(July 1999) Note: This story appeared in the Imperial fanzine "Dark Jedi."
As the platform stopped rising, Luke reached out with the Force and searched the room. Vader was here, that much he could sense without any effort at all. Vader was powerful all right. For a moment doubt flashed across his mind, perhaps Obi-Wan and Yoda were right, perhaps this was all a big mistake. Vader had after all gone up against much better Jedi then himself, what was he thinking? He was only a trainee, a student. Vader had easily beaten Obi-Wan. Just the thought of his first mentor's death brought a wave of anger washing over him.
Pushing aside his anger, or trying to at least, he turned his thoughts back to why he had come as he stepped forward, eyes sweeping the room. He had come to save his friends, but there had been more to it than that. He had felt... drawn; it was almost like there had been a thin thread around his neck that had slowly but surely pulled him here. He couldn't explain why, but it had seemed extremely important that he come. Even if it had meant leaving Yoda and his training.
Looking around the room nervously he once again reached out with the Force, sweeping the room, trying to locate his enemy. Vader's presence was everywhere and nowhere but, try as he might, he couldn't pinpoint the Dark Lord's location.
"The Force is with you, young Skywalker," Vader's rich voice suddenly stated as he appeared from behind the wall of steam at the top of the stairs. "But you are not a Jedi yet."
Looking up at the masked warrior Luke slowly lowered his blaster and put it back into the holster strapped to his right leg. Keeping his eyes locked on the Sith Lord he slowly stepped forward as he took hold of his lightsaber. Ascending the stairs he felt it again, the strange pull that drove him in a direction that all his other senses screamed him not to go in.
Watching his son ascend the stairs Vader smiled behind his mask. The boy was powerful, so powerful that despite the mindblock he knew, he subconsciously knew of the relationship that existed between them. He knew who he was but he was not strong enough to understand the signals the Force was sending him, at least he wasn't strong enough yet. Soon the boy would know the truth, the whole truth, about his heritage and he would be powerful beyond his wildest dreams. As the boy reached the top of the stairs he studied him closely for the first time in close to twenty years. The boy looked much the way he had at that age.
With a determined look in his eyes Luke ignited his father's light-blue lightsaber and brought it up, ready to fight the man who had tortured his friends and murdered both his first mentor and his father. However, even as he thought about this, something about what he did felt horribly wrong, something other than the fact that he had just drawn a lightsaber on one of the most feared and dangerous men in the galaxy.
The moment the lightsaber was ignited Vader recognized it, it was the lightsaber he had made while pretending to be a Jedi. He had thought the lightsaber lost, molten in the lava pit he himself had fallen into, obviously it hadn't. So, Obi-Wan had saved his lightsaber while letting him burn! The Jedi must have already decided that he would train Luke as a Jedi at the time for otherwise he would never have saved the saber. The very thought made his anger rise, however, instead of letting it flow freely as he normally would, he pushed it back. He didn't have the time at the moment, what he had to do now was important and he didn't want to do something he'd regret later.
Looking back to his son he activated his own, blood-red, lightsaber he already held in his hand and waited. He saw the flicker of hesitation cross his son's young face and his earlier smile returned as he waited for the inevitable attack to come.
Luke looked at Vader in surprise for a moment, wondering why the Dark Lord didn't attack, was he that sure that he'd win? Or was there something else behind it? Pushing aside his hesitation he lunged forward.
Vader brought his own saber up and easily deflected the blow before waiting for the next one to come. He calmly blocked the second blow as well before he promptly pushed the boy back and off his feet. Quietly the boy got to his feet and gave him an angered look before he attacked again. Blocking the blows he was slightly surprised that, despite the ease with which he deflected the blows, Luke had learned so much in so little time. This only proved that Luke was as strong as he'd hoped when he had first held the boy in his arms shortly after his birth.
Seeing that Luke had no intention of stopping his attack any time soon he crossed lightsabers with the boy and easily pushed him back, but not off his feet.
"You have learned much young one," he praised as he watched his son.
"You'll find I'm full of surprises," Luke stated with a hint of arrogance in his voice as he lunged forward again.
"As am I," Vader replied as he hooked his lightsaber with Luke's and then, with a twist if his wrist, ripped the saber from his son's hands and sent it flying across the room to land out of sight.
As he looked down as his disarmed son he could see fear begin to appear in the ice-blue eyes. Calmly he swung his saber downward, giving the boy enough time to move, but forcing him to move closer to the carbon freezing pit.
Jumping back Luke lost his footing on the stairs and tumbled down, resisting the urge to call out in pain. If he survived this confrontation he'd definitely have bruises on his arms and legs to show for it. Looking up to the top of the stairs he saw Vader was watching him. Seconds later Vader jumped down the stairs and descended upon him like a huge, black, bird. At the last moment he rolled away, rising to a kneeling position before he got to his feet as he kept his eyes locked on Vader.
There was something about this man, if indeed he could be called that, something but he didn't know what. Even now, when he was defeated and disarmed, something inside of him was still fighting the rising fear he felt. He still wasn't sure what it was, but it was the same thing that had drawn him to this room and to this man. Whatever it was it screamed to be heard, but it seemed to be screaming in a language he didn't know as he couldn't understand what it was trying to tell him, just that it was important, extremely important.
Landing at the bottom of the stairs Vader silently watched his son rise as the fear in his eyes increased, but at the same time the fear increased so did the boy's confusion. Using the Force to open the cover of the carbon freezing pit he took a step forward, raising his lightsaber as he did so, thus forcing Luke to take a step backwards.
"Your destiny lies with me Skywalker," he stated, taking another step forward and forcing Luke another step back. The boy was now only one step away from the pit, if only he could keep the boy's attention on him. "Obi-Wan knew this to be true."
"No!" Luke replied instantly, a defiant look appear in his eyes.
Vader was both pleased and displeased with the anger that appeared in his son's Force aura. Pleased that his son could be angered relatively easily, but displeased about the source of the boy's anger. Hopefully the boy's head wasn't too full of Jedi ideas and foolishness, hopefully he could be made to drop what they had taught him, hopefully, and if not...
He lunged forward so suddenly that Luke instinctively jumped back, right into the carbon freezing pit. The boy let out a startled cry as he fell back and hit the hard metal floor. Looking down at his son as the boy got to his feet Vader reached out with the Force and activated the freezing process.
