By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
As the temperatures begun to rise in time for the summer time, the snow that covered the thick forests around Brattur had started melting, revealing the luscious greenery that remained hidden for most of the year. Shrubberies and bushes had started popping up here and there, some flowers were blooming and birds and insects were emerging from their warm shelters. For anyone else, this awakening of life and beauty would make for a captivating sight, but the dark haired man had long stopped being fascinated by such sights. Though, he had to admit, that he preferred this environment to confinement in durasteel walls with subordinates in every corner. It gave him an odd sense of freedom that he was not used to, despite the high positions he used to hold.
Dressed in his preferred black, as always, with a scarf around his neck and his face with its distinctive scar exposed, he made his way in the forest, accompanied by a droid that levitated next to him. The droid had been tasked to help him with training, as he tried to practise all that Anakin had managed to teach him in the amount of time they had spent together. Kylo still had issues adjusting to his situation, but he could not imagine a better instructor and all the other roles Anakin fulfilled for him. It was a strange predicament but at the same time exactly what he wanted at this point of time and more than he could ever expect.
But Anakin had ties to this world and responsibilities he could not ignore, so it was up to Kylo to continue practising in his absence. His steps came to a halt when he found a small stream surrounded by tall thick trees that provided shade from the sun rays. He watched the running water for a few moments, then nodded to the droid next to him. This was a good spot. The sound of the stream masked the other noises of nature, calming his mind and allowing him to focus on his task. Anakin’s words, reciting Palpatine’s lessons came to his mind. Don’t fall too deep. Don’t let these passions be your master, turning you into the tool.
Easier said than done, but, he had to try, now that Snoke was not whispering in his ears. Kylo closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths as he opened himself to the Force. The round shaped droid flew in the air, moving on the opposite side. When Kylo felt ready, his deep voice broke the silence between them. ‘Go’. he ordered and the droid fired the first shot at him. Kylo’s eyes remained shut, seeing the energy with his senses as it travelled in the air, cutting through the stillness like a burning knife. He slided to the right, avoiding the shot that ended up crashing in a tree, damaging the bark. The droid continued to fire, changing its position often and Kylo continued to dodge, trying to maintain his balance and concentration. He thought he had found a good momentum when his senses were assaulted by something much more powerful than a droid shooting at him.
'Stop!’ he ordered anxiously, as the last shot fired past his right shoulder, grazing the fabric of clothes. Eyes opening wide, he instinctively looked behind him, his breath coming out in rapid succession. That much concentration of power was not ordinary by any means. It burned fiercely like a young star, but it was not as overwhelming and encompassing as Anakin’s, nor as warm as his mothers’. If anything, it reminded him of someone else. ‘Rey?’ he found himself uttering without thinking, but Rey had such a distinctive presence in the Force that were it her, he would not have any doubts in his mind about it.
Brattur was still cold. Less cold maybe now that summer was setting in, but there had been snow just a few days ago and this was not her favourite climate. Summer had changed the surroundings somewhat. It was to be expected. From under the snow a myriad of life had sprung forth. Even in the harshest of places life could flourish if it was given the opportunity of a bit of sunshine. It was a hopeful thought.
Regardless of the change Braturr wasn't a place where she could, should or wanted to stay for much longer. Anakin had left already, but then he had been in this world longer. Ahsoka for her part didn't have plans. In many ways it felt similar to when she had left the order years ago. There was still plenty of Pandora that she could visit. And as long as she took up the odd job she´d be fine.
There was one person that Ahsoka hadn´t met yet that she was quite curious about. The news that Anakin had children was somewhat of a surprise. She had known that he and Padme were in some way involved. She didn't imagine that he had become a father at the end of the war. But those children eventually had children of their own, not much of a surprise there either. That his grandson was here in Braturr as well though, that had piqued her interest. It certainly explained the other force signature she had sensed.
Conflicted is what Anakin had used to describe it, but she would have gone for Murky. Not entirely light but not dark in the way she was used to sensing in the galaxy she had come from. Easy enough to pick up on and follow. She didn't bother trying to hide her own force presence, it wasn't a necessity anymore. And stealth often did not inspire confidence, she wasn't looking to pick a fight with him after all.
The threes allowed her to get closer than she expected, observing what she assumed to be training. Ahsoka wasn't about to step in to a barrage of laser bolts though, she had had enough of that during the clone wars. So only when he stopped, and called out to someone she didn't know, was it that she made her way in more clearer view. ¨Ahsoka actually¨ she corrected.
¨You´re Kylo right? Anakin´s grandson? it wasn't entirely a question. He couldn´t be anyone else, there were only so many force sensitives in Pandora.
