Part 11: The Mission
By SJ 03-03-00/12-12-00
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything
to George Lucas. I'm only writing stories for fun.
See my homepage for more details.
Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for
help with the final editing of my new stories. Thanks for giving me some of your
precious time, my friend :)
Slowly but surely, the situation in the galaxy became far worse than any of
had ever foreseen, forcing them all to focus on the renewed fight and the
situation that was slowly escalating and even getting out of hand in some
That cursed Rebellion was spreading like a plague from planet to planet, Luke
thought in growing frustration. He knew that even his father wasn't able to
stop it and that it was beginning to upset their master. If 'only' he could
help him, he wished for the hundredth time since the rebs had appeared in the
galaxy, and the thousandth time since he had begun his training as a Jedi. If
not as a lord, then as a spy or an agent, but, he tempered himself, the
Emperor's orders were strict: he and Mara had to focus on the outlaw elements
and keep them from joining the rebels or helping them.
It was, he conceded, some very indirect way of helping his father, but he
to do more, he admitted with a sigh. He wanted to fly in battles and take care
of the rebel pilots for him; he wanted to infiltrate the rebs, expose their
weaknesses and savor the sight of his once again victorious father. He knew,
deep down, that he and Mara would do a more than excellent job in this matter.
However, the Emperor kept pulling them in other missions and had explicitly
warned them to not entertain thoughts about the rebels; their gift, as he had
commented coldly, didn't lie in long-term infiltrations,... But how he himself
wished it were so, Luke thought forlornly.
However, he knew better than to try the Emperor's patience: it was his duty
be satisfied of what he was allowed to do for his Emperor, and as a result his
Still, the youth reflected---- and started as the door of his room slid open.
His father was back from his late meeting with the Emperor. He tried to hide
the fact that he had been so distracted by his yearnings that he had failed to
feel his return; his father for his part didn't even seem to notice.
Instead, he uncharacteristically sat down heavily on his bunk, allowing him
see just how exhausted he truly was by the continuous fighting. He then saw him
shift his gaze toward his chosen seat, then he felt his short wave of annoyance
at his still restricted quarters before he gazed up at him.
"You weren't successful," the youth finally commented sadly,
drawing his father
out of his silent contemplation.
His father sighed tiredly. "As impossible as it might sound, Son,
harder to stop than the Jedi renegades were," the older man admitted
That stumped Luke.
"What? But how can it be?" he asked in disbelief.
The Jedi renegades had been hard to stop, yes, he conceded; the last of their
number had died less than ten months ago, yet they hadn't escaped his father, he
reminded himself seriously. How could a bunch of riff-raffs possibly escape him
and the Fleet?, he wondered even as he locked his gaze with his father, silently
demanding more information.
"They are protected by the population," Vader explained
Jedi remnants weren't that popular," he then sneered in disgust, "but
Freedom fighters... They have the complete, unquestioned approval of the larger,
"Has the Fleet lost its deterrent effect?" the young Jedi inquired
"No," his father shook his head, "and that is why we're
building..." he began,
then fell silent as if changing his mind. "Anyway," he recovered,
still fear retribution, but they hide the rebels all the same and also provide
them with what they need," he sighed again, this time in frustration.
"You definitely need someone inside," Luke stated, himself feeling
ready to take on that challenge.
"I already tried that, Luke," his father shook his head in uncommon
"Even my best agents were unable to make it close enough to even the main
groups, let alone the command people so as to be really useful to us. "They
were also always uncovered, sooner or later," his father finished,
a loss for ideas.
"Then what?" Luke inquired, feeling somewhat dumbfounded by all the
How could mere mortals defy 'and' defeat his powerful, invincible father and
their equally cunning master? It was... ludicrous, he thought with a sneer of
This had to be a bad dream, he then decided even as he shook his head in
annoyance. It couldn't be real, not after all the successes that his father had
gleaned ever since he had met him.
"The Emperor is setting in motion a plan that should scare the galaxy
submission," his father answered him seriously. "Meanwhile, I'll
hunt for the bases. Used together, those two tactics will work," he stated
encouraging, returning confidence.
