Loss of Innocence
By: Bria Raltin


Dia had never felt so alone. She didn't know where she was and why. All she knew was that she was alone.

Trembling in her thin, almost transparent clothes she had been given, she huddled in a corner of the dark cell.

She hated the dark. On Ryloth she had loved the Sun. Here, wherever she was ,the Sun was dead, no friendly light shined down and warmed her green skin.

She absently stroked a Lek. All she could remember from that night, was her overwhelming feeling of dread. She had been sent to the surface of Ryloth to check the sky and had been kidnapped.

The Human males,for thats what they were, had brought her on a ship.

The exileration of it! Dia still couldn't get over it. Her wide-eyed fasination with space travel had amused her captors. She didn't care. She was going to be pilot someday.

She hoped she HAD a future. Dia looked around the cell. She had spent, as well as she could tell, ten standard days here. She looked at the three other females in the cell with her, all scantly dressed and only one about her age.

Debb. A Human female. She was hugging herself tightly and her wide green eyes darted around the room. Dia had tried to introduce herself, but the poor girl just sat there crying. Dia had taken it upon herself to watch out for her, so she didn't feel so alone.

The door to the cell opened and Dia reveled in the light that floods into the room. Even artificial light. Anything was better than the blindness that was caused when the door was closed. A fat human male entered the room and stood in front of the girls. A wicked, toothless, grin spreading across his face as es the captives and he stop at the two youngest, Debb and Dia. His hands come up and he gestures at some unseen creatures standing behind him. A pair of hands step out of the light and then a body. A human male comes and stands beside the fat man. In his hands he holds two metal wrist bands. The fat man gestures towards Debb and Dia watches in fascinated horror as the crying girl is forced towards the man and her hands into the bands. The younger man gently pushes Debb towards the wonderful light and starts towards Dia. She scrambles to her feet and is backed into a wall by the man. Dia's red eyes stare transfixed at the metal wrist bands he holds menacingly at her.

In a flash, his hand strikes out and grabs her slender wrists. Dia struggles. She slashes out at the man's legs with one of her own. He just holds her farther away from himself and clamps the bands over her wrists. He pushes her away from himself and into the pristine white light.

Dia hears the heavy metal door clang shut behind her and as soon as her eyes get adjusted she looks around at her new surroundings. A ship. They were still on a ship. But it had stopped. She didn't have much time for observation because she was quickly pushed onward. She steadily walks down the hall, her flowing dancing cloaks billowing out behind her. Dia quickly glances to her side and sees Debb stumble slightly. The younger man, steadies her and then motions her onward.

Curious, Dia looks up at the man. He glances back, unusually blue eyes forbidding in his cold. handsome face. Dia stares a bit longer, daring him to say or do anything. He looks away and Dia , satisfied, continues on.

The small party finally come to a halt in front of a docking bay. She looks out the large window at the billions of stars, wondering if she would ever have a chance to visit any of them, which one was her home? Where was this rebellion she had only dreamedand heard rumors of their noble fight against the tyrant Empire that allowed slave trade? For she had come to the conclusion that thats what she now was. A slave. And she knew, somhow that she would not always be. She would someday be out there, fighting for what she knew was good and just.

Dia suddenly stumbles over the doorway to the hanger. Falling to the floor she looks up terrified at the man standing over her. his tall shadow enshrouding Dia. A stern expression on his face he reaches down and roughly pulls her to her feet. Dia grabs her arm away from him and continues on. The ship waiting for them was a Lambada class shuttle. Amazed, Dia quickens her steps in her eagerness to examine the ship. She feels a hand puling her back and looks up as the dark man walks ahead of her. She obediantly walks closely behind him.

The man raises a hand and gestures to some people inside the ship, Dia watches as a pair of guards jog out of the ship and roughly grab Debb and Dia's bound hands. Dia is pulled into the ship and thrown into a cargo hold. She hears the doors clang shut behind her and looks around at Debb. The poor girl just sat there trembling. Dia scoffed at her. Who could expect to get around in this galax if they were always afraid? Dia knew she wouldn't be. She crosses her arms and feels the ship start to move. The exileration of the movement causes Dia to forget about her disgust with the human girl. Dia throws her lekku back behind her shoulders. She savors the feeling until the ship jumps into hyperspace and she is thrown against the bay's walls. She gets up weakly some time later and looks up at the figure standing inthe doorway. He comes over and helps her up and hands her a glass of luke-warm water. She greedily drinks it down and hands it weakly up to the man. It had been sometim!

e since she had eaten or drank and she looked down embaressed as her stomach growls. The man raises an eyebrow, walks out, and then comes back in again with a plate and a glass of water that he hands to Debb. Dia hungerly eyes the plate. He hands her the plate and walks away, shutting and locking the door behind him.......

