The day Luke Skywalker brought home the raggedy, scrap of a girl called Rey, Ben Solo couldn’t have cared less. Why should he have? He was, after all, a thirteen year old boy. A Padawan. A Jedi Knight in training. A prodigal one at that. What interest would he have in an orphaned four year old child? So what if his uncle—no, Master—Luke had claimed that she was strong in the Force? She was no one.
Then his uncle made the announcement that she was to be considered his daughter and given the name Skywalker. The name that Ben himself should have rights to, but instead bared the name Solo after his practically dead beat father. The rage that consumed Ben after this discovery was great. He tapped into his anger, used that emotion to manipulate the force and destroy everything around him. By the time his anger finally receded his room was in shambles. His bed was turned over, the frame split in two, all his books and knickknacks he’d been allowed to bring with him from home were scattered around the floor, and rubble from the now splintered ceiling dribbled down to the ground.
Ben’s chest rose and fell rapidly and he had to pace back and forth for a good long while before his breathing evened out again. Sitting down on partially destroyed mattress, Ben ran a hand through his black curls, pushing them away from his face with a sigh. Now that anger had vacated his system, other emotions went to war inside him. Fear: what if this new girl was stronger than him? Disbelief: How could uncle—Master Luke do this to him? How was this . . . this nobody deserving of the Skywalker name? Insecurity: Why was he never good enough? Why couldn’t anyone just choose him first for once? Why didn’t anyone ever seem to put him first?
All Ben felt he had was his uncle and his position in the Jedi Academy. His father was always off gallivanting across the galaxy, choosing adventure over his son. His mother was too busy with political meetings and allies to pay him any mind. She was the one who sent him here—banished him here—at the smallest sign of trouble. And now even his uncle and Master was pushing him to the side. Why? Why was he never good enough? What must he do to be someone’s first priority?
“You really want to know?” A weak and croaky voiced asked from the back of Ben’s mind. Spine straightening, Ben looked wildly around his room trying to locate the source of the voice.
“Who said that?” He shouted at his supposedly empty room.
“Said what?” A different voice asked. This one was younger, stronger, and had a different accent. Nabooian, perhaps. Ben’s head snapped to the open doorway of his room, this time successfully finding the source of this voice. It was the girl. The new member of his family. Rey.
She stood in his doorway, her posture open and defenseless, with her brows furrowed together in . . . was that concern? Ben couldn’t tell for certain. “Why’s it so messy?” She asked, her nose scrunching up with childlike disgust.
“Because I like it messy,” he said harshly, not wanting to put up with her curious mind. Now that he saw her up close he could better understand his uncle’s interest in her. The force was practically seeping off her body in waves. She’d become powerful given the proper training. Maybe even more powerful than himself. Anger flared up in his chest again at the thought. “What do you want?”
Rey stepped into the room, unfazed by his snarky demeanor, or perhaps just oblivious to it. Slowly, she walked closer to Ben and his broken bed, “Luke . . .father?” she rolled her eyes up, thinking, then shook her head an continued, “told me to come look for you. You’re my cousin?” She looked so open, so hopeful, Ben’s anger disappeared without him even realizing it.
“Yeah,” he said softly, “I guess we are now.”
Rey took a few more hesitant steps closer, her brows still furrowed. She stopped just before him and asked, “What is a cousin?”
“You don’t know?” Ben felt his eyebrows raise up high. So high he knew they disappeared behind his curly bangs. How could this girl not know what a cousin was? She was young, but not that young.
Rye shook her head, eyes wide, “Nu-uh.”
She was practically touching Ben now. He could feel her body heat radiating off her and onto him. Letting out a sigh, he extended his hand and invited her to sit on the decrepit mattress with him. Smiling brighter than the sun itself, Rey happily jumped onto the soft foam before sitting down next to him.
“It means we have parents who were siblings. My mother, Leia, is the sister of Luke, who’s now your father.” The words brought on a bitter taste in his mouth, but as soon as Rey made a small sound of understanding, he decided he could live with some bitterness. “You’re a Skywalker now, you know,” he continued, “that means you’re destined for great things.”
“Like what?” She asked, still wide eyed but looking more excited at the prospect of a destiny.
