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The Skywalker Rebellion

Chapter Text

A Twist in Destiny

Here is my newest complete story. I started this as a series of one shots that ended up being all connected. Please enjoy.

I do not own Star Wars, but am just borrowing them for the purpose of practicing my art.

It was strange how the future was shaped. There were some who saw parts of coming times, times that could be, times that ought to have been. In this age of the failing Old Republic, most saw only dark glimpses of a deceptively frail old man wielding power, a dark figure held together by mere technology, and only hints of a child who could burst into history like a shining star. Then, one strange morning, the entire future shifted.

None would ever discover the exact moment, and only a secretive, powerful man and an unborn child had any knowledge of that moment, though the man would never guess it was his own curiosity that changed the future and the babe would have mere dreams of colors he would never root out.

The child was one of two, his sister behind him in the womb, as they had been rolling about in their shrinking quarters, until his sister had fallen asleep, to the relief of their mother. Not even the medics had realized there were two, not even the curious Force users, Jedi, Sith, and other, who wished to know the mystery of the pregnancy. The Medics Ultrasounds were normally very good, but this was one of those rare cases where technology missed the important part, and the twin children were both so strong in the force that they were hard to differentiate. Their own father, possibly the strongest Force User in the galaxy, missed it.

As for the powerful man, he was the leader of the Old Republic, a dangerous man with dangerous secrets who was skillfully guiding the corrupt, failing republic to its end and the rise of an empire. When the moment the future changed came, the man was seated in his office, smiling benignly on his former planetary leader, the Queen of Naboo, and now Senator, Padme Amidala. She was there to talk to him about the war, hoping their friendship would lead them to a new answer.

Chancellor Palpatine, known to a very few as Darth Sidious, listened to her with polite, woeful silence. They were friends, at least to Padme's knowledge, and she was appealing to that friendship to help bring peace. Had the brilliant young woman spoken to some other mind other than one steeped in cruel Sith teachings, she would have left a deep mark. As it was, Palpatine felt a little bored.

She was an important pawn in his current move, she and her unborn child. Her secret husband had only lately learned of his fatherhood, having spent the last six months in the Clone Wars, and was only back now for a well-earned leave. It had happened sooner than Palpatine had planned, as he had meant to execute a kidnapping plot on himself as the boy returned, but he thought it might be better for young Anakin Skywalker to be planet side when his next move happened. For now, Palpatine contented himself with tormenting the powerful boy with dreams of Padme's death.

It would take a good deal of his skill to make that happen, and what was more, to blame the Jedi for the death. Palpatine wasn't yet sure if he should end the child's life as well, or if the babe could be hidden away to be trained as a Sith from birth. Still wearing his respectful, worn mien of the Chancellor, he nudged his mind to the child's mind, looking to see if there was an opening for him. A young, unmolded mind met his, so open and naive, it startled him.

He could not tell the gender, but the babe reacted to his mental probing by kicking, hard. His mother cringed a little, unaware of the cause of her child's sudden movement. To the Chancellor's surprise the fluid mind pushed back, instinctively catching hold of the Force manipulation. He drew back, wondering if an unborn child could use the force.

On the child's side, it was merely light flaring into his mind, and even before the child used its eyes outside the womb, he could see the Force.

It was a simple moment, not unlike that of the Jedi giving a youngling their first taste of the Force, but the Chancellor had done what no other had done for this child, and with such curiosity that his plotting was in the back of his mind, so the first touch from the Force came not with the heavy plots, but a mere quest for information. As he was unborn, the child had not known of the outsider world, knowing only the mother and father's voices, and the energetic sister. Now he knew more, though the unformed mind could not clarify that. He wanted more, though desire itself was unknown to his mind.

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Two weeks later Padme Amidala frowned as she rested her hand on her stomach. The baby seemed to hardly be still any more. She had yet another month and a half before she was due, but of late the pre-labor contractions seemed harsher. It worried her, thought she could not interrupt her husband's deep fear with such thoughts. Besides, at this point the child would easily survive. All the greatest medical care was present here on Coruscant.

"Are you unwell, Padme?" Her handmaid Sabe asked. Sabe was the only person to know who the father of her children was, brought into Padme and Anakin's confidence soon after their marriage. By now everyone knew Padme was pregnant and not even her carefully constructed gowns could conceal her changed body. There was a bit of gossip, for although it was not forbidden in the Senate, or on her own home planet, a pregnancy of an apparently unmarried woman always set tongues wagging. For the press, it was an amazing sight, as Padme Amidala had never seemed to care much for personal relationships that did not assist in her ideals as first leader, then representative of Naboo.

"I suppose this child is restless," She sighed.

"Ah," Sabe smiled. "Shall you go rest?"

"Yes," Padme agreed. Sabe was a near duplicate of Padme, and had often stood in her place. The senatorial gown was designed to slip off and on and once Sabe had added the now needed padding to appear pregnant, it was rare for any to realize the change had been made. This was not unheard of. Padme personally knew the Jardin representative was never present, always his duplicate. With so many varieties of species as well, it was hard to tell one species from another. A Twilek might see the change of Twilek, a human might see the change in human, but rarely did they see the change in the other.

She rested in her Senate chamber, watching the proceedings through a cam and letting Sabe hold her place. Her friend had her complete trust, and so she dozed a little, aware mainly of the unease in her middle. It would shock her, her aides, and her handmaids when they returned to her chambers at the end of the day, to discover her water had broken.

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Every Force sensitive person near the Senate Building felt the sudden surprise of an unborn child as its home began to work to eject the child. The frail mind stretched out curiously, as it had learned to do two weeks before. It had touched its sister's mind, but she had been asleep and had not noticed the touch, so when the mind stretched out to sense beyond the womb, accidentally setting labor in motion, it was the only one shown to the world.

When the contractions began to grow harsh, and the child grew confused he reached out as far as he could with his mind, instinctively seeking help. The entire Jedi temple and a few undiscovered minds, as well as the secret Sith Lord, felt the baby's confusion and small, innocent mind. It lasted just a moment, for the child had often been aware of its father, overhearing the quick conversations they shared on holovids, and in person the last month, and the father was in the temple. Once that mind was found, the rest felt the child's mind disappear.

Grand Master Yoda tuned out a Mace Windu's report, as the future he'd seen glimpses of turned on its head. The suffocating presence they called the Dark Side grew smaller. Something new was happening. No child had ever used the Force inside the womb.

Obi Wan Kenobi stumbled at the touch of the mind as he sat meditating in his quarters.

Ahsoka Tano froze during a training duel, then watched her Master spin around and race out of the room.

Anakin Skywalker ran from the Jedi Temple, would not have stopped if Master Yoda himself had ordered it.

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"It's too soon!" Anakin wailed to Sabe and Bail Organa. The Senator was reeling with the unexpected discovery that not only was Padme bearing a Jedi's child, but that she was married to the Jedi. Bail had longed to be a father, but could not sire children. He had met Padme Amidala when she was a child queen, and he a seasoned Senator. He had always liked Padme, and had indeed guided her in her debut to the Senate.

A fierce protectiveness swept over Bail. In this instance, he would stand against the Jedi. It had always puzzled him how such great men and women would look down on love. He had married while very young, and had long believed he should not have got so far without his wife's love and support.

"Do calm down, Anakin," Sabe sneered. "Women have given birth since the beginning of time, many without the safeguards Padme has. Now, I will tell her you are too frantic to see her, or you can steady your nerves and face this like a calm Jedi."

The medical staff had to be taken into confidence as well, but they were bound by secrecy laws regarding all Senators, so to talk would be treason. The man they called the Hero with No Fear blinked as he raggedly breathed. He looked no more than a worried husband and father, and suddenly Bail laughed.

"Come on Anakin. Let's get you a stiff drink before you face your wife. My sisters have all had several children, so I am no stranger to waiting and I'll be bound that Padme will scold you if you face her like that."

The handmaid's sneer and Bail's teasing made the frightened young man step back as if slapped across the face. He took a deep breath. "I've had such bad dreams."

"My brothers in law all said the same. You can do nothing to aid her, but stand with her. Now straighten your spine and go be with your wife. Jedi with no fear indeed."

Rather shaken out of the fear that had gripped him since he'd first dreamt, Anakin Skywalker entered the delivery room, where his wife was yelling at the delivery droids to tell her coward of a husband to get into the room. She blinked and then grinned at him.

"Sabe got hold of you quickly."

"Actually, our child told me. I'm not sure an unborn child has touched the Force before," Anakin grinned, curiously relieved to see how much brighter the room was, how feisty Padme looked, how calm the medical instruments sounded compared to his dreams.

"Two children, Master Skywalker," The clean, white droid examining his wife's stomach intoned. "There are two children. One was hidden behind the other all this time. This early labor is not as surprising. Multiples are often born early, and they appear strong and healthy."

"Twins?" Padme and Anakin echoed each other. "Oh, good grief. I knew I didn't prepare enough!" The mother added.

Four hours later, Luke Skywalker entered the world with his eyes closed and a few cries that faded when his strangely woken Force Sense felt the world around him. He batted at the silvery threads that laced the air, unseen to everyone but the newborn whose first sight had been through the Force. His twin sister, annoyed that her companion had vacated their home, followed mere minutes later. She blinked her little eyes and wailed her annoyance.

As Padme cradled her son, and Anakin cradled his daughter in the late hours of the night, the powerful Jedi Knight blinked, his confused thoughts resolving on one simple line. "The Jedi are wrong about marriage and attachment."

Padme smiled, touching the small nose of her son. "Quite wrong," She agreed. "We've been such fools."

"Then it is time I left them," Anakin declared. "I no longer have a desire to be a Jedi if it means acting ashamed of you and our children."

Padme nodded. All their sneaking around seemed so foolish now. She kissed her son's head. "Little Luke."

"I shall go them now," Anakin decided, getting to his feet.

"What? Oh, no, not now. Let's spend this first night all together. We need to do this carefully," Padme blurted, woken from her admiration of her carefully wrapped and monitored babies. "It is clearly time we made a change, but we need to know what we are going to change too before we make it."

"True. I told you we would have a girl," Anakin grinned. "Little, feisty Leia."

Chapter Text

A Father and Husband

Here is the next part.

I do not own Star Wars. I am just borrowing them to practice my art.

Despite the strange innocence that Obi Wan Kenobi could feel over the Senate and the Jedi Temple and some ways around it, he was concerned. He had never had dreams or premonitions, but a good number of Jedi had over the last two nights. Mace Windu had spent a whole day in meditation based on what he saw, and three younglings had also had dreams and revealed they had that gift. Strangely, and this is what worried the Jedi Master, Anakin had appeared the morning after the strange shift in the Force, beaming and declaring he had never had such a good night of rest.

Anakin had often had little dreams of what was to happen and that he hadn't seen the change puzzled Obi Wan. So, he sat alone in the Council room, seeking to see what the strange shift meant. Over a dozen, Jedi were recording their dreams in the libraries below, and the rest of the council was either meditating, sleeping after reviewing the change, or exploring the lightened sense of the Force. Two days since the sudden shift, and Anakin was still beaming. He wasn't just happy, thought Obi Wan, but he was at peace. As long as Obi Wan had known the boy, something had always pulled at him, turning his eyes away from the Jedi Order.

"Here Answers will not be found," The voice of Master Yoda intruded on his thoughts. Obi Wan turned to bow his head. He had learned much under Master Yoda, who had undertaken to instruct him after the death of his Master. Masters would still teach their knighted Padawan's, and Obi Wan, throwing himself into teaching his own Padawan, had needed the help.

"Anakin has them," Obi Wan said.

"Yes. A strange peace is on him," Yoda said and his ears drooped a little. "Grief, it may bring you."

"Master Yoda, why am I grieved? I have wanted to see that on Anakin since he was a child," Obi Wan asked.

"Where has come, this peace?"

"The shift we felt. Has Anakin started to bring Balance?"

"Changed, the future has. The Chosen one, exist no longer, he may."

"That prophecy is centuries old! This simple shift..."

"Simple, it is not," Yoda rapping his stick on the floor. "Change, it is coming. Danger, this brings."

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Shaak Ti had never fully believed her small dreams amounted to much. A piece here and there had happened. More than once, she'd had a sense of Deja vu that she could connect to a dream, but it was never important. So, when she dreamt the night of the Shift, the night a child touched her mind and heart, the sheer power of the dream frightened her. Never had she had such clarity. Never had she felt such fear.

All around her, she watched younglings, Padawans, Knights, and Masters record their dreams, and in each, she heard a note of excitement, a note of hope. Most had not recognized the fact that the mind that touched them was a child, a baby, and one she did not believe had even been born. All they knew was the lifting of the darkness in the Force, glimpses of a possible future where the stagnation of the Order and the Republic was undone. In her dreams, she had seen death and destruction, rage and hate, and all against the younglings, a long and treacherous war, and a boy facing a dark shadow.

The shift had happened, but it was going to bring danger on them.

"Padawan Jade," She called. The young man turned away from his watching of the recordings. "Come with me."

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This was unexpected. Palpatine stood alone in his office, blinking at the rapidity of the change. He had not even realized the birth had happened until the next morning, when Padme's duplicate returned to the Senate without Padme even coming to the building. He had felt the child's mind stretch out, had felt the shift, but had ignored it, believing he had created a link with the babe to his own mind. It wasn't until the exultation of the Jedi touched him that he realized just what the shift had done.

When he had stretched his senses to find Anakin, the Sith Lord had been violently shaken.

There had been a firmness to the man, a strength of character that Palpatine had so carefully undermined. Not even the turn against the Jedi made up for it. Skywalker had reached his limit for the Jedi, but instead of breaking into a rage, he felt sorry for them. From there it had been easy to learn the baby had been born, a daughter, if the flitting dreams of dancing with a little girl was anything. There was a bright, newborn Force presence with Padme. The center-point of the shift was focused on the baby.

Grimly beginning to move his pawns around, to figure out how to get around this queen of the enemies, Palpatine took a moment to enjoy the irony that the exulting Jedi were being given hope because one of their members broke their code. That would be a good place to begin. He would have to expose Anakin and get the Jedi to turn on him. When Anakin came to mourn and rage, he would have to come to Palpatine. It was good that his plot to rid himself of Dooku had never come to pass.

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"I wish you could wait until the war ended," Bail Organa said, watching his friend and her husband as they cradled the children. He and Sabe were the only other two present. "There could be trouble from this, especially if General Kenobi and you are publicly seen to be against each other."

"Why would that happen?"

"Because my boy, I do not mean to lose you as a General in this war," Bail answered. "One or the other of you two and your Padawan will need to be reassigned if you go through with this."

"I had not thought of that. I do not know if I wish to continue as a General," Anakin said. "My children are only three days old."

"Leave time will of course be needed," Bail agreed. "It is not unknown among the Regulars. It is only the Jedi and the Clones who do not receive leave for such life events."

"Really? Are the Regulars allowed to marry?" Anakin asked.

"Of course," Padme sighed.

"What will you do out of the order?" Bail wondered. "Will you be a house husband?"

Padme burst out laughing. "What a silly way of putting it. No. When the war is over, I plan to retire as a Senator and we hope to know where and how we will raise our family by then. We had thought that Anakin could serve on my staff for the rest of the war, but I suppose," she gave a wistful sigh, "he does have a duty to his men."

"You really think so?" Anakin asked, eyes brightening a little. "I do feel like I should go to war still, if only to help make the Galaxy a safe place for you and Luke and Leia."

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By now, enough of the Senate had noticed the Sabe was standing in for Padme to wonder if things had gone awry with her pregnancy. It was naturally impolite to ask Sabe, whose role was to be Padme in this time, but a few curious noses tried to find out from Bail Organa, who was known as a friend and mentor to Padme. He simply wondered what they meant, and treated Sabe like she was Padme, puzzling the gossip rags and nosy Senators alike. As for the Jedi, one or two was aware Padme was not present, but did not meddle in the Senate. They were concerned with trying to figure out where the shift in the Force came from.

"I would like to try," Shaak Ti finished her calm request about two weeks after the Shift. "I had not seen how heavy it had become here. I fear much of the galaxy feels the same."

"You do not rely on the relief we've had from the Dark Side," Mace Windu asked.

"I think it has made our enemy angry."

"All eggs, not in one basket?" Yoda asked. The elegant Togruta laughed lightly.

"That is what I am trying to say."

"What is keeping Kenobi?" Windu wondered. "Until he is here, we cannot vote."

"Grief, to Master Kenobi, has come," Yoda said calmly. "Dream of this, Master Ti?"

"Perhaps. Obi Wan was mourning, in my dream."

"Ah, here he is. Kenobi!" Plo Koon exclaimed and they all turned to look at the door. Master Kenobi stood there, but not as any had seen him before. He was pale and his hand rested against the door as if to keep himself upright. The entire Jedi Council reached out to search him for wounds, but the pain he was in was not of his body.

Yoda bowed his head.

"Is Skywalker dead?" Shaak Ti exclaimed, wondering how she could have missed such an event in the Force, but remembering Obi Wan in her dream, mourning for a lost friend.

"What?" The Council exclaimed.

"Dead he is not. Outside, he and Padawan Tano wait," Yoda murmured and even Obi Wan caught the note of puzzlement in his voice.

"My Padawan... Jedi Knight Skywalker wishes to address the Council," Obi Wan spoke up.

"Now?"

"Please now. The sooner this is over..." Kenobi sat down heavily.

"Come in young Skywalker, little Tano," Yoda agreed.

The pair entered. Like Master Kenobi, Padawan Tano looked shocked, though not as hurt as Obi Wan. She held herself tall and proud, and there was a curious respect in her eyes. Anakin Skywalker had never looked so tall or so happy in his life. It was as the shift in the Force had come to rest in him. All anger, frustration, regret was gone.

"Foresee this, I did not," Yoda said. "The Dark Side, I expected."

"Do you know then?" Anakin asked curiously.

"Know only, your future has changed, but remains unclear," Yoda answered.

"You are changed, Skywalker." Mace murmured. "Your doubts are at an end."

"I believe doubt is a good thing," Anakin reflected.

"Makes us question, it does. Leads to new things," Yoda agreed.

"But doubt is troublesome and can lead to the Dark Side," Plo Koon began, the beginning of a long, familiar debate.

"Please," Obi Wan cried, "Let us get this over with."

Sorrow filled Anakin's face as he looked at his stunned Master.

"You are right, Master. Forgive me."

"What have you come to us for?" Mace Windu asked, his mind turning this over, wondering if he should offer some lessons to Skywalker, now that he seemed to come into his own.

"I have long doubted the wisdom of the Jedi Code in some parts," Anakin said. "I think now, the Council was right that I was too old to truly enter the Order. I am grateful you permitted it. I have learned much, and the Order raised me as I could not have dreamed. I now know that I can never agree with those parts of the Code, about love and family. In my confusion, and my desire to be powerful, I tried to refuse it, and then, tried to hide it. I will do so no longer."

He took a deep breath, unclipped his light saber and turned to lay it at Obi Wan's feet. "I have been married for three years and am now a father. Here is my light saber. I ask for release from the Jedi Order. You will have my allegiance in the fight against the Dark Side, but not as a Jedi."

With all the worry and discussion and curiosity about where Anakin Skywalker would end up, his calmest, most confident action shook the Jedi Council to the core. Shaak Ti alone turned her stare from Skywalker, to Kenobi, who had covered his face with his hand, as she had seen in her dream. A sliver of fear crawled up her back, but she eased it. The young Padawan had done as instructed. She could not stop all the pain and suffering, but she would do what she could. With a deep breath, Obi Wan straightened up, knelt and took the Light saber. His hands shook, but his keen eyes looked at Anakin without anger, only grief and a hint of pride.

"We thank you for your service to the Jedi Order. You have done well, Anakin Skywalker. May the Force be with you in your life," He took a deep breath and glanced at Yoda, a question. Yoda gave a single nod. "Hereby, you are released from all duties as a Jedi Knight. We recognize your honesty in admitting your doubts and decisions. We have faith that you are strong in the Light side, and gift you the light saber you carried as a knight. Go in peace and friendship."

"Thank you, Master," Anakin took the lightsaber in surprise. The Ceremony of Release could not be denied any Knight of age, but only a select few were granted permission to take the lightsaber of their knighthood into their civilian life. "May I make one request? I have done what I could to train my Padawan. She is strong with the Force, and my decisions should not weigh against her."

"If the council agrees, I shall complete Padawan Tano's training," Shaak Ti replied. Ahsoka looked surprised, but happy. She too, was grieved at this parting, but was better prepared than Master Kenobi.

"Thank you, Master Ti."

Anakin Skywalker turned and let the Temple, more free than he had been in his entire life. A stunned Council watched him leave. Obi Wan hid his face again.

"Did he say he was a father?" Shaak Ti asked rhetorically.

"He's gone," Obi Wan murmured a few moments later, feeling the bright force presence leave the grounds.

Shaak Ti's shudder told the Council that she had seen that in her dream. Her request was unanimously granted.

Chapter Text

Order 66

I do not own Star Wars, I am borrowing the universe to practice my art.

Senator Padme Amidala had birthed her child, but no could mention it. Her staff was sworn to secrecy, and were so loyal that they affected not to hear questions about the child. Even six months after the birth the Senator had not announced the birth, nor the father. Her duplicate had held her place in the Senator for six weeks before she had returned herself.

There was a good deal of curiosity, but it was of far less consequence than other matters. There had been an uproar in the Jedi around the time Amidala had been absent. They were still speaking, though very cautiously, of a shift in the Force. During those curious days, one of the most well-known Jedi had left the order. It had been done in graciousness, and the explanation given was simply that Anakin Skywalker had found the war changed his view on a few parts of the Code. Most expected there to be anger, but though a few younger Jedi muttered about it, those best known to the public stated only that Anakin's decision was his own, and that they agreed he could not remain.

One intrepid reporter had managed to dig out of a disgruntled Padawan that Skywalker had felt that denying himself love and family was wrong.

Barely had the Galaxy time to wonder where the war would go without the young General, then the Republic Senate offered him a separate command. He agreed, with permission to take a leave of absence to get his affairs in order now that he was a military civilian. Soon after Senator Amidala's return to the Senate, General Skywalker returned to the war. Chancellor Palpatine had been seen to smile when it was obvious that Senator Amidala had retaken her place, and had spoken warmly of General Skywalker.

Amid his wrath that once more Anakin's family had turned his plans on his head, Palpatine wondered how no one had put together that Skywalker's decision to leave the Jedi had coincided with the Senator's discreet, if well-known, absence. As for said family, Palpatine had not met the child. He had hoped, and hinted for it, but Padme had not offered it. Her staff was extremely cautious, and so far, no one knew if she had the child live with her, or if she had sent the child away.

Soon after the first few days, the child's Force Presence had faded, not unusual in a newborn child who did not even use the Force yet. Only the brief thoughts in Anakin's mind seemed to say it was a daughter. Without knowing for sure where the child was, Palpatine was hesitant to harm Padme, wondering if the child could restrain her father. He pressed his fingers together and gazed out of his office towards the Jedi Temple.

Something was going on there, and because of the shift in the Force, from that child's birth no doubt, it was not clear.

These were serious setbacks in his plans. He had wanted Skywalker as his apprentice, but it was unlikely now. Dooku would have to do, for now. As much as he despised the loss of his favored idea, his glimpses of the changing future had shown him that Anakin was no longer the one likely to destroy him. The shift in the Force to the Light had changed the Chosen One's fate. Now it appeared Anakin was merely chosen as the father of the one who could destroy Darth Sidious.

Another blond haired, blue eyed boy, of a smaller stature, and a calmer disposition. A child in all his visions, not more than fifteen or sixteen in the furthest he had seen. The child of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala was his greatest threat, but since he had picked up the pictures of a daughter, Palpatine knew he had much time.

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Padme wondered if all twins were so opposite. At six-months-old, they were easy to tell apart as much by appearance as by temperament. Leia was a little bigger than Luke, probably because she was greedier in her eating habits. They both had dark blue eyes for now, but Luke's scant hair was very pale blond, while Leia's was darker, nearer to Padme's. As for temperament, Luke was so easily amused, often spending hours in his cradle, babbling and batting the air. Leia was picky, hated to lay down, would only sleep if she was being held, or was in the same cradle as her brother.

Anakin had gifted her a guard cat from Naboo. The mid-sized feline was no small house cat, but neither was it a vicious predator. When it had arrived in Padme's opulent apartment on Coruscant, it had taken the lay of the land, claimed it, as cats did, and then viewed the children. Both babies had gazed curiously at it, but Leia had soon wanted to eat. Luke was so distracted that he barely finished his bottle.

The cat, who was gifted the name Kado by a mischievous Anakin, had soon taken to its role in the family. Guard cats were commonly used on Naboo as pets and protectors, as canines were used on other planets. As far as could be discovered, they were the only felines in the galaxy who could be more than pets. Kado was soon bonded to the twins, though more Luke than Leia, and with C3PO and Lira, their handmaid turned nanny, the twins were well looked after in their home. Outside their home, Captain Typho kept a firm guard.

"It is not normal for a child to be so..." Lira waved her hands at Luke. "He's the strangest baby I've met."

Padme felt a bit tired at the thought that Leia, so fierce and loud, was the more normal child. If they had more, it would be well after these two were not babies. She hugged her daughter, wondering when the blasted war would end.

"Padme, I am worried for Luke," Lira said. "I think he might be simple."

Padme burst out laughing. "He's just a baby. It seems his sister got all the temper and he got all the calm."

"The Jedi will want to test Leia," Lira changed the subject. Padme did not fear for her son's intelligence. There were times she believed Luke was far more intelligent than they knew. "I've seen her toys go to her hand."

"We will see," Padme said. Anakin said both children showed Force Positive, although Leia was the one who had brief moments of it.

Lira nodded, glancing curiously at Luke, who was lying on his back on a blanket, cooing as his fingers played in the air and Kado curled up behind his head.

Unseen to the others in the nursery, Luke batted at the threads of the Force, babbling nonsense while feeling his sister's happiness with a full stomach. He laughed a little, finding one of the threads ran to Kado, who lifted his head in response to the small tugging. Contentment from the cat eased over the thread and the child happily cooed again. Leia squirmed a little, curious about her brother's happiness, but far too happy in her mother's arms to protest.

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Despite the Dark Side's ease, Shaak Ti could not relax. The entire council had been shaken by Anakin Skywalker's decision to leave the Order, so certain his peace had come from accepting the Code. It had not taken them long to figure out who Anakin had married, but that had ended up shaking them even more, because it was now believed that the unborn mind that had stretched out was Anakin's child. They had long been taught that a baby must be shown the Force before its powers woke, but no Jedi would try to connect to the mind of a child in the womb.

Since the revelation that the former Jedi Knight was a father, several dreams had kept the Order on edge. For the first time, the rare glimpses of the boy who would have burst into history became well known. No more were they dreams of a son calling for a father's redemption, though only Yoda had seen that piece. Now it was of a boy whose eyes were so often turned away as if seeing something no one else could, standing before the Darkness.

Shaak Ti often wanted to reach out and find the child's mind again, wanting to know if it would bring further clarity to her vision. Though she had never met the boy, she wanted to be part of his life. Her childless arms had never felt so empty before. Before she had never given thought to motherhood, or even the younglings much. Now, she was eager to teach them.

"Master Ti?" Padawan Tano, Ahsoka, interrupted her musings on the children in the training hall below. "Are you well?"

For all Anakin's blatant disregard for many rules, he had given Ahsoka a good foundation. She had had many questions about the Orders strictures on love and marriage after her Master's decision, and Shaak Ti had soon honestly told her that she didn't know. When Padawan Jade's Master had been badly wounded, Shaak Ti had undertaken to guide him as well, so she now oversaw two Padawans. It would not be long before either could face the trials, but the Togruta Jedi could only hope she would be able to lead them to that point.

She had taken both into her confidence and both had worked hard on her plans. The only part she did not speak of, was of Skywalker's child. She had briefly wondered if Anakin had shared the name of his son with Ahsoka, but she had chosen not to push it. Both Ahsoka and Shaak Ti were hard pressed not to pause when Padme Amidala's name was mentioned in the news.

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"General Skywalker!" The red haired human Jedi Padawan exclaimed as he exited the shuttle with the small squad Anakin had sent to pick him up after receiving his distress signal. His own ship had been commandeered by pirates.

"Where is your master, Padawan?" Anakin asked.

"He was badly wounded two months ago. Master Ti has been working with me while my Master heals."

"Master Ti is back on Coruscant. What are your doing out here on Tanar?"

"I was sent to look at the Temple ruins, but General, I found something."

Anakin glanced at the small squad from the 501st that had rescued the hunted boy. They looked disturbed. There were no separatists here on Tanar, just the outlaw group who had taken to hiding in the abandoned temple.

"Padawan Jade asked if our minds felt any different, since we are clones," Rex said. "We said he could tell us. He could sense the chip implants. But because where they are, he thinks they could override our decision process."

"I think I shut their chips off," Jade added.

"Why don't you find out if it's in all their brains?" Anakin said. "I will contact the Senate to see what is known about this."

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Palpatine stood in his office, wondering which path would lead to the conception of the child who stood in his way. It seemed no matter what he did, the child did not leave his visions. The war had spiraled out of control briefly, but only because Palpatine had let it, uncertain for a time where to go. Had his favored plans come through, he would even now be Emperor.

It would be best if the parents were out of the way. He thought he might claim their daughter, raise her in secret. Still, his original visions that Anakin would be the one to destroy him staid his hand. A wrong move could return that future.

He would push forward a plan to gauge the strength of the Jedi. If he played it right, asking Anakin to return to Coruscant, he might even force Anakin into working very closely with the Jedi, a sure way to show Anakin how much they despised him.

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It was Anakin Skywalker, dressed in military uniform, but with an ease and grace to his limbs that revealed what he was. Obi Wan wanted to call out, to talk with his friend, but did not. At times Obi Wan was furious that Anakin had left the Order, and at times he was furious with how rigid the Jedi Code was. Part of the Jedi Master even wished Anakin had kept it a secret, however much that had disturbed Anakin's peace.

The Clone Troop commands had been rearranged. The Senate was a little puzzled by how amicably Anakin's decision to leave the order had been accepted, but none had argued with the decision that Anakin would have his own command. He still worked with the Jedi Command, much more at ease in his skin as his own man. How little Obi Wan had understood him. All Anakin had truly wanted was freedom and a family.

"You are disturbed," Master Ti appeared at his side as she oversaw the loading of a transport ship. "Have you heard what Padawan Jade has found in the 501st when he was rescued from Tanar?"

"I have heard a rumor. Is it true Anakin rescued Jade?"

Anakin was flying towards the Senate now and both Jedi Master's watched. "Have you met his son?" Shaak Ti asked in a quiet voice.

Obi Wan was surprised. Anakin had told both Kenobi and Ahsoka about his children and their names, but both had promised to not tell anyone. Neither parent want to expose their newborns to the dangers of being known as Senator Amidala and General Skywalker's children.

"A son?" He asked, wondering why only the boy, Luke, was of interest to Shaak Ti.

"I believe so."

He did not know if she would have said more or not, because at that moment there was an explosion at the Senate Building and both Jedi raced forward to claim speeders. They did not have far to go before they saw a shuttle racing for the atmosphere, followed by a speeder with Anakin in it.

"Master Kenobi, Master Ti!" He called as they met in the sky. "The Chancellor has been kidnapped."

And suddenly the last six months were gone and it was Obi Wan and Anakin racing to the rescue again.

The shuttle was too far to catch up in a speeder before the atmosphere became too thin, however Y-wings were rising to meet them. The droids were complaining about the maneuvers but the three Jedi were in the Y-wings before the droids could list all the dangers. They rose, too familiar with war to squabble over which plan was best. Shaak Ti was the eldest and most experienced, so she led the flight.

She had a good grasp of how Anakin worked, and an even better grasp on how well Obi Wan and Anakin worked together.

Even as the shuttle landed in the star Cruiser the Y-wings were shooting their way in. Anakin had his light saber, and had obviously kept up with it use, so the trio were soon battling their way after the startled looking Chancellor who was being rushed away from the landing bay. They had no schematics, so were soon out of sight.

"This isn't right," Shaak Ti murmured. "This is too soon."

"What is wrong Master Ti?" Anakin asked.

"I hoped we would have more time. Whatever hangs over the Galaxy, today is the turning day. I think this war ends today, and I think we've lost."

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Against everything, Anakin was working with the Jedi. They met each other with respect, fought side by side as if there was no disagreement with each other. Palpatine's last hope to drive Anakin to the Dark Side through the Jedi was gone and with it, likely his last attempt to claim Anakin as his apprentice. He had kept Dooku away from Coruscant and used Grievous for this plan, which he initially meant to use to give Anakin a taste of the Power of the Dark Side through his current apprentice's murder.

When the Jedi and Anakin caught up to Grievous and his prisoner, the three-looked concerned, but there was no. The light side had grown too strong on Coruscant since the birth of the Child Skywalker. If its strength continued, Palpatine's careful manipulation of the Force would be discovered. If that happened while the Jedi were in power, Palpatine's plans would fail.

It was time to remove the Jedi.

The trio were fighting droids to get to him and Grievous was boasting, waving his trophy light sabers about. The Droid/Human hybrid Sidious had carefully created had reached the end of his usefulness. With a nudge of the Force, Obi Wan's Lightsaber turned just enough to knock a stray bolt from a droid in the cracks of the droid covering, slamming into the human heart. The clanging fall ended the battle as the droids just stopped fighting, their half useless programming faltering with the death of General Grievous.

There was an air of puzzlement from the Jedi, and all three were looking at each other, wondering who had given that Force Nudge. He needed to distract them, before they tried to search for a fourth Force Sensitive. Using the Force revealed the Force Presence. The only way to completely shield a Presence was to not use the Force. In the middle of their battle with the Droids they had not located whose Force Presence it was.

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None of them had done it and it worried Anakin. The little push from the Force had ended the battle and all three had felt it happen, but all three had no idea who had done it. Except for the fleeing droids and the occasional human commander, it was them three, the dead Grievous, and the exhausted Chancellor.

"Thank you. I hope you have come in time," Palpatine said faintly and the three turned to discover he was listing in his chair, looking a little singed from a stray blaster bolt that had scraped the side of his head. "I feel a little odd."

Shoving the confusion into the back of his mind Anakin helped Obi Wan free the Chancellor as Shaak Ti worked to get the ship into orbit.

"How are you Anakin?" Obi Wan asked when they had eased the woozy chancellor to the ground and found some water to help him regain his equilibrium.

"I am well. You?" Anakin felt a bit awkward. He had chosen to tell Obi Wan and Ahsoka before he resigned from the Order because they were dear to him. Ahsoka had kept in contact with him, usually just chattering his ear off about what Master Ti had taught her. Obi Wan had been so devastated, though Anakin wasn't sure if it was the lies or the choice to leave the Jedi, that Anakin had not tried to keep in contact with his former master. They had of course seen and even spoken in the war councils, but as nothing more than fellow soldiers.

It was the one shadow in Anakin's peace, because he admired and respected Obi Wan, and wanted to be friends.

"Oh, you know how it is. How is the 501st?"

"They were called to Kamino, so I am on leave as well."

"Very curious timing," Shaak Ti said. "Since Plo Koon was reassigned to Kamino so I could do some work in the Temple, I have not seen you Anakin. Are you aware of Padawan Jade's discovery?"

"Yes. He told me about it. That's why my command was recalled to Kamino. Do you think the brain implants are a threat?"

"It could be," Obi Wan murmured. "Though I am sure not as important as getting the Chancellor to safety."

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It was late at night. Anakin Skywalker had probably slipped into his wife's home by now. Darth Sidious wondered if he would wake when the Order was issued. Because of his decision to leave the Order he and his child would not fall under the Order, but it would not be long before they too were in danger.

In the Chancellor's office, the Sith Lord opened a hidden safe, took out a small box, touched it with all his lust and hate through the Force. Inside lay a small command module. He unlocked and opened it. For a moment, he sat, listening to the quiet in the Force. It was lighter than before, filled with the innocence of a baby. Then he gave the order.

From the office of Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, to all Clone Troopers, Execute Order 66.

Chapter Text

The Purge

This chapter deals with a good deal of tragedy and death. While I am using my writer's omnipotence to change the original story and am keeping certain characters alive, there is going to be deaths. Some of the innocents will suffer.

I do not own Star Wars, I am just playing in their sand box to practice my art.

It was quiet in the apartment. The husband and wife lay cuddled together. The sandy haired cat lay on the floor by the large cradle. The Twilek nanny slept peacefully while she could before her charges woke for a midnight meal. In the crib, little Leia suckled her thumb and dreamt of a laughing brother and beaming parents. Just next to her, sleeping without dreams, Luke lay.

Somewhere in the dead of night words were spoken, and before they reached their targets, before the massacre began, before the Jedi were lost, Luke Skywalker woke up, and screamed. The silvery threads of the Force that had fascinated him from before his birth were heavy now, filled with malice and hate, and nothing that the six-month-old child had known before. Six months he had played with the threads, unknowingly connecting them to himself. No one had seen it happen, there was no one who could have seen it happening.

In the womb, the physical senses are not full grown and those that exist are dulled. Luke's first experience with the world outside the womb came from the force and so his first completed sense was the Force. From before he was born, the little baby had been able to see the threads of the Force connecting everything. The mind had been so young and so malleable, and the first thing he had known was the Force. Not only could he sense the Force, but he could see its currents.

For six months, the child's delight in his play things had lessened the darkness of the Sith Lord, and the grief of the Jedi, wholly unaware that he was doing anything than laughing at the shimmering lights. He had played with the threads of his father, flooding the breaking man with the simplest of child joys. He had played with the threads of his mother, flooding her with new peace. Before they had left the womb, he had touched the threads of his sister, building a lifelong bond between them. As he had played with them he had retracted his own Force threads, concealing his Force Presence.

The screams were not that of a hungry child. Before the Father and Mother woke and ran to him, the six-month child screamed the fear and horror that was even then falling upon the Galaxy. Had it continued, had the still fluid mind touched that longer, it may have killed the child. But even as he had played with the threads that so terrified him, he had also played with the threads that saved him.

Barely a minute after the Order was given than the little boy was cradled in his mother's arms, his weeping sister in his fathers, the frightened Cat crouched in front of him, his nanny standing guard. Surrounded by the threads he had played with, the threads of those that loved him, the darkness of the Sith Lord was blocked from his mind. Luke Skywalker was saved.

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More than Skywalker's parents were woken. Shaak Ti, Obi Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Ahsoka Tano, Arim Jade, and several more were woken by the utter terror of the child's mind. Shaak Ti was on her feet before the terror was gone, calling for action. Arim Jade raced towards the hangars, where transports waited. Obi Wan and Mace began rousing the temple, preparing for whatever was coming.

Outside of Coruscant, despite being aware that treachery was afoot, many were not warned the time had come. Shaak Ti had seen the treachery behind it, but not the instrument of treachery. Not even she had seen that it was the Clones. The only ones who knew were the two Jedi on Kamino, having stumbled across the information in their investigation into the dead brain implants in the 501st.

They were too late to get the word out. As the only two Jedi on Kamino they stood no chance against the hundreds of young clones still in training.

On Coruscant Master Shaak Ti and Padawan Arim Jade hurried the younglings to the transports. Ahsoka Tano ran from the temple on Master Ti's orders, rushing to warn the Skywalkers. Mace Windu and Obi Wan faced the red Guard come to destroy them.

The Jedi Purge was begun.

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As she raced across the skywalk, her feet beating an anxious tattoo, Ahsoka Tano could hear the Force wail with the pain of the dying. Tears slid from her eyes. When she reached the door, she pounded on it, forgetting that Anakin would have felt her coming. It startled her to have it open immediately. She fell through the open doorway, weeping.

Cradling his frightened daughter in one arm, Anakin caught her with the other.

"Snips," He whispered.

"It is the red guard."

"How is that possible?" Padme cried.

The little baby in her arms held a strand of his mother's hair tightly, blue eyes darting around the room. He was sheltered among his family, but echoes of the shift in the Force were still heard in his powerful Force Sense. When he heard Ahsoka's voice, and felt her using the Force to be sure they were all unharmed, he grabbed hold of her Force thread, gathering it among those used to keep him safe. She could barely feel his presence, but assumed the much nearer sister was keeping her sense occupied.

"Master Ti had foreseen this. The Younglings are being moved to safety. She asks if you and your family will come, to keep your babies safe, and to help her protect the younglings."

"Yes," Anakin said.

"But the Senate..." Padme began.

"I must take your place," Sabe said. The two other handmaids, Dorme and Hame, were also present, having been summoned the moment the first attacks had fallen.

"Agreed," Anakin said. "Padme, I am not sure the Senate will stand after tonight. Shaak Ti knew the war was ending, and believed we had lost."

"Please, your highness," Sabe said. "You are a mother now."

"Ok," Padme whispered, tightening her hold on her son. He still whimpered now and then, and not even Anakin could keep him calm. Only her gentle touch, void of a controlled Force Presence, eased him. Fortunately, Leia had been comforted by Anakin. Sabe and Anakin were right. Her duty lay to her son.

"Then it is time to move."

"But we must pack," Padme exclaimed.

"There will be supplies on the transports," Ahsoka said.

Padme glanced around realizing most of this would be left behind.

"Let me grab my emergency kit. I updated it once they were born."

Five minutes later, having eased Leia into sleep, though unable to calm Luke's mind to that point, Anakin led his family, concealed with dark cloaks, away from the Naboo Apartments. Hame had been sent to warn some Senators that Padme had been working closely with, while Dorme attended Sabe who was becoming Senator Amidala.

They reached the transport sight where Arim Jade and five other Padawans were settling the young ones. Master Ti was arriving at the same time, using all her force strength to bear twelve sleeping younglings.

"We must trust the others did their part and got away to one of the havens I prepared," She murmured, grateful when Anakin and Ahsoka took on part of her burden. These were the youngest, pushed to sleep as Leia had been.

Her eyes flitted to Leia with curiosity.

"Ah, yes," Anakin rubbed the back of his neck. "My daughter Leia."

"Daughter?" Shaak Ti blinked. "I had dreamt of a boy."

"Yes," Anakin sheepishly nodded to Padme. "Twins. He is called Luke."

Shaak Ti smiled at Leia, but drew near Padme to look on the boy whose mind had twice touched hers. He was awake, small, chubby fists tightly pulling his mothers lose strands of hair, wide blue eyes darting around as tears leaked from his eyes. She reached gently for his forehead, pausing to be sure the mother would permit it. When her fingers touched his forehead, she had meant to sooth him. Instead she felt the boy's force sense reach out for hers.

Under her gentle Force Presence he grew calmer, finding another thread to hang onto. This one echoed with sorrow, but also with calm as well. Shaak Ti knew only that the baby was indeed the center of the shift in the force that had likely led to this. The shift had given her the dream that would save many of the Jedi Younglings.

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Obi Wan Kenobi stood in the door of the Younglings. Jedi Gleem So had been meant to oversee getting this section to the transport, but she had fallen among the first defenders. Her brave Padawan had tried to complete her mission, but after a long vicious battle in the hall where Obi Wan stood she too had fallen as Obi Wan had come to help her. Of the four Youngling sections, two others had been successful evacuated, while the third... the echoes of the massacre that had happened there were curling around Obi Wans heart.

Of the hundreds of Jedi in the Temple, over half had fallen. When the youngling massacre had happened, several had been overcome and had fled the battle. They had known treachery was coming, they had planned for their retreat, but the source of the treachery, the Red Guard of the Republic Senate, had shocked them. The Red Guard, leading eight battalions of Clone Troopers, had attacked the temple.

Obi Wan fought, aware of the older Initiates picking up the toddlers, putting themselves around the younger ones. Three had picked up the light sabers of fallen Jedi and stood with blades ignited, blocking the rare bolts that made it past Obi Wan's guard. A fourth was building a barricade of beds.

"Here!" The twelve-year-old called. "Padawan Jade showed us the trick."

To Kenobi's amazement, the wall behind the beds opened, revealing a secret tunnel that had not been there when Obi Wan had resided in this area. Apparently, the preparations to save as many lives as possible had been more thorough than he had known. Behind the barricade, which could only be glimpsed on either side of where the Jedi Master had bottlenecked the clones attacking, the opening could not be seen. Stretching his senses out, Kenobi could tell that no one fighting him now was Force Sensitive.

Three dozen children ran into the secret tunnel. Only two hesitated, wondering if they should help their protector. A nudge from his Force presence sent them scurrying down the tunnel, as Obi Wan closed the tunnel, and its opening vanished into the wall. It would take a Force Sensitive person to find it. He kept the battle in the door going for a few more minutes before going on the offensive, breaking away from the door, tugging the barricade behind him to block the door, making it appear the children were still there.

The battalion, severely depleted of numbers, ran after him, with only a few remaining to start dismantling the barricade. A schematic was given them of the temple, and there was no exit from this room. It would be a bad shock to find the room empty when they broke through. In the meantime, Obi Wan fought now for his own life. The last of the living younglings were out of the temple, and the departing transports bearing them away from the planet were winking out of orbit. The Jedi Knights began to retreat from the battle.

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Kit Fisko stood in the communications room. He had sent out a warning, activated many drones to roam the Galaxy with his message, and had then destroyed the technology, the center of Jedi communications. His work had been thorough. The information had been deleted, the hardware destroyed. His last act was to set the room on fire. Twelve of the Red Guard found him there. Four would fall before Fisko fell.

Librarian Nu, with four young knights, had begun the dismantling of the library. The Vault had been locked, though she was aware that many things had been removed in the last six months. Books, holocrons, data stations, meditation records, all were being shut down, some even destroyed. When the Red Guard came for them they fought long and hard, and when they died, they took with them the greatest of the Jedi secrets.

Mace Windu reached the transport, glancing around the temple. Fights were now sporadic, the battle winding down. He himself was badly wounded, and had a vague idea that he would going to lose his leg if he made it out of this alive. The Temple, just that morning rippling with hope and the light side, now hung heavy, shuddering with despair. He raced the small speeder around, ending several fights and gathering six knights. The small courtyard now had just one battle and Windu was fast loosing blood. Kenobi, in a circle of Clone troopers, saw his approach, saw the troopers turn, and thrust out with the force, turning the speeder away. Windu did have the strength to fight. One of the knights took the controls, but obeyed Kenobi's force given order to leave.

He felt the moment the first blaster bolt struck Kenobi. Then he passed out.

Thank you for reading.

Chapter Text

The deception of the Senate

Please know that I will welcome constructive criticism. I freely admit this story is raw and there are a good many story threads that I do not follow up on. I wrote it to please myself, and share it to learn how to better my craft as well as entertain you.

I do not own Star Wars, I am simply borrowing this galaxy to practice my art.

Yavin was a small, uninhabited planet, once the seat of a Jedi temple, though how long ago was lost in time. The temple echoed with faint traces of those long dead Jedi knights. To little Luke Skywalker, it was a Welcome Home. The threads that had been his play things were full of hope and joy, curiosity and kindness here. He batted the air, and giggled. The sound echoed in the open hallway where an exhausted, grieving group of Jedi were staring blankly at the unorganized piles of supplies Shaak Ti had built here over the last six months. Four dozen children huddled together behind them.

"I had hoped to have more time and to actually have someone living here, preparing more in depth," Shaak Ti said.

"I hope there are diapers in there," Padme Amidala Skywalker murmured. "My emergency bag will not last more than another day or so."

Padawans Arim Jade and Ahsoka Tano were meandering out into the piles.

"It's crude," Lira muttered, eyeing the plain boxes with distaste. She had enjoyed her opulent surroundings as the twin's nanny. However, it was clear that the Jedi had little desire for comfort. It would be her responsibility to make sure her mistress and children were comfortable. Master Skywalker too, if he wished it.

"Where shall we begin?" An exhausted Twilek Jedi knight asked. He had not slept for four days. Even Shaak Ti did not answer, trying to sort her own tired mind into a plan.

Padme Skywalker looked anxiously at the four Jedi knights who had guarded the children in their journey. Her husband too looked exhausted, though he had slept. The two Padawans had also rested. She herself, though weary of grief and fear, had taken rest when it came, as a mother needed to do.

"Ahsoka, take two of the older children and begin an inventory. Arim, take two others and set up the monitoring stations. Master Ti, Master Marek, go rest. Master Sei, Master Kaim, will you map the temple? Anakin, you use the baby wrap for Leia, and find the highest point of the temple for a look out," Padme gathered the loose hair out of her face, grateful her son had stopped gripping it. She ignored the surprise in the Jedi faces, the smugness in her husbands, and focused on the obedient Padawans.

