Kylo Ren stumbled through the bitter cold of the latest planet on his quest. This place made Hoth look hospitable, and though by no means agoraphobic, he found the unchanging openness of the current landscape rather disorienting.
His source told him the next clue was only a few degrees north, but due to the high winds, he hadn't been able to land his small craft at the exact spot. And now, he always seemed to not quite be there. And with the landscape being oppressively similar, he could not tell where he'd been before.
Growling in frustration, as he realized he had overshot the mark by three degrees again, he punched the scars from Chewbacca's bow-caster. He'd allowed the medical droids to heal it enough that he wouldn't suffer stiffness or weakness, but not so much that it would be painless.
The ache seeping through his torso cleared his head momentarily, and he managed to find the mark.
He worked furiously to find and access the next clue. The temperature was dropping even more dramatically, and his equipment was icing up.
There! Another set of coordinates.
Satisfied, he got to his feet with some difficulty and turned to look for his ship again, only to realize that it was now dark. And he couldn't see anything beyond the feeble red glow of his datapad.
He had landed due south of his target, so he only had to walk straight-ahead. Ren began walking. He was still walking fifteen minutes later, and his datapad had iced over, with no sign of his ship. Summoning age-old resentments and feelings of inadequacy, he struck his wound again, to let the Dark Side warm him and clear his head with its power.
But he felt nothing. Frightened, he struck again, and still felt no pain.
He punched himself hard in the face. Blood dripped from his nose and froze within a few seconds, but he felt none of it.
I'm freezing to death, he thought.
He tried to retrace his steps, but soon found himself to be slowing down. With an agonized yell, he tried to break into a run.
After a few yards, however, his stiffening joints gave up and he fell on his face, cursing his stupid panic.
He was going to die on this forsaken planet, so close to fulfilling his grandfather's legacy all because of its stupid geography. And his own fear.
"You've certainly gotten into a mess."
Kylo Ren opened his eyes to find that he was on his back, being stared at by a pale bald man wrapped in a thick dark cloak. He tried to reach for his lightsaber, but found his hands were still too numb to grasp it.
"That's no way to greet the man who saved your life, son," the interloper said, his features flickering in the eerie blue of his light source.
"Who are you?" Ren asked, his speech thick from nearly dying.
The bald man raised a thick eyebrow. "Does it matter? You can use the Force, the actual Force, to warm yourself, and you can complete your journey."
"You'll take me to my ship first."
"I don't have to." He raised a gloved hand and struck behind him, the sound of cold metal echoing at his touch.
Rising, he watched as Ren struggled to his feet and felt along the side of the ship for the door.
"Now, you'll go," the stranger said, sounding oddly sad.
Ren turned to look at him as the door lowered, bathing the immediate area in the ship interior's yellow light, but he was alone.
Just a hallucination, he thought, as he stumbled inside. Nevertheless, he took its advice and used the living Force to return blood flow and dexterousness to his limbs, particularly his fingers. He didn't bother with his face.
As Darth Vader's heir, he didn't care what he looked like, and now nothing would stop him from fulfilling his destiny.