DISCLAIMER: I do not own Star Wars or any of its associated characters, worlds, or races. I am making no money from this work, nor do I claim ownership of anything other than the story. This work is purely for enjoyment. So, enjoy!
SPOILER ALERT! This takes elements from all 6 movies. Be forewarned if you have yet to see Revenge of the Sith
Categories: Action/Adventure/Sci-fi/Angst (AU)
Anakin Skywalker/ Darth Vader
Luke Skywalker/ Dark!Luke
The Souls of Demons
"Anakin, you bring Luke in here this instant!"
Luke looked at his father with wide-eyed innocence, his hair dripping water in his eyes as the summer squall continued to pour down on them. "I think you're in trouble, Daddy."
Anakin had winced at Padme's angry voice, but now he glared at his four-year-old son. "Its just as much your fault as mine, young man. If I'm in trouble, you're in trouble."
"Coming!" Anakin held out his hand to Luke. Without a word the child handed over the tiny lightsaber he had been holding. Anakin scooped him up and began to run through the rain towards the house. One of the house droids immediately began to clean the water and mud they tracked in, but Anakin paid them no attention.
Padme stood in front of them, her hands planted firmly on her hips and her eyes stormier than the weather outside. Beside her, Leia imitated her mother's posture, although her gaze was directed at Luke rather than Anakin. Leia was fiercely protective of her twin – as he was of her. Finally Padme spoke.
"Just what do you have to say for yourself?" she demanded.
"What?" Anakin asked. "I told you I was taking Luke outside for practice."
Padme threw up her hands in exasperation. "For goodness' sake, Anakin, you're both soaked!" She stepped forward and took Luke out of Anakin's arms. The child was indeed shivering, but that didn't stop his protestations.
"I-I-I'm not that c-cold, Mom," he chattered, and Anakin felt a quick flash of guilt. "I like practicing with Daddy."
"And I like healthy younglings," Padme said, sending one last murderous look towards Anakin. "Come on, let's get you into dry clothes."
Anakin watched as Padme walked away without another word. Then he looked down at Leia. "She's really mad, isn't she?" he asked his daughter.
Leia nodded solemnly. "You thould have lithened, daddy." Her serious voice was somewhat lost in her lisp.
Anakin chuckled. "Yes, I 'thould' have. I better get cleaned up and apologize, huh?"
Leia nodded again.
"All right then, why don't you check on Luke and I'll go set things right with Mommy – does that sound good?"
"Thounds good, Daddy."
Anakin saw Padme walk past him to put Luke's wet clothes into the clothing receptacle. "Padme," he said, walking behind her and putting one hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry. I just lost track of time, and Luke was having so much fun…" He ran his hands through his hair. "He's so promising, Padme, and-"
"I don't want to hear it," Padme said, keeping her face away from him. "You killed me, you know. I'm not going to forgive that."
Anakin stepped back at her words. "What did you say?"
Her voice held a tightly controlled anger. "I said you could have killed him. I know that you can ignore the elements, but your son is four years old."
"He was fine," Anakin said shakily. That wasn't what he had heard – he knew it. You killed me, you know. "Naboo's summer storms are mild."
"Usually, Anakin. But this region's known for surprise hailstorms. And Luke was obviously cold. Do you even know what temperature it is out there?"
Anakin blinked. "No."
"It's nearly freezing, Anakin. A cold wind blew in from the east. You need to think about others once in a while."
Padme's anger seemed overwrought – and was it really that cold? For some reason, Anakin was sweating. "Padme, I'm sorry."
Padme sighed. "I know, Anakin. You just do things so impulsively, and sometimes the consequences never seem to cross your mind. I lost you because of that – Luke and Leia lost you because of that."
Anakin was burning now. His skin felt as if it was being scorched, but he pushed the phantom pain away and put his hands on her shoulders. "Padme, what are you talking about? You haven't lost me."
"But I did."
