Chapter 5 | A Galaxy Divided

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SIDIOUS, TALENT SCOUT

Mas Amedda, Maul, Gunray, Dooku, Poggle the Lesser, and Grievous. Names synonymous with victory and the strategic furtherance of the Grand Plan of the Sith.

Mas Amedda is the loyal servant and Vice Chancellor who manages the day-to-day minutiae that would otherwise bog me down and prevent me from achieving peace for the galaxy.

Maul...the dead Assassin.

Gunray is the feared (ha) leader of the Trade Federation and the respected (imagine that) spokesperson among his CIS peers.

Dooku is the ubiquitous manipulator politician and Sith Apprentice at my side. His covert maneuvering of galactic leadership greatly amuses me.

Poggle the Lesser is the leader of a species of technological masterminds who provided me with the "enemy army" and the brilliant plans for the Ultimate Weapon. His Genonosian research laboratories and droid factories are the sources of the ever-evolving CIS technologies and war droids.

Grievous is the Kaleesh cyborg warlord who leads the CIS armies against the Republic, and ultimately, against the Jedi who attacked him and nearly took his life.

These individuals, along with the easily deceived Senators (Bail Organa, Amidala, Binks, Aks Moe, etc.) and Anakin (and the rest of the Jedi) helped set the stage for the Clone Wars that—at this point in history—ravage the galaxy. I deemed it necessary at this time, however, to think ahead into the future to the final steps of the Grand Plan. I needed someone who had been through the wringer and had gained the respect of his military peers in Republic. Confirmed by the Force, I am pleased to share with you that the next name on the list is that of Wilhuff Tarkin.

Wilhuff, a member of the esteemed and wealthy Tarkin family, was born on Eriadu in the Seswenna sector, a planet once settled and tamed by his ancestors. Tarkin's strick military upbringing taught him valuable lessons about respect, discipline, and obedience—three exceedingly valuable traits of a strong military officer.

Those who trained him taught him the many tactics that he would later employ to hunt and tame the renegades of the Outer Rim. But more important to me than the hunting and survivalist skills his younger years taught him (through family rituals and training) was the military training he received in space combat as a young soldier. That said, his greatest asset as military leader is his ability to merge the hunting, survival, and wild-taming skills of his youth with the tactics of strategy and battle in the wildness of outer space.

Tarkin's first stint in the military came about through the Outland Regions Security Force. In the absence of the necessary Army of the Republic, Tarkin made a name for himself by outsmarting and squashing pirates and other marauders. At nineteen, he appeared on my radar when I learned—to my delight—of the brash officer who ruthlessly ended the chaos created by a particular set of pirates known as the Q'anah. After capturing their lead ship, he imprisoned them in their ship's brig and set the ship's autopilot on a direct course into a star. Any attempts at rescuing the doomed ship resulted in attack and destruction by Tarkin's Outland forces.

In addition to his growing military aptitude through study and action, he spent time designing newer, faster, and more efficient warships. (One of Tarkin's designs inspired the interdictor craft now known as a Star Destroyer.) He was a man of intense talent, and I knew I wanted him at my side when I met him at the Sullust Sector Spacefarers Academy. While I admired his efforts, I tested his resolve and encouraged him to a life of politics, which he politely refused. However, he did accept my assistance with admission to the Republic's Judicial Academy. Like Dooku and Anakin, Tarkin believed the Galactic Republic was crumbling beneath us and he believed the galaxy needed a stronger military dictatorship to fix things. Naturally, we got along famously.

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