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Moonlit Reflections In Rapture

Chapter Text

“Never imagined this.” Han murmured, sitting up in their bed late at night. Ben’s tiny head resting on the crook of his father’s arm. “Having a kid. Even wanting a kid. But now he’s here and—“

“And you’re a dad.” Leia had leaned closer, unable to resist the chance to tease her husband. “Just think hotshot, someday you might even be a granddad.”

Han’s chuckle had warmed her. “Speak for yourself sweetheart. Me, I ain’t ever getting that old.”

Bloodline, location 207

Chapter Text

A loud roar releases from his lungs as he watches his skin peel from the cold yellow BACTA liquid gel that immersed his body. It feels as if it is dissolving his hands to the bone. He looks over to see his mother’s BACTA slosh as feline-like creatures escort her from her tank to a platform, leaving him. Another salvo of electric shock therapy zaps through the BACTA gel as he attempts move the tank, but cannot, as he is too small. He is four standard planet rotations old. He screams in agony until his mother grabs and embraces him while he cries. “Mommy, please. Never again. Don’t leave me.”

A quiet, soothing calm to her voice, she whispers to him, “Oh, my son--”

Her voice cuts off at an abrupt whip across her back as the Zygerrian slaver swings it on her and snarls, “Move along, slave and take your youngling with you.”

She arches her back to withstand the pain as he hugs her to attempt to absorb the pain himself. He says to her, “I love you, Mommy.”

The crowd roars as new meat is thrown on a repulsorlift floating stage for the aristocracy to bid on the new, fresh slaves. A female Zygerrian in fine clothing speaks in trader’s tongue. “Our recent arrivals from a dead planet, Sojourn.” She turns to see her inventory, which consists of brutes, teenage girls and a naïve mother and child. She lifts her hand and harkens the mother and child to come forward. “First bid, 2000 credits. A human woman breeder with her child of -- two cycles old. We will sell them--” She surveys her crowd willing to buy. “Together. To a loving starter house for a core planet.”

The child hears the confused words about his age and clings to his mother. Then the Zygerrian slave handlers whispers to the auctioneer, covering the microphone.

“No! We agreed to sell them separate! The breeder goes back to stock, and the child can be a stable boy or fodder for beasts.”

The auctioneer nods to comply. “Breeder will be sold separately from her child.”

The child pushes the slave handlers back without touching them, and with his thoughts, the dust on the platform rises into the eyes of the slave handlers. He kicks the auctioneer and runs back to his coughing mother to gaze into her worried eyes. The slavers lash their vibrowhips onto their arms and the boy and his mother cower at the pain that sears through their backs. The child sees the handlers wind their whips to beat them again, and he stares at the handles of the whips to heat them to a burn on their bare hands, like the corroded BACTA tank. The slavers drop the whips, screaming in agony. He places out his hands and as if on command, the whips come to him. He swings them to beat the Zygerrian slave handlers and auctioneers as the security guards race to fire their blasters at him.

Guards rush to the platform to save the auctioneer as the child breaks the chains and cuffs of the other slaves held on the platform. The brutes take a slave girl each, jump from the twenty meter-high suspended platform, and run. It is only the child and his mother, who is held in the chokehold of a slave handler. The child beats him with the vibrowhip but it is not enough to release her. Then, in a very dark voice, he speaks. “You will release my mother, now!”

Both his mother and the slave handler look at him as his hands drop from her throat.

“Kill yourself.”

“No! Do not do that. It is not right,” the mother pleads with him.

“Kill yourself, now!”

The slave handler stands in a trance, walks toward the edge of the platform and—

A small young Toydarian flies to them along with two IG-RM Thug Droids and they immediately cage the boy and his mother. He purchased them before the ruckus. “What do you say my little vermin from Sojourn?”

The boy attempts to reach into mind, but is unable to see his thoughts. It seems the Toydarian resists his mind trick subjugation.

The Toydarian circles both mother and the boy as his wings flap rapidly. “Who do you think you are? A Jedi?” He cackles at the boy’s rage. “I am Watto and I own you.” He blows a crystalline powder concoction to knock both mother and child unconscious.

 

***

 

Ben Solo jolts from bed from a horrific nightmare on a sandy planet. As his vision clears, his mind remains in confusion and unable to decipher where he is. He looks down and discovers he has wet himself. He covers his tear-filled eyes as a droid rolls into his domicile, alerted by his scream.

“Master Ben? Are you alright?”

His pale hands move from his eyes, which glow red-orange. He roars at the top of his lungs as all items in his room levitate and begin to rotate around the room. Small items he crushes and spikes into the durasteel walls. His hands shake as he feels the metal of the droid bend to his will and implode. He rises from his bed and sets fire to his sheets and blanket, throwing them into a corner to burn. He watches the door like prey, ready to pounce on anyone who asks him a meaningless question again.

“Ben? Ben! It is just a night terror. You had a nightmare. It’s only a scary dream.” Leia, his mother, rushes into his quarters and soothes him. She sees the whirlwind disaster as small items in mid-air drop to the floor. “Breathe, Ben. Like Uncle Luke told you. Breathe. Please. I need you to find your calm for me. I need you to do that, sweetheart. Mommy loves you.”

Ben hears the whispering echoes in his mother’s and the woman’s voice together, but he is unable to see her with his direct vision. Ben senses her presence through the Force like selenophile and it soothes him. Her voice compels him to follow her directions as he takes a deep breath, and then another. The rage in his mind like a tormenting wind dies, the fire in his eyes quells, and he finds his calm under the sliding stars. He opens his eyes as their raging glow wanes to his natural brown color. He smiles awkwardly and says in his boyish voice, “Mommy, I-I’m sorry. I wet…I’ll go to take a shower, now.”

“Ben!” Leia grabs him before he turns and hugs him tight. “Alright, love. Just know, I will always love you.” She looks into his eyes whose unnatural glow continues to wane. He specializes in the  fourteen-year-old teenage mentality that frustrates all parents. “You are special to me. Understand? Show me that you understand?”

A slight spark flares in Ben’s eyes, albeit for a second. He hugs her tightly to his beanpole-tall frame and darts into the refresher for a shower.

Chapter Text

Unkar was waiting outside as she pulled up. He blinked at her slowly, waiting until she’d shut off the speeder and hopped down.

“It’s a Ghtroc 690,” Rey said. “Fully restored, working hyperdrive, everything but the laser cannon and the water tanks. Everything else fully operational, Unkar.”

He blinked at her again, then turned his heavy head to the side, looking toward the airfield. That was when the sound of the engine reached her, and Rey turned to look, as well, just in time to see the Ghtroc rising into the air. It ascended quickly, almost too fast. It banked hard, its nose jerking up. The main engines ignited, and the blue flare of ionized gases jetted from the aft end.

Then the Ghtroc was a dot in the blue sky.

Then it was gone.

Unkar grunted and headed back inside. Rey heard the outpost coming to life again around her, the voices of scavengers and venders, Niima returning to normal.

Rey stood there a long time. When she finally moved it was to mount her speeder and drive home, back to the walker. She knew she should be angry, but she wasn’t. It took until that night until she was sitting on her blankets, punching the lenses out of a battered Stormtrooper helmet for her to understand why. It had always been an issue of trust, but never with Devi and Strunk. It had been about trusting herself.

