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Saga An Unlikely Correspondence (Vader, OC) -- COMPLETED --

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Exeter, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Title: An Unlikely Correspondence
    Author: Exeter
    Timeframe: From the rise to the fall of Emperor Palpatine, 19 BBY-4 ABY
    Summary: The galaxy's most feared Sith enforcer, Darth Vader, begins an exchange of letters with a young Jedi he spared during the Temple siege and begins to discover truths about himself that conflict with his place in the Empire.

    [b]An Unlikely Correspondence[/b]

    [i]Here follows the correspondence between Darth Vader and a young Jedi named Karthik from 19 BBY to 4 ABY, recovered from a previously unknown private data vault in the depths of Bast Castle. It is an account of the perilous reality of war and the intense emotions it evokes among even the most hardened of warriors. This exchange is of particular scholarly interest, especially the Jedi archivists, because it details the unusual relationship of two sworn enemies at a time of galactic civil war. That the two were able to cast aside their considerable differences in such a violent era reminds one of the early Mandalorian conflicts in which respect and honor ruled the battlefield. It is also of note that Vader demonstrates unexpected conflict, at a time when from all other accounts he was described as an unwavering scion of the Emperor?s will.

    As per usual in my Historicum passages, this entry will begin and end with a dramatization of my own devising that follows closely what may have happened.

    - Nyamantorah, 4509 ABY.[/i]

    The night was as cold and dark the temperately moderate climate of Coruscant ever allows. The ecumenopolis? monoliths of steel, stone and plas were shrouded in low-lying masses of churning cumulonimbus clouds. Gale-force winds scooped water from the torrential downpour and threw it against the white walls of the gigantic Temple with a resounding [i]crack[/i]!

    In the midst of violent bolts of electrostatic lightning, a boy darted out from a crevice in the side of the great building and raced as fast as his racing heart would allow. Around him, secondary flashes illuminated the night sky. The boy knew they had nothing to do with the thunderstorms pounding the Temple. Great flashes of blue and red light raced as tracers all around him. There were other colors, as well; the sapphire glow of ion engines as ARC-170 snub fighters raced overhead, the fierce oranges accompanied by dull thuds when the antipersonnel weapons of demolition crews exploded, and the ubiquitous white of the enemy?s shock troops.

    The enemy.

    That authoritative designation of the galaxy?s most efficient army would be confusing to any sentient that night who considered themselves a loyal citizen of the Republic, but it was even more troubling to the boy. He couldn?t understand what was happening and so he had not tried to, instead choosing to evade his attackers until an explanation presented itself. It was a common response ? one being acted out by the boy?s comrades all across the galaxy, many far older and experienced than he.

    He had almost reached cover again when his boot slid sideways upon the rain-soaked floor. Normally the loss of footing would have been a trivial concern for the boy, but the night?s terrors had taken a heavy physical and mental toll. He crashed hard into the unyielding surface, a gash opening in his forward and spattering his brown robes with crimson. Grunting with pain, he picked himself back up.

    Suddenly, the sound of gunfire and that terrible boot-on-duracrete clatter of advancing soldiers sent alarm coursing through his every nerve-ending as if he?d been struck by the blue-white lightning that crashed down periodically. [i]They were coming![/i]

    He raced into the nearest corner he could find ? actually a recent architectural addition caused by an errant artillery strike ? and huddled between a pile of rubble and the edge of a parapet. There was nowhere else to go. On the other edge of the parapet was a drop of several hundred feet. He was on a balcony that jutted out from the Temple?s hangar over a dangerous precipice. The only point of egress >
     
  2. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    =D= I love this idea!
    Awesome premise, Exeter!
    Great introduction and opening volley.

    I am definitely anxious to see what you're going to to with this.

    So I ask you, K. Why did you abandon me? :D


    =D=
     
  3. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    This is indeed very cool . . . I've read a fair number of "Oh, but Vader didn't kill this one" fics, and this is the first one that I've really bought the premise of. I can see Anakin/Vader recoiling at the boy's words, horrified rather than touched, because the words reminded him of someone he used to be, and can't afford to remember. Memories of being Anakin Skywalker could (and eventually do) destroy Darth Vader, so I can definitely see why Vader would flee before Anakin's "ghost"--especially when Vader's allegiance to the Sith was new and perhaps unsteady.

    The characterization in Vader's letter seems spot-on as well . . . there's his arrogance, his paranoia, the ever-present obsession with abandonment (truly delusional in this case), and yet he doesn't directly threaten the young man he allowed to live. An unexpected remnant of humanity, or just the traditional would-be-demigod's habit of letting a potential victim live now and then, just to prove he has the power over life and death? I'm interested to see how safe the young Jedi is really, and what Vader's reasons for continuing to let him survive are. The young man certainly *is* risking a lot in contacting Vader--it's easy to understand why he'd ask the question he did, but why take the risk . . . ? Maybe he remembers a strange feeling that Vader somehow *couldn't* kill him. Perhaps Vader couldn't, when he was a newly-minted Sith who was still a husband and a father-to-be. Does he still feel this limitation, or will there be other reasons for his allowing his correspondant to live?

