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Saga - ST What You Have Learned - Rey, Finn rescue a new Force user [Last Jedi SPOILERS!]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by madman007, Feb 8, 2018.

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  1. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Well here I am again. At the precipice of a new epic story. This one is a continuation of Doomed To Repeat, yet it is not required to read that first (though you're always welcome to do so!). This is only a taste of what's to come. There may be a few surprises as well as cameos from characters who, unblieveably, I have never written. So, once again, enjoy and review as you see fit.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What You Have Learned

    Summary - Rey and Finn are on a mission to find a Force user in a mining labor camp owned by a ruthless magistrate for the First Order. During their mission, Rey questions her new role as teacher of the new Jedi as Finn tries to support her. Is Rey ready to begin to teach the lessons of the old Jedi to the new Jedi or will she try something new?



    Prologue

    The hyperspace starlines quickly faded back into the darkness of space. Ahead of them in full view was the dark green planet of Vapos. Also in front of them was a First Order battle cruiser. Normally, alerts would be blaring by now. They stayed silent. In this case, they knew they would be encountering the enemy. They were in an enemy ship, after all.

    Despite knowing the cruiser would be here, Rey still gasped at the sight. It was her first live sighting of a First Order ship since she escaped off of the Supreme Leader’s grand ship almost a standard year and a half ago. Much had happened to her since that time. She looked at the viewscreen past the ship to the planet below. Vapos was mostly rocky forests with wild life as its primary inhabitants. Its contribution to the galaxy was the mining of the mineral zinite, which was the metallic component used in the construction of most blasters and weapons. There were human and alien beings living there. Most now were in various labor camps owned by the First Order for the profits of mining.

    During the journey, Rey read about the labor camp run by a Magistrate named Biran Holst. He was not technically part of the First Order. He was more of a legal council member who had been trusted to run the compound on Vapos. It didn’t hurt matters that Holst would share in the credits of profitability. It did seem to Rey that Holst ran the compound as if he owned it himself. He treated the laborers and villagers who mined the zinite as second-class slaves. Instances of torture and death surrounded Holst’s manner of discipline..

    Rey wanted nothing to do with this man who considered himself human. Yet, dealing with him may be inevitable. A few standard weeks ago, the Resistance received an anonymous encrypted message from Vapos informing them of a human Force user hidden in the caves. That perked Rey’s interest and it was the reason she and Finn were there now. For the past several months, Rey and the Resistance had been tracking down those in the galaxy with hidden Force potential. It had been a task that she and General Leia Organa Solo began. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after they began the search that Leia succumbed to a respiratory illness. It was an illness related to her Force induced glide through open space that was necessary for her to survive the destruction of the bridge during the Resistance’s escape from the First Order. After Leia passed away, Rey couldn’t bring herself to continue searching for those with Force ability. She temporarily went on a quest to find more information about her parents. Very little new information was revealed about them in her search. She would have continued that quest if it wasn’t for a former stormtrooper turned Resistance fighter.

    She glanced over at her friend, Finn. He was busy instructing the captain and pilot on how to mask their ident codes to that of a stolen First Order craft. The captain and pilot was Adan Krun, who had also been a soldier for the Resistance for several years. Rey was positive that Adan knew how to fake a ship’s identification. She sighed because she knew about Finn’s constant need to help others.

    She got up from her passenger seat and went over to them.

    Finn was still instructing. “Now, if you bounce that code through the transponder they can’t scan it to authorize.”

    “Right,” said the blonde-headed Adan, “they’ll only see a First Order code anyway and assume it’s good to go. Won’t they see that it’s outdated?”

    Finn pointed at the ship ahead of them. “That’s a Dissident Class light battle cruiser. Smaller than your average Destroyer so their computers don’t have the full memory banks for all the past codes.”

    “Exactly,” said a bored Adan.

    Rey cut in, “Don’t worry about Finn, Captain. He just likes to hear himself talk.”

    “Yeah, I can tell. I also know that the codes are not changed as often as they once were. You can thank their new Supreme Leader for that.”

    Finn replied, “And you can thank this lady here for that change in leaders.”

    Rey shook her head in modesty. “Kylo Ren appointed himself to that position after he killed Snoke. I had nothing to do with it.”

    Adan uttered, “That’s not what the grapevine says.”

    Rey snapped, “Then find another grapevine.”

    Finn looked almost guilty. “Yeah, I even heard that rumor that you killed Snoke.”

    “And guess who would be in a perfect position to make that up?” She shrugged. “Still, it could be an advantage when the time comes.”

    Finn looked her straight in the eye. “Who are you and what did you do to Rey?”

    She gave him a soft punch in the arm. “Come on, Finn. You know we both have changed over the years.”

    “Not as much as you. You’re a Jedi and you built your own lightsaber.”

    “You’re half right. I’m no Jedi.”

    “Not yet.”

    Captain Adan interrupted. “I punched in the verification code and it’s ready to send. Unless you two want to be alone for a while.”

    “No!” they both snapped in unison.

    Finn added awkwardly, “I mean...proceed.”

    Adan switched on the comm and announced, “Battle cruiser, Fortune’s Glory, this is shuttle Hope’s Doom requesting passage to the mining compound.”

    A voice on the comm responded, “Shuttle Hope’s Doom, what is your purpose and cargo?”

    Adan replied, “Technical parts for your computer upgrade.”

    The voice returned. “Those weren’t scheduled until next month.”

    Adan sighed in fake frustration. “Someone in admin decided to push it up. Hey, they only tell me when and where, what can I say? You know how they are.”

    “Understood. Proceed to transmit authorization code.” After Adan punched the code in, the voice came back with, “Stand by, Hope’s Doom, for verification.”

    The comm clicked off but both Rey and Adan looked at Finn on hearing about verification. Finn assured them. “That only means they have to get verbal authorization from the Magistrate.”

    “Holst,” Rey said with contempt. Finn nodded.

    “But Holst isn’t an official for the First Order. He’s only a legal figure,” said Adan.

    Finn explained, “The compound itself is First Order owned. You’re right that Holst is only there as a legality. The First Order can no longer afford officers to act as babysitters for slaves mining zinite. Technically, Holst can’t use stormtroopers as guards, either. He hires mercenaries to do the dirty work for them.”

    Rey said, “Including extreme torture or death for the villagers if they’re not up to par.”

    Finn nodded. “On Holst’s orders.”

    “Finn, this man is the real scum in the galaxy.”

    “I agree, but there may be someone with the Force down there wanting to escape.”

    “I know,” she said.

    The voice returned on comm to say, “Shuttle Hope’s Doom, you are authorized passage to the main compound. Sending beacon coordinates now. Proceed to land on Platform A6.”

    “A6, got it. Hope’s Doom out.” Adan shut off the com. “No sweat.”

    Rey had to remind the Captain, “That was only Phase one.”

    Finn added, “One of twenty phases.”

    Rey continued. “We have to find our Force potential. The message said the person was somewhere inside those caves nearby.”

    “Too bad they couldn’t be more specific,” said Finn as he gathered his own gear.

    Rey shook her head. “The message ended abruptly. It may have been done in a hurry.”

    “Or the messenger was shot before they could end the transmission,” suggested Adan.

    “Also a possibility. All the more reason to find this person.”

    Finn asked her, “How can you find this person in acres of caves?”

    She smiled at him as she picked up her gear. “How else would you find someone who uses the Force?”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Vapos main mining compound - detention area

    The guard opened the cell door for the man as ordered. A human male of medium height with balding brown-white hair nodded to the guard as a signal to leave them alone. Magistrate Biran Holst entered the cell further in. He straightened his beige tunic made of the finest fabric. It was too good to be worn here, but he had no choice. He looked down at her.

    She was a frail human female in her late teens wearing a tattered tunic full of dark cave dust. Her long blonde hair strayed in every direction and looked darker than it really was from the dirt embedded in the hairs. She was curled into a fetal position in the far corner of the cell. She ignored the flat metal bed that the cell provided. Proof of recent torture had shown on her arms and legs.

    Holst smiled. “Good morning. I trust you had a good night’s sleep. On the floor.” No reply. “You’re not very talkative. You haven’t been for the past few weeks. No matter. I will still get my answers. One way or another.” He started to pace back and forth in front of her. “You haven’t said a word since you were caught. That will change. As will your diet here. You really don’t need all that food. And if you continue your silence, you won’t need food at all. Of course, if you do cooperate and give me answers, then you’ll have a four-course meal.”

    He stopped pacing and bent down to speak to her. “You see, my dear, cooperation is a two-way street. You give me something I need and I give you something back. So! Let’s begin again, shall we? What do we know about you so far? Your name? No. We know you were caught sending a sub-space message, so you are tech savvy. What else do we know? Are you part of the laborers who escaped deep into the caves a few months ago? Perhaps.

    “Now, I will divulge into what we found out just from the message you sent. It was too late to stop the transmission, so it went through. To the Resistance. The receiving codes of where it was sent were encrypted, of course. We can’t know where the Resistance is, can we? What about the subject of the message, you ask? I shall tell you. It was to let them know that there is one among you that is Force sensitive. I mean, that would be sweet. The new Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren, happens to be hunting that same type. I’m sure he would be very interested in meeting this person.”

    The girl finally moved her position. Holst brightened his expression until she backed up to sit against the wall. She then grinned at him defiantly. She stayed silent.

    Holst stood straight and said, “Very well. Your actions here are clear. We’ll see how much smiling you do after your food is cut off. Water will eventually be the next essential item to go. Just know this. I will find your hidden traitors in those caves if I have to blast out every corner. And your Resistance pals? If they try to pay us a visit, I will be ready for them.” He edged even closer to her face. “And I will eliminate every one of them. Because nobody can outthink me. Your silence will be their doom. And I surely hope for your sake-”

    He was interrupted by his comlink that chirped. He gave a frustrated sigh and answered it. “What? I’m kind of busy here!”

    “Sir, a First Order shuttle just came out of hyperspace and they requested to land at the compound.”

    “What do they want?”

    “It’s a tech crew for the computer upgrades you asked for.”

    “Those were not scheduled until next month.”

    “I know, sir. I told them but someone higher up seems to have pushed up the timeline.”

    Holst growled. “Typical! First Order is always changing their plans. Especially when they don’t have a plan.” He gasped after realizing he said it on comm. He told the officer, “That was off the record, Commander.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “I’m serious. If any of what I just said gets back to me, I’ll know who leaked it. And I can make your life a living Hell if you do.”

    “Understood, sir.”

    “Now, does this shuttle have a proper authorization code?”

    “They do, sir.”

    “Very well. Authorization accepted. I may meet with them for an update later.”

    “Very good, sir.”

    “Dismissed.” He clicked the comm off without hearing the Commander's reply.

    Holst put the comlink away. He brushed through his balding hair with his hand. He readdressed the girl, who was still smiling. “Sorry for the interruption, my dear. Where were we? Oh, yes, your Resistance friends. I will know when they arrive. And they will pay for your mistake. Because nothing gets past Biran Holst.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter One coming sooner than you realize.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Ridley Solo likes this.
  2. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    And I have Chapter One ready below.

    What You Have Learned - Chapter One

    On board the stolen First Order shuttle, Hope’s Doom

    “Anything yet?” asked the impatient Finn.

    Rey sat cross-legged on the metal grated floor of the shuttle’s bay. She had been concentrating deep in the Force. She opened one eye at him and sighed. “Of course not. I keep getting interrupted by a former stormtrooper. In answer to your question, though, I can feel...someone. It’s faint, but they’re somewhere in the caves.”

    “You can’t pinpoint an exact location?”

    She opened both her eyes to look at him with unbelief. “You still don’t know how the Force works, do you?”

    “Well, I...uh...not really. Hey, you could teach me in one of your future classes.”

    “Oh, sure. What’s the prerequisite to attend those classes? That’s right, the ability to actually use the Force.”

    “I’ve fought with a lightsaber. You’ve seen me.”

    “Yes, and you almost had your spine severed by one in the process. So, not the same.” She stood up and glanced towards the entrance to the main area of the shuttle. “Is Adan ready?”

    Almost as if on cue, Captain Adan Krun entered the area. He had ditched his usual vest and shirt of a pilot and now wore the gray uniform of a First Order Systems Technician. He gave a sigh. “Please tell me I don’t have to be in this for too long.”

    “Hopefully not,” replied Rey.

    “Really? I just overheard you tell Finn that you can’t get a location of the Force user we’re looking for.”

    “Don’t worry. Once I’m closer I can lock in a more definite location. Who knows, maybe whomever it is may detect me first and try to contact me.”

    “They can do that?” asked Adan.

    “In the Force, yes. We can feel each other. And once we do make contact, we’ll contact you.”

    “Meanwhile, I have to act as a Tech Officer.”

    Finn said, “I’ve already set up the data discs over there that will act as an upgrade. They use a redundant system that uses binary codes and all those discs will do is rearrange the codes around. It will look like it’s upgrading but it’s only for show.”

    “As long as another tech doesn’t come by and asks questions.”

    “Shouldn’t be. Small operation like this one, the management turns a blind eye to technical upgrades. Some don’t even check on the tech when they’re working. But in the case that they do, you were a soldier. I’m sure you can improvise,” Finn said.

    “Great. I can just see a HoloNet Drama Award for Best Actor in my future.”

    Finn chuckled, but his expression turned to concern. He noticed something on Adan’s uniform. He reached for the ranking pin on Adan’s right chest and took it off.

    “Ow. What are you doing?”

    Finn explained as he reattached the pin on the left side, “First Order ranking pins are always on the left side. Details.”

    Rey appeared with her pack and asked, “Are we ready? A landing party will be coming soon.”

    Finn grabbed his gear and replied, “Yeah, let’s do this.” He turned to Adan and asked, “You gonna be all right?”

    “Sure. If anything goes wrong I can always blast my out of anything.”

    Rey smiled and gave Finn a knowing look. “Who does that sound like?”

    Finn nodded and asked Adan, “You sure you aren’t part Solo?”

    The Captain scoffed. “I wish. Now get out of here before they see you.”

    Rey and Finn grabbed their bags and went down the ramp of the shuttle. The landing platform was void of guards, which was strange to Rey. “Where is everyone?”

    “Oh, so you want to have guards recognize the two of us? Two faces that are on alerts of every HoloNet security faction in the galaxy?”

    “Let’s not exaggerate.”

    “I’m not. And neither are they.” Finn nodded towards something ahead of them. Two compound guards were headed straight for the shuttle. Rey saw them and quickly acted. She grabbed Finn by the arm and pulled him away out of sight of the guards. She hid the both of them behind a large storage bin. They could see the guards approaching but it looked like something alerted them.

    Finn cursed. “Guess I’ll have to get used to you grabbing me in a chase now.” He nodded to the guards. “Maybe they didn’t see us.” The guards stopped and started looking around. “Ah, too late. We were too close. They heard us.”

    “Maybe they can hear something else.” Rey concentrated in the Force. The guards were close enough to them to hear one of them say, “What was that?”

    The other guard looked around but eventually said, “Ah, it’s nothing. Come on, we have to see this tech. We have a schedule to keep.” The other guard nodded and they both proceeded to the shuttle. Neither guard saw them behind the bin.

    “All right, we’re clear,” said Rey. “Let’s get to those caves. I can feel that potential in the Force stronger out here.”

    They started to hike south of the landing platform as the sky was starting to get darker from dusk approaching. Rey turned on her light bar that was attached to the collar of her vest. Finn did the same for his. They cleared further away from the platform and were on a medium grade slope. They walked several meters until they came to an open area in the large darkened rock formation. The opening was small and low so they had to crouch under the rock to enter the cave. Once they were in, the ceiling of the cave was much higher so they could stand. Rey turned her body around in order to light the way around the cave. She found a worn path in one direction.

    “Look, Finn, the trail starts here.”

    “Yeah. Well, ladies first.”

    She scoffed and said dripping with sarcasm, “You’re such a gentleman.”

    They eased their way through the cave via the trail. Along the way, the trail started to thin and their lights could tell them why. They were on a narrow ridge where the right side dipped downward at a very steep angle. It was very nearly a cliff. They slowed their pace as they walked the edge.

    “Wonder how deep that goes,” said Finn, his voice echoing through the vast walls of the cave.

    “Let’s not find out,” she replied.

    The trail widened and the abyss was gone. They could walk normally now. After several minutes, Finn stopped to sit on a rock outcropping. He was breathless. “Rey...I have to stop...for a moment.”

    Rey came back to stand in front of him since she was so far ahead. She smirked and said, “What happened to that stormtrooper stamina?”

    Former stormtrooper. And our training never included cave diving.”

    “You do know we’re not technically cave diving.”

    “Not yet. Who knows how steep this place goes down.” He reached into his bag and found a ration bar that he tore into and started eating.

    In turn, Rey took out her thermos and took quick sips of water. It was something she learned to do on the hot sandy surface of Jakku. Which reminded her of something. “Wait. Didn’t you once walk across the Jakku desert for miles?”

    “Yes, but that was flat sand not rocky up and down terrain. At least it’s cool in here.” He paused before he asked, “What’s the latest update on our Force user location?”

    She closed her eyes to feel the same presence in the Force. She opened them and replied, “They’re definitely closer in here. Stronger feel in the Force. We’re heading in the correct direction.”

    “Good to hear. Say, since we finally have a quiet moment alone, I wanted to ask you something.”

    “Finn, you had the whole trip on the shuttle to ask.”

    “I do believe I said alone. We didn’t have that with Captain Adan there. Not that I don’t trust him. Being a soldier he may not understand.”

    “What’s your question, Finn?”

    “We’ve spent the last standard year looking for and then meeting with those who have Force potential in the galaxy. General Solo and you started it before that and you’re just now restarting it.”

    Her voice had an edge. “You were fully aware that I had been searching for the truth about my parents.”

    “And how did that turn out for you? Anything really that different from what you already knew?”

    She hesitated but said, “Somewhat. Look, Finn, I had to stop our search, especially after Leia died. I couldn’t bring myself to continue it. But my search for my parents ended almost as soon as it began. That search is over, as you know.”

    “I know. But that wasn’t part of my question. You’ve found, what, some forty people and aliens who have Force potential?”

    “Forty-one. And a possible forty-two soon. And those are all the ones who have accepted our offer. Mostly they’re young teens and adults. The older ones we found already had families. They couldn’t leave them for a life of adventure that late in their lives.”

    “That’s understandable. So, are you shooting for a specific number before you start teaching Jedi 101?”

    She frowned. “It’s not that simple, Finn. There’s tons of preparation before I even begin lessons.”

    “I think you just said the one word that’s really holding you back. I. Rey, now that Leia is gone, you are trying to do this Jedi thing all by yourself.”

    Rey shot back. “You don’t understand, Finn. I have to teach them what it means to be a Jedi. Why? Because I’m the only one left. Me. Alone. After Leia passed, I’m the only Jedi.” She paused as she squinted her eyes. “Sort of.”

    Finn replied, “And you can never understand that you are not alone. Not anymore.”

    She finally sat down next to him on the outcropping. She uttered, “I know that. It’s just that the pressure of teaching them in the ways of the Force is scaring me.”

    “As it would most people in your position.”

    “And that’s the problem, Finn. I am the first one in Jedi history to be in this position.”

    “Rey, I’ve seen you reading those Jedi books you got from Luke Skywalker. Surely, those can help you.”

    “They are a great help. They’re about the only thing that is. I’ve learned so much about the Force in such a short time. I’m still learning and I have to teach a group on how to use their powers in a certain manner. I don’t know where to start.”

    “Rey, I’ve seen you fix a hyperdrive by taking out the compression coils. Something no one else thought of. Not even an experienced pilot like Han Solo thought of that. I know you, Rey. You won’t stop until you find a solution, even if it’s unconventional. These Jedi lessons shouldn’t be any different. You’ll find a way. You always do.”

    As Rey was about to express her gratitude, they both heard a peculiar sound. A clicking sound.

    “What is that?” Finn asked.

    Rey moved her shoulder to shine her light on the ground. Crawling on the rock trail were several black insects that were coming straight for them. They were a few inches long each with pinchers in front. Rey answered him casually, “Oh, those are cave beetles. They’re harmless.”

    “Harmless? Are those pinchers supposed to be harmless? Wait.” Finn began to notice something. “They’re only coming to me. And ignoring you.”

    “Huh. You’re right.”

    “Why are they coming to me?”

    “Maybe they like you.”

    “Seriously?”

    “And you are the one holding actual food.” She stood up and said, “I do feel their presence in the Force. They seem to be afraid of me.”

    “Yeah? Well, I have a blaster.” He shouted down at the insects. “And I will use it with no regrets!”

    “Or you could get up and start walking. They don’t move too fast so they may have trouble catching up to you.”

    Finn did get up and grab his pack in one quick motion. He started backing up and distancing himself from the beetles. “Let’s go.”

    Rey grabbed her pack and followed Finn back on the trail.

    After a few minutes of walking, Finn stopped and asked, “Wait. You said you can feel those insects in the Force? What if those are the things you’re tracking?”

    She looked at him and shook her head. “Maybe you should take my Force 101 class when I have it. The presence I felt is very much human. And why would the laborers risk sending that message to the Resistance for Force potential beetles?”

    “I guess you have a point. How is that Force tracking going?”

    “Straight ahead. It’s getting stronger.”

    They continued to walk the trail. After several minutes, the ground started to level and the rocky terrain turned to soil. They came across a wide clearing that was lined with a rock wall. In one spot on the ground there was what once looked like a former campfire and shelter.

    Rey shone her light on the area. “Someone was camping here.” She felt the air above it with the palm of her hand and noted, “Not long ago.”

    “Only one?”

