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From Ashes ((Raana))

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It had been 25 years since she had stepped foot in this place….

It felt like hallowed ground, her heart-racing and her blood pumping as the shuttle touched down and her boots crunched on the dry sand. It struck her how… the same, it all looked. Time and nature had done their best to brush away what was left of the once-proud Clan Draay, but the burnt out husk of her family’s old compound remained, like a skeleton rising from the dunes. She dropped to her knees as a wave of nausea hit her. She felt a strange tightness across her round, taut belly. Not pain per se, but a constricting that lasted for a few minutes and then slowly receded.

“Miss… you’re not gonna have that baby on me are ya?”

She turned to the small human woman stepping out of the ship behind her. She was petite, probably around 4 foot 9 or so, with long red hair that she wore up in a tight bun and glasses that were too big for her tiny, angular face. It made the woman look stern even though she was probably the most soft-spoken person Raana had ever met.

Raana took a deep breath and pushed herself up to standing, a hand gently massaging the side of her belly. She winced and shook her head slowly. “Just a good kick, nothing to worry about,” she murmured, trying to sound light. The woman did not know that Raana had a very personal connection to this particular plot of Tattoine real estate, nor did Raana WANT her to know that. As far as the agent for Binary Star Realty was concerned, Raana was just one of those crazy survivalist, doomsday prepper types that wanted someplace out of the way she could store her ammo crates and decommissioned tanks or whatever.

This is where her family had made their final stand against the forces that hunted Anabela. On the very sand beneath her boots, the blood of Clan Draay had soaked into the soil. The ghosts of that slaughter still haunted these dunes, but that was precisely why she wanted to make THIS their new home. New life would rise from the ashes of all of the lives destroyed, and with it, new hope for everyone she loved, including her sister.

“It is a huge space… the price is well-below what you would pay on other planets for this amount of land…” The agent was droning on and on as she walked through the compound, pointing out special features that made this location defensible and well-fortified. It was all unnecessary though, the sales spiel. Raana was going to buy it, regardless of the cost.

“You can save the speech lady, I’m takin it and I have the credits now so do you want that in cash or a credit chip?”

The agent stopped mid-sentence, her mouth gaping open a little as she stared at Raana. “C… credit chip would be fine, I guess?” Raana walked back to the shuttle and pulled a credit chip out of her backpack, shoving it in the woman’s hand. She added a few hundred thousand extra credits to the amount, giving the woman a nod and a wink.

“This should take care of any annoying paperwork you might be thinkin’ of makin’ me sign,” Raana said quietly. The woman just nodded. This was perhaps the strangest property transaction she had ever encountered. But if there was one thing the woman had learned in her time with Binary Star Realty, it was that you do not argue with wealthy, eccentric clients. “Enjoy your new home,” the woman managed to stammer as Raana shooed her back into the shuttle. She grabbed her bag from the seat and gave the woman a dismissive wave as she slammed the shuttle door shut and gave it a tap to let the pilot know it was okay to leave.

Raana watched the shuttle take off with a sigh of both relief and trepidation as she turned back to the long-abandoned compound.

She had a LOT of work to do.

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