“This isn’t the one I’m looking for.”
Kylo Ren deactivated the lightsaber and placed it back in the wooden box.
Bazine Netal stared up at the helmeted dark lord, folded her arms and gave a little huff. “It matches the description you gave me. The blade is even blue. Those crystals are hard to come by.” She had gone to a lot of trouble to obtain the weapon on the black market and she expected excellent payment. The young Chaaktil woman hadn’t risked life and limb to become one of the most feared bounty hunters only to be snubbed by a winnable Sith lord. “How do you know it isn’t the right one?” she challenged.
“I make it my business to know such things,” he sneered, his voice sounding extra haughty through the voice-changer.
He wasn’t about to share the mystery of Force-visions with this smartass mercenary. He’d held the blade for a long moment, concentrating on the visions that flashed through his mind – residue of previous owners, most often, but sometimes the Force revealed the future, so one could never be certain of a Jedi weapon’s history. But he’d seen none of the images he’d expected to see – only scenes of a few unknown skirmishes and then…blackness. The saber had seen little action and did not call to him as it surely would…if it were the right one.
He shut the lid on the box, signaling the end of the transaction and drew a datapad out of his robes. With a few taps, he completed the credit transfer into her account.
Bazine gave him a self-satisfied smirk and accessed her own pad. Her smile faded. “This is half the amount we agreed on,” she told him through clenched teeth. “That crystal’s worth at least three-fourths of the original price, but,” she cooed, stepping closer and catching the chin of his helmet between her thumb and forefinger, “I could be persuaded to take less in exchange for a peek under that mask.”
Ren stared down at the lithe figure in the black-and-white baffleweave dress – a pattern which jammed sensors – and the tight-fitting black cowl. If she had hair underneath, it was cropped short, but he’d heard rumors she wore the hood to hid burns inflicted by a flamethrower in her youth.
“What do you think you’ll see if I do?” He always liked asking this question of the curious.
Bazine shrugged, lowering her eyelids under heavily painted black brows, featuring a distinct black stripe that ran down either side of her nose. “Someone surprisingly handsome and a little…damaged.”
“You would be disappointed,” he returned flatly, lifting his chin out of her grasp.
She clucked her tongue and ran her hands up the fabric of his surcoat and under his cowl. “Fine. Keep the helmet on. How about a peek under the robes? I can feel some fine pecs under there.”
Ren said nothing. He gathered up her hands and let them drop to her sides. “You’ll get the rest when you bring me the right saber.” He took the box under his arm and exited her quarters, trailed by two of his Knights and a sweep of black robes.
The bounty hunter pursed her lips distinctly stained the color of dried blood. “Well, you’re no fun.”
Ren paid her no more heed than a bramble fly.
Back inside the hotel suite, he left his men in the luxurious lounge area and headed for the quiet of his own quarters. Alone in the dim chamber, he tore off the confining helmet and stood for a moment, breathing in the fresh air before dropping the helmet on the bed and settling into the chair beside the window. One hundred and four stories up, the room offered an exquisite view of the double moon rise, but the young man focused instead on the box across his knees – the acquisition that bought him halfway across the galaxy.
It was a bitter disappointment.
He closed his eyes, remembering a day in his final teen years when he peered into a similar wooden box with his uncle. They’d spent five years traversing the galaxy on a massive treasure hunt, gathering up every artifact they could that had survived the mass extermination of the Jedi. In many places they visited, Luke Skywalker was heralded as the hero of the galaxy, the Jedi master who killed Darth Vader and brought down the great Empire. But to young Ben Solo, he was the uncle who hid the truth from him, the uncle who had killed his grandfather – Ben’s mother’s father.
Padawan Ben Solo had never let on that he knew his grandfather’s identity and concentrated instead on learning all he could about the Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi knight who died in the Clone Wars the same year Darth Vader’s name appeared in galactic databases everywhere. With confirmation from disparate sources, Ben had connected the dots twelve years before the public did, twelve years before his mother was forced to send a private subspace message telling him why she never told him, telling him how sorry she was.
But she’d wasted her time. He already knew about the power of
Darth Vader, the power of the Chosen One. But the Chosen One had failed when he forgot about the power of the Light. The Force required balance, an equal knowledge of both sides. And so Kylo Ren, Leader of the Knights of Ren – formerly known as the Order of Revan – sought the lost lightsaber of the most powerful Jedi knight of the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Bazine Netal had reported an ex-stormtrooper claimed to have recovered the blade from Vader’s personal effects before the second Death Star was destroyed. The weapon now in the box on his knees had been in Vader’s possession – Ren could feel that much through the Force – but it had not been Kenobi’s.
He put the box on a low table alongside five others and picked up the case in the middle. Reverently, he opened it, drew out the saber within, and thumbed the switch. The blue blade hummed to life and with an eerie glow, lit the face of its new master – the grandson of its original master and creator.
@MyKyloRen 12 October 2016