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Friends and Enemies [Darth Vader] [Jul. 4th, 2008|11:07 pm]
Star Wars Ficathon Festival

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[beatrice_otter]
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Title: Friends and Enemies
Author: beatrice_otter
Rating: PG
Characters:
Darth Vader
Word Count: 651
Written for: starwarsficfest, July 4.
Prompt: OT: Darth Vader; Thoughts on Obi-Wan Kenobi--"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."


Darth Vader let the man drop in a crumpled heap at his feet, reveling in the dull thump of a dead body hitting the floor.  The imbecile should have known better than to waste a Sith Lord’s time with insubstantial whispers.  There was no Jedi here; there had not been a Jedi on this godforsaken backwater in years.  There were no ripples in the Force that might indicate even a strong Force-sensitive; certainly, a Jedi could not hide himself here so tracelessly.  Much as it amused him to think of his old master scrabbling in the dirt in this hellhole, begging for water and food, perhaps, this whole excursion had been nothing more than a waste of his time.  His Master—his true Master—would not be pleased.

Vader turned to the aide assigned to him.  “Contact Moff Tarkin.  Tell him I will be there in four days.”

“Yes, sir,” the aide said.  “Shall I explain the reason for the delay?”  His tone was appropriately deferential.  Vader decided the question had not been impertinent.

“No.  I do not answer to Tarkin.”  It was said coolly, without rancor; boyhood resentments were just that—remnants of childhood, belonging to another man, with no place in the New Order.  Wilhuff Tarkin was competent and loyal, and as such was one of the few people Vader could stand to work with for extended periods of time.  But Tarkin was only a Moff, and Vader was a Dark Lord of the Sith.

The Emperor was another matter; he would have to be notified of the delay personally.  And he did not take well to having his schedules disrupted, even by a Jedi hunt.

***

“And why am I only now hearing about this false rumor, after it has delayed your attention to my commands?” the Emperor asked, silken politician’s voice dripping with false concern while the tendrils of his influence in Vader’s head promised painful retribution when next they met.

Vader kept his head at a respectful angle, kept his body still, kneeling in front of the enormous hologram.  “The delay was minimal.  I did not wish to disturb you, my Master,” Vader said, keeping his tone even with long practice.  He hated his Master’s oily machinations, his control, his constant humiliation.  But that was one hate his Master would not approve, so Vader forced it down until it was small enough the Emperor could choose to overlook it.

“No doubt you were afraid I would order you to keep your rendezvous and send someone else to track Kenobi,” Palpatine said.  “You have disobeyed me.  I am most displeased.”  His voice stayed even, courteous.

Vader did not deceive himself that it meant his punishment would be light.

“You will continue to meet Moff Tarkin.  I will deal with your willfulness once you are finished.”

“Yes, my Master,” Vader said.

Palpatine’s hologram disappeared, the connection severed from his end.  Vader levered himself up from the floor, silently cursing the clumsy prosthetics, legacies of Kenobi’s attack.  Kenobi’s treachery, turning his own wife against him and using her as bait, forcing Vader to punish her.  Years of Kenobi’s slights hidden under a smile, over a decade of being held back out of jealousy and fear—and Jedi claimed they felt no fear!

He should tell the captain to get underway immediately.  Any delay risked further irritating his judgment.  Instead, Vader stalked to the porthole and gazed down on the planet below.  It was a hellhole, a barren desert, though not quite as dry as Tatooine.  On the largest southern continent was a range of active volcanoes large enough to be seen glowing redly from space.

If Kenobi had been here, Vader would have dangled him over the open pit, sliced off limbs and set him afire.  Listened to him beg for mercy, as Vader had once done.  And given none, as Kenobi had once done.

Soon, old man.  Soon.

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: ring34_ani
2008-07-05 02:11 pm (UTC)
Very nice story and very like Vader's thought patterns. And how like him to risk the Emperor's wrath over something that still means something to him (Kenobi's "betrayal").
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-05 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

Vader is not my favorite Star Wars character by any means; Anakin Skywalker even less so. Yet, I find myself writing about him a lot.
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[User Picture]From: pronker
2008-07-05 02:55 pm (UTC)
I liked both your planetary description of the volcanoes and the sense of struggle with his 'clumsy prosthetics' that Vader has while thinking about the cause of it all, Kenobi.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-05 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: luminations
2008-07-05 03:01 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, nice. Chilling at the end (if thoughts of burning can be chilling? Hee) where Vader focuses on his hatred for Obi-Wan.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-05 05:57 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how different things look from Vader's point of view.

