Galaxy Druid

Chapter 3

Vader quietly stood next to the Emperor as his master knocked on the door that kept them from entering the girl's room. Madeline didn't seem like an appropriate name for the girl to Vader, nor was 'Darth Malignant'. He started to wonder how his master came up with the names for the Sith Lords. Vader doubted that they were all original. Did his master just give up, flip open to a random page in a dictionary, point to a word, and go 'that one' when he picked her Sith name? Vader knew better that to doubt his master, but this was fucking ridiculous. Well, there was always an upside. He hadn't given a first name to anyone before, and, 'Madeline' or 'Malignant' could easily and effectively be shortened to 'Maddie'. "Madeline, open the door."

There was a click, to Vader's surprise. He thought she would put up more of a fight than this. They entered the room, no inscriptions on the walls. There were books. Lots of them, on her desk. There were two piles- one on the left side of the desk and another pile to the right of her right hand. There were probably, maybe, fifteen books at the least, in the left pile. One remained in the right pile, another in her hands. She glanced over sullenly at the Emperor, dark purple moons under her eyes. "Have you slept at all?"

"No." She responded simply, getting back to her book, "Not tired." Vader realized that if their whole communication process was to be one-word sentences, that would make things a hell of a lot easier for him. No stupid girl drama, hopefully, just 'yes' and 'no'. Wait- what if he wanted an explanation? He'd have to rethink his views of a perfect partner from scratch, crap. "Finished." The Papers the Emperor sought, were given to him, and she continued to read.

"Oh, these are quite detailed. Do you enjoy drawing as well?"

"I suppose." She answered, "I detest re-drawing something. May need more paper." The Emperor nodded, "I looked up 'Malignant'. Does it reflect your personal opinions?" Vader was excited now. She had questioned his Master and she was about to get the crack of the whip for it-

"I believe that you will spread the reign of the Empire for me. Third definition, dear, not the fourth. If It makes you feel better, I think it suits you perfectly. You're a killer waiting to blossom." Vader realized that she was not going to get punished and felt greatly disappointed. "You will go on a task with your new partner as soon as these are completed." The Emperor handed them off to a clone trooper, "Make sure those are carried out." The trooper nodded and left. "why don't you spend the day with Vader?"

"Refuse." She answered, "Reading." She closed her book, putting it in the other pile, before picking her last book up.

"Well, it can't be helped. Vader, you're going to have to persuade her."

"My master?" He questioned. What! No, no I don't want to spend time with her either! I'm fine by myself!, Vader thought angrily. "I don't think I can…"

"You're paired up, and if you two don't get on talking terms by the time her weapon is made, you will regret it, my apprentice." With that, the Emperor left and Vader stood, watching the door close behind his master. He turned to Madeline, as she sat in her chair, reading the book silently. Vader couldn't see the title, but from the other book titles, he could tell she was studying up on hexes and druid history. 'Druids can be hexed by other druids to help outsiders'. Maybe that applied to her?

"I'm going to assume you were hexed." He said simply, and she snapped the book shut.

"Bask in your own ignorance." She told him, the pile of books floating behind her as she left the room. Vader followed her, trying to pick a fight with her, but she refused to speak to him. Ok, so, fighting with her wasn't the way to make a mutual partnership. He understood that now. She returned the books she borrowed and got another huge pile of new ones.

"So…how did you end up this way?" Vader asked, as she walked past him, getting some more books, before vanishing in the book shelves. He looked around and finally found her in a deserted area of the Empire operated Library. She sat on the floor, behind a metal pillar that had fallen, a wall to her right and a book shelf to her left, the pillar at her back. After she read through a book or two and he'd sat in front of her and picked up a book for himself, she said,

"Vendetta." To answer his earlier question. "Empire custody." She added and his temper flared.

