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Saga - ST Black Rapier (Poe, Rey, Luke, Leia, Han, OT&ST cast. Pre-TFA to Post-TFA. Chapter 9 up 20/Oct)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Aiel, Feb 20, 2016.

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  1. EGKenobi

    EGKenobi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Really enjoyed reading through this. Is there more to come? Would love to know when you update this.

    EG
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  2. Aiel

    Aiel Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 14, 2004
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    [9]
    [24 ABE]
    Location: New Republic Sanctioned Trading Outpost
    (Formally Abandoned Rebel Alliance Echo Base), Hoth
    Six Years Before The Force Awakens
    ______________________________________________________________________________


    Pulling back his fur covered hood as they walked through the bustling trading post area, (the former durasteel walled and floored hanger bay of the Rebellion era Echo Base.) Iolo Arana peered through his tinted goggles at his squadron leader with a furrowed brow, folding his arms across his chest.

    The thrills and adventures with you don’t stop, do they, Dameron?”

    Brushing the snow off his padded jacket covered shoulders, Poe pushed back his own fur-lined hood and pushed his goggles up into his, slightly messier than usual, dark hair, a smirk on his bearded features, “You were the one who wanted to go see Shyloah’s Crest.” He reminded his team-mate lightly, heading towards a stall that sold warm beverages to the traders and pilots that frequented the outpost.

    Iolo took off his goggles and held them loosely in his left hand as he regarded his former Starfleet Academy room-mate with a narrowed, unimpressed expression in his Keshian eyes, “Yes, from above, maybe in a vintage Snowhopper, not ground-level on a smelly, irritable Tauntaun.”

    Poe chuckled, “You’re just saying that because sweet, little Butterlyst bucked you off into the snow a few times.” He motioned to the four-eyed Aqualish server at the food and beverage stall. “Two cream-foam hot chocolates and two slices of Oi-ois air-cake.”

    “’Sweet, little, Butterlyst’, indeed.” Iolo grumbled as he hopped up onto the stool in front of the stall and shook his head. “Who calls a seven-foot tall, smelly mop of fur and horns sweet and little? She had it in for me...and I swear you were encouraging her somehow.”

    Poe flashed his team-mate an innocent white smile as he sat down on the opposing stool, “Not at all...although, I might have asked the Tauntaun wrangler what Tauntaun gave him the most trouble, and maybe made sure she was saddled and ready to go when we asked for mounts...”

    Iolo growled under his breath, “I swear Dameron, you sadistic—”

    [Your beverages and cake.] The Aqualish grumbled out, as he placed the steaming drinks and sliced air-cake in front of his customers. Poe slid across some credits and grabbed his black mug of hot chocolate with a laugh at Iolo’s scowling expression.

    My treat. Truce?”

    Iolo grumbled and grabbed his own mug, clinking it against his squadron leader’s mug, “Truce, you loveable son-of-a-mynock. Does anyone in this galaxy ever stay mad at you?” He took a sip of his beverage as Poe shrugged and lifted his own drink to his lips.

    I’m sure there’s someone out there. Former Senator Organa’s son never cared for me, for one.”

    Arana rolled his eyes, “Does Prince Snooty really count? Even from just seeing him on the holo-vision as a kid, that Ben Solo seemed like a dour little so-and-so.” He rested his arm on the stall’s bar-top with a raised eyebrow. “So, you’ve finally got some leave-time. Off to the Corellian racing meet, hot-shot?”

    Poe picked up his fork and cut into his cake slice, “Not this time. I promised Syal to go spend some on Yavin 4 with my Dad and Grandfather.” He popped his fork-full of cake into his mouth, as Iolo nodded with a knowing smirk.

    An extended time with the in-laws, huh? Could that be the sound of wedding chimes I hear?” Iolo grinned mercilessly, as Poe side-eyed him, silently continuing to chew his cake without replying.

    Iolo leaned across and rested a hand on Poe’s shoulder. “Are you sure you can’t hear them?” He tapped his fork against his mug, eliciting a tinging noise.

    Rolling his eyes, Poe playfully shoved his team-mate away, “Right. Like either Syal or I have time to contemplate the very idea, let alone go through with it.” He shook his head as Iolo raised his eyebrow in response. “I’m not saying never, I’m just saying not now. So don’t get all excited about having a new dress-uniform made just yet.”

    Shrugging, Iolo stretched his arms over his head, “Duly noted. I’ll let the tailor droids know.” He yawned. “I think I’m ready to go bunk down. I swear, the two weeks we’ve been stationed here I’ve spent more time asleep than awake. A lot of that probably has to do with the week-long snow-storm that kept us stuck in this old base. Man, I hate the cold, my face is always frozen.”

    Poe smirked as he scratched his bearded chin, “Now if only you could grow a beard, it wouldn’t be half as bad.”

    Iolo snorted, “I guess. But I also think you just grew it to cover up at least half of your ugly mug, so you wouldn’t scare off the traders,” he teased, making Poe laugh as he downed the last of his beverage.

    Good one. It’s about time I started rubbing off on you, it’s only been nearly ten years.” Poe put his mug back down on the counter. “If you want to go have nap before we leave, I’ll start packing up the cargo so we can get a head start.”

    Well that only seems fair, since you’re the one who volunteered us.” Iolo muttered, as he and Poe got up from their stools and headed over to where their cargo ship was birthed.

    The undercover mission had been a bust, since the NRI (New Republic Intelligence) had contacted them to let the pilots know that the tip-off of a deal going down between two rival space-pirate bands, had turned out to be a hoax...which the NRI had known for over a week, and had just bothered to let Poe and Iolo know the previous day.

    Poe rubbed his eyes, “I know. I thought at least it would get us off base and away from the tedious boredom of waiting around for something to happen.” He quietly pointed out, kicking at a stray piece of trash with the tip of his right insulated boot. “I swear, I don’t know what the New Republic Senate thinks it’s doing lately.”

    Iolo grunted, “You mean treating every member of a military branch like we’re the akk dog’s breakfast?” He queeried.