Oh, it seemed that there was indeed someone standing near him, but of course it wasn’t Rey. He would have known before she approached and she would have probably been yelling at him. Even that he missed, but wishful thinking was not going to bring her where he was. Not to mention that he was currently preoccupied with figuring out the reason behind the stranger’s presence.
A Togruta, from some part of the galaxy he knew. A Force user Togruta. With lightsabers, if he was seeing correctly, as his dark eyes travelled on her. He stood uncertain for the fleeting of moments, until she decided to introduce herself. And when she did, Kylo realised that she was familiar, like all those associated with his Grandfather or his parents in one way or another. His hand twitched instinctively, but he had no lightsaber to defend himself with. He would have to rely on himself and the droid, if he had to.
He did not sense any ill intent towards him. Not even righteous anger or disdain for what he was. He had anticipated that one day a brash Jedi of those that roamed Pandora would show up on his way, determined to take him down for falling to the Dark side, but this behavior was unexpected. ‘Ahsoka Tano. My Grandfather speaks highly of you.’ he informed her, as he took a cautious step sideways, his eyes not wavering away from her figure. There were traces of respect in his voice that were utterly sincere, cultivated by Anakin’s words and her own reputation. He never had an issue complimenting others when they deserved it. Even enemies, if she was that. He didn’t know, which distressed him plenty.
‘He told you about me?’ he expressed, his curiosity evident. He did not know if he should be flattered or concerned, admittedly. ‘Yet here you are.’ he mused, perplexed as ever. Why anyone would seek to find him of their own volition was a mystery. He took a few more steps that allowed him to observe her closely, while still maintaining some distance. ‘Are we going to fight, Ahsoka?’ he asked, direct and intense, though without showing any signs that he wished them to. He hated the Jedi, but she had walked away from the old Order, if he remembered correctly, before it was destroyed by their own hubris. And she had been Anakin’s padawan and trusted friend. His fight was not with her.
The words ¨Anakin's grandson¨ were a bit harder to speak than they were to think. Someone actually meeting with the man made it a whole less abstract and far more real. And there was the fact that Kylo was older than Anakin was. She had a weird enough time wrapping her head about the fact that she had suddenly gained two years in their age gap. Ahsoka really hadn't grappled with everything about Pandora yet. Even though she was making strides and even though this was certainly the strangest encounter yet.
Anakin had told her that too. That he was proud of her, even though she had left him in a way. The reassurance was still nice to hear though. And maybe it gave her something of the same feeling that Kylo´s questioning had provoked in him. And maybe it was the same answer in both cases. ¨Of course he told me about you. You´re his family¨ that and she had sensed him. And it had piqued her curiosity and well she was going to get involved at some point.
Was she not supposed to have come? And really why shouldn't she have come. Sure his presence wasn´t as…. Light as she was used to. But she didn't see him as hostile.
¨Do people usually want to fight you¨ she didn't need to await his answer to know that that was probably going to be a solid yes. ¨Besides you're not carrying a lightsaber¨ assuming he had one. She had seen what the empire did to Illum, she could hope that that was better by his time. But it wouldn't be pretty.
Ηe shuddered at the mentioning of the word family, the shadow of something resembling pain passing through his face and disappearing as quickly as it had appeared. He seemed to look away for a few moments, before his dark eyes returned on Ahsoka, piercing and carrying a maelstrom of emotions, some conflicting with one another. Anakin had been very generous to him. Patient, wise, understanding and a whole lot of other things that made sense if he indeed had accepted him in his mind as a close relative. One that he gave a damn about, as opposed to one he was trying to get rid of. Kylo was not used to having any of his emotions reciprocated or valued, so he was still surprised by his Grandfather’s behavior. Snoke had lied about a number of things, but he had been right regarding one fact. None of the people he had loved had ever loved him back. Of this, Kylo was largely convinced.
But Ahsoka’s words raised another question. If Anakin had spoken to her about him, she should not be talking to him in that conversational and calm manner. Though he recalled that he had not gone to specifics about all the actions he had been involved in throughout his life and all that weighted heavily in his soul. Padawans, friends, innocents, entire worlds and his own father had fallen under his saber and those events were simply too many to make any coherent narration out of. Maybe Anakin had thought best to protect him from the ire of his allies by being vague about what his grandson had done before Pandora. Were that the case, it was kind of him, yet Kylo did not want to hide. People were entitled to their revenge or righteous killing, whatever they called it. He always waited for someone to try. Plenty wanted it, some had attempted, Rey and Chewbacca had come really close.
Ahsoka seemed like she could be another capable potential candidate. But all he sensed from her was curiosity.
