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Saga Into Hell [ROTS handmaiden vignette]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Pandora, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Title: Into Hell
    Timeframe: ROTS, and after.
    Genre: Yes, I think this is AU.


    Author's Note: After Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005, there was a brief interest amongst handmaiden fans in AUs where Padmé's handmaidens, or Captain Typho, accompanied her to Mustafar, as they did in earlier versions of the script. (It should come as little surprise that it did not go well for them.) Several people mentioned that they were working on stories--but as far as I know, none of them were ever posted online.

    So since I wanted it done, I had to do it myself. It just took me almost three years.

    Oh, and I'm not sorry.

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


    Into Hell


    Before I saw Mustafar, it was only the burning sun of a planet in one of my dreams. Or at least, I think I dreamt about it. I was in a room in a city inside a huge, gliding space ship. I could look out the window and see its sloping seacreature belly, and the exploded firework glitter of stars. It was a dream, so I knew all their names. Then, later, I stood at the window in a nearby parlour. I pushed aside the shroud white curtains and saw the planet below. I could even see the constant glowing bursts of the volcanoes. I touched the window, and it was, for the moment I could feel it, fever-breath warm.

    When I turned around, I was in my bedroom. My bed was much bigger than I knew it had been before, and a plush white lace chair floated next to it. My legs had been made of wood, and painted a bright, happy, nursery blue. A door had been broken into the back wall, and on the other side was a classroom that looked like, almost like, the one at the university where my father taught most of his classes. The planet, the hell-world, was gone.

    I hadn’t thought of that dream in years, but I remembered it when I looked out the viewport on Amidala’s ship and saw the world we had just arrived on. There it was: the glowing, boiling, heaving rivers of lava, and kilometers away to the north, the black towers of volcanoes. The air was so smudged and heavy with heat I couldn’t believe anyone, or anything, could breathe it, though I have learned even this world has its natives.

    Amidala stared out the window as the autopilot guided the ship towards the lights of a landing pad. I could see what looked like a fortress, which must have been the headquarters for the mining operations, looming just overhead on the hillside.

    “Oh, dear,” the protocol droid, C3PO, whispered close behind me.

    Amidala was slumped down in her chair, her braid—her playful, schoolgirl whip braid--fallen over her shoulder. She blinked, and her eyes were shiny with tears. I could hardly bear to see that, even though it wasn’t a surprise. She had been inside her locked room for days, crying and fretting. She hadn’t wanted us to know, but we had. It was my position, my duty, and my life to know those things. I know Ellé would say the same.

    “Milady,” I said. “Are you certain this is what you want?”

    “Yes, Miss Padmé,” C3PO hurried to say. “If you will forgive me for saying so, this is a dreadful place. I would think it was hell if I were programmed to believe in such things. And you have the baby to think about--”

    Because I knew what she would say, I had already checked my blaster. I carried the updated Royal Pistol model--the one that looks like a small, silver-sleek knife, the one that looks pretty, not deadly. But I had only used it during my training exercises, and I had never set it to kill. I didn’t have to. Most of the time, I was the lady-in-waiting other people assumed—when they saw me at all—I had to be.

    “I have to do this, Threepio,” she said. Her voice shivered with tears. “He’s here. He’s here, and I have to find him before—before it’s too late.”

    “Milady,” I said.

    And wished I sounded as gentle, as loving, as Dormé always had. I could only squeeze Amidala’s shoulder, and feel her fist-clenched muscles. She hadn’t heard me. She went on looking out the window as the ship made the landing, as it bumped and settled down on its spidertiny feet. The engines sighed with a long, soft hiss. Amidala had already stood up. She rushed out of the cabin, and then I heard her footsteps thud down the ramp.

    She must have been eight months pregnant, but her stomach had stayed small, if not quite small enough to keep a secret under her skirts. My mother would have told me that happens, on occasion, with first pregnancies, and that (she would have smiled, and I wouldn’t be certain if it was amused or a smirk, before she added some medical details I wouldn’t remember for very long) Amidala was lucky.

    I went back to the window and watched Amidala appear on the platform. The air was filled with bright, snapping firebug sparks. But she seemed all right. I looked past her, and up the slope at the mining fortress. C3PO shuffled behind me, and his eyes would have glowed with alarm. I didn’t much care, so long as he stayed quiet. I bit down into my lower lip, and my breathing throbbed in my ears.

