Part 16: the End
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything
Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for
At one of the remaining rebel base, Luke underwent a week of bacta treatment
It would have taken him less time if he had used his full abilities, but he
That night, after freeing himself from the over-protective princess and the
On his way out of the now suffocating base, he admitted that he was grateful
He shortly interrupted his thoughts to salute two of the remaining grunt
Yes, he thought seriously, his master had hurt both him and his father more
It had merely been their duties, granted more taxing than any other they had
It was pointless to hold a grudge against his master, he then reminded
When he had left for this mission, he had remembered throughout the past
Being an imperial prisoner, he conceded, had been one of those, but it had
Ever since he had recovered the ability to walk on his own, they now included
He smiled grimly at that. They didn't have to fear, he reflected in dry
His danger sense flared even as he barely heard a swooshing sound.
He then drew the shroud that was hiding the woman's features--- and kissed
*Hello, flyboy,* Mara sent, twining her free arm around his neck while
*What are you doing here?* he asked her even as he freed her wrist to caress
*Paying you a visit. Is that how you receive all your guests, flyboy?* she
*Only those whom I recognize the fighting style,* he sent, slowly backing her
*He sent me to retrieve your information and check on you,* she answered with
Both feeling about to pass out from lack of oxygen, they reluctantly pulled
"Only if I have my share of the check up as well, Jade," he
Soon, they were both busy lovingly exploring each other's body with their
Luke felt her wince as she detected the new scars that now adorned his skin,
"What happened?" he asked her worriedly.
"Shrapnel," she whispered shortly. "I was delayed inside the
base so I was a
"You should have been more careful," he began, then ribbed her.
"After all, I'm
She physically ribbed him back. "I can protect my back quite well,
"Really?" Luke asked her. "Then I guess I should return to the bas----"
She drew his head back to hers and kissed him breathless yet again.
*You're not going anywhere,* she told him, resuming their wild kisses while
*Do you need me, Jade?* he asked her playfully. *Are you taking back your
*They never were about that, flyboy, and you know it. Now, do we wait until I
*I think making the best out of this is wiser,* he sent her jokingly before
About an hour later, Luke held her to himself one last time. Soon, he
"Mara?" he whispered in her hair.
"Do you know that you are the only woman I ever wanted to love?" he
asked her as
Mara raised her head from his shoulder and looked at him in the eye.
"Even now?" she asked pointedly.
"Especially now that I know her better," Luke nodded. "I will
not have any
She shifted in his arms.
"Then let's get this over with," she smiled seriously, echoing his
"Right," he returned. "The rebel bases are on Calamari, Kyyr,
Salg and Paiya."
"And how many will be left afterward?" she asked him.
"The base here, and two or three others that I will figure out soon
Mara pondered his revelation for a few seconds; Luke drank in her beautiful
"Can you make it look as if we've captured one of your computers?"
"What do you think I was about to suggest?" he sneered in answer.
"Of course I
"Good," she smiled, then kissed him once again, smiling as she
pressed her lips
*You cheat,* he teased her. *That was supposed to be my line.*
Mara answered him by deepening their kiss.
"Be careful. We're almost through it," she reminded him, then
Luke slightly glare at her for the useless reminder, then laughed
"I'll try to be there too, flyboy," she promised, pecked his lips
one last time,
"I'll be sure to be at our reunion, my love." he told her already receding form.
Through their bond, he felt her slight smile of amusement even though he
Right, he told himself as he put his shirt back on. Back to Luke Skywalker,
Early in the morning but after a secret detour by the message board to forge
He had barely stepped into the now almost deserted area of the base when he
"Luke, where have you been?" she asked as she walked up to him.
"I was so
"Sorry, I was just out in the jungle, thinking..." he explained,
then frowned as
"I couldn't close my eyes... Do you care for some tea." she
Not really, he thought to himself, but he could feel that he had better stick
"Sure," he shrugged.
She guided him back into her quarters; Luke followed her. As he stepped
"You know, Luke..." she began from her small kitchenette area,
serving two cups
Her choice of words threw Luke into a spin. Felt??
