Eight years have passed, and she finally was there where always wanted to be. Eight long and very hard years. In every minute during her long journey she has kept eyes only on her goals. She has fought against prejudice, disparagement and contempt and she has proved she is trustworthy and she is far more than they believed. She exercised and learned hard and exploited every opportunity. She knew well of herself and only developed her best capabilities. She wiped out her old life and now she was a valuable member of the First Order. She earned all praise and success with good reasons. She struggled to be herself and she created her new personality – Rayn Sigear – and now she walks on her own way.
And now she reaches her purpose.
“Lieutenant!” a thin male voice comes from the radio. “We left the hyperspace. Arrive in 5 minutes!”
“Understood” She leaped from the chair impatiently. She couldn’t sit still. Excitement took her with itself like a mighty wave. New rank, new task… a brandnew life. But her heart is beating so quick and her ankles is shaking for another reason. This is His base. Now she is under his command again. Will he know her when see her again? Does he remember her? They havn’t met for a long time. Cartainly he has more important tasks than preserving old memories. And what if he doesn’t recognize her? Can she just stand before him and say hello? Has any meaning their acquaintenance?
5 minutes passed immediantely and the ship landed easily without shaking. As soon as the door opend she almost jumped from the vehicle. Despite shining sunshine freezing cold welcome her. But it didn’t matter to her. The excitement heated up her blood. Looking around snowy, jagged mountains were circled around the main building of the base. The base itself was build in a mountain and even at it’s highest point theres was walls. Of course, she knew the whole planet was a base in fact, but stand there and seeing it with her own eyes was completely different feeling. It was grander and far more impressive.
“Welcome to the Starkiller base, Lieutenant!” A tall man greeted her from afar. He was not that she expected, but when she saw his rank immediately saluted.
“Thank you, sir’” she said with military discipline. His superior only noded to rest. He was a dump, a little bit grizzled man. The calm eyes surveying her were steel-gray and the slightest of age-wrinkles lurking at their corners
“I’m Major Jantar Dweren. The development of artillery equipment of the base and the stormtroopers is under my supervison!” His stern voice frightened her at first. Her previously base - despite it was part of the First Order – was rather a research lab than a military base. Though she prepared straiter expectations in formality she found it too rigorous. Here she was a soldier.
“I understood you are aware of your task and you can start immediately” He stared at her and his gaze almost slammed her.
“Yes, sir!” said without hesitation. Tha Major’s answer was only a nod.
“Good. Leave your packages it will be handled! Follow me!” He still finished the sentence when he was leaving. Rayn was fast-paced after the man.
“All documents and equipments you need is at your disposal! Besides five engineer IT specialist are subordinate to you” They soon reached the hangar and actually entered the base. The hangar was huge, well lighted and noisy. Dozens of TIE fighter lined up next to each other. A lot of technicians rushed there beside there was at least ten stormtrooper in every corner.
“During the day of tomorrow, you are going to receive your register code. Starting your work is only possible after that!” The man’s voice came a little further because Rayn ignorantly stopped for a moment. Luckily, she could catch up him without he noticed. “Your seconded post is on the fifteenth floor in the B3 subsector. You shall report directly to me in writing every Mondays until 18:00.” Rayn was a little bit disappointment because she tought her work is important enough for the General to address it personally. It seemed not. “You shall not speak about the details of your work anyone exept your direct subordinates, me and of course General Hux. Your official work time is between 8:00-18:00 from Monday to Saturday. However, you shall also be available anytime. Organize your daily activities according to this. All meal is held in officer-canteen on the first floor. Breakfast from 6:00, your lunch-break hold between 12:00-12:30 and dinner is after your official worktime.” While he was speaking they arrived a wide corridor which marked B00. “You can apply to leave the base at most for a day once in every three months. You shall give details where to go and who you are going to meet. I reject anytime without explanation. If you get you shall wear tracker and report every single event.” They turned to corridor B21. “During today you will receive your datapad. You shall take with yourself wherever you go. Due to the size of the base you will gets commands throught this”
They passed of a couple of corridors and rooms. For a while Rayn didn’t pay attention to what he said, she knew well these informations will be on her datapad. Actually, in more detailed. Instead she was looking for corridors. She considered every intersection and into every open door. She hoped maybe can see the General somewhere but didn’t succeed. At the end of her and the Major’s way they went upstairs to the fifth floor. It looked like it was the accommodation area. As they steped out from the elevator a very tall, skinny and very repulsive woman waited. She looked 40 years old and they were on the same rank despite Rayn was only 24 years old.
“Lieutenant! She is Lieutenant Tamareen F’yeet! F’yeet, she is Lieutenant Rayn Sigear! introduced the two women for each other. “She will show you your room, the accommodation area, the canteen, your worksector and rest of the base. As I said your duty is going to start tomorrow. However, your official briefing will be hold next week”
“Next week, sir?” Rayn suddenly caught her attention.
