main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga Under pressure, Vader one-shot, Underrepresented mod!challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    [​IMG]

    Title:
    “Under pressure”, 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: It’s the duty of a Sith apprentice to obey his master at any given time. But sometimes the humiliation is too great to bear. So Darth Vader wanders off from an assigned task just to walk into a person he never thought to see alive again.

    Time frame: The story takes place in 15 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



    My body is a cage that keeps me
    From dancing with the one I love
    But my mind holds the key


    My body is a cage that keeps me
    From dancing with the one I love
    But my mind holds the key


    I'm standing on a stage
    Of fear and self-doubt
    It's a hollow play
    But they'll clap anyway


    My body is a cage that keeps me
    From dancing with the one I love
    But my mind holds the key


    You're standing next to me
    My mind holds the key


    I'm living in an age
    That calls darkness light
    Though my language is dead
    Still the shapes fill my head


    I'm living in an age
    Whose name I don't know
    Though the fear keeps me moving
    Still my heart beats so slow


    My body is a cage that keeps me
    From dancing with the one I love
    But my mind holds the key


    You're standing next to me
    My mind holds the key
    My body is a,


    My body is a cage
    We take what we're given
    Just because you've forgotten
    That don't mean you're forgiven


    I'm living in an age
    That screams my name at night
    But when I get to the doorway
    There's no one in sight


    I'm living in an age
    That laughs when I'm dancing with the one I love
    But my mind holds the key


    You're standing next to me
    My mind holds the key


    Set my spirit free
    Set my spirit free
    Set my body free
    Set my body free


    Set my spirit free
    Set my body free




    Minutes ago, Cassandra Morrígain Krennic had described darkness as a friend, an ally even. And the girl, though it was hard to admit, was right in every possible way. He appreciated her more and more with each meeting.

    Darth Vader left the Galactic Gallery through the main entrance. It took him longer than a normal human to adjust to changes in ambient light. To be truthful, his vision blanked out every time someone switched the lights on or off.

    So he remained standing on the gallery staircase until things got back to normal again. Only then he started walking back to the library.

    It was annoying really. His visual interface would not even allow him a full 360 degree view of his surroundings. Neither was infra-red or ultraviolet spectrum vision possible. Any stormtrooper out there in the vast Empire was better equipped than he was.

    His entire Sith armour was nothing but a fairly slapped-together junk system. As a former hobby mechanic he knew that there was no way upgrading it without killing himself.

    There had been a time when the dark lord had preferred death to his mad existence. It had been but a brief moment of weakness. Garoche Tarkin and his pregnant mistress had paid the price instead.

    High and erect, he strode over the plaza.

    It had taken Nagina's clone copy to remind him what it meant to be a servant of the dark side of the Force. Her words had hit close to home. But had that truly been her own?

    From all he had learned about his dead cousin in so far, she had been interested understanding the Sith and their belief system throughout her life. Her aim had been her uncle's greatest pride and yet sorrow. He might have given her texts not suitable for her. The entire wisdom of Darth Revan, Darth Nihilus and many others. Perhaps even of Darth Bane, who could be considered as the founding-father of the 'Rule of Two'.

    Was it possible that all this knowledge had passed on to the clone copy.

    Deep in thought he entered the public library, where the book signing event was almost over. Wilhuff Tarkin looked relaxed and smiled at the children surrounding him.

    Darth Vader used the dark side to cloak his presence and disappeared among the book shelves. There was no point in sitting down and reading.

    Fact was, he was heavily dyslexic. Anakin Skywalker had been, too.

    Shmi Skywalker had been taken from her family when she had been but a toddler. Her owners had never invested a single credit in her education. It was all about beating her into obedience.

    When Anakin had been born, mother and son had been allowed to stay together, but all the lessons Shmi had been able to give her child had been about life in common.

    Mos Espa had made Anakin street-wise, this had not helped him find the right boxes or read delivery lists. Instead of fixing the problem, Watto had given the boy a good thrashing each time.

    In the Jedi temple nobody had noticed Anakin's struggles with reading and writing, because he had excelled the other padawans as a skilled Force user.

    During the Clone Wars there had been an army of helpers who had made it possible for Anakin to read secret military messages. He had been able to understand maps and star charts properly though. This way he had been safe from discovery, too.

    As a pilot Anakin had possessed a knack for numbers, which were crucial inside the flight cockpit. The board computer and its data stream needed to be understood. R2 had never questioned his human owner in any way.

