After watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I felt the desire to write a short story about a scenario that could happen after the movie. I'm working on some other stuff as well, but this works as a standalone piece.
WARNING! THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS! Do not read this if you haven't seen the new Star Wars movie (or do but don't get upset).
Rey stopped in her tracks, alerted by an unexpected presence. She had entered a large rectangular chamber, nearly a hundred paces across. Walls of stone the color of charcoal, webbed in sinewy vines, towered around her. White lights trimmed the edges, illuminating ancient glyphs hewn into the rock and sending columnar beams into the mists of the high ceiling. At the entrance on the opposite end of the vast space stood two shadows, their ebon cloaks soaking up what little ambient light there was.
“Hello, Rey” a familiar voice croaked, it’s filtered notes echoing off weathered rock. One of the figures stepped over a shaft of light, the ridged chrome and hollow eyes of his mask lit ominously from below. She could sense him vibrating with rage. Kylo Ren, the betrayer. She felt her own anger welling up from within, but held it back.
A half-pace behind Kylo stood an unfamiliar form, cloaked in black and nearly his height but thinner in stature. It reminded Rey of the Spike from Jakku, somehow manifested as a person. As it moved into the light she glimpsed a gaunt mask, polished, with a thin slit where she thought its eyes might be. She reached out with her mind and sensed an eerie calm, a patch of smooth water enveloped by Kylo’s maelstrom of emotions. The mask cocked to the side, focused on Kylo Ren. Rey could feel his turbulent fury ease to a ripple.
“Since you rejected my mentorship, I’ve found a new student.” She could tell he spoke through gritted teeth. “It’s for the better, really. This one is far more open to my instruction.” A single arm rose from beneath his cloak and motioned to the black figure beside him. “A’don Ren, why don’t you introduce yourself to our guest?” Kylo’s helmet nodded in her direction, and the gaunt mask cocked to the other side, its gaze now turned to Rey.
A’don Ren slid into a regular stride, its cloak parting into layered flaps as it moved. Its movements were steady, purposeful, yet elegant. It slowed to a halt, a few paces short of the center of the room, and the layered robes melded back into the lithe form. The helmet tilted, still focused on Rey, and an arm outstretched, motioning to a spot before it. Kylo crossed his arms and settled into the role of spectator, rooted at the threshold.
Rey strode cautiously towards her opponent, spreading her consciousness until she could feel the entirety of the chamber. Her mind crept into every nook, felt every etching, touched each vine and leaf. She saw the structure of the room, its supports and its weak points. Places where its makers had rushed, or where age and decay had made it brittle. And she saw the energy of those within it, pulsing with the Force.
Upon reaching the center she composed herself, and took in her opponent. The high, concave cheeks of A’don Ren’s mask merged to a prominent crease at the center, and the narrow eye slit arced downwards ever so slightly. She studied the mask’s aperture, searching for any hint of the creature that bore it. It was steely, observant. Like a bird of prey, she thought.
Rey closed her eyes, calming her mind. Luke’s lessons fluttered through her thoughts, flashes of techniques and echoes of ancient wisdom. The voices of jedi long since passed that filled her dreams. She took a deep breath, held it, and slowly released it, letting go of the clutter of thoughts. Her hand hovered above the hilt of her lightsaber. She could do this. She was ready.
A’don bent in a half-bow, hollow face still trained on Rey. She responded with a bow of her own, her eyes locked to the mask. Both stood straight.
The dark figure produced a saber hilt from the folds of its robes, chromed and elegant. Flowing lines etched upon it danced with reflected light. A foot slid out from beneath the cloak as hands guided the hilt to position. With a bright flash the blade extended. Red, of course, but flattened and smooth as glass, save for the occasional hiccup of light that surged along the blade. A crimson razor, long as her arm.
