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Saga Grey (Episode III handmaiden vignette)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Pandora, Feb 9, 2006.

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  1. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    Title: Grey
    Characters: Moteé and others
    Summary: A handmaiden is conflicted about the woman she serves.
    Author's Note: This was first written for the colors challenge, back in August. Since then, I've revised it quite a bit, which is why I'm reposting it now.



    We are waiting in the dimmed apartment for Amidala to return. Or: I am standing here, next to the other handmaiden, a woman I have worked with for perhaps a year, but still hardly know. Her name is Ellé. Though I have noticed that she is surprised, still, when I address her. Her eyebrows, which she needs to pluck (I can hear my mother saying, though I wish I couldn’t) jump up. She must have only taken that name when she entered Amidala’s service. She is quiet. She is thinking about something I cannot know. Yet, I can guess. She has a slight, secret telling smile.

    I look serious, or so I hope. Really, I am bored.

    We wait, our skin stiff and calm as marble, in the grey room. There is only one light on behind us in the shadows. The protocol droid, who Amidala keeps with her at most or all times, turned it on only moments ago. His footsteps click around the apartment, worried about this or that.

    And: we are wearing matching grey dresses, like sisters. The hoods are big and sloppy, though we are too well trained to let it show. I can’t see most of the room. The fabric is slippery, and the plush underskirt is brushing against my paper white slip, and against my legs. I can’t help but feel it.

    We laid these dresses out earlier in preparation for Amidala’s return. The skirts are made up of stiff pleats. They tend to wrinkle, so we must be careful. Of course. Not that Amidala will notice them, or us, because, well, she never does. The way she almost never addresses me by name, though I have served her for several years. I recall: I came here to Coruscant with her from Naboo, almost three years ago.

    She didn’t mention the assassination attempts I had heard whispers about, and if she regretted or feared anything, she did not tell me. No, she was sighing over the Jedi. The boy without fear whose picture I have seen in flashes on the holonet.

    He’s here, his cloak part of the darkness behind us. Quiet. He won’t ever need to guess that I know. He snuck in, or no: He walked in. He can do that. They have a relationship, if I must be proper and delicate. They’re lovers. She hasn’t told us that, or anything else, but she did realize, quite recently, what we would have to know. She called us to her in this room, and she sat across from us on the couch. That day, she had her hair let down. She wore a grass green dress, just arrived from Naboo, and little fabric shoes with scuffed heels. Of course, she kept her feet hidden.

    She told us what she couldn’t hope to hide. She’s pregnant. I think Ellé had already guessed, and I-- Well, I might not have suspected until later on, at the end, since I don’t know anything about babies, or cooing mumsy love.

    Neither did my mother. I don’t love her, but that is fine. That is all right.

    She’s here.

    She steps out of the speeder onto the landing. Captain Typho is waiting for her, another loyal servant. (And the Jedi is waiting for her as well. I know that. Does Ellé? We could speak of it later, after we have been dismissed, to go away and wait, but I know we won’t.) I press my hands together. My skin seems grey in the old light, though I know I am pale, and shining (yes, shining) with health and youth and etc. She is wearing the regal purple gown I selected, with dragging skirts and a stiff corset over her secret belly, but she is not regal.

    No, she is flushed and distracted, though she does remember to smile, polite, if not friendly, at Captain Typho. She’s always like this. Her breasts have grown and swollen up like bread dough, and her nipples are darker, almost muddy brown. I believe this is normal. Her ankles don’t seem swollen, though, and I would know. I do help her dress.

    She can’t hide it from me.

    The protocol droid comes forward to meet her. For a moment, she looks over at us. At me, and at Ellé. Ellé smiles, but I doubt Amidala notices.

    She is regal, indifferent, and almost as she once was when she says, to us, “I won’t be needing your assistance tonight. You may be dismissed.”

    “Yes, Milady,” I say.

