First published in Renaissance, 1997

The Blaster

by MJ Mink

"Where is that boy?"

Uncle Owen's voice was mad again. It was always mad. Luke wriggled a little deeper into the shade of the pump unit. Binte mewled in protest as he squeezed her too hard. "Sssh," he whispered warningly. "He'll find us."

"Probably playing with Binte again," Biggs was saying helpfully. "He's all right, don't worry."

Huh. As if Uncle Owen would worry about him! He hugged Binte to his chest and rubbed his cheek against the soft fur. "Don't worry, I'll protect you," he promised.

Binte squeaked. Her tiny tongue lapped at his chin, and he giggled. He wished he had someone to love like Binte. If Uncle Owen would let him have a pet, he'd take really really good care of her--

"There you are!"

Uncle Owen grabbed his arm and hauled him forcibly from under the pump. Binte shrieked, dug in her claws and ripped his tunic. Then she took off, heading for the Darklighter homestead.

"Why didn't you answer when I called you?"

"I didn't hear you," Luke muttered resentfully. "Were you looking for me?"

"You know very well I was, young man! You've been told to stick close by the 'stead, none of this exploring on your own."

"I wasn't by myself! Binte was with me. And I wasn't exploring," he added automatically. It was always best to deny everything.

Uncle Owen wasn't paying attention. "And now look--you've ripped your shirt! Doesn't your Aunt Beru have enough to do without mending your clothes, too?"

He scuffed a pattern in the dirt with the toe of his boot and stared at it. If he put a long tail on it, would it look like Binte? He traced one carefully. There. Maybe the ears, too--

"Yowch!" he yelped as Uncle Owen swatted his rear.

"Get in the speeder. There'll be hell to pay if we don't get this motor repaired before nightfall."

Resignedly, Luke clambered into the speeder and waved at Biggs. Binte was nowhere in sight. He hoped she wasn't scared too badly. The vehicle took off with a jerk, and he fell halfway onto the floor.

"How many times have I told you to sit properly?"

"About a hundred zillion," he mumbled under his breath. "Zillion zillion zillion."

"What was that?"

"Lotsa times, Uncle Owen," he said loudly.

"Then do it."


Uncle Owen drove really fast. Luke liked to pretend they were flying. He had a little 'hopper model and, if he squinted, this was just like flying a real 'hopper. He hummed the flying song they always played on the 'waves. It was a soldier song and there weren't any soldiers in Anchorhead, but it was still a neat song. He added a few ta-da's and pretended his knees were drums. He beat his hands on them in a fast rhythm.

"Stop that."

Stop that, stop this, don't do that-- "I never get to do nothin'," he declared fiercely, knowing the wind would sweep his words away.


Sithbedamned, Uncle Owen had ears like a gundark! He didn't know what a gundark was, but he'd heard about their ears on a vid program. "Can I have a syrrit?"

"Luke, how many times have we been through this?"

"A zillion zillion zillion."

Uncle Owen shot him a funny look. "Then once more: No pet. Pets use precious resources. They need food, and imported animals like syrrits need water. We can't afford it."

"Binte doesn't drink much," he pointed out.

"And you get to play with Binte a lot, don't you? You don't need a syrrit of your own."

Uncle Owen just didn't understand! He was mean! "Can I have a 'hopper then? It doesn't have to eat or drink."


Luke sighed heavily. "I never get nothin' good."

"Don't whine."

"I'm not whining!" Uncle Owen always said that! What was really bad was when Aunt Beru said it. She hardly ever said anything mean to him--'course, she hardly ever said anything at all!--but when she did, it made him feel like a sandworm. "How about a blaster?"

Uncle Owen didn't answer. Oh-oh, maybe he'd gone too far. He slid a curious glance at the old man. Uncle Owen didn't look mad. He looked like he was thinking.

"Are you thinking?"


"Oh." He looked across the dunes. Was that a raiding party he saw? Were Sand People bearing down to slaughter them and steal the speeder? "About what? Getting me a blaster?"


If he had a blaster, he'd zap all those Sand People and save Tatooine, he'd kill them deader than--well, deader than the funny dead thing he saw last year that he'd never told Uncle Owen about because he wasn't supposed to be exploring by himself. "Can I have one?"

"I think it's time. Beru won't like it, but there's nothing to be done. Even our children have to be armed nowadays."

