Title: My Awakening Author: darth_treyvah Characters: Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, Rey. Summary: Kylo Ren finally achieves his destiny. It's so much clearer now. The Knights of Ren, my Knights, stand around your sanctum. They neither helped, nor did they interfere in what was ultimately the inevitable. My lightsaber is a raging torrent, a cross of crimson-orange, pulsating through the fragments of what your body used to be. It's as though the cracks in its synthetic crystal have widened to the point of revealing the abyss which it hid inside: the seamless darkness and its burning heart spreading out and engulfing everything in sweet, quiet nothingness. I have finally unlocked that power: the power that we both sought. The difference, of course, is that you sought it vicariously. And I have gained it directly. The Force is now a crystalline storm of light and shadows. From the void comes a shifting kaleidoscope of possibilities: a perfect clarity. It was different before, when I was so much more confused. I had so many doubts. Back then, much was expected of me: or so I thought. I was the next generation. I was the son of a prominent stateswoman and galactic legend: both of whom became Generals. But I was more than just the child of the people that formed the New Republic. I was the nephew of the last Jedi: the person who was supposed to become the first Jedi Master in two decades. My mother had that power too, but she was afraid of it: terrified of what it could signify. Yes, you know as well as I do that much was expected of me. And I was scrutinized, and tested. My mother never let me forget the dangers of the dark side. Whenever I was angry, or sullen, or I questioned too far she had two words for me. Just two. It was worse than my father. It was as I told her back at Starkiller Base. My mother and father fought constantly. They grew apart in their duties. He would drink. And while he never hit me or my mother, he could be mean. And when he wasn't mean, he was absent. I wasn't sure, then, what hurt worse. At least when he was sober and present he would be the nicest man ever: spoiling me and taking me out to places I shouldn't have been as a child. He was afraid of what I could do, and even now I can't really blame him for it. I inherited his and my mother's tempers, along with the maternal power to do something with it. But he tried. He honestly tried. I think we stopped spending quality time together the day we were at that theatre and he left, promising to come back in just a minute. I waited two hours in that theatre before an irate Chewbacca came sent by my even more furious mother. My father never lived that one down. But my mother was worse. She was absent as well, but she always tried to keep tabs on me. She attempted to give me the best education, and made sure I knew about all her moral causes. She was kind and passionate, but she never let me forget. She never let me forget Alderaan, or the Bothans that died to stop the second Death Star, or all manner of atrocities the Empire inflicted on the galaxy. Or him. You taught me a lot about him. It was those two words of my grandfather's chosen name, when he had been reborn, that she would use to shut me down even when I went a little out of line. That name was a mark of shame and guilt. It was who I could become if I didn't tow the line. My ancestor was the bogeyman that snatched away small children that didn't behave. At least my father, in one of his more coherent drunken rages, came out and said that I had "too much Vader in me." My mother would just use or think of his example. Somehow, then, it hurt a lot more. It was almost a relief when they sent me to be trained by my uncle: at first. Maybe I wouldn't be abandoned or controlled this time around. He'd always seemed to be kind, if not somewhat distant. But I was angry and I missed my parents. Luke Skywalker was a good and patient teacher, but he wasn't my parents. Whenever he did talk about my grandfather, he always made sure to mention -- to all of us in the class -- that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker had been two entirely different people, and that one consumed the other ... until he had the strength to free himself. I wasn't sure why, but those words just felt so ... hollow. My uncle never treated me differently from my classmates, then, but I always felt as though those lessons were specifically tailored for me to hear: as the heir to the Skywalker bloodline. But when I trained as a Jedi, I learned a lot more before I met you. I saw that the New Republic wasn't perfect. There were riots and civil disorders on various worlds. Sometimes a star system would erupt into civil war and the Senate either delayed, or didn't do anything about it. I knew my parents had been involved in stopping these conflicts, but they were like small brush fires in a forest of dry kindling: for every flame they put out, several more would take their place. You would have thought they'd have learned from their days in the Rebellion. And our class had the power