Forging Strength from Pain
by Philip S.

Summary: The Slayer draws strength from her emotions. But there are places where emotions become dangerous.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or setting appearing in this story, they all belong to their respective copyright holders. No infringement is intended.

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For as long as she can remember her world has been defined by pain.

The pain of losing her normal life when she became the Slayer. The pain of being helpless as her first Watcher died to save her. The pain of being put in a mental institution by her parents for the simple crime of speaking the truth. The pain of being told that she would die. The pain of losing the man she loved to a moment of passion. The pain of being forced to kill this same man to save an uncaring world. Pain and yet more pain.

She sought to end that pain by taking her sister's place and giving her own life for the world. That should have been the end, but it wasn't. There was more pain in store for her. More pain, still more pain. And slowly, ever so slowly, the pain stopped hurting her. First she became numb. Then she became stronger.

"I sense so much anger in you," the old, spent creature in front of her says. "Anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering."

A grin spreads across her cheeks. When she first came to this new place, once again cheated of her just reward, sent to a new battle field to once again experience pain in the name of others, she had bowed to its rigid structures. She had bowed to those with power, had bowed to their instructions.

No longer. For none of them suspected how this place would shape her, how much power it could bestow upon those who gave in to the fire of their emotions. None of them knew how much power the Slayer could forge from pain and anger. And how her anger burned for those who had used her as a tool and for those whose ignorant lives she had to save again and again and again.

"Down this path you must not go, Buffy Summers," the creature pleads.

"I never liked being told what to do," she says, her lips spreading in a cruel smile. "And FYI, Buffy Summers is not my name any longer."

Brandishing the crimson-red weapon her benefactor has given her, she prepares to deliver the final blow to the Order of the Jedi.

"Call me Darth Sumar, Master Yoda!"

And with a single blow of her light sabre the girl once known as Buffy Summers, now the most powerful Sith in the galaxy, kills the Eldest of the Jedi.

"Excellent, my apprentice," Lord Sidious says. Just hours ago he declared himself Emperor. The Jedi are being hunted to extinction. The boy, Anakin, who refused to bow to his will, is now also dead at his apprentice's hand. None are left to stop him.

Darth Sumar smiles. And none will be left to stop her once she kills him and takes his place as Empress of the galaxy.

THE END