Luke Vader: From Slave to Dark Lord of the Sith
Part 5: progresses
By SJ 24-07-00/23-10-00 (email@example.com)
Disclaimers: None of this belong to me; everything in the Star Wars Universe
belongs to George Lucas.
See my home page 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 :)
Three months later, the children were still excellent in everything they
and the boy had completed his transition from his former master to his new one
without any new incentive.
At the moment, the youngsters were working on their flying skills.
Mara and Luke checked the status of their fighters and waited for the signal
start the simulation.
"You'll buy the juice this time, Vader," Mara said in her mike.
"Hope you've got enough money, Jade. I'm thirsty," he bantered
The signal came on. Faster than light, both of them flipped out of each
tracking sight and set about chasing the other.
Outside the simulators, their piloting teacher surveyed his wards. The boy's
blue dot easily slid out of the way of the girl's green dot's aiming range, then
settled himself behind her. She barely avoided his blasts, but didn't let him
win this easily.
Luke twisted his stick hard to the left, quickly following her. The moment he
felt the connection through the Force, he fired---- and hit her. However, since
she too was using the Force, she didn't remain in his aim for long. Instead,
she inverted her propulsion and tried to make him overshoot her, but, feeling
her intent, he pulled his stick toward himself, corkscrewed above her and came
back again behind her.
Then it was his turn to be hit thanks to her quick re-angling.
And so it went.
In the end, Luke won by two points. Their mikes re-activated; they were back
on the same side.
"How did you do that?" she asked, referring to his last drop-quick
"I'll show you," he promised her, stretching his small legs and
arms in the
tight confines of the cockpit.
"Enough chat," their trainer cut in. "Ready for the second
"Yes, Sir," they both answered seriously; Luke resumed his grip on
The enemies came upon them in a flurry. Both kids twisted out of harm's way
regrouped above the hornet of fighters.
"I'm on the one on the right," Jade told him.
"I'll cover you," Luke answered, firing at a new x-wing fighter which
his fighting range.
Despite the new, supposedly better balanced design, Luke reflected that the
type of fighter was as easy a pick for the young dark Jedi as any other ship he
had ever been tested against; only his best friend represented a true challenge
for him, he thought seriously, then refocused on his 'mission'. Jade continued
to track her own fleeing x-wing like a hunting vornsk; Luke shot any fighter
that threatened her or himself.
Fifteen minutes later, their 'mission' was over.
"Great shooting!" Mara exclaimed as Luke saved her hide.
"Thanks. How long this time?" he asked in his mike.
"It's a new record. Let's lower it again," their teacher commented
Their 'mission' began again, with more enemies this time.
Luke and Mara showed off yet again.
That night, unlike the rest of the week, Luke returned to his father's
They were done with their last battery of tests, and, he admitted to himself, he
wanted to practice his lightsaber skills. After all, he smiled to himself, he
hadn't built his own lightsaber to leave it on a shelf in his room.
He hurried his pace.
Two hours later, he was still batting off real blaster bolts when the remotes
fell on the floor; their timer had reached the turn off time. He turned off
his lightsaber, then took a deep breath; remembering his father's lessons, he
closed his eyes and let his feelings flow through him. His anger and
aggression, which were still directed at his 'opponents', made his blood sing in
his ears while wiping off the tiredness from his system. He smiled as he
enjoyed the feeling of being in perfect control of himself, his life, and even
the world around him... then the energies returned to a more normal level and he
was back to his cooler self.
He reopened his eyes and gazed down at his newly constructed weapon. Well, he
corrected, it was almost four months old now, but it was still new. He had made
it adult size because he had decided to keep the same weapon for his whole life.
The design looked like his father's, but with a ridged handle and a narrower
tip. The blade was a brilliant, beautiful emerald green which reminded him his
best friend's eyes.
It was his lightsaber, he smiled proudly. It completed his arm, feeling like
extension of his body even when he was simply holding it like he was at the
moment. His only disappointment, he admitted to himself, was that he couldn't
carry it at his hip like he had the right to.
A slave didn't carry any weapons, or so people thought, he smirked grimly.
since he had learned how to conceal weapons on himself, he always carried at
a least two vibroblades and a small pocket blaster under his clothes.
