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Saga - ST My take on Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JABoomer, May 6, 2020.

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  1. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    First post in Fan Fiction! I've read all the preamble so I hope I'm doing this right...

    Title: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
    Author: JABoomer
    Timeframe: 35 years ABY
    Characters: Rey, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Finn, Rose Tico, Leia Organa
    Genre: Sci-Fi
    Keywords: Episode IX, Episode 9, The Rise of Skywalker
    Summary: This is not a novelization of the Lucasfilm movie, but my own story reflecting my personal 'head canon' of the events leading to the fall of the First Order and the rise of Skywalker.
    Background:
    I enjoyed Episode VII. Despite changing some of the established rules of the Star Wars galaxy (like communications in hyperspace), and the plot being similar to Episode IV, I thought it did a good job of introducing new characters who you cared about. I did not like Epsiode VIII. Specifically the characterization of Luke, the lack of time elapsed since Episode VII, the Canto Bight plot, and the resolutions to interesting questions raised by Episode VII.

    I had low expectations for Episode IX until it was announced that the Emperor would return. It was then that I began to imagine a plausible plot that would satisfactory conclude the saga. When I first saw Episode IX in theaters, I was tremendously disappointed by the plot and script. Over the next week I wrote my own 3 page outline of a Episode IX story that included the best ideas from my own imagination and the movie.

    I watched Episode IX again at home a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it a lot more the second time, I think because the disappointing aspects of the movie were not surprises. I revisited my outline and it became a 5 page plot. Once the transcript of the movie came out , I then worked it into an 18 page script. I plan on turning it into a draft novella (not sure how long it will wind up being), which is what I will post in this thread.

    Style: I've chosen to write this story from a cinematic point of view. I have read the pitfalls of this style and I believe I have already encountered them. The writing style lends itself to narration more than story telling. However, I'm going to continue, because if my story wouldn't work as a movie (along with the rest of the saga), then what's the point? I've written it in present tense, as what I'm trying to do is describe the movie scenes.
    Mods: I have used certain plot points, scenes, and dialog from the movie. I don't think this is plagiarism as it's not copied from another person's written work, and I am reinterpreting the events.
    Notes: Events are within current Lucasfilm canon. I am open to feedback on story and writing. I haven't written fiction since high school, so bare with me.
     
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  2. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .

    STAR WARS

    Episode IX

    THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

    As the diabolical FIRST ORDER sweeps across the galaxy, only pockets of independent systems remain, protected by planetary defenses and remnants of the NEW REPUBLIC fleet.

    Aiding the remaining freedom fighters, the RESISTANCE gathers intelligence and performs hit and run attacks against the enemy, while General Organa continues the Jedi training of Rey at their hidden base.

    Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has been contacted by a mysterious voice, that of Emperor Palpatine, and given instructions to find a hidden Sith planet . . .
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  3. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 1

    A First Order Star Destroyer cuts through the black of space as it powers towards a blue-grey moon almost entirely shrouded in cloud. A lone fighter craft emerges from the main hangar, a TIE Silencer. The fighter accelerates towards the moon as the larger ship veers away.

    The sleek black craft descends through the stormy atmosphere of the moon. Nearing the surface, the TIE emerges from thick cloud cover, revealing giant, two hundred-foot tall ocean waves below. The waves roll towards the only land in sight, and crash against the vertical cliff face of the coast, which separates the violent ocean from the green grasslands high above.

    Flying through the wind and rain, the TIE speeds along, following the contours of the coastline. Up ahead, a massive jagged metal structure appears out of the mist and fog. Half of the wreckage sits up on land, the remainder angles down over the cliffside and into the ocean, gradually disappearing into the water.

    The TIE overflies the wreckage, coming across the shattered remains of the north tower of the second Death Star. The tower lays fallen on the surface of the wreckage – the battle station’s hull. The cross-shaped tower pinnacle has been fractured from its supporting spire and now rest at an angle, with one end propped up by the rubble of the tower and the opposite end embedded into the wreck.

    The TIE sets down nearby on a large, relatively flat section of durasteel. Emerging from the TIE is Kylo Ren, clad in black. He marches across the twisted metal and debris of the wreckage, with little care for the blowing rain assaulting him, cape flapping violently in the wind, a grim and determined expression on his face.

    He reaches the fallen tower, ignites his crossguard lightsaber and quickly cuts a hole through the durasteel. When finished, he pushes the circular cutout inward with the Force and steps through the improvised hatch.

    Soaking wet, Kylo enters the Emperor’s throne room and looks around. Debris is everywhere in the lopsided space, the large webbed viewport is completely shattered, and the Emperor’s throne now lays broken on the floor beside its former pedestal. Along one side, the wall and roof are no longer connected, leaving a gaping hole open to the elements, and water streams into the room. Kylo walks away from the throne and proceeds down a set of stairs.

    He enters another room, also in disarray. Closing his eyes in concentration, he reaches out with his hand as if to touch something, and slowly turns to face a wall. His fingers move slightly, a loud mechanical sound is heard, and a hidden wall hatch slides open. Kylo opens his eyes and walks to the revealed alcove. Inside he finds a glowing, green triangular device and slowly reaches in to grab it. The moment his fingers make contact he experiences visions from the Force.

    Palpatine, standing over Anakin. “A powerful Sith you will become. Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth .. Vader”.

    Padme, pleading to Vader, “You are going down a path I can't follow.”

    Vader throwing Palpatine to his apparent death.

    Luke standing over Kylo with his green lightsaber ignited.

    Han, to Leia, “There was nothing we could've done. There was too much Vader in him.”

    Leia, replying to Han, “There's still light in him. I know it.”

    Darth Vader looks out a warship’s viewport as a planet is destroyed, but he wears no facemask, it is Kylo in the armour.

    Kylo looks down at the device, tortured thoughts revealed on his face.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:41 PM
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  4. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 2

    In the main hold of the Millennium Falcon; Finn, Poe, and Chewbacca sit together surrounding the holographic game table playing dejarik. The game pieces fidget impatiently waiting for a control input while Chewie looks intently at the board, contemplating his next move. In his concentration, he begins to make soft growling noises, as if talking to himself.

    “Are you ever gonna go?” Poe asks, half impatient and half teasing.

    Finn sits back against the bench seat, looks at Poe, and says casually, “He can't beat us every time.”

    “Accept that he does,” Poe replies, craning his head back and looking upwards in frustration.

    R2-D2 whistles from across the hold. Finn looks to the droid and frowns. Turning back to Poe he asks seriously, “How does he do it?”

    On the bench, Poe leans forward and then towards Finn. Pointing a thumb in Chewie’s direction he says conspiratorially, “This guy right here? It's cause he cheats.”

    Chewie roars loudly, taking offense to the claim.

    “Oh, come on. I'm kidding! You’re 250 years old,” Poe replies, raising both hands in the air and fanning them towards Chewie in jest. Chewie issues a softer growl and returns his attention to the game board.

    “But seriously, take your turn,” Finn says.

    An electronic alarm sounds within the Falcon, prompting the three to rise from the holotable bench. Chewie grumbles at the other two. “Don’t worry!’ Finn exclaims, holding up a hand to calm Chewie.

    “We’re not gonna turn it off,” Poe adds, smiling as he turns to walk away. Chewie groans as he follows them out of the main hold.

    As they enter the ship’s main corridor, Finn leans towards Poe and quietly says, “He's cheating.”

    “Definitely,” Poe responds quickly.

    As they walk, Poe spots Klaud, another member of the Resistance, working on some circuitry within a maintenance hatch up the corridor. As he turns to head to the cockpit Poe says, “Klaud, I hope you fixed that surge.”

    Klaud, a human sized species with no arms and six antennae protruding from both sides of his head, replies in his native language.

    Poe, Chewie, and Finn take their seats in the cockpit. Chewie in his customary right-hand seat, Poe in the left pilot’s seat, and Finn at the station behind Chewie. They spend a few moments reviewing cockpit status displays before Poe says, “Here we go.” He eases back the hyperdrive levers, and the Falcon exits hyperspace. No planets are near, but a First Order task force can be seen ahead in the distance. “Well whaddya know. Scan for interdictors,” Poe says as he studies the enemy ships.

    Finn whistles, also looking forward at the ships. “That’s a pretty big fleet,” he comments. Several battlecruisers are in the middle of the formation, flanked by Star Destroyers and further surrounded by cruisers and frigates, with a starfighter screen patrolling the outer edges of the fleet.

    Chewie barks softly as he looks at a cockpit display. “Okay good, then we’re in business,” Poe replies as he turns to face the others. “I guess our new First Order spy is for real. Send word to Mon Cal that they’ve got First Order incoming.”

    “On it,” Finn says as he swivels his chair to face the rear console.

    Chewie growls again. “I see them,” Poe replies calmly.

    Finn turns his head back to look out the forward viewport, “See who?”

    “A frigate and a squadron of TIEs coming to check us out.” Poe nods towards the ships, then turns his head to the right. “Chewie, send the coordinates to Blue Squadron.” Chewie nods and barks a reply as he begins working the communications console on his side of the cockpit.

    Finished, Chewie looks up to join Poe and Finn in watching the approaching enemy get nearer, and larger. Poe speaks, “A little further .. okay Chewie, signal the jump.”

    Chewie pushes a single button and a few seconds later a squadron of twelve Resistance E-Wing escort fighters exits hyperspace halfway between the main First Order fleet and the ships sent to investigate the Falcon. They turn tightly in formation towards the First Order patrol and accelerate.

    Each E-Wing has a similar fuselage to an X-Wing, but with only two non-moving wings, cranked downward as they stretch away from the fuselage, each with a large underslung engine. Three laser canons, two wingtip and one directly above the cockpit, form the primary armament.

    “Blue Squadron, form up,” the squadron commander is heard over the Falcon’s comm system.

    A smile envelops Poe’s face and he says into the comm, “Glad you guys could join us.”

    The reply was almost instant, “Can’t let you have all the fun, Poe.”

    “Let’s take care of business and get out of here,” Poe says, reaching for his control yoke.

    “Roger that.” The squadron commander – Blue Leader, directs his pilots: “Flight One on the TIEs, everyone else hit the frigate. Flight Two circles back to support Flight One, Flight Three finishes the frigate. Clear?” A chorus of affirmatives cycle through the comm. “Execute!” Blue Leader exclaims.

    The TIE fighters escorting the frigate, surprised by the sudden appearance of Resistance fighters behind them, are slow to react. They hesitate, not knowing whether to continue escorting the frigate or to turn and engage the enemy fighters. By the time they initiate their turn away from the larger ship, the E-Wings are already in weapons range. Four of the TIEs explode from broadside laser fire to their solar panels moments before the E-Wings of Flight One race forward between the frigate and the remaining TIEs.

    E-Wings from Flights Two and Three each launch four proton torpedoes targeted at the frigate’s engines. All the torpedoes detonate within a second of each other, the explosions overloading and momentarily bringing down the capital ship’s aft shielding. The E-Wings then selectively target the ship’s exposed shield generators with laser fire as they approach from behind. As they pass alongside the frigate, the gunnery crews only manage to get a few shots off at the surprise attackers.

    Finn, watching from the cockpit, looks at Poe. “Not bad, this was a good idea.”

    Chewie adds something in Shyriiwook, prompting Poe to turn to face them. “Hey! I have lots of good ideas.”

    Poe and Chewie pilot the Falcon forward into the melee of fighters and begin targeting the remaining TIEs.

    Flight Three completes a loop in formation, now heading back towards the frigate. In unison, the four E-Wings each fire four more torpedoes at the frigate’s now unprotected aft quarter.

    In the dogfight, one E-Wing is clipped by a TIE laser blast and sent spiraling out of control towards the frigate. “Blue Three recover! Blue Three adjust course!” Blue Leader, seeing the hit, screams into his comm.

    Just as the damaged E-Wing tumbles alongside the frigate, the proton torpedoes smash into its hull and detonate. The explosion tears a huge hole in the ship, splitting the aft end top from bottom. Secondary explosions trigger the detonation of the ship’s engines and main reactor. The resulting fireball consumes the frigate and the helpless E-Wing.

