Saga - PT Before the Saga Naboo's Queen (Padme Amidala Decathlon for the Fanfiction Summer Olympics

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Ohh, the colors in this one! So descriptive, and so much beautiful imagery!

    If I am not reading too much into this, the whole idea of "glass from sand" ties in directly to Anakin and Padme. It's at that very lakeside that he tells her how he hates sand. But she sees how rough, coarse sand can be fashioned into something exquisite, like how Anakin can be transformed from the surly teen from the outer rim to the respected Jedi who wins her heart.
  2. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your kind comment! :) This was definitely meant to be a sweet, relaxing scene focused on natural and artistic beauty so I'm so glad the lovely lake, fluffy white clouds, and bright blue sky resonated with you. Writing the gorgeous glass creations was possibly my favorite part of this piece, so it makes me happy to hear the glassworks impressed you as much as they did Padme and her friends. I'd really love to be able to see that glass myself too!

    @divapilot Thank you so much for commenting!:) I definitely pictured colors as being a major part of this piece with the blue lake and matching sky, the white clouds, and the glass in jade, aquamarine, and purple, so I'm so happy to hear that was a highlight for you and that you found the imagery so beautiful.

    Don't worry. You're not reading too much into it;) This story was inspired by some of the cut dialogue in the scene where Anakin kisses Padme for the first time, where Padme describes seeing the glass maker on the island she swims to with her friends, and I figured that would make a perfect basis for a little story and glimpse into Padme's past like this one, and when Padme was reflecting in the end how rough sand could be transfigured into something smooth and breathtakingly beautiful, I was hoping that it might remind readers of Anakin's comments on sand and give a hint into what Padme's perspective on that could have been, so while Anakin wasn't a direct part of the story, I still think of his presence as being there indirectly in the end if that makes sense.

    Title: Chasing Glowbugs

    Genre: General; Family

    Characters: Padme Amidala; Pooja Naberrie; Ryoo Naberrie; Sola Naberrie

    Event: 100 Word Sprint

    Summary: Padme watches her nieces chase glowbugs and longs to have her own children one day.

    Chasing Glowbugs

    “I’d like to be a mother one day.” Padme’s voice and eyes were wistful as she watched Ryoo and Pooja dart through the garden grass under a twilit purple sky in pursuit of the flickering yellow taillights of glowbugs, hands outstretched to capture these elusive, luminescent creatures. It was a warm summer night, and Padme was savoring every second of being home from Coruscant during a break between legislative sessions.

    “Being a mother isn’t always easy.” Sola’s smile was wryly affectionate as she gazed at her giggling daughters. “The girls may seem sweet now, but they’re fierce fighting each other.”
    amidalachick, AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Sweet scene with the nieces chasing glowbugs in a lovely summer evening. I can practically picture the glimmer glowbugs ;) and Sola's commentary on how her daughters aren't always sweet made me chuckle. [face_mischief] I can truly understand, though, how seeing them having so much fun would make Padme long for her own children someday. [face_thinking]
  4. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm so glad that you enjoyed this sweet scene with Padme's nieces chasing glowbugs on a glorious summer evening. I remember from my own childhood how a wonderful part of summer was chasing after lightning bugs with my brother so those memories kind of became inspiration and a way for me to celebrate some of Padme's time spent at home with her family for this story, and also a way for Padme to reflect on how she would like to have children one day. I definitely think that anyone who has ever been responsible for children could relate to Sola's comment about how her daughters aren't always sweet, so I'm so happy that line made you chuckle, so I definitely can relate to Sola's perspective here[face_laugh] At the same time, I absolutely understand how Padme would look at her nieces having fun chasing glowbugs in the garden and really long to have children of her own someday.
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    “Being a mother isn’t always easy.” Sola’s smile was wryly affectionate as she gazed at her giggling daughters. “The girls may seem sweet now, but they’re fierce fighting each other.”

    As a kindergarten teacher I am always "at the front lines" and I can tell you, the more a child is aware of the fact that its cute, the more unfair the fighting can get. And then that particular child tries to look extra innocent and cute. Never works on me though. Not with 20 years work experience...

    Anyway, wonderful and beautiful updates! So many other readers already commented pretty clever and eloquent stuff that I can just leave some words of praise here.
  6. Da'niel

    Da'niel Jedi Youngling

    Jul 14, 2020
    I loved all of these glimpses into the pastoral life of Naboo. I always thought it should have been Alderaan in the sequels; imagery like this would've made the events of A New Hope achingly tragic. Keep 'em coming :)
  7. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    "Sand, Sky, and Glass": Oh, this is gorgeous. You have such a great way of capturing Naboo's beauty in your writing. Plus blue skies, blue water, and sunny beaches are heaven to me in any universe (including our own, lol!). [face_love]

    This is beautiful, too. The colors make the imagery so vivid, and I love the image of Padmé and her classmates admiring these beautiful creations.

    And, as @divapilot mentioned, I loved the line about rough sand transforming into smooth glass, and how it relates to Anakin and Padmé. Just a beautiful piece all around!

    "Chasing Glowbugs": And this one is so sweet and beautiful, too! [face_love]

    Just gorgeous. The imagery is stunning, and I can almost feel the warm summer air.