‘Yes, they do.’ he answered sincerely and nonchalantly, as if he was talking about the most natural thing in the world. Granted, not in Pandora, but the memories of his own timeline were fresh in his mind. ‘Honorable of you.’ he remarked at her comment about not striking someone unarmed. Not all Jedi felt the same she did, that he could say for certain. ‘But there is much you don’t know. I wonder how loyal to that sentiment you will be after you do.’ he mused, regarding her with a spark of something not quite stable in his eyes. He could tell her anything, but something stronger than him was urging him to be honest, even if it destroyed him. ‘I sense your interest. What do you think you will find out, Ahsoka?’ he questioned, approaching slowly. He was towering her, but that was the norm with him. He was too consumed by feelings of self loathing to pose any sort of threat to her.
Where she had thought those words might be comforting they seemed to have the more or less exact opposite in Kylo. Interesting, though slightly concerning and perhaps a little bit worrying. One thing seemed to be abundantly clear though. There was a lot going on with Kylo and ´conflicted´ didn´t even begin to cover it. And it did make her a bit more cautious, though still mostly curious in proceeding.
Family to her had always been a positive thing. Togruta were notably clan oriented and lacking one of those Ahsoka had just formed close ties with the people she had around her. The loss of those people had been one of the greatest sources of pain she had ever felt. She couldn't imagine what had warranted his reaction towards her words.
Nor could she imagine people actively seeking someone else out to fight them. She understood it happened. But she hadn't experienced it, the inquisitors didn't really count. That wasn't a desire to fight, not in the way this was. ¨I don´t, it's a principle¨ and she had had opportunities to strike down unarmed opponents before. She had never taken those chances. Not even Maul when it would have been easier to let him fall to his death then it would be to bring him in alive.
If Ahsoka were the type to be intimidated when people were towering over her. Even people who she sensed weren´t as in tune with the light side as she herself was. Then Ahsoka would probably have spent the entirety of the clone wars being intimidated. But between ventress, grievous and maul she didn't exactly find herself being intimidated by Kylo. ¨I just wanted to get to know you, before leaving Brattur¨ simple curiosity, no ulterior motives needed.
She was loyal to her convictions, that much he could ascertain. Stubborn, even. Kylo respected that and any desire for sarcasm and arguing had begun dimming down due to her reactions. ‘ A personal principle?’ he posed the question with genuine interest, needing to detach Ahsoka from the Jedi doctrines. It was far easier to appreciate and respect her as her own person, rather than tied with an ancient religion he had come to despise.
He had stopped near her, bending so as to get a better look at her, which many considered uncomfortable, unnerving or even terrifying when dealing with him. Her, though, she did not display any such feelings. Usually he prefered others to fear him, but in this instance, he felt differently. No matter how disquieting it was to have normal encounters in general, that involved things like casual talking, connecting and sharing experiences. He’d never been good at these sorts of things.
Which explained his expressions of outright distress when Ahsoka mentioned she wanted to know him. Eye twitching and lips pursuing together, he had to avoid her eyes for some time, as he stared at something insignificant to her left. ‘You won’t like knowing me.’ he aimed to convince her, certain of the content of his words. Even if she wasn’t a Jedi anymore, he had a feeling that their differences run even deeper than the natural hostility between the dark and the light. ‘Besides, I should be the one learning from you. You fought in the Clone Wars. Those wars are legendary. People still tell stories about them, even decades after they happened.’ Kylo expressed, some traces of passion in his usual monotone voice. He had heard much and studied even further of the wars that shook the galaxy and signified the death of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. There was much glory in them and both sides could lay claim to it, even if the Emperor’s plan proved to be practically infallible, by placing the Clones in the most suitable positions, then control them to do his bidding. ‘You saw them to their very end?’ he asked, and he sounded far more respectful than plenty of others with the same ideals would be. But it was as easy to mock soldiers of the Republic as it was to mock Imperial soldiers after the Battle of Yavin, after all. Or the Endor catastrophe.
Frustrating as they were, he had come to learn that mistakes always happened.
She couldn't claim ownership over it though. Like most things that formed her beliefs and principles it had been something she was taught at the temple. But just because the order believed, or claimed to believe a lot had changed in the course of the wars,that didn't mean she could not come to a similar conclusion. The Jedi order did not own the concepts of mercy, compassion and kindness. ¨It is now¨
The observing was fine. She could deal with people being taller than her. But she did not like it when people decided to bend over her. There was being looked down to and being looked down on and it wasn't something she liked no matter how unintentional. She was giving Kylo the benefit of the doubt. And so she took a deliberate step back and crossed her arms. If he had something to ask her he could do so like any normal person did.
