From his Imperial Star Destroyer, Darth Vader watched in fascination as the TIE fighters relentlessly fired at the Millennium Falcon. Vader's ship was closing in on the fleeing Falcon-it would not be long before the Dark Lord had Skywalker completely in his power.

And Luke sensed it, too. Quietly he gazed out, knowing that Vader was near, that his victory over the weakened Jedi would soon be complete. His body was battered, was exhausted; his spirit was prepared to succumb to his fate. There was no reason to fight anymore-there was nothing left to believe in.

"Ben," he whispered in utter despair, "why didn't you tell me?"

"Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"
by Donald F. Glut




It is the Only Way....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84@hotmail.com




Luke looked out the window of the Falcon as he felt the sudden tug of a tractor beam locking onto the ship. It was over, it was all over, all the training, all the fighting, it was all for nothing. Vader's son! He was Lord Darth Vader's son! Luke brought his head down in defeat as the Falcon started heading in the direction of the Executor.

"They've got us," Lando said as he turned off the Falcon's engines.

"What?!" Leia exclaimed angrily. "Why are your turning the engines off?! You can't just give up that easily!"

"What do you want me to do?" Lando retorted. "The tractor beam is twice as powerful as the Falcon's engines. If we try to resist we'll have a burn out!"

"But, but..." Leia stuttered. "There has got to be something we can do."

"No there's nothing for us to do but wait and kill as many of them as we can when they try to board us," Lando replied.

"But..." Leia sighed as she turned to Luke. "I hope you've got a better plan then our Baron here."

Luke just looked up at her for a moment before he whispered:

"No. It's over Leia, it's all over," then he lowered his head again.

"Luke?" Leia asked not believing what she had just heard. "Luke, what did he do to you?"

Luke just shook his head as Leia walked towards him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Luke, tell me."

"It's over, it's all over, there's no more reason to fight...lies, lies, all that I ever believed in, it was all no more then lies," Luke whispered as he pulled away from Leia's touch.

"Luke? What are you talking about? Of course there's a reason left to fight: the freedom of the galaxy," Leia stated as she wondered about Luke's strange behavior. "What did Vader do to you?"

Luke lifted his head once more and Leia gasped as she looked into his eyes. His eyes had always been full of laughter and amusement, but not anymore, no now they were filled with pain, pain and...and betrayal. Leia was mystified as to both emotions, sure he was in pain from his wounds, but this pain ran deeper than just his wounds. Vader had somehow hurt Luke deep down, had hurt him and somehow betrayed him, but how could Vader make Luke feel betrayed?

"Luke..." Leia began, but was interrupted by Lando.

"Later Princess, here take this," as he said this Lando threw her a blaster. "He's not himself, he just lost his hand. Make sure the blaster is on kill, I want to take as many of them with us as posible."

"Okay," Leia said as she got up.

'...he's not himself, he just lost his hand...' Lando's words rang through Luke's mind. He snorted as he thought how true and false those words were. It was true, he had just lost his hand, but for the first time in his life he was himself, he now knew who he was and what his descent was.

Leia looked up from checking her blaster as she heard Luke snort. Whatever Vader had done to him, it was bad. Leia's heart ached as she watched the way Luke had himself wrapped around his right arm.

"Come on Princess," Lando said as he ran down the hallway. "We'd better get ready."

"All right," Leia replied before turning back to Luke. "Luke, help us. We need you now. Luke?"

"Its no use, Leia. You may kill some of them, but it won't be long before they stun you."

"Stun me? Why would they have their blasters set on stun?"

"Because Vader wants me," Luke replied as he looked up. "He wants me Leia, and he wants me alive."

"Why Luke?" Leia asked hoping that he'd open up. "Why does he want you?"

But instead of opening up Luke just starred blankly at her for a moment, remembering Vader, his father, holding out his left hand and saying that it was the only way. Then he snapped back to the moment.

"I....I can't tell you."

With this Luke turned away from Leia and lowered his head.

