|Comes the Night (PG)
Archived on: Monday, December 16, 2002
When one of our favorite couples is separated by death, how far is he willing to go for vengeance? The Darkness beckons; will he answer its call?
It was said that whoever could accurately predict Coruscant's weather even fifteen percent of the time would never be allowed at the sabbacc tables. They were just too lucky.
Too lucky or a Jedi.
A lone figure stood in the highest of Coruscant's many cemeteries that night, the wind and rain raging at his dark form. Shrouded in darkness and cloaked in night, his solitary form appeared to be- to the untrained eye- no more than a shadow amongst the shadows, a darker spot amidst the gloom. He blended in perfectly with his surroundings, a silhouette only slightly darker than the stormy sky, face and body hooded and shrouded from all the world.
At least he would have blended in perfectly if it wasn't for the rose he carried.
It was a strange rose: beautiful but strange. Not as beautiful as the other exotic plants, from all the other billions of planets in the galaxy, but beautiful with an innocent simplicity all the same. Two colors only, not the myriad of rainbows that decorated the more garish flowers, just only the red of the petals and the green of the stem. Not blood red like most other roses, either, but a fiery kind of orange-red, the color of flame. The color of a cheerful hearth as family and friends gather round for warmth and comfort. But, at the same time, the color of the dreadful fire that flared within this lone figure, flaring in his broken heart, a blaze that threatened to devour his very soul.
The rose, he reflected, was so much like her. Beautiful, of course, but dangerous. Especially when one did not watch for thorns. But, once one got past the thorns, one saw a beauty unmatched by any other in all the galaxy.
They had chosen an angel to mark her grave- an intricate statuette of one of the mythical creatures rumored to exist on the moons of Iego. The most beautiful creatures in the galaxy, seldom seen but often spoken of by the veteran deep-space pilots.
She didn't deserve to be buried here. Alone among strangers. She should have been buried with her friends, her adopted family. Her adopted homeplanet, even. Not here. Not on Coruscant, in some forgotten corner of a cemetery long abandoned.
The real irony was that this was not meant to be a forgotten site; it was meant for the heroes of the Republic. Her grave was the newest among them: fresh where the others were old, the angel grave-marker still standing tall as the others around it crumbled. But, as always, things happened. People died, governments fell, and in the midst of all that new futures were forged from the shadows of what may have been.
The storm that raged outside on the planet's surface was a perfect reflection of the storm that raged within the grieving Jedi- former Jedi, perhaps? Fallen Jedi?- as he stood by his wife's grave. Conflicting emotions- anger, surrender, hatred, love, despair- rushed through his slender frame as he tried to control them as he had been taught to do. To tame them, to direct them, to release them....
The figure pulled back his hood to reveal a handsome, finely chiseled face and unruly locks of tousled blond hair. Ice-blue eyes seemed to look far beyond the here and now, into a place where no others could see as he contemplated the Code of his Order:
There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serenity.
There is no death; there is the Force.
"No emotion," he breathed, his voice the hoarse whisper of one that had cried very recently. "Peace." No emotion. No anger, no sorrow. But, at the same time, no joy, no happiness. No bliss, and no delight.
No, he decided. That was false. There was emotion. And he had yet to find peace.
"No ignorance. Knowledge." Another lie. Hadn't ignorance been what led him here in the first place. Ignorance of the ambush that killed her? The willful ignorance of the Republic that had led them to this crossroads?
There was ignorance then.
"No passion. Serenity," he continued softly, fist still clenched round the fragile rose. No hatred. But, at the same time, no love. He had felt love. Had felt its liquid euphoria running through his veins, its ecstasy affecting his mind and heart. And the one he had loved lay before him, cold and still, bound in eternal sleep.
"No death, only the Force." He chuckled at that one, his laugh- like his voice- hoarse from disuse. No death? Then why, exactly, was he standing at the grave of the only woman he had ever truly loved? The second half of his soul, the keeper of his heart?
No death indeed.
Another lie, then. The Code for which he lived was a lie. The Order to which he had dedicated his life was based on a lie. Not that lies were new to him, of course. He'd been lied to ever since the Jedi, taking advantage of his youth and naivet?, had whisked him off Tatooine and away from everything he had ever loved or cared for. And now, now that he had finally found someone else to love and care for, she had been taken away, too.