His friend Mara was now also armed the same way.
Suddenly feeling like getting more exercise, he drew his small blaster, set
setting on low, then reactivated the remotes and turned his lightsaber back on.
He fired at the remotes, hitting them every time he shot at them while his
left hand deflected the bolts that came at him.
*Impressive,* his father's voice suddenly said in his mind, startling him
He instantly put an end to his exercise and reached out.
*Father? You're back?!* he asked in disbelief.
*Yes, I'm back. I will be home in less than an hour,* he informed him.
Luke didn't need anymore explanation. He turned off the remotes, put his
weapons away and ran out of his chosen training room to prepare for his father's
return. He made sure that everything was fine in the castle, then ran again,
this time toward his father's favorite landing platform.
Once there, he scanned the night sky both with his eyes and senses.
His father was back, he thought in elation. He had missed him so very much...
Of course, he conceded, he might not have seen him much had he been on planet,
but, he shrugged like only a child could do, he had still missed his nearby
presence. Ever since he had met him, almost four years ago now, he had never
been separated from his father for this long. He dimly hoped that his father
would stay home for a while.
He continued to scan the night sky.
Twenty minutes later, his father's shuttle became visible to his eyes
its appearance didn't surprise him; he had been feeling his father's approaching
presence for the past ten minutes. Delighted, he followed the little moving
star as it made its way down to his location.
The graceful bird eventually set down with little more than a rush of wind
through his blond hair. He walked closer to welcome his 'master'; he bowed his
head and waited. The moment that the exit ramp set on the landing platform, his
father's strong, sorely missed presence and familiar sounds rushed in to invade
"Welcome back, my Lord," Luke said, fighting past his overwhelming
joy to play
his role to perfection.
"How were things while I was away," he asked coolly, with no warmth
creeping in his voice.
However, Luke wasn't worried; he could feel how his father's feeling matched
own. They both couldn't wait to find a private corner to stop the masquerade.
He stepped behind his father's dark silhouette as he walked past him.
"Everything is fine, Master. Nothing particular has happened," he
They entered the castle proper; the moment that the door closed behind them,
father put an end to his acting and turned toward him even as he crouched to be
at his height. Luke, unable to restrain himself any longer, stepped closer and
wrapped his small arms around his father's neck. His helmet made it slightly
awkward, but it didn't matter to the young boy. The only important thing was
that he was reunited with his father; the strong arms held him tightly then
lifted him off the floor when his father straightened up while carrying him.
"I missed you so very much, my Son," the adult whispered in his
his large hand against his back, hugging him against himself.
"Me too, Father," Luke answered earnestly. He leaned away from his
"How was your mission?" he asked in interest.
"Some Jedis have disappeared again, but most of them won't bother us
he informed him.
"Then you'll have to leave again?" Luke asked glumly while they
his father's office.
While his father seemed to ponder how to answer him, Luke noted that no
how cold and efficient he was growing thanks to his training, it didn't seem to
affect his relationship with his father. He admitted that he was glad for that.
"Yes, but not for a while," his father finally explained seriously.
wait for the Jedi anarchists to reveal themselves before we strike again. And
you? How are you doing with your training?" he asked with interest.
"Well," the child took a moment to think, "I know I'm still
not satisfying the
Master's exigencies," he admitted in slight shame. "So's Mara."
He dimly wondered how his father would react to his admission. Weaknesses
weren't considered as normal in the imperial world...
"How many times have you been punished?" his father asked him.
He had known that it would happen, Vader reminded himself, especially
considering how close the Emperor was keeping an eye on his son and how he
himself had been unable to establish visual contact with the child during his
long absence. He had tried to keep his promise to the boy and call him, but he
had quickly discovered that he could only rely on his subconscious contacts to
help him, and then only while he had been able to contact his son that way.
Once he had been a hundred thousands parsecs away from the boy, he had
that distance 'did' matter with the Force. He had known that his son was still
alive, but hadn't been able to establish a more useful contact. Sighing in
acceptance, he still thought that he would have preferred if he had been there
when his son had displeased the Emperor.
"It only happened once," Luke answered him, cutting in his thoughts
relieving him greatly with his words.
