Log:Where is Rey?

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Where is Rey?

Location: Bothawui
Participants: Leia Organa, Jessika Pava, Cujo As GM and Artoo

Leia was flying back to the Bothawui system when the Renegade came under attack.

When the ship dropped out of realspace, she was sitting cross-leg in her meditation chamber, breathing steadily with her eyes closed. Immediately the warning alarm goes of indication that the Flag Ship of the Resistance was under attack from the surface.

She rose from her seat and rushed to the consoles of the Pareja, taking direct commands of the unarmed Yacht to... she isn't sure what she intends to do, but she knows she has to do something. Swarms of Bothan fighters are engaging with Resistance fighters and a brilliant streak of silver flashes towards the battle.

Then it hits her.

It hits her like a physical attack aimmed at the center of her chest. Her breath is knocked out of her and her whole body jolts forward with a silent cry! Rey is gone?

Rey is.. gone?

The Renegade not crashing into Bothawui is as mystifying as it is relief-inducing, but Jessika Pava is not oblivious to the reality of their situation. First Order craft coming out of hyperspace without warning leaves R3-K6 warbling a rapid series of warning bleeps.

"No, no, no.."

This can't be happening right now. The Renegade just avoided crashing! Jessika quickly switches to a communication frequency she'd used back in the old days, when Black Squadron had been on the hunt for information regarding Luke Skywalker. It used to be an old channel directly to General Organa, and she's hoping that it still is, now. <<General! This is Jessika Pava. Silv--,>> her words stumble over her tongue, and she has to force herself out of her mindset. <<Rey's gone down. I didn't see it, but I heard it.>> She's not even mentioning Temmin, who had at least coasted down with the help of Nien Nunb, who had been able to confirm the veteran Resistance pilot's survival. Of Rey, they've heard nothing. <<Please, respond! The First Order has arrived!>> She's already diving deeper into the atmosphere, hoping to avoid the scanners that might not be able to detect her at first through the abundance of debris leftover from the battle.

On the land bridge that Silver Leader was parked on, Artoo witnessed it all, but the droid was simply incapable of understanding what he'd seen. To his robotic mind, he just watched another organic lifeform he'd come to consider his close friend, die. The droid had been still inside his socket behind the canopy when he'd seen Rey vanish and it took several moments before his little domed head stopped rotating back and forth before his sensory 'eye' just lowered and he released what can only be described as a very, sad, whine of a noise.

His programming had gone from simulated happiness at getting the damaged engine semi-operational again and he was about to triumphantly beep to Rey that it was 10% functional once more! ... when he'd seen her vanish.

Programming inside the droid rolls through its mind on what to do next... Suddenly, the droid socket unlocks and the Astromech is in the air floating upward and outward, with two metal reaching-arms extending toward the leather belt and a clump of clothing still resting ontop of the X-Wing's fuselage. His leg-jets are firing, keeping him held high as he pulls her gear up and turns to drop it inside of the cockpit.

Hovering on the advanced lift jets, the Astromech glides back to the droid socket, settles back in, and closest the canopy while firing the old ship's engines back up and online.

Leia is a storm of emotions, only her instincts and the rush of adrenoline is all that keeps her from programing a course for Rey's last known location. Truth be told, she could guide it there on her own, she knows exactly where the girl had been standing in her last moments.

She feels it. She can see it in her minds eye. The glimps of her standing on that Land Bridge willing the Renegade to Stop through a command of the Force not seen in over a hundred years, if not more.

Her sensors pick up the new indications even as the comm terminal flashes an emergency message from Red 2. "Threepio! Get that!" She demands, the golden droid who mans the seat at that station keys in the approrpiate codes to unlock the secure channel.

<<-Ey's gone down.>> She hears, breath coming slower but hard into lungs that already ache as she brings the nose of the Yacht at a downward angle to cut through atmosphere towards the great falls where the Flag Ship is descend, now under its own power, towards the caverns beneath them.

<<Jessika, this is General Organa.>> Habitually using a name she has not in months, <<I'm sending coordinates to your R2 unit. Meet me there. We'll go in the Pareja.>> Leia knows. Leia knows what they'll find.

