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Saga - ST The General's Wife (AU): Hux, OC (drama)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by divapilot, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Title: The General’s Wife
    Author: Divapilot
    Genre: Drama, angst
    Characters: Armitage Hux, Breha Solo (OC); mentions of Leia Organa, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo
    Era: ST

    Summary: Breha Amidala Solo Hux learns of the events of Starkiller Base and the subsequent destruction of the Resistance fleet.

    Trigger warning: Domestic violence

    This is a sequel to the 2016 work Bad Romance
    Connected works and OC character info below the spoiler tag

    The character of Breha Amidala Solo was created for the work True Blue. She has also appeared in [url=https://boards.theforce.net/threads...solos-complete-cover-posted-4-24-17.50026135/] The God of Second Chances [/url], All I Have to Give , and as a secondary character in One Hundred Blessings

    Breha originally was created to be the fourth child of Han and Leia; in this work (and in Bad Romance) she is their second child (in the New Canon universe). You can read more about her here and here.


    Sincerest thank you to @Ewok Poet and @Findswoman for their insightful betas!


    ****

    Breha adjusted the emeraude earrings, making sure that they hung exactly as he would desire them to against the curve of her pale neck. Tonight was important to him. Every detail mattered. She had to look elegant but not so much as to be distracting, feminine but not weak, and he had no tolerance for error. She took a steadying breath and closed her eyes. When she reopened them, she saw the reflection of a pleasant if dispassionate smile, eyes bright without the appearance of deeper perception.

    A motion behind her in the mirror caught her eye. She turned away, her ivory shimmersilk gown rustling with the movement, and approached her husband. He adjusted the hem of his tunic, and she reached out and brushed a minute speck off of the shoulder of his dress uniform, then trailed her hand gently down the front of his chest, the act of a loving wife. He turned his head to look at her, assessing her appearance. Satisfied, he held out his hand, palm up. Obediently, she slipped her smaller hand into his.

    Armitage wrapped his arm around hers, pulling her arm flush with his torso and steering his wife as they left their bedroom. They walked together toward the main foyer of the mansion, the click of their shoes echoing down the empty marbled hall.

    “This party,” Armitage began, almost apologetically in tone. “This is not my idea. But as word of our victory has gotten out, the men seemed to feel that a celebration was in order. You understand, of course.”

    “Of course,” she echoed. Her mind sifted through a thousand possible interpretations of his words. Our victory. Celebration. What victory? What destruction would the First Order find so important that they would be celebrating?

    She smiled benignly at her husband while her thoughts raced to her mother. For not the first time in her life Breha wished she had some inkling of a Force sense so even if the worst had happened at least she would know, but the entirety of that inheritance had gone to her older brother, Ben. No, he called himself Kylo Ren now. She shoved that thought aside.

    As they approached, the main doors of the mansion unlocked and opened for them automatically. They stepped out into the courtyard and Breha inhaled the fresh air. For so long she had been unable to feel unfiltered sunlight on her skin or to breathe air that hadn’t been cycled through the mansion’s filters. She turned her face toward the unfamiliar touch of an actual breeze.

    She had no time to enjoy it, however. Armitage held the door of the speeder open for her, and she gathered the skirt of her gown and entered the vehicle. He climbed in after her and settled himself on the leather seat, and she shifted slightly to give him more room than he actually needed.

    He turned to her and she looked at him with what she considered a very good impersonation of a devoted spouse. He smiled indulgently at her, a smile that almost reached his cold green eyes.

    “But you don’t know about the victory, do you, Breha?” he asked. Even now, nine years into their arranged marriage, Armitage spoke to her as if she were still nineteen years old, a naive and idealistic schoolgirl. She was not surprised to detect gloating in his tone. He had something, some devastating information that he enjoyed taunting her with. What else would make her husband so gleeful, so eager to attend a formal ball, of all things, except the opportunity to put her into a position where he could exercise the most cruelty? If that was his plan, it was best to keep things defused for as long as she could. Besides, her mother might not be dead. She didn’t know that yet. Breha kept her face open and continued to smile at him.

    Armitage’s pale lips pulled together into a thin smile. He clasped his hands together loosely. “Well, you’ll find out tonight. Our glorious future is upon us now. This is our time.” He leaned back in his seat and his eyes stared forward. Breha knew that by “us,” he was speaking of the First Order. She was beyond deceiving herself into thinking he cared enough about her to think of their future as a couple.

    The vehicle pulled up to the officer’s hall, an enormous, elaborate building. Huge black and red banners fluttered against the facade. Armitage exited first, then gallantly waited for her to follow. He held out his hand and she dutifully took it. They walked past rows of young officers in smart black and red uniforms, through a gauntlet of Stormtroopers, their armor polished to a stinging shine. As they entered the main hall they stopped at the top of the stairs. Armitage waited for the word to spread through the crowd that he had arrived, and very soon all eyes were on them. He stepped forward and Breha slid behind him as the crowd of revelers roared their approval of him. People began to work their way up the stairs towards them.

    The press of people nearly overwhelmed her. Almost all of her time was spent alone, and now that their daughter had been taken from her and sent to the Academy on Armitage’s command, she spent her days in isolation. This sudden onslaught of humanity (nearly everyone in the crowd was human) was jarring. She fought her urge to flinch against the sudden commingled scents of perfume, the jostling of nearby bodies, the chaotic conversations that threatened to smother her. Steady, she thought. Remember who you are. The granddaughter of two queens. The daughter of a princess. Breha took a breath and raised her chin higher.

    Hands shoved past her in an attempt to shake Armitage’s own. He detached himself from her and stepped into the appreciative crowd, and Breha held back, knowing better than to insert herself into his spotlight. It only took a few minutes before someone began calling for a speech, and Armitage was ascending the stairs again. Someone at the top landing produced a vocal projector and he grasped it.

    Breha faded to the side and watched him from a few meters away, a precisely calibrated look of pride on her face. She was the general’s wife. She had a role to play. She knew the cost of getting this wrong.

    He spoke briefly, but the words seemed to have a mesmerizing effect on him and on the other true believers. She listened intently. Breha knew this would be her only opportunity to learn what had happened to her mother, and perhaps to her brother. The mansion where she lived afforded no access to the outside world. She was not permitted to contact anyone and no one bothered to contact her. And once Armitage returned to the Finalizer, the doors would be shut and relocked behind him, leaving everything he owned — including her— safely stored away until his next visit.

    Armitage spoke of a great victory for the First Order — the destruction of Hosnian Prime and of the scum who would oppose their will. The entire system had been reduced to rubble. Breha suppressed a horrified gasp. Billions of people lived in that system. This was an atrocity; a genocide, like Alderaan. She glanced at the others around her, but they stared at Armitage with expressions of rapt exultation. Her stomach turned.

    “Mrs. Hux? Are you all right?” An older woman beside her looked at her solicitously, then her expression turned to concern. “Dear me, in your condition, perhaps you need a chair,” the woman continued. Breha nearly panicked at the thought that this woman would signal for assistance, detracting from Armitage’s speech and his moment of glory.

    “No, no — I’m just—” Breha gestured to her husband, who was nearly shouting now, carried away by his description of the battle.

    The woman frowned, then smiled knowingly. “Of course. Your husband is a great leader.” Her voice became reverent. “He is doing the gods’ work, you know, restoring humanity to its rightful place and putting all those subordinate species back where they belong. You must be so proud.”

    Breha hid her disgust and smiled kindly back at her. “Yes,” Breha agreed. “So proud indeed.”

    The older woman turned her attention back to the speech and the danger passed, but Breha resolved to be more careful of her emotions. Invisible was best, and the best way to be invisible was to conform to what everyone around her was doing. She turned toward Armitage and beamed at him, sifting through his words for details that would reveal the fate of her family and the current state of her mother or her brother.