    Poe nodded his agreement. “I’m sick of it. I really am. A shiny new starship and what is practically a desk job, occasionally allowed to go out and police junky old thieves in the outer-rim of the galaxy.” He grumbled. “It’s like they’re trying to get us all us starfighter pilots quit and retire to entertaining people on the galaxy-wide racing circuit.”

    Laughing grimly, Iolo folded his padded coat covered arms over his chest, “At this point I’m sure we’re all seriously contemplating it. Pay is better, hours are better, you’re not stuck out on a backwater base waiting for something to happen.” He shook his head.

    They’re certainly pushing it. I think there’s few people in the galaxy, outside of the senators themselves, that aren’t on edge.”

    Poe frowned, “Ever since Senator Organa was driven to quit over something that wasn’t her fault, I keep thinking about the end of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire.” He shrugged. “Corruption is running rife in the galaxy, and we’re nothing but a couple of fly-boys who aren’t even allowed to do the job we’re trained for.”

    -:-:-:-:-

    Yawning, Poe placed the small cargo box onto the stack of similarly shaped boxes in the cargo hold of the Ghtroc 690 freighter he and Iolo had been given for the mission. Iolo had retired to the bunk area above hours ago, but Poe had continued to stack boxes and pack for their departure, his mind preoccupied with a mixture of troubled and relieved thoughts.

    Slumping down atop of a large container, Poe lent his arm on a slightly hire stack of shipping containers and stared out down the gang plank, where there were still night-trading going on, the busy trading post only really shut down during the most severe of snow-storms.

    Resting his chin on his upturned fist, Poe’s eyes were half-lidded and he barely noticed the gathering of the Force that suddenly plunged him into a Force-vision…

    (…)

    [A long corridor...some sort of military ship...big…]

    Poe’s startled thoughts at the dimly lit, dark durasteel floored and walled ship’s corridor, was interrupted by someone screaming, and an overwhelming feeling of darkness...someone was strong with darkness...

    The scene shifted suddenly to desert world, the wind whipping sand and creating shivers of waves amongst the dunes. Poe looked around in search of any signs of life, his eyes stinging from the grains of sand being whipped around.

    Hello?” He called out.

    Hello.” A quiet voice answered.

    Turning around, Poe was face-to-face with a skinny, female figure in wrapped, light coloured fabric clothing, dressed for the desert, unlike himself still in his padded, navy blue, cold weather clothing. The female looking humanoid clutched a staff, and her features were blurred. She wore large, tinted goggles and a wrapped headpiece.

    Where did you come from?” The girl repeated, her voice lightly accented and young.

    Poe blinked his eyes, “I...” He pulled down his own goggles, in a vain attempt to block some of the stinging grains of sand. “...not here. How about you?”

    There was a shake of the head from the girl. “I live here but...” she cocked her head to the side. “I think I’m dreaming right now.”

    Nodding, Poe folded his arms over his chest, “Me too.”

    The girl lent against the staff she had propped up in the sand beside her, “I must be. Although, I’ve never really dreamt about a handsome man before,” she admitted. “Only boys my own age, sometimes. Mostly I dream about other planets, other worlds...and my parents...or, at least I think they’re my parents...”

    Poe tried to approach the girl, sensing a whirling void of the light side of the Force, the largest concentration of raw Force energy he’d ever felt, far more than even that of Luke Skywalker.“What is your name?”

    Pilot.” The girl said simply, avoiding the question. “You’re a pilot.”

    Poe nodded slowly, “Yes.”

    The girl tilted her head, “I...the Force.” She said suddenly announced, pointing her staff at Poe, keeping him at distance.

    The Force?” Poe echoed, as the girl began circling him.

    The girl stopped her circling and lent against her staff, looking firmly at Poe, “It’s sleeping.”

    Sleeping...” Poe trailed off, then his eyes widened. “You!” He stepped forward in surprise, but the girl pulled back and the X-wing Commander found himself falling forward, not landing on the sand in front of the girl… Her!...but instead on snowy ground.

    Poe lifted his head and looked around, “I’m back on Hoth?” He questioned, struggling to his feet, he looked around at the dark, snow covered landscape. But the cold...there was no cold…

    Poe...listen...” a voice...a familiar voice…

    Master Skywalker?” Poe called out without thinking to correct it to ‘Luke’. “Where—?”

    There was a firm hand on his shoulder, Poe glanced aside at the solemn, bearded face peering out from a rough woven, brown hood that was not that of Luke Skywalker. The features broader, the all grey beard...the eyes were a much darker blue.

    Poe Dameron.” The man’s accent was Coruscanti and deep. “You must learn patience. A hard lesson that I struggled with myself at your age, even after being raised my whole life in the Jedi Temple, and even long after I became a master.”

    Bowing his head, Poe shook his head slowly, “I feel like I’m wasting away my whole life being patient. I constantly feel like I’m waiting for my real life to begin—”

    Your real life began the moment you came into existence, Poe.” The bearded Jedi interrupted. “You have not wasted your life, you’ve merely been preparing for the definitive moments to come. And come they will, sooner than you think, and your participation in these events will be vital to the survival of the galaxy.”

    Poe looked up to regard the old Jedi Master, “And the girl? She’s who I think she was, isn’t she?” He questioned, the Jedi Master inclined his head. “The Force is sleeping...what does that mean?”

    The old Jedi smiled with only the expression of one full of age-old wisdom could express, “You will know soon. Patience, young one. Things will become clearer in time...”

    (...)


    Poe lifted his head with a startled gasp of surprise, looking around to find himself back in the cargo ship hold, sitting on a pile of crates. Running both hands down his face, he furrowed his brow.

    The Force...just when I think it’s left me to my own devices, it always shows up to send me another puzzle...when is it going to start giving out answers instead?

    -:-:-:-
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    Location: Yavin 4, The Dameron Residence
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Hopping out of the landspeeder, Poe, (dressed in beige pants, woven brown sandals, and a light, white, short-sleeved shirt unlatched to his chest.) slung his rough-woven, tan coloured pack over his left shoulder and smiled as he looked up ahead at the foliage lined path that lead up to the adobe styled homestead of his childhood.