Dia woke sometime later feeling better than she had since Ryloth. Her eyes flutter open and she notices faintly that the ship had stopped moving. She pushes herself up off the ground and looks around the bay. Debb was still asleep so Dia decides not to bother her. The door to the cargo bay opens and her captors enter, followed by a corpulent man. Dia looks up, her eyes blazing. Her captors walked into the cargo bay and grabbed Dia and Debb roughly. Dia glances over to Debb and sees her stumble and wide eyes dart around the room. Dia angerly went with the men down the small, pristine ship hallway. They quickly arrived at their destination. A docking clamp, the men open the door and push the girls forward. Dia stumbles into another ship's hallway. She looks around surprised at the vastness. The hall was busy with life , Guards in stormtrooper armor patrolled the ship and music and laughter echoed throughout the ship. Dia stares wide-eyed at it until she is pulled !

down a open hall. Through one of the doors Dia catches a quick glimpse of what appears to be crude machines fashioned in the shapes of starfighters. Dia's heart races as she can only dream that those were what she had heard referred to as Simulators.

Dia and Debb are pulled through the hallways by her captors and the corpulant man. Her tightly bound wrists aching with the force. She bits back tears of anger and her red eyes dart back and forth. She was determined to escape this place, and she knew that every detail she could imprint into her mind would be crucial. Her delicate feet, wrapped in silk, slid easily over the slick floor. Her see-through cloaks billowing out behind her exposing her small body dressed in dancers attire.

The small party arrived at a great hall filled with dancers, and the smell of food fills the air. A jazz band wails to the side of the room and a Imperial Officer sits on a large, overstuffed chair, his small beady eyes watching the dancers closely and he would cooly move his hand to the side and take out a dripping morsel of meat from a bowl.

Dia's heart beat fast as the man raised a hand to stop the activity as soon as he noticed them. She feels a hand push her forward and much to her dismay she fell across the floor at his feet. She looks up at him cooly as he chuckles and eyes her and her predicament. Her captors then push Debb forward and she looks down at Dia with pity in her green eyes. Dia gets up with difficulty and lifts her head, proud. She shakes back her lekku and glances at her new master. She had already had THAT figured out. The Officer chuckled and rubbed his chin looking her over. He looked at her captors and nodded his consent. She was pulled back out of the man's way as he inspected Debb.

Shaking with anger Dia glances up as she feels a warm hand on her bare shoulder. The mysterious man who had fed her stood there and looked her in the eyes, pity on his face.

Dia shakes off his hand and pity. She didn't need pity. She wanted to be free. And pity wouldn't help her. Already her mind worked at figuring out a paln of escape. She would need to learn how to fly.......that much she was sure of. And she had seen how men acted when around a curious female. They wanted to prove how much they knew and their minds didn't work as they showed off everything. Dia was certain she wouldn't have too much trouble there.

******************************************************************************************************

Dia felt nervous under the gaze of the other dancers. She had been sent here after her audiance with her new Master. The dancers giggled and inspected the new girl curiously. Dia had to swat hands away from her lekku, but she mostly felt nervous under the gaze of the older dancers. Their hardened, beautiful faces, watching her coldly, sometimes with pity. They knew what she would encounter here. She was too young to have to experiance the sort of horrors found on a Moff's private ship. The mysterious man opened the door t the dancer's cell and Dia could see five guards standing behind him. He walks in with a bundle of light silks piled in his arms. He walks over to Dia and gives her some silks, looking her right in the eye. Then to Debb and gave her some too. Dia shook them out and stared at them, what she couldsee of them! They were so light she could see the dancers on the other side. She did have a small, close fighting outfit that went under the scarfs b!

ut that was all. Dia's eyes well up with tears of embaressment as she wonders how in the galazy she was going to get through this.

An older Dancer, Bothan, with light brown fur, walks over to Dia and helps her figure out the costume. Dia sat in shame. Waiting for her turn to dance in front of the Moff. The older dancer, who she had learned was named Asylir, had helped her on moves she knew the Moff would like. Dia was being taught by the elder dancers in her village , and she was already considered very promising when she had been kidnapped. She shuts her eyes at the memory and at that moment the mysterious man opened the door and motioned for her to come out. With a swallow Dia got up and followed after him. The man hadn't bothered putting restraints on her wrists, or holding her by the hand. He knew that she knew there was no way out of the ship. Dia sighs and follows him down the hall and towards the music. The lump inh erthroat getting bigger and bigger and her stomach threatening to hurl. She pulls her light scarfs around her tightly until they stopped at the entrance to the great hall. !

