Disclaimer: Again, nothing in the Star Wars universe is mine, except for a five-dollar bumper sticker which reads: My other vehicle is an X-Wing. Anybody else notice that Jar-Jar destroyed the Republic?

The wind is hot against my face, whipping like a sandstorm and trying to pull my clothes off of my shoulders. The speeder is redlining. Red's all I see, blurred by tears (just a natural reaction to the wind, just natural), red sand, red sky, red rocks, red suns, red rage. Dark side emotions shouldn't be this bright and alive a colour. Obi-Wan would tell me to breathe, to think, to meditate, but there's no time! They've already wasted so much time, weak fools!

But I've wasted it, too. I knew, I dreamed of her bleeding and crying and screaming, and for all my strength I didn't go!

"Duty." The wind snatches the words away as I spit them into the night. Jedi Duty. I have allegience to my order, to my Master, to my mission, damned mission, damned Queen whom I love when all I am is a child! A Jedi does not know love. A Jedi does not know pain. A Jedi does not know the thing that rips me in two with all the strength it can take from me! I am no Jedi, then. A Jedi grows up in the cold sterile temple with a family of thousands and none, with friends as orphaned and alone as he!

I knew a mother, I knew family, I knew heat and rage and passion and love and hardness!

I am no Jedi.

She is there, my mother, and there is joy in her eyes beyond the bruises and sharp cheekbones. My heart is growing bigger and bigger in my chest, pushing against the ribs until it seems they will break, and she goes limp and my chest explodes in pain.

My face twists itself in a snarl as I push aside the tent flap and cut down the Raider standing guard outside. Why post a guard over someone as helpless as my mother? They beat her and they tied her, they listened to her scream with smiles behind their wrappings! For once I regret the clean cold merciful brightness of my lightsaber as I cut their heads from their necks. I want them to know my pain. I want the bright red of arterial blood. They have taken her from me! Let them lose everything they hold dear, let their children see their mothers and fathers fall, let them waste water with tears! Then, let them die too!

I don't remember much else.

I killed them, Padme, I killed them.

I am aware of fixing things, everything, scraping my hands raw in an effort to make things better. They bleed oil, and I can staunch it, lose myself in making things better and not hurt anymore.

They fell, Padme, and they screamed.

The machinery is quiet under my hands. The soldering iron lights in my hands, and I stop, seeing brilliant light slaughtering innocent children. I hear laughter with their screams.

Padme, I enjoyed it!

Forgive me, Padme. Pull me back, away from the hole I'm falling into, make me clean again. Please, Padme?

I'm afraid.