ansketil: (palpatine - all things)
[personal profile] ansketil
Title: Three Syllables
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars and am just mucking about with Palpatine.
Rating: G
Word Count: A couple of paragraphs - :P
Characters: Palpatine
Summary: Some sacrifices cost more than others.
Author's Note: This was meant to be my "Ten Things Palpatine" for [ profile] darth_eldritch, but instead it turned into this and I couldn't add anything else to it. A pleasant diversion while working on much longer stories. Just one of many possible explanations for the mystery that is Palpatine. 

It was an archaic tradition, rooted deeply in the obscure philosophies of his people. It began with an evening’s ceremonial farewell to your family, which doubtless would have made a touching scene if he’d had any. His foreign master was utterly indifferent to rituals of the Naboo. There was the thought of perhaps of talking to several of his lecturers at the University of Theed, but they knew the course he had decided on, and it would embarrass him for them to know there was no one else. In the end, he took a walk in the municipal gardens across from his residence and said his farewells to more mundane things than family.

Then came the night spent alone, supposedly wrestling with the decision to devote himself to the service of his people above all else. In truth, he’d already faced a different, harsher vigil and this far less ancient ritual bored him. He meditated, his mind already drifting in the far-flung future.

At dawn, the civic priests came and led him through the double doors where he undressed and lowered himself into the steaming water, observing his clothes burning in the sacred braziers as he washed himself of his previous life. He stepped naked from the pool with a frown older than his years on his young face, and his sad blue eyes gave the impression he was leaving behind a great deal rather than nothing at all.

They dressed him in the heavy robes of a Prince of Theed and he told them the three syllables he had chosen. It wasn’t the more informal ceremony usual in these more modern times. He asked them to erase everything. “Are you certain?” the sacerdotal leader asked, worried about such a drastic decision. “If you do this you will be forbidden both legal and sacred union and any children you might have could only claim matrilineal descent. You will never be able to hear your birth name again without inviting the gods’ curse.” Don’t do it, the old priest’s eyes pleaded, don’t sacrifice yourself so carelessly.

“I am certain,” he answered coldly, his thin lips betraying slight amusement at the man’s words. His certificates of identity and his diplomas went into the sacred fires along with his garments; burned him free of his parents’ nobility and the damning evidence of his childhood. He had one secret name, wrapped tight around his heart like a talisman, he did not need another.

“Then we recognise you, Palpatine of Naboo, and pray you serve your people well.”
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