Chapter 1: Baninite in a Forgotten Court
It all started when the second Death Star exploded moments after his defeat at the hands of his son, Luke Skywalker. The Emperor had started speaking when the Force all but screamed in warning, a warning that came all to late as the world turned bright white. The pain was unimaginable but it didn’t matter, Darth Vader was dead. His body would be atomized by the reactor explosion as it would of done to his arm and lightsaber. The Sith Lord felt guilt well up, guilt that he could of done more. But that guilt was swept away when the light dimmed, before he crashed heavily onto worn stone.
He didn’t move, stars dancing before his vision. He slowly cleared them away, blinking as he felt cool air brush his face. His mask had been penetrated, leaving the upper left side of his face exposed to the elements. The remaining eye of his mask reported that most of his limbs functions were online, but his suit was compromised. He would need to find a Imperial medical facility and fast.
The Dark Lord slowly sat up, feeling his body groan before wincing. The pain, the old reminder of his Master’s punishment for failing to defeat Obi-wan Kenobi on Mustafar. He growled, calling upon the Dark Side, allowing it to regulate his breathing with his barely functional breathing apparatus. Vader then stood before another function became operational, his hearing.
“Who in the Seven Sith Hells are you?!”
Darth Marr had been about to silence the agonizing incompetence that was Darth Thanaton’s voice when he felt the Force explode behind the yapping Sith Lord. He slowly stood up, feeling the Force suddenly take a nosedive before skyrocketing to new levels. This wasn’t a normal occurrence, Marr knew that much. When the light show dimmed, he and the rest of the Sith present saw the armored figure.
The figure, human male from what the Sith Lord could see, appeared to be covered head to foot in black armor. That was until Marr noticed that the figures limbs had been cut off at the knees, elbow and close to the shoulder. Very few Sith would of be able to survive such dismemberment, however, very few Sith ever had to face being alive for such things.
Thanaton noticed and yelled at the new arrival, again with that annoying voice of his. He had been here for the past hour complaining about the new rising star in the Sith ranks, until Marr had felt the Sith’s force presence vanish before he felt it once again. This new person had the same force signature as that Sith Lord, Lord Kallig. The Dark Side rolled off of the man like waves on the stormy seas of Kamino.
The figure looked at Thanaton before the exposed eye narrowed, glowing bright yellow. Marr felt the force simply obey, the figure lifting his left hand and making a claw gesture. Thanaton’s hands found his throat, choking and sputtering. Lifting Thanaton into the air, suspended like a doll, the figure all but snarled, voice coming out of the masks’ vocoder and his real voice.
“I...am Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith!”
The rest of the council stood at that, Marr could practically hear their thoughts. ‘This upstart things he can simply call himself a Darth?!’ Yes, he did, Marr had a feeling that maybe this Sith had some history they didn’t know about.
“Y-you can’t be a Darth,” Thanaton gasped, face turning purple from the strain of trying to fill his lungs with oxygen. “Only the Dark Council can name new Darths!”
Darth Marr watched Vader, intrigued. He could feel the rage explode from off him, Thanaton didn’t have long to live. Marr was proven correct as Thananton gurgled, his throat closing with the gesture of the Sith.
“Then the Dark Council should’ve left you to whatever cesspit you crawled out of.” Vader sneered, closing his fist.
The council simply shuddered as Thanaton was audibly crushed, the sound could probably be heard downstairs from how loud and sharp it was. The Sith watched as the body fell onto the floor, all eyes on Darth Vader. Darth Marr finally got a good look at the Sith, which wasn’t pretty. Scarred, bruised, his right hand was cut off, mask showing his face, the suit that covered him was torn and ruined.
The silence continued before one of the younger council members was incompetent enough to charge the Sith head on. Vader didn’t even flinch, using the force to violently shove the Sith back into his throne, unconscious. Marr simply walked down towards the Sith, noting how Vader didn’t attack him but gave him a look that would of turned any cowardly officer into a trembling mess.
