Preamble: A slice of life when Darth takes some personal time....
(Previously: PART I - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10; PART II - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20; PART III - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6.)
THE DARTH SIDE
by Cheeseburger Brown
PART III, Chapter 7 - Darth Vader's Day Off
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Do you know what I think about being ordered to sit on my hands and wait aboard Executor? Blast it. You heard me: blast it right where the Sith don't shine.
I woke up this morning in a foul humour coupled with the determination not to spend another day staring at the walls in my hyperbaric chamber. In fact, I smashed my hyperbaric chamber -- which may have been overzealous, but it felt really good.
Klaxons rang out and a platoon of stormtroopers rushed through the doors. I pushed past them and into the corridor, breezing past a flotilla of stunned-looking repair droids and into the lift. While it ran through the levels I cracked my knuckles and grumbled to myself. Blasted Palpatine! Blasted galaxy!
When the ride stopped I noticed a minor clerk cowering in the corner of the elevator, sweat running down his cheeks as he whispered over and over again in a paralyzed mantra, "Please don't kill me, please don't kill me, please don't kill me..."
"As you were," I rumbled, and swept out into the landing hangar.
I crossed the floor briskly, ignoring the queries and then shouts of the deck officer, heading directly for the bank of sleek TIE fighters parked against the starboard berth. A group of pilots dropped their conversation to watch me approach, suddenly nervous.
"Good morning, Lord Vader," called the senior pilot. "What can we do for you today?"
"I will take that fighter," I declared, never slackening in my pace as I bore down on their small group.
"My Lord, you're not actually authorized to --"
I proceeded to the mounting ladder, his limp corpse dropping to the deck behind me. The other pilots took a respectful step back.
Once secured in the cockpit I used the laser cannons to smear the deck officer across the hangar in a long, black streak. His subordinates jumped to action in the control booth and I saw the green signal for launch clearance flash on my TIE fighter's display. A timid voice crackled through the communicator: "Enjoy your flight, Lord Vader. She has a full tank."
"Very good," I replied and then without further preamble blazed the thrusters and sent the nimble fighter to the glowing mouth of the atmospheric shields and out into space, pilots and crew jumping aside to avoid the skim of my wings.
Infinite, unthinking, beautiful -- there is no peace like it in this world, whether by trance or narcotic. Married with the joy of flight the unblinking starscape becomes my paradise. Weightless, my ruined body feels young strength. Boundless, my spirit soars.
I veered tight across the bridge of Executor, no doubt causing Admiral Piett to spill his tea. I carried her over the deflector shield arrays and then plunged down Endor's massive gravity-well, thrusting hard at the last second and shooting out along the planet's limb followed by a trail of burning sky.
The silver clouds of the gas giant careened away to port as I throttled back and steered her toward a volcanic moon. I skirted the surface, dodging between pillars of sulpherous spume, hurtling between the rocklet baby moons the ashen orb carried as it crawled around Endor.
A little blue light indicating that I was exceeding the fighter's design parameters kept flashing, so I popped it with a thought. Bloody engineers!
In the tranquility born of extreme evasive manoeuvring I found my thoughts drawn to Sullust. The Force may work in mysterious ways but its sense of symmetry is uncanny: the Rebel fleet is massing on exactly the other side of the galaxy from Endor, cast off in the darkness of the opposite rim.
Twin foundations separated by a galaxy, one sworn to uphold order and other sworn to disturb it.
The Sanctuary Moon loomed in my scopes, the Death Star hanging like a jewel above it. As I drew nearer I felt each tendril of Force my ship crossed, thousands of threads of connection from all across the cosmos converging in the heart of my master, the Dark Lord Sidious and Emperor Palpatine. And yet...
And yet there is a cable of causality that snakes from hyperspace to this world, trillions of life destinies somehow knitted into its fabric. It blazes against the blackness of my closed eyes, its wandering fringes caressing both the forest moon and the battle-station, nodes of fate quivering at the edge of actualization behind the velvet....
And yet it connects to my master not at all.
There can be but one explanation: the galaxy prepares for my ascension. The fulfillment of the prophecy is nigh.
I have never felt so alive.