    A neat and well executed idea--I'm looking forward to more. :)
     
  4. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Community Squirrel Whisperer star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    Whoa!!! This is great.


    Love how Vader allowed the boy to live. There must have been glimpses of his humanity throughout the years.

    It is a true tragedy of our times, what happened to the Order, but I did not write it. The words were inscribed by names like Yoda, Windu, and Kenobi. Skywalker was just a footnote in the last days, supporting the work in full but being lost in the wealth of pages. Perhaps it is fitting then that he was the one to write the final epilogue of the Jedi.


    This is so profound!
     
  5. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Brillian, Mike! I love this idea and you've executed it beautifully!

    That authoritative designation of the galaxy?s most efficient army would be confusing to any sentient that night who considered themselves a loyal citizen of the Republic, but it was even more troubling to the boy. He couldn?t understand what was happening and so he had not tried to, instead choosing to evade his attackers until an explanation presented itself. It was a common response ? one being acted out by the boy?s comrades all across the galaxy, many far older and experienced than he.

    You've done an amazing job of capturing the torture and confusion of Order 66 in this sequence. I was absolutely blown away by this wonderful character.

    And the moment between he and Vader...

    ?I?m ready to die,? he said matter-of-factly. The boy touched the demon?s hand softly and added as an afterthought, ?I forgive you.?

    In the dim light offered by the lightsaber, he saw the thing?s expression clearly. It looked as if it had been struck. The demon?s mouth opened to say something but only a strangled gurgle emerged from its lips. The face molded and fell and remade itself into many conflicting expressions, as if it was as war with itself for control over emotions.

    The boy realized with surprise that this wasn?t a demon at all but a man as frightened, confused, and desperate as he was. In his mind?s eye, the boy saw the cloaked one as he may have been at a younger age and for a few tranquil seconds they shared a striking bond through the Force as both Jedi studied each other.


    Wow! Amazing stuff!

    Of course, Vader's response is so perfectly Anakin:

    I did not abandon them; that word suggests some active retreat or negligence on my part. By the time I changed paths, I was no longer a Jedi. The Council conspired against me and I was denied missions respective of my skills.

    Anakin was never very good at analyizing his own role in events and he certainly wasn't likely to start doing that once he made his choice.

    I did not choose exile ? or ?abandonment? as you say ? but instead it was chosen for me. Every briefing I was excluded from, every look of suspicion that was cast towards me, it was their choice. Not mine.

    It was their choice, and yours, Anakin. I can only hope "k" can explain that to him on some level.


    Brilliant work! =D=

    PM me when you update, please!





     
  6. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 24, 2005
    I love the language in this fic. I like the premise of a historian filling in the blanks on correspondance he has found.

    did not abandon them; that word suggests some active retreat or negligence on my part. By the time I changed paths, I was no longer a Jedi. The Council conspired against me and I was denied missions respective of my skills.

    I did not choose exile ? or ?abandonment? as you say ? but instead it was chosen for me. Every briefing I was excluded from, every look of suspicion that was cast towards me, it was their choice. Not mine.

    And therefore it was your choice.

    So I ask you, K. Why did you abandon me?

    The speech mannerisms are very much the formal and ridged language that Vader would use. It is interesting how he twisted the history to uphold the course of events; yet you do not feel anger but resignation to the situation and no remorse. Excellent work! Please if you have a pm list please include me. Thanks
     
  7. Darth-Buddy

    Darth-Buddy Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Wow! This is really good. Nice plot bunny, it looks interesting.=D=
     
  8. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    oqi - I'm glad you liked the direction I took with this story. It's been something I've had in the works for a while now, so it's good to finally see it final form.

    Great introduction and opening volley.

    Thanks! Since I've already developed the historian in other stories (thanks to your OC thread), I decided to present it that way for more of a unique flavor. I knew that there should be some narration to introduce these characters so my readers were invested in them (specifically, their relationship). Obviously everyone knows Vader, but I had to explain him in this story.

    I am definitely anxious to see what you're going to to with this.

    Me too [face_thinking] :p

    ophelia - Looks like one of my responses :D

    This is indeed very cool . . . I've read a fair number of "Oh, but Vader didn't kill this one" fics, and this is the first one that I've really bought the premise of.

    I struggled with that when I first conceived of the idea...I know exactly what you mean. Credibility is always a pretty big concern of mine, so it's great to see I more or less pulled it off here.

    I can see Anakin/Vader recoiling at the boy's words, horrified rather than touched, because the words reminded him of someone he used to be, and can't afford to remember.

    That's really it, too. Those thoughts are very dangerous because they take him down a path completely contradictory to where he is now.

    Memories of being Anakin Skywalker could (and eventually do) destroy Darth Vader, so I can definitely see why Vader would flee before Anakin's "ghost"--especially when Vader's allegiance to the Sith was new and perhaps unsteady.

    That's another awesome observation I was gearing for. Perhaps if that confrontation happened ten years down the road, Vader would have barely flinched at the boy's comments. But it's important to remember that by the time Anakin assaulted the Temple, it was only, what, a few hours since he'd pledged allegiance to the Sith? He's confused and straddling a line that I don't think he really crosses until Mustafar, when he severs his last ties to his past (Padme, Obi-Wan).

