WARNING: I'm going to do two things I know a lot of people won't like, this is the ending with loose ends that I will leave open ended because this cast is huge and an epilogue would just be a wishlist. Second, I made a choice that stylistically often annoys me, however, in this case, it just feels right and has certain symmetry.
The Sith: Enough of the little ones get away so they still exist in the universe, if you don't see them die in this chapter safe to say they are still out there kicking.
Thank you, MacGordon93!
Chapter 38 - A Rhyme of Starlight
"Why is it always Tatooine?" Anakin asked bitterly.
"It's probably cursed," Obi-Wan said as they disembarked into the chaos.
They had all believed that Nal Hutta would be the last stand, but as was the way of the Force, the war against the Hutts ended here.
Republic and Rebellion forces were converging on Jabba's palace.
Leia and Cody had been leading that front.
Luke, Anakin, and Obi-Wan had been fighting the Hutts' hired pilots above them. The other Hutts had already surrendered to Mandalore.
Jabba alone seemed unwilling to accept the galaxy was changing and slavers were on the losing side.
Rex ran up to them, his armour dusted in sand, "Abeloth is here."
Komari Vosa was here.
Abeloth, the mother, was here.
Darth Plagueis was her.
"And Dooku's forces?" Obi-Wan asked.
"We have had confirmation that the Count has seized control of Nal Hutta," Rex said, voice neutral.
It wasn't ideal, but Dooku was an ally now, and was likely to enforce the anti-slavery laws.
"Fine," Obi-Wan said. "Where to?"
"We are going to kill Komari?" Luke asked, getting on one of the speeders that was flown to them.
"Yes," Anakin said. "It's time we end this. If the Sith are to survive, then let them continue under Dooku, but Bane's ilk needs to go."
Luke nodded, "Abeloth's powers were never meant to be personified."
"Indeed," Obi-Wan said.
Anakin revved his speeder and they took off.
Luke knew the terrain better than Anakin and the dunes of Tatooine beneath them as the Force sang them forward.
Darth Plagueis was a black hole of darkness in the Force, a nearly infinite source of power and imbalance.
The troopers had captured the Palace, and pride swelled in Anakin's chest as they came down the steps and saw his daughter standing over the corpse of Jabba the Hutt.
It seemed Leia had always been meant to be a Huttslayer.
The title suited her, and something about an Alderaanian Princess being a Huttslayer seemed to Anakin a great karmic justice.
"Where is Plagueis?" Obi-Wan asked, scanning the large room.
Anakin knew why he asked, the creature's presence seemed to surround them, engulf them.
"Sir," Cody called, they had prisoners.
They had won, the war was over.
But Darth Plagueis was here.
A Coriellian soldier came to Rex's side and opened his mouth and then the Force dropped out from underneath, as if it had been pulled on.
Luke, Anakin, and Obi-Wan pulled their lightsabers which became the only light in the room as darkness snuffed out the filtered light of the Tatooine suns.
Plagueis's voice came in a hiss, a whining down that did not sound as if it came from a female throat but the darkness itself, "We've played this game long enough, Skywalkers."
Leia spoke into the Dark, "I agree. So go ahead and put yourself out of everyone's misery."
Plagueis chuckled, and again, his voice came from everywhere in the abyss, "You are a drop in an ocean, Daughter."
Commander Cody barked out a word in Mando'a.
Blaster fire lit up the dark in red streaks that faded like embers.
Plagueis laughed, echoing and sybillant, making the hairs on the back of Anakin's neck stand on end
Then Cody and Rex yelled another Mando'a word, the blasterfire became more localized.
How they knew each other's positions, Anakin wasn't entirely sure, but the clone troopers had always had an uncanny unity in purpose shared between them.
Obi-Wan made the final call in their language, and the blaster fire hit the same part in the room with impossible precision.
Plagueis screeched an unholy wail, then roared withrage and the Force itself flinched from the ire and malice that flooded the room, thick and oppressive.
But the blaster fire hadn't truly hurt the Sith who was more power than person.
The darkness faltered, the small windows winked in and out of the view as the shadows writhed, then in a rush, focused into a humanoid shape before arrowing toward Obi-Wan.
Anakin caught his Master's wrist, pulling Obi-Wan into an embrace as he turned his back on the coming blow.
But it never came.
Anakin glanced back, blinking as his eyes adjusted to the light.
Luke had dropped his lightsabers and held his hands out toward that dark mass of unadulterated power.
Light formed at his hands, glowing, pure white light.
A captured star.
But even that was not enough.
Luke grimaced in pain as he pushed forward.
As though light and shadow could be as solid as a durasteel wall.
Leia, behind the shadow, the demon, threw out her own hands, shadows gathering like storm clouds, and she pulled on Plagueis, pulled as if there were rope or chains in her hands she was using to pull the thing away from her brother.
Darth Plagueis was caught in the middle, he laughed again, flashing smiling teeth, white and glowing as if the creature had ground stars between its maw.
The abyss that swallowed the stars.
Plagueis tried to fight the twins.
Logically, the monster should have gone toward Leia, but it was then Anakin realized that if he gave ground to the Alderaanian Princess it would be in submission.
Leia had already hosted Darth Sidious inside her, and while Plagueis would corrupt her, there were no guarantees that Leia might be able to harness the power herself, just as Plagueis had taken over Abeloth.