    And Sola's observation about the girls being sweet here but fierce fighters is a nice touch of humor. I don't spend a lot of time around kids but I've done my share of babysitting and visiting with little cousins and whatnot, and yeah, they can get vicious. [face_laugh]

    Anyway, excellent work, again! =D=
  8. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Never Looked More a Queen~Perfectly sums up how far Padme would go for her people. Amazing!
    Queen Somebody~I'm sure talking to plants, if it isn't already, should be a prerequisit for being royal. LOL. Loved this look at Padme's ambition to be a queen. =D=
    Four Forms of Love~Truly beautiful insight into Padme's devotion to and affection for the people closest to her. The bonds they share are close and tight and the feeling comes across. :D
    Scars Everywhere~Sort, but a very in-depth look at the scars warleaves behind, both seen and unseen. Wonderful!:)
    What Dreams May Come~I find the concept of Padme having some insight and foresight into her future with Anakin and what events are to come really interesting. What might have been had she told Anakin what the tealeaf reader had told her. Well done. =D=
    Sand, Sky, and Glass~You capture the beauty of Naboo's Lake Country so well in this. So descriptive.=D= Padme's time there with her friends is as beautiful, fun and lovely as the place itself.
    Chasing Glowbugs~This tiny gem is my favorite! Took me back to my own childhood chasing fireflies. Love that Sola imparted to her sister that her girls weren't always nice, giggly little ones. So true of kids!=D=

    Absolutely wonderful look at moments in Padme's life and how her feelings and emotions come through in your writing so easily. Very well done. =D==D=
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Da'niel Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm so glad that you loved all the glimpses into the pastoral life of Naboo because that pastoral side of Naboo was one of my favorite aspects of Naboo. It's interesting that you make that comment about how Naboo should've been Alderaan, because Naboo always reminded me quite a lot of Alderaan!

    @amidalachick As always, thank you so much for commenting!:) I really enjoyed being able to write about Naboo's natural beauty in "Sand, Sky, and Glass" so I'm so happy you felt I did a great job capturing it and you found the piece gorgeous. Blue skies, blue water, and sunny beaches always feel like a slice of heaven to me too. I really wanted to show the beauty of the creations the glassmaker had made and convey the awe that Padme and her classmates felt for what he had made, so it's awesome to know that came through in the story and the color imagery was so effective for you. And I couldn't resist the line about rough sand being transformed into smooth glass because it seemed perfect as a way of linking to Anakin/Padme and their later discussion in the Naboo Lake Country, so it made her feel like her life was truly intertwined in a way.

    Chasing fireflies is a favorite childhood memory of mine, so I'm so happy that you found "Chasing Glowbugs" so sweet and beautiful. I'm so flattered that you found the imagery gorgeous and that you could almost feel the warm air since I really wanted to create that summer atmosphere of warmth and wistfulness. And I just couldn't resist putting in Sola's remark about how girls who seems sweet can become very fierce fighters because I worked for years as a camp counselor and got to know how fierce seemingly sweet girls can become. Appearances can be deceiving with sweet little girls[face_laugh]

    Thank you again for your kind comment, and I'm so happy you found the stories to be excellent! Hopefully I'll be able to have another posted soon:D

    @JediMaster_Jen Thank you so much for commenting!:) With "Never Looked More a Queen," I really wanted to come up with something that would define Padme as a queen in one sentence, and I couldn't get the moment when she had knelt before Boss Nass and pleaded with him on behalf of her people to help free Naboo from the Trade Federation that I felt encapsulate her as queen better than anything else. In humbling herself like that, she somehow never looked more a queen, and the single sentence story was born.

    So glad you enjoyed Queen's Somebody and found the humor in Padme being made to talk to plants. That would indeed be a wonderful prerequisite for being royal[face_laugh] It was interesting to be able to explore Padme's early ambitions to be queen and try to look at her throughout her life from childhood to political service as Queen to marriage to Anakin Skywalker and try to get an insight into the range of rich experiences Padme must have had in her life before her tragic death.

    I'm so happy that you found "Four Forms of Love" to be a beautiful insight into Padme's devotion to and affection for those closest to her. I really wanted to communicate a sense of how many people--her family, her friends, the people she served, and of course her husband Anakin--loved Padme in different ways and to show how the different ways in which she loved these people shaped and defined her. It was a way to show how rounded Padme was in a sense: how many people loved her and how many she loved back in different ways.

    Writing "Scars Everywhere" did break my heart because it was so painful thinking about all the visible and invisible scars of war, and I really felt how Padme must have been haunted by them as the Queen of Naboo after the Trade Federation invasion. It wouldn't have been easy trying to heal Naboo of the battle scars that the Trade Federation left on it.

    I'm so glad that you found "What Dreams May Come" interesting with the idea of Padme perhaps having some foresight and insight into her own foreseen death in childbirth. To me, ROTS is so full of tragic what-ifs that it definitely impacts how I write anything related to ROTS. Just that aching sense of what could have been if things had been slightly different or the main characters (Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan) had made slightly different choices. So poignant and powerful.

    I really love the beauty of the Naboo Lake Country, so I'm so happy you felt I captured it so well in "Sand, Sky, and Glass." I definitely picture Padme's time there with her classmates as being as perfect and idyllic as the setting. What a memory for her to return to in the future.