    Then: a man was coming down from the fortress. He was tall, and wore a long, ragged, dusty black cloak. I couldn’t see him very well yet, but he seemed familiar—

    Amidala was running up to meet him, and collapsing into his arms.

    “This explains things, “ I said, mostly to myself.

    “Don’t worry, Miss Moteé,” C3PO said. I turned away from the window to see my reflection smeared and floating in his metal skin. “Miss Padmé will be—quite safe. No matter what he has done, I’m sure he would never harm her.”

    The man was Anakin Skywalker. Amidala’s lover, her secret, her husband, and (she had said one night after several glasses of wine, when she thought she was alone) her truest love. We had all thought he must have died with the other Jedi. But here he was, and I could only watch as Amidala threw herself against him like a moth, and he caught her.

    --

    Outside the window, Amidala stepped back, but not away, from Anakin Skywalker. I could hear the flutter of her voice, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. C3PO had shuffled, in his usual stiff and proper way, back into the white hallway. The air in the cabin was already warmer, like the inside of a dark, locked closet. I looked back outside. Amidala shook her head, and her braid slapped against her back. I knew I should wait, and that it was what she wanted, but I walked out into the hallway. I had already gone against her wishes for the first time, and this time, it was easier.

    This is personal, she had told Captain Typho back on Coruscant.

    Ellé had looked at me while Typho protested. She hadn’t needed to speak—I could tell from her eager, sweetheart look that she was ready for, that she wanted, the moment she thought was at hand. But I had still agreed with Typho when he told her it was best if she stayed behind with him.

    Amidala had left the hatchway open, and the air was smothering and heavy as a blanket. I could feel it in my eyes and mouth. But I could breathe, without having to think about it, and I stopped and stood there. I patted at the blaster hidden away in my skirts, but I didn’t believe, not truly, not yet, that I would need it. I didn’t even intend (or maybe I only want to think that) to leave the ship.

    Amidala looked up at Anakin, at Jedi Skywalker: “But Anakin, I don’t need any of that. I never needed you to be the most powerful Jedi. I only wanted your love.”

    “Love,” he said, and his smile was tight. “Love isn’t enough to protect you, Padmé. It never was. Only my new powers can do that.

    “Anakin, please! Listen to yourself!”

    Her voice was suddenly too high, and stumbling, and desperate. Her hands fluttered at her sides. I didn’t move, but I could see her so closely, so well, as though it were the last time. Her eyes were glowing and moist, and her skin was flushed in a humiliated, sick blush from the heat. Her voice burned up in it. She was small, a little girl with teacup porcelain wrists, and Anakin towered over her.

    Now, he sighed, and his voice was--oddly considering how gawky-sullen he had been the other times I saw him--annoyed and pitying. He pitied her. “You don’t understand. I did what I had to, to protect you. It was all for you.”

    “Don’t do this!” she said. “Anakin, you’re a good person.” (And I couldn’t laugh, but I wanted to. Oh, I wanted to.) “It’s not too late. Come away with me, and--”

    “We don’t need to run away,” he said. “Not anymore. Haven’t you been listening to me? Once I overthrow the Emperor, the galaxy will belong to us. It will belong to you. We can make it the peaceful, better place you’ve always wanted--”

    Amidala shook her head. Her hands tightened into fists, and: “That isn’t the world I want! Anakin, don’t you know me at all?”

    “So you’ve turned against me too!” he said.

    “No, Anakin!” she said. “I love you! Come with me now. Before it really is too late. We can find a remote world, somewhere we’ll be safe, to raise our child, and--”

    “Whore!” he said in a trapped-rat snarl. “Don’t lie to me again!”

    I love you, she must have breathed out.

    He stretched out his hand, and she only gasped once before she started to choke. Her eyes were bulged and shocked wide, and she clutched at her throat. Her mouth was open, but she could only make a tickticking sound. Her tongue was swollen-fat and slick with saliva. Yes, I do know, because I felt it. I had to touch my own throat. Anakin stood there and glared as he closed her throat, and smashed her windpipe. It had only been several seconds.

