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Before the Saga “Every child is special”, Vader one-shot, Representing the Under-represented

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005

    “Every child is special”,
    a Darth Vader one-shot for the “Representing the Under-represented Mod! Challenge”

    Author: AzureAngel2

    Co-Author and editor:@DarthUncle

    Main beta editor: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Length: one-shot

    Summary: Confidentiality. An ancient law that binds every doctor to a patient. But Darth Vader's financial resources are endless, thanks to his bank account on Aargau. The Emperor has given him carnival license as long as he stays in line. And so the dark lord of the Sith, who lives a rather austere life, gets to see the little patient of a paediatrician without an official appointment.

    Time frame: The story takes place in 14 BBY.

    Planet of choice: Coruscant

    Reader warning: Please excuse my weird English! I am German. English is only my Second language!

    Disclaimer: SW is owned by George Lucas, Lucas Ltd. and now The Walt Disney Company

    Something's gotten hold of my heart
    Keeping my soul and my senses apart
    Something's gotten into my life
    Cutting its way through my dreams like a knife
    Turning me up and turning me down
    Making me smile and making me frown

    In a world that was small
    I once lived in a time there was peace with no trouble at all
    But then you came my way
    And a feeling unknown shook my heart, made me want you to stay
    All of my nights and all of my days

    I gotta tell you now
    Something's gotten hold of my hand
    Dragging my soul to a beautiful land
    Something has invaded my mind
    Painting my sleep with a colour so bright
    Changing the grey and changing the blue
    Scarlet for me and scarlet for you

    I've got to know if this is the real thing
    I've got to know what's making my heart sing
    You smile and I am lost for a lifetime
    Each minute spent with you is the right time
    Every hour, every day
    You touch me and my mind goes astray

    The order was simple. “Now behave yourself! There is no reason to startle the child!”

    Doctor Damodaran, a Naboo man in his early thirties, looked away in shame, when the receptionist let the next patient enter the surgery. “Welcome, Cassandra,” he said, a tremble in his voice.

    Instead of pausing at the door or running back into the anteroom, the girl walked up straight to the doctor's desk, where the unofficial guest sat. “Oh hallo,” she beamed. “Are you my new doctor, my liege?”

    “Hopefully not,” Darth Vader gave back, his lips twitching painfully under his Sith mask. “Are you ill?”

    Cassandra's sweet laughter pearled through the room. Then she became serious again. “But you are still not well,” she stated.

    “It comes and goes,” the dark lord offered back.

    The girl shook her head. “I am not talking about that black cloud above your head. You are in constant pain due to your suit.”

    In slow motion, Darth Vader folded his hands in front of him. “That pain gives me meaning and purpose in life.”

    Sighing, the girl sat down and placed her small hands on top of his. “That might well be. But the suit also gives you a hard time and little sleep. Just looking at you causes me a headache.”

    “You could look elsewhere,” he suggested, sounding somewhat rough.

    “No use there. I still would feel your pain.” She sighed once more, this time more dramatically, but did not let go of his hands. “Okay, so you wanted to talk and lured daddy away. I get that.”

    There was no scorn in her, no rejection. Just blind trust and empathy.

    She moved on, frowning intensely. “You even scared poor Doctor Damodaran, just to be in this seat right now.”

    “Did I scare you, doctor?” he hissed without turning around.

    “No, you made a generous payment,” the Naboo man replied meekly. “Now I will be able to upgrade the bacta tank for my all of my patients.”

    Cassandra crinkled her nose. “Daddy can also scare people when he wants something very badly. Perhaps, if you are honest with yourself, you were too strict with the good doctor?”

    It did not come out very easy, but the dark lord managed to say, “Perhaps.”

    Satisfaction spread over the girl's small face. “Normally, 'Damodaran' means 'One who has Lotus in his Stomach'. Right now, he actually has poodoo in his...”

    “Cassandra,” Darth Vader warned in a low tone. “Let us not embarrass the doctor even further.”

    She blushed. “Mujhe aap pe pura bharosa hai,” she said in the ancient language of the Naboo.

    Doctor Damodaran blinked a tear away. “You do not need to be sorry, Cassandra. His Lordship was very generous with me and my team. I just hope I did not lose your trust for letting him participate in today's meeting.”

    The girl crooked her head. “Daddy might shoot you straight in the head for it. But don't worry, I can keep a secret or two. Because I like you and I like my prince.”

