The next day came faster than Rose wanted and when she woke she found herself alone in her room, the covers perfectly covering her. She smiled to herself, for she knew Finn had placed them on her.
She drearily sat up, rubbing her eyes. She immediately grabbed a dark band and loosely tied her hair back, letting stray tufts of hair hanging to the sides of her face. She then put on her Resistance jacket, grabbed her blaster, and left the room.
Through the cavern, she walked until she heard the unmistakable noise of a gathering. It wasn’t soon before she found Finn standing with Ava, a tall dark-skinned woman with long locks held back in a ponytail by a wooden band, and a red-haired man clad in stormtrooper armor.
When Rose saw the stormtrooper her hand instinctively drifted to the blaster at her before she remembered that this soldier of the First Order was on her side. It was still a bit hard getting used to but she would have to.
Even though she knew she shouldn’t worry as she neared them she couldn’t help feeling like Finn and Ava shouldn’t trust the red-haired trooper. There was something…fishy about him. She didn’t know why she felt that but she trusted her instincts and her gut was blaring a warning.
When she joined them Finn smiled at her.
“You started the party without me?” she asked.
Ava chuckled. “We were just discussing how we should proceed with the revolution.”
“The best course of action will be to get our forces out of the city and to the Resistance transport that I have stationed waiting just outside city limits in the jungle,” Finn said.
“But we want to fight,” the dark-skinned woman said defiantly, her heavy accent filtering the words.
“I know you want to fight,” Finn replied, holding up his hand. “But we’re here to send a message, not get ourselves unnecessarily killed.”
“Unnecessarily killed? What? Are we supposed to be cowards or warriors?”
Finn sighed. “Warriors are people who know when to fight. Fools are those who fight blindly. You will be contributing more to your people and hurting the First Order if you and your troops survive to fight another day. Then we can strike and hit them where it hurts.”
“Captain Finn is right,” Ava seconded. “I’ve seen his methods. This is the best plan.”
The dark-skinned woman still seemed upset but she stayed quiet, folding her arms and wearing a slightly peeved expression.
“Your plan sounds fine and all but there’s one thing you’re forgetting,” the red-haired stormtrooper said. “The Plasma Barrier. It’s impossible to get in or out of this city if the shield is up.”
“That’s where I come in,” Rose said, stepping forward. “I have a plan.”
A First Order Star Destroyer hurtles through hyperspace. Its destination; Maris Sutorn. Aboard the vessel, Prime Minister Gwarzan Zinobu enters a small room. It’s devoid of any furniture other than a console located on the far wall. He charges toward the console, his brown cape sweeping behind him. And then, as he nears the console, he presses a button. Immediately a hologram of a stormtrooper appears.
“This had better be good news,” Gwarzan growled. “I’m on the hot seat right now and I need information.”
“I’ve got the best news,” the stormtrooper replied.
Gwarzan was growing irritated. “Then spit,” he snapped.
“The rebels are planning a surprise attack on Chatak City in exactly forty-eight minutes. They aren’t starting a war but are instead going to try to escape to a Resistance cruiser hidden in the forest outside the city.”
“Do you know where this cruiser is located?”
The stormtrooper nodded. “Here are the coordinates.”
Immediately a string of numbers appeared on the console. A smile spread on Gwarzan’s face.
“This is going to be fun to watch.”
Finn stood at the mouth of the cave entrance, gazing at the rows upon rows of stormtroopers and Maris Sutornian warriors who were standing outside the secret base preparing to begin the plan.
The sun was rising but the sky was still a navy blue, signaling that it was still early morning. Rose approached Finn from behind. When she touched his back he slightly jumped.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“To be honest, no,” he chuckled. “Not really.”
He shook his head. “I’m not scared but I am…nervous. I just…have this feeling that something’s…wrong.”
Rose nodded. “Me too.” She smiled. “But you don’t have to worry. I’ve taken care of things just in case my instincts are true.”
