with him, she realized that this Sith Lord was once Anakin Skywalker himself. Finally, the emotions from her dark memories became so much that she stepped out of her meditative state, and opened her eyes. As she opened her eyes, she saw a dark and mysterious presence before her, holding his hand over her forehead, trying to force her to have those dark memories. As the dark presence saw her open her eyes, he took off his mask and revealed himself to Barriss. “Who are you?” Barriss thought to herself. “My name is Marek”, said the dark figure, “Galen Marek. To my Master, I am known as Starkiller, but to everyone else, I am Galen Marek”. “What do you want?” asked Barriss. “I want to show you something”, said Galen. Within moments, the door to her cell opened and two dark and mysterious figures stepped into the cell. “I believe you are familiar with them”, said Galen as the two figures removed their masks and revealed themselves. One of them was a Duros male and the other a Zygerrian female. “They are inquisitors. Similar to the one you faced on Tatooine”, said Galen, “They’re job is to locate and retrieve all force sensitive children in the Galaxy, and bring them to us”. “That I know”, said Barriss, “your other inquisitor tried to do the same, but didn’t get very far. So if you want me to reveal the location of this child, you won’t make me. I destroyed all evidence in the records on Tatooine that his home even exists. So without those coordinates that I deleted, you won’t find him”. Galen chuckled. “That’s not what you are here for Padawan”, said Galen, “these inquisitors have another task. They are tasked with destroying these ‘children of the force’ if they do not join us, along with any surviving Jedi that could train them”. “Why are you telling me this? You think I don’t know that?” asked Barriss. Galen stretched out his hand and used the force to free Barriss from her binders. “Come”, said Galen, “I want to show you something”. As Barriss stumbled to get up, she got a better view of her cell. Behind her, there was a medical container used for putting beings into Carbonite. She realized that she was literally carbon frozen for quite some time, and didn’t even know for how long. That’s why she could barely see when she woke up, and why she struggled to get up. As she walked behind Galen, the two inquisitors walked behind her. “What do they want from me?” she thought to herself. As she walked along the dark and narrow corridors, she was led into a large room with an enormous window looking out into space. There, in the center of the window, she saw a planet that she recognized and knew all too well: Mirial. Her homeworld. As they walked into the room, the Duros inquisitor brought a small group of younglings with him and put his mask on. As the younglings walked closer, Barriss could sense that they were all force sensitive, and noticed that one of them, a young human female, had a lightsaber burn on her arm. Barriss tried to get closer to the girl to try to use her healing abilities on her, but the Zygerrian inquisitor drew her lightsaber between her and the little girl. “No, no”, said Galen, “we’ll have none of that”. “She’s hurt”, said Barriss, “if I could just have a chance to…”. Before Barriss could finish, Galen gave a hand sign to the Zygerrian inquisitor, and drew her lightsaber across her arm. Within moments, Barriss was on the ground, gripping her arm in pain. “If you’re going to kill me” said Barriss painfully, “just do it now. Just don’t hurt them”. “Oh no”, said Galen, “we’re not going to kill you. You’re too valuable for that”. Barriss looked up at Galen, and could sense his sinister plots. “For our Empire to stand”, said Galen, “we’ll need legions of inquisitors to maintain order for generations to come. And since most of our inquisitor lack any experience, you’re the perfect candidate”. That was when it became clear to Barriss that they didn’t capture her as a prisoner to interrogate or even to bargain with against the rebels. They wanted to turn her back to the dark side. “No”, said Barriss, “whatever you want from me, you won’t get it”. “We shall see”, said Galen. Galen then looked at the Zygerrian inquisitor who was standing behind the youngling Barriss tried to heal, and gave her a hand signal. The Zygerrian inquisitor complied, and ignited her lightsaber into the youngling’s back. The red blade striking through the youngling shined in Barriss’ blue eyes. She closed her eyes and then looked to Galen Marek, now with an angry yellow hue built up. “She was defenseless”, Barriss yelled angrily as she pointed to the dead youngling. “That is the price one must pay for disobeying orders”, said Galen, “If you don’t join us, it won’t be you who suffers the consequences”. Barriss looked at Galen angrily, and soon noticed that her lightsaber was fixed to his belt. Using the force, she stretched out her hand and retrieved it. After getting her lightsaber back, she jumped towards the younglings and used the force to push the Zygerrian inquisitor away. Soon, both the Zygerrian