    As for Padmé, she had preferred to send short holo messages to Anakin for she had been too busy for anything else. He never had been under any pressure to write his wife a love letter.

    Leaning against a book shelf, containing a mix of data disks and real paper backs, the entire misery of his dyslexia revealed itself to the dark lord. Now that he was forced to live in his head most of the time, with his body held alive by Sith armour, it would have been a fair diversion from his pain.

    The calling card of Cassandra's physiotherapist was still hidden in a pocket of his utility belt. Perhaps this Mistress Billilo could find discreet ways of finding him a teacher. He could be very convincing with a Force choke.



    Sources:

    The song “My body is a cage” by Arcade Fire (2010)
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia



    PS: The prequel of this fic, that was my foundation to the Mod! challenge, is actually:
    "A new hope"

    And the sequels to this fic are:

    * "There might be dragons"
    * "Every child is special"
    * "Hallo darkness, my old friend"
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  2. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    ... and now you made me feel sorry for Darth Anakin! Maybe because here he's not quite sounding a victim card over his situation, just realising where he is, and how he got there. I wonder if he will really do something to improve himself with the help of another, that would be a great step Nagina brought him to, even beyond her death.
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= =D= Delightful to read another response from you, Azure! [:D] @};- You describe very tellingly and realistically the struggles and small deceptions someone with a learning disability has to go through in order to remain undetected. =D= [face_thinking]
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Some good work here.

    I quite liked the suit's limitations, especially how he had to adjust when someone switched the lights on and off.

    You have this set when Whilhuff Tarkin was alive, so I expect when he got his hyperbaric chamber aboard the Exexutor, that opened up the possibility of being able to take his helmet off to upgrade it.

    Interesting, the ways that "society" dealt with his dyslexia, and the challenges it raised; though I'm not sure that Shmi's own upbringing would cause it in her offspring.

    A very good tale.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle: Ups, I did it again. But you know what? I am not sorry, sir!


    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: You never fail to make me happy with a few carefully chosen words of praise. Thank you!


    @Sith-I-5: I am glad to see you around in one of my threads and commenting. Hm, I would even go so far and would say I feel honoured with your presence.

    See, as a German I know all about famous military people seeming normal with their families. This is why I have so much fun writing Krennic and Kallus these days. And Thrawn, too. Being cute with a kid does not redeem any of them. Not even Vader or Sheev.

    In this story we also have Tarkin being there at the local library for an event. I remembered a scene from "Lost Stars" with the two main characters. So I wanted to give him "a nice uncle" scene.

    As for Vader´s dyslexia, thanks for pointing out the bit with Shmi. I will ponder on it.

    And thanks to @Kahara, @GregMcP & @Raissa Baiard for liking this story.

    As a kindergarten teacher I often seem to lead a monologue, mostly with parents. About being on time for breakfast or trips, about sun hats and payment for extras. Therefore it feels good that the three of you gave me a like.

    Of late I seem to have a lot of lurkers, but seldom any palpable reaction to the things that I do on the boards. It used to be different in the past, but then again the old crowd was different.

    When you add all my private sorrow to the work related stress I am needy and greedy these days for positive feedback. And this is why I am so much off-line, enjoying the time that is still given to my husband & me.

    (For example we saw the water lily bloom in the re-opened Victoria House here in the Botanical Gardens of Berlin. The house was closed down for repairs for 12 years and last weekend it was open for the public again with a special fee for 1 Euro and open until midnight.)

    Okay, thanks to everybody again!

    Perhaps fellow Vader fangirls like @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 & @DarthMarly also will stumble over this humble fic here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  6. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Though titles usually aren't what stands out for me, I really like this one because it's so symbolic of Vader's predicament -- literally under pressure in the suit he needs to live, but also dealing with a lifetime of trauma and demands on his energy to keep both his dyslexia and his painful emotions hidden. Neither the Jedi nor the Sith had the time or patience to help him (though I'd like to think the Jedi would have if they knew), and he's an extremely private and independent man. He had to be that way to survive as a slave on Tatooine, and it's all too plausible that he would go on hiding anything that he thought of as a weakness or sign of ignorance. Most of the Jedi grew up in a carefully crafted educational environment that probably would have gotten them any assistance they needed at the age where their teachers would think to look for it. But Anakin was older and had so many fantastical talents to distract from the areas where he struggled to learn. I can very well see him using his intelligence and Force abilities in such a way that he would slip through the cracks.

