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Stephen

Dawn of Terror

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Stephen

[Originally posted on Jedi.net on Oct 08, 2002]

? Epilogue ?

Years before he was voted to senatorial committee of Naboo, Dantius Palpatine was a normal upper-class child. His mother was a senator in the local government and was one of the richest women in the city. He did not know who his father was. The following tale is about the childhood life of the man who, later in his life, would become the most notorious dictator of all Galactic History.

----------------------------------------------------------

? 1 ?

?Dantius?? a female voice called from inside main hall.

A young boy with brownish-white hair lay on the lawn of green grass watching the clouds go by overhead.

?Dantius!? the voice said again.

He rolled his eyes and propped himself up out of the tall grass and called back, ?What, mother??

?Come inside and wash up,? she said lovingly, ?Your party will start soon. I want everything to be perfect!?

?Yes, mother,? he said disgustedly as he walked up the stone walkway.

Dantius hated birthdays. So many of his mother?s political friends pretending that they like the boy. Dantius had no friends, so his birthdays ended in hours of political debate. When he gave his opinions, all they did was laugh at his na?vet?. Sometimes he wished he were the ruler of the galaxy--he would get rid of all these petty politicians and show them how politically savvy he really was. Hours of listening to these debates had trained him well.

?Happy birthday, Master Dantius,? a squeaky, alien voice interrupted.

Dantius looked towards his personal servant. He was Chadra-Fan and the same height as Dantius. He was always dressed in a plain white tunic and prepared Dantius?s wardrobe and other trivial matters of daily life. He looked to his mirrored glass and saw his finest suit hanging up beside it.

?Mother wanted me to wear that?? he asked with a groan.

?Yes,? the servant answered, ?I know you don?t like the way the collar cuts into your neck, but she requested this outfit for you to wear. You really do look quite sharp in it, if you don?t mind me saying so, Sir.?

?Well, I do mind,? he snapped back. ?Go and tell Mother that I?ll be down shortly.? After noticing the alien?s hesitation he added, ?Lowark, leave me now!?

The alien bowed slightly and walked out of the young boy?s room. And made his way to give Madame Katrina the message.

This is going to be a long night, Dantius thought to himself as he disrobed.

* * * *

Dantius walked down the staircase into the main greeting hall and was received with applause from various senators and dignitaries. His mother?s eyes were tearing up. Dantius had to restrain himself from rolling his eyes and telling all these adults to leave.

How pathetic, he thought to himself. These adults have nothing better to do than attend a birthday party for a ten year old simply because his mother is rich.

An evil smile spread across his face as his mother came up to stand behind him. He felt her hands lay on his shoulders as she led him to the head of the large banquet table. The others followed the mother and son to the table and sat at their assigned seats.

?Thank you, everyone, for coming,? she said to the guests. ?I know how much Dantius and I enjoy your company for such a joyous occasion. My only son is now a decade old, and it seems like it was just yesterday when I had him in my lap at our senatorial meeting.? The table twittered with laughter at her comment while some nodded knowingly. Madame Katrina waited until the laughter settled down before continuing. ?I know that Dantius has my love for politics and I know he will do well next season when he goes off to the Senatorial School for Youth. Soon, he will join our ranks in keeping law and order for the people of Naboo.? Applause answered her last statement. ?Now, let us eat.?

Several alien servants entered with plates of a leafy salad for each guest along with a bowl of nerf stew. Lowark brought Dantius his salad and stew. The boys nose wrinkled; not at the smell of the food, but at the smell of the alien. It took him a few minutes to get gather his composure and eat his stew and salad. The guests broke into small conversations while they ate. Senator Horvak, a dark-skinned human, was talking with his mother.

?As you know,? Horvak was saying to his mother, ?Senator Doray has been trying to sweep support in my district and overthrow my leadership. I was hoping that since you and I share the same ideals and views that you might throw your support in my corner. Will that be possible??

?We shall see, Senator Horvak,? Madame Katrina replied, ?I have to go back to Coruscant next season to debate and vote on the new trading corporation of the Nemodians.?

?Ah, yes. The Trade Guild, correct??

?No, it?s the Trade Federation. You know how sharp-witted those Nemodians are. I do not particularly approve of the Federation. I have the feeling that they are doomed to fail. We shall see though.?

Hearing his name mentioned farther down the table distracted Dantius. He covered up his surprise by spearing a shaak steak smothered in brown gravy. He focused his hearing on a conversation between Senator Doray and a dignitary he didn?t know.

??not many friends. He has been around his mother all his life. Madame Katrina does not talk about the father of her son. It must be hard for her to talk about. I don?t know how Dantius handles his mother. She can be quite a handful sometimes. Maybe if he had some sort of stable father figure, he?? He stopped as he noticed the young boy glaring at him. His throat clenched up a little and he tried to clear it.

Dantius got up from the table and stormed out of the hall and up into his room. He took off his suit and threw it against the wall with a yell. Lowark entered and tried to calm him down, but to no avail.

?Master Dantius, you must calm down,? the bat-like alien pleaded.

