The Bridge of Death
by Elizabeth

Scene: The throne room in RotJ. The Emperor sits in his throne. Vader sits curled at his feet like a puppy. If he could be sucking his thumb, he would, but he can't (the helmet). Luke stands cockily before the throne.

Emperor: Answer me these questions three, ere the moon of Endor ye see.

Luke: (defiant) Ask your questions, I'm not afraid!

Emperor: Haven't you said that before?...Anyway. What is your name?

Luke: Luke Skywalker.

Emperor: What is your quest?

Luke: I seek to become a Jedi Knight, like my father before me.

Emperor: Why are A-wings so ugly?

Luke: I don't know that---Aaauugh! (Vader picks him up bodily and throws him down the reactor shaft.)

Emperor: Oh, that wasn't the real question; I was just curious--but OK. Cool. (chuckling) Who's next?

The Royal Guards (y'know, those red dudes) bring in the next contestant. It's Leia.

Emperor: Answer me these questions three, ere the moon of Endor ye see.

Leia: (throws back her head) You won't get anything from me!

Emperor: Right. What is your name?

Leia: Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.

Emperor: What is your quest?

Leia: I fight to free the galaxy of your tyranny.

Emperor: your favorite color?

Leia: (confused) White, but I don't see what that's got to do with--

The Emperor snaps his fingers at the Guards. A couple break off and fall to the floor. He grimaces.

Emperor: Take her to a shuttle. See that she returns safely to Endor. (He picks up his fingers.) Dammit. OK, next?

Enter Wicket the Ewok.

Emperor: What the...oh, whatever. Answer me these questions three, ere the moon of Endor ye see.

Wicket: Yubyub!

Emperor: (sighs) What is your name?

Wicket: (random Ewok gibberish)

The Emperor and Vader look at each other.

Emperor: That could very well be his name, you know. OK, what is your quest?

Wicket just tilts his head to the side in Ewok fashion.

Emperor: Aah, screw it. Stick him elsewhere for the time being and we'll have him for dinner later. Next?

As Vader yanks out a panel in the wall and stuffs Wicket inside, we hear a scuffling outside, and then the Royal Guards drag Wedge into the throne room.

Wedge: What is going on? Shoudn't I be inside this thing? Where's my X-wing?

Emperor: Small change of plans. Some AFWer got ahold of us at 2 am and, well, even with the Dark Side as my ally, I can't do a damn thing about it. So, answer me these questions three, ere the moon of Endor ye see.

Wedge: I'm not supposed to be on the moon, I'm supposed to be careening around inside this Death Star, blowing it up.

Emperor: Just answer the questions, man. What is your name?

Wedge: (bored) Wedge Antilles.

Emperor: What is your quest?

Wedge: I already told you, I gotta blow up this mass killing machine!

Emperor: Look, buddy, there are rules, OK? Now, what is the airspeed of an unladen Corellian light freighter?

Wedge: A YT-1300 or a YT-2400?

Emperor: Oh. I don't know that--AAAAAUUUUUGGHHHHHH!!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the reactor shaft.

Wedge: (continuing) ...because the 2400 is the newer model, and would therefore be faster. Of course, we could be talking about the Millenium Falcon here, which is a 1300, but has modifications up the yin-yang---

He is interrupted by a blast of freezing blue-tinted air blowing up from the bottom of the shaft. Vader shrugs and points Wedge to the door.

Wedge: Uh, this Death Star is not going to exist in a very short time, so I'd get the hell out if I were you.

Vader nods, and the two walk out together.

Wedge: (fading) So how'd you come to be Apprentice to a Dark Lord of the Sith, anyway?

Vader: Well, actually, he won me in a game of sabacc......


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