Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox, I'm simply destroying the sandcastles

Title: Lost to Darkness

Author: Jade_Max

Characters: Leia Organa

Genre: Dark Drama, character death, Dare Challenge 2010

Era: Post RotJ AU

Summary: Following the events of ROTJ, make Leia turn to the Darkside. Must be written after the explosion of the Second Death star with Vader and the Emperor having been killed.

Author's Note: I doubt this is what the person who submitted this dare had in mind, but I claim all good fun AU-ness and author's prerogative; this takes place just moments after the explosion of the second Death Star above Endor... and there's an unexpected casualty. Opening line belongs to Lucas ;)

Lost to Darkness

"I'm sure Luke wasn't on that thing when it blew."

Han's words sounded from far away, echoing through her mind even as a void seemed to open within her soul. Darkness rushed in from all sides as the threads binding her to Luke, ones she hadn't known about until recently, frayed and snapped. A second explosion, not visible to the physical eye, claimed the shuttle carrying the brother she'd been looking forward to getting to know better.

"Leia?"

Gone.

Luke was gone; dead because he'd thought he could save Darth Vader from himself; because he'd seen good where there was only evil; because he'd been a lost little boy who couldn't accept the fact of their father's choices. Choices she understood with clarity despite their brutality; choices she knew had driven him to power and corrupted his soul.

A thin, piercing wail caught her attention as the debris from the Death Star and its explosion visibly scattered in all directions. It took a moment before she realized the wail rose from her own throat, that Han held her by the shoulders and that surrounding her were the Ewoks celebrating, their captives in the center with their hands on their heads, black, grey and white mingled indiscriminately.

The void within her expanded as she stared at Han, barely aware that he was shaking her, saying her name with concern and looking at her with a very real fear she couldn't have interpreted at that moment if her life had depended on it.

Luke was gone. The twin brother she'd learned about only yesterday was dead; the Empire had stolen the last of her family. Murdered and obliterated, her family line would now die with her.

"Leia! What-"

Han's question died unspoken as him image swimming before her eyes, tears she couldn't feel coating her lashes and making the world a watery, surreal shadow of itself. Her gaze was drawn, blurred though it was, to the prisoners in the clearing below. Anger welled within her, denial tight on its heels, and without thinking she felt the power well within her form in a way she'd never before experienced.

Luke had said she was special, like him. He'd said she had the same powers, the same destiny... and those powers, untrained as they were, whispered to her in a language she couldn't understand. Given power by her grief, a grief she'd not fully escaped since the destruction of Alderaan, it exploded outwards in a wave of power unlike anything she'd ever felt. Unlike anything before in her experience.

Han was thrown clear, striking a tree not far away and crumpling to the ground like a rag doll. Chewbacca let out a yell as he was knocked from his feet. Ewoks and Alliance soldiers alike were tossed this way and that from the wave of power - and in the center of the maelstrom, Leia stood.

Tears streamed down her cheeks, a blue halo of power crackling about her form as she focused on the prisoners - the reason she'd lost her brother; the reason for her suffering. If they hadn't come here to build the super weapon, drawing the Emperor and Vader to this Moon, Luke would be alive. Irrational as the thought was, they personified every wrong that had been perpetrated against her and her family; they were the reason she was alone.

They and their kind were the reason the galaxy had suffered for so long; the reason many other like her were now deprived of those they loved dearly. They were all that was wrong and she knew with clarity she could abolish their existence with the wave of her hand or a thought.

Leia, don't!

Resonating within her for a heartbeat was Luke's anguished plea... but he was dead and she knew she was dead. The void that had been his presence, a presence she'd never understood until recently, remained, seeming to spread wider and wider, threatening to engulf her completely if she didn't do something to stem its growth.

Wind whipped around her as she lifted her hands, the elements coming to her call even as the screams and shrieks of the confusion seemed to resonate around, but never touch, her. Apart from herself, watching as if from above the chaos, she saw her hands lift towards the captives... and clench.

Two bodies near her twitched, the sickening sound of breaking bone accompanied the wet snapping of tendons and ligaments only to be absorbed by the wind; yet she heard it. She felt it. Their last agonized breaths resounding within her and filling the chasm where Luke's presence had once been. Filling her with a purpose and feeding her need for revenge.

Advancing on the group, she left Han to Chewbacca's care, dimly aware in the corner of her mind that she regretted hurting him indirectly, but her focus on the Imperials was complete. They turned, as if to run, and the wind whipped through their ranks, tossing them forcefully into trees, lightning arcing from her fingers as one neared the edge of the clearing and the supposed safety of the woods.

A Rebel trooper advanced her way, the muzzle of his blaster spitting a single stun bolt. The bolt never reached her, the forest floor seeming to rise with deadly intent and intercepted the wave. Then, he too fell before her wrath, her mind already having painted him as a traitor for his attempt to stop her.

Ewoks fled into the woods and disappeared into the undergrowth; the Troops she and Han had commanded fell back, regrouping somewhere behind her; the technicians who'd been examining the captured walkers retreated to join them - but Leia paid them all no notice. She was focused on her objective; an objective that was as consuming as the power crackling at her finger tips.

Kill the Imperials.

All Imperials.

More Imperials fell as she advanced down the small incline towards the clearing. One Stormtrooper after another collapsed without visible wounds, black and white dominoes hitting the ground with each beat of her shattered heart. Reaching the clearing, the prisoners cowered from what she couldn't see herself to be - and she fed on their fear, relishing it, drawing it within herself to the blackness that was all that remained of her hopes and dreams.

Down into the blackness that embraced her as its own.

Lightning and wind whipped around the clearing freely, her hands and feet snapping out with supernatural speed to break a neck here, a leg there; making them suffer before their final execution or bringing them to a mercifully swift end. The scent of burnt flesh, ozone and death clouded her senses, driving her onwards. Screams resounded through the air, like music as it echoed and reechoed through the funnel surrounding her.

This was her symphony; resonating within her with exquisite pain as their trivial, insignificant losses compounded one after another, the scale of loss so severely tilted in her favor their deaths didn't so much as dent the balance. They would pay, each of them, for the indignities they had inflicted on the galaxy and on her. They would pay in blood for the blood they had shed and the voices they'd silenced.

Leia made them pay, with each scream that was suddenly and brutally cut off; with each will she broke, ignoring their pleas and their cries. Every set of eyes she looked into had a story she couldn't hear; and she didn't want to care.

But, through it all she remained mute, weeping for her loss and theirs but compelled to rend them from existence to cleanse herself of their taint... a silent Angel of death and destruction. An unwilling Angel, compelled by forces, controlled by the very fabric of something she couldn't understand.

Beyond the atmosphere, high above in the reaches of space, beyond sight and sound, triangular ships began to implode as their hulls buckled, smashing into one another like tin soldiers on a child's make-believe battle field. Thousands, tens of thousands of lives snuffed in an instant; yet the scales remained unbalanced, her work unfinished.

Only when the last of the Imperials lay dead did her rage subside, the power ebbing and retreating like waves upon the beach, taking the last of her strength with it. Her gaze remained focused on the lifeless, staring eyes of the Imperial commander who had been her last victim. A cold, cruel smile was on her lips as darkness encroached on the edges of her vision, her knees buckling and the ground rising up to meet her. The Darkness that had claimed her once, now claimed her in another fashion... except her satisfied smile never faltered.

Win at all costs; her father would have been proud.

fin

Author's Note: Now, I'm sure that's not what anyone expected when they read the dare, but what the heck! Dark!Leia = fun :D Darker than a lot of what I've written, but that's not a bad thing.

[insert comments about Leia's OOC-ness here.]