Disclaimer: Nothing in Star Wars belongs to me. Song lyrics used belong to Nightwish. I own nothing. And no money is being made.
Warnings: Contains slight violence and nudity.
The silence in the room was almost deafening and the flickering light in the centre of the room was being nothing but annoying.
As Mira leaned her head back against the wall, she sighed, watching her breath on the cold air and being careful not to wake up anyone else. Almost six months had now passed and she was still trapped with the other slaves on Nal Hutta.
With the other slaves, Mira had come to terms with all of them, though the friendship between her and Kaida still seemed to be on a knife's edge. Out of them all, Mira quickly came to admire Jade. If Mira hadn't seen the day to day life here herself she would almost believe that Jade enjoyed doing this.
Nothing much had changed either. On the days when Vogga wanted her, she would dance and entertain him until he was bored or tired. Mira still felt humiliated every time she had to step out in the centre of that room but she knew she had to. She didn't want anyone, especially Layilqua, to take any punishment for her.
Whenever Vogga left the planet he would take a slave or two with him. A few times, Mira had been chosen to accompany him. During the first journey she had been humiliated and punished for trying to escape. She had almost made it too. If only she hadn't turned the wrong corner. It played on her mind many times, especially at night when it was quiet and there was nothing to hear but the soft breathing of your fellow slaves.
Mira jumped faintly when she felt something move beside her. It was Layilqua. She glanced up at Mira but looked down again to rub the tiredness from her eyes. 'Why are you still up?' she asked almost inaudibly.
Mira shrugged lightly. 'I'm just having a little trouble sleeping,' she replied.
'Same,' Layilqua said instantly. 'Tell me a story,' she said after a few moments of silence.
A small smile graced Mira's lips as she looked down at the young child. They had quickly and easily become friends and most nights Mira would tell her stories of the adventures she once had and almost every time Mira would get the same excited reaction to them. But sometimes it made Mira sad, knowing that she may never get to show Layilqua the universe and what it could be for her or that she may never have any more.
A thought flittered across Mira's mind. She still didn't know much about the young dancer. She had inquired several times about her past but most times, Layilqua would shift and clear her throat before changing the subject. Mira knew not to push too hard. It may be harmful to someone so young that has already been through so much.
'Why don't you tell me a story about you?' Mira said slowly, carefully gauging Layilqua's reaction.
'Um...' Layilqua hummed, almost fearfully. 'I-I suppose I could...' Layilqua took a deep and shaky breath before she continued. 'I was born on Telos. I don't remember much of it but the one memory I do have happened when I was around four, I think. It was when we left the planet...'
The exchange in the sitting area was becoming louder with each word that was spoken. The little girl in the hallway walked on shaking legs to the doorway. She poked her head around to see within the room. Her mother was there along with a male human she didn't recognise. He wore long brown robes and thick brown leather boots. He stood calmly, despite the words being spoken.
She watched as her mother gently padded across the room towards the man, the dull light from the table casting tall, dark shadows across the walls. When she reached him little space stood between them as the woman whispered something but was quickly cut short as the man held up a hand gently.
'Shayla,' he whispered, looking past her.
The woman turned. Instantly, she spotted her young daughter, watching them, although she remained calm. 'Layilqua,' she said softly. 'What are you still doing up?'
'I hear shouting,' the little girl muttered tiredly as she rubbed her small, bright purple eyes.
A small smile crossed Shayla's lips. She could understand why her daughter was having trouble sleeping. It would be hard for anyone when the noise outside their home only seemed to increase. She walked to her daughter and picked her up.
'Want to say hi to mummy's friend? He's a Jedi.'
Layilqua quickly shook her head but Shayla just chuckled. She approached the man she had been talking to again and held her daughter up a little more. The man smiled politely at the little girl.
'Hello, Layilqua,' he said quietly. 'Little girls like you should get plenty of sleep so your body can rest and grow.'
Layilqua looked the man over briefly. His skin was white and his short blonde hair was flat and neatly parted to the side. His bright blue eyes looked as though they pierced straight through her. It made Layilqua look away shyly. She buried her head in her mother's shoulder and groaned inaudibly. It made Shayla chuckle once more.
'Alright, back to bed then, I think,' she said lightly.
Shayla carried Layilqua back to her room and tucked her into bed tightly. 'Now, stay asleep this time,' she whispered.
Layilqua stayed quiet but she nodded slowly. Shayla gave her a small smile before gently kissing her cheek and leaving the room. Layilqua only waited a few moments before padding back down the hallway but this time, she made sure to stay out of sight as she listened to them talk.
'Shayla, please,' the Jedi begged. 'You must take your daughter and leave. This planet is no longer safe. There are transports leaving tonight.'
'But why do we have to leave?' Shayla asked quickly. 'Telos has its own security force. There have never been any problems...'
'Shayla,' the Jedi said firmly. 'The war is coming here whether you like it or not and if you want your daughter and yourself to survive this then you need to leave. The turned Jedi will stop at nothing.'
'But why here?'
'Telos is a threat to them, though I never thought they would go this far,' the Jedi replied. 'It holds much military power and they want it destroyed, they want to get rid of anything that could be competition. You know of Darth Revan and Malak?'
