Two Sevens is loyal to the First Order.
He fires his blaster into unarmed crowds. He obeys without question.
He tells nothing but the absolute truth.
“Medium Seven was the loyalest of soldiers,” he says. “He served no other master but the First Order. He would have turned any of us in if he suspected us of treason.” A pause. A weighted pause. In the dorms: Fiver with her strange, blue-frilled eyes; Big Seven with her calm certainty. Others: Sevener, Sevens, Bright — a cruel nickname, for she is anything but — Sharp, Spite, Shiner, Charm. Niner. Fives, Sixes, Thirds, Four-and-half.
This is a eulogy. Eulogies are permitted. Eulogies are not treason — how could they be? All Two Sevens is doing is speaking well of his model comrade. All Two Sevens is doing is highlighting the good of his service.
“And he died,” he says. “He died.”
He doesn’t need to say: Kylo Ren killed him.
He doesn’t need to say: Hux asked me to get rid of that .
He doesn’t need to. They know, they all know, and they raise their alcohol ration in a quiet, solemn toast.
“I heard that FN-2187 was a Stormtrooper,” says Fiver to him, three days later.
He could say that is not what I was told . He could say we do not speak of traitors . He could say once upon a time Hux’s speeches were full of bile and hate for that man, and now he is not mentioned at all. He could.
He says, “I heard that too. Who did you hear it from?”
“She’s dead now. Her entire squad as well.”
“I admire your comradeship,” says Two Sevens, “and I appreciate your presence in my squad. And I have heard that too. A lie, of course.”
“We need to make sure it has not spread. Has the rest of the squad heard it?”
“How could they just have vanished? ” Hux shouts.
Phasma shows her teeth. Her helmet is wedged against her hip. “I don’t know,” she admits. Sleek chrome glittering in the sterile lights of the Finalizer. Hux’s fists quivering at his sides. “Three hundred and twenty six,” she says, “we’ve got back a hundred, but the rest –”
“In the scheme of things,” he says, “that’s not much. Right?”
“There are two billion active Stormtroopers in our Empire,” she says.
“Good,” says Hux. “Good.” But there’s a thin thread to his voice, a snag, a catch; the unspoken —
Two billion. And what if they decide that they are not Stormtroopers anymore?
There are fanfics that warm your heart, there are fanfics that make you cry, and there are fanfics that give you goddamn chills because they’re just so powerful. peradi’s have you heard falls into the third category; as soon as I finished reading it I knew I had to tell other people about it as soon as I could.
I stumbled across this fic while looking rather pathetically and desperately for a Poe/Finn/Rey fic I hadn’t read yet. (I’ve been pretty single-minded in my shipping interests since December.) And while the pairing—trio-ing?—is part of the story, it’s definitely not the focus. have you heard centers around the idea that you can’t kill an idea. When FN-2187 defects, the First Order spreads the word that he’d been a Resistance plant all along; it’s less dangerous to let its soldiers believe they were infiltrated by an outsider than to allow them to realize one of their own was able to break conditioning and rebel.
It becomes treason worthy of capital punishment to suggest that Finn had ever been part of the First Order, and so it is that “Have you heard that FN-2187 was a Stormtrooper?” becomes a watchword within the ranks of the Stormtroopers to signal a desire to defect. Inspired by Finn—who becomes something of a legend, a patron saint to those who dream of a life where their lives mean something and they can choose their own path—they leave, first in fits and starts and then in whole battalions. Meanwhile Phasma and Hux and Ren and the rest of the Order try as best they can to stop the hemorrhage, and each in turn are forced to reconsider what it is they’re fighting for, and who they’re fighting against.
If it wasn’t clear from my intro, I have to reiterate that the writing and character development of this fic just blew me away. I said that it doesn’t really focus on the romance, but honestly it doesn’t really focus on the main trio as much as it fleshes out a plethora of side characters and Stormtrooper OCs such that you feel as attached to them as you do to the movie’s protags. The character arc peradi gives to Phasma in particular is moving and downright awesome, and I’d love to see something like it happen for her in the movie canon as well.
have you heard is unfinished at only four out of six planned chapters, but I honestly didn’t realize it until I went back to the tags to check the rating. (For the record, it’s not rated, but if I were to tag it myself I’d give it a hard T or a soft M for violence; it doesn’t have any real sexual content.) It stands alone well enough and is so compelling even half done that I can’t wait to see what peradi does with the rest of the story. It’s sitting pretty around 21k right now, so it shouldn’t take too long to take it all in; you can check it out here at the AO3, and don’t forget to subscribe when you’re done reading so you don’t miss out on the second half when it posts!