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Saga - ST Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi [Contains SPOILERS for TLJ!]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by CairnsTony, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    I'm sorry to ask, but do you know when the beginning of your EpIsode IX story will be available?
     
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  2. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    No need to apologise!

    I will start posting IX as soon as I'm done here. The story is about twice the length of this one however, so I will see how that one progresses.
     
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  3. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Next bit! Two chapters again. :)
    24


    The Falcon travelled through hyperspace. Rey had just had another little training session with Luke. In it she had lifted water out of a large container, forming it into a sphere which she sent drifting around the main hold. She then turned it into a watery cube, then a pyramid before pouring it back into the container. Her audience consisted of Chewie, Maz and Artoo.
    “Oh bravo! Well done!” said Maz encouragingly.
    Chewie roared his approval and Artoo tootled in excitement whilst rocking from side to side.
    “We will do a lot more back at the base,” said Luke, “Chewie tells me that there’s a secluded spot which we can use as our main training area.”
    Chewie nodded.
    “It will be good though to also train around the base; see how you manage with all the distractions of others around you,” he said.
    Rey had recovered from her exertions.
    “I look forward to it Master!” she sounded excited. She knew that she was going to see everyone again.
    Her thoughts had turned to Luke’s philosophical teachings: Rey had been taught the Jedi Code by Luke. She had also been taught by Luke that he believed that the Jedi of old had been too rigid in their interpretation of this code. He firmly believed that a new way forward was called for. She knew about the ‘no attachments’ rule of the Jedi. Luke had taught her that a healthy attitude to attachments was important rather than denying them entirely. He had told her the story of his father Anakin Skywalker…
    From what Luke could piece together, Anakin’s love for his wife Padme was not the problem, it was his fear of losing her. He lacked any meaningful support from the Jedi themselves who weren’t emotionally equipped to deal with this sort of thing. The final ingredient in his downfall was Palpatine: the Chancellor who it turned out was a Sith Lord. He played on Anakin’s fears and offered the only support he could get.
    Luke wanted to change all of that. The lessons he had learned with his first Academy were harsh and painful. The sense of loss he felt at the time had been almost unbearable but he endured. One important lesson he had learned was the need for a new philosophy to form. No-one would bear loss without the full support of those around them. Rey would become the embodiment of this new philosophy, he told her.
    She returned to the present.

    “How about I prepare some caf for everyone?” she said breezily.
    Luke had also taught her the importance of humility when called for; no task was too mundane despite her increasingly impressive Force skills.
    Rey disappeared out of the main hold of the Falcon, heading for the tiny galley.
    She felt good about her progress and was looking forward to training in a new environment. She hummed a tune as she busied herself. A movement caught her eye: Maz was standing by the entrance watching her.

    She smiled in her direction, silently still wondering what Maz was doing on board. As she did so, she noticed that Maz was looking at her with concern.
    “I’m very pleased to see your progress,” she said, “The lightsabre chose well, still… I knew this would happen,” she added for emphasis.
    Rey was now eyeing her uncertainly. Why did Maz always seem to talk in riddles? She put down the cup she was holding and turned to her. She needed to know…
    “Maz, why did you come to the island?” she said with a serious tone, “I mean… I’m pleased to see you and everything, but we could have met up at the Base.”
    Maz ignored the question, “What is that tune you’re humming?” she said.
    Rey looked askance, “I don’t know, I must have heard it somewhere. I’ve been humming it for years. It used to cheer me up on lonely nights on Jakku I guess…”
    “You heard music on Jakku?” Maz asked.
    “No… none, I….” Rey’s voice trailed off. Where had she heard this tune before?
    Maz fixed her with an intense look, “We’re not going to the Base”, she said with certainty, “I can read the Force as well as any Jedi. I need to be here. Now”.
    Rey was now feeling very uncomfortable under Maz’s intense gaze.
    “Of.. of course we’re going to the Base…” she stuttered, “We…”
    Luke suddenly appeared behind Maz, “You need to come forward,” he said urgently.




    25

    Tirrem Locke was a middle-aged human male with a craggy, scarred, lived-in face. He had deep set eyes that seemed to follow people around the room. He was dressed entirely in black; his shabby attire was topped with a long trench coat that reached almost to the ground. Even his hair was black and appeared to defy gravity.
    There was nothing friendly or warm about him as he sat in the corner of the room slowly twirling a tabac stick between his fingers. Holdo and Poe sat opposite him in silence as he regarded them both in turn.
    Lando stood in the corner of the room, occasionally peering at a chrono and peeping out of the only window in the room. He was anxiously awaiting one of his men to return with news of the all clear.
    He’d been sheltering Locke for weeks now and was desperate to be rid of him. His presence had greatly disrupted his operations on Canto Bight and he had little time to spend at the casino he owned. He also could do without the unwelcome attention it had garnered. Ever since Tab had gotten himself arrested on Arduul, he was nervous. When the First Order had come knocking, he had simply disappeared. Tab knew too much…
    Locke suddenly spoke, “I suppose you know why the First Order want me, hmm?” He was addressing Holdo and Poe. In fact Holdo was the only one privy to this information. She felt it was safer that way.
    “Actually no,” Poe said, “And we’d like to keep it that way,” he leaned forward as he said this.
    Poe and Holdo had shed their disguises and now wore civvies. During the day, this seemed far more appropriate… and practical. They’d expressed their relief at the transformation.
    “I have every planetary security code of the Republic,” he said, ignoring Poe’s request. “If I wanted, I could sell this information to anyone, including the First Order. They could walk straight in here and take down your defences just like that.” He clicked his fingers.
    “What do you think you’re doing?” said Lando.
    “Shut down every weapons system…” Locke continued.
    “That’s enough Locke!” Lando had never liked the man, but when he turned up desperate for Lando to hide him, he was much less cocky and self-assured than he was now. In fact he was terrified.
    Holdo looked at Poe and spoke up, “I think maybe it’s time we had this out,” she said, “Poe it’ll be fine, you may as well know everything. Anyways… I don't know the full story myself,” she said looking in Locke’s direction.
    Poe looked more surprised than anyone at this. Clearly things had changed between him and Holdo more than even he’d realised.
    “Very well…” said Lando, “But make it quick. We’re due to move out any minute now,” he said glancing once more at his chrono.
    “Not much else to tell really…” said Locke idly, and he focussed his attention on the tabac stick in his hand.
    Lando spoke up irritably, “Tab was a master hacker whom Locke had had dealings with. He was also an idiot; a young punk and had stumbled across the codes during one of his little forays. He went to a local bar and started drinking. His tongue got looser as he drank. No-one believed him of course”.
    “Except me,” Locke pointed to his chest, “I bought him drinks. We went and sat in one of the booths, where he pulled out the datadisc with the codes, and placed it on the table,” he said with an ugly smile revealing missing teeth.
    “I told him to keep it safe in his pocket so that no-one could steal it, ’cept I stole it of course…” Locke was an expert pickpocket. “And so I left the bar with the disc, and Tab was none the wiser. That’s when I made a mistake…” Locke wasn’t smiling now.
    “I tried to make a copy of the disc, but Tab had installed some security protocol making this impossible, so I tried to sell it to a man called Bala-Tik,” he said.
    Holdo and Poe looked at each other; they knew that name. Lando recognised the name too. The fool… he thought.
    “Bala-Tik decided he’d kill me first and take the disc. I barely got away. Now the First Order knew what I had.”
    Poe exhaled, “That’s quite a story…”
    “I’ve only ever made two mistakes in my life”, he said.
    “What was the other time?” Poe said, not really expecting an answer. He wasn’t to be disappointed.
    “None of your business,” he said giving Lando a peculiar look.
    Holdo and Poe looked at Lando expectantly.
    He shrugged, “Search me…”
    There was a series of bleeps on Lando’s comlink.
    “Time to go”, he said.


