Thundering Force: Chapter 22: “The Coming Of The Storms: Part One: Clarity.”

“Thundering Force”

Chapter Twenty-Two: “The Coming Of The Storms: Part One: Clarity.”

By Paul Cousins.

Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.

(_)

On the day Padme returned to Coruscant, from Kashyyyk, she and Anakin had decided to secretly get married.

The reason for their desire to have their marriage be secret was the same reason their relationship was secret. The Jedi were forbidden from having romantic relationships. It would be a scandal for both Anakin and Padme. This would likely cause Anakin to be stripped of his rank as Jedi Knight with the Jedi order, along with costing Padme both her career as a Galactic Senator and as a soldier in the Republic military.

In addition, because of their positions and they were doing this during a time of war, doing this could cause them both be court-martial, stripped of their freedoms, and be since to prison for a number of years.

This secret wedding, and the following clandestine honeymoon would require much trickery, cunning, and lying on both their parts, towards everyone else in the galaxy. Including, their family and friends.

Not even Obiwan and Ahsoka would know the truth.

They would not even take R2 and C3-PO to their secret wedding. They wanted to make sure no one found out what they were going to do.

While there was much discussion between Padme and Anakin, about Padme maybe informing her family about their wedding plans, Padme and Anakin decided for Padme to not tell her family about their upcoming wedding.

Still, since the time Padme fought Dooku on Naboo, Padme's parents did already know that she was in a relationship with Anakin. But, Padme did not talk to her parents about her relationship with Anakin.

While Padme and Anakin planned to keep Padme's family from learning of their marriage plans, their plans did hinge on the help from Padme's family.

The first step was to convince their superiors to allow them leave from their duties. While Padme could take leave from her senatorial job any time she desired, Anakin was a member of the Jedi Order, and both Padme and Anakin were also part of the Republic military. Anakin membership of the Jedi Order, along with Padme and Anakin's membership in the Republic military required them to get official leave from their superiors.

Their plan included deciding for how long, the excuse given, where to go, and where to say they were going.

The excuse was easy enough. They needed a vacation. As for how long. Six weeks seemed to be a reasonable request. Two months would have been too long. And a month was not long enough. And this six weeks did not include travel time. Though, the travel time counted on going to where they say they were going, not where they really were going. But, the final destination was actually closer to Coruscant than where they said they were going.

The location they were going to say they were going to was Padme's homeworld of Naboo, to visit some of the nice locations on the planet, to relax and rest.

The planet Naboo was located in the south-southeastern part of the Mid-Rim.

Though, the real destination they choose was much different.

To further protect their cover story, Padme contacted her parents, Ruwee and Jobal Naberrie, by holo-comm, in Theed, on Naboo.

While Padme did not give them any real details, she told them she needed a vacation and that she needed their help with the cover story.

Though, Padme did mention she was going to spend some time with Anakin. Which both her parents approved of.

Also, Padme requested that her parents act as a go between, with them accepting messages for her, and her occasionally calling them to check if she has any messages.

Ruwee and Jobal trusted Padme, and they agreed to Padme's requests.

The next step was to request leave from both the Jedi Council and Chancellor Palpatine. While also finding a good excuse for Ahsoka not to come along.

Fortunately, Anakin was able to handle this part of their plan.

Anakin and Padme went to the Jedi Temple to see Obiwan, to start the process of getting leave.

While Obiwan was has been promoted to the Jedi High Council was he was no longer going on missions with Anakin and Padme, within the Jedi Order Obiwan was the higher ranking officer assigned to oversee them.

Obiwan was open to allowing them to have six weeks vacation on Naboo. He knew they could take care of themselves and they needed the rest. Though, Obiwan's misplaced his trust in them on doing anything foolish.

Ahsoka was present during this meeting between Padme, Anakin, and Obiwan.

Anakin stated that he wanted Ahsoka to stay at the Jedi Temple while they were gone, to continue her studies and teach her to be responsibility in being able to take care of herself.

Ahsoka asked what she would do while Anakin and Padme were gone.

Anakin stated that while Ahsoka was still about over year from legal adulthood from a Togruta. Anakin desired to show the Jedi Order how Ahsoka could handle herself on her own for six weeks.

Anakin stated he was sure that if Ahsoka need helped, that Obiwan would offer his aid.

Obiwan said he would be there if Ahsoka needed help. But, Obiwan doubted Ahsoka would.

Ahsoka was happy with the opportunity to be on her own, even if she was assigned to stay in the Jedi Temple.

In addition, R2 and C3-PO would be in the care of Obiwan while Padme and Anakin were gone. Even Obiwan admitted that the two droids could become annoying after a while. Especially, C3-PO.

The only minor issue with the Jedi High Council granting this leave was that after the destruction of the Resolute, some of the Jedi High Council desired for Anakin and Padme to stay on Coruscant. Save for the occasional mission. Though, Obiwan disagreed with those council members on this matter.

Obiwan used his position in the Jedi High Council to allow for leave for Padme and Anakin.

Also, Yoda supported Obiwan in allowing Anakin and Padme to be given leave for six weeks.

Yoda stated he felt that this was a case of two of their most powerful soldiers asking for time off, which honestly everyone agreed was long overdue.

Due to Anakin and Padme's service records, and how well they hid their relationship, no one suspected that they were going to do anything other than rest on their six week leave. As far as the Jedi High Council were concerned, Anakin and Padme were long time friends whom had fought together in many battles and nothing more.

Convincing Chancellor Palpatine to allow Padme to take six weeks off was a little more trickery. Though, Chancellor Palpatine finally agreed on one condition, that Padme had a real rest and avoid politics during her six weeks. That meant that Padme could not contact Bail and her little group, to be a part of their meetings. Nor, could she set in on sessions of the Galactic Senate in the Senate Rotunda, voice her opinion, and vote on bills being passed.

Padme agreed with this condition.

Before Padme left, she did contact Bail to state she would be gone on vacation for six weeks. A real vacation. And for him to please inform their small group that she would not be contacting them during that time. Bail said he would do as she requested and that he hoped she had a good vacation.

Bail and the rest of their group, along with the other Senators and people working within the Senate Building had long since fully recovered from Jar Jar's gas attack.

Obiwan, Ahsoka, Yoda, Mace, Bail and Chancellor Palpatine were informed that due to Padme and Anakin saying they would be visiting various sites on Naboo, that if any of them wished to contact Padme and Anakin, they they should contact Padme's parents on Naboo, whom would forward their messages.

Padme said she would regularly check in with her parents for any messages. None of those inform disagreed with this type of forwarding of messages.

Padme and Anakin took Padme's chrome color H-type Nubian yacht, which was located in a hangar bay in Westport spaceport.

Though, Padme and Anakin checked the ship for bugs and tracking devices before they left. They wanted to make sure they were not tracked.

Besides their luggage and a few items, Anakin brought his lightsaber and Padme brought Mjolnir, just in case they needed such weapons.

Obiwan, Ahsoka, R2, and C3-PO were present to see Padme and Anakin off at Westport, as they left on Padme's space yacht for the planet Naboo.

After Padme and Anakin left, they took an indirect route to their destination. Their route would first take them to Naboo. In fact, they landed at the Theed spaceport, before taking off again and heading for their intended destination.

This was so if someone did check the logs, it would showed that Padme and Anakin did land at Theed spaceport, with them then likely taking their ship to another part of the planet.

Padme's political connections in Naboo would make it difficult for anyone outside of the local plantary government of Naboo to get any more information on Padme's location, other than that Padme's ship landed at Theed spaceport and then took off. No more information on if they were on the planet, or they had left, would be given.

After departing Naboo, Padme and Anakin headed for their true destination, a beach resort planet in the southern part of colonies whom population accepted credits and did not ask questions.

The beach resort planet was in the Republic. After years of politics and war, both Padme and Anakin had several aliases they could use. Also, Padme had secret bank accounts, that could not be traced back to them, which Padme could use to fund their vacation.

The daily rotation of the planet was twenty-one hours. Yearly rotation was four hundred and eighteen twenty-one hour days. The planet orbited one sun. Two moons orbited the planet.

Making reservations on short noticed was simple enough. The short notice cost Padme more credits than the reservations otherwise would have. Though, Padme could afford the extra credits.

Padme and Anakin arranging for Padme's space yacht to land at the spaceport on the planet was easy.

The climate of the location where Padme and Anakin would be staying was warm the entire year. The current time for that area was outside the rainy season. With the weather being warm, slightly windy, with occasion showers.

But, with Mjolnir, Padme and Anakin did not have to worry about the weather spoiling their fun.

After parking Padme's space yacht at the local spaceport, they rented a passenger speeder vehicle at the spaceport. They put their luggage and other items into the speeder. Then, Anakin drove Padme and himself to the resort.

Fortunately, the resort was not hard to fine. The resort was located a few kilometers down the road from where the spaceport was. There were large signs by the road stated how far from the resort they were.

It was early afternoon by the time they made it to the check in desk of the resort.

Checking in to the resort hotel, with their luggage, did not take long. Both Padme and Anakin were each given a keycard for this suite.

Soon, they and their luggage were in their suite.

Padme placed Mjolnir upside down on its head, on a small pedestal, on the left outer corner of the bedroom of the suite.

For the most part, Anakin planned to keep his lightsaber near him, unless he went swimming.

Their suite was located several floors up in the hotel building they were in.

Their suite had a moderately sized outdoor balcony, with a meter high parapet around the outer edges of the balcony. There were a set of double-doors that opened and closed to the balcony. Their suite faced the ocean, with the building they were in being right by the beach. This made the vista of the view from the balcony quite beautiful.

The beach had clean yellow sand.

The ocean passed the beach was clean, clear, salt water, with no dangerous animals, nor diseases. And the water by the shore did not any danger undertows.

From where the resort was located, the sun set in the oceans facing the resort.

By the time Padme and Anakin had arrived on the beach resort planet, they had already made arrangements in advance for their wedding.

The beach resort offered a priest and a nice open veranda, to hold wedding. The veranda overlooked the beach and ocean.

Among her mean dresses, Padme had very nice white wedding dress and white slippers which she brought with her, that she wore for her wedding.

Anakin wore his finest Jedi uniform clothing, which was a white long sleeve button up shirt, brown pants, brown belt, brown boots, and a brown formal robe he left open. His lightsaber was holstered to the left side of his belt.

They were married at sunset, on a partly cloudy day, with the single sun in the solar system setting in the ocean in front of them. It was a quiet affair, with only them and the priest.

Afterward, Padme and Anakin retreated to their honeymoon suite, to begin their honeymoon.

During the six weeks, they did many fun things both in their suite and at the resort. The resort was a top rated resort, with plenty of forms of entertainment. Padme and Anakin danced in the nightclubs at the resort. They enjoyed the beach and swam in the ocean, or resort pools. Though, Anakin left his lightsaber when in the safe of their suite when they went swimming.

The weather during this time was mostly sunny, warm, with a pleasant breeze from the ocean.

Both of them even got a nice tan.

All in all, it was a wonderful time for them.

Padme contacted her parents by holo-comm once a week for any messages.

During this time, Padme had received no messages from Coruscant.

(_)

On the morning of the last full, before they had leave the following day, Padme and Anakin had gotten up and ordered in for breakfast by room service by using the living room of their suite's holo-monitor, which was connected to the resorts internal holo-comm system.

Anakin and Padme were dressed in casual clothing that morning. Anakin wore a blue short sleeve button up short which was left open, green shorts, and blue saddles.

Padme wore a white short sleeve short, blue shorts, and green flat sole slippers.

When the bellboy arrived with the cart with breakfast, their plates were placed on the small dining table in the dining room.

After the bellboy finished setting the table with the glasses full of drinks, plates full of food, utensils, and small folded white cloths, he left the suite with his cart to deliver food to other people in their suites, on various levels of the hotel building.

The room service would wait to be contacted by Padme and Anakin on when they were finished with their breakfast, to retrieve their glasses, utensils, cloths and dishes.

After these items were retrieved by the room service, the dishes, glasses and utensils would be cleans, while the cloths would be thrown away.

The dining room small, round, meter wide table that had two chairs set at it. The chairs sat across from each other. There a large window in the room overlooking the beach and ocean to one of empty sides of the table.

Anakin sat in the chair with the window to his left, while Padme sat in the chair with the window to her right.

They had been eating their meals, while casually talking about various subjects.

Padme commented, “You know, after we do finally figure out how to announce our relationship without getting into trouble, I believe for my public life I will continued to go by Padme Amidala. While in my private life, I will go by Padme Amidala Naberrie Skywalker.”

Anakin said, “That is fine with me. Though, the question is how we are going to do this?”

Padme stated, “However we figure this out, it will be after the war is over.”

Anakin agreed, “That is for sure. At the very least, no one will let us go on missions if they know we are married.”

Padme said, “That is true. And we make a good team.”

Anakin responded, “That we do.”

Padme questioned, “You know. One way or another. You are going to have to leave the Order. What do you plan to do?”

Anakin stated, “I am one of the best pilots and mechanical engineers in the galaxy. Even without your wealth, I believe I could get a job I would like that will provide us with plenty of credits.”

Padme replied, “I have no doubt when is comes to your skills.”

Anakin asked, “Thank you. Now, I know you do not like me to use the force to violate your privacy. That is why I wanted you to wake up before I ask you. How are you feeling this morning? I could not help but sense you have not been feeling very well for the last few days. I did not say thing because I was hoping it was going to go away. But, I am concerned.”

Padme calmly responded, “Thank you for your concern. But, I am fine. Except for my stomach being a little off.”

Anakin commented, “Well, anyway it has been a fun six weeks. To bad we will have to leave tomorrow.”

Padme said, “You are right. It has been a fun six weeks...” She then realized something, as she quietly said, “And eight weeks since...”

Padme immediately got up from her chair at the table.

Padme looked at Anakin, as she stated, “I will be back in a minute.”

Padme left the room and she headed for the bathroom of the suite. When she reached the bathroom, she walked over to where her personal small medicine bag was. When she reached the bag, she pulled out something she kept in her luggage, for this type of an emergency

Five minutes later, Padme returned to dining room, she walked over, around the table, to where Anakin was.

As Anakin looked at Padme, Anakin could tell something was different about Padme's demeanor. Though, not in a negative way.

Padme stopped by where Anakin was siting, to Anakins' left side, with her between him and the window.

Anakin looked up at Padme's face, as he asked, “What is it?”

Padme calmly said, “I missed my monthly period. And the test kit I had confirmed it. I'm pregnant.”

Anakin immediately got up from his seat. He turned to face Padme. He smiled, as he gently used his right hand to lightly grip Padme's left upper arm and his left hand to lightly grip Padme's right upper arm.

Anakin looked at Padme's face, as he continued to smile. He asked, “I am happy about this. Though, are you happy?”

Padme returned Anakin's smile, as she answered, “Yes. Thought, this child is likely going to wreck our careers, I am happy we are having a baby.”

Anakin commented, “We already knew our wedding would likely to do that.”

Then, Anakin realized something. He dropped his smile. He let go of Padme.

Padme dropped her smile in concern.

Anakin looked at Padme. He said, “Come with me.”

Anakin turned in the opposite direction where Padme stood. Anakin walked towards the doorway which left to the adjoining hallway. Padme followed Anakin.

Soon Anakin walked into their bedroom. He came to a stop, with Padme coming to a stop beside him, to his left side.

Anakin looked at Padme. He asked, “I am very happy you are pregnant with our child. But, what are we going to do about Mjolnir?” He turned to look at to look at the left outer corner of their bedroom, where Mjolnir was set on the top of its head, on a small pedestal.

Padme turned to look at Mjolnir.

Anakin went onto say, “We suspect when you use Mjolnir that the hammer purges poisons from your body. And the hammer gives you great regenerative abilities while in your stronger form.” He turned to Padme, as he continued, “But, we have no idea what effect the hammer will have on the unborn child inside you.”

Padme realized in concern, as she said, “That is a good point.” She turned to Anakin. Padme continued, “I wasn't going to fight while pregnant. But, it is too much of a risk to our child for me to use the hammer to change into my stronger form. Still, I am the only one that can move Mjolnir. And making it float beside me is to noticeable. I will have to carry it. Though, I will be careful.”

Anakin commented, “As long as you do not change into Thor, I believe you will be fine.”

Padme replied, “I agree.” Padme wondered, as she inquired, “Speaking of power. How are we going to hide my pregnancy? Would not a Jedi be able to sense I am pregnant with the force.”

Anakin admitted, “Actually, right now. I cannot sense our child inside you. It will be a few months before I can. Even Jedi Master would not be able to since your for at least a month or so. And even then they would have to be present and focus their force senses on you.”

Padme asked, “So, we have a little time to figure things out?”

Anakin commented, “Yes. But, not a lot.”

Padme said, “Still, we have time.”

Anakin mentioned, “Though, you will need to be mindful of your body language. Such as looking down at yourself, or placing your hands on your stomach. That will give you away.”

Padme admitted, “That is true. I will be mindful of such matters.”

Anakin replied, in a supportive tone of voice, “I know you will.”

Padme smiled, as she said, “Go finish your breakfast. I will be there in a few minutes. I need to think about all this.”

Anakin calmly responded, “Take all the time you need.” Anakin turned and he walked passed Padme, towards the hallway, and to the dining room, where he planned to finish his breakfast.

As Padme watched Anakin leave the room, she thought, 'Just great. I pregnant. I was not careful. And I completely ignored Loki's warning...” She steeled her resolved, as she continued her thoughts, 'Well, I will just have to be more careful than my counterpart. I will survive to raise my child.” She smiled, as she remembered the family part of her vision from the Celestials. She placed her hands on her lower stomach, as she mentally reflected, 'I will live to be a mother to any children I have.'

Padme looked out the windows of her bedroom, at the ocean. She thought, 'The next few months are going to be interesting. Though, the first matter is to figure out how to convince the Jedi Council and the Chancellor, that I want to stop fighting the war for reasons other than the truth.'

'Fortunately, we have a few days to come up with a plan. I am sure we will by the time we reach Coruscant.'

A few minutes later, Padme turned and she walked down the hallway, towards where the dining room was, so she could talk with Anakin and try to finish her breakfast.

When Padme rejoined Anakin, they talked as they both finished their breakfast. Fortunately, Padme was able to keep from vomiting her breakfast due to morning sickness.

The rest of the day was a quiet affair as they worked on their plan to help Padme avoid the conflict and hide her pregnancy for the short term. By the end of the day, they had a workable plan.

The next day, they packed up their luggage. Padme was careful as she handled Mjolnir. Though, there were no problems.

They checked out of the resort and they took the speeder they rented to the local spaceport. From there, they turned in the speeder and they boarded Padme's space yacht.

After they did a preflight check and made sure their was refueled, they gained clearance from the spaceport to take off. Once they had permission, they flew their ship into orbit. From orbit, they used the ship's navigational computer to plot a course to Coruscant.

When the course was plotted in, they had the ship jump to hyperspace.

(_)

A few days later, Padme and Anakin returned to Coruscant by using Padme space yacht.

It was a slightly warm, partly cloudy morning in the Senate District, Jedi District, and the Westport spaceport, as Padme landed her space yacht inside a hangar at Westport.

As the yacht landed in the hangar Padme had reserved for her ship, on the deck of the hangar, to greet Padme and Anakin, was Ahsoka and Obiwan.

Obiwan had left R2 and C3-PO back in his quarters at the Jedi Temple. And Obiwan was look forward to handing the two droids over to Anakin, to stay with Anakin, after Anakin returned to the Jedi Temple.

Soon the yacht landed on its handing guide, the engines were turned off, and the main ramp lowered.

After the ramp lowered, the outer doors above the ramp slid open, with Padme and Anakin walked onto the ramp.

Padme was wearing a pink short sleeve shirt, blue pants, and blue slippers. Anakin was wearing a dark red short sleeve shirt, a dark brown vest, dark brown pants, black belt, and black boots. Anakin had his lightsaber holstered on the left side of his belt.

Anakin held the handle of his suitcase in his right hand.

Padme held Mjolnir in her right hand at her right side, as she held the handle of her suitcase in her left hand.