    Rey looked around at the soil surrounding the area. “There’s two sets of footprints.”

    They suddenly heard a creaking noise from beyond the opposite wall. Finn held a hand on his blaster. Rey brought up a hand to signal that she would investigate alone. As she reached closer to the wall, she noticed there was an open passage that led to the trail they were on. She grabbed her lightsaber and continued with caution. She entered the opening.

    A flash of blue-white light came down upon her, slashing the air with a familiar sound. She quickly backed away and ignited her own amber-colored lightsaber. Out of the opening came a male figure. He had dark scruffy hair and a medium build. His loose shirt and pants were covered in cave dust. He looked to be in his mid-twenties. He wore a look of scorn that matched the manner in which he was holding his lightsaber.

    He finally spoke in a guttural, deep voice. “Excellent reflexes. For a Jedi.” He spat the title.

    “Technically, I’m not a Jedi. Yet. Who are you?”

    Instead of answering, he instead cried, “You’re not taking her.”

    “Who?”

    “I’ve heard you both here in the caves. You’re looking for Force users to take them away!”

    Rey explained, “We are doing nothing of the sort. Now, please, tell me about her.”

    As a reply, he greeted her with a hard swinging strike from above. She parried easily. He then attempted a medium arc aimed at her waist. She simply side-stepped away as he swung at air. She tried a backhanded swipe at his back. He turned just in time to block it. He made several quick jabs that she met with blocks of her own. His expression showed obvious confusion.

    “Who are you?” he asked.

    “My name is Rey. And I’m not your enemy.”

    “Jedi or not, you are not taking her away from me.”

    “I’m not taking–” He tried another high swipe but she blocked it in mid arc. “–anyone!” Her initial thought while dueling this man was that she could read him in the Force to anticipate his next move. But it felt that her instinct was too easily achieved. Was she only reading his feelings in the Force? She concentrated on him in the Force. Other than his presence, there was nothing else. Add in his pleas of not taking her away, and she understood.

    She immediately shut down her lightsaber and merely stood before him calmly.

    Finn cried out first. “Rey, what are you doing?”

    “Trust me.”

    “I’ve heard that before.”

    “I’m not talking to you, Finn. I’m telling our new guest to trust me. I am not here to fight you.”

    “That will lead to your defeat.” He lunged at her with a jab that she simply side-stepped without the blade hitting her. He turned to swing at mid-level again and she ducked down to avoid it.

    Finn called out to the man, “You sure it will be her defeat?”

    “Finn, not now.” She backed up until she hit the rock wall. The man mistakenly believed she was trapped with nowhere to escape. He grinned wide as he lunged again toward her. At the last moment, she jumped quickly into a summersault over the blade and him to land on his opposite side. His momentum took him into the rock wall and his lightsaber dug deep into it. The sudden stop of the blade made him fall to the ground. He was breathless from the fight but Rey was calm.

    She then used the Force to call his lightsaber out of the rock and into her hand. She extinguished it. She looked it over. “Impressive design. I knew of one similar to this one. And it used the same color crystal. But you didn’t make it, did you?”

    “It was my grandfather’s,” he snapped. “Now give it back!”

    She handed him back the weapon and asked him, “How did I defeat you?”

    “You lied. You are a Jedi.”

    She shook her head. “No. I didn’t lie. There are no more Jedi. Yet, how did I defeat you? Simple. I used the Force. Your technique is good. But that’s all you could use.” She tilted her head and stated, “You have no Force ability. Otherwise, you would have anticipated my moves even without my weapon by sensing them.”

    “Wait,” added Finn, “he’s not the Force user we’ve been looking for?”

    “No.”

    “But you said the Force was stronger here.”

    “It was.” She motioned to the lightsaber. “It’s in there. The Kaiburr crystal inside of it gives off immense Force energy. I have the same crystal in mine but a different color.” She edged closer to the man. She smiled and stated softly, “You’re afraid. Don’t be.”

    “Get out of my head!” the man cried.

    “See, that’s a misconception with people who can use the Force. I can’t read your mind. I read your emotions. And I can tell there’s something you’re not telling us.”

    Finn remarked, “He hasn’t told us anything yet.”

    She ignored him and asked the man, “Did you send the message about the Force user to the Resistance?”

    The man’s eyes went wide. “How did you know about that?”

    “Well, I didn’t. Until you just proved it. We are from the Resistance. And as I said, I am not taking anyone away against their will. I allow them to choose. You understand?”

    He nodded.

    Rey perked up and said cheerfully, “Excellent. Now, you know our names. What’s yours?”

    The man was hesitant but stated, “Jerrex Kestal.”

    “Jerrex,” began Rey, “glad to make your acquaintance. So, who is this her you kept referring to? I assume she is the Force user. I can still sense a human presence close by and the Force is strong with it.”

    Jerrex nodded and answered, “She’s my sister.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


     
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  3. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Great start! Enjoying Finn and Rey's banter. They are so sweet together.
    Also in the cave as Finn is eating his rations. The bugs made me smile.
    Ha ha!
    I have a feeling they are going to give Biran Holst a run for his money.
     
    madman007 likes this.
  4. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Hey, NobodyIX, thanks for reading. I try to have a playful friendship feeling between Rey and Finn. Always keeping that "will they or won't they get together" vibe at bay.

    The bugs were included just because it's a cave and there will be other creatures inside a cave or elsewhere besides human. People tend to forget that when writing.

    Oh, there will be others besides Rey and Finn who will disturb Holst's compound!

    I'm writing the next chapter now, so....soon-ish!
     
  5. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Looking forward to it! :D
     
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  6. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Looking forward to it! :D
     
    madman007 likes this.
  7. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    So here's Chapter Two!

    Chapter Two


    Vapos Mining Compound - Computer room

    Shavit! thought Captain Adan Kurn as he typed in the incorrect command for the third time. He tried entering the codes in as Finn had instructed him to do but couldn’t get the hang of typing them. He wasn’t built for this work, he admitted to himself. He kept calm and retyped the command in slowly. Add to the fact that one of the guards who fetched him at the shuttle was literally over his shoulder watching him and brought more tension to Adan’s nerves. He had to make his mistakes look as if it were a technical problem.

    Soon after Rey and Finn left the shuttle, two guards showed at the shuttle’s ramp to say they had to escort him to the computer room for security reasons. Adan wasn’t surprised. Apparently, even a high First Order officer was subject to an escort. Adan grabbed the case that held the fake upgrade disc and he followed the men into the compound facility.

    Once he was inside, Adan noted the building being aged to rust colored walls and cracking foundations. Perhaps this was a facility that had been built during the days of the Emperor. The lighting was dim at best, which wasn’t comparative to most other First Order facilities he had been in. Then again, he had to remind himself that the First Order only owned the facility, not established it first hand.

    They reached the computer room through the simple series of hallways. One of the guards excused himself to his other duties while the remaining guard stayed. And watched his every move. Adan then began his feigning of work. It took him several minutes to get started. That wasn’t fake. He knew only a portion of tech from his experiences as a soldier. Not nearly enough for slicer level. He eventually reached the point to where he had to enter the command but failed. He finally typed them in correctly and the disc started. It looked like they were working to an untrained eye. All they were doing was exchanging codes into alternate positions. The guard didn’t seem to question it.

    Adan thought, I’m going to finish early and Rey will still be looking for her Force potential.

    Little did he know then that his quick timeframe was about to change.

    At some point after he entered the code, in walked a male in a similar uniform as his own. He spoke to the guard whim he dismissed. He was shorter but clean cut with slicked back dark hair. He addressed Adan after the guard left.

    “Greetings. I am Head Technician, Zoler Gren. Also an experienced slicer. Magistrate Holst wanted un update on our computer upgrade. I’m here to oversee your progress.”

    Adan’s nerves hit him as if he fell from a thousand meters onto a durasteel floor. Wonderful. So they don’t even check on the tech when they’re working, eh Finn? I’m going to strangle him later. Adan spoke quickly as to not raise suspicion. He reached out his hand to Gren, who shook it. “Glad to meet you. I’m First Order Technician, Commander Solari. As to your update, I just entered in the codes for your upgrade, so it will be several minutes to finish”

    “How long do you figure? A standard hour or so?”

    Adan scoffed. “With this system, probably be more like two hours. I tried entering the codes before and they kept freezing.”

    Gren laughed. “I’m not surprised. The nanos on this system are a joke. They hardly work past three terabytes.”

    “Three? There’s systems on Tatooine that are faster.”

    They both laughed. “You got that right,” Gren said. He then asked, “Are you using the 2.5 system on the upgrade?”

    “Yes, it’s the same redundant binary system they use on the Fortune’s Glory.”

    “Oh, what I wouldn’t give to work on the 2.5. I worked on the 2.2 at the Mrlsst Academy. It was sweet. What tech school did you go to?”

    Adan smiled. Not because he knew what to say, but because Finn told him this might come up. “Rigovian.”

    “Ah, so you’re a Rigo. Wanted to go there but couldn’t get in. What system did you work on there?”

    Adan frowned. That question was not anticipated by Finn. Adan remembered what Gren said and followed it forward. “Uh, the 2.3 system. Not as sleek as the 2.5, of course.”

    This time, Gren frowned. “I don’t think so, Commander. They never made the 2.3. They could never get it to work.”

    Adan’s nerves returned. He could always control them during a mission. He had previously conned Gren by letting him supply the information. Adan’s mistake was offering assumed information that was wrong. He tried to cover. He laughed. “Oh, I know. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.”

    “Of course.” Gren’s expression didn’t change. It also said he wasn’t buying Adan’s excuse. Further evidence of Gren’s growing mistrust showed when he asked Adan, “May I see the progress of your upgrade, Commander?”

    Adan got out of his seat and said, “Be my guest.”

    Gren now watched Adan more closely as he sat down and looked at the screen. He examined the screen for several minutes before asking, “What is this?”

    “The upgrade is still loading.”

    “This isn’t like any upgrade I know of. The primary and secondary binaries are switched” He glanced up at Adan. “Can you explain that?”

    Adan shrugged. “Effects of the download?”

    “Uh huh. You’re using the latest Fireball download?”

    “Of course.”

    Gren smiled. “There’s no such download. I made it up.”

    Shavit! Adan thought again. Time for Plan B.

    Gren demanded, “I want to see your identification, Commander.”

    “Oh, sure.” Adan reached around to the back of his waist to grab the hold out blaster he hid for instances like this. He pointed it at Gren. “Here’s my identification.”

    Gren’s satisfaction quickly turned to panic. “You’re not a First Order Commander, are you?”

    “What gave it away? Oh, yes, the blaster that’s pointed at you now. I’m no Commander, but I am a Captain.”

    “The First Order doesn’t have Captains. You must be from the Resistance.”

    “What, I can’t be working alone?”

    “No. Someone gave you the fake downloads. All so you could infiltrate the compound from inside. Problem was, you over improvised.”

    “Yeah, always been my problem. Now, hush before I hush you permanently.”

    “I’ll take my chances. If you were going to kill me you would have done it already.”

    Adan pointed the blaster closer to Gren. “You seem a bit confident. I could just be biding my time. Oh, and did I ever say kill? I’d just shoot where it won’t kill you. It may hurt a lot, though.”

    “Why are you here? Why go through this whole act with the fake uniform and downloads?”

    “It’s a project for my acting class. I have a fan club.”

    “Ah, so you aren’t alone. Where are your other actors? What’s their plan?”

    Adan squinted at him. Too many questions. Questions that may have others waiting for the answers. He said, “I’m not saying another word until you destroy that audio bug hidden on you.”

    Gren grinned wide. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    “All right,” replied Adan. “That’s way too much confidence.” Adan fired the blaster at Gren’s upper shoulder. Gren started to yell out in pain but Adan quickly placed his hand over Gren’s mouth. “Now, now, can’t have you screaming to attract attention. That was the lowest setting and the wound is a mere first degree burn.” Gren kept on with a muffled scream. “I’m guessing you’ve never been shot before. Well, welcome to the club. Not so confident now, are you?” Gren frantically shook his head. “Yeah, well, that’s the problem with confidence. Always gets confused with cockiness.”

    He got into Gren’s face. He said softly, “Now, that bug? You remember where it is now?”

    Gren nodded his head and spoke in a muffled voice that Adan couldn’t understand. Gren moved his eyes down toward his right shoulder. Adan followed where Gren was looking. Adan used his hand to flip over the collar on Gren’s uniform. Underneath was a small mechanical device. Adan yanked it off and dropped it to the ground. He stepped on it. “All right. Now that we’re officially alone. Were you recording us the whole time?”

    Gren shook his head and tried to speak.

    “Oh, of course. Now, I’m going to remove my hand. If I hear anything resembling a scream, I’ll shoot you in the knee.” While Gren panicked, Adan took his hand away. Other than Gren’s heavy breathing, he was silent.

    “There,” Adan said, “nice and quiet. Good thing my blaster has a husher so no one could hear it. In case you were wondering. Now, did you set off any other alarms that I don’t know of?”

    “No,” Gren answered nervously.

    “Very good. Now, you seem to think I’m from the Resistance. Any particular reason why?”

    “Because...he knows they will be coming.”

    “He? Magistrate Holst?” Gren nodded. “Why does he think the Resistance will be coming here?”

    “The message about the Force user to the Resistance was intercepted. They caught the girl who sent it.”

    Adan knew about the message, of course, but he didn’t know who sent it. He feigned ignorance. “Is that so? Where is she now?”

    Gren shook his head in defiance. “No. He’ll kill me. You don’t know what he’s like.”

    Adan edged closer and placed the blaster on Gren’s knee. “You don’t know what I’m like. He may kill you and it’s over. I can shoot you and make the pain last.”

    “So will he,” replied Gren while whimpering.

    Adan pressed the muzzle of the blaster harder into the knee. “Where is the girl?”

    Now fully crying, Gren hesitated before he said, “Detention block.”

    “Who is she?”

    “We’re not certain. Young girl. Maybe 16 or 17 years old. She may be part of a group of workers who escaped into the caves a month ago. They still haven’t been found. She snuck inside the compound and sent the message herself. The message was sent before she was caught. She protected it with a powerful encrypt. Smart girl for her age. I retrieved the subject of the message. If I had more time I could have sliced it to stop it, but it was too late. I was too late. I tried to impress Magistrate Holst but I failed.”

    Adan took the blaster away from Gren’s knee. “All right, we’re getting too personal here. This Holst seems like a piece of work. Let me guess. He’s interrogating her now.”

    Gren nodded. “Whatever he calls interrogating, others call torture.”

    Adan scoffed. “Holst would have fit nicely with the Imperials during the Empire.” Adan stood up but stayed in front of Gren. “So, I thank you for your cooperation, Zoler Gren. You’ve been a great help.” He pointed the blaster back on him. “Guess you know what has to happen now.”

    Gren’s whimpering returned. “What? No!”

    “Can’t have you blabbing my secret all over.”

    “No! I won’t tell!”

    “And we both know what the only way is to guarantee that.”

    Amidst his babbling, Gren snapped, “You’re just like him! Just another monster!”

    The silent shot from the blaster hit him in the chest. Gren instantly slumped over in the chair. Adan turned the chair around so Gren would look like he was working at the computer. Or at least asleep at the computer. Poor guy. All tuckered out from all his work.

    Adan reached for his comlink and switched the contact method to encrypt. It wasn’t safe to verbally sent a message in the compound. He started the encoded message to Rey. Situation changed. Compromised by experienced slicer. Will yell at Finn later. Tech has been dealt with. Tech gave data on girl who sent message. She has been detained and interrogated. Will proceed to contact and attempt to rescue or obtain more data on Force user. Update when possible. Adan out.

    He shut off the comlink. He had to move. He couldn’t wait around for her to reply. She will once she could. Before he was about to leave the room, he took his hold out blaster and switched the mode off of stun. He placed it back to his hiding place behind his waist.

    He turned a glance toward the unconscious Gren. “See, not much of a monster, am I Gren?” He opened the door and left the computer room.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Magistrate Holst’s private quarters

    The alert that told him that there was someone at his door came just as he was about to put a morsel of delicious grilled ronto into his mouth. Instead, Holst was forced to yell out, “Yes? Come in!” He shoved the piece of meat in his mouth and chewed it vigorously.

    The door slid open and in marched the Director of Operations, Isan Feskin. He gave Holst a blank expression. Holst loved Feskin’s manner being a former officer in the First Order. His personality was a bit bland for Holst’s tastes. Only Feskin would have the nerve to interrupt him during his dinner.

    Feskin spoke quick and to the point. “Sir, we have a situation. The head tech and slicer you sent to check up on the upgrade was found unconscious in the computer room. The upgrade discs were still in the system but they are allegedly fakes.”

    “Allegedly?” Holst whined.

    “We are in the process of conducting research into the validity of the discs.”

    After Holst shoved a fork full of new potatoes in his mouth, he asked while chewing, “Where is the First Order officer who was allegedly in charge of the upgrade?”

    “He is unaccounted for, sir. I have men in pursuit of the Officer’s whereabouts.”

    Holst took a napkin to his lips and then said, “I think we can dispense with calling him an officer.”

    Director Feskin replied sharply, “I will do so when that information is verified.”

    “Verified? Verified? What is your purpose here, Director?”

    Feskin was confused but answered, “I merely needed to inform you of our situation.”

    Holst abruptly stood up, almost knocking over his plate and wine. “No! You interrupted my dinner to give me information of events that I knew would happen anyway!”

    “Sir?”

    “I knew this would happen. The so-called Officer is from the Resistance. And he’s here to find that Force user.”

    “Sir, we cannot confirm-”

    “We don’t need to confirm anything. Nothing gets past me.”

    “Sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you did allow him to land.”

    Holst sat back down. “Yes, with a proper First Order identification code. I’ll give him that. Which also means there is a traitor somewhere in the high ranks. But we have other matters to deal with here.” He popped a piece of rubi fruit into his mouth and chewed. He asked Feskin, “How many stormtroopers will assist us in this situation?”

    “If the situation is urgent enough, we can request a squadron. Perhaps even a platoon.”

    “Very well. Proceed with the request. It’s high time we used professional soldiers to locate our Force using friend and our fake officer.”

    “Sir, I believe we have the task in hand.”

    “Do you, now? Did we find the missing workers from last month?”

    “Sir, we have searched deep in those caves, and-”

    “Not deep enough!” Holst shouted. “The mercenaries I paid for as guards are using a damn water stick and aged blasters to find a group of workers. Like I said, it’s time we get stormtroopers down there with scanners to find them. I think this Force user and this girl we caught sending a message about him are connected.”

    “What about the missing Officer?”

    “Continue your search. Post guards at his shuttle in case he decides to leave.”

    “Sir, if I may, perhaps he is not alone.”

    Holst thought a moment and shook his head. “No, he’s alone. He wouldn’t risk bringing others on this. Besides, the guards who fetched him didn’t see anyone else in the shuttle.”

    “Well, sir, I have heard over the years that some Jedi can manipulate others into seeing things that aren’t there.”

    Holst laughed. “You don’t seriously believe in that? The Jedi magic? More like fairy tales. Trumped up to scare us, like the traitors they were in the Old Republic. Besides, both Skywalkers are dead. There are no more Jedi.”

    Feskin looked as though he wanted to add something but could not.

    “Are you disagreeing with me, Director?”

    “No, sir. It’s just that there are rumors that a possible Jedi is working with the Resistance. Our new Supreme Leader also has Force powers.”

    “Probably. I never believed in the Jedi religion. Or the Sith, for that matter.”

    “Was not the Emperor Palpatine part of the Sith? As was his right hand man, Darth Vader.”

    “Pure propaganda, Director. Don’t believe everything you read in the history books. History is written by the winners. The losers are the ones who can only read about their failures. By the way, what are you suggesting with all this Jedi and Sith gibberish?”

    “I’m suggesting that perhaps the First Order tech brought this new Jedi along with him. It would make finding the Force user here easier.”

    Holst slammed down his fork with a loud clang and leaned on the table. He shouted, “Now, you listen to me, Director Feskin! I am not going to have people I oversee to defy me. I already told you the alleged Tech Officer is alone. I am the magistrate here. My word is final. Don’t ever contradict me again. If you do, you will find yourself as Director of Sanitation . We’ve already lost a whole group of workers that delayed our production of zinite. We have this crazy girl notifying the Resistance of a mysterious Force user here. I am not going to have the morons around me to fail more than twice in a month! So...you will do as I say and do not go against me again. Now get that kriffing request to get stormtroopers here to fix your problems. Have them search every inch of those caves and bring me the fake Officer to me! That is an order, Director. And you don’t have to wait for that to be verified first. Do you understand?”

    “Yes, sir. We will find them both.”

    “Director, you forgot to add ‘if it’s the last thing I do’. Say it!”

    “We will find them if it’s the last thing I do.”

    Holst sat back down and was more calm. Yet he stated coldly, “Good. Because if you fail, it may very well be the last thing you do.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 3 will be on its way soon!
     
  8. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Well done, that was a nail biter with Adan getting caught by an experienced slicer.

    Haha! I enjoyed the banter between the two and glad Adan has more information about the girl who sent the intel.

    Holst's overconfidence is going to get him in trouble. Great set up and excellent writing!
     
    madman007 likes this.
  9. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    And behold it is Chapter 3. It is a bit long, but excellent. If I do say so myself. And I do! Rey is slowly getting the hang of realizing how she can teach the new Jedi and what she can teach them. So, enjoy and review as you see fit.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter Three


    Rey knew from her life on Jakku that trust goes both ways. Especially with a stranger who had just attacked with a weapon that happens to be a lightsaber. Yet, there was no Force power behind the attack. Jerrex Kestal knew lightsaber dueling techniques. But a Jedi used the Force in conjunction with the lightsaber. He could not use the Force. His claim of being a Jedi was only on the surface.

