across time and space
summary: Across time and space, Anakin and Vader switch places. Confusion ensues. (mostly anidala and vaderdala in this part, but eventually some vadaphra in later parts) part 1 / ?
Awakened by the thud of footsteps coming towards him, Anakin opened his eyes and groaned as he found himself laying on a hard, cold floor. Where am I? His whole body hurt, but what was worst of all was the searing pain he felt in his brain, as if someone had run a lightsaber through his skull. Anakin raised his left arm and cautiously felt for any for lacerations or bruises around the top of his head but didn’t feel anything. Not even a bump? Whatever it was that knocked him out without a scratch on his skull, he figured, it was bad enough to make his vision blurry so that all he could see was dark shapes offset by darker shadows.
The footsteps stopped and Anakin saw a figure of brown and red colors was now standing by his head. Anakin looked up and though he couldn’t make out a face, he could tell that the figure was short and small. A female voice curiously asked, “Who are you?”
Despite still feeling like a whole building was dropped on his body, Anakin mustered the strength to lift himself off the floor as quickly as he could. He stood up to his full height so that he was now towering over the figure. I should be asking you the same question! Using the force, he called his lightsaber to his hand and ignited it, causing the figure to step back in alarm. The voice yelled out in surprise, “Do you know that Skywalker kid?”
“Huh…” Anakin answered, suddenly feeling more even confused than before. Just then, his vision regained clarity and he could finally see who was speaking to him. It was a short, petite woman with medium-length brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing brown pants and a red jacket with short sleeves that showed off the circuit pattern tattoo sprawling down her right arm. And though he didn’t even understand why himself, his eyes were drawn to a small smudge of motor oil on her cheek.
He knew better than to assume someone small wasn’t always a threat, but he couldn’t help but feel a little bad that he pulled out his lightsaber on such a tiny woman, even if she was carrying a blaster in her holster. With a push of a button, his lightsaber was no longer ignited, but he still held it next to his side cautiously just in case. “I’m Skywalker, though I don’t know who you are calling a kid,” he replied as he raised his right eyebrow and the scar across it. The woman looked liked she was in her late twenties. Still older than me, but not enough to be calling me a kid, he thought to himself with indignation.
“Huh…,” she responded just like him, and Anakin could tell that she equally shared his confusion about this whole situation. She crossed her arms, frowning. “How did you get in here? What have you done with Vader? Whatever it was he said about me, it isn’t true!”
“Hey!” Anakin growled, frustrated that there were more questions than answers. “I don’t know how I got here and who you are! I didn’t do anything with Vader, I don’t even know who that is! All I know is that I wasn’t here before I woke up!” As soon he said that, Anakin suddenly remembered that before he laying on the floor here, he was laying next to Padme in bed and falling asleep with her in his arms. The thought that they were both kidnapped and she was in danger caused his fury to rise again. “Where is Padme?” he howled, his voice sound like it belonged to an enraged animal and not to a man that just celebrated his twenty second birthday secretly with his wife on Naboo.
Aphra’s eyes widened and her arms fell limply to her side, as if a terrible realization dawned on her. “No no no no no,” she muttered as she walked past Anakin, barely paying attention to how he was now glaring at her. He called out still furious, “Did you hear me? Where is Padme? What have you done to her?” Like before, Aphra didn’t answer. Instead, she bent down to an amulet that was on the floor next to where Anakin was laying moments before. Aphra stood up and spun around to look at him, her jaw hanging open.
After several long moments of horrified silence, she finally whispered, “If you are here, then he must be…”
The sound of a loud crack made Padme’s mind jolt awake. What?! Before she could even lift her head off the pillow to see what happened, her body was rolling over to the opposite side of the bed that was now a foot shorter than the side she was sleeping on. Suddenly, Padme felt her body collide into something hard. Pulling off the sheets that tangled around her body, she angrily yelled, “Anakin! What did you do?”
There was no response but the resonating sound of a deep, strained rasp followed by another and another in mechanical intervals. Padme felt her heart momentarily stop beating as she looked up to see that it was not Anakin laying beside her. Goddess, what is that thing? Where is Anakin? Without another thought, Padme flung herself away back to her side of the mattress and reached down to grab the blaster she kept in a hidden compartment in the headboard.
Pointing the blaster at it, Padme could see the figure sitting up as best as it could on the lopsided bed. Judging by the shape of it, the thing looked humanoid enough, except its head which resembled something like the skull of a terrifying predator. It turned to face her and Padme saw miniature twin images of herself reflected in its red tinted lens. Like clones floating in orbs of blood. It was an ominous sight, but Padme found herself no longer afraid. If it wanted to kill me, it would have done so already. All she felt was her burning resolve to find out what happened to Anakin.
With a quiet but stern voice, she asked, “Where is Anakin?” The figure clad in all black leather and armor got out of the bed and rose to a dreadful height in front of her. The whole room seemed to shrink as if his large built was a pitch black vortex that bent light and space. Its glove reached out to touch her face, but it stopped short and instead gently wrapped a ringlet of her hair around its finger. She gripped the blaster tighter.
“Padme,” it said in a low, synthesized voice. Though it sounded like a machine had said her name, Padme was certain only a man could have such pain and longing in his voice.
Lowering the blaster, Padme finally asked, “Who are you?”