Dawn of Darkness -EP III AU A/A and SO (Updated 6/8 9:29 PM)

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  1. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    And I'm updating again. What has happened? ;)

    _PSK_
    _____________________

    The blue mountains hung in the background as Anakin paced the palace garden. Senator Organa had assured him that his tour guide would be out shortly, but that was the last thing on his mind. Staring into the distance, he could only see the image of Padmé. Her sparkling eyes transfixed him. He could barely restrain himself from reaching out to caress the air. She was not with him, but he could feel her once again. He had returned to his home. The comfortable presence soothed his soul as fragments of his worry slipped away.

    He closed his eyes, feeling the cool breeze and warm sun. He was alive. No longer numb and confused, but rather complete. The Chancellor was far away, beyond the realm of consciousness. Only the natural beauty and the essence of Padmé penetrated his mind. Anakin let out a long sigh.

    "You wanted a tour?" The sharp question startled Anakin. His thoughts had been too unfocused to recognize the approach of his guide. He shook his head slightly. Being unfocused led no where. Suppose the Chancellor had happened upon him and realized what Anakin dwelt on. He would have to try to keep his awareness focused.

    "That is correct," Anakin replied turning to look toward the intruder. A young woman faced him.

    She beckoned Anakin to follow her as they moved toward the palace. "I'm Amelia Kess, the head of servants and wait staff for the Organas. You tour will be brief since Senator Organa has requested that you have time to prepare for the banquet."

    "Thank you." He turned to glance at the retreating garden. He felt her presence more strongly there than other parts of the estate.

    Amelia walked swiftly into the courtyard. "The fountains were a gift to Alderaan from the people of Naboo thousands of years ago. The great Alderaanian architect Fiala Tagana helped plan the city of Theed. Have you ever been there?"

    He smiled, gazing beyond the palace walls. "Oh, numerous times."

    "Come along." Before she had turned all the way around, Anakin noticed her staring at his lightsaber. Averting her gaze, she quickly entered the ground floor of the palace. Shifting his cloak discretely, he followed her lead.

    They approached an expansive staircase leading up from the main foyer. "The stair is impressive."

    She nodded. "It's probably the most holographed area of the palace. I would take you upstairs, but Senator Organa assures me he'll give you the tour of those rooms himself. I don't have much else I can show you because of the time."

    Anakin stared at her. He had several hours before the banquet began. "That's it?"

    "Senator Organa requested that?"

    "I don't care what Senator Organa requested." He glared at the palace walls. "I just expected more than two stops on the tour."

    Amelia seemed to shrink before him. "I'm sorry, Sir Jedi. I'm only doing what was requested of me."

    Anakin took a deep breath. "No, don't be sorry. I'm not upset. Senator Organa was only doing what is best."

    "I don't understand." Her eyes remained wide and cautious.

    "Don't trouble yourself." He glanced up the staircase. "Would you mind if I took a look around myself? I don't need a guide and I won't go far. Just a look at a few of the hallways."

    For an instant it appeared she would refuse, but she nodded slowly in consent. "I suppose that would be fine. I need to go to the kitchens now."

    "Thank you."

    "Oh, excuse me, Sir." She had paused and was staring at him carefully. "May I know who I had the honor of guiding?"

    Anakin laughed lightly. "I apologize for not introducing myself earlier. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker."

    "Anakin?" she repeated his name softly. Then her eyes grew wide and she took a step back. "You're her Anakin."

    His heart leapt. She knew Padmé. Just as quickly, a cold wave of dread swept across him. "Don't speak a word of this to anyone else. Her life is at stake. Do you understand?"

    Amelia stumbled backwards. "I would ne
  2. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Wow, I'm glad you're updating this. It's a great story. Don't stop now. :)
  3. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    qtrhrs78: Thank you so much for reading! Wow, I'm impressed. :D I apologize for previous grammatical errors, etc. I'll have to go through and edit this... ;)

    _PSK_
  4. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    Another update! Yay!