    The Dameron residence was set high above the similarly styled houses of the surrounding neighbours in the valley, almost amongst the wooded jungle landscape, overlooked by the currently snow-less mountains of late-summer. The serene environment was only broken occasionally by the distant crying of male woolamanders further into the jungle, and the soft warbling of whisper birds in the nearby trees of the surrounding gardens.

    The warm breeze of the mid-morning brushed against Poe’s face like a welcoming kiss, breaking the usual humidity for a spell, and he sighed heavily as he stopped mid-step to take it all in. “Home...” he murmured, beginning his slow walk up to his family residence, BB-8 rolling behind him, tooting merrily.

    I’ve been away far too long this time.

    More than a year felt like a lifetime without the comfort of his family.

    A few steps away from the carved homestead, early memories came back to Poe of watching this building being constructed, at about the age of five, having previously lived in a temporary building assembled during the establishment of the Yavin 4 colony.

    Poe had tailed after his Grandfather Bey as his grandparent laid out plans for a sprawling garden establishment, planning to turn profit for his dream by selling rare flora and plants to both the locals and galaxy wide. His parents, both on rare leave-time, helping with the construction of the inner buildings, rarely leaving one another’s side.

    Closing his eyes, Poe sighed as he remembered how much his parents had loved one another. Kes had never remarried, and Poe had never been introduced to any person his father might have been seeing, in the seventeen years since Shara’s death.

    Kes had mildly informed his son, a few years ago, that Shara was the only woman he would ever love, and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone else to try and force another romantic connection. “I couldn’t do that. To them or to Shara.” Kes had murmured.

    Recently those words had started Poe thinking about his own feelings regarding the two long-term romantic relationships he’d yet had.

    He’d loved Alytheis with youthful passion, but they’d barely known one another, and Poe would never know how things might have worked out.

    Syal...well...it happened so fast, and yet it had felt like it was a long time coming since they’d been childhood friends. It felt only natural that they would have a serious romantic relationship eventually. Almost every moment with Syal was full of comfortable contentment, it was adult and ideal.

    Poe had barely stepped towards the door, when the durasteel door slid across and there was an excited exclaim and a pair of warm arms around his neck. The X-wing commander wrapped his arms around Syal’s waist and lifted her off the ground, spinning her around in his embrace.

    Beebee-Ate whirled his little dome, letting out a humming sigh as he rolled past the reunited couple and in through the open entrance of the homestead.

    Feet back on the ground, Syal, her hair tightly braided around her head and dressed in a simple, khaki coloured shift dress that ended above her knees, pulled back and surveyed her boyfriend, retreating back slightly when he leaned in for a kiss.

    Hang on, is that my handsome, relatively clean-cut lover under that roguish beard and too-long hair?”

    Poe leaned forward with a smirk, “It is, and he didn’t even stop to shave in his desire to have you back in his arms as quickly as possible. So kiss me before I have to go trotting back to my fabulous job in the backwaters of space.” He leaned in and placed a passionate kiss on his girlfriends willing lips.

    Mmm.” Syal pulled back and leaned against his chest. “I could get used to kissing a bearded pirate-chasing rogue.”

    Leaning his chin atop Syal’s fair haired head, Poe smiled, “Good to know,” he said simply, looking up as he heard footsteps approaching from inside the house, and saw his greying haired father approaching with arms outstretched.

    I think that’s my only son under all that hair!” Kes exclaimed, as Syal stepped to the side to allow father and son to greet one another in a back slapping hug. “Welcome home, son!”

    There was the thump of a cane against the ground and both Poe and Kes looked over to see Grandfather Bey, sprightly as ever, pointing his cane at his son-in-law. “Out of the way, Dameron, it’s my turn.” He teased.

    Kes pulled a face at his father-in-law, but stepped aside and allowed Poe to go embrace his grandfather.

    Hello Grandfather.” Poe murmured, resting his face against his beloved grandparent’s shoulder.

    Grandfather Bey held his grandson tightly, stroking his head gently, “My dear boy.” He pulled back and surveyed Poe. “You look unhappy.” He commented with concern.

    Poe shook his head, his dark eye shinning, “No, I am happy. Happy to be home, happy to see all of you. I missed you all so much.” He assured his grandfather, who chuckled and pointed his cane at Syal.

    Methinks someone, far prettier than your father and I, missed you the most,” Grandfather Bey jested, walking over and putting his hand on Syal’s shoulder. “Syal had to come out here all by herself yesterday, because my own grandson was delayed a whole day.”

    Kes glanced over at his son, “Yes. What happened, Poe?”

    Rolling his eyes, Poe stepped over the threshold and into the homestead, “Bureaucracy. Even though the mission was a bust, I still had to go all the way to the NRI headquarters on Coruscant and fill out forms, answer questions and generally be messed about. Which delayed me arriving here by a whole day.” He tossed his bag on nearby couch and strolled towards the kitchen.

    Kes, Syal and Grandfather Bey tailed through the open planned living room into the kitchen, watching as Poe helped himself to the breakfast foods thoughtfully laid out on the kitchen table for his arrival, piling fruit and dewback bacon, egg and tuber scramble on a plate.

    Syal shook her head, “I don’t know why the NRI had you go this mission in the first place. They do nothing but act like every member of the military is expendable and at their beck and call lately,” she walked over to the caf-machine and poured out two cups of the beverage.

    Poe shrugged as he sat down at the rectangle, polished Massassi wood, kitchen table upon one of the benches, “I can’t speak for the rest of the military, but, as a starfighter pilot, unless you’re part of Wraith Squadron, you are considered expendable.” He squeezed Syal’s hand as she place a caf cup in front of him. “Thanks, hon.”

    Kes leaned against the polished stone kitchen prep-bench as he looked with concern over at his frowning son, “Even so, are you planning to stick with your assignment?” He narrowed his dark eyes. “You know there’s a lot of other opportunities for you out there.”

    Poe reached over for a piece of toasted flatbread with a sigh, “Yeah. Risking my neck on the racing circuits, or ferrying around important nobility in fancy ships, just so they can brag to their friends ‘Oh I have a former Starfleet pilot as my chauffeur.’” He scoffed, raising a wry eyebrow at his father. “It might be a backwater, but at least I still get to fly X-wings.”

