Title: The Creature
Time Period: six years pre-TPM
Characters: Sidious, Anakin, Shmi (sort of)
Genre: Horror, Angst
Summary:Sidious takes Anakin as his apprentice when he is very young, and unwittingly imparts a chilling lesson on the difference between being a human being and being a monster. "A man with yellow eyes saved a child..."
Disclaimer: Star Wars and the characters within belong to George Lucas only. I am not making any profit off this story. Also, the poem is not mine, it belongs to the guy I listed as the author.
Rating:T (it's not overtly violent, but it made my skin crawl while I was writing it, and when I read it after I was done. Sidious is one creepy man, and to write him realistically requires toleration for the disturbing. Perfect for Halloween, if you ask me.)
"Death is Not Evil, Evil is Mechanical", by D.H. Lawrence:
Only the human being, absolved from kissing and strife
goes on and on and on, without wandering
fixed upon the hub of the ego
going, yet never wandering, fixed, yet in motion,
the kind of hell that is real, grey and awful
sinless and stainless going round and round
the kind of hell grey Dante never saw
but of which he had a bit inside him.
Know thyself, and that thou art mortal.
But know thyself, denying that thou art mortal:
a thing of kisses and strife
a lit-up shaft of rain
a calling column of blood
a rose tree bronzy with thorns
a mixture of yea and nay
a rainbow of love and hate
a wind that blows back and forth
a creature of conflict, like a cataract:
know thyself, in denial of all these things –
And thou shalt begin to spin round on the hub of the obscene
a grey void thing that goes without wandering
a machine that in itself is nothing
a centre of the evil world.
A LONG TIME AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY…
A MAN WITH YELLOW EYES SAVED A CHILD
Anakin's wailing increased in volume when his rescuer decided to pick him up. The man felt like ice even though his skin was just as warm as anyone else's, felt alien in a way that made it almost physically painful for Anakin to be so near to him. The fact that his rescuer was looking down on him with no hostility at all, his yellow gaze soft and almost fatherly, only served to make the sense of wrongness that rolled off of him even more terrifying.
"Hush," the strange man whispered in his ear, his voice a sandpaper hiss that made Anakin shiver, then break into even louder sobs. Joy came alive in Sidious's eyes as he savored Anakin's fear and pain, and he licked his lips as if tasting something exquisite.
"Is this any way to act around your savior?" the man asked pleasantly. "I'm sorry I couldn't get here in time to save your mother from the Tuskens, my young friend, but some things are just not meant to be. Even I cannot always control what every subhuman in this galaxy does. There will be no controlling them until they are all exterminated once and for all. Those things are beyond our help," Darth Sidious observed, his voice a flat, apathetic purr.
"W-what's subhuman mean?" the boy asked hesitantly, wiping his eyes and on his sleeve, his articulation very clear for a three-year old, Sidious was proud to note. He didn't take a moment to examine that pride.
"It means they're animals," Sidious said, his tone just as flippant as before, only this time it held what could have almost been called patience for the one asking, but not quite.
"I like animals," Anakin said simply, his instinctive wariness of Sidious lessening fractionally at the man's slightly more pleasant tone. He then pointed at the decapitated Tuskens. "I don't like them. They hurt mom." His voice trembled and his eyes filled with tears once again as he looked at his mother's broken body, prostrated at his rescuer's feet as if in eternal supplication to him.
Sidious smiled slightly in approval.
"I know you don't like them, son, and you shouldn't; you should hate them. They hurt your mother, and now she's never coming back, you will never see her again because of them. Them, and the slavers. You would have never been targeted by the Raiders if you had been allowed to get away from this despicable planet in the first place, if you hadn't been captives, treated just like the beasts your owners are."
He smiled at the little gasp of pain that came from the child in his arms, and even more so when he felt the wetness of cold, salty tears fall onto his warm hands. Force-Persuading those Tuskens to disregard their safety and stroll into the middle of Mos Espa to attack the boy's mother had been worth it on so many levels. The fear and anger rolling off his future apprentice was intoxicating, stronger than any he had ever felt from anyone but himself.
His mouth salivated as he tasted the delicious emotions. This was what he hungered for.
"What I meant to say is that they are more like creatures. Bad animals, not worth our notice, or sympathy."
Anakin frowned, a look of concentration momentarily clearing the pain from his expression.
"They felt wrong," he said, the conviction in his small voice making him sound much older.
Sidious looked at the boy sharply, his eyes narrowed, his mouth turning downwards in disapproval. Was the boy reaching out with the Light Side of the Force instinctively? If he was, he would have to put a stop to that. He had purposely used both the Light and Dark Side when manipulating the Midi Chlorians to create the boy, for nothing except for the most powerful being was worthy of becoming his apprentice. Touching the Light Side long enough to create a small spark of life in Shmi Skywalker's womb had made his skin crawl, but his discomfort had been worth it in the end. He had succeeded in creating someone who surpassed even him in raw power.
And that was the most important reason he couldn't allow his apprentice's connection to the Light Side to develop any further; if Sidious wanted to have any control at all over the formidable being his apprentice was going to become, he would need to manipulate him into completely surrendering his free will, into becoming a slave again even while he was drunk on power, and any connection to the light he retained would weaken Sidious's control over him significantly.
Suddenly Sidious felt someone reach out with the Force with the assurance of a natural, and he looked at Anakin in unmitigated shock as he felt the boy truly look at him for the first time, not with his eyes, but with the Force. Clear blue eyes widened, and Anakin started to push himself away from Sidious's grasp as if fighting for his life.
"You feel wrong too! You feel like a—a subhuman!" he screamed in terror.
Sidious' eyes instantly went from sickly yellow to scalding red.
"Don't you dare say that again or I'll cut your tongue out," he said calmly, his face as impassive as stone even while his eyes blazed with inhuman fury.
Then it was gone, the pulsing red of rage in his eyes cooling once again to the color of sulfur. He smiled, looking down on his creature with what he knew to be more forgiveness than it deserved.
Anakin looked up into his benevolent yellow eyes, and screamed even louder, trying to escape his rescuer with all of his strength.
He would never stop trying to escape him as long as he lived.
He would never give in to the creature.