Once they exited the she ship and stood on the ramp, Anakin turned to a nearby outer panel. Anakin pressed a few buttons on an outside panel by the doors.

Padme watched this.

A moment later, the outer doors slid closed and locked on the outside, with a passcode needing to be used to unlock the doors. Only Padme and Anakin knew the passcode.

Padme saw Anakin turned to look down the ramp.

Anakin started walking down the ramp, and Padme walked by Anakin, down the ramp, to Anakin's left side.

When the two newlyweds reached the floor, they turned and headed over to greet their friends.

A few seconds later, Padme and Anakin came to a stop in front of their friends.

Ahsoka asked, “So, how was your trip?”

Anakin responded, “It was fine. Did anything happen while we were gone?”

Obiwan answered, “No. Nothing important happened in your absence.”

Ahsoka admitted, “I had a fairly boring time.”

Padme turned to Obiwan. Padme requested, “After I head to my apartment and unpack. I need to talk to you. Is it okay if I call you later this morning by holo-comm.”

Obiwan casually responded, “Sure. What is it about?”

Padme coyly stated, “Not right now. I will talk to you about the matter, later.”

Obiwan said, “Okay. I will look forward to you call. I will be in the temple all day. Call the Temple and your call will be forwards to me, unless I am in a meeting with the Jedi High Council.”

Padme replied, “Thank you.”

Anakin turned to Padme. He asked, “Are you good to head back to your apartment by yourself.”

Padme turned to Anakin. She answered, “Yes.” She turned to Ahsoka and Obiwan, as she continued, “I will see you both later.”

Obiwan remained silent.

Ahsoka replied, “I look forward to it.”

Padme turned and she began walking towards the nearby hallway, towards where the speeders for senators and other government personal were parked. This was a covered parking level.

Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obiwan watched Padme leave.

Once Padme was out of earshot, Obiwan turned to Anakin. Obiwan asked, “So, do you know what Padme wants to talk to me about?

Anakin and Ahsoka turned to Obiwan. Anakin honestly said, “It is a personal matter. She will talk you about it when she is ready.”

Ahsoka inquired, “So, what did you do on Naboo?”

Anakin lied, “No much. Just a lot of resting.”

Obiwan complimented, “Well, you look well rested.”

Anakin said, “Thank you. Now, let us get back to the temple, so I can unpack.”

The three Jedi turned and they began walking towards the hallway, and to the parking area where Obiwan parked the passenger speeder vehicle he used to bring Ahsoka and himself to the spaceport, and he would use to take Ahsoka, Anakin, himself, and Anakin's luggage to the Jedi Temple.

Soon, Obiwan, Anakin, and Ahsoka reached the speeder vehicle, and they headed to the Jedi Temple.

Half an hour later, they reached the Jedi Temple without any problems.

Meanwhile, Padme took a passenger speeder vehicle reserved for government officials, and she flew to her apartment building. Once she landed on the speeder level, she took Mjolnir and her suitcase to the elevator, and she used the elevator to head up to her apartment.

After Padme was inside her apartment, she placed Mjolnir out of the way, in the living room. Padme set the hammer upside down, on its head on a pedestal in a inner corner of her living room. Then, she headed to her bedroom, with her suitcase, to unpacked her clothing and other items.

(_)

Later that morning, Padme changed her clothes to wear a dark blue sleeveless dress, with matching dark blue slippers.

Then, Padme used the holo-monitor in her living room to call Obiwan by holo-comm. She contacted the Jedi Temple. Fortunately, Padme found out from the officials whom answered the call that Obiwan was in not in a council meeting and they could forward her her to Obiwan.

After Padme was able to get in touch with Obiwan, she requested Obiwan arrange an audience by holo-comm to both the Jedi High Council and Chancellor Palpatine, at the same time.

Obiwan realized that the matter was important to Padme and he agreed to help.

Obiwan handled fitting Padme into the afternoon schedule in the Jedi High Council. As a member of the council, he had an amount of time allotted to speak at each meeting, and he could pick the exact time. It was tradition for other council members to allow a member to select a specific time as long as doing so did not become a habit.

Obiwan told Padme the specific time he would use. Also, Obiwan told Padme he would use his connections so that all Padme had to do was call the Jedi Temple and the officials would transfer her call to his council chair, in Jedi High Council chamber.

After ending the call with Obiwan, Padme called Chancellor Palpatine. Padme was able to convince Chancellor Palpatine to also be part of the conversation at the allotted time. Though, she did not tell the Chancellor either what she wished to talk about. Still, Palpatine was intrigued enough to go along with Padme's request.

Hours later, in the afternoon, Padme still wore her dark blue dress and dark blue slippers, as she stood facing the table in her living room. The two couches were on the two sides of the able, perpendicular to herself, with the balcony to her left side.

The windows of the room provided plenty of light to see with.

Padme had used the digital clock read out on the holo-monitor to make sure the time was right.

Padme had she used the holo-monitor on the table in front of her contact Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. After Palpatine answered, she called the Jedi Council, whom also answered her call. Due to Obiwan's actions, the officials whom answered her call forwarded the call to the Jedi High Council chamber and to Obiwan's council chair.

Obiwan took the call.

Padme had readied her mental defenses in case the Jedi could read her thoughts and emotions over the holo-comm.

The holograms of showed on the split screen of Padme's holo-monitor, with Palpatine to her right and the Jedi High Council to her left.

Palpatine was sitting behind his desk in his usual formal clothing. The Jedi High Council members were sitting in their chairs, with them wearing their usual formal clothing.

Neither the members of the Jedi High Council, nor Chancellor Palpatine showed any surprise that Padme had called them at the same time.

As Padme stood looking down at holograms projected over the holo-monitor on the table, she mentally reflected, 'Anakin made a good point. If I am not present, it is very difficult for Jedi to sense if I am lying or not. Still, I will leave nothing to chance. I need to be calm as I state my request. Now, let's see if the plan Anakin and I worked on is going to work. If I play this right, I might be able to quietly slip away from this planet in a few months.'

Mace asked, “Senator Amidala. Now that you have us all here. May I ask why you have arranged for this meeting between you, the Chancellor, and us?”

Palpatine commented, “I would like to know this, as well.”

Padme looked towards Palpatine's hologram, as she said, “Supreme Chancellor...” She turned to the larger, wider holograms of the Jedi Council. She continued, “Honored Jedi.” She looked between them. She went onto say, “It is with deep regret and remorse that I found that I am unable to return to the battlefield as Thor.”

Mace flatly replied, “What?!”

Palpatine quietly said, “No...”

Padme stated, in a sober tone of voice, “These last six weeks have allowed me to do much thinking and reflection. I have seen only death and corrupt for so long. Even before the war started I had know death from those wishing to take my life... Whom took lives close to me... And the Senate can be as corrupt as any Hutt run casino on Nar Shaddaa.”

Padme took a deep breath. She slowly let out her breath. She commented, “These last six weeks have been the first true chance for an extended time of peace and quiet since...” Padme's eyes went unfocused, as she continued, “I was a child...” Her eyes came to focus, as she went onto say, “This is why I can no longer be Thor.”

There was a silence for a few seconds.

Finally, the silence was broken, as Palpatine said, “My dear Senator Amidala. Sadly, this is not surprising to hear. War can wear down even the greatest of individuals.”

Obiwan pointed out, “Pa... Senator Amidala. You know one cannot just leave a war.”

Padme responded, “I have devoted more to the Republic than almost anyone else has. I have lived solely to aid the Republic in battle for six years. Likely ten percent of the major victories in this war were accomplished directly with the aid of Jedi Skywalker, Padawan Tano, myself, and you. Jedi Master Kenobi.”

Obiwan replied, “Point taken.”

Padme saw Obiwan's hologram look around the room Obiwan was in, as Obiwan suggested, “We could consider this a further continuation of her leave?”

Obiwan' s hologram turned to look at Padme. Obiwan commented, “If that is alright with Chancellor Palpatine and you? Senator Amidala?”

Palpatine commented, “I would support this measure.”

Mace inquired, “Would you be willing to return to the battle at a later date?”

Padme answered, “I am not sure. I have come to tire of senatorial work, as well.”

Yoda stated, “Burned out you are. Not the first to suffer such maladies. Would rather you have your rest and possibly return in the future, than to push you to the breaking point. I will support this extended leave, as well.”

Mace looked over at Yoda. Mace turned to Padme. Mace said, “So will I. Though, make sure to guard Mjolnir.”

Padme stated, “I promise I will.”

Palpatine commented, “Then, it is settled. Senator Amidala, you are currently only leave, pending your decision to come back. I look forward to seeing you in the Senate Rotunda... Unless you decide to leave there, as well.”

Padme said, “For now, I intend to return to the Senate.”

Palpatine ended the transmission on his end. The hologram of Palpatine disappeared, leaving on the hologram showing the Jedi High Council.

Yoda offered, “Senator Amidala. If you feel the need for counseling. Please contact us. Our Jedi Healers are some of the best counselors in the galaxy.”

Padme responded, “If I feel the need for such therapy, you will be the first person I contact. Good day.”

Padme leaned down and she pressed a button on the holo-monitor to end the call.

Padme leaned up straight. She let out a breath she did not realize she had been holding.

Padme thought, 'One problem down. So many more to go. Now, what to do next?...'

(_)

At the Temple District, in the Jedi Temple, inside the Jedi High Council Chamber, the council members sat in their seats, or the members had holo-projections of themselves in their assigned seats transmitted by holo-comm.

Among those physically present were Obiwan, Yoda, and Mace.

Padme had just ended her holo-communication with the Jedi Order.

Obiwan looked around the room, as he stated, “That did not go as well as I had hoped. I did not know she desired to quit fighting this war.”

Yoda turned to Obiwan. Yoda commented, “None of us did. Feel there is more to this than the dear Senator wishes to share.”

Mace turned to Yoda. Mace said, “I agree.” He looked around the room, as he continued, “I do not fully believe the reasons she gave us.”

Yoda turned to Mace. Yoda responded, “The truth will be revealed in time. We have not lost an ally today. She is still a friendly voice in the Senate. And she may one day decide to pick up the hammer again.”

Shaak Ti questioned, “If she wishes to no longer participate in this war, should she be allowed to continue to have Mjolnir in her possession?”

Saesee Tiin said, “That is a good point. Such power is too dangerous to be left unsupervised.”

Plo Koon stated, “I disagree. It would be best to allow Senator Amidala to continue to have the hammer in her possess, if for any other reason to be protect herself. Even if she is no longer on the battlefield, as a senator, she is a high profile target. It is no secret that she has been the target of numerous assassination attempts on her life. Her being allowed to keep the hammer will help maintain our alliance with her, both as Thor and as a senator within the Galactic Senate.”

Obiwan pointed out, “I agree with Master Koon. Nothing is lost by this current situation. It would be best to let the matter rest for a time and see what happens.”

Obiwan thought, 'For a group that preaches patience, some of us clearly do not understand when it is best to wait and let events sort themselves out. Besides...'

Obiwan turned Yoda. Obiwan went onto say, “Besides, the only other person whom is even able to pick up Mjolnir is Master Yoda. So, if something were to be done the decision would ultimately be his to make.”

Everyone turned to look at Yoda. Both those in person and those broadcasting by holo-comm.

Yoda noticed this.

Yoda looked around the room, as he commented, “Have no interest in coming between Senator Amidala and Mjolnir, I do not. Senator Amidala has earned our trust and we need to extend that trust to her. Mjolnir will be fine in the care of Senator Amidala. Change her mind someday, she may. Until then, we have a war to fight.”

Everyone else in the room knew better than to try to change Yoda's mind on this matter.

The Jedi High Council went back to discussing other matters.

(_)

In the Senate District, inside Padme's apartment, in her living room, Padme had just turned off her holo-monitor on the communication she was having with the Jedi High Council, with Chancellor Palpatine having ended his side of the transmission roughly a minute earlier.

Padme stood in place, after she turned off the holo-monitor. Padme mentally reflected, 'One problem down. So many more to go. Now, what to do next?... As much as I enjoy my stronger form. I will not risk the safety of my unborn child for the glory in battle.'

Then, Padme remembered, as she thought, 'I might as well call him. He should be in his office, right now.'

Padme leaned down and she dialed number on the holo-monitor.

When Padme finished dialing the number, she leaned up, as the holo-monitor started to ring.

After a few rings the call was answered.

The small holographic image of Senator Bail Organa, in a formal white cloth suit, sitting in a chair behind his desk, appeared over the holo-monitor.

Bail's hologram asked, “Hello Padme. I heard you had returned to Coruscant today. How was your vacation?”

Padme responded, “It was fine. How were things in the Senate during my absence?”

Bail answered, “Except for the Chancellor getting three more bills passed into law, which consolidates his power even more, nothing much as happened.”

Padme commented, “I am not surprised.”

Bail offered, “I will send you information on those bills to your Senate datanet account, later today. Or, tomorrow.”

Padme inquired, “Thank you. How has our group been?”

Bail asked, “Fine. But, we have not luck in gaining any recent support.”

Padme commented, “Yes. It has been an uphill battle since the beginning. But, it is worth it.” Padme thought, 'Especially, after my meeting with Mina, where I learned that my suspicions were confirmed, and there is a movement in the Separatists organization for peace, as well. I wish I could tell you about that mission, but I have been order to keep the details of that mission secret.'

Bail responded, “I agree. Is there anything else I need to know?”

Padme calmly answered, “Yes. Some things have come up. It looks like I will be spending more time in the Senate for the foreseeable future.”

Bail said, “That is fine. I am sure you will tell me that is going on, when you are ready.”

Padme thought, “So, you realize the hidden meaning of my words.' Padme stated, “I promise.”

Bail commented, “I guess I will be seeing you at our next meeting. In person. Tomorrow morning. In my office.”

Padme said, “Yes. I will see you and other Senators there.”

Bail stated, “Good. Have a nice day.”

Padme replied, “You too.”

Bail ended the connection.

Padme sighed, as she thought, 'No more exciting life for me.' She looked down at herself, as she continued her thoughts, 'At least for the next several months. In a month I will start to slowly detach myself from my political responsibilities and slip away. With luck, by then Anakin will be able do the same.'

'I will continue to have my meetings with my allies in the Senate. But, I will slowly have Bail take on my responsibilities, until I slip away. I am not sure what I am going to tell them. Especially Bail. But, I will figure something. I have a few months before I start to show and even then I can wear gowns for a few months after that until it becomes too noticeable to ignore. So, I have time.'

Padme mentally reflected, 'Also, I need to contact Anakin in a few hours, to arrange to go to a restaurant with Ahsoka and Obiwan. Anakin will convince them to attend. At dinner, we will tell them the cover story we had created. As part of our plan, we work out what we would say. And if we do not talk to them about our vacation, they will know we were hiding something. As such, it is best we get this out of the way, right now.'

Padme then went about her day. A few hours later, she contacted Anakin to arrange dinner for Anakin, Ahsoka, Obiwan, and herself.

An hour later, Padme took her speeder to meet her friends at a slightly upscale restaurant that had enough of a casual atmosphere that one did not have to be completely formal.

There were no problems at dinner. Both Ahsoka and Obiwan believed Padme and Anakin's cover story.

After dinner was over, Padme paid for the bill. The reason that Padme paid for dinner was that while Jedi were given credits by the Jedi order to eat on, but that was not much. Not even for a Jedi Master. And the restaurant was a little out of Padme's Jedi friend's budget.

Padme said her goodbyes to her friends, and she headed back to apartment. While her friends headed back to the Jedi Temple.

When Padme returned to her apartment, the events of the day had finally caught up with her. Also, she was finally feeling some jet lag, with her and Anakin being up for almost eighteen hours. As such, Padme retired to her bedroom earlier than usual. So, she could get some sleep and be well rested for the next day.

The following morning, Padme returned her full time career as a senator in the Senate Building. This included meeting with her six allies in the Senate. Those six allies were, Bail Organa, Lexi Dio, Bana Breemu, Nee Alavar, Garm Bel Iblis, and Mon Mothma.

(_)

Two weeks later, it was six hundred in the morning, at sunrise in the Senator District.

Inside a hallway in the Jedi temple, near the center of the large structure, on the floor, a bomb attached to a column on a wall went off

While no one was harmed, this bombing caused great concern for the Jedi Order. Especially, the Jedi High Council and Jedi Security.

(_)

Three hours later, in another part of the Jedi Temple, Ahsoka and Anakin was were walking down a large interior hallway, side by side, with Ahsoka being to Anakin's right side.

To their right were the windows to the outside which allowed sunlight to shine in and provide plenty of illumination for everyone to see.

The windows also showed it would be a sunny, though partly cloudy day.

Among other items, Ahsoka wore matching red velvet short sleeve shirt and pants. She had on a black belt and black boots.

Anakin wore a white long sleeve short, black pants, black belt, and brown boots.

They both had their lightsabers holstered on their belts.

Like always, Ahsoka also had her padawan jewelry on the top of her head. Since Togruta did not have hair grow on their heads, those Togruta's whom were padawans wore jewelry on their heads to symbolize a padawan braid. This was the same for any padawan whom was of a species that did not grow hair on their heads, or their hair grew to short to grow a braid.

They had just finished a sparring session, with Anakin presently escorting Ahsoka to the Jedi Archives for some academic studying.

Earlier that morning, while they were eating breakfast in the mess hall, they had heard about the bombing in the Jedi Temple. Though, since no one was hurt and there was no serious damage, the two of them did not pay the matter any serious thought.

As they walked, Anakin commented, “That was a good sparring session.”

Ahsoka replied, “Thank you, Master.”

Anakin commented, “At the rate you are going, you will likely be ready for the trials within a month.”

Ahsoka smiled, as she said, “I am happy to hear that. So, where are R2 and C3-PO? They usually come with you to watch us spar.”

Anakin answered, “They are running errands for me. They will be back this afternoon.”

Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”

Then, Anakin and Ahsoka saw that further down the hallway from them were Mace Windu, Cin Drallig walking side by side, with Cin being to Mace's left. Both were wearing their usual clothing. Each of them had their lightsaber holstered in their belt.

Also, there were three Jedi Temple guards flanking Mace and Cin. The guards were in full brown and white robes and clothing. With a brown hood over each of their heads, and a brown mask completely covering each of their faces.

Mace, Cin, and the three Jedi Temple Guards were walking towards Anakin and Ahsoka.

The Jedi Temple Guards were the security force for the Jedi Order and the Jedi Temple Guards were most of the internal enforcement arm of the Jedi order. The Jedi Temple Guards usually carried and used a double-bladed yellow lightsaber pike. The pike had a longer hilt than the usual double-bladed lightsaber hilt. The Temple Guards answered to the Jedi Battlemaster, Cin Drallig.

Ahsoka dropped her smile, as she asked, with concern, “What do they want?”

Anakin responded, “I do not know. But, let us wait for them here. And let me doing the talking.”

Ahsoka replied, “Sure.”

Anakin and Ahsoka came to a stop, as they waited for the group to approach them.

Meanwhile, the others people walking down the hallway recognized the Jedi Temple Guards. They realized this only meant there was trouble that the Guards would come out in a group like they were. As such, the other people in the hallway quickly made their way out of the hallway, and away from any possible trouble.

A few seconds later, the group came to a stop a meter in front of Anakin and Ahsoka.

Anakin and Ahsoka looked at the group. Anakin asked, “Master Windu. Master Cin. What is going on?”

Mace answered, “I am sad to say this. But...” He turned to Ahsoka, as he continued, “Padawan Tano is under arrest.”

Ahsoka showed surprise on her face, as she asked, “Why?”

Cin said, “For the Temple bombing earlier today.”

Ahsoka flatly questioned, “What?”

Anakin stated, “We heard about the bombing. And that no one was hurt. Nor was there any serious damage to the temple.”

Cin commented, “That is not the point. It was still a terrorist attack.”

Anakin asked, “But, why do you believe Ahsoka is involved?”

Mace answered, “We have evidence that points to her involvement.”

Cin asked, “Padawan Tano, can you offer an alibi for this morning around six hundred?”

