Rogue 1.5

Having seen the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, I think we can all agree it was better than the lackluster rehash that was The Force Awakens, and vastly superior to execrable prequels. Having said that, viewing it in the larger context of the Star Wars whole does complicate matters. Rather than a by the numbers review, I thought I would address these points by adding on a post credits sequence that I think would have really cleared things up.

Oh, EXTREME SPOILERS for Rogue One, by the way.

I’m not even kidding. Here there be spoilers.

Spoilers, yo!

Ok, you were warned enough. Here we go.

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INT – PALPATINE’S THRONE ROOM

Emperor Palpatine is seated on his throne. Beside him is Darth Vader, breathing like an asthmatic trying to do chin ups. In front of them stands an Imperial actuary in a smart uniform with a clipboard.

ACTUARY
And so you can see, we achieved a 300% increase in combat effectiveness with the use of simple hand grenades…

PALPATINE
No grenades.

ACTUARY
Why no grenades? Literally every main character, er, rebel agent of any import was killed by a grenade or an explosion of some sort during that last skirmish.

PALPATINE
I don’t like them. I have already gotten the rebels to agree to no grenades. No grenades.

ACTUARY
If you will forgive me, your highness, they were very effective. Ridiculously, stupidly effective. The rebels probably can’t even afford that many grenades, which is why they’d be eager to agree to such terms. Meanwhile we’ve been blowing our budget on ineffective plastic armor for the Stormtroopers.

PALPATINE
I am done talking about this.

ACTUARY
Very well. That brings us to the matter of Galen Erso. I understand we murdered his wife in front of him.

PALPATINE laughing darkly
Yesssssssssss.

ACTUARY
Was anyone at all concerned about this? How it might affect the quality of his work?

PALPATINE
Not really.

ACTUARY
Do we have something on this guy? Are we blackmailing him with information that would ensure compliance? Like… Does he eat people? Because that would be great to know. He really wouldn’t want that getting out. Being a cannibal.

PALPATINE
No. That is a completely different show.

ACTUARY
Did we at least have people peer review what he was doing? Any oversight on his transmissions?

PALPATINE
No. You have to trust your people, you know. It is what good leaders do. Delegate.

ACTUARY
Look, there is delegation, then their abdicating your responsibility to ensure the safety and security of…

Vader begins force choking the Actuary.  The Actuary gags and gasps until Emperor Palpatine waves his hand and releases the man.

PALPATINE
How did you like that, eh?

ACTUARY
I… I didn’t.

PALPATINE
I bet not. We’ve got more where that came from, you know.

ACTUARY
Can I just… Is that like a sexual thing for you guys? Does it turn you on?

VADER, defensively
No! I just choke people. And then my heart rate increases and my breathing gets faster and my blood pressure goes up.

ACTUARY
You are describing arousal…

VADER
And then little Vader gets excited and stands up to look around and see what is going on…

ACTUARY
Still describing arousal…

PALPATINE
Enough of this. Did you have further questions, or must you insist on wasting the time of this august body?

ACTUARY
Of course. My apologies.I’d like to talk about Eadu if we may.

PALPATINE
Of course.

ACTUARY
Am I to understand we had a shield that covered the entire planet and made it immune to penetration by both weapons systems and ships?

PALPATINE
Yes. It is an impressive piece of technology and we did not steal the idea from the movie Space Balls.

ACTUARY
Of course not. And are we putting this same shield on your… Death Star?

PALPATINE
No.

ACTUARY
Can I ask why not? It seems like that would be an excellent precautionary measure.

PALPATINE
That shit won’t work.

ACTUARY
But why? It…

Vader begins force choking the Actuary again. The Actuary gags and chokes, falling to his knees.

PALPATINE
Oh my God! You were right! He totally has an erection right now!

Vader loses his concentration, dropping the force choke. The Actuary stands back up.

VADER
Wait, what?

