damalur: (Default)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote2016-11-27 11:36 am
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trash compactor au (4)



The absolute end for Hux came when he walked into R&D and was immediately confronted with Ben Solo using his lightsaber to hack apart the prototype command console that was about to be mass-produced and then installed in the latest generation of stealth scoutships. The rest of the department was standing in a semi-circle, watching with varying expressions of awe and sour displeasure as Solo used his yellow blade to flay the console alive.

"STOP," Hux shouted. Solo, predictably, didn't listen; he got in another solid cut right through the console's center before Hux inserted himself between the Jedi and his target. It was, in retrospect, an incredibly shortsighted maneuver--had Solo been throwing a tantrum, Hux might have found himself in the same state as the console (that was to say: bifurcated), but Solo lurched at the sight of Hux and shut his blade down.

They spoke at the same moment.

"Are you stupid--"

"WHAT are you doing, you--"

They broke off at the same time, too, and Hux became aware both that Solo was incredibly close and that he himself was heaving. This was beyond ire or frustration, this was genuine rage bubbling up from some deep well, and his anger combined with the striking sharpness of Solo's features at close range produced a feeling in Hux that was heady, foreign, and completely unwanted.

"I'm helping," Solo said.

Several seconds passed. Hux was too busy trying to remember how to repress himself, which was difficult when one was on the verge of flying into an apoplectic fit, to fully appreciate the entirety of that statement. When he had gathered himself enough to deal with the world outside of his own head and comprehended what Solo had said, his loathing soared to new and spectacular heights.

"Helping," he repeated.

Solo looked down at his lightsaber. It was an unusual sort of lightsaber; Hux had never come across an account of a lightsaber with quillons in his survey of the Jedi Order, and under other circumstances he might have been interested in the construction of such a weapon, but right now he didn't give a toss about Ben Solo, his lightsaber, his face, or his intentions.

"Begging your pardon, sir," one of the braver engineers interjected, "but you said the console needed to be thoroughly tested for both hardware durability and slicer intrusions--"

"And this," Hux said, without looking away from Solo, "was your idea of testing?"

"I volunteered," Solo said mulishly.

"And I suppose you--all of you--decided that the most likely hostile scenario would be an enemy with an esoteric weapon like a laser sword sneaking aboard the ship and laying waste to the cockpit?"

The engineers remained silent. Solo, who in the best terms at least wasn't a spineless coward and in the worst terms was brash to the point of idiocy, said, "You did say 'thorough', Captain."

What are you even doing here, Hux did not ask. Instead, he swiveled on his heel, forcing Solo to take a step back, and addressed himself to the bravest of the engineers. "Clean this up," he said.

"Yes, sir."

"No more testing without express authorization."

"No, sir."

"And you--" He swiveled back to face Solo, who hadn't left off glaring defiantly at Hux. "You--"

"Me," Solo agreed.

Hux couldn't think of anything to say to that; pure hatred, it turned out, was difficult to articulate. He sneered at Solo, swiveled one last time, and marched straight out of R&D to the nearest turbolift. The general's offices were ten minutes away at a brisk walk; Hux made it in four. People threw themselves out of the way as he stormed past them, and while under other circumstances this would have either pleased Hux or made him conscious of the need to cultivate better working relationships with his peers, in the moment it only infuriated him.

General Organa was conferring with another of her advisors when Hux strode into the room. "Captain," she said. "What's bothering you?" She had, of course, an uncanny way of reading her subordinates, and only now did it occur to Hux that this talent wasn't uncanny at all, was, in fact, much like her son, the result of the Force.

"General Organa," he said. "I would…" He inhaled hard through his nose. "I would like to request permission to use a…" Blast! Even the phrase was abhorrent. "...A personal day."

The general's eyebrows climbed to her hairline. Beside her, the advisor's mouth had dropped open in shock.

"May I ask why?" the general asked.

Hux ground his teeth and finally managed to loosen his jaw enough to force out, "Personal reasons." There was that abhorrent word again.

"I see," said the general, although Hux hoped she didn't. "Granted, Captain. I'll expect you back tomorrow."

"Thank you. Ma'am," Hux remembered to say, and then he turned around and fled. Tomorrow. Yes. He would return tomorrow, and life would be orderly, and no laserbrained Jedi would be hacking his special project to pieces, and he would certainly not entertain the notion of vanishing into the Unknown Regions, no matter how appealing the life of a hermit was beginning to look.

But that was tomorrow; in the meantime, there was a bottle of wine waiting.