Adjusting the wrap used to keep her son near her, she turned to the Jedi Younglings. Four of the oldest children sheared off to help the Padawans, and three young females had gathered the toddlers. She was uncertain how to approach those waiting for their orders, but after a minute simply went for it.

"Who wants to play a game?"

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Chancellor Palpatine slumped in his seat and this puzzled Bail Organa. The Chancellor seemed to have aged overnight. It was three days since the attack on the Jedi Temple, the deaths of over half the adult Jedi in the temple, and even some of the younglings. The Senate was now yelling for answers. Mon Mothma was near him, but Padme Amidala, or even her duplicate who had been present the two previous days, were not present. The Red Guard openly admitted to the attack, their leaders citing orders from the Chancellor to investigate rumors of corruption, which had turned into battle.

There was no living Jedi in the Senate, or even to be found on Coruscant. Bail's investigators had been searching.

"I have come today. The Red Guard have turned over their evidence to me," Palpatine murmured heavily. "Rumors had swirled about the creation of the clones, the Jedi seemed to say it had not been them, though they found and led them to battle when needed. Investigators have been searching for the real person who created our army."

He paused and took a sip of water. "The evidence is now being sent to your data pads. It was the Jedi, the so-called protectors, who created the clone war. They built the clones, placed the seeds of dissension in the separatists, created a Drama to summon themselves to power. They've been misleading us, undermining us."

Again, he paused and his eyes drifted to the empty Senatorial seat of Naboo. "The Red Guard acted properly. It was the Jedi, finding their treachery discovered, who went to battle. They put their own children at risk and abandoned them when the battle was lost. They fled, like the cowards they have become. A few loyal Jedi had given us the secrets to subduing the traitors, and we have several in custody. They will be questioned and we can only hope their conscience will smote them."

He lifted heavy worn eyes to the ceiling. "My friends, my people, how have we come to this? How did our squabbling allow this threat to be unseen until almost too late? Why have we not worked out our differences, seeking the common good?

"Even now I dread that the seeds of treachery run through the Senate itself. My own beloved planet's Senator has vanished, and there is evidence that the Jedi kidnapped her, likely thinking to hold her ransom against me. Padme Amidala would never work with terrorists. She would rather die. Are there others missing, ready to be held as threats against us?"

Mon Mothma scanned the Senate Chamber, and there was a startled look on her face. Bail checked his Data Pad for the Senate check ins for the day. There was a decline in the numbers, nearly a hundred different from the first day after the Jedi's Fall. Shaken, he looked towards the Naboo seat. Sabe had been there just the day before, had told Bail that Padme was believed to have fled with her force sensitive children because she was afraid they would come under attack.

"I despise that it has come to this," Palpatine's voice wove the terror of the unknown in the chamber. "Until we know how deep this treachery runs, I have no choice but to instate martial law. In Amidala's name, in the name of our beloved Queen of Naboo, I will not bow to this new terror. We will stand together, a strong empire against the evil of the world."

Bail Organa watched as the frightened, overwhelmed Senate burst into applause. He stood, vaguely aware he was applauding, but only with half a mind, as he wondered about that word; was it a hint of Palpatine's plans or if was mere rhetoric in their ears? The poise of the chancellor was perfect and even Bail had a moment of relief that the sought change in leadership had not happened. There had been a travesty, but for all Bail's private investigators had discovered, it appeared the Jedi had not started the battle. Palpatine clearly wanted power, as the watching Senator had seen before, and just as the war seemed ready to wind down, this had happened.

The Alderaan Senator was not sure how far Palpatine would go for power. He had seemed to be friends with a couple Jedi, and respected their council. Could the man have really created this plot, sacrificed the galaxy's protectors, for his own ends?

Bail did not think so. Even if he had the guts, he could not have the power to conceal these plots against the powers of the Jedi. Palpatine was probably just a puppet, unaware of his strings. Dread pooled in the Senator's stomach. The proposed plans for Palpatine to step down were now shoved aside, and Bail wasn't sure what power, if any, he had to affect the coming future.

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By the dawn of their second day on Yavin, Padme had organized temporary quarters for everyone, the Jedi were recovered for their labors, and a second group of Jedi refugees arrived. Shaak Ti had created four separate havens, assigning each group of younglings one location to go to. The second group of arrivals was a band of wounded Jedi who had escaped the Jedi Temple much later than the Yavin Younglings group had.

With twelve more adults, nine of which had healed through healing trances and bacta, the duties were spread out. Shaak Ti took charge of the temple, grateful to find Senator Skywalker's momentary guidance smoothed out the first troubles of their hiding place. It was good to find that Anakin had rounded up some food, when Padme had tumbled into their small room.

Leia was thankfully asleep. Luke was in the between stage of being awake and asleep, with his eyes fluttering shut until they shot open for a moment, only to slide slowly shut again. Lira had created their quarters, determined her young charges would be comfortable, before Padme asked her to help with the youngest Jedi as well. The nanny had immediately done so, and before a day had passed, had taken the seven youngest children under her wings, freeing the three older children who had watched them to help somewhere else.

"Something is wrong," Anakin said, when she curled up in his arms on their bed, watching their sleeping children. "We've heard echoes of the Dark Side all day."

"Have we already been discovered?" She asked, sitting up.

"No, it's something far away. We have patrols set up around the Solar System. Shaak Ti thinks she will send Kaim and Jade for information tomorrow. Padme, I am sorry you were dragged into this. I had no idea someone would target the Jedi."

"Do not be sorry. I would not trade this sorrow and horror away if it meant I was not your wife, mother of your children," She wearily leaned against him. "Shaak Ti is getting very fond of Luke."

Anakin laughed. "From what she and Ahsoka have told me, it is Luke who keeps reaching out his mind and touching all the Jedi. No one has ever known a child so young to do that. It is puzzling, seeing how easily Leia's Force presence overshadows his. Force Sensitive twins are uncommon, and usually they are both very visible in the Force. It seems that Luke's unique mental abilities have merged their signatures, so it appears there is only one."

"I hope there is no destiny for him," Padme murmured. "You would not have been so torn up if some of your teachers weren't so careful to be sure you knew you had some great duty to do."

She was slipping away to sleep, so missed the nervous expression that crossed Anakin's face. Shaak Ti had spoken of seeing Luke in a dream. All glimpses of the future appeared now to speak that Luke would have some part in the events. Holding his sleeping wife, Anakin decided to refuse to tell Luke this. His son would not have some fated duty to hang over his head. Luke would be raised to be a good man, and chose his own destiny.

With this decision, one Padme would wholeheartedly support the next morning, the future seemed to clarify for Grand Master Yoda as he sat in self-imposed solitude, trying to discover who had wielded the Dark Side to this suffocating point. The boy grew clearer. The shadowed Sith Lord who had undoubtedly led the Galaxy to this moment recoiled from the quiet child, and with a heavy heart Yoda wondered what would bring about the meeting between a teenage boy and the Sith Lord.

The small green Jedi Master mourned for the sorrows of the mother, father, and sister he had seen.

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A small transport landed gently in the open landing pad that had been cleaned up in the five days since the first arrivals. Shaak Ti stood with Anakin Skywalker, while the healed Jedi Knights hid around the entry of the temple, waiting to be sure the transport was the return of Jedi Master Kaim and Padawan Jade. The door opened and Padawan Jade jumped out. He nodded at Shaak Ti, and turned to help Kaim. They had discovered a damaged shuttle with seven more Jedi Knights, among them Mace Windu.

The Jedi Council Master was unconscious, unable to heal his badly wounded leg in his comatose state, but the other six, ragged and wounded, were at least on their feet. They also had Holovids and data pads with information from Coruscant. Leadership of their haven had settled on Shaak Ti, but with only Master Kaim, who had not sat on the council, and Anakin Skywalker experienced in war, the young Jedi knights who had escaped the Temple were nervous. The arrival of seven others who had been in the front lines of the war eased some concerns.

As he was not considered an official Jedi, Anakin held a rather odd place. All three groups to arrive had brought with them several non-force users who had given them aid, and Padme Skywalker was the official head of non-force users. General Skywalker found himself the link between the Jedi and the civilians. Besides Padme and Lira, the ten or so other civilians had all risked their lives to help the Jedi.

He found himself with Padme, Shaak Ti, and Master Kaim in the command room the human Senator and Tortuga Jedi had put together. They were reviewing the holovids of Chancellor Palpatine's Senatorial speech. Padme gasped when her name was mentioned. Anger shook her petite form, and the two Jedi Masters stared.

"How dare he! He knows I wanted him to step down, that I felt it was time for a change of leadership to keep the republic alive! How dare he use my name to keep his power!" She exclaimed. Her fists clenched the edge of the round holoprojector tightly.

Anakin met the curious looks from the two Jedi with a small, sad smile. Shaak Ti shook her head.

"I fear he has a hand in all of this," She said.

"I don't want to believe that. He has been my friend," Anakin murmured. "How could he deceive us?"

A stray thought struck him and he turned to look at the Tortuga Jedi Master with wide eyes. She caught the look, and the thought behind it, and her orange tinted skin yellowed in horror. Kaim caught the thoughts next, the green Twilek shaking his head. All this went over Padme's head as she calmed her raging emotions.

"It would explain what happened on General Grievous ship," Shaak Ti said. "Palpatine has some level of Force ability."

"What?" Padme asked, turning to look at her pale husband. "What do you mean?"

Anakin told her about the mysterious force push that had caused the death of General Grievous. She frowned as Kaim began panning through the list of news vids they had brought. Somewhere outside the command room, Luke and Leia woke from a nap and wanted to eat. Lira was there, so Anakin dimmed the bond between him and his children.

"They've put a list out of the captured Jedi," Kaim exclaimed. "Soonis, Dass, Thorn... Kenobi!"

:) I did enjoy my power in ending the previous chapter as I did. Originally this chapter did not clarify Obi Wan's fate, but considering the title of the next chapter, The Trials of Obi Wan Kenobi, I thought I better end the mystery before posting that chapter.

Chapter Text

The Trials of Obi Wan Kenobi

Against his hopes, the ginger haired Jedi Master opened his eyes. When he had fallen to his knees, lightsaber shattered by a missed blaster bolt, he had believed his duty was done and had welcomed death. Instead, an order had been issued to take him alive. He had not had the strength to escape the many hands that had subdued him. They had injected something to paralyze him, but kept him awake while someone had fastened Zorb binders on his hand, ignoring the fingers that had been mangled by the explosion of his saber.

Made with Zorb metal, the binders had dulled his Force Sense, and only then had he passed out.

Obi Wan Kenobi did not know where he was. He did not know if any of the Jedi Order had escaped. The binders did not even allow him to feel more than his own tumbling emotions of grief and horror, though that might be a small blessing if he was still on Coruscant. The Force was probably flooded with the Dark Side, the heavy clouds that had eased much in the last six months returned in full force.

After serving the Galaxy for years, able to see the ebb and flow of the politics, and know many truths the common man would never know, it was strange to lay on the cold floor and not know anything. For the first time in his life, Obi Wan could do nothing, even for himself. He was cut off from the Force. The grief and fears were all his own.

He could hear the cell door open, but remained laying with his back to the door.

"He's awake," A familiar voice said. "Get him up."

Four members of the Red Guard entered and grabbed the Jedi Master's arms. He was hauled upright before they forced him to his knees. Chancellor Palpatine stood in the doorway. He looked taller and darker.

"Obi Wan Kenobi," Palpatine said, his voice deeper than before. "I was surprised you survived."

"What is going on, Chancellor? Why were the Jedi attacked?" Kenobi asked.

Palpatine stood looking down at the prisoner. "Even now, you ask that."

"You?" Obi Wan asked calmly.

"Officially, the Jedi created this war for power," Palpatine answered. "When the Red Guard came to question the Jedi Council, they were attacked by the so-called peacekeepers of the failing Republic. I've had to call for Martial Law. We must hunt down and question the Jedi. They've fallen so far; a Purge was needed."

The prisoner flinched.

"Some of your coconspirators escaped, and it is my hope that you can be made to see the wisdom of giving their location. Your conscience may not tell it, but I learned much from your rescue mission to the Citadel. I know how to subdue and interrogate a Jedi," The Leader of the Galaxy turned his back to the blank faced Jedi Master. "Even you will break, Master Kenobi."

"What is it you want to know?"

"Where your Council has fled to. Your temple is finished, but four members of your council, excluding yourself, remain alive and uncaptured. They will have the locations of the Jedi Knights and Padawans who also escaped," A pale white hand tightened into a fist and Obi Wan's head was forced backward. He was shocked to discover that no physical hands had touched him.

Palpatine turned around. "The Jedi have been in power too long."

A hint of yellow and red flecked his eyes. Darth Sidious bent the Jedi Master's body in a backward arch. "Not even the famed Negotiator will be able to weave his spells."

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As the storm of the Dark side eased a little, Yoda could sort the living Jedi from the dead. Luminara Undalli and thirty knights had come to Kashyyyk to see if he had survived the attack. There were three groups were the younglings had been gathered, and small specks of lone Jedi, or tiny groups who were on the run, afraid they were being pursued, so refusing to head to the haven they had been told to.

There were two hundred Jedi Masters, Knights and Padawans, plus another hundred younglings, who had survived the Temple. Of the Jedi at war, a number that was above a thousand, it appeared only twenty or thirty had survived when the clones attacked. The Jedi out in the galaxy on other tasks had a much better survival rate. Besides Yoda, he could feel Mace Windu, Shaak Ti and Staas Allie remained of the council. Except for Obi Wan Kenobi, the others were certainly dead. Kenobi's fate remained clouded.

Two of the four who were alive and free were on Yavin. The Skywalkers were there as well. Staas Allie was in hiding on Alderaan. The small Grand Master nodded his head. To Yavin, he was to go.

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Two of the nine captured Jedi were dead, having managed to create a backlash in the Force when their binders were removed to allow them to be tied down to interrogator tables. Palpatine learned from that, pleased that Kenobi was not one. The Zorb binders were integrated into the tables, and any movement from the table back to binders and cells was done when the Jedi were sedated.

By the seventh day, the youngest of the Jedi had broken, giving up the names of Jedi he had seen escaped, as well as the name of meeting point he had been given. He would die soon after, refusing to use the Force to heal himself. The meeting point would give up three more Jedi, all of whom would be killed in their attempted capture. Five of the six who had not broken would not have been given meeting places where the younglings were, but it was very likely that Kenobi knew one or more of the places the remnant of the Jedi had fled to.

Kenobi had not once been granted a reprieve in his interrogation, except when his own body had demanded unconsciousness. Sidious had built two wolfram rods, and infused them with the Dark side. He had placed both in Kenobi's interrogation room. What little Force sense was not repressed by the Zorb binders would be flooded with the rage and malice of Sidious. Kenobi must be broken and must then die.

Sidious frustration with the failure of his best plans had been taken out on the Jedi Master. Obi Wan had been the counterpoint to Palpatine's sly undermining of Anakin Skywalker, often tipping the scales back to the light side. As much as Palpatine was certain it was the birth of Skywalker's daughter that had removed all hope of Anakin becoming Vader he knew Kenobi had played a part too. Enough of his hatred of the steady Jedi Master had slipped through Palpatine's cracks that Kenobi had recoiled, realizing just what Palpatine was.

In the viewing room between two interrogation rooms, Palpatine watched his trained Red Guard slipping another needle into Kenobi's bruised arm. The Jedi Master had his teeth ground shut and tears were leaking from his clenched eyelids as the drug inflamed his irritated nerves. The wolfram rods filled the room as a conduit for Sidious dark plots and the sight of the Jedi shaking in pain and fear was pleasure to Sidious. Not even the woman screaming on the other side of the viewing room was as delightful. She was not force sensitive, though had been trained to withstand interrogation.

Sabe did not know where Senator Amidala was, nor had she revealed anything that the Skywalkers had said or done the night of the Purge. The other handmaid who had helped keep up the pretense that the Senator was on Corsuscant was dead. Intelligence reports spoke of a third, but she had yet to be discovered. Palpatine was aware the Padme would denounce what he had done in the Senate, and had already issued orders that she was to be killed and her child brought to him. The five Hunters he had trained for tracking down the Jedi who escaped his purge had been given this task and light sabers from the temple to make it look like the Jedi killed her.

After some thought, Sidious had also ordered Skywalker to be killed as well as any Force User who would not give him allegiance.

He was still disturbed by the premonitions of Skywalker's son, but highly doubted a second child had been conceived so quickly after the birth of the first. Amidala and Skywalker would have to die soon, to avoid that path.

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Hame, the only Naboo Handmaid free, was hidden Bail Organa's private home. She had come back to the Naboo apartments to find one handmaid dead and the other missing. Copying the security footage, and taking the most important data chips from Padme's hidden vault, Hame had fled the apartment. After Palpatine's speech in the Senate, she had floundered. With Palpatine being from Naboo, she had hoped for his help, but the speech had quickly made her realize he was going against all Padme had stood for.

Two days after the speech, after surviving the lower levels, she had made her way to Bail Organa.

Mon Mothma and Kelvo Sei had come to meet with Bail just as she arrived.

Aware that Padme trusted Bail, who had been her mentor, Hame told them everything she knew, including the fact that Padme and Anakin had willingly gone with the Jedi, believing their children in danger from whoever was attacking the Jedi. The three Senators and the handmaid then watched the security vids, and discovered that the duplicate had been arrested, instead of kidnapped. All three were startled. They had all long worried about Palpatine's stay in power, but this made them fear he had been involved in the Jedi Battle, perhaps even in the Clone war.

"Make copies of this. Each of us should conceal it. We need more evidence of what has actually happened. I wish we could know where the Skywalkers are. I would like to know where Sabe is, as well," Bail muttered, giving the security vids to a droid, who proceeded to make three more copies.

"There is a way," Hame said. "All of the handmaids have a tracking chip under their arm. Senator Amidala does not, but Sabe will, if it has not been discovered."

Two hours later, the security droid had opened the data file, Hame had input the emergency codes, and to everyone's relief, the tracking chip existed. It sat in the Revan Prison deep under the Senate Building.

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While he could not reach out with the Force, Obi Wan had just enough force sense available to create mental shields. Knowing some of the Jedi were alive gave him the will to fight. It was his hope that Anakin had escaped the attacks by no longer belonging to the order. His former Padawan had been in the know of the looming threat Shaak Ti had foreseen. Forewarned was forearmed.

Palpatine, or whoever he was, had undoubtedly felt the Force presence of Anakin's children, but like the Jedi who had not been told, was unaware that there were twins. With the knowledge and hope that he was protecting not only the Jedi, but Anakin's family as well, Obi Wan had kept his shields strong. Palpatine had tried, but could not give the sustained focus needed to break mental shields, being required by his plots to be the face of the Senate. Despite the revelation that the Captains of the Red Guard were Force Sensitive, and somewhat trained, none had the training needed.

The pain and depravation his body was undergoing had begun a dangerous separation of mind from body called seclusion. It gave the Jedi Master the relief from his body that permitted him to think and plan, but the technique had the dangerous side effect of insanity if used too much. Obi Wan had laughed when the first tendrils of fear had crept up his spine the first time his mind snapped back to his body. What was madness if it meant he did not break?

In his moments of reality, he had overheard screams and shouts that spoke of others being interrogated. This had driven him back to his lonely haven of his mind. He couldn't do anything to help them. He could not even stretch out through the Force to see if he knew them.

The lucid moments were spacing themselves further and further apart. He was ignorant of some of the wounds of his body. He no longer kept track of when his interrogators changed shifts, or tried to count how many others he could hear. Little by little he let go of his plans, wrapping himself around the precious knowledge he contained, and resigned to his fate.

Chapter Text

The return of Padme Amidala

Twelve days after the Jedi Battle, Padme Amidala, accompanied by Anakin Skywalker, landed on the Naboo Senate Landing Pad. She had given them very little warning, just enough for them to verify it was her. The news had spread rapidly, so when the young woman strode regally into the Naboo Senate seat even some Senators who had been in their offices or apartments came back. Besides the Republic General she was escorted by four handmaids from Naboo, sent by the Queen for this purpose. In a rare revelation of the handmaid's duties, all four had divested themselves of their usual long robes and wore travel suits. They displayed weapons openly.

"Senator Amidala!" Palpatine had had enough time to prepare a relieved speech amid working out how easily his plots to end her life would be here. "Thank the stars! We had believed you were kidnapped by the Jedi."

"The Jedi have long been my friends, Chancellor," She answered coldly. "When they were attacked, they sent someone to warn my husband, fearing he would be attacked too."

"You are married?" Palpatine gasped, not having to conceal his surprise, since he had believed they wished that a secret. Too late he felt Skywalker's disgust. After a moment, he decided it probably didn't matter. The Senator and General were already suspicious.

"I believe you were already aware of that fact. Republic Senate, my husband, General Anakin Skywalker," Padme reached out her hand and took hold of Anakin's.

"I was merely surprised by your revelation, Padme," Palpatine soothed. "My belief was you two wished to keep your marriage and the birth of your daughter private."

Both parents stiffened, surprise and dread rolling off them in waves. Anakin's eased quickly, no doubt aware that his daughter's force presence was visible to the Jedi, so it was not impossible that someone had told Palpatine. Padme shuddered once, but kept her proud head up. She did not have the Jedi training, and likely not the ability, to keep her emotions concealed, but with so many tangled up in her it made it difficult to be sure which were from the events happening versus the events that had happened.

"We did, and until the last few days, had planned to. We had gone into hiding, afraid that whoever was behind this wanted our daughter. Once we knew she was safe, and saw the news of what was happening, we decided to return and offer our help. We are both friends of several Jedi and none of them would be part of creating a war. It is our belief that there are other factions at play. Even if some of the Jedi were plotting, not all of them could be involved," Padme answered.

This was a bit of a situation. With Skywalker present, it would be difficult to have Padme appear to be killed by the Jedi. Besides, she was clearly here to dig up truths and with her obvious caution in blaming the Jedi order was opening a hole in Palpatine's plots. Worse, if Anakin made a public speech, he would remind the population of his and Kenobi's heroics and popularity. Since Palpatine had released the list of Jedi captured he could not back track and say he did not have Kenobi.

He held a good deal of power, but subtly was required to take on Emperor. There were enough Senators who believed in democracy that civil war could happen. He needed time or tragedy to lure those who sat on the fence between greed and public service to his side. Dooku had been sent to claim Kamino, but had arrived to discover the clone facilities destroyed. All the young clones and the 501st were missing. With that in mind, Dooku was now needed to end the Clone War, penitently making the Separatists believe the Jedi had organized the war and the Republic Empire was trying to resolve the war peacefully.

"It is my fear that this course of action, of allowing the Red Guard to act with such autonomy will bring about the fall of the Republic. I urge caution," She said.

Ah, yes. Sidious concerns over the child she would mother had overshadowed her own threat. Fortunately, he knew her ways well. She was a powerful politician. All his cunning would be needed and he relished it.

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The civilian landing pads were full of holo-boards. The lavishly dressed Togruta girl and her demure chaperone eyed them with interest. Padme and Anakin had given the newsnets plenty to talk about, and neither was being shy about their relationship. The Naboo Senator had opened acknowledged the relationship as well as the birth of her daughter. Only twenty or thirty people knew of the twin boy and all were sworn to silence.

It had been risky allowing both parents to head to Coruscant, but it was felt that having Padme in person would weigh more than a holovid. Someone with force abilities must go with her, and neither she or her husband were willing to trust the young knights with so little experience. Anyone else would be easily recognizable in the Senate, so Anakin would go. The twins were left with the Jedi and Lira, safe on Yavin 4.

Shaak Ti and Ahsoka had tattooed new markings on their faces, and Ahsoka wore rich gowns from Togruta with Padme had bought. Shaak Ti wore the gray robes and hijab of a Togruta servant. Perhaps had the Coruscant landing pad employed Togrutas things would have been different, but the human guards were not Force augmented and the heavy cloud of the Dark side that hung over the planet helped them shield their presence. To any Force Sensitive on Coruscant, Anakin alone would appear.

"Milady! I fear your father's wrath when he realizes where you have gone!" An Alderaan man hurried to meet them. A close alliance had always existed between Alderaan and Shilli, so this was no strange friendship to the watching security. "At such a time."

"I am not afraid!" Ahsoka boasted. "Father said I could go when I was old enough."

The disobedient Togruta daughter, probably a merchant's child by her clothes, proudly followed her host. Amid the many arrivals and departures of many races, nothing stood out about this meeting. It was not long before the information was lost to mind and only a few obscure videos, focused more on Naboo arrivals, caught them. They entered an enclosed speeder and no one thought about them again.

Inside the speeder, Alderaan Security Captain Antilles stayed alert. The Togrutas were changing in the back into server gowns and caps. Bail Organa had already asked for a meal in honor of Senator Amidala's return, and only a few trusted staff knew he had been anticipating this for several days. Once the Skywalkers were in the safety of the Alderaan apartments, the pair of Jedi would hopefully be unnoticeable to any Force Users.

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Bail watched the two Jedi close themselves into a windowless room. Anakin Skywalker appeared to be listening to his wife question the handmaid Hame, but whatever the Jedi were doing called for him to make himself noticeable in the Force. When Hame first got contact from Padme Amidala, Bail and the two other Senators walking this dangerous path learned that there was a possible Force Wielder concealed in the Senate. No names had been exchanged, but Bail had played this game a long time.

Skywalker had not interacted with Palpatine, which was not a surprise considering the General had no place in the Senate. Padme had long been cooling towards the Chancellor, but there had been a tension in her interactions most excused as mere frustration with the lack of any good information. Bail was one of the few to have been told before the Temple Battle that something was coming. The dread that Palpatine was not going to give up his power made Bail believe the Supreme Chancellor was part of the plot.

"What does all this mean?" Bail asked. His friend paused, sadly looking past him.

"Confusion, war, the rise of a dictatorship," She said.

"With you as our Speaker, perhaps we can stop this."

She shook her head. "I'm a mother, Bail. I am going to resign from the Senate soon. I will not be here in person, but I do not mean to be absent from the struggle. If events fall as I believe they will, I will not even have Naboo's open backing. I am using your kindness and friendship even now."

"I offered it freely, Padme. I will not give up the Republic, not yet. We've collected much information that shows the Jedi were not the aggressors in the battle. It is too soon to use it, but I have ideas in place."

"As do I," She smiled. "We should let things settle down first. I hope we will soon be done here. I miss my children."

Shaak Ti and Ahsoka stepped out of the room, and Skywalker visibly relaxed.

"There are three alive in the prison. Obi Wan is one of them," Ahsoka said.

"Well then," Padme smiled sadly, "let's rebel against this dictatorship."

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Skywalker had been searching, his brilliant Force presence distracting Palpatine. The Sith Lord had shielded the Senate, including the Revan Prison that existed deep under the building in response, then followed Anakin's probing into the temple. Despite the cloud over the temple Anakin had lingered there for a long time, his mind unwinding the echoes of the battle. He was likely creating a tally of the dead.

It was hard to mask his own force presence when each new discovered death sent shockwaves through Skywalker, the anger and horror feeding into the force, building the Dark Side higher. Sidious held back, letting Skywalker search the planet. The Jedi could only have suspicions about Palpatine. If Skywalker found out now it would not be utterly destructive, but Sidious wished to keep his secret longer.

When Anakin drew back from the force, shielding himself, Palpatine returned to his planning. Amidala was an idealist and he knew he could use that against her in the Senate. Chosen emissaries from greedy planets and the rare fanatics who wanted the Empire were spreading around the idea of consolidating power to one man to guide them all. Each day the clone war stalled and the mystery of the Jedi battle lingered, fear filled them all. Even planets that held the Republic in reverence were willing to surrender more and more freedoms for the security of single minded Empire.

There were those, like Naboo and Alderaan, who were not ready to give these up, but would submit to a majority agreement. There were battle ready planets who could either come down strong on the Empire's side because it would have a standing army, or would be the spurts of rebellion against the approaching Imperial Age. With his eyes closed, Sidious saw the worlds coming to heel, bowing to him. He saw the vast ships of the Navy bringing fear to the hold out planets. He saw the Hands of the Empire, the Red Guard, and the apprentice he would create. All these pleasing visions eventually stumbled into a reminder of the child that could stand in his way, but the brief glimpse of a pale haired, blue eyed boy seemed small and insignificant in the face of the rest.

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In the moments that Sidious and Anakin's minds were turned on the temple, Obi Wan woke. He was momentarily alone, his interrogators dealing with the death of another prisoner. They were loud and angry, unlike an earlier time when the death was preceded by information. Whoever had died had done so without breaking.

Silver threads wound through the air of his cell, most diving to the binders on his wrists, but one or two reaching out for his head. Curiously he traced one strand in its twisting path. It rose to the ceiling. He reached out with the Force, wondering if he could touch the threads. Most of his senses dove for the binders, unable to withstand the suppression they caused, but his senses narrowed to the little sliver that avoided being hidden by the binders.

Another mind touched his. It was the first since the Battle of the Temple that was not Palpatine. He believed it was familiar and a gentle question about his welfare slid through. Immediately he recoiled, terrified of answering any question. The gentle touch through the Force drew back, told him he had done well, and vanished.

The tenseness in his body took minutes to fade. When the interrogates looked in and found him semi-lucid they hurried in with their needles and shockers. He struggled with the pain for several moments before he remembered how to ease his conscious mind away from his broken body. Amid the cries drawn from his body, he prayed that his death was soon.

Chapter Text

The Rise of the Empire  

I do not own Star Wars, I am simply borrowing the Galaxy to practice my art and have fun.

The four handmaids stood in guard as Anakin helped Padme slid the heavy black robe over her travel suit. When the Queen of Naboo had heard Padme's request for help she had asked for volunteers to send to the Senator. They had all been told that if the turmoil in the Senate ended the Republic that they would not be able to come home. Padme was going to the Senate to call for an end of the Martial Law and for an end of the Clone Wars.

The Naboo Queen had asked her not to do this and offered her a place in the Naboo government, to help the Republic from there. Padme had declined the offer, bid farewell to Naboo, aware she might never return. Her brief two-day visit had left Naboo solemn and thoughtful. She had spoken frankly of her fears that the Senate was going to fail, but also promised to tell the Republic of Naboo's wishes.

When she had revealed to the volunteers that she meant to help the Jedi rescue their imprisoned members none had stepped away from the battle. All of them had served her in her time as Queen, and all had been inspired by her. She believed the Jedi had not done what they were accused of, so they chose to believe that as well. They stood solemn, aware that she was about to do what no other Senator had done. With the fear running rampant, and Palpatine speaking reassuringly of his plans to keep them safe, Padme Amidala's last act as Senator was about to turn the Senate upside down.

"Is everything ready?" She asked her husband. He smiled down at her and nodded. "Then it's time to play our part."

They left her Senatorial office and headed for her Senate seat. Outside the entry to her seat she stopped and publicly told the handmaids she needed to appear alone, as a woman, wife, and mother. Anakin alone entered the seat with her. He appeared unarmed, but she knew he had his lightsaber concealed in his sleeve.

She raised her face for a kiss and then stepped forward to be recognized by the Chancellor.

Anakin detached the Seat and set it to hover in the center of the vast room, in full view of the Senate. Padme stood in the center, calm, quiet, and sad. Two more Senators had vanished in the night, Senators whose names had been on the Declaration of 2000. For a moment, she was quiet, letting her grieved attitude speak for itself.

"Republic Senate, I stand here today to ask for peace and freedom. The planet of Naboo has asked me to remind us all, but especially Chancellor Palpatine, of the Republic way, where all species and all planets have a voice, where we come together to find peaceful ways to resolve our differences. Remember, Palpatine, from where you came. Naboo is a democracy itself, and you will find nowhere else as determined to keep its ways.

"I ask the Senate to call for a Cease Fire with the Separatists. I call for the Separatists to present their concerns to the Senate. I call for us all to listen and heed what they say. Let us work out the mystery of who is behind this war that has torn our galaxy apart together. I ask the Senate to call for fair trials for all involved in the battle of the Temple. I call for Chancellor Palpatine to surrender martial law, surrender his emergency powers, and to step down and give us an equal Senate again.

"It is the will and decision of Naboo that the Separatists have the right to leave the Republic. Instead of holding them in, make a treaty with them. Instead of battling them, show them we can change and address their worries, so they may be able to return to the Republic. It is the will and decision of Naboo that all Jedi imprisoned be released unless charges and not mere rumors are brought against them.

"Do not surrender your voice for comfort. Do not surrender your freedom for safety. As a Senator, as a wife, as a mother, I ask you, the Republic Senate, to work together without blasters and ships. Use your words and your compassion to turn away from this path. If you give up any more, if you let rumors cause imprisonment, if you allow a single man to be head, then you will lose your independence, your right to live in your way. Do not give up your individuality to become nameless, faceless drones."

While she spoke, Anakin stretched his senses, held the few rowdy Senators in silence, and filled the Senate building with the light side of the Force, pushing his own hopes, desires, and trust outward. He felt Palpatine react, trying to stem the rising passions in the building, trying to work fear and anger back into the building. It shook him to feel this proof that Palpatine was a Force User. It was likely that he was the hidden Sith Master who had manipulated the war, clouded the Force, and had created the attack on the Jedi.

Padme bowed her head, standing in the silence Anakin enforced for several long moments. Then she opened her eyes, looked at Palpatine with a smile, and signaled her husband to let the Senate speak. He eased back, letting them find their voices, letting Palpatine stretch outward, and smiled sadly up at Padme. While Palpatine alone could push the Dark Side forth, as soon as Anakin's manipulations seeped away, the level of fear, hate, and anger rose.

There was a single moment that pulsated with expectation before they found their voices and the enormous room sounded with a thousand voices at once. Anakin reached out to Padme, hoping the gentle touch of the Force would speak his love and give her strength for the coming hours of debate, accusations, and rebuttals.

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Shaak Ti lightly followed Ahsoka out of the air vent. Two of the Naboo handmaids, having removed their Naboo insignia and put masks on, followed with blasters. The prison echoed with pain and sorrow. With just a little reach the Togruta Jedi Master could feel the deaths of six more Jedi, as well as multiple civilians, some whose names she knew.

Amid all the dread and horror in the air she could feel the dulled Force presence of at least three Jedi. Their examination of the prison the night before had warned them that the Red Guard used Force Sensitives at least partially trained in rudimentary uses of the Force. Ahsoka had wondered about that, under the mistaken belief that the Senate commanded the Red Guard. Shaak Ti was aware that it was the Chancellor alone who could send them forth.

Evidence was gathering fast now that Chancellor Palpatine was in fact the secret Dark Side wielder who had manipulated the Senate, the Separatists, and the Jedi to this point.

The three pinpoints of Force Presences were all in the same cell block. As they drew nearer, the force echoes of pain were exchanged for physical cries of agony. Shaak Ti darted forward as Ahsoka pointed to a room for the handmaids to take on. The two young knights who were still alive Shaak Ti did not know, but this close to Kenobi she could know the cell he was in.

The two masked Red Guard had only a moment of warning from the force before the Jedi Master had ended their lives. In another moment, she was removing the needle from Kenobi's arm and the shockers from his chest. The cries of the other two Jedi fell silent with the success of the others here to rescue them. Cautiously Shaak Ti removed the Zorb binders, shuddering at the momentary dulling of her Force Sense.

Kenobi did not react even to the return of his Force Sense.

A quick search of the room found his outer robes had been thrown into a corner. Shaak Ti gently wrapped the emaciated man in his robe, before heading to the door. Ahsoka and the two hand maids had done their jobs. Their rescues, although bruised, starved, and haunted, had enough strength to stand with aide.

Using the Force would draw attention to her presence, but if all was going well, Skywalker should be in the Senate building, keeping the attention of the Dark Side user. Shaak Ti had no choice but to lift Kenobi with the Force. Keeping him floating in front of her she handed the prison schematic to Ahsoka. The young Twilek and Mon Calmarian Jedi leaned on the Naboo Handmaids, hobbling along with the help of the pair and the Force.

It appeared that only the Red guard came to this Cell block, and the only time they came was when it was their shift. No alarm had been sounded, as all four women had taken the lives of the interrogators. Though there were other members of the Red Guard in the prison, they did not have the training to find the Jedi, and possibly could not differentiate the rescuers from the rescues. Ahsoka felt their way with the Force, distracting the occasional Clone Trooper, or a prisoner who had caught sight of them, while finding their way to the delivery exit, where the other two handmaids were posing with a delivery shuttle.

Gratitude for the nameless four, who had merely given themselves color codenames of Green, Blue, Red, and Gold, instead of their real or even their handmaid names, filled Shaak Ti. She had not realized how much she looked down on civilians and non-force users until they proved their strengths. Shamed and humbled the Togruta Jedi eased her colleague into the back of the truck while Ahsoka mind tricked the prisoner guards into seeing merely empty boxes being loaded.

It took less than five minutes to get in and get out with the three living prisoners.

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Amidala had subtly kept the debate about her demands going for three hours. In this she was helped by the Mandolorian and Corellian Senators, who had apparently been granted the freedom to speak their people's minds. Several others openly agreed that matters were moving too fast and too far, but the majority were cautious of siding with either the Chancellor or the Naboo Senator. Palpatine was honestly surprised by Amidala's use of Naboo in her speech. He had not expected she would speak with her government's blessing.

It was a well-executed move, making Palpatine's home planet disapprove his actions. If he had kept much closer ties to Naboo it would have been utterly devastating, but upon his rise to Chancellor he had cut many ties and built new alliances with other planets, so that most forget his origins. It was a surprising gamble by Senator Amidala.

Naboo would eventually be punished, once his empire was stable, but he could not openly move against Naboo until that point. She had counted on that, knowing he would have to create a reason to enslave or deprive her home planet, and few would connect the punishment with her impassioned and condoned speech. Once Skywalker had let the Senators speak, merely using the force to examine the various auras, it had been easy to build the hysterical hype up again. With Dooku working on the Separatists, and Palpatine nearly assured of victory here today, granted an opening by Amidala's bluntness, he would offer his newborn Empire a miracle with the end of the Clone War, and cement their loyalty.

Amidala had been contributing less, her face showing a bit of strain. She was not trying to stem the debate, but she was no longer actively partaking in it. Her gamble was at an end. With Skywalker's Force-gathered knowledge they were both aware that the speech, while it would create a few diehards, had failed. Having played the earnest, open minded old man until this point, keeping his comments limited to mere rhetoric, the moment he shifted from patient Chancellor to determined leader the Senate began to calm.

Following Skywalker's example, he used the force to urge the last few ridiculous debaters to silence. Skywalker did not mute his presence, but did not offer any combat through the light side. With the best of the Red Guard trying to break Kenobi, Palpatine had sent a secure message to the two Hunters on Coruscant during the debate. They were preparing to assassinate Amidala and Skywalker in a loud, clumsy way, accusing the pair of trying to pre-long the war that Palpatine was ending. Against Skywalker they did not have much chance, but it was possible their deaths could turn sympathy away from Amidala.

With a few journalists in his pocket her call for peace could be presented as a call to surrender to the separatists. With the evidence he had created against the Jedi by using the identity of a dead member to order the creation of the clones, he would gather doubt on the Jedi. Since Skywalker's split from the order had been so amicable, it would be easy to make the public believe he, and by extension his wife, had been drawn into the plot against the republic. He would turn them from the voices of reason to traitors.

"I am grieved." Palpatine spoke into the silence. Amidala and Skywalker had returned the senatorial hover seat to its location and neither's aura indicated they planned to argue with him. "Senator Amidala is right. This war has been wrong from the start. The Jedi stumbled into the plot to build the Separatist army, stumbled onto the clones created to defend the republic, and stumbled into leadership of the republic army. They claim to have accidently found the evidence of the Separatists, accidently found that a clone army had been built, ordered by a Jedi who later went missing and presumed dead.

"She is right that by the laws of the Republic I should step down, even at this precarious moment. If I still believed in the Republic I would. But there has been so much corruption, so many inter planetary disputes, so much wrong in the galaxy that we squabbled here, ignoring the threats, refusing to offer the hand of peace until it was too late. Our own corruption undid us."

He lowered his head. "In my blind belief that the Republic was unshakeable, I ignored it, believing that when the time came, we would set our fights aside and keep peace and order in the galaxy. We did not do that. I have called for peace talks, for concessions, for us to remember what we were doing. Instead of sitting down to talk, more and more responsibility was placed on me. I have watched this Senate refuse to take responsibility.

"I love this galaxy, the great species who live here. So, I accepted it was my duty to make peace, even if it had to be through war. I was grateful that the Jedi were willing to work at my side, only to be deceived by the so-called peacekeepers as I had been by the Senate.

"The idea of the Republic was a grand dream, one that lived past its time. In these days of unrest, we cannot be led by thousands of voices. I have been asked to remain in power, to guide us into a new age. I did not wish to do so. After today, after seeing even my dear friend Amidala distracted by the claims of the Jedi, I realize that I must take this burden on myself.

"Today, we surrender the corrupt old Republic, the chaos and greed, and today we create an Empire. With a heavy heart, with trust that some of you will step up and help us unify the Galaxy, with trust that old friendships will withstand the changing of the guard, I take up the mantle of Emperor. I will make us strong, keep us safe, and give us peace. We will make today the start of a New Age."

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Even though Padme's bluntness had been used for the distraction, there had been some sliver of hope that she would get through to Palpatine or the Senate. Her mind had told her that the Senate had corrupted itself and was surrendering its voice for false peace and safety but her heart had given dreams of waking the Senate from its fall and saving it. Anakin's hand slid in hers. She leaned against his strong body.

"They are waiting on the Naboo Landing pad," Anakin murmured. "I think we've done all we can."

"I know. Let's go," She used the hover seats data station to execute her final actions as Senator, sending her letter of resignation to Naboo, the Senate, and the media. As applause from Senate rose to shake the ceiling, the pair slipped out.

"He saw us leave," Anakin said. "Be ready."

The heavy Senate Robe slid off her shoulders in the doorway to the hall beyond. The four handmaids had returned, heavily armed.

"There is a Sicil with antiwar signs lingering in the corridor to your office," One of them said.

"I've erased everything I could and taken the most important data chips." Padme answered. "Can we avoid that corridor?"

"Yes. We changed to the lower Naboo Landing pad. If we can take off before the guard towers are alerted, we will be fine."

"Let's go," Anakin ordered, his lightsaber slipping down to his hand. "He's searching for us."

"Can you distract him in some way?" Padme asked.

"I think so, but it will make him angrier," Anakin replied. "I have been calling all his attention by continually using the Force in small ways. If I stop, he will probably discover that half a dozen of the Red Guard are dead and there are force users on the landing pad."

"Do it." She commanded.

Anakin concentrated a moment even as he led the way down to the lower Naboo Landing pad. She could not see what happened, but the tightening of his lips told her the idea had worked. They raced down steps, heading for the long corridor that ran under the Naboo Senatorial seat to the landing pad. When her handmaids pulled out their weapons, she took out her small blaster.

"Die, traitor!" Someone hidden by Anakin's bulk yelled. She heard the hiss of his lightsaber leaping to life, several blaster bolts and the thud of a body. A few seconds later she was guided around the dead body of an anti-separatist man his smoking blaster still in his hand.

A minute later she was racing outside to the running shuttle. There was yelling, but since Anakin and the four handmaids were all taller than her, she saw nothing but his back and their tall forms surrounding her. The pair behind her, guarding her back were running backwards, their weapons aimed outward. It took ten seconds to reach the shuttle.

"Go!" Anakin shouted as he swung her into the large cargo bay, where a small deliver shuttle was seated. The two forward hand maids led her further in, while he stood on the loading ramp with the other two. "They are powering the guns! Get us up Ahsoka!"

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As soon as Padme Skywalker and two of her guards reached the interior of the ship Shaak Ti hurried out to join Anakin and the other pair in defending the ship. The blaster guns that lined the side of the senate building had powered up and the two Jedi undertook to create chaos. Reaching far with the Force they crushed four of the closest turrets, caused to more to shoot while the guns were still facing downward, and stalled the engines of fighters rising to chase the shuttle. The kneeling handmaids fired steady streams of blaster bolts down into the clone guards that were racing out onto the pads.

Once out of range of the turrets they closed the ramp.

"Get to the cockpit," Shaak Ti ordered Anakin. "You two, there are modified turrets on each side. Skywalker can fly, but we may need some help in escaping the fighters."

She hurried back into the crew area, where the three rescued Jedi were resting. The two knights had put themselves into healing trances and Padme had immediately taken to cleaning Kenobi's wounds. Grateful for the woman's compassion the Jedi Master asked the other two hand maids to go the upward turrets. She herself dropped into the lower one.

Not many fighters had been scrambled. Palpatine had planned an assassination, or if that failed, an arrest. Padme had made it appear she meant to stay and fight for the fallen Republic, and he had learned too late that her honest words had also distracted him from the rescue of his prisoners. Anakin had spent the last two evenings on this transport, making small adjustments and fine tuning her. The sturdy ship flew furiously. The brief chase called for very little fire power. The new TIE Fighters were not fully known, so when Shaak Ti's first targets were taken out the pilots became too cautious.

When she felt the hyper drive kick in and the darkly colored planet vanished into the blue and white hyperspace field Shaak Ti breathed a sigh of relief.

Thanks for reading.

Chapter Text

Birth of the Rebellion 

I do not own Star Wars. I am just playing with the Galaxy far, far away.

Ahsoka had quietly dismissed Anakin from the cockpit. While he was grateful to be given the opportunity to see Padme was well, the young girl's frightened eyes filled him with worry. Sliding down the ladder to the crew quarters he met Shaak Ti coming up from the lower Gun Turret. The four handmaids were heading into the common area.

"I may need your help," Shaak Ti said quietly. "Master Kenobi has used seclusion during his torture. I have not had time to try and draw him out so he can work on a healing trance."

Anakin swallowed hard as he nodded, before following her into the crew quarters. Padme was instructing the handmaids to carry two of the rescued Jedi to bunks. She was on her knees by the seat, a bowl of bloody water and rags next to her. She was cleaning Obi Wan's arms, gentle swipes against bruises and needle marks.

Shaak Ti did not bother to hide her grief from Anakin as she came over to where the Jedi Master lay unmoving. Obi Wan had been a prisoner of Palpatine for thirteen days. He was filthy, emaciated, bruised and mangled. His right hand was swollen and black, two decaying fingers hanging by threads of skin. Burns and lashes covered him from head to toe.

"He's breathing steadily," Padme said. "I think he might be in a coma."

"Medical instruments would indicate that, but he's actually secluded," Shaak Ti said, sitting on the seat so she could lift Obi Wan's filthy head into her lap. "It's a form of meditation that can be used to separate the mind from the body. He essentially left his body to the interrogators and has hidden deep in his mind. Anakin may be able to reach him."

"Not you, Master?" Anakin asked.

"I could try and maybe succeed, but my presence would not be so familiar. You and he spent thirteen years together and especially during your time as Padawan would have talked mentally often. I will guide you," She paused and looked at the badly wounded man. "Be warned, Anakin. You may stumble onto some of his grief regarding your life decisions."

"If it means I can help him, I can live with his disappointment," Anakin shrugged.

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Master.

Anakin's voice always had a distinctness. The best way to explain the Force Mental connections to a non-sensitive was to tell them it was hearing the voice in your head. This was not perfectly accurate. The mental voice did not sound exactly like the physical voice. The force imbued it, giving it a sparking sound. The emotions of the projectors could make it change.

Master, you can come out now.

Obi Wan did not want to come out. He was at peace in the little pocket of his mind he had hid in. It was unfair of Anakin to call him out.

Master, please come out.

Anakin was calling him and Obi Wan must answer. He wasn't sure if the Jedi Council would want him too after Anakin's decision to leave the Jedi but he wasn't even sure any member of Jedi Council lived. After all he had risked the insanity of seclusion in part for the sake of Anakin's family. So, he reached out.

"Thank you Master," Anakin said quietly. "I know it is hard."

It was hard. Coming out of seclusion meant he had to face all the pain of his body and grief of his heart. With an iron will, he reconnected his mind to his body and opened his eyes. Anakin was kneeling next to him, his eyes full of compassion and sorrow. Bright blue threads hung around him, sparkling with the Force. Shaak Ti was there also, and the threads draped her elegant body, shimmering in the water in Kenobi's eyes.

They were both exuding compassion and sorrow, reaching out to ease his pain. His eyes fluttered close with a soft sigh, and he let the tension bleed away.

"Master, we will help you go into a trance if you need us to."

