In hyperspace, the Millennium Falcon has just escaped the planet Crait, with the last survivors of the resistance on board, who are on the run from the oppressive First Order.
On board the Falcon, Rey, the last of the Jedi, is seated next to General Leia Organa in the ship’s common room.
“Ben killed Snoke.” Rey says, looking down, toward the broken lightsaber in her lap.
“What?” Leia says, uncertain of what she just heard.
“Ben killed Snoke. I think he did it to save me. We fought Snoke’s guards together, and killed them all.” Rey answers.
“You worked together?” Leia asks.
“For a moment, yes. Then, he asked me to join him, and let the resistance die. That’s when I knew that I had failed. He’s still Kylo Ren. He’s still strong in the dark side.” Rey answers, with sadness in her voice.
“You care about him, don’t you?” Leia asks.
Yes, I suppose I do. I thought that I could save him. I was wrong.” Rey answers.
“Perhaps. Perhaps not. Only time will answer.” Leia says.
Chewbacca approaches Rey and Leia, and looks at Leia.
<We have just cleared the Crait system. We were not followed.> Chewbacca says.
“Thanks, Chewie.” Leia says.
“So, where do we go now?” Rey asks.
“Lothal. I have some old friends there. Former rebels. I think they can help us.” Leia answers.
“Never heard of Lothal.” Rey says.
“It was the first world to be liberated from the empire. A friend of mine was responsible for that. He was a jedi.” Leia says.
“A jedi? I thought Luke was the only one around back then!” Rey says.
“This was a few months before Luke joined the rebellion. There used to be two jedi with the rebellion. A master, and an apprentice. I knew both of them.” Leia says.
“What happened to them?” Rey asks.
“The master, whose name was Kanan, sacrificed himself to save his crew. The apprentice, Ezra, disappeared for a few years, then, came back with students of his own. He started a new jedi temple soon after. Luke joined it for a couple of years, then left.” Leia answered.
“Luke left the jedi order?” Rey asks.
“No. He didn’t stop being a jedi. He left because he disagreed with Ezra’s beliefs, and started his own temple. Luke wanted to be like the old jedi order, while Ezra was more open minded.” Leia answered.
“What happened to this Ezra?” Rey asks.
“The First Order attacked his temple about thirteen years ago. They killed most of his students, as well as his wife and daughter. Ezra sent his students away, and stopped being a jedi. He’s...a bounty hunter now, actually.” Leia says, with sadness in her voice.
“A jedi master became a bounty hunter?” Rey asks, disbelieving.
“He lost his family. It broke him. I think he just gave up, and stopped caring. I haven’t seen him in almost ten years. From what I hear, he’s a completely different person now. Goes by a different name too.” Leia answers.
Leia looks toward Chewbacca, who is nearby, talking to Captain Poe Dameron.
“Chewie, set course for Lothal. Poe, contact Ghost Base, let them know we’re coming. Use the emergency frequency.” Leia says.
Rey starts to get up, and Chewbacca approaches her.
<No Rey, you rest. I’ll change our course.> Chewbacca says.
“Thanks, Chewie.” Rey says, with a smile.
Chewbacca walks away, toward the cockpit.
“So, what kind of planet is Lothal?” Rey asks.
“A neutral planet. Lightly populated, but very high crime. Mostly drug runners and bounty hunters.” Leia answers.
Hmm. Wonder who else is on Lothal?
On the planet Lothal, it’s night in the massive capital city. In a less ideal part of town, there is a large cantina, where people of various races are drinking, dancing, or playing sabacc. One game of sabacc is of particular interest, drawing a large crowd of people. There are five players. A neimoidian male, a young woman with bright green hair, a bald young man with tattoos on his face, a blonde haired young man with an eyepatch over his left eye, and a man in his early fifties, with greying hair, and a thick beard. The older man has a lit cigar hanging from his mouth, and is staring at the young man with the eyepatch. The young man puts his cards on the table, and says “Sabacc!”
He reaches for the pile of credits in the center of the table, when the older man says “Hold it, son. Looks like I have an idiot’s array!” The man puts his cards on the table, and there are gasps from several bystanders.
“Kriffin’ Dev Morgan!” The young woman says. The man with the eyepatch slams his fist on the table.
“Sorry, boy. You had a good hand, but an idiot’s array beats everything. Better luck next time!” Dev Morgan says. The young man stands up, and reaches for the blaster holstered to his belt.
“Come on, Jesko. Let it go! That’s Dev Morgan! The bounty hunter! He’ll kill a man for looking at him wrong! Let’s go, man.” The tattooed young man says.
“I’d listen to your friend, son. I’ve killed people for doing far less that what you just pulled. Now, get the frack out of here!” Dev says, taking the cigar out of his mouth. The two young men leave the cantina.
A scantily clad young woman approaches Dev, and wraps her arms around him. She says “ You sure showed them, Dev. Now, why don’t you come to my room, and we can...celebrate your victory?”
“Sure. Why not?” Dev says, as he grabs the credits from the table, and gets out of his seat.
A few hours later, Dev exits the cantina, and starts walking toward several parked speeders, when he sees his path blocked by Jesko, and his tattooed friend. Jesko spots Dev, and says “Dev Morgan! We have unfinished business!”
“The hell we do! Now, kriff off!” Dev says, irritated.
“I don’t think so, old man! You cheated! I want my credits back!” Jesko says.
“You’re accusing me of cheating? You know who I am, don’t you?” Dev asks.
“Yeah. You’re an old has been bounty hunter, who’s on his way out!” Jesko’s friend says.
“You kids have to be a special kind of stupid! Or, maybe you just want me to kill you! Now, last warning, get the frack out of my way!” Dev says angrily.
“Give me my credits you old bastard, or I’ll take ‘em from your corpse!” Jesko says angrily.
“One.” Dev says.
“One what? What are you doing?” Jesko asks.
“Two.” Dev says.
“Two? Is he counting us?” Jesko’s friend asks.
“Three!” Dev says, as he suddenly draws a blaster, and kills both men before they can react.
Dev walks away, and gets on his speeder. As he takes off, a bystander says “that’ll show those punks! Nobody fracks with Dev Morgan!”
Several hours later, it’s almost midday, as Dev approaches a large walled off area in a mountain range south of the capital city. He presses a button on his wrist comm, and a part of the wall slides to one side. Dev drives through the opening, and presses the button again. The wall closes, and he parks his speeder next to a small black ship, with triangular wings.
Dev gets off of his speeder, and approaches a small valley, where there are a few small metal buildings, and an old freighter parked in the center. Dev approaches the freighter, where thirty five year old Jacen Syndulla is standing, at the bottom of the loading ramp, dressed in a modified rebel pilot outfit.
“Jacen.” Dev says, as he stops near the green haired younger man.
“Uncle Ezra! You’ve been gone for two days! Mom was about to send me after you!” Jacen says, a hint of irritation in his voice.
“Couldn’t be helped. Had a job in town.” Dev, or rather, Ezra says.
“Fair enough. She’s worried though. You should probably go talk to her.” Jacen says.
“Where is your mother anyway?” Ezra asks.
“In the Ghost. Probably watching us from the cockpit.” Jacen says, pointing at the freighter.
“Sounds like Hera.” Ezra says, as he heads up the boarding ramp of the Ghost.
In the cockpit of the Ghost, Hera Syndulla sits in the pilot’s seat. Her only company is the astromech droid, Chopper. The sixty-four year old twi’lek watches her son, Jacen, as he walks away from the Ghost. Hera is dressed in a basic dark brown outfit, having abandoned the pilot’s garb of her younger days.
“Hera?” Ezra says, as he enters the cockpit. Hera gets out of her seat to look at him.
“You’ve been gone for two days, Ezra! I was starting to get worried!” Hera says.
“Had a job to do. Here’s ten thousand credits.” Ezra says, offering a sack to Hera, who accepts it.
“Ten thousand? For me? Must have been some job!” Hera says with surprise.
“Well, made a little at the sabacc table too. Anyway, looks like you have enough to get a new ship now.” Ezra says.
“Actually, now that I have enough, I was thinking about fixing the Ghost.” Hera says. Ezra laughs.
“Fix the Ghost? This ship is dead! Hell, it hasn’t flown in ten years!” Ezra says.
“It’s not dead as long as I’m around!” Hera says, irritated.
“Hera, it’s gonna take years to fix this thing! You, me, Jacen, Chopper, and Ahsoka! That’s all we have here! In case you haven’t noticed, Ahsoka’s getting a little old to be rebuilding ships!” Ezra says, irritated.
“I am too.” Hera says sadly, then continues “Actually, we have company on the way. They’ll be here this evening. Maybe they can help us repair the Ghost.” Hera says.
“Who’s coming?” Ezra asks.
“The resistance.” Hera answers.
“Leia’s sending people here? For what?” Ezra asks.
“She’s not sending anyone. The entire resistance is coming here.” Hera answers.
“What? That’s insane! This is a frackin’ neutral planet! We don’t need a fleet of resistance ships in orbit! It’ll just make Lothal one big damn target for the First Order!” Ezra says angrily.
“No fleet. Just one ship. The Millennium Falcon. That’s all that’s left of the resistance.” Hera says.
“Kriff! I knew the resistance got their asses kicked at Crait, but that’s really all that’s left? The Falcon can’t hold more than what? Thirty people?” Ezra says.
“That’s all there is. Poe Dameron commed almost nine hours ago. I told them they can camp here. There’s plenty of room for everyone.” Hera answers.
“So, our home is a rebel base now? How is a group that small going to fight the First Order?” Ezra asks.
“They have hope. They believe in their cause. We should help them anyway we can.” Hera says.
“Hope doesn’t mean chit, Hera! I’ll sit out this rebellion, unless Leia needs someone killed. About all I’m good for is killing, gambling, and drinking!” Ezra says bitterly.
“What happened to you, Ezra?” Hera asks, annoyed.
“Life. Yeah, maybe you have some happiness for a while. Then, you lose everything! Not much point in giving a frack, is there?” Ezra says. Hera shakes her head.
“What would Juno and Kira think of you now, Ezra?” Hera asks.
“They don’t think a kriffin’ thing anymore! Neither does Zeb, or Kanan!” Ezra shouts. Hera slaps him across the face.
“Dammit, Ezra! Do you even hear yourself anymore?” Hera asks angrily, then points toward the cockpit’s exit, and says “just...get out!”
“Fine by me!” Ezra says, as he walks out of the cockpit.
Hera starts to tear up, and says “Where did I go wrong? I failed him, Kanan.”
“You didn’t fail. He did. He didn’t learn from his mistakes, or deal with his loss in the right way. Instead, he gave up.” Kanan says, as his glowing blue force ghost appears.
“That’s still our Ezra in there. I still love him as much as I always have, but he makes it so hard sometimes! The bad attitude, the drinking, and all that killing! Is there any hope for him, or am I just fooling myself?” Hera says.
Is Ezra a lost cause? We'll see...
“There’s hope, Hera. There’s a chance to get him back. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless. There’s someone coming who might be able to help him find his way.” Kanan answers. Despite his ghostly form, he is able to put his hand on Hera’s shoulder. Hera looks at him, and smiles.
“You’re right, love. Leia can talk some sense into him.” Hera says.
“I’m not talking about Leia. You’ve heard of Rey?” Kanan asks.
“Yes. The jedi girl, who fought Kylo Ren, and left to look for Skywalker.” Hera answers.
“Yeah, that one. She’s special, Hera. Maybe the galaxy’s last hope. She’s also Ezra’s last hope.” Kanan says.
“What do you mean, Ezra’s last hope?” Hera asks.
“She’s very strong in the force. One of the strongest ever. She’s also Ezra’s daughter.” Kanan says.
“That’s...impossible! Unless he...had another daughter I don’t know about.” Hera says.
“No, Hera. Rey...is Kira. The First Order grabbed her, and killed Juno when she tried to stop them. They...experimented on her, and Snoke suppressed her memory. She doesn’t remember who she really is.” Kanan says.
“Kira’s...alive? Our Kira...is alive?” Hera asks, as she starts to cry. Kanan embraces her.
“Yes, Hera. Spectre twelve is coming home.” Kanan says.
“Kanan…” Hera manages to say, before breaking down completely, and sinking to the floor. Kanan continues to hold her.
“I’m here, Hera. I’ll always be here.” Kanan says.
“I know. I Love you, Kanan.” Hera says.
“I love you too, Hera.” Kanan says.
In one of the buildings near the Ghost, Ezra is seated at a table, drinking a cup of tea. Sitting across from him, also drinking a cup of tea, is seventy year old Ahsoka Tano, dressed in white robes, and a hooded cloak.
“I sense your unease, Ezra. Do you want to talk about it?” Ahsoka asks.
“Hera and I just got into a fight. I really hate it when that happens.” Ezra answers.
“I know. You both like to be in charge. It’s expected. Although in this case, I sense there’s more to it.” Ahsoka says.
“Yeah. The resistance is coming here. Hera’s going to let them use our home as a base. She’s going to throw herself right back into the good fight.” Ezra says.
“You don’t agree with that?” Ahsoka asks.
“No. We have a good thing going here. Nobody bothers us. I bring in plenty of credits from the jobs I do. There’s no war here. No reason for the First Order to come here, but they will if they find out the resistance is here!” Ezra says.
“You don’t want them here. You don’t want to fight. You don’t think it matters anymore.” Ahsoka says, with a hint of sadness.
“No, it doesn’t. I don’t need to fight for anyone, except for you, Hera, Jacen, and Chopper.” Ezra says.
“What about Sabine?” Ahsoka asks.
“She doesn’t need me to fight for her. She’s the Empress of Mandalore! She has an army of warriors to fight for her!” Ezra answers.
“I see. Perhaps you’re right.” Ahsoka says.
“How’s our guest doing?” Ezra asks.
“I’m still healing him. The wound was nearly fatal, but he’ll be alright. He should wake up soon.” Ahsoka answers.
“Good. We could use some good news around here.” Ezra says.
who is our mystery man in Ahsoka's care? We'll find out soon enough...
On board the First Order Star Destroyer Finalizer, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren is seated behind a desk in his office, when General Hux enters.
“What is it, general?” Kylo asks.
“Supreme Leader, the Millennium Falcon has escaped us. It seems that they were able to use Skywalker’s distraction to their advantage.” Hux says, with a hint of irritation in his voice.
“They can’t hide forever. They’re desperate, and will likely turn to old rebel allies, or hide out in old rebel bases. Send ships to search all known former rebel bases.” Kylo says.
“And, if we find nothing?” Hux asks.
“Investigate rebel allies and former rebellion members.” Kylo answers.
“Very good, Supreme Leader.” Hux says.
“You may go, general.” Kylo says. Hux exits the office, and heads to his quarters. Once in his quarters, Hux approaches a small holotable. He presses a sequence on the control console, and kneels on one knee as a severely distorted hologram appears.
“General Hux, report!” The hologram says in a sinister, distorted voice.
“My lord, Supreme Leader Snoke is dead. As is the entire Praetorian Guard.” Hux says.
“I see. How did this happen, general?” The hologram asks.
“Kylo Ren claims that the jedi girl killed Snoke, then knocked him out. I entered the throne room as he was recovering, and noticed the guards were dead.” Hux says.
“You say Kylo Ren claims! You do not believe him?” The hologram asks.
“No, I do not. I believe that Kylo Ren killed Snoke, and is in league with this jedi. She willingly boarded the Supremacy alone, and was escorted to Snoke by Kylo Ren, with no guard.” Hux says.
“I am inclined to agree, general. Kylo Ren is not fully committed to the dark side, and has formed a force bond with this girl. Snoke never considered him to be fully trustworthy, and that is why he never made young Solo aware of my existence. The boy has played emperor for long enough! Bring him to me, immediately!” The hologram says.
“How do I get him to come to you?” Hux says.
“You may tell him whatever you wish about my facility, only, do not tell him about me. He will come here to satisfy his curiosity, then, he will meet his true master!” The hologram answers.
“Kylo Ren has ordered me to begin sending ships to search old rebel bases for possible resistance survivors. This mission is in my opinion a waste of our resources, as I do not believe that General Organa is stupid enough to hide in such obvious places. Do you still wish for me to carry out these orders?” Hux asks.
“For now, continue to follow young Solo’s orders, until I say otherwise. There is a reckoning coming, general. Soon, the galaxy will once again know the might of the Empire! The last remnants of the rebellion will be destroyed, and there will be peace!” The hologram says.
“Yes, my emperor.” Hux says.
General Hux returns to Kylo Ren’s office. Kylo seems to be annoyed and, in an irritated tone, says “what is it now, general?”
“I apologize for the abrupt return, Supreme Leader, but there is certain confidential information which I must make you aware of.” Hux says.
“What sort of information?” Kylo asks.
“There is a secret advanced weapons facility in orbit of the planet Korriban. Only myself, and those who work at the facility are aware of its existence.” Hux answers.
“Why didn’t I know about this before?” Kylo asks angrily.
“Snoke’s orders. I suppose that he didn’t trust you enough to tell you. He was always so paranoid after all.” Hux says.
“I see. I would like to visit this facility, and see what it has to offer us.” Kylo says.
“Very good, Supreme Leader. Do you wish to go there immediately?” Hux asks.
“Indeed, general. See to it at once.” Kylo says.
“Yes, Supreme Leader.” Hux says, and exits the office.
Another mystery person? Some sort of Emperor apparently...
Twelve hours later, the Millennium Falcon lands in the small valley of Ghost Base. Ezra, Hera, Jacen, and Chopper stand near the landing site to greet their visitors. Several rebels exit the ship, including Leia, and Poe, who approach Hera.
“Leia.” Hera says, as she embraces the other woman.
“Hera. Thanks for letting us come here.” Leia says.
“Stay as long as you need to. We have plenty of room.” Hera says, then looks at Poe. “Poe Dameron. Still reckless as ever?” Hera asks. Leia laughs.
“Working on it, General Syndulla.” Poe answers.
“I’m not a general anymore, Poe. I’m retired.” Hera says.
“Poe, why don’t you oversee the setup of base camp.” Leia says.
“Copy, general.” Poe says.
“Go ahead. The entire open area is yours to use.” Hera says.
“Thanks, gen...um...Hera.” Poe says, and walks to the other rebels. Finn and another rebel emerge from the Falcon, carrying an unconscious Rose Tico on a stretcher.
“You have wounded?” Hera asks.
“She’s the only one. Do you have any kind of medical equipment here?” Leia says.
“We have a bacta tank in that building.” Hera says, pointing at one of the buildings near the Ghost. She turns to Jacen, and says “Jacen, get the bacta tank ready!”
“On it!” Jacen says, as he heads for the building.
“Thanks, Hera.” Leia says.
“No problem. I’ll always help those in need.” Hera says.
“Ezra Bridger. It’s been a long time.” Leia says, as she approaches Ezra.
“Yes it has. You’ve been busy.” Ezra says.
“So have you, Dev Morgan.” Leia says.
“Oh, you know about that.” Ezra says.
“Yeah. I know about a jedi master turned bounty hunter, one who goes after First Order targets. You’re fighting the same fight we are, Ezra. We could use your help. I...could use your help.” Leia says.
“I’m not a rebel. I only kill because I hate the First Order. Not because I believe in any kind of cause. Now, if you need someone killed, I’ll do it. Other than that, i’ll sit this one out.” Ezra says, as he walks away, toward the black ship.
Leia shakes her head, and says “He’s...worse than I thought, Hera. I’m so sorry.”
“Some days, he’s decent. Other days, we end up cursing each other, and then he goes to his ship to get drunk. Ahsoka seems to be the only one he doesn’t argue with.” Hera says, sadly.
“How does she manage that?” Leia asks.
“She pretends to agree with everything he says.” Hera answers.
“That sounds like Ahsoka. Where is she anyway?” Leia asks.
“In her house. Probably sleeping. I haven’t seen her since this morning.” Hera answers.
Rey exits the Millennium Falcon, with Chewbacca and R2-D2 behind her. Hera’s eyes widen at the sight of Rey.
“Kira?” Hera whispers. Leia nods, with a faint smile.
“You know?” Hera asks.
“Yes, Hera. I know who she really is. Luke told me. You...know he...passed away, don’t you?” Leia says.
“Yes, I know. Kanan told me. Luke’s like him now. Gone, but not really gone.” Hera says.
“No one’s ever really gone.” Leia says.
“Indeed.” Ahsoka says. There are several startled gasps, and the howl of a wookiee as everyone looks toward Ahsoka. However, they aren’t looking at her. They’re looking at Han Solo, standing next to her.
Welcome back, Han Solo. I never cared for him being killed off in the Force Awakens, so, he's back, thanks to Ahsoka's strange powers.
“Is that...really him?” Leia asks, as tears form in her eyes.
“Yes, Leia, he’s here. Ahsoka saved him.” Hera says, as she puts a hand on Leia’s shoulder.
Han Solo starts walking to Leia and Hera. Leia starts walking toward her husband, who she had expected to never see again.
At the Falcon, Rey is in tears upon seeing Han alive, and uninjured.
“He’s alive, Chewie…” Rey says, as she starts sobbing. Chewbacca embraces her.
Finn emerges from the medical building, and approaches Rey. From the direction he approaches, he isn’t able to see Han, and asks “What’s going on, Rey?”
“Look, Finn.” Rey answers, pointing at Han.
“Wait, Solo’s alive? How? We saw him fall!” Finn says.
“That old woman. She’s very strong with the force. I think she saved him.” Rey says, pointing to Ahsoka.
<Her name is Ahsoka. I Have known her for many years.> Chewbacca says.
“What did he say?” Finn asks.
“Chewie knows her. Says her name is Ahsoka. I have a strange feeling when I look at her, like I should know her. Same with the twi’lek woman. I don’t know what it means yet.” Rey says.
“Force stuff, I guess. Maybe this Ahsoka can help you.” Finn says.
“I hope so.” Rey says, watching as Han and Leia embrace.
“Han…” Leia says, her voice breaking.
“Leia…” Han says.
“You’re here! You’re...really here!” Leia says.
“Yeah. I think I’ll stick around this time, if that’s alright with you?” Han says, with a lopsided smile.
“You better.” Leia says, managing a laugh, then, in a more serious tone, says “Don’t you ever leave me again Han Solo.”
Han and Leia separate from their embrace, and walk toward the Millennium Falcon, where Rey, Chewbacca, and Finn are still standing. Upon reaching the group, Han is suddenly embraced by Chewbacca, who affectionately brushes back Han’s hair.
<Han! We thought Ben killed you!> Chewbacca says.
“I’m alright, Chewie. I thought I was a goner, but that Ahsoka woman appeared out of nowhere as I was falling. She flew up to me, and took my hand. She had some kind of fancy stick that started glowing, and then, we were here. I passed out soon after that.” Han says.
Rey approaches Han, with a big smile on her face.
“I never got the chance to thank you for coming to Starkiller Base to save me. It’s good to see you again, Han.” Rey says, offering her hand, which Han promptly shakes.
“It’s good to see you too, Rey. Did you ever find Luke?” Han asks.
“I did. He didn’t train me that much. He didn’t want to. He saw himself as a failure. I ended up leaving after a few days, and went back to the resistance. Luke did the right thing in the end though. He confronted Ben so the rest of us could escape.” Rey says.
“What do you mean, in the end? Wait...is Luke dead?” Han asks.
“Yes, Han he is.” Leia says sadly.
“Damn!” Han says angrily.
“There’s more. Snoke is dead. Ben killed him, and is now the supreme leader of the First Order. However, there is much conflict in him.” Rey says.
“I noticed that when I faced him. I know my son is still in there, and I’ll be damned if I don’t try to get him back!” Han says.
“Han, he almost killed you! Hell, he thinks he actually did.” Leia says.
“We have to try Leia.” Han says.
“It won’t be easy, but I agree.” Rey says.
“He’s Kylo fracking Ren! It’s impossible!” Finn says, irritated.
“Nothing is impossible.” Ahsoka says, suddenly appearing behind Finn, who is startled, and jumps several inches.
“What? How? You were...over there!” Finn says, pointing to Ahsoka’s previous location, fifty feet away.
“As I said, nothing is impossible!” Ahsoka says, slightly irritated.
“That’s how you got Han out of Starkiller Base, isn’t it? Using the force to move from one place to another?” Rey asks.
“Indeed, child. I can use the force in ways that no one else can.” Ahsoka answers.
“There’s so much that I still don’t understand. Luke didn’t teach me very much. Can you help me?” Rey asks.
“I believe I can. I can help you remember.” Ahsoka answers.
“Remember what?” Rey asks.
“Everything. What the First Order took away from you when you were only six years old.” Ahsoka answers.
“What are you talking about? I remember my life perfectly well! I’m from Jakku! My parents were traders, who sold me to Unkar Plutt for drinking money!” Rey says, irritated.
“Wrong! Those are false memories! Given to you by Snoke! He tried to turn you into a weapon! Snoke failed, and he suppressed your force connection, as well as your true memories, and had you dumped on Jakku!” Ahsoka says.
“That’s not true!” Rey says, angrily. Ahsoka’s cane suddenly transforms into a white staff that is taller than her.
“It is true, Kira!” Ahsoka says, as she touches Rey’s forehead with the end of her staff. The staff glows, and Rey seems to fall into a trance.
“Why did you call her Kira? What’s going on here?” Finn asks.
“Calm down, Finn. Everything will be alright.” Leia says.
Rey regains all of her suppressed memories, including her early jedi training, and her true name...Kira Bridger, daughter of Jedi Master Ezra Bridger, and former imperial officer Juno Eclipse.
Our last jedi remembers that she is not a nobody from Jakku. She never was.
After a minute or so, Ahsoka, sensing her intended task is complete, withdraws her staff from Rey’s forehead. Rey, or rather, Kira, comes out of her trance, and looks at Ahsoka.
“Ahsoka!” Kira says, as she embraces Ahsoka.
“Hello, Kira. I’m glad to see you too.” Ahsoka says with a smile, as she casts aside her staff to return Kira’s embrace.
<Snips!> R2-D2 says, as he approaches Ahsoka, who smiles at the sight of the droid.
“Artoo!” Ahsoka says.
“Did Artoo just call you Snips?” Kira asks.
“Yeah, he did. That was Anakin’s nickname for me, when we fought together in the Clone Wars. Artoo started calling me that soon after.” Ahsoka answers, with sadness in her voice.
Jacen returns from setting up the bacta tank for Rose, and walks to Hera, who is watching Kira and Ahsoka.
“Who’s the girl? How does she know Ahsoka?” Jacen asks.
“It’s Kira.” Hera answers.
“Kira? Mom, have you been into Uncle Ezra’s spice stash?” Jacen asks.
“Oh, for kriff’s sake, Jacen! You know I can’t stand that stuff!” Hera says, offended.
“Are you sure? Because I could have sworn I heard you say that that girl was Kira! She doesn’t look dead to me!” Jacen says.
“It’s Kira! She’s...not...dead!” Hera says, annoyed, as she starts to walk toward Kira and Ahsoka, leaving a confused Jacen to stand with Chopper.
“I still think she’s chewing spice!” Jacen says, looking at Chopper.
<Are you fracking kidding me? Mother doesn’t like that chit, and you know it! If you would use your kriffing eyes for two damn seconds, then you would fracking see that that girl is Kira!> Chopper says, as he takes off to follow Hera. Jacen stays put, with a scowl on his face.
Kira and Ahsoka separate from their embrace, and Kira notices Hera approaching.
“Grandma Hera!” Kira says, as she runs to Hera, and embraces her.
“We missed you so much, little one! We thought you were dead!” Hera says, tearing up, as she returns Kira’s embrace.
“I was alone for so long! I didn’t remember any of you, or who I was! Nobody cared about me, and I had to scavenge junk to survive!” Kira says, now sobbing.
“You’re safe now, sweetheart. You have people who love you, and you’ll never be alone again. Welcome home, Spectre Twelve.” Hera says, with a smile.
“Thank you, grandma.” Kira says, managing a smile despite her tears. She looks around for Ezra, and not seeing him, asks “Where’s daddy?”
“He’s in the Gauntlet. Probably getting drunk.” Hera answers, pointing toward the black ship.
“What? My father...drunk?” Kira asks, disbelieving.
“Your father has changed, Kira. He’s cut himself off from the force. He kills people for money, and he drinks, a lot.” Hera says sadly.
“Because mama’s dead. Because he thought I was dead.” Kira says.
“We all thought you were dead, but he took it much harder than the rest of us.” Hera says.
<Kira! Where the frack have you been?> Chopper says, as he touches Kira’s leg gently.
“Language, Chopper!” Kira says, as she smiles and pats the top of his head. Then she says, “by the way, it’s good to see you too.”
“Kira? I’ll be...it’s really you!” Jacen says, as he embraces Kira.
“Is that...Uncle Zeb’s bo rifle?” Kira asks, pointing at the weapon on Jacen’s back.
Jacen laughs, and says “Yeah, i took it from the imp bastard that killed him! Comes in handy when your father needs help killin' things.”
<Please, go see your father! He’s being a fracking idiot, trying to drink himself to death! He needs you! I want the old Ezra back!> Chopper says.
“You’re right, Chop. It’s time for me to go see him.” Kira says.
“Alright, but I’m coming with you. As I said, he’s changed. You may not like what you see.” Hera says.
In the Gauntlet, Ezra sits alone in the cockpit, looking out the forward viewport, and drinking a bottle of blue liquor.
“Ezra? Are you in here?” Hera yells from the back of the ship, startling Ezra, who spills some of the liquor on his pants.
“Not a good time, Hera!” Ezra yells, angrily.
“Sorry, Ezra. This can’t wait!” Hera yells from outside of the cockpit, a hint of irritation in her voice.
“Dammit, Hera! I said…” Ezra yells, and but stops as he turns his seat and sees Hera standing in the cockpit entrance with Kira. Ezra drops the liquor bottle and it shatters. Kira starts crying at the sight of her father.
