Chapter 13-An End of the War
Mon Mothma was not happy. Her eyes narrowed at the many outdated reports, all lying around her gathered from the Bothan Intelligence Network before they stopped helping the Alliance fight the Empire. It was hard to imagine things had not turned in the Rebel Alliance's favor following the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the late Emperor Palpatine. Many assumed with the man dead, the Empire would collapse under itself, even with Vader taking control of it, and leave the worlds it ruled open to be liberated by the Alliance.
Only for Vader to take the power cells right out of their engines.
While the Rebel Alliance decided to focus on the Outer Rim worlds being oppressed by the Empire from without, its new Emperor had decided to make changes to the Empire from within. Namely cleaning house with the late Emperor's own Inner Circle and the rumored Emperor's Hands who were too loyal to Palpatine to tolerate roaming free. They would have never tolerated Vader's the changes to the Empire or him even sitting on the throne.
Even more so when Vader had openly declared both Luke and Leia to be his biological children. Both heroes or rather former heroes of the Rebel Alliance no less. This world shattering news had made the HoloNet explode with rumors, questions, and people all over the Galaxy wondering how this was possible? It had driven many reporters to try digging for the truth on who the Mother of Luke and Leia was and why said woman would have children with Darth Vader?
They didn't have much success despite trying to find out.
But that wasn't all. Apparently, Vader had decided to make peace with the Jedi Order (or what was left of it scattered throughout the Galaxy), and granted them all a full pardon. He declared publically the Jedi were not enemies of the Empire or the Galaxy as a whole and went even further by welcoming them all back to Coruscant without any form of hostility aimed against them. To further prove his words were indeed true, Vader had the Jedi Master Rom Kota, former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano, and the recognized Jedi Knight Galen Marek standing behind him in clear view for the HoloNet to show everyone in the Galaxy watching.
What unnerved Mon Mothma was how members of the Alliance believed the statement was in fact genuine, given how Vader's own offspring (which he openly admitted) were Jedi Knights too. Though Mon Mothma wondered why Obi-wan Kenobi himself was not there with the others or even Master Yoda himself since she knew the latter was (as far as she knew) still alive.
What no one knew, was Yoda's health had finally caught up to him on Naboo while the two aged Master watched over Mara Jade's recovery. When the old Grand Master of the Jedi Order died from old age, he did so after paying his respects one final time to Padme Amidala at her tomb, and apologizing for how he along with the Jedi Order by extension had mishandled Anakin's Jedi training. How they tried so hard to change him and his way of thinking over changing the Jedi Order in a way that it would change as well, and for the better given the times they lived in. How in their arrogance or maybe ignorance if you will, they had set in motion their own near destruction without realizing what needed to happen. How instead of hindering Anakin's development in certain areas surrounding the Force, they should have been nurturing it, and had the young man learning from multiple Masters.
It was a concept once used thousand of years ago, but that changed when Revan brought the Republic, if not the Jedi Order to its knees after becoming a Sith Lord. The Jedi felt it was necessary to restrict each apprentice to one Master, and to only branch out to another when there was no other alternative. It was one of the reasons why Qui-gon didn't get a chance to name Anakin as his padawan when the boy stood before the Jedi Council all those years ago. Even with Obi-wan nearly full grown and clearly ready for the trials to become a Jedi Knight, the Jedi Council had no intention of letting Anakin become a Jedi. It was only after Maul had killed Qui-gon and the concern of another Sith being out there did the Jedi Council change their minds. They feared with Maul dead, as he was clearly too young to be a full fledged Sith Master, and therefore the apprentice of the two Sith, the actual Master could easily pick up Anakin as his replacement.
It was poetic irony in a way given the outcome.
After Yoda's body faded from existence upon his death and becoming one with the Force, Obi-wan took a now recovered Mara Jade to Coruscant. It was there Mara learned many terrible and dark secrets about her former Master for a Sith. She learned what Sidious had done over the years in the past to people all over the Galaxy whether they were Senators, Moffs, Jedi, and just about every person the man came across during his younger years when traveling.
Despite being trained to deal with such intense things at an early age, what Mara learned that day made her want to vomit into the nearest refresher.
In any case, Vader's position as Emperor was not challenged. At least not right away. Sure enough, Palpatine's Inner Circle, or what was left it when Vader removed most of them, did not sit idly by in letting the man sit on the throne. To them, Vader was merely an enforcer of the Emperor's Will, but never worthy of actually being Emperor. Always a follower of a higher power even if he could lead at the same time. To them, he was the attack dog of the Empire. Some tried to usurp Vader's rule and others tried to assassinate him or those of his family.
Needless to say, they all failed miserably, and were brutally cut down by Vader himself when caught with the evidence against those who challenged him being beyond deniable.
Once the threats from within the Empire were dealt with after becoming Emperor, Vader had set forward a means of reforms within the government. For one, he brought back the Senate, and removed the position of Moff since all they did was line their pockets with credits over helping the planets they were suppose to oversee. The only reason the late Emperor Palpatine didn't deal with these corrupt fools was because they were loyal to him and because the old Sith looked the other way in terms of the overall corruption.
