My heart races and I try to calm my breathing, tilting my head against the cold metal wall. I can feel Lupoza's absence next to me, and I fight the tears back. I know that Tyan is worried about me, going in alone for the first time. I've done this a handful of times before, but always with Lupoza. But with her gone, there's no one else who can do what I do. Lupoza trained me in hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship, foreign languages, and seduction. I needed to learn fast and work hard, because I won't be able to do this much longer. After I reach a certain age, I'll no longer be desirable to the raiders.

My thoughts bring me back to my surroundings. I'm locked in a small, dirty room with 12 other Twi'leks. We're all girls, none of them are older than 10. A little one nestles herself into my arms. Her sister told me that her name is Ayanela. She's only two years old, but the traders like to capture us at a young age for training. When we first got on the ship, we made quiet introductions, but no one talks now. Everyone is too absorbed in their own fear. Long minutes pass as the ship shakes, threatening to topple the crates and boxes towering precariously around us. As far as I can tell, we're still circling around Ryloth, waiting for the signal to descend and pick up more kids.

Suddenly, the ship jolts, and then tilts ninety degrees. The girls slide down the floor, landing in heaps against the wall. Some of them scream, and Ayanela starts to cry, little tears trailing down her light green skin and dripping off of her short lekku. Outside, a man yells, and blasters start firing. Then, we all hear the unmistakable sound of stormtrooper boots punishing down the hallway towards us. I leap to my feet, covering Ayanela's mouth with my hand and diving behind a group of crates that have fallen over in the corner.

"Hide!" I hiss, but it's too late. The door slides open and a group of stormtroopers walk through and stun everyone. I stay immobile, holding Ayanela into my chest as they carry out the girls. My heart sinks. Now there's nothing that I can do. The girls will probably be taken to a First Order base and be brainwashed into doing the Order's bidding. I don't know what to do. This never happened with Lupoza. The only thing that I can do now is try to get off of this ship before we're found. I stand slowly, covering myself with my dark cloak. Ayanela has stopped crying, but her dark eyes are filled with fear.

"Shhhh" I whisper. "It's going to be okay, I promise." She folds herself against me, and I take a deep breath, readying myself. Then I slip out the door.

I run through the dark hallways, stopping to look around the corners. It's an old ship, and the layout is easy enough to understand. We make it to the room with the escape pods, but I stop on the outside of the door. Someone is crying. I can hear my heart pounding. Is it another kid who made it out? I step into the light...

And then spring backwards, instinctively wrapping my arms around Ayanela. But that won't make any difference against this enemy. On the edge of the pod, there is a girl, around my age, sobbing like her heart has just been broken. Her stormtrooper helmet lies next to her.


A/N: Thank you so much for reading! What did you think? Reviews, comments and suggestions are very appreciated.

May the Force be with you 3

-Sahren Athykyna