Legends of the Force, title of Book 3: “If there be light, then there is darkness” Genre: Drama Rating: PG Note: Please be aware that this story contains scenes of violence and self-harm, and references to abuse and trauma recovery! Author: AzureAngel2 Muse: @DarthUncle Editor: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Special inspiration for a re-load: I gave the fate of my main character a different fate than in the original story. The nature of human sacrifice in some old Earth religions did keep me very busy. And GL made those story echo into his SW universe. Time frame: The prologue and epilogue happen shortly after Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo has captured Rey (34 ABY). The main story takes place centuries before there is even an Old Republic. Summary: Instead of being busy with his special guest, a young woman from Jakku, the Master of the knights of Ren has to listen to an unknown Force ghost who does not shut up about the story of her life that happened ages ago. Disclaimer: SW is owned by Walt Disney, George Lucas and Lucas Lt.!!! Sources: “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, a movie by J.J. Abrams & the Walt Disney Company (2015) Wookiepedia - the Star Wars Wiki Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe Sources of Chapter 1: the website “The Wiktionary Appendix: List of Latin phrases” Endless hours of Catholic mass services and Latin lessons at grammar school A Wiccan chant Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe Prologue: Life, and family matters in particular, never had been easy for Kylo Ren, master of the knights of Ren. Both of his parents were living legends: Leia Organa and Han Solo. The rebel princess and the smuggler. Together those two rather opposite characters had fought in countless battles, but also with one another. When Kylo Ren had been born as Ben Solo, a weak, pathetic boy, his parents had not always been able to be there for him. There had been plenty of instability, frustration and hardship. And an uncle, Luke Skywalker the last of the Jedi Knight, who travelled the galaxy with an imbecile called Lor San Tekka. Both men busied themselves searching and gathering long lost Jedi artefacts. There was no time for him, for real bonding. His family had been like distant stars, which he could admire in all their shining beauty and glory from a distance. It had been much easier for him to be with Chewie, a giant Wookie, who had served as a well meaning nanny now and again. The famous co-pilot of his father had taken calls from concerned teachers, had faced school directors and participated in parental evenings. But actually, his strongest and deepest bond had been the one with R2D2. When his uncle went away with the astromec unit, Kylo Ren had been devastated. Not only had he been stuck with golden rod C3PO, a chatty protocol droid who would always tell him the odds of his mischief. It was worse. He had no one left in the universe who truly cared for him. But the dark side had been merciful. He had found his substitute for love by sheer accident. One fine day, about twenty-five years after the historical battle of Endor, Lady Carise Sindian had dropped the bomb in the Galactic Senate. There was no blood connection to the Organa family at all. His true grandfather was Anakin Skywalker, the former self of Darth Vader. There are no words to describe the betrayal Kylo Ren had felt back then. Nor for the joy that echoed through his lonely soul. There was a belonging, even though his grandfather had died the day the Emperor fell. Not much later Supreme Leader Snoke had come into his life, enriching it in ways that he never had thought to be possible. Now all Kylo Ren had learned to appreciate was threatened by the young, unconscious woman he had strapped into an interrogation chair. A scavenger from Jakku. Once he had found out the exact location of his uncle, who was in hiding since the newly founded Jedi Order had been destroyed, he would need to eliminate her. A pity really. He reached out with one of his gloved hands. Suddenly, a blue figure, coming out of nowhere, stepped in front of him. It was a woman, as gently built as his prisoner. She held herself with royal air. Her lovely face was framed by blond curls. “Ben,” she pleaded with tears in her grey eyes. “That person is dead,” he snarled at the Force ghost. “Do not listen to Snoke, but to your own heart. You are a good person. Like your grandfather was.” Whoever this woman was, she had no idea about his Grandfather. It was easy coming back as a Force ghost and holding serene lectures. “The light side and the dark side belong together. Like the two sides of a coin. One can not exist without