“As I said, Lieutenant! Currently General Hux is not on the base. He will arrive next week!” A thousand of thought run up Rayn’s mind. She will see him in a week! But it’s a long time! But at least she can see him. If she survived eight years than seven little day will be nothing. Leastwise she hoped.
“Lieutenant Sigear!” Her superior’s voice pulled back her to the reality. “Lieutenant F’yeet! Dismissed!” After the woman saluted he turned and went away.
Loud and monotonous tweet waked up Rayn just as every single morning on the week. Six days passed since when she arrived the Starkiller base. Six, torturingly slow days. Every single minute seemed to her a whole eternity which didn’t want to end. But finally, the seventh day has come. To this thought she got nervous and was excitement over her. Just as always. But this day will be different. This will be far more longer than the others and she will be unable to concentrate on her work. Furthermore, the insecurity was completely infuriating. Whether when she will be called? Forenoon? Afternoon? After the official worktime? Whether or not he is calling her at all? Or he thinks she get already a satisfactory briefing?
She reached from her bed with a heavy sigh and with usual movment switch off the alarm clock. She hasn’t mood to do anything. She was tired because she could barely asleep. Old memories haunted her incessantly. She laid in her bed for moments before she kicked the quilt down. She got up with a huge stretch that make her feels better a little bit. She shuffles to the window where touched a button and the curtains rised up. The same view greeted her as every morning. Snowy landscape, blue sky and high mointains. It was beautiful undoubtedly, but in her mind only one thing was enough place right now. Maybe tomorrow she can calm down and just delight in beaty of nature. With a yawn she turned and looked around her little room. One bed, one desk and one cabinet. It was not much moreover she shered the bathroom with her neighbor, but she didn’t complain. After all, it was a military base.
Almost half an hour later she came out of bathroom in her uniform with fresh feelings ready to go. With routinely moves she bended her long, reddish brown hair, and rubbing her dark brown eyes to hide the black shadows under her eyes. She quickly made a last look in the mirror and looked at the clock. It was 7:18. She was delayed. But still with a happy smile ran out from the shared apartment. This is the seventh day!
She rushed foraward in the corridor to the canteen. Honestly, she didn’t hate anything more than to eat in hurry, but she couldn’t force herself to get up earlier. She was simply too tired for that. The base was huge, but luckily, she had good sense of locality. She soon learned which way to go so she took the turns confidently. Many people came up against her. The same persons every day.
About half past eight in the hands of her poor breakfast she headed to her friends to the other side of the canteen. It was late and there was not much choice for breakfast, so she only got a bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee. The huge canteen was now almost empty which isn’t suprising because all officer had taken their workplace yet. She easy flipped the steel chairs and tables and sat upright at the table.
“Well, well! Look at that! Who is here?” A muscular, brown haired man greeted her with shining smile. “It’s 7:34. New record!” The others at the table laughted at. “I’m just starting to suspect that actually your work time start only at 9 o’clock. Maybe is it a mysterious right for hyper-super-engineer-soldiers?
“Yeah right! I have been caught!” Rayn made innocent face. “Funny as always, Ralem” said and started her breakfast. She knew Lieutanant Ralem Harter essentially since her first day. He is responsible for communication between the sectors on the base and many times a day he takes visits in Rayn’s sector, so they meet often. She didn’t even swallow her first bite when another of her friend stand up in hurry.
“I’m sorry but I have to go.” Sergeant Zarner Iwory was a short, black haired, reserved deck officer in the main control room and he was always in hurry especially when high-ranking leaders were on board.
“Easy! It isn’t even quarter to eight!” The blonde haired, bullet woman sitting opposite Rayn calmed him. She was Vareen, Rayn’s roommate with whom shared the bathroom. Vareen served as a stretcher-bearer at medical depertmant in the sector E far away from Rayn so they usually met only at their quarters.
“General Hux arrives in a few hours. I have to be on the deck!” he answerd in hurry and almost ran out from the canteen. Rayn’s heartbeat speeded up to hearing of the general’s name. Throughout the week she tried to avoid speaking about him or just even mention him. She was afraid to find out that she had known the Genaral for a long time. Anyway, she doesn’t know how it would affect him. Her past couldn’t be boasted.
“Anyway, your briefing will be held today, won’t it?” Vareen asked.
“Should do” Rayn answerd between two bites. She tried to hide her excitement, but she felt her face flushed.
“Aah first time to meet General Hux… it’s alwasy a pleasure” Ralem grined. Rayn ignored the pointed remark. In the last days she heard lots of things about Hux. Most of these wasn’t cordial but with a smiley on her face acknowledged that he hasn’t changed a bit.
