Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Here's Part 3! This is the final piece of this particular vignette. The next one, entitled Binary Sunset, will premiere soon, so there will be much more Forever Destined to come. For now, enjoy the conclusion of this story and get set for next one by reviewing and letting me know what you think. wink, wink :)
Imperial Underground: A Forever Destined Vignette
The small unmarked shuttle soared into the atmosphere of Cato-Neimodia. Steam from the factories polluted the air and speeders and transports moved about in the bustle of everyday life. Cato-Neimodia was a refuge for the defeated Separatists leaders and a breeding ground for the operations of the Imperial Underground, whose ultimate goal was to topple the Republic. The Jedi were hated here, particularly Anakin Skywalker and his wife Padme, being that they were mostly responsible for the failure of the Nabooan blockade and the movement of the Separatists. All that Darth Sidious had promised them was unattainable, because of the Jedi and the Republic. They had isolated themselves from the rest of the galaxy and worked in secrecy to realize their ambitions of one day taking back control of the Empire that was promised to them. But fortunately, Sidious had planned for such defeat and enlisted a successor. No one, save for Sate Pestage and a few select others had ever seen this person though. But the Neimodians were loyal nonetheless, for the Underground's extensive funding sustained their economy. And in return, they produced massive amounts of droids, materials, and weaponry. It would take years...decades even, but Sidious' ultimate plans would be realized by those who still served him loyally. One day, the Sith would rise again to claim control of the galaxy and exterminate the Jedi disease that plagued it. As the Underground had a successor in the wake of Palpatine's death, so did Cato Neimodia after the demise of Nute Gunray at the hands of Padme Amidala Skywalker. Sylo Maj'al ascended to Gunray's throne shortly after his death. He considered Gunray to be a joke, having been killed by a weak human woman. Much unlike his predecessor, Maj'al was a warrior and cowered before no one. He was taller than most of his species, yet still possessed the silky gray skin and flat visage that defined his people. He was trained in the art of hand to hand combat and the use of various weapons. His favorite, that he carried with him always, was a curved sword made of the strongest Malastarian metal in the galaxy and had a jewel encrusted, pure golden hilt. The blade was sharp enough to split the finest of hairs and known to be able to not only withstand the heat of light saber, but even able to apply so much pressure that the crystal could be cracked. Maj'al longed for the day where he would use it to spill Jedi blood. The Neimodian leader's cape swirled around his boots, as they tromped thickly on the durasteel floor. He stopped and waited, as the small shuttle landed in the secret hanger, which was several feet below the surface. Sylo recognized the man immediately as Grand Admiral Sate Pestage. His female associate, however, he had never seen before.
"Admiral Pestage, I am Viceroy Sylo Maj'al. I was informed by our contact on Falleen that you would be arriving," Sylo greeted.
"We must upload the data and transmit it to the Master at once," Pestage said.
"Of course. This way," Maj'al replied, as he led Pestage and Lady Ziya to the main control room. Pestage inserted the first disk and began transmitting the data. Once he placed the last disk in, Sylo saw the design for Palpatine's ultimate weapon fill the screen.
"You are still using this? But I thought the Jedi stole a copy from Tarkin years ago?" Sylo asked.
"They did. But this is only the prototype now. Our new...engineers will design a new weapon with this. Whatever they construct around the main laser weapon is unknown yet. But once it is realized, no planet will stand in the way of our conquest.
"New engineers?" Sylo questioned. Sate smirked.
"That is not information you are privy to," the Admiral replied. Maj'al suppressed his anger toward the arrogant human.
"Now, it's been a long journey. Our orders from the Master are to remain here until further notice. I trust you have prepared suitable accommodations for us," Pestage said. Sylo snapped his fingers, causing two of his servants to rush to his side.
"Take them to their quarters," Sylo ordered. The servants obeyed and led their human guests to the residency section of the vast complex...
Sola hummed a happy tune, as she cooked breakfast for her family at the stove. For the first few months of their marriage, they had lived with Obi-Wan's parents and grandparents. But then, they had bought the cozy little loft style apartment where they now lived. It was just down the way from the complex where Dooku's penthouse apartment resided and they loved their quaint, yet spacious home. She plucked the blue milk out of the refrigeration unit and poured it in two cups for the girls.
