Chapter 1: Mistakes and Choices

4 ABY

Death Star II

Over Endor

I'm staring into my son's eyes for the first time without that horrible mask, and now the last time. I see tears and the emotions he feels for me, I am surrounded by his love. So refreshing, it's like I can finally breathe for the first time in too many years to count. I'm free of the Darkness, I can see everything so clearly now, even as I breathe my last breath. All the mistakes I made, all the emotions that clouded my judgement and decisions.

Qui-gon, Mother, Padmé, Obi-wan... my decisions affected them all, even my son and daughter, the whole galaxy. I've spread so much darkness, so much pain and heart break.

"You're breaking my heart!"

My Angel's voice echoes through my thoughts, I will see her soon, behind the doors of the unknown. I can feel my soul becoming one with the force. And even as my life inches away from my body I can still see the steady blue gaze of my son's eyes looking into my own.

Oh how he looks so much like I used too, but his soul is so pure, so full of good... so much like my Angel's. I remember my daughter, who looks so much like her, Oh Leia, forgive me. I've brought so much pain into my daughter's life, and yet she still carries on, I feel her force signature on the planet below and I know that she is safe. Safe from the evil i helped spread through the galaxy. I just hope she doesn't take too much after me, despite the similarities in our attitudes.

I wonder if everyone will forgive me, all these years of deaths and pain, will my small action of good, balance out the bad? Will Obi-wan forgive me for taking his life?

"You're going to be the death of me..."

His warm voice flows through me, oh the memories, how could i have sacrificed that friendship? I feel tears threaten to spill out of my eyes at the thought of the man I viewed as a mentor, a friend, and even a father.

And now I'm going to join them all, and yet something pulls at me to stay. So I can be a father, a father to Luke and Leia, to give them the answers they deserve.

Luke stares into my eyes and his hand reaches out to grab my shoulder. With difficulty I manage to sit up. Somewhat, so I can take a closer look at him for the last time.

"Now go, my son." My voice momentarily startles me. Without the mask it sounds weak, as weak as I am now feeling.

Luke's face transforms, I see he won't do as I say; the stubbornness inherited from both his parents does not permit that.

"Leave me." I tell him again, I only want him safe.

"No... You're coming with me; I've got to save you." He tells me, a new light in his eyes.

"You already have, Luke." I tell him, I feel the light side of the force surrounding us both and I feel weaker than before.

"You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right." A smile stretches across my face for the first time in twenty somewhat years. I feel my eyes close, suddenly heavy and I move closer to the ledge Luke has me placed against. As the force gets sucked from me I feel my life force dwindle.

"Father!" Luke calls me as I fall onto the ledge.

"I won't leave you." He desperately tells me, I suddenly remember how much this is like the scene with my mother and me, my only happy thought is that I've already killed the man who is killing me. The man who has been killing me all these years.

My head hits the ledge and I feel a dull pain in the back of my skull. I feel Luke's life signature crying in pain, and I feel his sister's one below staring up at both of us.

I'm free, I think. I'm free for the first time in my life. I am not a slave to the Hutt's, I am not a servant to the Jedi and the people. And the Sith have no power over me. I suddenly feel my body let go, and then in the last moments before I am one with the force I think... if only I had not been taken by the Dark Side of the force, if only I had told more of the Jedi of Palpatine's evil plan, Oh the future could have been so different.

And then I do not feel the heaviness of my suit, I do not feel the metal against my head, I do not feel my son's hand on my shoulder, I even do not feel his life signature or the others on the Death Star. I do not feel my daughter calling out to me on the planet below; I do not even feel the shudders of explosions beneath me.

And then suddenly I feel light on my face, I feel a soft cushioned seat beneath me, I feel my legs and one of my arms, and yet the metal one, that Count Dooku cut off is still there. And then I feel them. All of them. The thousands of life forms around me. The force singing in my ears. The Jedi are back.