He appears to me when I least expect it. Startled, I tighten my grip on my lightsabre.
"You again! What do you want ?"
His expression morphs with annoyance, "If you think I liketo find myself hurtled into your miserable everyday life ... "
I scowl too, but I know I have to ask him.
"Why did you destroy Corellia?"
I'm still sure it's him, but I need to hear it from his mouth.
I want him to tell me, to reassure me that there is still good in him, that he would never do such a thing.
"I have nothing to do with the obliteration of that planet even if I do not deplore it. "
He is innocent, I knew it! I was right to believe in him…
I consider Poe’s intel for a moment.
"What do you know about the Final Order?"
I raise my lightsabre in his direction, carefully contemplating his answer.
"Who is behind this name?"
To my perplexion, he lowers his gaze for a moment, as if he were sorry, before staring at me intently.
" If you want to know, join me. I will show you.”
“Do you think I'm stupid enough to fall into your trap? "
His lips slightly curve upwards. Slightly, into a mirthful smirk.
"Are you afraid? Good ... you are beginning to understand that you are no match for me. "
I focus on our bond and I find myself projected aboard a destroyer. In front of me, I see a a half-melted helmet. My eyes widen when I recognize it, it belonged to Darth Vader. He is too infamous for me to be wrong.
"A family relic?”
“Lest I forget the heritage of my blood“ he retorts back.
Like always, at the mention of family, I feel a painful twinge in my chest. I school my expression into indifference.
"Too bad you only take into account the part that suits you."
"Coming from you, I find it rather ironic ."
“Why ? Because I am nothing? Nobody?”
He raises his eyebrows, “No…well, your parents were nobody. But your grandfather…”
I don't understand, since when does he speak in these infuriating riddles? Where was he? What does he know that I don’t?
He walks towards me. He so close, I can see his eyes. The warm deep brown pools with flecks of gold twinkle with a complex emotion I can’t place.
He comfortingly puts his hand on my shoulder, gently running his thumb over my skin. I feel its heat on my skin.
I recoil from a sudden gesture, breaking the spell. An indecipherable pout deforms his features for a brief moment, then he steps back.
"You pretend you have things to teach me, so do it. Or, is it one of your tricks to draw me away from my friends? "
Is he trying to save time by anchoring me here through our link? Is his fleet in orbit, ready to attack?
"It is not a trap, I would have no interest in driving you away, you are not strong enough to fight against my army."
“So the only reason I'm here is that you're looking for someone to talk with? "
I have the momentary satisfaction of seeing him flinch from the joust. Immediately, I chastise myself for my unkindness.
Mocking his solitude is probably not the best way to bring him back to the Light.
I pace toward him, before I stop. Touching him would make things too uncertain. Even if I'm dying to.
I return to less tumultuous terrain:
"You said you knew everything about the Final Order. Who is behind it?”
“So the only reason you are here is that you are looking for soe intel? Clearly, the Resistance spy network has fallen very low… ”
I try to hold back a smile at his jests. I wordlessly stare back. I don't want him to know how fond I am of our playful banter.
"Palpatine," he says.
That kills the mood. What?
"Emperor Palpatine? He has been dead for a long time. Anakin Skywalker killed him when he turned back the Light, you know as well as I do. Better, possibly.”
“That’s not possible”
“The dark side is a pathway to many abilities that some consider unnatural. What do you know of the Dark side?”
“I know that what you say is impossible.”
“He's alive, his body is weak but, believe me, he is powerful. He is the Final Order.”.
“In that case, I will find him and I will kill him.”
“You can't do it alone. Join me, by combining our powers, we will defeat him ."
While speaking, he drew near me and suddenly, I am more than ever aware of his proximit. If we were really face to face, it would only take me a small step to brush against his lips ... My heart accelerates at this idea and I force myself to back away.
"I will never join Kylo Ren. But, I can work with Ben Solo. "
This time, he tenses up, his face distorted by rage.
"Stop calling me that, Ben is dead.”
“No, he's still there. He is you. Please, stop this, your incessant yearning for power…all in the name of Vader. Accept the inheritance of your blood, it is more than darkness, more than Vader. Ben, come home." My voice cracked at the end, emotions gripping at my throat and impairing my ability to speak
He clenched his fists before looking at me. All anger disappeared from his eyes, replaced by a cruel coldness.
"What about your inheritance, Rey?"
Another cryptic allusion to my origins... I don't understand what he is trying to tell me.
"You really don't know who you are?"
Tears blur my vision. Must he make me say it? We’ve already had this conversation. I am nothing, my parents are dead, and I’ll know nothing about them except that they sold me for drinking money. Does he not see it hurts me? He doesn’t care.
"No one, you told me ...”
“Your parents were nobody. Your grandfather, on the other hand… ”
A sudden migraine twists my temples. I feel weak, the world spins around me and I feel like I'm about to pass out.
"You remember more than you say... You repress it or you have suffered a memory impairment but deep down, you know . "
I feel more and more confused. My heart is on the edge of my lips.
"What do you mean by that ? What do you know about my grandfather? "
I feel so bad that my voice is reduced to an almost inaudible whisper.
"You are a Palpatine, Rey. Sith power flows through your veins. You were born to serve the Dark Side . "
For a fraction of a second, I see myself, completely dressed in black, a red lightsaber in the right hand and the left in that of Kylo Ren.
No never! It is a trick, a trap, a mental manipulation.
How dare he use my desperation to have a family like this?
Rage overwhelms me at this thought and I stretch my hands towards him to push him away.
Bolts of lightning burst out of my palms and Kylo Ren is thrown against the wall.
Flashes of Power... Sith power.