He knew Uncle Owen was talking to himself, so he just kept quiet and waited. Maybe he'd get a junior blaster. Biggs had one. They were just the right size! He'd picked up Uncle Owen's once, and it had been so heavy, he could hardly lift it. But Biggs's was neat. Biggs wouldn't let him hold it much, though, because he said Luke was too little.

Too little! Hah, next time he went to Biggs's, he'd have his own blaster. Maybe they could play Clone Wars with it. And this time Luke wouldn't have to be a Clone, because he'd have a blaster just like Biggs! Maybe he could be a Jedi Knight or a Trooper!

"A blaster isn't a toy, Luke. It's a serious responsibility."

"Uh-huh," he replied absently. With his forefinger, he gunned down a few passing Sand People, got them right in the guts! They fell over and died.

"Are you listening to me?"


"You would have to obey all my rules. A blaster is for protection, it's not to be used in games. Biggs doesn't let you play with his blaster, does he?"

"" Like Biggs was perfect and never did anything wrong. Hah!

"I will get you a blaster and teach you how to use it. But you must promise me that you'll never ever fire it unless you or someone else is in danger of losing their lives."

He swiveled his head and looked at his uncle. "I can have a blaster?" he exclaimed. "Wow! Thanks, Uncle Owen!"

"You didn't hear a word I said, did you?"

"Wow, a blaster," he murmured more reverently. The fingers of his left hand twitched. He curled them around an imaginary grip. He was going to be a hero. Maybe they'd give him medals and a 'hopper after he saved them from certain doom.


The seriousness in the voice made him pay attention. "Yes, Uncle Owen. I'll be careful." He hadn't heard what Uncle said, but he always said the same things so it wasn't hard to answer. "I'll be really really careful. I won't daydream. I'll pay attention and do what you tell me."

His uncle appeared satisfied. Luke focused his gunsight on the onrushing homestead and blasted their living dome into a zillion zillion pieces.


He wanted to run in screaming Look What I Got! but Uncle Owen was watching. Besides, he wasn't a baby anymore. So when they got to the Darklighter homestead, he walked into the garage where Biggs was looking under the hood of the speeder.

"Hi," Luke said casually.

"Hi. Hand me that spanner."

"Okay." He reached for the whole set of spanners. "Which one do you want?"

"The four-thirty."

"I don't know which one that is," he lied happily.

"Of course you do. Oh, for--" Biggs straightened and wiped his hands on a rag. "It's the medium--"

As Luke had hoped, his friend stopped and stared at his belt. "You got a blaster?" Biggs whispered with surprise.

"Uh-huh." He nodded and grinned. "Uncle Owen got it for me. He's been giving me lessons. He says I can target practice today if you'll take me."

"Your uncle got you a blaster? He must've gone space-happy."

"He did not!" He resented the attack, not because of his uncle, but because Biggs thought he couldn't handle a blaster. "He got it 'cause of my father!"

"Your father?" Biggs asked skeptically. "I don't think so, squirt."

"He did so!" Furious at Biggs's open disbelief of his lie, Luke put his hands on his waist and glared at the older boy. "My father was a famous general who was a hero lots of times! He had a great big blaster--bigger than anybody else's in the whole galaxy--and he killed lots of people with it! And monsters, too," he added for good measure.

"Right." Biggs smiled and tossed the rag aside. "Well, you want to go assassinate a few rocks, pirate?"

"Yeah." He heard a small mew. "Binte? Here Binte, Binte, Binte."

Biggs laughed. "You're the only one she comes to. Stars, she's more your pet than mine!"

He grinned and held out his arms. The syrrit leaped into them, scrabbling for a hold with her claws. "Don't rip my shirt again, Binte. That's my girl." He nuzzled his nose into her neck, and she purred with pleasure.

Biggs walked over and stroked Binte's small head. The large pointed ears turned in his direction. Luke's eyes drifted from the spotted fur to Biggs. He was so lucky to have Biggs for his friend! Biggs was wonderful. And really tall. Luke sighed and pressed his face against Binte's back. Sometimes he wished somebody would pet him the way they petted Binte.

Biggs laughed, and Luke felt fingers in his hair, ruffling it. "You're shameless, Luke! Binte better watch out or next you'll be eating out of her dish."

He wrinkled his nose. "No way!" he declared. Binte ate little animals that weren't quite dead--he wasn't going to do that! He pressed his head against Biggs's hand and imitated Binte's purr. Binte mewled with him, and he giggled.

