On board the Finalizer, Lieutenant Dolphed Mitaka approached the helmeted figure in black with great apprehension and doffed his cap. He swallowed hard.
“Sir, we were unable to acquire the droid on Jakku,” he managed to get out, his voice wavering only slightly. Kylo Ren stood with his back to him, monitoring a bank of consoles. When the dark lord half turned to reveal the menacing mask, the junior officer thought he might wet himself. “It escaped capture aboard a stolen Corellian YT model freighter.”
Ren digested this unwelcome news with a hidden sneer. “The droid…stole a freighter?”
Mitaka knew his words sounded lame, but he put on a brave face. “Not exactly, sir,” he went on without missing a beat. “It had help.”
Kylo Ren turned fully around to face him, giving the poor little man his complete attention.
“We have no confirmation, but we believe FN-2187 may have helped in the escape.”
Mitaka’s last words were drowned out by the roaring ignition of a lightsaber. He cringed as Darth Vader’s spawn began slashing the bank of consoles in a blind fury. The trail of scorched and melted destruction was not new to the lieutenant, and he knew there was nothing he could do but wait for the fiery tornado to die down. He closed his eyes and cringed as sparks rained down, dreading how he’d tell General Hux they’d need to put in a requisition for more consoles.
He breathed a little easier when he heard the blade extinguish.
Ren half-turned again, calm now, and asked casually, “Anything else?”
The junior officer’s heart began to pound again. “The two were accompanied by a girl,” he said after a deep breath.
Mitaka didn’t know what hit him, or rather what hoisted him off his feet and dragged him by the neck into Kylo Ren’s vice grip.
“What girl?” Ren demanded through gritted teeth. The mention of a girl on Jakku stirred something deeply emotional within him, something deeply...protective. He didn’t quite understand the violent reaction himself, but he understood that the First Order had let not only the map slip through their fingers but also this…girl.
A girl who didn’t know her own power.
A girl to be feared and yet…loved.
He dropped Mitaka and stormed away from the still sizzling comm station. The little man, though gasping and shaking, would live to make his reports another day. Ren had more important things to think about. So important that he went straight to his quarters and into his inner sanctum. As the doors swished shut behind him, he took a seat in the darkened alcove before the melted helmet. He reached up, unlocked, and removed his own.
“The girl,” Ren said breathlessly. “Tell me, Grandfather, what you know. I feel her through the Force and I don’t know why.” The melted helmet said nothing. “Who is she?” the young dark lord demanded.
After a long moment, he buried his face in his hands and let his thoughts roam to the furthest recesses of his mind. There was something about a theft…long ago. He thought again about the current theft, hoping it would jog his memory. A freighter was stolen — a Corellian YT model — except it wasn’t a freighter. It was…a speeder bike. Ren lifted his head and stared, his eyes focusing within. He couldn’t remember the exact model, but it was black and sleek with red racing stripes.
He could barely hear it at first — a high-pitched little voice, defiant and boastful. He settled himself into a meditative position and closed his eyes in concentration.
“I can take whatever I want!” the voice insisted. It belonged to a little girl with brown hair knotted in three buns at the back of her head.
“I’m sure you can,” he heard himself — a younger, happier version of himself — say with a laugh, “but that doesn’t mean you should.”
She stared up at him, took in his folded-arm stance and began to cry. “I did it for you,” she told him between sniffles, stung by his rejection. “You always wanted a speeded bike.”
“Well, yeah, who doesn’t?” Padawan Ben Solo dropped to a crouch to look the five-year-old in the eye. “Hey, Rags,” he soothed, laying a hand on her shoulder, “I appreciate the thought, but I can’t pay for it.”
She wiped her face and sniffed. “It belongs to you! No one else can race it as good as you!”
He grinned, but his smile quickly faded. “Where did you get it and how did you get it here?” He glanced around, expecting the constable to swoop in on his own speeder. Everything had a tracking device these days, and it wouldn’t be long before the authorities located the stolen bike
She pointed a tiny finger at a dealer’s shop far in the distance. “I didn’t know how to drive it, so I lev-tated it.”
He stood, staring and gaping where she pointed. “You levitated it all the way from there?” The feat was unheard of at her age, even among the most adept Jedi padawans. He felt a tug on the hem of his tunic and looked down.
“Can we take it for a ride?” She beamed.
He gazed at the bright little face — the face that was so hard to say “no” to. He grinned.
“I said, it’s a damn good thing I had that door override installed.” General Hux crossed his arms and glared down at the dark lord deep in Sith meditation.
Kylo Ren slowly opened his eyes.
@MyKyloRen 27 October 2016