An unfortunate blessing
Good afternoon everyone!
Here is the third of eleven stories that I feel like writing, but can't decide which to work on first. Can you help me figure out that answer?
The story with the most readers and reviews will be my next project in the works. Since it can take a few parts before we finally get to the crux of some stories, I won't check the final tally right from the start. However, only the total of both reviews and ongoing readers will determine which story I'm going to work on first, so, if you like this one, leave a review to vote for it
Thanks for your help! Hope you enjoy this story as well!
If you do, please, share your thoughts!
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything belongs to George Lucas. I'm only writing stories for fun.
Luke frowned, his blue gaze locked on the main viewport of his stolen shuttle before he returned it to the scanners and the electronic image of a star destroyer and its accompanying squadrons.
This was 'just' his luck, or else the Force was not with him today.
He had just barely escaped from yet another group of bounty hunters and had been flying for high orbit and hyperspace when a star destroyer had arrived in the system, along with interdictors.
In short, the odds were once again against him escaping Vader, and personally, he did not want to face his father again, nor ever, if that could be possible.
He pushed the main drive to its limits, flying the ungainly stolen ship as best as he could, trying to stay away from the star destroyer's vicinity.
He had almost broken free of the interdictors' influence on the navicomputer when a prickly feeling of forewarning appeared at the nape of his neck. When he had been a mere farm boy, he had only thought that his nervousness had given him Goosebumps then and again, but now, as a quasi-Jedi, he knew better than to misinterpret this message from the Force.
He cursed vehemently even as he swivelled his seat toward the starboard viewport.
Imperial TIE fighters flew right in his line of visions, catching up with him after picking up speed by flying around the planet that now floated between them and the threatening star destroyer. They had obviously used the astral object to cover their flight path.
"Come on!" Luke pleaded the Force as he pulled evasive manoeuvres that should have been impossible to accomplish with his stolen ship.
He also called on the Force to activate the array of guns that protruded from the uneven hull, intending to at least shoot even though he couldn't aim while piloting.
Still, although he caught the worst pilots with his first salvos, the remaining pilots did not fall for his defensive fire and simply slipped past his blind aims before they incapacitated his meagre defense with accurate shots of their own.
Through it all, the star Destroyer slid closer and closer to the foray until the Jedi could Feel the ominous presence that was yet again after him.
Never again! Luke silently defied his would-be tormentor/father, and then completely abandoned himself to the Force, allowing it to flow through him, guiding him in his frantic flight for freedom.
If only Han were there, he thought, a temporary sadness filling him at the thought of his missing friend. Ever since the events of Bespin, he had spent much time wondering about Vader and himself, but even though he weren't as affected by Han's lost as Leia was, he still really missed the older man.
If only he had been able to save him... If only Vader had not used Han and Leia as bait for-
Belatedly, he realized that he had been so focused on his suddenly glum thoughts that he had unconsciously lowered his defences; a TIE fighter shot right past all his defences and straining shields and shot the ship in the stern.
"No..." he barely whispered in horror, understanding all too late what had happened to him just seconds before.
Vader had invaded his mind and had distracted him long enough for one of his minions to disable him permanently.
As if in answer to his deduction, Vader's voice shocked him still even as an icy cold feeling of dread ran through him. *There is no escape this time, my Son.*
Apparently in agreement with the other's statement, the engines of his escape ship whined in complaint about their actual treatment, and then completely died on him.
Vader had won... and despite Luke's growing strength and forced maturing since Bespin, the youth knew that he was no match for Vader yet. That was why he had fervently hoped never to confront him until he'd completed the training.
But now, with this final sound of defeat, all his hopes had been crushed again-
No, he refuted his previous judgment; he would not give up! Not this time! Not ever!
Aware that he couldn't do anything further to prevent his being boarded, he prepared for the next phase of his resistance against Vader's plans.
The battle was not over yet, he promised both himself and the approaching Dark Lord, who was undoubtedly eavesdropping on him.
Long minutes later, the ship had been forced down into a hangar bay aboard the star destroyer and the shrill sound of a laser cutter filled the otherwise deserted corridor as the imps cut their way aboard. Luke had elicited to take position inside the corridor that led to the cockpit, forcing the troopers to funnel up before they came up against him.
Normally, that should make it easier for him to take them down.
Luke clutched his lightsaber tighter, doing his best to ignore the jubilant voice of his father in his head. He would die before falling again in his claws, he promised himself. He would never, ever allow him to take him alive again.
Finally, the ramp lowered; through the Force, Luke felt that ten troopers were climbing aboard the ship. The first wave, he thought grimly.
