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Fandom Star Wars: Rising Tide [closed]

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Star Wars


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
The news did not please Kylo. Not one bit. With a roar and a flash of his saber, he turned to the nearest panel and unleashed his anger. One of his Knights? Dead? His knight?

Who the fuck could have killed them?

The First Order officer tasked with bringing this information, a Lieutenant whose name always escaped him, stood by nervously, watching their Commander unleash his anger on yet another panel. General Hux wouldn’t be happy, but the Lieutenant didn’t fear the General’s anger.

He could predict his anger. But Kylo Ren’s anger? Oh no.

The masked man stopped abruptly, and just as quickly turned on the officer. The officer flinched, expecting the worst, but Kylo only stalked past him, barking out a simple order. “Prepare my ship.”

The lieutenant scrambled off to contact the hangar, and in the time it took for him to arrive, more information about the knight’s death was sent to his datapad. Which was practically nothing, except for a location and approximately what time his signal was lost.

No one dared to get in the way of the masked madman, stalking with purpose through the corridors, into the hangar bay, and towards his ship. Not even Hux was spotted, though Kylo imagined he would get a message later from the man, either concerning his sudden disappearance or the damage to his ship.

But he didn’t care about that. No, he cared about seeking answers to who killed his Knight. On Korriban.

So the Knight’s journey ended there. Oh how funny was that? The shuttle departed the hangar, and Kylo punched in the coordinates for the isolated world. In the journey, he reread the few lines concerning the death, each one seeping more anger inside him.

Kylo hoped that he would actually meet an enemy on Korriban, and not find out that his Knight did something stupid and got himself caught in a sandstorm, or foolishly stepped too close to a ledge.

The journey lasted too long for his tastes, and the ship, after exiting lightspeed, flew down to the surface of the planet, close to where the tracker was last reported. A temple. Well, at least his theories were thankfully squashed. The helmet protected him easily enough from the sand in the short journey to the entrance. Lightsaber in hand, its distorted hum the only discernible noise in the first chamber.

Something. He could sense something. “I know you’re in here.” His mechanized voice echoed. The Force was great, lingered from Siths past, and perhaps, one present. “I just want to have a little talk.”


This is what Azra would call the least exciting (or perhaps most exciting?) aspect of her job: actually tracking down the story she hunted.

Hays Minor was an unassuming mining planet whose main export was crystalline ore. But then the First Order got their hands on it, and provided people with jobs and the opportunity to escape poverty. At least, that’s what Azra had been told.

But what she had seen since coming to Hays Minor told her something else. Abject poverty, many of its citizens turned into slaves for the mining facilities. And the children she had been told who eagerly signed up to attend First Order academies? All kidnapped.

That’s what she had slowly learned over the few days she spent on the planet, through word of mouth, through witnessing events unfold, and through eavesdropping. Is this what I’ve been a part of all these years?

She still didn’t want to believe it. She couldn’t. They were helping the galaxy.

But, that had been one of the reasons she left. To see the galaxy for her own eyes instead of through the propaganda she created. Propaganda existed for a reason. Seeing the planet on its surface? She slowly started understanding why, but some disbelief still lingered in her mind.

The icy wind cut through her thick jacket. Azra shivered, tightening the jacket closer to her body as if it would help. It didn’t. A recording device laid in the pocket of her jacket, though that was temporarily useless as there was nothing to record. Wasn’t a testing site supposed to be nearby?

Azra couldn’t recall her father mentioning anything about a testing site on Hays Minor, but the locals said with confidence that there was one, and that it was a huge contributor to the pollution of their planet.

That she couldn’t quite believe.

Azra paused in her path. Her eyes scanned the horizon, interrupted by the few trees and jagged rocks of the terrain. Nothing could be heard except her own breathing and the whistling of the wind. Or what she just assumed was whistling caused by the wind.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
It was supposed to be a relaxing day.

Myka was sitting in her throne room, scouring details for anything relating to a ‘Sith Eternal’ among the many old texts they’d recovered on Korriban, only to continue to come up with nothing. The thought occurred to her that she may actually have to have Darth Bane’s tomb raided, which was not an ordeal she suspected she could send just any of her minions on. No, they’d likely do something to get themselves killed.

Particularly the psychometric reader.

It was as those plans started to work themselves into her mind, that she sensed it.

Anger. Fury, really, and quite directed, not the blind fury that so often led itself into her control.

“What’s that?” Avin asked, lifting his own head from his reading as Myka pushed away from her black throne.

“A friend of a friend, I believe,” the masked individual was not alone. The masked individual who now occupied a spirit urn besides said throne, who’s mask hung on the wall like some mere ornament. She walked forward, thigh-high boots clicking on the ground as she pulled her lightsaber into her hand. “I’ll be back shortly.”

With a body. Living, or dead.

She left behind her throne. She left behind the living quarters, and the few others who looked to her, sensing that same anger, and recoiling into shadows. Far from sith – but useful, so very useful, in unlocking their mysteries. No, no one here was worthy of even being considered Sith, beyond herself. A problem if she died.

But she didn’t plan to die.

She moved her lightsaber to rest at the belt wrapped around her long black tunic. It hung askew immediately under the weight as she stepped into the foyer that still gave the appearance of being a mere dead tomb. Dusty. No light. She moved around the pillars, using the Force now for silence.

Still, the Furious One felt her, and she smiled inwardly at his attempt to suggest all he wanted was to talk. “Your crackling lightsaber suggests otherwise.”

And yet the white-haired woman walked into sight, resting her yellow eyes upon the stranger in the mask. Not even a useful one, at that. Hardly a collectable. She’d collect it, of course, but it was a shame. “Or do you expect me to believe you’re using it for light, Ren?” A coy smirk touched her lips, but she didn’t draw her saber.

He’d likely want to exchange a few words for his own sense of closure before he lashed out, to know what happened to the other Ren.


