Cover ?| ?Archive ?| ?Crime ?| ?Fantasy/SF ?| ?Popular ?| ?Historical ?| ?Comics ?| ?Non-Fiction ?| ?Children's ?| ?

Table of Contents ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Star Wars Dark Emperor







Fantasy & SF







Feature Articles


New ALLISON & BUSBY titles

Scene of the Crime

Yen Press Manga

What makes a classic book?

Judging a book by its cover

Introducing the Original Dangerous Books for Boys

Interview: James Delingpole

Nostalgia: Things are what they used to be!

Nostalgia Central: Carlton Books

Elizabeth Chayne's Reading Room

Personalised Noddy Books from Harper Collins


Stories and Serials


Phyllis Owen: A Soft White Cloud Chapter Four

Gareth Owen: Poem

Paul Norman: Daylights

Paul Norman: Heraklion ~ Outcast

Star Wars: Dark Emperor

Owen Owen's Gallery


Marvel comics

Top Cow comics

Image Comics

DC Comics

Dark Horse Comics

Devil's Due?Comics




Within a few days, the violent incidents surrounding the attempted coup had been mostly covered up. Sovereign Protectors told no tales, nor did Rollo Mon, so the knowledge of Palpatine's vulnerability, his lack of any mature clones, did not reach the ears of anyone else. The reason for the destruction of the city of adepts, however, was made common knowledge. It was 'revealed' that several adepts had plotted treason, that their scheme had been discovered before it could be implemented, and that all the traitors had been killed by Palpatine's power in the Force Storm. It was a lesson that would never be forgotten.

Palpatine had returned with the Eclipse, having decided to delay any further use of the ship while he attended to the damage on Byss. He made himself highly visible, and all who saw him could feel his new strength, and were more than a little afraid.

The Emperor was back.

Then, the time came for a decision regarding an important matter. Palpatine's eyes were hard and cold as he stared, brooding, at the Constable of Homunculi. Rollo Mon produced a small cryocontainer and placed it on the table between them.

"It is up to you, Master. We can clone him, make him any age you like. Then there is the question of what memories to give him..."

Palpatine's voice was distant. "We actually discussed this, he and I, a year ago. He thought I might want to bring him back this way, when he was gone. But he had this belief that he was my father..." Rollo Mon's eyes widened, but Palpatine only shook his head no. There was no reason to let Rollo Mon know the truth about Pestage, or what had really happened. That of course, Palpatine had once had parents like any other being. That when he was chosen by the dark side, no place remained in his life for such relationships. That only now, when Sate Pestage was gone, did he realize that the old man had meant something to him. "He said he didn't want anyone else to claim that honor, even if they were a clone of himself. Yes, Constable, clone him, but make him like he was ten years ago. Implant the things he needs to know to be my personal servant, to be the Emperor's Grand Vizier, but nothing more."

Rollo Mon stood and bowed. "It shall be as you desire, Master." He left Palpatine alone.

Palpatine was the undisputed Master of the dark side of the Force, and he had no companions left. His piercing yellow eyes gazed from a face that was unlined, but empty. Those eyes avoided the chair that Sate Pestage used to sit in when they shared their meals. The way of the dark side was the way of isolation, of personal aggrandizement at the expense of all other relationships. Palpatine wondered if it was really that fact that had killed Sate Pestage.

He could think of only one way to honor him. When next he met Luke Skywalker, as he knew he would, Palpatine would do as Pestage had wanted, and approach his enemy as a potential ally. Palpatine's power of vision had returned, and he could still see Skywalker kneeling before him, saying, "My father's destiny is my own." But the boy was not ready to join him, not yet. In a few years, perhaps. He still had to learn the limits of what he could do with the light side. When Skywalker was ready, Palpatine would make his move, and the last of the Jedi would belong to him. It would be fitting vengeance on the rest of his enemies to turn their greatest hope against them.

Palpatine laughed his old laugh, a sound of sadistic mirth. Great things were coming to him. The galaxy would become his Dark Empire. And how could it not be so? For who could resist the power of the dark side...forever ?

Gateway is published by Paul Edmund Norman on the first day of each month. Hosting is by Flying Porcupine at - and web design by Gateway. Submitting to Gateway: Basically, all you need do is e-mail it along and I'll consider it - it can be any length, if it's very long I'll serialise it, if it's medium-length I'll put it in as a novella, if it's a short story or a feature article it will go in as it comes. Payment is zero, I'm afraid, as I don't make any money from Gateway, I do it all for fun! For Advertising rates in Gateway please contact me at Should you be kind enough to want to send me books to review, please contact me by e-mail and I will gladly forward you my home address. Meanwhile, here's how to contact me:

Web hosting and domain names from Vision Internet?