Title: Luke Vader Series 1: From Slave to Dark Lord of the Sith
Author: SJ
Author email: skyjade@globetrotter.net
Category: Between the Trilogies/Rebellion series
Keywords: Luke, Vader, Mara, the Emperor, Xizor, Leia
Spoilers: ANH
Rating: R for mature readers because of its topic

Summary: Six-year-old Luke Skywalker is kidnapped, enslaved, and sold to...
Darth Vader. From this moment, his life will never be the same and will
eventually surpass his wildest dreams when he finally earns the right to claim
his Sith identity after years of secret services to the Emperor.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned
by Lucasfilm, Ltd. No money is being made and no infringement is intended.

Author's Note: Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend,
Adrianne, for her help with the final editing of my new version. Thanks for
giving me some of your precious time, my friend :)


Luke Vader: From Slave to Dark Lord of the Sith
Part 1: Slave
SJ 26-04-00/10-00 (skyjade@globetrotter.net)




Little Luke Skywalker had known that he shouldn't have gone too far from the
farm, but his desire for adventure had been too strong to resist it.

He had ventured into the intriguing Dune Sea.

Uncle Owen had often rebuked him about his straying, saying that it was not safe
for anybody, out there in the sand.

Tonight, he thought in worry, he wouldn't need his uncle to tell him that; he
now knew what his uncle had meant.

He kicked again against the door of his holding cage.

He had been exploring a dune which had seemed to be calling to him when the
speeder and its burly passengers had come up on him from the other nearby dune.
The speeder had flown low, fast--- and straight at him; one of the men had
grabbed him as he had been trying to run to safety.
They had first stunned him and thrown him on the backseat, but when he had
been too rambunctious to their taste...

Well, he admitted with some pride, he had been real bad by pulling their hair
out and biting them, but they had deserved it; they hadn't wanted to let him go.

Anyway, they had bound him and silenced him, then had put him in the cage that
was on the back of their speeder.

Despite the extreme warmth, he kept banging on the closed opening, hoping that
his free feet and legs would be strong enough to force it open.

He didn't know who those persons were, but he knew one thing for sure: they were
not good people. Even though he was seven years old, well almost..., he could
feel when people wanted his welfare or not.

They didn't.

A shadow on his left suddenly attracted his attention; he turned his head and
his eyes widened in fear as he understood where he was being taken.

Jabba's Palace...

He wished that he had been wrong about the men, he thought desperately... then
resolved to give as much trouble as he could to the men and aliens who would
dare keep him against his wish.

And he did.

******
******


A few months later.



Darth Vader hated Naureal.

He hated it because it was far from any decent world, which made it ideal for
its role as a major trade center for slaves. If only he could put an end to
that slavery thing, he thought darkly and not for the first time since he had
unfortunately set foot on the planet.

He walked swiftly down the streets, cursing yet again the fact that he couldn't
use a speeder in such crowded streets. He tried to block out the calls of the
slave traders as they offered fresh flesh to whoever could afford their prices.
Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks.

Someone nearby was Force-sensitive and was trying hard to use his powers.
A young, male mind.

Vader scanned further around himself.

He ordered his troops to wait for him before he made his way toward a stage
that seemed to beckon to him. He came up just in time to see a young, fair-
haired boy being pulled into view. As he studied the scene, he clinically noted
that the child was obviously very unhappy about his situation. He scanned him
with the Force.

He was the one... A genuine Jedi child...

"And the last but not the least: Luke, aged of seven," the woman's suave voice
rang clearly throughout the whole plaza. "This boy is strong for his age, and
brilliant. He is very enduring, has stamina and has lived on a farm since his
young age. We start the bid at twenty thousand."

"Twenty-five," a first alien yelled.

"Thirty-five," a second bid.

"Fifty," a third one added.

Totally oblivious to the ongoing bidding, Vader continued to study the Jedi
child he had just stumbled onto. The way the boy was tightening his fists yet
remained passive..., he thought seriously while sifting his mind for a clue as to
why it seemed important for him--- then he understood.

The child had been drugged, but he was slowly breaking free of it thanks to his
Force sensitivity.

Most powerful, he surmised warily.

"A hundred thousand," someone said in the crowd.

Nobody answered to that.

"A hundred thousand once, twice---"

"Five hundred thousands," the dark lord offered calmly, perfectly hiding his
instantaneous disgust at his own behavior.

He had just turned himself into a slaver, the worst kind of being that he could
meet in his whole life. Of course, he conceded, money wasn't the problem; the
amount would barely make a nick in his fortune, but a Jedi child... The Emperor
would not have been pleased if he hadn't just done what he had.

Meanwhile, everybody present around him gasped, then cringed away as they
recognized who had just purchased the last child. Vader walked forward,
ignoring their stares of envy and fear.

He was above them; unlike them, he wasn't a true slaver, he was only serving his
master no matter what it required of him.

"Once, twice, Sold to Lord Vader," the woman purred to him as he approached the
stage.

Vader didn't look at her as he gave her the credits, then as he took the boy's
leash from her.

"It's been a pleasure making a deal with you, my Lord. If you ever want more,
here is my card," she tried nonetheless to take advantage of his showing up at
her 'doorstep'.

Vader dismissed her attempt to seduce him.

"That one will be enough," he answered curtly as he pulled the boy off the
stage; he made his way out of the selling court.





Luke was aware of the black-clad giant who had just purchased him, 'was' even afraid of him, but he couldn't resist him, just like he hadn't been able to resist his captors ever since they had arrived on that planet. While he docilely followed the dark lord through the city, he wished that his anger would once again allow him to resist the drug.

Ever since he had boarded 'the' transport at Jabba's palace, he had come to
realize that his anger could allow him to not sleep when his captors tried to
make him sleep, that it also allowed him to understand what the aliens were
saying even though he didn't know their language. However, at the moment, his anger didn't seem strong enough to break him free from this new kind of control; he hated not being able to try and escape.