    _PSK_ :D

    _____________________________

    Obi-Wan Kenobi shifted his weight nervously as he glanced down the lowering ramp of the Jeopardy Crusade. His gaze slid to his Padawan standing beside him. Ari had been silent since the incident in Obi-Wan's quarters. Although he continued to respond when questioned, the boy had made no effort to participate in conversation. They had spent most of the trip apart, only interacting when duty called. The tension in the relationship worried Obi-Wan. Now that they had arrived on Alderaan they would need to work together to assure that the Chancellor found nothing out of place. The necessary level of cooperation was not possible when Ari would not even look him in the eye.

    Placing a gentle hand upon his Padawan's back, Obi-Wan walked down the ramp. He surveyed the scene carefully, searching for Palpatine's influence. The Chancellor's personal guard flanked him, but Obi-Wan could not find evidence of further designs. He bowed to Palpatine and then Senator Organa.

    "Welcome, Master Kenobi." Palpatine gave him twisted smile. "I'm so glad you could join us."

    Obi-Wan held his gaze. "The pleasure is all mine."

    "I'm sure." The Chancellor turned to Ari. "And you must be Master Kenobi's new apprentice. I've heard about you from Skywalker."

    Ari glanced cautiously up at Obi-Wan. His master refused to meet his gaze, so he bowed again to the Chancellor. "Ari Kinor. I'm extremely pleased to finally be able to meet you, sir."

    Palpatine narrowed his eyes at Ari. "Yes, we shall have much to discuss later, Padawan Kinor."

    Obi-Wan's eyes snapped up to gaze suspiciously at the Chancellor, but he quickly recovered a neutral expression. Turning away from Palpatine, Obi-Wan smiled genuinely at Bail Organa. "It has been far too long Senator Organa."

    Although Bail's expression did not alter, Obi-Wan could see the sparkle in his eye. "It's good to be working with you, Master Kenobi."

    "Where is Anakin?" Ari's voice cut into the pleasantries. Obi-Wan had been wondering about that, but the situation had not been conducive to sharing his interest. Now was not the time to alert the Chancellor of any of the Jedi's motives for accepting the assignment.

    "He took a tour of the grounds," Bail supplied. "By now he should be preparing for the banquet."

    Palpatine's expression turned thoughtful and his eyes contemplated Ari, causing Obi-Wan to feel uneasy. The Chancellor had already devoted much of his energy to manipulating one of his apprentices. It did not seem fair that he should now take an interest in the other. The Senator's statement caught Obi-Wan's attention. "A banquet did you say?"

    Bail Organa nodded. "In honor of the Chancellor and his companions."

    The Jedi Master suppressed a groan. Another event to smile at everyone politely and pretend that the political intrigues surrounding him simply did not exist. Oh, this was going to be fun. "Wonderful."

    Chancellor Palpatine grinned at Obi-Wan, an unnerving expression. "I thought so myself, Master Jedi."

    Ari eyed the two men, trying to mask his reactions. After a moment, he turned to Obi-Wan. "Master, may I please go try to find Anakin. I have something I need to discuss with him."

    Obi-Wan did not need to be told what. "Of course. Senator Organa, where would he be?"

    "I assume in his room. The East Wing of the palace." Bail pointed to the side furthest from the mountains.

    "Thank you, Sir." Ari bowed a final time and hurried toward the palace.

    Palpatine smiled after the boy. "Master Kenobi, he is an eager one."

    Wary of the Chancellor's meaning, Obi-Wan simply replied, "Although eager, he has patience when it counts."

    "I should hope so." Palpatine turned to Bail. "I'm afraid I must take my leave. Preparations for the banquet are in order. I shall see you later, Senator?Master Jedi. Come."

    Palpatine's personal guard snapped to attention and followed as he returned to the palace. Senator Organa and Master Kenob
  5. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Another update! Wow, after so long with no updates, they're coming fast. :) That one was a bit of a cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what's next.
  6. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    qtrhrs78: I figure the best way to stay interested and finish sometime is to keep writing! ;) Glad you're still on board.

    _PSK_

    ___________________________

    Letting his breath shudder out of his body, Anakin sank to the floor at the base of the staircase. Here was another decision to make. Another path would be chosen. If he went to Padmé, he might very well alert the Chancellor of her presence, but he would be in control. Anakin did not want to imagine what might occur if he did not heed her silent call. If the present was any indication, he would be a mess at the banquet tonight. The Chancellor would no doubt notice then. The source of Anakin's distress would be easily ascertained if he were to appear.