    An unexpected remnant of humanity, or just the traditional would-be-demigod's habit of letting a potential victim live now and then, just to prove he has the power over life and death?

    I think Vader is as confused as K is - he can't really answer the boy's question because he doesn't have one. For a man who is for all intents and purposes an assassin in an iron lung, he can't really afford to have lapses like that. So understandably he's a bit worried and interested in what's going on here.

    The young man certainly *is* risking a lot in contacting Vader--it's easy to understand why he'd ask the question he did, but why take the risk . . . ? Maybe he remembers a strange feeling that Vader somehow *couldn't* kill him.

    There's quite a few possibilities, actually. It's possible K sent the letter in desperation, deprived of the only family he ever had...who else is he to display these feelings of despair and anger to? Few people in the galaxy would listen for fear of being associated with a Jedi, and most would probably turn him in. Why not the only man alive who knows who he is? The man who spared him?

    Or maybe K wants to die. The letter could be a scheme to reveal himself, force Vader to finish what he started on Coruscant. A young Jedi who saw his entire brotherhood vanquished in a single night might feel so lost that he's ready to become one with the Force.

    Or rather than being suicidal, he wants revenge, and sees this as a chance to goad Vader into facing him down. Though, I'd argue that's the same thing as suicide, going out of your way to try and get a piece of Vader.

    Perhaps Vader couldn't, when he was a newly-minted Sith who was still a husband and a father-to-be. Does he still feel this limitation, or will there be other reasons for his allowing his correspondant to live?

    I think Vader ha
     
  9. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    --------------------------------------------------------
    19 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------


    Dear LORD VADER,

    I didn?t think my letter would ever reach your black hands. A part of me expected the datapad to be traced and a detachment of your beloved white-armored traitors to arrive at my doorstop.

    The fact that they did not tells me two things:

    1) You do not consider me a threat. Is it because I am ? was ? just a padawan? Do I not even deserve the attention of your scarlet lightsaber? As I recall, dozens of younglings received no such denial.

    2) There is conflict within you. Is not every single Jedi a threat to the Emperor, as he has stated in his declarations so often? Are you not bound to destroy me? I think you tried that night, but for some reason you couldn?t.

    And that frightens you.

    I fought in the Wars but I was no hero.

    The galaxy seemed to think otherwise. There was rarely a night when you couldn?t find a HoloNet news segment on the great Anakin Skywalker, liberator of worlds. He is without fear, they would say. I wonder what changed, because I saw you that night and I know you feared. You were terrified.

    The Council conspired against me and I was denied missions respective of my skills.

    Conspired against you? You were admitted into the Order at an age unheard of for induction. You received the most prestigious missions out of any of us ? they sent you to rescue the Chancellor, even. For the gods? sake, you were put on the Council before most padawans complete their training. This is beneath you, Vader.

    I did not choose exile ? or ?abandonment? as you say ? but instead it was chosen for me.

    And every time you muttered behind closed doors, every time you cast aside the advice of the more experienced and threw yourself into battle, and every time you openly challenged the authority of the Masters ? yes, all of us eventually heard of it ? you distanced yourself from the Order. If you were abandoned, it?s because the Jedi no longer knew how to support you.

    So I ask you, K. Why did you abandon me?

    I am here, aren?t I?

    K

    --------------------------------------------------------
    18 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------

    K,

    Do not blame the clones for their service to the Empire. It was no more their choice than the destiny of becoming a Jedi Knight was yours. If there has ever been an army most deserving and least receiving of respect and gratitude, it is those doomed soldiers. Never has the death of so many good men been foretold at birth.

    If there ever were heroes of the Wars, it would be them. Each and every one.

    I will not deploy Imperial Stormtroopers to find you. I have far more respect for their lives ? and their limitations ? than do my esteemed colleagues. If you are to be dealt with, rest assured it will be at my hand.

    You are correct that I do not believe you pose any real threat to the Emperor. If I thought otherwise you would already be one with the Force.

    Indeed every Jedi is a threat to the Empire. But you are not a Jedi yet.

    There is conflict within you.

    There is no conflict. I am not bound by anything but the Force. I will choose whom I destroy.

    The galaxy seemed to think otherwise. There was rarely a night when you couldn?t find a HoloNet news segment on the great Anakin Skywalker, liberator of worlds.

    Heroism is not produced by HoloNet reporters or voted by popular demand. What would the Republic know of heroes? The Clone Wars were good men dying and cowards watching. The galactic dynasty didn?t deserve to be defended. If its denizens weren?t willing to fight for their own freedom, what worth then is that freedom? They squandered it.

    Anakin Skywalker only realized it too late.

    I wonder what changed, because I saw you that night and I know you feared. You were terrified.

    I wonder if you really know what you saw. A Jedi child slipped through the fingers of Dart
     
  10. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    This is great.
    What a cool insight into Vader.

    =D=

    Indeed every Jedi is a threat to the Empire. But you are not a Jedi yet. :D


    Great work.
     
  11. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 24, 2005
    Thank you for the compliment. ObsessedwithSW was the first thing that popped into my head when they asked for a screen name and it fits.:D


    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    So I ask you, K. Why did you abandon me?

    I am here, aren?t I?

