The wind whirls around me, picking up my cloak and biting my skin harshly. It is different here than any other place I have been to. Here, even nature seems to be perfectly in tune with my hatred, swirling the anger I feel around me. The cracked ground, tattered and torn apart by a million revolutions in the earth, reflects the empty shards of my soul. The swirling gusts reflect the sweeping devastation and final resolution I have come to. It strengthens me, filling up the hole inside of me.

I turn as I feel a distinct presence in the Force. Obi-Wan stands before me, his visage constantly changing before my eyes. I see him as the Padawan he was when we first met to now, when he is both wiser in the force and older, his hair a weary shade of gray. Only his eyes remain the same. They stare directly into mine, burning blue-gray, with a resigned air; yet they still carry his love for me. I growl deep in my throat, not wanting his pity or weak affection. If he truly loved me, he would have saved me; he would never have let me hurt Padmé. I convince myself of this lie until it becomes the truth.

Anger burns hot and then cold within me. I am consumed by fire and then ice, both equally powerful. When I was younger, I would have swung at him in the heat of passion, discarding common sense and abandoning myself to my own anger. Now I use my rage, even as it uses me. Every movement is precise and thought out, and my rage is kept controlled, though it will be in every blow I strike, sliding along my blazing saber.

I ignite my lightsaber, allowing a small smile to cross my face. I draw on the power of the dark side within me; it is a small whisper in my heart, a presence in my mind. My self-loathing, all my fears and my hurt are thrust away from me, towards him.

We fight madly, our blades colliding with power and swiftness. This is different from Mustafar, for my hate has now grown within me until it is my mantra, the silent chant I repeat to myself. It has cooled and intensified. I hate no man like I hate Obi-Wan... except perhaps myself.

He looks at me once more, even as our blades clash in a tempest of whirling red and blue. I watch the love evaporate from his eyes, until it is replaced with a sad resolution. This only serves to infuriate me more, and I allow the hate to swell in me until I am striking down his last defenses.

I cut the hand that holds his lightsaber off, watching as it drops off the craggy cliff into the distance with a smirk on my face, feeling avenged for the hand he stole from me. He will truly pay now for all that he has done. I turn to face him, to end his miserable life. He does not cower, but instead stands and waits for his fate, showing no pain at his severed hand, the same look of sadness on his face. I raise my lightsaber, ready to strike his head off for the killing blow-

-and watch as he becomes Padmé. His features soften until they assume the form of the woman I love, with her soft brown curls and her even softer brown eyes. Not only do I see her in the flesh, but I feel her soothing and calming me through the Force in a way no one else has ever been able to. Her presence burns within me like an unbearably soft, healing light. I cry out with all of my love to her, wanting her to hear me and know that I am here, her protector. I do not know how she stands there before me since I killed her, but I want her forgiveness, and I want redemption and love, even as I know I do not deserve it, even as I revile myself for wanting it.

Everything slows down, twisting madly. My red lightsaber, stained with the blood of innocents, draws nearer to her, an unstoppable force. I cannot control the hate I poured into it anymore; it controls me. The expression of compassion drains away from her face, and is replaced with a look of terror. For a fleeting instant, her eyes meet mine, and I see a look of revulsion, and know with a sinking heart that she is no better then all the rest, that she is like Obi-Wan, that she has betrayed me; but I still love her-

-yet my lightsaber speeds up, and clefts her head from her shoulders in one final, shuddering blow. Her lips are parted in one final word, and though I cannot hear it, I know it is one of condemnation. Her body, now only a lifeless shell, topples to the ground. I regain control of myself, but it is too late. I drop my lightsaber, unable to hold the weapon that has destroyed my wife, my angel, and huddle next to the dead form of the one person who truly loved me.

I see her eyes for one last time, and they are glazed over, no longer able to recognize me. I attempt to take control of the rage that has served me, but find it is no longer there, replaced now only by a fleeting shadow. In its place, I find immense sorrow that weighs on my heart, blackening my soul and darkening my vision. I have killed her. Guilt crowds in around me, pressing me down. My breathing grows louder and harsher, and rasps within my ears as I resume the suited form of a demon.

A howl that is not recognizable as human issues from my lips, quiet at first, and then growing louder, until it reverberates around me in the place that is no longer a symbol of power, but rather one of loneliness and desperation. It is all I hear, and all I know. My eyes light on the forgotten lightsaber, and I reach towards it with a moan that is animal, not knowing myself, not knowing what I intend.

I turn it towards my heart, looking one last time towards Padmé, my angel. And then I brace myself for both the pain and the ending of pain, the sweetness of not knowing my mind anymore-

I wake up, my breathing regular. There is nothing to show that I, impenetrable Lord of the Sith, have had a nightmare. If I were a man, my breaths would be short gasps right now. But I am not a man. Instead, I am a heartless, soulless beast, so I wake as if there is nothing wrong. I wake as if I have not just endured hell again, waking to my own silent screams, death denied to me once more.

I stand up from my chair, shaky. There is nothing wrong with me on the outside; my suit allows me to wake and be fully alert, ready to fight. No, the weakness comes from within. Twice in my life I have had similar dreams about my wife; once after Mustafar, and again after I killed Obi-
Wan. This is troubling, I muse as I stare across the stars from my personal quarters in the Executor. I know, somehow, that the dreams come from my son.

The look on his face of disgust and horror when I revealed to him what Obi-Wan had neglected to tell him stands out clearly in my mind. His and Padmé's faces blur together until they become one and the same. My hand shakes in a weakness I would never reveal in front of anyone. I cannot shake the dream that has haunted me for so many nights now. It is inescapable, a constant reminder of all I have become, even worse then the suit.

My dreams are impossible. Both my former master and my wife are dead and gone. Time has not lessened the pain and the guilt, it has only made them stronger. I have simply learned to live with the nightmares and the pain that never seems to leave. I close my eyes, still able to see her face.

I am able to look upon my son without the bias of being his father. I am able to see him as nothing more than a tool, because this is what my master requires of me, and what I require of myself. I am able to shut off my emotions easily, and yet I can plunge in a second into the anger that is my only nourishment. I am lucky to be able to do this; it is a necessity, or else my emotions would destroy me.

He would have made a good Sith, I think as I stand, solid, unmoving, unshaken. The force runs strong within him. He has been blinded by the lies of the Jedi for a long time, but I could have undone that. If he had joined me, then everything would have been all right. I shake my head at his foolishness. He should have joined me.

I know that together, we could have killed my master and started a new empire... our empire. He could have ruled beside me, been an extension of myself. I feel a touch of snide pity behind the solid shield that encases Anakin Skywalker. I push it down firmly, not allowing that part of myself to feel, because feeling will bring pain and destruction.

And yet, I cannot repress the growing feeling of need around me. It is a need that I have not felt in over twenty years, and it is agonizing. If I searched deeper within myself, I could discover the wounds that I thought had healed over, bandaged with anger and hate. If I dared to look far enough, I could still find the man who was Obi-Wan's brother, and Padmé's husband. If I risked digging even deeper, past the many layers of anger and self-hatred, I could find that I love this boy, my son, and that something within me is him.

But I will not look that deep. I must, instead, shove everything that I feel behind the durasteel wall that separates me from Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father. I must not allow myself attachment to this boy, I must not love him.

For everything I love turns to ashes, burned by the fire that consumes me.