Title: "Dissent Rising"
Author: KelliLB
Timeframe: Eight years after RoTS Characters: Leia Organa, Bail Organa, Sabé, Darth Vader, Tarkin Genre: Drama Keywords: Summary: Eight year old Princess Leia's first trip to Coruscant is marred by a terrorist incident and a shocking discovery.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Lucas owns everything; I'm just playing with his creations. I promise I'll put them back where they belong when I'm finished.

Note: I am delving into the genre of drama. My previous Star Wars fics have been vignettes, but I'm going to try my hand at writing a full drama.

Prologue:

The galaxy was finally at peace. After the brutal war between the separatists that left billions dead and many planets devastated war zones; another day was dawning. The war weary inhabitants of the galaxy were finally beginning to pick up the pieces and begin to put their lives back together. Eight years have passed since the defeat of the separatists, and it was an exciting time of peace and prosperity.

Many citizens gave all the credit to one man, Emperor Palpatine. It was him that stood up to the corrupt politicians of the Republic. It was him that exposed the Jedi for what they were; unelected, power hungry wizards who were plotting to take over. While it took many a long time to accept that the so called "heroes" of the Republic were plotting behind their backs; over time most accepted the fact that they had been blinded. They were thankful that Palpatine could resist the Jedi's unnatural powers and see them for what they were.

The citizens of the former Republic were surprised when Palpatine announced that the only government that they and their ancestors had ever known was being re-organized into an empire. Many had misgivings about the change. What about democracy? What about the Senate? The new emperor allayed the fears of the worried citizens by ensuring that, while the Emperor and the Moffs will be given more direct control of the government, the Senate will still be a "vital elected office in which all voices will be heard." They were not exactly sure what that meant and what power the Senate actually had, but the new Emperor's soothing words had calmed most fears.

The citizens who were still worried about the incredible amount of power in, essentially, unelected hands were told by their friends and family not to worry. "It is Palpatine who is leading us," they would say, "he would never appoint corrupt governors, he's looking out for our best interests." The reassurances worked on most; for some they did not.

Those people had heard the whispers; whispers about the actions of some of the Moffs on the non-core worlds. If you talked to the right people, they could tell you stories of the empire subjugating certain species. The Wookees on Kashyyyk were a prime example. Many underworld spacers and smugglers who were certainly not enamored by the Empire could tell many stories of the horrors that they had seen these regional governors commit. However, most of those who had seen these things knew to keep their mouths shut. Spreading "dissent" was considered treason and it was a good way for their not so legal activities to be brought to the harsh light of day.

Spreading dissention was one of the major unpardonable sins in this new empire. HoloNet news was under control of the government even before the Republic was re-organized. After the Empire was formed, the underground news organizations were ruthlessly hunted down. The leaders of these organizations faced time in prison or worse. Darth Vader, the Emperor's loyal second in command, had personally "brought to justice" hundreds of underground journalists by any means necessary. Most of Lord Vader's actions were secret but a few of them were allowed to leak out to the general public.

For the most part, Emperor Palpatine was respected and admired; Vader was feared. It was quickly deduced by the citizens of the Empire that Lord Vader was the main enforcer of the Emperor's grand vision. Even though the average public had no idea who he really was and where he came from, he was almost instantly feared. His nightmarish armor and mask was the source of sleepless nights for many children. Parents all over the galaxy had spent a lot of time reassuring their young that Lord Vader was not hiding in their closet or under their bed.

Back on Coruscant, the Senate, who had overwhelmingly voted in favor of the resolution that disbanded the Republic, had adjusted quickly to the change. They were, for the most part, interested only in fighting for whatever scraps of power and influence that Palpatine deemed to throw to them. They had felt the political winds beginning to shift, and being good political survivors, they had shifted along with them.

A small minority of Senators were rumored to be not so content with blindly following the Emperor down the path that he had so carefully laid. It was whispered that these senators had begun to quietly organize. Of course, these were just rumors and whispers; there was no proof yet of duplicity on the part of any senator.

Many of these rumors surrounded the senator from Alderaan. Before the Empire had been formed, he had been a critic of the then Chancellor Palpatine's many amendments to the Republic constitution. He had also been known to be close with influential members of the Jedi order before they had been decreed treasonous. However, Bail Organa seemed to support the Emperor and he had not made public any opposition to the continuation of the search for remaining members of the Jedi Order.

The only change in Senator Organa's behavior was that he spent less time on Coruscant than before. When asked about the change, Bail Organa usually smiled and said that he just wanted to spend more time with his family. There were times though when he could not avoid a trip to Coruscant. This week was the beginnings of the Empire Day festivities. This celebration marked the eighth standard year of the Emperor's reign. Like every Empire Day before it, all senators and other representatives of the thousands of worlds in the Empire were expected to attend the celebration on Coruscant.

For the Organas, this year was different than before. Bail Organa was bringing his eight year old daughter Leia to Coruscant for the first time. She had pleaded for the last four years to go and finally Bail had allowed it. His wife, Breha, was ill and could not make it to represent to royal court of Alderaan. It had fallen on Princess Leia to fill in for her mother. Her presence there was only ceremonial, but that did not diminish the young girl's enthusiasm.

To say that her parents had misgivings about Leia going to Coruscant was an understatement. After much closed door debate and hand wringing, it was decided that it was time for the Princess to assume a more public roll. She was, after all, heir to the throne of Alderaan; she could not be hidden from the galaxy forever. With a heavy heart her mother had Leia packed for her week long trip to the capitol.