Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. I just created my own little AU sandbox to play in.
AN: Here it is! The next vignette! Number 16 in the series. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
The Trial of Prince Xizor: A Forever Destined Vignette
Xizor angrily threw his breakfast tray against the wall of his cell.
"You can't expect me to eat this slop you keep calling food! I demand a decent meal!" he yelled.
"I hear the grub at Kessel isn't half bad actually. You have something to look forward to since it will soon be your permanent residence," Whie replied, as he passed by.
"That's what you think, Jedi scum," Xizor growled under his breath.
Padme slowly opened her eyes, as she noticed the sunlight filtering through the bedroom curtains. It was still early, but the morning she had both been dreading and anxious about had arrived. She cuddled close to her husband's warm body and rested her head atop his chest. Memories of last night were still very fresh in her mind. Their need to be with each other had been consistent and their hunger insatiable, even more than usual.
She had lost count to how many times they had made love last night. They hadn't been able to get enough of each other and pure exhaustion had eventually taken over. Slowly, she got up and wrapped her robe around her body, as she padded toward the window. She sighed deeply, as she peeked through the blinds and saw a mob of Holonet reporters staked out on an air platform, as close to Republica 500 as they could get without being arrested for trespassing. She was eager to see justice served, but she wondered what retaliation the Falleen had planned. It wasn't fair that people might be hurt in the name of justice. But if she backed down, Xizor would win and rampant corruption in the Senate would only grow worse. She glanced at her sleeping husband and remembered the legend.
"If he truly is your son, then I must trust that you will lend your powers to him, so that he may protect the innocent as well as himself. I am in awe of him everyday, but I don't think he realizes his significance. Perhaps that's the way you prefer it. I know we are in for the fight of our lives. I know that the worst has yet to come. The burden on his shoulders is great, but I will bear it with him, as you intended. I only ask for your protection for us, our children, and the people we love," Padme prayed quietly, as her husband stirred. Anakin opened his eyes.
"Morning handsome," she said, as she sat down beside him.
"Even this early, your beauty takes my breath away," he replied.
"Oh please, I'm a mess," she protested.
"No, I'm pretty sure you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," he replied, as he sat up so he could kiss her lips tenderly. The memories of last night were fresh in his mind as well. He had loved her passionately, possessively, and continuously until they could no longer move. It had been an incredible night…
"Are you worried about today?" she asked, snapping him back to reality.
"A little, but no harm will come to you as long as I'm still standing," he replied.
"I know. I'm not worried about me, because I know you'll protect me. I'm worried about your safety," she fretted. He silenced her with a kiss.
"I'll be fine. Nothing will ever keep me from being with you and our children, certainly not that slimy Falleen Prince. He's going to prison for the rest of his life and the Jedi will deal with Falleen as a whole, if we have to," he replied confidently.
"My faith in you has never been shaken and it never will be," she replied. He smiled.
"Good. Let's get cleaned up and round up the troops for breakfast then," he said, as got out of bed. She giggled, as he led her to the fresher in a hurry.
Mon practically sprinted to him when she saw Mace Windu and Aayla Secura escorting Xizor into the lobby area outside the courtroom where the trial would take place.
"Can you not release him from these manacles," Mon demanded.
"He will remain in restraints until he is in the courtroom," Mace stated coolly.
"How are you darling?" she asked.
"How do you think I am? I've been incarcerated for the past ten days, treated like an animal, and force fed gruel to sustain me," Xizor snapped, but then quickly softened his demeanor. He still needed the foolish Chancellor under his control. A wave of his pheromones would ensure that she remained loyal to him.
"I'm sorry darling. I shouldn't have snapped at you. After all, it's not your fault," Xizor said, glaring at his Jedi captors. Mon smiled at him, once again, completely entranced by his charms.
"Don't worry, you green sleamo. You won't have to worry about the bad food at Kessel for too long, because I doubt you'll last more than a month there. I hear there is a Sith Lord out there that wants your guts on a stick," Riley taunted, as he approached.
"Though, he should have known that a sniveling coward like you didn't stand a chance against my little girl in the political arena. She ripped your case apart in nothing flat on Corellia and she'll have you convicted here in no time," Riley taunted. Xizor smirked.