Looking up Luke was about to jump, using the physical enhancements techniques Yoda had taught him, when he was suddenly sprayed with liquid carbonite from three different directions. Losing his concentration he started to bring up his right arm to protect his face when the carbonite started to freeze, freezing his right arm half way to his face.
Watching a cloud of steam billow from the pit Vader smiled as he turned off his lightsaber and hung it at his belt. With Luke in carbonite he'd have no trouble getting the boy to Coruscant and, once there, the boy would belong to him and Palpatine as the boy's so-called friends would never be able to reach him.
Turning around he held out his hand and instantly his old lightsaber sprang into it. Looking down at the lightsaber he felt his anger rise again, he'd destroy it later and so rid himself of yet another reminder of his time with the Jedi. He'd hated that time, even if he hadn't truly been a Jedi.
Using the Force he opened the door to the room. Instantly the Ugnaughts entered and began to get everything ready to lift the block of carbonite containing his only son out of the freezing pit. Watching them work he smiled to himself, once the lightsaber was destroyed Luke would be his only link left to the Jedi that could be dealt with. He'd have a constant reminder of the Jedi from his armor and respirator, but there was nothing he could do about that so there was no use letting his thoughts dwell on it. Luke on the other hand could be either converted back into a Sith so that he'd reject the Jedi, their ideas, and their hopes or else he could kill the boy. Either way that link to the Jedi would be destroyed.
Turning his attention back to the present he silently watched as the block of carbonite was raised. Studying the frozen form of his son he noticed the look of horror frozen on his face and the half-raised hand. Reaching out with the Force to brush Luke's mind he was instantly assaulted by a nearly overwhelming sense of confusion and fear. Then, as he actually touched the boy's mind, he found that while Luke wasn't fully conscious he wasn't totally unconscious either, he was just aware enough of his surroundings for him to feel like he was trapped in an endless hell of nothingness.
Pulling back Vader nodded his head, this was perfect, the boy would be totally confused when he was released from the carbonite. The confusion would go well with the helplessness the boy would feel as the Imperial doctors had said that if he survived the freezing process he'd be totally blind once freed from the carbonite. A blindness the doctors had assured him which would wear off if given enough time or which could be healed with the right medication. The doctors had given him the medication but he had since trashed it, knowing that although trained Luke was not yet strong enough to see more then brief images of his surrounding without his eyes. This would mean that the boy would be totally dependent on him, Palpatine, or anyone they chose to look after him.
"Have it brought to my quarters on board the Executor," he ordered to a Commander waiting by the door.
"As you wish, my Lord," the Commander replied as he signaled for two storm troopers to step forward.
Turning around Vader left the room with a swirl of his black cape, his mind still on his son. The confusion, the fear, the hopelessness, and the uncertainty the boy would feel when he learned of his heritage would leave him very vulnerable to the Dark Side, to him, and to Palpatine. And should the boy still, despite all of that, refuse to take the place belonging to him by birthright then he'd be destroyed.
Briefly he thought of Luke's mother and of how she would feel if she knew what was going through his mind right now, but then he pushed the thought aside. He would not have some half-trained Jedi as his son, Luke was a Prince and a Sith by heritage so he'd have to accept that which he was and act accordingly or he wouldn't act at all.
"Lord Vader," a voice said, pulling Vader back to the present.
"Yes," he replied, looking at the Commander before him.
"My Lord," the officer began nervously. "The prisoners have escaped."
"What?" Vader demanded.
"They managed to get free," the officer said as he began swallowing nervously. "They then got to their ship and they just took off my Lord."
He should have known the Princess would try something, but he had been too busy thinking about his son. He had hoped to use them to arose Luke's anger, but perhaps there was another way to reach that same goal.
"Destroy the ship," he ordered before he continued on his way.
"As you wish my Lord," the officer replied and hurried off to carry out his orders.
Hearing that his friends were dead would have the same effect on his son as having them tortured before him. And perhaps the effect would be better as his friends wouldn't be there to tell him not to give in. Indeed it was a better deal from every point of view.
"Have your men deactivated the hyperdrive of the Millennium Falcon?" Vader demanded as he watched the TIE fighters pursue the Falcon from the Executor's bridge.
"Yes my Lord," Admiral Piett replied as he kept his eyes glued on the fleeing Falcon.
"Good," Vader stated. "As soon as the ship comes into range fire on it with the turbolasers."
"As you wish my Lord," Admiral Piett replied as he turned around and gave orders to the Captain waiting at his side.
Looking out of the large viewport Vader thought of the Emperor. Palpatine would be pleased that he had finally recovered his son after all those years and he had no doubt that the ruler would enjoy the way he had frozen the boy in carbonite. Just then the Executor's turbolasers opened fire on the Falcon. The small ship twisted and turned wildly, somehow avoiding the shots. Then, as Vader watched, the ship suddenly disappeared, having jumped into hyperspace.
Anger rising Vader reached out with his mental fingers and grasped the Admiral's throat, slowly constricting it as he turned around to face the man.
"You have failed," he stated simply before he squeezed the last air out of the Admiral's throat.
Seconds later Admiral Piett dropped to the floor, dead. Turning to the ship's Captain, Vader saw that all the blood had drained from the man's face and that he was trembling slightly.
"We shall return to Coruscant immediately Admiral Cecius," Vader ordered, promoting the fearful man. "Don't fail me."
With this he stepped over the body on the floor and strode out of the room. Both officers and storm troopers quickly got out of his way as he marched through the halls. Reaching the door to his room he entered and smiled as he saw the frozen statue of his son leaning against the wall near his pod. Walking over to the carbonite block he reached out and touched his son's frozen cheek with the back of his gloved hand.
As he came into contact with the carbonite the fear, confusion, and now desperation his son felt washed over him twice as strong as when he had touched the boy's mind. Looking at the statue one last time he turned around and sat down in his pod as he unhooked his old lightsaber from him belt.
He looked at the lightsaber for a moment before he started to take it apart. As soon as he had the crystal in his hand he activated his blood-red lightsaber and cut the metal of his old lightsaber in half before he started to melt the blue crystal. Once there was nothing left of the crystal but a pool of melted jewel he turned off his lightsaber and closed his pod.
Luke was now his only link to the Jedi that he could do something about.
Walking down the Grand Hall of the Imperial Palace towards the throne room Darth Vader smiled unseen behind his mask. The last few days had been uneventful, but today would be different. As soon as he had reported to the Emperor he'd go to his castle and release his son from the carbonite prison he was in.
