by Valerie Vancollie and Rebecca Thomson

(valeriev84 at hotmail dot com) & (zekkers at juno dot com)

Disclaimer: Rebecca and I do not own Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or any other of the "Star Wars" characters, items or situations. Rebecca and I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.

Note: Yes, that's right, this is the LAST chunk of Dynasty! That's it, there is no more after this (although I have imagined what may happen). After nearly a year of me posting chunks, those of you who elected to read the fic have finally reached the end of your journey. I really hope that you enjoyed the tale Rebecca and I took you on and I thank you for taking the time to read such a monster of a fic. I'd especially like to thank those faithful readers who took the time to review often, it has been greatly appreciated!
There are also two new illustrations for this fic available on my site. The site also has two lovely drawings of Migel, one with each parents, if you haven't already checked them out earlier.
Oh, I may at some point (when the rest of the promised art work is in) put the entire story together with all of the art work imbedded with the part they illustrate in pdf format. If this is something you may be interested in, keep an eye on my website as I would announce the creation of such a file there and probably post it there as well.

Chunk Forty-Five

"Shh," Anjaleen soothed her young son, five years later as he began to cry. "Mommy's here," she whispered as she reached down into the crib and picked up her two month old baby. "It's okay. You're hungry, is that it?" she continued, as she seated herself and proceed to breast feed him.

Anja smiled softy as she ran a finger through Migel's fluffy brown hair as he ate. She could still vividly remember that day, eleven months ago when Luke had first discovered the tiny life within her. It had been one of the happiest days in their lives...

"Luke," Anja said as she stepped out onto the patio, holding the door for support.

"Honey, what's wrong?" Luke inquired worriedly as he got to his feet and approached his pale wife.

"I don't feel so good," Anjaleen replied. "I was just sick; I think I need to see a doctor."

"Sick?" Luke repeated as he led her to a chair and motioned the anxious servant closer. "Get her something to drink."

"Yes, my Prince," the servant stated as he rushed off to get it.

"Anja, I'm going to probe you, see if I can find what's wrong," Luke began as he pulled up another chair and sat down as well, taking his wife's hands in his.

"Very well," Anja responded as she tried to relax, knowing it would help her husband as she wouldn't be sending as many signals into the Force for him to interpret.

As he opened himself to the Force, Luke was briefly distracted by another presence in the Force, but he brushed it aside. Right now he needed to see what as ailing his wife, then he could look into this strangely familiar presence. Finding one of the symptoms that Anjaleen was suffering from, he grasped it and began tracing it back to its origin, healing it as he went. Finding the source, Luke stiffened in shock and joy.

"Luke?" Anja questioned, surprised to see the huge smile that spread across his face, instantly wiping away any traces of concern and worry. "What is it? It isn't serious, is it?"

"Oh, it's serious," Luke began, barely able to contain his excitement. Although his father had said that now was a good time for them to have a child due to the peace the Empire was experiencing, he hadn't expected it to be just yet. "There's nothing that I can do about you getting sick, I think you'll simply have to get used to it."

"What are you talking about?" Anjaleen asked, knowing that something was up due to his good humor.

"It's called morning sickness," Luke explained and watched as his wife's eyes light up with understanding and joy.

"Are you saying..." Anja said, trailing off as Luke nodded his head. "Oh Force!"

Laughing, Luke pulled Anjaleen to her feet and embraced her as joy and pride filled him. "You're pregnant," he whispered. "A little boy."

"Force strong?" Anja inquired, knowing how important it was that their son needed to be able to become a Sith Lord.

"Yes, very," Luke confirmed. "It's just as Grandfather predicted. We'll need to come up with a name for him."

"My Prince, Princess?" the servant questioned, startled to see the mistress beaming while minutes earlier she had looked so sick. "Your drink, my Princess."

"Thank you," Anja said taking the glass and looking to Luke as she placed a hand on her stomach, wishing that she could sense the small life within her the way he could.

