Princess Leia sighed as she got all three of her children finally cleaned and ready for bed.  She did love her children very much, but they were still a handful.  Jacen and Jaina, the twins, were six and full of energy.  Trouble was their middle name.  Anakin, the youngest of the Solo children, was only four and better behaved than the other two.

"Mama, I'm not tired!" complained Jacen.  "Can't we stay up a little late?"

"Pease, Mama.  I'm…no tired…either," yawned Anakin.

"You can barely keep you eyes open, how will be able to stay awake?" asked Leia as she tucked her son in.

"Mama, can you tell us a story?" Jaina said.

Jacen jumped out of the covers and stood on top of the bed.

"Yeah tell us a story, or I'll stand all night!" Jacen yelled.

"All right!  I'll tell you a story, only if you promise to go to bed after I'm finished," replied Leia.

"We promise!" they all said in unison.

Leia pulled went out of the room and returned with a rocking chair.  Before she even sat down all three children started shouting the stories they wanted to hear.  Leia offered some ideas but they could not agree.

"How about the story about Cinderella?" Leia suggested.

"Yeah!" agreed Jaina.

"Oh, if we have to," Jacen said disappointedly.

"All right.  Now once upon a time there was a…"

"What are you children up too?" came a voice from the door.

All four heads turned to the door and saw Sabe, standing at the threshold.  Sabe was an elderly woman who helped Leia with the children and around their living quarters.  She was very kind and humble, and for a strange reason Leia felt drawn to her.

"Hi Sabe!" Anakin smiled happily.

"Mama was going to tell us the Cinderella story," Jaina explained.

"I know, I heard all the commotion in the next room," Sabe said with a soft giggle.

"I don't want too hear it though," Jacen said to himself.

"I know a story you all would like to hear," she suggested.

"Something they can all agree on?" Leia said with disbelief.

"Tell us!!  Anything's better than Cinderella," Jacen replied.

"Yeah tell us Sabe," Jaina agreed.

"Well, If it's okay with your mother…"

"Oh yes!" Leia smiled and got out of the rocking chair.  "In fact I want to hear it too."

Sabe sat in the rocking chair as Leia sat next to Anakin in his bed.

"Are we all comfortable?" Sabe asked.

They all nodded.

"Now what is that phrase they use?  Ah yes.  Once upon a time, there was a young boy who dreamed of adventure all his life.  Unfortunately, this boy and his mother were a slaves and every night he wished that one day he would see all the stars in the sky.  And when this boy was nine years old, he became friends with a Jedi knight, a padawan apprentice, and a young handmaiden."

"These people were on a very important mission when their ship had been damaged and were stranded on the boys homeplanet.  So the boy helped his friends repair their ship by winning the parts they needed by entering and winning a pod race."

"On their stay, the Jedi Knight noticed the boy was very strong in the force.  Before they left the Knight freed the boy to take him to the Jedi Temple, hoping he would be trained as a Jedi.  But his mother was still a slave…"

"I just can't do it Mom, I just can't," Anakin replied, tears at the corner of his eyes.

"Oh Ani," Shmi held her son in her arms.

"Will I ever see you again?"

"Look in your heart, Ani, what does it tell you?"

"Yes, I guess.  I hope so," Anakin replied.

"Then we will see each other again," Shmi said, trying to smile.

"I'll come and free you mom, I promise."

"Now, be brave…and don't look back…don't look back."

"So his mother watched with a heavy heart as her only son left and went to follow destiny's path.  Soon after that, the young handmaiden exposed her secret, and was actually a queen and was fighting to free her people.  There were many battles at one time.  And the boy helped win one in space.  Everything was almost back to normal, but sadly the kind Jedi knight had died during a battle with a Sith.  The apprentice was now a Jedi Knight and was granted permission to train the boy as a padawan.  But they were all sad for the loss of a friend.  The queen, the boy, and the Jedi all became good friends, but were parted for a very long time."

