What are your hcs about mind control/sith fuckery recovery for the Guard?
Oh I have loads. Thanks for asking.
Also this is half the mind control and half the recovery.
Firstly, Hound’s chip doesn’t work properly due to head injuries, mainly from his underground fighting ring. Fix would be horrified by how many head injuries he’d taken, and is definitely something between terrified snd horrified when the chips are removed and Hounds is clearly damaged.
Palpatine doesn’t notice his chip is broken because he’s so often out with the ARF and Mastiffs rather than face to face with Palpatine. Also because Palpatine so often mixes his Sith magic with the chips, so when the clones are given orders by him face to face, it’s not just the chips but that too. Any order over Comm he’d be able to refuse, but face to face he can’t.
In a universe where 66 happened, his chip would malfunction and he’d fail to fall under its control. He’d be killed by his siblings, utterly unwilling to harm them.
Fox controlled a lot.
He has his reasons for not telling his vode outside of the Guard what was happening, but once Palpatine is gone and the Sith fog clears, he has to ask why he never said anything and how much of not telling his batch was Palpatines idea? How much of their keeping things secret was actual isolation, and how much was Palpatine keeping them isolated?
Fox (and many of the clones who have to go near Palpatine) have implanted nightmares of horrific things. Unlike the other clones, they’re rarely about killing Jedi, theirs are worse. They’re being forced to kill vode.
Fox’s worst and most consistent ones are of him torturing his brothers to death. They’re like something out of a horror holo, worse than any holo he’d seen, of them begging and pleading with him and him laughing at their pleas. He wakes covered in sweat and in his mind it feels like blood. Their blood. More than once he’s had to slip out of bed without waking his vode and shower until he feels clean. At first he’d flinch away from the subject of the dream when he saw them, but he learnt to hide that.
He can’t ever stop it in his dreams, and once he realises his blackouts and memory gaps are linked, he’s utterly terrified one day he’ll wake and it won’t have been just a nightmare.
He’s Palpatines favourite plaything. His little puppet.
The Jedi do a lot to help with recovery, more than anyone, not to mention the healing power of siblings. Of course there’s a lot the siblings outside the guard can’t do because they just don’t understand, but that doesn’t stop them trying. They’ll do anything to help their siblings, and anything to make up for everything that’s happened.
They all have their chips removed, obviously. Hounds is damaged, Fox’s has evidence of being activated frequently, and compared to the rest of the GAR, they all have evidence of being activated at least once. It’s one think to find out the chips were there, presenting a threat, that someone could have used them against their siblings and the Jedi and civilians. It’s another to know they were used, that someone took away their will completely and did take control.
Every single member of the Guard is seen by a Temple Mind Healer, and a therapist, and any of them who want or need extra help on top of that are given or at least offered it.
They are treated for abuse, for Sith manipulation, for coping with the isolation they’d been forced into, for any and all medical injuries they had, and for the chips. It’s far more damage than most of the vode suffered but now they have help things can and do get better.
The rest of the GAR are shocked and stunned.
They’d had no idea, they’d never even considered that the CG could be in such danger or suffering so much. It was the cushy paperwork job, it was training the puppies and dealing with drunks and having parties with Senators. They were away from the front lines, they were supposed to be safe.
The Gaurd get access to proper therapy, any lingering Sith control is removed carefully from their minds via one to one sessions with mind healers and it’s such a careful process, and slowly, they recover.
The reform the bonds that had broken with the vode outside the Guard, they find new purposes outside of what they’d been forced into, and enjoy their new freedom.
Thanks for asking, gotta love that hurt/comfort with the Guard.
Inbox is always open. (-:
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Introductions (AU; the government are introduced to the Emperor’s right hand man)
Emperor Palpatine sat at the helm of the table, his expensive ornate satin cloak pulled up to cover his deformed features. He had made a rare exception to the never appearing in public rule, if only to summon his little group of closely affiliated followers for a less than chummy supper. The Coruscant sun had already begun to set, its pinkish rays disappearing behind the skyscrapers visible from the large single viewport of the Emperor’s dining hall. Two months had passed since the fall of the Republic. Two months since the war came to an end, two months since the Jedi were declared traitors and executed en masse. Two months since Palpatine declared himself dictator, since his regulations had begun being pushed onto all known systems. Two months, and Governor Tarkin had thought himself to be lucky with his role.
A few faces, he recognized. Former admiral Wullf Yularen was a welcome addition despite being a bit below the required rank, fighting the just fight against outliers and naysayers. Orn Free Taa was a more unfortunate case (he had likely invited himself by flattery and empty promises), while Vizier Mas Amedda was an obvious presence. Sate Pestage, Janus Greejatus, Ars Dangor, Kren Blista-Vanee and Verge’s smug faces had Tarkin fighting the urge to roll his eyes at their insipid subservience. Artist Eveli Charis was, Tarkin figured, the most surprising member of the meeting - serving as the only female face of the small crowd. Her aside, and finance minister Gagh rounded off the gathering.