Only once, so the boy hadn't displeased the Emperor after all, he sighed,
time in relief. It had probably been some kind of incentive which the ruler was
fond of, then Luke had risen to the challenge and meet up with all the
exigencies he had to complete. Truly glad that his brilliant son hadn't angered
the Emperor while he had been left to his own device, he gazed back down at him-
-- and noticed how obviously relieved the child was that he hadn't scolded him
for the admission of his weakness.
For a fleeting moment, he considered telling him that he was probably above
exigencies and was just being pushed to his limits, but his cooler self stopped
him. The Emperor wouldn't appreciate his revealing his secret, he reminded
himself. If the ruler hadn't told his plans to the boy, then it was because it
served a purpose that even his own extensive experience with the ruler couldn't
Luke continued to talk to him. "It hurt," he told him sadly, then
"but I used the Force to heal myself so it didn't last for too long."
The idea of his son being hurt again by anyone made Vader's blood boil in his
veins, but he knew that it was part of his son's service to their master. Even
his presence on planet wouldn't have changed anything to the situation, he
"You haven't been punished again?" he demanded again, just to be
His son locked his young, serious gaze with his. "I'm fine, Father. I
with them like I trained with you."
Diligently, Vader knew. And, talking about his Jedi training...
"Have you had time to build your lightsaber?" he asked him as they
The boy smiled proudly. "Yes."
His father set him down; the boy reached in his back and pulled his saber
under his shirt.
"Here it is," he continued to smile. "What do you think?"
The dark lord took the handle from his small hand and studied its
His first thought was that it was astounding for a child of his son's age; no
flaw could be seen in either the design or the construction of the weapon. He
turned the blade on and tested it with a few, sure strokes in the air. Even the
tuning was perfect. He smiled proudly when he realized that his son had built
an even better lightsaber than any other he had ever seen... and he had seen
many of them lately.
Luke watched him in expectation. "So?" he prompted him.
"Excellent work," he finally told him, giving him back the
"I'm surprised that you made it adult-sized though. Isn't it difficult for
to hold it correctly?" he inquired expertly.
As if in reflex, his son hid his weapon back in his pants and under his
hiding it from sight once again.
'Probably a result of his spy training' his father reflected dimly, then
reminded himself that soon, his boy wouldn't be just a child but an assassin as
well. He wouldn't be the naive child he used to know, not even when he would
talk since he suspected that the boy's speech pattern would soon begin to change
thanks to his linguistic lessons. He knew that if the boy wanted to be an
efficient spy, he had to learn to speak properly, no matter how young he was.
The young boy smiled smugly at him, obviously unaware of the regret that was
slowly settling in his heart.
"No, it's not, and, I won't have to rebuild it when I'll be older,"
"You're right," he nodded both in answer and to shoo away the
which weren't welcome in his heart. His son had to grow, sooner or later. In
his case, it was sooner. "You've done an excellent job on it, Son. I'm
of you." he said, trying to transfer his proud smile in his voice.
It was a tough challenge, but his son seemed to understand how proud he truly
was of him.
"Thanks," he smiled hugely.
"I have to check on a few things here," Vader told him almost
guess you have to get up early tomorrow morning?"
"Yes," Luke admitted, "but I want to stay with you," he
"Are you sure?" the dark lord inquired seriously, himself having
doubts that it
would serve the child's interests to not recover from his long day of study.
"Yes," he nodded decisively.
"Very well," his father conceded, then raised his finger as if in
only if you tell me everything that happened to you since I left," he told
"Deal," Luke smiled up at his father.
As they walked closer to his desk, Vader made a mental note that his son was
indeed beginning to display verbal signs that his training was taking root in
his personality. He sounded more mature than when he had last seen him.
He was even beginning to use more complex verb tenses, something which could
only come from the linguistic training he himself had been thinking about a few
minutes earlier, he reflected as he rounded the corner of his desk. Luke
followed him to his desk and sat on its corner while his father checked
some files and reports.
Throughout the next hours, he told him about all his different courses, his
friend, his routine, his results.
His father praised him for each one of his successes.
