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Star Wars: The Skies Are Ablaze
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Writer figbassist75
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Star Wars: The Skies Are Ablaze
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chapter Eight: No Rest for the Weary
Mar 12, 2018
17 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!aDSIqwB32bhi69dD7vcHposted on PENANA

Phasma cursed under her breath as she peeked around the corner to take another shot at the enemy. Four adversaries had almost instantly multiplied into twelve. She reached for the door control and slammed her palm into the control console.copyright protection7PENANAFAGFp6VdGb

The blast door shut with a high pitched whine of aged durasteel. She blew the console apart with a single shot before moving away from it with her blaster poised at the door. The nighttime breeze lifted her cape as she walked to the edge of the platform.copyright protection7PENANA3QPVzgsbjv

"Cardinal, where are you?" she asked in an angry tone. Static filled her comlink, and she shook her head. "Cardinal, come in! I need extraction!"copyright protection7PENANAmANtK16Swi

Nothing but static filled her helmet speakers. She cursed again and turned towards the blast door as a grinding noise filled the air. The men on the other side were attempting to open the door manually. Phasma crouched and aimed her blaster at the door.copyright protection7PENANAzcSgRinMw3

"Cardinal, do you read me?" she asked again as the door cracked open by a few centimeters.copyright protection7PENANAYzUNvu3XFn

She carefully aimed and fired a blast. Sparks erupted as the bolt impacted the durasteel deck plates and ricocheted through the narrow opening. It ripped into the shin of a man, and he fell screaming. A pair of blaster barrels appeared in the opening and fired random shots at Phasma. She returned fire, striking another guard in the face.copyright protection7PENANAt1XhvIiBAO

As she watched his lifeless form fall, a blaster bolt struck her chest armor and deflected harmlessly into the night. The door opened further, revealing the complement of guards had almost doubled in size. Phasma fired several shots, cutting through the first few guards.copyright protection7PENANAUa0NqR5NEB

"Jump over the edge," Cardinal's voice said through her comlink.copyright protection7PENANARCbMqGgtEV

"What?" Phasma asked as another blast deflected off of her armor. "Have you lost your mind?"copyright protection7PENANAR8XOpsxH48

"Trust me, Phasma!" Cardinal shouted through the comlink "Jump, now!"copyright protection7PENANAvYivLJnRx2

She fired a trio of blasts before taking a blind leap over the side. She fell for several meters and suddenly clanked against solid durasteel. She took a glance below her to see a hatch. Looking to her left and right, she noticed the solar panels of a TIE. The hatch opened with a hiss of fresh air, and she lowered herself inside to the gunner's seat.copyright protection7PENANAtoEEb5lrz0

"Glad you could join me, Captain," Cardinal said as he held the fighter steady in the pilot's seat.copyright protection7PENANAnq8kfyMMfQ

"So juvenile of you, Cardinal, to abandon me in the middle of a battle," Phasma replied in a cold tone. "It's no wonder the recruits you send me perform so unsatisfactorily."copyright protection7PENANAUKPdgAXEsu

Cardinal chuckled as he released the hover mode and engaged the repulsor lifts. "Relax, Captain. I had to alter our escape plans. The Wing Guard were trying to sabotage our ship. I had to take off to keep this ship in one piece."copyright protection7PENANAGVTlA4qVw0

"I saw the body, Cardinal," Phasma said as she strapped herself into the gunner's seat. "Just get us out of here. I've had enough your antics as it is."copyright protection7PENANAWTq5dFD0sS

"Let's be polite and say goodbye first," Cardinal replied as he raised the fighter straight into the air.copyright protection7PENANARnDGAUhyzJ

Phasma glared at the landing pad occupied by at least twenty-two Wing Guard officers. She squeezed the trigger on the gunner's controls and smiled as the green blaster fire obliterated the stunned guards. She flipped a toggle switch and fired a concussion missile into the interior of the corridor leading to the landing pad.copyright protection7PENANA2fFWBf02bx

"Satisfied?" she asked as she leaned back in her seat.copyright protection7PENANA28qsdD8QEA

"Of course, I am," Cardinal replied in a blank tone as he turned the fighter to the right and accelerated.copyright protection7PENANAJvXnbyhs6Q

"Just get us out of here," Phasma snapped.copyright protection7PENANAc96R5H76Ji

"I'm working on it, Phasma." A warning chime echoed in the cockpit. Cardinal glanced down at the sensor and sighed as the image of a restored Theta-class T-2c shuttle came into view. "It looks like Fezzel's cronies aren't pleased with our payment. Hold your fire until we fly out of the cityscape," Cardinal replied as he turned the fighter away from a skyscraper protruding from the upper structure of Cloud City. "We'll stall them by listening to their demands."copyright protection7PENANADMr3eEHnvl

