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Saga - ST Revelations( very AU, OCs, Rey, Luke, R2, sequel to Changing Fate)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by FireKeeper, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Title: Revelations

    Author(s): FireKeeper( aka me)

    Timeframe: after TFA, or, to be exact, the alternative ending to it described in my previous story Changing Fate)

    Characters: Ari Nyros( OFC), Rey, Luke, R2, 0-1-0( original droid character), Han, Leia, Mara( mentioned)

    Genre: Mystery, Drama, Gen

    Keywords: Gen, AU, Mystery, Drama, Author reinterprets events to her liking, Luke's exile is not an exile at all, R2's shutdown didn't happen just because, Author just hates what Jar Jar Abrams, Ruin Johnson and Co are doing to her beloved characters, not quite a Fix fic

    Summary: In her search for Luke Skywalker, former Jedi Master Ari Nyros discovers the possibility of a First Order infiltrator within the Resistance. And when she finally able to find him, she finds out Snoke is not exactly what he poses himself as, while evenmore mysteries surface. Who is the mysterious infiltrator? What are their goals? Will she be able to thwart their plans before it's too late? How does one defeat Snoke? And how does Rey fit into the grand scheme of things?

    Notes: Damn, this one took me quite a long time to write. Was real hard for me, because this one isn't as dramatic as my previous fanfic, still, I have to write it just to provide the needed explanations and keep the plot consistent, as well as sew up some of the plot holes Jar Jar Abrams & Co left( dear Force, I hate how he wrote R2 into robodepression, this ws so friggin illogical).

    I am also warning you that this characterisation of Luke differs from the one that is probably going to be in the sequel trilogy. I am generally open to citicism( even more, I love it when users write reviews, positive or negative). But this was completely intentional, and I am not going to correct it. I hate the direction they are taking the orignal trio in, so I am writing my own AU where I try to fix things up and build off the broken foundation. If you don't like it, you can still go ahead and read, but don't complain to me about how different this Luke is to Jar Jar Abrams's( or whoever is penning the TLJ script) Luke, how am I writing him OOC( Who was the one that wrote him OOC first? Me? Or the writers of TFA). You have been warned.

    Also, I'd like to thank SWTOR players Rixty, Erilyne, Ubi and R-emus for reading my previous fanfic, and for tolerating my crazyness in general, as well as the FF user Optymistka and the people of the Jedi Council forums for leaving nice reviews, DARTH_MU and divapilot of the Jedi Council forums for the beta, and rinskiroo of AO3/ chibielf of Reddit for help.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Chapter 1: Suspicions

    I use the Force to pull the repair tool towards me. Just a few more loose wires, and these shelves will hang as if my ship never left the Starkiller base the way it did. I sense 0-1-0 is already in the pilot seat, plugging the map into the ship’s navicomputer. I am happy to see him again. After the damage he sustained in the last attack on a First Order outpost, I wasn’t sure he could be put back together.

    After a few days having passed, but I still can't wrap my head around what happened. The Senate has been destroyed. Only with time would the Republic be able to reorganize. Thanks to Leia's effort in decentralizing the government, replacing the deceased senators will be easier than if we had all power focused on one place. While a good part of the Republic navy was destroyed, some of it should still remain. In the meantime, the First Order would be free to attack. And even without the Starkiller base, the First Order’s power is considerable now that the Republic's forces are decimated. Chaos is going around everywhere.

    Billions of people are dead. This was so many times worse than the destruction of Alderaan. After all the pain and death the old Empire has wrought, how could some people still not had enough of this? We only had around twenty years of relative peace so we could spread tyranny and war once again? I guess that there will always be monsters in the galaxy. People who can stand up to evil would always be needed.

    Once again I see how I did the right thing by killing Kylo Ren. It’s so much easier to admit it to myself now that it’s done. Prior to his turn to the Dark Side, I was reluctant to admit it despite everything I’ve seen. When Ben became the cause of another Jedi Purge, I finally stopped denying his true nature. Even though I gave up on the idea of his coming back to the Light long ago, a part of me still wanted to save him just for Han and Leia's sake. For one moment, I actually thought I was wrong about Ben’s being beyond the point of no return. Yet, no matter how much I initially wanted to believe otherwise, some people really are beyond redemption. And even if they aren't, sacrificing millions while trying to save one isn't worth it in most cases. I can see it more clearly now that what's done is done. Had he stayed alive, Kylo would have gone on to kill Han and many others. He had to be stopped for the galaxy's sake. My personal feelings about it are irrelevant.

    I recall the bitter, grieving look on Leia's face the moment I returned from the assault on the Starkiller base. Her face full of tears during the conversation we had after that. How Leia talked to me before we set off for our mission, telling me she still sensed good in him. Was I really wrong about her son having completely succumbed to the darkness? Or was she blinded by her love, just as I always had thought? We'll never know now. I don’t need the Force to see that the Solos aren’t going to forgive me for this. Now all I can hope for is for them to recover from the loss of their son and find happiness in each other like they used to back when I first met them. Just the very thought of them being alive and okay is more than comforting for me.

    I sense Rey at my ship's entrance. I recognize her thoughts and feelings. She is conflicted, and it has to do with me and my actions. Rey had believed all Jedi to be noble heroes, only to find a former member of the Jedi Order killing an unarmed opponent, when others were begging her to spare him. But it’s not the manner of Kylo Ren’s death she is worried about. It’s Han and Leia’s mental state after what happened. For someone who knew them for such a short period of time, Rey sure does care a lot for them. More than one would care for someone whom they met only a few days ago. Living alone must have been very hard for her if she's so willing to form attachments to other people.

    I wonder what Rey’s life was like back on Jakku. From what I found out while talking to Finn, she was an orphan and a scavenger, stranded on Jakku since she was very little. There is no information on her age, or her family. Rey herself doesn't seem to remember it either. In my experience, I heard that most adults don't remember their early childhood. I couldn't relate to that sentiment, though. Most of us Force sensitives remember the earliest moments of our lives, even those of us without any training. The first six years of my life were the memories I always tried keep fresh and bright in my head. Those memories remind me how free and peaceful my life was. They were always my last anchor to humanity, when I was one step away from becoming a monster.

