At the moment, that was all he wanted.

Unending darkness to pull over his head as an assassin hides within his cowl.

He was a thief, a thief of life and light and everything unassuming.

Normally, the thought didn't bother him. Not in the least.

Normally, it pleased him.

Now was different. Now he had actually done it. Now he was staring down at his hands, seeing the crimson flow as easily as if it were really dripping from his fingers.

He wasn't sure what to think.

He stared at the slender body, ignored the other half dozen broken forms that lay strewn at his feet.

He had warned her. Stay away from me!

But like she always had, she ran to the old man's aid, never once stopping and thinking before she acted. Her trust was blind, and she had paid the ultimate price for such foolish and unrequited devotion.

He hated her in that moment, hated her with the all-consuming passion of the years spent watching her wither away. Weak! Always so weak! To think he had sprung from her and the old monster…to think that these other equally wretched corpses had been his pitiful siblings.

What was a familial bond but a painful obstacle? Never had he known, or cared to know, a meaningful relationship with any of them. They were unworthy, and he was unwanted.

Well, at least he wouldn't have any family reunions to worry about in the future.

He released a high-pitched, unhinged laugh and dropped to his knees, disregarding the squelch of red liquid as it seeped into the knees of his trousers. His hands trembled as they reached out to brush the dark red hair from her frozen face. His fingers traced down the curve of her pale neck, so unnatural an angle, yet so natural an end that he might have foreseen it if he had dared to look.

He watched the color bleed from her skin.

He needed to tell Hego Damask.

But a realization made him hesitate. Why should I tell anyone? He was beholden to none. No one! The thought filled him with a raging, exultant joy. No one would stop him again or control his life. The sharp tang of sudden freedom was intoxicating. He could go anywhere, do anything he wanted.

He leaned close and whispered to the upturned and deaf ear, "He can't touch us anymore, my poor dear mother. I finished him…" He grinned fiendishly, but as soon as the sneer appeared it morphed into a dark glower of despair. "I finished you too, but you would never have understood. You should have listened to me. You should have listened. I might have saved you."

His teeth clicked together and abruptly he swept to his feet. The dark shadows in his mind told him: it was too late, much too late for this. And the shadows were right as ever. Brushing at the stains on his knees, he made his way toward the communications center, a small cubbyhole in the forward section of the small suite.

He didn't need Damask, but the old Munn might have some useful ideas. His situation here was not ideal. He could use someone with the power to make entire ships…disappear.

He fired up the transmission grate and leaned into the holocam viewer. The lights on the instrument panel flashed in his eyes, but he barely noticed as he waited. He wanted out of this confining death trap. He wanted their faces gone from his memory.

Hego Damask's stretched, pale face fizzed into existence before him, and the Munn studied him for a irritatingly long moment. He bypassed any greetings and instead demanded, "Where are you?"

He wanted to laugh at the calmness of the alien, briefly even wanted to reach across the stars and strangle the life out of him. Could I do it? Something flashed on the far side of the room. His gaze cast sideways and he studied the bodies, feeling the hot rush of adrenaline slide away to be replaced with a cold deadness. He stared into her glassy eyes. "I'm not sure…" In hell, perhaps?

He heard the pounding on the hatch and whirled. "Don't come in! Stay away from me!"

"What have you done?" It was his mother's voice, panicked. "What have you done?"

Darth Plagueis

Okay, so apparently I was feeling a bit like a deranged Force-drunk Palpatine. This is a one-shot from Palpatine's pov of a sort-of-off-camera scene in Darth Plagueis. The dialogue between Plagueis and Palpatine comes from that scene. According to Empire Strikes Back, the Star Wars universe appears to have at least a concept of hell as a potential afterlife. Enjoy this also as a small apology for not updating my real stories recently. I've had very little time, and if you can tell by looking at this story, it's been a bit stressful as well.

As always, feel free to leave a review!