Everything was a lie. His life was a lie. And the Light, the Light that he'd served all his life, was that a lie, too?
Suddenly, he fell to his knees, weeping, sobs racking his lean frame. "Why?" he bellowed at the uncaring sky, bitter tears mixing with the rainwater on his cheeks. "Why? What did I do wrong? I served you for all my life, gave you my time, my energy, my sweat, my blood! My soul!" He paused breathlessly, as if hesitant to continue on this heretical accusation.
But he pressed on. "And once I give my heart to her," he whispered brokenly, "you take her away from me. Where did I go wrong? Why?" he demanded, banging his fist against the cold wet ground. "Why, why, why, why, WHY?"
The sky didn't answer. Not that he had expected it to, of course. His despair had not driven him over the edge of madness- not yet, at any rate. Not quite.
But something else answered. The tiny little voice he had always kept locked away in the farthest reaches of his heart, the deepest, darkest depths of his soul. Revenge, it whispered to him, promising not comfort, but vengeance. Vengeance and power of a sort he had never dreamed.
I can't, he answered it. I touched the Dark Side before. And I didn't come away unscathed.
No you didn't, it agreed. But you accomplished what you set out to do.
That was true. He had accomplished what he'd set out to do. Beyond his wildest expectations. So was it, after all, the ends that mattered, and not the means at all?
It will destroy my soul.
What soul? the voice demanded. How much of a soul do you have left without her?
How much of a soul did he have, indeed? She was- no, had been- his soulmate, the other half of everything he was. Of everything that made him? him. Without her? what else was there?
What else... but Darkness?
Vengeance, the voice hissed again, promising something that the Light could never offer, would never give, the single word floating through his mind, preventing him from gathering any coherent thoughts. Any thoughts of resistance, of argument, fled immediately, leaving him in a haze of uncertainty. Vengeance. And power.
He closed his eyes for a moment and reached out to the omnipresent Force. It was there, of course. It was always there. The Light that he'd served for so long, the Light to which he'd devoted his life, was still there; its purity still shined just as strongly as ever. But the other side, the darkness and shadow, were looming closer than ever before.
He reached out to it, hesitantly, carefully. It came to him quickly- eagerly, even- flooding his senses with a dark clarity he had never before experienced. He drank it in greedily, hungrily, letting the icy darkness flow through his veins to numb the pain of his broken heart. To bury whatever was left of his soul, his heart, his humanity under layers and layers of Darkness.
And it felt good.
Stars, it felt good.
A sudden bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, startling him from his reverie and illuminating the last name on the grave-marker. --- Skywalker.
Skywalker. Indeed. A name known across the galaxy to belong a hero, a warrior of the Light in the eternal war against Darkness. She, then, had been the perfect example of a Skywalker, even though she had chosen to keep her maiden name. The quintessence of all that had been right and good in the world. Once upon at time he had been as well. But that was before he had tasted the true power of Darkness.
Well then, maybe he wasn't a Skywalker anymore. Maybe he was a Vader.
He could rule this galaxy. He knew it. He had the power of the Dark Side at his disposal for whatever use he saw fit. He could harness that power to conquer this galaxy, take it away from its captors once and for all. And take the galaxy into his own hands, to shape it, to rule it as he saw fit.
Emperor Vader, he mused to himself. Emperor. He could get used to that.
Full lips quirked upwards, then, in a grim smile. Not a Skywalker's smile. The feral smile of a predator.
He leaned forward toward his wife's grave-marker. Although his raven form covered his actions from sight, a faint scritch-scratch could be heard just over the sounds of the dying storm.
By the time he had finished, the storm had calmed. The night, though, was as dark as before. The sun had not yet risen and it was a still a long time before dawn.
When he leaned back, finished with his work on the plaque, these words could be seen:
Mara Jade Skywalker:
Below, a single word had been added.
"Luke Skywalker is dead, love," he whispered. "Luke Skywalker is dead, and the Dark Lord lives again.... And this time, no one's holding the other end of his leash."