Despite it all though She couldn't say she was intimidated by him. More and more she understood Anakin´s description of him that was true. And it had been his rather peculiar reaction that had sparked her curiosity in the first place. And honestly his reactions were just adding to that curiosity. She hadn't understood it when she mentioned family she didn't understand it in this instance. ¨I can decide that for myself¨ she rebuffed. Had that ever worked on anyone? She was pretty sure that that specific sentence was more of an incentive then a deterrent for most people.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the clone wars would be a point of discussion for years. Right now they, and the consequences of that war, were still fresh in the minds of people. In time that would fade. And with the empire coming out the decisive victors, blindsiding everyone really, she could only imagine how historical records would reflect them. Ahsoka had needed, and taken, time to process what had happened. And while she wasn't ok with it, she wasn't going to let it happen. She could try to talk about it.
¨I fought at the Siege of Mandalore¨ she knew there were a few other battles going on at the same time. And then there was Order 66. Ahsoka knew for certain no one knew the truth of that affair. The Jedi had been branded traitors, their execution was broadcast in that light. No word of the chips in the minds of the clones, no word that it had been palpatine that orchestrated everything start to finish.
He was aware that in the old Jedi Order those who showed promise in channeling the Force were taken from a very young age. The process made it easier for them to infuse those young children with their flawed logic and ridiculous ideals without anticipating a lot of resistance. The First Order themselves had took notice of such practices and while Kylo personally had his doubts, he saw the reasoning behind them. And he would be lying if he claimed that he wasn’t glad for the girl standing in front of him, who had managed to see past what she had been taught and break through from all the lies. His stare seemed to soften the more he considered Ahsoka’s case, his permanently tense muscles showed signs of relaxing, if only a tad. It was easier to talk with her than how he imagined a conversation with other Jedi or Sith, fanatics of both failed ancient religions, would go like.
The corners of his lips lifted slightly at her reaction when he approached more closely, but he did not smile. Instead he stepped to her right, giving her enough space to run away if she so choose it, though she seemed more offended than anxious. She was a strong person, no doubt about it. There were plenty of reasons already to respect her and he could offer her that much. ‘We have something in common.’ he revealed and his voice trembled a little, showing how unaccustomed he was when it came to speaking of personal matters with others. When he wasn’t trying to be frightening, Kylo looked vulnerable. ‘We were both disappointed in the Jedi and set out to make our own path.’ he continued, not without traces of uncertainty in his expression. Disappointed was an understatement in his case. But he wanted to show her that he could understand her choice.
He regarded Mandalore as part of another story of the strong and powerful eventually meeting their fall. Kylo valued power, so he respected those fearsome warriors and their tenacity against the Jedi Order during ancient times. The Empire had rendered Ahsoka’s and her allies’ success in Mandalore meaningless, since they ended up occupying the planet anyway, if he recalled correctly. But one of Palpatine’s former apprentices had been captured during that battle, so Kylo could not help but give a knowing look to Ahsoka. ‘Impressive.’ he stated. ‘And you survived? The war? Palpatine's orders?’ he asked. There were thousands who could not boast the same fate, mighty in their own right.
Slowly but surely she felt herself making progress. Which was good because despite now needing it and using it for two years she still wasn't what you would call good when it came to this small talk business. And at any rate in her own galaxy she had mostly been left alone and had seemingly left people alone in return. Being unassuming was about as good a cover as her fake identity was. But then people had been underestimating her for years now.
¨ooh?¨ it wasn´t hard to accept that they might have things in common but she wouldn´t have guessed that they'd get to an understanding of that kind so quickly. But of course he had the advantage here. Depending on what Anakin had said and maybe on how well the rebellion would fare. Though Ahsoka had no intentions of ending up in a history book. The point of secret intelligence was for it to remain a secret after all.
Were there even Jedi to be disappointed by in his time? Well Anakin´s children, and there was a good chance that Obi-Wan had survived. In her case it had been the order in general really. There were few things you could do when locked in a cell for a crime you didn't commit but thinking was one of them. When the entire matter was settled and the council gave her their sham of an apology she had already made up her mind. ¨There are plenty of other paths to take but the Jedi´s¨ or the sith´s for that matter though the latter had never even occurred to her. ¨But not a lot of people would understand that¨ Master Windu´s comments aside, she doubted that besides Anakin and hopefully Master Obi-Wan and Master Plo, she would have gotten any support at the temple.
And that was the other thing. Not being a Jedi had allowed her to slip under the radar just a bit more easy. By the empire´s standards she wouldn't be a threat, those who knew her and her abilities were dead. And whatever records the temple had off her wouldn't be favourable. Not being a Jedi had been in part the reason why she survived. ¨I wouldn't be here if i hadn't…. It's been a little under two years since the end of the war.¨
He wasn’t used to others being agreeable towards his points, but that did not mean he did not care. If Ahsoka was willing to understand even a few of them, then that was more than he had ever expected from other users of Force. Well, no, there had been Tai, but Tai was long dead. Ahsoka was not trying to save him or offer him a chance at turning his back on what he was, which was the reasonable thing to do for someone who had just met him. But he didn’t presume she was blind to his darkness. Perhaps she was not threatened by it as others were and coming from a time of Sith Lords, Inquisitors and others who were devoted to the dark side, she was more accustomed to the situation. It was interesting for him and clearly led him to feel more at ease, for the moment.
