A/N: A translation over my original work, and I truly hope I spelled everything right.
Disclaimer: I don't own the GFFA or its characters. I'm just borrowing them.
To stand by the window of his Star Destroyer, so that he could see the stars, was a sort of an amusement to Darth Vader. All those millions of tiny lights, small suns and planets could not, in any possible way, be any match with the silence and darkness residing in the universe.
Darkness was the only cosmic law Darth Vader accepted as his rule. Darkness was an absolute power, for its foundation was the darkness itself.
His breathing halted for a moment as he gazed at the dying sun Executor was slowly passing by, keeping its distance to avoid the star's radiation. The ship's shields were at maximum, but, even this far, the radiation was near the critical level. The ship's personnel were uncommonly anxious, and their master's presence wasn't the only reason for their unease.
Besides the danger the star represented, the radiation also confused scanners. It was both their advantage and a downfall. They wouldn't be noticed, but it also meant Executor and its fleet remained blind and vulnerable. DRG-2 represented a latent danger to all the crew, including even Lord Vader.
Danger didn't matter. Vader turned his gaze away from the blood-red star and continued his deformed breathing that his armour caused. What did he care of one dying sun? After eating all its remaining energy, it would continue its growth, swallow the orbiting planets – devoid of any life by now – and simply fade away.
All there was left would be bitter darkness.
The thought didn't comfort or make him anxious. He accepted the truth with a stoic attitude. Death was unavoidable. He forced his fists together, and the leather creaked in resonance with its bearer's thoughts. Still…
He turned again to see the dying sun. Once too I had burned bright as a torch.
What a pity… To choose a bright light and die slowly, wither away. He relaxed and the leather creaked once more. The thought bothered him more he wanted or was willing to accept. Unexpectedly, Vader turned around and stepped away from the window.
"Captain," Vader signalled the the officer to step closer. "I shall return to my quarters. Inform me when the fleet arrives at it destination." The Emperor had given him this mission, and he would finish it. Darth Vader was not a man to avoid responsibilities, but he wasn't - by any means - required to spend the whole time on the bridge.
"Yes milord," the man hastily saluted him, though Vader gave him little attention. He could sense the crew's relief, and it made him vaguely amused. His subordinates were afraid of him, and due a good reason.
Lord Vader's methods to deal his aggression were well known by everybody. After the destruction of the Death Star the Sith Lord had been in a foul mood nearly constantly. No wonder.
The man behind the black mask felt a flash of blinding hate surging inside him. He took a deep breath and allowed it to roll over him. Good, hate was good… He yielded to the hatred and let it consume him. For a minute, Vader felt he was one with the darkness the feeling brought along. This was the true way of the Force. It was intoxicating and overshadowed everything else. Only the Dark Side mattered. Darth Vader felt a small smile his mask concealed. He left the command bridge his cape swaying behind him.
All stars fade away in a time. The darkness would be unbreakable.
"This will be the last time I let you talk me in with you and these suicidal missions of yours!" Captain Solo barked at his ComLink as he steered the Millennium Falcon in a dense crossfire. Despite of his skilled maneuvers, the ship waved uncontrollably, bombed by laser blasts. The warning lights flashed, and Chewbacca growled at him. The Wookie reminded Han it was more prestigious to concentrate on flying the ship than hurling accusations at the moment.
Besides, Han knew himself he was making unreasonable claims, but he was angry. No, not to his comrades. Not even to the Universe. The truth was he was angry with himself. Once more he found himself in the middle of the battlefield. Him! Smuggled and a mercenary, who once had done everything in his power to avoid anything even distantly related with the politics and – as was the way he saw it – naive ideological quarrels. His ideology was simple: money. But for some reason here he was, once again risking his neck and escaping the Imperial fleet without any hope of getting a decent reward.
At least you're still alive, a small voice reminded. Han snorted. Being alive wasn't really a sufficient incentive for him. He glanced at his Wookie pilot and sharply spun the steering wheel, avoiding a series of laser blasts. He had turned soft, Han decided, flipped the Falcon around again. Turned soft in his head. It was the only explanation that he found himself in this situation, once again.
A slight smile flashed on his face. At least one thing was certain: his life wasn't very boring these days. The smile died and he glanced at the silent speaker. "Luke?"
For some time the only audible sound he heard was the space noise. The Corellian felt a nasty twinge piercing his heart as he stretched his neck forward and tried to see the space outside the Falcon.
"You sound just the way my uncle did!" An irritated voice of a young man caused a wide grin to appear on Han's face. "I can't influence on the Imperial cruisers and their decisions where to refil…" Luke Skywalker interrupted suddenly.
Han noticed right away the same thing Luke had earlier. It was coming straight toward him: a blackish gray, fighter with pair of dagger-like wings on its side. How it had succeeded to surprise him, Han wondered and the adrenaline gush made his heart to flutter fast. All the shields were behind. One straight shot, and Falcon would be history along with its pilot and hairy first mate.
But then something passed Falcon; an old, bruised X-wing fired a series of laser blasts, and the TIE-interceptor ignited in flames. Falcon flew unharmed through the blast – this time.
"Thanks kiddo," Han may have many faults, at least according to a certain princess; but saving his thanks wasn't one of them. Anyway, it was only a matter of time until they would be caught. Unless… Han look briefly the computer screen furrowing his browns. Only a moment and they could make their jump to the lightspeed.
