On the forest moon of Endor, Kylo Ren sifted through the layer of ash that had lain forgotten for more than a generation. He was beginning to panic – his gloved hands working faster – believing that the Force had failed him in his search. But then his fingers brushed something unmistakably crafted the Dark Side. The warped and jagged grill of what was once a respiratory vent protruded from the charred remains of a funeral pyre. A little more careful brushing revealed empty eye sockets that had once contained transparisteel lenses. He was glad he hadn’t preformed a Force-summons and risked damaging the fragile object.
Before full dark, the excavation was complete. Ren reverently carried the artifact back to his waiting command shuttle, his knights in tow shouldering their weapons. Although he had said very little and his face was hidden beneath his helmet, they could sense the raw emotion playing over their leader. He was both elated at recovering what he long desired and resentful that there had been so little left. At the shuttle door, he dismissed them with a nod and retrieved an ancient pouch from a blonde woman who held it out to him.
“Take your time,” she told him with a knowing smile, placing the pouch in his outstretched hand. She took his free hand, kissed his fingertips, and let him go. “We’re in no hurry.”
Under the watchful eyes of the little ones, he returned to the forest clearing. He was acutely aware of their fear and drew it to him like a shroud. They would not bother him, afraid as they were of the flash of chrome in the firelight surrounding his sightless eyes. Ren set the melted artifact on the ground and knelt before the small fire he’d kindled.
“On the wings of the Night,” he intoned, opening his arms in an expansive gesture, “I lay you before the feet of the Great Ones to be reborn and return again.” From the pouch, he lifted a pinch of powder – the dried blood of a powerful enemy and a mixture of potent life-giving herbs – and sprinkled it first over the charred helmet and then cast the rest into the fire. The flames flared a brilliant sapphire before settling back into a molten red. “Grandfather, from the coming Night, gather your ancient might. In the light of the stricken sun, drive away the spectre of death and come once more to draw breath.”
He spread his hands over the artifact, splaying his fingers around it as he captured and focused the living Force and imparted it to the ruined thing. Then for a long while, he prostrated himself before it, lying humble and vulnerable as he sought to connect to the Great Ones who were omnipotent and wise. It wasn’t until the near planet had rotated out of view that the answer he sought came upon a light breeze.
“I find your lack of faith in your power disturbing.”
Kylo Ren lifted his head and stared at Darth Vader’s melted helmet. “Grandfather?” The voice in his head was even deeper than he had remembered from old holovids. “Show me the power of the Dark Side and I will finish what you started.”
“Alone you will perish – you a mere mortal – just as I did when I gave into human sentiment. To reach your full potential, you must cast aside all attachments and give yourself to the Supreme Leader who is wise and will guide your training.”
“Yes, Grandfather,” Ren answered, bowing his head again. He waited, but when no more instructions came, he slowly got to his feet, kicked the fire out, and returned to the waiting shuttle.
Amanda Snoke stood as he came through the door and watched as he carefully set the helmet in a special receptacle made to receive it. Before he could do anything else, she reached out and removed his own helmet to look upon his stoic features. She laid a hand on his cheek.
“I can see you have your answer,” she said, pressing in close.
She smiled and kissed him.
@MyKyloRen 26 July 2016