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Fandom Star Wars: Rising Tide [closed]

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Star Wars

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka was disappointed, but there was plenty else to learn, and the thought of meeting Phasma at another time was encouraging. It wasn’t a surprise that someone charged with overseeing the Stormtroopers was busy.

She walked into Kylo’s room as he mentioned her own would be ready soon. She let out an affirmative hum, and walked right to his bed, where she collapsed backwards onto it, smiling up at the ceiling, “Are you sure I can’t stay here? The ship is rather cold,” she turned onto her side to look at Kylo.

As if he’d know what to do with her.

She wouldn’t force him to answer that, “I suppose while I’m here you can tell me a bit about the others on the ship I should know, besides Captain Phasma? Or others in the Order I should know?”

~***~

Poe wondered if he’d ever see Azra drink anything different. So far it was two bitters in a row. Which, arrived as she was mentioning her ship lacked a name, along with his water. No food yet, though Emmie noted, “Maz will see you shortly,” before the droid continued on.

“You know, it just might be,” Poe teased back, “a ship needs a name,” he stated as if it were a fact, “it turns even pieces of junk into something more. Like the Millennium Falcon. I’m sure you’ve heard of that ship, right?”

Who hadn’t?

BB-8 protested that the Falcon was junk, though.

“Yeah, yeah, I know it was upgraded, but it’s still a piece of junk. It would fall to pieces if they tried to lightspeed skip in it.”

BB-8 questioned it having a name.

“It’ll survive because it has a name, yes. But it’s still going to fall apart.”
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo stared at Myka as she haphazardly laid on his bed, but he didn’t immediately tell her to get off. It didn’t bother him at the moment, as he didn’t need to lay down or need his bed for anything.

“Yes, I’m sure.” He didn’t need her to stay in his room, aside from obvious reasons. She would be a distraction. She would try to be a great distraction.

She asked about others she needed to know, and one name immediately popped into Kylo’s head. “There’s General Hux.” A great nuisance. “This is his ship, and he’s been a great antagonizer of mine since the day we met.”

And will continue to do so until one of them dies.

“It’s best if you try not to get in his way, for both of your sakes.”

~~

Azra took her drink with a gracious nod at the protocol droid. Oh, she knew of the Millennium Falcon. Who didn’t? Of course, the stories she heard of the infamous ship were no doubt far different than the ones Poe heard growing up.

They grew up on opposite sides of this war.

“Lightspeed skip?” She snorted. “Who would try to lightspeed skip in that?” Wasn’t it an old Corellian freighter? She would be surprised if it was still flying. Lightspeed skipping could only cause it to break apart.

Much like her own ship.

“Do you lightspeed skip that often or something?”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
General Hux was apparently a rival to Kylo. She was tempted to inquire if he had the Force, but she was already fairly certain he didn’t. She didn’t feel anyone else with that sort of presence. She felt a glimmer of something, somewhere, but nothing honed and trained. Nothing quite like Kylo Ren’s own presence in the Force.

She might seek out that spark later, but not now.

“Do you have any friends?” It wasn’t sounding like it. He wanted to kill two of his former masters, and the owner of this ship and high-ranking official was someone he hated.

His life sounded terrible. She supposed that might make things easy for her, but she hadn’t quite realized the baggage she would be taking on until then. And she had barely scratched the surface.

~***~

Poe let Azra have a moment to wonder about lightspeed skipping, keeping his brows raised until she asked if he did it often. “I try not to need to do it, but I have. And I know how to do it without completely flaying a ship’s hull.”

It was difficult even in new models.

Ships weren’t made for lightspeed skipping. Not yet, anyways. He wasn’t sure if that would ever become a thing that ships were designed to do, considering the skill and the danger involved – even with a good ship that’s hull wouldn’t be absolutely shredded.

“You learn to pick up new skills when you’re in a cold war.” He noted. That much was certainly true. He’d learned much more in the Resistance than he ever had in the New Republic. “I’m surprised you know what lightspeed skipping is, though.”
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Within the sanctuary of his chambers, Kylo moved his hands up to his helmet to press on the buttons that released it, and he removed it from his head.

“Friends?” he repeated, as if the word was strange on his tongue. It might as well have been. “There’s the Knights of Ren.” But could they be considered friends?

They were the closest he had.

“Phasma and I get along as well.” Friends was an odd thing to consider Phasma, but they got along well enough. Respected one another.

~~

Azra shrugged. “Like you said, some people pick up new skills in a cold war, others pick up new information, especially when said person is also a journalist.” She had learned many new things over the months.

