The screen flickered and blinked into action illuminating an otherwise darkened chamber. A grimacing and pixelated face appeared on the monitor, eyes shrouded with the lip of a hood. The disfigured creature on the screen had skin pitted and scarred, hanging onto sharpened cheekbones and pointed nose. Gaping, open mouthed, and breathing heavily, what tombstone teeth that could be seen were sparse and rotten, thin lips turned down at the corners into a menacing scowl.
A deep, metallic voice within the dimly lit chamber gravely intoned to the phantasmagorical vision on screen: “Emperor Mong, recon droids have located the distress signal of a ship on an insignificant planet in the outer reaches of the cosmos. It’s him. I know it.”
The face on the screen spat mockingly: “I know. I know. But we must exercise caution Lord Vimto. The Rebels are not as weak as they first seem. You are a warrior I know and the warrior’s instinct urges him to attack at the strongest point first, to go for the talismanic leader in the hope that the weak will crumble when he falls. But the wily hunter picks off the weakest prey first, then the next, one by one. The warrior’s arrogance is his weakness. In a war of attrition, there can be only one winner. The hunter. The Rebellion leaders’ compassion for their subjugated and infirm will be their undoing. You’ll see that soon enough.”
“But this hunt is over master. Our reticence will be our downfall. While we concern ourselves with petty skirmishes and pointless diplomacy, the Rebels will grow in power. The prophecy foretells..”
“Silence Vimto! Speak not of the prophecy. You will do as I say. Princess Harden has sent message that the Rebel Alliance is willing to capitulate in exchange for the promise of peace. The Empire will be all consuming. Everywhere and everything. All at once. We will give them their peace. ..and then we will destroy them.”
“Very good … my master,” said the unseen metallic voice.
The screen fizzled out and Emperor Mong disappeared from sight, throwing the room, once again, into darkness.
“Tosser,” said the deep, metallic voice of Lord Vimto, “I just ask for one thing. One thing! It’s always the same. He’s fucking lost it.”
With a click of his fingers the room became fully illuminated. A purple gauntleted hand rose from beneath a similarly coloured shroud, pointing towards a panel on the far wall of the chamber, a red LED turned on: “The road is loooong, With many a wiiiinding turn, that leads us to whoooo? Who knows wheeere? Who knows wheeeen? But I’m stroooong, strong enough to caaarry hiiim. He ain’t heavyyy, he’s my br..” Lord Vimto waggled his finger again and the stereo switched off abruptly.