Uglier Than You
Summary: Palpatine is having a Halloween contest as to who has the scariest costume. What happens when Han enters dressed as Palpatine himself? Humor. Oneshot.
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to George Lucas or whoever owns the right to Star Wars. This is just for fun.
Han Solo was strolling down the streets of Coruscant one autumn day on the way to the nearest sleazy bar. He just had to think up a new way to kill Palpatine, but so far none of his grand ideas had worked. No the oil slicks on the floor or the caffeine cakes, nothing. "That old man has more lives than an Endor cat!"
Yelling at a speeder that almost ran him over while crossing on a red light, Han paused in the middle of the road to study a billboard attached to the side of the building across the street. The new advertisement was about a contest; one that offered a real cash prize. And if anyone needed cash it was Han. Trying to kill the old goat was hard if you lacked funds for the normal, decent means; stuff like hand grenades or blasters. Well, blasters wouldn't be effective, as the old zombie almost never came into a location where Han could see him face to face. That and he had used up his power pack trying to defrost meat for Chewie to eat because his stove was broken.
TERROR-VISION CONTEST! CASH PRIZE!!
Speeders blared their horns at Han, several aliens yelling at him to get off the road in multiple languages.
"Fly somewhere else!" Han shouted back at them, waving his fist at a bright red speeder with a racing stripe on the side. "I'm trying to make money here! Go up in the sky lanes where you belong!"
Turning his attention back to the billboard, Han bean to read.
Are you scary? Can you create a scary costume, one frightening enough to scare Emperor Palpatine himself? Then enter our TERROR-VISION Contest! But be warned: Palpatine is fearless!
"Hmm…." Han muttered as he rubbed his chin in thought and finally moved onto the sidewalk. "That could be tough. The old goat is a Sith Master and Sith are fearless, so how could a costume possibly scare him? Must be some trick question…"
Finding the bar, Han wondered in and soon was nursing a strong drink, deep in thought. He had no idea what the zombie was scared of. Heck, he didn't even know what Luke was scared of and Luke was his best friend! Still, he had to try. According to the sign, he had an entire week to come up with an idea. The days passed quickly and Han was growing a bit frantic, as he still didn't have a clue. Nor did he have a lot of options for costume making due to budget. He would have to use what he had on hand.
Finally the big day arrived and Han decided it was time to get ready. Going into the kitchen of the Falcon, he got out the ingredients he would need: a bag of expired flour, water, a jar of rubber cement, a child's watercolor set and an old hooded bathrobe. Mixing the water and flour, he smeared the mixture onto his face without benefit of a mirror. The resulting paste was thin and runny, white goop dripping down his neck and off his fingers leaving big globs everywhere. Picking the paste-filled bowl up, he hurried to the bathroom so he could see what he was doing.
Han started building grooves and layers of paste on his face, made odd bumps in some spots. Once he was satisfied, he did his neck so it was ugly and wrinkled. Picking up Leia's hairdryer with his paste-covered fingers, he blow-dried it. Collecting the watercolors and rubber cement from the kitchen, he hurried back to the bathroom to continue his art. The watercolor added color to his face, especially dark grooves under his eyes. Careful speckling gave his face a rotten appearance. A layer of rubber cement added a peeling skin affect.
Laughing, Han grimaced in pain as his skin was stretched. He had no idea how he would remove the stuff, but he was sure to win that cash prize!
"And once I have it, I can kill Palpatine!"
Picking up the old bathrobe, Han slipped it on and hurried out the door. Soon he arrived at the ballroom where the Emperor was holding his contest. The room was crowded but after a quick look around Han wasn't worried at all. It was clear these people had no imagination at all. One idiot had even dressed himself up as a giant spider. "Ha! As if THAT would scare a Sith Lord!"
The thing didn't even look real.
Soon a long line was formed and Han eagerly joined it near the end. Slowly one by one everyone was greeting the Emperor who sat on his throne chair at one end of the room. Impatiently, the smuggler waited his turn. Most if not all of the people ahead left the line dejected, heads hanging low. It was clear their costumes hadn't scared him at all.
And then it was his turn.
Stepping forward, Han stood before the Emperor with the dark blue hood pulled over his head. His stomach twisted nervously as he could feel the man's evil gaze on him, studying him.
"What exactly are you supposed to be?" Palpatine finally asked after a long moment of silence.
"I'm you." Han replied.
"I don't look like that…" Palpatine denied.
