Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. I just created my own little AU sandbox to play in.
AN: Here's part 15! Thanks for all the amazing reviews, as usual. Enjoy this next installment and let me know what you think!
Wicked Planet: A Forever Destined Vignette
Their bedroom was still dark, for it was only three thirty in the morning and they should have both been sleeping peacefully, especially after the passionate expression of their physical love that they had engaged in. As always, the tender, passionate lovemaking between them had initially sent them into a dreamless sleep in each other's arms, but Padme should have known that she would not escape her dreams that night; not after all that she and Anakin had learned inside the journal that had belonged to her Grandmother Winama. That being said, she may have actually welcomed a dream that would be of any help to them. But tonight, she would just be tormented by the monster that continued to stalk and pursue her to no end.
Padme didn't know where she was, but she was running through unfamiliar corridors, taking turns anywhere she could and twisting and turning. But it all looked the same and there was seemingly no way out.
"I am like this maze, my sweet. Just like there is no escape from it, there is no escape from me," Sifo-Dyas' voice boomed. His ghostly figure shimmered to life before her.
"You bastard! The diary was never yours! It was Padmia's and you stole it from my family!" Padme screamed at him. He chuckled.
"There's that fire I love. So beautiful when you're angry," he mused. She glared daggers at him, even though that only seemed to thrill him more.
"I should have known all those years ago that your Grandmother wasn't Padmia. Don't get me wrong, she was very beautiful as well and she served her purpose by giving me access to the diary," Sifo-Dyas said.
"That belonged to my family! You had no right to take it!" Padme yelled.
"I know. I always thought thieving was beneath a man of my stature. I'm the kind that hires someone to do my dirty work for me, though I have to say, I enjoyed those months I spent with Leia…" Sifo-Dyas mused.
"Don't…don't you dare speak her name!" Padme screamed, making him chuckle again.
"When I first encountered her and realized that she was of Padmia's bloodline, I was thrilled, because it was obvious that the Chosen One had yet to surface and I thought for a while that I had gotten lucky and gotten to Padmia or the reborn Padmia, rather. For a while there, I thought I was going to be able to seduce you to my side first, before your beloved came along. But alas…it wasn't to be so. I soon realized that Leia was not Padmia and was quite furious at first. I realized that by the time you were born, I could very well be an old man. I cursed the Force for that. I would have stayed with her until she translated the entire diary for me, but I knew if I did that, it would delay Padmia's rebirth. So I stole it one night and left her a rather scathing letter of goodbye, telling her exactly who I was," Sifo-Dyas said in amusement.
"She was looking over her shoulder for me the rest of her life and she knew that I would be watching you from the day you were born. Of course, I've been watching Anakin too," Sifo-Dyas said, as he floated toward her, causing her to back up against the wall.
"I've come too far and risked too much just to give up now. You could save your loved ones and your beloved a lot of pain by just giving yourself to me. You know that I don't wish to harm you, far from it, in fact," he hissed, as his ghostly fingers caressed her cheek. She turned away in repulsion and tried to move, but he had somehow pinned her there by using the Force.
"No, you just want to enslave me and force my husband to be your own personal agent of the dark side. And you want my children to serve you as well. But you're not going to win, because your evil is no match for the power of our love," Padme replied, with determination in her voice. Sifo-Dyas' face showed anger, as she refused him yet again.
"I've given you the chance to make this easy on yourself, but I see that you're going to force me to wear down your resolve. You will be mine! And I will make sure you don't sleep another night without me in your dreams, tormenting you. You may be Anakin's in the physical world, but you'll be mine in every single one of your dreams!" he yelled, rage in his voice, as he forced his lips onto hers, which felt very frightening real.
"No…NO!" Padme screamed and pleaded. Suddenly a bright light blinded him and Sifo-Dyas screamed in rage as he was blown away from her. They both expected Anakin to be the source, but were shocked to see the Force spirit of Yan Dooku appear.
"Grandfather…" Padme said in awe. Sifo-Dyas snarled at his old, former friend.
