The Faintest Light - SW Fan Fiction

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by defyitall, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. defyitall

    defyitall Art House Member

    Jan 4, 2005
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    It's a story about Vader a couple of years after Episode III. I got most of the themes I want to explore in it. But I am not sure if it's good, so let me know.

    The Faintest Light

    2 years.
    2 years of conflict. 2 years since the rise of The Galactic Empire. 2 years since Palpatine rose up on the Chancellor’s platform and declared the Republic abolished.
    For 2 years the armies of the Empire have spread throughout the known galaxy; bringing the peace of the Empire to all the outlying star systems.
    Peace at the barrel of a blaster. Peace under the boots of the Storm Trooper. Some resisted, some died, and still some plot to make a stand and end the tyranny.

    Yet another war rages beneath the galactic strife. A silent war. The Great Purge some have called it. A war fought by one man. A man who gave up his humanity in his quest for personal power, who lost his family in a desperate quest to save them, and who lives everyday as a machine in order to bring peace to the galaxy. A peace he can never bring to himself. This man seeks peace by destroying an ancient religion that once strove for the same goals; if not through very different means. One man named…

    “Darth Vader?”
    Vader’s gaze was shaken from the stars outside the Star Destroyer’s Transparisteel window. He turned to face the Commander standing behind him on the bridge. He was young; too young to be in command. Such was the state of the new Emperial Navy. They could clone new Troopers but the officers had to be human. That was the Emperor’s wishes. Meaning often promising young men were pushed through the Academy quickly and rushed into command posts.
    “You may refer to me as LORD Vader, Captain.”
    The young Captain swayed for a second in his tall boots; as if he might run. A trickle of seat poured down his brow; this was the first time he had faced Vader. Despite his obvious nervousness, he held tight and answered, “As you wish, my Lord. I apologize.”
    “Why have I been disturbed?” Vader questioned as he turned to walk down the bridge. He kept his head faced forward but he could feel the fear of the officers working in the pits below. Their fear that was almost tangible; the dark side within him fed upon it. Almost as if he could reach out with The Force, grab it, pull it into his breast, and perhaps rebuild his ruined flesh.
    “There has been a report from Avathar, my Lord.”
    Vader turned quickly. The Commander almost slammed into Vader’s chest plate. He stopped, clicked his heels, and backed up a few steps. He let his head rise quickly and tried to remain calm as he met Vader’s black gaze.
    “A report? You disturbed me for a simple report!?”
    “It just came in, my Lord. I felt it garnered your attention,” the Commander swallowed and continued, “I believe they have found one.”
    “One what!?” Vader bellowed, growing impatient.
    The Commander leaned in to whisper and his heart rate raced as he had never been this close to Vader before.
    “A Jedi, my Lord,” he whispered.
    Vader half turned as if to walk away. The dark side called out to him, he raised his head and turned back to the Commander. He raised his hand. The Commander dropped his report and grasped at his throat.
    “Come with me,” Vader said, motioning with his hand toward the private briefing room at the end of the bridge.
    The Commander let his hands down from his throat, feeling foolish, and nervously picked up the report and clumsily followed Vader.
    “As you wish, my Lord.”

