The last wisps of rationality in me protest as I place my petite hand in his large, warm one. But it feels so right…
I feel us be pulled away together.
I feel like a tide of the force is urging me inwards. I’m scared, I do not know how to swim! I can’t…I will not drown! I try to pull away, but something firmly anchors me while also keeping me afloat.
"Do not resist," he advises me.
I waver under the harsh laps that assault my mind. It’s too powerful. If he doesn’t let go, I will die!
I submit to his control. To him.
Suddenly, everything changes. I’m thrust toward a familiar scene. I’m on Jakku!
A lump in my throat forms. I recognize my parents. They are standing a few steps from me. I want to scream at them not to abandon me, not to leave me there. I begin to move towards them, but I freeze at the sight.
"You know it's necessary," said Luke.
Master Skywalker? He was there?
No, this can’t be right…but there is no mistake! Why don’t I remember this?
My mother is sobbing uncontrollably.
Another voice injects, “The midichlorians count in her blood is too high for us to take the risk"
Master Leia? What’s happening?!
My father turns to look at me with sorrow, "She is just a child. Must she pay for her grandfather’s mistakes so dearly?”
"We understand, but the sacrifice is necessary," Leia tells him indifferently.
Her tone is so emotionless, unlike the empathetic, wise general I have come to know.
Is this even Master Leia? The resemblance is unmistakable, but the woman in my memories, so stoic and impassive, unmoved my by parents pleas can’t be her…
“We have to keep an eye on her," she stresses, “Her blood puts her in more danger than any other force sensitive her age. If she awakens in the force, it will be felt by all force users, light and dark. She will be tempted by the dark side, and new Sidious will rise. The balance we have found after centuries will be lost and the deaths of a thousand generations of Jedi will be in vain.”
My mother hiccups.
“We know this. But, wouldn’t it be easier to target her is she is alone? Should she not grow up with her family, teaching her about right and wrong? "
Luke, with a stony expression, stares at me from the corner of his eye.
His gaze pierces me and I freeze in terror. I get the feeling he is staring right through me.
I'm afraid ... I don't want to see more but Kylo prevents me from turning away. He wants me to know, I feel it. I’m really scared.
“It was the fear of losing a loved one that drove our father to the Dark Side. We can't let history repeat itself,” Luke insists.
“Given her heritage, it is inevitable that Rey will be called to the Dark Side,” Leia said. “She must live in isolation and be observed. It would be much easier if she could stay here her whole life, but that is not the way of the force. When the time comes, when she awakens to the Force, we will make sure to guide her. But, for that, let us not give her any weakness that will make it easier to be seduced by darkness.”
“Weakness? You mean to say that my daughter will never know love and if she did it would be a weakness?!” my mother indignantly spits out.
Luke and Leia exchange a look.
Luke sighs, “From love, from attachments comes the fear of losing… and fear is a path to the Dark Side. The old order forbade attachments for this reason. But it failed. We must not. We can’t even risk taking her to the academy, she must not have a single person she fears losing, no master or friend. This is the price that comes with your blood. If she wasn't a Palpatine, trust me, what we say would never come to pass.”
My vision blurs with tears, but the words cut right through me.
It was them… Luke and Leia, the people I respect the most in the world.
They separated me from my parents, forced them to sell their own daughter…they deprived me of everything…willingly.
Kylo Ren's hand squeezes mine in reassurance and I suddenly feel stronger. Grounded.
“This planet is a barren desert, you can't force us to abandon our daughter here! She is not even five years old!”
“Rest assured, we have friends here, they will watch over her from afar.”
“From a distance? And what about love, tenderness, whatever a child needs?” My mother cries.
I can see Leia try to steel her expression. “I'm sorry but that's the way it is, we have no choice. "
Suddenly, Han Solo, who had been listening to us at a distance walked up to her side and whispered indiscreetly, “A word, princess,” he demands.
I see myself decrepitly following them, animated by curiosity.
Han’s face sets into a deep frown and he faces his wife. “These people are right. You can’t ask this of them! Leia, look at her, she's just a little girl! She needs her parents.”
Leia scowls, looking very much like her son in that moment, “This is bigger than some child that would miss her parents! Don’t you see? If we don’t do this, everything we have fought for our entire life would be for nothing. A new Vader, or, force forbid, a new Sidious. Balance in the force demand this sacrifice!” She stomps in the opposite direction
Han looks angry now, “The Force or Luke? Leia, it is not because we think we are acting well that it we are. Separating a child from her family is not worth this.” He calls out after her.
“I know what it is to feel orphaned and alone on a unfriendly planet, and I don’t want anyone to go through that, at least not if I can help it. I got myself into a lot of trouble, Leia. The girl might too, and she may not be able to get out of it. What will happen to your precious balance then?"
At his words, she pauses, and slowly turns back with that infuriatingly calm expression.
"I don't expect you to understand, Han. You never believed in the force, you can’t feel it, and you do not understand.”
He presses his lips in a thin line, “I don't have to be a Jedi to understand that leaving an innocent girl on a dump like Jakku is wrong.”
“The Jedi order separated children from their parents! Obi Wan made the same choice for Luke and me and he was right.”