"So…I see you have learned the secrets of the afterlife, my old friend. I shouldn't be surprised," Sifo-Dyas hissed.
"You will leave her dreams alone, parasite," Yan stated.
"She is mine…she always has been," Sifo-Dyas snarled.
"She has never been yours, dark one. Not a millennia ago, not now, not ever. And while her beloved protects her in the physical world, I shall protect her dreams from you, for the rest of her life, if I have to," Yan stated firmly.
"You have no true powers," Sifo-Dyas insisted.
"On the contrary. It is as I told Ysanne, just before my death, I have become more powerful than you can imagine in this form. You will leave her now," Yan demanded, as the light of the Force blinded him.
"This isn't over!" Sifo-Dyas promised, as he faded away.
"He won't be invading your dreams anymore, sweetheart," Yan assured her.
"Thank you…I wondered when you would come to us," Padme said. He smiled.
"Well, I planned to come to you and Anakin together, but Sifo-Dyas forced my hand earlier than expected. I can't have him haunting your dreams," Yan said.
"Is it because there will be more revealed to me through my dreams? More of Padmia's life?" Padme asked. Yan nodded.
"Well, only the Force itself knows and chooses what is revealed to you, but it is the Will of the Force that your dreams must be protected from the dark one," Yan said.
"We miss you so much," Padme said. He smiled.
"I know, but I'm not truly gone and I will always be here to guide my loved ones. For now I must go, but you and Anakin will see me again soon," he promised, as he faded away. Things became hazy around her, as she awoke.
Her eyes snapped open, as she jerked awake. The bedroom was still dark and she slowly fell back to her pillow. At her side, Anakin slept soundly and she guessed that Grandfather had allowed him to remain asleep by intervening himself. She was glad for that. She knew how much Anakin worried about her and how he never was able to sleep well after one of her encounters with Sifo-Dyas in her dreams. She always felt guilty about that, even though he insisted that he never would wish for more sleep over protecting her. She snuggled against him and simply watched him sleep for several minutes, admiring his breathtakingly handsome features.
"Sleep well, my love," she whispered, as she slowly drifted back into a dreamless sleep.
Anakin woke up early, about five a.m., which was a normal thing for him. He glanced beside him and kissed her hair, before gently untangling himself from her. He covered her up, glad that she seemed to be sleeping peacefully. He fished his sleep pants from the floor, put them on and slowly padded to the fresher. He came out a few moments later and put on a sleeveless undershirt, before padding out into the living area. He stepped out onto the balcony that overlooked the palace gardens from their suite in the palace. He took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet welcome aroma of the various flowers and the fresh unpolluted air. Naboo mornings like this made meditation all the more soothing and he centered himself deeply, reaching out with his senses and let himself become one with it. He felt the familiar strong tremors around him, which were easily identified as his beloved wife and their five nearly grown children. A lot of the recent events were still sinking in. The diary was Padmia's originally and there were things in it that they had to know. Then they had discovered that Sifo-Dyas had engaged in a relationship with Padme's grandmother many years ago and stole the diary from her. And if those revelations weren't enough, they had learned that they were going to be grandparents. Luke was going to be a single father and though they would both be there for him, Anakin honestly didn't know what Luke was feeling. He was a parent, but he had never done it without Padme by his side. He gave Luke his advice when it came to relationships, but as his son had respectfully pointed out before, he didn't know much about heartbreak and nothing about being a single parent.
"But you know a great deal about love and you will guide him well, as you always have," Yan said, as his Force ghost shimmered to life before him.
"Grandfather…" Anakin said in surprise.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, young one. You are a great man and very wise, even for your relatively young years in the grand scheme of things. And with your wife by your side, there will be nothing that you will not be able to accomplish together," Yan stated.
"I'm confident in our love, I always am, but he still haunts us. I've killed him and yet, he still clings to life in this one mangled body. I watched him burn on Falleen. I saw the lava eat away at him and yet somehow he survives. He stalks the love of my life from the shadows and there is little I can do to stop a phantom. And if I knew where they were creating this new body for him, I would be there destroying it," Anakin said.
