“You should have gone with them,” Yeebu said.  His speech was slurred because scavengers had eaten his lips and tongue, but Lars still understood him perfectly.

“I couldn’t,” Lars replied.  “My job here isn’t finished.”

“Your job is to do your Emperor’s bidding,” clacked Wirik, his shattered jaw rattling loosely against his stake as he spoke.

“My Emperor is dead,” Lars snapped.  He carefully laid the blaster carbine he was cleaning on the large, flat rock he used for a table.  “Your kind saw to that.”

“All the more reason for you to have departed with your fellows,” argued Chief Lumok.

“No.  It’s the reason I have to stay.  The cowards of the Imperial Fleet may have abandoned their posts when Palpatine was murdered, but I obey him still.  I was ordered to pacify this moon, and I will see that it is done if I have to strangle every last one of you furry, murdering savages with my bare hands.”

“You would eradicate our species to avenge a dead man?” asked Lumok.

Lars looked up to where Lumok’s rotting head was impaled and stared directly into his empty eye sockets.

”Absolutely.  And I will enjoy it, because you’re vermin.”


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