Title: Destiny

Author: Angel

E-mail: valarltd@hotmail.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/lady_aethelynde

Spoilers: Empire Strikes Back

Rating: PG, violence

Summary: A revised version of the duel at the end of Empire, Luke's PoV

Type: AU, PoV

Pairing: None

Disclaimer:If they were mine, I'd be off this rock
so fast it would make your head swim. As it is, I own
nothing except an expired passport, a handleless skillet
and an option on a case and a half of A&W from Priceline.

Acknowledgements: My daughter, Victoria. But more than
that would be a spoiler.

Notes: For Tam, Mommy Vader, who wanted birthday fic.

Feedback: I crave it. It's my favorite high.

2000 Angelia Sparrow

"You are beaten. It is useless to resist.
Do not let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan was."

I can feel the energy from the lightsaber bare centimeters
from my nose. Spurred, I gain my feet and resume the battle,
scoring a hit on Vader's arm.

He destroys a trio of beams, and we clash once more before--


The pain is unbearable, and I sink to my knees on the gantry.
My lightsaber is gone, and my right hand with it. A cauterized
stump meets my disbelieving gaze.

Vader looms impossibly huge before me, saber still ignited.
"There is no escape."

He is so wrong. I repeat the litany Yoda taught me, silently.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no death, there is the Force.
I wish I could believe it.

"Don't make me destroy you," he says, almost imploring as I begin to inch
backward along the gantry. "Luke, you do not yet realize your importance.
You have only begun to discover your power. Come with me and I will complete
your training. With our combined strength we can end this destructive conflict
and bring order to the galaxy."

Complete my training? How big a fool does he think I am? And order?
What order? A beaten galaxy, crushed by fear. I don't want that. There
is no death, there is the Force. I grasp the vertical, and turn away from him.

"I'll never join you!""

"If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you
what happened to your father."

Oh stars, how could he know? How could he know of all the
years of yearning, of hero-worship, of wanting? My father, the navigator.
My father, the Jedi.

"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"

"No. I am your father."

Shock, stunned rage. The first thoughts leaped out of my mouth.
"No. No! That's not true. That's impossible."

"Search your feelings, you know it to be true."

My feelings? All I have is pain. My body hurts, my soul hurts.
There is no death, there is the Force. And the Force tells me
that Vader has spoken the truth. Obi-Wan lied to me! Darkness
and light. The light lies and the darkness
tells the truth. What else did Ben and Yoda lie about? Is
this what the Tree tried to tell me? The light lies.
The denial of this is automatic.

"No! No!" I bury my face against the cold steel.

"Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has forseen this. It is your destiny."

Destiny. I am so sick of the word. In the name of destiny, Ben and Yoda
tried to mold me into something, a guided patricidal missile. What can
Vader do in the name of destiny that would be worse?

"Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son."

The lightsaber is extinguished, and a massive black hand extends
toward me. My father, who wants me at his side, reaches to
me as I cling to cold metal above a precarious drop.

And the Force tells me that he still speaks the truth.
If the light lies, and the darkness speaks the truth; if the light
sends sons to kill their fathers all unknowing and the dark allows
fathers to maim their sons, which do I choose?

The black glove fills my vision, an offering.

It reaches for me, hope outstretched.

It beckons.

And, stars help me, I reach out and take it.