"Shameless!" Biggs repeated, laughing. "Come on, let's go practice with that blaster of yours."

"Okay," he agreed cheerfully. The days he spent with Biggs and Binte were the wonderfulest days of his whole life! He wished he could live here. Maybe if he was really polite, the Darklighters would adopt him. Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen never adopted him because they didn't really want him, so they wouldn't mind if he moved away. Then he could be Biggs's little brother and take care of Binte. Maybe he would ask Biggs if that would be all right.


"Show me again," Biggs instructed.

Luke concentrated fiercely. He slipped out the powercell, mimicked inserting it into the charger, then replaced it in the blaster, careful not to accidentally brush the trigger. "There!" he exclaimed triumphantly.

"Very good."

He grinned, warmed by Biggs's approval. Maybe now would be a good time to ask if they wanted to adopt him. "Do you think... maybe, um...."

"I know, I promised target shooting. I haven't forgotten. But I wanted to be sure you knew the basic safety and reloading procedures. They're important, Luke. A decharged blaster won't do you any good."

He nodded solemnly. Binte crawled up on his lap, and he put the blaster pistol aside cautiously. Running his fingers through the long fur, he imagined that she belonged to him. That he slept in a little bed in Biggs's room with Binte curled at his feet. And in the morning Momma Darklighter would call him for breakfast and--

"You're daydreaming again."

Luke grinned. "Tell me something I don't know!"

"Smart-mouth!" Biggs punched his arm playfully. "Come on, let's go find a few rocks to stun."

"Come on, Binte," he told the syrrit as he stood up.

"You'd better leave her here, Luke. She might get hurt."

"No, she won't. I'll take care of her."


"Pleeeease, Biggs?" He bounced anxiously, unable to hold his feet still. "Please, please, please? I don't hardly ever get to see her, and I really miss her. Pleeease?"

Biggs rolled his eyes. "I must be getting soft in the head."

He knew that meant yes. "Come on, Binte," he repeated cheerily. She followed him, her long legs pacing gracefully. Sometimes she was up in the air, with no feet on the ground. He liked to watch her when she moved. "Now you stay right here by me," he told her when they found a stony victim. "If you get too close, you could get hurt when I blow up that rock."

Biggs chuckled. "Okay, Private Skywalker, aim your weapon--"

"Captain," he interrupted.


He giggled. "No, I mean me! I'm a captain!"

"Oh. Very well. Captain Skywalker--"

"Who are you?"

"I'm your commanding officer, squirt, so quit asking questions."

"Yes, sir!" He saluted like a trooper and spent the next hour practicing using the scope and blasting off small chunks of rock from the great formation. It seemed like he was getting better, he thought critically, as he cut down fifty Sand People who were screaming an attack at them. He mowed them down one by one, and they fell, shrieking in agony.

Someone called in a tiny voice. One of the Sand People?

No, it was Biggs's dad. Biggs sighed. "I have to go back, Luke. You'd better come along."

"No! I wanna shoot more! I'm just getting good! Pleeeease!"

Biggs glanced around the cliffs, doubt reflected on his face. "Okay, but come close to the 'stead. Let's take a couple rocks, and you can practice on those."

"That's no fun," he whined disappointedly.

"It's a lot harder than what you're doing now."

"It is?"

"Sure." Biggs dropped a big rock into his hands, then picked up an even bigger one himself. "That cliff is easy to hit. Wait until you try these little rocks. I'll bet you can't hit them!"

"I'll bet I can!" he cried furiously. "I'll blast 'em to smithereens!"

"Okay, hotshot, have at it."

He watched Biggs cross the distance to the main dome, then fingered the warm grip of the blaster. In a swift movement, he drew it and spun around, opening fire on the enemy rock. He missed. He looked around to be certain Biggs hadn't seen. No one was in sight. He turned his back on the rock, reholstered the blaster, and flexed his left hand. Took a deep breath. It was him or them--he had to get them first or he was a goner!

He drew and whirled, squeezing the trigger three times, excitement rising in his throat at the sound of the energy bolts. The rock squeaked when he hit it. He stopped firing and stood motionless. He heard another squeak. He ran over to the rock.

A clump of orange fur lay behind it, dark red blood gleaming wetly. Two huge brown eyes looked up at him, but their gaze was foggy, not bright and happy.

