REDOUBLING MY EFFORTS
I believe that I have softened over the years and have become too comfortable with the peace the Empire benevolently provides to its citizens. I fear I have been too easy on those around me regarding their dutiful performance. When Tarkin was alive I could rely on him to ensure the enforcement of Imperial Doctrine. I did not have to worry about that aspect of governance. Alas, there is no worthy replacement for him yet. Piett nor Jerjerrod possess the ruthless gravitas of Tarkin, but they are loyal and efficient, which is exactly what the galaxy needs right now. With some grooming, they will become excellent enforcers of galactic peace…which brings me to the quandary of my day.
I struggle to understand why anyone would want to fight against me and what I have built because it is so good and beneficial to all. It is clear now that I must harden my heart and strengthen my resolve with regard to the Sith Imperative. I must, along with the Imperial Navy, turn my attention to the pacification of the galaxy with more aggressive tactics that inspire fear of rebellion through Imperial power and supremacy.
Pacification is the ultimate key to keeping the peace, and I must stay focused on this. Unfortunately, on the one hand, the Rebel Alliance plagues the galaxy, and on the other, the force taunts me with an elusiveness I have not known for some time. But I have decided to take these distractions in stride and work with them because it was I who restored the Sith to their former glory and purpose and destroyed the Jedi Order. It was I who managed the political affairs of the galaxy’s broken political system and initiated the first Galactic Empire. I secured complete and total rule over the galaxy to ensure your safety and security.
And so, I vow to you this day, dear citizen, that Lord Vader will be relentless in our pursuit of remnant Rebel forces throughout the galaxy. I shall no longer waste time with patience and pleasantries. We will respond with such ferocity that the Rebels will have no choice but to accept their doom. This is the plan that cannot fail. To achieve such ends, I provided the following plan to all Imperial stations and battlegroups across the galaxy:
- Distribute the new Geonosian probe droids across the fleet and deploy them everywhere to hunt down and expose the traitorous Rebel bases and their fleets.
- Exercise extreme judgment and execute anyone caught aiding the Rebellion. I assure you, with regard to Rebel support, none shall live.
- Initiate a massive public relations campaign designed to identify the danger of supporting the Rebellion and undermining the Empire. To any who would foment rebellion, a clear message must be sent and received: That it is truly better off for the citizens of the galaxy to accept the Imperial peace, safety, and security I offer under my rule.
- Increase production in the fleet yards, barracks, and research and development laboratories to provide the Imperial Navy with more Star Destroyers, fighters, troops, and technologies.
- Reorganize the Empire’s governance to ensure continued efficiency of these resurgent initiatives.
INTERNAL IMPERIAL SEDITION
Death Squadron returned to the fleet yards above Imperial Center to load a full complement of advanced probe droids. While this transpired, I met with Piett and Jerjerrod (who had stepped away from Death Star II construction for other reasons) as promised and reminded them of the severe graveness of their respective missions.
As these two officers left my presence, a messenger informed me of the attempt on Lord Vader’s life in the Corellian Quarter. I was not amused.
This wasn’t the first time that attempts against my life or Vader’s life had been made. Generally it came from outside the Imperial ecosystem. Recently however, since the destruction of Alderaan, COMPNOR has discovered treachery within our ranks. Apparently, the weak among us have a hard time stomaching the difficult decision we had to make in the name of peace and now they seek to undermine that peace.
So now, in addition to the Rebels, I have to deal with threats from the inside. Vader and I agreed that if the Rebels were to be treated without mercy, then we would exact punitive measures of horrific proportions for Imperial dissidents. This would ensure compliance and obedience in the ranks.
I meditated upon the events of Lord Vader’s attempted assassination and the treachery of General Krelcon. But the Force would not show me details of those events. Rather, I saw visions of Mon Mothma and Leia Organa in the Outer Rim. I could sense their pain and suffering. I saw the end of the Rebel Alliance and I saw the Death Star II destroying their fleet over Endor. I sensed the fulfillment of the Prophecy and secured peace throughout the galaxy. We were close to victory and I knew Vader would bring us closer to the victorious ends of our destiny. After all, The Force protects those it loves.