As he neared the doors to the throne room one of the red robed Royal Guards stepped forward and opened the door for him. Entering the dark room Vader lowered his mental shields, knowing that Palpatine could read his thoughts and emotions regardless of whether his shields were raised or not.
Ascending the stairs he reached the top just as the ebony colored throne turned to face him.
"You have the boy?" Palpatine asked as his piercing yellow eyes looked on the man most assumed to be nothing more than his servant.
"Yes," Vader replied simply. "I had him frozen in carbonite on Bespin."
"He is undamaged?"
"Yes, I had the freezing process tested before I put Luke in," Vader explained. "And the only side effect that will affect him for longer then a couple of hours is a temporary blindness."
"A temporary blindness," the Galactic Ruler repeated as an evil smile appeared on his face. "You have done well. Now go, unfreeze him and tell him who you are, then, tomorrow, you will bring him before me and then we shall reveal the rest to him."
"As you wish," Vader replied, anticipation apparent in his voice.
Then he turned around, descended the stairs, and exited by a hidden door to the right of the room's main entrance. This second door led to a deserted hallway only accessible by Palpatine and himself.
Darkness stretched infinitely in every direction, images and voices flashed randomly across his mind like lightening. He had long since given up trying to move as, despite his hardest efforts, he had been unable to move a single finger or wiggle a single toe since he had gotten here. But where was here? The answer to that question hung just out of his reach and during his time in this strange place he had slowly become aware of the fact that his mind wasn't working at the rate it should.
And, as if the confusion and the fear of being stuck in this forbidding and unknown place wasn't enough, something inside of him screamed for his attention. But it, just like the answer to where he was, floated out of his reach.
Where was he? What had happened to him? How long had he been here? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? The more he thought about it, or rather tried to think about it as his mind kept drifting, the longer he thought that he'd been here.
Entering a nearly bare room in his castle Vader strode to the carbonite block leaning against one of the walls. Looking at his son's frozen features he smiled before he walked to the side of the carbonite block and turned the necessary knobs to commence the de-freezing process. For a moment it seemed like nothing happened before there was a low humming and the carbonite covering his son turned a reddish color.
Stepping closer he watched as the carbonite glowed red for another minute before it disappeared and Luke groaned before falling to the floor. Kneeling down Vader pulled his son into a sitting position against his arm before he pulled Luke's blaster from it's holster and threw it across the room.
"What...?" Luke asked, shaking visibly. "What happened?"
"You are now free of the carbonite," Vader replied.
"Carbonite?" Luke asked as he blinked his eyes a couple of times. "What..."
Suddenly his face froze as it all came rushing back to him, the brief battle, his fall down the stairs, Vader's words, and finally his fall into that pit... a carbon freezing pit. Hearing the mechanized breathing he suddenly realized who was holding him, the same instant he realized that there was something wrong with his eyes. Pulling away from Vader's arms he tried to rise to his feet, lost his balance, and fell to the floor as he tripped over something as he had tried to regain his balance.
"Where do you think you're going?" Vader inquired as he got up and walked to where Luke lay next to the chair he had overturned.
"My... my eyes," Luke stuttered. "What's wrong with my eyes?"
"Nothing permanent," Vader replied as he reached down and placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "Just a temporary after effect of the carbonite, it will wear off in time."
"You're not going to kill me?" Luke questioned as he tried to shrug the Sith Lord's hand off of his shoulder, but found that he was too weak to do even that in his present condition.
"That depends on whether you accept your heritage and act accordingly or not," Vader responded.
"My heritage?" Luke questioned suspiciously as that feeling that had been bothering him lately suddenly increased in intensity.
"Yes," Vader confirmed. "What did Kenobi tell you about your father?"
"My father," Luke repeated, his anger growing. "He told me you killed him!"
As he said this he tried to get up, but Vader's hand suddenly seemed to turn into an iron vice that forced him back down.
"Is that all?" Vader demanded harshly. "Didn't he tell you anymore lies?"
"Lies?" Luke asked, knowing that he shouldn't be listening to this man, this man who had cold-bloodedly murdered both his father and his first mentor, but somehow being unable to do anything but listen.
"Yes, lies," Vader stated, pleased with Luke's instincts. "I never murdered your father. Luke, I am your father!"
Luke froze at those words as he felt his blood turn to ice. No! It couldn't be true! And yet he couldn't feel that denial, that denial that he wanted to feel. That feeling that had drawn him, that feeling that hadn't listened to his other senses when they had screamed at him to stop what he was doing, that feeling now insisted that what Darth Vader, what the Dark Lord of the Sith and second in command of the Galactic Empire, said was true.
"No!" he exclaimed aloud with the denial he just couldn't feel. "No that's not true, that's impossible!"
"Search your feelings, you know it to be true, my son," Vader stated and watched with satisfaction as Luke flinched at the last two words.
Shaking his head in denial Luke tried to convince himself that Vader was lying to him, that he was using the Force to manipulate his feelings and making him think that what he was hearing was the truth. But no matter how hard he tried to convince himself he knew, he felt, that Vader was indeed his father. His father! All his life he had wanted to know his father, to be with him and to learn from him. But now all of his childhood dreams and hopes were shattered by a few words from that man he had wanted to know, from his father.
Feeling his son accept the truth Vader smiled to himself, so far it seemed like he'd be able to turn the boy as it was now clear to him that all the boy's hopes and dreams had centered around him, or around the man Luke had imagined as his father, but if not...
Briefly his anger flared as he thought of the lies Kenobi must have filled his son's head with, but then he pushed the thought aside as he took hold of his son's upper arm and pulled him to his feet without any resistance. The shock of the news he had just received along with the effects of the carbonite seemed to have completely stunned the boy to such an extent that he didn't really seem to care what happened to him at the moment. Hopefully the boy would be over it by tomorrow when he first met Palpatine or else he wouldn't even be able to chose to accept the place rightfully his by birthright.
Leading his son out of the room, up the stairs, and to his old bedroom he silently listened to Luke's thoughts as the boy tried unsuccessfully to sort out what had happened to him since he had left Dagobah. Instantly he filed the name of the planet away in his mind, knowing that he'd have to kill Yoda first chance he got.
"How long was I in the carbonite?" Luke asked just before Vader thrust him onto a bed.
"Four and a half days," Vader replied.
Nodding his head Luke pushed himself into a sitting position as he realized that the sheets on the bed were made of a delicate silk, not what he expected to be in a prison cell.
"Where am I?" he asked looking in the direction of the mechanized breathing and hoping that he was looking at his father's face.
