Author's Note: My account is named after the character, not the other way around. See notes at the end for more information.
He had been good at solving problems once. Something about the way his mind worked made even the most complicated of situations understandable, and usually to solve a mystery, all he needed was time. His current puzzle was the origin of the Empire's most frightening enforcer, the Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Unfortunately, time was something he did not have. Darth Vader was on-planet, and the Sith knew he was here, too. Since the black-shrouded monstrosity's apparent objective was the total eradication of the Jedi Order, the Sith would be coming for him very soon.
His name was Davin Sunrider, and he had once been a Jedi Knight, a member of an order that had protected the Republic for a thousand generations.
Three years ago, the Republic had fallen, shattered into fragments and then rebuilt into the brutal Galactic Empire, a dictatorship headed by Emperor Palpatine, a Sith Master.
Davin had never thought he would live to see a Sith in control of the galaxy, but, he thought darkly to himself as he sprinted through the jungle, using the Force to nudge vines and branches aside, he wouldn't have to live with it much longer. Vader was after him.
His lightsaber, the last remnant of his former life, thumped against his leg as he ran, its weight comforting at his belt. He had been an extremely skilled duelist once, and the symbol of his destroyed order was all that would keep him alive against something as monstrous as Palpatine's vicious apprentice. That, and his command of the Force, though he was not as powerful as Vader; he knew that much for certain.
Night had settled like a heavy blanket over the jungle, and with not even the stars overhead to light his way, Davin had to navigate through the Force to keep from tripping. He knew he was further alerting Vader to his presence, but he had no choice. Vader had tracked him here anyway, and with no way for Davin to get off the tiny jungle-covered moon of Dxun, the Sith Lord could hunt the Jedi down with time as his only obstacle.
Sensing no malevolent presence behind him, Davin stopped to rest for a moment, breathing deeply. Sweat streamed from his long dark hair, partially from the exertion and partially from the muggy heat of the jungle. His dark clothing helped him to blend into the shadows cast by the jungle canopy overhead, but for a predator armed with the Force, this was nothing. Sunrider shone like a beacon through the energy that bound the universe together, and all Vader had to do was follow the light.
That was long enough. Davin gathered the Force about himself and leaped up into the upper branches of a tree, pushing himself to his top running speed again as he dashed along the boughs, jumping from tree to tree like some kind of oversized primate.
As he ran, Davin reviewed what he knew about the monster that pursued him. He had no idea who Darth Vader had once been, but he did know that the Sith Lord was an incredibly powerful Force-user who used the Dark Side. Vader was tall and swathed in black body armor and robes that concealed his features and even his species, though knowing the new Empire's policies, he was likely human under all that armor. A skull-like mask covered his face, and his heavy breathing was enough to strike fear into the boldest Jedi, along with the stories of what he'd done to Force-users he'd caught in the past. Palpatine's apprentice showed no mercy, not even to the men on his own side.
He had burst onto the galactic scene three years ago, rising with the Empire to become one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. Davin knew Vader was Palpatine's Sith Apprentice, but where the vicious old man had been hiding such a powerful enforcer during the Clone Wars, he didn't know. Vader was definitely not the creature that had attacked Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo shortly after they'd found the Skywalker boy, nor was he Dooku, the shadowy leader of the Separatists. Kenobi had killed the creature, and Anakin Skywalker had killed Dooku in the closing months of the Clone Wars.
Davin's thoughts drifted to the Chosen One as he leaped over a four-meter gap between the trees, landing heavily and continuing on. If only Skywalker was still alive! He had to have been killed during Order 66, probably by Vader, since no one had heard anything about him since the clone army had turned on the Jedi at the end of the Clone Wars.
So much for the prophecy, Davin thought, grabbing hold of an overhanging branch to aid his next leap. Instead of bringing balance to the Force, Skywalker had died during Palpatine's betrayal, leaving the galaxy shrouded in darkness from the Sith Master and his brutal apprentice. He was certain the Chosen One could have stood against this Darth Vader, sending him back into whatever abyss the Emperor had summoned him from.