Vader joined me in the afternoon and we discussed the attempt on his life, Krelcon’s specific and long-reaching betrayal of the Empire, and the next steps of the hunt for the Rebel base. I could sense something else bothered him, but I let it go. I suppose it takes a day or two for anyone to get over the shock of a failed assassination. With possible locations of the hidden Rebel base now in our hands, I dismissed Vader and urged him on his way to the Outer Rim.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF THE GALACTIC EMPIRE AND THE NEW ORDER
This is an address I penned and then orated to the galaxy via holocomm about a month or so after the attempt on Lord Vader’s life by General Krelcon.
My fellow citizens,
I love peace and order. My heart burns for a lasting galactic peace that everyone can enjoy. At the core of my being, I am a patriot and I love knowing that I am cared for by the Empire. I know the Imperial Forces that protect me do so with my best interests in mind. This is the sentiment of all peace-loving citizens of the Galactic Empire. No one changed or lied to you about lasting peace and security. This has always been my dream for you, and it has been the sole focus of my life’s work since my early days as a Senator for my beautiful home planet of Naboo.
Since the day I was nominated for the position of Supreme Chancellor, I advocated for specific legislation designed solely to protect the citizens of the galaxy so that the Confederacy of Independent Systems could be defeated and civil war avoided. If the Army of the Old Republic had not been signed into existence, the loss of life would be incalculable. How does one fight against an army that is not alive and does not care for the dignity and preservation of life? Thus, at its defeat, the droid army was shut down. Then, in favor of enforcing peace, I commissioned the Imperial Navy to pacify the galaxy of CIS remnants.
Today, however, a new enemy threatens the peace and order we have worked so hard to achieve together. An alliance of dissidents and rebels has grown into a resistance movement that seeks to send the galaxy backwards and into a downward spiral.
This cannot be.
The violence they have achieved and the unprecedented assault on the safety and security of the galaxy cannot go unpunished. Our enemy is an insidious one who seeks to undo years of toil that could bring us to the brink of galactic civil war.
To those of you who are loyal to the Imperial Sovereignty, you have my heartfelt thanks and gratitude. I impose upon your good graces to be patient with the stricter measures we now must take to pacify the galaxy. The Imperial Navy, in cooperation with Sector Governors and the Moff’s military territories or oversectors, will conduct a number of targeted operations over the next few months designed to draw out and destroy the Rebels. We will hunt them down and free you from their traitorous clutches so that you may once again enjoy healthy, secure living and the full knowledge that we are watching out for you.
And to those of you who seek to undermine or destroy the Empire…I know what you are, and it is only a matter of time before I know where you are. Remember that. Those traitors among you who attacked the Death Star and continue to attack Imperial stations and assets throughout the galaxy in this futile guerrilla warfare are squandering the galaxy’s resources and taxpayer’s hard-earned money. All you want is to continue to fight. You are hate-mongers and your attacks are nothing more than misguided attempts to destroy the peace of the Empire. All you have to do is lay down your arms and walk away. If you are not caught (openly or clandestinely) resisting Imperial Forces, colluding with known Rebel terrorists, or supporting the Rebel Alliance in any way, you will be treated with the dignity bestowed upon the loyal citizens of the galaxy. If, however, you choose to pursue your reckless course of destruction and mayhem, know this:
- You are no match for the military might of the Empire.
- You are alone in the galaxy and the no one is coming to save you.
- You are incessant murderers with a complete disregard for the sanctity of life. You kill the brothers and sons who serve the Empire and the peaceful governance of the galaxy.
- We will break your will to fight, and we will break you. We will search for and kill those who ally with you and destroy your homes and loved ones. We will ravage your pathetic lives to the point where history itself will no longer recognize or give credence to the pitiful banner you carry.
- Your days are numbered.
- We are coming for you.