    Armitage was speaking about Crait. Crait? She searched her memory. It was an unremarkable world, no settlements, no use to anyone. But something had happened at Crait.

    If nothing else, Armitage was skilled at working up a crowd. Armitage had news that he wanted to reveal, something that he had held back for this moment. The crowd listened intently as he regaled them with the story of how they had destroyed — “decimated,” he said — the Resistance fleet, driving them back and picking their ships off one by one. It was only a matter of time before the remnant of those terrorists were wiped away. Breha allowed herself to relax. If General Organa were dead, he would have crowed about it by now.

    She listened to the cadence of his speech and recognized that he was getting ready to reveal his prize. Armitage continued, announcing that there was an unexpected bonus from the battle at Crait: Luke Skywalker was dead. Kylo Ren had defeated the Jedi Master in battle. The Jedi were no more.

    The crowd roared with approval and Breha swallowed hard. So that was his great secret, the knife Armitage had waited to plunge into her heart. Her uncle was dead. She clapped along with the others, her smile widening appropriately. Her uncle was dead and her brother had killed him.

    His speech over, the music began playing and Armitage scanned the crowd for her. She navigated her way over to his side. He held out his hand and she quickly took it, and he guided her to the dance floor. The party swirled around them, laughter and champagne, sparkling gold intermixed with military red and black. She smiled graciously and laughed at all the appropriate times.

    Her uncle was dead. Breha’s mind wandered to her memories of him, despite her pressing need to focus on this party. It had, of course, been many years since she had seen Luke, as she had been isolated from her family and friends since her marriage to Armitage, but she recalled a kind, thoughtful man. Luke and her mother were incredibly close, as twins often were, and she wondered how her mother was dealing with the loss. Probably shoving it to the side to be dealt with later, once the immediate crisis was handled. Not unlike how Breha herself was trying to deal with it.

    Finally the musicians paused for a break. Breha excused herself from the group that had gathered around her and Armitage to congratulate him for his resounding success.

    As the general, Armitage had an entire suite in the officer’s hall to use for his personal needs tonight, and as his wife, the suite was hers to use as well. She dared not take more than a few minutes for herself, but when she felt that she had sufficiently recovered from the surprise news of Uncle Luke’s death, she prepared to return to the party. She checked her appearance in a mirror in the suite’s lounge and was reapplying her lip color when the reflection revealed that Armitage had entered the room.

    She straightened, put the cosmetic away, snapped shut her makeup case, and turned to greet him. “Congratulations,” she said.

    He walked slowly over to her. She stiffened. She knew that look on his face too well. Armitage smiled but it was a viper’s grin. He reached out and readjusted the neckline of her dress, pulling it higher, then his hand strayed to her hair. He unpinned one of her dark curls and let it fall onto her shoulder.

    “It was a brutal fight, Breha,” he said suddenly. “The Resistance fought with what they had, scrappers that they are, but they were completely out-weaponed.” He put his hand on her arm. “Out-powered.” He moved in closer to her, until he was pressed against her, and whispered in her ear. “Outnumbered.” She closed her eyes and shivered. He continued to whisper. “All those ships, fleeing for their lives, like rats before a flood. Such a brilliant explosion with each one. You should have seen it.”

    Armitage stepped back, still gripping her upper arm. “Nonetheless, it’s the little things we remember best, isn’t it? The destruction of the Hosnian system, for example. It’s just too much to take in all at once. Yes, billions of people died. But our minds can’t really fathom that. We need the personal connection to make it real.”

    Again, Breha’s mind went to memories of her uncle. This is why Armitage had followed her into the lounge, she realized. To taunt her about Luke’s death.

    “Did you pay attention to my speech? What did you think of it?” His question was a snare and she knew it.

    “You — Your victory was impressive. Everyone agrees.”

    Armitage pressed her more tightly, trapping her against the counter. His left hand continued to squeeze her upper arm, and his right hand began to explore her hair again, loosening curls that unraveled onto her neck. “Of course. But you, darling. Were you impressed?”

    She fought to maintain her calm demeanor. “Your accomplishment is a turning point in this war. Snoke will reward you.”

    Armitage stopped and laughed abruptly, letting go of her and backing away. He stood beside her, slouched against the counter, his arms folded. She rubbed her upper arm where he had gripped her. “Right. You don’t know,” he said. “Snoke is dead. Kylo Ren is the Supreme Leader now.”

    Despite herself, Breha looked up at him in surprise and met his eyes. Ben is the Supreme Leader? She glanced away to try to process the implications.

    “There is something else you should know,” Armitage added. “Han Solo is dead, too.”

    The room seemed to suddenly lose oxygen. Breha clutched the counter for support. Dad. Her stomach lurched. No. It couldn’t be true.

    Her husband smiled grimly. “Terrible tragedy.” He looked away from her and studied his nails as he continued talking. “I wasn’t there, of course, but I saw the security footage. Bloody gruesome thing. I don’t know what the old man thought he could achieve, talking to him.”

    “What?” Breha stammered. The room continued to wobble violently around her and she struggled for her bearings. “What do you mean? Talking to whom?”

    Armitage looked up and glanced at her. “Oh. Did I not mention? Kylo Ren killed him.”

    Breha’s mind spun. She began to breathe heavily and her knees threatened to give out.

    He continued as if oblivious to her distress. “Stabbed him. They were talking and then suddenly Kylo took out that raggedy laser sword and got him right here.” Armitage put his fingers together into a point and pressed them into Breha’s diaphragm, under her sternum. She recoiled and he went on. “Got him right through the chest and out through his back.

    “The old man had this look of, well, hmm. What was it. Surprise? Confusion?” Armitage smiled as he found the right word. “Ah yes. Disappointment. Your father’s final emotion was disappointment as he tumbled off the walkway and into the reactor.” He glanced at Breha’s horrified expression. “Oh, don’t worry, darling. He was long dead before he incinerated.”

    Breha’s body shook uncontrollably. The loss was a physical blow. A wave of nausea swept over her and she considered vomiting. Dad was gone. Breha reeled against the thousands of happy memories of her close bond to her father, each one striking her like shards of glass in an explosion. She struggled not to cry, but the tears forced their way out.

    At the sight of her tears, Armitage finally broke his reserved persona and allowed himself this pleasure. She cried out as he grabbed her hair and pulled her head back, forcing her to look at him. “I told you years ago I would destroy your rebellious family,” he spat. His face twisted into a vicious scowl. “Your uncle is dead. Your father is dead. Your mother has lost her army and we have her pathetic, shriveled remnant within our grasp and she’ll be dead soon too. And your brother may as well be dead to you.”

    He roughly released her and shoved her away. She fell to the floor. The expensive ivory shimmersilk pooled around her. Armitage circled her like a predator, then squatted beside her and observed her tears coldly. “Your family is all but gone. Who are you without them to define you, Breha? Where could you possibly go? Who would want you? No one is left to care about you. You’re nothing.” He paused and his voice turned icily gentle. “But you still have me. You’re not nothing to me.”

    He watched her weep for a minute or two more, then his aggression faded to irritation and he sighed. “I don’t know why you’re carrying on like this,” he said. “When my father was finally murdered, it was a relief.” He held out his hand to her, and she placed her hand in his automatically. He lifted her to her feet, maneuvering her to stand in front of him. He turned her so that he stood behind her, trapping her between his arms, his hands flat against the counter on either side of her, pressing her smaller body between his own and the counter.

    He gripped her chin in his hand and forced her to look up and into the mirror. Her makeup was disturbed where the tears had trailed down her cheek, and her hair was disheveled. She felt his breath on the back of her neck as he spoke. “Look at you,” he said, staring at their reflection. His voice dripped with disgust. “You’re a mess. Clean that up before you go back out. You’re the general’s wife. Act like it.”

