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AN: Hello and welcome to the next FD Vignette. This one takes place Two years after Snow Padme and the Seven Jedi. The response on these vignettes has been amazing, so keep it coming! ;) Enjoy and let me know what you think:)
Several years ago...a few months after the Naboo blockade...
Entry four-hundred and sixty three:
This may very well be my last entry, as my time nears. Master Sidious' Clone army has been commissioned and Kamino was erased from the archives on my last visit to the Temple. One may ask why I have betrayed my Jedi brethren, but unfortunately, things are much bigger than just the Jedi or the Sith. I allied myself with the Sith Master in order to realize the dreams of my people. It was not until the age of thirty-seven that I discovered my true heritage, believing up until then, I was just an orphan with no real roots. It was not until then that I discovered a people that had existed for centuries with the technologies to do things that were unimaginable. Living out far beyond the outer rim in wild space, they were never discovered...until recently. They are responsible for most of the galaxies technological marvels. They gave the Kaminoans the knowledge of Cloning. They gave the Corellians and the Nubians the knowledge of making ships and weapons. The Neimodian droids are just a primitive prototype of the technology these unknown people possess.
They are human and they live among the rest of the galaxy's people, save for those who remain on their isolated home world. I visited there and learned of my roots. I gave Sidious the means to help bring about a new order. Democracy is a disease, yet the Jedi cannot see it. My people, a race so advanced and intelligent, deserve to rule the galaxy. I once thought my old friend Yan would join me, but alas, democracy's mantra has infected him too. I never intended to allow Sidious to gain complete control. I wanted him to help establish my people's dynasty and then usurp him. But I am afraid he is on to me and my dreams will have to be realized by another. I have spent the last few weeks hiding the keys to finding my home world. The contents of this diary, encoded in my people's ancient language, which is all but dead, is the only way to find the clues. Scant few are even able to translate the glyphs and the secrets will remained forever unlocked, unless they can be translated. Those of my race, whom Sidious has control of, are not located on the home world. They work for him, but shall never tell of the home world that Sidious has no knowledge of. If the wrong person were to find the technology that exists on my home world, the galaxy would be at this individual's mercy. Sidious will use my people to create his weapons...but in the end, it may not be enough to stamp out the dying Republic, which is like an insect that refuses to perish. One day, my people will rise and destroy the Sith and the Jedi alike, for their abuse of the Force's powers cannot be tolerated any longer. Dooku believes that grandson of his is the Force's All Mighty Chosen One, though he hasn't said so out loud, I know he believes this. Whether or not that's true, not even he will stand in the way of my people when they rise to their destiny. There are less than a thousand left of my race, and even less still living on the home world. The Jedi believe that I perished weeks ago aboard a transport, but I knew Sidious had placed a hit on me. My work is done and Maul is closing in one me. I will die today, but the secrets of the galaxy's greatest treasures will remain here forever, at the bottom of Naboo's ocean, for Jedi nor Sith are worthy of possessing these secrets.
Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas signed his last entry and closed the old, leather bound journal. He looked back, clearly seeing Maul's boat chasing his. He tied several weight and rocks to the journal and threw it in the ocean, sinking it to the bottom. Darth Maul flipped onto Dyas' boat and ignited his double bladed light saber.
"You're too late. The secrets Sidious desires are at the bottom of the sea," Sifo announced.
"Master Sidious has all he needs. Your silly, outdated language is of no use to him," Maul snarled.
"You are wrong. He will never rule the galaxy without the secrets it possesses," Sifo replied.
"No, you're wrong to underestimate him, you senile old fool. I hope you've made peace, for the price for betraying a Sith is death!" Maul roared, as he thrust his saber through the Jedi's heart. Syfo drew his last breath, as he fell dead on the boat's deck. Maul burned the body when he returned to shore and buried the ashes. The remains would never be found and everyone would believe that Sifo-Dyas died aboard that transport weeks ago...
"And so, Master Dyas was killed by the Sith, after they no longer had any use for him. The transport he was aboard was destroyed by a thermal detonator that we suspect was planted by Darth Maul," Dooku said to the group of young padawans sitting in his history class. Ryoo raised her hand.
"Yes Ryoo?" he asked.
"Master, why would Master Dyas want to betray the Jedi like he did?" she asked.
"Sadly Ryoo, no one knows. In the last decade of or so of his life, Master Dyas secluded himself. What we know is only theory and speculation," Dooku answered. Liam raised his hand next.
"Do you think Master Dyas erased Kamino from the archives?" he asked.
"I suspect so, but I'm afraid we may never know for sure. That will be all for today's lesson," Dooku said, as he dismissed the padawans. Ryoo waited for her grandfather, as he packed up a few things.
"Grandpa, were you and Master Dyas friends?" she asked.
