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Before the Saga “Hello darkness, my old friend”, Vader one-shot (Mod! Challenge)

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

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005

    “Hello darkness, my old friend”, 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: Children books should be a source of fun and, if possible, contemplation. But for Darth Vader they are a source of never-ending frustration.

    Time frame: The story takes place in 14 BBY.

    Planet of choice: Mustafar

    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

    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
    It's not warm when she's away
    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
    And she's always gone too long
    Anytime she goes away

    Wonder this time where she's gone
    Wonder if she's gone to stay
    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
    And this house just ain't no home
    Anytime she goes away

    And I know, I know, I know, I know
    I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know I know, I know,
    I know, I know, I know I know,
    I know, I know, I know, I know
    I know, I know
    Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
    But ain't no sunshine when she's gone

    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
    Only darkness every day
    Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
    And this house just ain't no home
    Anytime she goes away
    Anytime she goes away
    Anytime she goes away
    Anytime she goes away

    The Sith had been a glorious race for centuries. Their achievements had been mind-blowing. Architecture, the dark arts, politics, warfare and even literature.

    “What would they make of me?” Darth Vader thought aloud in the lonely silence of his abode.

    Outside, lava rivers made their way through the hostile heat of Mustafar's main continent.

    By order of his master, the Emperor, he was forced to live in an obsidian tower, that was built over an ancient Sith cave. Comfort it had none. His secret dream was of a mighty castle. Right now this wouldn’t happen. There were more pressing matters first.

    Once more, the dark lord lowered his helmet over the children's book that one of his agents had obtained on Coruscant. The book title had been promising: “Star pilot”. It had taken him ages to grasp even the book cover.

    Was he really that unintelligent? That thick?

    Would he ever be able to read the Sith texts of the old masters?

    With a snarl he threw the book through the room.

    He felt like laughing stock.

    Closing his eyes underneath his mask, he tried to focus on anything else than his anger. Something much more gratifying. But he was a Sith.

    In a sea of wild emotions a young face showed up, smiley as ever.

    Darth Vader hastened to his meditation chamber, where he had an inbuilt HoloNet connection.

    What time was it on Coruscant?

    And even worse, would the child's father, Director Krennic, be around?

    But he established the real-time connection anyway.

    Her eyes were round with wonderment first, but then he was rewarded with one of those smiles that tucked at his soul. “Good morning, my prince!”

    Darth Vader was tired correcting Cassandra all the time. If she wanted to call him a prince, fine. There was more to discuss right now than his actual title within the Empire. “Can you talk?”

    She nodded. “Daddy is in the fresher and will shave afterwards. We have at least thirty minutes. He is through with his morning toilett.”

    That pleased him. So he had some time with her. “Did my agent give you the recording device?”

    Another nod. “But this is not why you call.”

    Her Force sensibility startled him at times. It was so different from all he had experienced in so far. No, he corrected himself. There had been the younglings in the Jedi temple, who had been precisely like her. But that was not a place that he should visit. “Yes,” he clipped out.

    Patiently, Cassandra waited for a more helpful answer.

    “How… how did you learn to read?”

    “Daddy had this overview with Aurebesh signs, I suppose.” She shrugs. “We started with aurek and ended with zerek. Mind you, Aurebesh itself is not a language on its own. It is an alphabet system.”

    “I know that,” he snarled.

    Sympathy flooded her gaze instantly. “I wish I could be with you.”

    The dark lord bitterly remembered to what place wishful thinking had led Anakin Skywalker to. “You should know from your fairy tale books that wishes should carefully be spoken.”

    To that warning she nodded in earnest, but then she laughed again. “Talking about fairy tale books, you need a castle build around your tower.”

    He was taken aback. “Where does that suggestion come from, Cassandra?”

    “My father is an engineer and architect.”