"Ryoo and Pooja, come eat breakfast!" she called, as she turned off the burners and placed the last cloudberry pancake on the large stack. She sat it on the table next to the rest of the food, which included scrambled Gondark eggs, Shaak sausages, and fresh left over cloudberries. Pooja trotted in, wearing her adorable school uniform. Obi-Wan and Sola were having her attend Coruscant's finest school, which would carry her all the way through her secondary education. Once she graduated from there, she would go on to the University. Padme recommended this school and insisted she would receive the best education possible. And that made Sola very happy, being that she was denied the benefits of such an education. Pooja wore a blue skirt and matching vest, with a white collared tunic underneath. Her amber colored hair was down until Sola could help her put it up.
"Morning mommy," Pooja said, as she sat down.
"Good morning sweetie," Sola said, as she helped her daughter dish some food onto her plate. Ryoo came in next, dressing in her light brown tunic and pants, along with her dark brown cloak draped over her arm. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and her padawan braid swung by her ear. While Ryoo was training to be a Jedi, she also had her own classes at the Temple. In order to be an effective Jedi, education was important too. Her days at the Temple alternated between academic studies and physical training.
"Morning mom," Ryoo said, as she sat down and started eating.
"Morning honey," she replied. She left the kitchen in search of her husband, whom she found on their balcony, meditating.
"Darling...breakfast is ready," she said, as she wrapped her arms around him from behind. He smiled and opened his eyes, turning to her. Ever since he had shaved his beard a few years ago, he kept his face cleanly shaven, mostly at Sola's request. She liked the occasional stubble, but much beyond that and she was telling him to shave. Sola's eyes drifted closed, as he drew her lips into a passionate kiss. They spent a few tender moments in each other's arms.
"Come on, let's go eat before it gets cold," Sola said. He nodded, as they walked to the kitchen hand in hand.
"Morning daddy," Pooja said sweetly. He dropped a kiss on her forehead.
"Morning sweetheart," he replied.
"Hi dad," Ryoo said.
"Hello Ryoo," Obi-Wan replied, as he and Sola sat down to eat. After breakfast, Sola turned on the kitchen droids and readied herself, before braiding Pooja's hair. Then, all of them piled into the speeder and they dropped Pooja off. Then, they were off to the Temple for the day...
When they arrived, Ryoo headed for her classes, Sola went to the med bay to begin her duties, and Obi-Wan started for the Council Room. He arrived and Anakin trailed in moments later, sitting down beside him.
"You were almost late," he teased.
"Sorry, Padme was really upset this morning. Haven't you heard the Holonews this morning?" he asked.
"No, I try to avoid it while eating. It has a tendency to make me lose my appetite," Obi-Wan responded.
"Several Senators were either threatened or attacked last night," Anakin said. Obi-Wan sighed.
"Just like Padme," he replied. Anakin nodded.
"All of them voted against Malachai's motion. Some received threatening messages, Mon Mothma's place was broken into and the person threatened her personally, and Bel Iblis got into a brawl with his attacker," Anakin said. Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow.
"A brawl?" he asked.
"Yeah, he was playing Sabaac at his usual place and was confronted by a man at the bar. Did you expect a Corellian to go down without a fight?" Anakin asked in amusement. Obi-Wan shook his head.
"Never. Especially not Bel Iblis," he replied.
"Anyway, the owner and other people helped and the assailant was arrested. He was taken in and Master Windu went to interrogate him personally," Anakin said.
"The poor man," Obi-Wan joked. Mace walked in and the Council session convened.
"As you know, I spent the morning interrogating a man named Das Shick. He has a rap sheet a mile long, but we cannot connect him to anyone. Whomever he's working for is keeping their hands clean," Mace said.
"What about Malachai?" Anakin asked. Mace sighed.
"Unfortunately, there is a whole slew of people that can vouch for Malachai's whereabouts all night," Mace replied.
"Naturally," Obi-wan snorted.
"So it seems that all the others were attacked by actual people. So far, only Padme was attacked by that artificial life form," Dooku said.