Devi and Strunk had wanted the one thing that Rey absolutely hadn’t; they’d even told her so right from the start. But she hadn’t listened. She hadn’t heard them, because it was the one thing Rey never allowed herself to consider.

They wanted to leave.

But Rey had to stay. At least until they came back for her.

If she left, her parents would have no way of finding her.

She sighed, the sound echoing through the cramped hull that made her home. She shifted over to the workbench, switched the computer on, and leaded her flight simulator. She selected a Ghtroc 720, a suborbital flight with calm atmospheric conditions and no complications.

Rey flew.

But it wasn’t the same.

Chapter Text

Rey combs through her sack, searching for the download codes of the last refurbished ship she found and fixed with Devi and Strunk. The one they stole from her. The Ghtroc 690 ship, a light personal shuttle for dignitaries. Unkar Plutt would have paid a lot for that ship, if Devi and Strunk had not stolen it, but for now, the portions he does give to her are below the worth of the quality junk she scavenges and cleans.

Rey attributes it to his anger for refurbishing a space-worthy ship under his nose with a working hyperdrive, which is hard to find in the sandy ship graveyards of Jakku. Most are leaking and irreparable. But Rey knows his anger with her is because Devi and Strunk left, and they seemed to be able to find working parts for his operation at Niima. The memory of his words is always right; Rey owes him her life. While grateful, she does not feel she should sacrifice her personal well-being for him. Some beings are greedy and Unkar Plutt, whatever his species, is the greediest she knows.

Then these download codes. They were Devi’s. Rey guesses the reason she has them is because it is Devi’s way of apologizing for taking the ship. But the codes contain all the sites they surveyed and scavenged. Spots claimed to have scavenger junk treasures. Many years ago, before Rey was born, the battle for Jakku took place and suddenly the old Imperial ships took a nosedive into the sand of the planet, forever entombed, never to share their secrets. By the time the scavengers came along to hock their picked off items, the electronics were fried, the engines dismantled or destroyed, and any usability of these ships and military equipment was no better than articles of weathered clothing and large ships of old metallic bone skeletons. It is as if the ships were ordered to destroy Jakku, but the desert got to them first.

As Rey trudges through the sand, she stores the download codes in a tiny comlink and plugs them in her monocular electroscope. Distance and range appear, as well as infrared spectrum that does not work in the sand. Rey switches to ultraviolet, then to tachyonic visual fields. That is when a tiny object, two thousand clicks away, reflects back sun energy. The sun is high at this time and the terrain at its hottest. No one dares venture in that sun without risk of broiling, but at two thousand clicks, it may be worth it to see what this energy dispersion is.

“It could just be a wing from a TIE that shifted in the sand,” Rey says to herself. But then the tachyonic field pulses for a moment, and then stops. Then there is a difference in wavelength, and the tachyon field pulses again. “Strange.”

Rey closes her eyes to feel the sun beat down on her and she stretches out with her feelings. She hears a voice whisper sweetly, “Release me. Come to me.”

Rey eyes jerk open as the voice speaks to her. “Who are you?” she yells out to the desert.

The shifting sands stay silent.

Her investigation would have to start the next day. By the time she made it to the suspected site, she would have to dig or climb or a combination of both. She would have to decipher why a tachyon pulse fires in the desert starship graveyards of Jakku.

“Another functional hyperdrive?”

She looks at her handheld weather forecast that indicates clear skies, which means the sand will not shift that much from wherever it is on Devi’s treasure-list. She would need to prepare and sell a few items to get enough water for the trip and maybe hire a dig team. She heads back to Niima Outpost and realizes she why works alone when she sees two scavengers fighting over a bulkhead. Perhaps she could take a hogsquattle that can sniff out metal, but she could not manage the stench at high noon.

As she stands in line for items, Unkar snorts at her when she tells him, “I want four tanks of water, and ten portions.”

“Off to a new dig, scavenger?”

Rey looks at him innocently. “Maybe.”

“I will fund your expedition for fifty percent of your find.”

Rey hates Unkar’s negotiations. He is never fair. “I’ll just take the water and portions, please.”

“You still owe me a ship.”

She cringes. Perhaps her scowl in front of everyone was unwise. It embarrassed her that her rebuilt starship was stolen right in front of her. Unkar was offended because he was never invited to be a part of the discovery and had a fast one pulled over him. She does not owe him a ship, but she would find one to give him when she found it. “Give me the water and portions, and I will get you a ship that is operational.”

Unkar trudges his stubby feet into the back, removes water tanks, and sets them out for her, but stiffs Rey on the portions. “Four portions.”

“I need six more.”

“Four. Or I impound your speeder bike.”

“NO! You can’t do that!”

“You owe me a ship. Get me one, and I will give you eight portions. You owe me that much.”

Rey knows it is about respect. She had stiffed him with the starship show at his outpost. She stifles her huff as she takes what he gives her. She scrapes the portions into her bag and lugs the heavy water tanks out the door to her speeder. The sun is to set in a hour, and she pours her last swig of water from her canteen onto the rags of her clothes and wipes her face clean. She places goggles over her head and covers her face to fly home.

With a whirr of her engine, she takes off and flies to the foot of her AT-AT and stumbles into her home, flopping on her cot to sleep. The trinkets of her life are still intact in her abode. Her Rebel X-wing doll, the days scored that she lived in the Imperial walker - an approximation of how long she has lived on Jakku, and her blankets on her hard cot. It is not a bad life to live; just lonely. Since she does not feel like eating, just sleeping. She would have to be up before sunrise to make her two thousand clicks northwest. Sleep, if she could sleep from the excitement of a new scavenger dig, would be good for her tonight.

 

***

 

Rey’s body flies freely over the moonlit water. She watches the movement of her reflections as she notices she wears a fabric alien to her that flows across her. It is soft, comfortable, and off-white, with beige and yellow-gold tones. Her hair is curled into ringlets with a light tiara band on her head. She sees an island, tropical with palm trees, where waves gently lap. She looks up to see a large castle atop a 20 meter mountain with steps that wind down to the beach. Torchieres line the pathway to the castle as she lifts her dress to climb the stairs. Her shoes are delicate and have low heels. She looks at her body: clean, devoid of scavenger starship engine grime. She races to the top to see her reflection in a large mirror. Her body’s aura glows gold as the lights turn green and the large doors open to a grand bedroom. There is a large bed, fit for royalty with Imperial pink rose petals strewn across it. A large center table is topped with a champagne bucket and flutes already filled with bubbling champagne. Rey steps into the room, in awe of the bright, moonlit walls, and she grabs a flute to drink the cool, bittersweet liquid. A fire crackles in the fireplace and she walks around, touching all the furniture in awe. She hears a knock at the door.

“Hello?” Her champagne flute refills by itself. She sets it down and races to descend down the stairs to the beach in the moonlight. She sits on a chopped palm tree stump that lies beside the embers of a once lively bonfire and waits. There is no one. Though comfortable, she sighs. “I’m so lonely.”

“Not with me,” a voice says from the veranda above that connects to the bedroom she just left.

It is a man’s voice. Rey looks for where the voice emanates from and sees a dark shadowy figure overlook the balcony and enter the bedroom. All she could see was his hair and the outlines of his ear and jaw. She races up the stairs to find him, but he is not there. He is not on the balcony. There is no one. She is alone, but she senses a spirit, a presence here. She speaks as the shadow swirls around her. “Who are you?”

“You will come to know me,” he says behind her, but like the wind, it wisps away before she sees him.

