in the low lamplight i was free
heaven and hell were words to me
— work song, hozier
"Inmate 30984, your transport has arrived. Stand with your back to the wall, arms at your side."
Jyn's eyes flick open to stare at the unnaturally white, pocked concrete ceiling above her. The cylinder shaped fluorescent light pops on, blinding her, and she blinks in quick succession, teeth gritting in annoyance. She'd been dreaming, she thinks, before the rude interruption. Dreaming of a beach house and her father's deep and boisterous belly laugh as she'd accidentally kicked sand onto her mother's towel in her childish excitement. She'd loved the sea, the salty air, the sand dollars peppering the shore, waiting for her to pluck them up and add them to her steadily growing collection. There had been a beach ball with purple mermaids on it, and a yellow pail and shovel. Her mother was striking in her swimsuit, sunglasses resting crooked on her elegant nose as she'd smiled indulgently, dusting her towel off. Maybe it wasn't a dream, but a memory. She could never tell anymore; what was real or what was a fabrication of that small, wistful part of her heart that yearned for the past. To change it, to relive it, she wasn't sure, but she longed for it anyway.
Transport, the voice had said, but to where? There was only the scorched outside, or this underground, ramshackle Alliance prison.
The voice comes again, sharper, "Inmate." A banging sound follows, and Jyn lifts her head slightly to see. A guard slaps his shock baton against the wall outside of her cell, sending a flurry of sparks to the floor. Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, she sits up, swinging her legs over the side of the threadbare cot, pushing her cold, sock-less feet into her mint green prison issued slip ons. The warden's design tastes were dreadful; white and mint green everything. She longs for black, and deep burgundy, the dark blue of her long lost favorite sweater. It has been so long since she's worn anything other than this ugly jumpsuit. Time blurred underground; with no clocks, no sunlight, just a guard passing with two dry meals a day. Two years, she'd guess, twenty months and a few days if her math and the marks she'd scratched into the wall were accurate.
As her feet drag, another bang follows, and she mutters, "Alright, alright." before her back meets the far wall. The barred door immediately slides open with a series of harsh clanks, two guards piling into her tiny cell. They take up all the empty space, crowding her further back. One hangs by the door, hand on his gun, the other on the baton he's clipped back onto his belt. His partner takes her arms, spreads them out with her palms down, elbows touching the cool wall behind her. Her jaw locks, teeth grinding together; she hates this part. He rests his hands on either side of her hips, giving them the ghost of a squeeze. She stares just over his shoulder, down the long, dimly lit hall lined with cells, to the heavy metal door separating her and all of the other prisoners from the stairs leading to the world above.
She was two bodies away from complete freedom, fuck this 'transfer'. It was probably a lie anyway; no one left this prison, not outside of a body bag. She was probably going to be shot and stuffed into an incinerator, or however the Alliance executed the ones that didn't matter. Food and clean water were scarce, while the number of inmates continued to steadily rise as desperation grew—and as they said, their recruiting banners hanging on every building that still stood—survival at all costs. She imagines there was no act too repulsive to them. She didn't really blame them, honestly; what were they to do? Keep the thieves and rapists and murderers alive while what meager civilians that remain starve? Her crimes, however, were mostly menial; assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, theft of government property, attempted murder (...mostly menial).
Really, it amazes her that a justice system of any sort remains when hardly anything else does. Of course, she'd never faced trial, had only been scooped up and tossed into a cell for an undisclosed amount of time when the pathetic crew she'd been running with had sold stolen military weaponry to a fucking Fed instead of a black market dealer. Hell, she didn't even know if they were called Feds anymore. The Alliance was the only government agency remaining; starting as a fringe task force when the dark gate had opened, spilling hell from its wide berth, then upgrading itself to representing all that was left of humanity. They ran a few prisons, provided military defense to the cities that still stood, there were even rumors of special forces units that willingly—eagerly—went out into the dark fray, strapped with flame throwers and a thirst for retribution. She thought they might have better things to do than locking up a girl just trying to pocket some coin, like killing monsters and saving the world, but clearly, what the fuck does she know?
All she would have to drop is two bodies; if only she could incapacitate the one touching her now, grab his gun, kill the other, and snatch his key card, she would be gone. Two bodies, fifty feet, and she was free. Their deaths would be nothing to her; they hardly deserved the air they breathed.