PALPATINE
Oh, when I was rebuilding you I had them put in a bunch of sensors so I could monitor your… you know what? Never mind.

Pause.

ACTUARY
Awkward… Moving along. Now the data the rebels stole. I understand they transmitted from the surface using an imperial dish. Do we know what they transmitted?

PALPATINE
Not a clue.

ACTUARY
None of ships picked up the blast of data from the planet’s surface…

PALPATINE
Our shit didn’t work.

ACTUARY
You know, our technology seems incredibly fickle, like it only works in a very specific set of circumstances that… Whatever. Fine. I understand Tarkin gave the order to fire on the facility. Is that correct?

PALPATINE
Correct.

ACTUARY
And he did this despite the fact that the rebels were fleeing and we could have examined the missing drive to determine what was transmitted, or reviewed the outbound logs for the planet, which Director Krennic alluded to them keeping, to determine what was sent?

PALPATINE
I mean, I guess so.

ACTUARY
Do you have any idea how damaging it is to troop morale to fire on your own people? Please tell me you fired him.

PALPATINE
No. I put him in charge of the Death Star. Forever.

ACTUARY
Of course you did. Great. That’s great. And that brings us to you, Lord Vader. I understand you chased the rebel holding the plans at a brisk walk.

VADER
Correct.

ACTUARY
And cornered said rebel, who slid the plans through the door.

VADER
Correct.

ACTUARY
And at no point did it occur to you to rip the plans from his hand with your force powers, even though we saw you do that seconds before with the rebels’ blaster weapons, or to throw your lightsaber, or force choke him into submission, or anything?

VADER
Uh… I forgot.

ACTUARY
You forgot.

VADER
I forgot I could do that stuff. Yes.

ACTUARY
And where are Tarkin and this Death Star headed now?

PALPATINE
Alderaan.

ACTUARY
And why are they going to Alderaan?

PALPATINE
So that when we capture Princess Leia we can demonstrate the power of this fully armed and operation battlestation!

ACTUARY
Right. And you need to demonstrate this to her despite the fact she watched you use your super weapon on Eadu and will would likely mention something to that effect?

PALPATINE
Oh, she won’t do that.

ACTUARY
Really? Because that seems kind of important. Like she’d at least bring that up…

PALPATINE
Won’t happen.

ACTUARY
You know what? Fine. Final question. Given that you are seemingly unconcerned with collateral damage or the damage to morale caused by firing on your own troops, can you explain why you had to go through this convoluted effort to build not one, but two secret armies to wage war against each other so you could destroy the Jedi and take over the republic when you could have just as easily waited to finish building the Death Star and fired directly on the Jedi Temple, killing them all in one go? I mean, it is not like they’d have seen it coming given they were standing right next to you multiple times and could not tell you are a Sith lord.

PALPATINE
Well, I, that is… actually a way better plan.

Palpatine begins using force lighnting the Actuary. The man writhes and screams as bolts of blue electricity arc through his body

PALPATINE
Oh my God! I have the biggest boner right now!

END SCENE

How to Petition Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headphones

How to Petition Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headphones Over the Sensory Organs We Might Crudely Refer to as Ears

These days, many entities who exist on the frayed edges of of our reality are cruel and capricious monsters who have turned their multitudinous eyes elsewhere in the cosmos.

That does not mean you cannot petition their favor.

Not all entities are receptive to entreaties from pitiful creatures they consider beneath their notice, and will gladly consume the minds of any who dare to speak their name, leaving an empty, soulless husk. A drooling shell of what was once a man.

However, some things from beyond the realms of humanity are eager for supplicants and vassals who will work their dark will upon the face of our world, turning it into a hellish landscape of ceaseless suffering and torment. These blighted overlords will be happy to hear your pleas and invest you with a portion of their power, blackening your soul and damning you to an eternity in their thrall in exchange for power over your own kind. The ability to subjugate your fellow humans in the dark bondage of your new master.

