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Backwater Jedi Part 2

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It was a dangerous time for the citizens of Black Spire Outpost. In the past few months, the tyrannical First Order had arrived on the surface of Batuu and established full control. The stormtroopers, commanded by the villainous Kylo Ren, had stormed through every settlement on the planet and tormented the innocent people. Even still, some citizens, such as Savi, continue to fight for their rights however they can…

Deep in the forests, due west of the main Outpost, Jake was situated in the middle of the ancient ruins. He felt comfortable surrounded by the crumbling remnants of the old civilization, his bag and vest set neatly aside. He was sitting on an old patch of stone in the grass, eyes closed and one hand gripping his salvaged lightsaber. He called out to his ghostly master, voice twisted by a nervous smile.

“So, uh—I can push things now. And make ‘em float. When can I learn how to jump?” He continued with his ramble, eyes still closed. He seemed to gain comfort from the activity, falling deeper into meditation. “Y’know—like you did, during the Clone Wars. You did all kinds of cool stuff in the air—“

A breathless “Hey!” startled him out of his meditation, a jolt of cold panic before recognizing the voice. Isis trudged her way over to him, nearly doubled over and breathing heavy. “Hey—“ she said again, trying to catch her breath smiling lopsidedly at him. “Took me for ever to find you...”

Jake flinched a little, chuckling softly as he glanced up at her. “Yeah, sorry. I gotta be more…discreet, these days, y’know?”

She lowered herself into the grass on her knees, nodding. “I doubled back to make sure no one followed me,” she reassured. “Look what I found.” She dug into a hip pocket on her belt and held her hand out. It was half a crystal point, one end jagged and sharp where it had broken.

Jake’s eyes went wide with wonder, one hand slowly moving out to touch the crystal. “Whoa...Isis, that’s amazing! Where’d you find this?”

“I was at work, Savi lets me come in on my days off to mess around sometimes. I went and took another look at that ship we were parting out,” she said, passing it over to him. “The one that messed up your brain. Found it in compartment.”

He nodded intently, holding it carefully as he observed it. “Looks like it’s different than the one I have.” His free hand snapped up, gesturing to the blue crystal he wore around his neck. “Here--” He passed it back to his friend, still half-smiling.

She took it, turning it over in palm. “I was thinking that...maybe it came from the lightsaber you found.” She was examining it intently, eyebrows pinched.

He muttered, eyes still reflexively darting around the bushes and trees. “Probably. But…based on what I’ve seen, it wouldn’t work anymore. If I could get this thing to work, it’d be with the crystal Savi gave me.”

He pondered that for a moment, hands moving to the old lightsaber he kept in his hip bag. He’d done his best to restore it, polishing the metal and replacing the end cap, but it still wouldn’t function without an emitter—or a crystal chamber, the most important part. He’d felt hundreds of memories over the past few years, feeling deeply and intimately connected to the original owner—a heroic and charismatic Jedi Knight. “…It’d be crazy,” He admitted. “If I could make this thing work.”

“It would,” she said dreamily, looking at the hilt with a vague adoration. “It would be crazy...what would you do with it?”

Jake leaned in close, whispering—still afraid someone might hear him. His mouth twisted up in a wide smirk. “You really wanna know? I’d kick their ass. The First Order. I’d fight ‘em until they left us alone.”

She leaned in conspiratorially, biting her lip to keep herself from grinning. “I’d cut that stupid helmet right off his shoulders,” she whispered, nose scrunching in excitement.

He giggled, rubbing his stubble with one hand. “What—Kylo Ren? Yeah, I’d love to tear him a new one. But…y’know. I’d probably try to do it the Jedi way.”

“You owe it to your master,” she nodded solemnly. “But I’m not a Jedi. You could let me borrow it.”

Jake snorted, shrugging at the idea. “If I ever learn how to use it, y’know I’ll teach you. Hey, uh—“ He sighed, leaning back against a stone pillar. “I dunno about you, but I heard a rumor on the scrapyard yesterday.”

She settled further on to the ground, crossing her legs under her. “What kind of rumor?”

“Dotti told me they’re building a new outpost for their stormtroopers. That way.” He pointed south, close to the wide, dirt road that eventually led to Peka—the fishing village.

“Can we really trust anything that comes out of her mouth?” She rocked a little, rolling her eyes. “It’s been ten years and she’s still telling anyone who will listen to her that I’m part Kaminoan.”

He rolled his eyes at the reminder, sitting back to rest on his palms. “Well, could be work checking out. If it’s legit, we could really do some damage. Besides—I could use some new parts to sell to Dok.”

Jake had a mischievous glint in his eyes, obviously eager for the opportunity to mess with the First Order.

She frowned, tilting her head. “Hm...I think it’s at least worth checking out. Might find something Savi would want, too. We need to make sure we have a way out, just in case.”

“Well…let’s go scout it out. Worst comes to worst, I know a few caves we can hide in.” He rose to his feet, extending a hand to help her up—tucking the lightsaber back in his vest.

She took his hand, hauling herself off the ground and dusting the grass off her backside. “Sounds good to me. Hopefully they’re too cocky and we won’t have a problem ruining their day.”

It wasn’t long before they found the construction site—mostly populated by large droids building the duristeel monstrosity. The building, even in its early stages, was horribly out of place. The pale silver struck harshly against the calm, serene greens and browns of the lush Batuuan forest. Only a few stormtroopers were standing guard, presumably tasked with keeping an eye on their rations and medical supplies. Jake made a noise of disgust as they approached, lowering his voice to whisper. “Look at that thing. Uglier than a sarlacc.”

Isis crouched behind a fallen tree to rest as they spied, a look of disgust twisting up her face. “It looks...violent against the trees.”

A few minutes later, Jake found himself crouching as he made his way closer to the construction. He glanced over his shoulder, checking that Isis was close behind. “See those crates, there? I’ll bet that’s where their blasters are being kept. If we take that? That’ll be a big deal.”

“Are we going to stash them somewhere? If we get seen using them, it won’t be good.” She came up close behind him, keeping her balance by pressing two fingers into the dirt.

He shrugged, narrowing his eyes at the trooper checking on the food supply. “I was gonna hide them in the old tomb. Nobody goes there. Hey—watch this.” Jake raised one hand, his fist spreading outward as though he were pushing something. As he moved, the crate of fruits and nutrient packets tumbled over into the dirt—catching the trooper’s attention. “Hey—“

”Come on, let’s go—“

Isis softly gasped and scurried after him, taking low and behind cover whenever possible. “Kriff kriff kriff kriff—“

Jake gave a soft, breathy laugh to calm his nerves, using his legs to lift up one of the weapon crates. “Think we can each carry one?”

