“You’re afraid that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader!”
Rey spat the words out, pulled out from a place deep inside the dark man’s mind suddenly laid open to her. Just as quickly her insight into the dark man’s mind cut off, along with the remnants of his invisible hold over her body, and Rey shook her head, gasping, exhausted but triumphant.
The dark man’s eyes stayed fixed on her, not angry yet, but amazed, almost vulnerable. His brows lowered and she felt a wrench as her right cuff flew open, and her hand was yanked through the air until he grasped her by the wrist. Slowly, painfully, he bent her wrist back till her bones strained, on the verge of cracking. Rey knew what he was after almost as if she could read his mind again. If her mind was a match for his he’d just make new rules in his favor, overcoming her mind with physical pain. Her sudden insights surprised her, but the pain was distracting, even more than she thought it should be. He honed in on the part of her mind that controlled her pain responses and prodded it, forcing her to put those sensations uppermost in her thoughts.
The man leaned in closer to her face, his eyes half closed in concentration as he forced her wrist back even farther, she felt a joint on one of her fingers pop. In a moment of insanity she remembered a bet she’d made with her friend Priam, one that he’d lost. She bet she could get away on his speeder before he had time to stop her, and no one said that she’d had to play fair. This man was going to overwhelm her mind with pain. He embraced pain, so she had a different distraction in mind. Without thinking anymore she leaned forward and kissed him.
He tasted cold. Like the endless nights on Jakku, where you would think that the cold would be a pleasant sensation after the burning days. It wasn’t. In the dark where nothing stirred but the most loathsome creatures she curled up, shivering. Not even scared, just hopelessly alone. She felt the same cold loneliness seep into her mind. She pushed her eyes open and found herself staring back into his, brown and warm at first glance, but as she stared, caught in his gaze, she found the deadness behind it, decay like the kind that she’d so often found and scavenged through, looking for worthwhile parts among the refuse. For a moment she thought of Han, of the warmth that lay hidden behind his cynical exterior. This was him reversed, darkness behind warmth, bright youth on top of hopelessness. Feeling his hold over her weaken she slipped her wrist free and pulled his face closer, trying to get a grip on his neck.
She tasted warm. Like the warm hum of his first lightsaber, a gift from his family, the sometimes confusing but strong love that surrounded him bound up in its reassuring blue glow. Immediately he cut off the memory, his hands convulsively squeezing and letting go, dropping the imaginary blade. He barely realized that he had dropped the woman’s hand until he felt her slip it around the back of his neck, inadvertently pulling him closer into the kiss. He’d kissed before, but ever since his death and resurrection he’d found no time or desire for anything other than his greater purpose. This gesture confused him, sent him back to a time he’d given everything to forget. In the midst of his stalled attempt at mind control he felt her hand tighten around his throat, cutting off his air. With a violent gesture of his hand, grabbing control of the force again he broke her grip and pulled away, keeping his eyes on hers, a color he couldn’t pin down, was it blue, or grey, or brown? He squeezed the shackle onto her arm again and took a step back. He couldn’t do this anymore. Snoke would know how to handle this. How to handle her and how to cut off these memories he didn’t want. With a gasp he straightened up, practically stumbled back and picked up his mask. He quickly lowered it over his face, the dark interior calming his mind and focusing him. He would return, and she would still be here. Her distraction meant nothing.
Rey breathed out as the door closed, leaving her alone except for one guard and her thoughts. If she could push into the mind of someone who tried to control hers, what about someone who served under him? With a strong push, she imagined reaching behind her with her mind and caught hold of what felt like a presence.
“You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open.”