    --

    Perhaps I had time to remember, during those slow four, five, and then seconds, another evening over a year before. I had just returned to the apartment from her offices at the Senate, where I had been the Senator for several hours so she could be with him, with Anakin. Amidala stood on the balcony looking out into the sky, and the last ragged, wedding veil clouds above the tops of the buildings. She didn’t hear me come in, even when I turned on a lamp. She wore a dark furry-velvet dressing gown, and her hair was loose. The water whispered and glittered in the fountain.

    “Milady?” I said, my voice suddenly too loud and false. I watched the floor, and the sharp tips of my shoes, as I walked towards her.

    I wore the elaborate armored purple gown, with cream-yellow lotusbuds embroidered on the underskirt, that she would never actually wear, with the matching moon lady headdress. It may have been her dress, but it wasn’t enough to make me look like her—and it certainly would not have fooled her colleagues, especially Senator Organa, who may have actually been her close friend. She must have known this. I did. I will admit this wasn’t how I had imagined, and daydreamed, I would protect her.

    But I never resented her for it. Never. You can believe me or not, as you choose, but I would have done anything she asked of me.

    She hadn’t heard me. She was still looking through the buildings for the tall, pointed tower at the center of the Jedi temple. Her husband still lived there with his former master when he was on Coruscant. That is, he lived there when he wasn’t sneaking into Amidala’s bedroom, and I shouldn’t mention the time they met at her lake house on Naboo—

    “He’s gone,” she said, and I started before I saw C3PO standing with her. His plating had a sea-pirate treasure gleam in the last, fading light. “He hadn’t even been here a day, and he’s off to the Outer Rim. But then, he could stay here for a day, or even a week, and it still wouldn’t matter. It’s never enough—”

    It’s true that she hardly knew him. They must have spent only several months together during the three years they were married, and I knew her. Each time they saw each other, it was another honeymoon. But even if she only thought she loved him, that was enough. I understand that much, finally, if nothing else.

    --

    Then he lowered his hand, and she sank down to her knees, and then she fell, slow and floating, over onto her side. I didn’t have time to think as I came down the ramp, through a burst of hot, fly-bite golden sparks, and into hell. I will never remember the moment I took my blaster out and switched it from stun to kill. My fingers were numbed, as though they were made from wood. I was numb. I didn’t look away from Anakin Skywalker and Amidala. I saw, or thought I saw, several bruised fingerprint-petals opening on her neck.

    Perhaps I should have been afraid. I didn’t know, and I still don’t, what Anakin (what the little boy I saw at the victory parade as I tossed handfuls of snow-rose petals and shrieked with the other children) had become. But he had never seen me before, and I knew that wouldn’t change now.

    Amidala hadn’t moved, but I heard her whimper. Once, but that was enough. He hadn’t killed her, then, but it wasn’t enough to save him.

    Because she might have loved him, but I did not.

    Anakin was still watching her when I fired. The sound was punched me like a fist, and I fired again, and again, while the blaster shook in my hands.

    “Anakin!” a man’s voice, with a well-bred, prim, Coruscanti accent, shouted behind me, and I would have been surprised if I had been able to feel anything.

    He must have been dead with the second shot, but I fired one last time. I dropped the blaster and rushed over to Amidala. She was still breathing, and her eyelids twitched in the midst of a dream. When I touched her forehead, and her throat, and the drumbeat echo of her pulse, she was warm, but I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t only the oven-hot air around us. Her hand was limp when I took it, turned into a glove for one of the balls at Theed Palace. I pressed my other hand against her stomach, and felt the baby—one of two babies—shift and move its legs around inside its tiny room.

    “It’s all right, Moteé,” the man said. “You did what you had to.”

    Or as he would tell me later: You did what I should have done.

    “She won’t believe that,” I said, and my voice was slow and muddy-thick and dragging as I realized what I have always known since. “She never will.”

    I looked over at Obi-Wan Kenobi. He crouched several feet away next to Anakin Skywalker, next to the body with the burnt holes I had blasted into him. Blasters are neat in that way, I thought, for the first, real time. No blood. There was a burst of lava off to the side, and the platform vibrated under my knees. My hair was heavy and slick with sweat, and my skin glowed with heat. I could hardly see Kenobi, and I couldn’t even guess at what he might have felt. It took me several minutes, and too long, to realize that I had started crying. The tears had already dried up on my face.