"Unfortunately, even from my new vantage point, I am unable to see where they have hidden their operation. Sifo-Dyas has gone through great lengths to make sure it is as well hidden as Xalryn once was. But while you cannot stop him in his phantom form, I am able to shield her now in mine. He will not continue to interfere with her dreams," Yan said.
"I knew it…he taunted her last night. I felt something and I would have woke up, but then it was gone. You stopped him," Anakin replied. Yan nodded.
"And I will continue to do what I can. I must go now though," Yan said.
"Will…we see you often?" Anakin asked. Yan gave him a gentle smile.
"From time to time, young one. But I'll always be watching," Yan promised, as he faded away. Anakin sighed and ran a hand through his shaggy blonde mane.
"Ani…" Padme called, as she peered out onto the balcony. He turned, as she came out and wrapped her in his arms.
"Why didn't you wake me after your nightmare?" he asked.
"Grandfather came to you too then?" she questioned. He nodded.
"Yes and I'm glad that monster won't be able to haunt you anymore," Anakin said, calling his taunt out, knowing that the demon could probably hear him. She caressed his face with her hand.
"You were sleeping so peacefully and I didn't see a reason to disturb you. I'm fine and he can't hurt me, not as long as I'm in your arms," she promised, as she kissed his lips tenderly. He cupped her face in his hands and deepened their kiss, letting his passion for her take hold for a few long moments. Finally, when their lips parted, she smiled.
"That was quite a good morning kiss," she mused. He smirked.
"That was nothing. Let's go back to bed and I'll give you a proper good morning," he suggested in a husky tone, as he kissed her neck. Padme moaned.
"That is so very tempting, my love, but you know that we have to be on our way to Serenno by midday," she cooed. He reluctantly stopped his advances and nodded.
"I know, we should probably go get cleaned up and get the kids up," he said. She nodded and took his hand.
"Yes, but there is no reason we can't clean up together," she said with a sexy smile, as she led him inside.
Later that evening
Elana and the Kenobi family waited patiently on the landing pad, as the Skywalker family cruiser touched down at the palace. Artoo and Threepio came down the ramp first, bickering as usual, and were followed by the five Skywalker children, Shane, Natalie and Marcus. Serra and Ferus had returned to Coruscant, escorting Queen Rayna and Callista back to the Temple, where they would soon decide Dathomir's fate in the Republic in the next Council meeting. Their stay on Serenno would be short as well, for they would attend the planet wide memorial service for Yan and then be right back on the ship late that night en route for Coruscant. Bail and Breha, as rulers of Alderaan, were also attending the memorial service for Yan and followed Anakin and Padme down the ramp. Qui-Gon and Shmi were last and they walked with their sons and their wives, as Holonet cams flashed wildly.
"They are so intrusive. This is a family affair," Anakin griped.
"That's true, but I don't think they are as interested in the memorial service as they are other recent events. That's what I need to warn you about," Obi-Wan said.
"What do mean?" Anakin asked, as they saw Ethan and Steph approaching.
"Ethan, Steph, it's so good to see you," Padme greeted.
"It's good to see you as well, Padme, though you're probably not going to be so glad to see us when you find out why we're here," Steph replied.
"What's going on?" Anakin asked.
"Callista opened her big mouth the minute she touched down on Coruscant. I think she did it to embarrass the family, but she'll soon be regretting all the attention, because they're dragging her name through the mud too," Obi-Wan said.
"She didn't…" Anakin spat.
"Oh she did and she took plenty of shots at the two of you, so prepare yourselves," Obi-Wan said.
"That's why I called Ethan and Steph. I figured that you two could set the record straight before this things gets too out of hand," Elana said. Padme sighed.
"I suppose I should have seen this coming," Padme said, as the other reporters could no longer be kept at bay.
"Senator, just how much are you paying Ms. Ming to give birth to your bastard grandchild?" one reporter maliciously asked. He received an invisible shove that put him flat on his back. The male reporter glared at Anakin.
"I'll sue you for that assault, Master Skywalker," he spat angrily.
