Part of a Master of Death series on my Profile called Master of Nothing, description on there
Life 74: World's Greatest
"It's over Moriarty."
"You've fought for too long, come back from beyond the brink, just to prove you are my equal," I said to the only man to truly match me in might, magic to be damned, this man had done the impossible, just as I had.
But it was time he learned the absolute, and undeniable truth about the two of us.
He grinned a grin so familiar, his teeth white as cotton and as rotten as mud, the corruptive nature of the man shining through him like fog in a marsh.
"Took you long enough to admit it Holmes, I am your weakness, your foil, your… equal, in all things. We… are… the same!" Moriarty near squeaked, his excitement loud and fierce, his wildest dream likely realizing as he stepped ever closer to me. The wild rain falling upon us like hail in a field, sharp and piercing for us, pulling us closer to the edge.
I never thought I would face my worst foe on Reichenbach, but how fitting. Rather than a courtyard of equal ground, my end would come on a downward spiral, a harsh landing being all that awaited me as I faced the final problem of this life.
I held the final solution.
I laughed at him, a rare chuckle coming to my lips, a thing that wasn't common in this life of mine, a stark contrast to those that had graced my immortality before.
I had once been an all powerful Emperor, and now I stood as a poor and addict Detective, how odd and fitting.
Moriarty looked at me then, almost seeming lost before anger overtook him then, he predicting what message.
I wouldn't disappoint him.
"But that's where you're wrong Professor, you were never my equal, just a pest. One that needs exterminating." I said as smug as this life had usually brought me, my smile eclipsing his previous one.
He snarled at me, stepping closer to me, his eyes trying to burn into my own with an intensity that tried to scare me.
He failed horribly, yet he still tried.
"If I'm a pest, than you're a rat!" He screamed into my face, his hands flying to grab ahold of me, pushing me against the rocks around us, the rain blinding us.
We began this desperate struggle for ground, our bodies bashing against the falls, each trying to kill the other.
Perhaps we weren't, I knew neither of us truly wanted to kill the other, as our rivalry, if you could call it that, was much too fun to give up… But I knew that this had to end.
Too many innocents had fallen due to Moriarty's schemes, and I could not stand by as he killed more.
Moriarty would fall, here and now… Even if I did too.
"This ends now!" I screamed as loudly of possible, my hands grabbing a hold of his neck, squeezing as hard as possible, Moriarty's eyes bulging in their sockets as he laughed a cold and horrible laugh.
I couldn't take it anymore.
Through the rain and storm, through the anguish and rage, I pulled him to me, and jumped over the edge.
I fell over the falls, and took him with me.
I had solved the Final Problem.
The familiar darkness greeted me once more.
I knew this place more than any other being in creation, had seen it, unlike any other.
Except for the entity that ruled this realm.
I didn't even need to turn to know it rested behind me, my spectral essence floating in the void.
"Hello Death, how are you? I'm just dead, again..." I spoke into the void, my voice a mere thought as nothing truly existed here, in the absence of nothingness, only light floating in the darkness.
I felt a warmth in the cold, a familiar greeting from the entity that often acted as my master, despite the fact I was meant to be it's own master.
I had gotten used to it's control however, as one would over three-thousand years of his curse.
I also felt a feeling that felt like pride, so I assume that Death approved of how I handled Moriarty.
It was almost poetic in a sense, as I gave the ultimate sacrifice, the last Sherlock Holmes would make.
Hopefully Watson would never need another, as I was out of miracles.
Pushing away the thoughts of Victorian London, the memories I held of John and Lestrade, Molly and even Mycroft's fat ass.
I will miss the legal Cocaine though, that was a joy.
Brushing that all aside, I asked Death the same question I had asked since I earned access to it's domain.
"Am I done yet?"
I felt a cold feeling then, one that I felt every time.
"I guess that's a no…"
Life 75: Chosen Again...
Once again, I endured a childhood, this once fraught with hardship, just as so many before this one.
However, this one brought back awful memories to my very first, the earliest one, yet different in a way.
Perhaps happier, yet still sad.
I was a slave, once again, but I wasn't alone.
I had a mother, but no father.
She raised me well, despite my master's gruff exterior, teaching me morals and what little she could with how little I was at the time.
She was the mother I had always longed for, and my childhood was almost paradise, if only we hadn't been slaves.
My master ignored me for the most part, deeming it useless, until my third year of life, where he lost us in a bet.
Our master was forced to traded us to another, one much more… unpleasant, if that was possible considering our old master.
As soon as I turned five, my master put me to work in his shop, working away at the appliances he sold, fixing what broken pieces he had found and restoring them to salable quality.
I learned I was good at it, though I had worked with technology like this in previous lives.
The circuits were wired differently, and the power sources were strange, but the tech wasn't too different from Stark's early work, so it was simple to work with.
The robot, or droids as they were called here, were ridiculous simple in comparison, and I even found myself building them.
My master was pleased, so much so that he quit whoring out my mother.
Yes, he didn't know I knew about the job he had forced on her, but I had seen her slinking home bloody and bruised too often to believe anything else.
