Following Two Trails

Satchal had found two other soldiers to go with him, and together they raced through the passages hoping to somehow track the others. Satchal wasn’t at all sure whom he should be going after. Ivanna was obviously in trouble but his friends were too. Ivanna was a Jedi Master but she was all alone. His friends had each other, but would that be enough?

He decided to let fate decide. He had the one carrying the sensor units lead the way and told him the moment he came upon any major droid activity to let him know. It had been nearly twenty minutes since they’d left the base, and still they couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary. In fact, it seemed everything was too quiet.

Then the officer suddenly came to a halt. “I’ve got something. Sensors indicate droids are swarming everywhere just a few miles from our location due east. There’s something weird, though. It looks like their numbers are decreasing as we speak. It’s as though there’s a major battle happening there.”

“Any life forms?” asked Satchal.

“No,” said the officer. “It’s almost as though the droids are fighting each other.”

“The virus,” said the other soldier. “That hacker’s virus must be doing its job. I bet the stupid droids are blowing each other apart.”

“Thank the Force for something,” said Satchal. “Still, if the droids are gathered in that location they must be doing it for some reason. I’m going to wager that they were going after my friends when the virus took over their systems. Let’s make for that direction and see if our sensors pick up on anything as we get closer.”

“We’ll need to be careful,” said the soldier with the sensor units. “If we get too close they’ll pick up on us.”

“That’s your job,” said Satchal. “You’re the one who knows how to use the sensor devices.”

“I’m not trained in this stuff,” the soldier replied. “I’m no military officer. I’m just a mercenary with some lesser experience in this.”

“Just do your best,” the other officer said. “That’s all we’re asking.”

They took off in the direction of the signals until at last they came upon what they were looking for. Life forms were detected moving west. Based on the soldier’s schematics and sensory units they were moving most likely through some ventilation shafts that would take them deeper into the underground. “Perfect,” said the soldier. “It looks like they’re headed for this turbolift shaft. We should be able to meet them there if we hurry.”

Satchal breathed a sigh of relief. “Great. We’ll rendezvous with them and then go after Master Ivanna.”

“Whatever you say,” said the other, more physically built soldier with the crew cut and shifty eyes. He carried a modified blaster rifle that looked rather wicked and terrifying. “You’re the boss. I’m just looking for some action.” Then the three took off down the next passage hoping they were right about the destination of the other Phantom Hunters.

And then, all of a sudden, Satchal was pummeled with a vision. It was the same as before but much clearer. Ivanna was surrounded by droids as blaster fire shot all around her. “Satchal,” she said, and her voice was clear and concise.

“Ivanna!” Satchal said aloud. “Are you okay?”

Ivanna slashed another droid down and ducked behind a support beam for protection. “Satchal. Whatever happens to me you must warn Avatar to strike soon! He only has three days before…” Then the connection was broken, and the last thing Satchal saw of Ivanna was a droid’s clawed arm reaching around to grab her skull and crush it.

“Ivanna!” cried Satchal and he shot down the passage before the others could comprehend what was happening to him. They immediately followed, but it wasn’t until Satchal had nearly exhausted himself that they were able to catch up with him.

“Well,” said the thinner and more lightly built sensor officer. “You’ve managed to take us off course a bit. What was that all about?”

“We have to hurry,” said Satchal as he gasped for air. “We need…to reach my…master now! She’s…in terrible trouble. We have to hurry!”

“Fine,” said the sensor officer, “but just so you know we could be at the other location in five minutes. It’s your call, but we could rendezvous with your friends and then head in that direction. It doesn’t look like any of the droids are following them. I don’t think we’ll have any trouble along the way.”

“Fine,” said Satchal. He was too exhausted to argue. “Let’s just go.”

“Are you sure you can handle it?” said the heavier officer. “You look like you’ve already exerted yourself pretty badly just running here.”

“I’ll be fine,” said Satchal as he stood upright now. “Let’s just get to my friends and get to Ivanna. I don’t want to waste anymore time than we already have. She could already be dead.” And with that they were gone.

 

The End

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