"I didn't touch you. Did you see me touch him?" Anakin asked his brother. Obi-Wan shrugged.
"I didn't see anything," Obi-Wan replied.
"Padawan Skywalker, are you concerned at all that your child will be half Jedi, half Dathomir witch?" another reporter spouted. Luke suppressed his anger and released it into the Force.
"Luke will only answer questions asked to us by Mr. James and Ms. Stark," Padme said, as they continued walking. The reporters ran after them, shouting more questions and growing increasingly intrusive. They made it inside the palace with Ethan and Steph and the doors locked the rest of the reporters out. Callista always delighted in causing them trouble, but they knew she was already realizing how her plan for revenge was backfiring.
Despite the media's sudden salivation over the revelation of that Callista Ming was pregnant with Luke Skywalker's baby, the Royal Guard managed to keep the Holonet from intruding on the ceremony in the palace gardens. Steph and Ethan were broadcasting it to the entire planet, as they made final tribute to Yan Dooku, Serenno's beloved Count. Qui-Gon smiled, as he saw his father's Force spirit in the distance, as the ceremony ended after what was a fitting tribute to his life. They all knew that he was still watching over his loved ones and they all took a great deal of comfort in that.
"First, I think we both just want to say how sorry we are that she chose to expose the pregnancy to the media like this," Ethan said, as he and Steph sat down with Anakin and Padme that night aboard the ship. They were all on their way back to Coruscant and most had gone to bed, for it was nearing midnight.
"Thanks, but it's not your fault and we're just glad we have friends who can help us set the record straight, even though the tabloids will fabricate everything with their lies and scandalize our lives even more than they already do," Padme replied.
"Callista has no idea that her intended revenge on us has probably put her and the baby in danger. We'll be having some harsh words with her when we get back," Anakin said.
"Luke is young and everyone makes mistakes," Ethan said.
"But not everyone is a Skywalker. They're going to scrutinize his every move now," Anakin lamented.
"Luke isn't the first person to have a child out of wedlock and he won't be the last. He also isn't the first single parent and he won't be the last either. My dad raised me by himself and I turned out all right…eventually," Steph mused. Padme smiled at her.
"You turned out very well and Luke's not going to do this alone," Padme said.
"He's lucky that he has you and Anakin supporting him. Some parents wouldn't be so supportive," Ethan replied.
"Anakin and I could never turn our backs on one of our babies, no matter what," Padme said. Ethan nodded with a smile. It was no secret that he had great admiration for the couple.
"We know and everyone else will know what wonderful parents you are. There will always be those that are trying to slander you, but anyone with a good heart and anyone that loves their own family will see you as you really are. Good people, who love each other and their children more than anything and would do anything for them," Steph said. Anakin and Padme smiled.
"Thank you," she said graciously.
Ferus escorted Callista to the Skywalker residence the next afternoon. He knew they had just arrived home, but he had just thwarted a kidnapping attempt that had surprised even Callista and made her regret that she had foolishly blabbed about her pregnancy to the media, not that she would admit it. She glanced over at Ferus, not surprised to see annoyance on his face. She owed him both thanks and an apology, but as usual, her pride was getting in the way.
"I had that situation under control," she insisted. Ferus scoffed in disgust.
"You're a real piece of work. If it wasn't for me, that scumbag would be asking Anakin and Padme for ransom for the safe return of their grandchild and his or her mother, and I'm using the word mother loosely," Ferus spat.
"You always were an ass. It's hard to believe that you and Anakin are actually friends considering how much you used to hate him," Callista goaded.
"I grew up, something you never did," Ferus retorted, making Callista chuckle.
"Touché," she replied, as Kimberly answered the door.
"Hello Master Olin," she greeted, as sweetly as ever. Callista crinkled her nose. She found the middle Skywalker daughter almost as hard to stomach as she did the girl's mother.
"Hello Kimberly, I know you only arrived home just moments ago, but I need to talk to your parents," Ferus said. Kimberly nodded and showed them in.
"Master, is everything okay?" Luke asked, eyeing Callista.
