"A Sithmas Carol"

(A Star Wars Christmas Carol)

Cast of Characters

"Allthe world's a stage, andallthe men and women merely players."

Ebenezer Scrooge- Chancellor Palpatine
Bob Cratchit- Obi-Wan Kenobi
Tiny Tim- Anakin Skywalker
Jacob Marley- Darth Plagueis
Ghost of Christmas Past- Darth Maul
Ghost of Christmas Present- Master Yoda
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come- Emperor Palpatine
Fred- Master Kit Fisto
Fezziwig- Vidar Kim
Belle- Padme' Amidala
Peter Cratchit- R2D2
Martha Cratchit- C3PO
Fan- Assorted members of House Palpatine
The Portly Gentlemen- Bail Organ & Jar-Jar Binks
Mrs. Cratchit- Siri Tachi

Preface

I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,

C. D.
(Excerpt from A Christmas Carol)

Episode One: Plagueis's Ghost

22 years BBY

Plagueis was dead: to begin with. Sidious should know, after all, he had killed the Muun himself. The remains had been collected with no blessing from a holy man and no one who cared enough to grieve. Sidious had burned the body. And it was Sidious who poured the ashes into one of the spirit urns he kept at the entrance of his new office on Coruscant. Yes, old Darth Plagueis was… dead.

Ah! You were expecting some outdated simile to punctuate the unfortunate fate of the late Sith master. And if this were my story to tell, I might have been inclined to oblige you. But this is not the way of Darth Sidious, newly elected Supreme Chancellor Palpatine of Naboo. So, my novice fingers shall not taint the voice of such an extraordinary man. Therefore, I sincerely hope that you will take my word for it when I simply say, Plagueis was dead.

Sidious knew he was dead? Of course he did! Have you not been listening to anything that has been said in the previous paragraphs? My goodness man! What am I reciting this story for if you are just going to skim right over the details? Plagueis was his master for thirty-five standard years. Sidious was the one man with whom he had shared his secrets, the one man with whom he shared his power, and the one man with whom he shared his trust. That, of course, had been his fatal flaw. Sidious was such an exceptional man of duty that the very next day after taking the Muun's life he stepped up to his new position as Chancellor and gave an acceptance speech that won the heart of the Republic.

Sidious never let himself forget the time spent with his old master. Much of his apprenticeship had been so unlike the sort one reads about in the ancient texts. There was a kinship. They had shifted the balance of the Force together and they had set into motion a plan that none before them had been capable of executing. When he looked into the mirror, or when he held conversation, sometimes it could have just as well been Plagueis who was staring back at him or Plagueis who was sharing jokes and devising plans. Sometimes he was unsure of how much of what he did was born from his own mind or born of habit from his years of masked servitude. It did not matter. Sidious accepted both sides of himself, original and habitual. It made no difference to him.

Oh! But a true devote to the cause he was, that Sidious- a scheming, conniving, deceiving, masquerading shadow encroaching upon the ivory tower. Stern and unwavering in his quest for power, wearing a mask so secure that no amount of violent battering could draw from him a hint at the beast dwelling inside. He was a traitor to his home, the Republic, and to the galaxy. The darkness swimming within his soul was already starting to show upon his flesh. Though he was possibly the only one who could tell that there was anything unnatural about the progression of his body, for it was something he could feel deep in his bones. A slow erosion of humanity, a slinking crawl of decay held together by the ever strengthening chains of power. He carried that power with him and it coursed from the whitening hair on the top of his head, through the façade of his gentle face, into the pale blue of his eyes that drifted over the flames that lay beneath. Sidious promoted this thin façade wherever he went, from his office peppered in Sith decoration to his apartment where, in his sanctuary, he could dawn the cloak of his destiny, orchestrating the symphony of the Grand Plan to a magnificent crescendo. And this train of thought continued all throughout the year, never stopping for genuine celebration of any kind.

Temptations of the world had little influence on Sidious. No loving touch could seduce, no bitter glance could ruffle him. No storm could strike more severe than he, no poison as effective in its charge, and no predator as skilled in its advance. The shadows themselves seemed brighter once he entered their presence. And to make matters all the more appealing, no one was the wiser.

