by Catriona Campbell Boyle
Your existence disturbs me profoundly, my son. Never was I more relieved to see a door close, breaking our contact, shutting you from my sight. I do not require to see you, I only need to hear your name uttered and my soul heaves with long forgotten emotions. I had thought I had banished such feelings, such twisting threads of light which bind me still to the past, when I gladly embraced the passions of darkness. It seems I was wrong.
Then my father is truly dead.
Your words. How cleverly you play me. How well designed your actions. How well you manipulate those old feelings. How easy it is for you to find that person I had once believed vanquished, and now he scrabbles at my back entreating me, begging me, teasing me with a life I had turned against, a destiny I ignored. Anakin Skywalker.....
It is the name of your true self. You've only forgotten.
Yes, I had forgotten. I had erased that man from my life, destroyed his identity and adopted the name the Sith suggested. Darth Vader. How arrogant, how blind I was. I chased darkness and power. I sought mastery and supremacy. The Force drove me, pushed me and not once did I question the meaning of my title. I only saw the effect my name had on lesser beings. The terror it instilled. My destiny was open to all except myself. The Sith knew, as did my Emperor, of your existence. Only I was unaware, and I carried their joke in blissful ignorance. I am Darth Vader. I am the Dark Father.
Yes, I had forgotten, and it was my own actions which caused me to first remember. It was my actions which were the catalyst to your awakening. It was my ship which chased the Princess Organa to Tatooine. It was my men who sought out her droids, my troops who killed your guardians.
Tatooine. A planet of sunlight. How obvious your hiding place is now. My son raised in sunlight, in a pure and natural energy.
Your presence on the Death Star was masked by Obi-Wan, hidden among the cloaks of his power. It was only when he died that I first felt the stirring of another. However, I was too full of my victory, still drinking down the essence of triumph to fully realise what had happened, to place any significance to the trace of outrage I had perceived from the fleeing Rebels. I had destroyed my old master. I had finally rid the Galaxy of the Jedi and the defeat of the Alliance was in sight.
It was then I received the full reports from Tatooine and the name of Luke Skywalker was first mentioned - the missing nephew of the farmers who had harboured the Rebel droids. Images from the saber duel returned to my mind, pictures I had chosen to ignore. A group running toward the captured ship, a boy breaking away, and the glance and smile of knowledge from Kenobi.
I recognised you as my son. That was my mistake. For in doing so I recognised your name as my own. Skywalker. Until then I had been so steadfast and sure, my determination impenetrable, my destiny's path clear and coaxing. Now, I was shaken. My footsteps faltering as I tripped over your presence.
Our first battle was in the exhaust trench of the Death Star. However, at the time I found it difficult to accept that you could be the pilot I targeted. Your skills were honed, your talents exceptional, your strategy unique. This could not be the simple farmboy I had read about - not this warrior, not this Rebel who carried such strength, who so coolly commanded the Force. My confusion, my disbelief were only overshadowed by a sudden understanding. I could not kill you. I could not kill such a rare being. I had to know you. I had to possess you, and so I aimed to cripple your vessel.
I vowed I would not fail again. I would not allow our blood relationship undermine my duty. I refused to be blinded by your growing powers. But they drew me to you. I wanted to reach out my hand to grasp your light, to hold it close and stifle it. I became obsessed. I tried to deny that you were my son, and the Emperor played along referring to you as "Son of Skywalker". How he enjoyed my torment! How I despised him for keeping you secret, for using you to tease me, using you to keep me on his leash. I loath his corruption, his foulness. But I envy his clear, pure darkness. I covet the power he possesses. Luke, how can you understand such feelings, how can you know how much I lust until you touch the very core of the Force for yourself? I wanted to show you, I wanted you to possess it for yourself. I wanted you to stand by my side. Father and son!
You easily fell into my trap on Bespin. You were driven by desires too strong to ignore. Your concern for your friends. Your hatred of me! You stood before me so resolute, so determined, so full of light I almost gagged on its brilliance. Then you ignited your saber and I felt the thrumming pulse of darkness within you as you threw your lessons aside and attacked first. I gloried in your struggle, tossed temptation at you, let you gain footing and then pushed you back.
You refused to listen. You refused to step into the final snare. You were beaten, but would not yield. I could not help but admire your strength and I could not stop the flow of pride which accompanied my growing frustration and anger. It was then you wounded me with a strike of your sword and my fury erupted! I could have killed you then but, again I drew back that impulse. I heard your scream as I wounded you. I watched, impassively, as you fell at my feet. I saw your agony, felt your fear as you crawled back, as you moved beyond my grasp.
There was a moment when I could have acted, when I could have reached out and taken hold of you. As you fell, I could have grasped your torn jacket and dragged you to me. I chose instead to let you move away from me. I chose to reveal our relationship and live again with the knowledge that I was once Anakin Skywalker. I chose instead to shake the foundations of our lives. I tried to show you that you belonged to me, that all along you were mine! That we could bring peace to the Galaxy through a joining of our powers. It was then I saw your intentions, your smile, your insane sense of triumph as you realised how to rob me of my desires and, in desperation, I threw out my hand to stop you....
Come with me. It is the only way.
...and all I grasped were the shreds of your beliefs. You rejected me. You rejected Vader. You chose death.
And I was relieved when this did not happen. I could not let you go. I could not accept your denial. I turned my eyes to your speeding ship and called your name. You answered.
My son, you know only too well that which I try to refute. You know the effect your acknowledgement had when I realised that you were speaking, not to the Dark Lord but to Anakin Skywalker and, to my horror it was he who replied. And, thus, your game began.
Come with me.
My own words turned against me and the first blow is struck. You have grown, become bold. You have acquired an edge to your personality, a darkness I find alluring. A depth I cannot reach. You have become confident with your powers, accepted what you are and from where you came. You have become a dangerous enemy and, for the first time, I find myself grieving for you. You remind me of myself and of all I sacrificed when I chose this path. You make me aware of how fragile the future is, how easy it can be to shape events when they totter so. The Galaxy revolves around us, we are the pivotal players in this game and our choices and reactions will have many repercussions.
Much depends on how well you withstand the Emperor's moves for he is a skilful player. If you turn, as my master wishes, then the Galaxy will forever endure darkness. If you stand strong, then you shall surely perish and I have no wish to destroy you. I have no desire to take back the life I gave you I....
You are so very clever! You manipulate so well! Our short exchange of words are but the beginning of our battle and your abilities astound me already. Even now I can feel you as you eagerly seek out the man you believe exists beneath this armour. However, I am bound by my vow to serve the Dark Side, the oath I took to the Sith and to the Emperor when I shrugged off the light. I am not used to conflicts. I am not used to such weaknesses, to such frustrating, petty feelings which nibble persistently at my determination and which have caused me to falter in the past!
You thought to unbalance me with your words. How disappointed you must be that they have only served to make me stronger! Your perseverance has forced me to remember the man I once was and why I tossed him aside and I am able to shed his residue without mourning. You have forced me to examine my previous actions, my dealings with you, and why they failed. It is so clear to me now, as clear as this moon's night and I am resolute. Our destinies lie before us, Luke, and I will not hesitate again. I shall obey my master! And you will turn, or you will die.
Your existence disturbs
me profoundly, my son...
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