Soon by Jack Neale
Ben Solo was having a bad day. Funny, how I say that despite knowing myself that those choice words are the understatement of a lifetime, I mean, murdering your own father hardly fits under the labelling of ‘a bad day’. That’s a ‘really bad day at least’! Trust me, I’m not being humorous, although you may believe I am, comparing that to the things I’ve done in my lifetime makes poor, young, innocent Ben appear just that. I’ve lain waste to villages, slain the defenceless and toppled Empires. Toppled the Empire. Not for those precious Jedi however, naturally I’ve collected a fair few of their heads too, but for money. For my one love, my one companion, the only thing in this damned solar system that understands a modicum of my being. Galactic credits. The words roll of my tongue, my body shivers. No mortal, no monster, no measly Solo will truly hold my heart. I lust for one. I lust for money.
The saintly Jedi are beneath me, they always were. Not my enemies, well not originally, until he helped kill my father. Luke Skywalker. My heart grows heavy with hatred at the thought of his existence. The history books will say that the dreaded Sarlacc ended my father, but who led him to that untimely end? Luke Skywalker. You would not blame a fatal shooting on the gun itself, but rather he who pulls the trigger. So why, you ask, why aid the Rebel scum, why aid your father’s killer himself? Simple. I felt a change in power, thus I gravitated to greater profits. I always have and I always will.
That leads me to Ben, or Kylo as he calls himself. I hate that he hides himself under a false mask, as if he should be ashamed. His dad smuggled twice as much as my father ever could, yet I still bear the name of Fett. He’s a Solo, related closely to the Skywalker bloodline and the most powerful saber-bearer in the Galaxy. He should be dead, I know, not from Rey or Finn or Poe or Leia or Luke:from me. Why not take vengeance against his murderous Uncle by killing his sister’s son? And I will, one day. When we sit on our thrones of terror as husband and wife and our children run across the marble floor of our Star Destroyer he will be free. Free from his Uncle. Free from his anger. Free from his life. I will kill him.
But not yet, not this year either! I have only 24 years of pain etched into my mind and I’m hungry for a little more. Kylo Ren equals profits. Kylo Ren is my key to ruling the Galaxy as I see fit. Using tyranny and evil as masks as real as Ren dresses his face in. You mustn’t believe that I am evil, but money is. No doubt about it. Three things in this life can corrupt a soul: power, revenge and money, and I know I’ll find it mighty easy to obtain all of the aforementioned. As simple as murder, as simple as marriage. Speaking of which, I must leave you, I cannot be late for my own wedding. The wheels are in motion my dear friends, your universe will soon quake at the name Kiara Fett.
40 Years Later
I giggle in comfortable insanity at the blade resting in my calloused hands. It is perfectly weighted like a punching bag on a thick string. A lightsaber, weapon of the Jedi, the Sith, my husband, and my rise to glory. Not the traditional weapon of a retired bounty hunter of course, I’d much prefer to use my chrome blaster, but this way it seems more personal. Ending a man’s life with his own item of elegance has just a subtle amount of cruel irony to it. Just enough for me to enjoy it, yet not enough for me to spare him. We had no children; turns out I couldn’t actually, another footnote in my life cursed down by whoever owns this sick world. I tend to reassure myself that it was a parting gift from my Uncle-in-law, him using the last of his mystic and brutal powers to render me barren before I sent him tumbling into an abyss of blackness, the abyss of death. Deep down I always knew it would be over too quick for me to enjoy it, and I laugh at his curse. Did he truly think that a mistress of murder like me would ever want to carry on a legacy? A legacy in the Solo name? What a senile old psychopath. Fine then, I’m yelling inside my head now, I’ll be buried in my money, and I’ll be the last true ruler.
I must apologise for getting carried away. Where was I? Ahh yes, my husband’s death. What a tragic ordeal! They say a Jedi ghost must’ve killed him, maybe even Luke! I mean, surely there was no way a 64-year-old lady could slay the most dominant entity of all time! Imagine that! Imagine it…
He died with no fuss. No mess, no struggle, nothing. The years must have chosen to soften him up for me because one quick strike ended his days. I am glad of one thing. I am glad that at that one moment, the only moment during our marriage, he had chosen to remove his mask. Both figuratively and literally his mask was off, he was Ben Solo, and I finally saw the light leave his eyes. I single-handedly ended the Skywalker bloodline (I had dealt with that afterthought Rey years ago) and I had peace for my soul and revenge for my father. Boba Fett will greet me in Hell with an embrace and thanks for honouring him like no other. I will see him again.