"Threepio, see if you can't patch me into Artoo, if her fighter isn't destroyed, tell him I'm on my way."

THe golden droid looks over his shoulder, shock apparent in his voice if not his eyes. His manerisms, likewise, tell a different story. He hears the old tone in the General's voice, "Yes.. Princess.." Then goes about sending the message.

This all feels wrong. This was supposed to be a victory, and the hope that was swelling in her chest is quickly folding back in on itself, smaller and smaller, to become a solid ball of steel weighing heavily in the pit of her abdomen. Anxiety is creeping in to her mind, and something gnaws at the back of her mind like a dark voice whispering something she can't quite comprehend. Jessika knows panic when she sees it, and awareness of it doesn't stop it. It continues to claw and fester, and threaten to overpower her senses. Not a single iota of that weight dissipates until the communications band returns something more than silence, and even then, Jessika is not comforted by the response she receives. It only serves to fuel the forboding emotion that she can't shake.

<< I hear you, General.>> Sending her acknowledgment, Jessika quickly lifts her gloved hand to the instrument panel before her and starts shifting through one of the screens to check the incoming data, despite her R3 unit being the one that's getting the data. "Case, set a course immediately for those coordinates and output the vector on my screen." Shifting her hand to beside her, Jessika flips the switch for her s-foils, which close them and turn her snubfighter into a more stream-lined vessel that can cut through the atmosphere without the same wind drag. This she takes advantage of when she feeds her X-Wing more speed, and her hand guides the flight stick to the designated heading that the General has provided. Outside the transpirasteel viewport of her ship, she can see Leia.

Or, rather, she can see the Queen Pareja. The Nubian-designed transport is a sleek knife through the darkness of night, and highly reflective of the moonlight that catches against its sleekly designed hull. The X-Wing's fusial engines flare brighter in the darkness as she quickly swings into a makeshift formation to follow Leia in. "Case, start shutting down the combat systems, I'm going to be leaving the X-Wing. As soon as I'm out of it, I want you to report immediately back to the Renegade, do you understand?" Jessika can't keep the tension or worry from her voice, and as her astromech begins an inquisitive beep, Jessika's response flicks from her tongue faster and harsher than it means to. "No questions, Case. Just do it." The sense of something wrong is so heavy.

When she reaches the coordinates designated, Jessika quickly shifts between her X-Wing's sublight engines and its repulsorlifts in a transition so fast that the edges of her vision go black. As the landing struts kick down and allow her to settle the craft onto them, Jessika is flinging her harness off and hitting the canopy release. It moves far too slow for her liking, and her gloved hand smacks rapidly against it as if to get it to go faster. Yanking her helmet off, she tosses it into the seat behind her, and quickly sheds the leather gloves in the process. As dangerous as it is Jessika swings out through the gap between the transparisteel and the hull as soon as there is enough room, and drops to the ground with a grunt and a crouch. It barely phases her.

She takes off for the Pareja, knowing they have little time.

It doesn't take long for Threepio to reach Silver Leader either as the comm systems are not damaged on the X-Wing. And within moments the Astromech is responding to the hail ~Hello Leia.~ Artoo says, having never been one for calling anyone by their 'official titles', including Leia. He'd always just called her by her first name. Even when Threepio chided him for not doing so! The droid had his own ways... he's old and his programming has gone in its own directions.

~Rey has gone.~ He says in his binary code. ~I miss her. I don't know where she went. The Force. Like Luke, I assume. I don't like this. I was about go to the Renegade. It seems to be repaired. They may need my help.~

The T-65 X-Wing is hovering up into the air now and its landing gear are being pulled back up into the fighter. ~Where would you like me to bring the ship, Leia?~ The droid further asks. ~Stop talking, Threepio. I have a lot on my mind as is.~

Leia can see Red 2 on her screen and after a glance off to her left makes visual acknowledgement as well. The sleek craft was designed for quick atmospheric entry, even if it were unintentional, and within moments they're coming upon the low messa back further from the falls where the Renegade is already starting to push through the cascading waterfall where it has been ordered to hide.