My dearest citizens, I promise you that once more the Empire is on the precipice of victory against the Rebels. The Imperial resolve to put down the Rebellion has never been stronger. I pledge to you my most solemn imperative, that we will strike back against the Rebels with a righteous vengeance that is without mercy. Soon, we shall enjoy a renewed peace and order that will be restored throughout the galaxy in a glorious second age of the New Order. Even now, as I address you, Imperial forces led by Darth Vader are striking back at the Rebel insurgents.
When our mission is complete, we shall have peace.
Your humble servant,
A GREAT DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE
The passage of time is an interesting element in a backwards-looking journal. Some time has now passed and the hunt for the Rebels has been met with limited success. The Rebels seem to be extremely adept at hiding from the Imperial Navy. Vader and the probe droids have discovered a few Rebel strongholds and some sympathetic pirates, but none have proven large enough to indicate the presence of fleet yards or headquarters.
Reluctantly, I fear I must adopt a new strategy within the Imperial Navy. Thus, I tasked Piett with the tedious chore of espionage within Vader’s Death Squadron: to pour through system logs and crew records, and monitor the actions of the men who serve aboard Death Squadron and determine if there is a traitor on board one of the Star Destroyers. I believed that a traitor might signal ahead to the Rebels about an impending attack. As a response to this possible subterfuge, Lord Vader purposefully alters the squadron’s target destination at the last minute in the hopes of catching the Rebels off guard. This tactic has not met with much success either, which means Death Squadron is loyal to the Empire.
Jerjerrod reports the Death Star II’s construction is moving along, though the increased security makes it difficult for him to secure trustworthy workers and supplies. I reminded him that my plans for the destruction of the Rebel Alliance hinged on his ability to deliver and maintain the construction schedule.
Now, however, I should like to journal a disturbance in the Force that I have sensed through my meditations. Realize, dear citizen, that my journal opened at about this time and we are nearly caught up to the present moment.
Meditation, however, is something you may not be familiar with. A powerful Force-sensitive being meditates regularly in the hopes of gaining guidance from the living Force. As time passes and knowledge of the Force increases, one’s skill at meditation grows and an ability to tune and interact with the Force develops. You will have noticed Vader’s vivid descriptions of the Force as it swirls, twirls, ripples, and penetrates us. It in fact surrounds everything and the ability to see the living Force at work in the universe is a truly remarkable gift. Vader has this gift, and so do I. Sometimes, the Force remains elusive and playful. One must not become frustrated, however, as the Force is the one thing you cannot punish in this universe.
Meditation is the intentional exercise of moving beyond the thinking mind into a deeper state of awareness and connection to the Force. While one may meditate anywhere, I usually meditate in my meditation chamber (as Lord Vader does) or in quiet spaces with few distractions. Vader enjoys staring into the void of space on the bridge of the Executor. I enjoy the same when in space, but I also enjoy the roiling landscape of Imperial Center. Though incessantly busy, the busyness fades into white noise and disappears into the background.
The Jedi used to used meditation to empty themselves of distraction and allow the Force to fill them with inner peace, harmony, and serenity. The Sith, however, were not so feeble with meditation. A true Sith employs meditation to focus and sharpen the mind, regain lost strength, and heal wounds. Our powerful emotions proved to be an excellent source of meditative power that allowed us to touch the Force in ways the Jedi could never comprehend.
When the Force first alerted me to the presence of the mystery boy in black (as noted in Entry Number One) I felt very uncomfortable. The Force had withheld destiny from me and I could not understand why. You see, normally, the Force explores possibility and reveals the direction I should take. I became uncomfortable because I did not know if I had foreseen an ally who would join me or a threat who would rise against me. The next few days had proven to be equally confusing. In hindsight, it was clear to me that the Force was actually telling me something important without the final reveal—that the man in my visions would be a force to reckon with and could alter destiny itself if I did not steer him to my designs.
Shortly thereafter, I became terribly vexed. Another vision confirmed my suspicion, that the Force is strong with the boy who is in fact the son of Anakin Skywalker. If he is allowed to become a Jedi…no, the son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi. This stunning revelation strained my thoughts for a few moments until I spoke to Lord Vader about it.
Finally, friend, we are caught up to the events of the present that I left off with at the beginning of my diary. The attack on Hoth has come and gone, and now Vader searches in the asteroid belt around Hoth for the rebels—and his son, who is among them.