    The door to the briefing room slammed shut as soon as the Captain stepped inside. A will of the dark side no doubt. The Captain laid the report on the table and punched up the necessary files into the holo-emitter in the middle of the table.
    “What is this all about, Captain?” Vader asked.
    The Captain punched up the first file.
    “As you may well know, Lord Vader, Avathar has recently been added to the Empire; during the last Outer Rim Campaign. The population is primitive and the campaign was brief. But lately, there have been…complications.”
    “I have been to the briefings about the Outer Rim Campaigns. Get to the point, Captain,” Vader demanded, growing impatient.
    “Well, the latest report from the garrison commander on Avathar is disturbing. Apparently someone has been teaching the locals to fight our forces with sticks.”
    “Sticks? No match for Emperial Storm Troopers,” Vader responded with his usual Sith arrogance.
    “Their raids have become increasingly more…er…effective, my Lord.”
    “I fail to see the relevance to my mission, Commander. Primitives with sticks are a matter for the regional governor or the local commander. These matters do not concern me,” Vader said as he began to round the table toward the Captain. The Captain began to back away.
    “Yes, my Lord. But the locals have apparently been using Jedi Saber techniques!” The Captain pleaded, throwing up his hands in a vain defense against Vader’s rage. Once the statement sunk in, however, Vader stopped.
    “Yes, my Lord. As you said, how else would primitives with sticks be able to defeat Storm Troopers?”
    Vader returned to his side of the table. His rage subsided and his attention firmly on the Captain and the hologram between them.
    “Go on…”
    “The Third Regiment was able to capture a few of the attackers and interrogate them. It seems they were taught by an old man they referred to as “The Teacher”’
    “The Teacher?”
    “Yes, my Lord. It sounds very hard to believe. The name is…well, pedestrian. But upon more intense interrogation the prisoners were able to give the Commander a description: Long hair, Tan loose-fitting tunic, Jedi issue boots, and…” the Captain paused for effect, “a laser sword.”
    Vader stood still. The Captain smirked at Vader confident that the info would be enough to convince even a Sith Lord. He awaited his praise. After several moments when it became clear that Vader would offer none the Commander continued.
    “He has been seen making rocks float in midair! He…he…has—“
    “You need not continue, Captain. I am convinced. The name was all you needed to give me. Set a Hyperspace course to Avathar. The fastest way possible.”
    With that Vader rounded the table and began to leave the room.
    “Fastest possible, my Lord? There are other Star Destroyers closer in range to Avathar. Perhaps--”
    “Yes, Captain. Fastest possible,” Vader commanded, turning his head back towards the Captain, “If, in fact, The Teacher is there only I can deal with him.”

    Vader sat down in his hyperbaric chamber. He closed down the lid and sealed it with a hiss of air pressure being equalized. Automated claws clamped down and removed his helmet. He tried to take a deep breath but his mechanized lungs would not let him. He stared down at the box attached to his chest that regulates his breathing. He listened to the constant in and out of his breath. Like a metronome; its rhythmic pulsations allowed Vader to slip away. He thought back to the days before his turn when he breathed on his own. When he would push his body to its limits; until he was panting and exhausted. The light times when he strove to become the greatest of all Jedi. Back when he believed that the traditional means of the Jedi order would bring him the greatest power. When he would stay up nights, avoid the nightmares, and strive to perfect his saber techniques.
    “Just to prove to him wrong,” Vader thought to himself, “The Teacher. Nyeth.”
    Vader sat and stared at his chest and thought back to days when he was young, in love, and only a man.