    K
    ===========================================

    This was my favorite line of the whole post. I can?t believe that this did not appeal to the part of Vader or Anakin that longed for connection. Vader certainly would appear cold to such a statement yet, he continues the correspondence- the connection and like you mentioned in your replies, gives a part of himself emotionally to K.



    ==============================================================
    Your comments about the clone troopers are well received. I can see that you are far wiser than I initially gave you credit for. You are correct ? this galaxy could use less hatred, blame-casting, and vilification.
    ==============================================================


    Reasonableness and common ground are a way to establish respect. This was a perfect angle to satisfy Vader?s need to feel superior.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You speak of your position as if it is tenable. You say I am frightened, young one? I feel the fear in your electronic words as clearly if it were my own. You fear that the Jedi will not return. You fear that there will not be some righteous retaliation from the Force. You fear that all you have stood for will become just a wisp of cosmic dust on the solar wind of time.

    You fear that same loss of purpose. Yes, I sense much fear in you, K.

    Simply saying you are Jedi does not make it so.

    THE LORD DARTH VADER
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is Sidious?s and Vader?s MO, to play up doubt and fear to make the enemy weak. In reality it hides their weakness. I love this fiction, just love it!=D=
     
  12. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    oqi - Thanks as always :D

    obsessedwithSW - This was my favorite line of the whole post. I can?t believe that this did not appeal to the part of Vader or Anakin that longed for connection. Vader certainly would appear cold to such a statement yet, he continues the correspondence- the connection and like you mentioned in your replies, gives a part of himself emotionally to K.

    Vader can't stop now - he feels compelled to continue, compelled to interact with K. And with each letter, he becomes more invested...

    Reasonableness and common ground are a way to establish respect. This was a perfect angle to satisfy Vader?s need to feel superior.

    I agree. That's a trend in this story - K is very clever, and he knows how to play word games and be manipulative when required.

    This is Sidious?s and Vader?s MO, to play up doubt and fear to make the enemy weak. In reality it hides their weakness.

    Absolutely! It's akin to "I know you are, but what am I?" They transpose their own unwanted feelings onto others.

    I love this fiction, just love it!

    I'm very glad to hear it :)
     
  13. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    --------------------------------------------------------
    16 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Dear VADER,

    I believe we have approached our conversation with the enthusiasm of the blinded starship pilot. I have reflected on your words for some time, unsure of whether I should respond. Upon the careful consideration that arises from many hours of focused meditation, I realized that we have been given an extraordinary opportunity by the Force.

    Until now we have persisted in word games and useless squabbling, the galaxy-spanning equivalent of flexing our biceps to one another. I think you will agree that our exchanges to this point have been neither productive nor particularly enjoyable. If we are to remedy this, there is no better time than now.

    We represent, to a degree, the last of our kind ? the day of the warrior dedicated to a code has given way to an era of dishonor, savagery, and a noted lack of respect. It would be beneath us, beneath our origins and training, to succumb to the same devolution of character.

    You are undoubtedly my enemy. If we were to cross paths, I would spare no energy to destroy you. This is a simple fact of the universe to which we can both agree. But that does not mean we cannot conduct ourselves in a manner befitting of the men we are.

    For three years, there has been little on my mind other than the night you struck the Temple. I have fantasized in the thousand ways in which I would kill you if given the chance. It would probably not surprise you to learn that they included methods of brutality that would have made Master Yoda haggard beyond his considerable years?.

    But these thoughts are the path to the dark side. It is not the way of the Jedi.

    Letting go of my hatred for you was the hardest thing I have ever done. I still wonder if I have been truly successful, but I suppose that is the judgment of the Force more than my own.

    We stand to learn much from each other if we make the effort. In this galaxy of horror and loss, perhaps such cooperation would be of some good. I strongly believe that as men both of us stand to gain from continuing our conversation. And of course, political and philosophical possibilities may result as well.

    You were right, Vader. I am not a Jedi yet. Before it was not possible because I refused to let myself grow. My emotions have thrown me down a twisted and confusing path, but I can see the light again. It will take time.

    And time I have.

    K

    --------------------------------------------------------
    16 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Dear K,

    Against my better judgment, I have decided to respond favorably to your offer. As you said, there are few venues open to me for expressing myself that do not involve the deadly sear of a lightsaber.

    In much the same way I was unable to strike you down three years ago, I found myself unable to reject the idea of carrying on ourselves with a more pleasant comportment. Every fiber of my being urges me to trace this datacard to its source, face you down, and be done with it.

    Indeed, the Emperor would demand it.

    I have not. Why? It is a question that I would like answered more than any other. It seems we are linked in a way I don?t fully understand.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    DARTH VADER

    --------------------------------------------------------
    16 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------


    Dear VADER,

    I am glad you have agreed to my proposition. May it bring the Empire some much needed rationality.

    In my last letter, I admitted that you were right in stating that I am not a Jedi. Though most would still consider me something of a child, I feel far distant from the sixteen year-old padawan that cowered in the rain. Older, if you will. Much older.