When people approached him in the senate or about the city- on the rare occasion that he would journey about- he was greeted with reverence, admiration, and even love. Sidious, at times, had to stop himself from laughing aloud, instead keeping his smirk to himself.

If they only knew.

Although, Sidious had to admit that he quite enjoyed the response. Like little insects kissing the bottom of boot right before it came down upon them. He could make his way across the galaxy into the cities, the homes, the very families of the people of his Republic. All knowing not that they would one day call him Emperor.

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – of all the days it could have been, on the Eve of Life Day – the Supreme Chancellor sat busy in his office. It was a day like any other. Palpatine was busy attempting to stop the raging attacks from the Separatists; Sidious was working diligently to assure that he would not succeed. It was near time for him to retire for the night and the bags were growing ever heavier under his eyes.

The archway of the Chancellor's office was so positioned so that he might observe the Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who paced about a smallish desk going over the strategies the Council was forming to go against the droid army. Within his office, the Chancellor had a comfortable chair and the temperature was moderated to his liking by the building maintenance system. The area where Obi-Wan was working, however, was left to the chill of the outside temperature of the Coruscant air- for the cost of the war was taking its toll on the weather management systems, as well as indoor moderation alike. So there the Jedi was, using all his training to ignore his discomfort, but continually came up short. The only stretch of his imagination he could muster merely placed him on Hoth in the middle of a violent snow storm.

"A very happy Life Day to you, Chancellor!" announced an enthusiastic voice. That voice belonged to none other than Jedi Master Kit Fisto, who entered through the Chancellor's doors so abruptly and so unannounced that Sidious jumped, in spite of himself.

"Ah, Master Fisto, always a pleasure." Said Palpatine. "To what do I owe the honor?"

Kit Fisto had prepared himself for this conversation. It was no secret throughout the Council that the once jovial Chancellor was becoming more impatient and more secluded as the years progressed. Perhaps it was the Separatist resistance, but there was definitely a darkness that surrounded the Chancellor. And, whether or not they realized exactly what it was, the people of the Republic were feeling the effects too. And so:

"I come with a proposition, Your Excellency." Fisto said.

Palpatine raised a brow. "A proposition? Well, I can't wait to hear it."

Fisto smiled. "I propose that we share in celebration with the Wookie Holiday- Life Day. That we make it a galaxy wide tradition, with the blessings of the Wookies themselves, to help aid in the hope that peace is drawing near and to rejuvenate the spirits of all who dwell within the Republic with the knowledge that the Clone Wars shall not continue on forever."

Palpatine blinked. "I'm sure your intentions are well Master Fisto, but what the Republic needs is strategy, not celebration. This is what I and your Jedi Knight are trying to provide." He returned to his data pad. "If you would, make sure no heat escapes on your way out."

"I- I'm sorry." Kit Fisto said, taken aback. "But I don't believe I heard you correctly, Chancellor."

"Oh, you heard me just fine I suppose." Palpatine said. "To make it quite plane- Life Day, a humbug."

"Life Day a humbug, Chancellor!" said Kit Fisto. "I'm sure this is not how you feel."

"I'm afraid that this is exactly how I feel, Master Jedi." Said Palpatine. "Happy Life Day! I find it difficult to believe that a Jedi Master could be happy when so many innocent lives are being destroyed by an army of droids! What reasons do those families have to be happy as their lives are shattered? Not all people are as in control of their emotions as the Jedi Council. And I do not wish to insult their loss with festive songs and quirky bobbles placed about a dead tree."

"Chancellor!" replied Fisto, undiscouraged. "What purpose would it serve to keep the Republic in constant gloom? Why should they not celebrate their loved ones passage into the Force? Let them rejoice!"

Palpatine, without raising his eyes, replied, "Bah, humbug."

"I pray, Chancellor, don't be too rash," said the Jedi Master.

