Author's Notes: This story is the result of a plot bunny that entered my head after I finished reading AC Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy. I have no idea where I am going with this one; I am flying by on the seat of my pants. I do not know how many chapters there will be and there is no set plot. Updates will either be more or less frequent, depending on the inspiration I have for the chapter in question. Please bear with me; I absolutely hate not finishing a story, so stick with me and eventually it will be finished, I promise!

Disclaimer: I do not own Stor Wars. No money is being made from this fic.

Imperial

"Afterwards, the universe will explode for your pleasure." --Douglas Adams

Chapter One

Darth Vader strode menacingly along the uppermost level of Coruscant. He did not want to go to the Imperial Academy and choose a new wingman. Damn the old one for daring to get himself blown up!

Huffing irritably under his mask, he swept into the Academy Dean's office. The secretary jumped to her feet, babbling nonsense about a meeting the Dean was in. Vader mostly ignored her, except to change his course to enter the conference room rather than the study.

The Dean froze mid-sentence as Vader entered ominously. A wave of his black-gloved hand sent the Dean's guests scrambling for the door, and Vader was soon alone with the Dean.

"My lord?" The Dean asked timidly, unsure of the Dark Lord's purpose. He wracked his brain, trying to think of any action he had committed that the Sith might have taken offense to.

"I need the name of your most promising pilot," Vader replied, blunt as usual.

"That would be Lieutenant Solo, my . . . oh, never mind. I recommend Lieutenant Harlt," the Dean replied hastily, anxious for Vader to leave..

Vader stared hard at him. "What is wrong with . . . what did you say? Solo?"

The Dean paused. "He is being expelled."

"Whatever for?"

"He disobeyed orders to kill a rebellious Wookiee slave. In fact, he went so far as to help the animal," the Dean explained, disgust evident in his voice.

"Where would I find him?" Vader demanded.

The Dean cocked his head, looking as if he hadn't heard right, but not willing to try Vader's patience by asking him to repeat his question. "In the barracks, possibly, my lord. If he has already been discharged, I do not know."

Vader left. This Solo character sounded promising.


It was easy to get the information he needed from the officer in charge of the barracks. No one questioned the authority of Darth Vader unless they had a death wish, and Vader soon found himself nearing the door he had been directed to. From the other direction, two more men approached.

Vader stopped at Solo's door. So did the military men. Sith and officers stared at each other for a long moment. Finally, one of the officers – a captain, Vader noted – spoke up. "My lord?"

"I wish to speak with Solo," Vader replied. "You need not know anything more than that."

"My lord, Solo's actions are being dealt with," the other officer, a lieutenant, assured him. "We are here to escort him to see the admiral and be discharged, stripped of all honours and blacklisted."

"What?" a new voice demanded in shock. "You can't do that!"

The three of them turned to see a young man Vader assumed to be Solo standing in the now-open doorway.

The lieutenant scowled at him. "You are in no position to be the judge of that, Solo," he spat.

Despite his current predicament, Solo had the gall to look insulted. He opened his mouth to reply, but caught sight of Vader for the first time and his jaw ended up sagging open in shock. Evidently he had thought that his case was not important enough to call in the top men. And, Vader reflected, he was right. Vader's business here had nothing to do with Solo's problems. He merely needed a new wingman.

Vader casually flicked his wrist, sending the lieutenant crashing against the opposite wall. The captain's eyes widened, and Solo's jaw dropped even lower, though Vader would not have considered that possible. "Solo," Vader said calmly. "I have a proposition for you."

"Uh . . ." Solo's eyes flicked to the unconscious lieutenant. "I'm listening."

"I want to promote you to my personal wingman."

Solo stared. "Uh, sir, I mean, my lord, I mean --"

"Sir will suffice," Vader interrupted impatiently.

"Yes, sir . . . I'm kind of in disgrace, here, sir."

"I have heard, and not anymore. Pack your things and come with me. The Executor leave in two hours; I want you to be on it."

Solo gulped. "Yes, sir."

"And I want a detailed record of your background and experience."

"Yes, sir."

"I will be waiting in the lobby. Hurry up."

"Yes, sir."

"If anyone tries to stop you, tell them that as of now, you work for me."

"Yes, sir."

"If they continue to attempt to detain you, have them comm me. Their superiors will have my number."

"Yes, sir."

"And Solo?"

"Yes, sir?"

"You do not have to say yes, sir after every sentence I speak. One time after you receive your full set of orders is acceptable. Understood?"

"Yes, sir."


Han packed his bags in a daze. He had expected to be expelled, not promoted! The Empire didn't accept aliens as a rather strict general rule, and Han had helped one escape slavery.

Briefly, Han wondered what had become of the Wookiee. He had been a very courteous creature, reminding Han painfully of his childhood caretaker, Dewlanna. Then he shook his head, determined to clear his mind of thoughts about . . . what was his name? Chewbacca?

Han had his own life to live; he would likely never see the Wookiee again. Especially now that he was serving under Darth Vader.

Still in a state of disbelief, Han shouldered his bag and headed downstairs to meet his fate.

Han didn't have any trouble on his trip down to the lobby to meet Vader. Everyone avoided him like the plague. When he reached the reception area and saw that they were treating the Dark Lord the same way, Han nearly grinned. Here they were, two misfits. Of course, no one would ever dream of calling the Sith a misfit, but essentially that was what he was.

Vader stood up as Han approached, towering over him. "You are ready?" he inquired.

Han took a breath, then nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Then let's go."

And so Han Solo entered the service of Darth Vader and followed him out the door, as everyone who witnessed the phenomenon stared at their retreating backs in shock.