“You betrayed us.”
“Never,” she says.
The Chiss officer changes into a human Imperial Watcher. “The Ascendancy has betrayed you,” he says.
“Of course it hasn’t.”
“Then where are they?”
The Watcher switches back to the Chiss officer. His face blurs and changes. Jairo? Then it is a Chiss woman. Then a young man.
“You were supposed to keep to the mission!”
“I did!” she spits. “I kept the codes. I have them.” Numbers begin wrapping around his head.
He turns into a chiss officer again. “The mission! What have you done?”
Troopers explode into the room, and the Chiss officer turns. It was an empty, metallic room. A gun was in her hand. Who’s were these soldiers?
“Shoot them!” the officer says. He changes into the Imperial Watcher. The Watcher glares at her, as if she is a traitor. “Or your position is forfeit.”
The Watcher changes into a gnarled SIS operative. He raises a hand to his face, coughing. Blood comes out, staining his fingers.
“Shoot them, lass.”
She looks at the troopers. Their uniforms are gray. Indistinct. No symbols.
She mumbles to herself. “Twenty-eight… twenty-nine, forty-six, five hundred thirty-two…”
Calculations begin spinning through her mind at random. The trajectory of a propelled grenade behind enemy lines, calculating for the payload and the wind shift…
They are raising their weapons. The SIS operative turns into an old woman, who turns into a cartel scientist, red emblem emblazoned on his chest.
“Think less, act more,” he says.
“Just tell me, who are you? Who’s side am I on? What are these troopers doing here?”
“Stop that.” It is the Chiss officer again. “A Chiss obeys without question. Where’s your discipline?”
“There’s no honor in this.” The codes. Numbers were shooting out of the Chiss officer’s eyes. It was a wonder he didn’t seem to notice.
She frowns. “No.”
“You’ll be executed.”
“They’re tricking you, lying to you. Stop stalling.”
A window appears in the back of the room. Is that… Jairo? She sees a face, but it disappears. Her eyes squint. Numbers. She swings her weapon at the Chiss officer, who turns into an Imperial officer.
“You’re the liar!” she screams. And fires. The officer collapses just as her chest explodes, the troopers’ rifles finding their mark. She falls, gun rolling from her fingers. Can’t breathe. Blackness.