Shmi Skywalker clung to Kyle Reese as the 74-Z speeder raced across the sandy plains from Mos Espa towards Mos Eisley. She felt equally safe and terrified, probably the adrenaline.
“Why me?” Shmi shouted over the drone of the engine. “Why does that…thing want to kill me?”
Kyle shook his head “There’s so much…”
Shmi reached past him and flicked the ignition switch causing the speeder to power down to a slow stop. Kyle started to protest when Shmi just looked him straight in the eye. “Just tell me. Start at the beginning and tell me what is going on.”
Kyle grunted as he got off the hovering speeder, brought up some binoculars and scanned the horizon. “I’ll tell you what I know but we’ll have to get going soon, that thing won’t stop. They don’t rest. They don’t bargain or negotiate. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.” He looked at Shmi who waited patiently for an answer. He sighed heavily. “There was a war. A few years from now. The machines…”
“I don’t understand. We have service droids.”
Kyle rubbed his forehead. “Organic life breaks down, relies on emotions…is soft.”
Shmi looked at the nasty laser burn on his forearm “You’re hit.”
Kyle waved her away. “I’m fine. The machines decided that they didn’t need us anymore. When EMPIRE went online it spelt disaster for everyone.”
“The galactic defence system. New. Powerful. Hooked into everything, every droid, every ship. It decided life was a threat and in a microsecond…termination.” Kyle scanned the horizon again. “I was born after the war on Alderaan. Hiding from the terminators.”
“That man?” Shmi asked.
“Machine!” snapped Kyle before regaining his composure. “Never forget they’re machines. Underneath, it's a hyper-alloy combat chassis, microprocessor-controlled. Fully armoured; very tough. But the outside, it's living human tissue to blend in and kill us…you.” Kyle got back onto the landspeeder. “We need to get to Mos Eisley.”
“But you still haven’t told me why it wants to kill me?”
“Your son Anakin,” Kyle said.
Shmi slowly got on the speeder “But…I don’t have a son.”
To be continued...