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Saga Nocturne [TPM missing scene]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Pandora, Aug 16, 2007.

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  1. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    Title: Nocturne
    Timeframe: TPM
    Characters: Rabé, Eirtaé, Obi-Wan

    Notes: Originally written for the Prequel Trilogy Write/Rewrite Contest.


    It was our second night on that planet we had landed on. Tatooine. Before this, it had only been a name on the star map. I don’t think we had ever had a reason to discuss it in school. And now? I could only imagine what it looked like as I walked down one of the lower hallways outside the Queen’s quarters. It had to be dark, and almost black with cold, out there. I knew that. That’s what the desert is like. Maybe there would even be frost on the sand. I almost wished I could look out, and know. This was, after all, my first time on another world.

    Then I shook my head too hard and fast.

    (We’re here to watch over the Queen, not to think up some adventure, Eirtaé had said earlier, while we had sat in the Queen’s quarters and watched each other over the chess board I had found hidden away in a compartment, a real board with real pieces, made from a tree on Naboo. She had sounded sullen, though, and I had shrugged. And said nothing.)

    Right then, the Queen was resting after her audience with the Jedi. The younger one, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had stayed with us and the ship. Or Kenobi. Jedi Kenobi. Really, I didn’t know how to think of him, even private and secret inside my head. Or at least, that was what we wanted him, and the others, to believe.

    And it was true. Sabé was the Queen, and she was resting. She had been feeling worn out and nauseated all day, probably because of the heat. The climate controls kept the Queen’s quarters, and most of the ship, cool, but it wasn’t enough. Even I had to agree with that. The heat had been too close and roaring outside against the ship. Too close.

    It was quiet and almost cold enough down in the ship. There was only one guard, who was slumped at his station, watching something on his holopad. He didn’t look up as I climbed up the ladder, taken from a girlhood secret clubhouse, into the ship.

    The hallway was kept lit, and the white walls made it almost stunning and blindingly bright. I blinked. There was no one around. Captain Panaka was either in his fresher cramped small quarters, or, more likely, in the cockpit with the pilot. That was good. He wouldn’t approve of my roaming (as he would say) about the ship. It would be easier if I didn’t even have to see him and know that.

    After a moment, or even less, I turned right, towards the common room. That was where we either ate, or picked up our meals. I wasn’t hungry, but it was something to do. There was nothing else, unless I wanted to stay back with Eirtaé and—

    The Queen, I reminded myself.

    We had decided that it was best to not even think of Sabé as anything other than Queen Amidala. Well, it had been Eirtaé’s idea, but I had agreed. After all, there was a Jedi on board. I didn’t know anything at all, except stories I had heard years before and forgotten, about Jedi. Eirtaé didn’t know anything either. But even if they couldn’t read minds, we had to be careful. Panaka had been quite clear. The Jedi were not to know about-- Any of it. That was why the Queen, why Sabé, was confined to our quarters.

    That was when I heard Kenobi’s voice behind me. Obi-Wan’s voice. I started, and then stepped aside, so quietly that I couldn’t hear my footsteps. I recognized his Coruscanti accent at once. He had the sort of voice that the girls at school would have swooned over. And (I thought, with perhaps a slight blush) it was nice.

    He must have been checking something with one of the guards, because he came down the hallway. He looked straight ahead, too busy thinking of something to see me. But he wasn’t in a hurry. He had taken off his cloak, and his hair was spiked damp and dark, possibly with sweat. He didn’t look as severe and earnest as he usually did. Oh. He must have been doing some of his kata exercises, I remembered.

    “Hey,” I said, or almost heard myself say.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Kenobi, stopped, and looked back at me. I would never know, then or ever, if he was actually surprised. Then he smiled. At me. “Rabé. I must admit that I wasn’t expecting to see you.”

    (He knows who I am, I thought, before I stopped myself.)

    “Oh, I just wanted to go to the common room for something to drink,” I said, and my voice was slow and lazy, perhaps from the heat outside.

