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Star Wars Galaxy Far Far Away

Fan Fiction: Destiny Can Wait , Chapter 11, Rated Teen

Title: Destiny Can Wait
Author: stephanie_fics
Time Frame: RotS
Characters: Anakin, Barriss, Dex, Padmé, Sola, Artoo, Threepio, and more .
Genre: AU, Drama, Action
Rating: Teen
Summary: Anakin and Barriss plan to get into the Temple. Padmé gets a surprising visit.

Author's Note: I beta read this myself, about 3 times and if there are anymore typos I'll scream, but please still point them out to me. Also there are some new EU characters. If you are confused about anything tell me in the comments and I'll answer ;)

Chapter list


Chapter 11 – The Erased


I don’t want to clash
I don’t want to rehash the past
I just want release
I just want some peace

-X-


Dex lead Anakin and Barriss down a short, poorly lit corridor. At least the light fixtures were not orange. Those were not easy on the eyes.

The Jedi felt a mix of different moods. For Dex seeing Anakin again was like having a long lost nephew return. Dex threw his upper arm over Anakin’s shoulder, “You gave me quite a scare with that droid back at the diner. And you pissed off a customer. I had to give him and his table free dessert.”

“Sorry Dex. Just keeping you on your toes. I’ll pay you back for the dessert,” Anakin joked.

Dex laughed and punched his arm. He noticed Anakin was still wearing his expensive, black leather jacket and realized he came straight from his date. “What happened to the pretty girl you was having dinner with?” He turned to Barriss, “Not that you aren’t pretty.”

Barriss raised an eyebrow. Anakin introduced them, “Dex, meet Barriss Offee. She’s also a Jedi. The woman I had dinner with is just a friend.”

“Good to meet you, Barriss.”

“Likewise,” she responded.

The three of them entered a small room with a table, a few chairs, and a makeshift kitchen. In the back was a futon pointed towards a HoloNet receiver, its sound a soft murmur. They weren’t the only ones to occupy the room and their attention was turned towards Dex and his guests.

Dex announced, “This is Anakin Skywalker and Barriss Offee.”

Anakin caught the expression of one of the humans. The way the man looked at him Anakin understood he was the only one who recognized him as The Hero with No Fear. But Anakin was about to learn that here they are all fugitives of the Empire.

“Anakin, Barriss, meet the Erased,” Dex continued. He pointed to the human on the futon Anakin had his eye on. “That’s Keets Freely.” He continued to point out a female human, a male Bothan, and a male Svivreni, introducing them respectively, “and Rhya Taloon, Oryon, and Curran Caladian.” They all nodded to each other in acknowledgement. The back door slammed shut as a boy no older than fourteen with short, blue hair stomped in. He flopped down on the futon, grabbed a data pad, inserted an earpiece and pressed the controls hard and fast. “That’s Trever Flume.”

Dex explained, “They’re all escaping Imperial prosecution, their identities have been wiped out. They no longer exist.” With a grunt he plopped down on the repulsor seat by the table. “Are you hungry?”

Both Jedi sat across from the Besalisk. Anakin placed a hand on his stomach, “I’m still full from dinner but I’ll have a cup of caff.”

“I’ll have a cup too, please,” Barriss said.

Dex passed them two mugs, a hot pot, and a plate of pastries. “What do I owe this surprising visit?”

“Besides a good meal?” Anakin answered with a smirk then turned serious and got to the point. “Any information you have on the condition of the Jedi Temple. Barriss and I need to get inside.”

Barriss took a cream filled roll from the plate, “We basically need to know if the archives are still intact, as well as what kind of security there is.”

Dex turned his repulsor seat around. “Trever! Go and get Ferus.”

The blue haired teen looked at both Jedi pretending to notice them for the first time, then rolled his eyes and left the room through the back door. The door slammed hard again.

Dex turned back around, “Ferus has been inside the Temple since the purge. He can tell you what’s he’s seen.”