"What do you mean?" he carefully queried as he sat down on her couch.
"I don't know exactly..." she began as she came back in her sitting
Luke had completely forgotten his tea, his eyes riveted on the petite
"Does it happen for other persons?" he asked her, trying hard to
The more she had spoken, and the more the guidance of the Force had grown
"No," she answered, shaking her head tiredly. "Only you...
it's as if... as
"We were linked somehow," Luke completed, feeling as lost as she was.
"Yes," she breathed, locking her confused eyes on his owns.
"But we're not," he told her seriously. "I don't have any other family."
"Nor do I," she agreed, somewhat sadly he noted when she avoided
No, he wanted to shake his head. It was the Force, he now understood.
"Perhaps," he told her in his best act of bemusement.
He finished his tea and set his cup on the small kaff table.
"You should get some sleep, Leia, before the others call on you,"
he advised her
"Would you mind staying with me?" she asked him, the ghosts of
Now familiar with this routine around the end of each month of the sad
"I'm sorry, Luke..." she apologized shamefully. "I know it
looks foolish... but
"I know, Leia... I'm the only one who makes them go away... Sleep
The young woman fell asleep in his arms, cuddling closer to his embrace.
If he didn't know better, Luke finally thought in dark amusement, he would
A flash of knowledge suddenly hit his Force senses, telling him that he had
Leia Organa was his sister... Impossible, he shook his head in denial, yet,
As she herself had said, he smiled thinly, he could feel it.
Following this hunch, he brought back to mind the images that his father had
Same hair, same eyes, same delicate features... same spirit if one judged the
By the Force this changed a lot of things, he reflected seriously. He
However, he thought more lightly, he'd finally be able to explain to his
Making up his mind, although somewhat reluctantly, he closed his eyes,
Thankfully, the older man was wide awake and in the middle of his day.
*Father,* he began seriously, urgently. *I have some serious news for you,*
He felt his father dismiss his counselors before he retreated to his place of
*What news? Not bad ones I hope,* he told him seriously, almost warningly, he
*No,* Luke reassured him coolly to hide his slight cringe as his father's
*Well?* his father sent, steeling himself for whatever he had to tell him.
Not too far from a rebel base, Lord Vader braced himself for what he could
His son equally gathered his composure, he felt, then sent him: *I'm not the
It the sudden call from his up-to-now silent son had startled him, this
*What do you mean, not the only one?* he queried, genuinely confused.
Thanks to his link with his son, he felt him gaze at whoever was beside him,
*I think I just found my twin sister,* the youth told him softly.
Had his breath not been regulated by a machine, Vader conceded that he might
*You met her before, Father,* the boy told him even as his own mind began to
Even as his son understood that his sister had also been hidden and kept
*Princess Leia Organa?!* his father gaped in an uncharacteristically
The princess from late Alderaan would be his daughter?? But how could it
*She's strong in the Force, Father,* his son commented in the silence. *At
*Astounding..." his father mentally gaped, then he recovered a cooler
*I will contact the Emperor to inform him of this new development. Until we
Luke mentally chuckled. *It shouldn't be a problem, Father. She's literally
*Does she know about your true identity?* his father inquired worriedly.
*No,* Luke reassured him. *but she's aware that there is something between
*Hmm, probably because of your family bond with her,* his father mused. *It
*Probably,* Luke agreed, then they both fell silent yet remained in contact.
However, it was an eerie silence, one that wasn't filled with as many
Unable to stand the uncomfortable silence anymore, the dark lord inquired:
For a moment, he felt as if he had opened that topic too fast and that his
*I do,* he finally nodded in reassurance. *I'm sorry for what I did and
*Neither did I, Luke,* his father reminded him warmly while attempting to
At first, he didn't feel as if his son had allowed him in, then he felt an
*I know,* the youth equally sighed tiredly. *I made my peace with what had to
Since he was still in deeper contact with the boy's mind, Vader felt that
When the fragile 'child' unconsciously recoiled from his attempt to touch
It was more complex than this, and he himself would do anything to never
*I am also ready to finish it,* he informed his son after a few seconds.
