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The Black Mark of the Dark Side

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There she was, standing right before him. He had felt Rey's presence, seen her face, heard her name called out through the Force. Now she was here, holding his father's lightsaber out to him. A gift. A warning, perhaps. What did she know? She was so young, not much older than he had been the first time he had taken that lightsaber into his own hand so long ago.

Luke stepped up to Rey and closed his hand around her's. Her skin was warm. It had been so years since he had felt the warmth of human skin. He could have held onto her hand forever, but instead he leaned in closely and released her.

"You -- you have to go," he hissed.

"But--" Rey began.

"No. Take the Falcon and leave this place. Do you hear me, Rey? Yousa -- you're not safe here."

She didn't ask how he knew her name. Maybe she knew he'd been having visions of her for weeks, the only private thought he'd been able to hold onto. She was special and she had no idea how important she was. She had no idea how unsafe it was.

Once, he had reached out into the Force and found this place to be a beating pulse of comfort. It was only when he arrived that he discovered the true nature of this island. The Jedi Temple had been disgraced by the black mark of an evil older and more cruel than he could have imagined. What was supposed to be his refuge became his prison.

Rey's hand gripped so tightly around the lightsaber, her fingers turned white. Her face was set, angry that he hadn't embraced her. "Luke, Han Solo is dead."

"I know." Oh, yes, he had felt Han's death. Leia's grief had been like a wave of a thousand pinpricks across his skin, never quite stopping. Her grief was his, as it has always been. Through the Force, he had never been far from Leia's side, no matter how long he had been away.

"A chain of events has started," Luke said hastily. "Han's death is only the beginning, Rey, do you understand? You have to leave. Only you can--" The sharp pain struck through his mind. He took a step back, clutching his head in his hands.

"Don meesa eyes deceive me? Another Jedi has washed up on my island?" Jar Jar came up over the foothills, ears bobbing with each step.

"No," Luke said through the pain, "she's no one. She's a wanderer. She's not a Jedi."

Jar Jar shot him a withering look. "Den why does she have Ani's lightsaber?"

Luke had no answer for that. After all these years, every day beneath the Gungan's thumb, he was weakened. He'd never been controlled, his mind too strong for even Jar Jar, but he had been contained.

He couldn't help Rey now. He couldn't help anyone.

"Who are you?" Rey asked. Her voice was strong, but there was fear in her eyes. Luke knew she could sense his own fear. He could feel the Force coursing through her. He knew Jar Jar could too.

Jar Jar stretched out his hand and Rey gasped, her chin rising as he choked her. The lightsaber fell to the ground.

"Meesa your new master now."