    “I had the very same idea,” he said.

    “That’s nice,” I said, even though I knew I sounded lame. This was the second or third time that we had actually spoken, but I didn’t know how to talk to him. Perhaps it was because he was a Jedi, or, even if it was shallow and foolish, because he was attractive. Yes, I had noticed, even if that was all I could do. I had never been good with boys, and-- I couldn't tell how old Kenobi was, but he was at least twenty-two. He wasn't a boy.

    “It’s something to do,” he said, or almost sighed, mockingly or playfully, as we went into the common room. It was empty, though one of the guards had just left out a pack of playing cards on the table. I leaned against the counter, and watched him as he poured a glass of ice water, and handed it over to me. It tasted like ice, and then like nothing, and I wished that we had some starfruit wine onboard.

    “So,” I said. “How are things with-- Your Master?”

    I reminded myself not to ask him about Padmé. I already had, that first time we had spoken, and it would seem odd to him that I would be so concerned about her. After all, Padmé was only another handmaiden. She didn’t count.

    We were taught in school that our culture doesn’t have, or believe in, hierarchies, but of course, that isn’t true. It can’t be true, I had decided from my various readings in psychology class. Humans are pack animals. They want, and need, hierarchies. And I knew what my place was in ours. Queen Amidala was the alpha female, and I was only another girl, an inferior, who served her. Which meant I was nothing. That might have been why (I could not tell Obi-Wan Kenobi, though I imagined I did) that while I admired and respected Amidala, and liked her, I did not love her, and I never would.

    Obi-Wan drank his glass in several large gulps, and swallowed. “The same.”

    “That bad?” I said.

    “You could say that,” he said. “Master Qui-Gon is confidant that this plan he has to replace the hyperdrive will work. Don’t tell anyone this, but I wish I could be as certain. If he’s wrong-- Then we’re out of options.”

    “Oh,” I said.

    “But don’t worry, Rabé,” he said. “I know that whatever happens, Master Qui-Gon will make certain that your friend, Padmé, will be all right.”

    There was a thump, as someone’s footsteps banged past over our heads. Then it was silent again, with only the ship’s fans whispering, turned down for the night. I made myself finish drinking my water, and then set down the slick, damp glass on the counter, and looked back over at him. Obi-Wan, or Jedi Kenobi. I still didn’t know what to think about him. His braid was flopped over his shoulder. Once, I would have considered tugging it, just lightly, in an attempt to flirt. But he was a Jedi. It wasn’t possible.

    “You’ve probably been through loads of situations like this one before,” I said. “Does it ever get easier?”

    “Not really,” said Obi-Wan. “Each situation is different, you see. And there is always the unexpected. Remember, we were supposed to have a short negotiation with the Trade Federation. And-- Here we are.”

    “Here we are,” I said, and my voice seemed to drift off.

    “Quite,” he said. “But-- I’m sure this must be very difficult for you. And I know we had to leave several of the other handmaidens behind on Naboo.”

    “It was the Queen’s decision,” I said, looking down at the floor. “She must have believed they would be all right. But--She doesn’t know that. I don’t know what will happen to them, and there’s nothing I can do. And then there’s my family. They must know at least enough to worry about what could have happened to me. But they can’t know.”

    “Do you think--” Obi-Wan said.

    “No,” I said. “They’re not in one of the camps. Shouldn’t be, anyway. I’m from the tropics, and I don’t think the Trade Federation has done anything there.”

    “You’re right,” said Obi-Wan. “We suspect they are planning to use Theed as an example. That way, they need only control the rest of the planet through fear. I am sorry (and did he sound awkward and unsure? Later, I would wonder) though, that you can’t contact your family. Just to let them know you’re all right.”

    “It wouldn’t matter,” I said. “I haven’t seen or been in contact with my family, or my friends, or anyone, since I became a handmaiden. It isn’t allowed. Mostly for security reasons. Officially, we don’t have families. We belong to the Queen.”

    He nodded, and I thought he understood.

