==All You've Lost and All You've Won==

They say there's a place

Where dreams have all gone

They never said where

But I think I know

It's miles through the night

Just over the dawn

On the road that will take me home

I know in my bones

I've been here before

The ground feels the same

Though the land's been torn

I've a long way to go

The stars tell me so

On this road that will take me home

This is what it feels like to be Mitth'raw'nuruodo. Dying.

You're bleeding.

Such a general term, bleeding, inadequate to fully describe how—with every agonizing beat of your heart—blood pumps systematically out of your chest.

How odd. Your body is dying, yet it continues to function as if nothing is wrong.

The knife hurts exquisitely, lodged into your back and just below your heart. With every breath you draw, the knife moves, further tearing body tissue, further damaging.

Rukh.

You're not angry with him—you can't be, even at this betrayal. Because this isn't betrayal, this is justice. You know that, you understand that.

Justice demands all debts paid in full, and the time has come at last for your payment, as you knew it would. But such a price, such a high price…

Death is the master to whom all creatures, great and small, must bow in the end, and this obeisance does not frighten you. Rather, it is the knowledge that you are the last hope of the Empire and the best hope of your own people that strikes a chord within you. Your men… they have all depended on you, trusted in you… and now you must leave them.

You can only hope that your legacy will live on, that it will be enough.

You catch your captain's eye, and you know that you will not live long enough to convey what is whirling in your head right now. Regret, hope, pain, comfort… you don't have enough time to tell him what his trust and loyalty has meant to you.

You hope he knows—understands—regardless.

You can only smile at him. Be strong, Captain Gilad Pellaeon of the Galactic Empire. Our men will need your strength—you must carry on and accomplish what I no longer can.

And do not hold Rukh responsible for calling the debts that I must pay. It is a brutal payment, true…

"…but," you manage to finish aloud, "it was so artistically done."

You're unable to draw another breath, and for one suffocating moment, you're trapped between this life and the next, not breathing and not yet departed.

Then you're free.

All debts are now paid in full.

"Thrawn!"

You turn, in this nebulous Otherworld, and for the first time in years, you can truly smile.

No regrets, no bitterness, no malice.

Only joy, pure and unadulterated. Only love.

"Thrass!"

This is what it feels like to be Mitth'raw'nuruodo. Forever.

And when I pass by

Don't lead me astray

Don't try to stop me

Don't stand in my way

I'm bound for the hills

Where cool waters flow

On this road that will take me home

Love waits for me 'round the bend

Leads me endlessly on

Surely sorrows shall find their end

And all our troubles will be gone

And we'll know what we've lost

And all that we've won

When the road finally takes me home


Author's Note:

My first attempt ever at writing Thrawn, and this in Matthew Stover-style second person. Hope you enjoyed it.

I seriously browsed through one of the Thrawn communities for the first time yesterday, and I had to write something. Thrawn is forever one of my absolute favorites, and I think of him with something akin to hero-worship. So this came out in one hour of passion. As my fingers roamed over the keyboard, it came to be that Thrawn understood that he had to pay for what he had done. He had begun as a hero and became something colder and crueler, and the time had come to atone.

Fitting his last words into the thoughts that I was typing out was almost a problem… until it hit me. The last words became the completion of what was going on in his mind.

And yes, that was Thrass at the end. I almost left it at: debts now paid in full…this is what it feels… and then I remembered that I'd wanted Thrass in, whenever I thought about doing a dying-Thrawn fic. I wanted better closure. So I got it, and it was so wonderful that Thrawn not only paid his debts but was able to love once more. Similar to Anakin Skywalker, Mitth'raw'nuruodo has come full circle.

The song is "Going Home" by Mary Fahl, performed for the film Gods and Generals. I thought it very fitting for Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Finally, I have another Thrawn-centric piece in the works, though the man himself does not appear in it—"His Mother's Heart, His Father's Spirit". An older Jorj Car'das is one of the characters, though. Please be on the lookout for it—it'll be up soon!

Please review!