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Gungan to the left

The Prisoner (PG)

By : Gina

Archived on: Tuesday, February 14, 2006

After uncovering the truth behind a terrible secret from his past, Darth Vader confronts his most valuable prisoner.

The lone shuttle rendezvoused with the Executor, and soon after, an angry Darth Vader stormed down the massive ship's corridors to his personal suite. The door to his quarters hissed open upon his approach, and a pair of crewmen attending to routine maintenance of his chamber looked up as he entered.

"Leave," he ordered as he crossed the room to another interior doorway.

As Vader palmed open the inner door, the crewmen exchanged pointed looks and hurried from the room. Everyone who served on board the ship quickly learned to stay as far away as possible from the inner chamber unless they wanted to suffer the wrath of Lord Vader's fury.

Now alone, Vader stalked across the threshold into the room. It was a bedchamber, one unquestionably furnished with a woman in mind. The large bed in the center of the room was draped in a pale duvet. Gauzy fabric hung in wisps from the frame above the bed, draping it in a protective shell. The walls were a delicate shade of coral, and the many holographs adorning the walls captured the most remarkable sites of Naboo in vivid detail.

A chaise covered with plump pillows was stationed by the room's only viewport, allowing the chamber's lone occupant a comfortable place to rest while watching the stars and planets as the ship traversed through space, the view being her only contact with the galaxy that resided beyond these walls.

Vader's head turned as he quickly scanned the bedchamber. He saw her at last, seated at the carved dressing table, positioned to the right of the viewport. She was wearing a golden gown accented with tiny embroidered flowers of blue and green and was lazily brushing her long, brown hair with the jewel-encrusted brush he had given her as a gift when he returned from his last trip to Maleot.

The woman refused to acknowledge Vader's presence by turning to face him, and this only served to further incense the Dark Lord.

"How could you keep this from me?" he demanded loudly, causing the woman to flinch, the brush slipping from her fingers and falling silently to the lushly carpeted floor. When she had composed herself, the woman slowly turned, her face fixed in a determined stare.

"I am afraid I have no idea what you are talking about, my Lord," she replied coolly, rising to her feet.

"Do not play games with me," he warned as he crossed the short distance to the dressing table. "My son lives!"

Vader's voice thundered throughout the room, and permeated the walls at such a volume that even the men passing along the ship's corridor hurried their step in an effort to distance themselves from the Dark Lord's chambers.

The woman lifted her chin defiantly, but her fear was betrayed in her eyes. Vader's gaze suddenly fell to her bare throat, and behind the mask, his eyes narrowed. "Where is it?" he demanded. At her continued silence, he reached out a gloved hand to encircle her slender throat. "Do not try my patience further," he growled.

The woman slowly reached up her hand, resting it lightly atop his wrist as she slipped easily through his fingers. She backed away from him, turning to the dressing table once again. With a shuddering gasp, she opened a small drawer.

"Allow me," Vader whispered, the sound turning to a low hiss as it passed through the mechanical mask. He moved closer to the dressing table and reached into the drawer, removing a small, hand-carved necklace.

The woman acquiesced, lifting her hair away from her neck. Vader fastened the japor snippet, allowing his hands to then wander slowly along her shoulders. He lifted his gaze to the dressing table mirror, his breath quickening at the sight of the hand-carved memento resting at her throat, framed by the loose curls and tendrils that had fallen from her grasp.

Vader lowered his hands to her small waist as he continued to stare at her image in the small mirror. "You lied to me, Padm?," he accused her.

His tone was one that had brought many a captured enemy conspirator to his knees, begging for mercy, but the woman before him remained silent, the corners of her lips upturned in a serene smile. She once again moved away from him, and Vader allowed it. She walked to the viewport, sighing as she stared longingly at the endless blanket of stars stretched out before her.

"So you have discovered the truth," she said candidly. "How?"

"Obi-Wan," he hissed. "He brought my son to the Death Star before its destruct ?"

"You have seen him?" she interrupted, her voice filled with emotion as she turned from the window, her eyes glistening with tears. "My son?"

Vader, taken aback by her sudden change in demeanor, merely nodded.

Padm? trembled, and she sat down heavily on the dressing table's small bench. "Please, Anakin, tell me?what does he look like? Does he have your eyes? Perhaps my smile?"

"I have told you, Padm?," he warned, "that name no longer holds any meaning for me. Must you continue to anger me so, my love?"

Padm? moved to him, falling to her knees before him, her hands clutched tightly to her chest. "Please," she begged him softly.

Vader gently lifted Padm? to her feet, and led her to the bed. She stretched out wearily atop the bed coverings, her head resting against the mound of silken pillows. Vader sat down on the edge of the bed beside her, his anger beginning to evaporate as he tried to wipe away the tears that were falling down her cheeks.

