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Published at 9th of January 2019 03:46:19 PM

Chapter 14

It has been a day since Han and company had entered the hyperspace and now they were sitting and eating together after doing basic repairs and maintenance to the Falcon . It was not optimal but at least the ship would resist until getting to Takodana . One could think that everything was going well, but Han was absolutely shocked for the scene he was witnessing in front of him . He had met many kinds of thugs and some people with lack of basic manners but they were pale in comparison with how Finn and Rey were eating now .

- "Oh my God . . . . this is the most delicious thing I've ever tried . . . "- said Rey who hadn't finished swallowing her food- "Have you tried this stew, Finn . . . ?"

- "Bo, but wu fud dry da gri weed . . . "- replied Finn who had even more food than Rey .

- "Hey . . . "- said Han not being able to hold up anymore- "swallow before talking, kid . Seriously . . . Leia would say I'm an elegant gentleman in the table compared to you . . . I understand now why she was so pissed with me when we went out for dinner . . . "

- "Gwraaaruo"- said Chewee .

- "Hey! I wasn't!"- replied Han very annoyed at Chewee's comment .

- "Sorry . . . "- said Rey feeling very apologetic- "but this is absolutely delicious . "

- "I'm sorry . . . "- said Finn still licking his fingers- "I'm not accostumed to eat so well . . . "

Han saw them with pitiful eyes . The dinner they were having was far from being luxurious or the high quality one could think . This made Han wonder what had these kids been eating until now so that a simple stew and piece of meat could made them this happy? Han could not stop from feeling touched by this since he also knew what hunger and despeartion were . There was also a time when a simple bowl of porridge had tasted like ambrosia . He shook his head and smiled in a very understanding way .

- There's no need to eat so fast- he said finally still mantaining his strong front- "there's more if you want . . . "

The two kids looked at each other and smiled with pure joy . Han could not help thinking in his own child who had that same expression when he was a kid . His smile vanished and he felt a terrible pain in his chest which normally curred every time he remembered his son and once again, he had to put his emotions under control before they were too overlwhelming foor him . . . even after so much time, it hurted as if it had been just yesterday .

- "Ben . . . "- he said for himself the name that he and Leia had chosen for their only child .

Being a father was something that he personally had never imagined to be but when he had received this small and powerless baby in his arms for the first time and when he realized he shared his own blood and flesh, he felt the most fortunate and grateful man in the galaxy and it was a feeling that only someone who had had a child can relate to . In that moment he thought that all the credits and riches in the universe could not compare to the precious life he had in his arms . He loved his son since the moment he was born and even now that he was not here, he still loved him more than anything and he wished every day he could change the past . If he had done the things better maybe he would be here now with him and his mother . . . In that moment the Falcon system made a sound that indicated that they were about to arrive to their destination

- "Grrreee!"- said Chewee and he patted Han's back and Han knew that Chewee guessed what he was thinking and he patted the hand of his loyal friend .

- "I'm fine, thank you . . . "- Han said smiling- "Ok, kids, we are here . Prepare to get out of hyperspace . "

Han rolled his eyes when he saw that the kids ate even faster than before and he just went with Chewee to the cockpit to prepare the Falcon for the landing in Takodana . After 20 minutes, they got out of Hyperspace and they were received by a beautiful planet which was extremely green due to the massive presence of jungles and forests . Rey especially was extremely taken aback and her eyes showed a dashing light when seeing the planet in front of her .

- "So beautiful . . . "- she said and Finn smiled at her reaction- "I didn't know there was this much green in the whole galaxy . "

Finn that Rey had always lived in Jakku which was only desert, so he understood why she would feel so overwhelmed by this scenery, the truth was that it was the first time he had seen such a beautiful planet in reality . He was not so shocd jus because during his training he had been in different environments in the simulator which could immerse you completely since it could recreate even the smells and sounds of any place with absolute realism . Having said this, Finn was still surprised when he saw the gigantic building they were approaching . Finn did not know how he could have missed such tremendous structure until nowe and the truth was that the building was made in such a way that it was camouflaged and the sensors of the Falcon which were the most advanced did not detect it even when Finn was watching it with his own eyes .