Thankfully, when he and his new master reached the spaceport, the drug finally began to recede from his system and he was able to think 'and' act for himself. The first thing he did was to pull against his leash, trying to pull it free from the other's hold and run away from him.

The second thing he did was gasp in pain as the chain turned to be scalding hot; he instantly let go of it.

*You might be a child, but that will not stop me from punishing you even more if
you try this again,* he heard in his head.

Luke froze in utter shock; nobody but himself had ever talked to him in his
head.

*Better,* the voice praised him darkly even as Lord Vader walked onward, as if nothing had happened.




They boarded the shuttle; Vader sat in a seat, then pulled his Jedi child down
and beside his feet.

The boy sat there, wincing at his rough landing on the deck.

He watched him with interest when he rubbed his aching left ankle. He hadn't
cried, he noted coolly... The little one was not an average-tempered child. In a way, he conceded that it was a good thing since he wouldn't have much patience for a sniveling baby, but on the other hand, it was foreboding trouble if the child was even slightly defiant. He would have no choice but to teach him the proper behavior in his presence... and he himself didn't particularly care about hurting innocent children.

Especially one who looked eerily like he himself had looked when he had also
been a slave. From afar, he hadn't noticed the physical traits of the boy, but
now that he could study him at his leisure, the striking blue eyes and sandy-
blond hair kept bringing back memories of his own childhood in his mind.

Of course, he thought with annoyance, this was totally ridiculous. It was only
what the psychologists called compassion thanks to his own experience.

Nothing else.

His shuttle finally lifted off; he continued his silent study.

The child, no more than seven years old, he surmised, was untrained yet seemed
already able to use the Force. Quite natural, he conceded as he probed his
senses and felt the turmoil of his dark emotions. Anger, hatred, frustration...
They were all fueling his latent abilities.

As if sensing his probe, the boy raised his head.

Even as he felt his intention to address him, Vader sent him another warning.
*Silence.*

The boy's eyes grew large again as he heard him again in his mind; he lowered
his sight back to the deck and remained silent.

Now, he thought, gazing forward at his approaching flagship, what was he going
to do with a slave Jedi child?..




Luke wrapped his arms around his knees and tried to warm himself in the cold
environment of the shuttle. It looked like his cruel guard had had his wish about his being bought by the cruelest master ever, he reflected sadly; Luke knew who Darth Vader was. He was the dark henchman of the Emperor, and he was responsible for some of the worst atrocities in the history of the galaxy.

He had learnt to fear even the mention of his name.

Now he was in his very presence.

Up to now, he knew that his father would've been proud of him, but now... with
this new master... could he resist him?, he wondered doubtfully. Considering
the amount of money that he had paid, Vader wouldn't kill him either, he knew;
he too would punish him.

He clenched his fists and kept his tears inside his eyes.



******




They reached the Dark Lord's ship.

There, Vader went straight to his quarters; the troops left him alone to deal
with his first and new slave.

Even though he had considered how he would proceed once alone with him, he
admitted to himself that he still didn't know exactly how to behave with the
child... except like his former master, whom he hated with a passion, had
behaved with him. He was doing this for the Emperor, he reminded himself
seriously to spur himself into bad motion, but he also promised himself to
deliver the child as soon as possible.

He wouldn't be a slaver any longer than he had to.

Once the door was closed behind them, he pulled the child back to his side and
freed him from his slave's collar. Even without it, he knew that he would be
able to control him, but if he didn't have to do so, he wouldn't be constantly
reminded of what he had done today. That despising bidding to purchase a human
child... Sighing to himself, he slipped in his already hated role of slaver.

"You are mine now," he told the small child very seriously. "I paid for you and
you are now my registered property. I am your master," he stated as ominously
as he could to both gauge the boy's strength of will as well as implicitly warn
him not to try anything.

"I know..." the child pouted in answer, turning away from him.

Aware that it was a sign of defiance which no slave was allowed to show, Vader
reflexively grabbed the boy's arm with the Force and whirled him back toward
himself.

The child instantly took hold of his arm as if to massage it. That's when the
dark lord became aware of the make-up that was slowly rubbing off from his skin.
Cover up, he understood even as he crouched in front of the boy to have a better
look at him; he pulled the boy close to him, careful to not touch his obviously
sensitive arm.

Although hesitant, the sarong-clothed child didn't resist him and stepped closer
to him. Where his skin had looked normal, Vader saw that an ugly, very dark
black and blue was now covering his small biceps. He knew exactly what it
meant: the child was probably more hard-headed than he had surmised.

"How many more bruises are hidden from me?" he asked the young boy.




Luke remained silent. He didn't know the answer to the question and the tall
man was shocking him mute with fright.

"When I ask you a question, you will answer me," his slaver suddenly ordered
menacingly, tightening his hold around his arm.

"I don't know!" he exclaimed instantly, scared to death by the ominous man.

"Would you say many?" the dark lord asked him, not exactly releasing him, but
not letting him go either.

He nodded energetically, desperate to be released from the other's grip.

"Where?" Vader asked, as if unconcerned.

"Everywhere," Luke tried again as truthfully as he could.

Vader let him go this time; the child took two hasty steps backward.



"Everywhere?" the dark lord queried in disbelief, straightening back to his
full height.

He himself had been a slave; he knew that only the most stubborn of the lot
were--- his thought came to a halt and he merely gazed in the boy's eyes. They
met his gaze head-on, bravely hiding the film of tears that was working its way
around them thanks to his palpable fear and despair.

This little one was very much hardheaded, he understood even as he became aware
of what it meant for him: he would have to be hard with the child.

Meanwhile, the boy gently rubbed his sore arm as he felt him fight against his
pain.

Vader noticed that more make up came off his skin.

"Come," he ordered him and turned around.

It took him a few seconds to realize that the boy hadn't budge from his place.
Sighing in heavy resignation, Vader wrapped a Force-leash around his throat,
then pulled him hard after himself.






