MEET AND GREET:
Disembarking from the aircraft, Kylo leads me to the waiting general. The smile that she offers, doesn’t reach her eyes. “General Organa, this is.... I’ve yet to ask your name.” He says, to me. “Nova.” I offer. “Nova was sent by the League of Assassins, to kill me.”
“The League of Assassins... One of you should be dead, why am I looking at both of you?” We both exchange a look, before he leaves us. “He can be converted back to the light.” Her mirthless chuckle, confuses me. “There was a time that I thought so also. That is until he murdered my husband, his father, put a lightsaber through his heart.”
“I’m sorry.” Shrugging, she pours herself a drink, offering me one. Shaking my head in refusal, she adds more to her glass. She’s not fit to lead the resistance, she hasn’t recovered from her loss. “What of the resistance?” I inquire. “What of it?”
“Well, what the hell are you resisting?” She finishes off her drink before responding. “Darth Vader used the death star only once, to instill fear and what do you know, it worked. He has an army of stormtroopers, to keep the small rebellions, that keep popping up under control. My son... he does his bidding....”
I have an idea of what that means, but I want her to confirm it. “What does that entail?” I ask, watching as she pours another drink. “What he did to the League of Assassins, eliminate potential threats, seek out force sensitive beings and end them.”
Taking the bottle from her, I toss it against the wall. “And you’re sitting on your ass doing nothing!” I’m sure that it wasn’t the breaking bottle, that caused her to collapse in tears. “I can’t do it.... I can’t...”
“Can’t do what?” Her sobs coming in between gasps for air, i’m on my knees in front of her. “Leia, what are you talking about?” She takes a few deep breaths to calm herself down. “I want you to kill him.”
“Darth Vader?” I say, I know that she can’t be referring to her son, and Darth Vader’s her father, but as far as villains go, he’s the worst. “Kylo, I want you to kill him. I want you to take his lightsaber, and put it through his heart.”
“He’s your son.” I say, taken aback. “That’s why I can’t do it.” She says, helplessly. I’ll kill Darth Vader, but not him. I can’t. “I’ll give you whatever you need, just do it for me, please.” Considering her words, she can help me, inadvertantly.
“I’ll do it, but you have to do something for me.”
“I need Darth Vader’s location.”
“No one knows his location, but I can get it for you.” She says quickly.
“I can’t say...”
“Not good enough.”
“Give me a few days.” She says, pleadingly.
“I’ll be in touch.” I leave her sitting on the floor, watching my departure.
I’ve been searching for Khan for days, he sure knows how to disappear. Plan A: seek out Khan and get him to see that killing Darth Vader, is the first step, to convert Kylo back to the light. Retracing my steps, from the jumping point, i’ve been trying to locate him.
Using my visions of the future, i’ve been able to narrow his location down, to a castle on Takodana, the outlaw hangout planet. Entering, the patrons are what one would expect, a diverse crowd of creatures banged up and hard looking. Sitting at a table, a petite, odd, orange looking creature approaches me. “Hmm...” she says adjusting her glasses. “You smell of the League.” Now how did she know that? “I haven’t smelt your kind in ages. I suspect that you’re looking for someone.” “As a matter of fact, I am. A man...” She interrupts me. “Tall, dark haired, brown eyes?” She says looking behind me. “Khan!” I say, turning around. My excitement turns into surprise. “Is he the one, that professed his love to you?”
“Kylo, what are doing here? How did you find me?” I don’t like the studious way that he’s looking at me. Those eyes, a girl can get lost in them forever. “The craft that you took, has a tracking device.”
“That still doesn’t explain, why you’re here.” I say, slightly annoyed. If Khan’s here, he just followed me to his death. “You may can keep things from me, but my mother can’t. I told you not to seek him out.”
“No, you told me that you wouldn’t take me to him.”
“What don’t you understand?” He whispers, roughly pulling me to a darkened corner. “My orders are to kill your kind.” Gripping my arm too tightly, he struggles to control his anger. “Then why haven’t you done it yet?”
“Have I been replaced already?” His voice causes my heart to skip a beat, and not in a good way. Removing his hood, i’m reminded why I left my door unlocked nightly. Turning, Kylo reaches for his lightsaber, I place my hand over his, stopping him from drawing it.
“Khan, i’ve been looking for you.” He extends his hand to me, and I know that it’s a show of dominance, control. I go to him, wanting to keep the peace, and he does the unexpected, kissing me. What....
The majority of our interactions, have been inside of my bedroom. If truth be told, I barely know the man, but let’s just say that I wouldn’t mind getting to know him. “And you must be...”
“Kylo Ren.” I interject, quickly. “Formerly Ben Solo.” Khan states. Damn... They both draw at the same time. “Don’t!” I yell, getting in between them. “Not in here!” Maz’s raised voice, comes from across the room. The Tavern goes quiet. “He’s my contract.”
“You should have been dispatched him. Do you know what he’s done to our brothers?” I know, and the guilt is written on my face.