"Binte?" he whispered. He sat on the sand and cautiously touched the little forehead. Binte whimpered. Luke snatched back his hand, inhaling sharply. "Binte?"

Another tiny squeak answered him. Then a film covered Binte's eyes and her head flopped. It was suddenly quiet. How could it be so quiet when the only sound that had stopped was that little harsh noise of Binte's torn lungs trying to suck in precious air? "Binte?"

Binte didn't answer, and he was suddenly very mad at her. "Wake up, damn you!" he shouted--but quietly, so no one would hear him. "You stupid syrrit--wake up!" He poked her head with his finger; it lolled to the other side.

The wind was rising, a sign that it would soon be evening. Luke rocked back and forth, humming to himself. He was making up a song, and it was a nice song. He liked singing. He liked the desert. He liked the wind. He liked lots of things, and he tried to think of them, every one, because if he kept thinking, he wouldn't think of--of--

He pushed to his feet and looked at the 'stead. Everyone was indoors. He couldn't even hear voices. Maybe they'd seen what he did and left him here. Maybe the Sand People would eat him. His blaster was lying on the ground a few meters away. Just a couple minutes and already sand had blown on it. Biggs told him to be careful of getting sand in his blaster. He picked it up and put it in the holster. He didn't like touching it.

He turned around and looked at the rock.


He jumped, his heart racing in panic. "What?" he shouted as loud as he could so Uncle Owen would hear and not come out to get him.

"Time to go!"

Uncle Owen went back into the 'stead. Luke knelt and picked up the thing, holding it carefully so he wouldn't get blood on his clothes. He carried the thing farther away and dropped it. Quickly, he dug a hole in the sand and kicked the thing into it. He patted the sand back in place. He went back to the rock. There was no blood on it, but there was some on the ground. With his foot, he pushed the sand around until it was covered.

Then he ran back to the 'stead.

He met Biggs coming out of the garage. "How'd you do?"

"Great," he answered automatically. His heart was still making noise, and he felt dizzy. "Can I come and live with you?" he asked quickly. "Your mom and dad can adopt me and I won't eat much and I'll take care of--of all the 'vaporators, I promise. I'll work really hard--"

"Hey!" Biggs squatted in front of him and grabbed his upper arms. "Hold on. What's wrong?"

He looked down at his feet, feeling tears form. "Nothin'."

"Something is." The older boy shook him gently. "C'mon, Luke, what is it?"

"I--" He glanced up frantically, spotting Uncle Owen talking to Dad Darklighter in the doorway of the living dome. "He's gonna kill me!"

"What?" Biggs glanced over his shoulder. "He's not going to kill you, Luke. Why would you say such a thing?"

"'Cause he hates me!" Any minute now, Biggs would discover what he'd done and hate him forever!

Biggs sighed. "No, he doesn't."

The hand was in his hair again, but this time it didn't feel very good. Luke jerked his head away. "Don't."

"Hey." Biggs rose and followed him as he stomped away. "Wait up. Luke, what is it? Did your uncle hurt you? Were you doing something you shouldn't again?"

Biggs thought he'd been bad, that he'd done some little silly thing. If Biggs knew the truth-- He shook his head. "No, I just.... I just want to go home."

His friend stopped. "I don't understand you."

Luke lifted one shoulder in a disinterested shrug. "Who cares?" he mumbled. Then he lifted his face and hissed fiercely, "I hate you, too!"

He ran to the speeder and climbed inside, not even looking around when Uncle Owen finally got in and they drove off, the two bright suns climbing down in the sky on his left.


Aunt Beru said he was coming down with The Fever, gave him that icky-tasting medicine, and made him stay in bed for two days. Which was just fine. He didn't want to do anything or see anybody. Once he heard voices in the courtyard, and he hid his face in the pillow and pretended to be asleep. Whoever it was went away without coming to see him.

On the third night, he finally slept. But he dreamed. Some big animal, big like a sandcrawler, was after him. It had big hands with long claws and huge teeth and it was slobbering and making a loud noise and trying to eat him.

He woke trembling, but his eyes were dry.

The next morning, he got up for breakfast.

"--and I don't know what will happen, I just don't know. There's evil sweeping across the galaxy, Beru, killing, bringing the Darkness. How much longer can we hope to protect the boy?"

"Owen," Aunt Beru said in a funny voice. She smiled at Luke. "Are you feeling better?"