”No,” she hissed, grunting softly as she struggled to life one crate. It barely moved, stubbornly shifting half an inch. “I thought you had a plan! You know I’m a baby!”

“I do have a plan!” Jake hissed back, still grinning with adrenaline. “I can—probably carry this one. If you help me—we can move faster. C’mon, grab this end—“

She huffed in relief as she abandoned her crate to grab one end of his, cheeks turning red from the effort. “We gotta,” she panties as they waddled the crate toward the forest. “Ditch this thing quick.”

He gave a rushed nod, shoving the crate down into a small dip in the mud. “I—might be able to carry it.” Jake gave a soft exhale, his shoulders and chest relaxing with the motion. He raised one hand, managing to lift the crate into the air. His face cracked into a bright grin, proud of his small accomplishment. He held it still got a moment, glancing at Isis. “See? It’ll be easy to move ‘em this way.”

Isis wasn’t looking at him anymore. Instead, she was staring past him, rooted to the grass, mouth gaping open, and eyes wider than he’d ever seen them. She tried to speak but her jaw only twitched. She started to tremble, a pitiful gasp leaving her.

Jake raised a slow, confused eyebrow, still levitating the crate above his head. “…What? What is it?”

Her face started to change colors, first pale and then blotchy pink. Her eyes started to water, glassy and bloodshot. Hands coming up to flail at her chest and neck, she made a strangled sound. Then there was another voice, impossibly deep and digitally distant. “Thieves. And a force user. How interesting.”

He gulped hard, instantly recognizing the voice. Kylo Ren. The cloaked Sith he’d seen patrolling the village, intimidating and bullying whoever he saw fit. The crate slammed back into the mud in an instant, splattering mud onto Jake’s legs as he scrambled to shove Isis. “Go, run! Get outta here!” He summoned the courage to raise both hands, putting all of his effort into shoving Ren.

Ren budged only slightly, dropping his hold on Isis in favor throwing Jake and skidding him across the ground. Isis hit the ground in a heap, choking and coughing as air rushed back into her. She scrambled wildly toward Jake, not noticing the mud and grime that coated her hands and knees. “Jake!”

He waved a hand as he slammed against a tree, left breathless from the impact. “Go! Run! Please!

Jake scrambled to try and recover, pushing the weapons crate at Ren and making an effort to run in the opposite direction. He heard the deep, modulated voice bark out an order, but he was far too distracted to understand it. He took as many sharp turns as he could, hoping to lead Ren far enough into the forest. Jake found himself slipping on the mud, confronted with a short waterfall—leading straight into one of the deeper, emerald green lakes.

“Well—I don’t have much of a choice, huh?” He muttered aloud to himself, tugging his goggles over his eyes and diving down. He wasn’t sure how long it was before he was secure under the water, wrapping his arm around a fallen log to keep from floating to the surface. He wanted to squint upwards, to frantically look for signs of the troopers Ren had undoubtedly sent out. He wanted to look, but knew keeping himself entirely still would help him hold his breath.

I’ve held it for way longer than this, he thought. I can handle it. They’ll think I’m dead.

It seemed like he was under water forever, the murky water swirling around him in a constant current. Little spotchka krill quickly assumed he was a new addition to their environment, swimming toward him and eating the plant matter that was still clinging to his clothes and shoes. But without warning, Jake’s hair was painfully yanked, twisting and pulling like whatever it was wanted to rip his scalp right off his skull.

He was automatically defensive, clawing and yanking at the hands gripping his hair. He gasped for breath, choking and spitting water that’d managed to get into his mouth. Jake still couldn’t see what was happening, water collecting and blinding the lenses on his old goggles. He was very quickly slammed face first into the bank, his attacker uncaring for the scattering of rocks around the edge. “Restrain him.”

Jake grunted as one of his lenses shattered, blinking with shock as he was yanked up to his knees—offering little resistance as his arms were tugged behind his back. He thought for a second, trying to think of something clever to say. However, he was still only trying to catch his breath—little gasps coming out every few moments.

One of the stormtroopers, part of the group of four, began digging through Jake’s bag. “Hey, that’s my stuff—“

“I don’t see any identification, sir.”

Kylo Ren stared down at him unflinchingly, his mask an eerie reminder of something Jake had seen in a vision. Now that he was this close, the resemblance was striking.

“I’m not surprised. He’s a swamp rat. Detain and transport him for processing. Theft from the First Order will not be tolerated. March him through the outpost on the way to transport, make an example of him.”

Jake squinted up at the commander, swallowing as they dragged him up to stand. He whispered something, entirely to himself. “Anakin—“

“What’s your name, villager?”

He rolled his eyes as they began to lead him towards Black Spire, cracking a knowing smirk. “Ben. Ben Garra.”

Ren’s head tipped when Jake spoke, feeling it more than he heard it. He followed behind as they drug him through the village, ignoring entirely the way people stared from where they stood, from their windows and their cracked front doors. The troopers marched him straight past Oga’s and toward the open air market, the only movement— the low murmuring and eyes looking away as people cowered at the sight of the big black shadow.

“There’s no other contraband in his bag, sir. Just some Spira, cantina coasters, and—whatever that is.” Jake twisted, tugging and shoving at the men holding him.

“Hey! Don’t touch that!”

Ren held his hand out for the bag, coming to a stop. When the trooper handed it over and Ren looked inside, he froze. Slowly, agonizingly, that familiar helmet looked up. At who was unclear. “...Transport him to detention. Tell Captain Phasma I want to deal with this one...personally.”

Jake snapped as he was tugged away again, immediately starting to panic. “Wait—why? Why?!”

Within half an hour, Jake was pacing in a First Order detention cell. He was almost relieved to change into the dark gray prisoner uniform, at least comforted by an alternative to his soaked vest and boots. He clutched the Kyber crystal around his neck, at least relieved that he still had that. “…Master? I’m—gonna be fine, right?”

Obi-Wan didn’t say much. But he did speak, his voice a soft and luxury comfort in the cold steel walls of his cell. I won’t leave you.

He found himself slipping down to the floor, giving a shaky sigh. “You’ve—you’ve been through this stuff before. I’ll…I’ll be okay. Like you were.”

After another lifetime, the door hissed open. The doorway was filled with that familiar black shadow, staring stoically at him as he took one step into the room and let the door close behind him.