"Your bedroom," Vader replied, slightly amused to see his son looking over his right shoulder. "Tomorrow morning I shall take you to Palpatine."
With that he turned around, left the room, and ordered it to lock from the outside.
Sitting on the bed Luke waited and listened for a few moments, making sure that his father was gone before he fell back onto the bed. His father! Darth Vader was his father! How had it happened? Why had it happened? Had his mother loved Vader? Or had she fallen in love with Anakin Skywalker? Was that why he had been raised on Tatooine, far away from his father, because his mother had loved Anakin until he had turned into Vader? But where was she then? Had she abandoned him not wanting a reminder of the man she had once known and loved?
Not really wanting to know the answer to that he sat up again and wondered whether he should try walking around. Not quite sure after what had happened downstairs he moved his hands along the edge of the bed until he touched the wood of what had to be the bed post. Running his fingers across it he felt that the wood was richly decorated with carvings.
Laying back on the soft mattress he wondered why he had been put in this room, his bedroom as his father called it, instead of in a prison cell. He was sure that the door to this room was locked just like a prison cell would be locked, not that it made a difference as he wouldn't be able to go anywhere until he got his eyesight back. Was his father planning on keeping him and turning him to the Dark Side? And what of Palpatine?
Suddenly his whole body stiffened as he remembered his father's reply to his question about whether he was going to be killed or not: 'That depends on whether you accept your heritage and act accordingly or not.' His father would kill him if he refused to turn Dark Side! At least that was what he had said, but he wouldn't really do that, would he? Was Vader Dark enough to kill his own son if that son didn't act the way he wanted him to?
Not wanting to think about the answer to that question based upon what he knew of his father he turned around and thought about his friends. Were they all right? Had they gotten away or had they been captured? And if they had been captured, where were they now? Something inside of him told him that they were still alive. He knew that he could find out for sure if he reached out with the Force, but he didn't, fearful of what his father might do to him if he did so. But why had his friends left him to Vader? Didn't they care? Or hadn't they known?
Frustrated he pounded his fist against the mattress before he restrained his anger, anger would lead to the Dark Side. The Dark Side, that was what his father wanted him to turn to. Should he? But what of all that Yoda had told him of it? Just because Vader was his father didn't mean that he had to join the Empire, did it? He couldn't betray his friends... could he?
Turning on the bed he forced all thoughts from his mind as he let himself drift away into a restless sleep.
"Wake up young Lord," a voice said, pulling Luke from an uneasy sleep.
"Wha...what?" Luke asked as everything that had happened came back to him. "Who are you?"
"Marcus, Lord," Marcus replied. "And you must now eat your breakfast before your father comes to take you to the Emperor."
"Don't call me that!" Luke ordered instantly as he sat up.
Just because he was Vader's son didn't mean that he wanted to get his father's title. That title stood for evil and pain!
"What Master? Lord?" Marcus asked and then continued when Luke nodded. "But it is your rightful title, yours by birthright."
"No, it isn't," Luke stated turning his head towards the direction of Marcus's voice.
"It is," Marcus replied simply but firmly. "But now you must eat."
With this the servant placed a tray with food on Luke's lap and placed one of Luke's hands on the cup and the other on the plate. Deciding not to start an argument Luke sat silently as he began to eat, quickly becoming aware that Marcus hadn't left the room.
"Are you just going to stay here and watch while I eat?" Luke inquired as he stopped eating.
"Yes Master," Marcus replied. "I am here to serve you and your father."
"Have you been with my father for a long time?" Luke asked as he took another bite of the food he didn't recognize.
"Several years," Marcus replied as he studied Luke.
How the boy had changed since he had last seen him. It was a pity the Jedi had gotten hold of him, he had been such a promising heir to Lord Vader. Shaking his head he waited patiently until the boy finished eating before he stepped forward and took the empty tray from the young Prince's lap.
"Your father will be here shortly," Marcus stated before he left the room.
Hearing the door close Luke lowered his head to his hands. Lord? He didn't want an Imperial title, he was a Rebel. But could he still be a Rebel knowing that his father was an Imperial? Could he fight everything his father stood for? He had always fought for the Alliance because he thought that that was what his father would have believed in and fought for. He had thought that his father was a Jedi. Bringing his head up and clenching his fists he sighed aloud, this was all so damn frustrating! Why did this have to happen to him? Why--
"Come Palpatine is waiting..." Vader began as he strode into the room. "This will not do."
"What?" Luke asked.
"Your clothes," Vader replied as he eyed the filthy greenish jumpsuit his son wore.
"What's wrong with them?" Luke demanded, trying desperately to hide the uncertainty he felt.
"They aren't fitting for you," Vader stated as he walked over to the closet, opened it, and pulled out a plain black shirt, pants, knee-high boots, and a belt. "Put these on," he ordered as he threw them to Luke.
Feeling the delicate material of the clothes Luke lifted his head in the direction of the mechanical breathing.
"What are they?" he asked, not willing to just put on clothes with Imperial symbols all over them.
"Plain black clothes," Vader replied impatiently. "Now put them on, Palpatine doesn't like to be kept waiting and you don't want him to be angry, for your own health."
Stiffening slightly at the threat Luke hesitated for another second. What was preventing his father from lying to him? Was this a test to see how readily he'd trust him? Or was he pulling this whole thing out of proportions?
Suddenly he felt Vader invade his mind and, before he could react, an image flashed into view. For a second he could see himself sitting on a huge bed with black sheets and, in his hands, were plain black clothes. The whole image seemed to be dark, as if he were looking through sun shades or something. Then, suddenly, he realized what it was: Vader had just sent him an image of what he was seeing through his mask.
Nodding his head, uncomfortable with what had just happened, Luke quickly changed. His father had effortlessly invaded his mind and shown him an image despite the problem he had with his eyes. It frightened him to think of the amount of power his father possessed and it showed him just how helpless he was. If his father wanted to do something to him then there was nothing he could do to prevent it.
Hearing Luke's thoughts Vader smiled, this realization on his son's part was a first step in the right direction, even if the boy didn't realize it. As soon as Luke had changed he nodded with satisfaction as he regarded the boy, his son looked good in black. Taking hold of Luke's upper arm and, ignoring how the boy stiffened at his touch, he led him out of the room.
Feeling Vader and Luke approach Palpatine smiled. He was looking forward to seeing the boy's reaction when he learned the full truth of who he was and the implications it held. Turning his throne away from the huge viewport overlooking the capitol of his Empire he watched as Vader lead his son towards him and halted the boy at the top of the first flight of stairs.
