The fourth and fifth bomb fuses have been disengaged on the Gravestone. Viri steps back from the control panel with a sigh of relief.
”Only three more left,” Koth says. Viri nods. She’s been trying very, very hard to contain her absolute rage at Koth’s foolishness. He has planted a quantum bomb on the Gravestone, and now that the ship has been hijacked by Vaylin and SCORPIO, it’s put everyone on board – and the nearby Alliance fleet – in dire peril.
“Good,” Viri says, her voice clipped. Truth be told, she’s fond of Koth. Once they’d gotten past their initial differences – and Koth had given up his unrequited crush on Lana – Viri had become fond of the man. He’d become a key member of the Alliance, and Viri had grown to trust him. This matter with the quantum bomb, however, has eroded that trust considerably.
As they move to the bridge, pain and distress sweep through Viri’s body and mind. She gasps and grabs the edge of a chair for support. Warning bells are going off in her head.
”Something’s wrong. Lana.”
”I’m sure she’s fine,” Koth says, checking the console. “Huh. The password was overridden…but not the controls…”
”Exactly.” SCORPIO appears on the holo. “We have a common goal. We both want the Gravestone to survive. I am trying to buy you the time to ensure its survival.”
Viri says nothing.
“Vaylin has cornered Lana Beniko. You may wish to for her to survive, too.”
”We won’t leave her alone. Tell me where she is.”
SCORPIO wordlessly indicates Lana’s position on the map, and Viri takes off immediately.
”They’re fighting where the bomb is hidden, Viri! If they set it off…”
”I’m not worried about your bomb or this damned ship, Koth. I am worried about Lana,” Viri snaps, as they run into the elevator. Her skin has gone even paler than normal, and she’s chewed her lower lip bloody.
“I am too,” Koth says.
Viri hops back and forth and shakes her arms as the elevator descends. “I want you to listen to me: when we get in there, don’t worry about me anymore. Grab Lana and get her as far away from Vaylin as you can.”
”Maybe she’s not hurt.”
“Vaylin’s hurting her right now.” Viri maintains a stoic expression, but it’s difficult when she’s being hit with wave after wave of pain. She tries to send as much strength and support back to Lana as she can: Almost there. I’m coming for you, love.
”You can feel what’s happening to her, can’t you?” Koth asks quietly.
”I can. Keep that bit of knowledge to yourself,” Viri replies, and she bites her lip even more. “You promise me, Koth. Whatever happens to me, even if Vaylin’s about to kill me, you get her to safety.”
”I know how much you love her. I’ll get her clear of the danger. Promise.”
”Thank you.” The doors open and Viri sprints toward Lana.
Lana has been thrown into the walls so many times that she’s not sure where the walls are anymore. Every time she tries to right herself, she’s caught in another surge of Vaylin’s energy. She’s not going to survive. She’s almost sure of it.
Almost there. I’m coming for you, love. Viri has found her, and the thought gives Lana hope. She hears a savage cry, and someone flings Vaylin across the room, away from her. The next minute, she’s being floated gently toward Koth as Viri jumps into the fray.
Viri’s rage is so palpable that it makes Lana shiver, despite herself. She’s seen Viri at work countless times. She’s watched Viri fight Revan, Arcann and Senya; has seen her defeat them all. But she’s never seen Viri look quite as frightening as she does at that particular moment. Her eyes and hands are glowing red, her lip is bloody, and her teeth are bared.
“You hurt Lana. And now I’m going to hurt you.” Her voice is low and deadly, and she launches herself at Vaylin with so much channeled anger that the walls shake. Every lightsaber blow is delivered with a roar, and even Vaylin appears stunned by her fury for a moment.
”You’re going down,” Viri says, her smile cold and vicious. “Any last words?”
”Kneel before the dragon of Zakuul!” Valkorion’s loathsome voice fills the room, but only Viri and Vaylin can hear it. Vaylin wails, extinguishes her lightsaber, and runs.
”You son of a Jedi, stop interfering!” Viri screams, long and loud, and turns to follow Vaylin, but she reels around when she notices Koth and Lana near the doorway. Lana is standing, but she’s obviously in pain, and it’s enough to immediately swivel Viri’s demeanor from enraged to tender. As she runs to Lana’s side, the anger drops away from her face.
”Viri…love…I’ll be fine. We have work to do.” Lana says. Her face is mottled with bruises, and seeing them makes Viri’s mood ratchet right back to murderous.
”She hurt you,” Viri whispers. “Nobody hurts you. Nobody.” She kisses every one of the bruises on Lana’s face, reverently, delicately; seeking to make them disappear through sheer will alone.
“Look, Viri, I normally wouldn’t interrupt a moment like this, but we have about three minutes left to defuse the rest of the bomb triggers before the ship blows up,” Koth says.
”Right. Just a second.” Viri closes her eyes and channels her rage, filtering it into healing energy for Lana. Red Force power surrounds them both as Lana’s cracked ribs and concussion heal.
”Come on. Let’s save this ship.” Lana gives her a reassuring kiss and takes her hand. The Sith sprint down the corridor with Koth, determined to stop the Gravestone’s destruction.