    The more I think about it, the more mysterious Rey seems to me. She shows a prodigious Force ability, and claims to have been stranded on Jakku for a long time. Why didn’t the New Republic discover her? Luke did his best to ensure Force sensitives throughout the galaxy were found. There is always someone you miss, I guess. Why haven’t her powers manifested themselves earlier? From my experience, the more gifted the Force sensitive were, the earlier they start to show signs of being able to use the Force. Instead Rey’s powers appeared out of nowhere, and she seems to grow stronger day by day.

    I am curious if I can use the Force to help unlock her childhood memories. I learned advanced mental manipulation before Luke redeemed me. I even had it used on me in an attempt to regain my memories. It didn’t help me regain memories of the mission that led to my disappearance. However, mental manipulation might be just what I need to perform to get Rey’s memories back. Still, the thought of my willingness to invade someone else’s mind just like that bothers me. Besides, the technique itself is mostly considered a Dark Side technique. There is also the question of whether she would actually agree to it. I wouldn’t want to do something like that to Rey without her knowing what I am going to do, what the process is like and the possible risks. It’s just a boundary I am not willing to cross.

    Artoo is with her. I had hoped he would come. The little droid has been with Luke most of the time, and he held the last map piece, he might know something else about Luke. But that's not what bothers me about him.

    After spending several days in the bacta tank, I found that Artoo has been reactivated, just as suddenly as he deactivated himself six years ago. It made me very suspicious, to say the least. When Luke disappeared, the astromech just locked down, not showing any sign of life. Everyone who tried to reactivate him or get him to work, including Han, Leia and me, failed to do so. The Resistance technicians attempted pull his memory, but all the data seemed encrypted. They wanted to scrap him, but Leia and I protested, thinking we may yet be able to extract some information out of him.

    His unexplainable deactivation seemed both too convenient and too strange to me. Luke disappears, and the droid that might have known anything of his whereabouts is mysteriously locked down, with the situation puzzling even the technicians? Something isn’t right. Leia said Artoo kept talking about a mission of sorts shortly before Ben, I mean Kylo Ren, attacked the Jedi Temple. Butwhat it meant was mystery to both of us.

    Some people said Luke went into exile after the loss of the Jedi Order. I never believed a word from that little story. I knew Luke for a long time. Luke wouldn’t have abandoned all of us when we needed him most without a very good reason. He believed that to make things right, one had to do something about the way things are, and that’s what I always liked about Luke . He wouldn’t go into an exile, hoping everything would right itself, like many old Jedi did during the Purge.

    After I heard of Artoo’s reactivation, one of the first things I did was talk to him and try to find out what happened to Luke. However, it turned out his memory core was corrupt, and he couldn’t piece the memories of the day he shut down.

    There are just too many coincidences. I think the astromech must be holding a secret of some sort, and I intend to find out what is it. I doubt I can extract his memories on his own if the Resistance technicians couldn’t, but it’s still worth a try. And if I fail, I can still ask Luke when I find him.

    As I finish putting the shelves back up, I wipe my hands with a piece of dirty cloth. I put the tools back and walk up the stairs to greet Rey. I see her wandering around my ship, curiosity in her eyes. She must have not seen many ships on her homeworld. At the same time she must feel some familiarity with this ship.

    “Yeah, I know it looks quite a bit like the Millennium Falcon.” I remark, crossing my hands on my chest. Rey turns to me, surprise in her eyes. “Same manufacturer, same series.”“I’ve never seen a ship like this before.” She answers.

    “It’s the YT-2400 Corellian light freighter. A newer model than the Falcon, still doesn’t fly as fast though. Never went out of my way to get as many upgrades as Han did. I didn’t get into trouble with the law enforcement as a Jedi. Still, got some pretty good cannon upgrades, in case some shooting needs to be done.”

    “I think it’s great.”

    “Thanks.” I give her a smile. Rey briefly returns the gesture, but even then, I can still sense some sort of discomfort from her. There is a pause in the conversation for a few moments as the expression on her face changes to that of concern.

    “Would you like to go and sit down in the living suite while I get the ship ready for takeoff ?” I try to release tension from this awkward moment by speaking up first. “Also, if you have any questions concerning the history of this ship, you can ask 0-1-0. Just keep in mind that he’s not the most pleasant fellow to chat with.”.

    “What do you mean, not the most pleasant fellow?” Rey gives me a confused look.

    “Well, in his primary function, 0-1-0 was an assassin and torture droid. Even though I did whatever customization I could with a protocol droid chassis, trying to repurpose him to my needs, 0-1-0 is still quite… gleeful when it comes to violence. Don’t worry though, he won’t hurt anyone unless I tell him to, with the multiple restraining bolts I’ve installed.”

    “Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind.” Rey gives me a nod with a weirded out expression on her face. Must be thinking how un-Jedi it is to have such a droid on board. Han was right, keeping a torture droid around doesn’t do any good for my reputation. As I lead her to the seats, I notice a lightsaber hanging on her belt.

    “Where did you get that?” I ask as I point towards it.

    “A friend of Han Solo’s gave it to me.” Rey tells me as she turns her gaze towards me. “Maz Kanata.”

    “Yeah, I know her.”

    So, Maz’s people somehow managed to scavenge a lightsaber. Doesn’t seem that improbable, given her ability to find the rarest things against all odds. She helped me on quite a few occasions during my missions, despite our differing views on the Force. But giving it to a random person… Now that’s interesting.

    Maz is Force sensitive, and believes in following the Light Side, as well as everything revolving around the balance of Light and Dark. She has always kept her interference in things revolving around the galaxy to a minimum, living her life as a pirate queen and residing in her own palace in Takodana. She wouldn’t have given a lightsaber to Rey unless she believed the girl’s fate was somehow tied to the will of the Force.