Let them embezzle the credits they need my apprentice. Their continued luxury by my Will grants me their loyalty in return. No one else would allow them to do what they do and so long as they support my actions throughout the Empire, they will be allowed to keep what credits they claim. When called upon, they will serve me in whatever way I wish, for they know my wrath is beyond anything that they could handle. No matter how much financial wealth they possess because I can take it from them whenever I wish.
Vader had been disgusted by Sidious and what he tolerated within the Empire. But with Sidious dead, such protection they were once granted were now no more. Vader made this known when he had these corrupt Moffs killed for their crimes (embezzlement aside) that were far worse. Enforcing slavery, authorizing illegal experiments on any kidnapped people, and even allowing brutal massacres of innocents on the very worlds they control simply because they could for their amusement.
In short, Vader was quickly showing the people of the Empire that he was ruthlessly, yet effectively cleaning house from within, and changing the government for the better. With Luke's, Leia's, Han's, Chewie's, Ahsoka's, even Kenobi's, and Kota's along with the other Jedi who came out of hiding to help...progress was being made.
In fact, public support for Vader was slowly becoming a positive thing despite the Rebel Alliance trying to counter it by hacking the HoloNet with old footage of the Sith Lord's past actions in killing others. This was easily countered by the Empire's own propaganda machine firing back, explaining how all the footage shown by the Rebels following the HoloNet being hacked to make Vader a monster were on a battlefield, and was combating Rebel soldiers. Never once did the HoloNet footage show Vader killing someone who wasn't armed with a blaster, sword, or some form of weapon.
In short, all the Rebels did was show Vader was a soldier on the battlefield serving the Empire faithfully under the previous Emperor. A soldier fighting other soldiers in a war. The Empire also added that if the Rebels considered Vader a monster, then what about the Rebel Alliances own men and women serving the organization? How many of them had destroyed homes, cities, research outposts, and taken the lives of countless other people throughout the Galaxy? If Vader was a monster, then so were the Rebel Alliance leaders who approved of such vile acts against innocent people simply because they were citizens of the Empire.
And to make matters even worse for the Alliance, some of the Rebels who joined had left the organization in its entirety. Why stay when the reason for fighting the Empire was getting weaker and smaller by the day? Vader had brought back the Senate, removed the corruption from various systems, and removed the oppression of these worlds faster then the Alliance could ever hope to do. In fact, Vader had offered Rebels who put down their arms, and left the Alliance a full pardon. Provided they do it within a span of two weeks without anything destructive befalling Imperial worlds during that time.
Mon Mothma still couldn't believe Bail Organa had left soon after hearing this. He had of course argued that this was an opportunity to get back into the Senate and be an Alliance spy. Even on an unofficial level. To see just how much Vader's changes to the Empire indeed were in fact genuine.
And like a fool, Mon Mothma believed him. Within a few months of being Senator of Alderaan again, he sent an encrypted message to Home One saying he could not in good conscious spy for the Alliance. In his message, he stated that not only did Vader actually help his son destroy the first Death Star, but saved Alderaan from its super laser. Leia had also told him that with the changes being made to the Empire to one day safely transition into become a New Republic, it was only a matter of time before the reason behind the Rebel Alliance existing was pointless.
Mon Mothma didn't see it like that. The Alliance should exist for toppling the Empire, even if it somehow turned into the New Republic that Vader envisioned. In her mind anything Vader created (with the exception of Leia) was an abomination and had to be destroyed. Madine was on her side of course. He had been trying to train an elite black ops unit for the specific purpose of killing Vader, his offspring, and even the Jedi who joined him from the start when the time presented itself. So far, the number of Alliance members willing to join the unit was thin, and the number of men and women he needed to have a remote chance of success were even thinner.
Normally, Mon Mothma would have tried to persuade Madine from having the new unit go after Leia, but by this point the woman had felt Vader had corrupted Padme's child too much to reverse the damage done. All she could really command of Madine was to make sure Leia's death, at the hands of his elite troops made, was quick and painless when the time came. She only hoped the unit Madine commanded would be able to follow those orders when they were ready to fight. Provided they eventually meet the numbers within the unit Madine wanted when unleashed on Vader's own "Inner Circle", which was had consisted mostly of his family, Han Solo, and both of his former apprentices.
As for the Jedi Order, Rom Kota had been placed in charge of bringing the Jedi back to what it was while making arrangements to find new Force sensitive recruits. Not all of them being infants taken from their parents and even then, Vader had insisted contact with the parents not be cut off unless said parents or family members were considered too dangerous to expose to the children while they were growing up. Some of the older generation of Jedi didn't like it, but considering how things turned out for them, and the times they now lived in...it was better to go along with the changes.