    I'm so happy that "Chasing Glowbugs" was your favorite and that it reminded you of your own childhood chasing fireflies since it was exactly those sort of memories that inspired the creation of the piece. And I loved giving Sola a chance to warn Padme that girls aren't always the nice, giggly littles ones they seem. [face_laugh] It just seemed like a great little family moment to capture and a hint into how Padme might have longed for children.

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! I really wanted to do Padme justice in these stories, so it makes me so happy that you felt all these moments in her life came through so well along with all her rich feelings and emotions. I hope to continue to do her justice as I try to finish this Decathlon I started in her honor!
  10. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Light and Life

    Genre: Romance; Tragedy

    Characters: Padme Amidala; Anakin Skywalker

    Event: 1500 Word Dash

    Padme learns she is pregnant and shares this news with Anakin.

    Light and Life

    Anakin was gone from Coruscant—fighting the Separatists in the Outer Rim Sieges—and Padme was alone when her monthly cycles didn’t come. Taking deep breaths, she tried not to panic in the refresher, telling herself that her cycle must be delayed. It’d happened before that the stress of the Senate had made her cycle late.

    As the days passed, her cycle proved not just tardy, but downright missing in action to use military jargon that’d become commonplace even on the Senate floor since the outbreak of galactic civil war. When two months went by without her cycle but with the burning bile of sickness in the morning, aversions to foods and smells she’d always found pleasant, bloating in her legs, and bone-deep fatigue, she could no longer deny something was wrong with her.

    She had her suspicions but sought to trample them down in the pit of her churning stomach as she laid on the shimmersilk blankets of her sleep couch and sent a handmaiden in search of a medical droid programmed for complete patient confidentiality.

    When the medical droid had arrived and the handmaiden had been dismissed from the room, Padme described her symptoms in a voice that struggled not to tremble.

    “No cycles for two months, nausea in the mornings, aversion to foods and smells, and fatigue.” The medical droid reeled off her symptoms with mechanical dispassion then whirred as it referenced its extensive databases to determine her most likely condition. No female—no adult member of any species capable of bearing children—would have needed to consult a database to reach such a conclusion, Padme thought, but somehow it still had seemed necessary to summon a medical droid to confirm the presence of the life she sensed growing within her. “My lady may be pregnant.”

    The droid extended a cold, metallic approximation of a hand and rested it above Padme’s womb. Padme could feel gentle sound waves radiating from the droid, checking for a baby growing within her. Green sensors flared as the droid finished its diagnosis. “My lady is indeed pregnant.”

    “Pregnant?” Padme echoed, feeling as if she’d just been smashed with a ton of durasteel. She may have suspected that she was pregnant, but she hadn’t really believed it until the droid had made this pronouncement in a detached, mechanical manner.

    “My databases assure me that it is natural for a woman to experience shock when first informed she is pregnant, and my auditory processing facilities register the tone of your astonishment as within normal parameters.” The droid’s words were far from reassuring and only became more disconcerting as it continued, “My records show that you are a single woman, Senator.”

    Padme nodded. Of course she was listed as single in all her medical and other records. She couldn’t afford to be listed as married to a Jedi. That would get Anakin expelled from the Order with no hope of appeal.

    “Many single women do not wish their pregnancy to come to term,” the droid went on without appearing to notice Padme’s nod. “There are pills I am authorized to dispense to you now that will terminate your pregnancy, or if you require more time to make your decision, I can be called to perform a surgery that will have the same effect at a latter date.”

    “I’ve already made up my mind.” Padme’s palms folded protectively over her womb. She couldn’t imagine ending the life she could feel growing inside her—the life she had created with Anakin that felt like a light shining inside her, a blazing hope for the future. “I will carry this pregnancy to term if I can.”

    “Then you must eat a nutritious diet.” The droid began outlining the foods she should eat—fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals—and the drinks—primarily alcoholic—she should avoid. It ended its advice minutes later with the statement that she should have her handmaidens schedule monthly appointments with a med droid to ensure that her pregnancy stayed safe and healthy.

    Padme kept her pregnancy a searing secret within herself until Anakin returned to Coruscant from the front. She wasn’t happy about what had brought him back to Coruscant—the invasion of the Republic’s capital and the kidnapping of Chancellor Palpatine even if she felt increasingly alienated from the Chancellor for the powers he was accumulating in the Senate—but she was so relieved to see him again.

    Her heart danced as she stood in the shadows of a grand pillar, waiting for him to conclude a conversation with her friend, Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan. Glimpsing her behind the pillar, Anakin abruptly excused himself and raced over to her, arms open wide to embrace her as hers were to receive him.

    He hugged her fiercely to him, lifting her into the air and spinning her around so she became dizzy. Her spirit spiraling inside her as he set her on the ground, she kissed him, murmuring, “Oh, Anakin.”

    She couldn’t say anything else, her words trailing away into a sigh of pleasure at seeing him again—at being able to hold him close to her beating heart.

    His lips were pressed against her neck so she could feel every syllable as he spoke. “I’ve missed you, Padme.”