and Duros inquisitor stood with their red gyroscopic lightsabers ready to charge, but Galen gave them a hand signal to hold back at the ready. “I would rather die than let you hurt any more of them” said Barriss as some of the younglings stood behind her in fear. “I guess if that’s how you want it”, said Galen, “then let’s play”. Immediately, Galen addressed some of the Imperial officers in the room. “Commander Motti, begin the firing sequence”, said Galen. Barriss looked at Galen in a mixed state of confusion. “The emperor knew that he would face opposition when he enacted the Empire”, said Galen, “To preserve order, to make sure that an uprising didn’t try to appear, he had this station built. Well, actually the Separatists started construction, but the Emperor finished it. It is a weapon unlike any other, be prepared to witness its destructive power”. Barriss looked at Galen and then out to Mirial outside the window in fear, trying not to move away from the younglings she was trying to protect. “Commander Motti”, said Galen, “You may fire when ready”. Within moments, a bright flash of light appeared on the surface of the space station, and moved infinitely fast towards Mirial. Within seconds, a bright flash of light appeared on the surface of Mirial. After the light receded, Barriss looked out again, but this time, instead of seeing her beautiful, snow covered world, she saw nothing but a large mass of Asteroids, moving away from where Mirial once was. Barriss looked to Galen Marek, with her eyes yellow now instead of blue, and lunged furiously towards him with her lightsaber drawn. But before Barriss could get anywhere near him, the Duros inquisitor stepped between them and ignited his lightsaber. As Barriss and the Duros inquisitor dueled, Galen gave the Zygerrian inquisitor a hand signal to help the Duros, and slowly walked towards the younglings. As Barriss fought the Duros viciously, the Zygerrian inquisitor lunged towards Barriss with her lightsaber drawn, but before she could get anywhere near Barriss, Barriss used the force to push her hard into one of the computer monitors, and knocked her out. As she forced the Duros inquisitor to keep stepping back, she looked at Galen, who was now standing with the younglings with a pair of red bladed lightsabers ignited in his hands. Barriss used the force to push the Duros against a wall and lunged towards Galen. She had expected his level of skill with a lightsaber to be similar to that of the two inquisitors, but was gravely mistaken. Within moments, Galen struck both his lightsabers against Barriss and forced her to keep stepping back. As Barriss struggled to keep up against his relentless attacks, the other two inquisitors recovered and re-engaged Barriss. As the two dark siders fought Barriss, Galen returned his attention to the younglings, and paced slowly towards them. Barriss kept her attention towards the two inquisitors, but when she saw Galen walking towards the younglings, she lost focus and was knocked out by the Zygerrian inquisitor. As Barriss lay motionless on the ground, Galen ordered the Duros inquisitors to take the younglings back and ordered a group of stormtroopers to take Barriss back to her cell.
As Ahsoka prepared to take off in her Y-Wing fighter, she received a call from Senator Bail Organa. “Ahsoka”, said Organa sternly, “what are you up to?”. “We’re just going on a recon run through the system”, said Ahsoka, “just making sure Imperials don’t know about us in this system”. “Really?” asked Organa, “I didn’t know you used the Trailblazer for recon runs. You’re trying to commit Mutiny, aren’t you?”. “I’m sorry senator”, said Ahsoka, “but I can’t give up on her without trying”. “Ahsoka”, said Organa, “if you try to go after her, you’ll be doing so alone. Along with anyone who volunteers to help you. If something goes wrong during your mission, you’re on your own. We will not be able to send reinforcements”. “I understand Senator” said Ahsoka. “Now”, said Organa, “although I cannot approve of your mission, I still want to help you”. “Any help is welcome” said Ahsoka. “I think you’ll like this help” said Organa. Within moments, Ahsoka and Zonia heard beeping and whistling. Then they found where it was coming from. It was coming from Organa’s Astromech droid: R2-D2. “Hey Artooeey”, said Ahsoka, “There’s something we’ve got to do. I need your help”. Ahsoka had R2 lowered into her Y-Wing’s droid pod and prepared her ship for takeoff. Soon, the roar of dozens of engines coming from X-wings, Ahsoka’s Y-wing, and the Trailblazer filled the hangar in the Rebel Base. All the pilots began checking in to make sure their communications were up and running. Workers on the ground finished cleaning and calibrating the guns on all the ships and made sure that their deflector shields were up and running. Their raid was going to take them deep into Imperial Space, beyond the reach of most rebel cells. Within moments, all the ships flew out of the hangar and started heading out into space. Ahsoka and Zonia looked around as