Other comm chatter confirms that most of the fleets auxillary craft have made microjumps to put them on the far side of Bothawui and most of the fighters have already began their return to the Renegades damaged, but not destroyed, hangars. Threepio waits for Leia to tell him, then conveys that if R2 is capable of sustained flight, he should meet them in an adjacent cave network that is closer to his own location than the waterfall where the Renegade has hidden.

It's not the Leia doesn't trust Artoo to fly the X-wing, she absolutely does, but she knows it's in no condition to fight and she has a feeling they'll be swarmed with TIE fighters within moments.

The Pareja never actually lands, but rather whips the tail end around violently against the spray of the waterfall crashing down around them with the forward landing gear descending to accept the running Jessika. As soon as she's got confirmation that she's onboard, the hatch closes and they rocket towards the location where she's sent Artoo.

Sprinting across the slick ground, Jessika stumbles once, but manages to regain her footing. The wind kicking up off the ground from the Pareja's repulsorlifts violently whip against her hair and flightsuit, and while she's quickly dampened by the cascade of water that the transport flings itself through to maneuver into a position to pick her up, she ignores this. Behind her, the X-Wing she'd just left picks up from where it touched down and quickly folds up its own landing gears. It veers off, heading for where the Renegade is slinking into the shadows beneath powerful waterfalls that play over its damaged and broken hull in a cascade of mini-rivers that do nothing to cleanse it off the harsh carbon scoring littering its body.

With the ramp lowered and hovering off the ground, Jessika speeds up rather than slows down, and the textured soles of her flight boots, designed for survival situations, don't fail her. Reaching the apex of her speed, she springs off after a short bend of her knees and quickly slaps a hand out for one of the struts connecting the ramp to the ship itself, which will help it raise afterwards. Grasping tightly with her arm so her momentum doesn't carry her forward and over the other end, Jessika steadies herself and quickly rises up the ramp and into the luxurious interior of the transport. She notices nothing of the lavish excess meant for royalty, and instead is calling out the second she reaches a hallway. She doesn't know which way to go, and a brief halt sees her turning one way, then the other.

"I'm on board!" She calls it out, and her rapidly flickering gaze finally settles on what looks to be an onboard intercom system. She smacks her hand against it, and repeats the statement, breathless. "I'm on board!" Part of her wants to rush to the cockpit next, but part of her wants to stay right here, on the ramp. If Rey is hurt, someone will need to get to her quickly. Jessika tries to take a deep breath to steady herself, but her mind is racing madly, and between the worry that's starting to make adrenaline surge through her in its powerful fight-or-flight instinct, she's also trying to remember anything that she can about treating wounds. Will she need to? Is Rey that badly hurt? She's not privy to the same information as Leia. Jessika paces, restless and panting.

The Resistance pilot only barely notices a trio of girls standing in a nearby doorway, in their silky white robes that don't quite conceal their faces. The two taller girls set their hands on one's shoulder, and it seems as if two sisters are encouraging their younger to return to deeper into the ship.

~Affirmative.~ Artoo responds over the communication channel to Threepio and to Leia's orders on where to proceed. Silver Leader is then turned and brought about, picking up the Queen on its scopes the astromech angles the craft in that direction and takes a course through the canyon of waterfalls to break through a inter-section and suddenly form up on the side of the knife-like ship that is the Queen Pareja. Now flying in tandom the two craft make their way to the indicated landing spot and thats when the X-Wing pushes forward through the tumbling water and into a cavern system. Its two side lights come on and brightly illumate the cave as it glides in and settles back into a landing inside.

Within moments the canopy to the empty fighter is opening, while Artoo is lifting up out of the droid socket. His rockets fire again and he glides forward... a little to the starboard and down onto the starboard wings of the craft, extending some tools he already sets out to do more work on the vessel that he was unable to do while inside the droid socket.

He knows the others are coming, but Artoo's mission and job in life was to fix his owner's ships.

