It was hard to ignore her dreams, but she managed regardless. Rey was no stranger to long, restless nights back on Jakku, and she threw herself into her training with a gusto. Before long, days turned into weeks, and Rey was settled into a new routine. Mornings were reserved for training with Luke, while afternoons belonged to her sessions with Kreia.
It was an arrangement that seemed to work out well for all involved, although she couldn't help but wonder why Luke had her learning from two different people at the same time. One morning after her practice, she hesitantly approached him with said question.
"Its simple." The older man grunted has he gathered his long over cloak from where he had discarded it on the stone floor of the training room. "I may know many things, but Kreia is far more of an academic than I am. I would have to relearn everything I forgot from when I had students before." And to Luke's credit, Rey hardly noticed the small flinch has he referred to his former pupils.
"Lightsaber combat, the ability to draw on the Force in real time, these are things that I know instinctively." He continued. "Mathematics, History, all the softer subjects you should know as a Jedi I could hardly do justice like Kreia can. Even if she is a bit...eccentric, her Holocron is one of the few intact, and she's the only Jedi Master among them. Now why that is, I can hardly say for certain. Her Holocron wasn't part of the original repository, although even she doesn't know who brought her here."
It made sense, she figured. Luke had explained that the particular temple they were in pre-dated even Kreia's time, and had gone out of use long before the Jedi Civil War. Why anyone would bring her Holocron here instead of to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant however was a mystery.
Still, having such a repository of knowledge that had escaped the purge of the Emperor was a stroke of luck that Rey was more than willing to take advantage of. Her knowledge grew by leaps and bounds as she took in all her lessons and continued to read. Countless facts and figures of the old Jedi Order, and how they had been a galaxy spanning network of beings who dedicated their lives to helping those in need.
It defied reason that anyone would want to harm them, much less go out of their way to systematically exterminate them all. What kind of monster would it take to do that? Her mind flashed back to Kylo Ren, and she grimaced as she realized she already knew the answer.
She left the training room and went back to her room to use the Fresher before she went to her lesson with Kreia. As she stepped under the cooling stream of water, she sighed, listening to the steady beat of the water flow.
As she did so, the words from her lesson with Kreia just the day before came to the front of her mind, even as the pulse of the water drowned out all other sound.
"It has been suspected by a few Jedi Masters that events of a certain...significance may create echos in the Force. Marking the galaxy forever with what happened at that particular place. And, if one listens hard enough, they can hear those echoes in the Force." The shadowy Jedi Master said, when she was explaining how Jedi 'felt' the world around them.
It had been a mere mention in Kreia's speech, but she couldn't help remember her dream from a few weeks ago. And so...tentatively, she reached out with the Force. At first, the world came into an otherworldly focus around her as she felt her surroundings. But instead of reaching out with her senses, she tried to cast them 'under'.
Nothing happened, other than a strange dimming of the world around her as the sounds and sights of both the real world and her Force perceptions became muffled. She reached down further still, the world going dark, until...
She was standing on a world darker than her nightmares, the cracked surface impossibly dark as lightning crashed down around her.
She was standing on the metal hull plating of a ship, as she watched a man and woman clash with a speed that awed her, one wielding a crimson saber, the other a blue blade.
She was standing in the middle of an ancient grove, a single male Jedi standing before three others, discussing something of importance.
She was standing in the middle of the Jedi Temple as she watched a cloaked figure step through the open columns and ignite an icy-blue saber, with a legion of not-Stormtroopers at his back.
She was standing on the surface of a beautiful world, watching in slow motion as a beam of green light boiled a continent, and then the crust.
She was standing in the middle of a metallic throne room, while an inhumanely old man tortured a boy with sandy blonde hair, lances of lightning arcing from his fingertips.
She was standing on a metal balcony, looking up with others as they cried out in terror at a sun-colored ray that sped towards the planet.
She was standing there, dying a thousand thousand deaths over and over again with them, feeling their pain, their agony. From murder to genocide, she was there. The pain echoed through the Force, and through her. For an infinite moment, she Was. Then for an equally infinite moment, she Wasn't.