He nodded. The Darkness sounded scary. Was the monster he dreamed about part of the Sweeping Evil Darkness?

Uncle Owen snorted. "He didn't have The Fever--did you, Luke?"

He shook his head. "Thank you," he whispered to the bowl Aunt Beru slid under his nose.

"You're welcome. Owen, shouldn't you been getting out to the--"

"I should." Uncle stood. "You stop pretending you're sick, boy, just to avoid your studies."

"I didn't!" He lifted his head. "I could come with you today and help."

"You're too little to help." Uncle looked at Aunt. "The only thing on the farm that doesn't pay its way," he said in a low voice.

"Owen, that's not--"

"Uncle Owen?" He didn't mean to interrupt because he knew it was rude, but his question was really important. "Is it gonna get dark?"

Uncle scowled. "What do you mean?"

"When the Sweeping Evil comes. Will it be like night all the time?"

Uncle Owen stared at him.

"You've frightened him," Aunt Beru said softly.

"I've frightened him?" Uncle said, and Luke didn't understand why he sounded mad.

He flinched and stared at the plate again. "I'm sorry," he mumbled.

There was a short silence. "No, it won't get dark during the day," Uncle said finally. "I wasn't talking about that kind of dark. It's nothing for little boys to worry about."

"'Cause you'll protect me!" he exclaimed smartly, proud that he remembered Uncle's words.

"We'll protect you. And we'll feed you, too, if you quit asking questions and let me get to work."

"'Kay." Luke smiled shyly. "I hafta go see Biggs. Will you take me?"

"You're restricted, young man," Uncle Owen said, the rare gentleness disappearing. "You played sick and caused your aunt more work. No privileges for you for eight days." Uncle pushed back his chair and left.

Privileges? He felt a flash of rebellion. When did he ever get privileges? And going to see Biggs wasn't a privilege, it was his right! But the indignation vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

"Eat your breakfast."

He tried to obey Aunt Beru, picking listlessly at the cold, mushy grains. This stuff wasn't much good hot, but it was awful when cold. When she wasn't looking, he slid from the table and padded into the courtyard.

He had to see Biggs and tell him about--about the bad thing he'd done. It was making him feel sick inside. He had to tell Biggs! He ran to his room and picked up his hat, then snuck up the stairs and set out across the sand.


Walking took a lot longer than riding. He'd been walking forever and he'd only gotten to where he was even with the Twisted Spire. He stopped and looked at it for a minute, then turned in a circle. No Sand People--a good thing, because he'd forgotten his stupid blaster.

There was no orange speeder, either. Uncle Owen wasn't coming after him yet.

He walked on. And on. The suns slowly moved overhead, then started back down the sky. He was hungry. He fumbled open his canteen and took a mouthful of water, holding it for a moment before swallowing. Maybe that would help him not be so hungry.

He sat down and rested for awhile. His legs were really tired and his feet hurt. And his head hurt. He wanted to take a nap, but what if he slept until nighttime? Then the Sweeping Evil would get him. He looked back toward home--at least, he thought it was back toward home. How come Uncle Owen wasn't looking for him? Did Uncle Owen want him to get lost so he'd never ever come back and be a burden?

He started walking again. He was sleepy. He couldn't walk very long. He sat down and unwrapped his leggings. They were too tight. He tried to wrap them again, but his fingers were tired, too. He had to wrap them, though, so scorpions wouldn't climb up his pants. Not that he'd seen any scorpions. They were probably smart and hiding indoors until nighttime...nighttime, when it got really cold. He looked at the suns. They were still marching down. A couple hours until dark. Where was Biggs's 'stead?

He had to get to Biggs's 'stead because he had to tell Biggs about the terrible thing he'd done. The terrible thing...he'd shot...he'd shot.... Killed, a voice whispered. Okay, killed, he corrected. He'd killed that stupid....Binte.

"Binte?" He lay down on his side and pulled his knees to his chest, burrowing against the warmth of the sand. Binte ran up to him, making those soft little mewling noises, rubbing her face against his cheek. He caught her with one hand and kissed her nose. She darted from his hold, playing with him, her long, splindly legs moving quickly. She jumped over him and jumped back. She nuzzled his hair, then came to curl by his face. "Binte," he whispered, filled with total happiness. "I love you."

She smiled and purred at him. He heard a little whisper. I love you, too, Luke...but why did you kill me?

