Disclaimer: It's George's Sandbox; I'm just wrecking the sandcastles.

Title: Executive Order

Author: JadeMax

Genre: Drama

Timeframe: AotC - Missing Moments.

Summary: a plot bunny adopted from Knight-Ander- Remember in AOTC where Palpatine said he would talk to Senator Amidala and try to convince her to leave Coruscant and to go into hiding on Naboo? My plot bunny is: How did that conversation go?

Executive Order

"You asked to see me, Chancellor?"

"Ah, Padmé, my dear, so good of you to come." Chancellor Palpatine motioned for her to sit. "Sit, please."

"Thank you." Senator Padmé Naberrie settled herself gracefully in the indicated seat and arranged her skirt with a flick of her wrist. "Your summons was most intriguing Chancellor."

"But necessary, I assure you." Palpatine's expression was one of deep concern. "I understand that your Jedi protectors have made the recommendation for you to go into hiding."

Padmé made an irritated gesture with her hand. "The suggestion has been made; I'm not inclined to comply."

He looked shocked. "Why ever not?"

"My place is here, Chancellor. This vote is very important to me and to my people. To do anything less would be betraying their trust in me."

"Even at the risk of your own life? Your job is not worth that price, my dear."

"If my death ends this war, I think it is."

Palpatine regarded her thoughtfully. "Are you so eager to die?"

"Of course not." Padmé found a smile for him. He was after all, a fellow Nabooian. "I simply believe that there are better courses than assassination and petty bickering. I don't aspire to martyrdom, Chancellor, but I won't shy away from it."

Palpatine heaved a sigh. "I was hoping not to have to do this, my dear, but you leave me no choice. You are far too valuable a voice for the continuation of peace to risk your loss. I agree with the Jedi and will issue the necessary executive if you must be compelled to agree with their recommendation."

Padmé's polished exterior cracked. "You cannot do that."

"I much prefer for you to go of your own accord. I understand young Skywalker will be joining you as your bodyguard. There is no Jedi I think of more highly than Skywalker; you will be in good hands."

"Chancellor, I do not believe the situation is serious enough to warrant sending me into hiding." Her tone was polite but laced with displeasure. "This issue is much too important - to place my life above it in unfathomable."

"But necessary." The Chancellor rose to his feet. "The vote will be delayed as long as possible, my dear, to allow you the opportunity to vote upon your return."

"And if the Jedi fail to find the assassin? Am I to remain in hiding until they believe me dead only to start the cycle all over again?"

Palpatine smiled graciously. "Of course not. If the Jedi fail to find the assassin I will be very shocked. Anakin has told me that your friend Obi-Wan Kenobi is in charge of the search. His past exploits indicate he is perfectly suited to the job. Do not worry, my dear, you will be back on Coruscant in no time. I would of course, recommend you leave a representative in your place in the event it takes longer than anticipated."

"First the Jedi guardians and now this, Chancellor? I do not like it."

"Do it for me if you won't do it for your own safety, milady." His expression was pained. "Our people love you and the loss of such a vibrant, powerful figure, one people can be proud of and look up to, would be devastating to Naboo."

Padmé's shoulders slumped for a moment, indicating his arguments had, at last, penetrated. She straightened and squared her shoulders. "You will not change your mind?"

"I am afraid not, my dear."

"Very well." She inclined her head to him. "If you'll excuse me, Chancellor, I have my own arrangements to make."

Palpatine waited until Padmé was gone before a sly, calculating smile passed over his features. He turned, looking out over the sky lanes. Everything was going according to plan.