Original title: "Fan girl" New title: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" Author: AzureAngel2, a silly person with weird ideas at times Co-Author and editor: DarthUncle, still-husband Chief editor: the gorgeous @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Original editor: @SWpants Time frame: The story takes place one day before Palpatine gets kidnapped by General Grievous. Summary: As usually I did not fully agree what Ian McDiarmid said about Palps in an interview recently: "He has a black, irredeemable heart. There's nothing that can be said about him that's good. When we first saw Vader in the original trilogy, we thought he was the heart of darkness, and nobody could be darker. But now we understand what happened to him. And one of the exciting things about seeing this movie is that you can follow Vader through Anakin's journey every step of the way even if you don't agree with the choices he's making. In part his decisions stem from his traumatic childhood, and his impatient lust for power. And it's that which my character takes and then uses against him." What has gotten into me that I say he really loves somebody with his dark, black heart? Well, blame it on me watching President Snow in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" recently. See, I like the relationship that he has with his grand-daughter in that particular movie. Everybody has to love somebody. Like vampire Russell Edgington. Or like the Sir Guy of Gisbourne version that is played by a gorgeous Richard Armitage in the ridiculous BBC series "Robin Hood". And it is not secret that I love chocolate very much & kindergarten teaching. But this is more like some crazy self-insert. My main character Nagina may have some things in common with me, but that is about it. I do not agree with the massacre on-board the Palpatine family yacht and so - extra inspired by the very slushy animation movie "Anastasia" - somebody was spared death. Disclaimer: SW is owned by George Lucas, Lucas Lt. and now Walt Disney, whoa !!! “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”, Chapter 1: The first alarm goes off. It is my LCD screen, tuned to a local radio station. The tunes of a so-called “oldie” fill the air. I feel my husband Barin beside me. “Almost there,” I smile without turning around. “Sure!” I hear him answer, his voice drenched with irony. He knows that I am not a morning person. This comes with being a follower of the ancient moon goddess of my people – the Naboo – I guess. Yawning, I stay in bed and cling on to my pillow. I still have not put up any curtains in my bedroom. This suits my inner clock better. Besides, a Coruscant dawn is a breathtaking sight to behold. It gives the planet-wide city moments of grace and beauty. For some heartbeats there are no grey steel constructions, no industrial pollution, no rigid class system- just the rosy fingers of light stretching and flexing. A sea of serenity and calm that not even the traffic can harm. Yet the blessing of brightness does not reach certain areas of the actual planet-wide metropolis. The lower levels are plunged in darkness. The twilight of the neon signs are not enough to illuminate the minds and hearts of the people who live down there. As most members of the middle class I live at the edge of the abyss. We seldom mix with what is below or above. Literacy and democracy matter to us, not money and power. We believe in life-long learning, are even social to our enemies and all those who try to drag us into the shadows. I turn around to face Barin, but the pillow next to me is empty. Sometimes I forget that he is gone. How foolish of me! It has been three years now that the Separatists took him from me, murdered him. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” I mutter. It is a line from one of my most favourite poems. Since my husband’s death it has become a sort of Force mantra to me. The sound of the second alarm – my comm – makes me rise, but not shine. I walk straight into my tiny bathroom unit. Soon sonic pulse vibrations remove dirt, grime and my weariness. ******************************************************************** After the brief shower, I feel more like a human being again. I smile at myself in the mirror. “Good morning, Nagina!” I say. “There you are.” Wrapped in a towel, I leave the bathroom unit and return into my bedroom. There I put on a scarlet tunic and a pair of sneakers. Luckily, there is no dress code at the kindergarten. There was one in the last place that I worked for. I love my current work. My team of fellow teachers is brilliant. The location is a dream: much greenery which is rare here on Coruscant. I go back into the bathroom and bring my brown hair in order as much as possible. My magnificent head of hair is what I always liked best about me. But I do not force it into weird buns, topknots, bobs or chignons like Padmé Amidala does. With my 1.65 meters I am but one centimetre smaller than the very popular Naboo senator and ex-queen. But to my shame I weigh almost double than the frail politician. I must stop eating before I start looking like some Hutt overlord. Sighing, I enter the kitchen and walk straight to the refrigeration unit. I open it and my hand moves towards the blue milk. But then I think better of it and reach for the chocolate milk container. I heat my drink while listening