"It will, Father," he nodded in agreement... although, he conceded,
he had the
feeling that whatever the Emperor was planning still wouldn't be enough.
Somehow, it would fail... "I wish I could help you," he finally
father less coolly.
Vader stood up and set his heavy hand on his son's strong shoulder. "I
I've always known, but we are both aware of the master's orders," he
him with just the barest hint of a scold.
Luke sighed and nodded in acceptance, once again, he thought forlornly. Even
though his master's wisdom was unequaled and proofed to anything, as
demonstrated with the chance he had taken with himself and his best friend, Luke
still thought that he could reconsider his latest successes and allow him to at
least become, with Mara, one of his father's agents. He was sure that he and his
friend would do a marvelous job on the field.
As if reading his thoughts, his father nodded silently, then left him,
undoubtedly returning to his planning room.
He himself had to go to bed, he reminded himself as he discarded the data pad
hadn't really read since he had picked up. As per common agreement, he and Mara
didn't sleep together while preparing a new mission, only once it was complete
and that they were victorious. They also didn't contact each other once they
were back in their respective quarters, but, Luke conceded as he prepared for
bed, he somehow felt a desire to do so tonight.
He needed her cool focus to clear away his improper, misbehaved thoughts.
That night, a dream came to the eldest Vader. While he had been talking with
his son and his yearnings for helping him, his subconscious had made up a more
than workable plan for him and was now ready to expose it to him.
In his sleep, Darth Vader smirked meanly as the dream left his subconscious
settle in his active, more workable mind.
The next morning, it was still there, and had even improved itself over the
night. He hurriedly dressed and went to the Emperor.
As usual, the ruler made him wait for his convenience, but unlike usually, he
didn't wait for hours on end.
Forty minutes after his arrival at the Imperial Palace, he was given access
his master's throne room. Unlike the previous day when he had approached his
master with the bitter taste of failure in his mouth, he was now holding himself
proudly, the delicious song of would-be victory inhabiting his mind, soul, and
"I sense that the night was helpful to you, Lord Vader," the
voice commented from behind the turned away throne.
"It was, my Master," the black-clad giant answered even as he knelt
on one knee
at his master's feet.
"Then entertain me," he commented in disinterest even as he
motioned him back to
his feet without turning around to see him.
However, as Vader exposed his thoughts, he did swivel his position until he
facing him, obviously aware that this was something doable and more than
profitable to them.
Ten minutes later, silence hung in the vast, blackened room as the Emperor
considered Vader's idea.
"This is very interesting, Lord Vader," he finally nodded
encouragingly from his
throne, "except for one detail," he then pointed out, raising one
in mean reproach. "Who could be the spy?" he pointed out coldly.
"The way you spoke, he would have to be Force-empowered. None of my spies
actually correspond to this profile," he commented coolly.
Vader began to talk, but was interrupted by his master.
"Or more precisely," he reminded him, this time warningly,
"none of them are
ready for this kind of mission."
Vader sighed in resignation, then answered: "My son was the spy in my
Master." he admitted, bowing in apologies for bringing that subject up yet
"Your son?" the Emperor inquired mildly dangerously.
"Yes," the dark lord nodded, keeping his head bowed. "He
masters the Force and
his other skills for such an operation," he began seriously, "he wants
and he deserves a second chance to prove his true worth, Master," he
Even though he wasn't gazing in the smaller man's eyes, Vader felt his
glare just as much as if he had been meeting it straight on.
"He may be adequately trained for a short infiltration mission, Lord
ruler began coldly, "but he isn't for something as long as this potential
mission, nor has he been deemed with the skills," he added with finality,
pointedly avoiding the mention of a second test.
"Master," Vader began, bravely looking up at his ruler---
"He'll betray himself," the Emperor repeated angrily, obviously
displeased to have to do so. "He isn't trained for this; he is out of
question," he spat vehemently. "As for the other spies, none of the
ones are trained for this kind of mission." His voice became less angry.
is an impossible idea, Lord Vader." He then added meanly: "You don't
see your son fail a second and last test, do you, my friend?"
