(A/N: Hello everyone! To those of you who have never read any of my stories, my name is Hilary ((aka, sunset.rising)) I've written many stories on here, half of which are finished. In an attempt to save my fanfics, I've decided I need inspiration. I need to finish another one. That's where this fic comes in... I have high hopes for it, and have really enjoyed writing it so far. I have nine pages at the present, and I hope to stay ahead of the next chapter, so that I'll always have updates. I'm really, REALLY excited about this one... though the first chapter is kinda boring... The next one's better, I think. So please review and enjoy!)

IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTANDING THE STORY: This story is AU... Instead of Anakin being burned in Ep III, he was stabbed. It should have been a mortal wound, and Obi-Wan thought he was dead. The Emperor saved him and no respiration mask or suit was needed. He still looks normal. In time, he grew weary of Sidious and assassinated him, taking his place as Emperor. This story begins 2 years later...

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Chapter One:

Luke Skywalker leaned back on his cot, staring disinterestedly at the ceiling. It was an extremely hot day—even for Tatooine—and it was slightly cooler inside. He was lying low, hoping that Uncle Owen wouldn't find him and drag him back outside to work. After all, he deserved a break, right? It wasn't like the droids couldn't handle working the moisture vaporators by themselves.

Luke closed his eyes, allowing his thoughts to wander. If his father were still alive, he wouldn't have been landed on a boring old moisture farm. If his father were alive, he would probably be flying through the stars and visiting strange and distant planets. Sure, his father was only a navigator on a spice freighter, but even that was better than this.

"Luke! Luke, are you in here? Your uncle is looking for you."

Luke winced. "Coming Aunt Beru! I was just resting for a moment." He ducked out of his room and flashed his aunt an embarrassed glance. Aunt Beru just smiled and shook her head.

"Don't get him too angry today, Luke. You know he's just worried about that malfunctioning droid. He's probably going to send you into town to get a new one, soon."

"Yeah, I know." Luke grimaced. "Considering today has been one of the hottest days in the Tatooine records, he'll most likely send me today." He paused, and then groaned at the memory, "And I'm probably going to have to walk, considering I still have to do repairs on that landspeeder."

Beru just shook her head in amusement. "Maybe next time you won't shirk your chores."

Luke gave her a quick, agonized grin, and then hurried outside.

"Uncle Owen?" Luke called out hesitantly. "Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru said that you needed me?"

"Over here Luke!" The older man's voice shouted, sounding slightly irritated. Luke hurried over to where his uncle was attempting to repair a droid, steeling himself. "Where were you?" Owen demanded the minute that Luke reached him. "I told you to watch this damn droid, and the moment I turn my back you disappear somewhere!"

Luke bit his lip lightly and decided not to say anything. He waited patiently for his uncle to tell him what he needed him to do.

Owen glared up at his nephew for a moment, then sighed and instructed him, "I need you to run to the repair shop and get some parts for this stupid hunk of metal. Don't bother going to the usual shop," he added sourly, "This one's old, and the parts are harder to find. You'll need to go to the main shop over in Mos Eisley." The expensive shop. Owen didn't add the last part, but Luke knew that's what his uncle was thinking.

Luke sighed, "Do I have to go today?"

"Yes you have to go today!" Owen snapped. "It's your fault the blasted droid isn't working in the first place, and I can't afford to be one droid short at the moment!" Luke hung his head a little. He had tried tinkering with the droid so that it would work faster and more efficiently, but the prototype he had tried to install into its system hadn't been compatible with the droid's old main core. It had ended up overheating, and melting down a few of its main functioning parts. The parts that Luke now needed to travel all of the way to Mos Eisley to buy. "Well, boy?" Uncle Owen demanded, and Luke realized he'd been standing there for a little while. "Get moving!"

Luke was about to complain that he had to walk all of the way there, but realized that would only aggravate his uncle more. He hadn't told Uncle Owen that he'd busted the side of his speeder on the canyon wall yet, and he didn't plan to.