"Yes, but we can bet there's more," Anakin replied.
"Scout, Whie, and Olana will be in position soon. Hopefully, their mission will help us uncover some of this mystery," Aayla said.
"Is our suspect talking at all?" Obi-Wan asked.
"No and he has very strong mind shields. He's been taught now to keep us out of his head. He won't make any deals and is prepared to go to prison. I fully expect the judge to send him to Kessel. But even that would not make him talk," Mace replied.
"Keep our eyes and ears open, we must. At work, an evil force is," Yoda said, concluding the meeting.
The chair recognizes Senator Machius Malachai of the planet Bespin," Darin, Bail's chair speaker, called.
"Chancellor, I formally request that my motion for the new Bespin style resort be reconsidered," Malachai stated.
"Senator Malachai, that motion has been defeated twice already. It is dead and it would not make any sense to re-open the motion," Bail replied.
"The chair recognizes Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrilla," Darin called.
"I second Senator Malachai's motion. I...have reviewed his proposal again and it must be noted that the profits of such a lavish resort would provide funding for many charities," Mon stated. Padme was floored. She couldn't believe Mon was giving into their threats like this! Padme locked her jaw in determination. She would never waver from what she believed in. They were not going to get to her.
"Very well, voting to re-open this motion will commence now," Bail said, also surprised by the turn of events. A few moments later, the results were compiled.
"Fifty two thousand, three hundred and twenty five in favor. Fifty two thousand, three hundred and seventeen not in favor," Darin recited. Bail was stunned
"Very well. Request granted. This motion is re-opened. You have the floor, Senator Malachai," Bail replied reluctantly.
"Thank you Chancellor. As Senator Mothma said, the financial benefit of this new resort is just too great to ignore. I have already committed millions of the profits to charity and giving back to the people who need it most. I believe it is something we can all get on board with," Malachai said. Padme fumed, as he continued with his empty promises.
"Thank you Senator Malachai. Voting to pass this motion will begin now," Bail said. The results were in only moments later.
"Fifty two thousand, three hundred and thirty-two in favor. Fifty two thousand, three hundred and ten not in favor," Darin stated.
"The motion has passed and funding is granted," Bail announced. Malachai smirked smugly at Padme.
"Thank you Chancellor," he said. The session droned on for several more hours, before letting out for day around three. Needless to say, Padme was in a bad mood and stalked into her office, plopping down in her chair. She wanted nothing more than to strangle that arrogant Son of Sith! She sighed, trying to quell her temper. She looked at the stack of datapads on her desk and pushed them away. She couldn't concentrate on that now and decided it would be best to take the rest of the afternoon off. She would go pick up Kimberly and spend time with her baby. Her family always made her feel better. As she stood to gather her things, the comm buzzed, and she suppressed a growl of frustration.
"Yes Ellie?" she called, as she pressed the comm button.
"Senator Malachai is here to speak with you," Ellie said.
"Tell the Senator that I am leaving for the day. He may make an appointment..." Padme was cut off, as Machius waltzed through her door.
"Please see yourself out, Senator, before I have you thrown out," Padme snapped.
"Now Senator, this is no way to treat one of your collegues," he chided.
"Come to gloat, have you?" Padme asked.
"Padme, you wound me. I was only coming to ensure there are no hard feelings between us. My motion was nothing personal against you, just business, you know how it is," he smirked.
"As a matter of fact, I do. It seems when you do not get your way, you resort to making threats to force people to side with you," she spat.
"I assure you, I have nothing to do with that," he replied, grinning like a Nexu.
"You mean we can't prove you had anything to do with it," Padme retorted. He chuckled.
"You are a feisty one," he said, undressing her with his eyes.
"You are disgusting and repulsive. You may have gotten the funding to build your resort, but the Jedi will be watching your every move," Padme replied.
"Come now, Senator. Drop your hostilities and come join me and some of our other collegues for a celebrator drink in the bar. We could help each other, you know. I could help you get the funding you need for your little shelters and you'd certainly look lovely on my arm at the Grand Opening of my resort," Machius leered.
"You sicken me. I am a happily married woman, in case you had forgotten to notice the ring on my finger again," Padme snapped.