    It's a very different issue, but I have had to work pretty hard to be (mostly) okay with people seeing how much I need to take notes/set alarms to remember things between anxiety and chronic pain issues. And for me it wasn't coming from anything like Anakin's childhood traumas, but rather my sense of other people's expectations. So I can very well imagine him being much more determined to seem "normal" to those around him.

    And then there is Cassandra. :) I really love that meeting her is the catalyst that makes him reexamine whether he has to go on doing things in exactly the same way. Kids don't see everything as set in stone, and I get the feeling that Cassie's openness to new experiences made him think differently. He knows (or rather, has convinced himself) that a lot of things in his life are set and unchangeable like his suit, but now he's thinking about at least one little way that he can break free. Even if it is in his own Sithly way. ;) Not that dyslexia is something that goes away with classes, but there are definitely tools/strategies that can make it more of a speed and difficulty thing than an impassable brick wall like he had accepted it to be. (As you would know, being a teacher and all.) And though I think reading has unique value of its own that he will find, I'm also picturing and loving the mental image of Darth Vader relaxing with an audiobook in quiet moments!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Kahara: Your entire commend makes me very, very proud in such a stressful, difficult time that I have in private.

    I chose the title because it is one of my favourite David Bowie songs and indeed seemed fitting because of all of the reasons that you did mention.

    As for Cassandra, I want to have them a unique relationship in future. Nothing angsty, no romance. Something that slowly changes him until the moment he gives his life for his son on Death Star 2.
     
  8. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    This is an excellent response to the challenge! =D=
    I really liked reading into Vader’s perspective and his struggle with dyslexia. It gives him far more depth as a character.
    This is so very relatable to the real world…
    Overall, a great story and like @Kahara I can definitely envision Vader with an audiobook!
     
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @gizkaspice: Thanks for the kind feedback. It is very much appreciated. :D
     
  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    a great response to the challenge. Anakin/Vader had his limitations from birth and the suit isn't helping him at all. Sidious planning all of this making him always the man under pressure?
     
    Kahara, DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @earlybird-obi-wan: You taking the time to read this fic and comment on it DESPITE ALL that is going on for you at present means a lot to me. Please take care of yourself! @};-
     
    Kahara likes this.
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    I apologize for taking so long to get back to this very compelling story to comment. =D= Wow, what an intriguing take on the man behind Darth Vader's mask. I had never considered the possibility of Anakin being dyslexic, but the way you've laid it out makes perfect sense. Of course a slave child would be minimally literate, at best; his owner would never invest in skills that would make it easier for him to function on his own or gain knowledge of the world outside his slave compound :( The ways you describe him find methods to compensate for his shortcomings in this area make complete sense too, and I can tell that this is something that your experience as a teacher has given you great insight into.

    The way you describe the limitations of his armor--not being able to have a full field of vision, his vision not adjusting to changes in light--and his own knowledge as a mechanic that he's living in a hastily cobbled "junk system" is especially poignant. You've really made me feel for Vader, or at least the part of Anakin that's still within him--and that's something I didn't expect =D= I hope that he will be able to find a teacher who can help him, and that he will not have to resort to Force-choking--another, even less healthy, coping mechanism he's developed.

    Excellent addition to the Underrepresented Challenge!
     
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow, what a new and different angle on one of SW's most archetypal villains! :vader: We SW fans often view Vader's life-support suit as a very sleek and advanced piece of Galactic technology that keeps him alive against all odds. Which it does, of course—but in a way your view of it as a "slapped-together junk system" is much more compelling. For one thing, it follows so naturally from Anakin's early propensity for tinkering; for another, it really highlights how precarious his situation is, and brings home the fact that he's really in kind of a chronic "walking dead" condition. The dyslexia is an intriguing element to add to the mix as well; it fits with the limitations of his early education and upbringing, and serves as yet another way in which he's "under pressure," another barrier (like the suit) between him and the world around him. So being ordered by the Emperor (I'm guessing it is) to go to a library, of all places—and that during a book signing with all these kids around who can probably read more fluently than he can—that's gotta be rough, even for the darkest, evillest Sith Lord. It will sure interesting to see if he's able to get in touch with a teacher via this Mistress Billilo, and how that experience might turn out. [face_thinking] Thanks so much for sharing this very different and insightful take on Vader! =D=
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Raissa Baiard: Actually, there was a change of plan while I wrote the (for now) last piece of the lose series about Vader´s trouble with reading. I hope you like this surprising explanation as well.

