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Author's note: Well, this sounded like a fun thing to write. I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :-) Have mercy for my spelling and grammar.

Disclaimer: These character belong to George Lucas (well, not all of them) and I don't make any money by writing this.

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I wonder if my master is still alive.

That might sound ridiculous. I mean, after what I've done, after all this time, all these days when I've been dishonoring his teachings, I wonder if he's alive.

I should know I guess, but I don't. I don't have an idea.

What would he say if he were here, if he saw me now?

Accuse me? Help me to escape?

Not that it is possible.

Probably he'd just turn away in disgust. Why should he acknowledge me as his apprentice? It was a very long time since I rejected him as my master. And there's no reason to change that tonight, is it?

But stillsome parts of me wish he was here now. Here to talk to me, to ask me what happened, to give me that calm stare of his and then wonder if I'm proud of where I am, what I've become.

If it was worth it.

Was it?

To be frank – and there's no reason why I shouldn't, after all, soon it won't matter – I don't know. It could have. That it ended up this way was just an accident.

But he is not here. Maybe he's not even alive. He will never know what happened to his student, the one he lost.

Sure, he saw me change. He would have been a fool not to. And my master was never a fool. Except from the day he chose me as his padawan, perhaps. But I don't know. Maybe it could have been all different. Maybe I want to believe that.

Yes, he saw me change. He saw me turn away, out of reach, never to come back. But he never knew why. I don't believe anyone did. I shouldn't care, really. But, oddly, I do. I really wish I could tell him, make him understand.

So, my beloved master, I'll tell my tale, and hope that you – if you're still alive – will find it one day. And if you're dead, I hope someone else does, someone in tune with the Light Side, so that he, when he dies and joins the Force, can tell you what I've said.

So that you one day will understand what brought me here, to this place this cold, unrelenting night.

***

I hated him.

More than you ever can imagine. If you'd known hate like this, you wouldn't be able to resist, not any more than I did.

And it was easy to hate him. He was just the kind of a guy. I mean, he had everything!

And you know, he didn't have to fight for it either. As soon as he appeared, everything got all right.

He was accepted at the temple at the age nine – and what kind of a thing is that?! – and was taken as a padawan immediately.

As if that wouldn't be enough, he was treated like some sort of god, being the Chosen One, and all.

He could do whatever he wanted. The Council didn't give a fuck. After all, he was supposed to save the galaxy, and you can't treat him like a mortal being, huh?

Yeah, he was good. I'll admit that.

But no one ever questioned it! It was just a certain thing, Anakin Skywalker is the greatest, he makes everything. Yeah right. But in the end he died, huh?

If there was a mission, whom did they send? Obi-Wan Kenobi, and of course, his INVALUABLE PADAWAN, THE GREAT ANAKIN SKYWALKER, SAVIOR OF THE GALAXY.

Yeah, they were heroes before he turned eighteen. But then came the Clone War. And they turned into legends.

And you know, it wasn't only the people out there that was fooled. It was just the same in the temple.

He'd got it all.

Friends, good looks, stardom and then of course, his incredible midichlorian count. C'mon, even Enigma liked him. And she uses to contempt most Jedi.

You know, I could have forgiven him that. What kind of a guy do you think I am? I don't begrudge anyone anything.

But then there was Ryalla.

You remember her? I believe you did. After all, she came and saw me pretty often. You know we loved each other.

But you don't know that love is what has brought me here. Or did you? Maybe you suspected it.

I would like to know, did you know? But then, for Force's sake, if you knew what love could dowhy didn't you stop me?

Why the hell didn't you stop me?

We had known each other since I was one, and she a month younger. We grew up together. And when she turned fifteen, I fell in love with her.

That's not so weird, is it?

And it could have turned out fine. I know she loved me. We could have married, and then had the greatest of lives together.

But then Anakin Skywalker entered the arena.

He was as old as I, and had been in the temple for six years. But until now, he had gone along quietly. Or pretty quietly.

