Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Sad Tale of Nathan Nightwalker

Standing in the dark and quiet room, Nathan Nightwalker regained his breath. Centering himself in the Force, he searched his feelings.

Expecting joy or perhaps anger, Nathan was surprised to sense a morsel of regret, of sorrow even.

What did he expect? Obviously the challenge placed before him had been difficult, and overcoming it would take all of his capabilities and beyond, but the prize had seemed worth it.

The prize was a teacher, from whom Nathan could learn more about the Force. The subtle and the mighty machinations of the Force, his to use and control. To expand his knowledge, his skills, his power in the mysterious energy of the galaxy.

To become a true apprentice to the Dark Lord.

Perhaps he had not been ready for it. Perhaps Nathan had simply expected too much of it. After all, nobody can or will describe how it feels to pass the first test of a true Sith, so predictions seemed pointless. Nevertheless, Nathan felt strangely empty inside.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion, he reminded himself.

It wasn't passion, but it wasn't peace, either. Instead, a guilt formed inside his head, a knot in his stomach, that he had never before experienced.

Could he have been wrong in choosing this path?

For years, Nathan had been convinced that although the Jedi might have been wise and powerful, they were still ignorant of the true strength of the Force. Sitting in their temple growing lazy and arrogant, they did not seem to be the masters of focus. Not like the Sith of legend, who constantly challenged themselves, increasing their skills, practising their concentration, growing more dangerous with each victory -- and each defeat.

Nathan had never craved for victory or power. He had merely longed for the fulfillment of his talents, to not be held back by ancient rules and out-of-touch theorists, to feel the wind through his hair, the sun in his eyes, the sweat on his back while he perfected his body, mind and control over the Force. To be who he truly was.

Now, here he was. Switching on his lightsaber, Nathan looked around and in the dim blue light of his blade saw the ancient glyphs and imagery on the walls, depicting ferocious beasts towering over their many fallen foes, stealthy assassins stealing the life of their victims, and fires burning away Jedi temples.

This ancient burial temple seemed a fine example of Sith filosophy, and Nathan felt out of place for the first time.

Stepping over the remains of the two Jedi sent after him, he brought his face and his blade close to the image of the burning temples. Tiny twodimensional faces screamed in eternal silence as the hungry flames consumed both stone and flesh, leaving nothing but charred remnants and ashes. Sith warriors cheered around the scene, relishing in the terror and deaths, absorbing the darker essences of the Force to increase their power and in turn, increase the havoc they wreaked.

Taking his eyes away from the gruesome scene, Nathan surveyed the room. It was an antechamber for the large ceremonial hall and it had probably been dark as well in the days the temple was still in use with the ancient Sith, serving as a portal to the inner sanctum and reminding acolytes and apprentices of the power and the horror of the dark side.

The two dead Jedi lay somewhat in the middle of the room, their brown cloaks covering their faces. One still clutched his saber as if in defense, the other Jedi's lightsaber had been cut in half by Nathan's parry and both parts were near the wall.

He had known both Jedi, of course. One was his former master at the Jedi temple on Coruscant, the other a padawan apparently desperately wanting to prove himself by "redeeming" the runaway Nightwalker. It had been a long and tough fight, both mentally and physically, but in the end they could not match the power of the dark side that flowed through Nathan.

His Sith master would be proud. Nathan would be reborn as a Sith, and would be granted a new name, a new persona that would represent his metamorphosis from Jedi to Sith.

He recoiled at the thought.

Turning off his lightsaber, Nathan welcomed the darkness. It did not erase the image of the two lifeless forms on the floor, though. Personal growth through the death of another. Two souls who would never reach their perfection, cut down before blossoming. Two people not unlike Nathan, killed by one whose own progress was deemed more important than theirs.

His mind realized the finality of his act, and this time there was emotion. Guilt, shame, regret, sorrow; a dawning understanding that he could never go back to being that Jedi he had once been, so full of ambition, anger and joy, without forever regretting that in order to advance himself, so many others would suffer for it. The wound torn in his soul would deepen and fester, until either it would impede his progress or make him vulnerable to new generations.

In the Sith organisation, being vulnerable meant being dead.

Neither could he return to the Jedi temple, Nathan knew. Of course the Jedi taught forgiveness, but even if they would do so, and even if the looks of Jedi both old and young would not follow and haunt him, and even if he somehow found the courage to follow the rules he had found so restrictive before, he doubted he could still live with the guilt in his heart of willingly killing two Jedi.

Through the Force, my chains are broken.

There was nothing now for Nathan except the Force. The Dark Lord waiting outside the ancient structure was surely too powerful for him to combat, and what would be the point of trying? No, he realized, there was nothing for him now. No Sith, no Jedi, and no escape.

A tear found its way across his cheek, and Nathan savored the emotion that guided it. At least he was still human. Enough to know that he had come to a fork in the road, and he could choose neither path.

Only one option seemed open to him, and he sighed. Sitting himself down on the floor, Nathan Nightwalker wiped the tear from his face and turned the hilt of his lightsaber so that the blade would point towards him. Placing it against his chest, he calmed himself.

He whispered, "the Force will set me free."

A heartbeat later, he ignited his blade and fell lifeless to the floor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally, you write again!

How glad I am to see you inspired, my dearest Dragon. Please do write more. I like it!