"Well what else do you expect from me," said the Chancellor. "When those- and believe I mean know offense, Master Jedi- but when those who are positioned to lead the Army of the Republic go about with no thought to the ever dwindling deficit that is causing those whom you swore to protect to starve! What would this Life Day be but finding yourself with more credits going towards trinkets than to sustenance! Master Fisto, if I could I would stop this war right away, but until that time anyone who goes about promoting a cause for throwing a party when the blood of the Republic is being spilled across the galaxy should be cooked inside of their own Bantha rump!" Palpatine smoothed his robes. "And that is all that I will say on the matter."

"Chancellor!" said Fisto, losing fire, at last.

"Master Jedi!" replied the Chancellor, his expression hard. "You serve the galaxy the way you have been trained to do, and I will do the same with the power of my position."

"Serve the Republic?" said Fisto. "There are more ways to serve than defense, Your Excellency."

"Oh, I agree. There are many ways from which one can derive hope without using up the resources that would keep the people safe. But of course, I'm sure you have exhausted all of those options if you are to come to me with a proposal of Life Day."

"I do not wish to out step my place, Chancellor, but I firmly believe that this holiday is exactly what the people need to drag them from their stupor! It has brought the Wookies hope in the past and if it has brought just one ounce of peace to a suffering spirit then I say that it does an excellent service and I say Force Bless it!"

Obi- Wan stepped from his position and gave a polite applause of approval. Noticing the Chancellor's irritated expression he simply bowed and returned to his strategizing.

"Getting any good progress over there, Master Kenobi?" said the Chancellor. "We wouldn't want to distract you." He turned his focus back to Kit Fisto. "It's almost a shame you were gifted with the Force. You would have made a brilliant politician."

"Thank you, Supreme Chancellor. Please say that you will think it over."

"I'm afraid I cannot give you my word on that matter, I am quite a busy man."

"Chancellor, again, forgive my informality, but I don't understand why?"

"Why did you become a Jedi, Master Fisto?"

Kit Fisto blinked. "Because it was my destiny."

"It was your destiny!" cried Palpatine as if he had just struck a magnificent fortune. "Perhaps if all people had as firm a since of their own destiny they wouldn't need reassurance of their fate! That is what should be executed, not Life Day. Good Evening, Master Jedi, and do have a safe journey."

"Even with a secure destiny one can still have doubts as to their safety."

"The clock is ticking away and I really must be off," said Palpatine.

Kit Fisto bowed, respectfully and said, "All I ask is that, when you have time, consider the proposition. For the Republic."

"Indeed. Farewell."

"I hope that you are not as concrete as you sound, Chancellor. So, to ease your spirits, I say Happy Life Day once more!"

"Goodbye, Master Jedi. Do come again soon."

Master Fisto left the office just as quickly and soundlessly as when he first came in. He gave a nod to Master Kenobi, who seemed to have enjoyed the exchange quite a bit, and was gone.

Just as Master Fisto stepped out, Senator Bail Organa and Representative Jar-Jar Binks entered the Chancellor's office- also, unannounced. In their hands they held what looked to be a petition.

Wonderful, Sidious thought, forcing his smile to stay in place.

"Ah! And what do I owe the pleasure of this unscheduled visit?" Palpatine asked from his chair.

"Chancellor," Senator Organa said with a bow that the Gungan followed. "During these harsh times the Senate comes to you with a request to offer food and shelter to those who have been under attack in the outlying systems. Those who have been rendered poor and whose suffering is the greatest. Our hope is to keep the desperate from turning to crime to get by for as long as possible. We humbly ask for your approval, you will find the required amount of signatures has been acquired."

Palpatine looked at the outstretched document and then said, "I'm sorry, but has there been an interference with our prisons?"

The politicians exchanged glances. "No, I do not believe so."

"Force cages, containment fields, the method of 'mind prison', they are all still in action, am I correct?"

Bail Organa stiffened. "Yes, Excellency."

"Splendid! Then I believe there is no further need to continue this conversation."

"Weesa be wishin yousa be given some credits to the peoples whosa feelin very very scared onsacounta thisa war."

"No thank you."

"I'm sorry?"

