Shorty Story (if you’re turned off by the thought of 800 words about Star Wars, oh please read it anyway!)

Veiled in darkness, Jacen Solo stood alone.

Suddenly the familiar snap-hiss of his lightsaber reverberated throughout the walls and the incandescent glow of his lightsaber masked the unbecoming pallor of his eyes. He had been here before, he swore under his breath, he could feel the familiarity under his boots.

He tightened his grip, which proved difficult as his clammy fingers tips could hardly latch themselves tightly beneath his ebony gloves. As he had been doing since his indoctrination into the Sith, Jacen donned his black cloth attire- each garment sticking pliably to his damp skin.

Maybe not exactly him he felt now, as the sensation slowly waned… but someone he knew closely.

“Luke.”

The whisper came almost inaudibly from the walls. Jacen instantly spun, but saw nothing distinct. Yes, now he remembered, this was the same cave that Luke once spoke to him about, the Dagobah cave. It was another childhood memory, somewhat merged with the other notable thoughts and tales the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa would of course be privy to.

He took a moment to regard his childhood; his penchant for animals, for coyness, for finding joy in the jocular spirit of individuals- fond memories, but clearly lacking in reality. Had he been pressed with the same plights he felt this moment, with the same weight of balancing the good and evil in the galaxy, Jacen felt assured he would not have been so light humored. And he could not resist chuckling at the thought.

The cave was wrought with Dark Side energies as Luke had explained; he remembered being admonished from visiting as a child. It was incredible the sheer magnitude of power within these walls, this Dark Side spectacle, something Jacen thought he might really enjoy.

Since he had decided that the traditional path of a Jedi would always fall short of bringing true peace to the galaxy, Jacen realized the only way he could ensure accord to the scattered entities of the galaxy, and more specifically his beloved daughter Allana and lover Tenel Ka, was to immerse himself in both the Light and Dark sides of the force. But by doing so he knew, inevitably, that he would become a Sith lord.

Instantly a figure emerged from the depths of darkness, and his fingers turned an erubescent red across the hilt of his lightsaber. Slowly and subtly minaciously, a cloaked figure advanced. As it came into Jacen’s line of sight nothing but shadowy fragments could be seen.

He mocked the shadow with typical aplomb assurance. The shadow sought him in the Force; Jacen could feel it searching for his fear and anger… only to come up empty. Then as if the encumbrance of the shadow had simply been whisked away with the simple gesture of a hand, Darth Vader’s pale sable helmet and glimmering eyes emerged.

“You’ve thought about me a lot Jacen.”

“Yes, I have. I have thought about how our paths in the Force are intersecting right now, how it feels so right. And I thought… we would never get to meet grandfather.”

“You… don’t know the consequences of what you’re getting yourself into.”

“I know more than you think,” Jacen rebuked with a faint touch of apprehension in his voice, “There is no other way, I have realized, to bring the peace and stability to the galaxy that our family has struggled in achieving since your time.”

Vader paused, almost as if he was searching for the right words. Then abruptly removed his helmet from his suit, and rather than the decaying and scarred face Jacen thought he would encounter, there was the face of a young Anakin Skywalker, several years younger than Jacen. A scar traced across his right brow, but otherwise handsome. Anakin then began placing the helmet over Jacen’s head, something Jacen, in his enraptured state, did not think about resisting.

As he secured the helmet around his face images raced through his mind… a Tusken Raiders camp, the slaughtered body of a fragile and memorable lady, an old Jedi Master with long hair and a fierce grin… and a delicately beautiful woman reaching out to him, instantly he could feel her touch, the warmth of her skin as he enveloped her within his, her aroma was so warm, the faint touch of her lips so tender… and suddenly the woman disappeared. In her stead stood the feeling of loss, horrible, excruciating loss… and suddenly he understood.

“No grandfather, this isn’t about me. This isn’t about my child or my lover. This is about every single person I have never cared about in my life. Don’t you see how selfless I’m being? I am doing this for the good of the galaxy, I don’t care what happens to me or the people I love. I am completely different from you, I will sacrifice anything.”

Anakin stood motionless, and silent.

And as if carried by a breeze, an old, old voice soughed in, “And that is why you fail.”

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