- Work in Progress
- Dark Themes
- Death - Major Character
- Death - Minor Character
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
- Time Travel
General Hux knelt on the stone floor that had made up Snoke’s throne room, a pool of blood spreading around him. Some of it was his own but most of it wasn’t.
Snoke’s withered husk of a body lay in front of him with a tall spear of rock driven through his chest, leaking a fluid that was just a touch too dark to be blood. The Knights of Ren were scattered around the room like dolls in the wake of a child’s tantrum. Captain Phasma and Fin were crumpled on either side of him, both in full armor that had been damaged by innumerable blaster bolts.
The Force was rejoicing, spinning and whirling around Hux. It left little warm spots on his face and they felt like kisses.
They were the only spots of warmth on the entirety of Hux’s body. He was frozen in place by fear and pain and the certainty that he was the last living thing in the entirety of the galaxy. It was hard to breathe with the Force this week, with the Force this small, with him the only person in it.
“I’m sorry,” he croaked, voice sounding weak and raspy after months of disuse, “I failed. I failed you, I failed the Knights, I’ve failed the galaxy.”
The Force pulled back as if stung, shrinking in on itself and Hux had a moment of pure panic as he reached out for it mentally.
No! It couldn’t die now! He’d just killed Snoke! He’d won! He’d stopped the curse that made it wither and die! Hux refused to be left alone in his own mind after all of this!
And then the Force was back with him, weaker than before but still there, still alive.
A sigh of relief rattled out of his throat.
‘At least,’ Hux thought, pressing his hands more firmly against his stomach, ‘I’ll have company while I die.’
He may not be getting a funeral or die clean and there was no one there to see it. But Hux refused to die with his guts arrayed on the floor around him, he’d keep his pride until the end.
“Fix this?” Hux asked the Force. “Send your memories back and fix this. Use my strength, I know you can do it.”
The Force recoiled again then drew itself up like an angry cat and blasted Hux with a strong wave of negative emotion.
“But, you’re dying.” Hux exclaimed. “Save yourself, save them, fix this.”
An image of Hux himself popped right into his head and then the events of the past few months began to rewind in the back of his head.
The attack on Snoke’s stronghold. Drinking himself to oblivion with the Knights and Phasma and Fin. Fin putting on his armor for the first time since the man had freed Poe from captivity. Rey’s last stand to give them enough time to escape with the codes they needed to get into Snoke’s base. Leia Organa and Poe Dameran being shot out of the sky by a First Order ship. And then, finally, Kylo Ren’s death.
Snoke had not been pleased with the destruction of Starkiller Base and had killed the leader of the Knights in a fit of pure rage. Hux had known that it was a mistake, the Knights were loyal to Kylo and no one else, he’d learned that and respected it. They were a powerful ally and alienating them was a bad move.
That move coupled with Snoke’s order to build a new Starkiller, a project that had nearly bankrupted the First Order the first time around, and the fact that when he had protested Snoke broke his arm with the Force had set off all of the warning bells Hux had developed over his relatively short life.
Then, Lord Snoke had tried to have him assassinated.
The would be assassin had immediately regretted it. Hux had beaten the man to a bloody pulp and then the Knights of Ren had shown up.
The Knights of Ren were loyal to Ren and only Ren and now Ren was dead so they went to the next best thing. They’d worked with Hux before, he had respected the Knights’ structure and treated them like people. That had earned their respect and, eventually, their trust.
They had not taken kindly to the death of their leader or the assassination attempt.
The assassin had not died prettily… or quickly.
The Knights had proceeded to kidnap the general and made off with a long-range transport ship.
And then the Legacy that Hux’s mother had left him had kicked in and the Force had been screaming. More specifically Kylo’s soul was screaming as it was ripped out of the very fabric of the universe taking several chunks of the Force with it.
“Why show me that? Why show me Ren?” Hux rasped.