Shayla half shrugged, half shook her head. 'I-I suppose. I mean, I've heard them spoken of but I don't understand this. It is beyond anything I know of. I thought they were going to leave Telos alone...'
'It doesn't seem like it,' the Jedi whispered under his breath. 'Look, you've trusted me before,' he spoke softly. 'You need to trust me again now. I'm trying to help you.'
'Calin...' she whispered, reaching up to touch his face.
Ever so subtly, the Jedi moved his head back. This was not the time and he couldn't afford to have his mind stray. 'You need to trust me,' he repeated.
'I know,' Shayla replied quietly. 'But... where would we go? I know of few places that are safe to take a young child.'
'Take her to Nar Shaddaa,' Calin suggested.
'But... isn't it a dangerous place?' Shayla asked fearfully.
'This is war,' Calin said firmly. 'There aren't many places safe right now. Nar Shaddaa is mainly safe since the Hutt's control it. I doubt any Jedi are concerned about them any longer. Go there and go tonight.'
A solemn look passed between the Jedi and Shayla and eventually, she nodded her head slowly. She understood that they needed to leave. She was touched that Calin came here before the others to keep her safe. It was more than any other man had ever done for her.
'I will get my daughter,' Shayla whispered quickly.
'Take only what you need,' Calin said as she left the room.
Shayla gave him no indication that she heard him but she had. She turned the corner to find her daughter standing there, drying tear tracks down her face and her breathing quick and shaky. It made her realise that this wasn't only affecting her but it was having a hard effect on her daughter. This is not what she wanted for her.
She gently took hold of her daughter's hand. 'Come,' she cooed quietly. 'Let's go get your things.'
When they returned to the sitting area, the Jedi was gone. Shayla stopped in her tracks and looked to where he had just been standing. Part her knew it was the last time. His code forbade it but still, she wished he could go with them. She knew he needed to stay and fight but it scared her. What if he never came back?
She gripped Layilqua's hand tightly before leaving. The front door hissed closed behind them and quickly they bustled up through the crowded streets towards the hangar bay. It was almost chaotic. People screamed in agony on the streets, while others cried out for their families.
Suddenly, the ground shook violently as an explosion rang out. Panic gripped the people's hearts and it set in. Shayla's blood ran cold at hearing her daughter scream in terror and confusion at all that was going on around her but Shayla made sure to keep hold of her daughter.
Shayla couldn't help but look around her as she rushed them to the transports. The first explosion was just the beginning of the end and the effect was already beginning to show. People covered in blood could be seen lying on the ground. Shayla felt her heartbeat quicken. Perhaps the explosion was bigger than she originally thought. She jumped as a couple of people covered in blood ran past her. Shayla felt her skin turn bumpy.
Before long, the screams were silenced by another loud detonation. Shayla dropped to her knees and shielded Layilqua's body with her own as debris came flying towards them. Shayla hissed through her teeth as several large pieces of metal flung across her back. Two large tear drops escaped, falling into her daughter's hair. As the shock died down, Shayla moved and stood tall again, grasping Layilqua's hand tighter still.
'Mummy...' Layilqua muttered inaudibly, unable to hear anything but the buzzing in her ears.
As the third explosion hit the planet they made it to the one of the few transports that were lined up to take people away. Shayla looked around rapidly as they boarded, attempting to speak with a few people, none of which were interested in her questions. Shayla eventually took Layilqua to the back and they sat together closely. She wrapped her arm around her daughter protectively as she watched the activity in the transport.
There were people of all species on board, many of them fidgeting and talking to their loved ones. A few that Shayla spotted were huddled in their own private corners, crying or shaking. Shayla wished there were something she could say to make it better for them. She didn't want to know what it would be like to lose someone you were extremely close to.
Thinking of it, make her look down at her daughter. Layilqua rested her head against her chest, protecting her eyes from the sights around her even though she could still hear it. She brought her legs up and wrapped her arms around them as she pressed into her mother further.
Without much more time passing the transport doors closed and soon they were off the ground, speeding away from Telos. Despite her better judgement Shayla looked back. The planet was burning. It almost looked like a sun. When Shayla turned back she held Layilqua tighter as she shed a small tear for Telos. It deserved a much better fate.
The patrons of the Orange Lady cheered on drunkenly as they watched the entertainment before them. The soft but suggestive music made drool form at the mouths of humans and other species in the room who watched on. The tall and slender female entertaining them did her best to appear sexy and feel untainted by the comments thrown her way.
She swayed her body suggestively to the music, remembering to keep a seductive smile upon her face. Despite her sometimes awkward movements, she managed to keep them going.
When the music finally died down she stopped her movements and put the clothing back on that she had removed just moments ago. She blocked out the disappointed groans from the audience and made her way to her boss. As usual nothing was said between them as he paid her for the work she had done all night. She checked it was all there before stealthily leaving the cantina.
The surface of Nar Shaddaa lay in darkness, and only a few lights spilled from the doorways and windows that she passed. Shayla quickly learnt her way around. She learnt it had been needed. She retraced her steps back to the cramped space she and Layilqua had been living in. It definitely wasn't much to look at but it was fine for the time being.