    It took a while before her words sank in. “But that does not mean that he would take you along into a danger zone like Mustafar.” He could not even believe that he was arguing with a child. “There is no plant life to enjoy. And besides lava eels, Xandanks and lava flees there are no animals around here.”

    She rolled her eyes at him. “Just yesterday a member of daddy's think tank got killed by that Gerrera terrorist.”

    “Where are we going with this?” Darth Vader inquired.

    “Coruscant is too hot for daddy at present. That are exactly his words.”

    “I am not aware if you fully understand that Mustafar is a lava planet.”

    Her brown eyes glowed mockingly in the semi-dark of her chamber. “You could offer daddy an alternative. Be persuasive!”

    There he was, the warning about attachment and the luxury of trust from Darth Revan still imprinted in his mind.

    “Imagine what you can do all by yourself once you have mastered the Aurebesh alphabet!” Cassandra grinned at him, her teeth shiny and her lips slightly pinkish.

    “Your father will decline,” he gave back monotone, lacking her enthusiasm.

    “Not when you give him a real challenge. He craves those.” Her nose wrinkled. “The work is stalled due to this Galen once more.”

    “Then your father should be at Eadu micro-managing that.”

    Cassandra giggled. “I could tell you what daddy said about that particular problem to Uncle Alex, but you would not find it overly funny.”


    His sense of humour was dark and sinister. It did not match a former farm boy's idea of fun. Besides he could never grab a Corellian ale or a glass of whiskey with an ISB agent. His stomach could not hold fluid like that any more thanks to Obi-Wan.

    The girl threw up her small hands in despair. “Well, you figure it out. I can only help you when you are serious about accepting my help.”

    He hated it when Cassandra was right and in 99% of all cases she was. The Force spoke through her continuously. Which side did not really matter. Her ways of thinking were straight. She was nothing like his master. Sheev Palpatine always had plots hidden in plots. It was a constant marathon and left him exhausted.

    “Create a positive learning environment!” the girl suggested suddenly.

    Positive environment. He had not allowed himself to think about Shmi Skywalker for a while. It still hurt too much.

    “You should also reward yourself when you make progress,” Cassandra suggested, ever keen on stirring him away from the troublesome corners of his own beastly mind.

    “I have not even really started,” he admitted.

    Now she looked like a little thunder cloud. “Then drop your bad attitude, soldier!”

    He really could imagine those words leaving her father's mouth in a different setting. Tarkin would be the wrong recipient though. Perhaps Tagge or Motti. Grinning inwardly, he asked, “Are you going to hold me a motivation speech?”

    She was out of view for a few heartbeats and then held up a drawing of Director's secret project. “Now listen!” She tipped her index finger on the battle station very harshly. “This is your goal.”

    Darth Vader could not help it. “A gargantuan space station in the middle of nowhere? No thank you. I have an entire starfleet at my disposal.”

    Her fine brows turned into stiff lines. “Are you taking this serious?”

    “Go ahead!” He waved with his right hand, keeping his voice as neutral as possible.

    If the director's daughter would be in charge of the project than the responsible scientists, including the troublesome Galen Erso, would have finished by now. But instead of a planet destroying super laser there would be a giant bubble gum pistol. Of this he was sure. Cassandra was into flowers, unicorns and happy endings.

    “You are a space ball,” the child said, trying to be dignified. “And you hang out in the orbit of some planet.”

    “In order to end my loneliness I have to crush down on somebody?” Darth Vader jeered.

    She had the nerve to disconnect him. Had she been one of his star fleet captains, she would be dead by now.

    After five minutes she called back, her eyes red from crying.

    Before the dark lord could say anything of consequence, Cassandra sniffed, “What I really meant is that all you have to do is to change your position. Then and only then you have a totally new horizon. And you need to open all of your channels for incoming communications.”

    The screen went dark again.

    He slumped back in his leather chair.

    Something that Master Yoda had said in another life echoed through his head. “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”

    Darth Vader fisted his right hand. Despite all he had seen, he should not exclude the thoughts and opinions of others. Especially not when it came to Cassandra.

