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20,000 Parsecs Across The Galaxy
[FIC] Hearth (Vader,G) 
22nd-Oct-2006 07:49 pm
Title: Hearth
Fandom: Star Wars for Fanfic 100
Characters: Vader
Prompt: Snow
Word Count: 542
Rating: G
Summary: Darth Vader leads the stormtroopers in the invasion of Hoth.


The vapor blown upwards from the shuttle's repulsors froze to the ship's viewscreen, his first clue as to exactly how bitter the cold was on Hoth. Once outside, a strong wind sent his cloak snapping and whipping around him, but he didn't feel its bite. He barely noticed the crunch of snow underneath his boots as he led the troopers towards the Rebel stronghold.

He tried to tell himself that his suit's insulating ability kept Hoth's cold from him, but that was a deception. The leather was brittle here, creaking and restricting his motion in a way that it never did in more temperate settings.

The flush he felt then, must be from the adrenalin of the ground invasion. Leading the snow troopers into the underground Rebel base reminded him of any of a number of other campaigns : Jabiim, Aargonar, Virujansi. It was as if the last twenty years hadn't happened, and he was again a young man surrounded by clone troopers, wearing armor because they all did, not because his very existence was dependent on his helmet and life support suit. His favorite role awaited him : the rescuing hero who would save the Republic. Or the Empire, it was all the same to him .

Explosions rocked the narrow corridors as they blasted their way past the Rebels' defenses. Striding through icy tunnels chiseled into the planet itself, his mind was cleared by the immediacy of physical danger. He could forget that above him his Super Star Destroyer hung in orbit, an entire city of men dependent on his decisions. The oppressive presence of Palpatine receded into nothingness. For the moment, all that existed was the small group of troopers who accompanied him and of course, his quarry.

His quarry, who had haunted his thoughts even with light-years between them. And now that they trod the same ground, Luke's presence was so startlingly brilliant in the Force that he could perceive nothing else. He saw him slipping around every corner, heard his footsteps vanishing down every corridor. At any moment he would come face to face with the stranger who was his son.

And even though they had never met he would know him when he saw him. Recognize the eyes that matched his own, or perhaps hers. Feel a connection in the Force that broke through all barriers. Somehow he would know, as his son would him, because their destinies were intertwined. It was a belief that burned in him with the power of a star gone nova.

With every step further into the Rebel base that internal fire burnt hotter. The Force roiled through the ruins of the building, a harbinger of the importance of their meeting, and a disturbance recognizable to all who felt the Force. On the cusp of the fulfillment of that destiny, the Millennium Falcon burst from its icy hangar, stripping him of his protection.

Immediately his exhale crystalized against his mask and the cold of Hoth pierced him to the bone, because he had been kept warm not by the suit or the exertion of battle, but by an emotion so dangerous he dared not admit it. The departure of the Corellian freighter doused the fire of his hope, and he was once again, alone.
24th-Oct-2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
What a small powerful moment this is. And how much of Vader is Anakin, wanting to be the hero, to be validated and recognized by strangers; but he himself to be so focused on just one person while there are hundreds around him.

24th-Oct-2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
The idea for this came after I had watched all six films in order. When he landed on Hoth it hit me very strongly that he was enjoying himself, that he was returning to an adventure like those in his youth, and that it was a very rare opportunity for him.
25th-Oct-2006 02:33 am (UTC)
I like how you give a glimpse into the person in the Vader suit...just because he's dark doesn't change the fact that he's still human and has "everyday" thoughts and imaginings.
25th-Oct-2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
For me, that's the whole appeal of the character- that it is Anakin in there, albeit changed, but a living, feeling person imprisoned in the suit.
26th-Oct-2006 05:58 am (UTC)
Fantastic n_n I love the feeling of... urgency, and eagerness on Vader's part that I got while reading.

Also, would you mind terribly if I friended you? I seem to LJ stalk you a lot >.>
26th-Oct-2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Glad the emotion came across.

And by all means you can friend me. I've been checking on yours since you were kind enough to leave comments awhile back. I haven't friended everyone back only because it makes it harder to see my closer LJ friends, but I probably should so I don't look stuck-up or something.
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