"Unless we give Luke the training he needs," the dark lord
suggested--- then realized what he had done and waited for the explosion to
At this very moment, the Emperor seriously pondered whether keeping the boy
alive was truly serving him better than if he removed him from his world.
Vader's uncharacteristic misbehavior was beginning to unnerve him; no one but
the boy made his right arm react this way.
However, he conceded as he calmed down slightly, he now had the best
spying/assassin team in the history of the galaxy at his service. Also the boy,
still held too much potential by himself to just destroy him. No, he decided
more coolly, taking the boy away wouldn't be the best option available to him at
However, he thought in renewed frustration, he didn't want to give any chance
the youth from ever proving to him that he could be a true Dark Lord of the Sith
like his father was, and as thus, come out of the shadows and claim his true
identity. If this ever happened, he himself knew that he would have to put an
end to the boy's work with Jade... and while having a third in command out there
to help Vader 'would' be useful, he still preferred to keep him in the shadows,
a slave, except with his father and Mara Jade.
This was where he was most profitable to him, he reasoned angrily. In the
shadows, he could be young-looking, he could be with his also secret friend and
not bother anything in his plans, but as a Dark Lord of the Sith... Jade would
also come out of the shadows, as a concubine, he conceded, but she would still
attract more attention than she currently did, and as thus, giving her missions
would become more complex. On the other hand, he reluctantly admitted that the
boy was a clever tactician, perhaps even more so than his father, and as long as
he would keep him in the shadows, he wouldn't exploit this skill to his complete
advantage. If the boy became a Dark Lord, he would, and given the times of
turmoil in his Empire, he knew better than to dismiss such an asset.
Of course, he considered slyly, he could always make the boy work for him on
rebel problems, but that, he suggested, would be like taunting him just slightly
too much and might force him to take actions he didn't 'really' want to take.
No, he decided, he couldn't use the boy's tactician skills without acknowledging
him in his 'public' ranks. However, he promised himself cunningly, he would not
let his arm be twisted this way by fate; he would still control his servants'
destinies and mold them the way they served him best.
But for the moment, he first had to make Vader 'convince' him about his son's
He began to tap his nails on his steel armrest, as if in great annoyance.
"Explain yourself," he finally grated coldly, asking him to tell him
what he had
in mind with his son's new training.
"We can take a few months to prepare him and his background,
explained simply. "You said that he was most proficient at living a double
for a short while. Why should it be different for a long while if he were given
the proper techniques?"
"Continue," the monarch barely nodded although he privately enjoyed
to make his
second-in-command squirm in growing worry.
That would teach him to care this much about the boy, he thought meanly---
mentally fell silent as Vader mentioned who would be used to help his son's
"Kenobi and the young rebel senator?" the Emperor sneered in
"Luke will know how to approach her and fool her; he's been studying
her for years," he needlessly reminded him.
He himself had certainly taken enough actions against the boy's care for the
girl to suspect that he would be excellent around her.
"And Kenobi?" the despot inquired warily. "Why should he be
involved in this?"
"My former master was closely linked to the house of Organa," the
began seriously, "and he is still most actively searching for my son,"
with what felt as a mean smirk to the Emperor's senses.
He smirked inwardly at that; there was his servant as he knew him. No
no remorse, only cool attitudes and cold humor.
"Luke has lived for six years on Tatooine, Master," his servant
reminded him. "He already knows the customs. We can easily set up his
background story there, then I can arrange for the princess to show up there. If
we plan this correctly," his servant continued more coolly now, "the
Luke will have to do is fool those two and lead us toward the different
"Hmm," the Emperor mused, "an interesting plan once again, my
commented coolly, "Yet there is still one detail missing," he meanly
"What about the princess's memory of your son as your slave?" the evil
"She won't remember him," Vader assured him coldly this time, truly
in the process. "I will 'set' her up throughout a few strategic
dark lord smoothly answered, as if he had already fleshed out his whole plan, he
The Emperor drummed his nails against his throne once again, pretending to be
displeased by his ideas while he had in fact, already made his disgusting
"I suggest you plan very carefully, Vader," he finally warned him.
step and I will loose my best intelligence element, or your son will become my
slave forever," he commented coldly.
