General Dene stood next to an I9L2 intelligence droid. He stood with his hands behind his back wishing that he had another cup of caff but there wasn’t time. The glossy black droid was not tall as a K-series security droid. Its torso was larger around to hold the computing power needed.
The general sighed and scanned the night sky. “What is taking him so long?” he said.
“According to sensors, he entered atmosphere a few minutes ago, General Dene,” the droid said. “His ship should be landing shortly.”
Dene and I9L2 looked around as they both heard a humming sound. They both turned in time to see a large corvette come around the tower into view. The black color of the ship seemed to absorb the light around it, creating hole in the sky. “Does it have a cloaking device?” Dene asked.
I9L2 was quiet a moment as the ship descended. “I do not know, General. Those records are Top Secret and compartmentalized. The odds are that it does.”
Dene sighed. “Any speculation on why he is paying us a surprise visit?”
I9L2 put its arms behind its back, mimicking the way Dene was standing. “There are too many variables for me to make an accurate speculation,” it said.
The ship touched down. Almost immediately the engines became quiet and a ramp lowered form the underside of the ship. A tall figure walked down the ramp followed by two more figures. They were followed by a dozen stormtroopers in black armor. Dene drew himself to attention as the figure approached him.
“Lord Kylo Ren,” Dene said as he placed his right fist over his heart in a fist.
The dark figure looked at Dene. The figure was almost two meters tall and thin. Draped in a cloak and hood, very little of the armor worn was visible. The face plate was smooth and black, covering the nose and mouth, above it and around where the eyes should be were silver bands of sensor receptors.
“General Dene,” Ren answered and looked around. There were only a dozen stormtroopers providing security for the general and the one analytical droid.
“My Lord,” Dene said, “May I ask what the purpose of this visit is?”
Ren studied the general long enough that he could see the general becoming uncomfortable or annoyed. “Tell me General,” Ren said, “Has there been anything unusual happening recently?”
The uncomfortable expression faded to mild confusion. “Nothing that I am aware of, my lord. Though since you are asking, I will assume you know or suspect something that I am unaware of.” Dene looked to the I9L2. “I9, is there anything not normal going on?”
I9L2 cocked its head to the side. “One moment, accessing the network,” it said.
Ren looked from Dene to the droid. He was somewhatimpressed that the General accurately assumed that something was amiss and immediately worked to become aware of the situation. He looked up at the tower. It was a massive structure extending into the sky. It was taller than any other building in the city by a factor of four.
I9L2 shifted a little. “There is only anomaly on the base that I have noticed on a cursory scan,” the droid said. “Captain Graves in logistics came onto base this evening and entered the facility. Captain Graves works during the day shift and has never returned to base after he leaves for the day.” It held up a hand palm up. A hologram flickered tolife showing a doorway and two figures approaching it. One dressed as a technician, the other obviously a Wookie. The technician presented a badge to the door sensor and it slid open. The scene changed slightly showing them walking into the building from the inside.
General Dene expression grew darker. “I9, sound general alarm.”
“No,” Ren said. “Do not sound general alarm. I do not want them alerted that we are aware of their presence.” He looked behind him at the two figures. “This is your test, go hunt them down and capture them. If you cannot capture them, kill them.”
“Yes, My Master,” they both said in unison and ran past.
Then General watched them go, noticing that they both had lightsabers. He turned back to Ren. “My lord, I think we should still activate the base’s stormtroopers. If they managed to get past the scanner curtain undetected, then there may be more.”
“There are not, General Dene,” Rene said. “However, have several squads standing by to assist my two apprentices should they need it.”
Dene looked at I9L2. “Activating four squads sir,” it said.
Dene nodded. “Good. Begin to run a security assessment. We’re meeting regulations but it is painfully obvious that we’re not doing enough.”
I9L2 nodded. “I have already begun one, General. I will have a detailed report and recommendation ready within the hour.”
Ren wondered ifDarth Vader would have killed the general for the fact someone had managed to infiltrate the facility. Probably, he thought, but that was a different time. Had the general not immediately moved to fix the issue and began to plan for it to never happen again, he might have.
Author’s Note: This was a short chapter. The next one won’t be.