Disclaimer: I don't own Star Sars or any of the characters, they all belong to George Lucas and his companies. I'm not making any money off of this. Anyone can distribute this freely provided that it is complete, including this disclaimer and you don't take credit for writing it and aren't making any money off of my work.
The Debriefing by Liz Skywalker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Luke Skywalker settled back into the uncomfortable chair in the debriefing room aboard Home One. I made my decision, now I have to live with it, he told himself. It had been hard to tell about what had happened aboard the Death Star, especially because he didn't want to tell the entire thing. It was just too hard. Too hard to explain, and too hard to withstand what would happen if they knew. Some things were better left untold.
Admiral Ackbar leaned back in his seat, apparently comfortable with the humidity. Well, being that it was his flagship, Ackbar probably controlled the atmosphere.
"Now, Commander Skywalker, I know this could be hard for you, but we need to debrief you. It's been long enough, so I hope you are ready for this. This debriefing will be taped, if you don't mind. I'm just going to ask you some questions. I'm not accusing you, just think of this as a conversation between friends. Ready?" Ackbar asked, putting all the kindness he could in his voice. He was not unaware that this was a delicate topic with the Commander. But, needs were needs, no matter how ugly.
"I'm as ready as I'll ever be, Admiral. Begin." Luke swallowed the lump in his throat and tried to replace it with courage, not succeeding. If only!
"Okay. Tape on. Where did you go after you left the Princess at the Ewok's dwelling?"
"I went to an Imperial scout walker that was rumbling around and... I...I surrendered. I surrendered to him, telling him to bring me to Vader. He did...and..." Luke faltered, trying to swallow his fear. What would Ackbar do when he found out that Luke had surrendered and asked to be brought before one of the Alliance's most hated enemies?
"Uh, okay. Did he bring you before Vader?"
"Yes. He gave Vader my lightsaber; I wasn't carrying a blaster. I had lost it in the forest. Vader told me that the Emperor had foreseen that I would come, come of my own free will. He said he was going to take me to the Emperor. He also said that..." Again, Luke's voice wouldn't come out. This was getting worse and worse. He was sweating and he hadn't even gotten to the hard part yet. This was going to be a long debriefing.
"Well?" Ackbar prompted. He hated having to do this to a friend. "He said that I would turn to the dark side, that the Emperor...The Emperor...that he was my master now. He then led me onto a shuttle going up to the Death Star. I was brought to the Emperor. He took my weapon and told me of terrible things, of lies I couldn't imagine. I broke. I took my lightsaber from the Emperor and..." Luke put his head down trying to disown his actions, again not succeeding. He was what he was, a Jedi, Sithspawn. Yes, even that. Only two living people besides him knew, and he didn't want to increase that number.
"Luke. We have to know. Doing it in steps increases the pain. You must face your actions. It can help heal. Trust me. What did you do once you had your lightsaber?" Ackbar asked. He wanted to stop! Why was he assigned this task? He wished Mon Mothma would stop staring at him and Luke from across the table.
"I took a swing at the Emperor. I almost killed him, killed him in anger. That would have been my first step to being one with the dark side. Vader blocked my blow, even though... Never mind that. It isn't important. I battled Vader. I released my anger and channeled it through my weapon at Vader. I was winning, but I was winning the wrong way. I found out what I was doing and stopped. I gave Vader my lightsaber saying that I wouldn't fight him. He then went through my mind, trying to find something to provoke me with. He started talking about...how...how..." Luke couldn't continue and started to cry.
Ackbar started at the display of such a human emotion. He finally understood. Commander Skywalker had held these emotions in check for three months already and when he had finally thought the scars were gone, an entire new wave of them came, washing out the pain-killers the Jedi had installed in him. It probably hadn't been a good idea to send him to Bakura, even though he did save it. General Kenobi had been wise, but couldn't he see the boy needed psychological help to ease the monstrosities he had seen, had become? Now the pain just kept coming, the despair he must have felt finally surfacing. How could the boy take it? If it had been Ackbar, he probably would have gone into seclusion long ago. The Jedi was strong though. He probably could handle it.