“Please. Don’t leave me.”

“I will find you. I promise…Rey.”

“How did you know my name–” Rey jolts awakes in her bed in the AT-AT. She looks at the time and has time to go back to her dream, but she cannot sleep. She breathes deeply to sleep, but her desperation to return to the dream only causes her to lie awake. She tosses around, trying to remember her dream, but it decays from her mind. Frustration builds as her brow narrows. She cannot remember the images that she saw. The tastes. The touch. She cries and tastes her salty tears from the frustration of her loneliness. The place felt so real, so pleasurable and so happy. But it was a dream, she tells herself. Not real.

 

***

 

"You've been so lonely," he murmured as he searched for what he needed.  "So afraid to leave." A thin smile crossed his face. "At night, desperate to sleep, you'd imagine an ocean. I can see it...I can see the island."  

 

***

 

The early morning fights the glow from the moon in the sky as she rises with the salty tracks of her tears dried on her face. She assembles her normal scavenger attire and when she looks in the mirror, a hairband glimmers across her head with one fallen ringlet of her hair. She smiles with elation, and then frowns in utter confusion as she holds the hairband in her fingers. She quickly removes it and gets ready to go to the scavengers’ location. A Star Destroyer is in part of the aft, where she saw the coordinates for the reflection.

The night’s stars still twinkle in the sky when Rey leaves her abode. Her speeder has enough fuel, and she has enough water and portions to search for the secret locations of digs from Devi and Strunk. She flies past a small spiritual village, Tuanul, before many have risen for the day and goes fifty clicks further. As she passes, an old man rises from his hut and waves to her with confusion, but re-enters the hut. Rey does not know him.

As the sun rises from behind her, the glimmer of the sands shines on the small Eta-class shuttle. It glistens as more of its dorsal wing appears, bruised from the sands of Jakku. She parks her speeder at a sand bank and looks at the dune to estimate the climb heights. She opens her electromonocular that oddly starts to encounter noise as the winds rustles. A voice whispers in her mind. “Trust the Force.”

Rey whips around and searches for anyone else at the dig. She consults the latest weather charts to determine if any spurious storms occurred since last night. Suddenly, she goes deaf and some power beyond herself twists her stomach and causes her to swoon. Quickly, she grabs a canteen of water and drinks all of it to regain her footing. She steadies herself, against her staff. She looks up at the derelict starship and estimates a fifty-meter climb. It should be easy for her, since she has climbed Star Destroyers much higher and bigger than an old Clone Wars era Eta Class shuttle, which is odd to be on Jakku among the ruins of Imperial and Rebel ships. Most Clone Wars era ships were repurposed by spacers to fly under the radar of the Empire. This ship was more than seventy years old, but from the corner of her eye, she notices a prism glisten in the early morning sun. It reflects the light from the Jakku sun as Rey feels compelled to find and scavenge it.

She swiftly climbs the fifty-meters scaling the shuttle to finally get to the side of the Eta Class shuttle. She smooths the sand away from the door. She scans the security door sequences, then closes her eyes as the door opens by her thoughts. A gush of stale air exits the cockpit as an old, dead, black and red astromech droid stares with its cracked eyeball toward her. She picks at it and sees that its main chassis is scored. “Unkar won’t give me anything for that.”

She steps into the ship, which appears well kept. It has smooth supple pelt seating, dead electronics, and very few usable ship parts that Unkar Plutt would pay her for. She turns to a tiny crevice of a nearby closet. She pulls up to find a locked safe, which her datapad electronic apps easily break into, and the door unlatches and opens. Rey’s eyes widen as the glow inside the safe emits a red-blue color. The color shifts from red to blue as her irises shift in the shaped light. The resonation light calls to her in the midst of her confusion, but she is fearful of it and does not touch it. A cubed box with glass panels in blue with symbols on them. Inside, a red stone appears to be the light-energy source. The blue light wanes in its color as the gold light slows its pulse, then the panels collapse. The light-energy source is a naked crystal and it’s as if it speaks to Rey to tell her of its sickness.

Rey blinks, unsure if she understands, and places her hand on the rock, which is cold as ice. She deposits it into her staff to hide it from any bandits on her trip home. After its removal, the ship shifts and starts to sink in a sandtrap, and she races out of the ship down to her speeder to move out of the way. The entire ship is engulfed by sand and she only salvaged a rock. The hairs on her neck stand, as if she sees several paths to choose from with many choices at their ends, and the one choice she knows not to make is to trade this rock for portions. No one on Jakku must know about this rock as she races away from the sandtrap on her speeder. But who did the rock belong to?

As she races home, she is knocked off her speeder by two scavenger thugs that Rey recognizes as Unkar Plutt’s henchmen. They attempt to grab her and rough her up for any material scavenged from her latest dig. She flawlessly punches them with her staff, and her anger is reaffirmed that Unkar would pull a stunt like this to steal from her. The rage and viciousness in her fight is about survival on Jakku until her parents return. She strongly believes they will. One thug punches her body as the other rakes through her speeder.

“No! Stop!” Rey yells.

They continue to dismantle her meaningless salvage to barter for portions, when blasters blow over their heads. The thugs look up and run away on their landspeeder as a man in desert gear approaches Rey. He is the same man from Tuanul, and a few villagers stare down the fleeing attackers.

Rey sits in the sand as the man reaches to pull her up before handing her staff to her. “You are very fortunate, Scavenger, to be as far away from Niima as you are with those kinds of thugs. I am Lor San Tekka.”

“Thank you, sir. I appreciate your help.” She collects the few remaining items she can to get aboard her speeder.

Tekka hands her ten portions and another water tank. “Careful of Devi and Strunk’s digs. They owe many people, and the desert...holds many secrets that are meant to remain buried.”

Rey takes the portions and the water tank. “Thanks,” she says uneasily but says nothing of the rock stuffed in her staff. She senses the rock’s presence; it seems like Tekka does not. She walks to her speeder, revs the engine, and takes off to home, only to find it a wreck, rifled through at the hands of Unkar Plutt’s henchmen.

“Why does he keep doing this to me?”

“He will stop, when I arrive,” a man’s voice says, the same one from the veranda on the beach. But there is no one there.

Rey shrieks for fear of going mad. Eventually, she cries herself to sleep without any portions as the rock pulses a gold light glow to soothe her loneliness.

Chapter Text

 

 

“I am Kylo Ren,” he says when he rises from a kneeling position to look up at Supreme Leader Snoke. “All that has happened to me before means nothing.”

Supreme Leader Snoke smiles at his new “apprentice”, who will help him to initiate a new dark side of the Force in this government called the First Order. Snoke’s grin shows pride as he ensnares the son of the great Rebellion General, Han Solo and Princess leader, Leia Organa, who to his revelation is the daughter of Darth Vader. With the famed Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker disappeared from the galaxy, the First Order is ready to overtake the galaxy like their Imperial predecessors. Snoke will find peace in the Dark Side of the Force.

Kylo Ren’s choice is to mimic his grandfather, Darth Vader, the famous icon that his mother and uncle failed to disclose to him. He will follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to return the galaxy to its rightful state. However, Kylo Ren harbors no anger toward his mother. His rage is for those that conspicuously concealed the truth about him, the Force, and what it means to be what he truly is: a power to reckon with in the galaxy.

