Time Period: The end of RotS and between fifty and sixty years pre-TPM (Palpatine's childhood)

Characters: Darth Sidious, Darth Vader

Genre: Horror, Angst

Disclaimer: Star Wars and the characters within belong to George Lucas only. I am not making any profit off this story.

Note: This is a one-shot, for anyone who is wondering. Yes I know it's short, but making it longer felt excessive, in this case.


The flames licked his best friend's oh-so-perfect home in a lover's caress, and the child smiled.

He watched the fire-fighters come. Watched them burn too when the flames soared to new heights with a capricious shift of the wind, like dancing, leaping demons trying to scorch the sky.

His crocodile tears dried in the heat more quickly than he could tell his lies, which were swallowed like silky, dark chocolate by everyone who questioned him. Naboo had been a center for enlightened society for centuries; it did not harbor children who were actually monsters.

The people of Naboo had been in the light for so long that they no longer knew to be afraid of the dark.

The boy's greatest pleasure was to watch his victims rush into a fire to save the ones they loved with no thought for their own safety, like barely sentient moths to a flame.

An old man, long past childhood, gazes lovingly down at the flickering flames consuming the ruins of the Jedi Temple, and smiles. A holo-image of his new apprentice appears before him, everything but grim purpose ruthlessly shorn from his mind and expression like an amputated limb cauterized by fire.

"Go forth, Lord Vader, and bring peace to our Empire."

"Yes, my Master."

The boy liked to watch the heroes rush into his fire to save those burning inside, liked how they could never predict which way he would make the wind blow, no matter how hard they tried. But most of all, he liked to watch them burn.