Come Undone

Chapter 26

Endgames, Finis.

Anakin watched the small shuttle craft make its final approach and grew angrier by the moment. The computer had identified not just one life form but a second one as well. As soon as Obi-wan came into earshot, Anakin called to him.

"I thought you would understand that you were to come alone Obi-wan," Anakin said bitterly. "This is a privet matter between the two of us, to bring others in..."

Seeing the second figure emerge from the shuttle, Anakin ignited his saber. Obi-wan wheeled around, trying to see what, or worse, who had caught his attention.

"Ani?" a voice called out to him and Anakin froze. It couldn't be... not here, not in this place! A figure in a pilot's uniform burst out of the ship and threw aside the helmet. Both Anakin and Obi-wan shouted her name at the same time, Obi-wan in terror, Anakin in disbelief. As she ran towards him, Anakin lowered his saber and threw the blaster aside, rooted to the spot. Obi-wan watched, a mixture of emotions churning through his soul. In that instant, he watched the cold cruel young man who had seemed to have replaced his young Padawan dissolve away in a sea of tears as Padme' rushed towards him. Too absorbed in seeing each other again, neither Anakin nor Padmé paid any attention to the claxon as it started screaming its warning. The station was under attack from a small group of guerrilla fighters. Too small to do any real serious damage to the ships or the hangars, they would fire small explosives seemingly at random, trying to disable as much personal and machinery as they could.

"For the love of the force, get down!" Obi-wan screamed covering his own head as he fell to the ground. The attack itself was over almost as quickly as it started. He saw the explosion that hit the wall, shrapnel flying everywhere and heard Anakin's scream of raw anguish.

"It's finished," Obi-wan Kenobi thought as he started to loose consciousness. "Endgame..."

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Epilogue

Twenty years later: Just out beyond the Dune Seas of Tatooien.

                 I watched the boy speed off across the desert, so much like his father, heedless of his own safety. Anakin! I could never tell the boy about his father, the real truth. How I was partly to blame for his fall, for our loss...

                   I closed my eyes and let my mind drifted back to that fateful day...

                 Anakin was cradling her seemingly too small body in his arms, weeping and sobbing inconsolably. He pulled her closer to his breast, calling her name over and over as if he could bring her back by sheer force of will.

                  "Anakin... Anakin," I choked, being assaulted by his pain as if it were a physical thing. "Please, there's nothing you can do..." Suddenly, I was thrown against the wall with a violence that I'd never experienced before in my life.

               "Get away from her!" he positively screamed. "Why did she come here? Why did YOU bring her here Obi-wan?" He broke down into a flood of grief, keening her name again and over again in a bout of raw anguish.

                   I slowly got to my feet, and walked to the entrance of the hangar, leaving him to his distress. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could say to alleviate his pain. With his cries penetrating my very soul, all I could do was go outside, and wait. After what seemed like hours, he emerged carrying her remains wrapped in his Jedi robes, his features pale and drawn.

                      "Anakin..." I said softly, my own voice hoarse with emotion.

                    He stood there, saying nothing and I tried again.

                   "Anakin... your son...." I paused; the look of pure rage was like a blade through my very heart. I could not bring myself to tell him about the girl, and perhaps, it was for the best that he did not know. Anger and blackness radiated from him like a murderous cloud, if there had been any light left in him, it had died with Padmé.

                     "Son..." he echoed hollowly.

                     "He's safe..." I started but his icy stare made it impossible to continue.

                   "Safe... with the Jedi." He replied bitterly, and then turned away slowly. After a moment, he continued. "No," he said with finality. "The Jedi will not destroy another member of the Skywalker family. He will be raised by his..." here he paused, almost choking on the words, "step family. His uncle on Tatooien. The R2 unit, he knows where to find them."

                      "Anakin, please..." I tried to reach out to him to no avail.

                    "Leave this place Obi-wan," he said with sudden intensity, his voice once again shaky with raw emotion. "Leave here NOW; less I kill you where you stand."

                   I couldn't move, stunned by his words.

                 "This is your last chance. Know that I only let you live this time because… it is what SHE would have wished…" he slowly sank to his knees, again pulling her lifeless body closer to himself, cradling it.... "Know this also Obi-wan," he continued slowly. "The next time our paths cross, only one of us will walk away alive… I swear to you! ONLY one of us."

                    His sobs began to rack his body once more. "Leave me!" he shrieked, "Leave us!" and he dissolved in to a fresh flood of tears.

                  Dazed, I began to back away, fully aware that this had been no empty threat.  

                To my growing horror, my mind assaulted me with the realization that I had been wrong. WE had been wrong. The whole bloody code was WRONG! "A Jedi shall not know LOVE" read the code, but it had been that very thing that had held my former Padawan together. The thing that had kept him by my side when he had lost patience with my teachings, that had made him listen to my endless lectures... that had made him human. Now, that vital element had been taken from him, there nothing left of the vivacious young man I had once called my friend. The man that Padmé had called… had called…. husband,  the man she had given her very life to... The man that young Luke might have known as father. Anakin Skywalker was gone. In his place would rise an unforgiving shade of hell, a true Sith Lord lost beyond all redemption. Beyond hope. All because… because....

                I stumbled farther back, gaining speed as my mind reeled in confusion and with possibilities. Everything that I had known, everything I believed in was being called into question now. It was too much to handle all at once.

                 I raced blindly back to my ship, thankful Anakin was too absorbed in his own grief to notice me. I would return to Coresaunt, and arrange to have the other child taken to safety. I then would take the boy to Tatooien myself and finish my days in self imposed exile. Perhaps someday, somehow, I could redeem myself, but for now... now, there were the children to think of. The children that had been denied both a mother and a father in the space of just a few hours. The world was crumbling around us all but perhaps, just perhaps...

                He's coming back now, with that same grim determination that was the hallmark of his father. Anakin's features are firmly stamped on his visage. He has the same piercing blue eyes, the unruly blond hair; he is very much his father's son. Yet there is something very different with the boy. A sense of peace that my young friend had only seemed to know when his beloved wife was at his side. The boy has his father's face, his fathers spirit… but he has his mother's heart.