"Talking about what?" Mon Mothma spoke up for the first time. She didn't see this. Skywalker might break if he had to tell it.
"That my 'friends on the Endor moon will not survive'. That I might as well join him to end my misery. Then he invader the private corner of my mind. That was my breaking point. He spoke the secret there, proclaiming it for the galaxy to hear. I snatched my lightsaber from his belt and rushed out on him, slashing wildly. The advantage was mine. I won. I forced him to his knees and then I let the anger come over me totally. I slashed his hand off. His right hand for my right hand. Then the Emperor came around and told me to kill him, to take my... to take Vader's place at his... at his side...as his...his right hand..." Luke stopped, his shame and anguish flooding through him and pouring out every way possible. Tears streamed freely down his cheeks, things were shaking on the table, he was shaking. Luke gasped and swallowed.
"What did you do?" Mon Mothma asked, not feeling for Luke's display of emotion. Was she human?
"I then realized that the darkness was what I hated and Vader and the Emperor personified darkness. The only way to over come darkness is to denounce it. So that's what I did. I told the Emperor that he had failed. That I was Jedi. He then...started...I couldn't believe it. I had never seen such a thing. Pain coursed through me. I felt like I was dying, I was dying for a fact. I know that now. I called out to Vader, to help me, to save me. He picked up the Emperor and threw him down a shaft into the core of the Death Star, saving my life. What happened next is no one's business but my own's and Vader's. The fact is that I got off the Death Star and into safety." Luke pulled it out, visibly shaken. He had done it. He had not disclosed the secret. The secret that Vader gave his life for. Luke would never let Vader become a mockery. Never.
"What did you say to Lord Vader that made him save your life?" Mon Mothma asked.
"I can't tell you." Luke declared.
"I must know." Mon Mothma persisted. Luke shook his head no.
"Luke, I hate to do this, but if we need to know, you have to tell us." Ackbar said.
"I can't." Luke said fervently.
"Commander Skywalker, as your superior officer, I order you to tell us what made Vader have a change of heart. It could be important. We need to know. You can't lie. The Empire was founded on lies and the Alliance will not follow in its footsteps. Tell us. That's an order." Ackbar declared, secretly knowing that if the Commander held firm, Ackbar would find himself protecting Luke from Mon Mothma. He had never seen Luke look so vulnerable. It was unnerving, to say the least.
"I called him by a title long forgotten. One he never thought that I would say. I had said it before, but only as that, a title. Now I said it as a name, something that Vader wanted with all his heart. I didn't know it at the time and I suspect that Vader didn't either. But it was enough." Luke shut his mouth as if determined not to say anything else about it.
"Luke. We must know. I know this is hard for you, but please, tell us. What was this title?" Mon Mothma said quietly. She was human but years of diplomatic service had given her a shell she could pull herself into, but now the shell was breaking.
"I will tell you. On one condition. Swear that this doesn't get out of this room. The people who analyze this tape are disclosed, but this can't get out. Please. I beg you. Also, that I'm not held responsible. I can't be. Swear to me," Luke pleaded, begging.
"I swear," Mon Mothma and Ackbar said simultaneously. Luke took a deep breath, a cleansing breath. He didn't want to do this, but he was compelled to.
"Darth Vader's birth name was Anakin Skywalker. I called him Father." Luke stated emotionlessly. The silence that followed his statement was almost tangible. There was never a louder silence, that shocked silence as their greatest fears were realized. "I didn't know when I joined the Alliance. I found out at Bespin but didn't believe it. Yoda confirmed it just before Endor and told be that I had to confront Vader. I did. I survived. But a part of me didn't. I think that was my humanity." Luke defended, nothing else broke the silence as Mon Mothma and Ackbar examined Luke as if he was a specimen under a lab-scope.
