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A Dark And Twisted Path

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Ahsoka climbed quietly through the secret corridor. Her montrals brushed the cold metal ceiling, another reminder that she was growing too old for hiding. Her growing anger made her keenly aware of the few inches between her and exposure.

“How should we celebrate?” Anakin asked. He sounded so distant. She suspected it was not just the wall separating them. His false master made him cold and closed off, sometimes for days afterward.

Maul’s footsteps stopped and so did Ahsoka’s breathing.

Anakin began to scream.

“What are you hiding from me boy?” Maul asked, but Anakin only continued screaming. “You should know better by now.”

The metal began to heat beneath Ahsoka’s fingers.

“Oh, I see. My presence disrupts your plans, your plans with her,” Maul continued, his voice dropping to a whisper as Anakin’s screams fell to silence. She reached for her sabers. “You fear I will harm her, take her from you. You have nothing to fear from me boy.”

Anakin’s body fell to the floor and the sound shook Ahsoka’s bones.

“Why would I take what you have rightfully earned?” Maul asked as Anakin coughed. “But I do expect to see Amidala before the night is through.”

Ahsoka let out a breath.

“Come, let us dine together, and then we will check on your guest,” Maul finished and finally his steps began again.

“Yes master,” Anakin managed, and his footsteps joined the Sith’s.

Ahsoka’s curiosity dropped. She climbed away, wiggling, and squeezing through smaller and smaller spaces. The corridor was designed uniquely by Anakin himself. It was small enough that no one, not even he, could follow her to its central point. Additionally, it was intricately woven through the belly of the ship, so while Maul was powerful enough to rip the corridor apart to reach her, he would have to tear the ship apart to do so.   

She tried to remind herself of this as she tried to stop shaking. What did she have to fear in her sanctum? Her power had helped to dismantle the major political system in the galaxy only hours before.

Finally, the corridor opened again in a small, octagonal room. It was barely enough space for her to stand in. There were pillows piled together as a bed, a set of books to read, and a set of candles to see from. Ahsoka used a single flash from one of her lightsabers to light the first candle. It flickered a lonely light over the small walls. She sat to watch it and was briefly reminded of the feeling she had gotten watching the Jedi Master. Warmed, even by the half-memory, Ahsoka laid down on the pillows and began to drift toward sleep.

But as the light flickered, the shadows around her began to grow. A wind from nowhere blew out the flame, leaving her nodding off alone in the dark.

Suddenly, a red glow cut through the darkness. Maul was there, inches from her. The familiar hum of the lightsaber flooded her ears. His black robes billowed around him, pulled by the same invisible wind that put out the light.

“How are you here?” she gasped, reaching for her own saber.

His looming figure bent down, but his face remained impossibly shrouded. He spoke, but it was not the voice of the Sith she knew. It was raspy and clipped, a voice she knew as well as her own.

“You will come with me,” he said with the voice from the past. “I am your master now.”

“No!” Ahsoka tried to say, but the phantom wind whirling around them sucked away her voice. She jumped to her knees turned on her sabers and swung at him. The blades collided and the furious sound of their power crackled through the corridor. She summoned all her anger, all her rage, but she was no match for him. He bowed over her, forcing her to bend until her head was nearly on the floor.

Desperate, she dropped her weapons and raised her hands, choking him in her grip of the force. Maul’s blade clattered to the floor beside her own and she got to her feet. He clawed at the invisible hand around him, but he could do nothing now. She moved closer, desiring to see the look of helplessness on his face, to make him pay for all he had done and all had planned to do.

Finally, she could see his eyes. They were dark and full of tears. The eyes of Barriss the Jedi.

She dropped her hold and staggered back into the wall of the cell. Maul’s figure fell but never hit the floor. It vanished as if it had never been there at all.

Ahsoka forced herself to wake.

She was still laying on the pillows. Alone in the now dying light of her candle, she was surrounded by nothing but her own fears. Taking her sabers from her belt, she lit the rest of the candles. Then she sat back again, bringing her knees to her chest, and swore not to sleep until Darth Maul had left the ship.