beatrice_otter: Finn holding a blue lightsaber (Finn)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
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Chapter 1 on Dreamwidth


Chapter 2

"You, however, just appeared out of nowhere," Tano said. Whatever she said, she was just a kid. She couldn't possibly be a commander. Jedi … if there were other Jedi, why had they had that whole mad scramble to find Luke Skywalker? But a Jedi working with First Order troops?

"Me?" Finn said. "I was walking through the ruins minding my own business—" well, sneaking through them, trying to get in position to plant trackers on the First Order ships landed on the other side of them, "—when all of a sudden your guys came out of nowhere. I think I would have noticed a whole encampment if there was one here." He could see a whole bunch of ships and tents and things behind the troopers that hadn't been there when he started across. He couldn't possibly have missed them; the whole point of coming in from this angle was that this was the direction the troopers weren't.

It was more than just the troopers that had appeared out of nowhere. He was shivering, now, where just a few minutes earlier he'd been sweating. The temperature had dropped like a rock. And it was lighter than it had been, daytime. He'd been taking advantage of twilight. Everything was all wrong.

Had he been knocked unconscious for a few hours, somehow? Overnight? But then why hadn't his backup come to get him? And if he'd been lying there unconscious, why didn't he feel any bruising or anything from a fall or a hit on the head or a drug?

Tano, he noticed, hadn't said anything more. She wasn't even looking at him anymore—she was staring behind him. He followed her gaze. She was staring at a colored pedestal, weathered by long exposure to the elements. Finn had walked by it shortly before … whatever happened. He glanced around. Yeah, his first impression had been right: it was the same style as everything else in the ruins, but there wasn't anything else quite like it. There was the rubble of a collapsed building around it, but that was par for the course … huh. Hadn't there been grass growing on the rubble just a few minutes ago?

A glance at the troopers around him reminded him of the much bigger problems he had, namely that he was now a First Order prisoner and they would figure out who he was soon enough and he didn't want to die, but he'd rather be dead than reconditioned.

But he was surrounded by at least thirty troopers, all with their weapons pointing at him, and while there was no way to escape now, there might be later. If he kept his cool. If not, he bet he could at least force them to kill him.

"Didn't that pedestal used to be blue, not green?" Tano asked.

"Yes, Commander," one of the troopers replied. "Also, it's putting out quite a heat signature, which it wasn't doing before."

"It's also putting out a very strong signal in the Force, which it also wasn't before," the Togruta said. She turned to Finn. "Did you do anything to it?"

"No," he said. He hadn't, other than using it as a landmark. It was big enough and distinctive enough to help navigate through what had once been a good sized town, from the looks of it. He'd been curious about it, but he was on a mission. No time to clamber over the unstable remains of a building that surrounded it. Not if he wanted to get in, plant the beacon on the First Order ship, and get out before they either detected him or took off themselves.

She took out a commlink. "Master, it's Ahsoka. A human just popped up in the middle of the ruins, and he says he didn't touch it but one of the artifacts is acting … weird."

Finn strained to hear the answer, but he wasn't close enough—he could make out sound but not words.

"It's glowing in the Force, and it's changed color, and it's putting out heat." Pause. "Uh-huh." Pause. "No." A longer pause, this time, as she listened to whoever was on the other end and looked Finn up and down. "I don't think so? He's not dressed like a Separatist, anyway. And like I said, he's Human, not a local." Pause. "Yes, Master."

She clicked it off. "Sergeant Appo, set a guard around the pedestal, make sure nobody else gets in or out, and move camp a bit further away from it. Just in case. You," she said, pointing at Finn, "are coming with me. And we are going to figure out what is going on and where you came from."

Finn knew where he came from. What he wanted to know was where they came from. And he really wanted to know what kind of troop this was, that an officer (if she really was an officer) used a trooper's name instead of their designation. But with all the guns pointing at him, he wasn't about to quibble. He bit his tongue, something he'd learned long ago in his training, a skill he'd been happy to shed in his new life. It was easier when you had a helmet to hide your face.