“You don’t mean Ferus Olin?” Anakin asked skeptically.

Dex laughed. “You don’t look too happy. I thought you two were friends?”

Anakin snorted. “Not at all. Just our Masters were…close. What is he doing here?” He noticed the four outlaws at the back of the room turned their attention towards him. He sensed that their once calm demeanor now turned defensive.

“He and his partner, Roan, are part of the Erased. They, along with Trevor, joined after the Imps disbanded a rebellion they lead on Bellassa.”

Barriss asked, “Why did he go into the Temple?”

“To delete the looped transmission calling all Jedi to return to the Temple and into a trap. Just in case some of those clones missed their targets on the battlefields and convoys headed back here anyway.”

Barriss and Anakin looked at each other. Neither knew of the transmission and if Anakin had gone back to the Temple, like he wanted to, he could have found and deleted it himself. Barriss frowned, “Why didn’t we think of that?”

“Doesn’t matter now,” Dex said. “So, what are you looking for in the archives?”

Anakin answered, “Anything we can find on Darth Avel. He used to be a Padawan, named –“

“Darrous Emerson,” Keets interrupted. Keets got up from the futon and came forward. He was a tall, slim man with short, dark curly hair and a dark complexion. Both Jedi looked up at him surprised.

“Ferus told you that?”

Keets took a seat next to Anakin. “Yes. I used to be a reporter. When Avel turned up out of nowhere as Palpatine’s enforcer I got curious and so I did some digging. I got no leads at all. Not a surprise really, but I didn’t know he had a former name. Then I became one of the Erased and met Ferus. He recognized him from his days as a Padawan, though they didn’t know each other very well. Ferus remembered how every Padawan gossiped about Darrous’ decision to leave the Order after his Master’s death.”

“I remember the gossip,” Barriss reflected as she sipped her caff. “The real story was never released. That was kept between the Council Members. “

“I tried to look into records with his former name, again nothing. I couldn’t even find anything on his Master’s death.” Keets shook his head with defeat.

“They were deleted,” Anakin said.

“Yes, unfortunately.”

Anakin closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.

Barriss sighed, “The archives should have the records of his last mission and his resignation but it doesn’t seem hopeful now. Even if by some miracle we do find them, we still don’t know what happened to him afterwards or why he fell to the Dark Side.”

Anakin met her eyes. “Should we even bother breaking in?”

Barriss winced at the words ‘breaking in’. The Temple used to be her home. Now she felt like a criminal planning a robbery. They all watched her close her eyes to take a moment to open herself to the Force. “I still say we go in. Even if we don’t find what we are looking for we may find something useful.”

The door at the back of the room slammed again yet no one jumped at the sudden noise. Ferus entered with Trevor and another man, Roan.

The room fell silent except for the soft murmur of the HoloNet. Anakin and Ferus looked at one another not sure who would speak first. Ferus had not changed much in appearance, though he was taller and he had let his hair grow out into a short, shaggy style. Not sure how Anakin would read is reaction he guarded his surprise to see him, and Barriss, alive. Barriss he had known when they were younglings, just acquaintance in class. Ferus and Anakin had gone on missions together as Padawans. They were more like rivals than friends, even up until Ferus left the Order. Although Ferus wouldn’t be knighted he still made a promise to come to the aid of a Jedi when they needed his help, and that meant Anakin too.

Dex asked, “How’d it go?”

Ferus and Roan traded a look, hesitating to answer in front of Dex’s guests, believing it wasn’t their business. But if Dex trusted them enough to ask anyway, “We were either too late or mislead. The warehouse was empty,” Roan said.

“No trace of where they could have moved? Explosives don’t just disappear unless they are detonated.”

“Explosives!” Anakin and Barriss shouted. “What’s going on?” Anakin asked.

Dex turned towards them. “The Separatists. Well what’s left of them. The HoloNet tells you Avel annihilated ‘the rebels’ but that was just one cell. Propaganda to make the citizens feel safe.”