“Oh, you’re back. Yay.” Jake unconsciously moved toward the wall behind him, putting on a defensive smirk. “Y’know, I was starting to think you didn’t like me, you left me alone for so long—“

He paced slowly toward Jake, hands limp by his side. “You’re quite interesting, you know.”

He managed to keep himself planted on the floor, eventually bracing himself to stand up tall. “I’ve been told that. I’ve got a few talents. Ever had an Outer Rim, at the cantina? I can mix the best ones on Batuu—“

“You’re a force user,” he stated bluntly. It was unnerving, really, how still he was while he stared down at him. Was he even breathing?

Jake swallowed hard, pushing himself a bit further against the cold wall. “Uh—what, that? Is that what it’s called? Making…making stuff float?”

“Don’t play dumb. You have a lightsaber in your belongings.”

He gripped his hands behind his back, frustrated at the lack of pockets to hide them in. “So—maybe I do. What about it? It doesn’t work. Can’t fight anybody with that thing, ‘s an old piece of junk.”

“A force user with a lightsaber that’s obviously being repaired? Even the slowest degenerate knows exactly what that means.”

Jake let out a sigh, turning to walk towards the cot. Anything to get some distance. “Okay, fine. Maybe I was trying to figure it out.”

There was a very genuine fear in his eyes, his brow furrowed with worry. I can’t lie around that. He gave a deep, long inhale, shrugging for a brief second. Kriff it, then. “You’re a Sith, right? You kill Jedi.”

“No. There are no Sith,” he said, stepping closer. “But I will ensure that there are no more Jedi.”

Jake rubbed his jaw, gulping hard. “My master won’t be a fan of that, y’know.”

Kylo slowly crouched down in front of him. “You have no master, thief,” he said slowly. “No Master would allow his student to be unarmed with a tube of scrap in his pocket.”

He raised a hand, shoving Ren back in his rage. “You don’t know anything about what makes a good master! Bet I know more about the Force than you do—“

Ren caught himself easily, one foot sliding back to balance his weight as both hands came up in claws. Jake’s breathing was cut off completely at his neck and it felt like a heavy weight slammed into his chest, Boeing his rib age. “What you know is child’s play, thief,” he hissed, his stance eerily reminiscent of a great spider. “I have learned more things than you’ve had the chance to forget, seen things that you have never dreamed existed.”

Jake was immediately thrashing as much as he could, his face growing pale within a few seconds. “Y—Yeah?” His voice was strangled, strained and painful. But he kept talking. “Try me—“

A sharp and white hot pain collided with the base of his skull, whiting out his vision as it writhed its way into his brain, wrapping itself around it to burrow into its depths. It pulled his deepest memories to the surface, the most ugly and painful of the bunch, flashing them behind his eyes like a holoprojection. Kylo’s voice echoed through the horror show to press into his ears like spider’s silk. “You can’t fight me.”

Kylo could easily observe the memories, highlights of the worst things Jake had seen.

A tall, wide Blutopian, shoving live snails into her mouth as she spoke. “They’re not coming back, kid. Didn’t wanna get your hopes up.”

Another little boy, his face full of disgust and judgement. “You’re a gross swamp rat, that’s why you’re always alone!”

Hazier memories. More detached, as if they weren’t his own. “You were the chosen one!”

”He will…avenge us.”

”I have been waiting for you, Obi-Wan.”

Jake cried out from the shock and pain of it all, struggling to curl in on himself away from his assailant. “Make it stop, make it stop—

Despite the nearly overwhelming desire to see more, he backed off, letting the pain make a steady slide out of his head. “...do you understand?” he asked, low and pitched.

Jake gasped, collapsing to the ground and barely managing to look up at him. “Wh—What—“

_________________

Savi was pacing in his office, a small stone structure a level below his scrapyard. He sensed something, a disturbance. Heightened anxiety and fear across the village, perhaps. He sat down once again at his desk, running his hand over his favorite artifact. A shining, blue Jedi Holocron.

There was a loud clanking and fumbling at the door and Isis stumbled through the door way, face blotchy and eyes red. “Savi!” she sniffled, distress cracking her voice as she moved toward him.

The old man barely flinched, one hand drifting to adjust a stray hair in his beard. His voice, as usual, was full of ease and fondness. “Isis, it’s so nice to see you. But…I don’t think you start work until tomorrow morning.” he said leaning forward, white brows furrowing with concern. “Has something happened? You seem distraught.”

She drew in a shuddering gasp, trying to keep control of herself. Grabbing his hands and squeezing, trying to keep her watering eyes from overflowing, she said, “It—it’s Jake, Savi— they took him!”

His face immediately grew serious, his pale eyes darkening a bit. “The First Order. They’ve found him.”

She nodded frantically, trying to ignore the pain in her throat when she swallowed around her emotions. “We— we tried to disrupt their new construction— we were sneaky but Kylo Ren was there...”

He let out a soft sigh, moving to stand and pace again. “The Force user…he’ll certainly recognize what Jake carries with him. I…don’t believe he’ll kill our friend. Although—that may still be bad news.” He held his silver hand over his face, considering for a moment. “…Black Spire won’t be safe for you, anymore, Isis. Not if the First Order seeks to hunt down Jake’s friends.”

“I can’t leave, Savi,” she said, voice trembling. “I’ve never known anywhere else...who will help the children? Who will disrupt their supply lines? You can’t lose a worker, Savi—“

He shook his head, extending a hand to hold hers. “Salju and I are still helping the children, we’ll continue to do everything we can. I’d rather lose you as a worker than lose your life. Do you trust me?” The question was casual, not the slightest bit aggressive or defensive. “To help you get someplace safe?”

“...I trust you with my life,” she replied, looking him dead in the eye.

Savi gave a small nod, seemingly more distracted as he began to rummage around his massive, disorganized shelf. “I know I have it somewhere…just—give me a moment.”

Isis stood in place, haphazardly wiping her face and nose with her sleeve. She sniffled, staring hard at the floor with pinched brows. She hated this. She hated them. For taking her home away. For taking Jake away. For taking her away from Savi. For taking everything.

Savi stepped closer after a few minutes, carefully setting something down in Isis’ hand. A small, aurodium disk, etched with stars and other markings Isis didn’t recognize. “A Jedi compass. Follow this, and it will lead you somewhere safe. A planet strong with the Force, where the First Order cannot take control.”