She didn’t realize how sheltered her life in the Order was. How sheltered her father kept her.

“But don’t try that in my ship,” she poked him in the shoulder once for emphasis. “I like living.” No way her ship could survive such a thing, and she would rather not find out that it actually could.

“Are there any other dangerous skills you have? Or is lightspeed skipping the only one?” Azra nearly just asked his droid the question. Little BB-8 may be more honest with the answer than Poe would admit to it himself.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Kylo said the word as if he’d never heard it before. Myka canted her head, watching his expression, glad she could see his face again, but realizing how isolated this boy was kept. He seemed, more and more, a boy. She’d met those like him, before. Outcasted, isolated, afraid, confused, angry – always so full of rage – but never one quite so torn up like him.

Never one with his power.

Snoke was ruining a perfectly good Sith.

Or Sith-potential, anyways.

Even she had friends. Friends she’d kill without batting an eye, but still, friends. “Okay. We’re going to be friends, then.” As if it could be that easy. She knew it wouldn’t be, but nonetheless, it was now a goal. “But that’s getting ahead of things – there’s more about this First Order besides this Phasma and this Hux, right?”

~***~

“Your ship isn’t named, I wouldn’t dare,” Poe laughed, although half-certain if the ship had a name, it still wouldn’t survive lightspeed skipping based on what he saw of it so far. “And yes, I do other dangerous things,” he said, “I am a marksman,” he said.

He’d been in enough firefights, and dogfights, to have skills for all sorts of dangerous situations. He knew how to hotwire ships, too, and most any vehicle. He knew plenty, but he didn’t need to elaborate.

BB-8 indicated the dogfighting. He thought that was more dangerous than lightspeed skipping.

“Poe!”

There was Maz. Poe looked away from Azra, and down, spotting Maz as she came into sight. “Emmie said you needed to speak with me.”

“Yeah – just letting you know my X-Wing is going to be sitting here for a bit,” Poe said, “I wanted to make sure no one ran off with it.”
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo furrowed his brows and stared at Myka as if she turned into a purrgil right before him. They? Friends?

Well, he supposed it was better than enemies.

“You’re an odd one,” he said rather bluntly. But not once did he think of if he regretted his decision to bring her along. Not now.

He could get over strangeness. Or get used to it. Even as she asked all her questions.

And at her latest question, he pulled out his datapad, and tossed it to where she laid on his bed. “There’s much more, but I suppose it would be best to look through the files and do some reading.” A bit of light reading. “And if you have questions, I’ll answer them.”

~~

Azra’s eyes had widened at BB-8’s addition. Dogfighting? Oh kriff, what exactly had she gotten herself into with this Poe Dameron.

But she didn’t have time to question him about it before the small pirate queen made her appearance.

“Oh yes, yes, of course, I’ll take good care of your ship.” She noticed his companion right then, and a knowing smile crossing her aged face.

Shit.

“I remember you, girl. Azra Durand.” Azra nodded. “Have you found what you sought?”

She shook her head with a quick glimpse at Poe. “No, not yet.”

“Well, I’m sure you will soon enough.”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka wouldn’t argue that. She hardly knew what ‘normal’ was, and knew she did not have a normal upbringing in the least. Of course, that had been Phantasm’s plan from the start. So, she made no comment, but reached for the datapad when it was tossed to her, and then sat up on the bed.

She immediately moved backwards, taking her claimed treasure to the headrest, and stacking pillows behind her in a comfortable fashion, before she leaned back and started to go through Kylo’s files.

Of course, the first things she sought were the personal – his messages, any pictures – but nothing truly was personal. His messages were all business. Orders and information. His pictures were boring, and usually just things he’d received from others about bases or activities.

Boring, boring, boring.

But she still went through it all, just in case.

Then she did get to reading material on the First Order. It seemed Kylo’s datapad was programmed with something of a guidebook, which spoke of the goals, the rules, the ranks, and so much more. Kylo’s datapad also had information on his Knights – their names, their current operations.

There were numbers of soldiers – how many in each corps, what each corp specialized in. There was information on ships, and ship officers. Research.

There were propaganda videos, which she played.

All, silently.

Unlike some, she could take the time to go through information without asking questions first.

~***~

Poe believed Maz. Pirate queen or not, she wasn’t inclined to let things get stolen, or hurt, while in her care. She took some rules quite seriously, after all. Poe was grateful for that – and slightly amused as she spoke to Azra.

Maz never forgot a face.

“That’s what I’m helping her with, Maz,” Poe said, “but the X-Wing is a bit small, so we’re taking her ship,” he gestured towards Azra with his head, just as the food was brought over to them.