"A long time ago, yes. But I'm afraid after I married your grandmother, he began avoiding me. I don't think he approved of my decision to settle down and start a family. He wanted me to explore the galaxy with him, but I saw that I had the ability to do more good by becoming Count of Serenno when my own father's health began to fail. Sifo didn't agree and we more or less parted ways. But speaking of your grandmother, we'd best be on our way. She'll be landing any moment," he said, as he took Ryoo's hand and they left for the landing pad.
Governor Sabe Valerte sat quietly in her study, as Naboo's afternoon sun shined in through the window. She gazed out and smiled, as she watched some of the children play, seeing as school had let out for the day. There was a knock at her door.
"Come in," she called.
"Milady, I received this package for you. One of the Gungans delivered it. They said they found it in the sea and thought it looked important," Bene, her assistant, said.
"Thank you Bene," she said, as she opened the envelope. Inside, was what looked like a very old, leather bound diary. She casually flipped through it, finding washed out symbols and what looked like gibberish. She finally found a few entries in Basic and guessed that it was some kind of journal or diary.
"Sifo-Dyas," she mumbled, wondering where she had heard that name.
"Milady?" Bene asked.
"Does the name Sifo-Dyas ring a bell?" she asked.
"No milady, I'm afraid not," Bene answered.
"It sounds significant. Bene, package this up and send it priority to Senator Skywalker on Coruscant, for next day delivery. I believe she or the Jedi may be able to make more of it than me. Make sure this matter remains between us, just in case. The content may be sensitive," Sabe said.
"Yes milady," Bene replied, as she went to work.
"Sifo-Dyas," she mumbled again, wondering where she had heard that name...
Lady Ziya bowed before Sate Pestage
"What do you have to report?" Sate asked.
"I'm sorry Admiral, but it seems that the diary is lost. I don't think Maul ever recovered it," Ziya reported.
"You will assume no such thing. We must trace it to all hands that could have had it. Maul and Xanatos are dead, as is Grievous. But there is one of Sidious apprentice's that still lives. And she may know where it is," Pestage said.
"Darth Xana...but she is a traitor!" Ziya spat.
"Yes, and what a better time to make her pay for that betrayal. Find her, Ziya, and bring her to me. We shall find out what she knows and then we will dispose of her either way," Pestage said.
"I will begin searching at once, sir," she responded loyally.
"There's no need to search," Viceroy Sylo Ma'jal said, his Neimodian lips curling into a smirk.
"What do you mean?" Ziya demanded.
"You may find the former Darth Xana, now known as Serra Keto, on Tatooine," he replied.
"And how do you know this?" she asked.
"I have many connections on Tatooine. Trust me, she's there," he replied smugly. Ziya scowled at him, before bowing to Sate.
"I will leave at once, Admiral," she said, as she retreated from his Office.
Two years had done wonders for both Serra and Ferus. Together, they had healed immensely and discovered love with each other. Their new happiness had been compounded six months ago when they welcomed their son into the world. They named him Marcus Olin and had finally decided that it was time to leave Tatooine behind and return to the Temple where they belonged. Ferus had been promising her a proper marriage and wanted to make good on it. He loved her and she was the mother of his son. Upon their return to the Temple, they would announce their intentions to be married. The sun had set long ago and Ferus finished loading their luggage into the speeder. Their transport departed from Anchorhead in the morning and this was their last night in the desert. He heard soft footfalls behind him, as he gazed up at the stars outside their hovel. He turned to see Serra and his son approached. Marcus had a full head of dark brown hair and his father's dark chocolate eyes. Serra's flaxen blonde hair wafted in the breeze and he took a moment to drink in her beauty, before wrapping an arm around her waist and dropping a kiss on his son's forehead.
"Ready to get off this sand ball?" he asked.
"You have no idea. After tomorrow, I never want to see another granule of sand ever again," she replied. He chuckled and leaned in, pressing his lips to hers in a tender kiss. She smiled.
"Come on, let's go put this one to bed," she said. They retired inside for the night and changed Marcus, after Serra fed him. They put their sleeping baby to bed and they got ready to retire themselves. Serra climbed into bed and cuddled next to Ferus, who immediately took her in his arms, kissing her deeply. Serra shivered, as she felt his hand on her back, tracing her spine.
"I love you Serra," he whispered huskily, as he kissed along her jaw.
"And I love you, my Ferus," she whispered, as his hands touched her through her nightgown. She melted into his arms, as the light in the hovel went out for the night...
"Eighteen...nineteen...twenty...ready or not, here I come!" Luke called. Their classes were finished for the day and they were waiting until their grandfather was done for the day as well. Their father was on a mission with their uncle, but was expected back this evening. In the meantime, they were playing hide and seek in the Temple gardens. Luke looked around and spotted Jayden and Jenna huddled on the other side of the fountain. His four-year-old siblings weren't very good at hiding.
"Found ya," Luke said.
"Awww...no fair," Jayden whined.
"This was a dumb hiding place, Jay," Jenna pouted.