“Jedi?” she whispered, looking up at him. “Savi...” She didn’t know what to say. Something so small had entirely taken her breath away. It made her heart swell until it felt like it would burst, threatening to split at the places it was was already broken. Suddenly, it felt more real than it did before, threatening to bring her to her knees. She wrapped her arms around Savi’s trunk and hid her tear stained face in his shoulder, shivering. “I don’t want to leave you, Savi.”

Savi immediately hugged her back, his own voice full of unusual emotion. “You aren’t leaving me, Isis. Not for good. The First Order won’t last forever.”

“I love you,” she said, voice wobbling and cracking. “And I won’t forget you. I’m going to come back for you.”

He pulled away, sparkling eyes full of love and hope. “I wouldn’t doubt that for a second.“

Tears were rolling down her cheeks and he could see the conflict in her eyes. The hurt. The loss. The fear. But he could see his own love and hope there, too. “Thank you for helping me, Savi. For everything.”

_____________

It had been several months since Jake had been captured by the First Order. He’d slowly adjusted to the new routine—waking up to Ren, being forced to surrender his thoughts and dreams and memories to the commander. Then he’d be left alone, to reflect. He had begun depending on the daily visits from the trooper bringing him food, making constant attempts to chat with them. Of course, this never went anywhere. He longed for the chance to talk with anyone who wasn’t Kylo Ren. He sat on the cool, dark floor of his cell, soaked in sweat and tears from the daily interrogation. His vision was blurry, the world a vague blend of red and gray. One hand gripped his Kyber crystal tightly, one coherent thought bouncing around his skull. I’m gonna go insane, in this place.

As he felt his fingers in over his crystal, he was forced to feel the cold metal of the electric collar Ren had fitted him with. As long as he was wearing that, he found himself incapable of using the Force. One more way to make him feel helpless.

Cutting through the deafening silence, the door hissed open and four troopers marched in, crowded close together. Two of them turned to Jake but the other two marched to the back of the room. They carried a man between them, dropping him to the floor before marching out. The two troopers watching Jake backed out, rifles at the ready, and let the door close again. The new comer cursed under his breath, gathering himself to his knees. Jake couldn’t see his face or features but he wore the same kind of collar. It all happened in a flurry of startling movement but just as quickly as it happened, everything went quiet again.

Jake slowly, hesitantly backed away from the new arrival, blinking as he tried to discern if he was real. “…Woah.”

The man hobbled around until his back was against the wall before slumping back with a grunt to rest against it, legs awkwardly splayed in front of him. His hair was dark and curly, his skin olive and bruised— broken in some places. One eye was blackened and his full bottom lip was split. ”Kriffing bastards...” he grumbled, wincing as he tried to get as comfortable as he could.

The scrapper only mumbled, still squinting to take in the details of the stranger’s face. “…Wow.” He was louder this time, his voice echoing just a little from his position on the floor.

“Looks better than it feels,” he said, trying to keep his tone light. The man sighed, drawing in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. “...been here long?”

Jake scratched at his beard, sighing as he realized how long it’d gotten. “Uh…yeah. A while. Not sure—how long.” He sounded hoarse, as though talking was painful. He cleared his throat, trying to speak clearer. “I’m—‘m Jake. Guess we’re roommates.”

“I’m Poe,” he replied, the corner of his mouth quirking you in a smile. “Poe Dameron.”

He nodded for a second, finding the energy to return the smile. “Uh—what’re you in for?”

“Uhh...you know, espionage, theft. The works.” He seemed to be in light mood despite his injuries, keeping his tone friendly and almost jovial.

Jake gave a small nod, slowly and carefully pulling himself up onto the bed. “Right. I, uh…stole, too. Among other stuff.”

He rubbed his nose, sniffing hard. “Uh—by the way…Ren comes in here a lot. I dunno if you’ve met him.”

Poe winced, making a disgruntled sound. “Not yet. But it’s coming quick, I’m sure. He’s not too fond of the Resistance, I hear, so it’s only a matter of time.”

Jake raised an eyebrow, moving to hold his crystal again. “The Resistance?”

“Yep,” he said, nodding slowly. “The only thing that makes this bantha shit worth it.”

“Are you guys—“ He leaned forward, feeling his optimism peak for the first time in months. “Like the Rebellion? People are fighting back?”

“Yeah!” he said with notable enthusiasm, eyes sparkling. “We always have been, since the Empire. The rebels never went away.”

He gave a thrilled, wide smile, hunching forward. “That’s—what I was doing! On—on my home planet. We were fighting them. Protecting people.”

“That’s what I like to hear!” He sounded proud, smiling at him as much as he could manage with his split lip. “That why you ended up here?”

Jake found himself blushing, rubbing his cheek to hide it. “Well—Yeah. And Ren was…interested in me. And my master, I think.”

Poe shifted to sit up straighter, bracing his weight on his hands. “Your master? What do you mean by that?”

He gave a nervous laugh, patting the spot next to him on the cot. “I, uh…‘spose I could call myself a Jedi Padawan. I’ve been training for a couple years.”

His eyes narrowed as he moved to sit beside him. “No way,” he said, still smiling. “No way. You’re kidding right?”

Jake shook his head, managing to tug his necklace past the collar. “I—have this ability. Apparently, not even a lot of Jedi have it. I can…sense memories when I touch objects. Feel the echo they left behind, in the Force. I found this guy’s lightsaber, and—saw his memories. So…y’know.” He pointed upwards, at nothing. “He decided to help me out. Show me how to use it.”

His eyebrows shot up to his hair line and his head cocked forward, like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “‘Decided to help you out?’ Like—like a ghost?”

He found himself grinning, his shoulders slumping with relief. “Yeah, exactly like a ghost. Obi-Wan, I’m his Padawan. Or—I was. Before I got stuck in here.”

”Waitwaitwait—“ he said, holding up a hand. ”The Obi-Wan Kenobi? Like, Luke Skywalker’s Kenobi?”

He snorted, feeling his face heat up again. “Uh—yeah, that guy. Guess he likes me. And…Ren, y’know.” He waved a hand. “He can read what I do. Wants Kenobi’s memories. And...I think--” He lowered his voice, as though Kylo could’ve been listening. “I think he wants to use my power, this—psychometry stuff. Because he can’t do it—even Snoke can’t!”

Poe suddenly looked very serious, leaning in to whisper back to Jake. “...you’re being entirely honest with me right now.”

He gave a tiny, proud, hopeful smile, nodding once. “Totally, Poe. I’d show you, but—y’know.” One finger extended, pointing to the shock collar secured on his neck.