The guards hands have moved from her hips to pat her upper half down—as if she could possibly smuggle any weapons around in this hole—dangerously close to all but groping her. Her lips curls in disgust; he was an old, balding, middle aged man. He wears a ring, and an expensive leather watch. His wife probably hasn't touched him with anything but a cold shoulder in decades. When he kneels, nudging her legs apart, she has the urge to bring her knee up into his nose, drive the bone into his brain. She'd like to see the flat, blank darkness in his eyes as he left the world. The other guard looks on, bored and unimpressed, but he doesn't stop it. His hands drift up her thighs, close to her most sensitive spot, and her hands clench into fists. Any closer, she'll rip his eyes from his sockets and feed them to his partner, cut his hands off and eat them herself while he screams and listens to her feasting. Consequences be fucking damned.
"We don't have time for this." The less perverse guard sighs, "She needs to go now. Warden's orders." Jyn almost asks why, but then thinks: these two idiots won't have the security clearance, let alone a brain cell to share between them.
The guard feeling her up climbs to his feet, towering over her with a smirk, "She's clean." He says, and has the audacity to lewdly wink at her, like she'd consented to this. He grabs her shoulder, hauls her with him roughly. Down the hall, through the thick metal door, into a cramped, rickety elevator. Then, up the stairs she remembers descending into the hole of a prison twenty months ago. They'd felt like the descent into hell; steep, cobwebs, the smell of rank, stale air, and she'd had to remind herself: this is nothing. You've already been to the depths. This shit box of an underground prison would not break her.
There is one last door, sweeping open to reveal an armored vehicle, flanked by several men in military dress with heavy looking machine guns and even heavier grim faces, but Jyn is hardly enamored by that. She's thought of this moment countless times; breaking free of her shackles, sprinting to the outside, flinging the doors open so she can feel the breeze. The air is cool and crisp against her skin, the wind tugging at her hair. The sky is still blue, tinged grey by what looks like a storm brewing. It's been too long since she's sunk her toes into the Earth, washed her hair in a creek, felt the heat of the sun against her skin. For too long, she's sat in shadow, hidden away in her cell while war raged above; a war she should be fighting. She may be a thief, and a liar, but she still desires what the others do: to reclaim this burned world and build it anew.
The sky is suddenly ripped away, and she's shoved headfirst into the vehicle by the touchy guard, the ice of the leather seats bleeding through her thin jumpsuit. She suppresses a shiver as the men that had flanked the vehicle fill the other seats, stocks of their guns hitting the metal floor with sharp clanks. They look so serious, she wonders where they are taking her. If she was bound for death, she doesn't imagine that it would come with such theatrics. No, she was needed for something, but what, she can't figure out.
The communicator strapped to one man's shoulder, the leader it seems to Jyn, crackles to life, a rich voice filling the otherwise silent compartment, "Have you received the package?" Her ears perk, and she shifts, hoping for the tiniest drop of information.
"Affirmative, Captain. She's with us." The blonde man answers, pressing the call button. His hazel eyes land on her, something close to pity there. It weighs on her, unlike most things, always rolling off of her shoulders, leaving no dents, no hint of feeling. She does not want pity, she has never wanted pity. She wants answers.
Who are you? Where are you taking me? What do you want?
Will you set me free?
"Excellent. Make haste, she needs to be briefed. We ride out at oh seven hundred."
"Yes, sir. Pedal to the floor, got it. Solo out." The blonde drops his hand from the walkie, says to her, "Sorry, kid. You've got a rough go of it ahead of you."
Jyn's lips twitch, these are the first kind words she's heard in years. The still silence of the compartment, the unusual silence from the world outside, gives a sour taste, anticipation for what was to come seeping into bones, "Don't we all?" She wonders, as a deep chill settles over them all.
When the truck slows, then stops, Jyn's body stiffens. Now, the truth. Solo gently takes her arm, pulls her from the compartment to stand on the frost covered ground.
The building that stretches before them is some type of government facility, certainly run down, as most things these days, but it feels very authoritarian. Or it used to, before hell opened its mouth and spit demons out. The windows are barred, metal doors thick and heavily guarded. What was once grass and garden is now dirt and gravel, a stone trail to the main door parting the mud and muck like the red sea. There are snipers on the roof, and a man with two black dogs on leashes. The dogs look ready to rip flesh from bone, or wings from a demon's back. She hasn't seen a dog in more than five years, and had sadly thought them all but extinct. It excites her to see them there, so close to being pet, though she's sure she'd lose a hand if she tried. This place, whatever it was, was nothing like she'd ever experienced before.
Solo's hand is still on her arm, and he tugs her lightly, "Come on, short stack, time to meet the boss."