“Daddy…” Kira says, as she approaches Ezra, who slowly gets out of his seat, and approaches Kira.
“Kira? Is that really you?” Ezra asks, not believing what he is seeing, as he slowly approaches Kira.
“Yes, Ezra. It’s her. She came back to us.” Hera says.
Ezra hesitantly embraces Kira, who returns the embrace immediately.
“Daddy!” Kira says, burying her face in Ezra’s chest.
“Kira! I thought I lost you!” Ezra says, as he starts crying.
“It’s alright daddy! I’m here!” Kira says.
“My baby!” Ezra says, now sobbing, as he and Kira sink to the floor.
Hera approaches Ezra and Kira, and kneels down to wrap her arms around both of them.
“She’s here, Hera! She’s really here!” Ezra says, still sobbing.
Hera kisses Ezra on the top of his head, then does the same to Kira.
“I love you so much, my little one.” Ezra says.
“I love you too, daddy.” Kira says.
Father and daughter together again!
The Finalizer reaches the planet Korriban, where five spherical structures surround the planet. On the bridge of the star destroyer, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and General Hux are looking out the forward viewport toward the planet, and the five spheres.
“Are those...Death Stars?” Kylo asks, disbelieving what he is seeing.
“Indeed, they are. About half the size of the original, and they each have two primary weapons instead of one!” Hux answers.
“So, they can destroy two planets at once. Starkiller Base could destroy five planets at once!” Kylo says, unimpressed.
“True. However, Starkiller Base was a converted planet, stuck in one place. The Death Stars have full hyperdrive capability, so they can be deployed anywhere, target any planet.” Hux says.
“Alright. I’m impressed. Are they ready for launch?” Kylo asks.
“Not yet. It will be about two weeks before they are ready for test firing.” Hux answers.
“Good. As soon as they are operational, order them to be deployed to the remaining core systems of the former republic.” Kylo says.
“Actually, Supreme Leader, I can’t do that.” Hux says.
“I gave you an order, general! Are you refusing to follow it?” Kylo asks, annoyed.
“No, I am not refusing your orders! This facility, and the Death Stars, are part of the Empire, not the First Order! I have no command authority here, and neither do you!” Hux says.
“The Empire? What is going on here, Hux?” Kylo asks.
“The First Order is merely part of the Empire, not actually its replacement. Snoke knew this, and so do I. We all serve the Empire, and we will have to go to the facility on the surface, and speak to the person in charge!” Hux answers.
“So be it! I tire of games!” Kylo says, angrily, as he exits the bridge, with Hux following.
Korriban is a long dead world, once the home to the ancient Sith Empire, it is now uninhabited, except for the secret facility within an ancient sith temple, which is the destination of the shuttle carrying Kylo Ren and General Hux. Upon landing, they are met by several death troopers, and an officer wearing an imperial uniform. The officer is a dark skinned woman in her seventies.
“An Imperial Grand Admiral?” Kylo asks.
“Indeed, Kylo Ren. I am Grand Admiral Sloane.” The officer answers. She starts walking away from the shuttle, and motions for Kylo and Hux to follow.
“Why wasn’t I told about this facility, or the fact that the Empire still exists?” Kylo asks.
“Snoke was under orders to not tell you. I do not know why.” Sloane answers.
“No one gives orders to Snoke!” Kylo says, defiantly.
“I suppose that’s true now, since you ‘relieved’ him of his post.” Sloane says.
“That’s not true. The jedi girl killed Snoke!” Kylo says, irritated.
“Come now, Solo. We know that you killed Snoke, and are in league with the jedi woman.” Sloane says.
“Did you just call me Solo?” Kylo asks, angrily.
“Indeed I did. I know who you really are. I know that your grandfather was Lord Vader, a man I once admired greatly, until he foolishly betrayed his Emperor.” Sloane answers.
“Careful, Sloane. I am the Supreme Leader of the First Order, and I am a master of the dark side of the force!” Kylo says, angrily.
“Master of the dark side? We’ll see.” Sloane says, as the three reach a door with two Royal Guards standing in front of it. Sloane approaches the guards, and says, “He is expecting these two.”
The guards move aside, and the door opens. Sloane enters, followed by Kylo and Hux. The three enter a large throne room, with stairs leading up to a throne flanked by two more Royal Guards. Kylo is shocked by the sight of the man seated on the throne. Sloane and Hux are not, as they kneel on one knee.
“Emperor Palpatine?” Kylo asks.
“Indeed, young Solo. I have been expecting you.” Palpatine says.
“I admit, I wasn’t expecting you. As far as the galaxy knows, you’ve been dead for over thirty years.” Kylo says.
“True, my body did die at Endor. However, my essence survived, and I have lived in cloned bodies ever since. Unfortunately, these bodies do not last for long, thanks to the limitations of the Kaminoan cloning technology. That is, until now. My new, younger body will soon be ready, and it will age normally. As for you, there are many things that my now deceased apprentice did not make you aware of, and that was by my order. You are strong in the dark side, but you do not fully embrace it. Until you do, you will not be worthy of becoming a sith.” Palpatine says.
“What must I do, to prove myself?” Kylo asks.
“First, kneel, and swear allegiance to me!” Palpatine answers.
Kylo kneels on one knee, and says “I swear allegiance to you, my Emperor.”
“Good. Your first test will be to deal with the rebels. Kill them all, except for the jedi girl. Bring her to me!” Palpatine says.
Kira suddenly becomes visible to Kylo.
“This is not a good time, Rey.” Kylo says, irritated.
“You think I want to talk to you! After what you did to the Resistance! They’re broken! They have nothing left! Let them go!” Kira says, angrily.
“I can’t do that! It’s no longer up to me! My new master will decide what happens to the rebels.” Kylo says.
“New master? Who is this...new master?” Kira asks.
“I am!” Palpatine says, as he becomes visible to Kira.
“What the frack? Emperor Palpatine?” Kira asks.
“Kira Bridger! We meet at last!” Palpatine says.
“What? You’re Kira Bridger? That’s impossible! I read your mind! I saw your past!” Kylo says, disbelieving.
“It’s true, Ben. I am Kira Bridger. Snoke captured me when he attacked my father’s jedi temple thirteen years ago. Thanks to his experiments, I had no memory of my true identity, until recently.” Kira says.
“Indeed, child. He captured you, and experimented on your mind. This was by my order! I intended for you to be one of my new inquisitors, with no memory of your past! Unfortunately, the indoctrination failed in most cases, and the project was abandoned. I ordered all test subjects to be cut off from the force, and left on various worlds to live out their days in obscurity. What I do not understand, is how you were able to regain your force connection, or your memories.” Palpatine says.
“You...mother fracker!” Ahsoka yells, with rage, as she becomes visible to Palpatine, Kira, and Kylo.
“Ahsoka Tano!” Palpatine yells, as he starts to fire force lightning toward Ahsoka. The lightning is absorbed by her staff as she approaches Kira.
“Come, Kira! It’s time to go!” Ahsoka says, as she grabs Kira’s arm.
“No! You are both mine!” Palpatine yells.
“You look prettier each time I see you! Until next time, chancellor!” Ahsoka says, with sarcasm as she mockingly salutes Palpatine. A few seconds later, Ahsoka and Kira vanish.
Palpatine howls with great rage, firing force lightning upward toward the ceiling. Once Palpatine calms down a few seconds later, he says “this is most unexpected. I did not foresee the involvement of Ahsoka Tano. She is not one to be taken lightly. We must proceed with caution.”
“Orders, my Emperor?” Sloane asks.
“Grand Admiral, you will continue with your current duties. You may go.” Palpatine says.
“Yes, my Emperor.” Sloane says, as she stands up, bows to Palpatine, and leaves.
“The First Order shall be integrated into the Empire effective immediately, and I shall make my public return as Emperor. Kylo Ren, the rank of Supreme Leader is hereby dissolved, and you will instead be supreme commander of the Imperial fleet. The Knights of Ren will assist you in dealing with the rebels, and the remaining jedi.” Palpatine says.
“Yes, my master.” Kylo says.
“General Hux, you will serve as supreme commander of the Imperial army. You and Kylo Ren will report directly to me, and will both serve on my new command ship, which Kylo Ren will command! Neither of you will act without my orders, and you will cooperate with each other for the good of the Empire! Now, leave me, and assume your duties!” Palpatine says. Kylo and Hux stand up, bow respectfully, then exit the throne room.
Cloned Emperor, and five Death Stars? I think the rebels just might be screwed...
On Lothal, it’s now night. Ahsoka and Kira are alone, walking around Ghost Base.
“You really hate the Emperor, Don’t you, Ahsoka?” Kira asks.
“Yes, I do. For what he did to Anakin, to the clone troopers, and the jedi. He destroyed everything that I cared about.” Ahsoka says, with sadness.
“I can’t fight a sith lord! I’m not ready!” Kira says.
“Not yet, but, when the time comes, I believe you will be.” Ahsoka says.
“I can’t do this alone. I’m still trying to figure out all of this jedi stuff.” Kira says.
“You won’t be alone.” Ahsoka says.
“Will you teach me?” Kira asks.
“I will help, but your father should be the one to train you.” Ahsoka says.
“I don’t think he will. He’s cut off from the force, and he’s so full of bitterness and anger. It breaks my heart to see him this way.” Kira says, fighting back tears.
“He will train you. He has to. There’s too much at stake now, with the Emperor still alive. We don’t have time for your father to run away from his problems anymore! Your mother would want him to move on, and continue to be the man she loved.” Ahsoka says, putting a hand on Kira’s shoulder.
“You’re right. She wouldn’t want him to act this way.” Kira says.
“In the meantime, you should study on your own. Perhaps those books you ‘borrowed’ from Luke might be of use?” Ahsoka says.
“You...know about those?” Kira asks.
“Of course I do. Let’s just say that a ghost told me all about it.” Ahsoka says, with a smile.
“I can’t read most of it. It’s like it’s partially in some sort of code.” Kira says.
“Those books are over twenty thousand years old. They are likely written in old basic. If that’s the case, I should be able to translate them.” Ahsoka says.
“I’ll get them for you.” Kira says.
“One more thing, Kira. I understand your lightsaber is broken. May I see it?” Ahsoka asks.
Kira retrieves the broken halves of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber from her pack, and hands them to Ahsoka. Ahsoka stares at the pieces, and closes her eyes.
“I’m so sorry, Ahsoka. I broke your master’s lightsaber. I know how much he meant to you.” Kira says.
“You didn’t do this. Ben did, when he tried to steal it from you. The saber called to you. It bonded to you, and was rightfully yours.” Ahsoka says, as she hands the pieces back to Kira.
“Can you help me repair it?” Kira asks.
“No. The outer case is beyond repair. The crystal is intact, as are some components. You’ll need a new casing, as well as some other components.” Ahsoka asks.
“I’ve never constructed a lightsaber before, and I have no idea where to begin.” Kira says.
“Since we have no jedi holocrons, we’ll have to use the next best thing. Artoo.” Ahsoka says.
“Artoo?” Kira asks.
“Indeed. He has decades worth of jedi knowledge, including historic records, as well as holograms of jedi in combat. I am fairly certain he has some design templates for a lightsaber. However, the important thing to remember about lightsabers, is that you are supposed to use the force to construct them, and the design will be unique to you. Until you have your own saber again, use this one.” Ahsoka says, as she unclips one of the lightsabers from her belt, and offers it to Kira. Kira hesitantly accepts the saber, and stares at it in her hand.
“Thank you, Ahsoka.” Kira says.
“You’re welcome. I remember when you were little, you always liked my lightsabers, and every time I came to visit, you would ask me to activate them and show off some of my moves.” Ahsoka says, with a smile.
“I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I mean, white blades! Nobody else has those!” Kira says, with a smile.
“The blades are white because I healed two bled kyber crystals.” Ahsoka says.
“So, any dark sider’s lightsaber crystal would be turned white?” Kira asks.
“Indeed.” Ahsoka says.
“Can you help me with something else?” Kira asks.
“Possibly. What is it?’ Ahsoka asks.
“This...force connection I have with Ben. Snoke claimed to create it, but I’m not so sure.” Kira says.
“Snoke didn’t create the force bond. I did.” Ahsoka admits.
“What?” Kira asks, a hint of irritation in her voice.
“I created the force bond. I ensured that you would always have the advantage in the bond, which is why Ben is unable to see your surroundings, and why you were able to rip knowledge from his mind, and learn some of his skills. I saw the bond as the best opportunity for Ben Solo to be saved. To me, he is family, just like you.” Ahsoka says.
“You connected me to him, so I could influence him?” Kira asks, irritated.
“Indeed. I apologize if I have upset you, but I believe that there is good in him, and I think that you do as well, or you would not still care about him.” Ahsoka says.
“You are right. I do care about him. I think that for one brief moment, I reached him. The real Ben Solo. It didn’t last, but I know there’s good in him. Can you help me control this force bond?” Kira asks.
“Indeed, I can. Thanks to me, the Emperor is now aware of you, as well as my connection to you. I’m sorry Kira. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” Ahsoka says.
“You didn’t know the Emperor was alive, Ahsoka. It’s not your fault.” Kira says.
“Thank you, Kira. The least I can do now is show you how to control the bond.” Ahsoka says.
On the Imperial command ship, Kylo Ren enters his new quarters, and suddenly hears a voice say “you are a fool to serve him, Ben.”
Kylo turns around, and sees the force ghost of Luke Skywalker.
“You!” Kylo says, angrily.
“Told you I’d see you around.” Luke says.
“So, you’re here to haunt me.” Kylo says.
“Something like that. Palpatine doesn’t care about you, or anyone, but himself. You will never rule the galaxy, and you will serve him, until he has no further use for you. Then, he will cast you aside, like you are nothing. To him, you are nothing.” Luke says.
“If I become his apprentice, I will be a sith at last! If that means I have to serve another master, then so be it. I will destroy the rebels, and there will be peace at last.” Kylo says.
“What about Kira?” Luke asks.
“What about her?” Kylo asks.
“He told you to bring her to him. You know what will happen, don’t you?” Luke asks.
“She will see reason, and join us.” Kylo says.
“Or, she will refuse, and he’ll kill her, or more likely, force you to do it.” Luke says.
“I’m the only one in the galaxy that really cares about her! She will join me, and we will be unstoppable! Not even the Emperor will be able to stand against us!” Kylo says defiantly.
“Impressive. Every word you just said is wrong.” Luke says.
“Damn you, old man! Don’t you have something better to do?” Kylo asks.
“I sense the conflict in you, Ben. That’s why I’m here. I also came to tell you that your father is alive.” Luke says.
“Now you’re just playing games with me. Be gone!” Kylo says, irritated.
“Search your feelings, Ben. I am not lying.” Luke says.
“That’s impossible! I stabbed him! I saw him fall! Nobody could survive that!” Kylo says defiantly.
“Nothing is impossible with the force. Ahsoka Tano intervened, and Han is now alive, and fully healed.” Luke says.
Kylo meditates for several seconds, then says, “You...are telling the truth. I sense that Han Solo is alive.”
“You have a chance, Ben! A chance to leave this all behind, and be with your family again! Don’t waste it!” Luke says, as he vanishes.
See you around, kid...
On Lothal, Leia, Hera, Chopper, Han, Chewbacca, Poe, Finn, BB-8, and C-3PO are in the Millennium Falcon’s common room.
“We’ll start repairs on the Ghost tomorrow, as soon as the parts are acquired.” Leia says.
“Thank you, Leia. I’ll go to capital city to buy the parts. It’s a rather large list, so I could use some help.” Hera says.
“Take anyone you need. We’ll help you get the Ghost flying again.” Leia says.
“You sure you have enough credits, Hera? The Ghost looks like it needs a lot of work.” Han says.
“I have enough. Ezra’s been giving me credits for years. Normally, I would be insulted by such a remark about my ship, but you’re right, Han, the Ghost does need a lot of work. By the way, Leia, how is the young woman in the bacta tank?” Hera says.
“Our medic says she’ll be alright. She’s resting now, and should be back to work in the morning. She’s a very talented engineer, I think she’ll come in handy repairing the Ghost, if she’s up to it.” Leia answers.
“We can’t hide here forever, general. What’s our next move?” Poe asks.
“We need to contact the other resistance cells, and head to one of their bases. Until then, we stay here. Once the Ghost is repaired, Hera and Chopper will be going with us.” Leia answers.
“What about those other people that live here?” Finn asks.
“I’m not sure yet.” Hera answers.
“We need to get back to fighting the First Order!” Poe says.
“I admire your enthusiasm, Poe, but there’s not much we can do right now. The other two cells aren’t that big either, less than a thousand people in each cell. That’s not enough people to put up much of a fight. We’ll have to resort to small scale operations, such as ambushes and sabotage.” Leia answers.
“I know some people that have no love for the First Order. You know, pirates, smugglers, mercenaries. Some of them will fight, for the right price.” Han says.
“Something to think about. Not bad, Han.” Leia says.
<My people might aid the resistance as well. They have no wish to be enslaved again, which is likely if the First Order is allowed to take over the entire galaxy.> Chewbacca says.
“Chewbacca is correct. The wookiees would be a valuable ally. As would anyone else willing to stand against the Empire.” Ahsoka says, as she enters the room.
“Actually, it’s called the First Order now, ma’am.” Finn says, nervously.
“The First Order is only part of the Empire, which most definitely still exists. I have discovered some disturbing news, which I need to make everyone aware of.” Ahsoka says.
“It’s bad, isn’t it, Ahsoka?” Hera asks.
“Emperor Palpatine is alive. He has been secretly rebuilding the Empire in old sith space.” Ahsoka says.
Leia sits down slowly, with a depressed look on her face. Han approaches her, and puts a hand on her shoulder.
“That’s impossible! He’d be what, about a hundred and thirty?” Poe asks.
“Do I look like I’m joking?” Ahsoka says, anger in her voice.
“Sorry. It just seems a little hard to believe.” Poe answers, nervously.
“Yes it is. Unfortunately, it’s true. The Emperor has survived in cloned bodies, and he can, in theory, live indefinitely, as long as he has a suitable body to transfer his essence into.” Ahsoka says, closing her eyes as she centers herself.
“Then, we need to find his clone bodies and destroy them.” Finn says.
“Good idea, but we also need to prevent him from possessing someone else’s body.” Ahsoka says.
“So, he could take over anyone’s body, and just like that, they’d be the damn Emperor?”
“It’s possible. You have only encountered Snoke and Kylo Ren. They are just playing with the dark side. Palpatine is a master of it, perhaps the strongest ever.” Ahsoka says.
“Then, we need the jedi. Rey, or Kira I guess, is the start. We also need Ezra Bridger, he’s the only Jedi Master left.” Poe says.
“I’m working on it.” Ahsoka says.
“What about you?” Finn asks.
“I am no jedi. I used to be, long before you were born. Now, I’m old, I can only do so much. I can advise, and fight to a certain extent, but I am no longer the young woman I was during the clone wars. I won’t be charging into the front lines with a lightsaber.” Ahsoka says, with sadness in her voice.
“In the meantime, I know someone who may be able to help. She has a large army of thousands of warriors, and a fleet of ships, including a few stolen Imperial star destroyers.” Hera says.
“An army? A fleet? Star destroyers? Who is it?” Finn asks, surprised.
“Sabine Wren, the empress of Mandalore. She hasn’t gotten involved, because she prefers to keep her people away from war. Her army, and her fleet, are solely to defend her worlds.” Hera answers.
“Mandalore? They won’t help us! Hell, they’re practically in bed with the First Order! They’re still independent because they consider the resistance a terrorist group, and they give credits to the First Order! To think, Sabine Wren used to be a rebel!” Poe says, angrily.
“I think you’ve said enough, Poe.” Hera says, irritated.
“Hera’s right, Poe. Do you remember what I said to you, about getting your head out of your cockpit? Well, it means you need to look at the larger picture here. What you don’t know about Sabine, is that she has also secretly sent credits and supplies to the resistance. I advised her to declare the resistance a terrorist group, in order to keep her people safe. She is the ruler of thirty billion people, and is responsible for every one of them. Personally, I think this whole neutrality stance is going to change when she finds out that the Emperor is alive.” Leia says.
“I will confer with Sabine. I can be there in seconds, and return just as quickly.” Ahsoka says.
“How? There’s no ship that fast!” Poe says, as Ahsoka vanishes.
“Like that, Poe. She doesn’t need a ship. It’s how she saved Han after all.” Leia says.
“Oh, right. Forgot she could do that teleporting thing.” Poe says.
On Mandalore, fifty five year old Sabine Wren is seated behind a desk in her office, reading a datapad. Ahsoka suddenly appears in the office, only slightly startling the empress, as she seems to be used to the unannounced visits from the togruta woman that she has known for almost forty years.
“Ahsoka. What brings you here, old friend?” Sabine asks, as she puts down her datapad.
“It’s good to see you, Sabine. I bring news.” Ahsoka says.
“Good or bad?” Sabine asks.
“Both. Let’s start with the bad news, and get it over with.” Ahsoka says.
“What’s going on?” Sabine asks.
“Emperor Palpatine is alive. He is secretly rebuilding the Empire in old sith space. I’m sorry, Sabine, this is no joke. I wish it were. As long as that old bastard is alive, none of us will be safe!” Ahsoka says, anger in her voice. Sabine gets out of her seat, and takes her darksaber from her belt, igniting its black blade. She screams in fury as she destroys her desk, chopping it into several pieces.
“Goddamn...sith...fracking...hell! That son of a bitch enslaved my world once before! I will not let him do it again!” Sabine yells as she continues to destroy her office furniture. After several seconds, she shuts off her saber, and clips it to her belt. Ahsoka approaches her, and puts a hand on her shoulder.
“I know. I reacted the same way when I found out. He’s survived all these years in cloned bodies, and he’s rebuilding the Empire.” Ahsoka says.
“What can we do? I’ll fight him with everything I have if he threatens my people, but he’s a sith lord. That won’t be enough. We need jedi. Too bad all we have left is that Rey girl that Skywalker trained.” Sabine says, frustrated.
“Her name isn’t Rey. It’s Kira.” Ahsoka says.
“Kira? Wait...she’s...Ezra’s daughter?” Sabine asks, disbelieving.
“She is. Kira has come back to us. She was captured by the First Order when they attacked the jedi temple on Yavin. Snoke faked her death, and experimented on her, trying to turn her into a mindless inquisitor. The experiment failed, so they mindwiped her, gave her false memories, and dumped her on Jakku.” Ahsoka says, sadness in her voice.
“Thirteen years, since we lost Zeb, Kallus, and Juno. We thought Kira was dead too. Her death broke all of us. Then, there’s Ezra. It destroyed him completely. He gave up, and became a completely different person. Honestly, I’m amazed that you and Hera can stand to be around him, much less live with him.” Sabine says, frustration in her voice.
“We still love him, Sabine. He’s still in there. I hope that Kira can help him find his way back to us. Now that she remembers her true past, she’s his only hope.” Ahsoka says.
“I still love him too, Ahsoka. He’s my brother, not by blood, but in spirit. I want nothing more than to see him be Ezra Bridger, Jedi Master once more. A man of honor, wisdom, and compassion. I hope Kira can bring him back, because it sounds like we need him, badly.” Sabine says.
“Indeed we do. In the meantime, do you think you could get some operatives into the ranks of the Empire, and learn more about what their plans are?” Ahsoka asks.
“Yeah. Good idea. We need more information before committing to open warfare. I’ll assign some operatives and contact you or Hera as soon as I hear anything.” Sabine answers.
“Thank you, Sabine.” Ahsoka says, as she vanishes.
“Wish I could do that.” Sabine says to herself.
Welcome to the party, Sabine Wren. Next chapter, an unwanted visitor comes to Ghost Base...
On Lothal, activity around ‘Ghost Base’ is starting to wind down for the night, when Jacen comes out of the Ghost, running toward Ezra, who is talking to Kira, Hera, and Chopper.
“Ezra, mom, we’ve got a problem! There’s a ship approaching. Unknown class.” Jacen says.
“Ok, Jacen. You and Chopper get to the Gauntlet! Get airborne, and find out what we’re dealing with!” Ezra says.
“Right! Come on, you old rustbucket!” Jacen says.
<You moronic meatbag! My name is not rustbucket!> Chopper says, staying put.
“Frackin’ pile of scrap metal! I told you not to call me that, now move your ass!” Jacen shouts.
<Frack you, you goddamn piece of bantha poodoo! I will rip your eyeballs out and skullfrack you!> Chopper says, as he utters an electronic laugh. Kira giggles at Chopper’s remark, and gets a raised eyebrow from Hera.
“Chopper, be nice! And, watch the language!” Hera scolds.
<Sorry, mother.> Chopper says, as he takes off for the Gauntlet.
“Quit frackin’ around, Jacen! Get on that damn ship, now!” Ezra shouts.
“I’m going!” Jacen shouts back, as he heads toward the ship.
The Gauntlet soon takes off, and flies for a few minutes, until Jacen sees the incoming ship, which is a small, brown freighter. Jacen activates the ship’s comm.
“Ezra, come in!” Jacen says.
“Jacen, what are we dealing with?” Ezra says, over the comm.
“It’s just an old freighter. I don’t think it’s First Order. You want me to blast ‘em?” Jacen asks.
“It’s probably smugglers. Might even be someone we know. Let them land, and get back here.” Ezra says.
“Got it.” Jacen says. The Gauntlet turns around, and heads back home. A few minutes later, as the Gauntlet is landing, the freighter approaches ‘Ghost Base’, and becomes visible to Kira, Ezra, and Hera, who are now joined by R2-D2.
“I know that ship! It’s Unkar Plutt!” Kira says, anger in her voice.
“That bastard that enslaved you on Jakku? How the hell does he know where you are?” Ezra asks.
“It’s possible he’s tracking the Falcon. We bumped into him on Takodana, not long after I met Han and Chewie. It was not a pleasant encounter. He tried to force me to go back to Jakku with him, and Chewie ended up ripping his arm off.” Kira says, with a smile.
“Way to go, Chewie. I’m glad this Unkar Plutt is coming here. It means I don’t have to go all the way to Jakku to kill him.” Ezra says.
“Ezra!” Hera says, with irritation in her voice.
“What the hell do you expect me to do, Hera? Give him a fracking medal? He forced my daughter into slavery! You think I’m going to let the son of a rancor’s ass get away with it?” Ezra asks, enraged.
“I’m not saying you should let him get away with it, but do you really need to kill this man?” Hera asks.
“Well, I’m going to have fun with him first. Then, yes, I’m going to kill him.” Ezra says.
“Fine, do whatever you want. I’m staying out of this.” Hera says, as she walks toward the Ghost.
“Jacen, we have a problem. Kira recognizes the ship. She said it belongs to the man that enslaved her on Jakku. He’ll probably have some armed thugs with him, so we’re gonna need some heavy firepower out here. Bring me the xr9.” Ezra says into his comlink.
“You just rebuilt the thing! We’ve never even tested it!” Jacen says, over the comlink.
“I know. Just...bring it. I’ll only use it if I have to.” Ezra says.
“Got it. On my way.” Jacen says.
Several seconds later, Jacen and Chopper emerge from the Gauntlet, and Jacen is carrying a large, black rifle, with multiple attachments. Jacen approaches Ezra, and hands him the weapon.
“Thanks, Jacen.” Ezra says.
“What is that thing?” Kira asks.
“Xr9 heavy assault rifle. First Order issue. I stole this one several months ago. It was in pretty rough shape, so I rebuilt it, with some modifications.” Ezra answers, showing the weapon to his daughter.
“You’re going to use that on Unkar Plutt?” Kira asks.
“Possibly.” Ezra answers.
“Good. I loathe the bastard, and he deserves what’s coming to him.” Kira says.
The brown freighter lands in the valley of ‘Ghost Base’, not far from the Millennium Falcon. Ezra, Kira, Jacen, R2-D2, and Chopper approach the freighter, as several armed men exit the ship, followed by Unkar Plutt, now sporting a cybernetic right arm.
“That’s far enough. What’s your business here?” Ezra asks.
“I am Unkar Plutt, from Jakku. That girl next to you is my property, and stole that freighter from me.” he says, pointing at the Falcon, then continues by saying “Just give us the girl, and the ship, and well be on our way.”
“Kriffing bastard! Like hell I’m going with you!” Kira shouts.
“You are coming with us, Rey. Even if we have to kill everyone else here, you are coming with me!” Unkar says defiantly.
“Her name is Kira, you dumbass nerf herder!” Jacen says, as he takes his bo rifle from his back.
“You heard her, you kriffin’ blobfish dipchit. My daughter’s not going with you. Now, get the frack off my lawn!” Ezra shouts, as he raises his rifle, and aims it at one of Unkar’s men, a large dark skinned man.
“Stupid old man! You’re outnumbered! Give up the ship, and maybe I’ll let you buy the girl!” Unkar says.
“Do you know who I am? Haven’t you ever heard of Dev Morgan?” Ezra asks.
“Dev Morgan? You’re Dev Morgan?” Unkar asks.
“Yeah.” Ezra answers.
“Boss. It’s Dev Morgan! That there other feller...I think he’s One Eye Jacen! They’s friends with Boba Fett! We should get the hell out of here!” Another of Unkar’s men says.
“Coward! It’s only two men, a girl, and two droids! We can take them! Kill everyone except for the girl!” Unkar yells defiantly.
Ezra suddenly fires his rifle, and it blasts a very large hole into the torso of the large, dark skinned man, killing him instantly. Kira ignites the white blade of her borrowed lightsaber.
“So, you’re that jedi that the First Order is after!” Unkar hisses.
“Enough talk!” Kira shouts, as she extends her hand, and force pushes Unkar and his men, knocking them to the ground.
By this point, several rebels are now watching, including Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Poe, and Finn.
<That’s Unkar Plutt! I think he’s after the Falcon, and Kira!> Chewbacca says.
