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Saga Sins of the Fathers--OT AU of Vader prosecuting a different Organa--updated 12/3

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by DarthIshtar, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    Author's Note: Greetings! I wrote this several months ago for Kateydidnt, who gave me the challenge, and left it at Chapter 1 for a bit. In honor of Father's Day and the fact that I really need to get working on this again, I'm posting it here. I won't post what the actual challenge was, since that would give away the ending, but I hope you enjoy my first posted fanfic in some time.
    Chapter 1
    There were words that could shake stars, forge fates and determine destinies. Her Royal Highness Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan had not yet been born when a man named Palpatine announced the first Galactic Empire. She had slept through the most important meeting of her life, when a senator had honored her mother's memory by saying “She will be loved with us.” She arrived on Alderaan on the same day that a still-Republican holoshill on Chandrila was quietly and privately executed for loudly and openly hoping that the Empire would be as short-lived as the Clone Wars.

    She was three when the Empire disarmed Alderaan and twelve when her father began sending her on errands for the Alliance. At seventeen, a year before she came of age, a doctor had pronounced her mother's time of death and shredded her calm. She had not regained that calm in the following year, but she had regained her composure. She had gone on with her studies, devoted herself to her duty and submitted her name for candidacy within thirty minutes of her father announcing that he would be stepping down as Senator.

    Six days and four hours after her eighteenth birthday, however, she heard another set of words that reminded her of how easily her heart had broken at her mother's passing: “We've lost theTantive IV.”
    She listened as calmly as she could to the briefing by her father's security advisors and asked them tacitly to gather the Queen's Council. She then excused herself and was noisily sick in her quarters. She did not give in to the urge to burst into tears—she would not face the crisis with red-rimmed eyes and a trembling chin—but she did not return to the court until her guards announced that the Queen's Council awaited her command.

    She technically had no right to sit on this council, since her father was regent until her coronation, but in the absence of the viceroy, the High Princess of Alderaan represented the House of Organa. As it was, she was half the age of the youngest thane there and was dwarfed by her father's chair.

    “Some time this morning, the Tantive IV came under attack,” she said without preamble. “The last known coordinates were in the Corellian system as my lord father was en route to a diplomatic conference.”

    It had been a diplomatic conference that included such rabble-rousers as Garm Bel Iblis and Mon Mothma, but that went without saying.

    “Our sources in the Imperial Starfleet report that the ship was seized rather than destroyed,” she assured them. “We have no word on the condition of those on board; nor do we know the reasons for the capture of the royal flagship.”

    “Is it not obvious?” Thane Selrieen interjected. “The Emperor has long had a quarrel with Alderaan.”

    It was true that some of the first Rebel martyrs had been slain on Alderaan. The Alderaanians had harbored fugitives ranging from the displaced Caamasi to Force-sensitive children who had never made it to the Jedi Temple.

    “I find it curious that Lord Vader waited so long to close in for the...” He broke off before he could utter the word kill and looked momentarily abashed. “To attempt an arrest.”

    “Attempt?” Thane Antilles challenged. “I think we have surpassed the attempt and are seeking out the nature of the charges.”

    “He is guilty of upholding justice and advocating on behalf of the oppressed,” Leia countered. “Those are crimes enough in the Imperial court.”

    There was a murmur of assent from the gathered thanes, but neither Antilles nor Selrieen spoke up again.

    “Lord Vader has despised his Republican loyalties since the days when the Republic still existed,” the High Princess reminded them. “If he has made an arrest, it is because there was a catalyst. Do we know what that was?”

    “Not certainly,” Thane Mekthama, the security advisor responded. “The viceroy's actions of late have been above reproach.”

    They had been above reproach, since he had accepted the influx of thousands of refugees from the Ghorman camps and signed several laws into effect which lowered taxes and redistributed educational funding. Before the Senate session had closed a month previously, he had worked long nights to support a bill that would provide emergency assistance to impoverished worlds within the Empire. He himself had done nothing more than trade political philosophy with those who waxed nostalgic at any mention of the Jedi Order.

    In the same timeframe, however, the Empire had lost four Star Destroyers and several light cruisers to rebel attacks. One of Palpatine's most staunch allies had been assassinated just after Empire Day. If the Empire had enough circumstantial evidence to link Bail Organa to any of those perpetrators, it would mean trouble.
    “I expect that we will know fairly soon how strongly the Empire disagrees with that, Thane Mekthama,” Leia said. “For now, it is my intention that the people not know.”

    “The people will feel betrayed if we withhold this information,” Selrieen protested.

    “Would you rather that there be riots?” Leia suggested. “A breakdown of the economy while the usual workers keep vigil at their holoviewers? Acts of protest, peaceful or otherwise, against the Imperials who have found enough excuses in the past to prosecute our people?”

    A part of her wondered who they would hate most if Viceroy Organa returned to his homeworld as a casualty—the Princess who had concealed the threat or the Empire who had carried out the murder. Another part wondered if they would hate her as much as she would hate herself. For the sake of her world, she couldn't think of that as even a remote possibility. It was her duty to stand in her father's stead until the Imperial courts released him.

    “This stays within this council,” she resolved. “You may not trust me as you do my father, but in the name of the peace that he wants for our world, I ask you not to invite any more trouble than that which lies at our doorstep.”
    Lord Vader had never been one to hesitate. Anakin Skywalker, in his past life, had always stopped to wonder if an action was the right thing to do or, more often, if Obi-Wan would disapprove if he were caught. Within minutes of his swearing allegiance to the Sith, his new Master had exhorted him to do what must be done. He had left his weak tendency to shy away from the gray areas of right and wrong in the former Senator Palpatine's ransacked office.

    He had been patient with Organa, though. He had suspected the man of siding against the Chancellor in the last days of the Republic and had seen the man's handiwork in dozens of rebel actions since then.