    The more time I spend with the girl, the more of an enigma she seems to me. Powerful Force sensitive usually have a very prominent trace unless they are taught to hide it. Yet Rey seems to be quite hard to read for someone who has hardly any training at all. Maz gives her a lightsaber at their first meeting. Rey’s entire past is shrouded in mystery. I need to ask her about it when I get the opportunity. I doubt I know anything that might be connected to it right now, but individuals this powerful were never born randomly. The Force has plans. And Rey is about to play a role. I don’t know what they mean, but it is best to be mindful about things going on around her. Rey’s birth might be the will of the Force, but it was also the Force that allowed the Empire and the First Order to rise to power. And if it’s will is for the Republic to fall, I must do whatever I can to thwart it. Regardless of what Rey’s role in the future is, it is best if I try to figure out what it is. I am on the side of the Republic no matter what happens.

    I see Rey looking at the dejarik table as she takes a seat. Same curiosity in the eyes. I suspect that this is the first time she is able to see every single piece of for the game. Poor thing must have been living on some really backwater planet. Might as well introduce her to the game while we’re on our way to Luke as a way of starting a conversation with her. But first things first, I must check Artoo’s memory.

    “Artoo, could you please come with me for a moment?”

    The droid bleeps in agreement. As I sense the ship taking flight, I make it back to the cargo room with Artoo following me, and search around the cables.

    “Now, let’s try to see what’s up with you.” I say as I find the right cable and attach it to the astromech. “Not sure if I can find anything, but it’s not like it can get worse”.

    Once the cable is attached, I turn my attention to the small screen. Artoo’s beeps and whistles are translated automatically.

    “R2 = worried about his memory condition. R2 = never had things like that before” the astromech replies in binary.

    “It’s just as surprising to me too. Really strange that the professional technicians couldn’t figure out what was wrong with you. Anyway, let’s see what I can do.” I told Artoo to hold on as I disconnect the cable and plug in another thicker one. I connect him to the nearby console and turn it on.

    Hours pass as I look for anything suspicious. Not a single corrupt sector. No corrupted files or logs. No glitches of personality matrix I know. I check for any deleted files, but judging from the filenames, they all seem to be leftover garbage. I scan the memory recordings, especially the places that should be dated the day Luke disappeared, only to find no recordings for that day. It’s as if the droid just shut down. But how could this be? If this was just a hardware malfunction, surely someone would have noticed long time ago.

    I wonder if someone meddled with Artoo’s programming. I am no expert, but I’ve heard that certain slicing tools and extensions could leave no trace of themselves. In that case, I am out of luck. Question is, who would install such a thing into Artoo? Was it Luke? Or was it someone else? The very thought of the latter makes me feel uneasy. If someone else was preventing us from obtaining a complete map, that person would have to be a part of the Resistance. Which means that we might have had an infiltrator from the First Order all along, without even noticing. They could still be in there, leaking our plans to the First Order. While the ship is on its way to Ahch-To, there is no way for me to be sure if it is being tracked.

    I try to listen to the Force, but the echos of millions of deaths prevent me from getting a clear picture. I check Artoo’s memory for deleted files again, this time checking the insides of the files. Nothing but random bits of data. One file catches my attention. This is the old Life Day holorecording Artoo made of us together 29 years ago. It was a video from right before Ben’s birthday. I caught Leia watching it shortly after I was found, when both Luke and Han were away on their respective businesses. She confessed to me how much of a load everything in the Senate has been to her lately, so in her free time she used to watch the holorecording, recalling of the good times. I told her that no matter how far we stay apart, we will always remember each other. If I only knew back then how things would eventually turn out. At least, right now she has Han, alive and well and by her side.

    Part of me is protesting against rubbing the fresh wound, reminding myself of the friends who will never forgive me. The other part of me just wants to see Luke’s face, and everyone being happy, before everything went wrong. As my hand lingers above the console button, I feel the void inside me yet again. Even the pain is unable to eclipse the desire to remind myself of the way things were. I set the recording to play, despite the whatever emotions that might cause.

    I can’t believe what I am seeing.

    Instead of seeing the younger versions of me, Luke, Han and Leia, I see an image of an older Luke in the Jedi robes he were when he was Grand Master.

    Leia.” the holo image of Luke begins to speak. He must have known Leia was going to see the holorecording when she tried to rewatch it. No one else would suspect anything. Damn it, how hasn’t anyone noticed this before? All the time, the clues were hidden in plain sight. But why did the message get deleted? And why was Artoo deactivated?

    “If you’re watching this, my worst fears have been realised. Ben has turned to the Dark Side. Someone named Snoke is doing everything in his power to shape Ben into an agent of evil. Once Ben’s training is complete, the galaxy will suffer greatly. Ari and I tried our best to prevent this from happening. We failed despite all our effort. I don’t want to give up on him, but I don’t know what else can we do to bring Ben back. The only people who might be able to save him now are you and Han. I am sorry I don’t have any better news for you.”

    So he suspected of Kylo Ren coming to power after all. He knew it, and he still refused to give up on his nephew. If only Luke knew how far into the Dark Side Ben Solo was… And how he thought the only way to snuff the Light out of himself was to kill Han, his own father… What is Luke going to say when I see him? And how am I going to look him in the eyes after killing his own nephew? Will Luke treat me just like Han and Leia did after everything?

    The hologram continued.

    “I am sorry I have to abandon all of you like this in your time of need, but if I stay, the unspeakable is going to happen. The threat of the being known as Supreme Leader Snoke is bigger than we could possibly imagine. The existence of the entire galaxy is at stake. He must be stopped, or all is lost.”

    Why didn’t Luke tell me, or anyone else, any of this before? I remember him mentioning a vision of the galaxy being consumed by darkness. It was the evening before I left to fight the First Order invasion on an Outer Rim mining colony. But he never talked much about it. But why was Luke hiding it from the others if it was so serious?

    “I am going on a mission where I hope to find the means of stopping Snoke once and for all. I urge you, Han or Ari not to try to seek me out. This is too dangerous, and I don’t want any of you to suffer.”

