Rey awoke in a panic, flinging off the flimsy blanket in the dimly lit cell. It wasn’t until her fingers felt the cold stone of the beehive hut that her breathing slowed.
“A dream,” she exhaled. “Just a dream.”
She’d learned a lot form Luke Skywalker in the past few months on Ahch-To, but the more she learned, the more she was certain she didn’t understand…and wasn’t sure she wanted to. The Force was big. Really big. And she was just a scavenger – who defeated Kylo Ren – Luke was always quick to remind her. She could have easily ended the dark warrior’s life when he was down, stunned and spent. But the truth was before that crucial point in their encounter, he could have killed her as easily as swatting a fly. No, he had let her go.
And now he was coming for her. She could feel him in her blood. All through her morning training exercises she tried to convince herself that her dreams were the remnants of her traumatic experience as his victim.
In one swift fluid movement, Luke brought his staff sweeping behind her knees and knocked her off her feet. She sat there stunned, her pride smarting more than her backside. Good thing he wasn’t using a saber staff, she thought wryly. She was quick and nimble with her own quarterstaff, but no matter how hard she tried, he was better…despite is age.
“You let your guard down again,” the old Jedi admonished as he reached down and gave her a hand up. He tossed his staff aside and reached into his robes. “Take this. We’re going to try something new.”
She hesitated to grasp the proffered lightsaber. Although it felt like it belonged in her hands, she still hated the thing. Luke had been teaching her the seven forms of lightsaber combat, but without a saber of her own, they hadn’t been able to spar. And every time she took his saber – Anakin’s saber – to hand, the visions came.
Luke understood her hesitation and either helped her focus her attention elsewhere or waited patiently for the visions to pass through her. Sometimes they contained valuable insights. But this morning he firmly met her gaze and made the battle-meld connection, linking their minds in the Force.
Rey gripped the lightsaber and activated it, assuming a defensive stance. She was relieved when no visions came. Luke was blocking them and she could hear his commands in her head. He took up his own defensive stance a few meters away.
Come at me, he commanded.
You are unarmed, she heard herself protest through the Force.
She glided toward him in graceful movements, blocking his disarming thought and guarding against a Force-pull on her saber or a Force-push as he’d taught her. But even as she did, she found herself reeling and the ground rose up to smack her in the chest. She lay there clinging to the grass, desperate as the world spun faster and faster. She was afraid that if she let go, she’d fly off the jagged cliff. Then suddenly the dizziness stopped as Luke severed the connection between their minds.
“Malacia,” he said, getting her to her feet and retrieving his lightsaber where she had dropped it. “That is how you defeat him unarmed.”
She wavered against the lingering nausea, gipping her Master’s hand to steady herself. “But he’s coming with his Knights,” she managed to get out between gasps. “We need to leave this place.”
Chewbacca vocalized his complete agreement. He’d taken a break from tinkering with the Falcon to watch the proceedings.
“He would only follow us,” Luke told them in no uncertain terms. He had seen the same Force visions she had seen in her sleep. There would be no outrunning his former padawan.
She watched the old Jedi head back up the steps to the stone hovels, wishing she could tell him about the vision that had awoken her that morning.
That face – unmasked and unexpectedly handsome – was inches from her own, just as it always was in the reoccurring “I can show you the ways of the Force” nightmares.
“We have to talk, Rags,” he’d told her. “There are things you need to know, things you don’t understand, things that are bigger than the two of us.”
Rags. He’d called her Rags. She found herself laughing at that, laughing at some fleeting childhood daydream of a meadow and daisy chains.
He had smiled, enjoying her laugh.
@MyKyloRen 15 June 2016