“Aaaah,” Maz didn’t seem surprised in the least. “I think you are on the right track, then,” to Azra. Poe was not Force sensitive. Not in the standard sense, but he had a bit of luck to him – like Han Solo. A touch of the Force, a touch of intuition, likely helped by the tree he grew up alongside. The Force guided him, that much was clear.

Poe always ended up where he needed to be, at just the right time.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo would let her search through the files till her heart’s content. He had nothing on that datapad her eyes shouldn’t see. Nothing that would damn him.

And while she did busy herself with the information, making herself comfortable on his bed, he headed to his refresher to take a shower. Although every inch of his body was covered while on Korriban, he could still feel grains of sand in his hair, and they were in his clothes.

He exited the refresher, hair still damp, and only a thin top covering his torso, with his typical high-waisted pants on. And Myka was still on his bed, perusing his datapad.

He would have to see if her own room was ready.

“Have you any questions yet?” He strolled to a couch, just to sit and look at her. “This must be a lot of information to take in at once.”

~~

Azra looked to Maz, one eyebrow cocked. Maz may have said one thing, but Azra could sense the underlying meaning in her words. As if Poe would help her find more than just one thing.

And she would ignore the thought that popped in her head. There was food in front of her, after all.

Food she realized she didn’t know what it was.

But Poe ate it, and since she ordered it, Azra would try it.

“I sure hope I am.” She had a feeling she was, but Poe still confused her. Frustrated her. And she liked it more than she wanted to admit.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka continued to read, even as Kylo Ren went to clean up. She could hardly blame him. Korriban was terrible for sand. The Force helped her make sure she got every grain off, but stars, could it stick! The temptation to go try and get a look at Kylo was present, but the information was more important.

There would be other opportunities.

Although when he returned, Myka did make sure to look up, expecting to enjoy the look he bore. And she did, for a moment. His damp hair, his beautiful face, his bare arms, a top that stuck to him…and then the pants.

Her nose wrinkled as he took a seat, “One question: why are you wearing the worst pants I’ve ever had the misfortune of looking at?” There was no point to even looking at his backside in those pants, with how high up they were, they seemed to flatten him.

She knew he didn’t mean that kind of question – but still.

~***~

Maz just offered that enigmatic smile. She wouldn’t speak to what Azra may find. She wouldn’t ask what Poe was going to show her. These were not her concerns, but she was certain it would help the both of them. They were both seeking many things, after all.

“Tell me when you return, Poe,” Maz requested.

Poe nodded, swallowed his bite of nuna quickly, “Of course,” he wouldn’t want an overreaction if he tried to take back his own ship. He could imagine that might go badly. He didn’t want to risk that.

Maz would leave them with that, and Poe glanced to Azra as she seemed to be sizing up her meal, “Well?” To him it was quite tasty, but it seemed she’d truly never seen nuna. He thought it was common.

Where did she come from that she didn’t know nuna?
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo scrunched his nose and looked down at his pants. What was wrong with them? There wasn’t anything wrong with them!

They were just normal pants.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” At least he wore pants, unlike the woman he was looking at, who decided that strips of fabric worked for clothes.

And he certainly didn’t let his gaze linger longer than necessary. Nope.

“They’re my pants,” he grumbled. His, dammit! And they were comfortable.

~~

Maz left them, to which Azra felt grateful. The pirate queen was in actuality a sweet woman, but Azra always felt the woman looked into her very soul whenever they spoke.

She stabbed a fork into the nuna meat, tearing it from the drumstick and eating it. It was nice, maybe even a bit similar to other meats she was more accustomed to.

And it seemed Poe noticed that she had been quietly sizing up the meat. “It’s good,” she said nonchalantly. There was nothing more she had to say about it.

“So, how long do you think this entire mission of yours will take?” Azra had no idea of how many places Poe knew, or how long they would spend on each planet. One a day? A week?

She absolutely did not know what to expect.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Without his helmet, it was much easier to see how her comment about pants, drew Kylo’s eyes to the fact she was not wearing any. She might have been more amused if she wasn’t so bothered by his pants, and his absolute denial that there was nothing wrong with them. She set the datapad down, and left the bed behind to approach him.

“Everything is wrong about your pants.”

He needed a lesson in fashion, apparently, and she first gestured to them, “For one, there’s no belt loops. You absolutely need belt loops,” not for a belt, exactly, but she imagined if she told him the reason he’d be scandalized beyond words, and she still needed him to have some words left.

“Two, they are waaaaay too high up,” she would lean forward, wondering if that gesture alone might distract him as it caused her to lean over his lap, and reached to touch either of his hips, “they should be at or around hip level, not chest level.” Okay, that was an exaggeration, but still.