    --

    Because she loved him, she would never understand what I did. But I saved her, even if it was only for five years. She died on the remote forest-island on Naboo where she had been living with Dormé—faithful, loving, perfect Dormé. I could have visited her, but I never dared. I did know that she still wore her old gowns, all those dresses I had looked after, and wrote to her parents, several select colleagues, and a friend from her junior legislature days, even after she faded and starved away into a ghost. She never wept for the children, the boy and the girl, she had been separated from moments after they were born, to protect them from the Emperor. She only ever wept for him.

    I would have done anything for her, Dormé told me at the state funeral, as we stood in the crowds watching the procession. But I couldn’t make her want to live.

    Then she looked away, and I could see the glass tears glowing on her cheeks in the light from the flickering candles. She didn’t want to see me, and I understood. But I won’t dwell upon that, or upon my own disgrace.

    --

    No, I will only remember sitting next to Amidala in the ship’s med-bay as it moved through the grey smoke of the atmosphere and back into space. The light was too bright, too glaring-white, and the whole ship smelled like the dust from Amidala’s gowns. The medlights over her bunk kept up a constant, fever-red blink. Kenobi had contacted Typho for me once we were in hyperspace, since I refused to leave her side. The hell-world, Mustafar, was gone, and millions of kilometers behind us, when she woke up. When she saw me, her eyes widened. I tried to smile, but I couldn’t move my stiff, sore lips.

    “Moteé,” she said. Her voice was rusted, and she had to pause, and swallow, before she could speak again. “What happened to Anakin? Is he…”

    (C3PO had helped Kenobi gather up his body while I cared for Amidala. He was wrapped up inside his cloak in one of the storage areas.)

    “Don’t worry about him, Milady,” I said. I hunched my shoulders together, but I was still so shivering, painfully cold. The ship was climate controlled, but it felt like the inside of a freezer unit, and I didn’t know why. Amidala frowned, but not because she had guessed what I was only beginning to know about what I had done. I wouldn’t know for another month that I would even have to see, and endure, it when I dreamed.

    She closed her eyes, and her head flopped to the side. “There is still good in him. You don’t believe me, but I know. There is still good…”

    Yes, I thought she was deluded. But I only waited until her breathing slowed, and she was asleep again. Her mouth twitched up in a smile, and she looked innocent, still good and innocent, and I had to turn away. When that wasn’t enough, I squeezed my eyes shut. That didn’t help. I could still feel the smooth silver permasteel of the blaster in my hand, the blaster I had left behind on the platform. Once again, it shivered when I lifted it to fire.

    Once again, I watched the bolts burn through him. He turned. His eyes were glassy-blank and shocked open. He fell. I wanted to think of something, anything else. But I could only see it happen again, and again, and again.

    *
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  2. Idrelle_Miocovani

    Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Wow.

    Just... wow.

    =D==D==D=

    That was stunning, Pandora. Absolutely beautiful, but terrifying also. Wonderful vignette.
     
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  3. randomangel22

    randomangel22 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2006
    OMG that was very eery and so good at the same time. :eek:

    I always wondered what would've happened had someone gone with Padme (besides Obi-Wan) and you did that perfectly.

    I could imagine Motee or any of the handmaidens taking Anakin down when their mistress was in danger. [face_worried]

    Excellent viggie! =D=
     
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  4. bobilll

    bobilll Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Wow, power to the handmaiden! Though I gotta say, a powerful POV choice, with what Motee had done. Love how you worked it so that she hardly got any attention through most of the story, but played the most important hand. Oh, the tragedy~
     
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  5. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2006
    That was incredible.

    I loved the description.

    Intense.

    I miss the handmaidens in RotS.

    Much =D=, Pandora. I really enjoyed this.
     
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  6. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Very haunting, and well done. =D=
     
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  7. _ThatJediScum_

    _ThatJediScum_ Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2005
    OhMyGoodness. That was awesome. :D


    Amidala didn?t move, but I heard her whimper. Once, but that was enough. He hadn?t killed her, then, but it wasn?t enough to save him.