"Princess!" Lando called. "Are you coming or not?"

"Coming, coming," Leia called as she hurried down the hallway.




As the Falcon settled down in the docking bay of the Executor the Admiral stepped before the storm troopers that were going to board the Falcon.

"Set your weapons on stun," he ordered and waited until the storm troopers had done so. "Among the passengers on board the ship is a young human male missing his right hand, Lord Vader wants him alive and unharmed if possible."

'Or without further harm,' the Admiral thought to himself as he remembered that the boy had faced Lord Vader and lost his hand. He briefly wondered why the Dark Lord wanted him. 'Idiot, if he has faced Lord Vader and is still alive, then there must be something special about him.'

The Admiral then stepped back and watched as the storm troopers went up to the ship and forced open the door. Then, before the first storm trooper even managed to enter the Falcon, a red beam of deadly energy shot out and hit the lead storm trooper full in the chest. The second storm trooper used his fallen comrade as a shield and managed to shoot several bursts of stun bolts into the ship.

After a couple of seconds of back and forth firing the storm troopers finally managed to board the Falcon.




"Get back," Lando called out as he stepped backward.

"What?!" Leia exclaimed. "Why?"

"Because they're using stun bolts and we'll get hit if we stay here."

"But..." Leia started and stopped when Lando slumped forward, stunned.

Leia jumped to her feet and tried to back off, but the storm trooper that had hit Lando was too quick. He fired again and Leia slumped to the deck as the stun bolt caught her in the back.




The Admiral boarded the Falcon after the storm trooper signaled an all clear. He looked at the three bodies on the floor, two human and one Wookiee.

"Where's the last one?" he demanded as he looked around.

"We think he may be hiding in the cockpit, but we're not sure," a storm trooper replied. "There hasn't been any movement or sound from the area, so he's probably waiting for us to make our move before he does."

"Well we don't have all day," the Admiral stated. "Lord Vader will come down here if we don't get the Rebel to him soon."

The storm troopers didn't need any more encouragement, the choice was simply enough: face Lord Vader in failure, or go look for a possibly armed Rebel. The storm troopers cautiously made their way forward, and the Admiral followed them closely.

"Don't fire!" he ordered as he saw the blonde hair sticking out from the navigators seat.

The storm troopers obeyed and simply made their way around the other chairs, so as to make sure that Luke didn't have any blaster or other weapon. The Admiral then walked up and stopped beside Luke.

Luke had heard the storm troopers enter and he had felt Lando and Leia get stunned, but he had stayed put knowing he could do nothing. Even if he could help them, it couldn't help him unlearn what he had learned just fifteen minutes ago: that he was the son of Lord Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith.

"Skywalker," it was more of a statement then a question.

Luke just looked up at the Admiral before nodding his head quietly.

The Admiral looked back down at the boy in surprise: 'he faced Lord Vader and survived?' But then the Admiral noticed the dark bruises on Luke's face and the way he held his right arm under his left shoulder. 'He may have been a match for Lord Vader, but Lord Vader has definitely won.'

"Get up," he ordered out loud.

Luke looked at him for another moment and then he slowly got up. There was no use in resisting, if he did the storm troopers would just stun him and bring him to his father anyway, he might as well do it on his own.

He was lead off the Falcon just as Leia, Lando and Chewie were carried out of the docking bay.

"Goodbye, Leia," he whispered as he watched her being carried off.

He knew that if he ever saw her again he would be on the dark side and thus he would be her enemy. He once again lowered his head and then moved forward as the storm trooper behind him nudged him with his blaster.

The storm troopers lead him through a maze of halls, and all the while Luke could feel Vader's Force presence getting stronger. Then they stopped outside of a set of doors and the Admiral knocked. They waited for a moment before the door opened and they stepped in.

Vader looked at his son and smiled. He could both see and feel that Luke had given up any hope of escape.

"The Rebel my lord," the Admiral said as he stepped aside.