“Power. Skywalkers are strong with the Force. We inherit the gift from out grandfather, Anakin. He was the best and most powerful . . . Jedi,” Ben had almost slipped and said Sith Lord, “ever. And as his descendants, his lineage, we have a duty to uphold the name.”
“How?” She asked, her entire body facing his, a sure sign of her absolute attention on him and his words. Ben felt his chest flutter with warmth and a small smile tried to grace his lips.
“By becoming even more powerful, by learning the true ways of the Force.”
“And Lu—father is going to teach us?”
“I will,” Luke’s voice sounded from the doorway. The two Padawans looked up, surprised by Luke’s sudden presence. Ben cursed himself. He should have been paying more attention to his surroundings. His Master shouldn’t have been able to sneak up on him like that. “Rey, why don’t you go and explore the rest of the academy.”
“Why?” she asked while scooting closer to Ben.
Luke gave her a tender smile, one that Ben would have begged to be directed his way, “I need to speak to Ben for a moment. Alone, please. Now, off you go,” he waved his arm casually towards the rest of the building.
Puffing out her cheeks, Rey only hesitated a fraction of a second longer before standing up from the mattress and heading for the door. She gave Ben one last look, a small wave, and then was out of sight. Ben then turned his attention to his master, “Yes?” He asked petulantly, his lip curling up in a sneer. Now that Rey was gone, he could feel his anger flaring up in his chest again.
“You’re angry,” Luke said simply, but his tone was laced with disapproval, “Ben, you need to control your emotions. These bursts of rage you have will only bring you closer to the Dark Side.”
“What of it? What does the fool know about the Dark Side?” The ghost voice returned in Ben’s mind. “He underestimates its power,” the voice told him. “And because of that he is weak!”
“You know nothing about the Dark Side,” Ben repeated the voice aloud.
Luke’s eyes widened and for a moment he is at a loss for words, then he nods his head to the room and said, “I know the havoc it can cause. And this is only the result of a young, impetuous Padawan.”
Ben continued to sneer at him, in no mood for his uncle’s preaching at the moment. Standing up, he brushed past Luke without another word and headed for the door. “Be kind to her, Ben,” Luke said to his back.
“Who?” Ben asked. He knew who, but he wanted the confirmation.
“Rey. She’s like a beacon of hope for the Light Side. I’d hate for anyone to try and diminish that light.”
“Don’t worry about your precious new daughter,” Ben spat out, “I won’t be the one to diminish her.” Without another word, he’s storming out of his room, leaving his mess and uncle behind. Ben made it all the way out of the Academy dormitory before he felt her presence. Turning to his left, he saw Rey sitting on one of the step overlooking the training grounds. Although she hadn’t gone through much training yet, Rey sensed Ben’s presence. Her shoulders straightened and her head whipped around to find him starring at her.
Giving him another dazzling smile, Rey stood up and skipped over to him, “Want to play with me?”
For half a heartbeat, Ben was tempted to say no. No, he didn’t want to play with her, but that bitter response of his died before it even made it onto his tongue. A string in his chest pulled towards her, as if she was tugging it, and with a sigh, he gave her a small smile—which were becoming rarer and rarer these days—and said, “Sure.” Rey’s face lit up with excitement and happiness and she grasped his hand in both of hers and began to tug him down the stairs.
Years passed and not a day went by where the pair of cousins weren’t bound by the hip. Leia and Han, whenever they made time to visit the Academy, found their relationship endearing. In fact, most people that saw them found it so. The only person that had reservations, or at least the only person Ben noticed, was Luke. Ben couldn’t understand what his uncle’s problem was. Rey was like a pacifying drug when it came to his emotions, and he helped Rey work on her relationship with the Force: something he was better at than even his all mighty master.
“Ben,” Rey started suddenly, bringing him out of his thoughts. He’d thought she’d gone to sleep by now, but apparently that wasn’t the case. He looked over at her, fidgeting from one foot to the other nervously in his doorway, holding on to the stuffed toy X-wing pilot he’d made for her last birthday in her arms.
“Rey? What are you doing out of bed?” Scooting over, he made space on his own bed for her and pulled down some of the covers. Seeing the invitation, she quickly shuffled over and burrowed down into his bed, her head disappearing below the blankets. “Rey? Rey, what’s wrong?”