    He stared at her in the mirror for a moment longer. Then he drew his hands down her torso, touching her body at his will; his possession, his greatest trophy. His hands came around to the front of her and lingered on the subtle roundness of her pregnancy. He spoke quietly. “You have five minutes. I expect you to be back beside me by then.” With that, he let go of her and turned suddenly to stride out of the room.

    Breha stood frozen in place until she was sure he was gone, then raised both hands to her mouth to smother the guttural cry of grief that threaten to erupt from her. She forced her hands down and placed them on the counter, then worked to get her breathing under control. She looked into the mirror again, assessing the damage to her appearance that needed to be fixed. He meant what he said about five minutes.

    Silently, she picked up a cleansing cloth and wiped up her tears. With each mechanical action of reapplying her makeup, she felt herself folding inside herself, like a collapsing set of boxes, until whatever was left of her was deeply pushed down. She was the general’s wife and she knew how to play the part. She repinned her hair with trembling hands. Then she looked in the mirror and practiced smiling. The woman in the mirror, pretty but unsubstantial, smiled back at her passively. It would do. Breha put her makeup case back in her purse.

    There would be time to mourn her father when Armitage returned to the Finalizer. For now, though, she would tuck her heart, broken and as brittle as a thousand razor-sharp shards of glass, deep inside of her, and continue.

    With one final glance toward the reflection, she smoothed the wrinkles of her gown, took her purse, and left the lounge to go back to the ballroom, where Armitage was waiting for her.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    Sith-I-5, AzureAngel2, Anedon and 3 others like this.
  2. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    This is a very interesting AU and I like how you depict Breha's uneasiness in all this and in her role being the wife of a truly terrible general. The reader can greatly sympathize with her and this is always important when writing about serious topics. Your use of language really brings the scenes to life and this is a really good sequel to your Bad Romance story, which I have also read but never had time to comment.
     
  3. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Poor Breha, not only does her torment continue but now her hope that her mother will defeat the FO has been crush and her father has died, by her own brothers hands no less. Amd with her daughter send away as well she is no alone, alone with a husband who doesn´t even seem to realize what impact these news have on her. I think for Hux there are no such things as love or compassion for him there are only just cold efficency and his orders. For him losing his father was a way to advance, a way to gain power and that was all he cares for. And now I think he belives by taking away Breha´s family that she will love him instead, because she has nobody else left.
    Its defenetly disturbing and just shows the inhumanity of the first order and its ideals. Great story.
     
  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    :eek::eek::eek: Wow, I thought that Hux was a nasty piece of work in Bad Romance, but he turns it up to eleven here! I’m struggling to find words enough for my revulsion of him, and I mean that as a compliment, even if it doesn’t sound like it.

    Poor Breha; it’s painful to see Han and Leia’s spirited daughter turned into a cipher of a woman who exists only to be an ornament for Hux. No trace of personality is required—or wanted—here. I think it’s interesting that her dress is plain ivory, as neutral and blank as Breha is supposed to be. She knows the look that means she’s shown too much “unseemly” emotion, too much of herself. She’s been worn down by her husband continually telling her that’s she’s nothing, no one, a mess.
    How ironic that he echoes Kylo Ren’s words to Rey, uttered as he shared devastating news about her family. Except that I think Kylo actually meant it; Breha is literally nothing to Hux, at least nothing more than he chooses her to be. The sadistic way that he revels in telling her about Han’s death proves that he cares nothing for her. He lets the news unfold one razor-edged detail at a time, glorying in her pain and smiling at her tears. And then having gone down the abuser’s full gamut from “you’re no one” to “you’re lucky to have me” to “what are you crying about” —all while dominating her physicalll, pinning her against the counter—he leaves her with a final blow:
    And this horrible abuse is made even worse by the fact that Breha’s pregnant. When I read this:
    my heart just sank, because I remember from Bad Romance that Hux has already shipped one innocent, loving child off to the Academy somshe can grow up Just Like Him. It’s so sad that something that ought to be a blessing for Breha may only feel like another way she’s tied to Hux.

    I’m no fan of the country music sub-genre of “woman shoots abusive boyfriend/spouse” but I’d be prepared to make an exception for a truly reprehensible excuse for a Human like Hux. If nothing else, maybe, Kylo will get so fed up with him, he’ll solve Breha’s problems for her (and hopefully then come back to the Light Side, so something good can happen to the Solo family).

    =D= Bravo!You’ve really painted a chilling portrait of domestic abuse—the verbal and emotional kind that leaves as many scars as the physical , though they can’t be seen from the outside.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Dear, wonderfully talented @divapilot -- this is intense and realistic! Juxtaposed to the Legends Breha you have gifted us with, this is even more heart-wrenching, as we contrast the DARLINGEST Blue with this despicable indescribably vile Armitage!

    I was thinking of the marvelous "Prodigal Son" lesson of reconciliation and rebuilding of family closeness. And how the whole confrontation between Han and Kylo turns that on its head in a most heartbreaking way! :_| Han attempts to draw his son back, to touch the wellspring of love and goodness that might reside within and gets assaulted and brutally cut down instead! And then for Hux to taunt Breha with that devastating incident! ACK!

    =D=
    Brilliant response to this challenge!
    @};-
     
    AzureAngel2, Findswoman and divapilot like this.
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    And here was silly old me, thinking the worst husband ever is the guy from the movie "Sleeping with the enemy" (1991) who had an unhealthy obsession with tins and towels. But red-head Hux is a master psychopath of the worst kind. Written so well, that I secretly checked last night that I really felt asleep next to DarthUncle and not to Hux.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  7. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005

    Thank you! Breha has accidentally trapped herself in a hellish existence, forced to be the dutiful wife of a man whom she despises. But if she doesn’t play the part well, it could cost her her life. Glad you feel it works as the sequel to the earlier part. This Breha has lost whatever spark kept her fighting in Bad Romance, and now she is just trying to survive. Thanks for the kind comments!


    Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, you’ve hit it exactly, Breha’s hope has died here. There is no one left to rescue her, and her daughter, who was her only joy, is gone.

    Hux doesn’t care about her feelings. He was the illegitimate son of a general and a kitchen worker; he only married Breha because he wanted her pedigree to give him the respect he feels he is owed. He’s playacting: he doesn’t love her and his “affection” for her is all for show. His own family was so messed up that he never had a model for what a loving marriage and a good father should look like. You can almost - ALMOST - feel sorry for him.

    Thank you for the kind response! This is a pretty dark piece. There is no trace of Blue here: no kindness, no affection, no love. There isn’t even any color for Breha — she is a ghost, a specter in ivory in the background. If she had been with a more loving, supportive man (like Blue) she would have grown and become a more confident, vibrant person, but because she is dominated by Hux, she has learned to make herself small and forgettable.

    As for Han and his son, it’s a tragedy. Han wanted to bring his son back, to give him a chance to redeem himself. Parents always are willing to give you another chance. That’s what love is. But Kylo rejects love for power. And Hux takes this incident and uses it to assert his power over Breha. Hux is even less redeemable than Kylo, because at least Kylo (when he was Ben Solo) once knew what love was. Hux was never loved. He has only craved power, and he will take other people’s fear of him instead of their love.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  8. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Please forgive the double post but there was no way to respond to @Raissa Baiard if I didn't put her entire response in one post. The formatting kept erasing parts of what I had written.

    I have to admit, that line was disturbing to me in the movie. That’s a classic abuser’s dig, that you have no value unless I give you value. It’s possible that when Kylo said it, he meant it in a back-handed, kindly way. She was Rey Nobody from Nowhere, but with Kylo, she would be someone important to him. However, when Hux says it to Breha, he really does mean that she has no value unless he gives it to her. Breha has nowhere to go, no one to love her. Unlike Rey, who is able to define herself for herself even knowing that her parents are dead and that she has no home to go back to, with Breha it only makes her even more a prisoner of her husband.

