Disclaimer: I own neither Star Wars nor DC comics
Author's Note: Just to avoid any confusion, Starkiller's outfit is the one from the Hoth mission in the Ultimate Sith Edition of TFU.
The Art of Betrayal
Chapter One: One Story ends, Another Begins
Emperor's Throne Room, Death Star
Betrayal was an art that had long been perfected by the Sith. For countless others it was considered deplorable, unholy, the lowest one could go. For the Sith Order, it was just a way of life. It ensured that only their strongest survived, and in turn strengthened the collective whole. He was no stranger to it. He had been betrayed, and had betrayed others multiple times. It did not matter that it was wrong, the end justified the means. So, in hindsight, he should have seen it coming.
He had thought that by turning Vader's son on Hoth to the Dark Side he had secured his path to controlling the galaxy, as his old mentor had falsely promised so long ago. The plan had actually been near flawless. Secretly train Luke Skywalker as his apprentice, mold him into the perfect Sith and second-in command. When the time was right, they would face the Emperor together, side by side, and destroy him before claiming the galaxy for their own. Yes, it had been an excellent plan, except the Sith Stalker had forgotten one detail that if he had considered might have completely changed the course of events.
He had forgotten the human factor, the one variable that, try as he might, he simply could not control. In making Skywalker an epitome of the Sith Order, he had fueled his hatred with both the Dark Side and his own efforts. The training had been brutal, unforgiving, life threatening. The fact that he had cut off Skywalker's hand might have also been a factor. Skywalker also had ambition, and that ambition had been contented with his promises of ruling the galaxy side by side, shaping it as they saw fit. It was only natural that, if betrayal would help further his ambition, then it would override any loyalty that he had to his dark master. So, once again, in hindsight he should have seen it coming.
He grunted as he dodged the Force push that Skywalker threw at him, his black suit that was so similar to Vader's that they were even made out of the same material (though this version was far less cumbersome) making him appear as a shadow as he moved at impossible speeds. He barely caught the Sith Lightning that Sidious threw at him by placing his black bladed lightsaber in its path, his breathing sounding only slightly more labored. The Dark Lord cackled, his sickly yellow eyes glinting from under his hood, his pale and deformed face illuminated by his lightning. "Even after everything that Lord Vader taught you, that I taught you, you have still not learned when to be satisfied, Lord Starkiller!"
The lightning intensified, but he knew how to counter it. He called upon the Dark Side, eventually gaining control of the lightning hitting his lightsaber before sending it right back at Palpatine who was forced to catch it or be burned alive by his own power. Starkiller had no time to capitalize on this however, as he was forced to parry his former apprentice-turned-traitor's red lightsaber. Sparks flew as black and red clashed, each vying for dominance over the other. Skywalker's yellow eyes, once a beautiful blue before he was corrupted, burned with hatred as Starkiller declared in his baritone voice, "It seems that the one thing I did not teach you well was loyalty."
"Sidious offers me more!" Skywalker shouted, his voice a hateful, malice filled one. It was a stark contrast with the gentle, compassionate boy that had been there three years before. "He can teach me everything! Under him, I'll be the strongest Sith to have ever lived!"
Starkiller shook his head; the son of Vader still had so much to learn. "Foolish boy, you fail to realize that in time Sidious will betray you, just as I have him and you have me."
Skywalker gnashed his teeth as the Sith Stalker began to gain the upper hand in their deadlock. "You're wrong, I'll prove myself to him! I'll gain his trust, I'll be his successor!"
Starkiller laughed bitterly as he replied. "You fool, Sidious trusts no one. Not your father, not me, and certainly not you. And rightly so!"
The Sith Lord won out in the deadlock, kneeing the boy in his torso causing him to double over in pain. He raised his lightsaber, ready to deliver the killing blow. If he couldn't defeat Sidious, he might as well deprive him of a valuable asset.
Unfortunately, for Starkiller at least, as he brought his lightsaber down, yet another red blade stood in the path of his black one. He looked over to see the Emperor, his face alight with malicious glee. "Now now, Lord Starkiller, aren't you getting ahead of yourself?"
With that Sidious launched a Force push at his former apprentice, causing the younger Sith Lord to be flung back several meters across the throne room and into one the obsidian statues that were scattered about. He fell to the floor, his mind in a daze as he struggled to get back up. Get up, he had toget up, no matter how much it hurt to do so. To give up now would make everything he had ever done, all of the sacrifice, the loss, the pain, all of it would be in vain. He refused to allow that, not after having come this far.
He was just able to catch the two simultaneous streaks of Sith lightning that his two opponents sent his way, one a stark electric blue while the other was as red as blood. It took every ounce of Starkiller's strength to hold back the lightning, but even then he knew that unless a miracle happened he was done for. Unnoticed by any of the occupants in the room, the Force pulsated and rippled.