But now, things were happening. He was getting bigger and bigger, and people was talking. Everybody knew who he was.

I didn't care about Skywalker. Ryalla and I were dating, that's what mattered.

Remember that time, master? I was never so happy

And you smiled at me, and gave me permission to see her. Do you regret it now?

It feels so strangetalking about love now. Did this really happen to me? Is it true that I loved once, a long time ago? It would seem impossible to believe

Somewhere along the road they became friends, she and Anakin. Well, that's no crime. But then she fell in love with him.

I shall be fair. He did nothing to encourage her. He never seemed interested in girls that way. Had his mind set on Amidala even then, I guess

At first, I didn't know what was going on. But I noticed she was drifting away from mebut when I asked her, she just made a joke about it, and then we talked about other things.

But then, slowly, when she was spending less and less time with me, and more with him I started to understand.

I didn't want to believe it, of course.

I made excuses for her, everything. She was in love with me, wasn't she?

But as things went on, I couldn't ignore it anymore.

And then, only a few days before the Clone Wars broke out, I put her against the wall, and this time she confessed. She was in love with Anakin Skywalker.

Force, I was crushed. I'd been suspecting it, had known it all the time, but now that I got it thrown in my face, I didn't know what to say.

I yelled.

I pleaded.

And I am afraid I cried.

I told her I loved her. That I would do anything for her.

But she wouldn't listen.

I said he would never love her like that. Everyone knew he was in love with the former Queen of Naboo. She just looked at me with her big, gray eyes and told me she had to try.

Tonight she would go to him, and tell him she loved him. She hoped he would realize she was the right one for him, that they would be happy together.

Our relationship was over.

She went over to me, and caressed me cheek.

"I'm sorry, Kev, but I have to. I cannot lie to my heart. And I would never lie to you."

I said nothing. She looked down, then looked back at me, and there was no doubt in her voice.

"I'll do what I must. Please wish me luck."

Then she went out of the room, not turning once. I just stood there, watching my beloved leave.

And with her – even though I didn't know it then – my soul.

Even that, I could have forgiven him.

He turned her down.

Not unkindly – of course the great Anakin Skywalker would never hurt anyone – but he turned her down.

And just a few months later he married Amidala.

And that, dear master, is what I never can forgive him.

He stole my Ryalla from me. Then he chose another girl over her, after he had crushed her heart. And mine –

Ain't that weird? If he had accepted her, taken the gift she wanted to give him, I would have survived itBut that he turned her down. He didn't want what she had. He didn't want the things I'd dreamed of.

Is that reason enough to hate him? I think it is. Is it reason enough to do all the things I have done, just to end up here?

No. I guess not. But yet, that's the way it turned out.

I was wretched.

You knew that, didn't you? But you didn't say anything, just showed me - through you kindness - that I could talk to you if I wanted.

I never doubted that. Never. But I didn't want to talk.

I kept on going.

I trained. Harder than ever before. You saw that too, didn't you? But you thought it was just a way to get over Ryalla. And it was. And maybe it would have worked.

I didn't see her again. Or well, I did SEE her. In the corridors, in the other end of a room, you know, things like that. But we didn't talk.

And she never came back to me.

But I don't know. Even if she had, I don't believe we would have been able to bring back what we once had.

I still loved her, that's for sure, but what we'd shared was gone for good. It disappeared as she did the same out through my door.

I heard about it in the cantina. Someone said Anakin Skywalker would marry senator Amidala of Naboo.

I was devastated.

I mean, if I'd heard he would marry Ryalla, maybe I'd accepted it, but Amidala

Don't ask for logic. It's just my feelings. And now that's against all your teachings, master. But then again, most of what I've done these last years are.

I saw it on the holo. We weren't invited – we didn't know him that well. But you know that. I can't say if Ryalla was. Either way, she wasn't there.

I saw them, this young, beautiful couple smile like they were in heaven, and I thought of Ryalla, and how she left me and ran to him just to be rejected.

And I hated them, master. Hated them so much.