Casting one last glance at the dogs as they pass, noses to the ground, she'd led up the winding stone path, through the heavy door that rises when he's close enough to be recognized by the camera eye above. They enter a long, narrow hall, men and women bustling about, some in lab coats, some in military dress, some dressed as if office jobs still existed. They give her and Solo a wide berth along with curious looks.
They turn a corner, hang a left, and stop at a glass door, Solo passing her off to the bald, dark skinned man that had been stretched against the wall, waiting. She watches him walk away, something inside of her breaking away with him. She was truly alone now, no friendly face in sight. The bald man is an eerily blank slate as he swipes a key card across the monitor, the door sliding open. He presses her inside, but she doesn't budge, steeling herself in the doorjamb.
There is a metal table, two matching chairs on either side. A single fluorescent bulb swings on a thin string overhead, casting moving shadows and shapes of creatures along the damp, grey walls. Shackles are bolted to the floor at the chair nearest to her. A long dirty mirror lines the far wall, and she catches sight of the atrocious dark circles under her eyes. The hand on her shoulder squeezes tight, urging her forward as she stalls in the doorway, and Jyn realizes with a sinking heart: this is an interrogation room. Whoever had plucked her from the darkness of one cell was simply going to dump her into another. She's pressed roughly into the chair as her body tenses, as if she had any hope of bolting from this place at all, but mercifully, her feet are not shackled. The metal chair is cold and rigid against her back, but she does not fidget. They are watching her, she knows. Looking for any sign of weakness.
Shame for them, she has none.
Jyn sits straight, mouth in a hard line, eyes locked onto her own in the long mirror. She assumes that it's a two way, and that someone is just on the other side, studying her as she studies herself. There were no mirrors in her cell, or anywhere else underground. Has she always looked so haggard, so exhausted? There is a scrape on her chin that she doesn't remember receiving, a bruise darkening her bottom lip. She is pale, too pale, and looks as hungry as she is. Her dark hair is limp, a wild mess of unruly bangs on her forehead, crowning her green eyes. Once, she'd thought she was sort of pretty; not conventionally attractive, but unique in the way that her features were dark and sharp, and her tongue even sharper. Her eyes used to match the green of the trees on the outside, she remembers, before they were all burned in the First Fire. She hadn't been able to peak out the grate covered windows of the transport vehicle, and had been too struck by the dogs to notice when she'd finally stepped out onto the ground before she'd been locked away again. She wonders if there is still a thick layer of ash coating the land, or if all the remnants of the old world had floated away on a cool breeze.
Twenty months since she'd seen the outside, save for those few blissful moments she'd just had. Her fingers ache for the dirt, the yellowing clumps of grass that persist, even under the coating of ash. She would give anything, anything, to stand under the sky as it parted and floods rained down upon her. Anything to smear her cheeks with mud like warpaint. Years ago, when she'd ran with Saw's convoy, mud and blood and gristle were the marks of a true warrior, a message to the gods, if any were still listening: I have seen your worst, and I have beat it.
Her guard is against the wall behind her, arms folded across his chest. He looks dreadfully bored, and completely uninterested in her, simply staring ahead. This was nothing new for him, he probably pushes little girls around all day. When she gets free, his will be the first throat she slits. Her fingers twitch at the thought. Before her capture and her cell, she'd had a butterfly knife. A gift from her mother when she had seen that her daughter was not like the others, girls with bows in their hair and ruffles on their dresses. No, Jyn had wanted boldness, strength, cunning. She had a thirst for knowledge that ran so deep her father said that one day, she would swallow the world whole and wring its secrets out with her teeth. Her ambitions had been far beyond her years, and it had set her apart from the other scientists children, who gave her strange looks and laughed behind their hands at her. The strange Erso girl; always so angry, always haunted. Still, she had loved that knife with its kyber crystal blade. When she had been caught, every hint of her old life and what meager belongings she'd possessed had been stolen from her, tucked away in some evidence locker, never to see the light of day again. Shame her old friend the perverted guard would never feel its sharpness against his skin.
The door behind her opens, interrupting her reminiscing, and she watches a well tailored man enter the room in the mirror. He's sharp in his suit, dark hair slicked perfectly, beard neatly trimmed. He nods at her guard, who inclines his head in return. He's carrying several file folders and a water bottle, which he drops in front of her as he passes to the other side of the table. She takes note of the scars on his hands, the callouses. He may be dressed to impress now, but something tells her he was as deadly as he was handsome.
