It had been months since Rey had disappeared. Granted, Finn knew she was out training, and he knew her work with Luke Skywalker came before anything else, but that didn't stop him from worrying. Poe always told him the best way to deal with that, was to find something to distract yourself.
So Finn went on missions. Dangerous missions to the Outer Rim. Crazy missions that tested the mettle of anyone bold enough to attempt them. Missions so far out of most Resistance members comfort zones, that most dared not speak of them. But Finn took them on, and one by one he came back victorious with some weapon the Resistance could use, or a piece of Intel that was vital for their next step. He soon became known as "The Ace."
But even still, with Finn's new place amongst the Resistance, and a new crop of friends he would do anything to protect, he still felt as though his was missing an important part of himself…but he couldn't understand what it was, or even how to recognize what he felt. It was as if his entire being was telling him to watch for something important, but was keeping what he was meant to be looking for a secret. How the hell could you find something if you didn't even know what it was?
"Finn?" General Organa asked as she waved her hands in front of Finn's face, "Are you still with us?"
Finn looked around, and found himself seated at the front of the Resistance board meeting. Lately, General Organa had been calling for more meetings, trying to figure out the First Order's next move. And naturally, the Resistance's secret weapon, an Ex-Stormtrooper, was the perfect fit to sit in on these proceedings.
"Yes, general," Finn said as he straightened his back in his chair. Every time he was addressed by a commanding officer, he had this habit of elongating his posture, and trying to make himself seem as strong as possible. In the First Order, strength was a requirement for all soldiers, he was no longer with the First Order, but old habits die hard.
General Organa smiled, a reassurance that Finn was learning to depend on, "At ease," she said, "We've gotten word that the a strange anomaly has appeared somewhere near Jakku…one of the First Orders holdings."
Jakku, Finn thought, Again? What was it with everyone and that stupid planet?
"Unfortunately the signal disappeared before we had a chance to locate its direct location."
That sounded like the First Order, any time they got hold of a new weapon, they stashed it in a place that no one would think to look…that is, if you weren't already a part of the First Order. Every Stormtrooper was required to know the holdings of all of the First Order's secret bases. They were scattered throughout the galaxy, and luckily, Finn could easily guess where the First Order was keeping their new toy.
"I'll scramble a ship immediately and investigate."
Ever since Finn woke up from the slumber, he had put himself to work. Going on missions, honing his shooting abilities, taking flying lessons from Poe (and those were probably the most fun he had in his whole life). He was nowhere near Poe's talent with an X-wing, but at the very least he was capable of flying one of the Resistance's ships off base to a nearby planet.
Getting back to Jakku was easy, and locating the First Order's secret bunker was mere child's play for an ex-Stormtrooper (really though, you'd think the First Order would remove, and reshuffle its secret bases to ensure its own security.) The base looked plain enough, almost like an abandoned shack that used to sell fruit.
This particular base (called Amstan) was located several clicks to the east, away from watchful eyes, and nosy off worlders. General Hux was always careful to plan when and where their bases should go. Sometimes it seemed like he wouldn't make a move without making sure he'd spent half an hour contemplating it.
Amstan was located several kilometers under the sand surface of Jakku, something Captain Phasma had insisted on (she was always one to consider espionage as a first solution). Far beneath the surface, Finn knew that troopers were buzzing to and fro, gawking at whatever new toy the First Order had gotten their hands on. No matter, Finn was determined to retrieve it, and get it in the hands of the Resistance.
The one thing the First Order never did was double check their security. It was always a weak spot in the training of the Stormtroopers. Sometimes, instead of doing rounds, Finn's crops would just ditch the whole thing and take bets on how many temper tantrums Kylo Ren would throw. Finn carefully walked over to the opening of the shack.
"It's got to be somewhere," Finn said. He crawled on his hands and knees a-
"Hey," came a voice, muffled by the sound of sand. Finn turned his head to see a Stormtrooper, marching towards him, a blaster at the ready.
"Really?" Finn whispered, "Response time' getting better."
The trooper pointed his gun towards Finn's chest. "Identify yourself."
