D’Qar Base. Early in the morning. A pink, white and silver R2 droid [designation R2-KT] rolls into a dimly lit barracks and rolls silently up to a bunk where its owner sleeps, buried under a mountain of blankets, her comm unit tucked close to her ear. The sleeping person is Jessika Pava.
R2-KT beeps loudly and Jessika Pava groans
Jessika: Mmph, g’way Katee. It’s too early. Go bug Poe if it’s a message from the General.
R2-KT beeps in concern.
Jessika: Fine, fine I’m up. I’m up. Relay the transmission.
R2-KT rocks on its hind wheels in excitement, beeping.
A blue light issues from the front of the droid and a holographic image appears, inches from Jess’s face. Rey appears, form flickering with static and her voice echoes through the cramped room. Jess gasps and sits up.
Jess: Rey! Oh Maker!
Rey: Hello Jessika! I hope you’re well. I’m sorry it took me so long to send you a return message but my training with Skywalker has been intensive and the radiation levels of the island have made it difficult to send transmissions.
Jess: Think she knows I’ve sent her five messages since she left D’Qar, Katee?
R2-KT beeps and dome rotates. Jess laughs. Rey continues.
Rey: Skywalker says there is a way for us to speak in real-time. It’s an old Jedi technology the R2’s came equipped with. Your droid and Artoo have this technology, so if you’re interested, maybe in the next week or so we can speak in person? I’m not sure how it will hold up to the radiation levels or if we will be able to sustain it for long, but it would be nice to talk to you and see you in person. Or...as close to as in person as we can get.
Jess’s fingers shake and she strokes the holographic image, which flickers with a chatter of static. Rey continues, voice echoing distantly.
Rey: I miss you, pilot.
Another crackle of static and Rey’s form flickers out. Jess sniffs.
Jess: Miss you too, Jedi.
R2-KT hums sadly, servos whirring as it moves its dome in Jess’s direction and Jess sniffs some more, hand patting with a hollow chime on the droid’s dome.
Jess: So. Jedi technology, huh? Haven’t heard of that before now. Maybe we should take you to BB-8 and Poe and see what they can find then, hm Katee?
R2-KT beeps in excitement, rocking on hind wheels, dome whirring quickly. Jess laughs and kicks free of the bunk.
Jess: All right you bucket of bolts. Let’s go wake up our fearless commander and see what we can find in your systems. I don’t know when Rey’s going to want to do this real-time talk since that transmission is a couple days old, so we gotta be ready.
Droid and pilot exit the barracks, the door groaning open for them. R2-KT chatters at Jess and she laughs.
Jess: No, I don’t think it will hurt Katee. I would never let anyone hurt you.
R2-KT sighs in relief and Jess pats its dome once more, the door closing with another groan behind them.
Jess: Silly droid.
Poe Dameron’s quarters. Finn, Poe, Jess, BB-8 and R2-KT are within, both bots joined together, chattering quietly as their owners discuss their options.
Poe: I’ve never heard of a Jedi live feed built into the R2 units. You’d think that’d be something they’d want to improve on for the other astromechs like the BB units.
Jess: Rey didn’t mention much of it in her last transmission. Just said Artoo and probably Katee had the programs built into their coding.
Poe: I guess it isn’t very surprising. Artoo has been around for a very long time and he’s never been wiped in that time. And Katee has changed hands more times than I care to think of. We’re lucky it functions as well as it does now. T’Var had a hell of a time getting its programming back online when it was recovered from Raxus Prime. The things she found on this droid’s hard drive would be enough to turn anyone grey.
Jess: Think BB-8 will be able to straighten it out or should I take the droid to T’Var?
Finn: T’Var was busy working on Threepio the last time I saw her. Probably should wait a while. She didn’t seem happy.
Poe snorts and Jess groans.
Poe: Speaking of a droid that needs to be wiped.
The two droids beep happily, BB-8 spinning in place as R2-KT rocks on its wheels, screeching. Finn glances up from the datapad he has propped in his lap.
Finn: Did they find something?
Jess: Sounds like it. What’s going on Beebeeate?
BB-8 chatters. Poe laughs.
Poe: Slow down buddy! Slow down! You were able to contact Artoo and initiate the conference program?! That’s great! Good job you two!
