Saturday, March 17, 2012
From the holodiary of Aran Liander: Jedi Apprentice
Oh Force, I-I don't know what to do, I'm so terrified. You have no idea how much has happened since I last wrote in here. So many terrible things have happened. I can't stop shaking and weeping. It was horrible, so horrible. What I am I supposed to do? Where do I go? What-
They are all DEAD! All the Jedi in the Temple and most likely all those out in the galaxy on campaigns. All dead, cut up, decimated. And for nothing. My Master..my Master..dead.
HOW COULD THEY DO IT?!!! Why???? How can a single being be so...so EVIL? Apparently the Chancellor, that man I'd been worried during the entire war, is a SITH LORD. I can't believe it but it's true. I saw the proof on the wretched HoloNet.; he was addressing the Senate and saying something about creating an Empire. And they all cheered. How can they be so blind? How could they not see that they were trading everything they had for nothing; that they were damning us to a lonely life of solitude?
I hate the Chancellor. I hate the Clone troopers that attacked our home and I hate Anakin Skywalker...I hate them all. I know it's wrong to hate but....I can't turn away from the fact that it is filling me to the brim. I feel sick. How-why?
I should write it how it happened and maybe I can find something inside the night of flames that has just transpired. Whether it will be vengeance or acceptance I cannot be certain.
When we heard the the first screams of death, my Master exploded into motion, throwing the door open and dashing to our quarters' entryway. I followed him and found him staring dumbstruck at a body at his feet. At first I was confused; why was there a body lying before our door. And then it struck me- it was Kyla's Master, a hole from a blaster bold gaping up at us like a silently screaming mouth from her lower back. When I recognized her, a scream tore from me, feeling like my insides were ripping apart. I turned to my Master, who's face had gone completely sheet-white; a tremor running through his jawline. I looked out to the darkened hallway but found it eerily deserted. I shivered and wondered for an insane instant if we were being attacked by the spirits of the ancient Lords of the Sith. We were all going to die. I knew it.
“Master-Master what is happening?!” He looked up at me and I saw tears bleeding from his eyes. And I saw that he was scared.
“Aran-” he began but suddenly a squad of Clone Troopers come around the corner in V-formation. The sight of their shimmery armor brought great relief to my heart. They were here to help us deal with whatever it was.
“Look, we have help-” I began to say when I felt a sickening disturbance in the Force punch me in the stomach.
“No...” he whispered as the leader of the Clones, his armor decorated with linings of blue, pointed towards us. The men behind him raised their blasters at us and shots rang out.
“Aran!” My Master shouted and we ignited our lightsabers just in time to dispel the energy beams lancing towards us. They're shooting at us. How is that possible, they're on our SIDE!
“Men, stand DOWN!” I shouted, my blade moving furiously to block the dangerously accurate shots.
“Whatever is the matter we can help you. Just put the guns down!” But they don't listen, they just keep firing, looking as cold and heartless as droids; not the kind men I'd come to enjoy the company of. How could this happen?
“Aran, we need to get out of here. Now!”
“Right.” We turned and ran, ducking and weaving so to avoid getting nailed in the back, neck, or head. I heard they're feet thrumming after us and they sounded like droids. Like Grievous. I shuddered, blinding rage flashing before my eyes before I pushed it away. I couldn't do that, it would hamper my abilities and my focus. Sensing a Clone's gun nearing the back of my head, I spun, slashing out with my lightsaber, the blade cleaving through armor and then flesh. The scent assaults me ferociously and more a moment I freeze, lightsaber wavering loosely between my fists. I killed him. Fans of blood flow freely from where I cut him open and I can't turn away. I think I know him. I think he was a friend of mine.
“Aran, focus!” Yes, yes I have to focus. We have to get out of here and find out what the hell is going on. Together my Master and I kill the last of the squad. We stand still for a long second and as we do I peer through the gloom and see what I missed earlier in my brief sweep of the passage outside our quarters; corpses in Jedi robes lying in their own blood. I'm going to be sick. How can Clones do such a thing. I felt my Master's hands on my shoulders.
“Aran, let's go.” I couldn't move, could barely even breathe. Why? What did we ever do to entice such wrath?
“Aran, we have to go. Now.” I nodded and let him tug me away from the poor, dead souls. After about a minute, we started to run, our boots humming along the flagstones in quick succession. We don't see anything for awhile but I can feel every death strike me like a lightsaber to the gut. The Jedi are dying.