Luke was so startled by the invisible pull that he almost fell face first on the
floor; however, he managed to retain his balance and limped as fast as he could
after the towering dark lord. The strange leash around his neck disappeared.

How could the dark lord do what he'd done?.., he wondered in fear. He hadn't
even touched him!

In front of him, Vader entered a luxurious 'fresher. Luke reflexively studied
the new surroundings, looking for a way to escape his captor. The room was
spacious, equipped with a deep, black bath that Luke had only ever dreamed
about, and a similarly black shower stall. Except for those though, the rest of
the room was white and filled with controls on the wall near the door.

It was a closed room.

As he finished his study, he became aware that water was already going down the
shower's tap.

Water?! A real shower?!, he gaped wide-eyed. He had never seen such a shower
except in the holos of the rich and famous people. Of course, he shook his
head, Lord Vader was the second richest and most famous man in the universe...
after the Emperor.

The deep voice of his captor pulled him out of his thoughts.

"Take off your clothe and get inside," Vader told him curtly.

"Why?" Luke asked him, unsure about what the dark lord wanted.

First he was asking him about his bruises, and now he was asking him to take off
what little clothe he still had. Even though he was young, Luke didn't like
being naked in front of people.

To answer his question, Vader's unseen power forced him into the shower, then
his piece of fabric was ripped off of him and the door closed.

"While you're in there, boy," the dark lord told him menacingly. "Take the soap
and wash yourself. You have ten minutes."

He then left the room, the door sealing shut and cutting off the ominous sound
of his breather. Now alone, Luke instantly tested the door.

He couldn't open it. He tested it again; it still wouldn't move.

Suddenly, the soap fell on his head, implicitly reminding him of what he was
supposed to do. Reluctantly, he lathered himself, careful not to press too hard
against the places where his bruises were. The water at his feet quickly turned
to a peach-brown color as he washed off the make-up that had been used on him.

Then, he simply stood under the water and waited... until his brain caught up
with him and he became aware that it was the first time ever that he was
standing under so much water.

It was fun!.., he thought with a slight smile, which quickly saddened once
again. Too bad that he had had to become a slave to experience this...
For the millionth time since 'that' day, he wondered if his aunt and uncle had
figured out what had happened to him... his aunt was probably very worried about
him... Uncle Owen a bit less so, but he was probably searching for him like he
had done every time he had been playing too far from the farm.

Suddenly feeling his anger leave him to be replaced by deep sorrow, Luke leaned
against the wall behind him, closed his eyes, then fought again against his need
to cry.

No, he tried to strengthen himself. His father wouldn't cry. He wouldn't
cry... not until he was sure to be left alone for a while.



In his office, Vader finished his quick instructions concerning the boy.
After his first evaluation of the boy, he had decided to keep him close by
instead of locking him up in the main cell bay. Thus, he had requested a droid
to find small, very straight clothes, a cot and a blanket for the child to sleep
on. Then, he began his search for a proper 'cell'.

While he did so, he considered his next step. He still had a few things to
establish about the child, but once he would have all his answers, he would
contact the Emperor. However, he didn't want to delay that moment anymore than
necessary. Whether the Emperor would want him or not, he himself couldn't allow him to defy him and the Empire. He hoped that the child would prove to be
intelligent and understand this quickly. Otherwise, his own resent might just
express itself in a way he would regret... and he himself would truly regret it,
he admitted reluctantly while he considered yet again the eerie resemblance
between himself as a child and the nameless child.

There was something about the boy, he decided, something that was just lurking
under the surface, but he would make it emerge to the surface. He would find
out why this child left him more distraught than he had ever felt since... well
since a long, long time, he thought, forcing down unpleasant memories from the
past.

He finally found an unused closet where he would be able to 'stash' the
intriguing child away. All he needed was to activate its delivery trap and he
would have as efficient an enclosing as he could come up with in his private
quarters.

Minutes later, the droid returned with the articles he had requested; he himself
returned in the 'fresher... to the boy who made him feel as if he were looking
back in the past, he admitted reluctantly. He turned off his shower.




In the shower, the water stopped and the door suddenly opened as the dark lord
returned. Luke started and took a step backward. Meanwhile, Vader threw him a
towel, put some clothes on the cubicle beside the bath, then turned away from
him.

"Dry yourself and wrap the towel around your waist," he ordered. "I want to see
your real status," he told him calmly.

"My real status?" Luke repeated in confusion. "It---"

A strange pinch warned him to be silent.

The dark lord's voice rumbled up yet again. "Do not speak without permission,
boy. Didn't they teach you to be silent?" he wondered out loud.

"They tried," Luke answered as he dried himself.

He awkwardly wrapped the medium-sized piece of cloth around his hips, then
carefully stepped outside the stall, holding himself against the edges of the
door to secure himself. Vader turned around; he shook his head.

"I see what you mean. Do you wish for me to add to those?" he asked him
seriously.

"No, I want to go home," Luke told him truthfully, feeling a strange softening
in the dark lord.

The clothes he'd previously seen suddenly landed on his head, effectively
smothering it.

"It is impossible, boy," his slaver told him seriously. "I am your new home.
You would do better to accept it."

Luke took the clothes off of his head and glared at the dark lord.
Accept it?! He had heard that a lot since he had been kidnapped, and he knew
what 'it' meant.

"I will never accept it," he yelled in anger. "I am not an animal; I'm a
person and my name is Luke Skywalker."




The name shocked the dark lord still.

Skywalker??? What?..

Before he could think further though, the defiant child meant to defy him again.
He himself had heard enough for the moment; he reflexively reached out and
silenced him for the time being.

"You are my slave now; never forget it," he warned him darkly, mechanically.

In his mind however, thought after thought were running wildly.

Skywalker? Could this boy be his..? No, impossible, he would have been aware of
this before if his wife had been... pregnant...

A son...

He had a...