    “I am not a prince,” the dark lord corrected her. “I am but a mere servant of the Emperor.”

    “That makes you a prince in my eyes,” she replied stubbornly. “I bet you have not only a huge castle and countless riches.”

    “I do,” came the answer.

    Cassandra leaned forward. “Since you wanted to see me so badly and even broke a few rules for it, what is it you want from me?”

    It was worth a try.

    “There are some ancient texts that I do not understand. But I hope that you are able to read them.” Darth Vader made a pause. “To me.”

    “What are those texts about?” Cassandra asked eagerly.

    “Magic and dark knights like me. Men who get things done differently.”

    Her eyes shone bright and clear. “Do you have one of those texts with you?”

    Wordlessly, the dark lord rustled around in his utility cape and placed a little script roll in front of the girl.

    Smiling, she opened it, blinked, and started reading in a clear voice.

    True power can come only to those who embrace the transformation. There can be no compromise. Mercy, compassion, loyalty: all these things will prevent you from claiming what is rightfully yours.”

    From his position at the window Doctor Damodaran stirred uncomfortably.

    “Leave us!” Darth Vader ordered.

    “Milord, I am not sure!”

    “Please?” Cassandra begged nicely. “I also want to know what the text says next. Its very exciting.”

    Guilt rose in the Naboo man. “Yah varjit hai,” he warned the child.

    Her eyes shone even brighter than before. “Compassion, a form of love, is aroused within us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable,” Cassandra quoted a long-gone, but still very popular holy man from the Lake District. “Please let me read this text to His Excellency! Today he is in very bad form.”

    “As you wish,” Doctor Damodaran breathed. “I am next door if anything is the matter.” He knew there was little he could do, but he made it sound good for her.

    Absent-mindedly, the girl nodded, her eyes flying over the text again. But she did not raise her voice again until the door to the adjoining room was closed.

    Those who follow the dark side must cast aside these conceits. Those who do not—those who try to walk the path of moderation—will fail, dragged down by their own weakness. Those who accept the power of the dark side must also accept the challenge of holding on to it. By its very nature the dark side invites rivalry and strife. This is the greatest strength of the Sith: it culls the weak from our order. Yet this rivalry can also be our greatest weakness. The strong must be careful lest they be overwhelmed by the ambitions of those working beneath them in concert. Any master who instructs more than one apprentice in the ways of the dark side is a fool. In time, the apprentices will unite their strengths and overthrow the master. It is inevitable; axiomatic. That is why each Master must have only one student.”

    Silence fell, but not for long.

    “Is there more?” Cassandra asked, her face thoughtful.

    “Would you like to see more?” Darth Vader gave straight back.

    She pressed her lips together. “You are so far in darkness that I am afraid you have to stay in there.” Tears came streaming over her cheeks. “But if me reading to you will help you like a torchlight in a cave, then I...”

    The helplessness that overcame the dark lord was not very pleasant. Luckily for him Cassandra got a grip on herself again. She made her back straight and dried her tears with the edge of her right sleeve. “Can you smuggle recording equipment to me?”

    “So we have a deal?” he said, uncertain.

    “Don't be stupid!” she scolded him. “I hate you to be alone in the dark. But if you need my voice for company, I can give you at least that.”

    Darth Vader considered, curiously. “Will this cause a religious crisis for you?”

    She blinked. “Why should it? Words can corrupt. But only if you let them. Daddy taught me that it is essential that I always stay true to myself. You need help with those texts. And only I seem to be the right person for it.”

    He was not sure what to say. All those weeks of planning and scheming while the girl had been whisked away from him to Chandrila.

    Cassandra started stroking his black gloves as if she was calming a kitten. “Can you promise me in return that you stop making Doctor Damodaran poop in his pants? He is a nice man and helped me a big deal during the last year.”

    “I could.”

    “I know that. Not good enough,” she spoke with a steely resolve that resembled that of her adoptive father, Director Krennic at his best.

    “I will,” the dark lord corrected himself and gave his best to be convincing, because with Cassandra trying seemed not to be an option. She was like a lie detector. Her strength pleased him.

    She let go of his hands and he felt a bit bereft now. Not many beings sought physical contact with him. And certainly not on a voluntary basis. All the Jedi that he had murdered – younglings, padawans, knights and masters – came to mind.

    “Another thing,” the girl said slowly.

    He gave her a nod to continue.

    “At about what time did you notice that you had trouble reading?”