“And paint Avel as a hero,” Anakin said under his breath. Ferus eyed him with curiosity.

“When one cell is found and destroyed the next in line becomes active. But they plan carefully and bide their time. The Imps think they have it under control. Now that the Emperor and Avel are off planet the new cell is acting fast on their next attack. Whatever that is.” Dex sounded tired, like he has been tracking these terrorists long enough.

Anakin froze. “Palpatine is not on Coruscant?”

“He left yesterday on his private shuttle. No formal announcement was made,” Keets answered.

“Probably to check up on his bitch’s latest chore,” Trevor expressed not bothering to look up from his holo game. Almost everyone in the room laughed. Anakin and Barriss looked at each other. The absence of Palpatine’s presence made sense. It wasn’t a trap or a twisted mind game. Barriss gave him a small smile but Anakin wasn’t sure if he felt relief or a missed opportunity.

Dex composed his gruff laugh and continued, “Anyway, now the Seps-“

“Trevor said you want to look into the Temple’s Archives,” Ferus interrupted his friend. He still stood near the door he had entered.

“That’s right,” Anakin answered. “We need to know if we can still get information from the archives and how to get in and out undetected.”

Ferus shook his head. “Why now? What are you looking for?”

“Information on Avel when he was still a Padawan, before he dropped out.” Anakin couldn’t resist that remark even though it was childish. “Since you asked am I to assume we still can access the archives?”

Ferus finally relaxed in a seat, directly across the table from Anakin. “I wish I could help but you’re wasting your time. There’s a lot of Imperial activity around and inside the Temple now. Not worth the information you’re looking for because Avel has been there and his records have definitely been deleted.”

“We know finding his records are near impossible now,” Barriss said, “but never the less there could be something useful to us and I’d like know what kind of Imperial activity is taking place in our Temple. I didn’t come all this way to go back empty handed. We could use your help, please. You know at lot more about the shady dealings that go on here.”

Ferus sat back in his chair. He saw Trevor looked up from the screen to watch his brother figure for his answer, hoping to get in on some of the action.

He did make a promise once. “We better stake out the Temple first,” he said. “Can’t get in the same way I did.

-X-


This office was one she visited many times before yet Padmé didn’t know what could have brought her here now. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the red walls and the Imperial guards’ red forms blend in. Were it not for the black slit in their helmets she would not of made them out. Her vision focused on the window. Outside steal and glass buildings rose up into the skies like spikes.

“Magnificent view, isn’t it?” Padmé turned to face the voice speaking to her. Palpatine smiled warmly as he continued, “Though it is nothing like the view from the throne room in Theed Palace.”

“No, it is not,” she answered. This was wrong. For one thing Palpatine looked much younger. Though his presence felt inviting and friendly she was not comfortable. Padmé turned away and stared out the window. Coruscant. Anakin is there right now. “So why am I here?”

Padmé turned around to look for him. “Anakin?”

He was facing away from her, his head down, bowing to the floor on one knee. Was he hurt? “Anakin?”

“You are fulfilling your destiny.” Palpatine stood over her husband, looking older and distorted.

“Yes, my master,” Anakin answered.

“Anakin, no!” Padmé screamed. He turned to face her and she saw his cold smirk.

“Come here,” he command.

Padmé shook her head. “I don’t want to be anywhere near you.” Before she could even think to run or even blink he slammed her against the wall. He grabbed her shoulders and pressed into her body. Padmé gasped in pain and worried for the baby. She made her hands into fists and pushed against his chest, “Let me go. You’re hurting me.”

His face was mere inches from hers, his hot breath burning her cheek. He laughed gruffly, mockingly, “Do you think you can run from me? There isn’t any dark corner of the galaxy you can hide where I won’t find you and MY children.”