    Rey had told Jerrex that she couldn’t read minds. That wasn’t exactly true. She could extract his mind of memories. Her first experience in doing so was when Kylo Ren saw into her mind and pulled her memories out as if he were pulling teeth. She saw into his in return. She has pried memories from people since then. She wanted more detailed information about her parents - at any cost. She had since learned that the power itself was dark. A Sith power. She had also learned that she already had a new family who cared about her and watched after her. She could understand the mistrust that Jerrex was feeling now, despite his casual facade he was showing on the surface.

    She watched while Finn questioned Jerrex. He retrieved the basic data. Age: 22. Born on Vapos. Mother and father dead. Forced to work in the zinite mines with his sister in their early ages. But when Finn asked Jerrex why he had attacked them, Jerrex stayed silent.

    Finn asked again. When he received the same silence, Finn became frustrated. “Oh, so that’s how you’re playing this? The silent act? And it’s only on the one question. Why did you attack us?”

    “I don’t have to answer that,” replied Jerrex.

    Finn got close to his face. “Oh, yes you will. You know why? I won’t be responsible for what I do to you if you don’t.”

    “Well, that’s comforting,” Jerrex said casually. “Good way to motivate someone.”

    Rey walked up to Finn and asked, “Can I talk to you a moment in private?”

    “Uh, sure.”

    Jerrex said, “She’s probably going to critique you on your extraction techniques. May need some work.”

    Finn ignored his remark and followed Rey to the opposite end of the cave clearing. He whispered to her. “What are you doing? I’m getting information from him.”

    “Really?” Her voice equaled his volume. “Looked more like an interrogation. You’re acting like a stormtrooper.”

    “Hey, I never interrogated anyone as a stormtrooper.”

    “And it shows. You’re not good at it. He obviously doesn’t want to answer the question. He’s scared and he doesn’t trust us. And you’re making it worse, Finn.” Ignoring his look of disdain, she said, “This isn’t the way. You can’t force answers out of someone who’s afraid.”

    Finn gave her a smug look. “You’ve done it before.”

    She shut her eyes for a few seconds and then said, “That was different.”

    “How?”

    “I admitted it was wrong. It was done out of desperation. We’re not at that level.”

    “Yet.”

    “Never. Look, Finn, he is fearful of the Jedi. He’s afraid we will take his sister away. In the Old Republic, the Jedi Council would take younglings who displayed Force potential and train them to be Jedi Knights. They took them away from their families without question.”

    “That’s kind of cruel.”

    “I agree. But someone has told Jerrex that it could still happen.”

    Finn nodded as he repeated Jerrex’s words. “‘You’re not taking her’. We wouldn’t do that.”

    “He doesn’t know that. We have to gain his trust enough so that he does. And here you are treating him like a criminal.”

    “I was not.” After a pause, Finn admitted, “Ok, a little. I didn’t mean to.”

    “I know. You just have to use a more delicate manner.”

    “Delicate is your area.”

    She nodded toward Jerrex and smiled. “Then let me try.”

    “Be my guest.”

    She went over to Jerrex and sat down beside him on the rock outcropping. She chose a soft tone to speak to him. “I apologize for Finn.”

    “You don’t have to apologize for a stormtrooper.”

    Finn cried, “Former stormtrooper. How did-”

    “I can hear well.” He looked at Rey. “And I’m not afraid.”

    “You may not be afraid for yourself. But you’re afraid for your sister.” When he didn’t reply, she asked, “What is her name?”

    Jerrex hesitated and replied, “Tya.”

    “How old is she?”

    “She just turned fourteen.”

    “And she can use the Force?”

    He hesitated again before saying, “Yes, but she doesn’t like using her powers if she can help it.”

    “”Why not?”

    He snapped, “Because it makes her look like a freak. All right?” He stood up abruptly and stormed off.

    Rey cried, “Jerrex, wait.” She stood and came up behind him. “Wait.” Rey suddenly thought to herself, This is it - my first lesson alone. Leia would be the one to express assurance in their past missions. She was no longer there. It was all Rey, now. She gulped before saying to Jerrex, “Look, I know this may sound like a cliché, but I really do know how you feel. With or without using the Force. About two years ago, I never knew I had any Force ability. If I had known, I would have escaped Jakku long ago.”

    Jerrex turned to face her. “Jakku? As in the Battle Of Jakku? The last battle before the Empire surrendered.”

    “You know your history.”

    “I’ve been told a thing or two. And you lived and survived in the deserts of Jakku?”

    “All my life. I scavenged the old Star Destroyers and AT-ATs that crashed there long ago. And I survived without using the Force.” She stepped toward him closer. “When I suddenly found these powers I had the whole time, I was afraid and confused. I thought I was a freak, too. But I’ve grown to accept my abilities. I’ve learned from them. I’ve even met Luke Skywalker.”

    His head perked up. “You met the Master Luke Skywalker? What was he like?”

    Rey squinted. “Not what I expected, exactly. But no less inspiring. I was able to obtain the ancient Jedi texts and journals written thousands of years ago. I’ve learned so much about the Force and the Jedi from reading them. There is so much more. Over the past standard year, I have gone across the galaxy to find those who possess the power to use the Force. I invite them to share in the knowledge of the Force. And I intend to do the same with your sister.”

    “How can I trust you?”

    “Jerrex, as we stated before, we will not force your sister to join us. That will be her choice. My only job here is to give her that choice. I’m sure it’s one that she has never been offered before.”

    After a long moment, Jerrex finally said, “All right. I’ll take you to her. But where I’m taking you has to be a secret. We’re well hidden.”

    “We?” asked Finn.

    Jerrex nodded. “A group of about twenty miners, me and my sister included, escaped from the guards several weeks ago. We’ve set up camp deep in the caves here ever since. The guards have never found us. It can’t get out or we’re done. Understand?”

    “Agreed,” said Rey.

    “Yeah, we’ve been known to keep a secret or two,” said Finn before getting a raised eyebrow from Rey.

    “Fine.” Jerrex nodded in the direction behind him. “This way.”

    Jerrex began in that direction as Finn noted to Rey, “Good speech.”

    “Thanks. My first.”

    “Uh, huh. It’s the same as Leia’s from all those missions with her, right?”

    “Pretty much. Let’s go.”


    Along the way as they followed Jerrex, Rey started to ask him questions about his background. His grandfather was a Jedi Knight in the Old Republic. He fled once the Emperor and Darth Vader started hunting down Jedi. He ended up there on Vapos years before the First Order was even a thought. He lived in seclusion until love intervened and he met and married the woman who would become Jerrex and Tya’s grandmother. She died when Tya was a toddler. By the time their parents were married in the caves, the First Order came to power and owned the zinite mining facility. They treated their workers like slaves.

    Rey noted, “Your grandfather taught you lightsaber technique.”

    “Yes. Wish you could have met him. He told us stories about the Jedi of the Old Republic and the Force.”

    “But you never displayed any Force ability?”

    “None. Grandpa tried to give me tests the way they used to check but I failed every one.”

    “Jerrex, you didn’t fail them. You were trying to be something you weren’t destined to be. It wasn’t in your nature.”

    “I guess. Neither my mother or father could use the Force that way either. My father was more of an activist than a man of action. He refused to be taught lightsaber dueling. When I was of age, my grandfather handed his knowledge to me. Along with his lightsaber.”

    “What happened to him?” asked Finn.

    “He rocked too many starships while he was here. Same as my father and mother. The Magistrate’s minions took him away in the middle of the night. We never heard from him again.”

    “Dead?” Rey hesitated to ask.

    “Well, since he was in his nineties five years ago when they took him, I’d say that would be likely.”

    “What happened to your own parents?”

    Jerrex didn’t answer.

    “Jerrex,” Rey prodded.

    He sighed and replied, “A few years ago, a senior worker collapsed from exhaustion. Mom and dad tried to help him but the guards demanded they let him go. My parents refused and tried to fight back. The guard shot the man...and our parents...dead. And me and my sister watched.”

    A strange silence followed his words as if they were honoring his parents’ memory. Rey finally said, “Jerrex, that is horrible. I’m so sorry.”

    “Not your fault. You weren’t there.” He stopped on the trail and they heard a strange rumbling. “We’re here.”

    The trail veered hard to the left against a rock wall. It wrapped around a large pool of water. The rumbling was the result of a waterfall depositing its falling water from a ridge high above. As far as it could be seen, the trail led straight into the waterfall. A seemingly dead end.

    “Great,” cried Finn, “now what?”

    Jerrex stated, “We go through the waterfall.”

    Through the waterfall? And what if we fall into the pond?” Finn turned to Rey. “Do you even know how to swim?”

    “Actually, yes. I did on Ach-To and on Jakku. Sort of.”

    Finn crinkled his brow. “Uh...how did you swim on Jakku?”

    She shrugged. “I fell into the Sinking Fields once. Sand is not much different than water. Just a bit dryer.”

    Jerrex said, “You won’t have to swim. That pond is less than two meters deep.”

    “Again, there’s a waterfall in the way,” noted Finn.

    Jerrex smiled. “Our camp is on the other side.”

    Rey smiled at Finn. “You will get wet.”

    He ignored her and asked Jerrex, “How did you find it?”

    “Tya did. She kept telling us there was a wide area behind it.”

    Rey nodded in agreement. “Through the Force. I can feel a vast area of air behind it. I assume many didn’t believe her.”

    “You wouldn’t be wrong. The group that came with us trusted her but they still were skeptical about this.”

    “Not the first time adults underestimated children.”

    Finn said, “Well, no time like the present. Let’s go.”

    They each took their turn to follow the trail around the pond in single file. The trail was not wide enough for more than one at a time. They reached to the other side and proceeded to go under the waterfall. Water cascaded over them making them totally soaked on the opposite side. They took a moment to wipe off excess water. Rey squeezed her long hair in the back to wring out the water.

    He led them through a narrow passage that opened up to a vast area inside the cave. The rock cavern had to be a hundred meters high. Surrounding the area on the surface were various camps set up with tents and some had fires blazing for food, hot water, and illumination. People were scattering about performing different tasks. Some slowed their pace once they spotted Rey and Finn with Jerrex.

    He announced, “Welcome to our new home.”

    Rey cried, “Jerrex, this is amazing. You created all of this in a few weeks?”

    “It’s really not much. We control our own work here. Live our own lives together and not under magistrate rule. And as you’ve seen, we’re well hidden. Every week we venture out to hunt for food at night. Meat and vegetation. Some prefer food portions, which we took several bins of from the compound storage. Quicker for some, I guess.”

    Rey groaned. “Insta-bread food portions?”

    “Yes, are you familiar with them?”

    “Only all my life.”

    Jerrex cracked a smile. “This way.”

    They followed him until he stopped at specific tent that gave off a dull yellow glow from a lamp inside. Jerrex pulled open one end of the tent flap and allowed Rey and Finn to enter first. Inside was a basic set up of living quarters. Two mattresses were laid at opposite ends of the tent. A small table was set in the center where the glow lamp was placed. Standing at the table was a girl of average height, slender body, and long straight blonde hair. She was in the process of fixing a meal out of one of the insta-bread food portions. She froze as she saw Rey and Fin enter with her brother in tow.

    Immediately, Rey could feel the Force within the girl and it was strong. She could also feel her anxiety about the new guests. Rey considered that if she could sense the girl’s feelings in the Force, then the opposite was also true. Rey projected a feeling of assurance and ease within herself. She started to speak, but the girl was quicker.

    “You are a Jedi.” It was a statement, not a question.

    “Not exactly,” answered Rey.

    “But you do use the Force.”

    “Yes,” Rey said, almost too proudly.

    Instead of speaking again, the girl threw down the unused food portion and stormed past them. She eyed her brother before she left the tent.

    Rey raised an eyebrow, half believing the girl’s actions. “So, that happened.”

    Jerrex stated, “You’re not going to get to Tya that easily.”

    “What’s wrong with her?” Finn asked.

    Jerrex gave him a glance. “You mean other than the fact that she’s a teenager?”

    Finn nodded. “Good point.”

    “I’ll go after her,” Rey said.

    Jerrex tried to discourage her. “You don’t know this area. She has secret places she hides in here that I don’t even know where they are.”

    Rey smiled. “I can find her.”

    “How?”

    “Through the Force.”



    Rey did detect Tya’s presence in the Force immediately. She just had to pinpoint her exact location. She remembered a training technique that Leia used on her during many missions. While they were in transit through hyperspace, Leia would be in an undisclosed area of the cruiser. Leia would call Rey through the Force and test her to find out where she was. Rey never knew when these exercises would be. Sometimes they would be early in the morning while Rey was still asleep. It was frustrating then, but now it was endearing. Rey just missed her temporary teacher in the Force.

    Rey now applied that training in reverse as she scanned the camp both visibly and in the Force for Tya. She found an area on the opposite side of the cavern where the concentration of the Force was the strongest. She focused in and sure enough she found Tya beyond the rock wall. There weren’t many villagers out since most had gone to bed. Rey ventured over to the area. Once she reached the wall, she saw a narrow open wedge at the base of the wall. She had to crawl on the ground in order to enter. She reached to the other side in an alcove where she could stand up in. The warm light from a fire torch gave the small area a yellowish glow against the black stone. In the far corner was Tya crouched in a ball.

    Before Rey could address her, Tya sat up and snapped, “Thanks a lot! This used to be my private area. Not anymore. Guess I have to go with you now and say goodbye to my life.”

    “Stop!” Rey cried. “Really? Wow, you are a teenager.” She sat on the ground with her legs crossed and continued. “Now, if you’ll permit me, I can explain what I’m doing here. And what I’m not doing here. Hmm? What do you say? Can I have the floor?” Rey looked down and corrected, “Or the dirt in this case?”

    Tya cracked a smile but said nothing.

    “Perfect. First of all, my name is Rey. I followed your brother here to your camp. He told me your name is Tya.”

    “Yes. How did you and my brother meet?”

    “He sort of attacked me with his lightsaber.”

    Tya raised her eyebrows. “And you survived?”

    Rey lifted her tunic up at her waist to reveal her lightsaber. “I am also well armed. But I had something that your brother doesn’t. The Force.”

    “But I do. And you’re taking me away from him.”

    “No, Tya. I’m really not. Let me start by saying that I’m not a Jedi. At least, not yet. Up until two years ago I lived my life on Jakku. I was a scavenger there to survive. An incident made me leave Jakku and not long after that, I discovered that I had this power inside of me which had been awakened somehow. I was told it was the Force within me. I was scared. Same as you are now.”

    “I’m not scared,” Tya snapped.

    “Yes, you are. I can feel it. And I know why. It’s the reason why you stormed off before. You don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed.” Rey leaned closer and whispered, “You don’t know how to make insta-bread properly.”

    Tya chuckled and Rey smiled and they both broke into short laughter. Rey said, “Let me give you some advice. The trick is to use hot water. It makes the bread rise quicker and the bread softer.”

    “I can put the water in a pot over a fire. How did you get hot water on Jakku?”

    “Are you kidding? I just left a pail of water in the hot sand under the even hotter sun. It would be boiling by the end of the day.”

    They laughed again until Tya blurted, “Are you really not taking me away?”

    “No, I’m not.”

    “That’s not all true, is it? I can feel you masking something.”

    Rey nodded. “Very good. I’m not taking you with me if you decide not to.”

    “What makes you think I will?”

    Rey let out a breath before answering. “Jerrex said your grandfather told you about the Jedi of the Old Republic. He was a Jedi Knight himself. He sounds like a great man.”

    “He was.”

    “He showed you the ways of the Force.”

    “He showed me what he could. Before he was gone.”

    “What exactly did he tell you what the Force is?”

    “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us-”

    “-and penetrates us to bind the galaxy together. That’s the textbook version. Did he ever tell you what the Force actually is beyond an energy field?”

    “Uh...no. He said the Force is what the Jedi use for defense, never for attack.”

    “That still only explains what the Force does, not what it is. Think about it, Tya. Isn’t that rather vague?”

    “I...I’m not sure.”

    That’s why I’m here. To fill in the blanks of what the Force really is.” Rey paused. “And how the Jedi have been abusing it.”

    “Abusing?”

    Rey considered. “Maybe that’s too strong of a word. Look, Tya, I’m new at this. You’ve known you’ve had the ability to use the Force for much longer than I have. You must use them everyday.”

    “Not exactly,” Tya muttered. When Rey gave her a confusing expression, Tya said, “You were right before when you said I was scared. After grandpa died, there was no one else to teach me anymore. So I stopped using the Force if I could help it.”

    “Tya, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

    Tya started to become emotional. “It is when you’re forced to work in a mining compound.” She sniffed. “The Magistrate here is a monster.”

    “Is that why you and your group here escaped?”

    Tya looked down. “Partially. There was a rumor that got to us a while ago that the First Order has a new Supreme Leader. Kylo Ren.”

    “Yes, I know.”

    “It was said that he was searching the galaxy for those who can use the Force.”

    “Funny, that is our mission, too. What does that have to do with your escape?”

    “Other miners here knew I could use the Force. Not all of them wanted to keep it a secret. Some of them threatened to report me to the First Order. So my brother gathered those who supported me and wouldn’t turn me in. We escaped. I used the Force to distract the guards. I knew of this place for a long time. Many wouldn’t believe me.”

    “The ones who escaped with you did. The ones who are here now.”

    “Yes. After we disappeared, someone went into the compound to send a message to the Resistance. The fact that you’re here tells me that it worked.”

    Rey nodded. “Tya, I can teach you. But you can teach me, too. Each of us can be both student and teacher.”

    “What can you teach me?”

    And there it was. The question Rey had asked herself since she became the lone figure of future Jedi. What could she teach? She only had been using the Force for two years. Where would she begin? She found the words to say to Tya. She wasn’t sure if they were the correct ones for future Jedi. They were the correct ones for Tya Kestal at that moment.

    “I can teach you to use the Force and not be embarrassed about it. You’ve been shamed into not using it but you still have so much potential. Think about how you got here, Tya. It was you who led these people here to safety. They are here because of you and because they believe in you.”

    “I’m only one girl. What can I do against the whole Magistrate?”

    Rey remembered something she read in one of the Jedi journals. “There is a Jedi saying. Anyone who can create a spark can ignite a fire.”

    “What does that mean?”

    “How about I show you?” Rey smiled.

    Tya smiled back and said, “Agreed.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter Four will be coming soon!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  10. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Well, I have Chapter Four written. Is there anybody out there? Hidden among the readers who don't give feedback? That's all right. Don't really need it. I don't write to get reviews. The more new writers of fan fiction or anything realize that, the better they will be. So here is Chapter Four. Will be starting 5 soon, which will have much more Rey involved.

    Chapter Four

    Vapos Mining Compound

    Captain Adan became aware of the surroundings of the mining compound from simply walking through it. The layout seemed closer to a garrison bunker. No transparisteel windows and walls were made of permacrete. Halls were more narrow and corners were less frequent, meaning it was easier to move inside. Plus, there was only one floor. No upper levels. Simple layout. Militaristic. Adan doubted that the complex was designed originally for mining employees.

    He snuck around the halls avoiding the guards, who were not doing a good job at guarding. Their patterns were too repetitious. He didn't expect much from mercenaries paid at low cost with expectations of success too high. Adan hid in the alcoves of various doorways in between the passing of the guards. He memorized their routines of movement that made it easier for him to move in between them without being seen.

    He ditched the First Order uniform. Not only for inconspicuous purposes, but he also hated the material it was made of. Too scratchy and too hot. He reverted to his more comfortable pants and shirt-vest.

    Adan found his way to the detention area. It was guarded with four mercenaries with heavier firepower. He contemplated his plan of attack. He had the husher on his blaster, or he could try and take them by force. Both ways would produce four unconscious bodies. The fact that there were four guards diminished his ability to take them all out. Either way he couldn't afford security to be doubled. If he was to rescue this girl, he would need less exposure. He had to find another option.

    He quickly scanned the bottom of the walls for air duct grates. Detention cells were situated in a dead end corridor to prevent escapes. The cells also had to be installed with air ducts due to the design of the cells. Air had to circulate for the prisoners. Adan found one low on the wall. The problem was that it was on the wall across from him, in clear view of the guards. Adan uttered a curse while wondering another way past them.

    As luck would have it, the sound of several footsteps was approaching. Adan stayed in position in the doorway alcove and watched. A man with an expensive dress tunic walked in confidence in between two more guards flanking him. Adan's assumption as to the man's identity proved correct.

    One of the detention guards addressed him. "Magistrate Holst."

    "I wish to speak to the prisoner. Is she secure in the device?"

    "Yes, sir. Everything is prepared."

    "Excellent." He glanced at his own guards. "I want to be alone."

    "Yes, sir."

    Adan noticed the moment when all the guards were allowing the Magistrate in the cell, their backs were facing him. His window to move opened itself. Adan quickly moved across the hall and bent down to the air vent. He carefully opened the grate and entered the duct. He replaced the grate and continued to crouch along the duct. He passed by two other ducts on his right which would be connected to the first two cells. He reached the last grate on the end and looked through the grate.

    A blonde-haired girl was in the cell but she was restrained on an awkward looking metal bed. The contraption consisted of metal straps holding the girl down. Underneath was a metal reservoir tray that held water. The girl prisoner laid in the bed of water. Adan realized in horror what the device was.

    A hydroflash machine.

    The Imperials of old used to use the device to "rehabilitate" their prisoners. It was essentially a torture device. The metal rings that hold the prisoner down also could emit an electric charge. With water being a conductor of electricity, it would give the prisoner excruciating pain as they are nearly electrocuted. Who would be insane enough to use such an archaic method of torture on a young girl?