    Stiffly, he rose and went out of his meditation chamber in order to pick up the book again. Or better to say the data pad with the book pages on it. It was still intact.

    Laborious, his gloved fingers gilded over the touch-screen. Better than a real book page anyway. Those were hard to turn over for him.

    Then it was there, the prologue.

    He bit his lip hard, drew blood.

    Iskmern, no nern i-nintrillosk, oh it says in to, I mean , into…,” Darth Vader paused, already exhausted.

    To remember the Aurebesh chart was difficult. Focus always had been difficult for him. But he wanted to understand. Wanted to master this skill that millions in this galaxy possessed.

    Letter for letter he made it, recognizing words here and there. Those turned into groups of words after a while.

    Real concentration kicked in.

    “Into the stars,” Darth Vader read finally.

    Emotions stirred inside him, connected to those words.

    The slave boy of long ago. Who had dreamt of the stars. Longed to be a space pilot.

    He pushed all the feelings inside and the past with it. There was a text to be conquered.

    It had been a while since he had felt sweaty. There was not much undamaged skin surface that was able to transpire. His armour had full control over the suit temperature.

    Minutes turned into hours.


    The dark lord allowed himself a smile and repeated the text chunk.

    “The galaxy is a big place, with millions of planets in it – and it is yours to explore. But you are going to need a ride! Perhaps cruising in a silver starship is more your style. With luck, you will steer clear of the terrifying Super Star Destroyers! In the huge galaxy you need space vehicles for getting around. There are thousands of different ships zooming among the stars. Some carry just one passanger, while others move an entire army. This book shows you all the coolest and most important spacecraft. Welcome to the galaxy. Step in, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.”

    Repetition would grant him certainty and hard training eventually would lead to true mastery.

    But he would make enquiries about the book's author, a certain Laura Buller. With her opinion on Imperial military transport she was a clear case for the ISB, especially for the branch of Agent Kallus. The latter should be made to pay that lady a visit.

    The song “Ain't No Sunshine” by Bill Withers (1971)
    The SW children's book “DK Readers L3: Star Wars: Star Pilot” by Laura Buller (2015)
    The Aurebesh for beginners tips at the website of
    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
    =D= Loving this even more! Cassie is so outspoken, fearless, and even has the bravery to disconnect on Vader! Wow!
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and DarthUncle like this.
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    I enjoyed this. But I was disappointed at the choice of song. Because the title of the story made me expect The Sound Of Silence.

    I never fail to be impressed and delighted at how our Cassie can twist absolutely anybody around her little finger. Even Darth Vader.
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Well, children can be drastic when a grown-up is not listening. She sure is not the famous Pipi from Astrid Lindgren, but still. ;)

    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701: I hope I did not upset you too much because I often use songs that have not much to do with the title. And if you like Cassie and Vader stories, there will be more. The Krennic, Kallus & Cassie stories did not seem to have many friends. Lurkers, yes. But seldom comments!
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Oh, it was a good song. I actually like that song. It's just the title had my brain prepared for The Sound Of Silence, so it kind of threw me for a loop when it was something else. Like, I read "Hello darkness, my old friend" and my brain is automatically like:

    ...I've come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains.....
    Kahara, DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I will use those lines elsewhere one day, okay @Cowgirl Jedi 1701? And then I will notify you about it.
  7. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 20, 2005
    The art you added to this story really fits with the title and message - a bit spooky, memories from a past, and possibly an empty feeling. Also, the text of Hello Darkness, my old friend mentioned above fits even better too :)

    But, the stark outlines might also represent Vader's effort to define and form his skill with the written down word, making meaning out of shapes, and becoming more through that.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  8. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks, @DarthUncle, for you warm and kind comment. I finally came around to answer it.

    I am glad you see the reason why I added art to this fanfic. And you explained it so nicely. @};-