HAN SOLO LIVES
As the elevator ascended, the planet grew turbulent. Each quake tossed Han around in the tiny capsule. Once at the top level, the elevator door whipped open and Han stumbled out. He clutched the stinging hole in his chest but he knew he didn’t have time to sit and rest. He pushed himself down a corridor, it led to the same giant cavern containing the bridge he had fallen from. His friends and son, long gone. The planet rocked once more and Han knew he had minutes, if that, to get off the time-bomb.
Since he had fallen off the bridge, the cavern had become brightly lit. The Kyber crystals at the bottom of the void were blinding now. The light carried all the way up the void and poured out into the empty cavern. Towards the far end of the bridge, Han heard the screams from a swarm of TIE fighters taking off in a hurry. His best guess was that crossing the bridge would bring him to the First Order’s ship hangar. Which would be his best chance finding a ship.
Han didn’t know for certain if his comrades had escaped the planet. He had to believe they got to safety, there was nothing he could do to find them before the planet imploded. Rey and Finn had proven able to take care of themselves and he was more than confidant in Chewie. Chewie would get them to safety.
The planet shook and Han willed himself forward onto the bridge. Both the absence of hand-railing and the constant quakes did nothing to sooth Han’s nerves. To make things worse, he couldn’t look down to watch where he was going. The crystal pillars below were so bright that the walkway was barely visible. Han wiped sweat from his brow, the heat rising from below was almost unbearable. The wound in his chest ached as he moved as fast as he could while keeping low and even lower with each quake. He realized at some point he started whispering to himself, ‘the Force is with me, the Force is with me.’
As Han neared the same spot on the bridge where he fell from earlier, the planet let out a forceful lurch. The metal bridge bounced, tossing Han into the air. As he fell forward, he threw his arms around the hot metal walkway as best he could, almost falling off the side. His fingers dug into the metal grating. He struggled to right himself on the walkway before another jolt. If he fell again, this time the cooling gel would not be there to break his long fall. The rest of the way across the bridge was as unsteady, but he made it across. The bridge ended and led to a corridor where he could still hear a few TIE fighter screams echoing from inside.
The planet’s shaking grew constant. Han made his way down the dim corridor, and the lights began to flicker and fail. He passed several hallways branching from the corridor, though he kept moving forward. The screams from the TIE fighters stopped and it was difficult to know if he was still heading the right way. His sense of direction soon paid off as the corridor emptied into a large empty ship hangar.
Empty TIE fighter racks lined the long hangars walls. Han spotted a lone TIE ship hanging on a rack in the far back of the hangar. Standing next to the ship was a tall chromed and caped Trooper already prepping the ship for takeoff.
“I should of known better,” Han mumbled to himself as he looked around for options.
There were several wheeled electric personnel transport shuttles nearby. Han hopped on the closest one and floored it towards Phasma. As he neared closer, he recognized her ship was not a TIE fighter, but a TIE Advanced Starfighter. Han had only seen one TIE Advanced Starfighter before. It was flown by Darth Vader the day Luke had blown up the first Deathstar.
The TIE Advanced, like Phasma’s armor, appeared to be custom made for her. The ship was coated in Chromium, the same metal that coated her armor. It was also larger than a standard TIE fighter. The extra room was for the addition of a hyperdrive, which standard TIE Fighters lacked. The solar panel wings angled in at the top and bottoms, making the craft a harder target than standard TIEs.
Phasma was too busy uncoupling the fuel hoses to notice Han gaining ground. His quick little shuttle glided across the hangar floor, which started to crack wide open.
Han reached the ladder to the ship rack as he saw Phasma board through the top hatch. He climbed faster than he thought he could, completely forgetting about the hole in his chest. As he reached the top, he heard the engines of the TIE ramp up and the hissing sound of the hatch closing. He climbed a top the ship, and dove under the closing hatch door. He fell hard into the floor of the back passenger compartment as the hatch hissed shut. Phasma peaked around the pilot’s seat and met eye to eye with Han’s blaster.
“Not you again,” she said.
“Shut up and punch it, Chrome-dome,” Han said. He buckled himself in, while keeping his blaster pointed at the back of Phasma’s head.
He didn’t have to tell her twice as Phasma launched the starship into hyperspace, straight out of the hangar. A move he thought only he had the guts to try, though he appreciated her urgency. The next thing Han saw was the welcome sight of warped stars stretching along all sides of the ship. As they entered the hyperspace tunnel he could feel the planet implode behind them.
“You know, we’ve blown up two Deathstars before,” Han said smirking. “Did you guys think third time would be a charm?”
“Just how old are you, exactly?” Phasma said.
*This is a work of fan fiction. Star Wars and it’s characters are property of Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney.