The Chosen One: Chapter Fifteen

Sterk’s Distrust and Phasma’s Wariness

Poe Dameron walked through the city looking for Admiral Sterk. Sure enough, he found her by a pier, gazing at the moon that glowed brightly in the night sky. He suddenly stopped, dissuading himself from talking to her, but she had already spotted him.

“What Commander Dameron?” she said without looking at him. “You’ve come to chastise me for my behavior?”

Poe sighed through his nose. “No, Admiral Sterk. I’ve come to talk to you.”

“What if I don’t want to talk.”

“I’m not your enemy, Pamela.”

That made her look at him. “Oh yeah. Then what are you because you’re definitely not my friend.”

His dark eyebrows furrowed. “Since when did I become someone who wasn’t your friend?”

Sterk neared him. “You patronized me for telling the truth about Kylo Ren. Yes, that’s his true name. Not Ben Solo.”

“The last time I checked General Organa named him Ben.”

Sterk scowled. “He killed his own father. Do you really think he cares about his mother?”

“I believe he does, yes.”

Sterk shook her head, crossing her arms. “It’s a charade. A ruse.” She looked at him. “He’s concocting a trap and when the moment is right he’s going to spring it on us like a Gardugan snare.”

“Why can’t you accept that people change? That he has changed?”

Sterk’s jaw clenched. “Because I had to clean up after his messes. I saw with my own eyes the carnage that he has created. The lives that he has ruined. After you see a dead mother with a dead child in her arms in a village that Kylo and his Knights razed you would feel the exact same way as me.”

Poe stepped closer to her. “You think I haven’t seen the horrific scenes left behind by the First Order? You and I Sterk, we’ve been in the Resistance for nearly as long as each other. I know what the First Order and Kylo Ren have done. The only thing that keeps me from wanting to shoot a hole in his forehead for doing those things to those people, including me, is because General Organa trusts him.”

Sterk’s gaze dropped.

“I’ve known Leia for a long time,” Poe continued. “She doesn’t trust easily.”

There was a moment of silence before Sterk nodded. “You’re right. I…I’m just…afraid I guess that he isn’t who he says he is.”

Poe chuckled, stepping closer to her. “You’re not the only one.”

Sterk allowed herself a small smile. “How do you always know what to say to calm me down?”

He smiled. “Because you’re like me. If I was in your shoes I would want you to say the same thing to me.”

Sterk caressed his cheek. “And that’s why we’re friends I guess.”

“And that’s why we’re friends,” he repeated.

She smiled, moving to walk past him, but he stopped her, turning her to face him.

“Did you mean what you said all those years ago?” he asked her.

Her eyebrows furrowed as if she didn’t know what he was talking about but her cheeks immediately reddened. “What are you talking about?”

“That time when we were about to die and you told me something. Something you haven’t said since.”

Sterk grew uncomfortable.

“Did you mean it?” Poe asked.

“I…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Poe smiled at her. She sighed, shaking off his grasp.

“This isn’t the time, Poe.”

He nodded. “Sorry for even bringing it back up.”

He began to walk away but before he could get out of range she yanked him toward her and kissed him.

“Uh…” she heard someone say.

She quickly stopped the embrace to find Finn staring at them with wide eyes. Sterk could’ve screamed. Poe seemed just as shocked.

“Wow, I did not expect this,” Finn commented.

Sterk pointed at Finn. “Wh-what are you doing here?”

“I saw Poe coming this way and I just wanted to talk. I didn’t expect…well, you two.”

“If you tell anybody about this,” she threatened.

Finn held his hands up. “I won’t utter a word.”

Sterk sighed, looking at Poe. “See? This is why I don’t like getting sappy.”

Before Poe could respond she had stormed off, brushing past Finn before he could say anything. Finn looked at Poe.

“Sorry. I wasn’t trying to cause a problem.”

Poe sighed. “It’s okay, pal. Admiral Sterk has always been a bit shy about our…relationship if you can call it that.”

Finn neared him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t feel bad. At least she doesn’t feel the same way about you as she does Kylo, I mean, Ben Solo.”

Poe chuckled. “That’s true.”

Finn looked toward the moon. “I still find it strange that Ben isn’t our enemy anymore. I still remember fighting him in the forest on StarKiller base, thinking that he had hurt Rey. I still can’t look at him without feeling like…”

“Like you need to stop him.” Poe scoffed. “It’s difficult for all of us to handle. But Leia believes in him and that means I do too.”

Finn continued to stare at the sky. “As much as I want to believe that everything’s going to be fine I have a feeling something bad is going to happen.”

Poe’s jaw clenched. “Me too.”

Supreme Leader Phasma stood in a war room with various senators of systems throughout the galaxy standing behind her. In front of her stood nine warriors garbed in solid black armor. Their pale faces were stonelike, their hair ranging from blond to black, and on their hips were sheathed swords imbued with power.

“Senators,” she began, “Hux was a liability to the First Order’s chance to bring true peace and order to the galaxy. That peace is being destroyed by those who have pledged themselves to stop us; the Resistance. As long as they thrive there will never be a warless galaxy. These warriors standing before you are my finest assassins.”

She turned to the senators. “I have just received word from a stormtrooper that was on the grounds of Maris Sutorn during the Resistance attack that he placed a tracker on one of their crafts and that he knows where their new base is located. These assassins will kill the Resistance’s highest officers, including General Leia Organa, and when the Resistance is baffled by the loss of their finest heroes we will strike and destroy them once and for all.”

The senators murmured with appreciation at the sound of her ruthless plan.

“Peace will be ours soon enough. Now,” she moved past the senators, “you may talk amongst yourselves.”

She left the room to find Captain Taulin standing waiting for her.

“So you finished Hux quicker than I expected,” Taulin said.

“Yes I did,” Phasma said. She turned to look down at him. “Are you satisfied?”

“Actually I am. I always thought you would be a greater leader than Hux. But now…do you truly understand the responsibilities of being a leader?”

Phasma turned away from him, scowling beneath her helmet. “I understand perfectly my duties as Supreme Leader. You would be wise not to doubt me.”

“I am not doubting you. I am only declaring my trust and hope in you.”

Phasma neared him menacingly. “I don’t need your trust and I don’t need your hope. I only need your obedience and your service.”

“Of course, Supreme Leader.”

Phasma left Captain Taulin standing by the war room, her eyebrows furrowing. Captain Taulin could be a powerful ally but she felt wary of him. There was something about him, a secret motive behind his words, that made her feel like she couldn’t trust him. And she always trusted her gut. As she turned the corner she snuck a quick glance backward and noticed Taulin watching her. Her jaw clenched.

Yes, she couldn’t trust him. She wouldn’t trust him. Because she knew if she did, that may be the gravest mistake of her life.

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