Disclaimer: I DON'T OWN STAR WARS!
"…Governor Tarkin had been supposedly ordered to land on the planet, Ghorman, after its inhabitants had rioted against the New Order and the new policies. Our research team is working to confirm or denounce this fact..."
Bail Organa frowned at the news report and sipped a small portion of his Alderaanian wine. The day had dragged on longer than he would've liked and the hostile tension in the Senate wasn't doing any good to defuse the heightened emotions. He had hoped that the daily spur of events would calm his turmoiled mind. The Senator from Alderaan scanned his schedule on his datapad and found a small opening in his busy schedule. In the next hour…he remembered where he was supposed to go in that elapsed time. Either we remain loyal senators of the Empire or the Republic's. Our loyalties will come into light in one hour.
"In other news, Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo, a long time political opponent of the pro-military senators, is reported missing after one of her security personnel reported her absence to the Coruscant Security Force."
By the time the announcer introduced the assigned reporter for the story, Bail didn't even bother to finish the broadcast. He placed his glass on his rare metallic desk and fished a comlink out of his pocket. Bail keyed in a code and then tapped his fingers impatiently on the table, waiting for the being on the other side of the call to answer. Ring. Ring. Then the call was picked up as someone answered, "Hello?"
Bail recognized the voice and cleared his throat, "This is Sabé, right? Senator Amidala's handmaiden?" The line was silent for a moment.
"That is correct, may I ask who this is?" The handmaiden- Sabé answered.
"Bail Organa, Padmé's colleague in the senate," he replied, his concern not wavering for even a second. The senator heard a shuffle in the other side of the conversation. "I just saw the news, is…is what they say really true? Padmé's missing?"
"I'm afraid so, senator. The last person she had conversed with was Captain Typho before she departed. She explained and I quote, 'Personal matters', to the Captain and no one had seen her since." There was concern in the handmaiden's voice; there was no question to that. "Would you happen to have any information to Padmé's whereabouts?"
Organa frowned and responded, "No. The last time I met up with her was when the Emperor announced the Republic's transformation to the Empire."
"The Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire! For a safer and secure society," the roars of approval in the senate were shocking to say the least. The senator from Alderaan shook the memory away. There's no time to dwindle in the past. He reprimanded himself. "Thank you, Sabé. Hopefully she's safe."
"One can only hope, senator. One can only hope," Sabé replied grimly. Bail didn't respond and ended the transmission as he returned his gaze to the holonet.
"If you have any information that could help the search for the missing senator, contact us."
Self-exile in order to hide from the Empire proved to be relaxing in Obi-Wan Kenobi's mind. In truth, he actually enjoyed it. It was like the old days in the Temple where he would wake up early to watch the sun rise and decorate the cityscape of Coruscant with the morning glow. Ever since the Clone Wars dominated the galaxy with destruction, Obi-Wan couldn't find time to enjoy that. He was always in some war-torn planet fighting with his men or conducting negotiations with planets that wanted to pick a side.
Now that the seemingly endless cycle of waking up to bombshells going off in the distance, shouting orders to the clone troops until his throat became hoarse, and remain in constant alert because anyone could be the enemy- had ended, he gained time that was never in abundance to begin with. Kenobi sat cross-legged in the dome that doubled as a defensive position if an enemy were to attack them, the flow of the Force strengthening his over-worked body. It was like a breeze that lightly crashed on his skin, cool and soothing.
He was a simple man, after being raised in the Jedi Temple in his infancy. His room was a mirror of his personality as the room only contained the necessities: a desk, a light fixture, a clock, a cot, and a small window that faced the morning sun. Obi-Wan thought of Anakin, who had…decorated the garage with various pieces of droid parts and several other objects that the Jedi master didn't identify or would even like to. The Negotiator chuckled to himself as he wondered how he and Anakin managed to not kill each other when they were in the master and apprentice phase.