"Yes, thank you," He whispered hoarsely. "Be careful. Palpatine is a Sith." There was a little ripple in the Force from them both, plus the third person he could not see, who was a small presence in the force, unlikely to be Force Sensitive. "His eyes turned yellow."

"We will exercise caution, Master," Anakin answered gently. "We are going to reach out now."

Two gentle touches from the Force eased into his mind and as they helped him through the calm breathing and meditation that would start the healing trance he let out another sigh. He let go, allowing his mind to swirl down into the simple act of breathing, feeling the Force surround him to begin knitting his wounds. It was comforting to know that Anakin was there, that, even though Obi Wan had been hurt and had avoided his former Padawan, he had still come. With Shaak Ti and Anakin there he had no more need to shield his thoughts and let them bleed away. Gratitude and affection touched him from both Force Users. Obi Wan Kenobi rested.

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"Mistress Skywalker., The Handmaid who called herself Green stepped forward and knelt. "We give you our loyalty. Where you go, we will come. You and your family will be ours."

Shaak Ti ignored the small ceremony, but Anakin came to sit by his pale wife. He looked both shaken and happy. Obi Wan's touching trust in Anakin had warmed him. Padme leaned against his shoulder, hopeful that whatever they would do now, they would retain the alliance of the Jedi and the friendship of Obi Wan.

"Thank you," She said to the handmaids. "I know what it has cost you to give me loyalty and aid."

"We will undertake new names, Mistress," Gold said. "Neither our families or the Queen will be blamed then."

"The Queen will hopefully have already denounced my actions as desperate and keep Naboo free of blame," Padme sighed. "She knew I had ulterior plans and this would need to happen."

"Mistress, we found Sabe in the prison. She had died a day or more ago," Blue sad sadly. "If you agree, I would like to call myself Sabe Blue, in her honor."

Padme nodded around the grief in her throat.

"I copied tapes of Sabe and the Jedi interrogations," Green said. "We may have use for them in our rebellion."

"That's what we are now," Padme whispered softly. "Rebels against Palpatine's Empire."

"In honor of all on Naboo who cannot stand here, I will call myself Ooban Green," The handmaid declared.

"In honor of the Jedi who lived through torture to save their family, I will call myself Jeda Red."

"In remembrance of those fallen by betrayal, and of a Jedi who gave relief on Naboo, I will call myself Gleem Gold."

The four handmaids rose to their feet.

"I thank you for your honor of the Jedi who fell," Shaak Ti whispered.

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A long circuitous route took them back to Yavin 4. The three healthy Jedi had gone over every inch of the transport to make sure there were no tracking devices. Obi Wan remained in the healing trance for the remainder of their journey, but the other two recovered from their physical wounds before the landing. Neither spoke much and were grateful for the kindness of their rescuers in not making them talk.

Anakin landed the shuttle and opened the ramp. Master Windu, seated in a mechanical chair awaited them. He had still been a patient when they had left, and while his amputated leg would soon be replaced with a mechanical leg, he looked much healthier. Besides him stood Staas Allie and Yoda, who had apparently arrived during their absence.

As soon as the all clear was given the shuttle was swarmed. Among the arrivals after their departure to Corsuscant was a Jedi Healer, and Obi Wan was soon under her care. Lira and one of the young Jedi carried Luke and Leia out to meet their parents. Shaak Ti greeted her fellow Council members, but all four watched the family reunion. A tight rein on their emotions told the three tall members that the reunion made them feel something. Yoda allowed them to see his joy in the Skywalkers' joy.

"Things to tell us, you have," Yoda told Shaak Ti.

"Yes Master."

"Kenobi?" Mace asked harshly.

"He is alive and in a trance, but he had used seclusion. Until he awakes we cannot know if it harmed him at all," The Tortuga answered.

"Unharmed, he is. Strange, he may become," Yoda replied. "Present in the future, I have seen."

"The Republic is gone," Shaak Ti said quietly. "Palpatine is a Dark Side User. Kenobi said he was a Sith in the few moments we could talk to him. Palpatine has named himself Emperor and most of the Senate welcomed the change."

"What are we going to do now?" Staas Allie asked Yoda.

"Jedi, we will be. A new way, we may use," He answered. "Senator Skywalker's Rebellion we may aide."

Chapter Text

The Jedi Order

I do not own Star Wars. I am just playing in the Galaxy.

"How are you, Master?" Anakin softly asked.

Seated in an invalid's chair, with a blanket over his thin legs, Obi Wan lifted a pale face and smiled. Since his awakening from his trance he had not spoken much. With exceptions made for the remnant of the Jedi Council to share what he had learned in his imprisonment the Jedi Master had only spoken to Anakin and Shaak Ti. Many of the Jedi knights had come to see him, but gone away soon afterwards.

Anakin understood their grief. The easy speech and charm that had made Obi Wan such a good negotiator was gone. Anakin could attest that Obi Wan liked to talk, having spent ten years as his Padawan, and three more as his partner. While no one dared call it inane chatter, it had amused and disarmed many.

"I am well, Anakin."

"If you are sure, Padme and the twins are in the hall."

Obi Wan's face lit up. Anakin had hesitated to bring the seven-month-old twins to meet his master as both were teething, and consequently very loud. When his master had asked the day before, Anakin had agreed after numerous warnings. Keeping his eyes on the ill face, the young man opened the door with a wave of his hand. Padme, carrying a drooling, curious baby on each hip entered with a fond smile.

"Look Luke, Leia, this is Uncle Obi Wan," She cooed to her children.

Neither paid any attention to the resting man, but looked about the bright room.

"This is Luke," Padme turned the baby on her right. "And this is Leia." Leia's darker hair made her appear to have more, since her brother's pale hair was camouflaged by his white head. Luke continued to ignore Obi Wan, his eyes focused on the window full of native plants brought in to cheer the plain, though well-lit room. His twin however was drawn by a soft hello from the invalid.

"Would they let me hold them?"

"Leia might. She is always reaching for anyone who will hold her. Luke has been very clingy since we returned from Coruscant."

Obi Wan's extended hands were returned by Leia, who had very little fear, and a great delight in the large group that was willing to hold her, play with her, and entertain her. If Luke got upset, she usually would as well, even if they were in opposite sides of the temple. This seemed to confirm the Force bond between them which had the curious side effect of dampening Luke's presence. As his mother was holding him, he had a cold teething toy to gnaw, and the force threads around the plants were sparkling green he was content.

"Hello little princess," Obi Wan told the baby in his arms. She waved a drool covered fist of her teething toy, having recently learned that waving could be used as communication, since the adults around her were so stupid as to not understand her babbling. He gently touched her forehead, enjoying the comfort of her innocent Force Presence. Since he had woken from the trance he had had glimpses of things out of the corners of his eyes, after images of the hallucinations he had aboard the shuttle and in the prison. All the Jedi seemed to be a little brighter than he remembered. Little Luke even had a glow around him.

He had told only the healer. She had admitted that there had been instances were extreme stress and overuse of certain mental abilities had led to the after images he spoke of. It would improve, perhaps even go away, when he gained weight, and health, and emotional healing. Once his mind recovered from the seclusion that would help too.

"Is there news?" He inquired a little later, when Luke had fallen asleep in his mother's arms, and Leia was curiously examining three mechanical fingers recently replacing the fingers destroyed by his lightsaber exploding.

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An entire month had passed since the Battle of the Temple. A few more Jedi had found their way to Yavin 4. Shaak Ti had been in contact with the three other hubs she had created. One of these was already gone, dispersed when one of their number had been captured and soon killed. It had been the one without younglings, doomed from the Battle. The other two had also gathered a group of Jedi and civilians who had helped them.

The names of those known to be dead where gathered in holocrons.

In the outside world, the news of the Empire was spreading. A list of rules had been released, rules that appeared benign, calling for disarming of most planet controlled standing armies, for required education, for required healthcare for all. Palpatine had welcomed Count Dooku to Corsuscant and peace talks were in motion. A list of enemies of the empire had been issued. The Jedi Council topped the list, wanted dead or alive. Both Anakin and Padme were on the wanted alive for questioning list, though they suspected this was merely a front.

Except for a few riots, the galaxy was waiting to see what the Empire would bring.

Obi Wan's physical injuries were healed and the after images of seclusion were now rare. It remained only for him to regain lost weight and strength. He might not have needed the arm Anakin was lending him if he really put his mind to it but wanted the closeness of his friend so submitted to the weakness. In the command room the four other Jedi Council, Padme Skywalker and the Color Guard, as the four handmaids called themselves, were gathered.

When the five Jedi, one General, and two civilians were seated around the holo-projector Shaak Ti turned on the latest intelligence they had gathered. It gave them very little more, except certain knowledge that Naboo had officially accepted Padme's resignation and denounced her actions in helping the Jedi prisoners escape. This gently worded chiding concerned Padme, but since Naboo had accepted the Dozen Rules without complaint, having most of them already in place she hoped their relaxed attitude towards their beloved former queen would be ignored. They also gained the names of two Jedi captured and executed for war crimes.

"We will not get any public support," Staas Allie said when the briefing was over. "Palpatine is feeding just the right information, either out of context or downright falsehoods, that even those who were our allies are shaken."

"I still wish we knew what happened at Kamino," Anakin said.

"And where the missing Senators have gone," Padme sighed. Palpatine had retained the Senate, which appeased most. The positions were now honored, richer advisors. Playing on the greed of those in power, Palpatine's apparently miraculous resolution of the Clone War, now only awaiting the official word, had eased the burdens of war. The Banking Clan would not suffer, as worlds damaged in the war began to rebuild, and the Trade Federation was strangely silent. Only the Droid and Clone builders would lose.

"We have a list of all those from the three hubs and a partial list from the fourth hub. Besides the 124 Younglings, there are 58 Padawans and 278 knights and Masters accounted for. We know there are more who were told to go into hiding if needed. Of those in command, we have heard nothing," Shaak Ti said. "Over half the names released as those captured and killed are from the commands. From those who were not working directly with the clones it appears survival rates were better. The Agri-Corps have not been heard from however. The best we can hope for them is that they had warning and so went into hiding. They are the least likely to be traced by their Force Presence, so I have hope for them."

"There will be more on the outer and middle worlds. Master Fisko's message has begun to reach out there, so the fake beacon set up to summon the Jedi to the Temple will not have as much affect," Mace Windu said.

"With so many of us here, we will become obvious if Palpatine and Dooku train more Force Users to search the Force for others," Shaak Ti said.

"What are we to do?" Staas Allie asked.

"Change," Yoda spoke. "Into exile, some must go. Spread throughout the galaxy, others will, learn of the changes to our galaxy. Train younglings. Help where we can."

"In time, Senator Amidala's rebellion will grow," Shaak Ti agreed. "When it happens, we can start to help. For now, we would just bring greater danger."

"To war, this will lead," Yoda said.

"I know," Padme said. "I know that what I am doing will lead to war. Palpatine has destroyed the Republic and is a dictator. History has taught us that dictators will oppress those they don't like and execute laws as they see fit. Justice will fail. If he is the Sith Lord you've looked for, then he will do the opposite of keep the peace.

"I do not want my children to live in that world. So, I will prepare for the inevitable war. There will be refugees who will need havens. There will be soldiers who need healing. There will be a need for an intelligence network."

"Perhaps Chancellor Skywalker someday?" Yoda smiled kindly.

Padme shuddered. "No. If I create this rebellion, I must never be a leader in the future. If the Empire falls and the Republic is rebuilt in my life time, then I will retire and live in peace."

"Your rebellion will have our aid," Shaak Ti promised as the other Jedi beamed with approval.

"Matters of Jedi, we wish to discuss. General Skywalker, we ask to stay," Yoda said.

Padme and the Color Guard left, not at all worried by their ejection. Anakin was surprised. In previous meetings, he had always left with the other two.

"We have decided to scatter among the galaxy," Mace Windu said, gritting his teeth. "No more than a few in one place, with the younglings spread out among them. Most will build a secret enclave where we will train force users."

"I cannot," Obi Wan spoke up suddenly. "I cannot train Jedi."

Surprise and worry filled the rest, but Yoda smiled.

"Attachments you have made, Master Kenobi?"

No one was surprised by Yoda's knowledge, though the idea that Obi Wan had gone against the code was shocking. He had always been the perfect Jedi despite his unorthodox Master and Padawan. A shiver shook Kenobi, reminding them all how frail he remained. He smiled wanly at the others.

"I am not married or even in love. I just found, in the prison, that it was my love of the Jedi, and my love of Anakin and his family that gave me the strength to risk seclusion. Anakin came back for me with you, despite how hurt I was by his departure from the order. I cannot believe that attachment is so wrong after the strength it gave me, and the courage it gave Anakin to come back for me when he knew I was angry with him," He shook his head, trying to clear the mist from his eyes. "Master Yoda, I cannot give that up. I think I would break."

"Master," Anakin wrapped an arm around his shivering friend. "I won't let you break. You are welcome to be my family."

"Hm," Yoda was smiling. "Much thought I have had. Confused me for a time, your son did, young Skywalker. The only one here who has found this truth, you are not."

"You are right, Master Yoda." Shaak Ti said. "Young Luke woke something in me I had never missed before."

"Done, what must be?" Yoda asked.

Mace reared his head back. "You cannot be suggesting we change the Code!" He exclaimed. "In this time of exile, we will need it more than ever!"

"We admire love and affection in non-Jedi," Shaak Ti said. "We've seen it bring peace to Anakin. We've seen it give strength to Obi Wan. What of Padawan Jade? He questions the code after seeing the strength of General Skywalker. He has always been fond of a young CorSec agent, but has never acted on it."

"Passions lead to the Dark Side!" Mace snapped.

"The code, long has it been in place. Change, we have not. Change, the Sith have," Yoda said.

"Are we to be forced into romance now?" Staas said with a shudder.

"There is more than romance," Shaak Ti answered. "We are already attached. Would you not be sad if another of us were to fall?"

"Misinterpreted, perhaps, the code was," Yoda said thoughtfully. "Allowed sects to have marriage before we have."

"Lesser sects," Windu growled.

"Is not Pride a passion?" Shaak Ti exclaimed. "Those of us who have held the code to the extreme have believed ourselves above the others. Are we really?"

"Hear from young Skywalker?" Yoda asked.

"From me?" Anakin looked up from where he was comforting Obi Wan. "What do I have to say?"

"A lot, apparently, since we are considering allowing attachments," Windu sneered. "All because of your own affair."

"That is uncalled for, Windu," Staas said. "They are married. I dislike the lying that happened, but they were honest in the end."

"If you want to insult my wife and family, then I will leave," Anakin sneered.

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Preparations were being made for the dispersing of the Jedi. Duos and trios were forming, making plans of where they would build their new homes. Younglings were being spread among them. More than one civilian had been offered a home with the Jedi, who were grateful for their help, and wished to repay them for their lost homes.

The Color Guard and Lira were all to accompany the Skywalkers wherever they ended up. Padme's choice to prepare for rebellion was well known and respected. All the civilians with the Jedi swore loyalty to her rebellion and many Jedi gave her contact information, as well as recording testimony of Jedi beliefs, training, and the Battle of the Temple. She was gathering a stockpile of testimonies to create propaganda to spread through the Galaxy.

For several days, the Jedi Council and Anakin Skywalker had spent hours in the command room, discussing something. A decision was awaited before the departures happened. The subject was believed to be whether to grant Skywalker the title of Jedi knight anew, and open the way for other Jedi to be allowed families and romances. After a month of seeing the Skywalkers' family life, there were several Jedi who were interested in that option.

Obi Wan Kenobi's shaken admission that it had been his love of his Jedi friends and Anakin Skywalker that helped him endure the malicious torture had made those most opposed to change keep their arguments calm. It had been obvious that Kenobi had endured more than the others who were rescued, both of whom had admitted to giving up a secret or two, and Kenobi had not given up a word. His blatant need for the affection of his former Padawan was felt to be pathetic, but none could deny that if anyone deserved an exception it was Kenobi.

Shaak Ti's obvious support for the change was not explained in detail, but she was open in her affection for the Skywalker twins and the Jedi Younglings. Yoda had been smiling and amused by questions, gave vague answers, and pointed out various attachments. Staas Allie had been grimly quiet, not wishing to have a change with all that had happened. It was Mace Windu who was soundly defending the Code, likely from the same desire as Allie, but not as ready to admit that if the Code did not change half the Jedi Council would likely resign from the Order in the manner Skywalker had.

The summons to the common hall three days after the first meeting this had been discussed was attended eagerly, either with hopeful glances between several pairs who would probably become a couple, or with grim misgiving.

"After much discussion, it has been decided that Anakin Skywalker will be granted the title of Jedi Knight again. His decision to resign in the face of his doubts of the code is respected by us all. Because of the peace it brought him, and the strength attachment brought Master Kenobi, the rules about attachment are being relaxed. If you wish for family, for romance, for children, you will not be exiled from the Jedi," Shaak Ti announced. "If you believe the Code is completely right no word will be spoken against you. We ask that you respect those who chose this freedom.

"This is a time of change. If we had been willing to change earlier, we may not have been so blindsided by the Dark Side. If the Republic had made a change earlier, it might still exist. The Precepts of the Jedi Code remain. We stand for the Light Side, for the purity, compassion, and encouragement. We are here to heal, to fight for justice, to offer peace. All the Council asks that with this new freedom you are certain of your own choice. If you taste romance simply because it is there, you may go against your own code. If you stay with the unchanged Code, but fight against love and affection, you may be twisting your own beliefs.

"Trust in the Light side and let it lead you, either to a detached view, or to love."

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Despite Anakin's reinstatement to the Jedi Order, Ahsoka did not return to being his Padawan. Shaak Ti would remain her master, but the Jedi Master also planned to stay with the Skywalkers to begin with. She was curious to see how raising the twins would happen, as well as becoming an integral part of Padme's plans to build a Rebellion. The Skywalker twins were considered an experiment in raising Jedi children.

Several Knights who wished to stick with the old ways has quickly claimed younglings they meant to bring up strictly, but a few others had taken younglings as a beginning of a family, so while the Skywalkers would be closely watched, there would be a wide variety of ways of raising younglings and Padawans. Yoda watched everything with amusement. He had told only the Council of his own plans to head into exile. Staas Allie had taken a young knight, a Padawan, and a five-year-old youngling under her care. Mace Windu was joined by two knights and did not plan on settling down and building an enclave as most of the rest did. Obi Wan Kenobi was to go with the Skywalkers.

With Yoda going into exile, Mace Windu and Obi Wan Kenobi both in need to healing, and Staas Allie not interested, leadership of the Jedi had fallen to Shaak Ti. It had been her visions and planning that had saved the lives of those who escaped the Battle of the Temple. She and Padme had come up with the plan that saved the lives of the three imprisoned Jedi as well as setting the seeds of the rebellion in the Senate. With Padme as the Rebellion Leader, though the rebellion did not fully exist yet, and Shaak Ti as the Jedi Leader, they wished to work out some plans together.

Knight Skywalker was stilled called General Skywalker, and with his feet in both the Jedi and Civilian worlds, he was said to round out the group that would become the Empire's biggest threat.

Very few had doubt that when war came, Anakin Skywalker would be at the head of the army.

So Yavin 4 emptied, a few missed trinkets and boxes all that remained of their haven. Reeling with the shock of their loss of status, of their changed code, and the fear they must now live in, the Jedi scattered among the stars. The relaxed code was handed from one to another, and some went into hiding with families, some wandered the stars looking for purpose in this frightening new world, and some prepared for war.

Thanks for reading!

Chapter Text

The Renegade Battalion

Now we build the Rebellion. I hope you all enjoy where we go now.

I do not own Star Wars. I am merely borrowing the galaxy to practice my craft.

The Naboo Senatorial transport had been taken apart and sold for a good sum. Anakin had purchased a Dothan transport with the money from parts, large enough to contain the rather numerous group, as well as carry cargo. A speeder and two fighters were also purchased from the sale of the jewelry in Padme's emergency kit, meant for such a purpose. They did not plan to immediately land somewhere, but created a false identity for the ship, modified the transport to include concealed turrets, and began to look for work. While Padme's emergency kit meant they did not need the money immediately, they would not say no to the money. Their travels in the outer rim also helped them meet new contacts and lay the foundation for the intelligence network.

The outer rim had many dubious opportunities. Within a few months, the Shield was an accepted transport ship, having avoided pirates and the expanding Empire alike. They built contacts and gained a few favors. Around the twins first birthday they discovered a small, backwater planet where a war between two rival pirate clans had left a battlefield. They proceeded to salvage from the field, selling somethings, but finding two rusty, but easily fixed shuttles.

Padme was officially the Captain of the ship. Her appearance was by far the easiest to change, since the elaborate make up and dresses she had worn as queen and as Senator meant she barely had to do more than wear rough clothes, allow her skin to become tanned, and chop her hair. Anakin grew a beard and cropped his hair, while investing in a skin like hand.

Shaak Ti and Ahsoka had already fixed somethings with their tattoos, but altered their lekkus, which could be shaped by surgery with little to no pain. Obi Wan did not leave the ship often, and his hair had begun to go gray despite being in his thirties. He did not regain all the weight he had lost, and walked with a limp. The confident carriage had vanished amid the torture, and on the rare occasions he did venture into a small town or port he wore a black robe with the hood drawn up to conceal the scars on his face and neck.

The rest merely needed rough clothing and skin, and they looked like a sturdy transport crew seeking to make a living on the outer edge.

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"Have you heard about the ghosts?" A nervous man asked Anakin Skywalker as the young man purchased supplies for his ship. "There is a ghost ship haunting the mid rim, full of clones who were killed on Kamino."

"I don't believe in ghost stories," Anakin answered.

Padme's contact, a dubious merchant, overheard this and looked thoughtfully at the young man. "It's not just a ghost story," She said. "I've heard of the group. They call themselves the Remembrance Fleet. Story goes they claim the clones had chips in their heads that caused them to obey the order to kill the Jedi. If you really belong to the Angel, that bit of information might be worth something."

Padme's code name in the world had come about when Anakin and Padme had told the story of how they met to their curious crew. Obi Wan had started to teasingly call Padme Angel, and had used it during contact with one of his old 'friends'. Despite Anakin's humiliation that his childhood nickname for his wife was used this way, the name stuck. Since neither had told the story before, its personal connotations were lost on the rest of the Galaxy.

"Yet you freely gave it to me."

"I owe the Jedi my life," She answered. "The Angel is the only voice for them. If I run no danger, then I will give freely."

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"Do you think it is possible?" Ahsoka asked eagerly.

"There is usually a grain of truth to rumors," Shaak Ti answered calmly.

"Then let's go find them!"

Anakin shook his head. "Hold on, Snips. We don't know what happened on Kamino. We don't even know if the chips were the reason the clones attacked."

"Isn't it obvious?" The girl cried. "Arim accidently shut the 501st chips down only two days before the attack on the Temple. They had probably just arrived on Kamino when the order to attack came. Kamino is rumored to have been destroyed by the Jedi, but what if it was the clones? What if Rex and Cody didn't betray us?"

Padme gently wrapped an arm around the young Padawan's shoulders. Even though Shaak Ti and Obi Wan had started to explore attachment, they retained a still very detached view, often failing to recognize when affection could be used as comfort. A glance at the three grown Jedi showed an echo of Ahsoka's question in their faces. Padme had forgot that for over three years the Jedi had lived and fought with Clones. Battle had forged friendships that had made the attack so much worse.

"We must consider that Palpatine knows of our friendships and has created this rumor to lure us," Anakin explained gently.

"Can any harm come of considering the rumors?" Obi Wan asked. "We don't openly wear light sabers anymore. We shouldn't be recognized if we just ask around."

"Perhaps we should add some Imperial Uniforms to our closet," Padme said thoughtfully.

"Are you sure that is a wise idea? The new uniforms are not known on all the worlds. The Empire is known to have replaced the Republic, but so far that appears to only matter on the Core worlds. Out here the Imperials are just getting started in building their outposts," Anakin protested.

"But they are here," Padme answered. "Even if we don't use the uniforms now, it will help us in the future."

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The Color Guard soon had requisitioned the required Uniforms. After some discussion, the uniforms were used. When close inspection of the outposts and Imperial armies spreading into the rim showed that they were primarily made of Humans, Anakin and Sabe Blue were chosen to go undercover.

Shaak Ti entered the bridge of the transport to find Ahsoka at the controls while Padme, her one year old son clinging to her leg, studied the latest news from the Core. Leia was likely in the common room with Lira or Obi Wan, but her brother grew upset when separated from his mother. Not even his father could calm him down sometimes and with Anakin off ship this meant that Luke went wherever Padme went. He was hugging his mother's leg, but staring in awe at the window and Ahsoka.

"Have we heard from anyone?" Shaak Ti asked.

"There were several missives from new enclaves. It appears that Kaim and Jade went to Corellia and are building an enclave there," Padme frowned. "It worries me how many enclaves are built in the Core worlds."

"We have spread throughout the entire galaxy," Shaak Ti replied. "If we vacate the Core Worlds completely we will be forgotten."

"I know," Padme rested her hand on her son's head. "It makes me feel responsible. Kaim and Jade chose Corellia because of the need to have news from the Core. I hate the cost of the Rebellion."

"It will be needed," Shaak Ti said softly.

"I know," Padme shook her head and turned back to the holoprojector. "The Empire is beginning to appoint Governors over the Core Worlds. C3PO's calculations show that ninety percent are human."

"I had noticed," The Jedi Master knelt to offer Luke a bracelet from her arm. "Your species is by far the most populous. You are from so many worlds."

"If the appointments were equal to the species populations humans would hold only a quarter of the appointments. It makes me wonder if I should lead this rebellion. It should not be human against human."

"It won't be, Padme," Shaak Ti promised. "If anything, you will have the support of more and more species if Palpatine continues this xenophobic path."

"Padme, we are receiving a message," Ahsoka called.

"Anything suspicious?"

"No. It has the Red call sign."

The color guard worked as Padme's intelligence officers, and each had created a network which was named after their surnames and given a different call sign and code to use.

"Let's hear it."

"By the Angel's call," A distorted voice began. "This is Mid-Rim Voice seven. I have been asked to pass on a message to the Angel. Captain Rex of the Remembrance Fleet is seeking contact. He says he has evidence the Angel may wish to learn, and desires an alliance. If the Angel, or a representative is willing to meet him, he has given me a contact to work out the details. There are no droids in the way."

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Anakin and Sabe Blue were soon recalled to the Shield. They had gathered a good deal of rumors, a few possible leads, and little more than proof that there was a group out there disrupting the flow of Imperial Forces to the Mid-Rim. No contacts had been found, so they were all dubious about the Remembrance Fleet. Ahsoka had argued and begged that they take the risk, until Padme had sent her out of the command room. Obi Wan had said they should take the risk and left the other three to make the decision.

"What if this is a trap?" Padme demanded.

"Obi Wan and I used to have a policy that we would always spring a trap," Anakin said.

"That was when you had a vast Jedi Order and an Army that could come after you if you were caught in the trap. That is changed. This ship is all that could come after you." Padme replied.

"If the Clones are being used to lure Jedi they may not even realize it. Ayala Secura's testimony showed that she did not have any warning and it was only the sacrifice of her partner that allowed her to escape alive. She had sensed no betrayal, or duplicity, or even intent," Shaak Ti pointed out.

"I would go into this meeting with that knowledge. I've studied Arim Jade's report on what he found and I could look for the chips. If they aren't in those meeting us it could be a sign that Jade's deactivating the 501st did keep them from receiving, or at least obeying the order to attack," Anakin argued.

"What would we gain?" Padme demanded.

"If it was the implant and the 501st was on Kamino and disobeyed the order, they would have evidence. The fact that all Clone facilities were destroyed so immediately upon the order seems to be evidence that someone figured out why the clones had attacked and decided to put a stop to their production. If this is the 501st they will have that evidence, and if they are free of the orders to kill the Jedi, they will be experienced allies. They could be the beginning of the Rebellion's army," Anakin replied.

Padme's fists tightened around the edge of the holoprojector. She sighed.

"Let's put it to a vote."

"I vote take the risk," Anakin replied.

Padme looked at Shaak Ti, who thoughtfully considered the holoprojector for several moments.

"I agree. It is worth the risk," She agreed.

Padme closed her eyes. "I agree. We will set up the meet."

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A cloaked figure hid in the shadows of the large walls of the barren crater called Death Valley on the planet of Aleena. In a small cave shut off from the Aleena underworld three more pairs of eyes and scanners watched the arrival of a small gray shuttle. Anakin watched patiently as the shuttle landed. Four men exited, scanning the crater with their eyes and weapons before standing at attention while a fifth man exited the shuttle carrying a flag pole with a white flag with a blue circle on it.

The young General stretched out with the Force, searching the men for any sense of duplicity or intent to harm. There was nothing but nervous hope. It was true that the five presences were familiar. They were definitely clones. Closing his eyes Anakin sought the cold metal in their brains. Padawan Jade had called it a void in their thoughts, one that had collapsed on itself with his probing.

He found nothing of the sort.

"I am going to go meet them. Be prepared to leave in a hurry." He murmured at the cave entrance. It was dark inside, so he did not see Ahsoka's nervous nod, but her agreement reached him through the Force.

He headed down the rocky walls into the deepest part of the basin. The five men soon caught sight of his cloaked figure and stood waiting patiently. As he approached he noticed that they wore clone armor, but it had been painted over with blue and a small insignia, which he would soon learn was the image of his and Obi Wan's light sabers, rested on their breast plate. They did not wear the helmets.

"I am the Angel's Voice," Anakin called, deepening his voice. "I have been sent to learn of your offer."

"You are welcome," The man holding the flag called back. "My name is Captain Rex. I was the Captain of the Clone Battalion known as the 501st and we served proudly under General Skywalker. I have here several implants we removed from ourselves as well as recorded testimony of what we saw and witnessed on Kamino. Do not think if you destroy it that it removes the evidence. We have thousands of the implants and copies of the evidence hidden around the Galaxy."

"A wise move."

One of the clones carried a small black case to midway between the group and Anakin. Waiting until he had returned to the others, Anakin scanned the case. There was no detectable explosions or booby traps so he cautiously opened it with his mechanical hand, holding his lightsaber concealed in his other hand. The case contained exactly what Rex had said and Anakin risked a look in his direction. He was now certain that it was Rex. He saw that Cody was there as well. Cody had been somewhere in the Mid-Rim with the 212th when the order came.

Turning the Data Pad in the case on he read the information that scrolled across the screen.

He flinched several times before he shut it off. His scanners could detect no virus. The clones watched gravely. Cody and another shifted nervously when he stared at them from the shadow of his cloak. A momentary desire to end those two lives flashed through him, but he calmed himself. Mar Lester had been only two years older than Anakin. He had fought in the Clone Wars for just as long, and it was possible that Anakin, had Arim Jade not caused the 501st to be sent to Kamino, would have shared Mar's fate.

"I know it will be hard to trust us," Rex spoke up. "I know that if you are friends of the Jedi, it will be hard to forgive those of us who did have a hand in the Purge. All I can say is that we are certain we are free of the implants and that it was the implants that made those who took part obey without question. We were built for such a purpose per the evidence we took from the Clone Facilities. But those of us here and in the Remembrance Fleet are free from the implants. We are making the choice to stand against the Empire in the names of the Jedi who led us and who we were made to kill."

Anakin nodded. "You are right. It gives me pride to think that you have overcome that and come to our help. For my own part," He slid the hood of his cloak down and met Rex's eyes, "I forgive you."

"General Skywalker!"

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy.

Chapter Text

The Skywalker Enclave

We will be going through several time skips, and get glimpses of Luke and Leia growing up.

As always I do not own Star Wars, I am just borrowing the galaxy to practice my art.

It would be three months before the rebellions leaders were fully satisfied that the Clones were not a trap and that they were indeed free of the programming that had led to so much death. Anakin and Ahsoka were convinced within days, but Padme and Shaak Ti demanded rigorous testing on every member of Rex's fleet. The 501st had not only destroyed Kamino, they had 'debugged' the several hundred younger clones. Amid the confusion of the Republic's fall and the rise of the Empire the small group had begun kidnapping members of the Clone army and 'debugging' them. A small number had gone insane when the programming was removed, but most had immediately been horrified by their actions and driven to do something. When a few clones who had served under the Jedi declared that they had a duty to their purpose, the 501st had executed them.

They had soon been figured out and had to flee the army. Rex had built a small army, nearly a thousand strong, of his brothers. When the Clone Army was recalled with the end of the Clone War, there had been several debugged members who had gone with the Army to create dissension and hopefully force the Clone Army to appear troublesome to Palpatine. They had been helped in that regard by the problems that had begun to spring up in the aftermath of the Purge. Even clones still slave to the implant had been horrified by their actions. When the programming and conscience clashed, the Clones started to destabilize.

"Palpatine saw us as flesh and blood droids," Rex explained to Padme and Shaak Ti during his first briefing with the Rebellion and Jedi Leaders. "The Kaminos believed we were sub-human and could not be faced with the dilemma of a 'real' man. They were wrong. We retained a human spirit. The Jedi told us we had a presence in the Force like that of another man. We were made, not born, but we were made human."

"We should have considered the morality of making soldiers," Padme sighed.

"We are soldiers, Mistress," Rex replied. "That was built into us by the way we were trained. None of us can have that taken away. Our humanity has given us the will to choose who we soldier for. The Remembrance Fleet has chosen you and the Jedi."

"I thank you," Padme said.

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Anakin took command of the remembrance fleet once the Shaak Ti and Padme were convinced they were safe. Besides two hundred long range fighters, the clones had absconded with a Star Destroyer where they based themselves. For a few more months Anakin split his time between the fleet and Padme's Shield. While the Shield was given little attention, the renegade Star Destroyer began to gain the attention of the Imperials.

After several close calls, Anakin made the decision to remove the fighters and hide the Star Destroyer. Half were sent to build a base on the sparsely populated planet of Dantooine, and the other half were sent to settle onto Tatooine. He had explained that he had more than once shared his disgust of the second planet with Palpatine and had sworn not to back there. The first was far from the trade routes and had a very small colony.

Padme's network of spies was well in place by now. When the twins were two the first of the Dark Acts of the Empire, the suppression of the Wookies, happened. Count Dooku had taken a place in the empire, welcomed by those who believed the Jedi were evil, and he had begun to lead the Empire's most difficult struggles. With her finger resting on the pulse of the Empire, Padme had seen the time rapidly coming when certain proud species would speak up against the Empire's practice of using humans and other species of a similar appearance.

"It is time for us to end our nomadic existence," Padme decreed soon after receiving this news. "It has been hard on the children, and we have yet to been revealed to the Empire."

"I have wished to settle down myself," Shaak Ti agreed. "Most of the other Jedi have founded their homes by now and some have reported that they have taken on students. Once we are settled, I will test Ahsoka. She should have been knighted long ago."

"Where are we going to go?" Obi Wan asked. "Dantooine or Tatooine?"

"Neither," Anakin said firmly. "Rex and Cody are each in command of the bases. They have put together two teams to find and extract other clones and soldiers who wish to leave the empire. Padme and Shaak Ti should be kept separate from this. Shaak Ti has knowledge and command of the Jedi. Padme has her intelligence network and the refugee havens she is creating. The Army and Fleet are under me. We need to keep these three separate."

"Is it wise for the three of you to remain together?" Obi Wan asked.

"All of our intelligence indicates that the Empire has no idea there is a central leadership," Padme said. "Perhaps because only Anakin is truly a leader. Shaak Ti and I are merely guides. I would like us all to stick together. Anakin and I will stay together no matter what."

"I am in agreement. We must find a safe haven where we can settle. It should be kept separate from the rebellion," Shaak Ti said. "When we must contact the Jedi or the Rebels, we should do it away from wherever we settle."

"Master, I had been studying the holocrons that we had moved from the Coruscant Temple," Ahsoka said. "We have some of the lists of Force Sensitive children, but we also have parts of the history of the Jedi. These were all accounted for after the Temple fell. Palpatine does not have this information. There are planets that were abandoned when the Jedi moved to Coruscant. Some have no population at all."

"It is possible that the history of Force Users will make it a good place to hide," Anakin agreed.

"Indeed," Shaak Ti said. "Perhaps it will aid the younglings as well."

During their nomadic life, Luke had become the difficult twin. He refused to be separated from his mother, and in his father's increasing absences often woke up crying in the night from nightmares he did not have words for yet. Leia had bloomed, walking sooner and talking far more easily than Luke, but lately she had begun to also have bad dreams. As she had been a sort of bridge for the adults to helping Luke's night terrors and uneasy attitude her own growing dissatisfaction with life on the cramped transport ship had settled Padme's mind. Obi Wan and Anakin had both suggested settling down long before this, but neither woman had been ready until now.

"Alright Snips, if Master Ti doesn't mind, you and I will investigate some of these places," Anakin beamed.

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Three weeks later the Shield landed on the planet Devaron. Anakin and Ahsoka had liked that the best of the four planets they had scouted. All the planets had echoes of the Force there, and all were mingled with the joys of simple life and the horrors of the clash of the dark and light sides, but Devaron's echoes had contained the weakest echoes of both, and showed no sign of people for hundreds of years. It also contained a strong, natural Force Presence. The planet itself was bursting of the Force. The echoes weakness and the balanced presence of the Force indicated that the battles were long ago.

There were the remains of a Pyramidic Temple on the edge of the large flat field they had landed on. The native plant life was growing on it and in it, including some large trees that were starting to spread out of the Temple to turn the meadow into the forest behind the Temple. The decision to settle had changed their party a little. The Color Guard would remain in the galaxy at large. Jeda Red had joined the remnants of the 212th Battalion settled on Dantooine, and Sabe Blue was on her way to Tatooine where the others were settled in a vast desert not under Hutt Control. The other two had headed into the Core Worlds to do some intelligence work, primarily to get a full read on the Imperial Senate where Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were working. Either way, it meant that four Jedi, Padme and Lira, and the two toddlers were those heading into the Temple Ruins.

"I see that we will have little hope to use this as shelter," Padme said as she took in the fact that the temple was missing parts of its roof and walls. Lira was the only one to agree.

"Ley, Ley!" Luke eagerly fought for his mother to put him down. She did so, amused and pleased when his short chubby legs carried him to his sister and they began to explore. Leia followed him about, unused to his happy demonstrations while the adult Jedi looked around in awe, hearing something Padme and Lira could not.

Besides the faint echoes from thousands of years previous, they were seeing how to change the temple and soon turned to the two women with their ideas.

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Little Luke scrambled over the rubble in the center of the room and looked around. His sister was hurrying up the stones as well, wondering what got his attention. He could not explain what he saw, even to Leia. Words were still new to him, and Leia's mental communication felt faded as she was eager to taste each new word she learned. She could feel his delight, so she was following him.

The room was flowing with the pretty threads he had always seen. It was the first time he had seen it so calm. The toddler had discovered that smiles and frowns could make the threads move. In the ship the threads were always moving, jarred by the continual touches from the Jedi in the small confined area. There had been times when his mother's smaller, quieter threads were all that could help him hide from the emotions that ran through the time was a good time to. His father, his adopted aunts and Uncle who moved the threads stilled their threads when they sat in quiet. Leia couldn't do quiet time, but Luke was not usually bothered by her threads since they were always touching him. He had never known it any different, and could discern what made Leia's threads move so knew what would happen.

Here however, the adults' threads were little more than puffs of air that occasionally stirred the currents and there was none of the pushing that Luke had seen on the occasions when the Jedi had intentionally used the Force.

While Anakin had started having his children start to sit with him in meditation, he had not realized how much they were in tune to the Force. Leia was usually bored in meditation, but loved the displays of power, while Luke was opposite, sitting calm for hours when near his father in meditation. Instruction in meditation and calming your mind was the first lessons the Younglings learned, starting with observing meditation, and the twins had not appeared capable of understanding.

Luke couldn't communicate in words as Leia did so well. He would ask for quiet, but the adults had never understood why he would repeat that word over and over when the noise level was not raised. Leia had some inkling of what her brother wanted, but had never thought to share this with the adults since it was boring to her. Their minds had been connected since the womb, and they always were sharing thoughts and feelings. Despite the knowledge that Luke could reach out with his mind, the adult Jedi had never tried to reach back, afraid to overwhelm the young mind with the adult thoughts and emotions.

For the first time in Luke's memory, since he did not recall the happy first months of his life, he felt at rest. There was so much room planet side, that the noise and wildness of the threads being moved was spread out. He sat down in his quiet time pose, smiling at the big open temple room.

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Devaron had been the right decision. Anakin felt like he could breathe easier after a year and a half on the ship. He had missed living planet side, but had not realized how much until presented with this new home. All the ship's crew were looking happier. Leia had become a wild, mischievous terror, and Luke had become calmer and happier. Luke had begun to try to talk more.

Both younglings had watched the four Jedi use the Force to remove the temple roof completely, then lower the temple walls and clear out the rubble. In the large open area, they began building several small homes, using the strengthened, shortened temple walls to surround the little village that sprang up. At first, they had wanted to remove the trees as well, but soon it was decided that the large trees could help conceal the three buildings from visual view. The largest of the small homes was for the Skywalkers. Anakin and Padme were thrilled to have two separate bedrooms, as the twins had been sleeping in a small cradle together in their parents' room. Their concerns that the twins would not like this were unfounded. Leia was in raptures on being given a big girl bed, and Luke had only asked if Kado, the loyal cat who had lived ship board all this time, could sleep on his bed.

Obi Wan declared the tiny settlement was the Skywalker Enclave and the name stuck for the inhabitants, though none would ever use it outside the Enclave.

After a few months, they began to enlarge the buildings, adding a common building where Shaak Ti and Padme worked on keeping track of the Jedi and the Rebellion. Obi Wan with the newly knighted Ahsoka built a simple Dojo. When it was complete he undertook the first formal training of the two younglings. Since Anakin was often absent as he commanded the remembrance fleet and Ahsoka soon went with him, it fell to Kenobi to teach the twins.

For over a year these would be the only inhabitants of the enclave and the planet. It was a good year, marred only by Anakin and Ahsoka's absences. The Jedi and the rebels had learned how to hide, and knowledge of a death or arrest came rarely, even with Dooku manning the hunt. Anakin and Ahsoka led raids on supply runs from the core worlds to the mid and outer rims where the Imperials were continuing to build their outposts and bases, but were careful to conceal who they were, so the Imperials believed it to be pirates and merely tightened security around the supply runs while issuing an unanswered reward for the pirates.

Little by little Anakin and Ahsoka began to work out the tactics of the new Tie Fighters, using the raids to create a new way of flying and fighting to adjust for these maneuverable though fragile fighters. They learned how the Imperials worked, testing the strengths of the various fleets and commanders, building up a repertoire of knowledge. Due to the predominance of humans in the Imperial Fleets, especially all the command positions, the small band of Rebels had the advantage. Most of the rebels were clone troopers and deserters who had fought along the clones and Jedi in the Clone Wars, but through Jedi acting Grand Master Shaak Ti Anakin received advice from a number of species. Although much similarity between the galaxy species existed in emotions, sciences, and morality, there were some species who held the edge in war or in education or in healing. The Emperor had limited his government to a narrow field out of the thousands of species that existed. The Rebellion had no such limitations.

In the meantime, Padme had asked for several strike teams to start getting into the oppressed worlds to pull out those who were gradually being enslaved to the Empire. She was building her repertoire of testimonies. The Wookies her small teams freed swarmed to aid them, and by the end of that first year on Devaron, Padme's strike teams had doubled and some of those rescued from slavery were led to Yavin 4, which had never been found by the Empire. Here Gleem Gold and several military commanders from the Clone Wars who had seen where the Empire was going and deserted began the training of the Rebel Army were based.

The Empire, and Palpatine himself, failed to see the unified hand behind the pockets of rebels that were springing up. The Jedi were scattered and in the rare occasions the Empire stumbled onto one or two they were never led to find more. Few Jedi knew more than their own enclave. Certain Jedi knights, led by Master Mace Windu would travel among the Enclaves gathering knowledge to pass on to Shaak Ti and Padme Skywalker. With the Empire focused on making sure the Mid-Rim belonged to them, the rebels were considered merely a nuisance. Anakin and Padme Skywalker were nothing more than names now on a wanted list now. Naboo had declared Padme dead after two years, though it was a political move to release the vaults and properties she had held as a former Queen.

Few visions and dreams visited the Jedi or Palpatine in this time. Though Palpatine often stretched his thoughts to find their fate, especially as he suspected the failure to capture the pair must have resulted in the conception if not birth of the son he had foreseen. But even those dreams haunted him no more. As his Empire solidified, and he wielded the force of the Sith through Count Dooku, and the Skywalkers seemed to have vanished into Wild Space, even he let the thought of the Skywalker son be set aside.

In the meantime, young Luke Skywalker learned meditation and to shield his mind after a frustrating few months in which Obi Wan, Leia and Luke had gone around in circles trying to figure out how to explain it to Luke. Once Leia had forced Luke to see what she learned to do, Luke figured out how to use the threads in the manner she did. Able to protect his mind from the emotions of the adults he calmed down as he grew older, keeping the innocent enjoyment of the threads, dimly aware that no one else saw them, and as he continued to play with them he began to stumbled across new uses of the threads. Only Leia noticed, and she didn't know it was unusual.

Devaron was good to Luke and he felt safe and at peace.

Thanks for reading. I hope you all enjoy watching Luke and Leia grow up.

Chapter Text

The Rebellion Leader

By now you may have noticed I play fast and loose with Canon, the extended universe, and the legends. I am grateful for everyone who lets me know when I spell something wrong or mix up some places in the star Wars Universe. Please continue to let me know. I will correct somethings that I feel are important to keeping in line with the Star Wars Galaxy. Others I will let pass.

I do not own Star Wars. I am borrowing the galaxy to practice my art.

" - energy field. It ties everything together, connecting everything," Obi Wans voice wafted out the open window of his Dojo. Anakin repressed the desire to peer in at the twins whom he had not seen in three months. They were three now. Padme had marveled at their intelligence, teasing Anakin that it couldn't be their Force sensitivity because she was the smart one.

General Skywalker headed for the large common building, where he was sure to find his wife and the Jedi Master Shaak Ti. About the same time he had left for his most recent campaign on the supply runs, the rebel intelligence network had started lighting up with chatter. The Mandalore Senator had been summoned home, dismissed and replaced by the Mandalore government.

It appeared that the Mandalore dominion was getting tired of obeying the Empire's rules. The Clone Wars had ended, Mandalore had been freed from Darth Maul, and with the dubious peace the proud race had begun to look fondly on their warrior past, despising the uniform, unvaried training of the Imperial Forces, and wishing to return to their way of life. The disarming of the local armies had been met with relief across the galaxy, but it was no surprise that the fierce Mandalorians were the first to want their weapons, and with it their 'honorable' wars, back.

At the same time, Corellia had been arguing against having an Imperial Base on their planet. They had always been independent and had never followed the Dozen Rules of the Empire, or the many additions, to the letter. While they had no wish for war, they had never agreed with the dissolution of the Republic. When the rules became invasive of private life, forcing everyone to get mandatory health checks every six months, to report the smallest infraction of the growing rules, and set a curfew in place, Corellia had had enough.

The Imperial Senate was lambasted by Corellia, demanding a stop to the invasions of privacy. The hot headed Mandalorians and the independent Corellians were soon in close contact. The lumbering Empire was delayed by several protests in the Senate that Corellia had no need for a military base, having always proven themselves able to protect themselves. As time passed and it appeared more likely that the base would happen, CorSec reached out to the Rebellion to see what could be done.

Ooban Green had verified the contact was legit and had met with the secretive CorSec. She had given them holovids of Padme explaining what the Empire was doing and what it could lead too, warning that open rebellion would bring the full might of the Empire down. Corellia passed this onto the Mandolorian High Guard.

Somewhere on Mandalore an Imperial had gotten hold of it, reported it to his supervisor, who passed it further and further up the food chain until it reached Darth Tyrannous. From there it had gone to Palpatine. Darth Sidious had immediately woken to the danger of Padme Amidala's charisma. The Emperor knew that she could be a devastating leader, wise enough to maneuver politically and able to inspire loyalty. The hidden Jedi were not making open moves against him. This made Padme the Empires biggest threat. Anakin had discovered this on his latest raid.

"Anakin!" Padme exclaimed, eagerly leaping to hug and kiss him. He clung tightly to her for a moment. "What is wrong?"

"Palpatine knows about you. You are now wanted dead or alive and have a bounty of one hundred thousand credits," He explained. "I met with Ooban. The Mandalorian intelligence has fallen silent. We have reports that Tyrannous was headed there."

