DECLARATION: My fiction is written just for fun and I'm not making money with it. Characters and Star Wars galaxy belong to Lucas, of course. The names Yimot, Athor, Dovim and Theremon are from the cool novel "Nightfall" by Asimov and Silverberg. But in this story they have no connection with the characters, plots and places of the book. They are just an homage.
NOTE: This fiction is my old unfinished "The Dark Lord of the Jedi". In fact, some reviews made me to understand I had to improve both my writing style and my English. So I totally rewrote it and looked for betareaders who helped me.
The plot is mainly the same I planned for the old version, but I shrink at most the time frame to speed up rhythm of the story and I changed the scenes, trying to add pathos. Chapters are less than the first version, but are longer and so the fiction has more words.
I have written and translated the whole fiction yet and so I will update enough quickly, about once in a week to have time to format the chapters.
I'd like to thank everybody who reviewed the old fiction: they were a great stimulus to better myself.
I have also to thank Chiara and Jean Genie for the beta-reading of the original Italian fiction and Mari Skyrin-Sarker for the beta-reading of English translation.
Father and Son - Chapter 1
The dawn didn't shine yet upon Coruscant skyscrapers. Anakin sat to look at the dark sky, dotted even at that impossible hour by the coming and going of city traffic and by thousands of artificial lights. Sometimes that everlasting movement bothered him and he longed for the calm Tatooine nights. Yet he shouldn't have to complain, since his rooms were one of the few ones to own an outside window. A privilege few other Masters could boast, and evidence of the high position he had reached inside the Jedi Order.
The door-handle noise at his right side woke him up from his thoughts and his glance turned to Luke, who was coming out from his room. The Padawan bowed slightly to greet him.
Anakin quickly inspected him: his uniform was in order, his gait controlled, his mind focused by his morning meditation. He wasn't able to blame him for anything, even if he had wished to: his child was faultless as always, thanks to Master Yoda's teachings.
He beckoned Luke to sit next to him and he was immediately obeyed. But he noted with amusement that the boy had shown a curious expression at the unusual order.
His son would have been amazed, if he had known their true relationship!
He longed to reveal it to him, but on the other hand before he could, he needed to have the boy's whole loyalty, even against the Code, if necessary. The stake was his continuance inside the Order, the fame and the power he gained thirteen years before, piercing Palpatine with his lightsaber in front of a bewildered Master Windu. That act was understood by everybody as the fulfillment of the prophecy, and then his career received every honour.
"Do you remember what today is?" he asked him.
Luke thought a moment, then nodded: "It's been one year since I became your Padawan."
Gratified, Anakin smiled and gave him a small box wrapped in a green paper.
His son took it with amazement and turned it up and down, as if he wanted to examine it.
"It's a gift," his Master explained.
"I thought they were forbidden," the Padawan uneasily pointed out, "Master Yoda always says we can't own anything of our own."
Anakin shrugged. "That's why you must keep it a secret."
Luke flushed clearly at that, but anyway he began to cautiously open the paper. His eyes grew wide, when at last he found an unusual golden pendant, picturing a small crown and, continuing to look at it, he said: "It's seems to be really worthy."
"It belonged to one I cared much about," his Master explained cryptically.
His Padawan nodded absent-mindedly while he studied the object intensely, till he was wholly absorbed by contemplation. His eyes got dilated and his forehead frowned as if he was trying to see something, then he woke up. He blinked twice, as if he came back to reality from a dream.
Bewildered by his son's reaction, Anakin asked himself if it hadn't been a mistake to give him that. Luke had never known his mother; could he possibly feel her presence in her pendant so many years after her death?
"I, I..." Eventually the Padawan began to babble, "I think it's a great honour to have received such a gift. I don't know what to say".
"Take it... and swear to keep it hidden," Anakin added quickly. A smile escaped him, when his son nodded with his glance still on the pendant. He tapped the boy on the shoulder to gain his attention and his big blue eyes looked at him. "Now we must breakfast or we will be late for the training," he urged him.
The gymnasium, where Anakin had booked their square for that morning, was the wider of the Temple: it was divided into fifteen delimited spaces and was always furnished with every new odd stuffs for the simulated lightsaber fightings. So he always tried to corner his turn there, fixing the training dates with absurdly wide anticipations.
He buckled tightly his safety armour around his chest and his belly to make it to adhere at to his bust, while the room was crowding with relaxed speed. He greeted Plo Koon and his young Padawan who walked beside him to reach their square and he heard at his shoulders Luke, who didn't seem to like that place as much as him, to murmur unwillingly a kind of "Good morning." Not caring too much about his apprentice's unusual rudeness, he put on the safety helmet, lifting its darkened visor.
He switched his low-frequency saber on, inducing his son to do the same, and with a teaching tone he began: "Today, I'm going to teach you how to parry a blow to the heart."