Palpatine folded his hands on his desk and looked the Senator and Representative in the eye. "Is there an ever present problem with my office and its ability to turn one deaf? I will not sign over the approval to take away the Republic's protection for the destitute in the Outer Rim! If they are suffering, at this point, all I can do is say that they are not the only ones. If we help one group we must help them all! Anything less is unfair and unjustified. What these people need is peace! Not a holiday, not a charity- simply peace."

Senator Organa nodded. "So you do not wish to help those which you lead?"

"You insult me Senator!" Palpatine said. "Since you push me I shall tell you the honest truth. I can spare no generosity; I must find profit for the Republic. I wish to be left alone. I do not want to institute some silly celebration with colored lights, out of tune carols, or cheap gifts. I cannot afford to give any more to the poor. There are many opportunities for slave labor or other workhouse style circuits where the starving can be fed. If they are so desperate, that is the assistance I can spare to provide."

"What of those who cannot go there? And, to be frank Your Excellency, many would rather die than to do so."

"If their laziness stretches to such a degree as to die rather than fight for their lives, then perhaps that course of action would make it easier for us to defend the Republic if the population size were to dwindle down."

Knowing that it would prove pointless to debate the fact any further Senator Organa and Representative Binks bowed their heads and left the office, spirits sunken and Palpatine continued on with his work, pleased that he had successfully thwarted two attempts at sabotage to Sidious's plans.

As the time to end the day's work arrived, the Chancellor rose from his seat and Master Kenobi gathered his information and waited for Palpatine to approach him.

"Thank you for your service, Master Kenobi. I suppose if this absurdist movement of Life Day goes through, then you'll want the whole day tomorrow to roam about the city?"

"If you would be so kind, Chancellor," Obi-Wan said.

"To tell you the truth Master Jedi, I should not be so kind. We do not have time for this nonsense! Coruscant could be under attack tomorrow and where would you be? Plan-less and decked out in holly, along with the rest of the city."

Obi-Wan gave a small smile, "I assure you if this happens we will all be quite safe."

"That is an insufficient attempt at comfort, Master Obi-Wan." Palpatine and Obi-Wan left the office maintaining a synchronized pace. "I only ask that you meet me back here bright and early the next morning- given I give the celebration my approval… which I won't."

The Jedi Master bowed in reply; and the Chancellor entered his shuttle with a grunt. The doors shut with a hiss and Obi-Wan lifted his cowl, and in favor of it being Life Day Eve, went and had a cup of hot Jeru Tea at Dex's Diner, chatted for awhile, and then decided to head back to the temple. On his way he spotted a group of younglings playing ball and he asked to join; he played for awhile in honor of his unusually elated mood.

Sidious ate his dinner quietly at his usual seat at his usual restaurant and, patting his mouth with a napkin, he headed to his apartment, guards ever present in the back of his private shuttle all the way to 500 Republica. Take my word on it when I say that what with the lavish rooms, the protection of the guards, the frequent parties, and each apartment maintained at the exact lighting and temperature as the tenant required, the residents of 500 Republic- if they had not the means to turn on the news- would never have known that a war was raging outside of their doors. Sidious lived there alone and very seldom had company these days, which was just the way he liked it. A fuse must have blown and, evidently, the ample amount of maintenance staff was slacking on their job for it was so dark along the corridor where the Chancellor's corner apartment sat that Sidious was in need of the Force to feel his way to his doors.

Now, it is a fact, there was nothing at all particular about the door release panel of his apartments, aside from the fact that it was unusually ornate. It is also a fact that Sidious had set his eyes on the release panel multiple times a day for well over a decade. It is also important to mention that, aside from the occasional recollection of a memory from his training, Sidious had not given Plagueis a serious thought in ten years. So therefore- and if anyone can explain this to me, please let him come forth and do so- how is it that when Sidious lifted his hand to unlock the door he saw not the panel, but the face of Darth Plagueis.