the other. They are opposing, true, but also complementary. The Jedi and the Sith were wrong. It is not about pushing back one aspect of the Force but accepting life’s contrasts. We all should learn to see the good, and the bad, in everything. That is the true meaning of the Force. The reason for its existence. Actually the reason why you were born, Ben.” Stubbornly, Kylo Ren turned his head away from the apparition, not listening to her any longer. The woman was unnervingly persisted though. Her voice still sounded through his throbbing head. “Listen. Don't listen to ME, just listen!” And then, simple as that, she told him the story of her life. A life that had taken place many aeons before. Chapter 1: I am born dead. It is a matter of the heart. In fact it is broken before it all begins. My mother, god queen Arcānā Tamisra Tjiehenet, cries for me. Lifelessly, my body lies in her arms, while my cheerful spirit remains in the Force vortex. I like it here. It is a place of great beauty, wisdom and peace. Glittering mist is everywhere. Time and space have no meaning. Serenity reigns. But Mother is strong in the Force and knows how to manipulate it for her own goals. The ancestors taught her a long time ago. She listened too long and too much. It corrupted her at the core of her being. “Tu sei una stella...la mia stella. Tu sei un dono del cielo,” I hear Mother whisper hoarsely. You are a star... my star. You are a gift from the Heavens. Her hands turn into claws before she taps into the power of the dark side. Raw Force energy courses straight into my chest. Against my own will, the muscles of my heart starts working again. And I, my mother’s seventh daughter, am reborn into darkness, blood and dirt. This is wrong. I belong to the Force vortex. I am light. I need to go back. But my whimpering is ignored. Mother presses me against her naked chest. Her kisses rain down on my head. “Come sei bella!” she assures me under her breath. How beautiful you are! I feel how her body convulses. She is still giving birth. Not much later a shrill, piercing scream announces the birth of another sibling of mine. Mother does not care. She has what she wants: me. “Grianán,” she states to somebody I cannot see, but feel. “Grianán,” a chorus of women repeats after her. Mother gets on her feet, reaches out of the stone hollow. Tenderly, she plucks me away from her chest. I am received by three other women. Each of them touches me and breathes a kiss against my brow. Blessings are murmured. “Pax et lux,” one woman hums. Peace and light. “Sola gratia,” another one states. By grace alone. “Lumen hilare,” a third cheers. Hail Gladdening Light. I do not feel so special. Tired, I look ahead of me as I am carried through the semi-darkness. It is not Mother who holds me close to her heart. Automatically, I snuggle closer to the stranger, reach out in the Force. Her thoughts are warm and full of humour. But it is actually her mere touch that brings forth a lot of impressions. I am in the loving embrace of a mambo, a guardian of the Living Dead. This one here is called Clementia. She is young mother and has a daughter just a week older than me. The child is named Mora. I am pleased, yet confused about the endless stream of impressions that I. The gift of touch seems to be my special Force gift. I can see the past embedded in the presence. My guardian strokes over my back in order to calm me, sings a chant of our people. “The earth, the air, the fire, the water Return, return, return, return, return” Suddenly, I am bathed in light. First it hurts my eyes and I try to blink it away, but then I welcome its embrace. It is familiar. I have seen it before. It was in the Force vortex. Longingly, I reach out for it. I wish I could press it against me, hold on to it. But I cannot touch those fingers of bright light that stroke my skin. That upsets me, but not for long. Countless Force presences brush against my mind. “Ecce, Principessa Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet!” Clementia booms in the clerical language of the Holy Isle. Behold, Principessa Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet! Then thousands of voices start cheering. “Sancta Simplicitas!” they shout. Holy innocence! I am startled about so much noise, but there are no evil thoughts around me. Just acceptance and love. So I bear the reverence, the cheers. Someone reaches out in the Force and tucks at my conscience, gentle, but persistent. It is a little girl. She pokes her way through the lines of grown-ups with determined elbows. Her blond hair is braided. There are many scars on her naked chest, but she still has the sweetest face imaginable. Her eyes have a dark green shade. So