Ben Solo, Part 1
Ten-year-old Ben Solo practically bounced in his seat with excited anticipation as his Uncle, the Grand Jedi Master Luke Skywalker landed the ship in the Parisian spaceport. The young boy saw everyone in the port pause and gawk at the shuttle that transported the two Jedi. It was old, dating way back to the Clone Wars era, but according to the records, many Jedi travelled far distances in these. The people down below continued to gawk until Ben spotted a small group walking towards the ship, lead by what looked like an old woman. The group wore the traditional robes that marked them as Jedi, though they looked far more traditional than the newer type of robes worn.
"Remember, don't speak until you're spoken to," His Uncle Luke's voice broke through his excited, yet nervous thoughts. "Madame Moraes is a very traditional woman."
"What is she like?" Ben asked, his voice barely more than a breath of air. Luke took a moment to think. The young Solo remembered his uncle telling his mother and father about the lone Jedi Master on a planet deep in the Outer Rim, on the far outskirts of the Unexplored Region. Though since it announced itself as a neutral planet, his uncle still saw it apart of the New Galactic Republic.
"Madame Moraes is very traditional as I said before." Luke said as the two of them exited the craft. "I met her after your mother managed to stabilize the New Republic Senate. But other than that, I don't really know much about her. I know that her brother was killed in the attack on the first Death Star and her master, her brother and she fought in the Clone Wars."
Ben hesitated before asked, "Do you think she knew Grandfather?"
His Uncle shrugged. The raven-haired young boy sighed as he prepared the pack he had prepared for the journey. Neither his uncle nor his mother knew much about their father, seeing as how they were separated at birth. But Ben overheard stories from the older members of the Rebellion that his Grandfather was a ruthless, bloodthirsty man. Hopefully, though, this Madame Moraes would have stories about him. She was around when the Clone Wars, after all.
"Come on, Ben." His uncle ordered. Ben slung the pack over his shoulders and followed his Uncle to the back of the shuttle. As the ramp lowered, sights and smells of the spaceport met the young man's nostrils and ears. Different people of all different species mingled around the port. Though many people stopped and stared at them, Luke and Ben headed straight for the group of supposed Jedi waiting for them. The woman who wore traditional robes led the group. As the two Jedi approached the group, the woman with deep brown eyes and hair streaked with grey smiled slightly at Luke. Ben swallowed when he noticed the two saber hilts on the woman's belt. The power that radiated off her was nothing like the power that came from his Uncle, but it was still a power that frightened Ben.
"Welcome back to Paris, Master Skywalker." The woman greeted as she bowed. Her entourage did the same, almost in sync with her. When she straightened, the woman smiled warmly at the young boy, who stared at her timidly through his thick eyelashes. "Well, who do we have here?"
Luke placed a hand on his shoulder. Ben's back straightened and he looked her dead in the eye, answering with pride, "I am Ben Solo, Padawan of Luke Skywalker. It is an honor to meet you, Madame Moraes."
"The honor is all mine, Young Solo." The grey-and-brown haired woman greeted with a growing smile. Behind the woman, there was an older teen with blue-black hair and startling green eyes. She was scowling at the woman who was smiling at the two visiting Jedi. "This is my Padawan, Adeline. She will be your guide throughout your visit, Young Solo. If you need anything, just find her."
"It's an honor, Padawan Adaline."
"Same," She said with a cocked eyebrow.
"Master Skywalker, why don't you stay the night? After all, it is a long journey back."
Luke chuckled. "No thank you, Madame Moraes. I have to be back at the temple soon enough. Have a good time, Ben. I will see you in a week's time."
"Goodbye Uncle." Ben bid as his legendary uncle reentered the shuttle and took off. Ben watched the shuttle take off sadly.
"Don't worry." Adeline assured him. "You'll have a great time here. Maybe even learn to relax a little."
"I didn't come here for fun." Ben stated. He had a pouty face as he watched the ship disappear into the atmosphere. The boy didn't know why his mother and father agreed for this week-long excursion to this planet. Of course, his Uncle wanted him to learn from one of the few Jedi Masters still alive, one that was much more skilled than he was in terms of training Padawans and Younglings. So, here he was.
