O Fortuna

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,

He stumbles in the agony of the light, for in all his dark dreams when the stars wheeled in limitless promise across his vision, he never comprehended that light still existed in the very umbra of his brilliance.

ever waxing
and waning;

For time without end, he expected to stand above them all, glowering down in his dark malevolence, unassailable through his limitless reach and yet reaching for more. Every power, every pleasure fell into his hands like glittering gems, and the galaxy revolved to bring him glory. Now he hangs suspended over the precipice of his own hubris, and he is unsurprised. Disappointed, because given but a little more time, and he might have succeeded in ripping the light completely from his domain.

hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;

Resentment takes his soul, and he wants nothing more than to enter Chaos dragging his betrayer, his false myrmidon, behind. Cold and cruel hands, unnatural durasteel, cut into his flesh, but he cannot feel them any longer. The desperate desire lends greater strength to his frail fingers, the power coursing through him to ground itself with finality on the mortal husk beneath. What he once pieced together, he now shreds in shaking madness. The darkness shrieks with his hate.

and power
it melts them like ice.

Emperor and Sith, death and fate, and nothing more, and nothing less. His endless pursuit of power ends here today, in this tomb of sealed air suspended above the glowing moon. His dark star shudders around him, and in a burst of knowing he sees the end. He sees the ravaged face, the tears of heartbreak and remorse that comes too late. He smiles, but not in peace, and stills in the arms of his executor, for they perish together after all. It is fitting and well. Power and poverty, dark lord and solemn slave, mutually slipping away to the glacial caress.

Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,

They slide into the gaping maw of destiny, for now he sees that any other culmination, any other myth he spun in the web of his life, will remain mere legend in the face of his ultimate truth. To think that his master thought to defy the whispers of ages, to reverse the flow of decay itself… he cackles madly. Decay is all there is, and all there will be. Did his master also understand, at the end? Did he also smile into the face of his fortune?

and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fear is something he cannot imagine. The apprentice lashes the master out into the waiting arms of gravity, and the master screams, but not with fear. No, not fear. Bitterness, perhaps, and certainly despair, but also in twisted triumph. He has faced the worst nightmares of the universe, and the pervasive nothingness that awaits him bears no small resemblance to the nothingness that he has always been: a black hole, wreathed in the fires of insatiable rage and hunger. The wail that tears from his lips is only that of a predator robbed of its rightful prey.

Fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.

Down he plunges, and no redemption lies in the smooth walls that blur his mortal vision. He would seek no redemption if it interceded, for this is no disease to be cured. Down the path of darkness he has traveled since time began, and he embraces the bitter chains. No going back. Cry havoc, and look back no more…

So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!

If not power, then nothing. Nothing embraces nothing, and nothing he becomes in the twinkling of an eye.

Okay, rather disturbing, but this tale worked out to 667 words naturally, so I took one away. It seemed fitting for the end of the Emperor. Also, very strangely and without intending any such thing, I just walked Palpatine through the 6 classic stages of grief.

I myself am very torn on what kind of thoughts were passing through Palpatine's head at the end of RoTJ, and so this is but one version of many that floats around in my head-canon.

I was sorting through my classical music favorites and stumbled across O Fortuna. The idea of Palpatine being fated to become the individual he did is a recurring theme in my thoughts, as well as his destiny to meet with defeat at the hands of the Light Side of the Force. So when the end came, was he resigned? Enraged? In denial? Fatalistic? A bit of everything? Also, with O Fortuna ending on a triumphant note, could he have perhaps escaped his dark destiny into nothingness, a final release through death from the fated darkness of his existence?

By the way, someone check my temperature, because I killed Palpatine. That was a first. (Just as long as it doesn't happen in other, longer stories…)