The shuttle landed back on Coruscant, and Vader strode down its ramp with a heavy heart. He hated leaving Padme alone, but he knew she would be much safer aboard the Executor than she would with him at the moment. The sun was already beginning to rise, and Vader felt Sidious's presence grow nearer. It unnerved him, Sidious was arriving a day early. Which means one thing, Sidious suspected something. He had to be ready for him, he had to be ready for his questioning. He told Padme he didn't think Sidious would question him about her, but he knew better.
It wasn't but a few hours later, when Sidious's ship landed. He was rather irritated with the lack of information he obtained from the rebels. He had ordered the last of his captives to be killed when he left his ship. He did not like insolence, and would not tolerate it, especially from some rebel scum.
Sidious strode down the hallways of his enormous palace, he was eager to talk to Vader, but wanted to check on Padme first. Maybe I'll take my frustration out on her first..that always cheers me up.. He thought with a sly smile.
Sidious reached Padme's prison, and looked around. But his eyes found something he wasn't expecting.
His anger flared up, he reached out and force choked the closest red robed, guard until his windpipe broke and his lifeless body slumped to the ground. "Where is she!" he demanded, the other guard looked to his master in fear.
"I-I don't know Milord!" he stammered. "I believe, perhaps she passed away shortly after you left for your mission sir!"
Sidious frowned. She hadnt given him the information he needed yet! "Where is the body?"
"I-I don't know sir!" He stammered.
He raised his brow in suspicion. No body huh?..I have a feeling there is more to this..disappearance of Amidala..I will find out one way or another.. Sidious reached out and force choked the other guard, leaving his lifeless body next to his companions.
Sidious stormed down the hallway, towards his office, anger flaring with each step. He would not be made out of a fool, he would get to the bottom of this. He force pushed his twin doors open, watching as they banged against the wall.
Sidious picked up his comlink and flipped it open. Vader had something to do with this, and he would make his disobedient apprentice pay.
Vader's com-link went off, he looked at it for a moment, trying to clear his mind. He knew it was the Emperor, he could since his anger through the force, this was not going to be pretty.
"Vader, come to my living quarters immediately! I have much to speak with you about, and I am not in the mood to wait. Make it quick!" The Emperor's face disappeared, leaving a slightly shaken Vader.
He must know about Padme..
Sidious paced the floor of his lavished office,his hands clasped behind his back. His intercom went off.
"Milord, Lord Vader is here to see you."
"Send him in at once!" Sidious snapped.
Vader entered through the large double doors, and knelt before his master.
"Rise.." Sidious took a seat at his desk and looked to Vader as he took a stand.
"I have returned from my mission to find one of my prisoners missing..Do you by any chance know what happened to her?" Sidious stared him down, watching for any hint of deception he could find.
"No, my master, I know not of any prisoner. Perhaps they died in your absence." Vader swallowed hard, trying his best to keep his mental shields up, blocking the unwanted gaze from the Emperor.
"Thats the thing, there is usually a body when one dies, but in this case there wasn't one. " He stood from his chair and paced the floor. "I know you had something to do with it Vader..Why else would you suddenly ask for some time off hm?..Not to mention I saw you enter my office while I was away..You didn't think to erase the data on the holocameras did you..There is no point in lying.." Vader's eyes widened, no he hadnt thought to destroy the data..
"Master, I know nothing of-"
"I said there is no point in lying! You will pay for your deceitful ways Vader!" Sidious reached out, and sent sith lightning through his apprentice's body.
Vader fell to his knees, gasping in pain as the assault from his Master intensified. Mechanical screams of pain filled the room.
Sidious stretched his hands out farther, watching as pulses of electricity surged through Vader's body.
Vader felt his muscles tense from the pulsations, he found his thoughts trailing back to Padme's smiling face. Her words from so long ago, echoed in his mind.
I truly..deeply..love you..
His heart slowed, and his breathing became ragged. I love you Padme.. He said silently. Vader felt one more bolt of lighting surge through him, and then his world went black.
Rage filled Sidious, no matter how much he tortured Vader, he wouldn't talk. Finally, Sidious pulled back, watching as Vader's body fell to the floor. If he really knew about Padme..he would have said so already..he must really haven't have known..damn it! The Emperor cursed.