30 Years Later
I once said I appreciated the cruel ironies of life and to an extent I do. They amuse me. Amusing I find that an assassin like me, who’s given Hades so many clients, is yet to be accepted. At 94 years of age I have been reduced to nothing but a lively soul inhabiting a useless body. Every movement hurts and I lost my treasured blaster a while back. The only thing I am now to clutch is the cold, unforgiving, armrests of my throne, I am empty. I now never leave said throne and my vast wealth no longer entertains me. My only visits come in dreams and not in the form of smiling faces. My ex-husband tends to appear, cursing such a ‘wretched demon’ for ruining his life. CORRECTION. For ending his life. I saw my father once, Boba, but he offered me no moral reprieve. His soul seemed soon to expire, and he had grown sick. Sick in the afterlife, sick of waiting for his daughter. He had grown tiresome of waiting for our deserved rejoice but ultimately seemed at peace. Peace. A funny concept, it can be acquired in various ways. I once thought I had such ‘peace’ but it was not to be. The one treasure I can never obtain is the one I crave so much…
Despite being old, my mind is as sharp as ever, giving me this time to reflect. I am very, very aware on how my life’s morals changed throughout my time here. Going from revenge and lust, to insanity and finally, and most painfully, to bitterness. I can hazily remember wanting my name to be universally feared and it is, but not as Kiara, and especially not as a Fett. The ‘Barren Baroness’ is what I have been labelled. Like I said: cruel ironies. Look hard enough and you will find them, they are everywhere, and I live one.
Then again, living is no way to describe my existence, surviving would perhaps be a more suitable term. I rarely sleep, I rarely eat, and I rarely speak. I rule through others now, others whose minds are easily bent, bent to my very will. The only difference between my pawns and I is that I must cope to live with the troubles and turmoil of my past. I was so young, so green, yet so corrupted. A deep pain rises from my chest upwards and I wait, knowing that this must be my time, as I black out.
I wake to scorching heat and blinding light, lukewarm knives of sunlight attempting to pierce my skin. I look down at my hands. They are not callous and crumbling but rather smooth and soft. The shoes: I recognise the shoes. A past memory clicks in my mind. This is the Dune Sea, in the heart of Tatooine, 87 years ago. I am 7 years old, experiencing a memory I promised myself to shut out until the very end. This must be the end.
A tall man is holding my hand. He has dark skin, eyes full of life, and is wearing a vague expression. His other hand is resting loosely on a matte black blaster pistol, with scope and all. He wears the helmet of one the Hutt’s men, yet his weapon is not standard issue. Yes, even at 7 years old I was perceptive. I did not trust this man but if he’s here with me he cannot be over there trying to hurt my father. Boba was fully-equipped in his silver and green Mandalorian armour, so I knew I was not to bother him. He and some other men had recently fooled an escape plan by the Princess Leia, the Jedi Luke and the smuggler Han Solo. The wookie was there too. The guard holding my hand glanced at me occasionally, especially when I began to giggle. It was a shrill, high-pitched noise that I suddenly propelled whilst thinking about my father’s captives. Even a Jedi should be wary when trespassing on Jabba the Hutt’s property as the slimeball had more tricks than a court jester. I hated the Hutt Clan. They were vulgar, disgusting megalomaniacs who had far than enough money. I believe it was at that moment that the concept of money had began to enthral me, I learned its uses and how it could sway even the strongest of us. Even my father…
The monstrous Sarlacc looms beneath me, and I slowly back away from the edge of the barge. I had had nightmares about that thing since I had first seen it, its mouth lashing around, begging to be fed a tasty human morsel. I was repulsed by life on this barge, and I had moved around a lot as a child, the only place I could truly call home was the Slave 1: a speedy starship that could zoom through hyperspace without a problem. My favourite pastime on Tatooine was to create chalk drawings of the Slave 1, and show them to my father. He never seemed to have the time to gaze on them properly, but he would always say I had a mind of talent. His comforting words were the only things keeping me sane on this cursed planet so it stung greatly when he was taken from me, anchored away from this world by the evil smuggler, the demon Jedi, the monster in the ground, and the man holding my hand. It appeared my current companion was a traitor, a gambler who tried so desperately to join the others in legend. Pathetic. I can assure you when I ruled the star systems no one dear speak the tales of Lando Calrissian. To me he became just another unworthy soul who rid my life of the only family I had left. The sky breaks apart above me and I begin to rise, high into the air, but no one can see me. I can feel my life source ebbing away and the aqua of the clouds refreshes me after the painful heat. Then I see nothing but my father in the heavens above me, offering his hand for me to take.
Not soon, now.