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Private the power of the darth side

Discussion in 'Pandora Town' started by Ben Solo, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

    Posts:
    564
    Race:
    Force-Sensitive Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    True Neutral

    Feb 1 / @Darth Vader

    The SUF headquarters wasn't difficult to find. Apparently, most people in Pandora Town knew all about it, and who was in charge. Furthermore, most of them didn't seem to have a problem with that. That seemed consistent with what Jaesa had told him: that Darth Vader wasn't as into ruling by fear and displays of force as he might have once been. A part of him hoped that was still true, if only for his sake.

    "Here you are, sir." A worker reached for the door handle, pulled it open, gestured Kylo inside. He dipped his head in thanks and went in, not allowing himself hesitation.

    He heard the rhythmic breathing, glanced over the helmet-clad face as he came to a halt. He'd seen that mask on many occasions- burned and mangled and forgotten. Yet there sat Darth Vader in the flesh, the black helmet reassembled and lifting to watch him as he stepped closer.

    "Darth Vader," he began. He was nervous. He had spent much of his life looking up to everything this man had been; and had never imagined getting to actually meet his grandfather. "My name is Kylo Ren."
     
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  2. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    391
    While Director Weedle made merry with those dozens of bright-eyed cosmonauts at the StarsX Institute, Vader was occupied in other business. The pre-recorded holographic video of some nervous official's face was being projected from a table between them when Kylo Ren first entered, the report apparently not sensitive enough to be considered confidential, or significant enough to ward off interruption.

    Some part of him wondered when he would come. And Vader noted, with an absence of displeasure, that Ren did not come to him wearing that pointless piece of plasteel on his face. That was relatively new.

    He considered his grandson in silence for a moment- for two languid beats of his respirator- the eyes behind his mask searching and mind peering through the Force for other tells of novelty.

    "The son of Leia Organa and the smuggler. Betrayed your family for power and conquest under the guidance of one known as Snoke. Yes, I have heard." The recording switched off mid-sentence. Mid-stammer, more like. "Have you found answers to your struggle?" he inquired. The casual edge lingering about his mechanical voice suggested that this was not the first time they discussed this matter. As though it were old and familiar news.
     
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  3. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

    Posts:
    564
    Race:
    Force-Sensitive Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    True Neutral

    Have you found answers to your struggle?

    The man's brow creased. Though at least he wouldn't have to stand there and convince Darth Vader he had a grandchild-- he'd been dreading that part, or even if he should try. He knew Pandora was capable of strange things, even such as this. Instead, his instinctive response was to clarify what Vader meant, but Kylo knew. Of course he did. After a moment, he cleared his throat.

    "I-- No." It was the truth, and he wished he could see Vader's face and have some idea of how he was being perceived. "I killed Snoke. I don't belong to him anymore. But now, here, there's nothing. I came to meet you... even if you've met me before. Because I don't know what else to do." Another truth. He had little-- nothing else to offer.

     
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  4. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    391
    Killed Snoke. That was news enough that made Vader consider the younger man with another bout of ruminative silence. Killed the Supreme Leader others had aggrandized as Palpatine's rival of the future. Aggrandized, indeed. A Sith of Bane's lineage would not have fallen to an apprentice lesser than them. More uncertain than them. The fact that Kylo Ren did manage it could also mean he wasn't entirely beyond hope.

    How disappointing. Little over a year ago he would have long coveted a moment like this: raw power, his blood, come to him on a silver platter. Now when he tried to place the feelings that rose to meet this impossible opportunity, there was only a bitterness at worst and a peculiar intrigue at best.

    His cybernetic hand enclosed about the end of the table, the metallic slab sighing with increased tension. "I have looked upon you and seen the failings of every master that has ever touched you. I have no interest in joining their ranks." Then, a door slid open to the side of the office, revealing a dimly lit and personal corridor. His hand made a beckoning gesture, bidding him to follow.