A short, slightly uncomfortable silence stretched once again between them,
*When you will be back, Son, I want to take some time to talk about what
*I'd like that very much, Father,* Luke nodded in agreement. *I'm truly sorry
*And I'm sorry for what I put you through, Son,* his father told him yet
*Just hang into your role for a few more days. I've already begun our final
*I can't wait for that day to arrive, Father,* the youth answered earnestly.
*I know. Be careful.*
They reluctantly severed their closer link and refocused on their respective
Luke wrapped his arms more securely around his sister's shoulders and settled
But she would return, he resolved; in time, she too would reclaim the legacy
On that contenting though, he slipped into a restful trance.
Thousands of parsecs away, after having supervised the simultaneous
"Have we succeeded, my friend?" the evil ruler queried with
With those less important bases out of the way, even the supreme ruler knew
"Yes, Master," he reassured the ruler. "The Second Fleet has
been informed to
"Excellent," the other smiled in dubious delight. "And you
yourself?" he asked
"I will recover my son... and daughter, Master," he said with some
Vader had meant to shock his master, but he truly pursed his lips in
The Emperor was glowering.
"Daughter?" he finally asked in little more than a dangerous whisper.
"Yes," he nodded seriously. "Luke has pierced her cover a few
hours ago, thanks
"And who," the Emperor inquired with a scowl, obviously miffed by
this new bit
Vader couldn't help but smirk as he identified the girl: "Princess Leia
The Emperor literally gaped at his servant, but unlike anybody else, this
Vader conceded that he was relieved to be far away from his master at the
"Leia Organa?? Are you sure your son isn't trying to play us to keep her
"Yes, my Master." Vader reassured him. "The princess is strong
The Emperor's eyes flashed under his cowl at the mention of the long-defunct
"You may keep her alive," he finally granted him, proving him once
more that he
"I understand, Master, and I will ascertain her identity as soon as
"Good. I will await your final report, as well as your son's," the
"He is, Master," Vader nodded, not exactly elated to admit that his
"Bring us victory then, Lord Vader." he instructed him.
"Oh and, my friend," he added just before dismissing him.
"make sure you don't
"As you wish, Master." Vader bowed, fighting his smirk of amusement
He did like to distraught his master, and he had obviously succeeded with
At the rebel base on Ktaali, Luke awoke to the feeling of a young woman's
His sister, he then reminded himself. Of course, he admitted to himself, as
Now, he really had to protect her, he decided. He wouldn't let any
A sudden knock on the princess's door jerked her awake.
"Princess, the bases are under attack!" a stupid rebel trooper
"What?!" Leia exclaimed, her adrenaline level reaching peaks in a
Luke reflected that he had never seen anybody wake up faster than his sister
Five minutes later, the rebellion's remaining leaders, all dressed in
They were loosing, plain and simple, Luke thought in dark satisfaction as he
Mon Mothma read it carefully, exchanged a grim glance with the princess, then
"Evacuate the base immediately," she ordered them seriously.
"We still have a
As he left with Solo to relay his orders, Luke smirked inwardly. He knew that
As Luke tinkered on his x-wing, for lack of anything else to do, he reflected
They had evacuated their last base faster than he had ever though possible,
At the moment, the rest of the head figures were in the meeting room of the
They could try all they wanted, he thought in self-satisfaction, but they
"Hey, Kid," Solo's voice broke his reminiscing.
It took Luke all his will-power not to assail the pilot with his most
"Hi Han... any news from the others?" he asked as if discouraged.
Except for his squadron and another pilot, some fifty ground troops and the
"Afraid not... I think that's all they have left," Solo commented seriously.
Luke agreed, as if glum, then noted that the pilot was still with the doomed
"Can I ask you why you're still here?" he asked him as naively as he could.
Solo sighed, then shrugged.
