Part Two- Keeping My Head
“Amidala Sunsmuggler.” I say, resisting the urge to add, “Dala, for short.” That’s what everyone calls me, anyway. I doubt this guy would care. I twist my wrists around, testing the bonds. This is all so surreal. One dumb move and I’m off to the chopping block. His brow furrows deeper as he checks his paper again.
“Captain. What should we do? She’s not on the list.” The man says, turning to look at the woman next to him.
“Forget the list. She goes to the block.” The Captain replies before walking toward the aforementioned block. My mouth drops open and I consider protesting, but I’d rather not end up like Lokir.
I try to accept my shitty fate as I join the crowd of others. Other than Lokir, I’m the only one dressed in a tunic, everyone else is clad in blue. The man in the nice robes and the gag over his mouth- Ulfric?- isn’t that far away. The general standing by the block addresses him. From what I’ve gathered, this guy’s name is General Tullius. I have to say that while I don’t really know him, I’m not very fond. He is having me executed after all.
A priestess raises her hands in the air and begins praying, but a man steps forward saying he just wants to get it over with. “As you wish.” The priestess sighs and steps away as the man drops to his knees and leans forward over the block. Watching the axe come down is a chilling and sobering experience. I’ve never seen anyone have their head cut off. The headsman just kicks the man’s body out of the way, blood still spurting from the neck, his head now in a little basket.
“Next, the wood elf.” I glance around, waiting to see who steps forward. Wait, she can’t mean me, can she? They’re going to immediately execute a lowly peasant wood elf, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? I get shoved forward and stumble a bit. My heart is hammering in my throat. So this is it. What about my parents? Myriil? Who will tell them? Will they get the things they took from me? I can’t believe after countless fights with bandits, giants, and wild animals that this is how I’m going to die.
I grunt as I’m shoved to my knees. I resist as the Captain uses her foot to position me to her liking. I feel tears well up in my eyes.
Out of nowhere, there’s a tremendous roar close by, unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. “What in Oblivion is that?”… “Sentries, what do you see?” I turn my head to the left, just in time to see two things happen; the headsman is swinging his axe back, and just above him, a colossal dragon is hover above one of the towers.
“Dragon!” Then all hell breaks loose. The headsman stumbles away and I shove myself to the side, out of the way from any stray axe swings. More astounding roars echo through and the ground begins to quake. Debris and rubble fly all around me, Helgen being torn apart by the monstrous being.
Through my haze and disorientation, I hear the Ralof’s voice, the blond man from the carriage. “Hey, wood elf, get up! Come on, the Gods won’t give us another chance!” I struggle to my knees, then to my feet, all the while keeping my eyes on Ralof. He leads the way into an opening of a building that hasn’t crumbled to the ground yet. Ulfric is there, along with some other soldiers who look like they’ve seen better days. I’m not sure what’s better, execution or a dragon attack.
A dragon. I still can’t believe it. I’d always thought they were a myth, made up to put fear into the people of Tamriel. I’m a see-it-to-believe-it kind of person. Well let me tell you, I’m definitely a believer.
Ralof directs me up a set of stairs and I obey, not knowing what else to do. He’s just ahead of me when there’s another intense quake, then the dragon breaks the wall in. We’re thrown against the side, me unable to catch myself properly with my hands bound. The dragon blasts fire in through the hole it just made, then flies away once more. We can hear it wracking havoc throughout Helgen, shouts echoing amongst horrified villagers and soldiers.
I get my balance back and follow Ralof up the stairs, wary that the dragon may come back at any moment. “See the inn on the other side? Jump through the roof on the other side and keep going! Go, we’ll follow when we can!” I follow his orders, leaping through the dragon-made hole to the open roofed inn just ahead of me. I groan as I hit the floor, but I don’t take the time to think about pain, time is of the essence. I run across the floor and drop down through it, finding myself on the main level of what used to be the inn.
There’s another opening in the wall. As I emerge through it, I see the red haired man from earlier- the one who had the list. “Still alive, prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way.” He runs ahead and I hesitate, but only for a second.
“Gods guide you, Hadvar!” A man calls from behind us. So his name is Hadvar. ‘Hey Hadvar, how’s it going?’ I imagine myself saying. ‘Thanks for letting me almost be executed. How about this dragon business, though?’ I talk to myself in my head, purely to keep myself from freaking out and breaking into hysterics. I follow right on Hadvar’s heels as we bob and weave through fallen rocks and bodies.
We run past General Tullius and he instructs Hadvar to get to the keep, so I assume that’s in the direction that Hadvar goes in. I almost run into him as he stops and when I peer around him, I see Ralof standing before us.
“Ralof, you damned traitor. Out of my way!” Hadvar moves forward, and so does Ralof. I stay back and let them sort out their ego-duel.
“We’re escaping Hadvar. You’re not stopping us this time.”
“Fine,” Hadvar growls. “I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde.”
“You!” Ralof looks to me. “Come on, into the keep!” I then realize that both men are looking at me, waiting for me to choose who to go with. Straight ahead with Hadvar, or to the right to go with Ralof. I look back and forth between the two of them for a flash before sprinting to the right, Ralof at my back, without a glance back at Hadvar.
Read the next part!: Amidala Sunsmuggler: Part Three- Welcome to Skyrim