"Good," Vader replied. "Leave us."

"As you wish," the Admiral said before turning around and leaving with the two storm troopers.

"I told you there was no other way," Vader said as he walked over to Luke.

Luke just looked up at him for a moment before looking away to the right.

"It is now time for you to embrace the dark side," Vader stated as he used the dark side to put a Force blanket around Luke, cutting him of from the light side.

Luke flinched slightly, but did nothing else.

"Tell me, who's been training you since Hoth?"

Luke looked back to his father. Just because he had nothing left to fight for didn't mean that he would betray Yoda. No, there was no reason to tell his father where Yoda lived, he was the galaxies only hope now.

"Yoda," Vader stated as he picked up on his son's thoughts.

Luke looked up in surprise and anger. Now his father knew about Yoda, and it was his fault. If only he had listened to Yoda and stayed on Dagobah. But no, it was all Ben's fault, Ben had lied to him about his heritage! If Ben had told him the truth, well then maybe....

"Good," Vader said watching his wounded son.

Luke started as he suddenly realized what was happening.

"Accept the dark side, Luke. Accept it and join me, together we can overthrow the Emperor and end this destructive conflict. Then we can rule the galaxy as father and son."

'...as father and son...' Those words echoed through Luke's mind as he looked up at his father. He then closed his eyes and examined his new found power, and was surprised at the amount of dark power that was cursing through him. Curiously he reached out and touched the Force blanket his father had put around him, he immediately recoiled as he was assaulted by the amount of raw power that was there.

He then thought about what his father had just said, he was not only offering to give him more of this power and teach him how to use it, but he was also offering him the whole galaxy! '...as father and son...' all his live he had wanted to know his father, to be able to stand by his side and to do things together, and now he had the chance '...as father and son...'

When Luke opened his eyes Vader could see that he had won. He could see the lust for power and the anger in his son's eyes and he knew that the hate would come later as Luke learned how to use the dark side.

"Where does Yoda live?"

Luke hesitated for a moment before replying: "Dagobah, Yoda lives on Dagobah."

"Good. We shall go and eliminate him immediately, after that there will be no one to stop us once we have destroyed the Emperor."

Luke nodded silently as he shifted his right arm slightly. Vader caught the movement.

"The medical center has a prosthetic hand ready," he said indicating Luke's stump.

Vader caught the flash of anger in Luke as his son looked down at the stump of his right hand. He hadn't enjoyed doing it, but Luke had gotten what was coming to him.

"Why don't you go down to the medical center while I'll go see if Princess Organa is willing to give us the location of the Rebel fleet, if you don't happen to know where it is?" Vader asked.

"They were going to re-group over Dantooine, but they've probably moved on already," Luke replied.

"Well that should be enough to shake up the Princess a bit," Vader said as he walked to his pod and pushed a button.

Seconds later the door opened and a storm trooper entered.

"Show him to the medical center and then escort him back here," Vader ordered putting a special emphasis on 'show' and 'escort' so that the storm trooper would know that Luke was not a prisoner.

"As you wish," the storm trooper replied and stood aside as Luke walked passed him and out the door.

Vader stood still a moment, thinking about the future. Luke was strong, it wouldn't take long to finish the boy's training and once Luke was ready he would take the boy to Coruscant and together they would kill the Emperor. Then he could take the throne and rule with Luke at his side. He smiled behind his mask and then he left his quarters heading towards the detention area.




"Sir," a 2-1B said as Luke entered the medical center with the storm trooper. "If you'll sit down over here," 2-1B continued gesturing to a seat.

Luke walked over and sat down while the storm trooper waited by the door. The 2-1B immediately got to work and fifteen minutes later Luke was testing the prosthetic hand.

"Is there any pain?" 2-1B asked after Luke had tested the hand.

"No," Luke replied.

"Good, now your face."

Luke nodded as he rested his head against the headrest. The 2-1B then quickly washed off the wounds and bruises.

"There, the cuts shall heal quickly and you should have no scars."

