Holograms are notorious for never doing their subjects justice, when it came to Snoke,this was most certainly true. Holograms were criticized for glossing over the finer details, and presenting an image that is altered to conceal emotional responses. Snoke was the thing of nightmares, as his face was so pale, one could almost peer through the layers of flesh and body to see the dark machinations of his twisted mind.His eyes were hollow at first glance, but in actuality had a calculating shine to the inner fold. His scars were like hungry mouths, daring onlookers to fall into their traps.
Shadows cascaded from his imperial figure and conquered whatever light it could find. The Supreme Leader breathed in darkness, and thrived in the shade. Ren couldn't help but shiver involuntarily when he was presented before Snoke in person. A malleable wall of anger swirled around Kylo as he came closer. The throne room was a glorious creation; with details provided from every artistic genius in the greater galaxy. Angular and sharp designs kept every visitor on edge, including Kylo.
The Supreme Leader turned to face his apprentice."Kylo .We have much to discuss."
Ren was rather surprised at the indifference woven into the greeting issued by his master, as he was expecting an immediate scolding for his shameful failures. Worst of which, was his utter defeat at the hands of that was her name? Oh, yes. Rey.
She could change her name, but he would forever know her as something that had bested him, and pointed out all of his weaknesses. For someone so delicate looking, she had an inner cunningness, which rivaled that of the Supreme Leader himself.
"Yes,my master. I understand that my shortcomings have hindered our plans tenfold. I am here to take full responsibility for my actions. I seek to regain your favor in order to complete my training. What does my master command of me?'
Kylo knelt down to both knees in a show of loyalty and surrender to the wills of his master. The punishment would be harsh, but he was prepared for any level of severity as he had proven himself deserving of such discipline.
"My apprentice, your failures are invalid. I have summoned you for the purpose of continuing your tutelage. Your defeats of are indeed disdainful, but if you succeed where you have failed before, I may consider letting such transgressions remain in the past."
Kylo was astonished. Leniency was unheard of when Snoke was issuing his decisions. His swift and decisive rulings were part of why he was so popular, among the First Order, as he wasn't one of for theatrics. Efficiency was the utter foundation of the First Order,and every one who served took pride in how their leader epitomized such values. This situation could work to Ren's advantage as this could certify Snoke's favor for Kylo. He also wouldn't mind if he could make Hux look like the fool he tried to hide under his excessive military issued robes.
"May I inquire what your will is? I will do anything to prove that I am worthy of your attention and teachings."Kylo meant every word he said.
"Such eagerness is noted, but you would be foolish to let such anticipation cloud your judgment. Emotions can propel the force, but it is up to our minds to make it do our bidding, I order you to retrieve this girl, and bring her to me. I have uses for her, and they cannot be ignored."
Kylo felt a sudden wave of apprehension and fear. His master could just be using him as a conduit to procure a more suitable student, and dispose of him when his usefulness ran dry. Was his father right? Was he just a means to an end?Curses! Such thoughts were the reason that he had failed in the first place. He would not fail his master this time, and in doing so he would show his master his worth. He could taste the triumph, and feel the gratitude that his master would bequeath upon him.
"My master, I swear to you, I will never again allow my inner sentiments to take hold. I am worthy of being your apprentice. The First Order and its position in the galaxy are paramount to me. It is my duty, and I intend on seeing my duty through. Where do you suggest I start?"
"I sense much conflict stirring within the depths of your mind. If I can sense such things with such lack of effort, then trust that the girl will be able to as well, for her power already rivals your own. I recommend you use such a reminder as fuel to succeed in your task. I do not foresee this being easy, and consider this as your guidance. Search your feelings, and the information you need to start will come to you. I will offer no further counsel. I have already said too much. Remain aware that the stakes are high. I will not tolerate failure again."
R2-D2 had bested Chewbacca in 40 rounds of dejarik and the wookie was verging on a temper tantrum. For the past few weeks the Millennium Falcon had become home to her. Luke had insisted that Rey come and stay with him in his rugged camp on the outer reaches of the temple ruins, and it wasn't that Rey was against roughing it, it was just that she had already been through so much. The ship had truly become home. She inexplicably drawn to a certain compartment, and she couldn't put her finger on it, but she felt as if it was a person and they were calling her into their open arms. She shook her head as if she were trying to push such thoughts through her ears and into the air. From the looks of it, it was just about time to meet the old man. He was so was just familiar that she couldn't shake the idea that she had met the benevolent teacher in her rather lame past.
Her comm buzzed to alert her that Luke was requesting her presence, and so she rose from the chair she was currently occupying while watching the dejarik matches. She was unsure as to why Luke insisted on avoiding the ship, but Rey had an inkling that the memories associated with the ship, and by extension Han and Kylo, were too painful for the Jedi to face after all of the loss he had suffered. Her master had been adamant that he was fine, but she could see through his defenses with relative ease. He was hurting, and even a glance at the ship would bring about a wince and a few stray tears for the loss of his former best friend. Han’s death was still fresh for Luke, and such a reminder of the life his friend left behind wasn't an easy thing to stomach so soon.