    I suppose one of us must move forward if our discussions are to progress. Allow me then to confide in you something I have not told a single soul. Nearly every night since the Order was
     
  14. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Sorry I didn't respond to the last post. I was banking on your post-rate for [link=http://boards.theforce.net/The_Saga/b10476/21291781/]Golden Siege[/link] :p.

    Be that as it may, I have been thoroughly enjoying these letters. K is an interesting character--very Jedi-like in many ways but all-too-human in that he struggles so much with the guilt and fear of a man without a home. I was just exploring the idea that for the vast majority of the Jedi, the Order was their shatterpoint--the single weak-point that could well shatter them... [face_thinking]

    Moving on...


    Some moments that struck me:

    I wonder if you really know what you saw. A Jedi child slipped through the fingers of Darth Vader, nothing more. An unfortunate lapse in an otherwise impeccable defeat of the largest body of traitors to the Republic in a thousand years.

    I must advise you to cease this written exchange. There is only one way this can end.


    ...

    I am very much a Jedi, perhaps the last of my kind in the universe. I will force you to make a decision, Vader. Either you will finish the job you started on Coruscant or I will rebuild the Order one brave soul at a time.

    ..

    You are scared. I see no reason to stop sending my letters. Nor will you stop reading them. You have no one else with which to talk to. Somehow I doubt the Emperor is much of a pad-pal.

    ...

    You fear that same loss of purpose. Yes, I sense much fear in you, K.

    Simply saying you are Jedi does not make it so.



    These exchanges were wonderfully terse and you could almost see them verbally circling each other, each taking the measure of his opponent before beginning the battle in earnest, much like two boxers jabbing weakly at each other at the beginning of the bout.

    With that in mind, I loved this:

    Until now we have persisted in word games and useless squabbling, the galaxy-spanning equivalent of flexing our biceps to one another. I think you will agree that our exchanges to this point have been neither productive nor particularly enjoyable. If we are to remedy this, there is no better time than now.

    Yes! The engagement has begun. And what's more, they've decided not to battle with words, having acknowledged the (inevitable?) physical battle they would one day engage in. Instead, they've chosen to genuinely engage each other. That can only be good for at lease K, and possibly even Vader as well!

    I believe yours are just that ? nightmares. Subconsciously, you bear the guilt of what happened that night on your shoulders. You believe you should have ignited your lightsaber and charged me in an attempt to avenge your fallen brethren. A fraction of that guilt has shown itself in your nightmares.

    Is it possible that Vader actually wants K to feel better? [face_shame_on_you] Not very Sith-like, Vader. :p

    You are not responsible for my actions. I laid siege to the Jedi Temple of my own volition. Had you tried to stop me, you would simply have died. Nothing would have changed and history would make no footnote about the exploits of K. You would have simple been another tally under a long column in some forgotten data ledger.

    That's a HUGE admission for Vader. As we've mentioned before, he has a habit of blaming others for his situation. It's less that he hasn't blamed K and more that admits to his choices!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed these and am really looking forward to the next one!! =D=

    Great job!!








     
  15. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 24, 2005
    I am short on time so I will have to give a longer review later. I enjoyed this. I actually surprise that the direction and tone changed. I hear more of Anakin than Vader in a few of the exchanges. Well done . Have to go to work now. :(
     
  16. hyperspace_police

    hyperspace_police Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Just stumbled across this. This is a really neat idea for a story.

    Very well written...

    If you pm, can you add me to the list.
    (I'm looking forward to a long summer of fan fic reading.)
     
  17. princess_of_naboo

    princess_of_naboo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Really love this exchange you have going here. Can you PM me when you update?
     
  18. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Brian - Sorry I didn't respond to the last post. I was banking on your post-rate for Golden Siege

    Just what are you trying to say? :p

    I'm planning on a post per night straight on through to the end. This is right around the halfway point.

    Be that as it may, I have been thoroughly enjoying these letters. K is an interesting character--very Jedi-like in many ways but all-too-human in that he struggles so much with the guilt and fear of a man without a home.

    K is the unfortunate result of a padawan who never finished his training. Though it's obvious he's quite intelligent - a tribute to where he was raised - he doesn't have a very good hold on his emotion, whether it be fear or anger or hatred. In the end, though, I think it's those emotions that brought about this exchange, and which will affect them both throughout the course of this story.

    I was just exploring the idea that for the vast majority of the Jedi, the Order was their shatterpoint--the single weak-point that could well shatter them...

    It makes sense to me. It was one big attachment that they couldn't let go of. I liked how you dealt with shatterpoints in FOTS - it's a fascinating concept, though I never read Stover's book.


    Yes! The engagement has begun. And what's more, they've decided not to battle with words, having acknowledged the (inevitable?) physical battle they would one day engage in. Instead, they've chosen to genuinely engage each other. That can only be good for at lease K, and possibly even Vader as well!

    It's going to have a profound effect on both of them, that's for sure, though I have a feeling both will be unable to completely leave behind the debates...

    Much more courteous now, though.


    Is it possible that Vader actually wants K to feel better? Not very Sith-like, Vader.

    Ol' Palps would not be proud [face_not_talking]

    Vader's really crossed the point of no return by accepting K's offer. I'm not even sure if he is really sure of what he's doing (or why), but for better or worse he's done it.