    "There is no meaning in the formality." Perhaps it served a purpose in the grander galaxy they were meant to live and die in. In here? A waste of time and breath. "Master and Apprentice, Light and Dark— if your uncle learned anything from his dealings with me, he should have taught you that the Force is indifferent between them all."
     
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  5. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

    Posts:
    564
    Race:
    Force-Sensitive Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    True Neutral

    Something like relief touched Kylo. His once-masters had seen Kylo as the failure- the idea that it was their failing was one he found admittedly refreshing. He dipped his head in acceptance of Darth Vader's words. His shoulders relaxed slightly, his eyes watchful but not quite wary as the door hissed open.

    He stepped forward towards the revealed corridor, behind Vader. The words uttered in their deep mechanical timbre were foreign to Kylo's ears. He could only listen, dark eyes narrowing slightly, and try to turn them over in his head before responding. "My uncle sensed my divided attention, and tried to kill me as I slept." He couldn't keep the edge from the words. Though surely much resentment was attached to that particular incident, Kylo was more embittered by the notion that he'd been robbed of such a simple concept by one called Master, one that could have reconciled the torn halves of his mind long ago.

    "Both Luke and Snoke demanded my dedication to the Light or the Dark. Neither seemed to think neutrality an option. I never..." He'd never considered it, not in those terms. If anything, he'd been prepared to fight both sides in favor of choosing.

     
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  6. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    391
    And tried to kill me as I slept.

    A witch's brew of confusion and disquiet- quickly to be masked as contempt- seemed to ripple through him even as his sweeping footfalls held steadfast. The boy, the incorrigible young man who worked so tirelessly to brute force his father back into the Light felt at odds with mention of this Jedi Master who'd contemplate striking his nephew down for divided attention.

    Only Luke Skywalker could answer to that. Far be it for Vader to excuse the shortcomings of his son— wouldn't have that been the most laughable notion.

    "Neutrality..." He lingered on the word for a spell; something about it sat ill with him, but there were few other options that could concisely describe the choice not to choose. There were many forms of neutrality besides, and so he thought to elaborate, "It's no mistake to cultivate the darkness within you. Nothing is more natural than surrendering to that power. Where death, pain, and rage are your tools."

    The metal doors of an elevator opened before them, and in a few strokes of the illuminated panel with what seemed more a security key combination than floor numbers, they were plummeting smoothly downwards. The mechanical sobriety of the informal lecture, for there were no other words to describe this as well, continued without falter. "There is but one caveat. Fall too deep, and the relationship turns. You become the tool, and they your masters. The Jedi's response to this was to overreact, forbidding knowledge they deemed dangerous, treating it as cancer in their zeal. They cut off their nose to spite their face. And if your Snoke bade you to pursue it at all cost then he too was a fool."
     
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  7. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

    Posts:
    564
    Race:
    Force-Sensitive Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    True Neutral

    Cultivate the darkness. What of the light, the trace of which lingered, however feebly, inside of him? He decided not to ask yet. What Vader has said in spite of that was more than he could have hoped for. Instead he nodded, showing his understanding, before Kylo followed him into the elevator. He turned to stand and wait at his grandfather's side.

    Death. Pain. Rage. Always at his fingertips, he knew, but too often they seemed to lead him, rather than the other way around. The mistakes he knew he'd made were because of those things, the hooks they had in his flesh. To master them rather than be mastered... he wanted that.

    "I was nothing more than his tool," Kylo replied of Snoke. The embodied death, pain, and fury his Master could send wherever he wished. Kylo was watching the closed doors ahead of them, mind occupied turning over Vader's words so that he didn't have space to wonder where they were going. After a moment, he added, "Your perspective is... refreshing. As inconvenient as this world is, I'm glad for the chance to hear it." It was surely not an opportunity he would've been offered back home.

     
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  8. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    391
    "Yes," he agreed. "You were in search of my example."