“I had a bad dream,” her muffled voice told him.
Sighing, Ben rubbed her back through the blankets as soothingly as he could. Every now and then this would happen to Rey. She’d get a force dream of something that either happened in the past or was happening in the present or would happen in the future, and since she still hadn’t gotten a proper handle on shielding her mind when she slept, she had no way of defending her mind from such dreams. Reaching out tentatively with his mind, he prodded her own psyche with the Force and silently asked what the dream was about.
“I dreamt that I was alone,” her mind responded, then flooded his own with images from the dream. She was in the desert with not another living soul in sight and no idea how she got there or how to get home.
Humming under his breath, Ben tried to sooth her by sending her images of her family. Of Luke, Leia, Han and himself with her and promising they’d always be together. He heard a small sniffle and knew that although the images were helping, Rey was still shaken up about the dream. “Hey,” he tried verbally again, “want me to tell you a story?”
That got her attention. The top of her head peaked out from the blankets, “What story?”
“How ‘bout one about our grandfather?”
Rey made a face halfway between intrigue and exasperation, “All your stories are about grandfather!”
Laughing, he agreed, “True, but that’s only because he’s a legend.” He told her before beginning Rey’s favorite story of how Anakin fell in love with their grandmother, Padme, and how they kept their love a secret even though they were married. He was just about to go into the part where he turned on the Jedi order to protect her when Rey’s voice pipped up.
“Do you think we’ll ever be as strong as him?” Rey asked in a small voice, her small hand reaching out and holding onto his larger one. “That we’ll be legends, too?”
Ben’s breath stuttered to a stop, causing Rey to tighten her hold on his hand and probe into his mind. He pushed back affectionately, “Yes, Rey,” he told her, “I believe the two of us will be just as powerful as him, and together even more legendary.”
Smiling sleepily, but still as brightly as the day he met her, Rey snuggled up next to him and laid her head on his chest. “Night, night, Ben.”
“Night, night, Rey.”
“Love you,” she mumbled into his shirt.
Chuckling at her drowsy words, he kissed her forehead, “Love you, too.”
Readjusting himself on the bed, while making sure not to disturb Rey, Ben began to drift off to sleep with a small, tender smile on his face. He was just on the precipice of unconsciousness when he heard it. The voice. “You’ll never be as powerful as Darth Vader, not if you continue learning under Luke Skywalker,” it said derisively. Ben’s body tensed and his body jerked back awake. Rey made a small noise of annoyance, but didn’t wake.
“I could teach you, though,” it continued, “I could make you great, greater than even Darth Vader.”
The thought tempted him. It tempted him so much Ben had to bite down on his bottom lip to keep from screaming yes. Rey moved again, trying to get into a more comfortable position, and all of a sudden he felt grounded again. He didn’t need to be greater than Vader, not when he had Rey. He meant what he said, they’d be greater together.
“And if you’re not together?” The voice pressed. Instincts flaring up, Ben pulled Rey tighter to his side, making the voice chuckle. “I mean no harm, Ben Solo.” Ben didn’t have time to wonder how the voice knew his name, “I only refer to the youngling’s dream. Ending up on a desert planet all alone. Without you, her protector, by her side. It was a prophetic dream, you know it to be true. And only if you’re strong enough will you be able to save her from that fate.”
“It won’t happen. I won’t let it.” Ben promised the voice fiercely.
The voice merely laugh again, “We shall see.” And then it was gone. Panting heavily now, images of Rey being torn from his side flooding his thoughts, Ben tried to calm his mind through meditation, but that only seemed to increase his panic.
Ben didn’t know what to do. He felt overwhelmed by the thought of being alone again and couldn’t stand it. The thought made his emotions go to war and soon felt the bed shake with the power of the Force. Rey mumbled in her sleep, disrupted by the shaking, and as quickly as he could, Ben pulled himself out of Rey’s embrace and headed out of his room. He barely knew where his feet were taking him, all he knew was he needed help. Badly.