"Ponsu," Luke said as he turned his attention to the waiting servant. "Inform the others that there will need to be some major changes in the near future. There will be another member to the family soon."

"A... as you wish, my Prince," the servant stuttered, stunned and excited as he looked to the princess, realization dawning.

Anjaleen smiled to herself as she recalled the servant's facial expression. That had been the first indication of how the castle staff would react to her child. She had been astonished at the sheer excitement and good mood everyone had been in during the months that followed that day. Like her and Luke, they had seemed to want everything to be perfect for when the day came that Migel would be born. They had made sure that all that would be needed was arranged well beforehand and even now they were looking into how best to child-proof the castle for when Migel learned how to walk.

The hardest thing for her, though, had been getting a good nanny. She had been very picky in choosing someone to help her with her son as she would be trusting the woman to care for her child whenever she couldn't do so. Luke had been just as cautious as her, scanning every prospective nanny carefully to see just who they were and what their intentions were. It had been a though decision as so many women had come forward, all wanting to be the one to look after Prince Migel, a future Emperor. In the end she and Luke had concluded that they wanted Quelin, an older human woman with lots of child rearing experience, as their nanny.

She smiled as she looked out of the window of Migel's room. Luke had decided that for the first few years it would probably be better that their son had the room next to theirs and that once he was older that he could move to a bigger room of his choice. That way they could hear him at night. Luckily for them, Migel was a peaceful sleeper and didn't wake up too often after he had fallen asleep. She knew that they were very fortunate in this area as every one of Nastalia and Nathaniel's three children had been criers. It was so bad at times that her friends were getting as much sleep as possible now, before their fourth child was born. How she loved to tease them with this when they came over for dinner.

As she thought of her friends, Anjaleen could still remember the day Nathaniel had been promoted to Grand Moff. They had held a huge party at their home to celebrate the event and both she and Luke had been invited. During the party Nathaniel had pulled them aside and thanked Luke as he knew that her husband had been one of the reasons for his promotion. The thing Nastalia had liked most about Nathaniel becoming a Grand Moff had been the fact that he would be home more often as his job was in the system where they lived.

Anjaleen quickly made herself decent when she saw that Migel was done, before heading downstairs with her son. After Migel had been born there had been one day where she had brought him to court, simply because everyone had wanted to see the new prince and she, Luke, and Darth had decided that it was better that they brought him to the Imperial Palace than to invite people over to the castle. Besides, it had also given the press a chance to get even more holos of him than the ones they had already released for the citizens to see. Ever since it had first become visible that she was pregnant, she had gotten extra protection as well as receiving lots of mail from the people saying how happy they were that there was already another heir and to give their congratulations.

Anjaleen put Migel into the crib in the main sitting room and sat down on one of the couches. She had just picked up a datapad containing an article she wanted to read when one of the servants entered the room.

"Yes?" Anja demanded.

"My Princess," the man began. "There was just a call from the tailor saying that he will have the clothes for the party that you and the Prince ordered ready tomorrow morning."

"Very well," Anja replied, dismissing the servant.

The clothes she and Luke had ordered were elaborate outfits for the upcoming celebration. The festivities were being held to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of the Alliance. The fifth anniversary of peace. The party was only three days away and she could hardly wait for it. The only thing that might put a damper on the joyful event was the fact that the end of the Alliance and the huge execution ceremony that had gone with it in which the three main Rebel leaders had been put to death for their crimes against the Empire, was the last event of any importance in Emperor Palpatine's reign. Only one month after the week long celebrations that had followed the ceremony had ended, Palpatine had died. She frowned as she recalled that day, the Imperial ruler had known his end was near and had made sure that his family was present...

"Grandfather," Luke said as he and Anjaleen entered Palpatine's private living room.

"Your Majesty," Anja greeted as she bowed.