    Anakin pushed himself up from the floor. Biting his lip, he nodded. He would take control. The only way to avoid a situation would be to leave Alderaan and that would elicit suspicion. Cursing his weakness, he turned to face the stair. She was up there, he only needed to open his mind and allow himself to be led to her. His eyelids fell over burning blue eyes. The tendrils of the Force swirled gently about his mind as he relaxed. Almost instantly, he felt the soft tug of Padmé's essence. Beginning to mount the stairs, he stilled as another presence entered his consciousness. Anakin's eyes snapped open and he glanced back toward the landing platform. Obi-Wan Kenobi had arrived.

    For a moment, Anakin contemplated turning back. He should go greet the Jedi Master. Narrowing his eyes in determination, he took the stairs two at a time. If he turned back now, he would not see her before the banquet. Obi-Wan would try to allay his concerns and feelings, but the Jedi would not be able to halt the turmoil of Anakin's brain. This was the right thing to do, the only thing to do.

    The hall upstairs was wide with windows spaced among the doors. The afternoon light shone brightly through the west windows and Anakin could feel his skin prickle at the heat. His feet led him down a corridor to the right and Anakin found himself in front of the last door in the hall. Pausing a moment to confirm his senses, he knocked briskly.

    "Come in." Her voice flowed around the door and washed over him, warmer than the sunshine.

    With a small grin quirking at his lips, Anakin touched the door control. Her back was to him and she was sitting with a sheet of paper on a blue-cushioned window seat. The western sun fell over her features, causing her hair to appear as a halo around her face. He nearly expected delicate wings to sprout out of her back. Even without them, there was no question that he was standing in a room with an angel.

    Anakin took a step into the room. She did not glance up. The view out of the window had captured her attention and Anakin could not bring himself to interrupt her. He could wait. Now that he could see her, everything would be all right. The raging tempest in his mind was fading into serenity. He stared adoringly at her, his eyes mesmerized by her delicate beauty. An unconscious sigh escaped his lips.

    Padmé jerked slightly, as if remembering she was not alone. Her head turned to face the interior of the room. For a moment she remained unchanged, but as her eyes flew to Anakin's face, she gasped. Her expression was bright, but as he studied her closely he could see the fear radiating from her eyes. Taken aback, he frowned. "What is it?"

    "You're not supposed to be here, Ani." She quickly rose to her feet and approached. "What about?"

    Anakin raised a hand to silence her. Raising his own confused gaze to meet hers, he explained, "I couldn't stay away. I know I shouldn't be here. But when I sensed you, I was going crazy being so near but unable to see your face."

    She glanced suspiciously around. "Does anyone know you've come?"

    His eyes slid shut for a moment. "I don't think so. Maybe Master Kenobi, I can tell he knows something has happened. But the Chancellor has no idea. I haven't interacted with him since we arrived."
  7. Leia_Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2002
    star 1
    blinks--

    Wow. I haven't this story in YEARS, 2002 actually. Wow, back when I was in HS, now I'm in college....wow the years go by. *stunned*

    Anywhoo, I love this fic just as much I did back then, happy to see it resurface. :D

    --aka RangerPrincess

  8. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    Forget I was logged in my other screenname. lol.

    --RP
  9. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    RangerPrincess: *blinks back* Yeah. I know the feeling. I began writing again and it was strange. Granted I'm not in college yet (I start this fall), but it's still weird to think of how long ago all of this got started. It's crazy... but I remember it like yesterday.

    _PSK_

    __________________________________

    Chancellor Palpatine raised his hand to signal for the departure of his personal guard. As they filed out of the room, he surveyed its contents. The suite was luxurious without being impractical. After a casual glance into the bedroom, the Chancellor seated himself at his desk. He did not have a moment to spare if things were to continue to go as planned.

    He lifted a pale hand to pull his cloak over his features, leaving only a ghostly image of his face visible. Smiling secretively, he keyed the console.

    "What is thy bidding, my master?"

    The flickering blue image of Lord Tyranus appeared before him. "I have arrived without event on Alderaan. Master Kenobi and Senator Organa are under my direct supervision. We do not need to worry about them interfering anymore."

    Tyranus was gleeful. "Those are extremely good tidings, my lord."

    "Do not become careless," Palpatine warned. "I want Senator Raja eliminated as soon as possible."

