Title: “Book 4: Red in tooth and claw” Time frame: The framework of the story is set during the Clone Wars, but the story itself is played out long before even the Old Republic existed. Genre: drama Summary: Act 1 = Shmi Skywalker gets an unusual visitor telling her a story in the last hours of her life. Later she dies in his arms. Act 2 = Leia Organa has a stranger talking to her during her torture session on-board the 1st Death Star. At some point she passes out on him and with that also on the masked person who tortures her personally: Darth Vader. Act 3 = A young woman named Rey dies but is brought back to life by no other than Ben Solo. Author: AzureAngel2 Beta-editor: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Muse & co-editor: @DarthUncle Special inspiration for a re-load: As I already said elsewhere: I was tempted to re-post my fanfic even before watching the movie “The Force awakens”. Back then, Nyota & @Kahara embraced that idea. But, as usual, real life things & some stuff made me postpone my idea. Then I saw Kylo Ren in his rage. That raised old questions in me again: Are hate & anger a Skywalker family inheritance? Does the dark side of the Force really push somebody away from beloved ones? Or is it more about ones own choices? Pondering on that, I tweaked some of the characters, changed titles and I altered slight bits of my original plot. I also asked some of the most brilliant minds of the fanfic thread for help. And so I re-wrote "Serpent-spawn" into "Dark adapted eyes" (Isabeau´s story). "Wolf whelp" became "The Cauldron born" (Sionnach´s story). And "Cat litter" was made into "If there be light, then there is darkness" (Grianan´s story). Now, the original "Human heritage" (Lucien´s story) will be this one here. With slight chances, as mentioned. Disclaimer: SW is owned by Walt Disney, George Lucas and Lucas Lt.!!! Notes: Wookiepedia articles helped with research and inspiration. Thanks for all the hard work by all the different authors who enrich the internet with their knowledge. Please be aware that this story contains scenes of violence and self-harm, and references to abuse and trauma recovery! Further reader warning: Please excuse my weird English! I am German. English is only my Second language! Act 1/ Prologue: Shmi Skywalker was in agonizing pain. Sweat trickled over her weary features. She convulsed in her crude bonds over and over again. Her back was an open mess of flesh and blood. Her abductors had almost severed the spinal cord with their whip. When I was still alive, I used to know everything related to the art of pain. I felt its flaming embrace very early in life. It should have hardened me so the art tells, but instead it had made me softer. Grianán knew that; as my true soul mate she always knew. Together we formed a so-called "dyad" in the Force. Perhaps this is why I was more cruel to her than I was with anybody else. When I look back, aeons later, I can truly tell that love is a blessing. It is the only human heritage that is not loaded with negative energy. Unless one twists it and allows it to be a curse. Something self-destructive. I float closer to Shmi Skywalker, slowly so as not to startle her. She can feel me in the Force and lifts her chin in surprise. “Whoareyou?” she mutters softly between her swollen lips. They are encrusted with blood and vomit. “A friend,” I state and cup her cheeks in a tender gesture. “I would like to spend some time with you while we both wait for Anakin to rescue you.” The mentioning of her son’s name enlightens the flame of hope in her hollow eyes. “Ani?” she breathes. I nod encouragingly. “He will come for you.” We both know that she is dying; nothing in the universe can stop that now. Not even me. I am but a ghost of the past. My healing powers are long gone. I can only help those of my blood line make the passage into the Force vortex. While not every Skywalker is able to join us, this one will. And she will be a great asset. As for Anakin, he needs to make his own choices, just as I did in life. The future is always in motion, ready for each being’s ultimate decision. It is up to only them to choose the light or the dark. The Force itself has no sides, even though I ask myself whether it has favourites. Such as Nagina, an unofficial offspring of the House Palpatine. And this is why we are all here tonight. Because of Sheev and his choices. Concerning life and death. And the usage of the Force. There will be an awakening. And it will be paid with a blood sacrifice, the oldest form of service throughout the universe. Outside the tent, the Tusken tribe that abducted Shmi Skywalker from her husband’s farm goes about their nightly errands. From their point of view, they committed no crime. The ritual of claw and teeth is ancient. Heulwen once brought it to Tatooine while abducting my youngest daughter, Dawn. The memory makes me shudder, but not for long. My gentle companion here will not see another morning. But I will lend her some of my strength to set her eyes on her precious son for one last time. The child that was conceived without a father. A true off-spring of the Force. “May I tell you a story?” I ask Shmi. “It will help you think of something other than the pain.” A weak smile appears on her lovely face.