“I am Darth Marr, one of the Dark Council,” The Sith said, the other Councillors remaining silent, “I all but ask how you gained the Title of Darth, as it is one earned not simply thrown around.”
Vader looked at him before speaking, “When I turned to the dark side, bestowed that name by my master, Darth Sidious. I have all but killed the Jedi, becoming the most feared Sith in the Galaxy…”
Marr nodded before noticing Vader sway, his eye showing exhaustion and immense fatigue. Catching the Sith, Marr looked at the others.
“Get a medical team down here!”
In his private medical facility on Dromund Kaas, Darth Marr looked at the sleeping form of Darth Vader. The medical droids and staff had been in an uproar over the completely outdated prosthetics and suit that Vader had been wearing. Marr had found it amusing as the Head Doctor, Doctor Baylor, ranted at the blatant misuse of the tech. The Sith Lord had suggested that the Doctor get medical teams to work with mechanic’s on building a new suit.
They had obeyed then found the blueprints of the suit on the few remaining data chips that had survived. The others had been military blueprints, tactics and operations that Marr had found interesting. He would have to ask this Sith when he woke up, but for now, he would look them over himself. He had also gone over the blueprint of the suit that had supported this Sith all his life apparently, built to cause pain and practically hinder everything that he could of become.
Darth Marr wasn’t pleased, since Sith Lords did that now, to make sure their apprentices couldn’t defeat them in battle. But it did make him wonder if someone would try to interfere with it, Darth Baras being one. That old Sith would do anything to learn of this, since he was head of Sith Intelligence. After Marr had heard of the Sith’s apprentice being killed, it seemed that he was going to be a nuisance. Unless…
Darth Marr looked at Vader, an idea forming in his mind. One that he found very inviting.
Chapter 2: New Suit, New Apprentices, and a Proposal
When Darth Vader woke up, Darth Marr was waiting for him. The red armored Sith looked at the limbless man in the bacta tank, who looked back with narrowed eyes. The two were testing each other’s might in the silence before contest ended, both acknowledging the other. Marr waved his hand and the figure was brought to the surface of the tank before being taken out of it. The medical staff laid Vader on a table, making the Sith hiss from how cold the metal was. Even Marr had to acknowledge that no matter what, every medical table would forever be colder than a blizzard on Hoth.
“Attach his suit.” Marr ordered, watching as Vader gave him a look of rage.
This wasn’t going to easy, the Force help him through this nightmare.
Darth Vader didn’t know how long he lay on that frozen table, but he remembered every sensitive detail. The medical droids and staff were quick, but they were making him feel every moment of it! He would of prefered to not have felt anything but his stumps had been forcefully reopened, before having new neural prosthetic base implants were attached. Every nerve in his stumps screamed as the wires that would become his new nervous system were welded into place.
Vader didn’t succumb to unconsciousness, he refused to show weakness, Darth Marr would be watching for any signs of weakness. Weakness would lead to his death, he remembered that from Sidious. Once the bases were, finally, implanted and tested, Vader saw new prosthetics being brought in. Each arm and leg were skillfully attached and tested before they moved on, having to replace a hand and a portion of his leg a few times. But they were finished before the rest of the suit was applied.
When it finally ended, Darth Vader was now in a new suit. Helmetless, but his new mask was brought in. He remembered when his mask was first attached, unpleasant and crude but this was different. Everything felt different, as the mask sealed itself with a hiss of air. Then the suit was turned on, every part of it humming and whirring silently before the breathing…
Deep, rhythmic breathing that would never stop, forcing air into his lungs, forevermore.
The table slowly rotated to vertical as Darth Marr stepped up and looked at him, much like his former Master had.
“Darth Vader,” Marr said, quiet and authoritative, “Can you hear me?”
Three hours. The operations took three hours, much longer than any other Sith that needed prosthetics. Not only that, Vader had many medical problems that they needed to be addressed first before the operation could of began. Which was while he was sleeping, thankfully. But now, here they were. Darth Vader remained silent for several breathing cycles before answering, the vocoder giving him that baritone voice that Marr had heard from the Council Chambers.
