This is when Plagueis took an interest in Dooku. (It is at this point that I realized Plagueis had secretly devised a back up plan incase I failed him. I was not amused.) On the upside, Plagueis (as Hego Damask) introduced Dooku to me (as Palpatine). Over time, I became one of his closest confidants. With eager pause I listened as he bellyached about the Jedi's inability to resolve anything. You can imagine what a source of information he was to Plagueis and I about the Jedi as well. I could tell that Dooku would become a Sith, but I wasn't sure how yet.
As it turns out, death is a powerful motivator. Dooku was furious when he learned of the death of Qui-Gon Jinn at the hands of a Sith Lord. A few days later, Dooku abandoned the Jedi Order, citing unreconcilable differences of opinion, and earned himself a place on the Lost Twenty roster—a silly list of Jedi who had left the Order for one reason or another. His release from the Order allowed him to return to his family and reclaim significant wealth and his royal title of Count of Serenno. But now I sensed he needed purpose, and I was happy to provide him with one.
We scheduled dinner at an out-of-the-way location so that I could speak openly and probe his mind. This would allow me to assess whether or not I would need to kill him at the end of our meal. When I offered my sympathies to the loss of his former Apprentice, he admitted to a desire of hunting down the second Sith Lord to exact revenge. To my pleasant surprise, he revealed that he had changed his mind and sought an alliance with the Sith. When I questioned him on the boldness of his decision, he told me that he now believed the Sith thought as he did and that they, in his estimation, had the resolve to accomplish the reformation of the galaxy. He also believed the Jedi shared accountability with the mystery Sith Lord as they were unable to foresee the return of the Sith.
My my, how far from grace he had fallen. I sensed disappointment, hurt, and anger churn in his soul as he spoke to me. I welcomed his candid words and thanked him. In return, I spoke with him (vaguely at first) about the Grand Plan. I felt his inner lust for power surge with every word I spoke. His keen intellect grasped the finer points of the plan and he re-expressed his disappointment with the Jedi, the Republic, and the Galactic Senate's corruption. He too wished to see a true power rise and extinguish the unscrupulous and corrupt bureaucrats from the galaxy.
As he spoke, I calculated that the financial resources at his disposal, his personal desire for power, and the surge of the Dark Side through his very being would be enough to make him my new Apprentice. There were a few (secret) matters that needed financial backing that I could not consult Plagueis on. I extended an offer to Dooku and laid down the rules. Without hesitation, he pledged his loyalties to me and I promised him greater power in the Dark Side of the Force.
After lunch, my new Apprentice, Darth Tyranus, took his place at my side and we began strategizing actions that would continue to bring Plagueis' Grand Plan into fruition. I'll be honest here, Tyranus' fate was already sealed as he pledged himself to my teachings. I already knew that Anakin, with his incredible Force-potential, would be my final Apprentice. It would take time, but together we would restore peace and order throughout the galaxy.
With a new Sith Apprentice in play, the time had come to restore the Rule of Two and destroy Plagueis once and for all. But before I get too carried away, I would like to elaborate on four of the key next steps that I just outlined. There are details that I feel you should know before I can move on to the next phase of the Grand Plan. You will find it most enlightening. Note these points are not in order.
THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
The Republic would need an army of its own to defend itself and promote security. (The Sith would see to this.)
After the invasion of Naboo had been dealt with, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas secretly traveled to Naboo (behind my—Palpatine's—back and that of the Jedi Council) and ordered a clone army for the Republic that would eventually be called into service by the Republic to defend against the attacking droid armies of the Trade Federation. Plagueis provided funds from Damask Holdings and Sifo-Dyas paid the Kaminoans.
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The Darker Side: Musings of the MasterScience Fiction
Emperor Palpatine's spies discovered Darth Vader's personal journal (The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster) hidden away in private databanks onboard his flagship Super Star Destroyer Executor. Quietly upset by Vader's musings and distractions, the Em...