A/N: Well, I woke up one morning with this thing rattling around in my brain, so I just grabbed a paper and jotted it down, very quickly. Not much more to say, really. I found it rather interesting to write a piece with all OC's, never done that before. Written a few years ago, posting it now.

Disclaimer: The usual. Don't own, please don't sue.

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He's still breathing. I see his chest slowly rising up and down, parted lips drawing air with a faint rattle.

"They are killing her", he says, and I can see how much effort it takes for him to say those few words. I nod slowly, although I know he cannot see me. His eyes... his eyes. I don't want to look at them, but I feel my gaze being drawn there once more. I look into his crystal blue eyes, and once again I stare into the terror.

--

They came at dawn. The rays of the sun had barely started to warm the soil, had barely begun to chase the cold away and dry up the dew. I've always loved the dawn, and he did too. That short moment when night and cold gives way to day, to warmth, to life. How could we have known then that this dawn would be different, that this dawn would not give life, but take it? How could we have known that this would be a dawn of death? It was he who saw them first. The ships. They looked so tiny in the distance, no more than a small swarm of insects, a nuisance that could be swatted away with a flick of the hand. But I knew, even then, even before I picked up the macrobinoculars, what it meant. I knew, and I could see in his eyes that he knew too. War was upon us.

--

He is colder now. I hold his hand, and I can feel his grip as he holds mine, hard from terror and fear. I talk to him, although I know he can no more hear me than he can see me. He draws another breath, and, almost unnoticeable, his chest rises and sinks once more. I find myself wondering what his eyes are seeing, as they are staring out into nothingness, watching horrors only he can see. Those eyes, which once sparkled with joy and life, and now only hold terror. I tell him that I am with him, that he is not alone, and I hear how hollow my words sound. He is already alone.

"They..."

The words come slowly now, and I have to bend close to hear. His breath touches my face, and in spite of myself I flinch. I feel like death breathing on me, and I berate myself for even thinking that thought. He is not dead. Yet.

"They... they are killing Salikon."

Far away in the distance I hear the sound of a blaster rifle being fired.

--

The first explosion came as a surprise for both of us. There had been a small speck flying around, and suddenly it was just a big ball of fire. It was too far away to see what kind of craft it had been, or what had hit it, but even at the distance the explosion was blinding. I was reminded of the flaming beacons of old, heralds of things to come.
The ships were getting closer, I could see that even without the macrobinoculars.
We did not run. Where would we have gone? We had no place except our house.
So we hid.
The cellar was damp, and cold. Along the shelves on the walls jars and bottles were stacked, all neatly labelled. Sweetfruit jam. Alderaanian wine. Other foodstuff that we kept down here. I shut the door and latched it, although it wouldn't shut all the way. It was in need of repair, and he had talked about fixing it when winter came, and the outdoor duties were fewer.
How could we have known then that he would never get the chance to fix the door, that he would never see winter come again?
He had brought down some blankets, to keep us warm in the chilly air of the cellar. And wrapped in the blankets, we waited.

I'm waiting now, I realise. I'm waiting for death. Sweet, merciful, cruel death. It will not be long now. His hand no longer grips mine; it lies limp by his side. I do not talk to him. Words are unnecessary now.

--

I don't know for how long we sat there in the cellar, huddled together, starting at every sound, not speaking. I can only remember the look in his eyes when we first heard them. I do not know which side the crafts were on. I do not know whether the pilots were droids, or clones, or perhaps Jedi. And it doesn't matter to me. All that mattered was the terror in his eyes.

--

His chest sinks silently, and just as silently it rises once more.

--

Yes, we've heard rumours. Rumours of a distant war, a war between separatists and loyalists. Talk about clone armies. Whispers of Jedi, and of warrior droids killing everything they encounter.
We never thought the war would reach us. It doesn't belong here, it's not our war. War has no place here, on our beautiful Salikon. We've always been a peaceful planet; we didn't do anything to deserve this war. Did we?

--

His chest sinks silently, and just as silently it rises once more.

--

The craft exploded. Even now I can hear the ringing in my ears from the sound. And then it fell, or perhaps it was already falling when it exploded? It does not matter. Nothing matters now. Some part of it fell on our house, and burrowed its way down into our cellar. There was no time to get away, and no space. I saw it falling at him, and I tried to scream, but no sound would escape me. The sharp metal piece took off both his legs and pinned him to the ground and I saw his blood staining the shining durasteel.

--

His chest sinks silently, and just as silently it doesn't rise again.

I am alone now in the cellar, and they are coming closer. I look into his eyes one last time. The terror is gone. Now there is only emptiness. I finally understand the terror that had been there. I am alone. He is not breathing anymore, and I am alone. And they are coming.

3/8-04