Leia cannot bring herself to look over and see the empty cockpit of the X-Wing now flying in tandom with her towards the caverns just ahead. "While I'm off the ship, start plotting a course THROUGH the caverns, Threepio. I want us to remain in sensor darkness incase the First Order sends in sensor drones." Her voice is no more warmed by having the fighter back.

A fighter that belonged to her brother and then to her... her daughter. That's what Rey was, even if she'd never put a voice to it. Not in her head or out loud, but the girl was her daughter as much as Ben ever was... the revelation hurts from losing Ben. Now she had lost her daughter as well.

The Pareja crashes through the sheets of runoff water pouring off from above and cuts around easily in the massive chamber to bring the Yacht down a little harder than she'd initially intended.

Both hands grab and release the restraints, throw them off, and she's running through the ship towards the cargo bay where the hatch is located. As she passes some of the white clothed women who are staring at her, "Get her in the back." She demands, "If an invasion force shows up, Threepio has coordinates for the Renegade, take the Pareja and go, don't wait for us." She doesn't wait for confirmation.

She neither expects nor would she accept arguement.

"Let's go." To Jessika, darting down the ramp into the cave lit only by the landing lights of the Yacht and those of the X-wing standing like a relic in a musium.. Her steps slowing as she sees the fighter, not through the canopy of her cockpit, but with her own eyes... her steps slow, stall, and then she's on her knees hard... Her hands forward to catch her from face planting.

Nobody has ever asked her how she felt the moment she watched Alderaan destroyed. Nobody wondered what sort of emotions must have been previlant in her that day. Jessika, now, in that moment knows. She knows what the Princess of Alderaan sounds like when her heart has broken.

The hard lurching of the transport setting down sets Jessika off balance and has her stumbling into one of the walls. A quick bracing of her hands and shifting of her feet keeps her upright, and then Jessika can hear distant footsteps. She casts a glance over her shoulder and sees the figure of Leia quickly rushing forward. There's a brief moment where orders are being barked, but in her current state, they go in one ear and out the other. None of what she is seeing or hearing is relevant. The sensory input stagnates when all of her attention is focused on Rey, and what might have happened to her. She hasn't even seen the X-Wing. The moment the ship settles down and Leia quickly descends, Jessika is hot on her heels, resisting the urge to simply run forward.

What she finds when she reaches the bottom is not something her mind can quite come to terms with. The canopy of the X-Wing is open, and while a familiar astromech is on the craft's wing, there's no sign of the pilot. She knows that even at this height, there's no way she wouldn't see Rey. Even with the woman slumped into the pilot's seat, the edge of her helmet should be visible. Jessika steps come to a hesitant halt and the confusion on her face is instant. She frowns for a moment, and while it smooths out, the expression can't help but return. She's staring at the craft and there should be someone there, but there's not. There's nothing. Jessika starts to look to Leia for some sort of guidance, and the words are on the tip of her tongue at the same moment.

"Where is she?" She's not yet caught on. On some deep level, she has, but up top, where her thoughts continue to shift like a swirling miasma that she could never hope to focus, she doesn't know. "Where is Rey?" Leia's stopped, though. Stopped and then.. down. On her knees. And further, until her hands slap so hard against the floor of the cavern that Jessika knows it hurts. But she can't feel it. All she can feel is a creeping numb that's starting to spread from a cold place of dread deep in her chest. She's starting to catch on, now, because this? She's never seen this before. She's never seen a defeated Leia. No one has. The General doesn't get defeated. And that could only mean one thing, right? There's only one possible explanation for any of this, and Jessika's conscious mind..

"No," she says almost immediately, head starting to shake and brows knitting hard together. "Where is Rey?" She asks it more forcefully, but whatever foundation that force is created from, its crumbling even as her lips form the words. In the base of her throat, a thickness is forming, and there's a pressure starting to form inside her chest. "Leia, where is Rey?" She asks louder, as if that will fix all the fissures developing in her voice. The knot in her throat is growing fast, and Jessika realizes that her vision is starting to distort and the lights coming from the X-Wing seem to be amplified into a kaleidoscope of dozens of them. Blinking, the next swallow hurts, and Jessika tries to suck in another breath to ask the question again, but the words just don't want to come.