Rey’s own saber leapt to her hand and in a swift motion she brought it before her, a crisp line of blue. The tumult of Kylo Ren danced at the edges of her focus, but she ignored it and set her mind solely on the opponent before her. The blade of her saber thrummed with anticipation.
A black foot stepped forward. A crimson blade cut the air in a vertical slice, meeting in a flash with blue.
Blue retreated, tilted, and lanced forward. A swift red curve deflected.
Sidestep. Arc of blue. Twist of red. The two blades met, parted, and met again, flowing about their wielders like liquid light. Each move countered as though it was expected, forming not a duel but a deadly dance.
Rey’s saber pushed against A’don’s and her eyes met with that inquisitive slit of black. She realized it was defending, using the flat of the blade as a shield. For how long had she been on the offensive? Rey became aware of her anger towards Kylo boiling up within her. Suddenly A’don’s wrist flicked. The flat blade kicked hers away.
Rey was off balance.
Red sliced upwards, barely brushing the ground. Rey leapt backwards, a blur of cloth and blue. But not fast enough, as the fiery razor grazed the tails of her tunic and nicked her boot.
Another arc of red. A flash. Deflected.
Blue trailed red, running up the side of the black figure. Flash! Flicked away. Twirl and strike to the other side. Parry - wait!
No parry? Rey’s mind halted for a split second as anticipations collided with reality. She saw it before she could react, time slowing, her body slowing with it. A kick to her gut. Faint lights reaching up to the ceiling. Air rushing past her. Then… impact! She hit the ground between her shoulder blades, spreading the force along her back as she slid until it hit the balls of her feet.
She saw the dark figure striding towards her. Slowly, purposefully. No, she thought. It was arrogant, not purposeful. And yet, there was something familiar about it. As she rose from the ground she watched its stride melt into an attack, blade flowing like blood.
Rey's eyes tightened with hawk-like focus, her grip shifted on the hilt of her saber. She drew it up her side, catching the attack and redirecting it behind her. She dropped the blade low and twirled, sparks exploding about her feet, ready for the next strike.
A’don spun about, a flourish of the blade that morphed into a leap. A deep, earthy groan foretold Rey’s counter, and a half second later the floor beneath A’don erupted. The blocks of stone were easily avoided, but the onslaught of charred grit and dirt was not. A’don was flung backwards, a flurry of robes, barely finding its footing in time to block the pursuant wave of blue. A sharp sizzle indicated it had been caught with the edge.
Rey scraped her blade down the length of the crimson razor, spraying her opponent with electric sparks. A’don flicked the blade to push her away and stumbled backwards. An azure lance hurtled towards its face it but was ready. Its masked head dropped as a wall of force erupted from within. The blue blade ricocheted back at Rey, grazing her shoulder as both were flung back.
“Stop playing and FINISH her!” screamed Kylo. It was too much. The anger erupted, and Rey’s arm flung out at him, hand contorted into a claw. The walls and lights around him exploded, showering Kylo with glass and rubble. “Aaauugh!” he cried, dropping to his knees and clutching at his mask.
A’don had nearly reached her, robes flowing liked oil as it sprinted, when Rey caught it with a petrifying glare. The figure locked in its tracks, red blade no longer glassy but sputtering and raw. Frigid eyes pierced A’don as Rey rose from the ground.
She began a slow, purposeful stride towards her frozen foe. Cracks stretched across the polished mask, snapping into existence. Guttural gasps emanated from within, hoarse and raw.
“Kylo is my enemy,” she uttered through gritted teeth. Her voice lowered, “You are just an obstacle.”
A’don crumpled to the floor, bits of plastic and metal flaking from the mask as it heaved. A hand groped at the floor, while deep brown eyes peered out from the broken mask, searching for the chrome saber. But Rey’s attention had already shifted to the other side of the chamber.
Thick dust settled, as she reached the entrance, revealing an empty hall. Rey, with furrowed brow and curled lip, snapped back to the room. The battleground was empty, but Rey was filled with dark emotions.