That was a fist. A Stormtrooper who didn't recognize Finn? Ever since his defection, Finn had seen his face plastered on every wall from here to the outer rim. Either this guy didn't pay much attention to FO propaganda, or the First Order was just no longer interested in Finn.
"I…uh…" Finn stammered. He could lie, say he had gotten lost on his way to the cantina. Say he had discovered more runaway Troopers, but Finn was a terrible liar. Poe never let him forget that fact. So…Finn decided to go with the direct approach.
Finn dug his heels into the sand, and before his adversary could fire, he leapt into the Trooper's chest and the two went tumbling to the ground. Finn may not have been a part of the First Order, but that did not mean his training had left him. His body still remembered the hours of labor, tactics, and bone breaking pressure that Phasma had forced him to endure. Finn rammed his fist straight into the Trooper's helmet. Next, Finn wrapped his arm around his enemy's neck, and squeezed like a rope around a Bantha's neck. Within minutes, the man was out. Whoever this Stormtrooper was, he was nowhere near as well trained. Perhaps he wasn't FN-corps. Maybe FG, or FB; those guys were always three steps behind everyone else.
Finn had stripped his adversary of his armor, and now walked amongst his former colleagues. Finn never thought he'd wear a Trooper's helmet again, he had promised himself he wouldn't. And yet here he was, breathing in the same sweat-soaked air that made him feel like a prisoner. The base buzzed with Stormtrooper after Stormtrooper marching across steel plated floors. Could they tell it was Finn? Could they see right through this helmet and into Finn's eyes? Could they tell that there was a difference in the way he walked, and carried himself? Not the slow and steady march that defined his time as a soldier, but the quickened and easy pace that now labeled him a rebel. A traitor to all the First Order stood for.
Just stay calm. Just stay calm.
Wearing that uniform again made Finn feel like his wrists were bound, and his feet were sinking into the steel ground. Just stay calm. And think.
If the First Order had acquired a new weapon, they'd probably want it in a place that was heavily guarded. So, naturally, wherever the flow of Stormtroopers went, was where the weapon must be, right? Well, finding a crowd of Troopers was the easy part…this base was full of them.
"FG-0000?" Someone asked from behind, but Finn did not answer. "FG-0000?" The voice called again. And then, Finn realized he was being spoken to.
Finn turned, "Uh…yes?" He saluted, and stood at attention. The man in front of him, decked out in his uniform, his face covered by his helmet, grabbed his gun and shoved it into Finn's chest.
"You're late," he said, "You were supposed to report for duty hours ago."
Ah yes, Finn thought, the good ol' Trooper chain of command.
It's not that any one trooper had the power to command another one (they were all underlings beneath the notice of their superiors) but there were some Stormtroopers who believed themselves to be leaders of their squad…even if no one else did.
"I'm sorry," Finn said, "I'll be more careful next time."
The trooper made no response, "Jut get your ass to the east wing before I light you up right here."
Finn saluted, and turned towards the east. Hopefully, this would lead him to where he needed to be. He could get in, get the weapon, and get out before anyone even noticed. Finn made his way down the halls, towards the east wing. The First Order kept their bases relatively easy to travel. The floor plans were all the same. If you knew one base, you knew them all.
Finn came to the end of the hall, in front of two metal doors that seemed lead to the edge of nowhere. "It must be here." He gently pushed it open, and froze.
Before him sat…a man. But, it wasn't a man. It was a droid…but it wasn't a droid. This….creature's body was made of chrome, a sleek, archaic metal that seemed to slink all the way up to its head, and the only thing even remotely human about it…was it's face. A face, as dark as Finn's own, ripped in half between humanity and machinery. Half man, half…something else entirely. It's eyes were sealed and it's chest hummed like the engine of a star craft. Was it…asleep?
Finn motioned towards it, reached out his hand…there's no way this could be real? Finn's fingertips brushed the beaming red circuitry that crisscrossed through the thing's arms like veins.
"Hello?" Finn whispered. "Can you hear me?"
…and then it opened its eyes.