    J’as Nyeth was the Swordsmaster of the Jedi Temple. Known as The Teacher to his students, Nyeth had taught padawans the art of the saber for centuries. He was a demanding and punishing teacher; extorting Soresu as the proper Jedi form of combat. Soresu, or Form III, "The Way of the Mynock," was inspired by the need to deflect Blaster bolts. It is very defensive; it has no aggressive qualities. Form III utilizes motions occurring very close to the body to achieve a nearly total protection, efficiently expending as little energy as possible to execute those moves. This technique exposes as little body target zone open areas as is possible, making a well-trained practitioner nearly invincible. Testimony to this is the fact that Ben Kenobi, a Form III master, only falls when he chooses to let Darth Vader kill him.
    Nyeth was a master of all 7 forms of saber combat but had believed for years that Soresu, and its defensive posture, was the true Jedi form. As Jedi should never use the Force for attack, Nyeth believed that this notion should relate to every aspect of the Jedi; even their combat techniques. He felt that Soresu was perfect in the eyes of the Force.
    In a teaching style that did not reflect his love of passive defense, he pushed the style of combat on all his new students. Instead of taking allowing padawans to choose the saber form that best suited them as individuals, as was done in the past, he refused to teach new students anything but Form III. This caused unrest and malcontent in the more aggressive padawans; especially some of the last generation of learners. These new students had grown up in The Order in a time of chaos, unrest, and even open war. To them it seemed like a time for a change in the passive stance of the Jedi. As new Jedi students became more and more prideful in their abilities they wanted to practice a style that better reflected their power; a form with more flash and more power. A form that, in the least, was more aggressive.
    No one student clashed with Nyeth’s views more than Anakin Skywalker. Perhaps due to his age but more likely due to his extraordinary abilities, Skywalker became a voice for a whole generation of young padawans who sought a different path to the Force than the one that the old guard of Jedi Masters were willing to teach. Anakin spoke out daily in Nyeth’s saber classes, criticizing the old man’s unwillingness to change or adapt. He called him stubborn, abstinent, and foolish—Nyeth only pushed him harder in practice. Skywalker saw this as a sign of dislike from the old Master. Another reason why Anakin eventually decided that the Jedi were far too corrupt to be allowed to endure.
    This pushed young Skywalker to practice his saber techniques on any occasion he could. He tried his best to become the best practitioner of Form III ever to be seen in the Jedi Order. Not because he actually planned to use Soresu in combat. He studied ever-the-harder to distract Nyeth from his true goals.
    In secret, Anakin became a skilled user of Form V. This form, known as Shien, was developed by Form III practitioners that preferred a more offensive angle. The defensive nature of Form III dangerously prolonged combat. The maxim "peace through superior firepower," encompasses the philosophy of Form V, also called "The Way of the Krayt Dragon." Form V focuses a bit on having defensive skills, but channeling defense into offense. The example is commonly used that while Form III combatants effortlessly deflect laser bolts, Form V practitioners excel at redirecting the laser bolt toward the opponent. Needless to say, this Form suited Anakin better than any other style of saber combat.
    Anakin knew that if Nyeth ever sensed that his focus had strayed from Form III that he would immediately be reported to the Council. So he studied Nyeth’s lessons as intently as he studied Form V.
    One of Nyeth’s lessons rang true even as Anakin turned into the monster Darth Vader: know the style of your enemy and you will know him inside and out. In some dark part of Anakin’s mind he always knew the day would come when his knowledge of Soresu would allow him to defeat the Jedi.

    Vader looked up from chest and fingered the lightsaber attached to his belt. His power had grown in magnitude since the last time he entered Nyeth’s classroom. Still there was a tiny pin prick of uneasiness deep in his heart. As if part of him was scared at the prospect of facing his old Master. As if a tiny thing inside him wasn’t sure he could win.
    The screen in front of him blinked to life.
    “Lord Vader, we have reached Avathar.”
    “Thank you, Captain. Have 2 squads meet me in the hangar bay. We leave for the surface immediately.”

    The landing ramp of Vader’s shuttle hissed as the hydraulic pylons pushed it into the soft mud of the clearing. Vader strode down the ramp followed by 2 squads of Shock Troopers.
    “Commander, take your men and fan out. Provide cover in the tree line and don’t let anyone near the ship.”
    “What about the Jedi, my Lord?”
    “Leave him to me.”
    “You don’t want any men for the search?”
    “No, Commander. Your men are to protect the ship. The Jedi will find me.”
    With that Vader strode off into the woods. The Shook Troopers obeyed Vader’s orders to the letter and took defensive positions in the tree line.