Though as time went on, it seemed more of the Alliance was being chipped away the more the Empire seemed to change under Vader's leadership. Many who had fought for the end of oppression and the return of democracy were seeing it get done on the inside. So why cause problems? Why fight against an enemy, who was now changing things for the better? Why fight someone who was giving you what you wanted? So instead of fighting Vader, people were leaving for their home worlds, and accepting the pardons the Sith Lord was giving out.
This made Mon Mothma increasingly angry, as she was seeing her dedicated army within the Alliance dwindling away piece by piece, and funding for the organization becoming a mere trickle. Supplies, weapons, and ships running on short supply. Intel was outdated due to poor funding of their intelligence network and now only those who truly hated the Empire with a passion or rather those who hated Vader with a passion were the ones who were staying to fight. Unfortunately, those numbers were becoming slim these days, and it wouldn't be long before almost everyone major within the Alliance was gone.
Admiral Ackbar, General Dodonna, General Rieekan, and even General Garm Bel Iblis had left the Alliance to accept the full pardons Vader offered within the two week time limit. They were tired of the fighting too and they could see the engines of change were activating in their favor. Why throw a hydro spanner into it?
Another thing Mon Mothma had yet to realize was one of the reasons behind the decision for their leaving occurred shortly after Madine proposed a long term plan they were not pleased hear. The plan was to find Force sensitive people throughout the Galaxy and have them either imprisoned and eventually killed. The clearly rabid and delirious General of the Rebel Alliance went on about how people with the Force were always unpredictable and were the reason the Galaxy suffered so much throughout the ages. Wars led by the Sith, the Jedi, Dark Jedi, or some other Force sensitive sect or cult. All of which ravaged planet after planet regardless of the reasons for the fighting. Madine felt the only way to have true peace in the Galaxy was to find, capture, and ultimately kill every single Force sensitive in the Galaxy. No exceptions.
Naturally, Ackbar, Dodonna, Rieekan, and Bel Iblis were sickened by this plan Madine had thought up. Even more so when Mon Mothma seemed to consider Madine's point of view and seemed to be leaning towards it, if the Alliance won against the Empire. They knew Jedi were agents of peace and defenders of it while the Sith were the embodiment of war and darkness. It didn't make any sense in their minds to kill Force sensitive people simply because they were Force sensitive. While Madine's points had some sliver of truth to them, if only regarding the Sith or Dark Jedi, it didn't mean everyone who was Force sensitive was evil.
Besides, like it or not, the Force was a natural part of the Galaxy. To remove people who possessed the ability to use the Force put the stability of the Galaxy itself at stake.
Madine didn't see it that way. For him, the Galaxy was meant to be controlled by people. Normal people. Not some invisible cosmic energy that could be used by select people. It was unfair and unjust in Madine's eyes. All that power to almost anything and it was used by only a fraction of the entire Galaxy. And Madine himself was not one of them.
With Mon Mothma and Madine being the only main leaders of Alliance High Command left, many saw the organization changing like the Empire. Only it was not for the better. It was becoming something dark. Almost...evil. As if the very soul of the Empire and the Alliance had switched places. Instead of being an organization determined to bring about peace and the Old Republic back to the Galaxy, the Alliance was slowly being considered a terrorist organization bent on stopping the change, and progress being made by the new Emperor for the ideals the Alliance once stood for when formed.
By the end of the two weeks, the vast majority of the Rebel Alliance had put down their weapons, and taken the pardons granted by Emperor Vader. Wedge, Biggs, and the rest of Rogue Squadron actually flew to Coruscant in the hopes Luke would use his influence with his Emperor of a Father to give them all jobs as pilots of this changing government. Naturally, Luke couldn't refuse his old friends since the Rogues were considered among the best pilots in the Galaxy outside of himself, his Father, and his Father's own Death Squadron unit. Vader himself being a pilot at heart, wasn't about to let such skilled pilots go to waste, and agreed to let the entire become part of the Empire. Even allowing them to keep their own star fighters to be used on missions when called upon to serve.
Once the two weeks had ended, Vader knew it was time to finish off what was left of the Rebel Alliance. He gave them all a chance to get their affairs in order during that time. To see what he was doing to the Empire had been a positive thing. To give them plenty of time to make up their minds on accepting the pardon or foolishly fighting against him on some notion he was evil.
Mon Mothma and Madine were the only members of Alliance High Command left who had refused the pardons. Along with those truly loyal to them and their cause to topple Vader and his changing government. Vader had stated as much on the HoloNet in a rare press conference to address the issue of the lingering rebellion. Naturally, Vader had named names of those left in the Rebel Alliance, who did not accept the pardons, and the chance for a long desired peace. A chance to stop fighting a now pointless war with the changing Imperial government to the New Republic everyone wanted.