    His answer arrived in the cell alone. Holst stood over her and grinned proudly. "Hope you're comfortable."

    The girl sighed and spoke in a slight Coruscanti accent. "Why is it when people who torture prisoners always ask if they're comfortable?"

    "Trust me, you won't be soon. Do you know why you're here?"

    "Am I testing out your new mattress?"

    "Cute. No, you're here because I want you to be here."

    "I don't know where the Force user is."

    Holst nodded. "Interesting. Amazing what people will say in order to avoid pain. And darling, I know pain." He reached on a side panel of the device and turned a dial. Electricity flowed through the metal harness and then into the girl. She screamed in pain. He turned it down to zero.

    She panted her reply. "Is that...all you got?"

    "That was a small taste. You see, I no longer care if you know where the Force user is or not. That is being handled soon. I've requested assistance from the First Order. There will be a squad of stormtroopers here within a standard hour. They will find your Force user. And perhaps they will also find the escaped miners as well. Oh, and I've also alerted the new Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren, about the Force user here. You may or may not know that he is very interested in finding those with Force potential. Perhaps he will recruit your user as his new student."

    The girl snapped, "She will never join the First Order!" Immediately, she realized her mistake and gasped as a result.

    Holst grinned wide. "She? Very good, child. Always knew compassion ignites blind emotion. I'll be sure to pass that information along."

    "What if the Resistance gets to her first? I take it he's still on the loose."

    Holst feigned surprise. "For being a mute up until now, you're quite well informed."

    "You don't have to say much when you listen."

    Holst laughed. "I'll have to remember that one. As far as your Resistance friend is concerned, he will be dealt with soon."

    "You have all you want. Why the torture?"

    "Because I don't have all that I want. As I said, I want you here. You have caused me many problems. Naturally, I have to return the favor." He turned the dial again and the electricity surged through her. With each cry of her pain his grin grew wider. He let it on a few minutes longer than before and then turned it down. He told her, "No one beats me, child."

    Between breaths she uttered, "Is this...how you treat...all your girlfriends?"

    "No you're special. Unfortunately, I have an agenda to keep, so we will have to continue this later. Remember that pain now, dear. It will be so much more soon." He turned to leave and was about to exit before he said, "Perhaps your Resistance friend will join us by then." He disappeared.

    Adan already hated this man. The girl was young enough to be in her teens or just beyond. There was no purpose behind the torture. Just like the Imperials in the Empire. Now he had to rescue the girl. He also needed to warn Rey and Finn about the stormtroopers that were heading their way. Hopefully, they were in a secure location.

    First thing first. He looked through the grate of the air vent. It was several meters down to the floor on the cell. They wanted their prisoners to breath but not escape. He reached into his utility belt for a folding grapple and rope. He hooked it on the edge of the vent and opened the grate slowly to prevent too much sound. Keeping silent from the guards was a priority. It wasn't with the girl.

    "Hello?" she cried out.

    After Adan lowered himself on the rope to the floor of the cell, he motioned a hushing signal. He whispered, "I'm from the Resistance . I'm here to get you out of here." He went over to her and examined the hydroflash. "How do I get you out of this thing?"

    She said weakly, "There's a locking lever on the bottom end."

    "I see it." He released the lever and the metal straps sprang up to free her. He helped her sit up, water dripping from her raggedy clothes and blonde hair. She seemed weak but her will was strong. "Careful. Can you stand?"

    She swung her legs over the bed and placed her feet on the floor. Her knees buckled for a moment and she started to fall. Adan caught her in his arms. She looked up at Adan. "Hello! Are all the Resistance rescuers as cute as you?"

    "Not all. And before you start your crush on me I have to tell you that I'm very taken."

    "A pity. Technically, so am I."

    "Technically?"

    "Yes. We're together. He just doesn't know it yet."

    "Always hate those relationships. Captain Adan Kurn, by the way."

    "Geela Moryne. Glad to meet you. Wish it was under better circumstances."

    "Me too. Can you walk?"

    She started taking small steps forward that turned to regular steps. "Looks like I can." The water was still dripping and it trailed behind her where she walked.

    "Sorry, I have no towel."

    She shrugged. "I've had worse problems."

    "How are you at climbing?"

    She chuckled. "I've been climbing everything since I was ten. We'd better hurry. The guards check in on me every so often."

    "All right. Let's go. Quiet would be better."

    Geela proceeded to climb the rope to the open grate of the air duct. Adan followed behind her. They reached to the other side of the duct that led to the hallway. Geela started to remove the grate but Adan held her arm and mouthed the word to her, "Wait."

    Seconds after he warned her, a pair of guards marched by the grate through the corridor. Their footsteps receded in sound and Adan nodded to her. She removed the grate and they crawled out. They kept against the same wall so the detention guards couldn't see them. They continued down the hall to the next doorway alcove.

    "Where to now?" Geela asked.

    "To my shuttle."

    "Wait, Holst may have it guarded."

    He nodded. "I'm counting on it. Let's go. This way. And when I tell you to hide in one of these doorways, do it. No questions." She nodded.

    They both snuck around the halls for a few minutes, avoiding guards at various areas. At one point, Adan turned to Geela and asked, "Exactly how often did those guards check on you?"

    Before she could reply, a loud klaxon sounded throughout the facility.

    She replied dryly, "I'd say right about now."

    Adan cursed and demanded, "Quick, get behind me." He reached for his blaster to hold it out ready to use. She held him by his waist from behind.

    Geela cried, "Hey, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself."

    "Says the prisoner who had to be rescued from a torture machine."

    "I was...planning."

    "Some planning. This way."

    They turned down a corner. He didn't bother sneaking around. He was practically running with her in tow.

    "Guess we don't have to hide from the guards now."

    "No, now I shoot them."

    As soon as they turned another corner, three guards were coming their way and spotted them. "There they are! Stop them!" They started shooting.

    Adan quickly grabbed her and moved into a doorway for cover. He shot back at them. "Get back!" he yelled to her.

    Geela shouted back, "Hey, space boy! You have another blaster I could use?"

    "You can fire a blaster?"

    "Since I was ten!"

    "Ten must have been a magical age for you."

    "You don't know the half of it! About that blaster..."

    "Hold on!" He fired back at the guards. He shot one guard down and kept cover fire against the other two. "Follow behind me!" He eased his way out of the doorway with her behind again. His cover fire was pushing the remaining guards backwards. They reached the body of the dead guard and he said to her. "There's a blaster! He won't be needing it anymore!"

    She immediately picked the weapon up and held it like a pro. She started firing. Adan was nicked by blaster fire and he yelped in pain.

    "You all right?" she yelled.

    "Never better!" They continued to fire. One of Geela's shots managed to hit one of the guards. It distracted the last one enough and Adan shot him down. They stood over the bodies, relaxing after exertion. "There'll be more coming. Wow, you can really shoot. You're a little spitfire, aren't you? How did you learn to shoot so well?"

    "Practice. I know things from slicing to surviving."

    "All from age ten? Anything you don't know about?"

    She tilted her head in consideration. "Mon Calamari opera. Complete mystery to me."

    "Join the club. The way to the launching pad is down this hall."

    "I'll take the rear flank." She turned the blaster to their rear and started to walk backwards.

    Adan moved forward. "Some real military speak there."

    "Yeah, well, I have that in my blood, too. Lucky me."

    They reached to the outside platform and quickly hid behind a large storage bin. Adan took a quick glance to check his shuttle. Just as Geela said, there were four guards at the bottom of the ramp. Geela saw them too.

    "Tell me we're not talking on four guards."

    "Don't have to. Those guards are right where I want them."

    "Guess you forgot to mention that you were insane."

    "No, just practical."

    "Same difference."

    Adan took a device from his vest pocket. He depressed a red button on the end of it. A muffled boom sounded nearby. They looked again to see all four guards down with a white cloud hovering around them.

    Geela smiled. "Flash grenades. Attached on the ramp, I assume?"

    Adan shook his head. "On the outer walls. Risk of damaging the ramp."

    "Of course, the hydraulic arms."

    "Go to the head of the class. Let's go."

    They ran into the shuttle and Adan sat at the pilot seat. He started the ignition sequence as Geela sat in the co-pilot's chair.

    "Where's your med kit to patch your arm up?"

    "It's fine. Just a burn. Right now I need to get a message to my other party."

    "You brought others?"

    "Of course. She's finding your Force friend. She has her friend with her. Both are pretty good in a fight." He began the repulsor engines and soon the shuttle took off. "I'm thinking they may be near the mines."

    "You'll never find them. They're deep in the caves far from the mines."

    "Yeah, well, those stormtroopers will be bringing in the latest in scanner equipment. Won't be hard for them to find." He paused before saying, "So you're the one who sent the message to the Resistance."

    "And here you are."

    "Not my point. If I give you the call codes, can you send an encrypted message to my colleague's comlink?"

    She got up to go to the comm station and asked, "Sure. What do you want to say?"

    "Warn them about the stormtroopers for one."

    "That would be a good heads up. What's the code?" Adan gave it and she began entering.

    "So what's your story, Geela?"

    She shrugged. "Nothing special. Born on Coruscant. Orphaned when I was three. Scurried through foster care throughout the galaxy. Learned various skills along the way. Got trapped here on Vapos and was forced to work as a miner for a decade. What's yours, Captain?"

    "Adan will do. Soldier for various factions, including the original Rebellion back in the Empire's day." A beeping alarm on his console interrupted him. He cried, "Shavit! We have two homing missiles coming in!"

    "Great! Where are your armaments?"

    "My what?"

    "Guns! Where's your quad canon?"

    "This is a shuttle, honey. Doesn't have one."

    "You came to Vapos unarmed?"

    "Not exactly. I have them on me, not the ship. Besides, I thought bringing a Jedi was armament enough."

    "Wait, you brought a Jedi? I thought they died off when Luke Skywalker did?"

    "Well, she's trying to bring them back. Long story. Let's try a shorter one about us avoiding those missiles."

    "Good idea. What do you need me to do?" She climbed back into the co-pilot's chair.

    "Do I really need to tell you to hold on?" Adan saw the range of the missiles closing in behind them and calculated when the ship would be in proximity of the mountain side in front of them.

    Geela tried to sound casual. "Uh, you do see that large mountain in front of us?"

    "Oh, so you're observant, too. Good to know. Hey, you didn't trust me with taking out four guards. You going to doubt me again?"

    "Oh, no. I'll just sit here quietly and watch my life flash before me. May take in the view, as well"

    Adan waited until the perfect moment to accelerate. He thrust the throttle forward.

    "You're going faster?" Geela cried.

    "Once again, your powers of observation astound me! Trust me."

    The mountain side grew larger in the viewport. Adan was muttering the calculations. Finally, he dropped the throttle and swerved sharply to the right. The missiles couldn't turn as sharply and they hit the mountain. Rocky debris exploded behind them and the shockwave thrust them forward. Adan hit the throttle again hard to escape the destruction. It almost worked.

    A loud boom sounded on the ship and alarms started blaring in the cockpit. Black smoke trailed behind them from one of the repulsor engines.

    "Ah, the blast damaged the left ventral reactor!" The shuttle lurched forward and then down toward the rocky terrain below. "I can't slow it down. Controls are inop. I can steer it into a more level coast."

    "I'm afraid to ask what that means."

    He looked over at her. "It means, dear, hold on while we crash land."

    Next chapter coming soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  11. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    There have been more consequential tortures :p

    I like how you portray the Finn / Rey dynamic, and it's made me curious. I'll be watching ;)
     
    madman007 likes this.
  12. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    I promise I am working on the next chapter. Coming soon!
     
  13. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    And here is Soon! Next chapter awaits. Thanks to all who are reading. Still have many plans for this epic. Just need to iron them out. Enjoy and review as you see fit!

    Chapter Five

    It was a sliver of sunlight that awoke Rey. That method of awakening wasn't strange to Rey, being on Jakku for the majority of her life. But to have sunlight awake her from inside a cave made her wonder. She lifted her head from her sleeping matt to glance upwards at the light. High above in the ceiling of the cave was a small open crevice that was allowing the light in.

    "That's our small hint that there's an outside world beyond this place," a voice said from behind her. She turned her body around to see Jerrex Kestal standing just outside of his tent. "We've dubbed this place our sun-cave."

    "Very nice," Rey said groggily. "Must be a pain when it rains."

    "Not as much as you think. It's only a small area so the water only stays in one place and it drains downhill. Perfect for collecting."

    "Practical." She looked next to her at an empty mat. "Where's Finn?"

    "Not sure. He came in very early this morning, took a bite to eat and ran off."

    "He ran? What was he running from?"

    Jerrex chuckled. "I'm sure it was merely for exercise."

    "Must be something he carried over from his stormtrooper days."

    "Yeah, I've seen the military type get up very early to run. My grandfather used to get up at the crack of dawn every morning."

    Coming out of the tent, and obviously hearing the conversation, was Tya Kestal, Jerrex's sister. She addressed Rey. "I hope we're not getting up that early for my new lessons in the Force."

    Jerrex questioned, "New lessons?" He glanced at Rey, who was getting up and stretching.

    Rey simply paraphrased a saying she found in one of the ancient Jedi journals. "Jedi knowledge knows no end." She told Tya, "And, no, we're not getting up that early."

    "Very wise, Master."

    Rey made a face. "Oh, don't call me that. I'm nowhere near that title."

    "Yet," said a cheerful Tya. Rey wrinkled her brow. "What do you want me to call you, then?"

    "Rey will do just fine. For right now, you can call me hungry."

    "I take it you don't want an insta-bread portion." Tya's smile was exaggerated.

    "Please, no! I've had enough of those to last a lifetime."

    "There's some filacchi fruit that we picked last week in there," Jerrex said.

    "Thanks." Rey went in the tent to come out again with the small round, green fruit in hand. She started eating when she saw Finn walking up. A light sweat covered his dark skin and he was slightly out of breath.

    "Good morning, everyone," he panted.

    Rey asked him, "Where did you run off too, literally?"

    "Got up early and started my usual run routine. This cave is massive. It goes way beyond that wall. And it looks like you can walk up to somewhere."

    "You can," said Tya. "There's a big cliff up there overlooking the mountains."

    Jerrex said, "Grandfather used to take me up there to train me with his lightsaber."

    Tya cried. "Yeah, he taught you but not me. The one who actually has the Force."

    "You were only six, Tya. You couldn't even hold a lightsaber then."

    "And you could never lift rocks with your mind, either," she shot back.

    "Such competition," said Finn. "Reminds me of my days in training." He gave a look to Rey and said, "I need to give you an update. We received an encrypted message last night from Captain Adan. It seems he was compromised on the fake updates by the head technician at the compound. Never thought he would run into the tech. I only focused on the officers."

    Rey assured him. "Don't worry about it, Finn. It's not your fault."

    Jerrex chimed in to add, "And you have to remember there are no official First Order officers in that compound. They're either the mercenaries who the Magistrate hired, or the very few who were former First Order officers. Holst hires those mercenaries dirt cheap to keep the mining costs down."

    Rey asked, "Don't the miners get compensation?"

    Jerrex scoffed. "Very little. Barely enough to live on. Just one of the many ways Holst tears the miners down."

    Finn broke in, "Anyway, Adan is being hunted by those mercenaries within the compound. And it seems he has a second mission."

    Rey scowled. "What kind of second mission?"

    Finn continued. "Apparently, he found out that there's a girl who's being held prisoner within the compound. She's the one who sent the message to the Resistance about the Force user." Finn quickly looked at Tya. "I mean you, Tya."

    Jerrex grinned proudly. "That girl who they imprisoned knows more about everything. Her name is Geela Moryne. She's been here on Vapos ever since I can remember. She's an expert slicer and pilot. She's good with a blaster, too. She has the greatest spirit of anyone I know."

    Tya added in a sing-song voice with a wide smile, "And she's his girlfriend."

    "Shut up, Tya. She is not."

    Tya continued her teasing as she mocked a romantic tone. "Oh, Geela, you're so smart. You can do anything. I want to be your man."

    "I never said that," cried Jerrex.

    "I don't know, Jerrex," Rey began, "your description of this Geela certainly sounds romanticized. What do you think, Finn?"

    "Oh, no. I'm not qualified to talk about anything that's romanticized. Anyway, I'll keep a listen in on the comm for anything further."

    "Good idea," said Rey.

    Tya added, "Yeah, we don't want anything to happen to your girlfriend, Jerr."

    "Why, you little brat." He began to chase his sister around their camp. She squealed with a combination of pretend fear and true laughter as she ran from her brother. He finally caught her.

    "Now, if you say anything more about me and Geela, I'm starting the tickle torture."

    "You mean your girlfriend?"

    "That's it!" He began to playfully touch her stomach and she began laughing hysterically.

    As brother and sister were at play, Rey looked on with a mix of joy and jealousy. She imagined Finn felt the same. She detected a distinct sadness from him. Neither of them grew up with siblings with whom they could play around, confide in, or have a relationship with. Finn at least had his fellow stormtrooper trainees. She doubted their camaraderie involved tickle torture. Growing up on Jakku, Rey had no one but herself to rely on. For several years she felt that her parents would come back for her one day. After her experiences first with Luke on Ach-To and then with Kylo Ren revealing the truth about her parents, the hope for her parents' return had diminished. She would have loved to have a sister or brother in her life. Or anybody. Perhaps her new friends in the Resistance are her new family.

    As Tya and her brother settled down, Rey finished her fruit and mentioned to Tya, "Is there a remote place around here where we can begin the lessons privately?"

    Tya whined, "Just like a teacher to kill a fun mood."

    Finn added, "You're going to find that Rey has a focused mindset."

    Tya gave him a look. "You don't say?" She looked back at Rey. "We're starting our lessons so soon?"

    "No time like the present," Rey stated. "And they're your lessons."

    Jerrex said, "Why don't you use Grandfather's cliff? It's high enough and out of the way. It's pretty quiet up there, too."

    Tya's eyes lit up in a total opposite attitude she displayed earlier. "Yes! That sounds perfect." She took off down the hill already on her way. She turned back to Rey. "Come on, slow poke! Follow me!"

    Rey sighed, "Oh, to have that same youthful energy again."

    Jerrex nodded. "She's always been a spitfire."

    Rey addressed Finn. "Were there anymore messages from Adan?"

    "There was the start of one that ended abruptly. I can try to decipher it. Hope he's all right."

    "Captain Adan can take care of himself."

    Jerrex said, "If he's with Geela, he'll do well."

    Rey smiled at him. "Oh, that doesn't sound like romantic admiration at all, Jerrex."

    "Do I have to attack you, now?"

    "Well, I've already defeated you by lightsaber and the Force. Don't think I could endure your tickling torture."

    Jerrex shook his head. "Go after Tya before she gets too far ahead."

    She smiled back and looked to Finn. "Keep alert on Adan. Maybe he'll update soon."

    "Will do. You go and teach. And good luck."

    As she made her way down the hill of the cave, she uttered, "No such thing."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Rey found Tya running up a passage on the other side of the cave. It was a steep incline that Rey also started to climb. The path was rougher than the one she and Finn followed at the start of the cave. She compared the terrain to that of the paths of Ach-To. Rocky and less travelled on over decades. She climbed for several minutes before she heard Tya's voice echo ahead of her.

    "Are you coming?"

    "Be there in a moment!" Rey yelled. In a quieter voice, she muttered, "Just in time to work on your patience, dear." Soon after, she began to see light ahead. A large gap in the cave opened up to a leveled out area that was covered in bright green grass. She reached beyond the cave and into open sky above her. She took in the sight of a great mountain range in the distance. She took a breather to enjoy the view. It was nearly a cloudless sky against the blue-white atmosphere. The climate was cool with an occasional brisk breeze rushing by.

    "Tya, this is amazing."

    "I know. Grandfather let me up here to watch him train Jerr with his lightsaber." She turned to Rey with excited glee. "Is that what you're going to teach me? Can I build my own lightsaber? I want mine to be green."

    Rey grinned and remembered her own anticipation upon learning she could use the Force. She had to teach herself patience but she failed. It was Luke who helped her develop her patience without even trying. Subtle and practical. Rey decided to use the same techniques.

    "Tya, let me ask you something. Did you ever learn how to swim?"

    Taken aback by the question, Tya answered reluctantly, "Yes. There's a small lake beyond the mining area. We would wash the mine dust off in it after shifts. Mother taught me to swim."

    "Was the lake very deep?"

    "Not near the shore. In the middle it was pretty deep. What are you getting at?"

    "Just follow me here. Did your mother teach you to swim in the deep area?"

    "Oh, no. I could barely tread water at that age. She kept me in the shallow end."

    "Why do you suppose that is?"

    "Well, it was much easier...", she stopped realizing the metaphor. She continued in a defeated voice, "...to teach me."

    Rey grinned. Her first official lesson. She told Tya, "Trust me when I tell you that building a lightsaber now would be like starting lessons in the deep end."

    "I get it. Sorry."

    "Don't be sorry, Tya. You're young and excitable. It's natural."

    "Very well." Tya spoke next in a mock professional tone. "What is our lesson today, oh, wise Jedi Master?"

    Rey smiled as she pushed her hair out of her eyes courtesy of the winds. She told Tya, "Once again, I'm not a Jedi. I am attempting to create a new generation of Jedi. All equal without levels of Jedi Student, Jedi Knight, or Jedi Master."

    "Sounds interesting."

    "Maybe. But first, we must start with the basics." Rey looked around the surface of the cliff and spotted a large, flat piece of rock that was perfect to sit on. "Come over here, Tya."