"You really hate losing, don't you?" he jabbed.
"No, I hate injustice, which is exactly what happened today in the Senate," Padme replied.
"I don't like taking no for an answer, Padme. You should really reconsider your decision...and my offer," he leered.
"Get out," Padme growled. He snatched her hand and raised it to his lips, kissing it. She snatched her hand away and slapped him. But he only laughed.
"Feisty indeed. You must be a wild Nexu in bed," he taunted. Padme fumed.
"If you're quite done gloating over your victory, then get out," she said, glaring at him.
"And believe me, you're quite done," Anakin said. Padme watched all the color drain from Malachai's face. Machius stumbled back from Padme and turned.
"Master Skywalker, I was just leaving," he stuttered. As the walked by, Anakin grabbed him by the shirt and jerked him around. Malachai looked liked he was going to faint, as Anakin's cobalt blue eyes stared him down.
"What's the matter, Senator? You were pretty smug just a moment ago when you were harassing my beautiful wife. What happened to all that confidence?" Anakin asked. Malachai sputtered in fright.
"You sent your little warnings last night. Now I'm going to send mine. I don't know who you're working for or why, but I will find them. And when I do, you'll be the first one to go down. If your boss sends anymore of his goons after her or my children, I'll hunt you down and I'll kill you, before I go after whoever it is you're working for. I trust you'll deliver my message," Anakin said, as he let go of his collar and lightly shoved him back. Machius scrambled to the door and quickly disappeared. Anakin turned to his wife.
"You okay?" he asked. She smiled.
"Perfect now. Though I think I may have enjoyed his discomfort a little too much," she giggled. He smiled.
"I suppose I don't even have to ask what kind of day you've had," he said.
"It was pretty terrible, but it's much better now. Are the twins still at the Temple?" she asked.
"No, they went home with dad. I told mom we'd come for dinner," he said.
"Sounds good. Did you find out anything about that thing that broke into our apartment last night?" she asked.
"I did pay a visit to Bant," he said, remembering his earlier conversation with the Mon Calamari healer...
Obi-Wan and Anakin entered the Healer's ward. Sola smiled, as she spotted them.
"I suppose you two are here to look at that android?" she asked. They nodded.
"Bant is in back still running tests, but you can go on back," Sola said.
"Thanks darling," Obi-Wan replied, as they walked into Bant's lab. The android was on the med table, where his entire chest and abdomen was open. Massive amounts of dead wires and circuitry protruded form the lifeless form.
"Good, you're here. You've given this to the wrong person. I'm a healer, not an engineer," she told Obi-Wan sharply.
"You need to take a look at this, Anakin," she said. Anakin peered into look at the android's systems and he was blown away.
"Whoa..." Anakin said.
"Can you make any sense of it. Like who could have built him to be exact?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Not a clue. This thing's circuitry is five times as advanced as Threepio's. I didn't even know technology like this existed," Anakin said, examining him further.
"It's like he was created to be as human as possible, only without our limitations. It feels nothing, no pain or emotion. It has super human strength and is obviously completely loyal to its Masters," Anakin said.
"The perfect warrior," Obi-Wan mused.
"Your grandfather is calling in his personal team of engineers to take a look at it," Bant said.
"Why not just send it to Serenno?" Anakin asked.
"They know we have it. He doesn't want it leaving the Temple," she replied.
"He suspects there is more of them as well. It's all very unsettling," Obi-Wan replied.
"To say the least. You two keep a close eye on those families of yours," she said. They nodded and left her to her work.
"Do you know of any race of beings that could be capable of creating such things?" Padme asked. He thought for a moment.
"Not off hand, though I'm no expert on cultures. But maybe we can access the archives from grandfather's data terminal at home with his passkey. A little research after dinner wouldn't hurt," he replied.
"That sounds like a good idea. For now, let's go spend a little time with our babies," she said.
"That's the best idea I've heard all day," he replied, as he kissed her softly, before they left for the landing pad.
"There they are, sweet girl," they heard Shmi say, as they walked in from the veranda. Little Kimberly kicked her legs in excitement and stretched her arms out at the sight of her parents.
