Crash landing was not part of your plan.
You received a distress signal shortly after coming out of hyperspace while you were en route to Onderon, and you wasted no time as you re-routed your ship to head to the last known location of the signal. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been such a bad idea to check the navigational computer first before you headed for the moon that appeared in your view but you had other pressing matters to worry about. The fact that the distress signal was coming from one of the rebel’s ships was one of them. And the fact that you no longer could trace the signal was another. Something was wrong, you could feel it in your bones, so you descended your ship into the murky atmosphere of the moon below, not prepared for the challenges the moon offered until the air cleared and you plunged deep within the jungles, the impact of which almost made you collide with the console of your ship.
Yes, crash landing was certainly not what you were expecting. And to add to your worries, your own signal was jammed, no matter how many times you tried to restart the computers of your ship, hitting the console repeatedly until it flickered and died completely.
You cursed. You were stranded on an unknown moon, with no way to signal for help, your ship damaged and tangled up in the thick foliage of the jungle. And to make matters worse it just started to rain, heavy splatters of rainfall beating down on the viewport of your ship, making it impossible to see what laid beyond in the wilderness of your surroundings.
You had no choice but to try and at least inspect the ship and see if you could repair it. Which required you to get out into the mess outside, and you cringed, already feeling miserable as it is, that you would be soaked to the bones within seconds of leaving the dry space of your ship. You were just about to open the latch on the door when a thumping noise outside stopped you, followed by a growl and a hiss. You tensed. This sounded suspiciously like an animal, a big one. Jungles meant many things but most of them had one thing in common: large predators, most likely dangerous and native to their surroundings.
You immediately went back inside the cockpit to collect your belongings, stashing more of the firearm in your clothes, checking to make sure you had enough charge in your blaster. The last thing you wanted was to be stranded in this place unarmed. You could deal with no food and there seemed to be plenty of water (you were almost positive that the rain was fresh water and the air inhabitable enough for any sentient being) and you had some ration bars left to last you a week.
But the most important thing were your pills, your heat suppressants, and you breathed a sigh of relief when you found them and pocketed them inside your jacket, making sure to count how many you had left. Enough to give you time to get out of here alive. It was already bad enough to be in this situation in the first place. It would have been worse all together if you were to suddenly go into heat, rendering you immobile and helpless for the whole week. Best not to think about that as you shuddered and then with the last glance to make sure you gathered everything that you needed, you opened the latch and pushed the door open, almost stumbling in your step down below when you realized the ship wasn’t even grounded but slightly elevated above, entangled in the vines.
You cursed once again, slipping in the rain as you carefully climbed down, holding onto vines until your feet hit the ground. You looked around yourself, squinting around to look for any danger. You hadn’t heard the noise again and you were fairly certain you were alone, which gave you time to look at the damage above. You didn’t like what you saw. One of the engines had blown up and the other needed some serious repairs before you could try and lift the ship up in the air. Forget about the hyperspace, you would be lucky to get out of this atmosphere in the condition your ship was in.
You were just thinking about all the tools you needed when your comlink went off. It was picking up the distress signal once again. You couldn’t believe your luck. There was another rebel ship on this moon, and you hoped that it was in far better condition than yours. You didn’t like the idea of leaving the ship behind but you also didn’t like the prospect of staying here by yourself if there were other people here that needed your help. So you made up your mind and started treading through the jungle, pushing and struggling against the thick vines as you made your way, albeit too slow for your liking, towards the signal. Your hair and clothes kept getting pulled on the vines, and your boots were halfway covered with the mud, your feet getting stuck and pulled down in all the murky goo that was supposed to be a solid ground. The rain did not help you even one bit, if anything it rendered you almost blind as it kept hitting your face.
After what felt like hours, you finally managed to get to the clearing and you almost screamed with joy when you saw a gleaming surface of another ship up ahead. You could make out its shape, and it definitely looked like an older model of the ship the rebels liked to use on their missions, so there were no questions in your mind that you were safe. If you would have paid a little more attention you would have noticed all the signs that something was seriously wrong, but in your mind all you could imagine was the dry compartment of the ship and the warmth it offered to your chilly bones.
It was only when you were nearing the ship when you picked up the signs. The paint was almost stripped unrecognizable, thus creating that gleaming surface you saw in the distance. The doors and windows were torn apart, smashed and clawed out, making you stop dead in your tracks. It looked like this ship had been here for weeks . And there were no signs of any other rebels around you. You glanced down at the comlink strapped to your wrist and frowned. The distress signal kept blinking and it was nearing you.
