A Hope Renewed

I run my hands gently over my former Master's abused body, healing what I can. He has fallen into a deep and almost restful sleep and I am loath to disturb him.

It doesn't take long, my skills have greatly increased this past month under my Master's direct tutelage. When I am finished I continue to stroke him, fingering old scars and new. My fingers travel over the scars that cover his chest, then down his arm, stopping suddenly at his wrist. Moving back up his arm they stop again at an invisible line around his neck.

Softy touching his unmarked features, I reflect on how little he has changed: same jaw, same chin, same nose, and the same soft eyelashes. I touch each in turn, then reach to sooth back his hair. It has grown, though not by much.

Today was my last chance to turn him. My desperation showed in every lash and every cut. But his determination held through every torment I could devise. His body had finally collapsed, and I had to admit defeat. Tomorrow my Master will join us.

I crawl into the bed behind him and pull him towards me. His sleeping, vulnerable body does not protest. I wrap my arms around him and pillow his head on my shoulder. I don't want anyone else to touch this one; he is mine. Yet a small part of me hopes that together my Master and I will be able to accomplish what I could not do alone.

Please Obi-Wan, I think before succumbing to sleep myself, please don't fight us any longer. Let us turn you. Join with us. There is so much we could do together....


The next morning arrives, and I awake still holding my Obi-Wan. For a moment I lie there, savoring the sensation; most nights he awakes and crawls out of bed before I rise.

I shake him awake and watch his eyes flutter open. He stares up at me blankly. I have to ask. Just one more time I have to ask. "Will you join us?"

He simply stares at me and shakes his head.

"Obi-Wan, please, listen to me. Today my Master will join me. Just say you'll do this for us and you won't have to suffer anymore." I grasp his shoulders and shake him, frustrated that he doesn't seem to understand. "The temple will be destroyed. Either by you planting a bomb, or by a flat out attack. What difference will it make if you cooperate?"

"I will not turn." His voice is quiet, but firm.

"You don't even have to turn." I'm begging now, and he knows it, "Just plant the bomb. That's all. After that I'll protect you, I promise."

He looks up at me with a sad smile, "I will not turn. Neither will I serve the dark. You know that Anakin. If you truly wish to protect me, then kill me now."

I get off the bed and head toward the shower. "You know I can't." I pause, thinking. "Come here, I want to shower with you today."

Reluctantly he gets off the bed and follows me. "What do you want?" He asks reluctantly as we get in.

"Just stand there." I get the soap and wash him, then me. I can tell he is puzzled that I don't do anything more, even though he tries not to show it. When we get out he reaches for a towel, but I stop him. I want to dry him. And so I do, running the towel over every inch of him. I quickly dry myself as well before we head back to my bedroom.

"Wait here," I instruct as I hurriedly pull on some clothes. He stands by the door, eyes staring blindly ahead. I gesture him to the middle of the room while I rummage through a cupboard. Finally I find the padded cuffs I'm looking for. Normally I couldn't use them, but I'm allowed to in order to keep from damaging his hands.

"Hold your hands out." He complies, and I snap them on, attaching the end of the chain to the ceiling with a touch of the Force. I pull them taunt until only his toes can touch the ground. I still have to lean down slightly to kiss him though.

I am barely finished my preparations when I feel my Master coming. I sink to the floor in a bow as he enters the room.

"Rise, my Apprentice." I stand and watch as he inspects my Obi-Wan. "Well, let's see now if this Jedi is as hard to break as you claim." He reaches out and grasps Obi-Wan's head firmly. Through the Force I observe my Master hammering at his defenses. I manage to contain my smile as he comes to the same set of seemingly impenetrable shields that had baffled me.

"Hmm. I assume you've tried all the usual methods to weaken his defenses?"

"Yes, my Master."

He backs away several meters, and then raises his hands. I wish I could warn him about what was coming, but he wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway. Sure enough pure Force-energy jumps from my Master's fingers and reaches out to curl around Obi-Wan.

His face contorts in agony as the energy stimulates his pain receptors. It takes ten seconds for him to start screaming. That's longer than anyone I've seen. I can only last eight myself. As the pain rips through his body I can sense my Master attacking his mind, but the shields don't move. When he stops my Obi-Wan goes limp, unconscious most likely.

"I see you did not overestimate the problem as much as I thought you had." Any reaction I might have to this I bury far enough inside myself that my Master cannot sense it. "Perhaps an alternative method? Have you tried torturing another in front of him, my Apprentice?"

I bow my head. "No, my Master. I thought it best that..."

"Never mind," he cuts me off. "Take him down," he orders as he moves to a communication panel. I release the fastenings on the cuffs and catch him as he falls down. His eyes blink open as I carry him to an interrogation chair.