The said first wave quickly came up at the end of the long corridor and aimed stun bolts at him. He easily blocked them and even sent them back toward his attackers.
Desperate to postpone the moment that he would either face Vader or die at the enemy's hands, Luke fought like never before: he deflected bolts, slashed, kicked and pushed with the Force, not even sparing a moment to regret his lethal use of his lightsaber when he cut down a trooper.
From outside, Vader tried to disturb him and break his concentration, but the youth was too focused to be upset by anything, not even his own uptight morals – or his previous desire to die instead of being captured.
Luke, for his part, held his ground and even managed to shrug off the effects of the stun bolts with the help of the Force. Seeing this, the troopers resumed firing at him with regular energy bolts.
He also deflected those back into them, his lightsaber creating a seemingly impenetrable barrier of light between him and his enemies.
Long minutes later, piles of white armors were blocking the corridor, and Luke began to wonder how it would end - when his answer came in the form of his arch nemesis.
The moment that the dark-clad and giant silhouette appeared around the bend of the corridor, Luke felt his blood freeze in his veins and his thoughts screeched to a halt. Vader was still his better, he thought in growing dread.
Like the other had told him on Bespin, he wasn't a Jedi yet.
While the Sith calmly walked past the suddenly still troops and closer to his quarry, Luke reflexively took one step backward- and then caught himself and crushed his fear with a surge of fresh determination.
Father or not, stronger or not, Vader would not capture him again. Never!
"I see that you've grown since Bespin, Son," the other commented casually, almost proudly as he walked ever closer to him.
Luke didn't answer and backed away while Vader strode toward him, keeping the distance between them steady.
"It is over, Son, and there is no escape this time," the Sith Lord stated with finality, turning on his blood red lightsaber as he did so. "Come quietly, and you won't be harmed."
It is over, Luke mulled over that word for a second, and, too late, he realized that Vader had, yet again, been meddling with his thoughts so that, this time, he didn't think about anything 'but' defending his life. Using subtle pushes that kept arousing his defiance and determination, he had been steering his thoughts away from his true intentions of committing suicide instead of facing his father again.
Worse, he had also been testing his skills, curious to see if he changed since Bespin.
That cursed..., he glared silently at him while he made up him true mind, for real this time.
Never again, Luke swore on his mother's grave.
He silently swung at his adversary, catching Vader by surprise. The Jedi thus forced the Sith to duck, and, while the other was unbalanced, Luke completed the rotation of his wrist and moved so as to take off his own head with his blade.
He was more than ready to welcome death, the only freedom that he could now hope for- when a trooper's body was suddenly shoved into his legs.
It was his turn to be caught unprepared and he tripped ungracefully over his own feet before he crashed hard on his right side and back, his lightsaber instantly skittering away and toward his captor. He had barely recovered from his rough landing that he frantically called for it- and stilled as he spotted both Vader's and his blade aimed at his legs from a most unpleasant distance.
He knew all too well that Vader would not kill him but could still keep him from fighting further.
"I don't want to hurt you, Son," he warned him, moving the red blade closer still to Luke's left thigh-
Flashes of his previous and indescribable experience of agony at the other's hands came back to him and he froze in horror. Not again..., he prayed the Force. Please, not again...
"That will depend on your attitude, young Jedi," the other answered him meaningfully, stepping closer than ever to him while maintaining the blades' distance with his vulnerable limbs.
Luke reflexively pulled himself backward- until he was pressed up against the cold bulkhead of the main corridor. Vader held his blades on both sides of his legs, efficiently discouraging from moving again.
"Enough, child. Surrender calmly and all will be well."
For a long second, Luke stared hard at him, his mind replacing his perception of the present moment with his memories of the last times that he had faced similar offers from the Dark Lord.
He finally made his mind up about his Destiny.
"Never!" he spat in defiance even as he swiftly reached out and Force-pulled his blade upward and toward his heart.
Even though he was adamant that Vader had not had time to read his mind before he had acted, the dark Lord still Force-pushed his blade out of Luke's way fast enough to save him from his own destructive intentions- and then the boy's senses eluded him completely when Vader invaded his mind and knocked him unconscious.
The test was clearly over.
Well? How was that?
If you want more, you know what to do:) And if you don't want more because of bad characterizations, lack of detail, or anything that could help me improve this story into a more edible read, I'd still like to know why (via private messaging if you prefer). However, if you simply don't like this 'kind' of story, then don't worry. To each our own :)
Have a great week-end everyone, and remember, reviews are very precious gifts all year long :) Moreover, this time, they might make me work on this story first for the next year or so ;P So? Will you vote for it? I hope so!