    "With pleasure, my master."

    Palpatine grinned, lips curling up over his teeth. "Do not become too comfortable, my apprentice. Your days are numbered."

    Dooku simply bowed his head as Palpatine pushed the button to terminate the transmission. Good, the last real threat from the senate would be eliminated and he could begin his move against the Jedi. Anakin was still too wary to be directly influenced, but his day would come.

    Sighing in content, Palpatine relaxed into his chair. Letting his eyes close, he reached out for the presence of Skywalker. The troubled feelings came back to him immediately. Anakin was in distress, interesting. Delving deeper into Anakin's thoughts, Palpatine was surprised to realize the boy had his guard entirely down. It was unlikely the Anakin even knew the Chancellor was rummaging around in his head even though he was trained to detect the invasion. Allowing himself to float over the surface Anakin's thoughts, Palpatine realized they all followed one course. He was thinking of Padmé. Burying himself in the memories of his late wife, Palpatine surmised.

    But wait. Protect Padmé? Something was not right. Forcing his way further into Anakin's mind, Palpatine found more fragments relating to Anakin's wife. The memories were not buried ones. Hissing in anger, Palpatine widened his awareness. Instantly the presence of Padmé Amidala registered. She was not
    dead.

    Roaring in spite, Palpatine watched as the windows of the suite collapsed under the Force induced pressure. The stupid girl had nearly ruined everything. A new device needed to be created for her elimination. No wonder Anakin had not been responding as favorably as Palpatine had hoped. He still had his beloved to cling to.

    Palpatine paced the room. What method was best to eliminate the girl with the maximum gain? He paused for a moment. Perhaps the best method was not to eliminate her at all. At least, not until the time was right.

    ~^*^~

    Padmé gasped as Anakin suddenly shook violently. His eyes snapped open, wide and bloodshot. A ragged cry tore from his throat. "Noooo! Stop!"

    Unsure of the problem, she helplessly caressed his face. "What, Ani?"

    "He was here."

    Her head snapped up. No one else was present in the room. "Who was?"

    His hands clutched desperately at his hair as he pulled himself away from her. "I've failed you. I've failed you! I've failed again?"

    "I don't understand." She tried to pull him back to her, but he scooted further way.

    "He knows now."

    For a moment she stared without comprehension. Then his words sank in along with the violent thrashing, the fear. "Palpatine. He was in your head?"

    Wordless, he nodded. His eyes spoke of uncensored fear
  10. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Up! Another great update. :)
  11. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4
  12. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    qtrhrs78: Thank you! :)

    RangerPrincess: That was a much needed event. ;)

    Sorry for the delay of *daily* updates. I've been getting ready for the end of school and graduation as well as a SW party I'm having tonight. We're watching *all* the movies during the night and seeing ROTS tomorrow morning/afternoon. That's 11 hours of footage plus ROTS. WOW.

    _PSK_

    ____________________________

    Ari had stopped the first servant he had seen within the palace walls and asked for directions to Anakin's quarters. After a hesitant glance at his belt and Padawan braid, the girl had quietly admitted that Anakin resided upstairs. She had refused to give further instruction, whether out of fear or ignorance he did not know. Now, after nearly an hour of searching for Anakin, Ari was no better off than before. The rooms were silent and Ari was fairly sure that Anakin was not in any of them.

    He tried not to let his disappointment affect him as he resigned himself to the fact that Anakin was not going to be found immediately. There would be plenty of other occasions to talk to him. Glancing around the palace hallway, Ari decided to take a better look around. In his hasty search for Anakin, he hadn't noticed much of the décor.

    The sun was dropping near the horizon as flaming rays fell upon the walls of the hall. He paused to look at the mountains. They appeared in varying shades of blue silhouetted against the flaming backdrop of wispy clouds. The furthest were the pale blue of an early morning while the closest matched a stormy sea. Ari was transfixed. He had never visited such a beautiful place. The only other planets he had been to were covered by the lights of civilization and devoid of such features as mountains and open plains.

    Closing his eyes, he felt the world around him. The planet was rich with a soothing feeling generated by the harmony of life. The uncomfortable tingles he got while living on Coruscant and being surrounding by death and destruction were not present. There was nothing to fear here. There was nothing that did not sit right with the way of the Force. Breathing deeply, Ari let himself be consumed by the peace of Alderaan.