"Your Father?! And Leia's your sister, I know, she told me. So you're saying that you and Leia are Vader's children? And I thought that this couldn't get anymore complicated. The people of the Alliance have the right to know." Mon Mothma said, with a look of wonder on her face.
"You swore! You said that it wouldn't get out of here! It can't! I can't face what people would say! Vader redeemed himself in the last minutes of his life for all the evil he did. I think that should be recognized. But no one would believe that. It took Leia over a month just to live with the fact that she was Vader's daughter. This would wreck her, her life, her fragile peace with herself, her past. You can't do this to her! For her sake, don't make an incident. I beg you!" Luke was standing and shaking all over. Leia had just recently made her peace with Vader, this could destroy her.
"I swore Luke and I keep my oaths, I just think that when you think you are ready, which I hope is soon, that you could tell everyone. It's not your fault of your parenthood; people could be made to understand. You didn't live in his house, live with his rules. You found out just over a year ago and didn't go mad, I admire you for that. I would have. But think that over. This briefing is over. You are free to go Commander Skywalker. May the Force be with you." Mon Mothma said as Luke stood up to leave. He gave a short bow and left the room. Mon Mothma relaxed in her chair for the first time in an hour.
"I can't believe it. I just can't. I vote that we destroy the tape. The analyzers would spread it everywhere. We can't let that happen." Ackbar said. "I don't agree. The analyzers won't tell anyone and we need to have this analyzed." Mon Mothma argued. Reluctantly, Ackbar nodded his consent. "When he does decide to call a press conference to explain everything, though, I'll stand behind him to give him some support. He doesn't deserve the scandal that might get out."
"That's why he didn't want to tell us that, I suppose. What he did was brave, knowing how much we suffered under Vader, to tell us that Vader was his father, that had to be harder than blowing up the Death Star. I will also stand behind him then. I wonder what happened after Vader saved his life. I didn't want to push that. It seems to be a personal thing with him and his father. That leaves me in wonder. Skywalker and Vader having a father-son moment minutes before Vader's death. It's mind-boggling." Ackbar said, still amazed at what he had learned.
"Luke was fighting his father to the death then a few minutes later, crying over his dead body, must be a Jedi thing to be able to do. But Luke's father's name, Anakin Skywalker, that can't be right. Anakin Skywalker I had thought was Luke's father, having the same name and both being Jedi. But Anakin supposedly died in the Clone Wars or the Jedi Purge. Palpatine must have been a strong bad Jedi, what's that Jedi term?, very strong to compel Anakin Skywalker to serve him for over twenty years. I wonder, did Luke see his father before his death, I mean, his father underneath his mask. I probably never will know. Same as the secret that Vader took from Luke's mind. Those two things I don't think Luke will ever disclose to anyone, save Leia. He probably already did if he was going to." Mon Mothma reasoned.
"What did Luke do with Vader's body? He wouldn't have spaced it, Luke wouldn't even do that to his enemy's body, let alone his father's."
"That clinks something I've been wondering about. There's a spot on Endor with a pile of dark ashes, nothing will grow there, animals stay away from it. Luke Skywalker's from Tatooine, he probably made a funeral pyre there. I hope Skywalker tells people soon, this secret, all secrets, have a way of becoming dangerous if they aren't told. I just hope Skywalker can stand it. May the Force be with you, Admiral Ackbar." Mon Mothma stood to leave. She saluted and left leaving Ackbar to his musings. It had been hard, but they finally had the story of what had happened on the Death Star, but did they have the whole story?
Luke Skywalker roamed the halls until he came to Leia's quarters on the Home One. She was leaving tomorrow for a meeting of the High Council and he wanted to see her first. She opened the door and saw his tear-stricken face and red eyes. This could only mean one thing.
"You told them?" Leia asked.
"I told them." Luke confirmed grimly.
THE END; HOPED YOU LIKED IT.