The Falcon lurched as they landed inside the freighter. Tension rose as everyone took a deep breath, unsure what the next steps were.
"This is Miles, owner of this ship. I've just spoken with General Organa and been briefed on the situation. Please feel free to exit your ship and follow your escort to the bridge where we can discuss some of the details of this mission." a rough voice called over the comm system. Chewie growled in obstinance.
"I'll be staying here until you all come back. Let me know if you have any problems." He stated firmly and made his way to his room. Rey let out a breath of air and nodded to Poe and Finn who were standing near the doorway waiting to open the hatch.
The ship opened to reveal the cargo bay they had landed in. The dark ship seemed quite full with various crates scattered around the hold. They cautiously stepped down the ramp, Rey leading with both men flanking her sides. She knew better than to be off her guard, and was attempting to scan the room around her with the Force to see if she could sense anything out of place.
A nearby door opened and two men walked over to meet them. They didn't look much older than Rey did, but the worn looks on their faces and hands told her more than she needed to ask. They met her eyes briefly before gesturing them to follow them back through the doors they entered. Rey could sense their nervousness as they made their way through the ship to the bridge.
Two large doors opened before them at the end of a long hallway that opened up into what Rey assumed to be the bridge. An older man, clad in a worn leather jacket with a holster tied to his leg turned and looked at the group who had just entered.
"This it?" he asked as he looked them all over. The men who had led them just shrugged and went back to the hallway without a word. Rey stole a glance at Poe and Finn who looked equally as intrigued as she felt.
"Are you.. Miles?" Rey asked the older man tentatively. He gave a rough laugh. "That's me, kid." he said and turned to bark orders to a nearby crewman. "Set course for Coruscant, let's get this over with. Follow me." he motioned to the trio still standing in the doorway. Something about his demeanor was familiar. Like something she had felt before. Somehow, she knew she could trust him.
He led them to a smaller adjacent room with a table for them to sit at. "Here's the plan we have so far. I can take you in to Coruscant. Got a usual shipment for there anyway so we won't be raising suspicion. The landing site is quite a ways off from the tower you need to get to. I have someone who can take you there, but it's not going to be easy.." he paused. "Or safe."
The room was silent. They had expected at least this much. "Now I have some suits you can have that will be able to disguise you and your voices, but you're going to need to get some fake ID's to be able to get past security once you're planetside. I can set you up with someone that can do that, but it's going to be spendy."
Rey sighed. They didn't really have a choice at this point, but she knew the Resistance was running low on credits. She nodded for him to continue. "Same guy that brings you in will be waiting for your call when you're ready to leave. I'll give you the beacon code for that, but it's important you know that outside of a few people on this ship, no one can be trusted."
"Well this is all fine and dandy but how do we know that you can be trusted?" Poe snorted out at the older man. "I mean for all we know you're the one we should be worried about." he said and folded his arms over his chest.
Rey watched Miles flinch with irritation. "Not that it's really any of your concern, but I owe the General more than a few favors." He sighed for a moment, lost in recollection. "And.." he continued. "Han and I went way back." He said bitterly.
"That's it!" Rey thought to herself. She could easily spot the similarities Miles had with Han. It was strangely comforting to know she was in the hands of an old friend of his, too.
"Any other questions?" Miles said sarcastically, eyeing Poe and Finn again who sat silent with their jaws clenched shut. "Good. It's going to be a few hours before we get to Coruscant. You three best get your suits and prepare for landing." he said dismissively as he made his way back to the bridge.
"I'm not sure I like this guy." Poe said under his breath as he left. Rey rolled her eyes at him. "I don't think you like any guy." she said as she pushed her chair back and left the room without giving him another look. She wanted to speak with Miles before she did anything else. Something about him drew her to him.
She carefully stepped up beside him as he was speaking with another crew member. He looked up from the controls and lifted an eyebrow at her presence. "Questions?" he asked.
"No." she answered quickly. "I.. I mean, yes. Just, not about the mission." she stumbled through her words. Not entirely sure what she even wanted to say. Miles gave her an odd look before fully facing her to give her his entire attention.
"Well I.. I just wanted to ask about Han I guess." she said quietly shifting her eyes to the floor. "Ah, Han." Miles replied stroking his short beard. "How do you know him?" He asked her.
