Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. I just created my own little AU sandbox to play in. :)
AN: Here's the newest Forever Destined Vignette! Six months have passed since 'Nightmare on Coruscant'. Enjoy and let me know what you think! :)
Luke and Leia: 11
Jayden, Jenna, and Natalie: 7
Will Kenobi: 1
Change of Command: A Forever Destined Vignette
Garen Muln stood at his new post. Six months ago, Anakin Skywalker had arrested him for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the Jedi Council had taken their Golden Boy's side and dealt him punishment.
"Know why you're here, do you, Knight Muln?" Yoda questioned.
"No Master, as a matter of fact, I don't. I've done nothing wrong," Garen replied, disdain dripping from his voice.
"Garen, you were the last one to ever see Brandy Birch alive. It is the consensus of this Council that you have acted irresponsibly and we believe had you shown more compassion toward her, you could have prevented her abduction and subsequent death," Mace said. Garen scoffed.
"Believe what you want," he replied.
"Her parents were devastated when they found out about her murder. No parent should have to burying their child. As Jedi, we're here to minimize the loss of life. But you continually show a blatant disregard for other and engage in risky behavior that is very unbecoming of a Jedi," Yan said sternly.
"Well, not everyone can be the Hero With no Fear," Garen spat.
"This is not about Anakin. Your actions are what put you here," Qui-Gon replied sternly.
"I thought everything was about him. This whole Order revolves around him. Bravo on your latest heroics, Skywalker," Garen taunted.
"Garen, you're not helping your case with your attitude," Obi-Wan warned.
"Who cares? I'm going to get busted down to Coco Town patrol as usual," Garen replied bitterly.
"Not this time," Mace retorted. Garen winced slightly under Mace's piercing stare.
"We've decided that you will be suspended from active duty for six months and remanded to Temple duty. In six months, you will return to patrol duty and you will be on probation for two years," Mace said.
"Suspended?! You can't do this!" Garen screamed.
"I assure you that we can. You'll begin today's duties in the archives, cataloging for Master Nu," Yan said. Garen shook his head and unclipped his lightsaber from his belt.
"Forget it, I'm done with this," Garen said, as he tossed his saber to Mace.
"You're quitting?" Obi-Wan asked in surprise.
"Damn right I am. See ya around, Kenobi. The rest of you can go straight to Sith hell for all I care," he spat, as he walked out.
And he hadn't looked back. When word that he had left he Order broke, Prince Xizor approached him and offered him the position of his personal body guard. Garen accepted and never looked back. His salary was three times what he had previously been earning and the lifestyle that Xizor led was to his liking. It was full of parties, beautiful women, and booze. It was exactly the life he had always been looking for. He purchased a lightsaber crystal on the black market and built a new saber, as his weapon of choice. He was a free man and his new boss treated him with respect. Every night, he was attending parties, enjoying a wide variety of alcohol, and had a different woman in is bed every night. He was done with the Jedi and had moved onto bigger and better things. Right now, he was doing his job. He was observing the Prince's security, as Senator Mothma stood at the podium, making her latest campaign speech. Bel Iblis had already finished his and the election for the new Chancellor was only days away.
"If you elect me as your next Chancellor, I can promise to lead us to a peaceful and prosperous future. Chancellor Organa has built our great Republic from the ashes it was left in by Palpatine and I have no doubt that I can follow in his footsteps," Mon said, as she concluded her speech and stepped down from the podium. Xizor put his arm around her shoulder, as the Holonet cameras snapped all the photos they could. It saddened Padme to see her friend being used by the Prince, even though Padme was unsure that Mon had ever really been her friend at all. Like many in the Senate, it seemed Mon Mothma used whoever she could to further her political agenda. Her true colors had come out since she started dating Xizor six months ago. It was still sad, since Padme knew that Xizor was just using her, even though Mon herself used people. Mon was completely convinced that he loved her as much as she loved him. But Padme knew better. Xizor loved only himself and power. He was only using Mon Mothma. If she was elected, Padme was certain that Xizor would manipulate her every action and decision. That's why Padme had a very difficult decision of her own to make, as did Bail. Padme turned and found reporters in her and Bail's way.
"Chancellor Organa and Senator Skywalker, you are both expected to endorse one of these candidates. Can you tell us who you will put your support behind?" one reporters asked.
"I have made no final decisions as of yet. But you will know the moment I do," Bail answered.