Even as he gazed into the suddenly frightened, horrified blue eyes of the
youngster as he became aware of his forced muteness, he himself 'felt' the truth
of the boy's words.

Sandy haired, Force sensitive... defiant Skywalker child...

This little one was his son.

The moment that he understood the truth for what it was, an instant foreboding
feeling crept up his spine. He couldn't bring his young Jedi to the Emperor
just yet; he would kill him... He would, he thought reluctantly, have to break
this little one's will... no matter what he had to do until he would be ready to
join him in his service of the Emperor.

That... changed more than a few things for the both of them, he thought
seriously even as he involuntarily winced when he caught sight of the boy's
slave mark, much like his own... He hadn't noticed that up to now.




When the dark lord called him slave once again, Luke tried to retort, but he
suddenly found himself unable to produce any sound. Instantly worried, he tried
to speak, still with the same result. His horrified eyes shot upward to meet
the adult's dangerous if hidden ones.

The both of them remained silent for a long, long while, as if the dark lord was
taking pleasure in his distress, he thought angrily.

"When you will learn to control your tongue, boy," his captor told him
seriously. "I shall let you speak again. Now, get dressed and clean up after
yourself. I will be in the room next door," he ordered, then turned away from
him.

He left an horrified young Skywalker in his wake.




Away from the boy, Vader took a moment to think clearly about what had just
rammed into him.

He had a son.

However, the Emperor would want more proof that he was indeed from him before
allowing him to keep him with himself.

He headed for his medical wing and retrieved a sampling tool. Then, he began
to consider how he would act with the boy.

Telling him the truth was out of question, he thought immediately. The child
was too angry and terrified to tell him right now; he would lose him forever
instead of winning him over. However, hatred and anger were good for him; they
would make him powerful in time.... In the meantime though, he had turned
himself into a true slave master, and now had no other choice but to remain one
until his son learnt how to behave properly.

Wonderful, he sneered in disgust.

Second, he thought seriously as he continued his examination of the situation,
there was the boy's potential to consider. He had felt his ability to use the
Force even though he was untrained. If he wanted to reassure the Emperor about
this, he knew that he would have to train the boy right away to teach him not to
use his abilities for himself but for his master only. It would also be a way
for the Emperor to keep an 'eye' on the Jedi child, and hopefully, to convince
him that he would be more useful alive than dead.

Vader frowned slightly at that, aware of where his thoughts were going.

Keep the child alive? When had he begun to care about life or death?

Even as he tried to tell himself that it wouldn't matter, a fresh memory of his
son's features came back to him and he sighed in defeat.

No, he didn't want him to die. He had been stolen from him once; he wouldn't
lose him again and would do anything to keep him with himself. He 'would'
convince his master to keep Luke alive.

Luke... a strong name, he thought seriously, then sneered slightly in annoyance.
A strong mind too. Like his mo...

He stopped his thoughts before he could venture into the sensitive territory of
the past, instead forcing them to focus on how he would 'train' his son while
keeping him in his slave role until he was ready for the truth.





In the 'fresher, Luke remained still for an extra five minutes, trying to
generate any sound at all, but he couldn't. He was completely, utterly mute.
Vader wanted him to disappear, to become like a ghost that would serve him, he
realized.

If he could take his voice, he then thought in horror, he could probably take
something else like his hearing, or his sight... or his thoughts. He couldn't
risk loosing that... not now that he was alone, mute and helpless.

He angrily shoved his arms in the arms of the rough shirt that the dark lord had
found for him, then he did the same with the large, beige pants.
It was not fair, he thought once more, he had 'no' choice. He should have a
choice, he whined angrily.

He turned toward the shower, picked a towel and began cleaning it up.




When he was finished, he exited the door and headed for the room next door...
only there were three such rooms. The three doors were closed and he wasn't
given any clue as to where Vader was. Even stranger, none of the doors opened
when he stepped closer.

*Trust your feelings and find me, boy,* the dark lord told him in his head,
startling him although less violently than the last time that it had happened.
Luke made a face.

Great, games now. He didn't want to---

*Do it,* Vader ordered ominously, warning him of retributions if he didn't obey.

Scared once again, Luke slowly looked at the doors and tried to decide which one
felt most 'attractive'.

He headed for the door on his right.

It didn't open.

*Ask me to let you in, boy,* Vader taunted him.

'How?' Luke thought.

Had the Darksider forgotten that he couldn't speak thanks to him?

*Think of me, then imagine that you're talking to me,* he instructed him
seriously.

At first puzzled, the child made a face and decided to not make a fool of
himself----

'Okay, okay...' he relented hurriedly.

He imagined the black-clad giant; he surprisingly got a very clear image of
him. Feeling like a fool, he pretended to talk to him.

*Can I come in?* he asked him.

As he did so, he felt a strange new awareness enter his senses, an awareness
that allowed him to feel the other's presence on the other side of the door.

*Who am I?* Vader asked him.

Luke sighed since he thought that Vader was playing yet another game. He
focused like he had done before.

*You're Lord Vader.*

*I'm your master, boy. Now, ask me to let you in, the right way this time.*
Luke felt the other's satisfaction about this victory. He withdrew from him.

Playing along with whatever game the dark lord was playing was weird but
bearable, but he simply couldn't imagine calling him by that word. It would
mean that he thought of himself as a slave. No, he wasn't a slave. He was a
person.

He had barely taken a step backward when a dark feeling of anger invaded his
mind from outside----

*Say it.* Vader commanded ominously.

*Please, Master!!* he answered instantly, suddenly very afraid of the dark lord.

The door opened, and he rushed inside. He did not consider himself as a slave,
he thought seriously, but he admitted that he had no choice but to call the dark
lord by that word. Suddenly remembering where he was, he refocused on his
captor.

Vader was comfortably sitting in a large, plush-covered armchair.

"As long as you'll rebel, boy, I will have no choice but to keep you in line,"
the dark lord explained seriously. "I'd rather not, as I demonstrated, but if
you do not give me any other choice, I will. Am I clear?"