"Luke, Anjaleen," Palpatine acknowledged them before he motioned for them, and his son, to approach and sit. "You have all known that my condition has been deteriorating rapidly," he began before he stopped for breath, carefully watching the three people seated around him.

"Father--" Vader began, but stopped as the Emperor made a small gesture.

"I do not have a lot of strength left... let me say that which I need to," Palpatine stated. "My time here is now at an end... I will not be alive when you leave this room."

Anjaleen suppressed a gasp, noticing the identical expressions of pain on the faces of Darth and Luke. Knowing the way they felt, she reached out and slipped her hand into that of her husband's, squeezing it to let him know that she would be there for him as he had been there for her. Seeing the small smile he sent her way, she wished that there was more she could do. But she knew that she couldn't. There was no way to prevent death when it came, nor to take away the pain that resulted.

"My Son," Palpatine said, at which Vader instantly got up and moved to kneel at his father's side. "It is now time for you to take the throne and rule the Empire."

"Father..." Vader began, unsure of what to say. He had not felt grief like this since the death of his mother. There was so much he wanted to say, but he didn't know how.

"I know," Palpatine declared simply as he brushed his hand softly against the side of his son's face. "Death comes to us all, sooner or later. I am prepared for it, I have accomplished all I wanted to do and I know that my work will not go to ruin and fade away once I am gone," licking his lips to moisten them, he waited a few seconds before continuing. "You will lead the Empire as I have taught you to."

"Yes, Father," Vader confirmed as he dropped all of his shields, making sure that the older man knew that which he couldn't say. Knowing what the dying man wanted, he moved back to his seat as Luke moved forward.

"My Grandson," Palpatine wheezed as he looked at the young man kneeling beside him. "You were an unexpected surprise that turned out far better than I could have hoped."

"Thank you, Grandfather," Luke replied as he thought back to his first lunch with the Emperor and what had been said to him then.

Palpatine coughed painfully, waving a bone-thin arm before continuing in a voice no louder than a whisper. "You will need to raise a worthy heir who will be capable of taking the throne after your time has come. The Empire must remain in the hands of our line or all will be lost... The throne can be taken by anyone, but it can only be kept by one both trained and strong in the Force."

"I know," Luke responded softly as he fought to keep a straight face. "And you need not worry, it will all be taken care of."

"I don't worry," Palpatine said at which Luke moved aside as the Emperor turned his attention to the young lady sitting silently to one side. "Anjaleen," he summoned and waiting until his grandson's wife was next to him. "As the woman with the highest status within the Empire, the citizens are already looking to you as the caring and nurturing figurehead for you will be the bearer of the fourth Emperor to rule the galaxy," pausing to catch his breath once more he studied her, pleased that none of this surprised her. "This regard among the people will only grow as time goes on and you eventually become the first Empress of the Empire. Although at first I disagreed with young Luke's choice for a wife, I will say that I do not regret giving him permission to marry you."

"Thank you, your Majesty," Anja replied, not certain how to react to the lecture and compliment she had just been given.

"Hmmm," Palpatine simply replied as he studied her a little longer before turning his attention back to his offspring. "The Sith dream of ruling the galaxy has finally been achieved."

"Yes, Father," Vader confirmed just before the old man began to cough violently. "Father?" he demanded, moving closer as the coughing didn't stop.

"The time..." Palpatine began before he was interrupted by the coughs, "has... come."

"No!" Vader denied, but could do nothing as he felt his father's Force presence begin to fade even as blue lightning seemed to run over the ancient man's body.

Anjaleen shrieked in surprise as the blue lightning became more intense and started to engulf the Emperor's body. "What?" she asked.

"The Dark Side," Luke replied as he was forced to step back as the Dark Side energy within his grandfather was released. "It's going back into the Force."

"Oh," Anja stated, watching as Darth moved back a few paces, unable to do anything.

"Father!" Vader cried out as his father's presence vanished completely and the lightning died away, leaving the ancient man's lifeless body to slump in the chair.