Soon we hear the sound of lightsabers and blaster fire and as we swing around the corner of the passage we see...an army. About ten bleeding, shaking, but determined Jedi are still standing, blocking the blasts with their blades futilely. They will die. We will die. We will all burn.
“Aran. Aran! We need to help them!” In a daze, I leap forward and we join the Jedi already battling the ever increasing numbers. The air is bright blue with hazy smoke and the blinding laser fire.
We don't speak as we all meet each others gazes'. I can tell my their eyes that they have seen far worse than I tonight. My heart constricts in panic. My defenses loosen and I feel a blaster bolt graze my cheek, a spray of blood issuing from my face and sliding down along my face like scarlet tears, joining the clear ones already present. I hear a scram and one of the Jedi goes down; a human male, most likely a Knight. He falls to his knees but keeps fighting, even as he is riddled with blasts. He shouts in defiance and collapses next to one of his fallen comrades, an Echani female Padawan.
I raise my hand unsteadily and use the Force to slam some of the Clone's back. They crash into their fellows behind them, shouts if rage-full dismay reaching my ears. Another of our dwindling group lunges forward, her twin emerald blades cutting a swath through the field of white until she too is struck down.
“If we all attack together we might have a chance!” A Jedi to my left shouts and from his age and calm air I know he is a Jedi Master.
“Yes, I think that may be our only option!” My Master replies, his eyes looking so dead that I want to scream in fear. How can anything do that to my Master; my Master who never faltered, who never cracked?
“On the count of three. One. Two. Three. GO!” We lunges forward as one, our lightsabers slashing through their ranks in fiery snaps of color. Jedi go down one at a time but so do the Clones and before I know it I am standing, bruised, cut, bleeding, but alive in a sea of the dead.
“Aran! Are you all right?” I hear through the smoke and I can't place who it is that spoke. Then I realize that the desperate voice was that of my Master's. I started to shake; I've never heard him like that.
“I'm here Master! I'm all right.” He stumbled out from the smog to my right, wiping the blood from the side of his face with the sleeve of his scorched tunic.
“Thank the Force,” he whispered and gripped me to him. I stiffened. My Master was acting strange. Did he know something I didn't. Why was he so....fragile looking? My heart pulsed erratically in my chest and I was struck dumb for a few seconds.
“Master...Master where are the others?”
“They're...they're all dead, Aran.” A felt as if a rancor, no a republic cruiser, had slammed into me; knocking the breathe right of me. I shook my head.
“No..No, they...they can't be dead.” I pulled away from my Master's embrace and staggered through the fading smoke and found the Jedi Master's strong, supple frame face-down on the floor; his once moving, breathing body broken. I felt sick and I silently screamed.
“Aran....we must leave now. We need to escape and to save as many Jedi as we can.”
“Yes Master.” We moved on, pausing at the fallen bodies of our comrades to show them respect and to mourn them.
But the worst is to come. After taking a turbolift down to the lowest level we found...mayhem. It appeared most of the Jedi had already made it down here and were making a last stand against the traitorous troops. Corpses littered the floor in a startling array of ages. They're were-they're were younglings. Some of them couldn't even have been more than toddlers. They were so innocent looking that my heart broke. Lives ended so soon. How could they be so cruel? Who had told the Clones to do this? I know it wasn't from they're own minds since I knew those men; they were soldiers but they weren't slaughters. Someone ordered this massacre.
“Master...they're killing the children. They're killing younglings” I looked at him and saw that something dark had shadowed his eyes, as if a darkness had settled in him, along with a smoldering fury. He grabbed my arm and pulled me along, through the battling throngs towards the room.
“We have to make sure they didn't go into the nursery. We have to stop this...butchery.”
“They-they wouldn't,” I gasped, feeling just about ready to vomit at the sick horror that had engulfed this night. But I know they would. If they could kill children that young then they would have no qualms about doing it to those younger.....
My Master pulled me to a stop at the door to the nursery and shoved me down behind a statue. I could see more Jedi still fighting and falling, always succumbing to the terrible firepower that entrapped them. My Master bent down beside me, his face tight with barely suppressed panic.
“Stay here, Aran until I get back. And...and don't come into the room. Please. You don't need to see what is in there.” I could see the pain in his eyes so I nodded. He was right; I didn't need to see it, it was too utterly evil.