He finally stopped in front of another door, one which his mother slept behind. That surprised him. He hadn’t gone to his mother for help or advice in years, not since before the Academy, but he supposed old habits die hard. Knocking three times, Ben tried once more to calm himself, but still to no avail. The door slid open and he came face to face with his mother. “Ben?” She asked, just as surprised as him. “Ben, are you okay?”
Gulping, Ben shook his head. He didn’t trust his voice not to crack. Leia stepped aside to let her son in the room. Ben began to pace while Leia watched. “Ben,” she started, uncertain, she knew he was conflicted about something, her basic relationship with the force told her that, but it didn’t tell her what he was conflicted about, “is this about your father?”
“What?” Ben asked sharply, stopping his pacing.
“Oh, Ben, you know he wanted to be here for your birthday tomorrow, but you know how he is,” she said with a fond roll of the eyes, “he got caught up with Lando in some scheme or bet of theirs. He’ll make it up to you, dear. I promise.”
“What?” Ben asked again, having completely forgotten that his birthday was tomorrow, or that he was supposed to feel sad that his father couldn’t make it again. Honestly, he just felt tired whenever he thought of Han Solo these days. Shaking his head, he continued, “No, no, mother. Please, this isn’t about father. I need help. Rey’s had a dream—a prophetic one—and then—”
“Ben,” Leia cut him off sternly, “if this has something to do with the Force you should really be speaking to Luke about it.”
“But, mother,” he persisted, “I need help—”
“And only Luke can help you with this,” she told him as she began to usher him out of the room. “There’s only so much about the force I understand, dear. Really, your uncle will be much more help. I promise.” Giving him one of her best political smiles, she kissed him on the forehead and nudged him on his way.
Groaning and running his fingers through his hair, Ben remembered why he no longer went to his mother for help. He never got any. She always deferred to Luke, never believing that she could help him even though she herself was one of the most powerful Force sensitive people in the galaxy. Pushing his annoyance at his mother away for the time being, he hurried down the hallway to his uncle’s room.
Knocking three times on Luke’s door, Ben found himself wound tighter than C-3PO when something was going against protocol. After what felt like a century, the door slid open and Ben found himself starring into his uncle’s eyes. “Uncle Luke,” he started, but stopped himself when he saw Luke’s look of reproach. Hissing with frustration, he started again, “Master Luke, may I come in?”
Luke stared at Ben for a few moments, taking in the chaos that were his emotions, before nodding and stepping aside. “How might I help you, Ben?”
“Rey just had a vision—”
“A vision?” Luke repeated.
“Yes,” Ben huffed, “a vision, where she was left all alone on some desert planet, and—”
“Are you sure she didn’t just have a nightmare?” Luke titled his head, “Being alone is a fear of hers, after all. And she knows to come with me if she has a vision.” He seemed to make up his mind, “She goes to you for nightmares.”
“It was a vision!” Ben half shouted, frantic now. Why wouldn’t anyone listen to him? “She had a vision, then after I got her back to sleep, I heard a voice.”
“A voice?” Ben was beginning to worry his uncle had been replaced with some mimicking droid, but the intense look in his eye convinced him otherwise.
“Yes,” Ben stressed. “Some crusty old voice that was trying to tempt me—”
“Ben,” Luke cut off, “When did you hear this voice?”
“Right as I was falling asleep, but—”
“Falling asleep?” Luke shook his head, almost well humoredly. “Ben, you’re almost sixteen now, surely you should know the difference between reality and the world of dreams by now shouldn’t you?”
“It wasn’t a dream!” Ben did shout this time and took a menacing step towards Luke, “It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this voice, either! It pops up in my mind, telling me things, trying to persuade me to do things and I can’t—”
“You can’t?” Luke asked suspiciously, “You can’t what, Ben?”
“See how he treats you?” The voice goaded, “Like something vile, something untrustworthy. Something to fear. He’ll want you far away from his precious daughter. He won’t want you to come near her, so you can’t . . . diminish her light with your darkness.”
Ben stopped short, his breathing still shaky, and although just a moment ago his blood was burning with anxiety, he now felt terribly cold. What if the voice was right? What if Luke did try to take Rey away from him? She had become such a staple in his life, he couldn’t imagine even a day without her. It’d be pure torture. No, better to not say anything more about the voice.