Vader's breath was ragged and slow, his breathing apparatus had been damaged by Sidious's blows. If he didn't receive medical attention soon, he would die. Sidious knew this, and called his secretary over the intercom.
"Have a medical transport take Lord Vader immediately! I want to be notified once he has recovered." Sidious walked away from Vader's body, leaving it to the medical team to take care of him.
The room grew quiet, the distorted sounds of Vader's damaged breathing apparatus was all that could be heard. Sidious sat back in his chair, looking over to his fallen apprentice, no emotion on his face. The silence was quickly interrupted as a medical team rushed in and huddled over the dark lord. Sidious said nothing, just swiveled his chair around to stare out his large window, watching the speeders zoom by.
"Fix him." Was the Emperors only reply.
"Admiral Ozzel, we have been contacted by the Emperor's secretary, she says Lord Vader has been injured and has been rushed to Kamino to seek medical attention."
"Thank you, Captain. I will relay the message to Lady Vader." Ozzel replied. "Ready the ship, we are heading for Hoth."
"Yes sir." The officer nodded.
Ozzel stepped into the lift, leading to the level that Lady Vader resided. He smiled to himself, the news that his commander was injured gave him hope, hope that Vader would die, taking Ozzel's life off the line.
This sounds promising.. very promising.. The lift came to a halt and Ozzel strode off down the long corridor. And if I let the Emperor know about Vader's little secret..things my work out to my benefit..
Ozzel pushed the intercom near the door.
"Yes?" He heard from the other side.
"Milady, I have news about Lord Vader I wish to discuss with you. This is Admiral Ozzel, Lord Vader's lead in command." A sly smirk spread across his face.
The door slid open and Padme stepped aside. "Please, come in."
"Thank you Milady." Ozzel entered the apartment and turned to face her as she shut the door behind her.
"Please, Admiral, have a seat. Would you like a drink or anything?" Padme lead him to the sitting room and stood before him.
"No thank you Milady." Ozzel took a seat and watched as she sat across from him, folding her delicate hands in her lap.
"What news do you have? Is Ana- I mean Vader alright?"
"I am afraid not Milady, we have just received word that Lord Vader has just been rushed to a medical facility on a planet by the name of Kamino. They have a fine facility there. The Emperor will only place Lord Vader in their care, for they know his needs well. I am sure he will be fine Milady." Ozzel looked up to the woman before him, he had to hide the amusement on his face when he saw her worried expression.
Who would care for a monster like Vader? This woman truly is pathetic..
Padme felt her heart twinge at the news. She grabbed her Japor Snippet that hung from her neck and closed her eyes, holding back the worried tears that clung to her eyelashes. She bristly wiped them away and looked back to Ozzel.
"I know this is hard for you Milady, but Vader gave strict orders that if anything were to happen to him, that we transport you to Hoth as soon as possible. So that is our next stop."
"No, we need to wait for him..the trip to Hoth is one for the both of us..I don't like the idea of leaving Vader when he is hurt!" Padme stood abruptly, fists tightened at her side.
"I understand you are upset Milady, but these were orders from Lord Vader himself. He will rejoin us once he is able. You must understand Lady Vader, we must follow orders."
Padme hated this, but she knew why Anakin had gave orders to move on. The longer she stayed in Coruscant's orbit the more danger she would be in, which would put their children's whereabouts in danger.
She swallowed hard.
"I..I understand Admiral.." Padme sighed and sat back on her chair. "Let me know when we reach Hoth..or if you get any word from Vader"
"Yes Milady, I will do so as soon as I catch word." Ozzel bowed and headed towards the door. "If there is anything you further desire, just let us know Milady."
Padme nodded and watched Ozzel leave the room. She sighed and looked back to the Japor Snippit. "Anakin.."
The shuttle landed on the rainy planet, and Vader was brought quickly inside the facility.
"Bring him into the operating room at once!" The head kaminoan doctor instructed.
"How are his vitals?"
"His heart rate is low, sir. We need to stabilize him quickly before we proceed."
