Darth Sidious: People Person
Something queer is afoot. I am uneasy.
Light lunch. Meeting a fan. Brisk, cool audience with the Emperor of the Galaxy.
The day began with a tedious set of inter-departmental meetings debriefing the operational tests we have conducted on this battle-station's systems over the past few days. Moff Jerjerrod was extremely pleased with himself, and took up an entire hour with a self-indulgent, morale-boosting lake of verbal diarrhea about surpassing our own benchmarks by honing our core competencies, or some such similar malarkey. "The operational efficiencies of this Death Star will serve as a template for all Death Stars to come!" he preened to scattered applause.
I had such a headache.
For lunch: leek soup and toss salad. I took my meal alone in my chambers, my gaze cast out over Endor's forest moon below as I enjoyed Pla'ateth's Concerto for Laserphone in D minor, a new recording from Muunilinst Grammophon with thirty-two distinct spatio-aural channels (and four additional channels left over for direct psychoneurotropic input, if that is your cup of tea -- myself, I am too old fashioned). Impressive. Most impressive.
I was interrupted by a high priority signal from across the galaxy, which is so classic: always when I'm eating. I donned my mask and rotated my hyperbaric chamber to face the holoprojector, which crackled to life at my command and displayed the face of Thet Moor of the Imperial Secret Service.
"My Lord," he began without preamble, "indications are that the Rebel squadrons we've been chasing are converging together at a point off the ecliptic, in a lake of void beyond the Sullust Star."
"Have you reported to the Emperor?"
"Yes, my Lord."
"Your service will be remembered, and rewarded," I intoned. Thet Moor bowed his head and broke transmission.
I was meditating on this new information when a call sounded at the door. It was Moff Jerjerrod stopping by to tell me the Emperor commanded my presence. I made a mental note to crush his trachea with my mind at the first politically reasonable opportunity, and made my way to my master's tower with the snaggle-toothed idiot loping at my heels.
We rode the elevator with a junior lieutenant whose skin prickled at the sound of my respirator. He seemed on the verge of passing out for most of the ride, his adam's apple working in his throat. Just as the door slipped back with a hiss and I moved to leave he managed to call, "Lord Vader," in a pitiable squeak.
I paused, and turned back to him.
He took a deep breath. "I just wanted to say, sir, my Lord -- well, that I've always looked up to you. I don't know if people ever take the time to say...thanks. Thank you, Lord Vader. You're an inspiration to us all."
I hesitated, uncertain what to say, and in that moment of silence the young lieutenant began to stammer an apology. I stopped him by holding up one gloved, open hand. "Thank you, Lieutenant," I said evenly. "I hope to see you one day commanding the fleet."
"Yes, my Lord!" he grinned, saluting smartly. The elevator sighed closed and he disappeared. How charming!
"Shameless sycophancy," grunted Jerjerrod with that little smirk of his pulled tight over his mouth. "Let's not dawdle now, Lord Vader."
Using every ounce of self-control I barely avoided simultaneously breaking every bone in the Moff's body with a spasm of pointed thought. He continued to make light banter as we walked, endangering his life. We paused at the threshold of Palpatine's tower. "Recognize this, Jerjerrod," I said, pointing my index finger menacingly in his face. "Had the Emperor not specifically requested that your life be spared for the time being, you would even now be holding your own quivering giblets in your hands."
Jerjerrod wet himself mutely.
I nodded with satisfaction and proceeded to the audience with my master. His Excellency's ministers stepped aside as I ascended the steps to his throne overlooking space. That is one thing my master and I have always shared: a common penchant for a scenic view.
Our discussion was brief and bewildering.
My master Darth Sidious was not interested in the terrorist fleet amassing at Sullust. He simply commanded me to leave the Death Star and await further instructions at my post aboard the Super-StarDestroyer Executor. His tone was discernably terse and dismissive. I could feel Jerjerrod smirking at my shoulder the whole time. Dismayed as I was, it is not my place to question my master...
And so here I am, back home so to speak. I already miss my view of the Sanctuary Moon for my Executor chambers are without ports, nestled deep within the heart of the ship out of harm's way. I am restless and irritable. I have nothing to do.
Admiral Piett dropped by to welcome me back, and had his yeoman sing me an entertaining ballad they had heard at last night's Ewok barbecue after I left. I admit most of it was lost on me as my thoughts wandered to Sullust, but I did pick up a bit at the end:
Time and again our history plies the same synclastic waters;By the blood of the martyr Darth Revan, I swear fate stalks this moon. Even the low men can feel the weight of destiny in the air. And yet I am commanded to go to my room and sit. This is a waste of a dark overlord.
The affairs of old live on again to haunt our sons and daughters.
And the wheel of the worlds turns round and round,
The wheel of the worlds turns round.
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