"Come, Padawans." Madame Moraes ordered. She strolled lightly towards a parked speeder near the entrance of the port. He and Adaline started to follow, though Ben did so a lot more hesitantly. This woman walked as if she was on air, effortlessly climbing into the waiting speeder. Though he was in a sour mood, Ben took the time to take in the city. It was almost like a primitive, mini Coruscant. Speeders and strange wheeled-vehicle mingled along the road. The buildings, while not as tall as those on the former Capital of the Republic, were still big and a huge golden spire reached up to the sky. Underneath the golden tower, there was a monument of sorts, with two flags flapping in the wind. The flag on top was red white and blue stripes, while the one underneath it was the flag of the Republic. Each were flapping in the gently breeze.
Adeline nudged the young boy gaping at the Battle of Paris monument. He seemed to stare at everything, as if he was memorizing it. The young girl couldn't help but feel jealous of the boy that sat beside her. He had grown up in a place where advance technology was used frequently, many species of aliens lived and mingled and actually got to live and practice in a genuine Jedi Temple.
True, the city of Paris, and ultimately the rest of the planet, had advanced technology, but it was by their standards. And most of the technology was found in hidden Jedi Temples all over the world, which meant it was really old. And, even though Earth attracted many different species of aliens, most of them were refugees, fleeing the oppression of the Empire. After word reached them that the Emperor had been destroyed, most of them returned home, leaving Paris with its predominant species of humans.
The young Padawan was happy for those that managed to get home. But, against her Master's instructions, she wished for adventure. Madame Moraes had grown up during a war, and when she came to Earth with her master, she was chosen as the Holder of the Peacock Miraculous. In her teenage years, Madeline Moraes had experienced more adventure and excitement than Adeline could ever wish for.
"You must live one exciting life." Adeline commented. Startled by the sudden break in the distraction, it took a while for Ben to answer.
"Uh, yeah I guess."
Adeline scowled. Apparently, this boy isn't much of a talker. "What's it like to be an apprentice to the Luke Skywalker?"
"Okay. I guess." Ben blinked when the girl's scowl deepened. Thankfully, before she could ask another question, the speeder stopped in front of a large, traditional-styled building that was squished in-between two modern looking ones.
"We have arrived." Madame Moraes announced needlessly. She elegantly climbed out of the speeder, as did the other two, though did less gracefully as the Grand Master. While Ben was busy gathering his stuff, an acolyte rushed up to group. He whispered something into Madame Moraes's ear, which caused her to furrow her brow.
"Don't worry," she assured him with a hand on his shoulder. "I will take care of it. Tell Mayor Bourgeois that I will be there forthwith."
The acolyte bowed before taking off towards the city center. Ben was thoroughly confused, noting Adeline's worried expression. "What's going on, Master?"
Madame Moraes sighed heavily. "There has been another assassination attempt on Mayor Bourgeois."
"What? Is she okay?"
"Yes. Her guards were able fight off the attacker, but she has requested my presence." Madame Moraes sighed as she rubbed the bridge of her nose. "These attacks are very troubling."
Ben and Adeline glanced at each other. The last sentence probably wasn't supposed to be heard by the two. The two apprentices waited there for a moment, while it appeared that the Grand Master was deep in thought. Suddenly, she shook her head, probably dispersing the darkening thoughts.
"Adeline." The young Padawan snapped her spine at her Master's voice. "Take Young Solo to his rooms. I will be back as soon as I can."
"Yes Master." The dark-haired girl bowed before gesturing for Ben to follow her. Ben watched the Grand Master hop back onto the speeder before speeding off into the distance. With one more look at the tall tower, he followed his fellow apprentice into the temple.
The rest of the day was spent unpacking his things. Most of the things he brought with him were clothes but there were a few keepsakes from home. He placed a couple of datapads on the desk, most of them music or books that he had downloaded. Ben pulled out a toy speeder and a hand carved Bantha figurine from the bottom of his bag. The young boy smiled fondly. The handmade Bantha toy was a gift from his father when he was accepted into the New Jedi Order. It was one of the few objects that reminded him of his father, who was always running errands for his mother, who was also busy with running the New Republic and the militia. Both of his parents being absent made Ben fell like he had to work his hardest to get them to notice him.