"We haven't time, if we don't fix his breathing apparatus then there is no saving him! Strip him of his suit and place him on a breathing machine."
"At once sir!"
Vader blinked and squinted his eyes from the bright lights in the room, once his mask was removed. He looked at the slender Kaminoan who leaned over him.
"Hang in there Lord Vader, this will be over soon." She placed a mask over his nose and mouth, he began to feel his eyes grow heavy. "You will start to feel slee-" Vader was unable to hear the rest of her sentence before sleep took hold of him.
"Good, we must work fast. He was lucky he didn't die on the way here."
The medical crew began to work diligently, sparing no time in attending the fallen sith before them.
Ozzel sat in front of the communication center, waiting for his signal to go through. He smiled when the emperor's face appeared before of him.
"Milord, I have some information you may find useful.." Ozzel's sly smirk spread across his face.
"This had better be good, Admerial."
"Oh It is sir, I know what Lord Vader was hiding from you."
Sidious narrowed his eyes at the holographic image in front of him. "So he was hiding something...What is it Admerial. What has my insolent apprentice been hiding from me..."
"He has a wife, your majesty. And she is here, on this very ship..Lord Vader informed us, that if anything were to happen during his meeting with you, that we transfer her to a planet called Hoth." Ozzel's sinister smirk widened as he saw the pleased look upon the Emperor's face. "He also informed us not to let you know about this wife of his. Although I would never keep anything from you my liege."
Although Sidious was pleased to retrieve this information, it also infuriated him. Vader had lied to him, and because of her. He knew she would be his weakness, thats why he had kept her locked up all these years. With her out of the way, Vader would be nothing but a puppet for him, and would commit to his every whim without hesitation. But now, now that he knew of Padme's existence, all he could expect from his Apprentice was treachery.
"Very good Admerial, you will be greatly rewarded for your loyalty to the Empire. Have a hand full of troops bring her back to Coruscant. If she tries to escape, kill her. I have no need for her any longer. But I would love to show our friend Lord Vader what happens when you cross me." Sidious grasped the arms of his throne tightly with his boney fingers. "I urge for your discretion with the other crew members, we do not know who's loyalty lies with the Empire, and who's lie with that traitorous Apprentice of mine.."
"As you wish, Milord." Ozzel bowed respectfully as Sidious's image vanished.
Captain Piett stood quietly by the door frame, listening to Ozzel's duplicitous confession to Sidious. He quickly, but discreetly, made his way to the lift. I have to warn Lady Vader..Ozzel has gone too far...
Obi-Wan walked down the ramp of the small ship, and waited patiently for Leia to finish her goodbyes.
Organa hugged the little girl gently, with a warm smile across his regal face. "Now, be a good girl to Master Kanobi over here" he leaned in and whispered to her, just loud enough for Obi-Wan to barely make out. "But I know who will be keeping who in line."
Leia giggled and hugged Organa once more, and then his lovely wife. "Thank you for everything Uncle Organa!" Leia replied cheerfully.
Organa smiled and pated the young girl on her head. "Be sure to bring your Mother and your Brother back here for a visit ok? And remember, if you need anything at all, you know who you can contact. Alderaan will always be a home to you and your family."
"I will! Thank you!" Leia looked over her shoulder at the slightly impatient Obi-Wan and bowed respectfully to the Organas. "I gotta go, but i'll be back, I promise!"
Leia ran happily to Obi-Wans side and waved goodbye to her life long friends.
"Master, how long is it gonna take to get to...Hoth?" Leia said, taking her seat aboard the ship.
"It shouldn't take us that long, we will be there soon enough young one." Obi-Wan strapped the young girl in and gave her a reassuring smile. "You will see your Mother soon, not to worry."
"Master, after we find Mommy and Luke. Will you still train me? I wanna be a great Jedi like my Daddy was...too bad I never got to meet him.." Leia hung her head, wishing with all her might that she would be reunited with her whole family, but she knew that was impossible.
Obi-Wan sighed with a heavy heart. He never told Leia of what her father had become near the end, not only because of Padme's request, but because he wanted to block that part out. Anakin was like a brother to him, and the thoughts of the acts he had committed that led up to Mustafar, filled Obi-Wan with guilt. Guilt that he had failed his young apprentice.