Sabe stopped and looked around.  Anakin had fallen asleep, while Jaina and Jacen were now lying in their beds half asleep.

"Maybe we should continue the story tomorrow night," Sabe said.

"No!" Jacen said sleepily.

"Please finish it," Jaina replied quietly.

Sabe look over at Leia.

"Go ahead," she smiled.

"Ten years had passed since the three had been together.  The boy went with his new master to be trained as a Jedi and the queen had remained on her planet.    But once again danger had resurfaced and the queen needed protection.  Though no one truly knew that a great evil was still around, watching them all.  And that children, is where our story begins…"

Amidala looked out the tiny starship's window.  Stars glittered around her, but passed quickly.  She was off to Coruscant again.  It had been a year or so since she had been there, but the trips were neither friendly nor fun.  Mostly, they were business trips, but a few were helping her escape danger.  Actually the last time her saftey was at risk was ten years ago.  Had it really been that long? 

More stars passed by.  How much longer? she asked herself impatiently.  She looked over at Sabe sitting on the throne.  Amidala wondered how she could sit and be patient for that long?  In all the years she had been queen, patients were never a strong point.  She needed to get out of here, out of this stupid room.

"I'm going for a walk," Amidala said quietly as she moved toward the door.

Rabe and Eirate exchanged nervous glances as Sabe's eyes met Padme's.  She knew what Padme was thinking.

"Be careful," was Sabe's reply.

Amidala wandered around the ship for a half an hour or so.  She found herself infront of the cockpit door.  Should she knock?  She could if she wanted, after all it was her ship!  The door slid open and  Captain Panaka appeared before her.  He was about to question her but decided it was wiser not to.

"Not much longer, handmaiden," he said, noticing the look on her face.

"Good," she replied.

"How is the queen?"

"She is fine," Padme lied.  Sabe might be fine but Amidala surely was not. 

"Excuse me, but you might want to take a seat because we're going to land in a few minutes," Ric Olie, the pilot, replied from inside the cock pit.

Finally, Amidala  thought as she walked back to her compartment.

Chancellor Palpatine waited for Queen Amidala to arrive on the landing dock, not too far from the Senate building.  He always made it his personal business to deal with these problems.  Naboo, after all, was his homeworld, and if it wasn't for the queen, he wouldn't have been elected chancellor, or was the Trade Federation the one's to be thanked.

The silver starship was appearing through the mass of traffic in the sky.  It landed a few feet from him.  The queen emerged from the ship followed by Captain Panaka and her handmaidens.

"Welcome your highness.  I'm glad you arrived safe," Chancellor Palpatine smiled.

"Hello Chancellor.  I am grateful for your concern," Sabe replied in the same emotionless tone the queen used.

Chancellor Palpatine looked at the tiresome group and smiled. 

"Come, you must be worn from your journey," he gestured toward the transport ready to take them to the Senate building.  As they boarded the Coruscant sun was setting.  Amidala longed to be home taking a walk through the palace gardens, watching the beautiful Naboo sunset. 

Sabe was glad when she could wash off the queen's makeup and change back into her simple, handmaiden robes.  Amidala was taking a bath while Rabe laid out her white nightgown.  Eirate was hanging the black traveling gown Sabe had worn into a closet and putting the headdress away carefully.  Sabe was left to do nothing, which she hated.  She wanted to keep busy, to calm her nerves. 

Amidala changed into her nightgown and stared out one of the windows.  Coruscant was a very busy place, even in the evening.  Transports and ships whizzed by in the sky, as regulars walked quickly in the streets below.  Even the buildings illuminated with lights, seemed to be buzzing on the inside.  It was the complete oppostie of Naboo which was was usually quiet in the evenings.  Amidala loved the silence, it was calming and helped her think.

"Is there anything else we can do your majesty?" Eirate asked. 