Instead, the ire of his disgust first revolves around the cheats, swindlers, and hustlers of his father, Han Solo’s, ilk. Their constant lies to his mother about their questionable assets, such as battle ships and weapons. The constant movement from one planet to another in the middle of the night by the seat of his pants. The weird thugs that followed, stalked and harassed him as a boy. The contract bounty hunters who put blasters in his face, contracts that sought out his father by gangs. The holocalls and comlinks at all hours to extort his mother for money that his father owes to these gangs. Then, when he did see his father, the arguments and begging and pleading to his mother to understand, and all she was capable of doing was giving in to his excuses to placate his dad. Kylo Ren was rid of his birth name, “Ben Solo” for that one reason. No more complaints.

Then there are these medical genetics flimsies from Corellia from a woman claiming to be his daughter by Sana Starros; Kylo Ren’s mother claimed Sana was a longtime friend. The medical genetics flimsies say this woman is more than a longtime friend. Her daughter, Han’s daughter, is practically the same age at Kylo Ren.

 

 

 

Dear General Han Solo;

In the matter between Sana Starros and you, Han Solo: There is a 99% correlation of Ms Fay Starros (date of birth: 7 ABY) as a direct paternal DNA sequence identity to your blood type. If you have any questions about these results, feel free to contact us. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Corellian Justice and Family Department.

 

The comlink activates. “Sir, we are in a landing sequence for Corellia.”

Kylo Ren shakes his head, clearing the thoughts of his father from his mind.

“Thank you.” Kylo Ren waves his hand to deactivate the hologram and as the ship lands, no military awaits him on the landing pad. He clutches his lightsaber and grabs his new helmet. He stalks out the door to meet a girl in casual khaki attire with a blaster. Her wavy hair blows in the wind against her light-brown skin as she looks at him. Her eyes are hazel, much like his father’s. “Fay Starros?”

“My Lord. I didn’t know you were with the First Order?” she replies respectfully.

“I thought your mother would be here? Is it just you?”

“She’s dead. I told Solo that.”

“You spoke to my father?”

Fay looks up to his helmet and purses her lips. “ Our father, Ben. Yeah. I know all about you and how you changed your name to this 'Nylon' foolishness. You're such a spoiled brat and I rotted in these slums never to have the last name of my dad. The only reason we didn’t say anything to father was because we respect your mother. But now that my mother’s dead, I figure 'dad' owes me.”

“Then why ask me here?”

“I didn’t send for you.”

“Who did?”

Suddenly, the platform explodes, throwing both of them back into a wall. Kylo Ren sees that Fay has the wind knocked out of her before immediately regaining his clarity. He ignites his lightsaber to block a salvo of weapons fire towards them. His rage ensues as his eyes turn yellow-red and he crushes the shuttle ship that fires at him and rips the pilot out of the cockpit, choking him. First Order Stormtroopers race to come to Kylo Ren’s aid. “Who sent you?”

The pilot coughs as he spits. “We’re after Han Solo.”

“Why?”

“He owes us.”

Kylo Ren places his hands above his head to rip information out of the pilot’s mind. “So you thought you would use my sister as bait to kidnap me and hold me for ransom?”

The pilot screams in agonizing pain as if it feels like his brain is dissolving out of his skull. Kylo Ren drops him to the ground and walks over to Fay, who has regained consciousness. “Fay Solo, you are under arrest by order of the First Order, the one true galactic government.” He summons the Stormtroopers to surround her. “Or you tell me where Han Solo is so that I can pay his debt to these extortionists you cavort with.”

Fay’s sullen face stares at Kylo Ren in his mask, and she is absently distant in her speech. “You have to understand; we did not think you would come. We did not expect you, Ben.”

Kylo Ren lifts the pilot into his hands, stabs him with his lightsaber, and drops him to the ground. “Where is Han Solo?”

Father is not on Corellia. We thought you would know where he is.”

“I do not speak to Han Solo. Your mother was killed by his indiscretions, and now you will join her.” He raises her through the Force and impales her with his lightsaber. “You were never expected, Fay, and in a different reality, we might have been friends.” He deactivates his blade and walks out to his ship to leave Corellia.

 

***

 

Han Solo, aboard his freighter, Eravana, dials into his com messages. Several from Leia, as per usual. He loves hearing her voice talk about everyday matters. It soothes him. Then, the recording moves forward to a message from Sana Starros, but it is a softer voice of a young woman, a similar age to Ben.

 

 

 

Han Solo, I am Fay, your daughter. Mother hid me from you and told me to never contact you. If you have received this message, Mother is dead. There were many debts you left on Corellia and several gangs seek payment. I am in trouble; I need your help. Please, if you help me this once, it will be the last you’ll hear of me. Please come to Corellia in a fortnight. Thank you.

 

Han leans back as he watches the hologram flicker out, and he turns to his Wookiee companion, Chewbacca. “We need to go to Corellia.”

Han orders Chewbacca to take them to a different orbit to search for parts and possibly his old ship which was apparently stolen without any beacons or any detection on it. Lando said there would be improvements, but then somehow the Millennium Falcon was stolen. As they enter near the uncharted system, Han makes a subspace call to his son. The hologram image stands flickering of a young man in a bizarre costume, as if it’s meant to be honorific.

“Han Solo.” A metallic vocabulator voice emits from the helmet.

“Ben?”

“There is no Ben here. I am Kylo Ren.”

“Where is my son, Krypo ?”

“Kylo, it means –“

“Ben? I know that’s you. Stop with these games. Did you go to Corellia and meet Fay?” Your sister , Han wants to add.

“I met your bastard child, Han Solo, and I dispatched her. She was trying to hold you for ransom for the extortionists’ debts you owe.”

“What did you do, Ben?”

“Kylo Ren.” He pauses in complete calm as he stares at the hologram of his father. “I killed her.”

What ?”

“When were you going to tell my mother, a Princess of Alderaan that you have another child with another woman? You are a criminal. And the First Order will put a stop to that amorality in this galaxy so that the true essence of the Force appears.”

“So it is true.” Han fears the worst. Living through the end of the Clone Wars, seeing the rise of the Empire, and being a part of its fall, a war hero like him thought the ideas of fascism had died with the second Death Star. Han was wrong. “You have turned to the dark side and for what? To be like your grandfather?”

“The First Order will bring civilization to the entire galaxy.”

“Son, you’re crazy! I can’t let you do that. I will put a stop to you or I’ll die trying.”

“So be it, Father. But let it be known, you mean nothing to me in standing in the righteous way of the First Order.”

“Yeah, whatever. Call your mother and break her heart telling your choice in the Force and the government you plan to serve. But you are wrong.”

“As you wish.” Kylo Ren cuts the transmission so as not to endure the sight of his father or hear any laments from his mother.

Suddenly, a subspace call links to the ship; it’s Leia. Her face is stressed with lines of worry and in a hurry. “H-Han! I just got word. Fay is dead. Did you know about her? Fay, your daughter. Yours and Sana’s, she’s--”

“She was supposed to be safe. Sana was supposed to have her with her mother on Corellia to care for her. Do you know what happened?”

“I don’t know? Something about a lightsaber strike and a man in a mask, like Vader’s, but not Vader.”

“Oh no. Yeah, about that--” He is interrupted by Leia.

“Han, you don’t think it’s Ben, do you? Why would Ben?” Leia turns her head down barely able to contain herself. “Luke was right. I-I thought it best. I—“

“Leia, Ben made his own choice. I’ll change him.”