In short, Vader was able to portray the two leaders of the Alliance, and their followers as bitter people unable to accept that the Galaxy was changing for the better. The Galaxy was changing for the better without them involved in a positive way. With the majority of the Galaxy now practically on his side, Darth Vader declared all those remaining with the Rebel Alliance who had their chance to leave it enemies of the Empire. Enemies to those who wished to finally live peaceful live on their home planets. Without the fear of being persecuted for past crimes during the war. Now, they would finally be brought to justice by those under his command.
Starting and ending with Mon Mothma and Crix Madine.
(Planet Slogg-Outer Rim)
"Your elite unit is not producing fast enough," remarked Mon Mothma while she shifted over the report Madine had given her.
"Considering our current funds are low and personnel left within the Alliance is slim, I'm lucky to even have this unit," replied Madine with a scowl on his face.
"When can they be ready for deployment?" asked Mon Mothma with Madine neglecting their overall progress in his report.
"As things currently stand? Two more months. I have to have the men fight more training simulations and locate old Holos of Sith and Jedi fighting for further study. Such Holos are on the black market and not all of them are real. Not to mention expensive," answered Madine with Mon Mothma frowning.
"You have one month. Vader is going to be making a grand announcement during that time and I want your unit to attack when it happens. I want him and his entire Sith family killed off. Perhaps once freed, the influence he has over the Jedi will be broken, and they can once more shine their light throughout the Galaxy," said Mon Mothma with Madine scoffing.
"The Galaxy doesn't need Jedi anymore. They should all be wiped out. Sith, Jedi, Dark Jedi, and anyone else with a connection to the Force. It is not natural despite what they would tell you about the Force. If the Force truly was a natural energy in the Galaxy like the Jedi claim, everyone could use its power," remarked Madine bitterly.
"Regardless, we need to ensure there is someone with the power capable of ruling over the Empire and replace Vader. Someone who will be sympathetic to our cause and see to it the changes happen, but us in the spotlight," Mon Mothma reminded Madine with the General grimacing.
"You place too much faith in the Jedi. None of them have answered our discreet call to join us. Not now with Vader allowing them to return to Coruscant, pardoning them for their so called 'crimes', and finally allowing the Order to grow again under his very nose. They will never turn on him," said Madine with Mon Mothma frowning now.
"He is a Sith Lord through and through, regardless of the fact his title is now that of an Emperor. I have no doubt with Vader and his offspring gone, the Jedi will take control of things, and welcome us to Coruscant with open arms," said Mon Mothma in the belief they would be seen as heroes to all the Galaxy for slaying the vile Sith Emperor and the history books would remember them for it.
Suddenly, the alarms around the base came to life. Warning everyone on the base that unauthorized ships were now hovering in space and in orbit around the planet. The two leaders of the Rebel Alliance knew it was Vader or at least someone he entrusted to find and destroy them in his stead while dealing with the issues of running the still Imperial government.
"General Madine! Lady Mon Mothma! Orbital sensors indicate a fleet of Star Destroyers in orbit encircling the planet. Our readouts indicate the lead ship among the fleet is an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Chimaera," said a solider rushing into the room to see the two Rebel Leaders frowning with worry.
"Thrawn. Grand Admiral Thrawn," commented Madine with a scowl.
"Thrawn? I thought his existence was just a rumor?" asked Mon Mothma since she knew of Thrawn through former Imperials who defected like Madine and were high enough in rank at the time of changing sides to hear such potentially classified information about possible threats.
But to hear the man actually existed and from the Madine no less. Thrawn was rumored to be of an alien species known as the Chiss. A brilliant tactician and well respected by those high up within the Empire. The late Emperor Palpatine and the current Emperor Vader being chief among them. Which give Emperor Palpatine's alien hating policies to prevent any from joining the Empire or rising to such high rank, was saying quite a bit.
"It is not just rumor. Some of my men we picked up prior to the Second Death Star being destroyed were stationed in the Outer Rim and served under the man," answered Madine while the two rush to the hanger bay where their escape transport.
"Why didn't you mention this sooner?" demanded Mon Mothma while they along with their now appearing escort entered the hangar where their shuttle awaited them.
"Because I didn't know about this news until recently. I asked some of the men for their opinion on who they thought was a potential threat outside of Vader and his family. I also inquired about potential allies we could bring over from the enemy camp to our own to combat the Emperor. Thrawn's name came up during the conversation and a few of them admitted he was in fact real," replied Madine angrily, mostly over the fact Grand Admiral Thrawn was not a myth like even he first thought, but was in fact real, and he preferred to serve Vader over the idea of overthrowing the Sith Lord.
Their conversation was interrupted when the shuttle transport they planned to use blew up and sent them, plus their escort, flying back.
"What? How?!" demanded Mon Mothma while looking at the wreckage that was her means of escaping.
Her answer came at the sound of a gurgling sound of someone dying and she turned to see one of her guards being struck down from behind by a Noghri warrior. In fact, all of the men assigned to escort her, and Madine were on the ground dead thanks to Vader's prized assassins ending their lives.
"You will come with us. Dead or alive, it makes no difference to our Master," said one of the Noghri while Mon Mothma saw she and Madine were surrounded on all side.