Luke nodded weakly.

"Good. Less than a moment ago, you learnt another way to communicate with me.
You will only use it when I contact you first, and you will make sure that
nobody else but me hear you," he informed him.

Luke raised his eyebrows and opened his mouth to speak.

He didn't have the reflex yet to use that mysterious power that he had just
discovered.

"How?" the dark lord suggested. "Like I taught you. Think only about myself
and your message."

Vader was waiting for something... Luke could feel it. Then, his head was
nudged down, as if he had bowed it.

"When I will give you an order, boy, you will have two choices to answer me.
Either you acknowledge it mentally, or you'll bow your head in respect, but I
want either of them," he warned him darkly.

Luke bit his lip in confusion. What did he mean? His head bent down again in
spite of himself.

"That was the last example I'll give you. Do you understand now?"

Luke thought about it a bit. If Vader gave him an order, or made a demand, he
had to acknowledge it. Bowing his head would be the easiest of the two choices.
He nodded to indicate that he understood.

"Good. You will not leave my quarters, under any circumstances, and you will
stay out of sight unless I tell you otherwise," his slaver continued to instruct
him, setting his rules clear.

Luke bowed his head, a bit less gracefully than when Vader had nudged him.

"You will do what I tell you, and how I tell you to do it," he continued with
finality.

Luke bowed again.

"Now come closer; pull up your sleeve." he ordered.

Luke hesitated slightly before stepping forward, but the moment he felt a twinge
in his back, he hurried forward. He stood as close as he dared to the dark
lord and pulled up his left sleeve. He winced when he saw his slave mark on his
arm.




Vader noticed his son's reaction. He had known, from his own experience, that
the boy would react that way. The mark was a very efficient reminder about who
you weren't anymore.

"Did you know that you will never be able to erase it from your skin?" he asked
him as he prepared the tool he needed to take a blood sample.

The boy threw him a terrified look.

"It's unfortunately the truth," he continued more warmly. "Laser marking can
only be taken care of by having your limb hacked off. I know... I bear such a
mark myself," he informed him less harshly than his usual.

Even as he admitted this though, he wondered why he had done so. Was it to
establish some kind of link with the boy? Or because he needed to face the past
that he was seeing again through his son's predicament? He dismissed the
question as inconsequential and focused on his chosen task.

He took a blood sample from his son's arm.




Luke jumped slightly when he felt the bite of the sampling tool, but that
reaction was nothing compared to his shock due to the dark lord's revelation.

He looked at him in disbelief. The powerful dark lord had been a slave before?

"Yes," he nodded in answer to his thoughts, "but I was strong, adapted to the
situation, and I made the most out of it," he told him seriously. "You are
lucky in a way, boy. Unlike most masters, I will reward you if you behave, even
give you back some of your freedom, in time."

Now Luke's eyes really looked as if they were going to fall down from their
orbits.

His... freedom? He would allow him to go back home??? When?

"In time, boy," Vader continued more seriously, "means that you will have to
behave, control yourself and prove that you are trustworthy and subservient.
But if it can help you achieve all this, then yes, keep in mind that you will
not regret it. I give you my word as a former slave," he finished.

The dark lord didn't say so, but Luke understood that it would be hard to
achieve what he had just enumerated. Especially that subservience thing... he
had never liked to be ordered around.

Vader put away the blood sample and let go of his arm.

"I'll show you to your cell now," he told him, reminding him that he might have
opened up, but the situation was still the same.

Luke reluctantly followed the dark lord down the dark corridor. The man opened
some kind of secret door. Inside, there was a sleeping roll with a blanket, but
that was it. It was better than other cells he had been into lately, he thought
sadly, but it was still small and dark inside. Vader had to nudge him into
motion to make him step inside.

"When you will be awaken, you will have fifteen minutes to eat breakfast.
When the door will open, report to me," he instructed him.

Luke looked around himself, remembered to bow his head, then did it more
obviously to make sure that Vader had seen it.

The door slid shut between them. He sat down hard on his cot and let his tears
flow freely.

He had never been this miserable since he'd been taken away from his family...

He curled up on the sleeping mat, hid his head in his arms, then he mentally
hummed the song that he had hummed every night since that dreadful day on
Tatooine; it was the song that his aunt used to sing to him when he had been a
younger boy.

He let it carry him into sleep, like every evening since he had been
kidnapped...



******




In the anteroom of his quarters, Vader inserted the bio sample into his medical
computer, then waited for the results.

Even though he was already convinced that the result would confirm the boy's
identity as his son, the confirmation that the boy was his still came as a
shock, although a dampened one.

He had a son??? How?.. Had Amidala..? Then he remembered the treacherous
Kenobi. Of course, he realized angrily, Kenobi had hidden from him the fact
that his wife had been pregnant, then he had hidden her as well.
He had abandoned his son like an orphan, much like he had deserted his dear,
beloved wife to let her die shortly after the dark victory of the Emperor...
She had died in his arms..., Vader remembered sadly, reliving that awful,
saddest moment in his life which had happened also thanks to the hated Jedi
Order.

They, not him, had abandoned his son to his fate... to slavery.

Vader's rage rose, pure and powerful.

The cursed Jedi had abandoned his son to fend for himself! He might have been
in a family before becoming a slave, but it hadn't been his family. If he had
been with him, he would never have gone through his actual predicament, and he
himself would not have now to drill him and teach him the proper behavior for
his future service to the Emperor. He wouldn't have to steel himself for the
upcoming weeks of despising masquerade of slavery. Force knew how long he would
have to keep it going with his defiant child...

Luke, his boy, had obviously inherited his mother's stubborness as well as her
strength of will. If he were to reveal the truth to him now, he knew that would
never, ever win him to his side, and he would lose him again.

Forever.

