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
    qtrhrs78: Thank you very much! :)

    Short, I know. I'm also still having issues with the header... :(

    Is this a subtle message telling me to edit it and have it beta read and then repost it on the Saga forum?

    _PSK_

    ____________________________________

    The couch was soft under Padmé Amidala's touch as she ran her hand across the arm. She wished she could be doing something useful, but she was well aware that the best course of action was to take no action at all. Anakin and Obi-Wan had the situation under control. Her task was not to arouse suspicion. Wandering aimlessly through the halls like a caged beast was not an option no matter how trapped she felt. She let out of a cry of frustration, kicking the couch. None of this was fair. She was supposed to be able to live and have her children in peace. Padmé had escaped the Chancellor's watchful eyes before, but a cloud of doubt encompassed her now. It was unlikely she would be able to repeat the feat. Especially now that he knew she was here.

    "Oh, Anakin," she uttered softly. It was his fault. She was not so naïve as to be able to deny that. He cared too much for her safety. He had been unable to keep himself away from her even when he knew this would be the result. Padmé could not blame him for the strength of his love. Now though, she was keenly aware of the danger his divided life presented. She realized with a sharp intake of breath that his feelings for her overrode his Jedi training. Sinking into the couch her eyes widened in horror.

    She had been selfish before. She had only thought of her own need for Anakin. Of course she had considered the nature of his allegiance to the Jedi, but she never considered herself a threat. Now the depth of her ignorance seeped into her conscience. She had torn him apart. Not anyone else. Padmé bit her lip as tears came to her eyes. It was her fault he was destroying everything he had worked for. She had thought their love would bind them together forever. And perhaps it would, but love was not enough. It would never be enough. Neither she nor Anakin was that simple. When they gave themselves to each other they had not realized they were creating one life, completely uniting two.

    She had placed herself between Anakin and his potential as a Jedi. As the times grew darker, the Jedi needed him. But he was hers. She understood that now. The Jedi Council had allowed the marriage because they were wary of denying him the right. A bitter laugh escaped her lips. Apparently even Jedi Masters made mistakes. Allowing Anakin to attach himself to her had allowed him to slip away from the Jedi in the hour of their greatest need.

    But no one had fully comprehended the situation before. She had not even begun to see what was happening. Shaking her head, she thought of Obi-Wan. He must have known. A sad smile crossed her face, but he loved Anakin as well. The Jedi Master had not the will to cause his Padawan the tremendous pain necessary to escape the current situation.

    She reached up to feel the tears streaming down her face. Changing the past was impossible she reminded herself. Without changes to the past, she concluded, the future was bleak. It hardly mattered if she escaped Alderaan. Anakin's concern for her would hold him back from his duty to the Jedi. How had she not seen this?

    A wistful smile ghosted over her lips. "You were in love," she whispered. Her words sounded hollow against the silent backdrop. "Are you still in love?"

    To that question, she had no answer. Padmé still felt the blinding warmth of love and desire towards Anakin, but it was deformed by fear, regret and an unyielding sense of reality. His feelings were probably similarly obscured she considered. His fear of losing her was apparent from their earlier conversation. His fear. She remembered a conversation with Obi-Wan long ago, or perhaps only a year ago. The two were equivalent to her. Fear was a pathway to the dark side he had told her. Fear was a channel for jealousy, a
  2. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    Sorry, I was too lazy to come here sooner. :p Excellent post. I want more Anakin/Padmé action! (not in *that* way) :p

    --RP
  3. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
  4. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    RangerPrincess: Whenever you show up is fine! I'm just glad you're here. :) More A/P... we'll see about that. ;)

    qtrhrs78: Thank you, darling! :D

    _PSK_

    PS: Check out the poem in my sig... it won't take long! *end shameless promoting*
    ___________________________

    Heavy footfalls caused Padmé to glance around the corner of her hiding spot. She quickly evaluated the situation before drawing back into darkness. A scarlet member of the Chancellor's guard and a handful of clone troopers had arrived on the scene. Trying to stay calm, she drew a deep breath. Perhaps the troopers were just investigating the incident. She shook her head. The presence of Chancellor Palpatine's personal guard radiated a more sinister motive. The red-robed men were rarely out of Palpatine's sight and only carried out orders given directly by the Chancellor.