- "What kind of place is this?"- he asked with great shock .

- "This is Maz Castle"- said Han who was finding the reaction of this kid very funny and it made him remember the first time he had arrived here- "The camouflage systems of this building are something that even me with all my years in the bussiness can't even dream to get . . . but don't get surprised yet, this is just the beginning . "

Finn did not say anymore and Chewee flew down until he found a nice landing spot that was at certain distance from Maz Castle . Immediately Han ordered them to prepare and he went to the weapons deposit to grab blasters for everyone . Finn went after him making sure that nobody was behind them .

- "Hey, Solo, I'm not sure what we're walking into here . . . "- said Finn whose voice showed a very apprehensive tone .

- "Did you just call me Solo?"- asked Han looking at the boy with a surprised expression . Until now, he had been very respectful but now Han could notice his change of tone and he could detect nervousness and even desperation

- "Sorry . . . Han . . . Sir . . . General . . . You should know I'm a big deal in the Resistance . . . Which puts a real target on my back . Are there any conspirators here? Like, First Order sympathizers?"- said Finn pretending to show a very confident voice .

- "Listen, Big Deal"- said Han placing a blaster on Finn's hands and using a very sarcastic voice- "You got another problem . . . Women always figure out the truth . . . Always!"

Han had been in the game too long to be fooled by an amateur who was pretending to be someone he was not . If he still believed Finn was in the resistance, then he would be an absolutely fool who would be a dead man by now . He just ignored the kid and got out the Falcon . Outside, he saw Rey who was admiring the jungle that was surrounding the area .

- "You might need this"- said Han offering a blaster- "you never know what could be awaiting us there . "

- "I think I can handle myself"- said Rey showing the quarterstaff in her back and remembering the aversion Broom had for guns .

- "I know you do . That's why I'm giving it to you . Take it . - said Han forcing the gun on her hands- "You know how to use one of these?"

- "Yeah . You pull the trigger"- said Rey and Han thought she was being sarcastic until he saw her eyes and he knew she was being serious .

- "Little bit more to it than that . You got a lot to learn"- said Han and taught her the basics until he was sure she could at least point at the correct direction .

He smiled and then cleared his throat since he was about to do something he was not used to . Han thought that he would seem totally out of character .

- "You're not bad . . . I've been thinking about bringing on some more crew, Rey . . . A second mate"- he mentioned trying to sound uninterested- "Someone to help out . . . Someone who can keep up with Chewie and me . . . appreciates the Falcon . "

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- "Are you offering me a job?"- asked Rey who had heard similar words before when she was in Jakku .

- "I wouldn't be nice to you"- said Han who still tried top put the act of tough boss- "Doesn't pay much . "

- "You're offering me a job"- said Rey while smiling . She could not believe that a legend like Han Solo was considering giving her a job .

Han had not taken the decision rashly and truth to be told he just wanted to take BB8 to Leia and then leave these kids in the closest port so they could go their way but after seeing them work under stress in the battle against the pirates and while repairing the Falcon, he had to accept that he was very interested . During the repairs opf the Falcon, Han noticed that she learnt very fast and was very skilled . Also, he liked the way she looked at the Falcon, Chewee and him . It was like a kid with a new toy and someone who had lots of talent . Han knew that he and Lando were becoming slower now and years would not pass in vain, so it was very obvious that they needed to give away the Falcon soon to fresh blood and for some reason he thought that maybe Rey could be someone who he could give the Falcon in some years after being shaped into a nice and productive pilot obviously .

- "I'm thinking about it . . . "- said Han avoiding her eyes- "Well?"

- "If you were, I'd be flattered . . . "- said Rey but then her smile dimmed and a sad expression appeared in her face- "But I have to get home . "

- "Where . . . Jakku?"- asked Han thinking that it was strange that anyone could call home to such wasteland .