"It's... complicated." She responded lamely. "He was a good friend of mine.. Before.." She trailed off. Miles nodded his head solemnly. "But I wanted to hear more about you both. Did you work together?" she asked trying to switch the subject.
Miles gave a short laugh. "You could say that." he said before he gave a great sigh. "It was.. Complicated." he said, meeting her eye with a small twinkle. "We have helped each other with smuggling projects a lot over the years. We had a bit of a falling out quite some time ago. Haven't heard anything from him until Leia called me up a few days ago to call in this favor and tell me the news." He stared off into the dark space outside the window.
"I can't believe that little Ben would.." his voice choked. So Leia had told him the truth of what happened. Rey furrowed her brow and sighed.
"So you understand how important it is we complete this mission?" she asked quietly.
"Oh that I do. I was never one to get into politics, doesn't matter much who's in charge when you're breaking the law either way. But when Leia told me who was behind it all.." his voice faded out again. Rey pursed her lips and gave him a small nod before excusing herself back to the Falcon.
"One more thing." Miles called from behind her. She turned to face him again and saw something in his eyes that wasn't there before. "Would you tell Chewie... Tell him I'm sorry." he said and quickly turned back to the controls. Rey wondered for a moment what he might be referencing but decided it was probably better she didn't know.
The boys already had their gear in the ship by the time she made her way back there. Chewie was still nowhere in sight. Miles' comment now made a little more sense for the Wookies odd behavior. She made a mental note to remember to tell him what Miles had said before they departed on the planet.
"Check this out!" Finn said as he emerged in his new suit. Fully black from head to toe, his helmet concealing his voice with a deeper, slightly robotic filter.
"You know you don't really look like you'd fare well in head to toe armor. Leather might be more your style." Poe teased from where he was sitting. Finn shot him a glare as Rey stifled a laugh at the jab.
"Has anyone told you how hilarious you are" Finn said back, taking his helmet off. The two continued their play argument as Rey grabbed her own suit to go change. She had a hard time figuring out how to properly wear everything. The garb seemed simple until she realized how many pieces there were. She did her best and emerged with her helmet in her hand.
The room was silent when she entered. Poe and Finn sat wide eyed, staring at her.
"Wow!" Finn said quietly. "You look..."
"Bad. Ass. Sweetheart." Poe finished. Rey looked down at her figure. The suit was more form fitting than what she was used to wearing, and the black material was a stark difference from the tan and brown she usually wore. She suddenly felt very self-conscious of herself.
"But let me give you a few tips from a former armor expert." Finn said as he got up and walked over to her. She was slightly embarrassed as he grabbed some of the parts and snapped them into the correct place. He walked behind her and gave a slight laugh. "I'm going to have to undo some of this to put the straps in the right spot, is that okay?" he asked.
She gave a small, embarrassed, laugh in return and nodded her head. She reached around to pull her hair that was hanging loosely out of his way. She felt the suit relax as he undid something, then quickly snap back into place as he pulled the straps. She laughed at herself when she jumped at his sudden abrasiveness.
Finn gave her a pat on the shoulder. "There, now you just can never take it off." he said with a laugh and sat down back next to Poe, who Rey noted had a very irritated look on his face. She shrugged it off. Poe was usually mad about something anyway.
"Ok then. Let's get all the last minute preparations done before we reach the planet." she said and turned from them.
"We're clearing the atmosphere now. You can make your way to the hangar door where we will rendezvous with your new escort." Miles called over the comm. "Remember, they are not to be trusted under any circumstances. They've been paid well, but, well.. The First Order pays better." he said and broke off connection.
The three made their way to the door. Rey was slightly jealous of Finn, who was the most comfortable with the anonymity of a suit. She just felt odd and out of place.
Miles came up beside them and opened the door. "Good luck out there." he said quietly enough for Rey to hear. A dark figure approached them. Tall, slim, and alien were the only things Rey was able to note about this new escort. "This is Striker, He'll be taking you to get your ID's then to the tower." he gave a small nod to the figure who then turned and began walking away.
Rey quickly stepped up and followed after. They made their way quietly out of the hangar and into the streets. Striker motioned for the three to enter a nearby speeder before settling himself into the driver's seat.