    Whatever the intentions of the troopers might be, Padmé was not interested in finding out. She sank deeper into the nook. A casual occupant of the hallway would not notice her, but if they were to search the corridor her hiding place would not protect her. Padmé's eyes darted wildly as she tried to find an escape route. The alcove she had rushed into was nothing but a service hub that housed a computer and power terminal. Lacking a possible escape route, she sighed. She concentrated on the quiet hiss of her own breath as she tried to remain silent and still. The distorted voices from the hall wafted to her.

    "They're unconscious, Sir." The filtered speech came from one of the clone troopers.

    "Good," another voice replied, less distorted. Palpatine's guard Padmé surmised. "You two, take the boy to the Chancellor. Kill the guards and dispose of their bodies."

    "Yes, Sir."

    Padmé frowned. The idea of Tristan being questioned by the Chancellor made her uneasy. Moving carefully, she turned to face the computer terminal. Perhaps she could get a signal out through the computer port. Her brow furrowed as she considered the idea. Even if she was able to modify her data pad to connect with the main computer system, it was doubtful anyone would notice her fiddling. Anakin, Obi-Wan and Bail were already at the banquet. She bit her lip.

    "Search the corridor! She can't have disappeared." Padmé's throat constricted as she listened to the words. There was no doubt now. The Chancellor was capitalizing on Anakin's mental slip. She backed even further into the alcove while reaching into her boot for the small blaster she kept with her at all times. Holding it steadily in her hand, she stared at the opening to the corridor. They would not get her without a fight.

    She tried to center herself on the present situation. Too much was at stake to have a lapse in judgment. If the Chancellor kidnapped her, and that certainly seemed to be what was happening, Anakin would be clay within his hands. She shifted uncomfortably. That was a train of thought she was not yet willing to travel down.
    Trying to survey the situation objectively, she ran through a list of items she had on her person. Her clothes were useless. The hair pins she wore could be used as weapons in hand to hand fighting, but she wouldn't stand a chance against blasters with them. Her commlink was sitting on the table in her quarters, forgotten in the hast of her departure. She sighed. The data pad was useless by itself and she did not have time to modify it. That left her with hair pins, a blaster and whatever mental capacity she still had. Padmé could feel the panic beginning to seep through her defenses.

    Narrowing her eyes, she shook her head. Panic was not an option. No matter how desperate the situation became, she could not afford to lose her head. She would not fail Obi-Wan and Senator Organa like that. The forces at work were far larger than her petty fears.

    A flash of white crossed her vision. The troopers had moved down the hall. It was a matter of seconds before they encountered the nook. She leveled the blaster, waiting.

    "Look at tha
  5. Venus_Star2-com Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    PAdmae....noooooooo.......they must tell anakin sooner or later becasue the longer the leave it---well he will be worse off...anyhoo GOOD part...please update soon

    rachel
  6. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    Venus_Star2-com: Not telling Anakin will certainly lead to a number of problems! Thank you! Update coming soon... I've written part of it.

    _PSK_
  7. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    The Chancellor must die. [face_devil] Mwahaha. Great post. :)

    --RP
  8. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    RangerPrincess: It's really too bad we have to wait so long for someone to off the bastard! Thank you! :)

    _PSK_

    _______________________________

    Obi-Wan glanced at the boy standing by his side. Ari shifted uncomfortably, gazing in discontent at the scene in front of him. The trip to the banquet chamber had been pleasant enough, all of them trying to relax for a moment, but now the strain had returned. The conversation with Padmé was on constant reply within the Jedi Master's mind, but he could not let it affect him. Obi-Wan had the urge to share his thoughts with Ari later in the evening, but he was beginning to suspect there was a stronger connection between his current and former Padawans than he cared to admit. Talking about anything concerning Anakin with the boy beside him could be an unneeded risk. Obi-Wan knew the boy did not trust the older Jedi, but that did not mean he would be able to keep a secret of this magnitude. Silence and meditation seemed to be his only options at the present time.

    The Jedi Master watched as the Chancellor set a hand on Anakin's shoulder and led him to the head of the table. Anakin allowed his eyes to meet Obi-Wan's for a moment before turning and dutifully following the Chancellor. Obi-Wan observed Anakin's progress, eyes narrowing as he slid into the seat at Palpatine's right hand. He forced himself to take a calming breath. He was reading far too much into a simple seating arrangement. Turning his attention to Ari, he tried to smile. "Shall we find our seats?"