    Luke… What have you gotten yourself into? Have you thought about the mission being too hard to tackle alone? Why couldn’t you tell at least me or some other Masters?

    “You haven’t changed a bit,” I say to myself as i hold back a tear. Always risking himself to save the others. And willing to put the mission at risk for the sake of his friends. Just why do you have to be like this?

    “If I fail, Artoo Deetoo will reveal the location of my mission, as well as what to do so that Ari can finish what I started.”

    The last sentence strikes me like a lightning. If Artoo gave up the map only now, does that mean that Luke has failed at whatever he was willing to accomplish? Is he even alive?!

    I reach out through the Force to Luke for the first time in many years, and finally, I am able to feel his presence in it. It’s elusive, and I still can’t sense any thoughts or feelings, but he is not dead. This comforts me instantly. But what is with his mission? Artoo gave us the map, but not any instructions attached to it.

    “This may be the last message you are getting from me. Please, destroy it as soon as you’ve seen all of it, I hope you, Han and Ari stay together, no matter what happens. Goodbye.” As the message finishes, I look at the console screen. What I’ve just seen explains a lot, but leaves even more questions. But one thing I know for certain: Luke’s so-called exile was not an exile at all, but a mission instead. Did he succeed? Or did he fail? That I don’t know yet.

    I need to find the instructions, if any, Luke left. That should shed some light on what he’s about to do. But just as I am about to get back to work, the console’s screen suddenly goes blank, with sparks coming from several of the connecting wires. I quickly plug everything off the console, hoping to avoid any further damage. But I have checked the hardware only a day ago, and everything was fine.

    This is really weird. First the astromech that won’t turn on for several years and has memory problems, now my diagnostic console gets fried. I don’t want to jump conclusions, but it looks if someone has specifically uploaded a virus into the droid to prevent anyone from finding out the truth. If it really is what I think, then I’d better not reactivate Artoo until I am able to fully scan him and determine what’s going on. The more I look into it, the more I start to suspect about this being the work of an spy within the Resistance. But who could it be?

    Quite a few Resistance operatives were taught to fight both Force and tech-based mind control techniques, which made them hard to read without applying particularly invasive methods. Some even had implants installed specifically to make mind control harder, in case they are captured by the First Order. The pool of suspects is quite large. And even if I were able to probe everyone’s mind, trying to do so would scare the traitor off. Why didn’t I sense any danger during my visits to D’Qar? That makes this even more puzzling.

    I need to get someone to check Artoo. But who? There doesn’t seem to be any charted settlements on Ahch-To. And even if there were, I can’t entrust such an astromech containing the information about the Resistance to the first random slicer I meet up in the Outer Rim. There is nothing I can do right now with a broken diagnostics console. The travel time from D’Qar and back doesn’t allow me to to get back to the base for at least three more weeks. My best bet right now is to try repairing the console myself. I have a few spare parts in the cargohold, but it might take quite some time..

    Maybe I can get Rey to help me out with repairs. She seems to know an awful lot. She doesn’t seem to have seen this ship model, though. Still, her skills could prove useful. I sense Rey has left the living suite and went to the pilot’s seat to see 0-1-0. I can only hope he didn’t tell her of his past in all its gory details. Especially not the gory details.

    As I walk into the pilot’s cabin, I see 0-1-0 talking to Rey, who obviously doesn’t share 0-1-0’s enthusiasm about the topic.

    “And that was before Mistress Ari met Master Skywalker. Unfortunately, since then, her need in eliminating organics grew lower, and I am stuck with the functions that she added to me. I really hope we’ll be seeing more of the First Order scum so I can return to my true-” the droid pauses as he sees me looking through the door. “Oh, Mistress Ari, I was just telling Mistress Rey about how we got rid of that despicable Hutt on Nar Shaddaa-”

    “Enough, 0-1-0.” I brush it off. I am really going to need another mod for him. As he is now, forcing him to shut up is just impossible. “Rey, could you please help me out? There’s a console that got fried, and I need to repair it as fast as possible.”

    “Yeah, sure.” She nods and follows me into the corridors. “ Is he always like that? I mean, 0-1-0.”

    “Believe it or not, he was actually even worse when I first found him.”

    “Yikes.” I see a disgusted expression on Rey’s face. I guess she wouldn’t like him any more if I told her about some assassin droid trying to kill me before I got a slicer to install the loyalty protocol.

    As I return to the cargo hold, I grab the toolbox. Rey opens the lid on the back, exposing the console’s inner workings. Rey coughs as the smoke comes out of the console. This can’t be good. Still, the earlier I start repairing the thing, the sooner I can run make sure Artoo is okay...

    Rey’s help turns out to be even more valuable than I expected. Whatever there is to say, Rey seems to be catching it on the go, and while she doesn’t know everything, she learns real quick. As a result, in just a handful of hours the console is almost finished.

    “You learned all of that by yourself?” I ask Rey as I connect the wires.

    “I’ve been making my living by scavenging back on Jakku. Found out a lot about ships by picking apart the remains.” Rey answers, while grabbing yet another replacement chip.

    “Any relatives? Guardians?”

    She shakes her head.

    “I wish I had it any different in my younger years,” I whisper to myself as I pick one of the last spare parts.

    “What was it like?” I pause for a moment before replying to Rey’s question. Even after all these years, it still hurts to remember.

    “Have you ever heard about Order 66?”

    “The massacre of the old Jedi Order by the Sith?”

    “Exactly. And that was what changed my life forever.”

    “I’m sorry, Master.” Rey gives me a sad look.

    “No, it’s okay.” I sigh before continuing. “I have learned to accept my past and live with it. Including the things I am not proud of.”

    “What things?”

    “Before I met Luke, I wasn’t the Jedi standing before you. Without anyone to guide me, my mindless hatred for the Empire led me to the Dark Side. I went so far I did… unspeakable things just to get back at my tormentors. That’s when he stopped me. I thought I would be captured and executed, but Luke said he saw the Light in me. He spared me and gave me a new life. I became his apprentice. He, Han and Leia accepted me when everyone else called for my blood. I’ve been trying to repay the debt ever since. ” my voice cracks as I recall that the very same debt is what led me to cutting ties with them. “Now, if only mercy and the lives of others were always the same…”

    “Did you mean Kylo Ren?” Rey asks. I shudder as I did not expect a question this direct.