"I will not go before your Master like a caged animal or criminal waiting to be judged for my actions. Especially from someone like him!" spat Madine before he moved to fire his blaster and go down fighting.
He was shot and killed before the weapon could be raised past his hip. At the same time, a Noghri shot a stun blast at Mon Mothma, and knocked her out cold. She was the real prize to bring back to their Master after all.
"Bind the female. Hurry!" commanded the leader of the Noghri commandos before his team moved in and took Mon Mothma to their cloaked ship outside of the Rebel base.
As the cloaked ship took off, the Noghri piloting the ship sent a message to the Chimaera to inform Thrawn they had one of their two targets alive, and currently unconscious from a stun blast. The pilot also sent the Star Destroyer its coordinates and intended flight path so the star fighters and other ships wouldn't accidently crash into it. Thrawn had been put in charge of the main operation necessary to find, capture (killing being optional if they resisted), and ultimately bring back the remaining members of Alliance High Command to face justice.
The Grand Admiral had been very effective in hunting down Mon Mothma and Madine since Vader's ascension as Emperor. The Rebel Alliance had been weakened to the point where the worlds that once supported them were willing to give up any information they deemed helpful. Thrawn of course would double check the information given to ensure he didn't go on a wild bantha chase. While he was sure these worlds wished to prove themselves to the new Emperor of their cooperation, Thrawn knew better in terms of trusting anything given at face value. Being a Grand Admiral meant you double checked everything and that was after it was triple checked prior to that.
His trusted Captain/student Palleon was originally concerned for Thrawn's safety in terms of taking too long in finding the main base. But Thrawn had assured the good Captain in regards to Vader's patience or rather lack of it was not a factor here. Vader wanted things done right. How Thrawn did carried out the order was up to him so long as it was done correctly, cleanly, and did not put the changing Empire in a bad light with other systems.
Vader knew Thrawn's tactical brilliance when unleashed would bring about an end to the Rebel Alliance. One of the reasons that Palpatine didn't use Thrawn in such a manner was due to the threat of the Far Outsiders lurking just beyond the Outer Rim. Added the fact many within the Emperor's own Inner Circle were anti-alien and would not support the Chiss being one to claim victory over the Alliance in the Empire's name. Sidious would never admit it, but his Inner Circle had pressured him into keeping Thrawn in the Outer Rim where he could be "out of sight and out of mind" to them. The fact it was part of the plan made by Sidious and Thrawn to setup a base of operations within the Outer Rim in secret not withstanding.
Any competent Admiral or Grand Admiral could have been sent in Thrawn's place, but the Emperor had hated Thrawn too, despite the respect there was for the Chiss. In fact, like Thrawn himself, Vader could only recall four times the blue skinned, red eyed man had refused to obey the Emperor's commands, and all four times in regards to the reasons why...Thrawn had been right! The Emperor was rarely wrong, as he always made sure his plans had backup plans and contingencies wrapped up in more plans so that no matter what happened, Sidious won no matter what the outcome.
Which would also explain why the late Sith's arrogance finally got the better of him in the end.
"Grand Admiral, the target has been taken off planet. Sensors indicate the ship holding her has just uncloaked and has left the system for Coruscant," said Captain Palleon with Thrawn nodding.
"Good. Begin the attack Captain. Wipe them out. These fools had their chance to walk away from this war alive by accepting the Emperor's pardon. But they threw it away and thus their own lives in the process," ordered Thrawn with a hint of coldness in them.
Soon, the order went to all Imperial ships in the fleet, and they quickly bombarded the planet with ruthless precision. They were shooting down transports, star fighters, and any other ships that tried to escape off world. Thrawn's forces didn't have to worry about any of the Rebel transports possibly carrying civilians since this planet, according to Intel he had collected from various sources before coming here, was labeled uninhabited outside of the Rebels building their base here.
Or rather...had a base built here. The Noghri had been very efficient in mapping out the Rebel base and the outlying areas so Thrawn's forces could attack it and still leave the planet overall very much intact for future use. After all, why attack the planet and the enemy like a drunken butcher? The precision of a skilled surgeon was so much better in Thrawn's mind. To destroy the entire planet just to target a single base on it was an insult to the tactical mind of Thrawn and those like him.
Mon Mothma found herself awakening to find herself in a detention cell. She concluded it was most likely in the heart of the Imperial Center's most secure prison on the planet. There was no way that someone like Vader would allow someone like herself to simply be locked up anywhere less secure until her "trial" or whatever it was the Sith Lord had prepared for Mon Mothma.
Looking around the room, Mon Mothma found there was nothing to use to free herself from the cell, or even to use to end her life. She only considered the latter, if only to prevent Vader from gaining any sense of satisfaction in "judging" his prisoner right in front of what would no doubt be the entire Galaxy. Or maybe he would have her tortured first and just end her life before making up some story about how she ended it like some coward to avoid facing a trial along with the people in general?