"Good," Luke said as he got up.

The storm trooper opened the door and led Luke back to his father's quarters.




Leia awoke to find herself in an Imperial detention cell.

"Great," she said aloud as she sat up on the hard metal bunk.

She then quickly checked herself for any cuts or bruises, but found none. Sighing she leaned back against the wall and wondered what would happen next. She'd probably be put through another interrogation, but at least she had no useful information to give. The only thing she knew was that the fleet had planned on re-grouping over Dantooine, but they'd definitely be somewhere else by now.

After having figured out that she couldn't fatally harm the Alliance by anything she might say she turned her thoughts to Han and Luke. She didn't know who to be more worried about: Han frozen in carbonite and in Boba Fett's hands, or Luke without his hand and in Darth Vader's hands.

After a few moments she decided that Han was better off then Luke was, he was after all frozen in carbonite, so at least they couldn't hurt him in anyway. Luke however was another matter all together, Vader had already cut off his right hand and somehow cut up his face, not to mention the pain and betrayal she had seen in his eyes. Leia was also worried about Luke's apparent surrender, she desperately hoped that he didn't do anything that might harm the Alliance.

Suddenly the door to her cell opened and Darth Vader stepped in.

"Princess Organa," he said as the door closed behind him.

"Where's Luke?" Leia asked wondering why Vader didn't have any storm troopers with him.

"He's being taken care of," Vader replied and watched as Leia stiffened. "But let's talk about you and what you know."

"I won't tell you anything!" Leia declared as her mind raced. 'Luke was being taken care of? Oh please let him be all right.'

"Young Skywalker was a little more co-operative," Vader continued hoping to shake up Leia.

He smiled as Leia raised her head an inch in disbelieve.

"No," she said.

"Yes," Vader stated. "I already know that your Rebel fleet was going to re-group over Dantooine. But I want to know where they are now."

Leia just looked at him, her mouth hanging open, stunned. Luke had told Vader that?

"What have you done to Luke?"

"Where is the Alliance now?" Vader demanded.

"I don't know," Leia replied truthfully.

Vader just looked at her for a moment, sensing that she was telling the truth.

"What did you do to Luke on Bespin?" Leia repeated.

"I told him the truth," Vader replied before he turned around and left the detention cell.

"What?" Leia exclaimed, but Vader just ignored her and the door closed behind him.




Vader was lost in his thoughts as he walked back to his quarters. He had been hoping to eliminate the Rebellion before he and Luke took control of the Empire, but now that seemed unlikely. But perhaps the ongoing war would make it easier for him and Luke to take over, everyone would be busy with the Rebellion and by the time they realized what was happening he would already be seated on the throne. And once he had the throne no one would dare to challenge him or Luke, together they would be invincible.

As he neared his quarters he could sense that Luke was already there, waiting for him. With this he turned his thoughts to Luke's training, he would also have to come up with an excuse so as to delay his return to Coruscant for as long as possible. But he had all the confidence that Luke would learn fast, especially considering how strong he had grown since Hoth.

Then he reached his quarters and entered. As he stepped into the room Luke turned around from studying a datapad with the reports of the damage taken during the Battle of Hoth. His son looked at him questioningly and he shook his head.

"She didn't know where the Alliance would go after Dantooine," Vader replied his son's unspoken question.

"Sometimes Mon Mothma doesn't tell anyone where they'll go until they reach the first rendezvous point," Luke explained.

Vader just nodded his head as he studied Luke closely, his son's clothes where dirty, bloodied and torn in places, but his face was better now that a 2-1B had cleaned the cuts. He then walked past his son to one of the two other doors in the room. He then opened the door and gestured for Luke to follow him.

Obediently Luke followed his father into a large sparring room. The room had two other doors besides the one they had come through, one door that had to led out into the hall and the other door was exactly opposite from the one they had just come through. Standing next to the door that led out into the hall stood a single officer.