The pants were terrible. “Snoke has clearly not taught you how to use your assets.”

~***~

Poe tried to hide his absolutely horrified expression at her eating a drumstick, with a fork. Naturally, he had just picked his up, and bit into it, but apparently he was in classy company. Or company who had no idea what she was doing. He swallowed down his bite as she told him the food was at least good.

And tried to focus on her question and not the delicate way she was eating.

“Well, I guess that depends on if we run into trouble, how often we need to refuel, and if your ship has sleeping quarters,” Poe answered, “but I’d say approximately a standard week, maybe a little over. There’s a few places I want to show you, after all.”

She had to see the full depths of depravity the Order went to. She’d have her story that way, which meant Poe would have her information on the Order once she released it. There was plenty enough to show her about the First Order’s activities.

More than a week’s worth, really – but he knew he couldn’t stay on that kind of ‘mission’ for too long. Leia would be annoyed with him.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo stared as Myka approached him, breath caught in his throat at her nearness. He knew he should be more concerned with what she was doing to him, but he could hardly think about anything else when her scent invaded his senses.

Or how he could only notice how close her face was to his.

Kylo definitely did not notice her hands reaching out to touch either of his hips.

“The pants are practical,” he tried to defend. They were his, dammit. “And I don’t see the need for belt loops.” The pants fitted to his form well enough, why get a belt?

He hated those contraptions anyways.

~~

Azra was certainly aware that she was eating this meat wrong, in the way Poe attempted to mask his expression. He mostly succeeded, but she could still tell something was off.

And so she briefly looked over at him and how he ate the meat, and she copied it. It felt messy and primal, but she couldn’t deny how much more convenient it was, and almost a little fun.

“The ship has sleeping quarters, but there’s two beds in it.” A bunk bed situation. She would prefer separate sleeping quarters at this moment, but she certainly wouldn’t complain. It could be worse. She could only have one bed.

“And the ship should have enough fuel for at least the first location, depending on which planet we’re going to first.” A week. She could do a week with Poe. Maybe.

Oh, she knew she could easily do a week with him. Azra just hated knowing she may hate the silence after he was gone. Kriff, woman, you just met this man.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka pressed her fingers into Kylo’s hips as he still fussed over the pants. “They could be useful, not just practical, Ren.” She did not straighten up, but looked him dead in the eye. Not moving away. Not leaning back.

Oh, he was bothered. That was obvious.

“Belt loops are particularly useful for holding belts, which can hold plentiful things, but they’re also useful for,” she curled her fingers over his hips, “grabbing, and pulling down.” She uncurled her fingers once again and would draw them down his legs, ideally to the center of either thigh, but she wasn’t holding delusions of Kylo allowing her contact for that long.

As her fingers moved down to his thigh, however, she would also pull back…and lower herself to her knees in front of him.

“Not to mention, one can be terribly attractive, Master Ren, and terribly intimidating at the same time, and these pants do nothing for your attractive scale. They actually lower it. It’s an atrocity.”

This was…so much more fun than she thought it would be.

~***~

Azra seemed to realize that her method was strange, for she quickly adapted to Poe’s way of eating the nuna. He wondered if he ought to comment on it, but decided not to. Not immediately, at least, as he listened to her mention the facilities of the ship. Bunkbeds weren’t terribly abnormal.

“Lemme guess, I get bottom bunk?” Most people he knew preferred the top bunk.

He would go where he was directed – it wasn’t his ship, obviously. He did prefer top bunk, though. “Yeah, I figure we can get at least a place or two before needing to refill, depending on what size tank. But going to worlds with easily accessible fuel is something we’ll have to calculate, because some of these places I want to show you, there’s no fuel we can get there.”

Some didn’t have anymore life, for that matter. He wouldn’t mention that. She’d see it for herself, soon enough. “You don’t have any pressing plans for a week, do you?”
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo didn’t breathe for a few seconds. Not when Myka was so close to him, fingers pressing into his hips. The same fingers that drew down lower. He swallowed as he realized his body responded in ways that were dormant for many years.

He simultaneously wanted to push her away and pull her on his lap.

It was when she got on her knees before him when Kylo jolted back to the present. He abruptly stood up and put some distance between himself and Myka. “That’s enough.” His voice was rougher than he anticipated.

And she just knew exactly what she was doing to him.

“Don’t touch me without my permission again.” He should’ve just said don’t touch me again. Why didn’t he?

He ran fingers through his still-damp hair. “And the pants are staying.” Oh yes, that’ll show her.

