The Meeting


I was summoned to a smaller meeting room to meet with my specialist. When I arrived, the specialist was already there. That wasn’t standard protocol. The specialist was never in the room before me.

I felt uncomfortable, my hands perspiring again. The specialist had a natural talent for making me feel on edge. I wonder if that’s why she was chosen to do the job in the first place.

I tried not to stare at the specialist, who I could feel was staring across the room at me. I must have looked ridiculous standing in the doorway like some idiot child.

“XN2903, come in, shut the door and sit down,” she said sternly.

I walked into the room and did as she requested

The specialist was looking at her tablet now, her expression not as unfriendly as before.

She stood up from her chair, grabbed her tablet and looked at me.

“Your test results have been exemplary XN2903. Some of my colleagues thought you had somehow manipulated the system, but scrutinization, that doesn’t appear to be the case.”

I had no idea what she meant, but I had nothing to say, mainly because this woman irritated me to the point of wanting to poke out her eyes with her pen.

“Your mentors have discussed your case individually and as a group, and the conclusion is that you will be graduating top of your class, which means you will be leaving the Academy.”

When she spoke, the words seemed to come out of her mouth in slow-motion. I felt my heart thumping in my chest like a drum. The feeling of being chosen to leave the Academy was beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought it would be me.

“You’ve also caught the eye of someone… extremely important, so everything seems to be going well for you… for now”

There was a knock at the door.

“This room is occupied!” the specialist spoke aggressively.

The door swung open, and two guards dressed in First Order uniforms walked in.

“You’ve been relieved, Agent, ” one of the men said

“But I’m just”…

“Your duty here is done, Agent. Please leave the room,” the man replied, cutting off the Agent halfway through her sentence.

The specialist rose to her feet and moved quickly out of the room.

The door closed behind her, and the two guards took their places on either side.

The guards looked menacing standing there. I didn’t want to look at the door because I felt apprehensive about who would walk through it.

Several moments later, the door opened again, and the guards stood at attention.

A man in his late 20s, perhaps early 30s, walked into the room

Straight away, I could tell this man was important. He had an arrogance about him that made me feel very, very small

“Leave us”, he demanded

“Yes, General!” the guards replied, leaving the room.

The man closed the door behind them and turned to face me.

I didn’t know whether to stand and salute or just sit and wait. I had never been taught the correct protocols for meeting dignitaries. Admittedly, I never thought I’d need to know, yet here I was, face to face with a General.

He stared at me for a moment, and then his voice broke the silence

“So you’re… XN2903?” he asked

I felt the inclination to stand, so I did

“Yes, Sir!” I replied, hand on my forehead in salute

“Please, sit,” he said, pushing the chair forward

He began to pace the length of the room very slowly, his hands at his side

“Do you know who I am, XN2903?” he asked without looking at me

“No, I am sorry, Sir, I don’t.”

He grinned to himself then, as if amused by my reply

“Well, normally, I wouldn’t come to the Academy to meet a recruit, but you’re an exceptional case,” he said, his hand on his chin as if in deep thought

I tried to swallow, but my mouth suddenly became parched, and my throat felt on fire. I was more nervous now than ever before

“You’ve managed to score some of the highest test results we’ve seen in a long time recruit. At first, the mentors thought you had somehow cheated, but it seems you really are that good. This brings me to my next topic, recruit JW3039.”

That was Reena’s code. This was it. They will blame me for Reena’s disappearance, and I will get thrown out of an airlock …or worse.

I couldn’t look at the General. Looking at him might give away my nervousness.

Tiny droplets of sweat rolled down my back.

“Here at the Academy, we test for everything; aptitude, intelligence, tenacity, resilience – to be a recruit here, you’ve got to prove that you are more than just a test score. And while your test results were some of the best we’ve seen, your tenacity, resilience and determination stood out above the others.”

I felt a little lightheaded. Was he actually complimenting me?

He stopped pacing and looked right at me.

For the first time, I noticed his strikingly handsome face. His cheekbones were angular, his face lean and flawless. The First Order uniform was dark, which clashed with his pale skin. His hair was a light shade of red, cut short under his hat. But his eyes were a beautiful and menacing icy blue with not a single ounce of warmth in them.

“So, I am hand-picking you myself, which is a great honour for a recruit – you’ll be on my crew aboard the Finalizer once all the preparations for new recruits are completed.”

I felt as if my heart had stopped beating.

His words were swirling in my head, and the lightheadedness returned.

Oh no… DON’T do this now, not here or in front of him!

“Recruit?” he said

I managed to get together long enough for him not to notice my momentary weakness.

“Sorry, General… I’m just a little… surprised, that’s all.”

He tilted his head then as if he did not understand me

“… that I was chosen”, I continued

“I see. Well, we will have to train that doubt out of you recruit. Now you’re part of my crew, and you need to be focused, strong and confident in your abilities above all else. I have made an example by choosing you. You will not let me down”…

I nodded my head in agreement.

“And my name is Hux, by the way… General Hux”

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