"I will not fail you, Master, nor will Luke," the other bowed his
"Very well, your son has earned a last chance to prove to me that he is
claim his true name," he waved him away. "Send him to the training
of today, he begins a new curriculum: how to be a perfect rebel," he
When Luke heard the news, he was elated, yet instantly understood that this
his very last chance to impress his master with a perfect mission and flawless
results. He would not be directing troops, he reminded himself, but he would
have to subtly direct the events to what he wanted them to be to reach his
If he could do this, he thought seriously, then the Emperor would know that
could command soldiers as well.
The only shadow on his content mood, he then conceded was that this mission
meant many months without his lover, but, he reminded himself grimly, it was the
price to pay to prove his true worth.
And with that thought, he crossed once again one of the secret entrances of
Emperor's unknown training center.
The first step of his new curriculum was to find himself a cover he would be
able to maintain no matter what happened. As it had always been, even though
the ensuing exercises were only tries, he was punished every time the training
computer broke through his disguise.
Hence, the smuggler, the pilot, and the street thug earned him pain... but
almost disgusting cover of simple farmboy on Tatooine seemed to stick to him
like a second skin.
At first, it upset him that he would have to maintain that front for
how-long, and it upset him even more when he began his secondary lessons about
personality traits and discovered that he was best suited for a naive act, but
the more he practiced against the computer that was programmed to ask him
questions to make him reveal his true self, and the more he understood why he
was so proficient in such a role.
It wasn't who he was at all; if he slipped in the skin of 'Skywalker', he
consciously stopped being Luke Vader, top agent of the Emperor and dark Jedi.
Once those first steps were complete, the real training began: how to do
everything he would have to do without being uncovered.
Like he had done the first time that he had trained, he was a dedicated
learning everything that he had to master his cover skills.
He studied how to take on a second identity without any signs that it was an
act, learnt the slang language that was typical to Tatooine, and mastered how to
act and think naively since it was his best disguise no matter what the
The more time passed, and the more he reluctantly understood that his two
of slavery, then his ensuing years of service to his master, had prepared him
for the basics, but not the specifics. However, his current training taught him
that, and more.
Once he had completed the technical part through timed exercises/practice
sophisticated computers and even unaware training companions, he began the
practical part and spend all his days and nights pretending to be someone else
while fulfilling the specifics of a mission. When he wasn't doing so, he was
undergoing what they called an environmental training, in his case, to Tatooine
At first, he was always uncovered after a few hours, but as the days passed,
acting improved and so did his score.
Near the end of Luke's training, Vader and Mara began to plan the whole
operation, or at least as far as to get the princess hooked with Luke. They
were both aware that the two Vaders would play with real sentient beings who
would be wary from the start; they had to prepare better than they had ever done
At first, they had trouble finding even a basic idea as to how to involve the
princess by setting a trap, but after a few days of pointless rummaging, ideas
finally began to come to Vader.
"We have to use the Death Star," he commented in the silence,
attention of his young companion.
"The Death Star?" Jade frowned, "is it wise, my Lord?"
she asked him seriously.
Unlike him, both she and Luke had been informed of the planet killer only
ago, now that it was almost complete. The Emperor had explained his actions by
saying that the youths hadn't needed the information to serve him well.
"The Rebels probably know already about it," the dark lord pointed
out even as
he called summary data about the top secret project. "They'll be looking
its plans," he explained seriously while the plans appeared above the
the technical table.
"And you mean to give it to them?" the red-head gaped at him in
mean," she then caught herself, "I'm not sure the Emperor will
Lord," she answered more humbly.
Vader couldn't help but chuckle at the spontaneous outburst of the girl; ever
since she had bonded with his son, he had noticed some of his son's traits in
her, his spontaneity with him being one of those.
"He will if we give them faulty plans," he nodded, already entering
a flaw in
On the holo, a red dot appeared near the equator line, then grew bigger and
detailed as Vader shifted the plans until they could see the outline of what he
had just programmed.