"My answer is the same as my colleague's. Please excuse us," Padme requested, as she and Bail exited the atrium and made their way to the lift.
"We have to endorse Bel Iblis. As much as I love Mon, she will never make a good Chancellor with Xizor pulling her strings," Padme whispered.
"I agree. You realize that we will lose her as a friend though," Bail said. Padme nodded.
"I know...and it breaks my heart. But Xizor has changed her. She's not the same person anymore. If Xizor is involved in any way with the leadership of the Republic, then the Sith will soon overrule us again," Padme said, as they reached the lift.
"Then you still believe he is in league with the Sith?" Bail asked.
"I trust my husband's instincts. And we both know that Xizor is up to no good," Padme replied.
"Oh, you wound me, Padme," Xizor said sarcastically, as he approached with Mon Mothma and his entourage, including Garen.
"Prince Xizor, I'm surprised you're still not putting on a show in front of the Holocams," Padme retorted. He chuckled.
"Always a feisty one. I do hope your intense distaste for me will not reflect on my dear Mon. That would be unfair. I hope we will be seeing you at the gala tomorrow night," Xizor leered. Padme hated the way he looked at her. He was always undressing her with his eyes and right in front of Mon. But she didn't seem to notice.
"Yes, my husband and I will both be there. Now, if you'll excuse me, my son is completing in the annual padawan tournament and I don't want to be late," Padme replied.
"Oh yes, by all means, we wouldn't want the trivial business of the Senate to interfere with your obvious devotion to your family. Too bad you lack the same devotion to your career," Mon retorted. Padme was taken aback by Mon's attitude.
"Padme is one of our brightest and most hard working Senators. And one of the few not corrupted by greed and power. I used to consider you as one as well, Mon, but in recent months, this hasn't been the case," Bail replied.
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Chancellor. But it's Padme obvious hatred for my beloved Xizor that has driven a wedge between us. But I do hope you both come to your senses and make the right decision by endorsing me for Chancellor," Mon said. Padme and Bail entered the lift, as the door slowly slid closed.
"Thank you or saying those nice things, Bail," Padme said.
"I was only stating the truth. Family is the most important thing . The way you balance a demanding career and still manage to spend time with your family is admired by women across the galaxy. If anything, Mon said those things, because she is jealous of you. Deep down inside, she knows Xizor doesn't love her, but she refuses to believe it," Bail said.
"You think she's jealous of my family?" she asked.
"Perhaps. Her first marriage failed. Her son is being raised without her on Chandrilla, and she knows she doesn't have the real thing with Xizor. But she's holding onto him, because right now he's letting her," Bail said.
"Because he is interested in the power she will acquire if she is elected Chancellor," Padme added.
"Exactly," Bail replied.
"How do we get through to her?" Padme asked.
"We may not be able to," Bail replied regrettably.
"Then if we truly want to save her...Padme began.
"We have to put our support behind Bel Iblis and hope that he is elected," Bail said, as they exited the lift. Their security officers were there to accompany them to Bail's transport, which was headed for the Jedi Temple.
It was day two of the annual padawan tournament. Day one had consisted of matches all day long, which determined the semi-finals for day two. Remarkably, Luke and Mara, who were the youngest competitors had both made it to the semi-finals. Ryoo had as well. After round one today, the sixteen semi-finalists would be reduced to eight. After round two, only four would be left and round three would determine their two finalists, who would battle on day three of the tournament. Anakin knew a Jedi was supposed to be humble, but he couldn't help the pride that was swelling in him for his son. Luke had endured plenty of jabs about his age and size from his competitors on day one, but he had remained calm and collected. His older opponents hadn't stood a chance. But Luke himself remained gracious and humble. That was something he got from his mother. As that thought passed through his mind, he felt the familiar tremor of his beloved wife, as she approached him, while he waited with Luke for the match to begin.
"Hey," he said, with a smile, as he took her in his arms.
"Hi," she replied, as she kissed him long and passionately.
"Wow...hello indeed," he replied. She smiled and knelt down to hug their son.
"Hi mom," he said.
"Hi sweetie. Are you ready?" she asked. He nodded.
"I'm nervous though," Luke replied.
"You're going to do fine. We're so proud of you," Padme sad, as she kissed his cheek.
"Mom..." he protested in embarrassment.
Sorry honey. I'll be watching from the audience with everyone else," she said.