She did not look surprised, reaching her hand out to touch his face. "We knew this was going to happen sooner or later," She reminded gently. "I'm surprised it even made it to Mandalore without being intercepted. CorSec must be pretty good at their jobs."

He closed his eyes with a shudder as a throb of fear shook him. Nightmares of his wife, tortured and dead, rose to mind, and for a moment the dread that had warped his mind so much before the birth of his children rose to his throat. Padme caught sight of how pale he was and glanced at Shaak Ti with a wordless request. The Togruta nodded and left the room, a sliver of fear in her own heart. Anakin and Padme were the heart and head of the secret rebellion, but they were also closely integrated. If one was to fall, it would threaten the other's stability.

This was probably why the Jedi, so insistent on control, had decided to forgo attachment, Anakin realized. His wife had rarely left Devaron since their settling here, but with the Empire's hand growing heavy the time was approaching when she would give up the code name and step out to reveal herself against the Empire. They were always in danger of discovery and death, but as they had kept to the shadows, the Empire had not yet turned its full force against them. He had pushed this all to the side, enjoying their family for the year and a half on the ship, then in the weeks he spent with them in the past year.

"Anakin, look at me," Padme said. He obeyed mutely. "We agreed, Anakin. We agreed that we were going to do this. You agreed, Anakin, to learn that I could die and you could live."

Obi Wan had found the tendrils of the Dark Side in Anakin's mind during their nomadic time. Between he and Shaak Ti they had uncovered the insidious message that had beat at his mind until the birth of his children. The dreams of Padme dying in childbirth had been created by someone else, and it did not take long for them to wonder if Palpatine had been trying to sway Anakin to his side. The fullness of Anakin's dread of losing his wife had come out then and Padme had demanded a promise from him to never use the Dark side, or dubious methods, to keep her safe and alive.

In his realization that he might have been willing to give Palpatine anything to save Padme, Anakin had given the promise. He had forgotten the promise in the horror of finding that time was upon them and the danger to his wife was grown exponentially. He leaned against her, the beautiful, strong, good woman he loved and closed his eyes. The desire to cling to her and give in to the dread was strong.

She held him back for several breaths before pulling away. "Let go," She ordered in the voice of Queen.

"Padme... "

"Look at me," She commanded. "Do you think I don't face those same thoughts, that same fear every time you leave? Have I ever demanded you do not go? Have I ever declared you must be safe even if it meant I handed all our work to the Empire? Don't you dare let your mind go there. If I die, let me die in the honor of doing the right thing. Don't give everything up to see that I am safe."

"I'm sorry," He wept. "I'm sorry. I don't want to lose you."

"I know," She leaned her head on his chest. "I know more than you realize. Please Anakin. If you love me, you will let me be myself."

He wasn't sure if she knew using those words was the right thing to say, but it dawned on him how trying to keep her safe from her own work was as bad as slavery. His dread was born of his pain and fear, not love for the woman who did not give up. If he loved her, he would let her risk her life for the right thing. He wasn't being asked to let her go, but to let himself go.

It wasn't love the Jedi had tried to ban. It was selfishness. Face to face with his selfish belief that he could not go on without her, he realized he was speaking out of fear for himself. With that realization, Anakin Skywalker's last chance of being Darth Vader died. Love would always come with pain. Detaching oneself as the Jedi had tried to do was done out of the fear they thought they were avoiding.

He would live with the pain of his fear for the rest of his life, but today he conquered it.

Destiny was changed forever, falling away from his shoulders as he balanced his fear with his healthy love for Padme. The Chosen One had completed his task and brought balance to himself. The burden of change was removed from him as he changed himself. The long-spoken prophesy had never been recorded completely and who knew what the first who'd guessed at it had seen.

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The small woman dressed in a simple white robe sat down at the table, a data pad, implant chip, holoprojector and a light saber in front of her. She had dark, sad eyes that looked directly into the cam. She calmly set her hands on the table and leaned forward slightly, commanding you to look at her with the same forceful presence she had worn as Queen and later Senator. Padme Amidala Skywalker was speaking to the Galaxy again.

"We are in a time of change. What was good had rotted and been thrown away, to be replaced by darkness. For some of you watching this, perhaps years after I record it, you have discovered that what appeared to be salvation was your ruin.

"My name is Padme Skywalker. I was once a ruler and a Senator. Now I am a wife and a mother who wishes her family to live in a time of peace. They do not. Several years ago, there was a battle at the Jedi Temple. The Red Guard leading battalions of Clone Troopers, attacked the Jedi Temple under orders from a Sith Lord who called himself Chancellor Palpatine.

"You have been told that the Jedi initiated the attack. I have footage that shows the approach and entrance of the Red Guar,." She touched the Holo-Projector and the Jedi Temple sprang into view. The cam closed in on the Temple to show the relentless approach of the Red Guard and the calm Jedi who came out to meet them, hands outstretched, no weapons in them.

The eight Knights who had gone out were dead seconds later.

"Gleem So, Kit Fisto, Cho Min," Her voice spoke softly calmly as a picture that went with each name appeared, the faces growing progressively younger until she ended with, "Alt Avk," and the picture of a four-year-old human boy appeared. "Each of these pictures are of one person who died in the temple at the hands of the Red Guard."

Her hand hovered over the lightsaber.

"This is the Lightsaber of Knight Thorn. He and eight others were captured towards the end of the Temple battle when it was realized that some had escaped. Thorn and five other Jedi were tortured to death over the next thirteen days. When the other three were rescued they were barely alive. General Obi Wan Kenobi was one of these. He who had spoken on all your behalf in the battle of Jardin was tortured."

The screen changed, revealing Anakin and Shaak Ti tending to the unconscious, bloody Obi Wan, before changing again to show Obi Wan in his first days of recovery.

"I didn't talk, Anakin," He said brokenly. "I thought of you and your family, and I didn't talk. He was stronger than me, Anakin."

"Master, please rest. You are safe now."

"Will any of us be safe again?"

Again, the view changed, this time facing a much more alert, though still small and pale Obi Wan. "In the prison, I was tied down to an interrogation table with Zorb binders. They block the Force, and I had been drugged. I wasn't sure if anyone else was alive, but Palpatine asked where we had sent the younglings so I thought they must be alive. He used the Force to try and get into my mind, but he was never there long enough. Mostly it was the Red Guard. I never saw their faces.

"They kept giving me a stimulant so I would stay awake and feel everything. They beat me and lashed me and shocked me. I tried to keep track at first, because I could hear the others screaming. I think I heard Sabe, your friend Padme, when she died. I wish I could have helped her."

"It's okay Obi Wan," Padme's thickened voice promised. "We have some recordings of your interrogation. It only shows they asked where the younglings and other Jedi were. Were you ever asked about a plot to overthrow the Senate?"

"Palpatine said we were being blamed for that, but never asked me to verify it, or for details about such a plot. I can't remember."

"It's okay Obi Wan. Thank you."

Padme reappeared in her white dress and lifted the implant. "We were all horrified to learn that the Clone Troopers had taken part in the attack. The Jedi had led them in war for three years and some had even made friends with them."

Cody of the 212th appeared on the screen. "I never doubted the Jedi. I'd served under General Skywalker and General Kenobi and they never made me believe I was just a number waiting to die. They risked their lives with us Clone Troopers. I was with General Mar Lester when the order came through.

"I heard just the words, order 66, and suddenly I thought General Lester was the enemy. There were fifty of us around him and he was facing the droids when we opened fire. He never saw it coming. I dream that it was my bolt that killed him sometimes. We were all dazed afterwards, not knowing what was going on. The Droids never attacked, just held back as if they knew what was going to happen.

"A couple of weeks later the 501st came along and they hit me with an EMP, and then convinced me to let them open the back of my head. They took this small silver chip out. It was a data chip planted in my head, connected to my brain. When we read it with a data scanner, it spit out a series of orders."

The scrawl of data programming ran over the screen with the instructions for Order 66.

Padme reappeared and considered the camera. "There is a much more. I don't have time to show it all today, but I will be sending out more information, more evidence. Like the evidence we were shown in the Senate, you may find it hard to verify. I realize that. I am asking you to take some of this on faith. Some of you may have known Jedi. Some of you were on worlds that were attacked by the droid armies when the Jedi came.

"The Jedi fought to save lives. They did not ask for powers in the Senate. They stood at the head of an army that had been engineered to kill them and they lead battles to protect the people of the Republic. It was Palpatine claiming power in the Senate and Palpatine who ultimately won from the events of the Clone War and the Jedi Purge.

"I will not bow my head to such an Emperor. I will not submit to such an Empire. You should know the truth so you know what you serve. If you find you cannot bend knee, then consider taking a stand against the Empire. I will not lie. This will lead to war. Be sure you are willing to die for a free Galaxy. May the Force be with you."

Thanks for reading. I hope you all enjoy it.

Chapter Text

The Vanishing Children

I do not own Star Wars. 

Mama was crying. Luke lifted his head and looked toward the common house. He could not see her, but her grief was filling the area. The little boy abandoned the small furry animals he had been playing with, heading for the big room where Mama and Shaati talked a lot. He paused outside the door, remembering to calm himself as Obi Wan had said so he could protect his mind.

Ley? Recently Leia and he had discovered they could put words in each other's minds. It was helpful since new people had started to move into Skywalker Enclave. Daddy said it was Mama's fault their home was growing, but he was always smiling, teasing when he said that. There were other kids now, most of them like Leia and Luke, plus a few like Mama with uncontrolled threads. None of them saw the threads either. Luke had watched carefully, but no one else seemed to see them.

He had asked if they saw strings, but most of them were little, or babies, and didn't know what he was talking about. He touched their threads sometimes, curious to see if he could make them move. For some reason, all Luke's threads stayed inside him, only coming out to pull in another thread, not like Leia, whose threads were always pushing out to make them move.

Time out. Leia thought glumly. Obi Wan didn't like it when Luke and Leia touched his light saber, even though they knew not to turn it on. Luke had contented himself with using the threads to examine it, but Leia had needed to hold it in her hand again.

Mama was at the round table, her face in her hands, and silent tears falling down her face. Shaati was at the window, her face hidden, but her threads all curled around her like they did his sister when Leia was sad or frightened. The little four-year-old boy had come a long way from being battered by the emotions in the threads but he could see how sad they both were.

"Mama, is Daddy okay?" Luke asked. He wasn't supposed to know Daddy got in trouble sometimes, but Mama didn't know how to keep her threads from telling how she felt. Leia said Daddy was too strong to get in trouble, but when Luke had showed her how Mama felt, she had gotten quiet.

"Oh, Luke. Daddy is okay. He will be home soon," Padme promised, trying to wipe her tears. Her son crawled into her lap and reached a small hand to wipe the tears, pulling her force threads into his chest to hold them with his own threads. It made her feel both happier and sadder. Her love was big, but there was something lost. "It's okay Luke. Someone we used to know was hurt."

"Dead hurt?" Luke asked. During the last year as the Skywalker Enclave sheltered several force sensitive children and some civilian refugees important to the Rebellion, Luke had watched a badly wounded arrival die. Daddy had explained it, but Mama didn't like to tell him about dead.

"Yes, I am afraid so," She said. "Thank you for giving me a hug. It made me feel better."

"Ok Mama," Luke hurried to hug her again, feeling her sadness ease with another hug.

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"They had a child, only two years old," Ooban said sadly. "We did not find her. His wife was killed instantly, but Arim looked like he'd been tortured for a little bit."

Obi Wan kept the cold fingers of memory crawling up his back to himself. When they had settled on Devaron the others had been cautious with him, used to his nightmares and his quietness. In the enclave, with a settled life, he had begun to heal emotionally and spiritually. While on the ship he had lived in fear of the crowded public places and had locked himself in his quarters most of the time. On the planet, Anakin had asked him to build the Dojo and help train Luke and Leia. With a purpose in hand that he could do despite his trauma illness he had grown strong again.

Despite the frustration of teaching Luke, who need everything explained over and over in different ways, Obi Wan had grown to love teaching. Once Luke understood something he was quick to be able to use it. He had gone overnight from not understanding how Obi Wan had quieted his mind, to being able to shield his own mind very securely. Leia was simply a pleasure.

She wanted to learn everything and though she learned without the frustrating confusion to the exponential understanding of her brother, she had Anakin's strength in the Force. Already she could call little items to her hand, and was drawn to the humming crystal in Obi Wan's light saber. Shaak Ti had been pleased to learn that Obi Wan wanted to take Leia as a Padawan someday, as she hoped to take Luke. Luke would suit Shaak Ti much better. He was much calmer and to Obi Wan's amazement the same reckless and exuberant temperament that had tormented him in Anakin made him laugh in Leia.

Even as far as he had come, the word torture woke the sleeping nightmares.

"Arim and Kara Jade were brave and strong. Maybe they did get their daughter to safety. Did we find anything out about Kara's mother and brother?" Padme asked.

"Her mother had died a year ago, the brother had vanished soon after. Some say he ran away to join the army," Ooban said quietly.

"We can only hope the girl is safe," Padme said bitterly.

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"Senator Organa, I think I have come across something concerning," Hame said quietly. The Naboo Handmaid had altered her appearance and taken a place in Bail's staff. Bail had carefully replaced his staff with people he absolutely trusted and who were ready to work against the Empire. Hame was not the only one who served a dual purpose, but she was his contact with the most important part of the Rebellion.

Bail's trust in Padme's judgement was certain, so he let Hame examine many secret things he received as Viceroy and Senator. It had turned out to benefit him in more than one way, because the young woman proved sharp enough to catch things that might not affect the rebellion, but could affect Alderaan. She usually reported to him weekly, and he thought it was too soon for her to have had contact with the Mid-Rim, or have another of Padme's Holovids that were rapidly becoming a sore point for the Empire.

"What is it, Hame?"

"There are eight separate reports of missing children from eight separate provinces on Alderaan," She replied, holding out her data pad. "All of them are between the ages of two and five and all of them had received marks on their health reports indicating possible Force Sensitivity."

Bail frowned. He was aware of two Jedi Enclaves on Alderaan and had helped two children whose families had been afraid of their powers get to the Enclaves. Even in the time before the Purge the Jedi did not kidnap children, though they had pressured families to give up such children. With their need to be hidden, and the friendship of men like Bail, they would be very foolish to try something like this, however much they wanted to regrow their ranks.

"Is there more?" He asked, cautiously.

"I am waiting on information from a friend who might be able to tell me if this is localized to Alderaan, but there is more. Two Jedi Enclaves, one on Corellia and one on Jardin, were lately discovered and attacked. All adults in the Enclaves were killed, but two children born to Jedi went missing. I do not have information on whether they were force sensitive."

"Who besides the Jedi would want force sensitive children..." Bail stuttered into silence. "Testing for Force Sensitivity is mandatory on those health exams the Empire put into place."

"Yes, sir."

Bail sank slowly into a seat and stared at the data pad. He was aware of the Emperor's ability to use the Force through the Jedi. It had never occurred to him that Palpatine might want to train Force sensitives, which was misguided of Bail, considering that Palpatine's greatest threat were the hundreds of Jedi who had escaped the massacre. Thousands had been killed, but enough remained that Palpatine was threatened by them.

"I want more information on this. Gather everything we have and create copies. This will need to be passed on to everyone," Bail ordered.

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"I thought we were only supposed to be two," Tyrannous said.

Palpatine laughed. "Oh, these won't be trained as full apprentices. My hunters are failing. Two have disappeared, probably dead, and they've not managed to track down a single Jedi or even Padawan in over a year. Most of the children here will be trained to be in the Red Guard, but those with potential will become my special agents to do the deeds we cannot openly do. Much of my power still relies on the old republic leaders needed safety and security staying loyal. The time will come when we have enough leaders indoctrinated who will do our bidding, but until then I must conceal my own power."

There were several dozen children in the small barracks that the two Sith Lords were looking down into. Count Dooku felt wary, wondering if one of them might be used to replace him if he did not find a way to match Darth Sidious power. All of them were small, no more than five years old. They were also all human.

"I want Skywalker's child," Palpatine said. "Have we learned more of where the parents are hiding?"

"There are increasing levels of security between Padme and Anakin Skywalker. The number of spies who pass the information to her have grown. The last investigation uncovered five separate spies before the trail went cold, none of who knew where they are," Dooku said.

"Padme Amidala has always had charisma. Have we tracked down who in the Senate is feeding her information?"

"No, Master," Dooku frowned. "The spies are as loyal to both ends of the information trail, or do not know where the information is coming, or where it is going."

"Well, it shall come with time," Palpatine's eyes swept over the sleeping children.

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Shaak Ti became aware of a set of eyes on her. The well shielded force presence could only belong to Luke so she turned to smile at the little boy. He was seated on a rock about ten feet from the quiet little mediation spot she had created behind the temple turned enclave. It was evident he did not mean to disturb her, having always been respectful of meditation times.

"Hello Luke, did you need something?" She asked.

He hung his head, scratching the stone he was on lightly. She waited patiently, amused by how different he was from his father. There had been much discussion on Anakin Skywalker's reckless, loud ways and Obi Wan had despaired of teaching Anakin the benefits of meditation. It was easy to see Anakin in Luke's features as it was Padme in Leia's, but the parents' temperaments seemed to have been placed in the child that looked least like them.

"You are sad, Shaati," He finally said softly. "Mama and Obi hug us a lot and they aren't so sad then. Hugs are nice. They tie us together. I wanted to give you a hug so maybe you could be not so sad."

The Jedi Master had never considered seeking the children out for comfort in her grief from the loss of several Jedi Knights she had been close to. Padme's children had sought their mother out a lot in the weeks since the news came and with Obi Wan's daily teaching they could be found very close to him as well. It was not that the Jedi Master avoided physical affection, for she had always accepted the often-given hugs from the twins and liked to rest her hands affectionately on their heads. It had never occurred to her that the children would have noticed her quiet grief.

"I would like that, Luke," He dashed across to hug her, slowing down before his dash barreled into her chest. As always, the maternal instincts woken in her from the first moment the boy's mind had touched hers rose to envelope her. She had no desire for romance, but loved her position as the adopted aunt, Shaati, to the twins. His innocence and unmarred love seemed to fill her, and while the grief did not leave, it dulled. "Thank you, little light."

"You are not so sad now. Ley will give you hugs too, when you are sad. Please don't be 'lone when you are sad."

"I will come to you for hugs," She promised. "Now, I think we better make sure your mother isn't frantically wondering where you are."

"Ley told her I was with you," He said unconcernedly.

It would be later that afternoon that the disturbing report from Bail Organa came and the information that it was possible that Palpatine was kidnapping force sensitive children would shake them all. It was possible that he meant to use them in his Red Guard or other plans, but there was also a sliver on unnamed dread that this was the furthering of Palpatine's Jedi Purge. Shaak Ti, Obi Wan, and Padme would not voice this, but the fear and horror was in them all. There would be little surprise when Luke and Ley found them in sad silence and the pair immediately started giving hugs.

Thanks for reading.

Chapter Text

The fall of Mandalore

I am playing rather loosely with Canon here, but I am trying not to create entire worlds of OCs.

I do not own Star Wars. I am merely playing with the Skywalkers.

Unrest was growing. The miraculous peace after the Jedi Purge and end of the Clone Wars was fading and the restrictions of the Empire were increasing. After two years of delay, the Empire had started to build their base on Corellia. An intelligent planetary leadership used every channel available to them to protest, but did not forcefully stand against the empire. The public on the other hand was prone to riots, and from the first day the building sites and the Imperial forces were plagued with missing supplies, unhelpful citizens, and even a few bombs.

CorSec did their job, hunting down those responsible, but when the arrestees were turned over to the Empire they vanished from their cells. Twice the entire ships they were being transported on went missing. Padme Skywalker's strike teams and intelligence network was being fed information by half of CorSec, so while it appeared the Corellian Security forces were doing their job and it was the Empire that was losing the rebels, most of those caught stealing or attacking the imperial base site were being added to Padme's growing rebellion. Jedi General Skywalker's scattered, secretive forces were growing quickly.

With a caution that seemed out of place on General Skywalker, he had kept the growing forces secret, merely being a nuisance to supply chains from the core worlds and rattling small fleets and squadrons. He kept small bands of men disguised as trade route pirates and the Empire had not connected them to the open Rebels. General Tano spent more and more of her time sharpening up the men kept in reserve, teaching them the secrets she and Skywalker were uncovering about the Imperial Fleet. Several other Jedi who had spent time in enclaves or traveling the galaxy incommunicado joined the Yavin, Dantooine, and Tatooine bases. Jeda Red was now Commander of the X-wing fighters the rebellion had gathered, and had trained two hundred pilots into a sharp, skilled set of pilots.

Padme Skywalkers Holovids were now public knowledge, even if not publicly available. Ooban Green had become the head of the Rebellion's Intelligence Network, separating Padme further from the spies who worked for her. The Angel Code name fell out of use, with Padme openly using her own name. The majority of the Jedi remained in hiding for the most part, but nearly fifty had emerged to begin working under General Skywalker as battle leaders again. Shaak Ti began sending out her own Holovids, sharing Jedi traditions and roles, explaining the changes the Jedi were making in easing the code and beginning to accept attachments and even some emotions.

The two women were undoubtedly the head of the Rebellion, even though it was comprised mainly of small cells scattered around the Galaxy. Even those who were leading smaller rebellions with more violence and terrorism gave the Main Rebellion aid in information. Padme and Shaak Ti topped all wanted lists and both were wanted dead or alive. Having chosen to work on building the rebellion with their words, neither left Devaron, but had several aides who came and went to pass on their work. Rumors were growing that General Anakin Skywalker was dead, since he appeared in no holovids since the first one.

By the time the twins turned five the Rebellion was larger than their small pirate fleets and secret bases. Anakin had a fleet at his command, they were training more and more soldiers on five separate bases now, and the number of planets and persons giving them aid was greatly increased.

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Korkie Kryze crouched above the Mandalore throne room. Duchess Otanine was as unlike his late aunt, Duchess Satine as could be. She was short, dark haired, and the fire of the Mandalorian Warriors could be seen in her eyes. She had been backed by the Empire in her rise to power, but the Empire had been mistaken in assuming she was their man. Once peace was stable, she had begun to fire up the Mandalorians who had been oppressed by Darth Maul.

Korkie could not but admire her cunning. Whether it was ambition or patriotism she wished Mandalore free of the increasingly restrictive Empire. He could not however, condone the way her fire was going. Since the suppression of the Wookies no other sector had given the Empire reason to show its full strength. The secret life he had led since the death of his aunt had left Korkie skilled in hiding. He worked in her name, despite his belief that her complete pacifism was not the right way to do things.

He had lived in hiding after the death of his Aunt, but refused to leave Mandalore. His other Aunt had built a resistance to Maul, but he had kept a quieter view, gathering those with more cunning than brawn. Together his small band of men had worked in secret to spread reminders of what Mandalore had been and could be again. The rise of the Empire, and the way Maul had been driven away by the Imperials, had been a devastating blow, and Korkie had nearly left Mandalore, thinking they would not stand up for themselves against an Empire that had saved them.

Eventually he had chosen to watch and gather those of like mind to see where the Empire would head. He now led the rebel Intelligence group of Mandalore and had given aid to the Rebellion. Which was why he was presently spying on Otanine. He had received a message asking if the current government was willing to give aid to the Rebellion and work in the Imperial Senate.

Nothing he was witnessing gave him much hope. His people were brash and blunt and they were raised as warriors. Mandalore kept no standing army because its entire people could become an army. Duchess Otanine believed that might would force the Empire to let Mandalore go. Based on the knowledge Korkie had received through Padme Skywalker's holovids, he believed it would bring the full might of the Empire down on the entire sector. It would be easy to write up Mandalore as a threat like the separatists had been.

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Anakin and Padme were curled up together on a couch, enjoying Anakin's first night back from his latest campaigns. The Empire was growing stricter in the Corellian Sector and Anakin's small fleet had begun working on delaying the arrival of more ships while Commander Red's group worked on evacuating refugees from the Sector. CorSec's secret aid was shrinking as the Empire's Intelligence looked closer and closer at what was going on there. Imperial intelligence was now grasping the thread of the unified campaigns and it would not be much longer before someone put two and two together.

"I don't want to have more children," Padme suddenly said. "Luke and Leia are having to grow up in this Rebellion. They are only five and I've already shown them how to work a blaster and told them they must be very careful who they trust."

"Luke doesn't take that lesson to heart," Anakin muttered, thinking of how easily Luke would talk to any adult or child who came to Devaron. "I understand Padme. I want more children, but I am not around as much as I would like to be and you are right that this isn't a good way to raise children. With you as the Face of the Rebellion, and my own role close to being exposed, we don't have the right to bring children into our danger."

She cuddled closer, closing her eyes. "After Luke and Leia were born and we were so happy, when we thought the war was ending, I used to imagine having more," She whispered. "We lived on Naboo and raised our family in comfortable simple ways."

He nodded. "Sometimes I imagined that too. I had forgotten about it. Although I did dream of teaching Luke the lightsaber. For some reason, I always picture Leia following your footsteps."

"Humph," Padme snorted. "It appears she will follow Obi Wan's footsteps and lecture you."

"She is very protective of Luke," Anakin agreed. "I had no idea that simply telling her to let him figure something out on his own would make her so mad. Does it worry you how much Luke struggles to understand things?"

"He is very intelligent. It is only the Jedi part that he struggles with. Could his early abilities in the force have harmed him somehow?" She asked.

"Once he understood what Obi Wan was trying to teach him, apparently with a good deal of help from Leia, he instantly became proficient in it. They are working on some of the more physical sides to the Force now, and it may be that the explanation just hasn't clicked for him. He has power, but doesn't seem to realize he can use that power without it being told in several different ways."

"Are the Jedi premonitions still the same?"

He hesitated to answer. Everyone knew not to speak of the premonitions of the future to Luke. The Skywalkers wished their son to grow up without that burden on him. Shaak Ti and a few others who now worked with Anakin's army had felt no such restriction in telling Anakin about their occasional glimpses.

"Yes. Shaak Ti has even said she's seen him further in the future, a Master at a very young age," He admitted.

"He can carry himself very stately and calmly," Padme giggled. "He likes to follow Shaak Ti around and mimic her. He says she's so nice and quiet compared to the kids."

"Poor Obi Wan, stuck with a clone of myself," Anakin snickered. "Speaking of, where is the little Princess? It occurs to me that it is too quiet in here."

"Oh, no!" Padme shot up. "You're right. What are they getting into?"

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"-we will live as we want. We have no quarrel with the rest of the Galaxy, but desire that our ways should be respected. With that in mind, we have declared that Mandalore will no longer be host of the Imperial Base."

Korkie shook his head, working feverishly to send out alerts to his agents scattered among the Sector. Mandalorian ships had created a blockade around the planet and the Imperial Base had been shut down, with its occupants locked away in hope of ransom, or bargaining in a treaty situation. Dread filled him and he knew he needed to get the more peaceful clans out of the Sector. He had requested guidance from the rebellion, but had not received an answer after so short a time. He had had far too much experience in his young life to be completely dependent on the guidance, but he hoped for aid in extracting his people.

The one parliamentary member who had aided Korkie and tried to restrain the rest had been arrested as an Imperial Sympathizer. Korkie did not know where he was, but he had sent several of his own men to get the man's family to safety. With his messages sent and his men working on gathering families into ships, Korkie paused to stand in his small room and realize that he was giving up on Mandalore. When his communicator beeped, and revealed that his parliamentary friend's family was safe and was being escorted to Korkie's own transport ship, he laughed at himself.

He wasn't giving up Mandalore. He was merely saving some of their lives. They were Mandalore and in time, he had faith they would get their home back.

He flipped on his transmitter's switch and grabbed the mic.

"My name is Korkie Kryze. My Aunt was Duchess Santine. For six years, I have lived in hiding, hoping that my Aunt's belief in peace would happen. For six years, I have prepared for the worst. Today, our government has called the Empire's attention and the Mandalore Sector will suffer for it.

"I am leaving Mandalore and joining the Rebellion. Only together with our neighbors can we stand against the might and tyranny of the Empire. If you are willing to wait to see Mandalore restored, and can see that it will be destroyed in its current state, then I ask you to leave as well. Do not throw away your lives in a useless battle. Have the honor to know when you are outmatched and take yourself to learn how to be better.

"In Mandalore's name I will stand with the Rebellion!"

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"The Empire is sending a fleet to Mandalore," Ooban announced to the Rebellion Council. This had grown in the last year to include Obi Wan Kenobi and Mon Calmarian Admiral Ackbar, who had left his home when his people refused to see where the Empire was headed. Like Padme he had gone to prepare ways to save some of his people when the time came and it had not been long before he had met up with General Skywalker.

The original three were respected as the head of the council. Obi Wan had always been invited to give input, but had shied away from that at first, leaving Shaak Ti, Anakin, and Padme as the leaders. He had only lately taken a place as a representative of the Jedi civilians who were not part of the battles, but part of the home front. Ooban was not considered a Council Member, although she held the respect and command of one, since she was head of the Intelligence Network that answered only to Padme. It reflected the growing Rebellion's decision to place themselves under Padme's leadership. Between her and Anakin they had eight small secret bases hidden in the Outer and Mid rim, while there was far more Jedi Enclaves scattered around the whole Galaxy where Force Sensitives were being trained.

The Color Guard were now Padme's heads of four different departments. Jeda Red worked with Anakin's fleets to train pilots, Ooban Green was head of the Intelligence Networks, Gleem Gold had command of the small strike teams that answered to Padme and not Anakin, and Sabe Blue ran the home front, building refugee havens, spreading out supplies, and managing the Aid portion of the rebellion.

"What was the Mandalorian Government thinking to challenge the Empire so directly? Did they really think they would be allowed to walk away, or that the lumbering machine of the Empire would be too slow to do anything to them?" Padme muttered.

"It appears not all Mandalorians agree with the decision, or at least are wise enough to see what is coming," Ooban added. "This was passed into my keeping a day after the Mandalorian Demand."

"This is Mandalore's Voice. I need help. The Empire will be coming to Mandalore soon, and there are people who want to leave, who know we cannot stand up to them here. Please, I am asking for help in getting some of my people to safety."

The hologram of the young man caused Obi Wan to lean forward. "That's Korkie, Satine's nephew!"

"Do we know how soon the Empire will reach Mandalore?" Padme asked.

"Four days will have gathered a large enough fleet to take on two sectors with ease. Five days at the most," Anakin answered.

"Enough time for our teams to get there and help," Ackbar agreed.

"It won't be so easy," Ooban sighed. "Mandalore has created a blockade around their own planet and we have not heard anything from the Sector since that happened."

"They are such a stiff-necked people," Obi Wan groaned.

"So, you are saying the extraction teams aren't going to be enough," Anakin clarified.

All of them fell silent. The stealthy extraction teams had been excellent at their job, but they had usually had the silent agreement of the officials from the various sectors. Obi Wan and Anakin both had enough experience with Mandalore to know the blockade was just as likely to keep their people in as try to keep enemies out.

"What are you thinking Anakin?" Obi Wan asked.

"That it's time for me to step out of the shadows and openly opposed the Empire," Anakin said. "There are rumors in the Core worlds that I am dead. If I took the Remembrance fleet and revealed myself, it could shake the Empire and Mandalore and give us an opening to get the refugees out."

"Is it worth the risk?" Shaak Ti mused. "You have been our secret back up plan for four years now."

"The fleet is double its original size, and it won't be much longer before someone puts the pieces together that there isn't just an increase in pirates in the mid and outer rims. Commander Jeda has built up Yavin 4 and the INCOM builders have increased production again so we are getting new fighters monthly. The Red Fleet will be held in reserve as our back up from now on," Anakin said.

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"Well Skyguy, looks like we're back," Ahsoka commented as she caught up to Anakin as the Remembrance fleet approached Mandalore. "Hopefully this keeps Darth Palpatine up at night."

General Skywalker smiled at his former Padawan. "This will mean open war, Snips," He said.

"Like we didn't know that was coming. Maybe it's a good thing. The Imps haven't gotten full control on the Mid-Rim yet, and the Outer Rim is basically self-governed, usually by gangs and pirates like the Hutts. We might end up calling on some of those scoundrels," She said.

"It is all too likely that many of them are backed by the Empire, given power to keep them from turning on the Empire," Anakin replied. "Look sharp. We're here and about to give the performance of our lives."

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The Empire and Mandalorian ships were gauging each other when the third fleet came out of Hyperspace and for a moment no one knew what to do. A hail from the command ship of the mismatched fleet was received from both sides. The command from both sides answered it.

"Hello," A figure well known from the Clone wars, with the not so short Togruta who had followed him about appeared in the hologram, and there was a jolt of recognition from those who had fought in the Clone Wars or been instructed in battle tactics using General Skywalker's methods. It felt like the last half a dozen years had not happened. "This is General Anakin Skywalker. For some reason, there have been rumors that I am dead."

"I would take credit for those rumors," Commander Tano snipped.

"When I heard about this and about this coming fight, I thought I should let you all know that I'm still alive. Not only that, but I have a fleet behind me. Now, you are both being very foolish, but I doubt I will talk either the Empire or the Mandalorians into setting down their arms. I am not very good at Negotiation."

"I knew we should have brought Master Kenobi."

"Shut up Snips."

"Hey, I'm just agreeing with you."

"What are you doing here?" The imperial commander demanded.

The bickering from the Rebel fleet ended with Ahsoka slipping out of the holovid with a smirk. The old back and forth had been very easy to stage, distracting both the other fleets from the shuttles and fighters making their way towards the Blockade. A very skilled technician had beamed the little message into every view screen and communicator in both fleets. It gave the rescue teams enough time to be nearly to the blockade before the opposing two fleets realized what was going on.

"Easy now," Anakin called when the Mandalorians began to react. "We just want to get some people out of the way here. Once we do that, we'll let you destroy each other."

This galled the Empire into firing at the Rebel squadrons, who were now among the Mandalorians. It was no shocker when a Mandalorian ship was a victim of the Empire, and a full-blown battle broke out. Anakin's three larger command ships were smaller than the Star Destroyers and Mandalorian command ships, making them more moveable. Along with several smaller ships they plunged into the battle, dancing around the Empire and Mandalore, distracting first one side and then the other.

It had been fun to banter with Snips on front of the enemy after having spent the last few years in secret and serious battle. Obi Wan would have been shaking his head, and wondering how Anakin and Ahsoka were so successful when they made such fools of themselves, but he would have been amused as well, at how stunned their easy banter and foolishness had made the other two fleets.

No one could accuse the two Jedi Knights of not having flair.

A message had been snuck through the blockade the day before, so that all Korkie Kryze's refugees were supposed to be waiting for the arrival of the Rebels. There were over five hundred men, women and children ready to leave Mandalore at the time, and that number had doubled in the previous day, as reports of the approaching Imperial Fleet shook some out of their eagerness to fight. Whether it was the audacity of the Rebel Fleet, or the excellent flying by the Rebel and Mandalorian shuttles, the mission was a success. With the blockade fleet engaged in battle, twenty transport ships, escorted by two dozen fighters, made it off Mandalore and into open space. They had lost two more transports in the rise to space and a few fighters, but over a thousand Mandalorian Refugees were sped away through Hyperspace.

Once this happened, Anakin called the fleet out of the battle. One of his command ships was crippled just as it leapt to Hyperspace and would be useless for future battles, and he had lost two of the smaller ships, but ninety percent of his fleet would make it back. He sent a final message, telling the Mandalorians they were losing the battle and to get out of there, but it would be no surprise to learn they did not listen, and the entire Blockade would be wiped out, though not without taking out four of the eight Star Destroyers.

Thanks for reading. Please tell me what you think!

Chapter Text

The Republic Alliance

I hope you all enjoy this next chapter. Luke and Leia are becoming more and more integral to the story.

I do not own Star Wars. I am borrowing the Galaxy to play around with my craft.

"Korkie!" Ahsoka Tano called as she ran through the crowd of refugees blinking at the sun of their new home. Padme's secret havens scattered in the mid and Outer Rims were being put to good use. The Mandalorian Refugees were being settled on one of these.

"Ahsoka?" He turned to stare wide eyed at her. "I was afraid you were killed in the Jedi Purge!"

"Nope. I came to rescue you," She laughed, before she became serious. "You did good, Korkie. These people owe you their lives."

"We owe you our lives. Have we heard yet of Mandalore's fate?"

"No. We are keeping on the down low here until you are settled before our fleet goes back into hiding. Anakin sent on messages to the Rebel Council, but they won't send any back."

"Skywalker is alive, too? Everyone knows his wife is fighting the Empire, but he hasn't been seen since they left Coruscant and there were rumors he was dead."

"No. He's just been working in secret and building up the Remembrance Fleet. We thought helping you all was worth revealing the Fleet," She replied.

"Thank you," He said fervently.

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There was not much that made Anakin like Mandalorians. They were extremists, who either believed peace could not come by war and so refused to lift weapons, or believed that the only way to live was by the weapons. However, they were a very resilient people. When the refugees were placed in their new home, they settled in quicker than some of the others and by the end of the first week had taken over the command of their own haven. Korkie Kryze was named their leader, and four hundred of the thousand rescued were gathered into an army, ready to support the Rebellion as needed. A small group was sent out to bring in other Mandalorians who were trying to get away from the Empire.

The swiftness of their placement was satisfying, although Padme's request to bring Korkie to Devaron worried Anakin. They had kept Skywalker Enclave small, taking in only those they were certain of. Padme had begun to hint at building a base on Devaron as well as expanding the planet's settlements. The small population was what had kept them out of the discovery of the Empire, so Anakin was against the idea, but Padme was swaying the rest of the Council to her point of view, so it was likely he would be overruled.

He soon learned that Padme had also decided to reveal their location to two of the Imperial Senators who had been secretly supporting them. Anakin trusted Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, but their very positions put them in danger and it was not certain they would not reveal this critical piece of information if faced with torture, or the ransom of their respective home worlds. When Obi Wan meet Anakin and Korkie with the Shield, two disguised Senators, supposedly taking vacations with their families, were there to meet them as well.

"Don't look so glum, Anakin. Padme is not foolish. They are not going to know where we are going. All three of them are going to remain in the crew quarters where we have locked them out of the computers. This meeting was felt necessary," Obi Wan said.

Korkie was staring at Kenobi, who had openly worn his Jedi Tunic and lightsaber. On Skywalker Enclave, he had taken to doing so all the time but had never worn it off planet before. The young Mandalorian leader's awe was not so much in regards to the Jedi outfit, which was not that noticeable in the outer rim, but that Kenobi was alive. Except for Padme's earliest holovids where Obi Wan had given his testimony, Kenobi had also vanished and since the holovids had shown him when he was still ill and frail from his torture, most had assumed he had eventually died.

"Hello Korkie," Obi Wan said softly. "I am glad to see you well."

"And you, Master Kenobi. I believed you were dead."

"I have lived through some things, it is true, and my role has had to change. In time, I believe I will be able to return to battle. I had feared for you, but you have done well. Your Aunt would be proud of you."

"Perhaps," The young man said. "She was a brave, strong woman, but I don't think she would have made it in this time. Maybe seeing the Empire would have opened her eyes."

"She understood more than you know, I think," Obi Wan said.

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In the years since Bail had last met face to face with Padme Amidala Skywalker, both had changed. Gray had begun to creep into Bail's hair, and the gentle Viceroy was tense these days, working to keep a balance of obedience to the Empire to keep his people safe while also trying to unseat the Empire. His people had submitted to the Empire's rules without the riots of other worlds, and had taken his quiet approach to the events. There were those who had left to fight with the Rebellion, and Bail was aware that more than one Jedi had been hidden on Alderaan in the days following the purge.

Padme was still young looking, but her brown eyes seemed heavier. There was an air about her of calm consideration and a maternal edge to her body and voice. The regal bearing of the Leader was softened by the kindness of the Mother. The five-year-old children who hovered at her side were both quiet, staring up at Bail with wide eyes.

"Hello Bail," Padme greeted him with a tired smile. "Thank you for trusting me."

"You have never led me wrong, Padme. I am honored by your trust," He answered. She hugged him then and Mon, with teary eyes.

"You both have done so much for the Rebellion, and we are heading now for open war," She explained. "With what has happened at Mandalore, we've revealed we are armed and can fight. All our planning has led to this moment, when the Rebellion really starts fighting. I have something to present to you, to help legitimize the fight. The Council will meet tomorrow morning to explain it to you, so I really should just get you both some food and let you rest."

"It is good to see you are not broken Padme," Mon said gently. "I had feared what living like this would do for you."

"Mama is strong," The little girl at her side informed them proudly.

"Ley, they are nice," The boy defended the guests.

"Ah yes, Mon, meet Luke and Leia. Children, this is Uncle Bail, who I've told you about, and this is Senator Mon Mothma. We are friends."

"Hello," Luke chirped, gazing with admiration on the tall Viceroy. "You are as tall as Daddy. I want to be tall."

"Luke is a boy," Leia explained to the amusement of the two Senators. "He thinks being tall is important. I know that I want to be strong, like Daddy."

The little boy's eyes flickered to his mother thoughtfully, but he did not argue with his sister. "Mama, can I show Uncle Bail the Dojo?"

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When the Skywalkers and their guests met for dinner, Padme was anticipating her children revealing their mischievous side. Luke was often unintentionally blunt, asking just the sort of questions a mother would be embarrassed by, while Leia had a way of making sure her dislike was known. Anakin had grown more tactful over the years, but he was never embarrassed by the children's antics. It was a relief to discover that Mon Mothma and Bail had both favorably impressed her daughter. Leia was a perfect mannered child as both adults were willing to speak with her intelligently.

"Luke, you are going to spill your drink," Padme pointed out to her antsy son. She had seen him hold still for hours during Jedi meditation, but he rarely held still otherwise, even in his sleep.

"Uncle Bail, do you have kids?" Luke blurted.

Bail smiled sadly at the little boy. "No. I would have liked to have kids, but it never happened."

"Maybe you should adopt. Most of our friends are adopted because they don't know where their parents are," Luke explained.

"Luke, not everyone is the same," Leia scolded, making Padme sigh. Everyone believed Leia was the first twin just because of her forceful personality. She was very protective of her brother, who some of the other children called names because of his difficulties with the Force, but she was also very bossy. Anakin said the only thing Luke had ever done to try and surpass his sister was to be born first.

"I would like to adopt someday, if I can. Right now, I think it would be hard to be a new father," Bail said gently. "Thank you for the advice Luke."

Leia looked amazed that the powerful man was so pleasant to her brother.

She had often been curious about her mother's calmness when faced with bad news, but she had never stopped to think about her mother's power in the Enclave. Padme had impressed on the little twins that Bail was important. For the first-time Leia wondered if importance meant being nice when others were mean. Not with the other younglings of course, because Daddy said that standing up for people was good, and Leia was standing up for her brother, but perhaps there was something to being nice. Luke had not been made to feel bad by his questions, and the kind answer had made him very happy.

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"Sh," Luke stilled at his sister's command. She was very curious, so their bond had made him curious, which was why they were hiding in a box in the Command room. She had demanded he hide them, since they had lately discovered that Luke could make them disappear in the Force and even Obi Wan couldn't sense them. When he discovered her plan was to listen to the adults, he went along with it, curious to observe what the threads he saw on the adults did.

Leia knew about the threads now, but said she couldn't see them. Afraid that Obi Wan and Shaak Ti would think he was bad, Luke had not told them what he saw and had begged his sister to keep quiet. Father and Ahsoka often showed off their abilities for the twins, but their Jedi instruction primarily came from the Obi Wan. Because Luke already made Obi Wan's head ache with strange questions, the little boy decided to keep quiet and watch Leia to figure things out. It was difficult to understand how Obi Wan used the Force. Everything Obi Wan did seemed backwards to what Luke made the threads do. Where his uncle's thread would push out, Luke's would pull in. Where the Jedi Master's presence would be obvious to any Force Sensitive, the youngling's was rarely able to be sensed.

He had touched both Uncle Bail's and Senator Mon's threads, curious to see if they felt like Mother's whose were not under control like the Jedi. He had begun to realize that his 'touch' was his own strings emerging to connect with the large spread of threads not from a person. There were two types of threads. One was the threads that hung around living creatures, that moved with emotion, or with the mindfulness of a Jedi. The other was the flowing streams of long threads that covered everything. Apparently, the threads could make you feel what others felt as well as feel things and move things.

So here they were, the lid of the box cracked just enough for their eyes, watching as the Rebel Council, the refugee Mandalorian Leader, and the two Senators met.

"The Rebellion's goal is to reinstate the Republic," Mama was saying. "I don't say there won't be a lot of work, and somethings must change from the Old Republic, but that is Our mission."

"Agreed," The others said. Daddy's threads, so much longer than everyone else's, were always straying to Mama, which was the only time Mama's threads seemed to move intentionally. The newcomers to the Council had the same threads that Mama had, moving at any emotion, but never with the controlled sparks and twists and turns of the Jedi.

Obi Wan said all living creatures had a presence in the Force. Perhaps that's what those threads were.

"Up till now, Master Ti, General Skywalker, and myself have been leading this Rebellion, but I would like to create an Alliance that would be the purpose for the fight. Besides you two, we think there are several other Senators would be willing to join this secret Alliance to begin with. It will be the start of the New Republic," Mama said.

"That's why we are all here," Uncle Bail smiled. "You are brilliant Padme. We won't just be a sect of people who don't like the current government, but the Remnant of the Old Republic, a legitimate Government with legitimate claims on the Galaxy."

"Exactly," Padme beamed. "Shaak Ti has already agreed the Jedi will belong to the Alliance, though of course each person will be free to make their own decision. Anakin and I will serve this alliance as leaders until the New Republic is established. You and Korkie and Mon will be the first politicians of the New Republic, though of course you must not yet openly reveal that. The reverberations of Mandalore's fall will begin to wake some others up."

"Then our purpose here is to create this Alliance to present to the other eighteen," Senator Mon said.

"Yes. Do you all agree to this?" Mama asked.

"Yes," The others said firmly. "We will be the Republic Alliance."

Luke gasped as eight strands of the light threads reached out to meet in the center of the room. Even those without Force Sensitivity had managed to move their threads by declaring their allegiance. There in the center of the room, they joined together and tied these eight people together. It was amazing and beautiful and important. It was also distracting and Luke lost his command of his sister's threads.

"I think we are being spied upon," Obi Wan said evenly before walking to the box to pull the lid off and look at the pair of children with in.

"Leia! Did you make your brother hide there with you?" Padme exclaimed as her cheeks reddened.

"I didn't make Luke do anything. He wanted to see too."

"I really did," Luke promised, noticing that Mama's scowl turned on him. She wasn't mad, just annoyed. Daddy and Shaak Ti were trying not to be amused. "You did something really important." He told his mother when she took hold of their shoulders to guide them to the door.

They were ejected with instructions to head to their beds until the meeting was over for Time Out. Leia grumbled about it, but Luke absently headed to bed, enjoying the soft currents of the threads the flowed around the village, which seemed to be brighter and happier after the Important thing happened.

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Padme was embarrassed and Anakin considered sending this information to his children's minds, but reflected that they were empathic enough to have noticed. Obi Wan also looked aghast, explaining the twins new trick to try and hide from him. This curiously subtle use of the Force was surprising, but the pair were both powerful, and at least in Leia's case, able to figure things out with a few explanations and practices. He would have to talk to the pair very sternly, though Luke would look ashamed and Leia would hug him and promise him to be good. Maybe talking to them wasn't such a good idea. Anakin's absences had made him not a very consistent disciplinarian.

"They seemed to understand that what we were doing is important," Mon Mothma teased. "It's okay Padme. I have several nieces and nephews not much older than them who can get into the strangest things."

"They gave us a good reminder of why we are doing this, so that they can have lives in freedom and peace," Bail agreed.

Padme smiled at them before turning the conversation back to the plans of the of the Republic Alliance.

So is born the Alliance. I hope you all enjoyed.

Chapter Text

A Unique Ability

Here we reach the middle of the plot. Luke's strangeness is now very noticeable his family and teachers are becoming concerned.

I take some liberties with Force Abilities here. I am not sure everything they do here is Canon. I hope you enjoy.

I do not own Star Wars, but am borrowing the Galaxy to practice my craft.

There were many pleasures in teaching. Obi Wan's dojo in the Skywalker Enclave now contained a dozen students around the twins ages. He had taught them meditation and shielding their minds, and begun to show them how to augment their physical senses, and on using the force to lift and pull. Master Yoda's delight in teaching the Younglings made a good deal of sense now. There was just one massive frustrating concern.