"You're beaming like a proud papa should, Zander. How sweet. Do me a favor though and make sure you spare no expense when you're picking out her headstone, because I doubt she'll outlive you," Xizor retorted. Riley saw red and lunged at the Prince. But Mace stood in his way, holding him back, as Xizor chuckled.
"Temper, temper, scoundrel," he goaded.
"Let me go Mace. I'm gonna make a green grease spot out of him!" Riley spat.
"Calm down and get a hold of yourself. You losing control on Xizor is exactly what he wants so he can get a mistrial," Mace reasoned.
"Fine," Riley said, as he continued to glare daggers at the slimy Prince.
"Thank you for protecting my son from this riff raff, but we can take it from here," a distinguished voice said. Xizor smirked.
"Father, so good to see you," Xizor said.
"Not to fear, my son. With me and my personal legal team representing you, we'll have this whole mess swept away soon enough. You may release my son into my custody, Master Jedi," the King said.
"The Prince will remain in Jedi custody for the duration of the trial, your Majesty," Yan said, as he arrived.
"Ah…Count Dooku, so we meet again. It's been years," the Falleen King said.
"King Aurico, I see you've come out of your ivory palace. What a rare occasion. Usually, you hire lackeys to do the dirty work," Yan retorted. Aurico smirked.
"I felt that this situation required my presence. The Falleen will not stand for this injustice," Aurico replied.
"And the Jedi will not stand for your son's treasonous acts and subsequent corruption among allied Senate ranks," Yan retorted back sternly. Aurico's attention was captured by a sudden commotion from the Holonet reporters that milled about. The King hissed in disgust.
"She is brave to show herself here. I look forward to tearing her case apart," the King spat.
"I would love to see that. It would be quite a feat, since Padme and I have a solid case against your son," Luminara said, as she arrived.
"We shall see," Aurico replied, as he observed the petite female Senator that had caused such an uproar with his people. He resisted the urge to scoff, almost wanting to chide his son for being bested by a tiny woman such as her. Aurico was a very large, heavyset Falleen male with graying hair and a distinguished goatee, standing at about 6 feet, two inches tall. This woman was at least a foot shorter and his arm was almost bigger around than she was. But he knew from his observation of her that she was a formidable opponent in the political arena, despite her lovely appearance and small stature. He watched the tall slender man next to her with great interest as well. He watched the man's eyes carefully observe everything around them. He then noticed the two young teenagers that stood on either side of the Senator and her Jedi husband. They looked like younger, miniature copies of their parents. Aurico smirked. To bring this powerful family to its knees presented a great challenge. And Aurico never back down from a challenge. Flanked by Jedi escorts, Xizor was escorted into the courtroom and all parties involved followed, including the approved representatives from the Holonet news agencies. It was time for the trial to begin…
"All rise for the honorable Judge Lar,"
"You may be seated," the Judge called, as he sat down at his bench.
"Council, please rise," the Judge ordered.
"Jedi Master Luminara Unduli representing the Jedi Council in this joint prosecuting team, your honor," she introduced.
"Senator Padme Skywalker of Naboo representing the Senate as second chair, your honor," Padme added.
"King Aurico of the Falleen, representing the defendant, your honor," the King said.
"Very well. You may be seated. Bailiff, read the charges please," the Judge ordered.
"The defendant, Prince Xizor of Falleen is hereby charged with multiple counts of murder in the first degree in the deaths of over forty of his own people, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of the attempted murder of two children, Jayden Skywalker and Natalie Organa, and one count of capital treason against the Republic," the Bailiff recited.
"How does the defendant plead?" the Judge questioned.
"Not guilty your honor," Xizor answered.
"Very well, we will hear opening statements now and then the prosecution will begin by calling its first witness. The defense will then be allowed to cross examine each witness. Please proceed," the Judge said, motioning to Luminara.