She let her cloaks flow around her and took a step towards the door. The man leaned down and whispered in her ear, "May the Force be with you little one."

******************************************************************************************************

Dia danced her heart out. Not for him, for herself. Dancing was the only time she could get away from the harsh reality of her life. It had been 3 standard weeks since she had first arrived and the Moff had clearly liked her and requested her to dance every day. Dia was getting exhasted and was running out of ways to please him. Asylir had been teaching her many new dances but she didn't have much time for rest in between learning new dances and dancing for the Moff.

Dia almost collapsed as she was deep in her own thoughts, the Moff raises an eyebrow at her and waves her away. Dia sighs in relief and scrambles out from under his gaze. She wraps her cloak around her tightly and walks softly out of the great hall. She looks back behind her and sees the mysterious man now in his guard attire, She had learned that he was in charge of finding the Moff's entertainment. And she hated him more than ever now. She still puzzled over his last words her first day......May the Force be with you. She had heard about the Force of course. The Rebellion leaders believed in it. And thats what troubled her. But she couldn't dwell on it too long. She needed to get to the Sim room. Dia softly makes her way to the room she had seen the Sims in her first day here.

The men standing around the Sims talking ,looked up as she walked in. She lowered her head embaressed as she let go of her robes to reveal her lithe figure. She needed to learn how to fly. But there was limits to what she would do. She stood near a Lambada class shuttle Sim and watched the pilot's progress on the screen. Stroking her lekku trying to look innocent and wondering if this was going to work. The Sim ended and the hatch popped open. A lithe young human male jumps up out of the sim and steps back surprised to see her. Dia looks up at him with innocent wide red eyes and he nervously runs his hand through his blonde hair. The men still paying attention laugh at his nervousness. Dia walks closer to him and looks at him.

" That looks hard! You must be very talented to be able to flying something as complex as a Starship!. " Dia exclaims in her softest voice. The young man looks embaressed for a oment then puffs up in pride.

" Oh it's not that difficult if you know how. See, you just have to have the proper instructions, or be a natural as in my case." He looks at Dia and casts what he hopes to be a dazeling smile. Dia lets him think that it is. She lets herslef blush and looks up at his crystal blue eyes.

" Oh, I don't think I'd ever be able to do something like that! Do you think I'd ever be able too.......?" Dia glances curiously at him. He coughs into his hand and motions her over to the Sim.

"Here'ya go. I bet you could. You look smart enough to learn a little bit if you had an experianced teacher like me!" He proudly points to himself and kneels beside her as she climbs into the Sim and settles her robes around her. She gives him a heart warming smile. " I'm ready."

He quickly, clumsily ,goes about readying the Sim. He gently sets a small com piece in her ear and one with a mouth piece in his own. "Ok. I'll be here giving you instructions. Don't eorry about a thing. The least you can do is try." He gives her a reassuring pat on the shoulder and closes the hatch.

Dia lets out a deep breath. Here was her chance. She had watched how he had ahandled it in his sim run and it didn't look too hard. She adjusted the comlink and settled herself more comfortably into the makeshift cockpit. This looked easy! Her hopes rose as she glanced at the instruments in the Sim. She took the controls and waited for the ok, Her screen flickered to life and her heart raced. This is it. Her chance to prove she could do something other than dance! She listened to his instructions and followed them presicly.......

******************************************************************************************************

Dia got out of the sim awhile later joyous, to find other pilots standing around her screen clapping for her. She blushed and noticed the young man who was supposedly instructing her, staring wide-mouthed. She had done better than anyone had expected, She had tried to follow the young mans instruction but she had found so many errors and places for improvement, and had acted on her instincts. A man came over and helped her out of the cockpit. She looked up to thank him and put her hand to her mouth when she discovered it was the mysterious man. His unusual blue eyes searching her face,as if he were trying to recignize her. She snaps her hand away and he looks at her.

" You shouldn't be here young one. If the Moff found out you will be whipped." He shakes his head at her in pity. Dia looks at him angerly.

" And I suppose you will jump at the chance to tell him! Huh." She brushes herself off and waits for his reply. The other pilots walk away not wanting to get involved in a disput with a slave and a slaver. She watches as the man shakes his head once again.