I had seen her tears as she shook so in her small room, her clothes torn to shreds.
She knew I had figured it out, as her clothes from the night before would be sown and cleaned, appearing like almost like new.
She never said anything, but she would smile a sad smile before she left for the day, I returning it.
Until I stepped up, and started building entirely new droids.
Better droids, and one very, very… special droid.
It took two years of constant hoarding of parts and secretly working on it during the rough hours of night, but he was almost finished.
He was beautiful, and almost ready.
My master would die, violently and brutally.
When I was seven, my master wanted my mother to return to prostitution. I heard his screams at her from the shop's back room, my task of working on a sentient Roomba stopped in it's tracks.
The time had come, as I knew it would one day soon.
I knew he would falter, he would cross the line that existed only in my mind, and he finally had given me a reason to end his miserable life.
He gave me it on a golden platter.
Dropping the blasted droid to the ground, I grabbed a small watch-like device I had made in an afternoon, and walked back into the shopfront to find my mother crying and that arrogant fuck sneering at her.
She froze as she saw me, as to her, she had been strong and never cried in front of me.
She didn't understand that she never needed to.
"Boy, back in the shop! This is none of your business!" My so called master screamed at me, his arms flailing wildly as he crossed closer to me, his hand raising as if he was going to strike me.
I knew he wouldn't.
I smiled a smile I had done every night for the past few years, every time I had perfected some portion of my beautiful droid.
In this life, I learned to find joy in the smallest things.
"I'm afraid, MASTER, that this is entirely my business. My mother is not yours or anyone's to use, and you've crossed the line." I said to him, my little voice rising to almost malevolent levels. Unknown to myself at the time, my eyes began to glow an unnatural shade of bright yellow, their light burrowing into my master's eyes.
He began to shake, either from anger or fear, I will never know.
"You… you are my slave! You will leave!" He yelled weakly, perhaps trying to weaken my resolve, but I had so many years under my belt, and so many that I had fought and so many enemies that I had killed.
He was less than nothing, not even worth killing by my own hand, not that I could in this life.
I was a boy, and I had no gifts.
But I had a slave of my own, and it was time to break my own chains.
"I don't think I will, not this time." I said firmly, a chuckle rumbling from my throat as I was the only one let in on the joke.
Seeing the confusion and fear in his eyes, likely shared by my mother as well, I said one simple sentence into my watch.
I called my loyal droid, one that I had recreated from an ancient book that I had found in a tomb of some sorcerer, one long since past.
It was interesting, and gave me the perfect idea of a companion, especially after finding a memory chip hidden deep within the tomb.
I've built what is likely the most powerful droid in the galaxy, at least, I assume he is.
"HK-47, Execute this filthy bug."
"Joyful Exclamation: With pleasure Master!"
My mother was silent as I removed her Slave Chip.
I hadn't let Watto know, but I had removed my own chip a month ago after disarming it.
I had found elctro-magnetic fields actually fried my Slave Chip at no effect to myself, creating a whining noise as the fields fried the chip from the inside out.
I had found a malfunctioning Pod-Racer in the desert, the magnetic engine broken beyond repair, yet bleeding fields like bleed from a wound.
It was useful, though disarming the chip burned through the back of my head.
I still have the burn on the back of my head, but I had HK-47 remove the chip as soon as possible, the stitches hidden beneath my blonde hair, the hair growing back quickly to cover my burn marks.
I was concerned however, as my mother remained silent even after I had finished, and even after I had prepared tea for the both of us, hoping to draw her out of her fearful silence.
I had correctly assumed that Watto, grease-bag though he may have been, would have had friends that would want to avenge him.
HK-47's blasters sounding outside the store and the sound of bodies dropping proved me right.
After over thirty minutes and her tea went cold, I laid my hand on hers, trying to get her to look at me.
"Mom, say something. Please…" I begged her, my eyes seeking hers. She had been the best and truest mother I had ever known, and I worried that I had made her fear me.
To my relief though, she did look at me, albeit with slight fear lingering there.
"Ani… what did you do?"
"What I needed to."
I renamed the store to Sky-Droids.
We no longer sold junk and garbage as Watto had, but we did carry spare parts of all kinds.
As the name suggested though, I began to sell droids of all kinds, and of my own design.
I had salvaged every droid Watto had in inventory, and created superior droids with fewer parts.
I made droids of each use, from Protocol to Astromech. I even sold inferior Assassin Droids to select customers, HK-40's being the best sellers.
As the galaxy hadn't seen HK droids in hundreds of years and had forgotten them in exchange for vastly inferior droids, Bounty Hunters and influential nobles bought the droids for protection or help.
Of course, I had to ensure that no other HK model was as powerful as my own, from my own logic and from HK-47's own request.
Funny enough, Tatooine was having a tourist rush that it hadn't had in Millennia.
It made me proud, and surprisingly my mother as well, as I expanded the store by three sizes as I bought out the land all around the shop.
I eventually introduced HK-45's, and I swear the planet went crazy for them, lines reaching from here to the Pod-Racing Track, and I got more than a few offers from the Hutt Clan.