Plagueis's face. It was not cloaked in darkness as the rest of the corridor was, but, instead, emitted a blue light like that of the sun of Mastala. The expression of the Munn was not vengeful or filled with malice; rather it appeared as if the Muun were sleeping- much like the night that Sidious had taken his life. The respirator he wore seemed to emit a long, drawn out hiss, and, slowly his eyes opened and fixed on Sidious. The horror that built within the Sith was beyond any sort he had yet to experience and the fear radiated from him, appearing more supernatural than the phenomenon itself.

As Sidious stared at the apparition, it resumed the form of the panel once more.

To say that his heart had not tripled its pace, or that his breathing had not all but stopped as he used all his years of discipline to stop his hand was trembling, could not be anything other than false. But, he shook his head, pressed the release, and entered his apartment, which also appeared to be suffering from a failure of light.

He did however halt for a moment at the hiss of the shutting door; and he did step forward cautiously as he approached the corridor that led to his private chambers half expecting to see the tall form of Plagueis looming at the end of the hall. But there was no such sight and Sidious muttered a silent curse and marched over to the wall with the backup generator and light was once again restored to his home.

You may have experienced what it is like to wander through a museum or have heard tales of a young adventurer stumbling upon the discovery of artifacts from another realm with wonders that extended far beyond the mind's ability to perceive. That is the best description I can provide for what is felt when one steps into the Chancellor's chamber. The décor was composed of art and trinkets from his many travels throughout the galaxy and each piece was as familiar to him as if it had been crafted from his very fingertips. It was often that he found himself in a peaceful sort of meditation when gazing upon the beauty of his collection, so intimate did his affections run. Therefore, it made the unease he was now feeling all the more unsettling.

Down the hall Sidious went, shunning his own weakness and hesitation. However, before he let the doors shut behind him, he made another glance through his apartments just to make sure nothing was out of place. The face of his old master was still prominent enough in his mind to warrant that.

Reception-room, Royal suite, and private quarters all untouched by any ghostly visitors.

Satisfied, although still alert as to the disturbance he felt in the Force, he let his door shut and made sure that it locked from the inside. Shaking his head, Sidious crossed to his closet and began to dress down for bed. Donning his nightgown he withdrew from his cabinet a bottle of Sullustan wine, poured himself a glass, and then settled down in his chair, intent on relaxation. Upon his wall hung a tapestry that woven throughout held the history of the Republic. There were Imperials and their armies, Emperors and Chancellors, Sith, Angels hailing from Iego to sing the praises of the Jedi who rose from the darkness intent on lifting the Republic from the ash. Looking upon the faces of the souls of millennia past one would believe that there would have been enough to distract him from the one soul that seemed to still haunt him, but be damned if through his mind the tapestry did not transform and he saw the face of Plagueis upon every figure.

Sidious cursed again and, sitting his glass down, he began to pace across the room.

After a while, he retook his seat. Rubbing the bridge of his nose he focused his eyes on the small signal light above his door, long out of use as no one was permitted passage down the corridor where he kept his chambers, let alone allowed inside the chambers themselves. This fact could perhaps explain why the terrible feeling of dread struck him once more when the crimson light found his eyes and the ringing chime found his ears- as did every other chime within 500 Republic, as loudly as it did seem to him.

The length of this phenomenon was a mystery to him, but, if he had to reckon, it had lasted an eternity. The chimes ended as abruptly as they had started. What followed next, perhaps, was even more to his distaste. A scraping, clanking sort of noise, as if someone was dragging a heavy chain throughout the halls of the outside apartments. Sidious then remembered his previous thoughts of the chains of power and fought to force the recollection from his mind.

The doors to the Royal Suite were burst open with a boom that they were not designed to emit, and then the sound became louder throughout his apartments and seemed to wind its way to the base of the corridor that led to the bedchamber; then coming straight towards his door.

"It cannot be!" said Sidious. "I don't believe it!"

His spirit fell though, when, without warning, the figure came through the door and entered into his chamber before Sidious had time to blink. Upon its entering, Sidious felt the will of the Force shift, burning through his own spirit like wildfire. "I know him! Plagueis!"