    Tya followed Rey to the flat rock that looked over the cliff. Rey tried to suppress her nerves as she began her first official teaching lesson in the Force. It would be the same as Lesson One that she had received from the last Jedi Master himself.

    "Sit here cross-legged, Tya. That's it." Rey stood beside her, just as Luke did. She spoke in a low soothing tone. "Now, close your eyes. All I want you to do is breathe. Just breathe. Open yourself up to the Force. Feel the calmness around you. Reach out with your feelings." Rey was reminded to add that last command as she, herself, took Luke literally when he told her to reach out. She allowed a space of time to pass while she and Tya immersed themselves in the Force. Finally, Rey asked Tya, "Now...what do you feel?"

    "I feel you in the Force."

    "What else?"

    "I feel...living things. Birds. Animals in the forest. Insects in the caves."

    "Go deeper into the Force, Tya. What else do you feel?"

    After a slight hesitation, Tya answered, "Life. Everywhere. Plants. Living organisms in the soil. Even life in the rocks. How can there be life in the rocks? They're not alive."

    "Aren't they? Are they not made up of the same material as the living? It may be different on a molecular level, but the cells are still living things. I can sense you're feeling more than that, Tya. Don't be afraid. You can say it."

    It took longer for Tya to answer. Rey could sense the doubt in the girl. At last, Tya replied, "I feel...death. Destruction. It's almost like...death is...fighting life?"

    "Not fighting, Tya. Life and Death are working together. You can open your eyes now." Tya did so and Rey continued. "Tya, you felt the essence of what the Force is. We are always told that the Force is an energy field that binds us and penetrates us and keeps the galaxy together. Ever since I found out that I can use the Force, I had one question. What does that mean exactly? What if Life and Death keep battling each other and it's the Force that keeps them both at bay? Life and Death run in cycles, one never dominating the other."

    She paused before continuing. "You felt all those animals in the Force. Some were peaceful. Some were violent. Both need to survive. Neither are good nor evil. That's just nature. It's all based on a balance that keeps the galaxy together. The Force is that balance. It keeps the dualities at equal levels. Dualities of good and evil, Life and Death, Jedi and Sith. Do you understand?"

    "I think so." More doubt exuded from the girl.

    Rey looked around and found some small rocks lying nearby. "Let me show you something." Rey used the Force to lift a couple of the rocks.

    Tya grinned and scoffed. "Oh, that's easy. I've been lifting rocks since I was six."

    "This isn't a lesson in ability, Tya. Remember patience. Now, a simple question. What am I doing?"

    "Uh...lifting rocks."

    "How?"

    "Through the Force."

    "That's the means of the levitation. How is the levitating possible?"

    Tya was at a loss for an answer. She chose the simplest one. "You're using the Force's energy to lift the rocks."

    "That's your same answer worded differently. Don't feel bad. I would have answered the same way years ago. The truth is, the Jedi gave the same answer for a thousand generations. Is it truly the Force's energy that's lifting the rocks?" She looked around again and saw a larger rock nearby that was almost the size of a boulder. "See that larger rock over there? Go ahead and lift that in the Force."

    Tya chuckled. "Is this my first assignment, teacher?" Rey merely gave her a look and Tya said, "All right, I'm lifting it." The rock slowly lifted from the ground by several inches and hovered there.

    "Very good. As you can see, Tya, your rock is much larger than the ones I'm lifting."

    "That's right. The student out lifts the teacher."

    Rey ignored the remark, but said, "Is it really about weight? Would you be able to lift that rock without the Force?"

    "Oh, no. Too heavy."

    "Weight has no meaning in the Force, Tya. Again, are we lifting the rocks? Or are we manipulating the air molecules surrounding the rocks in order to lift them? Actually, the Force never touches the rocks. What we are doing is using the Force to counteract the weight of the rocks to equal the weight of the air around it. Balance. You see?" Tya nodded. Rey could feel the confidence build back in her first official student. Rey tried to hide her own confidence from Tya's understanding.

    As Tya was still concentrating on floating the large rock, Rey spotted something peculiar on the opposite mountain wall. She squinted her eyes at an object that was roughly fifty meters away and was embedded into the vertical mountain cliff. She blinked as she realized what the object was. She interrupted Tya. "Is that a star fighter stuck in that cliff over there?"

    Tya released the rock and stood next to Rey. "Oh, yes. That's been there for a long time. Long before I was born. Grandfather told us there was an attack on the base here back in the day of the Rebellion."

    "Base?"

    "Yeah, the compound used to be an old Imperial base."

    "Imperial? The mining compound was part of the Empire?"

    Tya nodded. "And the miners working here have been treated poorly ever since. That's what the attack was about. The Rebels at the time were trying to rescue the miners. If only they succeeded."

    "Why couldn't you simply leave after all these years?"

    "Do you see any other space cruisers around? There's hundreds of miners. They don't make enough to buy a one seat speeder. And if there was a cruiser, the magistrate would guard it with his life. Actually, scratch that. He would guard it by taking away one of our lives."

    Rey dropped the subject for now and looked back at the craft in the rock. "It had to come in pretty fast to be stuck in the rock like that. From the angle how it landed it must have been flying low. Shot down, perhaps?"

    "Good deduction, teach. Grandfather said it was shot down and the pilot ejected before impact. The magistrate keeps it there for a reminder of what happens to traitors, as he calls them. Wouldn't matter anyway."

    "Why not?"

    "Uh, we're hundreds of meters up on this cliff. How do you suppose we get it out of the rock this high up?"

    Rey suddenly looked at the girl with a wide grin and said, "Tya, you just talked yourself into another lesson."

    Tya squealed, "What? That's impossible."

    "Why is that?"

    "Well, it's too big for one."

    "Too big? Like that rock that you so easily lifted?"

    "Yes, rocks are fine. But this is different."

    Rey gave a frustrating sigh. "Maybe I've failed you already." It occurred to Rey the irony of each of their experiences in the Force. Rey had only known she could use the Force merely years ago. Tya had been lifting rocks since she was six years old. Yet, it was Rey who had the confidence that the ship could be taken out of its rocky mooring. She had read in one of the ancient Jedi journals that a Force user could evoke certain feelings in others. Rey sent a wave of confidence to Tya. She went on to explain again to the young girl, "Once again, in simpler terms, size does not matter with the Force. We can use the Force to loosen the rock around it and levitate the ship over here on flatter ground."

    "But it's been in there for decades. It's in too deep. It'll take forever to get that ship out." She paused as she looked at Rey. "Wait, did you say we?"

    "Of course. I'm going to help you. Are you ready?"

    "All right. Let's give this a try."

    Her choice of phrase triggered something inside Rey that made her want to reply. "No, Tya. Either you do something, or you don't. Try doesn't exist." Rey did not know where she had heard that before. Maybe it was also something she read in the journals. "Now, let's begin."

    Both Rey and Tya concentrated in the Force and focused on the rock surrounding the star fighter. Little by little, the rock started to crumble around it and then break away to loosen its hold on the ship. A shower of heavy white gravel began to rain down to the surface far below. Loud crackling noises evolved into low grumbling as larger chunks fell away. Within several minutes, there was a hollow space where the ship seem to hover inside. At one point, the ship started to lean downwards with the sound of metal grinding against rock.

    Rey called out to Tya, "Concentrate on the ship now! Surround the Force in the space around the ship, not the ship itself! Don't think of the size and weight, Tya. It doesn't matter." She could sense the girl's strain at concentrating so hard in the Force. It was obvious to Rey that the girl had never been challenged to this extent before now.

    The ship started to levitate itself out of the newly formed hole in the side of the mountain. Several pieces of rock that fell on the ship were now hurling down toward the surface. Soon, the ship was totally free of the mountain and it was hovering in mid-air. "Excellent, Tya! You're doing great! Now, let's bring it over here. Concentrate."

    They directed the ship over to their side of the mountain and towards the cliff where they were standing. It crossed the wide ravine between the two cliffs. When it was finally over new land again, they lowered it gently onto the grassy meadow. As soon as it landed, Tya could no longer contain her joy.

    "We did it! We got it out! I can't believe it!" She jumped in the air.

    "We sure did, Tya. Just remember that confidence. You have great ability in the Force."

    "I know. Grandfather used to tell me that, too. It's just...when I was working in the mines, I always had to hide the fact that I could use the Force. I mean, those who escaped with me and Jerrex are hiding because of me."

    "Because they believe in you, Tya. It was their choice."

    "I know. I just can't imagine what would happen if the magistrate turned me over to the First Order."

    Thinking back to her encounters with Kylo Ren and Snoke, Rey replied in a low voice, "I can."

    "Well, let's not think of that now. Let's see what ship we got." Tya ran over to the ship and Rey followed.

    From the first inspection, the ship's damage looked to be mainly cosmetic. The initial damage was at the front where the impact to the side of the mountain occurred. How the ship wedged itself into the side of the mountain and stayed there for decades was a mystery to her. Rey looked into the cockpit and breathed a sigh of relief to see that it was empty. A decomposing body would be the last thing she would want Tya to see at a young age. She looked over at the shape of the craft and the rear ventral and dorsal stabilizers and immediately knew the model.

    "An RZ-1 A-wing. An earlier model, of course."

    "How do you know that?"

    Rey shrugged. "I know a bit about fighters. There were several of these that crashed on Jakku."

    "Ah, the Battle of Jakku. The Empire's last stand. Grandfather told me. There must have been all kinds of wrecked ships there."

    "Oh, yes. X-Wings. TIEs. I lived inside of a wrecked AT-AT for years. There was even a Star Destroyer that crashed. It provided me many salvage parts for food over the years."

    Tya noted, "There's no place for an astromech droid."

    "Nope. These fighters were known for their speed and agility. Those stabilizers on the top and bottom controlled the ship better than a droid could. Only the best pilots could fly these. They're used for quick strike missions, which was probably what the battle here was."

    Rey went to the the rear of the ship. "Repulsors don't look too bad. A bit worn. Those may need replacing. Auxiliary housing couplings will definitely need replacing." Rey felt comfort in the fact that she no longer had to calculate a price for a part in order to trade for food portions. A scavenger habit that she may never outgrow.

    "You know, Tya, with some replacement parts and some cleaning, I don't see why this little ship can't fly again."

    "You're kidding. This hunk of junk flying again?"

    "Believe me, I've seen worse," Rey said, thinking of a certain YT-1300 freighter that she once called garbage.

    "Have you worked on many fighters?"

    "More or less. When I get the right parts, I could make it fly again."

    Tya chuckled. "You and Geela will get along fine."

    "I like to believe I could get along with anyone."

    "Except Kylo Ren, right?"

    Rey stopped inspecting. A past version of herself would be angry at Tya's remark. Now that she had the Force to help her keep calm, Rey discovered an alternate way to answer questions about her and Kylo Ren. She told the truth.

    Rey stated, "Kylo Ren cannot get along with himself, much less others."

    Tya also stopped to look at Rey. Her reluctance was felt through the Force. She asked Rey, "Is Kylo Ren...a Sith Lord?"

    "What makes you ask that?"

    "Grandfather used to tell us about the Sith. About how they came back to take over the galaxy. Darth Vader and the Emperor both used the Dark Side of the Force. And Darth is a Sith title. But Kylo Ren doesn't use it."

    Rey hesitated and said, "From the point of view of the Jedi in the past, you would be correct. Kylo Ren is his own Dark Side user, if you want to label it. He wants to separate himself from the past. And, frankly, Tya...so do I."

    "How?"

    Rey breathed deep and replied, "That will be discussed in our next lesson. I think we've had enough for today."

    Tya was about to counter when they both heard a loud rumble in the sky. They both looked up to see a large shuttle cruiser coming into the atmosphere from space. It was a dark rectangular shape. Its trajectory was in line to land at the mining compound. The low repulsor engines became louder as it approached. Tya didn't seem to recognize the shuttle with a look of confusion. Rey, on the other hand, knew the ship first hand.

    "What kind of ship is that, Rey?"

    "It's a First Order Light Cruiser."

    "What are they doing here?"

    Rey replied with a defeating sigh, "They're bringing stormtroopers."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    Next chapter will be coming soon....ish.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
    Lordban likes this.
  14. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    I love your portrayal of Rey as a beginning teacher.
     
    madman007 likes this.
  15. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    I will have a brand spanking new exciting chapter coming soon!
     
  16. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    I am a man of my word and here is the next chapter. And this time, I have even more written to which I will add and make into Chapter 7. Didn't want this one to be so long. So enjoy and review as you see fit.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 6

    Holst looked over at the legion of stormtroopers in front of him. They were on rental, so to speak, from the First Order. They were at his command now once they set foot on his mining compound. It had been the first time since he had been magistrate that stormtroopers had been on the compound premises. Desperate times. The mercenaries that he hired for the miners had simple demands. When the miners fell out of line or tried to fight back, the mercenaries would make sure they would pay the consequences. When the group of miners who escaped a month ago and fled into the caves of the mountains, perhaps led by a Force sensitive girl, things went awry. The mercenaries did the best that they could in finding them. Their motivation only went as far as Holst's pocketbook.

    Now that he had use the stormtroopers, he could be assured that their motivation was only to the First Order. Yes, the mountain caves were vast. The troops had equipment to help them find the traitorous miners in no time.

    But first things first.

    Holst felt the power of control as he stood before the perfect alignment of troopers. He addressed them. "Welcome, soldiers. I am Magistrate Biran Holst and I am the administrator of this mining facility. As I am sure you are aware, we are in pursuit of two people of interest. One is a prisoner and the other is the prisoner's rescuer. They fled in a stolen First Order shuttle. We managed to shoot it down and it crashed somewhere in the forest between the compound and the mountains to the north. According to their trajectory, they may have landed nearby an old checkpoint. I want you to head to that checkpoint structure and search for our missing prisoners. You will be working with my own guards once I can have them reach–"

    "Stop!" a voice boomed from the First Order transport. A man in his mid-thirties with short military-cropped blonde hair marched down the ramp of the transport. He wore a pristine grey First Order uniform. He came up to Holst almost too closely and barked, "What do you think you are doing?"

    During a rare instance of a loss for words, Holst uttered, "I am addressing the troops."

    "Wrong, sir! Wrong! You are addressing my troops. I am Commander Chaste, and these troops are part of Legion Company B. I am in charge of these troops, not you." Chaste looked over Holst. "I heard you say you were the administrator of this facility. No, you didn't say that at first. What was it? Oh, yes, Magistrate. What does that title even mean?"

    Holst added an edge to his voice. "It means, Commander, that I am in charge of this facility. You and your troops are on my property."

    "Your property? Allow me to shed some light for you, Magistrate. This compound is owned by the First Order. You are merely chartering the use of my troops in order to clean up your own mess."

    "A mess that someone in the First Order started."

    Chaste sighed and asked, "Whatever do you mean?"

    "The hero rescuer posed as a First Order tech. He confiscated a stolen First Order shuttle and used an old First Order entry code. Someone in the First Order would have to give him those things. Or sell them for a price."

    The Commander laughed. "Did you hear that, troopers? Someone pretended to be a First Order officer and infiltrated our facility. That certainly has never happened in our history." The Commander addressed Holst. "How long have you been at this compound, Magistrate?"

    Holst stepped closer to Chaste and uttered, "Long before you were in diapers."

    Chaste smiled. "And it shows. Nevertheless, we are here to do a job. For you, as you requested. Your...strategy about capturing your fugitives is only half correct. We have tracked their ship and we have their precise location in the forest. If they survived, they would need shelter. Or, even better, they may try to contact their other team. The ones with your missing miners within those caves."

    Holst sounded confused. "But the false officer acted alone."

    "Do you really believe that? There was too much planning involved for it to be a solitary mission. There was no reason to give you fake updates other than pure distraction. The secondary team went to find your Force potential."

    "And you think that they found her?

    "Her? Interesting. Of course, we don't have that proof."

    "I got it out of the prisoner. She was the one who sent out the message to the Resistance."

    "Don't worry. We won't ask how you obtained that information. Now that you know they were working on two fronts, we can proceed to find the one and the other will follow."

    Holst grinned. "You intend to follow them to lead us to the missing miners. Good thinking. Eliminate them all at once."

    Chaste lowered his brow and stared back at Holst. "We are not eliminating your fugitives. Especially not the one who is Force sensitive."

    "I beg to differ," Holst snapped. "Those two have been a menace to this compound ever since they landed here. They've violated countless ordinances. How can you not eliminate them?"

    Chaste chose a calm voice that was opposite Holst's. "Our orders are to detain the Force sensitive and the members of Resistance. And those orders came directly from the Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren. Apparently, he has plans for her. I doubt that your measly title of Magistrate can override the Supreme Leader's orders. He and the First Order could take over this facility in a heartbeat. So you are basically this compound's...babysitter. Now, if you would excuse me, I have to deploy my troops."

    As the Commander turned towards his troops, Holst stormed off in a huff. He found Director Feskin and nodded for him to follow Holst into a communications room, away from earshot of the Commander.

    "Those two fugitives think they've outsmarted me. We crashed their ship. They're at the mercy of the wildlife in the forest. They're not going to best me again." He paused to look at Feskin. "How soon can we get guards to that checkpoint?"

    "By foot, I'd say a few hours."

    "There's another way. There's a passage that connects there. They can use it. It would be quicker. They can get to the two fugitives before the troops can. Send two guards. Less conspicuous. And tell them that their orders are to kill on sight. Both of them."

    Feskin gave a nervous grin. "Sir, you heard what the Commander said. He has orders from the Supreme Leader."

    Holst snapped, "Are you contradicting me, Director? Listen to me very carefully. I don't care how, but I want those two dead."

    Feskin gulped. "Yes, sir."

    The slow climb up the ridge from the hidden cave was countered with the quick descent down the ridge. Rey and Tya soon arrived back at the main camp. The information about the oncoming stormtroopers weighed heavy on Rey's mind. She couldn't wait to tell Finn that his former buddies were soon arriving. And they weren't here for a reunion. She spotted Finn once they reached the open area of the camp. She was set to tell him her news when she noticed he was running to her. He spoke first.

    "Rey! We got more messages on the comlink from Captain Adan!"

    They stopped once they reached closer to each other. Rey asked, "What do they say?"

    "I've got the transcript at the communication tent," said Finn before they headed there with Tya behind them.

    The communication tent consisted of a comm transceiver and a transponder code translator. The transceiver seemed to be the only mechanism that was working. Rey noted the familiarity of the equipment. She had seen similar comm equipment on a certain wrecked Star Destroyer on Jakku.

    "This is old Imperial machinery," she announced.

    Finn replied, "Trust me, I know."

    Jerrex Kestal, Tya's brother, added, "Remember, this place was an old Imperial compound back during the Empire's reign. We collected this spare equipment over the years."

    Rey stated, "Right. So where are the messages?"

    Finn went over to the transceiver and said, "Here's the first message dated just a few hours ago. 'Rescued prisoner. Fought way back to shuttle. Intel stormtroopers en route. Green light on Phase 3.' Now it stopped there but we got another one that is approximately twenty minutes later. 'Shuttle hit. Crash landed. Minimal damage. We are all right. We will survive. Contact ASAP. May the Force be with us.'." Finn followed with a silence before saying, "It ends there."

    Tya said, "I hope they're all right."

    Finn said, almost to himself, "Adan must have been dictating the messages to your friend while he was piloting."

    "Geela," answered Jerrex.

    "But how could he have taught her our encrypt so quickly?" Finn asked.

    Jerrex smiled with pride. "Like I said, it's Geela."

    Tya rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, Loverboy."

    Rey was in thought before she said, "I think Adan gave her the first message, but I think she sent the second one on her own."

    Jerrex asked, "How can you tell?"

    Finn added, "Please don't tell me this is a a Force thing."

    "No, Finn. It's all in the wording. The first part is all Adan. He was piloting and he needed to send us a message quickly. But in the second message...Contact ASAP. Adan would never ask us to contact him on an unencrypted frequency."

    Finn nodded. "That would go against his military background."

    "It was after they crashed. It was too personal. We are all right. We will survive."

    "Too sentimental for Captain Adan," Finn agreed.

    Rey said, "I've only known Captain Adan for barely a year, and I've never heard him say may the Force be with you."

    Jerrex snapped, "All right, we know the messages. Now how do we find them?"

    Finn added, "And find them before the stormtroopers do."

    Tya said, "We saw their shuttle coming down the ridge up there."

    "Oh, really," Finn said and looked straight at Rey. "When were you going to tell me this?"

    Rey replied innocently, "I was going to but you came up and told me about the messages first."

    "Oh, blame it on me. They could have already be on the way to the crash site. They do have more updated equipment."

    "I figured you would know about it since they're your former friends," Rey shot back.

    "They're not my...I can't believe you would say that after all this time."

    "Hey!" Jerrex cried. "We don't have time for this. Now, I will ask again. How do we find them?"

    After a few moments, Rey nodded toward the transponder cryptograph. She asked, "Can we track the ship's transponder codes with that?"

    "It's not working," uttered Finn.

    "Let me look." Rey made a beeline toward the machine and opened up its instrument panel. She looked over the mechanism for a few moments and then asked, "Do you have any thermal wiring?"

    Jerrex said, "We should."

    "Could you find some? Also fetch some sort of map of the area. Particularly around the compound."

    "I can get that," cried Tya. She ran off in a flash.

    Jerrex looked in a nearby toolbox and finally found a roll of thin metal wiring. "Will this do?"

    He handed it to her and she looked at it. "Yes. Perfect." She took it and started unwinding it. "See, normally you would need an EID adaptor to fit between these two ground state fittings. Since finding an EID would be near impossible here, I have to improvise. You can use thermal wiring to wrap around both fittings to act as a conduit. Works just as well." She grunted as she tightened the wiring and then said, "There." She stood and looked to Jerrex. "It's your machine. You can do the honors."