"I love you, Padme, and I'd never –"
His words were cut off in a gasp as Padme turned to face him. Her skin had paled, and her eyes were covered by a milky glaze of death. The simple gown she had been wearing had been replaced by dark funeral garb, and she clutched the pendant he had given her long ago in her hand, resting it over her heart. "But you did, Anakin. You believed that you could control the Dark side of the Force, that through it, you could save me. But it was through your betrayal that I died. This life we could have had, the children, the future that we could have created…you killed it all on that hellfire's planet before we ever had the chance. You destroyed me, and then you destroyed yourself…"
The walls of the house dissolved, and suddenly Anakin could see the lake of molten lava beyond them, and the burning in his arms intensified. What was happening?
He screamed hoarsely as he collapsed to the ground, his limbs giving way beneath him. "Padme!" He shrieked into the chaos around him.
The corpse-Padme's hair whirled about her in a dark halo as she knelt next to him. "Both our fates were sealed here, Anakin. I lost my love and you lost your soul. And now you would destroy our son."
Anakin's vocal cords were burning, and he couldn't respond. I would never hurt him! he thought fiercely, and even as he thought it he knew it was a lie.
(but I have I have and he is already lost)
"What love I held for you has been destroyed as well, and now only hatred remains." Padme's milky eyes narrowed. "Your soul was yours to sell, but never Luke's. Any remnant of the man I married is dead now." She placed her hands on him, and he couldn't even scream in pain as her hands, her oh, so terribly cold hands grasped his burned flesh. "All that is left is to burn the body of the dead."
And she pushed him into the waiting hellfire.
Darth Vader didn't dream. His cybernetic body had long progressed past that. But from time to time, while resting in a semi-meditative state, his mind…wandered. Sometimes visions would result, sometimes glimpses of the present. Sometimes memories intruded, leaving a phantom taste of ashes with him, though he had put even the act of eating behind him and had not tasted food in decades. But never had a memory, a fantasy, a…a dream affected him in such a way. He felt unnerved, and somehow…soiled.
The hiss of the machinery was the only noise as the walls of his
chamber opened, and he strode out of the room oblivious to the stormtroopers stationed at the entrance. The rebellion still was strong, despite its devastating loss, and it had been Darth Eivel's idea to post extra guards.
"Han and Leia are persistent…and they know me," he had said. "Until we can secure them, at the very least, any and all precautions should be taken."
The Emperor had fully agreed.
Fluctuations in the Force whirled around his senses, and he knew that his Master was training his new apprentice. The Dark Side of the Force was cold, the distant oscillations in it feeling as if icy feathers were stroking his mind. He let those vibrations guide him towards the chamber where the sense was coming from. There was no need to do so, as Vader knew the layout of the Deathstar better than anyone other than perhaps his Master, but he had become so attuned to the mind of the Emperor that his body was moving before he could even consciously think of it. Other sensations pummeled his mind as he drew closer, clumsier and with less finesse, but with a strength behind him that awed even him. The Force was strong with this young apprentice.
That was another new thing. The Sith had forever numbered only two, a master and an apprentice. For the first time there were three, and though Vader could no longer rightfully be called an apprentice, the change was strange to him. It was as if he was witnessing the birth of a new Jedi Order, but one created without the laws and restrictions placed upon it's knights that had held the Jedi in check. A Dark Jedi Order that glorified passion, and anger, and harnessing the emotional power beyond that to become a force of deadly power. Vader felt a certain amount of satisfaction about that, for wasn't it what he and the Emperor would need to solidify their reign forever? An Order of the Sith would be the very thing that could hold the galaxy and destroy the rebellion completely. So of course he felt satisfaction…
But for some reason, at this moment, it felt almost empty.
Two stormtroopers saluted as he passed through them to the Emperor's chamber. He paid them no heed. They had faded into the background as they always did, as if they were droids instead of living beings. The doors whooshed shut behind him, and he entered into a room that showcased a battle between two lightning fast combatants before him.