    Ari motioned in front of them. "I think they're at this end."

    Obi-Wan glanced back to the head of the table. The Jedi had been seated as far away from the Chancellor as possible while still being placed at the center table in the hall. "I see. Well, let's take our seats."

    In eerie synchrony, Master and Padawan shed their cloaks and slid into their seats. Few of the other guests had arrived yet and Obi-Wan took the opportunity to observe Anakin and the Chancellor. The Jedi Knight's gaze was fastened on the man before him, his head dipping in agreement every few moments. The Chancellor concentrated most of his energy on Anakin as he spoke, watching carefully for the reaction of the younger man. Occasionally, when Anakin dropped his gaze, a pensive scowl would emerge on Palpatine's features. As soon as the Jedi's attention returned, the mask would slide back in place. The Chancellor appeared unpleased with something. Obi-Wan was pleased to note that Anakin's countenance exuded none of his earlier unease. He appeared to be in good spirits, smiling often. Obi-Wan noted that the young man's sunny disposition also allowed him to remain blissfully unaware of the Chancellor's displeasure.

    As the Jedi Master allowed a smile to slide across his features, Palpatine moved his head to stare directly at him. Cold eyes, flashing dangerously, held his own. Icy fingers trailed their way down his spine as he held the gaze. Palpatine's lips parted in a barely concealed sneer before he turned his attention slowly back to Anakin, a possessive look filling his eyes. Free of the Chancellor's interest, Obi-Wan allowed a small shuddered to pass through him. Shaking his head, he muttered, "Not pleasant."

    Ari glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. "That man scares me."

    Realizing that Ari had noticed the interaction, Obi-Wan nodded. "He has a somewhat unnerving demeanor."

    "Master, I believe that may be the biggest understatement of the millennium." A wry smile adorned the Padawan's features as he studied the place settings. He picked up the menu card.
    "I can't even pronounce most of these."

    The Jedi Master glanced at the list. A few traditional Alderaanian dishes caught his eye, but his apprentice was right. For the most part, the food listed seemed untranslatable into Basic. "I've heard of the first thing. It's a special Alderaanian fruit with some sort of honey sauce. It's normally a starter at fancy events like this one. One of the main dishes is a veget
  9. Jeditheskyisblue Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2001
    star 4
    Palpatine got Anakin's full attention that can't be good.
  10. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Great update! I think Anakin's going to be a little upset with Obi-Wan when he finds out he knew about Padme's situation. Update soon. :)
  11. RangerPrincess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2002
    star 4

    Poor Ari. I wuff Obi-Wan. *g*

    --RP
  12. Venus_Star2-com Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    this can't be GOOOD....anakin...RUN AWAY

    rachel
  13. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    Jeditheskyisblue: Definitely not good... *glares at Palpy* Thanks for reading! :)

    qtrhrs78: Thanks! Hehe, a *little* upset might be a bit of an understatement! ;) Update coming right up!

    RangerPrincess: *hugs Ari* I know! :( Thanks for reading! :D

    Venus_Star2-com: That would be the wisest course of action, but Anakin isn't exactly known for being wise. ;) Thanks for dropping in! :)

    _PSK_

    PS: Sorry it's short, but at least it's something! ;)

    ___________________________________

    The night air was crisp as Padmé stumbled through it. The Chancellor's guard had not relaxed his grip and her arms stung. She tried to ignore the pain as they approached one of the restricted landing platforms. During their journey to the ship, she had resigned herself to whatever lay ahead. The Chancellor could torture her for all she cared. As long as Anakin was blissfully unaware of the turn of events, she would be content.

    A small shudder ran through her as she remembered her nightmares. Sleep, since she had arrived on Alderaan, had been dreamless, but each night she was haunted by the prospect of dreaming. Padmé had convinced herself that the dreams of Vader and his children were twisted fictions drawn from the depths of her imagination, but the possibility of truth remained. Anakin could easily be swayed. She had come to understand that today better than ever before. Although he was a powerful Jedi Knight, he had twenty years of attachment to her working against him. Obi-Wan's teaching had been wise and well intentioned, but despite the guidance of the older Jedi, Anakin had fallen into a downward spiral. She frowned. He held on too tightly. Padmé suspected that his grip could crush those he was hoping to protect if he was not mindful.