Padmé felt her heart beating fiercely against her chest as her body trembled. Her arms felt like they were on fire but that was from his hold on her like a vice. She met his blue eyes and saw this man was not her husband. “I’ll never let you near my children.”

A familiar, father like voice came from behind the monster holding her captive. “Kill her.” Padmé looked at Palpatine with betrayal. He gave her that same warm, loving smile that she would see when she was a queen.

Anakin shook her violently. The room was spinning, making Padmé feel sick.


“Padmé!”

Padmé sprang up into a sitting position with a gasp. Her vision focused and the room finally stopped spinning. She recognized her home, on Naboo. She placed one hand on the swell of her belly, the other on her wet, clammy forehead. The sound of heavy breathing was coming from her.

Sola placed a hand on her shoulder and smoothed her sister’s hair. “Padmé, it was just a nightmare.” Padmé took deep breaths as she concentrated on Sola’s embrace. Threepio came into the room with Artoo trailing behind.

“What time is it?” Padmé turned around to look at the chrono besides her bed. She overslept.

“It’s half past ten, Mistress Padmé. Artoo and I didn’t power up till we heard Ms. Sola arrive. Once we realized you had not woken up I let her into the house. Knowing she would be here today it would have been no trouble at all to ask for a wake-up call. Now we all will be getting a late start. Master Luke and Mistress Leia are still asleep and surely will not be tired enough for a nap later.” Threepio threw his arms up, “Their whole schedule is off now.” Artoo gave a loud hoot for Threepio to shut it. “What did I say?”

Padmé rested her arms on her knees and leaned her forehead against her palm.

“Threepio,” Sola said, “why don’t you start brunch?”

The golden droid took her suggestion and left the room with Artoo as they quarreled.

Sola moved her arm around Padmé’s shoulder. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“It was just a bad dream,” she whispered.

Sola rubbed her hand up and down her sister’s back. “Ok. Why don’t you shower and dress while I feed the twins?” She kissed her temple before leaving the room.

Padmé still sat on the bed with her head resting against her knees. The dream was too vivid. Thank the stars it was just a dream. “Just a dream. Just a strange manifestation of your subconscious, people have them all the time,” she whispered to herself.

-


Padmé walked into the kitchen. Sola was setting food on the table. The smell hit her fast and she realized how famished she really was. Padmé went over to her children sitting in their chairs to kiss each of them. She then poured herself a cup of shuura juice and took her seat across from her sister.

“Feel better?” Sola asked.

“Yes. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I overslept.”

Sola waved her hand, “Don’t worry. It’s normal for you to be more tired than usual and even I had strange dreams when I was pregnant.”

Padmé gave a small smile. She pointed to the datapad in Sola’s hand and asked, “What are you reading?”

“A travel brochure. Darred and I planned a family ski trip on Alderaan.” Sola passed her the datapad. “We’re going the week the girls have off from school for winter break.”

Padmé scrolled through the holos. “It’s lovely there. You’ll love Aldera.”

“We should all go someday. My girls can teach their cousins how to ski and snowboard.” Sola’s whole face lit up with the idea, like she was picturing it as she spoke. Padmé passed back the datapad uninterested. “What’s wrong?”

“I just don’t know how far ahead we can plan our lives.”

Sola rolled her eyes, “It’s not like you have to put a deposit down now.”

Padmé was clearly not amused. “The way the galaxy is turning we don’t know what will happen next.”

Sola looked at her sister with surprise and watched silently as Padmé avoided her gaze by cutting her food. “You’ve changed. You’re living your life in fear.”

Padmé froze. Sola was right of course. But she remembered Palpatine’s evil, triumphant stare the day he declared himself Emperor. The man who was once her mentor and friend was at that very moment stealing her children and baiting her husband. Slowly she looked up to meet Sola’s eyes. “You haven’t witnessed first hand what the Emperor is capable of.”

“I’m not underestimating him, Padmé, but you shouldn’t let him put your life on hold.”