"If I could tell you, Kid, I would," he answered simply.
The Wookiee growled something unintelligible. Luke wondered how long it would
"Leia?" Luke suggested wryly.
Solo shrugged. "Perhaps. And you? Why are you still here?"
He was tempted to answer: 'To guide Father here and be done with you all.'
"I'm not going to abandon them; I'll fight against the Empire until the
"Are you ready for it, Kid?" Solo asked, leaning his shoulder
against the x-
Luke was surprised by the suddenly interested attitude of the pilot. Solo, he
"I will be ready for it when faced with it," the youth answered the other.
The smuggler looked at him; Luke met his gaze... and noticed that the other
Very, very unpredictable element, he noted to himself.
"Well, it might just give you an edge in the end, Luke," Solo
No tease, no sneer, Luke noticed, just plain respect. Unbeknown to him, Solo
It took his father four extra days to bring his Black fleet down onto the
Using his son as a clock, he stroke during the night shift, thus catching his
Inside the wounded Liberator, Luke, who had hastily pulled on his trousers
"Leia! Are you all right?" he asked her as he floated past her and
"Yes, I just bumped too hard against my floor. You?" she asked,
"I'm okay," He took hold of her hand and tried to steer her toward
the end of
However, what he really wanted to do was to pin her there and wait for his
"Perhaps then we'll be able to---" he began to add.
The zero-gs suddenly turned to more than forty gs, shoving them all on the
"Oooof! What's wrong?? What's going on??" he asked mock-worriedly.
"We're done for," Leia told him in defeat. "They've got us in
"What can we do?" he inquired nervously, giving off a perfect
"Nothing... except wait for a last chance to kill ourselves," she
Luke lapsed into silence, pretending to prepare himself for the worst.
*It worked, Father. We're all flatter than flimsies,* he sent him.
*Have you had time to reach Leia?* his father queried.
*Keep her from doing it,* he instructed him, his senses growing closer and
Around him, the noises of the almost deserted corridor changed and became
"They've got us," Leia commented in the silence, her voice devoid of any hope.
Knowing that he had to retain his role until the last minute, Luke slowly
He did so until space troopers showed up in the corridor and stunned them.
Thus, he was aware of their being sucked out of the captured ship and into
He waited for some of his companions to wake up before 'he' did so. As if per
It would make his father's plan that much more dramatic to the rebels, he
They had probably turned tails in the end, he reflected. It proved that they
"Luke?.." Leia asked weakly from his side.
"Sshhh," he whispered in a conspirator-like fashion. "We're
aboard their ship.
He was glad that his sister had followed his advice and dressed like a
"Where's Han?" she asked as she slowly sat up.
"Not here. He probably managed to make a last stand," he told her
in his best
Leia seemed stricken by his words; she bowed her head in grief, then she
"Get up, Rebel scums," the commander ordered.
When the troopers began to hit the far line until they were up on their feet,
"Do you think he suspects?" Leia asked him, leaning closer to him.
"I hope not," he lied.
His father proved 'Skywalker' wrong. He walked inside the cordon, down the
Luke pretended to look for a way out, but the troopers behind him seized his
"I told you that there was no escaping me, boy," he told him victoriously.
Around them, Luke felt the cold terror of the Rebels; they were perfectly
Before Luke could calm himself and answer, or even play his part of a
"Put the princess with the other leaders," Vader ordered the troops
"I'll never let you win, Vader, never," Luke 'snarled', pulling
"You already have, boy," he told him coldly as he pushed him in motion.
"Don't listen to him, Luke," Leia told him earnestly, fighting
against her own
While he, his father, his sister and guards walked and struggled, he noticed
Luke played his role of defiant pest for as long as he could, which meant a
When they reached the edge of the assembled troops, his father slightly let
While the troopers gathered the rebel troops to transfer them where they
Lord Vader knocked him half-conscious with the Force, allowing him just
*Luke, I don't want to hurt you for the final step,* Vader sent his
As his son awoke further, seemed to wince slightly at something, then he
*I'm going to pretend tormenting you via the Force. Can you act the part?*
*Yes,* the boy nodded glumly despite himself.
