TITLE: Fait Accompli
DISCLAIMER: I dont own him, and Ive received no remuneration. He goes right back into Uncle Georges toy box when Im done, I promise.
SUMMARY: A short, introspective exploration of the massacre at the Jedi Temple.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you to Alisha for her faithful, dedicated betaing of my crap.
~ Do what must be done, Lord Vader. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy. ~
The towering ziggurat of the Jedi temple, swathed in angular shadows from the dim glow of Couroscants inextinguishable light, loomed before him, encompassing his vision. It swelled and grew larger with his approach. His footsteps were swift and steady, and the heavy slap of armored boots behind him formed a reverberating cadence that matched the pounding of his restless heart. His lightsaber, hooked securely to the belt of his tunic, smacked an insistent tattoo against his thigh as he walked; a constant reminder of his purpose. His new purpose. For the first time, the Temples overwhelming presence failed to comfort him. The immense, carved figures that flanked the Processional Way seemed to come to life, to point accusing fingers at him, to say, Turn back from this path.
He would not turn back. He would not hesitate. The Dark Side would give him what the Jedi had not focus. Power. Identity.
The causeway opened into the lavish, vaulted hallway of the Temples entrance. His steps did not slow as he crossed the threshold, did not pause as he withdrew his lightsaber, brandishing the blue blade like a torch at the level of his eyes.
A small group of Jedi Knights ran to him, questions on their lips, confusion in their eyes. His expression was unreadable as he surveyed them, saw them take in the sight of the army at his back. He gave a slight nod to the clones behind him. Permission. He heard the soldiers ready their weapons. Then he struck.
He vaguely recognized the faces of those he slaughtered Jocasta Nu, Cin Drallig, Qualin Antrol. Some fought back. Some surrendered.
He said nothing as his weapon swung, the movement lazy - effortless. Indifference was what they had taught him. No emotion, just peace. He hoped they could see his indifference, could see what they had wrought. Wheres your peace now? he thought bitterly. He was dimly aware of the sharp report of blaster fire from the troopers rifles, the crack of electricity as lightsabers ignited, and connected, with armor, tissue, steel. After the initial, frenzied moments of confusion, the Jedi were rallying, fighting back, but gaining no ground. They fought for nothing, because they felt nothing. And so, they couldnt hope to win.
Every pass of his blade cut a swath through his enemies his friends. His peers. They had stifled him; denied him. Smothered him, and for what? Were they all-powerful? Did their knowledge allow them the insight to save the galaxy? To save themselves?
They had praised his progress, and denied him advancement. Lauded his strength, and forbidden him wisdom. Hed spent his life striving to realize his own potential, while constantly battling rejection and criticism. He couldnt exist on blind faith and devotion alone. He wasnt Yoda. He wasnt Obi-Wan.
He made a vow to himself.
He wouldnt be doubted any longer. He wouldnt be held back. He wouldnt follow their rules - because he wasnt one of them. Not anymore.
Each Jedi he killed took him further from himself and who he used to be. Away from Anakin Skywalker; closer to Darth Vader. It had to be done. Know the power of the dark side. The power to save Padmé. He would destroy planets for her, if he had to.
But it was more than that now, and he knew it. He felt the icy tendrils of revenge curling around his heart, felt the resentment that he had pushed back for years roiling through him, unfettered, free for the first time. His rage was a tangible thing, a physical presence within him, and it slithered through his brain, through his chest, through his limbs. It surged and pulsed each time he swung his lightsaber, each time another one fell.
And it felt good. The calm and peace that Yoda had so often spoken of had never felt this way. It had always been unattainable. Just out of reach. Laughing at him. Tormenting him.
Now, he would be the tormentor. He would show them what he was capable of. He would punish them for their arrogance. They would suffer, as his mother had suffered, as he had suffered.
Only when every last Jedi lay rotting in the smoldering, decaying tomb that had been their sanctuary would he relent. Only then would the serpent that wound itself through his soul be sated.
He stopped keeping track of the number that fell at his feet. Ten. Twenty. A hundred. It didnt matter.
The rage had almost completely overtaken him now. He did not slow his steps as he shut off his blade, walking resolutely to the closed door of the only room where blood had not yet been spilled. The air was thick with slaughter the smell of charred, cauterized flesh ripe and pungent. The haze of smoke from blaster fire an omnipresent sting.
The Council Chamber. Hed saved it for last. The final act of sacrilege. It was fitting that it should end here, where it had begun, years ago, when he stood before them as a child, eager and innocent; so certain, so proud.
He had trusted them with his destiny. They had let him down.
As if on cue, the first child appeared, creeping out from behind the high back of one of the chairs. Another soon followed. And another. Trusting. Blinded.
Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What do we do?
Darth Vader was dimly aware of the tears cooling a path down his cheeks. He did not let them stop him. Did not let them slow him down. These younglings were already dead, as dead as their masters, having died the moment the Jedi had ripped them from the arms of their mothers. It was the Jedi who had killed them, not he.
He would be their salvation.
He would save them from the lies and the broken promises. Wordlessly, he faced the first child and raised his blade.
Not far away, nestled deep within the crypt-like bowels of the Senate Arena, the man that had been the most charming and successful politician of the Galactic Republic curled his withered, mutilated lips into a grotesque smile of triumph. Hed been right to choose Skywalker, so many years ago, to weave the boy into his plot. Hed been right to think that the young Jedi would turn so effortlessly.
But then again, he was Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith. And he was never wrong.