     
  4. HostofJakku

    HostofJakku Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 18, 2016
    More please[face_praying] This is some of the best stuff I've read on this entire forum.^:)^ Thanks for posting. I will check this thread for your post frequently.
     
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  5. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Thank you so much! A week ago I was on the verge of chucking the whole thing in as a bad mistake and now I feel vindicated for the initial decision to post it here as I know there is definitely a readership.
     
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  6. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    OK I'm posting the next bit a bit early as I'm back at work now and things are a bit crazy once more.

    FTR I wrote this story plus synopsis mostly on busy night shifts over a period of just over two weeks. Sometimes it was so bad I would type maybe three words before I'd have to deal with a patient calling me every name under the sun! Then ten minutes later if I was lucky I'd be able to write the second half of the sentence.

    In the dead of night when things tended to finally quieten, I'd write with ferocious speed and be 'in the zone'. I usually write my best stuff when tired and hungry and I've no idea why!

    OK here goes.... three chapters again as they're not too long.

    26

    Finn was trying to see the street through the dirty window. The sun was starting to come up. Most of the revellers had disappeared, and more sombrely dressed workers were emerging from their homes.
    He had changed into civvies lent to him by this woman. She seemed to have something for every eventuality in the junk that littered her apartment.
    “Stop doing that!” The woman said to him, “They might still be looking for you. The Shok Gang don’t give up that easy.”
    He looked back at the woman sitting across from him. She was short with dark hair tied in a ponytail. She wore a khaki-coloured hooded jumpsuit and utility boots; about as different an outfit as was possible compared with the outlandish garb Finn had witnessed earlier. She kept fidgeting with her hands. He wondered who she was and decided to break the ice. He leaned forward.
    “The name’s Finn,” he said, “I don’t think I caught your name.”
    Her face softened, “Rose,” she said. She gave him a little smile.
    “Rose… nice name,” he said.
    She looked away avoiding his eyes.
    “Um… I need to thank you by the way,” Finn said, “You saved my life.”
    “I saw that you were in trouble. It’s nothing…” she said.
    From where Finn was sitting, he could see the beast of burden they’d ridden on through the rear entrance, eating from a trough in the inner courtyard and flicking its huge ears as tiny buzzgnats circled its head.
    “What is that thing?” he asked, suddenly distracted.
    She looked around, “That’s Serra,” she said “She’s a Mosho. Cheaper and more affectionate than a speeder,” she said, anticipating his next question.
    Finn got the impression that Rose didn’t spend much time in the company of others.
    “Rose… I need to ask…” Finn began, “Were you following us?” He remembered the woman’s face in the alley.
    Rose pursed her lips, “As it happens, I was going to meet a friend. I’d just tethered Serra down the alley and was about to head out into the main street when I saw you. I knew who you were of course.”
    Finn looked at her uncomfortably. Who was this woman?
    “Relax,” She said, “I work for the Resistance. You took me by surprise though… I wasn’t expecting any of you to be on Canto Bight.”
    Something about that answer was bugging Finn…
    Suddenly the door chime went.
    Rose jumped. Finn instinctively reached for his blaster.
    Rose went over to look at the security cam. She gave Finn an odd look and appeared to be contemplating what to do. She sighed and released the lock. The door slid open. The Lasat from the bar was standing there. She looked up at him, only to see that he was checking the street behind him. He swung his massive head around and entered when he realised the door was open.
    “Mornin’,” he said. He noticed Finn holding his blaster concealed under his jacket.
    “Put that fing away,” he said, “I ain’t gonna hurt ya, unless you plan to use it.”
    Finn didn’t like the look on his face, but he trusted his instincts and holstered the blaster under his jacket.
    Rose hastily closed the door and locked it.
    “Looks like we might ‘ave company,” he said, peering out into the street through the same window that Finn had been looking out of only minutes earlier.
    Finn went over to the window. He pulled back when he saw several humans were coming up the side street. They dropped into the deep shade cast by the early morning sun and were having a conversation. One of them appeared to be using a comlink.
    Finn’s eyes widened in fear. He looked at the solitary woman in the group.
    She was tall, with short, dirty blonde hair, and a nose that had been broken at least once. He’d only seen her out of her armour one time before… Phasma.
    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” said Finn as he moved away from the window.
    The Lasat was scowling at him.
    “Friends of yours?” he said.
    “More like enemies…” he said quietly. His mind was whirling… how did she know he was here? Then it hit him: they were coming for Locke.
    “We need to stop them!” he said out loud.
    “Stop who?” said Rose, “I’m not going out there!”
    “Can’t you contact the Resistance?” he said looking at her pleadingly.
    She looked at the Lasat awkwardly and back at Finn.
    “I don’t work for the Resistance,” she said, looking at the floor.
    “Hah!” barked the Lasat, “Is that what you told ‘im?”
    “I’m sorry OK?” she said at him, “I buy and sell information. Zeb here helps out from time to time. He’s one of the few beings I trust.”
    Finn knew that name…
    You’re with the Resistance!” he said, “You’re Zeb…”
    “Orellios,” finished the Lasat. “I’ve only sold information to them, just like Rose here. Been scraping by…”
    Finn knew he needed to come up with something. Then it occurred to him.
    “I think I have an idea…” he said.



    27



    Leia rushed into the meeting room. A few beings had already resumed their seats, but most of the delegates had yet to return.
    “We all need to leave… now!” she said.
    They looked around in consternation at Leia. Emmon appeared beside her. He’d just returned from chatting to one of his advisers out on the lawn.
    “What’s happening General?” he said.
    She turned to speak and stopped short. She could sense something…
    “He’s here…” she cried, her eyes wide with terror.

    They heard a noise outside. Leia and Emmon rushed to look out of the main entrance, just in time to see a Naboo patrol ship tumbling out of the sky only to explode on impact with the ground only tens of metres from where they stood.
    They shielded themselves from the explosion by diving back in through the doorway.
    Leia could hear screams and saw several people running for cover. As they did so, a black ship resembling a huge mynock came into view as it descended towards the main lawn.
    A few people had run for the carved archway at the north entrance of the terrace. Leia was about to do the same but then gunmen suddenly appeared in the entrance and opened fire. Two were hit straight away and fell. Leia ran back in the direction of the conference room. There had to be another way out! She cursed the fact that she didn’t have a weapon. None of the delegates were allowed to bring them into the conference building.
    Leia’s thoughts turned to Kaydie and she feared for her life. She needed to find her. By now, security personnel had taken up positions at the entrance and were returning fire at the gunmen she saw a moment ago. She had recognised one of them straight away… Oculus.
    They had been betrayed and she had walked straight into the trap!