"Hey there, tiny angel. Did you have a fun day with grandma?" he asked.
"Dad...dy..." she giggled, as he tickled her little tummy. Anakin and Padme sat down on the sofa, content to hold their daughter and enjoy being close to each other.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Luke and Leia called, as the climbed up next to their parents, receiving hugs and kisses from them both.
"Hi babies. Did you both have a good day?" Padme asked.
"Uh huh. We got to do practice sabers today with Master Yoda!" Luke said in excitement.
"Yeah, Master Yoda said we did really good!" Leia added.
"Well, of course you did. You both take after daddy," Padme told them. The twins beamed and continued chatting animatedly to their parents when Obi-Wan and Sola soon arrived with the girls. The four children all scampered off to play while Sola and Obi-Wan sat down to converse with Anakin and Padme, who still held their youngest daughter. Qui-Gon and Dooku arrived home not long after that and then the whole family was together.
"Everyone wash up! Dinner is on the table!" Elana called. They did so and congregated around the dinner table. Elana felt immense joy swell in her heart, as she reflected on the wonderful growth the family had experienced the last few years.
"Darling, are you coming?" Yan asked, holding out his hand to her. She smiled and took his hand, as they joined their family. When she had married Yan almost forty years ago, they had found out she was barren. It had broken her heart to know that she could not have children. Then one day, months later, Yan brought home a tiny baby boy, whom he had found abandoned in the slums of Coruscant. He told her that if she wanted him, then he was their's, as Master Yoda had already given his approval. And that was how Qui-Gon became their son. He was given her maiden name of Jinn as a surname and became their son. Elana had cried tears of joy that day when she held the tiny infant. She and Yan had watched proudly, as Qui-Gon grew into a wonderful young man and a promising Jedi. They had supported him proudly, as he married his first wife and had rejoiced with the birth of Ben, their first grandchild. They had consoled their son, as he lost his first wife to illness only two years later and helped him raise Ben, who was also set to train as a Jedi. Raising Obi-Wan without a mother had been difficult for him, but Qui-Gon found love again with a slave woman he met and freed on Tatooine. Their family rejoiced again when Anakin was born. Anakin and Ben had both married wonderful women and blessed them with a slew of great grandchildren. Neither Yan, nor Elana, could imagine their lives being any more blessed.
Senator Malachai sat in his usual seat in the sleazy Cantina he owned in Coco City. He sipped at his Bespin ale and idly watched the female human and Twi'lek strippers on the stage. A man came next to him and ordered a Corellian brandy.
"Well Senator, it seems you have upheld your end of the bargain at last. I guess I will not have to replace you after all," Machius jumped in fright, as Garret Wells sat next to him.
"M...Mr. Wells," Machius stammered.
"Is there a place in this slime hole where we can speak privately?" Wells asked. Malachai nodded mutely and led him to a makeshift conference room in the back.
"Ugh...this whole place is ghastly. I do hope you'll be hiring a better decorator for my new resort," Wells mentioned, as he took offense at the establishment's filth.
"The motion passed, just like you wanted," Machius informed him.
"Yes...I know. See that the construction company breaks ground as soon as possible," Wells replied.
"Yes sir. But what about the Skywalker's? Won't they pose a problem?" Malachai asked.
"They have no proof to any of their claims. They will be dealt with when the time is right. The Jedi won't discover the Master's plans until it is far too late," Wells informed him. Malachai nodded and accepted the hefty payment from Garret, before his dangerous boss left him. Machius knew the people he was dealing with were evil, but frankly the money was too good for him to turn down. He had long ago learned to turn a deaf ear to his conscience in favor of living a life of riches. He smirked, as he stared into the case of credits, before pulling out the amount of two-thousand, eyeing the brunette on stage. He used the credits in his hand to catch the woman's attention and she answered his beckon.
"How about a private showing this evening, beautiful?" he smirked.
Mace Windu sighed, as he sat in meditation with Sha'a Gi. He just didn't know what to do with him. He was not forceful enough and lacked the confidence needed to handle routine patrols or even security duties at the Senate. They had him assisting Master Yoda with the younglings, but the Knight was impatient with the children and often snapped at them. He'd snapped at headstrong little Leia Skywalker earlier today and only ended up being reprimanded again by Master Yoda.