Luke Skywalker, at seven years old, had become more and more recalcitrant to the teachings. On the mental side, once several arguments had passed between Obi Wan, Luke and Leia and the boy suddenly understood, he was brilliant, making exponential power leaps. On using the Force physically to lift and pull, he hated to try, saying it made him feel weird. The practice light sabers had also been an utter failure, as Luke would not keep his helmet on to learn to feel his surroundings with the Force. Leia usually tried to mediate between her brother and teacher, learning diplomacy, but even she couldn't always clear up the misunderstandings.

Padme and Anakin had both tried to talk to Luke, to understand why some of the training made him upset, but this usually led to the boy running off. On the rare occasions his Force Presence was unshielded, there was a good deal of fear in him regarding his instruction. Fortunately, his favored hiding spot was Shaak Ti's meditation spot. He continued to remain invisible to most Jedi's Force Senses. On the cause of his frustrations, Leia remained tight lipped, though her ability to help Luke understand what their teacher meant made them believe she knew what was going on in his mind. Anakin had suggested making the twins learn separately to force Luke not to rely on Leia's 'translations' so much.

Obi Wan pinched his nose, attempted to find out where Luke had run too this time, but failed because of how much the boy had suppressed his Force Presence. At the same time, he reevaluated his plans to take Leia as his Padawan. The short girl was standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at her father while she accused him of being mean to Luke, being jealous of how much Luke loved her, and threatened to run away with her brother. Padme was standing in the door of the Dojo, trying to make sense of what was happening.

"Leia, I don't want to separate you and Luke," Anakin tried to soothe, but his daughter had inherited his stubborn sense of righteous indignation.

"Well, you better not try. I have to help Luke," She said. "You are too busy to stop and try to understand, and Mama can't help. Obi Wan tries at least."

Both parents flinched, though for different reasons. Anakin, who had often felt guilty at how much his duties in the Alliance Fleet took him away to run danger, because his daughter's accusation touched that guilt. Padme, because the older the twins got, the more she realized how little she understood their powers. Calling on his old powers of persuasion, Obi Wan lifted his hands and approached.

"Not now, Obi Wan," Padme sighed. The Jedi Master stepped back. "Anakin, I thought we were going to explain this more thoroughly."

"Yes and that went well," Anakin snapped. "The moment I brought it up, Luke was hiding and Leia yelling."

"You should stop yelling at her and let her say her piece. Then maybe she'll want to listen to you!"

"Why would I want to listen to him? He doesn't like anything but his army," Leia spat. "He wasn't even here for our life day."

"Leia, we've explained that sometimes we have duties. There is a war going on. Sometimes we can't have what we want because we are fighting to keep you safe," Padme turned to her daughter with a scowl, aware of her husband's sorrow at this fact of their life.

The Jedi Master watched as the daughter and parents' argument devolved to a three-way spat. He had been warned to stay out, and after some consideration was certain anything he tried would only make it worse. If he wasn't aware there needed to be a logical discussion about how to work out Luke's problems, he would have left. As it was he could only wait for one of the three stubborn individuals to make the first move towards a peaceful resolution.

A flicker in the Force made him notice that Luke, with red rimmed eyes, and a hanging head, was reentering the Dojo. For a moment, all of Luke's horror at seeing the quarrel was obvious in the Force. It made the two Force Sensitives turn, nearly bringing a shout of anger from the mother, until she realized why they had turned away from her. The short boy blinked at his family several times, before sniffling, rubbing his nose with his hand.

"I'm sorry," He said ashamedly.

"It's daddy's fault," Leia snapped. "He should say sorry."

"Leia, this isn't helping," Anakin sighed.

"You are all so angry. I know it's my fault, but maybe I can make it better," Luke said and pushed himself in between all three before turning around in a circle with his hands open. He pulled his hands into his chest and sighed. "Please don't be mad. See?"

Bewilderment was filling Padme's face as she stretched out her hand for her son, before comprehension dawn on Anakin and Leia's faces. "Oh Luke," Padme said softly. "Is this what you feel?"

"It's what we all feel, even Ley," He answered. "She does love you, Daddy. And see, Leia, Daddy just wants to do what is best. And see Mama, this is what we can see."

Obi Wan cleared his throat. Luke smiled and ran over to him, reaching his hands out again before pulling them to his chest. "You too, Obi Wan. We all love you, too."

Emotions that did not belong to him rolled over Obi Wan. He could differentiate between them all. Padme, so gentle and sturdy, Anakin, so protective and powerful, Leia, so sturdy and protective, and Luke, so gentle and powerful. The boy had used his considerable mental prowess to connect them all together.

"I know I am not very good at things. I'm sorry for being a problem. I am stupid about it sometimes. Please, please don't fight about me."

"It will be okay Luke," Anakin promised, sweeping his little son into his arms. Padme wrapped her arms around them both. With a tug at his hand, Leia pulled Obi Wan into the hug and they stood there, calmed and quieted by the little boy's gift.

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The decision to try teaching Luke separate from Leia was rescinded upon Luke's promise to work harder. It was an unfair promise Leia thought, because Luke did work hard. He kept her from arguing by admitting he could at least try keeping his helmet on and do what Obi Wan said. Deciding that that was a good idea, Leia had magnanimously forgiven her father for his stupidity.

Luke did try, but losing his sight was difficult for him. He grew ill at ease, though he soon began to learn to anticipate the training droid. Not to Leia's level, but enough that he could deflect the stinging bolts some times. Since this was a good start for any youngling, it appeared satisfactory.

Today Obi Wan was teaching them how they could use the Force to stretch their physical senses, particularly hearing. Leia was pleased, because Luke already did that all the time, but her pleasure was soon dismay. Once again Luke was confused by the varied explanations, and didn't even try. Obi Wan gently urged him to try, but the other younglings laughed and called Luke 'stupid'.

"It will be too loud," Luke tried to protest.

"You can control that," Obi Wan promised. "Please try Luke."

After several minutes of Luke trying to explain expanding his senses would be too much, missing the point that he was already doing it, and Obi Wan believing he was being stubborn, Leia had had enough. It was so trying to have such a silly brother. All he had to do was do what he did all the time! She had been trying to let him figure it out on his own, but his one-track mind was focused only on the fact that Obi Wan wanted him to reach further with his hearing.

"Luke," She said in exasperation. "You already do it all the time. I bet you can hear Kado right now."

"Of course, I can hear Kado," Luke protested. "Everyone can hear him."

"Actually, Luke," Obi Wan said slowly, "We can't hear Kado."

"But he's snoring, just outside in the hallway," Luke laughed.

Understanding crossed Obi Wan's face. Leia sat down with a smirk, giving the youngling who had voiced the word Stupid a haughty smile. Luke wasn't stupid, he just didn't realize that he already did a lot of the things Obi Wan tried to teach him. She knew Obi Wan would stretch his own hearing and find their cat snoring right where Luke said.

"That is what I wanted you to do Luke. I did not realize you already knew how."

"I thought everyone could do it," Luke answered.

"Do you want to play a game, Younglings?" Obi Wan said a minute later, a puzzled look in his eyes.

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Only Padme Skywalker knew her husbands present meditation pose was concealing the nap he was taking. He had the skill, born of years of war, of sleeping upright with very little noise. Much of his daily meditation was spent in sleep. Privately Anakin had begun to believe that most Jedi didn't just meditate, but also napped during the calming time. Either way, it gave him refreshment and calmed him as he quieted his Force Sense.

Part of that skill meant he could wake when approached, aware that he must always be alert on the battlefield or in his fighter or command ships.

He had spent the last two years away more often than he was present from Skywalker Enclave, guiding the increasingly large Rebel Navy through the stars to their raids and battles before hiding them again. There had been losses, including the deaths of most of those remaining from 212th in the defense of a large Jedi Enclave. Ahsoka had been furious with the men who had sacrificed their lives, but none had mistaken the reason they had given so much to save over thirty Jedi. There had been victories, like when Anakin's small, remade transport ships had battled and destroyed two Star Destroyers amid hundreds of Tie fighters.

He was content to take his well-earned rest while Ahsoka commanded the Rebel Fleets. That was until Obi Wan's presence woke him from his nap. He glared at his former master.

"I am sorry Anakin. It is good to see you so calm in Meditation," Obi Wan said, sinking to the floor besides his friend. "I discovered something interesting today, in the twins' class."

"What did they do now?" Anakin sighed.

"They are remarkably well behaved of late. Leia even kept from shoving another student who had irritated her," Obi Wan smiled, then frowned. "Luke was taking his turn at trying to stretch his hearing, and he was telling me it was too loud. We discussed it, but he wouldn't even try. Leia eventually said he already did it and proved it by asking him where he heard his cat. The cat was in the hall outside, snoring softly and I could only hear it by stretching my hearing. It appears that Luke is already very adept at stretching his senses."

"That's good news."

"It is also confusing," Obi Wan said. "Using the force increases your visibility in the Force, but I could barely sense Luke at all."

"How is that possible?" Anakin asked.

"That is why I am here. I think it may explain in part why Luke struggles to understand the concepts. He's manipulating the force in some way that I cannot sense."

Hurrah! Someone is going to figure this out. I hope you all enjoy.

Chapter Text

The Threads

I do not own Star Wars. I haven't been able to use the Force yet, so I can't even trick Disney into giving it to me.

The Jedi docked with the Shield and the doors opened to allow four of the smaller ship's passengers to enter the rebel transport. They were met at the entrance of the other ship by Master Obi Wan Kenobi. They all were pleased to see him, since they had last seen him frail and weak after his torture at Palpatine's hands. Little had been heard of him in the years that had passed and the four Jedi Masters entering the Shield had had time to wonder if he had recovered.

"Kenobi!" Mace Windu eagerly took the other's offered hand. "I am glad to see you well."

"You too," Kenobi answered. "I wasn't sure I would see you, considering who was requesting your assistance."

"I may dislike Anakin Skywalker and still firmly believe the Order should not have relaxed the code, but he is a Jedi by majority decision, and an ally. Besides, I will frankly admit to some curiosity as to the twins. It had been a long time since I met Force Sensitive twins."

"You have never met a pair like this," Obi Wan said. "Luke is the reason we want guidance. He has some unique Force abilities."

"Is that so surprising, considering his destiny?"

"This is something more than rare skill, Master Windu. The boy is able to use the Force without revealing his Force presence."

Luminara Unduli, Tera Sinube, and Rig Nema all stopped their walking when they heard this. Rig, healer as she was, was the first to ask, "What is his midichlorian count?"

"It was never tested," Obi Wan replied. "There is more to using the Force than the that. High number don't always mean extreme control."

She shrugged. "In my experience, it is one way to measure force abilities. We have yet to determine if it is the strength in the Force or the use of the Force that determines the levels. Will his parents mind the test?"

"I am uncertain. Do remember that the Skywalkers have chosen to keep Luke unaware of the premonitions about his future. Also, you should be aware that if you upset him, he has a very protective twin sister who has learned much control over her tongue and the Force."

The masters all smiled at his amusement, though aware there was some grain of truth. Younglings had very little control, but they had potential in the Force and it could be tapped with heightened emotions. There were many incidents when younglings were learning to control their Force Sense and their emotions. Indeed, a Skywalker with heightened emotions was not an unknown entity.

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Luke was terrified. He had spent most of the previous night awake, wondering what was wrong with him. For once, he had already known how to do something, but it had alarmed not only Obi Wan, but Shaak Ti and Dad as well. He had grasped their threads often enough to seek comfort or explanation that there seemed to be a permanent thread between all three and himself, not unlike the ones he had with Leia and his mother, which he had always had in his short memory. It was through this that he had discovered they were wanting help with him.

Mama and Leia had both caught sight of his stricken face, and Leia had no doubt felt whispers of the mean voices in his head that said he was bad and wrong and unlovable. Ley had been nice to him, and had crawled into his bed to make sure he wasn't alone while awake. He loved his sister very much but with her perfect ability to do what Obi and Daddy and Shaati did he was often very jealous of her. Oh, he could never wish she didn't do those things, but he wished he could do them too. He was obviously backwards.

Worse of all, Ley's thoughts had considered sharing the threads with the adults, and that Luke could not do. He was already strange and bad, and teased by the other good students. It would get worse if they knew he saw things none of them did. He could not talk like Ley could, weaving words that made sense, but he would have to try if the threads were discovered. Of this he was certain. He would not give them up. They were part of the Force.

A sense of doom settled on the short, seven-year old's shoulders as he watched the ship land, with the big Jedi who would try to figure out what was wrong with him. He tightened his hold on his mother's shirt, relieved by her unmindful threads that were full of love for him. She smiled down at him, making his heart ache, because she didn't know how bad he was.

Leia led the procession from the Skywalkers to the Landing Pad, with Anakin scrambling after her so the Jedi Masters would not be met with three feet of temper. Padme calmly led Luke behind, aware he was afraid, but hoping to see his fear ease when he met the Jedi and their calm, confident poise would let him know they would have answers. He knew not to run now, and had a vague hope that one of them would be like him. Obi Wan, looking very happy, had guided four tall beings towards the Skywalkers.

They were introduced as Master Mace Windu, Master Luminara Unduli, Master Tera Sinube, and Master Rig Nema. All of them looked very curiously at Luke, their threads stretched out along the currents of other threads to touch him. He tightly held all his threads inside and shivered. He sensed their surprise. The longer currents tended to be attracted to him, coming to touch him and tell him things about emotions and sounds and sights beyond his normal ken.

He was relieved to see that they were distracted by Leia's own flaring threads, as she reached out towards them with her Force Sense. Luke had no need to do this, but it was nice to see Ley could do what the others could.

"I see the young one has your audacity, General Skywalker," Rig Nema grinned at Leia. "Hello Little Skywalker."

"I like you," Leia declared after a moment. "You will listen." Her dubious glances at the other three spoke plainly of her fears they would not listen. Padme and Anakin's sense of embarrassment was obvious.

"Welcome to our home," Padme said softly.

"Thank you, Senator Amidala," Master Windu said, which was the wrong thing to say. Even Luke knew Mama did not use that name any more. His connection to his mother flared with her annoyance.

"I am no longer Senator Amidala. Here, you may call me Leader Skywalker," She said proudly.

"Of course," He said, but Mama's annoyance did not go away.

"Mama, why does he make you mad?" Luke asked, trying to whisper, like Ley said he had to when asking questions about people, but unfortunately speaking plain enough that everyone heard it.

"You're being rude, Luke," Ley hissed in her bossiest voice.

"Leia, leave him alone." Padme said. "Master Windu and I have disagreed on a few things and because we are both very stubborn, neither of us has given up to the other. It can be very frustrating."

"Like when Ley says it's my turn to clean our room, when it's really her turn?" Luke said.

"Something like that. Excuse me Master Windu. We do not want Luke to be afraid to ask any honest questions. Unfortunately, he appears to have inherited Anakin's lack of tact," Padme said.

"I understand," Mace Windu said gravely, but he felt amused.

Dad glared at Mama, but exercised his learned tact to not start their teasing in the front of the solemn Jedi Masters.

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Mace Windu had been surprised by Luke's ability to mask his Force Presence so solidly. Most trained Jedi knights could shield their Force Presence, but it was rare for such a young child to be able to do it. The idea that the presence stayed masked while he manipulated the Force was completely unheard of. There were some who could dim their presence while using the Force, but none had taken it all the way. What was even more puzzling, was the familiarity Windu felt around Luke. He had briefly lived with the twins for a couple weeks on Yavin 4, but had avoided these reminders of what Skywalker had done to throw the Jedi Order into such disarray.

The boy was coaxed into showing them what he could do after a rest and a meal. He very reluctantly pointed out sounds he could hear which took the Jedi stretching their senses to find, briefly levitated a cup (although his force presence did peek through during this exercise), and then was invited to telepathically talk to someone. He chose Obi Wan, avoiding looking at the Jedi Masters who were completely nonplussed by his absence in the Force while using it. Obi Wan, and Leia, who could read her brother very well, both heard him speak, but the Force did not reveal Luke.

All the adult Jedi immediately began talking when the exercise was done, throwing out suggestions of what was happening. Padme Skywalker watched in bewilderment and did not protest when the twins slipped out of their room, Leia promising to go to their room.

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"It's the threads, isn't it?" Leia said into the darkness of the room. Luke had given her mental images of what he saw before and she knew the dark room wasn't so dark to him, lit up by the flowing strings of light he said was part of the Force. Her brother whimpered, heartbroken with fear. Daddy wasn't very smart with Luke sometimes. He was too used to giving orders in war to take time to work out his son's backward way of thinking. "You have to tell them."

"What if they send me away? Ahsoka said they send bad Jedi away."

"You are not bad," She promised. "If they send you away, I will take Mama and Obi, and maybe Daddy too if he promises to be nice, and we will all run away to live somewhere else."

"Shaati can come too. She is very nice and quiet," Luke said. "She said she still wants me to be her Padawan."

Leia had long ago quit using the toddlers name for the Togruta Jedi Master, but Luke used it still. Shaak Ti had been a calm presence in their lives forever, and though Leia didn't like her as much as she liked Obi, she appreciated Luke's ease with the Jedi Grand Master. After a minute of consideration, Leia agreed with Luke. Shaak Ti would have more time to help Luke if they all ran away.

Luke might have to do the flying once they tricked the adults into a transport, Daddy said he was a natural at it, Mama didn't like it so much, Luke was a very good brother, Leia would not give him up.

The little girl fell asleep.

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Obi Wan should not have been surprised. Even without telegraphing his emotions, Luke's distress had been very evident during the previous evening. Even Padme had forgotten how much Luke needed to be reassured that there was nothing wrong with him. The only person in the Dojo not worried was Leia. She was probably aware of where her brother was hiding this time.

All his usual spots had been checked, but he had tactically hidden somewhere he had not before.

"Are you all done looking?" Leia asked smugly when the adults had gathered to discuss the missing boy. Padme sighed.

"Leia. Tell us where your brother is."

"No," She said bluntly. "You all need to sit down. You scared Luke. He thinks you are going to send him away and we have decided that will not happen. If you try to send him away I will kidnap Mama, and we will go away with Luke by ourselves. Daddy, you can come to if you promise not to send him away."

Obi Wan must be crazy. He was looking forward to mentoring this little firecracker. Perhaps it was a sign that he was ready to join the war. He mused a little about having Anakin and Shaak Ti test his battle readiness.

"Why would we send him away, Leia?" Anakin said in a slightly hurt voice. He adored his children, but his absences to war had left them independent of him.

"Because he can see things you can't. He thinks it's part of the Force," She explained. "He's always seen it."

A funny look came over Mace Windu's face. A strange thought entered Obi Wan's mind, but he quickly dismissed it. No one else seemed to have any inkling of what she was talking about. Even Anakin, the strongest Jedi of his generation, was puzzled.

"Will you promise not to send him away? Promise or he won't come. Please. It took me hours to get him to agree to tell you," The girl sighed.

"We would never send Luke away," Anakin promised, since Leia was looking straight at him, needing her father's agreement more than anyone else. "We love you both too much."

"Ok. He said he'll come," She plopped down and they all sat down with her, waiting for a few minutes before a shy, little boy came into the room, anxiously looking at his parents.

"Luke, little light," Anakin said in a soft voice. "I am so sorry we made you think there was something wrong with you and we might send you away. I promise, you are doing nothing wrong. You use the Force in a special way and we want to see how."

The little boy barreled into his father's chest a huge smile on his face. His sense of relief filled the dojo along with his force presence.

"See Luke?" Leia said smugly. "Now, you must show them what you've shown me."

"I don't know how," Luke said. She rolled her eyes.

"You put it in their minds like you do for me. Why don't you start with Obi? You said the threads like to touch him too."

Obi Wan barely restrained his shock. He had momentarily wondered if Luke saw the same after images caused by seclusion. After all, the boy had been using the mental abilities of the Force from before he was born. The Jedi Master had dismissed the thought, because it would have meant Luke grew up with images always sparking in his vision.

"Is it okay, Obi?" Luke asked.

"Yes. Show me and we can figure it out together," Obi Wan had time to register Anakin's flare of jealousy, but the father stifled it quickly. It was hard on the father to know that Luke and Leia had spent more time with their teacher than their father. A dreadful fact of the war.

The boy shuffled over to him, stretching his hands out towards Obi Wan's forehead. His little fingers moved slightly until his Force Presence touched his Jedi Instructor's mind. Luke was very quiet and gentle as his mind met Obi Wan's. Suddenly Obi Wan's vision was overlaid with the after images the Jedi Master had seen after his long use of Seclusion.

Except they weren't brief sparks and gone. The entire room, every single person watching was surrounded by stings of light. They varied between silvery, soft currents roaming around the room, sparking gold wires around the other Jedi who were restraining their curiosity, and even some ethereal blue on Padme Skywalker. Those on Padme Skywalker were quiet, moving much less than the others and without the mindfulness evident in the Jedi Masters and Leia. Luke himself was the center point of all the currents of light. The ones that floated on the air, stretching around the room and outside the dojo all seemed to be attracted to the boy. They moved like currents in a stream, rippling with the touches of the more mindful strings that stretched out from the Force Users.

It was then that Obi Wan discovered the Force Currents were also attracted to himself. It was puzzling, until he looked at Luke and noticed that the boy's Force threads barely peeked out of his body to meet the touches of the other strings of the Force. Luke had been hiding his Force presence accidentally. Instead of pushing out into the force with his own Force Presence, he attracted Natural parts of the Force that were separate from him and used these to manipulate the Force. By using seclusion so much during his torture Obi Wan had mimicked Luke's natural state of pulling his Force threads into himself. Though he had gone back to his normal use of the Force, his desire to shield himself had remained, leading his Force Presence to stay curled near him. This in turn was attracting the Natural Force Currents.

Shaken by what he was seeing, he looked at the boy and smiled. "This isn't just part of the Force Luke. This is the Force."

Chapter Text

Force Sight

Please enjoy my next chapter.

I do not own Star Wars. I am borrowing the galaxy to practice my craft.

"I think if you continue to show me that I can show everyone else, Luke." Obi Wan said a few minutes after his shocking statement. A thrill of excitement ran through the others. They had always been able to sense the Force, but it was never visible to their eyes. Most had believed it to be invisible.

Obi Wan stretched out his senses and drew those around him into his mind, where Luke was feeding him what he saw. When the Force became visible, tears leapt to Shaak Ti's eyes. It was beautiful. Far from detracting from normal vision, it made everything clearer.

Luke glowed with the currents that swirled around him, drawn by his powerful Force Presence to touch him. The boy wasn't just able to use his own Force Sense. He could connect to the separate Force currents and use them. This explained why his Force Presence was so muted.

"I've seen these before, when I was a child," Master Windu murmured. "My Master told me they were distracting and I needed to push them away."

Mace Windu's threads were rapidly pulling away, sparking with excitement and awe. Leia was clearly comfortable in the sight, reaching up to touch the threads, which rippled before attaching to her hand. It took some getting used to, but Shaak Ti was starting to work out the currents, able to tell the natural Force from the Living Being's Force. Half of those present had threads that ran to Luke. In Leia and Padme's case there were multiple threads. Shaak T could follow the bond that ran from herself to Luke.

"Should I be seeing this?" Padme Skywalker said hesitantly. "There are swirls of light, but I'm not Force sensitive."

"Everyone is part of the Force," Luke said seriously. "You have threads too, Mama, you just don't use them. Even Kado and bugs have threads. R2 and 3PO too."

"This is the Force?" Padme queried, reaching her hand up to touch one of the lights. It moved, startling them all. "Um. What did I do?"

"You touched the Force," Anakin burst out laughing. "Can a non-sensitive become sensitive?"

"It feels very strange," Padme commented. "Like I could feel Leia's hand."

"That is your thread with Leia. You have a lot of them with Daddy," Luke explained. Suddenly a thought came to him and he vanished from Obi Wan's mind, forgetting that he was showing everyone the Force. There was a small shock among them as they braced themselves for the disappearance. The sight faded very slowly as Luke raced over to his mother and reached up to touch her head. "Maybe you can use your threads now!"

Obi Wan was studying Padme and Luke, apparently holding onto the threads longer than the rest. "Hold on Luke. I think she already has a very slight ability to sense the Force, probably why she is so intuitive. Flooding her with your powerful sense could be overwhelming."

Luke immediately relaxed as Padme looked around dazedly, having momentarily felt the entirety of her son's Force Presence.

"Well," Rig Nema said. "This is fascinating."

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Fascinating did not begin to describe this. Anakin blinked, suddenly humbled in his own power. He had always been powerful in the Force, in tune with it. But this went beyond that. Luke had literally connected with the entire Force. The Jedi Masters were all trying to smile at Luke and assure him he had done nothing wrong, but had done something amazing. It was funny to see Mace Windu speaking gently, probably unaware that Luke was very likely attracting his Force threads and feeding him the innocent, affection need of a seven-year-old boy.

Padme was still looking dazed, but Anakin could tell she was unharmed. The little spark he had been drawn to in her was more noticeable to his Force Sense. She had always had a Force Presence, because Luke was right that every living thing had a Presence, but it felt a little stronger, as if Luke had opened her mind to something more. It was by no means on the level of a Jedi, but it could be that constant contact with her Jedi husband and her twins had boosted her senses to feed her that little, uncontrollable edge that had guided the Rebellion.

The Jedi Masters soon vanished for meditation and consideration, leaving just the Skywalkers and Obi Wan, who was blinking as if the threads that had by now disappeared for Anakin were still there for him.

"Obi Wan?" Anakin said.

"Oh, it's alright Anakin. I've had glimpses of this before. Seclusion is like Luke's natural Force Presence so it opened this up to me, but I thought it was hallucinations. I wonder if I could strengthen the sight."

"Perhaps we should give that a little more thought," Anakin interjected quickly. "Seclusion has driven Jedi mad."

"I am not so reckless Anakin. You are the one who leaps into situations," Obi Wan smirked. "I see the little princess is also still slightly aware."

"Well of course. Luke has shown me a bunch of times. If you figure out how to make it stay you should teach me too," Leia declared.

"I will if you promise that if you find the secret first you will teach me," Obi Wan teased.

"You have a deal!" Leia squealed.

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The next two weeks saw the seven Jedi spend hours talking and exploring Luke's ability. When he was given such positive attention and when they understood his backward way of looking at things he blossomed, flooding the entire enclave with his happiness. Padme had not realized how rare his smile had become recently under the stress of the Jedi instruction. It made her heart lighter to see him dash around in the oft distracted matter of his toddler years.

Inversely, Leia's delight in finally making everyone understand her brother quickly faded and she could be seen with a frown more often. It turned out that both Obi Wan and Mace Windu had seen glimpses of the Force currents before, and with daily viewing through Luke's powers, both were starting to be able to manipulate the Force to show them without Luke's help. Leia on the other hand was now in her brother's place, unable to fully understand what Luke and the adult Jedi were doing to permit them to see the Force. With the new ability, which Obi Wan called Force Sight, Leia was at a disadvantage, having only ever seen the threads through her brother.

It did not help that the other Jedi children, all of whom had excelled in their learning, still thought Luke was weird and stupid, possibly jealous of the amount of attention given their peer by some of the best Jedi of the Galaxy.

"Mama, why are kids so mean?" Leia complained one morning, having slipped away from the Dojo in boredom.

"Everyone fears things they do not know. Children have not yet learned that the unknown is not always dangerous and bad," Padme answered. "Are the other younglings calling Luke names again?"

"Yeah."

"Are you upset with Luke?"

"A little, but I know I shouldn't be. I just wish I could do what he could do. Why aren't we the same? Aren't twins supposed to be the same?"

"Not all twins are perfectly alike," Padme smiled. "Luke wants the same thing, you know. Right now, you know what Luke has felt like before this. You have been such a good sister for him, Ley."

"But he doesn't need me anymore. Obi can understand more than I can now."

"I'll bet he still wants to do everything with you," Padme promised.

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Ley had snuck out of the morning class and Luke was afraid she didn't want to do things with him anymore. It was nice to have Obi and Dad and Shaati all understanding now, but they weren't good playmates. Sometimes the other kids didn't want him to play with them after he was 'weird', but Ley had always been there for him. Even though his weird turned out to be a good weird, he wondered if his twin was like the others now that the Jedi Masters had all acknowledged he was different.

As soon as the Masters had seen him fidgeting and had had him show them the threads again, they let him run off while they talked.

It was easy to track his sister down through their bond. She was with Mama. Luke scurried into Mama's office, where she looked at all the War stuff. Leia was on her lap, watching the holoprojector mama was working with.

"Ley!" He called, giving Mama a smile. "Why did you leave? Do you not want to help anymore? Do you not want to be with me anymore?"

While he anxiously watched his best friend, Mama smiled as Leia looked up at her with wide eyes. She grinned and jumped down.

"All they were doing was talking and it was getting boring. Of course, I want to be with you. We have the best fun together. Plus, now you can teach me things, instead of just put them in my head. I will show you the regular Jedi stuff and you will show me the new stuff."

This was a heady thought for the boy. It had begun to bother him that he wasn't equal to his peers. He had often been jealous of his sister's apparently greater intelligence. The idea that he could be the teacher of sorts to his best friend in the way she had served for him was exciting. He grabbed her hand.

"I will teach you very good," He promised. "Just like you teach me."

Padme smiled, glad to see their fears resolved so easily. She watched them scamper off to play and for a minute her smile remained. It did not last. The new discover had led to several visions and premonitions about Luke's future again. For a time, she had been able to push her son's possible destiny out of her mind, but it was coming back now.

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Since Obi Wan was easily the most proficient in the newly discovered Force Sight, there was some shifting of duties. The Jedi were eager to explore this new facet of the Force. Luminara Unduli moved her enclave to Devaron where she, with rotating aid from other Jedi, took over the Skywalker Enclave Dojo to teach most of the younglings. Obi Wan, Shaak Ti, Mace Windu, and Rig Nema worked solely with Luke and Leia to train them and to learn from them. It was soon evident that this was not just a new ability, but was also a new method of using the Force. The traditional method was called Force Sense, and the new way called Force Sight.

Anakin Skywalker, who spent most mornings of his leave from his fleet with his children, called it Push and Pull.

Jedi who did not see the Force threads, or Currents as they were officially named, tended to use their Force Presence by pushing out with their Force Sense. Luke, on the other hand, having as a baby started to pull his threads inward, pulled the Force Currents into himself, and used outside or natural currents to manipulate the force. Obi Wan, Mace Windu, and Leia (with a good deal of help from her brother) could clumsily mimic Luke's natural Force Presence, and could use Force Sight with a lot of concentration. Most others struggled with it at first, because they had never known such a thing existed.

At first, Windu and Kenobi had hoped to design a second, separate way of the Force, but it was soon discovered that while Luke easily augmented his mental and physical senses, he lacked the intuition that traditional Force use relied on. It was also clear that while manipulating outward threads could be used to do Force Lift and Push, the effect dissipated quicker through the natural currents. Since Leia could use the outward Force uses much easier than her brother, the decision was made to teach Luke to use the Force Sense as well and combine the two branches of Force Use

Using blindfolds and visors and a good deal of Leia mentally showing him how she felt the Force rather than saw it, Luke gradually began to learn to extend his own Force Presence and use the traditional way. It was a long, difficult journey at first, because for Luke, it felt like turning his skin inside out. It wasn't until Shaak Ti took him and Leia to her meditation spot, away from the enclave, and had him try there away from the others that he began to use the Force Sense with any confidence. He learned that however strange it felt, it gave him a firmer control over the outward uses of the Force.

As time passed, Luke and Leia's training became as much experimentation as instruction as both could learn from the other to use both sides of the Force. After two years of experimentation Mace Windu and several others would head to other enclaves, to share this new knowledge in the hope it would give them an edge in their war.

There was some consternation among the Jedi, notably Shaak Ti.

She had always been laid back, following the flow of the Force as she felt it, but learning to use Force Sight had disturbed her as much as awed her. It was beautiful and awesome, but the mystical sense of the Force seemed to fade in face of seeing it in everyday life. More than that, she had taken note that the Force carried emotion from the sentient or semi-sentient species of the Galaxy, so that what she had always taken as the Light Side of the Force was the dutiful, compassionate sides of the Jedi. Instead of the Force feeding them the Light Side, they fed the Force.

Obi Wan told her that was perfectly in context with the Jedi Creed, since it was clear they were responsible for the Balance of the Force.

Anakin Skywalker suggested she not think about it. Whether it was them or the Force itself, the Light Side was Justice, Compassion, Duty, Hope, and Love.

Both made sense, but seemed to miss a bigger picture to her. She had no doubt the Light Side was right, but what made it right was a question she had always answered with the Force. Was there something else, besides the Force, that made Light and Dark, Good and Evil?

I hope you enjoyed.

Chapter Text

The Dissolution of the Senate

Please enjoy this next chapter.

I do not own Star Wars.

The planet Lasat was a large planet with wild, warrior species. About ten years after the rise of the Empire, Lasat became the next in a series of Mid and outer Rim planets that had had enough of the Empire. Its rebellion began with small cells on their home world, since Mandalore's subjugation had cautioned other worlds to be careful in their rebellion. After all, Mandalore was now the seat of the Imperial Academy, and the proud, warrior race that had lived there had been enslaved, corrupted, or displaced.

It was not the first planet with a sentient species who reminded more humanoid species of animals. Kashyyyk, the Wookie home world, had been suppressed since the very rise of the empire after they had given much aid to the scattered Jedi. However, that had been in a time when labeling the Wookies as Jedi accessories had carried some weight. A decade had passed since the Purge, and uncomfortable answers had been raised about the Jedi's so-called plots. Imperial Citizens would not dare voice such question, but it did run in their minds.

Lasat's Rebellion grew swiftly, aided by the distraction of the campaigns of General Skywalker, who had become a great thorn in the Imperial Fleet's side. There was little contact between the Rebellion and Lasat however, since Lasat was far from Dantooine and Tatooine, where General Skywalker's main bases were kept hidden. It was true there were couriers between them, but they were not working on unison, but creating two separate campaigns. The Lasat Royal Family had received a request to meet with Padme Skywalker, but had hesitated because she was human and they were concerned that the fact that there were many humans in the rebellion meant that xenophobia would be in the rebellion as well as the Empire.

They declared themselves free of the Empire to see how the Rebellion would react as much as to get rid of the Imperial Base. With contact between Lasat and the Alliance so limited, they were unaware that General Skywalker's fleet had suffered a series of losses, and that three of the numerous Rebel Bases Padme and Shaak Ti coordinated had been wiped out by the Imperials. Among those killed during this was the former Naboo handmaid Jeda Red. The rebel bases grew quiet and Skywalker retreated to regroup and recover from a devastating loss in the Jardin System. It was true that the Rebels tried to send aid, but there was little to spare, and their suggestions that Lasat be abandoned to save lives was considered an act of cowardice and the Rebellion was believed to consider the Lasats weak.

It was one of Padme Skywalker's rare diplomatic failures.

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Under the watchful eyes of their newly named Masters, Padawans Luke and Leia Skywalker were working their way through an obstacle course with the intent of beating the other with their light sabers. Training caps on the sabers they had recently built meant that the sabers would cause no more harm than a stinging bug. There were several other new Padawans and Jedi Masters watching as well. The Skywalker twins always attracted a crowd. Excluding their parentage, Luke and Leia were the most fluid in using both Force Sense and Force Sight. Even at ten, Luke was still the most competent user of the Force Sight, as the stretching of his abilities into using Force Sense had led to him modifying many of his lessons to use both arms of the Force, even to the point of switching between them without concentration.

His more aggressive sister was powerful, giving her an advantage in a face to face meet. She however needed more concentration to use both Force Sense and Force Sight. Luke and she had been trying to see if they could let Leia see it constantly as Luke did. So far, they had failed. She had to concentrate hard to use Force Sight.

She was circling cautiously through the stacked shipping containers that was their current training ground. Dressed as her brother was in brown pants and boots with a white tunic, she had her long hair braided into a crown, with only the thin Padawan braid dangling over her right shoulder. Obi Wan Kenobi was officially her Master and there was much amusement that Kenobi had chosen the twin so much like his first Padawan. Aware that her Master was watching for the temper that had lost her the last match with Luke, she let her shoulders relax, concentrating to see if the Force Sight would reveal her brother's position. This failed. When the Jedi had first learned to use Force Sight Luke had become very noticeable in the Force. The Natural Force Currents followed him around so all one had to do was trace them. Luke had then learned to repel the currents so he would not be so noticeable.

He was muting his presence, so she stretched out her hearing, looking for his breathing and soft, careful movements. Before she could Triangulate the sounds, his Force Presence blared out, overwhelming her mind, as he came leaping from her left. His green saber came down on her swift parry with her unique yellow saber. With swift blows, he drove her back, working hard to keep her from getting a strong stance.

She soon adjusted for his speed and gained the stance he wanted to avoid. Her blows were fiercer and faster, so he Force Leapt up to the top of the containers to avoid the danger of grappling so closely. Aware that if she lost sight of him she would be back to searching for him with sound, she leapt after him, not as agilely, but just as surefooted. More than once since learning the Force Leap, they had played tag across the rooftops.

Mama had taken some time to be okay with this, but Dad liked to join them when he was on leave.

Just as familiar with her tactics, Luke scampered across the tops of the obstacle course, weaving in and out before diving into one of the alleys the boxes created. She leapt down after him, stretching out with her Force Sense to seek what his next move was. There were ripples she could feel, and concentrating on Force Sight, she could see, indicating he was preparing for attack or escape. She lunged forward hoping to pin him, but he leapt up to the top of the course again and when she tried to jump up he batted her down with his saber. Her teeth clenched, but she reminded herself that rage would not aid her. When he knocked her down twice more she re-evaluated her tactic. Taking the stance again, she let him believe she was going to try again, but this time, instead of leaping forward, she leapt backwards onto the container behind her.

Now at the same height she flipped over to his container and faced him head on. Here they dueled for the last two minutes of their time. Ahsoka, currently on leave, called 'time' which meant there was no clear winner. Leia panted a little before following Luke to their Masters, who were both beaming.

"Well done, Leia," Obi Wan said. "You restrained your rage."

"Yeah. It was hard though. I wanted to scream at him for being such a jumpy bug," She sighed and glanced at her twin who was receiving his own praise and criticism from his Master. "He's getting stronger."

"Does this worry you?" Obi Wan asked.

"Yes. I've had bad dreams about him," She admitted, watching Obi Wan closely. He did not overreact, nor did he paste on a fake smile.

"I see," He said softly. "About the future?"

"Maybe. He's bigger and stronger, but still very strange."

"I think your brother will always be unique."

"Do my dreams mean something? He's being hunted in them. Sometimes he is hunting me."

"All dreams can mean something, Leia. Whether this is from your very natural fears considering the danger your parents are in from their leadership of our Rebellion, or whether you have glimpsed a possible future is difficult to discern. Premonitions are so often mere pieces of information, sentences of a larger paragraph we cannot see," He answered.

"Dad looks worried sometimes when he's home and he is watching Luke use the Force."

"Ah. That may be a conversation you want to have with your parents," He answered. "For now, you should put it out of your mind. Tomorrow morning before we leave to meet the Jedi we will discuss your dreams some more."

She was disgusted to discover she suddenly wished Obi Wan had smiled and assured her they were just dreams. He had not treated her like a youngling, but acknowledged there could be something to the nightmares. A desire to take her brother and run away flooded her. It was pushed aside, for she was the daughter of Rebel Leader Padme Amidala Skywalker and Rebel General Anakin Skywalker, born to war and power.

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"You are letting your fear get to you," Master Shaak Ti informed her Padawan as he sat in meditation the next afternoon. His sister had just lifted off from the planet to go with Obi Wan to meet Master Windu's ship for an exchange of information and passengers. He too would be leaving the planet for the first time since they settled there, when Shaak Ti and he went to Tatooine with father to introduce the young Padawans to the X-wing fighters that were now the staple of the Rebellion Fighter Squadrons, though Leia would be coming along on that trip.

"I don't want to lose her."

"Has your bond faded or broken?"

"No."

"Your sister is safe with Master Kenobi. There is always risk to all of us, even here where it seems so safe. We will not bring you into battle for some years yet, but it is time you learned of the galaxy beyond. You must face your fears however. Do not let them control you."

"Mama is brave, isn't she?" Luke said after a moment. "Leia and I never thought about Dad being in danger, but Mama has always known."

"Your mother is a great woman, Luke. She has learned to face the worry that your father might not come home and has continued to do her duty without fail."

"Is it easier for Dad, since he is in more danger? I mean, I would like it better if you and I were going to meet Master Windu and Leia had to stay here and clean R2D2."

Shaak Ti smiled. "It may be, but that does not mean his bravery is no less than your mothers or yours."

"Is part of growing up not being together as much?"

"Ah, little light," The Togruta sighed. It was not often she used his nickname since their official mentorship began. "It can be. Someday your sister may fall in love, and there may be someone closer to her than you."

"Ew. Leia wouldn't like that. She says boys are silly, only I'm not as silly as the others. Besides, I must agree to any one she likes."

Shaak Ti's soft laugher echoed in her meditation circle.

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Padme Skywalker sat reviewing the latest reports from Alderaan. Bail Organa had quietly instituted military training for his people, and was her primary contact in the Senate. Among his deeds for the Rebellion he and Padme's former handmaid Hame had placed spies in the Health Departments from which he informed Padme and the Jedi about the Force Sensitive Children who were marked down. Pairs of Jedi would be sent to talk to the families, warn them of the danger of kidnapping, and offer to relocate the entire family, as well as teach the Force Sensitives. They were not always successful, and they risked discovery by talking with the parents, but they had relocated many into Alliance havens and Jedi Enclaves, had even stopped several Imperial Kidnappings, and had slowed the number of children stolen to serve Palpatine in some yet undiscovered role.

It was a matter that was close to her heart. Her own children would be sought by the Empire for their parentage alone, much less the Force Powers they had.

"Mama! The Shield is back!" Luke hollered in the window as he raced by towards the landing pad. Padme hurried to exit, finding Shaak Ti following Luke at a more sedate pace. The familiar brief jealousy that Shaak Ti could connect to her son in a way she could not rose and fell as she reminded herself that whatever bond Shaak Ti was building with Luke, her own maternal bond, which he had shown her many times, was very important to him.

"How is the calm Jedi Padawan this afternoon?" She asked. Shaak Ti grinned.

"Proving to have excellent control over his excitement."

Both women laughed when they saw Luke dashing for the transport before the door was even lowered, hollering his sister's name. The laughter swiftly died when Luke slowed down, his excitement fading and both women feeling his fear rising through the bonds he had built between them. A pang of fear shot through Padme's heart, but it was relieved by Leia, following Obi Wan with a subdued, sad face, came down the ramp. Obi Wan spoke softly, and Leia hurried to her brother. She was crying as they hugged each other tightly.

Obi Wan came towards the two women with a grave face.

"Anakin?" Padme gasped.

"No, no. He is well," Obi Wan promised. "It's the Lasats."

"What has happened?"

"Xenocide. The Empire razed the entire planet and killed ninety percent of the population," He said.

Pain shot through her heart, guilt for her relief at her husband and daughter's continued good health, and guilt that she had failed to connect with the Lasats or give them enough aid, horror to the loss of life. For a moment, she stood stunned, a helpless woman in a vast galaxy. Then the Queen crept up her spine, soothed her face, and disconnected her personal shock from her position as Leader.

"Is the Red Squadron available?"

"Yes."

"As soon as we have reports of the locations of the Imperial fleets and can chart a way, send the Squadron to help save any evacuees who might be lost in their escape."

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"This is Padme Amidala Skywalker," The regal woman stood in front of a wall, draped with a flag. On the Flag was the burning bird symbol. "I stand here today as representative of the Republic Alliance. Many of you know us as the Rebellion. We have used that name, but today I tell you that we are not a Rebellion. We are an Alliance against tyranny. We are a people who want to stand for Justice, for Compassion, for Hope, for Freedom, principles I saw fall to fear and corruption which lead to rise of the Empire.

"Over twenty million lives were killed on the planet of Lasat. Warriors, Healers, Fathers, Mothers, Children. Their crime against the empire was our shared belief that they had as much worth as other sentients. They did not want to bend their knee and deny who they were and they stood up for their right as sentient lives.

"There will be more who die, who are enslaved, and who are destroyed. If the Empire continues to spread out, to claim the right to the whole Galaxy, to deny us our right to live in freedom, if you stand by and watch this happen, thankful it wasn't you, this ugly darkness will harm us all."

She paused, her hands shaking as the cam pulled backwards to reveal a small table to her side with candles on a step stair rack.

"For Lasat," She said, lighting one. "For Commander Jeda Red, for Mandalore," One by one she spoke names of whole planets, communities, or brave individuals, lighting a candle for each one, until with the last candle, she breathed, "the Jedi."

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It had taken years of whispers in the right ears, of secret holovids passed around, of reminders of life before the Empire. With the advice and aid of many, Bail Organa had created a line the Imperial Senate had been unwilling to cross. That it was his hand that had kept that flame of Justice alive was secret to Palpatine. What Palpatine did discover was that he had reached that line.

The Senate exploded in arguments with the fall of Lasat. It was true that the common man had been uneasy for a long time, and with the genocide of Lasat and the fear that they could be next because the Rebellion kept springing up through the cracks of the Empire, the Senators appealed to the Emperor to restrain the Imperial Fleet from such carnage. While Bail had not spoken the treasonous statement that it had been done on Palpatine's order, the careful inflaming of the Imperial Senate meant Palpatine would need to either concede something to the Senate or openly denounce the Senate and completely remove the old system.

Bail was unsure which the Emperor would do. Conceding could appear weak and Palpatine, who had turned the Jedi Temple into his Imperial Palace, had gathered a large court of rich and powerful men who did not sit in the Imperial Senate but had influence on the important Core Worlds. Palpatine had fed the Core worlds, keeping them rich and sated with pleasures to keep their loyalty. It was true his court was full of spies, all trying to gain more power by turning on each other, but he had a good deal of power through them. On the other hand, the generation being raised in the Imperial doctrines was only a decade old and the old guard of the Senate, corrupt and complacent as they had been, had never truly bought the xenophobic, complete dictatorship they had welcomed.

Either way, the Genocide of Lasat and Padme Skywalkers reminder that her rebellion was an Alliance meant to restore democratic freedom would change the face of the Galaxy. With twelve hundred planets now aware of the Republic Alliance and either full members in secret, or on the fence about it, if the Imperial Senate was dissolved, the Alliance would emerge.

War would come to Alderaan.

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His name was Makku Jolcon. He was the last of Palpatine's original five Hunters. Three were dead and the fourth had abandoned his job and fled to wild space. Their original mission to hunt the Jedi had changed to hunting all on the wanted lists, but Makku had always paid special attention to his Jedi Hunts. Amid all his Hunts and travels he had begun building patterns of the Rebels and the movements of individuals he had marked out had begun to build a map. His personal goal was to find Padme and Anakin Skywalker, who had vanished so thoroughly only to reappear as ghosts before disappearing again.

He had narrowed their hiding place to the Outer Rim. It would probably take him a few more years, but he could feel it in his bones that he would find them.

"-Emperor Palpatine has dissolved the Imperial Senate after discovering that many were being threatened by rebels if they did not work against the Imperial Government. The battle of Lasat has been exaggerated by a band of rebels lead by former Naboo Senator Padme Amidala. Senator Amidala was once a bright politician, but her association with the Jedi lead to her turning her back on peace and unity and she has been causing dissension for a long time now." The holo-screens in the mid rim bar was spilling out the Emperor's twist on recent events.

Makku took a sip of his drink and smiled. He was certain Palpatine would have liked at least another five years to pass before removing the Senate, but Padme Skywalker's Rebellion had undermined this plan. The Senate would be upset by their apparent loss of power, but the media was already spinning the story into one of blackmail, corruption, and deceit. It would certainly not be as smooth a path as it would have been five or ten years hence, but the uproar and surge to Skywalker's so called Alliance would flood the Rebel paths, feeding Makku the information he needed to eventually, finally find the Rebel Leaders.

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"Bail, you are in a very precarious place!" Padme exclaimed over the holovid. Her friend gave her a tired, tense smile. "Alderaan is on the edge of the inner rim. Once this Declaration of the Alliance is sent to the Imperial Center, every world and name on the Declaration on it will be marked. All the others on the Declaration are either Outer or Mid-Rim. Are you sure you should?"

The weary Viceroy took a deep breath. "I know what danger my people will run, Padme, but we have made our choice. My People know what risk we will run. I feel strongly we should do this."

"Viceroy," Anakin interrupted over his wife's shoulder, "I am sending General Tano with half our fleets to your aid. In the meantime, the rest of us will be doing all we can to keep attention off Alderaan."

