Poe seated himself in the cockpit of a blue and white X-Wing, immediately preparing the ship for takeoff.
“Are you ready, buddy?”
BB-8 trilled a response. Poe smiled as he put on his black and orange helmet.
“Then let’s do this.”
He launched the X-Wing forward, turning steeply to the right as he noticed in his peripheral vision four Resistance cruisers heading toward space.
He looked back and was relieved to see the rest of the Resistance pilots forming up behind him.
Turning his attention forward once more he said over the comms, “Listen up! Remember the plan. Protect the cruisers at all costs!”
“Aye, aye, Commander,” one of the pilots responded.
Poe positioned his X-Wing alongside one of the cruisers and as they ascended into the fog his grip on the controls tightened, for he knew the fight was far from over.
General Hux stared out of the window toward the grey orb that was the new home of the Resistance, his patience wearing thin. He so badly wanted to see the Resistance destroyed and as every passing minute delayed this reality from coming true he began to grow more and more agitated.
“General, they’re coming,” the same young female officer that had spoken earlier commented.
Hux had to contain his excitement. “Then tell Commander Sterling to prep the Annihilator for full discretion.”
His gaze faced the planet once more. “When the debris settles I want there to be nothing left.”
In the dense silence of space, the Annihilator announced its importance as it roared to life. The red lines covering its exterior glowed brightly, massive cannons radiating with lethal red energy emerged from the ship’s sides, causing the craft to look even more intimidating than it already appeared.
There was no doubt that its only purpose was to destroy.
Leia walked onto the bridge of the Resistance vessel, the Ognorid, her expression as stern as ever. When the officers saw her they knew that trouble wasn’t over yet.
She didn’t even stop to talk. She instead made her way to one of the tables and hit a single button. Instantly a hologram of the very ship she hoped she would never see in a situation like this appeared; the Annihilator.
Everyone, besides Admiral Ackbar, gasped when they saw it. Even Lieutenant Connix who stood just behind Leia.
C-3PO, whose gleam was bright due to his polished golden exterior, said, “Oh my.”
“That is what we will be facing in the next few seconds,” she said loudly enough for everyone to hear her on the bridge. “These ships are built only to obliterate their targets. We must be smart and not get drawn into a war.”
Admiral Ackbar stepped forward. “We will need all focus set on keeping the shields positioned to protect this craft. If we don’t, we lose.”
Leia looked at him and nodded. “I have a plan and it will work but for it to work I’m going to need all of your help.”
Her gaze scanned every face in the room and she was relieved to see everyone wearing determined expressions. Wearing a smile she said, “Let’s face the First Order.”
As soon as the Resistance roared into space they were met with the barrage of several squadrons of TIE fighters attacking like a swarm of angry bees. Poe spun his X-Wing to the left, pulling the trigger and downing two TIE fighters.
“Squadrons, protect the cruisers,” he said, diving beneath a cruiser as four TIEs began to pursue him.
“Yeah, I know they’re on my tail,” he responded.
He yanked the controls back, tilting the X-Wing up toward the cruiser’s belly. BB-8 trilled with alarm.
“I got it,” he said through clenched teeth.
At the very last second, he stopped the X-Wing’s acceleration, flipped the ship back toward the emptiness of space, his stomach dropping with the maneuver, and pressed the ignition, shooting away from the cruiser. The TIEs were not so lucky as they either slammed into the ship or each other in an attempt to avoid smashing against the cruiser’s belly.
Poe whooped with excitement. “That’s how you do it, buddy!”
BB-8 whistled happily in response.
General Hux gazed agitatedly at the battlefield ensuing. He wanted to see the four cruisers get ripped apart by the Annihilator‘s cannons and yet instead he could only watch as the squadrons of TIE fighters were being pummeled by the Resistance.
After a few more seconds he couldn’t take it anymore. “Where is Commander Sterling?” he yelled.
The young female officer jumped before tapping a button and Commander Sterling’s hologram appeared. General Hux charged the hologram, stopping mere inches from Sterling’s blue holographic face.
“Why aren’t you firing yet?” he seethed.
Sterling, a scrawny dark-haired fellow with arched eyebrows, glared at him. “The cannons haven’t been charged yet. You, as general of the First Order, must know that.”