Marr nodded before waving his hand, the locks on the table springing open.
“Walk with me, Vader, we have much to discuss…” Marr said before heading towards the exit, Darth Vader followed.
On the bridge of Darth Marr’s personal flagship, a trio of beings waited. All three were alien; a former Togruta Jedi turned Sith, a Dashade and a Kaleesh Sith apprentice. Powerful in the Force but they could sense the return of their Master, however, the Dashade took note of the difference immediately.
“Little Sith is different. No longer simply a small Master…”
Ashara Zavros frowned before shivering at the pure darkness that was approaching, that's all she could describe it as, pure untainted darkness. Xalek, the Kaleesh looked at her before speaking.
“Our Master may have changed but he is still our Master, remember that Ashara.”
Then they turned and were shocked, finding an armored being in black walking with Darth Marr. Khem Val drew his sword before dropping it, a hand at his throat. The tall figure had his hand in a claw like gesture, not even looking at the Dashade as the other two looked on in surprise. Then the figure finally looked up at them, speaking through a vocoder but they knew their Master’s voice. It may be different due to the body that now held his powers but it was him.
“Kneel...I will speak with you later.”
They obeyed as the armored figures attention turned to the Dashade, who was choking still.
“Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you like the rest of your brethren, Servant of Tulak Hord?”
“Little Sith Master different, couldn’t tell if Little Sith was hiding.” Khem gasped before falling to his knees, gasping.
“Betray me again, you’ll find that the one called Kallig was lenient on you, Dashade. Don’t ever forget that.” The armored Sith remarked coldly before turning on Ashara and Xalek.
“Darth Marr has informed me of the Sith I have the memories and powers of, supposedly...I am your master,” The Sith hissed, clearly not happy about being told of this predicament, “You will address me as Darth Vader.”
They nodded, accepting the Sith without question. One must know that when any Sith is not happy, their apprentices must not aggravate them further. Darth Marr regained the attention quickly.
“Darth Vader, I would like to see you in action...I have a mission for you if you wish to accept it.”
Vader looked at Marr, this armor making him stand a few inches taller than Marr, nearly on par with Khem’s height.
“Which is?” He asked, voice loud enough to be heard but not enough to carry across the bridge.
“A splinter group of Sith and Dark Jedi are on the planet of Tatooine, if Imperial Intelligence is correct, they are planning to attack one of the very important pillars in Darth Ravage power base.” Marr said, handing Darth Vader a data chip with some more information.
“And if I do this?” Vader took it, tone cold.
"Then we can see about your placement on the Dark Council unless you want another position." Marr said.
Darth Vader nodded slowly, before answering, "I see...I accept."
Chapter 3: Missions, Alliances, and Darkness Eternal
The group were quickly in the Fury -class Imperial Interceptor, Vader having taken the pilots’ seat of the ship before they were roaring off into the stars. 2V-R8 had to magnetize himself to the hull to not go flying into it as the Sith had pulled a sharp turn out of the hanger bay of Darth Marr’s Flagship. Everyone was either feeling sick or just trying to get on their feet, but once the ship had entered hyperspace, the movement stopped. That was when the imposing Sith looked at the former pirate, Andronikos Revel.
“This ship won’t last a moment in any battle if it can handle any maneuvers...see to it that this is remedied.”
The pirate was about to make a retort but stopped, the air in the room feeling lighter after the Sith left, making things feel better. But maybe the Sith had a point, Imperial grade tech had fallen in the ships coming off the line were more bulky and weapon heavy. He better get to work, and maybe have that Imperial Archaeologist help him too.
Ashara Zavros shivered, feeling the presence of her Master watching her from the doorway. Between her former Master and this new one, she preferred the old one, and it wasn’t because of the armor that covered the Sith. No, that wasn’t the reason!
