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Published at 9th of January 2019 03:46:20 PM

Chapter 13

Mobile Ice Planet StarKiller Base

- "That's all the information we have until the moment, Sir!"- an officer said after finishing his report to General Armitage Hux .

- "Good"- said General Hux with an emotionless expression which was characteristic on him- "return to your post and continue gathering information . Inform me immediately when you found out their destination . "

- "Yes, Sir!"- said the officer and after saluting him, he went away in a quick pace .

General Hux saw the view through the window but there was no beautifu or peaceful scenery, but a cold and desolate desert that extended for thousands of kilometers and which would have no end even if one went to explore all the planet . Such was the planet where this base was located . It had been discovered by the Empire more than 30 years ago wandering around in the unknown territories and once the Empire investigators landed on it, they discovered that the planet was rich in Kyber crystals which was a key material to create the massive energy that made ther Death Star the monster it was . As such, the planet was throughly cleansed of any kind of problematic natives and the mining process started at its fullest .

- "I can only imagine the smile in the Emperor when he received the news"- thought General Hux smiling coldly at this idea- "too bad it was for nothing in the end . "

When the Empire fell, the remaining survivors had gone to the Ice Planet and used it as a secret base and after decades of mining and terraforming process, the planet which was now called the "Starkiller" base was widely recognized as one of the most important headquarters of the First Order and had managed to remain a secret even for the best investigators of the New Republic . They knew of its existance of course, but they did not know where it was and definitely they had no idea of the true might of the base and that was the reason they would fall soon . Hux smiled at this thought and then it was interrupted by another officer who called his attention

- "Sir, we have received the results from the last test of the weapon"- he said and passed a tablet with the information which Hux snatched with apprehension .

- "Was this informed to any other high command subject?"- asked Hux whose grin could seemed to be in the border to madness .

- "No, Sir"- responded the officer who seemed a little scared for how the general was acting- "as per your instructons, you are the first person to receive the information . "

- "You've done well"- congratulated Hux trying to retake his composure- "Tell the engineering team that they will be highly rewarded by the Supreme Leader for this feat . You can go now!"

The officer went away with a wide smile and General Hux felt he could jump in happiness, but he had to remain calm since now he had to meet with the Supreme Leader and inform him of the progress with the information of Skywalker . He had been terrified due to the failing in this but now that he had received such great news from the engineering team, he could go and face him calmly since he had this triumph card that he could use if things went to worst .

- "I wonder how Ren is doing"- said Hux grinning at the fact that this time he had the upper hand in the situation .

And as if destuny wanted to play a joke on him, he found Kylo Ren already waiting for him outside the communications room where they had been summoned by the Supreme Leader .

- "Kylo Ren"- said General Hux as a greeting but it was obvious how he pronounced the name lacking of rank which was so important in a military group like the First Order .

Hux remembered the strange relationship he had with the man in front of him . When he had arrived 10 years ago, he had believed that Ren was going to be just another recruit under his control . However, he soon realized that there was more to the man than he expected . Not only was he very skillful in combat but he was cunning, patient, cold and ruthless . Anyone would consider him the perfect killing machine and he easily and quickly ascended in the ranks of the First Order and gained the favor of the Supreme leader to a level in which he had been separated outside official military structure to a level that compared to Hux himself . This meant that he could order and use the forces under Hux without having to ask for his permission or agreement and deploy them to achieve his own objectives . Hux was furious, what he had worked almost for 20 years, Ren had done in merely months and not only had he gained a status similar to his, but he had even been given his own corps named the Knights of Ren and he was under the personal tutelage of the supreme leader himself .

- "We just have to get rid of him"- had said Captain Phasma in that moment and Hux had agreed immediately since it was not the first time they had colluded to move an "obstacle" from the way .

He had tried to put him into deadly and even impossible missions for him to die but he had returned safe from all of them and he would even say that every time he returned stronger than when he had gone . He even tried to set a trap with Phasma personally ambushing him, but it had been only her who whad returned heavily injured and when he had gone to check on her in the infirmary Hux had been shocked by her words .