"I glimpsed him for only a moment," he began, "and it was only later, through my search for the rebels and the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, that I realized the truth of his identity. There is no denying his heritage, both in appearance and abilities. He is my son." Although the boy's actions in destroying the Death Star had sealed his fate as a hunted man, Vader spoke of his son's impressive display of piloting skills during the battle that had destroyed the Empire's elite battle station with something akin to fatherly pride.

A small smile began to tug at the corners of Padm?'s mouth, and a faraway look settled over her eyes, as if she were imagining a boy with his father's roguish grin and piercing gaze. Then the smile melted away, and she stared at Vader in realization.

"Obi-Wan is dead?" she asked slowly, her words more a statement than a query. "You killed him?aboard the Death Star?"

"Of course," he said matter-of-factly. "It was my destiny to strike down the man who took my life, my family, away from me."

Pain and sorrow filled Padm?'s eyes, and she sobbed openly, mourning the Jedi Master's death. After awhile, she grew quiet as her tears subsided. "What is to become of him, our son?" she asked in a worried voice.

"He will join me, of course," he answered her.

"The Emperor will not ?" she began.

"The Emperor will be most pleased when I deliver him such a worthy pupil," he assured her. "He will not harm him. I will train him, naturally. Then, when the Force wills it, the apprentice, and his son, will rise against the Master."

"And if he refuses to join you?" she asked mournfully, as if already certain of the answer.

"He will die," Vader answered firmly.

Padm? said nothing, an expression of weariness and defeat settling over her delicate features.

Almost reverently, Vader ran his hand over the brown tresses framing Padm?'s face, his hand coming to rest at the nape of her neck. "You told me my son was dead." His fury returning, Vader shook his head slowly, his voice filled with disappointment. "You hid him from me, my love."

The danger residing within his calm tone was unmistakable, and during their tumultuous years together, Padm? had learned through bitter experience to fear her husband's quiet anger even more than his loud tirades. Terrified, Padm? sat up, shaking her head furiously as she scurried closer to the carved headboard in a vain attempt to escape him.

"No," she cried. "Please, you must believe me, Anak-" Padm? swallowed the name, "my Lord. Obi-Wan took him from me at his birth. I had no knowledge of his location."

"I am afraid I cannot believe you, angel," he said, his voice shaking. He reached up, fingering the japor snippet, the token of love he had carved for her when he was but a mere child. Beneath the mask, he closed his eyes for a moment, injured to his very core by the depth of her deception. He dropped the necklace and loomed down over her, his fingers curling into a tight fist.

Padm? cried out as a searing pain coursed through her, and her fingers scrabbled desperately over his mask and cloak as she struggled against his hold on her, closing her eyes in anguish as the wrath of his anger continued to wash over her. "Please," she gasped weakly, begging for his mercy. "I?would not lie to you. His birth?was difficult. My final memory is?of my son's first cries of life?I lost?consciousness. When I?awoke?you had brought me?to this?this?prison."

Her final words stung him. Vader searched her eyes, stretching out his senses and finding only fear and sadness behind their depths. He knew she spoke the truth. Slowly, he released his grip on her. Padm?'s small frame heaved violently. Vader began to tremble as he realized how he had hurt her.

"Forgive me, my angel," he whispered as he gently settled her back down into the soft mound of pillows. He leaned down over her, supporting the massive weight of his armored body upon his elbows as he cradled her face within his hands. "You still insist on viewing our time together as a prison, a sentence you must endure?" Vader's voice was filled with sadness and hurt. "Even after all I have done for you, angel?" He lifted a hand to gesture at the opulent chamber. "My life without you?I?I could not bear the thought of it. When the Emperor showed me how I could find you?I?You must know how much I love you, Padm??"

"Then why won't you let me see them?" she asked through her tears. "I miss my family so much. Why won't you let me go to them? Please?Anakin," she whispered the name tentatively, as if hoping to appeal to the heart of the man that still resided somewhere deep within the armor. "Show me mercy. My mother and father, my sister and her children?they are all waiting for me. It is within your power to release me."

The door behind them hissed open.

"Forgive me, my Lord," the Imperial officer said, his voice shaking as he took a most reluctant step into the bedchamber.

Vader whirled around, furious at the intrusion. "How dare you enter this chamber!"

"My Lord, we have received a communiqu? from the Emperor. He has requested your presence at the bridge," the officer interjected hurriedly, hoping to stave off the Dark Lord's fury. "I was instructed to come to you immediately."

A low growl escaped Vader's throat. He turned back to his wife. "I am sorry, my love. I must go now, but I will return to you tonight, I promise." He softly traced her lips with his fingers.

The officer held his breath, his eyes wide as he watched the Sith Lord, leaning down over the empty pillows of the bed, his hand poised in mid-air, his fingers moving slowly over the nothingness beneath him.