Hays Minor. Home of Rose Tico and Paige Tico.

Poe Dameron was liberated from looking into Luke, at least for a bit. Lor San Tekka was found, safe, and put into communications with them. When he found information on Luke, he’d send it to them. That left Poe back to the task of looking into First Order activity, and trying to find out more allies to the cause of the Resistance, since the New Republic refused to acknowledge it was needed.

They were still turning a blind eye to the First Order’s activities. ‘If they could see this….’

BB-8 let out a low whistle as he followed behind Poe, the pair stepping onto what was once a thriving town. Now it was little more than a crater. Remnants of the town were still there. Building structures and foundations remained. Charred bones.

The town hadn’t been evacuated. What was the point of testing a weapon if they didn’t know how it would work against enemies?

“Yeah, I know, BB,” Poe said. “Starting to think we should have brought Suralinda.” She might know how to frame it and spin it. Make people care about Hays Minor. “But we can tell Leia about this.”

Another bit of beeping, nervous inquiry.

“I mean, I assume it’s some sort of orbital weapon,” Poe said, “but I don’t know. I guess it could be a ground charge, but I’ve never….” He’d never seen anything like that, and he didn’t enjoy the thought of it, either. They didn’t know enough of what the First Order had available to them, and that was another frustration in the mix.

They didn’t know enough.

And he stood out terribly in his orange jumpsuit. “HEY!” Someone had seen him. He hadn’t expected anyone to be around this area, but he saw someone in white who looked like a researcher – though that could be his bias since they wore a cape that all but screamed Krennic – and were surrounded by Troopers. “This is a secure zone! Who are you? What are you doing here?”

BB-8 naturally beeped something, just loud enough for Poe. “Right? I thought my hair was memorable?” Poe said as he swiped a hand back through it, before lifting it in a wave, “Hey there, Director, uh, whatever – sorry, just out taking my droid for a walk! We’ll get outta your way!”

“Now just a second—wait right there.”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen,” Poe muttered under his breath, before he turned, and, well, ran.

There was the usual shout for pursuit.

There was blasterfire.

And there was BB-8 shrieking at him for this. “Well what did you want me to do, wait until they recognized me?” He asked as they reached a more forested area, and were able to dodge between a few trees.

Poe waited, breath held.

Stormtroopers didn’t seem to be coming this way.


BB-8 whistled lowly. “Yeah, buddy, yeah, I know. Let’s get back to the town.” He said, pushing away from the tree he had rested against, and moving forward out into clear space.

Clear, safe space.

Except for the sight of someone breaking up that clear horizon, some woman with dark hair. BB-8’s low whistle was one of concern, no doubt afraid she might be with the Order, too. “Nah. No blaster.” And then he lifted his voice, “Hey, you definitely don’t want to go that way. Some not too friendly people with guns, and one jackass in a cape and a power fetish.”


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
That presence with the Force drew closer. Dark. It screamed dark. His lips curled into the barest hint of a smirk under the helmet, and his eyes patiently scanned the room for any hint of this stranger to appear.

There it is. He couldn’t hear her, or see her at first, but he knew someone was there.

And that someone didn’t wait long to make her presence known.

His head cocked slightly at her appearance. The white hair, the yellow eyes, noticeably shorter than himself. She didn’t look intimidating, but if his dead Knight was any indication, looks were indeed deceiving. Kylo wouldn’t allow himself to lower his defenses.

“Maybe I am using it for light. For now,” he allowed the response, with the thinly veiled threat under its surface. “I take it you met my Knight.”

She called him Ren. They had exchanged words before she dealt the fatal blow.

“I simply want to know what happened to him.” A lie, but she would be a fool to believe it. His lightsaber still crackled at his side. He took a step closer to her. “And learn who are you.”


Azra wrapped her arms around herself - some futile attempt to preserve body heat. “Maybe I should just give up for the afternoon,” she muttered, her own voice helping the creeping loneliness of the isolated area.

Maybe just a little longer. Then she will turn back.

Sighing, she pulled a second recording device. A small one used for her own personal notes. Azra pressed down on a button and spoke, “Nearing the end of day four, and the attempt to find the rumored location of potential testing site number five is seeming to be another dead end.” Her finger let go of the button, and she shoved the recorder back in her pocket.

Her own solitude was interrupted rather abruptly. Azra snapped to attention at the voice, one that warned her of people with guns. And...a jackass in a cape? Sounds like exactly what I wanted.

The man’s orange jumpsuit was an obvious contrast against the landscape. Colors she swore she knew where they came from, but Azra couldn't recall at the moment. Quickly gauging the man, and his BB unit, she walked in his direction, as it was in the direction she needed to go anyways. “That sounds like exactly the direction I do want to go.”

She imagined she sounded crazy to the man. “But thanks for the warning.”


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“Ah, yours. Yes, I did.” So this was the leader of the Ren fellow, then. Interesting he’d come himself and not send another. And another. Well, at least he was taking care of his own business.

“I am Darth Vesta,” she answered. She had no qualms with that. Whoever this was, wouldn’t be running to the New Republic to tell them there was a sith on Korriban – even, assuming, the New Republic listened. “Your Knight attempted to steal from me. I warned him not to. He didn’t listen, so I killed him.”

It was simple, really. The knight was overconfident, but his abilities in the dark were mediocre, and that was being generous. He was more like an animal than a trained, reasoning, individual, acting on instinct and the pull of the dark – controlled by it, rather than controlling it.

So easy to manipulate into his death.

“You can take this as a similar warning, Ren. What your knight has left here is now mine, as well.” Weapons, mask, body – not that there was a body left, but that was besides the point.


“Wha—are you—”

BB-8 was already rolling away from Poe, trilling out warning upon warning, and Poe tried not to get frustrated. He couldn’t just let some innocent person go walking into danger! ‘Maybe they’re with the Order, looking for the Order?’