    28

    Finn and Rose were moving along a high walkway that bridged the buildings on both sides of the street.
    “Are you sure Zeb knows what he’s doing?” Finn said.
    “Trust me when I say that he knows how to take care of himself,” Rose returned.
    Finn was reminded of how Zeb handled those thugs in the bar.
    Her comlink vibrated. She turned the volume right down so as not to attract attention and pressed it to her ear. After a few moments, she flicked it off.
    “This way,” she said.
    As they hurried along, Finn turned to her and said, “Is this contact of yours reliable?”
    Rose rolled her eyes, “This was your idea, remember? I had to call in a favour, so this plan had better work”.

    They reached the next walkway spanning the street below.
    “Not far to go now,” she said, “One more block and we’re there.”
    They descended in a turbolift to street level. Waiting for them tucked into the shadows opposite the elevator was a diminutive creature with a long snout and small eyes. It conversed with Rose in its own language and pointed across the street to a private landing pad. The creature scurried off.
    “This is where they left their ship. There’s two of Phasma’s men in the compound,” she said.
    “And on the ship?” Finn said.
    “Unknown…” she looked at him, worry written all over her face.
    The landing pad was protected by a high fence topped with molecular razor wire.
    “We need a way past that locked gate,” said Finn, full of apprehension.
    “Leave that to me,” she said, “but you might want to have that blaster ready.”
    They crossed the street as casually as possible under the gaze of a security camera belonging to the facility. As they reached the gate, Rose pulled out a small device and pressed it to the lock. She heard a click and opened it slightly, just as one of Phasma’s men was approaching them.
    “Hey what do you think you’re….”
    He got no further into his sentence as Finn shot him through the gap. He fell backwards with a smoking hole in his chest.
    Finn flung the gate open and they raced into the compound. Rose was quicker and launched a flying kick at the second of Phasma’s men, knocking the comlink he was raising to his lips out of his hand. The impact caused the blaster in his right hand to discharge; the shot singed Finn’s jacket at the shoulder. Finn blasted him and he went down too.
    “He nearly shot me!” Finn yelled, “What were you thinking?”
    “He could have alerted someone!” Rose yelled back.
    The landing pad’s owner was cowering in the doorway of the office.
    “Don’t shoot!” he said, in a pleading voice.
    “What should we do with him?” Rose asked.

    The owner was left bound and gagged to a chair in the office.
    They ran over to the ship. Rose pulled out some tools and started probing the lock on the main hatch.
    “Looks like fairly standard First Order design. That fella was pretty sure there’s no-one on board. I guess they were just overconfident,” she looked up at Finn and winked.
    A few seconds later the hatch popped open with a hiss and they climbed on board.
    Finn was seriously impressed with Rose; she was resourceful, that’s for sure…
    It didn’t take long to confirm they were alone.
    Rose headed for the cockpit and plonked herself into the pilot’s seat. Once again she employed her tools to bypass the security codes on the flight controls. The console hummed in to life.
    She closed the main hatch just as Finn dropped into the co-pilot’s seat.
    “You sure you know how to fly this thing?” he said, “I was never a pilot remember?” he added.
    “It looks pretty similar to the T-18,” she said, “Well, some of it…”
    Finn was beginning to wonder if they’re luck was running out.
    She pulled back on the yoke and the ship lurched into the air before plummeting back down again. She avoided plunging the ship straight back into the landing pad at the last second. The ship wove uncertainly back into the air.
    “This feels awfully familar…” Finn quipped, remembering his first experience of the Falcon.
    Rose continued to wrestle with the controls, “Let me try something,” she said, and pressed a lever on her left. The ship rocketed skywards.
    “You’re going the wrong way!” he said, “We need to find Phasma and her little gang and take them out with the ship’s weapons! Zeb’s beacon should pinpoint their whereabouts, assuming he’s found them.”
    “I’m trying!” she said, “but the thrusters won’t disengage. It clearly isn’t as simple as flicking that switch back.”
    By now they were in the upper atmosphere and still climbing.
    The console started flashing. Finn knew what that meant, and it wasn’t good.
    A Star Destroyer had dropped out of hyperspace directly above them.
    “What does it mean when it does that?” she said, pointing at the flashing light.
    “I think it means we’re being hailed,” Finn said.
     
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  7. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Actually, I'll post the next chapter now as well as it takes us up to the end of Act 2:

    29

    Rey entered the main hold. Chewie was sitting at the communications console looking at a readout.
    “It’s from Admiral Ackbar,” said Luke, as Maz appeared.
    “What’s happened?” she said with concern.
    “It’s the First Order,” said Luke, “they’ve launched an attack on Naboo. We’re also receiving intel that they’ve turned up in the Oberal system as well. That’s where Canto Bight is located”.
    Rey knew it was bad if the First Order turned up anywhere, but why were they being informed?
    “The Resistance currently have an extraction team on Canto Bight, according to this. Their contact alerted Ackbar that the First Order plan to ambush them. Your friend Finn is one of the extraction team,” said Luke with concern.
    Rey suddenly felt winded. Not again… Oh Finn…
    “It gets worse,” he said. Luke had gone an odd colour…
    “Leia is on Naboo. It would appear that she was meeting with the Republic, to try and turn the tide against the First Order.”
    Rey felt the blood drain out of her, and her chest was tightening… how could everything have gone so terribly wrong all at once?
    “Ackbar has requested that we go to Canto Bight and help out. He believes that the person they are extracting must be protected at all costs. If he is captured by the First Order, it could mean the end of everything.”
    Rey saw how impossible the situation was. They couldn’t go to both places at once, but how could they sacrifice Leia?
    The tension in the main hold was unbearable.
    Maz spoke first, “Which is the right choice? You save one, you sacrifice the other?”
    Chewie muttered something.
    “Agreed. Canto Bight is nearer; practically en route to the Resistance Base in fact”, said Luke. “It is possible we could go to both.”
    Rey hoped more than anything in the world that this were possible.
    Luke closed his eyes. Rey could sense him reaching out in the Force… for Leia?
    Suddenly she could feel Leia’s presence through Luke. It was a powerful sensation. She could feel Leia’s distress, and something else… Leia knew that Rey was touching her mind. How was that possible? She knew that the bond between brother and sister was strong, so how was it that she could sense Leia so easily too, and via another person?
    Rey broke the Force connection and looked at Luke feeling ashamed. She felt like she had invaded his mind, and yet it had been completely unintentional. It was as if Leia was reaching out to her via Luke…
    Luke looked at her briefly. His face was unreadable.
    “We go to Canto Bight,” he said finally, “Then Naboo.”

    Rey was looking at Maz. She was shaking her head.

    End of Act 2.
     
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  8. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Sorry for having been away, but I had a lot of RL trouble to sort out and then I went to the Austrian Alps on holidays with my Dutch husband DarthUncle & 12 other members of his family (including my two teenage nephews. One of them grows up in the UK & the other one in the Czech Republic.)

    There is nothing wrong with your story, but some readers/ users around here are not as regular as they used to be. RL forces us to stay away now and then (= jobs, family matters, off-line hobbies and RL obligations.)

    And I only manage to update 1x per weekend and read the stories of other fanfic authors when I am busy.

    Anyway, I love how you gave us more insight into the Rey & Luke relationship. How you have Leia walk into a trap on Naboo was also a clever move. And that you brought along "old" familiar faces into the plot like Hondo and Zeb is great.
     
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  9. Eeyore freak

    Eeyore freak Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    May 19, 2016
    I just found this thread. I really like it! I think you've done a great job on the dialogue, especially Leia's. I can almost hear Carrie Fisher's voice when I read it.