"A target to destroy it," the young woman nodded even as she
"Thank you," the older Jedi answered coolly. "And now, about
"Oh, that is simple," the red-head answered easily. "I can
start rumors in the
court and the Senate that a secret project is under construction. From there,
it won't be difficult for me to plant the plans where rebels can get them, but
not too easily," she smirked meanly.
"And I can arrange for them to find their location," Vader
continued in kind.
"Meanwhile, I can also arrange a few meetings with the young senator to
a compulsion to go after the plans," Vader thought out loud, "then
that she has
to go to Tatooine to retrieve the Jedi."
"I believe this would work, Lord Vader," Mara smiled seriously at
Vader returned her smile with a nod, then he set to work with his
law to set up Luke's arrival point on Tatooine. Once everything was planned,
they obtained the Emperor's agreement to proceed with the finagling details of
the upcoming mission of their beloved family member.
However, they couldn't plan beyond the point when it would be completely up
the young dark Jedi... and his unknown companions.
Three months after the beginning of Luke's training, they were ready to set
their plan in motion.
Two days ago, Luke had undergone his last surgical operation to remove all
his slave marks from his body save for his Sith tattoo which would give him a
tough look if he ever had to be bare chest during his mission.
Completely recovered from his operations, he was back at the training center
complete final preparations on his cover while his girlfriend and father were
reviewing his set up.
While she wasn't officially involved in the operation, Mara had been glad
Vader had asked for her help when he had begun to work on their joined mission.
Now that her part with the planting was done, it was up to her father-in-law and
her boyfriend, but, she reflected wistfully, she now knew what was awaiting him,
and which challenge he would face even if they had planned right.
At least, she amended, she would worry about those when she herself wouldn't
in missions. Their master had already told her that he would need her the
moment Luke would be gone.
She dimly wished that she could have gotten involved, either secretly or not,
with Luke, but given his necessity to find discreet transport to the Death Star,
she knew better than to entertain such hopes... didn't she?, she asked herself
"Is something the matter, Mara?" the dark lord in front of her
"This will be the first time that Luke and I will be apart in ten
"He will be all right," the adult reassured her. "However, I
am worried about
you being alone for your missions," her father-in-law informed her gently.
"I'll manage, don't worry, Lord Vader," she reassured him, forcing
self-confidence to resurface from under her glum. However, she conceded that
she didn't feel so confident herself. "Will you keep me informed on his
whereabouts?" she asked him in an almost uncharacteristic display of
She was really going to miss her boyfriend, she realized.
"Of course," the dark lord nodded. "Are you planning to see
him before his
departure?" he then asked her.
The red-head blushed slightly. "Yes. We were planning to spend the night
Together," she admitted, aware that it went against her regular rules. She
didn't want to distract her boyfriend... but she did want to be with him, she
admitted honestly with herself.
"Then go, child," Vader waved her away, surprising her with his
answer; she had
expected a rebuke. "Don't miss any minute that you can get with him,"
Definitely surprised by the dark lord's attitude, she froze for a few
unable to answer anything, then she merely nodded and left him to meet her
boyfriend at their secret quarters.
Vader watched the young woman leave, a slight, very slight smile playing on
Every day that the Emperor allowed those two to be together, he thought
wistfully, it was as if Life was making it up to him in a way, through his son.
He was truly glad that his son and her lover were wise enough to listen to
hearts instead of their powers when it came to each other; Force knew that he
hadn't been wise enough to listen to it, eighteen years ago...
Before his departure, young Vader and his father reported to the Emperor.
However, unlike all their previous reports, he went over to Vader's Castle to
avoid any kind of suspicion concerning the boy.
However, no less decorum was expected from his two servants. Hence, young
Vader was already kneeling respectfully in the middle of the reception room when
he himself arrived. Despite his drab, farming clothes and lack of obvious
weapons, the Emperor could still see the assassin and dark Jedi he had so
painstakingly groomed into a near-perfect tool. Once on Tatooine though, he
knew that the aura of danger would disappear from the boy, and would be so until
he returned victorious.
As he walked closer to the silent youth, he reconsidered the reports he had
received about the boy's training. It had upset him to the utmost that the only
cover the boy had been able to develop as second-nature had been that of a
naive, good-hearted boy. After all the years spent trying to crush that from
the boy, all the punishments he had inflicted to him... it was now the tool he
needed to destroy the so-called Rebellion.