The man who had entered this cemetery as Luke Skywalker died there. Lord Vader, reborn in a holocaust of hatred and despair, walked away, leaving only a single rose as token of his passage. A single droplet of water, whether rain or tear Force only knew, lingered on one of its fiery petals, creating the momentary illusion that the rose itself was crying.
The day has ended. Here comes the night.
Original cover art by Cosmic. HTML formatting copyright 2002 TheForce.Net LLC.
Fan Fiction Rating
Current Rating is 8.9 in 72 total ratings.
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Date posted: 12/16/2002 10:02:16 PM
I've said this before, but this is a wonderful story. Surprising and heartbreakingly sad. :( It's written with such an engrossing style and flare - I just love the imagery.
Every time I read this fic I'm just like 'WOW!' It effects me every time. :)
Fantastic job, Elli. :)
Author: Lady Padme
Date posted: 12/17/2002 6:04:10 AM
Lady Padme's Comments:
Great job! So glad to see it in the archives!
Date posted: 12/17/2002 7:02:54 AM
This still sends chills down my back everytime I ready it. You just write Luke too well. :)
Author: Mcily Nochi
Date posted: 12/17/2002 8:33:38 AM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:
This is an astounding piece! It actually reads like the prologue to a very long, dark story, promising much and giving little.
Date posted: 12/17/2002 8:46:31 AM
Very well written. Interesting tactic of having us believe it to be Anakin the whole time. It's a bit of a downer, though...
Author: Emmi Darklighter
Date posted: 12/17/2002 9:44:32 AM
Emmi Darklighter's Comments:
Enchanting, Zellie. You write Luke wonderfully. Enchanting.
Date posted: 12/17/2002 4:33:05 PM
That really suprised me. It was a great story.Let's hope that's not a nasty bit of foreshadowing.
Author: Viari Skywalker
Date posted: 12/17/2002 5:10:32 PM
Viari Skywalker's Comments:
Wow. That's all I can say really. Your words were so eloquent, the language so beautiful. I had a feeling it was Mara (no I didn't look at the characters list) when you described the red-orange rose, but I wasn't quite sure until the end. Awesome job, the way you mirrored Anakin's probably emotions as he himself turned to the Dark Side. It was amazing how many parallels there were. I could see it going either way - Luke or Anakin. Speaking of which, I wonder what Anakin was thinking as his son turned to darkness? Very sad, very wonderful. Incredible, fantastic job!
Date posted: 12/17/2002 6:08:15 PM
whoa. That's just....wow. *hug* That was just so chilling and your words flowed together perfectly! You portrayed Luke perfectly and the ending was just great! I can't say much more than that--I'm impressed. Great work!!!! :)
Author: John Takis
Date posted: 12/18/2002 5:47:41 AM
John Takis's Comments:
This didn't quite work for me. Luke has spent his entire life dealing with pain, death, and separation from loved ones ... and almost as much time meditating on the Force. He and Mara acknowledge that their worldbound life together may be interrupted by war, illness, or death ... it's what makes their time together so precious. Luke would grieve -- to be sure -- but Luke, of all people, knows the emptiness of the Dark Side. If Mara were to die, Luke would look for -- and find -- her image reflected in the Light Side of the Force. To do otherwise would be to kill Mara in his heart completely ... to reject her OWN choice of Light over Dark, the very reason she chose HIM. To suggest that Luke would throw it all away is to suggest that his relationship with Mara is merely emotional and superficial, not spiritual and meaningful in a way that transcends life or death. It makes Luke Anakin when the whole POINT of the Star Wars saga is that Luke is NOT Anakin, Luke REDEEMS Anakin. This story has some decent prose (though the "lucky Jedi" quip that opens story serves no purpose), but in terms of character behavior, I was completely unconvinced. Sorry.
Date posted: 12/18/2002 7:23:29 PM
Wow, Vader_incarnate, you really deserved to have this archived! It was amazing! I loved that twist at the end! You really had me thinking that I was reading about Vader! The angel reference, the Skywalker name, the code, it all seemed to fit! But to think that Luke would follow his father's footsteps! As soon as you mentioned that I realized you were right. Definently one of the best viggies I've ever read!