    It had taken eighteen years, but in the investigation of the destruction of the Exsanguinator, the Agency of Imperial Intelligence had successfully pinned down the people giving the orders to the murderers who had sabotaged the ship. From there, they had identified the suppliers of those perpetrators. Eventually, the credits trail had led back to an intermediary code-named Aach, who claimed to be a free-lancer, but had a long-standing friendship with a certain ruler of Alderaan. They had not needed proof that Organa had funded the mission out of the Alderaanian royal coffers. They could arrest him as an accessory to murder at least and obtain the details of his treason at a later time.

    There was enough justification to put the man to death without a trial, but that was not the best use of a treasonous viceroy. Instead, they would ensure that the man paid for his crimes in as public a way as possible.
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  2. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    Author's note: Well, in the spirit of "If you build it, maybe they'll come eventually..." If you read, please leave any kind of review. I'm a big girl. I can handle it.
    The man had, so far, left him to his own devices. With no formal charges yet filed, Bail was merely in custody on suspicion of illegal activities. If anyone but Vader had been in charge, Bail might have been kept under house arrest. Palpatine liked to taunt his traitors with the illusion of freedom. He could have stayed at Cantham House, the Alderaanian consulate on Imperial Center. He could have been ensconced in the Imperial Palace.

    Instead, he was kept in a prison designed centuries ago. There were no keypads or access cards here, just durasteel bars and uncomfortable shackles. There were no sanidroids to efficiently scrub down the cell block. The most advanced technology in the place was either the holocam positioned outside of his cell or the blaster holstered on the guard's hip.

    It was strangely flattering to think that Vader took such pains to insult him. If Bail were to complain about his conditions, someone would undoubtedly point out that Alderaan was known for its nostalgic use of pre-repulsor technology and classical styles.

    That wasn't the point they were trying to make, of course. It was in this sort of place that noise was conspicuously absent. He had been caught off-guard by the approach of visitors because there had been no sound of a turbolift or the hiss of an opening door. He suspected that, should they let him live long enough for the formality of a trial, he would find himself listening eagerly for the sound of boots on the duracrete or the jangle of the guards' old-fashioned keys on his belt.

    So far, his only visitors had been the guards who casually tossed his food tray into the cell twice a day. Vader would not be busy gathering evidence for the judicial department. He would leave that to subordinates who cared if the prisoner's execution was done under the correct legal guidelines. Knowing Vader's methods, he was either putting out a fire or starting one.

    Or perhaps the man was avoiding him. Bail was a prisoner and a politician and, by Vader's estimation, a dangerous criminal, but he had another dangerous perspective. The prisoner had been a friend of the Jedi and one exasperated Master in particular. Bail had never been more than an associate of Anakin Skywalker, but he certainly remembered the man himself. He could recall the news holos of Skywalker and Kenobi, the heroes of the Republic. He had personally congratulated Skywalker on his defeat of Count Dooku. He also remembered the Anakin Skywalker who had accidentally knocked over a Kilik-made vase and spilled Alderaanian green wine on his first visit to Cantham House.

    More dangerously, Bail had heard Senator Amidala's anecdotes of her Jedi protectors and heard the love behind the fond exasperation that she expressed. He had never outright asked when she had married Padawan Skywalker, but he had suspected.

    Most perilously, Bail saw traces of Anakin Skywalker every time he looked at the High Princess of Alderaan.

    He had thousands of secrets to keep, ranging from the makeup of the Alliance High Command to the location of the Yavin IV base. But the secret buried deepest was the name of his foster daughter's birth mother.
    Leia had never known a time when she didn't have guards. The number varied depending on the venue and the number of people involved in a meeting. Most of them were Palace Guards, though the Guard had counterparts all over Alderaan. On one occasion, she had been a bored eleven-year-old and asked the man on duty how he knew to catch a criminal.

    "It's not an exact science, Your Highness," the man had said, "but you don't have to be a Jedi to know a perpetrator. There are those carrying blasters in the wrong place or hiding a thermal detonator in their coat pocket. There are those with tattoos to mark an affiliation. Some even wear certain colors. Most of the time, instinct plays a part. But the easiest perpetrator to spot is the one looking too harried or too relaxed in the aftermath of a crime."

    It was with this in mind that she had ordered business to go on as usual. No one outside of the Council of Thanes had been notified of her father's arrest and that made it easier for the communications director to speak to her about the viceroy's upcoming speech at the University of Aldera. When Winter went over her schedule, she calmly agreed to fill in for her father for the formal audiences until he returned.

    In the privacy of her quarters, this business as usual did not keep her from having gut-wrenching nightmares and checking every intelligence report for additional information, but it kept Alderaan running for now.

    It was on the fourth day that something finally happened. She did not find it on IBN's nightly news or see a holo of her father being escorted by stormtroopers. Instead, Winter knocked quietly on her office door and asked if she was willing to take an unscheduled meeting with one of her father's colleagues.

    "Garm," she greeted the Corellian Senator warmly. "I had not heard that you were coming our way."

    The older man kissed her fondly on the cheek as he had since she was three. "Your father extended an open invitation this year to visit his vacation home," he quipped.

    It was the term Father used for the Aldera Palace, since for all its formality, it was a paradise compared to Imperial Center.

    "Would that he could host you himself," she responded, "but he was called to a conference on your world."

    "So I had heard," Garm commented. "I only have a few days' liberty from the Senate, so I thought my time would be best spent here."

    "Well, you are welcome here as always," Leia assured him. "Shall we dispense with the formalities and find something for you to eat after your journey?"

    This was another ritual, though one that Father usually initiated. Leia had not been privy to many of his conversations with Garm Bel Iblis, the famed Corellian patriot, but he had allowed the man to befriend her over the years. Something with unhealthy amounts of sweetener was usually involved.

    "Lead on," he requested.

    Within five minutes, they had raided the kitchens and rerouted to the family's private balcony. It was remote enough that there were no eavesdropping staff members and she had it swept regularly for any kind of surveillance devices. It was not prudent to speak too openly, but it was more secure than the residential quarters or the audience chambers.