    “There were whispers that you’d been killed.” Padme found herself panting with worry about losing him even though he was standing before her. The very thought of the child inside her being born without a father made her feel sick with sorrow.

    “I’m all right.” Anakin smiled at her with the rakish, daring, and dauntless grin that had made her fall in love with him in the first place. He gave a soft laugh before adding with a touch of ruefulness, “It feels like we’ve been apart for a lifetime, and it might have been if the Chancellor hadn’t been kidnapped. I don’t think they ever would’ve ever brought us back from the Outer Rim Sieges.”

    He kissed Padme with an insatiable hunger. Knowing where that hunger would lead, she protested, “Wait. Not here.”

    “Yes, here,” Anakin insisted, and Padme realized with a sinking sensation in her stomach that they weren’t just talking about kissing behind this pillar. They were talking once again about Anakin declaring his love for her openly and leaving the Jedi Order. “I’m tired of all this deception. I don’t care if they know we’re married.”

    “Anakin, don’t say things like that.” Panicked at how hot his passion could burn for her, Padme tried to dampen his flames.

    Instead of replying, he pulled her into an embrace again. Perhaps he felt her heart thudding inside her and recognized that it was hammering with anxiety as much as excitement for he asked, “Are you all right? You’re trembling. What’s going on?”

    Padme hadn’t noticed she was shaking until he mentioned it. Once he commented on it, she could feel herself wavering like grass on the windy plains of Naboo.

    “Something wonderful has happened.” With every word from her mouth, she hoped that he would indeed find something wonderful in the news and not just a burden. “Annie, I’m pregnant.”

    “That’s”—he stared at his feet, absorbing the enormity of what she’d said, fumbling for words, and finally settling on a repeat of hers—“that’s wonderful.”

    His smile—broader than any she’d ever seen from him—assured her that he truly did believe that her news was a joy. His smile was so wide that she started to fear he saw only the joy in her pregnancy and not the problems it could pose for them both.

    “What are we going to do?” She willed him to be serious—to acknowledge the gravity of their situation on the cusp of bringing new life into the galaxy.

    “We’re not going to worry about anything right now, all right?” Still smiling, he stroked soothingly at her arms. His fingers brushed under her chin, drawing a grin from her. “This is a happy moment. The happiest moment of my life.”

    With his eyes sparkling like sunrise down at her, she could convince herself that perhaps this truly was the happiest moment of his life, of her life, of the lives they had entwined together years ago with the blessing of a holy man by a blue Naboo lakeside at sunset.

    Part of her—the foreboding inside her that always had to worry and could never be content—wondered if the happiest moment of his life should’ve been reserved for holding their child after she gave birth.

    Anakin never did hold either of their children—it turned out she had been pregnant with twins—because he wasn’t beside her when the twins were born. It was Obi-Wan next to her as she cried in pain, bringing new life into a galaxy under a dictatorship. Obi-Wan was gentle and shared her sorrow at Anakin’s fate, but he wasn’t her Anakin—he would never be her Anakin—and that broke her heart.
  11. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Sad. :( Padme had such hope that she and Anakin could build a family together. Well done. =D=
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb characterizations and depth of emotions from each first at the news and the hope it inspires only to lead to the last lines. =D= @};-
  13. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Another intresting look at Padme's PoV during all of this. I remember the RotS novelization was pretty much entierly focused on Anakin so its nice to see your take on it.
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @JediMaster_Jen Thank you so much for commenting! :) This story did end up being a very sad one for me to write with all the hope of Padme and Anakin being able to build a family together coming crashing down with Anakin's turn to the Dark Side and Padme's death. ROTS is good for always making me hope for Padme's and Anakin's happiness together only to inevitability have the rug pulled out from under me with Anakin's fall to the Dark Side and Padme's death. It's always heartbreaking to watch. So I wanted to try to channel some of that hope and ultimate tragedy into this story.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much for commenting!:) I really wanted to show the depth and range of emotions behind the scene where Padme tells Anakin she is pregnant in ROTS and to show how much Padme has thought and felt and dealt with that reality of being pregnant before she can tell him the important news. It was very poignant for me to think of how the hope they felt over the pregnancy ended in such a sad way in the last lines here, but in a way, Luke and Leia still embody that hope and life even beyond Padme's death since they will be vital to defeating the Empire and Luke to saving Anakin/Vader. So in a way hope transcends even Padme's death and heartbreak. Or that's what I like to think.

    @Anedon Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm glad that you found this another interesting take on Padme's perspective during all of this, because I wanted to really add something different to the ROTS scene and hopefully do something different from the novelization as well to really focus on Padme's viewpoint and what she would have gone through leading up to that moment when she tells Anakin she is pregnant.
  15. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Granted Clemency

    Genre: General; Action.

    Event: Prime Time Coverage

    Summary: Padme's first visit to Otoh Gunga does not go as she had planned.

    Granted Clemency

    Before she was elected queen and throughout her early reign—before the Trade Federation’s invason—Padme had followed the lead of a hundred monarchs before her and never visited the Gungan city of Otoh Gunga.