You whirled around when you heard something. A snap of the branch, muffled by the heavy rain. You could hardly see what was beyond a few feet of you, your eyes sweeping past the thick foliage up ahead to try and make out what made the noise. You couldn’t suppress the shiver when you felt a chilling sensation as someone or something was watching you. You grabbed your blaster, waiting with held breath for something to happen. And something did.
From your right side emerged a beast, tall, hairless with large claws and tail. Its face had huge fangs that protruded from its round head and its eyes were small, bead-like, glowing yellow and its sight set on you. You realized with a sinking feeling that the distress signal was coming from the beast itself, lodged somewhere deep within it, perhaps even in its stomach. You instinctively raised your blaster and without a warning shot a few blaster bolts, only to gape in shock as the beast deflected them with its scales. Only then did you realize that it had an armored hide, one that was immune to the blaster fire. You swore, watching the beast as you started to slowly back away from it, hoping to get inside the carcass of the ship until another noise behind you made you whirl your head to find another one of those beasts slowly gaining on you.
And then you were surrounded as two more emerged from each side, four beasts slowly circling around you and trapping you within. You were their prey, and you realized with a sinking feeling that you were helpless against them if they were to attack you at once. You only had enough time to turn and take a step when they finally pounced, one of them almost slashing you with its claws, tearing at the fabric of your jacket as you toppled to the ground and rolled away in time for another one to sink its claws in the spot where you were just a moment ago. You shot a few more blaster shots, each of them efficiently deflected by the beasts, none of them fazed by it as they bared their fangs and growled.
You didn’t even have time to get up, the one closer to you slapped you with its long tail which made you howl in pain and then you were pounded into the wet soil by its claws, your life mere seconds from being torn out of your chest, your eyes wide as you stared at its fangs mere inches from your face. You whimpered, shut your eyes and prepared for immense pain only for it to never come as suddenly the weight was lifted from your chest and the beast howled as though it was tossed aside by something else.
You opened your eyes and wished you kept them closed because the sight that greeted you was even more horrifying than the last. Because off to the side was standing a tall figure in black with a red lit sword, the weapon slashing in the air with precision and deadliness, fighting off the beasts that had their attention on the newcomer. You watched, wide-eyed, as the beasts jumped around, trying to find the opening of the prey, their hides and bones resistant even to the heat that the weapon was emitting. You thought for a moment that there was no way to kill them off, but one by one, minutes of intense battle, the figure in black was able to overpower the beasts, levitating them in the air and plunging the saber in their chests, while crushing the other ones with the invisible force. It was all over before you could get up and by then the figure was already advancing on to you and you froze in fear, realizing who your savior was.
Darth kriffing Vader was here, on this moon, mere feet away from you and you did the only thing you could think of in your sheer panic and fear. You raised your blaster, which you miraculously still had in your hand and then shot it at him, and almost laughed at your naive thought that you’d be able to hit him, when your blaster was torn out of your hands by that same invisible force, the blaster shots ricocheting off the invisible wall around him and then you were seized by that same grip, tight pressure encircling your throat and you gasped.
“ Rebel scum ,” came the rich baritone voice of Vader as he stopped in front of you, his height towering over your small form and you couldn’t even respond back, your throat constricting more with each passing second as you stood there and choked. You could do nothing as he reached for your arm, tearing the comlink off your wrist and watched as he set the locator back to your ship. You whimpered, causing the mask to snap back to your face.
“Do not think I saved you,” he spat and you wanted to tell him that you hardly believed that to be the case in the first place. “I merely needed this before the maalraas destroyed it,” he was holding your comlink in his large gloved hand and you frowned, trying to understand what the “maalraas” was until it clicked to you that must have been the name of the beasts. But then your attention was snapped back to Vader as he lifted his other hand and reached for your face.
“What secrets does your mind possess?” you felt a weird sensation cloaking your senses, as though something cold was slithering inside your head. “What plans does your Rebellion have?” you tried to fight him but there was no use. You heard stories of his interrogation methods, and only stories, myths even. No one had ever survived an encounter with Darth Vader, let alone live to tell that tale. You were alone, on the treacherous moon filled with beasts, unarmed and helpless against someone who was feared widely across the galaxy.