Much as he liked to poke fun at the Order, they weren’t that disorganized.

He turned and walked after her, “Hey, I’m serious – they shot at me just for being in the area, which, spoiler alert, is a giant crater that used to be a thriving city. Lots of bones, lots of building foundations, and nothing else to be found. It’s not a good place to be, unless you’re trying to get killed.”

He kept pace with her as she walked, although he was tempted to reach out and stop her. Assuming BB-8 didn’t trip her up. “What do you want out there? I’m sure it can be found literally anywhere else.”


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Darth Vesta. “A Sith,” Kylo mused out loud. That would explain the death of his Knight. But, a Sith. As far as he was concerned, the Sith didn’t exist anymore, though the Knights were a strive at something that closely resembled the Sith.

So exactly who was she? Who trained her?

“It’s a pity you had to turn to such drastic measures.” He didn’t hide his sarcastic amusement, the anger still lingering underneath his words. He twirled the lightsaber, once.

His Knight came here for a reason. What was it he had found, that he wanted to steal?

“Oh, I don’t want anything of his.” Kylo did want the lightsaber and helmet back, but he may be able to get something more important from her. Information. “I do want to know, though, what it was of yours he tried to steal.”


Azra didn’t get very far before the BB unit and the man, both in coordinating colors she noticed, tried to stop her. She would have been annoyed, if the man hadn’t given her information she wanted to hear.

An empty city now crawling with First Order officers? Azra was so happy that she had the one recorder to continuously record while she was out in the field. “Well, lucky for me, I just so happen to be looking for this giant crater.” She ignored the warning trills from the droid. “And I won’t get killed. I’ll just have to make sure I’m not seen, won’t I?”

Azra was confident in her words, that she wouldn’t be seen. “And what I’m looking for, Mr. Orange Jumpsuit? I’m looking for my story.” If the droid didn’t keep rolling in front of her, that is.

“Why are you here, anyways? You don’t exactly look like someone who works here.” If they were going to follow her, she may as well try and get some information from the man. “And I’m guessing you don’t live here either.” He looked too healthy compared to the other civilians she met.

“And please tell your mini-me to stop rolling in front of me.” Azra looked down at the BB unit with a raised eyebrow, and the droid almost sounded offended by her words.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“A Sith,” Myka echoed in a cooing fashion, sensing the disbelief. The poor boy thought they were gone, like so many others. His Knight hadn’t believed her, either.

He twirled his saber, and her hand moved out to her side, hovering over the circular blade at her side. She didn’t draw it into her hand, but the threat was there. His gestures, his tone, had hardly stopped being threatening, and she wouldn’t be taken for a fool just because she paused to chat.

“Would it truly matter what he tried to steal, Ren?” She inquired, “He could have tried to steal my boot, and I’d kill him for it,” principal of the matter, after all, “In this case, he happened upon one of the holocrons.” He’d barged beyond this foyer, into one of the main living spaces, where another was watching it.

He decided he wanted it.

He paid with his life. “I do not believe he even knew what was on it. I’m not certain it mattered much to him, either – he said he would lay claim to everything here and I would simply let him.” Her smile was indulgent, coy, “As if he thought it would just be that easy.” They must not face many challenges. Or people saying ‘no’.


Poe’s frown was obvious, as was his exasperation. His familiarity with this sort of recklessness and logic was familiar. Familiar enough for BB-8’s offense to call him out on it, too. “Yeah, yeah, I know,” he told the droid. “And listen, miss, I get it – trust me, I deal with a journalist all day every day and I was half-wishing I brought her along with me when I saw what was there.”

Suralinda could also spit acid, so, that was an advantage to anyone who tried to get in their way.

BB-8 moved aside, but rolled along on the woman’s other side. “How about if I get you a better story, huh? I’m Poe Dameron. I’m with the Resistance.”

BB-8 chimed something that sounded like disbelief. Like was that really all Poe was going to say, to suggest a story? “Hey, Suralinda wanted to know more about the Resistance. Not many people do, all right.”

BB-8 just gave a begrudging beep. “So who are you, anyways? Why are you out looking for this story?” He thought that if she was looking into things like this – exposing it – she could be an ally.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo’s eye twitched at the mocking tone Myka’s words echoed in her reiteration of his slight disbelief. And he hadn’t missed how her hand hovered over the circular blade either. They were both tiptoeing the line of combat, but who would be the first to attack?

He already knew not to underestimate her potential. Not when he had a dead Knight from her hand.

I know he wouldn’t risk his life over something worthless. She didn’t answer his question how he wanted, at first. But then she did, and he understood why the Knight risked his life.

A holocron could contain something very important. Very ancient. Powerful knowledge.

Something Kylo would want very much.

But he directed the conversation for a moment. “Who trained you? I wasn’t aware of anyone left alive who could train a Sith.” The last known Sith, that he knew of, died years ago, without an apprentice.

Far before her time, or so he figured. She looked younger than he, but the Force could deceive.

“They must have been an exceptionally powerful Master to train you well enough to take down one of my Knights.”


Azra laughed at the droid’s admission of Poe. Typical, reckless pretty boy trying to save a woman. She was just going to continue to wave him off and be on her way, even if they were to continue to follow her.

But with how he wanted her away from that area? Maybe he would’ve given up trying to “save her.” “Yeah, maybe you should’ve brought along your friend.”

Azra didn’t even look back at him, but internally grateful that the droid stopped rolling in front of her.

I’m Poe Dameron. I’m with the Resistance. She paused. The name was familiar, but the Resistance? Oh, she knew all about them. She wrote hateful propaganda that targeted them in the past from information the Order gave her about them.

Given the chance to actually talk to someone from the little rebel group?

“Wait, did you just say Suralinda?” With the name, Azra turned around to face Poe. “Is that your journalist friend?” She didn’t know the woman that well, but they were amicable and could work together.

