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It was almost like freedom, really. That’s why he liked it.

That, and he was good at it. Sure, he was good at mechanics, too, but that didn’t have the same sort of adrenaline rush to it. Actually, repair was one of the most soothing activities he knew. He suspected that he found it as rejuvenating as Yoda or Mace Windu found meditation. He’d never been as good at that. He needed purpose. Fixing what was broken, though… sometimes, when he was supposed to be meditating and resting in his quarters, he was really tinkering, or tuning up a ship. It worked.

But fixing things, that was one thing. It always served a purpose, even if that purpose was only ‘What? It was broken, and now it’s not.’

Flying was something else.

Back on Tatooine, when he was a kid, there was nothing better than racing. It wasn’t just the adrenaline, or the feel of a humming vehicle and knowing each and every part by name. It wasn’t just the pride of proving he was better at this than those rats. It was knowing—or at least being able to pretend—that for that time, only one person was in charge of his future, and it was him. Only his skill and determination could win that race. Nothing could take that from him. Not even being a slave.

But that was years ago, and he was a Jedi now. And sure, maybe he wasn’t entirely at the helm of his fate, exactly. He served a new master, but he chose it. More or less. Well, who wouldn’t? And he had a wife—in secret, maybe, and he’d catch the wrath of the Council if they knew, but he’d never really expected to be allowed that kind of choice.

And maybe a lot of it was still confusing, and painful. And the war was not letting up. But on the other hand…

“General Skywalker?”

“Yes, Admiral?”

“Shadow Squadron is cleared for departure.”

“Thank you. If Obi-wan calls, tell him we’ll see him on the other side.”

…on the other hand, so long as he could keep flying, Anakin was pretty sure he’d be all right.


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Anakin Skywalker

June 2017

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