dark that they almost seem black. “Clementia,” she sulks more than she begs. The mambo laughs and lowers me down to the girl. “Mi chiamo Aranea. É un piacere conoscerti, mio bellissimo principessa,” the girl says to me as she carefully presses her brow against mine. My name is Aranea. Nice to meet you, my beautiful princess. I do not shriek back when Aranea strokes one of my cheeks. Her touch is pleasant and feather light. I give her my most radiant smile, even though I detect that there is much pain and suffering in her life. Somebody close to her, a family member, is very harsh with her. That person has fallen to the dark side of the Force. Like my own mother has. I would like to make a difference for Aranea in the future. Before I entered this word, the Force vortex bestowed me with another unusual gift. I can bring light into the darkest night of every soul. Love is the only answer. ******************************************************************** Aranea bounds after us while the mambo walks me through the Mother Jungle. I allow it to surround me and to penetrate me. Like the Force vortex once did. Its echoes are still inside me, I know they will always be. I am more than crude matter. A soft rain begins to conquer the landscape around us. It tickles nicely on my skin. The royal bedchamber lies high on top of a great pyramid. Delicate and graceful flowers frame the countless stone steps. My entire skin prickles. This is a place of power; a bridge between the Living Force and the Unifying Force. Mothers bed is positioned where the four elements met with the four cardinal points. It is a large hammock in which my twin siblings already lie. I can feel them all in there. It is comforting when they reach out for me in the Force. They recognise me as kin. Somebody else is waiting for me, too. My mouth waters as I am passed on me to a naked chest. “Ciao, bella!” Mother speaks aloud to me instead of using telepathy. She knows how much I enjoy the vibration of her chest. How excited I am about sounds. Hello, beauty! Greedily, I find the source of her milk. I relish every gulp that I take. “I need a trustworthy and lovable person around, Clementia.” Mother addresses my guardian without hesitation. “I wonder if you could be that person. The Ancestors can take care of themselves for a while.” “Certainly, regina devina!” exclaims the snake priestess with joy. I see Mother smile. It lights up her entire body. “You can also bring your daughter Mora around. Oh, and that insolent girl. Noctura’s grandchild.” “I am already here,” proclaims Aranea, her voice sharp. “Do not pretend that you have not felt me all along.” “The Force bends around you in a funny way.” There is the hint of a giggle in Mother’s voice. “Perhaps it does. But it does even stranger things around you.” Aranea puts her hands on her hips. “Are you, by any chance, a Darksider?” Mother eyes the girl suspiciously. “What exactly is a Darksider for you?” “Folk like You, big queen.” “Like me?” Mother asks. Her voice trembles like the underground lair did when I was revived from death. Aranea nods eagerly. “Darksiders use the Force to make everybody miserable.” “What do you mean by miserable?” Mother's eyes turn into slits. “I do not buy that crap about the glory of the dark side. It only makes me cry when grandmother acts like a crazy person. You grown-ups can be so full of it that you forget a lot.” “Such as?” inquires Mother with a creamy undertone that makes me uncomfortable. “That Force lightening can hurt a lot. Not only on the outside.” Aranea puts a hand on her chest, right where her heart is. “Mostly in here.” “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” There is old pain inside Mother, unspeakable losses. But she closes herself to my innocent investigation. Instead, she turns to the mambo again. “Clementia, it will do both Mora and Aranea good to have the company of other children. An Ophidea child should not grow up on its own. Our strength is in numbers. It always was.” While she and my guardian engage themselves in a longer conversation, I keep on sucking milk. In the meantime Aranea makes herself comfortable on a rug and stares out into the rain forest. I can feel a deep relief settling down in the girl. “Home, sweet home,” she mumbles. I feel happy for her. It is always good to have a sense of belonging. ******************************************************************** Later on, a group of children enthusiastically storms into the bedchamber. I have felt their Force presences before. They are my elder siblings: Adamah, Èleos, Caelestris, Sereno, Aréte and Phosphoros. Their shiny, happy faces fill my blurry view. I get patted and stroked by many hands. All of them