With the question for her name, Azra took another pause, and looked Poe up and down. Well, this would be a great opportunity to learn about the Resistance. “I’m Azra Durand, journalist for the HoloNews Network. And why am I looking for this particular story?” She crossed her arms and shrugged.

He didn’t need to know her own personal curiosity.

“I heard about what was happening on Hays Minor, and I wanted a closer look. Why are you out here, Mr. Poe Dameron?” She had lightly poked him for emphasis, as if daring to provide her a good reason for why he was there.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“Of course not. A good Sith is an unknown Sith, Ren.” After all, Sheev kept his identity hidden from the galaxy for so long. Sith did best in shadows, setting up their moves. “My master was Darth Phantasm, an apprentice to Darth Vader, who apprenticed under Sidious, to Plagueis, to Darth Tenebrous…I could go on,” she noted, “but I think even you understand that no Sith ever truly followed the Rule of Two.”

Vader had never been a Master.

His overthrow of Sidious was his demise. “Phantasm was powerful enough,” knowledgeable enough, really, to stay hidden, and make sure she was the last apprentice of Vader.

Another tradition.

The apprentices often killed each other when the Master was gone, to claim that title. Petty competition. Myka had no time for such pointless things, and if Phantasm had others, they had been smart enough not to come after her.

Not yet, anyways.


In spite of BB-8 thinking he was too arrogant with his declaration, it seemed to have worked. For a moment, at least, the woman – Azra – paused. “Yup. Suralinda, journalist, and a member of Black Squadron – my squadron,” he said, to emphasize the ties to her.

He laughed a bit as he was poked, as she used ‘mister’, “Hey, if we’re using titles, it’s Commander,” he said, lifting his hands a moment, and then lowering one, while waving the other in a distracted gesture.

His cheerful demeanor faded.

“I’m investigating First Order activity. I heard there might be a group of rebels here. I’m hoping to find them, and join them to our cause.” So far, he’d turned up little but the atrocities of the Order on this planet. “Don’t get me wrong, I think the New Republic should know this story, that the Order’s testing weapons on populations, but it ain’t the only one…and it ain’t the worst, either. You should see the donut.”

He didn’t know the name of the planet – but he had been investigating the Order elsewhere and knew it was a planet, with a hole blown through it.

“The problem is, the Order doesn’t care much about journalists, and they’re not going to blink at killing one to keep their secrets, either – and the New Republic, let’s be honest, they’re turning a blind eye right now. I’m not sure this is enough.”


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Darth Vader. The girl had mentioned Darth Vader.

Kylo visibly twitched at his name being spoken. So she was the apprentice of Darth Vader’s apprentice? He wasn’t even aware Vader had one.

But, as she said, a good Sith is an unknown Sith. So were there more like her? More Siths that had gone unnoticed by him?

“This Phantasm would have had to have been powerful, as an apprentice of Darth Vader.” Yes, his grandfather was powerful, but he still had a weakness, one that proved to be his own downfall.

How would she react if she were to learn he was his grandson? Perhaps she may not even care. Or perhaps it could grant him more information.

“How many of you are there?” His stance shifted, and Kylo took a slow step to the side. “How many other Sith are out there, still alive?”


Azra had furrowed her brows at the name Poe gave. Black Squadron? She hadn’t heard any mention of that before. Though, she wasn’t that close to Suralinda.

And that title of his? She scoffed and shook her head. “Commander? What, is that what you tell every woman to call you in bed?” She’d hardly be using that title of his on him.

Not that she planned on sticking around him for much longer.

“Rebels?” Azra repeated. She hadn’t heard of any rebel activity on the planet, but also, that wasn’t something she was keeping an ear out for. She wanted her story on the First Order, or even the New Republic. Not some small group of rebels.

“I know there are worse stories out there.” She had seen them for herself. Well acquainted with them. She had to, in order to put a positive spin on it for the First Order. “But for right now, I’m not concerned with those.”

Does this man never stop? She huffed, half-contemplating on punching him. “Well, I don’t report for the New Republic, nor for the First order. I report for the people. And to solve the problem of the First Order killing me, it’s simple. I’ll just try not to get caught.”

Azra had begun to take a few steps backwards, away from Poe and towards her destination. “I am very good at that.”


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
In spite of the mask, some body language was obvious. That little twitch. He knew of Vader – then again, who didn’t? Perhaps he aspired to Vader with that mask. “Mmm, she was. Now she’s dead.”

There was no remorse in speaking it.

Myka had grown to hate Phantasm, as much as she’d grown to love her. Her death, at Myka’s hand, was also what Phantasm should have wanted – to prove she’d created a good apprentice. Their ways had always a bit…demented.

Not that Myka knew any other way. Phantasm had made sure of that. “So far as I know, there are no others.” She had no apprentice, and no other apprentice of Phantasm’s had arrived to end her. Phantasm never hinted at it, either, even though they had moments apart.

Still, she noticed the way he stepped. She shifted her weight to the leg further from him, her own stance altering in response. “So curious.” She noted, “You play with the dark side, but you’re not a Sith. What is a Ren? What is your Code?”


Looked like the journalist didn’t know much about any rebels here. Could be a false lead, but Poe had hope. Rebels had to stay a little unknown, after all. Otherwise they’d be wiped out.

Or maybe they were already wiped out.

Poe found he didn’t have too much hope in the people. No more than he had in the New Republic, which was a major reason for why he left, though admittedly, at least people could wake up. Most didn’t. The apathy of the galaxy, the people not caring about what was going on because it didn’t concern him, always sparked a rage in him.

He shrugged his shoulders.

“All right then, don’t say I didn’t warn ya,” he said.

BB-8 protested his stepping back, reminding him of jackass-in-cape and the troopers. “She’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, buddy. We tried. Maybe I’ll see you around, if you ever feel like doin’ a bit more for the people, Azra. Especially since you thought of taking me to bed,” he allowed a flirtatious wink as he lifted his hand waved, as he turned away.

