Beyond Behind Amber Eyes [Multi-part Songfic, Caedus - Part 2 up 12/11]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Dashren2001, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    [IMG]

    Part 1

    No one knows what it's like
    To be the bad man

    Each step echoed through the halls. Clack. Clack. Young men stopped mid-stride, their black uniforms being forced into unfortunate angles. Hats fell to the floor, papers slipped from stacks, gliding gently to soft landings several meters away. With each step, shoulders tightened back, throats were cleared. Men and women began to line the hall, decorating it with a quickly-forming line of faithful officers and technicians of the Alliance.

    The Alliance was not an accurate name, simply shorthand for the current government's far more grand title, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Alliances, Federations, Republics, Empires. They all seemed to represent different things, from freedom to economic policies to living standards, but at their core, they stood upon a single pillar comprised of a simple concept: control. Control is everywhere, always has been, and always shall be. Even in a seeming contradiction, control existed within freedom. Freedom was just another commodity to be dolled out in varying quantities, controlled like the barman skilfully controls the tap.

    Control was hardly ever given. Even those lucky enough to have been born into familial-based systems of royalty had to be given their control by their parents or other persons, and time had shown that it was rarely a smooth transition. The promise of control was an illusion, itself a form of control.

    Control had to be earned. It had to chased, tracked. It had to be grasped, and more often than not, wrested from the grasp of many unwilling to give it up. Those unwilling to relinquish their control in the face of superior will found themselves at a momentous, yet ultimately simple choice: to step aside, or to die. At the moment in the ever-changing galaxy, no one seemed to have a better grasp of these facts than the man now coming around the corner. At least, that was what he believed.

    To be the sad man
    Behind blue eyes

    Hushed whispers and rushed breaths filled the hall with the momentary sounds of rushing waters, a river of nervousness and awe flowing from soldier-to-soldier. The man came into full view, and the river trickled to a silence. He did not break stride, his paces slow and measured. Those around him didn't know if he was making a show of his presence, or if this was how he always carried himself. His rugged jaw conflicted with softer features around his eyes in the best away possible. Brown hair, parted just off-center, fell to a stop just past his ears. He was very attractive, and was well-aware of it.

    His physical features were only tainted by two things. The first was the color of his skin. While most of his body sported the healthy tan of a man often out and about, with numerous scars worn proudly as proof of his well-documented war record, small splotches of sickly paleness threatened to grow larger. The second blemish on his otherwise public-swooning looked were the color of his eyes. As a boy and teen, his eyes had been a healthy light brown. However, over the past two years, they had shown a slow but steady transition to a shade of amber.

    Some found the unnatural irises alluring, others dismissed it as a mutation or the result of a secret drug regiment. There were even some who couldn't help but admit that they bore a striking resemblance to the unhealthy eyes of the long-dead Sith Lord Palpatine. These last opinions were rarely voiced.

    This man was certainly far more respected than Palpatine had ever been. A child of two of the galaxy's greatest heroes, there were great expectations before him at birth. He had taken those expectations, embracing the pressure. He found himself growing more powerful every day, though only really noticing it later in life, well after his teenage years. After a defining moment as a prisoner of war, he finally accepted his full potential. Once known simply as the son of a legendary smuggler, he was now nothing less than the Chief of State Jacen Solo.

    The path to this position was littered with bodies, human and otherwise. The bodies were piled thick and high, covered with flags and velvet banners, and declared victories.

    No one knows what it's like
    To be hated

    Jacen Solo was a character study on the human condition and it's ability to change and adapt. As a child, he was outgoing and adventurous. His favorite past time was to discover and communicate with all manner of insect and animal. Jacen found that his acuity in the Force made this connection with nature very easy, and quickly collected a large array of cawing and squawking friends. As his power grew, so did his loyalty to his sister Jaina and his friends. No matter the situation, Jacen Solo was the kid you wanted at your back. As an infant, he had defeated the returned spirit of Emperor Palpatine, and he was only to grow stronger from there.

