Beta: And on that note a HUGE! Thanks to Cariel for beta reading this for me! D
Author's Note/Summary: This tale takes place between TPM and AOTC. The fate of the Boranian's rests in Padmé's hands but is Dormé who intercedes on their behalf and Sabe who is her messenger.
"The Servant."Silently pacing the elegant living quarters of the handmaiden's wing, Sabé replayed the events of the day, going through the discussion and arguments made between the Naboo Queen and the leaders of Boranians. The principle handmaiden was well aware of the situation and the reasons behind Queen Amidala's desire to migrate the people to safety as swiftly as possible. But there was something wasn't right and though Sabé knew it was not her place to interfere, she wasn't able to remain silent either.
"Milady, are you certain this is the wisest course of action? The Boranian's sun is believed to remain stable for at least a few years yet. If we move them too swiftly, who knows how the transition will affect their biology."Sabé gave a small sigh to the memory of her words and how the queen frowned at her suggestion.
"Sabé, time is not on our side. It will take months at the very least to migrate all the inhabitants off the planet, nevermind anything else. We must decide quickly or all of their lives will needlessly be lost!" Amidala stated in obvious concern.
Sabé did her best to understand the queen's struggle, the stress she had to be under, and all the responsibilities that even now weighed on her young shoulders. But no matter how she thought of it, some facts would not change no matter what one's perception of it may be.
"Everything is moving too quickly Padmé. You heard their leader's concerns over the matter just as much as I did. I think it would be arrogant of us to think that his fears are invalid. They have a very sensitive biology, if they are placed in the wrong environment it is certain they will die from the transition.
"I think it would be prudent to study the planet chosen for their home before we do anything further. At the very least to ensure that we are prepared to any and all unexpected possibilities—"
"While I appreciate your insights and guidance, Lady Sabé, my decision has already been made and it is final."
"I have a bad feeling about this, Saché," Sabé murmured causing the older handmaiden to look up from the new security program she was fine tuning for the security captain.
"Are you still mulling over your argument with Padmé? You know she's not going to change her mind. You know how she is when it comes to these things," she replied as she shook her head.
Sabé sighed softly and bit her lip as she began to pace once more. "Yes, I know and that is why I am worried," she admitted softly. "I don't think she's really weighed out the consequences of her decision. I really don't think her intervention is going to work this time," Sabé said in troubled tones.
"You really think she's acting too fast with the migration program?" Saché asked with a raised brow unaware that they were no longer alone.
"I think a lot of innocent lives are going to suffer because—" Sabé faltered feeling ashamed and guilty for having such thoughts, yet unable to deny her concerns. "I think a lot of innocent lives will suffer because of it," she concluded quietly.
It was only then that Sabé caught sight of the young handmaiden in training who was watching them from the entrance to the living quarters. "Lady Jaffa, is there something I can help you with?" Sabé began politely, uncertain how much Dormé heard and feeling guilty for possibly speaking her doubts within the young woman's earshot. The principle handmaiden was unaware of the fact that Dormé had already overheard the discussion between the Naboo Queen and herself and was well aware of the situation too. However, she did sense the petite woman's concern and this left Sabé feeling as though she had exposed Padmé somehow, that she had tarnished the queen's upright and deified image. She was careful to hide her guilt and shame over her unexpected mistake as best she could.
Saché on the other hand seemed more amused than shocked and raised a brow at the petite girl. "Why are you still here? Shouldn't you be hitting the clubs with Moteé and Eirtaé?" she teased with a chuckle. She was well aware of Dormé's penchant for the fast life and truthfully didn't care so long as she wasn't putting her life at risk or permitting it to interfere with her training.
Sabé on the other hand, was more mindful of protecting the girl's good name and swiftly gave Saché a sharp look.
Dormé had much on her mind as well and swiftly ignored Saché's mocking words as her attentions were entirely turned to Sabé. "What are you going to do about it?" she asked with all the nobility and grace of a queen.
Sabé instinctively stood taller as though she actually was in the presence of royalty. She didn't need to ask what Dormé meant by the question it was clear to both of them exactly what she meant. It only occurred to her then that Dormé had never spoke to her before, unless she was spoken to by Sabé herself.
Something shifted in the air and even Saché, normally one to crack jokes during such moments, remained silent watching the two girls with a look of guarded confusion.
"I've spoken to her milady—" Sabé began in polite tones feeling as though the young woman was peering into her very soul, "her decision was final."
"I did not ask you what she is doing about it. I am asking you."
The words spoken were direct, to the point and struck chord deep within Sabé. The silence between them was stifling, but it was not thick with anger or disgust brought on by the young handmaiden's lack of respect for Sabé's position. It was heavy because in that moment, she knew the lives of an entire race were waiting with bated breath to learn of their fate.
"I am no politician, not a woman of power; I am a servant to a queen who has the respect of Naboo and of the Republic. It is only through the ears of our queen that I hold any sway over the people's opinion," Sabé politely explained uncertain of her role in all of this. Dormé however felt differently and it was with a stoic expression she continued as if Sabé hadn't spoken at all.
"An entire race is about to be destroyed and we both know it. This is more than just performing an act of goodwill; this about protecting a people who are unable to protect themselves. You must do something, Sabé, or billions of innocent lives will suffer a fate far more tragic than you or I could ever imagine. Do not wait and do not hesitate. Time is not in our favour and it is most certainly not in theirs."
Sabé said nothing in reply as the petite woman held her gaze a moment longer before departing the room.
Saché didn't remain long and was soon departing herself, leaving Sabé alone with her thoughts.
In the back of her mind, Sabé could still recall the young girl pleading with the queen on behalf of all the other younglings who weren't freed by the Jedi who had come to her aid years ago. Dormé reminded Padmé at the time that if Uriash—her home village—wasn't mindful of her laws against child labour, it was certain other children in other cities all over Naboo suffered the same fate. Nothing was done, at least not to Sabés knowledge. Though Sabé would later wonder what exactly had transpired here, all that mattered was the weight of Dormé's words and fates of the many lives that hung in the balance.