"It is now, no thanks to her," Ferus replied, as Anakin and Padme joined them.
"What's going on?" Anakin asked.
"Serra and I just thwarted a kidnapping attempt on Callista in the marketplace. She ditched her padawan guard and went off by herself and after her little media spectacle, she found out just how many slime balls there are out there that would do anything to get a hold of a Skywalker child," Ferus informed them. Callista rolled her eyes and glared, as Anakin smirked at her.
"Not even a day and you've already got a taste of what it's like to be a Skywalker. This is why we wanted to keep this quiet as long as possible, but you just had to take the opportunity to smear my wife to the media!" Anakin said angrily.
"You're right and I had fun doing it. Now everyone is seeing that the Skywalkers aren't so perfect," Callista replied.
"We never claimed to be perfect!" Anakin yelled back.
"You put yourself and that baby in danger by doing what you did," Luke said, trying to reason with her. She only shrugged.
"Guess you'll just have to tighten my security and pay me more now," Callista replied.
"You know, you act like we didn't give you a choice in this, but we did. You could have refused our offer and terminated the pregnancy like you originally planned. But you didn't. You chose the third option we provided and we are more than willing to compensate you for it. So stop acting like you're a victim of something," Padme spat.
"Padme's right, you are no victim. We couldn't have really stopped you from terminating the pregnancy if you wanted to. We only offered you an alternative and you're going to come out of this a very rich woman. You had a choice and you made it," Anakin stated. Callista rolled her eyes.
"Thanks for the lecture, dad," Callista replied.
"Will you just stop? I know you don't care about the baby inside you, but I do. Doesn't that mean anything to you?" Luke asked. She glared at him.
"I'm going to have this kid for you and I'm going to follow all the rules from now on. Just don't ask me to care," Callista spat.
"You really hate us that much?" Luke asked.
"No, she's just jealous," Kimberly blurted out and then suddenly realized she had said it aloud.
"What did you say?" Callista demanded, trying to intimidate the seemingly timid girl.
"You're jealous…I can sense it. You're jealous of the good people my parents are and angry because they showed how good they were when they didn't turn their backs on Luke for getting you pregnant. And you're angry at everyone…even yourself," Kimberly said.
"Wow…so the, what do they call you in the Temple?" Callista taunted, pretending to think for a moment.
"Oh yes, so even the weak one has a little bite," Callista spat.
"Guess it makes sense that you're in the healer's ward. I've heard that you barely have a high enough midichlorian count to be trained, but since your parents are who they are, you were never considered for Agri-Corps like you should have been. All because your name is Skywalker. Hardly seems fair," Callista goaded.
"Okay, I don't know who you think you are, but you're not going to talk to her like that," Shane said, jumping in.
"He's right. From now on, what you have with this family is simply a business relationship. You'll be paid to do a job and that job is taking care of yourself and the baby until you go into labor. Then you can disappear out of our lives forever. The swanky apartment you requested is ready and Captain Typho will take you there now. There's a bonus in it for you if you say nothing more to the press. Padme and I've done damage control already, thanks to a couple of our reporter friends, and fortunately, most of the reputable media organizations will take what we say at face value over anything you said. Unfortunately, the tabloids are a different story, but we're used to being trashed by them. Hope you have thick skin, because you're going to be their fodder for the next nine months, thanks to your own idiocy," Anakin spat. Callista pretended that his words didn't effect her.
"Whatever," she scoffed, as she turned to leave.
"Oh and I don't think I have to tell you to never talk about one of my daughters like that again," Anakin warned.
"That goes double from me. You're not even half the woman Kimberly is," Shane spat, glaring at Callista and truly surprising Kimberly with his protectiveness. Callista left in a speeder with Captain Typho for her new apartment. Padme sighed and hugged Luke and Kimberly both. It was going to be a long, rough nine months. That was a certainty.
Later that night, Kimberly was saying goodnight to Shane for the night, as he prepared to leave.
"Shane…I just wanted to say thank you for standing up for me earlier. You didn't have to. She's sort of right about me almost not being powerful enough to be trained," Kimberly said, as she lowered her head for a moment. But he lifted her chin with his hand.