I shivered behind the statue, holding my lightsaber before me, blocking blaster bolts as they came at me. Most of the clones had cleared away from this space and all that were left were the dead. I leaped from my hiding spot and struck the last two clones left standing; their bodies fell to the floor among those they had slain, the murderers felled. I looked around at the corpses, looking for those I knew- and for my friend, Kyla. I recognized many of them; some had been in my clans, some had taught me how to use a lightsaber, some had smiled at me in the hallways as I passed. I felt tears beginning to sting my eyes, blurring everything into a seam of gray and crimson.
“Master Yoda where are you?” I heard a small voice whimper. I spun around to see a small girl curled up on the floor, a gruesome hole gouged in her stomach. I ran over to her and knelt, placing my hand on her forehead. She was nearly gone from the ether-world, that much was apparent; her eyes were misted with near-delirium and she barely focused on me.
“Master Yoda, Master Yoda why did a Jedi hurt me? You said that a Jedi would never do that.” I felt a chill steal over me and I took her small, quivering hand in mine.
“Youngling....I'm here. What-what are you talking about?” I asked. Her head flopped to the right and her clouded blue gaze met mine.
“He-he stabbed me. And he was a Jedi.”
“Who was it?” I asked but she didn't seem to hear me.
“I tried-to...protect them but...but I couldn't, he was too fast, faster than the Clones. I tried to save them but I failed.” Tears flooded her face and she began to gasp.
“Did...did I do that right thing? Did I die..bravely?” I nodded, amazed and horrified at how calm she accepted her death. I gripped her hand as if I could hold her to the material world; save her.
“Yes. Yes, you died a Jedi Knight, young one.” She smiled then and her eyes cleared for just a brief moment.
“Thank you.” Then her eyes drifted shut and a sigh escaped her. The tears come in a surge, breaking free from my chest in head-splitting sobs. Why had they done this? Was it the Sith. Was that who the girl had seen when she said that a Jedi had been the one to wound her?
I tried to stop the deep gasps that ran through me by pressing my hand to my mouth but the choking just got worse. I hated them. I can feel the sickening burning of the feeling deep inside me and no matter how much I attempt to force it away, it won't budge. I tried holding my breath but the gasps just moved to my chest and I began to start jerking crazily.
The sound of an igniting lightsaber cut through the silence and I raised my head to see a cowled figure walking towards me, a blue lightsaber held off to the side of them. Then I realize it's Anakin.
“Anakin! Do you know what's-” my words are cut off when I feel a heavy weight slam into me and toss me across the room; smashing me into the wall. A grainy film of gray descends on my vision and I heard the sounds of feet moving wickedly fast across the ground. My ears were ringing and my mind a cobbled up heap of confusion. Anakin...attacked me? Why would he do that....unless.
I saw the sapphire-hued blade descending towards me and I screamed, barely managing to draw my weapon and meet his.
I still couldn't see straight and he was too fast. His presence itself was a dark whirl-wind that chopped and slung down on me from all sides, threatening to slash me to bits. My lightsaber barely met his swings and after about two seconds I saw that he was just playing with me. I was going to die and soon.
I met Anakin's gaze and saw that instead of the blue eyes I was used to seeing were irises the color of yellow flame. Anakin, on the darkside? How was that even possible? He was The Chosen One!
His foot snapped up and struck my stomach and I doubled over, dropping to my knees. I bowed my head, ready to accept my fate. I brought the Force to my heart and hoped that somehow Anakin would come to his senses even though I knew he never would.
Then I heard a shout and I jerked my head up to see my Master sprinting from the door to the nursery, his lightsaber aflame. Anakin turned and leaped to meet him, a cruel smirk darkening his once handsome face.
“No, Master, he's baiting you!” I don't think my Master heard me as their blades tangled; grappling with each other for dominance. Shaking the last of the dizziness from my head, I sprang forward to join my Master in the hurricane of darkness.
The darkside, Bogan, burned me with vicious swipes and I felt like I'd fallen into a pit of hot magma. Anakin bears down on us, driving us both back with an ease that is chilling. Our lightsabers bounce away from him, not even coming within five inches to his billowing robes. It's like he's become invincible and no matter what we do, we will be defeated. Then Anakin's hand flies out and he sends me zooming to the far wall. This time I hit the wall so hard I can't even move; I hope I haven't damaged something....I have to help my Master; I can't let him die.