The man takes his seat, sets his files on the table. They bear the Alliance's easily recognizable pointed insignia. She should have known—they would be the only ones with enough to pull to orchestrate her transfer, the only ones that bothered with such official things. Their cause is annoyingly noble—uniting the last of humanity against the monsters laying waste to the world. If anyone ever thought to ask her, she'd say the efforts were futile. There was hardly anything left to unite, save for the hardened ones that would do what it took to survive, to hell with everyone else, and civilians that wouldn't know the safety switch on a gun from an elevator button. Could a world be rebuilt from that? Jyn wasn't so sure, but still, they persisted; with their radio broadcasts, the calls for survivors to travel by sunlight to their refugee camps, their heavily guarded cities. If she was a better woman, she'd have joined years ago.
Alas, she was not. She was the hardened, fuck the rest. There was nothing left to do but look for the next meal, ration ammo, and hope her head wasn't ripped from her shoulders by burning, clawed fingers.
There was, also, her great dislike for any authoritarian organization. The world had ended long ago, what the fuck did they need a government for?
The man observes her for what feels like the longest minute, and she tries not to fidget under his eyes. This is meant to disorient her, she knows, make her impatient, and it's doing the trick. She so desperately wants out of this room, out of this fucking place. Wordlessly, he flicks a file open, sorting through a series of pictures. He lays one out for her to see, pushing it across the table towards her, just out of reach. He taps the image with his finger; it's Paris burning, the Eiffel tower with plumes of smoke in the background. She imagines the screams, the smell of seared flesh. The sight of this is doing nothing for her, she's seen it all before, felt the flames licking at her own back.
The man pushes the picture closer to her, as if she's unaware of the suffering, "In the First Fire, four point three billion people were killed." His voice is pleasant and accented, velvety in all the right places. She realizes: his was the voice on the radio in the transport. The Captain. Interesting. She's basking in the presence of greatness, apparently. "Did you know that?" He searches her face for a reaction, dark eyes piercing her like knives.
Jyn doesn't give him so much as an inch. She reaches for the water bottle and takes a swig, casual, "Must be why lines are so short these days."
His lips twitch as he flips another page in his file, "Miss Liana Hallick, born in March of 1994 in Queens to a Miss Kyra Hallick, no father listed on the birth certificate." Jyn stills, hand tightening around the water bottle as he continues, "This is interesting to me, you see, because I know that Liana Hallick did not exist until 2010. I also know," he pauses, sliding the faux birth certificate across the table to her, "that you were neither born in March, nor in Queens."
"You seem to know an awful lot." Jyn comments, feigning boredom.
The man doesn't reply, simply pushes another picture from his file towards her. This one is New York, mass graves dug in Central Park, blood stained grass. It turns her stomach to look at it, but she does not show it. In school, she'd studied the Holocaust, the terrible genocide of so many innocents. It was like looking at that; the sickness, the suffering, the stick thin bodies piled high from a firing squad. She remembers thinking, ten years old, with no idea how cruel the world could truly be: how could we do this to each other? To this day, the Dairy of Anne Frank is the only book to have made her cry once she'd finished.
Oh, Stardust, her father had said when she'd crept into his office for comfort, some are not as merciful as you.
Jyn's gaze flick back to the dark haired man; his expression is cool, collected, but the brown honey of his eyes are tense, searching her for a crack, a way in. She gives him nothing, willing the turn of her stomach to leave, hoping the sweat gathering at her hairline doesn't drip down her temple. "Can we get to the point?" She asks, leaning back in her chair, metal digging uncomfortably into her spine, "I've seen death and despair. It's nothing new. What do you want?"
He studies her, and his face is so pleasant. He looks like no one else left in the world; lines sharp, but not from hunger, proper and neatly trimmed. She briefly wonders how his smile twists across, and if it ever does, "There is something I don't quite understand." He finally says, conversationally, like he's asking a question after a university lecture.
Impatient, Jyn bites, "And what's that?" She's annoyed of his games already.
"Why is Galen Erso's daughter hiding away in a jail cell in Jersey, instead of topside with the rest of us, fighting for what's left of Earth?"
Jyn can't help it, her eye twitches. Only Saw knew she was Galen's daughter, she had made sure of that. She's forged paperwork, slotted together multiple identities. She was Liana now, and before that Kestrel, and before that Tanith. She had not been Galen and Lyra's daughter in almost a decade. Even as a child, she'd known that someday, they would come looking for her. She hadn't known who they would be, only that she had the blood—the blood of the man that had unleashed hell on Earth. She looks down at the photos, her father's legacy.