He placed the toys on the shelf that sat above his bunk with a sigh. There was nothing to do, as Adaline was currently busy with training, so Ben just flopped on his bed. Space travel always made him feel drained and cranky. Adeline promised to send word when Madame Moraes arrived back at the temple. But so far, she hadn't. So, Ben would try to get some sleep.
His eyes snapped open. Ben scanned the room, only to be met with darkness. Strange. He could've sworn that he heard someone whisper his name. Eventually, he dismissed it as him just being tired. He laid down and closed his eyes again, his breathing leveling out as he entered the world of dreams.
He stirred in his sleep as he felt something stroke his cheek, but he didn't wake. The room warmed to a comfortable temperature, an air of peacefulness surrounding the young boy.
The young boy sat up in his bed. He was sure he heard someone. There was presence in his room. It wasn't a malicious presence, but not taking any precautions, called his saber to him and ignited it. The sapphire blue light lit up the dark room. Much to the young Solo's surprise, he couldn't see anyone in his room. He could still feel the presence. It moved, leaving the room and coming back, almost in a pull-and-pushing motion. Shutting his weapon off, Ben hesitantly chose to follow the presence.
The trek was long. The presence led him down deep into the temple. Ben glanced around, taking in the intricate mural work that was painted on the wall. Scenes from the Jedi's history were shown, leaving the boy breathless at the colorful, yet faded pieces of history that he was a part of. But as he went further down, the bloodier the murals got.
Probably to show the more primitive time in the Jedi's History, Ben thought as he examined the image of a shining temple, much like the one he was in. But this was more beautiful, more elegant. He made to stroke the image but was suddenly stopped when, from his peripheral, he saw a light start to glow. A ball of light suddenly appeared, giving him light to continue down.
Ben continued to follow the light deeper and deeper. He started to worry about finding his way back when suddenly the worry was quelled, replaced by a sense of peace. It was strange, since the sense of peace came almost as soon as worry appeared. Ben followed the light until he came to a door. Staring up, he examined the door with interest. It was a large wooden door, with gold painting down the middle. As soon as Ben caught up with the light, it vanished, leaving him in darkness. So, to compensate for the lack of light, the raven-haired boy pulled out his saber and ignited it.
Examining the door, Ben wondered what was inside. Was it a vast amount of treasure? Or immeasurable amount of knowledge? What about a superweapon, from the time when the Sith and Jedi quarreled with each other, but never got used?
All of these questions and speculations ran through his mind, building his curiosity until he couldn't contain it. Darn the consequences. He had to see what was in there.
So, for several minutes (or hours, it was hard to tell in the darkness) Ben attempted to the get the door opened. He braced himself against the door and pushed with all his might. When that didn't work, the young boy searched around for a seal or a lock of some sort. Instead, he found a key hole of some sort. It was the only type that Jedi could open. Ben closed his eyes in concentration, drawing up on the well of power that dwelled with in and without him. He manipulated the Force as his Uncle had shown him and twisted the lock. The lock twisted but, to the boy's dismay, the door didn't open.
His anger grew far beyond his normal limits. The cavern shook with power but, again the door didn't budge. Mentally and physically tired, Ben dropped to the floor. He placed his head against the wall, his eyes dropping as peacefulness and quietness of the cavern embraced him.
An unknown amount of time passed before Ben Solo woke up back in his room. The boy was very confused at how he managed to return to his room. His saber was over where he left, on his desk the night before. He wasn't sure if he only had a vision, or he actually did go down to a secret cavern underneath the Parisian Temple, but whatever he did, it would have to wait. His chromometer was telling him that it was six o'clock in the morning. Time for breakfast and morning meditation.
Ben quickly showered and dressed in his robes before leaving his room. He followed the steady flow of other Padawans to the cafeteria, where the smell of cooking food was emanating. Ben halted in amazement as he took in the open-air eating area. Humans of different areas of the planet all sat together in different groups, chatting and happily joking with each other. The apprentice of Luke Skywalker couldn't help but gawk at the sight of all the Jedi before him, like a mighty sun made up of many different pulsing orbs. It was a stark difference to the Temple from which was almost empty, aside from him and several others. His Uncle was trying to return the Order to what it was before the darkness of the Empire snuffed it out. But so far, only ten Padawans made up the New Jedi Order.