~~

Azra shrugged. “It doesn’t matter to me. I can switch.” She actually preferred the bottom bunk anyways; it was easier to get in and out of bed at moment’s notice.

She bit back a smile that threatened at her own little immature joke.

Apparently they would be going to some desolate worlds, with no fuel. Which meant little resources in general. What all would she see there? Azra wanted to mentally prepare herself for what would be seen, but somehow, she didn’t think that would help.

“Me? Pressing plans?” She scoffed, finishing the last nuna drumstick she could eat. She made her own schedule, as long as she could get credits for food and fuel. “Nah, I’m completely free.”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka managed not to laugh, although a part of her wondered if laughing aloud as she wanted to, might push Kylo a bit further. Still, she refrained. He wasn’t there yet. He was aware – becoming aware – but fighting it. Resisting it. That damned Jedi training.

But Myka was smiling as she rose, “I like that tone.” She really couldn’t help herself, but that deep, rough voice? Gorgeous. She wanted to hear more of it. Wanted to hear it choked for breath.

“I’ll ask next time,” she allowed as she went back to his bed, and once again, collapsed back on it. And reached for the datapad, “Keep the pants. I’m only trying to help you. Charisma is an important part of leadership.” She should know. “And Snoke has none of it.”

He could do so much better than Snoke. Win so many more followers, in so many different ways, if he learned to play to his strengths. Still, she’d feign distraction, and sudden disinterest, as she turned his datapad on to go back to reading.

As if playing with him was suddenly boring.

~***~

Poe would have thought nothing of her comment about switching, were it not for the smile she was suddenly fighting. When he recognized that, it clicked in his head, and his brows lifted, half-impressed, half-questioning, at how easily she made that comment flow. He clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth, but let it lie.

Maybe he’d find out in due time.

Oh sure, he liked piloting more often than not, but every now and then, being piloted was just as fun.

He bit the inside of his cheek. “Good to hear you have an open schedule,” he had expected as much, really, but figured if they needed to, they could find a way to make sure she was wherever she needed to be. It seemed there were no scheduled events to look in at, though. “We’ll do all we can – you’ll learn all about the Order and what they’re doing to the galaxy.” The only thing he couldn’t really get her was ‘their side’ of the story.

But, really, he didn’t think anyone could explain away the kind of shit they pulled.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo didn’t know how to react to Myka’s comment, so he didn’t say anything about it. He just gave her an unamused look, watching as she returned to his bed, messing his sheets.

He won’t be rid of her scent when he goes to bed that night.

Now that the couch was void of Myka, he returned to sit back on it, but charisma was on his mind. That was one thing he could agree on. He needed more charisma, if he ever hoped to lead one day. Snoke did not have it. He had fear.

Kylo could learn about charisma.

Myka had turned back to his datapad when Kylo spoke up, “What else could help with charisma?” As if he was seriously contemplating her advice.

Starting with the pants.

~~

Maybe you’ll be able to show me something about the Order that was hidden from me.

Azra knew much about the Order already, but she sought what Poe could show her that had been hidden from her. What they had been lying about to her, and to many others in the Order.

She nodded at him, finishing up her drink now that her food was gone. “And you’ll eventually get your information.” When she published it, and not a moment sooner.

Azra ignored the little voice in her head that said otherwise. That if Poe can convince her of the truly atrocious acts the First Order has done, then things may change.

“I’m ready to leave whenever you are,” she mentioned as she took the last sip of her drink.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Snoke may have assigned Kylo the role of ‘Master’, but Myka was fairly certain it was still, significantly, more to her favor to play that role anyways. And he seemed to be thinking about what she said. He didn’t want to be like Snoke. Didn’t want only fear.

Fear led to people conspiring behind your back, to kill you.

Like Snoke.

So she lowered the datapad and rolled onto her side to face Kylo, fabric falling so one leg was pretty much entirely revealed.

“Who are people you like, or have liked, Ren? Who do you admire?” She asked him, instead of answering, “It’s better to point to aspects of charisma, from examples in others. What have you liked in other people?”

~***~

Poe would indeed get his information, but he wouldn’t keep the focus on that. The focus, first, had to be on showing Azra the atrocities of the Order, and considering Takodana as his starting location, he knew the next best place to begin.

Athulla.

No one liked to believe the First Order was already in the Core, but it was – and Athulla was proof of how deep it went. Poe wasn’t sure how or even why it was allowed to occur. He knew that the First Order was doing all they could to keep their activities on Athulla quiet, but Poe knew of it. He knew people who tried to make noise, but it wasn’t enough.