With his luck, it wasn’t going to be long before the Troopers decided to look beyond that forest and he was an easy sight in orange.

As if he hadn’t heard that line from women already mentally undressing him.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
It hardly surprised Kylo to hear of her dead Master. What he did know of the Sith, from the stories, was that the apprentices hardly let their masters stay alive for much longer after growing strong themself.

There were many stories of apprentices killing their masters. Perhaps it also helped with embracing the dark side.

And so she may be the only Sith alive, unless there were others like her, hiding in the shadows until they were ready to strike. Then what made her so special, from any other force sensitive out there, to be trained by this Darth Phantasm? For the moment, his curiosity grew stronger than his anger and desire for vengeance.

She gave him an answer, and so he would give her one in return. “We are called the Knights of Ren. We are a new generation of warriors, taught to embrace and wield the powers of the dark side of the Force.” With training and raw strength that left behind destruction, their name was to be feared.

“Does that satisfy your curiosity?”


Azra gaped at him as Poe turned away. She did not think about taking him to bed! The audacity! And besides, he was definitely not her type. She didn’t care for that thick, voluminous hair, or that chiseled jawline, or…

Okay, fine, he’s attractive, I will admit that.

Azra scoffed and turned back around to the direction of the supposed testing site. Oh, she knew Poe was using reverse psychology on her. She recognized it, and yet, with a huff, she fell victim to it.

Her arms crossed over her chest, and she found that she couldn’t take another step forward. Even with your connection to the First Order, they’ll shoot first and ask questions later. They don’t care who you are. Hell, they probably won’t even know the name.

With a groan, Azra turned back around. “Wait!” she called out, hurrying in his direction. “Maybe this Resistance of yours could be a bigger story. You did say you could give me an interview, after all, and I want that interview.”

Although interviews weren’t her forte, Azra could make an exception for him. To learn about the Resistance from the other side, and nothing more.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
There was a shift in the Furious One.

A good sign, Myka thought. A very good sign. She would have slaughtered him if she needed to, but she was more interested in what he knew. She’d take it from him either way, dead, or alive – but alive was better. She couldn’t interrogate a mask or ashes to tell her what ‘Sith Eternal’ was. She could continue to try and draw the information from it, but talking was usually the easier route.

“No, no it does not,” Myka answered, “I learned all of that already from your knight. A mere soundbite.” Trivial drivel, and a smirk grew on her lips. “and I know you’re not satisfied yet, either.”

It was understandable. Two Darksiders of different paths rarely came in contact in the past, let alone now. The Nightsisters were all but extinguished. The Sith were thought dead. Stars knew there were likely a few other spatterings of Forces out there attuned to the dark – they didn’t come together. That wasn’t their nature.

The dark was all about possession and control. Power. Desire. It wasn’t in their nature to work together – at least, not as equals. “I’m not unwilling to talk, Ren. I’m not unwilling to indulge. The question is, whether or not you’re willing? We can both take what we want from the other’s death, I’m certain,” an end to a threat, if nothing else, “but…that’s so very final, and you seem at least more intelligent than the one who came before you.”


Poe Dameron hadn’t been certain if the gambit would work. In truth, he was willing to write it off, even as BB-8 hassled him about it. He couldn’t save every life. He’d learned that the hard way, so many times, and his mission was still of more importance. He had to find out if there was a rebel sect here…at least for Rose, and Paige.

He had to find out about their parents.

But when he heard her call, he gave a grin to BB-8, who just beeped at him in irritation, before he let the smile disappear as he looked over his shoulder to Azra, and slowed his gait. “Yeah, I can,” he agreed. “I just need to finish up here, then I can go wherever you want for this interview. Deal?”

Leia always said he’d make a good posterboy for the Resistance.

Some other people said he’d make a good pin-up boy for the Resistance.

He didn’t mind either idea. He could work an orange jumpsuit in a propaganda poster, though he knew it was likely to give Leia a headache – or rather, his ego following it, would. She’d be amused with his antics. Some amusement would go a long way.

And then a blaster shot cut between him and Azra.

Apparently, the Order got bored of the trees.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo’s open fist flexed at his side. She was smarter than he’d hoped for, and yet, anything less would have been insulting.

But he wasn’t going to so easily give her the deeper details of the Knights of Ren.

“And what more are you willing to give me?” He cocked his head to the side, another step closer. The lightsaber still sizzled and crackled at his side, and for a moment, he contemplated on turning it off for a moment. A small attempt at neutrality.

And so he did, but the hilt remained firmly in his grasp. “If you...offer me something more, then I may just indulge your silly little games.” Kylo knew she had more to offer, and she was right - he wanted what she had to give.

There had been a reason the Knight was called to this planet, and Kylo had a growing suspicion it was more than just the holocron that had called out to him. “So, continue, or else maybe we will see what we can take from each other’s death.”


Another sigh. Azra couldn’t believe she let this Resistance pilot talk her out of her mission, but he woke up fears inside her she didn’t even realize she had.

Once the interview was done, and they were going their separate ways, she may try to find the site again, now that she knew where it was.

But Azra didn’t have a chance to say anything before a stray blaster bolt cut between them. She yelped, and jumped backwards in shock. Eyes wide, she turned her head to see approaching stormtroopers, yelling at them.

“Okay, maybe we should go now.” Her tone took on a slightly hysterical note, having just been fucking shot at.

All she could think of was to grab the sleeve of Poe’s jumpsuit and start running in the opposite direction of the stormtroopers, without any regard of which direction she was actually headed in. She just knew to run when someone was shooting at her.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Closer, and closer, Ren moved, only now he deactivated his lightsaber. Now he attempted to be diplomatic. As diplomatic as he could be, anyways.