“Unkar Plutt? That’s the moof-milker who screwed up my damn ship! Come on Chewie!” Han says, as he heads toward the fighting, with Chewbacca and Finn following close behind.
Unkar and his men start to get up, when Kira charges toward them furiously, with an unnatural speed. One by one, she kills them with her lightsaber, stabbing torsos, slicing away limbs, and even beheading one man. She only spares Unkar, who is now terrified, but still aiming his blaster at Kira.
“Drop it, mother fracker! Or I’ll end you!” Kira shouts as she points her lightsaber at the man’s throat, glaring at him with yellow eyes.
“So, it is true. You are the jedi. You’re not safe anywhere, girl! The First Order will hunt you no matter where you go! So, go ahead, kill me!” Unkar says, not lowering his weapon. Kira scowls, then takes her lightsaber, and cuts off Unkar’s left arm at the shoulder, taking his blaster with it.
“Aargh! Damn you!” Unkar screams in agony.
“Stay the frack down, or I’ll cut off your legs next!” Kira says, in a low, ominous tone.
“Kira! Stop!” Ahsoka shouts, as she appears.
“Let her be, Ahsoka. She’s got things under control, as you can see.” Jacen says.
“Yeah. I don’t see what the problem is.” Finn says.
“I do.” Ezra says.
“What?” Jacen asks.
“She used the dark side.” Ezra answers, with sadness in his voice. Upon hearing this, Kira closes her eyes, and shuts off the lightsaber. Ahsoka approaches Kira, and puts a hand on her shoulder.
“I understand your anger, Kira. This man did evil to you, but don’t let your anger consume you, or you will end up a mockery of everything you believe in.” Ahsoka says.
“You’re right, Ahsoka.” Kira says, as she calms down. She opens her eyes, now their normal color, and looks around at the dead men on the ground. She starts trembling, and tears form in her eyes. Ezra tosses his rifle aside, and approaches his daughter. Kira turns toward him, and embraces him. Ahsoka steps away from them, and approaches Unkar, who is slowly pulling a knife out of his boot. Ahsoka calls upon the force to freeze him.
“You were a fool to come here. I know your kind, and I do not approve of the way you have treated my niece. Furthermore, if we allow you to leave, you will likely contact the Empire, and inform them of the location of the jedi, in hope of securing some sort of reward. I cannot allow that, nor can I allow my niece to give in to hatred. So, it falls to me to end you.” Ahsoka says, as she force chokes Unkar, who grasps at his throat with his cybernetic hand for several seconds, before Ahsoka snaps his neck, killing him instantly.
It appears that Kira needs some sort of training to control her emotions...
Unkar Plutt: A complete jackass, and a waste of oxygen. Buh bye.
(A notice such as this will appear at the end of a chapter whenever an important character dies. Yes, there will be more.)
Ezra is still embracing his crying daughter as the gathered rebels start to disperse, now that Unkar Plutt and his men have been dealt with.
“It’s alright, sweetheart. It’s over now.” Ezra says.
“I did that. I killed them. I...lost control.” Kira says. Ahsoka approaches Ezra and Kira.
“You are very strong with the force, but untrained. You have the power, but you don’t know how to use it properly. You briefly turned to the dark side, when you drew on your anger, and your hatred for this man.” Ahsoka says.
“What can I do? How do I stop this from happening again?” Kira asks, as she separates from her father’s embrace to look at Ahsoka.
“You need a teacher.” Ahsoka says, looking at Ezra, as she walks away.
“Come on, Kira. I don’t think you need to see this anymore.” Ezra says, pointing toward the bodies on the ground.
“You’re right.” Kira says, as she walks away with Ezra.
Ezra and Kira walk to the Gauntlet, and go inside. They both sit down in the cockpit.
“I see Ahsoka gave you one of her lightsabers. Does this mean she’s going to train you?” Ezra asks.
“No, she’s not. She thinks that you should, and I agree with her.” Kira answers.
“I can’t, Kira. I’m no jedi. I don’t deserve to be.” Ezra says.
“That’s not true! You are the jedi order! The last jedi master! The galaxy needs the jedi. Especially now.” Kira says.
“I failed, Kira. You need a teacher, as Ahsoka said. I agree with that, but it should be her, not me.” Ezra says.
“Daddy, we need you. Things have changed. We’re not just dealing with Kylo Ren and the First Order anymore. Emperor Palpatine is alive, and he seeks to rebuild the Empire.” Kira says.
“The man’s been dead for thirty years, Kira. Where did you get such an idea?” Ezra asks.
“I saw him, and so did Ahsoka. We know that he is alive, and that Kylo Ren now serves him.” Kira answers.
“How did you see him? A force vision?” Ezra asks.
“No. I share a force bond with Kylo. We are able to communicate through the force.” Kira answers.
“I know what a force bond is. You have one with...Kylo Ren?” Ezra asks.
“Yes.” Kira answers.
“This is very bad. You are somehow force bonded with a darksider. Do you have any idea what can happen?” Ezra asks.
“I can see and touch him, as well as see his surroundings.” Kira answers.
“There’s a great deal more to it than that. You can influence each other to a certain extent, since your minds are linked. Yes, perhaps you can help him turn away from the dark side, like Han and Leia want, but, in turn, he can use the bond to drive you closer to the dark side. He can also use the bond to sense where you are, and that would lead him here, to us, and all of your resistance friends. Bonds this powerful are rare. The last one was about four thousand years ago. It’s a...long story. For another time. You need to sever this bond as soon as possible! Ask Ahsoka to do it.” Ezra says.
“Ahsoka won’t do it, since she’s the one that created the bond in the first place.” Kira answers.
“What? Why the hell did she do that?” Ezra asks, irritation in his voice.
“She thought that I could influence Ben, and help him turn from the dark side. There’s great conflict in him. He hasn’t surrendered to the darkness completely. He killed Snoke to save me, and we fought Snoke’s guards together.” Kira answers.
“You barely know the man, yet you seem to believe he can be saved? Wait...you called him Ben! You have feelings for him, don’t you? How long has this bond existed?” Ezra asks.
“A few days.” Kira answers hesitantly.
“A few days? This means that Ahsoka knew you were alive, and didn’t tell me! Son of a rancor’s ass!” Ezra says angrily, as he gets up, and punches a wall. He then grabs a bottle of liquor from a nearby crate, takes a drink from it, and asks, in a calmer tone, “how long have you had feelings for him?”
“Maybe a day or two. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. I don’t know what to do!” Kira answers.
“Forget him, Kira! He’s the enemy! Instead of falling in love with him, you should be preparing to fight him! Go talk to Ahsoka, and get her to sever the bond!” Ezra says.
“No, I won’t do it! Ahsoka taught me how to control the bond! I can block him, and keep him from sensing where I am! We can capture him, and I can bring him back to the light! I’ve seen the future! We will stand together, on the same side!” Kira says defiantly.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Kira! For all you know, the vision you saw was of a possible future where he turns you, and you both serve the dark side! I won’t allow that to happen, even if I have to kill Kylo Ren to stop it!” Ezra says, angrily.
“No! I won’t let you kill him!” Kira says angrily, tears forming in her eyes, as she gets up, and starts to walk away.
“Kira, stop! We’re not fracking done here!” Ezra shouts.
“What is going on here?” Ahsoka says, as she enters the ship, and approaches Kira, who promptly embraces Ahsoka.
“We were talking about the force bond between my daughter, and the second coming of Vader! I can’t fracking believe you would do such a thing, without at least telling me about it! How long have you known she was alive?” Ezra shouts.
“Kira, it might be best if you left. Your father and I have much to discuss, and he seems to be in one of his moods.” Ahsoka says.
“You’re right. I think I’ve had my fill of him for the moment.” Kira says angrily, as she leaves the ship, wiping her tears.
“You had no damn right to form that bond between them! Sever the fracking bond, right now!” Ezra says angrily.
“No. There is still good in Ben Solo, and Kira will be the one to free him from the darkness. She is already influencing him. She cares about him, and he cares about her as well. He killed Snoke to save her, after all.” Ahsoka says.
“He probably saved her, because he wants her for an apprentice! Don’t let him drag her to the dark side! Sever the bond, and train her!” Ezra says, now starting to calm down.
“No, Ezra. I will not sever the bond. Ben will not be able to use the bond to turn Kira. As for training her, that is your responsibility, not mine. I will help, but you will be her master, as you were when she was a little girl. This is...the will of the force.” Ahsoka says.
“I don’t care about the will of the force anymore, Ahsoka. I can’t train her. I don’t deserve to. I’ve already failed her once! You train her, or find someone else who can. Maybe one of the force ghosts.” Ezra says.
“You are the only option Ezra.” Ahsoka says.
“I can’t. Find someone else.” Ezra says.
“You will train Kira, even if I have to make you do it!” Ahsoka says, irritation in her voice.
“Make me? What the hell is your problem, Ahsoka?” Ezra asks angrily.
“I’m not the one with a problem, Ezra.” Ahsoka says calmly, as she focuses on the crate where Ezra stores his liquor. Calling upon the force, she causes every bottle inside the crate to shatter.
“What the frack? Just...get the frack out of my goddamn ship!” Ezra shouts.
“The time for games is over, Ezra!” Ahsoka shouts back, as she leaves the ship.
Once Ahsoka is outside the Gauntlet, Kanan’s force ghost appears, and he says “you are doing the right thing, Ahsoka.”
“I know. I just hate being so direct about it.” Ahsoka says.
“You are doing what you have to do. He’s family, but you can’t stand seeing him destroy himself, and neither can I. He’s cut himself off from the force, so he can’t see or hear me at all.” Kanan says.
“I agree with Kanan. You are doing what has to be done. This is the only way. Have faith, Ahsoka.” The voice of Anakin Skywalker says, as his force ghost appears.
“There are times that I don’t know what to do. Like now. Ezra is so stubborn! He won’t accept that Ben can be brought back from the dark side, and he’s angry with his daughter for the way she feels about him.” Ahsoka says.
“Love is the most powerful force of all, Ahsoka. Even now, there is conflict within Ben Solo, because of his love for Kira. It keeps him from fully embracing the dark side, and is his only hope. You can’t jeopardize that, no matter what Ezra says. He’ll just have to accept it.” Kanan says, as he vanishes.
“Bridger will find his way back. His love for his daughter will be his strength, as will her love for him. As for you, Ahsoka, you know what’s coming.” Anakin says.
“Yes, I know. Palpatine wants Kira. He wants her power.” Ahsoka says.
“Yes, Ahsoka. You can’t allow that to happen. No matter what. She’s the last hope for the jedi. Without her, the galaxy will be consumed by darkness for centuries.” Anakin says.
“I won’t fail her. I’ll do whatever I have to do.” Ahsoka says.
“I know, snips.” Anakin says.
“I think I’m getting a little old to be called snips.” Ahsoka says sadly.
“Not to me. No matter how old you are, you’ll always be my snips.” Anakin says, as his force ghost embraces Ahsoka.
Several minutes later, Kira is practicing with her borrowed lightsaber, while R2-D2 stands nearby, projecting a hologram of Anakin Skywalker, practicing lightsaber forms. Ezra watches silently for several seconds, then approaches Kira.
“What do you want?” Kira says, irritation in her voice, as she continues to practice.
“I...came to apologize for earlier. I’m sorry I lost my temper. It’s...been a difficult day. It’s also been one of the best days of my life. I got you back, when I thought that I would never see you again.” Ezra says.
Kira stops practicing, and shuts off her lightsaber. She turns to face her father, and says “I’m sorry too.”
“I also came to tell you that I’m going to town. I...have some things to think about. I won’t be back until sometime tomorrow. I love you, sweetheart. Stay safe.” Ezra says. Kira approaches Ezra, and embraces him.
“I love you too, daddy.” Kira says. After several seconds, Ezra and Kira separate, and Ezra heads for his speeder. He gets on it, and takes off.
As Ezra leaves, Hera approaches, and asks “where’s your father going?”
“He said he’s going to town, and won’t be back until tomorrow.” Kira answers.
“Damn.” Hera says.
“What’s the problem?” Kira asks.
“When your father says he’s going to town, it means he’s going to get drunk, and sleep with prostitutes. He’ll probably chew some spice too. Sometimes, Jacen goes with him. I had hoped that he would stop doing this with you around, but, I guess I was wrong.” Hera answers, disappointment in her voice.
“He also said that he has some things to think about, so maybe it’s not what you think.” Kira says.
“I hope you’re right.” Hera says.
Wait? Anakin Skywalker? Perhaps more force ghost shenanigans in the future?
The next morning, as the resistance survivors assemble in the common room of the Millennium Falcon, they are joined by a fully recovered Rose Tico, who enters the ship with Finn.
“Wow! The Millennium Falcon! I remember all the old stories about this ship! Now, I’m actually on it!” Rose says.
“It’s pretty much our command center now. At least until we get to the new base.” Finn says.
“New base? Where’s that?” Rose asks.
“I’m not sure yet. The general hasn’t said. We’re here on Lothal for now. At least until the Ghost is fixed.” Finn answers.
“We’re on Lothal? That old freighter outside...is the Ghost? General Syndulla’s ship?” Rose asks.
“Yep. Come on, the others are waiting.” Finn says.
“Oh, right. Sorry.” Rose says.
Finn and Rose enter the common room, where the resistance survivors are present, along with Hera, Chopper, and Jacen. They are greeted by Hera and Leia.
“You must be Rose. It’s good to see you recovered. Welcome to Lothal.” Hera says.
“General Syndulla?” Rose asks.
“Please, call me Hera.” Hera says, as she heads for the holotable.
“So, Rose, you up for some work?” Leia asks.
“Yes, general. Whatever needs to be done.” Rose says, enthusiastically.
“Glad to hear it. For now, our priority is getting the Ghost repaired so it can fly out of here when we leave. We still need to buy the parts, and it’ll take a few days to get the ship operational again. As soon as our meeting is over, Hera is going to lead a small team to the capital city to buy the parts. They’ll take a small freighter we’ve managed to acquire. I’d like you to accompany the team. Your technical skill will be of use to them.” Leia says.
“I can help them spot counterfeit parts, and I’ll be able to tell if there are any compatibility issues between the components. I would also like to volunteer to be part of the team that repairs the Ghost.” Rose says.
“I thought you might. Hera already insisted on it. We’ll be starting soon. Go ahead and find a spot.” Leia says.
“Han Solo? I thought he was dead!” Rose says, as Han Solo and Chewbacca enter the room.
“The rest of us did too.” Finn says, as he and Rose approach the holotable. Kira enters the room with R2-D2, and they approach Finn and Rose.
“You’re...the jedi!” Rose says, disbelieving.
“Kira Bridger. You must be Rose. I’ve heard good things about you. I’m glad you’re alright.” Kira says, extending her hand.
“Kira? I thought your name was Rey?” Rose says, uncertainly, as she shakes Kira’s hand.
“I couldn’t remember my real name until yesterday, so I thought my name was Rey. Thanks to an old friend, I remember who I really am. I understand Grandma Hera has already drafted you to help with the Ghost?” Kira says.
“Grandma Hera? General Syndulla is your grandmother? Forgive me, but I don’t see the resemblance!” Rose says.
“She’s not literally my grandmother, more like an adoptive one. She practically raised my father when he was a teenager, and became a second mother to him. Lothal is my father’s home planet, and most of the family lives here. At least what’s left of it.” Kira says, with sadness in her voice.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” Rose says.
“It’s alright, Rose. We’ve all lost people. Now, we fight for them, as well as for those who can’t fight for themselves.” Kira says.
“Well said.” Rose says.
Later, once the meeting ends, Kira goes to the cabinet in the common room, and retrieves the ancient jedi books, putting them in her pack. She exits the ship with R2-D2 at her side, and approaches Hera, Chopper, Leia, Finn, C-3PO, and Poe.
“We’ve got Plutt’s ship ready to go. It’s a basic freighter, but heavily modified. I’m glad we don’t have to take the Falcon or the Gauntlet. Those ships are too well known.” Hera says.
<It was nice of frackface to leave his ship for us. You could say he was just dying to give it to us!> Chopper says, laughing. Kira laughs at Chopper’s remark.
“Chopper!” Hera scolds.
<I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there!> Chopper says.
“Come on, Chopper. Let’s get to the ship.” Hera says, shaking her head, as she walks toward Unkar Plutt’s ship. Chopper follows her.
“I must say, that droid certainly is odd. It would seem that he requires maintenance.” C-3PO says.
“Chopper’s always been that way. A little strange yes, but completely loyal to those that respect him. I wouldn’t have him any other way.” Kira says.
“Are those the jedi books you told me about?” Leia asks, noticing the books in Kira’s pack.
“Yes. I’m taking them to Ahsoka. She’s going to help me translate them.” Kira answers.
“Good. I hope they have answers for you. Has your father come back yet?” Leia asks.
“No. Not yet. He was pretty vague about why he was leaving, other than saying that he had some things to think about.” Kira answers.
“I know that he’s not what you expected.” Leia says.
“He’s in a great deal of pain. Since he’s cut off from the force, I can’t sense it, but I can tell, by the way he acts. He misses mama, and it’s tearing him apart. My coming here seems to have helped somewhat, but it’s not enough.” Kira says sadly.
“It’s a start. From what Hera has told me, your father was much worse before we arrived here. I haven’t given up on him, and neither should you.” Leia says.
In the capital city of Lothal, the freighter formerly belonging to Unkar Plutt lands at the spaceport. Hera pilots the ship with Jacen co-piloting. Chopper, BB-8, Rose, and a few rebels are on board. Hera, Jacen, and Chopper are alone in the cockpit.
“Maybe we should have brought more of the rebels with us. The city can get a little rough. Even during the day.” Jacen says.
“The others are too well known. We don’t want bounty hunters spotting any of them. We have enough people to do what needs to be done. It should only take a few hours.” Hera says.
“Hope you’re right, mom.” Jacen says.
<She’s right, boy. She’s always right.>Chopper says.
“Not always, but thanks for the confidence, Chopper.” Hera says.
Hera, Chopper, and Jacen exit the cockpit, and approach the rebels gathered in the cargo hold.
“There’s a lot of crime in the capital city, so I need four of you to stay and guard the ship, and make sure nobody tries to steal it. The rest of us will go to the junk dealer where I’ll buy the parts we need. We’ll be back as soon as we can, then we’ll get out of here.” Hera says. The rebel soldiers salute Hera. Hera, Chopper, Jacen, Rose, and a few other rebels exit the ship to head to the junk dealer.
The junk dealer in the capital city is a sullustan named Melx Tugba. Melx is based in a large building, which was once part of the Imperial tie defender factory. He recognizes Hera, Chopper, and Jacen from prior dealings.
“Hera! Jacen! Always a pleasure! What brings you here?” Melx asks.
“Hello, Melx. We’re here for parts for the Ghost. I have a list of everything I need.” Hera says, as she hands a datapad to Melx.
“Finally fixing the Ghost, eh? Who are these people with you?” Melx asks, pointing toward Rose, BB-8, and the other rebels.
“Some help I hired. They’ll be helping me haul the parts back to my other ship, and they’ll be doing most of the repair work on the Ghost.” Hera answers.
“Hired help? Other ship? Dev must be giving you a lot of credits!” Melx says.
“You could say that.” Hera says.
“Right. Hera, Jacen, If you’ll follow me to my office, I’ll check my inventory, and see if I have all you need. Then, we can discuss payment.” Melx says.
“The rest of you, wait here until we get back.” Hera says.
“Yes. Go ahead, look around, but if you break it, you buy it!” Melx says. Melx walks toward his office, followed by Hera and Jacen.
Most of the rebels stand together, talking. Chopper and BB-8 are standing with Rose.
<So, Chopper, I hear you killed one of the Knights of Ren when the Jedi Temple was attacked. Is this true, or is it just a rumor?>BB-8 asks.
<It’s true, sonny boy. I killed that sumbitch! With his own lightsaber!>Chopper answers.
<You used a lightsaber? I find that very hard to believe!>BB-8 says.
<You calling me a liar, boy? Ain’t nobody calls me a frackin’ liar!>Chopper says.
<Astromechs can’t use lightsabers! Are you also going to claim that you have force powers, and are secretly a Jedi?>BB-8 asks.
<When we get back home, I’ll show you what I can do with a lightsaber!>Chopper says.
As the astromechs continue their argument, Rose sneaks away unnoticed, and heads to a secluded area of the shop. Once she sees that no one is nearby, she takes out a comlink, and presses a few buttons. A hologram of Emperor Palpatine appears.
“Agent Tico. We have not heard from you in some time!” Palpatine says.
“I was wounded at the battle of Crait, and I was unconscious until last night. This is the first time I have been alone since then.” Rose says.
“Save your excuses, agent! Report on the status of the resistance!” Palpatine says, irritation in his voice.
“There are less than thirty survivors. They have made their way to Lothal, and are now working with Hera Syndulla, Jacen Syndulla, Ahsoka Tano, and Ezra Bridger.” Rose answers.
“Lothal? Is the jedi girl with them?” Palpatine asks.
“Yes, my lord. She is Kira Bridger. Ezra’s daughter.” Rose answers.
“This I already know.. I will send Kylo Ren to deal with the rebels soon enough. Maintain your cover until his arrival. Do not fail me, Agent Tico!” Palpatine says.
“Yes, my emperor.” Rose says. The hologram of Palpatine disappears.
Uh oh. A double agent? Empire's on their way, and Ezra is MIA, doing who knows what...
Updates are going to be a little slower on this story going forward. I am working on another story as well, and will probably post the first chapter to that before the next update to this one. I am also hoping to add illustrations to some of the chapters of this one. Those will show up as soon as they are finished. I'm hoping to have the next chapter for this one within a week. After that, updates will probably be every two weeks.
Near the capital city, Ezra is inside an old comm tower, which was once his home. The rooms inside are mostly empty, as the tower has been abandoned for years. There are only a few pieces of furniture, and some paintings on the walls from the years that Sabine Wren lived in the tower, awaiting Ezra’s return from the Unknown Regions. Ezra approaches one of the paintings, an image of the original Ghost crew from over thirty years ago.
Ezra touches the painting, and says “I’m sorry. I let our family down. It’s time to make things right.”
Ezra walks away from the painting, and sits on the floor, in a meditation posture. He closes his eyes, and nothing happens for several seconds. Suddenly Ezra feels something strange, and opens his eyes, only to find that he is no longer inside the comm tower, but is instead in the council chambers of the jedi temple on Yavin 4.
“What is this?” Ezra asks, confused.
“A reminder.” Kanan answers, as he appears in the flesh, instead of as a force ghost.
“Kanan? Is this real?” Ezra asks.
“Yes, and no. Yes, in the sense that I am actually talking to you, and no in the sense that you are not actually on Yavin 4. This is a vision of the past.” Kanan answers.
“Kanan, I’m glad to see you, but why am I here?” Ezra asks.
“You have reconnected to the force, but you have not made peace with yourself, nor have you moved past what happened here. Until you do that, you are in danger of falling to the dark side, and you risk taking Kira with you.” Kanan answers.
“NO! I won’t let that happen!” Ezra says, irritation in his voice.
“Then, you need to see what happened on that day, thirteen years ago, including some things that you missed. The force remembers all.” Kanan says.
“I’ve missed you, Kanan. I’m glad to see you again.” Ezra says.
“I’ve missed you too, Ezra. I haven’t been able to talk to you since you cut yourself off from the force. I have to say, you’ve really put Hera through hell, and you turned my son into a bounty hunter! I can’t say that I’m happy about that.” Kanan says.
“I’m sorry, Kanan. I want to try and make things right.” Ezra says.
“I forgive you, and you’re already making things right.” Kanan says.
“I cut myself off from the force because I failed as a jedi, as a husband, and as a father. Now that Kira has come back to me, i don’t know what to do. She’s lived a hard life, and the dark side comes to her too easily. She needs a teacher, badly. Part of me feels like I should train her to become a jedi, while part of me feels like I don’t deserve to.” Ezra says.
“Then, let the force show you. Trust it.” Kanan says.
“Alright.” Ezra says.
Ezra’s surroundings change, and he finds himself outside the Yavin jedi temple. He sees his forty year old self, in dark green jedi robes, standing with Zeb Orrelios, captain of the jedi temple guard; Proxy, Ezra’s personal droid; and Juno Eclipse, Ezra’s forty two year old wife.
“Juno! Zeb! Proxy! Get the children to safety, now! The First Order is going to attack!” Ezra shouts. Juno, Zeb, and Proxy remain motionless.
“I’m sorry, Ezra. You can’t change what happened. You can only observe. This...is what has to be.” Kanan says, putting a hand on Ezra’s shoulder.
Begin flashback-Thirteen years earlier
Ezra is standing outside the jedi temple on Yavin 4, talking to Juno, Zeb, and Proxy. They are observing a black shuttle as it lands nearby.
“Proxy, do you know what kind of ship that is?” Ezra asks.
“It appears similar to Imperial designs, but this configuration is unfamiliar, master.” Proxy answers.
“It could be this First Order that Ahsoka’s been telling us about.” Juno says.
“I sense the dark side at work here. Zeb, Proxy, get to the comm, and try to contact Hera or Ahsoka!” Ezra says.
“No way! As captain of the temple guard, it’s my job to protect the jedi order. That includes the grandmaster, even though he can be a pain in the ass.” Zeb says.
“Alright, Zeb. You can stay. Call the other temple guards.” Ezra says.
“Master, I think it would be wise of you to contact Master Katarn, and ask for assistance.” Proxy says.
“Good idea, Proxy.” Ezra says, as he activates his comlink. He then says “Kyle, come in.”
“Ezra, what’s going on? Some of us are sensing the dark side!” Kyle Katarn says over the comlink.
“There’s an unknown ship that just landed out front. I need you and the older apprentices to start evacuating the temple. Children and civilians first. Use the Raven’s Claw and the Rogue Shadow. I want all other knights to join me out here.” Ezra says.
“Will do. Where do you want to evac to?” Kyle asks.
“Chandrila. Comm Leia, and let her know.” Ezra answers.
“Got it. You want me to contact Mara, and let her know what’s going on?” Kyle asks.
“No. She’s still on her mission with Skywalker. We’ll have to contact her later.” Ezra answers.
“Got it. Kyle out.” Kyle says.
The boarding ramp of the shuttle lowers, and approximately twenty stormtroopers exit the shuttle, followed by six men and women in black armor, and a tall, pale, humanoid man in a black and gold robe.
“That tall man, he’s a Yuuzhan Vong! What do we do?’ Juno asks.
“Go find Kira, and prep the Gauntlet for takeoff!” Ezra says.
“What about you?” Juno asks.
“I’m going to find out what our visitors want.” Ezra answers.
“I’m not leaving you, Ezra!” Juno says.
“Please, Juno. Protect our daughter. Give me ten minutes. If you don’t hear from me by then, take Kira, and go!” Ezra says, embracing his wife.
“Alright, Master Bridger. You win, but if you get yourself killed, I will kick your ass!” Juno says.
Ezra and Juno kiss briefly, then separate. “I love you.” Juno says.
“I love you too. Now, go.” Ezra says. Juno hesitates for a few seconds, then slowly separates from her husband’s embrace, and heads inside the temple.
The Yuuzhan Vong man, and the armored people start walking toward Ezra, Zeb, and Proxy. Soon, several other jedi appear behind Ezra, who steps toward the approaching group.
“Welcome to Yavin 4. What business do you have with the jedi order?” Ezra asks.
“I am Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order, and I have heard much about you, Master Ezra Bridger, leader of the jedi order.” the Yuuzhan Vong man, Snoke says.
“I know that you are Yuuzhan Vong, but I have never heard of you, and have only heard rumors of this First Order you speak of. I wasn’t sure that it even existed.” Ezra says.
“Oh, it certainly does exist. We seek to form an alternative government to the corrupt and decaying republic.” Snoke answers.
“So, what brings you here?” Ezra asks.
“I have a proposition for you, Master Bridger.” Snoke answers.
“What do you propose?” Ezra asks.
“You, and your fellow jedi swear allegiance to the First Order. Help us bring peace to the galaxy.” Snoke answers.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible. The jedi order serves the republic.” Ezra says.
“The republic? The republic is corrupt, and will fail soon enough. They are repeating the same mistakes as every republic that came before.” Snoke says.
“What would your First Order do differently? Take worlds by force, like the Empire did?” Ezra asks.
“There are some similarities to the Empire, but we are also very different. Mistakes were made with the old Empire, mistakes that we will not make! When the republic falls, the galaxy will need the First Order to bring peace and security. The jedi will unite with the Knights Of Ren, and together, we will bring balance to the force!” Snoke answers.
“The Knights Of Ren? I know all about the Knights Of Ren from my time in the Unknown Regions. They were founded thousands of years ago, as an alternative to the jedi order, but later became a darksider cult. You would have the jedi join with such an order?” Ezra says.
“Yes. You and your followers will have to abandon the jedi code, and embrace the dark side.” Snoke says.
“The jedi will never serve the dark side, nor will I. I believe that our business is done here, supreme leader. I suggest that you take your men, and leave.” Ezra says.
“So be it, jedi.” Snoke says. He turns away from Ezra, and walks toward the stormtroopers. The six armored Knights Of Ren follow him. Ezra activates his comlink.
“Juno? Come in, Juno!” Ezra says. Snoke stops walking, and looks at Ezra.
“Oh, I forgot to mention that we are jamming your communications, Master Bridger. You will not be able to summon reinforcements from the republic, or order your pilots to their fighters! Nor will you be able to order your ships to evacuate. In fact, I have additional forces that have been ordered to land on the other side of the temple. They are to kill all jedi they encounter, and capture your wife and daughter, who will be held in First Order custody until I say otherwise. As for you, you have doomed yourself and your fellow jedi by refusing my offer.” Snoke says. He takes a lightsaber from his belt, and ignites a red blade. The Knights Of Ren also ignite the red blades of their own lightsabers. Ezra ignites the green blade of one of his lightsabers, and the other jedi ignite their weapons as well. They begin to advance toward the Knights Of Ren and Snoke, while Zeb and several lasat dressed in white jedi robes take out their bo rifles, and advance toward the stormtroopers.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the temple, Juno is running through a hallway, carrying the six year old Kira. Proxy appears in front of her. Juno stops running, and puts Kira down.