Anjaleen sighed, looking around the main sitting room she was in. Her eyes fell on the corner that held a crystal sculpture. She didn't particularly like the translucent art form, but it was more tasteful than that black thing Luke had put there before. Fortunately, she had talked him into moving the carbon-frozen Nate Clay into the sitting room outside his study. She remembered the day he brought it home.

"Well, what do you think?" Luke said, showing off the rough sculpture of a screaming man on his knees. "It's Clay."

"Well, it certainly is... an emotional piece."

"I'm leaving it here for awhile, just till the rumor mill gets a hold of it." Luke said with a smile.

"You want them to talk about this commemorative piece?" Anjaleen said, wrinkling her nose in distaste. "I mean, it does show what you put him through these last few days- but." It had been a relief in a way that Luke had tired of the man quickly. Anjaleen liked having the main sitting room properly finished.

"Oh." Luke snickered. "You thought it was just a sculpture. No dear, that IS Nate Clay. I had him carbon-froze. He's in hibernation in there. The scientists tell me he'll live another fifty years, semiconscious, fully in pain."

"Oh." Anjaleen had said. She almost felt pity for the Rebel. Almost. But not quite.

A child's giggle brought Anjaleen out of her memories. She looked across the room to see Nastalia's oldest peeking out from behind a chair, the little girl's black curls combed into pigtails. A house guard stood patiently behind her, ready to whisk her away if she started to bother the princess.

"Hello Mirabel." Anjaleen called. "Your mother here?"

"No." Came the happy reply. "Princess. Came with Daddy."

"Oh. And what are you doing here?" Anjaleen asked, smiling at the little imp. A little brown-haired boy looked around Mirabel, eyes wide. "And who is that?"

The little girl stepped out from behind the chair, motioning the boy to follow. He was obviously about three years old, and rather over-awed. "This is," Mirabel said in her best grown-up voice, "Zackery Ravenell. Major Ravenell's son. Daddy and the Major are visiting the Prince."

"I see." Anjaleen said, smiling at the shy little boy. She remembered that Nathaniel had offered Darth Vader's adjunct a position as a planetary governor on a smaller world when he had retired from the military. MacNelly had laughed at any hint of favoritism for the Major. 'He's a natural at organizing things- I'd be a fool to miss gaining talented governors.' Nathaniel had said, dropping the matter.

Anjaleen motioned the two closer, Mirabel taking the boy's hand and pulling him closer to the Imperial Princess. "Is she showing you around my castle?"

"Yes, my Lady." The little boy said, brown eyes wide at being spoken to by a real princess. Anjaleen just continued to smile. He really was a doll.

Migel chose that moment to let out a little cry, and Anjaleen quickly got up, walking to the crib. "There, there." She said, picking him up. He was wide awake, little fists waving in the air. Anjaleen returned to her seat, her son in her arms. Two sets of wide eyes watched her every move.

"Is that him?" Mirabel asked, stepping closer. Anjaleen nodded. At two months old, the little prince hadn't been introduced to any of the other children of court yet.

"Yes, it is."

"Can we, can we see him? Please Princess?" Mirabel asked, trying her best to act all grown up and polite like her mother had taught her.

"Of course." Anjaleen happily replied. She loved showing off her baby, but security measures kept him well away from everyone. She held him as she walked over to the two children, sitting in a chair. "See? He's happy to meet you, he's smiling." The little prince was grinning, fist waving.

"He's tiny!" The little boy said, indignant. Princes were supposed to be big strong men.

"He'll grow. You were this small once." Anjaleen said.

"Really?" Disbelief washed over the brown haired boy's face. "I don't remember." Anjaleen laughed, and heard three male voices laugh behind her. She turned to see Luke, Nathaniel, and the Major watching.

Little Zackery held out a finger, and the infant's hand wrapped right around it. "He likes me!" The boy sounded surprised and happy.