“Damn it! It was different back then, Leia! The Empire was in power, your father was a Sith, and your mother had died in childbirth. The only reason Obi Wan separated you was for your protection,” he was almost shouting.
She exasperatedly huffed, “Just like we do today for this child.”
“This ain’t nothing like back then! You had your adopted parents, Luke had his aunt and uncle. This child will not have either! We are at peace, Palpatine is dead, the Empire is gone, and the New Republic is in place. There is no threat! "
“But there will be!” she snapped.
He reeled back.
“That is how the force works,” she continued, a little calmly, ”Darkness will rise again. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, maybe not while we live, but someday. I’m just trying to make sure that it will not be through this little girl. Even Luke was tempted, but he learned to stay in the light. If he didn’t lose his family as I did mine, nothing would have stopped him from falling. Palpatine would just have to hold them over us and we would be the new dark apprentices, maybe worse than Vader."
Han Solo shakes his head “Think about it! Our son, Ben also has this darkness in his blood. He is Vader’s grandson. If someone pretended to take him away from you just because they thought he would become an evil Sith lord, would you let them?”
Her face hardened, “I would do whatever is necessary to protect the Balance. To protect peace. To prevent another Empire, another Alderaan, and yes, another Vader."
Han stares at her in disappointment and steps further back.
“I can't believe what I’m hearing. So, would you be willing to sacrifice Ben? If Luke asked you, would you really give him up? Abandon him like this?”
“I wouldn’t be happy to do it, but I would."
Through our bond, I feel Ben’s turmoil but I am too consumed by my own emotions to bring any comfort to him.
I try to gather myself, rubbing the tears away, and I see Han Solo turning away from Leia.
“I can’t…I can’t be with you on this. I know we say we’ll try for Ben, but Leia, I can’t support you in doing something like this.” His voice wavers slightly, “You’re right. I’ve never understood your fancy mumbo jumbo, but this ain’t just that. The rebel princess and the moisture farm boy I met all those years ago would never do something like this. I tried to ignore the little things, y’know. First you’d both spend months on some random moon training with your laser swords, even when you found out you were carrying Ben. Then, you wanted to name your son after an old guy you knew for lesser time than me, I didn’t mind a lot but you’ve changed. Not just by this force stuff. You went to sign galactic concordance when you were nine months pregnant. I get that it’s your job, and I know I’m not capable enough in your eyes to raise that kid because I don’t have your magical force, but I know I’d do better than letting him be raised by droids while you try to fix a galaxy that ain’t broke. You’ve never cared, and now you say you’ll abandon him like you force these people, who actually care about their child to? I’ve kept quiet and I’ve tried, but this is it. You’ve gone too far this time.”
She exhaled and shut her eyes. "You don’t understand. You never will. Not about raising Ben, and not about this. So, don't interfere," Leia tells him, teeth clenched.
“As you say, princess,” Han quipped bitterly before turning away. “Don’t wait for me, I think we ought to go our separate ways. I would be slipshod if I jeopardized your precious crusade. "
From where I was, I see Chewie shake his head and Han Solo quickly walk by him to board the Millennium Falcon .
My mother's tears reach me again and I turn to my parents.
"Don’t leave me!" I cry, lip quivering.
Luke walks up to me and stares at me for a moment. Again, I have the feeling that he sees the adult woman that I am now behind the little girl in front of him.
“I'm sorry, but the Force demands it so.”
Now, my father protests, “But I always made sure to stay as far away from Palpatine as possible. He didn't even know about Rey,” tries my father again. “There is no way any new Sith can corrupt her if she turns out to be Force-sensitive!”
“She is,” Luke says.
“At least allow my sister to watch over her,” pleads my father. “She will know how to stay at a distance, you’d know how well that’d work"
Luke looks away briefly, "No, it's impossible, the risk is too high”
"If we've found you, the Sith can find you when the time comes," Leia said. “In addition to the threat to Balance, keeping your daughter by your side or entrusting her to a family member would only endanger her further.”
“We don't know how the Sith would react if they knew about it. Sure, they would try to turn her over to the Dark Side, but if she resisted them, they might decide to kill her." she looked at them meaningfully.
My mother stifles a hysterical sob and Leia approaches her.
Her demeanour is softer now, “I am a mother too. I understand how difficult and painful this must be to you, but it is really for the best. Especially for Rey. You can be sure that we will not let anything bad happen to it. The Jedi Order's mission is to protect. Our friends will do everything possible to watch over her, but there is no way you can stay by her side." she consoles.
Deep inside, I feel something break.
I want to yell, to cry, to hurt those who have deprived me of a family.
I watch my parents turn away from the child I was despite themselves.
I feel alone, empty… Luke walks over. He lifts a hand to me and focuses. My petite body convulses ,then I fall back to the sandy ground.
My mother gives a slight cry but Luke reassures her.
“Memory erasure, it is imperative that Rey forgets about our presence on Jakku. She will wake up in a few moments and you can say goodbye to her. We will be waiting for you on board the ship. "
Luke and Leia move away and I feel the universe faltering.
How could they do such a thing to me?
Author's Note : I'm really grateful on Starkulous who had greatly improve my text in this chapter, specially Han's speech ! All credit goes to her