“Proxy! Did you contact Hera or Ahsoka?” Juno asks.
“I was unable to contact General Syndulla or Master Tano. The temple’s communications are being jammed.” Proxy answers.
“Damn! We won’t be able to comm for help, or contact Ezra!” Juno says.
“Master Bridger can take care of himself. It would be wise of you to respect his wishes, and evacuate with Kira.” Proxy says.
“You’re right, Proxy. Why don’t you go back and help Ezra?” Juno asks.
“I will do as you ask.” Proxy says. The droid walks away. Juno picks up Kira, and starts to run again.
A few minutes later, Juno and Kira reach a hangar where a few ships and starfighters are docked. Among the ships are Juno’s ship, the Rogue Shadow, Kyle’s ship, the Raven’s Claw, and The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is painted blue and white with various colorful designs on its hull, as opposed to its later black paint job.
Kyle Katarn, forty five year old jedi knight, and member of Ezra’s jedi council, is overseeing the evacuation of children and civilians onto the Rogue Shadow and the Raven’s Claw. He is assisted by a few older apprentices, including his own apprentice, Jaden Korr.
Juno stops running, and sets Kira down. The two of them walk toward Kyle.
“How are we doing, Kyle?” Juno asks.
“The Raven’s Claw and the Rogue Shadow are good to go. I’m just waiting for Ezra to give the word, and we’ll take off.” Kyle answers.
“Comms are being jammed. We won’t hear from Ezra unless he makes his way here. He asked me to give him ten minutes, then I’m to take Kira aboard the Gauntlet and leave.” Juno says.
“That’s Ezra. Always looking out for everyone.” Kyle says.
“He cares about all of us, and wants us to be safe. What upsets me is the fact that he may very well sacrifice himself to protect us, and I won’t be able to do a fracking thing about it!” Juno says, frustration in her voice.
“Bad word, mama.” Kira says.
“I know baby, I’m sorry.” Juno says.
“Master, we have incoming!” Jaden Korr says, as he runs to Kyle. He points to another black shuttle approaching.
“That shuttle is just like the one out front. Neo Imperials calling themselves the First Order.” Juno says.
“I sense the dark side coming from this shuttle too. That can’t be good. Jaden, get to the Raven’s Claw! Take off without me!” Kyle says.
“I’m not leaving you behind, Kyle!” Jaden says.
“Sorry, kid. You need to get those kids to safety! Go now!” Kyle says.
“Alright. May the force be with you!” Jaden says. He heads for the Raven’s Claw, which takes off seconds later. The First Order shuttle, which is in the process of landing, fires at the Raven’s Claw, but misses, and the ship escapes by jumping to hyperspace inside the atmosphere.
This First Order sounds like bad news, and who is this Kyle guy?
Next chapter: There will be lots of death. You have been warned.
The flashback to the attack on Yavin 4 continues...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The First Order shuttle lands, as Juno, Kira, and Kyle observe. “Juno, maybe you should get Kira to the Gauntlet, and take off!” Kyle says, taking his lightsaber from his belt.
“It’s too late. They’ll likely try to shoot us down.” Juno says.
“Damn. I think you’re right.” Kyle says.
Twenty stormtroopers emerge from the shuttle, followed by a blonde woman in red and black robes. The woman appears to be in her early twenties, and approaches Juno, Kira, and Kyle, signalling the troopers to remain where they are.
“Who are you, and what do you want here?” Juno asks.
“I am Vastia Ren, of the Knights Of Ren. I serve Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order, and the three of you are under arrest. Throw down your weapons!” Vastia says. Juno drops her blaster, while Kyle keeps his lightsaber in his hand.
“Do as she says, Kyle. We are seriously outnumbered.” Juno says. Kyle reluctantly drops his saber.
“So, Kyle? The jedi has a name! I presume you to be Kyle Katarn, Bridger’s first apprentice?” Vastia asks mockingly.
“What’s it to you, lady? You lookin’ for a date?” Kyle asks.
“Ha! I’m flattered, Katarn, but I must decline. Unfortunately, you won’t be around much longer anyway. I have orders to take Bridger’s wife and daughter alive. My master told me to kill everyone else.” Vastia says. She ignites the red blade of her lightwhip. She raises her weapon above her head, and swings it at Kyle, who blocks the attack at the last second, by calling his saber to him, and activating its blue blade.
“Nice weapon. I’ve always wanted one of those!” Kyle says, sarcastically. He jumps away, and force pushes Vastia, knocking her back a few inches into a stack of crates. She recovers quickly, and blocks an attack by Kyle.
Troopers walk to Juno and Kira, and Juno kneels down to pick up her blaster. She aims the blaster at the troopers, and shoots one of them.
“You’re not taking my daughter anywhere!” Juno shouts. The troopers continue to move toward Juno and Kira. Juno motions for Kira to get behind her, and the child does so.
“You have little choice in the matter, Captain Eclipse!” Vastia says, as she evades Kyle’s aggressive attacks.
Suddenly, ten jedi children, and five teenage apprentices, emerge from the Rogue Shadow. All of them activate their lightsabers, and start attacking the troopers.
“Troopers! Kill those jedi brats!” Vastia says angrily, as she jumps away from Kyle, who nearly takes her left leg with his saber.
Juno and Kira get behind a stack of crates. Juno continues to shoot at the troopers, who are busy fighting the jedi.
“Juno, Kira, go! I’ll hold off this crazy bitch!” Kyle says. He then charges toward Vastia, who uses the force to throw nearby debris at him. Kyle manages to cut most of it out of his way, with only a small piece hitting him in the leg.
“Now now, dear. Let’s not resort to name calling.” Vastia says sarcastically. She strikes at Kyle with her lightwhip, only missing him by a few inches.
“Oh, frack you!” Kyle says.
“Sorry, love. We’re a little busy right now!” Vastia says. Kyle attacks Vastia aggressively, managing to slash her left arm.
“Damn you, jedi!” Vastia shouts. She recovers quickly, and jumps away before Kyle can attack again.
Meanwhile, eight of the jedi are now dead, including one of the teenagers, and several troopers are moving toward Juno and Kira, who are heading for the Gauntlet. Juno, who is busy trying to shoot troopers in her path, fails to notice two troopers come up from behind and grab her daughter.
“Mama!” Kira shouts, with tears in her eyes.
“Kira!” Juno yells, as she turns around to see her daughter held by two stormtroopers.
“Drop your weapon!” One of the troopers holding Kira says. One of the jedi children tries to help Kira, but is shot dead from behind.
“Let my daughter go, you bastards!” Juno shouts.
“I’d drop the blaster if I were you, Eclipse. You’re running out of jedi friends, and I wouldn’t want to have to order these men to stun your daughter and kill you!” Vastia says, as she jumps away from Kyle, who is force pushing debris toward her. Juno reluctantly tosses her weapon aside, and she is put in binders. Kyle sees this, and runs toward Juno and Kira, with Vastia following him.
“Oh, no you don’t!” Vastia says, as she swings her lightwhip at Kyle. The weapon hits him in the left leg, causing a deep cut. His wound causes him to fall to the ground, dropping his lightsaber in the process. Kyle calls his saber to him, and starts to get back up, but Vastia hits him again, this time, in his back, causing another deep cut, this one being several inches long. Kyle now struggles to get up due to the pain.
“I’ve enjoyed this, Katarn, but playtime is over.” Vastia says, as she strikes Kyle’s right arm, and his back twice more. Vastia then puts away her weapon, and calls upon the force to throw Kyle several feet into a wall, knocking him out, and taking him out of the fight.
Two of the teenage jedi, along with two of the children, engage Vastia, who proves to be a vastly superior fighter, and kills both of the children within seconds. The teenagers manage to last longer, with one of them nearly striking Vastia in the thigh. However, the fight is still over quickly, as Vastia kills both teenagers soon after. Vastia deactivates her lightwhip, and puts it away.
This now leaves two teenage apprentices and one child fighting the troopers, of which there are still ten. The troopers now surround the three jedi, and Vastia moves toward them.
“Troopers, cease fire!” Vastia shouts. The troopers stop firing their blasters, and Vastia approaches the jedi alone. One of the jedi moves to engage Vastia, and she raises her hand.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you jedi. I could have all of you killed in seconds. I just want to talk.” Vastia says.
“What do you want?” One of the teenagers, a male with deeply tanned skin, asks.
“Give yourselves to the dark side. Join the Knights Of Ren, and I will spare your lives.” Vastia says.
“We will never join you.” The other teenager, a female zabrak, says.
“So be it.” Vastia says. Instead of taking out her lightwhip, Vastia takes an ancient looking double bladed lightsaber from her belt, and two yellow blades emerge from it when it is activated. She uses the weapon to behead all three jedi in one single move. Vastia then deactivates the weapon, but keeps it in her hand. She walks to Juno and Kira.
“It would seem that you have lost, Captain Eclipse. I can’t believe how pathetic you have become! You once served the Empire! You commanded your own squadron! Now, you’re married to the leader of the jedi, and you spend your time teaching jedi how to fly ships! What a waste. I will contact the Supreme Leader, and he will decide your fate. As for your daughter, we have...special plans for her.” Vastia says.
On the other side of the jedi temple, the five remaining jedi knights are fighting the three remaining Knights Of Ren. Zeb, Proxy, and several lasat temple guards are fighting the troopers, of which there are only a few remaining. There are several lasat guards already dead, as well as ten jedi knights. Two more shuttles land in front of Snoke’s shuttle, and forty more stormtroopers emerge from them. Ezra and Snoke are fighting each other, using their force abilities as opposed to lightsabers.
“Your numbers are dwindling, Bridger, whereas I have two star destroyers in orbit, with thousands of troops! The jedi order will end, and your allies will die!” Snoke says, as he fires force lightning at Ezra, who absorbs the attack, and reflects it back. Snoke activates his red bladed lightsaber, and blocks the lightning. Ezra activates both of his lightsabers, one with a green blade, and one with a blue blade. Ezra and Snoke charge toward each other, and attack each other aggressively. They seem to be evenly matched, and eventually, Ezra backs off, hoping to lure Snoke toward his allies. Snoke fires lightning at Ezra, who blocks it with his sabers. Snoke suddenly redirects his lightning to a nearby jedi, who is killed within seconds, as he is impaled from behind by a Knight Of Ren. This knight is soon after killed by Zeb, who manages to shoot the knight in the head.
The newly arrived troopers advance toward the remaining lasat and jedi, who take cover behind parked speeders and stacks of crates. Two more lasat temple guards are soon killed, leaving only five.
“Are you going to answer that? You know, it’s rude to ignore a comlink!” Ezra says sarcastically, referring to Snoke’s beeping comlink.
“Joke now, while you still can, Bridger!” Snoke says, as he activates the comlink quickly, managing to evade an attack by Ezra. He then says angrily “what is it? I ordered no interruptions!”
“Apologies, Supreme Leader. I have Bridger’s wife and daughter in custody. Everyone else is dead, or escaped!” Vastia says over the comlink.
“Escaped? How?” Snoke asks, as he continues to evade Ezra’s attacks.
“One ship took off while we were landing. Our guns missed it, and we couldn’t get a sensor lock. It seems to have a cloaking device.” Vastia answers.
“Very well, Vastia. Ready the woman for execution, but do nothing until I order it.” Snoke says.
“No!” Ezra shouts. He withdraws from his fight with Snoke, and calls upon the force to leap several feet up the side of the pyramid shaped jedi temple, to the next level. Ezra then runs around the perimeter of the temple. Snoke leaps up after Ezra, and follows him.
Back on the ground, Zeb and Proxy are taking cover behind a stack of crates. Another jedi is killed by a Knight Of Ren, leaving only three jedi knights, and five lasat to fight two Knights Of Ren, and almost forty stormtroopers.
“Karabast! Proxy, go help Juno and Kira! We’re not doing much good here!” Zeb shouts.
“Very well, Captain Orrelios.” Proxy says. The droid leaves the fight, and enters the temple.
“Well, looks like we get some help after all!” Zeb says, looking toward the sky.
A u-wing, several x-wings and two y-wings appear. They engage a group of TIE fighters in the sky. Piloting the u-wing is Colonel Alexsandr Kallus, leader of the republic intelligence base near the jedi temple.
“There are friendlies down there, so check your fire! Transmissions are being jammed, so we can’t contact Master Bridger, or anyone else on the ground. General Syndulla is inbound with reinforcements. They’ll be here in a few minutes, so we’ll have to hold out until then.” Kallus says, over the comm.
“Copy, Spectre Nine.” One of the fighter pilots answers, over the comm of the u-wing.
“Y-wings, form up with me. We’re going to hit the troops on the ground. The rest of you, stay here, and deal with the TIEs!” Kallus says. His u-wing, and the two y-wings head toward the fighting on the ground.
“Everybody, take cover!” Zeb shouts. The remaining jedi and lasat stop fighting, and run for cover, while the First Order stormtroopers and the last two Knights Of Ren head toward their shuttle, which happens to be the first thing fired upon by the y-wings. The shuttle explodes, killing most of the troopers, and one of the knights. The remaining knight manages to find cover behind a stack of crates. Kallus and the y-wings circle around, and on their second pass, fire on the troopers, killing several of them. As the three fighters are flying away, the Knight Of Ren throws his lightsaber at Kallus’ u-wing, hitting one of its engines. The knight’s lightsaber returns to him.
“Kallus! Get out of there!” Zeb shouts into his comlink, forgetting that the comms are jammed. The u-wing starts to descend toward the ground, with flames coming from the damaged engine.
“Shadow Two, I’m going down. Take command of the squadron. When you see Master Bridger, General Syndulla, or Captain Orrelios, tell them it was an honor to know them, and be their friend.” Kallus says into the comm. He manages to maintain enough control of the u-wing that he is able to turn it around, and crash it into some of the stormtroopers.
“Kallus!” Zeb shouts, upon seeing the death of his friend. Thanks to Kallus and his squadron, there are now fires all around, and only a few troopers left alive, who are busy dealing with the other lasat guards. Zeb sees the last Knight Of Ren, fighting the last two jedi knights. He decides to aid the jedi, and puts his bo rifle into melee configuration. He stares at the knight, and shouts “Hey, ugly! Come fight me, you fracking son of a hutt!”
“Lasat, I will make your death slow and painful!” The masked knight shouts in a distorted voice, as he kills one of the jedi. Zeb and the remaining jedi take turns attacking the knight, who attacks aggressively. Within seconds, the last jedi knight is slashed across the chest by the Knight Of Ren, and falls to the ground, dead. This leaves Zeb to face the darksider alone. Due to his lasat strength, Zeb is able to push the knight back several feet, and knock him to the ground.
At this point, the Ghost arrives, piloted by Hera, with Ahsoka, Jacen, and Chopper aboard. Ahsoka is at the co-pilot’s station, while Jacen and Chopper are at the guns. The Ghost is aiding the x-wings in battle against the TIE fighters.
“Damn, there’s a lot of fire down there! I see Zeb, but where’s everyone else?” Jacen shouts from the nose gun, just below the cockpit.
“I don’t know! Stay focused on those TIEs!” Hera shouts.
Back on the ground, the Knight Of Ren is getting back on his feet. Zeb, believing his opponent to be vulnerable, moves in for the kill. The knight suddenly calls upon the force to throw his lightsaber into Zeb’s chest.
“Karabast…” Zeb says, as he falls to the ground, and dies from his wound.
Back on the Ghost, the crew has just witnessed Zeb’s death. “I’m gonna get that son of a bitch!” Jacen shouts, as he leaves his gun station.
“Spectre Seven, get back on that gun!” Hera shouts.
“You saw what just happened down there! That mother fracker killed Zeb! Now, I’m gonna end him!” Jacen asks angrily. He heads toward the closest airlock, grabbing a jetpack. Chopper leaves his place at the turret gun at the top of the ship, and approaches Jacen.
“He’ll kill you too! Don’t do anything stupid!” Hera shouts.
“Sorry, mom. You’ve been outvoted! Looks like Chopper’s coming too!” Jacen shouts. He opens the airlock, and jumps out, followed closely by Chopper. Jacen flies to the ground, near the Knight Of Ren, who is now holding Zeb’s bo rifle. Chopper hovers above, watching.
“Just what the hell are you?” The knight asks Jacen, who has a very unique appearance, due to his bright green hair, red rebel pilot’s flight suit, and mandalorian jetpack and vambraces.
“Lieutenant Jacen Syndulla of the republic fleet, and I’m here to kick your ass!” Jacen answers, as he takes out a vibroblade.
“Oh, how quaint. Shall we dance?” The knight asks, mockingly. He holds his lightsaber in one hand, and Zeb’s bo rifle in the other. The knight begins to charge toward Zeb when he is suddenly zapped from behind by Chopper. The surprise attack causes the knight to drop the bo rifle, and Jacen quickly picks it up, putting away his vibroblade. Jacen then charges toward the knight, who is still recovering, and starts beating him with the bo rifle. The knight tries to attack Jacen, but is zapped by Chopper once more.
<Suck on that, chit for brains! I’m gonna chop you up into little pieces, and mail your frackin’ carcass back to your mommy!> Chopper says. Jacen knocks away the knight’s lightsaber, and Chopper picks it up. <Look at me! I’m a frackin’ jedi!> Chopper says, as he impales the knight through the chest, killing him instantly.
“Dammit, Chopper!” Jacen shouts.
<What’s the problem? Didn’t you want the bastard dead?> Chopper asks.
“Yeah, but I was gonna do it!” Jacen answers.
<Well, my way was better! Who expects an astromech to use a lightsaber?> Chopper asks.
“Fine. He’s dead, I guess that’s what really matters.” Jacen says. He activates his comlink, and says “Spectre Seven to Ghost. We have things under control down here. Go find Ezra.”
“Copy Spectre Seven. Now, you and Chopper get your asses back to the ship!” Hera says over the comlink.
“On our way.” Jacen says. He takes one last look at Zeb’s body, then he and Chopper fly away, toward the Ghost.
Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios AKA Spectre Four-A man of honor, and a fearless warrior. Formerly a member of the Ghost crew during the days of the rebellion, Zeb later became Captain of the temple guard of Ezra's new jedi order, and recruited fellow lasat to serve as temple guards.
Alexsandr Kallus AKA Spectre Nine-A man who once served the Empire, but later had a change of heart, and became a hero of the rebellion. He would later join the crew of the Ghost officially, following the liberation of Lothal, and would be given the call sign of Spectre Nine, which would also be Hera's way of welcoming him to the family.
Ten jedi younglings
Five jedi apprentices
Fifteen jedi knights
Six Knights Of Ren
Fiftyish First Order stormtroopers
Note: Future updates will likely be every two weeks, unless I happen to get lucky, and get something put together more quickly. The next chapter will continue the flashback to the attack on the jedi temple, and there will be more death...
The flashback to the attack at the Jedi Temple concludes...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
On the roof of the jedi temple, Ezra is still being pursued by Snoke, when he feels the deaths of Zeb, Kallus, and many of his jedi through the force. He stops running and closes his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I failed all of you.” Ezra says.
“Yes, Bridger, you failed them! Now, join them!” Snoke shouts, as he catches up to Ezra. The two reignite their lightsabers and begin dueling again. They both exchange aggressive strikes, with neither gaining an advantage, when suddenly, Snoke sees an opportunity, and gives Ezra a strong force push into a wall, leaving him disoriented long enough for Snoke to leap away to the next level up. Once alone, Snoke activates his comlink.
“Vastia, respond!” Snoke says into the comlink.
“Yes, supreme leader?” Vastia answers over the comlink.
“Execute Juno Eclipse, and take Bridger’s daughter to the shuttle. Leave the clone body among the dead jedi. Everyone will think the girl died with the others! ” Snoke commands.
“Yes, master.” Vastia says.
In the hangar, Juno and Kira are kneeling on the ground, embracing each other. Kira is crying.
There are several stormtroopers aiming blasters at them, while Vastia stands several feet away, ensuring no one can hear her conversation over her comlink.
“Bring the clone to me at once!” Vastia says over the comlink.
Several seconds later, two stormtroopers emerge from the shuttle carrying a clone of Kira, who is dressed identically to the real Kira, except she is dead, from a lightsaber wound to the chest. The dead clone is tossed next to Juno and Kira. Juno looks at the clone, then looks at Vastia.
“What the hell is going on here? What kind of sick game is this?” Juno asks angrily. Vastia walks toward Juno and Kira, stopping only a few inches in front of them.
“Your daughter will be taken from here, and trained by the Knights Of Ren to properly use the force. Your associates will believe that she is dead, and will have no reason to attempt a foolish rescue. One day, the real Kira Bridger will be a servant of the dark side, and will not care about you, or her foolish father!” Vastia says.
“Frack you, darksider!” Juno shouts, as she spits at Vastia. Vastia slaps Juno across the face, and takes out her lightsaber, but doesn’t ignite it.
“Troopers, take the girl to the shuttle, and put a suppression collar on her!” Vastia commands. Three stormtroopers pull Kira away from Juno, who tries to grab the leg of one of the troopers. She manages to slow the troopers down, until another trooper hits her in the head with the end of his rifle. Juno is dazed, and falls to the ground.
“Mama!” Kira shouts, sobbing as a collar is put on her, and she is dragged toward the shuttle.
“Let go... of my...daughter...you bitch!” The disoriented Juno says, as she struggles to stand. Two troopers grab her, while two others aim blasters at her.
Vastia ignites her lightsaber, and says “Don’t worry about the child. The Knights Of Ren will take good care of her, and she’ll forget all about her pathetic family. As for you, Captain Eclipse, any last words?”
Juno starts to tear up as she looks at Kira, who is now several feet away, being carried by two stormtroopers, while a third walks next to them, aiming a blaster at the girl. Kira looks her mother in the eyes. “I love you, sweetheart, and I’ll always be with you!” Juno shouts. Vastia scowls in disgust, as she ignites her saber, and slashes Juno across the chest, killing her instantly.
“Mama! NOOOOOOOOO!” Kira shouts, as she starts sobbing.
“Silence her!” Vastia commands angrily. The trooper with his blaster aimed at Kira fires his weapon, stunning the girl instantly. The troopers carrying Kira take her into the shuttle.
On the roof of the temple, Ezra and Snoke are dueling once more, when Ezra senses the death of Juno, and is no longer able to sense his daughter either. He looks at Snoke with anger in his eyes.
“My wife and daughter...are dead! I’ll end you, mother fracker!” Ezra shouts, as he strikes Snoke with force lightning.
“Yes, Bridger! Give in to the dark side! No more family to hold you back! Unleash your true potential! Destroy me, if you can!” Snoke says.
“Oh, I will, but first, I’ll deal with the one who killed them!” Ezra shouts, as he leaps away. He lands several feet away, on a ledge above the hangar where Vastia is. Ezra looks down, and sees the bodies of Juno and the Kira clone, who he believes to be his actual daughter.
“Ezra! Stop! Don’t do this!” Kanan says, as his force ghost appears in front of Ezra.
“Out of my way, Kanan!” Ezra shouts, as he readies himself to leap down to the hangar.
“I know you’re upset, Ezra, but giving in to hate, and killing out of vengeance will not bring back the dead. It will only destroy you. You don’t want to do this. Hera and Ahsoka are on their way. Wait for them.” Kanan says.
“I can’t! I have to stop these people! I can’t let them get away with this!” Ezra shouts.
“There is some truth in your words, Ezra, and if I were in your place, I would probably act as you intend to. However, if you act rashly, you may lose your life as well, or worse. Remember what I taught you, during your time in the unknown regions.” Another force ghost, a masked man in dark robes and armor says, as he appears next to Kanan.
“I remember, but I’m still going down there.” Ezra says, in a calmer tone.
“Be careful, Ezra! Think about this!” Kanan says.
“He already has, Kanan. This decision is his alone, and he will do what he must.” The force ghost says, as he vanishes.
“Very well, Ezra. May the force be with you.” Kanan says, as he vanishes.
“Thank you, Kanan.” Ezra says, as he jumps off the ledge. Seconds later, he lands near Vastia, and ignites both lightsabers.
“Oh Noble Grandmaster! So glad you could join us!” Vastia says sarcastically, as she turns toward Ezra, with her lightsaber still ignited.
“Enough talk, darksider! You’re going to answer for what you’ve done here!” Ezra shouts.
“Don’t worry about your family, Bridger. You’ll be with them soon enough!” Vastia says. Snoke lands several feet away, and ignites his lightsaber as he approaches Ezra.
“Vastia, ready the shuttle for departure. This will not take long.” Snoke says. Vastia nods.
“Sorry, Bridger. It looks like you’re going to be too busy to get revenge!” Vastia says, as she shuts off her saber, and starts to walk away. Ezra and Snoke begin duelling once more. Proxy suddenly enters the hangar, with a green bladed lightsaber in hand.
“Proxy? Where the hell have you been?” Ezra shouts.
“I apologize for my late arrival, master. I had to fight numerous hostiles on my way here.” Proxy answers.
“Never mind that! Kill that darksider bitch before she gets away! She killed Juno and Kira!” Ezra shouts, pointing at Vastia, who is walking toward the shuttle.
“Yes, master.” Proxy says. The droid chases after Vastia, who turns, and ignites her saber.
“A Droid? Against me?” Vastia asks.
“I am programmed in the lightsaber arts, and my primary function is to assist in jedi training. I believe I can handle you.” Proxy answers.
“We’ll see, droid.” Vastia says. Proxy and Vastia charge toward each other, and start duelling. They seem to be evenly matched at first, until Vastia jumps backward, and fires force lightning at Proxy, shorting out some of his systems. Vastia then moves in to re-engage the droid, who is now moving slower due to his damage. Snoke takes his attention away from Ezra long enough to force push Proxy, knocking him to the ground.
“Vastia! We do not have time to play with droids! There are republic ships in orbit! Destroy that thing, then help me deal with Bridger!” Snoke shouts. Vastia stands over the fallen Proxy, who is now getting up. She swings her saber at him, and he manages to block it with his own saber. Vastia backs away, then suddenly strikes aggressively, several times, until she severs Proxy’s saber hand. She then slices the droid into several pieces, and he deactivates. Vastia walks toward Snoke and Ezra.
On the Ghost, Ahsoka, seated at the co-pilot’s station, closes her eyes.
“Ahsoka? Are you alright?” Hera asks from the pilot’s station.
“Ezra’s in trouble. Other side of the temple. Hurry!” Ahsoka says, then vanishes.
On the ground, Ezra is now fighting Snoke and Vastia, and is starting to feel fatigued. Vastia manages to slash Ezra’s thigh, and Snoke hits him with force lightning. Ezra manages to stay on his feet, until Vastia stabs him in the gut, causing him to drop his sabers, and fall to the ground near the bodies of Juno and the Kira clone. Vastia starts to move in to finish him off, but Snoke says “He’ll be dead soon enough. It’s time to go.”
“Yes, it is. Straight to hell!” Ahsoka shouts, as she appears.
“Ahsoka Tano! An unexpected surprise! Now, we will destroy you as well!” Snoke says.
“Not today, Snoke.” Ahsoka says, as she throws her staff to the ground. She starts to chant in a strange language, and the staff starts to glow.
“What is she doing? Sith alchemy?” Vastia asks, looking at Snoke.
“No. That is not the sith language. This is something else.” Snoke answers. Ahsoka’s staff begins to levitate, and starts spinning, slowly at first, then, more quickly. Suddenly, fire shoots out of the staff, and burns a few of the troopers.
“Troopers! Shoot her!” Vastia shouts. The remaining troopers form a firing line, and fire their blasters at Ahsoka. However, the blaster fire is frozen in mid air several feet in front of her, then is sent back to where it came from. Some of the troopers manage to dodge the blaster fire, but a few fall victim to it.
“Fascinating. This power will be mine.” Snoke says.
“Supreme Leader, we must go! We cannot fight this power!” Vastia yells, panic in her voice.
“Very well. All forces, withdraw!” Snoke commands. Suddenly, a blast of fire hits near Snoke and Vastia. Snoke and most of the remaining troopers are caught in the flames, while Vastia manages to jump clear. She sees that Snoke is burning, and pulls him out of the flames using the force. Vastia sets Snoke on the ground in front of her, and puts out the flames on his body with her cloak. Snoke is still alive, but badly burned, and struggles to stand. Vastia activates her comlink.
“I need a med capsule, now!” Vastia yells into the comlink. She helps Snoke to his feet, and he manages to walk with assistance. Halfway to the shuttle, they are met by two troopers carrying a medical capsule. Snoke is placed inside, and is carried into the shuttle, which quickly takes off.
Meanwhile, as her staff continues to shoot flames, Ahsoka heads toward Ezra, who has managed to crawl a short distance, so that he is now a few inches from Juno’s body. He is touching her face when Ahsoka kneels next to him.
“Ah...soka. Juno...and...Kira. Save...them.” Ezra says weakly, as he struggles to remain awake. Ahsoka uses the force to put Ezra to sleep, then puts her hands on Ezra’s wound, and starts to heal him.
As the first order shuttle escapes, the Ghost lands nearby. Ahsoka’s staff stops shooting flames, and falls to the ground. Hera, Jacen, and Chopper emerge from the ship, and go to Ahsoka.
“Ezra! Juno! Kira!” Hera shouts, as she sees the three bodies on the ground. She starts to tear up as she runs to Ahsoka’s side, and kneels next to her. Jacen kneels next to his mother, and embraces her. She buries her head into his chest, and starts sobbing.
“Jacen. Chopper. Find Kyle. I sense he is still alive.” Ahsoka says.