    Her arm jerked violently as her captor hauled her onto the ramp of the ship. Padmé's eyes shone with defiance as she stared into the red mask, but she did not resist. The craft was a prototype of the shuttle that the Chancellor had been developing for his own private use. She recognized the design from a number of holo-pictures scattered about his office. Its crowning feature was the three wing design that folded upon landing. Padmé saw little use in the new design, but she suspected that Palpatine enjoyed the craft for its image and not its utility.

    Once up the ramp, he dragged her into the cockpit. She was unceremoniously dropped into one of the navigator's chairs. Reaching behind him, the guard produced two pairs of binders. He roughly grabbed one of her elbows, preparing to attach her wrists to the arms of the chair. "Is that really necessary? I'm not going anywhere."

    The guard paused a moment, as if considering her words. "After what you've tried?"

    He twirled his blade in front of her eyes. He eyes automatically followed the flashing metal. Distracted, she only noticed that he had continued to bind her when cool metal snapped around both her wrists. She tugged on one of the binders, but its cold grasp only tightened as she pulled. The guard stood above her with an air of satisfaction surrounding him. Her face hardened. "You will not get away with this. When the Senate learns what has happened?"

    "The Senate believes you are dead, Senator Amidala." His voice contained a mocking tone. He was enjoying this.

    Padmé's eyes burned into him. "Do not believe I will not be missed. People will know what has happened."

    He shrugged, reaching up to removed the red helmet. Tousled brown hair tumbled into his eyes. Padmé struggled to contain a gasp. The guard was nothing more than a boy, perhaps ten years younger than Anakin. Sharp hazel eyes smiled at her mockingly. "I don't believe we've been property introduced. Senator Amidala, I am Navé Lysacek, captain of the Chancellor's private guard. I'll be your purser for this flight to Mustafar."

    Padmé eyes were still wide with surprise as he spoke. He extended his hand to her, as if to greet her. She narrowed her eyes at him. "No words describe
  14. wkmaksar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2005
    star 1
    [face_worried] Why do i have a strange feeling that the guard will be charmed by padme? (even tho it won't make sense to the story at all).
    *sigh* i wish i stumbled on this story later, now i shall sit all thru summer waiting for a post. I need Ari to teach me some patience...[face_plain]
  15. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    wkmaksar: Hum, perhaps the guard does have a weakness. We'll have to see. ;) Hehe, I hope you won't have to wait all summer for a post... as a matter of fact, I'm trying to finish this summer! :) Glad to have you along! :D

    _PSK_

    ______________________________

    The steaming vegetables released a pleasant aroma into the air as they were placed in front of Ari. He glanced over as an identical platter was placed before his master. A couple of the diplomats around him had gotten the other entrée, a strange meat that appeared to have a jelly-like texture. Ari thanked all that was good in the universe for delivering him from that horror. He peered up the table at Anakin. The Jedi Knight had chosen the vegetable as well. Although served, Anakin was paying very little attention to the food placed in front of him. Instead, he was waving his hands wildly as he described something to both the Chancellor and Senator Organa. Ari's eyes narrowed as Palpatine put a hand on Anakin's shoulder while uttering something that caused the young man to dissolve into a fit of laughter.

    "He seems to be enjoying himself," Obi-Wan commented, having followed Ari's gaze.

    Ari nodded. "Far too much."

    "You can't expect him to be a foul mood with Chancellor," the Jedi Master reminded. "If he's going to do a good job of hiding what he knows, it's better for Palpatine to think he's happy and look no further."

    Anakin was still laughing. "He's way too happy."

    Obi-Wan surveyed his former apprentice. Anakin did have a rather ridiculous grin plastered on his face. "Perhaps he has merely consumed too much of the Alderaanian wine."

    "Hum," Ari murmured. "He does look giddy. Is it in the Jedi practice to get drunk at pivotal social events?"

    "I would not recommend it, but I do not believe the Jedi Code addresses the matter." Obi-Wan tore his eyes from Anakin and surveyed their neighbors. The mayor of a nearby city on Alderaan was seated at his side, but no one else had spoken to him. The couple seated across from them was too absorbed in each other to pay any particular care to the Jedi. The Jedi Master tried to avoid looking at them. He had no desire to watch their saccharine displays of affection. By Ari's side, a slender humanoid was engaged in a discussion about tree farming with others further down the table. No one was paying attention to the Jedi.