to stop this. We had the strength to go out and pacify these trouble spots. But we were never ready. Ever. My uncle claimed we still had much to learn and he told me to be mindful of my anger. And I was an angry child. I can't deny that now. I had reason to be. And I knew from our lessons that we would be beholden to the Senate: this body that dithered around and let another status quo rot and patches of chaos rip through the weakening fabric of the Galaxy. I wondered if this was what my grandfather had gotten tired of dealing with. I wondered if this was why he acted. Finally, one day I had enough. I left. I traveled to the Unknown Regions and met you. You challenged my way of thinking. And as you introduced me to the First Order and the Imperial Archives I began to see a whole other picture. Between your stories and what I researched, I began to see the truth. My grandfather had been born a child slave on a world that the Republic never bothered to claim from the Hutts. He was forced to leave his mother behind by the Jedi Knights. They were afraid of his potential. They grudgingly accepted him into their ranks for it and heaped all the responsibilities of a monastic life of duty, and the heavy mantle of the Chosen One. He couldn't even be himself. He had to live a secret life with my grandmother as he fought and bled by a thousand cuts in the Clone Wars. Then he sacrificed everything to avert a vision of her death: only to lose everything else. My grandfather gave his family, his friends, his body, and his soul to the true power of the Force: until all that was left was a duty to the highest ideals for which he was born. Order and balance. He failed. I know that now. But Darth Vader helped destroy those that maintained the rot in the galaxy. He assisted in removing a weak and corrupt government from power, and ending a conflict that a fallible galaxy had been headed towards regardless of the Sith or the dark side. Even when his old Master had been sent to kill him, and left him for dead: broken and burning he persisted in what he could to achieve his destiny. He made the hard decisions. And he began the cycle. He destroyed the Jedi and the Sith. He helped create the first Galactic Empire. My family had downplayed all of this, seeing only the arbitrary results of his work and not the overall picture. My own uncle undermined and eroded away his strength with the light. I'd always sought to become as powerful, as great as Darth Vader. But now I understand. Darth Vader had potential, but he failed. He was a frail, broken, sad old man dependent on a mask to survive. His connections betrayed him and kept him from overthrowing his Master sooner. It prevented a true golden age. You made me see where he came from. Where we all came from. At first, I was weak. Despite the bloodline's origins in the Light and Dark, I was just a man. But you showed me the way, Master. You showed me that the light is not a weakness when accompanied by a dragon that continues to eat it like its own tail. It didn't happen right away, but that day you told me what my last test would be -- when I killed my own father -- that was the day I understood a truth. Rey said to me that I was afraid of never becoming as strong as Darth Vader. But now, with my lightsaber in hand, I know the truth. I have become more powerful than Darth Vader ever was. Not even Vader could kill his own blood. And in that moment, I wasn't just the man I named myself, or the boy who was named after my grandfather's attempted killer in the hopes of it appealing to my better nature. I am both of these. I am neither. I am beyond them. There is no certain point of view. There is only one. I have tapped into that place of power now. It's been a few years since that time of awakening, but you have seen, and experienced, the results. The fact is, the point where I realized that I killed my own father, that I could kill him, was the same moment when I understood that I could do anything. I could even destroy you. Yes. I knew it was time. Even if you did not. Oh yes. I could feel you drawing on that power of yours, trying to escape in the ways you had before, but I reached into the Force ... and I stopped you. Even now, looking down on the remnants what you were, scattered into the Force like so much wind, I feel the power growing inside of me. I feel the scars on my face, and the old bowcaster bolt wound in my abdomen repairing themselves, regenerating, using your techniques by my new will .... So thank you, my Master, for teaching me everything you knew. It is now time that the Knights of Ren, that the First Order, be led to their true destiny. And as for you, Rey, wherever you are, I would like to thank you. I'd like to thank you making me question my purpose all those years ago. It was the catalyst of my training and my new perspective. I literally couldn't have done it all without you. You were not the only one that awakened that day. And now, I think I will return the favour. Yes. I see it now. I think it's about time that I finally teach you the ways of the Force.