R2-KT screeches and bumps into Jess’s knees.
Jess: Ow! Okay, okay Katee. I hear ya! We’ll try to contact Rey right away.
BB-8 spins happily and screeches. All of the humans laugh and wait for R2-KT to boot up the Jedi hologram program.
Humming and screeching ( a.k.a. dialup ) fills the quarters and they all wince. BB-8 beeps again.
Jess: Gods, that’s an awful sound. How ancient is this program?
Poe: No idea. Okay, sounds like Katee was able access it. Initiate the system now. Here we go, guys.
Finn: I can’t wait to see Rey. I hope she’s okay.
Jess is silent, eyes squeezed closed and her hand shaking on KT’s dome.
Blue light fills Poe’s quarters and a weird chiming fills the space.
A figure appears, tall, caped and ominous.
Finn: Who the hell is that?!
Poe: Is that a Jedi?!
Jess: Force! Close the program! Close it now Katee!
The Figure: You have initiated the Jedi Conference Program. You are not authorized to access this information and a self-destruct has been initiated. The countdown begins now-
Poe: Oh shit.
Finn: Are you kidding?!
Jess: Maker fuck us.
The Figure: Five-four-
BB-8 shrieks and spins, heading for the door. R2-KT remains frozen.
The Figure: Three-
There’s a scuffle, a soft curse in a woman’s voice and suddenly the figure disappears to be replaced by Rey.
Rey: Sorry about that you lot. Artoo was getting feisty with me and Skywalker. We had to override the protection systems he has in place before he got too far in the countdown.
Finn: What would have happened if he reached one?
Rey: Honestly, considering the last time we made him do something he didn’t want to do he almost threw himself off a cliff here on the island? We probably don’t want to find out.
All laugh and Jess moves into Rey’s line of sight. Both women stare at each other for a long moment and they smile.
Poe nudges Finn and makes a shooing gesture to BB-8.
Poe: We’ll leave you ladies to it then. Stay as long as you need Jess. Finn and I need to walk BB-8 anyway.
The droid squawks indignantly but follows the other two. Rey and Finn wave to each other, sharing a silent conversation together before the door closes behind him and Poe.
Jess: Long time no see, Jedi.
Rey: Same for you, pilot.
Both women laugh quietly.
Poe’s quarters. R2-KT is in the middle of the room, Rey’s form suspended before the droid, a few inches from Poe’s bunk. Jess is curled up, half-asleep.
Jess: Mmm, when is Skywalker going to take you to find your crystal?
Rey: I’m not sure. He says that I will be ready soon, but it’s been three weeks and we’re still here on this damn island.
Jess: How’s Chewbacca handling that?
Rey: Not well. He’s ready to return to Leia and help her find Ren. I’m half tempted to send him away since Skywalker doesn’t seem in any rush to complete my training.
Jess: You’re so impatient. This is going to take time. No one becomes a Jedi overnight-even Skywalker had to train, according to legend.
Rey sighs .
Rey: I know. I just wish I could be there with you lot, helping finish off the First Order. I want to fight Kylo Ren again. End what we started. How’s everything going? How’s the rebellion?
Jess: We’re not doing much in the way of rebellion, honestly. We’re getting ready to abandon D’Qar. We’ve been here a year, time to pull out and find another system we can hide out from the Order.
Rey: Where will you go?
Jess: No idea. We likely won’t find out until the General and her advisors let us know and we’re in atmo. Poe knows, I think. Finn as well. But they’re not saying anything, no matter how hard Snap and I try to get it out of them.
Rey: Be careful. I don’t-I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you or Poe and Finn.
Jess: Hey, listen, Jedi, we’ve been at this for a long time. We know what we’re doing! And besides, we’ve got Leia Organa Solo leading us! We literally can’t fail.
Both women laugh. R2-KT sighs, rocking slightly on its hind wheels.
Jess: So did Skywalker answer your questions about your parents?
Rey is quiet. The only sound is the R2-KT’s servos humming.
Rey: Apparently I’m a Kenobi. I’m the granddaughter of his master, the one who helped him and Solo and the General in the battle against the Empire.
Jess: Wow! That’s pretty serious then. How do you feel about that?
