Corruption

Warning: This story contains disturbing elements; view at own risk.

He stared at her, his citadel falling down around his ears. He stared, and saw her, truly saw her, as he had not before. Not the day she had been escorted in by the mercenaries, so confused, then surprised, then elated – then saddened. Not when he had her was wither her, 'loved' her. No matter how many times he had devoured her with his eyes, he had never seen her.

A slight, hysterical, smile twitched at his lips. He began to laugh, first quietly, then madly, finally understanding. He grinned up at her, pain of body and soul alike touching his eyes.

You never did love me, did you, he asks.

You never refused me…but never did reciprocate, either.

You…were waiting. For me to understand. To realize. To save you from myself.

Her sad smile is all he needs. He begins to weep.

I'm so sorry. I'm…so…sorry! I can't believe…how badly I hurt you…after all that time I said I loved you, I hurt you the most, didn't I? I'm…oh space, General, I'm so sorry.

He bows his grayed head in sorrow. His eyes are shut, cold tears falling to the floor. I deserve this.

The tiny toy of his youth beeps around his head. In concern.

His legs twitch, out of his sight, the debris tampering with his nervous system. The door is open, behind her. A ship awaits, with the fool pilot and the loyal droid and all those many other friends. He misses that, he realizes now. He misses them; no, he misses what they had together. Even the gray witch.

She turns and walks away. He smiles. I loved you, you know, he says. At one point it was even pure. But then…I don't know. Maybe it was her, her warping of emotions. Maybe it was me, my rash decisions. Maybe I even really was becoming attuned to the dark side.

His greyed and unnatural looking flesh accounts for one theory.

He smiles, painfully and blissfully. The massive station he controlled, as a sith, as a man, as a zabrak, is falling apart, crashing down. His spacious throne room, in which he received her for the first time after the change, was the first to go. Force or no, the universe has a sense of irony.

As he watches her walking away, a sense of loss grips him, so profound that he shudders, the debris on his back even shifting from the effort.

General…, he whispers.

She retreats.

He becomes frantic, shouting that title of earlier days, back when he loved her truly, back when he addressed her rightly, back before he stole the right to use, and misuse, her name.

General. General?

Real panic grips him as she doesn't even pause.

"General! General! GENERAL!"

As she steps through the threshold, she turns one last time, pinning his eyes with hers.

One last scream rocks the fortress.

"GENERAAAAAAAAAAL!"

And she is gone.