    Poe, having watched the careening E-Wing and seeing the massive explosion from the cockpit of the Falcon exclaims, “No! Zorii!”

    “Did anyone see an ejection?” Blue Leader asks.

    “Negative,” one of the other E-Wing pilots solemnly confirms.

    Blue Leader circles the blast. “Falcon, do you have anything on scopes?”

    Chewie, eyes focused on the scanner board, grunts and Poe slowly replies into the comm, “Negative, Blue Leader.

    With the TIEs now all destroyed, Blue Leader commands, “Nothing we can do for her then, form up. First Order reinforcements are closing.”

    The eleven E-Wings join up with the Falcon as it turns away from the First Order fleet. “Set coordinates for waypoint seven,” Poe quietly reminds the other pilots.

    “Let’s get out of here,” Blue Leader says.

    Chewie pulls back a lever and the Resistance ships wink into hyperspace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:42 PM
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  5. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 3

    The dense jungle foliage rustles wildly as someone runs past. It’s Rey, running at full speed. She arrives at a deep canyon, a river rushing far below. Stretching out her arm, she uses the Force to raise a large fallen tree laying near her into the air. She plants the trunk of the tree into the earth at the canyon edge, tips the tree over, and slowly lowers it to span the canyon.

    Swiftly crossing the makeshift bridge, she continues running through the jungle until arriving at the top of a waterfall. Jumping from one cliff edge to another, she quickly descends the mountain face alongside the waterfall.

    Downstream in the river valley, she begins to cross the water, hopping from one boulder to another. The giant rocks are large enough to rise out of the river and where the boulders are too far apart, she uses the Force to move them, creating a path to the other side.

    On the other side of the river, she runs out of the trees and into a grassy opening, surrounded by jungle. As she nears the center of the plain, three black, disk-shaped droids emerge from the treetops behind her, moving fast and angling to intercept her.

    Hearing the droids, Rey stops running, pivots, and ignites a blue lightsaber in one motion, deflecting the first blaster bolt. The three droids surround her, creating a triangular formation with Rey at the center, and begin to circle.

    All at once they fire and Rey leaps out of the way. As she descends, she deflects more incoming bolts with her lightsaber. Landing on the grass, she stands her ground, turning and twisting to deflect and evade shots from every direction.

    As she continues deflecting bolts with one hand, she extends her other hand out towards one of the droids. A click sounds from within the droid’s casing and it falls to the ground. Rey repeats this action on the other two droids, disabling their internal circuitry with the Force. Rey deactivates her lightsaber; the plain is now quiet except for her heavy breathing, and she rests her hands on her knees.

    “Record time. Well done, Rey.” Leia says as she emerges from the jungle into the clearing.

    “Thank you, Master.” Rey replies, standing to face Leia. “I still need to be faster.”

    With a single hand, Leia waves Rey over. Rey starts walking and makes a gesture; the three seeker droids rise out of the grass, fly over top of Leia into the treetops, and disappear into the jungle. As Rey arrives, Leia turns, and together they begin walking back into the jungle.

    “You are too hard on yourself. You’ve progressed at twice the pace that I did during my training, and have fully committed yourself to it, which I never managed to do,” says Leia.

    “I think you might have had a few distractions at the time, like raising a child and putting the galaxy back together,” Rey replies sarcastically.

    “Those are just excuses. You’ve done better with a lesser master,” Leia states.

    “You’re a great master,” Rey says emphatically with a smile, then hands the lightsaber hilt to Leia.

    Leia accepts the lightsaber, tucks it beneath her vest and smiles roguishly. “Well you’re stuck with me anyhow.”

    The two emerge from another tree line into the Resistance base. People scurry between ships, equipment, huts, and cabins that are scattered about the landscape. Rey stops and turns to Leia. “How will I know when it’s enough? How will I know when I’m strong enough to complete the tasks that will be required of me to help win this war?”

    Leia smiles gently. “The Force will decide.”

    Rey frowns, thinking. “The will of the Force? But how do you know what the Force will require?”

    Leia puts her hand on Rey’s back, and they continue walking. “All you can do is be ready, and you’ve done that. You are almost ready for your Jedi trial.”

    Rey stops again, looking surprised and excited at Leia. “I am?”

    Leia nods to Rey as someone in the background calls out for Leia. “Soon,” she says to Rey as she smiles and walks away. Rey stands smiling for a moment, then walks to her cabin, sits down, pulls out one of the Jedi tomes, opens it, and begins reading.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 9:13 PM
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  6. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 4

    A TIE Silencer flies through the lightning filled blue and green gas of a nebula. Kylo is at the controls. The device he recovered from the wreckage of the Death Star is plugged into the TIE’s navigation system. The ship’s regular sensors and navicomputer show scrambled readings on the cockpit displays. Flying blind, he follows the course provided by the green device.

    The TIE breaks through the gas and lightning, entering the eye of the nebula. The eye is empty black space save for a single, small planet in its center, a cloudless, dark blue-grey world.

    Kylo enters the atmosphere of the planet. As he descends, he looks out of his cockpit to see rows of capital ships, hundreds in total. Most are Star Destroyers of various sizes, but there are smaller cruisers and frigates as well, all wedge shaped, and all painted black. As there is no sun, the planet and fleet are illuminated from the light of the surrounding nebula. The stationary black ships are completely dark, with no exterior lighting or light from within the transparisteel windows in the hull.

    As Kylo continues his decent past the anchored fleet, the planet’s surface becomes visible, revealing a flat, grey, and barren landscape. Kylo lands near the only visible structure, a large, black citadel rising from the rocky ground.

    Kylo exits his TIE, and proceeds towards the citadel. Pushing open a massive stone doorway with the Force, he enters. Inside he finds a large corridor, dimly lit with the only sources of ambient light coming from the doorway and from the other end of the corridor. Kylo strides confidently down the corridor, passing by giant statues of Sith Lords on both walls as he walks.

    “Very good, Snoke trained you well.” The voice of Emperor Palpatine echoes loudly.

    Kylo stiffens, but only momentarily. He continues walking, and calls out, “I killed Snoke. I’ll kill you too.”

    Palpatine’s cackling laughter is heard. “Ah yes, there is a lot of Vader in you after all. My boy, I made Snoke. I have been every voice…” The Emperor’s voice changes to Snoke’s. “You have ever heard...” His voice changes again to Darth Vader’s. “Inside your head.” Palpatine’s own voice returns, “And now, I need you to do something for me.”

    Halfway down the corridor, Kylo discovers a large, open entrance into another room. He enters into a chamber, a laboratory of some sort. Many twenty-foot-tall cylindrical pods populate the chamber. Some hold equipment, some appear to have doors, some are clear walled storage containers for fluid or .. parts. The room is also dark, lit only by the ambient nebula light entering from the domed ceiling windows and the sporadic electrical arcs that discharge from the ceiling, reaching out to strike the tops of certain pods.

    In one pod, floating in green liquid, the body parts of former Supreme Leader Snoke are unmistakable. Several people, large in stature and dressed in hooded black cloaks, work around the pods. Their faces are not visible, and they walk slowly, zombie like, as they continue their work, presenting no reaction to Kylo’s presence.

    Kylo slowly maneuvers through the pods until he arrives at the back of the chamber, where he finds Palpatine, standing on a vertical repulsorbed at ground level. If the Emperor looked ragged and scarred before his death, he looks much worse now. He is wearing a black cloak, and in the low light his face and hands appear white, brittle, cracked, and gaunt. The repulsorbed he stands on has lines, tubes, and cables that run from the top of the device down in behind his back.

    Kylo ignites his lightsaber and stops just short of Palpatine. “Why should I help you?” Kylo asks dismissively.

    Palpatine smiles crookedly before answering. “Look at everything I’ve given you, Supreme Leader. Your training, the rise of the First Order, it has all been by my design. But that could be just the beginning .. if you want it to be. The dark side of the Force has given me great power. Power enough to survive death at the hand of my former apprentice, your grandfather.”

    Kylo raises his lightsaber so that its tip is in Palpatine’s face. “And if I kill you?”

    Palpatine laughs again. “Go ahead and try.”

    Kylo hesitates for only an instant. “And what exactly do you want from me?” he asks.

    “Cheating death is not the same as living, as you can see,” Palpatine says as he slowly raises an arm to exemplify his decrepit state. “I tried to clone a new body. I even managed to transfer Force abilities into the clone. But this came at a cost. Essence transfer was impossible. Snoke then served a different purpose, as you are aware. I require a new body, a Force attuned host, to transfer my life force into.”

    ‘Who?” Kylo asks.

    Palpatine becomes serious. “The girl. I believe you are acquainted. Bring her to me.”

    Kylo lowers his blade to the ground but does not deactivate it. He tilts his head in thought. “Why would I give her to you?”

    Palpatine smiles. “Ruling over the festering mortals of this galaxy is now a disuse of my powers. If you bring her to me, I will provide you with the Imperial Black Fleet. An automated fleet, constructed in secret, and hidden away here by my Empire; one of many contingencies. The Black Fleet will allow your First Order to swiftly finish the war, bring order to the galaxy, and for you to fulfill the destiny your grandfather could not. When that is complete, if you wish .. I can teach you abilities in the dark side of the Force that you have only dreamed of. You are powerful, but you haven’t yet realized what you are capable of.”

    Kylo lifts his chin. “Why Rey?”

    Palpatine scowls. “She’s not who you think she is,” he says knowingly.

    “Who is she?” Kylo asks.

    Palpatine smiles.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:43 PM
  7. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 5

    The Falcon and the E-Wings descend towards the Resistance base. Rey and Leia look up from a console to see which ships are landing. “They’re back,” Rey says excitedly, as they watch the freighter settle onto one of the larger landing pads. Rey shoots Leia a smile before hurrying off towards the Falcon.

    The ramp lowers and Poe storms down just as Rey arrives. “How did it go,” she asks.

    Poe shrugs and without a word continues walking past Rey. She stops and turns to watch him walk away. “We could use your help out there,” Poe offers over his shoulder without pausing.

    “Rey!” Finn exclaims as he descends the boarding ramp, running the short distance and hugging Rey.

    “So, bad mood?” Rey asks as they separate.

    Finn points a finger at himself and gives her a quizzical look. “Me?”

    Rey points her thumb over her shoulder after Poe. “Him,” she states.

    Finn shakes his head in exasperation. “Always.” They walk together away from the ship. “He’s not wrong though, you’d be a huge asset on our missions.”

    Rey looks down at the ground as they walk. Softly she says, “We’ve been over this. I’ve got to complete my training. When it really counts, when it’s all on the line, I need to be ready.” Rey turns her head to look him in the eye. “Finn .. it’s important.”

    “I know, I know,” he replies, nodding and smiling.

    Poe marches straight to the command center where Leia is waiting.

    “So the information from our new spy was accurate then?” she asks directly as he arrives.

    Poe stops and nods. “Seemed to be, ya.”

    Leia nods in return. “It could still be a trap, but this could be the break we need.” She looks directly at him. “You did good work out there today, Poe,” she says honestly.

    Poe looks away, unsure how to respond, then looks to Leia and says, “Ya, but we lost Zorii, so by the numbers the First Order still wins.”

    Leia tilts her head, a small frown forming on her lips as she thinks. “But think about how many lives were saved on Mon Calamari because of her sacrifice. The Mon Cal fleet was waiting for the First Order when they jumped in, and they pushed them right back out.”

    Poe paused for a moment before replying, “Our victories slow them down, but they’ve got our allies pinned down in a handful of sectors, afraid to take the offensive, afraid to help each other, or us. Is the ending of this war now inevitable?” he asks, clearly frustrated.