He nodded at her words, believing the same. He had never had any choice on the matter of becoming a Jedi, it was something he had to do to keep the darkness away. He hadn’t wanted it as much as other children dreamt of it, but he could do nothing but comply. And it hadn’t been all bad all the time, maybe, but none of that mattered now. He was done with the past, or so he tried. ‘You’re right.’ he agreed him her. ‘But my path is different than yours. I know you can sense it.’ he continued, more guarded now than before, as he eyed her expectantly. If she wanted him to say it out loud, that he was dangerous, evil, a monster and other such words, he would, but he was, admittedly, not certain of the whole scope of her intentions. He could search deeper and read all her thoughts, which would earn him that fight she had turned down. So far he had decided against it.
Despite their common rejection of the Jedi, he would not be as unfair as to compare himself with her. In another life, maybe he would have searched for a middle road like her, maybe he would have gone to the Mandalorians. He hadn’t. Whether there was ever a choice to do anything else than relying on Snoke was up for debate since Snoke had been all he had, though he doubted anyone cared for those details of his life.
He supposed not walking away from the Jedi Order helped her survive, which was very ironic if one considered the protectors the Jedi claimed to be. ‘I see.’ he merely said, as he regarded her. ‘I wonder what knowledge you have about the future of the galaxy you know.’ he commented, the interrogator act being hard to shake after practising it for so long, but he was resisting taking a step too far with someone who only wanted to talk.
There was a very dogmatic response to that. And it almost was at the tip of her tongue. In the force everyone had their own path but they never were alone. Or something like that. She had spent the past few years listening closer to the force then listening to the lessons about the force that she had been taught since she was a youngling of just four years old. Dogmas were in most cases, and certainly in this case, not the most useful approach. Kylo didn't seem to be the person to care for the way the order had viewed those things.
¨I can¨ she confirmed. ¨Even if I couldn´t, everyone has their own path to walk.¨ it left the question what path was he on though. And if he himself had an entirely clear idea of what it was. In Ahsoka's experience, when it came to matters of the force just when you were certain about something you were about to learn how little you knew. ¨Just make sure that it is yours¨ she decided. And she could say a thing or two about that. Her path had been with the Jedi until she decided to walk away. Whatever underlying circumstance in the end it had been her choice. Even if she had often second guessed it since.
The future. She hadn't given much thought to it to be completely honest. It had always seemed rather bleak to her. After order 66 she had only ever felt darkness and pain, a void in the force. So she had looked away. And it was only when she was surrounded by people that needed her help that she had dared to look again. She might have joined Bail´s rebels, agreed to run his intelligence to the best of her ability. But it was still a young and fragile thing. There was hope, but Ahsoka preferred to look at it day by day.
¨I don't know what´s going to come¨ she admitted honestly. The galaxy she lived in was no longer the galaxy she knew to begin with and she couldn't accept it as such. ¨But i know i´ll do my part¨ whatever it might be.
He took a deep breath at the sound of her words, that had begun sounding like an advice, letting out a heavy sign that drew out his inner anxiety. He had always appreciated wisdom when he found it. It was one of the many things that had kept him reliant on Snoke, no matter how he treated him sometimes. But Snoke had filled his head with lies, which he hoped wasn’t what Ahsoka was trying to do. She didn’t seem as if she was lying but Kylo, predictably, had a hard time trusting others.
But she had been one of the few people that had talked him as if he was a normal person and while he wasn’t used to not being feared, it was something that he had to get used to with Ahsoka. If they met again. He hoped so, given the way this exchange was going, with a complete lack of threats or sarcasm, but a sort of understanding between people who had different places and roles. Some teachings about the Force made it sound as if being in the same side was the most important prerequisite for every relationship, of any kind, a Force user could have. He couldn’t blame the Sith entirely, who had their temples desecrated and their culture driven to extinction and he understood why some Jedi feared the darkness so much, but those actions had only led to mutual destruction. From his point view, both sides had failed.
But the more she spoke of her part, in past and present and most importantly her future, the more a darker sentiment was bubbling inside his chest. He was very touchy on the subject of the Rebels. Moreso than that of the Jedi, who in his time had only been Luke, who had been both of those two things he despised. ‘And what if you fail?’ he suddenly snapped, struggling to not seem too irritable and cause her anger. ‘What if you dedicate your efforts to a cause, believing it will make things better, only to cause more chaos and disorder?’ he asked, frowning and crossing his hands as he found himself behind her. While he wasn’t speaking with the same passion a certain obnoxious with delusions of grandeur General used to deliver his speeches, the fanaticism of the First Order had not left him, even after reasonable doubts and a messy state of affairs.