"Welcome young Vader, I have been expecting you," he stated and watched as Luke flinched at the name.
"Don't call me that," Luke demanded, that name represented evil, pain, and misery, he didn't want that name. "My name is Skywalker."
Palpatine started laughing at this while Luke felt his father's hand on his arm tighten.
"Skywalker," Palpatine repeated as he stopped laughing. "That name doesn't exist. You were born a Vader and so you are a Vader."
"Doesn't exist?" Luke repeated slowly. "What? You lie!"
Instantly Vader tightened his grip so much the Luke gritted his teeth to prevent calling out as he brought his hands up to try to get his father's hand off of his arm.
"Watch your mouth boy," Vader ordered as he watched Luke's futile efforts to free himself. "Show some respect."
"Respect?" Luke replied before he could stop himself. "For a cold-blooded monster who brings oppression to the gala--"
He quickly stopped and closed his mouth to prevent another scream as his father's grip tightened even more before he was forced to his knees, to a kneeling position. He fought to rise, not knowing how far away the Emperor was, but still hating the symbolism of his posture. Finally he gave up as his father's grip only tightened with his struggles. How could his father do this to him? Didn't he feel anything for his son?
Releasing his grip on his son, Vader watched as the boy hesitated slightly before rising to his feet. Obviously the boy feared what would happen if he did something not expected of him, but his pride made him hide it. It was another small step in the right direction, but it was all happening far too slowly.
"I'm not lying," Palpatine declared icily. "Your father was born Darth Vader and he went by that name until I had him take on the name Anakin Skywalker, a name I made up, in order to infiltrate the Jedi. This way he would know their techniques when the time came for him to destroy them."
"No!" Luke whispered as he shook his head in denial.
It couldn't be true!
"Yes," Vader replied. "Anakin Skywalker doesn't and never has existed. You are a Vader, and you would be even if you had been born while I was going under the name Skywalker, which you weren't."
"No! You're making this up," Luke said as he desperately searched for a hole in the story. "How would you know what his birth name was?" he demanded looking in the direction of the Emperor's voice.
"Because I named him," Palpatine replied simply as he stared intently at the boy, not planning on missing his reaction as the rest of his life was turned upside-down. "You see your father is my son."
Luke froze as his muscles stiffened and ice flowed through his veins as the implications of the statement hit him. If Palpatine was his father's father, then that meant that he was Palpatine's...
"No!" he declared loudly as he took a step back and came up against his father who instantly placed both of his large hands on his shoulders.
And somehow those hands that had just hurt him moments earlier now suddenly seemed to offer protection.
"Yes," Palpatine replied, evil pleasure evident in his voice. "It is true, my grandson."
Shaking his head in denial Luke found that he was trembling slightly. The same feeling that had told him Vader was speaking the truth when he had declared he was his father now told him that Palpatine was speaking the truth as well. He wanted to run, to run out of this room to safety, but if he wasn't safe with his family, then where was he safe? With his friends? But hadn't they left him to Vader?
Looking down at his son Vader smiled. Luke was taking the news exactly as he had expected him to, but he had a feeling that the boy didn't fully understand what it meant to have Palpatine as a grandfather. Reaching forward he stroked Luke's bloodless cheek with the back of his hand and was pleased to see that the boy didn't pull away from his touch. Leaning forward he spoke softly into his son's ear:
"My son, Luke Vader, Imperial Prince and second in line for the Galactic throne."
Luke's head snapped up at the words as he ripped free from his father's grip before he turned around so that he hoped he was looking in the direction of his father as he started walking backwards.
"No!" he declared, his voice shaking.
Emperor! They expected him to be Emperor someday and to lead the Empire that brought oppression and misery to the people of the galaxy!
He opened his mouth to say more when his words were cut of by a startled exclamation as his foot hit something and he fell over backwards and landed on a short flight of stairs. The moment he realized what had happened he also became aware of Palpatine's, his grandfather's, laughter. Anger rising he tried to get to his feet, but his foot slipped on something and he fell back down.
"Good," Palpatine stated as he felt Luke's rising anger. "Use your anger my grandson, let it flow freely within you."
Luke froze at the words. Should he? Should he do as Palpatine told him to? But what of his friends? Could he betray them? But could he betray his family, that which he had always wanted?
Disgusted by his son's hesitation Vader stepped forward, grabbed Luke's upper arm, and yanked him to his feet.
"You shouldn't hesitate boy," he said, disapproval evident in his voice. "The Dark Side is your heritage, your legacy."
Luke twitched visibly at the words, but remained silent as the confusion within him only grew.
Dark/Light Right/Wrong Family/Friends
He also couldn't help but feel slightly hurt by his father's disapproval. He had longed to have a father for too long to just cast aside his remarks now that he had one.
"Take him away," Palpatine ordered. "He won't be useful today, tomorrow we can begin his training."
Luke gritted his teeth, somehow Palpatine's comments didn't reach him, but just the fact that he assumed he would turn made him angry. But he hid his anger, not wanting the Emperor to see it.
Eyeing the boy, Palpatine's eyes narrowed, his grandson thought that he could hide his thoughts and emotions from him. Had the boy been raised here on Coruscant he wouldn't be so naive at this age. Shaking his head he nodded to Vader who started leading Luke away.
They had just descended the first three stairs when Luke twisted in his father's grip and turned in the direction the Emperor had to be in. Concentrating he reached out with the Force, willing himself to see without his eyes, just like he had done the first time he had been on the Falcon.
Suddenly an image flashed across his mind. The image was of an ebony throne sitting before a huge window which overlooked Coruscant. Sitting in the throne he saw the black-robed form of the Galactic Ruler, of his grandfather. And, although most of Palpatine's face was hidden by the hood of his robe, he could make out the man's piercing yellow eyes.
"Good," Palpatine declared. "You hold much potential and shall be very powerful with the Dark Side."
Luke remained silent at the remark, filing away the image he had just seen. Seeing that his son wouldn't reply Vader turned him around and lead him back to his room.
"What else is in here?" Luke asked as his father pushed him onto his bed.
"Your desk, a closet, a computer terminal, a shelf, and across from your bed is a large window overlooking Coruscant."
Nodding his head Luke hesitated.
"What is it?" Vader demanded studying his blind son.
"Is it true? Did you really use the Dark Side first?" Luke asked, needing to be sure. "Did you only join the Jedi to learn their weaknesses? Didn't you care anything about what they stood for when you joined them?"