    There was, indeed, something refreshing in giving voice to the introspections he once stifled. The new perspective that an awareness of his end and the cyclical nature of all ends had compelled him to consider. These thoughts, however true, were useless to him and derisive to decades of self-inflicted torment, of the torment he'd inflicted on others. Perhaps Kylo Ren could salvage more meaning from them than he.

    "I served Emperor Palpatine not because his was the path of unlimited greatest power, but because there was nothing left for me but that hatred." By all accounts Luke was supposed to have brought him back from the precipice. He understood now that 'redemption' could not have meant an absolute spurning of the dark side, but of the recognition that there still existed some things in that world that were more important than misery.

    Pity that seemed to have only been a fluke rather than an indication of greater wisdom. "While you still have ties you are unwilling to sacrifice, that is not a path you should wish to follow."

    The doors parted the way to a short corridor that led the way to a brightly lit chamber, floored with square tiles composed of some pale steel and utterly void of any furniture. The air felt cool and sterile, as though this were a place the living seldom traveled to.

    As they approached the center, one of the tiles rose from the many, revealing their purpose as storage containers. The cabinet doors of the raised box slid downward, the white light easily revealing its contents: A bundle of clean black robes and a helmet belonging to a preceding Kylo Ren. An identification badge with his name, a credential implying privileges afforded to those of the SUF. A data card containing information on a banking account with enough funds leftover to match his miscellaneous needs, within reason.

    The decision to store and preserve these personal effects were hinged on reasons more pragmatic than sentimentality; Vader spoke nothing of his rationale as his steps paused halfway to the container, allowing his grandson to move forward alone.

    Only his voice carried over. "Burn them, make use of them, do what you will. The mask is the only thing I desire never to see again."
     
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  9. Ben Solo

    Ben Solo Star Wars

    Posts:
    564
    Race:
    Force-Sensitive Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    True Neutral

    Ties he was unwilling to sacrifice. He thought of the opportunity he'd had to kill his mother. What it had felt like to pass it by, only for the other fighters to blow her into space anyways. He thought of how quickly he'd turned on Snoke, of how easily Rey had broken through years of being manipulated and twisted into the monster he'd become. Then, how quickly he'd turned on her, following her rejection.

    There were ties he desperately hoped he'd never sacrifice. For now that had to be enough.

    He followed Vader into the chamber, at first perceiving it as an empty room. He was soon proved wrong, as one square slid away, and the helmet he'd smashed into an elevator wall rested as though waiting for him. He couldn't help but grimace slightly at the sight. The child in a mask. He approached the container, passing Vader, and looked closer. There were other artifacts as well- including a badge similar to the one he'd seen on Jaesa's ship.

    "I don't wish to see it either," he agreed, though his tone was low. It was a strange thing to have reappear, but there was no desire in him to ever wear it again. Instead of picking the items up just yet, he turned to look back at Darth Vader. "I know about the unit you lead. I'll help, if you'd have me. I want to learn more." What little Vader had said so far already had things beginning to fall into place. Kylo craved the balance he described more than anything, and would gladly make himself useful in the meantime.

     
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  10. Anakin Skywalker

    Anakin Skywalker Star Wars

    Posts:
    391
    "The unit nominally enforces order and mitigates chaos where it is most needed," he began, starting with the vague line summarizing any official information he might glean from the Starknet or other resources. Pretty words, true in a sense. They were part of the government's most effective hand when it came to curtailing certain crises, short of calling upon the assistance of those... superheroes.

    He supposed the special, absurdly particular nature of their relationship called for a more honest answer than that. One that was personal to him, unheard of in public spheres lest he hurt someone's feelings again with his manner of speaking. "It is barely a pastime, distraction, and opportunity for exercise. On occasion it does provide meaningful challenge." The mask of his helmet seemed to peer again at the bundle of items. "Perhaps you will find a semblance of stability within it. The badge is already yours." It technically already had his name branded across it.
     
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