When she opened the door slowly, she poked her head around to see inside. Layilqua was in there alone, and she was asleep. Shayla silently hid the earnings away before settling beside her daughter's sleeping form. The work she was made to do for money wasn't what Shayla ever wanted to do again. It felt so low. She never took all of her clothes off but it still felt degrading. At first, her boss wanted her to strip down to nothing but Shayla wouldn't hear of it. She had a daughter and needed to set some standard, even though Layilqua never set foot in the cantina.
Gently, Shayla reached over and stroked Layilqua's hair. It was almost rough to the touch. It made Shayla sigh weakly. She was trying her best to provide for her daughter although it still wasn't enough. There were too many people on this moon that came as survivors from the war. The list of planets was almost unfathomable. When Shayla looked back on it now, she knew she was more than lucky to get away.
A small groan echoed the cramped space as Shayla rubbed her back with her free hand. She was almost amazed at still getting work despite her awkwardness. Her back had still not fully healed. She needed more time to recover but it was time she didn't have. They needed to eat and to do that they needed credits.
When Shayla relaxed her body again another noise sounded through the room but this time it came from Layilqua. Shayla looked down at her. They had now been here for a few years and Layilqua had grown, though perhaps not as well as she should have. Layilqua was almost only skin and bone. The thought of it alone brought tears to Shayla's eyes. As they dribbled down her face she wiped them away gently. It still wasn't the right time.
A firm bang on the door resonated off the walls, making Shayla jump and startling Layilqua awake. Shayla looked to the door with wide eyes. This was the first time anyone had knocked on the door before. Shayla just prayed is wasn't someone that followed her from the club.
'Hmm...' Layilqua hummed sleepily, looking around the room with half open eyes.
Shayla slowly got to her feet and approached the door before opening it carefully. Immediately she saw three people crowding around her door. Two of them were wearing armour, shielding their faces from her but the other was clearly a male Twi'lek. His green skin flushed at seeing her and a creepy smile crept across his face.
'Diva Shayla? I am so glad to have finally found you, my dear,' he said in a disturbingly quiet tone. The two guards advanced, pushing her back into the room. Shayla moved rapidly, standing in front of her daughter, to protect her from anything bad that may be about to happen. The Twi'lek only chuckled at her actions.
'Who are you?' Shayla asked in a surprisingly firm voice.
'I am Tarquin Zian,' he replied confidently. 'And I work for Vogga the Hutt. He has a proposition for you-'
'I'm not interested,' Shayla sneered.
She instantly felt her blood boil at the mention of a Hutt. She had no interested in becoming associated with one in any sense of the word. She kept her eyes on Tarquin, who continued to smile although it had faded somewhat. His green eyes sparkled bright despite the dull light in the room.
'I'm afraid that I am going to insist on being heard on this issue,' Tarquin said firmly.
'Then speak before you close the door on your way out,' Shayla said quickly.
'Vogga would greatly like to meet you... and he has instructed me on arranging it,' he said evenly. 'I do believe it would be in your best interest.'
'How?' Shayla asked instantly.
Another chuckle left the Twi'leks mouth. 'Vogga will be able to provide for both of you,' Tarquin began. 'He could give you the medical assistance you so desperately need and he will be able to help your daughter become what she's destined to be... a star.'
At that moment, the offer was an attempting one. She wanted much for her daughter and there wasn't a great chance of it happening here but Shayla also knew there was a war brewing in the universe and she knew of no places to attempt anything anyway.
Slowly, Shayla shook her head as she opened her mouth but the Twi'lek had more to say before she gave her answer again. 'Also, keep in mind I am asking nicely. I would hate for this to go awry.'
Keeping his last statement in mind, Shayla kept her mind firm on her decision, despite the unknown consequences. 'No,' she said tightly. 'No, I will not meet with a Hutt. Go find someone else.'
'Hmm,' Tarquin hummed. 'I had hoped you'd make this easy but there are always other ways of doing these things.'
The two brutal looking guards advanced more and knocked Shayla unconscious with one vicious swipe from the back of their weapons. One of the guards grabbed her by the back of the neck before dragging her away. The other guard approached Layilqua and carried her away, ignoring the screams.
When the world finally came into view, Shayla groaned. Instantly, thoughts of Layilqua swam in front of her. She attempted to move but found herself unable to. When her vision cleared, she glanced around her. She was sitting the floor of a large room she didn't recognise and her arms were being held up by the same guard that knocked her out. Quickly, she spotted her daughter beside her. She was awake and although the guard was standing behind her, he wasn't holding her.
'Release her,' a booming voice echoed. The guard did as he was told and the voice spoke again. 'Stand up, my dear.'
Shayla knew she was being spoken to. Shakily, she got to her feet and eventually stood straight. There was laughter coming from in front of her. It was from the person who spoke. The laughter was hearty and seemed pleased.
'Walk to the centre and stop.'
Layilqua's wide eyes moved up and looked at her mother. For what just happened, her mother seemed strong, determined. She watched her mother's sleek form cross the room, her bare, webbed feet padding on the carpet softly, coming to a delicate stop when she reached the centre. She could now clearly see the Hutt before her. He looked over his new prize eagerly. She looked quite delectable indeed.
His large eyes widened further as they roamed over her body greedily. The slender Theelin's dark red hair bounced effortlessly past her shoulder, looking quite soft and shiny. The pale moonlight that poured in through the large window to the side danced across her skin, accentuating her purple skin. Her large, innocent looking eyes flashed dazzlingly as they looked him over in return.