"Yes to all but the last question," Vader replied and watched as Luke squeezed his eyes shut at the answer.
That hadn't been what he'd wanted to hear. All the small hopes he'd found after he had learned Vader was his father were now shattered, leaving him with nothing but the friendship of Han and Leia. It was now impossible for him to believe that his father had been a good man until he'd turned to evil, impossible to believe that his mother had loved the man his father had once been. He was truly Darth Vader's son and there was no way around it.
Feeling the foolish hopes of his son die Vader smiled behind his mask. Perhaps now the boy would see the truth and join him and Palpatine on the Dark Side. Looking at Luke for another moment he finally turned around and left the room. He had other things to do.
Hearing the door close Luke raised his head. All his dreams and hopes, everything he had once thought of his father, were gone. How could he have been so wrong about him? Why did he have to have longed for a father? Why couldn't he have been like Han? Han had never known his parents, he didn't even know a single detail about them, and he didn't care. Why couldn't he have been like that? Why was he different from Han? Neither of them had even known their fathers at the time. Why had he longed for one so?
Hoping to find an answer to that question he reached back into his mind for his earliest memories. However, try as he might, all he could remember were a couple of fragments of himself as a six year old boy, and even then he had longed to know his father. But there had to be something before that, hadn't there?
Concentrating he searched his mind until he started to get a headache. His life on Tatooine had always followed the same pattern day in and day out so there probably wasn't anything special to remember before the age of six. As it had been then when he had first met Biggs Darklighter who had been his friend until his death above the Death Star......a death caused by Darth Vader, by his father.
Pushing the thought out of his mind he turned his thoughts to his friends, to Han and Leia. Why had they left him to Vader? They hadn't known Vader was his father so leaving him as they had had been leaving him to an almost certain death. But that was crazy, they had risked their lives to save him in the past, so why would they suddenly abandon him now? Or had something else happened?
Unable to resist he reached out with the Force. He had just found Leia's mind and was about to look for Han's mind when a Force wall slammed into him with such force that he screamed as he was knocked off the bed and to the floor.
'You will use the Dark Side or you won't use the Force at all,' Palpatine's voice stated. 'Understood?'
'Yes,' Luke replied mentally, not wanting to anger the Emperor anymore.
Waiting until he was sure that his grandfather had left him alone he got to his feet and re-seated himself on the bed. Leia at least was alive, so why had she left him? Didn't she care? Not wanting to think about it he got to his feet and slowly started walking around the room, holding his hands in front of himself.
Waking up to the sun shining in his eyes Luke cursed himself for forgetting to close the drapes as he pulled the sheets over his head before he froze and threw the sheets back. He could see! Slowly his eyes adjusted to the light and he looked out the huge window in his room that overlooked some of the skyscrapers of Coruscant. Getting out of his bed he walked over to the window and silently watched the transports of every shape and size make their way between the tall buildings.
"So you have regained your eyesight," Marcus said, startling Luke. "I'm sorry my Lord, I thought you knew I was here. Your father always knows when I'm in the room."
"I wasn't paying attention," Luke replied as he let his eyes wander over the room which was totally decorated in black.
He didn't like being compared with his father.
"Very well," Marcus responded as he handed Luke his breakfast tray. "I shall knock next time."
Nodding his head Luke ate his breakfast as he studied the silent Marcus. There was something familiar about the graying servant, but he couldn't place what or where. The moment he finished eating Marcus took the tray from him.
"Your father will be here soon," he informed Luke before he left the room.
Looking at the black clothes he had worn the other day Luke got up and walked to the closet, hoping to find something which wasn't black. The symbolism of the color was too great for him, both his father and his grandfather wore it and he wasn't sure he wanted to join them. Looking into the closet he felt his heart sink, not only was everything black, everything also resembled his father's clothing right down to the gloves and cape. Angry he pounded his fist against the door of the closet, not caring if he was sending out reverberations in the Force.
Reluctantly he changed back into the clothes he had worn the day before. They were trying to control him by controlling everything he needed. They controlled where he could go and what he did by locking him up, they controlled what he wore, and what he ate. He didn't care whether they were his father and grandfather, they had done nothing for him so far, they hadn't been there to raise him. They had no right to suddenly take control of his life on claims they had never done anything for.
"That's where you're wrong," Vader stated as he entered the room.
Luke whirled around, his anger rising at having his thoughts read.
"Your anger is good but misplaced," Vader said.
Luke hesitated at the slight praise as he studied his father for the first time since he knew the truth.
"What do you mean I'm wrong?" he asked, feeling that strange feeling again.
"I raised you for nearly a fourth of your life until Kenobi stole you from me," Vader replied.
"What?" Luke asked as his memory told him this wasn't true, but the Force told him his father wasn't lying either. "Then why don't I remember it?"
"Because the Jedi forced a mindblock upon you so that it would be easier for them to manipulate you," Vader explained, his anger rising at what the Jedi had done to his son.
First they had kidnapped him, then they had forced the mindblock upon him, and finally they had tried to turn him into one of them.
"They didn't manipulate me!" Luke declared, his pride refusing to be suppressed.
"They did," Vader replied as he reached out with a single tendril of the Force and entered his son's mind.
"Don't!" Luke ordered as he first raised his mental shields and then lashed out as his father persisted.
Instantly he lost all control of his body from the neck down as he felt pure rage radiate from his father.
"Never do that again!" Vader ordered as he partially constricted Luke's throat with his mental fingers.
Quickly Luke nodded his head as he felt fear seep into his soul at his father's power. He was not, however, planning on totally submitting so he refused to gasp for air despite the fact that his lungs screamed for him to do so.
Seeing the pride in the boy, Vader released his grip on his son's throat. It was not his wish to break the boy, he had enough whimpering, mindless minions, he merely wanted to turn his son back into what he was born to be. Releasing his control of Luke's body he re-entered his mind. Unhindered he made his way to the back of the boy's mind, found the mindblock, and instantly proceeded to destroy it.
Feeling a sudden, unbearable, pressure inside his head Luke was already moving to strike his father when he caught himself, knowing that the punishment for doing so would be much worse then what he was now experiencing. However the pressure quickly increased and suddenly there was a flash of white before his eyes followed by a wave of pain so bad that he called out as he sank to his knees.
As the pain faded he felt his father leave his mind. Slowly rising to his feet he raised his eyes to his father.
"You have your so-called 'master' Yoda to thank for that," Vader explained. "He's the only one who could have forced such a strong mindblock upon you."