It was advice but as far as advice went she believed telling someone to think for themselves and to make sure it's what they wanted was pretty mild. Nevertheless it warranted a sigh from him that told her everything she needed to know. Well it really wasn't up to her to give advice. Even if she often couldn't really help herself and in the future she probably wouldn't either. If she could then she would speak her mind. And if he didn't like that then he could tell her so, no one had certainly forgotten to do that in the past.
It was´t difficult to tell that she had touched a nerve with her comment on the future. With how uncertain it was to her she couldn´t exactly say what it was about her statement that had driven that reaction out of him. But she could tell that he obviously had his opinion on it. ¨Even if i fail someone else will stand up and fight¨
Ahsoka had thought about it. She had stood up against the empire on Raada because it was the right thing to do. Because the Empire had come and claimed people's livelihoods as their own. Working them until they couldn't do anything else and had taken their possessions for their own. The moon would have been devastated by their crops and the people would have been left to starve by the end of it. Standing up to that had been an easy choice. Seeing the devastation that was being brought around the galaxy, how the empire ruled through fear and hunger. That had made it even easier to join up with Bail´s resistance movement.
¨I am dedicating my efforts to bringing people hope, to listening to what they need and to helping them because no one else, certainly not the empire, will¨ and while she couldn't help everyone. She would do the best she could. Every life mattered after all. ¨I will do my part and I trust Bail to have a plan in place when we succeed¨ right now that plan seemed to be a return to how things were. But Ahsoka didn't know how realistic that was. And she didn't know how quick they would succeed either. But in the end they would.
A shadow passed through his face as she said those words that could not remind him anything else but all the Rebels stories he had heard and all the people from the Rebellion he had met. He had never heard anyone who sounded so much like his mother for a while, because he had clearly cut all ties with that lot of people, who had become from legacy to enemies. Keeping calm was not easy any longer and Kylo struggled to detach himself as far from the subject as he could, as the only way to respond without crumbling or raving.
‘They will. And the fight would keep going on and on with no end in sight.’ he responded bitterly. Like an engine that always spun, ensuring the galaxy would never see true peace, but was doomed to struggle after struggle. While he didn’t presume the Empire was not without its mistakes, it had its supporters, especially in those who wanted to see an end in strife. Palpatine was problematic, Kylo was beginning to understand that, though still a visionary in his time. The Rebels did not stop to consider the advantages of improvement over reviving the Republic with all its weaknesses and failings.
He did not doubt that Ahsoka had met people that the Empire treated harshly; Anakin had spoken about active enslavement as well, though Kylo was trying to sort out all the conflicting information he had in his head. But he could not show sympathy, because it would be hypocritical of him to do so. Once upon a time he steered away from hurting the uninvolved and had even tried to influence the Knights of Ren towards that direction, but there were hardly any innocents in war and his role had never been to help anyone but his Master.
Then she said the most bittersweet words of that entire encounter thus far and Kylo lowered his eyes on the ground. ‘Bail Organa? He is my Grandfather too, I suppose, since he raised my Mo- General Organa.’ he murmured, stopping himself before he openly spoke about his mom to Ahsoka. He could have sworn that he felt pain even without having a grave open wound to bother him. Growing stronger when he thought of Alderaan, the Light side was trying to rip him apart. ‘I’ve heard plenty about him. Didn’t have the chance to meet him.’ he offered, without revealing anything that he didn’t want to be talking about, not only because it was expected that Ahsoka wouldn’t want to learn about Alderaan, but also due to the fact that it hurt Kylo greatly to remember Leia’s stories.
And then think of how he was a part of the construction and activation of Starkiller Base.
‘Why do you side with those who want to bring back the Republic? When you have witnessed its failures? You know them better than I, you’ve seen them. And Anakin has told you where he comes from, hasn’t he? If the Republic didn’t put an end to corruption, slavery and injustice, are you still naive, to believe that a new Republic would?’ Kylo’s lips protested, though his eyes were misty, sorrowful, wretched.
Clearly her explanation had not made things better in his eyes. Quite the opposite. She couldn't entirely place the shadow that crossed his face or the bitterness in his tone of voice. Sure she expected things to take a while. But she had hoped that by his time they would have peace. Clearly not. Still she was fighting for what was right. Not for what was easy. ¨No one in the rebellion signed up for an easy solution. There is no easy solution¨ she spoke with an unwavering fierceness. And if there had been then an easy way out then Palpatine would have made sure they never would get it. That she knew.
¨Growing up while a war rages isn't easy, fighting against the empire won´t be either¨ she could somewhat empathise. Even if she had been fully prepared to do her part as a teenager, from her conversations with the children of Thabeska and Kaeden on Raada she knew it wasn't what most people considered normal. And it certainly wouldn't be right or fair to him. ¨But doing the right thing is never easy, but it still has to be done¨ the things that mattered were sometimes the hardest to do.