But on here on Earth, it was like the Old Jedi Order hadn't even been destroyed. It was amazing.
"BEN!" A voice calling his name over the din of the dining hall brought him out of his musing. The young boy scanned the room and saw Adeline waving at him over. Ben moved through the crowds that choked the dining hall. He greeted Adeline as he sat down, nothing how the others were watching him closely. "So, how'd you sleep last night?"
"Okay, I guess." Ben answered as he ate the tray Adeline managed saved him. The food was delicious! One of the people watching him closely, an ebony-skinned girl with powder grey robes, scoffed, pulling out a piece of colorful paper, handing it to Adeline. The blue-eyed girl was practically beaming as she stuffed the paper into a pocket. "What was that about?"
Adeline looked properly embarrassed as she explained, "I bet Eurielle five francs that you would only say three words. And you did."
"Oui." The dark-skinned girl agreed. Ben blinked at the accent, recognizing it as it something similar to the Twi'leks. It was very mind-blowing. The young girl snapped her eyes over to the young boys. "I will forever hold this against you."
"Sorry." Ben apologized as he shoved a forkful of goop into his mouth. The dark-skinned girl chuckled at the blush that creeped on Ben's face.
"Don't worry. I'm just teasing." Eurielle assured. She and the rest of the table was plunged into silence. Then, "So, where are you from?"
"Chandrila." The young boy answered. He glanced up and saw a lot of confused faces. But as he was opening his mouth to explain, when suddenly someone placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned and saw a tired-looking Madame Moraes.
"Good morning, Young Solo." She greeted. "When you are finished with breakfast, meet me in the training room."
"Yes, Madame." The boy answered before she left. It was only after she left, did Ben realize that the dining hall was completely silent and everyone was staring at him. A moment later, and everyone returned to eating their breakfasts. "That was weird."
"Yeah." Adeline agreed slowly. She was looking at him with a wary gaze, one that made him very uncomfortable.
Ben quickly finished his breakfast before standing and making his way towards the training room. With the directions from Adeline, Ben found the room, where Madame Moraes sparring with another young apprentice, this one a young boy with golden hair and sapphire blue eyes. Ben watched the two with interest, taking note of the footwork and stances. The boy looked no older than most younglings but he was as skilled as any Knight he's ever seen. Finally, while the two were huffing and puffing, drenched in sweat, Madame Moraes stood straight and bowed to her opponent. The boy did the same, though his was considerably deeper.
"You have done well Gabriel." The grey-haired woman informed the boy. Though he tried to hide it, the young boy smiled lightly at the praise. "I believe if a couple more months of training, you will be able to move up in rank sooner than expected."
"Thank you, Grand Master." The boy thanked before turning to leave. When he left, Madame Moraes turned to him. Ben suddenly felt intimidated by the fifty-something-year-old. Her muscles and lithe form were on display as she wore a tight-fitting outfit. Her greying-hair, which was still predominately coffee-brown. The Grand Master clutched a wooden staff in her fingerless-gloved hands, looking like a warrior even though sweat glittered on her tanned skin.
"You are right on time, Young Solo." Madame Moraes commented. She gestured to the mediation pillows in the center of the room. "Come. Mediate with me."
Ben hesitantly sat down one of the pillows. Madame Moraes did the same, adjacent to him. She took a deep breath, and Ben did the same. He closed his eyes and quieted his mind, allowing himself to listen to the Force. It happened almost instantaneously. The boy felt it flow through him, like a river flowing through an outlet or a tributary. But this felt powerful. Instead of a trickle like he usually felt, this felt like a gush. It left him breathless.
"Uh, Master?" He whispered. When he received no answer, he hesitantly cracked his eyes open. What he saw, shocked him. He couldn't even describe it. The training room had disappeared, leaving them in an area that seemed like the center of a space dust cloud. Stars shone clear and bright, much brighter than they ever would if he was on a planet's surface. Madame Moraes was in front of him in a meditative state, though it wasn't anything he's ever seen before. Her body was surrounded in a white light, her hair sticking up, moving in a phantom breeze. What shocked him the most was her eyes were open, but they were two brilliant orbs. Ben stared at her for a moment longer, watching as the scene around them changed. It darkened as scenes appeared.