"Of course I will young one. Master Yoda and I will finish your training. We will always be there for your family, you still need much protecting from the Empire you know this correct?"
Leia nodded. She had always wondered why the Empire would be so interested in her and her brother, but Obi-Wan never seemed to want to discuss it. He only told her that it is dyer that she and Luke shield themselves from the wondering eyes of the Emperor.
"Yes, I know Master. I promise to train really hard, so I can help protect my Mommy. I'm sure Daddy would of wanted that anyway." Leia smiled to herself, the thought of making her Father proud filled her with a stronger will to learn. The stories Obi-Wan told her about her Father fighting in the clone wars, and about the great Jedi he was, made her proud to be a Skywalker.
Obi-Wan didn't reply, the memories of Anakin were too much to bare sometimes. Sure Anakin was overzealous and impatient, but he had so many good qualities in him as well. He was a good friend. Or at least he was.. Obi-Wan thought to himself. Then again, he might not have been in the situation he was in if he had come to me in the first place...
Instead he took his seat in the pilot's chair and fired up the ship. "Why don't you rest little one, you will need your energy for when we reach Hoth. We are still not expecting your Mother for another couple of days, but knowing her she will get there early" Obi-Wan smiled to himself slightly. Padme had always been a hard headed woman. Once she had something in her head a Wampa couldn't stop her.
But Leia did not have to be told twice, she was already fast asleep by the time they left Alderaan's atmosphere. Dreaming of the joys of finally being reunited with her family. Little did she know, it was going to be one hell of a ride.
Luke stepped off the ship alongside his Master Yoda. He was bundled up head to toe to keep him warm in such a harsh climate.
"Why did you pick this Planet again Master?" Luke shivered.
"Harsh the climate is, much use for this planet, the Empire has not. Safe, we will be here, for a short while." Yoda smiled at the young skywalker boy, he looked so much like his Father did when he first showed up at the temple all those years ago.
"Come, stay in the ship we must. Until your Sister and Mother arrive. Much warmer, it is."
Luke made no objections and quickly made his way back inside the protective walls of the ship.
"How much longer till they get here Master?"
Yoda chuckled to himself "Patience, you must have young Skywalker. Be here, they will. Soon I feel."
"I'm sorry Master, I just can't wait. I always wondered what my Mommy was like. I'm just really excited about it is all." Luke sat on the floor of the ship as Yoda did.
"Understand I do, but remember this you must. Even though reunited, you will be. Still in danger, you are. Now, meditate we must. Keep a clear mind" Yoda closed his eyes and coached Luke into a deep meditation.
"Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?" The small boy asked, trying hard to mask his fear.
The cloaked figure looked to the boy and the rest of the children. His face devoid of emotion.
The figure said nothing, just ignighted his lightsaber. His vibrant blade sliced through the air, filling it with painful screams of the children, and the sounds of their last breath.
Luke struggled with these visions, hot tears streaming down his face, afraid to go any farther . But the next wave of visions came before he could stop them.
Luke looked up at the cloaked figure before him. This seemed familiar somehow..
"You look just as your father did when he first became a jedi..So full of innocence and fear.." the figure smirked, his disfigured face sent chills down Luke's spine.
"But that fear led him down his true path..the path of the darkside..the path his son shall follow.."
"No! Your lying! My Father was a great jedi, one who fought hard to destroy the darkside not join it!" Luke shouted in rage. He would not let his Father's good name by tarnished by such a lie.
"So, they filled your head with lies hm?..That does not surprise me..they do not want you to turn out like your Father did.." The figure took a few steps closer to the young boy. "The darkside is much stronger young Skywalker, Yoda and the others doe not want you to surpass them in power..so they fill your young mind with lies..Your Father is alive Luke..and you will soon join him by my side.."
"Never! I will never join you!"
"So be it..If you will not join us..then you will join the other Jedi your Father destroyed!"
Luke screamed as he felt the hot stab of pain shoot through his small chest. A bright red light filled his senses, until all he saw was black.
"NO!" Luke's eyes bolted open, his face stung with the tears of the unknown truth. He shakily looked around the room. His eyes met Yoda's knowing gaze.