I shall now continue where I left off with my Victory and Loss and Greater Clarity entries. The events of the present day are as equally interesting as the past, and I hope you have a greater appreciation of the important work I have done for you.
- A super laser blast.
- The explosion of a Mon Calamari warship.
- Luke Skywalker’s heart twisting in anger before me.
- Vader’s anxiety at an all time high.
- A green blast, another destroyed warship.
- Scrambling ships, fleeing into the waiting net of Executor and the Death Squadron Star Destroyers.
- Luke, filling with rage, attempting to strike me down.
- Vader’s lightsaber, deflecting the blow.
- Luke and Vader, a fury of green and red.
- Vader, antagonizing his son.
- Luke, more powerful than either of us realized.
- Darth Vader, felled, his hand cut off, his son standing over him.
- The son of Skywalker, at my side, Dark Lord of the Sith.
So I’m not sure that I’d call myself a poet, but I doubt anyone would tell me otherwise. My visions were so vivid this morning that I had to write them down.
So, it would seem, that one day in the near future (perhaps the day we destroy the Rebel Alliance), the Son of Skywalker will become my Apprentice once he strikes down his father. Such is the way the world turns for the Sith. After all, there can be only Two.
Shortly thereafter, Piett contacted me on a coded channel and informed me that he had indeed discovered treachery within Death Squadron, but not at the lower ranks where they had originally looked. Unconvinced that his instincts (and mine) were wrong, he continued monitoring the activities of the senior officers aboard the Star Destroyers. One-third of the fleet’s second-in-commands were in league with the Rebel Alliance and had sworn an oath to protect the Rebels from the advances of Death Squadron. When navigation courses were changed, even at the last minute, they were able to use covert Rebel communications technology and send a warning message. In most cases, the Rebels had enough time to escape. I admire the man’s tenacity. I knew I was right in choosing him to be my operative.
Side note: This reminds me of the treachery of the Sorosuub Corporation, the primary manufacturer of Stormtrooper rifles. They deliberately sabotaged the manufacturing process and altered the blaster’s barrel to misfire. Thus, whatever the stormtrooper aimed at would most likely not be hit. Undercover Imperial agents discovered the treachery when the company’s president, Beolars Bribbs, said to his vice president about the quality of the rifles, “If our factories ever produce a blaster rifle that can be accurately fired, I’ll be very unhappy.” Needless to say, he was summarily executed (with accurate blaster fire) for treason. Unfortunately, it would take some time to redesign the blaster rifles, reset the factory equipment, produce the weapons, and distribute them to the legions of stormtroopers across the galaxy. Battalion leaders simply encouraged their troopers to lay down more fire.
Anyway, Death Squadron’s second-in-commands had the requisite security clearances to send coded transmissions that would not be questioned by the monitoring communications officers, since they wouldn’t necessarily be able to see where the communication was sent to. And since every Star Destroyer captain would be focused on military strategy and not the day-to-day operations of the ship, the second-in-commands had free rein to do what they wanted and very little reason to think they’d ever be caught. Piett provided a list of names to the trusted Security Officer aboard each Star Destroyer and had all the heinous officers arrested and their equipment confiscated. The prisoners were then transported by shuttle to the Executor for holding until sentencing.
Piett had also discovered that the treason aboard Death Squadron extended to other Star Destroyer battle groups. Piett took it upon himself, acting on special authority from the Emperor when questioned by the security officers of other battle groups, to carry out the sting operation and have the traitors across the galaxy arrested and transferred to holding cells.
This brazen sting operation also reached into the heart of power here on Imperial Center. By the time Piett had called me, he had already provided a list of traitor names to the planet’s military police for immediate detainment. These men, he informed me, had become the communications nexus for the entire Rebel Alert Operation (as they called it) and helped information flow between the fleets more quickly, thus allowing the Rebels to be one step ahead of the Imperial Navy.
It took me a few moments to digest the information, as the list of names Piett had transmitted to me included some high-profile officers here on Imperial Center. With some, I was stunned at the betrayal. I questioned his absolute certainty of the list of names he had gathered.