    The internet is a valuable source for a fanfic writer and so I have been following some discussions and comments about Vader´s suit. I merged all my knowledge into writing this piece here.

    Thanks for saying so. To be honest, I was very afraid getting stoned by die hard Vader lovers. But not even @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 or @Darth_Furio said something negative. So I guess it is fine with them, too. And @Kahara, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha & @DarthUncle are always supportive about my ideas. @earlybird-obi-wan usually is, too.


    It does really show that I am lurking for Vader articles on-line and that I do like a decent zombie movie here and there. (Dragged my poor husband into "Pride and Prejudice and zombie" some summers ago. He even hated if when the book came out when we were still living in the Netherlands.)

    This is exactly what it is. Fertile soil for a Sith to be angry and fearful about. I am so glad that you point that out.

    Oh that will be nice writing about that meeting at one point. Thanks for being my muse here!
     
  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, I didn't expect a Peter Gabriel song to inspire a fic with a Queen-related title. Now, that was curious, to say the least! :)

    Just kidding - I'm under pressure myself, to finish what I owe everybody here, so my view of reality is a bit distorted right now. The song is a perfect match for our troubled hero-turned-villain, arguably the all-time most interesting film character. Fits him like an...err...life-sustaining armour and helmet.

    There are a couple of very interesting things going on here. From what I know about Cassandra, in a way, she's trapped in a slightly different way from Darth Vader. And the whole idea with the armour being a piece of junk never occurred to me before, but it makes sense. Palpatine's goons had to react fast and get it done immediately, in order for his apprentice to survive. In a way, it was not much different from what Droo did to Azlyn Rae in the Legends series and the idea of Vader not having a way to change anything and improve his situation - which is otherwise, let's be real, an agony - hints that Palpatine could have done something, but didn't. So, both Cassandra and Vader are victims of some "weird science". :(

    Incredible and I *mean* incredible attention to detail! You have outdid yourself here!

    Precisely what I was about to ask. Neeever mind. ;)

    Another thing that I never thought about and one of the multiple disabilities in this story (Hey, we both did that! Now, wrap your head around THAT! O_O). Of course that the poor kid never had formal schooling and that the Jedi could have not seen his disability. But now, could it have lead him to misunderstand some texts, much like it was the case with Nagina/Cassandra for different reasons?

    Overall, your best piece so far, right up my alley. SO.MANY.LAYERS. ^:)^^:)^^:)^
     
  16. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for finding the time to leave such a wonderful comment, dear @Ewok Poet, besides a busy demanding life. With my capsular rapture I am forced to slow things down at present and to rest my left ankle without hard physical work (such as crawling around on the floor, trying to avoid little vehicles by way under-aged drivers with a hunger for speed, carrying around small persons and changing a lot of nappies).

    I hope you do not only find the time for more fan fics from the underrated Mod! Challenge, but mostly for yourself.

    And get that toe checked, please!
     
    Kahara likes this.
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Yeah, thanks for commenting AND voting.

    This cheers me up in very dark times:

    Under Pressure by AzureAngel2
    Most creative new angle on an archetypal Sith Lord
    Most Plausible New Disability for an Existing Character
    Best Exploration of a Canon Character (Darth Vader)

    PS: @DarthUncle, Kuckuck! O:)
     
    DarthUncle and Findswoman like this.
  18. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Very cool, giving Anakin/Vader a 'human' problem, far removed from the Force. =D=

    I wonder if the teacher can find him someone to help him understand... And then maybe, when he tries to teach his master a lesson, Darth Sidious can absorb the new power from his foolish apprentice. :D It says "One shot", but you HAVE to do more!!!!!

    Very good. :)
     
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
  20. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Oh, I am quite convinced that Darth Sidious is the greatest character in all of Star Wars. :emperor: How can you NOT love. That. Face. ^:)^

    Thanks for the links, I shall check them out! :)
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I hope to entertain and not to disappoint, @Vek Talis. :D
     
    Vek Talis and DarthUncle like this.
  22. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Nice to have the picture here now, I really like the way the lightsaber glow reflects off his helmet - the lines of the helmet thus stand out, and make it feel somewhat like they imprison his head, as befits this story.
     
    Kahara and AzureAngel2 like this.