Sidious cackled in joy while Skywalker smiled demonically. "So, after all of the blood and sweat you poured into it, your efforts are for naught," Sidious drawled, his voice filled with amusement and scorn. "Tell me, Starkiller, how does it feel to know that you are outdated, dried up, ready to be replaced?"
Starkiller said nothing as the lightning intensified, beginning to overwhelm his defenses. It looked like this was it. He didn't mind dying, the Sith lord had learned to accept the possibility of death long ago. Death was just another part of life; you couldn't escape it, it was natural, inevitable. Still, the thought of dying now, after everything that he gone through, did make the Sith lord pause if just for a moment as he thought of what could have been… No, he would not think those thoughts. He had made his choice long ago, and he would stick with it regardless of the outcome with no regrets. Still unnoticed by anyone, the Force whirled; it was as if the very fabric of its existence was tearing apart.
And then, without warning, it snapped.
A long time ago, three powerful Force users in the same room fighting each other would not have mattered at all to the Force, as there were thousands if not millions more who heeded its call. Now, however, with the Jedi all but extinct, and the Sith Order's numbers at a near non-existent level, the amount of conduits to release its power in amounts like now had been reduced to just a select few, who could perhaps be counted on a single human hand. In other words, the Force had been reduced to a mere trickle in the physical world that could not handle the concentration of power that was in the throne room, not even a shadow of the raging river that had existed in the time of the great Sith lords like Darth Revan.
A bright light appeared in between the three combatants, containing every color imaginable. It was quite beautiful actually, and for a moment Starkiller was captivated by it, his opponents forgotten as the lightning had stopped. It was only for a moment, as he soon realized that he was moving. Rather, he was being pulled towards the light. Oh hell, he thought. My luck just gets better and better, doesn't it?
Indeed, he, along with the other two Force users, were slowly but surely being dragged toward this light. Starkiller's robes whipped around madly as he tried to brace himself against the floor, the wind created by the suction from what could only be described as hole in the Force howling in his ears. He kept an iron grip on some wiring that had been exposed in the floor early on in the fight, but even then the Sith Stalker felt himself slipping. No, he was not going to come this far, surviving apprenticeship under not one but two merciless Sith Lords, undertaking practically suicidal missions, surviving a star ship falling on top of him, only to die by being sucked in to some Force-forsaken hole.
Starkiller jumped when the Force suddenly raced through his mind, projecting images that to him ranged from the strange to the outright absurd. A breathtaking planet with blue oceans and flourishing continents, a space station that housed only a few of its protectors, grand yet at the same time to him primitive cities, a man who wore a blue suit with red boots and a cape that had an S on its chest, along with so many more that went by so fast they seemed to overlap. But to him each one was crystal clear, no detail escaped his attention. After these images flashed through his mind a voice came to his head, and he was shocked when he realized it was the Force itself, or more specifically the Dark Side.
Your time here has ended, it said, its voice cold and toneless, empty, while at the same time hiding an undercurrent of ferocity and malice, as if it were holding back the negative emotions of every living being. Such was the nature of the Dark Side. You can do nothing here, not anymore. However, beyond that rift, lies your purpose, your future. An entire world awaits you, seize it!
My future eh? Starkiller wondered. Well, possible death definitely beats certain death. I might as well.
Normally what he was about to do would go against all of his instincts, and even now it still did. But if the Dark Side itself believed that his rightful place was beyond that hole, then who was he to refuse? And so, without another thought, Starkiller let go of the wiring, and was sent to find his new purpose.
As soon as the Sith Lord was sucked into the portal, it abruptly closed. The howling wind ceased, the Force returned to normal, and Palpatine surveyed the now ruined throne room. There were debris scattered everywhere, furniture was overturned, wiring exposed in multiple places, all in all the battle here had done quite a bit of damage, and Sidious bit back an annoyed groan. This would take some time to fix.
Of more pressing concern though was Starkiller's departure, and the unexpected favor he had done him in the form of Luke Skywalker. The boy was powerful, nearly as powerful as his father had been before he had been permanently handicapped. Perhaps he had finally found a successor, one that he had been able to keep intact. However, Sidious was still somewhat doubtful. Skywalker showed nearly obscene amounts of ambition, and his betrayal of Sidious' former apprentice had put the Emperor on guard. He could not take anything Skywalker said at face value, though Sidious was absolutely confident in his ability to read people, as well as his ability to keep him in check.
As these thoughts went through the Dark Lord's head he made his way over to his throne, which had miraculously escaped damage entirely, passing by Skywalker along the way. As he did, the boy fell to one knee, his head lowered in subservience. Sidious knew that it was an act though. Skywalker saw him as a means to an end, nothing more. Though, he supposed that that was the way it should be. The boy wished to be a Sith after all, and one did not become a Sith through complete loyalty to their mentor.
"My Lord," Skywalker said, his tone one of obedience and respect. "I offer you my service, and wish to become your apprentice."