    "You have news of my father," she guessed as soon as they were alone.

    Rather than explain himself or answer the question in detail, he removed a small projector disc from a pocket and tapped the side. A holo flickered to life,a static one of her father being led into an imposing building.

    "Prison?" she guessed. "It's certainly Imperial in design."

    "One of the oldest ones on Imperial Center," Garm agreed. "They are keeping him in custody quite discreetly. Our sources at judiciary say that no charges have been filed. No indictment has been handed down."

    "And you're certain that there would be an indictment?" she asked baldly. "Vader has executed men without trial."

    "Vader has never had a Senator in his care before," Garm rejoined. "Your father would be the perfect person for him to exploit as an example. While he might want to dispose of him immediately, he knows that a public shaming of Alderaan's most honored son would do more damage than a martyrdom."

    "Then he has a chance of surviving this," Leia breathed.

    Garm squinted at her, his mouth set in a hard line. "I'm disappointed, Leia, that you think we would allow him to be killed," he said.

    "I think that there is very little choice where Imperial custody is concerned," she answered.

    "So I've heard."

    He tapped the disc once more and a different holo appeared, timestamped for this morning. This one was not static, but a video recording. Her father did not look as though he was sleeping comfortably, but he certainly looked well. Without asking for permission or even thinking clearly, she snatched the disc from Bel Iblis and held it in front of her face. She could see no wounds or broken bones. He was no thinner, which meant that Vader had not yet begun the traditional softening-up period of starvation and abuse.

    "This was taken from..."

    "Within the prison, yes," Garm confirmed. "We have friends in the guard force."

    Leia dropped the disc onto her lap and lunged forward, trapping the old family friend in a tight, relieved embrace. "Thank you for that much," she whispered.

    "This is an opening offer,' he said once she had pulled away. "I am not here to give you the reassurances that you could get from a secure transmission. I am here to offer the full support of the Alliance."

    "My father is the one involved," she protested. "I am in no position to..."

    It was impolite to interrupt any person, but Garm had no fear of doing so with the crown princess. "We are not asking for an oath of allegiance," he said. "I believe that your philosophies will lead you to us someday, but for now, we are here to ask the daughter of a Rebel if she would like us to help her father."

    Her chest tightened at that. It would allow her father to escape a possibly lethal situation, but it would mean several things. It would be as good an admission of guilt for Vader, which might lead him to commence aggressive negotiations the next time he saw Bail Organa. The effort could fail and immediately cost him his life, not to mention those of anyone who volunteered for the mission. Or the mission could succeed and while it meant her father would live, he would never be able to return to Alderaan. The last option also meant that the Empire would probably move a sector fleet into orbit on the off-chance that the rest of the population wanted to stage an uprising.

    None of the scenarios were pleasant, but they were a temptation that she could not honestly ignore.

    "May I sleep on it?"

    "Of course," Garm said. "I am expected back at the Senate on Atunda. This is not a decision to trust to a comm unit, but we can have the plan set in motion within one hour of your approval."

    Which implied that Mon Mothma had authorized the offer herself. No one else would have had the authority.

    "I appreciate that."
  3. kateydidnt

    kateydidnt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 11, 2004
    :D So yes your ploy got me over here.

    Hmm, from the section from Bail's perspective, it isn't clear, but Vader doesn't know that Bail knows that he was Anakin, right?

    Was this chapter two? or a continuation of chapter 1? It isn't labeled...

    Liking this a lot! More please.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= =D= Fascinating start. I do not think I've ever read a fic where Bail is taken captive. :cool: Intrigued to see where the negotiations lead.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  5. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    We don't know yet in the context of the story if Vader knows. So you'll just have to be unspoiled... Continuation of Chapter 1. I will say when Chapter 2 begins...

    Huzzah! Someone other than the original challenger to read my fic! This was Kateydidnt's idea and it's a brilliant premise. I just borrowed it because she asked.
  6. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Chosen One star 6

    Nov 7, 2010
    Interesting start. I'm following this thread. :)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  7. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    I'd be willing to bet that Vader knows. But, I will wait patiently. :) Definitely watching this. I love the concept.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  8. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    Thanks, jcgoble3 and JediMaster_Jen. Vader will be very surprising in this, in my opinion, but you'll see more of that later on. For now, Kateydidnt helped me with an original-fic project and I promised her a post, so here is the first half of chapter 2.
    Chapter 2

    Leia awoke early to find the skies threatening rain and her anxiety threatening a breakdown. She had not been awoken by news in the night or been kept up late by reports of some Imperial retaliation. That did not mean that she had slept easy. She had dreamed of that static image from the prison, a constant subconscious reminder of who she stood to lose, but when she awoke, she found that her nerves had been more restless than she would have guessed.

    She had been aware of the risks from the start of this crisis. Her father had done his best to keep her away from the more sensational news sources, but avoiding the fearmongers didn't keep her from knowing what Vader did to those who opposed the Empire. She knew the names of the worlds where tens of thousands had been slaughtered for the crimes of a few. She knew the names of what her father called the Republic Martyrs, who had been executed for various crimes or had met with convenient accidents. She also knew that some Senators had been replaced mid-term by more loyal Imperialists when said politicians had simply disappeared in the night. Some, like Mon Mothma, were now serving in the Rebel Alliance, but that could not account for all of them. She was too young to remember the fateful day when Alderaan had been disarmed. It had kept Vader from wiping out the refugee populations, but the people had been divided on whether they blamed the Organas or the Imperials more for leaving them defenseless.

    When she awoke the morning after Bel Iblis' arrival, however, she did not think of the murdered Falleen or the publicly beheaded Fang Zar. She thought of scenarios that were both abstract and horrifyingly likely. She avoided all mirrors in her quarters, not wanting to meet her own gaze while she contemplated the unthinkable.