Shayla further took in her surroundings. From what she could tell, they were definitely not on Nar Shaddaa anymore, but she also knew they couldn't be far from it. Gradually, her eyes settled upon a young blue Twi'lek who stood slightly behind Vogga. Her posture was rigid and obedient but her eyes betrayed fear. For some reason, it seemed to be the main look from people, especially on Nar Shaddaa. It was hard seeing it here too. It made Shayla feel as though her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach.
'Now, remove your clothing... slowly,' the Hutt said deeply.
Shayla's eyes moved along the line behind Vogga and came to a stop on Tarquin. He grinned at her subtly. Shayla pushed her hatred towards him aside and looked back to Vogga. Slowly, she reached up to the large black jacket that hid her torso well. It fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Without trying to waste too much time, Shayla next removed her black undershirt, exposing her breasts. Her nipples hardened in the cold air instantly, making Vogga growl.
Shayla remained impassive as she continued. As she slowly ran her hands down her sides towards her skin tight black pants, she turned her head to look at Layilqua. She was watching. For that split second Shayla felt ashamed but she knew what could happen if she refused. She knew what Hutt's were like and she didn't want her daughter subjected to any of it.
The button popped from the hole with ease as she handled it gently. Her fingers quickly found the zipper. The sound of it moving felt almost too loud in Shayla's ears. Before she pushed the fabric off her hips, someone had cleared their throat. It was Tarquin.
'Turn around and bend over as you remove them,' he ordered for his master.
Shayla's head nodded once slightly and gracefully she turned on the spot. She hooked her thumbs inside her pants and elegantly pulled them over her hips and down the smooth length of her long legs. As she pulled them down she bent over, for Vogga's viewing pleasure. Once they were gone Shayla slowly stood tall again and slowly turned to face Vogga. All that remained on her body was the tiny red underwear covering her groin.
The room had turned silent and it seemed as though nobody wanted to make a sound. At first Shayla wondered if she had done something wrong but within moments, a booming laughter filled the space of the room, startling Shayla. A subtle message ran between him and his servant and Tarquin immediately spoke when it was understood.
'The almighty Vogga would like to know your name, where you are from and why you are here,' Tarquin said clearly.
Shayla cleared her throat inaudibly and she pressed her hands together behind her back. 'I am Diva Shayla and behind me is my daughter Diva Layilqua. We have come here from Telos. We were fleeing from the bombing.'
Another silent stretch took place and Shayla waited patiently although she could guess they weren't going to come out of this well. 'Step closer,' Tarquin ordered. 'Vogga would like to inspect you.'
Confidently, Shayla walked towards the large Hutt in front of her. She stepped up onto his dais and stood close to him. Her eyes followed Tarquin as he stood closely behind her, making sure she didn't have the option of moving away.
Vogga's large green eyes expanded wider as they looked her over, lingering upon her face a little longer than the rest of her. It was, of course, wonderful but there was something about her face. She appeared innocent and it was something Vogga liked to see in slaves, other than defiance, of course.
Tarquin grabbed the back of Shayla's neck and bent her forwards, closer to Vogga. The Hutt reached up his stubby arms, his hands gently touching the three delicate horns on either side of Shayla's neck. For a brief moment, Shayla's eyes shuttered as the sensitive area was touched. Slowly, one arm went back down while one reached up further to stroke the skin on her cheek.
Shayla's eyes opened as the pressure on her neck increased and she looked up at Vogga. A startled gasp left her lips as Tarquin manhandled her, pulling her back up before pressing her body against Vogga's. She could feel the slick, warm feeling of the Hutt's skin against her own, making her body flush. As Shayla pressed her cheek into the folds of skin she felt her body reacting. A dull throbbing made its presence known in her groin, making Shayla mentally scold herself in disappointment.
'You, my dear, are a rather beautiful specimen,' Vogga spoke deeply. 'One that I have not yet had the pleasure in keeping for myself. Will you finally give yourself to me?'
Shayla breathed hard against the warm flesh near her mouth, trying her hardest not to breath in much of the stench for fear of it making her sick. 'What if I refuse?'
A rumbling filled her ears before the sound of Vogga's voice finally reached her. 'You will be shown no mercy,' he replied firmly.
'And if I accept?' Shayla asked shakily.
'You shall be cared for,' was the next reply.
'And what of my daughter?' Shayla asked, fearing the answer.
There was a pause.
'She will be allowed to stay with you, as long as you continue to please me,' Vogga replied, obviously indifferent to his newest slave's daughter.
Closing her eyes, Shayla made a quick decision. Knowing that her daughter's fate could possibly be similar to her own if she refused made that choice almost impossible. Shayla wanted no harm to come to her daughter. She was sure she could live with the guilt of being used like an object but not her daughter. Quickly, she nodded her head as best she could against the Hutt's body.
'I will accept.'
'I'm glad to hear it,' Vogga said with a chuckle. 'Tarquin!' he barked. 'Take both of them to the slave quarters and make sure my new prize is washed and dressed... feed the girl,' he added on as an afterthought.
