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For genprompt bingo.

Title: Fractures

Summary: They say Mace Windu died after falling from the window on Coruscant that duel with Palpatine. What happened to him is far worse.

Prompt: Crack treated seriously.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Notes: Not TBE-related this time, mostly some stuff that I'm writing because I can't sleep. (Yay me. /sarcasm) Based off Yet Another Wacky Snoke Theory on the Internet, this time involving Snoke being Mace Windu. I admit I have a problem with that because Mace just wouldn't do that, but I thought I would give it a go.

It's altered a lot just to make sense of things (and there's stuff I couldn't fit into this story like Finn being Mace/Snoke's child). And yeah, it's not really novelization compliant. I really am sorry. Also hoping I didn't butcher Mace's characterization.



It only takes a moment for Anakin Skywalker to cut off Mace Windu's hand.

It takes only a moment for Mace Windu to be blasted out the window, the Sith Lord's crow of glee in his ears, and finally manage to barely slow his fall.

It takes a moment for Mace Windu to wake, and feel that something is very wrong in the Force, to feel that fellow Jedi have left the Force, and the Dark Side has fully overcome everything.

The Republic is gone. That which Mace has loved above all others is gone. Those called his comrades are gone. Mace Windu is alone.

***

He forms the Knights of Ren away from the Emperor's prying eyes. They are not Light, nor are they Dark, but a mixture of both. They balance the Light and the Dark both as Mace has always done. He takes on the name of Snoke -- Snoke Ren, for he is not Mace Windu anymore. He feels it deep in his bones -- he has changed. He has seen his beloved Republic be revealed as controlled by a Sith Lord, before said Sith took it over and made it into a dictatorship.

They cannot even begin to rebuild the Jedi Order, let alone bring back his dead friends. Plo Koon, Ki-Adi Mundi, Saesee Tiin, Kit Fisto, so many lined up for the slaughter like banthas. And Depa...

There is no death, there is the Force. And yet Mace grieves for Depa. She died a hero and he is grateful for that. She died saving others. And yet he misses her, nonetheless, misses all of them.


***

Time passes. The Empire falls, all because Vader had a change of heart at the last minute and sacrificed himself to save his son. Snoke knows better. It was attachment, sentiment, weakness that in the end led Vader to do what he did, not something out of the goodness of his heart. Anakin Skywalker was always weak, and this is no exception. And now his son is going to be rebuilding the Jedi Order.

This can't do.

Luke Skywalker is too much like his father. Snoke has followed him, studied him, his ingratitude and his recklessness and overflow of emotion, so much like his father's, too much like his father's. A Jedi Order under him is as terrible as an Order under Anakin himself. Snoke doubts he can bear that.

***

It's five years after Endor that Snoke feels the disturbance. A boy. A small boy, recently born, the perfect balance between the Light and Dark Side of the Force. The Light that swirls within him mingles perfectly with the Dark.

There always was a chance of the prophecy being misread. Mace Windu suspected that from the start. Anakin Skywalker, untrained, wild, reckless, and hardly the one to fulfill the prophecy as it was foretold. But this child...

The more Snoke studies the boy from a distance, the more he sees the potential, and the danger of leaving the child -- Ben, he learns, from the bright, colorful tendrils that make up the youngling's mind -- with his parents. He is too sensitive to their fights, to their thoughts. He reacts too much, feels too much.

It would have been more sensible if he had been given to the Order. The First Order, not this new Jedi Order that Skywalker's formed that hardly deserves to be called a Jedi Order. It is an atrocity, a butchery of everything that the old Order stood for, and Snoke despises Skywalker for it.

He can't very well waltz in and take the boy. That would hardly work, and Snoke is no kidnapper. But he can watch. How he can watch, taking in the boy's life through the Force and coaching him where he can.

***

It's during the war that Snoke captures him, when he's twenty-three. He awakes in Snoke's headquarters, blinking, groggy, rubbing his eyes. "Where am I?" he says, and even his voice is different to Skywalker's. He is different from Skywalker in all ways that matter -- striving for perfection where Skywalker cared nothing for it, demure at times where Skywalker was petulant and loud, dark-haired and fair-skinned where Skywalker was blond and fair-skinned. But his voice -- Skywalker's was flat, occasionally with barely held back petulance. Ben's is soft and oddly musical -- oddly, of course. Low, soft, and pure music.

"You have nothing to fear. You are my guest."

"And Poe..."

The pilot. Of course. Ben cares for him, deeply. Snoke can feel it. Attachments are not allowed in the Order. Even Skywalker's own marriage and production of a child goes against the Code as much as his father's own decision did (though in this case, he had children as opposed to one child). It is something that he will have to sacrifice when he becomes Snoke's apprentice.

"He is safe." And that is the truth. Snoke does not lie.

"Who are you?" The voice is confused, in wonder. "I know you. By the stars, I know you."

"I have crossed galaxies to find you, Ben Solo..."

***

From thereon in comes the task of convincing him.

Ben argues. Of course he does. He's as stubborn as his grandfather before him -- and it's knowing about his grandfather that sends a certain look into his eyes as if his heart is breaking.

"Why?" he says. "Why didn't they tell me? Is this why they were so afraid of me?"

And Snoke's heart cannot help but ache for him. Poor youngling. Poor Jedi. Snoke is not one for pity in certain circumstances, as circumstance has hardened his heart. But he can understand the depths of foolishness to which Han and Leia have both sunk in terms of not letting him go at infancy. Even four years old is too old for training.

Too old. Too full of emotion.

Letting him go at infancy would have been more of a kindness, after all, than letting him stay in a house with a frequently absent father and a mother nervous around her own child. It would have been better for him. The mother -- a Senator. Snoke has always despised politicians -- only understood when the child was four. It would have helped if the father understood too, but he never did respect the ways of the Force.

If only, he thinks, the mother had understood earlier.

***
It's later on Ben asks to see his face.

Snoke does not know, in truth, how he will react even as he steps out into the light. Others who have seen his face have drawn back in horror before. But he steps reluctantly into the light.

"They are old scars," Snoke begins, "And they are many, and though they may appear -- ''

Ben cuts him off just then. "Hello," he says, and it's gentle, free from any sort of judgment or repulsion. Snoke would not blame him if the sight of his Force Lightning damage and his other scars (one near his mouth he got during torture) sent Ben screaming in terror, but Ben's eyes

brown eyes, almost black. Snoke is struck by how dark and expressive they are.

are calm and kind.

There is silence. Then Ben speaks. "You got those in battle, didn't you?" he says. "From the Emperor..."

"Yes." Betrayal scars, scars of one man's cowardice and another's megalomania. "I know they must seem...hideous to you."

"No," Ben says. "Not even a little."

Snoke doesn't know how to react to this kindness, this gentleness. This man has seen his scars and not rejected them, but accepted them. Completely, utterly. Not even a little. Snoke doesn't expect those words, but this man...

This man is unlike any he has met before.

***

The last time a slaughter like this happened, Snoke was Mace Windu, watching in horror as his friends died and as the Republic crumbled to the ground, all thanks to that Sith disease known as Darth Sidious.

Now...now he is Snoke, and doing his duty as the new Jedi Order crumbles once more, as it should. He commands his Knights to lay waste to the Temple. Casualties are, unfortunately, inevitable, but that is the way of things if you are to carry out your duty. The Clone Wars taught him that too well. All things for the greater good, all things, no matter how atrocious.

They are not his people, besides. They have not been his people for some time. The last of his people died in Order 66 and the rest are merely imposters.

They must fall.

And in their place will come a better Order, a First Order of sorts, to make things right.



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