“Okay, Listen very carefully,” he said, speaking fast now. “We’re gonna bust outta here. They’re gonna mess us up but we’re gonna figure a way out—“ The door opened then, two troopers crowing the frame. Poe rose to his feet quickly, facing them with a stony and defiant expression.

Jake barely moved, hardly flinching at the harsh sound. He’d clearly grown used to this, based on the way his eyes and mouth drooped.

The two troopers moved in and immediately moved on Poe, crowding him back against the wall. Despite his protest and resistance, they managed to cuff him, hands behind his back. A loud thunk! and the heavy metal restraint magnetized and sucked itself to the wall, leaving Poe helpless and trapped. Without so much as a glance toward Jake, the pair of troopers exited, leaving the door open behind them. It was then that Kylo Ren stepped through, carrying a glossy black box in his gloves hands.

Jake stood immediately, rushing to try and help Poe the best he could. His voice was shaky, uneven. But also indignant. “Hey—what was the point of that?! We can’t fight you, anyway—“

“Enough.” Kylo set the box down on a bunk, not bothering to look at him. “The Pilot doesn’t matter. He is useless to me and I don’t want his interference.”

He clenched his jaw, forcing himself to stare the helmet down. “What’s that?”

“I’m testing your ability,” he said simply, removing his hands from the box. It looked to be made of wood, highly glossed and reflective, but it whirred to life, hissing as it split open and the top lifted.

The movement filled the air with the acrid smell of sulphur and a light puff of gray dust. Resting inside the box, on top ash and brittle chips of brimstone, lay something familiar to Jake, if only through dreams. Mangled, scorched, and twisted— the helmet. A black helmet with insect eyes that showed you your own primal fear reflected.

Jake nearly flinched, instantly recognizing the helmet. Obi-Wan’s final moments replayed in his head, the vivid memory of the bright red lightsaber. Even then, he found himself barely able to move as he stared down at the opened box. He whispered, seemingly unaware he was speaking at all. “Anakin…”

“Go on,” Kylo said, taking a step back. “Touch it.” His tone was easy and calm but nearly goading.

He glanced back up at Ren, swallowing hard. He could hear his master’s warnings, echoing in his mind. Beware using psychometry, as it can lead to temptation from the dark side. Anger and hatred can bleed into your own consciousness, if you— Jake extended one hand, slowly and shakily moving to lift the helmet up.

“Do it,” he said, speaking quickly, looming over Jake. “Do it and tell me what you see!”

He instantly began to falter, feeling his legs give out below him. His free hand flew out, gripping Kylo’s arm for support. Tears were pouring from his eyes, sliding down his cheeks and falling onto the cell floor. “No— no—” Jake’s vision began to falter, red and white-hot flames beginning to overtake everything he could see.

That horrible, deep, labored breathing blared in his ears, rendering everything else inaudible. All he could understand was rage, and hatred, and pain— They abandoned me— He would never understand— We will be together again—

That voice. Deep and otherworldly and inhuman, clear and distinct in Jake’s mind as if it were his own. “Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.”

Somewhere far away, Poe’s voice was screaming, raging against the world. But he was far away and under water, barely making a ripple through the space between. Kylo, however, was much clearer. His gloves hand gripped Jake’s arm tightly, unyielding. “What do you see?” He asked urgently, voice clipping through his modulator, rushed and tense.

Jake was only able to gasp, his words jumbled and incoherent. “The—the lava—everything’s red—“

Kylo’s voice stayed clear and strong, a physical presence beside Jake in his mind. “More— Go farther!”

There was a woman there, the most beautiful woman in the world in that moment. Beautiful hair plaited against her nape and big eyes looking up at him like nothing else mattered. The swell of her belly sparked a fierce protective instinct in his chest, wild and defensive. And then—

“That you’ve turned to the dark side, that—that you killed younglings!”

A creeping disappointment churned in his guts, hard like stone and just as heavy. She doesn’t understand, I have to make her understand.

“Anakin, all I want is your love.”

”Love won’t save you, Padme. Only my new powers can do that.”

”At what cost? You’re a good person, don’t do this!”

”I won’t lose you the way I lost my mother. I’m becoming more powerful than any Jedi has ever dreamed of and I’m doing it for you. To protect you.”

The wind was so loud now, the sound of the lava river a static in his ears as he watched Padme’s face fall and her eyes well up, watched her back away from him, from his protective and desperate grasp.

“I don’t believe what I’m hearing. Obi-Wan was right. You’ve changed!”

His rage built inside of him, filling him to the top and flooding his lungs with wounds and blood.

”You’re breaking my heart!”

Obi-Wan did this. The betrayal, the grief— how dare he? How dare Padme? Why can’t she understand that he’s doing this for her?

”Liar!”

She had to be punished now, for the lies, for the double crossing. He should have known better than to believe that she was here to join him. Her naive heart was being played by the man who wanted to kill him, to stop him from saving her and he couldn’t let this slide, not now when the tides were turning.

Jake heard a high, pitiful scream, only realizing after a few seconds that it was his own voice tearing through the room. “P—Padme— stop! We have to stop! I can’t—we can’t hurt her—“

She lay on the ground now, as graceful and lovely as she always was. But now he was shaking, the tempest inside of him nearly uncontrollable.

Obi-Wan did this! He made me do this!

”You turned her against me!”

”You have done that yourself”

”YOU WON’T TAKE HER FROM ME!”

Jake slowly, finally fell to his knees, his hand still gripping the helmet as though it were a lifeline. “How could they— no! No, that’s not how it happened—“ He stared up, through Kylo, up at something neither of the other men could see. “Master—“

The scene changed then, that familiar vision that had violently shoved him down this path. But it was different now, looking up at Obi-Wan through a blinding wall of searing pain and hatred. His whole body aches beyond ache and burned beyond burned, flames licking his skin and burning him to the bone.

”I HATE YOU!”

He let out another horrible scream, beyond noticing that his shock collar was sparking and blinking bright red. ”Make it stop, I can’t—I can’t—“

“Control your mind!” Kylo’s words bounced around in his head with a strange echo, something so solid and yet so ethereal, otherworldly that it reverberated to Jake’s core, rattling him in a way that no physical touch could ever achieve. The pain and the agony swirled around in his body like a Star in collapse, burning so bright it threatened to turn him to ash and brittle bone before it subsided, thrusting him back into the real world like a punch to the gut.