    That's a HUGE admission for Vader. As we've mentioned before, he has a habit of blaming others for his situation. It's less that he hasn't blamed K and more that admits to his choices!

    And quite a distance from his original claims, blaming everyone but himself. With each letter, Vader is letting go of a little more of his arrogant guise. With each letter, it's possible to see shards of Anakin bleeding through. You can bet that K is going to pursue those shards as far as he can.

    Thanks for the read, man.

    obsessedwithSW - No problem! Read when you've got the time - it's not going anywhere :D

    hyperspace_police - I'm glad you like it. I'll add you to the list.

    princess_of_naboo - Sure can. Thanks for checking this out.
     
  19. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    There is a peculiar undocumented gap in the record between letter exchanges between Vader and Karthik. Perhaps their security was in question, or they were merely too busy to correspond to one another; it seems more likely to me that Vader himself expunged the record. Maybe there was sensitive material within the letters. I like to think that there was some shred of evidence that could have revealed Karthik?s true identity or location, some intelligence that Darth Vader personally destroyed to protect his friend?

    In any case, regular written exchanges resumed in 11 BBY.

    - Nyamantorah, 4509 ABY.


    --------------------------------------------------------
    11 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Dear VADER,

    Your words on the work of fiction I am laboring over were most appreciated. I should have known I wouldn?t slip anything by you ? the protagonist is indeed based upon you. I find the greatest stories are those with a basis in reality. Personal experience is a powerful literary tool.

    As for the question of why ? well, it is the one universal and static reason. While in another lifetime the skills of a Jedi Knight were in high demand, you?ll excuse me if I must say that in the galaxy of Palpatine it is best to keep your Force to yourself. I need money to eke out a living in ways that draw attention to neither my sensitivity nor my lightsaber. It was either as a writer or as a dung processor crewman in the Dune Sea of Tatooine.

    Tough choice. I figured I?d rather write poodoo than shovel it.

    As for our ever-ongoing political discussions, I will say that I agree with you on the Clone Wars. The conflict was a mistake from their conception ? which I will remind you was a ?plot? device of your beloved master, as you know I must ? and the unwillingness of the Jedi to take a stand against them was in my mind one of the greatest failures of our time.

    But in the fact that whatever the origins of the war, there were heroes that rose to the forefront nonetheless and made their stands against evil, I must ask for clarification. If the Clone Wars were manufactured by Palpatine to overthrow the corrupt Republic (in your paradigm) and served little other purpose, can it really be said that the Separatists were not in their own way fighting against that same evil? Obviously you have far more insight to this matter than I, having served in them yourself and seen firsthand what we speak of. I?m quite interested in your take on the matter.

    As always, leave the defenses of the Empire to a minimum, as I do the defenses of the Republic; we must agree to disagree on a wide scope of issues.

    There is but one more thing to bring up, last but certainly not the least.

    There seems to be no other way around it, so I will be as forthcoming as possible: I am joining the resistance movement against the Empire.

    As you know, they are not yet organized and have suffered a number of setbacks. Nonetheless, I believe with the proper leadership we will yet establish ourselves and prevail against the Emperor. I am well aware of the burden this places upon you and will understand if you must break communication.

    However, I ask that you recognize that my formal declaration of opposition to your Empire changes absolutely nothing about the dynamics of our relationship. We have always been ideological enemies and this is no different. Likewise, we have always known the day may come when we face each other in battle.

    Here?s to the unknown.

    K

    [ENCLOSED: CHAPTER OF ?Jarwal Spacehopper?]

    --------------------------------------------------------
    11 BBY
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Dear K,

    It would not be the first time a Jedi subjected himself to a few hours honest work. Can you imagine a man with the demeanor of Mace Windu in the daily grind of middle-management? I think not! He would be wishing for a Vaapad release, that?s for sure.

    As always, your story is a fabulous work of fiction that deserves its place
     
  20. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 24, 2005
    The problem with safety and security is that when it is guaranteed to an absolute, there is nothing but safety and security. Freedom is a whisper in the wind and expression is a thing remembered only in the faint echoes of the Force. You?ve created a society of safety, yes; but that safety is pointless because the stranglehold of the Empire has reduced the galaxy to a stage performance. People smile and laugh, but only because they will burst into tears if they don?t. Throngs gather around great statues of Palpatine, but only because they fear COMPNOR might notice if they don?t. These people might be living, but they have no life within them.

    I hate your safety. I hate your security
    .

    A totalitarian goverment. Very simliar to the Nazi Regime.

    Your observations regarding heroism are well-founded and hard to discount. All too often does one hear that word; unfortunately, rarely is it applied to those who deserve it most. I find it strange that you hold these beliefs so dear, for I can not think of a single hero of the Galactic Empire?

    Good point, I cant think of one either.

    You asked what evidence I possess that you follow your master unwillingly. Why, that is simple, my friend.

    The fact that we are having this discussion at all.


    I love K's final lines they are insightful and bloody brillant!
     
  21. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Eek, I missed an update yesterday. Sorry about that.

    I like how the letters have evolved--the way that the tone has gradually, although perhaps begrudging become more friendly more collegial. I get the feeling that Vader is more dependent on these letters than K.

