Series: Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Series Summary: It’s been over a year after the events on Crait. The Resistance has been reborn, and now the First Order is under the new leadership of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren. As the battle for the galaxy continues, a powerful new threat that has a connection to both the past and the future seeks to fulfill a legacy. And this new threat will force key players on both sides to face their own legacies, which will determine the final outcome of the war and the true balance of the Force.
Chapter Summary: A Resistance team comprised of Poe, Rey, and Rose infiltrate General Hux’s ship to rescue Finn. But they are met against a dark foe who has allied themselves with Hux’s plans.
Author’s Note: This will be my version of the story that occurs after The Last Jedi. It’s more of a The Rise of Skywalker fix-it story.
Rating: Teen+ (violence, descriptions of executions)
Word Count: 3768
It is a period of transition in the galaxy.
Supreme Leader KYLO REN leads
the FIRST ORDER with limited military control.
This has created areas of peace within the galaxy, and
some are beginning to question their rebellion,
including those in the newly reformed RESISTANCE.
But there are those who are against this change.
GENERAL HUX has secretly been finding allies across
the galaxy for an eventual mutiny. But he discovers
a secret meeting location on GEONOSIS
between STORMTROOPER defectors and
the Resistance leader FINN, whom he captures.
POE DAMERON now leads a small team to free Finn
and the defectors from Hux’s ship. Alongside him is
REY, the last Jedi, who is now
the Resistance’s and the galaxy’s final hope…
A dozen TIE Fighters pierced through the red skies. On the ground, stormtroopers covered the rocky desert terrain, where the fallen lay, both stormtroopers and resistance fighters alike. The combination of aerial and ground attacks had weakened the small resistance team led by Commander Finn of the newly reformed Resistance, leaving them to retreat to the Geonosian cave network. It was a secret but practical location Finn used when hiding the First Order defectors until he could safely get them off the planet.
Geonosis was once an important planet near the Outer Rim that was not only responsible for the manufacturing of battle droids for the Trade Federation, but also of the first Death Star used during the Galactic Republic. Now, nothing but old remnants of the forgotten factories and the civilizations of the extinct Geonosians remained, desolate, scattered, and rotting away from the many years of abandonment in the harsh, arid climate.
But it also made for a perfect location for secret meetings. As this planet was now long forgotten, it became a secret refuge for defecting stormtroopers in the First Order. It was a refuge that Finn had scouted out and chosen in order to save others like himself, with the intention of forming allies with knowledge of the First Order to help bring it down. The location also made it possible for those who truly wanted to leave and disappear to escape towards the Outer Rim and try to forge a new life. A life without the conditioning and slavery forced upon them by the First Order.
But they had been found.
What was left of Finn, his team, and the defector group looked less hopeful. Half were already dead or missing, but Finn knew he had to protect those he could. They were his responsibility and he wasn’t about to show any signs of giving up. They ran, dodging blasts from above and behind them, while some returned the fire with their blasters. He took aim at a Stormtrooper, releasing a shot that pierced them in the shoulder.
A pair of TIE fighters banked and turned back towards their direction. Twin blasts from each struck a mesa, sending a rainfall of debris to block their path. Finn skidded to a stop with his hands shielding his face. When he looked around, he was surrounded by a crimson cloud of dust. He could barely make out his surroundings, but he could hear screams that cut through the air. He saw one of his team members on the ground, their leg buried underneath rocks from the blast. Finn ran to them, dropped to his knees, and began grabbing and throwing the debris as quickly as he could.
“Hang on!” he yelled, as he stared assuringly into the pained face of the person he was responsible for.
Finn wasn’t sure if the First Order had known about the entrance to the caves, but it was a coincidence that the entrance was now covered. How could I be so stupid? He had led everyone into a trap.
Stormtroopers were still on their heels. As the dust began to settle, shots were volleyed back and forth. But a distant sound made him pause. A single TIE fighter grew closer. It was low towards the ground and roaring towards them at full speed. The troopers were no longer shooting, and Finn stared in horror at the oncoming TIE fighter.
“Run!” he shouted to the others, but he continued trying to clear the debris from his wounded team member. His trembling hands worked faster with the skin on his fingers being cut against the sharp edges, but it was too late.
The gunner released successive bursts from the weaponry, with continuous shots aiming towards the ground. Sand and rock flew up in the air along the path that only approached closer like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. With nowhere else to go and no way to fight back, Finn crouched over on top of his fallen team member, shielding them with his body as explosions echoed and the ground shook beneath him, followed by the TIE fighter roaring victoriously above them.
Finn now felt the aches in his body as he woke to a blinding sun and half his face buried in sand. He felt a swift kick to his ribcage.