    Jerrex turned the cryptograph on and it sputtered with a series of beeps and blips of light flashing. Jerrex shook his head. "It works. Finn, enter in the transponder codes from your comlink."

    As Finn inserted the comlink into the machine, Tya ran into the tent with a small holoprojector. She looked at Finn at the machine. She looked confused. "Is it fixed?"

    Jerrex replied, "It is. Rey fixed it."

    Tya turned to Rey. "Is there anything you can't do?"

    Rey shrugged. "I can't understand how I know things. I used to take apart equipment like this on Jakku and trade them for food. Is that a map?"

    Tya handed the compact holoprojector to Rey. "Yes. It should cover the whole compound."

    Finn said, "We're getting coordinate indicator points on the screen here."

    "Great, bring it up and let's overlap them with this map."

    He did so and the vertical display consisted of several red points of light that followed the path of the shuttle. Rey turned the map on and brought it up against the display.

    Jerrex noted as he pointed on the map, "There's a valley here in between the forest and the mountains. The other side of there is a thick forest. It looks like they would have cleared the forest from the looks of the trajectory."

    Finn said, "The last point of the trajectory is right above that valley. We can't be sure if they continued on that path or went straight down from there."

    Jerrex nodded. "It could have crashed anywhere within that vicinity. Rather a wide area. At least a twenty kilo square area."

    Finn suggested, "Maybe we can narrow it down a bit. Does this have trajectory analysis in its programming?"

    Jerrex shrugged. "I'm not sure. This is Geela's area of expertise. She's the one who found all this."

    "Well, let's find out." Finn fiddled with the controls of the cryptograph and seemed to find what he needed. "Ah-ha! This should do." He pressed a few buttons and a yellow line traced the red points and went farther in an estimate of where the missing points could have been. "If they were traveling at high speed, their momentum would have brought them past the forest and into the valley."

    Rey said, "Whatever damage the ship took, it wouldn't have been something that would have brought the ship straight down. Even if it hit both repulsors the momentum would still send them forward."

    "Right," Finn agreed. "In space it would have been a different story." He pointed to a spot on the map. "That would put their landing somewhere around here. Much smaller area."

    Tya looked at the area on the map. "There's an old structure nearby there where we used to play."

    "A structure?" asked Rey.

    "It's small. Kind of looks like a small bunker."

    Finn said, "Probably a checkpoint from the old Imperial days."

    "Do you think it will be guarded?" asked Rey.

    "Well, if it's not now it soon will be. Remember, stormtroopers may have this same information."

    "How many troops would we be facing?" asked Jerrex.

    "What kind of shuttle did you see land?" Finn asked Rey.

    Rey replied, "A light cruiser."

    Finn calculated a number in his head. He shrugged. "It could be as large as a platoon or as small as a squadron. You could be looking at anywhere from ten to thirty troops. Not to mention an armament of TIEs."

    Rey said, "Let's assume the larger number. Could they be heading to that same checkpoint?"

    "They would have the same maps but they wouldn't have the shuttle's transponder codes. And I'm not sure they would send that many troops, although I don't know their directive."

    "There's also Holst's mercenary guards to consider," said Rey. "Finn, you said the First Order doesn't see this place as a first thought?"

    He nodded. "Or a second one. As long as it produces zinite, they'll leave it alone. If I remember my ownership laws in the First Order, Holst doesn't have any direct access to the security for protection."

    "Which is why he has to hire mercenaries for guards," said Jerrex.

    Finn added, "Yes, but he can request First Order assistance in emergencies."

    It was Tya who spoke. "Emergencies like finding a certain Force user?"

    Following a pause, Finn replied, "Could be. That could be their directive."

    Rey said, "Especially if Kylo Ren gave them that directive." She paused and warned, "We need to get to Adan and Geela first. And fast."

    Terrex whined, "They'll have vehicles."

    Tya cried, "No vehicle could fit in between all those trees. It's also a shorter distance from here. It's not that far. They would have a longer way through the deep forest. So we have the advantage, space nut."

    Rey winced as she spoke to Jerrex, "I think she's right."

    "Of course she is." He pointed to his sister. "But you're staying here."

    Tya thought a moment before saying, "No, I'm going with them."

    "Tya, I can't be responsible for your safety anymore."

    "Hate to break this to you, brother, but you never were. I can handle myself. I've just begun to learn more about the Force and what I can do with it. Remember that old ship wedged into the mountain ridge? Rey and I used the Force to remove it."

    Jerrex turned to Rey. "Really?" Rey nodded. "No, wait you could be out there where you can be exposed as a Force user. We're talking about a group of stormtroopers, not paid band of thieves."

    "If we come up against them, they'll have to deal with two Force users. And one of them was trained by Luke Skywalker himself."

    Rey wanted to correct her that her training with Luke didn't amount to much, but now wasn't the time. She merely grinned at Jerrex.

    He saw her grin and snapped, "Don't tell me you approve of her going."

    Rey kept grinning. "All right, I won't tell you."

    Jerrex scoffed. Tya came closer to her brother. "Jer, you have to let me grow up sometime. And I need to continue my training to be a Jedi."

    "Grandfather's lessons weren't enough?"

    "No, they were only the beginning. He did great for someone as young as I was who could use the Force. But he disappeared before I could go further. Rey can complete that. She can bring something different than what grandfather taught me."

    Rey couldn't resist feeling pride. For all her doubts at being a teacher of the Force, Tya's response was the payoff that Rey needed.

    Jerrex sighed and told his sister, "All right, you can go with them. I take it you want to borrow grandfather's lightsaber, too."

    "Yes!"

    "No," Rey shot back quick. "I'm afraid I have to disagree on that. You don't know enough about lightsaber techniques yet." Tya frowned.

    Finn cut in, "Have we decided who's going now?"

    "Yes," said Rey. "Let's go."

    Jerrex said, "Just one thing. Your Captain Adan mentioned something about Phase 3. What is it?"

    Rey answered, "Escape."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 7 coming very soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  17. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    We're back again! As I said, I wrote chapters 6 and 7 together and had to split them up. Even then, this chapter is on the long side. All the better to curl up on a couch or bed to read. The plot thickens on this one. Enjoy, and I'll be back with the next chapter momentarily.


    Chapter Seven

    Captain Adan had been used to crash landings over the years. Already he was feeling the pain on his shoulders where the safety brace dug into his flesh upon the impact. He checked around. They were level with the ground, which meant he was successful in not landing on the shuttle's nose. There was debris strewn about the cockpit and there were sparks coming from the main console. A fresh breeze blew past him via the open air of the shattered viewport. Amazingly, the ship's computer was still functioning. He released himself from the harness and rubbed his aching shoulder. There was more pain but it was going away slowly.

    He worked the computer and initiated a damage report. It was minimal considering the main damage was the dorsal stabilizer. Main systems were still in operation. Yet, without a total replacement of the stabilizer, the shuttle would never fly again. He took the time to check on his passenger. He was expecting her to be slumped in her chair against a safety harness. Instead, the former prisoner named Geela was busy at the comm station.

    "Oh, hi," she cheered as if nothing happened. "I assume you're all right. I was shaken a bit but I was awake before you came to. I made myself useful."

    "What are you doing?"

    "Oh, I saw that the comm station was still intact, so I'm sending a message to your team. You know, telling them we're all right."

    "And you didn't use our encrypt?"

    "Yeah, I did. You gave it to me when I first contacted your team before the crash. It was already in the system. Although, I do have to say it's not a very effective one. Pretty standard, in fact. An average slicer could break it in no time."

    Adan whined, "Sorry to disappoint you. That's a standard Resistance encrypt."

    She shrugged. "And that explains how far the Resistance has gotten against the First Order."

    He limped out of his seat. "Is that any way to treat someone who saved your life?"

    She continued to work without facing him. "If you're talking about landing this contraption without a lower stabilizer, a power droid could do that."

    "Well, you're a barrel of laughs. Hate to be your boyfriend."

    "I don't have a boyfriend," she snapped.

    Adan smirked. "You answered that a little too quickly, which tells me you're not sure of the answer."

    She breathed out in frustration. "I only answered like that because I do have someone who thinks he's my boyfriend."

    "Isn't he lucky." Adan looked out at the missing viewport to the outside forest. "Look, I'm going to go out and see what's what. Did you give my team our location?"

    "Negative. I didn't have access to your navi-computer to give them coordinates."

    "That's all right. They can use the ship's transponder codes." He thought a moment. "Unless they don't have access to a code translator."

    "We have one, but it doesn't work."

    He chuckled. "Rey can fix it."

    "Rey?"

    "A member of my team. She's the Force user I brought to find your Force user."

    "Smart." She finally turned to face him. "I'm done here. You need help with assessing the damage outside?"

    "Sure. The more eyes, the better. First, let's see where we are." He fiddled with the navi-computer to bring up a map of the area. Basically, they were in the middle of a forest. Twenty kilos from the compound from which they escaped. That didn't mean that the new group of stormtroopers wouldn't be far behind in finding them. Adan studied the map and saw a dark blip on the screen. He pointed to it with her now standing beside him. "What is this?"

    She looked and answered, "An old checkpoint structure. Abandoned. We used to play around there when I was a kid. We never could get inside, though."

    "What is it doing all the way out here?"

    "It was part of the original compound made by the Imperials in the Empire era. It's not far. I say we check it out."

    "Read my mind. Who knows how long we'll be out here. It can give us a shelter better than this wreck can." He moved to the weapons compartment and threw her a blaster, which she caught. "Here! I already know you can handle yourself."

    She paused before stating, "Thanks."

    "Well, don't put too much into your gratitude. It's only a blaster."

    "No, I meant...thank you...for rescuing me from Holst's torture device."

    "Forget about it."

    "I can't. I wasn't part of your original mission, was I? And now, because of me, you have no ship to escape in. You made a choice to get me out of there. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate it."

    "Yeah, and then we crashed in the middle of nowhere."

    "We're still alive."

    "For now. Let's go."

    For the next hour, they searched the area outside the wrecked shuttle and the shuttle itself. They found pieces they could salvage but they didn't collect them yet. That wasn't their mission at the moment. They began moving in the direction of the checkpoint. They waded through branches and rocky terrain until they found a clearing. At the far end of the clearing sat a medium sized structure. It was permacrete and square in shape. The front wall protruded out of the main structure with a space in the center for a window for guards. Behind the front wall were double doors that were shut. Adan approached the checkpoint structure. On a closer look, he noticed moss growing on one side of the permacrete. The remaining surface had been weathered by age. It was not a place that was widely used.

    "You used the play here?"

    "Well, I was quite young. And there was less plant life back then. That window made for a great barrier for fake blaster fire."

    "I'm sure it would do great against live blaster fire as well."

    They were interrupted by the creaking sound of the double doors beginning to open.

    "I thought you said you never could get them open."

    "Yeah. We couldn't get them open from this side."

    The doors slowly parted and they could hear voices coming from the other side. Adan signaled to Geela silently for each of them to hide on opposite sides of the checkpoint. Two of Holst's mercenary guards appeared at the entrance and stood where Adan and Geela were merely seconds ago.

    One of them started to complain. "What are we doing way out here?"

    The other one answered, "That fake Commander and the girl we captured both escaped. Their shuttle crash landed nearby."

    "You think they survived?"

    "That's what we're here to find out. Can't see them finding shelter out here besides this place. And when we find them, we kill them."

    "The First Order troops approved of elimination?"

    "The order comes from Holst himself. Last I checked, we're not getting paid by the First Order. Besides, would you want to cross Holst?"

    The other shook his head. "He may be an idiot but he can be ruthless."

    "All I know is when we find and kill these two, we'll find that Force user who helped those miners escape. He's not going to know death quickly. Only pain first."

    "Well, you don't hold a grudge."

    "That girl we captured and the Force user just pissed me off, is all."

    Geela gritted her teeth and then surrendered her hiding place. She appeared before the two guards with her blaster held high at them. "The feeling's mutual, boys." She quickly fired two shots at each of their chests before they could react. They quickly went down to the ground.

    Adan cautiously approached her as she stood over the dead bodies. "Well, I'll say this for you. You're not subtle."

    "Subtle is boring."

    "Did you have to kill them?"

    "You heard them. They had orders to kill us."

    Adan nodded and then looked beyond the open doors. There was a long corridor, similar to that of the main compound. He noted, "That might lead back to the compound."

    Geela finally holstered her blaster. "Or the mining area. We always thought there were passages down here. We just never could access them."

    "Yeah, well, if the guards know about them, so will the stormtroopers."

    "I'm not so sure. Holst likes his secrets. I'm almost positive he didn't tell the troops about these secret passages. Remember, the guard said the order for our elimination came from Holst, not the First Order."

    "Makes sense. They would use these passages to get to us before the troops did. Holst really wants us dead. Why?"

    Geela scoffed. "You know his ego. He answers criticism of his actions with retaliation. He can't stand it when anyone beats him."

    "Enough so that he's going against the First Order."

    "And the First Order will not take insubordinates lightly."

    "Especially with Kylo Ren as their Supreme Leader."

    Suddenly, they could each hear branches cracking from outside. Instantly, Geela drew her blaster but Adan stopped her. "Let's be careful this time. It might be more guards."

    "Or worse. Stormtroopers."

    "Regardless, stay here."

    She followed him anyway as she cried, "I can take care of myself, as if you didn't notice."

    Adan just shook his head and continued out to the exterior of the checkpoint. He could now hear voices coming from the woods. They didn't sound like stormtroopers. He stood and stared in the direction where the voices were coming from. They were getting louder. It sounded as if the two voices were arguing. He then immediately knew whose voices they belonged to.

    Coming out of the woods was Rey and Finn. They were followed by two others. A young teenage girl and an older boy. As soon as they were within earshot, Adan called out to them. "Don't you two ever stop griping?"

    Rey looked up at him and exclaimed, "Captain Adan! We got your message! Glad you're all right!"

    Adan cried, "You know all this shouting is not helping us hide our position!"

    Rey and the other three stayed silent until they reached closer to the checkpoint. "Sorry. We saw the shuttle wreck and thought the worst." Rey began the introductions, starting with Tya. "Captain Adan, this is Tya Kestal and her brother, Jerrex. Tya is our Force user we've been trying to find."

    "Certainly glad to find you," said Adan to Tya.

    Tya greeted him politely and then spotted the girl behind him. "Geela!" She ran to her and hugged her. "So glad to see you. We were afraid of what they did to you."

    "You know me, sport."

    Jerrex approached awkwardly. "Yeah, it takes more than torture to bring down the great Geela Moryne."

    "Hi, Jerrex," Geela said with hardly any emotion. "You still in love with me?"

    No reply, save for a reddened face.

    Geela continued to tease. "Someone's going to knock some sense into you, and it might as well be me." She turned to approach Rey. "So you're the new Jedi."

    "Not quite. But I have started to teach Tya more things in the Force."

    Tya squealed with glee to Geela, "She was taught the Force by the Luke Skywalker and she defeated Kylo Ren."

    Geela's eyes widened but Rey uttered, "Barely on both counts."

    Finn looked at the checkpoint structure. "An old Imperial checkpoint."

    "Go to the head of the class," said Geela. "How did you know?"

    Finn shrugged and replied casually, "Former stormtrooper. My name's Finn."

    "Geela. I didn't think stormtroopers had names."

    He squinted at her and said, "I did say former, didn't I?"

    "Yes." She nodded to the structure. "We just got here not long ago."

    Adan added, "As you can see, there were two of Holst's mercenary guards coming from the inside. Geela took care of them."

    Rey asked, facing Geela, "Knocked them out?"

    Geela replied, "Death by blaster." After a beat with Rey staring back, Geela said, "They were ordered to kill us. It was us or them."

    Rey nodded and turned to Adan. "What's our plan now?"

    "Well, since Phase 3 involved escaping on the shuttle, and said shuttle is incapacitated, I'd say we need a new Phase."

    Finn was more obvious. "We need to find another way out of here." He suddenly froze and listened. "Do you hear that?"

    They all heard a low rumbling mechanical noise coming from the opposite end of the forest.

    Rey asked, "What is that?"

    Jerrex said, "I'm almost afraid to ask."

    Finn answered automatically, "An R-25 transport."

    Adan sighed, "Stormtroopers. The day just got more interesting. Everyone take cover behind the checkpoint window."

    When they all scurried behind and hid behind the permacrete wall, Rey whispered a question to Finn. "How many can there be on this transport?"

    Finn calculated. "There could be a capacity of at least twenty. But the R-25 is a recon transport for smaller missions. There's likely more troops scouting on foot."

    Geela suggested, "We'll have to hold them back."

    Jerrex asked, "Yeah, and where do we go?"

    Rey looked behind them beyond the double doors. "What about those tunnels?"

    Geela replied, "What, so we can end up at the mines or back at the compound with Holst? No, thank you."

    Finn said, "And we can't go back to the cave or they'll surely track us back there."

    Adan said, "We'll have to take them all out."

    Jerrex remarked, "Sounds easy when you say it like that."

    The sounds of branches breaking came from behind the checkpoint. Adan made a shushing signal to all of them. Soon, the white armor of several stormtroopers came into view. One of them came to the edge of the checkpoint's opening where they were all hiding. On spotting them, the trooper yelled, "They're here! Fire!"

    But Adan fired first. He shot the trooper in the chest bringing him down quick. The troopers outside formed flanking positions in front of the checkpoint. And the firing began on both sides. Those with blasters anyway. Rey grabbed Tya and pushed her back behind the doors and into the entrance of the tunnels.

    Adan's earlier assessment of the window to the checkpoint proved true. It created the perfect cover for blaster fire. The chaos of fire crossed between the two sides in the forest. Adan, Geela, Jerrex, and Finn fired both for cover fire and charging fire. They took down more troops but more were coming from the forest.

    Jerrex felt to announce it. "There's too many of them!"

    "I'm getting that feeling!" cried Geela. "I take down five and five more show up!"

    Rey asked, "How many are there now?"

    Adan cried after he shot down a trooper, "One less to deal with! I'd say at least ten, eleven!"

    Rey took a moment and said, "All right. Cover me while I can get out there and take them out."

    Geela looked back at her and exclaimed, "Are you crazy? You alone against ten troopers?"

    Tya said back, "She won't be alone. She'll have the Force."

    Rey smiled and turned back at the others. "Ready? Cover me!"

    They all fired at once as Rey ran and used the Force to leap through the open window. Before she landed, the amber blade of her lightsaber was ignited. She took out the nearest troopers with ease and blocked the other troopers' shots at her. Tya watched with admiration as Rey's blade was a blur of yellow light as it came down to take down the troops. When it seemed like there were no troops left, she turned to face one armed with a Z-6 baton. The electrotrodes at the end of the weapon surged with energy. They stood staring at each other for a moment before the trooper spoke to her.

    "You! You killed Supreme Leader Snoke!"

    "Don't believe everything you hear," Rey retorted.

    "Our new Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren, said so."

    "You might want to ask him about that."

    The troop moved the weapon into attack mode. "You're going to die!"

    "Not today."

    He came at her with full force and the baton held high. She countered with her blade. On contact with the lightsaber, the electrodes sparked wildly. After a series of thrusts he threw at her that she easily blocked, she found that she couldn't penetrate the baton. She tried another tactic. She flipped backward in the air to land further away from the trooper. Amidst confusion, the trooper started after her. Before he could close the gap, she started running toward him. He prepared the blade for her attack. When she reached closer, she suddenly went into a slide that he wasn't prepared for. She dipped her blade low as her momentum pushed her forward. The blade then severed the troop's legs at his knee, sending him down to the ground with a final yelp of pain.

    Rey got up and stood over the now dead trooper. From behind her, another trooper was coming up with his blaster at the ready. Rey was about to call to them without seeing the trooper behind her. Tya saw what the trooper was about to do and she acted quickly. She used the Force to thrust the trooper hard into the air to hit a tree behind him. He fell to the ground, unconscious.

    Rey turned around to witness what Tya did. She also checked around her for more troops, which there were none. Tya came running toward her with the others behind her.

    "Rey! I saw him about to fire at you. I thought I could help."

    "And you did. Thanks."

    Geela came up to them and mentioned to Rey, "That was impressive. You really took them all out."

    Finn said casually, "She does that. Come on, Geela, let's see what the Captain wants us to do."

    Rey nodded to them as Geela and Finn walked away.

    Tya cried with proud glee, "That was the wildest thing I ever saw. I could feel your intensity in the Force."

    Rey told her, "That may be, Tya, but there is another lesson here. Violence and aggression are options only as a last resort, when there are no other options available. Yes, I was intense, but did you see how methodic I was in taking them all out? They panicked and were shooting clumsily just from seeing my lightsaber."

    "Except that last one."

    "Yes. But I found another way, patiently."

    Tya nodded. "There is no emotion, there is peace. Grandfather used to tell me the same thing."

    "Then I guess it must be true."

    Tya paused and said, "I heard Finn say you'll be planning on leaving here whenever you can."

    "That's the plan."

    "I guess you can't teach me more of the Force if I stay here."

    Rey raised an eyebrow. "It would be rather difficult to complete the lessons by correspondence."

    "Yes, it would. You told me that it would be up to me if I wanted to go with you."

    "It still is, Tya."

    "Good." She paused. "Then I will come with you and continue the lessons."

    Rey smiled. "A wise choice."

    Captain Adan came up to them and announced, "That transport was emptied. Once they figure that out at the compound there may be more stormtroopers coming. We're going to head back to the cave. Can you hide our tracks?"