    Leia looks to him with a straight face. “There’s always hope, Poe. We just have to keep fighting.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” he replies solemnly, nodding as he turns to leave. Leia watches him go with a concerned look on her face.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 10:54 AM
  8. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 6

    Aboard a Super Star Destroyer, Kylo briskly enters a council chamber. The sixteen seated occupants around the large, black table rise and in unison, shout, “Supreme Leader.”

    Kylo continues to the front of the room. “Sit,” he commands, as he reaches the head of the table. They obey as he turns his back to the council, looking out a large viewport. Watching other First Order ships maneuver in space, he asks, “General, what is the status of the war?”

    Allegiant General Pryde stands to give his report. Directing his words at Kylo he says, “The war effort proceeds as planned. We have achieved recent victories at Corellia, Yaga Minor, and Sluis Van.” Kylo keeps his back turned, so as he continues, Pryde shifts his focus to the other council members, working around the table and making eye contact with each of them in turn. “The majority of strategic systems are now in our control, the balance of galactic power firmly in our favour. The last of the major systems should fall in a matter of months. At that point, all that will remain will be the mopping up of minor territories, the war over.”

    General Hux, also a council member, fidgets in his chair as Pryde finishes, and with his eyes focused on Kylo, quickly stands to add, “Recruitment remains ahead of schedule, my Lord. The galaxy’s youth are being harvested, indoctrinated, and trained at a record pace.” Hux then stares down Pryde across the table.

    Kylo turns to face the council, nodding. “Yes, you’ve done well with your training assignment, General.” Together, slowly, both Hux and Pryde sit down.

    Kylo continues, “Palpatine will provide me with the Black Fleet. Added to our ranks the war will be over in days, not months. The fighting will end now, the First Order will bring order to the galaxy, and peace will follow.”

    Pryde nods and says, “Very good, sir.”

    Hux looks uncomfortable in his chair and shares a glance with another general across the table. Gathering courage, he speaks, “Is it necessary to risk everything on a gamble with a sorcerer like Palpatine? We are winning the war with our current, and very loyal army.”

    Kylo stares at Hux for several seconds, making him visibly nervous. Finally, Kylo says, “Do you doubt me, General Hux?”

    Before Hux can respond, the general Hux had earlier glanced at says, “Forgive me, my Lord, but there is certain risk involved. How can you know it is the real Emperor who has returned? This fleet, what is it, a gift? What is he asking for in return? Will he not want to resume his…”

    Suddenly the general stops talking, mouth working but no words forming. He then begins to gasp for air, his eyes wide as he realizes he is being attack with the Force. Over the gasping and popping noises emitting from the general’s throat, and with an outstretched arm, an irritated Kylo announces, “I grow tired of explaining myself, General.”

    The general rises out of his chair and into the air, his legs pumping as he is lifted by an invisible force. Kylo then propels him overtop the conference table, and he impacts the opposite wall with deadly force and a disturbing sound. Kylo lowers his arm and leans over the conference table. “Any further questions?” he asks, pointedly, at Hux.

    “No, sir. Very good.” Hux shouts, speaking directly to Kylo and then quickly turning his gaze to face the opposite wall.

    Kylo straightens and rages at the council, “Everything is under control. My control. The war will soon be over. I will handle the Emperor, Exegol, and the Black Fleet personally. Your priority will be finding the Resistance girl. Use any means necessary, but I need her alive!”

    As Kylo storms out of the room, the council members visibly relax but share concerned looks with one another.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:43 PM
  9. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 7

    On the world of Ajan Kloss, home of the Resistance base, Rey is again training, running through the jungle with BB-8 following fast on her heels. Suddenly she stops and BB-8 rolls past her.

    “BB-8, stop,” Rey says to the droid. BB-8 chirps curiously as he decelerates, and slowly rolls back towards Rey. Rey is deep in concentration, a confused and hurt look on her face. “Something’s not right,” she explains to the droid. Her head swivels, looking for something she cannot see. “Over here, this way,” she says to BB-8 as she marches off.

    They emerge from the jungle, entering a clearing and finding a wounded Orbak laying on the ground. As they approach, the animal groans and shudders as it tries to get up and onto its feet. “It’s okay,” Rey says soothingly as she crouches down and approaches the beast. “Be still, we’re not going to hurt you.”

    The Orbak, a large quadruped animal that would stand about 7 feet tall, had a shaggy coat and tusks protruding from its mouth. The beast calms as Rey puts her hand on its side. BB-8 issues a series of inquiring beeps. “With the Force,” Rey replies.

    Rey peers overtop of the Orbak to look at the opposite side of the animal and finds a severe looking gash along its forward quarter. BB-8 chirps again. “It’s hurt, we’ve got to help it,” Rey tells him.

    Rey moves around the Orbak, slowly and in a crouch, with one arm extended towards the animal, making calming noises. She settles next to the gaping wound and extends her hand, placing it on the Orbak’s body next to the wound, and closes her eyes. The Orbak lays still as miraculously, the wound begins to heal itself as Rey concentrates.

    A few seconds later the wound has fully closed, Rey removes her hand, stands, and carefully backs away. The beast brays and stands, this time without difficulty. For a moment it stares directly at Rey and she smiles back at the Orbak while BB-8 rolls in behind her to safely view the animal. Then the Orbak turns and begins to walk away, picking up speed and trotting into the jungle.

    BB-8 rotates and looks up to Rey before he warbles. She kneels beside him and explains, “I just transferred a bit of life, Force energy from me to him.” BB-8 chirps and Rey says, “You would have done the same.”

    She looks back to the jungle where the Orbak left, but the animal is no longer visible. Standing she says, “C’mon, let’s finish today’s training.” Rey runs off into the jungle, BB-8 hot on her heels.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 9:18 PM
  10. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 8

    At the resistance base, a group is gathered around a large, circular holotable. Poe speaks first, “We’ve received another transmission from our new friend. Apparently, the First Order has found a lost Imperial fleet, hundreds of Star Destroyers, all heavily automated with minimal crew required. Once they activate those ships, the war is all but over.”

    Murmurs spread throughout the group. Rose looks to Poe, a thoughtful expression on her face and asks, “Do we believe this?”

    Poe nods, acknowledging the question. “Given the significance of the intel, and the fact that their previous information has checked out, I don’t see how we can ignore it.”

    “Agreed,” Leia adds in support.

    A young Mon Calamari officer – Aftab Ackbar – shares, “My father worked with Rebel Intelligence for many years trying to confirm whispers of such an Imperial armada. Prior to Endor, many specially automated warships disappeared after their construction in the Empire. The project was rumored to be ordered by the Emperor himself. They called it the Black Fleet. This must be what they’ve discovered.”

    Finn speaks next, “Can we get there first? Destroy them, or maybe even activate the ships ourselves?”

    Poe, with a discouraged look replies, “Our source says the fleet is located on a hidden Sith world called Exegol, location unknown.” More gasps and murmurs are issued by those present and R2-D2 issues a series of chirps.

    C-3PO straightens and says, “R2 has confirmed that the world Exegol does not appear on any of his star charts.”

    Lieutenant Connix asks, “There’s no mention of it from the records collected at the Imperial palace or Vader’s castle?”

    Poe shakes his head. “There’s nothing in the New Republic database.”

    R2-D2 issues an excited whistle followed by an extended series of beeps. C-3PO listens to R2 and turns back to face the group. “As you know, R2 travelled with Master Luke for many years, searching for…”

    “Get to it, 3PO,” Poe cuts him off.

    C-3PO stutters, looking at Poe, “I .. well. R2 believes that a Sith wayfinding holocron will likely contain the coordinates of Exegol, as the holocrons were created to map important Sith locations. Master Luke suspected such wayfinders may have been located on the forbidden Sith worlds of Dromund Kaas, Ziost, and Korriban. Unfortunately, he never located any of the planets. Making the chances of successfully finding Exegol within the next year approximately one trillion…”

    Poe cuts him off again, saying dryly, “Thank you, 3PO.”

    C-3PO shakes his head and mutters, “Dear, oh dear.”

    Suddenly, Rey perks up. “Hold on,” she says excitedly. She turns and runs away from the group to her cabin. Returning, she walks briskly while flipping the pages of a Jedi tome. When she nears the group again, she asks, “3PO, what did you say the names of the forbidden worlds were?”

    C-3PO responds, “Why they were Dromund Kaas, Ziost, and…”

    “Korriban,” Rey finishes for him. “They’re right here in this Jedi text .. with locations.” That triggers another wave of murmured conversation throughout the assembled Resistance members.

    Finn asks hurriedly, “Is Exegol in there?”

    Rey flips a few pages forward, and then a few pages backwards. Disappointed, she says, “No…”

    Leia speaks and commands all attention. “Then our only hope is to retrieve one of these wayfinders and hope it contains the location of Exegol, and that we can get there in time to stop the First Order from taking those ships.”

    Rey nods, “I’ll go.”

    Connix adds, “We’ll all go…”

    “No,” Rey quickly responds. “The Resistance needs to be ready to strike Exegol if we find its location. This could just be a wild bantha chase.” Rey looked to Leia, who held her stare before reluctantly nodding her approval.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:44 PM
  11. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 9

    Rey is finishing packing a small bag in her cabin when Leia arrives at the doorway. “Are you ready?” Leia asks.

    Rey straightens and turns, smiling at Leia, and nods. “I trust the Force,” she replies.

    “Good,” says Leia, smiling back.

    As Rey reaches towards the wall to grab her quarterstaff from a rack, Leia reaches to her belt and unclips her lightsaber. Rey notices, stops, and turns back towards Leia who offers the lightsaber to Rey. Rey stares at it, stunned.

    Rey shakes her head and says, “I can’t take your lightsaber.”

    Leia gives a half smile and tilts her head. “Rey, your training is complete. You’re strong in the Force and my student no longer. This mission will be your Jedi trial, and this weapon is far more effective in your hands than mine.” Leia extends the lightsaber further towards Rey. Encouragingly she adds, “You’ll need it where you’re going.”

    Finally, reluctantly, Rey accepts the lightsaber. “Thank you, Master,” she says as tears well in her eyes.

    Leia embraces Rey and speaks softly into her ear, “Be careful. May the Force be with you.”

    ***

    Rey walks through the Resistance camp as she approaches the Falcon. Near the ship, Poe asks Chewie, “So, you got her up and running?”

    After Chewie responds with affirmative grunts, Finn interjects, “Why is it that you both can fly the Falcon, but Chewie is the only one who can fix it?”

    Poe shoots him a dirty look and replies, “I have other talents too.” Finn grins broadly.

    As Rey approaches, the group turns to face her. She stops a few paces from them and says, “Looks like it’s time for me to go on a mission for a change.”

    Turning to lift a crate, Poe replies casually, “Yeah, we know. We’re going with you.”

    Rey looks stunned. “You’re…” Her mouth hangs open for a moment, then she urgently continues. “No. It’s too dangerous. I need to go alone.”

    Finn raises his hands in mock confusion. “That doesn’t even make sense. We go together.”

    BB-8 chirps, R2-D2 whistles, and C-3PO adds, “I wholeheartedly agree.”

    Chewie roars and Poe looks from the Wookie back to Rey and says, “It’s Chewie’s ship, so I guess it’s settled.” Poe turns and carries his crate up the boarding ramp. Rey smiles impishly, shaking her head as she follows the rest of them onboard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 8:42 AM
  12. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 10

    Aboard the Falcon, in the main hold, Rey is seated by herself at the hologame table, reading a Jedi tome. She slowly looks up from the book, a troubled look on her face. Shaking her head, she mutters, “No…” A Force connection with Kylo begins.

    “Where are you?” Kylo asks, sitting in his chambers.

    Rey quickly replies, “Get out of my head.”

    Undeterred, Kylo continues. “I offered you my hand once. You wanted to take it. Why didn’t you?”

    Rey hesitates for only a second before replying. “You could have killed me. Why didn’t you?”

    Kylo ignores the question. “I’ve got something important to tell you, something you’ll want to know.”

    Rey snorts at the suggestion. “I don’t give a damn about anything you’ve got to say,” she says angrily.

    Kylo half shrugs. Calmly he says, “We’ll see. You can’t hide, Rey. Not from me.”