Her lips meet and part, sucking another breath. They close more firmly, and that's when it starts. The subtle tremor in her chin as she shifts her weight and starts to move slightly side to side from where she's standing. She starts to step forward and there's a weakness that threatens to bring her knees out from under her. It takes a few more moments for the thought to coalesce into a spoken truth that her self speaks. It's a moment of such intense betrayal, the formation of those words, that Jessika at first rejects it outright. The words refuse to leave, though, and her self says them again. Rey is gone. Tilting her head and blinking harder, the trembling in her chin is spread to her mouth, and her hands are shaking at her side in sync with the twitching of her fingers.

Rey is gone.

Breathing so rapidly through her nose that her nostrils are flaring, Jessika's vision is rapidly vanishing in favor of the hot moisture that's already starting to spill over her lashes. The knot in her throat is painful now. It aches. The word 'no' is trying to claw its way up and out, and it hurts. It hurts so fiercely that her shaking hand raises to it, as if it'll fend it off. Jessika's other hand rises to the middle of her chest, because where there was once the rapid beating of her heart, there now is only an empty, bottomless void that devours everything but despair. Jessika's own knees give out and she sinks to the cavern floor on them so hard that it's jarring. She can't feel it, though. All she feels is the stabbing pain radiating from the center of her being as those same three words repeat over and over and over.

Rey is gone. Rey is gone. Rey is gone. Rey is gone.

A weak, strangled cry rises from her throat when she tries to breath in and her hand desperately tries to clamp over her shaking mouth. It only barely muffles the harsh, hoarse cry that's exhaled after, and Jessika doubles over as the reality sets in. Her eyes squeeze so tightly shut that it hurts, but she can't stop the hot tears that are spilling down her cheeks. The first sob overtakes her and an echoing, stronger outcry reverberates off the cavern walls. Jessika squeezes the front of her flightsuit tight, because if she lets go for a second, she's sure she's going to die. If she doesn't press tight to where the horrible pain is clawing and scraping and tearing at her behind her ribcage, she's going to die.

And maybe that would be okay.

Because everything that was good is now dead.

There are brilliantly bright sparks coming from the top of the damaged X-Wing's starboard engine pod. Artoo has the side panels opened already and is repair damaged connections and replacing others. By the time the Humans draw near the droid is already well into as much of repairs as he's capable of without more supplies.

Spark showers shoot out and scatter down to the cavern floor every few seconds from his work.

Inside the cockpit of the X-Wing are some of Rey's clothing, and her leather utility belt with the Skywalker lightsaber, repair and restored, resting still linked to the belt itself. Artoo had recovered as much of her stuff as he was able, though the lighter garments had been blown away in the winds and her helmet had been left behind as well.

There is a part of Leia that demands that she think. A logical core that is so thoroughly surrounded by her iron willpower that it can withstand any force screams in a voice that should be like the explosion of proton missiles if not for so much pain that tries to extinquish it. She is undone. Unraveled by the cruelty of fate that has tried with every swift swing of its mercurial intent gives her Hope and then snatches it away.

She had only just been reunited with Han and he was struck down by their child. She had laid eyes upon the image of her brother and he was taken by the Force. Now Rey, a beacon of hope thrust through the clouds that want to very badly to cascade their meloncholy upon her, has been taken from her as well.

Is there nothing in this galaxy for her?

In one final, defiant act, Fate has shown her exactly the dark path that took from her mother the man who she had loved and twisted him into a monster who, through his actions, turned the galaxy into darkness.

She understands his fall. She feels how easily it would be to tumble over the edge now.

She cannot hear Jessika in that moment, nor see the sparks of Artoo atop the wing of the X-wing. Her forehead is pressed against the slimy cold stone of the cavern floor staring directly into a black puddle of runoff that shows the endless possibilities laid before her if she'd just. let. go.

In the span of seconds, Rey's death could become the catalyst that sees a new Vader brought upon the Galaxy. A vader unphased by the mechinations of a Master and unilaterally more compotent than her off-spring.