The government, or someone, was well-paid off.

“Think your ship can get us to Athulla?” He asked once he set the empty cup down, and pushed off from the stool. He was more or less done with his nuna. He’d eaten enough of it, anyways.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo hesitated in providing Myka an answer. Someone he admired. Who did he admire? Darth Vader seemed like an obvious one, although it was the truth. He didn’t even notice the exposed leg.

But she may be expecting that answer.

There was another answer that even surprised himself when he thought it over, and he blurted it out without thinking. “Leia Organa.” His mother.

She was brave, fearless, charismatic, and didn’t hesitate to stand up to anyone. And, despite her short stature, she could always invoke fear in both himself and his father, Han. But not the fear that Snoke sought from subjects, but deserved fear from her anger when someone fucked up.

“She’s a respected political leader.” He would leave out the part that she was his mother, for now.

~~

Athulla?

A moment of confusion and slight shock passed over Azra’s features before she wiped them away. She had no idea of any First Order presence on Athulla, so hearing the planet’s name had come as a slight surprise for her. Maybe Poe would be showing her a few things she had no idea about.

“Yeah, it can easily get us there.” Following Poe’s cue, Azra scooted off her stool. “So, what’s going on on Athulla?” Since it was a Core World, and she hadn’t heard anything about it yet, Azra wondered if it was something more behind-the-scenes. Something more political.

She would lead them back to her ship. “I didn’t realize anything was happening there.”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“I was expecting Darth Vader,” Myka did admit, but she still knew of Leia. How could she not? Leia was Darth Vader’s daughter, and among the leading rebellion figures. Some of her traits were known, mentioned, in training, and from observing the HoloNews. Phantasm liked to watch, to see if there might ever be an opening.

Myka, admittedly, had not remained that invested in such things.

“Politicians do need charisma,” she said, “if they don’t have it in looks,” as many of them did not, “then they have it in words, and in the image they portray.” She raised one hand, gesturing vaguely out, “I understand that Princess Organa was considered to be witty – but that doesn’t just mean she was clever. One can be clever but lack wits.”

Wits was charismatic.

Clever was not. Clever alone was a strategist in the background.

“That sort of charisma requires an effortless confidence, and a training of your tone, so that people cannot deduce if they truly bothered you with what they said. The confidence comes into play by the quick response – the way your response doesn’t linger on sounding like a question, or hesitant. Wits are ruined if you do not exude confidence, and those who can use their wits in dialogue? They gain a following, while their opponent, may lose face, which causes their own following to be weaker, because it would appear that the one with wits, is actually right.”

Even if they weren’t, and were just better at taking hold of a situation, and shaking the foundation of the other person.

“It is the appearance of being unshakable, and secure in yourself, as well.”

~***~

The shock was obvious, and Poe expected. He wasn’t happy to see it, but it meant that he would definitely be showing Azra something new. Something that would likely not please her in the least. “Oh, you know, nothing serious, just a whole bunch of stolen children and murdered parents, and kidnapped orphans.” He answered.

“Not to mention lots of children being separated from parents if they come from off-world, and never returning to their parents, during screening processes for citizenship. They just get lost in the system,” Poe shrugged.

It was absolutely horrendous. It wasn’t just human children, either, though those were the most common. Poe knew that those of other species were also being taken, and he knew they were ending up mostly in labor camps. The First Order was as xenophobic as the Empire, to this day. And he knew where a few of those labor camps were, which were on his list to show Azra, too.

“It gets covered up pretty well,” his smile was sardonic when he cast it Azra’s way, “The First Order seems to be pretty well funded.” And he was certain Azra would doubt him. Every word. Something on this scale, kidnapping children, should be bigger news. Especially on a Core world.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
“I know you were, which is why I decided to surprise you.” Of course she would expect for Kylo to say Darth Vader, when he had his helmet in his chambers, on a pedestal to be admired.

To say the daughter of Darth Vader’s name? That may be less expected of Kylo.

“She was clever,” Kylo clarified, without meaning to. He had just wanted to keep it in his head, but as he recalled the wit and intelligence she displayed in his childhood, that wit and intelligence she used on other politicians, he couldn’t help but to blurt it out. And Leia knew how to carefully navigate the political world.

It was both admirable and a threat.

The appearance of being unshakable and secure in yourself.

That is what Kylo needed and wanted. Being both unshakable and secure in himself. Snoke knew he wasn’t secure. Kylo was sure Myka knew that as well.

But what he said next went back to the topic of his mother, “Did you know she had a son?”

~~

Azra felt sick. That is, if what Poe said was true.

