||12-13-2007 04:21 PM
[FIN] Reason to Kill
It was over. They all wanted it. Demanded it. Said it was the only way and I listened. I did what they wanted. His lifeless body laid at my feet. I killed him.
Reason to Kill
One hour earlier.
The path of the Dark Side is a treacherous one, at best. I should know. I walked that path once, when I thought ends justified the means. I was betrayed by my closest friend, so I took another path. A path to right the wrongs. I chased visions and clues across the galaxy and in the end I found what I was looking for.
The thick door opened to reveal a huge observation chamber. I slowly walked in and saw him immediately. He was standing at the center of the room, enjoying the flashes of red and green turbolaser bolts that flew around from and to every possible direction, some destroying their targets and some missing them completely. The two swarms of little fighter ships mixed into one big storm, a few larger ones stood at each side, exchanging shots on occasion. The lead ships stood behind, like queen bees, giving instructions to their drones.
I approached, summoning my lightsaber hilt from the belt to my hand. Chances are this won’t end nicely. He turned around, revealing the pale skin and yellow eyes above the metallic jaw.
’’You are here at last.’’ He sounded almost like a machine. His voice echoing terribly under the metal. ’’I suspected my apprentices would not be a match for you.’’
’’And you know why I’m here.’’ I said calmly.
’’You think you can stop me.’’ He replied, backing away a few steps and igniting his lightsaber. The long red blade emerged, bathing me in its bloodthirsty glow. ’’You have grown both willful and powerful, perhaps even more powerful than you were during your reign as the Dark Lord, but so have I.’’ He started circling, his hand held out and his red blade pointed at me. I followed, maintaining the distance between us, pointing my own lightsaber at him, as its green blade emerged from the hilt.
’’You underestimate me. After all, I have made it this far.’’ I said, trying to reduce his confidence. I honestly had no idea which one of us would be walking out of there alive.
’’I don’t think so.’’ He replied as confidently as before. ’’This can only end in one way – according to the ancient Sith tradition the apprentice must defeat the master.’’
He stopped circling and made his move, charging at me with his weapon prepared to deliver the killing blow, but he was blocked off by my own blade. He backed away a few steps once again, confidently twirling his blade from one hand to the other and back again. I felt him preparing to strike again, so I assumed a defensive stance. He pushed me away with the Force, surprising me completely. It was dumb luck that I didn’t drop my blade in the process and as I saw him charging at me again, I quickly jumped back to my feet and met his blade with my own. As we both pushed our blades towards one another, struggling to prevail, I summoned the Force, making him land on his back a few meters in front of me. Just to return the favor.
’’Why did you betray me?’’ I shouted as I walked toward him. I had to know. I needed a reason for this fight, for my revenge. A more personal reason than the ones I had so far.
’’The strongest must rule, if the Sith are to survive!’’ He replied as he rose back to his feet. Wasting no time, he attacked again, swinging his blade at me, each time from a different direction. ’’I am the strongest now, Revan, not you! So, as histories and traditions teach us, the apprentice must eventually destroy the master.’’
He attacked again. I blocked and then quickly countered, trying to catch him off balance. I swung my blade from the left, right, up and down, making him slowly back away.
’’You failed once before, Malak. Are you so certain this time will be different?’’ I probed further, trying to split his concentration.
’’I never truly got the respect I deserved, after betraying you from afar. They acknowledged me as the Dark Lord, addressed me as such, but amongst themselves they insulted me, saying I was too afraid to face you in close combat, saying I was weak, comparing me to you, just as they did when you, the Great Darth Revan, were their leader.’’ His machine-like voice echoed across the chamber. ’’No more! This time I will prove once for all that I am worthy of my title. I will end your pitiful existence and prove that I am the one true Dark Lord of the Sith!’’
And there it was. Even though I remembered nothing of my life as Darth Revan, his words produced the effect I was waiting for. He was my best friend and he betrayed me because of petty jealousy and his own ambition. The stars were ours, but he wanted them to be his.
I got angry. I detached myself from every other emotion and connected with the Force on a deeper level. I became like an animal in its natural habitat, using every milimeter of my surroundings to my advantage. This room became my jungle and Malak was the trespassing hunter.
I charged and just when he’d have expected me to strike, I jumped over him, whirling my blade defensively, and landed behind him, forcing him to turn around and perform his defense move quicker and with less time to think about what next. I swung again and again, performing the most astonishing moves he’s ever seen. He held his ground quite effectively, but I could notice the fatigue slowly crawling up on him. I continued to jump around and over him, making my every next attack more and more difficult to defend against. Our blades met time and again, producing white flashes and sizzling noises each time they touched each other’s surface, until he suddenly tripped, using his last bit of strength to push me away with the Force, effectively disorienting me.