    Luke Skywalker, his uncle and head of the new Jedi Order, saw Jacen, Jaina, and their younger brother Anakin as symbols of hope for a brighter future. Luke had grown up on a crime-ridden backwater planet during the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. In his mind, the the minds of many others, the birth of the next generation of Jedi heralded a glorious age of peace for the galaxy.

    Now, as he walked between those under his command, garbed in flowing black robes and a menacing piece of black torso armor, Jacen Solo had one of the highest body counts in the galaxy. Every death was a sacrifice, every victory a step closer to fulfilling the destiny of bringing about the era of peace that had been placed upon him at birth. In his mind, every single act of violence was a precisely-crafted stone slowly forming a path to a glorious new dawn. The top of those stones were milled by master craftsmen and polished to a perfect sheen, but the undersides were rough, unshapely, dirt-coated and covered in countless names.

    One of those names was Mara Jade Skywalker, his Aunt and Jedi Master, whom he struck down on a lonely asteroid in the middle of nowhere. On that same stone, just below Mara, was the name Jaina Solo.

    Somewhere along his journey on this stone path, Jacen had discovered what eons of Jedi dogma referred to as the “Dark Side”. The Sith creed and history meant little to him. He was only interested in the tools that this other side of the Force could offer him. The powers of the Dark Side came as easily for him as anything else had in life, though Jacen was impressed with their poignancy. In his quest to save the galaxy from itself, it had always felt like he was working with simple hammers and worn, archaic tools. With the abilities of the Sith under his belt, he could now shape the galaxy with beautifully-precise tools.

    So Jacen used his shiny new tools to make a unit of the military that, on the surface, was borne out of the rising threat of homeland terrorism. He led this unit with pride and dignity, and quickly became a favorite of patriots and housewives everywhere. Around that time, while interrogating a captured suspect, he brutally murdered the daughter of feared bounty hunter Boba Fett. Afterwards, her face was unrecognizable. Another name on the side of a stone that would never see the light of day. Another step towards peace. No one knew that in order to wield these tools, he had taken a new name and title.

    When Jacen was made the new Chief of State, they were putting the reigns to thousands of populated planets in the hands of the newest Sith Lord, Darth Caedus.

    To be fated
    To telling only lies
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 11, 2012
  2. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Beautiful, coming to the essence what Jacen is. Tags please:) when you are continuing
  3. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Haunting story. Although I have to disagree with some of the premise that he eagerly sought this path. He reluctantly started down this path because no one else seemed to be willing to try and keep the peace.

    Fel's daughter admitted to planting the bombs that killed Coruscanti's and had earlier tried to kill Jaina, Jacen and their friends, she was NOT a good person. As much as I like Mara, she hunted Jacen down for the express purpose of killing him. What did she expect him to do, roll over and let her?

    Him becoming co-chief-of-state was just as much Niathal's idea as it was his.

    Keep up the (depressingly) good work.
  4. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Thank you for the comments guys, I appreciate it. :D

    Sioux, you are absolutely right. But in his last moments, when he was starting to embrace his position as Sith Lord and Chief of State, it seemed to me like he was starting to feel like he was meant for it. So his mind would retroactively see everything past as simply leading to where he is now. That's just my interpretation, anyway.
  5. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 2

    But my dreams
    They aren't as empty
    As my conscience seems to be

    As Jacen continued down the hall, he was fully-aware of the countless eyes watching him pass. Young and old, the eyes betrayed a near-endless range of emotions. He saw nervousness, curiosity, sparse resentment. Catching the momentary gaze of a young male Petty Officer, Jacen felt more intent from the twenty-something human than the rest. Something about the Chief of State was completely arresting this young man's attention, and he could sense that it had little to do with his title.