She hadn't expected that kind of reaction about Bail though. Ahsoka wasn't that surprised that Kylo knew of the man but the way he seemed to reminisce was something else. ¨Leia Organa? she asked, almost gentle herself. It certainly made Bail´s riddle make a lot more sense. But then the Leia Organa Ahsoka had met was a 2 year old toddler entranced by the aquarium on her father´s ship. And demanding that said father would read her bedtime stories. Still between Padme and Anakin as biological parents and Bail and Breha as adopted parents it wasn't that hard to imagine that little girl growing up to become a general in her own right. ¨I´m sorry to hear that¨ she did feel sorry. Of course Bail could have died of old age, but with the course they were on that seemed unlikely.
She would have mentioned how even though the danger against his family was great and real she knew Bail as both a proud family man and sincere in his efforts with the rebels. Otherwise she wouldn´t have joined him. But Ahsoka rather doubted that Kylo would find the words comforting. ¨The republic wasn't perfect¨ The republic, the order, they all had its flaws. Ahsoka had experienced them, she had seen them. It was easy to admit as much. She wasn't naive about that.
¨And yes i know about my master´s past. But the empire is worse than the republic ever was. A new republic will be better than the empire, and when we´ve achieved it i´ll go on to fight other injustices¨ or she´d be dead and others would pick up that mantle. But she certainly couldn't look away. And she wasn't about to start doing that now.
Ηe frowned at the conviction and certainty with which she carried herself when she spoke about the blasted Rebels, but she had not been the only one with these feelings that Kylo had met in his life. He resigned to the fact that trying to argue otherwise would be a fool's errand. After all, he had to admit that her fire and commitment to the cause was inspirational, if not for the wrongside. The Empire had their own, fiercely loyal fighters, as far as he knew.
'Spend enough time with them and you might change your mind about your precious Rebels, like you did with the Jedi.' he answered, retaining his bitterness, but his voice did not rung as convinced as Ashoka's. He could not sway her to his side and she could not persuade him to accept the necessity of the Rebellion. They were in a stalemate, sort of like the one he had with Rey, though he wanted to believe that Rey's loyalties would shift. But, in reality, neither the Rebels nor the Empire or the First Order mattered in this strange new world they were stationed in.
'Yes.' he confirmed his mother's name, avoiding to look at Ahsoka as he did so. He hadn't stopped being on the verge of tears since the topic had been brought up, but he was fighting back his sentimentalities. He supposed he could not miss what he never had in the first place, but that hadn't stopped him from daydreaming about Alderaan, that had been part of what he had heard of as a child regarding his legacy, before he learned the truth about his mother's parentage. A part of him wanted to ask Ahsoka more, but any pressing enquries would probably make her suspicious about the fate of the Alderaanians.
He had already said too much about someone Ahsoka knew, so he acknowledged her sympathy but did not comment on it. It shouldn't be about him anyway, but about a senator who had eventually doomed his own planet. It could have been any other if Leia hadn't been captured, but knowning the full story about the Death Star plans, it was hard for him to fault his mom.
'No system can make anything better if it's weak at its core.' he spoke after her, feeling the need to defend the peaceful Empire times compared to the mess and disorder of the New Republic. 'The Empire at least had strength. But when it comes to you.. I don't envy the position of Imperial fighters facing you. So determined and sure of yourself.. You remind me of someone who has been causing me a lot of problems in my time.' he told Ahsoka, the bitterness disappearing and giving way to a more positive feeling, of a fondness that he tried to keep hidden. Ahsoka had far more experiences than Rey, but they, like his mother, were not to be taken lightly in terms of fighting spirit and stubbornness. It was nothing sort of impressive. In a world where there were no sides, he could act... differently towards all that .
Ahsoka was reasonably sure that she wouldn't be the person to get him entirely around on the rebelion. Whatever had happened with him. Whatever would happen with the rebels. It had clearly made an impact on Kylo. And though the force sometimes did grant visions of a possible future, and she had some experience with those, she doubted even that would be enough to get to the root of why Kylo felt as strongly as he did.
¨Maybe¨ she shrugged. It was a possibility of course. When their own little rebellion on Raada had started she butted heads with Vatran and some of the natives of the moon. They had been too eager to pull out the big guns without realizing that it was a fight they couldn't win. They had needlessly put the few people she cared about on that moon in danger. It was a miracle that as many people had survived it the way they had. Especially Kaeden who had been taken by the empire twice. ¨But at least for the moment the rebellion is to spread out, if I don't agree with some of them there are others I do agree with¨ and her job was in intelligence either way. If she didn't like where the rebellion was going she could and would take it up with Bail.