“Anyone else?” Jacen asks.
“I don’t sense anyone else. I think they’re all dead.” Ahsoka answers, with sadness in her voice.
“Go on son. Go help Kyle.” Hera says, wiping away her tears.
“You sure? Why don’t we just wait for the cruiser to send a med team?” Jacen asks.
“He might not last that long, Jacen. Now, go.” Hera says. Jacen and Chopper leave to find Kyle.
“Can you help them?” Hera asks, looking toward Juno and the Kira clone.
“I can’t create life. I can only preserve it. I’m sorry, Hera.” Ahsoka answers, holding back tears, as she takes Hera’s hand.
“What about Ezra?” Hera asks.
“I got to him just in time. His wound is serious, but he’ll live.” Ahsoka answers.
Present day Ezra and Kanan observe as the vision of the past ends, and their surroundings change. They once again find themselves in the council chambers of the jedi temple on Yavin 4. Ezra wipes away tears, and looks at Kanan.
“If I had waited, like you asked me to, we might have been able to defeat Snoke and the Knights Of Ren. The First Order might have fallen, and all the lives they destroyed with Starkiller Base might have been saved. Ahsoka and I might have been able to save Kira from the First Order, and a life of slavery. Instead, I acted like a fool, almost got myself killed, and cut myself off from the force, like a coward.” Ezra says, voice filled with regret.
“So, now you understand why the force showed you this vision?” Kanan asks.
“Yes, I do. It’s teaching me a lesson. I can’t change the past, but I can change the future, by becoming what I’m supposed to be. I’m just not sure that I deserve it. I failed my students. I failed Juno, and I failed Kira.” Ezra says.
“You didn’t fail us, Ezra.” Juno says, as she appears in front of Ezra. Kanan puts a hand on Ezra’s shoulder, then vanishes.
“Juno? How?’’ Ezra asks, reaching out toward his dead wife.
“You are between worlds. Only here, can we be together like this.” Juno says, as she reaches toward Ezra’s outstretched hand. When Ezra feels Juno’s hand in his, he starts crying, and Juno holds back tears as she embraces him. “So much pain. Let it go, my love.” Juno says.
“I’ve missed you so much, Juno. I can’t stand being without you. I want to stay here, with you, forever.” Ezra says.
“I’m sorry, babe, but it’s not your time yet. You have to go back. Kira needs you. The galaxy needs you. Be the best father you can be. Be the best jedi you can be.” Juno says.
“I don’t deserve her. If I hadn’t cut myself off from the force, I might have been able to sense that she was still alive. I might have been able to…” Ezra says, until Juno puts a finger on his lips.
“Enough, Ezra. You can’t change what happened. So, accept it, and stop blaming yourself. You have let your grief and self loathing consume you for so long. It’s time for that to stop, and it’s time for you to once again be the man I fell in love with. The man I was married to for fifteen years.” Juno says.
“I...don’t know if I can. It’s been so long.” Ezra says.
“Yes, you can. I believe in you, and I love you, with all of my heart.” Juno says.
“I love you, too.” Ezra says. Ezra and Juno share a long, passionate kiss. Juno backs away hesitantly, and puts her hands on Ezra’s chest.
“It’s time for you to go back now, Ezra. Kira needs you. Tell her...her mama loves her.” Juno says, voice wavering, as she starts crying. Ezra takes Juno’s hands in his.
“I’ll tell her, baby. I’ll tell her.” Ezra says, as he starts to tear up again.
“Thank you.” Juno says.
“Will I see you again?” Ezra asks.
“Not until the end. One day, our family will be together again. Until then, I will be with both of you, in spirit.” Juno says.
Juno vanishes, and Ezra finds himself back in the comm tower, seated on the floor, with Kanan’s force ghost standing in front of him.
“I’m sorry, Kanan.” Ezra says.
“I’m sorry too, Ezra. None of us were able to foresee the attack on the temple, or we would have warned you. The dark side was at work, and clouded our vision of what was to come.” Kanan says.
“I suspected as much. I know that one of you would have told me. I don’t blame you. Not even force ghosts have unlimited power.” Ezra says.
I’m also sorry about what happened with Kira. If we had sensed that Kira survived, we would have found a way to tell you.” Kanan says.
“She was cut off from the force. You didn’t have any way of knowing.” Ezra says.
“Fortunately, Kira regained her force connection, and came back to you. Now, you have a second chance. She is special. One of the most powerful ever. The Emperor cannot be allowed to have that power. She needs you, Ezra. Train her.” Kanan says.
“I will. Thank you, by the way, for helping me to see Juno again.” Ezra says.
“I’m glad I could help. No matter what happens, no matter what you face, you won’t face it alone.” Kanan says, as he kneels in front of Ezra.
“Thank you, Kanan. I’ve missed you. Every time I’ve needed you, you came back. Like now.” Ezra says. Ezra and Kanan embrace.
“As I told you so long ago, I’ll always come back.” Kanan says.
Juno Eclipse-Bridger AKA Spectre Eleven: A former Imperial fighter pilot, Juno served under Grand Admiral Thrawn, and met Ezra in the Unknown Regions. At first Juno hated Ezra, blaming him and his 'jedi tricks' for Thrawn's fleet being stranded far away from known space. After Ezra saved her life, Juno came to respect him, and eventually, the two fell in love. When Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren arrived to take Ezra home, five years later, Juno went with them, leaving her Imperial life behind. Two months later, Ezra and Juno were married on Lothal. As Ezra built a new jedi order, Juno aided him, by teaching his students about starships, including how to fly them, becoming one of the few non force sensitive instructors at the jedi temple on Yavin 4. Nine years after marrying Ezra, Juno would give birth to Kira, named after a combination of the names Mira and Kyala, the names of Ezra's mother, and Juno's mother.
Snoke's flawless pale skin (Courtesy of Ahsoka Tano)
Next update will be about two weeks from now. I'm hoping I can get two chapters by then, but it might just be one.
Chapter 18: Interlude: The Knights of Ren
A short chapter, checking in with the Knights of Ren...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
On Mustafar, in the former castle of Darth Vader, the five Knights Of Ren are assembled in the throne room. Kylo Ren is seated in a large, black throne, while the other knights are standing, facing him. The knights present are Kelbar Ren, a tall man in black armor, and a mask; Marek Ren, a young man in his twenties, dressed in black and gray robes; Talon Ren, a red skinned twi’lek woman in her early twenties, with numerous tattoos, and a very revealing outfit; and finally, Vastia Ren, now in her mid thirties, dressed in a red and black armored outfit.
“The Emperor has informed me that the resistance is on Lothal. Kira Bridger is with them, and is to be taken alive.” Vastia says.
“I see. Why did he tell you this, before telling me? Am I not the leader of the Knights of Ren, and commander of the Empire’s fleet?” Kylo asks.
“I do not know. Perhaps Lord Sidious didn’t tell you because he didn’t want to. Maybe he was worried that you would run off on your own and save your girlfriend!” Vastia says.
“Mind your tone, Vastia. Remember that I am the master here, not you. You may be the oldest and most experienced of the knights, but I am more powerful than you, that’s why Snoke appointed me to lead this order.” Kylo says, irritation in his voice.
“The Emperor is my master. Yours too. You only lead this order because he allows it. If you fail him again, he may very well cast you aside.” Vastia says.
“That’s enough!” Kylo shouts, as he stands up.
“I will say what I please! I am descended from the founder herself! I am the keeper of the archives of our order! If I were to die with no apprentice to take my place, you would no longer have access to the ancient records!” Vastia shouts
“The only reason I haven’t already killed you is because you were Snoke’s favorite, and now seem to have favor with the Emperor as well. This doesn’t mean I can’t remind you of your place.” Kylo says, pointing his finger at Vastia.
Suddenly, the force ghost of a woman in a hooded cloak appears next to Kylo’s throne. The woman appears to be in her mid twenties. All the knights bow except for Kylo, who simply looks at her.
“Founder.” Vastia says. The ghost remains still, staring at the knights, with her arms crossed.
“Why are you here? All you ever do is mock us, and haunt our dreams. You should be giving us advice, helping us become more powerful, like a proper master!” Kylo says. The ghost turns to face Kylo, and she scowls, taking offence at his words.
“I am not your damn master, Baby Vader!” The ghost says. Vastia laughs. The ghost briefly looks at Vastia, then once again looks at Kylo, and says “I appear to you because your foolishness amuses me.”
“It is not foolishness to seek greater power! The Knights of Ren have destroyed the jedi! We have brought peace and security to the Empire!” Kylo says angrily.
“Oh, you take offence at my words? I take it that you really wish to be like Darth Vader?” The ghost asks, in a mocking tone.
“Yes, I do! I’d be a fool not to want the power that he had! His blood is within me! I am his legacy!” Kylo says. The ghost steps closer to Kylo, and throws back her hood, revealing dark hair, tied back into two tails.
“Then if you really wish to be like your grandfather, I suggest cutting off your arms and legs, then taking a swim outside. The oceans on Mustafar are nice and warm this time of year.” The ghost says. Vastia laughs and points at Kylo.
“This is ridiculous! It’s bad enough you torment me in my dreams! Now, you insult me and mock me in front of the other knights! Don’t you force ghosts have anything better to do?” Kylo asks.
“Do not presume to tell me what to do with my time. I will do as I damn well please.” The ghost says.
“So will I! I regret nothing! I have become more powerful than any jedi! Even you, Bastila Shan!” Kylo says defiantly.
The ghost, Bastila, laughs, then says “Keep telling yourself that, Young Solo.”
“Why don’t you just leave! Go back to your husband in the afterlife! We don’t need you, unless you actually decide to be proper founder and help us!” Kylo says. Bastila screams in rage, and despite her ghostly form, calls upon the force to throw bolts of lightning around the room.
“Fool! I did not found your order! This dark side cult of yours is a mockery of what I created so long ago! What I founded, was an order devoted to the ancient teachings of the Order of Bendu! I named it the Knights of Revan, in honor of my husband! None of you follow my teachings! Yes, they influence you somewhat, but you are basically sith in all but name!” Bastila shouts.
“Your way was to reject conflict! You would have us abandon the war against the rebellion, and the jedi? What would we do? Use the light and the dark sides? Heal the injured and the sick? Only fight when attacked?” Vastia asks.
“If you wish to truly honor me, then yes. You would do these things.” Bastila answers.
“Then, maybe you are the one who is the fool?” Vastia asks.
“You offend me most of all, Vastia Shan. You are my descendant, and very much like I was in my youth. You were once a promising student, content to watch over the archives of your order, as well as the ancient artifacts in your possession, including my lightsaber, which you have since used to spill jedi blood, as well as the blood of innocents. You are a crude thing, murderer.” Bastila says.
“I spilled the blood of inferiors, in the name of galactic peace! I would do it all again!” Vastia says angrily.
“There will never be true peace until the force is in balance. There is only one way for that to happen.” Bastila says. She looks at Kylo, then says “Darkness rises, light to meet it.”
“Cryptic and vague as usual. I can’t believe you were anyone’s master, let alone the founder of an entire order of force users.” Kylo says.
“So be it. I leave you with a warning, Kylo Ren. If you go to Lothal, you will die.” Bastila says, as she vanishes.
Knights of Ren checklist of stupid things to do-
Change the name of your order
Abandon the path of balance for the dark side
Join forces with a sith controlled Empire
Piss off the force ghost of your founder
Yep. Looks like you've covered everything.
Next chapter-We check in with our heroes on Lothal...
On Lothal, it’s now late afternoon at Ghost Base, as Ezra returns from his visit to the comm tower, and his vision of the past. As Ezra parks his speeder, he observes rebel soldiers moving crates into the Ghost, supervised by Hera. Hera sees Ezra, and approaches him as he gets off of the speeder. Hera takes notice of the fact that he walks without difficulty, and doesn’t stink of alcohol.
“Youre...sober?” Hera asks.
“I didn’t drink a drop, Hera. I’ve been in the old tower the whole time, other than a force vision with Kanan.” Ezra answers.
“Force vision with Kanan? You mean you...reconnected to the force?” Hera asks.
“Yeah, I did. Kanan helped me remember who I was, who I’m supposed to be. I’ve been a pain in the ass, Hera. I’m sorry for that. I’m amazed that you’ve put up with it for so long.” Ezra says.
“I put up with it because you’re my boy, and I love you.” Hera says, as she embraces Ezra.
“I love you, too.” Ezra says. Ezra and Hera slowly separate.
“When Kira told me that you left, I figured you were leaving to go get drunk and sleep with prostitutes.” Hera says.
“No. Never again.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. If you’re looking for Kira, she’s in the Ghost, helping with repairs.” Hera says.
“Actually, I need to see Ahsoka first.” Ezra says.
“She’s...visiting Rex. You know she likes to be alone when she does that.” Hera says.
“Well, last night, I said some things I shouldn’t have, and I owe her an apology.” Ezra says.
“Fair enough.” Hera says. Ezra starts to walk toward a building next to Ahsoka’s house.
Inside a small metal building, Ahsoka is seated on the floor, facing a slab of stone, with the image of a white and blue clone trooper helmet painted on it. Ahsoka touches the stone.
“Twenty years ago, since I lost you, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. At least now, you’re with all of your brothers again, and they’re free. I still have a few things left to do, Rex. Then, we’ll be together again.” Ahsoka says, as tears run down her cheeks. She touches the image of the helmet, and bows her head.
Ezra enters the building quietly, and stops when he sees Ahsoka, who suddenly takes her hand away from the stone.
“Ezra? I...sense you. You’ve...reconnected to the force. “ Ahsoka says.
“Yeah. I...had a vision.” Ezra says.
“Of the future?” Ahsoka asks.
“The past. Yavin. The force showed me some things that I didn’t know before. I saw...everything that happened that day. Nice job with the fire by the way. Too bad you missed that psycho lady with the lightwhip. I get the feeling we’re gonna cross paths with her again.” Ezra says.
“If we do, what will you do?” Ahsoka asks.
“What I have to do.” Ezra says.
“Will you kill her to protect others, or will you do it out of vengeance?” Ahsoka asks.
“Maybe both.” Ezra says.
“Fair enough. Just don’t let vengeance consume you.” Ahsoka says.
“Got it. By the way, I...came to apologize for last night. Everything you said was true. I was just too stubborn to accept it. I’m sorry.” Ezra says.
“I forgive you. Now, come, sit with me.” Ahsoka says, motioning for Ezra to sit on the floor next to her. Ezra approaches Ahsoka, and sits down in the offered spot. He looks at Ahsoka, and notices her tear streaked face. He puts a comforting arm around her.
“Rex will always be with you.” Ezra says. Ahsoka looks at Ezra, and smiles, as she puts an arm around Ezra.
“Thanks, Ezra. Rex and I went through so much together. I’m...glad we got to live in peace for his last few years. I know that one day, I’ll see him again.” Ahsoka says.
“I understand that now. I know that, when it’s my time, I’ll see Juno again. I acted like a damn fool when she died. I...lost myself.” Ezra says.
“I didn’t handle Rex’s death too well either. You remember. I ran off, and lived alone for almost two years. Until you and Hera found me, and helped me deal with my loss.” Ahsoka says.
“He was your husband, Ahsoka. You loved him more than anything. That kind of loss is hard to accept. You handled it much better than I did. You were always stronger than me.” Ezra says.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Ezra.” Ahsoka says.
“I’m working on it.” Ezra says. Ezra and Ahsoka slowly separate, but remain seated next to each other.
“Good. Now that you are no longer cut off from the force, what will you do?” Ahsoka asks.
“First, I have a daughter to apologize to. Then, I’ll see if she wants to be a jedi.” Ezra answers.
“Or perhaps something else.” Ahsoka says.
“You think I should train her to be Bendu instead? Maybe you should train her then. Or maybe one of our force ghost friends.” Ezra says.
“You know enough. I think you’ll be alright. Force ghosts aren’t going to train your daughter. You are. Maybe it’s time for old things to die. No more sith. No more jedi.” Ahsoka says.
“No more republic?” Ezra asks.
“Possibly. I do not know everything, but we are coming to a major turning point in history. I have foreseen it. You know most of the ancient prophecies thanks to what you learned in the Unknown Regions. Do you remember the prophecy speaking of an event called the apocalypse?” Ahsoka says.
“The apocalypse? You mean the final war between the jedi and the sith? A war to end all wars?” Ezra asks.
“Yes. I believe that the apocalypse is coming. If the prophecy is true, then the chosen ones will unite, and bring balance to the force, for all of time.” Ahsoka answers.
“The chosen ones? I thought the chosen one was Anakin Skywalker?” Ezra says.
“The old jedi council thought he was. So did Obi Wan. They were wrong. Some of my information comes from...other sources besides the old texts. Did you know that Kira has the original jedi texts? Not the incomplete copies like you found. It seems that she...borrowed them from Luke.” Ahsoka says.
“Wait. You mean to tell me that my daughter...stole from Skywalker?” Ezra asks.
“He was going to burn them anyway. He never even read them!” Ahsoka says with disgust.
“His loss. Our gain.” Ezra says.
“Indeed.” Ahsoka says.
“So, do you know who these chosen ones are?” Ezra asks.
“Not yet. It’s entirely possible that they haven’t even been trained in the ways of the force yet.” Ahsoka answers.
“Or haven’t even been born yet.” Ezra says.
“Possibly. I believe that the answers will come, in time. We must be patient.” Ahsoka says.
“I’ll work on it.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. Now, go talk to that daughter of yours.” Ahsoka says. Ezra stands up slowly, and grabs his left knee, apparently in discomfort.
“Damn. I need a new body.” Ezra says. Ahsoka laughs.
“You need a new body? Wait until you reach seventy!” Ahsoka says as Ezra helps her stand up.
A few minutes later, Ezra enters the Ghost. In the cargo bay, there are several stacks of crates, and a few rebels taking inventory of the crates. Jacen is supervising the rebels, and Ezra approaches him.
“Ezra. Mom said you were back.” Jacen says.
“Yeah. I went to see Ahsoka for a bit. How are things going here?” Ezra asks.
“Good. We’ve got all the parts we need, and mom’s got two teams of rebels on board, helping take out the old junk parts. We’ve taken all systems off line for now, since Kira and that R2 unit took the reactor apart.” Jacen says.
“Your mother let Kira and R2 take the reactor apart? Wow. Figured she’d do it herself. Maybe let Chopper help.” Ezra says.
“She said she’s getting too old for that chit. Hard on her back I guess.” Jacen says.
“Where’s Kira now?” Ezra asks.
“In the cockpit, with mom and Chopper.” Jacen says.
“Thanks, Jacen.” Ezra says, as he walks to the ladder to climb up to the next deck.
Next Chapter: Ezra meets with his daughter, and reaches a decision...
In the Ghost, Ezra is walking down a corridor, with two doors along each wall. He comes to one of the doors, which is sealed, with a combination lock in its center. Ezra presses a code, and the lock falls away. As the ship has no power, Ezra uses the force to open the door, and steps into a small, dark cabin, which is bare, except for a bunk bed, and a small table. Ezra takes the lantern in his hand, and sets it on the table, next to a large box. Ezra stares at the box for several seconds, before opening it very slowly. Inside the box are two lightsabers, a holocron, and dark green jedi robes.
In the cockpit of the Ghost, Hera is in the pilot’s seat, Kira is in the co-pilot’s seat, and Chopper is next to Hera. All three are looking at Kanan’s force ghost as he speaks to them. Kira is laughing.
“So my father, the badass jedi master, went around telling people that he was Jabba the Hutt?” Kira asks.
“Yeah, pretty much. In his defense, he was only fourteen at the time. He wasn’t exactly a jedi master yet.” Kanan says.
“Wow. some of these things you’ve told me about him are just a little hard to believe. I just can’t picture my father being so...awkward.” Kira says.
“That kid didn’t have a clue.” Ezra says, as he enters the cockpit, now wearing his jedi robes.
“I think he turned out alright.” Kanan says, as everyone turns to face Ezra. Hera and Kira both smile.
“What?” Ezra says.
“You. Wearing that. I thought I’d never see it again. Thanks for proving me wrong.” Hera says.
“I’m not going to run away or hide anymore. I am a jedi. That’s what I’m meant to be.” Ezra says.
“About time.” Hera says.
“It looks like you have some things to talk about. I’ll see you around.” Kanan says, with a proud smile on his face. Seconds later, he vanishes. Kira gets out of her seat, and approaches her father.
“I...feel you. It’s not like before. Nothing from you before. Now, I feel you. You’ve reconnected to the force.” Kira says.
“It was the right thing to do. By the way, I’m sorry for last night. I was being a jackass. You don’t deserve that.” Ezra says.
“It’s alright. I know you miss mama, and you thought I was dead too.” Kira says.
“I didn’t handle it like I should have, but I can’t dwell on past mistakes anymore. I can’t afford to. You are strong in the force, possibly stronger than me. You are also untrained, and the dark side comes to you far too easily. As Ahsoka said, you need a teacher.” Ezra says.
“You mean you’re going to...” Kira asks.
“Yeah. I am. The time for playing games is over.” Ezra says. Kira runs to her father, and embraces him.
“About damn time.” Ahsoka says, as she enters the cockpit.
“Ahsoka? How long have you been there?” Kira asks, separating from her father.
“Long enough.” Ahsoka answers.
“Always sneaking up on me. Practicing your spy skills again?” Ezra asks.
“Possibly. What did I miss?” Ahsoka asks.
“Well, it looks like daddy is going to try to teach me how to be a jedi.” Kira says.
“There’s an old saying. Do or do not. There is no try. So, I’m not going to try to teach you. I am going to teach you.” Ezra says.
“Thank you, daddy!” Kira says, as she embraces Ezra again.
“It won’t be easy, but someone very wise once said that nothing worth doing ever is.” Ezra says, looking at Ahsoka, who smiles.
“To me, it’s worth it. I’ll do whatever I have to do.” Kira says.
“Alright. We’ll see if Hera can spare you for a while.” Ezra says. Hera approaches Ezra and Kira, and puts a hand on Kira’s back.
“Go ahead, Kira. We’ll be alright here. You need this. You both do. Take as much time as you need.” Hera says, smiling as she puts her other hand on Ezra’s back.
“Thanks, Hera. Do you think you could spare Chopper and R2 as well?” Ezra asks, smiling in return.
“Yeah. You can have them. For a little while. I would like to have at least one astromech working on the Ghost.” Hera says.
“Got it. I’ll have Chopper back in a little bit. I only need him for a small part of Kira’s training.” Ezra says.
A few minutes later, Ezra, Kira, Ahsoka, Chopper, and R2-D2 exit the Ghost. The group stops to talk near the freighter’s boarding ramp.
“So, did you enjoy Kanan’s embarrassing stories of my youth?” Ezra asks.
“Sure did. ‘Jabba’.” Kira says, giggling.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure Kanan has plenty more stories. Hera and Sabine do too.” Ezra says. Chopper laughs, and Kira suppresses the urge to do the same.
“I miss aunt Sabine. I haven’t seen her since I was five. Do you know if she’s still alive?” Kira asks.
“Yeah. She’s still alive. Also very busy ruling thirty billion people. I haven’t seen or spoken to her in seven years. We...didn’t part on the best of terms. I was too busy being an idiot at the time. Even got myself banned from Mandalore.” Ezra says.
“Maybe you can make things right with her?” Kira asks.
“I’d like to, if she gives me a chance.” Ezra answers.
“Actually, the way I understand it, Dev Morgan is banned from Mandalore. Not Ezra Bridger. I don’t see Dev Morgan anywhere around here. Do you?” Ahsoka asks.
“You’re right. No more Dev Morgan. I promise.” Ezra says. Ahsoka steps closer to Ezra, stopping inches in front of him. She looks at Ezra for a few seconds, then puts a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m going to hold you to it, little brother.” Ahsoka says.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way, big sister.” Ezra says.
<Break it up, you two! We don’t have frackin’ time for these shenanigans right meow!> Chopper says.
“What? Did he just say right meow?” Kira asks.
“Yep. Sure did. Old joke.” Ezra says.
<Come on! Let’s get to it! What the kriff do you think this is? Some kind of vacation where you get to be some kind of lazy ass, sitting around on a beach, and sucking green milk from the tits of a giant frackin’ sloth?> Chopper asks.
“Chopper! You weren’t supposed to tell anyone about that! How did you find out anyway? It was R2 wasn’t it?” Kira asks.
“What are you talking about? Is this some kind of weird joke you told the droids?” Ezra asks.
“No. It’s...something that actually happened. On Ach-To. It’s pretty disturbing, so I’d rather not talk about it. Or remember it.” Kira answers.
“Oh. You’re talking about Luke’s green milk habit!” Ahsoka says. Ezra and Kira both give her disgusted looks. Ahsoka shakes her head, then continues “I’ve visited him a few times. Tried to talk some sense into him. No luck. Just as stubborn as his father. Milk was good though. I have some at the house if you want to try it.”
“Um. Can we just move on now?” Kira asks.
“Yeah. Lets.” Ezra answers.
“So, what do we do first?” Kira asks.
“I’d like to see what you know about the force. So, tell me, what is the force?” Ezra asks.
“It’s in all living things. It’s what gives life, as well as takes it. It controls us, but can also be controlled by us.” Kira answers.
“So you do understand. I’m glad you didn’t say something ridiculous, like the force is a power that jedi have that lets them make things float.” Ezra says. Kira laughs.
“I still don’t really understand it yet. A lot of what I know is what I remember from your lessons when I was little. Those memories seem so distant, like another lifetime almost. There’s also the knowledge that I ripped from Kylo’s mind. Some things, I just know what to do, without really thinking about it.” Kira says.
“That’s why you need a teacher. Now, we are going to test your skills with a lightsaber. I’m a little out of practice, so I’ll be doing the exercises with you. Ahsoka will stand by, and advise as needed.” Ezra says.
“Are you going to teach me how to build a lightsaber?” Kira asks.
“We’re not quite there yet. You already have a saber, so let’s see what you can do with that one first.” Ezra answers.
“Okay.” Kira says.
“Right. Chopper and R2 are going to shoot us now.” Ezra says, as he ignites both lightsabers, and nods at the droids.
“What?” Kira asks. Both astromechs start firing toward Ezra and Kira. Ezra is able to get his sabers up in time to block the attack, but Kira is hit by several mild blaster shots, which slightly sting. “Dammit, Chopper! I wasn’t ready!” Kira shouts. Chopper laughs. Ezra signals the droids to stop firing, and they do so.
“You should have been. A jedi must be prepared. Focused.” Ezra says.
“Okay. Let’s go!” Kira says. Ezra nods at the droids, and they start blasting again. Kira blocks some of the blasts, but gets hit by a few, while Ezra seems to block every blast with little effort. Kira starts to get angry and impatient, and starts to be hit by more blasts.
“Chop, R2. Stand down!” Ezra says. The droids stop firing. Kira closes her eyes for a few seconds, and calms herself.
“Thank you.” Kira says.
“Don’t thank me yet. You’re going to do it again. Only, this time, you won’t be using your eyes.” Ezra says, as he takes a blindfold out of his cloak. He approaches Kira from behind, and puts the blindfold over her eyes.
“How does this help me? How am I supposed to block anything when I can’t see?” Kira asks.
“There is more than one way to see. I think you know what I mean.” Ezra says.
“Oh. Right. Like Grandpa Kanan.” Kira says.
“Yeah. Now, ready position.” Ezra says. Kira readies herself, and Ezra puts a blindfold on as well. He then signals the droids to start firing.
Ezra blocks almost every blast with little effort, only getting hit three times. At first, Kira struggles, getting hit by almost every blast. Soon, she starts to move faster, and with greater accuracy, blocking every blast.
“Ok. Chop, R2. That’s enough!” Ezra says. The droids stop firing. Ezra takes off his blindfold, then says “You can go ahead and take the blindfold off now, Kira.”
Kira takes the blindfold off, and asks “How was that?”
“Much better. You actually did better than me. Of course, I’m out of practice. You were able to see with the force instead of your eyes. Practice this every day until you can block every shot.” Ezra says.
“Great. What’s next?” Kira asks.
“You’re going to learn how to deflect incoming fire, instead of just keeping it from hitting you. I’m going to call some help out here, that way, you’ll have more than just two astromechs shooting at you. It’ll better prepare you to face multiple targets in battle.” Ezra answers.
“Are you sure I’m ready for this?” Kira asks.
“Maybe not, but you need to learn it anyway.” Ezra says.
“Don’t push her too hard, Ezra.” Ahsoka says.
“You’re right, Ahsoka. I just have this strange feeling, like we’re not going to have much time to train her before we run into trouble.” Ezra says.
“We’ll see. I hope you’re wrong.” Ahsoka says.
“So do I.” Ezra says.
“It’s alright. I want to learn everything that you’re able to teach me.” Kira says.
“Don’t be too eager. This is the easy stuff.” Ezra says. He turns toward the Ghost, and walks away, leaving Kira and Ahsoka with the astromechs. Ahsoka’s comlink starts to beep, and she activates it. A small hologram of a logo based on the markings on her forehead appears. The logo flashes between red and white.
“That’s the logo for your Fulcrum spy network, isn’t it?” Kira asks.
“Indeed it is. Sabine and I reactivated the Fulcrum network after the attack on the jedi temple, and we have numerous agents throughout the galaxy. This signal means I have an urgent message waiting for me on my comm unit at the house. I’ve been expecting this. I’ll talk to you later.” Ahsoka says. She starts walking toward her house.
Once inside her house, Ahsoka sits down at a small comm unit, and activates it. She presses a few buttons.
“Starbird to Fulcrum. I have information for you. Please meet me in my office as soon as possible.” A distorted, feminine voice says. Ahsoka presses a few buttons.
“Fulcrum to Starbird. Message received. I will be there shortly.” Ahsoka says. She vanishes seconds later.
Next chapter: More jedi training, and Ahsoka brings some bad news...