    "Yes, Tya and I can use the Force." Adan nodded and gave Rey a thankful pat on the shoulder. Rey turned to Tya and said, "Come on, I'll show you what to do."

    But Tya stood still and stared straight at the tunnels beyond the door. She stayed silent.

    "Tya, are you all right?"

    "There's something in the Force."

    Rey was confused. "Where? Are you sensing the people here?"

    "No." She finally faced Rey beside her. "Something else. Coming from inside there." She paused and asked her, "You don't feel it?"

    Rey felt deep within the Force. "No. I only sense everything out here."

    Jerrex came up to them. "I thought you two were going to hide our tracks."

    Rey said, "Tya is sensing something in the Force that's coming from inside those tunnels. But I don't feel it."

    "I thought all Force users felt everything the same."

    Rey replied, "Many do. But there are times when the Force calls on certain people. It could be something personal to Tya alone and not myself."

    Jerrex cried, "Tya, we've been around this checkpoint before and you never felt this."

    Tya answered, "The door was always closed when we were here. It's something coming from one of the rooms in there."

    Jerrex ejected, "Tya, there could be a dozen rooms in there. We don't have the time to search all of them."

    Rey said, "We don't have to. It's calling to you, isn't it Tya?"

    "Yes. I know where it is. Sort of. I can find it, though." She looked at her brother. "You know, like I found the cave."

    "Tya, this is crazy. We have to get back to the cave before more troops come."

    She gave him a pained look. "I know. But it is calling me. Almost like it wants me to find whatever it is."

    Rey remembered that same feeling when she was at Maz's place on Takodana. The pull of the Force was strong, though she didn't know what it was at the time. It ended up being Luke's lightsaber that was once his father's. Since that moment, Rey's life had never been the same. She spoke to Jerrex. "When the Force tells you to follow, it is not wise to ignore it."

    Jerrex countered. "Grandfather never told us that."

    Rey was about to reply but Tya spoke first. "Jer, there are things about the Force that grandfather didn't get the chance to tell us."

    "You mean things he didn't tell you. I don't have the Force."

    "Technically, you do. It's in all living things. And maybe grandfather didn't know about certain things in the Force. But this...", she motioned to the tunnels beyond the door, "the feeling is getting stronger by the minute. I have to find out what it is."

    "And I see the same determined look mother used to make, so I know there's no talking you out of it."

    Tya smiled. "Nope."

    "Great. Now we have to convince the others," whined Jerrex.

    "Let me do that," offered Rey. "Adan is used to my Force whims."

    She explained to Adan about Tya wanting to investigate why the Force was calling out to her alone. He didn't like the idea of them going into the tunnels alone. Geela volunteered to go with them. Finn decided to stay with Adan in case more troops showed. Adan gave them a limited amount of time to research before they all went back to the cave. He warned Rey to be careful.

    Rey raised an eyebrow and replied, "Not to boost my ego, Captain, but you just saw me defeat several stormtroopers. I think I can be careful enough for all of us."

    Adan had no answer to Rey's remark.

    Tya, Rey, her brother, and Geela headed down the tunnel cautiously. As they walked through, they passed various locked doors on both sides. When they came to a dead end and the choices were either the right or left tunnel, Tya chose the right.

    "It's stronger in this direction."

    Geela whispered to Rey, "Our own living nav-comm."

    At some point further down the corridor, another tunnel appeared on their left. Tya went down this corridor and stood still and stared straight ahead.

    "Uh...sis? Are you sure this is it?"

    "Yes. Right here is where it's the strongest."

    Ahead of them was the end of the corridor in the form of several large containers piled up to the ceiling. There was no indication of any passage continuing beyond the storage bins.

    Geela suggested, "Maybe there's something inside one of the containers."

    Jerrex said, "If there is, we don't have time to look into all of them."

    Rey felt deeper in the Force. "Tya's right. There is something in the Force here. It's faint to me, like a trace."

    "It's screaming for me," said Tya.

    "Tya, it's a dead end."

    She sneered at her brother. "So was that waterfall in front of the cave."

    Geela said, "Unless it's not a dead end."

    Jerrex asked, "What do you mean?"

    Rey answered, "Someone wants us to think it's a dead end." Rey found one of the containers in the Force and lifted it. She removed it from the pile and set it aside. Beyond it, they could see the corridor continued. "Tya, help me." The two started removing all the containers to create a path that was clear. And further down the corridor was another set of double doors.

    Rey said, "Someone went to much trouble to hide this door."

    Geela scoffed, showing her sarcasm. "I wonder who."

    They walked to the front of the door and Tya used the side panel to try and open it. It didn't budge. "It's not working."

    Rey said, "Here, we can use the Force-"

    "Wait a moment," cried Geela, as she approached the door. She started working on the under wiring of the panel. "Can't let you two have all the fun."

    "Can you bypass it?" asked Rey.

    "That's the plan." There was a spark emitting from the panel and the double doors started to screech open from non use over the years. An acrid smell of stale air came rushing at them. Darkness was the only presence behind the doors.

    Jerrex told Geela, "After you."

    "You're such a gentleman," she retorted.

    They all entered cautiously. Geela took a flasher to light the area. She searched for a panel for the lights. She found one near the doorway that was caked with dust. She touched a switch and illumination sputtered on slowly in the room. It wasn't exceptionally bright, but it was enough for them to see.

    They were in a vast room with large metal tables in the center. They looked more like gurneys that were fixed into place. Adorning the edges of the room were various tanks that could have contained bacta fluid at one time. Their only contents now was debris and thick dust. Along the walls were instrument panels with a multitude of colored lights that were faded with age.

    Tya walked along the instrument panel and traced her finger on the surface, making a long indentation trail in the dust layered on it. She stayed silent.

    Jerrex was the first to speak. "What was this place?"

    Rey offered a possible answer. "A medical facility? Bacta tanks. Med tables." She addressed Tya. "Are you still feeling the Force in here?"

    "Very strong. Are you feeling it?"

    "I am, but it's still faint. It's not as defined as how you're feeling it."

    Tya finally asked, "Why do I feel it so strongly when you don't?"

    "Honestly, Tya, I'm not sure." Rey almost felt embarrassed that she didn't have an answer. She was to be the new teacher of the Force. She read all of the ancient Jedi texts. None of them included why some Force users felt something different in the Force than others. She offered a possible scenario. "Perhaps it's like I said before. It's something personal to you alone."

    Tya snapped, "What could be personal to me in here?"

    Jerrex said, "Data. There could be old data stored in one of these panels Maybe we can find out what this place was and it's connection to the Force."

    Geela stated, "I don't think you'll find any data."

    "Why not?" Jerrex sounded annoyed.

    "This place is too...arranged. It's too organized for a med facility. It's like someone cleaned this place up and left it for a reason. And when people abandon a place like this and then hide it..."

    "It makes it more suspicious," finished Rey.

    "I'm still frustrated that the Force isn't specific enough to just tell me why it lead me here."

    Rey grinned. "It doesn't work that way, Tya."

    "I know." She sighed. "I'm going to look over here." She walked over to the other side of the room.

    Jerrex walked up to Rey and muttered, "This is too much for her."

    "She's stronger than you think, Jerrex."

    "I'm realizing that more by the minute. Anything else you notice about this place?"

    Rey looked around and noted the instrument panel. "The motherboard on the panels are also from the Empire era. Saw the same design on the wrecked Star Destroyer on Jakku."

    "That would make sense. Have you ever spoken to someone who lived during the Galactic Civil War?"

    "Captain Adan. He was part of the original Rebellion when he was a teenager." She added hesitantly, "And then there's Luke."

    "Oh, yeah. Him." Jerrex smiled at his own sarcasm. "Did he talk about being the Hero of the Rebellion much?"

    "Honestly, no. He didn't see himself as a hero over the years."

    "But my parents told me he destroyed the Death Star. Both of them!"

    "Yes, and he killed the thousands of lives that were still on them. Hate to burst your bubble, but Luke Skywalker truly dismissed his hero status the galaxy placed on him. In fact-"
    She was interrupted by a scream coming from the other side of the room. They all ran to Tya's side. Her scream was temporary.

    "Tya, what's wrong?" Rey cried.

    She stayed silent and pointed to three large tanks in front of her. They weren't the same bacta tanks like the ones in the other room. They were rectangular metal boxes standing on end. Each had a small transparent window at their top. Rey got closer to one of the boxes and she quickly discovered their purpose.

    "They're cryo units. And they're still cold."

    Geela said, "They must be self sustained. They don't need much external power."

    Jerrex was almost hesitant to ask, "Are there still bodies in them?"

    Rey looked in the window. She lowered her voice in sadness. "Yes." She looked around the box for a readout on a panel. She found one on the right side. She said in the same defeated tone, "No life signs. This one is dead. What happened in here?"

    "Whatever happened, it couldn't have ended successfully. They were never meant to be found," said Geela.

    Jerrex looked over at his sister. She was frozen in a look of horror. He came over and put his arm around her. "It's all right, Tya. Seeing these dead bodies would have scared anyone."

    She said between sobs. "It's not...just that. I now know...why the Force...led me here."

    "Why?"

    Instead of replying, she pointed to the last cryo unit on the end.

    He went to it and peered into the window. Instantly, his eyes widened.

    Rey asked, "Who is it? Did you know them?"

    Jerrex stepped back away from the box, almost too stunned to speak. He finally answered, "It's our grandfather."

    tbc
     
  18. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Ok. I have a dilemma. I started writing this story way back before Rise Of Skywalker was being filmed. Now that I've seen the movie, there were some things that I anticipated. Some I did but not at the right time.

    I can't believe I got Rey's color of lightsaber correct; yellow. When I saw her ignite that at the end I was like, Yesssss! I did have Leia die but much earlier than the movie. Kind of weird that the movie didn't address Rey teaching new Force users. Hey, that's what fan-fic is for!

    So I'm conteplating going further in this story but keeping it as an AU now that it's slightly different from the final film. I have plans that include writing a SW character that I'd never written before. I'll be updating soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  19. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    And here it is in March. This chapter is short in length but not short on meaning. It's a meeting that I believe Rey needed even over Luke himself. I hope I got his language pattern right. And if you don't know who it is yet, read on! And thanks for reading!

    A short summary: Rey and Finn are rescuing a Force user in the form of a teenager on the mining planet, Vapos. The teenager, Tya Kestal and her brother Jerrez are one of many who escaped the mining compound and are hiding in a vast cave. Captain Adan of the Resistance was in charge of distracting the guards at the compound while Rey and Finn tracked Tya. Adan found a girl named Geela, who was being tortured by the Magistrate of the compound, Biran Holst. He rescued her and found her to be spirited and tech savvy. They met up with Rey and Tya and they were attacked by stormtroopers. Rey defeated the troopers but after, Tya felt something in the Force calling to her. Rey, Geela and Jerrex followed Tya into the compound outpost and they found a secret lab abandoned. There, they found the frozen corpse of their grandfather, who went missing nearly a decade before.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter Eight

    Abandoned lab inside mining compound

    The corpse of grandfather Kestal was still, of course. It's grandchildren looked upon its crude coffin as if it would begin speaking at any moment. The expression on its dead face was one of serenity. With the evidence of possible experiments conducted inside the hidden lab they found, Tya and Jerrex Kestal were expecting a look of pain on their grandfather's face.

    Everyone in the room was quiet, including Rey and Geela. Finally, the youngest, Tya, spoke a question.

    "What happened to him?" When she received no reply, she repeated, "Did you hear me? What happened to him? Can anyone find out?"

    Geela Morayne stepped forward to the side of the cryo container and checked the readout. She shook her head. "These are too old, Tya. There's no data."

    "That can't be right!" snapped Tya. "There has to be something!"

    Geela's voice lowered in tone. "I'm sorry, Tya. As far as I can tell, these bodies have been in cryo for quite a long time. Several years, perhaps."

    Jerrex added, "About the same time when grandfather disappeared."

    "Maybe," said Geela. "They were just-" She stopped herself before finishing her thought.

    Jerrex finished for her. "Forgotten. Is that what you were going to say? They were left here without ceremony? Treated the same way as this old equipment? Collecting dust. Our grandfather deserved better."

    His growing rage was evident in his voice. Rey could feel his rage through the Force. Unfortunately, she could not empathize with neither him nor Tya. Rey had no blood kin to worry about. Yet, she now had family. And she couldn't imagine losing them.

    The rage in Jerrex continued. "My sister asked a question. Why is he here? Dead. And frozen."

    "We can't say," replied Rey.

    "Someone can," said Jerrex.

    Tya spat out, "Holst can. I know he does."

    Before Rey could reply, there was static on her comlink. She answered it and Captain Adan spoke. "Guys, I hope you found what you're looking for. We're hearing another transport approaching. We need to go now."

    Rey replied back, "Acknowledged, Adan." She addressed Tya and her brother. "You heard the Captain. We have to leave."

    "We have to take grandfather with us," Tya pleaded.

    Rey let out a breath. "Tya, we can't. There are more stormtroopers coming."

    "I don't care."

    Geela skipped reasoning with Tya and went to her brother. "Taking the cryo unit through the woods will slow us down."

    "She's right," said Rey. "We will find your answers another way."

    Tya took a last look at her dead grandfather inside the cryo unit and then uttered, "Fine. Let's go."

    They all moved toward the exit. Tya stopped just short of the doorway and looked back into the lab. Her brother came up behind her and placed his hand on her shoulder. "We will come back for him, Tya. Just not now."

    Tya gave him a scowl and then turned away to join Rey and Geela.

    Rey called out to Tya." Help me put these storage boxes back."

    Tya snapped, "I thought we were coming back. So we're shutting grandfather in his tomb again?"

    Rey said to her, "Think about it. If we leave the boxes where they are, they will know we've been here."

    Geela added with emphasis, "Holst would know. And if you're right that he knows about the bodies, who knows what he'll do to them once he finds out you know that."

    Logic seemed to reach Tya this time, and she simply said, "Fine."

    Rey said, "We have to make it look like we were never here."

    Rey and Tya proceeded to move the storage boxes with the Force back to their original positions to hide the entrance of the secret lab. When they were done, Rey grabbed her comlink. "Adan, we're coming out now."

    Adan answered, "About kriffin' time."

    The journey back was mostly silent. There was hardly any talking, apart from the occasional commands of the terrain in the form of warnings about minor limbs of fallen trees to climb over. Rey stayed to the rear so she could use the Force to hide their tracks. When they approached the small pond inside the cave, Adan was impressed that in order to enter their hidden camp they had to walk through the waterfall.

    After he wiped the water from his face he uttered, "That's exciting. Wet, but exciting."

    Jerrex noted, "Tya found this place. The waterfall hides the entrance well."

    Adan shot back, "It won't fool the stormtroopers."

    Jerrex smiled. "We have a contingency for that, as well."

    When they all entered the massive open space of the cave, Tya ran straight to their tent in a huff. Before Rey followed her in, she gave a glance at Finn to indicate he should help her. Finn gave a silent eye roll and entered the tent with Rey.

    Before Rey could speak, Tya snapped, "So what do we do now? Are we just going to ignore grandfather?"

    "We're not ignoring him, Tya," replied Rey. "This just isn't the time to do anything. We need a plan."

    "We had a plan! Bring him back. He deserves to be buried with his family!"

    Rey threw up her hands and shot a look of help to Finn.

    Finn got the hint and said to Tya, "Several squads of stormtroopers were about to come down on that outpost. They'll see the bodies from the earlier squad and then concentrate on that area." He add wryly, "Rey may be good, but she can't take them all out."

    Rey smiled back but Tya acted as if he had never spoken. "All this time, me and Jerr never knew what happened to grandfather. He went outside of the mine one night and he never came back. Disappeared. And here we find him in an abandoned lab at the compound roughly ten years later. I want answers and I can't get those standing here doing nothing."

    Rey was fed up with her and snapped back, "It's better than getting yourself killed! Would you rather die before you get your answers? Is that what your grandfather taught you?"

    Tya seemed to soften at the mention of her grandfather training her. She lowered her head and voice. "No. It's just I'm feeling the grief of losing him again. The worst part was not knowing. But now that I know where he is..." She sniffed and continued to say, "It's just making it harder."

    Rey nodded. "I know. It makes you feel helpless." Rey paused before she explained further. "Tya, I have not seen my parents for decades. I was quite young when they left me on Jakku. For the decades after that, I was obsessed with the idea that they were coming back for me. Every year that passed proved that to be false. I can't imagine how you and Jerrex are feeling right now."

    Tya began being facetious. "What? You can't use the Force to know how I'm feeling? That Almighty Force that chooses to tell you what you need to know? The same Force that led me to that secret lab. And why? So I can see my grandfather's corpse being forgotten for a decade? What could I do with that knowledge? Oh, that's right, nothing!"

    "Tya, that's not fair," said Rey.

    "Isn't it? You come here with your lessons of the Force but you have no answers."

    Rey swallowed. Her fears now were coming true. "No. I don't have all the answers."

    Tya scoffed. "Some teacher you are. You're only the teacher because you're the last one left after the Skywalkers died."

    Rey tried to remain calm during Tya's rant. She corrected her. "They are not gone, Tya. They are now part of the Force. Just as your grandfather is."

    "You know what? You can keep your Force speak. The only person who really taught me the Force is gone to me. I can't talk to him. I can't hug him. The Force took him away from us." She started to storm past Rey and Finn as she added, "So, to Hell with your Force!" She existed the tent.

    Rey turned and made for the exit but Finn gently held her arm. "Let her go. It kinda defeats the purpose of storming out when you try to go after them."

    "What am I supposed to do?"

    "Leave her alone. She needs to be alone right now."

    "I feel so helpless." She flopped down on the nearest cushion.

    "Helpless?" he almost laughed. "Says the person who took down a squad of stormtroopers without so much as a scratch."

    "Trust me, teaching someone in the ways of the Force is much more strenuous."

    "I don't doubt that. To be fair, your first student is a teenager."

    "Ugh, don't remind me." Rey allowed a pause before stating, "She's right, though. I'm no teacher."

    "And I'll repeat what I told you when you first started this. You will be a great teacher."

    "And what great wisdom tells you that?"

    "You. Knowing you ever since we met. Knowing that you will never give up."

    She let out an exasperated sigh. "Well, lucky you, because today is that day when I feel like giving up."

    "You don't mean that."

    Rey chuckled. "Shows how much you really do know me."

    Finn paused to consider a reply. "During our primary training as stormtroopers at the Academy, we are taught to assess any situation within five minutes. When we first met, I really didn't have that time since we were being chased and shot at."

    "Seems we have a running theme in our friendship."

    "No pun intended. When I finally had the time on the Falcon with Han, I assessed your character."

    Rey gave a mischievous grin. "Oh, you did?"

    "I saw that you had confidence in yourself and what you can do. But you're unsure about showing that confidence to yourself. It's almost as if you're embarrassed about your confidence. Or you're afraid of it."

    Rey's voice suddenly became belligerent. "I'm not afraid. I do have confidence, Finn. And the determination that goes with it. But you haven't been chosen to lead a new group of Force users to become the next generation of Jedi. I have to do that all by myself now that Leia is gone. Try to imagine the pressure of teaching that. Oh, yes, and if I fail then they could potentially turn to the Dark Side and become enemies of the Resistance. That would play right into Kylo Ren's hands."

    "Not all of them will turn out like Kylo Ren. Seriously, what is it with you two? He's like an obsession with you."

    "An obsession? He made himself Supreme Leader after refusing my offer to join us. Instead, he chose the darkness."

    "That's not your fault. That was his decision."

    "But I could have tried harder. He's now recruiting Force users but he's teaching them against us. On top of all that, he's constantly trying to get inside my mind to communicate with me."

    Finn crinkled his brow. "How's he doing that, exactly?"

    Rey stood up and snapped, "I don't feel like explaining it right now. You wouldn't understand." She made for the exit of the tent but quickly turned to face Finn. "In fact, you should leave all the Force speak to the last Jedi. Me!" She ran out of the tent without allowing Finn to reply. She was now in the vast cave surrounded by strangers. It was at the end of twilight. The only light sources were either candles or lanterns at each individual tent.

    Rey knew that Tya had retreated to her private hole on the opposite side of the cave. She knew not just through the Force, but also knowing the teenager for a handful of hours. Rey remembered those private moments she had on Jakku. When she really thought about it, most of her time on Jakku was spent in private. There was nobody on Jakku with whom she was close to. All those years and she never once made one lifelong friend. It didn't escape her that she made a best friend after she left Jakku.

    And now she just alienated that best friend. At the moment, however, she couldn't think of Finn. She didn't want to think about anything really. She also wanted to be alone. And she immediately thought of the perfect place. The top cliff.

    Rey began to climb the hill where Tya and herself had been earlier that morning. There were no candles or lanterns here. She ignited her lightsaber for a light source. Its yellow glow bounced off the rocks with glittering motion. She reached the top and felt the cool night air. The A-Wing that she and Tya rescued from its cliff prison was resting peacefully.

    Rey chose a spot nearby the wrecked ship and sat cross-legged in the tall grass. She sighed heavily and uttered, "I am truly alone."

    Just then, a strange rough voice speaking in a unique language pattern spoke.

    "Never alone are you with the Force."

    Rey quickly twirled around to see a short, green-skinned creature with long ears standing behind her. A short wooden cane balanced him on the ground. There was a faint blue-ish glow that enveloped around him. "Who are you?"

    The creature gave a croaked laugh and waddled next to her. "Read the journals, you have. Know me, you should."

    The revelation inside Rey produced a grin. She knew. The Force told her through her reading of the Jedi journals. This was one of its writers. "You are Yoda. I've seen you in visions."