Ahsoka admitted, “I was asleep in my quarters.”

Cin ordered, “In that case, Padawan Tano, I am placing your under arrest. Relinquish your lightsabers and come with us.”

Ahsoka turned to Anakin.

Anakin looked at Ahsoka. Anakin stated, “Do as they say. Stay calm. I will sort this out.”

Ahsoka and Anakin turned back to look at the group of Jedi.

Ahsoka slowly reached down for her lightsabers. She slowly gripped her weapons and drew them from her holsters.

Ahsoka saw the guards behind Cin and Mace reach for their lightsabers under their robes, with them in a defensive stance.

Then, Ahsoka held up her lightsabers palm up in front of Cin.

Cin took the two lightsabers. One lightsaber in each of his hands.

Ahsoka and Anakin noticed the guards behind Cin and Mace relaxed their stance.

Ahsoka slowly lowered her hands to her sides.

Cin shifted the two lightsabers to hold both lightsabers in his left hand.

Cin stated, “Thank you. Now, right this way.”

Cin and the guards then escorted Ahsoka down the hallway.

Anakin stated in place, as he watched. Though, Anakin noticed that Mace was still standing in front of him.

Mace turned to Anakin. He stated, “Thank you for not making a scene.”

Anakin turned to Mace. Anakin's voice was like ice, as he said, “Doing so would not help Ahsoka.”

Mace did not react to Anakin's took of voice. Mace calmly replied, “Correct.”

Anakin stated, “This is not over. I will prove Ahsoka's innocence.”

Mace said, “If you can do so, we will let her go. Though, I doubt that will be the case.”

Mace turned and walked down the hallway, in the direction of Cin, Ahsoka, and the guards.

Anakin watched them walk away. After Cin, Ahsoka and the guards turned a corner, with Mace following behind them, Anakin thought, 'I may not know the law very well. But, I know someone who does. And she is a force to be reckoned with. Both in battle and in diplomacy.'

Anakin turned and he briskly walked to find the closest holo-monitor to call his wife, Senator Padme Amidala.

(_)

Ten minutes later, in the Senate Rotunda of the Senate building, Padme sat in a chair, in her repulsorpod. Her pod sat against the wall, next to the other pods, in a honeycomb fashion around the room.

The Chancellor repulorpod hovered in the center or the large, spherical room.

Chancellor Palpatine was currently handling business in the Chancellor's officer several floors up in the Senate Building.

Mas Amedda, the Vice Chancellor, also know as the Lord Speaker, was acting in the Chancellor's place, in the center of the Chancellor's repulsorpod. Mas Amedda was a blue skinned Chagrian man. He wore a green robe with gold shoulder pads over dark gray clothing.

In Mas' right hand was the roughly two meter long Speaker's staff. The Speaker's staff was a symbol of his authority in reigning in the Senatorial debates. The Speaker's staff was made of wood. The top of the staff was capped with a small wooden figure who's face was hidden under a hood looking slighting down, and who's hands were draped under sleeves in the position of making a prayer.

Mas had the the bottom of the staff set against the floor of the Chancellor's repulsorpod.

Among the hundreds of senators, a senator had their repulsorpod floating in the air, to the side, away from the Chancellor's repulsorpod pod in the center of the room.

Most of the senators sat in the chairs, or they were standing near the center of their repulsorpods, while they had assistants manning the controls at the front of their specific repulsorpod.

The Lord Speaker had allotted time for Senator in question to speak about the bills. In this case the Senator was speaking in support of the bill.

Meanwhile, like all the pods set against the room, Padme's pod was set against an exit behind the pod, which let to a hallway.

Padme was presently dressed in a dress with a white on a light green dress. Also, she wore light green slippers. She had her small blaster pistol hidden a holster attached to her inner right thigh.

Padme was sitting in a chair near the front center of her repulsorpod pod, near the controls of the ship. She sat along in her repulsorpod.

Padme sat in her chair, with her legs closely crossed in a manner that allowed her right foot to be touching the floor of her repulsorpod. She had her arms hugging around her chest.

While Padme watched the other senators debate a meaningless bill on a flower, on a world she had never heard of, Padme used her right foot to lightly tapped the floor of her repulsorpod in an impatient manner.

Padme did her best to hide her impatience, but she found the entire situation very boring.

Padme thought, 'I had honestly forgotten how boring sitting here and listening to these debates could be. I only tolerated doing this before the war because at the time I was naive enough to believe such bills as the one currently being discussed and other similar bills were important. Now, I see how most of the bills are meaningless in the large scheme of events.'

'It has been a long time since I have done this. This is the first time in years since I sat in on a session of the Senate in person, in the Senate Rotunda.'

'Now that I realized how meaningless much of this is, the last few hours have been boring to the point of being mind numbing.'

Padme sighed, as she mentally reflected, 'All I can do is wonder how I was able to handle doing this. Day after day. Without going crazy from the boredom.'

'I admit it. As Thor, I have grown accustomed to an exciting lifestyle of adventure. And now that I am pregnant, I cannot be Thor at the moment.'

'And I am left wondering which may drive me crazy first. The boredom of this job. Or, the morning sickness that comes and goes without warning. Of which I am doing a fairly good job of hiding from everyone, except for Anakin.'

'Anakin and I have already planned for me to slowly leave this job over the next few months. I am taking serious consideration in moving up that timetable.'

'I confirmed that I am pregnant. A week ago, I had a blood test done under an alias to confirm I am pregnant. Then, I had the blood sample destroyed to keep my blood from being traced back to me by a DNA test.'

'Though, I do not dare have any more detailed medical check ups. A medical scan is like a fingerprint. I have so many political rivals and enemies on Coruscant to have such a check up done on this planet. Due to the changes in the law from the Emergency Powers Act, such medical records can easily accessed by the Chancellor's subordinates, the Republic military, and the Jedi Order.'

'Though, I do plan to go off world within a few months to have a full medical check up with doctors can I trust. In the meantime, I secretly bought a few health books on pregnancy and how to raise a child, for humans. And I have been following what I read in these books.'

'I greatly cut down on my regular exercise regiment. No strenuous exercising. No bench presses. No leg presses. No abdominal exercises.'

'Only light hand weights for arm exercises. And only moderate, brisk walking. All this to try to keep most of my muscle tone. Once my child is born I will reclaim the rest of my physique.'

'That is not counting the dietary changes I had to made. No caffeine was one of the hard requirements I had to do. Giving up caffeine has made it harder for me to fully wake up in the morning, on the daily schedule I have allot myself.'

'I would love to be back on the frontlines as Thor. Instead of having to listen to other senators, most of whom I do not care for, droning on and on about this or that. But, I remind myself that I only have to wait another eight months or so for when I give birth to my child.'

'Then, I can retrain my body and use Mjolnir once again. Though, I am not sure I want to go to battle so soon. I want to raise my child. Dying in battle would be the worst thing I can do for my child. And I do not believe Anakin can handle being a single parent.'

'Still, I have to make arrangements during this time. And I am not sure what to do.'

'This war looks like it is not going to end anytime soon. So, Anakin and I will have to carefully decide where to live. Though, it will be away from Coruscant and the Core Worlds. Will not able to live safely on Naboo. And Anakin has no intention of returning to Tatooine.'

'Though, should it become publicly known I am pregnant, it will not take a genius to figure out who the father is. It was known the only man I have spent time with on a regular basis for the last six years was Anakin Skywalker. Then, both Anakin's career and my own career will be wrecked from the scandal.'

'Still, I have a few months to figure out a plan. So, I have time. Just not a lot of time.'

'Fortunately, I am likely not going to start to show for another few months. Though, when I wear clothing that requires a belt, I have found that I already had to let my belt out one notch more than I usually do. But, that is the least of my immediate worries.'

'Since I want to keep my pregnancy secret. This is was why Anakin and I are planning how to legally distance themselves from the Republic government, Republic military, the Jedi Order, and this war, as soon as possible.'

'For me, this will be done by slowly giving Bail the responsibilities for the little group of senators we have. This is not difficult, given Bail and I had been sharing the task for years.'

'Years ago, when Bail and our group revealed to me they had known I was Thor, and they kept my secret, this allowed my to be more open with Bail and for Bail to be more of my eyes and ears in the Senate while I was off world doing military missions as Thor.'

'While I trust the others of our group, Bail was the first to help me after my return from Geonosis, and I trust him the most among those in the Galactic Senate.'

'Bail and our little group do not know about my pregnant. I am conflicted about not telling them. But, this information is too dangerous for myself and Anakin. I know when I finally leave, I am going to have to tell Bail the truth that I am pregnant. After I tell him, he is intelligent enough to figure out the father of my unborn child is Anakin.'

'I am sure I can convince Bail to keep quiet on the matter. It cannot be helped there will come a time I will have to tell Bail. I still do not sure how I am going to tell him when the time comes to do so.'

'At least my meetings with Bail and our group have been productive. We used our connections and influence to keep a few of the more dangerous bills that were recently presented to the Senate from being passed into law. These bills would have given Chancellor Palpatine more power to directly control the finances and the economy of the Republic, while the Chancellor would also have authority to take a more direct control in seizing private bank accounts and property of civilians and companies in the name of the war effort. This seized wealth would have been done outside of the courts, with the victims have no legal recourse to reclaim what was taken from them by the government.'

'Also, these bills would have allowed the Chancellor to give tax money to his more powerful supporters.

'All this would have allowed the Chancellor to pay off his supporters, while punishing those whom do no support him without use of the court system.'

'But, these are delaying tactics. The Chancellor will eventually convince the Senate into giving him these powers. I believe there is no way for any of us to prevent the Chancellor from becoming a dictator.'

'I do not know how Sidious factors into this. But, from what I understand concerning the information Loki told me, Sidious has his hooks in Palpatine and he will use Palpatine to control the Republic and turn the Republic into a Empire.'

'While I have no told Bail and the other members of our group about the information Loki had informed me of, I have already talked to Bail and our group about the possibility that we may have to run if the Chancellor decides to dissolve the Senate and become an absolute dictator. If Senate is abolished by the Chancellor, we would be on his list of political targets.'

'Bail and the others stated they had plans. But, during our meeting, they did not inform me of what those plans are.'

'Knowing them, I can guess. Lexi, Bana, and Nee will probably take their families and friends run, to disappear somewhere in Republic leaning planets on the Outer Rim.'

'Garm will likely move his family where they are safe. Then, he might start a rebellion against the Chancellor. During our meetings he has hinted he has thought about doing so.'

'I am not sure what Mon would do. She used to be more for the traditions of peace that the Republic has stood for. But, lately she agrees with Garm more often than not.'

'After that meeting, in private, Bail told me in that he and his wife have a plan for such a situation. Bail's wife, Breha Organa, is Queen of Alderaan.'

'Should the Republic become an Empire, Bail will quietly contact Loki. After arangements had been made, and assurances have been guaranteed by both parties, the planetary government of Aldernaan will announce they will join the Separatists.'

'Such a declaration would likely be after the Separatist fleet parks in orbit around Alderaan.'

'This would be very risky. It is possible Loki may help them. While Alderaan is located in the Core Worlds, the Alderaan system located at the northeastern Core, near the Colonies, where a Separatists have a few holdings they are fighting over with the Republic, that such an attempt by the Separatist to stake a claim would be possible. But, the Chancellor will likely not let go of Alderaan and allow the Separatists to gain a foothold in the Core Worlds without a fight.'

'Then, there is the inhabited planet of Delaya, which is the Alderaan system. The people of that planet would be caught in a middle of such a battle. The Republic military would likely use Delaya as a base, while the Separatists would use Alderaan as a base. Both sides would use the respective planet under their control as a beachhead to attack the other planet.'

'This fighting would turn the Alderaan system into a battlefield so large that it would rival the third Republic campaign to take the Arkanis system which began two years ago, several months after the second campaign by the Republic to take the Arkanis system.'

'I remember when the second campaign was happening because at the time on of the Senate Hostage crisis, a few months after I went to Dathomir, where I saved the baby boy I later named, Ra... I need to check on him sometime...'

'While soon after the Republic's defeat in the second campaign of Arkanis, I heard rumors about plans for a third campaign for the Arkanis system before I went to Dathomir. I did not learn that third campaign for the Arkanis system happened, until after the campaign was over.'

'My military contacts to me that the Republic military felt embarrassed by their second campaign. They expected an easy win from the second attempt at invading the Arkanis system. They did not expect the Arkanis system to be so heavily defended. Though, given Arkanis' important to the Separatists, they should have expected that system to be heavily defended.'

'I would not be surprised if the second campaign was planned by one of the Chancellor's sycophants among the higher ranking officers of the Republic military, whom was promoted to such a high rank solely due to their loyalty to the Chancellor.'

'After the Republic was defeated in the second campaign, the Republic military immediately began plans for a third campaign to take the Arkanis system.'

'Their plans for the third campaign of Arkanis was to sent five times the number of ships and personnel that were used by the second campaign of Arkanis.'

'But, the Separatist also had time to further fortified the Arkanis system from invasion.'

'I do not know the exact figures, but I believe both sided used thousands of cruisers, tens of thousands of support ships, hundreds of thousands of starfighters and other military vehicles, with the number of soldiers the Republic using numbering in the millions, and the Separatist used a comparable number of battle droids on their side.'

'While I was fighting Jar Jar on Coruscant, the Republic was waging one of their largest system invasions of the entire war.'

'The third campaign lasted for three months. The fighting was so heavy that I heard rumors that at one point nuclear weapons were exchanged. This would explain why the Republic did not send Anakin and myself to fight in the conflict.'

'The Separatists were not going to willing give up control of their main southern entrance to the Triellus Trade Route. The hyper-route which connects the Separatist holdings in the southeastern parts of the galaxy with the northeastern parts of the galaxy.'

'The Triellus Trade Route runs along the eastern edge of the galaxy. Between the Republic and the hyper-route is Hutt Space.'

'The Separatists were able to take the hyper-route from the Hutts soon after the beginning of the war. They kept this quiet until it was too late to stop them. I am surprised this did not cause the Hutts to join the Republic. But, I guess they wanted to see which side would win and profit off of the victors, while raiding the losers.'

'This is typical Hutt shortsightedness.'

'Because the Hutts declared themselves neutral in the conflict we cannot go through their space with our fleets without driving them to join the Separatists.

'The northern part of the Triellus Trade Route is so deep in Separatist held space, and so well protected, that it is not worth the attempt to invade and take control of.'

'This leaves the Arkanis system as the major choke point where the war could turn in the favor of the Republic. If Arkanis was taken by the Republic, the southeastern holdings of the Separatists would be cut off from the rest of the Separatists.'

'This would be a major blow to the Separatists, considering their southeastern holdings came close to being a third of all the territories they hold.'

'The Republic could then slowly reclaim that area of space. After which, the Republic would be able to focus most of their resources towards fighting the Separatists in the northeastern part of the galaxy. This would put the Separatists on the defensive.'

'Unfortunately, the Republic lost the third campaign of Arkanis. My contacts in the Republic military told me that the extent of the fighting left the Republic and Separatists each losing about ten percent of their fleet and personnel from the conflict of that one campaign.'

'I did not hear about these casualty rates from anywhere else. This means both the Republic and Separatist leaderships have kept a media blackout on how bad the fighting actually was in the Arkanis system.'

'Also, my contacts informed me there were no plans to mount a forth military campaign to take the Arkanis system.'

'It is clear the Republic military leadership realizes the Separatists would rather lose several fleets than give up the Arkanis system. And after the losses the Republic sustained from all three campaigns to take Arkanis, the Republic military command realizes it is not wise win a battle at the price of such heavy losses that it will cost them the war.'

'Still, it took so much death to come to the Republic military leadership to come to this realization.'

'Surprisingly, I was also inform that the Separatists were able to protect much of the populations of the planet of Arkanis from the heaviest of the fighting. The surface of the planet is mostly intact. But, the system is now littered with space debris from the fighting that the Separatist will likely spend the next few years cleaning up to prevent hazards for their traffic in space.'

'So, the Republic did create a choke point at Arkansis. But, not in the way they had planned. And the chock point is not complete. The Separatist can map out the large debris fields and have ships steer around them. Their ships will come out of hyperspace and enter hyperspace away from where the debris fields are.'

'Loki would know all this. It is more than likely Loki would be willing to help Bail move him and his family from Alderaan to Separatist held space. But, Loki would likely not risk her entire nation for one planet. She is too skilled to do so. She prefers to play the long game, which only makes her more dangerous, because this means she is patient.'

'But, Loki would keep her promises and make sure Bail and his family were well taken care off. Likely as a small favor towards myself. To keep me in her good graces. That is the way she thinks.'

'As for myself and my escape plans. I am in the middle of figuring out such plans. The Chancellor knows the power I command as Thor. If he decided to come after me, he would likely use everything he has on the planet against me. Due my allies in the Jedi Order, he would likely attack the Jedi Order at the same time, in a similar manner as Loki warned me of what happened in the other timeline.'

'The events concerning the counterparts of Anakin and myself of the other timeline are going to to happen here.'

'This time, I will make sure Anakin does not turn to the dark side in a misguided attempt to protect myself and the child growing inside me. I will do so by making sure we are not here when this entire mess comes to a head.'

'Anakin and I need to get off this planet as soon as possible. We need to get out of the line of fire. But, that would be more problematic for Anakin than myself'

'Besides Anakin having to figure out a peacefully way to leave the Jedi Order during a time of war. Without the scandal of him being married to me, with us having a baby on the way, becoming known. Nor, faking his death.'

'Though, Anakin has made it clear to me he has one last duty to perform before he works on leaving the Jedi Order. That one duty is to make sure that Ahsoka completes her trials to become a Jedi Knight.'

'From what Anakin had recently told me, Ahsoka was almost ready for the trials. By then, I am sure Ahsoka will have no difficulties in completing her trials.'

'I agree with Anakin on this. We need to make sure Ahsoka will be fine before we disappear. Once Ahsoka has become a Jedi Knight, Anakin can work on leaving the Jedi Order and not before then.'

'With luck, Ahsoka will become a Jedi Knight sooner rather than later. Because we are slowly running out of time.'

Suddenly there was a soft ring in front of Padme, at the controls of her repulsorpod.

The number for her repulsorpod was only known by a few people.

While it was frowned upon to take a holo-call in the Senate Rotunda during a debate session, everyone did so. As long as the Senator taking the call was quiet, no one said anything about doing so.

The controls were right in front of Padme.

Padme uncrossed her arms and legs. Then, she worked the controls of her repulsorpod.

Padme set the volume down low, so only she could hear it. And she set the call to audio only.

Then, Padme pressed a button on the controls to answer the call. Padme softly said, “Hello.”

Padme recognized Anakin's voice, as Anakin stated, “Padme. We have a problem. I need to come to the Jedi Temple as soon as possible.”

From the tone of Anakin's voice, Padme could tell that Anakin was serious.

Padme inquired, “What is the matter?”

Anakin answered, “There was a bombing this morning. No one was hurt. No serious damage. But, Jedi Security has just arrest Ahsoka for the bombing.”

Padme thought, in surprised, 'What?!'

Though, Padme maintained a mask of composure, as she calmly said, “I will be right there.”

Anakin responded, “I will be waiting by the Fountain of Tranquility.”

Padme replied, “I remember where that is. I will see you there.” She thought, 'I spend several weeks in training in and around the Jedi Temple. I know where a lot of the common areas of the Jedi Temple. And the Jedi have a lot of fountains and gardens inside their temple, and on top of their temple.'

'It is worth the risk. Ahsoka is a good friend. I am more than willing to risk being discovered to be pregnant than to see a good friend wrongly punished. But, I will keep my mental defenses up.'

Padme pressed a button to end the communication. She stood up, and she turned to briskly walk around her chair, to her right, towards the exit in the back of her repulsorpod, and into the hallway surrounding the Senate Rotunda at that floor level.

Once Padme was inside the hallway, she immediately turned and she began to quickly walk towards the elevator to take her to the level of parking area where she kept her speeder vehicle.

Ten minutes later, Padme reached the parking area. She swiftly found her speeder. Padme used the key she had for the speeder to unlock the driver's side door. She opened the door, got in, and closed the door. Next, she started the speeder's ignition with a key she had.