    After she and Boss Nass had joined together to defeat the Trade Federation’s armies, Boss Nass and his Gungan soldiers had marched through Theed’s boulevards in triumph alongside the Naboo security forces. Music had blared and flowers had bloomed in window boxes, spreading their sweet aroma over the crowds. The entire capital city—the whole world—had seemed to celebrate the expulsion of the Trade Federation and to revel in the burgeoning bud of a new peace, a new understanding between the people of Naboo and the native Gungans.

    Boss Nass had visited her city and now Padme was to return the favor, traveling to Otoh Gunga for the official signing of the treaty that formalized this freshly forged peace between the diverse populations of Naboo. A peace that had been centuries in coming. A shining dawn after a long, dark night of violence and prejudice.

    She stood now at the banks of Lake Paonga beneath which was built Ototh Gunga, the glistening crown jewel of Gungan civilization. Behind her, her handmaidens, security officers, and political advisors—Captain Panaka and Governor Sio Bibble prominent among them—flanked her.

    A squad of Gungans emerged from the water and the mist to greet them. The leader of the Gungan warriors bowed to Padme, waving a long, flexible arm in a courtly gesture. “Mesa Captain Tarpals. Mesa yousa humble escort on yousa journey to Otoh Gunga.”

    “I remember you.” Padme beamed at him, radiant in the sunlight fighting to shine through the trees that covered this murky swampland. “You fought valiantly to free our planet from the Trade Federation.”

    “Was mesa duty.” Captain Tarpals waved at a submarine of Gungan make bobbing in the lake behind him. “Wesa bring un bongo for yousa ride to Otoh Gunga.”

    Padme accepted an assisting arm from Captain Tarpals as she climbed into the submarine. Her party of handmaidens, advisors, and security officers trailed behind her. The dome-shaped sub was more spacious than it appeared from the outset, and she didn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic as the submarine sank beneath the surface. This was helped by the fact that every Gungan soldier apart from Captain Tarpals leapt into the lake and swam beside the submarine in an ear-flapping honor guard rather than crowding into the submarine.

    As they dived deeper, the lake became darker. The schools of strange fish Padme had never seen before became brighter—a shimmering rainbow in their scales—and the plants swelled into phosphorescent forms she never could have imagined existed outside her dreams.

    Warm amber bubbles with dazzling structures inside them came into view, dominating the viewport as they approached the proud Gungan city. A square filled with Gungans in their finest clothing seemed to be waiting to greet them as their submarine broke through the hydrostatic force-fields that contained a breathable atmosphere for the city’s millions of inhabitants. As the bubble’s membrane sealed shut behind them as if it had never been penetrated, Padme marveled at the cleverness of Gungan technology.

    Plainly she was not the only one in awe of such Gungan advances for Eirtae, ever the curious artist, murmured, “I’d love to live here for a time and learn how Gungan technology effects their art.”

    “Once Boss Nass and I sign our treaty, you can do that.” Padme felt a glow inside her as she reflected on what she and Boss Nass had achieved for their peoples as the submarine landed with a gentle jolt in the middle of the crowded square. “We’ve made provisions for Gungans to live, study, and work among the Naboo, and for the Naboo to do the same among the Gungans. We believe that doing so will create new links of respect and mutual understanding between our cultures, forging a stronger, more enduring peace between us.”

    “I know that.” Eirtae’s face mirrored Padme’s pleasure as she made final adjustments to Padme’s ceremonial dress and hairstyle so that Padme would look perfect and poised, an ideal representation of the beauty and grace her people had always admired and diligently cultivated above all else, when she stood before the Gungan masses. “I will wait until you have finished serving as Naboo’s queen. I would not leave you short a handmaiden before that.”

    “I appreciate and honor your service.” Padme inclined her head in gratitude as Eirtae finished fiddling with her hair and attire, melting back into the veiled, enfolding circle of handmaidens.

    To a glorious, heraldic ring of trumpets, Padme emerged from the submarine. She waved at the crowd that applauded and cheered her presence, rejoicing in the first royal visit a Naboo monarch had made to this city, jubilant at this proof of reconciliation between their two peoples that had been so long estranged.

    As if to emphasize this closing of the gulf that had divided their two cultures for hundreds of too-long years of hatred and misunderstanding, Boss Nass stepped forward to welcome her to his city. Before he could reach her, however, a dart fired by someone who must not have been pleased by the new peace between Naboo’s peoples pierced the raised collar of Padme’s ceremonial garb, cutting through her skin.

    Some toxic substance must have coated the dart, because Padme could feel a coldness entering her bloodstream. Her muscles weakened, and the city seemed to spin around her as she collapsed into Eirtae’s waiting arms. She felt dizzy and unable to speak as black shadows crawled across her vision. Her last sight before fainting darkness claimed her was that of the Gungan guards dispersed throughout the crowd taking the assassin into custody with vicious prods of their electro-jabbers.

    Hours that felt like an eternity later, Padme awakened on a soft sleep couch. Thick blankets enveloped her like a mother’s womb and a pile of pillows cushioned her head so no extra strain was placed on her aching neck. An intravenous cord pumped healing bacta into her to counteract the poison that had lanced into her with the dart that must have been removed by the deftly wielded tools of a Gungan medic.

    “Wesa not let anything threaten the peace between oursa peoples.” Boss Nass’s expression was a menacing thunderhead as he pounded one flabby fist into the other. “Wesa arrest the man who did this. Hesa be puneished. Hesa be taken to sacred place and pounded unto death before gods and crowds.”