to more songs of the local radio station – Radio Free Coruscant. In between they are interrupted by dire news from the front line. A third alarm goes off. It is personal text message from my colleague Shakti. “Remember the observation files! You need to talk to some parents soon. Let us check out the data together. Hugxxx” Cursing, I put down my mug. I will be seriously late for work if I stand around here glued to my hot chocolate and Anakin Skywalker, “the hero without fear”. The mug bears his illustration. I got it in a cheap gift shop recently, when I looked up something for my kindergarten group. The children love him as much as I do, but for totally different reasons. With forty I should be ashamed anyway falling for a much, much younger man. Besides, he is no match to Barin, my deceased husband. Quickly, I clean the mug that is smeared with the evidence of my not-so-secret chocolate addiction. “Come to the dark side!” I smirk. “For we have all the chocolate.” My uncle would strongly disagree here. He leads a rather austere life. With no chocolate in it. ******************************************************************** As I walk out of my building complex I carefully scan my surroundings. In my neighbourhood we have some jokers selling death sticks just opposite the building complex that I live in. The dealers are a street gang of fourteen kids. The youngest one is eleven and the oldest one is barely seventeen. I can see them quite clearly each time when I look out of the living-room window. Nine humans, a Wookiee whose gender I do not know, a Miraluka female, a Nagai male and a species that I cannot name. But it is definitely male, has green skin and an ape-like face. Anyway, to me the gang has done no harm with their electric tasers. Not yet. Praying to the Goddess of Safety or even to divine Shiraya herself just buys me precious time. I have this ugly certainty: Sooner or later I will have another near-death experience. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” I speak softly under my breath, drawing courage from the words. There is no sign of the youth gang to be seen. I walk on, spotting familiar faces here and there. My next door neighbour walks by, her pittin running ahead of her happily. I wave at them and while I do so, I walk straight into another pedestrian. Very artfully, I drop my bag, which does me the unwanted favour of opening immediately. The lunch box, my water bottle, a story book and a myriad of children paintings spread all over the pavement. And I join them. I end up on my back with my legs spread wide. But instead of killing me three times over, the tall Falleen just smiles at me sweetly. He wears an exclusive robe, which proves he does not live in this area. “Excuse me, milady,” he booms with a deep voice. “I am deeply sorry. I did not see you coming.” Dizzy from the intense gaze of his lavender eyes, I run a hand over my now reddened face. “If you would allow me to help you out of this unfortunate situation, milady.” I nod – perplexed at the huge, yet well manicured claws that dangle before me. The exact moment we touch, his green skin turns into orange-scarlet. I blink hastily. “Are you alright, milady?” he asks. A wet tongue touches my left ankle. I yelp and this sound gets answered happily by the over-excited pittin that is at my side suddenly. So is my neighbour, his Twilek mistress. “Nagina?” Aola pipes up, visibly anxious as her twitching lekku tell me. “Shall I walk you back into the house and call a Jedi healer?” The eyes of the Falleen darken for a brief heartbeat at the word “Jedi”. “No, I am okay,” I manage to say. “But I am running late for the kindergarten.” “Ah,” the Falleen muses and his facial colour deepens. “You are a caretaker. How nice. It must be fulfilling to work with the little ones. Shiny, happy faces all day long.” I am not sure what to say so I grin like some sort of idiot instead of rolling my eye. Aola watches the Falleen nervously, especially when he says, “Let me give you a ride to your working place.” I know better than to have a ride with a total stranger. “No, thank you,” I speak with as much dignity as I can muster. “There is my ride already.” The Falleen does not gaze at the public transporter as I do. He bows deeply, his eyes still lingering on me. “Take good care, milady. I am sure we meet again.” With the elegance of his reptile race, the Falleen disappears into the now somewhat busier traffic. His pony tail makes a bobbing movement. My neighbour reaches out for my cheek. “You look as if you have seen death itself, child.” “That was Prince Xizor,” I stutter. Aola usually has bright pinkish skin. Now it looks somewhat paler. As a Twilek woman she has heard about him. “Are you sure?” “The Force is my witness,” I get out. The public transporter honks at us. The passengers inside look cross with me. “Please join us!” calls the somewhat desperate pilot. “We are running behind schedule.” Aola and I exchange a quick look of concern. Public transporters never wait for any individual. I have a bad feeling about this. ******************************************************************** (To be continued!) * For this update I used a song by Damien Rice: "9 crimes". Due to watching "Interstellar" with my husband the poem "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light" by Dylan Thomas also clung to my head.