Betrayal

By David Nevin

1.1 Two Jedi come face to face with Darth Vader during the terrible Jedi purges.

1.2 He could sense them. It was a slight tremor in the force, almost unnoticeable, so different to the cold embrace of the dark side that the Dark lord had become accustomed to, that alerted him to their presence. A brief flash of light in his mind followed by a slight charge in his chest that seemed almost electric was enough to tell him they were very close. Very close. They were on the ship. He didn't wonder how they got here; a determined Jedi would find the task easy considering the weak minds of crewmen indifferent to the power of the force. Jedi mind tricks fooled the weak, but they would not fool Vader. He waited, staring out the view window, at the stars and systems that lay beyond.

1.3 '' Hold it! You two! What are you doing here? This is a restricted area! Where are your passes? '' The imperial officer stood glaring at them, demanding a quick explanation of the two robed figures who were wandering the halls of Lord Vader's quarters.

A brief wave of one of the figure's hands and the officer suddenly slackened, his eyes becoming hard and staring. ''Good.'' he muttered in a strangely absent voice, '' You may carry on.''

The two offending figures hurried quickly on as the officer wandered away shaking his head, determined that they should not run into such opposition again lest their quarry escape.

1.4 Of course, escape was not the Dark lord's plan. He could sense the Jedi getting closer now, swiftly gliding past all opposition with ease as they sought Vader's personal quarters. He stayed facing the window, relying on his insight to keep a careful watch on the Jedi. They were almost upon him now. Vader swung around, his black robes billowing behind him, and strode down the corridor towards the doorway. He would meet them in the corridors outside his personal quarters.

1.5 The Jedi were almost there. The feelings of corruption and darkness were getting thick and embracing, attempting to cloud their minds. But the Jedi were not weak. Pushing all thoughts of hatred for Vader and the comrades he had killed, they threw aside their anger and let go of their fear, letting the force flow through them, calming them, soothing both body and soul, giving them strength. They felt confident, sure that not even Darth Vader could take on two Jedi at a time. The bloodshed would finally end today. They advanced up the corridor towards what they knew to be Vader's personal quarter's, their hands on the hilt of their lightsabers, thumbs on the igniters. Ready. Ready to fight. Ready to die. Ready for anything.

1.6 Vader stood patiently, waiting for the shield door to authenticate his presence, as he thought about the Jedi on the other side of the door. Weak fools. He could sense their confidence both in the force and in their abilities.

Surely not even Vader could take on two Jedi at a time.

1.7 These Jedi had a lot to learn. After today, they would learn no more. It was too late for them to realise the folly of their actions. Still, Vader reasoned, they would have encountered each other eventually. There was no hiding from the Empire. They were weak and foolish. Weak to think that they could overpower him, foolish to think that it would end today. Today's aftermath would only mean more exterminated Jedi.

1.8 Perhaps it was better that they had come to him.

1.9 The shield door slid open with an almost silent hiss. The Jedi on the other side were perhaps only ten meters away, cautiously walking towards the door in which he stood. They stopped moving when they saw Vader, remaining totally motionless, their eyes locked on his towering black figure. At two metres tall, with black robes floating behind his amour clad body as he strode menacingly towards the rigid Jedi, the Dark lord of the Sith was both a dark and fearful character. The Jedi reacted expertly, activating their lightsabers with searing hisses in a matter of seconds. Vader stopped just short of them, producing and igniting his own lightsaber with a similar hiss of electricity, followed by a deep humming as it reached its full length, its glowing red beam reflected in his Glinting respirator helmet.

1.10 ''You should not have come here Jedi,'' He snarled, '' now you too will suffer as your weak-minded friends did.''

1.11 It was his anger that drove him on. It would also be his demise. As the younger of the two Jedi lunged towards Vader, a deck chair rattled and broke loose from its restraints, hurtling towards the would-be attacker. It was easily avoided by the young Jedi, who side-stepped at incredible speed to deliver a smashing blow of his lightsaber that cut the projectile in two halves, each of which fell harmlessly to the floor some few meters behind him. Vader lowered his hand.

1.12 ''Impressive, Jedi. Your agility is impressive.'' Vader admitted. ''Perhaps you will turn out to be a challenge after all.''

1.13 ''You would make fun of your last moments, Vader?'' the young Jedi taunted.

1.14 ''Almost exactly what your friends said before I cut them down.'' Vader replied, his mechanised voice thick with venom.

1.15 With a fierce cry, the young Jedi threw himself once more at Vader, slashing with his lightsaber viciously. The Blow was expertly and effortlessly repelled by the dark lord and the reckless Jedi blocked a fierce counter stroke with difficulty. The two remained locked in battle, the narrow corridor echoing with the sound of clashing lightsabers and crackling energy.

However, Vader was effortlessly pushing back his young attacker, fighting almost casually. Soon the young Jedi was tiring, his forehead dripping with sweat, his lightsaber strokes becoming less expert, indeed almost clumsy. He stumbled briefly after blocking a particularly vicious attack from the dark lord; it was all Vader needed. He delivered a crushing blow to the Jedi's midsection with the heel of his boot that sent the young man sprawling. The young Jedi clumsily raised his lightsaber up to deflect another blow, and Vader sliced off his right arm as the elbow. The arm fell uselessly to the floor; the lightsaber still ignited, scorching a hole in the metal floor.

