Disclaimer: Don't own Star Wars. George Lucas does, and he makes a bundle from it, too.
Summary: AU. The Force decides to change things, and uses the Queen to do it. In a new timeline, the Queen is the apprentice, the Apprentice becomes a prisoner, and the Master still rules. But the Rebellion has spies it doesn't even know about, and the children of the Chosen One are spared…
Timeline: Star Wars universe times. Prequel trilogy. Anakin's born the same year as Padmé in the new timeline (46 BBY - Before Battle of Yavin- Episode IV). New timeline is an AU, though will retain basic structure of galactic events (kidnappings, Empire declared, Clone Wars, etc.). The relationship of Palpatine and Padmé's mother is my own invention (cousins, not anything else!). First month, second month, etc. apply to our months and year - I know a standard 'Coruscant' month and year is different, but its just easier this way.
Pairings: Anakin/Padmé as themselves and their 'dark' alter egos Darth Bana and Sir/Darth Vader. Obi-Wan/Sabé. Canon pairings for prequel and original trilogy characters, with Luke/Mara at an early stage.
Rating: Starts of at T, will later become M. Dark themes, sexual situations, language, possible torture, possible voyeurism (Palpatine's a pervert), violence, etc. Light-hearted bits in between, and possible bits of slight smut, but nothing too graphic.
Notes: This is the first of three larger stories, but there will also be numerous one-shots. First Blood is the first one I've written of them. I will advertise at the beginning of each chapter if there are new ones. Most chapters will be longer than this, but this is just a prologue. If nothing else, I will update at the end of each month, though there may be longer gaps between stories.
Dark Queen and White Knight
Prologue: The Force's Choice
'To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.' - Andy and Larry Wachowski, The Matrix, 1999
Padmé didn't know how long she'd been in the void, the netherworld. She had seen the Empire rise, the monster that took over her husband's body kill thousands, millions, her son and daughter be tortured by their 'father', and her husband's redemption as he defeated the monster to save his son.
Had it been twenty years? Thirty? One hundred? Time had no meaning in the void. But Anakin was coming. Her heart swelled as she realised just how much her beloved had been manipulated by those around him – only his relationships with her and his true master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had been free of it. Even then, one could say Qui-Gon forced Obi-Wan to accept Anakin, but the man had come to care for him as a brother. She had loved Anakin with all her heart.
She wanted to see him. To greet him.
It was not to be.
"My son comes to me once more." A voice spoke behind her.
A majestic female form approached her. Glossy black hair in ringlets, creamy skin, startling green eyes and a sumptuous body clad in an embroidered green gown and a rich brown Jedi robe. The voice was so beautiful it hurt, and Padmé struggled to hold her gaze.
"The Chosen One. My son." The woman smiled. "I am the Force. Or a physical representation of it."
Padmé felt unsure, wondering if she should curtsey or something.
"Fear not, child. I am no more or less than you, though it seems strange." The woman gazed down on the pool that acted as Padmé's physical 'window' into the living galaxy. "I have been balanced, but things are not as they are supposed to be. Too many have died. My Chosen became Darth Vader too soon, too blindly, and for the wrong reason. He was supposed to help the Rebellion, not hunt it. He was supposed to trick and deceive the Sith as he founded a new order of Jedi. A Jedi, yet not. A Sith, yet not."
"Anakin cannot lie. He has always struggled to hide things, to deceive others."
"He was meant to be older, to be better trained. To be able to leave his mother. His son should have been raised by grandparents as well as his aunt and uncle. Shmi, ah, the beloved Shmi. She was not meant to die when she did." The Force shook her head. "Cliegg died from a broken heart and his injuries soon after. Owen felt angry, bitter. He wanted Luke to stay out of things, but knew he would never be able to stop him. He loved him like a son, but was always conscious that Luke was not his."
"There is nothing that can be done."
The Force gave a smile. "I am balanced. For the first time in centuries. And I can unbalance myself if necessary to heal the galaxy. I can turn back time. Change things. The darkness interfered with the stirrings of Shmi's womb – Anakin should have been older. And the smallest change, I foresee, will have a big difference. Two simple changes…"
"This may be hard on you, Padmé Skywalker. You will not become who you are now. But you will heal the galaxy."
"You will be born shortly after Anakin Skywalker. You were born to be his mate. And now, you will have the abilities to prove it. To reel him in."
"You will be born Force-sensitive. Anakin is older, and you are Force-sensitive. With your other skills, you will be discovered by the Sith, as a child on his home planet." She sighed. "You will become a Sith, child. But you will not be as blind. You will embrace me fully. With both light and dark, healing is possible and no damage occurs. And it will disguise you from the Jedi. You will become Palpatine's hidden apprentice. And the Rebellion will have help from the inside. The Republic is dying. The Empire is – was – needed to stir the remaining seeds of democracy, create the Rebellion, and renew the Republic. But not at the cost of so many lives. Not at the cost of Alderaan."