Date posted: 12/18/2002 11:17:43 PM
Wow...Great job, V_I! I love it...passed it up on the boards, cos I'd have to catch up (and didn't have that time)...but I just read it here, and it's amazing! Great Job!
Date posted: 12/19/2002 7:51:41 AM
Awesome story....I love it...the force continues to flow in surprising directions...good job!!!
Author: Andrew Demshuk
Date posted: 12/19/2002 2:11:34 PM
Andrew Demshuk's Comments:
I'm afraid I have to agree with John Takis. Your style works well, but the plot--that Mara, one who symbolized the light, leads Luke to darkness by her death--doesn't work, because it makes Luke just like Anakin. Were this the case, then Luke redeemed Vader in RTJ simply because, as in this work, it struck him at the time as the appropriate course. It denies the larger fiber of the character's being, the motivating factors, the goals. Sorry. Keep writing.
Date posted: 12/19/2002 11:59:51 PM
YES! V_I you did it, i knew you could. This was great as i said the first time a read it. And to the person who didn't belive this could happen...have you been reading the NJO, every time Luke thinks Mara is going to die he has to supress the Dark Side in him. And he has fallen already, and he is his father's son. Just because he has lost alot, doesn't mean this lose can't push him over the edge. I was conviced, and i think you forgot the term AU. V_I you did a wonderful job, as always, and this was one of the most chilling things i have ever read. Don't listen to those who say it doesn't work, because as we learned, it does.
Author: John Takis
Date posted: 12/20/2002 6:51:29 AM
John Takis's Comments:
Yes, I have been reading the NJO diligently. Yes, Luke would grieve. Yes, he would have to supress Dark Side impulses. That spike of rage and despair that follows tragedy is natural and practically unavoidable. And no, I STILL don't buy him forsaking everything Mara lived and died for and renaming himself "Emperor Vader." What a way to spit on her grave! Tossing aside the persona of a loving husband and assuming the mantle of her abusive ex-master! Sorry, it simply doesn't work. Not like this. You're welcome to disagree, of course.
Author: Lady Verana
Date posted: 12/20/2002 1:37:25 PM
Lady Verana's Comments:
I have to agree with the others, the plot doesnt qork. However, I do love the way you write.
Date posted: 12/20/2002 2:58:06 PM
WHOAH!!! Blown away, I am! Greta story! It was hard to tell who was speaking - anakin or luke - which made the story all the more engrossing! a million thmubs up!
Date posted: 12/20/2002 6:49:06 PM
I didn't like it.
I don't think Luke would have turned to the Dark Side. He watched Obi-Wan die, he experienced his aunt and uncles' deaths, he lived through the death of Biggs, Darth Vader's infamous "I am your father" revelation, Yoda's death, Vader's death, Joruus C'baoth's temptations, he came back from the Dark Side and the clone Palpatine's clutches, stayed in the light when Callista left him, went through Anakin Solo's death, Chewie's death, etc.
He wouldn't have thought of Mara as the only one he had ever loved, nor would he have turned to the Dark Side to avenge her.
Never mind that it never says how she died in the story. Good writing, though, but I didn't like the idea and plot.
Date posted: 12/20/2002 9:58:15 PM
Hi, just me the author checking in. ;) Before I start, I'm going to warn you that I'm not the most tactful person in the world, as you may surmise from my s/n. I'm trying, though, to be as diplomatic as possible. Also, a warm and sincere thank you for your praise. :) :D
When I wrote this story, one of my main goals was to make the reader immediately think "Anakin Skywalker". The character list at the beginning kind of takes away from the effect, but it did work a bit, in its own way. Someone dared me to stick a rose into a piece of SW fanfic, and I, to my own despair, don't turn down dares. ;)
When I got this story accepted, I knew that there were going to be people who love it-- and people who hate it. There's not very much room for in-betweens. (And you do, judging from the ratings I've gotten, which I've figured out because I had extra time on my chemistry final. :P) One of my betas told me quite frankly and in no uncertain terms that it wasn't possible. I disregarded that person's advice, went with other betas, got accepted, and got you to read it. ;)
But yes, I know that a lot of you don't find it possible, logical, likely, in-character... I don't know. Everything else that I haven't mentioned, too. The only thing I think of to say is that we have our own different views of the character and of the Force. *shrugs*
Besides, this is my certain point of view. Feel free to have your own. ;)
Date posted: 12/22/2002 10:38:58 PM
Yeah, I can see why someone would either love it or hate it. It has a very classic feel to it, this story, that reminds me of things you'd see in Japanese cinema or fairy tales even. Although I can see why some people would be buggered by that, I think they'd be insane, as this was just magnificent! : D !!! The story itself was one I haven't seen before -- powerful and it was totally backed up by the descriptions. It took me back to an episode of Cowboy Bebop (anime show) that had a different storyline to it, but has the same somber feel. Just wonderful!