“And TIE fighters and stormtroopers? How did they amass a military like this? Calling themselves the First Order? Han?”

Han feels like deja vu, as if history is repeating itself. The galaxy has not learned from its mistakes. His daughter killed and now his son mixed up into it. Han has to do something. Anything. Say something. “Leia, I’ll get our son and change his mind, okay?”

“Fine. Do what you can. I’ll wait to hear from you.”

The transmission ends.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

“FIRE! My Maker! Fire!” The burning flames rise as they reach his feet, and his shoes catch on fire. The pain from the burn ignites by gas exchange from the river of lava. Tiny droids scoop the lava and take it for processing amid the stench of brimstone, sulfur and other alien chemicals. Kylo Ren lands on his back, and the hard lava rocks slice his garments, which catch fire. His eyes burn with tears as he stares at a bearded man who chides him.

“It would be a mercy to kill me, but you were not feeling merciful.” Kylo Ren speaks evenly to his adversary. “You fear another one that comes and so you leave me here, helpless. If you murder me it would not be the will of the Force, and you will never look back. But there I was—“

He looks at his hands in black gloves and the droids surrounding his reconstruction. He is inhuman and grotesque, with a vocabulator he can never remove. GLORIOUS is all he can think. Then terrifying. The start of his dark path is painful; the light burns as the shards of black glass shred his back and flames chew his flesh. Kylo Ren can breathe, he hears it, but then he stops—he can control his breath. He does not have mechanical lungs. He frowns, lost as to what he saw in his nightmare.

Thoughts race through his mind about a woman, or rather a feeling of a woman he does not know. How much he loves her. How much he wants to be a partner to her. How much he gives up for her. But the dark side of the Force does not allow love with compassion.

“Does love exist without compassion?” Kylo Ren asks. He wonders if he can love? Then fire consumes his body, but he feels no pain.

Immediately, Kylo Ren jolts from his night terror, dripping hot with sweat, and appears as a normal man. No burns on his body. It is the second time he has had this dream in recent weeks aboard the Ravager . His room monitoring droid dimly lights his surroundings as he steadily rises nude to the refresher for water. He stares at his sunken eyes and feels the searing pain of burning across his skin. He breathes slowly. Moves across his bed wet from his sweat. He lays in his bunk, unable to sleep for minutes. Then he rises and assembles his undergarments and robes with his helmet and boots. He leaves his domicile aboard the Ravager and strolls the corridors.

Stormtroopers nod their heads in deference and let him pass when he stalks by. Only a few officers give him salutations and continue with their duty. He finds his way to the Forward Command, where General Hux stands sipping cassius tree tea. The smell permeates Kylo Ren’s nostrils, and he  enjoys its soothing spicy flavor. He finds it odd that an Arkanian like Hux would drink the tea leaves customary of the Mandalorian Death Watch, as he is not a Mandalorian warrior. Only Mandalorians drink that kind of tea, but he shrugs off the observation. “General Hux, when will we reach our destination?”

“Oh, Ren. Didn’t know you were there.” He looks at his squad to learn the estimated time of arrival. “It will be in a few hours.” He pauses. “I can notify you when we reach orbit.”

Kylo Ren leaves the bridge and moves through the corridors to his Upsilon class command shuttle in the hangar bay being loaded for supplies. Several stormtroopers prepare for the journey to the planet’s surface. Kylo Ren, in his boredom, lifts a few crates and sets them into the shuttle. “Prepare the other surface shuttles.”

The stormtroopers huddle together, distancing themselves from Kylo Ren out of fear of his magic. There are also concerns about the awareness of battle. Kylo Ren benefits from fear as his Force powers are heightened to do more damage, should he need it. The small group of partisans are no threat to the might of the First Order. While fear is a path to the dark side, it also is a survival tactic. It keeps one alive from the “monsters”, but Kylo Ren smirks underneath his helmet as realizes he is the only monster worth fearing here.

  

 

“I’m not afraid to die…Ani---”

 

Kylo Ren swirls around to see who said that. “What did you say to me?” A few stormtroopers shudder in fear as he speaks to them.

“Lord Ren, please tell me how my men finished with your ship so quickly?” A silver shiny armored captain speaks to him. Similar in stature to Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma is said to be just as bold as General Hux, and deadly with ground troops.

“You are the only one who could call me by my formal name as Lord.” Kylo Ren squares eye to eye with her. “Let’s say I gave your men a chance to find their solace before battle.” It wasn’t her , he thinks.

“Sir, I respectfully request that you consult me before you show your feats of power in battle.”

“Duly noted, Captain.” Strange. He senses in her thoughts that a few of her squad fainted after he moved the crates for them. Perhaps they are not strong enough when they see sights from a Force user.

An alert beeps on Kylo Ren’s comlink as General Hux appears. “We have entered high orbit of Jakku, Ren.” The hologram dissipates.

“My Lord, your ship coordinates are set to Tuanul,” Captain Phasma announces.

“Let’s deal with this foolishness with old man Tekka.” Kylo Ren moves aboard the command shuttle.

 

***

 

Kylo Ren enters his private quarters aboard the Ravager and pauses. He closes his eyes and feels the Force flow through him. In his mind’s eye, he sees little balls of light dancing. He dreams of chasing them as a child, like tiny fireflies that rest on one flower, jump away when there is a disturbance, and then fly to another flower. Like a little boy on his first visit to Naboo, he chases the fireflies in the dark forest, nearby a castle where he stays in the lake country. He blasts onto a grassy knoll near a waterfall. He laughs and rolls down the hill onto his stomach and raises up to see a large Nuna graze by the waterfall. He flips over onto his back as he hears adults talking. They sound like his parents, but when he surveys the field, he sees hollow ghosts of a man with a small braid and a woman in lovely gold dress fade with awkward smiles to frowns. They dissolve away like sandcastles in the wind.

Immediately he appears in his tower bedroom in the bright moonlight as a swarm of fireflies come together into a form of a girl. Her face he cannot see, but he hears her voice.

 

 

 

 

“I am a scavenger who runs my own life and I have no desire for any man to rule over me.” She speaks to a droid.

Kylo Ren cannot identify a droid that gives a series of beeps and toots in a response.

“I know all about waiting. For my family. They’ll be back. One day.” She tries to smile but fails miserably. 

 

Kylo Ren follows his Force foresight as his consciousness transports him to a green planet called Takodana. He sees his father, Han Solo, sitting with a small being named Maz Kanata, the traitor stormtrooper FN-2187 and the girl.

 

 

The old small female being speaks strangely. “The only fight: against the Dark Side. Through the ages, I have seen evil take many forms…We must face them. Fight them. All of us.”

 

Kylo Ren lowers his head as he senses the entire feeling among all in the group. They want to kill him, his Master, and the First Order. He cannot deny his heritage. He is the grandson of Darth Vader, the most powerful Sith Lord. His only goal in his life now is to become one with the Force. There is no Dark Side or the Light Side, there is the Force. He joined Snoke to learn from the Dark Side as a duty to the Force. A duty his uncle shirks from responsibility out of fear. Fear of becoming like Darth Vader that the galaxy says is a criminal that can never be brought to justice, despite what Luke said as his last words. His mother did her duty to serve her people after losing her planet, Alderaan and he remembers his training, the training that a Force user must serve others or the Force serves him. It is his duty to protect its very existence. The Force calls to him to choose his duty and he did.  To him, his duty to have the Force serve him and it called him to the First Order. He meditates on these thoughts as he speaks to his totem in his private quarters aboard the Ravager.