- "I've already been away too long . "- said Rey without explaining more .

- "Chewie, check out the ship as best you can"- Han said when Finn and BB8 were prepared and followed them- "That's too bad . Chewie kind of likes you . "

Han would never admit it but he was very dissapointed . He nderstood that Rey must have had her reasons but losing a promising kid was still sad . He still could ask Finn of course, but for some reason the kid did not give him a good vibe and he was hiding something so it was a risk he would not take .

After 10 minutes of walk, they carrived to the doors of the gigantic Maz Castle and when they entered, the music and happy environment exploded in great contrast to the serene vibe that the jungle gave them . Finn and Rey were taken aback by the great quantity of alien creatures that were present in the area . There were so many that even Rey who had had her fair share iof encounters with many races in Jakku could still see new and unknown kinds ofm sentient beings who were talking, shouting, negotiating, fighting and laughing in so many dialects and languages that she felt she was in the middle of a choppy sea . Han guyided them to the bar area which was even more, if that was possible, active than the trading area .

- "General, why are we here again?"- asked Finn who was very overwhelmed by the present situation but was trying to adapt already .

- "To get your droid on a clean ship"- replied Han looking for something .

- "Clean?"- asked Rey who did not understand the term .

- "You think it was luck that those pirates found the Falcon and the Garris?"- asked Han advancing through the sea of people in the bar- "If they can find it once . . . then the First Order's not far behind . Wanna get BB-8 to the Resistance? Maz Kanata's our best bet . "

- "We can trust that person, right?"- asked Finn looking around nervously trying to see any First Order agent .

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- "Relax, kid . She's run this watering hole for a thousand years"- said Han smiling at the idea of seeing Maz after so long- "Maz is a bit of an acquired taste . . . so let me do the talking . And whatever you do, don't stare . "

- "At what?"- asked both Finn and Rey at the same time .

- "Any of it"- said Han seeing that Finn and Rey was staring at many customers, seriously these kids looked like country bumpkins who were in the city for the first time .

Two big bodyguards stood in front of them stoppingf the group from continuing their path . Oner of them was a Trandoshan while the other was a Falleen and they both were imposing and completely threatening . Immediately Han and Finn put their hands on their blasters and Rey took her quarterstaff all ready to act any second .

- Hanss Ssolo- said the Falleen in a very hissing tone similar to the one a serpent would do but his Basic was understandable- "the Boss wantss to ssee you in private . . . accompany uss . . . "

It sounded polite enough but their manner of conduct seemed to tell that they would not accept any rejection . However, Han just relaxed and nodded to the rest and allowewd the two bodyguards to lead them to the Boss . They entered for different corridors and Rey started to believe this was just a laberynth and thought that she would get lost before arriving to anywhere . Finally they entered a very wide and luxurious corridor that led to a big gate of double doors which was protected by two Zabrak warriors that looked at them with such intensity that they were sure they would attack them at any show of hostility . Finally they entered to the room and they were surprised to see the grandiouse and exquisite design of the walls and floor which was full of tapestry and ornaments from different materials and styles but they were placed in such stting that it only gave a feeling of superb taste . There was a low table where many food, fruit and drinks were served and many aromatic herbs were burning all around . In the farthest end of the table they saw a small reddish humanoid who seemed to be expecting them .

- "Han Solo!"- she shouted while opening her arms at the vision of the smuggler .

- "Oh, boy"- said Han looking at his friend who seemed to have not changed at all- "Hey, Maz!"

Han introduced Finn, Rey and BB8 to the pirate queen and she looked at them with those big and curious eyes that had always been keen to recognized valuable and extraordinary trinkets .

- "You're getting old or you really are losing your touch . . . "- said Maz after inviting them all to sit down looking at Han with a playful expression- "you know this place is infested by the worst scum in the galaxy and you dare to enter like its your backyard . . . I don't know if you are daring or stupid . "

- You're one to talk when you're like 900 years my senior"- said Han using his negotiaiton tone since he knew Maz preferred the frank tone- "of course I know what kind of people are here but you know as well as me that no matter where I went the result would be the same so I came to the safest destination, plus, you know me . . . I loved big entrances"

Han's smug acting made Maz laughed and he called one of her assistants and whispered something on her ear .