    Ari followed the sweep of his master's eyes. "The Jedi aren't celebrities out here."

    "Which is odd," Obi-Wan told him. "Most places we'd be swamped with interested guests. I sense something is not quite right."

    Ari's eyes flashed towards the Chancellor. "I have a few guesses as to why."

    The Jedi Master nodded. "Nevertheless, we should not let that stop us from enjoying this wonderful dish. It smells lovely."

    The Padawan took his utensils in hand and cut a piece. Placing it in his mouth, he chewed slowly. "It's good."

    Obi-Wan studied the boy for a moment before speaking. "We were talking about why your parents sent you to the temple."

    Ari paused mid-bite. "We were."

    "You wouldn't mind sharing more?"

    "Now?"

    "We might as well have your history behind us, Padawan," Obi-Wan gently reminded.

    The boy swallowed and took a slow drink. "When my Force abilities developed, I was able to retaliate towards my parents when they tried to discipline me. They were splitting up by that point and neither wanted to keep me, so when a teacher commented that I seemed to have latent Force abilities they jumped on the prospect. I was left at one of the Temple doorways."

    "I wonder why you missed the Jedi search when you were younger." Obi-Wan stroked his beard. "Very odd."

    Ari shrugged. "I don't think it's that strange. My Force abilities are rather low compared to those of Anakin or yourself."

    "Nevertheless, Padawan, you have enough of a connection to be a talented Jedi Knight." Although apparently unmoved by his master's admission, Obi-Wan could sense the boy's contentment.

    "I have achieved most o
  16. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
    Great update. It appears to be the calm before the storm. :)
  17. Venus_Star2-com Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    its the calm before the storm indeed.....thanks for the PM...what's happened to Padmae now???/???will anakin disocover that she's missing...why is he laughing???


    rachel
  18. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    qtrhrs78: Thank you! :) I believe we might be hearing the first thunder... ;)

    Venus_Star2-com: No problem on the PM ;) . Padme's okay, for the time being. We'll be getting back to her shortly. As for Anakin... well, I can't tell you that! :p Although I must admit he might have been a bit drunk, but most of the laughing is just a show for Palpatine. :)

    _PSK_

    PS: I apologize for the lateness/awkwardness of this post. It was hard to write, but necessary.

    ______________________________

    The blue water swirled beneath the landing platform as Senator Raja exited her landing shuttle. The past few days had been a blur of trips between Kamino and Geonosis. The latter had put up immediate armed resistance when the Republic troops had arrived while Kamino had remained out of the conflict. Within hours, Nova had been able to negotiate the use of one of Kamino's cities for Republic headquarters. The fighting was continuous, but Senator Raja had taken to commanding mostly from Kamino. Although being on the Republic flagship gave a better perspective, the massive amounts of destruction being wreaked unsettled her. The experience was nothing like she had expected. She was not able to regulate the use of the army since the Republic ships were clearly being attacked by the separatists. The necessity of violence was plain.

    She squinted up into the pouring rain as she quickly made her way to the dry corridor. Nova sighed as the hiss of the water faded. As a child she had loved the swimming holes on Myrkr, but this was too much. She had begun to suspect she was going to want to live on desert planet.

    Turning towards the control room, she noticed the suffocating quiet of the corridor. The absolute silence was unusual. Normally, some of the Republic staff members were wandering the halls or the ventilators were running. A sense of unease slowly washed over her. Something was out of place. Taking a deep breath, Nova turned to stare down the hallway behind. Nothing was out of place. The pristine white floor glistened with wayward raindrops, but she could see nothing strange. She bit her lip thoughtfully and turned back. Sleep deprivation must be affecting her. Since her arrival in the outer rim, she had not had slept more than eight hours. Content that she was simply delusional, the Senator continued down the corridor.

    The clicking of her boots rang harshly against her ears. She ignored the sound,
    concentrating on the battle strategy for Geonosis. The separatists were fiercely defending the droid manufacturing plants, but Nova was sure that if the Republic could crack the defenses surrounding the areas, the tide would turn in the battle. Without a constant supply line, the separatists would start suffering more from their losses. The senator nodded to herself. She would discuss the best attack strategy with General Hobbs, a young Corellian sent by Palpatine to be her aid. She did not trust the boy and was not so naïve as to believe Palpatine had assigned him to her out of good will. Nevertheless, he knew war and his knowledge had proved invaluable so far.