No, he decided, he had to first teach him to stay in his place, like any good
imperial servant, himself included, then he would slowly warm up to him until
the boy would feel okay with his situation and would be ready for the truth of
their relationship.

The way to achieve this, he thought as he considered his first Force-test with
the boy, would truly be to teach him about the Force, then to reward him for his
good work. That way, Luke would slowly awake and adapt to his new, unique life
and the destiny that went with it. But now, he had to contact the Emperor and
tell him about this new Force-user.




The Emperor's holo towered over him.

"Yes, Lord Vader?" the Emperor queried gratingly.

"My master, I am sorry to disturb you, but I found a young Jedi-child today,"
the dark lord said respectfully.

"A Jedi-child?" the ruler asked, suddenly interested.

Vader nodded in answer.

"He is now my registered property and will not give you any problems," he
reassured him when he detected the slightest sign of wariness in the ruler.

"A slave?" the other inquired, this time meanly.

He didn't say it out loud, but Vader understood that he was surprised by his
behavior. It might even please him, he conceded unhappily, but he forced
himself to remain cool. It wasn't his place to comment his master's thoughts.

"Yes," he admitted seriously. "I request permission to keep him with me and
train him, Master," he asked solemnly.

The way the other remained silent, Vader prepared himself for either possible
answers.

"First you purchase a slave Jedi boy, then you want to train him. Are you
fomenting a rebellion, Lord Vader?" the other asked him warningly.

"No, Master," he hurried to reassure him about his more than unusual behavior.
"I want to train him to serve you, but he isn't ready for that yet. He needs
taming first."

"I see," the Emperor mused slightly. "I sense a strange eagerness in your
voice, Lord Vader. What is so special about this child that you want me to
grant you permission to keep him?" he asked pointedly.

Vader instantly understood that there would be no hiding anything about his
son. The Emperor knew him far too well for that.

"He is my son, Master," he answered simply.

This revelation surprised the Emperor.

"Your son?" he queried doubtfully.

"I have the scientific proof, Master. My wife must have hidden it from me at
the end," he explained reasonably.

"Perhaps," the galactic tyrant reflected slowly as he considered those news.
"Will this status change his?"

"Not right now, Master. He is not ready for this truth," he reminded him
seriously. "When he will behave and be more subservient, I will set things
straight with him. He is six years old," he pointed out coolly.

As if that detail made a complete difference for the galactic ruler, he leaned
away from the reception field and visibly relaxed. "A mere child" he almost sneered as if it were unimportant now.

Vader pointedly kept himself from mentioning just how powerful the 'mere' child
was. All in good time, he tempered himself. When the boy's life would not be
at risk anymore, he would tell him about that.

"He won't be of any use for the moment," the Emperor continued, oblivious to
Vader's thoughts. "Are you planning to teach him about the Force?" he asked,
leaning forward again as if worried again.

"Always in the prospect of serving you, Master," he bowed respectfully.

A silence marked a time, then a low hiss that reassured Vader.

His son's life was safe for the moment.

"Permission granted, Lord Vader," he told him reluctantly, "But keep me informed
then and again, and keep in mind that your first duty is not him," he told him
warningly.

Vader bowed his head in respect.

"Yes, Master."

The holo disappeared in static, leaving Vader alone.

That last warning had slightly unnerved him, he conceded. The appearance of a
son in his life was portent of several possibilities; they obviously hadn't
escaped the Emperor's shrewd mind. Vader made a note to not allow the presence
of his son to change anything in his life. Only then would he be sure to keep
him with himself and make it up to him for the life that had been forced onto
him.



Minutes later, he made his way toward his specially designed room. As he walked
past the now inhabited closet, he reached out and checked on the sleeping child.
He was asleep, but his mind was clouded by grief and sorrow.

The dark lord didn't pay him anymore attention and entered his room, surprising
himself with the thought that he would like to be able to hold the child in his
arms and comfort him.

Not very Dark Lord like, he sternly rebuked himself, then went to bed.

It had been a long day.



******



Luke started awake when a loud buzzing sound went off in his cubicle. The
moment he moved though, it stopped. Still sleep-disoriented, he looked around
himself, saw nothing but black, steel walls, and a ration bar.

He slowly sat up, scratching his head as he tried to remember where he was now.
Then he remembered------- Oh, yeah, Vader... and his strange request to speak to
him through his mind.

Luke picked up the ration bar and began to eat it. It was tasteless, but at
least it would help to calm down his growling stomach. At least, 'he' fed him.

He had finished his meager breakfast and was laying again on his cot when his
door opened. He sat up at this.

Uh? Could he escape now?

'When you'll be finished, report to me,' the dark lord had said.

Luke groaned silently, pushed himself to his small feet, then headed down the
corridor.

Aww, great, how was he supposed to know where the other was?, he pouted in
annoyance.
Then he remembered his experience after his shower and understood; Vader
expected him to find him again. Reluctantly, Luke closed his eyes, thought
about the dark lord, then searched for him while he was in the strange state he
still wasn't used to.

He found him very easily. He even realized that he was still asleep.

Luke walked up to the door, then wondered what he should do. He decided to sit
down and wait. The door wasn't opening for him anyway.




In his room, Lord Vader awoke to a new glorious day for the dark side.

Today, he was going to take care of a group of resistance in the Pharlax system-
-- and he was going to train his son, he remembered, snapping his eyes open as
the memory of the previous day came back to him.

He sat up on his bed and reached out.

The child had heeded his instruction and was dozing near his door, waiting for
him. Sighing in relief at this first good result, he slowly stretched his arms
and shoulder blades, then thought about how he would take advantage of this
first, complete day with his son.

His slave, he sternly reminded himself. For the moment, the boy was his slave
and had to be treated as such. All right, he conceded with a light sneer of
disgust at himself. His servant. Now how would he make him serve him, he
wondered.

He gazed around himself.

Well, first, he decided, he could help him dress--- but he stopped short on this
idea when he caught a hazy reflection of his real self.

The child would be afraid by his unsightly features.

