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Off The Fucking Rails

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When I opened my eyes for the first time on board the Supremacy, I genuinely thought I was just back in the hospital again. I was staring up at a sterile white ceiling, could not remember for the life of me how I got there, and it smelled like a hospital. There was even something close to my head that was beeping like a heart monitor.

The first thing that was off, though, was that I wasn’t wearing a patient ID bracelet. The second thing was my clothing, which was definitely not a shitty hospital gown, or the shabby sweats that my mom usually brought me. No socks with grips on the bottom that are always two sizes too big, either. Just a plain set of black pants and a black shirt with long sleeves. Way too chic for psych ward duds.

Before I could deduce further, it became even more possible that I was not in the hospital because a robot sauntered up to me and started talking.

“Oh, you are awake. That is good. How do you feel?” it asked, in a tinny little voice that, to its credit, only sounded slightly programmed. 

“What?” was all I said at first. I’ve hallucinated before, and sometimes I even know what I’m seeing isn’t real. But the weird feeling in my gut that I get when that happens, the strange uncanny quality of those things like they’re superimposed over my reality, was missing. The more I looked around, the more I realized that everything was way too shiny, too white, too smooth to be the hospital in Lancaster. It looked like a fucking Mac store.

“I said, how do you feel?” the robot repeated obligingly.

“Um, fine, I think,” I muttered as I sat up and tried to look at everything around me all at once. “Where the fuck am I? Is this the Los Angeles hospital? This is totally not in-network for my insurance.” I was hanging onto that whole reality thread real hard, which is also not typical of an episode.

“You are in the medical bay aboard the First Order flagship Supremacy. I am a medical droid, designation M-47777.”

Yeah, I wasn’t buying it, either.

“Oh, that’s pretty funny. This is a new one. Star Wars, huh?” This is how I generally talk to myself about my hallucinations while they’re happening. I try not to talk to the hallucinations. That only encourages them.

“The Supremacy is a mega-class star dreadnaught, actually,” the robot- well, the droid- corrected me.

“This isn’t the kind of Star Wars hallucination I’d prefer to have, though, if I’m honest. There’s nothing glamorous going on, I don’t have a light saber,” I rambled to myself. “No sexy outfit, no super hot makeout session with Kylo Ren-”

“Supreme Leader Ren will want to speak with you soon,” the droid interjected. I couldn’t ignore that one.

“Wait, really? Why?” I asked. This might get exciting, after all!

“Because of your medical evaluation. While you were unconscious, we performed a full physical examination. The results indicate that you have a condition that the Supreme Leader feels means that you…” Here, it seemed almost like it was reluctant to say the words. “...are a very powerful Force-sensitive.” 

“Now that’s more like it!” I grinned. Hell yeah, this is what being crazy is all about! Immediately, I started thinking of all the shit I’d totally do if the Force worked. Even if it was a hallucination, it wasn’t going away, so might as well have fun, right? 

“There is no medical evaluation that conclusively indicates these abilities,” the droid added. “This is the belief of the Supreme Leader.”

“What, you don’t think the Force is real, nurse robot?” I asked it.

“I have no opinion,” it replied flatly. 

“Do I have a whole bunch of midichlorians? Is my power level over 9000?” I was making myself laugh, at least.

“Midichlorians are a myth.” 

“Sure, sure,” I replied, but to be honest I was staring at the droid and trying to make it float. I didn’t like the prequels, anyway. 

“I need to perform a full mental evaluation before I can report to the Supreme Leader,” said the droid. “May I have your name?” My very first impulse was to just make something up, to lie about my name, because that’s always my first impulse at hospitals. Don't ask. I decided to go with it, given the circumstances.

“Aeon Flux,” is what I chose. I thought it was pretty funny.

Then the droid launched into a lot of questions, but they weren’t the usual ones about how many days out of the past thirty you’d felt hopeless, or something. I told it I was born in Greenville, South Carolina but had moved with my parents to Lancaster, California when I was 7 years old. When it asked me what planet that was on, I said Earth. Even the poor droid couldn’t hide that it was totally confused about those answers, but recorded them anyway. I decided I was hallucinating a self-insert fanfiction at that point, so I’d already started thinking about what parts of the plot I was going to try to fuck with. While I rattled off the familiar list of schools I’d dropped out of and jobs I’d lost to the befuddled droid, I wondered if I looked hotter now, or something. That was how fanfics worked, right? Or maybe it didn’t matter and Kylo Ren would be hella into me anyway. The droid and I did basic cognitive exercises that I breezed through, and a handful of logic puzzles, memory drills, a bunch of shit I haven’t been tested for since I was in grade school. Just when I thought the test was finally over, it started asking me weirder stuff- about responding to interpersonal situations, authority, shit like that. I thought it would never fucking end. My stomach started to growl.