Jake was only able to stare up at the ceiling, his vision growing blurry as his senses returned. It burns. My neck burns. My head—

He moaned quietly, trying to force one hand to hold his aching temple. Even then, he couldn’t move. He made an attempt to speak, almost unsettled by the garbled nonsense that tumbled out of his mouth. His body began to convulse, twitching and jerking on the cell floor.

Kylo stood and watched, waiting for the fit to pass. There was nothing that he could hit his head on and he would come out of it eventually. The sight only made Poe angrier, making him yank and tug at his wrists. “DO SOMETHING!” he shouted, snarling at Ren. “Don’t Just stand there, help him!”

It was a long few minutes before Jake seemed to be recovering, slowly managing to turn on his side and wipe some drool from his mouth. His eyes drifted to Poe first, squinting through the pain. “What…what happened?”

Poe was red in the face and fuming, staring down Kylo like he was trying to kill him with his thoughts alone. Ren crouched down beside Jake, looking down at him. “...tell me what you saw.”

He swallowed hard, knowing Ren wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. His voice shook, even as he began inching away from Ren. “I—Padme. I saw Padme. I— he broke her heart. He hurt her.” Jake rubbed his mouth again, feeling increasingly nauseous. “He—was so furious. Angry. My—my master. He blamed him.”

“For what?”

“For…for Padme. She turned on him. Saw what he became. He—thought she would’ve stayed, if—m-my master hadn’t gotten involved. He hated him for it. And then—the lava… I’d—I’ve seen that before. From my master.”

He inched even further away, shrinking back into the angled cell wall. “I...” Jake sniffed, wiping the excess tears from his eyes. “I felt his anger. From the lies and stories Palpatine told him—“

“Lies?” Kylo asked, voice low and dangerous. “There were no lies, Jedi. Only difficult truths and power.”

He gulped, shrugging a little as he began to feel more alert. “I’m gonna have to—agree to disagree on that, bud.”

“Then I will ensure that you see the error of your ways,” he said, raising to his full height. “One way, or another.”

Jake glanced back at Poe, wiping a bit of sweat from his forehead. “If that makes you feel better.”

It was like a spider crawling in Jake’s skull, the sensation hitting suddenly. An itch he couldn’t scratch. And then, the spider bit him, a searing pain clouding his head and filtering into his body as his muscles tensed, refusing to relax. It made him break into a cold sweat, made his stomach churn. Kylo was digging. Digging in his head.

Poe started to struggle again, yelling. ”No! I’m not gonna let you do that— you can’t do what you did to me, to him!”

Kylo could see a few distinct memories quite clearly. Jake’s own recollections, his own thoughts.

Hundreds of ordinary days at the scrapyard. Jake’s own hands, digging through twisted and rusted metal to pull out undamaged pieces. Hundreds of nights at the cantina, sitting with the other Gatherers and laughing over the loud Huttese music. Everything seemed to swirl around that cantina.

Jake was younger now. Smaller, barely able to see over the bar counter he was sitting at. Watching a familiar face, an older man in a Corellian vest with a Wookiee by his side. Jake treasured this memory, it was overrun with excitement and awe. “Yeah, Luke was pretty heroic. I did most of the heavy lifting, though. A Jedi can only do so much—sometimes, you need a real smuggler.”

Han Solo gestured to Jake. “This kid gets it!”

An elderly man, this one Kylo didn’t recognize. He extended one silver, gleaming hand, delicately setting a stone down in Jake’s hand—a blue Kyber crystal. “It called to you, young one. Take good care of it.”

Some memories were more recent, jumbled and mixed together with the visions he’d received from his master. Snippets of faces and words, carefully stored in his brain as educational lessons. “I never planned on killing you. But I will make you share my pain, Kenobi.”

“If you strike me down—“

Kylo couldn’t stop the rush of rage that billowed out of him, rushing through the room like a tidal wave. He wanted to make him hurt now. He clenched harder around Jake’s brain, carelessly digging deeper, intent on a tantrum. “Solo? You idolize trash.”

Jake only gasped, too hoarse to scream by now. Stop it, he wanted to beg, but all that came out was a helpless blubbering.

More of his friends. A thin, pale, freckled woman, grinning and explaining an ancient Jedi mural. That same old man, lovingly patting his shoulder. The Blutopian woman, grumbling something to him in Huttese. An old droid, dancing and fiddling with knobs as rainbow-colored lights flashed. The Millennium Falcon, touching down at the Black Spire’s docking bay.

An older human woman, mixing a drink at the bar. “You look just like him, y’know. ‘S those eyes.”

Music blaring in Jake’s ears, loud Huttese singing blasting from headphones as he swam. He was deep underwater, excitement and curiosity bubbling through him as he pried open an ancient chest.

He was craning his neck again, looking over his shoulder to watch Han Solo as he played Sabacc with an Ithorian at a corner booth. “C’mon, Dok. Y’know I’m not betting the ship. Tell ya what—“

Kylo retreated just enough to speak to Jake but not enough to relinquish his control. “Who?” He asked, leaning in close and pitching his voice terrifyingly low. “Who are you, Jedi?”

He gasped and sobbed in terror and pain, pushing even further against the cold wall. “You—you know who I am!”

Kylo’s fingers wrapped around Jake’s neck, just hard enough to keep him in place. “Solo knew you! Who are you?” He shouted, voice clipping through his helmet.

Jake’s eyes grew wide instantly, his face soaked with sweat and panicked tears. “I—he knows everyone! Everybody in BSO—you saw yourself, I met him twice!”

He suddenly became deathly quiet. Somehow, he was more terrifying when he wasn’t yelling. “He said you have the same eyes. Who, Jedi?”

He sniffed, one hand desperately moving to grip Ren’s wrist. “He was talking about my dad—what’s it to you?”

“...who. Is. He.”

Jake held back another sob, inhaling sharply before answering. “I—dunno. Never met the guy.”

His voice suddenly rose as he pushed Jake harder into the wall. “His name!”

He yelped, instinctively kicking his legs out in protest. “Fias! Fias Buir—that’s his name!”

He jerked him forward and slammed his back, throwing Jake’s head against the wall to discourage his squirming. “See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Jake wasn’t able to muster a retort, the sudden impact seeming to add up with everything else he’d just been through. He blinked, staring blankly in Poe’s direction. His vision was still blurry.