"It's not my fault. Leia took the best one in the hollow tree," Jayden said, then immediately covered his mouth with his hand. Leia climbed out of the hollow hole in the tree and placed her hands on her hips, tapping her foot impatiently.
"Jayden, you gave away my spot!" the little eight-year-old brunette storm yelled. The sandy brown haired, bright blue eyed boy shrunk away from her glare.
"I would have found you anyway," Luke replied.
"No you wouldn't have," Leia huffed, as she crossed her arms over her chest.
"Yes I would have, just like I am going to find Kimmy," Luke said, as he dashed to the bush and pushed back the brush, revealing his caramel haired, doe eyed, six-year-old sister. The small, petite child climbed out and hugged her big brother.
"You're so good at this game, Lukie," she giggled. Leia huffed again.
"No he's not. He probably cheated and peeked," she said.
"HEY! Did you forget about me?" a little red head snapped.
"Oops...sorry Mara. I didn't forget you, honest," Luke stammered. The fiery tempered red head glared at him, but she couldn't hold her intimidating stare without cracking up.
"Relax Luke, I'm not going to beat you up for anything," the seven-year-old joked. He snorted.
"Like you could," he grumbled.
"Is that a challenge, Skywalker?" she asked. He gulped.
"So, who's up for another game?" he asked, changing the subject.
"That's what I thought," Mara and Leia laughed.
"Okay Jayden, it's your turn to seek," Luke said.
"Fine," Jayden grumbled. He hated being the seeker. He closed his eyes and counted to twenty. He opened them and found Natalie there, smiling at him.
"Boo!" she giggled.
"Hi Nat!" he said.
"Hi Den, mommy had a meeting to go to, so she said I could come play," Natalie chirped.
"Great. Wanna help me find everybody?" he asked.
"Okay," she said, as they joined hands and began seeking together.
Padme was having a horrible day, to put things mildly. It was just one of those days where nothing went right. She had her arms full of datapads and other materials and was trying to open her office door, which had been sticking lately. Elle, her receptionist, had called in sick today and the holocom was chiming like crazy. And it was obvious that the maintenance man hadn't got around to fixing her door yet. She finally lost hold of her things and they went everywhere.
"Oh no," Padme fretted, as she got down on her knees to pick everything up.
"Need a hand, beautiful?
Padme looked up to find her husband, grinning down at her.
"Ani...you're back," she said, as an immediate smile came to her face. She threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly.
"Having a bad day, angel?" he asked.
"I was, but it just got one hundred percent better," she replied, as their lips met in a passionate kiss. She watched him effortlessly pry the door open and jam it back onto its hinges. He pressed the button the panel and the door slid closed and then open again with ease, as he pressed the button again.
"All fixed," she said. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him tenderly.
"My hero," she said. They picked up her things and put them on her desk, as her office door closed.
"How was your mission?" she asked.
"Lousy. I hate being away from you and the kids. The whole week was a waste of time too," he replied.
"You didn't catch him?" she asked.
"No, the filthy Dug got away again. We did find his death stick manufacturing facility and shut it down. But Sebolto fled Malastare before we could catch him. I think he had help too," he replied. She kissed him softly.
"You'll get him. You always catch your criminals," she assured him.
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," he replied.
"Have you been to the Temple yet?" she asked.
"No, I came straight here to surprise you. Dad's dropping the ankle biters off at home soon," he said.
"Well, we should go then. They'll be so happy to see you, daddy," she said.
"As happy as mommy is?" he asked playfully.
"No one's as happy as mommy is right now," she replied sultrily, as their lips met again. Padme gathered her things and joined hands with her husband, as they left for the landing pad, leaving her work in her office, forgotten for the time being.
Anakin and Padme exited the lift, arm in arm, at the bottom level. They walked through the atrium and out through the entryway, toward the Senate's expansive main landing pad. They nodded and exchanged greetings with several Senators, delegates and aides, as they passed by on the way out to their speeder. Suddenly, they heard a commotion and a shout for help. They spotted a man that had collapsed, just after getting off a transport. They sprinted closer and recognized the injured man.
"Is that..." Padme began.
"Ferus," Anakin finished. They knelt beside him and helped him sit up. He had a large gash on his forehead that looked like he had half bandaged it in a hurry. He had several other cuts and was very weak.
"Ferus...what happened?" Anakin asked.
"They took her..." he rasped, as he coughed violently, blood on his lips.
"Who?" Anakin asked.
"Serra...and our son. They're gone...I couldn't protect...them," Ferus cried.
"Who took them Ferus?" Anakin asked.
"She was...I don't know. An assassin...or something. I..." Ferus faded, as he passed out. Anakin lifted him over his shoulder and put him in the back of the speeder. Padme hopped in and sat in back with him.
"Hang on, angel," Anakin said, as he took off for the Temple...
In the next chapter, a recovering Ferus flashes back to the events that occurred on Tatooine when Serra and son were abducted...