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Saga - OT Vader's Shadow (Luke, Vader; AU of the "Darth Vader" comics)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Togruta, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I was so upset when he died in the comics and you brought him back. Yeah! This is wonderful news!
  2. Togruta

    Togruta Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 30, 2010
    ^Glad you think so! Yeah, Thanoth was such a great addition to the Vader comics. He's like the Sherlock Holmes of the Empire. Really fun to write.

    And thought I'd mention this now that posts are all caught up, this fic is also on here.

    Now for the update. Getting back to Vader and his antics...

    Above Shu-torun, the Devastator lingered. From the vast Star Destroyer's hatch a shuttle departed, and it began making its way down to the molten world below.

    The atmosphere of the planet enveloped the ship, surrounding it in a consuming crimson with black, scorch-like marks on its surface. Within minutes, the shuttle was already flying past the capitol's metropolis of clustered buildings, with their pristine steel-blue turrets, columns, and silver spires reaching outward, their ornamental design suitable for the reputation of Shu-torun's mining culture.

    The shuttle flew toward the Shu-torun palace, and was immediately allowed access by flight security. Passing several projecting towers, the ship finally reached the platform of the palace hangar. It slowly landed, its flanking wings gracefully folded upon descent.

    The ramp slowly dropped, and Vader strode down it, his broad form standing out like a dark pillar on the lucent platform. Following him was an assemblage of stormtroopers.

    Another ship arrived afterward, if one could call it a ship. It was nothing like the elegant, durasteel design of the Imperial craft; it was that of a fleshy, aquatic-looking creature that was embedded with patches of machinery and metal plating. It didn't land, instead it hovered and its jaws opened, revealing a well-lit walkway. Dr. Cylo and his fellow cyborgs emerged from it.

    Rather than view them, Vader looked ahead, and awaiting them was the newly-appointed monarch of Shu-torun, Trios. She stood with a pair of golden-armored guards, and was clad in similar armor herself. Her young eyes expelled nervousness despite her otherwise outward calm.

    Vader was the first to address her as he came to halt, his troopers following suit, their bustled steps snapping loudly as they came to a stop.

    "Queen Trios," he said slowly in his mechanical gravel. "It seems your people are in a hurry to ensure their own demise."

    The young woman breathed in, and seemed determined to not avert his gaze. Her voice was clear, but quiet.

    "Lord Vader. We are... sorry to require the Empire's assistance yet again," she said. "I have tried, but the ore-dukes refuse to listen. I believe -"

    "Simply lead us to the ore-duke's delving-citadel," growled the Dark Lord, his intoned voice cutting her off. "The walker military units will soon deploy from the Devastator. I will assume complete command, as your leadership is clearly not rectifying the situation. Let us go."

    "Of… course, Lord Vader." She moved as if to turn, but paused, as her eyes caught the sight of the other man who was now approaching them. Cylo stood to the opposite side of the Dark Lord, hands held behind his back, and he regarded her.

    "Greetings, highness. I am Doctor Cylo," he said promptly. "See to it that we are supplied proper surveillance equipment in the nearest station. I will also require a holomap of the area."

    Trios looked from the Sith Lord to the doctor, and seemed inquisitive for a fleeting moment. But she bowed her head in obedience and turned, her blue cloak swaying.

    "This way," she said to them.

    Vader and Cylo followed her, an array of Imperial troopers and cybernetic human beings following in their wake.

    Slightly bothered at having the rogue scientist walking alongside him as though they were equals, Vader focused on the view ahead. He studied the nearby palace, with its metallic structure against the dark red sky. In the distance volcanoes spurred, trailing down paths of lightning-shaped lava, reminding him of another such planet flowing with oceans of fire...

    Vader was aware that Cylo was watching him, unsurprisingly. Impatient to be acknowledged, waiting to be provoked. Vader decided to oblige.

    "I can see you will be proving your worth in this war, Cylo... by hiding from it behind a map."

    At his remark, Cylo made an impassive frown.