After collecting roughly the proper amount of money from his aunt, (though probably more, just in case) Luke began the long trudge to Mos Eisley.

oooooooooo

A standard hour later, Luke was tired, thirsty, and had a headache. It would probably take him another half-standard hour to get to his destination. Grumpy and immersed in his own thoughts, he didn't realize that he was no longer alone until his companion spoke up.

"Not exactly the perfect day for a walk, is it?"

Luke nearly jumped out of his skin, and then gave his companion a wary smile. "You're old Ben Kenobi, aren't you?"

"Yes, you should recognize me." Old Ben's eyes glinted in amusement. "I believe it was you and your friend Biggs who decided to sneak out and play 'scare' in the middle of the night over by my place. I think, in the game, you were trying to see who could get the closest to my house without chickening out?"

Luke felt a warm blush creep over his face. "Uhh…w-well…we didn't—"

"Kept me up all night with your antics."

"I'm sorry, we didn't actually mean to—"

Old Ben waved his comment aside. He was smiling now. The two continued on in silence for a while, Luke casting uneasy glances at the older man every few moments.

After a bit, Ben looked at him and raised an eyebrow. "Something wrong? Because you keep giving me looks as if I'm about to burst into flame at any given moment."

"C-Can you do that?" Luke's voice almost squeaked, and he cleared his throat.

"No, of course not. Completely ridiculous."

"Uh…um, well, Biggs always said that you were some kind of…uhh…some kind of sorcerer, and that's why the Sandpeople always left you alone." Luke blushed again, and Ben looked as if he were trying very hard not to laugh.

"Oh, is that all? Well then, allow me to ease your fears. No, I'm not a sorcerer. I was, very long ago, a Jedi Knight…but then, that's completely different."

Luke stopped in his tracks, staring at the old hermit. Ben Kenobi continued on for a few paces, then stopped as well and turned to look at him with an inquiring air.

"You were a Jedi Knight? Did you fight in the Clone Wars?" Luke asked excitedly. "Do you have a laser-sword? Tank told me that the Jedi could do all kinds of—"

Ben raised his hand, his eyes laughing again. "Yes, I fought in the Clone Wars. General Obi-Wan Kenobi…or, The Negotiator, as I was known as back then." His features became distant, as if remembering something from long ago. Then, abruptly, he came back to reality and gave Luke a smile. "Your father was known as The Hero with No Fear. The order never had a better swordsman." Old Ben sighed, and then continued walking.

Luke blinked once, blinked again. Several moments went past as he digested everything that the former Jedi had said. Then, in a flurry of adrenaline, he dashed forward to catch up with the older man. "But my father wasn't a Jedi!" he protested, "He was a navigator on—"

"Is that what your uncle told you? Rather dull imagination on that man. Yes, Luke, your father was a Jedi. A great man and a dear friend." Sorrow creased Kenobi's face, and Luke actually hesitated a moment before asking a question that he'd wanted to know all of his life.

"How did my father die?"

Ben stopped to look at him again. There was definitely pain in the older man's eyes now. There was a moment of silence before the former Jedi turned away and said quietly, "A Sith named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered him."

There was a pause. "Vader…why does that name sound so familiar?" Luke's forehead creased in thought. "Vader… Vader…" Ben sighed as he watched the realization hit the boy. "Vader—that's the name of the new Emperor! It's not the same person…" Just a glance at Ben's face was enough for Luke to discern the truth. "The Emperor killed my father?"

The older man stopped Luke, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I can feel your anger, Luke. It taints you. Let it go… only then will you be free of it."

Luke jerked away from the man's grasp, chewing his lip. "But he killed my father, Ben! He's the reason I grew up on a stupid moisture farm! He's the reason I never knew my family!" Luke suddenly realized something. "What happened to my mother?"

Old Ben sighed. "She died in childbirth."

"But that can't be right!" Luke pressed, a slight whine creeping into his voice now. "With all of the technology, it's practically impossible to—"

"Your mother no longer possessed the will to live, Luke." Ben told him gently. "There is not much that all of the technology in the galaxy can do when that happens."

For a while there was nothing but the sound of the hissing sand kicked up by their progress. Then, softly, Luke muttered, "How would you know, anyway." It wasn't a question, and wasn't meant to be heard.