"Captain Phasma, did you think you could skimp on our payment and just walk away?" the voice of the newly christened Captain Lutta said through the comlink. "Concealing worthless bundles of durasteel blanks under a thin layer of credits wasn't what we agreed to, Captain. I don't take kindly to breach of contract!"copyright protection7PENANAXeRVC2uTvA

"Hold on a few seconds more, Phasma!", Cardinal said in a calm tone as he accelerated towards open sky. "Just let him talk for now."copyright protection7PENANAKIKRAPyHVi

"Again, Captain Phasma, I implore you to rethink the pitiful fulfillment of your end of the bargain.", Lutta's voice taunted through the comlink. "I won't be satisfied unless I receive twice of what we originally agreed upon."copyright protection7PENANA0z4rCj6kGB

The TIE moved over and past the final set of skyscrapers before soaring above the curvature of Cloud City's outer hull. Cardinal increased speed and grinned as he gazed into the clouds of Bespin.copyright protection7PENANAGEQxAsA4m6

"We're clear!" he stated as he glanced down at the sensor display. "Now!"copyright protection7PENANAF7OpYofx6a

"Don't worry, Captain Lutta," Phasma said into the comlink as she locked the targeting sensor on the shuttle. "I'll give you everything you want and even more!"copyright protection7PENANAP6KUymeEHV

She squeezed the trigger. A pair of concussion missiles streamed towards the shuttle. The weapons cut into the hull before detonating in a fiery explosion. Flaming pieces, mixed with the shredded remains of the crew tumbled down towards the thick cloud banks of Bespin.copyright protection7PENANAfnA6VayvfV

"Thank you for eliminating the competition, Phasma," Cardinal said as he turned the fighter towards the skies. "I'm entering coordinates to rendezvous with the Finalizer."copyright protection7PENANABU2qk0PzxV

Phasma furrowed her brow as the fighter blasted into hyperspace. "The Finalizer? I thought Leader Snoke commissioned the Tormentor and Resurgence to support the Absolution."copyright protection7PENANAKn2uiBQxfy

"He did, Captain," Cardinal replied as he glanced down at the navigation display to check the fighter's heading. "They dropped out of hyperspace just short of the Bespin system before jumping to three separate prescribed coordinates."copyright protection7PENANAtvV3BReamt

Phasma nodded as she listened to Cardinal. "To cover the Finalizer's movements. Brilliant strategy."copyright protection7PENANA6Yn8pH9ehH

"We have to keep the Republic's nose out of our business somehow," Cardinal said as he shook his head.copyright protection7PENANAa15cvoNmV3

"I wish we could keep you out of the First Order's business," Phasma thought to herself as she gazed at the spinning hyperspace vortex. "One day, I'll find a way to oust you, Cardinal. When you least expect it, I'll bring your career and your life to an end…"copyright protection7PENANAUoyQsaHGl3

A chime rang in the cockpit as the fighter dropped out of lightspeed in the middle of space. Cardinal focused on the massive wedge-shaped Finalizer moving in the blackness of space like a dark cloud floating across a night sky.copyright protection7PENANA9r2xArfKGw

Both Cardinal and Phasma remained silent as the fighter approached the Star Destroyer and entered the main hangar bay. As the fighter docked in the hangar, the occupants released their seat harnesses and climbed out of the fighter. The pale complexion of General Hux met them as they emerged from the fighter. He stared at the pair of Stormtrooper Captains as they moved towards him.copyright protection7PENANAsQxx32WQoR

"Well done," Hux said coldly.copyright protection7PENANAUjgt9IDQpZ

Cardinal stood at attention as Hux drew closer to him. "Thank you, sir-"copyright protection7PENANAUyrX61olM5

"I wasn't addressing you, Cardinal. Your job is finished here, so go back to that nursery of yours on the Absolution." Hux snapped as he glared at Cardinal. He then turned his steely eyes towards Phasma. "As for you, I'm afraid there will be no rest for the weary. We have an important mission for you, Phasma. Report to my holochamber at once."copyright protection7PENANAReVpMYrIPQ

Phasma nodded as Hux walked off. She turned and stepped past Cardinal without acknowledging his presence. When she reached the main deck of the hangar, she stopped and watched two of her recruits cleaning a section of the hangar's deck. The pale skinned recruit with hazel eyes, known as FN-2003, haphazardly moved his plasma mop back and forth as he struggled to keep up with a dark-skinned fellow recruit.copyright protection7PENANAzJaQdjyQaX