- "I've fought with monsters which would make anyone have nightmares and defeat them"- she had told him and Hux could notice a trace of fear in the eyes of the most powerful warrior he had seen- "but he was beyond them . . . do not involve me in your vendetta against him and I recommned you not to cross him . "

Hux had always been cautious and since he knew a direct assault would be ineffective, he decided to compete with him in getting results . In the end, this route proved much more fruitful and Ren and hux were in the same level . Ren was the perfect soldier and Hux was the perfect commander and each one showed their worth by themselves . Of course, when they worked together, there was no way the enemy could achieve victory but due to their diferences these moments were not very common . Theywere in the same team but they were each trying to overshine the other in order to get the Supreme Leader approval .

- "Let's see if his mystical nonsense can help him now"

He did not understand that mystical thing called the Force and he did not care to do so, he was a practical and realistic man, a man of science and knowledge and the things related to religion and esoterism were of no corncern to him . He just needed thinbgs that could be used as weapons at his disposal . Sebem though he was powerful, he still followed commands and strategies as long as they were logical so he did not control this Force or any of the people who could wield it, then it was just a useless thing .

- "General"- said Kylo Ren who seemed not to give his tone any importance- "we should not make the Supreme Leader wait . "

- "Of course"- said Hux and the both opened the huge doors and entered the dark room . If someone entered the room they were in right now, they would think of it as a mere cave which was bigger than the rest and would not understand why they had built a bridge to the center of it .

They walked the bridge and placed next to each other with nervous expressions . Soon, the lights of the systems started to appear and they draw the gigantic figure of the Supreme Leader of the First Order but for some reason even though it was a hologram of the best quality, the shadows still covered certain parts of his figure including the face . General Hux saluted in military style while Kylo Ren knelt down .

- "Supreme leader!"- said the general with a high voice while making his boots sound in a clean hit- General Armitage Hux salute you! All the power to the First Order!"

- "Kylo Ren humbly greet you, Master"- said Kylo Ren in a simple manner .

The figure of the Supreme Leader moved as if their voices had awoken him but his movements were minimum and relaxed . He just looked at them but for some reason Hux had the impression that he was examining him completely and he wanted to him to start the interaction already instead of just staying there and watch them without doing a thing . However, Hux just stayed there and waited, he felt that maybe this silence was also a test for them .

- "General Hux"- finally said the Supreme Leader with a deep and ancient voice- "I was informed that we already have information on Skywalker . . . Tell me about it . "

General Hux gulped but he knew it was something that could not be avoided and it would be a madness to try to hide anything from this powerful existance so he started to give a detailed recount of the events starting from the attack on Tuanul until the escape of Han Solo from the pirates encirclement .

- "According to our sources, they seemed to have underestimated Solo and they lost many fleets fleets including dozens of Star fighters and pilots"- General Hux sad while looking at the information he had in his hands- "The droid which is presumed to be on the Millennium Falcon was lost in that moment . "

- "Do we know where they are now?"- asked the Supreme Leader and even though his voice seemed to be exactly the same, Hux knew better than anyone that the Supreme Leader was very dissatisfied and he started to sweat and he looked at Kylo Ren s he could say something and share the blame too . However, Ren just stayed in silence since the question had been for Hux .

- "We still have no information"- replied General Hux swearing at Ren internally- "but all our sources and agents are in alert . . . it is only a matter of time before they are discovered and captured . "

- "Do you assure me that you will not fail as the pirates did, General?"- asked the Supreme Leader with a tinge of sarcasm in his voice .

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- "We will not fail, Supreme Leader"- Hux repied with an offended tone- "those pirates were just useless amateurs that can not compare to us . Han Solo may have been a powerful rebel general in the past but as far as we know he had recently settle for a manager in his Garris City so we must presume he's out of shape . The pirates onnly failed because they underestimate him, we willl not commit such mistake . . . "

- "What is your opinion, Lord Ren?"- asked the Supreme Leader looking at the man who still knelt before him .

