“And so we fly to Canto Bight to find the Master Hacker, and bring him back, slice our way into the Supremacy, disrupt the A-Class process that’s tracking the Raddus, and then in the following six-minute window jump the Raddus to hyperspace when it’s not being tracked by the Supremacy. That’s the plan, right?”
Rose and Finn nodded.
Poe did not.
“What is an A-Class process? How do we know that it’s on the Supremacy?” Poe pointed out the window. “The Supremacy wasn’t at D’Qar. It’s on one of the Star Destroyers, or many of them. There’s no reason that they wouldn’t be tracking us from more than one destroyer. The First Order is dumb, and redundancy of ships costs a ton, but software is cheap.” Rose and Finn began to frown. “They’re probably tracking every ship in our fleet.”
“But it’s new tech!” said Rose. “It has to be experimental stuff, and where would they put it but on the Supreme Leader’s ship, because it’s the biggest and fanciest?”
“Poe, she’s right,” said Finn. ”The fancy stuff always goes to the leaders. It’s why Ren was flying that new fighter when he blew up the bridge, which is why we’re having this conversation in General Organa’s medbay.”
“So it’s only on the biggest and baddest ship of the lot?”
“Only the Supremacy.”
“And so we put some spies on a transport, jump to Canto Bight, recruit the spy, jump back here, and then infiltrate the Supremacy without getting shot down.”
“Yes,” said Rose and Finn together.
Poe wiped a hand across his face, and when he removed it, he found himself staring at General Leia Organa, sleeping peacefully under a medical dome. He sighed. A hand fell on his shoulder.
“Poe, buddy,” said Finn, ”what’s wrong?”
“Holdo’s right. There’s a better way to do this.”
Holdo was pleased that the flyboy had at least come to her to ask permission before his stunt. She wasn’t pleased with the plan, though.
He had come to her with some cockamamy plan about using transport pods and every hyperspace-capable shuttle to disperse the remaining Resistance members across as wide an array of planets and stations as possible, setting up guerrilla cells to build the new Rebellion.
“Captain, I don’t think you get it. Your plan endangers the Resistance.”
“It saves the Resistance! We put everyone on the transports; the transports jump to different planets: it’s impossible for them to track every transport! There’s nine Star Destroyers out there —”
“And there are eighteen transports, I know. But, Captain Dameron, the Resistance is not just the people on this ship. The Resistance exists in opposition to the First Order, and derives from the idea that the First Order - the old Empire - cannot be trusted with power. If you split us up and take us to ground, we become no better than Saw Guerrera’s Partisans. A band of thugs that exists only to destroy the workings of the Empire. That is not what the Resistance, what the Rebellion are for.
“Princess Organa started the Resistance when she saw that the New Republic’s demilitarization would leave it defenseless. Centrists in the Senate were working with the Empire, and made money off the First Order’s rise. The New Republic didn’t see the Empire as a threat. They underestimated the forces of darkness.
“If the Resistance flees and survives and wins this battle, then the First Order has lost. And so the greater rebellion dies, because we survive. Because we survive, everyone opposed to the First Order can say, ‘oh, the Resistance is working on the problem and will win.’ We must inspire a greater Rebellion against the First Order. We must get the Galaxy involved in this fight, in a way more than just selling discount B/SF-17s to a charity case.
“You idolize the fighter jocks of the Rebellion, who did daring things, but you don’t idolize the support structures and planning and strategy that went into it, because those bits didn’t make it into the stories.” She saw a question on Poe’s face, and let him speak it.
“So, what, we all die? Is that what you want? One last death for the Resistance, which the First Order can prevent anyone from ever hearing?”
“Yes. One last death for the Resistance, which the First Order prevents anyone from ever hearing, and therefore everyone hears. The heroic last stand, where everyone died! That is the narrative we shall sell. That is not what will happen.
“We’re fueling the transports to carry us to that planet onscreen, Crait.” She waved to a lieutenant, who described the system and its history to an uncaring Dameron. When the lieutenant was done, and Dameron mildly glazed, Holdo walked over, put her face into the flyboy’s. “In case you missed it, it’s got a transmitter that can reach the Outer Rim. We’ll spread the story that the Resistance died, as a spark that will ignite the fire that will burn the First Order to the ground. And then we will go and start the guerrilla wars, because that is what we have always done, and there is room for flyboys and mechanics and AWOL stormtroopers in that story.
“But to get to that story, we have to tell a story about how the overwhelming force of the First Order chipped and ground and chewed away at the heroic Resistance, until the Resistance was limited to one last ship with failing shields and no fuel in its tanks, and the transports fled to a tiny planet where they had one final stand against the forces of evil, and fought to the last being to protect the transmitter and the antenna.”
Dameron had a look on his face that she had seen before.
“And, captain, you wouldn’t know this, because you haven’t flown those transports, but they don’t have hyperdrives.”