The dark-skinned recruit looked up and noticed Captain Phasma watching him. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he trembled. He began to move quicker as Phasma kept her eyes on him. In Phasma's mind, visions of the older FN-2187 in her dream played like footage from a digital recorder. She sneered as her ears filled with the memory of him screaming that he was in charge.copyright protection7PENANAP5wh2CirY4

"You only think you are in charge," she muttered silently to herself. "If you ever try to go against me, I'll demolish you, FN-2187…"copyright protection7PENANAwQjsf5rHNg

FN-2187 moved up towards FN-2003 as Phasma closed in. He glanced down at the floor and noticed a patch several centimeters in diameter that FN-2003 had missed. He grimaced as he reached around his fellow recruit and swiped over the patch as Phasma walked by them without saying a word. FN-2187 sighed as the towering stormtrooper commander continued towards a passageway.copyright protection7PENANAyn0Idd2L4c

Phasma halted immediately. "FN-2003, stow your cleaning equipment and report for physical training at once."copyright protection7PENANAJUigblTuNR

"Yes, Captain!" he answered before turning and walking away.copyright protection7PENANAzkHSMXXdEK

Phasma slowly turned and faced FN-2187. "You are to report to physical training as well, FN-2187."copyright protection7PENANAuc7uVkIX6N

FN-2187 nodded. "Yes, Captain!"copyright protection7PENANAaQHs7SN0nA

"And FN-2187", Phasma said coldly, bringing the recruit to a stop. "Empathy towards weaker recruits is an infringement upon the principles of the First Order. I suggest you purge such emotions from your system. Report to training at once!"copyright protection7PENANASWUzOHwLUb

She walked away without giving him an opportunity to reply. She moved through the corridors of the Finalizer with steps echoing through the passageways. The door to the conference room opened as she approached it. She walked in and noticed General Hux with his back to her, studying an array of floating holographic images. Admiral Garren Prolov's biographical information wavered into view along with his portrait.copyright protection7PENANAwpoEUjZCg6

Phasma glued her eyes to the screen full of information in the briefing room and smiled beneath her helmet as she took in the words describing Prolov's past and his military accomplishments.copyright protection7PENANAprX7T40H5n

"Such a worthy candidate for leadership in the First Order," she thought to herself. "A perfect replacement for this bastard Hux. And a wonderful target for my affection as well…"copyright protection7PENANAiXjdx7U4TP

Her eyes continued to scan the pages of information. A paragraph suddenly caught her attention, and she paused a few seconds before studying the words intently. Her smile grew wider as she embraced the newly acquired information.copyright protection7PENANAfqeD59X4Le

"A member of the House of Prolov. Last surviving son of S'Varian ruler Antonias Prolov," she muttered in her mind. "So you are a prince, destined to be a king. And every king needs a queen by his side. I shall be your queen, and we will rule S'Varia together…"copyright protection7PENANAbbF8izdigi

"Captain, I wanted you to see the information that I will be sending with you. It will be accessible via your helmet's heads up display. I suggest you study it closely," General Hux stated as he turned to face her. He narrowed his eyes when she refrained from responding. "Captain, are you sure you understand your orders?"copyright protection7PENANAFzgZNN6HR0

"No, please shove them down my throat again for the umpteenth time," Phasma said in a sharp tone as she glared down at Hux.copyright protection7PENANAx6qMKvVIAH

Hux locked his eyes on her as he sneered. "No need for hostility towards me, Captain. I was only reminding you of your duties."copyright protection7PENANAWLTBUbb8us

"On the contrary, there's no need for you to insult my intelligence, General," Phasma blasted back at Hux. "I know what you and the Supreme Leader have ordered me to do. And you have my word; I will fulfill my mission."copyright protection7PENANAqa1H9Ougwl

"Very well, Captain," Hux smirked. "Your transport awaits you." He watched as Phasma stood rigid in front of him. He looked up at her mask as if he could peer through it. He frowned as he continued to stare at her. "Is there something you need to tell me, Phasma? What's on your mind?"copyright protection7PENANAg4sHRcdMVO

Phasma looked over at Prolov's image on the screen for a few seconds. She suddenly charged forth, backing Hux into a corner as she glared down at him. "We both know your life and career hangs by a simple thread of nepotism. If you push me too far, General, I will personally sever that thread!"copyright protection7PENANAuRzntuzEC4

She turned and left the room to head towards the Finalizer's hangar bay, leaving a stunned Hux in her wake. It was time for the past to meet the present and for Phasma to take the first step towards a destiny that she had dreamed of since she was a child. And nothing was going to stop her from attempting to reach out and take a firm hold on it all.copyright protection7PENANA73f8KoXfFu