    Kes sighed, “Kiddo, you sound so much like your mother sometimes,” he shook his head. “If you’re holding on because you still think it’s right, then it’s right.”

    Poe nodded as he took a sip of his caf, “Thanks Dad.” He looked over at his thoughtful looking grandfather. “Grandfather, you’re not eating?”

    Thumbing behind him, Grandfather Bey shook his head, “We all ready ate. Your Dad is helping me take some plants down to the markets and then to the spaceport. We should be back for lunch though, if not, just before dinner.” He smiled. “I’m sure you two kids can keep each other entertained while we’re away.”

    Kes chuckled, “All right, Thormin. We’d better get going.” He put a hand on his father-in-law’s shoulder and winked over at his son and Syal. “We shouldn’t be too long, I want to hear all about that spice ring you uncovered and shut down on Koratas, Poe.”

    Poe shrugged as he put down his caf mug on the well-worn tabletop, “It’s a short story, but I’ll try to make it more exciting,” he grinned at Kes, who laughed as he steered his father-in-law out of the kitchen.

    As the sound of the front door opening and then closing rang out, Syal wrapped her arms around Poe’s shoulders and leaned her head against his, “Hey, do you think that you could reheat that breakfast scramble a little later?” She murmured suggestively, kissing Poe’s temple gently.

    Lowering his fork, Poe turned in his seat to smile up at his girlfriend, “Absolutely, Dr. Antilles,” he got to his feet and Syal laughed as he picked her up in his arms, carrying her out of the kitchen. “My Grandfather said to keep you entertained, and I always respect my elders.”

    -:-:-:-

    Lounging languidly upon Poe’s single bed in his childhood room, with a simple white sheet draped over their prone forms, Syal leaned back against her boyfriend’s one arm embrace as she glided Poe’s old, replica T-65 X-wing model through the air, as Poe absently stroked his left hand against her bare shoulder.

    Do you know, my father always expected me to grow up and follow in his footsteps, becoming a starfleet starship pilot,” Syal commented off-handedly, twirling the hand-motion activated toy thoughtfully. “I used to spend almost as much time running after him and other pilots, you used to, too.”

    Poe nodded, “I remember. But you used to live on the base, you got to spend more time with the starfleet. Although, I recall you also used to like tending to superfluous wounds the pilots, trainees and the crew used to get, running from place to place with a little field medic kit,” he laughed.

    Syal slapped his chest playfully as she flew the X-wing model to the other side of the brightly lit room, “You laugh now, Dameron, you weren’t laughing when you tumbled off of Gavin Darklighter’s X-wing ladder and I had to patch up both your knees, and one of your elbows,” she pointed out.

    Poe tapped his chin, “Don’t forget the bacta patch you had to put here,” he recalled, and Syal playfully kissed his now bearded chin. “I don’t recall that being part of your treatment back then. Maybe I would have healed up faster.” He teased, pulling Syal into his embrace and leaning in to kiss her ardently.

    Mid-kiss, there was a beeping sound from the com-device on Poe’s side-table, that forced the young couple apart, Poe groaned and rolled to the side, checking the hologram information, “It’s the front door. Must be a customer looking for my Grandfather.” He reasoned, pushing back the sheet and flinging his legs over the side of the bed, reaching for his light coloured pants and stood up as he pulled them on.

    I’ll send them on their way and be right back,” Poe said to Syal, as he grabbed his discarded shirt and pulled it on loosely, leaving it unlatched.

    Syal yawned, “Good, because I’m not done with you yet,” she stretched and leaned back against the pillows, as Poe smirked as he opened up his bedroom door.

    You’re incredible, you know that?”

    Waving dismissively, Syal activated a model TIE fighter and sent it after the X-wing on the otherside of the room, “And beautiful, and talented, I know. Go answer the front door, Dameron.” She mockingly dismissed him.

    Exiting into the hall and strolling across the polished wooden floor, Poe hummed to himself as he headed through his family home to the front door, pressing the door panel, preparing his speech in order to get back to Syal as quickly as possible, as the durasteel door slid across.

    I’m sorry my Grandfather isn’t at—” Poe stopped himself mid sentence as he stared slightly down at the hooded figure on the door-step, then briefly over at the much taller, lanky, hooded figure standing behind and slightly off to the side of their companion.

    The hooded figure directly in front of Poe pushed back the brown coloured hood of his robe, the X-wing commander taking a step back in shock as he recognised the human man, his neatly cut hair now liberally streaked with grey, and more lines creasing his clean-shaven features.

    Hello, Poe.” The incredibly blue-eyes were just the same, they crinkled in the corners as he smiled at the younger man in the door-way.

    Sighing and bowing his head respectfully, Poe smiled unsteadily in return, “Hello, Luke.” He responded simply. Poe glanced up and over at the figure behind the Jedi Master, who slowly lowered his own black robe hood, revealing broad, pale features, shaggy dark hair, and a solemn, almost sullen, expression.

    Ben?” Poe questioned, not having seen the only son of Han Solo and Leia Organa since he had been a teenager, but those eyes, so much like Senator Organa’s, were just the sam, the other Jedi inclined his head and Dameron turned to look back at Luke. “Would you like to come in?” He offered, stepping aside.

    Luke nodded as he moved past Poe, “Thank-you, Poe.” He murmured as he stepped inside the homestead, followed by his nephew, who glanced mildly over at Poe with a slight frown, not unfriendly, but instead one of puzzlement, much to Poe’s confusement, as he pressed the door-panel and stepped back into the foyer.

    Folding his arms over his chest, Luke smiled slightly up at Poe, “I wasn’t expect you to be here, Poe, but I’m glad,” he commented mildly.

    Poe shrugged, “I had some leave time, so did my Dad, so we decided to make it a family affair and make my Grandfather happy.” He replied.

    Luke nodded, “I see. It’s been a long time, eight years...I hardly recognise you.”

    Rubbing his chin, Poe raised an eyebrow, “It’s the beard right?” He lightly teased, trying to alleviate the almost awkwardness of the situation.