    I love the description of the reveal as being “razor edged.” That is exactly what he is doing to her, in his sadistic game. In my other stories, Bree and Han have an incredibly close relationship and I carried it over in this story. Hux knows that she adores her father. The cruelty in which he describes (inaccurately but gruesomely) Han’s death is something he revels in. He loves the feeling of power that he has over her, and he waits until she is wounded and alone before he pounces on her. Then he turns it around and puts the burden on her to “get over it.”

    Breha is not only emotionally vulnerable, she is physically vulnerable. She’s pregnant, just as Hux wanted her to be in Bad Romance. Losing her daughter has destroyed her. To be expecting another child, knowing now what Hux plans to do to this one, too, has got to be agony for her.

    A lot of the time Hux is played for laughs. But you can see how the mockery that he endures could be taken out on an innocent person, and how his messed up background would manifest itself in a horrible marriage. Breha is barely holding on from the abuse he has put her through, and there is no respite in sight.

    Thank you for your reply! The wife from Sleeping With the Enemy is a lot like Breha: always trying to second guess what will set him off in a rage, desperate to be perfect enough even though it will never be enough, spending all her days living in a beautiful prison. Hux is truly a psychopath who lacks the ability to feel any empathy for anyone. He enjoys watching her cry. It assures him that he is in control of her.

    But don’t worry, @DarthUncle would never be so evil!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    WOW. Just WOW. You really outdid yourself here, ma'am—this story is even darker and more bone-chilling than its predecessor, and I am very honored to have been asked to be one of its betas. Once again, it’s such a joy to see you writing again. @};-

    I won’t lie—this story goes to such dark, twisted depths of the sentient soul (in a good way, of course! :D ) that it hasn’t been easy for me to come up with what to say about it. (Yes, that is a compliment, and it’s part of why it’s taken me so long to comment—I know, excuses, excuses. :p ) Your Hux is such a monster, such a villain, such an incredibly nasty piece of work from start to finish: the way he chides her like a child, then turns around and pretends to compliment her, the way she has to look just so for him and say just the right things to him, the utterly smug, nasty way he breaks the news of her father’s death (more on that soon), and—perhaps most disturbingly—the fact that he is clearly getting no small amount of jollies from her grief and discomfort. Even before he ever shows up we get a glimpse of what we and Breha are up against in the way she adjusts her earrings just so—and, indeed, you really do amazing things with both characters’ body language throughout the story. From the way Breha strokes Armitage's chest just so at the start, to the way he unclips just that one curl of hers), every gesture these two make toward each other is part of a minutely choreographed dance of terror and subjugation, internalized thoroughly by both of them (though in differing ways). It’s horrendous—but oh so exquisitely portrayed by you.

    I’ll be here till the banthas come home if I try to enumerate all your amazing examples of this, so I’ll focus on a few that really stood out to me. Well, one of them wasn’t technically from Hux himself:
    Because ohmigosh, that means his sneaky, dastardly scheme in Bad Romance worked! :eek: I remember how much my blood boiled when I read in that story about
    his little plan of tampering with her birth control,
    and it’s boiling about ten times as hot here—besides which I feel so utterly sorry for that child and the horrible situation he or she will be born into. =(( Again, the fact that an indirect detail like this says so much…

    Then there’s the amazing way you build up to the news that sends Breha’s world literally reeling, that breaks her genteel, obedient façade right down, forces the tears out. It’s the culmination of a progression that leads from the Hosnian System to the routing of the Resistance at Crait to Luke’s death (!) to Kylo’s ascent to Supreme Leader—and then finally to Han’s death, Breha’s dad’s death. At the hands of his son, her brother, and with full details of exactly how it happened, exactly how the “laser sword” went in, exactly how his face looked—and then OF COURSE he turns it into a way to underscore her dependence on him:

    …ooh, I hope something perfectly awful happens to him in Ep. IX just for this! [face_mad]

    And OF COURSE after that devastating blow she’s expected to "clean up" in FIVE MINUTES and go back to being The General’s Wife. And of course that’s exactly what she does, because it’s all she can do, and she knows she has to in order to survive. “Tuck[ing] her heart, broken and as brittle as a thousand razor sharp shards of glass, deep inside of her” (stupendous image there) and moving on is all in a day’s work for her—and that is arguably one of the saddest things about all of this. =(( (It struck me that that, in a way, is the exact same tactic that she thinks it likely that her mother is taking in response to her father’s death, and indeed we see Leia force herself into stoicism so many times throughout the SW lore. A thought-provoking parallel there.)

    If it’s something you plan to do, I would be very interested in seeing this series of stories continue and seeing what may be next for Breha. I can’t help but think that this is all bound to come to some horrible head at some point, but I know that if and when it does, it will be amazingly, exquisitely, artistically done in true divapilot fashion. Once again, bravissima on this dark gem! =D=
     
  10. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Thank you! I do still write, just not as often. Wish it wasn't so.
    Yes, this is darker. It's probably about as dark as it can get. This is a Breha who has been broken, made into the submissive and obedient echo that Hux wanted her to be.

    Hux is often the punching bag, the butt of the joke. But he suffers the indignity because he can put it aside as he pursues his ultimate goal, which is power. I think Hux is terribly traumatized by his childhood - the product of a scandalous affair (if not rape), a mother who ignored him, a father who essentially used him as a guinea pig to test his theories of indoctrination. He has a driving desire to overcome that past and establish himself as legitimate (in a Jay Gatsby kind of way. Yeah, I compared Hux to Gatsby). He goes overboard to command respect. Acquiring Breha through marriage is a token of that legitimacy, since she is honest-to-goodness royalty.
    So (my point and I do actually have one) - now that he has her, he projects all his rage at being treated as "less than" or as a joke onto her. He does enjoy it. He sees it as punishing all those who mocked him. He owns her. He pulls up her décolletage because he doesn't like the way it falls. He unpins her hair. He has trained her to immediately take his hand. He doesn't really know how to love, but he does know how to possess.
    Breha, for her part, has lost the one thing that mattered to her in this marriage: their daughter. With Marielle gone, Hux has truly driven her spirit out of her. Now there is nothing but fear left for her.

    It's doubly sad because you know he's only going to take this child away from her too. And then the cycle repeats because both of Hux's children will be subject to the same brutalizing childhood that he was, at a military academy.

    Hux knows what he is doing. He could have mentioned Han's death in the speech he gave but he saved it for a private audience with Breha. He wanted to be the only witness. He wanted her grief and despair all to himself. Then, of course, he brings it back to himself, and tightens the noose around her neck.

    Breha doesn't have a choice. It's part of the abuse, it's part of his suppression of her will. She must obey. He has waited until they were in a very public setting to tell her something that he knows will devastate her. And she obeys, because she doesn't have any other choice. The last act of cruelty that he inflicts on her is to give her this traumatic news, then force her to dance and smile for the rest of the evening when her heart has been shattered.
    As for Leia, she has become a master at tucking her private grief away. It's not surprising that her daughter would do the same thing.

    Funny you should ask...
     
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  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Part 2

    The whirs and clicks of machinery coming on-line and the shouts of orders filled the dark cavern as personnel moved equipment and supplies into place. The air smelled newly recycled, and parts of the enclosure were still clearly under construction. Amidst this chaos, a dark haired man hurried along a recently excavated corridor, then jerked away suddenly as a shower of sparks burst from a hastily rigged relay station. He pulled his sleeve of his jacket and checked the brown leather for possible burns, then he wiped the detritus away. The last thing he needed was to have to find replacement gear. Every single item was precious.