Oh yes, Vader conceded, his son would sure know how to pretend being in great
Luke pretended to be less aware than he actually was. He felt his father's
"Now," Vader began darkly. "you have no troops left, no hope
of any kind. Tell
"We will not---" Mon Mothma began haughtily
Luke interrupted her with a fake shriek of absolute pain. His father minutely
"You yourself don't have anything to lose, Mothma, but your young Jedi
"No..." Luke and Leia whispered, one in fake horror, the other in real one.
"You need him for something; you wouldn't---" Leia began to argue.
A slight, new tightening told him to simulate another wave of agony, then he
"So I do, Rebel, but I can hurt him as much and as long as I want with this."
Another simulation of pain.
"Stop." Leia pleaded. "What do you want?"
The other leaders gasped in shock before turning toward her. She pointedly
"Are there any other bases left? Any other ships?" Vader demanded.
When she hesitated to answer, Luke screamed for all his worth, writhing in
"No..." Leia barely admitted.
"Princess, you can't---" Rieekan began and was stunned by a nearby trooper.
"You were saying?" his father asked suavely to the young woman.
"Leia, don't---" Mothma began----
Seeing no way out of this except through disgusting cooperation, the other
Luke, aware that Leia might be tempted to do the same thing, discreetly
"Leia... please..." he begged, making himself sound as if he were
on the brink
Luke simulated one last, powerful attack.
"Stop! Please leave him alone," Leia begged in heartfelt despair.
Luke pretended to have been released from his torment, slumping in his
"Well, princess?" Vader rumbled.
"There aren't any other group left. Luke and I are the last
With her admission, Luke knew that it was over. He could finally stop acting,
*And you may claim your true name, young dark Jedi,* his father sent him
"You mean, you are the last one," Luke answered his sister's last
She gasped as she saw his far from panicked eyes, then took a step backward
"L... L... Luke?? How... What??" she stuttered as she took a step backward.
She tripped over her feet and landed hard on her butt; the troopers weapons
"Get her back to her feet," his father told him, turning toward the
Luke walked closer to his distraught sister, almost loomed over her, then
"I don't think I need to spell it out to you, Leia," he commented
He felt his sister's intent to hit him a fraction of a second before her head
"Traitor! I trusted you!" she spat, trying to hurt him again, this
time with her
Luke easily blocked her attack, then he pushed her slightly forward of
"I know, but that was the plan, Leia," he informed her coolly,
feeling a slight
She glared at him over her shoulder, refusing the budge for her spot.
"Why?" he repeated in amusement. "Because I serve the Emperor,
He noticed the way her eyes widened at the mention of an imperial father.
"And you serve him in a most excellent manner, Son," his father
"F---f-father?!?" Leia whispered in horror while Luke
single-handedly shoved his
Around them, the troopers, who had been getting on with their new chores,
He himself though felt a warm, tingly feeling of dark pride to finally be
"Yes, Princess Leia," his father continued, "meet my son, Luke
Vader. You have
"Vornsks will fly before I fraternize with your bastard, Vader,"
Luke blocked her new attempt to attack him, then the two young people sized
"Bring her," his father ordered him. "The master is waiting
for our report."
*I'll do what I can, Father... but I don't think our bond will be much help
*As long as she doesn't attack any of us again,* his father explained. *She
Vader turned away from the two young people; Luke followed him, forcing his
"Leia," he told her kindly yet seriously once they were in the
"Your word as a traitor, right... You will regret keeping me alive,
Just to make sure that she wouldn't try anything, Luke minutely tightened his
She was confused, angry, horrified, dejected, filled with hatred, and
The one man she had never suspected of any wrongs, he read in her angry mind,
"I hate you," she muttered angrily, cutting in his thoughts.
"That you might," he answered her, matter-of-factly. "but you
might also soon
To be continued in part 17: Luke Vader
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Copyright 2000, SJ (email@example.com)
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