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01.28.2012 , 10:33 PM | #1
This is my story that won the Sith Warrior category in the Star Wars Fan Fiction (Short Story) Competition 2.0, which was held in August of 2011 on the pre-launch forums. Sadly, the threads for said contest and the stories contained within were wiped with the rest of the forums, although Google Docs versions of all eight category-winning stories (including mine) can be found here.

Any and all comments and critiques are welcome. Note that the bolded and italicized sections are parts of a flashback, though most people could probably figure that out on their own.


There Is Only Passion

The sounds of battle were beginning to fade. The shriek of blasters firing into the distance. The whirr of engines overhead. The thud of Republic boots on Imperial soil. The hum of lightsabers after striking down the Empire’s finest. Var’kel heard none of these things. All he heard was the silence where her heartbeat once was.

He still remembered the argument they had that morning.

“Sometimes I feel like you can never really love me! That you don’t know how to love me! It’s always fear, hatred, anger with you… Never empathy or compassion…”

“Of course. These emotions are all I have. They’re what I was raised to feel, and what drive me every day. What makes me stronger: Fear of losing you. Hatred of those Republic dogs that would see death do us part. Anger at thousands of Jedi that every day forsake the feelings I embrace. The feelings I have when I’m with you.”

Suddenly, that fear was realized. That hatred justified. That anger raised to levels the young Sith had never before known.

Var’kel no longer felt fear, or hatred, or even anger. Now, in the aftermath of the battle that took his lover away, he felt something he had never felt before. Something he had heard about but never understood. He felt sorrow.

He sensed three Jedi approach. He did not care.

How many Jedi did he kill that day? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? For the first time in his life, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that one of those Jedi was the bastard who struck down Neela with her own blaster bolt. Var’kel didn’t know which one, so he would have to settle for killing them all.

He almost succeeded.

One of the Jedi spoke.

“How fitting. The Sith speak of emotions as a strength, as the true path to the Force. Yet here you lie, crippled by them.”

“YOU FOOL!” Var’kel’s lightsaber barely missed the Jedi’s head. “What do you know of emotions!? How could you, who shun affection, know what it’s like to have someone you love torn from you? You force yourself to feel nothing, yet you pretend to understand me.”

The explosion ended just as suddenly as it started. Though his armor absorbed most of the shrapnel’s energy, a few pieces still dug deep enough to end his rampage. Brought to his hands and knees, all he could think to do was crawl to her body. To hold her one last time as his fellow Sith joined her among the dead. As the outpost fell.

“Perhaps we do not understand you, but it is obvious here which of us walks the stronger path. You slew many of our comrades today, yet we move on. Meanwhile, you are brought to your knees by the loss of just one.

However, if you truly loved her as you say you did, then there must be some good in you. Perhaps if you surrender we could help you find it.”

“Blasted Jedi,” Var’kel responded, more to himself than to his would-be saviors. “Here they stand and scoff at a man in mourning, yet they speak of good.”

He was amazed by their arrogance. Assuming that they could decide what was right. Assuming that, given the choice, the whole galaxy would accept their so-called peace. Assuming that a thrown lightsaber was meant for them, and not for a Republic drop ship approaching on the horizon.

Back at the barracks, the foot soldiers would often speak of “what we’re fighting for.” Holding Neela’s lifeless body in his hands, he finally knew what they meant. They fought so that their loved ones would not have to die. So that they and countless others would not have to feel what Var’kel himself now felt. So that future Imperial citizens could feel what he once did feel. He had once felt love, but now he felt sorrow.

“Very well, Sith.” The Jedi’s lightsaber ignited as he spoke. “Any last words before you share your lover’s fate?”

For an instant there was silence. An instant and yet an eternity. At its end, Var’kel spoke. He spoke words that he had learned long ago, but only now mastered.

“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.”

Passion. Back when he was an acolyte, Var’kel thought he knew what passion was, what it was like to unleash your rawest emotions and through them find the Force. In this, however, it was Neela who was his greatest teacher. And now she was gone.

“Through passion, I gain strength.”

Where before Var’kel found strength in anger, he now found it in sorrow. It was painful, yet it was enlightening. He basked in his sorrow, embraced it. Through sorrow, his vision was at its clearest. Through sorrow, his connection to the Force was at its strongest. Through sorrow, he would perform his greatest and final feat.

“Through strength, I gain power.”

Var’kel’s crimson blade flew through the sky at blinding speed, guided not by his mind but by his heart. Just as easily as it cut through the air, so too did it cut through the ship’s engine. Just as easily, the ship began to fall, straight towards the spot where three Jedi stood and a Sith Lord cradled the love of his life in his arms.

“Through power, I gain victory.”

By the time the Jedi heard the ship coming, it was too late. Var’kel felt their fear, and he was satisfied. Satisfied knowing that they were afraid to die and he was not. Knowing that for this reason, the Republic had not truly won today. That in the end it would fall. That Neela would be avenged.

“Through victory, my chains are broken.”

Chains. The chains that held him to this world. There were many such chains: The power he sought to gain. The Empire he was destined to rule. The Republic he vowed to destroy. Of all those chains, however, Neela was the only one strong enough to bind him, for she was the only one he allowed to do so. Without her, there was nothing left to keep him here.

Var’kel had once felt fear. He had once felt hatred. He had once felt anger. But now all he felt was sorrow. Beautiful, intense sorrow. Looking into her eyes, he knew he never wanted to feel anything else again. Var’kel was ready to die.

“The Force shall free me.”
Sith happens.
I am TIRED of these nerf-herding Jedi on this nerf-herding ship!