"I'm sorry Master, but I don't think I belong assisting with the younglings. Those brats have no respect for me," Sha'a said.
"The children can sense your dislike toward them, especially children as perceptive as Leia Skywalker. You have not been able to handle any of the duties we have assigned to you. I am afraid I have no choice but to suggest that we send you to the Temple on Bandomeer for remedial duties," Mace said.
"Agri-Corps! Please Master, you cannot be serious! You can't send me there with those rejects!" Sha'a spat.
"Watch your tone, Sha'a and do not use such a term for those who reside there," Mace warned.
"If you remain here, Knight Gi, then you will have to undergo retraining. I have twelve-year-old padawans that handle their sabers better than you. If you remain here, you will have daily sparring with various instructors. And when you are not learning your skin, you'll be doing data entry work in the Archives for Master Nu. If there is no improvement within ninety days, then you will be sent to Bandomeer," Mace said.
"Yes Master," Sha'a answered.
"You are dismissed, Knight Gi," Mace said. The Knight exited, just as a tiny red haired child toddled in.
"Daddy..." Mara giggled, as she latched onto his leg. Mace's frustration melted, as he lifted the tiny, bright eyed child into his arms.
"Hello little one. Are you wandering off from mommy again?" he asked. Mara giggled.
"Come on, let's go find mommy before she panics," Mace chuckled. As he exited the meditation chamber, he saw Zia round the corner.
"There you are, my little one. I stop to talk with Master Ti for a moment and this one wanders off," Zia said. Mace smiled.
"She must have sensed me near by, because she wandered right to me," he replied.
"Are you finished for today?" she asked. He nodded.
"Yes and I could really go for one of Dex's specials," Mace replied.
"Dez!" Mara called.
"Well, let's go then," she said. Mace offered his arm to her and she accepted once they reached the speeder. They put Mara in her seat and got into the front. Mace drove at a leisurely pace, as the Coruscanti sun dipped below the horizon. He glanced over at Zia periodically, watching her red hair waft in the breeze. He reached over and took her hand in his own. She smiled and looked over at him, as her red locks whipped about. He slowed the speeder, parking near Dex's diner.
"Mace...there's something I've been wanting to tell you," Zia said.
"What is it?" he asked.
"I've been trying to find the right time and way to say it, but it seems that such a thing doesn't exist. So, I'm going to come right out and say it," she said, as she took a deep breath.
"I'm in love with you," she said. Mace's eyes widened and then softened.
"Wow...I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever hear that. I've been too nervous to tell you...that I love you as well," he confessed. She smiled, as she felt the joy of his confession consume her. Their lips met in a tender kiss that lasted for several moments.
"Mama...hungwy!" Mara complained. Zia smiled.
"Come on, let's go eat. We'll have plenty of time for more of this at home...after we put our little one to bed," Zia said softly, her green eyes sparkling, as she gazed into his own dark pools. He smiled and kissed her hand, conveying his love for her in that simple gesture. Together, the small family entered the quaint diner.
Obi-Wan and Sola arrived home with the girls later that evening.
"Get your pajamas on and brush your teeth," Sola told them.
"Ah mom, do we have to already?" Ryoo complained.
"It's almost nine sweetheart, so I'm afraid so," Sola responded.
"Daddy, will you tell us a story?" Pooja asked sweetly.
"You know I will little one. Now run along and we'll be in to tuck you in soon," Obi-Wan replied. Obi-Wan wrapped his arms around his wife and kissed her tenderly.
"Wow...what was that for?" she asked.
"Because I love you of course. Come on, let's get the girls to bed and have a little alone time for ourselves," he said she smiled.
"I like the sounds of that," Sola replied, as they walked slowly walked together into Ryoo's room. Sola kissed them both and listened from the doorway, as Obi-Wan read their favorite fairy tale. Ryoo listened from her bed and Pooja sat in his lap. When he finished, he lifted Pooja into his arms and kissed Ryoo goodnight. He carried Pooja next door to her room to her own bedroom and placed her in bed, after Sola kissed her cheek. He tucked her in and kissed her forehead.
