On Chains...

By Phaedra Whitlock and Mark Cogan


Pain was the first sign he was awake. In his wrists, chest and body from the
lightning burns and position he was hanging in. The red before him moved
away, resolving itself into the cloak of a red guard.

One on each side of him, supporting him as the chains were released and he
was brought out into the un Damped corridor. The small party left the
detention area to his surprise, and entered the main palace where he was
shown into a suite.

Food was available on a table, Deveron forced himself to eat as much as
possible then slept and repaired the deepest damage to his body. Clean
clothes awaited him on waking but he had no need of them. Red Guards came
and went bringing food and taking away the empty trays, then there was sleep

Tortured sleep peopled with familiar faces, but never the one he wanted to
see. She was alive and in pain of her own. He didn't try to contact her

On the third day the guards brought new clothing and insisted he dress. He'd
given up attempting to guess what the Emperor could be thinking and was only
mildly interested that he was brought again before the wretched excuse for a
leader calling himself Palpatine.

"Talia is now working for Imperial Intel...", the Emperor began.

Mildly surprising but not really, he nodded slightly, eyes wandering to the
dark walls.

"Are you not interested in seeing her?"

"If I am wished to see her I will be put in a room with her or be given a
holo." What a stupid question to be asked. He was tired of this little man
and his games and refused to play them. Darana had put up with them and been
betrayed, why should he. The offer had been made and refused.

"You will get to see her personally. I am not one to break up a happy

Laughable. Deveron's eyes wandered across the wrinkled face. "Highness, you
have no idea what a loving family is. She will appreciate the gesture
however." He lapsed back into silence. So he was to be trotted out to
reassure Talia that he was in health. She knew better. He knew better. All
so pointless and a waste of time.

"Yes, like how she feels about her mother?"

"Talia feels what she wishes to. I have no control over her." His lovely
amazing daughter. That he had any part in her amazed him still. But it was
very little and an accident and he regretted that he hadn't known her. But
she was strong and intelligent. Qualities his presence in her life would
have negated perhaps. She was better off with Eric. If that was allowed

"Hmmm....I see...well, you may visit her when you wish. Until then, you are
my guest."

"A guest can leave." Pointless....

"Yes, then can. But I would like to see you visit Talia first."

Deveron sighed. "Very well."

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