Rey: It’s just nice to know I had a family. Could still have a family, that I might be able to find when this is all done. I still don’t know why they left me though. Why they left me on Jakku. I have so many questions and the longer I’m with Skywalker, the more I wonder about my past and who I was supposed to be.
Jess: When this is over and we beat the First Order, you and I are going to go out and we’re going to find them, okay? Now lean down so I can kiss you.
Rey: I love you pilot.
Jess: And I you, Jedi.
R2-KT chimes and both women break apart, Jess groaning.
Jess: Recon exercise. Poe’s going to kill me if I’m late again.
Rey: Get out of here. I have to get back to my lessons anyway. Skywalker is summoning me.
Jess: Be careful out there, Jedi. And don’t worry about your training, Skywalker knows what he’s doing.
Rey: I hope so. I want to help you and the General. I want to fight Ren. I-I feel so helpless on this island.
Jess: You are anything but.
Jess: Any time.
Both R2’s start whining and the two women touch foreheads, the blue hologram of Rey’s form humming as it touched Jess’s.
Rey: May the Force be with you.
Jess: Maker protect you, Jedi.
General Organa’s quarters. A silver and green astromech droid stands in the middle of the room, designation R2-R3. Leia Organa is curled up in a chair in front of it, cradling a mug of caf.
A blue hologram form stands before her, hooded, hands folded in the deep sleeves of its opaque sleeves.
Leia: When are you taking Rey to find her crystal? Jess mentioned she’s getting impatient. She wants to come back to her friends and fight, Luke.
Luke: She is not ready yet, Leia. She has to learn patience.
Leia: Remember when we were basically kids, the same age as Rey, really, and you were flying the Falcon and playing with that damn saber with Obi Wan watching? Remember that? You were barely trained when you helped destroy the Death Star. You were barely a Jedi when you faced Palpatine. When you fought Darth Vader. And you’re saying she’s not ready yet? She’s stronger in the Force than either of us were when we were her age. Than Ben was when I sent him to you.
Luke: That’s what worries me.
Leia: You’re worried about what may happen when she and Ben meet the next time?
Luke: They’re drawn to each other. The Force longs for balance and she has the potential to provide it. But Ben...Ben is…
Leia: Ben is lost to us, Luke. You can feel it as well as I can.
Luke: Rey wants to destroy him. She wants her revenge for what he did to the Stormtrooper and Poe Dameron. That is all she thinks about. Killing Kylo Ren.
Leia laughs softly, sadly.
Leia: I know how she feels. Better than most I suppose. Sometimes I still feel Jabba’s shackles on my body. Sometimes I can still see Han’s face, frozen in agony. I know what it feels like, to feel helpless and to see my friends hurt at the hands of a monster.
Luke: Rey is strong. But she is young.
Leia: So were we.
Both sigh as one and the R2 unit beeps worriedly.
Leia: Just don’t keep her too long, Luke. Otherwise she’s going to take the Falcon and that ancient lightsaber and go off to destroy the First Order on her own.
Luke: Not on her own. She’d have her friends at her back.
Leia: Yes, Poe, Finn and Jess wouldn’t abandon her. The four of them would take the entire galaxy on together I think. And we’d never be able to stop them.
Luke: And maybe we shouldn’t?
Leia: Now there’s a thought…
Both fall silent and the only sound is the R2 unit humming and the faint crash of waves on a distant island’s shores.
Luke: Goodbye Leia. May the Force be with you.
Leia: And you, Luke.
There’s a faint click and then the holographic figure of Luke Skywalker vanishes and Leia is left alone in her dark quarters. R2-R3 beeps softly, concerned. She pats its dome gently.
Leia: Sometimes I wonder what retirement would be like, Arthree.
The droid beeps in scandalized horror and she chuckles.
Leia: Yes, I know. It’d never work. Someone’s got to keep these kids in order. And teach those First Order brats a lesson on humility. Send me Poe and Finn, please. We have some things to talk about. If my brother won’t take action, it’s time we take a few matters into our own hands.
The droid chimes worriedly but she ignores it and turns to a paper map she holds.
Leia: It might be time to reintroduce the galaxy to the Jedi and those strong in the Force.