“We can all go skiing here on Naboo,” Padmé said with an assured smile hoping that would satisfy her sister for now. “Just like when we were children.”

“Those were fun trips,” Sola said with a smile, not oblivious to the change of subject.

They continued the rest of their meal reminiscing about those days until Artoo whistled an alarmingly loud squeal startling everyone. Leia and Luke began to cry. Padmé and Sola turned to stare at him. “Artoo, do you mind?” Sola scolded. The little droid wobbled on his legs while emitting warning sounds.

“What’s wrong?” Padmé asked with unease.
“Artoo says that a watercraft is approaching the house,” Threepio said.

Sola went to the window to look as Padmé turned to calm the frightened twins. “Are you sure? I don’t see anything.”

Artoo whistled. “He says the craft is underwater.” Threepio translated. “Mistress Padmé, what should we do? Are we to assume they are unfriendly? If only Master Anakin were here -”

Padmé took Leia into her arms to sooth her and motioned for Sola to pick up Luke. While she kept away from the window she calmly said, “Threepio, don’t over excite your circuits. Artoo, are they transmitting an identification number or have an open channel?” A double beep affirmed a negative. “Can you tell what kind of craft it is?”

Threepio translated, “The size and utilities suggest it’s a RNS-1981.”

Padmé’s eyes widened, “That ship is part of the Royal Naval Service.”

Sola turned to her, “Do you think we are in danger?”

Padmé thought back to the usual protocol. If their location had been breached Captain Typho would contact her first, not send a singular submarine unannounced. “No, I don’t believe we are. Still, this is strange.”

Their questions were answered when the submarine emerged and docked at the end of the pier. The top hatch opened and Captain Typho climbed out, dressed as a civilian. Sola saw him first and told Padmé, who then put Leia down to meet him before he could ring the door chime.

Captain Typho jumped in surprise when Padmé opened the door. She invited him inside and pleasantries were exchanged.

“Gregar, it’s good to see you but your visit is unexpected,” Padmé looked toward the window, “and unusual. Is everything all right?”

“I don’t mean to come unannounced and alarm you and your family, my lady, but it was the queen’s idea.”

“The queen is with you?”

Captain Typho nodded, “There is an – urgent matter and she would like your assistance.”

Now Padmé was concerned. Whatever the matter was the queen had to do it in secrecy and her majesty was desperate enough to come all the way out here in an unmarked naval ship. Padmé turned, “Sola, I’ll try not be gone long.”

-


Padmé and the captain climbed down the hatch. Typho lead her to the bridge where Queen Apailana waited. Alone.

Padmé bowed as she entered. Apailana was not wearing her traditional robes or make-up. Like Typho she was dressed as a civilian wearing a grey jumpsuit and her hair was up in a ponytail. She looked like she was ready to get her hands dirty but still carried herself with authority.

It felt awkward to meet again. Last time they spoke directly was shortly after Padmé arrived on Naboo. She met with the queen to hand in her formal resignation and to apologize in person. She had gone through great lengths to hide her marriage to a Jedi. Thankfully the fact never became public knowledge. The scandal would have ruined Padmé’s reputation but deceiving her queen and her people would have hurt more.

Apailana was understandably upset with her. She looked up to Padmé as a mentor not only politically but also for her moral and ethical beliefs. And the Jedi were well respected on Naboo, yet Padmé ignored their long established rule against attachment. While Apailana was hurt and didn’t understand why Padmé made such choices she accepted her apology. They parted on cordial terms. There was no scandal and Padmé would live a private and quiet life.

Apailana motioned for Padmé to come closer and noticed she was with child. “You look well, Padmé.”

“Thank you, your highness. It is good to see you but I must admit, your visit has me worried.“

She motioned for them to sit. “I wouldn’t have come and disturbed you and your family if I wasn’t in dire need of your help. Also this matter concerns you, Master Skywalker and Master Kenobi.”