“On your knees, traitor,” a trooper commanded.
Still squinting and unable to fully see, he tried to push himself up with his hands, but he felt shackles around his wrists. Using his arm, he pushed himself up to his knees, and once he did, his vision finally began to adjust and he gasped at what was before him.
The remaining members of his team and defectors were lined up. He noticed the one who was trapped under the debris, trying to balance themself on one foot, their head lowered in defeat. Finn looked around and noticed they were in the middle of a circular arena. Much of the seating area and large spires were destroyed from past wars, but he knew what the original purpose of this place was. An execution arena. If he had remembered from C-3PO’s yammering, this was the place where the Clone Wars began.
Heavy footsteps pounded into the sand floor in his direction until a figure stood before him. The sunlight reflected off of the chrome panels around the feet.
“FN-2187, you are charged with treason against the First Order,” the chromed trooper stated.
But how? Finn’s head lifted to the tall, familiar figure who was now blocking the sun. His shocked expression could not turn away from the commanding trooper whom he defeated on the Supremacy, watching her fall in and being consumed by fire. So he once believed. But the proof of Phasma’s survival was standing right before him. And it was that proof that cemented his defeat.
“A quick death would not be worth the crimes you have committed.” Phasma turned off to the side, giving Finn the full view before him. “First, you will watch your fellow traitors die.”
“No!” Finn tried to get up, but he felt another trooper’s hand claw into his shoulder, holding him in place.
Phasma gave a single nod. Troopers lined up in front of the traitors, aiming and readying their blasters. “On my command!”
“I’m so sorry,” Finn achingly whispered to himself, feeling the muscles in his body loosen.
Finn watched helplessly as his friends, his brothers, his sisters collapsed to the ground. He didn’t realize that he was leading them to their deaths. Perhaps he had become too confident, too arrogant in all of the successful missions that resulted in freeing others like himself. Leia had made him a commander when they began reforming the Resistance, but now he questioned his worth in leadership.
“Get up,” the one trooper who held him in place ordered.
Finn struggled to find his footing. Dazed, he looked down at the still, lifeless bodies, additional victims of the First Order. A stream of blood mixed with sweat ran down his forehead and into his eyes. It might finally be over for me. What was left of his team was sprawled out across the lands, here and out there, probably to be covered with sand and rock over time, lost forever. He didn’t know if any others had survived, but the only thing he knew now was that their efforts had failed.
On the opposite end of the arena, a transport ship landed. It also began to rain asteroids the size of hailstones. They clicked loudly against the metal of the ship. Finn could see them coming down on him, but he could not feel them beat against his skin. He was pushed towards the carrier that would take him to a new destination. But as he walked towards it, behind him he heard Phasma.
“Leave the bodies as a warning.”
Hidden within one of the forbidding mountains, was the Resistance ship. Inside was Wexley, the ship’s pilot. He heard the sounds of TIE fighters zooming near him.
“Wexley! The First Order is here! I don’t know how—”
Wexley ran to the communicator, fear rushing inside of him at the sound of his commander’s panicked voice.
The feed began to cut off, as Wexley could only hear the sounds of blasters firing and explosions. Then there was nothing but silence. He quickly tried to work the communicator again, hoping for any signal. His efforts were fruitless. This time, he turned to a different signal.
“Poe. Commander Finn and team have been compromised.”
The Finalizer hovered above Geonosis within the asteroid rings that encircled the now barren planet. With Kylo Ren as the Supreme Leader, the Finalizer had officially become Hux’s personal flagship. He no longer had to share it with Kylo, who now had acquired his own, which was grander than Snoke’s Supremacy. This pleased Hux for the now Supreme Leader was no longer physically breathing down his neck, but he also had to be cautious of his actions as Hux did not want to rouse suspicion from him.
The doors opened to a holding cell. General Hux entered, holding his hands at the small of his back as he approached his prisoner. Finn was still restrained in shackles, but just the sight of the general gave him the strength to rise up and charge towards the red-haired man. “You!”
A trooper appeared and stunned Finn with a single shot. His body froze before falling back towards the ground, shaking erratically. It was only strong enough to destabilize him, not knock him out completely because Hux wasn’t finished with him yet.
“Careful now, traitor, or I’ll order to have you put in a restraining apparatus that’ll shock you if you try resisting,” Hux threatened. His strict posture contrasted with Finn’s curved and broken one that was now lying at his feet. Hux walked around Finn, circling him like a predator. “Based on my records, I have 78 missing stormtroopers. I demand you tell me where they are located.”
Finn answered by spitting on Hux’s finely polished shoe.