    When Father was on-world, the dynamic between the princess and her aide was very informal. Winter had her leave to enter her private quarters without more than a tacit knock on the door and could attend all meetings as her aide. With Father away--she could not bring herself to refer to him as gone--she was expected to maintain the dignity of his office as his representative. That meant that Winter had to wait for a summons to intrude on her schedule and could not attend many of her appointments.

    Leia summoned her aide before requesting that the stewards bring breakfast so that they could share a few moments of the old informality before the demands of ruling intruded. It was one of her guards who showed her in and Winter curtsied politely, keeping her distance until told to approach.

    "How are you?" Leia asked after beckoning her friend forward. "You look as though you slept better than I did."

    "I'm well, Your Highness," Winter assured her. "If you would like to review your schedule for the day, I took the liberty of bringing it with me."

    It was at this point that Leia would normally ask her to wait until after Leia had tracked down a stimulant to trouble her with her appointments, but they were not best friends in this meeting. They were High Princess and aide and that set a completely different tone.

    "No, thank you," the Princess responded. "I would like you to accompany me to a meeting not on the schedule."

    "With the Senator?" Winter guessed.

    "Yes," Leia confirmed. "Please request that he meet us in the Antilles room in one hour and notify the guards that I would like him afforded the courtesy of an escort."

    "Yes, Your Highness," Winter replied. "Are there any other alterations to your schedule that you would like me to make?"

    "Once you have made those calls, I would Winter to join Leia for breakfast," she informed her oldest friend. "The High Princess will not object to that."

    Winter smiled cautiously, but did not curtsy as she left the room. "I will see to it."

    Winter returned ten minutes later, just ahead of the stewards and took the seat at the dining table near te windows. The rain had begun to spatter against the windows by then, but it was their usual venue for such breakfast meetings and neither of them objected.

    "Have you had any word from your father?" Winter asked.

    Leia promptly dropped her fork and took a moment to steady her hands before retrieving it from her plate. "None whatsoever," she murmured. "We know where he is, but not what progress he has made."

    For all she knew, Winter already suspected that the reports of Senator Organa attending a conference on Corellia were a cover for an alternative agenda. The young woman was hardly oblivious to her father's sympathies, but she might take the conference at face value. Bel Iblis' visit was the only significant anomaly in the Palace in the last few days.

    "I'm sure he is performing admirably," Winter commented.

    Leia hated to think what that would mean in the current crisis. The Rebels would admire the man for not sharing their secrets. The Empire would be satisfied with breaking him first and dishonoring him later. Both parties would be satisfied if he died for his cause, though for drastically different reasons. Leia would not be surprised by any of those scenarios, but she would hate all of outcomes.

    "Your Highness?"

    In all but the best-case scenarios, there would be no seeing her father again. If Vader benevolently left House Organa in charge of Alderaan instead of putting he world under the control of someone like Tarkin, se would assume the throne under constant suspicion. She would not be able to plant arallutes in the Palace gardens without the Imperial garrison commander questioning her motives. She would never take her father's seat in the Senate because she would never be able to step out of her place between Alderaan and the guns of the Empire.

    "Your Highness?" Winter repeated. "What is it?"

    Leia consciously blocked that line of thinking as quickly as if she had slammed a door. "It's..."

    She might have ended that sentence with 'nothing,' but she could not bring herself to finish the sentence at all. Winter reached over to clasp the hand that was not holding her forgotten fork.

    "Is this why Senator Bel Iblis is here?"

    "He is here,' Leia said in a slightly choked voice, "to offer the services of the Alliance."

    Winter did not look surprised by this. No one who spent as much time in the royal court as she did would have doubted the Republican sympathies of the Organas.

    "To what end?" she asked quietly.

    "To the end of freeing an Imperial prisoner," Leia admitted.

    Winter's eyelids dropped over her eyes and her grip tightened around Leia's hand. After another long moment, she blinked and nodded solemnly.

    "Your father trusts your judgment and so do I," she said simply.

    "That doesn't make my answer any more palatable to me," Leia said.

    "I'm sure your father has felt the same way at times,' Winter commented.

    That was a comforting thought. Her father's convictions had often given her the impression that he never doubted himself, but that could not be true.

    "There have been no charges brought against my father," Leia stated. "By Imperial law, they are running out of time to hold him in such a state, but Vader won't be interested in those technicalities."

    "Not when there's been no report of his arrest," Winter agreed. "Can the judiciary force them into line?"

    "The judiciary serves at the pleasure of the Emperor," Leia shot back. "They won't act against Vader just because he may be sidestepping constitutional rights."

    Vader was well-known for this practice. Some people said that the judiciary's primary function was to retroactively draft laws to legalize what Vader had already done.

    "Who else knows?" Winter asked.

    "The Alliance High Command and the Council of Thanes," Leia said. "We cannot pretend for months that he is having mechanical difficulties on Corellia. I have no way of knowing when the news holos will investigate his disappearance. I don't know how long he has to be missing before the Thanes can install me on the throne. I don't want..."

    She found herself unable to speak again and pressed her fist to her mouth as the little food she had ingested threatened to rise in her throat again. Winter waited in silence for some kind of cue, her own food still untouched.

    "Are you sure of your answer to Senator Bel Iblis?" Winter asked at last.

    "I am sure that it is best for Alderaan," Leia said firmly. "I am simply unsure if my father will be able to survive that decision."
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Brilliant =D= and concise discussion of all the viable options and all the daunting outcomes. :cool: I enjoyed the glimpse into Winter/Leia's friendship & working partnership.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  10. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Chosen One star 6

    Nov 7, 2010
    Excellent discussion. The interaction between Winter and Leia is especially nice here.