“Thank you, Aeon Flux,” it said finally. “Would you like to hear your results?” 

“Sure.” I waited to hear a litany of amazing, fanfic-like qualities about myself.

“Aeon Flux. Height 160.02 centimeters, bodyweight 58.9--” 

“I don’t need the basics,” I cut him off as soon as he started saying my weight. Let’s just say I don’t look at the scale at the doctor’s office for a reason. I was grateful not to know the conversion rate between kilograms and pounds.

“Of course. You have scored above average in abstract reasoning, oral and written communication in Basic, pattern recognition, emotional intelligence, and adaptive learning. You have an average score in critical analysis, logical reasoning, creative problem-solving, metacognition, and short-term visual memory. You have below average scores in numerical reasoning, organization, all remaining areas of memory, cognitive focus, and compliance.” I frowned. All of that seemed disappointingly accurate.

“Any good news?” I joked.

“I do not underst-”

“It’s okay, nevermind. You can go get Kylo Ren now,” I told the droid. I was tired of the boring part of this hallucination.

“I will inform the Supreme Leader of your status.” It seemed a little annoyed as it lumbered away.

“Wait, can I have something to eat?” I called after it. “Please?” The droid stopped in its tracks, and didn’t turn around.

“I can bring a ration in just a few moments.”

“Thank you, Nurse Robot.”

“Please do not call me that.”

“Okay, Lucky Sevens.” I swear to God I heard it sigh in frustration before it started walking away again. I tried not to giggle.

It wasn’t actually all that much later that Kylo Ren showed up. I was eating the ration- which was a rectangular block of chewy stuff that honestly might have been worse than hospital food, if that’s even possible- and the droid reappeared very suddenly.

“Aeon Flux, the Supreme Leader is on his way,” it said. “I advise you do your best not to upset him. He is not a patient man.” The way the droid appeared to be genuinely warning me kind of put me on edge, despite my general conviction that we were most likely going to fall in love immediately and rush off to his quarters to make sweet, sweet love to each other.

“So I’ve heard,” I replied. I was gonna play it cool, though. “Thank you, Lucky Sevens.”

I think I heard the stomping before he even entered the medical bay. I definitely heard it once he entered, and then I heard the shuffling of a bunch of other feet, too. My heart was in my throat, I won’t lie. Was he really gonna be as hot as Adam Driver?

When he rounded the corner into my little alcove with literally like six other people in uniforms behind him, I froze completely. He walked right up to my bed, standing not five feet away. He was really, really freaking tall, and absolutely as hot as Adam Driver. But his entire aura was fucking terrifying. It was like I was being stared at by a wolf who was just waiting for the right moment to rip out my throat. He wasn’t wearing the cape or the mask or anything, and somewhere in the back of my head I realized that I was in the part of plot that came after he’d busted the mask and murdered Snoke. Which immediately triggered another realization. Holy fucking shit. The next movie hasn’t even come out yet! I don’t know what happens next! What the fuck!! Worst self-insert ever!! But at that point my brain froze too, because I was staring into his eyes. They were so intense that it might have been really hot, if he hadn’t also been giving the strong impression that he’d kill me at the drop of a hat. 

The medical droid was beside me, and gave a weird little mechanical cough. I realized how long me and Kylo had been silently staring each other down. I also realized I was probably supposed to talk first, but no words came except Poe’s response to the same problem in Episode VII, and I wasn’t about to go there.

“Aeon Flux, this is Supreme Leader Kylo Ren,” the droid offered, like an awkward introduction at a dinner party. Its head gave a tiny little nod in his direction.

“Uh,” I replied. I know, I’m charming. “Hi. I’m… Aeon.”

“Why were you on board the command shuttle when we found you?” Kylo asked, blunt as I probably should have expected.

“I honest to God do not remember,” I told him, which was completely true. I had no idea what he was talking about. “Like, the last thing I remember is passing out on my bed in my own damn house, holding my guitar.”

“Your what?” He narrowed his eyes, which made him scarier.

“Guitar,” I repeated. “It’s an instrument,” I added quickly.

“An instrument of what?”

“Um, music. It makes music.” The part of my brain that still firmly believed this was a fanfic hallucination suddenly wished I had my guitar. That would melt his angry exterior and make him fall in love with me, right? Or at least it would make me feel better.