(Mind you, the only reason I even started out with the why people would hate it part was to be evil and make you wonder if I liked it or not - paying homage to your "is it Anakin this story is about?" storyline! Heee hee!!)
Now, what I wanna know is, will there be more of this? I'd like to see you expand it, tell us what happens next -- does he stay dark and rule the universe? Does he wrestle with his decisions? Or does he chuck it all and go to Eurodisney? : ) Enquiring minds want more!!
Author: Lady in Black
Date posted: 12/23/2002 7:32:49 PM
Lady in Black's Comments:
I really enjoyed this story.I like everyone else, was convinced that this was about Anakin. However, there was one part that bothered me, he said the jedi took him away from everything he loved on tatooine. if i recall the movie correctly, luke's aunt and uncle were killed, so there was nothing left for him there, also, he wanted to have adventures and leave tatooine. now, anakin may fit the taken away by jedi thing a little better, but even he wanted to go, he was angry that he couldn't go bsck, but still, he wanted out. also, i must agree with the other reviewers, the whole point of star wars is that anakin and luke are both offered the same choice, one accepts the dark side the other rejects it. also, even if this was an au, it's still not believable that anking would become a sith, he saw how hard of a life his father lived. he himself suffered by his father's decision. i really doubt he would make the same mistake as his father. however, all in all, i really loved this story, ur writing style is beautiful, but the thing about predicting the weather really had nothing to do with the story.
Date posted: 12/24/2002 12:15:00 PM
Firstly, I'm attempting to continue this story on the JC boards. :p Writer's block, the holiday season, and a few other things have conspired against me, though. ;) But... happy endings make me smile. :)
Secondly, the thing about predicting the weather. *shrugs* The way I see it, you can see it as either a hook dragging the reader into the story (*cough*blamemyenglishteacher*cough*) or as a part of the general imagery. Call it a darkish foretelling of the future, it you will. ;) Because Force only knows what I have in mind to do with my dear characters.
Author: J'oth Pzaug
Date posted: 12/31/2002 9:37:12 AM
J'oth Pzaug's Comments:
Even though I, personally, don't think Luke would turn to the Dark Side, I loved the story! Very interesting idea. *Emperor Vader* was perfect, and the setting of the story (among the dark towers, with the crumbling gravestones, pouring down rain, in a forgotten cemetery on Coruscant) added to the emotions of sadness, despair, and loneliness. As soon as I finished reading your story, my thoughts were 'What about Ben?' and 'Does Luke fight any of his own Jedi, or family?' Please write a sequel!!!
Date posted: 1/1/2003 10:39:56 AM
I was not able to truly undersand it, being that I have not read the stories taking place after Ep. 6. It was however, very well written and painful. Rather poetic, too. Great job.
Date posted: 1/2/2003 9:56:30 AM
This was interesting, but I can't see Luke turning it over to the dark side just because of Mara's death. Plus he has always been my favorite character next to OB1, so I have to pull for him staying on the light side. Hey, but it was a great story anyway, no doubt about that!
Date posted: 1/3/2003 10:00:13 AM
The story was well written and the imagory was excellent. I do believe that your vision ofthe future of the Skywalker is off. He will be tempted many time and will never faulter forthe will of the force is still strong with in him. And there is one other thing he was never tought the code of the Jedi they way it was exspressed in this fan fic. This is just my thoughts. and as always May the force be with you.
Author: jade gold
Date posted: 1/10/2003 5:18:04 PM
jade gold's Comments:
Great story. I had to go back and read it again because I thought I had missed something that pointed to Luke and Mara, not Anakin and Amidala. Way to play.