  

 

“Forgive me. I feel it again. The pull to the Light…Show me again the power of darkness, and I will let nothing stand in our way.”

Alone in the room, Kylo Ren - saturnine of aspect, lithe in build, tortured of mein, troubled of eye - gazed at the silent recipient of his confession.

“Show me grandfather and I will finish what you have started.” 

Chapter Text

Kylo Ren observes aboard the Super Star Destroyer, Ravager , as the battle between the First Order and the Resistance unfolds, a deep space battle for the junction of the Galactic Filament that connects the known galaxy to another galaxy through the void. The First Order took a defensive position as Starkiller Base was built here. They cannot lose the Filament to the Resistance. The First Order technology will not be squandered with the New Republic or Populist ideals of peace, or at least that is what all the propagandists say. The First Order wants the Filament to itself. They do not want to share its secret scientific discovery rights it holds. They do not want to explain to the Resistance their activities at the Filament. The First Order does not need to explain.

Thoughts whirl in his mind as plumes of explosions occur between a small fleet of Resistance ships and X-wing starfighters as they try to overtake the First Order blockade. In the midst of this battle, Kylo Ren feels on edge. Pensive, he stretches deep into the Force. But neither the Dark nor the Light Side of the Force speaks to him. What pervades Kylo Ren’s mind are his desires. He focuses on one large Mon Calamari capital battlecruiser and he senses her – her Force powers and her inability to coordinate battle through the Force. He can coordinate battle through the Force. It is a feat training yields. It’s good to have it. His Uncle Luke can coordinate battle through the Force also, but Kylo Ren does not sense his presence, yet, which concerns him. Where is Uncle Luke? he thinks. Snoke wants Luke too, for his Dark Side reasons to round up all the Jedi, kill them and to never let them control the Galactic Filament. His thoughts race through his mind as through the Force he moves starships in space.

General Hux interrupts. “Ren?”

“Yes?” he says in a terse tone, as he hates interruptions during his battle meditations.

“The strength of their fleet is down by half, Ren. We have them right where we want them.” General Hux’s face is emotionless, ignoring his ire against Kylo Ren since their last interaction on Starkiller Base before its destruction by the Resistance.

“Then it will not be long before your victory, General,” Kylo Ren speaks through his mask as he stares at him through his visor.

“Ren,” Hux says quietly. “She’s aboard that battlecruiser, isn’t she?”

Kylo Ren lowers his head then stares at Hux and says nothing.

“I can coordinate a direct attack on the ship, destroying it with our weapon.”

No !” Almost a shout. “She must come to me…willingly…that’s the way it is.”

Hux frowns, trying to determine Kylo Ren’s strategy. No matter the strategy, Supreme Leader Snoke’s orders were clear: keep the Galactic Filament at all costs, even if it means destroying the junction--The Resistance must never have access to its nexus. The calculations in this battle did not include the girl who beat Kylo Ren through the Force on Starkiller Base before its destruction. Hux found through his spies that Kylo Ren met his uncle and this girl on the planet Ahch-To. If Hux had to guess, he would say Kylo Ren has a thing for this girl. But why? Personal life is not the luxury of superior officers like Hux and Kylo Ren; then again, Hux never asks about personal lives. The First Order is one’s life. Very little time for dalliances. As of now, Hux is the senior officer. Phasma is away with her TIE fighter strike team. Then there is spooky Kylo Ren looming about the ship.

A lower officer hands a datapad to Hux to view, and calmly orders his men to stand down from the battlecruiser mission. He glares at Kylo Ren. “I’ll give you a minute to decide on the best course of action for our mission, Lord Ren.” He enunciates Ren’s title and starts to leave.

“You will have your victory, General Hux, without that ship’s destruction.” Kylo Ren closes his eyes as he senses the crew’s tense heated passions as each sortie gains ground to defend the Filament.

His greatest fear about this battle is that he cannot sense the Force on the Filament. It is absent from the Force and he has not told anyone of this fact. It means that no Force powers, including battle meditation, will work to ensure a victory. If Hux and his First Order military discover that Snoke, Luke Skywalker, this girl, Rey, or he are unable to manipulate the Filament through the Force, the First Order would slaughter them like Palpatine and Vader in Order 66. Kylo Ren felt compelled to warn Rey, and he has to make sure the Ravager does not move from its line of sight of her Mon Calamari Battlecruiser. If it comes to it, he will send an unsecure unencrypted subspace communication to her starship, no matter who sees it. He tries the battle meditation again as he closes his eyes and exhales.

 

 

 

Memories of a beach house tower on a tropical island on an alien planet with a warm climate and an ocean enter his mind. He sees the shore as the waves lap quietly in the light breeze. The beach is moonlit as he exits the veranda and enters the cottage bedroom. He notices Rey in a neatly tied green floral silk robe as she exits the refresher. He smells her fragrant hair, though the scent is muffled by a towel that covers her head. The sweet and intoxicating smell of pleasure and ocean spices the air as he hears her giggle in response to a joke he tells her. She walks to him as the sweet scent intensifies and wraps her arms around his neck, then her lips—

 

The ship rocks when fired upon by the battlecruiser. Kylo Ren grins under his helmet as he knows Rey felt that connection through the Force. He projects his thoughts and dreams in her mind. A new ability he has learned through the Force. He does not know if she liked it. Kylo Ren stares at the Ravager’s ship drivers as he regains his balance and looks toward General Hux near the admiral’s chair. He hears everyone yell the next steps as they fire salvos toward the battlecruisers. The crew’s confusion around him as he closes his eyes and stretches his feelings through the Force. He focuses on Rey and he senses that she is at the helm who yells at her crew to fire at the ship.  He senses his Uncle Luke who guides her from hologram and he also sense his mother, Leia who stands next to Rey.

His eyes open in shock as he barks orders to General Hux. “Fire at their aft engines immediately to cripple them and have Phasma remove their starfighters as they leave their ship. You have a quarter of a second to act.”

General Hux nods as all the officers comply, and Kylo Ren’s  military strategy works splendidly.

Kylo Ren stands back to hold his position but extends himself into the Force. Through similar mechanisms of Force Paralysis, a Dark Side power he sneaks into Rey’s mind.

 

 

His body races to a beach tower in an alien moonlit sea. He is in white with gold embroidery around his neck of his tunic and the sleeves. He stretches from a long sleep and discovers that Rey is next to him in a deep sleep. He gently places his hand on her shoulder to shake and to wake her up, but she remains asleep. Her skin is softer than cream and glows like a shining sun. He sees her beauty and comeliness in her green floral Venetian silk without undergarments. “Whatever the Force has willed, that shall be, and what the Force has not willed shall never be!” he announces to himself.

To see if she is breathing, he loosens her collar and her breasts, filled fully, they fall. He quickly covers them, but his desire to suck them overwhelms him. He leans over her in the hopes that it would awaken her, but stops. His desire rises and hardens as he begs. “My beloved, awake and look at me; I am Kylo Ren.”

Rey does not awaken. Kylo Ren thinks long about what he will do as he lays her carefully in the bed and looks out at the beach and the rise and fall of water. “I will marry her so that I can take my fill of her beauty and loveliness.” Then he bends to kiss her lips, but stops there. “The proper thing to do is not to touch her at present, but I will take a token for my own as a promise to her.”