    Pressing her palm against the doorframe, Nova entered the command center. Although a makeshift operation, the room contained the Republic's best equipment. She walked toward the center holo-display that portrayed the battle of Geonosis. "What's the status?"

    General Hobbs was instantly at her side. "We've managed to take out most of the Federation Cruisers. A lot of the ground infrastructure was destroyed nearly ten years ago when the first battle of the Clone Wars was fought there, so we don't have to worry about wiping that out."

    "It has always seemed strange to me that the Republic did not maintain control over Geonosis," Senator Raja mused. She frowned at her aid. "Ten years ago we had already shutdown all the droid operations on that planet, but then we suddenly withdrew."

    "I don't remember much from then," he admitted. "I was still a young boy fantasizing about leading the Grand Army of t
  19. wkmaksar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2005
    star 1
    Let the massacre of senators begin! But why is palpatine not killing Organa first? Great post by the way!
  20. Jazz_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2002
    star 4
    I had no idea this story was still going on! I'll be watching it! Lovely posts, PadmeSolo! I hope Obi-Wan will be able to get to Padme in time!

    jazz
  21. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    wkmaksar: Although this is a complete AU, I'm sticking with arriving at ANH. That means that Organa (somehow) doesn't die. In any case, at present it would extremely suspicious for Palpatine to kill Organa. Too many people are watching on Alderaan. Thank you! :)

    Jazz: Hehe, I just got back to it after a very, very long vacation. Thank you for reading once again! :D

    _PSK_

    ___________________________________

    The cockpit remained silent as the shuttle hurtled through hyperspace. Padmé was becoming unnerved by the steady sound of her breathing. She swiveled her chair to face the instrument panel. The controls were more complex than those of her Nubian transport, but after a moment of consideration she was able to identify a few vital dials and switches. Satisfied, she turned her attention to the panel directly in front of her. The display meant nothing to her. Nevertheless, the unknown buttons presented an opportunity. She bent over slowly, careful to make little noise, until her face rested on the controls. Smiling, she sat back up. Padmé would be able to operate the switches and buttons.

    She ran her eyes over the controls once more. They reminded her of something. Not from a ship, she would have remembered that. Her eyes narrowed in thought. Perhaps she had seen it during her diplomatic travels or maybe even at the senate building on Coruscant. Her memory flared for a moment, but then receded. Unnerved by the feeling that her answer hung before her, she concentrated on the senate building. She remembered a display like this in the senate building. Of that she was now certain. The Senators' offices did not have this type of display, but perhaps someone had modified theirs. An image of a gigantic window flashed before her eyes. There was only one office with that window. The massive window had been installed specifically at the request of Chancellor Palpatine. She tried to conjure a picture of the Chancellor's office. Her eyes snapped into focus as she gazed at the control panel. Palpatine had one on the side of his desk. That made sense since the shuttle was his as well.

    Now she needed to determine what resources were available. She glanced down at her manacled hands in concentration. Padmé muttered softly to herself. "Not navigation, that's across the way. Not hyperdrive control, that's in the center. Not tactical. Does this shuttle even have that much tactical? It must if it's Palpatine's. Not general flight controls. What does that leave? Environmental control or?communications!"

    Her heart leapt as she stared down at the switches. It was unlikely Palpatine kept environmental controls in his office. The control panel must be the Chancellor's customized version of a standard communications array. She had to restrain the shout of glee that threatened to leave her lips. She silently thanked the guard for choosing this particular chair to shackle her to.

    Leaning down, she depressed one of the buttons with her nose. The display instantly lit up and a message in Basic scrolled across the holographic display that had been activated. "Please enter destination code," she murmured.

    Padmé bit her lip in indecision. Obi-Wan was already aware of her destination. He could easily alert the Jedi Council if needed. Whoever she contacted had to be someone she could trust. The person had to already know her situation and also understand the need for discretion with Anakin. Those stipulations greatly restricted her choices. A secure connection on the receiving end would also be helpful, so the person had to have an encoded receiver. The emergency security code from Naboo entered her mind. She could use that as a code, but who could she use as a receiver? After a moment of silence, she laughed softly. The answer was easy. Sabé knew the situation and would immediately respond to any emergency code sent out on the Nubian frequency.