1.16 Much like myself, Vader suddenly thought, Fighting a fallen Jedi with Obi-wan in the clone wars, losing my right arm in t -No, He had no time for such thoughts…

1.17 The Jedi scrambled backwards, reaching out with his good left hand. The lightsaber flew into it, still in the grip of his severed right arm, and he tore it loose just in time to parry an almost fatal blow from Vader. Still, his situation was hopeless. Vader sensed his despair and took a step backwards. The Jedi, his right arm hanging cauterised by his side, his face an image of pain and defeat, still held his lightsaber high, staring at Vader, waiting expectantly for the blow that would end his life.

1.18 ''A noble attempt, Jedi, but there was only going to be one winner.''

1.19 The Jedi continued to stare at Vader, fear beginning to overtake him as the Dark lord studied him, his lightsaber still activated but hanging by his side. He turned over to look at his master; something had just occurred to him for the first time. He had done nothing to help his padawan.

Instead he had only looked on while his apprentice had fought a losing battle with Vader. The two of them could have beaten Vader together, could they have not?

1.20 ''Master!'' he called out weakly, letting the lightsaber clatter to the floor and reaching out with his good arm, '' Help me.''

1.21 Vader studied the fallen warrior with interest. A padawan. His braid hung loosely behind his ear.

1.22 ''Join me and you can still be saved,'' Vader breathed,'' just as your master has done. Embrace the Dark side, be more powerful than you can ever imagine.''

1.23 The Jedi turned to stare at his master, his face a mixture of hurt and despair.

His master stared back, displaying no emotion.

1.24 Anger. The padawan felt anger. He was furious. Trying weakly to repel the thoughts of darkness that clouded his brain. His own master. His own master had betrayed him to the dark side. The anger flared in him.

''I was once like you, but I saw the corruption in the Jedi, its rotten core. The Jedi made me what I am today, in the same way as they have just betrayed you for personal gain. '' Vader breathed, probing the young mans thoughts in an effort to manipulate his emotions.

The young apprentice stared back at Vader. 1.25 His whole body seemed to relax. His muscles unknotted, the pain in his arm disappeared. Something both dark and powerful began to resonate through his body, embracing him in cold dark comfort.

1.26 ''Good. You feel the dark side. Powerful. Controlling. Use it. Strike your master down!'' Vader hissed.

1.27 ''Vader! This was not part of the deal!'' the until now motionless Jedi master shouted, his face creasing in worry. Vader ignored him.

1.28 ''Use it!'' he commanded the fallen Jedi, '' Destroy him! He has betrayed you!''

1.29 The young Padawan was struggling desperately with his thoughts and emotions as they raced furiously throughout his head. Thoughts of darkness, that screamed in anguish and begged him to embrace a murky and cold comfort, crushing his resistance and enveloping his judgement in total darkness.

He was a Jedi. Sworn to fight the dark side. No matter what the expense.

But perhaps what he had heard was right. Something in the depths of his head wanted him to grab Vader's hand, bow down to him as some kind of….

Saviour. Maybe that was what Vader was. He knew perhaps the real the truth behind the Jedi. Corrupt. Strong and rigid on the outside, decaying rapidly from the inside. Slowly rotting from the inside. The dark side was the true side, the side that required, and wanted, total dedication and loyalty. A side that gave unimaginable powers and….

No. He saw what was happening. He was being drawn into the dark side, lured by its siren song, being warped by its twisted promises and ill-gotten gains. There were many Jedi; most were loyal and dedicated. The dark side was the corrupt one, that used the force for personal gain, one which caused nothing but suffering and pain, fuelled by the evil thoughts it imposed on its warped subjects.

A fast learner, Vader mused to himself.

The Jedi's struggle with his inner spirit had lasted all but a brief second. Once more he looked at Vader, displaying no emotion, suddenly free of the confiding chains that was the dark side, replaced by a warmer, comforting inner glow.

Vader suddenly sensed this change of mind with disappointment and rage.

''You have failed Vader!'' the young Jedi choked out, sliding his deactivated lightsaber to Vader along the polished floor. ''Never will I join the dark side. I am a true Jedi, not only by name, but in spirit too.''

After these last words he stared meaningfully at his master.

''So be it Jedi.'' Vader said, raising his gloved hand, ''if you cannot be turned you will be destroyed.''

The Young man suddenly bucked, reaching out in horror towards his throat with his left hand, clawing uselessly at invisible fingers. Vader watching in fascination as he slowly crumpled his black fist. This Jedi had been strong, a great ally he would have been had he been turned. Vader suddenly clenched his fist and the Jedi slumped as his neck cracked, his left arm slowly sliding back towards the floor.

The Jedi master lowered his own green glowing lightsaber, relieved that a further fight had been avoided, looking oddly at Vader.

Something was very wrong. He could sense it in his chest, something terrible about to unfold, uncertain about its origin or outcome.

Vader was staring at him, lightsaber still activated, the haunting black mask searching.

Only one of the two Jedi was to survive the encounter.

1.30 Vader had changed his mind. Now that the young apprentice was gone, he saw no further need for his master. He began to walk slowly towards the frozen Jedi, raising his lightsaber slightly, silently inviting the Jedi to approach him.

The master realised Vader's true intentions, stumbling backwards, his eyes pleading, his mouth firmly shut, and Vader knew he would be easily defeated.

Weak fool.

His betrayal would be the end of him.

1.30.1 End.

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