Collect Call From Coruscant
Holy Force! I don't know what to say.
I spoke with His Excellency today, and my world has come upsidown.
To put things in perspective: I was surprised when in a galaxy where all the gifted have been slain I found myself chasing down a snub fighter that I could barely see, lost in whorls of shimmering probability as loops of Force played over it. I was very surprised and chagrined when my Death Star was destroyed by its pilot, a callow youth. In the months that followed I pursued the Rebel Alliance around the galaxy, and so did my sinister agents. Their intelligence eventually bore fruit: they told me the name of the youth was Luke Skywalker, and I was shocked.
That is when I first started experiencing the malfunction in my left leg. I nearly fell over. Luke Skywalker?
I became obsessed with finding young Skywalker. We redoubled our forces, and when Emperor Palpatine asked why I told him I had reason to suspect the hidden rebel base would soon be in our grasp. In other words I lied. To my master. My quest became less the search for the Alliance and more the search for a single man.
Why did I allow my judgement to become so twisted? I gave myself twenty lashes before I was certain: I wanted in some way to love him. It made me sick to think about. Love is a path of meat, where the Sith is the path of the mind. I had rejected my old identity -- it had burned from me, hanging from my body in sizzling cobs.
There is no such man as Anakin Skywalker!
(And yet, there is such a man as his son.)
This is all leading up to something. Stay with me here. The point is that I did not know what I wanted with Skywalker, exactly. Perhaps I wanted him to tell me. Perhaps I would just kill him, and thereby simplify the relationship. I would certainly kill Han Solo, and anyone else who had been his mentor in terror. But the point is that I was disturbed by the existence of Luke and I wanted, above all, to end the disturbance. By whatever means.
And today Emperor Palpatine, whom I know as my master Darth Sidious, calls. I wonder: do I dare unleash a cloud of obfuscation against my own master's vision? Do I dare speak before him without one to hide my uncertainty?
I knelt on the dais and sought strength from the void. The transmission phased in.
And do you know what the first thing is to pop out of the old man's mouth? I graduated from shocked to flummoxed when he said there is a great disturbance in the Force, and at the centre of it all is Luke blasted Skywalker. Inside my mask, my jaw dropped. The cloud of obfuscation I had been generating fell away and diffused. He knows!
Here is where it got really weird: I heard the words coming out of my own mouth as if I were in a dream: "He could be a...powerful ally."
My master, Darth Sidious, furrowed his ancient brow and nodded. And agreed.
So here I am now, back in my hyperbaric chamber, feeling totally stunned. My master has just handed me a way in which I can love my son: turned to the dark side as my protege. We could serve the Empire together.
I would not dare to even dream this had it not come from my master's lips. I cannot explain to you the thoughts I no longer feel ashamed to entertain since I am no longer hiding Luke's identity from him.
We could rule the galaxy together, as father and son!
And I could love again.
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