'I will not give him any satisfaction while being here. I will be defiant to the end. Let him torture me. Parade my scarred form around for all to see. It will only make me a martyr to the cause and make Alliance mean something again,' thought Mon Mothma before her cell opened and sure enough the Emperor and Sith Lord Darth Vader entered the room with two of his Royal Guards.
"Mon Mothma," said Vader and giving her a small nod.
"Lord Vader. Or should I call you Emperor now?" questioned Mon Mothma while she glared at him.
One of the two Royal Guards moved to strike the woman for her disrespect, but Vader stopped it with a small signal based gesture of his hand.
"Contrary to what you may believe, it does not matter to me in slightest what you refer to me in terms of title. Namely being called an Emperor. It will soon mean nothing with the way the Empire is being changed to that of a New Republic," countered Vader while Mon Mothma's glare increased.
"You mean your version of the New Republic. I can only imagine what it will look like when finished. A nightmare if there ever was one from a walking living nightmare like yourself!" Mon Mothma shot back and saw the Royal Guards twitch slightly in wanting to strike the woman.
But again, Vader remained calm. Impassive and must have told the guards to do nothing through the Force.
"MY version? You presume what is happening now to the Empire transitioning itself to what will one day be the New Republic is all my doing. It is not. My daughter has been spearheading this change with great zeal. With my support and those of others rallying to the cause in wanting change, the New Republic will becoming everything my daughter wishes it to be when finished. Her Mother would be proud," replied Vader with a sense of fondness in the end.
Mon Mothma narrowed her eyes since she knew who he was referring to outside of Leia.
"Padme would have been alive to see your daughter do so well...had you not killed her all those years ago. I heard rumors of what you did to her. To think you would strike down your own wife," said Mon Mothma in the hopes of making the Sith Lord angry by aiming close to the man's evil heart.
Vader said nothing at first and Mon Mothma thought she hit close to her mark.
"Despite your attempt to anger and hurt me with that remark about my wife, I did not kill her like even I first assumed. I did not kill her like the late Emperor Palpatine first told me and I at one point believed. But another outside source has confirmed otherwise and given who the source was, I trust him over my predecessor," countered Vader with Mon Mothma frowning since she was hoping for more out of her words hitting him on some level to cause a descent amount of pain.
"She would still be ashamed of you," Mon Mothma shot back while hoping to at least cause some damage to him.
"On some level, you are correct. My wife would have been ashamed of me. But I would like to think I redeemed myself given all I have done leading to this moment," said Vader with Mon Mothma scowling further.
"That is a matter of opinion you vile monster. To think someone as good and decent as Padme not only married you, but spawned children of your blood. Leia had a chance to break away from your taint, but now such hopes are lost to the Galaxy," Mon Mothma shot back and was again disappointed in seeing no reaction to the Sith Lord.
"My children are not evil simply because they are of my blood. As I told my wife many years ago, they were, and still are a blessing to the Galaxy. Look at all they have done when unleashed upon it. Saving lives. Helping others. Bringing hope back to the Galaxy after not knowing what it was for over 20 years. Bringing light against the darkness and destroying it," countered Vader while Mon Mothma scoffed at his words.
"Not all of it. You still live," Mon Mothma shot back.
"There is no more darkness in me anymore. My children saw to that. Those I once called comrades and friends saw to that. When the time comes, I will step down as Emperor, and the Senate will appoint a Supreme Chancellor to run things. Shortly thereafter, the form that stands before you will be no more," replied Vader with Mon Mothma frowning at him before her eyes widened.
"You're dying!" exclaimed Mon Mothma while Vader let out a noise that seemed like an amused snort.
"From a point of view, yes. I am dying. The form, the symbol, and overall appearance of my being that is Darth Vader will die shortly after the Empire is officially called the New Republic. Darth Vader will die and in his place...Anakin Skywalker will be reborn from the ashes of his silent quiet death. To finally walk in the light once more with his family," replied Vader with Mon Mothma looking livid at him with rage.
"You are not worthy of that right! You are not worthy of living a peaceful life! You are a monster and so are your children! One day, the people will know the truth about this plan or yours, and when they do...your entire family will fall at the hands of the entire Galaxy! The hatred of everyone who has ever suffered by your hands will rain itself down upon you and your family. You and your family will never know peace or happiness. EVER!" exclaimed Mon Mothma with rage and fury in her voice.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I know one thing Mon Mothma. You will not live long enough to see it," said Vader before a syringe needle hidden behind his robes flew forward and stuck Mon Mothma in the neck.
"Ah! What...What did you do to me?!" demanded Mon Mothma before the needle was drained of its contents and removed with the Force by Vader.
"Its a paralytic agent of sorts. One that freezes the mind of commanding the body to a certain degree. Namely the ability to speak. I will not have you ruin a chance for peace with your hatred for my past sins. Sins I have slowly been trying to repent for during this time," replied Vader while Mon Mothma felt her throat going numb as it were with the ability to speak weakening.
