|Dark Empire rewritten
Author: jedisagefish PM
Set in 10 ABY. Following the basic storyline of the comic series Dark Empire in which Luke falls to the dark side, but in a more realistic manner. The resurrected Emperor tries to ensnarl him into the dark side. Luke has eventually no choice, but to accept apprenticeship under the powerful master of evil, hoping that he will be strong enough to resist the temptations.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Mystery - Luke S. & E. Palpatine - Words: 1,401 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 6 - Published: 09-20-12 - id: 8541613
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So, I thoroughly disagree with the comic series Dark Empire. The worst of it is that in novels following the comic series references are made to the comics, in which Luke goes to the dark side. I believe that if he was prone to fall to the dark side he would've done it at the end of Return of the Jedi and not a few years (and a lot of experience) later, when the same man tries to convince him once more. Mild frustration of the references to the event that I believed to be impossible lead me to start a rewrite, that was more realistic and thus acceptable in my mind. This is the result.
With a Jedi's flawless intuition he marches directly to the throne room—
Luke Skywalker, still surrounded by uncertainty, responded perfectly to the powerful source that had haunted him and was luring him right into the trap. Granting the resurrected Emperor's wish. The young, though experienced, Jedi, had not lost his naivety and it would once again lead Luke to him. This time he was not to escape.
Blinded by the very idea that it was of his own 'free choice' that he marched these hallways, the Jedi would be crushed by his own arrogance and the overestimation of his own power. The Emperor openly chuckled at the very thought, waiting patiently for the doors to his throne room to open. A moment he stayed silent, the back of his chair turned to where Luke Skywalker was standing. He revelled in the power he held over the young man, before he spoke without a trace of the humour he felt:
"Excellent, excellent, you have come to me of your own free will!"
He felt a ripple of surprise come from the Jedi, yet it was not enough to overpower Skywalker's expectations.
"Somehow I knew…" he spoke, his voice almost a whisper. "But I saw you die!" he said aloud then, still wishing to convince himself that this wasn't possible. The Emperor turned to face the Jedi. Skywalker had grown stronger, more powerful and yet he seemed remarkably similar to last time they met. Much like himself.
"It was not the first time I died, nor will it be the last," he responded to Skywalker's confusion. "Such are the mysteries of the dark side of the Force." Of course the only response to these words were intrigue, even for a Jedi. Especially for an ill-informed Jedi like Skywalker. He continued his explanation. "You see, my friend, flesh does not easily support this great power. For many years I've been under a dire necessity! My body has decayed again and again… and each time I have needed to take another…" He saw the shock in Skywalker's eyes, though he remained his calm self. Ah, he had not lost his supreme power over himself. Yes, Skywalker excelled at self-control, but it would break today. "A humble clone of the man I once was."
"Clones," Skywalker repeated, "then it's true."
"Yes, young Skywalker," he replied mockingly, watching the boyish shape of the experienced man before him shift slightly from one leg to the other. "The dying is painful, the transition is not an enjoyable experience. But, it's a small price to pay for," the corners of his mouth curled up and he eyed Skywalker as he whispered; "eternal life." Eternal life, made possible by his sheer power, his formless energy that required not a stable form to continue existence. All of this he would teach Skywalker, if only -
"And now," he spoke. "My young apprentice, your father is dead. Have you come to join me? Will you finally take the place that rightfully belongs to you?" Skywalker's indecision rippled through the air and the Emperor let out a chuckled laugh. Once the boy had been so sure. Was the temptation finally ensnarling him into the dark side? "You will take command over many of my operations."
"I do not long for command," Skywalker replied determinedly, but it was no full answer to the Emperor's question.
"The Rebels had their chance and they have ruined it," the Emperor went on, deciding to pull a few different strings. "I allowed them years to rebuild, but they failed. And now I have outflanked them once more. They stand no chance. In secret I have worked to construct enough weaponry to crush them with ease."
Next to the Jedi his astromech droid let out a series of beeps and a moment later the hatch opened and, arrogantly, the droid revealed Skywalker's lightsaber. Almost lazily the Jedi reached out to take it, but he did not ignite it.
"It is your destiny, my friend, to succeed your father." The Jedi did not speak, held his lightsaber in his two hands, though did not take on any battle stance. His doubts lay thick on his mind, easily read by a trained manipulative man like the Emperor. "If you strike me down, I will live again. Perhaps – if you strike me down in anger – I will even live as you."
Skywalker's gaze fell down to the floor and his hand, holding the lightsaber, dropped to his side. In his memory he would repeat last time he had tried to strike the old man down. He had come so close to the dark side that the Emperor still wondered how he had managed to return from it. This time, he would not underestimate Skywalker's good will.
"You have grown wise in the ways of the force," the Emperor said, "you are no longer the impulsive youth, at war with your own anger and thus you do not strike."
Luke Skywalker looked up at that, forming his confusion into the simplest question there was:
"Then how do I conquer you?" he asked, aware of the fact that if he were to fight the Emperor now his anger would inevitably be the lead. Was it not the Emperor that had killed many, was it not the Emperor that had broken the family that he never knew? The Emperor that killed his parents, despite how Anakin had never truly perished within the darkness that had consumed him. Luke Skywalker hated him above all else, but would not let this hatred get the better of him.
"You can still conquer me," the Emperor spoke, luring him further into the trap. "Learn the secrets of the dark side."
Luke's mind was in conflict and for the longest of moments the throne room remained quiet. His thoughts were racing, desperately trying to come to a solution that would not require him to go along with what the Emperor was suggesting. Slowly he was becoming aware of the fact that, to defeat the Emperor, he would need to understand the dark side. And who was there to teach him? Who, save the Emperor himself?
He had managed to bring his father back, even after all those years. He had known what to do and he needed to trust that he would remember the road back himself. He needed to believe he could bring himself back, if he were to fall.
All the Emperor's words blazed like well remembered lightning across his mind. The dark side had spoken and for once… it spoke the truth. Twisting the Emperors words into his own wishes, Luke understood that he must challenge the dark side from within. He needed to penetrate this power and learn its secrets, if he ever were to conquer it.
There is no other way.
"Yes," he spoke, lowering himself onto one knee and bowing his head before the man he respected least of all. "My father's destiny is my own." His heart hurt, but he ignored the pang. A pang of worry, guilt and immediate regret. But he had to understand that the man on his knees now was just a mask, a mask of his true intentions to bring down this darkness, not join it.
"Very good! It is done," the Emperor stood from his throne and stepped towards him. He heard Artoo voice a confusion, which did not help his guilt. "My friend, let us celebrate our conquest of a galaxy."
All Luke could think was Leia, I'm sorry… for whatever would follow, he brought great danger upon all of them.