Poe was leaned away from the wall as much as possible, staring holes into Ren as if he would maul him if he weren’t restrained. Ren stood and took his leave, saying nothing at all as he swept out the door, leaving the two troopers outside to release Poe. The man in question was at his side in a moment, carefully moving his body to sit him up straight and to look him over.

The Batuuan barely moved, letting out a choked sound as he slumped back against the wall. He opened his mouth to speak again, but barely managed a panicked mumble.

“Hey, hey,” Poe said softly, holding Jake’s face in an effort to make his eyes focus. “It’s just us, buddy, you’re okay...”

He let out a small whine, moving to hastily rub his eyes. “‘S—never felt like that—what’d he do to me—“

“Some weird brain-Force-shit,” he sighed, pushing Jake’s hair out of his eyes. “He did it to me, too.”

He felt his face heat up at the contact, a strange sort of relief overtaking him. “Everything Anakin saw…the dark side…”

Poe’s eyebrows pinched sympathetically and he frowned. “I’m sorry, Jake. I’m gonna get you out of here. I promise.”

Jake found himself leaning into Poe’s side, mumbling something in Huttese. “You—got a plan?”

“I’m working on it,” he said, shifting to hold all of Jake’s weight. “I won’t let you down.”

Jake was mostly quiet until morning, seemingly startled awake by the whoosh of the trooper sending in their breakfast. He fully sat up for the first time, pacing over to hand the tray to Poe. “You can have most of it…” He mumbled, still not quite making eye contact.

He hopped up onto his bunk, his voice only a tad less rough and hoarse than it had been the night before. “…Poe?” He called out, clearing his throat a few seconds after.

“Hm?” Poe answered sleepily, blinking are him bleary eyes. “...wuzzup, buddy?”

Jake swallowed, eyes reflecting the faint red lights above him. “I have a plan. To get us outta here. Can you fly a transport ship?”

He huffed a little laugh, sitting up to stretch his aching and bruised body. “I can fly anything,” he said with a reassuring confidence. “But don’t think I’m gonna let you get away without eating.”

Jake gave a small sigh, reluctantly reaching for one of the packaged crackers. “I still feel sick, but…Obi-Wan would lecture me about eating, too,” he began to explain as he chewed, wiping his mouth every few seconds. “So—I have a plan. We’re gonna get the trooper to come inside, and you’re gonna take his blaster. Then we’re gonna find my lightsaber and find our way off this thing. Then—you can fly us someplace safe, right?” He paused, tilting his head. “I—didn’t even have time to ask you. Do you—rebels have a base? Where would we be going?”

“I can’t tell you,” he said around a mouthful of ration. “But I can take you there. Don’t worry about what happens after we get a ship. I’ll handle that.”

Jake nodded, seeming to understand. “Must be good luck, I ran into such a great pilot. I can’t fly to save my life. But—anyways!” He jumped off his bunk, apparently in better spirits. “I need you to scream.”

Poe gave him a questioning look, struggling to swallow his last bite of dry and ashy ration. “—s’ream?”

He had a wide, wild smile, only nodding once with determination. “Yeah. Like I just punched you in the throat outta nowhere. Like— bad. Like I started attacking you.”

He laughed, shrugging. “Alright. I’m not above humiliating myself to get out of here.” He stood up and dusted off his hands before clearing his throat. “Here goes nothing.” From another prospective, the sound would be horrifying. A strangled screaming of pain that cut through the air. But for Jake, every awkward twist of his face was obvious. And comical.

Jake did his best to suppress a laugh, taking his position beside the door just as the trooper called out. “Stars, what’s going on in there?!”

Poe just paused for a moment before letting out another scream, slamming the side of his fist into the wall for effect. He looked over at Jake. Ready?

The Padawan only smiled as the door slid open, clenching his fists in preparation. The trooper had his blaster up, his voice tight and tense. “Prisoner 391, what—“

Jake lunged, choking out the trooper and snatching his blaster from him. He fired without hesitation, reaching down to dig through the trooper’s belt once he’d collapsed. “You can take the blaster. He should have the control remote for our—yes!” He clicked down on the small device, sighing with relief as their shock collars emitted a harsh beep. “Finally—hated wearing this thing.” He turned back to Poe with a grin, holding out the trooper’s rifle. “You can probably shoot better than I can.”

As he was tugging his metallic collar off, he flashed an excited grin in Poe’s direction—running on pure adrenaline. “Before we hijack a ship—I need to find my lightsaber. You’ll come with me?”

Poe shook himself out with relief as he tore the collar off, stretching his neck for the first time in days. “Of course, I will,” he said, taking the rifle. “I’ve got your six.”

Jake only stopped jogging when they left the cell block, stopping at a corner to get his bearings. “Looks like the mess hall on the right…and—up ahead. Private quarters, probably.” He whispered under his breath, pinching his eyes shut. “Master. Help me find it—please.”

A softly lit image appeared behind his eyes, hallways twisting and turning until the came to an obsidian black door. Your lightsaber. Obi-Wan’s voice whispered. But beware.

He gestured forward again, glancing over his shoulder to ensure Poe was still following. “This’ll be quick, I promise.”

Poe was following him at a nearly sideways angle, carrying the rifle at the ready. His training was obvious. “I’m with you, buddy. Let’s get your stuff.”

Jake tried his best to mimic Poe’s stance, rushing forward when he recognized the distinct black door. “This is it. You, uh—can you slice door panels—“

“Nope. Move—“ Poe shifted him out of the way and fired off his rifle, frying the door pad. Briefly passing Jake his rifle, he shoved his fingers in the door crack and started pulling.

Jake grinned a bit as he worked, glancing back down the hall and gripping the rifle. He dared to turn his torso around the corner, immediately flinching and holding his hands up—immediately before smacking into a stormtrooper. “Uh—hi.”

Poe froze, glancing over his shoulder. This was bad. This was really bad. "Uhhhh..." The trooper paused for a moment, out of surprise, before moving the blaster on their hip. "Identify yourself!"

He gulped hard, before holding one hand up and waving it. ”You don’t need to know who we are. There’s nothing wrong here.”

The trooper leaned back a little, shoulders relaxing. "I don't need to know who you are." Poe's warped with confusion. "What?"

Jake tried to suppress a smile, letting out a huff of relief as the trooper walked off. “Can’t believe that worked!”

"What even just happened?" Poe asked through a grunt, wrenching the door open wide enough for them to turn sideways and slip through.