She knew they recruited children for their stormtrooper program, but over the years, Azra had been told different stories of how they recruit the children. Largely, that the First Order granted opportunities to families of less fortunate from planets ruined by the New Republic with their stormtrooper program.

And so that is what she told herself for many years. That the children were volunteers, not stolen. She couldn’t quite believe Poe just yet, but if he could give her that proof?

Azra didn’t know what she would do.

She led them all on her ship. “Welcome to your home for the next week.” It wasn’t the roomiest ship, but it was big enough for the addition of Poe and BB-8. “Since you’re the one showing me, I’ll let you take the lead and pilot my baby.”
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka just waved it off. She hardly needed the clarification about Leia’s cleverness. She knew of it – believed it. Organa had both wits and cleverness. It was merely a distinction about which was charismatic. Wits could be faked, cleverness, not usually so well. When Kylo brought up another matter, she arched a brow.

Kylo Ren wasn’t his real name.

He admired Leia Organa.

“Ben Solo. Always thought it was strange he wasn’t Ben Organa – Solo is name tied to nothing good, but I suppose Leia didn’t care enough to bestow the name on him,” she answered, to confirm she knew of the boy. “He was seen with her in his earlier years,” she’d seen a couple of those videos, and the boy did have similar features, though darker skin. At least, back then. Kylo probably wasn’t getting much sun.

‘Curious.’

“Phantasm spoke of him,” she decided to elaborate, “as ill-fit to carry on Darth Vader’s legacy,” if he was the boy, his anger might start to spike, “of course by the time she had considered him, she also thought he was much too old for what she wanted. He had great potential, but she considered he would be as incorruptible as Leia herself, and so just as weak.”

~***~

Poe could see the disgust in Azra’s face as they walked, but she didn’t comment to what he had to say. She seemed to be mulling it over in silence, and it made him wonder, yet again, how she decided to get involved in all of this, and why she decided to get involved in all of this. What did she know of the Order, before now?

It would take time before he learned, so right now, he could at least take solace in knowing that what he said, was something she wasn’t in agreement with.

He stepped onto the ship in equal silence, BB-8 rolling along. It let out a low whistle. Not impressed. Worried. “Yeah, I hear you,” he said, as he glanced around the entryway. He wouldn’t go take a look at the bunkbeds yet.

He moved towards the cockpit, “It’s not your baby until you name it,” he chuckled, “Then you can call it your baby. Right now it’s just a ship,” that she happened to own.

He was going to get her to name it if it was the last thing he did. She might start to actually put in some work in upgrading it and taking care of it, then.

At least it was easily discernable to figure out which way was the cockpit, and which seat was the pilot’s, and he easily slipped into it, then looked back to her, “I’ll need the key to get this thing started,” so he could take a look at its specs, too.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
“Then your master was foolish,” Kylo barked. Oh yes, her words did invoke the anger in him as she predicted, but he kept it simmering just on the inside. He didn’t quite lash out just yet. There was still the chance to prove himself worthy to carry on Darth Vader’s legacy.

Her master was a fool indeed.

And his real name...it was tied to something good. His father was a successful general. But no. No more. He also is a foolish man whom you need to forget.

But he couldn't so easily forget the earlier memories he held of himself in his father’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, being taught how to fly with Chewbacca in the background, interjecting when he thought Han was doing something wrong.

“He’s not ill-fit to carry on Darth Vader’s legacy.” His fist balled, and Kylo willed himself to take a deep breath and relax, before he threw a chair, or a fucking sofa, at the wall. He was good enough. He was.

~~

Azra bit back a laugh at Poe’s reaction to seeing her ship. It’s exactly what she had expected, and it was her own first impression of the ship. But she knew it ran smoothly enough. Sure, it could use a few upgrades, but she hardly had the credits to invest in that at the moment.

“Maybe the ship’s name is my baby,” she teased, following Poe to the cockpit. As he asked for the key, she was already pulling it out of her pocket. “But if you’re just gonna insult my ship this entire time, then you can sleep on the floor.”

She handed him the key. Well, she tossed him the key as she sat down in the co-pilot’s seat. “Maybe BB-8 can help me name the ship.” She wouldn’t trust Poe with such a task.

He would give it an inappropriate name. Or name it after himself, Azra was convinced.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
“I don’t know. She seemed to get me right,” Myka noted, denying the foolishness if only to mess with him a bit more. Obviously, she didn’t think her master was too intelligent. They ended up dead at her hand, unable to see it was going to happen, thinking she had failed.

Kylo’s anger rose with her comments. He was obviously holding it back. ‘So you are Ben Solo.’ He was terribly defensive of this boy, after all.