As soon as the speeder began to hover, Padme piloted the vehicle out of the parking area into the nearby skylane that would take her to the Jedi Temple.

(_)

Twenty minutes later, Padme parked her speeder in the outside in the visitor's section of the western plaza of the Jedi Temple. Padme exited the speeder, and she briskly walked up the two sets steps, and passed the large columns, which would take her to the large western entrance of the Jedi Temple.

When Padme reached the large open doors, one of the Jedi guards standing near the entrance walked over to Padme.

Padme noticed this. Padme saw the guard was a woman. Padme stopped to allow the guard to reach her.

As the guard stopped a meter from the Padme, both women looked at each other.

Padme stated, “I was request by Jedi Skywalker to meet him at the Fountain of Tranquility.”

The guard responded, “Senator Amidala, I have no intention of stopping you. You are a respected ally of the Jedi Order. You would only be here for a good reason. I only wish to inform you there was an explosion. It is suspected to be an act of terrorism. So, we are on high alert.”

Padme thought, 'It is nice you are telling me. That shows trust. Also, you Jedi likely closed off the Temple for most people outside of the Order.' She replied, “Thank you.”

Padme turned and she continued on her way into the Temple, and towards the Fountain of Tranquility.

(_)

Ten minutes later, Padme made it to the Fountain of Tranquility.

The Fountain of Tranquility was one of the many small fountains in the Jedi Temple. The fountain was located in a small meditation room. The door to the small room had been left open.

As Padme entered the room, she saw that Anakin was standing by the fountain looking at her. There was no one else in the room.

Padme did not stop, as she walked over to Anakin.

Anakin head Padme's footsteps on the tiled floor. He turned to look at Padme.

As Padme came to a stop a meter from Anakin, she asked, “So, what are the details?”

Anakin stated, “There is not much to say, besides what I told you. Mace and Jedi Security confronted Ahsoka and I in the hallway, and they arrested her. They said the have evidence that links her to the bombing. After they left, I called you.”

Padme asked, “Did Ahsoka, or you cause any trouble during the arrest?”

Anakin stated, “No. And I told Ahsoka to remain calm and comply with their orders.”

Padme said, “Good. That will mean less trouble for us. If we are going to help Ahsoka, we need to find out the details of the bombing. Along with what is now going to happen to Ahsoka.” She thought, 'I am woefully ignorant of the Jedi justice system dealing with criminal matters. But, at least I know the Republic laws governing the Jedi Order. I feel today I may have to remind a few council members of those laws.'

'Due to my political influence, my service in the war, and the power of Mjolnir, they would not dare throw me out of this temple for asking a few questions. But, I will be careful in how I handle this matter.'

Anakin responded, “I am not sure myself. Most of the time if a member of the order messing up, they were immediately expelled. They were not arrested. I do not know what the criminal process for an internal matter such as this. Though, I believe the quickest way to find out is to ask Mace. He seems to be overseeing this investigation.”

Padme stated, “Talking to Mace might be a brick wall. He can be very stubborn. But, it is likely the entire High Council is privy to what is going on.”

Anakin questioned, “So, you believe we should bring Obiwan into this and talk to him?”

Padme pointed out, “Yes. Since Obiwan is part of the High Council, he is already involved. If I remember correctly on their daily schedule, the Jedi High Council will let out in ten minutes.”

Anakin said, “I believe so.”

Padme commented, “Due Mace being present when Ahsoka was arrested, I am not sure Mace is at the current council meeting. But, I am sure Obiwan is.”

Anakin stated, “It is possible Mace could been overseeing the matter with the Chief of Security, Battlemaster Drallig. If that is the case, when he is finished, he will return to the council to report on Ahsoka's arrest and anything else he may have learned after Ahsoka's arrest and confinement.”

Padme said, “This is very possible. You Jedi are very meticulous about details.”

Anakin suggested, “I will take that as a compliment. If we wait outside of the anti-chamber of the High Council Chamber. As the Council lets out for the morning, we could meet them both at the same time. Or, at the very least, Obiwan will be there.”

Padme commented, “That would not be a good idea. I do not want the other Council members knowing we are involved. At least not yet.”

Anakin inquired, “Then, how do you want to do this? Do you want us to meet Obiwan together? Elsewhere? And then find and talk to Mace?”

Padme stated, “No. That would take too much time. We do know their timetable. So, we have to assume the worst. Which is why we have little time to find out what this evidence in. And then, find the facts which will clear Ahsoka. We need to split up.”

“Obiwan and you are very close. You go talk to him. Quietly and in private. See what you can find out concerning what will happen to Ahsoka and the bombing. Given you are a Jedi, he might let you go and look at the bombing site.”

“I will talk to Mace. I am use to getting information from stubborn people. I will ask him what will happen to Ahsoka. I will see if I can be allowed to talk to Ahsoka and help in any legal capacity. I will request to see the evidence that he claims to have.”

Anakin complimented, “That sounds like a good plan.”

Padme questioned, “Thank you. If I remember correctly, during my time training here, that Mace checks the communications area after the morning council meeting?”

Anakin replied, “I believe so.”

Padme stated, “I will head there. I cannot enter the communications area. But, I can stand outside. Eventually, he come to enter the room. Or, exit the room. Either way, I will have a chance to talk to him.”

Anakin said, “Okay. Obiwan likes to head to his quarters after the morning council meeting.”

Padme commented, “He likely goes there to relax and unwind from the stress. If those meetings are anything like the Senate meetings, they can be very stressful from the boredom.”

Anakin stated, “I will take your word on that.”

Padme said, “Okay. We will meet at your quarters, when we are done. Let us head out.”

Padme and Anakin headed out of the room and split up. Both of them went in different directions, as they searched for those whom they wished to question.

(_)

Twenty minutes later, Padme waited in a hallway, right outside the entrance to the communication area of the Jedi Temple.

Due to the situation, Padme had her mental defensive up. With Ahsoka's fate on the line, Padme did not want to take any chances.

Padme saw that to her right, Mace turned a corner and head down the hallway towards him.

Padme turned to look at Mace.

A few seconds later, Padme saw Mace notice her.

Padme saw Mace change his walking direction slightly to approach her.

There was no one else in the hallway.

Padme watched as Mace's relaxed face took a sterner look.

Mace soon came to a stop a less than two meters from Padme.

Both adults look at each other.

Mace said, “Senate Amidala.

Padme replied, “Master Windu.”

Mace questioned, “Jedi Skywalker called you about Padawan Tano's arrest?”

Padme responded, “Of course. I will vouch for Padawan Tano's character. I have fought along side Padawan Tano for years. She would never betray the Galactic Republic. Let alone the Jedi Order.”

Mace said, “People can change. You of all people should know that.”

Padme conceded, “While that is true. People only change for a reason. I see no reason. I see no motive.”

Mace admitted, “While we cannot ascertain the motive, the evidence we have is quite damning.”

Padme requested, “May I see the evidence?”

Mace answered, “No. The evidence will be presented at her trial?”

Padme asked, “Presently. What is to happen to Padawan Tano?”

Mace stated, “Later today she will have a hearing. At thirteen hundred. In the Chamber of Judgment.”

Padme questioned, “Should not the hearing have the possibility of exonerating Padawan Tano?”

Mace said, “No. Not for the Jedi.”

Padme stated, “Padawan Tano has offered loyal service to the Jedi. I expected this to be handled better, with Padawan Tano being given the benefit of the doubt.”

Mace commented, “We have rules.”

Padme pointed out, “There are laws and protections for the citizens of the Republic. This is includes members of the Jedi Order. Is Ahsoka going to have legal council at her hearing?”

Mace answered, “Internal maters are not handled without lawyers being present.”

Padme warned, “Under the law, the Jedi Order can only hold someone for twenty-four hours. And all you legally do is expel Padawan Tano from the Order. You and the Council cannot sentence her to jail, nor any other punishment. That is part of the mandate of the Russan Reformation.”

Padme mentally reflected, 'I may not know the internal rules of the Jedi Order. But, I know the Republic laws governing the Jedi Order.'

'The only time a Jedi can kill is during a mission, or in self-defense. Though, they can arrest people. But, they have to turn the they arrest over to the proper authorities within twenty-four hours.'

Mace countered, “The Council can recommend prosecution of an individual. And in such recommendations, the accused are rarely found innocent in their trials.”

Padme asked, “Will I be able to stand outside of the hearing room?”

Mace replied, “Sure. As long as you do not walk inside and interfere with the hearing itself. Though, Jedi Skywalker may attend the hearing, as long as he remains silent.”

Padme thought, 'Fine.'

Padme requested, “I understand. Now, I wish to see Padawan Tano before her hearing. So, I may speak with her. If I speak with her, it will make hearing go more calmly. Padawan Tano and myself have saved the lives of one another more times than I wish to remember. She will listen to me. I can at least advise her of the proper conduct in being brought before a hearing.”

Mace thought, 'If I say no, doing so could cause Jedi problems later on. And from all of the reports by Obiwan, which I have read, concerning Padme and Ahsoka. Padme has been a positive influence on Ahsoka. Letting them talk might make things go more smoothing for everyone involved.”

Mace stated, “I will arrange for a guard to escort you to the holding cells. And I will give you instructions on where the Chamber of Judgment is located in the temple.”

Padme replied, “Thank you.”

Mace walked over to a nearby, wall mounted intercom, to summon a guard to take Padme to the holding cells.

(_)

Meanwhile, in another part of the Jedi Temple, Anakin stood alone in the hallway, as he waited by the door to Obiwan's personal quarters.

Anakin did not see anyone else in the hallway.

Then, Anakin saw down the hallway, to the right of the door to Obiwan's quarters, that Obiwan turned a corner and head for his quarters.

Obiwan was dressed in his formal clothing, which he wore for his council meeting. Obiwan had his lightsaber holstered on the left side of his belt.

As Obiwan approached Anakin, Anakin saw Obiwan notice him.

Obiwan sighed as he came closer to Anakin.

Less than a minute later, Obiwan came a stop a two meters from Anakin.

Obiwan stated, “Anakin. Before you ask. I do not have the power to let Ahsoka go.”

Anakin said, “I realized that. But, how can the council arrest her. How can you let them arrest Ahsoka?”

Obiwan responded, “I did not have much choice in the matter. The evidence is very clear. And people can change. You and Padme were gone for six weeks. People can change, even in that short amount of time.”

Anakin pointed out, “I have not noticed any change in her demeanor since we returned to Coruscant. And you were suppose to keep an eye on her.”

Obiwan look away from Anakin, as he sadly admitted, “I admit. I did not... I allowed my duties to get in the way do doing so.” Obiwan look back towards Anakin.

Obiwan saw Anakin's face was unreadable.

Anakin calmly said, “I do not have time to assign blame. And I do not believe Ahsoka did what she is accused of.”

Obiwan replied, “The evidence states otherwise.”

Anakin inquired, “What exactly is this evidence?”

Obiwan answered, “A video showing Ahsoka planting the bomb.”

Anakin pointed out, “Video recordings can be altered.”

Obiwan stated, “I know. And we checked. The video has not been altered.”

Anakin thought, 'If the video has been able to fool you and the other council members, there is no point in looking at the video. But, there are other ways of proving Ahsoka's innocence. First is to try to slow this situation down to give us more time.'

Anakin questioned, “Then, why the rush to judgment. This seems to all be moving very quickly. More swiftly than it should.”

Obiwan responded, “You do not understand. We were lucky. The bomb was a small, but powerful shape charge. Though, the bomb was placed with the charge on the outside. What has not been told was the bomb was placed on one of the main load bearing supports of the temple. If the bomb had been correctly placed, the damage to that column could have caused a cascade structural collapse of nearly the entire temple. At the very least, we would have had to immediately evacuate the building. Maybe for to several months, as we figured out a way to repair the damage.”

Anakin pointed out, “It would require a structural engineer know where to place such a bomb.”

Obiwan admitted, “Not really. There are a several holobooks in the Jedi Archives which mention the location as a load bearing points of the Temple. This is an oversight we have made. And we both taught her had to make bombs.”

Anakin stated, “Placing the shape charge the wrong way is a very amateurish move for someone whom knows about bombs.”

Obiwan retorted, “But, it happens. And whomever did plant the bomb could have been in a hurry when planting the bomb. Impatient individuals make mistakes.”

Anakin inquired, “That is possible. Though, what about a test for chemical residue?”

Obiwan asked, “You both spared this morning?”

Anakin replied, “Yes.”

Obiwan questioned, “And afterward you both got cleaned up, and put on fresh sets of clothing?”

Anakin said, “Yes... Oh...” Anakin thought, 'The Jedi High Council would say that Ahsoka got rid of the clothing she used and washed off any chemical residue she had on her body.'

Obiwan replied, “Exactly.”

Anakin stated, “But, Ahsoka has no motive.”

Obiwan said, “Which is the only reason I made sure she is getting a hearing.”

Anakin thought, 'Okay. She is at least having a hearing. Now, to ask if I could see where the bombing took place.'

Anakin requested, “Can I see where the explosion took place?”

Obiwan stated, “No. That area has been cordoned off. And if you went there, you could be accused of tampering with evidence.”

Anakin flatly replied, “Fine.” Anakin inquired, in a more normal tone of voice, “Who is going to oversee her hearing?”

Obiwan stated, “I am going to be one of the members. But, I am not allowed to state whom the others are.”

Anakin replied, “I understand. Though, I will prove Ahsoka's innocence.”

Obiwan responded, “I truly wish the force would guide you toward doing so. Because I would like an explanation which I can believe, which also fits the evidence.”

Anakin inquired, “I will strive to do so. When is the hearing?”

Obiwan answered, “Thirteen hundred today. In the Chamber of Judgment.”

Anakin stated, “You really are moving fast.”

Obiwan admitted, “Yes, we are...” Obiwan continued in a more concerned tone of voice, “The Jedi High Council has enough problems to deal with. We want to sweep this under the rug as quickly as possible, before this incident creates a public scandal that we have to deal with.”

Anakin question, with disbelief in his tone of voice, “And you and the other council members would do this at the cost of Ahsoka's freedom?”

Obiwan remained quiet, as he walked passed Anakin, to the door to his quarters. He swiftly type in the numerical passcode on the panel by the door. The door slid open and he walked inside.

As Anakin watched the door slide closed behind Obiwan, Anakin could barely contain his fury.

Anakin thought, in rage 'How could you not answer me?...' Then, Anakin realized, as he mentally lamented, 'Unless he could not answer me. The Jedi High Council has very strict rules on council members of any of the four councils criticizing other council members of the four councils. These rules are even more stricter than the rules of other Jedi criticizing their peers within the Order...'

By then, Anakin was able to mostly calm down. Anakin thought, 'Staying here is not going to do me, Padme, nor Ahsoka, any good. I will head to my quarters. That is where she said she will meet me. I will wait there for an hour until I send for Padme. That should give her plenty of time to talk to Mace. Though, she will likely finish what she is doing by then, and meet me there on her own.'

Anakin turned and he walked down the hallway, in the general direction of where his own personal quarters were located within the Jedi Temple.

(_)

Less than a minute ago, nearby, inside Obiwan's personal quarters, Obiwan walked a meter into his quarters until he came to a stop.

As the door to his quarters slid closed, Obwain stood in the shadowed darkness of his quarters, with the only meager illumination in the room coming from the small bands of sunlight creeping through shaded windows on the far side of the room.

Obiwan stood a deep breath and he slowly let out his breath.

Obiwan felt shame and regret, as he lowered his head.

Obiwan quietly said, “My duty comes first.”

(_)

A few minutes later, in another part of the Jedi Temple, Padme was being escorted by a Jedi Guard to where the holding cells were inside the Jedi Temple.

As Padme followed the temple guard, whom was in full brown and white robe, hood, with a mask over their face, Padme found that Something about the guard unnerved her.

The only thing Padme could tell about the guard was that the guard was female. Beyond that. Such as age, or even species, was a mystery.

They had just walked into the cell block area, which was sealed by a set of double-doors from the rest of the temple. The double-doors were guarded on each side by two temple guards.

As Padme walked pass the empty cells to both her sides. She noticed each cell was very simple with a bed, and other very basic necessities.

Each cell was actually an alcove of the hallway, with a red, translucent energy shield separating the cell from the hallway.

The ceiling lights in the hallway and cells offered plenty of light to see with.

Padme noticed that the cells she and the guard passed by were empty.

Padme thought, 'Given how orderly the Jedi members are. It is likely very rare for someone to be detained in these cells. Also, I know the Jedi security system has cameras everywhere, except the personal quarters, showers, and changing room. But, except for a few exceptions, those cameras do not have microphones. If there are microphones here with the cameras, as long as we talk softly, those microphones will not pick up what we say.'

Then, they passed by a cell to their left and Padme saw Ahsoka sitting on the side of the bed, with her legs hanging off the bed and her feet on the floor. Ahsoka had her head down, looking at the floor of her cell. Ahsoka was still wearing her usual clothing and jewelry. Though, Padme noticed that Ahsoka obviously did not have her lightsabers with her.

Padme came to a stop by cell's red energy shield. She turned to face Ahsoka.

Meanwhile, the guard walked a few steps further down the hallway and over to a panel on the wall by the cell. The guard typed in a code on the panel by the cell.

The guard warned, “Padwana Tano. Do leave your cell.” Then, the guard pressed the enter key on the panel.

The red energy shield to Ahsoka's cell disappeared.

Padme saw Ahsoka look up at her and Ahsoka's face lit up with joy at seeing her.

Ahsoka hopped off the bed and stood up, as Padme walked over to Ahsoka.

No words were said, as they both hugged each other.

A few seconds later, they let go of each other and Padme took a couple of steps back.

Both women looked at each other, as Padme asked, “How are you doing?”

Ahsoka stated, “Except for being arrested and stuck here. I am fine. Right before I got to this cell, they took my comlink and a few others items I had on me. But, that is the least of my worries. All I know is that I am being accused of having something to do with the bombing this morning. Though...” Ahsoka turned her head to her left, as she looked at the guard standing in the hallway watching them. Ahsoka continued, “With others being present I am not sure what I can say.” Ahsoka turned back to face Padme.

Padme continued to face Ahsoka. She knew Ahsoka was comment deal with the guard watching them.

Padme and Ahsoka looked at each other, as Padme calmly said, “Nothing we say will be illegal. So, we will not be concerned by the ears of others whom are nearby. Unfortunately, I know about as much as you do about the bombing and your arrest. The Council is not letting me see the evidence. But, I have no doubt you are innocent.”

Ahsoka gratefully responded, “Thank you. And I am thankful that Master Skywalker called you.” Ahsoka thought, 'It is obvious that Master Skywalker would call you.'

Padme asked, “So am I. Have you been informed you will be having a hearing at thirteen hundred in the Chamber of Judgment?”

Ahsoka answered, “No. They have not told me anything.”

Padme lamented in thought, 'That figures.'

Padme said, “Well then. While I am not a lawyer, I can help prepare you on how to act during your hearing. While I cannot come with you to the hearing, I will be outside. Though, Anakin will be able to attend, though he will have to remain silent.”

Ahsoka pointed out, “Anakin is not know to remain silent in situations he does not like.”

Padme agreed, “I agree. I will convince him to stand outside with me. It would be for the best.”

Ahsoka inquired, “I understand. And thank you. So, what do I need to know?”

Padme stated, “First, you need to remain calm and behave. Remember this is a hearing. Not a trial. Except for expelling you from the Jedi Order, they cannot sentence you and they cannot punish you. Though, they can hand you over to Republic officials, to be held in prison until your trials.”

“If it reaches that point, I will work to get you out of jail on bail. As a Galactic Senator, I can pull strings and vouch for you to the point the judge assigned to oversee the case will grant you bail. If you get bail, because you are still a minor, you will likely be remanded into my custody, have a tracking device attached to you, and assigned to house arrest. But, you will be staying in my home.”

Ahsoka commented, “That will be much better than a prison cell like this.”