"Of course he does." Anjaleen replied, smiling at the joy the little boy nearly shone with. The three men walked up, watching the scene.

Zackery looked up at the Princess, solemn look in his eye. "Papa said that if he likes me- and if I'm good- I get to be his add-junk some day. Just like Papa was."

Behind her, Major Ravenell groaned as Luke laughed. "He's going through a phase, my Prince. He has to do everything I do."

The little boy looked confused while Anjaleen couldn't help but smile. Mirabel sniffed. "That's an a-pointed position. Just like a Grand Moff. The Imperial family picks you, you don't just get the job." She was obviously reciting something her tutor had made her memorize.

Zackery decided to be stubborn. "He likes me."

Ravenell chose to cut his son off. "Yes, he may, Zackery, but a lot can change in the next twenty years. Now, why don't you and your friend go play in the gardens?"

"Okay!" The two scampered off.

Garret shook his head as he walked over to Anjaleen to get a good look at the young prince. "He's every bit as cute as the press have made him out to be," he declared just before Migel let out a joyful shriek. "And he knows it too," Garret joked.

"Thank you," Anja replied, beaming with pride as she looked over at her husband.

"So, will little Zackery have any siblings or not?" Luke inquired as he walked up to his wife.

"My wife and I would like to have another child," Ravenell admitted with a smile. "We're just not sure when though."

"How many are you planning on having?" Nathaniel questioned as they all sat down. "I wanted three while Nastalia wanted five, so we compromised and decided on four."

"We're thinking two," Garret said before he looked at Prince Luke as he continued. "However, there is a history of twins in my wife's family, so there is the possibility that we'll have twins."

"Twins," Nathaniel commented. "I've always found that concept fascinating, but then that's probably due to the fact that I've never known anyone who had twins or known someone who was a twin."

"I've heard both good and bad stories about twins," Anjaleen hurriedly said, covering Luke's wince. "On the one hand they can have a lot of fun, but it's hard to be an individual after you've been raised together and all. Especially if you're identical twins."

"True," Nathaniel agreed. "But I'd be very interested in getting their opinion on the matter."

"Well, if my wife and I have twins, you'll be able to ask them about it some day," Garret offered as he thought back to how different Leia had been from her twin brother, but his thoughts were cut off as Migel began to cry.

"There, there," Anja soothed as she wondered what had upset her little boy. "It's okay," she continued, but the young prince refused to be quieted this time.

"Hey," Luke said softly as he leaned over and took his child from his wife. "What's wrong with you?" he questioned as he began tickling Migel, all the while sending calming waves through the Force at the fragile mind.

Garret smiled as he watched the Imperial Prince quiet his son. This was a completely new side to Luke that he had never seen before. In battle the man was utterly ruthless, disposing of the Rebels in any way necessary; and here was that same man, lovingly calming his son with the utmost gentleness. Sure, he had seen the other side of the young man before, whenever he was with his wife it was displayed, the scene of the two of them dancing at his twenty-first birthday instantly came to mind. But this was different. This was yet another side of him, this was Luke Vader as a father.

"I wish my children had stopped crying so easily," Nathaniel stated as he watched the young prince play with his father's medallion.

"Luke," Emperor Vader said as his son entered his private quarters in the Imperial Palace three days later. "Are you ready for the party?"

"Yes, Father," Luke confirmed as he smoothened his blue and yellow outfit which was covered with jewels and dark green embroidery. "Five years since the end of the Rebellion, it doesn't seem nearly that long."

"Indeed," Vader agreed as he smiled at his son. "But that is partially due to your wife's pregnancy. How is my little grandson, by the way?"

"Migel is just fine," Luke replied. "Anja put him to bed just before we left so everything should be fine and, if not, Quelin is there to take care of things."

"Good," Vader stated. "I take it Anjaleen is already in the court room?"