"Master Yoda..I..I had a-"
"Know I do...of the vision you saw...saw it too, I did."
"But Master...what does it mean?" Luke looked to his Master in desperation, wanting so badly not to believe what he has just learned.
"Saw the past you did.." Yoda nodded to himself. "And the future..of which will happen, if you follow the path of-"
"My Father was a Jedi Master Yoda! He saved a lot of people, why would he do such a thing! He wouldn't...He was a good person...My Father died serving the Republic.." Luke shook his head, trying to convince himself more than Yoda, that his Father was indeed a good man.
"Much you do not know, Young Skywalker..Much your Mother did not want you to know.." Yoda sighed and rubbed his temple in thought.
"But why...Why Master? Why would my Father do such a bad thing?..There had to be some sort of reasoning behind his actions...And..why would my Mother want to lie to me?..why?"
It amazed Yoda how mature Luke could be, far beyond his years, yet at the same time, be filled with the naive mind of a child.
"His reasoning for his actions, know I do not. Trying to figure that out, for many years I have...But lie to you, your Mother did not. She only wanted your knowledge of your Father, be filled with good memories. A good Jedi, your Father was...Sad it is, the path he has chosen." Yoda stood slowly, clutching his cain tightly in his clawed hand.
He looked at the young boy and patted him gently on the head. "Many things, we do not know in life. The force has its ways about things. Let the force flow though you, and lead you down the right path, it will." With that Yoda left Luke to his thoughts.
Luke pulled his knees to his chest and sobbed into them. Too much was coming to him at once. His life had been filled with lies about his Father, the man he once idolized was now a distant memory. Now he knew the truth, his Father had become a monster.
No. Luke told himself. He is not a Monster..He had to of done that for a reason..why..I don't know..but my Father is a good man..I know he is..somehow...I just know...
A ship landed at the Rebel base's docking bay. The men gathered around, ready to greet the remaining fighters that escaped Sidious' assault. A hand full of wounded men were taken gently off the ship, and escorted to the medical wing.
A tall cloaked man strode down the ship's ramp, nodding to the others as they welcomed him scanned the room carefully, it was so busy with fighters running back and forth to help their fallen comrades, and others readying themselves for another mission. He lowered the hood of his cloak and smiled when his gaze found what he was looking for.
She stood off to the side, away from the others. Her hood casting over her eyes, hiding the worried tears she shed for him. He quickly made his way to her side, and was welcomed by her warm and loving embrace. She ran her fingers through his shoulder-length brown hair, as he kissed her lips softly.
"I was so worried Roku..the rebels said you ran into the Emperor.." Her blue eyes scanned over him carefully. His Jedi robes were torn from battle, but other than the occasional blaster singe, he was relatively unharmed.
"I'm alright my love.." Roku smiled and dropped her hood so he could see her better.
He pushed her fiery red hair out of her face and stroked her cheek gently. He knew she would worry, she always had. No matter how many missions he had been sent on, even when they still resided in the Jedi temple. She had never grown accustomed to his leaving. But then again, neither had he when she was sent off on a mission. But things were different now, now they had the Empire after their heads.
She looked up at him and smiled. "I'm glad your alight..I've missed you.."
Roku pulled her close once more. "I've missed you, Sayuri..but I'm here now.."
Sayuri clung to him gently, resting her head against his chest. "How did your mission go? It seems we lost alot of men this time around.."
Roku nodded somberly, they had in fact lost a lot of men. And the number of casualties were growing each mission. "At this rate, its going to be just you and me against the Empire..Lets just hope we can get in contact with Master Yoda soon..I have a feeling we will need his council."
"I'm starting to wonder if there will ever be peace in the galaxy..Or will there always be war among us?"
"Don't talk like that Sayuri..we are here to maintain peace, and I'm sure one day..there will be no need for Jedi. That peace will reign the galaxy, but as long as the Empire rules, there will never be peace." Roku sighed. "A Jedi's gotta do what a Jedi's gotta do..I still say we don't get paid enough for this job." He snorted.