But, there was no point in wishing. There was nothing that could be done except attempt to preserve what was left of the Jedi Order, which was what Davin had been doing for the last three years. He'd managed to escape his treacherous clone troops and had been on his way back to Coruscant when he'd received the signal warning him away. After processing the sheer magnitude of what had just happened, Davin Sunrider had devoted himself to finding safe hiding places for himself and other Jedi, trying to stay one step ahead of Darth Vader and the Imperial Army.
An animal hissed viciously at Davin as he ran too close to its nesting place, and he sent calm through the Force, distracting it as he ran on.
But, Vader was a clever predator, and he'd eventually figured out who was snatching Jedi out from underneath his nose. He'd faked a distress call here on the surface of Dxun, and when Davin had responded, a Star Destroyer had been waiting for him. Before he could avoid it, it shot down his ship with its turbolasers. He had only barely managed to guide the vessel down through the atmosphere, and even then, he'd had to eject before it exploded.
Now, his ship destroyed and no settlements to flee to, Davin was trapped on the jungle moon with the Sith Lord. Only one of them would be leaving it breathing, and Davin was almost positive that breathing would be through a respirator.
Almost as if summoned by his thoughts, Davin felt a malignant presence flare up through the Force ahead of him, and in the next instant, the tree branch he was standing on vanished from beneath his feet, sending him plummeting to the jungle floor.
The presence was viciously amused now, locking onto the Jedi Knight as if he was illuminated with a searchlight. Deep, artificial breathing echoed through the jungle, drawing closer to where Davin lay on the ground, trying to force air back into his lungs.
Davin's lightsaber leaped from his belt into his hand, but he did not ignite the blade, not wanting to give away his exact position just yet. Desperate, he sought out any animals nearby and planted the thought come here into their primitive minds.
In a cacophony of screeching and growling, several dozen jungle creatures stampeded into the small clearing Davin crouched in, and as he had hoped, a blood-red lightsaber ignited with an ominous snap-hiss several meters away, bathing its owner and his surroundings in an eerie crimson light. For the moment, the prey could see the predator, but not vice versa.
The enormous hulking shape of Darth Vader stomped closer like something out of a nightmare, slashing low with his glowing blade to neatly bisect a cat-like predator that leaped at him. His heavy breathing nearly drowned out the noise of the animals as he sought to overcome the distraction and locate his true prey.
"You cannot hide from me forever, Jedi," the Dark Lord's deep voice rumbled. "Your simple tricks insult me."
With uncanny accuracy, Darth Vader swiveled his death's-head mask toward Davin, and a creature that was all spines and teeth suddenly halted in mid-leap and reversed direction, hurtling through the air, yowling, at the Jedi.
Davin ignited his lightsaber, lighting up the jungle with an emerald glow around him, and he moved the shining blade to intercept the creature. Its final shriek was cut short as it dropped smoking to the ground in two halves.
Darth Vader broadcasted his triumph through the Force, letting his prey know that he considered him no threat whatsoever. The Dark Lord surged forward, slashing foliage out of his way as he bore down on the Jedi Knight. His black cloak billowed out behind him like dark wings, conjuring the image of a demon. Davin thought this to be not far from the truth.
Davin calmly pushed his fear aside, pouring his concentration into his combat instincts. He raised his lightsaber into a guard position and braced himself as the taller Dark Lord crashed into him like a battering ram, trying to knock him aside through sheer brute force.
Their lightsabers hissed and spat as the Sith Lord and the Jedi Knight strained against each other. Darth Vader was much stronger, both physically and in the Force, but Davin refused to give an inch of ground, and he held the Sith back through force of will.
Vader's deep breathing blasted Davin in a sonic assault, and the Jedi could almost picture the demon's lips -if he had them- peeled back in a malevolent grin, gleefully enjoying the fight he knew he was going to win.
Finally, Vader drew back, swinging in a series of vicious slashes that forced Davin to stay on the defensive. The Sith Lord's blade cleaved through a tree, and he seized the falling trunk with the Force, using it as a gigantic club to bash Davin toward his waiting lightsaber.