Thank you for reviewing!
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[User Picture]From: yinepu
2008-07-05 04:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, creepy there at the end, in a good way. I love to see mentions of Tarkin so I'm awarding you extra happy points! I can only imagine the gamut of emotions Vader feels for his old master. Very nice!
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-05 06:00 pm (UTC)
I realized, as I was writing it, that if I were to be true to the prompt--and have something to contrast Vader's thoughts about Kenobi with--I would have to bring up someone who had been an enemy of Anakin's that he had forgiven. My choices were Tarkin or Dooku, and I like Tarkin better. Though it does kind of rely on people having read Rogue Planet to understand why it's such a big deal that Vader doesn't mind working with him.
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[User Picture]From: yinepu
2008-07-05 06:08 pm (UTC)
Well, it wasn't lost on me :) I personally think you made a splendid choice. Definitely brought to mind Leia's comment of Tarkin holding Vader's leash on the Death Star.
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[User Picture]From: saucysushi
2008-07-06 02:41 pm (UTC)
Brrr. But hey, true friends stab you in the front, right? I like how Vader still hangs onto his Anakin-like single-mindedness even with a different Master. But instead of rash shenanigans this is pure vendetta. Great work.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-06 08:41 pm (UTC)
Sorry, replied to the wrong comment in the first reply.

Yeah. My view is that Vader is Anakin's worst thoughts condensed, refined, purified. He always needed refining to become a man instead of a boy ... but as Vader, the parts that got polished and enhanced were the ones he should have gotten rid of.

I'm glad you liked it.
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[User Picture]From: were_lemur
2008-07-06 07:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nice. Vader sure knows how to hold a grudge.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-06 08:41 pm (UTC)
He does, at that.

Thanks for reviewing!
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[User Picture]From: mlledefer
2008-07-06 09:30 pm (UTC)
interesting:)
thanks for sharing!
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-06 11:38 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
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[User Picture]From: archaeologist_d
2008-07-06 10:07 pm (UTC)
Good job with this. I liked how Vader recognized just how far he could go with Sidious.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-06 11:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Yeah, Anakin was never stupid. But Obi-wan could never provide quite the same ... incentive to learn that Palpatine could.
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[User Picture]From: autumnsdarling
2008-07-07 06:50 am (UTC)
I found this very snappy and interesting. It said exactly what it had to say and no more, and held my attention all the way through.

And the Palpatine-Vader interaction was great.

Nice going!
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-07 07:10 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
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[User Picture]From: emavalexis
2008-07-10 01:39 am (UTC)
Vader levered himself up from the floor, silently cursing the clumsy prosthetics, legacies of Kenobi’s attack. Kenobi’s treachery, turning his own wife against him and using her as bait, forcing Vader to punish her. Years of Kenobi’s slights hidden under a smile, over a decade of being held back out of jealousy and fear—and Jedi claimed they felt no fear!

Very, very telling and compelling look into Vader’s psyche here, believing that Obi-Wan was responsible for Vader having to ‘punish [Padme]’, believing that Obi-Wan had stunted his progress as a Jedi. You manage to do a great job of showing how Vader has remained as obsessive as he always was; he clearly obsesses over getting revenge against his old Master.

Really well done!
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-10 02:13 am (UTC)
Anakin was never able to truly take responsibility for his own actions. The only one holding him back as a Jedi was himself, yet he clearly blamed everyone else for his own shortcomings. I think that's a major part of what drew him to the Dark Side, and what kept him there years after all the things he hoped to gain by it (Padme, a strong and just government, etc.) had turned to ashes. The ability to treasure up every imagined slight and hoard it like gold was something he could never have done as a Jedi. By the time of his death, he might have been able to finally take
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[User Picture]From: seal_girl
2008-07-22 06:12 am (UTC)
I really liked this - the look into the way Vader's mind works and how similar in different ways he is to Anakin - the obsessions, the blame, the sneaking around behind his Master's back! All the same patterns of behaviour in different circumstances.

I especially liked the qualification in "His Master—his true Master—would not be pleased." that has a really nice resonance to it, especially since he is still searching for Obi-Wan.

*enjoys, for fish*
Sealgirl
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2008-07-22 06:55 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Absent some radical brainwashing, of the kind we never see Palpatine use, you can't just jettison a personality and come up with an entirely new one. Darth Vader may be a very different person than Anakin Skywalker, but he was made entirely out of Anakin Skywalker. No matter how he tries to deny it, that's what defines him.

Thank you for reviewing!
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From: ext_223372
2010-04-26 06:33 pm (UTC)
Oh that tingles with so much....personal rage, just barely sublimated.
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[User Picture]From: beatrice_otter
2010-04-26 07:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's Darth Vader, all right.
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