His eyebrows furrowed. “What do you mean?”
Rose made sure no one was around to hear her before whispering, “When I told my plan I told an alternate version and then after the stormtrooper left I told Ava the real plan.”
“What?” Finn exclaimed. “Why would you do that?”
“Because if we do have a traitor within our midst they have no idea what’s really going on.”
Finn grinned, pulling her into a tight hug. “Rose, you are a genius.”
Rose blushed. And then he stopped the embrace, looking at her with concern. “Wait. So what’s the real plan?”
She laughed. “It’s the same plan, only the cruiser is in a different location that I first said. If we’re going to survive this we’re going to need to get off this planet and if I was smart the first thing I would go after would be the escape vessel.”
“Once again, you astound me. How could I have been so lucky to meet you?”
Rose fingered his First Order jacket. “More like, run into each other.”
He stroked her hair, chuckling. He neared her as if he was about to kiss her when a woman’s sharp whistle startled them. They looked to find Ava staring at them with an amused smirk, her hands resting on her hips.
“Hey lovebirds, I know the setting is kind of romantic and all that but it’s time to go to work.”
Rose and Finn sheepishly smiled, fixing their jackets and hats to look as polished as the First Order. Giving each other one last smile they left the cave, heading straight toward the transport that was still in its position that it had been parked yesterday. Only now six other modes of transport were stationed behind the vessel.
As Finn climbed into the transport he turned to Rose.
“Let’s hope this works.”
She smiled. “It will.” As she started the vessel she finished, “It has to.”
With the sun rising, painting the sky in a captivating array of colors, the seven modes of transport led by Finn casually moved through the city. Finn’s eyes continuously scanned the surroundings but everything looked as normal as ever.
They were less than half a mile away from the city wall and all seemed well. Until Rose gasped. Finn looked in the direction she was looking and also gasped as he saw a Star Destroyer moving to stop over the city. A second later, TIE fighters poured from the Destroyer’s underbelly, zooming toward their position.
“Everyone, out of the transports!” Finn ordered over the comms just as a TIE fighter swooped by, peppering the transport with laser blasts.
Both Finn and Rose ducked before bursting out of the transport into what was quickly become a chaotic scene. The rebellious troopers–who were easily recognizable by the blue streaks of paint slabbed across their white armor–and the Maris Sutornian warriors were pouring out of the transports frantically as the TIEs sent barrages of laser fire into the street, downing the troopers and sending the citizens of the city scrambling for cover screaming.
“We have to find cover!” Finn said.
And then he felt the unmistakable tremble of a Walker’s footsteps. He turned and found himself staring at a giant AT-AT Walker who was coming to the scene from another street. Rose, however, wasn’t fazed.
She ran forward, wielding her blaster in hand.
“Rose!” he called.
She didn’t respond. She only kept running. Ava tapped his shoulder.
“She can take care of herself,” Ava said. “What we need to worry about is them.”
Ava pointed and when Finn followed the trajectory of her finger he, unfortunately, wasn’t surprised to see a battalion of First Order troopers heading their way.
“This was a setup,” he realized.
“I’m afraid so,” Ava said, pulling her heavy double-barreled blaster off of her back. “We have a mole in our midsts but it doesn’t matter.” She smirked at Finn. “We’re going to give the First Order a reason to fear us.”
With that she left his side, running forward to find cover behind a building before using the cover to attack the First Order. Finn smiled before doing the same, fighting alongside his fellow troopers and the Maris Sutornians.
Most would think Rose was asking for death as she ran straight toward the Walker but she knew better. She had created a weapon just for these type of situations and now, finally, she would be able to see how it worked.
The Walker, noticing her, turned its barrels toward her, and she smiled. She reached into her jacket and with a mighty yell threw a simple white disk at the Walker’s feet. She quickly found cover behind an abandoned speeder and watched as the disk sent the ground beneath the AT-AT sparking with electricity. A great current of electricity coursed through the machine’s legs and entire body and Rose grinned as the lethal vessel toppled onto its side unresponsive.