    After a few minutes, the boy opened his eyes. A pleased smile adorned his face as he continued on his way down the corridor. Turning down a secondary passage, he found himself face to face with a closed door at the end. Unsure as to why he had ended up before the door, but certain that he had followed some feeling to the destination, he raised a hand to knock. As the banging echoed throughout the hall, Ari eyed the door warily. Although he trusted his feelings, he was still uncertain as to what he might find. For all he knew, he could be knocking on the door to Chancellor Palpatine's private chamber. Ari shook his head and pushed the thought from his mind. The Chancellor made him nervous.

    The door remained closed and no sound could be heard from behind it. Unwilling to give up so easily, Ari searched the control panel for a door chime. Finding what he guessed was the button, he depressed it.

    A black gloved hand seized his forearm and pulled him into the room as soon as the door slid open. Thrown off balance, but unconcerned, Ari turned to face Anakin. "You needn't be so violent."

    Anakin was still eying the door. "Did anyone see you come this way?"

    "What? Oh, no one saw. I've been wandering around the whole upper level looking for you." Ari glanced around and noted the presence of Padmé. "Nice to meet you again."

    She rose from the window seat. "Good to see you too, Ari."

    Anakin allowed the pleasantries to finish before raising a brow at Ari. "You wanted to talk?"

    Ari nodded, but glanced suspiciously at Padmé. "Yes."

    "Don't worry about her, Ari. Anything you say is safe with her. Plus, she probably has better advice than I do," Anakin explained.

    Ari's countenance didn't change. "It's not about that. It's just? about Obi-Wan."

    "Ah," Anakin's eyes darkened in understanding.
  13. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    Sabé/Obi-Wan. Whoohoo! I've always gone for that pairing. :D

    --RP
  14. Jeditheskyisblue Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    So Anakin knows he going to be a Father now.
  15. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    RangerPrincess: I love them too! :D

    Jeditheskyisblue: He does indeed. We'll see how it goes from there... :)

    We DID it! Watched all six movies in under 24 hours! YAY!

    _PSK_

    ___________________________

    Obi-Wan's eyes were resting on Anakin. As the younger Jedi stared back, he could sense that his master knew of the trauma he had experienced. Anakin shifted under the weighty gaze. "I think we have a few things to tell you."

    Padmé nodded and turned to Obi-Wan. "The Chancellor is aware of my presence. Anakin and I believe it is no longer safe for me to remain."

    "I concur." The Jedi frowned at Anakin. "How much do you think he knows? You were broadcasting an awful lot of your experience. Try to maintain better control next time, hum?"

    "I was trying?" Anakin sighed. "I don't know how much. He's certainly aware that Padmé is not dead, but I'm not sure if he realizes I noticed his invasion. I think he was too upset at the realization to check."

    Ari was staring at her. "Where are you going to go?"

    "I'm not sure. We need to contact Senator Organa as soon as possible." Her brow was furrowed. "Obi-Wan, I was thinking that my departure would be best during the banquet being held for the Chancellor. He should be present and the risk of running into anyone would be low."

    The Jedi Master nodded. "That sounds fine. Don't pack anything and don't take anything with you. That could arouse suspicion with others in the household."

    Distressed by the situation, but seeing no other alternative, Anakin turned to his wife. "We should part ways? before my presence causes any further harm."

    She shook her head. "No, Anakin. You did what you thought was right. Don't berate yourself for this."

    He bowed his head in acquiescence, but his eyes still shone with barely covered guilt. "I know."

    Ari glanced uncertainly between the occupants of the room. Taking a deep breath, he turned to Padmé. "It was nice to see you. I'm sure I'll have the pleasure of your company again."

    She placed a gentle hand on Ari's shoulder and pulled him to her. Embracing him tightly, she whispered, "I know I'll see you again. Take care of Obi-Wan and Anakin for me."

    "I'll do my best," he replied. As he processed her words, he glanced over her shoulder at Anakin. The Jedi met his gaze with a searing blue look. Forcing his gaze down, he shuddered. He would keep his promise even if it meant his death.

    Reluctantly releasing her grasp, Padmé moved to stand before Obi-Wan. "This isn't goodbye. I don't think I could do that."