"I love you daddy," Pooja said sleepily.
"And I love you, little princess. Sweet dreams," he told her, as they turned out her light and shut the door.
"Are you all right, love?" Obi-Wan asked, noticing the tears in her eyes.
"I'm perfect. I just love watching you with them. They love you so much," sola said.
"And I love them too. As far as I'm concerned, they're mine. Blood ties don't always make a good parent. They're our daughters and he has no claim to them. They're Ryoo and Pooja Kenobi now, just as you are Sola Kenobi. I know that I cannot erase the nine years you were married to that horrible man, but I can make sure you'll never know pain such as that again," Obi-Wan promised her.
"Oh Ben..." Sola cried, as she hugged him tightly.
"I love you Sola. You and the girls are my family. And nothing will ever change that," Obi-Wan said, as he swept her into his arms. Their lips met in a searing kiss, as the passion between them was kindled like a fire.
"Let me show you what you mean to me," he whispered huskily, as he carried her to the bedroom...
A Few Days Later...
Anakin's and Obi-Wan's light sabers met in a deadlock. Sweat poured down their faces and bare torsos. They engaged again, using the full expanse of the sparring room, as they employed a series of saber techniques combined with combat moves. Anakin back flipped to avoid one of Obi-Wan's strikes and brought his saber over his head. He thrust down, meeting Obi-Wain in another arc. Obi-Wan brought his saber around and Anakin ducked into a roll. He swept Obi-Wan's feet out from under him. But the older Jedi rolled quickly to his feet again. Anakin came at him, which resulted in another deadlock. Mace, who was off to the side, observing with Sha'a Gi, held up his hand for them to cease. They did so and extinguished their light sabers. They dabbed the sweat from their skin with a pair of white towels, before approaching Master Windu.
"Good spar. As you both know, Sha'a is undergoing sparring lessons. He worked with Obi-Wan yesterday and I was hoping you'd work with him for a couple hours," Mace said, looking at Anakin. Anakin groaned inwardly.
"Sure Master," he responded. Obi-Wan smirked at his baby brother and headed for the showers.
"All right Sha'a, let's work on your blocking," Anakin said, as he ignited his sapphire blade. Sha'a's hands shook slightly, as he ignited his emerald blade. Anakin swung his blade around and Sha'a raised his to block it, while clenching his eyes shut. Anakin suppressed his frustration and swept Sha'a's legs our from under him. The young Knight cried out in fright, as he fell on his back. He weapon flew out of his hand and into Anakin's.
"If I were an enemy, I would have just killed you with ease," Anakin said.
"You would have just loved that," Sha'a spat in sarcasm.
"We're trying to help you, Knight Gi," Anakin snapped.
"You're the last person I want help from, Mr. Hero With No Fear," Sha'a spat with a glare. Anakin shrugged.
"Fine. I'll just report to Master Windu that you decided to opt out of your lessons today. I'm sure he'll reserve a seat for you on the next transport going to Bandomeer," Anakin said.
"Wait...let's just try this again," Sha'a replied. Anakin smirked and ignited his blade again. Anakin came at him and brought his saber down on him again. Sha'a blocked him and winced, but kept his eyes open this time. Anakin smirked, as the Knight managed to block another thrust, before Anakin knocked him on his back again.
"We may just make a decent Jedi out of you yet, Knight Gi," Anakin said, as he continued with his lesson.
Dooku entered Master Windu's meditation chamber, where Mace and Yoda awaited him.
"Have your engineers discovered anything?" Mace asked, as Dooku sat down.
"Nothing conclusive. Underneath the skin graft of the android is an alloy that has them baffled. It is the strongest metal they have ever seen...even stronger than Malastarian durasteel. So far, their tests have not concluded of what the alloy is composed of or where it comes from. The circuitry has them all amazed. We are dealing with something completely unknown. Whoever built this thing is a genius and working with technology unknown to any of us," Dooku reported.
"Then it is unlikely that the engineers that built this are from any core or even outer rim planets. We may be dealing with an undiscovered species of being on an unknown planet, likely located in wild space or even beyond. And the Imperial Underground is using their skills willingly or not," Mace said.
