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Title: Fallen
Authors: Rhonderoo (rhonderoo@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG
Characters: Vader
Category: Drama, angst, songfic.

Disclaimer: Lucas owns them, not I.

Summary: Scenes from Vader's life as he contemplates his choices and actions.

Fallen, by Sarah McLachlan

Heaven bent to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

“You do know, don’t you, that if the Jedi destroy me - any chance of saving her will be lost?”

These words echo through these chambers, through this Council room, that has kept me at arms length since I came here. How ironic that I would end up here when the time came to meet my destiny. This room is no more than an illusion of confidence that has been set up by Master Windu. His “trust” rings cold and empty now. It does nothing to soothe away the words of the Chancellor. They whisper their truth; their cold unfeeling hands snake from behind and close my throat. Hot shameful fear, my old friend, claws up from somewhere deep inside of me and I see Obi-Wan and brotherhood slip from my fingers like a shulafly on a spring afternoon on Naboo.

How did it come to this?

Everything is changed forever. Everything that we have fought and suffered for is gone - as of today, as of this sunset, as of right now. This galaxy and everything we stood for will soon be gone. We have no place to go. There is no place for us, no place for our baby, and nothing the Jedi can do will help us. I feel you in the Force, feel your heart beating, your blood flowing and the warmth of you as it keeps our baby safe, but only for now. It will not always keep you safe, though. Nothing will, if I don’t.

I feel your eyes on the horizon, on the temple. The Force pulls me to the window and I know. It whispers what I have always known. I am there with you, and you are here with me. We are two halves of one whole, and without the other we are lost. Symbionts, just as Qui-Gon explained them, but not any small thing binds me to the Force. No, my symbiont has always been you. An angel that keeps the dragon stilled and the furnace stoked to small, cool embers.

Like there was ever any doubt, I have my answer. The senate doesn’t matter. The Jedi do not matter. My soul does not matter. If I choose to stay here, I put your fate in the hands of Mace Windu. If I choose to leave, I have turned...I do not fool myself. In the end, there is only one choice.

Truth be told I've tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear

Kneeling is something that comes as second nature to me, now. Haven’t I always been on bended knee to someone? Haven’t I always bowed and said, “Yes, Master”? These words slip from my lips as so many times they have done before. They were tattooed on my tongue at birth, and will be there when I die. Only this time they are oily and heavy, and my mind is hazy. Submittal seems to have to taken away my capacity to think.

Funny, hasn’t Obi-Wan always said that? Somewhere in the fog of this new drug, I pity the Jedi. I pity them for having faith in me when I could have told them that there is nothing in me that can overcome this fear, ever. At least nothing of the light. I will never be good enough to overcome it, and submitting to the dark side is the only way.

I’m weak, but I will do what I must do. As I give myself to this Dark Lord, Anakin Skywalker starts dying a long slow death, but in his place something else comes.


The only thing I need to save Padmé. I am not afraid anymore and in this I find the first taste of freedom ever. My blood no longer runs warm, but ice cold. I feel the giant winged predator that has always waited in shadows of my heart stand and unfold its wings in my chest. Its strength pulls me from the floor and from my knees. Get up, it hisses in my head. You are no longer a slave. You are the Master now. As the unnatural otherworldly fog overcomes me, I feel sick. Through the pounding of my head and hotness of my tears I realize, this must be what I was born for. This is my destiny. I was Chosen, but not for good. The Force is not a nursemaid, isn’t that what is drilled into the heads of Jedi, young and old alike? Not a nursemaid, indeed.

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

My task is to lay waste to everything good. Everything that has been my family, and my duty. I cannot turn back, and with every step, I fall further. It is all worth it, the words sputter and hiss in my head as the sick fog permeates every pore of my skin and my eyes sting with the grit of what must be leftover tears. All the while, something cries from somewhere deep inside of me, What am I doing? Anakin Skywalker will always have fear, but the dark side has ensured that Lord Vader will not and he must prevail.

The dark drug is running through my veins now. I’m unable to see through the fog that was sanity and my thoughts no longer resemble Anakin’s thoughts, but it does not matter. What lies in their place is better, so much better. Anakin the Jedi was weak and could not save you, Padme, but Darth Vader can.

I would burn a thousand cities and raze a million worlds to keep you safe. The galaxy does not care. It ignores those of us who only want peace. Justice. I have found true power, and it is detachment. The Jedi thought their secret powers kept them safe. Letting go of their emotions will keep their sanctity. There is no emotion, only peace. How right they are. Peace comes from releasing your anger. It has all become so clear now. Their hypocrisy has come back to rest on their shoulders and they will rue the day they kept this from me, to keep me down. So it comes down to this in the end - everyone wants to rule the galaxy. How noble a notion.