At first, he debated whether he would dress up first, then call him into
service, then he shook his head in annoyance at his resurfacing care. If he
kept it up, the Emperor would order him to kill the child by the end of the day.
No, he resolved adamantly. He wouldn't doom his son with his weak heart. He
knew better than that.

The boy was going to live with him from now on, he decided seriously; he would
see his true self and learn to accept the sight without reacting to it. Then,
he would serve him his food... and he would think of something else for him
while eating.

He stood up from his bed and reached out to open the door of his room.

Time to be a slaver, again...




Several minutes later, after having settled the question of the boy's reaction
to his features, and using his unnecessary help to dress in his armor, Vader sat
at his dining table and watched the boy from the corner of his eye.

Yes, he surmised, his little one was filled with energy and had a need to move.
Well, he would provide him with physical things to do. Unbeknown to him, he
would also begin his Jedi training.

He reached out and prepared his next assignment. Once he was done with this, he
discreetly studied him again; he really had to learn to still his mind and body,
he decided with some annoyance. Fidgeting was most despised in the Empire. It
would be hard, , but this difficult period of his life would do him much good,
he reflected. And, it would save his life when the time to introduce him to the
Emperor would come.

He would do what needed to be done to reach this goal, he determined once again.
On the other hand though, he hoped that his stubborn son would quickly learn to
obey him without resistance. He had never liked to hurt children or innocents,
and now that he knew the truth about the boy, he really wished he didn't have to
hurt him in any way. But if he had to, he would, no matter how bad he felt when
doing it.

Luke would learn his place.

The dark lord finished his meal, stood up, put on his helmet then turned toward
the uncertain boy.




The moment the mask was sealed, Luke noticed that the quality of the air
changed. As if reading his thoughts, the dark lord answered his question.

"The room is filled with pure oxygen for the night. That way, I can take this
off to sleep and eat. Other rooms are equipped with the same system," he
explained coolly, then resumed his role of master. "Clear the table, make the
bed, then put away the remotes which are in the training room."

Luke jerkily nodded his head.

"Tell me when you're finished." *And don't touch this food,* he warned
dangerously, indicating the remaining fruits and other very good food that was
left from his breakfast.

Luke was left alone.

He picked the first plate, went toward the place where he had picked them up in
the first place, touched the control for wash, then brought the other ones
there.

It was hard not to eat the untouched fruits. They looked so very delicious.
No, he ached enough right now, he thought glumly. He turned away from the
appetizing remnants of food, started the clean up cycle, then left the dining
room. He entered the dark lord's room. The black-sheeted bed was huge.
He began by doing one side of it, then the other side, then walked from one side
to the other until it looked right.

And to think that it would be undone tonight and that he would have to do it
again tomorrow..., he thought unhappily.

He exited the room and checked in the other rooms to find the training room.
It was hard to miss: it was the only one with about twenty floating remotes in
the air and no furniture whatsoever. Luke entered the room and looked around
himself. Was there a control somewhere that he could use to bring them down?
No. He'd have to pick them or jump after them, he surmised.

He moved forward to take the closest one to his height.

It moved away.

Luke tilted his head at that, tried again, with the same result. He tried
another remote. The same thing happened. He scratched his head, wondering how
he'd be able to put them away if they kept moving away from him. He tried
moving faster on them. Sometimes, he managed to make contact with them, but he
still couldn't catch them.

About half an hour later, beginning to be fed up with the little things, he
began to jump at them, hoping to be faster then their sensors. He came close to
catching them, but they always slipped through his fingers in the end.




He was sitting in the middle of the room, the remotes still hovering above him,
when he suddenly felt a cold presence invade his mind.

*Have you put away the remotes?* Vader asked him.

Luke took a moment to focus his mind. *No, I can't catch them,* he told him in dejection.

*You can't catch them...* the other rumbled.

Luke understood the undertone of warning. He clenched his fists in displeasure. *Master,* he added.

*Imagine that they are immobile in the air, boy. You'll be able to catch them
this way,* the man instructed him.

Luke's eyes opened in disbelief. *Just like that?* he asked in doubt.

*Do it, I'll check on you later,* he told him in a dismissive fashion.

Luke was standing up when he realized that the other was still in touch. He
clenched his teeth. *Yes, Master,* he half-whispered.

He was left alone.

Okay, imagine them still..., he thought, feeling determinate to succeed this
time. He focused on the closest ball, slowly approached it, then thought that
it wasn't going to move.

Inches by inches, he moved closer. The ball twitched slightly, but he was
finally able to hold it in his hands to turn it off.

He dropped it in the waiting box.

Nineteen to go.

The first ones were easy, but the higher ones were not. He had to jump to catch
them, and he had trouble keeping his focus when he did so.




Two hours later, he was still jumping after the last four remotes. He had
discovered that when he gathered his muscles for a jump forward instead of
upward, it was easier for him to still the ball.

He dimly reflected that he felt as if he were a fierce animal on the prowl and
that he was catching his preys.

At last, he turned off the last remote and dumped it in the box with the others.

*Good, boy. Again now,* his master told him almost immediately, surprising Luke
with his presence.

He hadn't known that he had been watching him---

The remotes came back to life and flew out of the box to take position all
around the room. Luke was already drenched in sweat, very tired and sore from
all his leaping and banging on the walls or the floor, and he was fed up of the
little hornets.

*Why? What's the point?* he asked him in frustration.

A stinging bolt hit his backside, making him jump in the air, then an other.

*Would you prefer to have to turn them off that way? Gather them up again,*
Vader ordered angrily.

Luke rubbed his backside, mentally grumbling curses. *Yes, Master,* he finally said.

He darkly eyed the little electronic balls.

'Here we go again.' he thought humorlessly.




It took him almost two hours to turn them all off, but he did.

