Disclaimer: George Lucas owns Star Wars, Darth Vader, lightsabers, etc. The BBC owns Doctor Who, the TARDIS, and everything associated with them. I make no pretense of having a stake in either, except as a fan (and maybe as part of a mutual fund – I haven’t looked into it too closely).
Summary: While hunting down Jedi, Darth Vader meets something unexpected.
Note: Someone decided to perform an act of threadcromancy (necro-threadology?) over in the forum here: http://forum.tthfanfic.org/index.php?topic=5294.0. You know who you are. This is my response.
Darth Vader moved through the shadows like a ghost as he called upon the dark side of the Force to mask his presence. He’d sensed a Force user while passing through this world on his master’s business and, as per the Emperor’s standing orders, was investigating. Though the Galactic Empire’s hold had grown firm over the decade since the coup and his purge of the Jedi Temple, far too many Jedi were unaccounted for, and even a few could be a credible threat. Thus, the need to hunt down even the faintest of possibilities, and to do so alone, for no Jedi could be taken unawares by a group of stormtroopers. Only a Sith could reasonably expect to handle a Jedi, and even then, a sighting of Yoda or another of his caliber would be cause to retreat and call down an orbital bombardment. The vast majority, of course, were children similar to himself; force-sensitive but never having been found and trained. Most he simply killed, but the youngest he seized as potentially useful imperial assets.
At last, turning into a deserted alleyway, Vader sighted his prey. No mere child, this, but an adult alien of a type he did not recognize. Though it outwardly looked like a human, it was most certainly not. Vader could sense a double heartbeat, and the most strange, yet powerful link to the Force he’d ever encountered, though it seemed to be completely quiescent. It seemed to be entirely unaware of his presence, its gaze focused on a small humming device which cast a blue light. A scanner of some sort, perhaps? In any event, the creature’s manner of dress made it obvious that it had neither blaster nor lightsaber. It would be almost too easy, he thought, as he called his ruby red blade into existence with a touch.
The Doctor was scanning the incredibly interesting lichens he’d found when he heard a hiss behind him. For the life of him, he simply could not understand why Donna had decided to go shopping, of all things, when there was such an interesting example of non-terrestroid pseudo-plant to investigate. Ah well, that was humans for you: always looking at the bright lights and ignoring the really brilliant stuff just under their noses. He started at the sound, turning to see the most extraordinary sight. A man dressed in black armour was advancing on him, a red laser sword held in his hand. The Doctor almost had to chuckle; he hadn’t seen a self-contained laser blade since the first days of the War! They were elegant, certainly, and wondrously good for close combat, but needed far more training than most people were willing to put in if you didn’t want to run the very real risk of chopping your hands off. In fact, the only people in all of history to ever use them regularly were those Jedi chaps from the Sixth Galactic Republic. Wait, that sounded familiar… black armour, red sword: he knew he’d heard of that somewhere before. Great Rassilon! This was the Imperial Interregnum of the Sixth Galactic Republic! And that meant…
“Hold on a moment! You’re Anakin Skywalker, aren’t you?”
The Sithlord paused, his breathing apparatus filling the silence as he considered the alien’s words.
“Anakin Skywalker is dead” he boomed, his voice filling the alleyway with dread. “I am Darth Vader.”
The alien looked at him quizzically, then laughed. “Vader, Skywalker, you’re still the same man underneath! Well, not the same, so much, what with the cybernetics and all, but you know what I mean.”
Vader began advancing once more. “I do not know how you came by this knowledge, but you cannot be allowed to leave here with it. Today, you die.”
The alien looked at him with an almost pitying expression. “No, that’s not going to happen.”
With that, he raised his scanning device, and the lightsaber flickered and shorted out, showering Vader’s armour with sparks. Adapting quickly, Vader dropped the now useless weapon and reached out with the Force to choke the life from this creature. He made contact, but something was wrong. His strength pouring into the other, but was simply absorbed, grounding itself through its Force connection.
“That’s not going to work on me, I’m afraid. My people were striding the universe before yours ever evolved, and we’ve learned a thing or two. Your power is drawn from life itself, and into life it returns. My connection with life is, shall we say, unusual. I’ve lived nine already, and expect to live three more after this one. All you’re doing is adding a drop to my ocean.”
“You see, I remember you now. I’m the Doctor, and I know who and what you are. I know it began and how it ends. I can’t help you, or any of the people you’re going to hurt. I wish I could, I truly do: it would save you so much pain when it all comes crashing down. I can’t, though; your end is a fixed point in time. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
With that, the last Time Lord of Gallifrey reached out with his mind, commanding the fallen hero to sleep, wiping his memory clean of their encounter. A quick bit of work repaired the lightsaber, and the Doctor, his eyes glistening with tears, walked away from a man whom he could not save.