You would have cried out if you could, but your throat was burning and your head was throbbing as he used his powers to slither through your mind, looking for the needed information without any regard to your well-being. Tears were streaming down your face, mixed with the rainfall, as you helplessly stood in the clearing, counting down the minutes until he was done with you and either choked you to death or slashed you with his weapon. You briefly thought of your dead family, killed by the stormtroopers in the siege against your homeworld, or perhaps this was a memory that Vader was pulling from you which made you recount all the horrible things you’ve witnessed the Empire do. It wasn’t long until you thought of other things, the taboo things that this world was against, your true nature that you were hiding ever since you first had your heat and then suddenly the pressure on your throat was gone and you could breathe, taking an agonizing breath in your aching lungs which burned, coughing and sputtering as you almost collapsed on the ground.
Except you didn’t, because Vader was holding you and you swirled your head to stare at him with fear in your eyes. “You’re an omega,” was not what you were expecting to hear from him but neither was him not killing you, at least not yet. You tried to twist away from him, but his grip was strong and the strength in you was failing.
“And an unbonded one at that,” he continued and you flushed deep crimson, shame and embarrassment washing over you in waves and you couldn’t help but shout.
“Get out of my head,” you spat.
“It’s a pity you’re a rebel,” he continued as though he didn’t hear you and this time his words had roused you up and you hissed, inadvertently baring your teeth at him.
“Well your Empire had done quite a marvelous job at eliminating most of us,” you growled, only then realizing that you were leaning towards him so you tried to straighten yourself out by pushing away but Vader yanked you back against his chest, the action so unexpected that your nose almost hit his chest box.
“I was against that idea,” he hissed back and you stared, unable to believe that Vader was admitting to something that could have been entirely a lie.
“It doesn’t matter,” you spat back. “Don’t tell me you haven’t once killed an omega before.”
You could have imagined it but Vader faltered at that, his stance shifting as he brought his mask closer to your face, as though studying your features. “I haven’t,” he admitted and you couldn’t help but gape at him. This was becoming rather uncomfortable, your fear evaporating into something else entirely.
“Well—” you stumbled with your words. “I’m sure there are plenty of my kind out there—”
“There aren’t ,” he swiftly interrupted you and once again, you could only stare at him, trying to understand why he hadn’t yet killed you. Was he an omega himself? That was unlikely, as both omegas and alphas were hunted down, killed by the Empire to stop the unnatural process of nature, as the Emperor called it himself. As the years went by, there were less and less of them in the world, and the rest had to muffle their presence by taking heat and scent suppressants just to survive. You were lucky in a sense that your family was prepared when you first went into your heat, immediately supplying you with the right medicine.
But this was different. Vader was different. And you couldn’t quite place what was off about him or his reaction to learning that you were an unbonded omega. You could not detect even a trace of his scent, so you immediately crossed the notion that he was an alpha. You would have smelled it if he was one. Your instinct, no matter how much the pills tried to suppress it, was still there, buried deep within you. And your instinct would have picked up even a trace of an alpha scent. But you haven’t met even one in your years of growing up.
“Did you kill them?” you swiftly changed the topic. “Did you kill the people on that ship?” you nodded your head towards the damaged ship in the back.
“No,” was his stiff reply. “They met their deaths by more vicious beasts than me,” he didn’t need to elaborate more on that. You’ve witnessed what some of the beasts could do, almost overpowering Vader, one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. There was no chance for mere rebels against them.
“So you’re going to kill me?” your throat had gone dry despite the rain still beating down hard on both of you.
“No,” his reply had shocked you once again and only then did you notice his hand, the one that was holding your head, had traveled down below your jaw, his gloved fingers absentmindedly stroking the scent glands that were there. You jumped at the touch, instantly taking a step back.
“What are you doing?” you growled, looking at Vader with distrust and suspicion in your eyes.
He dropped his hand, perhaps realizing what it was he was doing and then turned on his heels, signaling for you. “Come,” he was expecting you to follow but you stayed rooted to the spot. He stopped, turning his head to stare at you through the lenses of his mask. “Unless you prefer to spend the night in wilderness with these beasts, I suggest you come willingly .”
“Or what ?” Where did this bravery come from?
“Or you die ,” he simply replied, no menace in his voice. “This place is unforgiving and it’s certainly not for the weak.”
You bristled at that. “I’m not weak.”
“Sure, little one ,” was he joking with you? But this was Vader. He didn’t joke.
“I’m not little ,” you hissed.
“All right then, omega— ”
“I have a name,” you spat as you finally moved from your spot. “And don’t call me by that title ever again,” you didn’t know why but the way Vader said the word ‘omega’ had left an unpleasant tingle down your spine, as though he was tasting the word with his lips, leaving the ghost of his touch on your skin. You shivered, attributing it to the rain and walked the rest of the journey in silence, with Vader leading the way.