Date posted: 1/12/2003 9:33:41 PM
Was impressed by this well written story. Still unconvinced, as others, that Luke would ever turn to the dark side. Unlike Anakin, his father, he was more in charge of his emotions and subsequent decisions.
Date posted: 1/28/2003 8:42:38 PM
This was an amazing story. Luke has always been my favorite and you have written him very well here. The parallels drawn between Anakin and Luke having lost everything and seeing the dark side as their salvation (whether that was done by you intentionally or not) are very striking. They say "like father, like son" and you illustrate that well.
Date posted: 1/30/2003 10:27:50 AM
great foreboding... awesome..
Date posted: 1/31/2003 8:28:33 PM
that was most excellent!
could be the begining of a great story
Date posted: 2/16/2003 6:12:44 AM
This story has recieved both very positive and critical response. First, i'd like to say that the reasons for the criticism are fairly accurate - as in, i agree that this story could never have happened. Luke would not have thought this way over Mara's grave. BUT! That is exactly the point of AU! The character's actions do not correspond to his previously set, canon behaviour and mental heritage. But this is, obviously, a 'what if'-scenario. And as such, I love it! Indeed it was well written, beautifully imaged and imagined, and certainly the plot works if you look at it from outside the set parameters and allow for poetic licence. I understand the criticism, I just don't think it's justified regarding this clearly very alternate story. People who don't like to read this kind of stuff, should perhaps consider reading only 'canon' stories. Without character change, there would BE no AU - because then all characters make all the same decisions. Still, all of the reviewers were pretty 'convinced' of your writing style (including me, obviously!), so that also tells us a bit. Keep going!
Author: Princess Beccerz
Date posted: 2/19/2003 8:36:46 AM
Princess Beccerz's Comments:
Oh my gosh, vader, this is amazing! i cried when i read it. keep writing!
Author: Ani's girl
Date posted: 3/1/2003 8:22:03 PM
Ani's girl's Comments:
I loved the way the "dark figure" was expressed. The detailed imagery of his pain was written so well.I also liked the shock twist in the end. Thinking it was Anakin, i was able to understand the darkness able to enslave him. After finding out it was Luke, definetely made me think, that Vader's son can hold pure darkness, just like his father. Greatly written, defenitely needs a SEQUEL!!
Author: Tavae Themisal
Date posted: 4/3/2003 3:27:08 AM
Tavae Themisal's Comments:
Very well done. At first I thought it was Anakin, however my suspicoius mind jumped to the other conclusion about half way through. Great visuals. I really would like to see what happens in the aftermath.(evil grin)
Author: Elizabeth...hum, am I?
Date posted: 5/12/2003 11:58:23 AM
Elizabeth...hum, am I?'s Comments:
I don't think Luke would ever cross to the dark-side, BUT, if he did, this is how it would happen. The writing here is this pieces best feature. The flow and inner-thoughts contain heavy depth, and while...like I said...this isn't really Luke's style, you almost have me believing it. Almost :)
Date posted: 6/21/2003 3:45:45 PM
Date posted: 6/26/2003 12:43:15 AM
Very good twist there, up until Mara's name was revealed I was pretty sure it was Anakin, not Luke.
Date posted: 9/11/2003 3:00:04 PM
I actually thought that it was Anakin greiving over Padmé but when I saw that it said "Mara Jade Skywalker" I was so surprised to see that it was Luke and not Anakin!
Date posted: 4/6/2004 7:27:10 AM
NO NO NO NO!!! you left me hanging!!! Incredibly intro, then just stopped!! Finish plz!! :D I want to see what happens ..grrr lol
Author: Lost Jedi
Date posted: 1/30/2005 5:45:29 PM
Lost Jedi's Comments:
That was sad :( I liked it though. You did a really good job of showing us and not just telling us. I could really picture what was going on!
Author: Melara Skywalker
Date posted: 3/4/2005 7:04:50 PM
Melara Skywalker's Comments:
I totally agree with Lady Verana, exactly what i was going to say.
Date posted: 5/26/2007 9:28:49 AM
Wow. And since Sacrifice has come out, very relevant.
Date posted: 9/21/2007 2:17:04 AM
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