Ahsoka couldn´t be certain which parts he considered weak. The idea of a new republic, or just a republic at all, were all just that to her ideas. She understood that they would come to fruition at some point but how exactly remained a mystery to her. One thing she did know though. Calling the empire strong was shortsighted at best. ¨The empire isn't strong. They rule through fear and intimidation, in much of the outer rim by hunger.¨ they were old tactics and they certainly worked. But she didn't consider them strong.
She had to crack something of a smile though. She didn't exactly envy any imperials she would go up against either. If that inquisitor was any indication she wouldn't have much trouble except with the upper echelons. ¨I´ll take that as a compliment¨ With how Kylo clearly seemed to respect, probably even admire the empire to some agree it might even be one. ¨Sounds like someone I might like then¨ after all if Kylo was agreeing with the empire, then whoever they are would, in their own galaxy, be on her side most likely. In this world there luckily wasn't an empire. Otherwise conversations like this would be far less agreeable.
Ηis eyes widened a fraction when she spoke and it seemed that he did not expect that ambivalent answer. He could only assume that her experience with the Jedi had made her wary, which agreed with his personal views. He could not help but see parts of a younger version of himself in Ahsoka, even if they had chosen opposing sides after leaving the Jedi for good. That made his attitude towards her progressively more subdued, because if they could understand each other, then he had found something he had been needing for a long time.
He didn't want to destroy that connection, if it was there.
Which meant he had to restrain himself, especially when it came to the topics they disagreed with. Not an easy task to do for someone as impatient and impulsive, but he was trying to learn how to be more patient. It was straining and he found many parts of him resistant to change.
He leaned back on a tree trunk, watching Ahsoka with all the hurt and sorrow that were permanently reflected on his black eyes. But he only seemed to lose his calm once when Ahsoka expressed his views about the Empire. 'How else would they keep control? Not with endless talking and deliberations. Even Leia finds those tedious and aggravating.' he thought to inform her. Then again, Ahsoka seemed like a person of action, so he would not be surprised if she disliked Senatorial decorum equally.
He resisted the impulse to snort at the comments that came next, but his anger had all but disappeared. 'She is still attached to an idealised version of the Jedi she has in her head. I told her to let go. I don't have to tell you.' he spoke, his eyes growing distant the more he thought of Rey. Her hate for him had been unmistakable, exploding and palpable in the beginning. He still could not say that she had changed her mind entirely, but the last time they spoke, her eyes did not carry the same loathing and fear as before.
'So, Ahsoka? Is your curiosity satisfied? Now that you have learnt about me?' he asked, turning his attention back to her.
Well that response seemed to have surprised him. It didn't diminish her belief in the rebellion. It didn't dismiss the fact that she truly believed that standing up against the empire and their galaxy wide reign of terror was the right thing to do. But inevitably people would argue on what the right course of action was. Their limited means and possibilities just meant that at least for the rebellion as she had last seen it, those arguments were few and far between. Their show of force at Raada was probably the most controversial thing they had done thus far. An open and impressive show of force when they were certainly not yet ready to really pick a fight.
¨Why is it up to them to control the entire galaxy¨ The republic had its flaws but fundamentally most planets still elected their representatives who in turn made legislation. Even the separatists had their own senate and it too had it´s issues. But both senators were at the very least directly tied to the people. The Empire had just assumed control and exerted it violently. ¨I don't know if there is a way to govern that's perfect. I´m not a politician¨ and she didn't have any ambition to become one either. ¨But i believe that it's up to every single person to hold their leaders accountable.¨ especially if said leaders usurped power and had only done unquestionably evil things since.
Ahsoka got the distinct sense that whoever this girl was Kylo did care for her in his own way. ¨You won´t¨ the ideals of the order were ones she still cared for. It was those ideals that often had people accuse her of sounding like a jedi. But she knew the order had it´s problems. ¨But from what you've told me there isn't an order anymore. What's the harm in ideals then¨ it was the order itself that had turned a blind eye to its own actions. Maybe if they had held on to their ideals more things could have been different. But Ahsoka knew the Jedi order had never really been given that choice.
¨Somewhat yes¨ he wasn't what she had expected. Not at all. But she was starting to understand Anakin's description of him a while lot more. Especially with how he had said it all. ¨And i don't regret getting to know you¨ It was always nice to be proven right. Even in the small pedantic stuff like this.
Putting this out to announce we'll be having a Moon Destruction Album release coming out the day of the big boom, come pick up a physical album at your local record store or download it off starknet...or just steal I ain't a cop.
basically for those who don't wanna click on the spoiler in my previous status, the short version is that I'll be taking a weeklong (possibly longer or shorter) break from posting and I'm really sorry if you're waiting on me