“My Lord, upon my life, I understand the consequences of presenting misinformation and failure to Your Grace or Lord Vader.”
I smiled at Piett’s response. That’s all I needed to hear. I sighed as my anger surged through me. It was time to wipe out this treachery and permanently cut the Rebels off.
When I asked for the location of Death Squadron, he told me they were exploring a lead in the Bespin system in the Anoat sector of the Out Rim. Data forensics teams were pouring over the readouts of various probe droids that were transmitting data back to Executor. Piett made some comment about the remarkable efficiency of the new probe droids, but I wasn’t paying attention.
“So the Rebels no longer have a way to know of your next destination?” I asked.
“That is my strong conviction my Lord. I am still monitoring the activities of all the primary officers, captains, and operational crews aboard each ship. Any and all communications beamed from the fleet are logged and any treason will be discovered.”
“Your tenacity is to be commended, Piett. I will assist you in your efforts. Fear of Imperial reprisal will be your ally to ensure absolute compliance and obedience in the ranks. And so, I officially decree that there will be no military tribunal for these and any future traitors to the Empire. You will summarily execute them immediately, and instruct the other battle groups to do the same. Torture some of them, toss a few out an airlock, and leave a few for Lord Vader to interrogate. This is how we will deal with any and all traitors to the Empire. Piett, I want you to broadcast it on the encoded military frequencies of your fleets, and make sure everyone knows that the Emperor declares a zero tolerance policy for treason in the Empire. Of the traitors, I assure you, none shall live. I will deal with the group here on Imperial Center personally. Is that clear, Captain?”
The holocomm closed as Piett bowed in respect. I do like the man. He’s a doer, and he gets things done.
It was now time for me to turn my attentions to the traitors. I decided to have some fun with the fifteen who resided here on Imperial Center. I ordered the ten lower-ranking men to be executed by firing squad. The top five I had brought to the tallest spire of the palace and had them lined up on the edge of a landing pad, facing me, their hands bound behind their backs.
I looked over the traitors carefully. Three I did not recognize, but the faces of two I did. One I had seen during the dinner event when I learned of the Death Star’s destruction—he was one of the officers in the control room. I looked back toward a group of witnesses who had convened at my request. The Crimson Guard stood near the prisoner’s commanding officers, who stood with a few of the Moffs normally stationed on Imperial Center. Among them stood the nervous young Lieutenant who had alerted me to the Death Star’s destruction. The afternoon’s execution went like this:
I addressed the witnesses first. “Commodore Sela and Moff Tarmel, step forward.” Surprised, they stepped forward. “These men are under your command, are they not?”
Sela and Tarmel glanced at each other and both swallowed hard. “They are, my Lord,” they said in unison.
“And were you aware that men under your command actively, purposefully, and insidiously acted against the interests of the Empire, colluded with Rebel terrorists, wasted Imperial Resources, and contributed to the death of their fellow soldiers, namely the TIE fighter pilots who lost their lives in combat while chasing down fleeing Rebels?”
“My Lord, I was not,” Sela responded. Tarmel echoed.
“I see.” I decided to press them further. “And are you aware that as commanding officers you are required to be responsible for the actions of your men?”
“Yes, My Lord.”
“Then you will stand with your men now.”
Two of the Crimson Guard lowered their force pikes and escorted Sela and Tarmel to the edge of the landing pad, where they stood with the guilty officers.
“Young Lieutenant, come with me.” They boy turned pale and stepped forward.
“Yes, my Lord,” he whispered.
“What is your name?”
“Preen Rotan, my Lord.”
“Very well. Lieutenant Preen Rotan, are you in league with these men? Have you colluded with the Rebels?”
He violently shook his head. “No, my Lord. My allegiance is to my Lord Palpatine and the Galactic Empire.”
“Then you have nothing to fear. Remain at my side and watch what happens. Remember this day, and warn your comrades that treachery in the Empire is met with certain doom.”
I stepped closer to the prisoners with the boy at my side and addressed them. “For your actions of sedition and treason against the Empire and its glorious Imperial Doctrines, I sentence you to death by my hand.”