Vader stood to one side, watching the flashing red lightsabers for several minutes. Neither the Emperor nor Darth Eivel paid him any attention. Being in the room, despite the frenetic activity between the two combatants, calmed him. The Force was strong in here, both of them drawing deeply upon the Dark Side to aid them in their battle. It was familiar to Vader, and a cold comfort came with it. The power they wielded was formidable, and that was what he had always sought, wasn't it?
The battle culminated in a whizzing flurry of bloody light as the two Sith danced around the balcony of the chamber. Eivel made a fatal mistake, a mistake so small that Vader was only sure he had seen it because the Emperor's lightsaber was suddenly at the young man's throat. For a moment it looked as if Emperor Palpatine was going to spear his new apprentice, but then he rasped a laugh and the red saber disappeared. Darth Eivel lay on the floor, panting, releasing his own lightsaber only a moment later.
"Admirable effort, my young apprentice," the Emperor said, walking away slowly. Now that he had released the Force, he once again was the apparent vision of frailty. "But still you hold back. You were angry with me, were you not?"
Darth Eivel climbed to his feet slowly, pushing his sweat-drenched blonde hair out of his eyes. "Yes."
"But you didn't give into that anger, you held it back. Forget what that green-skinned martyr tried to teach you. The denial of emotions was a leash the Jedi put on their students to limit them, so that the power they could control would forever be crippled. Feed that anger – relish in it." The Emperor's eyes gleamed red. "Let it be you."
Eivel nodded curtly. "Yes, Master."
Finally the Emperor seemed to notice Vader. "Ah, Lord Vader. Join us. My young apprentice has been working hard today."
"So I see." Vader said, inclining his head towards the Emperor. "You summoned me, Master?"
"Yes…yes." The Emperor sat and stared through his cowled robe, not looking at Darth Eivel or Darth Vader but rather straight ahead at something neither of them could see. "It has been nearly a year since the Rebellion's final ill-fated attempt. Most of their leaders were scattered, as you know, and have been very difficult to find. We seem to have had a stroke of luck, however."
"We have?" Vader asked. "What would that be, my Master?"
"A disturbance in the Force," the Emperor said, his eyes far away. "Near the planet of Naboo. We believed it might have had something to do with your wayward daughter, Lord Vader."
"My daughter?" Vader had sensed nothing, and that troubled him. "I felt no such disturbance."
"Darth Eivel was the instrument of this information, and follow up reports only confirm what he has told me. It seems your daughter has a sentimental streak, and she wanted to go to her newly rediscovered mother's home planet – for her wedding."
(I love you…marry me…I won't let you die…)
Vader had to push the intruding memory of a long-dead voice from his head. It was the dream, his first in years, which had him so off balance. "Her wedding?"
"Han Solo and Leia became quite close while fighting together in the rebellion. It seems that they have decided to formalize that arrangement," Darth Eivel said. "I have to say that I'm not all that surprised."
"I want you to go to Naboo and track her, Lord Vader. If she is there, apprehend her, if not, find where she is going. She must be taken alive."
"Master!" Darth Eivel protested suddenly. "I know her better than anyone. Let me go."
"No, my young apprentice." The Emperor held one hand up to stop him. "You have learned quickly, but there are ties the Force creates that you do not yet understand. Right now, Lord Vader is better suited to this duty than you are. I give this task to him."
"I will obey, my Master." The words came unbidden to Vader's mouth, and he bowed slightly towards the Emperor.
"But, Master, I will ensure that she's brought to you alive –"
"Hush!" The Emperor held up one hand and his apprentice silenced immediately. Emperor Palpatine suddenly laughed. "Lord Eivel, I sense the rage finally loose in you. Splendid! Don't waste it, harness it…" he turned his burning eyes to Vader. "Lord Vader, would you care to take over the training? I find I would like to watch my young protégé for a time."
