Fandom: Star Wars
Characters: Vaderkin, OC
Prompt: swficchallenge's #2010-30: OC, in which we were asked to depict a canon scene from the POV of an OC. ((Originally posted here))
Word Count: 1760
Rating: PG-13, warnings for violence & death
Summary: The Jedi Temple falls under attack at the end of the Clone Wars, led by newly-christened Darth Vader.
Author's Notes: The original character that appears here is from an old RPG circa 2006 -- long before The Clone Wars came out. In that universe, the younger Padawans didn't go on the more dangerous missions, like leading troops in war. And there was no Ahsoka >.> I don't think anything else needs explanation but I'd be happy to answer questions in the comments if I've left something unclear :) Oh, and e-cookies to anyone who guesses the bit-of-a-stretch-but-clicked-for-me place where the title came from
In the presence of just one Jedi, evil will evaporate.
~ excerpt from the Padawan’s Jedi Oath
The Jedi Temple under attack! It couldn’t be! There was no safer place on Coruscant, if not the entire universe. The panicked cries of her peers in the hall and the bizarre things she sensed in the Force ignited a fear more powerful than any that thirteen-year-old Aoife Sozhino had felt before.
”Clone soldiers! Turned against us!”
Crippling fear, the kind that struck civilians, not Jedi (or so she’d been taught). Jedi didn’t give in to fear. But there she sat, frozen in her chair, alone in her quarters, listening to the voices outside.
”Their leader is a Jedi!”
The lights flickered. Her essay on the ramifications of the Great Sith War disappeared from her terminal’s screen and she wondered how long it had been since she’d saved her work. Why did that come to mind now? She needed a plan… where was everyone running to and how did they know what to do? Did she miss the lesson on how to handle Temple attacks? (but the Temple can’t be attacked…) Maybe they’d covered that when she was out on war business with her new Master. Although if that were true, she should have had to make up the lesson…
”Darth Sidious is here!”
She could hide in here. If the power went out, the doors wouldn’t work and she’d be safe. Except possibly from that Jedi… or Sith… whatever it was that presumably had a lightsaber, and could sense the presence of life forms. And what if the Clones chose to grenade the quarters…
”My Master is dead! My Master is dead!“
She couldn’t hide in here. She’d go mad not knowing what was going on outside and not doing everything she could to help. She doubted the Force could even speak to her through the shroud of dark energy if she tried to meditate, and even if she could somehow manage it, she sensed that time was short. Determination not to give in to cowardice began melting her fear, and she found she could move. Where were the younglings? Was anyone protecting them? They must be so scared…
No more confused voices outside. It finally occurred to her to check her commlink and datapad; both were dead. She was on her own. She heard blaster fire but it sounded like it was far enough away from the dormitories that she wouldn’t be under immediate assault if she emerged. Aoife cautiously headed out into the main hallway, un-ignited lightsaber in hand. The lights went out. The backup generators kicked in, which provided enough light to see but left plenty of shadows to travel through undetected. If she could make it to the crèche without anyone noticing her… well, then what would she do? Focus. One step at a time.
She’d never felt so much darkness in the Force before. Remaining clear-headed with such dark elements at work was like trying to keep from throwing up when your stomach clearly wants to expel its contents.
And she also felt…
Her former Master, to be precise. He was here! She knew his Force signature better than any other. She’d assumed he was fighting battles offworld somewhere, like her current Master who’d been dispatched to Mygeeto last week. He must have known there was an attack on the Temple and come to save them!
She paused in a shadow to concentrate. They hadn’t actually severed their Master/Padawan Force-bond when their relationship changed, so she should still be able to communicate with him without calling unwanted attention to her location. ~Master! Can you feel me? I don’t know what to do!~
He answered her almost immediately. ~I’ll be right there.~
Oh what a relief! Master Anakin was nearby, close enough that he could feel where she was. All the time that had passed since she’d been his Padawan, all the anger she’d struggled with due to their separation… none of it mattered, he was here, he would know what to do, they would get through this.
The Force was so drenched in darkness now that for a moment Aoife thought she would actually throw up. But then she saw him Force-leaping gracefully towards her with long strides, and the feeling passed. She remembered the first time he’d caught her crying, when she was young… he was so comforting. He’d said there was no shame in it, that everyone cries sometimes, even Jedi Masters (not that she believed that for a second, but it sure was nice to hear). He’d made her feel so safe, for nearly two years. She imagined that’s what it would feel like to have a father. Part of her wanted to bury herself in his robes and cry and not stop until all of this was over and they were safe again. Another part wanted to fix this, to make him proud by handling the crisis like an adult… like a Knight.