The same figure: the very same. Untouched, it seems, from the passage of time, save for the shackles he wore. The chain he dragged wrapped about his waist and fell in a heap on the ground. It was long enough, Sidious surmised, that if it were to be thrown off the edge of his balcony, it would fall all the way to the streets below with links still to spare. The chain was made (for Sidious observed every detail) of heavy books, enlarged vials, operation equipment, concreted boxes that resembled testing cages, shattered holocrons, and sabers weighed down with steel; the links themselves emitted a low, drawling cackle and Sidious knew that it pulsed with Sith lightening, which kept the spirit of the Muun in a constant agony.

It had often been said that Hego Damask was soulless, but, evidently, those rumors were false.

Though, fighting against what he knew to be true, he looked upon the Sith phantom and its frigid gaze with a feeling of stern, unfaltering disbelief.

"What is this!" said Sidious, as callous as ever. "What could you possibly want with me, the one who struck you down?"

"More than you can provide." Plagueis said- the voice was unmistakable.

"Who are you?"

"Perhaps you should inquire who I was."

"Who were you then?" Said Sidious, who already knew his answer.

"Before you took my life I was your master, Darth Plagueis."

Sidious looked the floating figure up and down before adding, "are you able to sit?"

"Yes."

"Then, please." Sidious said, motioning to the chair opposite him.

Sidious had asked the question, not out of any real concern for the spirit's abilities, but because if the figure were unable to do so then it might require a bit of an explanation, which would involve this meeting to stretch on all the longer than it had to. However, that was not the case, for Plagueis sat and looked upon him as he had many a time within his residence on Sojourn.

"You doubt what you see," observed Plagueis.

"I do," said Sidious.

"Are you so arrogant in your seat of power that you think yourself beyond the grip of the netherworld?"

"At this point, I am uncertain."

"Why do you go against your feelings?"

"Because," said Sidious, "the Force has been restless of late. The Dark Side now reigns supreme, yet that does not mean the Jedi do not fight. As such, it is possible that any little thing could upset perception. You may be an undigested bit of steak, a bubble of broth, a crumb of Hayla, a fragment of underdone Corellian potato. There is more of gravy that of grave about you, I'll tell you that!"

At this lighting shot from the spirit's body in enormous forks as Plagueis wailed and seized in agony. The chain was shaken with such violent tremors that Sidious found himself gripping the chair to keep from falling feint. But his horror grew to unnatural heights when Plagueis removed his respirator to free an elongated piece of his decaying jaw to fall with a slick to his chest!

Sidious fell to his knees in a frail attempt at a bow.

"Wait!" he said. "What is they bidding, my old master?"

"Fool!" the Ghost said as the lightening returned to its place inside of his body. "Do you see me now or not?"

"Yes," said Sidious. "I have no other choice, but why have you come to me? You've been dead ten years now!"

"When you struck me down in my sleep you did so with the confidence that you could fulfill your destiny alone. That you could restore the Sith to their rightful place as the rulers of the galaxy. Now, however, your arrogance has become a weakness. A weakness that is impeding upon your ability to succeed. You're turning your allies against you in such a way that stands to squander the efforts that took a millennium to forge!"

Again the lightening sent the spirit writhing and the chain shook fiercely.

"You wear chains, Master," said Sidious. "Why?"

"I wear the chain of the torment devised of my own design," Plagueis replied. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard. Every murder, every failure, every ounce of suffering caused by my hands is what forged the metal that binds me now. Look closely, for you should know its design well."

Again, Sidious shuddered.

"Or would you know the weight and length of the chain you wear? For it was the twin of mine ten full years ago. How much weight have you added since then? It is ponderous indeed."

Though Sidious looked around and saw nothing, suddenly he felt a great weight descend on him and he found it difficult to keep himself upright.

"Master," he said, imploringly. "Plagueis, continue on. But I implore you, speak to me some shred of peace."

"I have none to give," the Muun replied. "It would befit you to know that for the latter part of my life I never left the confines of my lair where I sought immortality through the murder and rebirth of countless victims. Now I am forced to move for eternity, watching those who still live, watching those who did not share my ignorance, always without rest or reprieve, for it was sleep that was the mistake that turned me into such a hopeless, powerless, soul. Now power is what binds me! I would do anything to rid myself of it."

