Rey slipped through the heavy metal doors as they slid shut, flattening herself against the wall and peering around. No sign of any patrols in this sector, thankfully, although she knew the surveillance cameras lurked just out of sight. Good thing she’d sent a power surge from an entryway terminal through their control system.
She had never set foot inside this station, constructed after the destruction of Starkiller Base. However, it resembled that station where she’d been held prisoner for a mere night – the place where she had accepted and claimed her powers. She wiggled her fingers, feeling the Force flow in response to her call, a now-familiar friend and ally awaiting her orders.
A burgeoning sense of purpose surging through her, Rey strode down the hall, the hooded black cloak that masked her face billowing behind her. She called on his memories to guide her, the emotions that had invaded her dreams over the past year to illuminate her path.
A snatch of calm in the chaos – there, tucked away, the small shrine he had erected to his grandfather. A fit of blinding, searing rage – the singed doorway, saber marks melted into its metal frame.
The connection they had formed – when he’d set out to steal her thoughts but ended up on the receiving end of her fledgling power – Rey imagined that must be what had started the visions. Master Luke had trained her to shield her mind during her waking hours, setting up an adamantine barrier around her thoughts, but she hadn’t yet mastered keeping it in place during her fitful hours of sleep.
Years of desert living, nothing but the shell of an AT-AT for shelter, hadn’t exactly made her a heavy sleeper. Even on the relative safety of Ach-To, the remote island she had yearned for, envisioned for so long, she merely dozed, prone to jerking awake and reaching for her lightsaber when R2-D2 so much as chirruped down the hall.
And yet. She had slipped the question into conversation during a visit from Poe – were there any lingering effects from his interrogation? Had any connection formed between him and his questioner, Ren?
Nothing. Not so much as a whisper, he had assured her. When he had slowed, halted and narrowed his eyes at her, she’d quickly changed the subject. Don’t give him a reason to report me to General Organa.
At last, she reached the door to his personal chambers, an unbreakable wall of ebony stone flanked by a pair of crimson-cloaked guards – a sort of offshoot from those who used to guard the almighty emperor, she’d learned. The First Order must have repurposed the idea from the old Empire, as they had so many others.
The guards straightened as she approached, gripping their pikes. She felt their wariness seeping off them.
“Halt. Who are you? What business do you have here?” one of them barked through his face mask.
Rey mentally checked that her shroud was still in place, covering the upper half of her face but leaving her mouth visible to wreak her persuasive power. She called upon that old friend and felt the Force respond.
“I am no one,” she murmured, lacing each word with that alluring assurance that willed the weak-minded into submission. “You’ve just remembered a task Lord Ren set for you on the command deck. You will leave now and not return this night.”
She counted the seconds, keeping her persuasive aura intact while all the while praying that they would heed her orders.
“You are no one,” the earlier guard repeated tonelessly. Rey breathed a sigh of relief. “We’ve just remembered a task Lord Ren set for us on the command deck. We will leave now and not return this night.”
The pair clutched their weapons and shuffled off in the direction of the lifts. Rey set to work on the locking system, calling up the Force to sense its code. With a beep and a whoosh of air, it released, the door grinding upward for her to enter.
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