Later on, Luke had no choice but to retire to his rooms and leave his father
alone; his check ups turned out to take longer than he had initially thought.
Even if he was loath to leave his father's side so soon, Luke knew that he
really had to go to bed now. He had no doubt that he would have a
tough day tomorrow.
An hour later, Vader went into his son's room to tuck him in.
How his son had changed since he had last seen him..., he reflected
once again. He was now independent on several aspects, his survival being one
of those things. He was also moving about in a much more discreet way, if that
was possible, and he was thinking on a much more efficient level. He had always
been intelligent, he conceded, but now, he was getting very clever; his ideas
concerning the Jedi outlaws had been downright inspiring, he admitted proudly.
His body was also slowly building up to face up with the physical requirements
of his training; his shoulders were more square than he remembered them, and his
biceps were beginning to show with each of his movements.
He stepped inside the boy's room. The child was already asleep, tucked in
his blankets. He was hugging his pillow to himself, laying more on his chest
than on his side. He had left his light on yet again, Vader smiled ruefully.
He had probably wanted to remain awake until he would come in to see him. He
dimly wondered if his now maturing son would appreciate to be tucked in anymore.
After all, he conceded sadly, Luke had spent the last five months without any
childish attentions and had fared well. But on the other hand, he thought
hopefully, he still demonstrated his love for his attentions.
He slowly sat down on the soft mattress; his son shifted slightly, muttering
something unintelligible to his pillow. Despite his rigorous training, Vader
thought in slight relief, his son was still just a child.
Just a child... he thought more grimly when he spotted the new marks on his
son's small back. He had done a great job healing them with the Force, but the
traces still remained... He could have done well without any new marks, he
For the briefest of moments, he wished he could convince the Emperor to never
hurt him again, but he knew that he couldn't. His son was the Emperor's
servant, just like himself was, and as such, the Emperor could do whatever he
deemed necessary for their improvements. Moreover, he reminded himself, if he
argued, he might just cause more injuries to his son.
With a last physical and mental caress, he left the sleeping young spy-in-
training, wishing him a restful night. When he got up, his foot generated a
clicking sound on the floor; he gazed down and noticed for the first time the
array of weapons that were scattered on the floor at the head of the bed.
Vader shook his head in bittersweet amusement.
Yes, his son had changed a lot...
To Luke's greatest pleasure, his father remained on Coruscant for almost
weeks before he had to leave again. Even though he himself was often confined
to the training center while his father spent a lot of time in the Emperor's
palace, they always managed to spend a few hours together every day. When his
father was working in his office, he himself contented himself by being with
him, studying his new lessons while his father worked, but when they had some
free time, they either fenced together or challenged each other via exercises
with the remotes, or else they spent their evenings star gazing.
The more he spent time with his father, the more Luke understood how great he
was; he already knew that, of course, but his training was giving him a new
range of sight, enabling him to know his father for who he was. He truly was
the greatest man and Jedi in the galaxy. He himself was proud to be Vader's son
and could only dream of the day when he would be able to publicly claim his last
As he watched his shuttle climb up for altitude, three weeks later, he dimly
wondered if he'd ever measure up to his father.
He hoped he would.
As his training continued, Luke finally realized that his trainers were
him all the tools he needed to some day be as great as his father was; he
redoubled his already admirable work. The fact that he was improving pushed his
friend to improve herself because she couldn't accept being less good than he
And so it went for the following ten months.
'He would certainly not beat her today.', Mara resolved as she circled her
friend even as he circled her.
They were both drenched with sweat, their lithe bodies were beginning to show
signs of tiredness, but both of them were too proud to step down until one of
them had managed to mark the first and final point in their duel.
Mara studied him yet again, looking for a place to strike. His legs were too
well camped on the floor to attempt anything, and his chest moved too fast to
try a hit there. No, his only weakness, if it could be called a weakness, she
conceded, were his arms. If she could be faster than him, she would win. She
took a quick step and chained up a series of hits and slashes with her hands
and fists, which he blocked, then she felt an opening and struck while he
switched to the offensive.
Her flat hands connected with his chest even as his leg swept her aside.
They both fell to the hard floor, trying to recover their breaths.
"That will be enough for today, children. I think you both proved how
unbeatable you are," their supervisor told them. "Go home."
