One month after the destruction of Starkiller Base
The cadence of Stormtroopers on the march drives itself into your ears, drawing closer and closer to your 'practice,' such as it is, where you've managed to pull in a few of the walking wounded who fled from the Troopers' first onslaught. They're almost here.
You chance a look out the window as you move between patients. A figure in orange and white runs past the window--frantic, horrified. A Resistance pilot. Hurry up! you fervently wish, knowing very well he'll never hear you.
There's only so much you can do for the wounded gathered here. You may be the medic of sorts, for this downtrodden village, but the chaos spreading malignantly through the galaxy--oh...right...'order...that's what they call it--means you never had a chance to get offworld to get the kind of schooling you need to really claim the title of doctor. Still, you're all they've got. It's better than nothing, you console yourself. It had better be.
A minute or two later, the march of the Stormtroopers has risen to an angry thunder. You try your best to ignore it as you dab alcohol to your patient's wound, but you can barely hear his indrawn hiss of breath over the din outside. They're here. They're here. A chill runs up your spine. You glance back out the window and--
--among the white-armored Troopers, a tall figure wreathed in a frayed black cape, his frame taut with barely-contained energy like a reactor core. Suddenly he freezes. His head whips to the side, a black and silver mask...
Your stomach sinks straight into your toes. He's looking at you.
Who attacks a hospital--the bastard!
"Everybody quiet!" you hiss at the patients. You've heard enough about the First Order, even in this backwater. You've heard about the Stormtroopers. And what has to be staring you down from outside. Moving with long strides towards your door. A Knight of Ren. "Close your eyes," you whisper. "Be still. Play dead."
This isn't going to fool anybody, you fear. This place may be too primitive to have medical droids or monitors to give the lie to the charade--but still, anyone with half an eye for detail will spot the ragged movements from a wounded patient's breath. The involuntary twitches when the barely-treated pain peaks. Still, you have to try.
You hold your own breath as you wait for the blaster barrage that will inevitably bring down the door--
The door's locking mechanism gives way. Your insides freeze--somehow this is worse. You locked it from the inside, yet it unlatched just like that. You didn't see a droid with them...oh, no. Those stories about the Knights of Ren, the things they can do...
You snatch up a scalpel, hiding it behind your back. It's the only weapon you can think of, and pathetically undermatched to what's--here.
The door swings open, slamming with a crack on the wall.
The tall, dread figure, flanked by two Stormtroopers, makes a line straight for you. Shaking, your hand tightens into a fist around the scalpel. You're going to have to let him get close--it's the only way--damn it, he's taller than you thought; striking the jugular is going to be even harder than you figured--
"Drop it." A disorted basso voice rumbles forth from the mask. "It won't be any use."
"No," you grind out between your teeth as best as you can. But your voice trembles despite yourself--no match for the awful growl of the Knight. "Stay away--"
"I said drop it." He lifts a hand, gesturing as if he were crushing an invisible bug in the air--and an impossible vise tightens around your wrist, squeezing harder and harder until finally you cry out and your hand involuntarily releases. The scalpel falls to the ground and the pain stops.
"D-don't touch them," you stammer. "Th-they're out of the fight--not a threat--"
A beat of silence. Then the being speaks again. "You have what I want; don't deny it. You saw the Resistance traitor. You know his face. And you will provide that to me--"
"Absolutely not." News images of the destruction in the Hosnian system flit through your mind.
The helmeted figure grabs your shoulders, shoving you back into a chair. "You will not keep your secrets from me." The distorted voice is lower this time. "I will have the information I require. Do not resist, and you may well survive."
He kneels down suddenly, raising his hand within an inch of your face. That dread mask isn't much further than that from your nose. And then--the tearing begins.
Your mind erupts into a whirl of voices and images. Scenes from childhood. People you haven't seen for years--mothers weeping for their stolen children--the horrible red beam lancing its way across Hosnian space...this one replays in a loop like a stuck holotape, each iteration more painful than the last, rage and grief warring like oil and water...
You become vaguely aware, in the middle of the hurricane, that you're hyperventilating. What little awareness you have of the room is spinning out of control. I told you not to fight. The voice again--except--it's different. Human. Your heart seizes--he's in your mind--there's nothing you can do to chase him out. The vertigo sweeps over you again with a nauseous wave and your hands whip up involuntarily to seize the only thing in sight that you can grasp hold of.
That rage again--it stabs through you and you vaguely realize what you've done...an image from reality, except distorted and the perspective is all wrong...it's your hands, encircling his wrist. He tenses--his Troopers' weapons go up...the panic rises in you...
You think you hear the words, "Stand down," outside the maelstrom, distorted this time, as you begin to get control of your breathing. The images and sounds haven't stopped whirling, but you can bear it now. Just. I don't have anything, you think through...whatever this is. I didn't see him that well. Barely a second--
Your mind returns to that place, an eternity ago it seems inside this hurricane of no-time and all-time you're locked into with him. You can feel him inspect the image. And...disappointment, when it dawns on him that you're telling the truth. You saw something--but it isn't enough for him to make an identification. You can feel it, except it originates from outside yourself. And there's more. Fear. Resentment. A scream. But it's not your own. Pain. You're losing all sense of when, where...even what you are. You know just enough to recognize suffering. If you could only stop it somehow--
...sir, should we kill them all?...
His hand sweeps across your field of vision--and with it, complete darkness.