Davin pulled the Force around himself and back-flipped over the tree trunk, aiding its momentum with a Force-push of his own, and as he landed, one hand planted on the ground to brace himself, he watched Vader smash the trunk away with his lightsaber, cleaving through it with his blood-red blade.
The Dark Lord roared in fury, a wordless bellow that rivaled any of the surrounding predators in sheer ferocity. He surged forward again, his rage flowing out in almost overwhelming waves through the Force.
Davin sensed the monstrosity drawing deeply on the Dark Side of the Force, using his rage as fuel for his exertions, and he wondered at the magnitude of the Dark Lord's power. The only other being Davin had ever encountered with this strength in the Force was Anakin Skywalker, and he thought to himself as he leaped away from the Dark Lord's charge that perhaps even the Chosen One would have a hard fight against this thing, this creature of anger.
Darth Vader continued his charge for several more paces, as if not even noticing that he had missed his prey, and he demolished a tree with his lightsaber, slashing violently as he spun in place, helmeted head looking around for the Jedi Knight.
Davin took advantage of his greater agility to leap three meters straight up, taking brief refuge in the branches of a tree overhead. Vader was too stiff and heavy to follow him up here, so he would be safe for a moment as he caught his breath.
But Vader had a way around this. Startling the Jedi, the leaves around him shook as Vader seized the tree with the Force and, to Davin's astonishment, ripped it out of the ground, roots and all.
He leaped to another tree, but Vader sent the first crashing through the branches after the fleeing Jedi, radiating his rage through the Force all the while. Davin briefly wondered what he had done to the Sith to elicit this kind of hatred, but, he realized as he hurled himself out of the way of Vader's missile, the Dark Lord's rage was not directed at him specifically, but Jedi in general.
An image of Obi-Wan Kenobi's bearded face flashed through the Force for a moment, to Davin's confusion, and as he sought its source, leaping through the air to get away from the numerous other missiles Vader now hurled at him, he realized the Dark Lord was the source of the image. What had Master Kenobi done to this monster to cause such rage?
Davin pushed off the trunk of a tree, jumping horizontally four meters through the air to dodge the enormous shape of the tree Vader sent after him. With a loud crack, the tree Vader had ripped out of the ground crashed into the tree Davin had just left and splintered in half from the force of its impact.
Further surprising the Jedi Knight, the Dark Lord seized the two halves of the shattered tree with the Force and sent them crashing through the canopy to flank him. Davin let himself drop as the enormous logs smashed together with enough force to completely destroy them both.
Davin landed on his feet on the jungle floor, but Vader was waiting for him, swinging wildly with his crimson blade as his maddeningly regular breathing echoed in the Jedi's ears. Davin re-ignited his lightsaber, moving furiously to block the Sith Lord's slashes, but Vader was simply too powerful, and he had to flee again.
Drawing deeply on the Force, Davin somersaulted over the Dark Lord's head, touching down briefly on the side of a tree trunk before pushing off again, his saber aimed for the middle of the black-clad monster's back.
Vader spun with improbable speed, his dark cloak billowing around him, and caught Davin's saber on his own, flexing his arms to knock Sunrider aside. Davin tried to land on his feet, but Vader seized a tree branch with the Force and viciously pummeled him with it, driving the Jedi Knight to his knees. Davin slashed out with his lightsaber and cut the branch into three pieces, but Vader merely took this as an opportunity, sending all three pieces of the thick branch in unpredictable patterns around Davin's head.
The Jedi knocked one of the fragments aside with his emerald blade, but Vader drove the other two with punishing force into his stomach and back, knocking Davin down.
Tenaciously, Sunrider jumped to his feet and went on the offensive. It was his only chance against this monster, and he poured all of the skill he had learned in the use of the lightsaber into a wild series of slashes and thrusts, actually forcing the Dark Lord to take a step back to steady himself. Vader's deep, mechanical breathing did not waver even slightly as he tilted his crimson blade to catch Davin's next strike, and he allowed Sunrider to push his arm back until it was over his head.