"Thank you, General Skywalker," Bail took a deep breath. "I hope this will not be a death knell to the Alliance if half must be used to protect Alderaan."

"It will be hard, but we may have the strength to withstand the Imperial Navy right now. The Senate's dissolution has made many worlds upset and the Imperial Forces are going to be spread thin to quell the many rebellions."

Thank you for reading my story.

Chapter Text

The Fall of Skywalker Base

This chapter is intense. Enjoy!

I do not own Star Wars, I am merely playing with the galaxy.

The Enclave on Devaron had grown immensely in the four years since the Imperial Senate was dissolved. The Republic Alliance had grown large. When the Emperor had shut down the Senate, it had led to clear lines of war between the young Empire and the Republic Remnant. One was a dictatorship and the other a democracy. Skywalker Enclave became Skywalker Base and a small squadron was kept there. The Alliance Council was based there as well as several research buildings.

Over two thousand worlds from two hundred sectors had reacted to the end of the Senate and joined the Alliance. This was a minority to be sure, but it was enough that the rebel's campaigns were no longer aimed at disrupting the Imperials, but were now legitimate battles to take worlds away from the Empire. A small Republic Senate had been formed, headed by Mon Mothma. Padme Skywalker had been called to join the Senate many times, but she had refused, keeping her role as leader of the Alliance's greatly expanded fleets, enclaves, havens, and bases.

Bail Organa had also been a choice, but his duties to Alderaan kept him from being more than a voice. Alderaan was a choice place for the Empire, and much of the campaigns were being fought over the once peaceful, erudite planet. The peaceful people who preferred the arts and education and discussions had become a fierce group of Fighters. Jedi Master Mace Windu, now in command of one of the Alliance's five main fleets, aided Alderaan constantly, so that the skies of Alderaan saw the flashes of battle as often as not.

It was Galactic Civil War again.

General Skywalker, the official Commander of the Republic Alliance Army and Navy, Admiral Ackbar, who had successfully freed his home planet, General Tano, who now commanded the Yavin 4 Fleet home of the famed Red Squadron, and General Madine, whose defection from the Imperials when the Senate was dissolved had brought eight star Destroyers and Crews to the Alliance, were the other heads of the fleets.

On this chilly morning, however, Anakin Skywalker was enjoying his first day home with his family after an entire year with no leave from the war. He had seen his family occasionally during that time, for both his children went with Jedi Masters Shaak Ti and Obi Wan Kenobi who were now traveling among the Jedi Enclaves to give specialized training and teaching their Padawans how to wage war. His wife had also started leaving Skywalker Base. With the emergence of the Alliance, she had taken to giving personal visits to the various planets, bases, and fleets, using her considerable charm and tact to encourage the armies and navies and peoples in this fight for freedom.

"It has been a long time since we were so comfortable," Padme murmured on his chest as they enjoyed a peaceful hammock just outside their small house.

"Luke!" Leia's voice rose in anger moments later. "Where did you put my data pad? You were playing with it last night."

"I put it back on the table before I went to bed. You saw me!" The cracking voice of their son replied.

"Comfortable obviously does not include quiet," Anakin smirked.

"You think they would fall into peace and harmony after not seeing each other for two weeks. I miss those days," Padme sighed. "I now understand why my mother didn't want me to go into politics so young. I know they are considered capable by Jedi standards, but they feel like children to me."

"Padme," Anakin sighed.

"I know, I know," She closed her eyes. "I'll try to just enjoy being together for these next four weeks."

When the twins were twelve, their missions with their Masters had started to stray into dangerous territory. This was in fact part of their training, but Padme had been stricken with the utter dread of her children ending up in battle. Anakin, despite his own worries, had trusted that his children and their masters were capable. A loud, dreadful quarrel had broken out between the parents as Padme attempted to rescind the twins' Jedi positions to keep them safe.

It was the worst fight of their entire relationship. When Padme's attempts to move her children to safety had failed, since by Jedi governing her children had the right to choose to stay, she had been icy and bitter to Anakin for two months, blaming him. It would have lasted longer, except that Anakin's cruiser had been badly damaged in a battle and he had spent four months recovering from a broken back. This had shocked Padme out of her anger, and she had been forced to face the fears that had torn Anakin apart when they were younger. She had eventually subdued her fear, but the danger her family now constantly ran had drawn lines on her face and her smiles contained a sad edge to them now.

Luke, all loose limbs and messy hair, emerged from the house with a plate and a cup.

"Leia's in a bad mood," He commented, offering his pile of treats to his parents. "You don't think she's got a crush, do you?"

"Luke, there are times when I don't want you to grow up," Anakin choked through his laughter.

"What? The last time she was so moody was because she liked that Mandolorian kid," The boy complained.

Padme could have illuminated her son to the hormonal causes of his sister's mood, but the onset of puberty had led to Leia not wanting Luke to know certain things. Luke was intelligent, was inventing a whole new way to use and learn the Force, and was considered the most advanced Padawan of his age, but in some things, he remained a distracted boy. Receiving nothing in reply to his declaration but parental, knowing smirks, he threw himself on the ground and stared up at the sky, his eyes taking on that distant look that led to the oddness which characterized their powerful, yet innocent son.

"I've had a bad feeling all morning," He announced when his parents were almost dozed off. Clarity leapt to Anakin, as the same unease was in his stomach.

The General shot up right, startling his wife.

"You're right. Something is wrong," He said. "Luke, call your sister and both of you go find your Masters. I am going to check in with the patrols."

While his children obeyed, and his wife hurried to her office in the Command Building, Anakin ran to the Towers where the small fleet that kept watch over Devaron was being guided. None paid attention to his entrance, focused on the reports scrolling onto their screens. The unease in his gut grew. There were bogies appearing.

"Get this to General Skywalker and Leader Skywalker," The supervisor ordered before turning around and coming face to face with said general. "Sir! We've got ships approaching and they aren't ours!"

"Start the evacuation orders, but hold off on giving the command to take off until we know who they are and what their strength is. Scramble the fighters," He ordered.

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When the alarm to prepare for evacuation went off Shaak Ti, her Padawan on her heels, had just reached the command building. The base had gone through numerous drills to prepare for such an order but this was not a planned drill. The Jedi Master hurried into the building where several alliance leaders with their staff were hurrying to close down computer stations, gather the most important information, and order their transport ships to get loaded. Amid all this, Leader Padme Skywalker was directing a stream of lieutenants and aides.

"Do we know anything?" Shaak Ti asked.

"There is a fleet appearing just outside the system. Anakin has the fighters scrambled, but the numbers are increasing. We have no confirmation on whether it is the Empire or not, but I have given orders that all younglings and civilians evacuate now. Until we know if we have a fighting chance I want to be ahead of the fleets arrival."

"Obi and Leia are helping get the civilian ships loaded," Luke added.

"Very good," Padme agreed. "Master Ti, can you oversee the evacuation of the research station?"

Although the Alliance consisted of the Rebellion Fleets and Armies, the small Republic Senate, and the Jedi, chain of command fell on Padme's shoulders, so the Rebellion Council Members followed her leadership in times of crisis. The Jedi worked closely with the Rebellion and the Senate, so the Alliance consisted of the public Service Senate, the military Rebellion Fleet, and the Jedi Order, all of which fell under Padme Skywalker in moments when decisive commands were needed. Shaak Ti, acting Grand Master of the Jedi Order, obeyed her request.

The Research Station needed some urging. Scientists tended to be very narrow minded, focusing solely on their field of work, so they were all trying to make sure all their hard work was saved. Shaak Ti and Luke had to remind them of the Evacuation orders to only take the most critical pieces before the station began to calm. As they were overseeing the loading of the transportation ships for the researchers the approaching fleet was confirmed to be Imperial and they had a full fleet. Skywalker Base had defenses, but while it was expanded into a full base as well as settlement, the main fleets were not based there to avoid drawing attention.

As soon at the researchers were in their ships, the rebellion commanders were lifting off. Master Ti and Padawan Skywalker hurried to where the civilian settlement was in chaos, with panic oversetting those who had not gotten to ships. Most of the Alliance leaders were already gone, their own ships carrying them swiftly away. Padme Skywalker was in the center of the chaos, bringing order around her when the battle above became visible in the sky.

"Luke, get your mother onto a ship. I will meet up with you on Tatooine. Your responsibility is keeping the Leader safe."

"Yes Master. Um, can I make her get on a ship?" The boy asked.

"I suspect that will be the only way she gets on a ship. She likely plans to stay until everyone else is aboard."

He ran for his mother. It was a manipulative move by the acting Grand Master, but Leader Skywalker was supposed to have left already. Her children were her weak point. It was possible the only way to get her to follow her promise to evacuate was if one of her children were with her.

The medical center was still being loaded on ships and Shaak Ti went to help there, discovering that Obi Wan and Leia were also helping the most vulnerable members. The battle that had been in the solar system was descending through the atmosphere now.

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"Mama, you aren't supposed to be here," Luke interrupted his mother's shouting at a civilian pair who were trying to lug a heavy and unnecessary trunk into one of the transports.

"Get aboard, Luke," She ordered. "I've got to see the base cleared."

"No, you are supposed to be getting yourself cleared. If everyone follows the drills they will get off. You agreed to the Council's decision that you were to leave as soon as you could," He reminded.

"That is not my duty," She answered.

"I'm sorry, Mother," He sighed, then grabbed her around the waist, and raced her to the nearest ship. She yelled at him to put her down, but he was stronger and focused on his duty to his Leader and mother. The civilians on the ship all begged her to stop and moments after they were aboard the small ship held as many as it could carry and the doors shut. Only then did he put her down.

"Please Leader, you are important!" The civilian mother of one of Luke's Padawan peers called.

"My place is to make sure you are all safe. You had no right, Luke," Padme hissed, and slapped her son across the face. Immediately her anger died and she gasped. "Oh."

"It's okay, Mama. You are upset," He said, before his eyes darted to the side, seeing something they could not. "Dad!"

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Anakin's squadron was losing badly, but the evacuees were getting into the air. His ship was sputtering now, and he was losing control. The R3 unit was wailing as Anakin struggled to get the ship into a steadier descent. R2-D2 was assigned to Luke and Leia nowadays. It took all his concentration, but he managed to land the crippled ship in the base. It was chaos there, and as he let himself breathe he stretched out his senses to find his family. Leia was aboard the medical transport that was rising into the air, and Padme was on a shuttle just a little higher than hers. Luke was absent from the Force, which was truly frustrating but not a certain sign that his son was injured or worse, since the teenager was rarely not shielded. It took Luke as much concentration to use Force Sense as it did Leia to use Force Sight, so Luke was usually concealed and Leia shining out in the Force.

"That's Skywalker!" A mechanized voice hollered. "I want him alive!"

Storm troopers had broken through the Devaron protectors and were now in the base. There were few in the base now, just stragglers who had missed or disobeyed the evacuation orders. Anakin leapt out of the X-wing, lightsaber at the ready. The bolts that came at him were not deadly, but he deflected them back at the storm troopers all the same, stunning them and cutting down their numbers. Behind them was a tall, thin human male, not in uniform, but evidently carrying some weight. He was the one commanding the attack on Anakin.

There were only twenty storm troopers in that attack, none of whom had faced a full-fledged Jedi before. Anakin should have escaped with ease.

A missile from a tie fighter tore through the air above Anakin and he could tell where it was headed. Screaming, he reached out his hand trying to intercept it with the Force. For a moment, he felt it, but the next a barrage of bolts shook his concentration and although he was not hit by the bolts, he lost control of the bomb. The bomb struck the transport ship carrying his wife. The shuttle stuttered high in the air before starting to fall towards the forest outside the Base. A second missile came ripping through the air, struck the fuel cells, and the shuttle exploded into a shower of large, flaming pieces.

"PADME!" Anakin screamed, turning his back to his enemies. Eight stun bolts caught him before he took two steps towards the distant wreckage.

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"LUKE!" Leia screamed, feeling her brother reach out with the Force in the same moment the first missile struck. He was trying to slow the falling shuttle. Right before the second bomb hit terror flooded her through their bond. Then he vanished from the Force. "NO!"

She stumbled and fell, Obi Wan barely catching her before she struck her head on a box.

"I can't feel him. I can't feel him," She panted, clutching her Master's tunic. "Obi, I can't feel any of them!"

So cliff hanger :) By the way the Death Star is not complete yet at this point of the story.

Chapter Text

The Trials of Anakin Skywalker

I do not own star wars, I am just using it to practice my art.

The approach of the second bomb nudged against Luke's Force Sense a mere second before it struck. He dropped the currents he was using to try and slow the falling ship, grabbed his mother, and pulled those currents to himself, weaving them in and out to create a Force bubble around them. The Force Shield pushed back the exploding ship. They were falling amid the fiery wreckage. Padme was unconscious.

He pulled the currents tighter, cutting off the bond with his sister in his concentration on slowly their fall. The trees were rapidly approaching and he was manipulating the Force Threads in a way he had never done, latching onto more and more until they were slowing down, held by the threads. It was enough that their collision with the tall tree tops was rough, and painful, but not fatal.

The last conscious act he managed before their plunge through the foliage ended with a thud against the forest floor was to turn them around so that he was on the bottom, cushioning his mother's body.

Fiery wreckage continued to fall, but the threads that Luke had pulled into himself deflected it from above the pair of bodies that sprawled unconscious deep in the forest. As the last pieces of the star ship that had disintegrated around them dropped into the forest, silence crept over their section of the forest. No animals made sounds, frightened by the battle. Even the rising wind, swirled about by the emotions of the dying and grieved feeding into the force, did not approach this small section of the forest.

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Anakin Skywalker was kneeling amid his captors, hands and neck bound with Zorb binders, cutting him off from the Force. Once woken from his stunning he had not made any effort to fight them or even to speak. His face was gray, and though his connection with the Force was severed, the air about him hung with his sorrow. He was legendary among the Storm troopers, the powerful General who had defeated so many of them, sometimes singlehandedly with his saber.

That General was fallen.

Makku Jolcon felt the thrill of his success. The Hunter had done what even the rumored Emperor's Hands had yet to do, bringing General Skywalker to his knees. What was more, Makku's discovery of the most important Rebel Base had also resulted in Padme Skywalker's death. Once the Base was fully under their control men would be sent to find all the wreckage and find proof of her death.

"Why are we keeping him alive?" The Imperial Commander who was overseeing the conquest of the Base's secrets asked.

"The Emperor wanted him alive if possible," Jolcon replied. "Besides, I think he doesn't have any fight left with in."

The grief-stricken Jedi Knight was descending into shock. Until that cleared Skywalker was no threat. By that time, Jolcon planned to have handed him over to Palpatine. It would not be long before the Hunter's communique reached the Emperor. If Palpatine acted swiftly, it was likely Makku would be taking his prisoner from the captured Base within a standard hour.

"Many of them escaped. Besides Skywalker, we have not caught one of their leaders or the Jedi."

"Leader Skywalker was on one of the shuttles we shot down. It fell in pieces out in the forest," Jolcon sneered. "She's probably dead."

Skywalker was within hearing distance but was so far fallen into his grief that he did not hear them.

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"How is she?" Rig Nema asked as Obi Wan sat at the door of one of the bunks where he had laid Leia down to rest once she had calmed down and cried herself to sleep.

"I don't know," He said heavily. "Is Shaak Ti alright?"

"She is meditating to see if she can reopen the bond between Luke and herself. It is hard to tell if the bond was severed or shut down. It is not impossible that Luke at least survived through his force Abilities," Rig softly answered. "Unless he can reopen the twin bond with Leia, we don't know."

"What of Anakin?"

"There is no word. He was crippled, but managed to land his X-Wing. The last anyone here saw he was in battle," She said.

Grief hung over them both. The Skywalker Parents were synonymous with the Rebellion. Their children were not well known outside of Skywalker Base and most of the galaxy still believed they only had a daughter. With Padme likely dead, and Anakin and Luke missing, Leia remained the only Skywalker. Obi Wan closed his eyes. That was a dreadful burden for his Padawan amid her grief at the loss of her family.

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Luke woke to find that he had the largest gathering of Force Threads in his hands than he had ever had before. He could feel the horror and grief of the planet, the echoes of deaths from both the Rebels and the Imperials, and the pained rise and fall of his mother's breath. The heady feeling of power dropped away and the boy sat up, ignoring the pain of his jarred body. Padme lay next to him, still unconscious and pale.

A piece of debris that had struck her before his shield was complete was impaled through her left hip and the inferno had burned her hair in the back. She moaned when he touched her head, gently lifting it off the forest floor to slide his tattered, singed cloak between her head and the ground. It took him a minute to get to his shaky feet. When he was standing, he surveyed their crash spot. There was nothing of the ship in his immediate vicinity and the threads still touching him echoed with the deaths of the other passengers.

For a moment, he shuddered, but then remembered how to release the threads and let their power slide away, until his greatly expanded senses had shrunk to his mother and the area around them. Uncertain where they had landed, and if there were any Force Users in the Imperial Army, he kept a tight lid on his Force Presence. Cautiously expanding his senses with Force Sight, he mapped the area around them until he discovered they were near the river some thirty miles from the base. He carried his comatose mother to the river and used rags made of their clothes to ease her burns.

After managing to get some water into her as well he laid down, weary with his exertions, and fell asleep.

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Anakin watched the door to his cell open. He was vaguely aware they had been traveling for a while now, away from the fallen base and deep into the Mid Rim. The Hunter who was his captor appeared, a smirk on his thin face.

"Up Skywalker. You are summoned," He said, but Anakin ignored him. The Hunter hauled him to his feet and placed a blaster at the base of his skull. "Come on."

There was a moment when Anakin wondered if he could get the Hunter to pull the trigger, but he let it pass and stumbled forward at the pressure of the Hunter's hands. The small ship had landed on a hot, dark planet. He could see active volcanos in the distance before he was led through the doors into a secret prison. A group of Red Guard surrounded the Hunter and his prey as they marched up a long, gray, echoing corridor.

At the end of the corridor was a large, imposing room with a throne in the center. View screens showed several occupants of the cells, but it was the throne's occupant that got the first reaction from Anakin since the Battle of Skywalker Base. It was Palpatine, aged greatly, but now exuding the power the Jedi had missed so long ago. The Red Guard grabbed his bound arms from the Hunter and marched him straight to the throne, where he was pushed to his knees.

"Well done, Hunter. It appears I was not mistaken in your abilities," Palpatine said. "You will be rewarded."

"Thank you, your Imperial Highness. This was a pleasure to complete."

"General Skywalker. It has been some years since we last met. How is your wife and daughter? Has your family grown?" Palpatine stood and looked down at his prisoner. "Oh. What pain you are in. Has Padme fallen?"

Anakin growled at him, fury rising to his limbs and heart. He spoke nothing, refusing to give the Emperor a greater glance at the emptiness in the General's heart and soul. His anger and sneer were met with a cunning smile. A wrinkled, evil hand reached for Anakin's face.

"How ripe you are, so full of anger, pain, suffering. I think, General, you will soon taste the power of the Dark Side."

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The Storm Trooper's helmets did not protect their minds and since most were now heavily indoctrinated graduates of the Imperial Academy their untrained minds were easy to mislead. The Force was rippling as the echoes of the battle continued, but Luke could repel the emotions and focus solely on his objective. There appeared to be no Force Presence in the Base. His childhood home was crowded with Imperial officers, as were the most important buildings, but the Medical Center was not being deeply investigated yet. He got in easily, found the items he needed, as wells as some heavy cloaks and food.

Only twice was he seen by Storm Troopers in the dark, keeping outside the circles of light cast by the Imperial watches, and they were easy to trick into thinking they saw merely a wild animal scavenging among the debris of the battle. It had taken him most of the afternoon and half the night to get to the Base, but it was much easier to get back by taking one of the speeders still unexamined by the Imperials.

By dawn he had returned to his mother and treated her wounds. Once she was resting more comfortably, he sped them further away from the Base, away from the debris of the transports that had been shot down, to small stockpile set up a hundred miles from the base for such an event. It was a bunker, hidden in the ground. Once Luke had set Padme on one of the bunks, he had grabbed a blanket from another and laid himself down on the floor next to her.

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Padme was in pain, but she felt like it was dimming. She opened her eyes. Luke's messy, singed head was just in view at her bed side. Shifting her hand with great effort, she touched the shaggy head.

"Luke."

"Mama." He turned and laid his head and arms by her side, his dirty, scraped face looking woeful. "Oh, Mama."

"Are we safe?"

"For now. You were badly hurt," He said. "I've not sent up a signal because the Imps are all over the base and I am afraid we might be noticed."

"Can you reach your sister or father through the Force?" She asked.

"I don't know. It's hard to reach out. The echoes of the deaths and battle are so prominent."

"I'm sorry, Luke, but you need to try."

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Ley.

Leia Skywalker sat straight up in her current room on the Tatooine base, stretching her mind, begging the echo of her name to be more than her wishful, grieving mind's hallucinations. A moment later the bond between herself and her twin flooded to life. Her brother was alive and for the moment, safe!

Deep in the bowels of Palpatine's secret prison on Mustafar, a heart broken, beaten man was fallen in the corner of his cell. His eyes were closed to the hot, gray walls. Sweat slid down his face, both from the heat of his cell and the fallout from the recent meeting with the Sith Emperor. Fear was deep in his heart, because his anguish had indeed left him open to Palpatine's tendrils of the Force. He had not given in, but the lure of the power was strong. He could imagine taking Palpatine's offer, learning of the man's Force abilities, and then killing him and taking his place.

For now, Anakin Skywalker lay in his grief and pain.

Then, into the darkness of his turmoil came the images of his son and daughter. They were calling for him, holding their hands out. In his grief, he had forgotten them. Ashamed of himself he reached out for them, believing it just a dream to remind him not all that was good and great in the world was lost.

Far away Luke Skywalker sighed with the grief of his sister and father's minds. He turned and promised his mother that both were alive.

We will meet another canon Star Wars character next chapter :)

Chapter Text

Rescue

Guess which canon characters are here!

I do not own Star Wars, I am simply borrowing it to practice my craft.

"Is that your ship?" A short teenage girl demanded of twenty-four-year-old Han Solo. She was dressed in the white loose clothing of Tatooine, with a keffiyeh covering thick brown hair . The young soldier turned smuggler had seen enough to believe she was no simple peasant.

"Of course, she is," Han said proudly. He'd only had the Millennium Falcon for a year and was very proud of what he had already done with her.

"She's not much to look at, which is exactly what I need. I need to get to Devaron."

Han laughed out loud. "Where have you been, little lady? Some of the rebels were hiding on Devaron and that place has been crawling with Imps for the last five days."

"I know that. I was there," She snarled. "My brother and mother are still there, which is why I need to go back."

"Well it won't be on my ship. I don't take charity cases," He laughed.

"I can pay you twenty thousand credits."

The desire to laugh was mingled with curiosity at how sincere she sounded. He reevaluated the girl.

"Leia," A gray haired, scarred man approached. He looked at the girl with a depth of compassion Han had never seen before.

"Why are you here?" The girl hissed. Tears flooded her eyes and she clenched her fists.

"I am not letting you run off like this. I know you are upset, but Master Windu is correct. We don't have the firepower needed available for a run at Devaron. What we need..."

"Is a broken looking ship that just stumbles out there," Leia interrupted, waving her hand towards Han's ship.

"Ah. I see you have thought ahead. Well done, young Padawan."

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Obi Wan could tell the young smuggler was still confused by how a short, determined girl had talked him into this reckless dangerous mission for twenty-five thousand credits. Leia had not told him the names of the pair they were trying to rescue, but he had ended up agreeing with a nudge from his tall furry crewman. Young Solo delighted in boasting of his prowess at the helm of a ship and his famed smuggling runs. What the tall Chewbacca had explained to the Jedi Master was these were not the sum of his deeds. It appeared that Solo had, as an Imperial Cadet, rescued several Wookies.

"This is madness," Han was now muttering as they approached Devaron. "I still don't understand how you know exactly where to land."

"You took the job. For someone who could pilot the Kessel Run last month in 12 parsecs, it should be a piece of cake to do this." Leia taunted.

"It will be," He shot back. "Chewie, let's use the Jakku trick." Amusement and mischief rose in his aura and they barreled out of Hyperspace as alarms went off in the Cockpit and smoke trailed behind the ship. A few minor tweaks, disguised as attempts to get a damaged ship under control had them aimed at the location Luke had given to Leia through their bond.

"Unknown Ship shut off your engines and prepare to be boarded," The Imperial cruiser commanded.

"Hold your fire, hold your fire!" Solo screamed into the comm. "I don't know where I am. Jabba's bounty hunters knocked me out of hyperspace. Can you assist me? My engines are fried."

"Unknown ship, state your designat-" Han shut off the com and turned to smirk at his passengers. Neither was looking unduly alarmed or startled to his frustration. "Oh, come on."

"I have Jedi training," Leia smugly said. "I knew you were faking it."

"Now we have to hope that the Imperials don't shoot us down despite our apparent damage," Obi Wan chided.

Whether the imperials were merely wanting to see if the ship was a rebel ship or they saw the damage with the helpful eye of space travelers, no shots were fired as the Falcon nose tailed through the atmosphere, racing towards the ground. Fighters were scrambled, but before they reached the atmosphere, the Falcon was below Radar and out of sight. The agile ship did manage to impress Leia as it pulled up at the last second to land gently in the exact coordinates she had given the smuggler. The captain turned to smirk at her.

"How was that?"

"I am impressed that you landed this thing. I wasn't sure it wouldn't crash and burn," Leia taunted as she tossed her head. Solo opened his mouth to retort, but she leapt up. "Luke's coming up. We only have a few seconds before they start scanning for us."

Bewildered, Han followed her command to open the hatch and lower the ramp. Obi Wan and Leia ran down and across to where Luke's dirty, scratched face was appearing through the concealed opening to the bunker. He lifted his weak mother out next. She was flushed with fever, with Luke's battlefield medicine no longer able to combat infection, but she was alive. Leia was crying as she tried to hug them both, pulling back only at Padme's wince.

Obi Wan carefully picked Padme up, letting her exhausted son stumble to the ship on his own. Leia tried to give Luke her arm but he was too focused on following his mother to notice. Once inside the ship, with Han was yelling at them to hurry, as the Tie Fighters were getting closer, Obi Wan gently set Padme in the crew bunks. Luke hurried to sit by her, while Obi Wan and Leia ran to take charge of the Falcon's turret guns. Chewbacca wailed something.

"Here's the fun part," Han scowled, as he cut off his smoking trick that indicated damage. "As soon as we're up they'll know it was fake."

"You need to work on matching your words with the situation," Leia yelled. "Get moving."

The ship shot upward, hovering a moment while the landing gear retracted, before screaming towards the atmosphere. The squadron of Tie Fighters looking for a damaged ship were so close that they were thrown back by the wake of air currents caused by the ship. Leia and Obi Wan shot down two of the fighters before they recovered and raced after them. By the time, they reached the atmosphere the Ties were hanging back, aware of the crack shots at the turrets. The two star Destroyers that had been hanging over Devaron were closing together to block the escape.

In a move that was worthy of Anakin Skywalker, Solo turned his ship and shot through the noose. Leia shot down the tractor beam projector from one ship right as Solo madly went to Hyperspace within just a few thousand feet of the Star Destroyers. A sense of relief swept through them all when they discovered that they had neither crashed into any stray fighters or planets in the system and the rattling from the second tractor beam had been overpowered by the Hyper Drive.

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"How was that, your highness?" Han smugly asked the Jedi girl.

"Satisfactory. We just have to hope this bucket holds together after the stress of jumping to Hyper drive while in a Tractor Beam," she replied haughtily.

After leaving him stuttering at her incomprehensible denial of his skills, she ran down the corridor. He did not want to follow and set himself up for another taunt, but he was curious about the passengers they had picked up. He ambled after her. The old Jedi was already there, bent over the woman who looked ill. And familiar, though her name escaped him. Leia was wrapped around a short boy with messy blond hair and an exhausted face.

"Why did you cut me off?" She yelled, holding and shaking her brother at arm's length as Han entered. "I thought you were dead. I couldn't sense anyone."

"We were falling and I was using everything to slow us down," The boy protested. He was pulled back into his sister's arms. "It's okay, Ley."

"Mama's hurt, and no one knows what happened to Daddy," She wailed.

"Dad's on Mustafar. The Emperor had a secret prison there."

"You're Padme Skywalker!" Han suddenly exclaimed when his memory caught up with his adrenaline.

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The ship set down in Tatooine Base, far from the spots of civilization as well as the Hutt territories, but Luke didn't relax until his mother was being rushed to the medics for real care. Once assured his mother would live and that he had done everything right to help her, his shoulders slumped and he stood blinking tiredly at the commotion around him. Obi Wan was off to report to Command, and Leia was engaging in her new favorite activity of annoying Han Solo, and he suddenly felt very alone. When his knees buckled, a furry arm caught him.

The snipping back and forth between Leia and Han stopped instantly. Even Han hurried over to make sure Luke was alright. He had a funny feeling that he wasn't alright, but with Leia, Chewbacca and Han gathered around him, their Force threads reaching for him, he felt safe. He was home here, with his sister and friends.

"Bring him here," He heard Rig Nema call. "Master Kenobi sent me to look at him."

Then he was out.

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When he woke, it was to a bright, white house, set deep into the sand to keep it cool. His sister was curled up in a chair between his bed and his mother's bed, talking with a weathered, older woman. All the aches and pains he had been keeping stuffed down were now dull reminders of his crashing fall through the Devaron Trees. Somewhere nearby he could sense that his Master and Obi were meditating.

"Luke!" Leia noticed he was awake and was by his bed immediately. "You slept almost a whole day!"

"Where are we?"

"At the Lars homestead. Apparently, Dad has a step brother. This is Aunt Beru."

:) I hope you enjoyed meeting Han and Chewie and even Aunt Beru.

Chapter Text

The Skywalker Extraction

I have not purchased Star Wars from Disney, I am simply borrowing it to practice my art.

Padme Skywalker leaned against her headboard and sighed, gazing down at her data pad where she had gathered pictures and mementos of her family over the years. That was what her eyes saw, but her mind was far away racing with worry over the fate of her husband. Confirmation of Luke's claim that there was a secret prison on Mustafar had come just that morning, and with it the dread that this was a place they could not get into. No one had ever heard of the Mustafar prison before.

"Mama, are you in pain?"

Her son entered her room but it did not bring as much comfort as it used to. Luke's power had grown to frightening heights. There was the weight of experience in his eyes. Master Ti had praised him for his deeds on Devaron and Padme had marveled at her son's level head. He had grown with the troubles. It was heart breaking because the wide-eyed wonder of her son was exchanged for a cautious edge.

"No," She promised. While she had not lost the leg, her left hip was now cybernetic. It would take months of physical therapy for her to regain the ability to walk with her old confidence. For some reason, her plight had woken familial bonds in the Lars. Anakin had been in contact with them before, letting them know they could be danger from the familial connections. At first the Lars had been furious with the disruption of their simple life into fear, but over time they had started offering simple aid to the Rebels, mostly in form of a place to rest.

When they had learned of Anakin's capture and Padme's devastating injury Owen and Beru had insisted she rest in the calm of their Moisture farm, where only Tusken Raiders could be an issue and not the wider concerns of the Galaxy. Luke too had rested there for the past week, but he was to return to the base and his Jedi Master today. Leia would be coming to pick him up soon. The Mother's heart broke at her inability to keep her children out of this war. It had been her duty to the Galaxy, but she had not understood that part of the cost would be her son and daughter becoming Jedi Soldiers.

"Mama!" Leia tore into the room. "You look so much better."

"I am feeling better. I just hope you have stayed out of trouble."

"Well, I'm kind of in trouble for running off, even though Obi Wan came with me and he did have permission. Everyone is proud of Luke and frustrated with me, even though I did a lot of the work," She pouted.

"Oh, Leia," Padme shook her head. "You have so much of your father in you."

"I don't get why everyone shakes their head when they say that. Everyone thinks dad is a brilliant Jedi."

All too soon her children were heading for the Rebel Base and their duties as Jedi Padawans. Beru entered the room soon after, a sympathetic smile on her face. "Are you alright?"

"No. I'm rather useless now. My husband is a prisoner of the Empire and my children are probably going to run off to find him and I can do nothing," She burst into tears. Beru came over and hugged her, rocking her soothingly.

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Luke, at least, had no plans to run off. He meant to convince the Alliance Council to let him and his sister and their Masters attempt the rescue. Leia and Obi Wan would very likely agree, so his main obstacle was his own Master. It was a fact however, that Anakin Skywalker was an important part of the Rebellion. It was also a fact that Luke had the ability to hone in on his father through the force.

"Little Light," Master Ti was waiting for him at the Speeder docks. She wrapped her arms around him and he noticed he was not too much shorter than her now. "You did well Luke."

"Thank you, Master."

She pulled him away and held him at arm's length, her eyes searching his face. "Not so little now, are you? You have had experiences that have changed you."

He could not deny it. Since waking up in the Forest, his mother's sole hope for life, he had felt older and more powerful. Leia's own changes were born of grief and fear at the loss of her family. His had come from a heavy responsibility to his mother and the Leader of the Rebellion. Although he had risen to the challenge, the duty of a Jedi to the Democracy they fought for, he suddenly did not want to be grown up.

"Master, I can find my father," He said quietly.

"We know," She replied. "Your sister has been telling us the pair of you can find him. The decision is not yet made. Devaron was devastating for you both, and what we could find when we go for your father would be painful."

"He's alive," Luke said. "That I do know."

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The Alliance Council was gathered with grim faces. Anakin Skywalker had been a prisoner of the Empire for three weeks and the decision to take the risk to save him had been made. Obi Wan Kenobi, Shaak Ti, a small squad of eight elite commandos were to go. The question remained only if the Skywalker twins were to go. It was coming down to a vote and the sides were evenly divided. Obi Wan and Shaak Ti had both come to the agreement that the Twins were needed. They would be going in almost blind and the familial bond could be used to locate the imprisoned General.

A suggestion had been made to have only one twin go, but with both their masters going and the fact that they could talk to each other mentally over far distances, it was both or neither. In peace time the idea of teenagers being part of such a mission would not have happened in even the Jedi Order, but it had been over seventeen years since the Jedi had truly seen peace time. Both children were skilled in the Force and Light Sabers, raised to be prepared for battle as all their peers were. After a vote, they would go.

"We should not risk family members this way," Luminara Unduli scolded Mace Windu as they watched the Millennium Falcon lift off. "This is madness."

"Is it?" He replied. "Something is calling Luke to go. His fate is approaching. This could be a step in that direction.

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"Hey Kid, what are you doing?" Han Solo asked, leaning on the door way of the crew bunks to stare at Luke. The Jedi Princess's brother, twin brother, turned out to be calmer and friendlier than she. He had duly admired Han's prowess. Showered with the gratitude of the Republic Alliance, Han had accepted his reward and hung around Tatooine to enjoy his riches. When the Alliance had asked him for his aid again Chewie had insisted they go.

The Rebellion had aided many of Chewie's people.

It wasn't until they were in Hyperspace that he learned they going to try and rescue Anakin Skywalker. Leia Skywalker had once again managed to get his agreement without full knowledge of the danger they would run. He had accused her of a Jedi mind trick, but her brother had said she hadn't used one. Despite her youth and her temper, she had caused Han to run into trouble again.

"I'm meditating," Luke answered calmly. "Are you hiding from Ley?"

"Of course not! Your sister is laying down the law for the commandos."

"If you want to get her to stop, you just have to not react. She has fun because you react every time she pretends to ignore what you do."

"You Skywalkers are a lot of trouble."

"You must like us some, since you are helping us again."

"I was afraid the pair of you would get in trouble if I didn't," Han snorted.

It wasn't until later that he would have to acknowledge the kernel of truth in Luke's statement. The Skywalker Siblings had woken something lost to Han when he defied the Imperial Navy to save Chewie.

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Darth Tyrannous had been instructed to stay away from Mustafar, but the glimpse of his Master's plots regarding Anakin Skywalker had sent the Sith Apprentice there anyway. Palpatine was leaving Skywalker to stew in his grief knowing that if it simmered long enough it could lure the General to the Dark side. So Tyrannous had come to rip the secrets of Skywalker's power out of his mind. With Skywalker's power, Tyrannous might finally have surpassed his Master and could take his place.

The cell was small and warm and Skywalker was bound with Zorb binders that Tyrannous could feel from the door way. The once powerful Jedi Knight looked small and ill in the corner of his cell, where he has spent several weeks with no contact with anyone, not even an interrogation Droid. It was believed his wife had died in the fall of Skywalker Base, though no genetic material had yet been discovered to prove this. Skywalker certainly believed it.

"Dooku," The man's voice was hoarse from disuse.

"No more. I am Darth Tyrannous. How is your arm these days?" It had been over seventeen years since their Duel, but it was a source of pride to Tyrannous that even as Dooku he had defeated the Jedi General who was so powerful in the Rebellion.

"Come over and look," Skywalker taunted, flexing his flesh hand.

"Come now, don't be foolish," The Sith apprentice smirked. "Don't you realize why the Emperor hasn't tortured you? Why he has left you to rot in your grief? With all that you've lost, he knows you are teetering on the edge of the Dark Side."

"No," Skywalker said, firmly. "I promised Padme."

The reports of the broken General carted to prison were rather wrong, Tyrannous reflected. There was plenty of anger in Skywalker, pain and suffering as well, but it was restrained. A sliver of fear ran up the Sith's back. Most Jedi avoided anger and fear. It was the real reason for the rules against attachment Dooku's time as a Jedi. However, there were a few who would walk that knife's edge of anger and fear to use the power these could give without letting them control him. Balance.

"Give me your secrets. Let me have your power and I will kill you so you don't break your promise," Tyrannous offered.

A nasty smile crossed the prisoner's face. "You wish to replace your Master, do you?"

"Does not every student? Surely you work to surpass Kenobi."

"I have no need to surpass my Master. Obi Wan is strong in areas I struggle with and I am strong in areas he dislikes. Instead of seeking to be the best, we aid each other and stand the stronger for it."

His words seemed to throw Tyrannous into insanity, for barely had he spoken than Kenobi and the Togruta Ti were in the corridor, light sabers aflame. They were not real, mere figments of his imagination with no Force Presence, but their light sabers hummed.

"Is that your master now? Discovering your treachery," Skywalker laughed. "Palpatine must be a strong duelist if you have not yet tried to assassinate him."

Skywalker could hear the sabers?

"I am not surprised you are here, Dooku," Kenobi said, shaking his head.

"What is this? You aren't here!"

"Is it your sight or the Force that deceives you?"

The two Jedi leapt at his, sabers raised. He had a second to register the way their Force Presence exploded into his senses before he met the dual blades. Shaken by this he backed away from the open cell door, realizing a moment too late that that was surely their intent. The narrow corridor meant they were all restricted in their movements, but with two Jedi Masters he was forced back. Two more Jedi, mere teenagers, came racing down the corridor towards the open cell.

"Daddy!" They cried in unison, disappearing into the cell.

The Jedi Masters kept his attention, but he was dimly aware that they had unbound Skywalker. The General's Force Presence leapt to awareness, no longer restricted by his binders. Palpatine's famed Red Guard were absent, though surely the Jedi had had to cross some of their paths. There was no way onto the prison that dangled over lava streams except by way of the landing pads on the roof.

Tyrannous and every guard here was going to be killed for their failures when Palpatine learned of this!

Skywalker emerged from the Cell behind the Jedi Masters' blades. Tyrannous lunged, trying to get past them, but the corridor was too narrow and even when he knocked Kenobi back a step, the Togruta attacked while the Human regained his footing. Once Skywalker and his children were heading away from the cell the Masters began to back up, careful to keep their guard up as Tyrannous lunged forward again. Little by little he gained ground, but it was a useless victory. They had what they wanted and now only were working on extracting themselves safely.

"Master!" The blond hair boy shouted from the staircase that led down to this lower level of the prisoner. Kenobi and Ti switched tactics abruptly shoving Tyrannous back with the Force before racing down the corridor to the doorway. He gave immediate chase, and was barely feet behind when they entered the staircase. The boy was against the wall and he waved his hand. The door slammed shut between Tyrannous and the Jedi. He heard it lock into place and roared with anger as he slammed his lightsaber into the door.

It was only after he had cut through the door that he realized he had sensed nothing in the boy's presence speaking of using his Force Presence.

Thanks for reading.

Chapter Text

Wanted

Since I had very poor time management yesterday I will post two chapters today! Enjoy!

I do not own Star Wars, I am borrowing it to play.

A Corellian Freighter was on the roof of the prison. Anakin was certain it was not one of his many ships, but Leia was racing for the ramp. There was a battle on the roof with commandos, and a Wookie, apparently keeping control of the Prison Tower. This, the General realized, was why Dooku had received no back up. The Control Tower was probably locking the prison up, keeping the guards from giving aid.

Obi Wan, Shaak Ti, and Luke came up the stairs moments after Anakin and his daughter. Why his children had been permitted on the dangerous suicide mission would be a fierce topic of discussion if they all got off the fiery planet safely. It certainly didn't matter that both leapt into the firefight with confidence, deflecting the deadly bolts with as much ease as a Knight, they still did not belong here!

"Let's go, nerf-herder!" Leia hollered.

"I was waiting on you, your worship," A tall man not dressed as a commando near the ship hollered back.

"Fall back to the Falcon!" Shaak Ti commanded.

"General Skywalker? Han Solo. Welcome aboard. May I suggest you ground your daughter for life?"

The two Jedi Masters and their Padawans were covering the retreat of the commandos, so Anakin's children were the last to get on board. Dooku reached the surface by that time and he flung his saber straight at Luke, who flung out a hand. Despite the boy remaining with Force Sight, the weapon stopped in midair. The boy glanced sheepishly at his Master once on board, perfectly aware that had Dooku not been startled by Luke's lack of Force Presence the boy's control over the saber would have failed.

"It made more sense in the moment," Luke said. "It's not like I couldn't have parried with my own saber."

"I suspect you've gone too long without practicing Force Sense. We will address when we are all safe," Shaak Ti said.

Luke accepted this and threw himself onto his father. "Dad! Are you alright?"

"Mostly," Anakin said faintly.

"You look terrible," Leia informed him.

"The Emperor was hoping to turn me to the Dark Side," Anakin explained.

"Well I'm sure Mom will want you to take a shower before you see her."

Anakin staggered and fell. "Padme?" He asked. His frightened children dropped next to him, hugging and touching him, not sure why he was so weak.

"She is safe," Obi Wan promised. "Her shuttle was shot down, but Luke was with her and managed to get them down alive. Our current host was bribed into helping us pick them up soon after the battle. Leia talked him into helping us again this time."

"I thought she was dead, all this time, I thought she was dead," Anakin said. Leia, her face sharing his horrified relief, threw her arms around his neck.

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General Skywalker was alive. He looked like he had aged a decade but when his twins led him off the Millennium Falcon he was met with the applause and cheering of the whole base. His wife, seated in a hover chair, was waiting for him and when he ran and fell to his knees to rest his head in her lap, the watching Alliance Soldiers fell silent and awkward. Both Skywalkers were crying, each having lived through the fear that the other was dead.

Shaak Ti dismissed the gathered soldiers, while Obi Wan ushered the couple away.

"This is a great morale boost," Mon Mothma, current Senate Representative on the Alliance Council, told the acting Grand Master Jedi. "The Skywalkers are the head of our fight and it frightens me how close we came to losing them both."

"My hope is that they live to see the end of this war," Shaak Ti said. "To be able to retire and rest after all they have done."

"All of us hope to see that," Mon Mothma agreed. "And want that for ourselves."

"I am afraid young Solo will be upset to learn that his ship is likely to be labeled a Rebellion Ship," Shaak Ti commented.

"I think the Skywalker twins may convince him to stay. They've claimed him as an older brother, it seems," The Senator replied, glanced to where Luke and Leia had pinned their two newest friends as they regaled some young Padawans with their heroics.

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Palpatine stood watching the security video of his prison. It infuriated him how easily the prison had been infiltrated. There was enough evidence to prove the Rebel ship had not had much knowledge about the prison but had uncovered it when they took over the Control Tower. Dooku was missing, having failed in whatever endeavor he had undertook to the prison and on the run for his life from his former master. No matter. Palpatine's most skilled Emperor's Hands could hunt him. There were four especially promising teenagers whose skill could be combined to hunt Dooku.

On the projector two more Jedi had emerged and were running for the stairs down into the prisoner. They were teenagers and Palpatine felt his fear rise because the blond haired, slender boy looked very close to the visions of the future the Sith Lord had had. The boy was trained and used his saber well. He seemed to be leading the infiltrators, stopping every now and then to listen for something until he led them unerringly to the level his father was on.

There was no way to ascertain the boy's age, but he appeared older than the twelve years Palpatine had allowed for.

"I have no excuse Master. There is something you should know. The Jedi have learned a new trick. No one, not even Darth Tyrannous could sense them in the Force. Most of them would show up if using the Force, but that boy there, he stopped Tyrannous saber in midair with no discernable Force Presence."

Palpatine raised a hand and rifled the Prison Commander's mind. The man had some skill in the Force, but would never have been able to face even a Padawan one on one. Once Sidious had taken ownership of the man's memories of the events, he felt colder. With barely a thought he crushed his soldier's windpipe, before turning back to his security footage. Skywalker's rescue would mean all the pain and suffering built up would be eased by his children. If Padme Skywalker was still alive Anakin would now know and his momentary shift towards the Dark Side would be erased.

It had been a moment of weakness on Palpatine's part to keep the Rebel General alive. The overwhelming grief of the Jedi had been a way to turn the powerful man, but it was clear that this was now a lost cause. Orders would be given that the General be executed on sight. The boy was a threat, but he was young and contained a power Palpatine did not yet understand. Like his father, there was a chance that that power could be turned to serve Sidious.

The Boy was his goal now. Dooku had failed him and Palpatine would soon track him down and end the failed apprentice. The son of Skywalker would be his new apprentice. He had been raised in war, had seen the suffering of his parents. Grief and sorrow were not unknown to him. If captured soon, torment and power could be used to sway him to the Dark Side.

"The Boy Skywalker is to be listed as the number one on the wanted lists, preferably alive. I want to know his name by the end of the week," Palpatine informed the Red Guard, his Hunters, and his Hands.

In his secluded hut on Dagobah, Yoda lifted his head. Much had occurred in his absence. His failures to the Jedi had not been insurmountable and while he had searched through lonely hours for the secrets he had missed, they had moved on and changed. Now there was the child, Skywalker's Son, whose destiny drew nearer and nearer.

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Leaning against the doorway of the empty hanger Han Solo watched as the Skywalker Twins battled back and forth with swift, supernatural blows and jumps. Both parents were seated on the edge of the floor, watching the practice duel and the pair of Jedi Masters were both giving feedback. The smuggler had to admit there was something to their abilities. He was amazed by the speed of the duel.

It was clear that however strong the girl was, her brother had an edge on her. It was not strength, but something subtler, an extra intuition that saw him reacting to moves before they happened. The duel ended when Luke disarmed Leia.

"Well done," Both Masters said.

"I can't beat him anymore," Leia said panting. "What are you doing Luke? You don't feel the same when we duel anymore."

"I don't know," The Kid admitted. "Ever since Devaron fell it feels like my power has grown. I pulled thousands of currents to slow our fall and they were still connected when I regained consciousness. It felt like I could spread myself over the entire planet."

"You were flickering in and out of Force Sense the entire spar," Master Kenobi commented. "Do you ever shut the Force Sight down?"

"No. I can't. It's always there," Luke answered. "I've worked with Force Sense daily since Mustafar. I'm starting to be able to use it in conjunction with Force Sight."

"Powerful you are, young Skywalker," A new voice by the open hanger door called. "Powerful indeed."

"Master Yoda!" All five Jedi, even the Grand Master stood at attention before the child sized, green Jedi Master. Han's back straightened without his say.

"Well you have done, Grand Master Ti," The small alien told the Togruta. "Guided the Jedi through change you have."

"Thank you, Master Yoda," The elegant Togruta said humbly. "Your words give me encouragement."

"Where have you been, Master?" General Skywalker asked.

"Change to me does not come easy. Failed I had, to change. Time to change, it was. Stood in the way, I did. Do not look worried. Learned my lesson, I have."

The small Jedi Master turned to the Padawans. "Young Skywalker, this new way you have, change us all you will. Wake us from stagnation, you did."

Luke looked greatly alarmed, as if the old Jedi had accused him of tearing down the Jedi order.