"Your children will know something is wrong. So will the Jedi. This will not stop them from reading my mind with the Force," said Mon Mothma with her voice becoming a very hoarse whisper.
"You presume too much Mon Mothma. They already know. This was a plan we created together to ensure the peace made following your death would not be compromised. It does not take a genius or tactician to know you would speak your mind fully to cause trouble for the New Republic in a last act to spite me and my family. I will not allow it," said Vader while seeing Mon Mothma glaring at him.
"Bastard!" exclaimed Mon Mothma, but it was barely heard at this point.
"Prepare her to stand trial before the Senate. Make sure she is properly restrained when brought into the chamber," ordered Vader to his Royal Guards, who didn't say anything, or move until after he left the room.
Peace, at least for a time, would finally be within his grasp.
(Epilogue-10 Years Later)
Anakin Skywalker looked over the city that was Coruscant from his apartment complex of 500 Republica that once shared by him and his wife Padme. He missed her. He missed her a lot. Even now his heart ached to hold his wife again. Whisper loving words into her ears. Hold the woman he loved close. Smelling the different fragrances that she had put on each night when he was on those rare breaks from the war. The ones that drove him wild with a passion beyond reasoning.
It was difficult to handle, but Anakin made peace with her being gone. Knowing she was on the other side. Waiting for him. Proud of him. He had redeemed himself in her eyes. Fighting Palpatine. Having a hand in destroying the Death Stars Sidious wanted to make for his bid for absolute control of the Galaxy. Bringing the Empire down by turning it into the New Republic where democracy now ruled with the people having a voice.
But one his greater achievements? Bringing back the Jedi Order and getting it to change for the better. No more would infants be taken from their parents and denied all contact with them. Force sensitive people would no longer be denied entry simply because they were considered "too old" and would use their own experiences in the Galaxy as a means to help train the young in different fields. From engineering and mechanics to survival training on different worlds filled with harsh environments.
Another great achievement was preparing the New Republic for the Far Outsiders, who had chosen only recently to launch their attack on the Galaxy. Fortunately, Thrawn had proven his tactical mind was indeed a deadly weapon unto itself. He had calculated all the key areas the Far Outsiders could appear to attack based on where their initial advanced scouting force had entered near Chiss Ascendency space along the Outer Rim. Focusing on the best spot to attack from unexpectedly if on the offensive, the New Republic's fleet had been amassed, and in prime position to attack the moment the Far Outsiders arrived.
And arrive they did with a massive fleet.
Anakin knew if it weren't for Thrawn, the Intel gathered about the enemy, and the full might of the Galaxy ready to fight this invasion things would have been different. There was a very strong chance the Far Outsiders would have quickly won against the New Republic, if not gained a strong foothold in the overall Galaxy to conqueror in the near future.
As it stands, the Far Outsiders did not have such luck. Caught completely by surprise at seeing the Armada that was the New Republic's massive fleet, they were soon annihilated without mercy before any attack on their end could commence.
"Father? Are you all right?" asked Luke while seeing his Father with his hands behind his back.
"I'm fine son. Just thinking. About the past and the present. About how things happened the way they did. I sometimes wonder...what would have happened if Leia didn't find out I was her Father? If she didn't tell me on the Death Star? Part of me knows the answer to that question and at the same time...I hate it because the answer is not a good one," said Anakin with Luke nodding since he had an idea of what that outcome would have been.
Leia would have been tortured by their Father for the location of the Rebel base located on Yavin IV. The Super Laser on the battle station would not be sabotaged and thus the planet Alderaan would have been destroyed. Leia hating their Father with a passion for allowing it to happen and making her watch. Luke hating his Father before knowing the truth, if at all in the belief Darth Vader killed their Father instead of being their Father.
And so much more.
"How is Obi-wan doing these days?" asked Anakin calmly.
"Not good. He's getting too old to move these days. He asks about you though. Part of him wishes you would visit the Jedi Temple and see him," replied Luke knowing his Father had refused to see Obi-wan during the last 10 years and before that when they were working together to change the Empire following Palpatine's death.
"You know why I refuse to see him," remarked Anakin calmly, yet coldly with anger in his voice.
"I know you hold a grudge against him after all this time for his actions, but...surely you can forgive him in his final days alive," said Luke with Anakin frowning.
"There some things I can't forgive him for Luke. No matter how hard people tell me that I should or I try in my own way. I can't forgive him. He tried to turn you and Leia against me. This isn't like what happened with your Mother and I on Mustafar when he stowed away on her ship and I made the wrong conclusion. He actually tried to turn you and Leia against me. My own children. Padme's children. Our own blood. Turned into weapons of war against their parents. To commit patricide without you or Leia even knowing it. We both know that is a Sith tactic. Whether he admits it or not. We all know such a move is one worthy of a Sith. Something Sidious would have done and most likely has done in the past," said Anakin while he could forgive Obi-wan for some of the things the Jedi did, but not this.