“You are rather defensive of this Ben Solo,” she pointed out, and decided to play with it some more, “Is he one of your Knights?” She played dumb, even with how obvious it was. Kylo was still separating himself from Ben in his speech, after all.

Would he confess it?

“Or someone you plan to recruit, perhaps? An old friend?” Despite playing with him, she did manage a rather impressive attempt at ignorance, not smiling, or giving it away with a smirk or teasing tone.

~***~

“It’s not,” Poe said as she commented on the name of the ship, which was obviously clarified as she said BB-8 could help her with a name, while he took the keys and went through the motions of getting things started.

BB-8 seemed hesitant about helping out. It didn’t know naming conventions very well.

It was, after all, just BB-8. It didn’t have a special name other than its model-type. And the name of the ship it was traditionally involved with Black One. Not exactly the best experiences for figuring out how to name things.

It did decide to ask what the model-type of the ship was, though.

Maybe they could build from that. “BB, that’s not how names work for ships.”

BB-8 didn’t believe this. It worked for droids.

“Yeah, but ships and people are different. You don’t see us being called a particular model of human.”

Naturally, BB-8 disagreed. Dameron was a particular model of human, from the Dameron family. Poe was just the particular, individual, model.
 

Cleocrypt

Coffeehouse Owner in the Ottoman Empire
Kylo didn’t need the Force to see that now Myka was just messing with him. It allowed him to cool his anger, but the frustration still lingered.

He stood up and lazily strolled over to the end of his bed to look down at Myka. “I think we both know you know who Ben Solo is.” She may have been playing dumb quite well, but he still saw through the act, even if just this once.

“Ben Solo is now dead.” Kylo took a few steps away from the bed, only glancing away for a second before refocusing it back on Myka. “Just an old memory now. A relic of the past.” Like Darth Vader.

Like his parents should be.

~~

Azra tried to stifle her laughter, but the last thing Beebee had said, about Poe merely being a particular model of his family, had her bursting into laughter. Of course that’s how Beebee would respond, with it being only a droid.

“Beebee does have a point there, Poe.” The two’s dynamic was entertaining, as Azra had gauged from her brief time with them. Surely things wouldn’t get boring with them around, as opposed to just listening to her own thoughts or occasionally blasting a tune throughout the ship.

“So what do you think of the ship?” Azra already knew the answer. He wasn’t impressed, and she didn’t blame him. It was her trash child. “I know, I know, it needs a little fixing. Extra credits are hard to come by these days.”

She had already taken some of her father’s money when she had left, and used it to escape and get a ship, along with extra civilian clothes. Now, whatever she had came from her articles, and was spent on fuel and food. Not enough to be spent on her little ship.
 

Lucyfer

Laudandum puellam, ornandum, tollendum.
Myka shifted, sitting up on the bed as Kylo approached it, and called her out on knowing who Ben Solo was. Of course, he didn’t confirm it, calling Ben Solo dead as he backed away. She laid back down on her back, staring up at him from that odd angle.

“So my master was right, then.”

Ben Solo was dead. Ben Solo wasn’t worthy of being a Sith. She imagined his anger might come again, that desire to argue, before he might realize what he’d just said. What he had, more or less, agreed to in announcing that Ben Solo was dead. “What was he like?” She wasn’t sure he’d answer, “Why did he have to die?”

Her Master had mentioned that Vader, once Anakin, had also undergone that sort of ‘death’. She had considered it a trick of Sheev’s, to make sure that Vader would never have a life outside of him. A mistake he had made with Dooku.

Phantasm had also given her life to the Sith, but she, at least, had never been widely known. She could take on her old name and live her old life, even if it was a shell of a life.

~***~

Poe’s lips had twitched into a smile with the laughter, and BB-8’s comment. Still, he playfully rolled his eyes as Azra claimed Beebee had a point, “Yeah, yeah, maybe he does,” he wouldn’t give it to BB-8 entirely but, well, the droid did have a point, from his perspective of things. Perhaps that was why droids were so attached to their model numbers.

He still found it hard to think of a bunch of random letters and numbers as a name, though. Even if he’d gotten used to it with BB-8.

“Yeah, it needs a lot of fixing,” Poe said, as his gaze went over the diagnostics of it. “Not that it’s at immediate risk of falling apart, but it…could use some upgrades. Newer parts. Things to make sure it lasts longer. Definitely some better shielding.”

BB-8 couldn’t help but beep out what it didn’t need.

“Well. Currently it doesn’t need fuel.”

BB-8 might have sighed.
 

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