Chapter 3 | Assuring Sith Success

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MOVING ON WITH THE GRAND PLAN

The death of Darth Maul has forced me to alter my plans slightly, but I am not dissuaded. There is nothing a Sith Lord cannot overcome.

A few days after Qui-Gon's funeral, Plagueis and I shared a meal together and discussed the next steps of the Grand Plan. We realized that the Trade Federation needed to evolve into a significant—meaning dangerous—force for the Republic to reckon with, but we felt it was not enough on its own. We also realized that the citizens of the Republic would never trust the droid armies that once attacked them and threatened their peace once the final phase of the Grand Plan was in motion. Thus, the Trade Federation on its own could not be redeemed in our eyes as a benevolent faction, especially since the financial audits proved too difficult to reconcile.

You see, over the years, a stunning discovery of the Trade Federation's (and other corporations) annual audit reports revealed that no one actually knows who holds the galaxy's debt. To finance debt, the Trade Federation (like any other galactic corporation or system) purchases bonds that are issued by authorized galactic banks (such as Damask Holdings) who sell bonds on behalf of the galactic systems. These bonds are then sold on the galactic financial markets. The list of bond holders is one of the galaxy's best kept secrets. Although the borrowing corporations pay interest to the holders, they technically could know who owns them. Yet a legally organized ordinance of ignorance forbids the disclosure of bond holder identities...or should I say the bonds holder, Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. You should recall, from my earlier entries, that his civil identity is that of a Muun Magister, Hego Damask, of Damask Holdings, one of the galaxy's most powerful and influential financiers and political lobbyists. Essentially, at the time, over fifty percent of the galaxy's public debt was illegitimate but the Senate was powerless to do anything about it. I understand how complicated all this must seem, but you must understand that your security and safety is priceless, and the Sith use this money wisely for the advancement of the Grand Plan.

So, where was I, oh yes...Plagueis and I decided it imperative for the Trade Federation to evolve into—or become part of—a greater threat to the galaxy. As a result, a few other key steps became clear to us:

The Republic would need an army of its own to defend itself and promote security. (The Sith would see to this.)The taxation of the trade routes by the Trade Federation would need to be increased over time. (I would see to this in the Senate.)The Trade Federation would be reorganized, along with other systems and corporations, into the Confederacy of Independent Systems. (The Sith would see to this.)The Republic would need increased income for public defense due to the Confederacy of Independent Systems incursions. (I would see to this in the Senate.)The interest revenues from bonds and loans would be funded through Damask Holdings to solicit and encourage support along the way.Viceroy Gunray would need to receive a sentence of innocence at his upcoming trial and then remain in his position in order to ensure the cooperation of the Trade Federation. (The Sith would see to this.) (After his arrest on Naboo, Gunray was taken to the Republic courts on Coruscant and charged with Acts of War.)I would befriend young Anakin Skywalker and undermine enhance his Jedi training so that he could later embrace a larger perspective of the Force (and become my Apprentice).

With Plagueis focused on the financial aspects of the Grand Plan (and his incessant research on cheating death), I was free to begin executing small steps in the Republic Senate. To this end, I realized that it was time to acquire the skills of a certain disgruntled and former Jedi Master that I had been associating with (as Palpatine) for some time now. (With Darth Maul dead, I was free to recruit a new Apprentice.)

Jedi Master Dooku had already snared the attention of the Sith. His frustrations with the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic allowed us to seed his mind with more disillusion about the established galactic life. During a mission on his homeworld of Serenno with his former Apprentice, Qui-Gon, his friend Sifo-Dyas, and Jedi Councilor Jocasta Nu, he met—and secretly became interested in—my master Darth Plagueis (as Hego Damask), who immediately sensed the torn nature of his soul.

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