It was a quiet night on the ECLIPSE as it headed toward Zoron. The Emperor sat before his desk to check up on his transmitted mail. Scanning through his datascreen carefully, he paused at one letter with a curious glance.. To: Emperor Palpatine, ESD Eclipse From: Empress Azarra, Imperial Palace Majesty, I sent this via the regular channels since it wasn't urgent, but does need to be taken care of. I realize that you are still deeply enmeshed in the training of your new apprentice, but I recall from our late-night conversation that you still are concerned about your "public image". The timing of this communique, then, could not be better. I hope you will give this the consideration it deserves and let me know if I can be of any assistance in setting the wheels in motion for this bold venture. Azarra Palpatine pressed the button for the next screen and began to read... GalactiK-Mart Corporate Headquarters Coruscant Emperor Palpatine Imperial Palace Coruscant Your Imperial Majesty, As GalactiK-Mart is widely acknowledged to be the supreme retailer in all sectors of known space, we feel it only appropriate that YOU be our new spokesperson for the Blue Light Specials for which our stores are renowned. Your unique blue lightning talent will highlight the promotion of our products while emphasizing our electrifying values. Of course, you would be generously compensated for your endorsement, either in merchandise or a donation to the Songlark Foundation, widely known to be your favorite charity. We await your answer on this monumental opportunity. Sincerely, Shaemlus Plugg Shaemlus Plugg Chairman of Marketing Palpatine's gritted his teeth as he sat stunned, staring at the datascreen for a long time. "Azarra is behind this, there is no doubt." he murmured. He touched the dictation bar on his console and immediately began a reply - not to the business letter, but to Azarra's... To: Empress Azarra, Imperial Palace/Coruscant From: Emperor Palpatine, ESD ECLIPSE I think it beneath you to connive these ridiculous schemes, Azarra!! You knew very well that I would have NO interest in being some "Blue Light" endorser for some obnoxious retail chain! And the LAST donation I would make would be to that *idiotic* Songlark Foundation of yours! The mere idea of your forwarding such a letter is clearly... The Emperor paused angerly, rose from his chair and paced the room, his dark robes billowing around him. He suddenly paused and turned around and stared back at the blinking datascreen on his desk. Various words came to mind as he considered how to finish the last sentence - and then he kept thinking of the wording in the business letter..."unique blue lightning talent".... "electrifying values." Mental images played in his head and slowly a smile began to form on his ancient face. He moved toward the elongated viewscreen of the star-studded universe that his office provided and found himself chuckling to himself. Soon he was doubling over in uncontrollable laughter. "Azarra..." he said aloud, shaking his cowled head, "You may be the most infuriating woman I have ever known, but you at least keep my life *interesting*!" Then, with a grin, he returned to his desk to clear the screen and begin a letter of response to the President of GalactiK-Mart and Mr. Plugg's superior to reject the offer and to make certain that the head of Marketing was terminated but good.
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