Several minutes later, Ezra emerges from the Ghost, accompanied by Jacen, Hera, and Finn. The four approach Kira and the astromechs.
“Where’s Ahsoka?” Ezra asks.
“She had a message. I think it’s from one of her agents.” Kira says.
“So, she told you about that.” Hera says.
“Yeah.” Kira says.
“Agents? What’s going on? Is that lady some kind of spy or something?” Finn asks.
“Spymaster is more like it. Ahsoka used to lead rebel intelligence back in the early days of the rebellion. She reactivated her spy network after the attack on the jedi temple.” Ezra says.
“She said it was an urgent message, and that she was expecting it.” Kira says.
“She might be a while then. We’ll have to carry on without her.” Ezra says.
“Ok, Ezra. you’ve got us out here. What are we supposed to do?” Jacen asks.
“Take that helmet I asked you to bring, and set it right here.” Ezra answers, pointing to a spot on the ground. Jacen takes the old stormtrooper helmet in his hand, and sets it on the ground in the spot indicated by Ezra.
“An imperial stormtrooper helmet? What are we going to do with that?” Finn asks.
“Good question, Finn. You won’t be doing anything with it. Kira will be using her saber to deflect blaster bolts to the helmet. All you have to do is shoot at her.” Ezra says.
“You want me to shoot at Kira? I don’t know if I can do that. She’s my friend.” Finn says.
“I know, and you’re a good friend too. She speaks very highly of you. You’re not actually going to hurt her. This is a training exercise. You are helping her get better with a lightsaber.” Ezra says.
“Got it.” Finn says.
“Alright, Kira. Ready position. Everyone else, blasters ready.” Ezra says. Hera, Jacen, and Finn take out their blasters, and aim them at Kira. Chopper and R2-D2 aim their built in blasters at her. Once everyone is ready, Ezra says “Fire!”
Everyone begins to fire their blasters at Kira, while Ezra observes. Kira is able to block almost all of the blasts, but she deflects them with almost no control whatsoever, so none of them hit the helmet on the ground.
“Alright, everyone. Stop firing.” Ezra says. Everyone does as asked, and Ezra approaches Kira, stopping in front of her. Kira shuts off her saber.
“That’s harder than I thought.” Kira says.
“You’ve gotten pretty good at blocking, but you aren’t deflecting. Not one shot hit the target.” Ezra says.
“I’ve never done this before. I don’t know if I can.” Kira says.
“Let me show you something. Go ahead and step back.” Ezra says. Kira backs away a few feet, and Ezra ignites both of his sabers. He looks at Hera, and nods.
“Alright, everyone. Fire at Ezra!” Hera says. Everyone begins firing their blasters, and Ezra deflects every shot to the helmet, leaving Kira in awe.
Nearly a minute later, Hera says “Cease fire!” Everyone stops shooting. Ezra turns to Kira.
“Now, your turn.” Ezra says.
“I don’t think I can do that.” Kira says.
“Don’t think. Feel.” Ezra says.
“Alright. I’ll try. No, I’ll do it.” Kira says.
“Good.” Ezra says. He steps away as Kira gets into position, and ignites her saber.
“Let’s do this!” Kira says.
“Everyone, fire!” Ezra says. Everyone starts firing their blasters at Kira, who closes her eyes, and trusts in the force, allowing it to work through her. After nearly a minute, Ezra says “alright, that’s enough. Cease fire!”
Everyone stops firing, and Kira opens her eyes. She looks at Ezra, and asks “How did I do?”
“How did you do? Every shot hit the target. I’m impressed. You trusted in the force, and let go of yourself. Well done.” Ezra answers. Kira smiles at the compliment.
“Thank you.” Kira says.
“You’re welcome. I think we’re done here. Thanks for your help, everyone.” Ezra says. Hera approaches Ezra.
“You’re so much like Kanan sometimes. He’s proud of you, just like I am.” Hera says.
“Thanks, Hera. I’ll do my best to not let you down.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. Can I have Chopper back now?” Hera asks.
“Yeah. Kira and I are going to work alone for now. Thanks for the help.” Ezra says.
“Anytime, Ezra.” Hera says. She walks away, headed for the Ghost, followed by Jacen, Finn, and Chopper. R2-D2 stays put.
“It’s alright, R2. Go ahead and help with the Ghost. She’ll comm if she needs you.” Ezra says.
R2-D2 looks at Kira, who nods. The droid turns, and heads toward the Ghost.
“You got yourself a damn good droid there, Kira. Take care of him.” Ezra says.
“I will.” Kira says.
“Glad to hear it. Now, let’s get to Ahsoka’s. I believe you have a lightsaber to build.” Ezra says. Kira looks at her father with shock.
“You’re going to help me build a saber?” Kira asks.
“Maybe guide you a little, but, you’ll be doing the building on your own. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” Ezra answers.
“Ahsoka said I’m supposed to use the force to build it.” Kira says.
“She’s right. Did she happen to tell you what parts you’ll need?” Ezra asks.
“She said that the outer casing is shot, and so are some of the other components. I’ve done some study on my own with R2’s records, and I know that I need a focusing lens, and a power converter. I’ve drawn up a design I was thinking about. I’ve got the schematic on my datapad. It’s at Ahsoka’s house with the old texts and the pieces of Skywalker’s saber.” Kira answers.
“Good. Any parts you need, I should have in storage. I’ll get them, and meet you at Ahsoka’s. Then, we’ll look at this design of yours, and see if it isn’t too crazy.” Ezra says. Kira smiles.
“Alright. Meet you there.” Kira says.
A few minutes later, Ezra enters Ahsoka’s house, carrying a small, metal box. Kira and Ahsoka are seated at a large table, reading one of the ancient jedi texts. Ahsoka stops reading, and looks at Ezra, who approaches the table, and sets the box down, next to the broken pieces of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber.
“Ah, Ezra. There you are. There’s something I need to tell you. We’ll also need to meet with the resistance, and tell them.” Ahsoka says.
“Alright. What’s going on?” Ezra asks.
“I’ve been in contact with Sabine. I asked her to send agents into the Empire and find out what their plans are. I just met with her, and what she told me is disturbing, but not really surprising, given the fact that that Palpatine is still pulling the strings.” Ahsoka answers.
“What did you find out?” Ezra asks.
“There is an Imperial double agent within Leia’s resistance cell. This person has somehow informed the Empire that the resistance is on Lothal. There is a small Imperial fleet headed this way. They’ll be here in three days.” Ahsoka answers.
“Three days. Damn. Hopefully that’s enough time to get the Ghost fixed. Do you know who the spy is?” Ezra asks.
“Not yet, but we’re working on it. There’s one more piece of information I need to share.” Ahsoka answers.
“What is it?” Ezra asks.
“The Empire has five Death Stars, in orbit of Korriban. They aren’t operational yet, but will be soon.” Ahsoka answers. Ezra and Kira are shocked to hear this.
“Damn. We need to get to Korriban and destroy those things!” Ezra says.
“We can’t, Ezra. It would be a suicide mission. Not even I could destroy all of them on my own. I would maybe destroy one or two of them before I was killed. My power isn’t absolute.” Ahsoka says.
“Then, we need whatever allies we can get.” Ezra says.
“Leia is working on it. Her cell was almost wiped out. The other two cells have less than a thousand men and women. Chewbacca has offered to help recruit the wookiees to fight the Empire, and Hera has suggested asking Sabine. However, those forces will not be the most significant part of the coming war, and I think you know that.” Ahsoka says.
“This war is really down to sith and jedi. That’s what most of the past wars have really been about.” Ezra says.
“Yes. If we are indeed approaching the apocalypse, then force users will determine the outcome of this war, not the armies under their command.” Ahsoka says.
“Apocalypse? What are you talking about?” Kira asks.
“An ancient prophecy. The apocalypse is the final war between jedi and sith. It’s said that the chosen ones will unite, and bring balance to the force, for all of time.” Ahsoka answers.
“The text of the prophecy should be in one of those books you...acquired from Luke.” Ezra says.
“It’s in old basic. I can’t read it very well yet, so Ahsoka’s making a translated summary for me.” Kira says.
“Good. You can get back to studying later. For now, let’s get to work on that saber.” Ezra says.
“Alright.” Kira says. Ezra picks up one of the pieces of the broken lightsaber. He holds it in his hand for a few seconds, inspecting it.
“So, Kylo Ren broke it when he tried to steal it from you?” Ezra asks.
“Yeah. He felt that it belonged to him because it was his grandfather’s saber.” Kira answers. Ezra sets the saber back on the table.
“I know you have feelings for him, but Kylo Ren is kind of a dumbass.” Ezra says.
“Yeah. He can be.” Kira says.
“Alright. Let’s see this saber design you’re thinking about.” Ezra says. Kira offers her datapad to her father. Ezra accepts it, and looks at the image on the screen for several seconds.
“So, what do you think?” Kira asks.
“Ambitious. Probably the hardest type of saber to master. At least you don’t want one that spins. Not a fan of those. This design is very good. I like how you included parts from your staff. I think we have everything you’ll need.” Ezra says. He hands the datapad to Kira.
“Thank you.” Kira says.
“Don’t thank me yet. You’ll be the one doing all the work. Ahsoka and I will just be here to give advice.” Ezra says.
Kira takes the box her father brought, and opens it. Inside are various lightsaber components in different colors and materials. Kira picks out a few pieces, then sets the broken halves of the Skywalker lightsaber in front of her. She then looks at her staff, leaning against a wall on the other side of the room, and uses the force to pull it to her. She dismantles the staff into several smaller pieces, and sets them on the table with the saber parts.
“Well, you’ve got some work ahead of you. I’ll leave you to it.” Ezra says.
An hour later, there are several pieces of metal floating in front of Kira. The pieces line up perfectly, then float together, and assemble into a long, dark gray and silver cylinder, which is about two feet in length. Kira takes the newly assembled lightsaber, and holds it in her hands as she examines it.
“All done?” Ezra asks.
“Yeah. I think so.” Kira answers.
“Looks interesting. Let’s see it in action.” Ahsoka says.
“Alright.” Kira says. She gets out of her seat, and backs away from the table, making certain she has enough space. She holds the saber horizontally in front of her, and presses a button on the hilt. A blue blade emerges from each end of the saber, and Kira smiles.
“Nicely done. Let’s take it outside for a test run.” Ezra says. Kira deactivates the saber, and clips it to her belt. She removes her borrowed saber, and offers it back to Ahsoka.
“Thank you, for letting me borrow this.” Kira says. Ahsoka accepts the saber.
“You’re welcome, Kira. It looks like I’m not the only one with a cool lightsaber now.” Ahsoka says. Kira smiles at the compliment.
“Hey! My lightsabers are cool too!” Ezra says.
“They’re ok. Too bad you don’t have that blaster saber anymore. That was pretty cool.” Ahsoka says.
“Oh, mine can do that!” Kira says.
“What?” Ezra and Ahsoka ask in unison.
“I haven’t tested it yet, because I didn’t want to blast a hole in the wall, but I built in a blaster mode to each end.” Kira says.
“Wow. That’s pretty cool.” Ezra says, smiling with pride.
“Yeah. Your new saber is officially cooler than both of mine.” Ahsoka says smiling as well.
“Thanks. Now, I want to really see what this thing can do!” Kira says.
“Alright, then. Let’s head outside. Ahsoka, you coming?” Ezra asks.
“Yeah. I want to see this too.” Ahsoka says.
Next Chapter: Jedi training continues, now with Kira's new lightsaber...
The next update will be in about two weeks. I'm hoping to get two more chapters by then, but it may just be one.
Kira begins training with her new saber, and is visited by a couple of legends...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kira, Ezra, and Ahsoka exit Ahsoka’s house, and head for a large, open area near the Gauntlet.
“Now that we’re outside, let’s see this saber of yours in action.” Ezra says.
“What do you have in mind?” Kira asks.
“Let’s see how you do in a fight. Defend yourself!” Ezra says, as he suddenly activates his green bladed lightsaber, and swings at Kira, who activates one blade of her own saber, blocking her father’s weapon. The two trade blows, successfully blocking each time, as they move slowly, and only use basic strikes.
“I must be good if I can keep up with you!” Kira says.
“Be careful of arrogance, Kira. Are you really keeping up with him? Or, is he just testing you?” Ahsoka asks.
“Sometimes, your opponent will be predictable, easy to defeat. Other times, not so much.” Ezra says, as he activates his second saber, and starts attacking Kira more quickly. Kira activates the second blade of her saber, and is able to keep up at first. However, Ezra starts to move faster, and Kira is soon hit in the arm, leaving a small burn.
“Aargh! Dammit!” Kira yells in pain. Ezra backs off, and deactivates his sabers. Kira deactivates her weapon as well.
“Most people only fight with one lightsaber. Ahsoka and I are among the few I know of that use two. Then, of course, there’s the double blade, like yours. That’s very rare these days. There’s only one other double blade user that I know of.” Ezra says.
“Vastia Ren. I remember.” Kira says.
“Yeah. Her. I have unfinished business with that one.” Ezra says.
“So do I. If she comes here, I’ll end her.” Kira says.
“Careful, Kira.” Ahsoka says.
“Right. Revenge is not the Jedi way.” Kira says.
“True. However, justice is. I fear this...Vastia Ren is beyond redemption, and will have to be dealt with eventually. Just be certain you don’t give in to your hatred for her.” Ahsoka says.
“I will...work on it.” Kira says.
“Good. That’s all any of us can do.” Ezra says.
Suddenly, two white bladed lightsabers float toward Ezra. Fortunately, he is able to activate his own sabers in time to block them as they start attacking him. Ezra holds his own against the sabers. Kira watches, shocked by what she is seeing.
“What the frack?” Kira asks.
Suddenly, one of the sabers comes toward her, and she manages to activate her saber in time. However, the floating saber soon overwhelms her, and strikes her in the thigh, leaving a small burn. Both floating sabers deactivate, and float to Ahsoka’s outstretched hands. Kira recovers from her leg injury, and looks at Ahsoka.
“You must be prepared for anything. Including the unexpected.” Ahsoka says.
“So, when do I learn how to do that?” Kira asks.
“Give it time. You have some other things to learn first.” Ezra says.
“Okay.” Kira says, slightly disappointed.
“You are very skilled with a lightsaber. How does it feel to have such a weapon?” Ezra asks.
“It...makes me feel strong. Powerful.” Kira says.
“Oh. Your weapon makes you powerful? So you have no power without it?” Ezra asks.
“I...don’t know.” Kira answers.
“I think you do, but let’s find out for certain. What would you do, if you had to face me with no weapons at all?” Ezra asks.
“I don’t know. I’d...probably try to run away.” Kira answers.
“Let’s find out. Give your weapons to Ahsoka.” Ezra says.
“O..kay.” Kira says hesitantly, as she walks to Ahsoka, and gives the older woman her lightsaber and blaster pistol. The now unarmed Kira walks back to her father.
“Good.” Ezra says. He suddenly activates his green bladed saber, and swings at Kira, who is barely able to dodge it.
“What are you doing?” Kira asks.
“Teaching you.” Ezra answers. Ezra swings his saber at Kira once more, and she seems more prepared this time, as she is able to evade her father’s strike.
“What am I supposed to do? I have no way to defend myself!” Kira says.
“No way to defend yourself? So without your weapons, you are powerless?” Ezra asks.
“Right now, all you have is yourself and your surroundings. There are no weapons for you to use. Or are there?” Ahsoka asks.
“I have the force!” Kira says, as she dodges another attack by Ezra. Kira closes her eyes, and moves toward her father with unnatural speed. She stops inches in front of him, and grabs the hilt of his lightsaber. Ezra and Kira struggle for control of the saber for a few seconds, until Kira shuts it off. She then force pushes her father, knocking him to the ground.
“That was...interesting. You are strong, Kira. I can see why Skywalker was scared to train you.” Ezra says, as he stands up.
“Are you afraid to train me now?” Kira asks.
“Skywalker didn’t understand you. He was afraid you would become another Kylo Ren. I think I know you a little better than he did. So, no, I’m not afraid to train you. The only thing I’m afraid of, is the Emperor getting a hold of you, and turning you.” Ezra says.
“I won’t turn to the dark side!” Kira says.
“The Emperor would break you, forcing you to give in to the dark side to save yourself. I’ve seen it happen before.” Ahsoka says.
“Ahsoka’s right. Only with the proper discipline will you be able to truly resist the dark side. It takes time to develop such skill, perhaps years, which we may not have.” Ezra says.
“Then, I will do my best.” Kira says.
“That’s all any of us can do.” Ahsoka says.
“By the way, that move you just pulled on me, how did you learn that?” Ezra asks.
“I...don’t know. I just thought about being faster and stronger. Then, I did it. I can’t really explain.” Kira answers.
“It’s one of Ahsoka’s favorite moves. A rare ability to master, and you did it without knowing what it is.” Ezra says.
“Did I do something wrong?” Kira asks.
“No. not wrong. Just...something you shouldn’t be able to do yet. It’s called battle meditation. It can be used on yourself, as you just did, or used to aid others in battle. Long ago, there was a Jedi Knight, who was a master of battle meditation. She was able to use the ability to strengthen a group of allies, and weaken her enemies. Ahsoka and I both learned this ability from her.” Ezra says.
“Can you teach me how to do this...battle meditation correctly?” Kira asks.
“I’m probably not the best one to teach you that. Mental abilities are somewhat of a weakness for me. I’ve always been more combat focused. Ahsoka is better, but who you really need is the one who taught us.” Ezra answers.
“Where is this master? Will she help me?” Kira asks.
“Possibly.” A force ghost of a masked man in dark robes appears.
“Revan. It’s been a long time.” Ezra says.
“Indeed, Ezra. I am glad to see you reconnected to the force.” Revan says.
“A force ghost? Like Grandpa Kanan?” Kira asks.
“Indeed, Kira Bridger. I am Revan. I have known your father for many years, and guided him during his trials in the Unknown Regions.” Revan answers. He alters his form, causing his mask to disappear, revealing the face of a bearded man in his late thirties.
“What the…” Kira says.
“We can change our form at will. My true form is pure energy, a part of the living force.” Revan says.
“Wow. Father explained a little about force ghosts, but he didn’t mention that part. He also never mentioned you before. His time in the Unknown Regions is something he doesn’t talk about much.” Kira says.
“He went through many things during that time. He will discuss it with you when he is ready.” Revan says.
“I take it you know this master we were talking about?” Kira asks.
“Maybe a little bit. She’s my wife. I’ve only known her for the last four thousand years.” Revan answers.
“Four thousand years? You and your wife have been around for that long?” Kira asks.
“Yes, we have. We’re the oldest of what you call ‘force ghosts’. Those who have passed on, and learned how to retain their individuality after death. We...come back to guide the living. Or haunt them, in Bastila’s case.” Revan answers. Ezra laughs.
“Your wife...haunts people?” Kira asks.
“Yeah. The Knights of Ren specifically. She’s offended by their very existence, since they use a corrupted form of her teachings, and are the remains of an order she founded. Mainly, she shows up to mock them or scare them.” Revan answers.
“That doesn’t sound very friendly to me.” Kira says.
“No it’s not. It’s pretty frackin’ weird actually.” Ezra says.
“I know, but it amuses her. Not much else does.” Revan says.
“Except you?” Ezra asks.
“Perhaps.” Revan answers.
“May I ask you something?” Kira asks.
“Of course.” Revan answers.
“Are you and your wife Jedi or Sith?” Kira asks.
“Yes. And no.” Revan answers.
“I...don’t understand.” Kira says.
“We have both been Jedi and Sith. After that, we found a new way. The path of balance. Perhaps that is the future for you and Ben Solo.” Revan says.
“I think you’ve told the girl enough for now. We can’t have her knowing too much of the future before she is ready.” Bastila says, as she appears next to Revan.
“Bastila Shan. I figured you’d show up when we started talking about you.” Ezra says. Bastila approaches Ezra, and stops in front of him. She crosses her arms, and raises one eyebrow.
“Bridger. I see that you have come to your senses at last. None of us are getting any younger you know!” Bastila says.
“Well, you’re not exactly getting any older either!” Ezra says. Revan laughs.
“Point taken. You forgot what Revan and I taught you in the Unknown Regions, and acted rashly after your losses at the Jedi Temple. You wasted years of your life, living as blind fool. Fortunately, you have a second chance here. Do not waste it.” Bastila says.
“You’re absolutely right. I was a fool. I’m done running away.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. Perhaps there is hope for you after all, Bridger.” Bastila says. She walks to Ahsoka, who is now seated on a stack of crates, several feet away.
“Hello, Bastila.” Ahsoka says.
“Ahsoka. Good. I see that you are here to aid in the young one’s training. You know what she is, don’t you?” Bastila asks.
“Yes, I do.” Ahsoka answers.
“Good. Then you know that you don’t have much time.” Bastila says.
“No, I don’t. It’s time for old things to die. That includes me.” Ahsoka says.
“You are not old, Ahsoka. I lived to be one hundred and twelve. That...is old. Your time runs short because it is the will of the force. Everything is appointed a time and a place. Your purpose here is almost done. Your master waits for you beyond, as does your beloved.” Bastila says.
“I know. I accept this. Even though it means I will have to leave Ezra and the others behind.” Ahsoka says.
“That is the hardest part. Leaving behind those we love.” Bastila says.
“Alright. Enough of this depressing talk. What brings you here?” Ahsoka asks.
“Kira Bridger. She...intrigues me. So strong in the force, yet still undisciplined, using her abilities blindly.” Bastila says.
“She is learning.” Ahsoka says.
“Indeed. Despite who her teacher is. I don’t understand this...friendship between Revan and Bridger. My husband is far too lenient with him, and that is quite frustrating at times.” Bastila says.
“You could be nicer to Ezra. He’s still young, and he’s suffered a great loss. He doesn’t know everything yet.” Ahsoka says.
“I speak my mind without feeling the need to sugar coat things. I do not suffer fools lightly, and Bridger is a fool. I will not baby him like Revan does. I do not carry the same overwhelming guilt of my past actions that Revan does, so I feel no need to ‘make it up’ to the Jedi Order.” Bastila says.
“Ezra is learning, too. I think he’s beginning to understand.Try being nice to him. You might like it.” Ahsoka says.
“Perhaps you are right. I will...consider your words. Now, let us return to the others.” Bastila says.
What? Who are these people?
Next Chapter: More force ghost shenanigans ahead...
Some arguing, and force bond stuff...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Ahsoka and Bastila approach Ezra, Kira, and Revan, who are discussing Ezra’s past.
“So, you guided my father to Jedi and Sith artifacts?” Kira asks.
“Yes, I did. Finding those holocrons helped him acquire knowledge that prepared him to lead the Jedi Order. It’s unfortunate that the order fell again.” Revan answers.
“It is history repeating itself. The Jedi Order fell because it’s time has come and gone.” Bastila says, as she takes her place next to Revan.
“So, you two done with your secret meeting?” Ezra asks.
“Yes, we are. There are certain things which needed to be discussed by just the two of us. I am sure that you understand the need for information to be given on a need to know basis.” Bastila answers.
“I get the general idea. Just didn’t realize that force ghosts deliberately kept secrets from those who might need to know. Certain knowledge that might have been helpful during a certain attack on a certain Jedi Temple.” Ezra says.
“Oh, you blame me for the attack now? Is that it?” Bastila asks.
“No, I don’t. I just wonder if you could have helped. Given me some warning, or told me of some ability that would have allowed the Jedi to win that day.” Ezra answers.
“You weren’t ready! The Jedi would have been destroyed anyway! That is what the force intended after all!” Bastila says.
“So, the Jedi were meant to be destroyed? What about those who weren’t Jedi? Were they meant to die that day?” Ezra asks.
“The death of your wife was unavoidable! If events had played out differently, then she still would have died! Simply under different circumstances! Even those of us who appear from beyond do not know everything. I apologize for not being able to help you further.” Bastila says.
“An apology? That’s a first. Didn’t think you knew how to do that.” Ezra says.
“Ezra!” Ahsoka says.
“I’m sorry, Ahsoka, but your friend here likes to keep too many damn secrets! She’d rather insult people than be helpful!” Ezra says.
“I admit to keeping things from you, yes. It’s for your own good. You are still very young, and the young do not always do as they are meant to.” Bastila says.
“So, I’m still a child to you?” Ezra says.
“In a way, yes. You still have much to learn.” Bastila answers.
“I know.” Ezra says.
“That’s it? No witty comeback this time?” Bastila asks.
“Nope.” Ezra says.
“Good. Then I suggest we move on to more important things.” Bastila says.
“I take it you are this master of battle meditation that we were talking about?” Kira asks.
“Indeed. I am Bastila Shan, former Jedi Master, and founder of the Knights of Revan.” Bastila answers.
“Knights of Revan? Is that anything like the Knights of Ren?” Kira asks.
“Uh uh.” Ezra says, shaking his head. Bastila howls with rage, and conjures a bolt of lightning that strikes a nearby stack of crates.
“Did I say something wrong?” Kira asks.
“We don’t say the three letter r-word around Bastila. That order is a mockery of what she created so long ago. So, let’s just say she doesn’t like them all that much.” Ahsoka answers.
“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” Kira says.
“I know. I’m sorry too. These Knights of Ren are so frustrating! Especially one in particular. I think you might know him.” Bastila says.
“I tried to help him, but he is so damn stubborn!” Kira says.
“Yes, he is. Keep trying.” Bastila says.
“So, you think she should have this bond with Kylo Ren?” Ezra asks.
“Yes. Suffice it to say the force bond will play a vital part in what is to come.” Bastila answers.
“What do you mean? What’s going to happen?” Ezra asks.
“All in good time, Ezra.” Revan answers.
“Indeed. We don’t want you knowing everything just yet. Where’s the fun in that?” Bastila asks.
“Bastila. Be nice.” Revan says. Bastila turns to face Revan, and seems to not react for several seconds, before managing a slight smile.
“I was only joking, dear.” Bastila says.
“Hard to tell with you sometimes. Where you get this sarcasm from, I have no idea.” Revan says.
“I learned from the best. You know him. A sort of...mysterious stranger.” Bastila says.
“Maybe I’ve heard of him.” Revan says. Bastila laughs. Revan leans in to kiss her.
“Later, love. We have business to tend to.” Bastila says.
“Right.” Revan says. Bastila and Revan turn to face the others.
“I believe that you were discussing battle meditation. I happen to know a thing or two about the subject, and would like to offer my help.” Bastila says.
“Of course. I was hoping you would.” Ezra says. Bastila nods, then looks at Kira.
“You have unintentionally used an ability which typically takes years to learn. It also requires great concentration, and a strong connection with the force. I would like to begin teaching you how to control, and perhaps one day, master this ability.” Bastila says.
“What do I do?” Kira asks.
“It is called battle meditation for a reason. You need to be in battle to use it, even in its simplest form, like what you did earlier. So, engage your father in a duel.” Bastila answers. Kira nods, then activates both blades of her lightsaber. She turns to face Ezra, who activates both of his sabers.
Ezra initiates combat with a quick strike, which Kira manages to block. The two trade blows for nearly a minute, until Ezra catches Kira by surprise, and knocks her to the ground. Ezra deactivates his sabers, and puts them away. He then helps his daughter to her feet.
“You’re getting better. You held your own for nearly a minute.” Ezra says.
“Thanks.” Kira says.
“Well done. Now, reach out. Draw your strength from the force. Will it to make you stronger and faster.” Bastila says. Kira nods, and closes her eyes. Bastila observes for a few seconds, then says “Now, Bridger!”
Ezra activates his sabers, and approaches Kira, hoping to catch her off guard. However, Kira opens her eyes, and blocks both of her father’s sabers. The two engage each other once more, and seem to be evenly matched, until Kira starts to move faster. Ezra struggles to keep up, and Kira ends up knocking both sabers out of her father’s hands.
“Damn. You’re a fast learner.” Ezra says.
“She is a fighter. A survivor. Her will is stronger than most. Before Revan and I leave, there is one more thing I would like to discuss. That is the force bond between Kira, and that infernal jackass.” Bastila says. Ezra laughs.
“What about the force bond?” Kira asks.
“You are blocking Kylo Ren. Don’t. Open the bond to him.” Bastila answers.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” Ezra says.
“What’s the matter, Bridger? Are you afraid?” Bastila says.
“Maybe. I don’t want the supreme dumbass using this bond to corrupt my daughter.” Ezra says.
“It’ll be alright, Ezra. You trust me. Now, trust Bastila. I know that the two of you do not always see eye to eye, but she is trying to help.” Revan says.
“I admit that I have withheld information from you, and I do not approve of many of your decisions, but, I have never lied to you, and I would never deliberately endanger your daughter.” Bastila says.
“Fair enough. Kira, go ahead and do what she says.” Ezra says.
“Alright.” Kira says. She opens the force bond, and Kylo appears in front of her.
“Kira. I see that you’re not blocking me anymore. Are you finally ready to talk?” Kylo asks.
“It depends.” Kira answers.
“On what?” Kylo asks.
“Whether you decide to be a decent person, or continue to be a fracking moron!” Kira answers.
“I see you’ve got your father’s temper. Did you know that him and Luke practically hated each other, and almost fought each other over their different views about the Jedi?” Kylo asks.
“It might have come up.” Kira answers.
“That’s surprising. Parents usually lie to us and fail us.” Kylo says.
“Is that what you believe? That Han and Leia failed you?” Kira asks.
“They did fail me! They never cared about me! As soon as Luke agreed, they shipped me off to train with him! We were at Bridger’s temple for a year until Luke left to start his own temple.” Kylo says.
“That’s because Luke believed in the old ways, like Yoda and Obi Wan taught him. I didn’t want the Jedi to fail again, but we did anyway, because I didn’t change enough. We were still the Jedi Order. Old. Inflexible. Unbalanced.” Ezra says.
“You can see me?” Kylo asks.
“I can hear you too. Nice scar.” Ezra answers.