"Of course, my Master," Vader said, drawing his own lightsaber and turning to the young Sith. "Darth Eivel, do you feel ready for another match…or do you need a time to rest?"
"No, I'm quite ready, father." Darth Eivel said, his signature Skywalker arrogance showing through as he raised his red lightsaber. "And I'm perfectly happy to show you just what you will suffer if you harm my sister."
"Very well, son." Vader swung his saber effortlessly. The two circled each other several times, neither making a move towards the other, both of them just holding their weapons out in an offensive stance. Then the dance began.
Eivel struck first, a thrust that Vader easily parried. Their lightsabers flashed, bleeding a crimson light over their bodies and spilling out across the chamber floors. Darth Eivel was immediately on the offensive, but Vader had no difficulty in sidestepping or intercepting his attacks. Behind them, the Emperor cackled as he watched their battle.
"I believe the Emperor may have been going too easy on you, apprentice," Vader taunted as they ceased their lightsabers' whirlwinds for a moment. "You seem to be having a bit of difficulty."
"He was only warming me up." A sharp thrust narrowly missed Vader's right arm, and talking ceased as Vader parried a few more swings. "I think I'm holding my own."
A silent signal from the Emperor told Vader that now was the time to curb the young man's arrogance. In an instant Darth Vader burst into the offensive, and instead of advancing Darth Eivel was suddenly backtracking rapidly, his lightsaber barely being able to block the deadly blows he found himself facing. He struck the wall sharply, and Vader's lightsaber was instantly at his chest. "It appears as if you didn't 'warm up' quite enough…Luke."
A primal scream of rage tore from his son's throat and suddenly it was Vader who was backing up from the furious attack. He parried desperately, the pure hatred in the young man's eyes burning into him.
"I am not Luke Skywalker!" the youngSith apprentice screamed at him, and although that had been his son's name for nearly all of his life, Vader could sense the absolute truth of Darth Eivel's words. "Luke Skywalker is DEAD!"
Eivel swung his lightsaber in low, and Vader reacted too quickly to realize that the true blow was the young man's fist plowing into his forearm. His mechanical hand spasmed at the impact, and Vader's lightsaber slipped from his grasp. The red blade flickered out it struck the ground.
Darth Vader could suddenly feel the heat of his son's lightsaber pressed near his neck.
"I am not Luke Skywalker," Darth Eivel hissed at him through his son's lips. "He is as dead as Anakin is."
"Lord Eivel!" Emperor Palpatine said sharply. "Release him!"
Eivel glared at Vader for a moment, and then the dark fury in his eyes flickered out as he retracted his lightsaber. "Yes, Master," he said between clenched teeth.
"Lord Vader, you will leave at once. A ship has been prepared." The Emperor said tightly. "Even this little diversion was a luxury we could ill afford. But…it was entertaining."
"Yes, Master." Vader turned, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him.
"Good luck, Lord Vader," Darth Eivel said softly, "and I truly do hope that you encounter no undue resistance. I look forward to being reunited with my sister, and I sincerely hope that nothing…unfortunate befalls her."
"As do I," Vader said. A part of him suddenly wanted to comfort his son, the desire strange in Vader's mind, but there was no room for compassion in the young man's demeanor. "I am sure you will work hard with your training." He glanced quickly at the Emperor. "Our Master will see to that."
Vader said no goodbyes. He simply turned on his heels and walked away, letting the Dark Side of the Force permeate him, feeling its icy burn wash away the strange emotions he had been unable to release since he had risen from his earlier dreaming.
It was the only way he could force himself to walk away from the hollow shell he had made of his son.
End of Chapter 1
Yes, I know that this is bringing up a lot of questions. Luke's fall and other discrepancies with the movies will be explained through flashbacks and memories. As to the other members of the SW universe, very many will be making appearances, so just keep reading!
And please, please review…I am a total review junkie!