"Then there is virtually no way to find out anything else, unless one of these monstrosities surfaces again. I am not willing to spare any Knights to send them on some wild Gundark chase in wild space, especially if we don't even know what or who we are looking for," Mace said.
"Deeply disturbing these event are. Meditate on it, I will," Yoda said.
"I think the most we can do is increase all outpost patrols in the core, mid, and outer rims. Anything even the slightest bit suspicious should be investigated," Dooku said.
"Agree I do. Implement this course of action for now, we will. Be open to the Force's guidance, we must," Yoda advised. The other two Jedi Masters nodded in agreement.
Padme quietly closed the twins' door and smiled at her husband, who cradled their sleeping baby. They went next door to Kimberly's room, as Anakin gently placed her in her crib. Padme kissed her tiny head and plucked the baby monitor from the dresser, before they quietly exited the room and closed the door. They joined hands and strolled out to the veranda. They gazed out at the magnificent glow that Galactic City had at night.
"Oh, it's such a beautiful night. You can even see some stars," she said. He kissed her cheek, as he stood behind her with his arms around her petite form.
"They're jealous, so they've decided to show themselves," Anakin said.
"Jealous?" she asked. He nodded.
"They're jealous, because your beauty outshines them," he said, placing kisses along her neck, as she blushed.
"You are entirely too charming, my wonderful husband," she replied. He raised his hand and activated the stereo system. Soft, romantic music wafted around them.
"Then can you're overly charming husband get a dance with his beautiful angel?" Anakin asked.
"You know that I always have a dance for you, my handsome Jedi protector," Padme replied, as he swept her into his arms. She slid her arms around his neck, as they held each other close and swayed to the music. She smiled, as he twirled her, before bringing her back into his arm. She stared into his mesmerizing sapphire gaze and felt like melting, as the love in his eyes seared through her entire being. She was surprised when he dipped her and then brought her back up, pressing her back against him, as they continued to sway. Padme turned her head to the side to meet his gaze again and he pressed his lips to hers. A sweet humming noise reverberated from her throat, as he kissed her deeply. She turned in his arms, pressing herself as close to him as possible, as their lips met again and again. The flames of love and passion roared between them.
"I love you, my star nymph," he whispered huskily.
"And I love you, my handsome Jedi prince," she responded, becoming thoughtful.
"Ani...there's something I need to tell you," she stated.
"What is it?" he asked.
"I saw Bant today," she began.
"Bant? Are you ill?" he asked, the panic starting to rise in his voice.
"No, nothing like that, my love," she said, taking a deep breath.
"Ani...I'm pregnant again," she stated. His eyes widened.
"Oh Padme. Another baby...this is wonderful!" he exclaimed. She squealed lightly, as he picked her up and spun her around.
"I love you," she said, as tears welled in her eyes.
"I love you too, my sweet angel," she replied, as he put his hand on her flat stomach. She giggled.
"Four children. People are going to think we're crazy," she joked, as she watched his eyes widen again.
"I think you might want to change that number to five," he replied.
"What?" she questioned.
"I know it's very early in the pregnancy, but I can clearly sense two life energies inside you," he replied.
"Twins again?" she asked.
"Yep," he said, laughing happily.
"Oh my, we really are crazy," she replied. He laughed harder.
"Just wait till everyone finds out," he said.
"Well, we did say we wanted to have a lot of kids," she replied.
"I think five qualifies as a lot. And they'll be just as loved as our other three," he said, with a soft smile.
"Definitely," she smiled back.
"This calls for celebration, you know," he said. She smirked.
"Why don't you get the sparkling cider and some cloudberries with whipped cream, and I'll slip into something...more comfortable. And then, I'll meet you in the bedroom," she said sultrily.
"That's an offer I would never refuse," he said, as he kissed her passionately, letting their love flow effortlessly between them, before they went inside for the evening...
The End...for now...
The second Vignette in this series will premiere soon. It is entitled Binary Sunset: A Forever Destined Vignette, so look for it soon. It will take place eight months after this one. Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed this first installment. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. :)