"You will be true to the Sith in deceiving your master and disposing of him. But you will be a Jedi in healing the galaxy. The Jedi had become lazy, arrogant, weak. The balance needed was not destroying the Sith – entirely anyway – but destroying the Jedi. Destroying the old ways and forging a new path. Anakin began that with you, but Sidious interfered." The Force sneered. "The Dark Side never saw the need for my balancing, not realising that even I had grown weak."
"I don't know if I can…"
"You will be different, but you will know, somehow, that you are the right path." The Force looked solemn. "You will be called upon to lie, steal, kill, torture, harm, mutilate, destroy and do everything you never wanted to. You were a born politician, Padmé Amidala Naberrie Skywalker. You never sank into the depths of corruption that others did. But you will purge that. You and my Chosen.
"The Chosen One, his Beloved, and his Guide shall heal the galaxy's divide. Anakin was manipulated before he had a chance to work. Palpatine will be more interested in you, this time. Anakin will train free of his influence. But don't doubt that you will see the man you love. For in every Jedi, the seeds of darkness lurk. But don't dismiss them. Lust becomes love, jealousy becomes devotion, anger becomes a cause. Remember that even the light becomes dangerous. Guilt becomes despair, grief spawns revenge, compassion becomes imposition.
"The Jedi pushed away love to be selfless and serve me entirely, but protected themselves from the darkness they had to confront, so became selfish. Anakin loved you and became selfless, but was manipulated and became obsessive. Protect him, Padmé. His past harmed him more than anyone realised, and in this past he spends even longer as a slave."
"I'll try, but why me?"
"You know. You are forceful, intelligent, kind. A worthy mate for my Chosen, who is brave, compassionate and strong. He is the strength, you are the cunning. He is the power, you are the control. You are the strategist, he the tactician. You are the love, he the devotion.
"You will be the Sith, he will be the Jedi. Together you will serve the Force."
Before Padmé could say anything more, the Force had disappeared and there was a push on her chest.
Wind raced around her, and time moved backwards.
She blacked out and dissipated.
46 BBY, Tatooine:
Shmi Skywalker gave a final scream as she gave birth, pushing the tiny life from her body. She fell back heavily.
"It's a boy." The woman who had attended her stated.
Shmi nodded weakly.
After a few moments, her son was handed to her.
"Oh, he's beautiful." Shmi murmured wonderingly, petting her child's face. The boy had not uttered a sound as he peered at her with bright, piercing blue eyes. She smoothed the damp, blonde head. "Oh, you are beautiful, my son."
"What are you going to call him?"
"Anakin. From home. It means… It means 'warrior'. This little one will need to be a fighter, in the life we will lead." Shmi explained.
The woman nodded. "Anakin Skywalker. Sounds like a good name."
"It is. Anakin." Shmi murmured. "My little Anakin."
46 BBY, eight standard months later, Naboo:
"Oh, Jobal, she's beautiful." The midwife murmured as she handed the newborn to her mother.
"She is. Padmé. Padmé Naberrie." Jobal smiled.
At that moment, Ruwee, the proud father, entered with his elder daughter, Sola.
"Here, Sola, this is your baby sister." Ruwee introduced the five-year-old to the baby.
Sola gave the child a measured look. "She's funny-looking."
Her parents laughed.
"She will be. She's only a newborn." Jobal gave a weak laugh. "You looked like this too, when you were born."
Sola informed them that in no way did she look nearly that odd when she was born. And she should know, it was her.
The adults laughed.
There was a knock on the door.
"Jobal. I heard you had a new addition to the family." Sero Illar - State name of Palpatine - smiled as he entered.
Jobal smiled at her cousin. "We have. How did you get here so quickly?"
"We had a speeder accident." He explained. "Don't worry, I'm fine. The driver… is not so fine."
"Not to worry. He'll be fine in a few hours." He looked at the newborn with interest. "So, who is this young lady?"
"Padmé Naberrie." Ruwee informed him proudly.
The girl looked up at him with large eyes that were already darkening to brown. Palpatine was astonished by the girl's aura in the Force.
"Well, well, well, I think we have a little queen here." Palpatine chuckled.
"What?" Jobal looked slightly worried. "What do you mean?"
"I mean she'll be a heartbreaker when she grows up. Like her sister." He smiled at Sola. "But I feel she is destined for greatness."
He did not tell them of his thoughts.
Yes, this child will be unknown. So long as the Jedi do get a hold of her. She can become my true Sith apprentice. One of my blood, if distant, the true way. And perhaps a way to catch the Senate as well.
Please review and tell me what you think. I need to feedback to decide whether it's worth continuing, though I will write it anyway, because it's flowing from me.
I hope you appreciate the changes. This is fairly AU – the major events stay the same, because Palpatine is still manipulating them, but they just go slightly differently.