"Yes," Luke said. "She was wondering if you'd care to come by tomorrow evening for dinner," he continued, remembering how long it had taken him to get used to having his father living in the Palace instead of the castle. "A little family meeting, she called it."

"I'd love to join you," Vader replied as he motioned for his son to follow him as he made his way towards the throne room. "It's been a while since I've been able to simply relax. The preparations for the ceremony and a few political complications have kept me quite busy lately. A peaceful evening with nothing to worry about is more than welcome."

"Great," Luke replied as they entered the throne room. Looking around the room he could still clearly recall the day of his father's coronation...

Luke was careful to keep his face blank as he watched as the members of the court entered the throne room and sat down on the specially arranged seats. Due to the fact that he was standing halfway up the stairs before the throne, he was in clear view of both the court members and holocameras that the media had been allowed to bring with them so that the whole ceremony could be broadcasted live to every corner of the Empire. Just like Palpatine's funeral had been broadcasted. Suppressing the emotions that rose within him at the thought of his grandfather's death, he thought of the events that would soon be transpiring within this very room and his role in them.

He smoothened his elaborate scarlet and black outfit as he silently reviewed the tasks Grandfather had assigned to him while they had planned Vader's coronation. Due to the fact that Palpatine would be dead, someone else would be required to declare Prince Darth Vader Emperor of the Galactic Empire. And, since giving this task to someone would be to levitate his importance as he had the power to say the final words the citizens needed to hear, it had been decided that he would have to perform that task as they didn't want to give anyone else that amount of power. Looking up once more, he caught Anjaleen's eyes and smiled at her.

Luke turned his attention towards the entrance through which his father was supposed to enter upon hearing the Imperial anthem start up. For this occasion, the throne room had been filled with flowers, both in bouquets and wreaths, which had been placed everywhere with ribbons and Imperial symbols. The moment the anthem ended, the double doors to the room opened once more and the Imperial Sovereign Protectors swarmed into the room, lining both sides of the aisle leading towards the stairs. Then, when all was silent, Vader entered the room, clad in dark blue and black robes covered in multicolored jewels and embroidery. The orchestra started up another number as the Imperial Prince calmly made his way towards the stairs and ascended them, stopping two steps below where his son stood.

"Citizens of the Empire," Luke began, a hidden microphone amplifying his voice throughout the room as the orchestra finished its number. "Before his death, the late Emperor Palpatine summoned me to this very room and gave me some instructions. Although he had already officially declared Darth Vader his heir, he wanted there to be an official ceremony to finalize the coronation," stopping he waited a few seconds to let this sink in before he half-turned and motioned for the guard standing just out of sight to approach.

As the Royal Guard did so, murmurs could be heard throughout the room even as the holocameras zoomed in on the red velvet cushion the guard carried. For, on the cushion, lay the Imperial Crown. Palpatine had first worn it on the day he had declared himself Emperor and on a few occasions afterwards, but for the most part it was simply a symbol of power that was kept in a highly secure area of the Palace where the people could see it on certain days of the year. The most unique thing about the crown was the fact that it was made out of a blackish-purple metal called Misa. Misa was the rarest metal in the entire galaxy, a mere handful of it being more than even most members of the court could afford to buy. Decorating the Misa crown were several, highly polished, and expensive Corsuca gems.

Luke took the crown from the guard as the man stopped next to him, and held it up for the people to see as he faced his father once more. "Darth Vader," he began clearly. "Through the powers invested in me by the late Emperor Palpatine, it is my honor to officially declare you the new Emperor of the Galactic Empire," with this he carefully placed the crown on his father's head even as he saw the pride twinkling in his father's crystal clear eyes. Returning the smile he could only imagine how his father felt today.

Vader walked past his son as Luke stepped aside and up to the top of the stairs where he instantly seated himself upon the throne. Walking a few steps forward himself, Luke stopped as he reached the last platform before the steps reached the throne itself. Knowing that the courtiers and other guests would follow his example, he dropped to one knee.