    Now, K's got Vader betaing his fic. :D I don't know what kind of literary critic Anakin would make, but of course anything where he's the protagonist is going to be part of new "pantheon" of literature.

    I really enjoy those little barbs K puts at the end of his epistles.

    =D=
     
  22. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Most interesting developments . . . K. has gotten very brave with Vader, especially considering that he witnessed firsthand how fast Vader can turn on his "friends." Perhpas he's counting on a double-cross of Palpatine? He'd be right, in that case, but Vader's "enlightenment" might be too far off to help him. I'd advise K. against being lulled into a false sense of security, but when do fictional people ever listen? :rolleyes:

    I must say I'm taken with the idea of Vader as a beta reader. :p [ul]PALPATINE: "Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth . . . (uhhh) Beta!"[/ul]I'd be much too terrified to let him beta my fic.[ul]VADER: "I find your lack of proper comma usage . . . *disturbing* . . ."
    ME: ::Grrk!::[/ul]It's true that Anakin doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd pay much attention to writing conventions, but then, his Master *was* Obi-Wan, who I can imagine having him write, "I after E, except after C . . ." 9 million times. Probably what drove him to the dark side, really. 8-} That, and Sidious probably forcibly impressed upon him that a Sith does not write things like "should of" and "allright."

    Promotional Photo: Literacy Volunteers Of The Empire:

    [image=http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/8383/caption1462ap.jpg]

    Tough choice. I figured I?d rather write poodoo than shovel it.

    You know, now I'm really identifying with K. as well.

    As for our ever-ongoing political discussions, I will say that I agree with you on the Clone Wars. The conflict was a mistake from their conception ? which I will remind you was a ?plot? device of your beloved master, as you know I must ? and the unwillingness of the Jedi to take a stand against them was in my mind one of the greatest failures of our time.

    Ouch . . . having to stand in the middle of a pitched fight and say you don't really agree with *anybody* is a hard position to take. K. is seriously walking the line, here . . . I hope he knows what he's doing.

    There seems to be no other way around it, so I will be as forthcoming as possible: I am joining the resistance movement against the Empire.

    And this is what comes of trying to maintain friendships on all sides . . . K.'s gone and identified himself as an operative working for the other side, and Vader's got direct access to him. Perhaps K. sees a safety there that others do not, but I suspect that the Rebellion's leaders would be less than pleased at having him hang around. :(

    I am well aware of the burden this places upon you and will understand if you must break communication.

    Poor fellow . . . he wants so much to retain his honor, and that's virtually impossible when you're in a position that almost forces you to play "double agent." (Just ask Vader.)

    Jarwal?s thralldom to his dark magic-wielding master is suspect ? just what are you implying, K?

    Why do you assume that I follow my master unwillingly? What evidence have you?

    Our conversations could become very dangerous.


    Heh . . . that's Vader, right there, beta or no--personalizing everything, and reading it the worst possible way. Yet another reason I wouldn't let him beta my fic . . . [face_worried]

    If there is anything I?ve stressed over these many years, it?s that heroism isn?t something you pick up off of the ground and place on your mantel. The Wars distorted the meaning behind the word.

    I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but listen to the Dark Lord, K. He knows whereof he speaks. If you put yourself in a situation where you're in the middle, trying to save "everybody," you'll be in more poodoo than you could either shovel or write in your lifetime.

    even a senator or two.

    Awww . . . does he still remember? :( Does he still let himself?

    May our inevitable meeting be far in the future.

    Yikes, what a creepy sign-off. And yet, that's about the nicest "well wishing" you could expect from Darth Vader.

    I hate your safety. I hate your security.

    Dang! K. really is a mouse doing a tap-dance in
     
  23. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Uhuh...o_O :p

    The added benefit of my slow response rate is that I get to up your fic back to page 1 where it belongs! :D

    Another great post, my friend!

    As for the question of why ? well, it is the one universal and static reason. While in another lifetime the skills of a Jedi Knight were in high demand, you?ll excuse me if I must say that in the galaxy of Palpatine it is best to keep your Force to yourself. I need money to eke out a living in ways that draw attention to neither my sensitivity nor my lightsaber. It was either as a writer or as a dung processor crewman in the Dune Sea of Tatooine.

    Tough choice. I figured I?d rather write poodoo than shovel it.


    [face_laugh] I like Karthik! His sense of humor shines through wonderfully, even as he sends out another gentle barb in the direction of Vader and his master.

    As for our ever-ongoing political discussions, I will say that I agree with you on the Clone Wars. The conflict was a mistake from their conception ? which I will remind you was a ?plot? device of your beloved master, as you know I must ? and the unwillingness of the Jedi to take a stand against them was in my mind one of the greatest failures of our time.

    And it is in the knowledge that the young Jedi (and two older ones) has learned this lesson, that there is hope yet for the future of the Jedi.

    However, I ask that you recognize that my formal declaration of opposition to your Empire changes absolutely nothing about the dynamics of our relationship. We have always been ideological enemies and this is no different. Likewise, we have always known the day may come when we face each other in battle.

    Indeed. Karthik is a remarkable individual, and a better Jedi than he gives himself credit for. Accepting, yet compassionate. I genuinely like him

    Can you imagine a man with the demeanor of Mace Windu in the daily grind of middle-management? I think not! He would be wishing for a Vaapad release, that?s for sure.

