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Saga The Last Moments of Mace Windu, Jedi Master

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by CaptainPeabody, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. CaptainPeabody

    CaptainPeabody Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Jul 15, 2008
    He had failed.

    The knowledge struck him like a thunderbolt, like a sudden slash of fire across his soul. His arm was a charred stump, but it was nothing to the gaping wound in his mind.
    Despair coursed through his veins like fire, came boiling out of his mouth like vomit. Out of the very depths of his being, he screamed, clutching his severed arm to his chest in shame.

    Below him, the shriveled monstrosity's expression of feigned weakness turned slowly to glee. Its eyes locked with his own, and for a moment both men silently shared the same knowledge:

    He had misjudged the boy. He had failed in his duty to the Republic. It was over.

    And then the pain came.
    It struck his mind like a tidal wave against a sand castle; all his strength, his mental defenses, so carefully built up over so many decades of meditation and training, were crushed into nothingness in moments. He screamed again; but his voice did not register in his own ears. The only thing there was, in all the world, in all the universe, was pain; and he was its slave.
    And then, through the haze of pain, a voice spoke into his ears and his mind, a cruel, cold voice whose very timbre whispered of malice, hatred, a lifetime lived in the service of fear. “Power.” it said, and the demons of his mind rose up in greeting. “Unlimited POWER!” And as the voice rose, so did the pain, swarming over him like a hive of ants, creeping into every orifice of his body, filling him with their sweet, stinging ichor...
    And then, suddenly—
    The pain was gone.
    And Mace Windu, hero of a thousand blood-soaked battlefields, fell silently through the darkness.

    But the darkness was inside him, not without. All his doubt, hatred, anger, fear—controlled, tempered, and forged into a deadly weapon over so many years in the furnace of Vapaad—now burst forth like a river when the dam is broken, rushing over him, filling his eyes and ears and mind, plunging all into darkness and chaos.
    He tried to cry out, to move his arms and his legs, struggling to reassert control over the shadows that moved within him—but neither his body nor his mind responded to his commands now. He was trapped, imprisoned within his own mind, free to do nothing more than watch as everything he was crumbled to ashes before him.
    All his mental defenses—the well-worn battlements, trenches, and keeps which had served him so well in his long, lonely campaign against himself—were now gone; and he, the fearless general who in so many sorties, so many battles, had triumphed over the darkness within, was now imprisoned within that same darkness, bound with the same fetters that had once bound his inner demons. The barbarians were at the gates, but the city guard was in irons. The strong swimmer of many years drowned in his own weakness.
    A part of him, deep down within what remained of his mind, saw the irony, and laughed joylessly. So this was the punishment Lord Sidious had chosen for him, the man who for a moment had defeated him, had made him appear weak. Sidious had seen his darkness, seen the castles of sand which had held that darkness in check, and, with a single motion, swept them all away. Sidious had seen his greatest fear, and made it a reality—he had left him helpless before the only thing Windu had ever really feared: himself. For the man for whom self-control is all, there is no greater punishment than impotence.

    It was utterly, magnificently perfect—just like the Sith Lord's other plan, the one that had delivered the Galaxy and the Jedi Order to him on a silver platter. And he, Windu, had failed to see it—failed to stop it...
    His thoughts collapsed once more into rage, despair, self-pity, fear. His consciousness of himself, of his thoughts, collapsed into dust.
    He remembered nothing; he was nothing.
    All he knew was that he was falling, falling, falling, tumbling head over heels—the wind tugging at his robe, beating upon his skin, his mind. Fear boiling through his veins, he stretched what remained of his will outward in one last, desperate cry for help; but no answer returned to him from the darkness.
    This was all there was, he knew; just he and his darkness, forever falling through the endless void. This was all there had ever been.

    The chaos within his skull raged on, a hideous torrent of meaningless suffering, anger, desire: sound and fury that signified nothing. He tried to scream, a final, futile expression of the horror within; but his voice did not answer his summons. The darkness whispered to him that it never had. His voice, his memory, was an illusion, just like his self; the darkness was all there was, and all there ever would be.
    Now, it cried out to him in cloying tones, begging him to embrace it, that it might cure him of the weak and tiresome illusion of existence. It was the only way.
    He answered its cry immediately, begging it to end his suffering; but his words echoed back meaninglessly within his skull in an endless, taunting chorus, the mocking laughter of the darkness. He was a fool to think his suffering would ever end, could ever end. This was how the Dark Lord had willed it; this was how it should be. He would serve the darkness by his suffering, forever. There was no escape.
    Despair took him, shutting out the cruel laughter; and for an eternity he fell silently through the darkness; until—

