Here’s the next bit for my TFA AU. It’s just the opening for chapter 1, but hopefully, it’s a tiny bit good. I’d like to know what you guys think.
Ten years later…
“Fear is like a double-edged sword,” Rey remembered her master telling her in his deep and commanding voice. “It can help a person as such as it can harm. Fear can drive people to paranoia, creating distrust and chaos among each other. To let it win over you proves that you are weak. To survive, you must conquer your fear and make it your slave. By proving you can face it, by inflicting it on your enemies, will you gain your true power.”
Rey snorted. “Like that’s helpful here,” she said sardonically while she floated down what used to be the corridor of an Imperial Star Destroyer.
The comfort of her white spacesuit protected Rey from the harsh vacuum inside the ruined vessel, not from everything else. Being inside an empty Star Destroyer was the last place anyone would want be in, save for a smuggler hiding from the local authorities or a scavenger scouring for spare parts. It had no gravity, no power whatsoever, not to mention the lingering bodies and debris. It was, in every sense of the word, dead.
And right in front Rey, the dead were sprawled all over the metal walls. Some were officers in gray uniforms, others were wearing the stark white armor of Stormtroopers. They were from the waning years of the Galactic Empire, about thirty, thirty-five years ago. They were attacked, as shown by the blaster marks on their limped bodies. Rey, however, tried not to look nor to even make eye contact with the Imperials’ horrified and ghastly expressions.
Rey’s small breath condensed on the glass of her helmet and evaporated in seconds. She had never seen dead bodies, not like this. There’s nothing to fear. They’re dead. They won’t harm you, Rey told herself. She had to keep calm, she had to focus.
So, Rey closed her eyes and stretched out her senses. She heard the quiet air once filled with marching boots and felt the sting of electrical currents from old machinery. Rey searched through the old corridors, brushing up against the cold lifeless corpses and the slight sting of heated ozone against the walls.
Following her senses, Rey propelled her feet off the wall and pushed herself forward. Making great care not to disturb the corpses, she reached the end of the corridor and made a left into another. She continued onwards until she finally saw it. A simple doorway, rectangular in shape and with what used to a number of locks that would open up. In its center was a gaping hole, so large that Rey managed to squeeze herself through.
“The Empire certainly loved their ships,” Rey commented to herself upon entering the bridge.
As Rey went past the bridge’s lone communications console, she saw the walkway leading up to the open and shattered window where the commanding officer of the ship would wait and observe a battle. Down below were small pits where the lower ranking officers would relay commands from their terminals. It was a simple, utilitarian design that preferred efficiency and an establishment of command. No wonder the First Order adapted the design into their own ships.
Another push off the floor, and Rey gently glided over the scorched walkway and continued to sense the bridge. The Force felt dead here as it did everywhere else, despite there were no dead bodies. They were more than likely sucked out into space, or the fools ran from the bridge before succumbing to their inevitable fate.
There was something else, though. Whatever it was, or whomever they were, Rey put a hand to the bridge and stopped herself. Floating a mere centimeter above the floor, she darted her eyes around to look for anything out of place. Something was there, but where was it?
Then, something came up from behind. A pair of arms wrapped around Rey squeezing her into a tight lock. Rey was too surprised that she failed to slip away and was left trying to squeeze herself out. “I got her!” her attacker shouted through the communication systems.
Struggling in her captor’s arms, Rey saw two more figures in white plasteel armor coming out of hiding. They were First Order Stormtroopers, and judging by the segmented pieces on her captor’s arms, Rey guessed that he was one too. The two Stormtroopers in front stared at Rey with their black lenses and tear-like lines that ran down their helmets. “Huh, this was too easy,” one, a woman, said.
“Careful, you know what she is,” cautioned the other, a taller, male trooper. “Who knows what she can pulls on us.”
Rey squirmed again in the arms of the first Stormtrooper. Holding firm, he told his companions, “Uh, sir, she’s slipping… I can’t hold her for much longer.”
“I got this,” the male Stormtrooper in front said.
Rey’s eyes widen when the trooper raised his chrome and white blaster rifle in hand. Time seemed to slow as the trooper slowly pulled his finger on the trigger. Rey closed her eyes, falling into the Force for something, anything that could help. What she received was her master’s voice scolding her.
“What are you waiting for? Attack!”
Without any thought, Rey did. She swung her head back into the face of the Stormtrooper holding her. He cried out in pain as he let go. Freeing herself, Rey kicked off the Stormtrooper with both feet and sent herself flying to the two in front of her.
“She’s loose!” the female trooper shouted.
The other one fired in response. Flying forward, Rey spun her body around the blue stun blast and kicked the blaster rifle out of the trooper. Using the Force, she pulled the blaster into her hands, and the Stormtrooper was knocked out by a stun blast, having no time to even make a sound. The female Stormtrooper quickly drew her rifle.
Rey was quicker, and a second stun bolt hit the Stormtrooper. Her two would-be captors unconscious and floating aimlessly, Rey whirled around at the final Stormtrooper, the one who tried to grab her.
“Don’t shoot!” begged the last man, who raised his arms in surrender.
For a full second, Rey froze. She felt a wave of fear from the Stormtrooper and pondered on her choices. The trooper had assaulted her, but now, at her mercy, he was nothing more than a sniveling coward. Rey, with a slight tinge of pity, saw the effort was not worth it.
A second later, Rey started to lower the blaster.
A warning flared in the Force, and Rey was quick enough to spot the trooper reach for his blaster. He fired, and Rey ducked under a blue stun bolt. She fired back, and the last Stormtrooper, too late to realize his mistake, floated aimlessly with his comrades.
Slowly rising to her full height, Rey could not help, but notice how everything was oddly quiet. Her senses felt a bit clouded, if not a bit dull. She could only feel the slight shiver of the Force running down her back.
Then, the comm in her helmet chimed and a voice came through it. “Apprentice, report,” it said.
Pressing the button oh her helm, Rey answered it. “Training complete, master. All Stormtroopers incapacitated.”
There was a short pause on the other end, and the voice said, “Return to base, at once. We will discuss your performance when you come back.”
Rey frowned. She knew that tone well enough to know what it meant: she had not passed. At least, not her master’s expectations, and that meant she was in for quite the lecture, or worse. Conceding to her fate, Rey gave a meager reply. “… Yes, master.”