'You're fulfilling your destiny, Anakin.'
Chancellor Palpatine's office.
The office, red decorated and grand, was horrid to behold.
Three Jedi corpses lay on the floor, deactivated sabre's around them. Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, Kit Fisto. All dead, cruel stabs and cuts the only marks on them. One Jedi Master stood alone, violet fire in his hands, blocking lightening flying from a shadow that lay, snarling in the corner of the room, right next to a gaping hole where once there was a window. The marks of the duel the Jedi Master and the shadow had fought marked the room, which was covered in cuts and slashes.
And one young man, a soldier who had grown old before his time, his heart split by fear and sorrow, his mind dulled by torn loyalties, was watching, torn between the two, unable to think, unable to decide which to help and which to destroy.
"Anakin, help me!" called the shadow, the old man: Palpatine who he thought he had known. Palpatine who was a Sith Lord.
"He's a Sith Lord!" called out Mace Windu in reply; angry Mace, disapproving Mace, Mace who was always down on him, never trusted him, never anything but mistrusting, suspicious.
"He's a traitor!" screeched Palpatine; traitor to the Republic, the great body Anakin and his friends and colleagues and men and Padawan and all the galaxy had bled to defend, ruled in secret by their worst enemy; had Palpatine asked Dooku to maim him? To threaten Padme?
"This is your destiny!" yelled Mace. Destiny. Since he was nine, they had talked of destiny. His destiny to destroy the Sith. His destiny was all they cared about. That he feared for Obi Wan? Not at all. That he was terrified of losing Padme? They'd persecute him, take his lightsabre from him if they ever found out about her. He would lose everything. His destiny to destroy the Sith? Even if the Sith was the one man who had always helped him…?
Anakin Skywalker didn't, no, couldn't, hear the battle. All he could hear was his own heartbeat; ba bom, ba bom. He focused in on it. Ba bom, ba bom. Time slowed down as he kept his focus inward. Ba bom, ba bom.
The voice was familiar, and though he knew instantly who it was and that it should not have been he, yet he was not surprised. How could he be surprised? This was the day that the Sith had revealed its face.
But this voice… a voice he had not heard – could not have heard – for thirteen years. It couldn't be... Qui Gon?
'Anakin. Witness the end.'
And then images came to him in a flash. A dark figure, armoured, arm severed, standing next to someone who somehow seemed like Palpatine, watching a young man being hit by the same lightening that the Sith was hurling at Mace Windu, except this poor boy had no defence. No lightsabre in hand. The boy tried to halt the barrage, but Anakin knew… his attempt would be futile. The young man... was his son. His child. And the figure in armour was... was... him. He did not know how he knew this, but he knew this. And Palpatine was hurting his son...
'Witness the beginning of the end...'
He saw himself, with Padme. Saw himself raising his arm. Saw Padme floating, being choked... choked by him? He couldn't, he would never…
The battle with Obi Wan flashed before his eyes, tore at him, ripped through his mind; every cut, every parry, every slash and riposte and everything… and he knew. He knew.
He would fall.
'Witness the fall.'
Himself, marching through the temple, murdering younglings, Jedi, Cin Drallig, Serra Keto – Ahsoka. All dead at his hands, hood up, so very much like Palpatine, so very… monstrous. He felt ill; his own revulsion startled him.
'And witness the death.'
Aayla Secura. Plo Koon. Quinlain Vos. Barriss Offee. Luminara Unduli.
All murdered by their troops.
Order 66. It will be done my lord. Butchery. Treachery.
'Witness the cause.'
Palpatine. A strong image of Palpatine. Not the pitiful figure on the floor, but an image of a twisted, deformed, corrupt maniac...
He would have Anakin murder younglings, murder Padme... and he was shouting for help?
'You know what you have to do.'
"Anakin!" Palpatine yelled, finally dropping his arms, in defeat, his voice snapping the Jedi back into reality. "Please. Help me. I can't hold on any longer. I'm too weak. Please, Master Jedi… don't kill me…"
Anakin did nothing. Said nothing. Mace Windu took the silence as an invitation to finish it himself, and raised his sabre, thunder on his face.
"I will end this once and for all," he said triumphantly.
"No," Anakin said suddenly. He looked Mace dead in the eye as the older man looked at him, incredulous at the interruption, but more so at the words.
"What did you say, Skywalker?" Mace asked, tilting his blade back to guard. Palpatine looked up at Anakin hopefully.
"I am the Chosen One," Anakin said slowly. "It is my task to destroy the Sith, and mine alone."
Mace nodded, comprehending, and Palpatine looked up at him in horror, and then Anakin unclipped his Lightsabre. He walked straight up to the prone figure, and before Palpatine could do anything, he stabbed straight downwards with his Sabre. The old man could not dodge, and it burned straight through his black heart…
The old man gave a final whittled gasp... and died. Mace nodded in respect to Anakin, who smiled, tiredly...
Then he felt an enormous push... Force energy was lancing across the room, black lightening - and he saw Mace nearly fall out the window, nearly blown to his doom; he caught the Korun Master with the Force, and tried to brace himself at the same time, but he couldn't – and he fell out of the window, while Mace was merely blown into the wall.
A long time he fell, watching the traffic streak by, so fast, yet none faster than his descent… he gritted his teeth – he would not die like this. No he would not. He pushed against the oncoming ground…
A thud, wet, a crack, hard.
And then silence.