    From somewhere deep within the empty chambers of his mind, a fragment of memory swam into view:

    He was young, weak, small. Around him, a great chamber stretched out on every side. The brilliant sunlight shone around him, in brilliant heat.
    He was kneeling—no, standing— in the midst of the chamber, and around him stood a dozen...people, his mind told him, children. They were speaking, chattering away, and their eyes and ears were turned towards themselves and each other, oblivious to the world around them. He alone stood silent, afraid, before the glory of the hall, the splendor of the sun.
    A hush fell over the hall as a massive shadow fell upon them, the shadow of...teacher? Nurse? He loomed over them like a mountain; but the children only smiled, turned to attention. He was speaking now, gesturing broadly and reverently. The words appeared but dimly to Windu's mind; “teacher...Grand Master...respectful...serve...” At last, the teacher turned and walked away, and a pang of regret hit Windu's mind. He did not want the teacher to leave.
    Beside him, he could feel, could hear the children turning about and looking to the side; and he could feel the wave of laughter that rippled out from them. For coming towards them slowly, leaning upon a cane, was a strange, wizened creature, green as the potted plants from their nursery. The creature was tiny, smaller than Windu himself; and the children laughed at the idea, bent double with glee. His mind needed no prompting to bring up the name of this creature: Yoda, it told him: Yoda.
    For a moment, his memory faded into mist; and then, the same green, wizened face swam into view. He was sitting with the others in a small, enclosed space; it was darker now, and the sunlight did not reach him. Yoda smiled upon them from feet away, and his words sprung suddenly to mind like thunderbolts, scattering the darkness:

    There is no emotion; there is peace. (And the demons of his mind turned suddenly to flight)
    There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. (And memory and thought returned to him)
    There is no passion, there is serenity. (The demons fled shrieking back into the darkness.)
    There is no chaos; there is harmony. (His defenses reared themselves up again, and his flag was planted once more on the battlements)
    There is no death; there is the Force. (And the darkness itself became small and malformed like a bat, and fled away).

    I am a Jedi.

    At these words, his mind and his senses returned to him, like trained horses leaping into action at the first sign of their master's command. The sheep heard the voice of their shepherd, and followed.
    And once more, he remembered—that he was Mace Windu, a Jedi Master. He remembered his many battles fought, his many wounds gained, in service to the Order and the Republic; he remembered his long hours of meditation upon the mysteries of the Unifying Force. And he remembered Palpatine and the Sith, the slow rise of suspicions and tension that had led them to take greater and greater steps against him, the fruitless search for the Sith Lord behind the War, and the final, shocking moment that had brought both together at last.

    It was all so obvious, frighteningly obvious—and yet, he had not seen it. None of them had. Only Skywalker, that arrogant, rebellious boy, always too confident in his own abilities, had—

    His thoughts broke as, with a twinge of pain, he remembered more. That last, frightful duel in the Senate chambers—the disemboweled corpses of Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar— the greatest warriors of the Order—lying dead at the feet of whatever nightmarish thing had lived for so long within the somber, compassionate shell of Chancellor Palpatine—the last, desperate sortie at the window where he had sent the beast scrambling away, desperate, in search of a shelter it would never again possess—the glorious moment where he had shown once and for all the efficacy of Vapaad, given the beast a taste of its own twisted fire—and the moment when, at last, the beast had seemed to weaken, to give in; the glorious moment of his triumph, the final triumph of the Jedi over the Sith, a thousand years in the making. It would have been sung of for a thousand generations, his name emblazoned into the annals of the Order as the one who had defeated the last of the Sith, saved all from certain ruin. The Republic, the Jedi, would have been safe, freed forever from the taint of the Dark Side. It was so close, but—

    The boy had come. While the beast still struggled, he had come; and from afar Windu had felt his confusion, his pain. He had seen the beast's interest in the boy, felt its corruption deep within his soul; he had felt the beast's feeble attempts at persuasion. He had told the boy that this tempter was the liar, the monster, the evil one— and he had known, with certainty, that his message was heard. The creature's horror was plain to see; no one would ever willingly join with it now that its twisted visage was no longer hidden by the mask of Palpatine. And he had felt the shatterpoint, the place where the beast was weakest, and could be broken, like glass; and seen it was with the boy, and his trust in it. And in that moment, he had known that Anakin would stand firm, and he had known that the beast must die; and he had struck.

    But then—only pain, and darkness. What had happened? His mind struggled to remember more.
    The boy had struck; Windu's hand and his lightsaber were suddenly gone. And he had seen, at long last, that the boy had his own shatterpoint; a woman.
    In all his long years fighting and working side by side with the boy, Windu had never thought of such a thing, never even conceived of it—
    But the Sith Lord had seen it, seen it long before—and struck it with the skill born of years of assured training. And the boy had broken, shattered, and become a tool for the beast.
    Now, because of his mistake, all was lost.