    And for the first time in months, I remembered what Panaka had said during our training: The Queen must be the most important person in the world to you. If that means that in saving her, you are unable to save someone close to you, a mother, a sister, a sweetheart, you must accept that. It is hard, but this is the duty you have chosen.


    When I returned to the quarters, the Queen (or Sabé) was asleep. She was lying across the royal bed, on the slick, innocent sweet white sheets. There was an almost empty glass of water set down nearby. Eirtaé sat on the floor, moving the wooden pieces around the chess board, mostly at random. She looked up, but I hardly noticed her. I saw Sabé. She had gotten out of Amidala’s black gown, and was only wearing her underdress. But she still wore her makeup, with the fevered red dots on her cheeks, and the scar from her lip was smeared on the water glass. She shifted, and I had to look away.

    “There you are,” said Eirtaé. “I thought you were going to sneak away for the rest of the night. Is it all right if I take a break?”

    “That’s fine,” I said. “Be careful.”

    “Oh, I’ll be more than careful,” said Eirtaé, and even then, as we waited on that ship for everything to be all right, she sounded amused, and almost cheerful. “No one will ever remember that I was on this ship.”

    I didn’t hear the door open or slide shut as she left the room, and was gone. I sat down on my sleeping pallet, and slowly, carefully, pulled the pins out of my hair and let it dump down over my shoulders. It was hot and sweaty heavy and sticky as night. For a moment, I wondered if I looked nice, and if Obi-Wan were capable of noticing that. I didn’t worry about anything. Then I picked up the Queen’s brush, and started yanking it through my hair.

    Ewok Poet likes this.
  2. Beta-Commando

    Beta-Commando Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 4, 2007
    I enjoyed reading this! :) Nothing like a good short story to start off the day. ;)

    Thanks for the story, very much. :D
  3. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    Very nicely done! I love missing scenes! :p

  4. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 26, 2005
    I loved the talk between Obi-Wan and Rabe.

    Interesting parallel between the life of a handmaiden and Jedi.

    How unfortunate both duties required severing ties with their families.

    Great response to the challenge

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  5. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    Beta-Commando: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    VaderLVR64: I don't usually write missing scenes, but this time, I was inspired.

    KELIA: There are some interesting parallels between the life of a Jedi and that of a handmaiden. Of course, there is so little (or really, nothing) about what it means to be a handmaiden that I just go with what seems likely. I don't know if they actually have to sever ties with their families, but it makes sense, since it wouldn't do for them to be distracted from their duty and devotion to the Queen.

    But my thoughts on the handmaidens are a constantly changing work in progress, so who knows what I might think tomorrow.

    Of course, the big difference is that the handmaidens will someday see their families again. The Jedi never knew them to begin with.
  6. Idrelle_Miocovani

    Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Feb 5, 2005
    Wonderfully done! Rabe's not a character I see very often; her conversation with Obi-Wan was done magnificently. I adore missing scenes! :D
  7. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    Idrelle_Miocovani: Yes, you don't see fanfics with Rabé very often, and I think that's a shame. (Of course, since she's one of my favorite characters, I'm a little biased.) And I'm glad to hear that you liked her conversation with Obi-Wan. It would never have been included in an official version of TPM, but I like to think it could have happened.
  8. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2005
    I loved the perspective.
    Nice job filling in a missing scene. It seemed very natural--virtually seamless within TPM.


    PS--sorry it took me so long to get to this. :(
  9. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Sep 21, 2000
    I love missing scenes as well. Great job.

  10. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 13, 2005
    oqidaun: I'm glad you thought this fit into TPM. It's always reassuring to hear that, especially as it's told from a POV of an underused character.

    Sara_Kenobi: Thanks for reading!


    Yes, this story has a different title now. I usually try not to do that, but I never felt the original title really fit, and only went with it because, well, it was better than "Untitled." Then I was listening to some Chopin the other day, and the lightbulb went on as I realized this was the title I had wanted all along.
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