    Because she might have loved him, but I did not.


    This is the part where I stopped and my heart jumped. I LOVED this line.


    Before Anakin could turn, I fired. It sounded like a fist punched through me, and then I fired again, and again, while the blaster shook in my hands.

    ?Anakin!? a man?s voice, with a Coruscanti, well-bred accent, shouted behind me, and I would have started if I had been able to feel anything.

    Before I knew it, I had fired another, and final time, although he would have been dead. I dropped the blaster, and rushed over to Amidala. She was still alive, if not well, and her eyelids twitched, in the middle of a dream. When I touched her forehead, and then her throat, and the ticktock pulse, she was warm, but I thought it might only be the oven-warmed air around us. I took her hand, and it was limp, turned into a glove for a party at Theed Palace, or the Naboo Embassy on Coruscant. I pressed my hand against her stomach, and felt one the baby, one of two babies, shift, and turn over.

    ?It?s all right, Moteé,? the man said. ?You did what you had to.?

    Or as he would tell me, later: You did what I should have.

    ?She won?t believe that,? I said, and my voice was slow, and muddy, and dragging as I realized what I have always known since then. ?She never will.?


    I love that you used Moteé here. She really is one of the lesser know handmaidens and I loved how you used that to tell her story. And the end were she's separated from Padmé because of what she's done, Wow. Moteé did her duty and saved Padmé but in doing so, in a sense, betrayed her mistress. I also loved the "perfect Dormé" line.


    I looked up at Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was standing next to me, with Anakin Skywalker, with his body, with several burnt blaster holes. Blasters are neat in that way, I realized for the first time. No blood. There was a burst of lava behind him, and the platform vibrated under my knees. My hair was sweat-heavy, and my skin seemed to glow with heat. I could hardly see Kenobi, or realize how he felt. It took me a minute, and too long, to realize that I had started crying. The tears had already dried up on my face.

    You did a wonderful job. =D= =D= =D=

    bran
    who's having a total fangirl moment
     
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  8. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Wow. Just wow. Simply incredible. =D= I don't know what else to say. :eek:
     
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  9. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Idrelle_Miocovani: Thanks!

    randomangel22: I could imagine Motee or any of the handmaidens taking Anakin down when their mistress was in danger.

    That's quite true.

    Even though I didn't intend for that to happen when I started writing, the story led there so naturally it seems inevitable. Moteé's priorities here, as a handmaiden, would be quite simple. Basically, "You hurt my mistress. Prepare to die." (apologies to Inigo Montoya.)

    Excellent viggie!

    Thanks!

    bobilll: Yes, Moteé really does get overlooked and ignored for most of this story. I meant for Amidala to be somewhat distant, but I didn't realize just how distant she was until I was revising it. Apparently, I can't see them having a close relationship in any universe.

    But then, it is because Moteé gets so little attention that she is able to play that important hand. Anakin never saw her, and so he never saw it coming.

    Luna_Nightshade: That was incredible. I loved the description. Intense.

    I aim to please in the description department, so I'm glad you like it.

    I miss the handmaidens in RotS.

    I miss them too.

    Alexis_Wingstar: Thanks for reading!

    _ThatJediScum_: Because she might have loved him, but I did not.

    This is the part where I stopped and my heart jumped. I LOVED this line.

    Yes, that is the line where she makes her decision. It doesn't mean anything to Moteé that Anakin is the Chosen One, the Hero Without Fear, or even the Emperor's apprentice. He has hurt her mistress, and he has to be stopped.

    And the end were she's separated from Padmé because of what she's done, Wow. Moteé did her duty and saved Padmé but in doing so, in a sense, betrayed her mistress.

    That is sad, but true. I think it may be partly because Moteé did what Amidala knows she should have, for the greater good, for the political over the personal. (I've read AUs where she kills Anakin herself, but I don't think she could have done it.) And ultimately, I think Moteé also stays away because, unconsciously, she resents Amidala for what she had to do. She's not a murderer at heart; when she killed Anakin, when she took a sentient life, it killed a part of her soul. And Amidala never had to understand that.

    I also loved the "perfect Dormé" line.

    Moteé does have a fair bit of very repressed resentment going on.