    Chuckling, Luke patted Poe’s shoulder, “Maybe, but you were still mostly a boy the last time I saw you.” he replied, looking around the homestead. “You were saying your grandfather is out?”

    Poe thumbed behind him, “My Dad took him down to the markets with some plants,” he explained, looking aside at where Ben had made his way over to a sofa and was sitting down, glancing absently around the room.

    Luke nodded, “So you’re here by yourself?” He questioned, Poe shook his head as he turned his attention back to the Jedi Master.

    No actually I—” Poe stopped mid-sentence when he saw Ben wince out of the corner of his eye and bend down to clutch at his black boot covered ankle. “Ben? Are you all right?”

    Stepping past Poe, Luke walked over to his apprentice and knelt down beside him with a furrowed brow.

    I knew you’d twisted your ankle, Ben. Why didn’t you—?”

    I said it’s all right,” Ben’s deep, stubborn voice responded. “I’m fine, Uncle Luke.”

    Luke shook his head, “Stop being so obstinate, Ben. I know you’re trying to use the Force to heal it, but I think you need some assistance, let me at least take a look,” he insisted, Ben folded his arms over his chest and looked away with a huff. “Poe can you help me remove Ben's boot?”

    Poe held up a hand, “Hang on a minute, there’s someone here that can be a lot more help than me,” he mentioned. Heading out of the main living room and back down the hall, Poe opened up his bedroom door and Syal smiled over at him.

    Hey, there’s someone here who needs your medical help.” Poe informed Syal, grabbing her shift dress and handing it over to her, as the doctor grabbed her underclothes and hurriedly pulled them on, before slipping on her dress, and loosely braiding back her hair as she quickly followed Poe out towards the living room.

    Syal looked over in shock when she saw the elder of the two guests as they approached, “Master Skywalker,” she greeted the Jedi Master, holding out her hand.

    Luke took the young woman’s hand and shook it, “Greetings.” He responded.

    Poe motioned to Syal, “Luke, you know Syal Antilles,” he re-introduced, the Jedi Master smiling broadly as he recognised the fair haired young woman.

    Of course! Wedge’s eldest daughter. I’m sorry it’s been a long time,” Luke apologised. “Time passes very quickly,” he smiled. “Your father was telling me the other day that you’re a doctor now.”

    Syal nodded, “I am. Are you the patient, or…?” She trailed off when she saw the tall, dark haired figure on the couch, side-eying her with a plain expression. “You’re the patient?”

    Frowning, Ben shook his head, “There’s nothing wrong with me, I can fix it.” He responded with a churlishness that made Poe frown at the almost juvenile nature of it.

    Luke rested his hand on Syal’s shoulder, “You remember my nephew, Ben Solo, Jedi Apprentice.” He stressed the last title with obvious dismay at his nephew’s behaviour.

    Sighing, Syal motioned to Poe, “Could you grab me a first aid medic kit?” She asked her boyfriend, who nodded quickly and headed for the kitchen, reaching up towards one of the above-head cabinets to open up the door and grab the grey coloured, plastic box first aid medic kit.

    Bringing the kit back over to the sitting area, Poe saw that Syal was kneeling beside Ben on the rug and inspecting the boot covered ankle.

    It looks like it’s almost too swollen in there for me to just remove the boot,” Syal commented. “I’ll have to cut around it,” she opened up the medic kit and looked inside. “There’s nothing strong enough in here. Poe, could you grab some laser-shears or something like them from somewhere?”

    Nodding, Poe thumbed towards the side exit, “There should be some in the garden shed.”

    Syal inclined her head, “Those will be just fine.”

    Poe immediately jogged outside of the homestead, and slid across the door to one of his grandfather’s garden sheds, looking around at the heavily stocked shelves, he finally located a pair of laser-shears and grabbed them.

    As the X-wing commander headed back inside, he saw that Syal was alone with the scowling Ben Solo.

    Holding out her hand for the laser-shears, Syal smiled distractedly up at her boyfriend, before turning back to Ben’s injury.

    Thanks, hon. Master Skywalker’s gone out the back, he said he wanted to talk to you.” Syal revealed as she ignited the red glowing laser-shears. Poe caught Ben’s side-eye, but merely nodded as he stepped away, moving backwards towards the back exit of the homestead.

    All right. Give me a shout out if you need any help.” Poe called over, turning around and pushing his longish bangs away from his forehead as he exhaled, wondering what had brought Luke Skywalker and his nephew all the way out to Yavin 4.

    As he stepped out into the back garden, Poe spied Luke just a little further up ahead, staring out towards where the ziggurat Force-tree loomed over the central courtyard. The Jedi Master had discarded his robe and was dressed in brown and cream coloured, traditional Jedi robes, like those in the archival footages.

    It’s certainly grown since I last saw it.” Luke commented absently as Poe sided up to him, the Jedi Master looked over and smiled up at his former student. “I think it’s possible we both might be able to sit in it now.”

    Poe nodded as he turned his gaze out to look at the ziggurat tree, it’s looming branches swaying slightly in the humid breeze, “It’s Grandfather’s pride and joy,” he mentioned, looking aside at Luke. “Is that why you’re here?”

    Nodding, Luke began to walk towards the Force-tree, “Yes, I’d hoped to question your grandfather if anything unusual had happened with it,” he disclosed. “He didn’t happen to mention anything to you?”

    Shaking his head, Poe folded his arms and looked down at his bare feet, “Not at all. Is there something wrong? What are you looking for?” He questioned curiously, watching as Luke quickened his pace and walked up ahead to the Force-tree, stretching out and resting his hand against the tree’s trunk.

    Letting out a sigh, Luke closed his eyes. Poe slowly approached the still Jedi Master, feeling Luke’s strong presence glowing, but with higher intensity than normal. Closing his own eyes, Poe could feel the pulsating energy of the Force-tree surrounding the two of them, whispering in low tones.

    You can feel it’s energy?” Luke’s low voice interrupted Poe’s mediation, and the X-wing pilot slowly nodded his head as he half-opened his eyes.

    Yes.”

    Poe felt a warm hand on his shoulder and he opened up his gaze fully to look aside at Luke, who was studying him with a furrowed brow. “What is it?”