Padme responded, “I agree. If the Jedi Council decides criminal charges should be made, they have to turn you over to the Republic government for trial. Should that happen, there are several very skilled lawyers on Coruscant, whom I can hire to defend you. If you end up being transferred, cooperate and obey the guards.”

“Should we find the evidence before the actual trial, this can all be undone very quickly.”

“If Anakin and I are unable to clear you by the time you see a Republic Judge. The lawyer I hire might be able to convince the judge to release you to me on bail. Which I will pay the bail for you. No matter how high the bail is.”

Ahsoka commented, “Okay. That sounds good.” She thought, 'Even if I am expelled from the Order. If I am cleared, they will likely take me back. That is if I wish to return to the Order. At this point, I am not so sure.'

Padme said, “Now. The hard part will be since this is during the hearing you will not be able state your defense. If they ask you to make a plea. State you are innocent. If they ask you questions. Be careful how you answer. Do not admit to any crimes. Everyone in the Republic is still protected from self-incrimination. Otherwise, remain silent and hold your tongue. Do not say things like. I do not do anything wrong. Or, I am innocent. This will not help you.”

Ahsoka countered, “But, that is the case.”

Padme said, “This does not matter. You need to stick to the facts when asked. Only plead innocent, while remaining calm. And in a calm, though direct manner, demand to see the evidence and confront any accusers. In addition, demand that all statements during the hearing be recorded.”

Ahsoka stated, “I promise I will do so.”

Padme mentioned, “Also, guard your mind and emotions.”

Ahsoka replied, “I will.”

Padme commented, in voice of concern, “These charges are very serious. Above all else. Do not try to escape. Doing so would make things far worse for you. Including facing further charges we will not be able to get you clear of so easily. Anakin and I will clear your name. Just sit tight and remain calm.”

Padme promised, “I know your innocent. Anakin knows you are innocent. Anakin and I will do what we can. We will find a way to clear your name. Though, it may take time.”

Ahsoka replied, “I know.”

Padme stated, “Not even the heavens themselves will stop me from proving your innocence.”

Ahsoka smiled towards Padme, as she said, “I know.”

Padme inquired, “Though, I have to ask. We were gone for six weeks. Did you get into any trouble while we were gone?”

Ahsoka dropped her smile, as she looked over at the guard, then back towards Padme. Ahsoka slowly said, “Well... I did go to a nightclub once... Only once, out of curiosity.”

Padme thought, with concern, 'Ah oh. While this is more of a minor concern. It is a slap on the wrist type penalty for doing so, as long as it is not done while on duty, and you did not sleep with someone.'

Padme asked, “Did you sleep with anyone?”

Ahsoka flatly stated, “No. I do not want to get expelled from the Order. All I did was dance with a few people. I left my lightsabers in my quarters here. They did not even know I was a Jedi. Except for that, I stayed at the temple, where I either practiced, meditated, or studied for my coming trials. Master Skywalker told me that I am only a month from being ready for them. I did not want to ruin my chances for knighthood.”

Padme thought, 'Good. I will not mention this to Anakin. We have enough problems to be concerned with.'

Padme said, “I believe you. Also, if that is all you did, you are a better person than I was at your age.”

Ahsoka gratefully replied, “Thank you.”

Padme gave Ahsoka a warm smile. She stated, “Have faith. We will get you through this.”

Ahsoka said, “I hope so.”

Padme turned around and she walked back into the hallway. Once she was fully inside the hallway, she came to a stop. She turned back to face Ahsoka. Both of them looked at each other few a seconds.

Then, Padme turned to the guard. She saw the guard was looking at Ahsoka.

Padme commented, “We are done here.”

The guard press a button on the panel by her and the red energy shield on Ahsoka's cell came on.

The guard turned and she began to walked towards the exit to the cell block. Padme followed her.

Ahsoka silently stood in her cell, as she watched through the red, translucent energy shield, as her friend and the guard walked away.

As Padme followed the guard, she looked at the guard. Padme inquired, “Are you planning to report that Ahsoka admitted to the transgress of going to a nightclub to dance?”

The guard continued walking, with her back turned to Padme. The guard calmly stated, “No. Padawan Tano is in enough trouble. To increase the charges already leveled against Padawan Tano with such foolishness would add the sense of callousness to the situation. And we were all young once.”

Padme said, “Thank you.”

Padme mentally reflected, 'At least the guards here have some sense for the quality of mercy. And while I am concerned for Ahsoka, Before I see Anakin, there is someone else I need to check on in the Temple. I will only be a few minutes. But, I made a promise to myself that I would occasionally do so. And I keep my promises.'

Less than a minute later, Padme was let out of the area where the holding cells were.

Once Padme and the guard escorting her were in the hallway, the guard went about her other duties.

Padme turned and she walked way from the temple guards guarding the double-doors to the holding cells, as she headed for another part of the Jedi Temple.

(_)

Twenty minutes later, Padme reached her destination. The nursery section of the Jedi Temple. This was where the babies whom were adopted into the Jedi Order were taken care of.

Padme was standing in a hallway, next to a large window which showed another room. The room the window was connected was a playroom for the young children.

Inside the room were little babies to toddlers, whom were overseen and aided by a handful of members of the Jedi Order whom were trained to take care of these young children.

The other side of the window was a mirror, so as to not disturb those inside.

While Padme silently watched the young children play with their toys while being helped by the adults in the room, Padme was reminded her of her own pregnancy. And what her pregnancy meant for her future. But, she did not come for herself.

Padme was broken out of her mental reflection when she heard, to her left side, an older female voice say, “Senator Amidala. What are you doing her?”

Padme turned to her left to see an older, blue skin, Twi'lek woman in Jedi clothing and brown robe standing next to her.

Padme calmly answered, “I am looking in on the boy known as, Ra. From Dathomir.”

The Jedi woman responded, “Ah. So, rumors are true?”

Padme thought, 'It is not really that big a secret in the Jedi Temple that I am Thor.' Padme said, “Yes. I desire to check on the child.”

The Jedi woman replied, “Of course. He is over there.” The woman used her right index finger to point in a specific direction towards the window.

Padme turned in a direction of where the Jedi woman was pointing. In the playroom Padme saw the male fair skinned human toddler in a light brown shirt and pants, whom she recognized as Ra.

Padme saw Ra was playing with some of the other children his age, with him smiling, meaning that he was happy.

The Jedi lowed her right hand to her side. She offered, “Do you wish to meet him?”

Padme turned to the Jedi woman. Padme answered, “No. I only want to make sure he is doing okay.”

The Jedi said, “He is doing fine. We can already sense he is strong in the force for his age. Not that is matters at the moment. He is also a quiet, nice child. I believe he will do fine.”

Padme stated, “It has been a while since I last check on him. And I will be checking on him in the future. If he does not end up advancing in the order, I want to insure he will be fine.”

The woman responded, “I can appreciate that. But, I have faith he will do fine.”

Padme stated, “I hope so, as well. Have a good day.”

The Jedi woman said, “Have a safe journey yourself.”

Padme walked passed Jedi woman and down the hallway.

As Padme walked she thought, 'Now, to talk to Anakin.'

Padme made her way to Anakin's personal quarters.

(_)

Ten minutes later, Padme made it to the door to Anakin's quarters.

Padme knew the passcode to use the panel open the door. She typed the code in and she pressed enter. A second later, the door slid open.

The room Padme was inside of was the small living room of Anakin's personal quarters.

As Padme walked inside the room, she saw the lights in the room were on and Anakin sitting up on a round cushion on the other side of the room.

Padme saw Anakin looking at her.

While the door slid closed, Padme made her way towards Anakin, while Anakin moved off his cushion and stood up on the floor.

Anakin turned to look at Padme, as he thought, 'It looks like I will not have to contact someone to summon her to come here.'

Anakin walked over to towards Padme.

Padme and Anakin came to a stop about a meter from each other, in the center of the room.

As both of them look at each other, Padme inquired, “Were you able to meet with Obiwan?”

Anakin responded, “Yes. Did you talk with Mace?”

Padme answered, “Yes. Mace would not let me see the evidence. But, he did allow me to visit Ahsoka. And Ahsoka is doing fine.”

Anakin stated, “That is good. What did you discuss with Ahsoka?”

Padme said, “Much like you said to her at her arrest. I told her to remain calm. That no matter what, that she should refrain from doing anything foolish. Such as not making outbursts at her hearing. Doing will only make matters worse for her. To guard her mind and emotions. Also, I told her to only say what is necessary, that she should request to see any evidence, and for her to be allowed to confront any accusers.”

Anakin complimented, “That is good advice.”

Padme commented, “Thank you. Mace mentioned the hearing would take place in the Chamber of Judgment.”

Anakin replied, “I know where that is.”

Padme questioned, “Mace told me how to get there, as well. How were things on your end?”

Anakin stated, “I was not as fortunate as you. Obiwan said there was video evidence of Ahsoka planting the bomb and he was convinced the video was legitimate. There is no point in seeing the video, if it fools him.”

Padme inquired, “I disagree. But, that is a discussion for another time. What about visiting the location of the bombing?”

Anakin answered, “Obiwan stated I could not visit the site of the bombing. He did not me to be accused of tampering with evidence.”

Padme admitted, “That was a long shot to begin with.”

Anakin mentioned, “True. Though, Obiwan stated he was behind making sure Ahsoka has a hearing. And he would be one of the individuals overseeing the hearing. Still, he did not get into the details of the hearing.”

Padme stated, “Even if we do not have the details, we now know who is behind convening a hearing. This is progress. Mace mentioned a hearing, as well. Though, Mace said I will not be able to attend the hearing with Ahsoka. But, he told me you could attend.”

Anakin said, “That is nice.”

Padme commented, “Not really. Mace told me you would have to remain silent during the hearing. I do not believe it would be wise for you to attend the hearing. If this goes badly, I do not want you to be tempted to do something foolish. You need to be in the best standing with the Council in the hopes they will listen to you when we find the evidence to clear Ahsoka of these accusations.”

Anakin responded, “You have a point there. So, what did you tell Ahsoka about where we would be during her hearing?”

Padme answered, “I told Ahsoka that we will be outside where the hearing is held it at.”

Anakin commented, “Okay. Though, they might present their evidence at the hearing. It might be worth attending.”

Padme said, in a sober tone of voice, “I doubt the Jedi High Council will share their evidence until the trial itself.”

Anakin pointed out, “Alright. I will stay with you outside. Obiwan did arrange for the hearing. The hearing is at thirteen hundred.”

Padme commented, “I know. Though, this hearing might not have been arrange for Ahsoka's best interests. A hearing would be needed if they were going to hand Ahsoka over to the Republic for trial.”

Anakin stated, in a disappointed tone of voice, “Obiwan admitted that there was a desire for a quick hearing to sweep all this under the rug.”

Padme said, “I was afraid this would be the case. Though, from a political standpoint this is not surprising. Also, it would be best not to mention that Obiwan set up the hearing to Ahsoka. In case the hearing goes badly for her.”

Anakin replied, “I agree.”

Padme stated, “No matter what. We will be there for Ahsoka.”

Anakin inquired, “I fully agree. So, what is our next move?”

Padme answered, “Sadly, we may have to wait on looking for more evidence. The hearing is in a few hours. We have exhausted any immediate leads. Any other leads would likely take us outside of the temple, and we might not back in time for Ahsoka's hearing. It is best we make sure that we are present for the hearing, so Ahsoka knows we are there for her.”

Anakin stated, “I see your reasoning. But, after the hearing is over, we will comb over every possible lead.”

Padme suggested, “While we wait we can start making a list of every possible lead we can think of. From all the possible locations in the area that one could find to make bombs, to those in the Jedi Temple whom were awake during the time of the bombing.”

Anakin agreed, “That is a good idea.”

Padme asked, “By the way, where are the droids? We could use their help.”

Anakin answered, “Unfortunately, they are still running some errands I sent them on this morning. They will be back later this afternoon.”

Padme said, “Oh well. We will just do this with out. We will need two datapads. That way we can make the list and have two copies. Then, we will divide up the list to cover more ground.”

Anakin stated, “That will not be a problem. I have a few spare datapads at work area in this room.”

Anakin went to retrieve two datapads in his quarters.

Soon, the married couple were busy compiling a list of possible leads to clear Anakin of the crime she had been accused of, while they waited for Ahsoka's hearing to happen.

(_)

It was early afternoon, several minutes before thirteen hundred. In the Jedi Temple cell block section, two temple guards came to Ahsoka's cell. They shut down the energy field between the cell and the hallway.

Ahsoka stood up and looked over at the guards. Ahsoka reigned in her mental defenses to protect her mind and emotions.

One of the guards walked over to Ahsoka. The guard instructed, “Stand in place and hold out your hands in front of yourself.”

Ahsoka did so.

The guard whom spoke to Ahsoka pulled out some stun-cuffs from their belt and the guard placed the stun-cuffs on Ahsoka's wrists, with Ahsoka's wrists bound in front of her.

The guard warned, “If you try anything the cuffs will shock you.”

Ahsoka chose to remain calm and silent.

The other guard looked at Ahsoka. The guard stated, “Follow me.” The guard turned and started walking towards the exit of the cell they were inside of.

Ahsoka silently followed the guard, with the other guard walking behind Ahsoka.

Ahsoka was lead out of her cell, down the hallway where the holding cells, and through various hallways inside the Jedi Temple.

As they passed through the large hallways of the Jedi Temple, they did not use elevators to go from one level to another level. Instead, the guards lead Ahsoka going up a few staircases, Ahsoka noticed no one else in the hallways were present, which caused Ahsoka to have an eerie feeling about the whole situation.

While Ahsoka walked, she thought, 'I guess the Council cleared the hallways to where I am having my hearing because it would be damaging to morale to see a Jedi in stun-cuffs. I wonder how many members of the Order actually know about my arrest. Likely only a few. The council does like to keep their secrets...” She continued her thoughts, with a hint of bitterness behind her mental defenses, 'And embarrassments.'

After a few more minutes of walking through various hallways Ahsoka saw Padme and Anakin standing next to each other, by an open door way. Ahsoka saw that Padme and Anakin were look at her.

The doorway was in front of Ahsoka.

Padme and Anakin were to Ahsoka's left.

Padme standing to Anakin's right side, with the open doorway being to Anakin's left.

Ahsoka thought, 'The doorway must lead to the Chamber of Judgment. I am glad my friends are here to give me support.'

Both Padme and Anakin had calm expressions on their faces.

The guards and Ahsoka passed by Padme and Anakin to their left.

As Ahsoka enter the room, she thought, 'I have a feeling that my only hope are my friends. Fortunately, my friends are miracle workers.'

Ahsoka was tempted to smile, but she stopped herself.

Ahsoka thought, “I better not smile. Those around me might misinterpret why I am smiling.'

Ahsoka was lead into the center of the room circular room, on top of a raised circular platform.

Also, Ahsoka noticed there were other temple guards surrounding the walls of the room.

The double-doors to the room slid closed behind Ahsoka and the two guards escorting her.

The guard in front of Ahsoka came to a stop. A moment later, Ahsoka and the guard behind Ahsoka also stopped.

The guard in front of Ahsoka turned around to face Ahsoka. The guard stated, “Do not move.”

The guard in front of her took a couple of steps back, while still remaining on the circular platform.

With her hearing, Ahsoka heard the guard behind her also took a couple of steps back from her, while remaining on the platform.

The center of the room, where the three individuals were standing began left as it rotated counterclockwise.

While the platform lifted the circular hatch the ceiling above them slid open.

When the platform was flush with the floor above the floor Ahsoka and the two guards stood on, the platform separated, with the outer ring, were the two guards were standing, separated and stopped at that floor level. Meanwhile the inner circular platform, where Ahsoka stood, continued to rotate counterclockwise.

As the platform came to a stop around three meters above the floor the guards were on, Ahsoka saw she was surrounded by small balconies placed on the surrounding circular wall. These small balconies were roughly a meter above Ahsoka.

There was a Jedi High Council member standing in each of the small balconies.

Ahsoka recognized the six Jedi High Council members.

From left to right, there was Shaak Ti, Obiwan Kenobi, Saesee Tiin, Mace Windu, Yoda, and Plo Koon. They were in their usual formal clothing.

Plo Koon had on his breathing mask over his mouth and nose. Plo Koon as a Kel Dor. Kel Dors were humanoid aliens whom were each required to wear a breathing mask to filter and balance the air at levels that their body could tolerate.

Yoda held his cane in his left hand. Also, The interior of the balcony Yoda used was lifted, to allow him to see over the parapet of his balcony.

From their small balconies, all six of the Council members looked down at Ahsoka.

With the force, Ahsoka was able to sense the Jedi Masters and the emotions the silently expressed towards her.

Though, Ahsoka continued to use her mental defenses to hid her thoughts and emotions from those she once considered to be her peers.

Ahsoka thought, with concern, 'They are not even hiding their emotions from me. I can sense they are very emotionally driven in seeing this matter through. Which is bad news for me.'

Yoda stated, “Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Grave accusations you face. You stand now accused of the bombing this morning. How do you plead?”

Ahsoka forced herself to remain calm, as she thought, 'Now to do as Padme instructed.'

Ahsoka looked around at the Jedi Masters, as she stated, “I plea innocent. I request that this hearing be recorded.”

Plo Koon stated, “This hearing is being recorded.”

Ahsoka thought, 'Good. Now, for my next request.' Ahsoka calmly requested, “I would also request to see any evidence against me, and to confront any accusers.”

Mace stated, “You will be presented with our evidence and any would be accusers at your trial. For now, you will answer our questions.”

Ahsoka remained silent, as she thought, 'I have a bad feeling about this.'

Shaak Ti calmly asked, “While you claim to be innocent, where were you at six hundred this morning? The time of the bombing.”

Ahsoka answered, “I was asleep in my quarters.”

Seasee Tiin commented, “So, you have no alibi?”

Ahsoka responded, “Save for the hallway cameras placed outside of my quarters.”

Yoda stated, “Any properly trained padawan knows how to avoid cameras.”

Ahsoka pointed out, “Explosives would leave trace reduce on myself and my clothing.”

Seasee Tiin commented, “This morning, you admitted that you have already replaced your clothing and bathed yourself.”

Ahsoka looked at Seasee Tiin, then towards Mace, and back towards Seasee Tiin. Ahsoka thought, 'I guess you compared notes each other on what I said to Master Windu and Battlemaster Drallig, when they and three of the guards arrested me.'

Mace mentioned, “Jedi Skywalker stated that earlier this morning, the both of you sparred with each other. After which you bathed and replaced you clothing.”

Ahsoka thought, 'This will getting me nowhere. Let's try a different approach.'

Ahsoka looked over at Obiwan, as she inquired, “Why are events moving so fast? I was arrested only hours ago.”

Obiwan looked at Ahsoka. Obiwan answered, “The evidence was quite compelling.”

Ahsoka commented, “Evidence I am not allowed to see.”

Shaak Ti stated, “As a reminder Padawan Tano. We are hear to ask you questions. You are here to answer our question. We are not here to answer your questions.”

It took much of Ahsoka's willpower maintain her mental defenses and not to reply to Shaak Ti's condescending statement towards Ahsoka.

Mace was the first of the Jedi Masters present to notice Ahsoka's mental defenses. Mace accused, “Padawan Tano. Why are you using your mental defenses?”

Ahsoka stated, “Because, I have been detained and accused of a crime I did not commit. I am not allowed to be shown the evidence, nor face my accusers. Due to this, I do not trust any of you.”

Ahsoka sensed though the force that Obiwan and Plo Koon were saddened and hurt by her comments. Seasee Tiin had no emotional reaction to her comments. Shaak Ti found her comments to be amusing. Mace found her comments to be annoying. And Ahsoka was unable to read Yoda's emotional reaction to her comments.

Shaak Ti commented, “This is a suspicious stance to take towards us.”

Yoda spoke up, “No. This is not a sign of guilt, or innocence. Given the circumstances, this is a fair stance to take. This shows that Padawan Tano understands the seriousness of these charges laid against her, along with the authority and power we hold over her.”

Mace looked at Ahsoka. Mace said, “Your mental defenses had no barring on the matter at hand.”