    "I am a scientist, Lord Vader," he said casually. "I think. I plan. I calculate." He blinked with his one human eye, while his replacement Rodian eye remained open, a dark orb as still and empty as an eye-patch. With his greying hair and goatee, Cylo otherwise appeared as a middle-aged man, but was actually one of several bodies that the original had prepared, programmed with an "immortal" system that carried his memory and likeness. This one had activated when the last body had died – the body Vader had found when he first uncovered Cylo's identity.

    Cylo held up his chin with an air of assurance. "I will be where I can be most useful, Lord Vader. And so will you... Out in the battlefield, with all the other dispensable lifeforms."

    Vader's angular mask faced forward, his stride as unhurried as ever. He was in no mood to waste time on Cylo's pomp. He was eager to get to the root of this planet's conflict, to strike against the insurrectionists, dominate Shu-torun and secure its mineral resources. Then he would hold his victory before the Emperor and be free of this absurd "rivalry" with these abominations, or at the very least, be closer to being rid of it.

    "My life is not the one in question, Cylo," he responded. "Unlike you, I do not need to make copies of myself due to a tendency to die."

    Cylo made a chortle. "A tendency that doesn't matter when you control the solution. Unlike you, I have the brilliance to invent machines that can grant me immortality."

    "For a scientist, you seem far swept in dreams, Cylo."

    "And you seem to forget that the Emperor himself has assigned us here," the doctor retorted briskly. "Darth Vader: mighty warrior, the Empire's enforcer... He can wield ancient light swords and perform dark sorcery... And yet, here we are with him."

    Vader continued his walk, unaffected though secretly irritated. Evidently the scientist was going to be straight-faced and arrogant per usual, with all his shallow attempts to be seen as formidable. Vader could tell his patience would be tried while working with him on this mission.

    "You are correct, Cylo," he said, his heavy voice concise as it filtered through the transmitter. "I am the Empire's enforcer. I have been so for decades. I have led many battalions and won many worlds over to the Empire, and this planet shall be no different. Its people will either comply or face the Empire's wrath."

    Ahead of them, the young queen made a half glance behind her shoulder.

    "It will be different because I will be the one who wins this war," snapped the scientist. "My creations, my mind, will be the key to lasting victory in the Empire. The galaxy has no use for pious Force-worshipping. You'll discover that soon enough."

    Behind him, a woman nodded in agreement. She was being followed by floating drones. Referred to as Voidgazer, she was also a scientist, and was fitted with headgear and blue, telescope-like contraptions that had replaced her eyes. The protruding caps beamed like minuscule moons.

    "Only science can create progress," she declared in her monotone, high-pitched voice. "The Empire needs genius minds more than brute force. The Emperor knows this. He knows those of us who have vision, those of us who will insure the future –"

    "And those who are stuck in the past," added another voice among Cylo's group, that of a round-faced young man, Morit, who walked alongside his sister, Aiolin. Like all of Cylo's creations, their bodies were implemented with cybernetics, though they appeared as normal humans. Additionally, to Vader's annoyance, they looked very Jedi-like, always wearing brown cloaks, and they had been trained in lightsaber-based combat.

    "We will see... who lives to see such a future," Vader said darkly.

    Trios had led them across the threshold of the mountainous structure where her palace sat. Sentries stood in place at the edges of the pathway.

    "The guards will show you to into the palace. You can use one of the Abyssal Hall chambers for your work," Trios told Cylo, holding out her arm. Vader felt a grim satisfaction as he noted her decorative prosthetic; a result of the hand she'd lost on his previous visit, when she'd tried to pull a blaster on him.

    Cylo nodded to the queen, but stayed for a moment.

    "I will leave Voidgazer with you, Lord Vader," he insisted, lifting a finger to beckon her. "I'm sure her drones will be most useful to your assessments"

    Vader made no response. Voidgazer gave a curt nod and stepped away, standing to the side of Vader's fleet like she was a soldier herself. With that, Cylo left with the guards.