    Leaning back over the panel, she carefully punched in the encoding algorithm with her front teeth. Her no
  22. Venus_Star2-com Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    i know anakin is walking on a very thin line but padmae not being able to trust her own husband with her kidnapping...i dunno if anakin will either feel betrayed or angry...either way it will not be good....i hope anakin realises something is NOT right within the force....


    thanks for the PM..sorry that i haven't posted a reply ....but here I AM!! so yay..please continue


    rachel
  23. qtrhrs78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2003
    star 2
  24. PadmeSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2002
    star 4
    Venus_Star2-com: I doubt Anakin will be happy, no matter how soon he finds out what's happened. That is the question... can Anakin figure out on his own? No problem for the PM. Thanks for reading!

    qtrhrs78: Thank you! [:D]

    _PSK_

    ---------------------------

    Ari gazed numbly in front of him. The Chancellor was giving the banquet's closing address, but his mind was elsewhere. He sensed Obi-Wan shifting uncomfortably next to him, but did not glance at his master. Throughout the dinner, Ari had studied Senator Organa. His suspicions had grown more acute when the Alderaanian Senator had excused himself for a moment. When Senator Organa had returned, he had not integrate himself back into conversation. Instead, he had simply watched the animated discussion between Anakin and the Chancellor while occasionally glancing nervously at Obi-Wan.

    Ari turned to watch the Chancellor conclude his speech. "I am honored by my reception here. I hope to do all in my power to ensure the safety of Alderaan and its people. Nothing is more important than protecting the people of the Republic in this hour of need. Thank you once again."

    Polite applause filled the chamber as Palpatine finished. After a moment, the guests began to disperse. Without waiting for Obi-Wan, Ari scrambled out of his chair and headed to where Anakin, Palpatine and Senator Organa were standing. Obi-Wan hurried after him. "Ari??"

    The Padawan held up his hand. "I think something's gone wrong, Master."

    "What?" The reply was quick and out of character.

    Ari frowned. "Are you okay, Master?"

    Obi-Wan gathered his wits. "I'm fine. You just surprised me."

    Ari continued on his way to intercept the Alderaanian Senator. "Senator Organa left during the banquet and returned a few minutes later. He didn't say a word after he arrived
    back."

    "Good observations," the Jedi Master praised. They were fast approaching their destination. "Do you have a strategy in mind?"

    Ari hesitated a moment, but his determined gait returned instantly. "I have a few ideas."

    Obi-Wan glanced at his Padawan, a smile fleeting across his features. "I suppose I'll let you take the lead on this one."

    This time Ari did stop. He turned hesitantly to his master. "You're not joking, are you?"

    Obi-Wan shrugged. "I don't see why I would. Now move along. You seem to know what we're doing."

    "Thank you," Ari spoke softly before turning to continue.

    As they approached, Chancellor Palpatine abruptly stopped speaking. He glanced at Anakin before greeting the Jedi with a frown. "Master Kenobi. May I help you?"

    Ari's eyes slid to his master and Obi-Wan gave a discrete nod. The boy stepped forward. "We're fine, Chancellor. Senator Organa, could we have a word with you?"

    Palpatine's eyes widened as the Padawan took control. Bail gave Palpatine a reassuring look as he spoke to Ari. "I believe that would be fine, Padawan Kinor."

    "Shall we go?" Ari motioned toward the banquet hall door.

    Bail inclined his head. "I believe my office would be an appropriate place."

    Master and apprentice followed the Senator from the hall in silence. Chancellor Palpatine kept his gaze on them until they passed beyond the door. Once the Jedi were out of sight, he turned to Anakin. "Do you have any idea what your friends are up to?"

    Anakin shook his head. An aura of disquietude had surround Senator Organa during the later half of the banquet, but Anakin could sense nothing unusual coming from either Ari or his old master. "I don't understand any better than you, Chancellor."

    "We shall keep an eye on them," Palpatine decided. "I fear they may not have the best intentions."

    Anakin's head snapped up. "What do you mean?"

    "Do not play the fool, Anakin." Palpatine smiled in manner that was supposed to be comforting, but chills ran up Anakin's spine. "I am well aware your friends do not trust me. Sometimes I wonder where your allegiances lie?"

    "I have pledged my unwavering support to
  25. Jazz_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2002
    star 4
    Lovely tense conversation between Anakin and Palpatine. He's walking a thin line there...

    uppies!

    jazz
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