“You’re mind is giving off more light then it needs,” Her master commented, making her jump from the somewhat soft tone that was used.
She turned and looked at him, not even sure how to proceed with him. He, however, stepped closer and the door closed itself behind him. Privacy, or the illusion of it, Ashara thought as Darth Vader stood before her, arms crossed over his chest. The Tagaruta had to look up at the mask to even talk properly, but the Dark Side rolled of him was making it harder for her to even be near him.
Vader watched her, his breathing was the only thing that filled the room between them. Ashara flinched and the Sith seemed to come to a decision.
“You will accompany me to the planet surface, your real training will start there.” He said, the voice of a commander.
“Yes, my Master,” She bowed her head, something in her head making her recoil at the thought of his form of “training”.
Tatooine, Vader mussed, was still the most hated planet he never wanted to return too. However, it seemed this place had more people on it than his time did, but that was only because of the never ending war between the Sith and Jedi. He brought the Interceptor down, landing it before rising and heading towards the ramp. His new apprentice was on his heels, wearing some more revealing clothing instead of more conversative.
She would learn the hard way that the twin suns were not forgiving in any way.
He made his way passed the imperials, soldiers and other lowlifes that filled the Imperial hangar bay. He ignored them, not even caring as one fell to get out of his way, his apprentice did however.
“Master!” She looked back at the fallen being before looking back at him, “Shouldn’t we be showing what the Sith should be?”
“Which is?” He looked at her, his march never ceasing, “The Sith are all different, like the people that make up a planet. I do not care what the populace things of me as long as I get what needs to be done, done. You, however, have been with an idealistic Master that gave you dreams of grandeur. They will not come true, they are something that can only come from a tyrannical regime and even that is subpar at best.”
The Tagaruta frowned but her mind showed her thinking it over, but come to the conclusion that he knew that was needed. She was going to have to unlearn everything that all her former masters had forced down her throat.
“Then what do you suggest would be better?” She asked, looking at him as they stopped at a speeder vendor.
He frowned but mused it over before answering, “That would be idealistic thinking for a government that would never work. The Republic and Empire are both corrupt but the Sith are better at ending it because the Dark Side can sense corruption.”
He motioned her to a speeder and paid for two, the best ones the seller had before Vader let the force guide him. His apprentice followed but he only focused on the mission. Or was, his mind turned to her question. Maybe something would work but he didn’t know what would, he had seen both sides of each government. So he knew how corrupt it was, the two sides were no better.
“Master!” Ashara called out, bringing him out of his thoughts as a green lightsaber flew at his head.
Crimson red met green in a heartbeat, sending it back as Vader growled under his breath. He shoved the speeder into gear, making it roar before leaping off it. He landed neatly on the stone ground of the canyon the force had guided him to, using the Force to send his vehicle into the would be trapper. The explosion and screams made him smile before his apprentice rode up next to him, clearly worried.
Much like another Taraguta he had known…
He didn’t have time to think about it much as he used the force to defend himself from a barrage of canyon boulders. Each stone exploded as he brought his lightsaber out, throwing it with enough force that it looked like a solid crimson disc. The blade hummed over the tops of the canyon, cutting down the force users that tried to harm him and his apprentice. Before long, it was only them in the canyon, Vader caught his blade and slowly went in deeper.
Ashara followed after him, clearly in awe of the power he had used. It didn’t matter but it made him feel pride that he could still do so.
He paused, pointing to a cave opening in the side of the wall. His apprentice nodded, as they entered as one. Darth Vader grimaced as he saw the altar and the body of a female tusken raider on it, freshly killed in a ritual of some sort. Ashara swayed but Vader steadied her before raising his blade.
A body rushed him out of the darkness, screaming inhumanly before it was cut down by the Sith Lord. He grimaced, knowing what this was.
“Sorcery.” He growled, as torches erupted into life around the cave itself.
Surrounding them was a sea of dead bodies of all shapes, races, and sizes. In the center of it all?
A Sith meditated.