Title: Fear Author: AngelQueen Timeframe: ESB Characters: Vader, a little Palpatine Genre: angst, introspection Keywords: Vader, fear Summary: 'The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.' Notes: It's rather strange, really. I sat down to write a Sabé/Obi story, and this pops into my head instead. DV decided to speak. Either that, or I'm really mixed up! The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi. He fears him. My master fears the son of the Chosen One. As I reflect on that conversation, I cannot help but be amused. My master did not flinch when he faced four of the greatest swordsmen of the Jedi Order, or even when the Chosen One himself was in the perfect position to strike him down. But he fears the boy. Why? The answer is complex, and yet so simple all the same. The Chosen One is no more, having buckled beneath the weight of his own weaknesses and failures. The prophecy that so many once clung to is forgotten by all but a few. With the Chosen One gone, it goes unfulfilled. However, the blood of the Chosen One still remains, carrying the seeds of completion. And so, my master fears. Strangely, I do not. I think of the son of Skywalker and his wife and I feel exhilarated. The boy has already demonstrated that he has at least a fraction of his father's power. My power. If he has even the slightest bit of his mother's strength, he will - with proper guidance and training - be unstoppable. Rulers will kneel before him; the masses will revere and venerate him, as their predecessors did his parents before him. This is what my master truly fears. It is ironic that he should fear her legacy more than that of Skywalker's. My master fears she who put him into power in the first place more than the one who sealed his place in the government. He fears the shadow of Padmé Amidala, even if he chooses to hide behind concerns over the boy's showing of Jedi tendencies. I do not fear. And because I do not fear, I shall claim and mold that which the Force has chosen to place on my path. The Sith creed has always been that there should only be two at any given time, the master and the apprentice. The line continues when the apprentice slays his master, and then takes on an apprentice of his own. My apprentice has been found at last, born of a union forbidden by all in its time. Soon, my master's time will come, and he shall be replaced by those who represent the future. Perhaps he fears this as well. For all of his words to the Chosen One about Darth Plagueis and his ability to cheat death, my master has never yet been able to reproduce this talent. Death still looms before him like a cunning beast. Silent, watching. Waiting for the right moment. Death inspires no fear in me. Another irony. The Chosen One's chief terror was death. His death, and the death of his wife, a massive phobia brought upon by the vicious end his mother suffered. I hover close to death each day, and have done so for more than two decades. After all that I suffered to come to this point, death would be a blessing. A release. But I do not desire to die just yet. The son of Skywalker and Amidala still roams the galaxy, the only evidence remaining that they ever existed. That is, besides myself. The two of us carry shadows of a forgotten age. And with that and the power we both possess, we can reshape the galaxy into something great. My master fears the boy because he knows what he and I can do together. Ours is a bond that cannot be broken, no matter what action he takes. But I do not fear. I will find the son of Skywalker and he will not become a Jedi. The Jedi failed many years ago. Their mistakes will be rectified and wiped off the slate. Eventually. My master knows and fears this. Fear shall be his undoing.