War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Nov 2016
From the cover
The tall gates swung open and suddenly Galen was standing along- side the carriage, bracketed by two prison guards, looking much thinner than she allowed herself to admit and wearing a beard as long as a bib. The guards, however, made no effort to restrain him when he shuffled to her, embracing her and Jyn for a long moment.
"I've dreamed of this moment," he said, stepping back to take them in. His eyes went to Jyn. "Let me hold her."
Lyra passed Jyn to him. Carefully he peeled away the swaddling that masked her face and smiled more broadly than Lyra had ever seen him smile. Jyn stirred in his arms, and Lyra said: "She remembers you, Galen."
"She's beautiful," he said, inspecting her face. "Her eyes have changed color."
Lyra nodded. "They're sort of flecked."
"Stardust," Galen said. "That's what's in her eyes."
"Galen, what's happening?" Lyra risked asking. "Why have we been brought here. They're not going to—"
"I haven't been told anything. They took me out of my cell before dawn."
"The same with us. I'm worried."
"Don't be." He showed her his grimy hands. "See? No restraints. And no one has brandished a weapon at me all morning."
Lyra didn't find much relief in it. "Could they be sending us somewhere else? Is there a worse prison?"
Before he could reply, one of the guards ordered Galen up into the carriage.
He did as instructed, and the drivers snapped their whips over the heads of the lead taqwas, which set off at a brisk pace. The carriage's wooden wheels bounded over bumps and ruts, and Lyra inadvertently bit down on her tongue. When Tambolor had disappeared from view, Galen raised himself up on the bench seat to take a look around.
"We're heading for the spaceport."
Lyra's eyes widened. "You don't think—"
"I don't want to jinx anything by thinking."
Lyra held her breath as the circular landing zone came into view below them, only to have her hopes dashed. Fifty or more Separatist battle droids stood in formation at the edge of the field, commanded by a male Koorivar sporting a tall cranial horn and a richly cloaked uniform. The lackluster drop ship that had delivered them sat off to one side.
Galen looked stricken. "I guess Phara changed her mind about handing me over to Count Dooku."
Lyra fought back tears. From one prison to another. Would the Separatists use her and Jyn to coerce and ultimately break Galen, forcing him to join the war?
Opposite the battle droids were several taqwa riders, including Chieftain Gruppe, dressed in her signature brown uniform and wearing an earflapped cap tugged down over her braided hair. When the carriage had drawn to a halt and Galen and Lyra had climbed down, Gruppe dismounted and approached.
"I'm almost sorry to see you go," she told them.
"Not as sorry as I am," Galen said with a mix of anger and disappointment. "What happened to the charges being overturned and our being allowed to leave?"
Gruppe grinned. "You misunderstand, my friend."
As if on cue, a starship appeared high overhead and began a very controlled descent toward the landing zone. Trained to take down surveillance drones and small craft, a dozen sky-kings followed it down.
The Koorivar uttered a barely audible command and the battle droids brought their rifles to port arms.
Galen squinted at the emblem emblazoned on the light freighter's underbelly. "Zerpen!"
Lyra put the edge of her hand to her brow and followed...