- "Unfortunately I know that, but that's why you are the famous person you are after all- said Maz Kanata after dispatching her assistant- "However, it was really necessary to bully those poor pirates like that? Even us have to have certain limits, you know?"

- "I tried to talk . . . "- said Han with an innocent voice- "they didn't want to listen . . . "

- "Normally that's what happens when you taunt the younglings"- said Maz laughing- "Where's my boyfriend?"

- "Chewie's working on the Falcon . "- said Han grinning at the expression in her face .

- "Gosh! I love that Wookiee"- she said and then she accomodated on her seat and turned her shining eyes to Han once more- "I assume you need something . Desperately . Let's get to it before the bounty hunters and The First Order arrive . They must have been informed already . "

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( . . . )

Orbit of StarKiller Base - Star Destroyer Finalizer

Kylo Ren was levitating in lotus position and meditating while having multiple objects floating around him . There was, however, an object that was placed reverently in altar just in front of him . This was a treasure that helped him focus and immerse in the dark side more easily . The object had been recovered from the space renmants of the Second Death Star and Ren had managed to get it as a gift from the Supreme Leader many years before he had accepted gone to the Dark Side .

- "Just a mere token of my appreciation for you . . . "- had said his now master in that time .

At the time, he was still an ignorant and weak Jedi so of course, he had felt hesitant and even disgusted by the object which had a strong connection to darkness but once he started to discover the secrets of the dark side, he noticed that it helped him by leaps and bounds in his understanding not only about the dark side but of the Force in general . It had given him enlightment in the Dark Side and it had given him a strength vastly superior to the one he had when he was a Jedi Knight .

- "You cannot study just a part of a subject . . . "- had said his master- "you need to understand the Force entirely . . . you have already uderstood the light, now you ust complemented with the dark in order to master the Force and use it as you wish . "

Even after all these years, the object in front of him still was of great use for him . He still felt that strange connection with it and he knew it was natural since it was an object that belonged to one of the most powerful Sith Lords in the history of the galaxy . Now it would help him to have the ability necessary to face and defeat Luke Skywalker and take his place among the greatest and most powerful Sith Lords, maybe even greater than the one who had possessed the object in front of him . In that moment someone called the door . The interruption was annoying since he flet that he was advancing farther than normal but he knew that if someone dared to bother him, it must be something important . He stopped levitating and all the objects floating around returned to their original positions .

- "Yes . . . "- he said by the intercom .

- "Lord Kylo Ren"- said the voice of an officer on the oither side of the door- "General Hux informs that everything is rerady for the weapon launching and our informants have found Han Solo in the planet Takodana in the Western Reaches . "

- "Prepare everything for a large scale attack on the planet"- ordered Ren with a very decisive voice- "I'll be personally leading the forces this time!"

- "Yes, Sir!"- said the officer before heading to make the preparations .

- "Han Solo . . . "- Kylo Ren whispered while trying to control his feelings . It had been a while since the last time he had seen him but he was decided to make it the last one .

He turned and observed the object that had led him to the dark path he now walked in and he felt his emotions calm down and a huge sense of resolution flooded him .

- "I won't fail this time . . . "- he said but none could be sure to whom he was talking to . He put on his helmet and took his lightsaber before finally getting out of his room .

The object just stayed there as a silent witness of years accompanying Kylo Ren . If someone else saw the object they would feel horrified and shocked since it was not a pretty but the opposite and many would confuse it for the skull of an ancient and powerful monster that had caused millions of death and devastation and they would still be correct since even if it was not a skull, it had been the helmet of a creature similar to the one mentioned before .

It was the deformed and mangled helmet of the powerful Sith Lord Darth Vader .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!