Preamble: The re-running of THE DARTH SIDE from 2005 continues with today's fourth bonus installment...
THE DARTH SIDE
by Cheeseburger Brown
PART I, Chapter 4 - I Hate Meetings
Arrived at the Death Star. Spent the day in meetings. I need a stiff drink.
Whether or not history appreciates the fact I am more than just a tyrannical dark overlord -- I'm also an engineer. So my first meeting upon stepping into the landing hangar from my shuttle was with the chiefs of all of the station's operational divisions, the victim of long multimedia presentations from each department detailing their progress, expenditures, and time-table for task completion.
I fell asleep for a while, but nobody could tell because of my mask.
The bottom line is that, with the exception of one department, every system promises to be one hundred percent for tomorrow's big test. The chief of the errant division was apologetic, but I was unimpressed. He said, "We'll have the internal security sensors operational before the week is out, of that much I can assure you with nearly full confidence, Lord Vader."
"That is insufficient."
He shrugged and shook his head. "What can I say? Good, fast, or cheap: pick two."
I pointed my gloved hand at him and he began struggling for air. He clawed at his throat, his eyes bulging as he slid off his seat and hit the floor. He convulsed briefly before the final stillness. "You're fired," I said.
My next appointment was with Governor and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, the architect of the Emperor's vision to maximize the efficiency of our counter-revolutionary efforts by concentrating our displays of force in a few very extravagant symbolic acts rather than attempt to subdue a galaxy-spanning guerrilla network one world at a time. We simply do not have the time to grow the troops to do it. It was Moff Tarkin who pushed ahead the plans to build the prototype Geonosian Death Star almost twenty years ago, and it is Governor Tarkin now who plans to use this new Imperial Death Star to strike fear into the hearts of every anarchist in space.
Personally, I don't like him. But I admire him as a professional.
"Lord Vader, what a pleasure!" he grinned coldly as I entered his office. "Won't you sit down?"
"Wilhuff, how are you?" I asked, taking a seat as the tea service extended between us, steam rising from the pot.
"I understand you've caught Alderaan in an act of treason," he said airily, pouring the tea deftly. "Sugar?"
"Nothing for me right now," I said, looking around. "I can't take my mask off here."
"Ah yes," Tarkin conceded, raising one arched brow. "Of course, how silly of me. I am always forgetting to be mindful of your disability. Forgive me, my friend."
"Organa has been delivered to the brig. The Emperor wishes that I remain here, to oversee the successful testing of this battle-station."
Tarkin smiled again. "Wonderful. We do so enjoy having distinguished guests."
He sipped his tea and tried to maintain his composure as I flexed my mind and exerted a subtle pressure on his testicles. Pretending no discomfort he asked what other news the Emperor had. I told him about the dissolution of the Senate, which amused him greatly. He glanced at the chronometer and then asked that I accompany him to a meeting with the top brass before they were sent off with the Imperial Armada to hunt for the hidden base of the Rebel Alliance. I groaned inwardly, but had no choice but accept.
Predictably enough Commander Tagge was bleating on about how the leaked plans meant the terrorists had already won, and Admiral Motti was quacking the Tarkin party line about the unprecedented power of this new Death Star. Though I really should not be baited by such idiotic debate I found myself interjecting. "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."
Motti became lippy so I choked him with my mind. Tarkin interfered before the punchline, however, and Motti gained himself with a cough and pulled at his collar fretfully. Tarkin promised everyone that I would guarantee finding the Rebel base, flashing his toothy smile my way as his eyes remained fixed on the military commanders.
Tarkin then sat down and crossed his legs, finding his genitals inexplicably throbbing. The meeting broke up and I smiled to myself inside my mask.
I have retired now my temporary quarters here. The hyperbaric chamber leaves a lot to be desired, for which I blame Tarkin. My disability -- ha! One day I will know the pleasure of crushing his trachea with my mind, I swear.
I have tentatively scheduled the brutal interrogation of Leia Organa tomorrow afternoon, dependent on how the final systems test goes in the morning. Also, my office on Coruscant has beamed over a torrent of paperwork that requires my attention. We'll see how things pan out.