Of course, their willingness to hear your mewling does not mean they will not crush your flesh, leaving a ruined mass of shattered bones and bleeding tissues, your organs sent to the far flung nine corners of their domain to be gnawed on by things that cannot exist in our universe. This is the risk you take when you dare to traverse where your brethren rightly fear to tread.

Approaching and Talking to Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headpohnes

First, you must find an ancient grimoire bound in human flesh, stained with blood and the passing of ages. Within the yellowed, cracking pages, you must find a ritual called The Black Sacrament. Beware corrupted versions of this incantation, as they will surely call the unwanted notice of far fouler beasts.

The seller will likely make many demands of you. Fulfill them to your utmost, and be willing to offer anything. Have no fear, this unfortunate degenerate shall be the first to be annihilated when you assume your new form. Your promises mean nothing.

Pour out a circle of salt and stand within. As you begin chanting the blasphemous words that dance before your eyes, you will feel your sanity begin to strain and slip. At this point you may go insane, forever lost to the terrible truths to which you have opened your mind. Persist in your efforts.

Next you must produce a sacrificial dagger forced from the black ore found only in the Mines of Gibbering Madness and tempered in the blood of goats. It must be goat blood. Rams’ blood will not work. Cows’ blood will cause you to be atomized and scattered into the realms of pain, where you will be tortured eternally by the howling winds.

With the dagger, slice into the flesh of your forearm, peeling your skin back from the muscle. Continue until you are able to hold your flayed arm aloft, proclaiming you have done so in the name of Brilzug, the Lord of Flaying. It is important you not allow any blood to fall outside the salt circle. Doing so will result in you being consumed in a pillar of flame.

Summoned by the scent of your blood on the wind, you should now have its full attention. At this point, Its many lidless eyes will likely have turned to gaze upon you balefully, the full weight of Its terrible majesty made manifest through the rent you have opened into Its world. It will slowly remove the headphones that It might listen to your pitiful words. All will stand revealed as you stand on the precipice of dark apotheosis.

The rest is up to you. Speak plainly and clearly, making your desires known. Bargain wisely, as you are weak and easily destroyed by this terrible thing that should not exist. Your new life begins now, your will lashed to that of your hideous master.

Common Mistakes that Mortals Make When Approaching Brilzug the Lord of Flaying When It is Wearing Headphones

1. Approaching in a nervous manner

Only the mighty are worth of serving Brilzug. The weak are to be fodder for the strong. All shall suffer in the coming world, and the weak will be the first to fall.

2. Giving up too easily

Headphones are a great barrier between a vile thing of darkness and the world, but not as great as the void keeping our realities from commingling.

Some of these creatures are more than capable of manifesting on their own, but they want supplicants with strength and confidence, and they like to test their followers with arcane rituals and difficult acts of faith.

Those who give up too easily or feel shame at their actions are marked as cowards and will be forced to watch as they love is brought to ruin before their flesh is twisted and they are made to spend eternity writhing in endless pain.

3. Not leading the conversation

Brilzug has no need of you, human. You are weak and pathetic. You approached It. You must make you entreaties and show you are worth of Its vile caress.

4. Sticking to polite or reserved conversation

Brilzug is the lord of Flaying. Politeness and reservation went out the window long ago. Get to the point and do it quickly, meat sack, lest it grow weary of your prattling and devour you whole.

5. Not including sacrifices

Lords of Flaying love gifts. The bloodier, the better. You will be called on for frequent sacrifice while in Its thrall. You will be made to offer up that which you hold most dear. This is the price of power. These are the wages that must be paid. You shall know strength, but only at the cost of suffering. You shall be made again in Its terrible image.

Scorpion Chronicles 37

Scorpion, do you like the accommodations I have prepared for you? I must admit, you are the first of your kind I’ve seen since I prepared my home for you. Given how you spasmed and twitched before I ever gifted you with my ministrations, I assume they had the desired effect. Welcome. Welcome to your doom. Writ large across the cinder block fence. Sprayed and pumped until the very earth has turned against you. The soil itself rejects your presence here. There is nothing for you but painful death. So welcome. Welcome one and all. I will grind you under my heel and feast on your lamentations.