    Rey slowly shakes her head. “I can still see the conflict within you. Haunted, every day, by your father, your uncle, and all the other people you’ve killed.”

    “Skywalker hasn’t bothered me since the day I slaughtered the Knights of Ren, the last of his former students,” Kylo replies forcefully. His anger fading, he continues, “What about you, do you still count the days since your parents left? Such pain in you, such anger.”

    Rey recognizes the baiting of his question and remains silent. Kylo considers her surroundings before asking, “Where are you going?”

    “I’m done,” Rey declares, moving to get out of her seat. As she does so, Kylo suddenly reaches out and tears the page of the Jedi text Rey is holding. Rey looks down, to see the heading of the page has been torn off.

    “Interesting.” Kylo says as he reads the text on the page section he has stolen. “I don’t want to have to kill you. The next time I offer you my hand, take it.”

    Kylo ends the connection. Rey looks down at the tome once more before quickly placing it on the table and rushing to the cockpit. She enters to find Finn, Poe, and Chewie in their usual seats. Before they even know she is there she blurts out, “Ren knows what where doing, it won’t be long before the First Order catches up with us.”

    Poe, Finn, and Chewie share concerned looks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020 at 9:34 PM
  13. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 11

    The Falcon exits hyperspace and engages sublight engines, travelling towards a world with mixed blue, brown, and green colouration.

    In the Falcon’s cockpit, Poe and Chewie are in the forward pilot seats, with Rey and Finn in the rear seats. While piloting, Poe announces, “Welcome to Dromund Kaas, the first stop on our tour of the galaxy’s most evil places.”

    As the Falcon enters the planet’s atmosphere, everyone appears visibly uncomfortable. “Do you guys feel that?” Finn asks as he squirms in his seat.

    Everyone nods but it’s Rey who answers, “It’s no wonder these Sith worlds have been lost and forgotten, no one would want to be here.”

    Finn looks to Rey. “What can you sense in the Force?”

    Rey concentrates for a second, then replies, “It’s as if the planet has been poisoned. Forever stained with the dark side. Almost as if it’s emitting waves of negative energy. I’ll see if I can block it, put a Force bubble around us”.

    Everyone visibly relaxes. Poe turns his head and says to Rey, “Cool, I thought you could just jump really high.”

    Rey gives him an unimpressed stare in return, then concentrates again. She sits forward in her seat and points out the viewport. “That way.” Poe and Chewie work the cockpit controls to guide the Falcon through the atmosphere, towards Rey’s indicated destination.

    Finn notices Rey shudder in her seat. He leans over to her and asks quietly, “Are you all right?”

    Rey nods and explains, “I’ve never felt anything like it, not on this scale. The planet has experienced so much evil, unspeakable acts over millennia by uncounted Sith.” She smiles lightly at Finn, who continues to look concerned. “I’ll be alright,” she says, patting his leg for reassurance. Finn nods in return.

    Poe looks back at them, having overheard Rey. “Then let’s get in, and get out,” he says.

    The Falcon lands on the surface. The group exits and Rey leads them away from the ship. The ground is covered in either thick, dark green moss or small, shallow pools of bubbling brown liquid. The weather is socked in, foggy and wet – not raining, but moisture fills the air. The moss is soft to walk on, it squishes and depresses with every step, forcing thick ooze out like a wrung sponge. Vegetation is sparse, and the dark coloured plants, shrubs, and trees that do grow, do so in gnarled and twisted ways.

    After walking a distance, Finn stops and examines the ground ahead. “I don’t see anything,” he comments as the others continue past him.

    “It’s below ground,” Rey explains over her shoulder. “This way,” she tells him as she points.

    Finn starts after Rey. Catching up with her, he asks, “Below ground? How do you know where to go?”

    She turns and smiles at him. “The Force is guiding me,” she answers.

    Rey leads them to a large pit in the ground. On one of the pit walls is a dark hole leading underground, an entrance to a tunnel. “Here,” she explains. “This is it.”

    C-3PO shuffles up to the rim of the pit, bends over and turns his head in the direction of the tunnel entrance. He straightens and asks, “Mistress Rey, are you sure it’s safe for droids down there?”

    Poe responds first. “It’s not safe for anyone, 3PO, let’s go.” He steps carefully down the slope to the bottom of the pit and cautiously enters the tunnel mouth.

    R2-D2 chirps at C-3PO who raises his hands and says, “The agony never ends.” The droids begin to follow the others down into the pit.

    Rey enters the tunnel, and the gloomy light of day is lost. She ignites her lightsaber while Finn and Poe activate handheld glowrods for illumination. Chewie activates a light mounted on his bowcaster, and R2-D2 and BB-8 turn on lights of their own.

    The group cautiously make their way deeper into the tunnel. There are frequent side branches off the main tunnel, but Rey continues to lead them forward.

    Poe stops to trace his palm over the curving edge of the tunnel wall. “This doesn’t looked drilled .. I don't wanna know what made these tunnels.”

    C-3PO shuffles up to Poe, who is still examining the wall. “Judging by the circumference of the tunnel walls...”

    Poe quickly turns to C-3PO and cuts him off. “I said I do not wanna know. Not.” Poe turns and continues walking, and 3PO follows.

    Farther along the tunnel, Finn shines his glowrod on an indistinct clump of material up ahead. “What's that?” he asks no one in particular. They continue forward, and the object becomes clear with added illumination. “Bones,” Finn describes.

    C-3PO adds, “Bones? Never a good sign.”

    The group continues to move forward. At the entrance to the next side passage, Finn shines his light up the secondary tunnel, revealing that it is filled with white bones, picked clean of all flesh. There are so many bones that he can’t see the tunnel floor. A frightened look crosses Finn’s face and he mutters, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” He turns to see that the group has carried on without him. “Ah, guys,” he says, as he hurries up the main tunnel to rejoin them.

    As Finn returns, a giant, scaled, snake-like creature appears in front of Rey, hissing, roaring, and working jaws that are dripping with saliva – a Vexis. Startled, the group turns to run backwards, but another Vexis appears behind Finn, coming up the main tunnel to block their escape.

    “Serpent! Serpent! Serpent!” C-3PO yells.

    Rey turns back around to face the first Vexis. “I’ve got this one!” she yells over the sounds of hissing and snapping. Finn, Poe, and Chewie face the creature to the rear, while the droids huddle in between them and Rey. Finn and Poe unholster their blaster pistols while Chewie shoulders his bowcaster. They take aim.

    “Snakes, I hate snakes,” Poe declares, shaking his head as they begin to fire at the rear Vexis.

    Rey quickly moves forward, slides underneath the Vexis’ head, and rises up beside its neck. Raising her blue lightsaber clean through the creature as she does so, beheading and killing it.

    The rear Vexis charges forward as Finn, Poe, and Chewie continue to pour blaster fire into the creature. Blaster bolts eventually begin to penetrate its thick scaling, and it starts to slow as the energy beams start removing chunks of flesh and burning holes through its body. Finally, it collapses into a smoking hulk, dead.

    The group stays still and silent for a moment, panting from the action. “Is that it?” Poe comments. Then the distant sound of scraping dirt and hissing can be heard from both tunnel directions, rising in volume.

    Both Chewie and Finn slowly turn their head to stare at Poe in outrage. Chewie groans and Finn says, “Had to say something, hey?”

    R2-D2 and BB-8 begin to communicate with each other. Their fast beeps, chirps, and whistles becoming less audible over the noise from the approaching Vexis. The second wave of snakes finally appears, several from both in front and behind, moving quickly and aggressively towards the group. Rey, Finn, Poe, and Chewie prepare to do battle again when R2-D2 and BB-8 separate, moving in different directions.

    “Are you two suicidal!?” C-3PO yells after them.

    R2-D2 moves out in front of Rey and BB-8 in front of the three males, surprising them all as the Vexis near striking range. The droids stop between their friends and the Vexis to either direction. They each activate their holoprojectors and a giant hologram of a k'lor'slug appears between the droids and the attacking creatures.

    The blue-hued slugs, filling the entire tunnel and greatly outweighing each snake, work their sarlacc-like mouths and dagger-shaped mandibles in a frenzy, complete with high-pitched shrieking. The Vexis on both sides stop immediately, assessing the new combatants.

    Rey closes her eyes in concentration. A moment later, the droid’s holographic slugs race forward towards the Vexis, carried on their multiple, razor-sharp looking legs. All at once, the snakes panic, turn, and slither past one another as they rush to vacate the primary tunnel in both directions, away from the slugs and their lost meal.

    The droids deactivate their holoprojectors and the fierce slugs dissolve into nothingness. Poe, with an amazed look on his face, looks at each of the droids, then shouts, “BB-8, R2, that was amazing!” BB-8 rolls back towards the group and Poe kneels to embrace the droid who beeps proudly.

    Rey bends over R2-D2 as he returns and says softly, “Thank you.” To which R2 replies with a happy whistle.

    The group cautiously proceed up the tunnel, encountering no further resistance in the short time before reaching a heavy looking durasteel blast door. Rey closes her eyes and says, “It’s a vault, I can use the Force to open it.”

    She closes her eyes and a loud mechanical sound clangs from behind the door. Opening her eyes, Rey watches as the blast door slowly cranks open in rusted protest. On the other side of the blast door is a durasteel vault, about the size of a small airspeeder. Inside the vault lies a single, small armored chest.

    Again, Rey opens it with the Force. The lid clicks unlocked, and slowly opens without a sound. Revealing, nothing inside. An empty box.

    Everyone has a deflated look on their face as they peer inside the chest and realize Dromund Kaas will not be providing them with a Sith wayfinder.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:45 PM
  14. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 12

    The Falcon leaves the atmosphere of Dromund Kaas and enters space, flying near one of its moons. As it passes, several ships emerge from the far side of the moon, blazing an intercept course towards the Falcon.

    In the Falcon’s cockpit, alarms start blaring. Poe and Chewie move frantically in their seats, flipping switches and viewing sensor readouts as they try to understand the situation.

    “What is it?” Rey asks worriedly from her rear seat.

    A loud metal clang echoes within the ship. “Bounty hunters,” Poe says negatively.

    Four ships pursue the Falcon. One has already attached a magnetic grapple to the hull of the Falcon. The three other ships each fire a grapple of their own, which slam into the back of the Falcon, magnetize, and then lock into place as their metal fingers close, warping the hull plating. A tow cable trails from each clamp back to a bounty hunting ship.

    “Chewie, try polarizing the hull,” Poe says urgently as the Falcon’s engines strain and the ship loses velocity. Chewie barks in frustration as he works the cockpit controls.

    “Can’t we just jump into hyperspace?” Finn asks nervously.

    “Sure, but we may end up leaving half the Falcon behind or taking half of them with us.” Poe pauses to flips switches and work the steering yoke. “Either way, we wouldn’t be in hyperspace for long.”

    Suddenly a First Order Star Destroyer exits hyperspace to the aft quarter of the bounty hunting ships, pointing straight at them. The Star Destroyer immediately opens up with its turbolasers, pulverizing the four ships latched onto the Falcon within seconds. As the ships are destroyed, the magnetic clamps disengage, and the cables fall free from the Falcon’s hull.

    “Out of the frying pan and right into the fire,” Poe stammers as he looks away from the scanners and reaches for the controls. His fingers gripping the yoke, he looks over to Chewie and instructs, “Wait for the tractor beam.”

    Without warning, the cockpit holocomm display activates and General Hux appears on the console, pictured sitting at a desk in an office aboard the Star Destroyer. “What are you waiting for? Go you fools!”

    Chewie slams down the throttles, engaging the sublight engines, and begins plotting their hyperspace course. Poe looks at the image of Hux, astonished. “Why are you helping us?” he asks.

    Hux sighs. “I’m the spy,” he answers.

    “What!?”

    “You!?”

    Poe and Finn exclaim at the same time as Chewie roars.

    Poe processes the news and then asks curiously, “Okay, but still. Why?”