He shut the box and sat on it to make sure that they wouldn't get out again. He
then took a long moment to bring his breath back to a normal rate. He was
tired, and more than sore now. He had lost count of the number of times that he
had roughly landed on his stomach or side, or against a wall for that matter.
He gently rubbed his aching shoulder. He was very tired and hoped that his
captor would let him rest a bit. He also suspected that if he didn't
contact him soon, he would bring down more punishment upon his poor, painful
shoulders.

He braced himself. *Master?*

*Not now, stay where you are,* he snapped.

Luke couldn't believe his luck. He almost, almost smiled. *Thank you, Master,* he said gratefully.

He broke the contact and sat cross-legged on the box, resting his head on his
hand as he closed his eyes.

It wouldn't be as comfortable as the floor, but he didn't dare get up from the
box.

He had had enough chasing probes for the day.




When the dark lord finally contacted him, Luke nearly fell off his box in shock
and fear. It took him a moment to refocus.

*Master,* he sent.

*Now that you're finished with this, boy, you may go to the dining room and take
something to eat, then you'll clean up all the floors of the quarters. I want
them to shine under the light,* he specified coolly.

Luke sighed. *Yes, Master.*

Great, more chores. And the most frustrating thing, he thought angrily, was
that Vader had probably never cared about those things before. The boy hopped
down from his box and headed for the dining room.


******


The moment that he entered the room, he reflected that Vader had done something
in the room; he himself remembered having left it empty but for the furniture
and the deactivated droid. Now, there was some food, if you could call those
things food... and a message.

'You may eat only one of those choices,' he read, then briefly thanked the gods
to have allowed him to learn basic reading skills before... well before.

He had the choice between another ration bar, nutrient pills, or a single fruit.
Since his stomach was growling in starvation, he knew that the fruit wouldn't be
enough. As good as it might look, he knew he had to choose something else. Not
feeling up for another tasteless ration bar, he picked the pills and downed them
with a small quantity of water. That was tasteless too, but at least it was a
normal feeling, not at all like the disgusting ration bar.

He then picked up the rag and product that was on the floor under the small
counter; they were obviously the tools that he was supposed to use to wash the
floor. He began in the corner of the dining room. It soon became obvious to
him that he had to push hard on the rag to make the floor shine.

He alternated between one arm and the other, giving some rest to the other to be
able to finish the job.



******

Later that night, Vader kept an eye on his boy. Not bad for his first day with
Him, he appraised him with satisfaction. The boy had both begun to work on his physical strength and mental abilities, and he had succeeded his Jedi exercise with very little guidance.

It was a very welcome surprise, he thought seriously; the boy was so powerful
that once tamed, there was no doubt that the Emperor would want him under his
wing. He himself knew all too well that the old ruler didn't waste any powerful resource when they became known to him.

Of course, he then conceded, he would need much time to teach the proper behaviors to his young, tough little boy, but in time, he knew that he would bend him to his will. Today had gone very well on that aspect of his masquerade, he thought seriously.

He himself hadn't had to 'play' the role of slaver any more than necessary. He had only had to devise exercises for him, then give him the resulting chores.

If the following days went like that as well, he thought in satisfaction, he
wouldn't resent his forced role 'too' much, and if the boy continued to learn his lessons this quickly, the lie wouldn't last for much too long anymore...

At least, he hoped so. He really didn't like tormenting him, even if it was the only way to teach him what he had to learn.

When the boy resumed his shaky fidgeting, he 'angrily' dismissed him to his
cell. He was done for the day, he reflected as he watched the child leave the room, obviously exhausted and in need of rest.

Punishing him was pointless.



******



An hour later, the dark lord cast a sleeping veil over his son's soul, then
keyed his cell open and stepped inside. Unlike the previous night, he wasn't
able to resist the lure of his son's close presence.

He 'had' to check up on him before retiring for the night.

The child was sound asleep, his mind a blank thanks to his physical exhaustion.
Vader crouched beside the small boy, studying his features with great interest.

During the day, the child looked tough and strong, but at the moment, he looked
anything but that; right now, he could see just how young his boy truly was, how
much vulnerability he was hiding when in his presence.

He sure had his mother's strength of will, he admitted with dim pride.

Despite the problems that it might mean for the future, he then conceded that he was very glad that his son wasn't weak-minded. However, he thought more seriously, he also hoped that his already-developed intelligence would temper his defiance.

That way, their relationship wouldn't suffer anymore than it already had. And to think, he growled in dark anger, that Kenobi had abandoned him, had left a mere baby to survive on his own, without any guidance about his true inheritance.

When the masquerade would be over, he promised himself that he would make it up
to his son.

Hesitantly, unsure if he should proceed with his impulse or not, he slowly
lifted his hand from his lap... and gently stroked his son's sleeping features.
Even though it wasn't the first time that he was touching the boy, the nature of
this new physical contact hit him with the power of a lightning bolt.

All of a sudden, he was aware that he really cared about the still estranged boy, not for his powers, nor as a mean of revenge against the Jedi traitors, but for the fact that he was the flesh of his flesh, the blood of his blood.

He was his son, the most important person in his life. He was even more
important than the Emperor was---

As if scalded by that thought, he swiftly cut their contact and stood back up
even as he took two steps away from the unaware child.

Whoa, dark Lord, he scolded himself. What was that?.. No one was more important than his master was... Or was there?..

For a long moment, his eyes remained riveted on the small form of his servant.

How could that boy affect him this much, he wondered uneasily even as he grew aware of his desire to just crouch back beside the child and hold him in his arms.

No, he sternly rebuked himself. He would not venture into the emotional
territories of care and love. Not even for his son. He would protect him,
teach him what he needed to know to earn the right to fulfill his destiny, but
he would not care, he resolved seriously.

Casting a last glance down at the sleeping child, he turned on his heel and left
him alone.

He too needed to rest from his own demanding day.




To be continued in part 2: Slave or Son?

Written: 2000, SJ (skyjade@globetrotter.net)
(Any positive stuff is welcome, but any mean stuff won't even be read.)