’’Do you really think I can be defeated that easily?’’ His machine-like voice threatened as he rose back to his feet. ’’Take a look around you.’’ I heard him say as I rose back to mine. ’’Do you see the bodies?’’
I evolved again from animal to man and did as he asked, noticing quite a few bodies floating in strange looking pods, held in mid-air by some kind of energy field. I was so focused on him that I completely failed to see them before. I knew Malak would reveal their terrible purpose soon enough.
’’They are Jedi who fell when I attacked Dantooine. Gathered by my minions and kept barely alive for one purpose --’’ Malak interrupted his speech to drain the closest suspended body of the Force. ’’-- to feed the Star Forge and to feed me.’’
’’Release them at once!’’ I shouted, knowing it was in vain.
’’Release them? The only way to do that is to kill them and I won’t allow their deaths to have no purpose. They will become one with the Force only when they fulfill the function I gave them.’’ Malak said righteously.
That was the exact moment it hit me – so far I have pursued this quest across the galaxy because I considered it an imposed obligation that must be fulfilled and I wanted to kill Malak simply for imposing it on me. I would never have been here, if he wasn’t so damn ambitious, or if his shot was, at least, effective enough to kill me. They all demanded it of me – Vrook, Zhar, all of them. ’’The council gave you a chance to redeem yourself by destroying Malak.’’ Bastila’s words. And I did want redemption, but to have it this way, by killing, my reasons had to be pure. That’s when I discovered the true reason for the necessity of Malak’s death, to spare the galaxy of the horrors he would bestow upon it, should his conquest succeed.
’’Don’t worry, Revan, you’ll join them soon enough, your power feeding me as I conquer the galaxy.’’ Malak added.
I renounced all the previous reasons I had and embraced this newly discovered one. Then I made my move.
I threw my lightsaber at the closest suspended body, jumping away in a completely different direction. I suspect those Jedi would have welcomed my act as merciful, compared to what Malak intended to do to them. I landed near another Jedi and summoned my lightsaber back to me. I swung it and sent this Jedi to the Force as well. Just as Malak was realizing my plan I cut down another suspended Jedi. Malak started chasing me, but it was in vain. Soon enough all his backups were destroyed and Malak was left to face me with only one Force jolt powering him. He charged.
Our blades clashed, once again producing the familiar white flash. This was it, there would be no more pauses, no more conversations. This fight would end only when one of us was dead. So we played our little dance of death, each of our moves performed perfectly, each of us straining himself to the maximum, pushing the limits of our physical and mental constitution. If we had an audience, I think they would have said this was the most beautiful combat they’ve ever seen. But one of us had to lose.
Malak was getting tired again. It became more and more difficult for him to block my attacks and he produced more and more openings for me. The fight continued, with a slightly slower pace, until his defenses faltered and I managed to destroy his lightsaber, kicking him to the ground as a proof of victory. A slightly premature proof.
Malak used what’s left of his strength for one last desperate attempt to defeat me. Not even trying to get up, he held out his hand and blue bolts of lightning came out of his fingertips, rushing to meet me. I quickly raised my lightsaber and the blue bolts were instantly blocked off by its green blade. But Malak wouldn’t stop until he has completely drained himself. Blue lightning kept trying to push me back, but I continued forward, slowly approaching Malak, each step felt a kilometer long. That’s when he managed to get up, but it was far too late. I plunged my blade into his chest and he fell back to his knees as I pulled it out, coughing, gasping for air.
’’You... you won.’’ He said. ’’You are the stronger after all. You are the one who... deserves to be the Dark Lord, but I wonder, Revan... if our roles were switched, if the Jedi found me, would I have been able to get back to the Light as you did.’’ He coughed again, breathing more heavily after each word.
’’Who knows?’’ I replied calmly. ’’Maybe it would be possible, but you chose your own path, Malak, a path of conquest, death and destruction.’’
’’Yes... and now, only at its end do I realize...’’ He took one last breath, ’’I am nothing.’’ Then he exhaled and was no more.
It was over. They all wanted it. Demanded it. Said it was the only way and I listened. I did what they wanted. His lifeless body laid at my feet. I killed him. But have I redeemed myself? Truly redeemed myself?
In everyone else’s eyes, I most definitely have. And as for my own? I looked upon my former friend’s lifeless body once again. I had many reasons to kill him, but only the one I last discovered mattered. The demands of Jedi, of the Republic, of all the people I’ve met and all those that accompanied me on my journey meant nothing. If you want to redeem yourself by killing, your reason for that act must be completely selfless and the person must be completely deserving of death. It won’t make killing right, but it will make it acceptable. Anything less and you’re just another murderer, killing to satisfy your own selfish desires and ambitions.
The enormous space station started to tremble. The Republic was gaining ground and managed to deliver blows to the Star Forge itself. I had to leave, but when I did, it was with relief and one last realization - although the Dark Side will always remain a part of me, I know I am now truly a follower of Light.