More sand whirled around their feet.

"To my sorrow, I was there."

Luke's eyes widened in astonishment. "You were with my mother when she…when she…"

"Since your father was… no longer available, I took your mother to Polis Massa, where she gave birth to you an—" there was an intake of breath, before he quickly remedied, "to you. But there now, my tongue has run away with me."

"But I wanted to know—" Luke began to whine, but Ben wearily cut him off yet again.

"I'm old, Luke, and the heat is getting to me. Give me a moment to rest."

Luke's head spun. His aunt and uncle had lied to him! He was sure they'd known the truth… so why hadn't they told him? For a moment Luke considered that Kenobi was lying to him, and then brushed it off. His words rang with too much truth, and he'd known that his aunt and uncle's story always seemed a little bit fishy. They'd never even mentioned his mother. To think, all of this time a man who'd actually known his mother and father had lived just a short speeder ride away! "What were their names?"

"Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Nabierre Amidala."

Old Ben was really sounding tired now, and Luke hated to press him, but he just couldn't stop asking questions. "So you were the one who brought me to Tatooine, then?"

"Yes."

Luke's thoughts were momentarily sidetracked as they passed the rise of the next dune. Finally, finally, they had reached Mos Eisley. A grin broke out over Luke's face as he hurried down the dune to the somewhat questionable city.

Ben smiled after him, hoping he hadn't said too much. Still, the boy deserved to know about his heritage… at least, most of it... and this was likely one of the only chances he'd get.

oooooooooo

Emperor Vader strode down the docking ramp of his ship, his long cape billowing out behind him. Admiral Ozzel hesitated at the top of the ramp, watching the leader of the Empire anxiously. Finally, as if coming to a decision, he swallowed hard and hurried after him.

"Emperor Vader, Your Highness, are you sure it's a good idea to go get the parts for the ship by yourself? Mos Eisley is not exactly…the most secure place, and the crew is worried about your safety."

"I can take care of myself, Admiral." Vader did not turn to look at him, but his voice held an ominous threat.

Ozzel fidgeted as the Emperor continued on his way. "But Your Majesty…" he chanced again, taking a deep breath, "Is there any need to jeopardize your safety like this? If you must go, at least take a few men with you."

Sweat trickled down Ozzel's forehead as Vader slowly clenched his fists, turning to look at him. "I do not want to attract attention, Admiral. I will be fine on my own. I have reasons for going that I need not divulge to you. Do you understand?" The tone of the Emperor's voice dared him to argue further. Ozzel gulped, and then backed down.

"Of course, Your Highness. I'm sorry, Your Highness."

Lord Vader stared at him for another moment, his hard blue eyes considering the man. "This is your last warning, Admiral."

Ozzel stiffened, and then bowed as low as he could. "Yes, my Lord." But Vader wasn't listening. He had already continued on. Admiral Ozzel watched him pull the hood over his head, casting his face into shadows. Finally, the leader of the Empire disappeared into the crowded area beyond the docking station.

"He's gone, then?" Another voice asked from behind him. Ozzel turned to see Captain Piett, who was scanning the crowd with a troubled look on his face.

"He insisted on going without a guard. There was nothing I could do." Ozzel wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. Piett watched him, now appearing amused.

"I'm sure there wasn't. Once His Majesty decides to do something, there aren't many people—if any at all—who can talk him out of it. Besides, I'm sure his Lordship has his reasons."

"That's what he said." Ozzel informed Piett, "But that won't stop him from punishing me if he gets injured."

Piett gave him a look that might pass as slightly sympathetic. "That's what we risk, being this high up. You'd just better hope that Grand Moff Tarkin doesn't find out about it. Otherwise, you're out of luck… and out of a job. He'll think you're slacking off, even if you were under orders. As for the Emperor himself…" Piett smiled, "I doubt that he's in any danger. I'd be more worried for anyone who tries to jump him."

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(A/N: Please review and tell me what you think so far! Constructive critisism accepted, but please no flames. I find them rather boring and useless.)

Hilary