She sounded so sad. "I didn't mean to."

Binte kissed him. I would've had kits, Luke. Kits for you. But you killed my kits.

Numb with pain, he squeezed her tightly to his chest. She screamed once and exploded. Blood splattered his face. It was warm and wet on his cheeks.

You held on too tight, Luke...too tight....

He couldn't move. He closed his eyes. Maybe if he went to sleep....

You loved me too hard....

...too hard.

He drifted away.


Arms held him too tightly. He was Binte; he squirmed and tried to get free, but the arms wouldn't let go. He was going to explode, blow up in a cloud of blood and fur-- He shook with the effort of holding all his pieces together.

Someone petted him.

where did you

where has he

is he

what the hell

walked all this way

wrap him up

drink this

careful dear he's going to

hey he threw up on my

i told you to be

did you call

he's on his way

can't luke live with us

just for the night then

i don't

after what he

he didn't mean

hush let him

rest little one

Luke lifted his eyelids. They were very heavy. It took a few moments to focus. It was dark. Where was he? With a strangled cry of terror, he sat up.


Someone else was in the darkness. A light flared on. Biggs leaned over him, then sat on the edge of the bed. "Are you okay?"

He stared wordlessly, his mouth falling open, but no words coming out.

Biggs stroked his hair. "You're in my room. We were looking for you for hours--your aunt called and said she couldn't find you, thought maybe you were trying to get here. Gods, Luke, you know better than to wander in the Wastes alone! We were all so worried."

Words wouldn't come; he shook his head helplessly. "I...."


His stomach felt funny. "I...I.... Binte--I...."

"What about Binte?" Biggs's hand left his hair and laid on his shoulder. "Tell me."

"I killed her!" He began to sob--he didn't want to, but it was hard to stop. "I killed Binte! I didn't mean to! But I was shooting and the rock made a noise and she--it was her and she was--" He held his breath until the tears stopped, then forced out the word. "Dead. She was dead. I killed her."

Biggs was quiet for a very long time. "I know," he said finally. "When she didn't come home, I went looking and found her. I figured out what happened."

He rolled onto his side and tugged the sheet around his shoulders. "I'm sorry, Biggs," he whispered. A final tear dripped onto the pillow. Luke bit his lip. "You can kill me if you want to. But I loved Binte. I don't want her to be dead. I didn't mean to do it."

The fingers curled and rested on his forehead. "You're still warm. Luke...I'm not going to kill you. But I won't lie to you, squirt. I'm hurt by what happened. I loved Binte, too. And I'm disappointed that you were afraid to tell me right away. But I knew you'd get up the courage eventually. I.... Ah, Luke. I was going to give you one of her kits, did you know? I would've given you Binte, but she was Mom's special pet. If only you'd been more careful, this wouldn't have happened."

"--to see him!"

He flinched away from Uncle Owen's voice. Dad Darklighter was murmuring quietly, his words indistinguishable.

"--fault of that father of his! If Luke's inherited that black-hearted--"

The voices became smaller. Maybe they were going to fight and Dad Darklighter would kill Uncle Owen, blast him into a zillion bits.

Like he killed Binte.

It would be a bad thing, like other bad things.

Like the Evil Darkness that was sweeping across the galaxy.

He shifted restlessly. "Is black the same as dark, Biggs? Is it the same as the Evil Darkness?"

"I don't know what you mean, Luke." Biggs glanced uneasily at the door. "Why don't you go back to sleep. I'll be right back."

He watched his friend leave. "Pets use precious resources," he whispered. "I couldn't have kept the baby anyway." Biggs didn't hate him. But Binte's babies did. That's what kits were: babies. He'd not only killed Binte, he'd murdered her babies.

One of them would have been his. His own Binte to love. A baby who needed him to take care of her, to hold her and love her and never ever let any bad thing happen to her. Maybe he would have called her Binte. But instead he killed her.

Had the Evil swept into him already? Had the Evil made him kill Binte and her babies?

Luke shivered and knew he wouldn't be able to do what Biggs told him. He couldn't sleep. If he slept, the Evil in him might creep out of his black heart and kill more babies.

How had the Evil gotten into him?

Did his father give it to him, along with his black heart? hold on too tight, Luke, you love too hard killed my kits, black-hearted boy

Maybe if he didn't hold so tight and love so hard, the Evil would go away.