“Joke now, old man. I’ll be there soon enough, and I’ll destroy you!” Kylo says.
“Good luck. You don’t even know where we are!” Ezra says.
“You’re on Lothal! Harboring the Resistance! I’ll be there in three days! Then, you’ll die, and Kira will join me! She’ll learn how to use the force properly!” Kylo says.
I always planned to generously feature force ghosts in this story. Revan and Bastila were pretty much a no brainer to me, due to the whole force bond between Kylo and Rey (aka Kira) being similar to the force bond between Revan and Bastila in KOTOR, as well as the whole Knights of Ren (Revan?) thing. Bastila may seem radically different than in the game, but she's no longer the young woman from that time. This Bastila lived to be very old, and adopted a more open minded view of the force. She's also been a force ghost for four thousand years.
Uh oh. Kylo Ren knows where the Resistance is! Time is running out for Ezra to train his daughter...
Ahsoka, Bastila, and Revan are standing several feet away, observing the exchange between Ezra, Kira, and Kylo.
“Ahsoka, do you mind if I borrow that staff for a bit?” Bastila asks.
“Sure. Just don’t hurt him too much.” Ahsoka says.
“No promises.” Bastila says. Ahsoka hands her staff to Bastila.
“For some reason, my daughter actually cares about you! That’s why I swore to her that I wouldn’t kill you on sight. I’m willing to give you a chance to make things right. Come alone, and surrender to the Resistance.” Ezra says.
“Once we’re done, there will be no resistance left! You can’t stop the Knights of Ren! We serve Emperor Palpatine now, and with his power, we will be…” Kylo says, stopping when Bastila’s force ghost becomes visible to him. “You!” Kylo shouts.
“Yes, I know. Calm yourself Benji. All that stress is going to make you go gray.” Bastila says. Ezra laughs.
“What are you doing here?” Kylo asks.
“We were having a conversation. Then, I asked Kira to open the bond to you.” Bastila answers.
“The staff of Ahsoka Tano. What are you going to do with that? Spank me?” Kylo asks. Bastila vanishes, then, seconds later, appears mere inches in front of Kylo.
“Don’t tempt me, boy!” Bastila says, her voice filled with contempt.
“She’s kind of scary.” Kira says.
“Yeah. Tell me about it.” Ezra says. Revan appears next to Bastila.
“Lord Revan?” Kylo asks.
“I am no one’s lord, Ben Solo. I would appreciate it if you not disrespect me by using my sith title.” Revan says. Kylo is suddenly hit on top of the head by Ahsoka’s staff.
“What was that for?” Kylo asks, looking at Bastila.
“Insulting my husband, and being a dumbass.” Bastila answers.
“This is gonna be good.” Ezra says.
“I am not here for your entertainment!” Bastila says.
“I think you’re here to help, if I remember correctly.” Ezra says.
“You are...correct, but not in the way you think.” Bastila says.
“What do you mean?” Ezra asks.
“I am here to help your daughter, yes. However, I am also here to help him.” Bastila says, glancing at Kylo.
“So, now you want to help me? After all this time of haunting my dreams and mocking me?” Kylo asks.
“You misunderstand my intentions as usual. You are a fool, but, perhaps you will not always be.” Bastila says.
“Ben, leave the Empire. You don’t have to serve the Emperor. Come with me.” Kira says.
“What would you have me do, Kira? Learn from your father? Become a Jedi?” Kylo asks.
“Yes, Ben. The galaxy needs the Jedi Order! It’s a symbol of hope! You were a Jedi before. You can be one again. You can have your family back too.” Kira answers.
“I have no family.” Kylo says.
“You’re wrong, Ben. Han and Leia want to help you. They want their son back.” Kira says.
“What about you, Kira? What do you want? A friend? A...lover?” Kylo asks.
“I...don’t know. I care about you, Ben. I know that much. I know that you haven’t fallen, not completely. There’s still light in you. Join me. My father can help you. I can help you.” Kira says.
“You want me to be a Jedi? Just like you? You expect me to follow that...code? The Jedi are hypocrites and failures! Join me, and I’ll show you a new way!” Kylo says.
“You mean the way of the Sith?” Kira asks.
“No. The Knights of Ren. I’ll train you myself, then, we’ll destroy the Emperor, and we’ll rule the galaxy!” Kylo says.
“I don’t want to rule the galaxy! I won’t join you. I’m sorry, Ben.” Kira says.
“If you don’t join me, I’ll have to turn you over to the Emperor. He’ll kill you, or he’ll break you. You’ll be what he’s intended all along. A mindless slave, with no memory of your past. Think it through, Kira.” Kylo says.
“So, you do care. No matter what, Ben, I will not serve Palpatine! I would take my own life before I allow it!” Kira says. Ezra ignites his lightsabers.
“Enough! This is getting nowhere!” Ezra shouts.
“Quiet, old fool. Your days are numbered.” Kylo says.
“So are yours, darksider! I should run you through right now!” Ezra says.
“Go ahead. Even though your daughter will hate you for killing me!” Kylo says, as he ignites his own saber. Kira ignites her own saber.
“No matter how I feel about you, I will not let you hurt the people I care about! If I have to fight you, I will!” Kira says.
“You’ll lose! You’ll join me, or, you’ll serve the Emperor! Those are your only choices!” Kylo shouts. Ezra charges toward Kylo.
“Stand down, Bridger!” Bastila shouts.
“Stop! Both of you!” Kira shouts, as she moves to stand in between Ezra and Kylo, who both stop, and deactivate their sabers.
“I see you answer to her, old man. That’s the way it should be. She’s stronger than you after all.” Kylo says.
“Father’s right. You’re a dumbass.” Kira says.
“And you’re a naive little girl who clings to a foolish dream! I will end the Jedi, and the Resistance! You’ll come to your senses, even if I have to force you to!” Kylo says.
“It’s not a dream! We’ll bring back the Jedi Order! We’ll end the Sith, and the Empire! Your Knights of Ren will go down with all of it! If I have to end you too, then I will!” Kira says, anger in her voice as she starts to tear up.
“That’s enough! You’ve both made your point. Now, I’ll make mine. You’re both wrong.” Bastila says.
“What? How am I wrong?” Kira asks.
“You seek to turn him from one extreme to the other. It’s not in his nature to be fully immersed in the light. Nor, is it yours. There is only one way for the both of you to be on the same side.” Bastila says.
“It’s time to let old things die.” Ezra says.
“Yes, Bridger! No more Jedi! No more Sith! These are narrow minded dogmas that fail to embrace the larger picture!” Bastila says.
“So, I’m not supposed to be a Jedi?” Kira asks.
“No, Kira, you’re not. The Jedi have had their day, and so have the Sith. I am the last of the Jedi. Palpatine is the last of the Sith.” Ezra answers.
“Now you understand. This is what must be.” Bastila says.
“I will teach you the ways of the force, Kira, but I will teach you all aspects of it, not just one side of it.” Ezra says. He then looks at Kylo, and says “I will teach you as well, if you are willing to listen.”
“You would...train me?” Kylo asks.
“Yes. I am even willing to forgive your past...mistakes.” Ezra answers.
“Listen to him, Ben. Please. As long as you serve the Emperor, you are a slave. You don’t deserve that.” Kira says.
“I will...think about what you have said. I have to go now.” Kylo says. The force bond closes, and Kylo disappears. Kira smiles.
“You got through to him. I’m impressed. I have tried for years to talk sense into him, and have failed each time. I have even tried to use his dreams to show him the error of his ways, but to no avail.” Bastila says.
“It’s because he cares about me. He’s never said it, but I know how he feels.” Kira says.
“I believe you are right.” Bastila says.
“So, what now?” Kira asks.
“I will leave you to your training.” Bastila says.
“If I need to talk to you, how do I get in contact with you? Is there some sort of force ghost comlink?” Kira asks. Bastila laughs.
“Meditate, and call for me. I will hear you. There are many more lessons ahead for us.” Bastila says.
“Thank you.” Kira says.
“You’re welcome, Kira Bridger. You are very strong with the force. That is a rare gift. Cherish it. Use it wisely.” Bastila says. Kira smiles.
“I will.” Kira says.
“I will speak to your father now, then I will take my leave of you. Ahsoka will be wanting this back.” Bastila says, offering Ahsoka’s staff to Kira. Kira accepts the staff.
“Of course.” Kira says. She walks to where Ahsoka is seated, and hands the staff to her.
“She’s...incredible.” Ezra says.
“Yes, she is. You have much work ahead of you.” Bastila says.
“I know. I have a question for you.” Ezra says.
“I will do my best to answer.” Bastila says.
“Kira and Kylo, they’re the chosen ones, aren’t they?” Ezra asks.
“Yes, they are. You are destined to train both of them.” Bastila says.
“Then, the apocalypse is coming, like Ahsoka said.” Ezra says.
“Yes, it is. I take my leave of you now, Master Bridger. May the force be with you.” Bastila says. She smiles, then vanishes. Ahsoka and Kira approach Ezra and Revan.
“Bastila gave you compliment. That’s new.” Ahsoka says.
“She called me master too. She’s never done that before.” Ezra says.
“In her eyes, you didn’t earn that title until today. I think she is reconsidering the way she treats people.” Revan says.
“What’s the deal with you and Bastila anyway?” Kira asks, looking at Ezra.
“She hates the Jedi and the Sith equally, and thinks both orders should end. It took me a long time, but I find myself agreeing with her now.” Ezra answers.
“Bastila and I are both neutral force wielders. We can command all aspects of the force, but as a general rule, we are against war of any kind. That is true balance in the force. The freedom from conflict between the light and the dark.” Revan says.
“So, you think Kylo and I can have this balance?” Kira asks.
“I do. It’s your destiny. That is why Bastila encouraged Ahsoka to bond you with Ben Solo.” Revan answers.
“So, it’s meant to be.” Kira says.
“You will work together in the future. That much is certain. As for a friendship or...something more, that remains to be seen.” Revan says.
“Then, we’ll just have to see what happens.” Kira says.
“Indeed, we will. Kira Bridger, we’ll be keeping an eye on you. Bastila and I will return from time to time to advise and guide you.” Revan says.
“They’ll also fill in some of the gaps of my training. I don’t know everything after all.” Ezra says.
“Have faith in yourself, Ezra. You know a great many things. You can teach her.” Revan says.
“Then, I will be the best teacher I can be.” Ezra says.
“Good. Then, I leave you to your work, Ezra. Kira. Ahsoka.” Revan says, as he vanishes.
“So, you think I should be a neutral force user like Ahsoka?” Kira asks.
“Yes, I do. I realize now that this is what’s best.” Ezra answers.
“And you’re willing to train Ben as well?” Kira asks.
“If he comes to his senses, and rejects Palpatine, then, yes, I will train him, but only if he wants me to, and is willing to listen.” Ezra answers.
“I think he will.” Ahsoka says.
“Do you know for certain?” Ezra asks.
“Just a feeling. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet with the Resistance, and tell them there’s a spy in their ranks.” Ahsoka says.
“Go ahead. We’re done training for the night. We’ll start again at dawn, unless that’s too early for you.” Ezra says.
“No problem. I’ll be there.” Ahsoka says. She walks away, headed for the Millennium Falcon.
“Alright, Kira. That’s it for today. You did really well. I’m proud of you.” Ezra says.
“Thank you. Before I came here, before Ahsoka helped me remember, I didn’t know who I really was. I thought my family had abandoned me. Now, I know better.” Kira says. Ezra embraces his daughter.
“We will never abandon you, sweetheart. I will never abandon you.” Ezra says.
“I know. I love you, daddy. I’m glad we’re together again.” Kira says.
“I love you too, Kira.” Ezra says. Father and daughter separate, and start walking toward the Ghost.
Well, maybe Kylo is coming around after all? We shall see...
I managed three chapters with this update. I was fortunate to have an extra day off from work, which gave me more time to work on this. Next update will be in about two weeks.
Late that night, after most of the people at ‘Ghost Base’ have gone to sleep, there are only a few guards outside on night watch, along with BB-8, and a crew of three working inside the Ghost. They are Rose Tico, and two resistance technicians, Chab and Bando, both human males in their early twenties.
Chab and Bando are in a maintenance bay, which is very dark due to the ship having no power. The only source of light in the room being the small lights on their helmets. The two men are working on assembling some components when Rose enters the room. The two men stop what they are doing, turn to face Rose, and salute her.
“Lieutenant!” Chab and Bando say in unison.
“Relax guys! I’m still one of you. I only got the lieutenant rank because the general wanted me to be in charge of all of the techs. You don’t need to worry about saluting or standing at attention.” Rose says. Both men stand at ease.
“Is there anything we can help you with, lieutenant?” Chab asks.
“No thanks, Chab. I just need to grab a few components, then I’m going back to work on the emergency systems. I’ll be bringing emergency power online in a bit, just to test everything. We’ll hopefully have emergency lights and working doors. That should hold us over until main power is back online tomorrow night.” Rose answers.
“Sounds good, sir.” Bando says.
“By the way, did you two finish working on those armor plates? General Syndulla wants them ready by 07:00.” Rose says.
“The armor plates are good to go, lieutenant.” Chab says.
“Alright. I’ll let you two get back to work then.” Rose says.
Rose leaves Chab and Bando to their work, and once she is certain they can’t see her, she grabs an oxygen mask from the emergency kit, and enters a crawl space under the deck. She puts the oxygen mask on, then, crawls for several feet, stopping in front of an access panel. She takes a small device out of one of her jacket pockets, and connects it to the panel. She flips a few switches, and the ship’s life support system comes online, filling the ship with a poisonous gas that kills Chab and Bando within seconds.
A few hours later, Rose calls Leia and Hera, who head for the Ghost with Jacen, Chopper, and several rebels.
“What happened to Chab and Bando?” Leia asks.
“I...don’t know. I haven’t seen them since about 02:00. I was in the crawl space for about three hours after that. I came out, and found them, just like that. Then, I commed you.” Rose answers.
“Are you alright?” Hera asks.
“I think so.” Rose answers.
“All the same, I want you to let the medics look you over.” Leia says.
“Yes, general.” Rose says. She walks away.
“This is very bad.” Hera says.
“I know. I think our spy has been busy. I’ll begin an investigation. Until it’s over, we should hold off work on the Ghost.” Leia says.
“Right. I think Ahsoka would be best suited for the job.” Hera says.
“You’re right. Ezra too. They both have plenty of experience investigating crimes like this.” Leia says.
“Ezra and Ahsoka are with Kira, supervising her training. You want me to comm them?” Hera asks.
“They’re started already? It’s only 07:30!” Leia says.
“They started at dawn. Ezra likes to start early.” Hera says.
“I’ll go talk to them myself. I’d like to see how Kira’s doing anyway. She’s a special kid. I’m glad Ezra got her back.” Leia says.
“Me too. Thanks to her, we got Ezra back. I thought he was lost forever.” Hera says.
“If Darth Vader can turn away from the dark side, then I don’t think anyone’s really lost forever.” Leia says.
“You think you can help Ben?” Hera asks.
“I don’t know, but I’ll do my best. Whatever it takes.” Leia answers.
Near the Gauntlet, Ezra and Ahsoka are watching Kira deflect blasts from two training remotes, Chopper, and R2. Han Solo and Chewbacca are also nearby, watching. Leia and Hera approach Han and Chewbacca.
“Han, I’m surprised to see you here. I thought hokey religions and ancient weapons weren’t your thing.” Hera says. Chewbacca laughs.
“Well, you know, Chewie wanted to watch the kid practice. I think he likes her.” Han says.
“I think you do too.” Leia says.
“Well, maybe.” Han says.
“Yeah, you do. You went on a suicide mission to save her after all.” Leia says.
“Almost suicide mission. I came back, eventually.” Han says.
“Yeah, you came back. Just make sure you stay this time!” Leia says.
“Of course your highnessness.” Han says, as he leans in to kiss Leia.
After a brief kiss, Han and Leia separate, and return to watching Kira practice. Kira switches one end of her lightsaber to blaster mode, and destroys both training remotes, then, switches her saber back to standard mode just in time to block incoming blaster fire from Chopper and R2.
“What the...? Her lightsaber is a blaster too?” Han asks.
“Yeah. Ezra’s first saber was too. He actually built it with blaster parts.” Hera answers.
Ezra sees that Hera and Leia are present.
“Chopper, R2, cease fire!” Ezra says. Both droids stop firing at Kira, who deactivates her saber. Hera and Leia approach Ezra, Kira, and Ahsoka.
“Nice lightsaber. You’re pretty good with it.” Leia says. Kira smiles at the compliment.
“I’ll say. She whipped my ass yesterday!” Ezra says.
“You’re just out of practice!” Kira says.
“Don’t sell yourself short, Kira. You’re a natural fighter.” Ahsoka says.
“I see we have a decent crowd. Jedi training isn’t usually a spectator sport.” Ezra says.
“Han and Chewie wanted to see how Kira was doing, and I’m here to talk to you about the two men we found dead this morning.” Leia says.
“Any idea what happened?” Ezra asks.
“Actually, I’d like you and Ahsoka to handle the investigation.” Leia answers.
“I don’t know…” Ezra says.
“Ezra, I know you can do it. I trust you.” Leia says, putting a hand on Ezra’s shoulder.
“Thanks, Leia. I’ll do my best.” Ezra says. Leia smiles, then turns to Ahsoka.
“What about you?” Leia asks.
“Count me in. We should start by taking blood samples. I’ll analyze them, and determine a cause of death.” Ahsoka answers.
“Alright. Let’s get to it. Kira, you can come too. Consider this part of your training.” Ezra says.
“Okay.” Kira says.
“Then, it’s settled. I’ll let you three get to work.” Leia says.
A few hours later, in Ahsoka’s house, Ahsoka completes the analysis of the blood samples. She and Kira approach Ezra, who is reading the ancient Jedi texts.
“How’s it going in here?” Ahsoka asks.
“Hell, there’s things in these books even I don’t know. I only have incomplete copies. These are the originals. Some of these pages most likely haven’t been read in thousands of years.” Ezra answers.
“You can read that ancient text? I can almost read maybe half of the words.” Kira asks.
“Be patient. It’s gonna take you time to learn all this stuff.” Ezra says.
“Your father’s right. Nobody’s expecting you to learn all of this overnight. I’ll keep working on the translated summary for you, but it’s best if you learn to understand the full, original text.” Ahsoka says.
“How’s the analysis going?” Ezra asks.
“Zemoxalene.” Ahsoka answers.
“Damn. So, that crap was in the Ghost?” Ezra asks.
“I’m afraid so. Kira and I checked three times just to be absolutely certain.” Ahsoka answers.
“Kira, do you know what zemoxalene is?” Ezra asks.
“A toxic nerve gas. Kills within seconds. Used by the Empire, and the First Order to execute prisoners. It’s airborne, so it would have been in the ship, just long enough to kill those men.” Kira answers.
“Good. You listen well.” Ezra asks.
“What I would like to know is how Lieutenant Tico survived.” Ahsoka says.
“Wasn’t Rose on the ship?” Kira asks.
“Yeah. she told Leia that she was in a crawl space below deck, and last saw the techs alive at about 02:00. I’ve placed their time of death at about 02:30. If the lieutenant was indeed on the ship at the time, then, she should be dead, unless she was protected somehow.” Ahsoka answers.
“What if she sealed the hatch to the crawl space?” Kira asks.
“Wouldn’t matter. The crawl spaces on the Ghost aren’t airtight. The gas would have gotten to her, if that’s where she actually was. At least there was no one else on the ship, otherwise, they’d be dead too.” Ezra says.
“It would seem that it’s time for us to talk to Lieutenant Tico.” Ahsoka says.
“I was thinking the same thing. Something’s not right here.” Ezra says.
“Do you think the lieutenant could be the spy?” Ahsoka asks.
“It’s possible.” Ezra answers.
“Rose? The spy? I just don’t see how that’s possible.” Kira says.
“How well do you really know her, Kira?” Ezra asks.
“We’ve talked a few times. I wouldn’t exactly call her a friend just yet, but she seems nice.” Kira says.
“If she’s the spy, then it’s her job to be nice to us. It makes it easier for us to trust her.” Ahsoka says.
“We don’t know anything yet. We’ll have to talk to her. If we catch her in a lie, then, we have our spy.” Ezra says.
“Hera’s going to be pissed when she finds out there was poison gas inside the Ghost. She’s already upset because she’s had to stop repairs while we investigate, and she’s worried that they won’t be able to get the Ghost ready before the Empire gets here.” Ahsoka says.
“If it comes down to it, we might have to leave the Ghost behind.” Ezra says.
“Grandma won’t do that. That ship’s her home!” Kira says.
“It’s mine too, but if we have to leave it behind to save lives, then, that’s what we’ll do.” Ezra says.
“Your father’s right. Now, let’s go find Lieutenant Tico.” Ahsoka says.
Rose? A spy? Say it ain't so...
Ezra, Kira, and Ahsoka meet up with Leia and Rose outside the Ghost.
“Rose, Master Bridger is in charge of the investigation into the deaths of Chab and Bando. I asked you here, because he would like to talk to you.” Leia says.
“Of course, general. I’ll help in any way I can.” Rose says.
“Thank you, Rose. I’ll leave you to it.” Leia says, as she walks away.
“Lieutenant Tico, did you see or hear anything unusual?” Ezra asks.
“No. I checked in with Chab and Bando at the start of our shift, then again at about 02:00. After that, I was in the crawl space until 05:00. I came out, and found them dead. I never heard or saw anything odd.” Rose answers.
“Are you sure about that? The ship was filled with zemoxalene at around 02:30. It’s a deadly nerve gas, kills within seconds. It would have spread throughout the entire ship for several minutes before dissolving. If you were inside at the time, you would have been killed too, unless you were protected somehow.” Ezra says. Rose hesitates for a few seconds.
“Oh, I remember. I...went outside for about an hour. I was checking some things on the hull.” Rose says.
“ She’s lying, Ezra. You see it, don’t you? ” Kanan’s disembodied voice asks.
“I...see.” Ezra says. Ahsoka and Kira look at Ezra.
“ I heard him too. I think Kira did as well. ” Ahsoka says telepathically.
“So, you went outside for about an hour?” Ezra asks.
“Yes. Then, I went back inside, and went straight to the crawl space.” Rose answers.
“Alright. Excuse me for a moment, lieutenant.” Ezra says. He walks away, and enters the Ghost.
Ezra returns a few minutes later with Hera and Jacen.
“What’s going on?” Rose asks.
“We’ve just searched the entire ship, and found several sabotaged systems. Fixing it is going to take almost a day!” Hera answers.
“Who would do such a thing?” Rose asks.
“An imperial spy.” Kira answers.
“A...spy? There’s a spy here?” Rose asks.
“Yeah. This person released the zemoxalene as well.” Ezra answers.
“I hope you catch whoever did this.” Rose says.
“We...will.” Ezra says.
<She’s ISB. Sabine confirmed it during our chat an hour ago.> Ahsoka says to Ezra in togruti.
<I thought as much. I wonder if her sister was ISB as well?> Ezra asks, also switching to togruti.
<She was. They were both on long term assignments.> Ahsoka answers in togruti.
“What are they doing? What language is that?” Rose asks.
“I’m not sure. I only know basic, huttese, and a little bit of mandalorian.” Kira answers.
“Why are they talking in another language?” Rose asks.
“Ahsoka doesn’t trust anybody, except for a small few. She does this all the time.” Hera answers.
“Master Bridger does it too?” Rose asks.
“He knows several languages, and sometimes switches randomly if he doesn’t want everyone to understand what he’s saying.” Kira answers.
“Sorry about switching languages on you. Ahsoka had some intel for me. We’ll discuss it with the general first before telling anyone else.” Ezra says, switching back to basic.
“That’s alright, master jedi. Are we almost done here?” Rose asks.
“Not quite yet. We have some more questions.” Ezra answers.
“Oh. Okay.” Rose says.
“It would seem that none of the night guards ever saw anyone leave the Ghost after 23:15. That was when Chopper and Jacen left for the night. It would seem your story doesn’t add up, lieutenant. Is there something you’re forgetting maybe?” Ahsoka asks.
“The guards don’t see everything. There were only five of them, after all. So, it’s possible none of them saw me.” Rose answers.
“Let’s see if you’re telling the truth.” Ezra says, as he extends a hand toward Rose’s head.
“What are you doing?” Rose asks.
“Call it a Jedi...interrogation method.” Ezra answers, as he begins use the force to read Rose’s mind. Rose grimaces, in obvious discomfort.
“Anything?” Hera asks.
“She’s blocking me!” Ezra answers.
“Which means she’s either a secret force user, or trained to resist mind probes.” Ahsoka says.
“Kira, go.” Ezra says. Kira nods, and starts probing Rose’s mind as well. Rose screams.
“She...did it. She killed both of them!” Kira says.
“I know. I see it now. You can’t block two of us, can you, Agent Tico?” Ezra asks.
Ezra and Kira stop probing Rose’s mind, and she is left disoriented. After a few seconds, Ezra claps his hands once, and Jacen steps toward Rose, with binders in his hand. He puts the binders around Rose’s wrists.
“Under article 117 of the Republic Constitution, I am placing you under arrest. You are charged with the murder of Specialist Chab, and Private Bando.” Ezra says.
“There’s no Republic anymore, Jedi.” Rose says.
“The Republic is more than the government your First Order buddies destroyed. It’s still very much alive, despite the efforts of your Emperor.” Ezra says. Rose scowls, then lunges toward Ezra, only to be hit by an electric shock from the binders on her wrists.
“Wrong move, imperial scum!” Jacen says, as he aims a small remote toward Rose.
“Shock cuffs? Really, Jacen?” Hera asks.
“Ezra’s idea actually.” Jacen says. Hera looks at Ezra, and raises an eyebrow.
“Sorry, Hera, but regular binders are too easy to break out of, especially for spies. She’ll stay in the shock cuffs until her trial.” Ezra says.
“I don’t know about this, Ezra. It’s pretty much torture.” Hera says.
“Okay, Hera. What would you suggest?” Ezra asks.
“Sedate her.” Hera answers.
“We should just end her, and be done with it!” Jacen says, as he aims his bo rifle at Rose. Hera and Kira give him disgusted looks.
“Jacen! Put that thing away!” Hera says.
“She’s right, Jacen. You have a blaster. Use that instead. Just be sure it’s on stun.” Ezra says.
“Come on, Ezra! The bitch ratted us out to the Empire, and now, a bunch of frackin’ star destroyers are on the way here! We should kill her, and split as soon as we can!” Jacen says.
“In principle, I agree with you, but, we have laws. As commander-in-chief of what’s left of the Republic’s military, Leia is acting head of state. With no court system in place, Leia is also responsible for trial and sentencing of all criminals.” Ezra says.
“A responsibility I don’t particularly enjoy.” Leia says, as she approaches with Finn and Poe. Rose turns to look at Leia.
“General! It’s all a lie! I’m not a spy! Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano are the real spies! They tried to kill me!” Rose says.
“Save it, Rose. I’ve already seen the evidence. You really played us good.” Leia says. Finn approaches Rose.
“Finn! You believe me, don’t you? Help me get out of here!” Rose says.
“Did you really do it, Rose? Did you really kill those men?” Finn asks.
“I...had to! They were spies!” Rose answers.
“So, everybody’s a spy, except for you?” Poe asks.
“Bridger’s lying! These so called Jedi are the real spies! They’re here to learn our secrets and lead Kylo Ren right to us!” Rose answers. Jacen shocks her.
“Shut the frack up! Let’s just waste her and be done with it!” Jacen says.
“That’s up to Leia.” Ezra says.
“One Eye Jacen, I’m surprised you haven’t killed me already! Afraid you’ll upset your mommy?” Rose asks.
“I told you to shut the frack up, you goddamn traitor!” Jacen says as he shocks her again.
“I think that’s enough with the shock cuffs, Jacen.” Hera says.
“I agree.” Leia says.
“Oh, come on. All I’ve got to do is hold the button for twenty seconds, then, she’s dead!” Jacen says. Ezra uses the force to take the remote out of Jacen’s hand.
“Your mother said that’s enough.” Ezra says.
“What’s the matter Dev Morgan? You getting soft in your old age? You afraid you’ll piss of the kid if she sees you kill me? That’d be brilliant! Maybe you’ll drive her right into the arms of the Knights of Ren!” Rose says.
“You were told to keep your mouth shut. It’d be best if you did so.” Ezra says.
“Kira would make an excellent knight. She’s young and strong. The Emperor will make her what she’s meant to be!” Rose says.
“Take care what you say next.” Ezra says. Rose looks at Kira.
“Face it, Kira. You’re no Jedi. You’re too dark to follow their foolish code. Help me escape, and I’ll put in a good word for you with the Emperor.” Rose says.
“I will not ever serve him!” Kira says.
“You won’t have much choice. He’s going to win after all. You either serve him, or you die with your family.” Rose says.
“If those are my only choices, then, I will die, fighting the Emperor.” Kira says.
“Then, you are as stupid as your mother.” Rose says. Kira approaches Rose, and slaps her across the face.
“Don’t you ever talk about my mother, you fracking Imperial trash! Another goddamn word, and I’ll make you regret it!” Kira says, with angry tears in her eyes.
“Kira! Take a walk!” Ezra says.
“Fine by me! I don’t think I can stand the sight of her anymore!” Kira says, as she throws her arms up in frustration, and walks away. Ezra turns to Ahsoka.
“ You want me to go with her? ” Ahsoka asks telepathically.
“ Please. Calm her down. I’ll be there in a little bit. ” Ezra answers telepathically. Ahsoka nods, then follows Kira.
“We’ve lost focus here. I’ve seen enough evidence, and Rose has admitted to killing Chab and Bando, so, I’m ready to make a decision.” Leia says.
“You really are the damn spy, aren’t you? I thought you were my friend!” Finn says.
