Title: A Change of Events
Author: Deja Vu
Summary: What would happen if Mara Jade convinced Emperor Palpatine to change the meeting place in "Return of the Jedi" from the Death Star to a ship away from the main Fleet? Perhaps he and Vader would survive? (Written when I was a beginning writer, so I apologize for the ridiculous parts.)
Rating: No language, some violence, a few graphic descriptions of torture and monster attacks.
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, but this story is mine.
Characters: Luke, Vader, Palpatine, Mara, and others.

"Master," the girl bowed her head reverently to the sinister black-robed Palpatine.

She wasn't an average Imperial...She wasn't even an average looking Imperial.

Perhaps what was most striking about her was her eyes. They were green, burning brilliantly with an inward fire which often raged violently with little provocation. It was as an eternal fire that could never be extinguished by an outside force.

Her appearance was noteworthy in other ways as well. Though her stance was submissive, it spoke of a powerful spirit that was currently leashed only due to her Master's presence. As for the modest jumpsuit she wore, it revealed only a teasing hint of her powerful physique.

Along with a powerful physique, the girl possessed a beautiful pale face which was framed by red-gold locks of hair. Surveying her from behind would reveal the hair's drifting elegantly down her shoulders like a flowing river of fire.

Her age, nineteen, was hard to guess. She seemed hardened by the years, yet the appearance of youth clung to her persistently. Her knowledge, interestingly enough, exceeded that of most girls her age, as it had originated from being deep in Emperor Palpatine's service.

At first glance, she looked like a frail, exotic flower...But looks were deceiving, and she was as lethal as she was pretty.

In fact, she was known to Palpatine's inner court as "The Emperor's Hand."

Her name was Mara Jade.

"Yes, Mara?" the Emperor peered through slightly annoyed and suspiciously slitted eyes.

Mara Jade's duties and varied significantly, and she was trained in many aspects of life. She would always perform whatever duties were set before her without question, doing anything from massaging the Emperor's shoulders to assassinating political leaders that had displeased him. Not that he needed her to massage his shoulders...

She hesitated. "I've had a—a premonition..." She didn't quite finish.

"Yes?" Palpatine urged her on, his reptilian-like eyes flashing with interest.

After a tentative pause, she rushed into what she had to say: "You shouldn't bring Skywalker to the Death Star."

Mara Jade would've given almost anything to not be required to make that statement, but he would know if she did not.

He knew everything about her. He knew every inch and fiber of her being..

She was born solely to serve him. And she would die doing so.

"This...feeling,...Is it a prodding of the Force?" The Emperor's evil eyes seemed to peer into the young girl's soul.

Mara suppressed a shudder. Despite her admiration for him, he frightened even her sometimes. "Yes, Master."

The Emperor looked expectantly at her for more details.

"I had a vision of the future," Mara averted her gaze to the floor.

"My child, what happened?" The Emperor's voice sounded almost kind, but his beady eyes betrayed his greed for information...and for power. The two were not easily separated, and Palpatine knew that.

"Most of it is blurred and uncertain." She took a breath, trying to calm herself. The vision had been quite disturbing. "The Death Star blew up. And then I—" She cleared her throat and bit her lip. "—I sensed your death...and that is all I can recall." Mara finished quickly and forced herself not to shy away from him, expecting to be punished as the bearer of bad news.

"You think we should move our meeting place?" he inquired, so that he would know precisely what she was saying.

Mara nodded, swallowing, "Yes, my Master."

The Emperor pursed his lips. "I suppose we can move our meeting place, but the Imperial Fleet shall stay put. I doubt the pathetic Rebels could make a mark on my precious Fleet without a thousand times the firepower, but I will take a minor precaution since you think it would be wise...I will even allow you to come, and I shall equip you with a lightsaber. But if you are wrong..."

The threat hung heavily in the air.

Mara winced. She did indeed know what could happen if her vision didn't come true. She barely managed to refrain from touching her heart protectively, remembering the last time the Emperor had gotten angry with her.

"Go, young Jade, I shall inform Lord Vader of the change in plans."