    A sad smile graced his features. "Neither could I. Take care of yourself."

    "Thank you," she told him as she flung herself forward to embrace him. He returned her hug and placed a chaste kiss upon her forehead.

    "I'll be here whenever you need me," Obi-Wan assured as he stepped back.

    Taking a deep breath, she turned to Anakin. As she opened her mouth to speak, he took a swift step towards her. Placing a slender finger on her lips, he murmured, "no words."

    She glanced up and immediately fell into the stormy oceans of his pupils. She could see his agony, love and desire battling within. She ran a soft hand down his cheek. He tilted his head to place a gentle kiss on her palm. Padmé gasped as a tingling sensation ran up her arm. She had forgotten about that aspect of their relationship. Underneath all the deceptions and distractions, they had let the passion slip away. She hadn't seen him in months, and yet so far they had only been engulfed by the turmoil of the Republic and the designs of the Chancellor. She bit her lip; there was no place for the passion now.

    Anakin appeared to sense where her thoughts had led her. He rewarded her with a roguish smirk. Her breath caught in her throat and she couldn't seem to tear her eyes away from his mouth. With a quick dip of his head, he captured her mouth. He ran his tongue deftly over her lips to gain entrance and she immediately parted them. The familiar sensation of Anakin pl
  16. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Another great update, but how sad for them.

    That is quite a movie marathon. I haven't done that in a long time. Congrats! :)
  17. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    Quite steamy in there for a sec. ;)

    --RP
  18. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    qtrhrs78: It was rather long... we all had sore eyes among other things. ;) Sad it is. :(

    RangerPrincess: Well, you can't let the moments of passion fall by the wayside... ;) Plus, it's downhill from here.

    _PSK_

    PS: I love Evan Lysacek to death... so Captain Lysacek is created in his honor. It's too bad he can't be one of the "good guys".

    ___________________________

    In his personal suite, Palpatine stopped pacing as a feral grin swept over his features. The pieces of his plan had fallen into place and he was ready to put into action the series of events that would lead to young Skywalker's fall from grace. He was amazed he had not thought of his new strategy earlier. It would have avoided much of the trouble he now found himself facing. Masking his facial expression, he turned back to his desk.

    A pale finger pressed down on the comm button. "Captain Lysacek, I require your presence immediately."

    The glowing image of the captain of his guard nodded. "Of course, master."

    Palpatine turned to the door as the guard entered. Captain Lysacek's face was masked by the scarlet helmet and he wore the matching robes of the senatorial guard. The chancellor spoke immediately. "I have a task for you."

    "Yes, my lord?"

    "There is a servant girl here who needs our attention," Palpatine began. "I need her to be taken into custody during the banquet tonight. It has to be a quiet job. We cannot risk detection."

    The crimson figure bowed. "Of course, my lord. Which girl do you want?"

    The chancellor turned to a desk and illuminated a hologram of Padmé Amidala. "This is the one. She goes by the name of Padmé Nabierre."

    "It will be done, master," Captain Lysacek assured.

    "Good," the elder man crooned.

    The guard remained a moment longer. "What shall be done with her after she is taken into custody?"

    Palpatine paused a moment before smiling in satisfaction. "Take her to my personal outpost on Mustafar. That is too far from Coruscant for the Republic to take any notice."

    "We will see her safely delivered to Mustafar."

    The Chancellor nodded in contentment. "Good. See that there are no flaws in your performance, Captain Lysacek. This matter is not to be taken lightly."

    "Of course, my lord," Captain Lysacek answered as he bowed deeply and then turned on heel to exit the room.

    Palpatine watched him go for a few moments before letting his mouth fall into a self-satisfied smirk. There would be no escape for Padmé Amidala this time.

    *~^~*

    Ari remained silent as both Anakin and Obi-Wan brooded on the other side of the room. He could understand their disappointment at the turn of events, but doing nothing but mulling over the situation would not lead to a positive result. Action was necessary if Padmé was to have a safe departure. He walked to stand beside his master.

    The Jedi was staring out into the darkening sky with a frown on his face. He turned his to Ari and then Anakin, shaking his head. "Something does not feel right."

    "I agree," Anakin seconded. "I have a very bad feeling about all of this."

    "Perhaps your grief is clouding your judgment," Ari proposed.