    Looking forward to the rest!
     
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  10. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Thank you so much! I hope I do the rest of the story justice. :)

    OK here's the next bit!



    30
    They had been moving on foot so as to stick to the back streets, and their route was tortuous. They’d doubled back on themselves twice to shake off any possible tails and were now most of the way to where the Wamp Rat was located. Moving through the Old Quarter was going to be the tricky part.
    All around them, ancient crumbling multi-storey edifices crowded each other, leaving many of the narrow streets and alleys in permanent shade. It provided them with good cover, but it also provided any enemies with the chance to ambush them.
    Everyone was nervous, Lando especially. He was taking a risk, but he knew these back streets well and could lose any pursuit in the maze of alleyways if it came to it.
    They came to a point where the alleyway they were in intersected another at right angles. He peered around a corner and motioned the others to follow. Calix, his right-hand man went first, followed by Holdo, Locke and Poe. Another of Lando’s men, Nall brought up the rear.
    “Are you sure you know the way?” Locke said irritably, “Feels to me like we’re going around in circles.”
    Everybody was tired of Locke’s company, but especially Lando who had been listening to his peevish attitude for much longer than the others.
    “Look! Quit your whining OK?” Lando had run out of patience, “We’re almost…”
    Lando never got to finish his sentence. Just as he’d started speaking, a laser bolt hit Calix in the chest just as he’d turned his head in irritation at the sound of Locke’s voice.
    Everybody dove back around the corner just as another blast caused the stonework above Lando’s head to explode.
    Lando tried to see who was firing at them but was immediately driven back by another blast that narrowly missed his face, damaging the stonework even more.
    Before he even had a chance to consider their options, several more shots rang out, from the same intersecting alleyway but from the opposite direction to the first. Masonry now littered the ground in fragments. It was impossible to try and cross the intersection without getting caught in crossfire.
    “Everybody back the way we came!” yelled Lando.
    “Impossible I’m afraid…” said Nall.
    He was looking back the way they’d come. Facing them in the alleyway were three people, all of whom had their blasters trained on them. In the seconds it had taken for everyone to be distracted by what was happening ahead, the three of them had appeared from a side alley. The woman in the middle took a step forward.

    “How lovely to see you all,” she said with a smirk.


    31
    “What do they want?!” Rose said anxiously, her voice rising.
    “To talk to us I assume,” Finn said sarcastically.
    “We should run for it! I’m getting the hang of these controls now,” she said, steering the ship erratically.
    Finn knew it was hopeless. The Star Destroyer was right on top of them.
    “Let me see if I can get rid of them,” Finn said, not really believing it himself.
    Finn opened the intercom; a voice spoke:
    Arcona do you require assistance? Your flight path is erratic”.
    “Ah, negative… we have a minor engine problem. Working on it now, and then we’ll be on our way,” Finn said, looking at Rose.
    Engine problem? she mouthed, slightly offended.
    The voice spoke again:
    Arcona you are required to land in the main hangar. Please transmit your clearance code.”
    “Knew this would happen…” grumbled Finn.
    Fortunately Finn knew enough about First Order security protocol to quickly locate what they were requesting in the main computer.
    “Transmitting now,” he said.
    He looked at Rose helplessly as the Star Destroyer began to fill their viewport.
    Arcona you are cleared to land. Prepare for tractor beam.”
    The ship shuddered slightly and Rose found that the controls no longer responded, erratically or otherwise.
    “They think we’re damaged,” Finn said, “They don’t want us crashing on the way in I expect.”
    Rose’s eyes were wide with fear as she stared back at Finn.
    “They’ll kill us!” her voice was shaking.
    A crazy thought entered Finn’s head…
    “I have an idea,” he said.
    “I don’t like your ideas that much! How do you think we ended up here?” she pleaded.
    He ignored her cries and jumped out of his seat. In the second locker he checked in he found what he was looking for.




    32
    Leia finally found an exit at the rear of the building. The guards had disappeared to deal with the threat she assumed. Blaster fire was coming from nearby.
    She was alone. She had left the others cowering under furniture or in corners of the conference room. The last time she had seen Emmon, he had been trying to pack his bulk into a closet. She doubted the First Order would have any difficulty finding him if indeed he was even a target. Threepio at least hadn’t gotten in her way as she’d hurried into the interior of the building.
    Looking around for threats she ducked outside and ran along a covered walkway. Her mind was whirling. She knew now that the only reason Oculus had had a ‘change of heart’ was to draw Leia out. The whole thing was a set up. His first loyalty was clearly to the First Order. She hated the thought of his smug face more than ever…
    Leia was now close to the refectory. Kaydie might be there she thought. And what of the others? How many of her delegation had already died?

    She reached a high stone wall and leaned against it trying to slow her breathing and come up with a plan. Then she heard a noise that was all too familiar… the ‘snap-hiss’ of a lightsabre igniting. He was very close… and he had come for her.
     
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  11. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Thank you very much! :)
     
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  12. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    In amongst all the excitement of the D23 sizzle reel, I'll post a bit more of my story. ;)

    33

    Rey had been pouring as much speed into the hyperdrive engines as she could. Even with the Falcon’s known speed capabilities, she was desperate to cover the distance to Canto Bight as quickly as she could.

    She was hunched over in her seat as her fingers moved deftly over the controls. No sooner did the console chime to inform her of their arrival, then she silenced it.
    “We’re here,” was all she said to the other inhabitants of the cockpit at that moment; she pulled the lever…
    The Falcon came out of hyperspace virtually on top of a Star Destroyer. Rey yanked the controls back and narrowly avoided a collision.
    “That was close!” she said and rolled the Falcon away from the other ship. She engaged thrusters and put the Falcon on a steep descent towards Canto Bight to try and put as much distance between the two ships as possible.
    “I think we took them by surprise,” she said.
    “How can you tell?” said Maz from the seat behind her.
    “Because they haven’t blown us out of the sky yet,” she replied.
    As they pulled further away, the ship behind them disappeared.
    “What just happened?” said Rey puzzled, looking at the scanner.
    No time to find out… she thought, as they entered Canto Bight’s atmosphere.