"Everybody say it's very difficult", his Padawan immediately objected, doubtful and almost worried.
Anakin shrugged. "If it was easy, I wouldn't need to teach you it". Since his boy's expression didn't change, he tried to encourage him: "Before we use just the Force, we'll begin slowly with our visors up."
Not entirely persuaded, Luke nodded, assuming the basic position with his saber point to his opponent's throat.
His Master did the same before instructing him: "Now, come slowly to me, targeting my heart."
The Padawan went ahead, pushed his sword in the middle of his opponent's armour quietly, but relentlessly, turning his right wrist for some degrees so that the point went a bit to the left, where it could have pierce easily under the sternum, if he had been holding an ordinary fighting frequency laser. But, before his sword brushed his Master's armour, his Master made his blade circle and with an annoying frizzing, hit the enemy point, parrying the assault. Then he replayed the movement slower in the empty air for his pupil's benefit.
"Now, try it," Anakin urged, regaining the start position.
Luke nodded, getting on guard. When his Master neared his saber point, he diverted it with his own one.
"You circled in the opposite direction," the Jedi underlined.
"Ah... yes!" his boy agreed, seeing again in his mind what he had just done.
They tried several times, but one in three, the blade circled in the opposite direction. Anakin grew impatient and decided it was time to rebuke him: "You are inattentive!"
"No, I'm not!", his Padawan denied, getting defensive, "I'm trying. It's just a little difficult!"
"Is it difficult to circle in a clockwise direction, than in a counterclockwise one?" Anakin scolded him with acid causticity. "And when do you try the exercises since? Do or do not..." and he let suspended the well-known saying.
"Sorry, Master." was the only answer.
"Let's see if at fighting speed you can focus more," the Jedi almost challenged him, lowering his visor and wholly opening himself at the Force to supply at the temporary blindness. First he felt Luke who focused as well, then he became aware of the other twenty-eight people in the room, everyone immersed in his training and in his effort.
He got focused again on his training and he took the guard position. Without checking if his apprentice was ready, he went ahead to hit him. As his saber was parried uncoordinatedly and approximately, he felt clearly his boy's amazement to be caught so unawares.
"Slow," Anakin just noted and fast he assumed again the starting position, repeating the exercise.
"You turn again in the wrong direction." was the next reproof, followed by an infinite series of " You struck when I was too far away." "Late." "Too stronger." "Too weak." "Keep your left hand central." "Don't anticipate my move." gaining slow but important improvements.
After the nth replay, he heard Luke gasp and felt his tiredness. But he didn't want to bestow a break: one day his child might not fight a lenient Master, but a resolute enemy.
He attacked again at his best. This time there was neither the smallest deviation to his saber trajectory and he heard his laser split on his Padawan's armour, who would have fallen dead if that had been a real duel.
Anakin nervously yelled at him: "Are you sleeping?!" He felt some dozen eyes turn toward them and he chewed his lip, mentally cursing his lack of control. "On guard!" he added, trying to sound more conciliating this time.
He felt Luke hesitate, before hearing his voice in his mind. But everybody is looking at us!
The Master didn't want to favour such shyness and, without bringing himself to answer, he let flow a pretentious indifference perception.
I can't keep concentration: I feel uncomfortable, his Padawan went on, plainly ignoring the silent message.
When you'll have to face a Sith, will you ask him to look for a suitable place before fighting?, he answered him caustically.
Luke appeared ashamed of his request and assumed the guard position.
Anakin plunged again, receiving only a slow and weak parry. Amazed, he deeply probed his son's feelings, finding his mind more focused on people around them than on their duel. This was really insufferable! And he had just scolded him!
He decided to make the young insubordinate understand he would never let go such vitally important matter and at the same time to give him a break. So he switched his lightsaber off and took his helmet off.
Luke raised his visor, looking at him inquiringly.
"I don't waste my time. If you don't want to concentrate, the training is over", the Master explained dryly.
"I'll try... do better", his Padawan corrected immediately.
Anakin shook his head, putting all his indignation in the answer: "We'll see, but another day. Now, I want you to go to the library to finish your research homework."
The Jedi was waiting for any objection, but his boy just lowered his mortified glance, bowed slightly and, trying to keep control of his broken voice, just answered: "As you wish, my Master". Then he left fast, followed by other people's inquisitive eyes.
Nervous because of both his son and onlookers, Anakin called through the Force three remotes from the apparatus shelf and switched them on. Lasers rained down on him, but he parried every shot, letting his annoyance lead his hand against the shining tracks. After few minutes, he was vexed also by that exercise; it was too easy for his skills. He lifted his hand and the remotes stopped their attack, then they filed back to their shelf as he took his armour off and left as fast as his Padawan had.