In her hand she holds a Kyber crystal that glows gold. He takes it and puts it in his pocket, and then he removes a  red shard kyber from his lightsaber and places it in her hand.

He closes his eyes to sleep next to her.

 

He opens his eyes and realizes he is back on his ship and the battle has ceased. The large Resistance battle ships leave. The First Order has won their victory, for now. They hold possession of the Galactic Filament. But there is more work to do. Kylo Ren leaves the command forward for his small meditation room. He crosses his arms as he thinks what he has just done through the Force and digs out of his pocket a kyber crystal that glows gold. What has he done? Did he marry…her? He removes his helmet in his private quarters and looks beside himself in confusion. He sits as he looks at Darth Vader’s helmet, his grandfather’s helmet, and speaks.

  

Count not that I your promises forget,

Despite the length of your delinquencies:

Be generous, O my lord, to me inclining;

Haply your mouth and cheeks these lips may kiss her:

…Never will I relinquish her

Albe she will transgress love’s boundaries.

 

 

General Hux hears Kylo Ren’s words as he enters his private quarters unannounced. Kylo Ren jumps without his helmet. Hux, unsure what he is seeing in Kylo Ren’s small meditation room, speaks. “Ren, we kept half our ordinances and we have a ceasefire with the Resistance. How did you do it?”

“You won your victory, General. Be grateful.”

“Ren, that’s not the only thing. They handed the girl over, Rey. But the moment we received her, she was unconscious in a medical capsule,” General Hux says with pride but confusion.

“Where is she being held?” Kylo Ren puts on his helmet to race to her.

“Ren! She’s held under tight security. The droids cannot revive her, as if she has lost the will to live.” Hux catches up to him and blocks his forward motion. “What the hell are you trying to do, Kylo? She surrendered herself. She is our prisoner.”

Kylo Ren glares through his helmet, itching to release his hand to Force Choke him. He senses Hux’s carotid arteries in his hand and how easy it would be to squeeze them to kill him. But Snoke has uses for General Hux and the military wing of the First Order. Kylo Ren senses Captain Phasma’s presence with her bravado behind him as her TIE fighter pilots congratulate themselves on the First Order lives saved. Kylo Ren moves underneath Hux’s arrogance and sneakily enters his mind without touching him. He discovers that they share a dear alliance--neither of them like Snoke and only see Snoke as a means to an end for this galaxy and the next.

Kylo Ren exhales as General Hux’s glare sends daggers into him. It is at this point, that Kylo Ren decides to feed the need for personal gossip about himself and trust Hux with his secret. “Rey is my wife, through the Force. Not that you would understand the Force.”

General Hux’s mouth drops in complete surprise. “Since Ahch-To, right?”

Kylo Ren pauses his motion and speaks in a meek submissive tone. “No. Snoke does not know. But if the information is true about the Filament, we will need a powerful alliance, one the First Order cannot fight without Force users.” He keeps moving forward. “General Hux, I hold confidence in you and those under your command, but I must remind you, I am the grandson of Queen Padme Naberrie Amidala and Darth Vader, and the son of Princess Leia of Alderaan, if you require Elder House royalty. Besides, our wedding is not complete, officially.”

Hux’s mouth drops as he stands dumbfounded when he hears what has transpired.

Captain Phasma looks at General Hux to speak. “This alliance, do we share our data with the Resistance, now?”

Hux squeaks out an answer as he shakes his head slowly. “I don’t know? But Kylo Ren will have a short lease from this latest stunt.”

 

***

 

Rey rises from bright moonlight that shines on her face and discovers she is in the same beautiful room in a tower above a quiet beach as she hears the waves lap on the shore. She stretches wide and her hand hits another person. A man, who snores, lying on his back, only the sheets to cover him with black hair. A closer look in the moonlight and her eyes narrow to see it is – The Monster . She wants to jerk him out of bed, then she checks her body and sees he has placed no strange torturous marks on her. He has left her alone. She rises from the bed and her green floral robe falls into place, her neat bow she formed untouched. Her hair is dry from a lost towel and wisps along her decolletage as she ties it into a bun. The Monster continues to snore nose and her desire to pinch his nose with her fingers to wake him up increases the longer she hears it. “Why is he here?”

She roves around their luxurious large bed, avoiding their clothes scattered across the floor, and she nearly stumbles over his huge helmet that is solid as durasteel. Her face scowls in pain as she stubs her big toe and she Force Pushes the helmet away. The Monster’s snores hiccup, then restart their cycle. On his side of the bed, his huge leg hangs as the other entwines with the covers. Rey moves his hanging leg, but the Monster does not stir. Through the Force, she lifts his leg into the bed, and he slowly shifts his hips, but does not awaken. Then the snoring gets louder with a puff through his mouth. Through the Force, she probes his mind, but she cannot latch onto any of his thoughts. “All I sense is his exhaustion.”

An overwhelming sense of guilt and pity moves through her heart and soul when she sees the tired hulking Monster resting peacefully. “Wonder when’s the last time he had a good rest?” She notices his deep scar along his face and shoulders and realizes she put it there. As the moon shines a light on it, she looks closer to see how much of it has healed. “Most of it. The body may heal, but not the soul.” She recalls the wise words of her master.

Then the Monster snorts into a cough and twists his head side to side as if he will wake, but then returns back to the tempo of his snore pattern. Rey frowns at how he can sleep restfully. She squeezes his nose to stop his inhalation. After few seconds, he breathes through his mouth. He jerks his head around to loosen her grip. “No. I deserve this. Crush any droid that disturbs us,” he mumbles.

“He thinks he is aboard his ship?” She rises and looks around. “Where am I?”

He mumbles, “You’re my guest again. Aboard my ship.”

“No. I-I can’t be.” She races toward him and pounds his shoulders and his chest. “Wake up, Lord Ren, you Monster!”

He barely opens his eyes, shifting his hips as his leg flops out of the bed. He snores back on tempo.

Rey looks off into an endless sea, the moonlit waters calm as a light breeze blows in the tropical temperate climate. Where are they? She remembers when he probed her mind to tell her he saw the island. Her assumption was that is was an atoll on Ahch-To, but this island is more tropical than that planet. She feels warm and at peace on this dream island of hers, then she looks at the Monster in her bed. She frowns as the palms of her hands gently glide along his built chest. “He must do fitness daily,” she whispers.

His slick, satin-like skin, freckled with small dark moles over his body, feels taut to her fingertips when she touches him. She inclines her ear to his chest to hear his heartbeat. A normal human heartbeat combined with a soft purr of a snore. She pushes herself up against his body and moves across his abdominal muscles. She counts eight of them. She looks up to his face to see if he is awake, but he is still in a deep sleep.

Rey’s hand rests above his navel as she looks down his legs to his midsection. She journeys past his lower torso that feels taut and strong to a midline of hair, groomed to a low cut. She feels his low cut, sharp hair that turns up swiftly into a hard, sizable shaft. Rey jumps as she touches the spongy top. Within seconds, she jerks her hands out, and her desire to see this man’s body intensifies. Suddenly, a small wind gusts that lifts the sheets covering him exposing his naked shining body in the moonlight. Rey mouth drops open when she sees him, Kylo Ren, every part of him. He snorts loudly with a small grin and his huge arms cross behind his head.