    Padme remembered the grand statues of the Gungan sacred place where she had knelt before Boss Nass to beg his help in repelling the Trade Federation from their planet. The Gungan place was a gorgeous, serene one. It seemed a tragedy to envision its placid beauty interrupted by the screams of a Gungan pounded to death by strong soldiers. Blood shed in her name should not soak such sacred soil. It would mar the peace she wanted to build as a bridge between her people and the Gungans. A lasting peace, she believed in her blood and bones, could not be founded on such violence. Forgiveness and mercy, not more hatred and punishment, had to be the answer.

    “I humbly beseech you to grant him clemency.” Padme struggled to speak in her a firm voice when her throat was sand-dry. “If you show him violence, you demonstrate his fear that peace cannot exist between our peoples is valid, but if you offer him mercy, you show that even an assassination attempt cannot spark violence between our peoples.”

    For a long moment in which Padme couldn’t breathe, Boss Nass didn’t reply but studied her shrewdly. At last, he bowed his head in assent. “If yousa ask this for him, it be granted in yousa honor. Wesa explain in public why hesa be granted clemency. Then hesa know hesa life be spared because of yousa generosity. Then every Gungan know.”

    “I’m grateful for your decision to grant him mercy.” Padme could breathe again—violence wouldn’t be done in her name, marring the peace she was striving to build between the Naboo and the Gungans. Being able to breathe again felt wonderful and hopeful. The whole world as she lay on that sleep couch felt wonderful and hopeful as she forged the legacy by which she wished to always be remembered.
  16. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Such a huge heart Padme has, and you showcased it beautifully in her asking for clemency. =D= Lovely story.
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fantastic descriptions of the lovely setting and the celebratory air until :eek: Very much in character for Padme to ask for clemency so that the peace between the Nabooians and the Gungans can be solidified. @};-
    Kahara and devilinthedetails like this.
  18. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @JediMaster_Jen Thank you so much for commenting!:) One of the qualities I find most admirable about Padme is how open her heart is and how quick she is to seek peace and be forgiving of others. She is just a very gentle and merciful person, so it was very moving for me to be able to showcase those fundamental qualities of hers in this story where she had the chance to advocate for clemency on behalf of someone who had attacked her in a terrible way. I'm so glad that you found the story lovely. Writing this Decathlon has really given me an opportunity to reflect on all of Padme's wonderful attributes and complexities.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for commenting!:) I really enjoyed writing the descriptions for this story since the arrival at Otoh Gunga always seems like a stunning scene to me and it was awesome to have the chance to write about that beauty in this fic. It was also nice to be able to write about the celebration, but it definitely broke my heart to have to interrupt that joyful celebration with the horrible attack on Padme. I definitely think of it as an incredible testament to Padme's character that she asked for clemency so that the peace between the Naboo and the Gungans could be solidified instead of put in more jeopardy. She is a very selfless, noble, and merciful being in that way, I believe, so it was good to be able to focus on that side of her in this story.

    Title: Seeking Sanctuary

    Genre: AU: General; Angst

    Characters: Padme Amidala; Obi-Wan Kenobi; Luke Skywalker; Leia Organa; Bail Organa.

    Event: AU Archery

    Summary: Padme survives childbirth and makes plans for the safety of her children.

    Seeking Sanctuary

    Childbirth—brought on too suddenly and too soon by the shock of Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side—ripped Padme apart. Sweat and tears mingled on her face as she struggled to breathe just as she had when Anakin’s invisible Force fingers had tightened around her neck, choking her.

    She could have died, her vibrant spirit and indomitable will finally crushed by the collapse of the Republic she had served all her life and the descent to the Dark Side of the man she had loved more than any other, but she clutched onto what remained of her existence as if it were water in her palm. She had to live for her children. Her children had to be her single, shining purpose. Her beacon of hope and light in a galaxy of despair and darkness.

    The boy had been born first, his eyes squished as if the bright lights of the birthing room were too overwhelming for him. When Obi-Wan—not Anakin, and that was another heartbreak to add to Padme’s unending list of sorrows—held the baby out to her and told her it was a boy, she had named him Luke.

    Luke. Anakin had chosen that name. He had said that it meant light in a dialect he had grown up hearing on Tatooine. Padme remembered him telling her that as they stood together on her balcony, staring up at the silver stars of the Core that wheeled in the black sky above them. Her Luke would one day light up the galaxy like a Core star, Padme believed that deep in her heart where she tucked her most unshakeable truths.

    The girl—born second but with unblinking eyes wide open as if nothing in the universe could make her cringe—Padme named Leia. Another name Anakin had chosen. Leia, he’d explained on that balcony at night, was a desert flower on Tatooine. A flower his mother had loved to pick, to sniff—inhaling its sweet, floral fragrance—and twist into her hair. Her Leia, Padme knew, would blossom into a flower just as beautiful and beloved.

    The Force would be strong in her children. Anakin’s blood in their veins would ensure that. The Emperor, a man she had once trusted as a mentor and a friend who had only ever been manipulating her and the entire galaxy, Republic and Separatist alike she realized now, would be cunning and ruthless enough to hunt them down if he discovered their existence. They would have to be hidden from him, which meant they must be separated from each other and from her. That way if the Emperor tracked down one of them, he wouldn’t discover them all.