    Jacen slowed his gait, but did not stop. Without any outward sign, he reached out to the man's mind, found that is was full of restrained fire and intense emotions. This sight, a shifting field of mottled red and gold, like a film of an active volcano's surface sped up, was common among youth. What was not common was the intensity of the man's focus. It was an odd palabre of feelings and thoughts. There were certainly hints of anger, but they were clouded in a mix with other emotions. Whatever the man's thoughts ultimately were, Jacen could feel that he was unquestionably at the center.

    The curiosity was far too much for Jacen to ignore. More often than not, he had found that such intense emotion with a proper focus was very potent tool. What that tool ultimately turned out to be was unpredictable, but Jacen felt that ever letting potential like this go uninvestigated was foolish.

    The black-clad leader finally came to a precise stop before the man. The Petty Officer's eyes grew wide as it became clear that the leader of the galaxy was about to personally address him. This was not an inspection, Jacen Solo was on his way to an important trial. He had no reason to stop before a random man among the ranks. An ice-cold chill crackled its way up the man's spine, the first sign of oncoming sweat.

    Several seconds passed, but Jacen said nothing. He simply continued to stare into the man's eyes. The Petty Officer dared not avert his gaze, fearing it might insinuate an insult or, more crucially, guilt. Jacen could feel these concerns of betraying his feelings. In these few seconds, the Sith Lord reached into the man's mind with the Force. The process was silent, invisible, and only noticeable by those of strong will or sensitive in the Force.

    First came the simple things, like the man's name: Keithe Luna. Keithe was from Coruscant, apparently grew up in one of the safer middle-class upper levels. He had gone to public schools, had a nearly stereotypical childhood. Images of young romances, fights, impulsive decisions that stuck in his mind as fond memories or intense regrets. Regrets. There, Jacen thought, an unconscious pang of fear. Images of the man's family rushed into vision. What little of it there was, anyway.

    From what Jacen could gather, Luna had been raised primarily by two men: a father and an uncle. The two men represented intense concentrations of feelings, like tall pillars of differing hues planted deeply in Keithe's mind. Jacen saw images of the father: an angry, pathetic man. His senses were hit with the faint but unmistakable scent of alcohol. Jacen felt soreness across his face, a flash of intense pain in an arm that he recognized as a broken bone.

    The uncle was another entity entirely. The pillar that represented him was hewn from a beautiful piece of light gray marble, almost seeming to glow. The uncle was a large man, respectable muscles paired with an extended gut that came with a content middle-age. As Jacen reached for images and feelings relating to this uncle, the sensations of abuse were washed away by echoes of deep, proud laughter. Many of Keithe's happier memories seemed tied to this man.

    Then he hit a wall. The wall within Keithe's mind was thick, seemingly woven of luminescent black vines. There was a memory behind it, a defining moment that Keithe wanted shared with no one, a moment that the young man rarely allowed himself to touch upon. Jacen felt compelled to peer through the thick mental veil, convinced that he was somehow related to this guarded moment.

    “Sir?”

    The voice of an aide came from far away. The woman was actually just over Jacen's shoulder, but the Sith was so deeply focused on his Force hunt, he hardly noticed her call. Not wanting to break his concentration with spoken words, Jacen snapped his right hand up, his index and middle fingers extended. The aide stepped back and said nothing more, having seen Jacen in Force-related actions before and wisely advising the other four officers around her that they must wait until the Chief of State was done with his “vital Jedi affairs” before they could continue to the trial. At first they protested, but she silenced them with sharp looks.

    Jacen continued to test and prod portions of the man's mental shielding, but found it to be surprisingly well fortified. A quick shock would do the trick.

    “Petty Officer,” Jacen said. They were the first words he had spoken over the past minute-and-a-half.

    Keithe just barely resisted kneejerk reactions of leaping away, of letting out a sound of surprise, of shaking violently.

    “Yes, sir?” His voice seemed on the verge of breaking.

    “What is your name, young man?”

    Apparently having expected something far more complex, he straightened himself and exhaled before speaking.