And that was when I decided to kill them.

For crushing her heart? No. That's not the truth. I wanted to make the pay for crushing my heart. In the end, I crushed myself. You would have told me that, had I asked you. But I didn't ask. I hated.

You never knew this, did you?

You just saw that change. Of course you did.

Cause you see, master. From that day on I lived only for my revenge.

I planned.

I trained harder than ever. If you're planning to fight the Chosen One, then you don't come unprepared. When I thought myself to be ready I would strike. And I trained harder and harder so that the day for my attack wouldn't be long in coming.

You were worried about me, I know. You tried to talk to me so many times. I wouldn't listen.

I thought you were a nosy fool. I ask you to forgive me that. You only tried to save me.

It was impossible, master. Don't think "if only". There is no such sentence. There was nothing you could do.

I was too far-gone.

But you tried one last time. You remember that night, don't you? That night when you realized I truly was on the Dark Side. I didn't. And I didn't believe you when you told me.

So I left you. And I never came back.

That's another weird thing. I hated them, more than you can imagine. I knew I hated them. I knew I lived for my revenge. Still, I wouldn't admit I had embraced the Dark Side.

Pride, I guess.

Pride has destroyed many lives.

I hated you then, master. I had nowhere to go, no place where I could plan and train and prepare myself. And I'd been so close to succeeding. I had already set the date when you made me leave.

No. That's unfair. You didn't really make me leave. I know that. But it felt that way then.

At first, I didn't know what to do.

But I wouldn't let anything stop me.

I lived for my hate. And the hate ate me, consumed my soul until nothing was left but cold darkness. Not even my love for Ryalla remained.

I left Coruscant on a big freighter. Wound up on a small dirtball called Kothlis. I stayed there, in a very small town. I took it over. I ruled it. I was the Dark Jedi. It was first then I accepted my fall. Not that I saw it as a fall.

You frown. You never heard of that, did you? Neither did the Council. The town was a rotten place. No one cared about it. No one cared about whom ruled it. Therefor you never knew.

I didn't really enjoy it. It was too small, too petty to please me. I felt petty myself, ruling such a low place.

But I stayed.

I told myself I wouldn't last for long. Only until I got a chance to kill the Skywalkers.

Two years passed. I turned twenty-three. But I was already an old man.

Did you look for me, master? Searched for your fallen apprentice? Or did you took another youth as your padawan, forgetting the one you lost..?

And that townSy'lyar. What's it like now, when I've left it? Is it a happy village again? I hope soafter all, it was just a substitute for revenge. Now that I've got it, I don't need that place anymore.

Time went on, as it always does.

Suddenly the news reached me.

Chancellor Palpatine had declared himself Emperor and taken control of the new Empire.

At his right side, was Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith. And they were killing all the Jedi.

I was elated.

For two years, I'd been living on this dustball. Now I saw my chance.

I could go to the Emperor, and offer him my services. In exchange, I would be the one to kill Anakin Skywalker.

I left the same day.

I didn't know then that he was already dead. Half my revenge had already been achieved. But at least, I did the other half myself.

I was never good at flying. So when my ship started to signal "DANGER" I didn't know what to do. I figured I ought to land.

I did so on a desert-planet called Tatooine.

And there I found Amidala.

I don't know what she was doing there. Fleeing from the Empire, I guessed. After all, her husband was a Jedi.

She looked older where she stood in the alley, waiting for someone. Much older.

She looked up when I came, then looked away, not really seeing me. I was nothing to her.

I guess she regretted that later.

Yes, I killed her. I wasn't there to see her die, though.

I don't want to dirt you with the details. To say that Obi-Wan Kenobi interfered and made me flee before she passed out is enough.

But I could feel her die.

I thought half of my mission had been accomplished – I still didn't know he was dead.

But I didn't feel any triumph. And that surprised me.

It doesn't surprise you, huh? You would have told me revenge was an empty victoryand maybe you are right. Tonight, I will almost believe it.