" I have no wish to see good merchindise harmed. But you best be heading back. The Master is getting angry wondering where his dancers are."With that he turns and walks out of the sim room. Dia stares amazed after him. He had just warned her away from the Masters wrath. She shook her head as thoughts entered her mind. She couldn't afford to think things like that. He was a slaver and he would never help her. Even if he did this once. As he said, he didn't want to see good merchandise harmed.

She pushes her flowing robes behind her and walks out of the sim room and to the great hall. All the while wondering how she could use her new found talent to her advantage........

She into the great hall and the Moff motioned for her to dance. Dia stretched out and then began a new dance Asylier had taught her. She swung around gracefully and let her lekku wrap around her slender form. Asylier had said that this type of slow dance would not amuse the Moff as much as her tribal dances would. Dia had no wish to be laughed at. But in every new dance she was taught, she always added a bit of her homworld moves. As the music came to a slow end, Dia knelt down and stared at the floor, waiting to be excused, panting. She had danced harder than ever, happy that she had discovered her new skill, and knowing that soon, she would not have to endure this embaressment much longer. The Moff stares for a min then waves here away, busy with another Imperial Officer, spending leave on the Moff's ship.

Dia slowly gets up and walks away, avoiding the gazes of the inhabitents of the Great Hall. She felt a tug on her scarfs and a warm hand propell her out of the way of an incoming fruit. Dia gasps as it splatters on the wall just by her head and she stares, dazzed."Wh....what happened? "

she can hear herself say. As her head becomes clearer she looks around. She had been propelled out of the Great Hall and into the corriders.

" Shhh......a bunch of drunks decided to have a little fun. Thats all. The Moff didn't see and that means they'll follow. Those types don't give up that easily. Drunk or not." a soft voice awnsered close to her. Dia swings around and quite by accident hits him in the face with her lekku. She hears muttered curses as the man holds his head in his hands. She scrambles up, afraid for a moment until she recognizes him, the slaver. She gives one of her own curses and

drags him off his feet as she hears footsteps. The reason, unknown even to her.

She pulls him down the hall and runs smack into the drunken men. One of the men grab her shoulder roughly and smashes her into the wall. Dia slides down it, groaning at the pain. What did she ever do......Dia didn't have time to finish that thought as the man grabbed her lekku and tugged HARD. Da crys our in pain and tears roll down her face. Humans had no idea how much that hurt.....she falls to the ground and curls up in a ball. Too tired to fight or protest. She sees a shadow cast on her as a man stands above her and holds her breath. This was it? She was going to die for no reason? By a band of drunks? Somehow, after all she had been through it didn't seem fair. But then,as her grandmother had always said, life wasn't always fair. Dia had always hated that term but was just recently beginning to see how true it was. Dia was brought out of her thoughts at a THUD. She jumped as a large hand rolled by her and She was pulled away from it by the slaver. She looked at him with !

dull, but angry eyes." Why did you do that! I could......I CAN take care of myself SLAVER!" Dia spat the word out with such a hatred that the slaver stepped back as if he had been burnt. Dia almost thought she saw a look of pain cross his face but it was quickly replaced by the cool, calm look of a mercenary. Dia snorted in disgust and the man lost the look, " Why did you help me?" Dia asked. Her voice wavering by an almost uncontrolled anger. The man glanced at her and his handsome featured softened, as his dark eyes studied her.

"You know.....what I said before......I hate....to see good merchandise.......harmed." His voice took on a dangerous air that Dia knew wasn't faked. This man WAS dangerous. but to whom she wasn't sure. Dia nodded, still disgusted.

" So you are like all others, credits are your passion?" Her fractured basic still managed to betray the anger in her soft voice. " Working for Imperials, become one of them,not loving anything. When taking away ones freedom you lose your own as you slowly but surely become their puppet. Doing their every whim...." Dia wasn't sure if she used the right words but she didn't care anymore. The man looked at her surprised, but there was a hint of pain, a deep pain, in his eyes. He spoke with a low, dangerous, hurt-filled voice. He kept his eyes glued to hers.

" You have no idea of what you speak litle one. You do not know the galaxy beyond these walls. Your whole life has been based on the whims of others. That is all you know. Do not try to judge other people's lives before realizing how limited your own knowledge really is." He straightened and walked away slowly, Leaving the young Twi'lek alone in the dark corridor.

To Be Continued..........


Send feedback to the author here.