Luke sat up, obviously tempted to argue, then he met her eyes and saw that
was no point arguing to let them finish. They were both exhausted.
"Yes, Sir," they both nodded, bowing their heads in acceptance.
Five minutes later, the ten-year-old children slumped either on the floor or
bench of their locker room.
Luke reflected that it was becoming somewhat of a routine at the end of the
He looked at his friend and studied her for lack of anything else to do while
She was wearing a tank top, just like himself, and like himself, her building
muscles were now showing through her skin whenever she moved even slightly.
Both were quite muscled for ten-and-a-half years old children. In fact,
considering the data they had studied about regular children, he 'knew' that
they were much more athletic looking then the average child; they also knew many
more things than their fellow youngsters did. Luke couldn't help but feel
privileged by the differences. He knew his life was much different from that of
any other child, except for his friend's, but he didn't mind in the least.
No, he reflected quite happily, he didn't mind the hard work, the more
programs and the more individualistic environment. Some day, he would earn the
right to serve the Emperor like his father did, he knew it. But for the moment,
he would simply prove that he had reached the level he was suppose to have
"Are you nervous about tomorrow?" he asked his friend.
She opened her green eyes and looked at him.
"You mean the mission?" she inquired seriously.
"Yes. Do you feel ready to face adults?" he asked her more
"Yes and no," she admitted. "I know I can defeat them if I
have to..., but I
still feel too small to take on them face to face," she admitted
"Me too," Luke admitted.
Fencing against his father was one thing, but fighting against adults to kill
them was something else altogether. The targeted adults were going to be much
taller than his friend/training partner.
"At what time do you want to begin our planning tomorrow?" he asked
"Same as usual?" she suggested.
"Excellent. I'll ask Father what he knows about the target. Perhaps
me a tip or two," he commented as he rubbed his aching arm.
"Are you sure you can talk to him about this?" she inquired as she
He shrugged. "I don't see why not; Father is the second in command of
Emperor and he knows about you and me. How could it be problematic?" he
Mara remained silent, pressing her lips together in concentration.
"You're right," she finally agreed. "It doesn't matter if he
knows about the
mission. When does he resume his hunting?" she asked him, standing up and
opening her locker.
Understanding that she was getting ready to leave, Luke pushed himself back
his feet and stood at the end of the arrayed lockers.
"In a few days," he answered her. "He told me that he's found the
location and is waiting for a few last details to be settled before he leaves
When she began to change, he crossed to the other side of the lockers and
his own, shedding his sweaty clothes. By common agreement, they had decided to
put some kind of screen between themselves since they now regularly had to strip
of all their dirty clothes at the end of the day. When every bit of clothe was
discarded, both set about putting on fresh clothes.
"Say, how is your concubine training going?" he asked her as he put
on a fresh
pair of underwear.
Mara sighed before pulling her shirt over her slender, small shoulders and
"It's not as bad as I thought," she admitted, "but I don't
know if I'll ever
understand how to twist my hair the way they want it to be. It always falls
from its perch," she pouted in annoyance.
"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll find a trick." Her friend told her
his side of the lockers.
Like she always did, she knew, but she always wanted to succeed as quickly as
possible too. Her hair was giving her a very hard time. It was long, yes, but
it was also thin which meant that it didn't hold in place for a long time. She
preferred to simply braid it or to even wear it loose. However, Illa, her
assigned supervisor, had told her that it wasn't proper wear in the Emperor's
She said, she reminded herself yet again, that a man should only see a
hair loose when she was going to make love to him within the next minute. Well,
she thought yet again, Luke had seen her that way many times, and she had
never made love to him.
She wouldn't want to either, yuck! They were just best friends and partners,
"Ready to go?" he asked her, pulling her out of her thoughts.
She heard a panel closing; she understood that he had dropped his dirty
in the laundry bin.
She hurried to put on her trousers and shoes, closed her locker and gathered
clothes in her arms. When she crossed on his side of the room, she noticed that
he was Vader's slave boy once more, wearing drab, black clothes. He looked very
different in them than when he was training with her... she wondered how he'd
look with his hair dyed.