Vader just strode across the room to the door opposite of his quarters. The door opened for him and he walked into the room beyond. Luke followed his father and found himself in a room almost identical to his father's.

"Those will be your quarters," Vader stated as he gestured to the other two doors in the room.

Luke just nodded and Vader continued:

"You will find a change of clothes in the bedroom. Change and meet me in the sparring room in half an hour," he ordered.

"Yes father," Luke said as he walked over to one of the doors to see the room beyond.

After Luke's reply Vader just turned around and left the room. Luke changed quickly, glad to get out of the dirty clothes he was wearing and into the fresh ones he found in his room. He was now wearing a plain shirt, pants and knee boots, all in black, without any insignia. Then he sat on his bed.

Suddenly the ghostly image of Obi-Wan Kenobi appeared before him. Luke immediately sprang to his feet and regarded the image with growing anger and hate.

"No Luke," Ben said. "You must control your anger and hate, look at what's happening to you."

"Control my anger?" Luke spat, his lips curling up in disdain. "Why should I listen to you, you no good liar?"

Ben flinched at words and Luke took pleasure in it, after all it had been Ben who had kept him from his father and the true power of the Force.

"No," Ben stated hearing Luke's thoughts. "The dark side consumes people and makes them think that it is the true power, while it actually destroys them. What I told you about your father is true, from a certain point of view."

"From a certain point of view?" Luke snarled his anger and hate growing with every minute.

"Yes," Ben replied, desperate for a way to save Luke from ruin. "Your father was a good and virtuous man until Palpatine lured him to the dark side, when he became Darth Vader he killed Anakin Skywalker and everything your father once believed in."

"Is that the best excuse you can come up with?" Luke asked sarcastically. "I'd have thought that you'd be able to come up with something better, especially considering all the time you've had to think about it in...wherever you are."

"Luke," Ben begged. "Can't you see what's happening to you? Don't you see how he's leading you to ruin? You'll become another slave to the dark side, and to Palpatine."

"No," Luke replied with a cold smile that sent shivers down Ben's spine. "Palpatine will soon be dead."

"What?" Ben asked astonished. "Luke, please listen to me, think of your frien..."

But Obi-Wan was cut off as the door opened and Vader strode into the room.

"Obi-Wan!" he exclaimed angrily.

"Anakin," Ben whispered as he felt his heart sink, this had been his only chance of saving Luke and he had failed.

"Anakin no longer exists," Vader stated flatly. "Now leave my son alone."

"Luke," Ben said turning to his former apprentice. "Look at what's happening to you!"

Luke's eyes narrowed in anger as he stared at the image of his former teacher. Vader was about to say something when he suddenly saw how Obi-Wan managed to appear like this, he had anchored his spirit to Luke's mind! Outraged Vader entered his son's mind, without any resistance, and destroyed the anchor that enabled Obi-Wan to appear.

"Luke, think of what...." Ben started but disappeared as the anchor was destroyed.

Father and son just stood looking at one another for a moment. Vader was pleased to see that Luke had not only refused to be taken in by Obi-Wan's lies a second time, but he had not refused his anger and hate.

"How does he do that?" Luke asked after a while.

"He anchored his spirit to your mind," Vader explained. "Has he appeared like that before?"

"Yes," Luke replied nodding. "On Hoth."

"Well he won't do it anymore."

"Will the Emperor be able to do that?"

"Not if you refuse to let him," Vader stated. "And by the time we'll kill him you'll know how."

"Okay," Luke replied.

"Now come," Vader ordered as he left the room.

Obediently Luke followed his father out of his quarters and back into the sparring room. His father led him to a table at the far side of the room on which lay all the components he would need to make a new lightsaber.

"Yellow?" Luke asked skeptically as he picked up the yellow Corsuca gem.

"It will produce a green blade," Vader explained.

"Okay," Luke replied placing the gem back on the table and looking at the other components.

"You should be able to finish constructing it before we reach Dagobah."

"How do you plan on eliminating Yoda?" Luke asked his father as he turned around.

