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Private are you an angel?

Discussion in 'Horizon' started by Anakin Skywalker, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    December 12, Year 7
    @Padmé Amidala

    There were scrap piles as far as the eye could see. Mountains of broken and discarded things, the intestines of decrepit machinery long past their glory days stretched endlessly into the horizon. The engorged twin moons and stars hovering overhead only seemed to enhance the sinister quality of the jagged shapes and silhouettes below, their shadows dancing and twisting with each flickering movement from the firmament.

    It felt as if all the sound had been sucked into an abyss leaving nothing but an oppressive stillness to the senses. As far as his meditations went, when they seemed to guide him by the hand as if the Force itself had something to teach, this was nothing extraordinary. The landscape was a distinct lack of any living thing - until a small voice cried out from within the trash heaps.

    "Anyone out there?" echoed the voice of a young boy, who couldn't have sounded older than nine or ten.

    Scrap metal rustled against scrap metal as Anakin struggled to climb his way up the ditch, before something gave way under his footing. The clanging and thumping of his tumble down to the bottom was ear-shattering against the silence. The mounds shuddered from the movement, as if to threaten an impending avalanche, before finally settling back into stillness.

    "Ow..." he whimpered to himself. Cradling a reddening bruise on his knee, the sandy-haired boy peered up at the precarious ledge and pursed his lips together. No good... But he dragged himself back to his feet, an undeterred spark in his blue eyes. One way or another, he'd pull himself back up. This was nothing. Easier than putting a podracer together (which was another option with all these parts, ripe for the picking). Still, this'd be a lot easier if there were somebody nearby.

    "Hello …?" he called out one more time at the heavens, boxing his mouth with his hands.
     
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  2. Horizon still reminded Padmé a little of Tatooine, although she’d learnt by now that this wasn’t that planet. It didn’t seem to be anything close to that either, from what she’d been told. The report of just what Pandora was varied from person to person. Everyone agreed upon one thing: that there was no way out of this world, which she found to be impossible to believe right now. There was still so much to be done in the Senate, she couldn’t stay here. And Anakin...there was so much she needed to tell him. Their lives were about to be changed, forever.

    Ironically, the only thing that had grounded her here so far was that thing. Her son, who she'd met a few days before. Not just hers, but Anakin’s. It was hard to comprehend, as she’d barely been pregnant when she was pulled here. But the coincidence was too much for it not to be true…and she’d only seen Luke’s blue eyes once before; there were no others like them.

    Amid dealing with all this news, Padmé had reached Horizon the day before and had already begun negotiating with the locals for more information and resources. In exchange for helping some of them out, she’d managed to gain a room and a bed for a few days. By the end of her second day, her body cried out for rest but she found unable to sleep for long before the dreams started…

    ........

    Various shapes began to fade into view, all of them at varying heights, piled high, like a wasteland. But this felt different; there was an eerie blankness to the place, as though it were suspended in time, void of anything but the cold and dark. Although she struggled to see, with the light of the moon…no, moons blinding her temporarily, she found that she couldn’t stop herself moving, as though something were drawing her in. Whatever was going on, she'd faced worse, she kept telling herself.

    As she took in her surroundings, Padmé vaguely recognised some of contents of the piles. It was the twin moons however that finally made her realise. Was...was this Tatooine?

    A sudden ringing sound made her turn on her heel, and in the distance she could see one of the many piles move. At first, she wondered if they would come crashing down, forcing her to run. But as before, she was drawn in, this time in the direction of the noise. She was only spurred on as a voice rang out; a young voice which was distorted in the vast emptiness.

    Padmé forgot everything else in that moment as she hurried towards the source of the disruption. It wasn't long before the ground veered sharply downward and she nearly fell into it, had she not stopped at the last moment. A few pieces of metal crumbled away under her feet and she now realised she was on top of the same mound that had shook so violently before. She leaned precariously over the edge.

    What, or rather who she saw made her breath hitch.

    "Ani?" She gasped. It was him, her Ani...but not the man she was married to. This was the boy she'd met years ago, as Queen Amidala. "Ani!" She now called, "Are you alright?" Something about this felt natural, despite her initial surprise. As though her being here was...right.
     
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  3. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    Confusion flitted across his face when he first heard her voice, as clear as daybreak despite coming from high above. Blinking, his eyes turned skyward, and all his struggling seemed to still. It was as if a sudden lucidness had washed over him in a dawning awareness of the climb's futility. But the realization brought him closer to a sense of calm instead of despair. This was how it was meant to be, he realized.

