Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to George Lucas. Jallor and Lelkia are mine.

Monsters Of Despair

Deep within the shadows of the Force lurks a monster. To touch the Dark Side is to open your heart to the monster...and it comes to your call. It creeps inside, hides in your heart, in the depths of your soul. It sits there, crouching quietly, and it waits. It waits. Sometimes, it digs its claws in, just to chill you. Just to let you know it hasn't gone away. It's still there. It is your constant companion. It will never leave. Beloved enemy, hated friend.

My name is Jallor Devner. I was a Jedi once. I was happy once. I grew up in the Temple and called it home. They told me I was born to a Coruscant family. My family was poor. I was their shining hope. A son with the ability to touch the Force. A child the Jedi would gladly take, and give a new life to. I was their great new chance. I was their son, and I would shine. I would be a Jedi. A success.

What a joke. Shining hope? All my hope is dead now. I am alone now...except the monster. It won't turn away. Not like the others.

My Master's name was Lelkia Dan. She was kind to me then. Lelkia was a Twi'lek with bright red skin. It was her joke with me when I was small. "Come out of the sun, Jallor, before you burn your skin as red as mine." Pale skin burns quickly in the sun.

Sunburns are painful, but I would prefer sunburn to the pain I know now. Pain in my heart, in my mind.

Lelkia was patient. Always smiling. She stopped smiling after Geonosis. So did I. I was there. I watched Jedi fall like rain. So many were lost. I survived. I think I survived. I was breathing afterwards, anyway. Is that survival? I walked, ate, spoke. Is that living?

I'm not living now. I know that much. Just existing. My heart beats, no matter how broken it feels.

It wasn't just battle that took Jedi. The monster was waiting. Some, it swallowed whole. Some, it tore to pieces. I watched the fates of friends I'd known for all my life. They were killed. Killed by the war. This Clone War. The HoloNet speaks of glorious victories. There was no glory. There is no glory.

My friends, as close as family. I know my path would break their hearts, if they had lived to see it.

I betrayed them. I betrayed everything I had been, all that I had known. I fell. It didn't feel like a fall. I thought I was taking a step forwards. Into the truth. I looked for knowledge. I found the monster.

The monster is truthful. It shows with honesty all the pain. All the hate. All the terrible actions, the horror, the heartbreak. It shows this again and again and again. Until you want to turn away. But there is no turning away. No turning back.

I let in the monster, and it rose within me. It wore my skin as its own. It struck blows at my command and did what I thought to be my will. Was it my will, or the monster's?

There is no monster! The monster is me. I can blame no other, no shadowy creature for what I have done. I have killed and I have hated. Dark Jedi, I have been called. That which I called the monster is part of me. I thought it was the monster that I hated. It was myself.

And then, the final betrayal. Not by me. The Purge, they call it. Jedi cut down. Destroyed. Worse irony, I too am hunted. They don't care what side we fought on. I was a Jedi once. That's enough for them.

They are coming. They will blast me where I stand. I know it. My monster-self tells me, and laughs to say it.

I will not fight. Not again. Not this time. They are here. This is how it has to be.

The clones fire...and the noise has driven away the monster that had been a part of my soul. It is gone. I smile. I am grateful. There is no despair left. No anger. No hate.

There is no death; there is the Force.

I am free.

I hope you liked this, and I'd very much appreciate reviews.