The Force danced around him growing smaller and smaller as the life drained out of Hux’s body. It wasn’t taking him seriously and he felt like he might cry. He hadn’t cried since he was five years old but now, now seemed like a good time to start again.
He was dying after all and the galaxy was dying with him.
There was suddenly a pain like a knife slipping between Hux’s ribs and behind heart to rip and tear at the very core of his being. He didn’t even have time to scream as he was wrenched from his body and the pain got hotter and hotter until it felt like the Force had crawled inside of his soul and weld itself into the center.
Then, it had all stopped and Hux was floating in what felt like a cool lake.
He looked down at his body and watched in amazement as his life played in reverse once more with the barest flicker of his will, faster and faster until he was standing above himself as he had been the night before the Academy’s Final Exam.
Hux bent to kiss the top of his head and sat down into his body. He opened his eyes and raised his head to stare down at the textbook he’d been using as a pillow. He was a nineteen year old student once more but now he knew what he’d have to change.
FN-2187 knew he was incredibly lucky. He may have been a janitor but he worked on the Finalizer and Starkiller Base and The General took care of his stormtroopers. The food was decent, he slept on a regular basis, and he wasn’t packed into a quarters with the other troopers like so many sardines.
Even though stormtroopers weren’t really people The General treated them as such. He took their input on missions and made sure they were able to bury their own when they could. The other generals seemed to disapprove of these actions and the Finalizer regulars had heard the horror stories from new troopers coming in from other ships that fell under other general’s control.
FN-2187 had once heard a shouting match between The General, a commander of a different battleship, and Kylo Ren. He hadn’t been there himself but they’d been conversing over a conference call and someone had recorded it.
The recording had made the rounds quite a few times before someone had deleted it. They had even managed a semi-movie night of the footage.
That had been years ago and FN-2187 barely remembered half of the conversation but there was one thing that had stuck with him, something The General had said when the other commander had accused him of being far too soft towards the stormtroopers.
“They were made from humans and were human once themselves. They are not droids that can be repaired in a matter of hours, they are flesh and blood. They need adequate conditions to survive and work to their fullest capacity. Furthermore, the upkeep of their bodies is the least I can do to honor the humans they once were.”
That was why The General was the officer all of the stormtroopers wanted to serve under. And why disappointing him was the worst punishment any of them could possibly imagine.
Oh, there were failed missions, that was to be expected. The General would just nod and say that they couldn’t win every battle but troopers who abandoned their squad to save their own hides or fell asleep on watch, those troopers got cold angry eyes and the sharp toothed expression that was normally only reserved for when Lord Ren destroyed something expensive. They got dressing downs like no other and an angry scoff to end it.
Only two troopers had done so since FN-2187 had been on the Finalizer and they both died soon after. One had jumped in front of a blaster bolt meant for Kylo Ren and the other had been shot out of the sky during a raid of a Resistance base.
And now FN-2187 was sitting directly across from The General without his helmet.
“FN-2187, it has just been brought to my attention that you just took part in your first combat mission. Is that correct?” The General asked.
“Y-yes, General.” FN-2187 stuttered.
The General sighed and nodded slowly, making a note in the file in front of him. “Well, someone is going to get fired over this. You do not assign extermination missions to stormtroopers that have never been in combat before. But that doesn’t matter right now, I have a mission for you.” He said.
FN-2187 licked his lips. A mission for him? From The General himself? What had he done to earn this?
At any other time this would be a blessing, a chance to stand out from the crowd, to become a face rather than a helmet. But now, after what he’d witnessed, he didn’t know what to do with this.
“What kind of mission, General?”
“It is high risk. I need you to get a data disk to someone in enemy territory. Normally, after your first combat mission, especially after a fuck up like this, you would be but in for either a bout of reprogramming or be slotted for desensitization training. Unfortunately this mission is time sensitive, it must be carried out before the weapons test of Starkiller Base. This means that when you return the window for both of those methods will be firmly closed.” The General said.
