Tahiri stared in amazed embarrassment as the hatch opened. She couldn’t believe that this grinning Plagueian before her, showed up out of the blue, or well rather the green muddy swamp, and nonchalantly opened the hatch. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice, she thought as the smell of burning metal and fuel came wafting out of the opening. “We must hurry and get Master out before the ship blows up,” she said quickly, clipping her saber back onto her belt and rushing pass Zuser, nodding to him. As she entered the ship, there was panels and exposed wires all around the corridor. The fumes that were accumulating in the ship stung her eyes, blinking the tears away Tahiri started searching for Solas.
“Master?” she cried out. “Master, can hear me?” Tahiri reached out with the Force. Feeling for the familiar dark coldness that was her Master.
“Tahiri, I don’t feel anything,” Kul was right behind her, along with Zuser. Tahiri turned to see a sad and worried look on the Zabraks face.
“Aye, I can concur,” chimed in Zuser, wiping his eyes. “We should get out of here before we get cooked as well.”
“No, he’s here,” she replied. “And he’s alive. You just have to know how to look for him.”
“Tahiri, I…” Kul tried to reason with her.
“This way,” Tahiri interrupted him. “I know where he is.” She headed towards the starboard lift, only to find that it was not working. “Kark, the lift is out.” She looked at Zuser, and asked desperately, “Are there any panels that can help access cockpit?”
Zuser stepped forward, lifting the panel to the lifts controls, “There is no power to the lift, and this will probably take too long to repair.” Shaking his head, he looked at Tahiri and Kul. “There is no other way up to the cockpit, except from the outside.
The ship all of a sudden gave a groan and tilted toward the starboard side, slipping slowly back into mud. The tilt was enough to send all three of them careening against the lift door.
“Sithspit, it’s slipping back in,” exclaimed Kul, as he caught himself.
“Okay then, plan B it is,” as Tahiri gritted her teeth, unclipping and igniting her saber. She pushed herself away from the lift and braced herself for leverage. Her red blade sparked as it went through the metal. The metal gave way easily, and in a few moments she had a big enough hole cut through, for them to go through.
“Come on, we have to get to the cockpit,” she urged, slipping into the lift, and then began to cut another hole in the top of the lift. Kul squeezed through and help her finish the hole. As they both extinguished their blades, Kul quickly pulled Tahiri to him, as the thick piece of metal began to fall towards where she had been standing.
“Whoa, that was close,” Zuser let out a low whistle, peering through and looking up the new hole.
Kul and Tahiri looked at each other, and then up at the hole. Kul let her go, gathered himself and then jumped up to the edge of the hole, pulling himself up and through. Tahiri quickly followed suit, jumping to the and then gave her a hand up. Zuser shook his head, but followed them up as well. Kul cut the hole into the bridge, while Tahiri used the Force to gently push the newly made doorway inward, and propped it against the inside wall.
Once it was there, Tahiri jumped through and looked around. “Master!” Tahiri sprang over to where Solas lay unconscious on his side. Solas’ right leg was caught between a fallen panel array and the doorway into his lavish redesigned cockpit.
“Kul?” Tahiri called, as she checked Solas’ pulse, while gently cradling his head. The familiar darkness that usually surrounded Solas was slightly weaker than normal, but he was alive. A hand on her shoulder, told her that Kul was already beside her. Looking up at the panel and then at Kul. Kul followed her line of site and nodded.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got him,” he replied, stooping down and bracing himself slightly, gripped underneath Solas’ shoulders. Tahiri stood and readied herself. “Zuser, get ready!” he shouted over to the lift as Zuser came through. “When we get him out from under…”
“Say no more, I got you, Kul’tak,” interrupted Zuser, with a smile and a nod.
Working almost in unison, Tahiri concentrated hard as she lifted the panel up, enough to let Kul drag Solas out from under. Then he gently handed the injured Solas down to Zuser, who was waiting down on the lift, as both men tag teamed on getting Solas out of the ship.
While Kul’tak and Zuser took Solas down and out of the ship, Tahiri took a quick look around. The control consoles were totally screwed up, as was the rest of this side. Hearing a screech, she turned and looked over the fallen panel into the other side. It was Solas’ hawk, perched awkwardly on top of a grand chair, that Solas had installed in the center of the room. Tahiri raised her arm, while also sending encouraging thoughts to the bird. Looking at her for a moment, the hawk screeched again and then flew over to land on Tahiri’s raised arm. Stroking it’s wing feather and smoothing some of the birds more tousled feathers, she spoke to it in a soft voice. “It’s okay. I’ll get you out of here, and back to Master.”
The ship groaned again, as this time a shudder ran through the entire ship. Tahiri fought to keep her balance, as the ship sank deeper into the muck of the swamp. The hawk screeched again, flying up and then around the room. Tahiri reached out and calmed the hawk, giving it mental images on how to get out. Carefully making her way to the lift, she watched as the black hawk flew once more around the room, and then dove down into the lift and headed down. Tahiri followed suit. Jumping down, she made it to the bottom and got out of the lift.
She was about to leave, when she felt a distant, but strong Dark side energy emanating from her Masters’ quarters. “Tahiri, where are you? Tahiri!” Kul called her. She could feel his anxiety rising. Knowing that Kul was worried about her, she sent reassuring thoughts his way, and shouted back to him, ”Don’t worry, I’m fine, just need to check the quarters real quick.”
Kul and Zuser had set Solas down on the dryest piece of land they could find. Moments later, the ship began to sink even faster into the swamp. The fumes were getting stronger. Kul called for Tahiri again, this time there was no answer. Zuser almost had to stop him from running back into the ship, when Tahiri finally came out of the hatch, followed by a black hawk.
“Tahiri, what were you doing?” Kul asked in stern tone.He was mostly relieved, but also a bit worried and angry that she had stayed in the ship for as long as she did. “You could have been hurt, or killed if you had stayed in there much longer.”
“I know Kul, but I had to retrieve a few of Master’s possessions that he would be very angry about losing,” Tahiri explained, wearily sitting down near her Master’s broken leg, not even really minding the muck and grime. “I also grabbed the medical kit,” she said as she took it out of the satchel that was on her shoulder.