The galaxy holds nothing... NOTHING.. that Leia could not now snatch into her iron clad hand and bring down beneath the heel of her boot like a wounded animal begging in unanswered wimpers, please, oh by the Force, please Princess... let us go... And she would look down on them with hatred in her eyes and say:


The word is spoken aloud as she pushes to her feet with the use of the Force. Her dark stare turns from Jessika on her knees now, to the fighter standing in the flickering glow of Artoo's sparking tools upon the wing.

Her hand extends out and with the ease of swatting a fly from her shoulder, draws the lightsaber out over the edge of the canopy of the cockpit, across the distance of the cavern, and into her open palm.

"She's not dead." Leia sounds like a well of calm energy radiating like a furnnace.

Words don't have power. Not normally. The one that Leia speaks does, and Jessika can't be sure of it's her imagination or something else that causes it to physically pass over her. She doesn't realize it's Leia's use of the Force in such close proximity that's the reason, and honestly? She doesn't care. The word doesn't really register with her. She's lost in a pit of darkness whose walls are too slick for her to ever crawl her way out from, and this is so much more worse than Luke. She'd never even met the man who was Leia's brother, but her whole life had been trying to follow in his footsteps. To stand up to those who sought too much power. To defend those who weren't strong enough to defend themselves. She wears his crystal even now, slung about her neck on a cord.

The only thing that can break her from a grief so complete that she wants to tear her flightsuit into tatters are the words Leia speaks next. Craning her head upwards to reveal the mess of her face, which is smeared with tears and clung to by wild strands of her hair, Jessika tries to open her swollen eyes to see the Leia that is now standing and uncowed in a pillar of strength that is the antithesis of the broken woman she was mere moments ago. Jessika can't rationalize this. How could those words possibly be true? "What?" It's painful to speak. The word comes out distorted and gross and it leaves her throat raw just to express it. Raw and aching all the harder because of it.

Artoo wasn't in a great mood either. Even if his mood was programmed and 'not real' he had emotions of his own and in the 7 months he'd been with Rey he'd come to consider her to be a family member, the same way he'd attached himself to Luke and Anakin before him... Rey had been fun, she'd kept the droid busy and always second guessing himself. They'd had arguments over how to properly fix the X-Wing (even if he was always right, she was fun to argue with on it. He enjoyed how flustered she'd get because of course he was right all the time!).

He was sad too, in his own simulated way of emotions... So what does he do to work through them? His job. Sparks continue to burst and fly from the wing of the spacecraft, each time a sudden shocking crackle of explosive electricity when he fuses parts together and repairs damage to the engine pod.

But he stops.

He stops when he hears Leia's words. His little silver and white cylindrical body leans backa nd upright again and his domed head swivvels over to look toward the Princess. He beeps out a single phrase, and though he doesn't speak Basic, it almost SOUNDS like he says these words with his worried whistle.

~She's not dead...?"

Its astounding that sadness and hope can both fill a simple droid's emitted noise, but Artoo manages it somehow.

Leia is not her father. The Senate tried to say she was, painted her as the next Vader and brought her low with the taint of his image on her own. They said her bloodline was not, but warmongers who would do anything to see the galaxy descend into an eternal struggle. They were wrong about her then.

Because Leia, is not, her father.

She understands the decision he was forced to make and she sympathizes with the choice he made, but she knows it for what it really was: The easy way. She knows what she could do with the power he wield in those dark times and a part of her thinks that it would be fore the greater good, but the other part knows differently.

There is no good that comes from it. She will not let the image of her daughter fighting against everything, giving her own essence completely, to save those she loved, turn her into some the coarse and evil.

Rey had always said she looked up to Leia... now it is Leia's turn to look up to Rey.

The hand oposite that holding the lightsaber lowers down to Jessika. There is nothing but warmth coming from the beacon now standing in the darkness of the cavern where a broken woman once kneeled. Defiant of that darkness.

"She's alive. I can still feel her..." She says with her brow furrowed, thumb running over the lightsaber in her hand. "She's not here.. she may not be anywhere.. but whereever that is, she's alive."