    Anakin narrowed his eyes at the boy. He did not seem to like the suggestion. "I don't think so. Something larger is at work. Something's going to happen to her. I know it."

    Obi-Wan sighed. "Perhaps Ari is correct, Anakin. Nevertheless, I need to speak with Senator Organa to make sure everything can go as planned."

    Anakin still wore a dubious expression, but he nodded. "I'll go get ready for the banquet while you find Senator Organa."

    "Good. Watch out for anything suspicious. We can't let our guard down." His brow furrowed as he studied Anakin. "Will you be alright spending time with the Chancellor?"

    "It doesn't much matter," the blonde rebutted. "I have to keep up the act no matter what. I just hope he doesn't sense that I know of his new knowledge."

    "That makes two of us," Obi-Wan muttered. "Go now and prepare. Don't do any
  19. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    Sorry for the delay... I'm supposed to be graduating this morning, but it's raining. In any case, I've been busy with that. I am graduating sometime today! ;)

    _PSK_
  20. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    We graduated inside at 7:30 at night... it was fun, but not quite what anyone expected.

    _PSK_

    _________________________

    Bail Organa sat motionless in his private study. The presence of the Chancellor made him nervous and the quick departure of Master Kenobi earlier did not help to dissuade his fears. Bail had the sneaking suspicion that all the hard work they had put into hiding the presence of Senator Amidala would be for not by the end of the evening. He had noticed that the Chancellor had a way of knowing everything that came to pass and her presence on Alderaan would certainly not be overlooked.

    He stared blankly at the surface of desk in front of him. There was nothing to be done. Master Kenobi and Skywalker would deal with the situation. Bail could only sit back and watch as the Jedi took action. He was not pleased with his position.

    A light flashed on his desk signaling the door chime had been activated. Taking a deep breath, he called, "Come in."

    Bail let out a sigh of relief as Obi-Wan Kenobi entered with his Padawan. He had not been interested in dealing with the Chancellor or another member of his entourage. "How can I help you, Master Kenobi?"

    Obi-Wan exchanged a dark look with his apprentice before stepping forward. "Is it alright if I speak frankly?"

    For a moment Bail stared at him in confusion. Then the implication of what the Jedi was asking set in. The room had been scanned for listening devices and recording pieces after the Chancellor had arrived. Bail didn't trust the man and was not interested in being watched. "It's clean."

    "Good." The Jedi Master placed his hands on the back of the chair facing Bail. "I have bad news to share."

    Senator Organa glanced at the Jedi Padawan who remained a few paces back. His dark hood was pulled over his head and Bail could just make out his face. "What is it?"

    "The Chancellor has discovered the existence of Padmé Amidala on Alderaan. Plans have been put into motion to have her leave the planet tonight during the welcoming banquet." Obi-Wan's voice was tired and he seemed resigned to the course of events.

    Bail frowned. "I had feeling this might happen. How did he find out?"

    The Padawan stepped up next to his master. "How is not the matter of concern. We need to figure out the logistics of her departure."

    "Ari is right, Senator." Obi-Wan shook his head subtly at Ari. "Her safety is our primary concern."

    "All of us need to be present at the banquet," Bail mused. "That leaves the job up to the palace guard. Or Tristan?"

    "Tristan?"

    The Alderaanian Senator nodded. "He's my nephew. He has a certain attachment to Senator Amidala, but he does not know her true identity. I'm sure he would be willing to orchestrate her departure."

    "Can we trust him?" Ari spoke softly, but his tone chilled the Senator.

    "Without a doubt." Bail glanced down at his desk and pressed a button. "Tristan, are you there?"

    "Uncle?" a voice crackled back.

    "Come to my private study immediately."

    "I'm on my way."

    Silence pervaded the room as they waited for the young man's arrival. Obi-Wan let his eyes fall shut as he felt out with the Force. Although Anakin was still emitting distress, he was no longer a whirling hurricane within the Force. Next to him, Ari emanated nothing. With a quick glance, Obi-Wan could tell the boy was tense. His shoulders were tight and his jaw clenched. Nevertheless, the Force swirled calmly around Ari making Obi-Wan appreciate the boy's self-control.

