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Balance and Power

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He’d lost count now of the times he’d woken up in a cold sweat with the feeling of fear and dread seemingly deep inside his bones. The nightmares just wouldn’t leave him be. For 14 years he’d been plagued by them without knowing why.
His parents had told him that he’d had a near fatal accident and had been in a coma for weeks, that his memory loss prior to the incident was an unfortunate after effect, one that he would probably never recover from.
Still, he would be hounded almost every night by memories within his nightmares that would disappear the minute he woke up, tears in his eyes, anguish on his face, bed sheets drenched in sweat. He’d learned to control the screaming years ago.

Ben Solo had taken after both his Mother and his Father, Leia Organa and Han Solo. He was force sensitive like his Mother and carried a lightsabre. His Mother told him it once belonged to his uncle Luke. He doesn’t recall learning to use it but when he does it just seems natural to him. Using the force has become an extension of his being although he rarely finds the need for it beyond self-preservation, flirting in bars, showing off and generally being cocky!! This he got from his Father. Han Solo, an infamous, if not very successful, smuggler.

Ben took great delight in following his Father on adventure after adventure, much to the chagrin of his Mother.
His skill as a pilot had surpassed his Father’s and he would often take control of the Falcon during particularly hairy escapes. Han was exceedingly proud of his accomplished ability but Chewbacca, a Wookie and his Father’s right hand man and who Ben thought of as family, would make his displeasure quite clear when danger had passed. There were times Ben felt a little sorry for Han with Chewbacca bearing down on him in a fit of rage after they had once again, barely made it out of whatever situation they had found themselves in.

Like his Father, Ben carried a blaster. His Father was reluctant to see Ben use his force abilities. He was never very comfortable with it and would insist that ‘hokey religions and ancient weapons were no match for a good blaster at your side’. So Ben would carry one alongside his lightsabre to make his Father a little happier, although he couldn’t deny that when things got a little out of hand, it was the lightsabre he favoured. The look of awe and, in some cases fear, that entered onto an opponent’s face when they saw the lightsabre ignite was enough to make them pause just long enough for Ben, Han and Chewie to escape without a single shot being necessary from a blaster. It gave Ben an overwhelming sense of power and he often wondered how far his force abilities could be stretched.

Ben was also prone to bouts of uncontrolled anger. He couldn’t explain why.
All the times he felt he was being excluded from conversations, catching his parents discussing something and quickly changing the subject when he entered the room, not getting full answers to questions and feeling generally isolated about his own past would build up like a pressure barrel inside him until he exploded. When he did, everyone knew about it. His whole persona would change. His eyes would darken and he would literally be surrounded by any objects not nailed to the ground floating around him. This was when he would take a time out to calm himself down.

Ben had often asked his Mother about the force. She had simply told him that long ago there were force sensitives that honed their ability through training to become Jedi Masters but after a long and bloody war with the Emperor and his Imperial Army, the Jedi had become all but extinct, along with their knowledge.

During these discussions he had felt like she wasn’t telling him everything. In fact, he had started to feel like there was a lot his Mother and Father weren’t telling him. At first he decided they were just being over protective about their only son who they had come so close to losing 14 years ago, but lately he wasn’t so sure. His Mother in particular, would look sullen when discussing the fall of the Jedi and once, he even thought he’d caught a tear forming in the corner of one of her eyes that she quickly dismissed as a bit of grit. His Father however, flatly refused to discuss anything to do with the Jedi and the former Empire. As much as Ben would ask, Han would quickly deflect his questioning onto another subject a little closer to home and now.

Ben knew that his Mother had made her way through the ranks of the resistance and had fought with them during the time of the Empire and now, as a General, she was once again fighting, only now it was against the First Order.
Ben had been told that the First Order had risen out of the ashes of the Empire. There was always someone willing to take a chance and takeover if they saw an opening and in this case, after the death of the Emperor and downfall of the Empire, a mysterious being by the name of Snoke had taken his chance and created the First Order.
He wasn’t even subtle about it, using Imperial designs and weapons that were just upgraded and improved upon, in effect creating a new and improved Empire and an even more powerful headache for General Leia Organa and the Resistance.

This morning however was different. He still had tears in his eyes and anguish on his face and the bed sheets were drenched in sweat, but this morning he’d woken up screaming, something he hadn’t done in years. His head was pounding and he could remember a voice. He couldn’t remember what the voice was telling him but it sounded ominous and chilled him to his core. Leia had rushed into his room to find him shaking violently and his colour completely drained. As he desperately looked up at Leia his stomach cartwheeled and he wretched onto the floor.
As she cradled him in her arms he slowly began to calm down and return to the moment but that voice…… that voice was going to haunt him.
As he came to his senses and shook the nightmare away, he felt a little childish laying there in the arms of his Mother, a full grown man, not a five year old child! He couldn’t deny it felt good. He laid there for the longest time watching her smile and brushing her fingers through his unruly, almost black hair. He couldn’t remember the last time she had done it, he only knew that he’d missed it and wanted to savour every second. He couldn’t help noticing that she seemed to be drifting into a daydream of her own. Her eyes began to glaze over and when she caught herself she quickly got up and told Ben to ready himself for the day.

At breakfast Ben was asked about his nightmare. What had changed? Why had he woken up screaming? What could he remember of his nightmare?
When he had mentioned the voice, Leia and Han had looked at each other a little startled before shrugging it off and quickly changing the subject. This was when Ben finally realised that something was being kept secret. His parents we’re definitely keeping something from him and he had to find out what it was. As he started to push for answers his parents did their usual ‘act’, quickly palming him off with a half truth and going onto the next subject but Ben was determined.
He could see the panic building in his Mother’s eyes and the anger building in his Father’s.
When they both told Ben “enough!”, Ben had completely lost it. He stormed out of the house to get away from the frustration totally unaware that every object not tied down in the house had been rattling and shaking and rising into the air. As he left, it all came crashing down. Leia looked at Han and all Han could say was ‘I think it’s time’.

