The Emperor's Gift, The Emperor's Curse

Summary: Former Senator Padmé Amidala has been thrown out of her office, when Palpatine declared himself Emperor. She has been his prisoner for several months, until he decides to dispose of her. Note: Vader in this fic is without his suit, and he has never met Padmé before.

Chapter 1: Interrogation

Detention Area AA-93, Cell 2443

Two Imperial guards, held a battered and bruised prisoner in their arms, as another guard interrogated her.

"Which senators are members of the Rebel Alliance? Name your accomplices." The guard barked at her.

The woman did not answer. In retaliation, the guard flicked a whip at her, adding another welt to her body.

"Answer me!" The guard yelled.

The woman remained silent. She stared up at her tormentor, and did not flinch when the whip struck her again. She would not talk, and they could not make her. She was former Senator Padmé Amidala of the Naboo, and she would not yield to the Empire. She served the Republic, and would not betray her friends and colleagues that were working to bring democracy back to the galaxy. As she gazed up at her interrogator, Padmé remembered a fateful day from the past.

Six months ago, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had showed up in the main Senate chamber is a horrible state. His face looked like it had aged over 50 years from the previous day. He claimed that the Jedi had attempted to kill him. He declared war on the Jedi and those who helped protect them. Padmé remembered feeling sorry for Palpatine, and betrayal at the Jedi who were obviously trying to undermine the Republic.

However, her pity was short lived, because in the next breath the Supreme Chancellor dissolved the Republic and created the Empire. As he declared himself Emperor, Padmé realized that the Chancellor was evil and power hungry. She realized that the Jedi had not betrayed democracy; they must have tried to prevent the change in government. Padmé's eyes narrowed as she continued to listen to the "Emperor's" speech.

After the Senate meeting was adjourned, Padmé met up with several other Senators to discuss the day's events. All the Senators that Padmé spoke with were shocked and dismayed with the fall of democracy. They all knew that they needed to act quickly and silently in order to reverse these events.

Padmé and the senators from Alderaan, Corellia, Mon Calamari, and Chandrila, formed the Rebel Alliance. Using their political influence, they recruited members, protected the Jedi who survived the Emperor's purge, and created a resistance movement to fight the Empire. Through their efforts, they hoped to bring down Imperial rule and restore the Republic to its former glory.

Unfortunately, not every member they recruited was friendly. The Empire had hired a network of spies to infiltrate the Alliance and track down its leaders. Padmé was imprisoned after one such spy revealed her to the Empire.

Padmé was charged with treason, and was interrogated almost daily as to the whereabouts of her rebel friends. Everyday, she refused to answer. After her arrest, the other members of the Rebel Alliance became more cautious with whom they dealt and spoke to, and were much more secretive. Padmé knew that they longed to help rescue their friend, but it would risk the continuance of the rebellion and any hope to restore democracy. They knew that Padmé would say that restoring Democracy was of most importance, and she was happy that her friends had not tried to risk everything on her account.

The whip slashed across Padmé again as she failed to answer again.

"Tell us where your rebel friends are!" The interrogator yelled for the fourth time.

The interrogator raised his whip again, but was stopped from flailing it at his prisoner when a dark, oily voice sounded behind him.

"You may desist in this pointless exercise Captain. You are only breaking her body, not her spirit."

The interrogator dropped his whip as he turned around. Startled, he quickly bowed to the Emperor who stood in the doorframe.

"As you wish my lord," the interrogator intoned as he rose from his bow.

"You have done well Captain, you may leave."

"Thank you my lord." The interrogator replied. He quickly picked up his dropped whip and exited the cell.

After he left, the Emperor turned his attention to the floor before him. The two guards who had been holding Padmé while she was whipped had pushed her down to kneel before him.

"Leave us." The Emperor ordered the guards, who quickly exited the cell. Using the Force, the Emperor closed the door behind them.

The Emperor looked down at the woman kneeling before him, who defiantly locked her gaze onto his. Remaining silent, he slowly paced in front of her.

After pacing five times, he turned back to the woman and broke the silence, "So… Senator Amidala, I see that three months as my prisoner has not broken you yet. You still defy me."

Outwardly, Padmé remained stoically still. Inwardly, she recoiled, the man before her made her skin crawl. She would have stood to continue her defiance, but her battered body was too weak to support her. Instead, she sat up as straight as she could and remained silent as he continued to speak.

"Stubborn as ever." The Emperor softly cackled. "Why don't you speak to me, old friend?"

"You are not my friend." Padmé replied.

The Emperor smiled at the comment as he replied, "Come now my lady, do not fool yourself. You are my friend. After all, it is you who raised me from a lowly senator to Supreme Chancellor. If you had that much confidence in me, we must have been friends."

He was trying to goad her, and Padmé knew it. She had called for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum's leadership thirteen years ago, when he failed to act promptly to an invasion by the Trade Federation on her home planet of Naboo. Senator Palpatine was promoted to take his place. She felt guilty with the thought that her actions had helped the monster before her come closer to the power he lusted after.

"Palpatine was never my friend. He was just a facade to facilitate a man's greed." She replied as she stared stonily up at him.

"Milady, that hurts me deeply." Palpatine answered as he mockingly faked a look of pain. "You should not say such unkind things, to your dear friend, Emperor Palpatine." He stated with a smile.

"You are not Palpatine. That was all a cover-up. I know who you are. You are Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, enemy to the Jedi Knights, enemy to the Republic, and most importantly, enemy to me!" Padmé replied angrily.

Sidious smiled. "You are as wise as you are stubborn, milady." He paused for a moment, and then continued. "You have shown great strength these past three months as my prisoner, a strength that would be valuable to the Empire. We could end the conflict between the rebellion and the Empire today if you will listen to what I have come to offer you."

"And what is that?" Padmé spit out in contempt.

"Marry me. Become my Empress. Rule the galaxy with me. With you by my side, we can unite the galaxy together to bring peace to the Empire. You want peace, don't you?"

Padmé felt nauseous from Sidious's proposal. She would never marry the evil, foul creature before her. "Not at the price of democracy." She replied.

Sidious smiled at Padmé's discomfort. He knew that she would refuse him. He did not want to marry this insufferable woman, but he enjoyed watching her squirm. He decided to press her some more before taking his leave. "And what if I offered democracy as well."

Padmé glared at him. "You lie! I will never marry you. I would rather die."

"So be it." Sidious replied, and he walked out of the cell, locking it behind him.