    We leave. Of course, we leave, yet again; free for the evening, the night, and for nearly everything. Ellé goes off to the little room she sleeps. I return to mine, though I don’t plan to stay there for long. My hood droops too close over my eyes, or no-- I only feel as though it does. It is still in place. He won’t see us as we go, only our grey shadow dresses swaying away. Amidala will keep the protocol droid near her. He is her confidant. He will defend her, should she ever need someone to do so. I have a blaster hidden under my skirts, but I have never used it. It is cold and bony.

    Once again, I put it away. I climb out of the grey dress. First, the hooded cape, and then the underdress. My skin is not scratched at and sore, though it should be. It itches and crawls at night. It feels so dry, as though it, and really, I, should crumble away into powder. Why haven’t I? I am the same as always. My thighs are too pale, and my knees are bony above my rolled down tight stockings.

    I click on all the lights, but the room still seems muffled. My bed is tightly made, with paper cut sheets. Only my dresses, locked in the wardrobe, are panting and warm. Well, I have always been the proper one.

    Amidala is nothing like my mother.

    I pull off my stockings, and leave them crumpled on the floor. No, I think I shall wear some new underthings I bought only last week. Perhaps I wanted them, or perhaps I merely wanted to buy something, anything. I was bored.

    I resent Amidala. She speaks in a quiet, daydream soft voice, and I don’t know when that began. I thought she was different. She was supposed to be a genius, a princess, a queen. Once, I was a little girl. She never had to be.

    I change into another dress. This one is also grey, though a grey more like moonlight. I wish it were cold outside, a true cold such as I can only imagine, but no. No. It’s warm and soft, another temperate evening on a temperate planet. Ellé is walking secret telling quick past my door and down the hallway. It’s quiet here, and empty. Amidala is out in the main room, buried in her lover’s arms. She coos for him. His cloak covers everything. She clutches a handful of his hair.

    I wish to serve her. Senator Amidala. I am a loyal handmaiden. I would shoot those who might harm her, so I won’t think about anything I don’t like. I wish she would say my name, looking down into my eyes as though I were a mirror, Moteé.

    Ellé is gone, and the room echoes and echoes with quiet. Outside the window, the sky, and the endless towers, and the planet itself, are grey. I don’t know where I wish to go yet. Not that it matters. I yank the pins out of my hair, which is nothing like Amidala’s hair, and let it fall down. It’s dark, the color of dirt and dream buried sleep. I run my fingers through it, and before I go, I look over at the mirror. My face is pale and far away. My mouth is an O, a whisper: Go. You are not needed here.

  2. fistofthedarklord

    fistofthedarklord Jedi Master star 3

    Feb 12, 2005
    Interesting. Oh the money that hand maiden could have made if she'd talked to the tabloids! Ah,well. Too late.
  3. Jazz_Skywalker

    Jazz_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 3, 2002
    Interesting and lovely vignette. I liked Motee's position that she didn't know Padme that well and vice versa.

  4. _ThatJediScum_

    _ThatJediScum_ Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 28, 2005
    There is something going on with Morteé here. She seems very resentful and scornful of Padmé yet at the same time she yearns for Padmé's recognition and attention. It's almost like she feels as though Anakin and C3P0 have usurped her rightful position in Padmé's life.

  5. ZekksGoddess

    ZekksGoddess Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 2, 2004
    Oooh, very interesting. Nice work! =D=
  6. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2005
    =D= Beautiful as always!
    The grey theme was overwhelming--brilliant work!--the color took a life of its own.

    Additionally, I love all of the little insight into Amidala's personality.
    The fact that she never addressed Motee by name despite three years of service (as the one who dresses her, no less!) was quite telling.