"Yes, you can all rest.  Don't worry about me I am fine.  You three on the other hand need to get some sleep, we all do," Amidala smiled.

Eirate smiled, bowed and left the room.  The common room was deserted, but voices were coming from the room the handmaidens shared.  Sabe and Rabe looked up and saw Eirate entering the room.

"Anything else?" Sabe asked.

"Yeah, sleep," Eirate replied.

"Finally!" Rabe sighed as she plopped on her own bed.  She was already in her night gown, and ready for sleep. 

"What's the matter Rabe?  Not happy with the handmaiden life?" Eirate said teasingly.

"No, I'm just really tired," Rabe yawned.

"Your tired?  Try being a decoy, and wearing those awful headdresses," Sabe said.

"Yeah but you get to act like the queen, and be treated like her.  You have fun.  I wish I could have that job," Rabe said, imagining herself dressed as the queen, with a gleam in her eye.  

"Oh yes.  Acting like the queen, making important decisions, attending diplomatic missions, and living in fear of being discovered and in danger?  Right, Rabe real fun," Sabe said sarcasticly. 

"Sabe aren't you going to bed?" Eirate asked noticing she was still in her robes.

"No, I'm going to take a walk for a while," she said as she pulled up her hood and opened the door.

"Will you be all right?" Eirate asked, eyes filled with concern.

"I'll be fine, go to sleep.  I need to stretch my legs after sitting on that throne for a few hours."

"Are you sure?"

"You heard her Eirate, go to sleep.  See you in the morning Sabe!" Rabe said from under the covers.

"Okay.  Good night Sabe."

"Good night guys."

Sabe tip-toed past the queen's room and left.  She walked silently through the halls and left the Senate building.  She always wanted to see city life and now was her chance.  There were so many different creatures in the streets.  Some she knew, some she didn't.  Sabe felt the small pistol hidden under her robes, hoping she wouldn't have to use it.  After a while she realized her throat was dry.  The last drink she had had was back on Naboo in the palace.  Sabe saw a bar on the corner of the street and made her way to it. 

The bar was dimly lit and a band was playing on a raised platform on the far side of the room.  The tables were filled with creatures, regular people, bounty hunters, just about anything one could find in the galaxy.  Waiters and waitresses  walked from table to table serving drinks, cleaning up, and taking away empty bottles and glasses.  Sabe looked for an empty table and saw one in a dark corner.  She started walking and passed by two men, who gave her a small shove.

"Pardon me miss," said the one on the right.  He was about middle aged, with a beard and semi-long hair.  The man on the left, was much younger, no more than 19 or 20.  He had sandy blonde hair and blue crystal-like eyes, and was a little taller than the older one.

"That's all right," Sabe replied and watched them move to their own table.  She had a strange feeling she had met them before, but she shrugged off the feeling.  As soon as she sat down, a waitress appeared at her side.    

"What's your poison?" she asked in a nasal tone.

"Excuse me?"

"What do you want to drink?" the waitress said, sounding annoyed.

"Oh, water please," Sabe replied.  Water was probably the safest drink, one could ask for.  Who knew what stange things they put in drinks in this place.

The waitress came back and set down a glass in front of Sabe.  She paid the bill and gave a few extra credits to the waitress.

Sabe took a few sips of the water, which tasted like metal, and listened to the band.  They weren't half bad.  They were called the Cantina Medley.  Tables were left, cleaned, then filled again by newcomers.  The bar was was more crowded than before when Sabe got up and walked towards the door.  She was a few feet away, when she passed a table of workers, who all whistled at her.

"Hey pretty, we got one more seat here!" one of them shouted.

Sabe ignored them.  One jumped in front of her and grabbed her arm.

"Where's the fire sweetheart?" he said flashing a grin.

Sabe was thankful her hood covered the fear in her eyes.  He was about a few feet taller than her and extremley dirty and foul-smelling.

"Let go of me," she said firmly, trying to wriggle her arm free.  But the man tightened his grip.