He rushed into the room as soon as he could, slipping through the opening as he spoke. “The Force. We can influence the thoughts of people with weak willpower.” His eyes raked over the simple, utilitarian quarters, eventually rushing over to a metallic black chest. “I think it’s in here—“

Poe followed him in, taking the rifle back and walking in backwards to keep an eye on the door. "Let's not spend too much time here, buddy. I got a bad feeling about this room."

Jake hummed in agreement, gasping with joy when he found his lightsaber. “I got it! Didn’t even wrap it up…” He quickly rose to stand again, tightly gripping the leather of the handle. “Let’s get to the hangar. You can pick the ship.” He was already in much better spirits, his eyes and smile brighter than before.

"Let's get the hell out of here," Poe said with an audible sense of relief. What could stop them now that the Jedi has his lightsaber?

Jake broke into a jog as they started down the hall again, eyes darting down to the emitter—or, what was left of it. “Uh…Poe, I forgot to mention—“ He swallowed, eyes widening slightly as they paced into the massive hangar—briefly distracted by the endless expanse of space outside the energy field. “Uh…this—this thing doesn’t exactly work, yet.”

Poe stared at him, yanking him off to one side to hide behind several plasisteel containers. "What?" he hissed, looking extremely concerned. "You said you were a Jedi!"

Jake’s cheeks burned red, his hand gripping the handle harder. “I—I am! I’m a Padawan, but—“ He held it out, for Poe to see closer. “It’s broken. I haven’t been able to fix it yet!”

“I was fixing it, before I got kidnapped—“

Poe winced, almost flinching. “It’s fine— it’s fine! It’s okay, it’s fine. We’re fine. We can manage,” he said quickly, shaking the expression off his face.

The Padawan swallowed hard with embarrassment, quickly glancing over the hangar. We can still do this. “If we really run, we can make it to that stealth ship. Probably doesn’t shoot much, but it’ll be fast. That work for you?”

Poe nodded quickly, glancing over his shoulder in the direction of the ship. “That’s a good plan, Jake,” he said, doing a nervous double take. “And when we get back home, we’re gonna fix your lightsaber.”

_________

Leia paced behind her desk, worrying the large gold ring on her index finger. It had been weeks since Poe’s last transmission and while that wasn’t unusual for a situation like this, it was quite unusual for the commander to be captured. Doubtless, the man in question was just fine, biding his time to find a way out and come back to base in a blaze of glory. Too much like his mother, she thought to herself with a hint of amusement.

Another pilot, still in her bright orange flight-suit, suddenly rushed through the office doorway. Oona Candor, Poe’s second-in-command—who’d been in charge of the Squadron since his disappearance.

“General, it’s Poe. He’s back, just touched down with a First Order stealth ship. And—he says he has a new recruit with him. A Jedi.”

Leia stared at Oona, mouth going dry for a moment. It couldn’t be. “A Jedi?” Be rational.

Across the base, Jake found himself more anxious than ever as he was examined by the medical droid. It had ordered him to lie down, reportedly detecting head trauma.

Yeah, obviously, he found himself thinking. He began to feel even more antsy and nervous without Poe, who’d quickly been moved somewhere else to be similarly examined. He heard the doors whoosh open behind him, clutching his lightsaber tight enough to hurt.

“Your heart rate is remarkably high. I would recommend breathing exercises.”

“I’d like a moment alone with the new arrival, thank you.” It was a woman’s voice, firm but friendly, from the doorway.

The boy didn’t seem threatening to Leia, at least—not at first glance. He was wearing the same gray uniform as Poe, a hint of blue shining out from his necklace. He stared up at Leia for a brief moment, his anxiety seeming to ease a little as he smiled. His voice was a small mumble, hoarse and shy.

“Princess Leia…”

She gave him a kind smile as she approached his side, reaching out to lay a hand on his shoulder. “You’ve come a long way to find yourself here, haven’t you?”

He gave a quick nod, shifting to face her fully on the bed. “I…yeah. I’m—Poe’s friend. We escaped together, and…I can’t exactly go home. He said I’d have a place here.”

“He was correct.” She took a seat near by, slowly lowering herself to sit. “We welcome everyone home here.”

Jake managed a small smile, finally pushing himself to make eye contact. “It must be luck…he—he knew you. My Master.”

“I was told you were a Jedi. Who is your master?” She sounded genuinely curious, eyes inquisitive.

He blushed a bit, scratching the back of his head—holding out his lightsaber with his free hand. The design seemed immediately familiar to Leia, even if it was clearly aged. The emitter had completely been hacked off, although it was clear this man had tried to repair it. He’d wrapped the handle in leather, likely to make gripping it easier on him.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi. This used to be his lightsaber.”

Her face softened considerably as she reached out to hold the ruined hilt. “Where did you find this?” she asked, looking back up at him with a nostalgic smile.

Jake swallowed, turning the weapon over in his hands. It’d been months since he’d seen it, and he found so much comfort in holding it again. “I…found it on the scrapyard. While I was working. I’m Batuuan, we’re—in the Outer Rim. So we don’t get a lot of interesting finds. But…I found this, and—I got visions when I touched it. Obi-Wan called it psychometry.”

“He speaks to you? Through the Force?” She took her seat again, fighting the urge to lay a hand over her heart.

He nodded, a fond smile spreading over his face. “Yeah…pretty often. And—now, I can control my visions. Feel memories and see things through this lightsaber. The…echoes he left behind.”

She listened patiently as he spoke, nodding. “You’re fortunate to have a master like Obi-Wan,” she said. “And I’m very curious about your special ability.”

He let out a small snort, shrugging slightly. “So was Kylo Ren. Apparently, it’s pretty rare.”

“It is,” she agreed. She shifted in her seat, sitting up straighter. “It was rare even among the Jedi. It isn’t something you can learn. You must be born with it.”

Jake gave a tiny nod, one hand absently moving to hold his Kyber crystal. “I think that’s why Ren kept me. Just before we escaped, he—made me use it. Poe saw it all. I…I know the Jedi are gone.” He turned the stone over between his fingers. “But my master considers me his Padawan. He’s taught me some stuff—with the Force.”

Leia smiled knowingly, amused and pleasant. “Not all of them are gone,” she said.

He shifted in his seat, leaning forward inquisitively. “Wait—really? Who’s left?”

“Luke, for one. But there are more out there, passing on their knowledge,” she said, gesturing minutely. “I trained.”

Jake’s entire face perked up, eyes full of wonder. “Maybe you could teach me a few things. Once I—fix this lightsaber.

“I will help you,” she assured, standing to move to his side. “And I’ll even help you fix that lightsaber.”