    And once more, regret burned suddenly through him. All those moments when he had looked at the boy, seen his arrogance, and rebuffed him; when it had been easier for him to scorn and push to arm's length, rather than to draw in, to teach and to guide. And most of all, the moment when Skywalker had asked him if he could come with him, to fight against Sidious; when he had seen the boy's inner doubt, and distrusted him, pushing him once more to arm's length as a distraction. He should have trusted him.

    Now, all that would follow, on whatever path, was his fault.

    The creature would succeed in turning Skywalker—that much was sure. And with his aid, he would topple the Republic, drive the Jedi into hiding, or worse. In his mind's eye, he saw the Temple burning, the Jedi scattered through the stars like chaff. And the clones? Would they prove loyal to their generals? No, they were soldiers; they would serve the Republic above all. If the command was given, they would slaughter the Jedi like sheep.
    The regret struck him like a physical blow; but now, he was strong enough to resist that which came with it. He clung to the Force until the storm was weathered.

    Still, he fell through the darkness.

    His death, he knew, would come soon; he did not know how long he had been falling now, but by the lack of sound, he was most likely below the regular traffic lanes, near to the surface. His arms and his legs were still paralyzed; he could not save himself that way. He had only minutes left, if that. It was time to prepare for death.

    He would die as a Jedi, he decided, with his eyes open, and the words of the Code on his lips. To the Unifying Force, it was all the same; to live or to die, to die now or in a dozen years. He would not mourn for himself.

    He opened his eyes, and—

    It came at him all at once, in a great flood of sensation that crushed his thoughts into atoms...

    And he saw.
    Above him, great, dark shapes shot up and up and up like rockets, like the toy rockets he had seen once in his youth; their hulls were dark, but studded everywhere with brilliant lights of every color imagineable. For the first time in his life, he wondered what sorts of people lived in them. On some of the walls, he could make out carvings, paintings in a thousand different languages, and he laughed inwardly at the thought of the absurd efforts necessary to put them there. On one of the buildings he passed, he could make out the shape of a balcony, upon which two people stood, entwined in each other; and the sight smote deep within his heart. But in a moment, they were gone, lost into the darkness.
    Above him, a thousand tiny fireflies shot back and forth at dizzying speeds, each one unique in size, shape, and color; they were so tiny, so perfectly formed, that he was sure that if he reached out with his hand, he could have plucked them out of the sky. But he did not wish to; they were so delicate, so fragile and beautiful, that the thought of any harm coming to them struck him with horror; and he feared to breathe lest somehow he damage them. Beyond them, the silhouettes of buildings reared up like childish imitations of trees; and beyond them, a thousand tiny, twinkling white lights shone in a great, inky black parchment. As he watched, a great white ship, ephemeral and whispy, sailed ponderously into view. It was almost too beautiful for words, and his heart and mind was struck dumb with a strange, ancient mystery beyond reckoning.

    What was this which surrounded him now? What were these thing multitudinous and infinite, each shining with glory of its own? A cloud, his mind told him; people, the universe; yet what kind of answer was that? What was the reason behind it all, what was the purpose for something so beautiful and yet so fragile, united and yet diverse? The Force was one; the Force was necessary. But this—it did not have to be, his mind told him, none of it had to be. And yet—it was there, shining around him with the glory of a million suns.
    It seemed to him the greatest of all mysteries, and he was surprised to find that he could recall no answer to it. In all his years of study, had he never come across the universe?

    A fragment of a memory struck him; a man with long, brown hair, a beard, a face filled with compassion. Qui-gon Jinn. He had spoken of such things, of the mysteries of the Living Force, which gave each thing its unique existence, willed that it should be; of the eternal Will of the Force that acted out of love, out of compassion, to bring all things to their fulfillment. And yet—the Living Force was merely an aspect, a tiny domain, within the great, all-encompassing dimension of the Unifying Force, where all things were one. He had never seen much use, himself, for the Living aspect of the Force—he had no need to study lesser things when his mind could be on higher ones. He had considered Qui-gon's travels—his incessant quest to discover the true heart of the Force not through meditation, not through the self, but through the vast and diverse universe around him, the quest that had led him again and again to defy the will of the Council, to focus on the moment, to continually throw himself into the affairs and conflicts of the Galaxy with joy and wonder, to have compassion for all those weaker than him, the quest had led him to Skywalker—to be little more than a strange eccentricity, to be overlooked and brushed aside as much as possible. Qui-Gon had been a skilled and powerful Jedi, and Windu had been pleased to make use of that power, for the greater good—but privately, he had always considered Qui-Gon merely arrogant, stiff-necked, unaware of the larger perspective brought by the Unifying Force...

