|Why I Breathe
Author: Shadows of a Dream PM
Order 66 has been issued: Their names are Julia Star, Aaron Earthshaker, and Kherev Ra'shah. They don't know each other. They're running for their lives. His name is Darksaber - immortal, powerful, skilled in the ways of the Dark Side - and he lives to see the Jedi die. And the clone? They call him Thirty-nine. He's nameless. Faceless. But different... R&R! A Star Wars epic.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Romance - E. Palpatine & Darth Vader - Chapters: 44 - Words: 98,073 - Reviews: 93 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 06-10-12 - Published: 04-18-11 - id: 6917511
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
There a few who can look Death in the eyes; fewer, still, who can do so without racking fear; still fewer, who can advance towards it with bravery. Yet, search, if you will, the eternal deserts, the vast jungles, the rivers of water, the channels of flame; journey, if you will, to the darkest depths of the criminal underworld, or the highest heights of the Republic's privileged sectors; devote yourself, if you must, to finding even one man or Jedi, one alien or beast, who, if only he could, would look Death in the eyes and smile with satisfaction. You will find none.
But I am not a man, or an alien, or a beast. I am Darksaber. I am hatred and jealously, fury and deceit. I am accursed, cut off my brethren, driven to the brink of madness by my insatiable craving and lust for power and vengeance. I alone am enslaved by Death; I know the sting of his whip, the scorching heat of his anger, the icy fire in his eyes. I know them as well as I know my own name. Darksaber…
Cursed, cursed be the day I heard that name! Cursed be the hour that I succumbed to this ruin, now intertwined in the fabric of fate – my grim and unalterable destiny. Oh Death, have you no mercy? Why must I, a twisted and depraved creature, hunt you will all of my strength, only to have you evade me again? Oh Death, spare those that you call your victims! Spare the rich and esteemed; spare the heroes that you seize from the field of battle. Their hearts are hard, and unwilling; but, oh Death, I am a willing victim! Drag me to the pit, to the soundless depths, to your hidden dwelling. Take me away from this suffering and strife.
Death does not answer me. He is the master, and I am the slave, doing his bidding.
Oh, if only I could journey beyond the limits of time and space, and return to that fateful day when I so foolishly surrendered my very self to Death's oppression. Power, he promised me; power such as no one has ever possessed. At long last, I would have vengeance on the Jedi beasts, the murderers of my father and sisters and brothers. In ignorance, the Jedi live, and in ignorance they destroyed my clan. Warriors, we were – proud and honorable fighters, who would sooner lose their lives in a fight than submit to an inferior. We knew the meaning of true strength – the strength of the Dark Side. In ignorance, the Jedi denounce the Dark Side. In ignorance, they slaughtered my innocent clan.
The path to power is narrow, it seems. That day, I vowed to follow it to the end.
My goal became my quest, my quest became my passion, and my passion became my life and my undoing. Loneliness wreaked havoc on my mind; the worst dreams tormented me; again and again, I witnessed the cold-blooded murder of my kinsmen; I awoke each morning with a recurring scream, drenched in sweat, and shaking with horror. Gradually, I learned to ignore their echoing shouts. I became callous and heartless. It was the only way to survive. Hunting for food became my only solace; a strange satisfaction would wash over me, as my prey fell lifeless before my mighty hands. I wandered the surface of my planet as an abandoned and unloved animal, not unlike the ones that I hunted, praying that someone, something, anything, would grant me the power to take revenge on the Jedi. These thoughts haunted me in evening and morning, as I prepared my heart for the darkness that was to conquer my soul.
Eventually, everything climaxed. In the stillness of night, under the half-faded light of a full moon, I sought shelter from the thunder and lightning of a storm. That shelter was found in a strange cave without an end – the tunnel had simply gone on, and on, and on into eternity. Alas, if I had only foreseen the strange events that would take place within its shadowed depths!
Within that cave, Death came to meet me. I suppose that I alone, in the vast galaxy, have been so utterly consumed by hate, that I should be capable of looking Death in the eyes, without fear – immediately knowing him to be my friend.
Any other creature would have been paralyzed by fear; yet, his appearance did not perturb me. His eyes were like blazing coals; his form, like thick and heavy mist; his footsteps, like the sound of a crackling furnace; his voice, like a flame tearing brutally through a wood.
He called my name. I no longer remember it. Now, I am Darksaber. That is my only name.
But on that day, he called me by my true name. Without even thinking, I knew him to be Death, come for me. He radiated absolute, unshakable power. I wanted that power, yet, before I could speak, Death bellowed: "I know what you want. I am here to provide it. But you must pledge yourself to me."
I went crazy, then. A thousand voices shrieked within me, voices of reason and of desire, warring uncontrollably, and at last I cried out in anguish and terror. "What are you?" Mentally, I wailed, What creature… can control… the very minds… of the broken and destitute?
"I am… the Dark Side!"
I screamed. Was this what I had become – so controlled by evil, that it sought me out in the late hours of the night, as a man would seek out his brother in his time of need?
Again, Death roared: "Pledge yourself to me, and do my will!"
My passion reared up within me, fighting for release. I cried out again, like a beast of the wild, as the voices inside of me attacked, burning out all else – my conscience, my will, my screaming…
I fell at Death's feet. I had dared to toy with darkness, and now darkness would toy with me.
"You… are… my… master," I hissed, trembling violently.
Death smiled sadistically, and then spoke, suddenly smooth and kind: "Well done… my slave. You shall have… my… power. You… shall become… as I am. Rise, my servant! Rise, Darksaber, spawn of the Dark Side!"
And then… I changed. I became… like Death. I am without bodily form; a mist, a shadow of my past self. My eyes and voice and footsteps are like flame. I am Darksaber. I am immortal. And I am cursed with a mission that I shall never relinquish, as long as breath remains in me.
I will kill the Jedi.
And then, perhaps, Death will at last kill me.