Hux grimaced at the disobedient display, his upper lip quivering into a snarl. He raised his hand, and motioned for something—or someone—at the cell’s entrance. The stormtrooper shoved a young man in resistance gear into the cell, a blaster pointed at his back.
Before Finn could even react, Hux pulled out his own blaster from his coat and shot the man point blank in the head. The man’s body toppled to the floor, as Hux nonchalantly put his blaster away.
“Now. I will continue killing more of your treacherous friends until you give me the information I need.” Hux exited, the cell door sliding closed and locking behind him.
Finn was left alone with the body of his fallen comrade. His own body was still stunned from earlier, so he pulled himself across the floor with one arm, sliding towards his resistance friend. He placed his hand on the chest, dropped his head, and began to release all his guilt, anger, and sorrow in one powerful scream that had been lodged in the back of his throat.
Three stormtroopers walked in a group through the corridors toward the holding cells. There were already two troopers standing outside, guarding one specific cell. That cell was the group’s target.
One of the three stood off to the side, while one shot out the security cameras on both ends of the cell corridor. The other quickly ran towards the two guards at the door, knocking them both out easily with the butt of a blaster rifle. The other two came racing to their side. With the all clear, they took off their helmets.
“That was too easy,” Rey commented, shaking her long ponytail out of the helmet.
“Ok, Rose, you’re up,” Poe said.
Rose took out a small device and attached it to the control panel of the door. Within seconds, the door slid open, with light from the corridor flooding into the dark space inside. They saw Finn sitting on the floor and leaning back against the wall next to another person. His clothes were stained with dirt and parts were ripped. His face had streaks of dried blood, with droplets of perspiration settled along his forehead. His cheek was bruised. His bottom lip was split open. His hands were full of cuts. Who knew what other injuries lurked underneath his clothing.
Poe quickly ran towards him, kneeled down, and embraced him tightly.
“Poe!” Finn choked out, but couldn’t return the embrace due to his shackled hands. Instead, his fingers were splayed across Poe’s trooper chest armor.
Poe cradled the sides of Finn’s head between his hands and leaned his forehead against the Resistance commander’s. “It’ll be OK. We’re going to get you out of here.”
Rose stood in the doorway, sighing in relief. But her relieved expression dropped at the sight of the young man lying on the floor. “Dex?” He was an engineer like her. She quickly ran to his side, but then realized immediately that he no longer lived.
“It was Hux. There are others that survived but were captured. We have to find them,” Finn explained, desperately.
“I know where they are,” Rey stated, as she sensed their location through the Force. Rey looked back into the corridor. “But we have to hurry.”
Poe helped Finn to his feet. Rose hurried and released him from his shackles. “Thanks, Rose.” Finn massaged his wrists and then hugged her. As Finn followed Poe and Rose out, he glanced back at Dex one last time. “I’m so sorry.”
Once Finn made it out into the corridor, his and Rey’s eyes locked onto each other. “Later,” he said with a thankful smile.
“Follow me,” Rey commanded. They each put their helmets back on and made it look as if Finn were their prisoner.
“Rey, I need to tell you something,” Finn told her as they carefully walked through a couple of more corridors.
“Kylo Ren is here,” he responded. “I saw him.”
This would be unfortunate news if he were to catch them. But then she realized that she had not sensed Ben through the Force on the ship. She had made certain of it, even planned for such an eventual obstacle. However, if what Finn was saying were true, then there had to be a reason for why she hadn’t sensed him. Had he hidden himself from her? Had he learned how to control their connection? Whatever the answer was, she had to be on guard and hoped her training would be enough to protect them from the First Order’s Supreme Leader.
Once they reached the destination, they followed the same protocol: destroy security cameras, incapacitate the guards, and hack open the door. Inside were a combination of ten Resistance fighters and trooper defectors. They had all survived the ambush, but were captured in the end. Now all they had to do was escape.
Poe led them towards a hangar with a transport carrier that they could steal. But on their way, alarms sounded. Red lights began flashing in the corridors with stormtroopers coming in multiple directions. Poe threw Finn a blaster and the troopers-in-disguise began shooting at their enemy as they raced along down a single path towards the hangar with the other survivors.
The hangar was in sight. Suddenly, the door to the hangar slammed shut, separating the group. Poe, Finn, Rose, and five of the survivors were locked inside the hanger. Rey and the others were left outside in the corridor. Rey took off her helmet and tossed it to the side. She no longer needed her mask. Some of the people with Rey began to bang on the hangar door. They could be heard on the other end. Rose began to set up her hacking device, but a group of troopers began to ascend on them. Finn and Poe began holding them off, while Rey on the other side suddenly felt something dark.