“Kylo Ren, wake up!” Rey yells. She pinches his face, she slaps him, she considers pouring the icy water on him. Something stirs her efforts to not do it. She stands back from his body. His skin glistens in the moonlight as he snores and sleeps peacefully. Her body tickles and wiggles with an alien feeling that causes her to cross her legs to make it stop feeling…good. She races over to her side of the bed to lie down from a faint feeling when she discovers a small red shard on her nightstand. She searches for her gold shard, a kyber lightsaber crystal, and discovers he holds it in his huge monstrous hand. He grins smugly as he turns toward her, still snoring. Rey wraps the range of feeling she is having in her arms in order to sing a song taught to her long ago.

 

"My fondness, O my moon, for thee my foeman is,
And to thy comradeship the nights my thought compel:
In gloom I bide with fire that flames below my ribs,
Whose lowe I make comparison with heat of Hell:
I'm plagued with sorest stress of pine and ecstasy;
Nor clearest noon tide can that horrid pain dispel." 

 

 

Rey steals one glance that costs her a thousand sighs: her heart flutters, her vitals throb, and her hands and feet quiver. She says to Kylo Ren, “Talk to me, my Lord. Speak to me, my friend. Answer me, my love, for I have no idea what to do in the Force.” She sees both kyber crystals glow and it dawns on her what happened. “Here in this place, we are married?”

 

***

 

 

The Force flows strong through her as she discovers what the Force has willed for them. Suddenly, she is transported back into real time, inside a medical capsule, and wakes.

The doors open and she sees Kylo Ren’s masked face underneath his soft smile. “Are you hurt? Did anyone hurt you?”

“No.” She stares at him, then she looks around and discovers she is aboard his ship. She looks at her hand with his lightsaber shard and wonders if the place they lay in is real. “Why did you take over my island of peace?”

“I did not take over your island,” Kylo Ren calmly. “You’re safe here with me.”

“I will not be prisoner to the First Order, you monster.”

He smiles. “You are free to leave, anytime…by the moonlight.”

Her stare gores into him. “If you touched me—“

“No more than you touched me, my love.” His eyebrows rise.

“We are not married, okay?”

“As you wish.”

“And don’t look at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Echuta!”

“Now that’s not nice, Rey. I’ve been very nice to you and on my best behavior.”

Quietly and demurely she replies. “So have I, Kylo Ren.”

Rey looks around the area as Kylo Ren leaves the medical facility to go back to his room. She follows him. His hands are in front of him as he carefully assesses his crew. They stop what they are doing when they stare at Rey in a Resistance uniform without shackles.

Kylo Ren turns on her fidgeting. “Do not determine ways to destroy my ship, Rey. It was very pricey to get and after all, I will be getting you a wedding present.”

“We’re not—“

“No, formally, for people who can’t use the Force, we are not. But whatever the Force has placed in nether regions, so it will be in the present.” He loves studying her, absorbing her Force, and his desire rises to kiss her passionately in front of everyone. But it has to be her choice. He continues to stroll to his room to stave off his desire.

Rey follows him and finally sees his private quarters. Dark, stoic and astute. She sees the melted mask of Darth Vader. “How? You are the grandson. I forgot.”

Kylo Ren removes his mask and his cloak. He says nothing of the trinkets he has in his room, except for Rey’s shard. “You have a gold Kyber crystal.”

“Yes. From Jakku.”

“You scavenged it?”

“Yes. Why?”

He smiles as he has come to terms with his own fallibility. “Did you know what it belonged to?”

“Well, Master Luke said it is probably from a fallen Jedi’s lightsaber.”

“No, Rey.” He decides to remove his hot overshirt and belt. “It’s from a Holocron, my love. Uncle Luke does not have my abilities, but you do. This shard is not inside a holocron anymore. Which means it was taken out and re-purposed, possibly for a ship. Do you know which one?”

“Eta class, Clone Wars ship.”

He removes his boots and takes off his overpants as he stands in his underarmor. “Hmm? Interesting. Why would the old Clone Wars era ship use a Kyber crystal? Why would that ship be on Jakku?” He sits and floats a bottle of water to drink for himself. He smiles and floats one over to her. “Sorry, no gold champagne here. My general hates drunkenness on his ships. I try to follow his rules.”

“General Hux,” Rey confirms.

“You’re aware of him. He is harmless. Smart in battle. But runs a tight ship.”

“Destroyed the Hosnian System when you captured me on Takodana.”

“Destroyed the Hosnian System when I took you under my custody on Takodana, my love.”

“He is a war criminal.”

“And my mother is a terrorist that sanctioned the destruction of both Death Stars and Starkiller Base.”

“Yet you are still a monster, Kylo Ren.”

That comment wounds him. He rises and puts together a pack for an away mission. “I did not convince Snoke to use the weapon, Hux did. I was not present at his show; I was aboard this ship, Rey. I watched that technology destroy planets through a wormhole and it is something I will put an end to for as long as I live. But I cannot do it from the outside, I--I have to use the Dark Side of the Force to do it. It’s my duty. The Force chose me. I don’t know why no one understands me.”

Rey stands behind him and places her hand  softly on his shoulder. “I understand. You want to be a Sith, so you are trying usurp power to control the First Order.”

“Hah! I’m trying to be on that island where we were, alone, enjoying ourselves, Rey.” He feels her hands and it is almost as if it takes him there. “I never wanted any of this. I couldn’t care less about the Force. But the nightmares, the constant family bickering, this government and military leaders, the criminals trying to kill me, the HoloNet paparazzi chasing me, and…I never wanted any of it! If I could learn how Uncle Luke hid for so long, maybe I could leave, and then…”

“Then what?” She leans into the arch of his back to hear his heart.

He pulls her arms off him and turns to face her. “Then there was you, Rey.”

“Me?” She blankly stares at him. This huge monster. His anger, hate, and rage radiate as if the fires of the dark side smolder; she senses it. A long silent moment passes until she speaks again. “Why are there sides to the Force?”

He pulls her close to him. “I’ve asked that question and searched for that answer one thousand times, my love.”

He kept referring to her as “his love” and this time, it does not irk her as much as before. She slowly closes her eyes near him again in a more intimate setting and she reaches to kiss his lips. His mouth swallows her as he wraps his arms tightly around her and holds her near him. He senses her entire body and how her warmth and the Light Side of her Force bathes in that moonlight they cherished. All his power could not Force Travel them there and neither could hers. Their concentrated power could not teleport them to the beach tower by the moonlight. But the kiss they share swoons their legs from underneath them onto the bed of his private quarters. He removes his underarmor quickly and she removes her uniform.

“Rey, are you sure you want to have sex here?”

“Yes,” she says breathlessly. Then she stops. “Ren, isn’t this what you want?”

He gives a boyish grin with some embarrassment. “I’ve never done it here before.”

Rey frowns as she watches him. “Ren. Wait?” She rises. “I’ve had to beat Unkar Plutt and his henchmen from molesting me, and all along you’ve never had a girl in here?”

“Uh…I am going to kill this Plutt guy and his men, and then, no. I’ve not had time. Okay. But…” He sees her naked and his voice lowers and turns soft. “When you know, you know. Once I saw you, Rey, you were all I’ve dreamed about. Please don’t push me away again.”

Rey sits on his side and kisses his lips with passion. “Well, Kylo Ren, we are married after all.”

Kylo Ren flips Rey on her back with huge grins on their faces as they laugh from the new feelings they have through the Force.