"Admiral, what we experienced was no hyperdrive incident." Captain Jorr, commanding officer of the Imperial Star Destroyer, Corrin, stated rather firmly. He glared at Admiral Prolov with his dark brown eyes full of concern. "We have to consider the possibility that someone tried to steal the weapon, sir."copyright protection7PENANAAWy2DqfRda

Prolov shook his head as he analyzed what Jorr just said. "I don't think so, Captain Jorr."copyright protection7PENANAFH2f5wJFam

"What do you mean, sir?" Jorr asked as he cocked his head of thinning brown hair.copyright protection7PENANAJhqYqbnoq2

Prolov shot him a sharp stare. "If someone attempted such a thing, we would all be dead, Captain. You know the specifics of the weapon itself." He looked around the table at the other Star Destroyer Captains, who made up his council. "You all know the details. If someone attempts to alter or steal it, then it ignites and takes all of us with it."copyright protection7PENANAS0Yr3CRjt5

Around the table, Captains representing the Star Destroyers Teiryan, Zephyr, Gladius, Sydonus, Tenebris, and Impetus sat listening to Prolov's words. One individual, Captain Jensen of the Star Destroyer Teiryan, sat back in his chair waiting for the Admiral to finish before speaking up himself.copyright protection7PENANAu8MwoS27xd

"What exactly happened in hyperspace, Admiral?" Captain Jensen asked calmly. "Members of my crew were hurled around the ship without suffering injury. I even fell into one of the duty pits on the bridge and walked away unharmed. I've never seen anything like it. And to hear that we have traveled twenty-four years into the future is astounding, sir."copyright protection7PENANAugvVfW6Ckx

"I have no explanations for what occurred, Captain Jensen," Prolov replied calmly. He leaned back in his chair as he took another glance at the council. "However, I can say with certainty that our alleged time jump is permanent. Commander Bayda has theorized that aspect through his analysis of the available data so far."copyright protection7PENANAEdyDFBfxVJ

Captain Jorr didn't quite like what he was hearing. "Sir, it is evident that something is not quite right here. In my years of serving in the Imperial Navy, I have never heard of incidents such as this, especially enduring such a wild ride through hyperspace with no injuries or damage, much less allegedly traveling through time. There is more to this than we realize, sir!"copyright protection7PENANACpSoWggZoO

"I concur with Captain Jorr." Captain Noran of the Star Destroyer Impetus said. He looked over to Prolov with an intense expression. "What's more, how do we know this is not a ruse of some kind, sir?"copyright protection7PENANAdT4IOjFUWZ

Captain Nesset, the commander of the Tenebris, nodded as Noran finished his statement. "I am wondering the same thing. For all we know, this could be a trap, sir!"copyright protection7PENANArBdZeSBupw

"It could very well be a trap. That's why I'm not relying on the star charts, which have indicated a twenty-four-year shift in time. Technology can be manipulated easily," Prolov replied calmly. He understood the trepidation the men were feeling for this situation. He didn't blame them as this was a rather frightening occurrence, even for experienced Imperial officers. "And that brings me to another point we need to discuss. I have made contact via the HoloNet with a General Hux of the First Order, which supposedly arose from the remnants of the Galactic Empire. General Hux has invited us to meet with him at Geneel. Once there, he has assigned his commander of Stormtroopers, Captain Phasma, as my contact at the meeting aboard the Apollyon."copyright protection7PENANAe1W6qTnHSM

"Who is this Captain Phasma? And why did they assign a stormtrooper commander as your contact?" Jorr asked in a sharp tone. It was evident he was instantly mistrusting of the arranged meeting, and it's specifics as he continued. "And does he have any experience in such matters?"copyright protection7PENANAv5FzOtTtoQ

"General Hux has assigned her" Prolov snapped back with words that drew gasps. "And speaking of her experience, she has an impressive military record with the First Order, according to the file General Hux sent to me. Supposedly, she is the best they have from what I can ascertain."copyright protection7PENANAtQrHQGzsaZ

Noran shot a puzzled look to Prolov. "Not that I mind at all, but sending a woman who commands their stormtroopers to be your contact for this meeting? That raises concerns with me, Admiral."copyright protection7PENANAYp0VwrOT8G

Prolov returned the look with one of his own. "What concerns you, Captain Noran?"copyright protection7PENANAFDMldBO75d

Noran swiveled in his chair as he spoke, characteristic of him when he was nervous. "Gender aside, they claim a Captain commands their entire Stormtrooper Corps? To me, that seems to be a rather low rank to have such overwhelming responsibility. It is just not adding up, sir."copyright protection7PENANAXz3ogU5Qmg