    The orange and white droid beside him beeped, and he looked down to the droid that rocked back and forth on the floor beside him. “No kidding, buddy,” Poe said, glancing at the sputtering wall junction. “But at least we have a place to work for now.”

    Poe and the droid continued along the darkened corridor, which was lit sporadically by emergency lights attached to the bare rock overhead. Some places in the new Resistance headquarters were still without power, so he counted the partial lighting as a blessing and let it go at that. Deep within the center of the new headquarters, buried far below what any ground-sweep sensors could detect, the remaining command centers of the Resistance held office.

    They were so few now. After the devastating loss of their base on D’Qar, so many had died. Even people who he had unrealistically assumed would always be there, like Admiral Akbar, had fought their final battle that day. He frowned and his mouth drew into a grim line at the memory. The leadership of the Resistance was down to a few key players, himself included in that number. Poe was more careful now. He had more flight hours than anyone who still remained, more command experience than any other pilot, and for the safety of the people who served under him, he couldn’t take the chances he once used to. Attrition made for hasty promotions.

    The corridor narrowed. Poe turned and looked down at the little droid, who despite its obvious mechanical features somehow managed to appear inquisitive. “No, Bee-bee, you’re going to have to stay here. The general sent for me only.” The droid beeped plaintively. Poe smiled despite himself. “Just stay here. I’ll be back soon.”

    The general had summoned him to her private office, if “office” fit the description of a room chewed into a tunnel by an excavation droid. Whatever she wanted to tell him, she had chosen not to tell him in the common area. This fact in itself intrigued him, but he would know what was on her mind soon enough.

    A few steps later and Poe reached the door of General Organa’s office, which scraped open for him before he even had a chance to announce himself. He was momentarily startled, then relaxed. Such things happened from time to time with General Organa, who he understood to be attuned to the Force in ways he could not even begin to comprehend. He dismissed the event, figuring that this was her way of acknowledging his presence and informing him to enter her office. Force sensitivity aside, one thing he understood for sure was that General Organa was not one for wasting time.

    Poe walked into the doorway of the cramped room, which was cluttered with equipment that had been haphazardly stowed there until they could be placed in more permanent installations. Yet-to-be-assembled scanners and computer equipment took up a large portion of the room. A small desk clung to a corner of the room, and a small woman, her gray hair crowned with a braided knot, sat behind it. Her right hand rubbed her forehead while she stared into a datapad that she held in her left hand.

    Poe caught his breath. He had known Leia Organa for years; she had been a friend of his own late mother’s once, before he was born. But he couldn’t recall her looking so small and frail before. The sight -- and the thought of her possible vulnerability -- was unnerving. Poe shook the image away and drew himself to a position of attention.

    “You wanted to see me, ma’am?” he said.

    Leia looked up from her datapad. She sat back and stared at him with her dark brown eyes, and Poe felt (not for the first time) fixed in place by her gaze, causing him to reassess his worthiness to serve her. She was the general, a competent military strategist and a powerful leader, but there was always something vaguely royal to her, an echo of the queen she should have been had the Empire not destroyed her planet so many years before.

    She placed the datapad to her right on the desk with a deliberate motion, sat forward, set her elbows on the desk and placed her hands on the desk in front of her. “Come in, and close the door,” she said.

    Poe snorted softly. “You opened it, ma’am,” he noted.

    A slight smile pulled at her lips. “And you can close it,” she retorted, her voice gravelly. “Come here.”

    Poe turned around to shut the door manually, and then strode the short distance to the desk. “When are you going to get the door powered, General?” he asked casually.

    “It’s not on the top of the to-do list,” she replied. She motioned to a folding chair. “Have a seat, Poe.”

    The pilot pulled the chair toward him and opened it, then sat down. He crossed his arms and waited for his superior officer to begin.

    Leia took a deep breath and let it out. “As you know, this is a critical time for the Resistance, and for our very survival. The actions of the First Order - the destruction of the entire Hosnian system, in particular -- have swayed a number of systems to our side. People who could no longer in good conscience be bystanders. They reasoned that if Hosnian Prime and the associated worlds could be destroyed, then any planet is within the sites of the First Order, who could bring to bear another Starkiller Base at their will.” Poe started and frowned, and Leia leaned closer, interlacing her fingers together. “Don’t think they haven’t got another one in the final stages somewhere,” she said dryly. “Our intelligence has already identified suspicious construction at Kuat and Stewjon. History tells us these death stars are rarely made as singletons. Imagine the ability the First Order would have if they could station a series of Starkillers throughout the galaxy.”

    Poe nodded in assent. “So you want me to take a team and go after them?”

    “No.”

    Poe raised an eyebrow. “Then what do you want from me that is so secret that you needed to see me in person, in the middle of the resettlement?”

    Leia turned her attention back to the datapad on her desk. She pulled her lips into a thin line, then she picked up the data pad and held it for a moment. “I have a more pressing assignment. One that requires stealth and speed.” Her gravelly voice softened. She turned the datapad on and slowly slid it across the desk toward him. Poe uncrossed his arms and pulled himself up to the desk, then took the datapad in his hands.

    The datapad displayed a somewhat blurry image, as if recorded amateurly. A tall, red-haired, pale skinned man in a black military uniform of the First Order stood at the top of a set of stairs, apparently in mid-speech, surrounded by people clad in dress military uniforms or in elegant formal wear. Poe recognized him immediately and smirked. “You want me to get Hux?” he asked. “Gladly. Let me at him.”

    Leia shook her head. “No. This isn’t about Hux.” She tapped on the datapad screen, and one section of the image enlarged. Standing behind Hux, almost obscured, was a young woman in an off-white gown. She appeared to be applauding with the rest of the crowd, but her expression and her actions, on closer look, revealed a guarded demeanor and seemed to lack the authentic excitement and revelry of those around her. “This is an extraction,” Leia continued. “And it’s urgent.”

    Poe stared at the woman’s image for a few quiet moments. Then he looked up slowly at Leia. “Is this Bree?” he asked. “I remember her from when she was younger.” He frowned and his voice edged with anger. “She’s still with Hux, after all he’s done?”

    Leia sighed and slumped slightly. “I don’t think she has a choice.” She leaned in and her voice took on an edge of intensity. “She’s in danger, Poe. I always knew this day could come. As long as there was a reason to hold her, she was safe. But now --” Her voice cracked slightly. “Now, with her father gone, with her uncle gone, with Ben committed more firmly than ever to the First Order, the only person Hux can gain leverage against through her is me. And I can’t guarantee that I will be around for long enough to make keeping Bree alive worth Hux’s time.”

    He glanced at her. She seemed older, more tired. Deep circles ringed her eyes, and the lines on her face seemed more pronounced. “Are you alright, General?” he asked. “Is there anything I can get for you?”

    Leia shook her head and waved a dismissive hand. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. But I’m getting old, Poe. I can’t do this forever. And being blasted into the vacuum of space didn’t make things any easier.” She sighed again. “However, this isn’t about me. It’s about Breha. She’s in danger.”

    Poe frowned and rubbed a finger absently against his chin as he put the datapad back on Leia’s desk. “How long ago was this image taken?” he asked.

    “About a three weeks ago.” Leia clenched and unclenched her hand. “Poe, she’s pregnant. As soon as this child is born, Hux will dispose of Bree. I’m sure of it. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past him to take the baby early, as soon as it is technically viable, and complete the gestation in a neonate chamber. She doesn’t have much time left.”

    She turned off the datapad. “Bree means nothing to him emotionally. I know it. And her usefulness to him is coming to an end. The sooner we get her out of there, the better. This has got to be done quickly and with the greatest secrecy. If one hint of what you are trying to do gets out, she’s a dead woman. ”

    “What are you thinking, General?” he asked quietly.