  7. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 19, 2002
    Definately a woman who doesn't like her job and has issues with female authority figures. :p

    I may not agree with the way the character was represented in the story, but I have to admit that it was an amazingly well-written piece. =D=
  8. bobilll

    bobilll Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 8, 2002
    Beautiful as ever! I do love the idea of unwanted handmaidens... lets me cling onto the idea that handmaidens are cool despite their rare appearance in the movies. I love the whole mother/Amidala complex going on in Motee... is that an addition, or was I ignorant the first time? Grey also works really well... unwanted, yet holding so many secrets. Loved it!
  9. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    fistofthedarklord: Yes, I'm sure the holovids would have been interested in what those handmaidens knew. Oh, well. Missed opportunity. (Besides, I can't imagine any Naboo character doing that in any fan fic.)

    Jazz_Skywalker: Thanks for reading.

    _ThatJediScum_: Hmmm. Maybe it's because Motee's one big line (Yes, Milady) was cut from the movie?

    ZekksGoddess: Thanks!

    oqidaun: Glad you liked it. Yes, I did portray Amidala as being very distant from her handmaidens (and granted, they were cut almost entirely from the movie, which is why I have made this particular interpretation). She probably has her reasons, but the narrator, Motee is unaware of that, because ultimately, she and Amidala don't know or understand each other.

    Knight-Ander: I may not agree with the way the character was represented in the story, but I have to admit that it was an amazingly well-written piece. That's fair enough. I do appreciate that you were able to admire the piece, even if you did not agree with some of the choices I made.

    And yeah, there are more mother issues in this vignette than you could fill a Freudian's office with (insert smiley).

    bobilll: Thanks again! Yes, the mother thing was there the first time. I do think Motee is, for the most part, unaware of most of her--issues. If asked, she would say that she's a loyal, dutiful daughter of Naboo. At least, that was my intention.

  10. widow_skywalker

    widow_skywalker Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 5, 2005
    I read this in the challenge thread a long time ago... and this is what inspired me for my own viggie. I love the resentment Motee has for Padme and her seeming silliness. How right she was in her observations about this woman being a queen, a senator a genius. Something that was decidedly lacking from Padme's character in RotS. Thank you for giving us a wonderful glimpse into a very under apreciated handmaiden's life.
  11. Jaya Solo

    Jaya Solo Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 12, 1999
    Interesting take on Padme and her handmaidens. I pictured them as having a friendship of trust more, but the way you wrote it makes a good deal of sense. Padme was very different in RotS, and you depicted it quite well here. Great viggie! :)
  12. Bale

    Bale Jedi Master star 4

    May 9, 2005
    A beautiful tale. I love the grey motif.

    I wish she would say my name, looking down into my eyes as though I were a mirror, Moteé.

    You've done a great job of writing the service and devotion w/o recognition that must have been so difficult and painful at times.

    Good work. :)
  13. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    widow_skywalker: I'm so flattered that my vignette inspired yours--I think that's the first time my work has ever had that impact on anyone. Yes, Padmé was very different in ROTS. She certainly wasn't the person she would have been when Moteé entered her service.

    Jaya Solo: I do see Padmé as having that friendship of trust with her handmaidens in TPM and AOTC, even if we don't really see it all that much. But ROTS-- She's different, and the handmaidens are just not there. So, yes, it makes sense that her relationship with them has changed. Thanks for reading!

    Bale: Thanks. Yes, it must have been hard for Moteé (and Ellé) to be the loyal, faithful girls they must have been to be chosen in the first place--and to just be overlooked. (For example, I understand that every time they show up in the novelization, Padmé dismisses them.)
  14. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    oooh, nice twist! I can kinda see Padmé as ignoring the handmaidens once she has Anakin..

    Nicely done!
  15. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    Very nicely done. NO doubt a handmaiden or two would be resentful that Padme has other things to occupy her mind then the role of Senator. Fascinating piece. =D=
  16. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    Miana Kenobi: Yes, I think Padmé did ignore a lot of her life once she had Anakin. She went from living for politics to living for him. Moteé really just gets stuck being a bit player in their drama.

    Healer_Leona: Thanks!
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