    The cloaked figure next to him was on his way to becoming a true Jedi. He seemed to effortlessly let go of his emotions and troubles and open himself up to the peaceful nature of the Force. Ari did not desire anything as far as his master could tell. In a way, Obi-Wan supposed, his only fault was his unquestioning allegiance to the Jedi Code. At one time, Obi-Wan had believed as the boy did, but now he understood that there was more to the Force than the narrow view taken by the Jedi Council and Cod
  21. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4
    Bah. I missed two posts? :p Nonetheless both were very good. :)

    --RP
  22. Jedi_Johnson Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2002
    star 5
    Wow was I ever happy to see this fic up at the top of the boards again. Hard to believe its been so long since I posted in here. As always great work and I'm looking forward to more.
  23. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    RangerPrincess: Thank you very much! :) I'm glad you're still around. ;)

    J_J: It's been awhile. Heh, we've all grown older, but my story remains. Glad you're still reading. I'm hoping to actually finish this time around. :)

    _PSK_

    ___________________________________

    No light shone inside Anakin Skywalker's quarters save the blue glow of the Alderaanian moon. He stood silently, staring out the window into the darkness beyond. His hair glittered in the moonlight. His exuded a stoic disposition, but the inner battle was revealed with a glance at his shockingly blue eyes that shone with a cold fire. Unshed tears caused them to glow brighter than usual while his inner turmoil encapsulated his intense gaze.

    His flesh hand stroked the mechanical one hanging still at his side. His fingers brushed the cold metal at his wrist before pulling the leather glove off in a swift motion. He tilted his head to study the shining gold surface. With a subtle impulse of his mind, he watched as the hand clenched into a fist. The soft whirring of mechanical devices could be heard. Anakin's face distorted in disgust.

    He glanced away from the revolting sight. He trembled as a small drop of water wound
    its way down his cheek. The young Jedi Knight moved closer to the window. He tried to become one with the darkness. Letting his eyes close, he spoke quietly, "Let go. Surrender to the night."

    Taking a calming breath, he felt some of the worry drain from his soul. Nevertheless, the tears kept threatening to overflow. Groaning, he allowed his mechanical hand to crush his fingers of flesh and blood. He could not remain in this state once the Chancellor arrived. Letting the feeling of pain overwhelm him, he surrendered to his own self-imposed night. There was nothing but pain. Distinct physical pain. This he could deal with. He allowed his Jedi training to pervade his mind as he found a sanctuary of peace within.

    The hiss of the door alerted him to the disruption of his solitude. He did not need to turn around to identify his invader. Palpatine stood silently behind him.

    "How can I help you, my Lord?" Anakin's question was soft. He did not yet trust his voice.

    "The banquet is prepared." Palpatine let a smile tug upon his lips as he gazed at Anakin's back. "Your presence is required."

    The dark figure nodded. "Give me a moment."

    "Whatever you request, young Skywalker." The Chancellor turned to pace the length of the room, pausing by the desk to glance at the assortment of datapads laid on it. "Do anything interesting this afternoon, Anakin?"

    "What?" Anakin spun to face him. His features relaxed as his gaze landed on the desk. "Oh, that. Just a little research."

    Palpatine narrowed his gaze at the boy. The Jedi Knight's face was shadowed, but silver streams could be seen falling across his cheek bones. The boy had been crying. The Chancellor tilted his head to the side. This was an interesting development. "I expect your presence outside in five minutes, Anakin. And do try to clean yourself up."

    Anakin restrained himself from wiping madly at the watery trails cascading down his face until the Chancellor had exited his room. Glancing out the window again, he shook himself back to reality. He could not allow his weaknesses to affect his performance tonight. As a matter of fact, tonight it was important he showed no weakness at all. Walking to the kitchen included in the apartment, he gathered a handful of water and slashed his face. The cold temperature caused him to gasp, eyes widening.

    He rubbed his eyes roughly with his sleeve, not minding that the fabric became damp. Trying to center himself, he took a deep breath. If he was normal, they would get past this. If he could not contain himself, the entire situation ran the risk of falling to pieces. He made himself concentrate on the flow of air in and out of his body. He visualized the molecules drifting within him. Anakin could nearly sense the interactions of the particles as
  24. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    This was updated, but I can't edit the header... so I'm just adding another post to see if that changes anything. Sorry! :(
  25. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Great updates... and congratulations on graduating.
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