    “Assemble a small squad. Take whomever you think you need; whatever ship you feel is best. I would say no more than five or six people total. Hux is on the Supremacy, so she’s alone right now. Break in, get her out, bring her somewhere safe. Then come back to base.”

    “Where do you want us to bring her?” Poe asked.

    “Leave that to me. I have some old friends who remember her fondly and would do anything to help our girl.” She paused. “There’s one more thing. She may not be the same Bree you once knew. I’m sure that living with this monster has traumatized her. She may not believe you when you come for her, even if she remembers you. So take this.” Leia pulled a ring off of her finger and handed it to Poe. “It’s one of the few royal jewels of Alderaan that survived. I’m entrusting it to you. Bree will recognize it and she’ll know it’s from me.”

    Poe turned the ring over in his hand, examining the gracefully entwined strands of metal that cradled a luminous purple stone. Then he reached into his shirt and pulled up a chain that he wore around his neck. He unclasped the chain and slid the ring onto it, where it clinked softly against the much plainer gold band that he already had on it. Poe nodded to Leia as he tucked the chain, now bearing two rings, back under his shirt. “I’ll get Bree,” he said solemnly. “I’ll bring her home.”

    “That’s all I want,” Leia said. She smiled thinly. “May the Force be with you, Poe. You’re dismissed.”

    Poe stood up and bowed slightly as she nodded her head in recognition. He left the room, shutting the door behind him. Already he was mentally running candidates for the job, deciding what ship they should take, and compiling what supplies would be necessary. His boots clanked along the metal framework as he walked briskly toward the briefing room. BB-8 rolled from out of the shadows to follow him, and it beeped inquisitively. Poe stopped for a moment, put his hands on his hips, and looked down at the droid. “Well, buddy,” he said, “Get ready. We’ve got a mission.”
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= [face_dancing] =D= Superb! I am so excited to see that this is more than a one-shot. :cool: Poe is just the one for the job and I do agree that time is of the essence. @};-
     
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  13. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    So Leia sends out Poe to save Breha, which gives me hope that her nightmare will finally come to an end. Though I´m weary what will happen to their daughter at the academy if Breha escapes. I hope Poe and his crew will be able to save her as well.
    Nice chapter :)
     
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Oh, almost missed that update. Being ill has some little advantages after all.

    I hope they can rescue Breha and the children, including the unborn life in her, too. [face_praying]
     
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  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ah ha! I'm psyched to see this wonderful story continuing, and especially psyched to see an extraction mission in the works for Breha—she's been trapped in this most hellish of hells too long, and I love that her wonderful mother knows that and has been watching her and her situation from afar. (Though I never had any doubt that she was! :leia: [face_love] ) And to undertake such a mission at such a powder keg of a time for the Resistance, after the devastating defeat at D'Qar and the looming possibility of more Starkillers in the works—that's a brave, huge risk for sure, but one that I sense will be more than worth it. You do a really fantastic job with the progression from the gigantic, star-system-level dangers down to the personal hell Breha is enduring at Hux's hands, and man, it says something about the First Order that they (and their individual members) are capable of that full range of evils! :eek: The thought of Hux extracting the baby from Breha before term in order to terminate her is just horrifying—in character for a sick, twisted monster like him, of course, but still horrifying, and given that Marielle is still out there somewhere, off at the military academy, what will things be like for her once she learns of it... [face_nail_biting]

    I echo the others in saying that Leia has chosen well for this job—Poe (and the team he assembles) will not disappoint her, I'm sure, and I know he'll put his all into this. I just hope that Bree won't be so traumatized and so Stockholm-syndrome-ified that not even the sight of the Alderaanian jewel will work, though sadly, I could kind of see that being the case. :( And I have to say, I love the voice you have for General Leia—I could just that inimitably warm, gravelly voice saying, "and you can close it"! :D Our princess and our general, to the end, and you've always done such a lovely job with her. :leia:

    Forcespeed to Poe on his mission, and keep this coming, ma'am! Bravissima! =D=
     
  16. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Thank you! This story will go for a while; there may be some bleed-over from the other Blue-niverse where Breha appears. Poe is a different person here. I am trying to write a post-TLJ Poe, someone who is less impetuous and more of a leader.

    Thanks! Glad you liked it. Leia trusts Poe; she knows that Poe understands her and appreciates the losses she has endured. You’re right; Breha’s daughter is at the military academy and it will be tricky trying to rescue them both.

    Thank you for your reply. I hope you are feeling better! They are trying to get there fast so that they can save not only Breha but rescue the baby from having to endure his sadistic father’s military experimentation. Hux believes a perfect soldier can be created by indoctrinating a child from birth and he isn’t above trying it out on his own children. That’s what Leia is afraid of, too.

    Thank you for that wonderful response! Yes, this is calling me to resolve it - I can’t just leave Breha weeping on the bathroom floor. I wanted to kind of incorporate Leia into this too; play with the theme of mothers/daughters and how we hope for our children but ultimately we can only protect them so much. Hux is evil, but he’s also very smart. He has shown time and again that he enjoys tormenting Breha, he has no respect for her and he values her only as much as she has any use to him. In the past her value was as a pawn to threaten Leia and Kylo with. Now her value is in producing children for him. Once he has his two children, he has no use for Breha anymore and he will callously dispose of her. And dear little Marielle is in her own version of kindergarten hell, where all the creativity and sweetness is being systematically beaten out of her, metaphorically and physically. That’s how Hux was raised; the brutality of his own childhood created a “successful” general -- so he sees no reason not to subject his own children to the same experience.

    I think Poe kind of idolizes Leia -- at the very least she is a respected mentor -- and I think Leia sees Poe as the son she should have had. Poe has grown here. He isn’t the reckless hotshot he was in TLJ. He’s matured. He trusts that Leia knows what she is doing, and he respects her enough to follow her orders without second guessing why. As for Breha’s mental state when they find her, she’s in a bad way. Whatever spark or fight she had in “Bad Romance” has been driven out. She has been emotionally and psychologically abused for years, and to a lesser extent physically abused on occasion, too. Anything is possible. Leia is right when she warns that Breha may not be the person they expect or remember.


    Here’s the next part, with a couple of old friends making an appearance.
     
  17. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Part 3.

    Poe approached the cargo ship. The ship’s owner busied himself with shut-down procedures, carefully checking the exterior systems and occasionally wiping a mark from the silver plating. Satisfied that everything was in order, the owner straightened up and put his hands on the waist of his brown trousers. A visible sidearm nestled in a thigh holster, and Poe suspected a hold-out weapon hid in a secret pocket inside the man’s gray leather jacket.

    The man turned. “Hey,” he greeted Poe. “Heard you had a job for me.”

    Poe smiled widely. “Jacen Syndulla,” he replied, grasping the man by the shoulder.

    Jacen pulled Poe in for an embrace. He was slightly taller than Poe, a lanky man whose mixed ethnicity showed in his unique features. His tan skin had gotten more mottled with green as he aged, and he wore his vivid green hair slicked back into a low, short tail. Jacen carried himself with the grace and confidence of a veteran pilot.

    Jacen released Poe. “How is the family?” Poe asked as the two men turned and began to walk toward the entrance of the base.

    Jacen scratched the patch of green beard on his chin. “Ah, they’re fine. Sika is seven now. She’s going to be a beauty. She’s got those gorgeous blue lek of her mother’s.”

    “Seven, already?” Poe continued amiably. “If she’s a beauty then she must look more like Berratha than like you.”

    Jacen laughed. “That’s for sure. And my mom’s doing fine. Still flying. I don’t think she’s ever going to give that up.”

    They entered a low cavern entrance and made their way through a circuitous tunnel. A sudden right turn took them to a metal door. Poe swiped his access code and the door opened. The men entered and Poe nodded at a guard, who saluted.