“You betrayed your Order, Skywalker,” My Master spat, and as I opened my eyes I saw their blurry figures battling. I tried to stand but I felt as if something was shoving me to the wall. Frantically, I used the Force to probe my body for injury but felt nothing but cuts and bruises. Then I realized what was happening: Anakin was using the Force to hold me down. How could he do that and duel my Master at the same time? Was the darkside really that powerful? The spinning blades grew faster and faster as I watched; becoming so fast that I could no longer track them with my eyes.
Something gripped my stomach and with a deep sense of foreboding, I knew that something terrible was just about to take place. The blades tangled and spun and suddenly one went still; clattering to the floor. And my Master was standing dumbstruck, as if turned to stone; eyes wide and a deep hole running through the center of his torso. A blossom of scarlet spread across his tunic and I tried to scream but something clapped around my throat, locking my cry in my throat. No, NO he can't die! He'll be okay; he has to be! For a moment, my Master stood as a statue then, without warning, collapsed to his knees. Anakin looked down coldly at him, his foot snapping out and kicking my Master in the stomach.
'NOOO!' I howled in my head and thrust forward with all of my might but I couldn't budge. Anakin turned to me and I froze with fear. He was going to kill me. The pressure on my chest vanished and I scrambled up and flung myself at Anakin who just Force-pushed me away again.
“Your efforts against me are pitiful.” I rolled over onto my chest and stood again, trembling, knowing I wouldn't be able to do this much longer.
“Anakin...why?” His face darkened, face twisting.
“That is no longer who I am.” And he sent he flying once again into the wall.
I awoke minutes later and Anakin was gone. I shoved myself to my feet and dashed over to my Master's inert form which lay crumbled in a bleeding heap on the ground. I fell to my knees, pulling his head into my lap. I reached for the medpac on my belt but I felt my Master's hand encircle my wrist.
“No Aran. My lightsaber.”
“Yes Master,” I responded and quickly handed it to him. I once again reached for the medpac but my Master shook his head, a spasm running through his face.
“No, Aran. It's too..late.”
“No! No, no, no!” I sobbed harder than I had earlier. He couldn't die. How could he die? It didn't seem plausible.
“Aran...the time has come for...you to be Knighted.”
The Temple was burning with the dark side, the Jedi were dying in greater multitudes than I had thought imaginable, and here I was, about to be thrust out into the galaxy, Masterless and braidless.
I took my Master's hand and he smiled, squeezing it lightly. With his other hand he lifted his lightsaber hilt and ignited the blade. I wiped my eyes, fighting back the sobs that were racking me. This would be the last time he ever ignited his lightsaber.
“"We are all Jedi. The Force speaks through us. Through our actions, the Force proclaims itself and what is real. Today we are here to acknowledge what the Force has proclaimed." His hand reaches up to stroke my cheek and I feel just about ready to dissolve into more tears.
“By the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, I dub thee, Knight of the Republic.” His lighsaber, slowly came towards my braid. I felt it's heat and smelt the ozone that hovered around the blade as it cut through my hair. The braid slithered down my cheek and landed in my hand.
I looked up to see that my Master's face had gone very pale and the lightsaber fell from his grip and clattered as it struck the ground.
“Aran...Aran, I loved you as a son. And please remember; the Force will be with you and always follow the Code. And know that I will always be with you.”
“Yes Master,” I manage to say, burying my face against my Master's chest. And he was gone.
That all happened a few hours ago and in those few hours everything has changed. I've been crouched in this crappy corner in the street, hiding amongst she shadows, for about half the time since then. After he di-after that happened I ran and somehow managed to escape. I saw the bodies of my brothers and sisters who weren't so lucky and I still haven't been able to stop crying.
I'm so scared and I don't know what to do. I still don't feel better, even after writing it all out and I still feel that knot in my stomach that is growing larger by the minute; one that keeps screaming for revenge. A crazy reckless part of me wants to go and kill the Chancellor, and kill Anakin, and kill all the clones. I want them to suffer. I really, really do. I want them to die! But I must do what my Master said, I must follow the Code. And I will follow it until the end. As I stand crouch here in the shadows, the man who was like my father dead, my skin covered in grime, lightsaber hidden underneath my tunic, and my braid in my hand, I don't see much hope for the future
They're all dead. I thought the war was hell but that was only the beginning. I can see the fires of it now and it sure looks hot. Can I survive and carry on the legacy of my long dead order? Because I don't see how I, a boy who is somehow a Jed Knight, can do it alone in such a hostile galaxy.
I feel so alone, so alone and I have no idea where to go. I'll have to just trust in the Force and carry on.
May the Force be with me and all those who managed to escape this genocide(if any have)