    "Yes. Meet, we finally have."

    "Are...are you some kind of Force ghost?"

    Yoda grunted. "A ghost I am not. Part of the living Force I am."

    Rey then had to siphon through the thousand questions she wanted to ask the Jedi Master. She chose the one in which she hesitated at the answer. "Is...Luke with you?"

    "Yes, young Skywalker is one with the Force. See him soon you will."

    Rey shrugged. "Whenever that may be."

    Yoda said, "Mmm, much doubt I sense in you. Large burden you have been given."

    "Yeah, way to rub it in."

    Yoda chuckled. "You. Young Skywalker. Same lesson needed. You will know what to do when you are calm. At peace. Guide you the Force will."

    Rey scoffed. "Will it help me handle a teenager?"

    Yoda croaked a laugh. "Solve that, it cannot."

    Rey then asked, almost to herself, "When will I find peace?"

    "When you are ready."

    "I don't feel ready. The Force hasn't told me when that will be yet. I mean, who am I to be the last of the Jedi? I was just a scavenger on a desert planet. I was waiting for parents who would never come back for me."

    "Mmm, much about your lineage, mystery it is."

    "What do you know about my parents?"

    "In time, you will know. Ready for that, you are not. Young Solo, you will face again. Has answers he does. On same path the two of you are."

    "Same path?" Rey gasped. "His path is to the Dark Side. I want no part of that. We are not the same."

    Yoda chuckled. "Sense same stubbornness as Young Skywalker in you. He also doubted his ability in the Force. Much fear in him, like his father. Sense the same in you."

    "Because I'm new to these powers that I've suddenly inherited. So was Luke. He was about the same age when he discovered the Force, wasn't he? We weren't prepared for it. I don't fear my abilities themselves. I fear how quickly I've learned them. They're second nature to me now."

    "Strong in the Force, you are. Still you have much to learn."

    "That may be. But so does Ben Solo. I saw how he chose the Dark Side so easily."

    "He chose the easy path. Choices you make determines your path."

    "I will not choose the Dark path, if that is what you're worried about."

    "Mmm, great teacher I foresee in you."

    Rey shrugged and solemnly said, "I don't see how. I've never been a teacher."

    Yoda nodded and turned himself around with sounds of effort. He waddled over to the A-Wing. "Pulled this out of the cliff, did you? Had help you did."

    "Yes. Tya and I pulled it out with the Force."

    "Mmm. Taught lesson you did that Young Skywalker failed. Lucky your student is." The blue glow around the Jedi began to brighten and then his image faded.

    Rey kept watch on the spot where the Jedi Master had just been. It was strange. The physical sight of Yoda was gone, but she could still feel him in the Force. Soon she may feel Luke...and Leia in the Force. She wasn't alone. And neither was Tya.

    Rey stood up and began the descent to the cave.

    She felt ready.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    tbc
     
  20. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Just beginning to restart this epic story. Stay tuned for those few who are following.
     
  21. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Alas, the next chapter. Thinking I have only one more chapter to go on this long epic (that few are reading). Carry on for those of you who are reading.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 9

    The morning brought on many apologies. First and foremost for Rey after she awoke was to find Finn. She found him sitting on a stool near the Kestal tent. Perspiration was still clung to his dark skin from running earlier. She approached him cautiously and they both made eye contact, He was just finishing eating a piece of fruit.

    "Finn…," she began. "I need to apologize to you for snapping at you the way I did last night."

    "I know." He finished his fruit and then said, "You know, I sometimes forget the burden placed on you since both Skywalkers died. I mean, you have a full class of students waiting for you. All of them wanting to learn the Force. I suspect they have no clue what's coming to them."

    Rey shrugged. "Most don't. They only know what they've seen on the HoloNet. And stories that were passed down to them about the Jedi. Not all of them had a grandfather like Tya's to guide them."

    "No. Speaking of her, where is the granddaughter?"

    "In her hiding place."

    "You haven't spoken to her yet?"

    "No. I may wait for her to come to talk to me."

    "That may be a while."

    Rey grinned. "Perhaps not." She went into the tent to see Jerrex fixing his own breakfast. After their exchanged morning greetings, Rey said, "I never got the chance to ask, but are you-"

    "I'm fine," he snapped. "I'm not as passionate about my grandfather the way my sister is. The two of them were close. You know, since they both trained in the Force together."

    Rey pleaded, "Jerrex, I'm not trying to replace your grandfather."

    "May want to tell Tya that. Oh, look, here's your chance."

    Rey turned to see the teenage Tya standing at the entrance to the tent. Jerrex took his food and made for the exit. "You two play nice now," he said before he disappeared outside.

    The two Force users stared at each other, neither wanting to speak first. Finally, Tya broke the silence. "I wanted to apologize to you. I shouldn't have been angry at you."

    "And I shouldn't have snapped back at you. I'm sorry, Tya."

    "It's just I never had that much rage in me before. Not since...well, not since our mother and father were murdered."

    "It's understandable."

    "No, it's not! Grandfather always told me that anger leads to the Dark Side of the Force. I felt it in me last night. I felt it from you when you took down those troopers."

    "I did what I had to do to save us. Although, I suppose there was some rage behind my actions."

    "It's funny, grandfather said I had too much anger in me. He said I was like my mother. Rey, if we experience anger, don't we risk being pulled into the Dark Side?"

    Rey breathed. "Tya, I have read the ancient Jedi texts from a thousand generations ago. I can tell you where they were wrong. You can express anger without giving in to the Dark Side. It's your choices that lead you to that path. Once you let the hate and anger consume you, that choice into the Dark Side seems easier."

    "When did you become so philosophical?"

    Rey shrugged and said casually, "When I spoke to the Jedi Master Yoda last night on the cliff."

    "You spoke to him? Wait, isn't he dead?"

    "Not quite. He's part of the living Force now."

    Tya considered. "Do you think grandfather is, too?"

    "I'm sure of it."

    Tya shook her head. "You know, it seems like the Jedi of old tried to take away humanity from the Force."

    Rey said, "You may be right. Did you know that the Jedi of that era prohibited marriage? Or any kind of relationship, for that matter."

    Tya nodded. "Grandfather told me."

    Tya's remark about humanity sparked a thought in Rey. "Tya, what was your grandfather's name? You always just refer to him as grandfather."

    Tya smiled. "His name was Skye Kestal. He was my dad's father. His name was Ozan and my mother was Dori."

    Rey nodded. "Now I have a better reference." She let out a long sigh. "I wish I could tell you my parents' names. I never really knew them. You should feel lucky."

    "I do. I still want answers from Holst."

    "That may not be easy."

    "Actually, I have a plan-" She stopped in mid-sentence. Both of them felt something in the Force. A presence of two beings in the cave near the waterfall. Tya exclaimed, "Do you feel that?"

    "Yes. Stormtroopers."

    They both exited the tent to see Jerrex and Finn talking to each other.

    Finn asked, "Everything good? Apologies all around?"

    "Not now, Finn. We have trouble. Tya and I feel stormtroopers just outside the cave."

    Finn cursed. "A reconnaissance team. Two, maybe three troops."

    Jerrex suggested, "We'll have to take them out."

    Finn said, "That will only bring on more troops. Especially with Rey's handiwork earlier."

    Rey asked, "Won't they be confused with the waterfall?"

    Finn replied, "Not if they have upgraded scanners. They could detect the species of lifeforms they're tracking."

    Rey said with a sneer, "Unless they're told what they're seeing."

    Tya said, "Guys, I have an idea."

    KN-461 studied the screen on the scanner. He had to hold his hand over the screen to help him see the dull green display. He brought up the brightness to its highest level, but it didn't matter in a darkened cave. He and KN-563 had been inside the cave all morning. It was Priority One from Commander Chaste since Squad B was eliminated in the forest with what looked like cauterized wounds from a lightsaber. 563 and himself found the cave and began the scanner investigation. So far, they found nothing. 461 shook the handheld scanner. "Can't see anything on this display in this cave."

    "We still have to look," replied 563. "This cave is the most likely place for them to hide. You still getting life readings?"

    "Tons. Almost too many. See, if we had a Level 6 D-12 Scanner we could detect the species. But no, our Division doesn't have the budget."

    "Cut the chatter, 461. What can you tell from the readings?"

    "For all I can see we're detecting more of those damn cave beetles."

    "Let's go further in. I think I hear water." 563 raised his bright white glow rod and walked forward. 461 followed him with an eye on the scanner. Within minutes, they came across a shallow pond with a waterfall coming from high above the cave. "Knew I heard water."

    "Congratulations. Hey, I'm getting even more life readings."

    "Where from?"

    "That's the strange thing. They're coming from behind the waterfall."

    "That doesn't make sense. Are you reading that right?"

    "You think I don't know how to read a scanner? It may be more than cave beetles. Maybe something larger."

    563 came beside 461 to look at the scanner himself. "That could be a multiple of larger somethings. We have to investigate."

    "How? It's a waterfall."

    "I'm guessing with readings like that there may be a vast area behind it. And a vast area in a cave would be the perfect hiding spot."

    "Like, say for several escaped miners."

    "And a possible Force user. Let's proceed."

    The two troopers edged their way on the sides of the pond. They faced the gushing water coming down. 461 cried, "Guess we're going through."

    "You do know water can't hurt us."

    Ignoring him, 461 went through the water with 563 following him. There indeed was a small rock formation that extended into a hallway-like area. Light appeared on the other side and soon they were inside an immense area of the cave.

    563 said confidently, "What did I tell you?"

    They both heard a noise from behind them and they turned around. They saw a woman with curly blonde hair and a dark-skinned male facing them. The male looked familiar. Each of them aimed blasters at them.

    The woman said, "Hello boys. Glad you could join us."

    563 stared at the male and recognition alerted him. "FN-2187!"

    An instant later, they fired their blasters. Purple waves blasted the troopers to the ground, both stunned.

    After adjusting the armor plates on his arms, Finn let out a sigh and uttered, "I swore I would never wear this suit again."

    "Consider this," said Rey, who was also wearing trooper armor, "the ends justify the means in this case."

    "You're not helping. You look good in uniform, by the way."

    "Shut up."

    Nearby inside the Kestal tent was Tya sitting in the corner, pouting and watching Rey and Finn adorning the stormtrooper armor. She cried, "I still don't see why I can't disguise myself as a stormtrooper."

    Finn answered, "Too short. Regulation height is 1.8 meters."

    Tya asked, "What happens to those who fall short on height? Pun intended."

    Finn said, "They are assigned to other departments."

    Jerrex said wryly, "Translation; desk job."

    "Pretty much," said Finn.

    Rey changed the subject. "Tya, do you want to go over the plan again?"

    "I don't see why since it is my idea."

    "And we supplied the details," said Rey. She addressed Finn. "You ready?"

    "Yep. Only one more thing we need." He turned around at the troopers they stunned. They were tied to a tent post and gagged. Finn came closer and knelt down to their level. "We need information." He removed a gag from the first trooper. "And you're going to give it to us."

    The trooper spat out, "I'm not telling you anything, traitor!"

    "Please, call me something new. Traitor is getting old, KN-563."

    "How...how did you know my call sign?"

    Finn took his helmet and turned it over. He pointed to a label near the bottom that showed the designated call sign. "I paid attention."

    "You will always be FN-2187."

    "Wrong. I will never be FN-2187 again. Even in this suit. But you can call me Finn. Who is your Commander?"

    563 grinned. "Is that the best threatening voice you can manage? You should know better. You'll never make me talk."

    "You're right. I can't make you talk." He motioned to Rey. "But she can."

    Rey struggled to kneel down with the armor. She only reached halfway.

    563 laughed. "A girl? She looks terrifying. I'm scared already."

    "You should be," she said. "I can make you tell us."

    Recognition dawned on 563. "You're the Force user."

    "Not just any Force user. A little rumor is going around that I killed Snoke."

    563's eyes widened. "You're her. The one who the Supreme Leader is looking for."

    "The one and only. And if you've heard, or even witnessed it, prying information from people, like Kylo Ren can, is quite painful. Now, you will tell us what we need to know. Pain or no pain, it's your choice."

    Moments later, Finn said, "And he chose no pain. Commander Chaste. I remember him coming up the ranks. He's a by-the-books type of officer."

    "But Holst isn't," said Geela.

    Finn nodded. "No, but we still need to be careful. From what we got out of 563, their mission parameters don't include the escaped miners. Holst requested assistance on the basis that a Force user was loose on the compound."

    Jerrex stated, "With Rey's little display of power, that's been proven to them."

    Tya said, "They still don't know about me."

    Her brother said, "Which is why I don't like this plan, Tya."

    Tya stared down her brother. "I am getting information about our grandfather, Jer."

    "At what risk?" he asked. "Is this all worth it?"

    "Yes, Jer, it is."

    Rey could feel the same emotion coming from Tya as she, herself, did with Kylo Ren. She said to Tya, "If this is about revenge, Tya-"

    "It's not! I only want to see Holst's face when he realizes that I'm the granddaughter of Skye Kestal."

    Geela said, "Sounds like revenge to me."

    "Shut up, Geela," snapped Tya.

    "Hey, sis, calm down."

    "Oh, sure, defend your beloved crush."

    Finn cried, "Stop it! All of you! We don't have time for this. The longer these troops don't report back the more they will send more troops. We need to go."

    Tya said in a calmer voice, "I'm ready."

    Rey replied, "Me too. Let's go."

    "I can't see a thing in this helmet," cried Rey. Her voice sounded mechanical back at her.

    "I can see fine. It takes some getting used to."

    "Of course, you started wearing this outfit at an early age."

    "That does help."

    The two were walking through the forest and were heading to the mining compound with the plan in mind. Once they neared the compound, they could see the hired mercenaries posting as guards.

    Finn told her, "Now let me do the talking. There are no female troops in this squadron."

    "Typical."

    "Hey, I don't choose the team. Human female stormtroopers are just rare in the First Order."

    "Yeah, that seems unfair."

    "The entire regime is unfair."

    "I meant unfair for their enemies. Women are better fighters."

    "Can't argue with that. Hush, one of the guards is coming."

    The guard in question came up to them. "Was wondering when you two would show up again. Find anything?"

    Finn spoke in an even professional manner. "Negative. We found lifeform readings in the caves but they turned out to be those damn cave beetles."

    The guard scoffed. "Those miners have to be somewhere."

    "The miners do not concern us. Our mission is to find the Force user who eliminated Squad B for the new Supreme Leader."

    "Yeah, whatever."

    "We have our orders to directly report our findings to Magistrate Holst."

    "You mean the lack of findings. I don't envy you. You know where you're going?"

    "If you could direct us, sir."

    "It's what I get paid for. Holst's office is on the opposite side of the compound. Instead of you getting lost in the hallways, your best way is to go around through the mining area to the South entrance. His office is the first on the right. Can't miss it, trust me."

    "Carry on." Finn nodded to Rey. "Move on." They walked passed the guard but not before Finn could hear the guard utter under his breath.

    "You're welcome, you ungrateful First Order prick."

    Finn had forgotten how well the audio sensors picked up the faintest speech.

    They marched around the mining compound and headed to the main mining area. Already, the place was bustling with activity. Several large load lifters carried crude zinite still in the form of rock to be crushed to a fine powder for delivery. A large entryway opened up to the underground mine where several workers were busy with various tasks. Guards were posted at almost every interval. Rey noticed that distinguishing between worker and guard was easy. The workers ranged in ages from small children to the extreme elderly. All workers wore raggedy clothing that was caked with the black soot of zinite. She saw one worker on his knees being prodded with a vibrostick from a guard threatening him into more work. Every one of the workers were exhausted. She could feel their fatigue. By the looks of their thin bodies, they were also malnourished.

    Rey shook her head. She uttered softly, "These aren't miners, Finn. They're slaves."

    Finn replied, "There were many systems in the First Order with mining facilities like this. The First Order likes to keep peoples' hopes down, but nothing this extreme."

    "I can't imagine the First Order being empathetic to these people."

    "Oh, they're not. They'd be more concerned with the lack of production."

    "Now I see why Tya and the others had to escape."

    "The same reason why I escaped the First Order."

    Something else that Rey noticed as they walked by the miners was how they reacted to their armor. They couldn't see Rey and Finn. They saw two stormtroopers. Rey could feel their fear as they passed them. The intimidation was immense with merely a suit of armor. Rey didn't like that feeling towards her. She didn't want to lead by fear. It took her every amount of resistance within her to not take off her helmet and fight for the miners. She wasn't equipped for that fight at the moment. Plus, they would be outnumbered.

    They reached the South entrance of the compound and were greeted by more mercenary guards. This time they let the troopers in without a word. Instead of directly heading towards Holst's office, the disguised Resistance members snuck in one of the corridors near the entrance. Finn looked around to make sure they weren't spotted before he bent down to loosen the bolts on a ventilation shaft cover.

    "This looks good," he said.

    "You think she can do this?"

    "I think that girl can do anything her mind sets on. Kinda like another girl I know." He glanced up to look at her. She didn't need to look at his face to see his raised eyebrows.

    "Hey! What are you two doing there?" A guard yelled at them from the hallway.

    Finn stood up and spoke in his mechanical soldier voice. "We are inspecting the vent covers by order of Commander Chaste. The prisoner you had here escaped through one of these, did she not?"

    The guard stuttered. "Well...y...yes."

    "We're securing the vents so that you won't make the same mistake twice. This will also be reported to Magistrate Holst as well."

    The guard gulped. "Do you have to report this to Holst?"

    "Affirmative. We have a duty to do so. Now, if you don't mind, we would like to get back to our mission."

    "Oh, yes. Sure. Carry on." The guard walked away.

    Rey said to Finn softly, "Remind me not to get on your bad side."

    "Intimidation. It's effective on the right people."

    "And the wrong people."

    "Them, too. Looks like it's ready. Let's go meet Holst."

    They found Holst's office around the corner from the hallway. The first guard was correct. They couldn't miss it. It was a large and elaborate room with artistic decor adorning the walls and shelves. If Rey didn't know any better, she wouldn't classify the room as an office. It was more like a palace museum. Magistrate Biran Holst stood on the opposite side of the room in front of a large viewport that overlooked the mine. He was dressed in what looked more like an ornate multi-colored robe rather than a typical tunic. It would be more suitable for a figure of royal blood than a magistrate of a zinite mining facility. Despite his short stature, he beamed with confidence. She could feel it in the Force. This man would not be easy to persuade through the Force.

    Holst turned and addressed them. "Yes?"

    Finn stated, "Sir, we were instructed by Commander Chaste to update you on our findings this morning."

    "As I demanded. And?"

    "Our scanners picked up several lifeforms within the caves but we failed at pinpointing the nature of species. It is our assessment that the lifeform readings are various creatures living in the caves."

    Holst squinted his eyes. A tinge of disbelief fell upon his face. Rey considered this a bad sign. Holst asked, "There was no evidence of human activity inside the cave?"

    "None that we could detect. Sir, if I may speak freely."

    "By all means."

    "The scanner we're using is a Level 4 D-12 model. It cannot specify exact species as well as a Level 6 scanner."

    Holst chuckled. "Let me get this straight. You are blaming your lack of findings on a machine? Typical. I would expect more from Commander Chaste's men."

    "I am sorry, sir."

    Holst's eyes widened. "Sorry? You? Funny, I didn't think stormtroopers apologized for anything. Much less making up excuses for your mistakes."

    Rey cringed inside the armor. He knows. Or he suspects that they're fake troopers. She was ready to act. Instead, Holst continued normally.

    "Was there anything else?"

    Finn glanced at Rey, who nodded. He told Holst, "There was something we found on the way back near the outpost where Squad B was dispatched."

    "And then slaughtered," Holst added.

    "Yes, sir. We found a hallway full of storage containers stacked to the ceiling. They were hiding a door."

    "A door to what?"

    "Some sort of lab."

    Holst put his finger under his upper lip. "Is that so?"

    "Yes, sir. We had to bypass the door to open it. It looks like it was abandoned for decades. Inside we found three cryo units with dead bodies in each of them. Human males."

    "Uh huh. Did you report this to your Commander?"

    "Not as of yet, sir. We assessed that because of your longevity here at the compound, you may know more about it."

    "Your assessment is correct, trooper. However, I find it hard to believe that you happened to come across that outpost when it is kilos away from the cave you inspected so poorly. Tell me, how did you both move those containers? I'm sure they were quite heavy for two stormtroopers."

    "We managed, sir."

    "We." Holst came closer to them but addressed Rey. "You. You haven't spoken since you came into the room. What? Gundark got your tongue?"

    Finn replied for her. "KN-461 has been having transmitter problems all morning. We were going to head to maintenance after our duties were completed."

    "Transmitter problems." Holst said it as a statement as he grinned. "That ruse is the oldest trick in the book. What would you say if I said I didn't believe you?"

    He knows, Rey thought. Rey knew it was time to act. Quickly. She focused in the Force and directed her command at Holst. "You will tell us everything you know about that lab."

    For a moment, Holst was silent. Then he grinned wider and said, "I will not. Who are you two?"

    A sound was heard from above them and the cover of the ventilation shaft on the ceiling swung open. Jumping down from it was Tya Kestal. She landed with precision behind Holst. She immediately ignited Rey's golden blade and pointed it at his neck. She spoke in a voice that Rey had not heard from her before. Yet, she heard it many times from Kylo Ren. She could feel the same rage in the teenage girl.

    "I am the Force user you've been looking for. One of those bodies in that lab was my grandfather." She paused and threatened. "Now...you will tell us all you know about that lab."

    tbc
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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  22. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    *De-lurks*
    I like.
    *thumbs up*
     
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  23. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Loved these lines. :D
     
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