    I don't know why I have her see Dormé as the ohsoperfect older sister she can never live up to. Probably for the tension. That's usually a good reason.

    VaderLVR: Wow. Just wow. Simply incredible. I don't know what else to say.

    *blushes*. Thanks!
     
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  10. Darthana

    Darthana Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2005
    :eek:
    Very well written fic. And shocking. =D= Just wow.
    I still can't believe she killed Ani, though. Thene again, I guess I would if I was in her situation.

     
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  11. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Darthana: I still can't believe she killed Ani, though. Thene again, I guess I would if I was in her situation.

    Well, she did what she thought was best. She could have stunned him, instead of killing him, but she didn't. She must have known, if mostly instinctively, just how dangerous he really was.

    Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you liked it.
     
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  12. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    It rises from the depths of the locked pages--and into the light of the new boards.
     
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  13. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Brutal, but necessary. Loyalty and duty often require the ability to kill in the name of protection, and Motee only did what she had to do. It's definitely an interesting AU, because it radically changes the direction of how the saga would have proceeded. Guess that's why GL had Padme go unaccompanied to Mustafar. ;)

    Anyway, this is dark, intense, very well written. :)
     
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  14. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Dark, yes. Awesome? Even more yes!! I love that you touched on Padme's selfishness ("she did not weep for her children...only for him), a rather controversial position to take, but one that's not outrageous. Fantastic job!
     
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  15. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Stang. Well, knock me down, why don'tcha? :eek: Amazing and heartbreaking. I'm so glad this got unearthed!
     
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  16. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    leiamoody: Brutal, but necessary. Loyalty and duty often require the ability to kill in the name of protection, and Motee only did what she had to do. It's definitely an interesting AU, because it radically changes the direction of how the saga would have proceeded. Guess that's why GL had Padme go unaccompanied to Mustafar.

    I've never been certain just how different the saga would have turned out in this universe. After I wrote this story, I did consider following it to see where it would go, but I think this was all I needed to say. I do think Palpatine would have followed the ways of the Sith and gotten a new apprentice, and that Leia and Luke would have had different childhoods--while Anakin might have been through with Tatooine, it would be one of the first places Palpatine would look. The family dynamics (Luke, I am your father) wouldn't be there, and Leia still wouldn't really be able to remember her mother.

    If I remember correctly, both handmaidens and Captain Typho were, nearly up to the moment filming began, portrayed as accompanying Padmé to Mustafar. But their presence didn't change a thing, as they were mowed down, probably before they even drew their blasters; such is the fate of minor characters. It was the clones* (who also don't appear on Mustafar in the final shot script) who killed them--I have to suppose that if Anakin killed her attendants in her presence, it might have been more difficult for Padmé to see the good in him.

    Of course, it couldn't have gone the way it does in this story. But this is an AU, and when I realized what Moteé would have to do, to protect her mistress, I could go with it. She finally gets to actually carry out her bodyguard duties. And, in general, I get the impression (since there is nothing official on how the handmaidens might have regarded him) that Anakin had done nothing to earn her loyalty.

    Anyway, this is dark, intense, very well written.

    Thanks!


    taramidala: I love that you touched on Padme's selfishness ("she did not weep for her children...only for him), a rather controversial position to take, but one that's not outrageous.

    I wrote this over seven years ago, so I don't remember exactly what I intended when I wrote this line. Yes, I suppose it is selfish in some ways--but I also see Padmé as being exhausted emotionally. She had defined her sense of self by her political career in the senate, and then her relationship with Anakin--and she has lost both of them. She knows (though I'm not sure exactly how much she is permitted to know) the children are safe. And then--in the movies, her children, whatever she felt for them, were not enough to keep her on this mortal coil. Her feelings for Anakin always came first.

    Thank you for commenting!


    ThreadSketch: Stang. Well, knock me down, why don'tcha? :eek:

    You're welcome?

    Amazing and heartbreaking. I'm so glad this got unearthed!

    Thanks! Yes, some stories just need to crawl back into the daylight of the first page.