“I see.” He was looking at me very curiously. I didn’t look away from his eyes. Always gotta show them you’re not scared, at the hospital.

“The results of the testing indicate an inconsistent memory, Supreme Leader. She is not lying,” piped up the droid. I felt intense gratitude at that moment for its assistance, despite the ‘she’ pronoun. Fuck. Being non-binary in space was not a struggle I had anticipated. I would have to address that later. “The neural scanning combined with test results indicate that there is a severe state of electrical fluctuation in her brain, and wave-particle activity is extremely heightened. This can and often does result in memory loss, as well as delusional beliefs and impaired cognitive function.” Finally, words I was used to hearing in medical settings.

“Who trained you?” Kylo asked me.

“I don’t remember,” I said again. I was playing along with the meta-plot thing. If they thought I had Force powers, I might need to not totally make it obvious that I actually didn’t right off the bat. “If I got trained I don’t remember. Not Luke Skywalker, that’s for sure.” Now, he seemed angry.

“You must be trained!” he growled, and he held up a hand. I flinched, fully expecting him to hit me, but he just held it there in midair and I realized that he was trying to use the Force on me. But nothing was happening. The air was incredibly tense, all the officers behind him were staring at me as if they expected me to rise up off the ground and start choking. Kylo himself looked increasingly pissed off that I wasn’t doing exactly that. “How else could you resist?” he muttered.

I looked at the medical droid, who gave the tiniest shrug, then at the officers, then smugly back at Kylo Ren. It took me until after the fact, of course, to realize that this wasn’t working because I was not actually part of the universe. I was self-inserted from somewhere else, where the Force didn’t exist. At the time I just thought I was hot shit.

“Maybe you’re just going about it the wrong way. Maybe I got trained to resist attack, and some other more subtle method might work better. Sir.” I added the last part because I wasn’t actually trying to piss him off. I wondered if my implication that he should try being… nice… to me was too heavy-handed.  “I don’t remember, so it’s just an idea.” He growled at me and lowered his hand. 

“So it seems,” he said.

“Am I a prisoner?” I asked him bluntly.

“Should you be?” was his reply. Touche, hottie.

“I don’t think so. I’m mostly harmless.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Does everyone know how bad you wanted to make out with Rey in that elevator, before she made her grand exit all by herself?” I asked him tartly, raising an eyebrow at the last bit. I should probably have kept that one to myself, but I was getting annoyed at the lack of making out going on. Kylo got real stiff, and glared at me. Okay, making him think I could look into his mind and was just keeping his secret out of the kindness of my heart was a good flex. There was another long, quiet moment. “Listen. I just want to, um, relearn all this Force stuff that I probably forgot. I keep, uh, seeing things... knowing things, you know, the whole nine yards. Can you help me?” Why had the apprentice angle not occurred to me before?

“No,” Kylo replied. Wait, what?

“Why the hell not?” Like, fuck you, buddy! This is MY fanfiction!

“I am the Supreme Leader. I don’t have time.”

“You also don’t have an apprentice, since Rey blew you off. Twice,” I pointed out. The officers behind him were whispering to one another, but a glare from him shut them up real fast. “If I can’t get it together, then you can kick me out of the program. That seems fair. But I think I got this.” For a minute, he just looked at me.

“Fine, but your compliance scores leave something to be desired. You might want to work on that.” And just like that, the motherfucker turned around and walked out of the medical bay, his gaggle of subordinates trailing behind him. I put my hands on my hips.

“What the fuck was that?” I asked nobody in particular.

“You are very lucky you are not dead,” the droid pointed out. “I think the only reason that you are not, is because Supreme Leader thinks you might be stronger with the Force than he is.”

“This is starting to feel more like a hallucination than a fanfic,” I complained.

“What is supposed to be the difference?” It looked at me and I could almost see the exasperation on its metal face. 

“Hallucinations are out of my control, usually.” I folded my arms and looked down at my lap, the full weight of that sentence only hitting me after I said it. I looked at the remains of my ration, far from hungry. The droid was silent for a moment. 

“I will see about getting you your own quarters and some clothes. The ones you were wearing when they found you were not very presentable.” I guess I had been wearing my pajamas. Which are a pair of underwear and a t-shirt with holes in it, but it was a little late to be embarrassed about that. The droid rumbled away to its station, full of blinking lights and screens. “Oh yes,” it said suddenly, as though remembering something. “I think you can have this back.” 

When I looked up, the droid was handing me my guitar. I took it, completely puzzled but comforted nonetheless.