?Calm down?? he replied. ?Calm down? That man up there was insulting my mother! He was insulting me! And he was insulting my father! I imagined myself strangling his throat until he was dead. I wish he were dead! I?ll kill him!"

?Master Dantius,? Lowark remarked, ?that?s murder. I?ve never heard you speak like this before. You never knew your father. Why do you care if he?s made fun of??

?What!?? he exclaimed. ?Now you are insulting me and my father!?

All his anger focused on one being now he reached out to grab the alien and blue lightning emerged from his fingertips and coursed into the Chadra-Fan. Dantius? eyes went wide with astonishment.

?I never liked you, Lowark,? he sneered. ?I despise aliens. They just aren?t as highly evolved as humans. And?you?re just plain ugly.

He focused his anger again and lightning sprang forth again and again until all that was left was a smoking corpse of what used to be a Chadra-Fan. He finally slumped to the floor staring at the corpse and his anger subsided. Confusion mounted in his mind. What had happened? What had he done? He flung himself on his bed and wept.

* * * *

Madame Katrina was shocked to see Dantius storm out of the room. She noticed who he was glaring at when he got up. The same man she and Senator Horvak were talking about?Senator Doray. He was presently rubbing his throat and breathing heavily. She composed herself and addressed her guests. ?Dantius must not be feeling well. I know you?ll understand when I ask you to allow me to leave you and go to my son.?

Senator Horvak stood and motioned for the other to do so as well. ?We understand, Madame Katrina. Go and be with your son. We will show ourselves out.?

Madame Katrina embraced Horvak?s hand in a friendly man. She mouthed the words, ?Thank you.? He winked back in reply.

As she made her way up the stairs to his room, the hair stood up on her neck and she felt cold. Well, that was strange, she thought to herself. She continued towards Dantius? room and the hairs prickled again. She began to smell a strange scent and couldn?t place it. It seemed to be coming from Dantius? room. When she opened the door, the smell overwhelmed her and she had to block her nose with the back of her hand. She saw the source of the burnt smell still smoking on the floor; she could tell who it was. Her son lay on his bed crying. She rushed to his side and hugged him.

?What happened, Dantius?? she asked. ?What happened to Lowark??

?I?I don?t know, Mother,? he replied between sobs. ?I heard?Senator Doray talking about?about you, me, and?and father.? When he noticed his mother?s face become angry and sad, he hesitated, but continued. ?I wanted to strangle him. I didn?t even want to look at his face anymore, so I came to my room. Lowark was trying to calm me down, but I was just so angry! He asked why I cared what people said about Father, and that drove me over the edge. Next thing I know, lightning is coming out of my fingers and?and I killed?I killed Lowark.? He began to sob uncontrollably into his mother?s bosom.

?I always feared this day would come,? she said out loud to herself. ?I guess it?s my fault really. I should have told you the truth a long time ago. This might not have happened if you had known how to control it.?

Dantius had stopped crying and was looking at his mother with unbelieving interest. ?Control what, Mother? What are you talking about??

?Your father, son. The truth about your father.?

Dantius couldn?t believe it. He had asked his mother about his father several times. Every time he brought the subject up, she would start crying and ask him not to talk about it. Now the moment of truth had come. Now he would find out who his father really was.

?About a year before you were born,? she began, ?I was engaged to a nobleman named Astor Palpatine. We loved each other very dearly. We were to be married on Coruscant in a private ceremony. After the ceremony, we were on our way to our reserved room at the Moon Gem Grand Hotel. On the way there, a cloaked man was strangling a group of alien beings. Astor was a patriot of justice and rushed to try and help the Chadra-Fan aliens. Before I could call Astor back, a red lightsaber beam of light went through his chest and he fell to the ground. It was then that the hooded figure noticed me. I was so scared I couldn?t move, and he came over to me. He touched his hand to my forehead and I blacked out. When I woke up, I was inside our hotel room. I thought it was all a dream. I looked for Astor and he was nowhere to be found. I went back to the place in my ?dream? where he was killed and there were security forces swarming all over. I knew that it wasn?t a dream. I came back to Naboo brokenhearted. A month or two later, I found out I was pregnant. This left only one possibility; the hooded figure had taken advantage of me. I had never been with a man before. He had a lightsaber, so I thought he was a Jedi. I heard on the HoloNet that a rogue Jedi had left the order and was running a rampage on Coruscant. The Jedi could not find the rogue Jedi, but said that he had turned to the darkside.? She looked into his eyes and was crying, ?So, Dantius, your father was a Dark Jedi. I was never sure if you had any of the power he had, but I see now that you do. I?m so sorry for not telling you sooner. Please forgive me, Dantius!?

Dantius didn?t know what to say. He stood there with his mouth agape not being able to make even a sound. He had used the Force to kill Lowark. He must never let his dark feelings affect him ever again. No one else would ever die from his hands again.

?Don?t worry, mother,? he said to her. ?It?s okay. I?m glad you have told me. I will not be like my father. I promise you. I?ll be like my true father Astor and become an advocate for justice?I will train to be a Jedi.?

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