    *Unless it was some conveniently inconvenient battle droids.
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent heart-tugging! The Handmaiden's consummate loyalty and sense of duty shines vividly. Her instant's choice - about what to do on Mustafar - part and parcel of that devotion. @};-
     
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  18. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Nyota's Heart: Excellent heart-tugging! The Handmaiden's consummate loyalty and sense of duty shines vividly. Her instant's choice - about what to do on Mustafar - part and parcel of that devotion.

    It's very true: Moteé only has an instant to make her choice. She has the training to help her know what to do--but, since her mistress seems to rely on the Jedi for protection, and C3PO for companionship, it might be first time she has put that training to actual use.* And once the moment was over, she had to live with the results of her decision, and I don't think that would be easy for her. If it hadn't been for that loyalty and sense of duty, she could never have killed someone. After all, the Naboo are peaceful--she would be going against the beliefs she has been taught for most of her life. She didn't lose those the moment she was assigned a blaster.

    Anyhow, thanks for commenting!


    *And that would be another Oh snap! in the direction of ROTS and that Clone Wars cartoon.
     
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  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    “It’s all right, Moteé,” the man said. “You did what you had to.”

    Or as he would tell me later: You did what I should have done.

    “She won’t believe that,” I said, and my voice was slow and muddy-thick and dragging as I realized what I have always known since. “She never will.”

    I looked over at Obi-Wan Kenobi. He crouched several feet away next to Anakin Skywalker, next to the body with the burnt holes I had blasted into him. Blasters are neat in that way, I thought, for the first, real time. No blood. There was a burst of lava off to the side, and the platform vibrated under my knees. My hair was heavy and slick with sweat, and my skin glowed with heat. I could hardly see Kenobi, and I couldn’t even guess at what he might have felt. It took me several minutes, and too long, to realize that I had started crying. The tears had already dried up on my face.

    Your AU´s are certainly brave, because you stir us away from what we expect to happen. And when we feel save and think we know, because we read/ saw it a thousand times before, you open your Pandora´s box. Brilliantly done! I had to remember breathing while reading this.
     
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  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Had this bookmarked and just realised I did not reply.

    Reading it one day after Peace, for whatever reason, led me to the assumption that I would read a story where the handmaidens are slain. But I should've realised that your handmaidens (and swordmaidens, and bet there are insertcoolthingheremaidens in general that have not surfaced yet) are always absolutely and totally badass.

    I can imagine that Moteé caught Darth Vader by surprise to the point where he couldn't even, say, use the Force to ricochet the laser fire, like he does in The Empire Strikes Back.

    But one thing that I like most is how there appears to be some resentment from Moteé towards both Padmé herself, as well as Dormé. She changed the future (from our POV), she may have saved the Galaxy from a genocide, yet she does not get any of the respect she deserves, and remains bitter to a certain extent, while her fellow handmaiden, remained with Padmé until her very last day. There could probably be some subtext on what really happened on that remote island, but I doubt that anybody would go that far. Or would you?
     
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  21. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    AzureAngel2: Your AU´s are certainly brave, because you stir us away from what we expect to happen. And when we feel save and think we know, because we read/ saw it a thousand times before, you open your Pandora´s box.

    When I began writing this, I didn't have any intentions for it to go where it did. I won't say that it just happened magically on its own (unfortunately, Melpomene does not use me as her puppet on earth--I have to do all the work), but I could see, from the situation I had set up, what might happen--and it felt not only natural, but almost inevitable. But I haven't seen anything quite like this before or since (I have seen AUs where Padmé chooses the side of the greater good and kills Anakin herself--but I don't think she was capable of that), so I'm guessing it does come as quite the surprise.

    Brilliantly done! I had to remember breathing while reading this.

    Thanks!

    Ewok Poet: Reading it one day after Peace, for whatever reason, led me to the assumption that I would read a story where the handmaidens are slain. But I should've realised that your handmaidens (and swordmaidens, and bet there are insertcoolthingheremaidens in general that have not surfaced yet) are always absolutely and totally badass.

    Well, honestly compels me to admit that I have written several stories in which the handmaidens do die--but even then, they always had their own stories, and they always mattered. And most of the time, it's far more interesting to have them live, in spite of any odds. If one wants them to be there only to die for the sake of the plot, one can find that in the canon. (While I would have liked to have seen Dormé for even a few moments in that Clone Wars cartoon, or even the Legendary EU, I'm also sort of relieved that didn't happen--because I have no doubt that she would have showed up only long enough to get killed off.)