Something was very wrong. Maybe it was all the darkness somehow distorting her Force senses…
His lightsaber blazed bright blue over her head. She sensed the strike before he attempted it and scrambled to get out of the way as the blade came down. She instinctively ignited her own blade and assumed a ready stance before her brain caught up to her body. “Master, what are you doing?!” she cried. “It’s me! Aoife! Your Padawan!”
The laugh that followed was unlike any laugh she’d ever heard from him. There was no joy in it; it was menacing and hateful. “You’re not my Padawan anymore.” He lunged at her again and this time she blocked his lightsaber with hers (the one they'd gone to Ilum to build). The word ‘anymore’ gave her hope; at least he recognized her. She held her position and took the opportunity to look at his face. There was something wrong with his eyes! They were yellow!
“What’s happened to you?” she asked, bewildered. He didn’t have time to answer. Two Jedi Padawans, slightly older than she, approached him from behind. Aoife watched in silent horror as he whipped around and began dueling them both. Surely he was too strong to be susceptible to mind control! But what other explanation could there be? Obviously he was a threat, but there had to be a reason and she couldn’t hurt her former Master, she just couldn’t. “Stop! It’s Master Skywalker, don’t hurt him!”
That awful laugh filled the hall and the two teenagers fell at his feet. “You’re trying to protect me? I don’t need your protection, little one. I’m more powerful now than any Jedi!”
“Why are you –“ The words wouldn’t come. Why are you killing us? The lifeless eyes of the Twi’lek on the ground stared at nothing. Aoife recognized him from a Sparring class.
“Because you’re my enemy. Enemies need to be destroyed.”
She finally vomited on the floor; Master Anakin didn’t seem to notice. She remembered a time when he’d held her hair back for her when she was sick. Had he forgotten all their time together? She felt dizzy. “I’m not your enemy! You – you trained me, don’t you remember? We were gonna—“
“Enough!” Master Anakin stepped towards her slowly. “You’re not mine. Don’t think your whining will save you.”
Aoife backed away. She sensed he was holding back, hesitating… he wasn’t really fighting her. If he wanted her dead, she’d already be dead, right? She just had to say the right thing! Something to get through to him and make him come to his senses. She did have some aptitude for negotiations… like her Master’s former Master! What would he think about all this, about Anakin’s behavior? They were like brothers, he’d said once…
“Where’s Master Kenobi?” she blurted out.
It certainly wasn’t the right thing to say; suddenly she was pinned to the wall gasping for breath. The Force was restricting her breathing. Her lightsaber clattered to the floor as her hands flew up to clutch her throat (a reflex not dulled by the knowledge that it would do no good). Master Anakin snickered. “I don’t know but I hope he shows up soon. I have a few things I’d like to say to him. I’m glad you brought him up – now you can die knowing that it was all Obi-Wan’s fault!”
“Please,” she pleaded in a choked whisper. Aoife couldn’t even begin to comprehend how any of this could possibly be Master Kenobi’s fault. And Force-choking was a dark side practice -- did that mean Master Anakin was a Sith now? How could that be? Everyone knew he was the Chosen One!
He released her and she fell to her knees, gasping, shaken to her core. Everything was spinning… confusing… maddening…
“I don’t have time to toy with you, Padawan,” he sneered. “Get up and die fighting like all the honorable Jedi have before you. Don’t forget to guard your left. Is that still a problem for you or did your new Master help you figure that out?”
Aoife looked up at him, still unable to believe that this man was once her Master. There was nothing in his expression that even remotely resembled the Anakin Skywalker that she knew. She remembered the last time she saw him: the tears had flowed on both sides and he’d promised they’d see each other again, that this was not the end of it and in his heart he’d always consider himself her Master.
“I can’t fight you. If you’re gonna kill me just do it.” Her voice trembled, but she felt a little stronger after saying the words. She had to reach into the Force and find some part of it that wasn’t completely foreign to her. She readied herself for the inevitable blow. There is no death, there is the Force… I will be one with the Force…
“Of course you can fight me! You can’t beat me, but you can try. Get up!”
Not dead yet. Aoife rose to her feet, but did not Force-pull her lightsaber to her hand. He was getting impatient; she probably only had one last chance to get through to him. She looked into his scary yellow eyes and sent as much adoration and warmth and love through the Force as she could. “I can’t fight you because I love you. I love you, Master.”
A pause. Maybe…maybe…
His lightsaber whipped through her body so quickly she didn’t even feel it.