"Make me."

His buddies were all sniggering from their table.  Sabe tried to speak but couldn't find the words.  What would the queen do? she asked herself.  Well the queen wouldn't be in a bar!  No the queen is safe in her bed.  I wish I had listened to Eirate and stayed in!

The worker was dragging her over to his table.

"Let go of her, she has nothing to do with you," came a voice from behind them.

The man Sabe had bumped into earlier, was know coming to her rescue.  His friend was following him, looking at the others.

"Who's gonna make me?" the worker said with a sneer.

"You don't want her," the man said waving his hand.

"I don't want her," the worker said, his voice was flat.

"Let go of her arm," the man continued.  "And apologize to her."

The worker did as the man said and murmed his apology to Sabe, who realized he was in a trance.  The older man was still controlling the worker in a trance, while the younger man escorted the handmaiden out of the bar.

"Where are we going?" Sabe whispered.

"Trust us.  My master and I will take you back to your home, but now we must stay out of sight," the young man replied, leading her into a deserted alley.

"Why are we staying out of sight?"

"That's what my master told me, in case those men come looking for you."

Sabe only took orders from the queen, no one else.  But what choice did she have?  She could either go back alone, or stay with these men.  At least she was with someone who knew where they were going.  Or did they?

The master had joined them in the alley shortly after.

"Will those men follow us?" Sabe asked.

"Not likely," the young man answered.

"We will escort you home.  Where are your accomodations?" asked the older man.

"Why should I trust you?  I don't even know who you are!" Sabe said.

"I suppose she's right Master."

"I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight and this is my apprentice Anakin Skywalker.  We will not harm you, I promise," Jedi Kenobi said reassuredly.

Sabe had difficulty hiding her surprise from the two Jedi.  Of all people she had run into these two.  Anakin was still a boy, the last time she had seen them, and Obi-Wan was still an apprentice.  She had forgotten they existed. 

"Are you all right?" Obi-Wan asked, sensing her surprise.

"Yes, fine.  We should be going now," Sabe replied and quickly went out into the street.

"You never answered our question," Anakin said from her left.

"What question?"

"Where you live," Obi-Wan said from her right.

"The Senate Building," Sabe said quietly, hoping they wouldn't ask her identity.

They didn't.  All three walked in silence until they reached the large doors of the Senate.  Sabe turned to look at them and thank them.  She now noticed the tunics under their robes and the lightsaber handles hooked on their belts.  Sabe wondered if all Jedi had the same outfits.

"Would you like us to come inside?" Obi-Wan asked.

"No thank you," Sabe said quickly. 

Anakin gave her a funny look.

"I don't want to wake anyone up," she explained.

"Sleep well miss.  And next time, don't wander by yourself at night.  It's extremly dangerous," The Jedi warned.

"Thank you, for saving me and for walking me home."

"We are glad to be of service."

The two men bowed and walked back onto the street and through the mass of Coruscant inhabitants.  Sabe slipped through the doors and walked silently back to the living quarters.  She had a feeling this would not be their last meeting.  

"Master didn't she look familiar to you?" Anakin asked as they turned the corner.

"I could barely see her face Padawan, how could she look familiar?"

"Well, I know I've met her before, somewhere," Anakin said, getting a far away look in his eye.

Obi-Wan couldn't help but laugh at Anakin.  But he did think his padawan was right.  Obi-Wan had felt a strange presence when they met in the bar earlier.  He couldn't think of any particual person except…no, it couldn't have been her.  What were the odds of them meeting in a bar? 

It was very early hour in the morning when the finally reached the Temple.  It would be a long while until dawn, but still very late.

"Master, can you think of anyone that dresses like that and lives in the Senate?" Anakin asked.   

"No, I don't," Obi-Wan lied.  He knew of one person, but he wouldn't tell Anakin.  It wasn't her, but he had a feeling Anakin would meet her soon.