It was pure, unrestrained -feeling-, empathy on a galactic scale. Rey was drowning in it, the screams of countless dead echoing forever and finally finding a place within her. To listen was death, but to become deaf to it would be even worse. The sensation built within her, until she finally could contain it no longer.
It was a scream that was heard by only a few, but those that did hear it would never forget.
At the time, Luke had been meditating. Reflecting on Rey's growing power and knowledge under his teaching. It was painful, but ultimately necessary if he was to atone for his own sins. Through her, he could pass on the knowledge of the Jedi, and give her the strength to defend herself.
Luke was growing old and weak with every passing year, while Kylo Ren was growing into the height of his power under the watchful eye of his shadowy master, Snoke.
He had his suspicions about who and what he was, but having never met the being in question he could never confirm them. But his worries were slowly ebbing away with every training session. He had his doubts about Rey, but every time they crossed blades the reasons to continue teaching her only grew.
It was in the middle of this cautiously optimistic reflection that he felt it. A scream that shattered the peace that he felt, and made his hand snap down reflexively to his lightsaber.
With a speed that he hadn't used since he fled the academy, he rushed to Rey's room. He used the Force to shove the door out of the way and scanned the room, his metal fist curled around his blade. He walked to the Fresher and found her there, shivering, eyes wide and unseeing with terror on the floor of the cramped space.
With a grimace, he slowly, carefully picked her up off the floor, flinching a bit from the close and admittedly awkward contact. It was necessary, however, as he carried her towards the infirmary. He could feel her mind frayed, barely withstanding the backlash of whatever it was that had happened to her.
With a gentle pulse from the Force, he eased her into a sleep in his arms, giving a long sigh as he finally made his way into the infirmary. He laid her down on a raised slab and began to rummage through the meager supplies he had, although he knew that what ailed her was not physical.
Still though...it granted him some small comfort, knowing that he was doing something. He found a thick blanket and threw it over her shivering, naked form, before he sat down on the cold stone floor and closed his eyes, reaching out with the Force for any hint as to what happened.
At the time, Kylo Ren and Snoke were sparring.
His scar-red blade met his Master's own, the two beams of superheated plasma colliding with an angry hiss as they fought. Despite his frail appearance, Snoke was more than holding his own against the younger human, and could have easily obliterated his young apprentice.
Still, the gap between them was getting smaller every day, just as Snoke intended. Kylo Ren was proving himself to be worthy, even after the setback at Starkiller Base. It brought a smile to his reptilian lips as he pressed the offensive, the sounds of battle echoing throughout the training room hidden deep within Snoke's private retreat.
And then, they felt it.
Kylo Ren sank to his knees and gripped his head, crying out in utter agony as the sensation ripped past his mental defenses, flashes of death and destruction searing into his mind as he sank to his knees.
Snoke himself let the wave wash over him, grimacing from the unfamiliar feeling. It did little to him, although the fact that such an...undirected manifestation of the Force could cause him to feel any discomfort was surprising. The fact that the same sensation disabled his student was even more curious.
"Its her." Ren finally managed to gasp, his chest rattling from the effort of taking a complete breath. "S-she...something happened. I felt it."
Ah. Most...intriguing. With a flick of his wrist, his saber found its way into the folds of his cloak and place a hand on Kylo Ren's forehead, probing his student's mind. And what he found there morphed his expression of curiosity into one of calculation and amusement. "It seems that the Force has yet more surprises in store for us, my Apprentice."
Snoke pulled away and turned to head out of the training room. "Many surprises indeed. Come, this changes things."
A/N: So yes, another chapter posted so shortly after my last one.
What can I say, other than the fact that I found a bit of inspiration? This are probably going a bit fast in comparison to where we started, although I do think that interspacing a bit of action into the training montage that I had going on for a while is a good thing.
I will say, my original premise for this story has morphed into something...quite different, and my shift is more than likely quite noticable. I might even go back to clean up the first few chapters, although I'm uncertain as to when I'll do that.
But anyway, now we're starting to get the ball rolling, so to speak. And depending on my mood, things could get...pretty weird, pretty quick, or we could stick in more 'familiar' territory for now.
I'd love to hear all your thoughts on the matter, please leave me a review, or send me a PM. Even the simplest of messages makes my day and encourages me to get better as a writer.