That was a wonderful day, when Jabba the Hut himself paid me three million credits for the exclusive rights to the HK Models, meaning only he and his few associates could produce new HK models.
I had no issue with that at all, as I had all sorts of new ideas.
Oh the future was bright indeed, and I wouldn't let anyone step in my way.
Until, well, that day of course.
A day way too similar to my eleventh birthday, oh so many lives ago…
When a tall man dropped a surprise on me…
A tall man, garbed in tan robes much like a desert dweller, yet different in a faint way, led a group of odd people through the crowded settlement of Mos Espa, the sun bearing down on their heads like an angry god.
His name was Qui-Gon Jinn, and he was part of a secretive order that was at the forefront of the galaxy.
He was a Jedi Knight.
His companions were a young man that was his son in all but blood named Obi-Wan Kenobi, a young woman that thought she could fool him, the Nubian Queen Padmé Amidala, and a creature that tried his patience to an extent that he actually considered murder of an innocent being.
He had never felt the pull of the Dark Side as he did now, yet he remained stoic and strong.
Qui-Gon led the group to a plaza near the spaceport, one where he knew there to be several parts dealers, ones which had to have the Hyperdrive they needed.
He turned to his Padawan, Obi-Wan, and mentioned his idea of checking some of the smaller parts dealers, only to freeze once they entered the familiar plaza he had known… only to not recognize it at all.
Where as there had been several shops selling in the plaza, all providing different services and components, now a single shop stretched wide through the plaza, resembling more of a factory than a store.
"Master, I thought you said a smaller dealer? This looks… much larger." Obi-Wan asked of his master, his eyes looking over the mechanized store, a tower rising from the back of it, steam flowing from exhaust grates on the store roof.
If the store wasn't intimidating enough, armed droids stood in front of the stores, their blasters clearly loaded and set to fire.
Padmé looked obviously bothered, and Qui-Gon hesitated as he wondered how this place could have sprung up so suddenly.
He had been to the planet just a year ago, and this… monstrosity of a store hadn't been here.
"There has to be another parts dealer left on the planet, let's find another." Qui-Gon said to the group, turning to leave, only to see a golden droid phase into visibility.
Qui-Gon was stricken, as he had thought this model of droid had been long forgotten…
An ancient assassin of legend stood before them, twin blasters rigged to it's arms, yet it looked newer than the droid the Jedi had been told of in the ancient texts.
"Statement: No component store exists on Tatooine aside from my Master's store." The droid spoke in a light and polite voice, it's voice pleasing and surprisingly female.
This wasn't anything like the droid Qui-Gon had heard of, and Obi-Wan had noticed.
"Master, is that…?" The young man asked him, his eyes fluttering between the droid and his master, his eyes possibly deceiving him.
Padmé and the Gungan were oblivious and worried… at least Padmé was.
"Introduction: I am DA-80, a Battle-Droidette created by Sky-Droids. I have been assigned to observe the store front and inform potential customers of their unfortunate situation." The droid said smugly, the droid crossing her arms in a standoffish way. "Statement: I have examined your J-type 327 Nubian ship. Without my master, you are never leaving this planet."
With that, the droidette disappeared, leaving the group looking at each other with doubt and worry.
"Master?" Obi-Wan asked of him, his eyes looking once more at his master and then at the store.
"Let us go shopping then, come along." Qui-Gon said with a smile, leading the group to the threatening store, only to stagger backwards.
Unknown to the rest of the group, Qui-Gon felt a pain in his mind greater than any he had felt before, a pressure put upon him of the likes he had never felt before.
"I feel a disturbance… in the Force."
"I'm not just human…"
I felt power like never before rush through my body, so like Magic yet so much stronger and wilder.
My blood was burning, yet in a way much like a high, my face splitting in a smile.
My eyes took on a glow as lightning leapt from my fingers, the tools around me floating in the air.
"This… is… incredible." I said with a excited laugh, my laughter becoming near insane, only for my newfound powers to disappear as soon as they had come.
That was disappointing, but I knew they existed now… I could use this.
Before I could think more on my potential power, my mother walked into my workshop, a smile on her face, her elegant robes hanging off her.
"Ani, you have customers."
"Where's NE-PO?" I asked her, wondering where my trading droid was. Normally the droid was eager to help customers.
"He's there, but one of them is asking after the owner. I figured you would want to see them." My mother said swiftly before kissing my forehead and walking off, leaving me wondering.
No one ever asks for me, they're often more than fine with buying from a droid.
After all, they assumed all droids got their memories wiped and their business (And what shady items they bought) would be forgotten.
I never wipe my droids, and I have so much blackmail material.
Ignoring the question, I put down the droid head I had been tinkering with, and brushed down my suit, heading towards the door.
Beyond that door would be the gateway to my future, and yet another reminder of my past.
I wonder in the dark of the night, whether I would ever be able to move on.
No matter how well I feel in the day, it's the night where the nightmares come for me.
That's why I could never walk in the dark again, couldn't let the influence control me once again.
She wouldn't want me to.