Rey hurried from the crew common area and directed the doors to open. As soon as there was enough room for Rey to squeeze through she squished through the two metal surfaces. The sun greeted Rey with a joyful shine and filled her with a feeling of excitement for the day to come. She honed in on her could surroundings and could detect the Force permeating every aspect of the environment, from the shape of the rocks, the gentle ripple of the wind, to the overwhelming blanket of calm. Things couldn't be so tranquil by any ordinary means. Therefore, the Force was responsible.
Luke was admiring the swells of the gentle ocean. Rey smiled to herself as this was quite similar to the first time she met him. He faced her and greeted her with a grin as warm as the sunlight itself.
"Good morning Rey,I trust you had a good night’s rest for we have a busy day ahead of us including your favorite:lightsabers.I must admit it has always been the most enjoyable aspect of training for me as well, but sadly my well worn body isn't what it used to be, so go easy on this old man."
"I find your humility endearing but from the number of times it has ended up with me on my behind and you with a saber at my throat, I have found your self criticism rather empty.'
This system of joking that Rey and Luke had developed was of great service to the both of them, as it offered a much needed sense of lightness to the overwhelming shadow that loomed elsewhere in the galaxy.
"Well let’s put your words to the test. Get my lightsaber ready and prepare to be amazed."
"How many times must I remind you that this is my lightsaber?You already have a snazzy blade. Speaking of snazz,I have only come across red,blue,and green lightsabers, are there no other colors? I would really like to see a purple blade, or even a yellow."
"Now that is a question I have asked myself for countless years. It is quite boring isn't it? I have come across evidence that once there was a vast amount of saber colors, but due to the lack of Jedi I really couldn't tell you one way or another. Are we going to spar, or would you prefer to just run your mouth all morning?'
"I guess sparring will have to do for now."
Luke positioned himself with his feet spread apart wide enough to balance out his weight. He made the first move, by bringing his weapon down in a sharp slant downward. Rey jumped back in surprise, and narrowly avoided the beam of laser. She huffed in annoyance and spun around in order to catch her teacher off guard, but his years of experience prove easily better. He blocked her sloppy blow, and drove her weapon to the ground. He paused to wait for her to gather herself, and immediately dove right back into the rhythm of the fight.
"You fought well today; came close to besting me the last time we fought."
"If you call me nearly falling from a twenty story cliff progress then I will take it. Your technique is absolutely amazing; I can barely keep up with you when you begin to move. It truly is a sight to behold. You tell me that combat has always been your favorite form of training, but I cannot help but feel that this is false, I am getting the impression that at least as of now, Force study is where your true love lies."
"Very perceptive young one, you would be correct. I have discovered that scholarly pursuits are rather appealing to an old man. One can never get tired of the mystery surrounding the ways of the Force."
"Luke, what do you know of Force Visions? Every night I have been seeing something, but I can never remember what I saw. I know that they are important, but I cannot tell what they are trying to say, if I have no recollection."
"I am very familiar with the happenings of future,past;or present. Force visions is one of the Force powers that has come very naturally to me. Tell me of these dreams."
Rey hesitated to divulge the information. Every experience Rey had with such visions were hard to speak of, as they were quite disturbing, and having been alone her entire life, she wasn't ready to entrust her innermost thoughts so Luke.
"Luke, I really appreciate the concern, and if the dreams get worse I promise to let you know. This isn't easy for me. I have never had someone who was genuinely concerned about me before"
"Of course. I am sorry for pushing. I can understand what you are going through, and how difficult it can be to open up. I can give you all of the time you need."
Luke turned to examine the state of the sky. Tails of mauve and peach chased each other across the horizon to form a ribbon of light. Night was sure to fall soon, and Rey had been battling grogginess since late afternoon. Luke's eyes flew to study Rey as she let out a tremendous yawn. He smiled once more, and nodded his head.
"I think that it is time to call it night. These old bones need a rest, and if your yawns grow any louder, you might cause an avalanche."
"Alright, good night master."
"Good night Rey."
Rey offered a slight bow and turned to head in the direction of the Millennium Falcon. The door was already open as if Chewie was expecting Rey's arrival. The wookie may be able to make storm troopers cower in their boots, but his heart was as gentle as the evening breeze. He was busy operating on the innards of the ship, and acknowledged Rey with a fleeting glance and a guttural rush of air.
Rey began to head in the direction of where she slept every night, when she felt a tug leading the opposite way. The tug was initially nonexistent, but it grew more potent by the second, and soon had Rey moving her feet. Despite her protests, and efforts to reach for something to anchor her to the ground, the pull proved superior. The invisible cord drug Rey through the hallways of the vessel, and lead her to a long ago abandoned storage room.
Standing underneath the veil of an emergency light was the menacing figure of Kylo Ren.