The misery I’ve wrought only cleanses these that I have called family, I feel them meet their deaths with honor as they join the Force in peace. Peace, I now know, is something I will never feel again. For one millisecond, I let the weakness in me mourn them as I know the Jedi will not. Yoda does not mourn. Pity, we are more alike than we know. As I sink deeper and deeper into the power that’s come over me, I surrender more and more of myself to the thick fog that now envelops everything I once knew as the sanctuary of the temple. As that weak, powerless part of me, inside of me, claws at my chest, cloying desperately for attention, its insipid voice screams desperately, What am I doing?

I answer, What must be done.

We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals

I leave you standing on the balcony, wringing your hands, worry etched on your brow and fear in your eyes. “Don’t worry, my love. Soon everything will be set right.” And it will be. The Jedi devotion to a Council that wishes only to place itself above all others has proven to be their downfall. Their sanctimony is no better than that of Palpatine and soon I will have taken care of both.

Such is the way of the Sith, as my new master so easily forgets. As I go now for the Separatists, it occurs to me that soon we will be free. We’ll bring justice to the galaxy, and the fighting can stop. We can have everything we ever wanted - a home, our child, our family, freedom, and love. Love. The words rings hollow to me now, sadly, and the darkness quips, Who needs love, when you have the power to have everything? It is only right. We should have the galaxy, we have brought it to peace.

It is clear to me now, that there is no other way. There has never been any other path than this that has been set before me. I was born the judge, jury and executioner of the Force. It was meant to be no other way. The galaxy, taken hostage, screamed for years as we all turned a blind eye. We pay for our sins with every breath we take, it seems. With every step I take away from the light, something burns hotter in me. Every cell lit up like a cloth soaked with concentrated fuel. The more fuel in the cloth, the hotter the fire burns, the dark winged creature whispers. You are my masterpiece.

Overtaken, the weak shadow of who I used to be releases its trembling, weak, pathetic hold, spasming with pain as it realizes what it has done. Oh, it is too late now, Anakin Skywalker. With that one dark thought, my blood runs even colder and the creature stands taller, and now I understand. There is nothing but the dark side. As the fog gets thicker, I feel it slip its fangs into my skin and wrap it wings around me, and something inside of me dies. As I stand here on the balcony of this planet of fire, I look at the last light I will ever see as it makes its way over the horizon of Mustafar. I cannot say why I am suddenly drawn to tears at saying goodbye to this part of me, the weak, powerless, pitiful part of me that only wanted to do right. Look where it got us.

The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.

I wake like an addict from a long binge. I hear nothing but the sound of machinery and hissing. My lungs burn hot, and my eyes do not focus. I am reminded, morosely, that I have not lost everything. I still have my purpose for living, though I do not know what will become of us. I only hope that my faith in the dark Master I was so bent on overturning only mere days, (or is it weeks?) ago will be rewarded. For I have surely lost Obi-Wan. I speak the first thought that comes to me, the question that burned in my thoughts constantly once the red cloud of rage dissipated. My voice isn’t mine. It sounds foreign, hollow and mechanical inside the helmet.

“Where is Padmé? Is she all right? Is she safe?”

His words crash against me and burn worse than the lava, even while I am denying it, the realization comes to me. The only part of me left that had hope has slipped away while I was reborn on an operating table. There is only one thing left to do, and if there is any mercy in the Force, I will die right now and take Sidious with me. Even through rage, I will slip away like a coward from everything I have done, saving me from what I will do. The part of me that breathed its last on the lava bank begs, its hand scrabbling to the surface as surely as it were still burning, please - just let me die. But I know deep down, that I will not die. The dragon still sits and waits. Payment has not been made in full. The Force is never a nursemaid.

Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarrassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
You'll slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed

Watching the skeleton of an abomination take shape outside the viewport of the Star Destroyer, the numb memory of recent events assails me. I am lying on lava sand and I am being eaten alive by flame...as my brother walks away.

I remember the hate, now. Oh, how I would have loved to drag him into the abyss with me. Wasn’t that the way it was always supposed to be? He and I would die together. How dare he renege? I feel him out there, although I will never see him again. He will surely pay if I do. I stand by another Master now, his cold malevolent presence my only comfort. I remember the voice that whispered its last as I awoke, it belonged to the shadow of me. It pleaded to die, its cry turned to a whisper, What have I done? I let it go, to join the others, and I am relieved by its death. There is only me now, and the rest of my life. I have done all of this, and I will pay. Of that I am certain. I will pay with every breath I take and day that sees me live. But there will always be the darkness. And that will have to be enough.

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