- "The droid information will be soon delivered to the Resistance"- he replied in a confident manner- "they will contact Skywalker once again and bring him back to assure the safety of Leia Organa during the voting process in the Galactic Senate in five days . "

- "Correct!"- said the Supreme Leader but he did not seem happy at all for this answer- "It was because of this that the iformation of Skywalker's location was so important . If we knew where he was, we could have destroyed him before he was a threat in this critical moment . I must not remind you of the situation in the Senate . "

Hux felt a sour taste in his mouth . According to the information they had, Senator Leia Organa and Mon Mothma had managed to secure many votes for a veto on the First Order . If the veto passed, then the First Order would be branded as a terrorist organization and forced to disband . Even if they continued working in the shadows, it would certainly be more problematic and they would definitely lose many resources and advantages they had until now . They had contingency plans of course, but if Skywalker returned, those plans would be thwarted . However, Hux still was calm .

- "Supreme Leader"- he said with a calm and collected tone- "by what we know, Skywalker could be dead already . If he were alive, he would have acted already . . . "

- "General!"- said the Supreme Leader with a cold and sharp voice that made Hux felt he was being cut internally- "Don't assume things . . . especially with someone as powerful in the Force as Skywalker . . . he's alive and he will return since we have lost the only chance to know where he is . "

- "I assume all the responsibility . . . "- said Hux who knew the blame would go to him anyway .

- "If we needed to blame someone"- said the Supreme Leader with an exasperated voice- "I would pick up anyne in the street . . . I don't need escape goats . . . I need solutions . . . do you have any, general?"

General Hux felt a cold feeling on his neck as if someone was pointing at him with a blaster and he knew that his next words would decide his fate . In that moment he remembered the good news he received and he maintained his confident expression .

- "I do, Supreme Leader"- he said and he could notice Kylo Ren looking at him and he could imagine his surprised expression behind the mask- due to my efforts, the weapon is finally ready . I think the time has come to use it . We must destroy the government that supports the Resistance . "

- "Have you considered the consequences of such act, General?"- questioned the Supreme Leader and Hux could detect that his voice was not the same as before- "Once we attack, we will be branded a enemy of all the Republic . "

- "I think it is too late to mind that in this moment, Supreme Leader"- said Hux feeling more empowered every second- "It's a fact thay they will pass the veto on us, so we will be branded as an enemy anyway . So, if it is going to happen anyway, I say we let it happen in our terms before they have the chance to vote . "

The Supreme Leader did not say anything and he seemed to be analyzing his words with care . Hux could see his line of thinking and he knew tha he had surprised him with his words . Hux felt extremely pleased with himself and he decided to expand his reasoning further .

- "Without their heads, the goverments in the galaxy will collapse and will enter in turmoil for a time"- explained Hux with a confident voice as if he could already see how the things would develop- "The resistance will lose their major backer and will be vulnerable . Even Skywalker will be unable to turn the tables by then . "

- "Go!"- said finally the Supreme Leader after some moments of indecision- "Oversee preparations . "

- "Yes, Supreme Leader"- said Hux feeling the delicious taste of victory and he gave Kylo Ren a look full of mockery and cockiness before going out of the communications room .

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However, this feeling just lasted for a few moments before he returned to his normal self . He knew he had to prepare the next phase carefully . It was time to end the Republic and put the First Order in its rightful place .

( . . . )

Meanwhile, in the communications room the Supreme Leader waited until Hux had gone completely before laughing at what had happened .

- "I suppose he must be feeling very pleased with himself for having given me such magnificent plan"- mentioned the Supreme Leader in a very relaxed way- "you may stand, Lord Ren . "

- "Yes, Master"- said Ren whose tone had changed to one that showed more intimacy- "You knew he was going to take that path . You just let him believe it was his own idea . "

The Supreme Leader had obviously known that the weapon was ready even before Hux had been informed and he had already planned to use it immediately but he just let Hux "propose" the idea .

- "If you want to control people you have to make them believe they had the idea that you already have in mind . "- explained the Supreme Leader with a smile in his lips- "If you do that, they will work harder thinking they are the responsible for the glory it will represent . . . Remember that . "

- "Yes Master . "- said Kylo Ren with a respectful tone .

- "There's been an awakening"- said the Supreme Leader who seemed to be havinga nice moment- "Have you felt it?"