She wondered how his face looked. Wondered what she might catch in his eyes that the Force masked from her knowledge, as he paused in his request – his wording. There were implications she would have played with, with others. Those weaker, anyways, and more suspect to giving in to such easy things as that.

For the moment, she’d treat this professionally.

Although she did step forward, a bit askew of a direct look, a bit more to his right, but nonetheless – too close for comfort as she looked up at his mask.

“A viewing of the holocrons. As many as you like.” Only he could not take them. He would have the knowledge from watching, but he could not take it with him. “From there, we can determine what else, if I find that you have anything worthy to share. There are plenty of stories not in the holocrons, passed only from Master to Apprentice.”

The oral tradition of the Sith was very, very alive, and she’d grown up with those stories as bedtime tales.


Poe had started to reach for Azra, helping her grab onto his sleeve sooner. He allowed it, and used that to more easily grab her wrist. He could tell she was spooked from the hysterics, so he didn’t immediately correct her run.

She wasn’t too far off, anyways.

He was going to have to get to his fighter, though.

BB-8 was trilling about just that, too.

“I know, I know!” He said, and then squeezed Azra’s wrist, before pulling in another direction. “Hey – this way, I have a ship,” she probably had a ship, too, but he was willing to bet his was closer. They could go back to hers just as soon as they got rid of the Troopers.

He made a turn back towards the forest. He’d have to cut through it, but it would at least put trees between them and the blaster bolts, if nothing else.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
A viewing of the holocrons. That he did want. Kylo could leave them behind; his memory would suffice in holding their knowledge. It may be an agreeable compromise, depending on what the holocrons had to give him. What stories she had to share.

“Maybe we can come to some sort of agreement then,” he started. He was still angry for the death of his Knight. He still didn’t want to play too nice. “What sort of secrets do these holocrons hold? I would rather not waste my time if they’re mere fables.” Children’s stories.

“Then, maybe, I will divulge to you a little more information that you seek.” More of what he stood for, what the Knights were about.

As he stared at her through the visor of his mask, Kylo couldn’t help the flicker of thought that wondered what color were her eyes originally, before she turned Sith. If the whiteness of her hair was also brought about from her mix in the Dark side of the Force. And I bet she wonders what is underneath the mask. They all did.

“What do you say to that?” He had stopped moving. He waited, waited to see if she would respond with words or action.


Azra didn’t notice, or rather, she didn’t quite register, that Poe had shifted to grab onto her wrist to help pull her along to safety. She easily followed him, not even protesting when he began in a different direction.

“Okay, yes, a ship is good.” A ship could get them out of there. A ship could get them far away from blaster fire.

Azra ran as fast as she could alongside Poe, but the escape also served to remind her that she really needed to pick cardio back up. She had been slacking on that since she left the Order.

“Is your ship anywhere close?” She could hardly see anything through the trees, but she wasn’t really focusing on the surroundings other than let’s get away from these guys. And, she knew her ship wasn’t anywhere close. It would’ve been quite the run to get there from their current location.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka did not step back as Ren insisted on information about the holocrons. “What you take from them is on you, Ren. I cannot tell you how to interpret it.”

Of course, some were obviously not fairy tales. Some described, and showed, the use of power, like the Force Lightning that was practically the cornerstone of Sith power. Others talked of things done with the Force, but did not show it – the honesty of the Sith, of the story, debatable.

There were also the Jedi holocrons, as well, which spoke of combat styles, among other things.

More than that, they were heirlooms of history. True, or false. “It is the risk you take in accepting the offer, to find what is there, for yourself. It is why I’ve opened all of them to viewing.” He could view two, and decide it wasn’t worth it.

To view them all would take a while – patience.

Something it was quite possible he lacked. It would not surprise her. One holocron could go on for hours. Another could be five minutes. “And all I ask for now, is to know more about your group.” Not secrets of the Force.

Not even his name.


“Well it was close enough to walk to the crater, so,” Poe huffed, “Yeah. Should be.” Though he had walked and not run, and that was still a significant difference given the situation. He had been at leisure then. He was not at leisure, or relaxed, now.

Still, the trees helped to make sure no blaster fire hit, and they seemed to be faster than the Troopers to not be overtaken.

They were able to come upon his X-Wing, still there, not surrounded, or being investigated. “All right, BB, to your place,” he’d bring the droid up into his spot soon. He let go of Azra’s hand, and grabbed the edge of the wing and pulled himself right up, and then to the cockpit. “It’ll be a tight fit, but I think we can make it.”

Didn’t have much of a choice, unless Azra wanted to ride on top of a wing and hang on for dear life.

Either way, Poe got down into the cockpit.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
She didn’t give him the answer he wanted to hear, but it was one he could work with. She was still willing to cooperate with him, and if he didn’t lose his patience, perhaps Kylo could get what he wanted from their little bartering.

“Before I answer you, I have one more question.” Kylo wanted to see how she would answer, if she would answer his question with something more than another question or vague statement.

“What did you take from these holocrons? Even if you just tell me one.” And it may be the answer he didn’t want, she may just say one of them was some old tale or something he already knew, but that was a risk he was willing to take.

“Answer me this, and I will answer your question.” Information for information. Seemingly harmless enough.


Azra breathed a sigh of relief when they came upon his X-Wing, right before another problem occurred to her. “Seriously? This is your ship?” It was a ship meant only for a pilot and their droid and not a single passenger.

She watched him as he pulled himself up to the cockpit. “I think tight fit is an understatement!” Still, she didn’t have much time for arguing over how small the cockpit was.

The danger of the stormtroopers was still there, and she was hyper aware of that situation.

Groaning, Azra copied Poe’s movements, first pulling herself up on the wing and then into the cockpit. She was mindful of where she was stepping and settling herself as she practically had to seat herself in his lap. “Let’s just hurry out of here.”


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Just one.