“Nothing, I—” he paused to gain his thoughts and suddenly his mouth felt too dry to speak. Licking his lips and then swallowing loudly, Ben continued, “You’re right, uncle—Master Luke . . . I wasn’t—this was all—I just had a bad dream. I’m sorry for disturbing you so late.”
Luke’s lips pursued and he stared at Ben for a long moment, analyzing him with the Force. Not wanting to stick around any longer, Ben swiftly escaped Luke’s mistrustful gaze and returned to his room.
“Wise choice,” the voice praised.
“Shut up!” Ben yelled, hands flying to grasp at his head. Tears blurred his vision. What was happening to him? It felt like he was losing his mind.
“Ben?” Rey’s small, tired voice sounded from the bed. After some rustling in the blankets, her head popped up and she blinked slowly at him. “Ben? What’s wrong?” She asked, tilting her head to the side. “Did you have a bad dream?”
Ben’s eyes flickered up, then away from Rey, not wanting her to see the discord he felt within himself. Taking in several deep breaths, he tried to calm himself down. He needed to stop the tremor in his hands, he couldn’t let her see him this way. He was fifteen, for Force sake! He should have more control over himself!
“Ben?” Rey asked again, this time much closer. She was practically touching him now. When had that happened? Ben felt the familiar push inside his mind, Rey’s Force signature gently asking for entrance while simultaneously offering comfort. That was the final straw for Ben. He curled over onto himself and sobbed. Rey didn’t know what to do, she’d never seen Ben so overwhelmed before. So she did the only thing she could think of and wrapped her arms around him and held on tight.
Slumping down to the ground, Ben pulled Rey into his lap and clutched on to his small cousin. He felt Rey prod at his mind again and he tentatively let her in. He didn’t give her full access—he’d never tell her about the voice—but she could feel what he felt, and who made him feel this way. Ben couldn’t believe how strong Rey was. She was only seven years old and yet intuitive enough to understand how to help Ben. Focusing on her, Ben was able to calm himself long enough to carry her back towards the bed.
“It’s time to go to sleep, little one,” he sniffled.
Rey looked up to him, concern evident in her eyes, “Are you feeling better Ben?”
Letting out a wet laugh, he answered honestly, “Not really.” Her lip wobbled and he continued, “I’m sure I’ll be better in the morning.”
“Okay,” Rey said quietly before snuggling closer to Ben, “G’night, Ben. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Rey.”
The following weeks led Ben into a false sense of security. For once, everything in his life felt right and he felt whole. His mother stuck around the Academy for his father’s arrival, and even afterwards they stayed for longer than Ben thought they would. He assumed it was because Han felt bad for missing his birthday—again—but for once he didn’t feel bothered or annoyed by that knowledge. He was happy enough just spending time with his family while training with Luke and Rey.
Rey was amazing. She could charm her way into anyone’s heart if they gave her one second of their time. She had Han and Chewbacca eating out of the palm of her hand within the first day of their original meeting and every time after that their adoration just grew. Chewy absolutely adored her, almost as much as Ben did, and loved to carry her around on his back like some Wookie cub while Han took her on test drives on the Millennium Falcon and even took time showing her how to drive and operate the legendary ship.
Currently Chewy was ‘rough housing’ with Rey, throwing her over his shoulder and high up into the air, even though she was supposed to be practicing her meditation. Her screams and squeals of delight echoed throughout the training grounds and Ben couldn’t wipe the smile from his lips even if he tried with all his might. He remembered when Chewy used to play with him like that, back before he was sent to the Jedi Academy . . . and just like that a strong sense of sadness washed over him.
Rey stopped her shrieks of happiness and approached Ben, her mind effortless melding into his own, trying to make him feel happy again. She was breathing hard from playing so hard and she still had a smile stretched wide on her lips as she held out her hand to him, “Come on, Ben! Play with us!”
His hand had just grasped onto hers when he felt Luke’s presence behind them, “Rey, dear,” he called out. Ben twisted around so he could see his uncle properly. “Come with me,” he held out his hand, waiting for her to come to him.
Rey looked confused for a moment, her eyes flickering between Luke’s outstretched hand and the one she was currently holding on to, “Why?” She asked.