"She's not right. She's just jealous of what an amazing young woman you are and I'm so lucky to have you in my life," Shane said. Kimberly blushed shyly.
"You have to believe that you're special…so special," he told her.
"My parents have always made me feel special, but compared to my brothers and sisters, I'm pretty ordinary. They're so talented and powerful," Kimberly said.
"So are you. You're the most talented healer I've ever seen and I'm not the only one that says that," Shane replied.
"Maybe, but you're so smart and talented yourself. You could have any girl in the galaxy," she said.
"I don't care about other girls. I only want you. I may have grown up in a privileged environment, but I didn't grow up with knowing the kind of love that I feel for you. I've never felt this way about anyone. I didn't even think it was possible to love another person so deeply, but I do. I love you so much and no one is going to talk to you like that as long as I'm around," Shane told her. Tears welled in Kimberly's eyes.
"Oh Shane…I love you too," she cried, as she threw her arms around his neck, which left her feet dangling off the floor since he was over a foot taller than her. He chuckled, as he lifted her tiny form into his arms and spun her around, before kissing her passionately.
"It's early still. What do you say we go to Calin's resort and take over the dance floor?" he asked.
"I'd say that I need ten minutes to change and I'll be ready," she replied, as she bounced inside with renewal in her spirit.
That night, Anakin climbed into bed with his wife, as she caught up on some of her messages on her datapad. He heard her sigh in irritation.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"You're not going to like it," she replied.
"Probably not, but you need to tell me anyway," he said.
"Well, Clovis was supposed to go on trial in a couple weeks for the attack against me," Padme said.
"Yeah and with any luck, even if they don't send him to prison, his career will be over," Anakin replied.
"Well, we're going to have to wait another six months to find out," Padme stated.
"Six months?" he asked in outrage.
"Rush's sleamo attorney somehow got the trial postponed. He's trying everything he can to get the case thrown out completely, which he couldn't get done, but he was able to get an outside investigator to conduct a full investigation to determine if the charges have merit," Padme said with a wince, knowing her husband was going to be livid at hearing this.
"Merit? He attacked you! He was going to rape you! I don't care if was possessed by a Sith when he did it!" Anakin said, as he got up and started getting dressed.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"To Clovis' apartment to give him a piece of my mind and maybe my fist too," Anakin spat angrily.
"No, you're not! That will give them all the more reason to throw the case out!" Padme reasoned. He stopped, painstakingly, knowing she was right. She put her datapad down.
"Please…just come back to bed, Ani and hold me. I need you here, not out there," Padme told him. He sighed and relaxed significantly, before tossing his shirt away again and climbing back into bed.
"All that matters is our love," she told him. He nodded.
"I know. I still want to throttle him though," he said, pouting a little. She smiled and kissed him tenderly.
"I know, me too, but I think that pent up energy is much better off being channeled between each other…if you get my drift," she tempted. He smirked.
"Oh yeah…I get it," he said huskily, as he kissed her neck. She hummed sweetly and kissed him passionately.
"No matter what we face, I know that our love is one thing that I can always count on and I'll never doubt it," Padme told him. He smiled and nodded in agreement with her. They had faced so much already and would likely face even more challenges in the future. But, as always, they would do it together.
The next morning, the Jedi Council met and welcomed their guests. Padme was also attending since she was involved in the mission to Dathomir. A guest chair was placed next to Anakin's chair on the end, while Rayna and Callista took their place in the center. Yoda sat at his normal place in the center, with Mace and now Qui-Gon, who now sat in his father's old seat, on either side. In a rare occasion, all members were attending in person, including the newest member, whose presence was not welcomed by most of their family.