"Destiny draws near. Perhaps time it is, to speak to young Luke."

"Leader Skywalker!" A young aid burst into the room, ignoring the powerful Jedi and ran to the Rebellion Leader's hover chair. "You need to see this!"

Padme took the data pad and looked it over. Her face went pale. Slowly she raised her eyes to the curious Jedi. Her husband returned to her side.

"The Empire has issued a series of new Wanted Lists," She said softly. "Luke has the highest bounty of all of us."

Dun, Dun, DUN! Review and tell me how I did.

Chapter Text

Destiny or Choice

I do not own Star Wars, I am playing with it only.

There was a good deal of discussion happening, back and forth, questions from the Civilians, vague replies from the Jedi, demands for information from the Leaders. Luke wanted to yell at them all to shut up and have one of them explain to him what was going on. His deeds on Devaron and Mustafar had not be so great to warrant such attention from the Empire, if they indeed even knew of his role on Devaron. Any Padawan could have figured out how to slow a fall from a thousand feet up and done the simple Force use on Mustafar.

He had neither battled a great leader, lead a great battle, or even inspired a great uprising. All he had done was try to save his parents. It made no logical sense to the youth. He had power, but it was strange and often clashed with traditional Jedi teachings. Most of his peers feared him and he had begun to surpass his sister. There was nothing great in this. He was different, strange, and often wished he was normal.

"Enough," Padme Skywalker raised her voice and the crowed Council Chamber on Tattooine's base fell silent. "Master Ti, you had visions the day the twins were born. Are you permitted to share them?"

"Yes," Shaak Ti glanced at her Padawan. "All who were on Coruscant with affinity for the Force felt the same thing I did. It was an unborn babies mind stretching out through the Force. This had never happened before in recorded history. What we known now is that the innocence and curiosity of the child was what created the Shift to the Light Side in the Force that day.

"Most of the Jedi with the gift of premonition had dreams that night, but only mine contained the near future. I saw Obi Wan mourning what turned out to by General Skywalker's decision to leave the Jedi Order. I saw the Jedi dying. I saw the fleeing through the stars. I saw a boy child, a little light in a dark Galaxy, who could touch my mind. I saw him again, a teenager, frightened and alone, facing the darkest evil of our time. Once more I saw him, standing victorious against the evil. Once we knew General Skywalker was a father, I knew he had fathered the child of my visions."

"More others had seen. Few saw times of great trials, only a distant future with a boy at the head of a great change. When General Skywalker made his choice to leave the Jedi Order, he made the choice to walk away from what Destiny had mapped out for him. He neither fell to the Dark Side, nor embraced the Jedi Order's interpretation of the Light Side," Mace Windu added. "The Chosen One he was meant to be, but he chose to be a Father and Husband before all, so the Future was changed."

"That Emperor Palpatine has seen the possible future is no surprise. He was able to manipulate the past so well none of us saw it coming," Grand Master Ti explained. "If he had seen what we have seen, he knew what the child looked like. Until Mustafar, Luke was unknown, though possibly suspected to exist. Undoubtedly security footage existed and Luke would be on these. Palpatine likely had a shock to discover the child he knew could destroy him was not only born, but older than he had anticipated. We know he believed Padme gave birth to a daughter and it appears the idea of twins never occurred to him."

"You mean you have all had dreams of something I might do in the future?" Luke asked calmly. The Jedi all turned to look at him, feeling him vanish out of the Force, retreating behind the Force Currents he was attracting. "You mean that I am not just a strange anomaly in the Jedi, but I am meant to end the Empire?"

He turned towards his sister, who looked grave. "Did you know?"

She closed her eyes. "Luke..."

"You know?" He exclaimed.

"I've had dreams, since we were ten. Dreams that showed you older, showed what could be. You were killed, or corrupted, or victorious," she whispered.

Luke looked around the room, at the eyes on him, gazes from the Jedi that were so familiar but he had never questioned their awe of him before. Now that it was on the faces of the Rebellion Commanders and Alliance Leaders he realized it was cautious hope. It sat even in the face of his parents! All the burden of the rebellion, of the war, came to rest on his young shoulders.

Had the Jedi Masters ever truly wanted to teach Luke, or had it been their mysterious glimpses of the Future that had even led to them accepting his strangeness? Was even Master Ti choosing to mentor him only because of what he might be? Did Leia's love and encouragement come from her fear that he could fail some vague battle? Every single bond he had vanished. He dared not stretch out to any one of them for fear of the answer he might find.

"Luke!" Leia cried, the most affected by his summary repelling of the Force Currents that had flowed between them all.

"Can I leave?" He asked his mother. "Please. I need to think."

"Luke," her voice trailed off. He took that as agreement to leave. Leia stood up to follow, but Obi Wan caught her shoulder.

Tears burned the blue eyes as he walked, spine straight, eyes forward, away from the command room. Han, apparently spying on the meeting, reached a hand, but Luke gently batted it away and continued walking on. Even the smuggler, who had been friendly to Luke, dared not follow him. As he exited the entire building and headed for the speeder docks, he realized that his restrained Force Powers were shaking the lights, first in the building, then along the path. Commandos, Pilots, aides hurrying among the buildings in their duties stopped to stare at the Jedi Padawan, hair rising on their arms and necks, lekkus, antennae, whiskers all reacting to the turmoil that was leaking through the Force Currents.

No one stopped him from taking a speeder and racing out of the Base, flying long and far over the sand dunes, away from everything, everyone. When he was miles away, and he felt no sentient being within miles he stopped and got off the Speeder. Under the night sky in the middle of a Tatooine desert Luke let go. The Force leapt from him onto the currents around him, spreading out further and further, raising the wind and sand until a small sand storm with him in the eye cut him off from the world. All the fear and hurt ran out into the Force Storm. In the eye, he screamed and wailed.

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"Wise, your son is, Skywalker," Yoda said late in the night as the Skywalkers and the Jedi Masters sat in their small quarters, listening for any sign of their son. "Removed himself so damage he would not cause."

"Is he causing the storm out there?" Leia waved her hand. "It doesn't appear to be moving, just sitting there, going around and round."

"It is, Padawan Leia."

"He is so afraid," Shaak Ti murmured. "Was it wise to tell him?"

"The future has been growing more certain. You told me so," Anakin replied. "I would never have told him if I could have, but it appears that Palpatine knows. Even if Luke tries to avoid that future, the Emperor will seek him down. Sooner or later Luke may face him whether he choose to or not."

"Is he alright out there?" Padme asked anxiously. "There are Tusken Raiders out there somewhere."

"He's got his Light Saber," Leia shrugged. "I don't think a few short guys with badly made blasters will be a problem for him."

They all fell silent, the Jedi stretching their senses again. The Force storm continued to rage, filled with the echoes of the young man's dread, so they could not see into the Storm to find Luke's current mind set. They kept their focus on the storm, watching and waiting for it to dissipate.

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His tears and wails were done. He was empty. The currents around him became empty as well and he stretched out a hand to call the currents whipping his wall of wind and sand up. It died away as he pushed away his fears. What was he?

He was a Jedi Padawan, the son of Anakin and Padme Skywalker, brother to Jedi Padawan Leia, student of Grand Master Shaak Ti. He was the caller of the Force Currents. He was the past and present, the curious, lost child and the powerful, confident Jedi Padawan. He was the hope of the future, not just as a possible defeater of the Empire, but as a symbol of what his parents had spent over a dozen years fighting for.

He was Luke Skywalker and like his father he did not choose destiny. He chose to be a Jedi, he chose to be a Rebel, he chose to be a man of Love, Compassion, Justice, Duty.

He wanted only to be a good man.

There were half a dozen Force Currents holding still in a mindful way outside the circle of Force storm that had been way. He knew them all. He closed his eyes and let one of his own currents stretch out. It touched the most familiar of the Currents, that of his twin, of the sister who had always been present, who had stood up for him against the teasing of their peers, who had argued with the adults to make them understand. The bond snapped back into place and he opened his mind wide, letting her see everything. Love filled him, a promise to be at his side no matter what, a promise to always stand up for him.

Father was next and his thread was filled with regret that Luke had been told, that Luke had ever landed in this position, of fear of what Destiny might call down on his son. Father knew of course. He had had a Destiny in front of him, but had made a different choice, choosing not the Force, but his family. Destiny was powerful, but Luke had free will. He did not have to choose to face an evil old man, only what to do if he was forced to face the man who had chosen evil.

Shaati's thread was filled with regret, with love for the child's mind who had woken affection and attachment in her calm Jedi mind. Her choice of him had not been for what he could be in the future, but for the love he had woken in her when he was just a baby. It was to protect him that she taught him, not to wield a weapon against her enemies.

Obi he met happily, because he already knew that Obi had been willing to die to keep his family safe. Obi had been willing to be the good man who stood up and paid the price. He found Mother's threads, and the threads of his new friends, Han and Chewie, in the base and he pulled them all into himself.

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A teenage boy in simple Jedi Tunic, a brown cloak on his shoulders, stood before the Alliance Council. He had grown much in confidence lately, having faced his greatest trials to date and come out of them a stronger man. He was short still, cursed by his mother's genes to never reach the stature of his father. Calm and confidence sat on him, the air of a Jedi Knight.

"I will not seek the Emperor out," he informed them. "It is not my place to dictate such a meeting. If possible, I would avoid such a meeting. It is my place to learn to be a Jedi, to stand for the Good in the Galaxy. Do not pin all your hopes on me. It may be that this future comes to pass and I fail to find whatever victory can be. I will stand with you as a Jedi, but I will not be your Chosen One."

Such was his strength that the few that remained of the old Jedi Council were reminding of a time past when his father stood before them, peace in his mind to be a simple father and husband. There was indeed much of his father in him now. Peace was on him, and he knew his own mind. All the child wished to be was a good man.

Destiny meant nothing for him. He could only see the present and that was his place.

I hope I presented Luke's struggle with the realization that there were visions of his possible future deeds. Please read and review!

The next chapter will be called Interludes.

Chapter Text

Interludes

This chapter fills in the gap between the last plot line and the final plot line. It's a series of glimpses into life after Devaron was lost. I hope you enjoy.

Luke Skywalker looked at Grand Master Yoda and wondered about him.

He was so short and small, but the Force Currents were attracted to him by his powerful Force Presence. Only Luke's Father had more, longer Force Threads. Yoda had much more control on his Force Presence than Anakin Skywalker did. His threads moved only with purpose, never with the less controlled stretch of even the Jedi Council's threads. This amazed Luke because he had never seen anyone but himself have full control over their Force Presence.

"Curious, you are," Yoda said. "So little you appear to the Force. Show me this Force Sight?"

Two Force Threads reached out for Luke, but he immediately called the Natural Force Currents to stand in front of him. When Yoda's Threads connected with the Natural Force Currents an echo of his surprise ran through them to Luke. No one except Palpatine had ever successfully blocked Yoda in two hundred years. The teenage boy sank to the floor and sat cross legged facing the Jedi Master.

"I will show you it, but Master, you are afraid of the ability. You are not sure the Force should be seen," Luke said softly. "You worry that I have the Dark side in me."

"Powerful you are, indeed, to read that," Yoda said, as another ripple of surprise ran through the Force. "Willing I am, to keep an open mind. Caused I, stagnation to the Order. Teach me, young Skywalker."

Amid the concern of the old Jedi, Luke felt humility as well. He had not yet admitted to anyone just how much his power had increased since Devaron. It was easier than it had ever been to draw the Natural Force Currents to himself. Even the less used Force Sense had become less backwards to use. He could control every bond he had made, even able to close Leia off completely.

"I will show you, Master Yoda," Luke said softly. "Will you show me how you have not let your power overwhelm you?"

Yoda's ears perked up at that. He smiled at the boy, and said, "proud of you, your father should be."

Luke pushed away the Force Currents between him and the Jedi Master and stretched out his own Force Threads. He had been studying long and hard how he was always able to see the Currents, while most others had to concentrate to see them. It had occurred to him that perhaps the Force Currents in his own body were more numerous about his head and eyes. Most Jedis' Force Currents were more coalesced to their hands.

Yoda let him manipulate the Master's threads, drawing several upwards to the Jedi Master's head. Carefully Luke touched the old Master's eyes with his own threads. He felt the old Master's sudden awe and gratitude the moment the Force was visible to him. Even when Luke pulled back, Yoda held his Force threads in place where Luke had drawn them. It had worked! Drawing some of the Force Currents upwards to the head and eyes had connected the sight to the Force.

"Never had I thought to see this," Master Yoda said. "Powerful you may be, young Luke, but stronger in the Light Side than you know. Much we will discuss, about power, but fear not that it will overwhelm you. Already you have learned to surrender your power."

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"You did it!" Luke crowed as he cheered on his sister. Since his discovery of how to connect the Force Sight, Luke had been working on explaining it to his family and the Jedi Council. Obi Wan and Mace Windu had both managed to manipulate their Force Threads to join their minds as much as their hands easily. Anakin and Ahsoka had not successfully done it before war summoned them back, but they had an idea on what to do.

Obi Wan smiled as his thrilled Padawan. Her brother's delight in her success flooded her with warmth. Despite how powerful Luke was growing, the boy took more delight in watching his sister and best friend growing. In fact, he took little delight in his own milestones. Leia had confided in her master that Luke had bad dreams now, nightmares of facing the Emperor, and not all were about being destroyed. Luke was afraid of the power he contained.

"I think you are both meant to be in the simulator in a little bit," Obi Wan pointed out as the teenage twins started dancing around each other, using the Force in small ways to exaggerate their movements.

"Come on, Leia!" Luke grabbed his sister's hand and dragged her along toward the flight instructor. Obi Wan watched them go with a smile. Both had inherited their father's flight capabilities and were more than ready to fly just about anything. Neither had yet to take part in an aerial battle, but they had both flown in formation. While the Jedi's numbers were growing again, they were by no mean the force they had been, so the younger knights who were entering the war were being spaced out among the various commando groups, fleets, and squadrons. The older knights and Masters held command positions or worked in intelligence, negotiation, and relief departments.

"They are more than ready for war," Padme Skywalker murmured with the Jedi Master turned around. Master Shaak Ti was also there. Obi Wan smiled sadly at both women. "Must they go, Obi Wan?"

The Jedi Masters looked away from her rhetorical question. The time was come for the Skywalker Twins to join battle. They were both powerful and skilled in the Force. Soon their Masters would take them to their first assignments as pilots in the first and second fleets.

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In the small conference room in the Tatooine base command building the small Jedi Council was meeting. Master Yoda sat among Master Shaak Ti, Master Mace Windu, Master Obi Wan Kenobi, Master Staas Allie and Master Rig Nema. All five were turned towards the Grand Master in anticipation of his first words.

"Long have I been gone," he began. "Grown, changed, improved, the Jedi Order has been in my absence. Even as I have learned to change, I do not wish to hold us back. Affirm Master Shaak Ti as Grand Master we shall."

"I agree," Master Windu said. "Master Ti has led us well since the Jedi Purge. I too have had to learn to accept change. I too fear I will hold us back."

Shaak Ti bowed her head in humble acceptance. It thrilled her to have Mace Windu acknowledge the changes in a more accepting tone than she had heard before. It was true that her attachment to the Skywalker family had brought her pain and fear. Padme was her closest female friend, she loved Luke and Leia as her own, and had come to admire and respect Anakin's bravery.

The other three also gave their agreement and Shaak Ti was now the official Grand Master.

"I thank you for this appointment, Masters," the Togrutan woman said on her calm, elegant voice, "and I promise to continue as I have done. There is another matter I wish to present to the Council. I know we had meant to increase our number to six, but I believe Knight Anakin Skywalker should be granted the rank of Master and a seat on the council."

"I will sit no more on the Council. Old I am. Increase your number to six and give Master Skywalker his seat. Change the Guard, we must," Yoda interjected. "In the absences of Padawan Luke Skywalker, I will spend teaching the younglings. Yes, a good way to spend my last days."

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"Greetings Viceroy! How are evacuations coming?" General Anakin Skywalker called down to the planet below. Alderaan was falling to the Empire and with the Alliance now in complete control of the outer rim and most battles taking place in the Mid Rim, the Core planet of Alderaan had become very difficult to defend. Battle lines were no long spots of rebels, but a complete line of territory with the suffering Mid-Rim the spot of the fluctuating territorial lines.

"Skywalker! I am glad to see you.!" Bail Organa called back over the holoprojector, clutching his bloody arm as he stood in a shelter hidden from the battles below. "We can't hold the Palace much longer."

"General Tano, you may land. Get to the Palace and get the Viceroy and his family. General Rex, get to the shelters on the west continent and get as many civilians on board your shuttles. Red Leader, engage those transports and keep them from landing more troopers."

Pacing the bright white bridge of the Mon Calmarian Cruiser's Anakin flexed his mechanical hand. The large staff on the bridge worked hard to keep him updated. The broken fifth fleet of the Rebellion was getting their few remaining ships loaded with civilians into position to leap into Hyperspace. Windu was already signaling the retreat.

"Red five, get your fighter in line!" General Kenobi yelled at his Padawan. "I am not going to go spinning after you just because it's your father's favorite trick."

"Less chatter please," Anakin called, cringing. His reckless youth did not need to be brought up when he was commanding the entire rebel presence on Alderaan. Leia and Luke had inherited his ability to fly and Leia had especially inherited his reckless matter. This was her third mission with Red Squadron.

"Hey Skyguy! I've got the entire palace in my shuttle. Keep the lights on and we'll be up soon," Ahsoka called from his wrist.

"Dad, I've shot down twelve Tie fighters! Have I beat your record yet?"

Seriously. There was no need for his friends and family to be bringing up his nicknames and antics now. He was thirty-nine years old, had been a General for more than half his life, and was a respected Jedi Master, with a place on the Jedi Council. They were all children.

"Get Obi Wan to crash land in an enemy landing bay and take out four more on your way and you'll meet my record. Snips, don't scratch the paint in our brand-new shuttle bay."

Seriously. Children!

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"Here you go, little one," Padme gently tucked the blankets around the Togruta orphan from Shilli, after setting the stuffed animal next to her. "You'll soon feel better."

The little girl was fading to sleep, and Padme was not able to leave her side until she did, the small hand clutching her caretaker's. The Wookie Colony on Dantooine was protecting this latest batch of orphaned refugees from Mid-Rim Planets. Padme had gathered supplies donated by some wealthier colonies and brought them to meet the arrivals with clean clothes, fresh food, and medical care.

Several of the Wookies had broken the long tradition of only speaking their own language to speak Basic for the aid of the orphans.

"There are no fatal injuries among them," Master Jedi Healer Rig Nema said when Padme could leave the little girl and move on to where Rig was cleaning a nasty scrape on a human child's arm. "Thank you, Leader Skywalker."

"Have we had any word of the third Fleet?" Padme asked Sabe Blue. Ooban Green and Jeda Red had both been killed in the line of duty, while Gleem Gold rarely left her post on Tatooine where she trained raw recruits. Sabe remained Padme's right hand in the humanitarian side of the Alliance. With a large staff, she managed the flow of supplies and kept the colonies and bases fed and clothed.

"None."

The Third Fleet, under Admiral Ackbar, was working on freeing Naboo. If they succeeded it would be the first time since the fall of the Empire that Padme could see her home planet and learn the fates of friends and family. Naboo had been part of the Alliance, but had never been free of Imperial control. The Rebel Government had been killed or chased off and Padme's home planet suppressed completely. Her son and his Master were there, part of the Jedi Flight Squadron.

She closed her eyes and breathed, imagining the grand city of Theed free and celebrating.

"Leader Skywalker!" The brave Twilek Hera Syndulla, who commanded the Ghost Squadron and its strike teams that performed many brave missions outside Alliance Lines, including the rescue of the orphans Padme was seeing to, came running in. "We've got a communique from Naboo!"

She handed the projector to Padme, who flipped it on. Admiral Ackbar stood before her smiling. "We've done it. The Imperials are destroyed. Naboo is free!"

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The bucket of bolts was rattling through hyper space and Leia Skywalker was watching its captain banging on the turret gun computer. Every time she and Obi Wan were sent to another secret Jedi Enclave to pick up children ready to be Padawans, they ended up taking the Falcon and its grumpy Captain, now a confirmed member of the Rebels. Luke went on more of these missions than herself, since a visit from the official Grand Master of the Jedi Council and the discoverer of Force Sight was far more inspiring than a war general and his scrawny, scrappy Padawan, no matter what her last name was. She positively hated how thin and gangly she had become. Mother assured her it was part of growing up, when growing taller, even at Leia's short height, without growing heavier meant long, loose limbs, and that she would gain the elegance of her mother in time.

Considering that her father's large frame was inelegant and powerful, she was somewhat dubious.

"Stop banging on it! Do you have any brains?" She exclaimed.

"And I suppose you can fix it, your highness?" Captain Solo snapped.

"Better stop calling me that. Now that Naboo is free, I really am a Princess. You might make someone think you really respected me."

"May I help?" C-3PO asked.

"Oh, no," Leia groaned. "Go back to shining your covers 3PO. I assure you I have this under control... ouch!"

C-3PO wandered away as ordered, but Captain Nerf Herder laughed when the wires sparked against her fingers.

"I told you hitting it wouldn't help!" She hissed. "Why did Luke get to take R2? He would be more helpful than a protocol droid in this situation."

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There, just out of his natural sight. Luke reached out a hand to call his absent saber, lost when he had vaulted over their shuttle for fun. He had yet to lose one permanently, while Leia had continued their father's tradition of breaking and loosing sabers. Guiltily attaching it to his belt, he turned to his shivering Master.

"Whose idea was a base on an ice planet?" She murmured.

"Why were we sent here, anyway?" Luke asked. "Isn't Hoth a backup base?"

"General Ti!" A young pilot stood at attention. "I'm Commander Wedge Antilles. I'm in reserve here for the time being. Please follow me. We've received a message from Captain Syndulla, stating that the Empire is building something we've never seen before."

Wedge appeared only two or three years older than Luke. His limp declared his reason for being in reserve. Luke had seen his name in reports from Red Squadron. He walked quickly despite the hitch in his step, leading them to Base Commander Poi Talles. Talles greeted Shaak Ti with relief, spinning a tale about some Imperial Scientist who had tried to leave the Empire, but had been pulled back to work on a black project. There had yet been no sign of this secret weapon and the informer was getting antsy.

"Did you fly in the Battle of Alderaan?" Luke asked the young pilot as his master asked questions.

"Yes."

"My sister was there. She said her call sign was Red Five."

"Ah." Wedge grinned. "I remember her... you're Luke Skywalker?"

Luke ducked his head, having forgotten that his status of being the most wanted person in the galaxy had brought him notoriety from everywhere. There were few who knew of the premonitions that were the real reason, so most believed he had performed some unknown Force Capability on Mustafar. Considering there was a grain of truth to this, Luke had never worked out how to brush the curiosity off.

"Well yeah," He admitted.

"I heard about you flying with the Gold Squadron during Naboo," Wedge said. "I was in traction at the time, so I was gobbling up all the reports. Admiral Ackbar personally mentioned you after you twice tricked Tie fighters into collisions."

"Leia and I played chicken a lot as kids. It usually led to us having bumped heads, since we didn't move out of the way. My dad said you did good at Alderaan and that you were shot up, but still protected the Uncle Bail's transport into the shuttle bay before crashing."

"You call the Viceroy of Alderaan, Uncle?" Wedge's eyes bugged out of his head. "He's one of the Rebellions greatest leaders next to Leader..." The pilot's voice trailed away. "Karrabast kid, you've got a lot riding on you with the name Skywalker."

"Luke, I hope you've at least heard some of the briefing," Shaak Ti called, shaking her head. Luke made friends across the galaxy, most of them non-sensitives who had no notion of Force Sense, Force Sight, or Premonitions. Like young Antilles they soon forgot who Luke was in the face of his honest admiration of their own skills.

"Yes, Master. It was about a scientist named Galen Erso who might be working on an Imperial Black Project."

Shaak Ti looked dubious, but if she didn't ask about the second half of the briefing he could tell her what the briefing was about. Despite feeling like she knew this, he was relieved when she turned away. "Thank you, Commander Tales. We were also supposed to pick up a reserve squadron to rotate out with the Gold Squadron on Tatooine."

"Yes of course. Commander Antilles, that's you and your boys."

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Jaxum was crammed into a closet on Bespin Cloud Colony, hoping the City Administrators were not listening for rouge signals out to the Empire. It had taken him three days to get to Bespin from Tatooine with the latest reports on the Skywalker's family movements. All four had been gathered on Tatooine for the twin's sixteenth Life Day and he had learned their upcoming movements.

They were scattering across the Outer and Mid Rim, with Leader Skywalker heading to the Alderaan Colony to meet with the Republic Senate. Her husband was to return to command of the First Fleet. Leia Skywalker was being sent on her first solo mission to Naboo as well, serving as a Jedi representative to the Naboo Government while the previous representative took a surprising maternity leave. The real prize, Luke Skywalker, was heading to the Yavin 4 base to work with the Jedi Squadron there under the command of his master.

It had taken some getting used too, the way Jedi Padawans were moved around the various bases. The Skywalkers kids were learning every part of the Jedi missions, from the missions to Jedi Enclaves, to working with non-sensitive Flight Squadrons, to delivering aide to struggling refugees. Now it appeared that politics was being added. Jaxum could only hope this information gave the Emperor's Hands what they were looking for.

As it was he was relieved he didn't have to meet with the Elite squad of Force Users who had been tasked with capturing Luke Skywalker. The four human teenagers were near the young Skywalkers' own age, but they were emotionless, powerful Force Users who carried light sabers and could choke a man from across the room. They were rumored to be the most powerful and skilled of a group referred to in whispers as the Emperor's Hands, assassins, spies, and strike teams meant to rid the Emperor of his enemies. Jaxum knew only for certain that it was these four who had hunted and killed the former Count Dooku after his failure on Mustafar.

I hope you enjoyed these glimpses. Next chapter we begin the final climb to the climax of the story. Be prepared for angst! Review to let me know how I did.

Chapter Text

The Emperor's Hands

So here we begin the final part of this story. I will admit to being nervous about how this comes about. I'm not sure anyone has an idea of what I am about to do. I hope you all enjoy.

I do not own Star Wars, I am only playing with it.

A small passenger transport landed in the Main Hangar of Bespin Cloud Colony. It was not an unusual sight, and it had gained clearance as carrying a group looking for work. Four passengers disembarked and looked around. Three wore cloaks and a fourth wore pieces of various military uniforms.

"Something is wrong here," one of them murmured.

"The Empire is here as we thought," another pointed out a patrol of Storm Troopers.

"She's here," the shortest of the group said, pulling his black hood around his head. "I can find her."

They parted ways then, the two taller cloaked figures vanishing down a corridor and into the bowels of the floating city. The other two headed towards a bar, where they separated in the doorway after a soft whisper from the younger. A concerned glance met his voice, but the boy walked on, heading for a corner of the bar, where he sat in unsocial silence, his eyes fixed the menu. As for the other, he headed into the middle of the loud room, where some games were going on.

"It can't be!" A handsome, dark skinned man leapt up from a table near the games. "You slimy, double crossing pirate!" He grabbed the man's arm. "Han Solo."

"Lando!" The other man exclaimed. "What are you doing out here?"

"Oh, you know. What of you?"

"On a job."

"Not with the Falcon I assume. I've heard it's with the rebs," Lando said as he and his acquaintance sat down. His dark eyes scanned his friends face.

"Yeah, I fell into a job that got too close to the war," Solo answered with a shrug. "I'm letting her lay low for a while. We've got a small transport."

"Bad luck for you mate. The Imps showed up two days ago. This place was supposed to be small enough to be off their radar. I had been setting up the silly child who owns the place to take a fall. It was all going to be mine. Once they showed up, all the fun was subdued and I've not seen my host."

"That is bad for business. What brings them out here?"

"That's just the thing. No one knows. I hope you aren't running anything for the Hutts."

"I'm not that crazy."

"Oh, yes you are," Lando said. "I hear of you hanging around Tatooine and what is there besides Hutts and Rebels?"

"It's a good place to hide, the very end of the galaxy," Han said.

"True enough," Lando toasted his friend. He leaned back and eyed Solo curiously. "Did you hear about the Rebel Princess who was kidnapped from Naboo?"

There was no certain reaction from Solo. He was too good at bluffing. He shrugged. "I stay away from the battle lines if I can help it."

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On the other side of the Cantina, Luke was focusing on the Force Currents flowing through the City. He had not gathered so many currents in one place since his fall on Devaron, but the power was easier to manage this time. It showed him the city. He found his kidnapped sister in the underparts of the city. She was bound with Binders, but he could touch her mind.

Luke, go away. It's a trap. They are Force Users, and they want YOU.

I know, Ley, but they want me alive more than dead. You would be just as good dead to them.

He moved on from her, though he could sense her anger and dread. His Master and Obi Wan were hidden somewhere near, waiting for him. He could send his thoughts through the natural currents, a skill no one else had, and it meant he could not be sensed in the Force as he spread his consciousness without using his own Force Threads. It was not hard to find both their minds and he guided them towards his sister's presence.

There were four more Force Presences, emotionless and unnatural. He had felt a similar feeling in Dooku two years ago, a tightly controlled power. From his sister's mind, he found what she saw, four darkly dressed, grim teenagers, those who had kidnapped her from Naboo. They were fierce, mistrustful, tormented. All they wished for was to prove themselves and finally be worthy of their Master, desiring an acceptance they would never receive.

It was a trap for him and if it worked he would come face to face with a Sith Lord who wanted him, alive no less, despite the premonitions of the Jedi that Luke could be the one to defeat Palpatine. Two years ago, he had chosen to ignore that destiny and seek only to be a good man. Being a good man, a good brother meant he might fall into Fate's hands. Leia was worth it.

When the teenager stood, he glanced at Han. The man glanced back, his eyes anxious, but despite the stern look the smuggler turned Rebel nodded once. Whatever happened, Han would give everything to get Leia safely home, even if it meant leaving Luke behind. The younger man left the bar, passing the approaching patrol of storm troopers unnoticed.

"I'm sorry, buddy," Han turned to Lando, "I've got to drag you into this. YOU CHEAT!"

Solo dove across the table, yanking his sometime friend to his feet and swinging a fist across his face. Lando recovered quickly, shoving back, knocking Han into a table of rough looking characters playing a tense game of sabarrac. A moment later Han was flying back into Lando, knocking both back into another table. That was all that needed to start a fight, just when the patrol was passing by.

"I better get a reward for this, Solo," Lando muttered.

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They were just children. Obi Wan and Shaak Ti stood in the maintenance shaft above the Cargo Locker where Leia was imprisoned, bound with Zorb binders and under electrified bars. Her captors were indeed children. The youngest could be no more than sixteen and likely younger, while the oldest could barely be twenty if even that. They were four, two human boys, two human girls.

All four blared with a Force Presence. They wore dark travel suits and each carried an unlit saber. They were nervous, eyes darting around the room repeatedly, kept from noticing the eyes watching them by the fact that Luke had let himself be sensed as he drew near. His in and out presence was distracting them, even from their glaring prisoner. Until they were no threat to Leia, Obi Wan and Shaak TI must remain hidden.

Luke vanished from the Force and all four tightened their grips. Even Obi Wan and Shaak tensed in anticipation, though Luke was touching their minds, letting them feel himself calming, preparing. He had received training from the greatest Jedi Masters and Knights of their time and could hold his own in saber duels with his Master and Obi Wan. Palpatine had undoubtedly trained these four, but not to the level of Luke, keeping them weak against himself.

There was a click, the door unlocking, and it slid open. Four sabers ignited as Luke took a single step in. With a Force leap he vaulted over the cage, leaving the two boys' red sabers to collide in the place he had been. The two girls leapt forward, but Luke caught the taller blond and tossed her onto the cage, where she screamed and rolled off, fallen for the moment. Her companions ignored her, the shorter red-haired girl striking at him.

He leapt again, twisting over their heads to land on the other side of the boys, igniting his saber to catch the quick reaction from the shorter, black haired boy. They held their sabers against the other as Luke stepped to one side of the cage. The blond was shaking her electric shock off and rising to her feet as the red head dove towards Luke. He rolled forward into the black-haired boy's stomach, throwing them back into the taller brown haired boy and sending all three boys rolling into the open doorway. Luke was first on his feet, swiping at the boys, driving them a step out the door, as the two girls leapt for him. He caught them with the Force and shoved them towards the door.

He now stood between Leia and her four kidnappers, and had bottlenecked them in the door. Immediately, two Jedi Masters broke through the vent, Shaak Ti leaping to Luke's side, and Obi Wan removing Leia's cage and binders. As her brother and his master advanced on the four young Imperial Agents, Leia leapt up.

"Do you have a saber for me?"

"Of course, but it is a borrowed one. No tricks. You don't know the weapon yet," Obi Wan said.

"When do I use tricks?" Leia smirked, before turning to the door. "He should not have come, Master."

"Had anyone else come, they would have killed you as soon as we were in the door," Obi Wan answered.

Faced with four armed Jedi, the kidnappers backed down, stepping back into the hallway in unison, leaving just one direction open. This lead straight to freight elevator meant to lower and raise cargo to the lockers from the cargo Hangars above. It felt too easy, but they merely needed to hold their ground until Anakin and the 1st Fleet could be signaled that Leia was freed and the Fleet could attack. He and Leia leapt onto the nearest lift with Luke and Shaak Ti following on the next. The kidnappers leapt up together on just one lift down.

"I've got a bad feeling about this. It was too easy," Obi Wan murmured.

"That's probably why," Leia pointed upwards. Storm Troopers were looking down at them as they raised blasters. "Luke, there's a welcoming party up there!"

"I don't call that a Welcoming Party," Her brother called up. "Guard yourself!"

Leia needed no such warning, well trained in deflection. She held herself in a tight stance as she batted away the bolts with her Master.

"Jump, when I tell you to," Obi Wan told her.

"Of Course, Master."

When they were a few feet from the Hangar they leapt into the air, spinning over the heads of the troopers, drawing their blaster's upwards as Luke and Shaak leapt to the Hangar Floor. Four sabers held still, facing over two hundred storm troopers standing between them and the exits from the Hangar. Obi Wan grinned.

"Han, we've got her."

Somewhere in the city above them, Han Solo grinned and pulled Lando Calrissian out of the bar fight they had kept going despite the Stormtroopers trying to suppress it.

"Chewie, call the General. She's out."

The Wookie wailed, and pushed a button in the transport. A signal leapt out, racing through the gas clouds, outside the system to the Bridge of A New Hope. The tall, bearded general standing tense in the white bridge let out a sigh of relief.

"Move in. Ahsoka, get those fighters moving. Rex, signal the fleet."

So, I do know that the Hands are different from the Legends. This takes place when they are children, and without Darth Vader, Palpatine did not have a controllable apprentice. Dooku had turned to the Dark side, but he was also a powerful Jedi before, and so he was not what Palpatine wanted.

Chapter Text

The Real Deal

I do not own Star Wars, I am using it to practice my art.

Barely had Obi Wan given the message than the four Force teenagers leapt up from the freight elevator, bringing with them the heavy barrels and boxes being moved. All four came hurtling towards Luke. While Shaak Ti deflected the Storm Troopers Bolts, Luke nimbly leapt through the boxes, realizing too late that the intent had not been to hit him, but drive him away from his Master.

The four landed between him and the others, who were unable to turn away from the Stormtroopers.

"Surrender, Skywalker," The tallest boy called. "Your friends may depart unharmed if you do.

"It would be a deal, but you've met my sister. She wouldn't walk away," Luke replied.

"She is of no concern to our Master."

All four advanced on Luke, who was forced back. They were certainly no Jedi Masters, but they contained enough raw skill and power that in the open Hangar it was difficult to duel all four at once as he had in the Cargo Locker where they were too close. As they drove him back towards the large closed hangar doors, Storm Troopers circled around, cutting him further off from his friends. They were being bombarded from all sides, but could leap away if they weren't waiting on Luke.

Twice he tried to leap over the heads of his enemies to his friends, but despite their lack of Force Intuition, they had Force Honed reaction, and he collided with them, being thrown further back each time. Though they glared at him, they were by no means infuriated. Events weren't completely out of their control.

Luke paced back and forth, crossing sabers several times. They were powerful, though not at his and Leia's levels. They were also restricted by lack of knowledge. With brute use of the Force, through power and reaction they were dangerous foes, but they lacked the intuition Luke used to anticipate their moves. Father and the 1st Fleet would be approaching and if he was out of the way, Leia and their Masters could take the opening to get above the Storm trooper's heads.

Ley, I'll catch up. Get out of here.

"Don't do anything crazy Luke!" She screamed over the whine of blasters and the hiss of sabers.

I'm not the crazy one.

He turned and ran for the vast Hangar Doors, power flowing through him as the doors tore open for him. The mining facilities were below, the lowest part of the City. Calling all the Force Currents near to him he leapt out into the windy, simulated atmosphere, falling, the threads that had always been there catching him, slowing him. He slowed down enough that his pursuers fell past him, their surprise evident. All five landed on the domed roof of the refinery.

"Alright. You aren't able to think on the fly," He said, raising his saber and racing towards the tallest boy. The other stepped into a strong stance, but at the last moment, Luke dove for the ground, rolling past him, sliding down the roof onto the walkway's connecting the refinery to the main building. He ran towards that building, knowing it would get him back to his friends. They pursued him, but as he reached the door a hint of satisfaction filled them all.

He flung himself backwards through the door, forced to defend himself from the blond, who had caught up to him. He stumbled back onto a metal platform, then leapt backwards towards the round chamber below. All four leapt after him, landing around him. For the first time, terror gripped him as he realized where they were.

"Surrender," The tall boy ordered. "Do not make this more painful on yourself."

"You think I am going to surrender so you can put me in that?"

"You have nowhere to run, no way out except through us and we can't be bottlenecked here."

"I'm a Skywalker. I don't give up."

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When Luke's terror flooded their connection, Leia was shoving Han Solo's new friend through the door to the landing pad where Chewie had the transport running. Once they weren't trying to help Luke they had escaped into the upper walkways of the Hangar and battled their way up into the Public Areas where Han and this Lando were waiting for them by the exit doors. Obi Wan caught her shoulder as she leapt to her feet. "Shaak Ti is going for him, you aren't thinking clearly. Help me hold the pad. Ahsoka and her fighters are here and the commandos won't be far behind."

She ground her teeth, watching Master Ti leaping down the side of the building, heading down towards the refinery.

Ley, I'm not getting out of this one. I promise it will be alright. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the bond if they get me into carbonite.

Carbonite! Hold on Luke, Master Ti is on her way.

Ley! Father! Master! I'm falling. I'm sorry. I fai-

The bond snapped. Her brother was gone, a Void in his place. Her heart was split in two. Fury, anger, hate flooded her limbs and suddenly the Force was surging out from her, slamming into the attacking Stormtroopers and her allies, sending them all sprawling. She was screaming. Everything was wrong with the world.

She ran for the edge of the platform, but Han Solo caught her by the waist and swung her back. "NO! I promised him."

"Let me go!" She shoved him, but he held onto her, sending both to the platform. Holding him down with her Power, she leapt to her feet, but was met with her Master's hands. "Let me go! I hate you! Let me go."

"Our forces are landing," Obi Wan answered. "You aren't thinking straight. If you run down, there now you will fail. Calm yourself. He's not dead."

"You're on their side! You are letting them get away!" She beat at his chest, but he held her fast, tears falling down his scarred face.

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Anakin met the first wave of his son's terror with a wince. When the boy panicked, sending out the frightened cry for his father, sister, mentor and it so abruptly ended the General fell to his knees. For a moment, he was lost, unable to find his footing. Then his daughter's rising rage and pain woke him.

All around him the Bridge had frozen, shocked by their Commander's cry of pain. He stood up and spun around.

"Rex, you have command. I am needed there, now."

"What is wrong, Anakin?" Ahsoka asked from his wrist communicator.

"Luke's been captured, if not worse. I'm not sure what has happened yet. Leia is in trouble. She is riding the edge of the Dark Side. Ahsoka, don't let any ships take off and don't blow them up!"

He reached the Shuttle bay and leapt into a transport as it took off. "Get us to the west side landing pad."

It took them only minutes to land where he instructed and he was racing towards the small group gathered around his screaming, struggling daughter. Obi Wan was holding her and Solo was standing there, a pained looked on his face. Chewie was guarding them all with a dark-skinned stranger, who gaped at the sight of General Skywalker. Ignoring them, he caught hold of his daughter and spun her to face him.

"Leia, stop. You are not helping. You are going to cross a line that is hard to return from."

"Daddy!" She flung herself into his arms. "Daddy, save him."

"You need to get to safety. You are going to mar his deeds if you continue this path. Go with Captain Solo back to A New Hope."

"Okay. Save him, Daddy. I can't lose him," She sniffled. Obi Wan turned to the edge of the platform. "Master, I don't want to be your Padawan anymore."

"Leia!" Anakin cried as his oldest friend glanced at her with sad eyes.

"Let's go Anakin. We will face this later," Obi Wan said and leapt from the platform.

His son needed him and Anakin could only hope his daughter would be alright. He leapt after his Master. They soon reached the refinery walk way, following the echoes in the Force. Here Luke had run, battling his way from his pursuers. He had been open, leaving them a trail to follow. Echoes of the fierce young minds from his opponents mingled with his son's powerful, brilliant Force Presence. They were desperate, eager to please their Master, desiring an approval the Sith Lord would never give them.

Through the door into a Carbon freezing chamber. Here Luke's echoes were the greatest, his terror written into the Force around them. Shaak Ti was standing at the edge of the freezing pit, holding the severed halves of Luke's light saber. She turned.

"The computer says he survived the freezing process. It was likely the forced hibernation that cut him off and hid him from us," she said. "I have tried to get a read on where they took him, but the Force is disturbed here and I cannot read the Currents as Luke can."

"Where is the nearest Hangar?" Anakin asked.

"South, down below the refinery, where the Mining Droids Dock."

"Ahsoka, make sure the under city is guarded. That is the most likely place for them to try and escape!" Anakin hollered into his communicator, but static met him.

"The refinery is disrupting the signal," Obi Wan said. "She'll think of the under city."

They were leaping off the walkway, falling to the lowest part of the Colony. They were racing, stretching out with their Force Sense, finding the four users in the Docking Bay, moving. They were at the door, racing through only to see the nimble, speeding T-20 shuttle rising. Hands were raised, trying to take hold of the ship, Jedi voices echoing a cry as the two boys on the closing ramp flung out a shield and cut them off. Then the ship was gone into the clouds.

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Bespin was soon under rebel control. The Emperor's Hands had gambled and won. They did not care for the Mining Colony. It was in Imperial territory and once the Rebels knew they'd lost young Skywalker they would abandon the City to return to their territories. General Tano's fighters had reached the under city, but only after the escaping ship had vanished into the sensor distorting clouds.

Dives into the murky gases had been made, but there was no sign of the ship and the Force Users were not visible to the Jedi. Hours after the ship escaped, General Anakin Skywalker returned to his command ship. Lando had heard of this man for decades. There were not many who the Gambler could respect, having a cynical belief that every man was for themselves and only the best bluffer with the best hand could win. The General was one of the rare few who the adventurer felt a rare awe for.

The brilliant leader, Jedi Master, and Rebel leader came towards where Lando was watching Han and Chewie guard the nervous Jedi Princess. His shoulders drooped and his smoke dirtied face was creased with lines. A hollowness filled Lando, though he could only be certain that the man's son and the girl's brother was missing, even in their mystical Force. Whatever had gone down here, the Rebel's plan had failed.

"No. You can't have failed. You are the greatest Jedi in the galaxy!" His daughter screamed. "Give me back my brother. Give him back."

"Leia," The General caught her and pulled her to his chest. "Leia."

"No, Daddy. No. You have to save him!" She wailed.

Solo tugged at Lando's arm. They vacated the area, wandering into the ship's corridors. Chewie followed, growling what sounded like a blessing for the fallen warrior. Lando did not know much of Wookie Culture, but this was unique enough to prove that whatever was going on, it was bigger than this little mining colony.

"I got pulled in, Lando," Solo said. "I didn't mean to. One day I'm riding a wave of wealth in Mois Easley and the next I'm flying into Devaron and picking up Padme Skywalker and her son. They paid excellent and then I was flying again, and this time I didn't stop."

"They're the real deal, huh?" Lando said. "The anti-thesis to every scoundrel in the Galaxy."

"No. They're real because they aren't just idealists. They love each other, but every time they meet they part again knowing one or more could die. I've seen the nightmares and the anger and the pain, . It's raw. It's worth fighting for."

So? Review and tell me what you think.

Chapter Text

The Void

I do not own Star Wars, I am only borrowing it to practice my craft.

Anakin had called her from the ship, refused to let her hear it from anyone but him. Perhaps they had all known what would happen. Padme's son was the must hunted man in the Galaxy. The Sith Lord wanted him and wanted him alive.

To someone outside the Jedi's confidences this might have seemed strange. Luke's training had become like no other Padawan. Rumor had spoken of a power unknown to the Jedi in him. His name on the top of the Imperial bounty lists had spread more rumor. In short, from the kernel of truth in the rumors, of his unique way of using the Force to the Visions of a future where he would cripple the Empire, had grown a story that Luke was intentionally be trained to take down the Empire with his power.

If so, Luke should be the one person Palpatine wanted dead at all costs. With the disappearance of Count Dooku after Anakin's escape from Mustafar the Rebellion, and the Empire, had wondered who would take his place. Since no one had, most believed there was no place to take. Luke's increasing bounty and orders to be captured alive had told the Jedi and those who knew of both Palpatine's true position and the prophesy of the boy who would face him that Palpatine was willing to gamble on another whom could destroy him. He had nearly succeeded with the boy's father, vanquished only because the twins were born before all plots were complete.

It would not be long before the entire Alliance knew Luke Skywalker had been captured.

Seated in the Council Chamber, staring at the holo-projector, Padme Skywalker tried to ignore the whispered conversations around her. The Alliance Leaders were trying to be respectful of her position as Luke's mother, but the Rebellion weighed more than the boy in their minds. Luke had become a legend in rumors, and his capture would indeed be a blow to morale. Worse was the knowing looks the Jedi Council Members Mace Windu and Staas Allie were giving each other.

It had never been stated to Padme's face, but she'd heard the whispers that this was the fated meeting between her son and their enemy, even before the events in Bespin were known.

If it had been anyone but Leia who was kidnapped, Padme would have grounded her son. She would have let the anyone else die rather than run a risk with her son's life. But how do you choose between children? If Luke did not go and appear to be alone, Leia would have been killed outright. With Luke, they knew he was wanted alive. So, they had tried to trick the kidnappers.

There was the sound of people approaching. It was her grieved husband, the other solemn commanders and her daughter. Leia was seething, her eyes sharp and a sneer on her face. It did not soften even at the sight of her mother. Anakin had said she was taking Luke's capture badly, that whatever they had done to put him into hibernation had cut Luke out of the Force so completely that it felt like death to Leia.

"We've not managed to track the ship at all. These Hands are trained beyond what Palpatine normally trains his Force Sensitive Servants. However, if Palpatine means to try and turn Luke to the Dark Side, he will want to keep him close, so it must be going to Coruscant," Anakin said heavily.

"I want confirmation of that!" Padme ordered, glancing at Captain Andor, where the young man was leaning against the wall in the back of the command room. He had been trained by Ooban Green before she was betrayed and executed. Within two years of her death, he had become her replacement. "Have every spy there looking for proof that Luke is there."

"What good will it do to know that?" Leia snapped. "We all know there is not enough strength in even the combined might of the fleets to make it to Imperial Center, must less capture the planet. We all know there is no way to get Luke back if he's there. Everyone will just sit on their hands and say this is meant to be, that Luke will defeat the Emperor and bring us peace."

"Leia, we are not giving up hope. It is true we could never capture the planet with our current strength, but there are other ways we can look at," Padme said.

"I saw him fall in my dreams. Most of you act as if that could never happen, that the dark side of the future could be that he is killed, or joins the Emperor. I saw that happen in my dreams," Leia spat. No one answered her, looking at her with pity. "Is this what you wanted, Mother? Is Luke worth this Rebellion?"

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When he woke, he was falling blindly to the floor. Desperately he tried to reach out with his hands, with the Force, but neither worked. Nor did his eyes. He could not see. He was shivering and wet. The floor was cold, made of a strange stone or rough metallic material. For a moment that was all he knew.