These people were - each in different ways - the most influential people of the new Empire.
“I have not gathered you simply for the sake of sharing a dinner in the wake of our victory. Indeed, I have been wishing to relay to you my plans for the grand future of our Galaxy,” said Palpatine suddenly, his voice gravelly and his gnarly hands reminiscent of claws where they rested against the table cloth.
Tarkin thought he could see a pair of golden eyes gleaming beneath the shrouded darkness of Palpatine’s hood, but chalked it up to a trick of the light. Instead, he focused on the hand stitched embroidery of the Emperor’s burgundy robes. The man had always had an affinity for fancy dress.
“It is clear that you shall provide eyes and ears for me, and I trust you to fulfill your duties towards the Empire, and subsequently to me. However, I’m afraid I must offer you a small surprise.”
“Another, Your Highness?” Tarkin said with an amused smile, and he couldn’t help but feel triumphant when Palpatine let out a pleased cackle in response.
“I’m afraid so, Governor. Surely, you shall all take this little revelation in stride. Are we not in dire need of powerful allies?” he responded, gesturing with one clawed hand towards the Vizier who stood poised by the doorway.
On each side of the hydraulic sliding doors themselves, a royal guard clad in crimson stood at a patient salute. The Emperor’s personal bodyguards, their faces cloaked and hidden from view much like Palpatine himself. Their presence was an odd mixture of reassuring and oppressive, Tarkin had decided. But he saw no reason to fear them, given his own standing with the Emperor. If anything, he benefited from their presence as protectors.
“Will you reveal to us this secret, Your Highness?” asked Charis, her expression curious and incredulous at once.
“My child, have you not been taught the virtue of patience?” was Palpatine’s response; a thinly veiled insult that put her in her place, as she shrank back in shame and lowered her head in an obedient bow.
“Forgive me my insolence, Your Highness,” she offered, apologetic and the Emperor simply shrugged her words off.
“Think nothing of it. You are correct, it appears to me that I have unfairly omitted mentioning this to either of you. Alas, it is time I remedy this arrogance.”
Tarkin noted how the Emperor turned his head briefly, giving the Vizier a barely perceptible nod and the man stepped back. On cue, the guards uncrossed their electro-staffs and parted to the sides. Confusion seemed to overtake most of the party’s faces, as the doorway slid open with ease - only to reveal a man. Clad in black armour with red and silver accents; broad shouldered, tall and visibly disdainful towards his company. He stalked wordlessly up to Palpatine’s right hand side, where he lingered - gloved hands folded in front of his hips, legs wide apart. His eyes were glowing, an amber shade to their irises, a bloodshot sclera. The man’s face was scarred, rugged; and the only visible emotions seemed to be anger and resentment. One single dark blonde curl fell over his creased forehead.
But that wasn’t the oddity. Someone in the company - Tarkin suspected it to be Yularen, judging by the tone - gasped.
Indeed, it was difficult not to recognize the young man by the Emperor's side - the Emperor, whose features had twisted into a toothy grin. The man said nothing, taller than Tarkin remembered him. Something warped and cruel and twisted distorting his rather handsome features into something unrecognizable, all charm vanquished. He was pale, peering in distaste down at the dining party as if they were beneath him. It didn’t sit right with Tarkin, given that they all knew who he was and what his past profession up until about two months ago would have been.
Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker had joined them for supper.
“May I introduce to you Lord Vader,” said Palpatine, breaking the eerie silence. “Some of you may believe you are familiar with this man. I assure you, you are mistaken. The man whom you may recall is long gone. Lord Vader has seen the error of his ways, and accepted the Jedi traitors for what they are. He came to my aid during the assassination attempt ordered by master Windu.”
Tarkin listened closely, but he was not the only one who seemed unable to tear his gaze from Skywalk-- Vader’s stern features. He looked so much older than his age, as if he had seen a million lifetimes of suffering pass him by. His hollow eyes seemed haunted, but their inherent glow was more reminiscent of a predator locked in a cage. Simply biding his time, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce. Still, he made no move and did not utter a single word.
“Lord Vader has turned out to be, much like you, one of my most trusted advisors. He is my right hand man, and while I have neglected to provide him with an official rank - he outranks every single one of you. It is my belief that only he has the means to do what needs to be done,” the Emperor continued.
Yularen seemed to shift uneasily in his seat, his eyes wide and a blunt disbelief etched into his aging features.
“You wish to speak, Colonel?”
Tarkin heard himself say; wondering if they were the only ones present - apart from the Emperor himself - who had maintained some sort of personal relationship to the man Palpatine had renamed and retooled so viciously.