A young girl and boy with coffee brown eyes were sitting on a bench while a peaceful, rolling green park spread out before them. The boy was munching on some sort of pastry while the girl was looking down sadly. The boy glanced over at the young girl and smiled.
"Penny for your thoughts." The boy said with a smir. THe girl just glared daggers at the boy but it was a playful glare. She said something that was muffled but the reply wasn't
"Of course, I do." He answered clearly. "But you have to remember, Master Turon does this to protect us."
The two figures were swept away by a phantom breeze. Ben's heart was thundering in his chest as he heard more voices. He glanced around, trying to find them. This time it was the same brunette girl but this time she was talking to a raven-haired boy.
"My name is Madeline by the way," the girl greeted. The boy smiled.
"Cole Branusz." The boy answered.
Again, the scene shifted
The boy towering over a figure in skin-tight blue outfit, her eyes covered with a mask. She lay unmoving, her eyes closed. "How pathetic! Now I can finally rid the galaxy of your stench, Jedi!"
"NO!" Someone shouted. The crowd that was gathered, turned to see a hooded figure fly through the air. He landed and blocked the dark-red saber that was meant to decapitate the unmoving figure.
The crowd erupted in chaos.
Ben's heart was pounding and his head aching. What was going on? These scenes seemed to be connected to one person, who looked like the Grand Master. They all seemed to come at random. But yet…. Ben perked up, standing as he listened and watched. His feet seemingly walked an endless scape as words and voices continued.
"Michael has said that the Eiffel Tower had fallen. That and the entire city had been decimated, but there are still more attacks to come, each worse than the last."
The voices were of the predominately of this Madeline, a girl whom had some relation to Madame Moraes. Ben waited a little while before another noise was heard. This was of muffled talking, an argument before the sound of a lightsaber being ignited and sailing through the air. A voice shouting 'NOOOOOOOOO!' echoed through the landscape. The young boy suddenly felt a great sadness pierce through him. Tears were brought to his eyes for some reason as he staggered. Then, everything went quiet. The only thing that he could hear was his own breathing.
Then a burst of light forced him to close his eyes. When he opened them and blinked the spots out of his eyes, Ben felt his heart jump out his chest. There was a woman with mint hair and pale skin looking at him with intensity. She pointed inwards, but as Ben stared at it, he noticed how there was an outline of the large door that he visited last night.
Open the Door, the woman spoke, but didn't open her mouth. Find-
Ben scowled. The woman seemed to cut herself off. She jerked her head towards the distance.
"Find what?" Ben demanded as the woman turned and started to walk away. "What am I supposed to find? Tell me!"
But the woman vanished. Ben took a step to follow but suddenly found himself flung back into his own body. He gasped, his heart going a million miles an hour as he tried to wrap his mind around what he saw. Madame Moraes opened her eyes at his gasp. For a moment, all Ben could do was sit there, sweating, unsure of what was going on. His mind was pounding at the imagery that he saw.
"Young Solo?" He vaguely heard Madame Moraes ask.
The boy felt a touch on his shoulder before his vision faded to black. He awoke with someone placing a cool cloth on top of his forehead. Ben glanced around and saw Madame Moraes in a meditative position.
"Master?" His throat was as dry as the sands of Tatooine. Madame Moraes' eyes opened, those coffee brown eyes glinting with worry. But also curiosity and…. was that pride and fear?
"What did you see in your vision?" She asked.
The question caught the boy off-guard but he answered. "I saw images of a girl. I can't exactly describe what I saw, but-"
"What else?" Madame Moraes interjected.
Ben thought back to the last vision he had. "It…..it was of a woman with green hair. She pointed to a door, which looked like the one beneath the temple." The boy gasp as he covered his mouth, realizing that he ratted himself out.
But Madame Moraes didn't seem to care as she was deep in thought. She sighed. "I will meet you in the training room at precisely dawn tomorrow. Then we will figure this thing out."
"Yes Master." The boy said as the Grand Master walked out. He glanced at his chronometer, wincing when he saw that almost six in the evening. And he was absolutely exhausted. He laid down and allowed exhaustion to take over.