The smoldering wreckage of the transport creaked, half-buried in the ice and snow and teetering precariously over the precipice toward the deep crevasse below. Two figures lay nearby, unconscious and bleeding, the man burned on arms and legs. The woman’s eyes blinked open, staring up at the gathering clouds overhead.
Fuck. Fuck. The engine. Fuck. Did… Am I clear?
She blinks, struggling to sit up with a groan of pain, oblivious to the smear of blood left from the shrapnel embedded in her back. She looks at the man, then the wreckage, then to the horizon.
Good job, asshole. Took over for the pilot when he got his head shot off, pulled it out of the deathspin, got it flying low even with an engine blown out, low enough for everyone to jump, and end up in a mountainside anyway.
She crawled over to the man, nudging him carefully. ”Master Jovh? Can you hear me?” He groaned in response. Vyen’a nodded, ignoring the pain in her back and pulling her medkit from her leg’s strap-pouch. ”You’re burned pretty badly, Master Jovh, stay still….”
Her hands worked over the man’s wounds, even as her eyes searched the horizon for any sign of the others. The Others. Her mind flashed back to the chaos on board before the jump: the unconscious sergeant, the smoke and fire and blood and screams of panic and orders Jerax barked. Of the words she shouted over her shoulder at him. Stay alive, babe! She had yelled, over the scream of the dying engine. I love you!
Just words. Just words. Where are you, love… Her eyes searched frantically, looking for movement, a signal flare, any sign of life. Alderaan’s moons were notoriously treacherous; she wasn’t even sure which one they were on, only that it looked like it was getting darker, and the snow was falling harder.
“Captain Vyen’a.” The Jedi’s words snapped her to attention and she looked down at the man. ”Master Jovh. How are you feeling?” The man grimaced, face half-covered by the ornate cover where his eyes should have been. ”Take my saber, Captain. We need a shelter. Use it to carve out the ice.” The woman nodded mutely, following instructions.
Did he say anything back? Is he out there? Is he okay? Her mind raced as she carved chunk after chunk of ice free, pulling the Jedi into the shelter as she finished. Please don’t be dead, Jerax. Please.
The echo of the transport freefalling into the crevasse jerked Vyen’a back from the deep corner of her mind she’d been lost in, only half-listening to Master Jovh’s chants of meditation. Great. There goes the fire. There goes our heat source. There— She stopped short, squinting. There, near the site where the wreckage rested. A flare.
She scrambled from the cave into the rapidly greying light, squinting in the direction of the flare. I know I saw it. I know i did. ”Hello!?” She yelled, shielding her eyes. ”Hello?” The familiar voice came back sharply, and Vyen’a choked out a laugh of relief. They’re okay. He’s okay. ”Up here!” She waved her arms wildly, hoping they spotted her. ”Asirra, up here!” The group straggled up the hill, Vyen’a’s eyes darting across them all. Asirra. New guy. New guy. New guy…
She looked at the sergeant sharply. ”Where’s the Lieutenant?” The armored woman shrugged as the group dragged toward the small shelter. ”This is all we could find. Please tell me you have medical supplies.”
Vyen’a nodded, eyes darting back toward the horizon. No. No. Jerax… She looked at the group, huddled and shivering. The medic among them was running through the already depleted supplies, tending to the shivering and injured men. Vyen’a shrugged, wincing slightly at the pain shooting down her back, and stared into the distance. ”Well. Let’s go find him then, eh?” The sergeant said something, her voice blurring into incoherence as the pain blossomed into a fireburst of sharp stars down her spine. Vyen’a shook her head to clear the pain. ”I don’t give a shit, Asirra. We’re finding him.” The sergeant sighed and nodded, calling the men together to walk again.
Vyen’a’s feet dragged through the snow, even as she squinted into the rapidly approaching dark. Where are you. Where are you. Where are— ”Look!” One of the privates shouted, pointing. A faint orange glow could be seen through the blowing snow. ”Flare!” Her breath caught in her throat as her pace quickened, the pain in her back fading as hope took hold of every fiber in her being. Around a corner they walked, down a hill. There, huddled against a rock with his chute gathered around for protection. Jerax. My love.
She darted from the group, kneeling beside him and pulling his helmet free. ”Jerax. Lieutenant Teral.” The man moaned, shivering in the cold. Maker bless and keep, he’s alive. He’s alive. He’s alive. Her fingers flew through her medkit, pulling kolto kits free. ”Stay still, Jerax. We’re here.” A large figure loomed over them, gently lifting the half-conscious man. He struggled, holding onto the gathered fabric tightly. ”My chute…”
Vyen’a nodded, gathering the fabric quickly. “I have it. We’re good. We’re going.” A small book slid from the folds and fell against her boot. She stooped, pocketing it quickly, then stood back up, taking the man’s hand in hers as the group walked back toward the small shelter. Night was coming, but safety was in numbers, as was heat. The Seventh would survive. A private nudged his marching partner. ”Is it just me, or was there blood in the snow? Was the El Tee bleeding?”
Around the final bend the group trudged, searching for the small shelter where the medic and more injured members had been left. As they approached, a small cry rose from the people in the front. A transport.
A transport. Someone had a beacon. They found us. We’re safe. They found- Her thoughts are interrupted by a sharp intake of breath, pain coursing down over her consciousness. A few more steps. A few more steps.
She squeezed Jerax’s hand, smiling as her fingers were squeezed in return. He’s alive. I’m here. He knows I’m here. That’s all that matters.
We’re going to be okay.
The group straggled onto the transport, strapping themselves exhaustedly into seats. A medic looked them all over, then down to the floor. ”Hey, who’s bleeding? Where’s this blood from?”
Vyen’a squeezed Jerax’s hand one more time.
And everything went black.