    “Yes. I… wish there was another way. That we could... redeem him and everything would be fine.” I take a few deep breaths as I am using the Force to calm myself down. “But no matter how many times we tried to save him, it always ended in a failure. I just had to do it to save Han. That monster, the grandson of Darth Vader would have killed countless others had he not been stopped. Even if it means breaking all ties with the people I considered my family.” I change the subject, trying not to push my own problems on Rey. “Alright, that’s it. Thanks for the help, couldn’t have done it better myself.”

    “You are welcome.” Rey says as she turns around. “I think I’ll go back to the living suite.”

    I grab the holopad lying on one of the nearby crates to check the time. Quite a few hours has passed. I wonder if Rey needs something to eat.

    “ In case you’re hungry,” I smile at Rey, “don’t be shy to grab anything from the food.”

    “Thank you, Master.” Rey walks away from the room.

    I reboot the newly repaired console. Time to find out what’s going on with Artoo and if I can find any instructions Luke may have left. I may not succeed, but I will try. Even though Luke keeps telling me there is no try. Yes, I will do instead. He might have objected against anyone following him, but I can’t just leave Luke to his fate. Whatever it is he’s up to, I won’t let him struggle alone. Not after all we’ve been through.

    “Wherever you are, I will find you.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    DARTH_MU likes this.
  2. DARTH_MU

    DARTH_MU Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2005
    First!

    Is there really a spy in the Resistance base?

    Can't wait for part 2.

    :)
     
    FireKeeper likes this.
  3. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add the sentence to the summary.
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb. I do like this explanation of Luke's "exile." That always struck me as totally off too. :rolleyes: The more I read of Ari, the more I like her. :cool:
     
    FireKeeper and DARTH_MU like this.
  5. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Thank you!
     
  6. FireKeeper

    FireKeeper Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2017
    AN: Yay, I finally posted another chapter!

    The fanfic completely discards the events of The Last Jedi, especially the travesty that was Luke's characterization. Read at your own risk if you have any problems with extreme canon warping or flat out ignore.

    Also, I really hope this didn't come out too melodramatic. This chapter took me so long, and I wanted to do my dear Luke justice. Promise I will try to not abandon the fanfic for this long. Also, I hope Nyros doesn't look like a creepy woman who can't keep her feelings to herself.

    Thanks to WarmNyota_SweetAyesha of Jedi Council Forums for the beta. Also huge thanks for my SWTOR guildies Rixty, Erilyne and Naemor for their support. I also would like to thank the people on the fanfic board of the Jedi Council Forums for helping me to flesh out the story details and sew up the plot holes.

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    I put my datapad aside, covering my face. Only a week has passed, and the First Order has already declared war, now conquering and occupying our worlds. Just in the last few days the Republic Fleet has suffered numerous casualties. This is worse than I could have imagined.


    Their numbers are several times bigger than the Resistance estimated. How could this be? Surely they couldn’t hide a mass production of ships and weaponry for this long. What did they do to keep it undiscovered? And where did they get the resources to construct fleets of such scale? Why did we miss so much? And why didn’t they show up before? These questions have been haunting me for the last few days. And no matter how hard I try to find an explanation to these things, I fail to make any connections.


    Could it be connected to Artoo Detoo possibly being sliced? Quite possibly. Me being unable to find any instructions Luke was supposed to leave makes me lean even more towards that assumption. The slicer must have not wanted us to find Luke, that’s why they attempted to erase everything. Yet I can’t find out much while on such a trip to such a remote planet. Leia redirecting all holocalls doesn’t make things any easier. While I have grown to trust Poe Dameron, her commanding officer, over years, in this situation I cannot be certain about anyone. And Poe did join the Resistance before Luke’s Jedi Order got destroyed, which puts him on the suspect list. Still… If he were the traitor, he had many chances to betray us. Why didn’t he? And why hasn’t the the traitor, whoever they might be, try to stop the Starkiller base from destroying? Things seem to contradict themselves. Is it better to take the chance and tell him everything, making it possible to prevent anything before it happens? Or will it only do more harm than good? I honestly don’t know what to do right now.


    I kept trying to meditate the last few days on the future of the galaxy, hoping to get the answers I needed in the Force, and all I’ve seen was an endless void. The Dark Side has clouded everything. For the first time in my life, I realised how much I relied on my visions. The power that was both my victory and my undoing, the power that lead me both to saving people and committing crimes, what lead me down the path I’ve come to regret, and yet also made me who I am now. There were times when I wished I never had it, and yet now that I can’t seem to use it, I feel so helpless without it.


    Luke had always warned me not to focus too much on visions, reminding me how the future is changeable, and how they lead to my fall to the Dark Side in the first place. But if I didn’t, terrible things would have happened. The First Order would have won in more cases than it did. Han…


    Han. Despite a week and a half having passed, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact he and Leia, two of the few closest people I’ve ever had in my life, now see me as an enemy. Alongside Luke, they were the ones who gave me the strife to be better I was. It was them who inspired made me believe in something other than pointless revenge, and it is because of them I became who I am right now. I owe everything to them, and now I have failed them in their eyes. The more days pass, the more I feel as if there is a gaping hole in my chest.


    I get pulled away from my thoughts as I sense the ship landing. Contrary to what Luke’s holorecording lead me to expect, I don’t sense any threat on this planet. In fact, the aura of this planet actually gives me a good feeling. I have seen many places that in one way or another suffered from the First Order the last few years. Many had a Dark Side taint to some degree, with despair and fear echoing through the Force. This planet is completely peaceful instead, a stark contrast to what I am used to. After seeing so much pain, it is nice that there is a place in the galaxy still untouched by violence.


