Degrees of Death (G)

By : Jaina Fel

Archived on: Monday, December 2, 2002

Summary:
In the aftermath of the Republicís fall and Anakinís turn to the Dark Side, Padmť flees to Alderaan with baby Leia. There, she contemplates her life, and comprehends that one does not necessarily have to stop breathing in order to die.

I am dead.

Not deceased in the literal sense, for my body still functions. But my soul and spirit are lifeless within me.

I am on Alderaan, now. This planet is so like my old home of Naboo it makes me ache inside. It is so peaceful, so full of beauty. It is not fair that loveliness should survive here while Naboo has been ravaged, all its beauty stripped away. Why? I want to cry to the universe. However, I do not cry out. I know why.

Ani.

My husband, Anakin Skywalker, is why.

Or rather, Darth Vader, the monster my husband has become, is why.

Vader. Father. If only he knew... If only he knew he really is a father. That he has children. Twins.

The twins. I have only one child now. Leia. Little Leia, so full of life, like I once was. She is one of the few things that bring a small degree of joy into my barren existence. Luke is far away from me now, never to know he once had a mother named Padm?. Obi-Wan has taken him away from me, deeming it best that I not know the whereabouts of my own son. I pray that he finds someone compassionate and loving to raise my little Luke.

I fled to Alderaan after Ani perished to live with Bail and his wife. They understand what seeing the Republic I have sought to preserve tumble down around my ears does to me, as Bail has been fighting for the preservation of the Republic even longer than I have. Alderaan is one of the last places in the galaxy where peace is preserved. I pray daily that evil will never gain a foothold here and that Vader will never find me. I could not bear to look at him and know that he was once Anakin Skywalker, my husband.

Anakin Skywalker is dead. Each morning, these words slap me in the face with all the painful intensity of the day I first heard them. The body encased in black armor is not Anakin Skywalker. My Ani could never have become a monster dependent on machines for every breath he takes. I wish this were all just a bad dream, wish it with all the pieces of my heart. How I wish that I could simply wake up from the nightmare that is my existence.

I am no longer able to shed tears, as they have all been spent long ago. Nevertheless, I weep inwardly, wondering how my soul mate could become a machine that could not be trusted even with the knowledge that he has children. I weep for circumstances beyond our control that forced Ani to turn to the Dark Side. I weep for my poor children, growing up in a galaxy unsafe for them to know their own father. But most of all, I weep for my lost love.

I feel that my life has been in vain. All I have accomplished is to instigate the action that would ultimately bring about the fall of the Republic I once treasured. I opened the way for Palpatine to become Chancellor, and from there it was an easy step for him to become Emperor. I failed Ani, and by doing so have unleashed upon the galaxy a greater threat than it has ever known in Darth Vader himself. I am the cause of the destruction of both Naboo and the Jedi Order. Guilt weighs heavily on me, and I feel that I have failed the entire galaxy.

This is my life now. I sit by the window staring out unseeing at the beautiful landscape before me, reliving all the wonderful times I spent with Ani. I search our past for a hint of the monster he would become, but I am unsuccessful. All I am able to see is Ani, my wonderful, loving Ani.

I am fading day by day. I can feel it. My soul is already dead, and now my body is catching up. It does not matter to me. I have no desire to live without my Ani.




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