Dark Lord of the Sith Kaine Zambrano is facing a test to his shadowy reign unlike any faced by a modern Emperor.
It’s not just that the narrow, narrow prospect of the forces of the light getting their act together looms large. Or that the Galaxy is bitterly divided over his leadership. Or even that the Empire may actually have to try to hold onto the Core at some point in the future.
The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the Jedi and Cedric Grayson's Rebel Alliance (before they were brutally crushed and the worlds' civilian populations were exterminated). We want the Empire to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made the Galaxy safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this glorious imperium, and the Emperor continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our nation.
That is why many Kaine appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our bureaucratic institutions while thwarting Lord Carnifex's more misguided impulses until he tires of this mortal realm in a few centuries and passes on to bring unimaginable horror to the undreamed of lands of the Netherworld.
The root of the problem is the Dark Lord's amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
Although he was chosen as an Imperialist, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by Imperials: hegemony of non-Force sensitive military officials, overlooking bribery of said officials, scantily-clad Twi'lek slaves. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the Empire by those who have yet to fall under its iron fist fails to capture: a robust military, lower marginal tax rates for funding ornate and tenebrous thrones, the destruction of the CSA greatly reducing the number of "common" puns a Galactic resident sees each day, and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the Emperor's leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and kind of scary when you have to be in the same room as the man.
Through all the Empire, advisors will privately admit their daily disbelief at the Dark Lord's comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.
It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Galactic citizens should know that there are adults in the room. We are trying to do what’s right according to our byzantine morality even when Emperor Zambrano won't.
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep Empire. It’s the work of the steady Empire.
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the advisory body of instigating a civil war, which would start a complex process for removing the Emperor. But no one wanted to precipitate a situation which would require OOC drama about Rebellions and the judging thereof.
The bigger concern is not what Kaine has done to the Dark Lordship but rather what we as a Galaxy have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low when bending the knee before his machine of dominance and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
Lady Kay put it best in her farewell letter. Unfortunately, the Inquisition decided not to let it be viewed by the public. I hear it was really inspiring, though. Imagine that it said something nice.