"What *was* that?" He asks groggily.

Ah, that is so my Obi-Wan. Ever wanting to expand his knowledge. Pity he won't extend it to the dark side. "That was the power of the dark side." I sit him in the chair and strap him in as tightly as I can. The tighter I make it the less it will chafe when he struggles. I want to kiss him, to reassure him that I love him, that he is mine, but with my Master watching I dare not. When I am finished with the last strap I stand and walk to my Master's side.

It doesn't take long for the guards to arrive with a large group of prisoners. They huddle in the far corner with six guns pointing at them until they are Force-frozen in place. All the guards save two return to their duties. My Master instructs me through our bond what to do. I remove a knife from a drawer and walk toward the group. Grasping the arm of the one that my Master indicates, I pull her across the room, stopping directly in front of my Obi-Wan.

"If you wish for us to stop, Jedi, all you need to is promise to help us. Continue, my Apprentice." My Master then steps back and sits in his own seat to observe the proceedings.

I place my knife at the back of the girl's neck. She can't be more than 14 standard years old; she is only half my height. "Will you help us?" He doesn't answer. Slowly I press the knife upwards, through the skin, up into the brain. I hold her tightly with the Force, but do nothing to stop her screams. I look at the man in the chair; his eyes are tightly closed.

When the girl is dead I throw the body down. One of the guards retrieves it and my Master instructs me again.

This time he indicates a young man, probably in his early twenties. His light brown hair reaches almost to his shoulders. I twist one arm behind his back and force him over to the integration chair. He struggles all the way over, trying to injure me with his free arm. At a glance from my master I draw my lightsaber and slice his hand off. The smell of burning flesh fills the air as the man screams.

I bend him over the interrogation chair and yank his pants down. "Will you help us?" When he doesn't answer I unlace my own pants and bury myself in the man with one hard thrust. He cries out in pain as I take my pleasure in him. When I finally withdraw he relaxes. I do my pants back up and am about to throw him aside when my Master throws another command in my direction. I press the tips of my fingers against his anus and push until my hand is all the way in. As I go I can feel flesh tear and blood running freely down his legs. The screams echo through the room until he passes out from blood loss.

Throwing him aside I barely notice the guard coming to drag him away as I fetch a small, skinning knight from a drawer and bring the next victim out of the group. Another man this time, a bit older than the last one with short, black hair and grey eyes. I throw him to the floor in front of the chair and pin him there with Force bonds. I slit his shirt and remove it before carefully beginning to remove his skin.


My eyes are closed but I can't block out the screams. I can't see what he's doing but I can hear it and I can sense it through the Force. Another child murdered. A woman raped. A man whipped literally to death. I can feel some of them die, but not all are that lucky. When the ordeal is over only a handful of people are left.

Anakin unstraps me, but I fall to the floor when I try to stand. He picks me up and carries me to bed. I don't open my eyes. I don't want to see him. I don't want to see the blood of innocents on his hands, on his clothes or me.

I curl up in bed, trying to shut the images out. Even though I didn't watch, my imagination supplies pictures to go with the sounds I heard and the torments I felt. I'm glad Anakin doesn't know how close I was to agreeing to betray the Jedi. I felt everything and heard everything and knew I had the power to stop it but I couldn't.

I shiver as I lie there and Anakin draws a blanket up over me. What's happened to him that he could do that? Where is the man I once knew, the Padawan I trained? He smoothes the blanket as he whispers to me that his Master wants him. He turns the light out before he leaves. I fall asleep quickly but my dreams are not peaceful. Again and again I relive the day's horrors. Gradually I become aware that something's different. Something is coming between me and everything else. It's as if a pleasant mist is carrying me away. It's as if a velvet curtain is muffling the sounds. It's as if I am once more safe in a loved ones arms.


I kneel at my Master's feet. "Master, I have a boon to beg of you."

"What is it my Apprentice?"

"Today's activities have reminded me that there are toys besides the Jedi to play with. May I have one of the prisoners?"

"It that the only reason you want one?" My Master's eyes are cold as they attempt to discern my motives.

"No, my Master. I had hoped that perhaps if the Jedi formed personal connection with them we could convince him to help us."

My Master waves his hand dismissively, "It does not matter. I have decided that the Jedi is too much work. We must proceed with plan B. You may keep the Jedi if he does not interfere with your duties."

My stomach sinks. "Yes, my Master."

"And I see no reason why you shouldn't have another. You may go pick a prisoner if you wish. You are dismissed."

I contain my sigh of relief and rise to my feet. "Thank-you, you are most generous my Master." Bowing again I turn and leave the room. I head down to the prison deck, knowing full well which prisoner I shall return with.



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