So Plagueis fought against her, and Luke held firm.
But it was an impasse between the three of them.
Darkness and light.
Night and starlight.
An eternal dance that would wreak havoc on the galaxy because this was not the balance of the things.
Night and day could not exist forever independent.
His children were the darkness between and the light of stars, but neither could endure without dusk;
Without the dawn.
The clones began firing from the side.
Plagueis howled, writhing, before laughing triumphantly as Luke and Leia slipped in their push and pull by the distraction.
Anakin let go of Obi-Wan and threw all that he was, all that he had been.
Qui-Gon had named him the Chosen One.
On Mortis, the Daughter and the Son had named him the Father.
Perhaps he was those things, perhaps he wasn't.
All Anakin knew was what he could live with.
What he would die for.
Who he would die for.
Anakin was not Darth Plagueis's equal, not Abeloth's equal. All of them were gods as far as power was concerned, but both Plagueis and Abeloth had been cheating for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Seeping power from places that were not themselves, taking, and never returning.
But even gods could die, could be slain.
Power was not everything.
Luke and Leia had proven that.
Together, however, the three of them were enough, and Anakin took both the Light and Dark within himself and tore into the selfish evil that represented the apathyand crueltyof the galaxy.
In his action, Anakin opened his mind to the twins, whose relief he could taste as they allowed Anakin to guide them in taking Plagueis apart.
Piece by piece.
The bridge between the physical and spiritual blurred as Plagueis screamed, no longer the Muun he had been born into this world, no longer the human Komari Vosa had died, no longer the woman who had fallen in love with the Father—
Who had fallen in love with the Force and surrendered her soul for a half life.
He felt it, the moment Plagueis was broken from any tenacious hold on the physical plain, but Anakin kept ripping.
He would allow neither the Mother nor the Sith Lord to continue as any sentient being, not even a ghost as Qui-Gon had become.
Anakin felt Luke and Leia's joy as true death of the monster before them rippled outward across the Force to the wider galaxy.
But it wasn't over.
Not by a long shot.
Anakin felt his heart race in his own physical body as he held the power of a supernova and black void in his hands.
Luke and Leia tensed as they attempted to bear the weight of it with him.
"Let go!" Obi-Wan shouted aloud and across their bond.
Anakin held onto that anchor-like bond as the Force showed him what it wanted.
What choices laid before him.
Or to surrender it all.
Before Mortis, before he had been torn from his body, before he saw the type of Master he might have become to Ahsoka, before he saw how terribly wrong it could all go…
How much his own daughter hated him…
And then learning his actions…
Luke reached across both bonds, both to Anakin and to Obi-Wan, with reassurance and love, and through him, Leia.
Leia who had become the darkness but had never lost sight of her purpose.
Of her hope.
Presented with the choice before, Anakin undoubtedly would have chosen power.
But power hadn't saved his mother, just as his powers wouldn't have saved Padme, and Anakin knew the path he needed to take.
He opened his thoughts, his intentions to his son and daughter and was met with ready acceptance.
Luke took right hand, the warmth tangible even through the metal, and Leia took his left, her determination unshakable.
They used their gifts, their strength, the light and darkness, and threw all of that power into the Force, into the galaxy, dispersing far and wide, giving it back.
They over extended themselves, and like water clinging to itself, the power they gave took from them in equal measures.
They didn't stop, they did not relent, even as their senses dimmed, even as their sight within the Force fell out of focus.
In order for the Mother, the Father, Son, and Daughter to never come back, they had to let all that there was back to the Force where they had originated from.
Even at the cost of their own Force sensitivity.
It was a price they were all willing to pay, because this was balance.
No one needed or should ever hold so much power.
It brought only suffering, making every mistake into a galactic consequence.
When it was done, Anakin could only just sense the life forms around him.
He, Luke, and Leia collapsed to the floor, and Anakin only just caught his petite children.
Luke and Leia hugged him, if only to be closer to each other than to love him, Anakin was still pleased.
All his life since meeting Master Qui-Gon Jinn, he had been told how powerful he was, how gifted.
Yet now, when he hardly could sense the Force at all and knew in his bones he would never regain the power he had surrendered, he had never felt so blessed.
Anakin held his children close, glorying in their lives, in their survival, of the life they would all have in the future.
Obi-Wan dropped to his knees beside them, hugging all three of him but mostly Luke and Anakin.
Obi-Wan said against Anakin's cheek, "I am so very proud of you, Anakin."
Anakin closed his eyes and let the tears fall.
No matter what happened moving forward, they knew the Force was with them. Because in the end it was never about power or sacrifice, it was about love and hope.
The love between lovers, between siblings, between comrades in arms, between parent and child, and teacher and student. As well as the hope that those who came after you would be better and wiser.
Hope that the galaxy would be more than it was this day.
Anakin Skywalker had faith, had hope that tomorrow would be brighter, because for the first time in his life, he felt whole, in balance;
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Hello Darkness: Time travelling Obi-Wan and Jedi Temple drama, the Order falling from within. (Mystery)
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Daughter of No One: Omega from the end of 'the Bad Batch' time travels back to the Clone Wars, and I go completely off-script and am rewriting the Clones Wars how I would have imagined it —with a liberal amount of not killing off named characters. (Adventure, Hurt Comfort, Family, and a bit of Romance). Time Travel & Save the Clones!