    Eventually they came to a conference room. The door slid open, and a dark-haired woman looked up. Poe put the small case he had been carrying on the table, then gestured to the woman as she rose to greet them. “Jacen, this is one of my best pilots, Jess Pavan.”

    Jess held out a hand and Jacen shook it. “Glad to meet you,” she said. She nodded her head toward Poe. “Did he tell you anything, or is he keeping this mission a secret from everyone?”

    Poe indicated a seat and the trio took their places at the table. “This mission is strictly need-to-know. I pulled you from Black Squadron rotation because you’re one of our best pilots, and I need someone who is fast and smart.”

    “What are you planning?” Jacen asked.

    Poe reached into the case and retrieved three datapads and a datacard. He placed the datacard into a slot in the center of the table, then pressed a button. A hologram of a star grid suddenly hovered above the center of the table. “We need to break into a First Order building that most likely has a serious defense system and extract a valuable person. It has to be done quickly, and we need to hide this person as soon as we retrieve them. We can’t allow the First Order to get them back - they would rather see this person dead than have them with us.”

    Jess leaned in. “What system are we talking about?”

    The map zoomed in. “Arkanis,” Poe replied.

    Jacen scoffed. “Nothing like going into the heart of the First Order,” he said.

    “That’s what I need you for,” Poe said, turning his head in Jacen’s direction. “We can’t go in as a military flight. We need a reason for being there, and a civilian shuttle will give us the cover we need. I know you have access to various, shall we say, enhanced cargo ships. We need to use one of them.”

    Jacen raised an eyebrow. “Mom won’t be happy. She doesn’t like people playing with her toys.”

    “You’ll be piloting it. If we can land close enough to the building, we can send in a team to disable the alarms, get inside, find our person and bring them out.” Poe turned to Jess. “To do that, we’ll need you, Jess: a steady copilot we can depend on to navigate us out of there at a moment’s notice. ”

    Poe turned back to Jacen. “We could also use your special skills, Jacen,” he said quietly.

    Jacen sat back and crossed his arms. “I figured as much.”

    “Would you be willing to consider it?” Poe asked.

    “I’ll need to know more specific details. Who are we lifting out and why? I have a family depending on me. I need to know who I’m risking my safety and the exposure of my skills for, and why it’s so important.”

    Poe entered a code on the control panel and the star chart disappeared. In its place appeared the image of a young woman. “Breha Amidala Solo Hux. General Organa’s daughter.”

    “And General Hux’s wife, and Supreme Leader Kylo Ren’s sister,” Jess added. She scowled. “Why are we going after a collaborator?”

    “She’s in danger. General Organa asked me to bring her home. General Organa is convinced that Hux will have her killed in a matter of months -- weeks, maybe.”

    “Wait,” said Jacen suddenly, leaning in toward the conference table. “Are you saying that we are sending out a team to retrieve one person on the request of one other person? When the entire Resistance is in need of every single able-bodied participant they can get?” He shook his head. “This is a waste of resources. So what if she doesn’t survive? She’s just one person. How many thousands of people died in just the last month in this uprising?”

    Poe raised his hand to his chest, and felt the heaviness of the ring against his skin. “She’s more than just a random person. She’s all the general has left. All her life, Leia has sacrificed her own needs time and time again for the greater good. She wants to know that her daughter is safe, that her daughter is back home again.” Poe looked at the others. “She’s saved us all countless times. She’s asking us to save one person for her. I think we owe her that.”

    Jess sighed and glanced at Jacen, who seemed to consider Poe’s words. Finally Jacen spoke. “All right. But if we are going to do this, we need to do it right. Have you gotten anyone else?”

    Poe picked up the three datapads that were stacked to his side and gave one to Jess and another to Jacen. “You’ll find details here. We’ll need a superior hacker and a weapons expert. We’re also going to need a medic, just in case.” Poe shook his head ruefully. “So many of our people have died that we have to go with new recruits. These are some suggestions. I want your input. These candidates seem to fit the bill, but if you have any other ideas, I’m open to hearing them. We’re going to have to get this mission off the ground as soon as we can. Jess, you and Jacen see about getting a ship ready for a trip to Arkanis. I’ll check with the quartermaster and see what supplies we can get ahold of.”

    Poe stood up, and Jacen and Jess stood too. “Remember,” Poe warned, “this mission is top secret. We tell no one where we’re going and who we’re going after.”

    “Yes, sir,” Jess replied.

    The three began to walk toward the door. “Get going on those tasks,” Poe instructed. “We’ll meet again to finalize our crew list tomorrow morning.”

    Jacen paused at the doorway as Jess continued into the hall. Once Jess was out of hearing range, Jacen turned to Poe. “I notice you didn’t mention my fee. I suppose I’ll be getting the usual?” he asked, his eyebrow lifting inquisitively.

    Poe smiled as he clapped Jacen on the shoulder. “Just put this one on our bill, old friend.”

    Jacen shook his head. “As I thought. The usual -- a promise of danger and glory and maybe, maybe, someday, a paycheck,” he laughed.
     
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  18. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Great chapter.Nice to see that the rescue mission begins to take shape, also looking foreward to see the "other" Jacen in action. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    LOL It always gives me a "who?" sensation when I read the name "Jacen" [face_mischief] but how exotic and thoughtful this Jacen is! He asks some very good questions before agreeing and Poe is thankfully eloquently persuasive. [face_relieved] =D= Jess Pavan seems a very competent and good one to have along. I like Poe's must-have list for skill-sets [face_thinking] while still keeping the team small and hopefully inconspicuous.
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh ho, very exciting to see Poe assembling a team for this extremely sensitive extraction mission—and yes, there is definitely a very familiar face there in Jacen! ;) Of course I'm stoked (though not surprised) to see that his mom is still flying (and I'll be curious to see if she has a cameo in this story). And I caught that bit about his "special skills," which I can imagine will be invaluable on a mission of this kind—as well as potentially dangerous if they become known, as he intimates. So I too totally understand his initial caution—and Jess's concern about going after someone so deeply ensconced within the First Order. Fortunately Poe is able to convince them that Breha, and her mother, are more than worth it. @};- I'll be curious to see who the other people on his team will be... and wait a minute, if one of them is a medic, then I think I have a guess... ;)

    Looking forward to seeing more—Force speed these folks on their mission! [face_good_luck]
     
  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The man turned. “Hey,” he greeted Poe. “Heard you had a job for me.”

    Poe smiled widely. “Jacen Syndulla,” he replied, grasping the man by the shoulder.


    Frantic applause!!! Jacen!!! Syndulla!!!

    Well met, milady!!!
     
  22. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Thank you! It's interesting to project what the "other" Jacen will be like as a grown man. I visualized him with his father's features, especially the facial hair, but with the skin tones of his mother. And since Hera probably went back to Ryloth as her home base, I'm sure she took Jacen there too, and so I gave him a lovely Twi'lek wife. Jacen is an integral part of this rescue team. Thanks so much for your response.

    Thank you for your comments! I kind of like this grown-up Jacen. He's a crack pilot like his mom, but with some "skill-sets" of his father's. He's got a lot of valuable skills, but he also has a family that he'd like to go home to at the end of the day, so Poe is pulling in a favor to get Jacen on the team. They would be about the same age; Jacen being about three years older than Poe. And since his mom was so involved in the rebellion, it would make sense that they would still be in contact with Leia (especially now - Hera knows the pain of widowhood). I could see Poe and Jacen being good friends. Jess Pavan is one of Poe's Black Squadron pilots, so she knows Poe's style of flight and of command well. Poe's got a good team assembling here.