"I agree with Captain Noran" Jorr stated in his usual gravelly voice, tinged with a touch of annoyance. "Sir, if Captain Phasma is coming aboard the Apollyon in full stormtrooper armor, then shouldn't we take measures to make sure she is who she says she is. How do we know that she is a woman?"copyright protection7PENANAPkFQgbh45q

Prolov became irate at the Captains' words. "I am not going strip search her just to see if she is telling the truth! What's wrong with you, Captain? Is that any way to treat a distinguished guest...or a lady for that matter?"copyright protection7PENANALL4y6h9Vpf

Jorr shook his head with a serious look on his face. "No sir, it's not but can't we, at least, have her remove her helmet so we can see for ourselves?"copyright protection7PENANA9mOcL46QVs

Prolov was not going for it at all. "According to the file I read, the anonymity of a stormtrooper is close to her heart. If she wants to keep her helmet on the entire time, then she can do so. And we're going to respect her wishes in that regard. That is a standing order, gentlemen!"copyright protection7PENANA6KNMB4YT93

"If it comes to it, we can restrain her if need be, sir. We are an Imperial fleet-." Jorr said in an arrogant tone, which drew a sharp glare from Prolov.copyright protection7PENANAjVPotWFDR5

"Captain Jorr, she is as tall as Annalisa was!" Prolov replied with a tinge of irritation in his voice. "And lest you forget, Annalisa once tied you in a knot in fifteen seconds in a self-defense class, and she was not a stormtrooper! Need I say more?"copyright protection7PENANAS0rHddMk4H

A few chuckles echoed through the room. Prolov held his hand up to quieten down the men in the room before speaking. "That's enough of this bickering, gentlemen! In two days, both the Apollyon and Corrin will set course to meet with the First Order at Geneel."copyright protection7PENANANbsBY3FWXO

He looked across the table. "Captain Jensen, you will be in charge of the fleet while we are away. Spread them out in the sector but remain close enough so you can assist one another quickly should the need arise. For the rest of you, I want every ship in the fleet to make sure they are in pristine condition to receive guests, whether they do or not. I want every centimeter spotless just as I want all departments organized by Imperial standards. No exceptions, no excuses. For now, I will dismiss all of you except Captain Jorr. You have your orders, get to it, gentlemen!"copyright protection7PENANAZhJPFdLlRD

Prolov waited until their holograms disappeared before turning his attention to Captain Jorr. "We will keep this simple. When we meet with the First Order, position the Corrin where you can escape should the need arise. I will do the same with the Apollyon. In that case, set course for the Renda Noth system in the Outer Rim. When we are underway, I will instruct the others to do the same."copyright protection7PENANAqKESrS5dca

Jorr nodded as he looked over at Prolov with a questioning glance. "Sir, what are you going to do if Captain Phasma is aboard if or when all hell breaks loose?"copyright protection7PENANAU0lnBkqggo

Prolov shrugged as he pursed his lips. "She'll have to come along for the ride. That's the risk she assumes by coming aboard. And in that case, we will not harm her. We'll just drop her off on a hospitable planet before moving on."copyright protection7PENANA5gFP5k2QGT

"Sounds reasonable and right on par with your beliefs, sir," Jorr replied with a slight smile.copyright protection7PENANAt6E8Y504jc

Prolov looked away a minute before continuing the conversation. "It's the right thing to do. Speaking of that, I would like to have you aboard when Captain Phasma arrives, just for ceremonial purposes. I will do all the conversing with her."copyright protection7PENANAedcAAOU14a

Jorr nodded in agreement. "As you wish, sir."copyright protection7PENANApaq5Zwq2m6

"You have your orders, Captain Jorr. We have a lot of work to do between now and our rendezvous with the First Order. Let's get to it." Prolov said as he stood up. Jorr nodded just before his hologram wavered and disappeared.copyright protection7PENANAWQcAYbFYfY

A murmuring voice brought Prolov to a halt as he turned to leave the room. He looked around, thinking that it was just interference coming in through the comlink. He listened again only to hear nothing but silence for a few moments. Suddenly, it spoke again.copyright protection7PENANAbuco5NcZPh

Slowing his breathing to hear the voice clearer, he turned in the direction from which it came. He took a couple of steps towards the back of the room lit just enough to reveal an empty wall. It spoke again, only in this instance, it was understandable for the words left him stunned as they filled his ears.copyright protection7PENANAafrBkr7Ktu

"Confide in her..."copyright protection7PENANARpk40jfGiv

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