Ahsoka looked at Mace. Ahsoka thought, 'Yet, you were the one to comment on my mental defense. But, Yoda stopped you from making me drop my mental defenses, as such you choose to avoid the topic.'

Mace looked around at his colleagues, as he stated, “I believe there is enough evidence to make our request for charging Padawan Tano to the Republic for trial and remand her over to Republic military police, where she will be held until her trial.” Then, Mace turned to look at Ahsoka.

Yoda looked over towards Mace. Yoda said, “I agree.” Yoda turned to Ahsoka, as he calmly stated, “Padawan Ahsoka Tano, you will be transported to a nearby garrison, where you will be held at, as you await your trial. In addition, given your actions, it has already been decided that you are to be expelled from the Jedi Order.”

Ahsoka forced herself to remain calm, as she thought, 'You council members already decided to expel me before I even walked into this room.'

Yodo went onto say, “You are a padawan no longer. In addition, you are stripped of your privileges and rank within the Army of the Republic. And you are barred from the Jedi Order.”

Yoda held out his right hand and he used the force to remove the jewelry from Ahsoka's head. Though, Yoda did so in a way that did not harm Ahsoka.

Ahsoka felt the jewelry leave her head. A second later, Ahsoka saw the jewelry go into Yoda right hand.

Ahsoka looked away from the Jedi masters. She could not hide her emotions from them any longer, as she felt disappointment and disgust about the whole matter. Ahsoka sadly thought, 'Removing my jewelry off my hand is symbolic of having a padawan's hear braid cut off at being expelled. And I was so looking forward to having it removed after completing my trials for knighthood.'

Ahsoka looked over at Obiwan. She saw that Obiwan could not meet her gaze.

A few seconds later, the platform began to lower, as it turned clockwise.

When the platform reached outer ring, it connected to the ring, as it continued to lower in its clockwise turn.

The two temple guards stood on the outer ring, as it lowered with the inner ring that Ahsoka was standing on.

Both guards faced Ahsoka.

When the platform came a stop at the bottom floor of the room, Ahsoka heard the ceiling openly slide closed above them.

Ahsoka turned around to face the closed double-doors that lead to a hallway.

The guard in front Ahsoka stated, “We will now take you to a nearby hangar to await a transport to take you to the garrison.”

Ahsoka did not response.

Ahsoka saw the double-doors to the hallway slide open.

Ahsoka thought, 'One of the guards either has a remote to the open the doors in this room, or the guard is using the force. At the moment, I do not care which is the case. I have more important matters on my mind.'

The guard in front of Ahsoka turned around and start to walk towards the exit. Ahsoka followed, with the guard right behind Ahsoka following behind Ahsoka.

(_)

A few seconds later, in the hallway outside of the Chamber of Judgment, Padme and Anakin stood next to each other. They saw the double-doors of the Chamber of Judgment slide open.

Padme and Anakin turned to look towards the doors. Padme stood to Anakin's right side. Anakin was closer to the doorway.

A guard, Ahsoka, and another guard, walked out of the room, in front of them, with Anakin and Padme being to Ahsoka's right side.

Padme and Anakin noticed that Ahsoka still have stun-cuffs on her wrists. Ahsoka looked at them with a frown.

Anakin realized, as he thought, 'The hearing did not go well. And it went so quickly. Which could only mean the Council decided their verdict before they even held the hearing.'

Anakin stated, “Have hope. We will clear your name.”

By then, Ahsoka had passed by them. While walking with the guards, she had her back turned to Padme and Anakin. Ahsoka said, in a sober tone of voice, “I believe you. But, I have already been expelled from the Order.”

Then, both Anakin and Padme noticed Ahsoka was missing her jewel on her head.

Padme thought, 'That jewelry was a symbol of her being a padawan. They really did throw her out of the Order.'

Padme turned to look at Anakin. From the expression on Anakin's face, she saw that Anakin was about lose his temper.

Padme thought, 'I better do something before Anakin loses he temper. I am glad I convinced him not to attend the hearing. He might have made a scene, and that would have not helped any of us.'

Padme gently put her left hand on Anakin's right wrist.

Anakin looked at Padme's face. He saw his wife looking up at his face with a calm expression on her face.

Padme calmly said, “I am upset, too. But, outbursts will not help Ahsoka. If we clear her name, she can be reinstated.”

Anakin forced himself to calm down. He admitted, in an even tone of voice, “You are right. And there is no time like the present.”

Padme agreed, “That is correct.”

Padme let got of Anakin's right wrist. Then, Padme and Anakin headed in another direction down the hallway.

(_)

Five minutes later, the guards lead Ahsoka to an empty hangar bay. The large outer doors of the hangar bay had already been opened.

After waiting ten minutes, a transport ship arrived, and landed in the hangar bay floor.

A few seconds after the transport landing, Ahsoka noticed the engines were still on as a ramp lowered on the back of the transport.

Four armored clone troopers walked out of the transport towards Ahsoka and the two guards.

The clone troopers were members of the Coruscant Guard. Their armor was colored a mix of white and red pieces. Each of them were in full armor and helmet, with a utility belt around their waist. They reach carried a blaster rifle.

These specific Coruscant Guard troopers acted as the military police for Coruscant. This was the branch of the Coruscant Guard which also worked with the planetary Coruscant Security Force.

When the troopers reached Ahsoka and the guards, the troopers held their weapons trained on Ahsoka.

The guards handed Ahsoka over to the troopers.

Next, the troopers escorted Ahsoka onto the transport.

Soon, the transport was back in the air, head towards its next destination.

Twenty minutes later, the transport Ahsoka was on reached a nearby garrison, which was located between Westport of the Senate District.

After the transport landed, Ahsoka was lead into one of the buildings within the garrison.

From there, Ahsoka was lead to an area in the building where there were only female guards. Once she reached that area, she was lead to a small room with two female guards.

One of the female guards removed her stun-cuffs and told her to disrobe. After Ahsoka did so, she was given some clothing, including an orange long-sleeve shirt, and orange pants, and simple brown slippers.

After which, Ahsoka was instructed to fold the clothing she had taken off. Once she as instructed, one of the female guards took the clothing and boots to another room.

The remaining guard had Ahsoka answer some questions. The questions were no personal, but basic identification and a few questions about Ahsoka's health. Ahsoka answered the questions. The female guard took down Ahsoka answers on a datapad. After this was done, the guard had Ahsoka go through a few hallways, to another set of holding cells.

The guard had Ahsoka go first, with the guard following behind. As they passed through various doorways, the doors were opened by guards stationed at those specific doors.

The ceiling lights in the hallway and cells were illuminated enough to see with.

From there, the female guard lead Ahsoka through the hallway.

Ahsoka saw that there were only female prisoners were being held in the cells. And Ahsoka guessed this the women's section of the holding cells.

The female guard came to a stop at an empty, open cell, which had been left open. The guard instructed Ahsoka to enter the cell.

Once Ahsoka was inside the cell, the guard pressed a button on a panel by the cell, on the hallway wall.

Suddenly, a red, translucent energy field appeared between the cell and the hallway.

After which, the guard turned around and left Ahsoka alone.

Ahsoka looked around and she saw the cell much like the cell she had been held in the Jedi Temple. There was a bed and basic necessities, but nothing else. Though, the bed in this cell had cloth sheets and a pillow inside a cloth pillow case.

Ahsoka thought, 'I might as well wait to see if Anakin and Padme can get me out of this mess.

Ahsoka walked over to her bed. She laid down on her back. But, when her head hit the pillow she felt something press against the back of her head.

Ahsoka sat up and turned to face the pillow. Ahsoka used her right hand to feel under the pillow. She felt something and she gripped it. She pulled out item and looked at it.

Ahsoka saw that it was a small, thin, rectangular keycard.

Ahsoka realized in thought, 'A keycard... Oh, I am being set up. It is likely the guard that lead me here, or one of her superiors is in on this set up.'

'I recognize this type of keycard. It is referred to as a skeleton key. While different numerical passcodes open various doors. This keycard can be used in emergencies to open all the doors programmed to accept this keycard.'

'But, how I could use this from this side of the energy shield?...'

Ahsoka looked over at the red energy shield. Then, she noticed that left of the energy shield, there was a small slot at a meter above the floor, with a small counter on it.

Ahsoka mentally lament, 'Of course. The food slot. I could use the force to move the keycard into some slot in the hallway to shutdown the energy field. But, I won't. Padme said not to try anything. I trust her and Anakin to see me through this. No matter what happens. Still, I believe I will hide this as evidence. Just in case someone does try to hurt me later for not following their plans.'

Ahsoka hid the keycard on her person.

(_)

Meanwhile, back in the Jedi Temple District, Padme and Anakin spent hours trying to find clues to clear Ahsoka with no luck.

They checked out every lead they listed on their datapads which were within the Jedi Temple and around the Jedi Temple, in the Jedi Temple District. But, these efforts were to no avail, and they had not found any evidence to clear Ahsoka of the charges she faced.

By late that afternoon, Padme told Anakin that she was heading to her apartment to get some rest and have something to eat. Anakin stated he would spend another hour talking to a few people in the Jedi Temple.

An hour later, found that he could not find any information on the people he talked to within the Jedi Temple.

Anakin decided it was time to take a break, and try to approach the problem in a different manner.

Anakin began to head back to his personal quarters to rest for a little bit and figure out his next move.

By then, it was early evening, near sunset. Inside the Jedi Temple, Anakin was in hallway, walking to his quarters.

Presently, there was no one else around in the hallway Anakin was located inside of.

As he got closer to his quarters, he saw R2 rolling down the hallway towards him.

Anakin came to a stop. Anakin waited for his blue and white rolling droid to come to him.

A few seconds later, as R2 rolled to stop, Anakin looked down at his droid.

Anakin asked, “R2. I take it that C3-PO has already delivered the electronic parts I requested to my apartment? And C3-PO is waiting for me there?”

R2 beeped and whistled an affirmative.

Anakin replied, in a tired tone of voice, “I will check on the parts when I get to my quarters.”

R2 noticed something was wrong with Anakin. R2 whistled in concern.

Anakin understood R2. Anakin complimented, “You are quite the perceptive one.” Anakin continued, in a sober tone of voice, “This morning Ahsoka was arrested for terrorism.”

R2 beeped in surprise.

Anakin stated, “Padme and I have been trying to clear Ahsoka's of this charges all day. But, we have no leads. And since the bombing happened before we woke up, Ahsoka does not have an alibi.”

R2 beeped several times in curiosity.

Anakin said, “The Jedi Council states they have a video showing Ahsoka planting the bomb.”

R2 turned around and it whistled to request Anakin to follow it. Then, the droid rolled down the hallway.

Anakin understood and he followed behind R2.

As Anakin walked, he asked, “R2? What are you doing?”

R2 beeped a few times in reply. Anakin was not sure what R2 meant.

They soon reached a datahub, with a monitor screen above the hub.

R2 rolled to a stop right beside the hub. Then, the droid brought out a plug from its body and the droid plugged itself into the datahub.

Anakin came to a stop behind R2. Anakin up at looked at the monitor above the datahub, over R2's dome shaped head.

Anakin saw on the monitor that R2 quickly showing various video recordings of the camera system in the temple.

Anakin mentally lamented, 'I really should not be surprised that R2 can slice into the Jedi Temple mainframes. He likely did it within a week of moving here.'

Anakin watched as the monitor split into for equal video feeds. As more and more recordings played at high speed.

Then, Anakin noticed the videos were playing backwards.

Suddenly, the monitor only showed one video feed, going forward, of Ahsoka in her usual clothing. Though, this Ahsoka also wore a Jedi robe, with only her head being shown.

The video showed Ahsoka walking to a pillar in an empty hallway. Ahsoka was shown pulling out a small shape charge explosive from her robe and setting the explosive on the pillar. Next, she set the timer to the explosive. After which, she walked away.

R2 fast forward it to where Ahsoka walked away down a few more hallways, until there was a dead-spot between various cameras, where she disappeared, with no more film showing Ahsoka being present.

R2 set the video in reverse at high-speed, with the video playing before the bomb was planned, all the way to Ahsoka coming into the hallway where the bomb was planted from a different direction. Though, as the video was moved backward, Ahsoka soon disappearing from the camera system at another dead-spot between cameras.

R2 fast forward the footage to right before the bomb was planted.

Suddenly, R2 slowed down the footage, and R2 looped a few frames back and forth.

Anakin saw what R2 was trying to show him. The image of Ahsoka flickered and changed between frames.

From Ahsoka, to a small droid close to Ahsoka's height and size, then back to Ahsoka.

Anakin thought, 'A holo-mask. Clearly the council did not even bother to carefully look video frame by frame.' He sadly continued his thoughts, 'I am not surprised.' He mentally reflected, with confidence, 'Still, while we may not know who is behind this attack, this is enough evidence to clear Ahsoka, and have her reinstated into the Jedi Order.”

Anakin looked down at R2. He ordered, “Good job R2. Make a copy of this.”

R2 turned its head around to look at Anakin. R2 beeped and whistled an affirmative.

Anakin said, “We have to show this to the Obiwan. This will clear Ahsoka. And do not worry, you will not get into trouble over this.” He thought, 'And Obiwan will convince the Council to accept this new evidence and to fix this matter, by dropping the charges and freeing Ahsoka.'

Anakin turned and he starting walked towards where he believed Obiwan was at this time.

R2 rotated its head back to its front. The droid unplugged itself from the datahub and retraced its plug back into its body. Next, R2 backed up from the wall where the datahub was, and the droid rolled around to where it could follow Anakin. After which, R2 rolled down the hallway to catch up with Anakin.

(_)

An hour later, inside the garrison Ahsoka was held in, a female guard came to Ahsoka's cell.

The guard lowered the energy shield to the cell. Next, the guard instructed Ahsoka to follow her.

Ahsoka did so.

Ahsoka was lead to out of the section of the garrison where the female holding cells were, and into small room, where another female guard was waiting for her. The another guard pointed to Ahsoka's old clothing and boots which were on a nearby table.

Ahsoka was instructed put her old clothing on.

Ahsoka quickly took off the orange clothing she had one and put on her old clothing and boots.

Ahsoka remained calm, but she already guessed what was happening. The force told her that she was fine.

Also, Ahsoka was able to palm and hide the keycard she had without being noticed.

Once Ahsoka was back in her clothing, the guard that brought her to the room escorted her through the garrison and to a landing platform. Ahsoka found that there was a transport ship waiting for her.

The ramp to the ship was lowered, and the outer double-doors to the ship were open.

Also, Ahsoka noticed that it was a partly clouding sunset, with the sunset itself being visible.

The transport had the ramp open and the guard took Ahsoka to the ramp. From there, Ahsoka was told to board the transport.

Ahsoka did so.

The doors to the transport slide closed behind Ahsoka.

Once Ahsoka was on board the transport ship, the guard turned and left the platform to head back into the garrison.

The ramp to the transport ship raised and the ship took off to into the sky.

Along with the pilots, Ahsoka saw there were a few Coruscant Guard troopers in full white and red armor and helmet. Though, the troopers had their blaster rifles, none of them were pointing their weapons at Ahsoka.

One of the troopers told Ahsoka that as long as she behaved, she will be fine. Ahsoka did not bother asking where she was going, because there was only one place they would be taking her too.

Twenty minutes later, the transport landed in a hangar bay inside the Jedi Temple.

The ramp lower and the doors to the ship slid open.

Ahsoka exited the ship, and she walked down to ramp to the floor of the hangar. was walking out onto the floor.

Ahsoka saw Anakin standing across the room looking at her.

As Ahsoka walked over to Anakin, the doors to the ship slid closed, ramp to the transport ship was raised. The ship hovered into the air and the ship took off out of the hangar bay, towards one of the skylanes, and the garrison it has left from.

After the transport ship had left, those in overseeing the hangar controls in another part of the temple had the large outer doors of the hangar began to close.

Meanwhile, Ahsoka walked towards Anakin.

When Ahsoka reached Anakin, she came to a stop in front of him. Ahsoka commented, “That was quick.” Ahsoka thought, 'I honestly expected to spend a few days in that holding cell until you found the evidence. Not that I am complaining about being free much sooner than that.'

Anakin responded, “I promised I would not let you down.”

Ahsoka smiled towards Anakin, as she replied, “You didn't. Thank you.”

Anakin said, “You're welcome.”

Ahsoka dropped her smile. She asked, “So, what now?”

Anakin answered, “The High Council wants to meet you in private in the council chamber, alone. They were waiting for you, right now. I will be right outside in the anti-chamber, waiting to talk to you, after the meeting.”

Ahsoka responded, “Am I being reinstated into the Order?

Anakin admitted, “I am not sure.”

Ahsoka replied, “Then, let us find out.”

Ahsoka walked towards the entrance to a hallway.

Anakin turned and he walked beside Ahsoka, with Ahsoka being to his right.

As they walked, Ahsoka asked, “By the way. Where is Padme?”

Anakin answered, “She returned to her apartment to get something to eat.”

Ahsoka responded, “That is understandable.” She sighed. She said, “Let's get this meeting over with.” Then, Ahsoka realized something, as she asked, “So, who asking did the bombing?”

Anakin answered, “A droid with a holo-mask.”

Ahsoka guessed, “And you have no leads.”

Anakin admitted, “Not really.”

Ahsoka stated, “A matter for another time. I am just glad to be free.”

Anakin complimented, “That is a good way to think about it.”

Ahsoka replied, “Thank you. Master... I mean Anakin.”

Anakin said, “It's okay.”

By then, they reached the entrance to a hallway, as they headed for the elevator which would take them to Jedi High Council chamber in High Council Tower.

(_)

A few minutes later, Anakin and Ahsoka exited the elevator at the top floor of the High Council Chamber on the southwestern side of the Jedi Temple.

When they reached the anti-chamber, Anakin and Ahsoka saw the doors to the High Council chamber were open.

Anakin stood in the anti-chamber as Ahsoka walked into the Council Chamber.

Ahsoka came to a stop in the center of the circular chamber.

The double-doors the council chamber slid closed.

As Ahsoka stood in the center of the room, she looked around the room. The light from the sunset came through the windows to created an eerie yellow, red, and orange hues on the council members sitting in their seats. Both the members that were present, and those whom were broadcasting holograms in their seats.

Ahsoka saw that almost all the seats were filled. Save for few whom were likely busy at the present time.

Among those present and in person were Obiwan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, Plo Koon, Shaak Ti, Depa Billaba, and Saesee Tiin.

Through the force Ahsoka noticed something. She though, with concern, 'They are all so cold. I could barely sense any emotion from them. Unlike this afternoon, when they had fire in their hearts about what they were doing. I do not even sense disappointment, nor shame. Just a sense of needing to get this over with.'

'I will keep my mental defenses up slightly, but not enough to alert them. It would be bad for me if made a point of my mental defenses at this time.'

Ahsoka had her mental defenses slightly up, but she allowed a little but of her thoughts and emotions to show, so as to not allowed the Jedi Master to realize she was using her mental defenses.

Across the room, Yoda sat in his council armchair, as he looked at Ahsoka.

Yoda stated, “Mistaken we were on this matter.”

Ahsoka turned to look at Yoda.

Ahsoka watched as Yoda held out his right hand. Yoda opened in his right hand, with the palm facing upwards.

Ahsoka saw that in Yoda's right hand was her padawan headpiece jewelry.

Ahaoka looked back at Yoda. She saw the ancient Jedi Master looking back at her.

Yoda stated, “Padawan Ahsoka Tano. All you need to do is come claim what is yours and return to your rightful place within the Jedi Order.”

Ahsoka realized something, as she thought, with disappointment, 'They are not even going to apologize for the way they treated me.' Ahsoka looked around the room, at the other council members, as she continued her thoughts, 'They have learned nothing. Just like early today. They just want to sweep everything under the rug and forget about it... Is this what the council truly is?... Am I finally seeing the council members for whom they truly are?... The council I have served. It is not worth it. I see now how blind you all are. And I know I can be better this.'

Ahsoka turned to look at Yoda. Ahsoka calmly said, “No.”