FN-2187 blinked and licked his lips. He had no idea what The General was attempting to tell him but whatever it was he would listen and obey.
“That leaves me two options.” The General continued. “The first is that after you complete your mission you return and I send you through specialization training. You displayed an array of talents in the Academy and I, quite frankly, have no idea why you were made a janitor. Or, you can stay behind enemy lines.”
“L-like a spy?” FN-2187 stuttered and then looked down at the polished black surface of the table. He shouldn’t be asking questions, it wasn’t his place but he hadn’t been trained to be a spy.
“Maybe, if you want to but I’m talking about giving you an out. If this is going to work you’ll need a pilot and we just caught one.” The General said.
The stormtrooper’s eyes widened and he stared at The General with amazement. He… He was giving FN-2187 a chance to escape, to join the Resistance. To…
The General held up a hand to stop the stormtrooper’s words. “I do not care. In truth my faith in Supreme Leader Snoke is dwindling by the day and the attitudes of the other generals are beginning to wear on me. I believe the only reason there has not been an assassination attempt is because Starkiller has not been tested yet. Once that has taken place I have no doubt that there will be an attempt on my life. I have done my best to protect you all but… well, you know the other generals’ opinions on my methods.”
“WIll you…” FN-2187 began and swallowed heavily, “will you be following me?”
Because if he went to the Resistance and The General was killed he would never forgive himself. He might have been able to prevent it if he stayed and it was his duty to do so. But if he was going to the Resistance to prime a place for The General to escape to, that was different. The General was trusting him with his life, a life far more valuable than most.
“Most likely.” The General said. “It depends on how the information I am giving you is received and how events unfold from there.”
“Alright, then. I will complete this mission to the best of my ability.” FN-2187 said, looking straight into The General’s hazel eyes.
The General smiled and relaxed, running a hand over his copper colored hair. “Alright then,” he said and tossed a data disk across the table to FN-2187, “that needs to go to General Leia Organa, don’t tell her it’s from me. Tell her that a friend sent it and that after she uses it, the informant will be waiting for her at the coordinates provided, hopefully with a few allies and her son.”
“Now, go get your pilot, FN. The fighters can’t go far without fuel but the planet below us should have the means to provide you with a ship. Dissmissed.” The General said.
“Yes, General.” FN-2187 said and stood.
“Oh, and FN.” The General said as he reached the door.
“Don’t forget the tether. There should be an emergency release on the inside of the fighter. And don’t get caught.”
– – – – –
“General Hux,” A technition called out, “one of the TIE fighters has been stolen.”
Hux took a deep breathe and let himself relax. His plan had worked, thank the Force.
He’d known it would, it had last time and last time the two escapees had tripped on the tether and hadn’t had his blessing or the information the newly named Finn was now carrying to General Organa.
Then he stiffened his shoulders and snapped. “Well, where is it? It can’t have gone far! Those don’t even have enough fuel to get out of the solar system!”
The technician flinched. “I-it crash landed on Jakku, sir. We shot it down. But we’re not quite sure where.”
“Then, find out!”
The technician scrambled away and Hux let himself relax even further. Hopefully the two hadn’t landed where they had last time but being on Jakku was good. Being on Jakku meant they could pick up Rey and bring her where she needed to be.
Hux gently reached out through the treads of the Force and pulled, tipping the scales ever so slightly in his favor. He could take the excess bad luck if he could give Finn, Rey, and Poe some good luck. They’d need it, two people trying to get off of Jakku alive were in far less danger than three, especially with how pretty, and who, Poe was.
Hopefully, Hux’s bad luck would ware off by the time Starkiller was going to be tested because if Leia didn’t get that information in time he would have to delay the test. He refused to watch the Hosnian System die through his Force Sensitivity, it would destroy him.
It would destroy the Force.
That event had been one of the three that had led to the scars that had allowed Snoke to tear a hole in the Force with Ren’s soul and Hux could not let it happen again.