Tightening Our Grip
A billion men died today.
And a billion women, and some six hundred thousand children. Millions of animals, uncountable trillions of insects, quadrillions of plants. The hot nickel core of Alderaan that had spun for the age of her sun came apart under the beam of the Death Star's superlaser, stretching outward to the crust and shattering it, continents and oceans alike boiled into space in a matter of hours.
Despite the Death Star receiving some damage from outflying debris, the affair was a resounding success.
I spent the whole day on holonet, giving interviews and answering questions at Tarkin's side. "This is the fate that will meet any planet that harbours terror," I declared to an audience of worlds. "You are either for galactic order, or against it. The Force is with us, and the Galactic Empire will prosper. Those who stand against it fight a losing battle."
Tarkin was jubilant with the success, and also his certainty that we have learned the location of the hidden Rebel base. I have my doubts about this. Leia Organa told him the base was on Dantooine, but I knew it was a lie. Tarkin, however, has enthusiastically dispatched Commander Tagge aboard a StarDestroyer to investigate the system. "I'm going to call my wife!" he grinned, striding away to his quarters.
I have returned to my quarters, too. I am listening to Brandelmor's Second Symphony, which has always soothed me when the Force is uneasy and transmits its anxiety to my spirit. Space reverberates with the tormented screams of Alderaan's departed. I keep turning up the music, but it doesn't help.
Darth Sidious always said the time of transition to the New Order would have rough patches, but I was not prepared for this. I cannot bear to think of them. I cannot bear to think at all.
My kingdom for a death-stick!
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