******

Ben was shaking with anger as he fled the house. It wasn’t uncommon for him to find the need to get away from everything for a few hours to calm down but today was different. He still had the voice in his head and it was getting clearer.

“They’re lying”
He could hear the oily low tones of the voice repeating those words over and over.

He made his way down to his favourite spot by the lake. A place for him to be alone and meditate, yet another thing he doesn’t remember learning to do and figures it was something he’d learned before his accident.
An hour or two usually does the trick, but not today. Today he is ‘seething’ and he can feel it in his whole body. Anger is radiating from him. There is a definite drop in the temperature around him and his breath is visible in the air, even though the sun is shining.
As he sits there, rocks and boulders begin to levitate and orbit around him. Ben is feeling incredibly powerful…… and he likes it.

The voice continued. “They’re lying. You have so much potential. So much power. There’s so much more to learn. Don’t listen to them. They’re lying” As Ben listened his anger just intensified and with it, his feeling of complete control and power.

All too soon the sun is setting and Ben realises he’s been sat there meditating all day. The rocks fall to the ground and Ben wakes to his reality. He decides it’s time to head home and confront the situation head on.

As Ben arrives home he realises that he’s not the only one ready to confront the situation.
Sitting at the breakfast table he sees his Mother, who looks decidedly relieved to see him, his Father with his usual scowl on his face but also sat at the table is another vaguely familiar face. His stomach churns as he realises it’s his Uncle Luke.
Ben had the distinct urge to turn and run but he is quickly ushered to a seat and the room falls silent.
After what seems like an eternity it is Ben who finally breaks the silence. His voice is filled with venom and looking daggers at the three individuals across the table from him.

Years of frustration come hurtling to the surface and Ben feels his voice beginning to crack, eye’s misting over.
Leia takes an instinctive move towards Ben but Han places a hand on her arm to stop her. He knows Ben needs to get this off his shoulders.

All the questions Ben ever wanted answered come flooding out.
What exactly happened 14 years ago?
Why won’t people talk to him about it?
Why has Luke been absent all that time?
Who is the voice in his head?

Ben did not expect the revelation that was about to come.

Luke started to explain that when Ben was a child he was a student at Luke’s academy studying to become a Jedi, to learn the ways of the force and control his abilities.
He was one of many students including……. his twin Brother Kylo.
Ben found that piece of information quite amusing and laughed as he looked to his Mother to dismiss it but as she looked back with pity in her eyes, he soon realised that what his Uncle was telling him was the truth…… finally.

The bond between the brothers had been incredibly strong and when they concentrated their abilities their potential grew exponentially. Luke had been in awe of their absolute power and had wanted to make sure that it was well trained and controlled. Unfortunately what no-one had realised is that another force sensitive being, a very powerful one by the name of Snoke, had been watching the twins since they were babies. He’d been manipulating them to his own will and hiding his tracks as he went. When Kylo and Ben had just turned 15, the being had simply flipped a very well prepared switch in the boys heads and they had gone on a killing spree throughout the academy, slaughtering all the students and effectively ending the Jedi. In the mayhem and explosions, only one of the twins had made it out. Kylo had fled the planet to start his knew life as Snoke’s apprentice while Ben had been left for dead under the rubble. But Ben was not dead, badly injured but not dead.
Luke and Leia had made a decision as Ben laid in a coma in a medical bay. They built a wall in his mind to keep Snoke out and they took away every memory he’d ever had prior to the accident. Luke simply couldn’t reconcile himself with the events at the academy and had gone into a self-exile. He blamed himself for failing Kylo and Ben.
Then Ben saw the image of Darth Vader. A Grandfather he seemingly never knew and the Emperor’s right hand man during the time of the Empire. His overwhelming power and his eventual downfall at the hands of Luke Skywalker.

What appeared to be happening now was that there appeared to be cracks appearing in the wall that had been so carefully built 14 years ago and Snoke was taking his chance to claim his prize.

Ben was dumbfounded.
The next question out of his mouth took everyone by surprise.
“Can the wall be removed?” he asked as calmly as he could manage. He wanted his memories back, his life. He wanted to remember the brother he never knew he had.
Luke looked to Leia and Han and they were all in agreement. It had been far too long in coming. Ben would be given his life back.
He’d hesitated for a moment, but only for a moment. “Now” he demanded.
Luke stood and made his way around the table to Ben who had started to tremble with anger and anticipation and a small amount of fear.
He braced himself as Luke stood behind him and placed his hands either side of Ben’s head.
After a few short moments an intense pressure seemed to build in Ben’s head followed by an incredible stabbing pain right behind his eyes. He flinched and cried out as 15 years of memories came flooding back to him.

The incredible bond he’d had with Kylo was there.
They had done everything together from birth. Every antic shared. Every adventure shared. Every bit of childhood trouble they could get into they did together.
But then the academy…… Ben saw the slaughter. Saw himself killing children. Looked into the eyes of Kylo as he was overtaken by his power and the voice in his head. His eyes pure black and blood lust in his heart.
Ben felt the power and found himself wanting.

There was no shame in admitting he wanted it.
He simply stood, looked at Luke with eyes that said “I understand why”, took his Mother’s face in his hands and kissed her forehead gently savouring every second and smell and then, as he passed Han he simply dipped his head to break eye contact and left the building.

There was no rage, no panic, no-one trying to stop him. He simply took himself down to where the Millenium Falcon was housed and disappeared off the planet…… forever.