Most of the time, that’s just it: an enormous gravitational pull in the middle of space. Sometimes she watches things get pulled into it. Planets. People. Herself, once or twice. The black hole itself changes—sometimes there’s a nebula, somewhere far out of reach but beautiful. Sometimes there’s merely the distant light of stars. Sometimes there’s nothing at all, just an impossible ring of light around a dark circle.
Those are always the ones where Phasma gets pulled in. It’s a gentle feeling, like being rocked to sleep, only she’s being suffocated as she goes down, squeezed into a space too small for someone her size.
They say one cannot die in dreams, but Phasma does, and when she wakes, she counts the beats of her pulse.
She thinks of sending herself to reconditioning, particularly after the dreams where she’s pulled in. She even goes down to the reconditioning floor and stands in front of the rooms, considering the matter. She’s stood with ‘troopers hundreds of times over the years as they moved beyond those doors. They went in disobedient or broken, and they returned back in line, carefully blank. She stands outside of those doors after those dreams, wondering about herself, and invariably turns away. Pride keeps her from admitting the fault in her brain; the rest of it is dread at the uncertainty of what she would be after. Reconditioning changes ‘troopers sometimes, mostly for the worse. Promising ones would go in—‘troopers Phasma had picked for the command track but who needed a little modification to be truly perfect soldiers in the mean time—and they wouldn’t come out the same. They’d be plenty good soldiers, but they would invariably lack that certain something that enables leadership.
Phasma considers herself a leader. She’s earned her stripes many, many times over. Would she lose them if the reconditioning process stripped her of her ability to innovate and plan? Would she know, or care?
Phasma doesn’t know and doesn’t want to. She knows that no stormtrooper is meant to dream. She knows she hasn’t dreamed for years, not until now.
She swallows back the desire to scream her knowledge across the Finalizer, tip to stern, and goes on about her business. She dreams of black holes and tells no one.