    34



    The perfect ambush; Lando had to hand it to them.
    Their weapons had already been confiscated and they were standing with their hands up with multiple blasters trained on them. The situation seemed hopeless.
    Holdo and Poe looked at each other with fear and concern.
    “How… how did you find us?” Locke said.
    “That disc you’re carrying…” Phasma said, “has a tracer. It would appear its original owner had anticipated that somebody might steal it. They would have come after you no doubt, had they not gotten themselves arrested for hacking.”
    Using a sensor device, Phasma’s men quickly located the disc, which had been hidden in the lining of Holdo’s jacket. One man had her arms pinned behind her back whilst another tore open the lining and removed the disc.
    Poe’s face had darkened as he watched them, and his jaw worked. He fixed Phasma with a look and took a step forward.
    “I know you… from the village on Jakku. Where’s your nice shiny armour hmm? Last time I heard, they’d put you in a trash compactor.”
    Holdo was glaring at Poe as the men released her.
    She spoke through gritted teeth, “What are you doing?”
    He ignored her, “Take me and leave the others,” he said.
    Lando was thinking that this was no time to act the hero in front of Holdo. Even if he was trying to save her life…
    Phasma regarded Poe for a moment. She walked up to him and side swiped him on the neck with the back of her hand. He collapsed to the ground, out cold.
    “Leave him,” she instructed her men, “We have what we need.” The others were marched past the intersection towards a square at the end of the alleyway.
    The head of a Sullustan appeared briefly in a doorway before ducking back in.
    Everybody’s too terrified to intervene, thought Lando morosely.
    Lando, Holdo, Locke and Nall were instructed to lie face down.
    “We can send a clear transmission from here,” said Phasma.
    One of her men produced a device from his pocket and started to unfold a mini-antenna array on its surface. Phasma looked down at the four prostrate bodies.
    “I wanted you to witness this,” she said gloatingly, “The final victory of the First Order. Soon you will be nothing.
    She turned to one of her men, “Once the transmission is complete, kill them.”
    “Yes sir,” said the man immediately to her right.
    Without warning he was shot. He keeled over. The blast had come from the air!
    Phasma whirled around just in time to see the Millennium Falcon swooping in towards the square, its engines screaming.
    Phasma didn’t need to issue an instruction. Several of her men opened fire on the fast approaching ship. The ramp was already lowered as Chewie swung the ship through ninety degrees. Luke and Rey came hurtling out of the Falcon, lightsabres already ignited and leaped towards their targets. The Falcon flew away.
    They both landed in the square rapidly deflecting blaster fire as they bore down on Phasma and her men. Two went down from the redirected fire straight away. Luke sent a third flying with a force blast with one hand whilst simultaneously deflecting blaster fire with his lightsabre held in the other hand. Rey launched a flying kick at another man hurling him into a wall.
    Lando and the others saw their chance and scrambled to their feet. He managed to recover his and Nall’s blasters from the man who had been shot by the Falcon. He threw one to Nall.
    He aimed a shot at Phasma, but she had ducked behind a column. The shot skidded off the corner of the column where her head had been a split second before.
    “Where’s my blaster?” yelled Holdo as she threw herself down to avoid a stray laser bolt.
    “One of the others must have it!” he yelled back.
    He looked in the direction of the two lightsabres being swung with dizzying speed. His eyes widened, “Luke…?”
    A shot narrowly missed him from Phasma and he rolled to the side behind a bollard.
    Poe appeared from the alleyway with blood trickling down the side of his face.
    “Did you miss me?” he said groggily.
    Two of Phasma’s men had taken up a position behind a barrier. Holdo saw one of them train their blaster on Poe. She hurled herself on top of him as they both fell back into the alleyway, the blast impacting on the wall where Poe had been standing. They lay there with Holdo face down on top of Poe.
    “You just saved my life,” he said.
    “I know…” she said and kissed him warmly on the lips.
    Luke and Rey were finishing off Phasma’s men. Luke whipped the blasters out of the hands of the two men behind the barrier and lifted them into the air. He almost casually threw them into the nearest wall. They slid to the bottom in a heap.

    Only Phasma was left. She had pressed herself into an alcove. The array, now assembled lay only a metre away ready to transmit the contents of the disc to the Star Destroyer in orbit. All she had to do was press the button. She slowly lowered herself into a crouch, trying not to be seen, and began to stretch out her arm…


    35

    The Arcona sat in the Hangar. Finn and Rose had changed into Imperial uniforms from one of the lockers. Finn hid his own blaster in its shoulder holster and they now sported First Order blasters.

    Finn looked at Rose and could see her struggling to compose herself.
    “You need to try and relax a bit, like you’ve been doing this for years,” he said, “We can do this!”
    She didn’t reply but took a deep breath and looked down. When she looked back up, her face was more of a mask. Finn gave her a little nod and squeezed her arm gently before turning towards the main hatch.
    “Let me do the talking,” he said.
    “If you insist…” she said raising her eyebrows at him.
    Finn released the hatch and it gradually lowered to form a ramp. He took a deep breath and walked down it, Rose immediately behind him.
    A deck officer stepped forward looking at a datapad he was holding and frowning.
    “According to this brief I’ve just received, you should have sent us a transmission from the surface. What happened?”
    Finn knew that most people on the ship would have no idea about Phasma’s mission. They did what they were told and didn’t ask any questions. Except this one, Finn thought…
    Finn improvised, “There was a technical problem. We had to bring the disc up from the surface in person.”
    “I see…” he said eyeing Finn and Rose, “Where are the rest of your men? I was informed that there were a dozen on this mission”.
    “Dead,” Finn said, “The Resistance scum put up a fight, but victory was still ours,” he said with venom.
    The officer nodded in approval and continued,
    “I would advise that you take the disc up to Communications straight away. I will inform them that you are on your way. Then you can prepare your report.”
    “Understood,” Finn said and he turned to walk off, Rose quickly falling into step beside him.
    “That was pretty convincing,” she whispered as they headed across the hangar.

    Finn took them down a corridor leading off the hangar and then down a short side corridor before ushering Rose silently through a doorway.
    “You seem to know your way around these ships,” Rose said, as they stood in a sanitation room full of cleaning equipment.
    “I seem to know the way to the sanitation room at least,” he said looking around.
    He looked back at her, “We haven’t got much time,” he said. “When they find out we’re not heading for communications they’ll know something is wrong.”
    “How the hell are we going to get off this ship?” she said wringing her hands.
    “Escape pod,” he said. “Could you wire it so that it looks like a misfire?”
    “I think so..” she said. Her face brightened, “This might work!”
    “Yeah…” he said exhaling, “Maybe they won’t blow us up.”
    He saw the look on Rose’s face and said, “It’s our only chance!”
    She nodded slowly at this thought.
    “We need to get moving,” said Finn.
    They headed out of the room and along the side corridor to a turbolift opposite. Once inside, Finn pressed the control.
    “Anyone would think you used to work on a Star Destroyer,” Rose said, giving Finn an odd look.
    Finn was too preoccupied to notice.
    The turbolift doors opened. Facing Finn was someone he immediately recognised.
    The officer standing outside was staring back at Finn in surprise.
    “Well fancy meeting you here!” he said, before Finn could think of anything to say.
    “And a promotion too!” he said, looking at the uniform. “When did you get transferred to the Scimitar?” he asked.
    “Um…. last week,” Finn said awkwardly. “Look… I’m in a bit of hurry, but we must catch up!”, he said with false cheer.
    “I look forward to it!” said the other man, and he entered the turbolift as Finn and Rose exited. The doors closed.
    Finn hurried along the corridor with Rose slightly behind him.
    “Well I guess that explains it,” said Rose. Her voice sounded cold.

    Finn stopped and turned around. Rose had her blaster pointed at his chest.
     
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  13. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    “Well fancy meeting you here!” he said, before Finn could think of anything to say.
    “And a promotion too!” he said, looking at the uniform. “When did you get transferred to the Scimitar?” he asked.
    “Um…. last week,” Finn said awkwardly. “Look… I’m in a bit of hurry, but we must catch up!”, he said with false cheer.
    “I look forward to it!” said the other man, and he entered the turbolift as Finn and Rose exited. The doors closed.
    Finn hurried along the corridor with Rose slightly behind him.
    “Well I guess that explains it,” said Rose. Her voice sounded cold.

    Finn stopped and turned around. Rose had her blaster pointed at his chest.