- "Yes!"- said Ren thinking back to Tuanul- "it will come to us in the end, I sense it . "

- "That person is with the droid we seek in the millenium falcon under the protection of Han Solo . "

- "It won't be a problem"- said Ren who used a detached tone as if his victory was assured .

- "Don't underestimate Han Solo!"- warned the Supreme Leader who had not mentioned this to General Hux previously- "He is still alive due to skill, and he will be one of your greatest rivals now . . . . are you up to the test?"

- "He may have some skill but he's nothing in comparison with the dark side . "- said Kylo Ren with absolute certainty .

- "Even you, master of the knights of Ren, may never faced such a test . "- said the Supreme Leader trying to make Ren understand how dangerous Han Solo was .

Ren knew the danger Solo represented, especially for him but he decided to be strong . If he let Solo to stop him now, then all his efforts would be for naught .

- "By the grace of your training, I'll be victorious and bring you his head"- Ren said with a tone that showed his absolute resolution- "He'll be another stepstone in my ascension to true power . . . Another breakthrough to the mastery of the dark side . "

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- "We shall see . . . "- said the Supreme Leader with a very satisfied voice after seeing the conviction of his apprentice- "you and me know that Skywalker will return and in this moment, he is out of your league by far . . . "

Kylo Ren felt anger at the mention of that name but he could not refute the words of his master . Even though, Ren had advanced incredibly fast and he had reached a stuning level in the Dark Side of the Force, it was stillinsufficient to defeat Luke Skywalker .

- "If you really want to get revenge and defeat him then your training in the dark side must take you into a deeper level"- said the Supreme Leader who seemed to be enjoying the reactions of his apprentice- "Normsally, you would need many years to reach that level, but fortunately tyhe Dark Side gives you shortcuts that you can use . That's why you must eliminate all the previous heroes of the Rebel Alliance, especially the ones closer to him . . . You must destroy Han solo, Leia Organa and Chewacca before facing Luke Skywalker . . . only then, you'll be strong enough to confront him and end him for good . "

- "I understand"- said Kylo Ren but his voice seemed to be doubtful .

- "No, you don't"- refuted the Supreme Leader detecting the doubt in Kylo Ren- "you will not understand until you complete the task . . . only then, you will feel the absolute power that the Dark Side gives you and you will find it so mesmerizing that I fear for you to become addict . "

The Supreme Leader let a very satisfied sigh and smiled as if savoring something and Ren thought that maybe he was remembering a time when he felt what he was saying .

- "All your previous deeds and tests have just given you a small sip of all the power you will be able to obtain when you kill these people . "- explained the Supreme Leader- "The droid is already meaningless, your target now is Han Solo . . . find him and eliminate him but remember . . . it must be done by your own hands, don't let ohers kill him . "

- "Yes, master . It will be done . "

( . . . )

On the other side of the galaxy, Leia Organa and Mon Mothma were traveling to the Hosnian system to attend the Meeting of the Galactic Senate . Fort some reason, Leia was having a terrible premonition .

- "Are you Ok, Leia?"- asked Mon Mothma- "it's been a while since you have that worried expression . Do you feel ill . "

- "It's not that, Mon"- said Leia giving a warm smile at the corcern of her friend- "it's just . . . I have a the feeling that something terrible will happen at the voting . "

- "We know that the First Order will not just sit down"- said Mon Mothma placing her hand on Leia's- "but we have already made preparations . We are ready . "

- "I know . . . "- said Leia who had personally oversaw the contingency plans but she still had this feeling and she knew that it was not just the typical nervousness before a political battle, the Force was warning her .

After the Battle of Endor, Luke had given her basic training in the Force and even though she was never a very competent user of the battle skills of the Force, Luke had told her that her connection with the Force was very strong in premonitions and detecting danger . He had told her that maybe it was the reason she was so good in politics and negotiations .

- "If you feel insecure . . . "- said Mon Mothma who had many times seen the accuracy of Leia's premonitions- "maybe it would be better that you stay . . . I'll go and inform you of anything . "

- "No!"- said Leia firmly- "we have prepared everything and I have to be there and see the political end of the First Order . . . "

And afer saying that, the ship entered light speed and the two women dashed to the Hosnian system where they would face another battle .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!