Then, with a sudden surge of strength, Vader pushed down, both with his saber and with the Force. Davin stumbled back, and Vader whipped his lightsaber around in a vicious slash meant to separate the Jedi's head from his shoulders. Davin caught the slash on his own shining blade, teeth gritted with effort as the sheer strength behind the strike pressed his glowing, humming blade a centimeter from his ear.
Vader paused ever so slightly at this, and Davin took advantage of the Dark Lord's momentary hesitation to shove his opponent's lightsaber aside, charging forward with a fierce shout. Vader intercepted Davin's lightsaber with his own, as expected, but the Jedi noticed too late that the Dark Lord had only one hand on his weapon.
Darth Vader sent his gloved fist crashing against Davin's chest with enough force to crack bone, and the Jedi actually heard his sternum splinter. He flew backwards with the residual momentum from Vader's punch to crash into a tree, groaning as his lightsaber slipped from his fingers and he dropped heavily to the ground.
As the Dark Lord stomped closer, his ruby blade humming ominously, Davin sensed the Sith projecting the image of Master Kenobi's face again, this time placing the Jedi Master's features over Davin's. He knew he superficially resembled Kenobi, since he also wore a beard, but the reason for this escaped him.
Vader opened himself fully to the Force, drawing deeply on his reservoir of rage for the final blow, and as he did so, Davin Sunrider realized why Darth Vader hated Obi-Wan Kenobi so much.
Like pieces of a puzzle clicking into place, images spun through the Force.
Anakin Skywalker, kneeling before a hooded figure.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, striding purposefully down the ramp of a silver spaceship.
Blue lightsabers crashing together again and again in front of spewing lava.
Senator Amidala of Naboo, her belly swollen with child, speaking indistinctly as tears stream down her face.
The blue lightsabers crashing together again, framed by a spectacular eruption.
Children, in the Jedi Temple, looking up fearfully as a dark figure ignites a lightsaber.
To Davin's astonishment, the lightsaber was blue, and the face behind it was…
Stars above! Skywalker hadn't been killed by Vader; he was Vader!
A final series of images spun through the Force, summoned, Davin realized, by Vader himself.
Anakin Skywalker, his face twisted by rage, leaping up from a river of molten fire.
Kenobi, his face determined, waiting for him with raised lightsaber.
A swing, a hum from Kenobi's lightsaber, and Skywalker tumbles, screaming, back toward the river of fire.
The Jedi realized that Darth Vader was using these images, his memories, to drive himself into such a frenzy that his opponent had no chance of standing against him.
And, Davin Sunrider thought to himself as the red lightsaber came screaming down, it had worked.
Author's Notes: Alright, for starters, I'd better explain what this is. I wrote it to serve as a standalone oneshot, and you can view it as just that, but it's also a 'trailer' for a larger story I'm planning. I've been kicking around a Star Wars story about a character named 'Davin Sunrider' for six or seven years now, and it's gone through a dozen revisions, enough to where the main character's name is about the only thing that's stayed the same. I like the way the name sounds, so I've used it on the Internet as a screen name quite a bit. After much revision and re-writing and wrestling with Davin's character and whatnot, I finally got an outline all worked out, but since I'm busy with another couple stories, I haven't gotten around to actually writing it yet. I wrote this to see what the response would be, and if it's generally pretty positive, I'm going to go ahead and start work on the main story.
The larger story, entitled 'Ageless', will be the life story of Davin Sunrider, and though I don't want to spoil anything for those who are interested, it may or may not end at the point described here. After a bit about the Clone Wars, the story will mostly concern the Dark Times between Eps. III and IV, and what Davin and the surviving Jedi are up to during this period, on the run from the Empire. Darth Vader will be a regularly featured character, and since this is well before the original trilogy, I will be depicting him as the menacing villain we all love to hate. His redemption doesn't come for a couple decades, so he's free to be as scary as I can make him. I'll also feature a few other Star Wars characters I like, possibly even the Starkiller, though I'm not certain of that at this point.
Anyway, I hope this interests you, and if it does, let me know through your reviews. Constructive criticism is welcome; if there's any way I can improve my writing style, I'd sure like to know about it. Thanks for reading!