    Hux looks disgusted. “I don’t care if you win, I need Kylo Ren to lose. He’s mad, and he’s about to ruin everything we’ve built, everything we’ve worked so hard for. The galaxy grows tired of wizards determining its fate, once Kylo is out of the way, I’ll be able to guide the First Order to victory.”

    Finn shakes his head in disbelief, then asks, “Whatever man, do you know where Exegol is?”

    Hux leans in closer to the imager. “No, only Ren knows. He didn’t just stumble upon the fleet by himself, he was summonsed there.”

    This piques Rey’s interest and a curious expression crosses her face, she asks, “Summonsed? By who?”

    Hux exhales. “The late Emperor, resurrected.”

    “What?!” everyone in the Falcon’s cockpit exclaims together.

    Hux waves his hand, as if this is not the first time explaining the unbelievable news. “He’s after the girl,” Hux says, nodding towards the camera lens. “Ren’s been promised the fleet for the girl.”

    Finn leans farther out of his seat to get a clearer view of the holocomm and Hux. “Why didn’t you tell us this before?”

    Hux shrugs and with a wry smile replies, “Would you have believed it?” Hux looks away from the camera and his face turns serious. “Go,” he whispers and the holocomm image disappears.

    Chewie immediately engages the hyperdrive, and the Falcon jumps to lightspeed. The four of them sit in silence for several seconds, still processing the news. Finally, Poe states, “I knew it was Hux!” Finn and Chewie both turn and groan at Poe, then reach out to shove his shoulder, pushing him off his seat despite his protests.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:45 PM
  15. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Hux decides to spy for the resistance....Because he's just that petty. Will never not laugh.
     
    JABoomer likes this.
  16. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 13

    The Falcon roars into an atmosphere, this time belonging to a planet with varied brown colouration. As the Falcon comes down, the desert landscape is revealed, with rough, rocky hills and plateaus rising out of the drifting sand. The Falcon lands on the flat top of a plateau not much bigger than the ship itself.

    The group disembarks down the Falcon’s boarding ramp. “Welcome to Ziost,” Poe says dryly as the ramp to the Falcon hisses closed. They follow a natural path around the plateau’s perimeter which leads down to the sandy surface.

    Rey leads the group across the desert floor to a neighboring plateau, a few hundred paces away. Arriving at the base of this larger plateau, they circle around the rock formation until they arrive at a durasteel hatch in the rising rock, half buried in sand.

    Rey turns to the rest of the group and says, “Watch your eyes.” She raises a hand and the wind picks up; the others raise arms and turn away to shield themselves from the miniature sandstorm. Soon the sand is cleared from the doorway, a pathway made with the Force. Rey then uses the Force to trigger the hatch mechanism and the door groans open, fighting against years of built-up rust and grit.

    Rey unclips the lightsaber from her belt and steps through the man-sized hatch, while C-3PO whines, “Oh, do we have to do this again?”

    Poe looks at him. “What are you scared of 3PO, besides giant worms?”

    C-3PO returns Poe’s gaze and replies, “Why the Sith of course.” Looking around, as if checking for eavesdroppers he then adds quietly, “And so should you.”

    Poe chuckles as he unholsters his blaster and moves towards the hatch. “What, you’re afraid they’re going to turn you to the dark side?” R2-D2 chitters at the jab and C-3PO shakes his head as he follows the others through the hatch.

    On the other side of the hatch they enter a hollow cavern, the inside of the plateau has been carved out. The cavern is about the size of the Falcon with a 12-foot high ceiling. A large blast door, like the vault they found on Dromund Kaas, is located on the wall opposite the hatch. Several smaller blast doors are located at various locations on the rocky walls and ceiling.

    As the group slowly makes their way towards the vault, Finn nervously looks around and comments, “What’s the catch?”

    The hatch they entered through closes as lights embedded in the rocky cavern illuminate the darkness, revealing dust and cobwebs. Before the group has a chance to look around, a tall, narrow hatch located on the large blast door loudly snaps open. A skeletal protocol droid wearing a black cloak slowly shuffles out from the hatch. The droid is an ancient model, its red eyes glowing from underneath the cloak hood.

    C-3PO does several double takes between the new droid and Poe, his gaze finally landing on Poe who shrugs and admits, “Okay, but, who knew?”

    The Sith droid comes to a stop several feet out of its alcove and with a deep baritone vocoder utters a message in a foreign language. As he finishes, the smaller blast doors around the cavern begin to retract, revealing ancient, and very large disruptor canon emplacements. The canons cover the cavern with overlapping fields of fire.

    The group, startled, closes ranks while facing outwards, aiming weapons, and scanning the room trying to identify all the new threats. “Whoa, whoa, whoa .. easy there friend,” Poe says as he directs his attention to the Sith droid as the noise of the retracting doors subsides.

    The group remains still for a second before Rey asks, “3PO, can you talk to it?”

    C-3PO steps forward and directs his attention to Rey. “Why yes, mistress Rey. I am fluent in over seven million forms of communication.”

    Finn asks C-3PO quietly, “What did it say?”

    C-3PO turns his body towards Finn. “I’m afraid I cannot tell you,” the droid says matter-of-factly.

    A frustrated Finn replies, “Why not, you said you could talk to it.”

    C-3PO stares at Finn for a moment as if he is missing the obvious. “The language is mystic Sith I’m afraid, and my programming forbids me from translating it.”

    “Your what?!”

    “3PO!”

    Poe and Finn yell together as Chewie palms his face. When the outrage subsides, Rey says calmly, “Try Basic.”

    C-3PO turns back towards Rey, bows slightly, and then turns towards the ancient droid and says, “Hello, I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations. And you are?” The Sith droid remains completely still.

    R2-D2 issues a series of beeps, and C-3PO turns towards him. “Ah yes, I see your point, R2,” 3PO says, then turns back towards Rey and Finn. “I cannot translate the language for you; however, I can speak with this disreputable soul.”

    Poe shakes his head. “Way to make a new friend, 3PO. Just get the door open.”

    C-3PO has a conversation with the Sith droid in the mystic Sith language. As the conversation reaches an end, 3PO takes a surprised step back and utters, “How rude.”

    R2-D2 whistles at C-3PO, but 3PO cuts him off and replies, “R2, leave this to the professionals.”

    R2-D2 whistles again at C-3PO, loudly and insistent this time. 3PO does a double take towards R2, then exasperated, turns to the Sith droid and speaks in the Sith language again. When 3PO finishes, R2 whistles more instructions for him to translate. When finished, 3PO quickly turns to R2 and snappily says “So your programming has finally fragmented, is that it?” R2 issues another loud whistle in response and 3PO turns back to continue talking at the Sith droid.

    When C-3PO finishes speaking, Finn looks concerned and asks him, “What is R2 saying?”

    C-3PO turns to Finn and replies, “I’m afraid R2 is malfunctioning, he seems to think…” 3PO is cut short as a loud scanning device activates from the top of the Sith droid’s alcove. The device emits blue scanning beams that run from 3PO’s head down his entire body, and up again.

    The Sith droid lifts his chin slightly and declares, “Lord Vader has visited us before.”

    Loud mechanical noises sound as the blast doors close over the disrupter cannon alcoves and the droid reverses back into the vault door, his hatch closing as he enters. The vault door then begins to crank open.

    C-3PO turns to R2 and says over the door opening, “R2-D2, are you telling me .. the Maker .. OH MY!” His head twitches as he processes the information.

    Finn looks confused and asks C-3PO as the door finishes opening, “What did you tell that droid?”

    C-3PO turns away from R2-D2, looking at the floor in disbelief. “That I was created by a Dark Lord of the Sith and I’ve been sent on a mission on his behalf.”

    Poe scoffs as he moves towards the now open vault. “And he bought that?”

    R2-D2 tweets at C-3PO who then berates R2, “Protect me? And just what other dirty little secrets are you carrying within your rusted dome?” R2 chitters back in response.

    The group moves in closer to inspect the contents of the vault. Several ceremonial daggers, masks, crystals, and a single green triangular holocron are displayed on tiers. Finn eyes the holocron and turns to Rey. “Is that it?” he asks excitedly.

    “I think so,” Rey replies cautiously as she moves forward into the vault. Chewie, Finn, and Poe move with her, wary of further traps. Rey reaches in, and lightly touches the holocron with her fingers, triggering visions from the Force.

    Rey, as a child, shouting to an ascending transport ship on Jakku. “No, come back!”

    Obi-Wan Kenobi. “Rey, these are your first steps.”

    Han, on Takodana. “Rey. I’ve been thinkin’ about bringing on some more crew.”

    Luke, in the tree library on Ahch-To. “Who are you?”

    Kylo, in his quarters. “Your parents. Looking for them everywhere .. in Han Solo .. now in Skywalker.”

    Kylo, in Snoke’s throne room. “They were filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money.”

    Rey, her hooded face pale, coloured with a red reflection.

    Rey comes back to reality, opening her eyes and gasping for air, trembling on unsteady legs. Finn surges forward to steady her. “Are you all right?” he asks quickly.

    She nods. “I’m fine,” she reassures him, composing herself. “It’s a wayfinder,” she confirms as she nods to the holocron, and then slowly reaches out again, this time grasping it with no difficulty.

    Poe waves to the rest of the vault’s contents. “What about the rest of this stuff, do we bring it?”

    Rey shakes her head, “There’s great power in these items, great evil…” She pauses as she reaches out with the Force before finishing, “They’re not to be trusted. They stay.”

    Poe shrugs and says, “Works for me. We got what we came for. Let’s jet.” The group turns and walks away from the vault towards the cavern hatch and the vault door begins to close. Rey stares at the wayfinder in her hand as she walks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:45 PM
  17. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Good call, Poe.
     
    JABoomer likes this.
  18. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 14

    The group exits the cavern from the hatch at the base of the plateau. Poe is first out, and as he waits for the others to exit, he looks to the sky and spots a First Order Super Star Destroyer in orbit. Looking back to the others, he says firmly, “Let’s go, we’ve got company.”

    Poe starts hurrying across the sand, back towards the adjacent plateau that the Falcon is parked on. Part way across, he turns back to see the rest of the group is following but C-3PO is beginning to lag behind as he shuffles through the sand. “3PO move your metal ass!” Poe shouts to the droid before continuing towards the Falcon.

    “Why, I’ve never…” C-3PO mutters to himself as he picks up his pace slightly. The group crosses the desert floor carefully, with blasters drawn and heads on a swivel, wary of an ambush by First Order forces.

    Poe reaches the Falcon’s plateau without incident, turning again, he says, “I’ll go warm her up, maybe we can still slip out of here.” As the others acknowledge him, he starts running up the path around the plateau to the Falcon.

    When Rey and Finn reach the Falcon, Poe is already onboard. They stand on either side of the lowered boarding ramp struts as they wait for the droids to arrive with Chewie, who is escorting them up the path. Finn turns to Rey and asks, “What did the wayfinder show you when you touched it?”

    Rey looks downward, composing her thoughts. Looking up at Finn, she replies, “Something like a bad dream.” The explanation doesn’t ease the concern on his face.

    A far-off engine whine becomes audible; Finn and Rey share a concerned look. Finn searches for the craft by scanning the horizon with his eyes while Rey concentrates on the ground in front of her, reaching out with the Force. Finn looks over and sees Rey’s concentration, he asks, “What is it?”

    Rey shakes her head as if clearing her thoughts. “I don’t know,” she replies. Rey moves around the ramp strut towards Finn and reaches out with her arm to pass him the wayfinder. “Take it in,” she says, nodding at the approaching droids and Chewie. “I’ll make sure they get aboard.” Finn looks cautiously at the wayfinder, but then nods, takes the wayfinder from Rey, and heads up the ramp.

    Poe is pre-flighting the cockpit controls and turns as Finn arrives. Noticing the wayfinder in Finn’s hand, Poe says, “See if you can plug that into the Falcon’s navicomputer, maybe we can transmit the location from here.” Finn nods, sits down, and gets to work at the rear console.

