The water's rage had always frightened me. Ever since I was a little girl, I had learned the extent of the water's temper. Some days when it was not present, the water would stay calm and serene, allowing my sister and I to enjoy the cool bath of the lake near our home, swimming our way across and washing away our day's sweat. Other days, it would become angry and spiteful, turning and twisting the lake into violent whirlpools. On those days I would stay away from it, fearful of its wrath.
Here, on this unknown planet, the water seemed angrier than usual, constantly showing its rage as it furiously consumed any water birds or patrol boats in its path. I watched from my balcony as the waves continuously crashed against the jagged shore. It was a pity, really, to watch it waste such power to destruction. I had questioned such anger many times, to the point of which my daughter had started asking also.
I smiled as I thought of Leia, little Leia, who had turned her chubby little face to me and asked me why the water was so mean. I had knelt down to face her, answering sadly that it wasn't being mean, only forgetting how to be nice. But in time, it would remember again. Then, it would apologize in its own way. My answer confused the young girl, but who could blame her? She was only a baby, no more than four years old. I had placed her on my hip and told her one day, when she grew older, she would understand why evil could come out of good.
"Perhaps then she can explain it to me," I whispered out loud. Inside, though, I knew this would never come true. I had given her away weeks ago, allowed her to be adopted into the Royal House of Alderaan. Many nights I lay awake thinking of this abandonment, of the loss of my little girl. I had questioned my conscience, questioned my motives. Yet in the end, I wasn't the one with the answers. I lowered my head in sorrow and regret, wondering out loud for the millionth time, "Oh Ani, why?"
"I had no choice."
A tear rolled from my eyes into the raging water below. I had always known he would come, breaking the last connection to his old self. Turning slowly, I let my eyes meet the monster my dear husband had become.
A few dozen stormtroopers had infiltrated the house without my knowing. Two of them were now flanking their Dark Lord as he stood before me now. He was covered in black armor, his body showing more signs of metal than flesh. "Obi-Wan was right," I remarked, ignoring his apparent anger at the mention of his old master. "You're more machine than man."
For a moment he didn't answer, and just stared back at me. His posture seemed to slack, as if he was tiring, tiring of my inability to accept what he had become. Yet his head tilted, a secret hint of his everlasting love for me, despite my strong resistance to his new dark side self. Gently, he reached out to stroke my face with his gloved hand. I flinched slightly at his touch, but did not draw away. "I'm sorry, Padm?. I had no choice," he repeated, making sure that I knew.
I drew away sharply. "No choice?" I demanded. "You had every choice! You can leave the Empire whenever you want to!" Vader was taken aback by my anger, but I took no notice, and rambled on. "Why didn't you come back?" I screamed, filled with anger and grief. "What's holding you there? The Empire? Palpatine? Or your own hatred?"
I stopped, taking a deep breath. I raised my head to look up at Vader. His mask barred his facial expression from me, but I did not need to see his face to know what he was thinking. I knew now from his silent and peaceful manner that he was gazing back at me, through his mask, silently summing up my anger. At that moment I hated him. Hated how he had forced me into hiding, hated how he had kept me from my children, and hated most how he dared not even to try and justify himself. I wanted to slap his face, but he had no face to slap. I glared at him angrily, wanting him to break his shell, break the black armor that encompassed him.
"It wouldn't have to be this way," he voiced softly, echoing his old idea of secrecy displayed not long ago.
At that moment my serenity faltered, and I knew I could not hide my hurt that way. The fire that had burned my heart seemed to fade. I wanted so badly to hate, to cover the grief that would otherwise take its place in my heart, and thought of the billions of lives that now lived in fear and hatred of this Dark Lord. Yet I could not hate him. I could not be like the specks of life meaningless to him because it would mean he no longer loved me, no longer needed me as his anchor from darkness. I had always been his wife, his angel of light, and without that I would be incomplete.
Still, I could not go with him. I knew he would offer it, for his love for me had never faded. I waited patiently as his soft, baritone voice murmured the dreaded words. "Come with me, Padm?. Come live by my side. Together, we can end this madness."
Despite the pain that had replaced the anger in my heart, I felt a small smile creep to my lips. I was touched by this tiny display of affection. It was a bittersweet moment, though, for I knew that this fantasy would never come true. Darth Vader's way of handling madness would be to destroy it, killing millions without a second thought. I shook my head, murmuring softly, "I'm sorry but there are some places I cannot follow you." I looked up, tears in my eyes. "I cannot join forces with such a changed man."
Slowly, he stepped away, his hurt evident by the dark aura that hung close to him. "I cannot return to the life I once had." he tried to explain.
I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself as I forced myself to voice the hardest truth I would ever have to accept. "Then my husband is truly lost."
He stepped back again, his posture stiffening. "Then so is my wife," he said curtly. Turning, he signaled for a stormtrooper. "Senator Amidala, you have been charged and found guilty of treason. I hereby sentence you to?" he paused, his voice cracking at the soft sob that escaped my lips. Drawing a shaky breath, he tried again. "I hereby sentence you to a lifetime of working in the mines of Kessel."
The stormtrooper started towards me, dangling a set of cuffs. I stared at their metal glint, taking in the rejection. In those brief moments, I had lost all hope of regaining the life I had once lived. I would no longer be Padm? Amidala Skywalker, but a number given to me by the overseers in Kessel. My life was destroyed, all its love blotted out by this dark man. I took a step back, and another, trying to escape Anakin- no, Darth Vader's presence. I hit the railing of the balcony, and closed my eyes, uttering silently my good-byes. I bid farewell to my home, my parents, my sister and children, and all else that was my life.
And then, there was nothing but air.
Before the stormtrooper could reach me, I had quickly climbed over the balustrade and dived into the depths below. Above me I could hear him screaming, screaming for me, but it was too late.
The jagged rocks pierced my body, and I felt the blood flowing out. The angry water spotted its prey, and lashed out, gripping my body, and towing me into its depths. I had allowed the water's rage to take me, knowing that in time, it would fade away. My only hope had been that maybe one day, my husband's rage would fade as well.
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