    Thank you very much for your kind words! Jacen would be a great pilot to have on this mission - and not just because his mom can access the fastest, most highly modified ships. In this age of the First Order, anyone with any kind of Force Sensitivity would be suspicious, so it's understandable that Jacen might keep his "special skills" under wraps. Besides, who doesn't like having the advantage of surprise in a fight?
    As for Jess's reluctance - it's been almost ten years that Breha has been officially aligned with one of the most deadly and hated First Order commanders. Naturally, she's not going to be trusted. Jess is only thinking of the Resistance when she questions whether or not it's a good idea to bring someone so deeply embedded in the First Order to the Resistance headquarters. But she has to trust Poe that he knows what he is doing, and trust General Organa too. It's a lot to ask from many of them.
    As for the medic... [face_whistling] More on him later in the story.

    [face_laugh] Thanks! Glad you liked that! There's so much room here to imagine Jacen as a grown man. I can see him being a lot like his dad :kanan: : practical, loyal, and Force sensitive - but you can see his mom :hera: there too: in charge, talented, and devoted to his family. Thank you for your comments!
     
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  23. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Part 4.

    The Stealth Rider, a convor-class cargo ship registered under a false name, kept its distance away from a convoy of Neimoidian merchant ships in orbit around the planet of Arkanis, yet close enough to blend in with the rest of the communications chatter. Inside the cockpit of the Stealth Rider, Poe turned his head toward the dark-skinned human woman who sat directly behind him. “You ready?” he asked.

    She raised a forefinger. “Don’t interrupt. I need to focus.” The woman’s hands glided quickly over the navcomputer console and across a number of attached peripheral devices. “Just another moment…” She stared at her screen, then smiled. “Done,” she announced. “We’re slaved onto the third freighter in the convoy. Their sensors won’t detect us as a discrete vessel.”

    “Good work, Shera,” Poe said. “Nobody slices like you.”

    “That’s why you keep me around,” she retorted. Shera sat back in her seat and exhaled loudly. “You’re up, Poe,” she said quietly.

    Poe nodded. He switched over control to his console and entered the coordinates that appeared on his screen.

    From the copilot’s seat, Jess glanced at Poe, then at Jacen, who was sitting behind her, his eyes closed and a peaceful expression on his face. She leaned in toward Poe. “I thought you said Jacen was going to pilot this ship,” she whispered to Poe.

    “He is piloting. Watch.” One of Neimoidian ships moved slightly starboard, and an indicator light appeared on Jess’s screen to follow the ship. Poe nodded approvingly. “He’s telling the other pilots to make optimum room for us. Neimoidians are fairly susceptible to suggestion. Tricking the planetary security net computers is Shera’s job. Tricking the pilots we’re going to slide behind is Jacen’s.”

    Jess made the appropriate adjustment, and the Stealth Rider moved closer to the convoy. Poe slipped the ship into position. Suddenly the planetary security officer’s voice sounded on the communicator, and permission was granted for six Neimoidain cargo vessels -- and one ghost ship -- to proceed through the opening in the array. Poe held his breath, but the deception held.

    They followed the convoy as they descended into the cloudy atmosphere. Drops of rain formed on the viewscreen as they broke through the lower clouds and into the dark sky. Once they were into the Capitol District, the Stealth Rider broke away from the formation and the Neimoidian ships continued onto their destination. Poe switched on the com so that the crew in the passenger section could hear. “We’re ten minutes from our destination,” he announced. “Remember what we practiced. We’re coming in on the night side of the planet. Let’s stay as invisible as possible.”

    In the passenger section, the Devaronian weapons specialist smiled a toothy grin at the medic, who was securing his first-aid bag. “This is going to be fun,” he said. He checked the charge on his pistol, then put the weapon back in its holster and settled in for the remainder of the flight.

    Within a few minutes, the warning indicator began to sound as they neared the security border of the Hux estate. Jess whistled as they flew across the vast holdings. Even in the darkness of the rainy night, the estate was impressive. “I knew he had money, but this is ridiculous,” she muttered.

    “We’re in. The security scanners are looping.” Shera shook her head and scoffed. “For all his money, Hux has a fairly standard security set-up.”

    “Intel tells us that he only cares about security when he’s there, and he brings his own troops to provide that. Otherwise he’s just putting a lock on the door,” Poe replied. “Dorsay, Jacen, get ready to come with me. Everyone else stays with Jess. With luck, we’ll all be back here in under thirty minutes.”

    The ship landed quietly in an open area a short distance from the main house. The extraction team quickly exited and took up defensive positions around the ship. Dorsay checked his scanner. “There are no readings of any patrols. It looks clear all the way to the house.”

    Poe shot a glance at Jacen. “I agree,” Jacen said. “I can only sense one person here besides us.”

    They ran to the maintenance structure at the rear of the mansion. Dorsay grabbed a panel and tugged it open, exposing the various power systems of the residence. He extracted a tool from his belt and worked for a few moments while the others scanned for trouble, then Dorsay grunted in satisfaction. “Done. All alarms disabled. We should be fine.”

    They went to a rear door and had only made it a few steps inside when the lights suddenly went out. Everyone froze. “Did you turn out the lights, too?” Poe asked Dorsay. In the dim light, he saw Dorsay shake his head. “Where is our target?” Poe whispered to Dorsay.

    The Devaronian flipped his scanner on and read the diagram of the mansion. “She’s right here,” he said. The softly blinking light on the scanner bathed his red features in a pale green glow.

    They began to walk in the direction of the light on the map, toward the southern part of the estate, when suddenly Jacen stopped.

    “What is it?” Poe asked.

    “It’s a trap. She isn’t there,” he answered.

    “But my scanner --” began Dorsay.

    “Your scanner’s wrong.” He closed his eyes and turned slightly. “She’s down here.” Jacen opened his eyes. “She’s terrified. Be careful.”

    Poe frowned. They slowly followed Jacen down a hall, then past a large foyer and into another marbled hallway. Suddenly Jacen paused, then turned to the wall. He pressed his hand against the wall and closed his eyes again. “It’s okay,” he whispered. “We’re your friends. We’re here to help you.”

    Jacen stepped back. “There’s a secret room back here. The access panel has to be here somewhere.”

    Poe scanned the wall. “Here it is,” he said, pointing to a loose strip of moulding at the floor. He pulled it open and pressed a button. A hidden panel in the door slid to the side and exposed a small room, lit only by a computer screen.

    Suddenly a knife flew towards them. Dorsay gasped as Jacen quickly gestured with his hand and the knife switched direction at the last second to clatter harmlessly on the ground.

    “Stay back,” a female human voice called from the dark corner. “I’ve got a blaster. I’ll shoot you.”

    “No you don’t. You would have shot us by now if you did,” Dorsay replied.

    Poe stepped into the room. “Breha, it’s Poe Dameron. Remember me?”

    There was a long silence before she spoke again. “Poe?” she repeated, her voice uncertain.

    “Yes. Your mother sent me to get you. You’re safe now. We’ve come a long way to rescue you. We’re here to take you home.”

    He walked closer into the small room and the dim light from the computer screen revealed a petite, dark haired woman dressed in a sleep shirt and pants, crouched near the corner of the room. Breha looked up at him. Dark circles ringed her eyes. Her voice was steady as she answered. “Then you’ve wasted your time,” she stated flatly. “I’m not leaving.”
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderfully smooth insertion =D= Poe has a great team assembled, indeed. I did not expect it to be easy, like Breha would just waltz out of there but :eek: [face_nail_biting] to flat out refuse? As a victim of emotional oppression, I can understand that she's halfway or more not believing they can get away with getting her out of there. Perhaps she's afraid Hux will find her afterwards and her child will suffer for it. Plus, he could hold their other child over her as emotional blackmail. :eek:

    You've written a compelling and edge of seat tale here, no shock. [face_love] @};-
     
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  25. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    So they found Breha but as I suspected she doesn't want to go, probably because her daughter is still at the academy. Also nice to see this Jacen has the force as well but avoided dying at the destruction of Luke's Jedi school.