Myka could do that, though she wouldn’t do it verbally. She lifted her left hand up, still adding no distance to them. High enough so it was nearly eye-level with him.


Lightning flared up between her fingers, down her hand, around her wrist – and it shot upwards, though it never touched the ceiling. It broke out before then, as Myka wanted. She didn’t need to cause undo harm to the structure to prove a point, but she knew the rarity of this particular skill. She had only heard about it from Phantasm, for Vader had not been able to teach it to her.

That, or he was unwilling to teach it to her.

This, she knew, came solely from a holocron, and as the lightning dispersed, she tried to sense what Kylo was feeling. If it was a surprise. If he was unimpressed. The previous knight hadn’t seemed capable of defending himself terribly well against it.


Poe made as much room as he could, adjusting the seat back a bit so there was more room for Azra to sit in front of him.

Well, on him, really.

In another circumstance, Poe would not have minded the whiff of her hair, or the weight in his lap, but this was a bit too tense to be focused on the good parts. So once she was in, he lowered the top of the cockpit, “Don’t have to tell me twice,” he said, BB-8 pulled into his place.

The X-wing came to life around them, and Poe reached around Azra to flick the switches for the engines, and then found the lever to pull them up from the ground, and into the air.

Blaster fire wasn’t much of a threat now, but he intended to put a lot of distance between them first – just in case they thought to pursue by air. He didn’t think they’d get that extreme, but who knew? If they recognized him, they just might.

“See? I wasn’t kidding.”


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo jerked at the lightning display, but he didn’t jump from his spot. He remained standing in the same position, intently staring at her fingers, where the lightning came from. He knew of the Force lightning ability; it was one he hadn’t learned yet.

And one he wanted.

“A deal is a deal.” He wouldn’t betray his word, not when that was a potential award. “We are the Knights of Ren,” something she already knew, “an enclave of the First Order.” Had his deceased Knight mentioned that?

“We seek to fill the void left by the demise of the Siths, but I see now it wasn’t quite as deceased as I previously thought.” The woman in front of him was proof. “And I seek complete galactic control.”

To succeed what his grandfather, someone she knew, failed to do so. “What exactly did you want to know?”


Azra was only all too aware of how close their bodies were. She tried not to focus on that, or the flexing of his muscles as Poe flipped the switches to get the ship off the ground.

Here she was, being too aware of the attractive features of Poe in their life-or-death situation. Azra knew how ridiculous she was being.

She chuckled, a half-hearted attempt to calm herself down. “No, no you weren’t.” She still wanted to investigate that testing center for her own curiosity. Azra hardly knew anything of what was going on on Hays Minor when she was still in the First Order, so she had to know what they were keeping a secret.

“I’ll keep the apologies and thank you’s for after we have landed somewhere safely.” The last thing Azra wanted was to jinx them and have a ship shoot at them. She will consider them safe once they are back on the ground and off of Poe’s lap. No matter how warm he was compared to the planet’s environment.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
‘No. You can’t do it.’

The swell of pride was ever-potent, knowing the one before her couldn’t perform the act. He likely had little idea how to defend against it. No need to test it, though.

He gave a little more.

Only tastes. She didn’t know what this ‘First Order’ was, anymore than she knew what the ‘Sith Eternal’ was. He intended galactic control. No surprise – didn’t they all? Yet, he had something potent backing him in this ‘First Order’, she could sense that.

He was a rival, then.

For now, a useful one, and she stepped back, lowered her hand, but offered it, “There is much I want to know, Ren. I have not heard of this First Order,” she explained, “But there will be time for such, won’t there? I should show you what is available to you.”


The forest was soon out of sight, as Poe flew, keeping to the atmosphere of the planet rather than leaving it. ‘Breathe, breathe.’ He was. The air had a rather pleasant scent, and he knew he should stay focused not on that, but the sky ahead.

Even if out of the corner of his eye he kept seeing Azra. And felt the pressure of her back against his chest. He had an urge to just wrap a hand around her waist, as if that would somehow help both of them in flight, but he knew that was foolish.

This wasn’t a speeder. This was an X-Wing.

“Don’t worry, we’re not far now from a good place to set down,” he indicated.

He wouldn’t be going into any cities, at least, not to land. An X-Wing drew too much attention from all the wrong people, but he knew of a spot just outside of Orwan Port.

“Back there used to be Sebris Gamma,” he said, to have something to say, mostly. Talking was good. “All I could really find out was that it was destroyed. Not sure how, not sure why.”

He started to bring the ship lower.

No one seemed to be following.

He’d be able to land.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo thought that she would prove herself difficult, that she would be dissatisfied with his short answer. He knew he wouldn’t, if he was in her position.

But, to his surprise, she did. “And in time, I could tell you of the First Order.” If he got what he wanted. Kylo looked down at the offered hand, but he didn’t take it.

Instead, he clipped his saber to his belt, still easily within reach, and took a step closer to her. “Yes, please do show me what it is you have.” Show me what it is my Knight foolishly risked his life for.

And if he was satisfied with the holocrons, then maybe he wouldn’t think about killing her later. If he could learn that Force lightning, if he could learn the secrets that the holocrons kept, then he would be a formidable foe.

One Snoke may be proud of yet.


Azra kept her mind busy, anything to get her mind away from the man behind her. Look at the sky. Look at the surroundings. Pretty surroundings! Was that a whiff of him? Focus Azra!

He spoke, which somehow did distract her from, well, everything else about him. “Good. We should be far enough away from them by now.” Unless they just so happen to come across another First Order officer.

Would any of them recognize her? Oh kriff I hope not.

“Sebris Gamma,” she repeated, thankful once again for the continuous recorder. She would need to save its contents later. “Some of the rumors I heard was that it was a testing location, but to be turned into a site for the First Order?”

To destroy a city only to use its remains?

She noticed that they were about to land. Thank goodness.