"There is more to it then just that Father," said Luke while Anakin nodding.
"He could have given me a merciful death Luke. On Mustafar. I was burning alive my son. Alive! I wasn't unconscious after my limbs were taken off. I didn't pass out from the pain. I wish I had. But I didn't. I was burned all over my body. Or what was still mine to call my body. Obi-wan could have been merciful and pushed me into the river of lava with the Force after seeing me catch fire. After hearing me cry out in pain. But he just watched. He watched me burn nearly to death and when the fire did die out...the man walked away without looking back. He knew I was alive using the Force. He knew I was still clinging to life. Yet he walked away to let me suffer in agony. And the worst part of it all...was Obi-wan saying he loved me. As a brother. What brother loves you and does that? Leaving you to burn to death? To walk away knowing you are alive and in agony? To not do the merciful and loving thing in my situation and use the Force to send what was left of my burned body into the lava? To end my perpetual pain and agony with a quick death?" questioned Anakin with Luke grimacing knowing his Father had suffered much during that time and the number of medical procedures done in secret to help the man look moderately like his old Jedi self.
"Yeah. I know. Ahsoka gave him quite the earful. So did a few other Jedi when they were told the story about your fall and the battle on Mustafar. Still, maybe you could see him before his time in the Galaxy is gone? Out of respect for what bond you two had? As for Senator Organa, I know he barely talks to Leia due to his own role in things, and she only talks or sees him when there is something important happening in the Senate that's Jedi related and requires her own expertise," replied Luke with Anakin smiling slightly.
"Maybe I will. For old times sake. How are you and Mara doing? Your son is being a real voice snappy Hell raiser like his Mother?" questioned Anakin with Luke smirking now at his Father.
"Yeah. Qui-gon is a lot like his Mother in that regard. Though I think the sharp wit to match the tongue he got from you. At least that is what Obi-wan said once when he met him," said Luke with Anakin scoffing.
"That is an understatement my son. He once said if I practiced my Lightsaber techniques like I did my verbal wit, I would rival Master Yoda as a swordsman," remarked Anakin with Luke laughing since it was probably true.
"Yeah. I remember Obi-wan had said something similar about Qui-gon when seeing him practice with Ahsoka in the Jedi Temple sparring room about rivaling you in that aspect. Mara took offense to that given her own tongue and wit. She threatened to shoot him in the head with a blaster if he said it a second time," said Luke while Anakin laughed this time.
"Considering how Obi-wan finds blasters to be uncivilized, he no doubt found such a possible death undignified for a Jedi like himself," replied Anakin with Luke nodding.
Leia's children are doing well learning under Kota and Galen. I still can't believe she had twins," remarked Luke while Anakin sighing.
"She inherited that from her Mother's side of the family. It happens apparently every few generations. I know several of Padme's cousins had twins," said Anakin while Luke just smiled.
"Well Mara is just glad it didn't extend to her when she was pregnant. I still remember the day Qui-gon was born. She went through enough pain when in labor and said 'One child is enough for now. If we have another, it better not be twins. Or else I will go Sith Lord on your ass!'" said Luke while both Father and son laughed at the threat.
"And she would do it too. Her freedom after being controlled by Sidious for so long has not snuffed out the fire she possesses within herself. Which is good. Padme had a fire in her too. While not as...wild as Mara's fire when it comes to speaking her mind, it was no less awe inspiring," replied Anakin with Luke putting a hand on his Father's shoulder and decided to change the subject.
"Father, I know you turned down the offer, but I was hoping you would become apart of the Jedi Order again now that its different. You could become one of its Masters and even train another apprentice. You have plenty of experience and the qualifications for being one," said Luke while Anakin scoffed and shook his head no.
"Twenty years ago as a Jedi Knight, I would have jumped at the chance. In fact I did when Sidious appointed me his personal representative on the Jedi Council. I thought I would be made a Jedi Master and be among equals. Instead, I was just a figurehead, and seen as a tool for their own purposes. Even if things for the Jedi Order have changed for the better thanks to our hard work, I'm tired of the title I have been given over the years. I'm tired of being called a Jedi, Sith, slave, Emperor, General, and every other title under the stars I care little for these days. There are only two titles right now that have any real meaning for me at this point," said Anakin with Luke frowning with curiosity.
"What titles is that?" asked Luke while Anakin turned and smiled at his son.
"The titles...of Father and Grandfather," whispered Anakin while putting a hand on his son's shoulder.
All Luke could do was smile and nod.
(A/N: YAY! It is done. Hope you liked it. Man am I tired. I probably should have tried to finish this fic in its entirety a long time ago. But my things just kept getting in the way. So many ideas are running through my head and not enough time to write them all. Trust me when I say I am running around doing lots of stuff these days so be glad I get any writing done or that I am able to finish my fics. I know I mentioned this before, but you should read Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo when you have the chance. I might make my own fic like that one in the future. It has potential and promise if done correctly. Until next time...PEACE!)