The door on the opposite end of the corridor shut, trapping them. Then all of the lights went out, leaving Rey and her group alone in total darkness. Rey pulled a hilt out, gripping it tightly in her hand. With a flick, the hilt extended into a metal staff, one that was sturdier than the one she made from the wreckage she scavenged back on Jakku.
“Stay by the door!” She yelled at the others, feeling the darkness grow stronger through the Force. This doesn’t feel like Ben. She turned around towards the group and immediately heard the familiar sound of a lightsaber igniting. The corridor lit up in red hues, as Rey was met face-to-face with one of the defectors, who was fully illuminated by the glowing red blade that protruded out from her chest. Behind her, holding the lightsaber, was a cloaked figure hidden behind a mask etched with jagged cracks that glowed crimson red. The flickering light of the saber made the cracks appear to flow like blood.
The corridor suddenly returned to darkness. The only sound was of the defector’s body hitting the floor.
Rey’s breathing quickened, but she gripped her staff tightly in both hands. She spun around with purpose, feeling that same rush of something from the dark side. She raised her staff as it immediately met with the hilt of the same lightsaber, which stained everything once again in the color of death. She pushed back against this figure, the muscles in her arms trying to hold her staff steady. But strength-wise, this darkside user was stronger. But it did not deter her, as she gritted her teeth, her cheeks puffing out as she tried catching her breath.
The face was close to hers, and she could see the details of the mask more clearly. It looked as if the mask was made out of pieces of trooper helmets that had been stitched together. The darkside user pushed back, the blade nearing Rey’s face. The heat began to burn her skin. Her staff neared the blade of the saber, which now had begun to scorch the metal. Any closer and the saber could easily slice through it.
“Indeed, a fiery spirit,” the mechanical voice stated. It was almost reminiscent of the similar distortion of a masked Kylo Ren. “But what is a true Jedi without her lightsaber?” The voice mocked.
“What?” Rey blinked wide-eyed, surprised at what this mysterious figure had just spoken.
The door finally opened behind her. Before the light from the hangar reached her, the red color from the corridor disappeared, along with the pressure against her staff. Once the darkness faded, Rey looked around unable to find the masked darkside user.
“Rey, hurry up!” Rose called out to her.
Poe and Finn were already running towards a transport carrier, with the others following behind. But some had already been shot. Rey ran into the hangar. She raised her hand and Force pushed the group of stormtroopers back, knocking a few out and stunning the others. Rey kept Rose in her sight and shielded her as they ran to catch up. But another set of troopers appeared through the entrance.
“Go! I’ll catch up!” Rey shouted. She readied her staff. Shots rang out, leaving Rey to deflect the blaster bolts back and hitting their source. She then sprinted towards them and jumped. When she landed, she twirled her staff in all directions, knocking blasters out of hands, stunning some with quick jabs with the ends of her staff, and kicking some to the ground.
The transport carrier began to rise, preparing to take off. The boarding ramp was still down. With one more quick Force push that sent the rest of the stormtroopers flying, Rey took off after the carrier ship, which was on the opposite side of the hangar bay and already nearing the exit that opened out into space. It’s too far. She spotted both Rose and Finn standing at the ramp opening, waving her to hurry.
Without looking back, Rey leapt through the air using the Force to carry her across the long distance until her feet made landing on the ramp. Finn grabbed her, helping her inside. Rose quickly pushed the button with the ramp closing behind them. The carrier was being shot at by more troopers, but it didn’t stop the ship from exiting the hangar and making its escape into space.
The hangar was deserted and sprinkled with fallen stormtroopers and a handful of defectors and Resistance members. A pair of black boots stepped over the bodies. The owner ignored them until this dark figure came across one of the defectors, eyeing him as if sensing something unique. The cloaked figure knelt down next to him and pressed their lightsaber hilt against the man’s chest, which jolted the man awake. The sight of the person–or thing–forced him to sit up and lean away in fear from the cracked mask staring at him.
A gloved hand reached toward him to gently hold the back of his head. The hilt pressed harder into his chest. “Shhh. Tell me, do you want to survive, or do you want to live?” The dichotomy of the voice was both soft and menacing.
The defector trembled, unsure of what to do. “S-survive,” he finally responded in a quivering, hushed voice. The man’s eyes widened as the figure didn’t move.
“That’s unfortunate,” the voice almost sounded disappointed.
Quicker than a blink of an eye, the lightsaber ignited and then shut off. The darkside user released their grip from the man’s head, letting the body fall to the ground. Smoke trickled out from the hole left in his chest.
The cloaked figure in all black stood up and looked out towards where the carrier disappeared. Hux appeared and stood silently behind them.
“I have what I need.”