A little Star Wars fan fic I whipped up. It's not edited, so forgive any typos or grammatical errors. And yes, I realize it'll probably be proven false by the time the Clone Wars cartoon series ends. I still kind of like it.
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What have I done? Vader thought for the thousandth time in the past six hours. He looked around the chamber at the bodies of over two dozen younglings--younglings he had slain with his own hand. Padawans. Children!
And yet...there was no denying the power that now coursed through him. And what were these children next to his own? Next to his wife? She was all that mattered, now. These children here were nothing but potential threats to the new order. Vader understood, but deep down that nagging voice still tugged at him: what have I done?
The room was silent. Everything stood still. He could smell the burning of the temple and resolved that whatever else happened, he would not let this monument fall. The Jedi within must die, this much was true, but their legacy, their records, their temple...that must stand. It must stand because it was his, now. All those records they wouldn't let him access. Those secrets in the archives. All his, now.
The moments of silence ended. In the distance he could hear lightsabers and blaster fire. There was still work to be done here.
That was when he felt it--the presence. One of perhaps two or three presences he'd prayed not to feel.
Please let me be wrong, he thought. Not her. Not her.
Then the voice found its way to his ears. The musical, mischievous voice that never seemed to age, even after several years apart.
His shoulders slumped. "Hello, Ahsoka."
"What's going on? The clones--attacking the temple. Did they....oh, Goddess. These padawans were killed with lightsabers. Did you...you couldn't have!"
"You should leave, now, Ahsoka."
"Master Anakin, you know I can't do that."
"That name no longer has any meaning for me. And I'm giving you one last chance, because you were my padawan. Turn around and walk out that door. Don't make me kill you."
"You're the Sith lord!" Her lightsaber hissed into existence.
Anakin smirked as the rage burned away the fear he'd lived with for so long. He felt liberated at last. He turned, slowly, to face Ahsoka and she gasped at the sight of his yellow eyes. "Some day, doubtless," he said. "For now I serve my master. This is your last chance, young one. Leave this room, now, and find your way alone, if you can."
"Who are you?" she squeaked, "and what have you done with my master?"
"Anakin Skywalker is dead." He ignited his own saber. "I am Darth Vader."
Ahsoka swallowed, hard, and felt a churning in her gut that was unfamiliar yet intimate at the same time. For the first time in her life, Ahsoka Tano felt true fear. But she swallowed again, forcing it into a ball in the pit of her stomach, and set herself against the man who had taught her everything she knew. He had been a brother to her, a hero, a role model. He was everything Ahsoka wanted to be. And now, he stood before her, cold and dead, a threat to everything she held dear.
They began to circle one another, blades held at the ready, each looking for an opening. Vader's face twisted in rage; he boiled up all of the hatred he could muster to overcome any lingering feelings of tenderness he might have for this whelp. Her face was passive, but he knew her better than that; he saw the minute muscle twitches at the corners of her mouth and eyes.
"Angry, are you, my old padawan?"
"I do what I have to do," she said. "Nothing more."
"You lie!" he taunted. "I can feel your rage...your hate. I can feel your fear. Go ahead, Ahsoka. Use them. Let them flow, feel what I do. You'll see. We can still walk out of here--together. We can put down my master and we can put an end to this. Can't you feel it? The cold power, burning inside you. Give into that. Come with me."
Her eyes narrowed. "Never."
He smiled, and there was a hint of genuine affection there. "I trained you well," he said. "Too bad."
He lunged with blinding speed; Ahsoka dodged left, bringing her blade across her body, and just managed to deflect the blow. She hit the ground, rolled, and kipped to her feet, then went high, arcing over him and coming down in a graceful roll behind. She stabbed upwards, but by the time her saber finished its arc, Vader was no longer there.
Ahsoka's instincts kicked in even before she sensed the attack, and she arced her blade behind her, catching his overhand stroke that would've cut her in two. She spun, her saber locked to his, and threw her foot out, adding to the power of the kick with a wave of Force energy. Vader's chin snapped back and he staggered; Ahsoka pressed the attack, throwing a roundhouse kick followed by a side kick, then a sideways sweep of her lightsaber.
But Vader weathered the attacks, and threw his hand forth before her saber made contact; Ahsoka flew backwards and smashed into the wall with a grunt.
The man who had been Anakin Skywalker stalked forward, mute anger pasted across his face. Ahsoka pulled herself to her feet, and found herself lifted higher and higher as Vader stretched his hand forth and levitated his pupil all the way to the ceiling. Her throat closed up as though a vice locked around her neck.
Vader sneered. "Two can play at that game," he said, and smashed her to the floor. She felt ribs crack when she hit, and coughed up blood. She pulled herself to her knees, where she sobbed, waiting for the end.
"No," Vader said. "Not like this. Pick up your saber, little one. Die like a Jedi, not a dog."
She looked up at him, and for just a moment, her face was twisted with rage to match his own. The Dark Side swelled within her, and Vader thought he'd won.
But then she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, and the anger vanished. She stretched out her hand and her saber slid across the floor, then leapt to her grasp. She stood on unsteady legs, grimacing from pain, but all that came from her was peace.
"So be it," she said, and assumed a ready stance. "Let's finish this, Darth."
Vader nodded, and felt a swell of pride within him. If he'd done anything right in his miserable life, at least there was this.
The battle was joined again, sabers flashing and hissing, in a blinding display of swordsmanship. Anakin had taught the girl everything he knew, and her raw display of skill almost matched his own.
But almost isn't perfect.
Ahsoka pressed the attack, aware that her only hope rested in not being on the defensive. She had a chance to end this, here and now, to stop the Sith. She had failed enough times in her life; she would not fail here.
But he was so good! She came with an overhand chop, followed by a cross-slash in which she switched from the traditional overhand Ataru style Anakin had taught her back to her instinctive underhand Shien style.
Vader fell back for an instant; he had always had difficulty defending against Shien. Ahsoka pressed the attack, her Togrutan predatory instincts driving her on. She spun and brought her blade low. Vader tried to block the strike, but missed; only his honed reflexes saved him from an impaling blow. He dodged right and winced as her saber swept a neat burn across his rib cage.
Ahsoka lunged after him, all too late realizing she'd been set up. His free hand came down and locked on her wrist, while the other swept his saber in a counterclockwise motion that severed her hand at the wrist. She screamed and dropped to her knee as her saber skittered across the floor, yet still she refused to surrender. The young Jedi dropped into a roll, out of Vader's reach, and called her saber back to her remaining hand.
She was one instant too late; she didn't even feel pain as his saber plunged clean through her back, penetrating just beneath her heart. She gurgled once, then gasped, and managed to whisper, "I loved you, Master Anakin."
"You were like a daughter to me, Snips," he admitted. "And I'm sorry. But you died well, even in your failure."
Then he wrenched his saber up just two inches. Ahsoka gave one final gasp, and went limp. She fell in a heap as Vader extinguished his lightsaber and strode from the room.
Outside, he found a squad of clones approaching. "Lord Vader," one said. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine," he muttered. "We have work to do. Let's finish this, and then I want every last fire extinguished. Is that understood?"
"Yes, sir! Right away, sir!"
Vader watched the clones run at his order, and washed away the last of his doubts.
I do not simply serve the Dark Side, he thought. I am the Dark Side.