You?re a thief, Anakin.
I hate you for what you?ve done. I rage in the silence of this room, this ... cell. It might as well be such, by the fact that I cannot leave. I?ve been brought here because I need to ?calm down?, it would seem. But I have every right to rage, I have every reason to hate you, Anakin.
I am your wife, and you betrayed me.
Not for something so simple as another warm bed ? no ? but for power. You heard its seductive call, and you fell for it. You always craved it, but I foolishly thought that you were a Jedi, albeit a learner, and that you knew better. I was a politician, Anakin; do you think I don?t know of power? You yelled at me when you told me of what you are now, what you planned to be, and I told you I did not want to listen.
Then you said you were joining Palpatine.
You said it was only right, that the Senate could only bicker. You claimed they could get nothing done, that they had to be forcibly shown the truth. You were insistent that having him in power was the best way ... Do you think I did not see the hunger in your eyes when Palpatine ruled the Senate by fear and manipulation, with guards at every hall ? and you by his side?
I know that you are aware of what he did to Naboo. We protested Palpatine?s rise to ?Emperor?. We spoke the truth; pointed out the treason of the matter, the dictatorship that would arise out of his ?New Order?. And yet, you turned away and listened to the lies. Or perhaps it didn?t matter. Was that it, Anakin?
It was no riot that made Palpatine send his troops to Theed. There was no uprising. There was no rebel insurgent who planted a bomb in the city, destroying it utterly, wiping away thousands of people, years of history, and the beautiful innocence of the capital. That was not the action of a crazed Naboo citizen. It was deliberate and planned by Palpatine. Am I supposed to believe you didn?t notice that none of his prized, special commandos were killed? My people were dead and dying. I walked through Theed, among ruins so degraded that nothing of their original purpose could be seen. Skeletons were half dust.
Was that necessary, Anakin?
What was your rationalization for declaring the Jedi criminals? Do you believe Palpatine?s lies, the fact that he blamed the Separatist war on them ? that they started it in some mad grab for power? Your own master, Obi-Wan, discovered the clones. You knew, Anakin, you knew. You knew it all. How could you really think that it would end with the arrests, Anakin? Are you so far gone in your stupid anger against the Jedi for forcing us to keep our relationship a secret?
I wish I never married you. Oh, I might not have been able to prevent any of this from happening anyway ? I am only one among many. But my own husband, the man I loved, would have not been involved. My family is dead, Anakin. Did you know that?
I pound the wall, and scream out my rage. After all, no one will hear me. No one can hear the screams, Anakin. Not mine, and not those of the innocents who are or will be shattered under Palpatine's sadistic desire for supremacy.
I told you of the Senators? suspicions, of the group ? myself among them ? that had come to believe that Palpatine was becoming too power hungry. That there were too many coincidences in the war ? in the way he rose to power ? to be explained away. I told you of our realization that we had been played for fools. And of our realization that the time was at hand; Palpatine no longer worked through others, and so his plans for control were becoming more obvious.
I told you all this in our bed, Anakin, and you had them killed. I suppose it is fortunate that I did not tell all of the names, or many more would be dead. The dead won?t live to see the horror that Palpatine will reap. That you will reap. I know what a Sith is, Anakin. You told me the Jedi had lied, that they were weak, and the Sith were strong. You tried to explain it to me ? you fool, you stupid fool. The darkness has blinded the eyes of your conscience.
You?re just a dark being now, deserving of my hate. Thief.
This room is empty. Empty, empty, empty. Just like me. That?s why you?re a thief, Anakin. You?ve stolen everything from me. I cast aside all that you have done, all the immoral actions you have taken, and still ... you?ve stolen from me. I loved you. I was happy. I had my home and I had you. I gave my soul to you, and you?ve crushed it beneath your feet. You did that when I refused to join you, and you left without a word, leaving me with the silence and knowledge of your betrayal.
You?ve stolen my soul, Anakin. I gave my love to you, I trusted you, I told you everything ? and you used it and twisted it all: my knowledge, my love, and my caring. You promised to cherish me, Anakin, but you haven?t. Our love was until death, don?t you remember? But it?s gone now, the words ashes in my mouth. You leave a sick feeling in me. I hate you.
I try in vain to find anything to throw ? anything ? at the memory of you. But there is nothing in this room but maroon carpet and smooth ivory walls ? not even windows into a brighter place. There is nothing to throw. There are no bright places left. What is there to say?
I can only scream my hate; this revulsion you turned from love.
I have been in here for hours, Anakin. They won?t let me out. I haven?t screamed my rage at you for a while, so perhaps they?ll come to try and speak to me, to reason with my anger. Perhaps I can escape. I think they may believe I am insane, or to be at the edge of the endless precipice that insanity brings. I know you aren?t there, Anakin, that you can?t hear me. I am not yet so far gone. They mean well, but locking me up in a small room isn?t going to calm me. Nothing can calm me. My rage is well deserved, and if the rage of the just fades so easily, where will we all be?
I hear them coming to the door now. I?ve been very quiet. Ah, it opens. Obi-Wan and Bail Organa stand in the doorway. I rise carefully, regally, and look at them steadily. Appearances can be important ? I learned that from my years as a young Queen. My rage has not calmed, but my control no longer falters. Bail is walking away, after speaking briefly to Obi-Wan, whispering so softly that I cannot hear what he says. His brown eyes and sharp features are full of something inscrutable ... something that disturbs me.
Obi-Wan is left alone with me now. He?s walking up to me, and he?s talking, telling me he?s sorry. He?s changed, your Obi-Wan. No longer the man with laugh lines and a faint twinkle in his eye as he looks upon the galaxy. He?s tired, and that twinkle is gone. Left behind on a battlefield somewhere, I imagine. His shoulders are slumped beneath his robe. His posture is still correct, and yet, there is no passion in his stance.
He?s touching my arm, as if to hold me up, and he talks in sympathetic, gentle tones. Oddly enough, even with hope. Does he expect to comfort me? Is he foolish, too, to believe such a thing possible? He knows of us now, Anakin. I told him all of it. He wasn?t angry, and he wasn?t surprised. It?s such a cruel thing, doubt. What if we had told, what life would we have had. Would we have avoided these sorrows? He?s saying ...
Oh, Anakin. Anakin.
I ? I ? this cannot be. Is fate cruel? Or is it merciful?
I am falling. Obi-Wan is holding me now, and I feel fragile. I think he rather expected this reaction. He is touching my face, and I realize he?s wiping away my tears. I tell Obi-Wan that you aren?t so much of a thief after all, and he merely looks at me in confusion. Not so much of a thief. You gave me something, of which I?m certain you do not know. Perhaps, if you did, even that would have been stolen from me.
I?m with child, Anakin. I?m pregnant.
Original cover by obaona. HTML formatting copyright 2003 TheForce.Net LLC.