“Lieutenant Rotan, what should we do with this one?”
“My Lord?” he asked, looking at me and the first prisoner, whose tears did not sway me.
“This one betrayed the Empire and as a result good pilots died unnecessarily. So I ask you again, what should we do with this one? How should he die?”
I could feel the boy’s anger grow inside him as he contemplated the loss of Imperial life.
“Push him off the edge,” the boy whispered.
“Yes,” I responded sadistically, nodding my head. Then I turned and Force-pushed the man off the landing pad. He screamed as his body launched itself into the air and then arced downward and out of sight. I laughed as this happened.
I turned to look at the boy’s face. He was no longer afraid, and the corner of his mouth upturned with delight. I could feel him enjoying this moment.
“And this one, Lieutenant, what about this one?” I asked, pointing toward the second man who visibly shook in his boots.
“The same,” he said. “But higher.”
I smiled. It was not a question, it was a statement. I turned to the second traitor and smiled. Then, with the passion of anger fueling my resolve, I Force-pushed him off the landing pad. He sailed higher into the air with a scream and then plummeted to his death.
Chuckling, I turned to the young lieutenant and asked, “What are you feeling?”
“A strange pleasure, and a sense of vengeance.”
I pointed to the third traitor and looked at the boy, penetrating his mind. I smiled with delight as I sensed what he wanted.
“That…thing…that…power you used on Engineer Lemelisk, my Lord.”
I smiled and took a deep breath and yelled, “Unlimited power,” at the man as I blasted him with retribution and the power of the Dark Side. He screamed in agony and collapsed into a pile of writhing pain and burning flesh. Some of the plasma energy had connected with the fourth man and caused him to drop to his knees, his face burnt and scared. I could sense the boy’s eagerness to participate.
“He’s all yours, Lieutenant Rotan.”
“You must be strong against the traitors. You must be willing to do what must be done and execute those who would kill your friends and families in the name of rebellion. Do you understand?”
The boy straightened up. “I do, My Lord.”
“Good, I can feel your anger. It makes you stronger. Now push him to his destiny.” A wicked smile grew across the young lieutenant’s face as he stepped forward and pulled the burned man up from his knees until he was standing. The prisoner looked upon Rotan with fear in his eyes.
“Traitor,” the lieutenant said, and pushed the man backwards to his doom.
I cackled with glee as the young man looked at me for approval. I was right about him all along, and I had the perfect assignment for him. “You have much potential, son. I have plans for you. Now deal with these two.”
He pulled the fourth man up from his knees and turned him around. He instructed the last prisoner to do the same. Then he drew his blaster and stepped behind them, pressing his blaster to the back of the fourth traitor. “This is for Remil Bak and Thrak Tabor, two of my classmates and TIE fighter pilots who lost their lives because the Rebels knew they were coming.” He spoke with such anger and conviction before putting two bolts into the back of each officer. The impact of the close-range blast knocked both men off the landing platform.
“And what of these two, my Lord?” he eagerly asked, waving the blaster ominously in their faces.
This was my moment to test him, to find out what kind of judge and executioner he would be. “Tell me, son, what would you do in this situation? Should they die for the treacherous actions of their subordinates? Are they to be held accountable for the actions of their men?”
Sela and Tarmel shifted nervously and looked upon the young lieutenant with anxious eyes.
“I should personally like to punish them for their oversight.” Lieutenant Rotan holstered his weapon. “However, Commodore Sela and Moff Tarmel are important to our efforts and we need our key officers alive and not dead. Since they do not yet have any proven knowledge or any evidence of treasonous behavior held against them, they should not be executed. If however, such evidence is discovered, I will gladly, with your permission, handle it.”
I smiled. The lieutenant’s judgment proved sound, and I knew he would assist Piett well in his search for traitors in the fleet. Piett could handle the legwork, but he didn’t have the stomach for execution, not with the same flare and zeal as this young boy.
“Very good, Lieutenant Rotan. And now I sense you are ready for a matter of extreme importance to me.” He straightened up and looked at me expectantly.
