Dark Confrontation

I have come to the conclusion that Star Wars Conventions are dangerous. Dangerous to the pocketbook and dangerous to the plot bunnies. Yes, this was inspired by Saturday's visit to C4. I'll explain what, exactly, inspired it after the story.

Summary: The rebel ship Luke Skywalker is on is attacked and boarded by Imperial troops, and Darth Vader. Luke delays them, while his companions escape… or does he?

Characters: Luke, Vader, expendable stormtroopers.

Time: Sometime before ESB, shortly before Vader finds out who, exactly, destroyed the Death Star

Commander Luke Skywalker, rebel, destroyer of the Death Star, Jedi in training, was scared out of his mind. But he wasn't going to show it, not to anyone. Not the Imperial troops that were heading his way, not the rebel troops whose retreat he was covering. And definitely not Darth Vader, who he could feel approaching just behind the stormtroopers.

Luke settled the breathing mask over his face, making sure it was connected to the oxygen tank. The area of the ship the troopers were coming from had been breached into space, and they would probably just blow a hole into this area, so he needed to be ready for when the atmosphere blew.

He felt the wind tugging at his hair and switched the mask on. He drew his blaster, leaving his lightsaber at his belt for the moment.

The first troops appeared. Luke's blaster was already pointed at where he knew they would be, and the lead troop went down before they realized he was there. He hit two more before they began to fire in his direction. He felt his ears pop, and knew they were in total vacuum.

Not that they hit him. He wondered, sometimes, why the troopers were given helmets that have such lousy vision. No matter. He kept shooting. The Troopers fell, blocking their fellows behind them.

It was eerily silent- vacuum would do that. But it felt like more then that. There should be some sound- his mask should at least transmit the sound of his breathing.

But there was nothing. And then there was something. "Commander Skywalker? We're away. You better get out of there before it's too late."

"Copy that, Captain Taggert." Luke fired one more shot- the troopers couldn't get past their fellows for some time now.

He turned and headed away… only to turn back as some unnamed sensation warned him. The dead troopers were moving. Not returning to life, no, but moving. VADER! Luke holstered his blaster- it would do him no good.

"Captain, get clear. Vader's here and I don't know if I can get away. May the Force Be With You."

"Copy that, Commander. Force be With You."

His lightsaber was out, but unlit- and how, when he didn't remember drawing it, he didn't know.

And then Vader appeared.

Luke backed away, and ignited his saber. The filter on his goggles turned the saber yellow.

Vader's saber also ignited. He was silent, for they both knew that there would be no speaking in vacuum.

And Vader was on him, swinging the saber high. Luke barely blocked it.

He ducked and came up in a crouch. His lightsaber was at his side. Vader loomed over him, his blade parallel to the ground, and for a moment, Luke thought it was blue- like his own blade.

Then he felt a breeze tug his hair, and knew that someone had repressurized the ship. Vader's cape billowed behind him as the atmosphere returned. And now he could hear again, the sounds of both Vader's and his own breathing masks, the hum of their sabers, footsteps and the creaking of the wounded ship they fought in.

Luke dodged to the side, trying to avoid the Sith's blade. Too late, however, and his own sword- his father's sword- was caught and he lost it.

"I have won, young Jedi." Vader said; the first words either of them had spoken.

"I'm not defeated yet." Luke returned, his own voice sounding as mechanical as Vader's.

"I could kill you in a moment, young one." Vader said. "And you do not have enough training to stop me."

Strangely, Luke didn't think that the Sith actually would.

"But I have another plan." Vader said. "I can train you." He said. "I can give you knowledge of the Force. I can even help you reach your goals of peace in the galaxy."

"You killed my family." Luke returned. "Why should I join you?"

Vader was silent for a moment. "If I did so, young one, it was on the Emperor's orders. He has commanded me to destroy all who are strong in the Force, all who resist him."

"Then why haven't you killed me?"

Luke felt Vader's amusement. "Are you that eager for death, young Jedi?"

Luke lifted his head proudly. He'd do his family, and his teacher, proud.

"I am a Jedi. You have called me that yourself. Jedi do not fear death."

Vader shook his head. "You are not more then a student, young one." He said. "And you will learn the Force. I can teach you." He shut off his saber and held out his hand. "Let me teach you."

Luke glanced at the man-machine who was offering him his greatest desire and his greatest fear. "I will not." He said.

"I can feel it, young one. You desire to learn. Why not become my student? Why not learn the ways of the Force?"

Luke shook as the Sith's words inspired scenes in his mind- learning, growing in the Force. He could be a true warrior, someone to make his dead family proud.

The young man trembled as he raised his hand and took Vader's.

Luke bit back a scream as he lunged up and out of his bed. It took him several minutes to realize where he was, that it HAD been a dream, he had NOT agreed to join Vader.

He shuddered at the last thought. What sort of nightmare was that? He'd never join Vader.

He stood up and headed for the small fresher attached to his room. He wouldn't sleep again tonight.

Darth Vader blinked open his eyes to find he was in his chamber. Something had torn him out of sleep, and that oddly pleasant dream…

He'd dream shared with the one he hunted! And what an odd dream. He'd actually convinced the boy to join him. Though, no doubt the boy just thought it was a nightmare.

Vader shook his head. No, that dream wasn't likely to come true. It'd been a mental meeting of two enemies, nothing more.

And yet, we need not always be enemies. If nothing else, this dream has told me that. And, strangely, I don't want to kill the boy. Perhaps he reminds me of someone I knew, long ago. In any case, I will need an apprentice, and he is strong in the Force. Perhaps someday, the young Jedi will learn from me, will be my apprentice.

Yes, it was inspired by THAT statue, based on the Ralph McQuarrie concept painting. Also inspired by the exclusive Luke figure, and the description on the back, especially this sentence "Wearing an oxygen tank and breathing mask, Luke looks eerily like his father." How could I not write something when I saw that?

I tried to make it rather surreal, as befits a dream. Please let me know how I did.