“Is there anything special about the location of this place in relation to the rest of the planet?” Once the ship landed, Azra would scramble out of there, careful of where she put body parts as she climbed off of Poe.


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
No touching.

No doubt that was a part of all that armor, too. No identity, no touching, no connections, no attachments. Almost pathetically Jedi. Myka wouldn’t say that, just accept it, though her smile held a touch of derision, all the same. “Very well.”

She stepped ahead, but never released her focus on the Force around her, to make sure it would alert her if he thought to attempt to backstab her.

Myka would lead him to a side entrance of the foyer, and into a room that was far better lit. An ornate magenta carpet spilled from the doorway, down the center of the room, floor of black marble. Pillars still rose around them, and incense hovered in the room.

There were a few others there, legs crossed in front of them, observing holocrons or recording translations of crumbling books.

She wouldn’t stop walking, though, unless he made a point to stop her. She intended to take him on to one of the storage rooms.


As soon as the X-Wing landed, and the top popped open, Azra was moving. A grunt escaped him with her sudden movements, a foot surprising him. Not painful, but he wasn’t expecting the weight on his thigh all the same. He let her go without help, lest he touch her in a way that got him slapped by mistake while she was moving.

He lowered BB-8 back to the ground, and then hopped out himself.

“Not that I know of, no, but I haven’t been here that long.” He also didn’t think the Order were turning it into a base, so much as gathering information about how effective the weapon was. And how to make it better.

At least, if his assessment of cape-jackass was right and he was someone like Krennic.

“What, you don’t know about it?” He teased a bit, as he closed up his ship, and then gestured for her to follow him. They had a bit of a trek to the city.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo didn’t like the look on her face. The hint of mockery. He already experienced too much of that, and it grated on his nerves to the bone.

But he accepted and ignored it for now. The woman was doing her part.

He took careful note of everything they passed, of every detail, of every ornament, of every smell. He took note of the others that were there, which surprised him. He hadn’t sensed them, or thought to reach out in order to see if there were others there, and he hadn’t thought she would have another there, much less a few.

They walked away from the others, and Kylo spoke up. “Who are they? I didn’t think the Sith took on more than one apprentice.”


Azra straightened out the nonexistent wrinkles in her jacket as soon as her feet touched solid ground. As if she was brushing away from scent and phantom touches that Poe Dameron left on her.

She let out a groan, following after the pilot. “No, I don’t. I know nothing of this planet. Please enlighten me.”

With the danger far behind them, and, judging from the lack of any visible town ahead, Azra gathered they had quite a ways to walk.

So, she would make use of the time they had. Azra reached into a jacket pocket and pulled out the recorder she used for her own personal notes. “Well since we have some time, I believe you were going to tell me about yourself and the Resistance?”


Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“I told you, there are no other Sith that I am aware of,” Myka reminded, “You didn’t think I lived alone, did you?” Why would she?

Answering questions about them, however, went a step over the line of what she’d offered. So, she didn’t. She just let him know they weren’t Sith, and that they did, in fact, live here. Most of them had the Force, or some touch of it, at least. Almost all were interested in the Dark Side.

Some were just in it for knowledge’s sake alone, but nonetheless, they were all quite useful to her.

She led him into the room she considered the databank, where a computer did run, and another individual sat at it, transcribing details of what had been found into the ever-growing index. Here were kept the holocrons, the books, the tapestries, and other, more oral or written items of use, rather than the artifacts, or the unwritten histories.

She gestured out to them.

There were well over a hundred various cubes and triangles. More triangles than cubes. “Some are in use,” as he’d seen, “but this is the collection of holocrons. I’m afraid the rest of it, for now, you’ll have to ignore.” The books and such, if he could even read ur-kittat, the language of the Sith.


This Azra really hadn’t done her research. He wasn’t sure how normal that was in the field. Suralinda had definitely gotten in over her head a few times, but she usually seemed to have a good idea of some of her leads. ‘Gotta be reckless for this kind of job, I guess.’ If people knew what was going on, they wouldn’t need journalists to go get the story.

He laughed a bit as she switched to wanting to interview him.

“Now? You want to interview me now, not sitting down outside some café or something?”

BB-8 interjected that such an idea sounded more like a date than an interview.

“No, a bar would be a date, not a café.” Although he supposed anywhere comfortable with someone he was interested in could be a place to take someone.

No matter, “Still, walking and interviewing? I mean, if you want – fire away.” He could answer some questions on the walk.


Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
You could be lying. But Kylo wouldn’t challenge her on that thought. Not until he had better proof of that claim, and not until he was able to see the holocrons.

And he didn’t know what to think of her. “Well, we only just met,” he commented dryly. For all he knew, she could’ve lived completely alone or lived with a full harem. But Kylo didn’t imagine the Sith to be very social.

He noted how she didn’t truly answer his question though of who they were. He would press on it more later.

They entered the room, a library of sorts just for the holocrons and other Sith-related artifacts of knowledge and history. “How much of this did you collect yourself?” Kylo slowly walked to the nearest shelf, one hand reaching out to gently brushing his fingers over the holocrons, but not focused on any particular one yet.

Where should he even begin?


Azra scoffed at the droid, but it was Poe’s statement that she responded to. “Really? A bar as a date? Oh, how very romantic.” The sarcasm was clear in her voice, and a smirk graced her lips.

“But yes, why not now? It’s not like we’re doing anything else, and I assumed we would’ve been talking anyways.” They were walking, and unless they happened upon another situation where they had to run from some troopers, why shouldn’t they start the interview?

“Okay, so Commander Poe Dameron,” she stressed his title, “tell me a little about yourself. Why did you want to become a pilot? How did you get your start?”

Her mind flickered to the words Poe and his droid exchanged, and Azra couldn’t help but to think of how it almost did sounded like a date. She was asking him questions to get to know him. But only for the purpose of the interview, to make up for the little fiasco earlier.

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