Luke smiled and shook his head as the memory faded. It had not been necessary for him to be declared his father's heir as everyone knew that it would be so. They had automatically addressed him as 'Prince Vader' after the ceremony and Anjaleen as 'Princess Vader.'

"Credit for your thoughts?" Vader asked, seeing his son's faraway look.

"Oh, I was just thinking about the coronation," Luke replied as he looked at his chrono. "We'd better hurry, the party should be in full swing by now."

"You plan on dancing?" Vader inquired as they exited the throne room and headed towards the court room, the Imperial Sovereign Protectors falling in formation around them.

"Definitely," Luke said with a smile. "It's been a while and now is the perfect opportunity."

Buchanan watched Ra'chealla and Davron dance as he stood off to one side of the dance floor. Although his daughter had showed some clear signs of rebellion at the beginning of her marriage, everything had calmed down after she had given birth to his first grandchild. Davron had been very insightful there, knowing that motherhood would quickly tame her temperament as her free time would go into caring for her son rather than thinking about hopeless fantasies.

Buchanan frowned as he caught sight of the former object of his daughter's desire, Prince Vader, dancing with his wife. The blond man was up to something, only he wasn't exactly sure what. At least not yet. His spies had been informing him of Luke Vader's frequent private meetings with a newer courtier named Rexgon. However they had been unable to provide any further details on the matter as the meetings always took place in Vader's Castle. Since the prince and princess didn't take on new staff often, and since the prince scanned every potential new member with the Force, there was no way to get one of his spies into the household of the Imperial family. Indeed, it was more than safe to say that the Vaders were the only family of any importance that didn't have spies in their homes. Everyone else had at least one spy who was disguised as either a servant, cleaner, or maid.

But that didn't mean that Buchanan couldn't try to learn what the prince was up to. After all, the young man had caused him too much damage in the past for him to simply give up when he was obviously up to his usual tricks. All he needed to do was wait, lay low, and be cautious so as not to take the bait as he had done several times in that past. The hardest part was that it was extremely difficult to see when Luke Vader was trying to trap him and when not, he constantly changed his approach so that one had to be attentive to every last detail as it was the rare occasion when there would be even a slight warning that something was amiss.

"Buchanan," Vladimir said as he approached his rival and saw the frustrated look on his face. "Is something wrong?"

"No, nothing," Buchanan lied as he looked at the other man.

"I see," Vladimir replied, deciding to drop the matter for now. "Nice party, don't you think? I've been looking forward to this event for quite a while now. Since the end of the Alliance things have moved so slowly at times."

"Indeed," Buchanan agreed. "Without the war only the true politicians thrive as there is no longer that uncertainty as when there is war and anything can happen."

"True," Vladimir stated, trying to decide whether the other man was hinting at something or not. "Zalin," he said as he caught sight of his son approaching them.

"Father, Buchanan," Zalin greeted as he stopped next to the two men.

"Vladimir," Buchanan replied, secretly glad that he had decided not to marry his daughter to the younger man as he was an idiot. The boy had been introduced to court a few years ago and still he made key errors. Perhaps what he had said was wrong, there was no way the boy would have survived during the war. He would have been killed off at some point by an assassin seeking to strike at Vladimir during the intense competition occurring then.

"Any idea what he's up to?" Vladimir Senior inquired of his rival as he indicated the Imperial couple.

"No," Buchanan admitted, glad that he wasn't the only one who was stumped by Prince Luke Vader's games. But that was how it always was, the Sith was always up to something. Buchanan smiled, knowing that the Empire and its Emperors and Princes, the Vader Dynasty in particular, would be awash in politics for generations to come.

Thank you for reading this monster of a fic and I hope you enjoyed it!
Don't forget to check out my website if you're interested in the new art or any of the art work that may be sent to me from this point on. It will also be the place where a potential pdf file will be posted.

The End!