    And now, having finally arrived, after several days of managing to sense Luke’s faint signature in the Force, I see it clearly. His presence here is unmistakable.



    Luke… I’ve looked for you for so many years, and yet I all I feel now is uncertainty. Am I really to finally see you, or is it all just an illusion? After so many losses, I have a hard time believing this is actually happening. What are you thinking about me for killing your nephew? Are you going to react just like Han and Leia when you see me? Or are you going to give me another chance, like you always did?


    I walk out of my own cabin and head for the living suite, only to find Rey sitting on the couch, with the rocks I gave her to lift with the Force as an exercise carefully placed on each other. Had this been another young Force Sensitive in her place, I would have suspected they cheated while I was distracted. But seeing Rey’s previous results, I have no doubt she really did it.


    After getting to know her, I wish the circumstances have been different, that she had been discovered earlier and the New Jedi Order was still standing. The girl has genuine talent, and while she might be a bit brash and adventure-seeking, a lot of students of her age are. And her heart seems to be in the right place. Luke would have been proud to have an apprentice like her alongside the Jedi. Then again, with the things that happened to the Order, it’s probably for the best she wasn’t there back then.


    “Rey, it’s time to go.” I say.



    “Yes, Master.” I see my words have piqued her curiosity as she gets up from the couch. Maybe it’s not the best idea to take an untrained Force Sensitive on an unknown planet, but Rey wanted to come down and see Luke. Besides, I think it would be interesting for Luke to meet someone as gifted as her.



    I can feel a light breeze blowing in my face as we venture outside. The climate doesn’t feel cold or warm. As I look around, I see that we are on a rocky coast, with the ocean stretching from it, with rather peculiar looking birds diving it. Everything about this planet just feels so serene. Had it not been for Luke’s message, I wouldn’t have suspected right now that it hides some dark secret.


    Then I turn around to see an ascent to the center of the island. Luke is there, his presence irradiating through the Force. My heart races faster with each step as Rey and I go up the crag. And once again, I am reminded of the feelings I’ve been trying to extinguish for many years, but couldn’t. The Masters of old presented love as something that went against the Jedi Code, a thing that leads to catastrophes and should be avoided at all cost in a Jedi. Yet love was what kept me from going back to the Dark Side for many years. Were they right or not? I don’t know. Luke himself disagreed with that sentiment though, and the new Jedi Masters were allowed to marry and have family. In fact, at the time the Order fell, quite a few already did. Not that it changed anything about my life though.


    There was time when I wished Luke and I could be together. But I never knew how to be more than a friend to him. And when I finally confessed how I feel, I realised that he never felt the same way about me. Then I disappeared, and by the time they found me, twenty years have passed. I found out Luke married a redeemed servant of the former Emperor, Mara Jade. Part of me felt guilty that I still loved him when he already had a wife, and her being jealous didn’t help it. Things did settle down though after I explained her I am not a threat to their relationship. I stayed friends with Luke, hiding love away from everyone in the deepest corners of my consciousness, and still it never seemed to fade away. I told myself a million times that how I feel is wrong, yet it never made any difference. And then I lost them both.


    Mara was presumably killed by a Knight of Ren while on a mission the same day the Jedi Order got ravaged. No body was found, so we didn’t even have anything to bury. Luke just disappeared. The people who believed Luke went into exile used his wife’s death as one of the arguments against me. Yet Leia and I knew better.



    As Rey and I reach the top, I notice a hooded figure. He turns around and takes his hood off, but I didn’t need that to know it was Luke. I have finally found my dear friend.



    Time freezes in my mind as I see the very much aged, yet familiar, face, and the memories of everything we’ve been through swarm my head. When he defeated me, and was the first one in many years to offer me a helping hand instead of striking me down. Him defending me against the Rebellion’s top officers. Meeting Han and Leia. Being one of the first to become a Knight in the New Jedi Order. Being recovered by the Jedi after twenty years of stasis. Our last talk before his disappearance. Now more than ever I realize how dear this person is to me.



    “Ari?” after a few seconds, Luke breaks the silence with a puzzled tone. I smile as I hear his voice. So much time I searched while holding on to nothing but Leia’s words and a glimmer of hope. All the evidence seemed to point towards Luke being dead, yet I never believed this. I knew Leia was right, no matter what the others said. And now I can finally see it.


    “Luke...” I am trying to gather the words, holding back my emotions. “I… I am so happy to see you again.”


    Part of me wants to just give him a hug, but I am afraid my intentions may be misinterpreted. Luke knew how I felt about him all the time. What would he think? This is what made me keep my distance ever since I confessed my feelings. Yet as I see the next moment, my doubts are broken.



    A single tear falls down Luke’s face when he reaches out his hands to me. I struggle not to cry as we embrace each other. And though it lasts only a second, it feels much longer to me. Luke is alive and here. The sole fact makes me feel more complete than every small victory in the past six years. What’s more, I can sense Luke’s joy too. What I wouldn’t have given for this moment all this time.


    But along with happiness, I also sense something else. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Even borderline despair. What happened? As I ponder these things, my relief withers away.


    “How did you find me?” Luke asks with surprise in his tone. I am not quite sure what to make of his reaction.



    “The map. We pieced it together. The hologram you left sai-” I stop mid sentence, realizing I might have just admitted to watching messages that weren’t intended for me, but this is the last thing to worry about right now. “The hologram you left for Leia said you left to look for something.”



    “Artoo… He shouldn’t have given in my location unless I died.” Luke whispers in a worried voice before turning his face to Rey. From her expression, I can see she is overwhelmed with emotion. They continue staring at each other for a moment, with Luke being surprised, but there is also warmth in his gaze. As if the girl was someone close to him. But there is something I’ve never noticed before before… A connection between Luke and Rey. I don’t know what exactly this is, but there is a link between the two, one not unlike those between blood relatives. But Luke and Mara never had any children as far as I know. And Ben… Kylo Ren was Han and Leia’s only child. Could she be a more distant relative? I never knew much of Luke’s mother. Could Rey be somehow related on her side? This raises even more questions.