Then something both alarming and peculiar happened at that moment. Obi-Wan jerked and became rigid. Where is Anakin? His mind was alert and processed anything that seemed useful to solve the situation. Where is Anakin was asked in the sense that Obi-Wan couldn't feel his brother's presence in the Force. It was like he simply vanished into thin air.
Obi-Wan raced down the stairs that connected the dome to the living room and found his brother on the couch, fixated on the news broadcast. "Anakin?" Kenobi called out. Anakin Skywalker turned his head and looked at Obi-Wan, slightly amused by his brother's alarmed expression.
"Yes, Obi-Wan?" The Chosen One replied with a raised eyebrow.
"I thought you disappeared. I couldn't sense you in the Force," Obi-Wan explained, his concern started to ebb away. Anakin merely smiled, which Obi-Wan caught. That boy, no matter how innocent he looks, is going to give me a heart attack one day. The Jedi master mused as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Is there something I need to know?"
Anakin elucidated with a cocky grin mixed with a hint of pride,"I've been experimenting a technique for a couple days now and judging by the way you looked like when I disappeared in the Force, I should say it worked." Obi-Wan didn't know whether to congratulate his brother or slap him upside the head for causing unwanted stress.
The mere notion of completely shielding the Force-signature of a being was unheard of, to Obi-Wan's knowledge and yet this arrogant, prideful, twenty-three year-old man managed to make it happen. Anakin did what many revered Jedi sages could not do. He made himself vanish.
Garm Bel Iblis admired the sleek white look Bail Organa's Tantive IV conference room had as he let his eyes roam and absorb the simplicity of the layout. "Is there anything I can do for you, sir?" Captain Reymus Antilles offered. The senator from Corellia shook his head. With a curt nod, the captain turned heel and briskly walked out of the room. Garm turned his wrist to see the time on his chrono and frowned. Where are they?
As if on cue, the door hissed open and a man in a smuggler outfit sauntered inside the pristine room. His narrowed eyes scanned the area, as if there was a hidden enemy who lurked in the shadows. "Glad you could make it," Iblis nonchalantly remarked.
"Garm, its been a long time," Horn Ambigene nodded towards his long-time friend.
Iblis chuckled as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "Liar. The last time I saw you was when I ran into you on Mimban."
"On friendly terms. Last I remembered was that you were under the logo of the Republic. And I under the Separatists," Horn snorted as he scratched the back of his head.
Garm laughed dryly and responded, "Ah, I remember now. I always thought that the trip to provide relief supplies for the troops on Mimban would prove to be a memorable one."
"Not exactly what I had in mind, though."
Iblis nodded in agreement, then promptly asked, "With that set aside, how's your daughter?"
Ambigene smiled and produced a holo that showed a young woman with an infant in her arms and Horn had his arm around the woman. A picture that defied popular belief when a Separatist general came into mind. He was a family man. "My wife wanted to name her after her grandmother and have her middle name after a gem. I told her that I knew the perfect one that matched her eyes. They were bright and so full of life, just like her mother."
Garm clapped his friend on the back. "What did your daughter inherit from you?"
"My red hair. I swear, she was born with wisps of red hair and my wife looked at me muttering that our little girl was going to be a feisty one," Horn went on about his daughter. "Though she's a month old, I just know that she'll be an important person one day. I can feel it."
Garm was about to open his mouth when the door opened once again. "Mon Mothma and I apologize for our absence. There were matters that required our attention shortly before we parted for this meeting. Take a seat," Bail swiftly said with Mon Mothma in tow, his arm made a motion to the conference chairs.
Respectfully, the two men each took a chair and made themselves as comfortable as possible. "To begin, I would like to thank you for dedicating the hour for this meeting," the senator from Alderaan continued.
Mon Mothma move away from Organa and took a chair beside Garm, who was across from Horn. The idea of contacting Horn still didn't sit well for the senator of Chandrila as she knew that the topic that would most likely dominate the discussion would be mobilizing for rebellion- which would lead to a civil war with them as the spear head of the movement. Nevertheless, she remained silent and opted to observe.