"I'll walk you to your seat," Anakin said, as he knelt beside their son.
"You'll do fine, son. Just quiet your mind, let the Force guide you, and everything will turn out right. I'll be right back," he said, as he left to escort his wife to her seat with the rest of their family.
Ryoo parried her opponent's saber. The other girl was a seventeen-year-old Mon Calamari. Ryoo turned her saber to the side, as she sunk deep into Soresu, just as her father had taught her. With a swift thrust, she disarmed the other girl and ended the match.
"Match Winner is Ryoo Kenobi," Kit announced, as he officiated this particular match. Ryoo retreated to the sidelines and hugged her father tightly. She waved to her mother, grandparents, Aunt, and Uncle, as they cheered for her.
"Oh, I'm so proud of her!" Sola gushed, as she bounced baby Will on her knee. He giggled and clapped his tiny hands together.
"You're proud of your big sis too, aren't you little man?" Padme asked her nephew, as she patted his little leg.
"Next match is Cadence Comet and Luke Skywalker," Kit announced. Cadence was seventeen-year-old Twi'lek, a padawan to none other than Aayla Secura herself. She was very skilled and Luke knew he would have his work cut out for him.
"You'll do fine Luke. Believe in yourself, because I sure do," Anakin told him. Luke nodded and stepped into the arena. The two padawans bowed to each other and Kit signaled for the match to begin. Luke ignited his sapphire blade, as Cadence ignited her gold blade. She charged at Luke head on in a bold, first move, intending to intimidate her eleven-year-old opponent. But Luke stood his ground, making Cadence launch into an aerial flip. Luke anticipated her coming strike and turned to block her blade. Hissing and crackling could be heard, as their blades struggled in a deadlock. Cadence pulled her blade back and used a Force shove on Luke, knocking him back. He felt himself falling back and quickly tossed his blade up into the air in a spiral. He placed his hands on the ground, as he performed a back hand spring to evade her strike. He landed on his feet and caught his lightsaber in his hand, causing the audience to cheer. The son of Anakin Skywalker was not disappointing anyone. Cadence brought her saber over her head and down with ferocity on Luke's. The younger padawan didn't flinch at all, however, and met her strike with surprising, equal strength. Cadence did a drop, sweep kick. Luke landed on his back, but refused to allow her to disarm him. His saber hissed and crackled, as it locked with hers and she loomed over him. Thinking quickly, Luke shoved his feet into her abdomen and hurled her head over heels. She landed on her back and Luke used the Force to snatch her weapon from her hand.
"Match Winner is Luke Skywalker!" Kit announced. He shook hands with Cadence and then rushed to his father, who hoisted up onto his shoulder in excitement, so he could wave to his mother and siblings.
"You did great. I'm so proud of you," Anakin said. Luke smiled.
"Thanks dad," he replied. Yoda chuckled, as he walked past them, on his way to the center of the arena.
"Making this tournament very interesting, you are young Skywalker. Your methods, unusual and unique they are, like your father before you. Enjoyed one of these tournaments this much I have not, since your father himself competed," Yoda chuckled.
"Thank you Master Yoda," Luke said graciously. The stadium quieted, as Yoda hopped up onto a high stool behind the podium.
"Our four finalists we have. Continue tomorrow, our tournament will and be determined, our champion will. Our finalists are: Devin Roark, padawan to Knight Drake Roark," Yoda said, allowing the audience to applaud. Devin was a seventeen-year-old brute and every bit the bully his father was.
"Mara Jade Windu, padawan to Master Mace Windu," Yoda continued, allowing for more applause.
"Ryoo Kenobi, padawan to Master Obi-Wan Kenobi," Yoda stated.
"And Luke Skywalker, padawan to Master Anakin Skywalker," Yoda said.
"First match tomorrow will be Ryoo Kenobi vs. Devin Roark. Winner of this match will face Luke Skywalker and finally the winner of that match will face Mara in the final match for this year's championship," Yoda concluded.
"Oh Luke, we're so proud of you," Padme gushed, as she hugged him.
"You were the best Lukie!" Kimberly chirped.
"Thanks Kimmie," he replied.
"Where's Jayden and Jenna?" Anakin asked. Bail and Padme smiled.
"This was a little too long to hold their attention. They're in the Temple gardens with Natalie playing hide and seek," Bail answered.
"Well, I say we round them up and all go to Dex's. I'm starving," Anakin said.
