"Discovery" is a short story leading into the events of Legends of the Force, written by TheLoneClone. It follows Darth Vader and his right-hand man, Commander Dent, as they find the injured Captain Spaghetti and discover the Milky Way galaxy.
“Lord Vader, we’ve found something.”
Darth Vader spun around to face one of his top officers, the young man known as Commander Dent. He had been recently promoted to serving aboard Vader’s Star Destroyer Behemoth, and the Dark Lord of the Sith was surprised by the young man’s…intellect. He was a lot wiser than most of his other captains, and nearly all of them were at least seven or eight years older.
Vader was a first-hand witness to the fact that age does not have any bearing on experience.
“What is it, Commander?” Vader asked, his raspy breathing echoing throughout the bridge of the Behemoth. Dent raised a datapad he was holding in his right hand, using his left hand’s index finger to enlarge and scroll through images. “There seems to be a…life-form floating in the void ahead of us. We’re picking up heat signals, but they’re almost gone.”
Vader stood still for a moment, and then turned back to look out into space. “Bring the life-form aboard. Once it is contained, contact me.”
Dent nodded, stepping back. “As you wish, Lord Vader.”
- - -
After nearly a half-hour of standard time, one of the bridge crewmembers strolled up behind Vader. “My lord, Commander Dent is contacting you. He says that the life-form is onboard and they have him contained.”
Vader turned, nodding. “Very well. Inform Commander Dent that I am en route to the medical bays.”
The crewman nodded. “Yes, Lord Vader.”
As the Sith Lord marched down the corridors of the Behemoth, he ignored the signs of respect given from his subordinates. He hadn’t requested the salutes, so he wouldn’t accept them.
Shortly, with several of his long-legged strides throughout the starship, Vader reached the medical bay designated ISDB-03. With his developed Force powers, the dark lord had been able to see where Dent and the newfound life-form were located.
The doors slowly opened up as the Sith Lord strolled inside. “Lord Vader,” Dent said, bowing slightly to his superior. The dark lord didn’t do anything in response. Dent cleared his throat before continuing on: “It seems as if this man has been bitten in multiple places by humanoids. We’re giving him different types of medicine to keep him from dying.”
Vader examined the injured man, who had a terribly torn-up right arm and a fingerless left arm; his legs were both damaged badly, as if they had been burned by something. His head was the least damaged part of the body, but Vader didn’t care. He knew that this man was of no use to him.
“Don’t bother wasting any medical supplies. Let him die.” Dent stepped back, hands raised ever so slightly. “Let him…die? But, my lord, he may be of use to us…”
The Sith Lord turned on his heel, raising a gloved hand in the form of a claw. “You heard my order, Commander Dent. Do not defy me.” The young officer had begun to claw at his throat. “Y-yes, my l-lord.” Vader let his hand drop as the officer fell down, panting. He rubbed his throat, and then turned to one of the medical officers standing nearby.
“You heard Lord Vader: let him die.” The officer nodded, and then looked to the 2-1B medical droid standing nearby. It was in the middle of an injection when the officer tapped its shoulder. “Don’t bother.” The droid gave a simple “affirmative,” and then removed the built-in needle from the injured man’s torso.
Dent pointed to a pile of clothing and gear in the corner. “Oh, Lord Vader, that was what the man was wearing when we found him. I don’t know if it could be salvageable or worth anything.”
Vader began to speak, but then stopped when a tingle in the Force touched his mind. He slowly craned his head to gaze at the pile of equipment when he caught sight of a strange emblem. Directly beneath the insignia was the name Starfleet…
The Sith Lord spun around. “Recall that order!” he yelled out, slamming his palms on the table the injured man was lying upon. “Sir?!” Dent cried out, shocked. Vader let out a mechanical growl. “Never mind. I’ll handle it myself.”
Stretching out with the powers of the dark side, Vader placed a hand on the injured man’s forehead, and a faint glow began to shimmer from his glove. The only thing Vader thought about was this man sitting up, alive. He had learned this power from Darth Sidious, his own master…but he had been too late to learn it to save Padme.
Suddenly, the man’s eyes began to flutter open. Dent’s jaw dropped at the sight, and the medical officer slumped back into his chair. He had clearly never seen anything like this before.
Vader slowly lifted his hand off of the man’s head. He laid there for a few seconds before looking down to his legs. “What the—? What happened? W-where am I?”
The Sith Lord crossed his arms. “You are aboard the Imperial starship Behemoth. I am Darth Vader, enforcer of the Galactic Empire.” The man tried to lift himself up, but his body was so battered that he could not do so. “Where’s Earth?”
Vader’s black helmet snapped to look at Dent, and then back at the man. “What is Earth? And who are you?”
The man closed his eyes, beating his head lightly on the table he was lying on. “My…my name is Captain Spaghetti, commander of the starship USS Italian from Starfleet. Earth’s the planet I call home.” His eyes blinked open. “The…the zombies…I remember now…”
He was able to lean up slightly, turning his head to look at Vader. “Where’s my crew?” Dent leaned forward to Vader. “Is he a member of the Rebellion, sir?”
Vader shook his head. “No. He’s from a different galaxy.” The man—Spaghetti, he called himself—nodded. “Y-yeah, I’m from a different galaxy! The Milky Way, to be precise.”
The 2-1B droid raised a mechanical limb. “Excuse me, but what is a ‘Milky Way’? It sounds like some sort of food.”
The Sith Lord ignored the droid. He leaned closer to Spaghetti. “Tell me…Captain Spaghetti. Where is this Milky Way galaxy located?” Before the captain spoke, he looked to Dent’s hip. A holstered blaster pistol hung from his belt. In response, the captain sneered at Vader.
“I’m not going to tell you…you monster! I know just from the looks of you…you’re evil! Villains!”
He scrambled to the side of the bed, but Vader stopped him by raising a hand. The man lifted into the air, and then dropped into the table. The Sith Lord held his hand in the same position, pinning him to the medical table. “You’re not going anywhere.” He slowly raised his other hand, delving into Spaghetti’s mind.
The captain resisted Vader’s Force powers, but the Sith Lord was too strong. “Tell me…now.” And that was all there was to it.
Spaghetti told Vader everything he wanted to know.
- - -
The Sith Lord strolled out of the room with Commander Dent on his heel. The medical officer and his 2-1B droid had been left to heal the injured captain as best as they could.
“I take it we’re headed to the Milky Way galaxy, then, Lord Vader?” Dent asked, hands clasped behind his back. Vader stopped, and his commander did the same. “No…I need to contact the Emperor first.” He took a turn at the intersection they had stopped at and continued to speak: “Be on the bridge and ready for my command.”
Dent nodded as his superior marched to his private quarters. “As you wish, sir.”