Tarquin bowed to the Hutt before grabbing Shayla again and nodding to the guard standing behind Layilqua. He moved quickly and picked up the young girl effortlessly. Layilqua made no sound as she was taken to the same place as her mother. They were led to the top end of the room and down a side door. The corridor they were led down was dark and narrow. They quickly reached a closed door and Tarquin entered a code before the door hissed open. Both of them were shoved inside.
Tarquin turned to the guard. 'Make sure they're fed and the mother is bathed and dressed in the appropriate clothing.'
The door was then closed and all the sounds they had heard before were gone, replaced with a heavy silence. Shayla got to her feet and turned slowly. They weren't alone in the room. There were six other women, all of them staring at her and her daughter. Shayla looked down. Layilqua was at her feet; her arms wrapped around one leg.
As though feeling more exposed then before, Shayla crossed her arms over her chest, taking a firm hold of her shoulders to cover up her breasts. As she looked among them, Shayla quickly noticed that three of the women in here were Twi'leks. For some reason, it didn't surprise Shayla. She knew they were the main choice when it came to female slaves.
Eventually, one of the women cleared their throat before moving. It was the only human in the room. She moved past the others carefully and approached Shayla. 'Hello,' she said politely. 'We heard rumours of a new slave joining us.'
Shayla frowned faintly as she looked the woman over. She was very beautiful. Her most striking feature was her platinum blonde hair that reached just above her hips. Her outfit definitely belonged to that of a slave. It was silver and consisted of a brassiere fastened over the neck and behind the back with a string, a white thong panty with flowing, sparkling silver beads attached to the front and back, along with silver high-heeled boots.
'Who are you?'
'We are the rest of Vogga's slaves,' the human replied. 'My name is Jade Lapaz. Just know that we won't hurt either of you. We slaves stick together. We're a family.'
'A family?' Shayla questioned.
Jade nodded softly. 'Yes, we have to be in order to survive this place,' she replied in a polite tone. 'All of us would rather not do this but the only alternative is death and believe me when I say, some of us have considered it and some of us have experience painful events. Not all of them are about deaths but there have been a few...'
Jade cleared her throat. 'How about we introduce ourselves.' Jade turned softly and pointed to the people as she said their names. First up was the only Zabrak in the room. 'This is Risa Tanik.' Her outfit was similar to Jade's though it was brass and contained flowing red veils rather than beads. Shayla looked over her face. She was quite pretty. She had short brown hair that was tied back and her black facial tattoos stood out noticeably and the horns on top of her head framed her delicate face nicely.
'This is Lyshaa Velt,' Jade continued.
Shayla recognised Lyshaa as a Zeltron. She stood leaning against one of the walls, with one foot pressed up against it. Her head rolled against the wall as she looked over at Shayla. Compared to the rest of the slaves, she seemed the most uninterested in meeting someone knew. Shayla considered her beauty to be stunning in comparison to many of the people she had yet seen in this universe.
Her long wavy blue hair cascaded down past her shoulder, shrouding her upper body in the softness of it, though her full chest stood out well from beneath the hair. Her pinkish skin flushed in the dull light and stood out well against the skin tight black leather of her costume. It was unlike any slave outfit she had seen before. The long black pants stuck to her like a second skin while the top was nothing more than a bra fashioned of the same material.
'We also have Kaida Kien,' Jade said pointing to the yellow Twi'lek. She then pointed to the green Twi'lek and then the pale purple one. 'That is Rylla Saran and her sister, Rhynna Riou. The blue one you saw with Vogga, her name's Aria Raeth. She's the youngest here, though Lyshaa is the newest among us. She only arrived here a few weeks ago.'
Shayla looked along the Twi'leks. All of them wore silver headdresses and similar outfits. They were a different style once again. They were g-string panties, large fishnet-like dresses and they were barefoot and the dresses were different colours to match their unique skin tone; Kaida's was black, Rylla's was yellow and Rhynna's was dark purple and Shayla before noticed that Aria's was red.
Shayla looked between Rylla and Rhynna. 'You two are... sisters?'
'Yes,' Rhynna replied softly. 'Well, step-sisters actually but within our society, that doesn't really matter. My mother married her father.'
Shayla nodded slowly. Her speech faltered for a moment before introducing herself. 'I'm Diva Shayla and this is my daughter, Layilqua,' she said, pointing to the shaking child on the floor.
'How did you end up here?' Jade asked solemnly.
'Telos was bombed,' Shayla said, her voice quivering. 'And we managed to just make it out alive. Our ship was damaged as we were forced to land here. We've stayed in the... Refugee Sector. Some of Vogga's men must have seen us and we were... captured by some of Vogga's guards... not long after.'
A few of the slaves exchanged looks but didn't question Shayla's claim on what happened. Shayla, along with a couple other slaves, jumped when the door hissed opened behind her. Shayla yelped as she was roughly removed from the room along with her daughter although she was taken elsewhere.
Once dressed, Shayla was taken straight back to the audience chamber where Vogga appeared to be waiting, or sleeping, Shayla couldn't quite tell. She once again stood in the centre of the room. The massive hulk of Vogga looked Shayla over carefully, making sure she looked alright. Shayla breathed slowly and deeply, just hoping she looked enough the part to please him. She wanted things to be calm.