    I also love the touch of the rain moving in and then hitting the area. Weather is something that all too often is absent from stories, both fanfic and profic. Very few stories make mention of the weather except where it makes a major impact on the plot; most of the rest of the time, it's always a sunny, perfect day. So it's nice to see rainy weather used simply as a background element here. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Nyota's Heart like this.
  11. kateydidnt

    kateydidnt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 11, 2004
    Thank you for this! Ah poor Leia. I can't say too much because I know part of where this is going but I keep wanting to speculate on how the Alliance's actions (whatever they are) are going to turn out.

    I want more! :D
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  12. star_writer24

    star_writer24 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 15, 2006
    Oh I like this a lot! A great characterization of both Leia and Winter. Can't wait for more! =D=
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  13. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013


    Just wanted to drop by to let you know I have definitely seen this but I want to actually take the time to read it properly to leave a coherent review instead of various iterations of YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS, lol. In the meantime, WELCOME BACK, YO. *chest bump*
  14. skygawker

    skygawker Jedi Knight star 3

    May 25, 2014
    Ooh, I'm interested to see where this is going! I love the way you write Leia, and the interaction between her and Winter is great.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  15. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    1. Thanks! If you like that discussion, you might just enjoy this next part.
      I used weather a lot in Lest Ye Be Judged and never quite got out of that habit. :) Thanks for liking Winter and Leia. I think they're one of the great unexplored friendships in profic.

      "SPOILERS!" And you're getting more...

      Thanks! Sorry I only have energy for weekend posts.

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! You're back. And that's kind of a scary Elmo.

      After this next post, I'm going to the Bail/Vader interactions and am looking forward to that.​
    In the meantime, here's a new section. I've been pulling multi-hour editing sessions on my book and am within 150 pages of the ending, so have been very busy and very excited.
    Winter escorted Garm into her quarters and left immediately. Leia had changed into something more regal than her dressing gown and he observed the formality of bowing before approaching. When he had settled into the offered chair, Leia straightened her back and braced herself for battle.

    "I must say no."

    Garm Bel Iblis was accustomed to being in the public and keeping an impassive face. She saw the mask fall into place that he must have used every day of his senatorial career at this news, but not before she glimpsed a flicker of dismay or disappointment.

    "I'm sorry to hear that, Leia," he said quietly.

    "I hope you understand," Leia responded as delicately as posible.

    The mask slipped for a moment and she waited patiently for him to speak again. The dismay remained in place this time, but he did not have enough evidence to feel a lasting disappointment in her priorities. It was customary for a guest of the court to speak only when spoken to, but Leia did him the unusual courtesy of waiting for him to continue the conversation.

    "I hope you understand," Bel Iblis said, "that this will not prevent the Alliance from..."


    "Your Highness..."

    "Leia," she corrected. "I am not simply saying 'no' to my sanctioning of this. I must ask you to take this decision to those who issue orders to the Alliance. I want this to be understood from Mon Mothma down to the most recent recruit."

    This time, his eyes narrowed. She kept her gaze steady and her jaw set. "Your father has done much for our cause," Bel Iblis stated. "It would be criminal for us not to return the favor."

    It was an interesting choice of words for Bel Iblis. While he had not openly joined the Rebellion, he had passed information to its agents that was not his to disclose. One of these treasonous acts had led to the destruction of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Another had allowed the Alliance to lend its aid to an embattled world.

    "I must say no," Leia echoed, "for a number of reasons. It would show my hand."

    "You would never be mentioned," he protested.

    She held up a hand to forestall any further commentary. "If Vader has enough evidence to take my father into custody, he will be watching my moves like a hawkbat. If one soldier in the rescue mission happens to have a third great-grandmother who once vacationed in Aldera, he will see it as collusion between the High Court of Alderaan and the Rebel Alliance."

    "And you think that he does not see that already?" Bel Iblis challenged.

    "He sees that defiance in my father," Leia pointed out, "but the most that can be said about me is that I have spoken in favor of peace. My father has seen to that."

    In six years, while she had been allowed to carry datacards to Rebel sympathizers and bring word of conferences with her on diplomatic missions, she had been fairly innocuous in her public statements. It could not have gained her many fans in the Rebel Alliance, but it had made her few enemies in the Emperor’s court.

    "You need never know," her father's ally stated.

    Leia had tried to avoid the meat of her defense, but there was no avoiding it now and she would not do him the disservice of leaving without an explanation. "Should the Alliance attempt to free my father, the result would be the same for Alderaan. They might succeed and he would go into hiding. His life would be given to the cause, even if he never lost it at the hands of the Empire. Should the Alliance fail in its efforts to liberate him, he would be among those executed while trying to escape.

    "In the best-case scenario, where my father lives, you say that I need never know, but I would. I would know the moment that the Devastator and her support fleet arrived in orbit. My father's blood would not be spilled, but I would see stormtroopers in the streets of Antibes. Those of my people who were not killed in the initial occupation of Alderaan would be under a planet-wide house arrest.

    "If Vader were feeling lenient, he would be satisfied with imprisoning me. He might execute me privately in my father's place. He might let me swing from a noose in the Grand Audience Chamber or somewhere more public than that. If I were very unlucky, he would take me to his Star Destroyer and allow me to watch from space as the Empire tested the flammability of Alderaan's cities and countryside. There is no scenario in which I would be allowed to remain in power."

    She could have illustrated this horror tale with images from places like Falleen or Naboo, but Bel Iblis' dismay had been replaced by grim revulsion. She had made her point without having to rely on the precedent of Imperial brutality.

    "You say that I need never know," she concluded. "You might even say that the Alliance would come to the aid of Alderaan. The Empire would not give sufficient warning for that to be an option. The Alliance would do many things in the memory of the slaughtered of Alderaan. People would rally to your banner and I know that is not your reason for offering your assistance, but it would be a natural by-product. My father means everything to Alderaan, but he would say no as well."

    The mask was back in place, but this time, it felt as though Bel Iblis could not decide on an emotion. "You are your father's daughter," he murmured.

    "So I have been told," Leia said. "You expected anything less?"

    He shook his head. "I thought your mother's capitulating ways might have had an influence on you."