    Luke withdrew his hand and folded his arms, “You. I can’t sense...you’re still the same. Just a bare glimmer of the Force to my senses, but the tree...” he shook his head. “I had hoped, maybe, that I would be able to focus my energy and have it enhance my waning connection but it doesn’t seem to be working.”

    Poe folded his arms, “It’s sleeping.”

    Yes.” The Jedi Master confirmed, furrowing his brow. “You’ve told me that before.”

    Shrugging, Poe walked over to lean his back against the tree, folding his own arms. “I heard it again the other day.” He responded simply.

    From whom?” Luke queeried.

    Poe raised an eyebrow, “I had a vision while I was on Hoth. A teenage girl in the desert.” He tilted his head to the side as the Jedi Master features were plain, but his eyes told a different story. “Judging by how much time has past, I assume it’s the same girl.”

    Luke nodded. “I see. Sometimes I—” he shook his head. “She is safe. I don’t know how you see her sometimes, but the connection you two have might be the answer. Along with your own strange connection to the Force. I wish you’d change your mind.”

    Poe chuckled, “About training? No.” He shook his head. “I know you’re struggling with Ben and I don’t want to be the cause of any further rifts. I know you’re disappointed, but, in that same vision I just had, an old Jedi Master lectured me about patience and that I need to start practising it.”

    A small smile on his face, Luke tilted his head to the left, “I knew I felt a shiver through the Force and my old Master Obi-Wan answering the call before me,” he tapped his fingers on his upper arms. “It seems when you are troubled, your ability to project the Force suddenly emerges.”

    Poe smirked, “Stubborn, aren’t I?” He lifted up his arms and levitated to a lower branch, looking down at Luke with narrowed, dark eyes. “Luke, I can’t go running off and hiding from the galaxy like you, and other surviving Jedi are currently doing. I may be stuck on a Force-forsaken outpost chasing pirates, but one day they might need me. I’m not a priest, I’m a starfighter pilot, and a damn good one.”

    Levitating himself, Luke hopped up onto an opposing, low branch and studied Poe with a raised brow, “And I wasn’t?” He questioned.

    Staring up into the higher, loftier branches of the Force-tree, Poe shook his head, “No. You were. But you gave it up because you were needed elsewhere.” He looked back over at the solemn Jedi Master. “I feel like I will be needed here when the time comes. Not all Force-users have to be Jedi, you told me that yourself.”

    Luke nodded, “True. But none of them have your abilities. I’ve never seen a Force-user able to shield themselves the way you do. My sister has some ability, but she is primarily empathic, although, again, not to the extent that you also are. And Ben...” He set his jaw firmly. “Poe, the Jedi might need you as well when the time comes.”

    Poe shrugged, “Hey, I’m always around.” He hopped out of the tree with a smile up at the Jedi Master. “If you need me, you know where to find me.”

    Shaking his head, Luke gracefully levitated back down and sighed. “Not always, not with that shield of yours.” He rested his hands on Poe’s shoulders and looked slightly up at him, his clear blue eyes almost pleading. “Promise me that if I do ask, you will say yes to me.”

    Sighing, the X-wing commander nodded. “All right. I will.” Poe smiled. “You know I could never turn down an ask for help.”

    Luke patted Poe’s shoulders as he pulled away, “I knew that wouldn’t change about you, you are just like your mother.” He complimented with a sad smile. “The last time the two of us had a serious conversation in the shadow of this tree, Shara was about the age you are now.”

    Poe nodded, “So were you.” He pointed out, as he and Luke began to walk slowly back to the homestead. “So many of you in the Rebellion accomplished so much so young, I still don’t know when my parents even found the time to have me.”

    Luke sighed, “There were quiet moments. Not many, but a few. Even after the Empire was destroyed.” He smiled in memory. “You were such a great kid, you made just about every single being you came in contact want to have children. Including me.” The Jedi Master mentioned.

    Laughing, Poe rubbed the back of his neck. “So I’m responsible for the post-Empire baby-boom, huh?” He teased. Luke chuckled at the younger man’s joke and looked up ahead.

    You might very well be.” The Jedi Master looked back over at Poe. “So I take it you’re the hot-shot pilot Wedge was grumbling about his eldest daughter ‘hooking-up’ with.”

    Breaking into further laughter, Poe nodded and wiped his eyes with a grin, “Yeah. Wes has been really stirring Wedge up ever since he found out about Syal and I, sending suggestions for wedding locations and names for the first-born grandchild.”

    Luke rolled his eyes, “Let me guess, Wes jnr.?”

    Close, Wesley. Weslana if it’s a girl,” Poe revealed, making the Jedi Master chuckle again.

    Oh of course.” Luke paused. “I heard about Rogue Squadron. I’m sorry, Poe.”

    Poe shrugged, “It was my dream to be Rogue Leader one day. But it was originally yours, Luke.” He regarded the solemn Jedi Master, who smiled distantly.

    It was. I was nineteen, Poe. I’d just been given command of a whole squadron.” Luke furrowed his brow. “Wedge was all of a year older than me, but he was instrumental in establishing the squadron. Because we were the only X-wing pilots that had survived the first Death Star run, Mon Mothma suggested we name the squadron after the group that got the plans for the first Death Star.”

    Poe nodded, “Rogue One. I remember that much from history class.” He bent down to pick up a stray stick off the path and twirled it in his fingers.

    Luke nodded. “Yes. That’s why when we established Rogue Squadron, I was Rogue Leader and Zev Senesca was Rogue Two, there would never been another Rogue One call sign in order to honour their sacrifice.” He clasped his hands behind his back. “Having the New Republic bring an end to the squadron that had established their return, seems almost fitting in a way.”

    Tossing away the stick, Poe turned his dark eyes back to the contemplative Jedi Master. “You can sense the corruption in the New Republic too, can’t you?” He murmured, Luke inclined his head. “That’s the real reason why Senator Organa was outed when your parentage was revealed.”

    Bowing his head, Luke sighed heavily, “I can’t been certain, but I believe most assumptions regarding the issue to be the truth.” He lifted his clear blue gaze to stare out ahead. “The next years will reveal the truth, Poe. I don’t know why what we sort to restore has been destroyed so soon, but the Galactic Republic is rotting from the inside again.”