“Because you should be practicing your meditation, not playing with Chewy and your cousin,” he told her, but Ben had noticed something peculiar. Although he was speaking to Rey, he hadn’t taken his eyes off of Ben. Ben even thought he saw a calculative glinting behind his uncle’s eyes, but before he could use the Force to verify his suspicion, the glint was gone and Luke’s attention was now honed in on his daughter. “Rey,” he called again.
Rey’s fingers tightened on Ben’s and he could see her jaw setting with defiance. Reading the signs, Ben tugged at her hand and pulled her attention to him, “It’s okay, Rey. Go on and practice with Master Luke.” He gave her a sad smile. He didn’t want her to go, but also knew that Rey throwing a tantrum at her father and Jedi Master wouldn’t be the wisest choice.
Sensing the return of Ben’s melancholy, Rey shook her head defiantly at her father and squeezed Ben’s hand even harder, “No! I don’t want to! I want to stay with Ben! We’re having fun!” She even gave a little stomp of her foot. The force, which was so strong and still so wild within her, lashed out and caused the ground beneath them to shake.
“Rey,” Luke said sharply, not in the mood to deal with his daughter’s tantrum. His eyes flashed wildly, almost panicky, and he walked closer and roughly ripped their hand apart and picked Rey up and began to walk away. “If you refuse to listen to me,” he said around her flailing limbs, “when I call you away from your cousin, then I’ll have to separate you as punishment.”
Luke finally placed Rey in a relatively safe hold over his shoulder and turned to Ben, “I’m sorry, Ben, but it looks like Rey will need some time away from you to get her emotions under control. This is not,” he pinned down her legs to his chest after a close call to his face, “the way of the Jedi.”
With no more to say, he walked away with a still roaring and flailing Rey over his shoulder. Chewy moaned sadly before waving his goodbyes and walking off towards the location of the Millennium Falcon. Ben hardly noticed he’d left, his eyes still trained on Luke and Rey’s retreating forms. Anger flared up in his chest. They were just having fun, as Rey said. Why couldn’t they just have some fun? Why wouldn’t Luke allow them to be happy? He never chastised any of the other Padawans about skiving off their lessons. Why was he always picking on them?
Picking up his practice lightsaber, Ben began hacking at anything in reach. The nearby trees, the ground around him, and especially the training droid—meant to serve as an opponent—were destroyed within mere moments, but still Ben felt the rage in his chest like a fire or volcanic lava. He wondered if this was how his grandfather felt whenever someone tried to take away his happiness. He would never have stood for it, of that Ben was sure.
“He is scared,” the voice spoke up, curling into his mind like a hazy smoke, “Scared of your power. He knows your power is even greater than his and he fears of what you will do with that power.”
“Wh—what?” Ben asked quietly, looking around the clearing, not for the speaker, but in case anyone else was around to hear him, Ben, respond.
“He fears you have too much Vader in you. You’ve seen it in his eyes. The panic. He thinks of you as a threat, a harmful influence. Especially on his daughter.”
Memories of himself using the force in his anger to destroy came to mind, followed by the more recent one of Rey using her own anger to cause a small earthquake. “See? She’s already begun to feel the anger, the power of the Dark Side. Just as you have. Luke will do anything to stop it—stop you.”
“What do you mean?” Ben asked warily, knowing the answer would be something terrible.
“He’ll try to separate you from her. He’ll rip you from her side and she’ll be left all alone, same as you. With no one to turn to for love,” his mind flashed to Rey, “for compassion,” his mother now, “not even understanding,” finally, Luke’s face appeared at the forefront of his mind, followed by the memory of his disregard for Ben when he came to him that night not too long ago.
“But I can help you. I can save you—the both of you. All you have to do is ask.”
Ben barely hesitated, “What must I do?”
“Become my apprentice,” the voice hissed happily.
“What should I call you, then . . . Master?”
“Snoke,” the voice replied, “You may call me Snoke.”
“Yes, Master Snoke.”