She's about to say: first of all, fuck you, it's not like I chose prison, but he beats her to the punch.
"We call him the harbinger of death and doom here on base, a little joke." She almost rolls her eyes, almost tells him his jokes are shit, "When the children ask why the sky fell, we tell them that there was once a brilliant man, and he dug too deeply into the center of the Earth, setting free all the hoards of hell. We tell them that he was the first to burn for his sin, but tell me, Miss Erso, what was that sin? Greed, or incompetence?"
Jyn doesn't answer, leveling a dark glare at him. How dare he assume to know anything about her father? Her hands clench into fists where they rest in her lap. She is not shackled, she could fly across the table and wrap her hands tight around his throat. Let Galen Erso's daughter's face be the last he ever saw. If only. She's sure his friend still leaning on the wall behind her would snap her in half the moment she so much as twitched towards the Captain.
"You were there, weren't you? The day the sky went black?" He prattles on as if she doesn't look murderous, leaning forward in his seat, pushing the photos closer to her still. She imagines bringing her long lost knife down onto his fingers, lest he shove anymore bloodshed in her direction. "You saw the portal spin open, saw the flames engulf your father and his crew, but you escaped. You, a mere child. How?"
Jyn purses her lips. The jig is up. This nameless man knows her story. Or, at least, he thinks he does. "I was innocent." She says idly, shrugging. Even as she says this, the flames are behind her eyes, the sounds of grown men begging, her father yelling for her to run, don't stop, don't look back! She could feel the heat behind her, almost searing her skin as she ran, feet pounding on the metal rafters as she climbed higher and higher out of the depths of the dig. Others were running, too; shoving around her in their desperation, nobody looking out for the little girl who'd just listened to her father's dying, torturous cries. The rickety elevator was all she could think about, then the surface. The monsters would never make it there, would they? Sunlight was so close, so close and so far.
The man looks incredulous, scoffing, "Monsters don't care for such things. They only want the marrow, the gristle. Suffering is their currency, we all know this."
Jyn lifts a delicate eyebrow, "Then you tell me, how did I survive?"
Of course, he has an answer. Her interest has peaked, she wonders what else he knows about her. "You were saved." He opens another file, this time pulling out a photo that appears to have been taken by satellite; black and white, grainy. She knows who it depicts before it's even set in front of her. "Saw Gerrera pulled you from the depths. He saved you; raised you, armed you. You fought for him, no? Before he went mad."
"I fought for all of us." Her jaw ticks in annoyance. Saw was hardly mad. Honestly, he was probably the only sane one left in the world. His methods were... controversial, to say the least, but definitely effective.
"How noble." The Captain remarks, dry.
This is growing more and more tedious by the second. She has no desire to hash out things she's long buried. She leans forward, splaying her fingers out, covering the pictures on the table, "I was a child. If you think I had anything to do with—"
He waves a hand, "You misunderstand. I didn't bring you here to punish you, Miss Erso, not for your long list of sins, nor for your father's." Their eyes lock; his gaze is steady, but sharp, cutting back her layers, examining her insides. She had to admit, he was very good at his job. She hopes her eyes and the downturn of her frown convey her thoughts: then what the fuck am I here for?
The nameless man, who she is now most curious about, passes one last photo across the table. Ground zero, the Scarif dig site. Before the First Fire, the site had been the brightest green; foliage, trees as tall as buildings. Now, the valley is leveled, the yellow grass dead and scorched, the burnt tree trunks rotting. She places her palm on the photo, dragging it close, gently picking it up to examine. Her father's mantle drill is still there, rusting. She remembers sitting in his lap, flipping dials and pulling levers as he'd attempted to show her how to use it.
Jyn looks back up at the man, photo held gingerly between her fingertips. "What do you want from me? To say my father was a villian, a monster?" She tosses the picture aside, growls, "Get to the fucking point or get bent."
"Your father—he opened the portal, but we believe it can be sealed." Jyn stills, searches the Captain's face for any sign of bullshit. She finds none.
If the portal could be closed, the Earth could heal. The grass would grow, the air would stop smelling of soot and death. Children could play outside, without fear of monsters. The human race would be reborn.
It sounds... well, it sounds too good to be true.
"What does this have to do with me? Surely the Alliance is more equipped to fight the hoards and plug the hole than I?"