    Nodding solemnly, Poe stepped up onto the patio of the homestead and folded his arms as they both halted a moment before stepping back inside the building. “You said you would go searching for answers. Have you found anything conclusive during your travels?”

    Shaking his head, Luke dropped his arms to his side, “Not as yet. There are more places I still have to investigate,” he revealed slowly, as he stepped past Poe into the homestead.

    Poe followed Luke back inside the house and looked over at where Ben was still sulking over on the couch in the sunken lounge, but now his boot was removed and his left ankle wrapped with bacta-bandage.

    Syal was standing just in front of the entrance to the kitchen, talking with Kes and Thormin, all four turning to look over at Poe and Luke. The aforementioned Jedi Master smiling over at his old Rebellion comrade as Kes walked over to greet him with a hand-shake.

    Luke. It’s been a while.

    Kes, you’re looking well.” Luke greeted. The New Republic General dropped his hand back and grinned.

    It’s the high season atmosphere out here. Fresh air instead of being stifled by the hot air of politicians on the New Republic Capital.” Kes commented, resting his arm on Poe’s shoulder.

    Thormin approached Luke with a raised brow, “Master Jedi.” Grandfather Bey greeted in his low voice, taking Luke’s offered hand with a shake of his head. “You look tired.” He looked over at Poe. “All you young people look so tired nowadays.” Grandfather Bey thumbed behind him.

    Especially the young sulky one on the couch.”

    Luke chuckled, “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, Thormin.” He mentioned, the old man nodding sagely at the Jedi Master’s words. “I actually came to ask you a few questions about the ziggurat tree.”

    Grandfather Bey smiled, “It’s grown a lot, hasn’t it? We’ve guarded it well for you, Master Skywalker.” He motioned towards the kitchen. “I have pot of stim-tea brewing. Let’s go talk in there and leave the children to discuss young things.”

    Nodding, Luke patted Poe’s shoulder as he moved past him, “That would be nice, thank you, Thormin.” He followed the octogenarian towards the kitchen.

    Kes looked slightly up at his son, “He does look tired, your grandfather is right.” He commented in a low voice, Poe nodded his gaze narrowed. “Poe?” Kes began slowly.

    Yeah?” Poe distantly answered his father, then turned his full attention to Kes’ concerned features. “Yeah? What is it, Dad?”

    Shaking his head, Kes patted the left side of Poe’s bearded face, “Nothing. I can ask you later.” He smiled over at Syal as she joined them. “You two better go attempt a conversation with young Solo, before he bores holes in all of us with those eyes of his.” Kes suggested in a whisper as he departed for the kitchen.

    Syal looked up at Poe with a sigh, “After you, fly-boy.” She motioned ahead, and Poe exhaled with a raised eyebrow in his girlfriend’s direction, before heading over to the sunken lounge. Where, as Kes had commented, Ben was regarding them with a serious expression, very much like Senator Organa’s political one whenever Poe had seen her on the holovision addressing an uppity rival Senator.

    So, Ben,” Poe began, sitting down on the opposing sofa to the one Ben was perched on, Syal joining her boyfriend a moment later. “How have you been?”

    Ben tilted his head, “Well enough.” He motioned to his ankle. “Apart from the obvious, Dameron.” Ben folded his arms. “No need to ask how you’ve been. Along with showing up periodically on the air-sports channels, your poster has been plastered everywhere as well.”

    Poe leaned back casually against the sofa, “The recruitment posters? Didn’t have a clue about them up until a few months ago,” he put an arm around Syal’s shoulders. “Syal dropped that bombshell on me. The Vice-Admiral still hasn’t apologised for not telling me.”

    Ben side-eyed the couple, “And you two are together.” He smiled thinly. “The obvious does tend to happen, given how Antilles here started chasing you practically from birth, Dameron.”

    Syal narrowed her gaze slightly, but answered back civilly, “Well I caught him, Ben. Perseverance has always been one of my better assets,” she responded. Ben shrugged in disinterest and Syal sighed. “So, your training has been going well?”

    Folding his arms across his chest, Ben shrugged again, “My Uncle and I have spent so much time jumping from planet to planet, however my training is almost complete,” he fiddled with his robe sleeve. “I’ve dedicated almost ten years to the task. I expect my Uncle to finally put me to trials soon enough.”

    I wonder if Luke’s fears for Ben will allow him to ascend to Jedi Knight rank so soon, Poe thought grimly. Ben’s temper and childish attitude were still obvious, the years spent with Luke had barely matured him mentally. I wonder how Han and Leia feel about all this...

    Well, I expect you’re ready for them.” Poe finally said, forcing a smile. “The galaxy needs more Jedi.”

    Yes,” Ben replied simply. “And less starfighter squadrons, from what my Uncle tells me.” He looked plain, but Poe didn’t like what was lurking behind those dark brown eyes. “I wonder why?”

    Poe raised an eyebrow, “Your guess is as good as mine, Ben.”

    Ben leant forward, a slowly spreading smirk on his face, far removed from his father’s characteristic lob-sided grin and mother’s kind smile, “Would you like to place a wager on that? You might be surprised, Dameron.” He chuckled. “Or, rather, dismayed.”

    Feeling Syal grab his hand tightly, the doctor reading the expression on her boyfriend’s features, Poe swallowed back his desire to know why Ben looked so self-satisfied, and just nodded. “Nice to know your sense of humour hasn’t improved, Ben.” He managed to respond through clenched teeth.

    Ben sniggered again and leaned back against the opposing sofa, “Well, if you put it that way, it is amusing that you assume I was joking, Dameron.”

    The words of the ghostly Anakin Skywalker, from years ago, were ringing in Poe’s ears as he stared at Ben, not daring to reach out with his concealed ability with the Force to confirm his thoughts.

    He is afraid. So very afraid. Of not living up to his parents. Of not living up to his uncle. So Snoke might turn his head with stories about my darkside self, about Vader...”