Padmé sat very still not sure what she was about to hear. “I’ll do whatever I can.”

“There are people in my cabinet I can no longer trust. Each day my authority is overruled. Imperial guards have replaced security in Theed and other major cities. Now, against my wishes Senator Baltar has requested for Imperial aid to relocate the hurricane survivors to their restored homes.” She tried to keep herself composed but she was clearly frustrated.

“Yes, I saw that session covered on the HoloNews. His request was just approved. But what can I do?”

“There is a ship on route to Naboo with a dozen young Padawans on board.”

Padmé’s jaw dropped. Many questions went through her mind so she composed herself.

Apailana continued before she could ask. “Captain Panaka found their ship stranded. We don’t know much else. We’re keeping our communications to a minimum. Captain Panaka’s ship will arrive this evening.” She passed Padmé a piece of parchment. “I thought it would be best if you and Master Kenobi meet them when they land and bring them to the orphanage in Voltera. They will be safe there. Only you, Captain Typho and I know of this. If the Empire, or Senator Baltar were to find out -” the queen shook her head to forget the thought.

Padmé took her hand. “I know. We’ll make sure they arrive safely and quietly.”

Apailana slowly nodded with a disappointed frown. “I regret that I cannot go with you but I must return to the palace.”

“I understand” she bowed before turning to leave.

"Padmé,” Apailana called, “Thank you.”

“You don’t need to thank me, your highness.

-X-


Wasting no time Ferus found a hotel suite with an amazing view of the Temple. During the days of the Republic their suite was a tourist’s prize because of the magnificent view. They were to watch the Temple’s activity for a 48-hour period while planning a way to get in and an escape plan. Got to have an escape plan and more than one, just in case. Figuring that out would be difficult. Security was tight since inquisitors were using the Temple as a base of operation.

Except for Anakin who could only come by in the evening, they all had been taking shifts to watch the Temple for a day now. At the moment Roan, Trevor, Rhya Taloon, and Oryon, were doing reconnaissance in the underworld beneath the Temple, trying to find a way in. While Curran and Keets got some rest before their shift Barriss and Ferus were by the window watching not much of anything happen around the Temple.

Anakin arrived with a few containers of take out. He placed it on the room service table with the empty dishes. “Thought you all might be hungry.”

Barriss turned, “Thanks.” She turned back to the window. An inquisitor arrived at the Temple’s hanger in a speeder and the Clones were running a security check.

Anakin sat down and unpacked the food from the container labeled Dexter’s Diner, the smell of greasy sliders and a juicy nerf burger filling the air. For a few minutes Barriss and Ferus filled Anakin in on what they observed during the day. Clones acted as the only security force. Inquisitors, their baggage and their vehicles were checked coming in and going out of the building. Barriss figured the best way to get in would be through the tunnels underneath the Temple, but they would have to wait till Roan and the others returned to know for sure. Another option was to disguise themselves as Stormtroopers and slip in during a guard change.

Keets awoke and joined Anakin at the table. He saw a Mon Calamari restaurant name on one of the containers. “You ordered take out from Baccalá?”

“No, it’s my leftovers from dinner. I don’t like fish but I had to have dinner there with my co-workers tonight. Anyone who likes fish can have it.”

Keets opened another container from Dexter’s instead. “That’s quite a posh restaurant. Lots of politicians and celebrities eat there.”

Anakin looked at him blankly, unsure of why that mattered.

Keets grabbed a fork, “How is it that you don’t get recognized? You were a famous Jedi during the war, which wasn’t so long ago.”

Anakin shook his head. “You’re the first person I have come across to remember who I was. As far as the galaxy is concerned I’m a dead traitor and they have a new hero to be their poster boy.”

Barriss sensed Ferus’ annoyance. She also saw him roll his eyes.

“I actually tried to get an exclusive interview with you but the Jedi and the Senate would not have it,” Keets said. “I thought the galaxy had a right to know what was really happening on the battlefield. My editor wanted a more glorified piece and to ask if there was any truth to the rumors.”

