Rey sat with her new friend Dodi Maxen in a quiet corner of the cantina. It wasn’t exactly quiet in any corner on the Resistance base after the destruction of Starkiller Base and the celebration started, but the alcove with its gouged and sticky table was cozy. Rey found the constant roar of fighters’ reunions with their families overwhelming at first, but the ghostly silence of the Millennium Falcon’s sleeping berths was maddening. Still, she preferred sleeping there to barrack quarters.
Dodi’s cheerful babble was what Rey needed tonight to get her mind off the devastating loss of Han Solo and her worry over Finn. At the moment, Dodi was swiping through celebrity gossip on her datapad while the girls waited for their food. Sometimes Dodi actually read a posting aloud to Rey, but mostly she just liked to look at holo images of attractive human males.
“Ooh,” she cooed, “here’s a pretty one.” She tapped the pad to enlarge the image. “I never knew Jedi could be so sexy.”
“What?” Rey laughed and bent over the pad. “What are you looking at? The Jedi are all but dead.”
Dodi gave her a sly grin. “Well, this one wasn’t when the image was taken.” She slid the pad closer to Rey with a smirk. “He’s shredded.”
Rey glanced at the image of a tall young man with dark wavy hair. She took a sip of her kasa fruit smoothie. She had to admit he was handsome but didn’t really see the point of goggling over images from the holonets. She nodded absently.
Something her friend had said triggered an image in Rey’s mind.
She had a vision of a dimly lit apartment, of a woman crying, running a Resistance data card through a shredder. The woman turned and looked down at her quickly wiping the tears from her cheeks. She dropped into a crouch and held out her arms.
“Your father won’t be coming home for a while. He’s been hurt. He’s staying at a medical base where people are caring for him.”
“Let’s go see him,” Rey heard herself plead in a tiny babydoll voice.
“He’s on a starbase far, far away.” The woman managed a small smile. “But if…when,” she corrected herself, “he wakes up, he may send us a holo vid.” She pulled the little girl into a hug. “He misses you very much.”
“Hey! Give that back!”
Rey blinked and looked about to see Dodi reaching toward a blue-skinned alien with four hands. In one of them was Dodi’s datapad. The alien was clearly interested in the device and had no intention of handing it over. Dodi got up from the booth and made a grab for it again. “Give it here!”
In a calmly detached voice, Rey said to the alien, “You will return the datapad to her.”
Without missing a beat, the thief parroted, “I will return the datapad to her.” He thrust the device back into Dodi’s grasp, then stood there blinking at the two young women.
“You will turn around and leave this place,” Rey directed.
“I will turn around and leave this place.”
Dodi’s mouth fell open as she watched the blue thug do just that. She slid back into the booth beside Rey and said giddily, “You have to teach me how you do that!” She gripped her friend’s arm. “That was amazing!”
Rey looked back at her in confusion for a moment, failing to see Dodi’s excitement. Then she recalled the alien thief. “Him?” she scoffed. “Weak-minded. Just open to suggestion, really.” She stood up, suddenly feeling like she wanted to be alone. “I gotta go.”
“But we haven’t eaten yet,” Dodi protested, still holding onto Rey’s arm.
“I’m not hungry just now,” Rey said without much conviction. “I’m going to turn in early.”
Dodi frowned. “Are you feeling ok?”
Rey gave her a smile that was a little too bright. “Fine. Really.”
Dodi studied her a moment, then let her go. “Ok, but I’ll see you at breakfast, right?”
Rey nodded then quickly slipped out of the boisterous cantina. She was shaking from her encounter with the alien. She’d wanted to slam him against the wall – that was the first image that had come into her mind and it had taken a great effort to push it aside. She’d thought too of her quarterstaff and using it to trip and knock the wind out of the thief, but she’d left it behind. She’d even left the blaster in a secure compartment on the Falcon. But instead of any of these remedies, she’d accessed the Force…again.
Would she be able to do it every time she had need? She wasn’t a Jedi.
She found herself heading to the hangar where the Falcon was stowed when a gentle but authoritative voice echoed though her head.
“This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force.”
@MyKyloRen 19 May 2016