    Chewie arrives in the corridor behind the cockpit and begins to set down his bowcaster and bandolier. “We’re ready,” Poe says, turning to look at Chewie.

    Finn also turns to Chewie, and asks, “Where’s Rey?” Chewie barks a response.

    “What?!” Finn shouts as he whips his chair around, stands, and cranes his neck to look out the forward viewport. He spots Rey striding away from the plateau on the desert floor ahead of the Falcon.

    “What is she doing?” Poe asks, incredulous. He quickly turns and says, “Chewie, go get Rey, we gotta go now.” Chewie grunts, picks up his gear, turns, and runs towards the ramp, throwing his gear back on as he goes.

    Rey walks calmly through the desert; her eyes focused on the mountains in the horizon ahead of her. The engine whine is now distinctive of a TIE and is slowly increasing in volume. Suddenly, a TIE Silencer swoops out of a mountain canyon and heads directly for Rey.

    Chewie bounds down the plateau path. He reaches the desert floor and begins rounding the rock formation towards Rey when two First Order drop ships approach quickly and land nearby. Chewie finds a crevasse in the plateau’s rock wall to squeeze into and hide himself. He looks one way to Rey as the fighter craft approaches her, then back to the dropships, where First Order stormtroopers have emerged and are running towards the Falcon.

    Poe is getting inpatient in the cockpit. “C’mon. Where the hell's Chewie?” he asks as Rey finally stops walking away from the Falcon.

    Suddenly stormtroopers enter the cockpit. “Freeze!” they shout with blaster carbines pointed at both Poe and Finn. Poe and Finn look to each other, then slowly raise their hands in surrender.

    One of the stormtroopers roughly grabs the wayfinder away from Finn. He passes it to another trooper behind him and says, “Take this back to the ship immediately.” As the trooper departs, the stormtrooper commander turns back to Poe and Finn, directing them with the muzzle of his blaster as he says, “Let’s go.”

    Rey is breathing steadily as she stands on the desert sand, calmly concentrating on the approaching starfighter. She ignites her lightsaber and turns away from the screaming TIE, lowering herself into a half crouch.

    The TIE continues directly towards Rey, gaining speed and dropping in altitude until it skims the desert floor, creating a rooster tail of blowing sand in its wake.

    Rey looks back at the TIE, focused. As the TIE nears, she uncoils like a spring and begins running away from the starfighter at full speed. Just as the starfighter is about to overtake her, she jumps up, backflips in midair, and swings her lightsaber - cutting through the wing pylon of the TIE.

    The wing separates from the ball cockpit, and spins away across the desert. The rest of the starfighter, now out of control, impacts the sand and begins tumbling end over end, finally coming to rest in a fiery heap.

    Rey watches the wreckage. Somehow Kylo has survived the crash, he exits the cockpit and begins walking back towards her.

    Chewie turns from watching Rey to see two stormtroopers race from the Falcon’s plateau back towards their dropship. Shortly after, several more stormtroopers escort Finn and Poe, bound in wrist binders, down the plateau path to the desert, and begin marching them towards the dropships.

    Chewie raises his bowcaster, lets loose a tremendous Wookie war call, and starts firing at the enemy as he runs towards his friends.

    Kylo stops short of Rey, seemingly unharmed by the crash landing. He says, “Palpatine wants to see you.”

    Rey scoffs and replies, “So I’ve been told.”

    Kylo considers this for a moment before commenting, “You know too much. A spy?”

    Rey doesn’t let the question linger long before asking one of her own, “Serving a new master then?”

    Without emotion, Kylo simply states, “No. I have other plans.”

    Rey’s brow furrows and she asks, “What does he want with me?”

    Now Kylo ignores her question. “The galaxy would be better off without him. But he’s still very powerful, the best chance of destroying him would be together.”

    Surprised, Rey asks, “And then?”

    Kylo replies immediately. “Your powers have been wasted. The Force enables us to bring order to chaos. Palpatine is the real threat to the galaxy. Join me and we will kill him.” Kylo extends his hand.

    “I won’t.” Rey shakes her head. Looking straight at him she adds, “I won’t join you.”

    Chewie runs out from around the base of the Falcon’s plateau, roaring loudly towards Rey. He stretches out an arm, pointing emphatically at a First Order dropship that is taking off behind him.

    Rey and Kylo both look to Chewie, Kylo is unhappy to see him. Kylo turns back to Rey and shouts, “If you will not help me willingly, then a far worse fate awaits you. The torture of your friends will be your undoing, and in the end, you will be my slave.”

    Rey shoots Kylo an angry look. Turning towards Chewie and the dropship behind him, she reaches out with her arm, pulling at the rising transport with the Force.

    As Chewie begins to run back towards the Falcon, the dropship slows and stops ascending only a few hundred feet in the air. Its engines begin to whine and glow brighter as the pilot increases thrust to break free of the invisible hold.

    The ship is slowly beginning to move backwards towards the planet when Kylo extends his arm in the same manner as Rey. The ship is now caught in a Force tug of war, with Rey trying desperately to return the ship to the ground while Kylo tries to free it from her grip so it can escape to orbit. The transport wobbles in mid-air, then slowly starts ascending. A frustrated look crosses Rey’s face as she looks at Kylo fighting her, then she redoubles her effort, the strain clear on her face.

    As the transport continues to gain forward momentum, Rey shouts, “NO!” A thick arc of yellow electricity extends from her raised hand towards the dropship. Where the arc impacts the dropship, its hull cracks, and the ship instantly splits in half. The entire ship then explodes in a giant fireball.

    Rey falls to her knees, horror on her face. A stunned Kylo turns his head from the explosion to look at Rey. Her hand is blackened and smoking, and she watches in agony as gravity takes over and the wreckage sinks downward, crashing back to the desert floor and triggering another large explosion. From her knees, looking at the burning wreck and the black plume of smoke rising from it, Rey sobs out, “Finn .. Poe.”

    The Falcon takes off from its landing spot atop the plateau. As it clears the rock edge it drops down towards the desert floor, vectoring towards Rey. As it nears, laser fire from the belly turret lances out towards Kylo, who ignites his lightsaber and deflects the heavy bolts with effort.

    The ship rotates in flight so that the boarding ramp turns to face Rey. Chewie is hanging onto a strut on the ramp, frantically motioning for Rey to jump aboard. Rey rises to her feet one foot at a time, makes the jump, and collapses into Chewie’s arms. The Falcon blasts away from the desert, continuing to pour fire at Kylo until safely out of range.

    Kylo deactivates his lightsaber and glares at the departing Falcon.

    Rey sobs into Chewie’s fur as he half supports her, and half carries her up the boarding ramp as it closes. “Their gone .. what have I done?” she whispers as she cries. Chewie softly howls to her.

    As they enter the corridor, a noise is heard from the ventral laser canon access tube, someone is ascending. Rey looks up to see Finn climb out of the ladder well, a big smile on his face. Rey’s expression changes to complete relief as she flings herself at Finn and hugs him tightly. “You’re alive!” she exclaims. A surprised Finn hugs her in return. She grips his arms and pushes Finn back to see his face. “I thought you were…” she says quickly. “I thought you were on the transport…” she finishes askingly.

    Finn gives her a reassuring smile and explains, “We almost were.” He nods to Chewie. “Chewie saved us.”

    Rey finally begins to understand. “And Poe?” she asks.

    “In the cockpit,” Finn nods. Rey gives Finn another embrace and this time Chewie joins in, sandwiching the humans with his long arms. He tussles Rey’s hair before heading towards the cockpit.

    ***

    A stormtrooper captain in silver armour approaches Kylo in the desert. “Should we pursue, my Lord?”

    Kylo responds with a question of his own, “The wayfinder?”

    The captain raises an arm to point at the flaming wreckage of the dropship. “Destroyed, sir.”

    Kylo turns to face the captain. “Don’t bother, I know where they’re going.” Kylo briskly walks past the captain towards a shuttle landing in the distance.

    ***

    Finn sits Rey down gingerly on the circular couch surrounding the hologame table in the main hold. Her head snaps towards Finn as she remembers and asks, “The wayfinder?”

    Finn shakes his head. “It was in the dropship…” he trails off.

    “That I destroyed,” Rey finishes. Finn looks apologetic as Rey looks down at the tabletop with a haunted expression.

    “What’s wrong,” Finn asks as he sits down next to her.

    Rey continues staring at the table for a while before shaking her head slowly and replying, “I lost control.”

    Surprised, Finn tells her, “It wasn’t your fault.”

    Rey turns to him, her eyes teary and haunted. Nodding, she quietly says, “It was.” Her eyes lose focus as she continues, “I thought you and Poe were on that ship, and I wasn’t going to let Kylo take you.”

    Finn pauses for a second, unsure of what to say. Finally, he offers encouragingly, “It was Ren. He made you do it.”

    Slowly shaking her head again, Rey says fearfully, “Finn, that power came from me.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:46 PM
  19. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 15

    The Falcon exits hyperspace into deep space, a Resistance gunboat and a flight of A-Wings are waiting for them. The A-Wings accelerate away from the larger ships and begin to patrol as the Falcon maneuvers alongside the gunboat and docks.

    Finn waits at the Falcon’s airlock hatch. The airlock cycles and the hatch opens, revealing Rose. They both smile as they see one another, and she walks through the hatch to hug Finn. “How are you?” she asks as they part their embrace.

    “I’m okay,” he answers reassuringly. “C’mon,” he says seriously, nodding down the corridor as he begins to walk. He leads Rose into the main hold where the rest of the Falcon’s crew has gathered.

    As they enter, Poe is leaning back against a bulkhead, his head down as he stares at the floor grating. Before anyone can exchange greetings with Rose, he raises his head to look at her and asks, “What’s up?”

    Rose nods to acknowledge the question and stops following Finn across the hold, instead moving to stand in front of a bulkhead where she can face everyone. Finn continues a short way before turning to listen. Rose takes a breath before delivering her news. “Our contact has informed us that the First Order has sent crews to Exegol to begin activating the ships of the Black Fleet. He also told us that the Emperor has returned and is on Exegol.”

    Not getting the surprised reactions she had expected, Rose frowns in confusion. Finn explains, “You won’t believe it, but the spy .. it’s Hux. We actually had a little run in with him above Dromund Kaas.”

    Rose’s eyes bulge with surprise. In her stunned silence, Poe adds, “He told us about the Emperor.”

    Rose looks to Finn and finally manages to say, “I don’t believe it. But how do we know he’s telling the truth about the Emperor?”

    Rey speaks next, “I detected no deception in Hux, and I don’t think the First Order has anything to gain by lying to us about it.” Rey pauses to think for a moment, then adds, “And I think I’ve felt the Emperor’s presence in the Force before. I think we have to assume he has returned.”

    Rose looks surprised by this. “But how could he still be alive? Leia said that at Endor, Luke…”

    Rey shrugs and cuts Rose off. “I don’t know exactly, the Sith are very powerful.”

    Rose nods absent mindedly as she absorbs the information. She asks, “The Emperor .. does that change anything?”

    Poe answers, “It complicates things, for sure. But I don’t think it changes our objective.”

    Rose nods. “Okay, well the spy – Hux, said we have only days before the Black Fleet ships begin to be activated and mobilized. If that happens, we’re finished. The First Order will be able to reinforce every major war front and quickly overwhelm the defenses of the remaining free systems. We have to get to Exegol before the ships begin to activate. Have you recovered a wayfinder with its location?”

    Rey sighs heavily. “No. We had one.” She pauses, as if reliving the previous day. “Kylo Ren took it from us.”

    Rose’s eyebrows raise as she asks, “So what next?”

    Poe speaks, “There’s one more chance to find a wayfinder. We were headed to Korriban when we received your message to rendezvous”.

    Rose nods, “Understood. That’s exactly why Leia sent us to meet you. There’s not enough time to find the wayfinder on Korriban and then prepare an assault. When we find the coordinates to Exegol, the attack force must be ready to go. Also, someone has to call for help over the HoloNet.”