    This looks bad for Finn. And Han told him before that women hate lies! ;)
     
  14. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    It's pure coincidence btw that the D23 sizzle trailer revealed Finn and Rose in FO uniforms on the same day I posted this, though I put it in there deliberately because I knew it was in the film. ;)
     
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  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Sorry for saying this but:



    Loved it anyway! [:D]
     
  16. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    I did warn you.... there are spoilers in this story. ;)

    OK next bit... things are about to get heavy folks... DO NOT read on if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.

    36


    Leia hardly dared breathe. From her hiding place she could see Kaydie crouching down in a corner with several other people. Standing over them was a masked figure dressed all in black. He had some sort of weapon she had never seen before. It looked like a lance but the end crackled with red plasma. Leia felt helpless. She considered running as fast as she could towards the masked figure to try and overpower him. Anything to try and save Kaydie and the others. There was nothing to lose she thought and tensed herself… then Kylo Ren stepped into view. She froze. He walked over to the huddled group.
    “You,” he was pointing at Kaydie, “Get up,” he said.
    She looked back defiantly but didn’t move. The Knight of Ren grabbed her arm and pulled her roughly to her feet. She tried to shake free from his grip. Kylo walked over and swung his lightsabre under her chin, about a centimetre from her skin. She stopped struggling and shrank back slightly, focussing all her attention on the blade.
    “Where is she?” he said loudly.
    Her eyes slowly raised to meet his.
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said slowly.
    Kylo appeared to be thinking. Suddenly he looked towards where Leia was hiding. Leia had seen enough… she stepped out into the open.
    Kylo remained silent and stared at her as she walked slowly towards him.
    “Ben…” she said, still walking towards him, “Don’t do this… come home,” there was a plea in her voice.
    Kylo appeared to have forgotten about everyone else. All of his attention was focussed on Leia. Suddenly he spoke.
    “I… have no choice. The Supreme Leader commands it. I cannot disobey.”
    His lightsabre lowered slightly.
    Leia let out a sigh. She looked at Kaydie and the others.
    “Let them go. Please…” she pleaded softly.
    He didn’t respond. He appeared to be frozen to the spot.
    “Take me with you if you must… but let them go Ben.”
    She took another step towards him.
    “Ben… I love you,” she said.
    Kylo spoke, “Mother…”
    “Leia, no!” it was Kaydie. She had broken free from the Knight of Ren and was now running towards Leia. The Knight raised his weapon and fired.
    Leia reacted instantly and threw herself in front of Kaydie. The plasma bolt hit Leia square in the chest and she was thrown backwards into the other woman as both were hurled to the ground.

    Kylo was suddenly in motion. He walked up to her as she lay sprawled on the ground. He reached out and could sense his mother’s life slowly ebbing away; and in that moment he felt a myriad emotions rage through his mind; but one in particular that he tried desperately to push down… He momentarily wavered…
    Kylo looked at the Knight who had shot her and back at Leia. She looked like a broken doll with her limbs spread out around her. Kaydie was groaning in pain as she slowly pulled herself free from where Leia was lying across her legs. He turned away and strode over to the Knight. Before the other man could react, Kylo plunged his lightsabre through his chest. Without looking back, he strode off.



    37


    Rey and Luke were checking to see if all threats had been neutralised. Rey looked over to see two men emerging from behind bollards near an alleyway and surmised they were friendly. Another two faces appeared from the alleyway, clearly checking if the coast was clear. She recognised one of them as Poe Dameron, the Resistance pilot, even though she had only met him once after the destruction of Starkiller Base. He looked a mess. Someone dressed all in black was cowering over by the wall nearby.
    She sensed that a threat remained and looked around… Then the movement caught her eye. Luke had seen it too. An arm was slowly reaching out from behind a column.
    “Master Luke!” she called, but Luke wasn’t responding.
    His eyes had gone wide and then rolled up into his head. His whole body started to shake. Then he keeled over and lay still.
    Rey was in shock seeing Luke collapse. She looked back at the arm. It was resting firmly on the device.
    She wrenched it towards her using the Force, pulling Phasma clean out into the open as she was still clutching the device tightly. It came free from her grip and sailed across the square to where Rey was standing. She knew even without looking that she was too late.
    Distraught, she ran over to Luke.
    “Master!” she cried, trying to get a response, “What’s wrong with him?!”
    Rey was in panic; she couldn’t feel his presence. It was as if his soul had been wrenched out of his body.
    Lando and the others came running over.
    Then she felt it… Leia! Something terrible had happened…


    After thinking she had seconds to live, Phasma looked across the square and realised she had been completely forgotten.
    She didn’t waste any time hanging around. She got to her feet, and ran off down the alleyway as fast as she could. Her mission was complete.


    38


    Several First Order Star Destroyers appeared from hyperspace over Canto Bight and opened fire on the orbital defence platforms around the planet. They offered nothing in return and were quickly destroyed. The Stealth Star Destroyer had just deactivated them in a matter of seconds. Down on the surface there was panic as security personnel watched their defence systems shut down all at once. All attempts to raise the planet’s shields to the new threat were in vain. Every defence system was completely dead.

    Drop ships by the dozen dropped out of the hangars of the Star Destroyers. Transport ships carrying AT-ATs accompanied them. Hundreds of tie fighters joined the masses of ships descending towards the surface. The invasion of Canto Bight had begun.

    39


    “I… I can explain!” Finn stuttered, “Just put the blaster down!” he pleaded.
    “So you can turn me in? Have me killed? I trusted you…” she yelled.
    “Don’t you think I would have done that by now?” he shot back, “I’ve had plenty of opportunities!”
    Doubt started to creep into her face.
    “Look… you’ve got it all wrong,” he said, “I’m with the Resistance, really I am! I defected from the First Order!”
    Rose was suddenly looking beyond Finn and her face was full of fear. He turned around.
    Sarkul, the Captain of the Scimitar, was standing facing Finn and Rose with a dozen stormtroopers. All of them had their blasters drawn.

    “Well, well… what have we here?” said Captain Sarkul.
     
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  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The entire day I run around with handkerchiefs, because that´s what you need when you work with kiddos between 1 year of age and 3 years of age. And now I do not have any for myself. Argh!

    What bravery of Leia! What foolishness! The typical thing the majority of parents would do for their child. Face it even when times are desperate.

    And she gives her life for another person because Bail raised her this way. Compassionate!

    Sigh!

    I try to find comfort in the facts that Leia

    a) is united with Han now

    b) never gave in to the dark side of the Force

    and

    c) tore a hole into Kylo Ren´s inner amour as big as the crack on Amy Ponds wall. ;)
     
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  18. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    This is only the beginning.... this moment has huge repercussions in the rest of the story and well into my episode IX story too.

    And Leia isn't quite done yet if that's any consolation...
     
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  19. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Next bit!

