Wannabe Scholar said:
Hello again, this is another idea for a different PT I planned a few years back. It had been a very different story, where Anakin and Vader were two different people, and was totally inspired by the old “Clone Wars Explained” article from the 1980s I found online (link is here: http://nightly.net/topic/253-article-found-while-surfing-the-net/). Down below is what was once just a small bit, which was once a couple lines here and there and has been turned into a complete excerpt. Hopefully, this is good enough to pique your interest.
It was dark, cold, and wet. Those were the first things he noticed as he came to. For a long moment, there was nothing else, except the feeling of weightlessness and the sound of his own breathing.
Then, there was something from the quiet. A sound of some kind. A shout, he thought. And at last, he managed to open his eyes. Bubbles rose up and down, and through the transparent glass, he saw them. Computers beeping and blinking, people donned in white clothes, and cylindrical tanks, identical to the one he was in, lined up against the wall.
The darkness was gone, but the cold and wet remained. Where he was, what was going on, or even who he was, he had no idea. He was just a body floating in a sloshing and slimy substance.
Bacta, his mind told him. This stuff is called bacta. You’re in a bacta tank.
The words echoed in the back of his mind, as if he was supposed to know it from getgo. Still, he couldn’t help but feel something strange, even unknown about them. He knew the words, but had no connection to them. Were they important to him? Why?
Again, that automatic part of his brain answered. You’re not fully developed. You need bacta, if you want to grow into a perfect being.
Again, he was confused. ‘Grow?’ ‘Perfect being?’ None of the words seem to make sense to him.
The shouting came back, cutting him away from his thoughts. He saw the men in white running back and forth, giving out commands that were barely audible to him.
“… Xanatos’ dead… Jedi coming… do we do?”
“Disconnect the… from the tanks!”
“… won’t survive!”
Moments passed, and the men in white went around their duties. He watched them play with their computers. He barely managed to catch some of the tanks suddenly going dark. The bodies inside moved around a little before there was nothing.
Then, pain roared in his head. He heard the screams in his mind, the screams of the other people in the tanks as their lives went out one by one. His hands grabbed his head, wanting to turn off the screams. He could not and suffered hearing the voices cry out in terror before they were suddenly silenced.
All of a sudden, through the cries, he managed to hear something. Before long, there was something else…
A loud BOOM echoed, and the tank, perhaps the entire room, shook, making him just barely look. Smoke filled every corner, covering the men in white with cloud of gray and black. First thing was shouting, then a loud hum as a rod of blue light swung through the smoke and struck down any who approached it.
Events ran too quickly for him to process. What was going on? Why was he hearing all these screams in his mind?! What was happening to him?!
It was at that point he noticed the bacta in his tank was starting to turn dark. Now, he was afraid. He was about to join the poor fellow and be nothing more than a floating corpse. And he would feel it all as he died.
As he thoughts those morbid thoughts, he saw the blue light came through the smoke and struck the tank. The glass shattered, and he slid out onto the floor like a newborn out of its mother’s womb. He yanked the breath mask off, and he finally felt fresh air. His efforts for breathing it in were rewarded with spurts of bacta coughed up from his lungs.
Slowly, he rose until he sat in the puddle of bacta and shivered from what little of the slimy substance still clung to him and his modest clothing. After clearing his lungs of the putrid liquid, he took notice of the other bodies lying around him. They weren’t like him, who was dressed in a thin suit of clothing. They were the men in white, the same who had tried to terminate him, and they lied motionlessly, with horrible burnt scars stretched across their bodies.
Standing over the corpses was a man. This man was not donned in white, but in a light uniform and a brown cloak. In his hand was a cylindrical hilt, from which the blue rod of light came out of. The man stood with an aura of calm… and regret. Not just towards him, but to the others lying at his feet. But who was this man to have such sympathy for him, let alone the people who had tried to kill him?
A Jedi Knight, recalled his programmed mind. An enemy.
He thought about that. An enemy? That couldn’t be right. This Jedi had helped him, saved from the same fate as the others. If he was an enemy, why would he do such a thing?
Eliminate him, the voice in his head commanded, but he tried to shut it out. Eliminate the Jedi!
“Don’t be afraid,” the man, the Jedi, said. “I’m here to help.”
The Jedi’s voice brought a feeling. He could only describe it as calm, at peace. The parts of his mind that cried out for the Jedi’s destruction faded away.
No longer haunted by his thoughts, he spoke. The sound of speaking for the first time had hurt his throat, and it came out in a hoarse croak. “Y-you can help me?”
“Yes, I can,” the Jedi smiled, and his beard seemed to do so too. “My name’s Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan Kenobi. What’s yours?”
He opened his mouth, then stopped. Then, he looked down at band around his wrist. On it was a tag on it: VDR-142.
At last, he looked up and answered, “Vader, sir. It’s Vader.”
At the sound of a high-pitched and constantly repeated beeping, Vader’s eyes snapped open. He rubbed a hand over the weary eye sockets before he rolled on his side. By the bed, the source of his disturbance continued to ring, until Vader finally pressed the button and answered.
“Yes?” he said with a small yawn.
Captain Cody’s voice came through. “Sir, Master Luminara and her student have just arrived.”
A bit of excitement leaped up Vader’s throat as he raised his head from his pillow. “Where are they, now?” he asked, a little more loudly than he wanted.
“By the console chamber. They and General Kenobi are waiting for you.”
“I’ll be right there,” and with an excited click, Vader shut off the comm and sat up from his bed.
Barriss is here, he thought excitedly as he pictured the bright green face of Luminara’s pupil and her warm smile.
Vader had seen that same smile back when he first met Barriss at the Temple. Then, he was just inducted into the Jedi and in dire need of companionship. Vader had found it in a few Jedi students, Barriss more special than the rest, so he would be glad to be with her whenever he had the chance.
It was not long before Vader had put on his dark uniform. After putting on his pants and boots, Vader neatly pressed the seams of his tunic and added the long, flapping cloak to his Jedi look. His mask, the last thing left, rested by the mirror in his quarters, so Vader went over to grab it.
Vader’s hand halted when he looked at the mirror. It was meant to be just a glance, to see if he was primed and ready for Barriss, and the Jedi Masters. Then, it turned into a long, deep glance.
As Vader stared at the mirror, he looked at the face in it. He saw the familiar deep, blue eyes, cleft chin, and wavy, blond hair. He had the same muscular look to him, albeit he was a bit scrawny due to him being genetically a few years younger. Still, it was the same look, the same face.
The face of Anakin Skywalker.
No else, other than a few, knew about Vader’s secret. The masters on the Jedi Council had told him to use a partial face-mask hide his identity from everyone. The reasoning was as such; if anyone knew about the truth of Vader’s origins, there would be a major panic. People would be in a uproar over the Jedi having a clone among their numbers.
A clone. As distasteful as the word sounded, Vader couldn’t deny it. He was clone, nothing more. A mere copy, made from a Jedi pupil’s DNA, no doubt taken from some severed limb. Obi-Wan assured Vader otherwise, but the words did little to hide the truth lurking in the back of both their minds.
Slowly, Vader slid the mask into place, hiding portion of Anakin Skywalker. He did not need to worry about that. Now, he had to meet with someone important to him, and he would meet her as Vader, not Anakin’s copy.