These guys were amateurs.
I glanced back in my rearview mirror to see the next contestant barely making it around the corner a couple hundred meters behind me. I licked my lips and smiled. This was way too easy—I could get used to a life like this.
The sad part for these guys, I had just learned to drive. I was new to this, and I was still beating them. No wonder the Emperor thought it would be a good idea for me to enter this contest—he had faith I would figure it out.
Taking a deep breath, I tried not to think of what this was really about. I couldn’t let my current victory cloud my judgment, as there was a lot at stake here. Although, if I still got second or third in this last race, I would still get first place overall, as my points were exceeding everyone else. But I knew if I let them get near me, someone would try to sabotage my car. I was too good for them, which caused them to resort to illegal tactics.
But that was Recar for you. Legal means accomplished nothing here.
Which was where I came in.
This was my first mission on my own that the Emperor had assigned me. After years of training, I was ready, although I felt I had been ready for awhile now. The mission was to get close to the leader of Recar, Jack McHannon, and assassinate him, as he was causing some trouble for the Pandronan Empire. It was about time the Empire dealt with this planet, and I would be key in that victory. I couldn’t wait.
The reason I had to compete in this race, however, was because there was no good way to get close to Jack. He was heavily guarded. However, if I won this race I could become his personal driver. Then I could kill him.
The Emperor had trained me to stay incognito, but this mission was proving to make that a strenuous task. I was the youngest person to compete, and it was technically against the rules. However, rules didn’t matter here, but it was gaining a lot of press and although I tried my best to stay away from cameras by keeping my helmet on as much as possible, those sneaky journalists followed me everywhere and snapped a few pictures. Now everyone knew what I looked like.
I guess I would just be that face everyone feared.
No one knew who I was, but that would change soon. I was the Emperor’s Shadow—the person that would be getting the dirty things done. I was to crush any resistance throughout the galaxy. It was what the Emperor trained me to do.
And I didn’t have a choice.
I would have been dead if the Emperor didn’t find me and adopt me, so to speak. I had tried to kill him a few times, yet he still took me under his wing. Why that was, I did not understand. I tried to bring it up multiple times, but he always ignored the question. I gave up asking him and just accepted my fate—I was his tool.
“Bitch, you better not win this! You aren’t even old enough to race! I’m going to—”
I clicked off the radio. Great, they tapped into my car komlink that was only supposed to be used by me and the race coordinators in case there were any hazards or reasons to stop the race. If the man was smart, he would have pretended he was one of the coordinators and created a fake hazard so I would slow down and he could pass me. But instead, as all men like to do, he just threatened me.
I swerved a little right, barely clearing the corner. I needed to keep my mind focused on the race and stop thinking about how stupid people were, and about my past. It was what moved me forward, however, as I had learned to look out for myself and myself only. I didn’t trust anyone—I didn’t need to. All I needed was myself and I would do anything to keep it that way. I hated working with the Emperor’s other generals, as they all wanted to see me fall. They seemed to be jealous of the way the Emperor treated me, although I wasn’t sure why. His attention didn’t mean I was living a splendid life, it just meant I had more at stake.
Which was why I couldn’t mess this up.