Vader at last rose to face the officer. "Due to the circumstances, I will allow you this sole lapse in judgment," he warned the intruder. "Rest assured, however, if you dare enter her quarters again, I will not be as forgiving." Vader stormed from the room, his cape billowing behind him.

Relieved, the officer slowly released his breath, shaking his head sadly as his eyes roved across the deserted room. No one was foolish enough to voice what everyone who had served under the Sith's command knew to be true, but the Dark Lord's obsession with his long-dead wife was well known throughout the Empire's ranks. Unable to accept the reports of her demise, Darth Vader had been driven to the brink of insanity and then beyond by his grief.

Believing that she was indeed still with him, Vader had commissioned this room on his newly constructed flagship as her private chamber, and all were forbidden to enter, except under the most grave of circumstances.

The officer's gaze fell upon a carved necklace lying nestled between the pillows. Curious, he took another step, drawing closer to the bed. As he did so, he thought he felt the slight rustle of a breeze pass by in front of him.

Release me, it whispered, sending a chill along his spine.

Unnerved, the officer backed across the threshold, looking around him for the source of the voice, but finding nothing. As he at last stepped into the outer room, the door to the bedchamber swept shut in front of him, and he hurried to the ship's corridor, unable to hear the anguished cry of the imprisoned spirit residing within its lonely chamber, once again denied its journey home.

Original cover by Gina. HTML formatting copyright 2006 TheForce.Net LLC.

Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 9.14 in 78 total ratings.

Reader Comments

Add a comment about this Fan Fiction

Author: LLL  (signed)
Date posted: 2/14/2006 9:15:57 PM
LLL's Comments:

This was such a great story. Congrats on getting it accepted! I really love it!

Author: VaderLVR64
Date posted: 2/14/2006 9:32:35 PM
VaderLVR64's Comments:

So glad to see this one up! It is a gorgeous piece and I love it more every time I read it!

Author: me_luv_darth_squishy
Date posted: 2/15/2006 6:45:21 PM
me_luv_darth_squishy's Comments:

THAT WAS SO GOOD IT WAS SCARY. No joke, I'm totally serious. I especially liked the end where you discover that there is nothing there. Once again, absolutely wonderfully chilling.


Author: Davedrag
Date posted: 2/16/2006 3:42:06 AM
Davedrag's Comments:

Very good so far but very sad i hope you write more and hopfuly Luke and leia meet their mom

Author: corellian-jedi
Date posted: 2/16/2006 3:29:31 PM
corellian-jedi's Comments:

Haunting. No other word to describe it.

And the ending... wow!

Author: Elinon Bybeth  (signed)
Date posted: 2/17/2006 12:41:52 AM
Elinon Bybeth's Comments:

To be honest, I started to read this thinking "This is kind of implausible" but the twist at the end totally turned me on my head.

This was chilling but, reading it again, also held a real sense of sadness.

Kudos on a great piece.

Author: random@clumsy
Date posted: 2/18/2006 4:52:02 AM
random@clumsy's Comments:

I walked into that twist hook, line and sinker. Brilliant. Very plausible situation. Great idea!

Author: darth brioni
Date posted: 2/19/2006 8:53:29 PM
darth brioni's Comments:

this was very riveting- i liked how vader fought to control his emotions, and when he realized he was hurting her- i loved how she did not fear him one bit when he threatened her- many fan fics have depicted this idea, where Vader *hohhh pahhh* and Padme meet, and this is one of the best ones. Fantastic job!

Author: Dustin
Date posted: 2/20/2006 4:47:51 PM
Dustin's Comments:

Very nice piece, I very much enjoyed reading it and falling for the hook.

Author: Sunniva
Date posted: 2/24/2006 11:27:45 AM
Sunniva's Comments:

Deeply chilling. Beautifully haunting. It brought tears to my eyes. Excelent work my friend, excelent work.

Author: Kelli
Date posted: 2/25/2006 6:07:24 PM
Kelli's Comments:

This was a marvelous story. Like the others, I fell for the hook. I wasn't quite sure of it until it was revealed that Padme wasn't really there. Great work.

Author: Kelli
Date posted: 2/25/2006 7:09:31 PM
Kelli's Comments:

I know I just posted a comment, but I read the story again and so I have a few more things to say. I like how this story can be seen one one level as a story about a man so crazy that he halucinates his dead wife, one another level it can be seen as a ghost story; maybe it's a combination of both.

When I was reading the story again, one line jumped out at me:

"Show me mercy. My mother and father, my sister and her children…they are all waiting for me. It is within your power to release me."

During the first read through, it was just a straitforward plea to get physically released from a prison. When I read it again, this line had much more meaning. The way I read it was that Padme's family is dead and she is pleading to Vader to release her spirit. She is in a spiritual prison, which is much worse than a physical one. Even in death, Padme cannot get away from Vader and that is the tragedy of this story.