    He undoubtedly meant the disarming. Breha had agreed to leave her homeworld defenseless instead of letting the Empire take a foothold.

    "My mother taught me to protect Alderaan before self," she said. "My father has taught me why that is our philosophy."

    Bel Iblis was finally the one to look away first and his hands clenched in his lap. "What do you intend to do?"

    "Alderaan has friends in the Imperial judiciary," Leia stated. "I hope that reaching out to one of them will allow us to clarify Lord Vader's intentions before this goes any further."

    "It will force a trial," he protested.

    "That is the last thing Lord Vader wants," the High Princess asserted. "If that were not the case, he would have made the arrest public by now."

    Bel Iblis nodded and withdrew the projector disc from his pocket. "Only the image from within the prison came from an Alliance source," he said. "The other was taken by a holoshill who was arriving for an interview with a prisoner when Senator Organa was brought in. When you were contacted for a comment, you became aware of the situation."

    "Thank you," she said.

    "If you like, the same holoshill could contact your judge friends to ask what charges are being brought against the Senator," he offered. "It would not be necessary for you to broach the subject."

    "No," Leia said firmly. "I appreciate the offer, but this demand must come from me. I will not allow Vader to think that I am permitting justice to slip through the cracks again."
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb and on-point! =D= Leia is absolutely correct on what the consequences would be, and thus while she personally wishes she might be able to give a different reply, she knows too much is at stake. [face_thinking] She has deepened Iblis' respect for her strength of character and her course of action seems to be the only prudent one at this stage.
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  17. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Chosen One star 6

    Nov 7, 2010
    Leia handled that conversation superbly. Perhaps even... royally?

    *runs for the exit*



    *peeks head around door* Is it safe for me to come back in?... OK.

    I also think that her hand will soon be forced. She has good reasons for wanting the Alliance to stay out of it, but eventually, before too long, something is going to happen that forces her to call in the Alliance to help. I'm waiting to see what happens in that regard.
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  18. kateydidnt

    kateydidnt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 11, 2004
    Oh that was EXCELLENT. Leia's arguments were great.

    Now I am wondering if jcglobe3 is right and something the Alliance does is going to force her hand...or Vader's.
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  19. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001

    I think this was a very long-winded explanation of Leia's one line: "No! Alderaan is peaceful! We have no weapons! You can't possibly!" Glad you agreed with it.

    Okay, I'll snicker at that. It's a good point. I think this demonstrates just what Bail has taught her. Not pessimism, but pragmatism. He has wanted her protected from the evils of the Empire, but he wants her to be informed about what is at stake in ruling her world. And I'm cackling a little about the possibility of the Alliance being called on for help.

    Thanks, Katey! I like Leia abandoning subtlety or naivete because it underlines her strong nature in those circumstances.
    Chapter 3

    The Emperor's orders were clear and unequivocal: Organa was not to be a martyr.

    Bail Organa could have easily been killed resisting arrest. He could have died under questioning. That would have turned him into a tragic figure, a victim of the Empire's notorious brutality. It would have inspired protests and, in all likelihood, riots. It would ave galvanized the conscientious objectors and produced an uprising. It would have been an easily-quashed uprising, but it could set the stage for others.

    The Emperor had mandated that Organa was not to be a martyr to stamp out the fire of rebellion. Lord Vader mandated that Organa should come to no harm for a simpler reason: the man was a criminal, not a martyr.

    Charges would have to be pressed soon. As soon as the Department of Imperial Rehabilitation and Penitentiary Services had registered the presence of Senator Bail Organa in one of its prisons, the chrono had begun to countdown to the moment when the man had to be released or indicted. Vader had personally seen to the gathering of evidence and had no intention of letting the time run out.

    The arresting offense had been the aiding and abetting of a treasonous act, but there was solid evidence that the man had leaked classified information. He had dealt in the illegal arms trade, however informally, so that the Royal House could help fund the rebellion's war efforts. They had proof of his tendency to harbor wanted criminals. While the man had never fired a blaster in opposition to the Empire, he had enabled nearly two decades of resistance. For that, he should have died. Instead, he would pay the price of his treason in installments.

    The High Princess of Alderaan had not acknowledged the crisis. His sources in the Council of Thanes and the Alderaanian media said that she had refrained from public appearances and was showing signs of strain, but she had yet to admit that her father's absence was anything more than a scheduled diplomatic mission. Her skills of deception, while fledgling, were worthy of a seasoned politician.

    In the moments when he allowed himself to observe the girl, he saw her parents. He was reminded of Queen Breha's defiance, which had left Alderaan without defenses but free of an Imperial presence. He heard in her speeches the cadences of her father's advocacy of sentient rights.

    At other times, however, he saw in the set of her jaw and the cold resolve in her eyes a young Senator who had also sought to find a diplomatic solution in the face of aggressive negotiations.
    In theory, the political feud between the noble houses of Organa and Antilles had been resolved. The leaders of Alderaan had recognized the need for mediation in determining the rightful ruler of Alderaan and the Jedi had sorted out the issue at hand in less than a month. Analysts praised the affected parties for their graceful acceptance of the decision and claimed that the houses had demonstrated diplomatic wisdom in their willingness to work hand in hand.

    There were those who questioned the validity of the unlikely romance between Bail Organa and Breha Antilles. The Senator and his Queen seemed genuinely fond of each other and scandalously decided to solemnize their marriage vows three days before the public ceremony was to take place. The romantics of the court believed that they had chosen to pledge themselves to each other out of the public eye; the cynics believed that they had wanted to sign the paperwork without needing a show of false sentimentality.

    Some cynics felt their theory had been proven when the Queen refused to bear an heir to the royal house.

    There were few that knew that pregnancy had occurred. The first one lasted a mere five weeks, the second eight. On the third occasion, the Queen and her Viceroy had been making preparations to announce her condition when the miscarriage rendered the press announcement unnecessary.