    40
    “We need to move!” Lando said, “If what you say is true,” he said addressing Rey, “then the codes are already in the hands of the First Order. They could be here already!”
    They heard a distance explosion. Their worst fears appeared to be confirmed.
    No-one needed to be told twice. The Falcon came into land in the middle of the square. Everyone was already racing for the ramp as it lowered.
    Luke was carried on board over Nall’s shoulder. Rey helped him take his inert body to the bunk room. She wondered in grief if she’d lost him, placing her head against his chest as if to try and find where he had gone.
    Maz appeared in the doorway and regarded Rey.
    “He is far away,” she said.
    Rey looked up at the voice. She really didn’t want to see Maz right now; she was tired of her abstruse manner…
    “In all my long years, I have seen this only once before,” she said, “It is a rare effect of the Force. It only happens between siblings, when one is… in danger,”
    Rey knew Maz was trying to soften the blow.
    “… the other joins with them. This is especially true with twins and when one has not come to know the Force sufficiently well. They are especially vulnerable…”
    Rey had never heard this before but it made sense. Then Luke was somehow with his sister. For once she was glad Maz had explained things in simple terms…

    Lando sat in the pilot’s seat and Chewie was co-piloting.
    “Just like old times…” he said grimly.
    Holdo and Poe were seated behind them. They both looked drained. Nall was keeping a close eye on Locke in the main hold.
    As the ship climbed towards space Lando could make out distant wedge-shaped ships. The movement of hundreds of smaller ships no bigger than dots descended like snow towards the planet. Lando felt a cold trickle of sweat running down his back. He had built a life for himself on Canto Bight. He’d known stability for the first time in his life…
    Numerous other ships were appearing from the surface along with the Falcon. News of the imminent danger was spreading and some were managing to flee. Everyone in the cockpit jumped as the com came to life.
    “..’lo,” said a voice.
    Lando considered the possibility that the First Order were on to them, then the voice spoke again.
    “I’ve got yur droid, ‘e tells me to give ‘is regards to Poe.”
    Poe leaned forward frowning, clearly trying to make out what was going on.
    “Who is this?” Lando said, equally confused.
    “Name’s Zeb,” said the voice, “Resistance contact on Canto Bight, or at least I woz… see you back at base.” The com went dead.
    Lando realised now where he’d seen the Lasat before. It had been a long time…
    “Now we know who alerted the Resistance,” said Lando.
    “He must be piloting the Wamp Rat,” said Holdo, “how did he get on board?”
    “That little droid disobeyed your order,” Poe said, turning to Holdo.
    Poe was clearly relieved that BB-8 made it off planet. He stared out of the viewport. Everyone was thinking the same thing.
    “I hope Finn made it…” Poe said, looking at Holdo.
    His voice was tight. No-one could answer that question.

    As Lando made the calculations for the jump to hyperspace, a number of ships both large and small appeared as if out of thin air near the Star Destroyers.
    “I hope they’re not too late,” he said as he pulled the lever.




    41

    Finn was alone. The cell he found himself in was tiny, poorly lit and cold. There were no windows and only a single hard bunk set into the wall.
    He’d seen cells like this many times; put other beings into them himself. He’d never before considered what being locked inside one felt like. He fervently wished he’d never found out.
    They’d separated him and Rose and marched her off in a different direction. His thoughts turned to her. Despite everything that had just happened, he had already forgiven her. After all, he told himself, this was all his fault. This was one idea of his she really wasn’t going to like…

    He heard a noise and sat up on the bunk. The lock of the door was cycling. It opened and light flooded in. The effect left him momentarily blinded as he shielded his eyes to see who was there. As they adjusted to the tall figure standing in the doorway, his blood suddenly ran cold and he could feel acid in his throat.
    “FN2187,” Phasma said.
    Finn was able to make out that she was back in her familiar chrome armour.

    “Last time we met, you put me in a garbage compactor,” she paused for effect, “Do you know what I’m going to do to you in return?”

    42

    The Resistance X-Wings had dropped out of hyperspace above Canto Bight and immediately began to fire on the Star Destroyers. Tie Fighters were scrambled in defence and aerial dogfights ensued. The X-wings buzzed around the First Order ships worrying their much larger opponents. Resistance capital ships began to appear in quick succession from hyperspace.
    “We need to try and take out those drop ships!” Blue leader said, as his squadrom ducked and weaved past oncoming Ties.
    “They’ve got a head start,” that was Admiral Statura on the bridge of the Starlight.
    Our only chance is if we take out as many ships as we can!” he added, his voice strained.

    They fought on, but the odds were heavily stacked against them. It became very quickly apparent to all that the Resistance were losing ships and losing the battle in short order; the Resistance fleet simply wasn’t big enough. They couldn’t be everywhere at once and the First Order were now on the surface of the planet. The situation was hopeless…
    Admiral Statura did the only thing he could, to save the destruction of their fleet. The decision weighed heavily on his shoulders. Canto Bight was lost…
    “Order a retreat…” he said, his voice grim.
    43
    Three Star Destroyers had been sent to Naboo along with Kylo’s ship to draw off the planet’s defence forces whilst Kylo Ren’s ship went to the surface. On their own, they wouldn’t have been able to overwhelm Naboo’s powerful military, but then that wasn’t their purpose. Naboo capital ships and star fighters had come to meet them and do battle, but now the retreat had been signalled, and one by one the ships had recalled their fighters and prepared to jump to hyperspace.

    On the surface, Kylo Ren and the other masked figures that had appeared so suddenly were nowhere to be seen. Oculus and his Centrist faction had fled and once again Naboo security had locked down the area, but all too late for some…
    Medical personnel rushed around helping the injured, of which there were many.

    They found Connix cradling Leia’s unconscious form…
    “I’m sorry!” she cried, “I’m so sorry…”
     
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  20. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    With those chapters out of the way, we finally come to the end game... ;)
     
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  21. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Wow, epic battle, amazing description, I could really take myself into the scene. Keep up the masterful writing!
     
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  22. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Maz appeared in the doorway and regarded Rey.
    “He is far away,” she said.
    Rey looked up at the voice. She really didn’t want to see Maz right now; she was tired of her abstruse manner…
    “In all my long years, I have seen this only once before,” she said, “It is a rare effect of the Force. It only happens between siblings, when one is… in danger,”
    Rey knew Maz was trying to soften the blow.
    “… the other joins with them. This is especially true with twins and when one has not come to know the Force sufficiently well. They are especially vulnerable…”

    I love that you go so deeply into twin research here. (My husband is a twin, too, by the way.)

    But just now I simply worry where Phasma will put Finn into & what will happen to Leia´s body.
     
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  23. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Thank you, that's very kind of you to say so!

    Again, thank you!
     
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  24. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    OK here we go...

    44

    Kylo’s ship flew into orbit and prepared for hyperspace. The three Star Destroyers that had accompanied his ship winked out one by one as they made the jump ahead of his ship.
    Kylo was alone with his thoughts. His mind was in turmoil… he had failed; he had no hostage; no bargaining chip. Luke Skywalker and his apprentice would not be drawn out by someone who was dead. His former master would know…

    Suddenly an alarm blared on the ship’s console. From nowhere the Millennium Falcon appeared out of hyperspace in front of the ship and opened fire. Kylo had no time to react. A concussion missile impacted with the starboard wing sending the vessel spinning.

    Lando watched as the ship spun away from them. Its starboard wing had been badly damaged and it fell back towards the planet’s surface.
    Was Leia on board? He had no way of knowing; he couldn’t risk destroying the ship.
    “Track it,” he said to Chewie.
    Lando took the Falcon down towards Naboo.