"If we are to declare rebellion, we all have to know the risks that come with it."
Horn raised an eyebrow and laced his fingers as they were propped up on the table. "I heard the word if. Are we not in this meeting to organize a rebellion?"
Bail spared the former Separatist general a look and replied, "We are considering all possibilities in combating this growing Empire."
"I need clarification on the term possibilities, senator," Horn countered, his face betraying no emotion.
"What I mean is that we have to fight in two fronts, the political aspect and of course the militaristic side," Bail used his movements to emphasize his words.
Ambigene held up a hand, "Look, I thought this meeting was for me to supply the troops and cells in your respected planets and launch a guerrilla strike. Not to choose certain words that could mean another thing and politically maneuver my way around this bureaucracy." Garm and Mon Mothma remained silent, with Garm in an amused expression and Mon Mothma's as frozen as an ice cube on Hoth.
Leave it to the loyalist senator and a no nonsense general to lead the somewhat raised tension-ridden meeting. Is this what we really looked like when the Republic was still at war with the Confederacy? Mon Mothma thought, suddenly intrigued by how the conversation played out. She began to understand why some planets seceded from the Republic. There was nothing getting done and in the end of a long day, the Republic was still rotting. No matter how hard we've tried to stop it.
Mon Mothma cleared her throat after watching Bail and the general argue over the soon-to-be rebel council and its roles. "Gentlemen, please. We have to focus on what's important. Our meeting time is running short and frankly, I want to get something done."
"I agree," Garm added, as he nodded towards Mon Mothma. "We are getting nowhere with this."
The conference room maintained an uncomfortable silence until Horn snorted and crossed his arms over his chest. "And what do you propose we should do, Garm?"
Iblis leaned into his chair and placed his arms on the rests. "You still have control of the freedom fighters, am I correct?"
Ambigene remained silent for a moment before he replied, "Yes. They are scattered all over my planet."
"And the Republic never destroyed the secret droid factory hidden in the jungles, right?" Garm raised an eyebrow and smirked.
"How did you—" Horn began, his eyes wide for a fraction of a second before he slipped back into his calm façade.
"I have spies everywhere, my friend," the senator of Corellia interjected. "And it helps being a neutral planet in wartime."
The former general hesitated and then nodded. "Great! We have the first wave of troops. Now we need someone who can spur the senate and recruit new allies," Garm continued.
"I volunteer," Bail suggested, his stance remained firm.
"It's too dangerous, Bail," Mon Mothma protested. "Judging by my observations, you are one of the most respected politicians in the senate and if word gets out that you are a part of this, your reputation will be tarnished. We cannot compromise that. I'll do it."
"It's too much to ask of you. Besides, there are more than enough senators that have suspicions about your participation in all of this."
"Which puts me in danger. Not you," Mon countered. "Promise me that you'll be the light in the senate, the one whose values are just." Bail was mute and looked away.
Just then, the door hissed open and Captain Antilles walked into the room. "Your Highness, there's something you need to see." The captain indicated to the screen, which was bolted to the wall next to the door. Antilles strode to the conference table and keyed in a code that activated the screen.
"…mass panic after governor Tarkin had ordered his ship to land on the protestors, who were standing on the platform he was supposed to land on. Reports show many of the protestors killed and many more were injured." Collective gasps were made.
Bail was the first to speak, "Thank you, captain." There was silence as everyone's gaze was fixated on the holonet. The camera panned to show the full extent of the chaos with beings leading the injured out of the carnage. "I think this changes everything. All in favor for a collaborative movement?"
Four hands were raised. "Let's not sugar-coat this, senator," Horn said, his arm still raised. "This is an alliance. The Rebel Alliance."
As promised, here is the next chapter!
Thank you guys for being awesome and reviewing!
I couldn't resist to mention a new, but well-known character in this chapter and tell me who it is. Hopefully I dropped enough hints to identify the character. =)
May The Force Be With You ~RC-1197