"You know the planet better," Vader replied. "Can we land a shuttle?"

"No," Luke answered. "The planet is covered with trees and swamps, I even had trouble landing my X-wing in one piece."

"Okay," Vader replied nodding. "It'll have to be a planetary bombardment then."

Suddenly the door to the hall opened and the Admiral walked in. He stopped short in surprise as he saw Luke standing next to Lord Vader. Not only was did the boy have a prosthetic hand now, but he was also wearing different clothes.

"I left orders not to be disturbed," Vader warned.

"S...sorry my lord, but the Emperor demands you to make contact with him," the Admiral replied as he wondered about Luke's clothes and hand.

They weren't any of the Standard Imperial uniforms, so the boy had to be important, but wasn't he a Rebel? Perhaps he'd been some sort spy, but why had Lord Vader cut off his hand and why had the boy tried to escape?

"I'll take the message in my quarters," Vader stated as he headed towards his room signaling for his son to follow.

"As you wish my lord," the Admiral replied before he turned around and left, completely confused.

"Do you know what the Emperor wants?" Luke asked as they entered Vader's private holo receiving chamber.

"He probably wants to know if you've turned or not," Vader replied as he stopped in the middle of the projecting circle. "Stand back a bit, that way you'll be hidden from Palpatine's view."

Luke stepped back and watched as his father knelt in the middle of the circle. A few moments later an enlarged holo of Emperor Palpatine's head appeared in the air in front of Vader's kneeling form.

"What is thy bidding my master?" Vader asked.

"Has young Skywalker been turned?" Palpatine demanded as he gazed down at his servant.

"Yes my master."

"Good," Palpatine stated. "Where is he now?"

"In his quarters," Vader lied.

"Bring him to Coruscant, immediately," Palpatine ordered.

"My master," Vader began. "He has told me that he was being trained by a surviving Jedi Master on..."

"What?!" Palpatine demanded angrily, interrupting his second. "There is a living Jedi Master?"

"Yes, he lives on Dagobah."

Palpatine was silent for a moment as he thought about this new, unwelcome information.

"Very well. You must first go and eliminate this Jedi, but then you are to come straight to Coruscant. The faster young Skywalker is trained the faster he will be useful to us."

"Yes my master," Vader replied as he felt Luke's anger at what Palpatine had just said.

Then the image of Palpatine flickered and faded. Vader immediately stood up and turned to his enraged son.

"Useful?" Luke spat angrily.

Vader just looked at his son, pleased with his anger.

"You'd better start work on your lightsaber while I go and inform the Admiral of our destination," he said.

Luke nodded his agreement, then turned and left the room. Vader stood still a moment, wondering if Yoda had spend the past twenty years on Dagobah, just waiting to train Luke as a Jedi. Probably, but now it was time to eliminate him, eliminate him and bring an end to the Jedi illusion.




Three days later,




Luke finished his lightsaber just as he felt the Executor jump out of hyperspace. They were there, they had just arrived at Dagobah. Luke got up, ignited his lightsaber and examined the emerald-green blade for just a moment before he deactivated it and headed towards the bridge.

Luke arrived on the bridge just as the Executor's turbolasers opened fire and bombarded the planet. Vader turned away from the viewport and regarded his son as he stepped up next to him.

"You've finished your lightsaber?" Vader asked seeing the lightsaber attached to Luke's belt.

"Yes father," Luke replied as he watched the bombardment.

"Good," Vader praised. "We shall continue your training once we're done here."

"Okay," Luke replied just as they both felt what had to be Yoda's death through the Force.

"Stop the bombardment," Vader ordered turning to the Admiral.

"As you wish my lord," the Admiral replied still trying to figure out what they were doing.

Luke just kept his gaze on the planet as his anger rose. Yoda had known about Obi-Wan's lie and yet he had done nothing about it, and not only that but he had tried to ruin him! As his anger rose Luke concentrated it, just the way his father had taught him to.

