A/N Loki was a Norse god. He had several names one of which could be translated sky traveler or sky walker. I have tried to describe his story as acutely as I can given that he's mentioned all of two times in the 13th century. sigh

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Anakin loved to listen to stories growing up. He remembered them too. He liked hearing about different places, different lives, different people – people like him. Anakin always knew he wasn't like everyone else, was meant for some other place, some other destiny. When he was little he did not give much thought to it. There were so many diverse species among Gardulla's slaves that it was common that one would have talents that another did not. Anakin did not have the ability to re-grow his limbs, nor could he use his feet as another set of hands. But he still knew there was something different about him. He could do things no other human could, things none of his friends could. He never knew what it was, but there was something. When the work was over the children would gather around one of the older slaves and listen to stories. Shmi always started off her stories the same way.

"Now what I'm about to tell you," she said, "has been told to me by my parents, and by their parents, and by their parents before them. So don't doubt me unless you think my whole family is full of liars!" Then she screwed up her face into a scowl that looked so out of place that it was all the children could do to not die of laughter. They would compose themselves and listen, often breaking out in giggles as she told whatever tale she had chosen that night. Then she would screw up her face and scold them again until they were rolling about the floor sobbing with mirth. When Anakin held his mothers corpse, years later, the thing he remembered most vividly was that, despite her control over her face, the way her eyes laughed at such times always gave her away.

"I'll tell you a story that is as true as the sand is dry," Gavin would murmur, eyes half shut as if he could see the whole thing play out, "and so listen and remember." His stories were history lessons, vibrantly painted. Something Anakin blessed him for a hundred times over when the boy found himself ahead of or equal to his classmates when he started training at the temple in all his history classes save for the one on the Jedi Order. And Anakin found Gavin more interesting than any of his new Jedi teachers. Gavin was a teacher before his brother, in debt, had him kidnapped and sold as a slave. He continued to be a teacher until a smuggler had his plans foiled by the police of his home planet and decided to take it out on the slave, killing the man.

"My stories are not true, but contain truth," Silya smiled at them, gently, "think on them and learn what is to be known." Her stories, fables she called them, always contained lessons and at the end she would ask them what they thought it was. Like, "he that finds discontentment in one place is not likely to find happiness in another" or "false confidence is the forerunner of misfortune". There were often animals in her stories, creatures unseen by them but that she would describe as best she could. But Silya was sold and they did not see her again. No one expected to.

Old Rasca's stories were the best though. When she spoke even the other adults quieted down to listen to her. She told tales of epic proportions, of heroes without fear, of queens with stunning beauty, of monsters damned in the eyes of men and gods alike, of the gods themselves. Some days she told of the god Loki, a playful, trickster god. Loki was Anakin's favorite. Loki didn't often think through things, doing whatever he thought of at the spur of the moment, but he could always get out of whatever mess he had made in the end. He had giant's blood in him, so had a "darker" streak and was often mistrusted by the pureblood "light" gods. Anakin thought that was unfair.

But Anakin was biased, especially after he learned that Loki's nickname was "Skywalker". He asked Rasca if there were any other meanings to his name. She said yes, that Skywalker came from the phrase "ones who walked the sky" (Anakin thought he could have figured out that all on his own), and was a reference to the gods, who supposedly lived in the sky. It was also a variation of "Windwalker" meaning one of great or godlike power. Anakin laughed and proclaimed himself a god, strutting around and commanding in a haughty voice. The other children laughed and played along, asking boons of "the great god Ani" and falling over themselves in a fit of giggles as they tried to "earn" his "favor". Within two days the game was forgotten.

But Anakin wondered sometimes if he wasn't like a god in some way. Not that he deserved to be worshiped or anything, but because he was different from everyone, including the other humans. He would practice his special talents, wanting to be a hero, to be taken to feast along side the gods like in Rasca's stories. Even after he was sold by Gardulla and couldn't listen to the stories any more, he still dreamed of being found by someone else like him, some other god who would take him to walk the sky, to see all the stars.

One day it seemed his wish was granted when an angel and another human with god powers entered the shop. He would not be left in chains on the ground as a celestial being passed him by! He would prove himself worthy of the stars or die trying. He didn't die, of course, but helped them and was free, finally free of chains and ready to fly among the stars. But none of the stories ever spoke of what had to be left behind. Anakin disobeyed his mother's words that day; he would spend years looking back.