Sidious smirked as he reached the throne and sat down, reminding himself to call in a cleaning crew later on. He had more pressing issues at the moment, such as finally securing his legacy and the survival of the Sith Order. "Oh I'm sure you do, son of Vader. Tell me, how do I know that you are sincere?"
Skywalker looked up, and Sidious was pleased to see the slight fear in his eyes. The boy had every right to be afraid, as he could very well die in the next few moments depending on his actions. "I assure you, My Lord, that you have my full loyalty-"
"I'm sure you said the same thing to Lord Starkiller, and look how that turned out," Sidious interrupted, his smirk growing as he watched the boy squirm. "Let me make one thing clear to you, boy. I wield power beyond your imagination, and if I wanted to I could incinerate you in an instant. I hid from the Jedi for ten years in plain sight, and if you try to lie to me at any time I will know the instant that you do. You belong to me now, body and mind. You are the future of the Sith, the inheritor of our Order, but at the same time you are my instrument, my property. You will obey every order I give, no matter what your feelings on the issue are, do you understand?"
Skywalker once again bowed his head without hesitation. "Completely, my Lord."
"Good," Sidious purred, his eyes glinting. He had made clear who was in charge, for now. "In that case, you may rise, my apprentice."
The boy did so, his eyes now filled not with fear, but pride and accomplishment. "What is thy bidding, my master?" he asked.
Palpatine waved his hand dismissively, as if shooing the boy. "Leave now, and inform the station's commander that the throne room requires a cleaning crew. Also inform a squadron of my Guard that they are to come here immediately. You need not worry about your orders being followed, I will inform the commander of the situation as soon as you leave."
Skywalker nodded. "It will be done, my master."
With that, the new Sith apprentice turned and began to head out of the throne room, but not before Sidious left him with a parting message. "I have high hopes for you, young Skywalker," Sidious called, causing the boy to turn around slightly. "Don't disappoint me."
Sidious' apprentice nodded, understanding the message that lay beneath Sidious' words. Failure will not be tolerated.
"I understand, My Lord," the boy replied, before exiting the room.
As he did so Sidious sat back in his throne, a malevolent smile on his face as his eyes glinted dangerously with both amusement and anticipation. The next few years were going to be interesting, that was for certain.
The Watchtower, in orbit above Earth
J'onn's day had been rather normal so far. Well, as normal as it could be for the last Martian. It had been the usual routine, he had been monitoring the planet from The Watchtower's control room, watching out for any events that might require his or another of the Justice League's members to intervene. There had been a few minor incidents around the world, but they had been nothing that the police couldn't handle. He had figured that his day would be completely uneventful, and for awhile he had been right. That is until now.
"Do you know what could be causing it?" Batman, otherwise known as Bruce Wayne, asked as J'onn's hands flew over the keyboard, trying to pinpoint the source of the massive energy signature that had appeared out of nowhere just moments ago.
"I have no idea, however I have narrowed down the location of the energy spike to somewhere in the Northern United States."
"That certainly helps," Batman remarked dryly, sarcasm dripping from each syllable.
J'onn decided to ignore this as his eyes narrowed at a screen currently showing the U.S. "I'm sorry, the sensors are having trouble focusing on the source; I've never seen anything like it."
"Should I call the others?" Batman asked as he pulled out his communicator, ready to dial the other members of the Justice League in an instant.
The Martian Manhunter shook his head. "Not yet, we still need to figure out just what we're-"
Before he could finish that sentence a massive surge of pain ripped through his skull, it was as if someone had taken a thousand red hot needles and shoved them into his head one at a time, very slowly. His hands reached to his head as he sank to knees in agony, his eyes scrunched shut. He barely registered Batman saying his name as he rushed to his side, his senses overwhelmed by the pain.
Soon the pain became so great that he passed out, but not before an ominous and terrifying image flashed before his mind. It was a solitary figure, dressed in some sort of black suit, wielding a blade of black fire while lightning shot out of his hand. Encasing the entity's head was a monstrous helmet mask, colored a combination of sickly green and yellow, which fanned out to cover the back of his neck, presumably to protect it. The only opening was, in the shape of a T, and though J'onn could not see through to the eyes he could feel the malice and hatred radiating out from them.
All the while he could hear a voice, one that was completely flat and lifeless while at the same time brimming with unbridled malevolence and cunning. Prepare yourselves, it said, dark glee barely evident in its tone. For my herald's arrival.
Author's Note: Welcome, dear readers, to what happens when my muse goes off into la la land. This was partly inspired by some of the Justice League crossover fics I've read on this site. Except unlike those I've transported a villain to the DC universe, and boy is he going to be one cold hearted bastard. I have a sort of idea of what I want to do with this but don't expect any updates for a LONG time. A few months is what I'm guessing.
Still, please leave a review or PM letting me know what you think, your opinion matters!
One last thing, a shout out to Epic Ebi, who was gracious enough to give some of his time to read this and provide feedback. He was a great help.
Til next time