That evening, he had spent his fury on a few, unfortunate souls. Hence, he
could now face the youth without risking any backlash on him... for the moment.
"You know what is at stake, young Vader," he reminded him without
"I do, Master. I will not fail you, either as an agent or a dark
assured him with deference.
"This is your ultimate test, young Vader," he confirmed for the
first time with
the boy. Nearby, his father stood silently, a cool yet strong presence. "If
you succeed, you shall become my new Dark Lord," he reminded both Vaders,
if you fail," he warned the child darkly, "you will become my slave,
consequences that go with it."
Young Vader nodded seriously. "I will succeed, Master," he
"Then go, and be ready to recover the plans," he ordered him
He still wasn't exactly pleased with involving the plans of his latest
in this very peculiar mission, but he had had to relent and give a free hand to
Vader in this matter.
They didn't have any choice to not foul their own plan of destruction.
In front of him, the boy stood, bowed one last time, then left by a side
In a few hours, he knew that Jade would drop him near a space port where he
would buy a ticket for Tatooine.
Once there, he would begin to set up his back story.
Five days later, on a moisture farm on Tatooine, Luke Vader shifted
uncomfortably in his rough clothes. He reflected that if not for his
environmental training, the unrelenting heat of the day would be his death.
While he had ranted after each session, he was now grateful for them; they had
taught him how to bear up again with extreme heat.
He flew his rented speeder toward the farm that was openly looking for a farm
boy to help them with the harvest. For his master and himself, he'd be that
farm boy again, he sighed in resent and frustration, openly directed at the
cursed Jedi Kenobi; the feelings never made it past his Force-shields though.
Meanwhile, out in space, Vader set his plan in motion. Now that Mara's rumor
had been spread, he had made it known that the 'plans' of the Death Star were
being transported through a backwater planetary system. He also made sure that
the information really looked like a leak, not a plant. Once these
technicalities were taken care of, he met with the princess during one of her
'supposedly' mercy mission and planted a compulsion in her to make her go after
It worked to perfection.
While he watched his plan unfold as he had foreseen, he thought about how it
come to be so perfect as well as what was to come.
Now that the princess had retrieved the plans, in the Toprawa system, he knew
that she would 'want' to call on Kenobi's help after retrieving the plans, hence
head for Tatooine.
Naturally, ever since the beginning of the operation, he'd monitored the old
Jedi through the Force to make sure that he wasn't going away while restraining
himself from killing him for causing his son the torments that he had been
Even now though, he sternly reminded himself, he couldn't kill him. The
had sternly warned him to not kill the Jedi without his explicit consent and to
leave him alone. Vader really didn't know why the Emperor wanted to keep that
old wizard alive, perhaps as a last trophy, he reflected with some grim
amusement, although, he amended, if it were the case, the Jedi would be
displayed in the Emperor's museum, not on
a dreary planet...
For the past years, both he and Luke had constantly restrained themselves
making a detour by Tatooine to exact revenge, aware that their master's ire
wouldn't be forgiving if they disobeyed him, even to give in to their hatred of
the Jedi survivor. The old Jedi was senile and far from dangerous anyway, but
his being alive still disgusted them both.
At least, he then thought seriously, he was proving himself to be useful to
them; perhaps that was what the Emperor had foreseen, he conceded. The other
sure was better alive than dead... for the moment.
An orderly came up behind him; Vader sensed that he had new information to
deliver to him. He refocused on the present and turned toward the frightened
Everything was proceeding smoothly, he surmised from his report. Now, all
had to do was wait for the princess' betrayal to lead her to his son.
TBC in part 12: Rendezvous
Part I | Part
II | Part III | Part
IV | Part V | Part
VI | Part VII | Part
VIII | Part IX | Part
X | Part XI | Part
XII | Part XIII | Part
XIV | Part XV | Part
XVI | Part XVII | Part
XVIII | Part XIX | Part
XX | Part XXI | Part
XXII | Part XXIII | Part
XXIV | Part XXV
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