    His recognition was without context, like the tight sensation in his chest mingling in with a trace of something else was without context. Where he stood, underneath this unnaturally bright moonlight amidst mountains of scrap, it hadn't occurred to him that he needed context at all.

    He only wished he could leap from the chasm and go to her. A persistent voice on the back of his mind insisted that a Jedi could do it, only to be quashed by a derision from... somewhere. From a dark place with cruel voices. What good were Jedi for if they couldn't save one person? The one person that ever mattered?

    Besides, Anakin was no Jedi. And to hear her voice again, after what felt like so unbearably long, was just as well.

    "It's you," he called up, lifting a hand to give her a wave. "I thought you'd gone away again." However brief, his voice was colored by a wistfulness belonging to someone far older than nine years old. After a pause, his features scrunched together into a youthful shadow of chastisement. "You'll get hurt if you hang over the edge like that."
     
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  4. Although she could recall how dangerous this area was, it didn’t cross her mind for a moment not to peer further over the edge and wonder how she could help the boy out of the ditch. But that was Padmé; always selfless and taking her own life into her hands for the sake of others. Little did she know that one day, it would be her ultimate downfall. That she’d never get to grow old or even know her own children.

    Ani called up to her, and she was relieved he recognised her from such a distance. The surreal setting around her became even less concerning as he took notice of her. But his statement confused her. “Away? Ani, I…”

    Something was different about him, she realised, but it were as though her mind wasn’t allowed to know just what it was. That could be answered later; right now, she needed to help him out of this ditch.

    “Don’t worry about me. How did you get down there?” she began to ask, before her footing slipped and she very nearly veered over the edge. She took a sharp intake of breath, clearly shocked, but her expression was soon schooled back into a reassuring smile. Padmé wasn’t about to show Ani she had been afraid, not when he needed her.
     
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  5. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    "I've always been here, I—" The boy tensed as he witnessed her almost fall, even though deep down he knew this was a dream, that nothing that took place here, whether he did manage to spring out or whether Padmé tumbled down after him, mattered. Nothing would change when they roused. But in that moment, the thought of her coming to harm had a panic surging from within his bones. "Watch out!"

    His brow creased with worry and frustration in spite of her reassurances, small hands balling into fists. A dark look creased his brow, a look that didn't belong in the slightest on the face of someone so young, especially not the Ani she knew. The look passed soon enough, and with it his silence as his blue eyes watched her with solemn interest.

    "If I did something horrible, or many horrible things-" an unfathomable number of them "-would you hate me?"
     
    #5 Anakin Skywalker, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  6. Padmé wanted so much to tell him everything, about how he’d leave this planet and the great things he would go on to do for the galaxy, about them… Of course, they spent much time apart, as was necessary; their duties had to come first. But the time they had together... it was the most wonderful thing.

    Her words fell on deaf ears as Ani looked to her with worry. But it was his subsequent expression that made her breath hitch. It was not unlike the look he’d had after slaughtering the Tusken Raiders who’d so brutally tortured his mother. Seeing it on his nine year old face, however, stirred a feeling of unease within her.

    “Ani, there is nothing—anything you could do that would make me hate you,” she stated, confident in her words. Yes, they’d had their share of problems, (and were certain to face more given the news she’d so desperately wanted to share), but they were united and on each other’s side. Her eyes flickered back and forth between his, searching for meaning to all of this.
     
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  7. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    The sound of his response came from several paces behind her, this time. Instead of the boy, he was a young man of nineteen years, wearing earthen robes and a padawan braid tucked behind his ear.

    "Those Tuskens were just the beginning of a war that never ended," Anakin said, standing tall and faced away from her at first. He tossed a screw into the endless horizon, the motion of his arm fluid and casual as if to pass the time. The next time she glanced down into precipice, there'd be no trace of Ani the boy.

    "And I remember the look you gave me then, when I told you." He thought he remembered her compassion warring with her hesitation, that his hands were capable of something so vile and brutal yet it was all borne from grief. More than grief: hatred. Even then, she always had her compassion for him. It was foolishness to assume that same compassion could last after two decades of inflicting that same slaughter, fear, and pain throughout the galaxy.

    When he turned his head over his shoulder to catch her eyes, there was something of a sad smile lingering over the shadow of his profile. An apologetic smile, for the things she would inevitably come to learn. Murdering those Sand People was child's play compared to what came next.
     