"Mindblock?" Luke asked looking confused.
"Search your memory," Vader ordered. "With the mindblock destroyed you'll find you have a whole lot of memories you haven't seen in a while."
Looking skeptically at his father, Luke hesitated before deciding that there was no harm in looking. Reaching back he looked at the memories of himself on Tatooine as a six year old boy, then he looked further back and was suddenly bombarded by a whole new set of memories.
He was sitting on the floor next to a bed in the bedroom he was now in, only he was younger, four to five years old. He was playing with miniature TIE fighters and X-wings, only the TIEs were winning the battle, when he remembered feeling a soft touch in his mind at which he had leapt to his feet, abandoned his battle, and run out of his room only to bump into a younger version of Marcus.
"Careful, young Prince," Marcus had said as he had helped him to his feet. "Watch where you're going."
"Daddy's home," he had replied as if that explained everything before he had rushed downstairs.
Rushing into a hallway that had to be near the entrance of his father's castle, he had promptly flung himself at a tall, blond haired, and blue eyed man while yelling "Daddy!" As the memory faded another replaced it and he found himself looking out the window of a shuttle as it descended to a landing pad outside the Imperial Palace. Then he was sitting in the corner of a room, joyfully watching his father as he made attack plans to destroy some kind of military base. Next he was sitting in his bed, listening while his father told him of how he had recently killed a Jedi. Remembering how much he had enjoyed the bedtime story he shoved the memories aside before looking up at his father who was watching him.
"No!" he exclaimed. "You planted those images in my mind, they're not real!"
"They're as real as you and I," Vader replied. "Which is why the Jedi forced the mindblock upon you: they couldn't train the son of a Sith when he remembered all that he had been taught by his father."
Clenching his fists Luke reached back for more of the memories. What his father said made sense and that feeling told him the memories were real. Quickly he began looking for a memory with his mother in it, but all he could find was a blurry image of a chestnut-haired woman with hazel brown eyes.
"Was she my mother?" Luke asked softly.
"Yes," Vader responded, his voice emotionless. "She died shortly after your birth."
Luke opened his mouth to ask how she had died, but he suddenly knew that his father would say no more on the matter. Instead he looked back to the memory in which he had flung himself at his father, a father without armor or respirator.
"How...." Luke began. "What happened to you? How did you end up needing the armor and respirator?"
"Kenobi," Vader spat the word out with so much hate and venom that Luke took a step back. "We had a lightsaber duel when I had tracked you down to the planet of Dassein after he had kidnapped you. I slipped during the duel and fell into a pit of cooling lava."
Luke flinched at the thought as he wondered how his father had survived the accident.
"As soon as I fell into the pit of lava Kenobi took you and left Dassein. Once Palpatine learned of what had happened he sent people after Kenobi to retrieve you, but they weren't Force sensitive and Kenobi got away. By the time I could restart my search for you the trail had grown cold."
Luke shifted uncomfortably as he realized that it was because of him that his father now needed the armor and respirator, if he hadn't existed then his father wouldn't have been on Dassein when he had and the duel that had lead to the accident wouldn't have taken place. Looking everywhere but at his father he remained silent.
"Palpatine waits," Vader finally said before turning around and exiting the room.
Knowing that disobedience would get him nowhere, Luke quietly followed his father. Entering the throne room through the second entrance, Luke felt Palpatine enter his mind. He was already moving to push his grandfather out when he thought the better of it. Instead he simply watched as Palpatine reached back to where the mindblock should be before he retreated. Reaching the top of the first flight of stairs he looked up at his grandfather.
"So now you have your complete memory, my grandson," Palpatine stated as another memory flashed across Luke's mind:
He was standing next to the throne, which was facing the window, his right hand was resting on the throne arm as he listened to his grandfather talk about the Empire. Every now and then Palpatine would stop talking to point to one of the buildings out the window.
Coming back to the present he saw his grandfather was smiling at him.
"Now you must accept the Dark Side," Palpatine ordered as he reached out and wrapped Luke in a blanket of pure Dark Side energy.
Feeling the Dark Side energy around him, hovering at the edge of his soul, Luke stiffened. He knew exactly what was expected of him by his father and grandfather, they wanted him to open himself to the Force and to let the Dark Side energy around him in, to let it flood through his entire being. Part of him wanted to do as they wished, to become what his father wanted him to be, but another part of him held back. If he accepted this he would be joining the Empire and betraying his friends. Besides there was also everything Yoda and Obi-Wan had told him about the Dark Side.
The instant the thought crossed his mind he felt boiling rage appear in the Force aura's of his father and grandfather. Letting his eyes flicker from his father to his grandfather he watched as his grandfather got to his feet and walked over to the top of the second flight of stairs. Seeing the full face under the hood for the first time in years he swallowed involuntarily, it was almost as if something was eating away at Palpatine's flesh.
The thought left his mind as he saw the Emperor raise his hands, something about the gesture was familiar, but he couldn't remember why. Suddenly spidery blue-white lightning crackled across Palpatine's hands before it shot straight at him. Lifting his arms out of reflex he screamed in pain as the Force lightening hit him and knocked him off his feet. At first he thought that it was a short punishment for his hesitation, but then it continued and the pain got worse. His grandfather wouldn't kill him, would he? Still screaming in pain he writhed beneath the assault. Seeing his father he reached out to him.
"Father, please!" he called out before he began screaming again.
Looking at his son, Vader remained silent as Palpatine continued the punishment. He had been pleased when he had felt he the part of his son that had been willing to accept the Dark Side, but the fact that the boy still thought of the Jedi showed that he didn't fully realize what he was doing.
Stopping his attack, Palpatine eyed the boy as he closed his eyes and rolled onto his back. Had it not been for the part of the boy that had been willing to join them he would have killed him now. The boy began to tremble slightly before he opened his eyes and looked up at him. Their eyes met for a moment, his piercing yellow drilling into the boy's ice-blue.
Finally Luke broke his gaze as he lowered his eyes before he looked to his father. How could his father stand by and watch what had just happened? Didn't he care?
"At the moment you aren't his son," Palpatine stated as Luke sat up. "Any test would prove that you are, but mentally you aren't Vader's son, mentally you are a Jedi child," Palpatine said those last two words with all the hate within him.
Luke flinched at the venom directed at him as he looked to his father who just nodded his head in agreement.
