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Old 09-29-2006, 07:27 AM   #19
RC-1162
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NINETEEN

The escape pod streaked down into the uninhabited, thin forest of Kuat. With a resounding thud, it crashed, uprooting several trees and setting dry leaves aglow with temporary fire because of the red-hot friction-burned outer skin of the pod. As the skin cooled enough for the occupant to exit, a light transport craft landed outside the forest, which was not far off.
The LED inside the pod set near the door blinked, and Darth Vader popped the hatch and emerged, obsidian sheen mask gleaming in the sun. He could not remember being so angry before, other than the time Obi Wan left him for dead near the lava river.
Obi Wan. Vader clenched his fists in increased rage. The next time he saw Kenobi, the Jedi would wish he had never messed with him, the Dark Lord of the Sith.

“You don’t have to wait long, Anakin,” said a voice behind him. Vader turned, his rage increasing with the usage of his ole name. It seemed impossible that the burning hatred inside him didn’t swallow up the whole universe in a giant flash of flame.

“What do you want, Kenobi?” Vader said, through gritted teeth.

“My old friend,” Obi Wan replied simply.

“You and the other Jedi were never my friends. You just used me; used my power. With the Dark Side, I have no restrictions, save this armor. The armor which you made me wear, Obi Wan. If you were my friend, you would have pulled me away from the lava.”

“I came to Mustafar to help you; to turn you away from the Dark path that you strode, but you tried to take my life instead. I had no choice.”

“Don’t give me that, Obi Wan. You turned Padme against me! I lost all the people that I loved: my mother, my wife, my child. All because of YOU!”

Vader yelled the last word with the absolute apitome of hatred and lunged at Obi Wan, lightsaber in hand. Obi Wan ignited his own blade in the blink of an eye and blocked the cut; just barely. Vader swiped at Obi Wan’s knees, putting all his power in the cut. Obi Wan leapt backward a few feet and spoke again.

“You lost your mother to the Tuskens, Anakin. And even then, instead of helping your mother through the Force, you took revenge on them. You killed their women and children. The same fate has been dealt to you.”

“ENOUGH!”

Vader threw his lightsaber at Obi Wan, directed by the Force. Obi Wan slapped it away with his blade and it returned to Vader. The Dark Lord of the Sith jumped up in an aerial leap with his lightsaber in front of him. Had Obi Wan no side-stepped in time, the cut would have chopped him in half.

“You were the one who turned Padme away from you,” continued Obi Wan. “Your actions became unbearable to her. You choked her when you knew, full well, that she had nothing to do with me being there.”

“You made me distrust her, Obi Wan,” said Vader. “You were the one who endangered her life.”

“No Anakin! Had I not stopped you, you would have killed her on the spot.”

“I had no inclination to do that. I want to know from you how she died.”

“She dies because of you, not for you, but by your hand, Anakin.”

“DON’T CALL ME THAT!” Vader screamed and lunged again.

This time, they fought longer. Lightsabers flashed as the changing weather brought on rain clouds to cover the forest. A light shower washed down on them as they fought, lightsabers sizzling in the rain. They feinted, cut, lunged and jumped, Vader fighting to kill and Obi Wan to defend. Finally, they caught themselves in a saber lock and the blades sparked and spurred as they fought a battle of their own, to overcome the other.

“I did not kill her,” said Vader, the anger still apparent in his voice. “I want to know how.”

Obi Wan pushed harder and Vader matched it, keeping them in the lock.

“She lost the will to live, Anakin. She lost it because you lost yourself to her; because you turned to the Dark Side, away from her.”

Vader pushed with all his might and Obi Wan was knocked off his feet. The Jedi Master’s lightsaber clattered at Vader’s feet. The Sith Lord kicked it away into the bushes and raised his blade.

“I will avenge her death by killing you, Obi Wan.”

Vader jumped up and brought the blade down on Obi Wan.
And the Jedi Master had a blade to meet it. Vader stepped back, stunned. The hilt looked very familiar; then it struck him. He remembered the last image of Obi Wan he had seen with his unaided eyes: one of the Jedi picking up his lightsaber and walking away. That lightsaber now lay in his hands. Obi Wan got to his feet and called his own saber from where it lay and ignited it, and he stood, lightsaber in each hand, hissing in the rain.

“I vowed never to give up on you, Anakin,” he said. “I swore to myself never to let you die consumed by the Dark.”

“You will have to break that promise, Obi Wan,” said Vader, his mask covered with tiny rivulets of water, his cape soaked and clinging to his body armor. “I serve the Dark Side and the Emperor now.”

“Padme’s dying words were that there is good in you, and I know it too. I will bring you back if it is the last thing I do. I will do anything to bring you back, my old friend,” said Obi wan, trying to be sympathetic.

“I will never return to the Jedi, Obi Wan. Anakin Skywalker is now dead. I am Darth Vader and in this alias, I have realized me greatest dreams. I will not let you take it away from me.”

“I won’t take your dreams away from you or you away from your dreams, Anakin. I will just take you away from the Dark Side.”

“The blood of many Jedi rests on my hands, Obi Wan. I will never be able to come back even if I wanted to.”

“The Jedi are willing to forgive and forget. You need to give it a chance. You were the strongest Jedi ever, the one who would bring balance to the Force, the one destined to destroy the Sith.”

“I was. I am no longer. The prophecy did not speak of me in particular. It can be anybody, but it is not me.”

“How would you know?” Obi Wan asked in desperation. “You never-”

“How would you know? Vader countered. “How would you know that the prophecy spoke of me?”

“Forget the prophecy!” Obi Wan finally yelled. “Forget everything else. I want you to be my friend again. There is no more Jedi Council, thanks to you. No more Younglings, thanks to you. No more Mace Windu, thanks to you. No more Tara, thanks to you. But you are still dear as a brother to me and I am begging you, for the sake of your friend, renounce the Dark Side.”

Vader turned to where Obi Wan’s shuttle lay and he used the Force to shove Obi Wan down.

“I am done speaking, Obi Wan. I will never join the Jedi again.”

Obi Wan got to his feet and extinguished both his blades.

“Then leave, I won’t stop you.”

Vader looked at Obi Wan, lightsabers off and hanging loosely at his sides. The darkness in him pushed at him. He could end Obi Wan’s life with one careless swipe of his lightsaber, and he wanted to. But something stopped him, and he realized, however much he disliked it, that Obi Wan was speaking the truth: there was still good in him. But Vader would do everything to extinguish it. Only then could he master the Dark Side as the Emperor had done. He turned and walked to the shuttle.

“There is still good in you, Anakin,” called Obi Wan from behind. “I have felt it.”

Vader continued to walk, and 15 minutes later, the rain-drenched Dark Lord of the Sith was en route to Coruscant in Hyperspace.
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An equally soaked Obi Wan Kenobi was the only one who looked somber at the celebrations in the big warehouse. Everywhere around him, Rebels: men, women, aliens alike, rejoiced at their victory over the Imperials; at their success in thwarting the Emperor’s plans. But Obi Wan’s battle was not over. He looked up into the sky through the open top of the warehouse. His protégé was lost; again. But he would not give up. Whatever else he did, Obi Wan Kenobi would not give up, and that thought cheered him up a bit. Finally, he calmed down enough to pluck a glass of juma juice from the nearest table and begin sipping it.
************************************************** **********************
THE END
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Duct Tape is ALWAYS the answer
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