    She had to be shrewd for her children, protecting their future because they were too young to do so for themselves.

    “The children.” Padme’s voice was rasping and rusted. She flinched at the grating sound of it in her own ears as she went on, “They’ll have to be kept safe and separated.”

    “Yes.” Obi-Wan bowed his head gravely, and Padme sensed that he had thought of this as well.

    “Bail and his wife Breha have always longed to adopt a girl.” Padme gazed at Bail’s solemn face through the permaglass dome surrounding the birthing chamber. He had confided that to her once when they sat in his office, sipping cups of Naris-bud tea sweetened with honey, after a long meeting discussing shared legislation objectives. He had told her that both he and Breha wished to have a daughter but were unable to do so because of Breha’s medical condition. They had often thought about adopting but never found the time in their busy political lives to actually do so. Now Bail and Breha could adopt her daughter. “Leia will be safe hidden in plain sight with them.”

    Obi-Wan nodded, asking gently, “And Luke?”

    “Anakin had family on Tatooine.” It was difficult to speak of Anakin, her eternal present, in the past tense. “Perhaps they will take him in and raise him. He would be beyond the borders of the Empire there. I will ask them.”

    “If Luke goes to Tatooine, I will live undercover there and watch over him.” Obi-Wan’s tone was quiet but firm, and his eyes were haunted by the ghosts of Anakin, the fallen Republic, and the massacred Jedi. “It will be my absolution, my atonement for failing Anakin and the galaxy.”

    “You never failed anyone.” Through her indescribable grief, Padme offered what solace she could to the man who had been best friend, father, and brother to her husband.

    “You’re kinder than I deserve—than any of us deserve.” A gentle, sad grin cracked Obi-Wan’s features like an egg, and Padme felt a sinking certainty that this—gentle and sad—was how she would forever remember Obi-Wan if she never saw him again after they both disappeared into exile. “What will you do?”

    “I must vanish as well.” Padme answered his sad grin with a small smile of her own that contained little joy. “Alderaan has a sprawling city, Sanctuary Coast, built for refugees. I can take sanctuary there. I imagine that more and more beings will need to hide from the Empire, and so my presence there will go unnoticed and unremarked. Arrangements might even be made for Leia to visit me in secret from time to time. I would not be lonely if I lived among refugees and could see my daughter grow up.”

    It would be a smaller life, a sadder life than she was accustomed to, but it would be a sanctuary, and after all the upheaval in her world and in the galaxy as a whole, what right did she have to ask for anything more than sanctuary for herself and her dear children?
  19. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Wonderful look at how Padme saw her son's future.:)

    Very good description of Leia. From the moment she was born, she was the brave princess. =D=

    Lovely that she told Obi-Wan this; that she tried to make him believe it. :)

    This fed well into the moment in RotJ when Leia speaks to Luke about her memories of her "real mother". =D= Sad to realize though that it means Padme died when Alderaan was destroyed.

    Very well done. ^:)^
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellently touching as Padme reflects on her children's futures and tries to console Obi-Wan. It is a very good idea that she can take refuge on Alderaan in secret and observe Leia from a distance. [face_thinking] @};-
  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    "Light and Life", a bitter-sweat subject and very well executed. It gives the reader much more understanding why Padmé is so emotionally shaken when waiting for her Ani behind that pillar in that very specific movie scene. All her fears and worries... sniff.

    "Seeking Sanctuary", thanks for giving Padmé a much more active role here. No men make decisions for her. She orders what is to be done with the twins she just gave birth to. Thanks for that!
  22. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @JediMaster_Jen Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!:) Padme's thoughts about her children as they are born was one of my favorite, most moving parts of this piece, so it is wonderful to have you highlight them in particular. I liked the idea of having Padme glimpse what a light her son will be to the galaxy and notice the signs of Leia being a brave, fearless princess from birth. It's like she can see the seeds of the people they will grow to become. My heart was breaking for Obi-Wan and for Padme when Padme tried to assure him that he hadn't failed anyone=((. The fact that Padme would have the opportunity to try to console Obi-Wan in this AU hadn't occurred to me until I started writing the scene, and then it happened so naturally and organically, because of course Obi-Wan would feel driven to express his guilt to Padme, and of course Padme being the compassionate person she is would want to comfort him as much as she could. One of my favorite things about this AU was that it meant Leia would've had more memories of her real mother to share with Luke in that moment from ROTJ, although it is very sad to think of Padme, Bail, and Breha all perishing when the Death Star blows up Alderaan. Poor Leia losing all her parent figures at once.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your sweet comment!:) Padme thinking about the future of her children was one of the most poignant pieces of this story for me as was her comforting Obi-Wan about Anakin's fall and failing Anakin. I really liked that Padme was able to show this understanding and sympathy for Obi-Wan, and that Obi-Wan was able to show his vulnerability and guilt to her. It made their friendship feel very real to me as I was writing. I agree that it is a very good idea for Padme to go into hiding on Alderaan and to be able to keep a watch over Leia as Leia grows. I'm sure that Bail will be able to help her with that!