"The Jedi kidnapped you from your father, stole you from the life you should have had, they then forced a mindblock upon you, and had you grow up on a backwater planet," Palpatine said making Luke wonder what was coming next. "They then proceeded to teach you to stand for everything your father was against and, as if that wasn't enough, they wanted you to kill your father. But they didn't tell you he was your father, did they?"
Twitching at the words Luke remained silent, not knowing what to say. Everything Palpatine had just said was true.
"And now you will side with your kidnappers," Vader said looking at his son. "You will side with the people who stole you from your life to use as a weapon as they dared not face me themselves."
Luke looked from his father to his grandfather before he looked down at his hands. Was that what he was doing? But what of that which the Jedi had taught him? He had agreed with all of it, hadn't he?
"Take him away." Palpatine snarled angrily as he turned around and headed back to the throne.
Getting to his feet Luke rubbed his aching muscles before his father roughly took hold of his arm and shoved him down the first few stairs. Quickly descending the rest of the stairs himself he shot a glance at his father. It was more then obvious that his father was angry with him. As he re-entered his room he briefly wondered what would happen to him if he refused to turn Dark Side, would they lock him up?
Hearing his son's thought Vader reached forward, grabbed the boy's shoulder, and whirled him around before he slammed him against the wall.
"Don't overestimate your importance to me, boy," Vader growled as he grasped his son's chin and forced the boy's head up so that he could look down into the startled blue eyes. "I will not have some Jedi child as my son. If you prove that you've been totally turned against your heritage, your legacy, you will die."
Luke shivered involuntarily at the death threat. That which he hadn't been willing to believe earlier had now been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Watching his father leave, he thought of the two words both his father and grandfather had used to describe him, 'Jedi child.' Once he would have loved to hear his father call him that, but not anymore. His father used it as an insult. Han and Leia would tell him to take it as a compliment, because the Jedi had been an enemy of Palpatine and his Empire. However his mind went back to the memory of himself sitting in his bed, joyfully listening to one of his father's stories of a Jedi's death. He really had been turned against everything he had been taught to believe in.
Briefly he wondered what he would feel like if he had his own son and if that son had been kidnapped from him and turned into a Sith. He felt his stomach sink at the emotions the thought brought with it. The Jedi really had used him, had manipulated him. They had stolen him from the life he would have had to do the dirty work for them and, if he had died in the process, then it wouldn't have been a problem as he came from Sith heritage anyway. Briefly he wondered how Yoda could be involved in something like this, but then he remembered what his father had said: only Yoda was strong enough to have forced the mindblock he had had onto him.
But what of Han and Leia? They were his friends, he couldn't betray them. They had laughed with him, cried with him, and they trusted him. But then, hadn't he trusted them too? And hadn't they betrayed that trust when they had left him to Vader? Yes they had, they had left him while they had probably saved their own lives. Hadn't he risked his life to save Leia on board the Death Star? Hadn't he risked his life when he had flown his X-wing against the Death Star? Yes he had, and they had left him!
Feeling his anger rise he walked over to the window. Everyone he had trusted but a week ago had been proven to have either used or betrayed him. As he looked out the window more memories flashed across his mind.
The first was of his father holding him up so he could see out one of the higher windows of the Imperial Palace. The next was of him entering the throne room and calling out 'grandpa' as he ascended the stairs. Then his father was helping him up after he had fallen and examining a cut he had on his left knee.
Seeing the memories he couldn't help but wonder what his life would be like now if Obi-Wan hadn't kidnapped him. He'd probably be like his father, but then he would like that, he'd be proud of it. Should he join his father? Could he? Suddenly the feelings of what he'd feel like if he was in his father's position resurfaced. Looking around the bedroom he felt more memories threaten to overtake him.
Quickly he shoved them aside as his eyes fell on the closet.
Putting aside the report on a recent battle against the Alliance, Vader got to his feet just as he felt his son's mind reach out to him.
'Father,' Luke said before he quickly pulled back as Palpatine reached out to punish him.
'He wanted me,' Vader informed Palpatine as he headed for his son's room.
If the boy didn't have a good reason for calling him he'd find out exactly how serious he was with the threat he'd given earlier. He wouldn't kill the boy yet, just teach him a lesson, cut off a hand perhaps. Reaching down he touched his lightsaber as he entered Luke's room. Seeing his son he lifted his hand off his lightsaber as a smile appeared behind his mask. The boy was looking out the window and, hanging from his shoulders, was one of the black velvet capes he'd ordered Marcus to put in the room's closet.
Walking forward, he stopped a few feet away from his son and watched as the boy turned around to face him. Looking the boy up and down he was pleased to see that Luke had completely changed into the flowing black robes of the Sith.
"So, you have decided to accept your heritage?" Vader asked.
"Yes, father," Luke replied as he looked up at his father.
"Good," Vader stated as he gestured towards the door. "Now you will prove that."
Knowing what his father meant, Luke stepped past him, exited the room, and headed for the Imperial Palace and the Emperor's throne room.
Feeling Vader approach with Luke, Palpatine quickly dismissed the two Grand Admirals in the throne room; if Vader was bringing Luke back already then it was important. Seconds after the main entrance doors closed behind the two Grand Admirals the doors of the second, hidden, entrance opened. As Luke entered the room, Palpatine's eyes narrowed as he saw the change of clothes. Quietly, he studied the boy for a moment as soon as he reached the top of the first flight of stairs and waited, his father walking over to stand to the right of the throne.
"You will accept the Dark Side?" Palpatine demanded.
"Yes," Luke replied without hesitation.
"Then come, kneel before me, and pledge your loyalty," Palpatine ordered.
Stepping forward and ascending the last three stairs, Luke suddenly saw the memory of himself as a four or five year old rushing up those same stairs calling out 'grandpa.' Although he couldn't use that exact word now he could use a similar word to show that he accepted his heritage.
"Grandfather," he said as he knelt before the throne.
"Good," Palpatine said before his voice became cold and hard. "It would be most unfortunate should we begin the training only to end it permanently should you prove to be unable to rid yourself of the Jedi trash."
Luke stiffened at the death threat, they still considered him a Jedi child despite his pledge and he suddenly knew that they would continue to do so until he had proven himself. Lowering his head in obedience he remained quiet. He would have to earn their trust, and he would do so. He would become the son his father wanted, the man he would have been if the Jedi hadn't kidnapped him as a child.
Looking at Luke's kneeling form Vader smiled. In just a couple of months Jedi apprentice Luke Skywalker would be no more and Imperial Prince Luke Vader, his son, would once again stand at his side.