    And if I assume that you weren’t, Ben.” Poe began slowly. “What then should I assume? That you are hiding something?” That you are keeping silent for your own selfish purposes?

    Ben staggered to his feet and loomed over Poe, “Are you accusing me of something, Poe Dameron?” He invoked with a raised voice. “You look like you want to accuse me of something.”

    Poe got to his bare feet and glared up at Ben, “You were the one who suggested the idea, Ben Solo.” He shot back, his own voice rising. “What am I left to do, but start to assume you do know something I should be accusing you about?”

    Folding his arm, Ben studied the X-wing Commander with a laugh, “You are threatening me, aren’t you? As if you have the authority or power to do so.” He raised his voice to yell. “You’re a mere glimmer in the Force! And yet you shouldn’t be! You are an enigma that irritates me!”

    Good!” Poe shot back in an equally loud exclaim. “I love that I can knock you off your high-bantha and onto your snobby, entitled ass!” He smirked as Ben grabbed his shirt-front. “Go on, Prince Solo. Hit me! If you dare to lower yourself to my level—!”

    That’s enough!” The booming yell of Luke Skywalker, so rarely heard from the soft-spoken Jedi Master, shocked both young men out of their argument.

    Luke, Kes and Thormin looked on in dismay, as Ben dropped Poe’s shirt-front and the X-wing Commander stepped back from the Jedi Apprentice, and sat back down beside a concerned Syal, who rested her hand on Poe’s shoulder.

    Honestly!” Kes exclaimed. “How old are the two of you now? I’ll tell you how old, old enough to know better! Poe, how could you do this under my roof, and in your elderly grandfather’s nearby presence?” He folded his arms over his broad chest as Poe darted his dark gaze.

    Luke turned to Thormin. “I apologise on behalf of my apprentice,” he turned his glare on Ben, who had also slumped back down on the sofa, sniffing affectedly. “Who clearly can still not control his temper, as is greatly required to be a Jedi Knight.”

    Sorry, Uncle—” Ben was cut off by a narrowed glare from his uncle’s ice-blue stare, “—Master. Our argument got a little out of hand. You know Dameron’s temper.”

    Oh yes,” Luke replied, darting his gaze briefly to the slump-shouldered Poe, before looking back at the clearly unapologetic Ben. “As well as I know your temper, which is far worse.” He sighed and moved towards the sunken lounge area, walking down the stairs.

    Sitting down on the sofa beside his sulking nephew, Luke leaned forward to address Poe with a solemn expression, “I have something to ask you, Poe. You told me if I ever requested anything of you, you would give your assistance, if you could.” He looked aside at Ben.

    Although, I understand if you might refuse, since my apprentice is also concerned, and you both seem to have some issues.”

    Poe side-eyed Ben, before turning back to the Jedi Master, “If you really need me, Luke, I can put aside my personal convictions,” he responded calmly. “What is it?”

    Luke clasped his hands together, “There is a moon orbiting the planet Najedha.” He began. “It’s called Jedha. Have you heard of it?”

    Poe nodded, “I’ve seen it on the maps during training, but I haven’t been there. What about it?”

    The Jedi Master continued. “It was once the location of a holy Jedi city, that the Empire obliterated in early testing by the first Death Star. It’s one of the few remaining locations of ancient Jedi Temples that I haven’t explored.”

    Poe nodded, “I see, and you need me, because…?”

    Luke pressed his hands together, “It’s military restricted, by galactic decree. You need special permission from a military branch to go down to the surface. That is the reason why I contacted Wedge and, fortunately, he managed to get me permission to explore the planet at my pleasure. Provided I am accompanied by a member of the New Republic Starfleet.

    Wedge was going escort Ben and I himself, but he just contacted me while I was in the kitchen, to let me know there was urgent business he had to attend to.” Luke explained. “I mentioned I was here and suggested to Wedge perhaps you might be willing to step in.”

    Poe nodded, “Oh.” He responded simply.

    Luke motioned with his hands, “Wedge is ready to send off all details for this commission to Major Deso, all you have to do is say yes.” He smiled. “Although I understand, since this cuts into your leave time, and maybe when you’re due back at your post.”

    Syal snorted and Poe looked over in amusement at his girlfriend, before turning back to Luke.

    It’s just fine, Luke. Believe me, I’m upset about cutting into my leave time, but happy to escape my post for a while—”

    Although,” Syal interrupted, linking her arm though Poe’s. “You could make it up to me, by allowing me to tag along as well, Master Skywalker.”

    Luke chuckled, “Of course, Syal. And call me Luke. I thank you both for giving up your time for us,” he gratefully mentioned. “This could mean a lot for not only the future of the Jedi, but the whole future of the New Republic as we know it.”

    The operative word,” Ben commented from his perch on the sofa, arms folded as the rest of the room’s occupants regarded him, his pale features twisted in yet another self-satisfied expression.

    Being could.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________
    I hope you enjoyed this long chapter to make up for me being away for a while
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Chapter. Five.

    Nice pleasant read, enjoying the Luke and Poe interactions during the last days of the week's training.

    Your Ben and Poe interaction as youths, along with parental and Uncle Lando network, was good; and a highlight was seeing the "real" Ben, even if only for a few lines.

    There was a blink-and-you-miss-it point of, if Shara had not been so protective of Poe in regard to Luke's academy, he could have been caught up in the Knights of Ren surprise party. Yeesh.

    I was not at all happy with Ghost Anakin's attempt to traumatise a child as a way to stop him falling to the Dark Side.

    The crowd gathered to watch Luke depart, felt extremely surplus to requirements, and I had trouble working out if it was taking place before, or after, the massacre.

    There was a confusing part when Leia wanted Luke to let her talk to her son. Luke's reasoning for refusing, seemed to be that he wanted to do something before he would feel safe to let Ben out of his sight. And yet......, he seemed to be there without Ben.

    Lastly, good job on reminding that it is not only pilots that need cadets to provide the next generation; Medics do too.

    Overall, a good chapter.
     
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  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The last time I read so fast and so much in a relatively short time was during my university studies. Your Poe Dameron is true hero material and I like his interaction with other SW characters. You even let him meet the Force ghost of Anakin twice.
     
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