"Scarif's security measures are still in place. Your father's DNA, or rather, your DNA is required to get inside. Our techs haven't been able to bypass the system." Of course they wouldn't. Her father was brilliant, and he'd coded his security system himself. "We need you, Jyn." The way he says her name sends a chill up her spine; all of this was manipulation. If she wasn't wiling to take a trip to hell itself in the next five minutes, he'd probably gut her and throw her on ice to keep her from rotting as he siphoned her blood by the pint. Not that she would blame him. Fucking hell, the world was at stake here. She doesn't have much of a choice, does she? "Your father made a mistake, and the world burned for it. Right his wrong. Help us."
This guilt trip was surely going to be the death of her.
Jyn snorts, stubborn to the end, "The world was burning long before my father was a glint in his mother's eye. If we sink into the core and every last one of us rots, the dark swallowing us whole, I will rejoice, as should you."
His brow ticks up. Intrigued, she would say. I'm not what you expected, am I? "You speak as if we're a plague."
"Aren't we?" Jyn asks. There was evil long before her father had put his drill to the Earth, long before the demons came. Wars stretching back to the dawn of man, killings in the name of religion and color. Mass shootings, fires that burned across entire continents. Greed giving way to poverty and starvation. Evil had existed for a millennia and Mother Nature had been suffering for just as long.
The man sighs, gathers his photos, pressing them neatly back into their folders. He rests his elbows on the table, folding his hands together, looking gentle for the first time, "Let me be frank, Miss Erso. The Earth is dying. The fires have been too great, she has had no time to heal. We are running out of time. Can't you feel it? I know I do."
Fuck, the guilt trip again.
She hates that it's working.
He continues, imploring, "There are so few of us left. It's no coincidence that you have survived all these years when so many others have not. This is your fight, Jyn."
Jyn looks away, to the long mirror on the wall. When she was seven, her mother had fallen sick. She was bed ridden within four months; chemotherapy turning her once young and supple skin white as a sheet, hair falling from her head onto her pillow while she slept. Close to the end, Jyn had begun to understand: some battles were lost causes. Was this her lost cause? You are destined for something great, her mother had said on her deathbed, voice just a whisper, you will know when it finds you.
"What's in it for me?" Jyn asks, unable to help herself. She tries not to think of the look of disappointment her mother would surely show were she here to witness this.
The Captain looks like he'd expected this part. He probably thought she was scum—offered a chance to help save the world, and she was only out for herself. This was her nature, left alone at such a young age, she'd realized quickly—nobody gave a shit. There was no one to rely on, no one to trust, save for herself, her own wits, and the strength she'd managed to find within herself, buried so deep she'd had to pull it from her own depths with a vice-like grip. How she had cried, those first few months after Scarif—having just barely come to terms with the loss of her mother years earlier, now faced with her father's bitter death and the end of all life as she and everyone else knew it.
Saw had swiped a finger across her cheek, weeks after the First Fire had ravaged across the continents, catching a droplet, and said: they will take your tears, and they will break you. Do you understand?
Somehow, she had, and then donned a suit of armor so powerful that no man and no blade could ever hope to penetrate it.
"I offer you your freedom. A fair trade, I think, considering your charges range from attempted murder to theft of militarized weapons. In any other situation, we simply could not have someone like you roaming about, but for this, my superiors have agreed to make an exception."
Jyn's mouth curls. Someone like you. It sounds like: you, a miserable, bitter bitch. She quite likes his edge, that holier-than-thou attitude. "How very kind of you." She agrees, sarcasm dripping as she sits back to consider her options. Another dreary cell, or certain death. It was hardly a difficult decision.
Jyn makes her choice without fear, resigned. "We'll lose." She says. She can feel it already; the burning, ash in her hair. This was going to be the death of her.
Hell, maybe it was time.
The man tilts his head, as curious as her, "Have you truly lost all hope, Miss Erso?" He asks, curious again.
Jyn gives him a blank look, "I know a lost cause when I see one." She says, voice dry.
The Captain considers her for a long moment. She hardly knows him, not even his name, but she recognizes the look of a man with a thousand questions. He probably wants to crack her open, stick her marrow under a microscope to see up close just what made her tick. She was more than his stack of files, more than the whispers of Saw's violent rebel girl. More than the daughter of the man who'd brought about the end of the world.
Suddenly, he rises, straightening his tie before beckoning for her to follow him through the door, "Come, I'd like to show you something."
if the heavens ever did speak, she's the last true mouthpiece
every Sunday's getting more bleak, with fresh poison each week
— take me to church, hozier