    When the court physician confirmed her fourth pregnancy, Breha had asked that no one be told. It was a shared secret between the Queen, her husband and her physician alone. Not even their chief aides knew for the first nine weeks.

    When the first trimester passed without signs of complications, they allowed themselves a daring hope. This could be the one that finally brought a child into their lives. The child was healthy by all the fetal measurements and was fond of moving during the wee hours of the morning, when his or her parents could give their undivided attention to the miracle of their new family.

    At twelve weeks, the court press secretary issued a formal statement. Designers from as near as Aldera and as far as Bimmisaari offered to provide a maternity wardrobe for the Queen. Staffers and citizens alike wept for joy. Allies offered their congratulations.

    At twenty weeks, Bail and Breha allowed themselves to think of one fairly major detail.

    "A family name is expected," Breha stated on one of their private mornings. "We could add another Bail to the family."

    "A noble name that is the bane of the Senate," her husband mused, tracing a hand over the increasingly prominent swell of her belly. "While I appreciate the offer, I would like to consider other options. We could give Raymus a namesake."

    "House Organa has its fair share of noble names," the Queen argued. "Nomar..."

    "If we are to name him for a Jedi, why not Obi-Wan or Anakin?" Bail teased. "I hear such names are all the rage now that the Jedi are heroes of the Republic."

    She immediately turned her back on him as if blocking access to their child. "I am not raising Anakin Organa."

    Bail let his arm encircle her waist and he hid his smile against her shoulder. "It was merely a suggestion," he commented. "A good negotiator knows to consider all options before committing himself to a cause."

    Her shoulder shifted a moment before she rolled onto her back so he could see her smile. "Why are you so sure that we are to have a son?" she challenged..

    It was a fair question, but one he could not answer satisfactorily. After a long moment of consideration, he put it into simple terms that withheld nothing. "I feel as though it is not our time to welcome a daughter just yet," he said.

    "Now who's the Jedi, my love?" Breha rejoined.

    "You disagree?" he asked.

    "I have no instincts on the matter," she admitted. "We would love a son just as much as a daughter."

    He could see in his mind's eye the blissful appreciation of his wife looking on their firstborn. He had known long before the first pregnancy that she yearned for a child and shared that self-same yearning. He wanted to give her that joy more than anything that he could think of.

    "If we were to have a daughter," he suggested, "I thought we could name her for your mother."

    The matriarch of the Antilles clan had died a year after her husband's failed attempt to become Chancellor. Bail had mourned the woman as a fellow Alderaanian, but Breha's entire life had been molded by the woman's wisdom and support. It was a suggestion that she did not refute immediately and she clasped his hand tightly with a slightly watery smile.

    "Princess Leiha Antilles Organa," she considered. "I will keep that in mind."

    Four weeks to the day after they first considered names for their heir, he was stillborn and a part of his parents' hearts was buried with him.

    Author’s note: We know from canon that Breha had five miscarriages and was warned against having another pregnancy. In my fanon, one of those was late enough that it was considered a stillbirth. Also in my fanon, Bail and Leiha Antilles were the parents of the Queen. This is mentioned in Wife of Deceit, Book 1.
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  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    "If Vader were feeling lenient, he would be satisfied with imprisoning me. He might execute me privately in my father's place. He might let me swing from a noose in the Grand Audience Chamber or somewhere more public than that. If I were very unlucky, he would take me to his Star Destroyer and allow me to watch from space as the Empire tested the flammability of Alderaan's cities and countryside. There is no scenario in which I would be allowed to remain in power."

    Your Leia is very wise for her age. But I expected nothing less of Padmé´s daughter being raised by Breha & Bail.

    I also like that you added your fanon about the name origins of our heroine. :D

    All in all, a good characterization and characters that simply leave you stunned. [face_love]
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh how poignantly heart-wrenching! Far enough along to consider names: :( :( That makes the loss even more devastating! The warmth between Bail/Breha is evident here.
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  22. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    I had almost forgotten how well you write Leia and Star Wars. An intriguing AU, here. Leia's between a rock, hard place and someplace hot. And that last bit was a legit gut punch. :(

    Although now I'm not sure what would've been worse, Anakin Organa or Obi-Wan Organa.
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  23. kateydidnt

    kateydidnt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 11, 2004
    Where in canon are Breha's miscarriage's mentioned? (You're much more familiar than I am with the written canon.)

    Oh that is heartbreaking--to lose a child so far along.

    Now I'm wondering why we're getting this flashback now. Is Bail purposefully putting his mind towards this to avoid thinking about other things? Is it Bail who is having a flashback? Or is it a general flashback?

    Oh dear, now I am wondering how many children born during the clone wars were given the name of Obi-Wan or Anakin and were unfortunate enough to have to keep said name once the Empire was formed.
  24. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    Thanks, Azure! I like bringing in fanon wherever I can, even if it's a private joke. In the book I'm working on finishing, I have a Boston police officer who appears in Book 3 of a friend's series and is the cousin of a detective in Book 2 of the same series. And I have a nurse who is the mother of a friend's main character. Easter Eggs are lots of fun. I'm glad you approve of this characterization. It's been slightly difficult to write a two-years-younger Leia who has not been shaped directly by the Alliance or her political career.

    Glad you like the B/B. This scene was actually inspired by a recent conversation with a friend who went through eleven miscarriages because her body didn't produce the right chemicals to keep her pregnant. She has five gorgeous girls because her doctors figured out what she needed, but talks about her family of sixteen.

    Anakin Organa, IMHO. I hope I continue to impress with this version of Leia.

    The answer is in Clone Wars books. Also in my fanon, there were several, but the specific details came a few years after I invented that. Bail is thinking of things in the past to avoid giving away the present. The Obi-wan and Anakin thing was inspired by Newsflesh, where Shawn and Georgia are the most popular names of the post-zombie-rising world because they're named for heroes.