    Rey nods in understanding. She stands from her seat to address everyone. “We have to split up, it’s the only way. Poe, you head back with Rose and help Leia prepare the Resistance for battle. Leia will also need help trying to convince the New Republic fleet and planetary defense forces to join us at Exegol.” Poe nods stoically and Rey turns towards Finn. “Finn, you and Chewie take the Falcon to the core and try to rally reinforcements. Bring anyone willing to fight to Exegol.”

    Finn doesn’t react, but asks, “And you?”

    Rey doesn’t break eye contact with him. “I’m going, alone, to Korriban to retrieve the wayfinder.”

    Finn challenges Rey. ”No. We finish this together.”

    “Finn, there’s no time.” Rey says. She motions to the others in the room, “You all have more valuable contributions to make then continuing with me to Korriban. We’ve all got a job to do. I’ll do mine, you’ve got to do yours. Unless we all do our part, the mission cannot succeed.” Chewie roars in response and Rey addresses him, “No Chewie, I’ve got to do this alone.”

    Poe asks, “Is this a Force thing?”

    Rey nods. “It’s a Force thing.”

    Finn lowers his head in resignation, then looks to Rey. “Are you sure?”

    Rey remains resolute. “Yes. This is the only way, we rendezvous at Exegol.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 9:26 AM
  20. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 16

    A door opens and Allegiant General Pryde strides into his private chambers. He briskly walks to a console and activates a holocomm unit. The blue-grey image of the resurrected Emperor forms above the projector dish. Pryde initially looks shocked, then a small smile forms on his face and he slowly bows. “Emperor, I am happy to see Ren’s story is no fable, you have returned.”

    “Rise, Allegiant General,” Palpatine commands. Pryde obeys as Palpatine continues, “It is good to see you survived Operation Cinder and thrived within the First Order.” Pryde nods in appreciation as Palpatine becomes serious. “Kylo Ren has failed to deliver me the girl.”

    Pryde straightens before answering, “He is in pursuit as we speak my Lord, it should not be long now.”

    The Emperor’s eyes glower out of the holo display at Pryde. “He is young and foolish. Tell me, General, where does your allegiance lie?”

    Without hesitation, Pryde answers, “As I served you and your Empire, I serve you now.”

    The Emperor smiles from beneath his hood. “Good. The Black Fleet has been exposed; I sense an attack may be imminent. Bring a fleet to Exegol, I am sending you the coordinates.”

    “At once, your Eminence,” Pryde replies firmly and the hologram dissolves.

    ***

    An A-Wing exits hyperspace over Korriban, Rey is piloting. She immediately notices a First Order Star Destroyer in orbit above the dull grey planet but continues down the planet’s gravity well.

    Ignored by the First Order ship, Rey’s A-Wing lands on the rocky planet surface near the base of a tall mountain and she disembarks, grabbing a poncho from behind the ejector seat.

    The surface of Korriban is barren, a moonscape of grey rock sparsely populated with black, fossilized vegetation. It’s cold and half the ground is covered in blowing snow or ice.

    Rey dons her poncho and begins walking up the mountain slope. Her short climb ends with a steep rock face, and she arrives on a cliff, facing a large, black cave mouth in the mountain side.

    From the darkness of the cave mouth, the shape of Kylo slowly emerges into daylight, walking slowly with his eyes fixed on Rey. Rey stops and he continues forward until standing ten meters away from her. He carries a wayfinder in his hand, turning it with his fingers as it colours his palm green. “This is what you’ve come for?” he asks knowingly and tosses the wayfinder to her. Rey catches it with both hands, triggering Force visions.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi, “You will be tempted .. but you cannot control it.”

    Luke, during her brief training on Ahch-To, “You went straight to the dark. It offered you something you needed. And you didn't even try to stop yourself.”

    Palpatine, to Anakin, “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life.”

    The red reflection on Rey’s hooded face disappears as she deactivates a red lightsaber pike, revealing yellow eyes. She swings the pike to her side and sits down on a throne, a slain body lying in front of her.

    Rey startles back alert, discomfort showing on her face. Kylo has not moved but now starts walking tangentially to Rey as he says, “Palpatine told me who you really are.” Rey starts moving in the opposite direction and they begin walking in a circle facing each other. “But I didn’t believe it until Ziost. I pushed you, and your true nature revealed itself. I know the rest of your story, Rey.”

    Rey lashes out, “You don’t know anything.”

    Kylo shook his head and remained calm. “I’ve never lied to you. Not about your parents. Not about my intentions. Don’t you want to know?”

    “I don’t have time for this,” she says and turns to walk away from him, towards her ship. He quickly moves to block her path to the A-Wing. She stops and glares at him.

    Kylo continues, “The truth is right in front of you. Deep down you must know, but you can’t accept it, always hoping for something better.”

    “Get out of my way!” she shouts at him.

    “Palpatine created you,” Kylo says simply and pauses to let the revelation sink in. As Rey pales, he continues, “Your parents dumped you on Jakku. Whether to protect you, get rid of you, or because they were afraid of you, you’ll never know. You’ve been searching for a family all your life. I can understand why. Anything would have been better than the truth, which is that your parents are insignificant, because you’re a Palpatine.”

    Emotion boils over in Rey’s face, and she mumbles, “No.” Looking about in panic, her confused mind racing, she more forcefully yells, “No!”

    Kylo keeps talking, “Your power. It’s his power. Your destiny is unavoidable. You can’t escape what you are. What created you. You will fall to the dark side. I’ll give you one last chance. Together we can destroy Palpatine. You can have your revenge. The dark side is in your nature, like mine. Surrender to it and use it against him.”

    Rey shakes her head, trying to clear her thoughts and find the truth. Her face is full of emotion as she raises her head to look Kylo in the eyes. “No. You’re no better than he is,” she spits.

    Kylo sighs, clearly disappointed. “Your strength is his strength. If you will not join me .. I will kill you.” He ignites his cross-guard lightsaber, its red glow reflecting off the snowy ground. Rey pockets the wayfinder and ignites her blue lightsaber in response.

    ***

    Leia is in the middle of a planning session at the Resistance base, listening to her gathered officers discuss the upcoming Exegol attack around a planning table. Suddenly she gets a concerned look on her face. She looks down at the table in deep concentration, ignoring her officers as her worried expression deepens.

    Slowly, she turns to leave the table and the discussion. The officers call after her, wondering if everything is alright, but Leia ignores them. As she walks away, Leia turns her head and calls out to Commander D’Acy, who senses the concern in Leia’s voice, and rushes to her side.

    The two walk side by side towards Leia’s quarters as Leia whispers instructions to the other woman.

    ***

    Kylo and Rey are engaged in a fierce lightsaber duel. Holding nothing back, they swing wildly and their blades cross violently as each tries to outmaneuver their opponent and land a killing strike.

    Near the top of the cliff face, Kylo purposely leaves his side exposed. Rey falls for the bait and lunges forward with her lightsaber, aiming to stick him in the abdomen. Kylo, expecting this, quickly moves aside, grabs the hilt of Rey’s outstretched lightsaber with one hand, and slams the pommel of his own lightsaber into her chin, hard.

    Rey is rocked by the blow and stumbles backward, her lightsaber remaining in Kylo’s hand as the blue blade retracts. Kylo drops Rey’s lightsaber and thrusts his arm towards her, his fingers contracting as he grips her with the Force. Rey is raised off the ground and Kylo quickly shoves her towards the cliff edge.

    Rey recovers and extends both of her arms, counteracting Kylo’s power. She drops several feet in the air, landing off-balance on the cliff edge. Rey dangles over the ledge, swinging her arms trying to regain solid footing and balance.

    Kylo steps forward and sweeps his blade, aiming to cut her in two. Rey jumps at the last instant, using the Force to aid her as she back-flips down the cliff face, calling her lightsaber to her hand as she falls. She lands in a crouch on the rocky ground, some fifteen meters below.

    Kylo jumps after her, swinging his lightsaber down over his head with both hands as he lands. Rey ignites her blade and blocks his attack. She extends a hand, using the Force to push him back. His legs locked; he skids backwards several feet along the rocky surface towards the cliff face before stopping.

    Rey deactivates her blade and makes a sweeping motion with both hands. Millions of snow, ice, and rock particles leave the ground from all around her and rocket towards Kylo. The attack shreds his clothing, face, and hands. When he turns away to shield himself, the blowing particles drop to the ground and Rey rushes forward, activating and bringing up her lightsaber.

    As she swings the blade towards his body, Kylo drops to the ground, rolls over, and blocks her attack. He swings his lightsaber from the ground and she is forced to defend, giving him room to roll backwards and stand.

    Kylo moves towards Rey and seeing the fierce expression on her face, says, “I can feel the anger in you. The hate. The dark side. Now my mother and uncle have failed you too”. Rey says nothing but steps forward to engage him. Their lightsabers clash between them, crackling as they remain in contact. They lock eyes, neither one yielding.

    Kylo drops his arms, letting his lightsaber blade slide down Rey’s and quickly twists his wrist, rotating his hilt so the cross-guard beam cuts across the back of her hand. She yelps in pain and is forced to drop her weapon to avoid a more severe injury. As she does, Kylo kicks her in the stomach, propelling her backwards and onto the ground.

    He steps forward and raises his lightsaber to strike a killing blow. Just as he begins to bring his blade down, his arms lock, as if caught in a vice, a surprised expression on his face.

    ***

    Leia, lying on her bed, softly says, “Ben. Stop. Please, come home.”

    ***

    Kylo’s emotions are evident as his eyes lose focus on Rey and his lightsaber slips from his fingers. Rey twists while seated to reach out and catch the lightsaber as it falls to the ground. She deftly swivels the hilt in her hand and thrusts her body and arms upwards, impaling Kylo in the abdomen.

    Kylo’s face twists in extreme pain. Rey removes the blade and Kylo slumps down to sit, leaning against a large rock. Rey stands, and looks down at him with a triumphant look on her face, holding his lightsaber down towards him.

    ***

    “Rey,” Leia says.

    ***

    Rey’s expression changes to surprise as she hears Leia’s words. She loses her focus on Kylo, and mutters, “Master?”

    ***

    Leia’s words are now fading. “Trust the Force…”

    ***

    Rey deactivates Kylo’s lightsaber and whispers, “Leia.” Her expression sorrowful as her eyes well with tears.

    ***

    Leia’s eyes close. Her body fades from existence, becoming one with the Force.

    ***

    Rey sniffles above Kylo as he gasps in pain and breathes heavily on the ground. Kylo looks down and lifts his shirt, inspecting his gaping wound. His gaze drifts off into space, an empty expression filling his pale face.

    Rey looks down at him and her expression softens. “I did want to take your hand. Ben’s hand,” she tells him. Kylo looks in her direction but his stare is blank. He blacks out from the pain, still breathing. Rey drops his lightsaber hilt to the ground and thinks for a moment, a sad expression on her face as she studies him.

    She makes a decision and kneels down beside Kylo, placing a hand over his wound and healing him with the Force. Rey stands, gives one last uncertain look to a still unconscious Kylo, turns, and calling her lightsaber to her hand, departs.

    Rey runs to her A-Wing, climbs into the cockpit, starts the engines, and takes off. As she is ascending to orbit, Rey’s face betrays her hopelessness.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:46 PM
  21. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 17

    Kylo startles awake. Breathing loudly and quickly, he looks down and checks his wound with both hands, lifting his shirt and finding it healed. Examining the scars, he appears confused.

    “Hey, kid,” a voice says from behind him. Kylo snaps his head around in the direction of the voice, then quickly reaches out to grab his lightsaber, and stands on unsteady legs to face Han Solo. Han, appearing thoughtful and sad, says, “I miss you, son.”

    Kylo closes his eyes and lowers his head. Bringing his head back up, eyes open, he tells Han, “Your son is dead.”

    Han smiles softly and shakes his head. “No. Kylo Ren is dead. My son is alive.”