"Do not blame me for your own mistakes, Girl." Vader responded, before a book hit him on the head, "Why you-!" He noticed the shadow around him, looking up. The top thirty rows of books from the huge book case, now floated above him for a brief second, before they all came crashing down on him. Her own pile floated behind her as she elegantly walked over the pile of books that now rested on top of Vader, and continued back to her room as he pulled himself from the rummage. She was already back in her room, three books already read, as she read another. "I will not tolerate your disrespect, despite the fact that my Master paired me up with a wild jungle woman like you." There- he'd said it.

She didn't even dignify him with an answer. Instead, she closed the book quietly, got up, and laid down on the bed in her room. The lights went out and she didn't move. After a few seconds, her breathing was shallow. She'd fallen asleep on him, that bitch! "How sweet." Vader looked over, his Master next to him, "It looks like she fell asleep."

"I conversed with her and we're on speaking terms now." He told his master, who looked at him,

"If that were true, would she be sleeping now?" Vader had to give props to his Master for calling his bluff. "Try again when she wakes up." With that, his Master left and Vader investigated if she was really asleep- or just waiting for him to investigate so she could kill him. No, she was definitely asleep. Vader left for his own room and let her sleep.

-=- Next Day -=-

Madeline seemed a lot calmer the next time Vader saw her. She looked at him apologetically, "Sleep-deprived." She said, before walking off. Was that one word or two words? They stood outside the armor development room, and a scientist came out,

"Your weapon has been crafted." He told Madeline, "Please step this way." They requested, and Vader shuffled behind her, "Sir, only Darth Malignant is allowed in this area."

"I will not be turned away." Vader said bluntly and Madeline stepped in between the two men, a hand near each of them to keep them from fighting as she looked at the Scientist.

"Allowed." She said, and the scientist backed down as Vader relaxed, before they were lead to a room.

"Your staff has been created with special metal that can deflect blaster gun rounds and will not break against a light saber. It's been made with a special built in force field that nullifies a great deal of light saber power, so that you can sufficiently fight back." They picked up the staff, grunting and dropping it in her hands. "We've also taken the liberty of writing your genetic code into the almost non-existent main frame, so that it cannot be lifted by any other than you." She tossed it up and caught it, "It's light weight despite the metal's strength, for easy carrying use. In the handle-" The scientist flicked open a small area and she looked at it with interest, "There is a beacon that sends out a silent signal for any empire air ship that is nearby, to come and get you. In the bottom of it, is a hidden blade." She looked the staff over. "There is a button bellow the beacon button, that can directly alert your…companion…if needed be. Both will blink faster the closer a air ship or Lord Vader is to you, and will turn off when either is within 10 feet of you." She showed said button the Vader who grunted in acknowledgement. So that's what that 'upgrade' to his wrist was for last night. She twirled the staff on the back of her hand, before setting it on the ground. "This way for your equipment change."

Vader attempted to follow, but she shook her head, "No." She told him, and entered the room alone. He watched from behind a foggy side of glass, as she was stripped and redressed. "We made it exactly to every detail of your drawing, down to the last thread. I hope you'll be pleased." The Scientist said as he exited and she came out.

She wore a top that was sleeveless and covered only her upper chest- like a belly shirt- but with a black, off-the shoulder strap that went around her collar bone to keep the top on. The outfit included what looked to be a heavy leather collar around her neck that had a chain. The chain dropped from the collar and to the skirt, clasping in two placed, before going the same thing in the back of the collar to the back of the skirt. There were chain links around her wrists that hung to her knees, and the skirt was a thick, studded belt that encircled her hips loosely. The skirt, thank god, went to her upper calf, and was parted in three places- on either him, and in front of the crotch, in the center of the cloth, cut into the shape of the symbol of the Empire, so that when the cloth came together, it showed the empire's logo. She moved the chains from her wrists to her ankles, where it was just long enough to allow her movement with a little slack left over.