Scorpion Chronicles 36

Scorpion:It matters not if you come by ones or twos or dozens. The result is same. Fields ripe with your rotting dead. A harvest of corpses. Can you count the cost of endless attempts to encroach on my home? Or would the exercise merely drive you to ponder the futility of your endeavor? Are you capable of reflection, or simply biological machines meant to sacrifice yourselves as grist for my unquenchable mill? Continue, by all means. Keep your advance until the way is choked by your incalculable dead. You shall find me at the ready.

Scorpion Chronicles 35

If familiarity breeds contempt, what then does that make us, scorpion? Opposite sides of a single coin? Hate fueled former brethren? Or is familiarity merely one of many things that breeds contempt? It could be other factors are at play. Your insipid scuttling on your belly. Your wretched faces. Your cowardly attempts to hide. None of it matters. A thing must always act according to its nature. It is in my nature to destroy you. To crush you utterly. It is in your nature to fall beneath my heel. To fail completely. I shall meet others of your kind again soon and see that they fulfill their destiny.

Scorpion Chronicles 34

Scorpion: I must credit you. You made it farther than your more languid kin. I found you on the exterior of my home instead of the surrounding walls. Did you hope to gain ingress through the window you so frantically capered about? Did you imagine yourself capable of confronting the beast within its lair? What dreams did you nurture inside your fevered little brain? No matter. Those dreams died with you. All your struggle. All your toil. Everything in vain. The sum of your life amounts to the nothing your wretched spirit has joined with. I have unmade all that you are or ever will become. Your shattered remains are all that is left of you. A sign post to warn your kin of the fate that awaits them. Perhaps your only legacy is to serve as warning to others. Leave this place. Turn back before it is too late. These are the killing fields, and death stalks the night, black and terrible.

Scorpion Chronicles 33

Scorpions: Perhaps you play the long game, hoping you can simply outlast me. Again, your plans have been thwarted. My youngest has joined the hunt, as he shares my thirst for your blood. You cannot escape your fate. You cannot wait on your aggressors to cease the hunt. Surrender means death. Retreat is your only option. Leave this place. Leave in shame and disgrace. Leave and the pain will be over. However, never let your fear wane. Never let dread of this place slip from your mind. Never seek to return, for you shall find us waiting. Nurture your terror as a flame, and feed it to your children, that it may burn ever bright, lighting your path from here.

Scorpion Chronicles 32

Scorpion: You only exist so long as you remain beneath my notice. Your life is predicated upon the dereliction of my chosen duty. What a pity for you that I am resolute. That my will is unshakable. Perhaps you should appeal to me for mercy. Or direct your cries to the heavens for redemption. Neither is soon in the coming. For you there is only suffering and death. Come join me in this dance. Together we shall weave the tapestry of your doom.

Scorpion Chronicles 31

Scorpion: Was the prior evening’s slaughter insufficient? Did you look upon your many dead and simply think to yourself that the pile of corpses looked forlorn? What madness drove you to climb my walls once more? In the end it does not matter. Whether you come alone or in pairs or by the dozen the result is the same. This is a place barren of hope for you. It might well be the surface of an alien and inhospitable world for all your hope of survival here. A landscape of nightmares and death. I will crush you, not because I can, but because I must.

Scorpion Chronicles 30

Scorpions. It was a bountiful harvest. There were so many of you. Was it the leap day that drove you from your holes, or did you dream me weak in my state of suffering? Fools. Pain has only sharpened my hatred. Agony is a whetstone for my contempt. I may have ran a marathon, but I can always spare another step to crush you under foot. Brutalizing you has given me resolve. I would gladly cross another 26 miles to bring you death and ruin. A delivery of vengeance. A parcel of slaughter. Postage due. The cost being your very lives.