This is a companion to Flowers. I hope that you enjoy it.
I pondered over the ghost that I had seen and the moment I walked in the front door of my parents house I headed for Padme's room. I quickly went through her things until I found a holo of Anakin Skywalker. It was the same young man from earlier.
I sighed and and set the holo on the nightstand.
He couldn't have been sending the flowers because ghosts don't have money and he could have delivered them without anyone being the wiser! No someone else could have been delivering the flowers. Not Master Kenobi, Vader killed him four years ago and Bail died four years ago as well.
I finally headed down stairs to be with Pooja, my youngest. Maybe she knows something. "Pooja, when you were senator did anyone mention your aunt that in as far as you knew didn't have a connection with her?" I asked. Pooja's eyes went wide. "Well." I pressed.
"Lord Vader approached me after I spoke to the Senate for the first and congratulated me and said that my aunt would have been proud of me. And hoped that my family was proud of my achievement" She whispered.
I was startled. "Do you have any idea why he'd say that to you?" I asked. Pooja shook her head. "Vader was known for his dislike for politicians. I was surprised myself that he spoke at all to me. He had rarely spoken at all to the senators and if he did it was to give warnings not to dabble with the rebels."
A sound startled both of us: children's laughter. I peered out the window to see two young children, a boy and girl somewhere between four and five, running back and forth down the street. Pure unadulterated laughter. After a moment a young boy about their age joined them and a game of tag started.
They stopped and they waved. Pure joy shining in their eyes. I waved back.
"Mom, those children don't live around here. Do you think that their parents know where they are?" Pooja asked. "They must have relatives nearby. See?" I said as several older children joined the game.
"They'll grow up without the Empire.
"Pooja, do you think that Vader knew your aunt?" I asked. Pooja shrugged. "He's former identity is unknown. We don't know where he can from or how he came to be in the service of the emperor."
I sighed. I knew that I shouldn't have expected anymore than that. But I was hoping.
Than something occurred to me: Vader had hoped that we were proud of Pooja's achievement. Vader must have met us on some occasion to have said that! Or had been very close to Padme to have said that.
I mentally went through the list of all of Padme's Jedi acquaintances. They were all dead. And I wasn't aware if any of her other acquaintances were Force sensitive or not.
I sighed in frustration.
I'm missing something! Whoever was sending the flowers knew her favorite flowers and cared deeply for her. But why did they change to date when they sent the Tatooine lilies and the Nubian roses a week after her death to Tatooine and Nubian lily hybrids to the day she died?
Then it hit me like a pile of datacards.
I ran back to Padme's room and snatched to holo of Anakin from the nightstand and ran back down the stairs. I grabbed a holo of Padme from the sitting room table and ran to the commstation and connected to the Holonet. I quickly did a search for Luke Skywalker. Within moments I had his sparse file.
I ran a comparison between his image and Padme and Anakin. The computer said that there was a 98 percent probability that they were related.
I quickly read Luke's file. He had destroyed a 'mining station'; aka the Death Star, four years earlier. A few months afterwards the Empire had learned his identity and placed a price on his head.
What struck me was that imperial agents had reported his identity just three months before his twentieth birthday.
He could be Padme's and Anakin's son. Spirited away moments after birth or removed from her dead body. And to convince the Sith she had taken her unborn child with her into death.
I downloaded the information onto my datapad and went to sit on the front steps to wait for my parents and husband to return home.
Darred sat by me as I poured over the information.
"Do you know what the kids are playing?" he asked. "Yes, they're playing imperials and rebels. And by the sounds of it they were arguing who should play the part of Vader." He shook his head. "They're playing clones, Jedi and droids." he informed me. "And they were arguing who should play the part of General Grievous. The little blond boy said he'd play him and the slightly older boy with auburn hair says he knows what 'that bad-tempered, ill-mannered pile of mostly bolts' would say. And after that most of the other children have joined in." He paused for a moment. "I told them that I thought that the small blond bot should be the Hero without Fear. They all agreed and said that he should be a hero again after being the villain for so long."
I listened. Sure enough the children were pretending that they were fighting the Clone Wars. I felt a smile spread across my face. "As long as the Jedi are the good guys than they can play their game." I said.
"That's just it Sola, they all knew who I was talking about when I mentioned the Hero without Fear. Most parents would be too afraid to teach their very young children about the Jedi and that's if they didn't buy into the Jedi are traitors trash."
"Just like Vader somehow knew Padme." I whispered as I stared straight ahead, lost in thought.
"How would Vader know Padme, Sola? He came into the stoplight a month after she died." He asked. "Darred, he lead the attack on the Jedi Temple the night before the Republic became the Empire." I reminded him. "And we have no idea who he was before because there is no record of him anywhere. And eyewitnesses that saw the clones enter the Temple said that they saw a tall humanoid leading them." I reminded him.
"The Republic are forced to retreat from the mighty Separatist army!" one of the children shouted. "Wanna bet!" Another one shouts. "The Sith shall utterly destroy you! And take the Hero without Fear as a prize!" A third child cried. "If you do you'll be sorry!" a fourth child put in. "Yeah, because he's going to end your little blood feud once and for all!" A fifth child said.
Darred laughed. "They have active imaginations; don't they." I nodded.
Whoever was sending the flowers didn't know about Luke, if Luke's her son, because they changed the date and the type of flowers they were sending. So that removes who? I don't even know who hid him in the first place.
I can hear that the 'Republic' has triumphantly defeated the 'Separatists'.
"Wait, honey were they talking about the Sith taking Anakin Skywalker as their prize?" I asked. "Sweetheart, they're just kids. They're just playing around." Darred said. "They probably don't know what Sith are."
I felt something cold in my stomach. The 501st was Anakin's battle group. They were used to slaughter the Jedi at the Temple!.
Could Vader been sending the flowers?
The sun disappears over the horizon. I shiver more from my thoughts than the cold.
Fireworks are set off and fill the sky with colors. It's beautiful.
I see my parents making their way home. Two of the children wave to them and call greetings.
"Mom, dad, I don't think anymore flowers are going to be sent to Padme." I told them. They looked at me, confused. "Why?" mom asked. "I just know."
We went inside and listened to the children continue their game of reliving the Clone Wars.
Finally I retired to bed.
The next day as I was making breakfast the commstation chimed. We were receiving a call from an unknown caller.
So here I am sitting in the commstation chair about to answer the call.
I press receive. "Naberrie Residence." "Are you related to Padme Amidala?" A young man's voice asks. I freeze. "Yes, she was my sister. Why do you want to know." The young man hesitates. "She was my mother."