Preamble: On Special Today - Sith Luncheon!
THE DARTH SIDE
by Cheeseburger Brown
PART II, Chapter 4 - Lunch Surprise
I will say this for being a tyrannical dark overlord: you get great service at restaurants.
The Centerpoint Station Grill is located in the south-west quadrant of Coruscant's Corelllian quarter, overlooking the Selonia tramway platform. My transport arrived early due to unusually light traffic. The restaurant staff encouraged my aides and I to sit down in a private room, but I preferred to await the general's party in the open air of the square, criss-crossed by the fleeting shadows of the lines of buzzing traffic above.
It is not the sort of thing people think about, but I do not get many opportunities to see any living world at the level of the street. I see worlds from balconies, from shuttles, through the reinforced windows of Imperial garrisons...
Sometimes it just feels good to get a little warm sun on my helmet.
The restaurant staff attempted to service us in the square, proffering exotic waters, wine and the best flavoured wafers from Jablim. They bowed low, and I spoke to their scalps. "Nothing right now," I said. The pedestrians cut a wide swath around us, making sure their feet did not touch my long shadow.
After a quarter of an hour I demanded, "What is the meaning of this delay?" and my aides scrambled to stuff communicators into their ears to make inquiries.
"Lord Vader, General Krelcon's office is not responding to our hails," they informed me.
"Curious," I said. And then the Centerpoint Station Grill exploded.
When the smoke cleared I saw that my aides had been reduced to a mewling, bleeding puddle at my feet. I stepped over them and waded into the debris. Chunks of masonry and flaming tapestry rained down on every side. A legion of stormtroopers rushed in around me, pawing at the bodies with their rifles. Their commanding officer jogged up beside me. "Lord Vader, are you unharmed?"
"Do not concern yourself, Commander. I want to know who was behind this."
"My patrol picked up the ignition signal, my lord. We believe it may have been a rebel code, though it was parasited on an Imperial transmission."
"Bring me General Krelcon: I want him alive," I ordered. The commander nodded without question and retired from the smoky ruin, covering his mouth and nose with the top of his tunic.
I surveyed the carnage around me with disdain. Freedom fighters, indeed!