She pressed her fingers into her palms as she continued to wait. She could feel the softness of the costume around her and was pleased that at least it was comfortable although she knew when it got cold; it was possibly going to be a problem. The skin tight, dark brown body glove fit snugly. At first, Shayla had feared she was going to have to wear something overly revealing and humiliating.
'Very nice,' Vogga eventually commented. 'Now, tell me, can you sing, dance?'
Shayla instantly nodded politely. 'Yes, I can,' she said confidently.
'Then sing something for me, here, now,' Vogga demanded.
'Umm...' Shayla hesitated. 'I-I don't know what you'd like to hear-'
'Pick something, now!' Vogga ordered.
A couple times Shayla opened and closed her mouth as her mind raced with thoughts of what to sing. She stuttered air briefly before taking a deep breath. The song was slow and the words from her mouth were sung languidly.
'The sun is sleeping quietly... once upon a century... wistful oceans calm and red... ardent caresses laid to rest...'
Shayla stopped, thinking she had sung enough. She could almost feel the heat off the stares around her but she ignored them and kept her eyes focused upon Vogga. A few more silent moments passed before the Hutt laughed and clapped his hands together clumsily.
'Good, good,' he said loudly. 'You will be singing for me from now on.'
A few months shy of Layilqua's tenth birthday, things seemed to go deadly wrong. The night started off normally enough. The audience chamber was filled with servants and guests of Vogga's. Music played in the background to lighten the mood and bring a sense of joy in the air. Few people danced but many people stood around conversing and drinking.
At the present moment, Shayla stood on the small music stage and sung with the band behind her. She quickly learnt to blend in and get into the rhythm of the loud and cheerful music that Vogga wanted to hear. She also quickly learnt the words and the timing of everything around her.
As the music continued to thump throughout the audience hall back in the slave's quarters in was different. It was quiet and all of them watched as Layilqua ate like a child possessed. During the silence, the door opened and a guard came inside, instantly looking towards the human.
'Master Vogga would like a word with you,' he said rigidly.
Jade gracefully got to her feet and nodded politely. 'Of course,' she spoke softly.
She followed the guard from the room and the door once again closed with a hiss. Layilqua briefly looked up, eyeing the other slaves, almost wondering if she should say something. But quickly, she decided against it. She just wanted to see her mother and find out what was happening. Layilqua felt as though they had already been here too long. She had hoped there was a plan to get them out.
Within minutes the door hissed open and Jade walked in carrying a hairbrush and a smaller outfit, clearly made just for Layilqua. She walked to the young child and sat close, directly opposite her. Layilqua shoved the rest of the food in her mouth and drank her water quickly. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand before looking up at Jade. The human smiled at her faintly.
'We have to clean and dress you... is that alright?' Jade asked quietly.
As she bit her bottom lip, Layilqua nodded. As though on cue the door opened again and water was brought in to clean the child. Risa stood up and approached Layilqua and helped her to her feet. Carefully, she removed the old clothing she was wearing and neatly folded them before handing them to the guard outside after rapping on the door.
The four Twi'lek's then approached Layilqua and the four of them handled her gently as they washed her over. Layilqua felt her cheeks burn but she stood still and let them get on with it. As they dried her off Jade unfolded the costume carefully before placing it on Layilqua's body with Risa's assistance while Aria gently brushed Layilqua's hair before styling it. Once it was all done, Layilqua sat down and all the slaves sat around her and it went quiet again before anyone spoke.
'Now,' Jade started softly. 'We need to talk about the rules and what you should and should not do.'
Layilqua nodded silently and the girls continued. Jade inhaled deeply. 'Okay, first of all, if Vogga tells you to do something, just do it. Don't question anything...'
'And if you don't understand something, just ask one of us. We'll be around,' Rhynna added softly.
'And just remember,' Jade continued. 'That if something is done wrong by any one of us it affects the others. Most of the time it's food that's taken away. The odd time we'll lose a blanket, if we have one or the odd luxury item, again if we have any.'
'If you do make him angry, your punishment may include whipping, a beating or death,' Risa said quietly. 'Usually the last one doesn't happen unless you've done something he considers unforgivable but it has happened.'
'Do you have any questions?' Jade asked quickly.
Layilqua tried to slow her racing mind. 'What he is going to be expecting?' she asked, glancing down at her costume.
'Probably just see if you can sing and move to the music,' Jade said comfortingly. 'He's never had a slave as young as you and I think that says something. I think he'll use you as a singer. This outfit is one more for a singer and dancer rather than a slave dancer like us.'
'But most of you are slave dancers, right?' Layilqua asked uncertainly.
Jade nodded. 'Yes, though a couple of us do sing when he wants.' She paused for a moment. 'Now, anything else?'
'When will I be expected to ... perform?' Layilqua said timidly.
'Whenever the guards get you and when Vogga asks,' Jade replied.
Seeing the look on Jade's face made her think of something else. 'One more thing, don't let your nervousness or shyness take over. You have to be strong willed when performing. Don't worry, all of us were nervous at first too but you get used to it.'
'Can I ask something about you?' Layilqua asked suddenly.
'Sure,' Jade said with an air of surprise.
'How long have you been here?'
'For a while,' Jade replied vaguely. 'I suppose longer than I care to admit.'