Anakin furrowed his brow, “What rumors?”

Keets looked up from his dinner, surprised the Jedi didn’t know. “For a short time there was talk on the gossip feeds that you and Senator Amidala of Naboo were having an affair.” He laughed at the absurdity then continued, “But those stories quickly died out and were never mentioned again.”

Ferus looked at Barriss when she let out a small snort. He turned around fully when he heard Anakin laugh. “What’s so funny?”

Anakin took a second to calm down and answered, “Padmé handled it a lot better than I would have.” He wasn’t entirely sure but could imagine her telling her lawyers to threaten to sue anyone who made those reports.

Keets froze, his fork half way to his mouth, “You’re not saying – it’s –it’s true? Were the two of you - having an affair?”

Anakin took his last bite, sat back and put his feet up on the chair across from him. No need to lie anymore and it feels good to say it out loud, “Not an affair, she’s my wife.”

Keets who thought he had heard it all was dumbstruck. “But Jedi do not marry.”

“You broke the Code,” Ferus stated. He threw down his macrobinoculars onto the sofa and stormed over to tower over Anakin.

Anakin looked straight at him, “Yes, I know.”

“You lied to the Council. Again. What else did you keep from them?”

Anakin stood and towered over Ferus, “That is none of your kriffing business. What’s it to you anyway?”

Ferus could smell a hint of alcohol on Anakin’s breath. He may not have eaten at dinner but he did drink. It was clear he wasn’t drunk but his mood was affected. “What bothers me is that you always thought you were above it all because you believe you are the Chosen One.”

“No.” Anakin folded his arms against his chest. “I just don’t agree with some of the rules, especially the one about attachments.”

Ferus shook his head with disappointment as he took a step back. He was still the same Anakin he remembered. “You were living a lie. And not only that you’re jealous of the attention Avel gets from the media. You haven’t earned the title of Jedi Knight.”

Anakin fumed at Ferus’ ability to see right through him. His hidden hands made fists. So what if there were things he never confessed to the Council? It wasn’t because he thought he was above them or because he is the Chosen One, but what could they have done to help? Tell him to miss not, mourn not, and want not. Perhaps even expel him. The Council didn’t always have the answers he needed. They weren’t always right. They didn’t know a Sith Lord was right in front of their faces manipulating them; to blind to see they were players in a one sided war. Many lost their lives and they all sacrificed their ideals to fight for something that was already lost.

Yet Ferus still believed in the wisdom of the Council and had the nerve to tell him he’s unworthy just because wasn’t perfect. Ferus always the perfect Padawan and the one time he did something wrong felt he had to resign from the Order altogether. Of course Ferus could never be anything less than the perfect Jedi Knight. Anakin smirked to himself. Now look at them, both outlaws, but at least Anakin could still call himself a Jedi. “You’re the one who is jealous. Don’t project your feelings onto me just because you have regrets about leaving the Order right when you were about to be knighted.”

“That’s what you think of me? You don’t know any –“

Barriss turned to interrupt Ferus, expressing her annoyance; “You think you two can resolve these past issues another time? We’re supposed to be watching the Temple and formulating a plan.”

Ferus walked away from Anakin. “She’s right.” He walked to the sofa to pick up his macrobinoculars but Anakin used the Force to grab them first.

Ferus sat across from a quietly shocked Keets instead. He stared at the back of Anakin’s head both annoyed and angry. He thought after all this time he and Anakin would be past their childhood rivalry. He wasn’t even hungry now so he got up and went to one of the empty bedrooms just as Curran came out of his room confused by all the yelling that woke him. Curran joined Keets at the table. As Keets quietly filled the Svivreni in on what just happened he made a mental note to ask Ferus, at the appropriate time, what that was all about.