After their decision on what recommendation to submit to the Chancellor, the recommendation would be brought before the Senate and they would ultimately decide in a vote. It was likely, however, that the majority would trust in the Council's recommendation and vote to whatever was being recommended. It was not really that often that Padme attended full Council meetings and she looked around, trying to familiarize herself with those she hadn't seen very much. She had been married to Anakin for twenty years, but there were a few Council members that were rarely present on Coruscant and a few that Anakin himself avoided, because of their less than favorable opinion of him. The majority of the Council went along with most everything Anakin did, but there were those who were outspoken, mostly outside the meetings, about how much they disapproved of Anakin's usual maverick ways and what they deemed reckless methods. They mostly did not speak up in the meetings against Anakin simply because Dooku never paid their narrow-minded ways much attention. He was a powerful presence on the Council and though these few disapproved of many of his methods as well, they did not speak against him face to face. Now that Dooku was gone, she had a feeling that these few might use the opportunity to make waves.
In the seat directly across from Anakin sat Ferus and next to him, sat the newest member, a woman who Padme had really only heard about. It was Master Kuro or better known as the Dark Woman. Kuro had been clamoring for a spot on the High Council for years and wore a satisfied smirk, as the Masters had no longer been able to come up with any reason to deny her. She carried a formidable presence and she was as scary as they said she was, making Padme almost shiver involuntarily. Next to him was the Zabrak male, Agen Kolar. She wasn't too familiar with Master Kolar, for he usually much preferred to be assigned away from the capital world. From what her husband had said though, he was amazing in combat and Anakin always jumped at the opportunity to spar him when he happened to be in the Temple. He favored an aggressive light saber style, much like Anakin, and preferred aggressive negotiations over diplomacy. Needless to say, he and Anakin got along well. Next to Kolar sat a woman that had never been quiet about her dislike for Dooku's entire bloodline. Master Adi Gallia was an exceptional Jedi, but her personal views often contrasted with the way most Jedi led their lives. From what Anakin had told her, if the ways of the Order were left up to her, she would forbid attachment, marriage, owning possessions, and many other things. She considered the Order much too relaxed when it came to tradition. Anakin and Adi clashed on absolutely everything and she considered him a mouthy whelp who had never learned his place, but Anakin was not shy about telling her exactly what he thought of her as well. Yan, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan also clashed with her and Anakin had told her that Obi-Wan particularly had a somewhat unspoken grudge against her, which had surprised Padme. Though it was never confirmed, Obi-Wan suspected that much of the reason Siri had left him all those years ago had a great deal to do with her former Master's pressure to live what she considered the true "selfless" life of the Jedi and that marrying him would have stifled her true destiny as a Jedi. And the look in the woman's eyes told Padme that she had little time for her and probably thought it was disgraceful that she was even allowed in the Council room. Next to her though were two that she was very familiar with and they were very good friends to Anakin and Padme. They were, of course, Kit Fisto and Aayla Secura. Mace was next to them, then Yoda and Qui-Gon. Next to him was another she wasn't too familiar with, for he was on his home planet most of the time when he was not on missions and that was Ki-Adi Mundi. She didn't know much about him, except he was a Cerean. They were a polygamist society that required their males to marry more than one female due to the low birthrate. From what she had gathered in various conversations was that, while he had no ill will toward her husband, he also often disapproved of Anakin's recklessness. Her husband was the Chosen One, which he acknowledged, but Anakin often made up everything as he went along. Indeed, this had often frustrated Obi-Wan, but the older brother tended to be too cautious at times. It was why the pair had always complimented each other so well and why they were so successful in their missions together. But while Obi-Wan's frustration with Anakin was very brotherly, Mundi's was not and he usually joined Adi in her disapproval. Next to Mundi was her brother-in-law and finally her husband on the end.
Her attention turned to Yoda, as he called them to order.
"Meeting today, we are to hear Master Skywalker and Senator Skywalker's recommendation. Vote on it we will then and have our decision, you shall, Your Highness," Yoda said to the Queen. She bowed respectfully.
"Thank you Master Yoda. I will respect whatever this Council decides and I want to thank you for everything," Rayna said graciously.
"Anakin, have you and Padme come to a decision about Dathomir's request to join the Republic?" Mace asked. Anakin glanced at her and then nodded.