    Her eyes seemed to drill holes through his helmet.

    “About your age, when I was not able to understand what a box with repair parts said. The signs were dancing up and down in front of my eyes.”

    She did not look very happy with his answer. After some pondering, she spoke, “Did anybody ever take time to sit you down and teach you reading?”

    Behind his mask he started to feel stupid, but he had to tell her. “Not really, no. There was never time.”

    “Then you are not dyslexic,” she said softly. “You are just a beginner. Are you less angry with yourself now? Does it help to lift the cloud?”

    Now he was really dumbstruck. All those years he had lived with a false assumption. “You mean there is still hope for me?”

    Her giggle rang inside him like a bell. “There is always a new hope. If you let it.”

    Considering his dense time table, Darth Vader inquired, “For the time being, would you like to be my reader?”

    “If you make a true effort to learn reading, sure.”

    There was a signal from the intercom. Without thinking, the dark lord pressed a button.

    “Doctor Damodaran, Cassandra's father is here and would like to come inside,” the receptionist said, trying to sound normal.

    Cassandra stood to attention like a brave little soldier. “You better leave and let my paediatrician sit in this chair again.”

    He was fishing for words, which angered him slightly. “I...”

    “There is no time!” she warned. “If daddy is desperate he will shoot his way through the assistant and this door.”

    And so Darth Vader left, as silent as the night, switching places with a flustered Doctor Damodaran.

    Translation from the old Naboo language into Basic:
    Mujhe aap pe pura bharosa hai. = I am sorry for you.
    Yah varjit hai.
    = This is forbidden.

    The song “Something's gotten hold of my heart” by Gene Pitney (1962)
    The arts-and-entertainment forums of the website with Darth Revan tribute quotes
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    And Cassie is indeed special! Her compassion is boundless. She brings out Vader's candid and vulnerable side. [face_shhh]
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 20, 2005
    Heh, awkward - You surely must have been inspired by those Jeffrey Brown Darth Vader and kid books, right? Or that and your kindergarten experience ;)

    It's great when kids don't fear the same things adults do; we tend to think 'they just don't understand yet' but sometimes that lack of cynicism/experience could be what saves them - I am sure that Vader would have dismissed her in frustration if he couldn't use her (or at least, he'll go to shortly before his grave telling himself that!).

    After you spoiled Anakin having been dyslexic a few weeks ago, here you drop another, quite logical if we had seriously considered all the facts - but we didn't - and gave us another surprise: of course noone properly thought him to read! He was good enough with the force be fake functional reading skills despite that, and the Jedi had so little practice with new younglings of his age, that it likely never came up there (and would be to embarrassing to mention for him - nicely isolating him further in shame and frustration). Almost feel sorry for the annoying git (well, in Clone Wars he was sort of likeable but still a bit of an *ss, but good with kids, and funny, if not my sort of humor). Almost, but not as much as for all those who died on Alderaan etc. And those younglings.

    But, well, I guess Cassie is right there is hope for him, and maybe learning to read with a too-patient kid-teacher is just what he needed to unlock that some time in the future. Nice how it's all coming together :cool:
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Cassie is the "Quintessence" of all the kids I worked with over the years. Can´t help it. But I wanted her to be slightly different from Nagina.

    When I wrote the latter I needed her.

    Right now, with things getting tough and difficult at a new level for me plus death taking away so many people from me (even a sweet colleague of mine during the kindergarten holidays), I fear that I need Cassie.

    The experience and the need to create something more bright. For the moment anyway.

    But I wanted it to be different in my story. Now and again the universe should be kinder and sweeter place.

    I am always glad that you always recognize the core of my fics.

    I am always happy to oblige you, husband.
  5. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 20, 2005
    So, I know this one came before the other one, where Vader sets to forming shapes into letters, into words and meaning, but I came at it from a different angle now, looking back at previous events. For me, this artwork quite well represents this bit of the text
    , where he's pointed at the quite strong pain and suffering his suit emanates in the force. That might even be part of what makes him so imposing and unsettling, even for those who do not conciously feel the force; and it certainly seems to intimidate the Dr. even as he tries to remain professional.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle: It took me a while to get back to you about this comment, but you deserve an answer.

    Thanks for finding out what I wanted to show with this short story. Vader´s pain indeed throws... hum better "casts" a large shadow. On himself, on others, on the entire galaxy. And yes, he can be therefore very intense, even to those who do not possess Cassie´s empathy.