The silence returned to the room and Jade shifted on her knees closer to Layilqua who was still standing. Slowly, she wrapped her arms around the child and held her. Layilqua felt tears sting the backs of her eyes but she said nothing and eventually, she returned the short hug. It was the nicest thing to happen in a while.
Back in the audience chamber it was Lyshaa that was entertaining Vogga tonight by dancing for him. Her costume remained the same and Shayla watched as she moved around suggestively in front of him, all the while keeping eye contact. It appeared as though she was keeping him and others quite entertained but from there the night seemed to go downhill.
As the music quickened, Shayla looked around to see why. The atmosphere had suddenly changed. Hidden piercing screams filled the room from nowhere but the reason was quickly found. Vogga was visibly shaken from the sudden change and the guards were rushed in by Tarquin. An exchange of weapons took place between the stranger people running into the room and the guards.
Shayla and others quickly learnt they were connected with Lyshaa. The Zeltron cackled with glee at seeing her men show up for her. One of them gave her a silver knife that the bright lights above gleamed off. She broke away from Vogga's protective line before running towards the guards that protected him. They shot at her, all of them unsuccessful. She manoeuvred easily, now that she was free.
Another cackle echoed the room. 'Your end has come!' she shrieked.
All of Vogga's guards centred their attention onto Lyshaa. They quickly surrounded her and from somewhere her knife fell out from the circle that was tightening. Shayla's eyes widened as she looked it over. Vogga was mostly unguarded right now. One clean stab and this could be over. She and Layilqua could be free of this life. They would be able to leave and start over again.
Without giving it anymore thought Shayla jumped out of the protective circle of the band and back-up singers before leaping off the stage. She reached the knife quickly and bolted towards Vogga. She jumped onto the raised platform, ignoring Vogga's loud, angry protests; she took a swinging strike at Vogga with the knife although no contact was made.
She gasped in shock as someone grabbed her arm with one hand while the other wrapped around her hair, pulling her away from Vogga. The knife slipped from her hand and fell at her feet before she was being dragged further away. Shayla was thrown on the ground and kicked several times in the ribs before she managed to look up at the person that stopped her. It was Tarquin.
Shayla cursed at him under her breath but it was loud enough for him to hear. She received a few more kicks. Shayla's body was pushed further onto the ground and she lay on her side. Her view was towards the door and she knew Vogga's guards had just about won the scuffle. Once it ended another body joined Shayla on the ground. She locked eyes with Lyshaa's questioning eyes.
Vogga gave his guards a silent order and two of them grabbed Shayla and Lyshaa and hauled them to their feet. Vogga's facial expression was undeniable, even for a Hutt. 'What is the meaning of this!' he shouted.
Neither of them spoke.
His eyes then directed at Lyshaa. 'You shall be hanged for this,' he sneered. 'Take her away!'
The Zeltron was taken away and it was silent. There were no protests, no screaming, no crying, just silence. It was one of the most defiant things Shayla had ever seen. 'And what do you have to say for yourself?' Vogga asked loudly.
Shayla was pushed to her knees by the guard holding her and she hissed at the pain caused. Slowly, a malevolent smile spread across his wide face as he looked to Tarquin. Inaudible words were passed between them and quickly Tarquin left the room. Within minutes he returned with Layilqua. Shayla's eyes widened.
Her daughter was dressed different. It was a dancer's outfit although it was different to hers. It was more of a swimsuit from Spyra. It was a green two piece with sparkling patches of gold, silver and blue and it glittered brightly under the spotlights. It also had a long blue cape-like sash hanging from her bikini's shoulder strap with small sashes going and connecting to Layilqua's arm bracelets and to the rings of her bottom at the hips. She also wore silver dancing shoes and black stockings that went all the way to her mid-thighs.
Shayla spluttered nothing but air as she attempted to find the words to express her horror at seeing her daughter in something so revealing. Layilqua was pushed onto the stage to stand where her mother had just been. Before Shayla knew what else was happening she was kicked once again but this time it was from a guard.
The guard got down onto one knee before forcing Shayla towards him. He took the knife she tried to use earlier and he ripped her costume from her body, carelessly disposing of the tatters beside her, leaving her naked and vulnerable. Shayla felt the tears burn the backs of her eyes. She looked away from Layilqua as shame washed over her.
'Get up and dance or be punished,' Vogga spoke clearly.
Shayla's panting hitched in her throat several times before she spoke. 'No,' she said just as clear.
Shayla almost jump out of her skin as a cracking sound resonated through the floor. It was a long, black leather whip. Shayla's breathing quickened further. The guard wasted no time. He approached Shayla's naked shaking form and whirled the whip around three times before bringing it down hard. The crack resonated off Shayla's back. The tears that threatened to spill over dribbled down her cheeks but she didn't wipe them away. She had no energy to. The thought alone made her feel exhausted.
The guard's movements were repeated several more times before Vogga spoke again. 'Dance or be punished further.'
Shayla shook her head in despair. 'N-no,' she stammered.
'So be it,' said Vogga coldly. 'Your punishment shall be death and your daughter will watch the life leave your eyes.'
'N-n-no,' Shayla stuttered, her body trembling.
'Take her to the anti-chamber. Take her daughter as well!' Vogga ordered swiftly.