    @AzureAngel2 Thank you so much for your kind comment!:) Writing "Light and Life" was very bittersweet for me as you say because there is the hope and excitement that a new life (or lives) can always bring but there is also the risks of a child(or children) exposing Anakin and Padme's secret, forbidden relationship. Padme's pregnancy is a beautiful gift but also very stressful for this couple, and for months, Padme must have been carrying that stress by herself as well as being worried about Anakin off at war. So when I looked at the scene of her telling Anakin she is pregnant in ROTS, I realized that from Padme's perspective, this is something that she has been dealing with mixed emotions about, alone and unable to confide in anyone, for months, so she has very good reason to be shaken when waiting for her beloved Anakin behind that pillar. All Padme's worries and fears were very moving to me as I wrote this story, and I feel like as a result of writing this piece, I gained a greater understanding of Padme in ROTS.

    I'm so glad that you liked "Seeking Sanctuary" and appreciated Padme having a more active role. Two things I would've liked in ROTS would be if Padme could've had more control over where her children were sent for safety after the rise of the Empire rather than it being all Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Bail's choice, and also if Padme had gone into hiding on Alderaan where she might have been able to see her daughter, which would explain the memories Leia has of her in ROTJ. So I decided that my AU would be very fulfilling to me if I could make those changes in this AU!
  23. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    Sorry for coming so late to the party. I really enjoyed all of them but I liked these two the most -

    Light and Life
    Yep - that's the reaction all right. I liked her choice and the musings at the end when she wondered about Anakin's declaration that her telling him was the happiest moment and not when the children were actually born.

    This is an AU I can get behind. I must admit I thought the dying of a broken heart was a rather weak ending and character death. I also liked how you described Obi-wan, I could see his face clear as day when I was reading that part.
  24. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Kit' Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You're definitely never to late in coming to any story I've written. The party is always happening here:)

    I'm so glad that you enjoyed all of the stories but that Light and Life and my AU were your favorites, since those were one of the harder two to write, and so amongst the most rewarding.

    I spent a lot of time trying to capture Padme's reaction to her pregnancy so it makes me so happy that you felt it was so accurate.

    I really wanted to celebrate Padme's ability to choose so it's great to know you appreciated that and that her musings at the end about Anakin's declaration that the news of her being pregnant rather than the actual birth of the children was what Anakin called the happiest moment of his life resonated with you since I was hoping that would be a powerful line and idea.

    It makes me so pleased that you can get behind my AU. From ROTJ, I had really thought that Luke and Leia's mom had been alive for awhile after their birth, giving Leia a chance to meet her, so this AU was a chance to sort of explore that alternate reality and give Padme a more active role in deciding where she would place her own children for their safety rather than leaving that role to Obi-Wan and Yoda. And I really wanted to try to convey all that heavy, tragic emotion Obi-Wan was feeling at the end of ROTS, but words to describe that can sometimes be tough to find, so it makes me so proud that you felt you could see his face clear as day at that part.

    Thank you again for your kind comment. I really appreciate it:D
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Kit' like this.
  25. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    This really was such a gorgeous collection of stories, and a fabulous character study of Padme in all of her facets. I have to apologize for not keeping up on this since the beginning, but I can fix that in a small way now:

    So gorgeous! The imagery here was evocative, and you really captured that wild, all encompassing side of Anakin and Padmé's relationship in spades here.

    Oh, but this hurt! I too have always marveled over how Cordé thought that she failed Padmé when, instead, she gave her life in the ultimate sacrifice, as was her duty. It's absolutely tragic, in more ways than one.

    Whew! This one was chock full of foreboding and a distant sense of doom, even for something that should be so happy. But I loved Padmé's strength here. That's just who she is.

    Gorgeous imagery! (Especially as pertains to Anakin's views on sand, and metaphor for their relationship. [face_love])

    More wonderful imagery! On the surface, I appreciate what a beautiful moment this is between sisters, and aunt and nieces. It's tragic, though, how Padmé has always wanted a family, but has to hide her husband and her dream of having children is like Ryoo and Pooja trying to capture glowbugs, beautiful but right outside of her reach. =((

    A very telling line, there. [face_plain]

    I LOVED this story, in particular. I think it was probably my favorite of the entire decathlon. There's so much grace and goodness and courage to Padmé here. She really wants to affect change, and she is doing her best to establish a true and lasting peace. Her moving for clemency was a beautiful gesture to further repair relations between their two peoples, and I'm sure that it will not soon be forgotten!

    Also, this intrinsic part of Padmé's nature is definitely something Anakin forgets, in his madness to keep her from suffering the fate of his visions. She would have never wanted such violence done in her name. [face_plain]

    Another gorgeous line that really stood out to me. =D=

    Oh! I just love how you tied this in with your Sanctuary Coast vignette! There is such a grace and strength to Padmé here, and I love the idea of her being alive to watch over her children in an alternate world. And maybe even continue to fight for the Republic she once dedicated her life to serve with the Rebellion in the future. It's a thought. I would be there in a heartbeat to read that story if you ever felt inspired to write more. [face_mischief]

    This was a fantastic collection, yet again, and I enjoyed every word. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for hosting such a wonderful challenge in the first place! [face_love] =D=