    Vader arrived at the frost line of the mountain just as the sun started its downward course towards the horizon. The light was becoming more golden as it hit the falling leaves of the Jaspur trees in the surrounding valley. If Vader still saw through his own eyes, or had a real heart for that matter, he would have found it painfully beautiful.
    The Dark Side called out to him and he turned. He saw a small cave several hundred yards above him. He climbed up to the entrance and peered in. He probed the cave with the Force. There was no one there but he did feel a familiar presence. He stepped in a found the remnants of a small camp: clothes, bones, a fire pit, and a tattered bedroll are that was left of its occupant. Still the presence remained.
    “Could it be Nyeth?” Vader thought as he raised to his feet.
    “It is in fact,” a voice called out from behind him. Vader spun around and saw an old man with long grey hair pulled into a pony tail standing before him; wearing tattered Jedi robes.
    “Nyeth,” Vader hissed.
    “It is good to see you, Anakin,” Nyeth answered as he looked Vader up and down, “Though I do not agree with your taste in garments. The standard Jedi garb is all a Knight needs.”
    “I am no longer a Jedi, old man.”
    “So you say, Skywalker,” Nyeth retorted in the balanced calm of a Jedi Master, “But I do not believe you.”
    “Skywalker is dead!” Vader bellowed, “Only Vader remains!”
    With that cry Vader ignited his lightsaber and leapt at Nyeth. His saber rose over his head mid leap. Where any man would have cowered in fear of Vader, the old Jedi Master stood his ground.
    “So be it,” Nyeth whispered.
    As Vader brought his saber’s blade down towards Nyeth’s head, the Jedi deftly moved to his left and called out to the Force. Vader’s saber missed its target and a wave of the Force pushed Vader into the air and sent him flying at the nearest tree. Vader pulled himself around mid-flight and landed, parallel to the ground, with his feet planted on the tree’s trunk. The Dark Side flung him back at his opponent.
    Nyeth ignited his saber and the last moment and the two swords slammed into each other. Vader was stopped dead against Nyeth’s defense and the two efforted against each other’s blades for what seemed like an eternity. Nyeth remained that pale Jedi face of calm until Vader’s power overwhelmed him. He stepped back.
    “Your powers have diminished in your age, Nyeth,” Vader hissed.
    “And yours have grown, Skywalker. Though I sense that not only the dark side is its cause.”
    “There is only the dark side now!”
    Vader attacked Nyeth viciously. His assault merciless. His power tangible. But Nyeth blocked every move. The effort could be seen on the old man’s face but his defense would not wane. Nyeth’s focus in battle was legendary, his defense would never break unless he allowed it to. He was known, as a young Knight, as “The Wall.” There were those in The Order that believed that Nyeth could never be beaten.
    “There is still some light in you, Anakin. Some Jedi. The darkness has not pushed it from you completely.”
    “The Jedi are gone, old man! I have destroyed them! I have brought peace and order to the galaxy! I have done what the Jedi could not!” Vader said, unleashing another barrage. Once again Nyeth’s perfect defense deflected every attack.
    “You bring order at the end of your lightsaber, young one.”
    “No different than I did as a Jedi”
    “Yes,” Nyeth answered with a smile, “I would have thought that you had learned the lesson we did.”
    “Your lessons are worthless, old man. The lessons of the light side are no match to the power of the dark side.”
    “They are a complete match, Anakin!” Nyeth said as he began to back up under the weight of Vader’s constant barrage, “You had such promise. Yet you failed to see that?”
    “Yet you are no match for me now, Jedi”
    Nyeth’s legs began to crumple under the young Sith Lord’s attacks.
    “I am no match for you Anakin, yes, because you bring both the power of dark AND light with you. I am only light.”
    “Fool! How must I convince you? The darkness allowed me to evolve and become stronger than the Jedi. It is only the darkness that let me destroy the Order.”
    Nyeth’s eyes opened wide. He let his perfect defense slip for just a second and Vader ran him through with his blade. He pulled the burning plasma from the old man’s chest and Nyeth fell to his knees. The Jedi repose still on his face, he almost appeared to be meditating. Vader extinguished his saber.
    “It is only the darkness inside me that destroyed you.”
    Nyeth turned his gaze up to Vader’s. The evening sun shone across Vader’s shoulders and obscured his death’s mask. To Nyeth’s eyes he saw only the young hero he had taught on Coruscant.
    “And it is the light inside you Anakin, no matter how faint, that will eventually destroy you.”
    With that last breath J’as Nyeth, The Teacher, the Jedi Swordsmaster, fell into the soft mud of Avathar and died. His famous saber fell from his hands for the first time ever. Vader stooped down and picked it up. He turned and looked at the setting sun. The light within cried out that it was beautiful. Like his wife’s face. Like his son’s eyes. Like his daughter’s heart. If Vader had still been a man he would have shed a tear.
    Instead he made his way back down to his shuttle and retuned to the coldness of space to continue his quest for revenge.

    copyright 2005 - Christian Evans