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Chapter 36, Part 1

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"I see it," Owen said quietly. "There's two guards circling our floor. During each pass they check in with our cell guard. Every third pass they check in with the patrol on the next floor at the east stairwell."

"And that's just this floor and the one above," Anakin said. "We're in B3. Jump to B1."

Owen flicked two fingers through the air, moving a mentally projected model only he saw. Anakin had lent Owen the jack, so he could see the security feed DarthPwnage shared.

"A little worse up there. Pretty prepared for a bunch of miners."

B1 had its circling patrol, but additional guards were posted at the two stair wells leading to the first floor. The first floor was even more heavily guarded, with six Rodians stationed at the three building entrances. Just outside, Rodian miners patrolled the courtyard. All this was underscored by the formidable presence of a nearby RX-9 Mining droid.

The whole scenario screamed, "Don't even think about it."

"So what do you think?" Anakin asked his brother. "Having second thoughts?"

"Maybe if imminent death wasn't already in the cards. As it stands, we've got to do something. The first step seems obvious," Owen said as he removed the datajack and handed it back to his brother. Anakin slid it back into his ear, and it coiled back up around an implant. "It's just not easy. There's only way out of this room. That door." Owen pointed to it. "With 'Citizen Husi' waiting just outside, we'll need to take her out quickly."

They couldn't just unlock the door and waltz out, as she'd sound an alarm, not to mention stun or kill them before they could act.

"Two weakened humans against an armed Rodian," said Anakin. "Great. I like the odds."

"Which is why we've gotta take her by surprise when she's in our cell, say for a meal, or..."

Anakin knew why his brother hesitated. The only other time she entered was during or following one of Chona's sessions when she nursed them back to health.

"DarthPwnage made it clear we shouldn't make a break for it while Chona's around," Anakin said. "No Owen, if we want Husi to come in here, just level her with Rodian insults."

"That might work or it could really get me hurt. Bad. Any other possibilities?"

"Maybe I could try something with the force."

"Hate to break it to you, bro, but you're no Jedi."

"You almost sound disappointed, Owen. How uncharacteristic of you."

"I don't need to like them to know they can do amazing things. But that doesn't change the fact that in our situation, you can't."

He was probably right. "Well whatever we do, once she's disposed of-"

"I'll finally get my hands on a blaster," Owen said eagerly.

"Which you'll set to stun. We don't need the noise and damage created by actual blaster fire."

"Yeah, I figured that. So suppose we get beyond our door, we'll have to-" Owen coughed loudly, giving the signal that someone was coming. His brother scooted along the wall and closed his eyes, pretending he was asleep.

Anakin set his implant's crawlers and weavers to work in his cognitive background, mining for an optimal escape plan. But he knew suffering was imminent. Anakin leaned over in his chair and stared at the floor. He trembled, fearing the horrors this visit would bring.

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