“No, Governor. I--” he began, but was immediately cut off by Palpatine.
“You are wondering how the man you knew as a Jedi could turn on his own kind, is that not so? You are surprised to see that his loyalty towards the Empire could outweigh his loyalty towards his kin. Am I correct, Colonel?”
Yularen seemed to pause a bit longer than required, but gave a curt nod as he found the voice to speak up.
“Yes, Your Highness. I am merely… surprised, as you put it,” he said as a manner of surrender.
“It is understandable that you would be shocked. Should you like to speak of your own decision, Lord Vader?” the Emperor drawled, his voice menacing and sing-songy at once as he gestured to offer Vader the opportunity to speak.
“No,” the young man simply said, standing so still that his lips barely even seemed to be moving; his gleaming eyes scanning each and every person present before it landed on Tarkin - the only man who’s amusement outweighed the concerns. “I believe my actions will speak for themselves, as will your evident trust in me, my master.”
The voice was a bit deeper and gruffer than Tarkin recalled it - but that could be maturity - but its monotone quality was new. Vader spoke as if the words held no meaning to him, as if whatever he said was pointless and a waste of breath. As if his words were unbefitting of anyone but the Emperor. Yet, at the same time, he was matter of fact and to the point. A quality Tarkin had enjoyed in the past, and one he presumed Yularen had as well.
“Oh, I implore you to amuse this unspoken inquiry, Lord Vader,” Palpatine pressed, and as much as it came off as if being in good faith, it was an obvious demand no loyal servant could ignore.
“As you wish, my master,” Vader simply obeyed, his burning eyes still holding Tarkin’s in a cold, disgruntled stare. “I was the single man to commandeer the troops as they marched on the Jedi temple. I surveyed the situation, and I made sure not a single soul present escaped their fate. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to serve my Emperor, and I will not be frowned upon by the likes of you.”
The last word was delivered with such pure, unbridled loathing that it seemed to lower the temperature of the room by several degrees by proxy of mere intent. Vader nonchalantly folded his arms over his chest, lips drawn into a thin line and the perpetual scowl of his forehead had already begun to carve out fine lines in their wake. Palpatine was still sneering, grimy teeth bared in a ferocious grin.
“As you can see, Lord Vader’s conviction is admirable and undeniable. He has proved himself worthy of my trust, and so, I expect you to follow my example accordingly. I expect you to show him the reverence he requires,” the Emperor concluded, that odd glow to Vader’s eyes mirrored by his as he briefly peered up from beneath his hood - this time, it could be no trick of the light.
“I trust your infallible judgment, Your Highness,” Tarkin finally said, being the first to accept the new norm. “I may not be completely assured of Lord Vader’s motives as of yet, but he shall gain my respect when he has proved himself worthy of it.”
“My friend, you need not fear. However, I understand your concerns, and I have no doubt that you will come around quite soon,” said Palpatine, and while there was malice to the tone, he was also unusually honest and benevolent.
Tarkin suspected that was entirely on him, and their long history as colleagues and friends. He nodded, glancing over at Vader whose eyes regarded him still. Their gaze was arduous, and heavy, and vile - but that seemed to be their natural state, rather than any personal vendetta.
“Thank you, Your Highness,” was Tarkin’s only reply, and he shot a defiant glare back at Vader. “You are much too gracious.”
“Will you cease your repulsive display?” Vader snapped, and while Tarkin at first almost expected Palpatine to defend him; he found that the Emperor seemed humored enough by the obvious insult to allow the man to finish his trail of thought. “The Emperor will offer you no favours based on your fawning. You embarrass yourself, Governor.”
“Now, now, Lord Vader. I believe such childish bickering belongs elsewhere,” he finally shushed, as Vader relented like an obedient school boy fearing punishment. “However, I must agree. It would serve you well to evolve your attempts at flattery into a less… tacky matter.”
That triggered a reaction from Vader, as one corner of his lips twitched briefly upwards in a mocking, superior half smirk. He said nothing, but the triumph in those golden eyes spoke for itself.
“Now, with this out of the way, I wish to return to the matters at hand - but there is one more thing I wish to clarify. Lord Vader will not tolerate any mentions of the man you might recall him to be. He is no longer the naive child of yesterday. There will be a penalty for such insolence - no matter whom it may derive from. Lord Vader is a reinvented man. You shall address him only as such, and by no other name. Is that understood?”
“Yes, Your Highness,” was the singular response - and a brief hint of delight, and perhaps relief, crossed Vader’s scornful face.
“Very good,” said the Emperor with a cackle.
I am not generally a fan of suitless Vader, but this idea came to me and it kinda required that so I went with it for once. Enjoy!
Ao3 link below:
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