    Vader simply said, "To the citadel. Now."

    After having traveled through the winding tunnels of the underside, they came to a large cavernous opening, a blue surface cooled and eroded by time. Not far from them in a hollow opening there was a gigantic structure, a Shu-torun mining refinery. It was copper-colored and composed of several bulky levels, and most notably equipped with giant cranks headed with saw-like devices, likely used for excavating the precious Shu-torun ore.

    "Attack" Vader commanded the fleet. "Surround the citadel."

    The stormtroopers did so, advancing swiftly as they began blasting at the structure.

    Vader was contacting the commanding operatives of the Imperial walkers when a huge blast of energy suddenly struck nearby, hitting the cliff not far from them. The citadel was armed with laser cannons. This was followed by a series of blaster lasers, aimed by distant soldiers that were now flanking from the factory's tiers.

    "Voidgazer," he commanded as he pressed the ignition button of his lightsaber. "Send your droids out to monitor the structure from overhead."

    She did so, motioning like a maestro as the spherical droids moved according to her will.

    Trios, meanwhile, had brought out a blaster pistol and was shooting steadily along with the troopers.

    Vader deflected the shots that came her way, harboring a trace of respect at seeing her involving herself in the battle, despite how useless her contribution was. It had obviously been the correct choice, making her the ruler. She had seen firsthand what happened to those who tried to resist the Empire: the sight of the treasonous king, her siblings, their loyal servants, all lying dead in the shadows of the throne room... She was intimidated by Vader, she was the Empire's pawn, yet she had a strong sense of duty that Vader had found admirable for one so young. He had said as much when he'd been led to that trap set by her father, shut in the vast tunnel as lava had spilled through the ceiling.

    Your father must be proud… Your father should be proud... You show an admirable willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

    He did not give compliments easily, and they had served no purpose then, not even to influence the princess. His actions had accomplished that. He had been surprised by his words... And suddenly as he thought of it more, continuing his instinctive defense of the incoming attacks, he realized the princess was not the only youth he had he had thought of when he spoke them.

    At this new comprehension, memories flew through his subconscious: a young man clumsily charging at him with a blue blade. X-Wings turned to stardust over Vrogas Vas, one of them targeting his TIE fighter, crashing into it. Vader amazed and taken aback, more absorbed in the young presence than the impact from the collision, that fiery determination he sensed to end the Dark Lord…

    Another memory accompanied this one: a young painted face, a figure adorned in scarlet Naboo attire. Swiftly, Vader banished that image, sent it into the tomb of his mind.

    Another blast hit, and a piece of the rock shelter crumbled to the ground, almost falling on Trios and a few troopers. Vader inwardly berated himself for his brief distraction and focused himself back on the ongoing battle. He reached out to the Force to aid him, his lightsaber a red blur as he blocked more of the approaching blasterfire. Resolved to tell the young queen to remove herself from the battle, he held back the order as another cannon delivered another heavy blow ahead, killing several stormtroopers that were swept in an explosive cloud.

    Vader grasped his armorweave cape, holding it out to shield the young queen as his saber warded off the beams of light that continued to fire.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent action although the cyborg contingent is a bit creepy :p Enjoyed the sharp exchange between Vader & Cylo and also the jumble of memories vader was having of significant encounters =D=
    Togruta likes this.
  4. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    OOH...excellent, as always! =D= Once again your brilliant writing has me 'hearing' themes and dialogue in my head, both making the scene sufficiently chilling. The cyborgs sound like every other over-zealous scientist, dismissing religion with a wave of their hand and claiming superiority...little do they know how real the Force is! ;)

    The best part is easily Vader's wandering thoughts to his encounter with Luke...and then being reminded of Padme. :( He's carefully buried his emotions so he won't be tormented by them. He keeps busy to distract from grief that I'm sure is still there.

    Great characterizations! I can't wait to see what happens next!
  5. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Sep 21, 2000
    A very well written and detailed update. I love your descriptions about what was happening. :)