"Thank you, your honor," she began, as she got up and walked before the jury.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, during this trial, Senator Skywalker and I will present undeniable evidence that Prince Xizor has committed the crimes he has been charged with. We will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he conspired to murder his own people, frame the Corellians for it, and start a war between Republic worlds that could have cost millions of lives. And when he was faced with being discovered, he was willing to murder two children to keep his secrets. You will hear the truth from our witnesses and at the end, you will only see one possible verdict in this case and that will be guilty on all counts," Luminara stated, as she retreated and took her seat. The portly King Aurico stood and approached the jury.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my son, Prince Xizor is loved by all of our people. The accusations that he would ever conspire to murder his own blood is viciously untrue. My son had no knowledge of Mylar's plan to frame the Corellians for the destruction of one of our ships. Mylar has been imprisoned for his crimes and you will hear his testimony as to how the Prince knew nothing of his plot. My son grieves for those lost in such a heinous plot, as do I. During this trial, I will prove that the Skywalker family and the Jedi's hatred of my son has driven them to accuse him of these crimes. And when I am finished presenting my evidence and witnesses, you will see only one possible decision and that will be to exonerate him of all changes with a not guilty verdict," Aurico stated, as he returned to his seat.
"The prosecution may call its first witness," the Judge stated. Padme stood up.
"Your honor, we call Han Solo to the witness stand," Padme said. Han stood up, prepared to take the stand. This whole thing made him uncomfortable, but he was looking forward to seeing Xizor fry. He noticed Leia's gaze on him and felt a little calmer. He took his seat at the witness bench and the bailiff made him raise his right hand.
"Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, Mr. Solo?" the bailiff asked.
"Yes sir," Han replied, as he sat down. Padme rose from her seat and approached the witness bench.
"Mr. Solo, can you tell the court what occurred on the evening of March 21st of this year?" Padme questioned.
"Yes ma'am. I was at a gala on Corellia at the Capital complex when I was approached by Prince Xizor," Han replied.
"What did he want?" Padme asked.
"He wanted to hire me to do a job," Han replied.
"Please describe the conversation you had with the defendant that evening for the court," Padme requested. Han nodded, as he remembered that particular conversation and began describing it.
Han sat at the bar, despite the bartender's disdain.
"Look kid, I know you're not old enough for the hard stuff. Now beat it," the bartender said.
"Serve him anything he wants. I'll vouch for him," Xizor said smoothly.
"Y…yes, your highness," the bartender stuttered, looking expectantly at Han. The young smuggler looked at Xizor with scrutiny. Han wasn't stupid. Prince Slimy wanted something. But that didn't mean Han was going to turn down a glass of fine Corellian scotch.
"Scotch. Make it a double," Han ordered. The bartender glared, but served him.
"Vodka tonic," Xizor ordered and was also served promptly.
"Whaddya want?" Han asked.
"Were those discs destroyed?" Xizor asked. Han gulped the alcohol down and set the glass down for a refill, which he received.
"Yeah, yeah," Han replied, looking bored.
"Good, because I have another special assignment," Xizor replied. Han rolled his eyes. Did this guy ever do his own dirty work?
"Well, mom is over there drooling over that Jedi, so go ask her," Han replied. Xizor smirked.
"No, this little mission is just for you, kid. And it pays one million credits," Xizor replied. Han nearly choked.
"I'm listening, but I ain't killing' anyone for you," Han replied, as he wiped his mouth on his sleeve. Xizor chuckled in amusement.
"It's nothing like that. I just want you to make nice with your mother's good friend Bel Iblis. Tell him of your interest in the Sentry design and steal the blueprints," Xizor said.
"You want me to steal the design?! That's suicide! No deal; keep your money," Han refused.
"So, Prince Xizor wanted to hire you to steal the plans for the new Sentry fighters?" Padme questioned.
"Objection! This has no relevance!" Aurico argued.
"Your honor, I assure you that this line of questioning goes to show the defendant's intent to commit illegal activity and is a testament to his true character," Padme replied.
"I'll allow it. You may answer the question, Mr. Solo," the Judge stated.
"Yes, he wanted to hire me to steal those plans," Han stated.
"Why did he want the blueprints?" Padme questioned.
"I don't know, but he was pretty desperate," Han replied.
"Could it be that Prince Xizor was hired himself to steal those plans? Hired by the Sith Lord perhaps?" Padme asked.
"Objection. She has no proof of that!" Aurico argued. Padme smirked.
"Withdrawn," Padme stated, before continuing.
"Mr. Solo, did you accept Prince Xizor's job offer?" Padme asked.