She put an end to her musing and threw her clothes in the washing bin, then
turned back toward her friend.
"Let's go." he answered her unspoken comment, settling his bag on
"We've got a long evening in front of us," she nodded in agreement.
For the first time, they had some planning to do.
When Luke returned home, his father was also back from a very demanding day
was quietly meditating in one of the inner garden of the palace.
"Tomorrow is the big day?" he asked him as he stepped closer to his
"Yes," he answered, sitting down beside him and mimicking his
"How are you feeling about this?" his father inquired, his stance
understood that he had completely exited his meditation trance.
"I'm a little nervous, Father," he admitted, aware that he was
revealing one of
his weaknesses yet he knew that his father didn't mind about them like the
Emperor did. Instead, it helped him to help him out.
"You will do just fine, Son," his father reassured him, settling
his hand over
his left land on his lap. "The ambassador's bodyguards will never suspect
children from representing any danger," he reminded him, "and you and
very well trained for something like this."
"Well being a servant won't be hard," he conceded with a slight
smirk. "I do
get a lot of practice for that kind of acting."
"Yes," his father nodded, then added: "unfortunately...
Speaking of which," he
commented more loudly, "I spoke with the Emperor today."
"And?" Luke asked, his interest piqued. "What did he say? Can
I go with you
next time? Can I help you?"
"Unfortunately not, Son, I'm sorry," his father shook his head in
"While the Emperor is aware of your progresses, he still isn't pleased by
impulsive reactions. They could be your undoing against seasoned enemies."
While young Luke knew that his father and master were right, he couldn't help
but feel very disappointed to not obtain even one permission to prove himself.
He had almost completed the training, or so he felt, and he was already a dark
Jedi, acknowledged by the Emperor and all. Deep down, he 'knew' that he would
be able to defeat a Jedi. As if sensing his resent, his father brought his hand
under his lowered chin and made him look at him.
"Luke, do not entertain improper thoughts," he counseled wisely.
has promised me that he would give you the chance to prove yourself, but for the
moment, he prefers to keep you here where you are safe. We don't want to lose
you because we underestimated the enemy, Son," he told him warmly.
Yes, Luke nodded reluctantly, he understood that. It was a lesson he himself
was learning every day; he couldn't afford to underestimate his foes, no matter
how strong and skilled he himself was. They could always find a way to surprise
"I'm sorry, Father," he apologized for his brief resent. "I
guess I'm not
mature enough to be a good servant, huh?" he asked him, locking his
blue eyes on his father's hidden ones.
"Give yourself more time, Son. You are still but a child, if a powerful
his father commented with a sending of his pride even as he shifted his touch to
caress his left cheek. "Sooner than you think, you will become an active
servant and you'll be given several occasions to prove your worth in the
Emperor's higher ranks, at my side."
"I understand, Father," Luke nodded, briefly closed his eyes to
cooler attitude and not let his disappointment cloud his judgment, then he re-
opened them. "Speaking about a mission, I was wondering if you had more
information than I do about the Baron from Manale."
"What do you need to know?" his father offered him.
"Do you know if he leaves servants 'in' his quarters when he isn't
asked him seriously.
"Not that I know of," the adult answered him seriously. "But
there is a way to
be certain of this information."
"Which one?" the child inquired with interest.
"Meditation," was his father's answer even as he gently pulled him
until he was
sitting in front of him, then offered him his hands. "I will guide you for
first time," he informed him.
Luke, who still hadn't recovered from his shock at what his father was
him, followed his lead as they first joined as one mind, then as they scanned
the Force for the present, the future... and information.
By the time they were done, they even knew that the children would succeed in
their first mission.
The next day, Luke and Mara used the resources of the training center to
their first mission for their Emperor, using Luke's insight to foresee problems.
They first used Luke's and his father's meditation results to evaluate their
approach, then they researched their target's habits and other data, selected a
way to accomplish their two goals without compromising themselves and, until the
last possible minute, double-checked their plan with the characteristics of the
security that would be in place in the palace.
Then, it was time to set their plan in motion.
TBC in part 6: First missions
Part I | Part
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IV | Part V | Part
VI | Part VII | Part
VIII | Part IX | Part
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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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