“After all Major Dweren briefed me last week when I arrived. So, may be the General won’t call for me” She only got loud laugh from Ralem and Vareen for answer.
“Don’t even hope for it, Rayn!” Vareen said with know-all look.
“Yeah, the General controls everything himself on this base even the smallest screw. He supervises all procees and gives direct task personally. Belive me, he doesn’t entrust giving orders to anyone in his name!” Ralem added from Vareen’s wards but she soon interrupted him again.
“But I heard he had an assistant a few years ago. A pretty looking, short haired girl” told with gossiping glint in her eyes. “Rumor has it, she worked – very well – under the General literelly!” she winked “It seems short hair is the General’s taste” By the time she finished her grin had reached her ears.
Rayn’s heart missed at least two beats and she felt painful tightness in her stomach. Although she was laughing with Vareen and Ralem, but she wanted just to run away. She imagined slapping herself a hunred times for be able to speak her normal voice.
“Alright! Don’t be surprise if he calls me. I got it!” she tried to close this theme and she quickly finished her breakfast and drained her coffee in a single gulp. “Oh my God! It’s 7:50! We shall go now!” It wasn’t needed to recall twice them. As they realized how much time was both of them huddled a left the canteen in hurry.
Rayn together with her thoughts walked to the fifteenth floor. The pleasing excitement was infected with a sickening, sore feeling. She knew what was that. She laughed sarcastically herself for feeling jealousy. And this wasn’t only because of the rumored assistant, but everybody who can be the General’s side in the past eight years. Although she knew she had spent much more time with him than anyone else in the whole base and they were almost friend, now it was like the past lives only in her memories
With a deep sigh she dropped herself into the black leather chair and started her endless work. Weapon calibration, energy distribution counting, and a lot of simulations were waited just for her. Results were expected from her, but the progression of the week wasn’t exactly the planned one. She planned to finish the precalibrations and the survey of the main system in the first days and after the safety simulation tests she can start essential developments of the tracking systems. But she hadn’t completed half of the preparation calculating. And this wasn’t just because of her tiredness and distraction but the simulation had given acceptable results randomly. She consulted her subordinates in vain they couldn’t solve the problem.
She wanted to present tanglibe results so much after the first week, but it won’t happen. Instead she sat there staring at a failed simulation summary again and archived the details to her report. This was already the fitfth failure today. After saving tha last data line she leaned back sadly and looked over her monitors again. The same red signals were shown on all screens.
Energy stabilization – simulation: FAIL; Energy dispersion – simulation: FAIL; Traceability – simulation: FAIL; System defragtion – simulation: FAIL; Critical overload level – simulation: FAIL; Autmatic cooling process – simulation: FAIL.
She reached her datapad with lazy movement. All day she checked every five minutes for messages. Even a single notification didn’t come.
“It doesn’t look good” came a male voice behind her. She almost jumped out from her chair with shock.
“Oh my God!” Rayn turned back to see the laughing Ralem. “I almost got a heartattack!”
“You know, in my defense, the door was open” Ralem explained with innocent look. “Do you have any idea what cause it?” headed in the direction of the monitors and started reading the summaries.
“An unexpected variable. And I simply cann’t identify it. It is influancing the complete system and… I don’t know it seems nonsence. The simulations give solution randomly and what’s more it is uninterpetable!” complained. “This is much more complicated base than I thought at first”
“That doesn’t sound good” Ralem mumbled while was kept reading “And what’s your plan? Try all of possibilities one by one?”
“Yeah, something like that” Rayn answerd with a deep sigh. Loudly pronounced it was more rankling. “I sorted the used parameters in queue according to priority and contribution and then yes… I will try all of possibilities one by one. If I’m lucky the next simulation will solve the problem but if I not…”
“This gonna be your grave” Ralem finished her sentence and continued the reading. Rayn grimaced.
“Anyway, why are you here?” asked him when saw Ralem finished reading the main summary of the efficiency of the developments.
“You missed the lunch. And right now, I have a lot of free time so I’m here to check you and see how you’re doing” Rayn stared Ralam with questioning look and immediately checked her datapad. It was 13:49. With laud sigh she leaned back again in her chair. Barely had breakfast to eat something, missed lunch and there isn’t many chance to eat something soon enough.
Rayn suddenly understood the meaning of Ralem’s previous sentence. “How mean you have free time?”
“The main console in sector C is under repair. So neither my workstation is under power. It will have taken a few hours and…” He couldn’t finish because Rayn interrupted him.
“What happened with the main console?” she snapped viciously. “Any new update had been installed? I hadn’t got any notification about this! How could I develop these systems and make simulations if the parameters were changed without I am knowing it?” she started to panic but Ralem shaked his head. She felt a little easier. Ralem looked back at his shoulder suspiciously then answerd to Rayn quietly.