    “What’s your name?” Luke blurts out the words with his gaze fixated on her.



    “Rey. It’s an honor to meet you, Master Skywalker.” Rey says as she slowly comes to us, taking the lightsaber off her utility belt, and reaching out to give it to Luke.



    “I haven’t seen this one for a long time.” my friend says quietly as he takes it, shedding a single tear. “Thank you.”



    Now I see what Maz’s plan was all along. She had foreseen Rey meeting Luke, that’s why she gave her the lightsaber. And I remember where have I seen this hilt before. Mara’s lightsaber. How could I not figure this out? This is all making sense.


    “Why did you leave everything else behind? Your family and friends were looking for you, and the galaxy is in peril.” Rey asks what I had on my mind all along.


    Luke pauses for a moment before replying.


    “It’s... Complicated.” he lets out a heavy sigh. “Why don’t we go to a more appropriate place where we can discuss this?”


    “Fine.” I nod as I follow Luke to the other edge of the cliff.



    As we all descend the top of the island and follow a rocky path, questions swarm my head. How exactly is Rey related to Luke? Is she a relative on his mother’s side? I wonder frequent Force sensitivity was in the family of Luke’s mother. If there was a lineage of Force sensitives, that would explain Rey’s prodigious abilities.


    Did Maz decide to give her the lightsaber because she noticed the connection? And how did she find the lightsaber at all? Neither Mara’s body nor her lightsaber were found among the Jedi Temple ruins. While Luke told about some Jedi losing corporeal form with death, and the two of his Masters doing this. But one has to be at peace with their death, accept it, in order to become one with the Force like that, while I sensed her despair before her death. And why take the lightsaber? The only explanation I can think of is the Knights of Ren taking the lightsaber with them. I’ve seen some of them being fond of taking trophies from fallen enemies.


    After some time walking, Luke, Rey and I arrive to a small hut inside the stone wall. I’ve lived in many conditions in my youth, slums of various planets included, but never have I ever seen conditions quite like these. As we go in, I see the place is very small, with all surfaces in it carved out of stone. Luke must have carved the thing out of the rock by using the Force. I remember the degree of control over it he had never ceased to amaze me in my younger years. And now it amazes me yet again.


    What I notice next are the things lying on the improvised table. On one of the corners, there was a column of very old-looking paper books, with ancient papers and a datapad lying near them. I look at the datapad, which shows lines leading to some sort of coordinates on a map. On the other corner, alongside a lamp, there were several holocrons. And from their presence in the Force, they were both Light and Dark. That is very uncharacteristic of Luke to turn to the Dark Side. Could he be using the dark holocrons to help him find Snoke? Was the situation really so desperate he would turn to them?


    “What you should understand is greater than anyone could have suspected.” Luke says this as he sits down on what must be a place to sleep. “The identity others know as Snoke is merely a shell to cover up something much more ancient. Something much more…Evil.”


    Rey and I sit down on another surface near the table as he starts telling.


    “Shortly before the Jedi Order was destroyed, I have been looking through mentions of possession in various materials about the Force. That’s when I first stumbled upon the mention of an ancient entity. A Sith who managed to perform a ritual that bound his existence to the existence of the Force itself.”



    “How is this possible?” the words fly off my lips on their own. I can’t believe how could something so twisted exist at all. And if it does, there is no telling how much harm can it do to the entire galaxy. It must be stopped at all costs.


    “I don’t exactly know how. The materials of that era are sparse. I can only assume he was a powerful Force user at that time. Back then I didn’t give much attention to that, dismissing it as a legend of old. But the things I saw later made me change my mind. Not much later, I found a planet that didn’t wasn’t charted on modern star maps or had anything about it in the holorecords. It was devoid of all life, as if the Force was erased from it completely.” Luke stutters as he stares seemingly into nothing. Rey’s expression changes to that of confusion and shock. I twitch uncomfortably, pondering on the nature of this planet. How could something so corrupted, even exist? I have seen many places strong with the Dark Side, but nowhere was it strong enough to eradicate all life? Never in my life have I ever seen something this profaned.


    ”There was nothing but dust and ruins. And at the same time, there was the Dark Side. Just being there struck me to my core, But there is something else, the thing that scared me more. The darkness I felt on the planet was not unlike the one I sensed in Ben.” my dear friend covers his face as grief touches it. And once again, I begin to feel the same guilt I felt when I killed Kylo Ren. Why, why did this have to happen? Could there have been? Maybe there was, but the price was too high. I tell myself that his death was necessary to save Han, but as I see Luke’s expression, it becomes increasingly difficult to lull the feeling of weight on my shoulders.


    “I have found more sources referencing the entity, and began to look for more events related to it. There wasn’t anything recent that could be related to it, except for some natural anomalies on the Outer Rim planets. At the same time, I investigated the unusual activities on the Outer Rim planets that would later be revealed as the First Order. Many of the planets were the places where their activity took place. I meditated on this, and began making connections between the elusive leader of the First Order and the entity based on what I’ve gathered from each site. At the same, time I have begun to sense something dark coming towards the Jedi through my bond with Ben. And then… Then that day happened.” tears start running down Luke’s face as his voice cracks. Rey tries to look around, as if not knowing what to do to fight the situation. I get up from my seating and squat before him, patting his shoulder.


    “It’s all right.” I say, hoping that somehow I will manage to make it easier, even though I know that I am not in the place to calm him. I am the one who killed his nephew, and he probably already knows that.


    “I went to see the new intel Leia had, and was about to get back when this happened. I wasn’t even there to protect them.” Luke’s crying grows stronger as he says this. A tear runs down my face too as I begin to remember how I felt back then.



    I sensed the agony of every person who died there, coupled with the darkness of Kylo Ren. Part of me couldn’t believe it was happening. It was like reliving the childhood nightmares I had after the old Jedi Order’s destruction all over again. I wanted to get there, to try and save everyone, but I could not cross such distance so fast. I felt helpless. Usually, I foresaw catastrophes like this, but this caught me completely off guard. And so many parsecs away, there was nothing I could do. I remember the despair and inside me as I saw the bodies of the people I knew, some of them still children. How could one be so vile? I was on the Dark Side, I remember my crimes clearly, yet the very memories of how the brutality of those murders make my blood chill.