Through the force Ahsoka could sense surprise from the council members by her response.

Mace questioned, “No? You do not wish to rejoin the Jedi Order?”

Ahsoka turned to Mace. She flatly said, “No.” She looked around, as she continued, “I have given everything for the Jedi Order. I fought in a war for you. I have shown only loyalty to you. And at the first hint of doubt, you showed you have a less sense of loyal than the Sith.”

Depa forcefully began, “You dare!...”

Yoda turned to Depa. He interrupted, “Stop!” He turned to Ahsoka. Yoda said, “Let her speak.”

Depa looked at Yoda, then back to Ahsoka. She chose to follow Yoda's request to remain silent and let Ahsoka speak.

Meanwhile, Obiwan remained silent while sitting in his council armchair.

Ahsoka looked around the room, as she said, “I am not angry with you. I am disappointed in you.”

Ahsoka turned to look at Plo Koon, whom met her gaze. Then, Ahsoka looked at Obiwan. Obiwan looked away to avoid seeing Ahsoka's disappointment of him.

Ahsoka stated, “Master Kenobi, you are the worst. You were my teacher and my friend. Yet, you turned on me.”

Ahsoka looked around the room, as she went onto say, “You demand total obedience from the members of this Order. And for what? When you do not respect, nor appreciate that loyalty, then this Order is doomed to collapse.”

Ahsoka took a deep breath and she slowly let out out. All of the council members present know Ahsoka was not finished with her statement.

A few seconds later, Ahsoka finished letting out her breath. Then, Ahsoka stated, in a sober tone of voice, “All my life, all of you. All of you preached patience. And in your rush to judgment against me. In your haste to throw me out of the Order and imprison me, without even giving me a chance to clear my name, you have shown me that none of you practice what you preach.”

“Force training deals a lot with altering the perceptions of oneself and others. After years of loyal service, in war, for both the Order and the Republic, you should have given me the benefit of the doubt.”

“I know why you did this. To avoid the chance of creating a public scandal. Well, by your actions in what you have done you have caused worse damage to the Order than any damage a public scandal could create. Not only did you throw me out of the Order. And that means I am free to leave without any of you being able to legally stop me. But by doing all this, you have damaged the trust my friends, your Chosen One, my former master, and Thor, have towards you.”

“In the future, this will have repercussions for you. But, not by me.”

Ahsoka's mental defenses slightly faltered, as she held back tears. Ahsoka concluded, “My heart is still in the light. I sense I have a path. Though, before any of you think otherwise, my path is not one of revenge. I will allow the force to decide what will happen to you. One does not need the force to realize the path you now walk will not end well for any of you. A path I will not join you on.”

Ahsoka turned and she started walking to the doors.

Yoda closed his right hand around the padawan jewelry, as he realized Ahsoka was not going to return to the Jedi Order.

As Ahsoka approached the closed double-doors to the anti-chamber, she used the force to press the button on the panel by the right side of the double-doors to have the doors slide open.

The doors slid open a second before Ahsoka reached the doors. Ahsoka did not stop walking, as she continued her way into the anti-chamber that connected to the high council chamber.

As Ahsoka walked outside, Ahsoka came to a stop next to Anakin.

A second after Ahsoka stopped, the doors to the council chamber closed behind her. Ahsoka was not sure whom among the Jedi High Council closed the doors, and she did not care.

Anakin could sense something was wrong. He asked, “What happened?”

Ahsoka sadly stated, “They asked me to rejoin the order in the coldest manner possible. I cannot go back. They betrayed my trust. They betrayed the ideals of the Jedi Order.”

Anakin said, “We have been walking a fine line for a long time. But, you do make a good point. Though, what about Obiwan?”

Ahsoka said, “He remained silent during the entire meeting.”

Anakin stated, “He is caught in the middle.”

Ahsoka replied, with slight bitterness in her tone of voice, “Still, he should have said something. He should have done something before I was arrested. He should have defended me during my hearing.” She continued, with a little hope in her voice, “Come with me. I am sure Padme would be happy if you left the Order.”

Anakin thought, 'Considering how Ahsoka's hearing went. I better not mention that Obiwan was the one to arrange for Ahsoka's hearing.'

Anakin responded, “I cannot so easily leave. But, maybe soon. In the meantime, someone has to keep an eye on things until this war is over.”

Ahsoka conceded, “I can see your point.”

Anakin pointed out, “I may not be your teacher. But, I am your friend.”

Ahsoka gratefully said, “Thank you.”

Anakin complimented, “For the record. I believe you could pass the trials right now. You have already shown the skill. I only doubted your maturity. The patience you have shown during this sad affair has proven you are mature enough to handle being a Jedi Knight.”

Ahsoka give Anakin a weak smile, as she replied, in a sober tone of voice, “Thank you.” Ahsoka sighed. Her smiled brightened, as she stated, “After what has happened today, the trials no longer matter that much to me. If you believe I am ready. That is enough. I do not feel I need to prove myself to anyone else.”

Anakin returned Ahsoka's smile. Anakin offered, “Thank you for still trusting my judgment. I would like to walk you to the western entrance.”

Ahsoka replied, “I would appreciate that.”

The former master and student then headed for the elevator to take them to the ground floor.

(_)

Meanwhile, in the council chambers, Obiwan heard every word Ahsoka said. And all he could feel was shame and regret towards himself for not acting towards helping his former student.

Obiwan watched as Ahsoka used the force to open the doors to leading to the anti-chamber.

As soon as Ahsoka was out of the chamber, and into the anti-chamber, Obiwan used the control panel on the right armrest of his chair to have the double-doors between the chamber and anti-chamber, to prevent anyone in the room from being tempted to go after here.

Plo Koon asked, “Should we stop her?”

Obiwan stated, “No. Right now, she is no longer with us. We should not drive her to be against us.”

Yoda commented, “Wise words.”

Mace said, “I agree.”

Shaak Ti pointed out, “Still, someone was able to have a droid sneak into the Temple and plant a bomb. And we have no clue as to who is behind this.”

Yoda stated, “These matters are troubling.”

Mace responded, “Unfortunately, at this time we no way of finding whom is responsible. And we have other matters to discuss. Such as the hole in the fleet's defense.”

Shaak Ti commented, “This war has been a stalemate for so long, it is hard to tell if we have made any significant gains in the last few months. We seem to lose as much as we gain.”

Saesee pointed out, “That is a good point. I have read reports the Separatists have drawn some of their of their ships away from this battle lines. A few ships here and there. But, these numbers quickly add up. Though, they left enough ships to hold their battle lines.”

Obiwan said, “I have ready such reports, as well. They seem to be pulling together new fleet. With this new fleet, they could be planning to make a invasion attack on Coruscant, or some of the other the Core Worlds.”

Mace commented, “That is possible. But, we need to know more before we act. If we pull back to much of the fleet to protect a possible attack on the Core Worlds, those missing Separatist forces could turn up and attack a few the points we will be weakening in our lines. This could change the dynamics of this war within as little time as a few hours. If Loki is behind this, while we have been thinking this was a stalemate, with Loki playing us for fools.”

Obiwan conceded, “That is how Loki operates.”

Ki-Adi-Mundi inquired, “If worse comes to worse and the Separatists are able to cripple us using whatever Loki has planned, will Loki try to take over the entire galaxy? Or, will she and the Separatists settle for suing for a peace in the form of a truce? Or, at least an armistice?”

Yoda warned, “Negotiating from a point of weakness is never wise.”

Mace stated, “That is true. We need to make sure we do not lose the battles that the Separatists plan to make with this

Obiwan questioned, “This still comes back to where this fleet will be used? Or, will this fleet will be broken apart, with small groups of these ships being used to augment with Separatist forces already located nearby to attack multiple points at once?”

Yoda commented, “All very troubling possibilities.”

Plo Koon pointed out, “If we do nothing, the Core Worlds are at risk. If we do something, we risk several of our battle lines in key strategic locations.”

Saesee stated, “A possible no-win situation.”

Mace said, “No situation is unwinnable.”

Shaak Ti said, “Loki be waiting for us to decide. And she will then since her fleet where we are at our weakest.”

Ki-Adi-Mundi commented, “And if we spread our forces evenly between our front lines and the Core Worlds, would be leave ourselves to weak to repel a major invasions no matter where the Separatist attack.”

Saesee stated, “We lost too many ships and personnel in the Third Campaign to take Arkanis, which ended in a rout for the Republic. That defeat has left us too spread out with the forces we still have at our command.”

Obiwan said, “That might have been Loki's plan after all. Still, the Separatist suffered heavy causalities in Third Campaign of Arkanis, as well.”

Saesee commented, “Though, even if the Separatists as much as we did in that Campaign. If Loki has tricked up into spreading of forces to thinly, then we would have to review every victory we have had, possibly going back for the last few years, to see which victories were won and which victories we were allowed to win to draw us further out.”

Plo Koon pointed out, “It does not help us that the Chancellor has made it so his appointments in the Republic military can occasionally have final say resource allocations of the Republic military. If we had more ships on the front lines, we might be winning more battles. Instead, some of the Republic military personnel, including several Jedi Cruisers are guarding planets whom governors are nothing more than the Chancellor's sycophants. Ships we need to win this war.”

Yoda said, “While we disagree sometimes with our contemporaries in the Republic military. Some of the Republic's best victories in this war have come from their officers. So, we cannot offhandedly dismiss their input on where troops and ships could be stationed.”

Obiwan pointed out, “And we are losing more ships than we are building. And we are losing personnel. The Kaminoans are producing clones at full capacity. But, it takes years for a clone to be trained and grow into a soldiers. While it takes less than a week from raw mineral resources to be smelted, forges, assembled and programmed to create a battle droid.”

Shaak Ti commented, “We may have to ask for more volunteers to join the military. Or, worse, we may have to institute a military draft among the civilian population.”

Mace said, “The Chancellor would never allow that. The only reason he has been able to amass so much power is that as far as the civilian population is concerned, they do not have to directly fight in this war.”

Ki-Adi-Mundi stated, “Their inaction may lead to allowing the Chancellor to amass so much power to the point that no one will be able to stop him. Only then will the Chancellor institute a military draft at the barrel of gun.”

Shaak Ti turned to look at Yoda. She mentioned, “Master Yoda. At least with the mission you and Senator Amidala undertook to Kashyyyk to meet with Representative Bonteri that we learned the negotiation with the Separatists are an option.”

Yoda turned to Shaak Ti. He commented, “Unfortunately, Master Ti. It is not us that decides when it time for us negotiate for the Republic, in discussions with the Separatists. That decisions rests with Chancellor. And the current Chancellor's heart is clearly in support of this war.”

Shaak Ti lamented, “Sad but true.”

Mace stated, “Still, we can keep closer eyes on the Chancellor. And we do have retain some control on how this war is fought. This is what we need to focus on for now.”

And so, the Jedi Council continued with other business, while Anakin escorted Ahsoka out of the Jedi Temple.

(_)

A few minute later, Ahsoka and Anakin passed the large doors, down the upper staircase and passed the large columns lining the large alcove surrounding main entrance level into the Jedi Temple.

Ahsoka walked a meter in front of Anakin. Their trip out of the temple was a silent affair.

When Ahsoka reached the lower staircase, which lead to the plaza surrounding the Jedi Temple, Ahsoka came to a stop just before reaching the steps.

Anakin stopped beside Ahsoka, to Ahsoka's left side.

Just beyond the lower staircase, Ahsoka saw Padme standing next to the left side of her speeder vehicle, with Padme facing the staircase.

Ahsoka saw Padme looking up at them.

Though, unlike the dress Padme had on that morning, Padme was currently wearing a casual short-sleeve orange shirt, red pants, with dark red belt around her waist, and brown shoes.

The speeder vehicle was a red convertible, with its top down. The red speeder had two front seats and two back seats.

Anakin turned to Ahsoka. He commented, “I called her before you arrived at the Temple, just in case you decided not to stay.”

Ahsoka turned to look at Anakin. She complimented, “Good call.” Ahsoka thought, 'This is not the speeder she has been using. I will have to ask her about that.'

Anakin replied, “Thank you.”

Ahsoka and Anakin turned look at Padme.

Padme looked up at her two friends. Padme smiled, as she offered, “Ahsoka. Are you going to just stand there? Or, come down here? You can stay at my place until you figure out what you want to do next.”

Ahsoka looked at Padme, as she grinned. Ahsoka replied, “Sure.”

Anakin turned to Ahsoka, as he stated, “I will join you both a little later tonight. Then, we will talk.”

Ahsoka turned to Anakin. She continued to grin, as she said, “Okay. I will see you there.”

Ahsoka turned back to look at Padme, as she quickly made her way down the staircase.

While Ahsoka made her way down the staircase, Padme circled around the front of her speeder. When she reached the left side of the speeder, she opened the front left door and sat into the driver's seat. Then, she shut the door.

By then, Ahsoka had reached the bottom of the staircase. She made her way to the speeder. When she reached the speeder, she jumped into the right front passenger seat of the vehicle.

Padme buckled herself. She started the speeder. She turned to Ahsoka. She said, “Buckle up.” Padme turned to looked in front of her.

Ahsoka did not verbally respond, as she buckled herself into the vehicle.

At the top of the lower staircase, Anakin watched as Padme flew her speeder into the air and towards the skylanes, which were full of speeders vehicles moving very fast at that time of the evening. Though, Padme was experienced at piloted a speeder vehicle in heavy traffic, going at high speed.

Anakin smiled, as he turned around and he began making his way back into the Jedi Temple.

Anakin continued to smile, as he walked. He thought, 'It is going to be an interesting conversation tonight. But, we can trust Ahsoka.'

(_)

Meanwhile, in the air, Padme had just piloted the speeder Ahsoka and herself were inside of onto the skylane that would take them to her apartment.

Ahsoka looked around, she saw that like inside the High Council chamber, the sunset lit sky cast yellow, red, and orange hues over the entire cityscape around them.

Then, Ahsoka's brought her attention back to where she was. Ahsoka around at the red speeder, as she commented, “This is not the speeder you have been driving for the last few weeks.”

As Padme kept her eyes on the skylane she was in and the vehicles around her, she commented, “I figured you might want to ride in something more fun and fitting for the moment.”

Ahsoka complimented, “Good choice.”

Padme asked, “Thank you. So, do you have any thoughts on what you are going to do now?”

Ahsoka turned to Padme. She answered, “Honestly. No. I never had any real plans beyond being with the Order. Now, I guess I will see where the living force takes me.”

Padme offered, “Before you decide to go one such a journey, I have an job opportunity for you. Since I am settling in back in my senatorial role, I need an assistant, and I could use a bodyguard. I believe you could do both roles.”

Ahsoka stated, “Sure. I have nothing better to do.”

Padme smiled, as she continued driving. She commented, “Thank you.”

Ahsoka continued to look at Padme, as she thought, 'Though, why would you need a bodyguard? The hammer makes you tougher than anyone else in the galaxy. For that matter, why did you decide to quit being Thor?'

Ahsoka used her force abilities to deeply sense Padme. Then, Ahsoka realized what her senses were telling her.

Ahsoka could not help herself, as she blurted out, “You're pregnant?”

To Padme's credit, she forced herself not to react, due to the possibility of a getting into a midair collision with the speeder vehicles which surrounded her on the skylane. Instead, Padme forced herself to remain calm, as she said, “Yes. I am.”

Ahsoka responded, “Wow. This explains why you do not want to be Thor for right now.”

Padme commented, “I fear what the transformation will do to my unborn child.”

Ahsoka asked, “Fair enough. But, who is the father?” Then, Ahsoka realized who it was, as she commented, “Of course... Anakin.”

Padme replied, “Yes.”

Ahsoka realized, as she questioned, “And that six weeks were your both were gone was a romantic vacation?”

Padme coyly admitted, “More than that.”

Ahsoka commented, “The only event more than that is... You're honeymoon?”

Padme said, “Yes.”

Ahsoka asked, “When did you get married?”

Padme answered, “Soon, after we left. We stopped by Naboo, to present an alibi. Then, we headed to a resort planet. We got married during a sunset, in an open veranda, while facing a beach and the sun at sunset.”

Ahsoka complimented, “Nice.” She frowned, as she continued, “Though, I am annoyed that I was not invited to the wedding.”

Padme kept her eyes on the traffic in front and to her sides, as she stated, “No one was invited. The only people present were, Anakin, the priest whom married us, and myself.”

Ahsoka dropped her frown. She said, “I can understand why. And I can live with that.” She thought, 'If their marriage and pregnancy is discovered, it would wreck both their careers.'

Padme commented, “Thank you for understanding. Still, Anakin stated that it should be months before a Jedi could sense my pregnancy.”

Ahsoka stated, “That is likely for most Jedi. But, I have known you for years. I can sense that things are off about you. And all the evidence points to you being pregnant.”

Padme said, “I will have to be more careful.”

Ahsoka commented, “Besides Anakin and myself. Avoid force users that know you.”

Padme thought, 'The only other force user that knows me well is Obiwan. Though, you did not mention Obiwan by name. And given what just happened, that is understandable.'

Padme replied, “Okay. I will.”

Ahsoka stated, “Though, I appreciate you willing to take such a risk of being discovered to help me.”

Padme responded, “We have known each other long enough that I trust you with my life. This secret is a minor concern compared to the situation you faced.”

Ahsoka pointed out, “Still, it is a growing concern.”

Padme stated, “I realize this. I am planning to distance myself from the Senate in the coming months.”

Ahsoka thought, 'That explains why you decided to no longer be Thor. And this is why Anakin is not opposed to leaving the Jedi Order. Okay. That explains a lot. Also...'

Ahsoka said, “That is understandable. Though, while I would like to stay at your home. I would be deeply grateful if you could turn the volume down on the music in your home.”

Padme smiled, as she replied, “Do not worry. I will.” She lamented in thoughts, 'When I am alone. I do like to turn the volume up on the music I listen to.'

Ahsoka thought, 'I have to tell someone.' Ahsoka mentioned, “I did do not mention this to anyone. Because I did not know who to trust. But, someone wanted me to escape. Someone slipped me a keycard for my cell. I kept the card, but I do not use it.”

Padme responded, “Good job. You realized the directions that someone was trying to pull you towards and you did not give them the chance to use you. You are already learning more about politics.”

Ahsoka replied, “Thank you.”

Padme asked, “Do you still have the card?”

Ahsoka answered, “Yes. I have it on me.”

Padme stated, “We will keep it as evidence. Just in case.”

Ahsoka said, “Okay. Now, back to this job. I guess I will have my work cut out being your assistance and bodyguard.”

Padme commented, “Not to worry. I will show you the ropes on what I need you to do. And when it comes to bodyguard work your Jedi training will help you.”

Ahsoka admitted, “To be honest, I always preferred my lightsabers over direct use of the force. And I guess I will have to find a way to build two new lightsabers.”

Padme responded, “I am sure that Anakin can help you with building new lightsabers.”

Ahsoka agreed, “I have no doubt about that.”

Padme commented, “Just wait until you see how much I am going to pay you.”

Ahsoka stated, “I guess that it will be a nice amount of money.”

Padme said, “Well, given you are a Jedi, you likely have not handled much money before. I will show you how, along with how to handle taxes and regulations.”

Ahsoka inquired, “I appreciate that. What time do you need me up in the morning?”

Padme answered, “When I decide to get up. I keep my own hours. But, I will let you know ahead of time. And we will work out a schedule.”

Ahsoka said, “That will be fine.”

Padme requested, “Though, now that the Jedi no longer govern you, I am sure you are tempted to test you limits and experience life. But, while under my employ, do not do anything foolish.”

Ahsoka pointed out, “You do understand how hypocritical you sound?”

Padme countered, “Learn from my mistakes.”

Ahsoka conceded, “Fair enough.”

Padme stated, “If you meet someone that you are romantically interested in. Do not go fast. And talk to me before such a relationship becomes serious.”

Ahsoka said, “I will. Though, I have no interest in having a relationship right now. I would prefer to see where I end up, before I decide to take such actions.”