Time passed by slowly. Barriss ate and went to sleep. Keets and Curran watched the Temple with Anakin. The reporter’s curiosity in Keets wanted to ask Anakin the questions accumulating in his mind, but he could sense now was not the time. So the uncomfortable silence was only broken when someone exchanged something they observed. The activity this late was dead and Anakin sighed from boredom. He wished he could be with the recon team instead. If only he didn’t have to go to that dinner. Roan soon called to say they were on their way back.

It felt so much later than it was. The seconds on the chrono ticked away. Anakin was already exhausted from a long day at the convention. His attention drifted to the traffic in the space lanes.

A sleek, shiny, yellow BSG-16 (the newest model) airspeeder caught his eye. It was equipped with an ion engine and a pressurized cockpit allowing them to fly at higher altitudes than most airspeeders. It was known for its speed, maneuverability and a single mounted repeating blaster. Anakin was wishing to test ride one when it occurred to him that a civilian couldn’t be flying that BSG-16.

Barriss came out of her room feeling rested and refreshed thanks to a meditation trance. She stretched her arms above her head. “They’re not back yet?”

“They’re on their way,” Keets answered.

Barriss walked up to Anakin and held out her hand for the macrobinoculars, “You should go back to your hotel and get some rest. I can take over.”

Anakin didn’t seem to hear. His eyes followed the BSG-16 to Jedi Temple’s hanger bay entrance.

“Anakin,” Barriss called playfully nudging his shoulder with her fist.

“I have an idea how we can get in.”
-X-

Author’s Note: Lyrics from “Eyes Wide Open” by The B-52’s.

Chapter 12 - The Tomb of Exar Kun

Comments

Finally got to this. :)

I love Dex in the beginning. I just adore his character, and so few people write him. You've got him spot on here.

I'm also very intrigued by the OCs you're introducing in this chapter. (At least, I'm reading them as OCs, though I suppose they might be in the EU?) I especially like Keets. :)

And wow, Padmé's dream is really intense! *shivers* I love the little throwaway line about Palpatine's voice sounding fatherly.

Sola looked at her sister with surprise and watched silently as Padmé avoided her gaze by cutting her food. “You’ve changed. You’re living your life in fear.”

I love this bit. Sola is very perceptive, and it's wonderful to see a moment with the two of them just being sisters.

The appearance by Typho and Apailana was also quite welcome (and yay for a mention of not!evil!Panaka!), and I like the intrigue you're developing with the Jedi padawans an the Naboo affairs of state.

And the confrontation between Anakin and Ferus towards the end is very well done. Neither of them is willing to listen, and you've achieved a nice balance of sympathy for both characters, without painting either of them as in the right. It's rare to see that in a fic. :)
yay. Thank you :)

I love Dex. He's got your back ;)

The Erased are EU characters, from the Last of the Jedi series (by Jude Watson) and they were called The Erased in those books. But it's been a while since I read the series and am taking some liberties with their characters. But Keets was reporter in the Eu too, who got in trouble for snooping around.

I think people forget that Padmé looked up to Palpatine too.

Sisterly love <3. Yea. They needed a scene together. Not enough Sola/Padmé sister fics.

and you've achieved a nice balance of sympathy for both characters, without painting either of them as in the right. It's rare to see that in a fic. :)
Oh thank goodness :D It took me so long to write that scene. That scene is what was holding me up. I kept going back over and over like, "something is just not right." and then one day it just clicked. So I am glad it works.
Oh, I see. Well, I like your take on Keets, then. ;) I hope he sticks around in the story.

I think people forget that Padmé looked up to Palpatine too.

YES. I love seeing any acknowledgment of that fact in fic. It's such an interesting aspect of her character and her relation to Palpatine, and it's so often ignored...

You're right: the world definitely needs more Sola and Padmé bonding fics. :D

I can tell that scene clicked for you. :) And it really does work. I'll be interested to see how (or if) Ferus and Anakin resolve their differences.