Title: To Walk the Higher RoadAuthor: JediKarenGenre: DarmaSummary: Anakin was betrayed and nearly killed by the Dark Lord. Yet he escaped barely with his life and nursed back to health by an old woman who doesn't seem to know his dark and great past. He struggles with his hate and the betrayal of everyone he has ever known as the old woman teaches him how to live again and turns Anakin back to the lightside.Disclaimer: George Lucas was awesome to start the idea for this story with his ideas, but I see a different path. Thanks GL. I respect your legal rights.Note: I do not like AU stories usually and I have never written one. But this is a story that I think will be something like Healing Hearts. Oh and I hate grammar and grammar hates me.To Walk the Higher RoadChapter 1 They say love could make or break a man. And Anakin was broken. He was so broken he felt there was no light in this dark cold unforgiving hell he could not see. He thought he was dead. It was the only possibility that made sense. He could not see or feel or touch. The Force was beyond him. He could not feel the agony his body was in, or at least should have been in. He could not say where or even when he was, but it didn’t matter. Nothing matter. His entire world, his purpose to exist was gone. There was nothing more for Anakin Skywalker. In this void he could still remember the events, the fall of his power, of his love, of his respect. He had lost it all. His short lived marriage died at the hands of the Jedi who betrayed him. So he betrayed them and killed them. He swore his soul to the new Empire, the one who could see into the darkness. The one who could gather all that was wrong in the world and set the clear path. Anakin did not need the light to live. He did not need the weak so called holy beings who could not see they were so blind. Perhaps when you step into the world of darkness you should watch your step. You never know what you might trip over. That is what Anakin realized. He had underestimated his lord and now he had fallen. His sith master had ordered him to be killed because he was good enough. He was tainted by love, by light, by the Jedi, by his wife. Her death was the example of how twisted light was. He had gotten away, barely by the power of the Force and sheer will to exist. He would not have one more person destroy him again. So he lived until even the Force could not afford his efforts. Everything had turned its back on him and he was with nothing. An eon of time went by. He had decided there was no such thing as time here in this nothing. There was nothing to mark the passage of anything. No sound, no voice, no breeze. There was no sun or light. He couldn’t even say it was dark for that would assume there was light. And he knew of no light. And there it was light. At least it felt like light. There was a sensation, a feeling he could not explain, but he knew without a doubt he was not dead. There was someone there who touched him. Mere touch overwhelmed him. It brought him an idea that was equally shocking. He was not alone. It was wonderful. He had found life. A joy so strong he couldn’t kill it. “Wake up” Sound. He could hear, no he could hear through the Force. Someone had telepathically connected and spoke to him. But where was the Force? He could not feel it like he once did. “Open your eyes and join the living!” Open his eyes? “Yes. Open them and see you are not dead.” So he did so and experienced so pain he could not stand the light. Needles that put together his second arm that Obi Wan, his old Jedi master, had chopped off hurt less. The voice’s hand squeezed his shoulder and he became aware of his body. “I know it hurts, but you have to see.” That annoying voice would not give up on him. That voice did not understand the pain of the light. He opened his eyes and nearly squeezed them shut. The light was blazing, burning his entire being, but he kept them open. Slowly he was able to tolerate it. Then he realized it was sunlight that burned him so. A sun so far away could do more pain that if he was standing next to it. He swore his word to the darkside. “That’s better. And you have such pretty eyes. What a shame you have been out for two weeks.” His eyes followed the voice to a woman. She was older. Not to the point of crippled. Not young. She was experienced with the tiredness of life. Greying hair that was short and vaguely curly. Skin brown, aged, and wrinkled, yet smooth and clean. Eyes that spoke of personal gains and losses so great that they could not be put into words. And her spirit soared in her body. He could not tell if there was a halo around her body or was the outline of light that beamed behind her. Hands flexible as she gripped his shoulders and then he looked down and could not breathe. He had no legs. He knew that he had no arms. His master laminated over that lost for all of five minutes before giving Anakin his first task: to seek order on one of the worst of the rebellious senate groups. He killed 50 and mourned over his arm rather than his victims. Now that master that taken his legs. He was half machine. He was a monster. He wasn’t human. He wasn’t alive. “It was the only way I could keep you alive.” The old woman offered. Her voice sad, but also mild. She did not understand. She could not understand. And he hated her right then. “You should have killed me!” He hoarsely growled. The remark was followed with a coughing fit brought by the dryness of his throat. He kept coughing, fighting to breathe. He was nearly on the edge of passing out when she forced water down his throat. The coughing stopped. His panic calmed down. But his anger didn’t. “I could of, but I didn’t. You’ll need to start drinking water if you don’t want to pass out. Small sips. In a few days we should get you standing and in a few more days I think you can learn to walk.” He couldn’t believe her. He was the Sith lord’s apprentice. He was the Chosen One. He had all the power of the universe and she was ordering him like a parent to a sick child? “You fool! You have no right, no power to order me. You should have left me to die if you knew who I was!” She looked at him for a moment and then sighed, shaking her head. “I had the power of your life in my hands young man and I chose to not add to the death in this galaxy. You are in no shape to make demands. I broke your fever two days ago and if you don’t rest and drink I’ll have to do it again.” There she went again. Parenting him like he was weak. Like he was nothing. All his life he was someone to watch. He had power. He had been loved, fear, respected. And she did none of this. She only cared if he lived for the sake of convinces. She was the nothing. “Finish the glass. I’ll be back with another in an hour if you are not asleep.” And with that she left the small room he was in. Anger filled him. He felt the rage run through his blood. His mind focused on hate. She would die. He took the glass and broke it with the power of a mechanical hand. But then, despite his anger at her, he felt the exhaustion. It hit him like a wave. He couldn’t keep the energy going for the anger and was forced into being tired. He hated his body, what was left of it. He hated the metal legs she had given him. He hated the lack of toes and feet. He hated how even the Force evaded him. And he hated the sleep that over took him. Anakin hated the love that kept him alive.