Padme responded, with a bit of relief in her voice, “That is good hear.” Padme realized, as she stated, “Given you just walked away from the Jedi Temple. You only have the clothes on your back. We will get you some clothes. Do not worry. I will pay for them. Though, for right now, you can borrow some of mine.”

Ahsoka asked, “Do you think I could get Anakin to retrieve my clothes and personal items from my former quarters at the temple.”

Padme commented, “I do not see why not.”

Ahsoka stated, “I will ask Anakin when we see him tonight.”

Padme agreed, “I believe that would be a good idea.”

The two of them continued to chat as Padme drove Ahsoka to Padme's home.

When they reached the building Padme's apartment was on, Padme parked the speeder on the parking level, and the two of them took the elevator to Padme's apartment. Once inside the apartment, Padme showed Ahsoka to a guest bedroom, which was where Ahsoka would be sleeping.

After which, both of them them dined in and had some supper in Padme's apartment.

(_)

Later that night, a few hours after dark, Anakin flew a speeder vehicle from the Jedi Temple to Padme apartment, to check on Padme and Ahsoka.

As Anakin made a pass around the building, he could see the lights in Padme's apartment were on. Then, Anakin headed to parking level of the building.

After Anakin parked the speeder on the parking level of Padme's apartment, Anakin walked over to the elevator that would take him to Padme's apartment.

Anakin used the intercom by the elevator to Padme's apartment to alert Padme and Ahsoka that he was coming up.

After which, Anakin use the passcode to open the elevator doors and head up to Padme's apartment.

Soon, the elevator came down to open up its doors for Anakin. Anakin stepped inside the elevators.

A few seconds later, the elevator closed its doors, and took Anakin to Padme's apartment.

When the elevator reached the level of Padme's apartment, the doors to the elevator slid open, and Anakin was greeted by Padme and Ahsoka. Anakin walked into the hallway.

Padme stood to Anakin's left. And Ahsoka to Anakins's right.

Anakin took a few steps inside the room, as he faced Padme and Ahsoka.

A second later, the elevator doors closed.

Anakin looked at the two women. Anakin said, “Hi.”

Ahsoka replied, “Hey.”

Padme suggested, “Let's talk in the living room.”

Anakin replied, “I agree.”

The three of them turned and walked to the living room.

When they reached the living room, they stood a few meters apart from each other, as they look at one another.

Anakin was to Ahsoka's left and Padme was to Ahsoka's right.

Anakin turned to Ahsoka. He asked, “So, how are you settling in?”

Ahsoka looked over at Anakin. She stated, “I believe I will be fine. Though, I still would like to find out who set me up.”

Padme turned to Ahsoka. She stated, “I have a feeling that is not going to happen.”

Ahsoka looked over at Padme. She said, “Sadly, I have to agree.”

Anakin stated, “Yes. The Jedi High Council has swept this whole matter under the rug.”

Ahsoka commented, “Well, since I am not longer with them, that is of little concern for me.”

Anakin said, “I understand.”

Ahsoka stated, “I do not hold you responsible for what happened.”

Anakin responded, “I know. Though, I hope someday you can forgive Obiwan.”

Ahsoka bitterly said, “He did not speak for me in public. So, someday I may forgive. But, not today. And not before I have discussed the matter with him.”

Anakin replied, “I understand.”

Ahsoka stated, in a normal tone of voice, “But, I do hold you responsible for not telling me about a few other things.”

Anakin asked, “Like what?”

Padme turned towards Anakin. She stated, “Ahsoka was able to use her personal knowledge of me and the force to guess I was pregnant. It was not hard to figure out you are the father. And I admitted we got married on our six week trip.”

Anakin looked at Padme.

Padme said, “Sorry.”

Anakin groaned. He turned to Ahsoka. He saw Ahsoka shrug towards him.

Anakin commented, “I am not surprised you figured this out. Given you would be living with Padme, I realized that you would find out eventually. I hope you can understand why we kept this these secrets from you.”

Ahsoka responded, “I am annoyed you did not tell me. But, I understand.”

Anakin commented, “I am glad you understand.”

Ahsoka looked at both Padme and Anakin. She said, “I want to thank you both for your help. And for allowing me to stay here.”

Padme said, “You are more than happy to stay here.”

Anakin commented, “No problem.”

Ahsoka thought, 'I need to mention the keycard to Anakin.' Ahsoka looked over towards Anakin. She commented, “I already told Padme this. But, whomever is behind this, I believe they tried to trick me into escaping my cell in the garrison. I did not. But, someone or something left a keycard under the pillow of my cell.”

Padme stated, “I find this disconcerting.”

Anakin turned to Ahsoka. He inquired,, “It truly is. Where is the keycard right now?”

Ahsoka responded, “Safe. In my new bedroom here. Now, besides who is behind this? Why would they do this?”

Anakin stated, “Whomever did this was planing to frame you for wrecking the Jedi Temple. From what Obiwan told me, if the bomb had been planted right, the resulting damage would have forced the Jedi to abandon the Temple until it was repaired. This would keep the Jedi Order on Coruscant busy for a few months.”

Padme commented, “That is not a bad plan.” Padme turned to Ahsoka. She questioned, “But, why frame you?”

Ahsoka turned to Padme. She answered, “I have no idea.”

Padme stated, “Still, this works for us. I already told you. With my pregnancy. I am planning to distance myself from the Senate and Coruscant. But, Anakin is also trying to figure an honorable way to leave the Jedi Order within a few months. So, we disappear from Coruscant.”

Ahsoka looked at both Padme and Anakin. She said, with a little pain in her voice, “That is another matter. You were both going to leave me behind without even telling me?”

Anakin commented, “Only after you had passed your trials. But, neither of us were going to fake our deaths. We would have stayed in contact with you.”

Ahsoka calmed down a little. She said, “Okay. That sounds better.” She turned to Anakin. She inquired, “And how do you intend to leave the Order? You cannot just walk out during a time of war. They threw me out. And I decided not to come back. I doubt you plan to just tell them the truth and be thrown out.”

Anakin said, “No. That would upset too many people. Still, I am working on this problem.”

Ahsoka commented, “I may have a few ideas. But, I doubt any of them would work.”

Anakin stated, “We will figure something out.”

Padme looked at Ahsoka, as offered, “Still, if you want. You can come with us. You no longer have any ties keeping you here.”

Padme turned to Anakin with an unspoken question.

Anakin looked at Padme. And he realized what she was asking. Anakin answered, “I am okay with that.”

Padme smiled towards Anakin. She turned back to Ahsoka.

Ahsoka looked at Padme. Ahsoka said, “Thank you for the offer. But, I need to think about all this.”

Padme stated, “That is alright. Take the time you need. There is still plenty of time to decide.”

Padme turned to Anakin. She mentioned, “And for the time being, Ahsoka has accepted a job from me.”

Anakin looked at both Ahsoka and Padme. He asked, “Which is?”

Ahsoka answered, “Assistant and bodyguard.”

Anakin stated, “That is a good idea. That will work well for both of you.”

Ahsoka commented, “Though, such bodyguard work would be easier if I had my lightsabers. I wish I could get my lightsabers. But, that would raise too many questions.”

Anakin stated, “True. But, you can built another set. A better set. I will find you some nice lightsaber crystals. Padme can help you procure the rest of the items.”

Ahsoka happily replied, “Thanks.”

Anakin commented, “Though, it might be a little while on the crystals.”

Ahsoka said, “I can wait. Even without my lightsabers, anyone that comes after Padme is going to have a lot of problems when the face me.”

Anakin agreed, “That I am sure of.”

Ahsoka requested, “Also, would it be possible to have my clothing and belongings from my quarters at the temple brought to me.”

Anakin responded, “I'll ask. But, except for your lightsabers and your comlink, I do not see a problem with that.”

Ahsoka said, “Thank you.”

Padme mentioned, “Tomorrow, we will be staying here.” Padme turned to Ahsoka. She continued, “We have a lot of documents to fill out which will allow you to become my official aide. As for the bodyguard work. We need to talk about that.”

Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”

Anakin offered, “Also, Ahsoka. After things settle down, and we are away from Coruscant. I would like to continue your training. Besides, I will need someone skilled to lightsabers and the force to spar with. I do not want to get rusty. And I am sure you do not either.”

Ahsoka said, in a calm, through slightly upbeat tone of voice, “I would appreciate that.”

The three of them continued their conversation for another hour. Then, Anakin left to head back to the Jedi Temple, while Padme and Ahsoka retired to their bedrooms for the night.

The next day, Anakin requested and received permission from the Jedi Council to allow Anakin to collect Ahsoka's clothing and personal items and bring the items to Ahsoka.

Fortunately, Ahsoka's old quarters had yet to be cleaned out and resigned to another member of the Jedi Order.

Anakin collected Ahsoka items in a few boxes. When Anakin was finished, he took the boxes to a speeder he used at the Jedi Temple. Then, he piloted the speeder to Padme's apartment building. From there, Anakin delivered the boxes to Ahsoka, on the veranda of Padme's apartment.

In addition, during that day, Padme and Ahsoka filled out the electronic documents to make Ahsoka her official aide. Though, Padme did not state that Ahsoka was also her bodyguard. After some discussion, Padme and Ahsoka agreed they did not want people do know that Ahsoka was also Padme's bodyguard.

The rest of the day was pleasant for the three friends.

(_)

A night later, in an office on Coruscant, Darth Sidious was sitting in his chair, behind his desk, as he pondered his next moves in his quest for galactic conquest, along with the challenges that came with such goals.

Sidious leaned back in his chair, as he collected his thoughts, 'So much is happening. But, much of what is happening here on Coruscant is going as planned. Though, the war is not going the way I had hoped it would.'

'If only a few years ago, the Republic's third campaign to take Arkanis system has been successful. By now, I would have reclaimed most of what was lost in the southeastern part of the galaxy. And I would be shift much of the Republic fleet to the northeastern parts of the galaxy, forcing you, Loki, and my rebel separatists on the defensive. But, that did not happen. And I am find myself in a far more precarious position.'

'From the reports I have read, I can guess what is going to happen next this war. And it is not good for myself.'

'My foolish subordinates and the Jedi likely have not figured this out. But Loki, I can see your next moves.'

'Loki. I know you have created a hidden fleet that the Republic fleet reports have not factored in. I do not know where you have your fleet. But, I am sure you hidden fleet exists.'

'While you created a stalemate in the war over the last several months, you have slowly pulled ships from the front lines. A few in each battle group. I know this because the numbers do not add up.'

'Reconnaissance reports of a ship or two disappearing from specific Separatist battle groups. These ships were not recorded as destroyed. And the numbers would not harm the effectiveness of each battle group.'

'Since reconnaissance did not other Separatist battle groups increasing their ship count. That means these ships are unaccounted for.'

'Then, there are possible ships you have built which never had put on the frontlines.'

'All in all, I will admit that it is a sizable fleet by itself, with their crews, starfighters, ground forces and other resources, which could hold their own against the Hapes Consortium navy, or the Hutts fleet.'

'Your hidden fleet could tip the war in your favor.'

'The question is where you will attack.'

'This all leads to point that you will attack the Core Worlds. And while other Core Worlds would be the likely targets, Coruscant is the best target. A decapitation strike of the Republic leadership. That is what I would do in your place.'

'On top of the question of where you plan to strike, you have lead the Republic into a devious trap.'

'You have slowly pulled most of our forces to the Mid-Rim and Outer Rim. Much of the inner areas of the Republic are left undefended. If we pulled backed, you could use your hidden fleet to strike to key locations, and expand you holdings to take as much as half Republic control space within a month.'

'Grievous is advising you in your tactics. Or, are you teaching him. I would not be surprised if understanding naval warfare was another of your abilities.'

'But, you will not strike soon. Your trap is not fully ready.'

'I may not be able to pull a large fleet to aid the forces in and around Coruscant without tipping my hand to you. But, I can pulled a few more ships without you and your forces noticing. So, when you arrive with you fleet in orbit around Coruscant, the Republic fleet here will have a better chance of holding their own against your fleet until reinforcements arrive.'

'That is if you have the number I believe you have. But, if you have more, than that would be a problem for myself. Still, there are places in Coruscant I can flee to for safety. And if need be, I can flee off of Coruscant in the confusion.'

'Losing this planet would be sad. Along with destroying the Jedi Order, I was hoping to increase my power with the dark force nexus point under their temple. In addition to looting any treasures they might have which would prove useful to myself.'

'But, to save myself, I would gladly give up the chance for such power and wealth. Though, if Coruscant is destroyed. Or, at least the surface is ruined. This might not be death blow to the Republic.'

'And if I move my pieces around the board in the right order, I could use such an attack to destroy the Senate and Jedi Order. I would not longer have to worry about either organization, which would allow me to consolidate my power in the Republic.'

'The populations of the Republic with further rally behind me. The destruction of Coruscant would be a rallying cry to be used to united the Republic into my Empire, and to have my Empire redouble our efforts in destroying the Separatists.'

'At one point I wanted to only wanted to destroyed the leadership of the Separatists and take back control of them. Now, I must crush them as an example so no one else will dare try to rebel against my rule.'

'As of right now, I am limited in how many troops I can field. I can build as many ships as I want. But, without the personnel to crew them, these ships are nothing more then floating pieces of junk in space.'

'The clones had been everything I had hoped they would be. But, the Kaminoan can only grow and train them so fast. But, once I have full control of this nation, I can institute a military draft among the civilian population. Then Loki, you will feel the full might of my Empire.'

'But, if Loki destroys Coruscant, she send her fleet to conquer and destroyed. By the time I am able to rally the Republic populations for a counterattack against this invasion, Loki and her fleet will have gutting the very heart of the Republic.'

'At that point, I do not see I could attain my goal of conquering the galaxy.'

'I know Loki will be on one of the ships of her fleet, while her fleet attacks Coruscant. She will leave nothing to chance on this. She will likely be in of the larger lead cruisers.'

'But, if I had an apprentice, whom could sneak aboard the ship Loki was on and to directly confront Loki while her fleet was attacking Coruscant, this would force Loki to remain and fight my apprentice.'

'If she abandons her fleet in the middle of battle, she would destroy all the respect she has garnered from the Separatists, and the Separatists will abandon her. Should that happen, I will deal with her and then deal with the Separatists. But, I believe she will know this and she will choose to fight my apprentice.'

'Even if the apprentice died, as long as my apprentice kills Loki, Loki's death would cause the leadership of the attacking fleet to be in disarray and return to Separatist held space.'

'As the same time Loki is killed, the Separatists would have destroyed the surface of Coruscant. Most of the Galactic Senators and members of the Jedi Order will likely be killed in the attack.'

'The battle would leave a power vacuum for both the Republic and the Separatists. I will fill the power vacuum for the Republic, while I will use the power vacuum inside the Separatist leadership to buy myself time to rally the Republic to become my Empire and crush the Separatists.'

'In the meantime, I have other matters to be concerned with closer to home.'

'Time is growing short and I need to find a new apprentice before such an attack happens. Someone I can sacrifice should Loki try to confront me. While I have no doubt I could defeat Loki. Such a battle would be taxing to even for someone as powerful as myself. And there is no point in taking chances.'

'Also, if I die. My plans may die with me. And the galaxy will be doomed.'

'Fortunately, events are going as I planned to entice the boy to be my apprentice. I was able to frame the boy's student for my other plans. I even arranged for the keycard in her cell. But, while she did not play her and escape. Thus, preventing me from arranging her death. I have still driven the boy further into the darkness. She was expelled from the Order. Thus, separating her from the boy.'

'At the same time, with the rush to judgment by the Jedi High Council towards the now former student, I have created a wedge of distrust between the boy and the Jedi Order, which I can later use to my advantage.'

'I would have liked to have someone reliable to help me with this mission. But, I did not have anyone I could use. As such I had to rely on droids to do my dirty work. From planting the bomb to placing the keycard.'

'For the droid that invaded the Jedi Temple, the holographic system was one of the most expensive items for the droid. To allow the droid to appear as the student. Along with the holo-mask protecting the droid from any sensor sweeps for explosives.'

'The largest expense for the droid was to finding one that could mimic the student's natural movements.'

'The droid had sensors and programming to avoid cameras, with the droid sneaking into the Temple and disappearing from the cameras after planting the bomb.'

'The Temple Guards rely to heavily on the force to sense for intruders. While the force will allow the skilled to easily sense a living being. Droids are harder to detect. This is a major oversight on their part, considering they know the Separatists use droids soldiers.'

'They are arrogant enough to believe that the Separatists would not dare attack the Jedi Temple. Such arrogance will someday cost them dearly.'

'But, that does not matter. I made sure that droid cannot be traced back to me. Once the droid left the plaza surrounding the temple, by way of the tunnels under the plaza, the droid itself was programmed to destroy itself in the undercity.'

'The other droid dropping off the keycard in the cell at the garrison had a similar program to leave that garrison, find somewhere no one would look it and destroy itself.'

'The timing was simple. I picked a point in time where the student would not have an alibi. The sunrise, while she was asleep was the simplest time.'

'Though, I do not know what went wrong with the bomb I had the droid place in the Jedi Temple.'

'Perhaps the droid did not correctly place the bomb. If the droid had properly done its job, the temple would have been evacuated, weakening the Jedi on Coruscant, and keeping the busy for a few months. Thus, allowing me to further my agenda more aggressively with less risk of discovery by them.'

'It is unfortunate Admiral Tarkin is busy with his battle group in the northeastern Mid-Rim, keeping three sectors that hold valuable resources from falling into the hands of the Separatists.'

'Tarkin would have been wonderful to use on a few matters concerning this mission.'

'Oh well. I will have other opportunities to use Tarkin.'

'Still, from the documents I have recently read, while I have separated the student from the boy, the student has decided to take a job for the girl.'

'I waited until the boy and girl returned to Coruscant, to see how they would react to this situation, to better plot my next moves concerning them.'

'It is unfortunate that the girl has lost her taste for battle at the most inopportune time. And the girl has hinted the possibility she may even leave the Senate.'

'I was hoping to have the boy and girl fight each other. But, it looks like that will not happen.'

'Though, with the girl and the student together, when I decide to, I can deal with them at the same time.'

'I do not want to leave anything to chance.'

'Unfortunately, this leaves the boy as my only option for an apprentice. He is one of the few people that could handle fighting Loki.'

'I need the convince the boy to serve me, so we can deal with Loki before she strikes at the heart of the Republic and further decreases my chance of taking over the galaxy.'

Sidious continued to plot for a few more hours, until he decided it was time to call it a night and get some rest.

(_)

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Albert Camus.

To be continued.

(_)

Author's Notes:

This chapter was meant to move things along, and show how things can be similar to the events as they originally played out, but also have very different outcomes.

Yes. Padme is pregnant. And she is married to Anakin. This gives a mystery of what I am planning.

While Ahsoka was framed and decided to leave the Order. The events are different. And the bombing was not just to frame her, but to severely damage the Jedi Temple by destroying a supporting column for the temple. Luckily the bomb was placed in the wrong manner.

This was to show how devious Sidious can be.

Also, when Ahsoka left, she is still a friend to Anakin because Anakin has matured enough to handle the situation better. Also, Padme was closer to Ahsoka in this timeline, as such Padme was able to convince Ahsoka to stay with her.

With Padme and Anakin trusting Ahsoka with their secrets.

This allows other possibilities to come into play.

Also, due to changes within the story, compared to the original timeline, Ahsoka being expelled from the Jedi Order will have further repercussions.

Unlike in the original timeline, in this story Obiwan was not only Anakin's teacher, but also Padme and Ahsoka's teacher, with Anakin later taking the role of furthering Ahsoka's studies.

These four individuals spent a lot of time with each other. Both as a friends and in fighting together, in life and death situations.

The ramifications of these changes in the timeline will become more apparent in the coming chapters.

On a side note, in Star Wars the jurisdiction and command structure of the Jedi Order during the Old Republic was part of the judiciary branch of the Galactic Republic government.

As for Sidious. I wanted to show that he is still as sharp as ever by showing how he plots and plans various outcomes.

If this was a card game, Loki has a good hand, but Sidious could still win the pot of chips.

Until next time. Have fun.



If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
up
9 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 33939 words long.