Katiana turns to Brinol as soon as the doors to his quarters have closed. “Why have you brought me here? It is not safe yet for others to know the truth.” Brinol grabs Katiana by the arm and shoves her against the door. "Safe? Safe?! What happened to “Celia”, Katiana? The Empire wants us just as dead as those we now keep company with. Why did you let yourself be seen? And now in front of this whole new “rebellion” your Katiana again?! You might as well just announce who I am while you’re at it!"
Katiana turned her head and puts her ear to the door, listening for a moment, than shoves Brinol back further into the room. In a hushed tone as she walks to him, “Liam, I have not given you up. I am as good as dead and there is no point in my hiding anymore from those we keep company with because my true name and face are all over the Empire!” She takes a deep breath in, trying to find her calm and keep her voice down. “I will not give you up. I swore that to you when we escaped the slaughter of both our families on Ghorman. But you can’t just snatch me out of a hall and into your quarters without others growing suspect and starting to put everything together. It was hard enough trying to make sure you make it off the planet and how important it was for you to stick around with your being a mercenary and my being practically a bar maid.” Katiana takes in one last, calming breath, “I don’t want to lose you, Liam. You’re all I have left. My protector and the only other person in the universe who knows the truth about what really happened that night at our home. We have to stay focused.”
“Focused? Ah, yes. On finding your father, previously Senator Vibrion, and prove to the Emperor that he was falsely accused of being disloyal to the Empire and that he’s truly a loyal citizen.” Liam shakes her by the shoulders. "Have you noticed recently that perhaps “we” were the ones being misled the whole time? We don’t even have a planet to call home anymore thanks to the Emperor! If you father was in fact moving away from the brainwashing of the Empire and if he’s still alive, he could be a great asset to this new gathering of those who were loyal to the Republic."
Katiana reaches back and slaps Liam hard. “How dare you say such things! My family as well as yours has always been loyal to the Republic when it existed and then to the Empire. That includes us, Liam. There had to have been some misunderstanding or foul plot that lead tot he Emperor being lied to about all of us! And it is up to us to find my father, get the truth, and then present it to the Emperor. You will see when we find him that it was all a mistake. All we ever had was given us to by those in power which includes the now Emperor. We would have had nothing without him. I refuse to believe that he would have sacrificed everything he had, including us, to try and bring down the Empire. We were never touched before that night.” She takes her hand and gently puts it on the side of his face where she’d hit him. “I’m sorry, Liam. But I listened in on more conversations than I can count growing up and hiding in that stupid secret passage hidden in my father’s office. I know he was loyal. Just as we are.”
Liam pulls back and turns from her. "Are you really that naive? Was our planet getting blown up not enough proof for you that the Emporer is not out to save anyone, but to destroy those he feels are disloyal to “him”, not the Empire?" Katiana glares at him as she walks past and slams her fist into the wall and turning to him. “The Emperor IS the Empire, Liam. The Senators wouldn’t have voted to make him their leader and ultimate decision maker if he did not have everyone’s best interests at heart! Perhaps restoring your families name and honor in the Empire is no longer a concern to you and you wish to remain hidden as Brinol Farstriker forever. Nut I have lived in a hole for four years while you had the luxury of walking about in the open, even under an assumed name, when the risk to me was even greater were either of us to get recognized by any of the Stormtrooper’s that were there that night slaughtering everyone we ever loved.” She takes another calming breath, finding it harder and harder to control her anger. “I will not let you keep me from getting to the truth, Liam. To clearing our names and those of both our households. Please let me you’re not buying into everything they’re saying out there.” She points to the door leading out into the halls of the ship.
Slowly Liam walks up to her and cradling her face in his hands, leans down and kisses her. Katiana attempts to pull back but Liam doesn’t let go. After a few moments, she relaxes though her mind is racing as he’s never attempted to overstep his bounds as her House’s Swordmaster. Gently he pulls away from her and she leans against the wall, breathless and speechless. Softly he answer, “Yes, I do believe them. Our world will not be the first to fall. Working with the mercenaries the last four years you have not heard nor seen the things I have have while you were practically locked in that bar. There is evil out there, Katiana. And your fiery spirit should be turned to seeking out that evil and bringing light to it, not looking to destroy is while this darkness consumes the known universe. Do you think for a moment that your friend Savisht would have helped us rescue those people if he had known your true intentions some day were to rat out all those who stand against the Empire? He was a good man, Katiana.” He gives her a pleading look, “And you have good in you as well and I know you must see that what the Empire is doing is wrong.”
Weakly she whispers with tears glistening in her eyes, “It was our sins against the Empire that brought about the destruction of our world, Liam. If we had not attempted to rescue those people, our planet would still be there. We would have a home to go back to when we find my father. Because of our choices millions of people are dead. I FELT them die, Liam. You saw me pass out! I was somehow connected to them and I felt their lives simply vanish from existence. We saved so few to lose so many for what we were told was a good cause. Now we’re told by the same people that this rebellion is a good cause. How many more will die for believing that? How many more could we save by giving up those who we now have so conveniently outside that door? That we know where they’re going and how to find them? Come with me, Liam. You know how to fly and we can steal this ship. We can find another way to see if my father is on the Lusankya and then break him out and know the truth. If we turn over these people, perhaps the Emperor will show mercy and free him where ever he is and give us back what we had before and we could be saving trillions of people from destruction following these promises of hope and peace.” Her tone turns dark. “Do I and my family mean so little to you now that you would abandon us now that I no longer represent a House for you to remain loyal to? I suppose a Swordmaster to one person won’t get you far in this life. By all means, go out there to those people and play their game. I would never want to hold you back from your destiny.”
Liam leans in as if to kiss her again but then places it on her forehead. “I have known you since you were born, Katiana. I know your heart and your soul. You will not give up these people nor me. I in turn will never give up on you. Your anger and hate at what has happened clouds your judgement as it would anyone who has seen these horrors. I was there too, remember? But at some point you have to accept that they are a part of your past and try to see what you have right now and plan for the future. This is a dark time. Many more I’m sure will die on both sides. I do not wish for either of us to see death so soon, but I will not go down without a fight and I will die fighting knowing I’m doing it for what’s right and to help save others. In the end, I know you will do the same.” He turns and walks to the door and stands a moment in the doorway, facing away from her. “Our paths will continue to cross as they always have, Katiana. Know that I am always with you and will continue to perform my sword duty to keep you from harms way.” At that he walks out into the hall, the door closing behind him as a quiet hush fills the room.