(1/5)Sooo.. I was just re-reading 'Appology Accepted' and also down to page 30something of your Double Agent Anakin tag. I remembered reading something about an 'offed by vader' club. With that in mind, my next thought was of course that Mon Mothma.. lied. Through her teeth, with a smile and a perfect poker face, she lied. Needa is in fact NOT the third person to know who Ekkreth is.. there are at least a dozen he's 'executed' face to face, though they will never know until after the dust
By the time all of the fallout is taken care of, and the survivors start cautiously comparing notes, Anakin is in the med bay, and a group of former imperials and former imperial spies has gathered nearby, talking quietly about working under Vader, and one of them quietly says ‘he saved my life. I wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t 'executed’ me.’
Then another gives a similar story, and Needa, well he wonders, because the first one to talk had been out for months, maybe years, before Vader got him out, so this must have been the second person to know, right?
Wrong, because others are saying similar stories, and some of them were out well before Needa as well, and one of them mentions that Mothma told him he was the third person to find out who Ekkreth was, and that’s when it dawns on most of them that.. well. Mon Mothma is a rebel leader, literally the intelligence hub of the entire rebel army. She knows everything, and everyone knows she has a perfect memory for it all, couldn’t forget even if she wanted to.
They know she lied to them. Of course, while it’s a shock it’s not exactly something they didn’t expect. As they get over it someone suggests making the unofficial club, and later they may go as far as getting shirts printed up proudly proclaiming “I was killed by Lord Vader and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”
Luke of course thinks this is hilarious, though Anakin is mildly embarrassed the first time he sees the shirts. (He eventually gets it as well, adding his own morbid puns and it becomes something of a meme.)
They’re also some of the most annoying of his mother hens, getting over their fear of him quickly. The vast majority of them seem to think it’s their universe given right to take care of him in return. Unanimously, every one of them joins him when he leaves to free the slaves. Of course, watch me finish getting through the Double Agent Anakin tag and see you’ve already got something like this XD…
You know, I’ll be completely honest: when I wrote Apology Accepted, I actually did think that Needa was literally the only person besides Mon Mothma and Leia who knew that Vader was a double agent.
The idea of the Offed By Vader squad came later, and (as with many aspects of this ‘verse, and indeed the entire concept of the ‘verse itself) it originally started as crack. But the more I thought about it the more intriguing I found the idea, and it does fit quite well into the structure and themes of the story.
And now, well. The thing is, it actually makes more sense to assume that there are others Anakin’s extracted by “killing” them. That Needa probably wasn’t his first fake kill. Looking back at Apology Accepted, he certainly seemed to have his extraction plan down to a science, and he was definitely more annoyed at the necessity of “killing” Needa (and thus losing a potential ally in the fleet) than he was concerned about keeping their cover. Even if I wasn’t actually planning it intentionally, everything about Anakin’s attitude in Apology Accepted implies that he’s done this before.
And yes, of course Mon Mothma, head of Alliance Intelligence and master spy, is not going to tell the slowly but steadily growing group of people who have all been “killed” by Vader about each other. There aren’t that many of them, all told, and she’s probably careful to keep them assigned to different Rebel cells, so the odds that they’ll encounter one another are slim. If they do, they all know better than to talk about their extraction.
Some of them have probably wondered about each other, but the actual conversations don’t start until they all hear that Vader is in an Alliance medbay.
They probably turn up individually, some of them not even fully sure of what they’re hoping to accomplish by being there. It’s just…well, for many of them, the fact that Darth Vader is a Rebel still doesn’t entirely compute. And they run into each other outside the medbay and there’s an unspoken understanding there. Okay, they think. It wasn’t just me. This really happened.
Eventually, somebody starts talking about it. Not in a lot of depth (they’re still military officers, after all, and this is still a highly classified situation), but somebody says, “He got me out,” and then somebody else says, “He saved my life,” and pretty soon they’ve realized that they all have this shared experience.
Someone jokingly suggests forming a club. Someone else jokingly makes the shirts. One day Luke and Leia catch Needa wearing one, and he’s instantly apologetic, but it turns out they love it. (Luke wants a shirt of his own, but the answer is a firm no. Only people who have been killed by Lord Vader can wear one. Sorry kid.)
By the time Anakin’s up and about and allowed to receive groups of visitors, the OBV Squad is something of a phenomenon, and he’s completely blindsided by it.
They give him a shirt. Luke pouts and says it’s not fair, but Anakin just laughs at him and says, “Oh come on now, Luke. You’ve got to look at it from the right point of view. Darth Vader did kill Anakin Skywalker.”
Luke scowls at him. “That’s never going to be funny, Dad,” he mutters, without any real heat.
Somewhere in the Force, Obi-Wan sighs.