They ascended into the air, twisting through the buildings. Rey had never seen anything like it before in her life. Everything was city. There were buildings everywhere she looked, and paths upon paths of speeders flying through the air.
They didn't go far before they flew underground. Their surroundings growing darker by the moment. Striker set the speeder down in an alley and exited, motioning for them to follow him down the alley and into a nearby doorway.
Inside was just as dark. Rey could tell there was smoke and debris everywhere. They followed Striker silently down a hallway littered with people until they reached a large, black, door. He paused in front of it and hit it with what Rey assumed was some sort of secret pattern. Suddenly a viewport was opened. Striker raised his hand and showed the bouncer something and the door was opened for them.
The room was small. Screens lined several walls showing various forms of ID. A nearby droid came up to them. "What kind and how many?" it said with a monotone voice. "3, for the Zyne Tower." Rey said attempting to keep her voice equally level.
"Payment." the droid requested, raising its hand out for her to scan. Rey hovered her hand over the droid, completing the transaction. She had to call Leia again explaining the need for more credits, and somehow, Leia was able to get more for them.
The droid turned and began working on a nearby console. After a moment the droid turned back. "You have been given full access to level 10 Coruscant, your ID cards have been digitally entered into the system as of now. Thank you." It turned and walked away. "That was easy enough." Rey thought to herself.
Striker led them back the way they had come and back into the speeder. In a few minutes, they were back above ground. Rey could see the sunlight just coming up over the horizon as they sped through the city.
In the distance, she could see a tall dark building. It overshadowed most of the nearby skyscrapers. She felt something dark emanating from it that grew as they drew closer. She quickly surmised that was the Zyne tower, and they were heading straight to it.
Kylo's ship made its way down to the surface. He knew he would have to land quite a ways off to be able to make it to the tower undetected. He still had no idea what he was going to accomplish. Deep down, he knew he was being foolish. This wasn't going to accomplish anything for him as Supreme Leader, and yet.. He knew he had to do it anyway.
After his last meeting with Rey, he could feel a change somewhere within him. Not the call of the Light side like he had before, but a call to Balance, and right now he only knew of one person who had shown him balance between the Force.
He landed in a hangar a few blocks from the Tower. Hoping his ship wasn't spotted, he made his way to a generic looking speeder he could take straight to the tower. He wasn't certain when the meeting would be taking place, but was aware it would most likely be in the coming hours, so he needed to make sure he was there to observe what was going on.
Leaving the speeder in one of the docks, he was glad he had previously only made public appearances in his suit. Now he was able to go where he wished without his helmet letting people know who he was.
Kylo made his way inside the tower. His confident strides taking him to where he guessed the security ward to be. Two large doors were watched by guards on either side. "I'm sorry sir but you're not permitted in here without proper identification." one said, placing his hand up to stop him.
Kylo stifled his irritation at the man waving his arm in front of them. "You will let me through and tell no one." he said and watched as the men stiffened and repeated his words. He continued through until he reached the main room, where he quickly and quietly repeated the same process to each guard.
He sat in the main chair where he was able to view the camera's in the building, and took a moment to reach out in the Force. Trying to sense if she was already nearby. Nothing.
Kylo settled himself in, ready to wait for whatever was about to happen. He saw a room being set up, and assumed this was where the meeting would be taking place. He sighed. This was going to take patience, something he had little of.
As they came up on the Tower, Rey couldn't help but feel the darkness grow stronger. Something was off, but she didn't know what. She decided to keep silent until they were away from Striker.
He pulled them into the docking station and led them inside to a waiting chamber. Shoving a device in her hand, she recognized it as a beacon to call him when they needed to leave. She simply nodded her answer and watched as he got back into the speeder, and left.
They stood there for a moment, unsure what to do, before they were greeted by service droids. "Excuse me, can I help you?" one asked them.
"We're here for the meeting." Poe spoke up beside her. The droid simply turned and waved them forward. "I will take you to the room immediately. They've been expecting you."
It's here! As promised, an extra long chapter for your patience. I was ready to upload it yesterday but FF was having some server issues and wouldn't let me.
As an added bonus, I've got a second long chapter coming up today as well. I hope you all enjoy!