I arrived to Coruscant two days later and managed my way into the Emperor's throne-room.

I told him my story. I said I would be his servant, only he let me kill Anakin Skywalker.

And he laughed.

Then he told me, smiling, Anakin Skywalker was already dead. Killed by Darth Vader months ago.

I was shocked. I hadn't expected this.

Then I realized. They were dead. Both of them. Even though I hadn't killed him myself, they were dead. I had reached my goal.

I stood there, stunned, not aware of the present. I can't really describe the feeling. I won't even try. But it was not like anything I'd ever experienced before.

Then the Emperor cut into my thoughts. He said he could have use for me. And that I could work directly under Darth Vader.

He laughed when he said that.

I agreed. It seemed proper.

Yes, proper. Maybe this is a proper fate for me. Do you think so, master? Do you look at me in disgust, or do you feel compassion.

Do you care of me at all. Does my story – the tale of your lost apprentice – touch you?

Once I would have known it did. But now, I'm not sure.

I spent a day, waiting for Vader to return from some Jedihunt. It was late afternoon when he entered my room.

Apparently the Emperor had told him everything. He looked at me for a while, as if he was trying to read my soul.

I gave him a fast smile.

"I heard you killed Anakin Skywalker."

He nodded.

"You hated him?"

He stood still for a moment, then shrugged.

"He was a fool."

I nodded.

"Yes. But nothing remains of him now."

He tilted his head slightly.

"What do you mean?" he demanded.

"Nothing. Just that now his wife is dead as well"

This sounds stupid, but I promise you, he flinched. Have you met him, you understand how unnatural that is.

"You know about that?"

What was it in his voice? I cannot tell

I smiled confidently.

"Well, I killed her."

I don't know what happened now. I said the words and everything became quiet. Then suddenly I was thrown against the wall.

He stood over me, gripped me and held me in the air.

"Whatdid yousay?" he breathed, his mask just inches from me.

"I killed her", I whispered.

I had time to wonder what was going on before I was smashed into the wall again.

I guess I fainted cause when I woke up I hang in chains in a small room, a cell, and Vader's standing before me. I don't remember how I got there.

But I most certainly remember the following hours, when I entered a new world of pain as my body was slowly turned into pieces.

And I wonder over and over againwhy? Why, why, why?

Why does he care?

I don't know.

Maybe Vader too was in love once.

Maybe his story is not so unlike mine. But I don't know.

I would give so much to understandwhy did he do this to me? And that's why I'm telling you this. Because I believe you want to understand too.

He didn't address me once during the torture. Just ordered around the droidwatched melistened to my screams

I didn't know there could be pain like that. I screamed and screameduntil it was over and he left.


That was an hour ago.

So here I am, master.

I never thought it would end like this. But yethere I am. And I don't know why. It was my own actions that brought me here, I'm sure. But I can't seecan't understand how.

I've told you my story, master. As it was. As I felt it was. Maybe it was all-differentbut this is what I saw and heard and felt.

So now that you know, my master, can you tell me how I ended up here?

Did I deserve it? In many ways I guess I did

There are so many things I haven't told youcruelties I've committed thoughts I've been thinkingthe years on Kothlis

You don't really have to know that. Or is it essential to what has happened?

I don't knowand there's no one to tell me. In the end, we are all alone, with our guilt.

I cannot feel the pain anymoreI know I'm passing away. I can feel that life's leaving me. I hardly have the strength to breathe. It's not much left

Do you know what happened to Ryalla?

This started out of my love for her, yet I haven't thought of her in years. When did my love turn into hate, master? Can you look back at this story and then tell me when I started to walk down this road, that has brought me here tonight?

The road was long. And the obstacles many. But here I am. I guess, you might say I've reached my goal. Tonight I will pay the road tax.

I failed you, master. I rejected your training, I ran away and I hated you. I cursed you.

Tonight I am paying, and I curse you once again, and the Skywalkers, and Ryalla, and myself for leaving me like this.

And masterhow I wish you were here