want to press their brows against mine as it is the custom on the Holy Isle. In the late evening hours, our father – Senator Agathos Aletheia – joins us. “Grianán, hárika!” he greets me in the language of his home world Amnion. Grianán, pleased to meet you! It feels good to be kissed by his bearded face. There is so much kindness in him. His light balances the darkness of Mother. He is her conscience, her measurement. I bury my face against Father’s throat. There is enough love and compassion in this family left to work with. We are not lost yet. I will do what I can to make sure it stays this way. “Hello,” wonders Father. “What have we here?” Aranea walks up to him, fearless and proud. “Just a friend of Grianán.” He kneels to be at eye-level with her. “Then I bid you also welcome, young mistress.” “I am no mistress. Just Aranea.” There is a cute blush on her cheeks. “Pleased to meet you... just Aranea.” He extends his hand to her and she takes it gingerly. ******************************************************************** As I wake up the next morning I notice that Mother is not alone. Somebody is with her. The Force signature is as clear as kyper crystal. It is Grandfather Narthex. My twin siblings sleep on, not interested what is going on outside the bed nest. I sense though that this meeting is important. So I lie still and listen in. “Arcānā, there has been an awakening,” Grandfather gives to consider. His voice is languid, yet sonorous. “Do not fool me! You used old forbidden magic to bring one of the children back to life.” “You know nothing of the Force, Father!” “Eight years around you have been an eye opener.” “Dad, I always hated your capacity to fell me with a look. But please spare me your ineffable and cynical wit.” “What have you done to achieve Grianán’s return from the death?” “Just let him come!” Mother is facing Grandfather, her back now turned to the bed nest. “I will destroy the son of the sky walker if he wants to distinguish this precious light.” “I am actually more concerned about his half-sister Mórag.” “Do not start that old discussion again.” I squirm around in the nidulus – bed nest – and make endearing noises. Grandfather picks me up. Kisses rain upon my skin and I giggle happily. They should not fight like this. I need to find ways to bring peace into their hearts. ******************************************************************** The next day I find out that I have a fairy godmother, a wicked one. Without announcement she shows up in front of the nidulus, dressed in dark colours. Her presence is so cold as ice. It hurts my soul. “I felt you coming, my mistress!” Mother does not bother to get up, snuggles closer to us. My fairy godmother does not bother to lift the large hood off her head. Her white face stays hidden in semi-darkness. “You created a new zombie! Against your promise to me.” “Grianán is not a zombie.” Mother is quickly on her feet. “Let me decide that, my student.” Invisible claws jerk me out of the bed nest, while Mother wails like some animal. I fly towards her and stop mid-air. “Stop that bantha poodoo!” a small, but determined voice calls out. My fairy godmother raises an extremely thin eyebrow at Aranea. Her almond eyes are slits. “Who are you, child?” “Your greatest nightmare, Elf! Give me that baby right now! This is my princess, my fairytale. Look for your own!” Ugly cackling fills the royal bedchamber. “Your thread is sweet, but pointless. Now get out of my way!” Shivering, my friend steps forth from behind her column. She holds her arms outstretched in front of her, her fingers stapled into one another. Something long and slender is stuck between her palms. It pulses in a strange, blue light. “A kyper crystal,” my fairy godmother hisses. “Where did you get that?” “God queen Padmé gave it to me down in the Crypts.” Aranea licks her lips nervously. “She sends her greetings to her murderess.” “Four hundred years and my great-aunt is still angry with me. Imagine that!” My fairy godmother gives my friend a ghastly smile. “You would not dare attacking the daughter of a Celestrial!” A large plasma beam, looking somewhat like a blade, shoots out of the crystal. “Life taught me self-defence at an early age.” “Early age? You are not even seven yet.” Aranea holds her chin up high, all traces of nervousness gone. “I might not survive our fight, but before I am down, I will have hurt you badly.” “I have no time for this non-sense.” My fairy godmother walks towards me and plugs me out of the air like a ripe fruit. “One day I will come for this little atrociousness again. And then I will not accept no for an answer. She will be mine. Just like her mother.” ******************************************************************** There