"You do too!" Han shot back at him quickly. "In fact, you look loads worst. There's only so much I could do with flour and glue…"
"I don't look anything like that at all!" Palpatine exclaimed loudly, his red eyes glowing with anger. "You look as if you're rotten with bits of skin falling off you! As if I would look that way! I'm the Emperor!"
"Yeah, but you DO look that way!" Han shouted back, uncaring that six red Imperial Guards had moved in closer to the esteemed leader, force pikes at the ready. "You're an old rotten zombie! With a slimy, decayed center!"
"Guards! Remove this low life!" Palpatine ordered.
"Hey!" Han cried as two Imperial Guards grabbed him under the arms and started hauling him away, his boot heels dragging on the floor. The smuggler tried to squirm to get away but it was hopeless; the brutes under the bright red uniforms having grips like wookies. Their hands squeezed his upper arms painfully and he was positive he'd have bruises in the morning. "Where's my cash prize? How can I kill you if I don't have any money?"
Palpatine started laughing, his yellow teeth visible. "You Rebel fool! You'll never kill me! And I foresee serious problems in your love life, General Solo. Beware! Mahahaha!"
Undeterred, Han shook a fist at the smaller and smaller form of the Emperor relaxing in his throne. "You owe me that money! I had the best costume here and you know it, you stingy old goat!"
Curious faces in masks and makeup stared at him as he was dragged out of the ballroom and down the long marble corridor. Stormtroopers stood here and there, blaster rifles at the ready. Soon Han was tossed out of the Imperial Palace onto the street, his body tumbling until he landed in the gutter. The Imperial Guards turned smartly on their heels and went back inside, the double doors slamming shut with a loud boom of doom. Picking himself up, Han winched at the various aches and pains he now sported. "Great, just great! I go through all this trouble and what do I get? Nothing!"
Sighing, he started to walk home empty handed. "Well, I suppose I should be thankful I wasn't arrested…"
Han didn't want to admit it, but he feared the Emperor saw him as an amusing pest and not a serious threat. Once, long ago, he had been Numeral Uno on Palpatine's hit list, way back when he had helped Luke blow up the Death Star. But since then, well, his attempts had been very pathetic. It was hard to kill the man when his best friend's father was Darth Vader and that at the moment he was sort of living with Vader… Then there was the fact that Leia, the love of his life, was Vader's daughter!
Finally reaching Vader's Palace, Han punched the door button and quickly went in. Going up to Princess Leia's room, he knocked politely on the door. He would say goodnight to her before turning in…
"Aaaaaaiiiii!" Leia shrieked as she opened the door and saw Han standing there. The Princess was wearing a pink night robe and fuzzy pink slippers, her brown hair up in rollers.
"What's the matter, Leia?" Han asked stupidly. "It's me…"
"Luke!" Leia cried as loudly as she could, sending vibrations through the Force. "Palpatine is trying to break into my room!"
"It's me, Han!" He attempted to explain, forgetting the flour and glue still on his face. "I'm not Palpatine, honest!"
Not waiting for her brother or father, Leia picked up the reading light from her nightstand and came at him with it, swinging it wildly as one would swing a lightsaber. "You blew up my planet, my whole world! I'd know your ugly mug anywhere!"
The light hit Han on the head and he stumbled backward. Turning, he started racing down the long corridor just as Luke and Vader emerged from their bedrooms. "HELP! She's gone mad!"
"That's for blowing up Alderaan!"
"And that's for declaring yourself Emperor!"
"And that's for disbanding the Senate!"
Han skidded into the bathroom and locked the door. Rubbing at his aching head, Han flicked on the overhead light and peered at himself in the mirror. He really DID look like Palpatine, especially with the robe he was wearing. "Great, just great! That old geezer KNEW this was going to happen! I bet he even cooked up this harebrained idea to get me in hot water with Leia. Stupid old mummy, seeing the future and laughing at it on his fancy throne…"
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The bathroom door shook in its frame as Leia pounded on it with her fists or possibly her light; Han couldn't tell which. If she inherited anything from her father, it certainly was her temper! Filling the sink with hot water, Han picked up the bar of soap. He had to wash the disguise off so Leia could see it really was him. But after an hour of scrubbing, he couldn't see any difference. The flour had hardened into a tough shell that seemed to be waterproof.
"Great, just great…" Han muttered as he lowered himself onto the toilet's lid, chin in his hands. He could still hear the Princess excitedly blabbing about Palpatine to her brother and father. No doubt Luke was wide-eyed, gawking at the locked bathroom door and Vader was probably rolling his eyes under that mask and pondering why these things always happened to him.
"Me and my stupid schemes! Why on Coruscant did I have to be so greedy? Now my foolishness has ruined it all!"