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  8. Her gaze, which had stayed fixed on his, lowered just slightly as she wondered what else she could say to convince him otherwise. In that moment, a voice from a more recent moment in time spoke, but not from the deep fissure in front of her. However, Padmé did not flinch at the sudden shift, but slowly turned her head and drank in the vision of an older Anakin, the one who had been in her thoughts just now.

    What was he saying? She knew as well he did of the wars that raged on across the galaxy. What did he mean they never ended? She dared a brief glance back to the ditch, but saw no trace of the nine year boy, but her attention snapped back to the now adult Anakin as he mentioned that day.

    “Anakin…”
    She started, but stopped as he looked to her, taking in the expression on his features. It was another expression that appeared too old- wrong for his face. What would it take to convince him?

    She started forward, as though afraid he would suddenly disappear once more, barely noticing the change in her own clothes, or how her hair hung down in those same curls. “Anakin. Listen to me. There is nothing, nothing you could have done…”

    Padmé tried to recall if Luke had said anything about his father during their brief conversation, but, as with everything else she wanted so much to say, trying to think about it right now was impossible and the weight of it crushed her mind.
     
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  9. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    How could it be that Padmé stood right before his eyes and yet was so out of reach? If not the ditch, there was the chasm of years and something else between them. He had wanted more than anything for her to join him, but he'd traveled down a path she could not follow, alone. The better word for that was betrayal. He'd betrayed her, betrayed Obi-Wan, betrayed everything he once loved, and had known as much since the beginning.

    "You don't know yet," he returned, voice soft despite the words bearing so much weight. A hand composed of flesh instead of cybernetics reached out to tuck an errant brown curl behind her ear. By the time her fingers met her hair, another change had blinked over him. The padawan braid was gone, his robes darker, his hair loose and free, and his frame slightly taller.

    "You will," he continued, his voice slightly deeper. "You'll see I'm not what I used to be."

    As bleak as this all sounded, it occurred to him that this might've been a measured improvement from words he once spat: Anakin Skywalker is dead. He found the notion laughable. To call that an improvement was as good as calling scooping a bucketful of water from the ocean a triumph.

    He hesitated for another heartbeat, that dark look crossing his eyes again— not quite filled with guilt, but a vague recollection. "Or perhaps I am. Do you remember Clovis?"

    Her old flame whose face he once pummeled with his fists, out of anger.

    Yes, to claim there'd been no signs of his descent would have been dishonest.
     
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  10. Her resolve, as always, was strong, despite the desperation she felt to convince him otherwise. Even in his darkest moments, Anakin had never spoken with such finality, as though he were destined to commit such atrocities. The cryptic nature of his words only fuelled her determination to prove to him this was not who he was.

    “Know what?” Padmé began to ask, her tone never wavering, but there was a gentle undertone to it also. As he reached out, once again she saw him a new light, or rather, a new stage of life. This was more like the Anakin she’d last seen, before she’d been brought to Pandora.

    Her hands lifted to cup his face, fingers brushing over his cheeks. She said nothing, her expression questioning, longing to be let in. Don’t shut me out, she silently pleaded.

    The intimacy of their embrace did not last long, and Padmé’s arms dropped as Clovis was mentioned. It was an instinctive reaction to a memory so terrible, that at the time had made her question everything. She’d ordered a distance be set between them…but had that caused more harm than good? The expression that had flittered across Anakin’s face in that moment had not escaped her notice either.

    Holding back a sigh, she held his gaze. “I thought we’d moved past this, Anakin.”
     
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  11. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    389
    His hand had quietly brushed against hers, tracing the memory of her skin in absent minded surprise for how real it felt. He would have given up anything to make the moment last to the end of time, but one way or another, it had to end. It always had to end. Just like with those other distant memories he'd dreamt during those nights were regret threatened to weaken him in the phantom knees, all ended with the unrelenting incursion of a reality in which she was dead.

    Or in this case, transient like a ghost.

    "You're right. We did," he didn't dispute, a thin and colorless smile on his lips before falling away into solemness. "I wish that were the last time I gave you grief." Instead, it was just another premonition for worse to come.

    He burst into flames before her, but didn't react with pain or concern. It wouldn't hurt her here; he wouldn't let himself hurt her again, even if it meant keeping his distance. At least here, they had the facsimile of closeness in spite of their difference. The flames licked at his skin and robes in hues of bright gold in sunsets and autumn leaves, engulfing him whole. Yet again, the dream was about to end.
     
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