One more thing, I love how you portrayed Vader. I've read other AU stories with Padme and Vader together after ROTS. In some of them, in my opinion, he is not portrayed very accurately. In them, he's more or less still Anakin but covered in armor. He may do some bad things, but the character of Vader is diluted.

In this story, you can't ignore the fact that Vader is an evil Sith lord. He brings Padme gifts, but is as ruthless to her as he is with others. When she's not acting the way Vader believes she should (like not wearing the necklace) he lashes out and then tells her that she should be grateful for all he's done. When Padme doesn't answer like Vader thinks she should, he uses the force against her. Vader only thinks of himself, which is the character of a Sith lord.

Ok, I'd better stop now before I bore you to tears with my comments. Keep up the good work. I hope to read more from you in the future.

Author: till the river runs dry
Date posted: 3/8/2006 5:14:47 PM
till the river runs dry's Comments:

i realy loved the story its so sad and haunting it made me wish that someone will come along who is brave enough to set her spirit free

P.S. this is one of the best wars gost storys i've come across

Author: Julia
Date posted: 4/20/2006 3:40:25 PM
Julia's Comments:

Powerful and lovely twist at the end. Very good! Not the usual P/V

Author: onyx falcon
Date posted: 4/21/2006 4:13:05 PM
onyx falcon's Comments:

I loved the accurate depiction of Vader's character. I also very much like the erotic element.

fascinating twist that he's holding her spirit captive.

however, personally, I think that Vader would have unceremoniously telekinetically strangled that guy for walking in on him... I would have, regardless of the circumstances... if I were him, anyway.

Author: Adame Shmi Skywalker Vader
Date posted: 4/28/2006 7:01:56 PM
Adame Shmi Skywalker Vader's Comments:

Great fic, i especially liked how vader believed she was there, perhaps he actually communes with her. For a while i thought she was alive, great way to keep the fic going.

Author: nana123
Date posted: 8/5/2006 4:20:59 PM
nana123's Comments:

hi really enjoyed your story. iwas at first
sure some how padme was really with vader.
you keep his charater true. i also wonder how he would act to some one he cared about. the has to be a middle ground, and you found it.

plus how it ended. shocked me. i was so conviced
padme was truly alive. till the gaurd came in.
and it became a ghost story. my 1st thought was vader had lost his mind. then i realzed he really was seeing her in spirit. great one thanks.

Author: nana123
Date posted: 8/5/2006 4:22:39 PM
nana123's Comments:

hi really enjoyed your story. iwas at first
sure some how padme was really with vader.
you keep his charater true. i also wonder how he would act to some one he cared about. the has to be a middle ground, and you found it.

plus how it ended. shocked me. i was so conviced
padme was truly alive. till the gaurd came in.
and it became a ghost story. my 1st thought was vader had lost his mind. then i realzed he really was seeing her in spirit. great one thanks.

Author: nana123
Date posted: 8/5/2006 4:23:23 PM
nana123's Comments:

hi really enjoyed your story. iwas at first
sure some how padme was really with vader.
you keep his charater true. i also wonder how he would act to some one he cared about. the has to be a middle ground, and you found it.

plus how it ended. shocked me. i was so conviced
padme was truly alive. till the gaurd came in.
and it became a ghost story. my 1st thought was vader had lost his mind. then i realzed he really was seeing her in spirit. great one thanks.

Author: Leia101
Date posted: 9/25/2006 10:14:45 PM
Leia101's Comments:

I can't believe that he has captured a spirit.

Author: twisterblake
Date posted: 10/30/2006 1:26:55 PM
twisterblake's Comments:

hey great chapter i lovve it about Vader and his wife I hope you will continue this story on another chapter until this story is completed

Author: Caroline
Date posted: 1/4/2007 2:36:51 AM
Caroline's Comments:

Very good. Spine chilling. Very powerful!

Author: I Heart Obi-Wan
Date posted: 8/25/2007 10:35:13 AM
I Heart Obi-Wan's Comments:

That was a twist I wasn't expecting. I started reading this and I thought it was just another AU where Padme lived after ROTS. But when the guard walked in, you threw me for a complete loop. This was very well written. You described Vader perfectly!

Author: Walker
Date posted: 8/8/2010 11:45:44 PM
Walker's Comments:

A great short story, with a very compelling ending.

Author: sutzina zion
Date posted: 1/4/2011 9:14:28 AM
sutzina zion's Comments:

wow... i got chills at the end of this. great job!!!

Author: Aliit Vodeson  (signed)
Date posted: 1/31/2012 7:54:45 AM
Aliit Vodeson's Comments:

Very interesting. At the beginning I was put off because I didn't really look forward to Padme surviving. But the twist in the end was worth the disbelief. Good job.

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Archived: Tuesday, February 14, 2006

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