they began flying. They saw the beautiful jungle that covered almost the entire moon. And they saw the mighty planet Yavin dominate the moon’s sky. As they made it into space, Wedge Antilles gave the order for all the ships to check in. “All wings checking in”, said Wedge, “This is rogue 2, standing by. “This is Fulcrum, check”, said Ahsoka. “Rogue 3, standing by”, said Porkins. “Rogue 4, check”. “Rogue 6, check”. “Rogue 5, standing by”. “Trailblazer standing by”. “Alright boys”, said Ahsoka, “onward to Serreno”. Within moments, all seven ships, including Ahsoka’s Y-wing, 5 X-wings, and the trailblazer made the jump into hyperspace. As the fleet flew through hyperspace, Ahsoka picked up her commlink and tried to make contact with other rebel cells. “This is Fulcrum”, said Ahsoka, “I am trying to reach any Rebel cells on a secure network, does anyone copy?”. Ahsoka listened into her headpiece, but could only pick up radio silence. “This is Fulcrum, does anyone copy?” asked Ahsoka. “Fulcrum, this is Specter 2, reading you loud and clear”. Ahsoka picked up her commlink to respond. “Specter 2, this is Fulcrum. It sure is nice to hear from you”. “Copy that Fulcrum”, said Specter 2, “what is it that you need?”. “I am mounting an unauthorized rescue mission. The Alliance let me go, but they’ll be of no help if something goes wrong”. “Who are you trying to rescue?” asked Specter 2. “Wild Card”, said Ahsoka. Ahsoka kept her head to the commlink to see what their response would be. But after a few minutes, nothing. Suddenly, just as she was about to turn off her commlink, she received a response. “Fulcrum, this is Specter 1, come in”. “Specter 1, reading you loud and clear”, said Ahsoka. “We’ll help you out, any chance to rescue one more Jedi is a chance we cannot pass up” said Specter 1. “Copy that Ghost”, said Ahsoka, “we’ll meet you at Serreno”.
While Ahsoka’s fleet travelled through hyperspace, Barriss woke up in her cell, still in restraints and with a strange apparatus over her eyes. Barriss tried to use the force to take them off, but was once again, electrocuted. The restraints prevented her from trying to use the Force in any way, except for meditation. While she tried to meditate, Galen Marek and the two inquisitors came into her cell and took off the apparatus. “Do you know what this is?” asked Galen. Barriss nodded no. “This ‘thing’ is a Sith hypnotizer”, said Galen, “It was developed by the Sith of old to interrogate prisoners and torture them psychologically. What it does is beam images into your eyes, and from there travel to brain and they project images of whatever we want you to see”. “Wait”, said Barriss, “was I wearing that thing the whole time? You never murdered that youngling, or destroyed my world?”. “Correct” said Galen. Upon hearing this, Barriss nearly broke down in tears knowing that nobody had died because of her. “But it won’t be that way for long” said Galen, “before we turn you, before you embrace the dark side again, I want to know about your hidden Rebel base”. Barriss looked up to Galen, and saw his serious expression. “Now, our Intel informs us of five likely locations. And those locations are Dantooine, Ansion, Umbara, Alderaan, and Yavin. I want you tell me where is is”. “I told you before” said Barriss. “whatever you want from me, you won’t get it”. After hearing this, Galen outstretched his hands and began to torture her with force lightning. Barriss sat helpless in her restraints as the lightning shocked her. But just as she was about to pass out, Galen stopped his torrents and ignited his lightsabers, along with the two inquisitors. As Barriss looked up, she noticed that they weren’t looking at her, they were looking at the entrance to her cell. As she was looking, she saw two white blades pierce the entrance of her cell and brought it down. There, standing in the entrance of her cell, was Ahsoka Tano with her white bladed lightsabers ignited in her hands. The two inquisitors began the gyroscopic motions of their lightsabers and prepared to charge, but before they could do anything, Ahsoka used the force and pushed them hard into the cell wall, knocking them out. Galen saw his two prized warriors fall and stared at Ahsoka, and charged. As the two fought, Galen fought to gain the advantage. With Red and white blades clashing in the cell. Barriss struggled to free herself from the restraints, but could only watch as her best friend and her worst enemy clashed. Soon, Ahsoka forced Galen to step back until finally, found an opening and drove her white bladed lightsabers through his chest. As Galen lay dying at Barriss’ feet, he unleashed a final torrent of force lightning towards Barriss, and knocked her out. As Barriss lay unconscious, she experienced the darkest and most terrifying nightmares she ever had. “Why did you kill me?” asked a voice from the dark. “What?” replied Barriss. “Why did you kill me?” asked the voice again. “Who are you?” asked Barriss in a cold voice. Finally, the strange voice revealed herself to Barriss. Barriss was frozen in fear