Pumping her fist into the air she cheered, for her newest invention that she added to her arsenal of toys had worked.
And then, an explosion nearby startled Rose into action. The fight wasn’t over. In fact, it was far from finished as she looked and found First Order troopers attacking the rebels.
She switched her special blaster into its most lethal mode before running forward and joining the battle.
It was clear that the rebels were desperate to enact some revenge on the First Order, for they were taking down the white-armored troopers with relative ease. But the TIE fighters kept causing plenty of havoc, peppering the streets with laser blasts that created deadly explosions, killed unfortunate rebel troopers and warriors and sent the small army running for cover.
Finn was all for fighting against the First Order but as long at the TIEs were in the sky without anyone able to destroy his army they would slowly, but efficiently, be destroyed.
He needed to do something, and he needed to do something fast, but what? There weren’t any ships or cannons to blast them out of the sky, leaving them as sitting ducks waiting to die.
And as the battle continued it was becoming clearer that there was plenty of potential of things going very wrong very fast.
He found himself beside Rose as they took cover behind a column as the battle continued around them. He took a deep breath.
“This isn’t going well,” he said.
Rose nodded. “I know.”
He looked at her. “How do we fix this problem?”
She looked at him and for some reason that he couldn’t understand she smiled.
Finn heard the distinct sound of an X-Wing motor and when he looked up a black-and-orange X-Wing zoomed by, downing two TIE fighters. A second later, more X-Wings appeared flying through the sky, taking the TIE fighters by surprise.
“Did someone forget to send me an invitation?” Commander Poe Dameron suddenly spoke over the comm.
Finn’s jaw dropped. “What? How is this possible?”
Rose shot an unsuspecting trooper before turning to him. “I knew we may need some help so I called the Resistance for some backup.”
“And it looks like you needed it too,” Admiral Sterk suddenly said over the comm as well.
Finn looked even more surprised. “Admiral Sterk? You’re here too? Where are you?”
A large Resistance shuttle designed like a log bristling with guns called the I-Wing flew by, shooting at every First Order vessel in sight.
“I’ve come with fifty troops,” Sterk continued, “but I can’t get in unless the shield’s taken down.”
“Got that taken care of,” Sergeant Keeli Calrissian added over the commlink.
“Keeli?” Finn asked. “You’re here too?!”
He looked and was thrilled to see approaching from the north Sergeant Keeli trailed by Resistance troops. Her curly hair framed her head in a small afro and she was clad in a black jumpsuit lined with gold with a matching black and gold vest that flowed behind like her a cape. Two small silver and gold blasters were in her hands as she charged through the city, downing troopers with every pull of the trigger.
It wasn’t long before she reached Finn’s position with a brilliant grin.
“Looks like you needed some assistance,” she said.
“You have no idea how glad I am to see you,” he replied.
Ava approached them, a brilliant grin on her face. “I love the Resistance,” she commented.
The I-Wing began to land, keeping First Order soldiers at bay as its cannons fired endlessly. The craft was clearly large enough to fit both Keeli’s troops plus the army of rebels Finn was leading, making the situation even better.
“How did this day become so good?” Finn asked.
“Because you have friends like us pal,” Poe replied as he swooped by.
And that response made Finn smile.
Prime Minister Gwarzan Zinobu stood on the bridge of the Star Destroyer, his temples knotted with fury. The First Order was said to be a formidable force and yet he was forced to watch the First Order presence in the city and the TIE fighters being pulverized.
His jaw clenched.
Supreme Leader Hux would blame him for the First Order’s resounding defeat even though it clearly wasn’t his fault. And Captain Phasma. Oh, she would have his hide. She already seemed to want to find the excuse to kill him. Now she had the perfect reason.
He turned as everyone’s focus remained on the declining scenario on Maris Sutorn and left the bridge. He was heading for the Destroyer’s escape pods, for he knew he was in deep, deep trouble.