"Good," Vader said as he felt what Luke was doing. "Your training is almost complete."

Luke just smiled as he looked up at his father. Soon the Emperor would be dead and then once they eliminated the Rebellion they would control the galaxy! Suddenly Luke thought about Leia in her cell. His father had had her interrogated for any useful information about the Alliance, but it hadn't worked. Perhaps he should go and visit her, see if she was willing to give him any information, if not she'd just have to be put through a better interrogation on Coruscant.

"I'll go see if Princess Organa will give me any information on the Rebellion."

"Very well," Vader replied. "Meet me in the sparring room when you're done."

"Yes father," Luke said before he turned around and left the bridge.




In her cell Leia sat on her bunk wondering what was going to happen next. She had heard the turbolasers fire and hoped that it hadn't been at any Alliance ships. She was also worried about Han and Luke. She hadn't heard anything about Luke since Vader had first been to see her and that had been three days ago.

Suddenly the door opened and Luke walked into the cell. As soon as he had gotten through the door it closed behind him, but Leia instantly knew something was wrong, not only didn't the Empire put prisoners together, but Luke had a new hand and he had a lightsaber at his belt.

"Luke?" she said getting up but staying where she was.

Luke just regarded her for a moment before nodding his head.

"What's going on?" she asked not really wanting to know.

"I want to know how you were planning on contacting the Alliance if you'd escaped from Bespin," Luke ordered.

"Why?" Leia asked feeling her heart sink. "So you can tell Vader?"

"Yes," Luke replied coldly.

"Luke, what has he done to you?"

"He's opened my eyes to the truth," Luke stated.

"Luke, you know you can't trust Vader," Leia said desperate to reach the Luke she knew.

"But I can," Luke said as a humorless smile appeared on his face. "He is my father."

"What?!" Leia exclaimed astonished.

"The choice is yours Leia, tell me what I want to know now, or we'll force it from you once we reach Coruscant," Luke stated as the smile disappeared and his face turned to stone.

Leia just looked at him, shocked. He was Vader's son? But that still didn't explain his behavior, unless of course he had been putting up a facade ever since she met him, but no, that couldn't be true, he had destroyed the Death Star.

"Leia," Luke warned.

"No! I'm not saying a word to you!" Leia declared. "I'll only speak to the Luke I know, the real you, the way you were before Vader changed you."

Suddenly Luke stepped up close to Leia and savagely grasped her arms above the elbows. As Leia looked up at him, startled, she saw the anger in his eyes.

"The man you want to see no longer exists," Luke hissed angrily. "He's dead."

"I don't believe that," Leia replied, but even as she said this she could feel her heart go cold all over.

"Yes, yes you do," Luke said sensing her thoughts.

"Luke, think of what you used to believe in, the freedom of the galaxy!" Leia pressed. "Think of Han."

Luke just smiled at the thought of the smuggler spending the rest of his miserable life frozen in carbonite. Leia saw the smile and knew what it meant, and that made her angry. How dare Luke laugh at Han's predicament! Suddenly she knew that there was no way to undo what Vader had done to Luke, he had changed and there was no way back.

"Well I'd rather be frozen in carbonite then become Palpatine's puppet," Leia declared angrily, but instantly regretted saying it as Luke ruthlessly tightened his grip on her arms.

"Palpatine will soon be dead," Luke whispered softly as he brought his face close to Leia's.

"Dead?" Leia asked, scared.

"Yes," Luke confirmed. "First chance we get father and I will kill him."

"And then what?"

Luke just smiled as he released her and stepped back.

"Then we will take control," he stated before he turned around, knocked on the door and left the cell as a storm trooper opened it.

Leia just sat down on her bunk as the door closed behind him. She couldn't believe what she had just heard, Luke was going to take Palpatine's place together with Vader?




Vader looked up as Luke entered the sparring room.

"And?" he inquired. "Did she say anything?"

"No," Luke replied. "Nothing useful."