    “Keithe Luna, sir. Petty Officer, navigational technician from the Outreach.

    The question was meaningless and contained no information Jacen hadn't already easily gleaned. What it provided was the momentary surprise needed to allow his mental probing past Keithe's guard. Jacen Solo was immediately met with a memory intensely visceral. Sounds of fearful moans and pounding boots were nearly washed out by the deep roar of near-by military transports. A silhouette, spiked in various places, turned into something of a demon by Keithe's subconscious, burst through a simple door. More silhouettes rushed through the open door, though none of them were nearly as demonized as the first one. A man Jacen immediately recognized as Keithe's uncle stood to face the silhouettes, his body seemingly larger than before and glowing like the pillar.

    Concentrating further, the shadowy forms took the shape of Galactic Alliance Guards, clad in fearsome black armor with signature glowing green visors. Shouting. Anger. Fear. Jacen shuddered as a blaster was fired and the uncle fell, but he did not fade. Instead he stood once more, glowing even more intensely. He stepped closer to the Guards, but they collapsed on him, forcing him to the ground. Growling and shouting, the large man was forced into restraints. Before he was hauled out through the open door, he turned back to Jacen, to the young Keithe, and smiled reassuringly. The strength needed to smile like that with a blaster burn in the leg and in the grip of secret police must have been immense, the Sith mused. Then he saw something that caught his breathe, an unmistakable sight that instantly explained everything.

    As Keithe's uncle was hauled away within the memory, the demonic shape turned to face the source of the memory, the eyes through which Jacen was watching.

    He saw himself. Jacen looked upon his slightly younger self, his eyes untainted, his old green-bladed lightsaber hanging from his waist.

    I have hours, only lonely
    My love is vengeance
    That's never free

    The shock brought Jacen reeling out of the memory with haste, and he stepped back, blinking furiously. Keithe gave the Chief of State a curious look and thought that he was possibly watching a stroke or some other medical incident.

    The puzzle was complete. Keithe Luna had been abused by his father, but his uncle had always been there to comfort him, occasionally protecting him from the drunken parent. Several years ago, when Jacen was still leading the Galactic Alliance Guard in raids to round up Corellians on Coruscant and their sympathizers, he had been tipped off about the uncle's Corellian origins and tore him from his home right in front of young Keithe's eyes.

    Even now, years after the Corelliant separatist movement had been crushed, the Alliance was finding old connections like these. They were treated like threats, removed from any official capacity, often detained. Keithe still saw his Corellian uncle as a guardian, a hero to be emulated. Protocol demanded that Jacen throw this ticking bomb to Internal Affairs to be dealt with.

    However, something was tugging at the back of his mind. A voice, faint, beautiful, powerful. He could picture her golden-red braids, recognize her voice, smell her, touch her. She was with him always in memory now, and the part of his mind that her intense memory occupied told Jacen that before him was a good man. A promising man. A man who had done no wrong. He had joined the Alliance military to better the galaxy, possibly to even prevent a situation like the one involving his uncle from ever happening to another child again.

    Jacen saw in Keithe a younger version of himself, an idealized image of an optimistic young man who had been thrown into the galaxy's unforgiving forces, had then found himself in a place where he might be able to make some changes for the better. Maybe he missed that young man, maybe he simply respected what he represented. Nearly a decade after taking up his Sith mantle, Darth Caedus was still fighting to find the balance that would bring him, and ultimately the galaxy, peace. Perhaps this was another step on that path.

    Before Jacen could say anything, Keithe mustered the strength to ask, “Sir, is something wrong?”

    Jacen swallowed reverently and placed his hand on the younger man's shoulder.

    “No, nothing is wrong. Carry on, Petty Officer. Carry on.”

    The Chief of State turned from Keithe and resumed his stride.
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 11, 2012
  6. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Jacen is discovering hidden things reflecting on his past. Nice update
  7. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Wow. Nice use of his memory of Tenel Ka; the imagery of this entire chapter is really good.
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