“Help me escape, and the Emperor will pardon you. He might even make you an officer.” Rose says.
“I’m where I belong, traitor. I’ve...heard enough. I’m going to go find my real friend, and make sure she’s okay, after the chit you just pulled.” Finn says. He walks away, in the direction that Kira and Ahsoka went.
“Finn!” Poe says.
“Go ahead, Poe.” Leia says. Poe nods, and follows Finn.
“It doesn’t matter what you do to me! The Knights of Ren will be here soon, and all of you will die!” Rose says, as she lunges toward Leia, only to find herself on the receiving end of a force choke.
“Ezra!” Hera says.
“It’s not me!” Ezra says.
“I may be an old woman, but I am far from helpless. You know who my father was, don’t you?” Leia asks.
“V...Vader.” Rose answers, as she struggles for air.
“Good. Then, you should know not to frack with me!” Leia says, as she releases Rose from the force choke. Jacen and Ezra approach Rose and push her to her knees. Rose tries to fight them, only to get smacked by the butt of Jacen’s bo rifle.
“Down you go!” Jacen says.
“I would prefer to keep you alive, but it’s clear to me that you’re too dangerous. I have no choice but to sentence you to death by firing squad. The sentence will be carried out in one hour. Until then, you will be held in Jedi custody.” Leia says. Rose laughs, then bites down hard, releasing a poison that kills her instantly.
“Damn. Poison tooth implant.” Ezra says.
“Poison tooth implant?” Hera asks.
“It’s a false tooth containing a fast acting poison. ISB agents use them to commit suicide if they are captured.” Ezra answers.
“She killed herself. That seems a bit extreme.” Hera says.
“Her cover was blown. It’s standard ISB protocol.” Ezra says. Leia approaches Ezra.
“Thank you, Ezra. I’m glad you found the spy before she could do anymore damage.” Leia says.
“Thanks, Leia. I’m glad I was able to help.” Ezra says.
“You did a wonderful job, Ezra, as I knew you would. Now, go make sure your daughter’s okay.” Leia says, as she puts a hand on Ezra’s arm.
“Of course.” Ezra says. He bows respectfully, then, walks away. Leia smiles.
“He’s back.” Leia says.
“Yeah. He is. Hopefully Rose doesn’t have any accomplices. I can do without more surprises.” Hera says.
“Same here. Let’s do our best to put this behind us.” Leia says.
“Agreed.” Hera says.
Rose Tico-Mechanic, space horse lover, and Imperial double agent. Also not a very good friend.
Outside the Gauntlet, Kira is meditating with Ahsoka.
“Thank you for suggesting this. I feel calmer now.” Kira says.
“Do you? I sense your unease. You’re concerned for your friend, Finn. He needs you right now, and you need him. You should go spend some time with him. ” Ahsoka says.
“Okay.” Kira says. She stands up, and walks away.
Kira approaches Finn, who is walking toward Poe.
“Finn!” Kira shouts. Finn stops, and turns around.
“Kira!” Finn says.
“I felt your pain, and I wanted to see how you were doing.” Kira says.
“How I’m doing? What about you?” Finn asks.
“I’ll be alright. I’m supposed to learn how to control my anger, and I’ve been failing so far. I shouldn’t have reacted like I did.” Kira answers.
“Rose went too far, talking about your mother like that. You acted like anyone would.” Finn says.
“I know, but, I shouldn’t have let it upset me so much. I should have acted more like you did, and simply walked away. What Rose did to the resistance was bad enough, but what she did to you was unforgivable. I’m so sorry.” Kira says.
“I thought she was my friend, but she fooled me! She was pretending the whole time!” Finn says.
“She fooled everyone. Don’t blame yourself.” Kira says as she embraces Finn. After several seconds, Kira and Finn separate.
“Thanks, Kira. I’m glad you’re here.” Finn says.
“Everything okay here?” Poe asks, as he approaches.
“Yeah, I think so.” Finn answers.
“Good to hear, buddy. How about you, Kira?” Poe asks.
“I’m okay now.” Kira answers.
“Good. We haven’t seen much of you since we got here. I know you’ve been busy, reconnecting with your family, and all that Jedi stuff with your dad.” Poe says.
“I know I haven’t talked to either of you very much in the last few days. I’m sorry.” Kira says.
“You have nothing to be sorry about. Jedi training seems like it’s a pretty big deal.” Finn says.
“Yeah. Fate of the galaxy on my shoulders. No pressure, right?” Kira asks.
“You’ll do fine. You have your father to teach you. He used to lead the Jedi, so he should know what he’s doing.” Poe says.
“There’s so much to learn. It’s going to take me years! Daddy’s worried, though, that I’ll have to fight the Empire before I’m ready, so he wants me to learn things quickly.” Kira says.
“Just don’t let him push you too hard.” Finn says.
“I won’t. Ahsoka won’t either.” Kira says.
“So, is she helping your father teach you?” Finn asks.
“Yeah, a little. Mostly, she just watches, and offers advice.” Kira answers.
“I heard she fought in the clone wars.” Finn says.
“Yeah, she did. Ahsoka was apprentice to Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker.” Poe says.
“Wow! Anakin Skywalker! It’s too bad there’s not much about him in the First Order records. He sounds like he was a total badass!” Finn says.
“From what I understand, he was.” Poe says.
“The old Empire destroyed most records of the Jedi about fifty years ago. The Empire didn’t want the galaxy to see the Jedi as heroes. That’s why some names, like Anakin Skywalker, are only known thanks to vague legends.” Kira says.
“You seem to know a lot about the past.” Finn says.
“My father has almost complete Jedi records, going back thousands of years. Part of my training has been galactic history. It’s up to us to preserve that knowledge, so we can learn from the mistakes of the past, and not repeat them.” Kira says.
“Not bad for someone who used to think Luke Skywalker was a myth!” Finn says. Kira playfully punches Finn in the shoulder, then smiles.
“In my defense, I didn’t remember who I really was at the time. I actually met Luke several times before I lost my memories. Let’s just say that my father and Luke didn’t get along too well. Luke left my father’s order when I was three years old, and started his own temple.” Kira says.
“So, Luke Skywalker wasn’t really a Jedi?” Finn asks.
“It’s Luke Skywalker! Of course he was a Jedi!” Poe says.
“In the end, he was. When he helped us on Crait. I think his sacrifice is going to inspire others to stand up and fight for what’s right.” Kira answers.
“I hope you’re right, Kira.” Finn says.
“It seemed bad enough when we were just fighting Kylo Ren and the First Order! Now, we’ve got fracking Palpatine to deal with! We’re gonna need a lot of help!” Poe says.
“From what I understand, General Leia’s working on it.” Kira says.
“Yeah. She’s been talking to old senate allies, and the leaders of the wookiee tribes.” Poe says.
“Sounds good.” Kira says.
“I get the feeling we’re not going to have much down time. So, you two want to go to town, and get a drink or something?” Poe asks.
“No drinking for me. I’ve seen what it did to my father, and I want no part in it.” Kira says.
“Oh, right. Sorry. You know, I hear they have swoop races on this planet. Maybe we can go watch one.” Poe says.
“My father has three swoop bikes here in storage. We can take them out, and have our own race!” Kira says.
“Or not.” Ezra says from behind. Kira, Finn, and Poe turn around.
“Master Bridger.” Poe says.
“I hate to ruin your fun, but we really don’t have time to go joy riding on swoop bikes. Otherwise, I’d be out there with you. Maybe the three of you can have some free time this evening. On base, preferably. For now, Kira has training.” Ezra says.
“He’s right. We should be helping General Syndulla with the Ghost anyway.” Poe says.
“Alright, Kira. I’ll see you later.” Finn says.
“Later, Kira.” Poe says. He walks away, followed by Finn.
“It’s good to have friends and spend time with them, but, we have more important things to worry about now. My biggest concern about you is that you’re too quick to anger. You’re obviously not meditating enough. How often are you doing it anyway?’ Ezra asks.
“About thirty minutes, two or three times a day.” Kira answers.
“Meditation is a very important part of your training, and it will be for the rest of your life. The little amount of time you’ve been doing it is nowhere near enough.” Ezra says.
“Okay. What do you want me to do?” Kira asks.
“Go to the Gauntlet, and meditate. For the next three hours.” Ezra answers.
“Three hours?” Kira asks.
“Three hours is nothing! I used to average six or seven hours a day. It really helps, Kira. Trust me on this.” Ezra says.
“Okay.” Kira says.
“Once you’re done with meditation, go to the Ghost, and check in with Hera.” Ezra says.
“Got it.” Kira says. She walks toward the Gauntlet, while Ezra heads for the Ghost.
Inside the Ghost, Hera and Jacen are alone in the cockpit.
“I can’t believe you! You actually want to fly off and meet with Boba Fett!” Hera says.
“I know where Boba Fett is! All I have to do, is contact him, and offer him 50,000 credits for the son of Han Solo. Boba can take care of Kylo Ren for us, mom! Think about it! Without him, the Knights of Ren will fall apart, and the Emperor will lose his top enforcer!” Jacen says.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Jacen.” Ezra says, as he enters the cockpit., now wearing a utility jumpsuit instead of his jedi robes.
“Ezra! How’s Kira doing?” Hera asks.
“She’ll be alright. She’s meditating on the Gauntlet for the next three hours.” Ezra answers.
“Three hours! Damn! What did she do, forget to wash your speeder?” Jacen asks.
“It’s not a punishment. It’s to help her with mental discipline. Besides, she already washed the speeder.” Ezra answers.
“Another one of your Jedi training exercises?” Jacen asks.
“Yeah.” Ezra answers.
“Wow. You’re kind of a hard ass.” Jacen says.
“Jacen!” Hera says.
“I want Kira to be the best force user she can be. That means I can’t cut corners or go easy on her, no matter how much I want to.” Ezra says.
“That spy said you were gettin’ soft. Guess she was wrong. I don’t know why you wouldn’t let me just waste her, instead of letting Leia do that stupid ass trial. You and I have killed people for a lot less than what she did.” Jacen says.
“A mistake. Every one of them.” Ezra says.
“What about all those Imp bastards we killed? Were those mistakes too?” Jacen asks.
“That’s what courts and prisons are for.” Hera says.
“She’s right.” Ezra says.
“The damn spy was right. You’re gettin’ soft.” Jacen says.
“Jacen Syndulla!” Hera says.
“It’s alright, Hera. Let him say what’s on his mind.” Ezra says.
“We have a good thing going here. We kill people, and we get paid for it. We have enough credits to buy this whole frackin’ planet if we wanted to! Dev Morgan and One Eye Jacen, names that strike fear into the hearts of the weak!” Jacen says.
“Dev Morgan is gone, and he’s never coming back!” Ezra says.
“If this is about Kira, then we can make her a junior partner or something! She’s good in a fight, and I’m sure she’d love to carve up some Imp motherfrackers with that new saber of hers! She’d make damn good money doing it too!” Jacen says.
“My daughter is not an assassin, and I’m not either! Not anymore. If you want to keep doing it, that’s your choice. I won’t stop you, but I don’t think your parents will be too happy with you. Kira and I are staying with the Resistance, and I am going to train my daughter in the ways of the force!” Ezra says.
“What about all of our bounty hunter friends?” Jacen asks.
“Those aren’t true friends, Jacen. If they knew that Dev Morgan was really Ezra Bridger, Jedi Master, they’d all sell us out for a big payday! Even Boba Fett! He absolutely hates Jedi!” Ezra answers. Jacen is silent for several seconds.
“Yeah. I think you’re right. I’m going for a walk. I’ve got some things to think about.” Jacen says, as he leaves the cockpit.
“I’m sorry, Hera. He’s like that because of me.” Ezra says. Hera approaches Ezra, and puts a hand on his shoulder.
“Ezra, he made his own choices. I think he was trying to cope, like you were. He was really close to Kira after all. Then there’s Zeb.” Hera says sadly.
“His favorite uncle, who spoiled him endlessly. Always bringing him toys and candy.” Ezra says.
“Yeah. Good times. When our family was almost whole.” Hera says.
“They’re all still with us. Even the ones we can’t see.” Ezra says, as he embraces Hera.
“Thank you, Ezra. I’m glad you’re here.” Hera says. Ezra and Hera separate.
“I’m sorry I let you down. I’m going to fix the things I screwed up, and that includes your son.” Ezra says.
“Ezra, stop being so hard on yourself. Jacen didn’t have to become a bounty hunter.” Hera says.
“I feel responsible for him. He’s like a son to me, and I let him down.” Ezra says.
“You’re already making things right, Ezra. Jacen’s just really stubborn, like his father. Both of them.” Hera says. Ezra laughs.
“Thanks, Hera. Now, I have a ship to paint.” Ezra says.
“You’re going to paint the Gauntlet? That explains the outfit.” Hera says.
“No, the Ghost.” Ezra answers.
“You’re going to paint...my ship?” Hera asks
“Yeah, I am. Unless you want Ahsoka to teleport Sabine here, so you can ask the Empress of Mandalore to paint it for you.” Ezra answers.
“Tempting, but I don’t think she has the time. Okay, Ezra, you can paint the Ghost, but no black! I want the old paint job, just like it used to be!” Hera says.
“I know. That’s what I planned on doing anyway.” Ezra says.
“Guess the Ghost isn’t so dead now, is it?” Hera asks.
“It never was, Hera. I was being a dumbass when I said that.” Ezra answers.
“I forgive you. Just don’t insult my ship ever again.” Hera says.
“Yes, general.” Ezra says. Hera laughs.
“Oh, so we’re getting formal now, Master Bridger?” Hera asks, raising an eyebrow.
“Nope. Just messing with you.” Ezra answers.
“I thought so. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got repairs to supervise, and I believe you have some painting to do.” Hera says.
“Yeah. I’ll get right on it. Kira will be here once she’s done meditating. She’ll help with whatever you need.” Ezra says.
“Sounds good. I’ll talk to you later, Ezra.” Hera says.
“Later, Hera.” Ezra says, as he exits the cockpit.
A few hours later, Ezra finishes painting the hull of the Ghost, and enters the ship, only to be met by Kira, Hera, and Ahsoka, who are in the cargo bay, talking.
“Ah, Ezra. There you are. I see you’ve been busy.” Ahsoka says, noticing Ezra’s paint stained work clothes.
“Yeah, a little.” Ezra says.
“I saw you painting the Ghost about an hour ago, when I finished my meditating and came here.” Kira says.
“So, what’s going on now?” Ezra asks.
“Actually, Ezra, I’d like you and Kira to come with me. However, I would suggest a change of clothes first.” Ahsoka says.
“Where are we going?” Ezra asks.
“It’s a surprise. You’ll just have to be patient.” Ahsoka answers.
“You know I hate surprises.” Ezra says.
“I don’t think you’ll hate this one.” Ahsoka says.
“Okay. I’ll go get changed, and meet you back here.” Ezra says. He leaves the ship.
A few minutes later, Ezra returns to the Ghost, now dressed in his Jedi robes.
“Good. Now, we can go. Ezra, Kira, place your hands on my staff.” Ahsoka says.
“Oh, we’re teleporting?” Kira asks.
“Indeed. It won’t hurt, if that’s what you’re wondering.” Ahsoka answers.
“Okay.” Kira says. Kira and Ezra touch Ahsoka’s staff, and all three of them vanish.
Okay, where did our force users teleport to? Find out in the next chapter...
Ezra, Kira, and Ahsoka find themselves in a large, elaborately decorated office, with a large balcony, overlooking a seemingly endless city. Ezra approaches the balcony, and recognizes the city immediately.
“We’re on Mandalore? Frack! I can’t be here!” Ezra says.
“Relax, Ezra.” Ahsoka says.
“I’d listen to her if I were you. There’s a small chance you might learn something.” a feminine voice says from behind. Ezra, Kira, and Ahsoka turn around to face Sabine Wren.
“I’m sorry, Sabine. I didn’t know Ahsoka was going to bring me here!” Ezra says.
“It’s alright. I asked her to.” Sabine says. She then notices Kira, and asks “Munchkin? Is that really you?”
“Yeah, aunt Sabine, it’s me. Not really a munchkin anymore though.” Kira says, as she walks toward Sabine.
“Oh, force! Kira! I thought we’d lost you!” Sabine says, as she suddenly embraces Kira.
“I missed you too.” Kira says.
“When Ahsoka told me you were alive, I just had to see you. Now, you’re here! I just don’t see how this is possible! We buried you, thirteen years ago.” Sabine says.
“We buried a clone. This is the real Kira.” Ezra says.
“A clone? Where’s the real Kira been all this time?” Sabine asks.
“I was Rey, from Jakku, with no memory of my true identity until two days ago.” Kira answers.
“I’m so sorry, Kira. You didn’t deserve that.” Sabine says.
“It’s alright. I survived it. I’m here now.” Kira says.
“I’ve heard stories about the things you’ve done. I’m impressed. You were strong and brave, even though you didn’t know who you were.” Sabine says.
“She’s strong. She has her mother’s fighting spirit.” Ezra says.
“Yeah, she does.” Sabine says. Sabine and Kira separate, and Sabine walks toward Ezra. She looks at him for a few seconds before saying “you look like hell.”
“I know.” Ezra says.
“I’m serious! You’re supposed to be two years younger, but you look older than me!” Sabine says.
“I feel it too! Damn, I really screwed things up between us.” Ezra says.
“Yeah, you did! You were my best friend! My brother! I would have done anything for you! After...Yavin, you stopped caring. You stopped being you.” Sabine says.
“You’re right, Sabine. I’m sorry for everything I put you through. I’m trying to fix it now.” Ezra says.
“I see you’re wearing your robes, and carrying your sabers. That’s a step in the right direction.” Sabine says.
“I have been training Kira to use the force, and I’ll be leaving Lothal to join the resistance.” Ezra says.
“Leia has offered Ezra the rank of general, and asked him to help train and recruit new soldiers.” Ahsoka says.
“So, you’re back in the fight. Looks like you’re a rebel again.” Sabine says.
“Yeah. As long as there’s an Empire, I’ll always be a rebel.” Ezra says.
“What about your career as Dev Morgan? You made a lot of money as a bounty hunter.” Sabine says.
“I’m done with bounty hunting. I’m done with Dev Morgan. He’s dead.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. He shouldn’t have existed in the first place! What were you thinking, throwing your life away like that?” Sabine asks.
“I wasn’t thinking at all! Just reacting, like a bitter, broken man, who missed his wife and daughter. I was a damn fool, and a coward.” Ezra answers.
“How do you think I felt? That day, on Yavin, I lost Zeb, Kallus, Juno, and Kira! If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s too stubborn to die, I would have lost Kyle too! You weren’t the only one hurting you know! The worst of it though, was that I slowly lost you too, a piece at a time! That was...almost...too much.” Sabine says. She starts to tear up, and Ezra embraces her. Sabine resists his embrace at first, then, slowly wraps her arms around Ezra, as she starts crying.
“I’m here, Sabine.” Ezra says.
“Ezra. I missed you...so much.” Sabine says.
“I missed you too. I’m going to do whatever it takes to make things right between us.” Ezra says.
“You already are, brother.” Sabine says. Kanan’s force ghost appears, and smiles as he watches Ezra and Sabine.
“Kanan…” Sabine says, as she notices Kanan.
“Hello, Sabine. I’m glad to see the two of you, together again. I just had to drop in, and make sure my kids were alright.” Kanan says.
“I think… I think we will be.” Sabine says, as she slowly separates from Ezra.
“You will be. Remember the bond that once existed between the two of you. You can have that again. You can fight side by side again.” Kanan says.
“Fight the Empire? I can’t! I have to think about my people first! I only lead thirty billion of them! They depend on me to keep them safe! I can’t do that if I fight the Empire!” Sabine says.
“You won’t have a choice, Sabine. The Emperor will try to force you to side with him against the resistance and its allies.” Kanan says.
“Kanan’s right, Sabine. I’ve seen it. That old bastard will try to force the clans of Mandalore to fight for him.” Ahsoka says.
“No invader can hold a people in bondage forever. There’s no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, tyrants and dictators don’t stand a chance. The Empire learned that lesson once. If they come here, looking for trouble, we will teach it to them again.” Sabine says.
“Well said, empress.” Kanan says.
“Kanan…” Sabine says.
“I can’t help but be proud of you. You have become a great and wise leader for your people. I believe that if you were to fight the Empire, that everyone one of your warriors would gladly fight with you.” Kanan says.
“Thank you, Kanan.” Sabine says.
“Leia’s working on rebuilding what’s left of the Republic. She’s thinking about something new. A Galactic Alliance. I’m sure she’d want Mandalore to be a part of it.” Ahsoka says.
“She doesn’t ever give up, does she?” Sabine asks.
“I don’t think she knows how.” Ezra answers.
“What kind of forces does Leia have so far?” Sabine asks.
“Three resistance cells, with a little over two thousand personnel altogether. Various starfighters and small cruisers. She’s working on recruiting the wookiees, and a few surviving senators, who might be able to provide ships, and planetary militias.” Ahsoka answers.
“Not enough.” Sabine says.
“That’s all she has, Sabine.” Ezra says.
“No, it’s not. When Leia’s ready to fight openly, Mandalore will fight with her. Until then, I’ll keep providing intel. I have an operative on Kylo Ren’s command ship. He’s reported that there are seven star destroyers headed for Lothal. General Hux is on the command ship, along with all of the Knights of Ren.” Sabine says.
“Good. My lightsabers have a date. With Vastia Ren’s head!” Ezra says.
“Careful, Ezra. Think about what she did to you last time.” Kanan says.
“How could I forget? She almost killed me. If it weren’t for Ahsoka healing me, I’d be dead.” Ezra says.
“I’m not saying don’t fight her. Just...remember your training.” Kanan says.
“I will.” Ezra says.
“Glad to hear it. Ezra, Sabine, take care of yourselves. Remember, I’ll be with you, always.” Kanan says. He smiles, then vanishes.
“We should be going as well. I’m sure Sabine has things to do.” Ahsoka says.
“I actually have a meeting in ten minutes, but, I’m the empress, so my admirals and generals can wait. My family is more important to me. I needed to see both of you. I not only got my favorite niece back, I got my best friend and brother back as well.” Sabine says.
“What am I? Chopped bantha liver?” Ahsoka asks.
“Oh, force, Ahsoka. I’m sorry.” Sabine says. Ahsoka doesn’t react at all for several seconds, then starts laughing.
“The look on your face! Priceless!” Ahsoka says. Ezra and Kira laugh.
“Ahsoka, you’re important to me too. I guess you’re my strange older sister.” Sabine says.
“Oh, so I’m strange?” Ahsoka asks.
“Well, you can teleport, fly, and you have a staff that can transform into other things. If that’s not strange, I don’t know what is.” Sabine answers.
“Ok, you got me there. I guess I am strange. I suppose I can consider you to be my very colorful little sister, who has an unnatural obsession with explosions.” Ahsoka says. Ezra laughs.
“Yeah, I know. I like to blow things up. There’s always something that needs to be blown up. Might as well have fun doing it.” Sabine says.
“I guess you’re right.” Ahsoka says. Sabine turns to Kira.
“By the way, I hear you have a new lightsaber. Let’s see it.” Sabine says.
Kira takes out her lightsaber, and ignites both blades. She twirls it around, showing off a few basic moves, then, shuts it off, and offers it to Sabine, who accepts it, and examines it for a few seconds.
“So, what do you think?” Kira asks.
“Interesting design. A double blade at that. From what I understand, those are rare. What is it with you Bridgers and crazy lightsabers?” Sabine asks.
“You think that’s crazy? It’s a blaster too!” Ezra says.
“Really?” Sabine asks.
“Yeah. Watched her use it to blast my training remotes!” Ezra answers.
“She’s a Bridger alright.” Sabine says, as she offers the saber back to Kira, who accepts it.
“She’s also very strong with the force. Possibly stronger than me.” Ezra says.
“I think I heard something about a girl killing Supreme Leader Snoke.” Sabine says.
“Well, that wasn’t actually me. I was there, but I didn’t kill Snoke. Ben did.” Kira says.
“So he could take over the First Order himself?” Sabine asks.
“That’s what I thought at first, but I think he actually cares about me, and killed Snoke to save me from execution.” Kira answers.
“What?” Sabine asks.
“I didn’t believe her at first either, then I talked to Kylo Ren. I think he really does care about Kira.” Ezra answers.
“When did you talk to Kylo Ren?” Sabine asks.
“I have a...force bond with him. We can connect through the force. We can talk to each other, and see each other. Daddy was there when we connected last night, and he talked to Ben. Asked him to betray the Emperor, and offered to train him.” Kira answers.
“What the frack? It’s Kylo Ren!” Sabine says.
“I know he’s done some bad things, I’ll admit that, but, Ben Solo is a victim of the Empire too. He was manipulated by Snoke. That’s what made him go to the dark side. That’s why I have to bring him back. I care about him too.” Kira says.
“You have...feelings for Kylo Ren? “ Sabine asks.
“I...think so. I don’t understand it yet, because I’ve never felt this way about anyone.” Kira answers.
“Kira, are you sure about this?” Sabine asks.
“Yeah, I am. I know how he can be. I’ve seen Kylo Ren at his worst. I’ve also seen Ben Solo at his best. That’s why I’m going to do my best to save him.” Kira answers.
“Then, I wish you luck.” Sabine says.
“Come, Kira. It’s time to go.” Ahsoka says.
“Alright.” Kira says. She embraces Sabine, then, steps aside, as Ahsoka embraces Sabine.
“Thank you, for bringing them here.” Sabine says.
“Anytime.” Ahsoka says. She separates from Sabine, and steps aside. Ezra approaches Sabine.
“I’m glad we did this, Ezra.” Sabine says.
“Me too.” Ezra says. Sabine suddenly embraces him. Ezra returns the embrace. The two slowly separate, seeming to not want the moment to end.
“Remember, I love all of you. Be safe.” Sabine says.
“Until next time, empress.” Ezra says. He bows, then, takes his place with Ahsoka and Kira. Sabine smiles as Ezra, Kira, and Ahsoka vanish.
Where's this Kyle guy they were talking about?
Who's this Sabine person? She seems important. Perhaps she will return, and appear more often in the sequels to this story...
Chapter 30: Interlude: Dreams
A short chapter, setting up things to come.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Several hours later, aboard the Imperial command ship, Kylo Ren is in his quarters, in bed. He tosses and turns for a moment, before finally falling asleep.
Suddenly, Kylo is observing himself, much older, with a graying beard, kneeling in front of a middle aged man with reddish hair, slicked back. At first, Kylo doesn’t recognize the man, who is dressed in red and black robes. However, the man’s eyes flash yellow, and a sinister smile appears on his face.
“Emperor Palpatine, younger? Me, looking about 50 years old? What is this?” Kylo asks.
“It is the future. Or, rather, one possible future.” The disembodied voice of Bastila Shan answers.
“Is this your doing?” Kylo asks.
“Possibly. Now, pay attention. There’s more.” Bastila answers.
Kylo observes as another figure kneels next to his older self, and he immediately recognizes the woman in black robes as an older Kira. Her pale skin and yellow eyes show her strong connection to the dark side of the force.
“No!” Kylo shouts.
The dream ends, and Kylo wakes up. He sees the force ghost of Bastila standing beside his bed. He sits up, and looks at her.
“What you saw is your fate, and hers, if you continue to serve Darth Sidious. The fate of the entire galaxy may very well be in your hands.” Bastila says.
“I can’t let that happen. I won’t!” Kylo says.
“Then, you have a choice to make. I will leave you to it.” Bastila says, as she vanishes.
“Kira…” Kylo says, as he tries to use the force bond to connect with Kira.
On Lothal, Kira is seated on a bed in Ahsoka’s house, with tears in her eyes. Ezra is seated on the bed as well, next to his daughter.
“So, this dream you just had, seems like it was pretty intense. I heard the screaming. I’m sure Ahsoka did too.” Ezra says.
“It was horrible! I saw me and Ben, about twenty years older. We were both darksiders, serving Palpatine!” Kira says, as she starts crying. Ezra embraces her.
“Shh. It’s okay. I won’t let that happen.” Ezra says.
“I won’t either!” Kylo says, as he appears.
“Bad timing, Kylo.” Ezra says.
“It looks like she had the same dream I did.” Kylo says. Kira looks at Kylo, and wipes away her tears.
“I won’t serve that son of a bitch! Not ever! If I have to die to stop it, then, I will.” Kira says.
“Kira…” Ezra says.
“I won’t let that happen to you. You don’t deserve to be the Emperor’s slave.” Kylo says.
“So, you do care.” Ezra says.
“Yeah, I do.” Kylo says.
“What brings you here anyway?” Ezra asks.
“The dream. I had to tell her about it. I didn’t know she had it too. It seems Bastila is trying to bring us together.” Kylo answers.
“Bastila? What does she have to do with this?” Ezra asks.
“She caused the dream. She appeared to me, and told me so. She said that what I saw, what we saw, is our fate, if I continue to serve the Emperor.” Kylo answers.
“Then, maybe you shouldn’t be serving him anymore.” Ezra says.
“You should listen to him, Kylo Ren. Or, is it Ben Solo now?” Ahsoka asks, as she enters the room.
“I...don’t know.” Kylo answers.
“Ah. There is the root of your conflict. You must first decide who you are before you choose which side you are on.” Ahsoka says.
“Let me get back to you on that one.” Kylo says.
“You know, we’re on the clock here! The Imperial fleet will be here in two days!” Ezra says.
“Thirty eight hours if it maintains course and speed.” Kylo says.
“Okay. The question now, is what will you do when you get here?” Ezra asks.
“I have a proposal for you, Bridger.” Kylo answers.
“Very well. Let’s hear it.” Ezra says.
Kylo's proposal will remain a mystery for now. I don't want to spoil what happens when we see him again...
Yeah. Big update this time. I managed to get on a hot streak. Next update will be in about two weeks, and will be as many chapters as I'm able to get ready.