"As requested, you may add and remove chain links. We've kept it a black and dark grey color scheme and made a separate outfit of red, white, and black for you. The collar we thought was a little too much, but, we complied anyways. Here is the final piece." The Scientist/ fashionista said, and wrapped a sheer red cloth around her eyes. "It's strange you requested such a piece, but, we don't complain. As an extra bonus, we've sewn a special fabric into your blindfold and clothes so that they can't shrink or expand unless you do. Please have a safe mission, and do not worry about your other outfit nor your wardrobe. Both will be awaiting you for when you return." With that, she walked off, Vader following, staring at her. She looked a lot different now, new clothes, tattoo, clean hair and nails, than when he'd first encountered her. For some reason, he seemed to like her better before he took an interest in her.

She sat down behind Vader's chair in his tie fighter, her staff across her lap, as he sat down himself. Madeline said nothing as he closed the back hatch, starting up the ship, flicking on things here and there before reporting his intent on leaving the docking bay. He glanced back at her before taking off into light speed, and she closed her eyes, "Ready." She confirmed, before Vader pushed the throttle forward and their ship disappeared.

They arrived on a strange planet. It was covered in a dim, blue fog, aside from the mountains where buildings resided. Vader stood next to her, as she slung her staff in a small sling on her back. He walked forward and she brought up the rear, looking around at her surroundings despite her blind fold. The air was thin and the atmosphere heavy, which could have been why she opted to use her new staff for a walking stick. Vader led the way to an area of the mountain, stopping, "On this mountain is a monk monastery that we have been posted at. This area had become a good foothold for the Empire and the task is to keep it out of Jedi hands." She nodded, before driving her staff into the mountain side. The mountain shook as she forcefully pulled it back out, pieces of the behemoth fell towards the earth from the top, "Stupid!" Vader started, but she flicked her hand towards the debris, which stopped and hung in the air. "I see now." She jumped from article to article, until she reached the top, Vader not too far behind. The debris was released and continued to fall without another hindrance to stop their descent. "I take back what I said."

"…Hn…" She responded, looking around. There were the remains of a violent battle, but other than that, nothing welcomed them to their new position for god-knows how long. Even the silence and the fog, were foreboding. "Desolate." She said, nudging a dead clone body with her unprotected and unpolished toed foot. "Death blankets this place."

"Yes. It's exactly the type of place a Jedi wouldn't want to be even in their nightmares, but they'll come unconditionally." Vader said, watching her as she picked up a clone trooper's helmet, "I will report our arrival to the Emperor."

"…Burial…" She murmured, holding the decapitated helmet with it's head still intact underneath. With that, Madeline walked off and began to put the dead into piles, as Vader left to report. Upon his return to where she'd been left, Madeline has already cleared the battlefield into a single pile- a large pile of scrap that was once the Empire's robots. She was burying a few of the unarmored Clones, the others, gone. Probably already buried.

"There's no need to bury them." Vader told her, and she shook her head,

"They fought well and meant well. Deserve a burial." She told him, pushing dirt over the last one. She took a shoulder piece out of the armor she'd stripped them of, and stared at it. It had blaster gun holes in it, but she unhooked the chains from her legs and latched them to the shoulder piece, attaching it to the chains from her collar, to her collar itself, and to her arm. When she was confident it wouldn't move from her right shoulder, then she turned to him. "Commemoration." She said, and put her staff back in it's sling, as she walked off.

'Wow, Madeline, our communication is great. We should work on telepathy next!' was what popped into Vader's head, but he didn't plan on voicing such a thing. She was in one of the smaller rooms of the monastery, already conversing with the Emperor through the full-sized transmitter in the room. "This place is filled with despair and misery. Death fills the very air. I am unsure of whether or not I am able to stay here much longer." She reported as Vader entered the room, "I buried some of the dead, but it didn't seem to help much."

"Well your mission there will be over once you eliminate the straggling Jedi in the area, then you can come back." The Emperor informed her and she nodded, "Behave and listen to Vader." With that, the Emperor ended the transmission and she hugged herself, letting out a soft 'hou', like an owl's hoot, before turning to Vader and standing attentively as if nothing had happened.

"You're quite the strange one." He told her, and she didn't really dignify him with a response. She passed by him and went to go make use of herself- by learning the layout of their temporary home.