    They landed in a clearing in the forest. The area was swampy and low-lying and mists rose from muddy pools. Soft light filtered through the dense canopy.
    Lando, Poe, Chewie and Holdo debarked and looked around. Rey appeared at the top of the ramp and joined them.
    “He’s close,” she said looking around.
    “Is Leia with him?” Lando asked.
    “I… can’t be sure. She feels so weak…” Rey said uncertainly.
    “We need to spread out,” Holdo said, “There’s not a whole lot of firm ground here,” she said as she lifted her feet from the saturated soil leaving deep impressions behind.
    “He might try and pick us off if we do that,” said Poe, “I say we stick together.”
    Holdo didn’t hesitate, “You’re right,” she said, “Can you tell which way to go Rey?”
    Everyone looked around. Rey was nowhere to be seen.


    Rey ran through the forest as deftly as any animal. She vaulted a waist high low branch without breaking stride. She barely made an impression on the ground as she moved.
    I’ll find you… she thought, gritting her teeth. Eventually she came to a halt in front of an area of open water. The first thing she noticed was how quiet the forest was here. No creature could be heard. There was a soft rustling off to her right and she slowly turned her head. Kylo had ghosted up to her and was standing only a few metres away.
    Without saying a word, Rey ignited her lightsabre and Kylo duly responded in kind. They slowly circled each other.
    “Where’s Leia?” Rey said, her jaw tense.
    “Why do you care?” Kylo said.
    He lunged forward and Rey parried. They separated for mere moments.
    Rey slashed her lightsabre downwards and this time it was Kylo’s turn to parry. They exchanged several more blows in quick succession both looking for an opening, their lightsabres swinging wildly. They were evenly matched. They separated, once more circling each other.
    “No longer a desert scavenger I see…” Kylo said, “but then you were always so much more…”
    “Master Skywalker has taught me a thing or too, you’ll find,” Rey shot back.
    In a heartbeat, Rey leaped forward and with a speed that surprised Kylo she landed almost on top of him, lightsabre striking downwards. He parried and rolled out of the way just in time, as Rey’s lightsabre missed his head by a hair’s breadth.
    He was on his feet in an instant and already slashing downwards as she somersaulted away from the blade.
    “Where is he now? Where is this glorious Master of yours?” Kylo taunted, walking rapidly towards her.
    He attacked with fury and started to beat her back. She leaped up and somersaulted over the top of him, landing the other side.
    She wondered if Kylo knew what had happened…
    “Leave him out of this…” she said slowly, she suddenly felt very exposed, “I won’t let you harm anyone else!” she spat.
    They joined once more, fighting furiously. Rey aimed a high kick at him. He was thrown backwards, but somersaulted to land on his feet. She was on him in an instant and was about to strike but was hurled back in turn with a Force push. She landed in the water and was completely submerged. Kylo came up to the water’s edge. Without warning, water rushed at him in torrents until a ball of water completely surrounded him. Rey flew out of the pool and landed beside him, manipulating the ball of water to try and prevent his escape. The ball exploded as Kylo hurled water away from him, further drenching Rey, momentarily blinding her. Kylo had reignited his lightsabre and it crackled violently as the water covering the emitter vapourised. Rey reignited hers and it hissed loudly. Again they circled.
    “You care about him,” he said almost casually, “That is your weakness. What happens when you lose the ones you care about? Then you are all alone…”
    He looked up as if reminiscing, “Your parents… they left you all alone. A little girl lost in the wilderness…”
    Rey was forcefully reminded of the girl in the vision. Her breathing became shallow as her anxiety began to surface.
    What was happening?…. she thought uneasily. How had mere words caused these feelings to return after all these years?…
    “You don’t know what happened… you weren’t there!” her voice was shaking.
    “They didn’t care about you. That’s the difference…” he was starting to reel her in.
    “Why else would they abandon you? They were scared of you, of what you might become…”
    “No… I…” Rey stammered.
    Kylo was suddenly in her head, beating down her mental defences. He was pulling images out of her memory. Images her mind had suppressed; images of her childhood trauma; of being abandoned; being all alone, filled with terror and despair on Jakku. Her previously suppressed memories began to overwhelm her, and then he pulled out a memory of two familiar faces… and she knew.
    “Do you know what happened to them?” he said, his voice surprisingly calm.
    Rey was shaking her head slowly, tears began to roll down her cheeks.
    “I killed them,” he said.
    Rey was sobbing uncontrollably. She deactivated the lightsabre and it slipped from her hand.
    Kylo strode forwards. A laser bolt narrowly missed his head. He snapped around to parry a second as Chewie fired at him again. Lando, Holdo and Poe ran out of the trees and opened fire. Kylo’s lightsabre worked furiously as he was beaten back. They spread out to try and encircle him.
    Then Maz appeared. She raised her hands. Huge branches started to tear off the trees and fly towards him.
    Kylo slashed at the first few before he jumped back and disappeared amongst the foliage. The others looked at Maz in astonishment.

    Rey hadn’t moved and was staring at the ground as the others ran up to her. She looked up seeming to notice them for the first time. She looked perplexed and lost as if they were strangers. Rey was a little girl once more.
    Maz appeared and took Rey’s hand. Rey started to pull away…
    “No… I won’t go with you… I want Mummy…” She was delirious.
    “It’s OK…you’re not on Jakku now,” Maz said soothingly. “There now…”
    Rey’s eyes suddenly came back into focus. She looked around and then down at Maz who gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Rey’s grip relaxed.
    “We need to get to Theed,” Lando said, “I’ve just made contact. They’ve got Leia.”
     
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  25. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Hi CairnsTony :) I caught up with your fic last night and I'm loving it!

    I particularly liked how you developed your own interpretations of the characters played by Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro -- I've got to say that I have a soft spot for cynical scoundrel/mercenary characters and I wish that Locke would've got more screentime, because watching him bring Lando and the others to a state of complete exasperation was just so entertaining :p But there's also his pivotal role in the plot you've devised, and the idea that this scruffy dude is responsible for such a major security disaster doesn't remove anything from the tension, quite the opposite. Somehow I suspect that it's not the only disaster he'll be responsible for.

    Other bits I liked: the way you integrated the Bloodline factions in your narrative (those shifty Centrists! ugh!), the fact that you built Rey to be this extremely powerful Force user, but a Force user whose streak of successes can be broken by just a few words, the tantalising hints has to her parentage (Leia telling Sola "something wonderful has happened", Rey's song in the Falcon's galley -- honestly I'll be happy with whatever you come up with), and how Luke and Leia's Force bond will provide a plausible explanation as to why Leia doesn't die yet (because I assume that this is where this is going).

    One thing I'm very curious about is the object given by Maz to Leia and the music box. My guess is that both of these are somehow important, but I'm impatient to find out why.

    And now, we have three characters that are in deep doodoo: one is Finn, who is obviously up for a rough time at Phasma's hands, one is Rose, and one is Kylo Ren. I doubt that Snoke will be happy with his failure to bring Leia as a hostage, and I also doubt that killing a fellow Knight of Ren because he just killed your mum is an acceptable thing to do in First Order regulations :p


    I can't wait to see where you take this next!

    PS: You shouldn't worry so much about getting reviews, although I understand it's frustrating when you don't get any. Traffic on the fanfic boards tends to slow down in the summer, and when you update your fic so frequently it's less likely to get lots of reviews (this is something I know first hand, I wrote a very long fic that I was updating twice a week because I didn't want to spend ten years posting it, and after a while reviews slowed down to a trickle). If you're concerned with readership, you could instead look at the number of page views that appears just under the number of replies on your thread list.
     
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