A Brief Respite

Of them all Lialla was actually the worst off. She had hit the love seat and flipped over it to land on the hard kitchen floor adjacent to the front room they’d landed in and behind the love seat. Still, the most any of them limped away with was a sprained limb and a few bruises.

Tarrsk was the first to recover. “Everyone okay?” he asked as he glanced around to see if they were still all together.

Everyone slowly got to their feet and announced their status. Then they all gathered in the living room of the apartment to figure out what to do next. “Chances are the ships won’t know where we disappeared,” Brin’tac said as he tried to straighten out his bristling fir. “They may have a general idea, but I doubt that they’ll know, from the distance we were at, exactly which building we were in.”

“We could try to lay low here,” said Satchal as he nursed a pulled muscle in his right shoulder.

“Not here,” said Ivanna. “Although I think we’ve managed to slip away from the heart of the Military District I doubt we left the district altogether. This is probably an apartment for some sort of military personnel. Here is where the droids will search the hardest. They will want to make sure that the entire military district is under their control; at least, that is, if they are logically trying to take over the city”.

“Do you really think that’s what they’re doing?” asked Tso. He had a nasty bump on his head from cracking it on the back of Geldar’s seat.

“Who knows what they’re doing or who is responsible for this?” said Ivanna. “I can say this much: it seems the droids are not concerned about who they kill, and they don’t want anyone to leave this city. That’s why they took the ships and fighters as quickly as they could.”

Geldar shook his head. “So what do you suggest?”

Ivanna paused a moment to think. Then she replied, “We should head to the poorer district of the city. We’ll probably find a lot of good places to hide there.”

Brin’tac nodded. “Do you remember what district that was or how to get there?”

“And how do we get there without being killed?” Lialla added.

“We should definitely avoid taking to the air,” Satchal replied. “How many times do we have to crash a vehicle before we finally give up on them?”

“We headed west,” answered Ivanna. “According to the other inmate in the Security Center District Six takes up most of the northern section of the city and directly to its east and west is District Two. District Three is dead center, and I think we should head there first.”

“Through the heart of the city?” Nyarchagga nearly shouted with a bit of exasperation in his voice. “Don’t you think it’s going to be crawling with droids?”

“Hey,” said Lialla with a sudden realization. “Speaking of droids and them going crazy, where is Gnat?”

“You ask that at a time like this?” Satchal asked with a look on his face that said he thought she was odd.

“Gnat could be a great asset right now,” Lialla commented. “He could go ahead of us to warn us if a way is blocked. In a sense he could help us avoid trouble.”

Nyarchagga smiled then with a mischievous grin. “He’s right here,” said the Dug as he produced the tiny droid from his pocket. “I made sure before we were captured to stow the droid in one of my best pockets.”

Everyone eyed him curiously, but the Dug only smiled wider. None of them was quite sure what he meant, but Brin’tac had a good guess. He’d seen the Dug actually swallow the droid before to avoid losing it when being in trouble and then cough it back up later.

“Let’s get back to the matter at hand,” said Geldar as he turned back to Ivanna. “Nyarchagga’s right. Why do you want to go through the heart of the city?”

“If I remember correctly,” said Ivanna, “District Five lies on the east side of District Four. This means we either pass through District Four, taking a long, round-about way, or we pass straight through District Three right into it. Now after speaking with several of the inmates I learned that there is a subway system that leads from the heart of the city to all the districts. We could essentially take the subway tunnels and make our way from this district straight to District Five.”

“Why not just hide in the subways?” Tso suggested.

“Because they’ll search them frequently,” said Brin’tac. “We do need a place that is more inconspicuous to hide in.”

“And we need to get out of this building soon,” Tarrsk put in nervously. “They may not know which building we’re in, but it won’t take them long to come looking.”

“So let’s just move,” said Satchal. “I swear sometimes we talk too much.”

“You’re too hasty,” Geldar commented. “We need to think this through a bit.”

“Sometimes haste is best, though,” Ivanna replied in defense of her new student. “They’re right. All this talk is getting us nowhere. Let’s just get moving and improvise as we go.” Then she headed for the door without further debating the subject. Satchal followed with a smug look on his face as if to say to Geldar, “Ha! I was right, and you were wrong.”

The End

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