Title: Lord Vader Needs Feet

Rating: PG

Keywords: Vader, horror

Category: Horror

Time: 18 BBY

Characters: Darth Vader, Roan Shryne

Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable.

Summary: A Dark Lord needs to test-drive his suit's modifications on any Jedi that he can lay his mechno-hands on.

I need feet. This survival suit could be better designed and if I had had a say in it, it would have been. Such a bother to retrofit and reverse engineer real feet from Nature. Hold still, Jedi, while I --- while I --- gather the Force and dive into your chest, stroke your heart back into jerky rhythm, pull up your diaphragm, there, all right. You were dead for only seconds.

"Trooper. Medical capsule. Immediately."

"At once, Lord Vader."

Alpha would never have scurried like that --- bah. Breathe in, breathe out. Pump ... wait a bit ... pump. Did I damage your Jedi body irreparably, Shryne? You're somewhat older than Ob--- No. You should not have fought me, Jedi. Look at you. Crushed ribs and stomach, saber arm and shoulder useless. You were brave enough, I'll give you that, but I won. You did not understand the power of the Dark Side.

Still alive, but not for long. Where is that trooper? I'm sweating inside this black tomb. It's getting more difficult to keep your spirit tied to your failing body.

Breathe. Like that, yes. So, I did not destroy you. What are the odds? I may hunt down the remaining few hundred Jedi, no matter what the Emperor says. I may need them for ... later. I'll cut off your feet first, Jedi. Just so, from your toes up to the midpoint of tibia and fibula to give enough leverage for the new ankles to work. The fiber-durasteel alloy should be ready for testing next week if those fools at the Surgical Reconstruction Center are competent.

They had better be.

Uhhhhn. I'm using more than half my power to keep your body alive. Your midichlorians don't want me in here --- too bad. Where is that medical capsule? Your lungs --- Your brain needs oxygen. I wouldn't need your brain if it didn't control so much. Heart spasming. Work. There, good, you're bleeding from your mouth again; it had stopped minutes ago. I'd never want to be a Healer. New Holstice taught me that; all the time and effort spent with Master Mobari. I kept her alive when the Healers couldn't or wouldn't. She didn't want to live in that manner anymore. How stupid a patient is that? It's not so bad. You can always make modifications.

Drugs. Your body needs drugs. Fast. I'll have that trooper's hands for this. I'm sweating sheets. Eh, here's the capsule.

I'm still connected, sealing off some blood vessels, pressing into your lymph nodes to produce white blood cells. Five needles into you from the med-droid, shock receding, ohhhh, the rush from the drugs ... better disconnect. Yes.

"Patient secure. Prepare to transfer ... now." Droid's been improved, I see; clothing sheared away before placement in the capsule, breath mask clamped on with greater speed. Is that bacta-mist jetting from the sides? Less than ten minutes from time of capsule request to stabilization inside the capsule. The trooper keeps his hands, after all.

I need feet. I'll remove your feet first, give you prosthetic feet, well-balanced to give a tread that will allow me to move more quickly. And then, how about a new breath regulator? I'll test a quieter, smaller pump in you, although I'll still need my own wide implanted tubes to supply a large enough volume of air to my damaged lungs. The med-droid can disable your autonomic breathing reflex in a later, separate procedure; I need greater mobility immediately. It should take about a month to see if you meet a Dark Lord's standards. I may lobotomize you, to keep you tractable. Shall I keep your lightsaber, Jedi? Yes. Maybe I'll start a collection, like Grievous.

Shryne, your eyes are --- opening? Remarkable. "I can use you, Jedi. I can use you. I'll take your feet first."