"We have Master. As you know, our arrival on Dathomir was met with attack from the violent tribes that the Queen's people have been fighting against for so long. I must say, after all that, and learning that Asaaj Ventress was once a member of this tribe, we were skeptical. But the Queen's tribe fought alongside us, both on Dathomir and the Death Star. The people of her tribe aren't evil like those of the other tribes. And with most of them being killed on the Death Star, there is very little resistance remaining. That's why we believe that should Dathomir join the Republic and adhere to its guidelines, that they will prosper and we will gain an ally. We're voting to recommend they be allowed membership to the Republic," Anakin stated.
"Thank you Anakin, but you only get one vote here. The Senator will have hers in the Senate," Adi said. Anakin was going to retort, but Qui-Gon gave him a glance, pleading with him to let it go. He reluctantly did, as Mace spoke again.
"Then we must vote now. Then Senator Skywalker can deliver our decision to Chancellor Iblis. I am voting in favor of allowing them membership to the Republic as well," Mace stated.
"Vote in favor, I do, as well," Yoda said.
"I concur with Anakin as well," Qui-Gon said.
"I agree in favor too," Obi-Wan stated.
"I vote yes as well," Aayla said.
"Yes from me too," Kit said.
"I was there on the Death Star and they did fight with us and they lost people as well. They're not evil and I vote in favor also," Ferus stated.
"I am in agreement with the majority, though I have to admit that I had been against this before. But if the Skywalkers can put their personal feelings aside and still agree in favor, then I can as well," Agen stated.
"Well, I will not be shy and be the first one to say no. Admitting them will be a mistake," Adi stated firmly.
"I must agree with Master Gallia. Their past is just too dangerous," Mundi said.
"What say you, Master Kuro?" Yoda asked the final member. She smirked darkly.
"You already have your majority Master, but if you're really interested, then I agree with Master Gallia. It is truly an abhorrence how you allow this child, Chosen One or not, to run this Council," Kuro said, glaring at Anakin.
"Anakin does not run this Council, Master Kuro and that kind of attitude has no place in this room," Qui-Gon said, calling her out.
"Master Jinn is right. And you're right about the majority, Master Kuro. The Council has voted in favor of allowing Dathomir's petition to join the Republic to be granted. Padme nodded and rose.
"I'll deliver the decision to the Chancellor. Thank you Masters," Padme said. Anakin stood up and gave her a soft kiss, before she left, and then sat back down.
"Thank you Masters, from the bottom of my heart. I promise that my people will not let you down," Rayna said graciously.
"Most welcome, you are, Your Highness. Vote soon, the Senate will. Feel confident that the outcome, in your favor it will be," Yoda said. Rayna nodded.
"Thank you again. Callista and I shall take our leave," Rayna said.
"Very well, Your Highness. Since Callista will be staying on Coruscant for the next nine months, we have arranged for Kit and Aayla to escort you home after the Senate vote," Mace stated. Rayna thanked them again, as she and Callista left. The Council meeting was dismissed after that and Anakin watched Kuro leave.
"Why did we have to let her be on the Council again?" Anakin asked in annoyance. Obi-Wan sighed.
"She has attained Mastery and she has many years experience in the field. Denying her would have been letting our personal feelings overrule our judgment," Obi-Wan told him. Anakin shook his head.
"She loathes us all," Anakin retorted. Qui-Gon smirked.
"Perhaps, but she still is a strong, experienced Jedi," Qui-Gon stated.
"Whose face scares small children and padawans," Anakin quipped, without missing a beat. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan chuckled, as they followed him out. They couldn't disagree.
That concludes Wicked Planet! But our story continues soon in the next vignette. Here's a small preview of what's to come:
Six months have passed since the events in Wicked Planet. Callista copes with being pregnant, but enjoys the high life she's afforded by this. Luke is busy preparing not only to be a single father, but for his trials. Anakin and Padme fight against the possibility of Clovis facing no jail time for his assault on her. And seemingly out of no where, questions about Natalie's past are suddenly answered. All this and so much more in the next Forever Destined Vignette. Look for "Origins: A Forever Destined Vignette," Coming soon!