Hux growled. He turned his back to the hologram and yelled, “Give the order to all of the Star Destroyers. Open fire!”
Alarms blared, turning the situation all the more chaotic but Leia was calmer than ever. She knew her plan was going to work, as long as things went accordingly. She, however, did become a bit worried when Ackbar announced that all of the Star Destroyers were preparing to attack.
Her jaw clenched. “Tell the pilots to dock.”
All pandemonium on the bridge halted as everyone turned to stare at her with shock.
“General Organa,” C-3PO began, “if I may–”
“You may not Threepio,” she snapped.
This silenced the droid into a blank stare.
“General?” Lieutenant Connix cautiously said.
Leia looked at her. “We’re jumping to hyperspace and the only way that can happen is if the pilots dock.”
Ackbar nodded, his chin tendrils trembling. “Brilliant idea, General. Concentrate all power to the front shields!”
Leia stared at the holographic image of the Annihilator and she could only hope they were long gone before that beast could wake to full strength.
Poe never felt more alive than when he was in the cockpit of a ship. It was at these moments that he felt utterly invincible as he twirled and whirled, dismantling TIE fighters with simple pulls of the trigger or fancy maneuvers.
He had just performed a triple corkscrew/flip sequence that involved taking out three TIEs when the comms crackled to life and he was ordered to dock on one of the cruisers. The only explanation was that they were preparing for hyperspace.
He wanted to continue to fight but he understood the Resistance’s need to run. The First Order overpowered them at the moment and they didn’t need to try to prove anything.
So, he turned his X-Wing around and headed to the nearest cruiser just as the Star Destroyers rained lasers upon the Resistance vessels.
Leia gazed intently at the shields as they barely held up against the First Order’s relentless onslaught. She tapped a button and immediately three officers–Lieutenant Sterk, Major Brance, and Admiral Bogons–appeared.
“You have all locked in different coordinates for hyperspace?” she asked.
“Then jump to hyperspace on my mark,” she said.
Commander Sterling clasped his hands tightly behind his back, his temples knotting with the stress of the situation.
“How close are the cannons to being fully charged?” he asked.
A white-haired officer replied, “97 percent, sir.”
Sterling smiled. The Resistance was about to be annihilated.
He could hear the ship’s cannons growling with the anticipation of carnage it so desired. They were mere seconds away from reaching 100% and when that happened the Resistance would be finished.
“Counting down,” an officer spoke. “10, 9, 8, 7.”
Sterling’s head raised.
Sterling’s jaw clenched.
“4, 3, 2, 1.”
The cannons sent forth red streaks of death toward the Resistance cruisers and Sterling’s gaze, at once delighted turned flabbergasted as each Resistance vessel consecutively darted into hyperspace.
He pounded the window. “No!”
The lasers did find contact with one of the cruisers and, as predicted, upon collision tore into the cruiser with shocking efficiency. The vessel exploded from one end to the other, turning into nothing more than scraps drifting in space. The other three cruisers, however, had gotten away.
Commander Sterling hung his head, knowing there would be consequences for his failure.
General Hux could not believe what had just happened. The Resistance was mere seconds from being no more and yet once again they had found a way to evade their doom.
He suddenly found the thought of sending Commander Sterling out of the airlock extremely pleasing but that would come later. Right now he needed to corral his thoughts…and his emotions.
So, he turned silently, his hands clasped behind his back, and left the bridge.
Kylo Ren walked through the desolate Resistance base, his cloak sweeping along behind him in the burning wreckage. His Knights of Ren followed him, of course as quiet as ever.
He reached the stairway that they had taken into the base and followed it up to the landing pad where his ship was waiting. At the top of the stairs, he stepped out onto the platform, the harsh gust ruffling his dark hair and causing his cloak to billow about him.
His commlink made a noise and when he turned it on Snoke’s hologram was staring back at him. His expression looked displeased.
“Kylo Ren, I command an audience with you immediately,” he said, his twisted features set in a fierce snarl.
“I will return to you at once, Supreme Leader,” Kylo replied.
Switching off the comm he climbed into his black craft. As the ship prepared to take off he took a deep breath. He knew he had failed in killing Leia and now he would have to endure being harshly reprimanded for his mistakes.
With his jaw clenching, he eased the ship off of the landing pad and toward the planet’s hemisphere.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.