“Kylo Ren happened” explaind. Rayn knew the mysterious commander by hearing. But it was more than enough because rumors always were about his tantrum and broken consols. “I hope you don’t have to go to Hux soon because he really goes off”
“No, I didn’t get any order yet” answerd in frustration. She remembered many years ago seeing the General once very angry and than he was pissed at her. In fact, she never understands why exatly he was angry that day, but it doesn’t matter now.
“Then you’ll be staying overnight” announced Ralem. “I have just come back from Hux’s office. General Canady is here and I’m sure he didn’t come for 5 minutes” As he saw Rayn’s face went paler he started out of the room with a chuckle. “Well don’t give up!”
After Ralem left she stared at the onitors for a couple of minutes. She hadn’t any logical idea. With a sigh she typed new parameters and sterted a new simulation agan. And again, and again. And every time flashing error message greeted her.
Next time when she checked her datapad time was 17:37. She didn’t even recognize the afternoon passed as fast as forenoon. But for the realization her stomach contracted in painful spasm and her throat griped hard. It hadn’t caused by hungry, but impatience. The day is about end and she was sure her briefing is getting closer. The great meeting with Hux is getting closer. When she couldn’t handle with her excitement anymore and only squirmed and had the jumps, moreover she started the same simulation the third time she decided for her the day was off.
The wayback to her quarters was longer than any other time. She felt her legs heavier than usually and hardly took her. She felt herself a disappointed little child. With a heavy sigh she steped in hers and Vareen’s common little hallway. At her supriese scattered clothes awaited her and her friend’s room was open.
“Vareen? Are you here?” stepped to the door and looked in the empty room. When she shrugged and turned to her own room for lying comfortably on the bed the door of the bathroom opened loudly.
“Where the hell have you been?” Vareen asked her with uncomprehending look. She was already in her standard nightclothes consisted black, loose shirt and gray trousers. “Sorry for mess! I had a very, very long day…” She picked up the parts of her uniform. “So, where have you been? It’s 20:34” asked firmly “Don’t say your briefing was so long!”
“No, there was no briefing yet” smiled to her while was stepping in her room. She droped down her datapad and jacket to the edge of the bed than she fell next to them. “I had work all day” moaned in the white pillow.
“Didn’t you get even any orders?” Vareen followed her to the room with her clothes in her hands still. After Rayn’s barely visible head shaking she continued. “Well, that’s mean Commander Ren had make him very upset”
“And another general also here…” added than finally sat up on the bed. “I think I gonna have a shower and go bed. Or will he call me that late?”
“I don’t really know…” answerd while she was leaning to the wall “As far as I know he often held late-night meetings. At least communicational officers always complain about this and their horrible headache. But on the other hand, these meetings is held for generals and colonels, and not for a new officer’s briefing”
“No metter!” Rayn stood up firmly and grabed her towel and nightclothes from the cabinet “I risk it”
She went past Varen flourish and stepped in the little bathroom. At the moment the doors closed behind her last impetus has gone. She dropped her black tower to the sink and with a sight she leand on the edge. She looked in the mirror but there she saw only her tired, heavy-eyed reflection. Now it didn’t matter how much he wanted to meet Hux, she didn’t want Hux tu see her like this. She wanted when Hux recognize her his first thought would be “so changed” “become adult” “become a real woman” “she is radiant”. But now she looked like her old slef. With an easy move she unbraided her hair and just let it to fall on her shoulders. She undressed quickly and finally stepped in the shower.
The strong and hot shower was like a heavenly dream. She felt the warm feeling around her body which slowly completely relaxed. She turned around with closed eyes and just let the warm water to removes all the recently tension from her shoulders and back. Just for a moment she forgot all of her problems and doubts. She almost regained her former energy and just hoped that she finally can rest at night. She didn’t think anything just enjoyed the useful effects of the shower.
Even she didn’t realize how much time had passed. But suddenly loud knock disrupted her. At first she got scared and for a moment she completely forgot where she was, but soon realized Vareen was crying to her.
“Rayn! Rayn! Get out! Now!” heard Vareen shrilly voice. Rayn stepped out of the shower curiously and wrapped the towel around herself. When she opened the door Vareen shouted to her with worried look “Finally!”
“What’s going on?” looked out the door cautiously. Just finished her sentence Vareen pushed her change of clothes in her hand.
“Get dry and dress quickly” pushed her back to the bathroom and without any further word run back Rayn’s room.
“What?“ call for her meaningless. When her roommate returned she just stared at her in confusion.
“Read!” stuck Rayn’s own datapad in her face. “The General has called for you! Hurry!”
Top priority notification
From: General A. Hux
To: Lieutenant R. Sigear
Report in my office in 15 minutes!
Bring your specification about the proposed developments!