"Not at first," Han replied.
"Why?" Padme questioned.
"I knew it was wrong and I didn't want to, but then he threatened me," Han replied.
"Threatened you?" she asked. Han nodded.
"You want me to steal the design?! That's suicide! No deal; keep your money," Han refused. Xizor frowned.
"That's a shame…especially for your mother," Xizor leered.
"What about my mom?" Han growled.
"Well, I would hate to see her arrested if the Jedi found out that she smuggled illegal chemicals off Corellia and into the hands of the Imperial Underground. They'd send her to Kessel for such a thing, you know," Xizor said.
"She smuggled those things for you!" Han growled.
"Yes and do as I say and I'll make sure she remains safe," Xizor replied.
"Fine. I'll get you the blueprints, but then you leave us alone," Han growled, as he stalked off in search of Bel Iblis, leaving a smug Xizor behind.
"So, Prince Xizor threatened to hurt your mother if you didn't steal those plans," Padme concluded.
"Objection! This is all hearsay!" Aurico yelled.
"Overruled. You'll have your chance to cross examine, Councilor. No more outbursts or you'll be removed from this court," the Judge warned.
"So, the Prince used a threat to force you into agreeing to his plot. Did you carry out his task?" Padme asked.
"No ma'am. He was arrested before I had to do his dirty deeds for him," Han replied.
"Thank you Han. No further questions," Padme said, as she took her seat. Aurico stood up and approached the bench.
"Mr. Solo, please tell the court what you and your mother do for a living," Aurico asked.
"Objection. That has no relevance," Luminara interrupted.
"Oh, I assure you it is relevant to Mr. Solo's character," Aurico stated.
"Overruled. Answer the question, young man," the Judge ordered.
"We're freelance agents," Han answered. Aurico chuckled.
"Freelance agents? Isn't that a fancy title for smugglers?" Aurico asked. Han shrugged.
"A yes or no answer is needed," Aurico demanded.
"Yes," Han answered reluctantly.
"So, you and your mother engage in illegal activities for a living?" Aurico questioned.
"Objection your honor, the witness is not the one on trial," Padme argued.
"I am merely trying to prove what an unreliable witness this is," Aurico argued back.
"Sustained. Change your line of questioning, Councilor," the Judge advised.
"So, Mr. Solo, you and your mother make your living by lying, cheating, and stealing! Tell the court why we should believe a word that comes out of your filthy mouth!" Aurico demanded.
"Objection! He's badgering the witness!" Padme called.
"Withdrawn. No further questions for this scoundrel," Aurico spat.
"Redirect, your honor," Luminara said, as she approached Han.
"You and your mother are indeed smugglers, it's true. Can you tell me who your last employer was?" Luminara asked.
"Prince Xizor," Han stated.
"Objection. We have no proof of this," Aurico stated.
"Oh, but we do. Your honor, I present to you and the jury, prosecution evidence exhibit A," Luminara said, as she handed him a datapad, while the bailiff handed out data copies to each member of the jury.
"These are Ms. Lauren Solo's financials for the last quarter. Han, can you tell me who she received the last deposit of money from?" Luminara asked.
"From Prince Xizor," Han stated.
"Are you sure?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am. He paid us on Corellia in person," Han replied.
"For what job?" Luminara asked.
"He hired us to smuggle illegal chemicals off Falleen," Han replied.
"For who?" Luminara questioned.
"I don't know. We were just instructed by Xizor to take them to an empty outpost in the outer rim," Han replied.
"A Republic outpost?" she asked.
"No ma'am. It was an old Separatist outpost near Cato-Neimodia," Han replied. Luminara smiled, as chatter erupted in a low roar in the courtroom.
"Interesting. No further questions," Luminara replied.
"You may step down. The Court will take a one hour recess for lunch. Dismissed," the Judge said, as he adjourned the Court. Anakin led Padme out, as they waded through the Holonet reporters and angry Falleen spectators. Their anger was boiling over and the trial had only just begun. Anakin guarded his wife and searched the Force for any threats. So far, nothing was amiss, but he knew the further into the trial they got, the more real the threats would become. Xizor was going down, no question, but he wasn't going to go quietly...