    LOL! No ****! Heehee!

    The Separatists were used by the Emperor only because they placed themselves in the position to be used in the first place. Their greed and corruption was not as deep-seated as their Republic counterparts, but it was easily magnified tenfold. Their advisors had many of the right ideas, but unfortunately they were restrained by the evil and vile leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

    The Emperor and I built upon many of those ideas when we established our Galactic Empire for a safe and secure society.


    Whatever gets you to sleep at night, Anakin... :rolleyes:

    I cannot say that I am surprised to hear that you are allying yourself with the revolutionaries. It was only a matter of time, I think. I?m sure you will understand when I decline to wish you the best of luck.

    :eek: Was Vader making a funny? Heehee!! Twice in one letter, no less! Ha!

    May our inevitable meeting be far in the future.

    It's nice to see that Vader has a soft squishy center in there....somewhere...

    Side note: I tried to picture Vader's comments in his beta:

    [Comment1: I find your lack of commas, disturbing.

    Comment2: You would do well to stay clear of turning this character into a Mary-Sue.

    Comment3: Don't be too proud of this pyschological terror you've created in this chapter. The power to make people cringe is meaningless compared to the power of the Force!

    Comment4: K! I like this character. No disintegrations!

    Comment5: This entire part is off! You don't know the power of the Dark Side!

    Comment6: The skills are strong with you, K. But you're not a writer yet.]

    Sorry...got carried away! :p

    You asked what evidence I possess that you follow your master unwillingly. Why, that is simple, my friend.

    The fact that we are having this discussion at
     
  24. Darth-Buddy

    Darth-Buddy Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 18, 2005
    =D= =D= Loved the update.
     
  25. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    obsessedwithSW - A totalitarian goverment. Very simliar to the Nazi Regime.

    Without a doubt. I think there are very few fictional governments that resemble the Third Reich in as many different ways as Star Wars' Empire.

    Good point, I cant think of one either.

    They're there, no doubt; the loyal and noble Imperial officer, or the stormtrooper who leaps onto a grenade to protect his comrades. But an Empire based on oppression and cruelty does not lend itself or its members much to heroism.

    Thanks for reading!

    oqi - I like how the letters have evolved--the way that the tone has gradually, although perhaps begrudging become more friendly more collegial. I get the feeling that Vader is more dependent on these letters than K.

    That's a theme that will only get stronger and more evident throughout the story. They've shared hardship, revealed inner secrets, discussed the absurdity of war...they're linked by far more threads than either would like to admit.

    Now, K's got Vader betaing his fic. I don't know what kind of literary critic Anakin would make, but of course anything where he's the protagonist is going to be part of new "pantheon" of literature.

    He's probably more forgiving than the Emperor, at least :D

    Thanks for following this, oqi.

    ophelia - Most interesting developments . . . K. has gotten very brave with Vader, especially considering that he witnessed firsthand how fast Vader can turn on his "friends." Perhpas he's counting on a double-cross of Palpatine? He'd be right, in that case, but Vader's "enlightenment" might be too far off to help him.

    I think you're right, on both accounts. K, somewhat naively, believes that he can turn Vader through words alone. While they've certainly developed a bond, Vader is a Sith first and foremost. K's going to come face to face with that truth soon enough, and we'll see both the consequences of that and how he deals with them.

    I'd advise K. against being lulled into a false sense of security, but when do fictional people ever listen?

    Never! They always open the door!:rolleyes:

    I must say I'm taken with the idea of Vader as a beta reader.
    PALPATINE: "Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth . . . (uhhh) Beta!"
    I'd be much too terrified to let him beta my fic.
    VADER: "I find your lack of proper comma usage . . . *disturbing* . . ."
    ME: ::Grrk!::


    [face_laugh] That's hilarious.

    And that image is priceless.

    Ouch . . . having to stand in the middle of a pitched fight and say you don't really agree with *anybody* is a hard position to take. K. is seriously walking the line, here . . . I hope he knows what he's doing.

    He thinks he does, which is probably worse than not having a clue.

    And this is what comes of trying to maintain friendships on all sides . . . K.'s gone and identified himself as an operative working for the other side, and Vader's got direct access to him. Perhaps K. sees a safety there that others do not, but I suspect that the Rebellion's leaders would be less than pleased at having him hang around

    Yeah, can you imagine if a guy like Rieekan, or say, Mon Mothma found out about that? They'd kick him to the curb, ex-Jedi or not. He's going out on a limb here - but he forgets that Vader's chopped off his share before.

    Poor fellow . . . he wants so much to retain his honor, and that's virtually impossible when you're in a position that almost forces you to play "double agent." (Just ask Vader.)

    Great observation. In this case, I think it's why Vader accepts the offer. He remembers being in the same situation and knows what happens when you're forced to choose one side or another. Here, he facilitates K's tenuous line-straddling so that he doesn't have to make that choice, at least not yet.

    Heh . . . that's Vader, right there, beta or no--personalizing everything, and reading it the worst possible way. Yet another reason I wouldn't let him beta my fic . . .

    Yeah, the
     
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