He would spend the rest of his life in a legend. Among royalty and rebels, gods and men, heroes and monsters. He wondered sometimes, when he was bitter, which of the last two categories he was in. Heroes don't murder, but monsters don't mourn.

When Anakin was taken to the temple and stood before the council, the divine rulers, for the first time he realized he would have done well to remember Rasca's stories. He was Loki as always, mistrusted by the pureblood gods. He had darkness left behind from growing up a slave and was too old; things he could not choose any more than Loki could have determined his parents. He felt his dreams die that day when he realized that for all their supposed goodness, the Jedi were like any others in power. They looked down at him because of what he could not help, and did not acknowledge what he could. He risked his life for strangers he had never met, gave two of their Jedi a chance to escape the Sith with a queen of a planet they were supposed to protect, and abandoned all he had ever known for a chance to join them and help people. And they were annoyed that he missed his mother. Anakin knew then, no matter if he was accepted or rejected, that he would never be able to gain their trust or respect, because of what he had no power over. He spent years trying, years proving himself stronger, faster, a better swordsman, a better pilot, fluent in more languages, a greater commander, a superior soldier, stronger in the force, than all the others. But when he sat on the council, not a master, fuming, he reminded himself yet again of the old stories. He was a half-blooded god among purebloods and always would be. He remembered the stories.

Standing in the council chambers, the holy of holies, surrounded by bodies, he mused with dark humor that maybe the council ought to have learned some children's stories. Didn't they know that after being driven too far that Loki had turned on the other, distrustful, scornful gods? Didn't they remember that Loki had killed Baldr, the god of light? He knew the end of the story. Loki was chained underground with a serpent over his head, mouth opened, fangs dripping poison. But Loki's wife Sigyn protected him; held a bowl over the fallen god's face to catch the poison. Occasionally she would turn away to empty out the bowl and when the poison touched Loki, the trickster would groan and cry out in pain, shaking the ground. Loki would only be freed for the last battle to fight by the sides of the other gods once more. Not, Anakin thought, that all of the story would be true for him. Him? Abandon the darkness and return to the light in the last battle? Not likely! And at the cost of his life yet! Oh no, that part was very much in doubt. And of course he would never need his bride to kneel on cold stone, holding high a basin. No, her love would protect him from most of the painful aspects of the darkness, of that he was certain. There would be times when it would slip by her, but he would survive. It was well worth her life. And she would have all the power she could desire, able to do as she wished with the universe. They would walk together in the sky, flying free among the stars.

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As Darth Vader passed the pilots' lounge he overheard them swapping stories. Not at all an uncommon occurrence. They were always either trying to out-tell each other with wild stories of their own (embellished) experiences. Or they shared the stories of their peoples. He wondered why he stopped when he heard the name again. Loki, the trickster god. He resisted the urge to enter the room and tell the pilots the stories weren't true. They already knew that of course, it was only foolish Anakin who ever believed in their truth. A slave, desperate for hope, knowing he was different and wanting to know why. Lord Vader was not such a slave. He wished he could claim he was not a slave at all but he had already given up deluding himself with foolish dreams and children's stories.

Lord Vader strode to the bridge, cape sweeping behind him impressively. As he passed men's eyes fell away before the slave, as afraid of him as they would be the wrath of some dark god. He did not falter, did not let anyone see what he did not want them to. In his mind's eye he saw a little sandy-haired boy dreaming of living among the stars, a Skywalker chained to the ground and wanting to be free to fly. Then he shook the image away and stood firmly on the bridge, powerful and untouchable, an ancient god among mortals marching in step to his whim.

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On a dusty planet on the outer rim a different blond boy, a shinning light descended from a fallen god and a slain angel, listened to his aunt tell him stories of beautiful princesses and brave knights, of good guys and bad guys, of gods, monsters, and men. He fell asleep and dreamt of the day he too could walk among god-like beings. For he knew he was different, meant for another place, another destiny. His very name proved he could not be chained to the ground. He slept, longing for flight and freedom, unaware of the broken god flying among the stars in chains.