    “I rushed there, but it was too late. There was only a burning building left, and the corpses. I just…” Luke pauses once again as his hands visibly tremble. “I always believed in the best in Ben. I didn’t want to believe he was capable in something like… Like this.”


    I want to say something, but realise any words are only going to make it worse. So I just sit there, waiting for my friend to get through this.


    “From that moment, I was certain it was Snoke’s fault for turning Ben. I swore to myself that never ever will I let another one suffer from that abomination while I am standing. After gathering my things and leaving a note behind that made it look like I went into exile, I let a hologram for Leia about my true intents, something only she could figure out. Then, I set out to look for Faar’s Crucible, an artifact that I am hoping to hinder Snoke with. Unfortunately, my search has been futile ever since then.” Luke takes his hand away from his face and puts it on his lap, looking around. Part of me wants to tell him about what really happened to his hologram, but seeing his state, I come to a conclusion that now is not the time.



    “Why didn’t you tell the other survivors of the Jedi massacre about this?” Rey, who is on the verge of tears herself at this point, asks while shaking her head.


    “I didn’t want anyone else to suffer by Snoke’s hand. Not directly at least. I already lost Ben to him. Now I see it might have been wiser to tell someone else, but… I was just so afraid for the others.” Luke closes his eyes for a moment, making an agonized expression.


    “You can’t give up just yet, Luke.” I try to assure him.



    “I know I can’t. Giving up is not an option here. But I have looked through a good chunk of this planet. There is nothing on the place where the tomb should be, and I checked multiple times. Sometimes I doubt if it even exists.”


    “I promise you, we will find a way to stop Snoke. With the Crucible or without it.” I put my hand on his. “We can do this together. I have experience with studying holocrons. Besides…” My thoughts float back to Rey and how meeting her may not be a coincidence. What if she may be the key to this puzzle Luke has not been able to find? “Rey, can you walk out for a few minutes?”



    “Why?” Rey asks, seemingly not having expected to be asked that.


    “It is just something Master Luke and I have to discuss privately.” I say.



    “All right.” Rey nods, still visibly confused as she walks out. After I sense she is far enough not to hear us.



    “The girl. I believe she might have something to do with finding the artifact.”


    “How?” Luke looks at me with astonishment.



    “I know this might be far fetched, but I believe meeting her was no accident. Han met her only a few days ago, when we desperately needed help, and she helped destroy the Starkiller base. And the Force. She is unusually strong with it. I believe us finding her was the will of the Force.”


    “You may be right.” my friend nods. “I don’t know why, but I feel like I have known her to many years. As if she was a part of my family.”


    “I sensed it too. Could it be that she actually was related to you?” I wonder if the question is too private after I ask it, but it’s too late.


    “I… I don’t know.” Luke answers with uncertainty in his voice. “From what I know about my mother, she was a Senator coming from one of the noble houses of Naboo, with no known Force Sensitives. And father was the only child. That’s what I managed to gather, at least, but I don’t know much, most of the data was destroyed or twisted by the Empire after the takeover. And then, there could be more distant relatives.”


    I nod as I realise I couldn’t have hoped for a more exact answer. If there was a Force sensitive relative Luke knew of, she would have been taken to the Order.


    “But there was one person who could match her in raw power.” suddenly the tone of Luke’s voice changes to a hardened, disappointed one. “Ben.”


    My heart sinks as he utters this very name.


    “Why did you kill him like that? You knew he could be taken hostage.” grief slips through his tone.


    “I sense he tried to find an opportune moment to strike back at me. Besides… I did not believe he could be redeemed anymore.” I try to justify my actions, even though I know that in the eyes of loving parents and uncle, there is no possible justification.


    “There still was good in him. I knew it. “ Luke says this with certainty.


    “And I don’t. Too many times have I heard him commit atrocities across the galaxy to let him go just like that.”


    “You know that forgiveness is one of the things that sets us apart from the Empire and their successors, don’t you?” Luke asks. “Why would you tap into the Dark Side once again?”


    “How can I show him mercy when the lives of my friends are at stake? Look, I have foresaw him trying to kill Han. I had to stop it before it was too late.”


    “Visions are changeable, the future is always in motion. I thought you agreed on that.” Luke shakes his head in disbelief as I can sense his disappointment.


    “He tried to kill me the same way he tried to kill Han in a vision before the duel! Had it been him in my place, he certainly would have died!” I pause for a moment. “Look, I know there is no way I can explain myself, but I had to save Han. As well as billions of innocents he would have murdered had I not done that. I couldn’t take any risks. I know you had hoped that someday Ben Solo would return to you. But he was gone the moment he attacked the Jedi Temple. Snoke has taken hold of him completely”


    Luke’s expression changes from disapproval to remorse.


    “Why? What did we do wrong?” he asks as tears appear on his face once again. The very sight makes me wish I never said anything I did.


    “We did everything we could. You did everything you could.” I try to keep calm while saying this, but can’t hide the sadness in my voice. “I know this because I remember how you refused to give up on me. How you told me you refused to give up on your father.”


    “What kind of a Jedi am I if I couldn’t protect my own nephew?” He gets up and walks away to the window, staring into it.


    “Sometimes doing everything you can is just not enough. Life just works against you.” I come closer to him. This is something I have learned in my youth the hard way. Sometimes, the situation just doesn’t allow you to get what you want.


    “Then what good am I?” Luke shakes his head.


    “Even though the Order is destroyed, the war isn’t lost yet. The galaxy is still standing. You can still find a way to defeat Snoke. So that he can never hurt anyone again.”


    Luke doesn’t say anything and leaves the hut, but I can sense the conflict inside him. Part of him realises that his nephew might have been lost years ago, but that’s not what he wants to believe. There is another part of him that never gave up hope even after all of the massacres Ben Solo committed. A loving uncle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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