“I’ll give you 24 hours, and then it’s an open contract.” He leaves, as quickly as he came.
24 Hours... I waste no time, getting back to the resistance’s headquarters. I was reluctant to leave Kylo’s side, but he refused to leave Takodana. “If you think that I’m going to run, you’re sadly mistaken.” His words, replay through my mind, as I hurry through the compound.
Finding General Leia, I demand Darth Vader’s location. “You’ll honor the agreement , or i’ll exact retribution.” She says, handing me a strip of paper. Only on word is written on it, “Mustafar”. Paying no attention to her, I quickly take my leave. I have what I want.
I reach Mustafar by nightfall, a lava lake burns brightly near the only structure on the planet. Darth Vader’s castle. Landing, i’m immediately “greeted” by stormtroopers. Demanding to know who I am, they relieve me of my weapons. Giving my name, he relays it to his general. “Bring her in.” Comes through loud and clear.
I’m taken to and left in a dimly lit room, where a man of no physical significance stands. Crossing the narrow walkway, to get to him, I look over the side, to a drop with lava waiting at the bottom. The heats tremendous, forcing me to stay within the middle. He’s watching me, and i’m waiting for him to say something. “Do you want to know why I’m here?” I ask, safely making it to the end, without falling over the side. His response is to remain silent. “Take me to Darth Vader, i’m here to see him.”
And then I hear it, an ominous sound, a deep, labored breathing. The man leaves the room, walking past me, and I watch him, until he’s out of sight. Turning back around, the labored breathing’s gotten louder.
In walks the man, the thing, that i’ve been looking for. Masked and covered in all black, from head to toe, he makes for an imposing figure.
“I thought that the League of Assassins, were comprised of only men.”
“I guess, i’m the exception, but I didn’t come here to talk to you.”
“No, you came here to kill me. Let’s get to it then.”
His lightsaber glowing a dark red, he attacks. Dodging his attacks, I want to kick myself for thinking that he’d be honorable, and fight a fair fight. Swinging at my head, he misses and I land a punch, that only serves to hurt my hand. Striking at me, he slashes at my body. Backing away, the sabers rips through my clothing, barely missing my skin.
Spinning out of the way, i’m behind him, pulling at his helmet. The thing seems to be drilled on, I’m pulling with all my might, when he slings me over his head. Flying through the air, I hit the floor with a loud thud! The wind knocked out of me, he’s quickly over to me, kicking me in the stomach. Sliding across the floor, i’m reaching, trying to gain some type of grip, to keep from falling over the edge.
“Master!” Kylo’s rushed into the room. Landing close to the edge, I roll back to safety. “Please... not her!” He says, as I return to my feet. “My apprentice thinks himself in love with you. But, Love is something that one must deny, the cause of such a dangerous drive, must be eliminated.” Kylo’s by my side, giving me back my sword. ” You’ll finish this, and thank me later.” Darth Vader says, withdrawing his saber.
Looking in his eyes, I see the internal war that he’s waging. I would hate to have to hurt him, but if he stands in my way, i’ll have no choice. He makes his decision, turning to face Darth Vader, moving in front of me. “I can’t hurt her.” Darth Vader’s saber instantly lights up again. “You’ll betray me, and move from the darkside, for her?”
“For her and myself, I can’t do this anymore. All my life, i’ve been trying to please everyone. Trying to live up to their standards, of who they want me to be. It’s time that I be true to myself.” He says, his lightsaber glowing brightly. Moving to stand by his side, he takes my hand in his. “She’s never asked anything of me, never wanted to use me for her benefit. So, yes, I renounce my claim to the darkside.”
Darth Vader attacks first, using the force, to fling Kylo away from me. Coming at me, our swords meet, the strength of his hit reverberates throughout the room, as it forces me back a few feet. Not giving me time to recover from the first blow, he’s upon me quickly, and our swords meet again. Kylo joins the fight, and we both attack at the same time, but Darth Vader’s fast, for someone so immense. He swiftly, blocks and counters every hit that we dole out.
He’s only trying to keep Kylo at bay, reserving all of his death dealing strikes for me, he goes for my heart and my throat. The saber slices the air, inches from my face, when Kylo roughly pushes me out of the way. Falling to the floor, I anticipate Darth’s attack, and roll away. His lightsaber meets the floor where my stomach would have been. Coming back to my feet, Darth Vader’s turned his anger to Kylo, dealing out death strikes.
Rejoining the fight, Darth uses the force on Kylo once again, to send him flying across the room. I take the opportunity to go for his heart, and then at the last moment strike at his arm. The prosthetic arm, hanging from his mutilated limb, he’s distracted watching the hanging arm. “For my brother’s!” I yell, which brings him from his trance, as I aim to decapitate him.
My mistake, he swiftly reacts driving his sword through my shoulder. Screaming in pain he pulls his sword back, as I drop to my knees in front of him. Cradling the reopened wound, he hovers above me. My sword arm damaged, no fight left in me, I accept my fate. It was a good battle, and it’s a good death. His lightsaber raised, I close my eyes and wait...