Meditating on the words of the spirit, Sidious said, "Ten years dead and never a moment of rest?"

"Never. And not feeling any less than a tortured despair."

"Is your pace a quick one?"

"You saw how quickly I came upon you."

"You must have covered a lot of ground in ten years."

The Sith spirit wailed again as the lightening engulfed him once more and the chain thrashed about in the likeness of a den of angry serpents.

"Hear me!" cried the Ghost. "My time is nearly gone."

"I will," said Sidious. "But if you wish to unleash your wrath you had best do it now!"

"The way that you are able to see me now as I stand before you is a secret that I care not to share, but know this: there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not been watching you."

It was not an unexpected comment, but Sidious could not help but shudder nevertheless.

"That is no joy for me, I assure you," continued the Ghost. "I come tonight with a warning for you, that there is still hope for you to escape this fate. Consider this my one true gift to you, my old apprentice."

"You were always so wise, Plagueis," said Sidious. "You ever governed me well."

"You will be haunted," resumed the Ghost. "by Three Spirits."

Sidious's eyes widened, ever slightly, but he nodded.

"Is this my hope?"

"Yes."

"As I mentioned, Plagueis, you were always so wise. However I do not believe that will be necessary. I have succeeded in the Plan thus far and I do not foresee that I will fail. And there is little that I do not foresee," Sidious said.

"Without their visits," said the Sith's spirit, "you will have little chance of shunning my fate- let alone surviving to crown yourself 'Emperor'. Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls One."

"If I must go through with this, couldn't I just meet them all at once and let it be done with, My Lord?" said Sidious.

"The second shall arrive the next night at the same time. The third the next night as soon as the twelfth stroke of midnight is threw. I would suggest you hold on to what you have seen tonight- it may save you from an eternity of torment. I shall appear to you no more."

With that, the sprit shot through the doors and down the corridor, ensnaring Sidious in the knot of his chain, dragging him through his apartments at a frightening speed. As they approached the window that looked upon his balcony, Sidious became acutely aware of a discombobulated jumble of lamentations and hopelessness. Plagueis listened for a moment and then faded into the shadows of the night to join the chorus of damnation.

As he did so, the specter jerked his chain one last time and Sidious was sent through the window and doubled over balcony railing just as the last link of the chain unraveled from his person. Despite his better judgment, Sidious decided to look upon the city.

The sky was filled with phantoms, moving in an incredible hurry, but never reaching any given destination, moaning and weeping as they did so. Each of them wore a chain like Plagueis's Ghost- although not all were quite as long. A great many of them Sidious had known in life. One figure being that of the Gran, Pax Teem, whom Sidious had burned alive, exactly three decades before. The misery of each of them was obviously that they sought to make progress, they sought to right the wrongs, but their torment was that they had lost their power- forever.

Sidious was uncertain as to how, exactly, the spirits had left his sight, or was he entirely sure as to whether or not they had been there at all. But sure enough, with another blink of his eye, the specters were gone.

Sidious stepped away from the railing and closed the windows (how they were not broken was another phenomenon altogether) and relocked all the doors through which the spirit had entered that led to his chambers. He tried to curse again but the words caught in his throat and the only thing that he still had energy enough to do was down his glass of wine, find his way to his bed, and fall asleep the moment his head hit the pillow.


Author's Note:

First and foremost I thank you for reading this far. My purpose for writing this is to make as close to cannon adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel as possible. As such, I believe it is prudent for me to mention that I- in no way- intend to take Dickens' words as my own. The Characters are Lucas's, the skeleton of the tale belongs to Dickens; the way that they are woven together is all that I take credit for. All that I am trying to do is stay true to Dickens' style.

For this story, more so than any other that I have written, I ask you for your feedback. This is a challenge for me- I plan to have the entire story finished by Christmas Day, so please, tell me what you think! (Review or PM, all the same to me at this point)

Special thanks to DarkJediJade who once again provided the cover art for this story, as well as support as I tried to make this work!