    Author note: Sorry I've been away from the keyboard for a while! I've been busy with work and personal stuff and was camping last weekend when I should have been updating. Unfortunately, because my head is killing me, this will be a shorter post, but here's another Easter Egg for anyone who read Lest Ye Be Judged. I also feature one of my longest-running characters, who first appeared in 1995.
    Ils Chimre did not what have what many considered a glamorous or exciting job. Her mother dutifully watched every segment that she aired and dropped "my journalist daughter" into every conversation that she could, but there were thousands of holoshills on Imperial Center and she wasn't even a very popular one.

    She was even less popular among her subjects. No one liked having a microphone greet them when they left a sentencing. She had been on three punches, one when her first protest turned violent. She had one exclusive to her name, but her producer promised that more would come. Every person had to spend a few years droning on about sewage lines and indictments before they got to cover the Rebel Alliance's latest disaster or the Emperor's latest act of tyranny.

    He had also told her that a good journalist knew how to listen, but a great journalist knew what to watch. She kept a cam running at all times and while not all of it was legal, it was often a starting point for something bigger.

    She had been leaving an interview with a recently-convicted Gran terrorist when an Imperial Senator had been led past in stuncuffs. She recognized him as one of the rabble-rousers who was always shouting at the Senate for denying refugees rights and passing anti-alien legislation. He was even fairly good-looking, so while she didn't stare, she captured a few stills with the holocam of the day. She showed them to her boyfriend and her producer, but kept them from her mother, since the woman was a walking security breach. She kept the originals in her personal files under password encryption and went back to editing the footage of the Gran.

    Three days later, a janitor at the Chandrilan Embassy was arrested. She was assigned to the arraignment and spent thirty minutes waiting for the woman's lawyer to finish a previous case, two minutes listening to the Chandrilan plead guilty and another three minutes noting the details of the plea bargain. The Imperial prosecutor had reduced the charge from treason to espionage and that meant she would be sentenced to ten years of prison and five years of probation instead of losing her life For the Empire, that was merciful.

    Ils requested an interview with the woman as she usually did when covering a high-stakes case, but was denied. Instead, she was offered a chance to meet with the director of personnel at the Chandrilan Embassy. Men Makthama couldn't give her the behind-bars intrigue that she favored, but she could at least ask him if any of them saw this coming. At 1900 the next evening, she ran her credentials at the security checkpoint and was escorted to the DOP's office.

    "Ms. Chimre," he greeted her. "Thank you for coming."

    "Thank you for seeing me," Ils responded genially. "Do you mind if..."

    She extracted a small holocam from her satchel, the one that she used for ordinary interviews rather than on-the-scene coverage. The one that didn't require a paid operator or even a sentient one.

    "Not at all," Men Makthama responded drily. "Do you mind if..."

    He extracted a gadget of his own, one that could fry that cam and the other two that she was wearing more surreptitiously. She frowned, but returned the cam to her bag and held up her hands in mock-surrender. "You realize that I am a holoshill," she pointed out.

    "Yes, we had heard," he said.

    "My audience will hear about this interview and want to know what you were afraid of them hearing," she stated.

    "I'm sure all thirty-seven of them will be devastated," Men Makthama deadpanned.

    Sixteen months of being trivialized kept Ils from flushing with anger or humiliation. She didn't even flinch, since he wasn't even the highest-ranking person to belittle her this month.

    "Am I allowed to take notes?" she asked.

    "Feel free,' he said more sincerely, "but I am here to ask questions."

    She extracted her datapad anyway and keyed it up. "Go on."

    "The Alliance has seen the holos of Senator Organa," he said baldly.

    That did surprise her and she only just managed to refrain from dropping her stylus. "My mother hasn't seen the holos," she said. "What makes you think the Alliance has?"

    "A source close to the Senator Mon Mothma brought them to her attention," Men Makthama admitted. "As one of Organa's oldest compatriots, she was personally concerned."

    In a handful of sentences, he had just admitted that Organa and Mon Mothma were involved in the Rebellion. It was the worst-kept secret in the Empire, but the evidence was not yet there. He also meant that either the man who arranged for her paychecks or the man who hogged the covers at night was involved as well.

    "I see," Ils said as impassively as possible. "And what did the Alliance have to say?"

    "They find it interesting that Organa is in custody when no charges have been brought against him and no indictment has been handed down," he said. "We thought you might ask some of your legal friends if either of those is in the works."

    "Right," she scoffed. "You want me to call Judge Khatarn and casually ask when he intends to sentence a Core World Senator to death?"

    Men Makthama did not smile at that. "We had a few other candidates," he said. "You aired a well-received piece on Judge Turot eight months ago and he might remember you favorably."

    "I doubt if he remembers me at all," Ils commented. "He's not one of my thirty-seven devastated viewers."

    When he didn't respond, only watched her expectantly, she sighed. "I doubt he would even take my call," she said.

    "We'll arrange for that if you're game," Men Makthama promised, "but I suspect the Emperor has kept this from the news for a reason."

    "Is there a reason to believe that Organa would be found guilty?" she challenged.

    "He was loyal to the Republic," Men Makthama reminded her. "People have died for less."

    "You know what I mean," Ils said impatiently. "What charges should be brought against him by the Imperial Judiciary?"

    The man smirked at last and folded his equipment back into a desk drawer. "I trust you will be thorough enough to find out, Ms. Chimre," he said. "Does that mean you will take the assignment?"

    "Not on your terms," she said. "I'm not going to have it known that the staff of a suspected Rebel is in the habit of giving me orders."

    "We wouldn't think of it," he promised. "I imagine you would prefer to continue your legal reporting career as a free woman. But I hope you will help Senator Organa due to your devotion to justice."

    That sounded more like an investigative piece of journalism than a declaration of war.

    "Let me know when I can contact the judge," she agreed.
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Like the behind-the-scenes journalistic wrangling and snarking. @};- It feels true to life indeed. [face_thinking]
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