Dreams of hope and despair - Part 1
-“Get the fark outta here, you snivelin’ Hutt-spawn!”
The blind old man swung at Lionel with his plasteel tankard and spit rained down from his haggard lips, a trail of dried saliva glistened in the dancing lights of the cantina. Lionel, who over a long period of time insisted on winning the old man’s trust, now found himself struck by a hard and unexpected feeling of guilt and pain at the old man’s common rant and antics.
The following events blur and are hazy at best, but Lionel set down his own cup at the bar and found himself heading for the door.
Light flickering, thoughts trailing like rain on a Coruscant transparisteel window. A sudden bump on the shoulder and another, stronger this time, chill down the spine, now so strong in magnitude that a sensation of ice emanated from his bowels. A glance over the shoulder at the burly human male with his dark hair pulled back in a loose knot on the back of his head, a gleaming red scar trailing from the temple down to his jawline. As the man glanced back at Lionel, an emotion of pure dread mixed with a strange tranquility trickled into Lionel’s mind.
The world shifted and a sluggish haze entered Lionel’s mind as he moved down the brightly lit corridor of Cloud City.
- “SOMETHING IS WRONG – WAKE UP, LIONEL!!” An unknown voice, maybe his own, screamed out into his mind. The unnerving feeling returned to his stomach and as he clasped it with his left hand, Lionel staggered and slammed his shoulder into the wall, the pain was real. Turning his head just in time to see an Imperial trooper fly through the air and crash into the wall opposite to the cantina, the lifeless husk of armor slid to the floor with a rattling sound. Sharp flashes of light seared the air through the door of the cantina and then the screams…. The screams of a thousand voices in agony, all in unison and for reasons unknown to Lionel. A series of blaster-fire auto-bursts ripped through the air and the screaming ebbed out into an eerie silence.
- “Kota!” Lionel yelled out, but his voice didn’t seem to carry as all that left his throat was a coarse cough… Still staggering, Lionel started to make his way back to the cantina, the old blind man at the bar might be in grave danger he thought. As Lionel reached the opening in the wall to the cantina everything again is a thrashing in his mind, blood, gore… Body parts scattered, the wall lined by smoldering scars in big arcs. Pushing into the cantina, floating in the air as it now seems, Lionel tried to find old man Kota, but he was nowhere to be found. Memories… The air smelled of burned ozone and the metallic, pungent smell of blood and innards. As Lionel carefully moved through the nightmarish scene, suddenly somebody grabbed his ankle. Sheer terror frizzled Lionel’s mind as he tried to kick free, looking down at the severely injured Mon-Calamari at the ground. Something in the eyes of the alien beckoned Lionel to reach down and see to the man’s injuries. As he moved down, the Mon-Calamari suddenly and with surprising strength grabbed Lionel by the neck and pulled him down to his aquatic face and with a blood-spattered voice grunted “Help me…. Jeeh-dai..!”
- “SOMETHING IS WRONG – WAKE UP, LIONEL!!”, the unknown voice appeared again, ringing painfully in Lionel’s mind. Grabbing his head with both hands, Lionel woke up on his cot, screaming, sweat glistening on his forehead. A quick glance around to find his bearings, Lionel noticed that nobody of the others seem to have been stirred in their sleep by his nightmare, and from the cockpit, a beeping alarm called out that they were closing in on their hyperspace destination…