Sunset Rating: PG

A first sentence challenge: "Though not one usually interested in the beauty of a simple sunset, she could not help but be mesmerized by the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows that were mixing with the fading blue of daylight and coming black of night."

Though not one usually interested in the beauty of a simple sunset, she could not help but be mesmerized by the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows that were mixing with the fading blue of daylight and coming black of night. How could she not be interested? The colors, the darkening, it all reminds her so much of herself, of her life. It reminds her of just how bright her life used to be, and just how dark her future is.

She thinks back and remembers the bright fields of day, of happier times. Of a time when there were no cares, no Yuuzhan Vong. Just her and her love getting into simple mischief, driving Master Skywalker crazy with their antics. She smiles as she thinks of the trips taken in the Lore Seeker, searching out various Jedi artifacts and history alongside Master Tionne, Irkrit and of course Anakin. Back then there were no troubles, no danger, just living and having fun.

You know it wasn't that much fun.

She spins around dropping into a Yuuzhan Vong fighting stance, trying to find who had just spoken, but there is no one else around. Her eyes harden slightly as she scans the tree line. She is slightly disturbed by the fact that no one is there, yet the words she heard are still echoing in her head.

She turns back to the sunset and her thoughts. With the sky getting darker, her thoughts turn that way as well. The sky is now deep oranges and red, with purple and navy of nighttime quickly encroaching on them. Now she thinks about the war with the Yuuzhan Vong. Of the pain and suffering she went through during her shaping. The Yuuzhan Vong taught her a lot during that time, about pain, about love, and ultimately about growing up. It took her a long time to realize the lessons she learned, but the ones that she learned first are still the ones that give her the greatest troubles. Her mind skips and she thinks back to her rescue, of the pain and abject horror that went along that time, of learning to accept that pain, and when Anakin rescued her, wanting to fight and kill. Her mouth quirks into a smile at that memory, fighting and killing, the desire to taste blood stirs in her heart at the thought. She remembers the desire she felt as Anakin stood there in front of her, that desire to do deeds that were dark and terrible, that would have changed her irrevocably.

Not that terrible. Personally I think giving into those desires would have been grand fun. Definitely more fun than the antics you used to perform.

Once more she turns, twisting her body, making her profile smaller; she once again scans the trees and brush around her trying to find the speaker. Yet once more there is no one there, just the echo of that soft and silky voice.

Turning back once more to the setting sun, she notices that it has now fully set. There is only a slightly lighter coloring to the sky where it had been. An afterimage of the day, a false promise that the sun will shine again, a lie saying the light wins. This too sends shivers of self recognition through her. With the sun finally set, with darkness fully upon her, her thoughts plunge fully into the dark.

She starts to remember the mission to Myrkr. She remembers the bickering and fighting between the young Jedi, between Jacen and Anakin. She feels the first of her tears as she remembers the reckless abandon with which he threw himself into the protection of his sister. She wants to scream at the sense of sacrifice he had which caused him to constantly throw himself into danger. Then she feels even more tears, their salty taste tingling as they cross her lips, and she remembers that she refused him a final kiss. She knew even then, that he would not return to her, and she wanted to punish him for it.

That killed him you know.

Spinning, she has her blade ignited, her stance part Yuuzhan Vong, part Jedi and part Ghorfa, but all together dangerous and aggressive. She hears herself snarling. "Who's there?"

Just you.

She stretches out with the Force, seeking whoever is toying with her. Yet in the glow of her blade, her eyes confirm what the Force tells her. There is no one there. She is all alone on the edge of this cliff. The deep black of the crevice to one side of her, the tree line and their shadows to the other, and even that last lie of light gone from the sky.

Extinguishing her blade, she sinks to the ground. The pain of her memories washes over her in waves, and she feels her saber slip from her grasp and can hear the soft sounds of metal against stone as it rolls away from her.

Accept the pain. Don't hide from it.

Finally, she recognizes the voice. It is her voice, while at the same time it is not her voice. It is the voice of Riina. Riina the part of her that does not shy from pain and misery, the part of her who screams that vengeance and revenge are okay and something that should be dealt out as often as possible.

It is Riina's voice, Riina whose voice whispers so many truths to her, truths that she normally would refuse to accept or even acknowledge the existence of, truths which are painful to learn and know.

He is dead, and none of those around you truly care. Not about him. Not about you.

"No! That's not true. They loved him. I loved him!"

No, they used him, they killed him. They sent you all to Myrkr, knowing he would die. Hoping you would too.

She has no way to argue against that, for what Riina speaks is her own fears and dark thoughts. What Riina speaks is what her nightmares show her every night.

We can always avenge him? Destroy those who sent him to die. Make those who mock your pain, who rejoiced at his death suffer and bleed.

"No, I can't. I'm, I'm a Jedi."

So was he.

She has no argument against that. Here, where she is, with no sun, no light, she cannot refute the dark sway of her thoughts, spoken as they are in Riina's voice, in her voice. And here in the dark, she is not entirely certain that she wishes to. Yet at the same time she wonders what would have happened if the sun had not set, if she still stood in the warm glow of the morning sun.

But deep down she does know.

If the sun had not set, she would have been able to ignore the voice. If the sun had not set, she could have been happy. If the sun had not set, she could have stayed a Jedi. If her sun had not set, she could have stayed in the light.

But Darkness has fallen, and the sun has set.

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