"Palpatine has better interrogation equipment on Coruscant, we'll get the information from her once we get there."

Luke just nodded as he wondered about the future. It wouldn't be long before he and his father would be the two most powerful men in the galaxy.

"Come, it's time to complete your training," Vader stated as he signaled for Luke to come closer.




Five days later,




Inwardly Luke smiled as he boarded the shuttle that would take him and his father down to Coruscant. The day had finally arrived, the day he would meet the Emperor for the first and the last time. Walking just ahead of him Vader was lost deep in his own thoughts, Luke was as strong as he had hoped and now he was fully trained in the ways of the dark side. Although with the shield Luke had up Palpatine wouldn't know that until it was too late.

As the shuttle descended Vader and Luke sat in silence, both waiting for the big moment that was about to come. They both knew that together they were more powerful then Palpatine was, both Luke was still surprised at the powerful presence of the Emperor in the Force.

Then the shuttle landed and they descended the ramp to find a messenger waiting for them.

"Lord Vader," he said. "The Emperor demands your presence at once, and yours too," he said turning to Luke.

Vader just nodded and walked past the messenger with Luke following closely at his side. Together they entered the palace and walked through the great hall heading for the galactic Emperor's throne room. As they neared the elevator leading to the throne room one of the four Royal Guards opened the door.

Luke followed his father into the elevator and stiffened slightly as he felt the Emperor's touch in his mind.

"Let him," Vader ordered and Luke relaxed, but kept up his guard.

Then the elevator door opened and father and son stepped out of the elevator and into the throne room. Luke immediately scanned the room with his eyes, recognizing every detail from what his father had told him.

Together they walked up the stairs and stood at the top before the gaze of the Emperor. Palpatine smiled as he looked upon Luke, the boy was strong and he was now his! He studied Luke for a moment and noticed the lightsaber hanging from his belt, just like with Vader.

"Has Yoda been eliminated?" Palpatine demanded looking at his servant.

"Yes my master," Vader replied.

"Good," Palpatine stated before turning back to his new, young, apprentice. "We will begin your training tomorrow morning."

"As you wish master," Luke said bowing his head slightly in a show of obedience.

Palpatine eyed him for a moment and Luke once again felt his probing touch in his mind. He hoped that Palpatine wouldn't dig too deep and find that he already had been trained, but Palpatine only skimmed the surface of his mind before retreating.

"Now come," Palpatine ordered. "Kneel before me and pledge your loyalty."

Even as Palpatine said this Vader walked forward and took his normal place at his master's right. Luke, according to the plan he and Vader had put together, stepped forward and knelt before the Emperor. But even as he did so his right hand was reaching for his lightsaber.

Palpatine noticed the gesture a moment before Luke's hand reached his saber and he immediately got to his feet and made ready to use Force lightning on Luke. Luke's lightsaber sprang to life just as Palpatine shot his first burst of Force lightning at who he had thought was going to be his young apprentice.

Luke caught the Force lightning on his lightsaber but he still took a few steps backward to make sure he didn't get hit by any of it. Seconds after Palpatine started shooting Force lightning at Luke Vader's ruby-red lightsaber sprang to life. Palpatine heard the lightsaber igniting and felt the ripple of danger through the Force, he started turning so as to protect himself from Vader's attack, but it was too late. Vader's lightsaber found its mark just as Palpatine started turning. The lightsaber went through the Emperor's neck as easy as a hot knife goes through butter.

As soon as Palpatine stopped using his Force lightning on him Luke turned around and quickly took out the two Royal Guards that had rushed up the stairs to save their master. When Luke turned back he saw his father remove Palpatine's corpse from the throne before taking the seat himself. Luke looked straight up at his father for a moment, a slow smile appearing on his face.

"Emperor Vader," he stated.

"Lord Skywalker," Vader replied looking down at his son.

Luke's smile grew at the title, for he knew that although his father sat on the throne they would rule the galaxy together, as father and son.





January 1999