by what she saw: it was Letta Turmond. “Why did you kill me Barriss?” asked Letta, with her neck still broken and covered in bruises from when Barriss choked her to death. “Stay away from me!” yelled Barriss as she struggled to get away. But as she struggled, she felt herself fall through a void of darkness and hit something hard at the end of her fall. When she woke up, she found herself lying in a bed, in a white room, with Ahsoka sitting next to her, waiting for her to wake up. “Barriss!” cried out Ahsoka, “It sure is nice to see that you’re ok”. “It’s nice to see you again too”, said Barriss. As she struggled out of bed, Ahsoka grabbed her by the side and helped her up. “Do you think you can walk?” asked Ahsoka. “Yes, I think so”, said Barriss. Barriss looked outside her window, and could tell that she was on a ship traveling through hyperspace. “Can you tell the pilots to take us back to base?”, Ahsoka asked Barriss, “I have a lot of work to do and the pilots are rookies”. Immediately, Barriss sensed something was out of place. “Where exactly do you want me to tell the pilots to go?” Barriss asked Ahsoka. “You know”, Ahsoka said nervously, “to Dantooine, Ansion, Yavin, you know where the base is”. “Wait a second…” said Barriss as she started to realize that it might be a trap. Immediately, Barriss reached for her WESTAR-35 blaster and shot Ahsoka dead between the eyes. As Barriss saw what she had done, she dropped her blaster and stepped away from her now lifeless friend and leaned against the window, realizing that she had murdered her friend, with her hands over her face. But as she pressed her full weight against the window, she felt the window give way and she was sucked out into space, and saw her ship move past her as it continued through hyperspace. Not long afterwards, she woke up in her cell, with the apparatus still covering her eyes, and Galen lying on the ground laughing as if he had never known laughter before. Finally, Barriss collapsed in tears knowing that she had not killed her friend. Her whole experience was just another illusion Galen put her under. “That was a very nice catch”, said Galen, “I’ll give you that one. You are a hard person to break Barriss Offee”. Galen started pacing around the cell, Barriss was still restrained in her chair. “The trick is how we’re going to break you” said Galen. Almost immediately, the Duros inquisitor stepped into Barriss’ cell and started whispering something into Galen’s ear. Barriss couldn’t make out what the Duros was trying to tell him, but she did recognize one word: ‘Luminara’. Galen stared back at Barriss with a sinister look, then looked away and chuckled. “Well then”, said Galen, “if you won’t turn to the dark side, I guess you leave us no choice”. Right away, Galen displayed a hologram in his hand of Jedi Master Luminara Unduli in prison oranges being escorted by stormtroopers. Barriss almost cried. “She’s alive?” she asked. “Not for much longer”, said Galen, “but you can save her. You, and only you. But only if you join us”. Barriss yelled in anger. “Never!”, yelled Barriss angrily, “I’ll never join you!”. ”Good, good”, said Galen, “your hate, your anger, unleash it! Let it give you more focus, make you more powerful!”. Using the force, Galen freed Barriss from her restraints and tossed her one of his lightsabers. Barriss picked up the lightsaber and ignited it. She felt the smooth grip in her hand while its crimson blade shined in her eyes. “Does it ‘suit you’ I wonder?” Galen asked chuckling. Barriss didn’t respond, she screamed in anger and charged at Galen. The two inquisitors ignited their lightsabers and prepared to charge at Barriss, but Galen ordered them to hold back. As Barriss unleashed her fury on Galen, he was able to keep up to her attacks with ease, he knew that she was still an amateur dark sider and not much of a fighter as a result. Barriss didn’t care, all his torture of her and the ones she cared about finally led her to her breaking point. But as the clashing of lightsabers resonated in the cell, Barriss started to remember. She remembered what happened the last time she embraced the dark side. Not only did she suffer the consequences, but so did Ahsoka, and 6 other Jedi and dozens of clones. So in the middle of her relentless attacks, she suddenly stopped, deactivated the lightsaber in her hand, and tossed it on the ground. Galen looked to her in a state of confusion. “Never”, said Barriss while looking Galen dead in the eye, “I’ll never join the dark side”. Galen looked to Barriss with a vacant expression, and suddenly, picked her up from the neck and started choking her. Barriss gripped at her neck and struggled to breathe. Finally her struggling stopped and she began to grow weak. But right before she could pass out, Galen tossed her back to her chair and put the restraints back on. “We will see”, said Galen as he walked out of her cell, leaving a weakened Barriss struggling to breathe in her chair.
Check back next Tuesday for another chapter of Jesus Armenta's ongoing fan fiction saga!