The ship trembled once more and its motor wailed in agony. A glance told the star destroyer was still approaching. Han felt sweat forming below his chin. Falcon needed only a moment, but it might be too much to ask.
Then, finally, the ship gave out a clear signal telling him the same numbers on the computer screen. Han's nervousness disappeared and was substituted by relief. He reached toward Falcon's controls.
"We're outta here," he told. "You're with us?"
"Right next to you," Luke answered, apparently pleased to hear his news.
Han pulled the trigger. Falcon's engine wailed once more, and after that there was nothing more but bright stars.
Luke's X-wing followed Millennium Falcon into light speed, leaving the Imperials behind. He was annoyed. No, he was infuriated. Everything had gone so well until now… A simple mission, he had told Han and also believed in it.
All they were supposed to do was to make a routine fly to Tabaine and pick some spare parts for the shield generator in their new hide out. Although, Luke had to admit as he watched the stars he was passing by, more than the generator he needed this trip. At the moment he felt he could suffocate. Ever since blowing the Death Star he had been center of very discomforting attention. The others talked of him like he was a hero.
A hero. Just like his father. Luke squeezed his fingers around the controls of his X-wing and dwell on the realization. He wanted to be true to his father's heritage. He had a burning desire to become a Jedi and a hero. But deep within him lived a fear he would never achieve that wish.
The old Jedi Knight, Ben Kenobi was dead. There was no one to guide him with the use of the Force, although, occasionally Luke could feel the old man's spirit walking next to him. It helped and guided him but it didn't change the fact Ben was dead and left Luke alone.
A good time had passed since Luke had left the desert planet of Tatooine and his old home. He had grown and learnt, but still… Luke closed his eyes and listened the humming of his engine as he glided through the space. He sighed. Sometimes he just felt so lonely and lost. How could he ever gain the skills of the old Jedi master and revenge the death of both, Kenobi and Luke's own father?
Even the very thought of the black-armored monster, who was the cause of Luke's greatest torments, chilled the blood in his veins. What a pity, Vader wasn't on the space station when it blew out.
He heard a worrisome 'beep' and opened his eyes. Luke didn't even bother to look at the screen. He already knew what it would be telling him.
"I'm alright Artoo." Luke said to his ship's astrodroid. "I was just thinking…" Absentminded, he looked the stars they passed. "A shame our mission didn't succeed."
The small, round-shaped droid whistled and beeped comfortingly, and Luke smiled. "Yeah, you tell me, " he answered after he reading Artoos' message from the computer screen. " Better luck next time." His smile turned sour.
Dream on, Luke snorted.
Now, when the Imperials had finally found out his identity, they had put a claim on his head exceeding two billions credits. The bounty had caused the Rebel commanders to become reluctant in allowing Luke to fly solo missions anymore. It might even be considered a small miracle they had permitted him this trivial mission. Maybe because of that, Luke thought in deep thoughts. His lips twisted slightly downwards. His commanders wouldn't be happy, and Luke feared he wouldn't be allowed to leave their new base for a while. The thought made him shudder.
Well, at least he had the company of Rogues, his friends, and Princess Leia… Luke smiled softly as he remembered the lovely Alderaanian princess. How much his life had changed after he had seen a hologram of princess Leia in his uncle's garage! It had led him together with Ben and Han, and then to the Death Star…
Luke shook his head and pushed his ComLink. "You're alright, Han?" he asked little worried.
Hopefully Corellian wouldn't be too annoyed. Han had a tendency to be quite protective over his ship, and Falcon had gone through a heavy firing. The Imperials kept an exact record over the ships that had helped the Alliance – especially against their destroyed space station. Once again anger flared, but against whom?
Luke felt he was a partial reason that Han's ships' descriptions were dispersed to every county of the galaxy. Like the bounty Jabba the Hutt had promised of Han wouldn't be enough already.
"I've been through a lot better days," the smuggler sounded to be irked. "Though none come to mind at the moment." The signal was exceptionally weak with a lot of extra buzzing and background noise. Luke guessed they were crossing some sort of electromagnetic energy field.
"Falcon is in bad shape," Han Solo told, and Luke could hear his first mate to growl in agreement with the man. "The hyperdrive coughs; I don't like the sound of it. We need to stop and fix it."
Luke sighed. At least they could avoid returning to the base. He doubted Han either would be missing it.
"Alright," he said. "I come along with you guys. Just tell me where you're heading at." Luke glanced once more the stars around him. He felt a smile on his lips after he heard the engine of Falcon to whine, followed by Han's bad-mouthed curse and Chewie's howling.
"Here are the coordinates," Han told after a moment, and X-wing's computer flashed its lights.
"Tsen'bar?" Luke confirmed his browns furrowed. A fast scan over the ship's databank didn't convince him. "Han, are you really certain…?"
Han grunted. His typical confidence was making its return. "Listen kiddo," Luke winced as the speakers rattled even worse than before. "You should have more on trust on me." Luke could almost see the over-confident smile on man's face. "Tsen'bar is a place that couldn't interest the Empire less. They won't risk out their precious property on that place. It's a perfect place for us."
Luke just sighed "Alright." He set up the new coordinates on his plane. "Show me the way." At least they had made it in one piece. Things could be worse.