The guards did not hesitate. They grabbed both Shayla and Layilqua and took them both into the anti-chamber that sat to the side of the audience hall. Shayla sobbed with pain and guilt as they were taken away. Unlike her mother Layilqua made no sound.
As the blood trickled down and dripped off Shayla's cold and lifeless body, tears ran down Layilqua's face. She moved her head down, finally taking her eyes off her mother. As she breathed in shakily, she pulled down on the chains holding her to the wall. She was still in the anti-chamber and as yet no one had come to give her the same punishment but the more Layilqua thought about it the more she saw it as a release, not a punishment.
After several minutes, Layilqua gave up on trying to free herself from the chains. Sure she had tried before but this time she felt desperate. Against her better judgement, she looked at her mother again. Anger surged through her veins as she remembered everything they had done. Slowly, her eyes wandered over her mother's skin.
The guards in charge of her execution decided to do it where she was though they chained her to the wall in a standing position. Layilqua had watched as they both took an arm and cut down her forearm. Layilqua remembered the look in her mother's eye when the knives had pierced the skin. Blood poured from the wounds thickly, running down towards her hands.
They then moved towards her stomach. The knives once again pierced the skin as they dragged it down to the top of her groin. They gave her legs the same treatment. Cries of agony poured of Shayla's lips as she watched on in horror. Slowly, the thick red blood covered her, making her skin seem red rather than the purple it was.
Suddenly, Layilqua yelped as the chains holding her were grabbed and removed from her hands, shaking her from her thoughts. Layilqua hissed through her teeth as a guard roughly pushed her to her feet and dragged her back into the audience chamber when Layilqua's legs refused to work.
The room was now empty save for Vogga and a handful of slaves and a couple of guards. The guard that pushed her to the centre of the room took a few steps back but he stayed within reaching view just in case it was needed. Layilqua's legs gave way and she fell onto her hands and knees. Tarquin immediately shouted at her.
'Stand or be punished like your mother!'
With great difficulty, Layilqua got back to her feet and tried her hardest to ignore her shaking legs. 'Now,' Vogga boomed. 'I'm sure you have your mother's singing ability and I would like to know if you can dance. So dance for me!'
Layilqua remembered Jade's words. She pushed the recent memories from her mind and quickly she danced to silence. Instantly, Vogga seemed more than impressed. He clapped his stubby hands together before laughing deeply.
'Good, good,' he said loudly, his voice bouncing off the walls. 'You will take her place on stage and sing. Guard, take her back to the slave quarters!'
The guard behind her acted immediately, grabbing Layilqua's arm roughly. Once again he dragged her up through the hallway back to the slave quarters. As they got closer, Layilqua could hear shouts and banging sounds. It was coming from the slave quarters and quickly their words came into focus. They were calling for her. They must have found out what was happening. Despite what just happened, Layilqua felt something warm sit in the pit of her stomach.
The guard punched in the code to the door and it whooshed open effortlessly. All women moved back knowing the guard was armed and they watched as he pushed Layilqua into the room. She hit the ground hard and groaned faintly.
'By order of Master Vogga, you will be replacing your mother,' the guard spoke harshly. 'Consider yourself lucky child.'
The door closed again and Layilqua struggled to her feet. Jade was the first person to move. She approached Layilqua halfway and looked at her, her features appearing calm and friendly. 'I'm sorry,' she whispered quietly. 'We'll look after you, I promise.'
It was all Layilqua needed to hear. She rushed into Jade's arms and soon the other slaves joined them, showing Layilqua that she meant something to someone else...
The slave quarters went silent before Layilqua spoke more, keeping her eyes firmly focused upon the ground. 'My mother was killed only days later, in front of me just like Vogga had ordered. He wanted me to learn what would happen if I displeased him as my mother had,' she said, her strained voice quiet. 'Her last words to me were "stay strong, no matter what".'
'I'm... I'm sorry,' Mira said eventually, not quite knowing what to say in this situation.
'I still think about it often,' Layilqua continued as though she hadn't heard Mira. 'The other's here have looked after me since. I don't think I could have survived otherwise.'
'You and Jade became close?' Mira asked, noticing Layilqua's tone when she spoke of her.
Layilqua nodded. 'Yes,' she replied instantly. 'She's like the big sister I never had. She's the one who's looked out for me and stood up for me no matter what. Don't get me wrong though, the other slaves here are just as kind to me but it was different.'
Mira nodded at her words and hesitated slightly before speaking again. 'And the man you saw on Telos...' Mira started slowly. 'You believe him to be your father?'
Layilqua shrugged almost timidly. 'I don't know,' she whispered. 'I like to think he was.'
Layilqua sighed heavily and she subtly wiped her eyes. She briefly looked at Mira before settling them upon the floor again. 'I think I'd like to get some sleep.'
Mira just nodded and placed her arms around Layilqua protectively, almost like her mother might have, had she been here. Mira knew she would never come close to being Layilqua's mother but she knew out of all possible choices, she wasn't a bad one.
Layilqua laid her head against Mira's chest and breathed deeply as she closed her eyes. Mira stroked her hair softly. It didn't take long for Mira to feel the weight against her chest deepen. Layilqua had fallen asleep. Mira just hoped she was dreaming about something nice.
'Thank you, for telling me,' Mira whispered to Layilqua's sleeping form.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed reading. Please Review.