remarks: "Cheila Day" is supposed to be the GFFA equivalent
of Valentine's Day. Originally, I thought of simply calling it "Lovers'
Day", but I saw that SJade had called it "Love's Day"
in her fic (which I can recommend to anyone who likes good L/M fic,
btw), and I didn't want it to look like I was ripping her off, so
I invented the fantasy term "Cheila Day" instead. "Cheeris"
flowers are my own invention, too, in case you wonder.
Disclaimer: G.L. created Palpatine, Stackpole created Isard. I own
no part of the SWU, not even a tiny milla flower, and I make no
money out of this, this is just for fun.
His Excellency the Emperor," Isard's aide told her as he
handed her the huge bouquet of flowers he had brought, along with
you," she said in a polite, but cold voice. "You're
dismissed." As her subordinate left, she saw how for a brief
moment, he was not fully able to suppress a smirk, and she instantly
knew what exactly he was thinking. For it was Cheila Day, the
holiday of lovers. There was only one reason why one would send
a lady flowers on that day. Ysanne Isard briefly considered punishing
her aide for his smirking, and the thoughts that had caused it,
but then decided not to. After all, being known as the Emperor's
lover was not something she had to be ashamed of. It was a precious
privilege. An honor.
As soon as
she was alone, Ysanne leaned back into her chair and deeply inhaled
the scent of the flowers, then held them a bit further from her
face to regard them. The bouquet was assembled from choice red
roses - the best from the Emperor's personal botanical garden,
milla flowers, and cheeris. Isard smiled. Milla flowers, which
were characterized by their rich red and blue coloration and their
intoxicating scent, were special to the people of Naboo, while
the cheeris - delicate twigs that carried cluster of small, budlike
flowers that emanated a surprisingly strong, but very pleasant
scent - were a traditional favorite of the Coruscanti nobility.
The flowers of Naboo and Coruscant, Palpatine's homeworld and
hers, bound together - the symbolism didn't escape Isard's notice.
were of the yellow variety - another reason for the smile on Ysanne's
face. The white cheeris, which had a sweet, lovely scent, were
the ones that very commonly valued higher, and were the traditional
choice for Cheila Day bouquets. But Isard preferred the yellow
ones, the scent of which, though attractive, was not sweet, but
tangy, like fragrant wood or an exotic spice. The cheeris blossoms
that had been chosen for the bouquet she now held in her hand
were exquisite in fragrance, and in color - a bright, fiery yellow,
like flames of gold. Like his eyes.
to devise the best place to put the bouquet, which had come in
a crystal vase, Isard let her eyes wander across the room - her
personal quarters inside the Lusankya. Her thoughts turned to
how much she liked the design of that room, which combined luxury
with an elegant simplicity. Its beauty lay mostly in the warm-colored,
fine exotic wood that had been used to cover the walls, its natural
structure only interrupted by an ebony inlay in the shape of the
Imperial crest that graced one wall. Ysanne got up and, after
putting the flower vase on the shelf she had chosen, walked up
to that wall and traced the shape of the inlay with one finger,
smiling again as she remembered that it had been Palpatine himself
who had ordered her rooms to be outfitted in this way, knowing
that it would give her pleasure. He knows so well what I like.
And he's always been so good to me.
remembered the day the Emperor had handed the Lusankya over to
her. That the Emperor had approved of - even liked - her plan
to built a secret facility where Rebels could be imprisoned, interrogated,
and reshaped into useful tools had made her feel happy and proud.
That he had decided to give her an entire hidden Super Star Destroyer
- the twin of Lord Vader's Executor - for that purpose had been
even better. But to actually enter the Lusankya for the first
time, to see and touch and bond with the ship that was so beautiful
and pristine, and that would, from then on, serve as a hell for
the Emperor's enemies, and as her palace and her sanctuary, the
place from where she would work for the good of the Empire...
When she had come back from that first inspection, she had been
so happy and awed and excited that she had nearly started to cry
like a little girl when the Emperor had asked her, "Does
it have everything you need?"
I need?" she had said in a choked-up voice, struggling to
find the words to thank him, to tell him what I meant to her to
be given what was everything she needed and more - the Lusankya,
and all it stood for - her being the Emperor's favored servant...
Not knowing what to say, she had just looked at him; and he had
returned her gaze with his eyes that were like bright yellow flames,
like cheeris flowers wrought of living fire; and she had known
that he knew everything she could not express in words, for his
eyes seemed to be able to see and touch her very soul.
ice-tigress," he had said then while his finger had stroked
her face in a caress. Then he had dug his hand into her long black
hair and kissed her, a kiss that was possessive and passionate,
and fiery like his eyes.
He is so powerful,
so strong, Ysanne thought as she looked at the ebony Imperial
crest on the wall. She had always loved the shape of the Imperial
Symbol - sharp and angular, it seemed to radiate strength. That's
why I love him - because we are both strong. Kindred spirits,
that's what we are. Only that the Emperor would always be the
stronger than her, and that pleased her, too. A woman like her
would never love a man she could not admire. The Emperor - the
great man who had led the galaxy out of the chaos of the crumbling
Republic into the light of the New Order - deserved more than
mere admiration, he deserved to be revered almost like a god.
To serve such a man, to be allowed to help him guard and preserve
his Empire, and to please him as a woman, as well - it was such
a precious privilege! The Director sat down again to read her
Cheila Day card -
your intelligence, your determination, your devotion.
Like the milla flower that shares the colors of your bright eyes,
you are a pleasure to have around.
I am happy to have you as the Director of Imperial Intelligence,
and as my lover.
Few, and yet so precious, words... Ysanne Isard sat quietly for
a little while, just savoring the moment, before proceeding to
compose her own Cheila Day card.
on this day,
I humbly remember what a gift it is to have even come to the attention
of the man that everyone should love and serve. When I try to
explain what you mean to me, I don't know where to start, for
you are so many things - my master, the man I admire, who is almost
like a father to me, more than my own father has ever been, and
is yet a lover who sets me on fire mind, body, and soul. What
words to say to someone who outshines ordinary men like a bright
supernova shines among the tiniest stars? I don't know; I only
know that I am yours utterly and completely. You will always be
what I live for. My Emperor. My beloved. My master.