Eager to visit her foster family,
Mair Koda, an independent trader, lands on Vernet, but
all is not well in the peaceful settlement. Her adoptive
father, Arn Stonelaw, won't speak of what's wrong, but
his son Yuri will. Yuri's brother Kristoff, and all of
his friends, have been taken by the Imperials. They have
been indoctrinated and are being trained as soldiers in
a nearby garrison.
Yuri begs Mair to help him rescue Kris, and she
eventually agrees. They infiltrate the base at night.
While Mair, disguised as a scout trooper, keeps guard,
Yuri sneaks inside the barracks to get Kris.
Unfortunately, he finds that Kris is too brainwashed -
he has no desire to leave, only wanting to serve the
Mair is forced to shoot a guard when he challenges her.
The shot wakes all the boys, and Yuri must flee. He
makes it to perimeter of the camp before Kris confronts
him. Yuri makes one last try to convince him, but Kris
is set on arresting the "traitor" and taking
him to his superior for "painful
interrogation." Mair pulls Yuri into a creek, and
they escape to her ship.
As they leave the system, Yuri asks if it was necessary
for him to leave. Mair tells him he would have been
tortured as an example to others. But, she points out,
there is some good news. Kris could have shot Yuri, but
didn't - deep down, there is some part of him that still
loves Yuri and won't hurt him. Yuri brightens at the
thought, and vows that someday he will save his brother.
from Christopher G. McElroy's
Time Tales, www.theforce.net/timetales.