    I don't have any insertcoolthingheremaidens as of yet, but I accept that challenge.

    I can imagine that Moteé caught Darth Vader by surprise to the point where he couldn't even, say, use the Force to ricochet the laser fire, like he does in The Empire Strikes Back.

    It's easy enough to catch someone by surprise when they don't bother to see you--and I get the impression that Anakin was so obsessed with Padmé, he almost literally never realized her handmaidens existed.* In this story, that leads to his downfall.

    But one thing that I like most is how there appears to be some resentment from Moteé towards both Padmé herself, as well as Dormé. She changed the future (from our POV), she may have saved the Galaxy from a genocide, yet she does not get any of the respect she deserves, and remains bitter to a certain extent, while her fellow handmaiden, remained with Padmé until her very last day.

    It's not really a surprise that Moteé would feel that way towards them, even if she would not admit as much to herself. Once her moment was over, she was left alone with the emotional consequences that neither of them could understand. And while she would say she didn't need or deserve any respect, she must have wanted some acknowledgment from Padmé that she never received. And of course Dormé, the perfect example she had felt utterly unable to live up to, remained with Padmé--she is, to quote that biography of her that gets re-used at every pertinent site online, her most devoted aide.

    There could probably be some subtext on what really happened on that remote island, but I doubt that anybody would go that far. Or would you?

    I would go there--and since I "ship" Padmé/Dormé, I already have. (Yes: that means if you picked up on any subtext in a few of the handmaiden stories in my anthology thread, you saw it because it's there.) But in this universe, I don't think anything would have actually happened--basically, Dormé watched, patiently and mostly silently, as the woman she was in love with grieved for her dead husband. And she received very little in return for her devotion. But it was her choice, and she would not have regretted a minute of it.




    *And that would be yet another Oh snap!
     
  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Since it indeed is what I thought it is - yes, please, if you wrote it or plan to, I would definitely want to read it. A friend who has two children and I are often like "screw men, we could live together like a commune of sorts" and, with the romantic aspect you're implying, that whole concept could be far more interesting than the idea of just being together under the same roof. Or a pretty palm tree on a deserted island.

    EDIT: I found it. It may go beyond what I usually read, but yeah, it's well-written.

    As for not leaving comments - the day will come. Until then, I tagged you for having provided me with inspiration through your wonderfully grim writing. :D
     
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  23. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Ewok Poet: I might have a story about that time on the island (lived, of course, in a well-appointed house--Padmé's wardrobe alone would have to be nearly the size of a vacation cabin). After I revised this story a few years ago, and I was still in the mindset for it, I had the first bit of an idea; and recently, while I've been doing replies, I've gotten caught on one rather obvious thing: Dormé, Padmé's "most devoted aide," isn't in her service when this story takes place--if she were, it wouldn't have happened the way it does--and obviously, she is still on this mortal coil. She left Padmé, and all I've established for certain is that whatever the reason was, she returned later on to resume her devoted place.

    So I might write that, but I don't expect to get to it for a while.

    I found it. It may go beyond what I usually read, but yeah, it's well-written.

    I know which story you mean. I do have several other Padmé/Dormé stories floating around livejournal that aren't as explicit as that one--but while I intend to eventually repost them on the AO3, I want to revise them first, so I don't know when that will happen. As for posting them here, I'm not sure about that. I rated them all as "mature," mostly to be safe, and there are varied issues (mostly the role playing in the one story with virtually no explicit sexual content) I don't think I could get away with depicting here.

    As for not leaving comments - the day will come. Until then, I tagged you for having provided me with inspiration through your wonderfully grim writing. :D

    My main issue with comments is that I have to write a screed worthy of a literature class response paper, and it had better get a good grade too. But I might work it out one day. Thank you for the tag--I'm pleased to have provided any help in making your writing a grimmer place. (I feel like an emoticon thing would go here, so insert the one of your choosing.)
     
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  24. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Greet Melpomene from me! I hope she can visit me when my summer holidays begin.

    As for you writing more handmaiden stories, please notify me when they come up! [:D]