    Kylo looks uncomfortable and says, “You’re just a memory.”

    Han nods. “Your memory.” Tilting his head slightly, he says, “Come home, son.”

    Kylo shakes his head. “It’s too late. She’s gone,” he says sadly.

    Han replies, “Your mother is gone. But what she stood for, what she fought for .. that’s not gone.”

    Han walks forward until he is facing Kylo, who stiffens. Han reaches up and places a hand on Kylo’s cheek. Smiling, he says, “Ben.”

    Kylo, tears welling in his eyes, looks down and then back up to meet Han’s gaze. He nods lightly and says, “I know what I have to do .. but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.”

    Han drops his hand from his son’s face, squeezing his shoulder. “You do,” he says stoically.

    Kylo, now sobbing, says, “Dad...”

    Han looks softly at Kylo, nods, and replies, “I know.”

    Kylo holds his lightsaber between them, turning it over in his hands. He then quickly turns and heaves the lightsaber far up the mountain, into the cave mouth. Watching the hilt until it is out of sight, Kylo turns back toward Han, but he is gone.

    Kylo startles awake, breathing loudly and quickly. He snaps his head in both directions, looking around, but he is alone. He again checks his wound, which is healed. He looks to where Rey had dropped his lightsaber, but it’s not there. He lifts himself off the ground, and when standing, looks up the mountain towards the cave mouth.

    ***

    An A-Wing exits hyperspace into deep space. In the cockpit, Rey has wired the wayfinder into her navicomputer. The contents have been downloaded into the ship’s computer and packaged for transmission via subspace communication. Rey works the controls to transmit the data, sending it to the Resistance base.

    Finished, and receiving confirmation that the message is intact and en route, she grabs the flight controls and reenters hyperspace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 9:06 PM
  22. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 18

    An A-Wing exits hyperspace above a dark-blue water world heavily covered with cloud. Rey pilots the ship down to the surface, to the same island where she briefly trained with Luke years earlier. She sets down on Ahch-To near the first Jedi temple, removes her helmet, and prepares to exit the craft.

    ***

    The A-Wing is in flames, the wayfinder still in the cockpit, and Rey is adding fuel to the fire in the form of gathered branches and brush. Upset porgs and Caretakers fly and run in panic behind her, uncertain what to do about their returning visitor and the inferno she has created.

    Her starship fully engulfed, Rey unclips Leia’s lightsaber from her belt, holds it in her hand, looks from it to the fire, and reaches back to throw the weapon into the flames.

    “A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect,” a voice says from behind her. Rey freezes with her arm cocked and an uncertain look on her face. She lowers her arm and turns around to face the Force ghost of Luke Skywalker.

    “Master Skywalker,” Rey says with some surprise.

    Luke raises his eyebrows and tilts his head in question. “What are you doing?” he asks in an incredulous tone as he begins walking towards her.

    Rey looks him in the eye as he approaches. “I’m making sure I can’t make things worse. I have to stay here, like you did. I’m never leaving this place,” she tells him, shaking her head to emphasize the point.

    Luke looks disappointed and explains to her, “I was wrong. It was fear that kept me here, I can see that now. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.” He continues past her to sit down on a rock wall, patting the space next to him to indicate she should join him, which she does. He turns to look at her. “What are you most afraid of,” he asks.

    Fiddling with the lightsaber in her hands and staring ahead into empty space, she explains, “Myself. I’ve lost control, more than once. Let my emotions take over. Now Leia is gone, and I’ve seen visions of myself on a dark throne, as a Sith. If I were to fall to the dark side, everything we’ve fought for would be lost. I can’t take that chance.”

    Luke nods in understanding and patiently begins speaking, “But you’ve not fallen to the dark side. Leia sacrificed herself to save you, Rey. You are a good person, and you must trust yourself.”

    Rey snorts, regains focus, and nods her head in the direction of the dark side cavern located on the island. “The cave,” she says.

    Luke tilts his head in understanding. “Palpatine was calling to you.”

    Rey snaps her head to look at her former master, surprised. After several seconds, she nods, then turns away. “Palpatine created me, Kylo told me.”

    Luke chuckles and shakes his head. “That’s not true. Not really.”

    Rey returns her attention to Luke. “Not really?” she asks, seeking an explanation.

    Luke smiles kindly and says, “From a certain point of view.” Seeing her confusion, he shrugs and clarifies, “I’ve had some experience with this.” He then continues his train of thought, “Palpatine did create you. But not intentionally. You’re not destined for evil, Rey. You’re being manipulated. Search your feelings.”

    He pauses momentarily as Rey takes a deep breath to center herself. “My father, Anakin, was thought to be the Chosen One – an ancient Jedi prophesy that said he would bring balance to the Force, by destroying the Sith. Somehow Palpatine escaped the will of the Force, and the Force reacted by creating another, to one day fulfill the prophesy.”

    Realizing she was not picking up on his subtlety, Luke clarified, “It was you, Rey.” At this revelation, her eyes widen, and he continues, “That is why your parents abandoned you, they were neither expecting nor wanting a child. Your entire life, painful as it may have been, has been guided by the Force, so that one day you may do what Anakin could not, and truly bring balance to the Force.”

    Rey absorbs this for several moments before asking, “But, the wayfinders…”

    Luke acknowledges her question with a nod before replying, “The dark side shows you what it wants, your greatest fears.”

    Rey slowly nods, still comprehending what it all meant. She smiles softly. “Trust the Force…” she says and turns to look at Luke. “Instructions from Leia,” she clarifies.

    Luke nods. “She was clearly a much better master than I was.” Luke smiles and stands. “C’mon, there’s something I want you to have.”

    Rey gets up and clips Leia’s lightsaber to her belt, then follows Luke up the hill to his old living quarters, a small stone hut. Luke passes straight through the metal door; Rey stops briefly in surprise before stepping forward and opening it.

    She enters the hut and Luke is waiting for her, smiling. He nods downward to a stone shelf on the hut’s wall. “There,” he instructs her. On the shelf is Luke’s lightsaber and a palm-sized circular metal container. Rey bends over and carefully picks up Luke’s lightsaber.

    As she turns it over in her hands, inspecting the hilt, Luke says, “A thousand generations of Jedi live in you now. But this is your fight. You’ll need both sabers on Exegol.”

    Rey snaps her head around to look at Luke, realization on her face. She shakes her head and says, “I can’t get there. The wayfinder, my ship…”

    Luke smiles and tells her, “You have everything you need, right here.” He nods again to the shelf and the circular container. Rey clips Luke’s lightsaber to her belt, opposite Leia’s, and bends down to pick up the object. “A Jedi compass,” Luke explains. “The Force will guide you to your destination.”

    Rey looks to Luke, still confused. “But what’s going to take me there?”

    ***

    Rey’s stands on the island’s cliff edge with her arm outstretched towards the ocean. Luke’s X-Wing rises in the air, now level with her as saltwater drips off the flight surfaces and out of compartment hatches.

    Turning, Rey maneuvers the X-Wing over the cliff edge to levitate above the island. Luke stands watching, proudly smiling and chuckling to himself. “A lot better than my first attempt,” he says encouragingly as Rey sets the fighter down on solid ground.

    Rey climbs up to the cockpit, which has remained sealed from the elements. She sits down and dons the helmet she finds, then begins to warm up the engines and pre-flight the controls. When ready, Rey turns to Luke and says, “Thank you, Master.”

    Luke nods and smiles. “The Force is with you,” he tells her as she lowers the canopy. Rey raises the ship off the ground and pilots the X-Wing up through the atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 9:07 PM
  23. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Chapter 19

    The Resistance gunboat and its A-Wing escort return to Ajan Kloss, setting down at the Resistance base which is a flurry of activity as ships are loaded and prepared for battle.

    The gunboat’s hatch opens, allowing Poe and Rose to quickly exit the ship, followed by C-3PO and R2-D2. Commander D’Acy hurries to meet them.

    As D’Acy approaches, Poe acknowledges her with a nod, then asks, “How is everyone holding up?”

    D’Acy turns to walk with them. “Good, considering. Basically, they’re all too busy to grieve or dwell on it too much.”

    Poe nods in response. “Any word from Rey?”

    D’Acy brightens a little. “Yes, she transmitted the contents of a wayfinder a short time ago, we’re trying to decode the data and find the coordinates now.” This news brings a smile to the faces of both Poe and Rose.

    Rose excitedly says, “She did it!”

    D’Acy grabs Poe by the arm to halt his momentum, and they all stop walking. Poe and Rose turn and look expectantly at D’Acy, who wastes no time in stating, “Poe, Leia’s left you in charge.”

    His surprise evident, Poe replies, “Me?”

    D’Acy nods. “That’s right…” She pauses for a moment, then expectantly asks, “Well?”

    Poe looks confused. “Well, what?”

    D’Acy raises her eyebrows. “Orders, sir?”

    Poe is taken aback. “Right. Ah…” He thinks for a moment before continuing, “Get all ships prepared for battle.” He looks back towards C-3PO and R2-D2. “Get those two working on cracking the wayfinder code.” He then looks to D’Acy again. “And get me in touch with Admiral Sin’char.”

    A smile crosses D’Acy’s face. “Right away, sir!” she says and hurries off to carry out orders. Poe calls after her, “We launch as soon as we have the coordinates.”

    D’Acy slows and cranes her neck to acknowledge Poe as she walks away. “Got it,” she says. Poe, still stunned, looks to Rose who shoots him a sweet smile and pats him on the back before striding off towards her quarters.

    ***

    Poe stands in front of a holographic projector, facing the images of three older beings, also in uniform. He turns to address the greying Bothan in the center of the display, and pleads his case, “Admiral, you gotta listen to me, this is the big one. Palpatine, the fleet, it’s all at Exegol. Unless we contain them there, we’re finished, the war will be over.”

    The Bothan – Admiral Sin’char – looks doubtful as he replies, “How could Palpatine suddenly return? It smells like a trap to me.”

    Poe’s determined expression does not waiver. “You’ve seen the reports, sir. I’ve had personal confirmation from a member of the First Order Council who has been supplying intelligence to the Resistance. This is legit. They haven’t any reason to lure us there with the way the war has been going.”

    The Duros general to the left of Sin’char spoke next, “Son, the minute we leave our own systems, the First Order moves in and we’ve lost.”

    The third flag officer on the conference was a human female. She nods and adds, “That’s right, we’re barely hanging on to what we’ve got. We can’t spare resources on a wild yunax chase.”

    Poe sighs, his first sign of frustration during the meeting. “All due respect. You’re wrong, General. If you do nothing, continue to stand your ground, the First Order will pick your systems off one by one. There’s no stopping them now, certainly not after they activate the Black Fleet. This is our one chance. We take the fight to them. We go to Exegol and win. It’s what General Leia would do.”

    Sin’char’s expression blanks at Poe’s rebuke. “But you’re not General Leia,” he tells Poe.

    Poe straightens and looks directly at Sin’char. “No, sir. I’m not. I’m Major Poe Dameron of the Resistance against the First Order. And I’ve been fighting this war since before you realized there was a war to fight. I stood by General Leia while her former allies ignored the threat and left us to fight on our own. Well we kept fighting, and along the way we’ve helped the New Republic and the free systems in every way we could. Leia left me in charge, and I’m asking you, for her, to stand with us, and take the fight to the First Order.”

    ***

    C-3PO bends over R2-D2 as they stand beside Poe’s X-Wing. “Do be careful R2. With Master Luke and Mistress Leia gone, you’re the only family I have left.” R2 twiddles in response and 3PO straightens. “Well of course we have Chewbacca.” 3PO taps R2’s metal dome. “Just don’t do anything foolish .. I’d never see an oil bath again.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:47 PM
  24. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I continue to like this. Poe's answer when General Whatshisname tells him "you're not Leia" is pretty BAMF.
     
    JABoomer likes this.
  25. JABoomer

    JABoomer Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Thanks! I'll do my best to bring it home throughout the last third of the story. Hopefully the writing has, and continues to improve along the way.