Darth Vader, Origins
*WHEN YOU LOOK INTO THE ABYSS, THE ABYSS LOOKS INTO YOU**
Holger Hall, Leopardknocks University.
he walked wearily into the room and set his wand on his bedside table. The wand still sizzled with eldritch flame, and he shifted a scroll to avoid setting anything on fire accidentally. Wearily, he started removing the robes that marked him as a student at LeopardKnocks. He had just defended his project at the department of Dark Matter and Arcane Theology. Granted, he had upset almost all his lecturers when he decided to major in Dark Matter instead of the tamer and more scholastically inclined Arcane Theology, but it was his life, his decision.
His head the voices whispered in.
His Staff Adviser said he was wasting his time, there were no new breakthroughs in the realm of Dark Matter, while Arcane Theology was like an onion, so many specialties and sub-specialties, and he was almost sure of a retainership for further study. He sneered as he recalled his interview with the Dean of the College of Arcane Sciences, a small, owlish man with huge spectacles.
“You’re really serious about this, aren’t you?”
He had nodded shyly.
“But I’m sure that you understand that the Department, and indeed the College, cannot sponsor or fund any further research? There is absolutely no chance of us retaining you, even though you are, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant students to ever walk through these gates. The College has no intention of undertaking or supporting any study or research in the field of Dark Matter. And of course you can not publish your results and findings here”, he scoffed, “if there is even anything to find, in any journal or publication that is in any way connected with us”
“I’ll take my chances sir.”
“Well, since you want it like that, carry on then. On a personal note, I won’t pretend I’m happy about it, and you don’t have my blessing. I’ve read your assessments and evaluations. You’re brilliant, almost painfully so. You easily outstrip most of your classmates on all the tests, and your exam scores are stellar, unmatched. Why would you choose to waste yourself on a course as fruitless and unrewarding as Dark Matter?”
The man pushed his glasses along his beak of a nose
“If, for instance, you were to opt for Arcane Theology, we could arrange funding. Your test and exam scores are well within the range, and we can easily approve a scholarship. You have so much potential, why waste it?”
“With all due respect Sir, I’m not wasting it.”
The man stared at him, nodding solemnly, then decided to try a different tack.
“Be careful. Dark Matter is perilous, and fraught with snares. You could easily become a pawn and minion to the forces you seek to study. The spells and runes you learned in your Defense against Dark Arts classes may not protect you quite so well when studying Dark Matter”
He smiled, cruelly. The doddering old sage had almost guessed the source of his fascination with the Dark Arts. Too bad for him. Almost was still a miss.
Shedding his soft soled shoes, he stood naked, in front of the antique chest that held his finest creation. The years of work had paid off. The samples he had presented to his reluctant supervisor for assessment and evaluation had been a joke. He had prepared them four years back, while studying Defense against Dark Arts.
A single complicated rune, drawn in mid air, and the chest opened to reveal his suit. A few simply worded spells sealed the room door to keep off intruders. Taking a deep breath, he began to dress.
He had showed them. All of them. The ruins of the Department building were still burning, a testament to skill they had not known he possessed. The voices had been explicit in their demands. Not one person was to survive. His wand was just cooling, and the authorities would be too busy with recriminations and the plans to build a new building to notice that not all the students and professors perished in the fire.
He attached the gauntlets to his arms, and smiled as they rippled and pulsed, fusing themselves to his skiskill they had not known he possessed. The voices had been explicit in their demands. Not one person was to survive. His wand was just cooling, and the authorities would be too busy with recriminations and the plans to build a new building to notice that not all the students and professors perished in the fire.
He attached the gauntlets to his arms, and smiled as they rippled and pulsed, fusing themselves to his skin. If the administrators and Professors had an idea how much work he had put in, they would have awarded him his D.Ar.Th, like two years or so back. Before he crossed over to the Dark Side.
He hefted the big helmet and put it on. He blinked once or twice as the helmet’s capabilities mingled and melded with his own. He could hear the vain and impotent attempts of people around to locate survivors from the rubble of the building.
As it was, there was nobody more qualified than him to hold a Diploma in Arcane Theology, so being the sole survivor, he would add it to his name.
With the fusion of his mind and body with the elements he had transported and embedded in the pieces of the suit, he would cease to be the student his classmates had known. He would be renewed, reformed reborn.
He would become Darth Vader.