The night had finally arrived. After months and months of careful planning, a few sleepless nights, this was the night that Ben would finally free himself and Rey. He could feel the anger burning beneath his veins, screaming to be unleashed. His new lightsaber crackled to life in his hand as he led his fellow Knights of Ren towards the Academy’s dormitory. The lightsaber was crude, to be sure, but he’d needed one—a real one, not one of those smaller, training ones Luke passed out like candy—and he’d learn how to better forge one in the future, with Rey by his side. And once he killed Luke, that traitor, he’d take his lightsaber for himself. It wasn’t even his, Ben thought angrily, it was Darth Vader’s and deserved to be wielded by someone stronger than the cowardly Luke Skywalker.
Screams soon rang out, echoing in the darkness that surrounded the Knights. Ben paid their terror no mind, though. The other Knights were tasked with taking care of the Padawans while Ben—no, Kylo Ren now, the first Knight of Ren—was on a mission to find Luke. Originally, he’d wanted to seek out Rey. He wanted to find Rey, bring her under his protection, and then destroy his former uncle, but he couldn’t feel Rey anywhere. It never took him this long to sense her before. They had been so in tuned with each other’s Force signatures and minds that they barely even had to think about it when searching for one another. Now, though, he couldn’t even feel a scrap of her on the planet. There were only two reasons why that could be the case. It made him panic, and his panic fueled his anger. So Kylo Ren channeled that anger and fear and hunted down Luke Skywalker with a vengeance.
Kylo Ren found Luke with a handful of young Padawans trying to escape onto an old cruiser ship that was stationed on the Academy’s landing strip in hopes of escaping the raid. With such power only the Dark Side could give him, Kylo Ren Force Pushed the ship, along with three of the Padawans, off the strip and down to the watery cliff side. Wasting no time, he continued his attack by rushing the remaining two Padawans with his lightsaber. Luke activated his own and intercepted the strike.
“Ben!” He screamed, “Why are you doing this?”
“Ben is dead!” Kylo screamed back, parrying Luke’s lightsaber and engaging him again. Luke was so busy concentrating on getting through to his nephew that he didn’t notice the rest of the Knights of Ren closing in and taking fire on the Padawans until it was too late.
“No! No!” He howled, running over to one of the youngling’s body and holding it close to his chest. “Ben, how could you? Why are you doing this?” Luke paid no heed to the surrounding enemies or the many blasters aimed on his person.
“You know why,” Kylo Ren responded evenly. “Where is she?” He lifted his lightsaber and held it just beneath Luke’s chin. A strange sense of satisfaction filled his chest when he saw the crackling heat of his lightsaber burn part of Luke’s beard.
“Rey?” Luke asked, momentarily lost. “You did all this for Rey? Ben, you know she wouldn’t have wanted this. Please!”
“You know nothing!” Kylo Ren spat, “She wants to be with me, but you wouldn’t let her! You wanted to separate us! You wanted to take away our happiness. You feared what we’d become together!”
“Yes,” Luke agreed slowly, startling Kylo Ren. “Yes, I feared what you’d become. I saw it in you . . . the Dark Side. It’s trying to consume you, Ben, can’t you see that?”
“All I see is a pathetic excuse for a Jedi,” Kylo Ren quipped. “Now, where is she?” He tipped his lightsaber closer to Luke’s face.
“Safe from you,” he told him, a strong resolution building in his eyes. “You’re right, Ben, I saw what was happening to you, and I knew what would happen to Rey if you two continued on as you were, so I did what I had to.”
“What did you do?” Kylo Ren shouted, his muscles tensing with fear and rage, “Where is she?”
“Somewhere you’ll never find her!” Luke said in a deathly calm voice, then without any warning, he turned his head sharply to the left and Force Pulled several of the Knights into one another, creating a domino effect. Several blasters went off and chaos reigned over the landing strip for a few minutes. Kylo Ren had been knocked off his feet by three other Knights and by the time he regathered his bearings and his feet, Luke was gone along with his old X-Wing fighter.
Breathing heavily, Kylo Ren began slashing at everything and everyone in sight in his rage. He howled at the top of his lungs and eventually sank to his knees and began pounding his fists on the ground as images of Rey all alone on some desert planet flooded his psyche. Luke Skywalker was wrong! Kylo Ren would find Rey. He’d search to the end of the galaxy for her. Yes, he thought as his breathing settled and his anger turned into a fierce determination, he’d find Rey. No matter what the cost.
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