"Me too!" Luke added.
"My boys...I just can't keep you fed. But I could go for one Dex's specialties myself," Padme replied.
"Luke, why don't you and Leia go find them and meet us back here," Anakin suggested. The twins nodded and scampered off.
Natalie sighed, as she and Jayden looked high and low for Jenna. They had already found some of the other younglings, but Jenna was just too good at this game. Jayden had been the original seeker, but Natalie hid in plain sight, so she was the first one he would find. Then they would go to find the others together. The other children often complained about this method, but it was just impossible to separate the two if they didn't want to be. Jayden held Natalie's hand, as he searched in the last place he could think of. He scoffed.
"I don't know where she is. She can stay lost if she wants to be that way!" Jayden called rather loudly, hoping his twin would hear him. Natalie giggled.
"I know, maybe she's over by the flower beds," Natalie suggested.
"Let's look," Jayden said, just as Luke and Leia entered the gardens.
"There you two are," Leia said.
"Hi Luke, did you win?!" Jayden asked.
"Sure did," Luke boasted.
"You may have one today, shorty, but I'm going to annihilate you tomorrow," Devin said from behind them.
"Luke's gonna beat you, because you're nothing but a bully!" Jayden said, as he glared at the bully.
"Who asked you weakling?" he snapped back.
"Leave my brother alone," Luke replied calmly, as Leia returned holding Jenna's hand. Devin snorted.
"Your dad ain't so great, you know and tomorrow, I'm gonna show everyone why when I send you crying to your mommy. Later womp rats," he teased, as he turned. Jayden glared at him and Natalie saw one of the nearby flower pots shake.
"Jayden...no..." she pleaded. He looked into her soft brown stare and the flower pot stopped shaking.
"He's just a mean bully and he's not worth it," she said. He nodded.
"I guess you're right," he replied.
"Come on you two. We're all going to Dex's!" Leia called. The two children smiled and followed.
"What do you have to report?" the hologram of Sifo-Dyas asked. Xizor stood before him in a private chamber at his residence.
"Senator Mothma is putty in my hands. Once I make sure she is elected, manipulating her will be child's play," Xizor said.
"Good. It is essential that the Republic's new Chancellor can be manipulated to our use if we are to gain anything. Your manipulations must be subtle. Once she is elected, we can start pulling the strings of the Jedi once again. War will eventually engulf the galaxy again and the Republic will crumble. My bio-androids will overwhelm the Jedi and destroy them for good, as will my...secret weapon, which is the key to controlling every sophisticated system," Sifo said.
"Senator Skywalker continues to be a nuisance. I believe that she, along with Chancellor Organa, may throw their support behind Bel Iblis," Xizor said.
"It is of no consequence. Everything must go as planned. We have limitless funds and there are still many loyalists in the Senate. A few subtle bribes and generous payoffs will allow things to fall our way. Do not fail me, Xizor, or Falleen will be the first planet I use to demonstrate the power of my secret weapon when it is complete," Sifo warned.
"Yes my Master. I assure you, I will not fail," he answered, as he bowed to him and the hologram disappeared. He smirked evilly.
"While Mon Mothma may be the elected ruler, I shall be the true ruler of the Republic," he said evilly.
Padme smiled, as her husband fed her another bite of Dex's chocolate cake. They had enjoyed dinner with their friends and family at Dex's, but they had brought dessert home to enjoy together after they put their rambunctious children to bed. There was just something about having dessert in bed that was almost always guaranteed to lead to foreplay. At least, Padme was very much hoping so. She was already dressed in a tempting piece of attire. It was a matching pair of black panties and bra, with a sheer black negligee over them. Her husband was down to just his black underneath shorts, much to her liking. Padme fed him the last bite of the cake and they slowly sipped at their red wine. Padme sat up and sat their glasses aside, before getting to her knees. Anakin lay on his side and smirked, as she drew his lips to hers. Padme pushed him onto his back, as he lost his hand in her hair, pressing her lips hard against his. Padme smirked seductively, as she lay over him, dropping kisses to his bare, muscled chest. He flipped her over onto her back and his lips descended on her neck, as he kissed and nipped sensually. Padme gazed up at him, passion glazing her eyes. Anakin stared back with a look mirroring her own, as he raised his hand. The lights in the bedroom slowly dimmed, as they gave way to the hurricane of love and passion that consumed them whole...