is a lot of discussion during the next hours. Grandfather and Father are there, but also Clementia and a woman, that I do not know. In-between she introduces herself to me. “Hi, little worm,” she grins as she takes me into her muscular arms. “I am Misera, an old friend of your Grandfather. At times I was even the decoy of your Grandmother. Unfortunately, I cannot be yours. Old Mórag would never buy that trick.” Even though Misera smiles a lot, she cannot distract me from the bad feelings that are displayed in the bedchamber: fear, anger and all the other agents of the dark side. There is a sudden outburst of fighting outside. I can feel Aranea’s Force presence burning bright like a sun. She is distressed and angry, but not hurt. “Damn that girl!” curses Misera. “She is like a stalker. This was supposed to be a secret meeting without her.” “Ask her to join your course and she will be the best ally you can imagine!” Grandfather chuckles. “Aranea is too young for the armed forces.” “Her eyes tell me a different story. She is an old soul. Like my granddaughter here.” Flustered, Mother joins us. “Why travel to Sapuruh? What possible answer do you and my stupid husband hope to find there?” With a sigh Grandfather hands me over to her. “Agathos is more clever than you give him credit for. It is not an easy decision leaving you here on your own so shortly after the birth of the septulet, but...” “Sextuplets,” Mother cuts in aggressively. I can see that Grandfather exchanges an intense glance with Father. Their discomfort is palpable for me. It is about something, that they keep in their jungle bungalow. A glass case. Curiously, I let my mind wander about. Distance becomes secondary. I need to know what they store in that case. In the Force I reach out, but only receive silence. But I am sure that something alive is in here. Somebody who has a consciousness like me. ******************************************************************** The next day, I whine so much, that Grandfather decides to have a walk with me. He carries me through the Holy Isle. We meet a lot of nice people, who want to touch me. Soon I am blessed with kisses. After a while we end up at the place, where I desperately wanted to be. “Agi, it is me, Narthex!” Grandfather calls out, when he opens the unlocked front door. Somewhere in the back of the building Father answers. “We are your bedchamber.” Grandfather catches my gaze and says to me, “Let us go see Aconite, your shunned brother!” A brother. I have another twin sibling. Soon, I hear the noises of the foreign machines that help my twin brother to breathe. They are my only indication that he is in this room. Whatever gifts Aconite originally called his own had been burned out of his body. He might as well be dead to the universe. I am very sad for him. Father´s despair is difficult to encounter. It encloses around me like the mighty waves of his birth planet Amnion. He feels like a drowning man. I have no clue how to block his emotions out. “We need medical staff from Amnion,” concludes Grandfather matter-of-fact. His speech is slow, strained by the same tiredness that wears out Father. “On the long term those twelve hour shifts will kill us.” “Why did she do it?” wonders Father, overwhelmed by tears. “Why can´t she love him?” I become slightly squeezed between the two of them when they hug. The close physical contact does me good though. It renews my inner strength. Then I become more aware of the noises of the foreign machines that help my twin brother to breathe. “To try to figure out Arcānā and her motives is like dancing on the edge of madness,” Grandfather speaks through clenched teeth. While they engage in a long conversation about Mother´s affliction with the dark side, I can continue staring at my twin brother. I have not asked anybody to suck out his life force on my behalf, and personally feeling guilty for it does not help his situation. I have to be more active. I can give him back what had been taken. Not entirely, but it is better than nothing. I close my eyes. Carefully, I take some of the grace that was given to me by the Force vortex, multiply it as much as I can, and pass it on to Aconite. His eyes snap open. Aconite recognizes me immediately. In the womb of our mother, we have been dormant together. “Grianán!” Father is besides himself with joy. “It was you, was it not?” I try to keep my face blank, but my eyes can not lie. “What a blessing it is to have you in the family, child!” Grandfather exclaims, new hope radiating from him. My brother does not think so. He is full of hatred. Right now I can not do anything against that. I hope that he will understand my choice in time.