Sayuri laughed and hugged him tighter, he always had a way to lift her spirits. "Well it could be worse, we could be working for the Emperor." she crinkled her nose in distaste "I bet he pays worse than the Jedi do."
Roku smiled and kissed her nose softly. "Don't do that, you might get stuck like that and you'll look like a Yuzzum."
Sayuri smacked him on the arm playfully. "Well your supposta love me no matter what I look like." She quipped.
"True..and you know I do, your so beautiful." Roku sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, pushing it out of his face. " Well I guess we better go fill in Mon Mothma, you know how she hates to wait." Roku rolled his eyes, he hated the debriefings. Mon Mothma was too uptight for his liking. And he much rather be spending time with Sayuri while he had the chance.
Mon Mothma sat impatiently at the long table, other members of the rebellion were talking quietly amongst themselves. She sighed in relief when Roku and Sayuri entered the conference room and took their seats.
"Well its about time..So good of you to finally join us Master Kasai.." Mothma eyed Roku, since the Republic had fallen, she had grown rather impatient . "And same goes for you Master Matsuro..you should save your welcome homes for another time..we have more important matters to discuss, like what exactly did you find out on your mission Kasai?"
Sayuri glared at the woman, she tried to be calm and collected, but something about this woman reminded her of Mace Windu. Sayuri and Windu had a long history of bickering and rivalry, so being around Mothma brought up that uneasy feeling. She was about to retort when she felt Roku's reassuring hand upon her knee. She sighed and let it go, she was grateful for his presence, it always soothed her.
"We are sorry too keep you waiting, Senator Mothma." Roku replied calmly. "Sadly I report we have had many casualties, and have come back nearly empty handed."
"Nearly you say? Well what have you brought back for us then? Surely you have not let our men die in vain?"
"No, Senator. I have not let our men die in vain..I have received word of the location of the Death Star plans. If we retrieve those plans, we will be able to find some sort of weakness. That way we can take it out before any more damage is caused." Roku sighed and looked around the table.
"Where are these plans, my boy?" Ackbar asked, ignoring Mothma's harshness.
"Well, thats the problem. Its aboard one of the Emperor's private ships..Which means someone would have to sneak aboard and steal the plans. But there is no telling weather or not the Emperor will be on that particular ship.." Roku ran his fingers through his hair again, sliding his hair back. "Kind of an, undercover thing.."
"I'll do it."
Roku turned his head quickly, he stared at Sayuri for a moment and shook his head. "No, its too dangerous for you, I'll go. Now, I'll need-"
"Roku, did the Emperor see you during your mission?" Sayuri interrupted him.
"So you will need someone the Emperor has yet to see. Someone with Jedi training, and skill enough to hide their thoughts from him. And thats me..Roku I know you don't like the idea of me going aboard an Imperial ship but do we really have any choice?"
Roku swallowed hard, he knew she was right. He took her hand gently and stroked it with his thumb. Almost forgetting the others were watching. "Your right..I guess we dont have a choice..not at this juncture of the game."
"Then its settled. Master Matsuro will go aboard the Emperor's ship, steal the plans and bring them back to us." Mothma stared at Sayuri sternly. "At any costs. Do you understand?"
"You have nothing to worry about Senator. Jedi's are trained to get the job done regardless of our own safety. But thanks for your concern." Sayuri's voice full of sarcasm.
"Good. This meeting is over. Master Jedi's, if you will excuse me. I have some business to attend to." Mothma stood and took her leave.
"Please excuse Senator Mothma. She has not always been like this you know..she use to be a very kind woman. But this war has made her frigid."
"Worry not Ackbar old pal, I can take her." Roku smiled slightly, worry obvious in his voice.
Ackbar nodded with a smile, and left shortly after.
"Well..we better get things ready..we have alot of work ahead of us."
"I'll be fine Roku..have faith in me my love.."
Roku sighed and stood slowly, pulling Sayuri up with him.
"One thing you will have to understand Milady..no matter what happens, or how good of a Jedi you are. I will always worry for your safety." He stroked her hair softly, the long pony tail stopped just below her waist, and slid gently through his fingers. "I love you.."
"I love you too Roku.." She smiled and kissed his cheek tenderly. "Now come on, we have work to do."