    But he had been wrong about the boy, hadn't he? Wrong about the war, about the Sith, about Palpatine. Had be been wrong about that, too?

    Perhaps, Qui-Gon had indeed possessed something that he, that the Order as a whole, had lost, forgotten. Perhaps he, and not the mystics with their meditations and their mantras, had possessed the true heart, the true soul of the Force. Maybe it was the Living Force, after all, that was the true Force, the one that mattered; and the Unifying Force the mere substance of which it was made--or perhaps, in in truth, these aspects were not opposed to each other at all, but came together in a perfection so wondrous his mind could not conceive of it, Distinction in Unity and Unity in Distinction, each one explaining and glorifying and underlying the other...and perhaps this, these things and houses and people that Qui-Gon had seen and had loved, existed neither as a necessity nor as an illusion, but as a work of art, brought forth to show forth the infinite perfection of the Force, in all its fullness—a fullness shown forth as much in a glass of water as in a syllogism, as much in a song as in a mantra, as much in a family as in a sphere, reflected and refracted in a hundred different experiences, objects, people, colors, sounds, words...

    All this rose before him in an instant; but he did not have the strength to reason it through, to see if it held or not. All he knew was that this, the world that he saw before him, was not the Jungle, as on Haruun Kal; and neither was it merely a illusory projection of the Unifying Force, as among the Jedi. It was real, and it was good, and beautiful.
    And that was enough for him.

    As he watched, the clouds began to grow bright, as if illuminated from beneath; and slowly, moment by moment, light returned to the world. Not the smaller lights, brightened only by borrowed glory; but the true light, scattering now in every corner, picking out every detail on the sides of the great buildings. The clouds grew pale and pink as if blushing at its presence; and the stars fled at its coming.

    And Mace Windu, a man, saw its coming and laughed.

    And laughed, and laughed, and laughed—laughed until the last speck of darkness had vanished from around him and within him. And as he laughed, he saw, with the strange, clear vision of his mind, the beast fallen, cast down into a bottomless chasm, perishing alone in flames; and again, the beast, in a different guise this time, trapped forever in the darkness, there to burn forevermore. And last of all, he saw the true beast, the Dark Side itself, and he saw it vanish, burned away along with all other impurities by the final coming of the Light. And he laughed again, louder and longer than he had ever laughed before.

    He was still laughing when he hit the ground.
  2. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2007

    In a way Windu got the last laugh.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. FuzzyWuzzy

    FuzzyWuzzy Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 2, 2012
    Only one applausing face thing?

    I think this deserves.

    And a bow.

    And a hug.

    Okay, I'm having too much fun. But wonderful work anyway. I had to read it twice to actually understand what was going on, but when I did it was wonderful.

    And the last line- too powerful for my mortal brain to handle.

    Excellent work.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Wow! Well done!
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Gorgeously written and full of vivid details and profound insights! =D= =D=
  6. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 14, 2017
    I noticed it was written a good while back, so I don't know if the writer is still active and will see the new comments. This was pretty well narrated. I remember the scene, Anakin chops Mace's hand off. I forget how he ended up falling out of the window... Or was he pushed? I forget.

    Anyway, the way the movie was set up, Mace falls out the window, and as soon as Sidious and Anakin start talking, we "forget" Windu.... So, we don't get to see what was going through his mind.

    Incidentally, that was a really long fall..... So, it was nice to see him looking up and watching the close up building tops and traffic suddenly take on a universal aspect as they combined with the stars in the back drop, as though stepping back to see the big picture. I liked that he had a kind of an, "Ah! I was too close to see how all of it was tied together!" sort of epiphany.

    If he had fallen faced downward, maybe he would have had a bleaker experience. You could say that The Force did not abandon Mace Windu, arranging it so that he fell out the window facing up, so that he could have his epiphany.

    Going back to that long fall... On Earth, terminal velocity is what? 124 miles per hour? He fell for about ten minutes, so that puts him falling from how high up? That's math, I have to use a calculator. Give me a minute to figure this out.

    Let's see, 124 mph / 60 minutes = 2.066667 miles x 10 minutes = 20.66667.

    Wow... He fell 20 and a half miles.... That's a heck of a long fall without a parachute.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Wow, this was very intense and spiked with wisdom.

    I hope that the writer will return to us with more breathtaking stories like this, filled with philosophy, deep feelings and great surprises.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.