“Your poor performance at the dinner some time ago when you tried to tell me the Death Star had been destroyed…”
A worried expression crossed his face. “Yes, I apologize, my Lord.”
“Do not apologize. I am aware that you have been made fun of as weak for this.”
“Yes,” he whispered with embarrassment.
“You will use this reputation to your advantage so that no one will suspect your true purpose. I will not allow the Second Age of the New Order to be threatened by the actions of those entrusted to keep the peace. I have seen today what you are truly capable of, and I am impressed. Lieutenant Rotan, pack your things. You will take a shuttle to the Bespin system and meet up with Death Squadron. Once there, You will transfer immediately to the Executor and work under Captain Piett, reporting directly to him. There you will pose as a lackey and cowardly lieutenant in the fleet in order to gain the trust of the lower soldiers, but you will assume the covert status of my operative working under Piett and assist him in his pursuit of sedition in the ranks. Together you will seek out traitors like these and impart my judgement upon them, making an example for all in the Imperial Navy to see.”
“Yes, my Lord. Thank you, My Lord!” Then he left the landing platform.
I stared at Sela and Tarmel for few moments. They understood the chastising silence between us and I grunted as I walked away, the Crimson Guard following me. Vader would have killed them for their incompetence, but the young lieutenant was right. We need the experienced officers to maintain positions of leadership and keep the ranks in line so that we may carry out the pacification of the galaxy and the retribution against the Rebels.
I did not barf when Vader told me that he failed to capture Luke Skywalker. Nor did I barf when he told me that he cut his hand off. Nor did I barf when he described the rather elaborate—and dramatic—trap he had set up on Cloud City to lure the boy to him. Nor did I barf when he told me that except for Solo, they all had escaped, including Princess Leia.
What did make me barf (metaphorically speaking, of course) is the absolute torment and confusion in Lord Vader’s mind about his son. As these events unfolded, I recalled his distracted mind and the need to question his focus and clarity of thought. I sensed his attempt to block his mind from mine, but, really, as if that would work.
Vader’s journal entries around this time betray the intense feelings of attachment and connection to his son that he attempts to hide from me during our conversations in person and over the holonet. I knew something was going on with him for the past several months. Now I know for sure.
My visions these days do not change their focus. I see young Skywalker at my side, and also at the side of his friends. A powerful Jedi he will become, and this concerns me. I am terribly vexed. Vader’s inability to capture the boy betrays not Vader’s incompetence but the Force’s strong desire to see Luke become something…someone…powerful.
The Force swirls around us and Vader is right when he says that those who cannot see the Force are missing an amazing light show. There is the ever constant dance of actuality and potentiality at work in the universe and the Force is the untapped yet tapped potentiality that a true Sith must draw from, using his passions, to bring forth reality as we see fit.
I am curiously reminded of my former master, Plagueis, who, near the end of his life, posited a theory that the Force systematically reacted against the hard work of the Sith and made our lives more difficult. For years I had dismissed this as mere speculation, but you know, every so often I wonder if he was on to something. The Jedi believed that the Chosen One would bring balance to the Force. The prophecy of the Chosen One, according to my late Master, Plagueis, was the Force’s reaction to our Dark investment of raw power from the Dark side willingly divested to midi-chlorians everywhere. Instead of bending to our will, Plagueis swore that the Force had revolted against our work of Dark saturation and struck back, creating a being who would restore the Jedi Order and destroy the Sith forever. Have you ever heard of anything so silly?
I mean, puh-lease, as youngsters today are prone to say. I know that the prophecy of the Chosen One has brought balance to the force and given the Sith a new hope.
Regardless of what Plagueis believed, I know for a fact that when Plagueis surrendered his life at my hands, the Force anointed me as Master of Sith and has continued to support my efforts as Master of the Galaxy. I will make of the galaxy what I will, and I will make of the Force what I will for my ends, and the ends of the Sith. I will subvert this nonsensical prophecy and rule the galaxy with the power of Vader’s son at my side and nothing will stop me—not Vader nor the Force itself—from cheating death and the Sith.
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