Disclaimer: Star Wars and all associated characters, plotlines, and worlds (good and bad) are property and copyright © of George Lucas (aka The Richest Man in Hollywood). This is purely for fan entertainment only.

Chapter 5

"Meesa no likey you, Jar Jar Binks." Padmé grumbled, dumping her work tote into an armchair and falling backwards into the plush cushions with a disgruntled sigh. "If I ever have to work another nine hours with that gungan ever again, I'll…" she trailed off dangerously, pausing only when Sabé came to the rescue with a tall cylinder of citrusade spiked with Corellian whiskey, her specialty.

"Another tough day?" she asked, propping Padmé's feet up and slipping the pointy slippers off, replacing them with fuzzy bantha slippers.

The Senator nodded ruefully, sipping on the delectable concoction. "He spent three hours lecturing the Senate, and truthfully, unless I did not have first hand knowledge that he was talking about a trade deal in the Outer Rim, I would think he was talking about dancing with aquatic creatures or some nonsense." She giggled, watching Sabé as her handmaiden pulled up the Holonet, going through her recent messages.

The handmaiden pulled up the Amidala journal, "Quite a few updates, today." Her eyes twinkled mischievously. "There's one from an emptysoul," she began.

Padmé's eyes narrowed, "Force, no!"

Her aide giggled, listing off a few other names before finding another familiar one. "What about manicpoet?"

The Nabooan Senator grinned, "What does he have to say?"

Sabé smirked and pulled up the desired page, reading aloud, her laughter dying as she read the words.

"While off-world on business, the harsh realities of the War are creeping up on me. I found out that one of the businesswomen from my firm was lost to us. This is for her.

"Her happy soul has winged its way

To one pure bright eternal day

No pain, no grief, no anxious fear

Can reach the peaceful sleeper here."

The Senator blinked back tears, thinking at once of Anakin, and the constant threat that she might learn from the Holonet herself of his own untimely demise. She swallowed the lump in her throat, taking a long drag from the alcoholic beverage. Sabé wisely headed toward the bedrooms, leaving her mistress in peace.

All of the deaths, the pain, the suffering… it was taking a toll- on her and on the rest of the galaxy. She pulled up Serendipity's journal, composing a new entry.

(entry from Serendipity)

I am sorry to hear of your loss, manicpoet, I truly am. I can imagine how it must feel.

If only I could make a difference! The women and children of our galaxy are suffering endlessly while the politicians piddle about without making any returns to the negotiating table, to diplomacy.

Forgive my rant… death bothers me.

… If you ever need someone to talk to, I am here. I know what it is like to live with the thought of losing people you care about, daily. It can get to be a very lonely life as you start to withdraw from them, hoping it will hurt less when they are gone.

Padmé sighed wistfully, "He's such a sensitive soul." She propped her chin on the palm of her hand, thinking of the thoughtful entries manicpoet had recently graced them with. "If only Anakin…" she froze mid-sentence, frowning softly. "No." I cannot go there.