Tano turned and headed off through the ruins, stopping a short distance away in a courtyard where a mobile base headquarters had been set up, with trooper shelters fanning out around it, interspersed with a variety of old, obsolete heavy weaponry. It looked eerily similar to the First Order camp that Finn had been trying to sneak up on, except that the First Order camp had been sensible enough to set up on the nice wide plain just outside the ruins where you had space and good visibility lines.

Before they entered the headquarters, they searched him, taking his main blaster, his holdout blaster, and the vibroknife from his boot. Finn really hated the loss of that last one—it was too small to be much good in a fight, but if the worst happened, he could've used it to kill himself rather than face First Order reconditioning. If these really were First Order troops—he was beginning to have his doubts. But why use the most recognizable armor in the galaxy? He was so confused.

Then they found the trackers in his pockets.

"Just happened to be carrying these, did you, Seppie?" Appo said. "While out with a walk. I suppose you've got no idea how they got into your pockets, eh?"

"No, I know they got into my pockets because I put them there," Finn said. No point in playing innocent bystander when he was on the Order's Most Wanted list. "Kinda curious what a 'Seppie' is, though."

"That's a new one," said one of the other troopers. "Seen Seppies protest they aren’t one, before, never seen anybody claim not to know what they are. You been hiding under a rock, or are you just trying to make us think you're a harmless nutcase?"

"Hey, I'm no nutcase," Finn said. "I really don't care who you are, and I'm not a Seppie, whatever that is. I was just trying to get through these ruins to the First Order ships on the other side, didn't even know you guys were here. If you let me go, I'll get out of your bucket."

"What?" asked Tano.

"You've worked with clones before, and you claim not to know what a Seppie is?" Appo said.

"Clones?" Finn said. "Like as in clone troopers? They're making clonetroopers again?"

"They never stopped," Tano said.

They'd stopped, alright, nobody'd made clone troopers in about fifty years. If anybody were still making them, Finn would never have been made into a stormtrooper. He opened his mouth to point this out when the door opened and a human walked in.

He was strangely dressed, in a combination of brown armor and robes. With the dark robes and the hair and the lightsaber at his side, he looked a lot like Kylo Ren.

"So, Snips, any luck in figuring out who our prisoner is and what he's doing here?"

"No, Master," Tano said. "He claims he doesn't even know who the Seppies are. But he knows clonetrooper slang. He says there are ships belonging to some kind of First Order on the other side, and he was on his way to them. Complete with a stealth homing beacon to attach to their sides." She held it up for her Master's inspection.

"But you claim it's not meant for our ships?" he said, looking at Finn skeptically. Then he took a closer look at the beacon and frowned. "Wait a minute, this is kind of weird." He grabbed a tool from his belt and pried off the casing, inspecting the innards.

"I'm Finn, by the way," Finn said.

"Anakin Skywalker," the guy said absently, attention on the device.

"Like, are you related to Luke Skywalker?" Finn asked. It would explain the lightsaber, at least—didn't Force sensitivity go in families?

"To who?" Anakin Skywalker looked up at him, frowning.

"Jedi Master Luke Skywalker," Finn said. "Are you related to him?"

"There's no other Skywalkers in the Jedi Order," Anakin said.

"Master Luke is the head of the Jedi," Finn said. Well. Head, yes, of an organization that right now had only two members. But claiming not to know who Luke Skywalker was, that was even more bizarre than claiming not to know who the First Order was. The Republic had been, by all accounts, insular enough that a Republic citizen might never have heard about the First Order before Starkiller Base destroyed Hosnian Prime. (Afterwards, everybody knew about the First Order.) But even before that, everyone on all sides knew who Luke Skywalker was.

"Yoda is the head of the Jedi Order," Tano said.

Before Finn could ask who that was, Skywalker's belt chirped. He held up a small holocomm, and another man in robes was projected. "Anakin, is the prisoner secure?"

"Yes," Skywalker said. "Is he dangerous?"

"I've no idea," the other man said. "But you must stop talking to him, now. No communication with him, none whatsoever. If what I fear has happened—we need Mace Windu and Jocasta Nu here, immediately."


Chapter 3

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