Metal hands grabbed his shoulders and hauled him upright. He shuddered, trying again to stretch out with the Force, but it wasn't there. Even his own threads weren't answering him. There was not link with Leia or his father or his mentor. There were no dancing threads, no extra sense. He was utterly alone in his own body.

"What is this?" Luke Skywalker cried, as the chilly fingers of what felt like droids removed his tabard and tunic, then pushed him to the floor and took off his boots and leg wraps, leaving him clad only in his thin, linen undershirt and pants. He struggled, but with no sight, no Force, no sense of direction, he couldn't even be sure how many droids were around him. "What is going on? Why can't I feel the Force? Why can't I see?"

He was dragged backwards to a wall. He could hear the click and whirring of droid machinery and feel them moving behind his head, but they did not communicate with him. Reaching out with his hands he found one of the droids' chest plates. An arm swung down across his face and he cried out. Four hands gripped him, while two more brought a cold, metal circle around his neck. Two needles were jammed into his skin as the shackled was closed and locked in place.

They added two more to his wrists, each with a needle piercing his skin, slipping into his veins.

"Please, tell me where I am."

This time his voice was met with sharp pain from his neck. He cried out, curling in on his stomach as the whir, click, thud of leaving droids met his ears. There was the sound of a door opening and a cold, sick scent flooded his prison. The pain eased and he slumped against the wall, whimpering slightly. In front of him he felt the breeze of the closing door before it thudded shut, the sound ringing off the metal sided walls of his prison. Another thud spoke of bolt locks being slammed into place.

For a little bit, he stayed in the corner, listening anxiously. There was a soft buzzing above him, like that of a faulty light. Somewhere near the door was letting in air in chilly puffs. The metallic taste of blood on his tongue matched the chill of the room.

"Hello?" He tried. Immediately pain slammed into him driving him back to his curled position. When it faded into a dull bruised sensation by the needles he sat up, shaken. He considered the pain, then carefully lay down, and relaxed his limbs. "Is anyone there?"

As he feared, the pain leapt down his spine and up his arms. He rode the waves of pain as loosely as he could, and lay panting when it was over. They did not want him to speak. Was he permitted to explore his prison?

Carefully getting to his feet he placed a hand against one wall, straining against his blindness and still unable to connect with the Force. Easing his way along the wall from one corner to the next he counted six steps. After the turn, he counted four steps. The room was not large, but the entire walls were covered with a metal that began to feel oily. His neck shackle had a thick wire on it attached to the wall, but it was long enough for him to walk the entire perimeter.

He returned to the corner the wire was attached to and sat down, keeping his body from touching the wall. Whatever was blocking the Force was in these walls. It must even cover the ceiling, and be in the floor. This small cell was a Void. He was cut off not only from people and sound and sight, but from the Force as well. Even his own threads were not answering him, subdued into silence by whatever had blacked it out from the Cell.

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They had known none by Darth Sidious, broken down, poured into his chosen mold, raised as mere tools. They craved his attention and approval, desired only to please him. Power they knew, but their abilities were weak compared to what their Master had shown them, done to them. It was a power they could never have.

The Boy, the Skywalker, he was stronger than they and contained that which they lacked to be their Master's apprentices. He was not yet their Master, but in time, when he bent knee, he would be above them. It had taken all four of them to subdue him and only because he believed his sister was worth his life. Master instructed them that he was to be watched on the recording cams on the corners of his cell, but they were not to go near him.

All of them had been punished and trained with the Void, so there was no desire to go near the cell.

They knew nothing of their parentage, or how they came to be tools of the Emperor. He had told them their names, but though they used them, they meant nothing to the four. It was by far more important that they learn the name of the Apprentice. Darth Tyrannous had been weak and had fallen to them despite his former glory as the greatest duelist in the galaxy. Who would the new Darth be?

Would he be the one to surpass the Master, as was the Sith way?

Please Review to let me know what you think.

Chapter Text

The Broken Child

I do not own Star Wars. I am playing in the Galaxy to practice my craft.

There was no time to tell time in the cell. Luke's world had shrunk to the little gray cell under a garish, ugly light that flickered and buzzed. When his sight had returned, it had been only revealed the small, meanness of his prison. There was a vent high in the walls, above where the metal encased wire attached to his neck shackle would allow him to reach. Other than the junction of where the tube that served as his chain entered the wall there was only a small compartment that opened to reveal a waste receptacle and a small sink. This was only unlocked part of the time.

Every aspect of his life was not his to control. He was punished for speaking and meditating. He was not allowed to drink and relieve himself when needed. His sleep was disturbed by pain. They never allowed him more than what he believed was a couple hours at a time. Food was never sent in, and he soon realized that the needles in the manacles were giving him nutrition. There was no comfort, no friend, no family bonds spreading across the galaxy, and even the Force Threads that had always been were gone.

Since he'd been knocked into the hibernation chamber he had seen and heard no one. Even Leia was gone. He was terrified of what that meant, not sure it was just the suppression of his Force Abilities or if she was dead. Deprived of all but what kept him alive he began to physically weaken.

At first, he found ways around the punishments. If he was not allowed to speak he would tap out a cadence with his fingers, putting mental words to each beat. Through this he told his absent family of his pain, his fear, his lonely existence. If he was not allowed to meditate, he would pace in slow rhythmic steps, creating a beat that eased him into a semi meditation. It was harder to get around the disturbed sleep, but he learned that if he was awake for long enough he would be allowed to sleep and so would count to his next time.

Even that began to fail him. The boy was a social being, always ready to make friends even with the peers that had feared and teased him. Even in the early years of the Devaron settlement he had always had his sister. Even when he had been alone she had been present in their bond. He loved his parents, but it was Leia who had always been his before she was the Rebellions. Her absence was the insidious thought that ate at him.

Holding himself in the corner that he left less and less often, his sister's name became his repeating thought.

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A slender teenage girl stood in the wide desert far outside the Rebel Base. She wore a loose white pants and sleeveless white shirt and her long, brown hair was in a braid crown around her head. Around her were a dozen Jedi training droids. In her right hand, she held an unlit light saber. Though the base was visible in the distance, she was far enough not to hear the daily noises.

A hot wind beat at her under the two suns. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, stretching her senses around her. When she opened her eyes, the Force Currents her brother had shown her swirled around her. She could feel her own anger and despair echoed back at her.

It had been a month since Bespin, since her brother was captured. There was no news of Luke. Every spy the Rebels had had been instructed to figure out where her brother was, but none had succeeded. The last news they had was of the ship vanishing towards the Core Worlds. Her parents and the Rebel Alliance believed he would be brought to Coruscant.

She shook her head and took another deep breath, seeking to combine Force Sense and Force Sight the way Luke could. When she had them in balance, she signaled the droids to begin. Her yellow saber flared to life as they began firing the strongest stinging bolts they could manage. It blurred in her spinning arcs as she deflected the bolts and leapt among the small droids, stretching herself as she had never done before.

Putting her precious brother's smiling face in her mind, she fought for him, as she had failed to do at Bespin.

Power flowed through her. She moved through her training with a strength, speed, power she had never felt before. She could hear Luke encouraging her, marveling in her abilities even when they had outmatched his own. For a moment, she had the power to find him, to spread out through the galaxy and find him. He was there, just beyond her reach. Then it slipped out of her control and she was unable to use both arms of the Force, the Force Currents she must master to find her brother falling away.

With her failure came the surge of sheer power that lashed out through the Force. The droids were shut off and dropped to the sand around her as she dropped to her knees with a scream. Sitting in the hot sand she let two tears fall. If only she had gained Luke's special view of the Force and it was her natural Force Power.

Luke was the only one who could give her what she needed. Her parents had soon forgotten him, giving the orders to find him, but lately returning to their War. The Mother who had raised a Rebellion was willing to pay the price of her son to keep it going. The Father who was supposed to be the Most Powerful Jedi in the Galaxy had failed to save him, had not hunted his captors down. His own Jedi Master had barely showed grief. Her Master had tried to channel her suffering into something more, had tried to ease her grief, had even urged her to let it out, but he had held her back when she could have made a difference.

She was alone.

After a moment of raging against her failure, she stood and raised the droids again, shoving her grief down and preparing to start again. It was her fault, for being kidnapped, for not matching Luke's skill.

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They were falling apart. Padme looked out the window to the arid, lifeless surroundings. She hated this planet. Her husband had been enslaved here. She had seen dreadful things here. She had let her children go to war here. She had suffered here.

There existed a wall between her and her husband and her daughter, almost as great as the absence of her son. Somewhere Luke was a prisoner. She refused to believe he was dead. They knew he had survived the freezing process. Palpatine had not ordered that just to kill her son when brought to him. No. Luke was alive. She knew that.

Jedi visions were not always accurate. She knew that Master Windu had grown grave and believed Luke had failed his fate. Her son was not to be found with their Force. Master Yoda has said nothing, but he had retreated to his rooms and in his rare emergences he had only warned them that their child was breaking. Most of the Jedi Council believed Luke was dead or turned, and Anakin had fallen into that way of thinking, refusing to let himself hope.

She understood that. If the four Jedi who had premonitions of Luke's failure were right, Anakin was closer to accepting that than she. If Luke was dead her hope would break her heart and she wasn't sure she could recover from that. That he would turn and become her enemy she refused to entertain as a possibility. Her son was the one family member she had never feared would fall into hatred and anger. He could see planets through his power, had had the presence of mind to leave when his turmoil could cause damage, had never been jealous of those things his sister had once been better at. He had held power in his hands and let it go, let his power lessen to his own portion of the Force.

It was her daughter she was more likely to lose. Leia blamed her mother. She had wondered if Padme had chosen to sacrifice her son for the Rebellion. Is that what his Mother had done? Her children were powerful and she had watched them go to battle for the galaxy she was going to free. What if Leia was right?

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It was Anakin's fault. He should have denied Luke's plan and gone in gun's blazing. He should have kept his son away from Bespin. Yet, would Leia then have survived? From the moment, Leia had vanished from Naboo, Anakin was going to lose one of his children.

Luke would not have stayed away from Bespin.

What could Anakin have done? His son was a good man. It had been what Anakin had hoped for, but the cost of being a good man was a cost Anakin had not wanted his son to pay. Until the moment before he was defeated there had been so little fear in Luke. He had gone to save his sister without surrendering to the fear of failure.

It was often hard to remember that Luke was powerful. This was the kid who played with speeders in the Tatooine desert, whose aging cat still slept on his bed, who had marveled at his sister's strength. Because of his early struggles most of his teachers had always looked at him as needing much training. When Master Yoda had returned and asked Luke to demonstrate his power, it had been his honest review that had made Anakin realize that Luke had the potential to surpass Anakin, perhaps even Yoda himself.

Whether it was because he had known the Force from inside the womb, or because he had been playing with the Force from his first moments, or because his unique ability to use Force Sight and Force Sense simultaneous, Luke would be a greater Jedi someday.

There was a void in Anakin's heart. His son had been there, but now did not seem to exist in the Galaxy. While Anakin, like Leia, had never had an affinity for feeling the events of the Galaxy, Luke had been able to find his father on Mustafar, communicate with his sister while in two separate solar systems, and had felt the entire Force of a Planet. The General had not realized that Luke had always been there until he was gone.

Padme held onto a fading hope that Luke would fulfil the destiny and come home, Leia trained for hours each day to surpass her brother's power, and Anakin wondered if Luke's destiny had always been to die.

Two decades of war had taught General Skywalker that you could not stop death. His childish belief that he could stop death had ended when so many Jedi were slaughtered. He had let go of his belief that he could not live without his wife, and had faced the fact that death would not leave him without family and love. He grieved for his son and led his armies in the name of Luke's sacrifice.

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"I don't know what to do for her," Obi Wan said when Shaak Ti approached him on the roof top where the Padawan's Master was watching her distant training. "She is trying to force the conjunction of Force Sight and Force Sense. Luke didn't know how he did it and no one has been able to replicate it."

"It is one of her trials," The other Master said. "They are young to face them, but both have the skill of a knight."

"Can she pass the trial in her suffering?" Obi Wan said. Shaak Ti frowned, aware that Obi Wan believed Mace Windu's vague glimpse of Luke bending knee to the Emperor to be a sign that the boy would fail. The Tortuga did not believe Luke would fail by turning or that he would die. Despite his complete absence from the Force Shaak Ti believed he was alive, just concealed from the Force. There were ways to do it, though none of the Skywalkers had ever been so completely devoid of the Force before.

While several powerful Jedi Masters had had visions of Luke bending knee, or being killed by Force Lightning, Shaak Ti had dreamt of her Padawan standing in the old Senate building, with four cloaked figures, and telling the empty building that Palpatine was dead. She saw him smiling as he raced across a ship's hallway to meet his sister. In her furthest glimpse, she had seen him as a man, a Jedi Knight who stood in a new Temple, teaching some curious knights of the Force Sight.

The only time before that her visions had been so clear to her was the night of his birth.

The future was in motion and the Jedi could only see where events were most likely to lead, but if one person acted out of their normal way it could shift the whole future. Luke had been the anomaly that had changed the future last time. Was her rare gift of visions only to see anomalies that would happen? If so, would she one day see her adopted nephew, the boy she had mentored for six years, as a strong knight?

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The thin boy had his knees drawn up to his chest, with his arms crossed over them and his head resting on his arms. Tears were dripping down his face into his lap as he contemplated never being let out of this void. He could not concentrate long enough to count to the times when his manacles would let him sleep. He had begun to hallucinate, seeing fleeting images of his family accusing him of failing. They had begun to feel like a lie, that he had always been here, and he had merely dreamt them to escape from his solitude, his silence.

When the door opened, he did not look up, thinking it only another part of his breaking mind.

"Ah, young one. You have been alone too long. If you will be good you may come out for an hour," A voice said.

He looked up. The door was open and behind the cloaked figure in the door he could see a corridor. In the corridor, around the mysterious figure, he could see the Currents. They arced away from the cell, driven away by the dead, rotting material was used in the walls to create the Force void.

Even in the void, with no threads reaching him, he could hear the Force. He stared at the threads and his secretive friend. It was there, not just a dream. He stretched his hand out towards the door, unable to call the Force to himself. Two faceless droids marched in, disconnected the manacle around his neck and pulled him to his shaky feet.

He stumbled towards the open door and the man offering to let him out. A pasty white hand caught him as he stepped through the door and felt the currents again. He had no control. The manacles were dulling his power enough that he could only listen and feel, but even that was enough to lighten his heart.

He looked up at the man, his imprisoner and his savior. He bowed his head quickly in fear and gratitude.

Often times, my titles refer to more than one thing. In this case, the Broken Child can be used in reference to all four Skywalkers.

Chapter Text

The Bending Knee

I do not own Star Wars, I am only borrowing it to practice my art.

Luke was led into a small comfortable room and allowed to sit on the carpeted floor. He gazed around the room, seeing the rippling currents amid it all. Four slender teens stood in each corner and he knew that he had seen them before. It was a struggle to remember that they had cut his saber in half and held him in the Carbonite Chamber as he was frozen.

Their Master took a seat on the only chair in the room.

"You are starting to understand," He said quietly, pushing his hood back. It was Emperor Palpatine. Luke wasn't sure if he should be surprised or not, but though he could only see the currents in the room, they were enough to distract him from paying much attention. They echoed with pain, fear, and desire. Echoes of others, even the four teens standing so solemn and respectful, who had sat where Luke sat, grateful for a spot of comfort from the one who had placed them in that Void.

Luke dared not talk. The manacles were gone, but they had conditioned him well. As he reconnected with the threads, and began to remember what had led him to this place he stared at Palpatine. He has expected something other than what he saw in the Force. The Force Currents that moved around Palpatine looked no different than the Threads around the Jedi Masters, or around Luke himself. It had been the same with Dooku, but he had never really thought about it.

There was rage in Palpatine, and a lust that would never be satisfied. He could hear those echoes in the threads. This was the Dark side, but he had met it before. His own father had battled rage, but he overcame it, subdued it. Palpatine fed it, used it. He had seen desire before in his friends, longing for something. Palpatine's was great and it controlled him.

Luke's Uncle Bail longed for his ill wife to be cured, but instead of raging against the unfairness, he had sought to bring her comfort, to cheer her in her pain. Uncle Bail had bent his shoulder to the load and stood stronger in his pain. Palpatine wanted to throw the pain away, but in this strange, often brutal world pain came intertwined with desire. However great Palpatine was in the Force, his lust could never be ended and he would always want more.

The Force made one neither good nor bad.

It was how one used the Force. The Force's Dark side was uncontrolled anger, desire, and fear. The Jedi had wanted to give up all anger, desire, and fear because they could so easily become uncontrollable. Luke had been told this, but had been given the choice to try to combine the Jedi teachings with love. He had never thought how important the choice was.

Sitting at the feet of the Sith Lord, he wondered how long it would be before he could not control his fear. He wished he had sought harder to give up emotions, to at least have a foundation to fall back on. Master Ti had given him instruction, but he had never liked it, thinking it meant turning his back on his sister, his mother, and his father. Would he become one of the teens watching him? Would his sole desire be to please this old man just to avoid pain?

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Anakin sat up, gasping.

He could feel his son. It was just a touch of the unique mind, dimmed by wherever he was imprisoned. Luke was alive!

"Anakin?" Padme rolled over next to him. "What is wrong?"

"He's there, Padme. He's alive. I can't find where, or if he is well, but he is alive," He turned to her weeping. "He's alive."

"I know. Our boy is brave and strong. We will find him. We will save him," She promised. "He won't die and he won't fall." Tears rolled down her face. "Anakin, promise me it will be alright."

He held her close, unable to give that promise. What it meant that Luke was there, for now, he did not know. All he knew was that he had hope that his child was alive.

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"Leave me alone," Leia spat as Obi Wan came up to her. "I don't want you."

"I know," He answered, sitting down on the sand beside the training field she had created. Since Bespin she had not gone on any missions or left the base. Both of her parents had returned to their duties, but no one had even suggested it for Leia. Luke's pilot friends often tried to talk to her when they were at the base, telling her of her brother's funny adventures with them. At first, she had tried to drive them off, but gradually she had softened and would listen. In time, she had even shared a couple of her own funny stories from when they were younger.

"Leia, we know he's not dead. That is more than we knew before. He was given an hour free of his Force suppressant."

"I know. I also know that most of you old Jedi think it means he may not have faced the emperor yet," She spat. "You all think he will fail his so-called destiny."

Obi Wan did not answer, staring into the distant sand dunes. The brief hour that his family, his Master, and Obi Wan had sense him they had tried to search his presence for changes, wondering if there was darkness in him. They had found no answer. When he had vanished again, Obi Wan had headed for his Padawan, worried that the repeat of his disappearance would harm her. Her parents had watched him go, but dared not follow. Their daughter would barely speak to them.

"It is likely that he has not faced Palpatine fully yet. Palpatine is smart, Leia, and despite the threat Luke poses, he wants your brother's power. He isn't going to face Luke head on."

"What you mean, is that Palpatine is trying to brainwash my brother. How can that even be possible with Luke's power? The Jedi didn't know it was possible to see the Force until Luke, and it's always made him special."

"We know too little of Force Sight to know if it can give a protection against brain washing. What I know is that Luke will need to feel you eventually. He did not reach out to us, perhaps he could not reach out to us, but as Palpatine works on him, he may free Luke even more."

"I will be ready for that. He can tell me where he is and I will save him," Leia answered. "That is what I am preparing for."

"You are trying to be your brother," Obi Wan retorted. "You are not Luke. You are Leia."

"I will figure it out. I will be stronger than emperor. I will not lose Luke for good!" She answered.

He stood and sadly looked at her. "I fear he may lose you, though. Those who seek power can be lost to it."

"I don't seek it for myself. I seek it for Luke."

"Your father wanted to seek Power for your mother. Your father could have fallen into Palpatine's plots if events had transpired differently," Obi Wan answered. "I love your father like a brother, but he was arrogant and terrified. I did not see it at the time, not until he was willing to give up power for his family. I know you are hurting, little one. Don't fall into the trap of thinking only power can free you from pain."

She closed her eyes and turned away. He walked back to the base, heart heavy with fear for her, as much as for Luke.

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It was hard to be in cell after that taste of the Force. The void was so much worse when he had felt the Threads. He had sobbed after being returned, though he had made no complaint or fight. Neither the Emperor or his servants entered the cell, using the droids to return Luke to his prison and the manacle.

When the Emperor came a second time, Luke was ashamed of how grateful he was. This time he could sit outside the cell for two hours, and while Palpatine had talked about how good the Force's Power must be, Luke had even been given a small fruity smoothie. Gratitude marked his feelings. For two weeks, this continued. When he was in the cell it was all gray and pain and emptiness, but when he was brought out he was seated on the floor, listing to Palpatine tell of his point of view of the Galaxy and given some small treat.

He was kept undernourished and under rested, so it did not occur to him at first that this was another conditioning. Silence was a given. He was not to speak because it meant pain. Palpatine's kindness in giving him relief from the cell and from pain meant that Luke wished to be silent and small before him, to keep the Emperor's momentary good will. As he listened and remained submissive, he was rewarded.

After two weeks of sitting and listening, things changed. Palpatine had moved the large chair to one wall and had placed heavy pillars at the other. He told Luke to stand in the middle of the room and walked around the boy in silence for several times. This was not right and Luke understood that Palpatine's plots were just beginning. He just didn't know how to combat them.

"Little one, you are so weary. Surely by now, you see how weak the Jedi are. I have made you silent. I have made you eager to be in my presence. You live in dread that I will leave you in the Void again. It is so wrong that you must be imprisoned there. Bend your knee and call me Master and I will let you sleep in here tonight."

It was so easy to think of falling to his knees and saying the word. Every part of his body screamed at him, telling him that if he didn't obey it would be worse for him. Yet Luke could not do it. He was powerless in front of the Emperor, but it was revolting to think that he would obey a man who was ruled by his unsated Lust. Palpatine wanted to be the completely feared and completely powerful. Luke had tasted power when he had connected to the entire Force of Devaron. He hadn't thought to do anything with it. Leia had told him he should have used the Force against the invaders of their home, but it had never occurred to him that he could have turned the Force Presence of the Planet against them. That would have been a sacrilege in his mind.

If he bent knee to Palpatine he would be saying that it was better to be feared. In his moment of power to save his mother's life, Luke had loved the planet he had lived in. He could not have twisted it in vengeance when the battle was already lost! Here was a choice.

He had been conditioned, and it was hard to stay upright.

"Boy, you are being foolish. You have no power here. You could be great. You have far more potential than my Hands here. You could be me someday. Submit to the Dark Side."

"The Dark Side is just your anger and lust," Luke replied hoarsely. "You make it Dark."

"Foolish Child!" Lightning leapt from Palpatine's hands and Luke was on the ground, writhing in agony. He had not seen this before, though he had known it was possible. "I see you are not yet broken. Return him to the Void."

Luke watched the Lightning pull back. It was curious. Palpatine had literally created a tiny force storm at the tips of his hands to create the lightning. The Force Currents had never been so violently shaken in his sight before. Luke had once created such a storm, but though it had been larger, it had been calmer and he eventually subdued it.

The Droids were dragging him back to the Void, cutting of his muted connection with the Threads. He was still aching with the pain of the electrical current when the Metal shackle was locked around his neck again. He curled up in his corner, trying to steady himself.

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It was a week before Palpatine came again. He looked so grave and disappointed that Luke felt guilty when he was given the reprieve from the Void. There was no treat waiting for him in the windowless room, only the large chair and the two pillars. Again, Luke was stood in the center of the room and again he was told to bend knee.

Since every noise he had made, even by just moving, had been punished in the last week, he dared not speak. It was hard to stand. He trembled as he kept to his feet, tensing for the blast of lightning. He could not turn his eyes away from Palpatine's hands.

This time he saw the way the Currents moved before the lightning struck him. He writhed under it for longer this time before being given a second chance to kneel. He was crying when he stood, knowing he could not bow. Instead of lightning, Palpatine lifted him into the air with the Force by his neck and flung him across the room to the wall.

He was returned to the Cell for two days. He was not permitted to sleep at all during this time. When Palpatine returned for him he was so tired that seeing straight was difficult. This time Palpatine told him he just had to fall to his knees. If he just knelt, he could sleep. Twice he refused and was electrocuted. He was given a third chance.

Even as Palpatine offered it, he was on his knees. He did not speak, but kept his head lowered. Palpatine approached. Had he asked for Luke to call him master, the boy would have. The Emperor did not, instead touching the boy's head and pushing the force of his own hate and lust for power into the child's mind. "I am your master, boy. You will join me. I will make you more powerful than all the Jedi, even your father."

He nodded his head towards Luke and two of the silent, young observers came and picked the weak boy up. They pulled him to between the two pillars, where they attached chains to his wrist manacles. He could lay between the two pillars which had the same sensation of the Void Cell. Palpatine took off his own cloak and covered the crying boy.

"You may sleep, young Skywalker. You did well today."

He was drifting to sleep immediately. He could do nothing through the Force, but even with the Void infused pillars he could feel the tickle of the Threads in the room around him. The teenagers had all sat down, watching him, and as his eyes slid shut he noticed how their threads stretched towards him with curiosity. He fell asleep to an echo of their own training.

How long he slept he did not know, but it was not utterly restful. At some point, he dreamt of his family. They were reaching out to embrace him, save him, heal him, but when he connected with them, they were filled with the anger and pain of his teenage guards. His father turned away, his mother became unable to see him, and his sister wrapped her aguish around him.

He woke with a scream. Immediately he cringed, expecting the pain in his neck. It did not come. Cautiously he opened his eyes and found that Palpatine was sitting on the other side of the room.

"Did you dream of your family?" He asked calmly. "I wondered if you could sense an echo of their deaths. We broke the Rebellion's first fleet. Your father was killed in the battle and your sister is missing, presumed dead. My spies tell me your mother has not left her bed since then."

It was surely a lie.

"Free his hands. Let him connect to the Force," Palpatine ordered. The blond girl knelt and gingerly unlocked the binders. The child crept out of the shadow of the pillars and felt the currents sweep towards him. He grabbed the threads, pulling them towards him, pulling connections to himself from even his captor and the servants.

"What are you doing?" Palpatine frowned. "How are you creating this shift?"

Luke ignored him and closed his eyes. It had to be a lie. It had been two months since he had last used his Force Sense, but as soon as he was connected he could stretch out. Leia was his first attempt.

He touched her mind. She was alive, but it wasn't the Leia he had last seen before her mission to Naboo. Anger flowed through her and a desire for power that was so like Palpatine's that Luke was terrified. He could feel her anguish. She was waking up to his presence but he couldn't bear the connection. For her to be in such pain, Father might be dead. It wasn't certain but Luke didn't know how he would fight if he knew just what he had lost.

He closed the connection and wrapped his mind with his Threads so she could not reach out to him. Her pain was too much for him in his own suffering. No. Luke could not give up hope. He would not reach out to his family and find out what tragedy had broken his sister.

"You lie. Leia's alive," Luke told the Emperor.

"And your father?" Palpatine asked. It was possible to find out without touching Leia, but Luke wasn't sure he could handle the void of death if his father wasn't there. He wasn't sure he could unwind his mental protection to try. He looked away from Palpatine. "Your sister is finding her power. I have sensed it. She has tried to hide herself so the Jedi don't find out what she is playing with. The Rebellion is in retreat with their greatest General Dead and their Leader crushed by her sorrows. You can heal your mother and bring your sister to your side. Call me, Master. Learn from me."

Leia must never face this man. His moment in her mind had told him she was already seeking power. When it failed her, it would become a raging desire, until she too was full of unanswerable lust. For her sake, as much as his own, he could not let her see what he saw. Father might be dead and Luke didn't know if he could handle the grief and try to help his sister while so battered. He might not even be given the time.

His family must not come for him. They must not be exposed to this!

Chapter Text

The Knife's edge

 

I do not own Star Wars, I am only borrowing the galaxy to play with.

"He was there. He was fully there!" Leia cried. "I felt him. He was free."

She didn't care that she was bursting into a Rebel Council. Once her parents know she had managed to see that he was with Palpatine, who they knew was on Coruscant, they could go find him and rescue him. She rushed to her mother. Padme gladly took her daughter into her arms.

"Mama, our bond was there again. He shut it off, afraid to show me how much pain he was in, but I saw him. He is with the Emperor and he has not fallen!"

"Can you reach back to him?" Anakin demanded.

"No. He's cut me off," She said. "I've tried, but he has hidden himself."

Her father and the rest of the present Jedi immediately tried to connect with her brother. His presence had been there for a full day until he shielded his mind. They all failed. Luke had not had control over his Force Presence until his connection with her. He had been unable to shield himself, though his presence was dim compared to what it could be when he allowed it. Now he had control and was refusing to let them find him.

"It is not surprising that he is with the Emperor," Master Windu said. "We have suspected this to be the case."

"But now we know! We can go there!" Leia replied.

"Leia," Padme said softly, "Palpatine is on Imperial City, the very heart of the Empire. We have no way of getting our fleet there intact."

"We don't need a fleet. Dad and I can go. We can get him out!"

"Neither of you can go on such a mission. It is too dangerous to risk you both for that. Palpatine knows your father's presence."

"Are you all so scared? He's an old man!"

Anakin shook his head. "We do not know how powerful he is. We know he trained the Red Guard and a group of he calls his Hands. Count Dooku was the greatest duelist of his time and he did not challenge Palpatine. It is too dangerous for us and for Luke. If we were caught, Palpatine would use us against Luke."

"We aren't going to save him?" Leia exclaimed.

"Not you or your father," Padme answered. "I will have a small strike band sent to Imperial Center to find out more."

"We should send a Jedi with training in Force Sight," Master Ti said. "I believe Knight Dume in the Ghost Squadron is unknown to the Empire. We could give him this command. He knows Luke."

Leia was stunned. Her own parents would not risk themselves to help her brother? She was going to have to work harder, make herself use Force Sense and Force Sight at the same time so she could free her brother. Luke was strong. He would wait for her.

"Leia," She heard her mother call as she walked out of the room.

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Luke had held his resolve to reach out to his family in fear of what he might find for two weeks. Two weeks of nightmares of his father's death and his sister's breaking spirit weighed heavily on him. He had refused to kneel again, afraid if he did he would find himself caught up in the Lust of Power that made Palpatine so cruel, was driving his sister mad. He was in the Void Cell most of the time and in the rare occasions he was brought to his testing room, he focused on the echoes to try and tune Palpatine's lures and demands out.

The echoes were heavy with pain. In his few moments connected to the Force again he had familiarized himself with the silent, emotionless, watching teens and it made the echoes of their training in this very room louder. Their desire to be loved and praised by their Master, who had been their only parental figure, clashed hard with the pain they had suffered at his hands. They longed for the strength to be great so they would gain acceptance from him.

Palpatine was infusing them with a need for power, while denying them the teaching to make them as strong as a Jedi Knight. It hurt them and Luke could feel that pain and fear in their echoes. Mingled with his own pain and fear and the memory of Leia's it was overwhelming. He dreaded finding his father was gone, but the uncertainty wore at him. Palpatine was not keeping him in binders in the testing room, letting him connect to the Force so that the power in Palpatine could be clearly felt.

Two weeks of torment and Luke had to know the truth. Palpatine was telling him the history of Darth Plagieus as the boy sat wearily on the floor. The yellowed eyes of the Sith Lord were on his prisoner's face, searching for some sign of the Force Powers. Luke dared not use his power against Palpatine, but his mental abilities were easily concealed because of the way he could connect with the Natural Force Currents and wield them as well as his own Force Presence. It seemed to the tired child that the Emperor had no idea of Force Sight.

Connecting to the bond would could sometimes be felt in Force Sense, which Palpatine could feel, but Luke risked it. Unlike Leia's bond, which he had always found harder to keep quiet, it usually took concentration to use the bond between himself and his father. Lowering his head and closing his eyes he opened his bonds. He was rewarded as the solid, powerful presence of his father grew evident. His father was alive!

Tears burned his eyes and dripped down his face as he felt his father open himself up in return. He was alive and though heavy with sorrow, he was strong. The sorrow eased and Anakin was pushing his love and pride in his son across the bond. Sobs shook Luke's and he was spilling out his terror and his pain into the bond, seeking comfort and protection as he had once received as a little boy with nightmares.

Anakin took Luke's burdens and sent back love and compassion, weeping with his son for all the young man had suffered. The great fear and rage Anakin had struggled with for so long were suppressed as his father held out Love. He neither demanded Luke fight, nor demanded to know where Luke was. His father was a Jedi Master, wise and powerful.

The old Emperor had fallen silent, feeling Luke stretching his Presence out. "You can see the Power I hold, young Skywalker," he said. "Don't you see what you can become?"

Luke, I love you. His first clear communication from his family in two and a half months came loud and strong. It was greater than Palpatine's power, though it could not save him from his torture. Its power lay in the rising hope in Luke, that he could stand against Palpatine long enough to not fall to the Dark side.

Dad, I'm afraid. He's strong and Leia is starting to feel like him. She wants power and that's what Palpatine wants. I can't give in to him, but I'm afraid that I'm letting Leia feel him.

"What good is this rebellion of yours? You will fall to me eventually. I will either be your master or your executer."

You are doing everything you can, little light. I am proud of you for being so strong. You are a good man.

"Which will you choose?"

"I want to be a good man, like my father," Luke cried out.

The Force Currents around the Emperor roiled with his anger. He ripped the lightning out and pointed it towards Luke. It hurt, but Anakin remained with Luke as the boy fell to the ground in spasms. Held through the Force by his Father's love, Luke's suffering was eased and he even relaxed a little under the infliction.

My precious Luke, let me help. Let me hold you. I love you, brave Luke. You are not forgotten.

There was a break in the torment as Palpatine paused to see if Luke was still conscious. The boy curled up. He wanted to hide himself away, but he could not. Soon Palpatine's punishment would end and the Emperor would bind him back in the gray, pain-filled cell. The Sith Lord was growing impatient. He had not broken Luke yet.

Daddy, will it be okay if I die? I know I am supposed to be able to beat him, but I don't see how.

You have not failed Luke. I can feel your Love and Compassion. The old man has not beaten it from you. If you die in your fight against him, you will die a good man. We would miss you so much, Luke. Fight if you can, but if you die, it will not mean you failed.

The torment was rising again. His limbs were convulsing, feeling separate from his mind. His mind was trying to pull away from the bond, to make him protect himself, but he fought to hang onto his father's presence. Anakin was trying to aid him, offer him shielding against the pain and the bond was his one comfort.

I love you, Luke. I love you, Luke. His father turned the saying into a rhythmic liturgy, beating back Palpatine's flood of Lust.

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Anakin Skywalker was on his knees on the bridge of his command ship, tears pouring down his face. Around him his men were working in silent, respect. He had called his son's name before sinking down. General Tano had taken over the administration duties of the stationed fleet, allowing no one to disturb her friend. Those on the ship who knew anything about the Jedi knew he was in contact with his missing son.

When Luke's presence abruptly vanished as his Force Abilities were suppressed, Anakin woke to his surroundings, but did not stand at first. There had been a vague feeling of Luke on occasion, but he had kept himself shielded for the most part when connected to the Force. Jedi Knight Caleb Dume, from the Ghost Squadron, had taken five others to Coruscant disguised as merchants with the hope of pinpointing Luke's location. Dume had met Luke when the boy was twelve and had shown an affinity for Force Sight. He could not wield it as well as Force Sense, but he could conceal himself fully with Force Sight.

Padme called Anakin every day since his return to the fleet, telling him every piece of news that came from the Core Worlds. There was nothing definitive on Luke. They knew Palpatine was on Imperial Center, formerly Coruscant. The Emperor had turned the Jedi Temple into his Imperial Palace. Luke's brief sharing of what was happening to him seemed to show Palpatine was testing him daily. Luke had to be in or near the former Temple. Dume would have to be careful as he attempted to connect with the Natural currents on Imperial Center to see if they could show Luke to him. Most of the Jedi Council could not use the Force Currents to the extent, Luke could to map an area, much less a young knight.

"Anakin?" Ahsoka, tall and grown up, looked down at him, offering her hand. Anakin took it to stand up. He wiped roughly at his eyes.

He was full of his son's pain and fear, but amid all that Anakin had discovered there was no hate. Palpatine was a specter of torment to Luke, but there was pity in the boy for the Sith Lord. Luke was breaking, but he was not falling to the Dark side. It was awful to realize that his son could not reach out to his sister because she had a piece of the desire for Power that had twisted Palpatine.

"Ahsoka, I am not sure if Luke will try to reach me again. I cannot risk being compromised during a battle. I am leaving you in command."

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Leia was angry and puzzled during her returned father's tale to the Jedi Council, and her mother.

"Why did Luke reach out to you?" She demanded. "It's always been easiest for him to reach me."

There was pity in her father's eyes when he looked at her. There was pity in all their eyes. Even her mother, with no power, looked knowingly at Leia. It was as if they all believed she was blind to something. It was they who were blind. Her father had abandoned her brother on Bespin and forced Leia to do the same. Luke could not trust that their parents would give their best to save him!

"You have grown wise, Master Skywalker," Master Windu said when no answer was given Leia. "It must have cost you much to sacrifice your own fear to promise him he would not fail if he died."

Her father nodded. "I wanted to beg him not to give up. He was not tainted by the dark side. All the compassion and love that makes us all forget his power was still there. He is a better man than I ever was. I could not tell him that his suffering could mean nothing. If he dies, he will die a good man."

"Why would you tell him that?" Leia screamed. "What if it lets him give up? What if he thinks you don't care and quits trying to survive? Why don't you care?"

"Leia," Her father said grimly, "He knows I care. It is you he fears. He was afraid to reach out to you like he did before because your desire for power felt wrong to him."

Fury flooded her as she stood stunned by the accusation. Her own father was lying to her. Luke would never fear Leia. He would always reach out to her first. He would be the first to marvel and praise her for her growing power.

"You're afraid of me!" She exclaimed, staring at her father. "You've kept him from reach out to me. He would never fear my power, knowing I was gaining it to help him!"

"Even with such a good motive the desire is changing you. Your brother is being tortured by a man whose desire for power has twisted him. Don't become like Palpatine, even if you think it can help you save Luke."

Her saber was ignited in her hand and she was screaming as she leapt at her father before she fully realized her own intent. Anakin was too battle experienced to fail to get his own saber up to block her wild stabbing. The Jedi Council dove out of her path and her master leapt to stand in front of her weak, powerless mother. She whaled against her father's light saber. He made no offensive movement, using his saber only to defend himself. The heartbreak in his eyes was echoed in her chest.

Leia swung hard at his head. He blocked it, but her saber died an instant later. She stood stunned at her own attempt to kill her father. Horror took her breath and her saber was dropping out of her head and rolling away. Shame filled her and she began to fall to her knees, but her father tossed his saber away and caught her, lowering her gently, while cradling her in his arms.

Obi Wan called both sabers to himself as tears burned Leia's eyes. A strong, gentle hand pulled her head to Anakin's chest. There was no anger in him for her loss of control. His arms were around her, promising her protection, like they had when she was little. Silent sobs shook her shoulders.

"It's okay, little princess," He murmured against her hair. "It's okay to cry. It's okay to grieve for your brother. Just please, don't let your grief defeat you."

The power in him was gentler, more stable than she had ever sensed before. Her father was filled with sorrow, and love, and compassion. He had forgiven her before she had struck in anger. It was as if her kind, friendly brother had been woken in her father. Luke was powerful, but it was so easy to forget. He goofed off with his pilot friends, excitedly told his family how the Force Currents had reacted to the hatching of desert birds, and marveled at the power of others as if he did not contain that power himself.

"I love you, my little Leia," Anakin promised. She began to wail loudly. He rocked her as she mourned her brother's sacrifice for her, for her failure to save him, for her failure to herself.

Thanks for reading!

Chapter Text

The Fall

"Her actions woke her up to how far she had fallen," Master Yoda told the gathered council after Anakin had taken his daughter out of the room. "She stood on the knife's edge and nearly fell, but she was caught. She will need time to comes to terms with her grief and her struggle with the lure of power.

"Perhaps Obi Wan should take her to a quiet haven for rest and meditation," Master Windu said.

"No!" Padme exclaimed. "Anakin and I have watched her avoid us, and try to deal with her grief and her guilt on her own. If she is ready to let us support her, I will not let her be sent away from me. Better that Anakin and I take her away to rest."

"Padme, we need you here," Master Windu said. "Don't send her away, but you can't leave now."

"Maybe if I hadn't tried to deal with my own fears and griefs by working harder, I could have been there for her," Padme said. "I have led this rebellion for sixteen years and the last two years I've not even had a home while I fought. My children have had to come home to a base."

She bowed her head. She had failed as a mother. The Rebellion had been raised in the names of her children, for their future, but they were now becoming the price of the Rebellion. Was her family to be the sacrifice for the liberty and happiness of the Galaxy?

"Go, be with your husband and daughter," Obi Wan said. "Stand with your family. It may be what Luke needs to fulfil his destiny."

Padme Skywalker looked up and smiled sadly at the Council. "I'm not giving up. We all need time together. We shouldn't have parted so soon after Luke's capture. We should have stuck together and faced the dread together. I will not lose my daughter again."

Shaak Ti and Obi Wan nodded. Master Yoda bowed to her. Master Allie and Master Windu both looked concerned, as if the sight of her duty to her family taking precedence over her duty as Leader was puzzling. She bowed them all and turned to follow her husband.

Together they would strengthen each other. Together they would try to give Luke the strength he needed. Together they would face the frightening future. Together they would see Luke rise or lose him.

Anakin had carried Leia to the small quarters the Skywalkers shared when they were all on Tatooine. Her daughter's sobs had quieted, though hiccups still shook her. Anakin was gently wiping the tears from her face with a wet cloth, promising her over and over that he loved her. This is what Padme had always seen in him. Amid all his youthful turmoil she had seen this soft, tender side.

"Mama?" Leia whispered. "Mama, I'm sorry."

"Leia!" She ran to her daughter. "Leia. I love you."

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Palpatine stood in his private office and stared out at the always busy, crowed planet wide city. He had not expected young Skywalker to withstand him for so long. The boy had been breaking from his time in the Void Cell. He had been grateful for the smallest comforts and had even knelt under pressure. The word Master had not left his lips, but it had been coming.

To show the Sith power to the boy, Palpatine had let him connect to the Force again. That was when things started going wrong. Luke had been distracted by the Force. Even Palpatine pushing his power onto Luke it had not made much of an impression other than fear. No emotionless Jedi could have contained Palpatine's power, yet its revelation had not woken a desire in young Skywalker.

His teenage Hands were growing restless and confused the longer they witnessed the chosen Apprentice withstand their Master. It might not be possible to break the boy down before the Emperor undermined his own position with his servants. Worse, Palpatine wasn't sure how strong the boy was. He had never used his powers to fight Palpatine, though he had tried to reach out beyond his prison. It was only in those rare moments that he tried to stretch out through the Force that he'd had any sort of Presence in the Force and that was strangely calm.

Palpatine could not call it weak, though it did not blare out like the boy's fathers did. He had long been able to conceal his own presence, even occasionally slipping by a Use of the Force without revealing himself, so he knew the reading could be false. The child was young. If he had that kind of skill at this age, he was indeed the threat Palpatine had foreseen.

Raised by strong parents and indoctrinated with their ideology, Luke would not be turned easily. Palpatine had been forced to divide his attention between his Empire and the one he wanted to Apprentice, and without his will in full force behind the Empire he had felt it weaken. No, having a Skywalker as his apprentice was a lost cause. He had not wanted to take one of his most elite Hands as an apprentice, but his options were now limited to finding another powerful youth and raising them as an apprentice, or taking one he had already partly trained.

The youngest girl showed the greatest affinity for power. Palpatine could manipulate her to turn on the other Hands. If she could destroy them, he would tell her she was worthy. The Skywalker Boy must now die, so he could never fulfil Palpatine's premonitions of the Future.

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When the Emperor's Will spread out again through the Galaxy it woke the flagging spirit of his Imperial Fleets, encouraged the ambition of Grand Moff Tarkin and the scientists building a powerful weapon, and battered the morale of the Alliance.

On Tatooine, Grand Master Shaak Ti woke up and felt the anticipation of the coming moment. Her little Light was in danger and she could do nothing to help him. She opened her bonds wide, stretching out to find the hidden boy, ready to welcome even his pain if it could aid him.

Jedi Master Obi Wan was meditating, seeking the answer to how to help his Padawan as she reset her balance. He had never had a vision or known the future with the clarify of the force gift of premonition. The Here and Now had always been most important to him. For the only time in what would be a long life, he knew the moment was coming before it came.

In the Lars home, all three Skywalkers woke in their shared room. Leia was shaking violently. Her parents wrapped their arms around her. Anakin opened his bonds ready for if his son reached out for him. Padme clung to his sleeping shirt behind her daughter's back, trying to keep her dread hidden. None even noticed how strange it was that she had woken where only a Force Sensitive would have woken.

"It is out of our hands," Master Windu commented on his ship, where he and seven others had gathered to ship out to the Fourth Fleet. "We can only hope."

Anticipation hung over the Galaxy.

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Luke had slept longer than he had ever been permitted to before in his three-month captivity. He did not wake to pain, but to the simple needs of his body. The binders had never been returned to his hands by the startled red haired girl who had obeyed Palpatine's order for one of them to enter the cell to bind him after Palpatine's fury at Luke's distraction. His hands shook with weakness.

He sat in his corner. It was quiet, even restful for the time being. The Void had become a shelter. Palpatine had no idea that Luke had been able to accept the relief from the darkness the Emperor pushed into the Force Currents in his prison.

He was leaning his head against the wall, staring at the vent as he savored the memory of his father's strength and love. When the door opened, there was a small smile on his face as he pictured his brave father, beautiful mother, wonderful sister. There was hardly any fear in him when the two male Hands entered, cringing in the void. Palpatine was furious and took delight in making his teenage Servants pay for his fury.

They unlocked the neck chain and pulled him to his feet. They were so eager to get out of the cell that they did not bother to stop and put binders on him. As soon as he was out of the Cell he could touch the Force. There were so many calling for him. He felt his family and friends' open bonds, offering to give him strength today. Even his mother's bond was noticeable.

Buoyed by their loving touches to his mind, the heaviness of the Currents around him made little impact. He had learned to see Palpatine's moods in his rare moment permitted to touch the Force. The Emperor was angry and today would be a rough session. Yet, with so many ready to share his pain he surely could not fall.

Palpatine was standing in the room, dressed in a dark black cloak with the hood drawn up over his strangely marred face. He had claimed an assassination plot by the Jedi had led to his disfiguration two years after the Jedi Purge. No one knew if it was true, because it had come just when the Galaxy was forgetting the Jedi Purge. His eyes were yellower than ever before.

Luke's teenage guards pushed him to his knees and stepped to the wall where their female counterparts stood. He drew the Force currents to himself, seeking intuition on what would happen today. Palpatine was fierce and the teenage Hands were full of anticipation. It suddenly occurred to Luke that he had never heard Palpatine call them by name. He had only issued orders at them with a gesture.

"You have been granted more leeway than I have given any other. You have a great potential, greater than that of your father. I grow weary of my lenience. Give in to the fear and anger I build in you. Bow to me and call me master. You are my apprentice and I will no longer accept your defiance," Palpatine said. "Give yourself to the Dark Side or you will die."

His ire was sharp. Luke stared at him, mouth open. Could this truly be the end? He did not want to die. The numerous bonds stretched out to him were flooded with love and he wanted to be with them. Here was his father, promising love. Here was his mother, here was his sister, here was his master. Here were the Jedi Masters he had worked with. He could even sense his friends, Han and Chewie and Wedge, though they could not sense him. Their minds were turned to him here at the end.

He welcomed their love, but did not open himself in return. He did not want to them to feel his death. His love would keep them from feeling the dreadful moments approaching.

"I am a Jedi of the Alliance, the son of Padme and Anakin Skywalker and the brother of Leia Skywalker. I have trained under Masters Ti, Kenobi, Yoda, Windu, Allie, and Nema. Your so-called power means nothing to me. I would rather die than be your servant. I will die as the boy they all know and love," He answered. "You've failed, Emperor Palpatine."

The lightning came then, throwing him violently to the ground. It was more painful than ever before. He couldn't breathe. He was burning. He was screaming. The love of his family and friends was still there. It was all he could do not to open his bonds and let them share his torment.

Palpatine stopped for a moment and Luke caught his breath. He lay on his side panting.

"Only now at the end, do you understand my real power," Palpatine sneered.

The Force Currents were moving. Luke could see the moment coming when they would tear open and spit lightning. It was going to more than ever before. It was going to kill him. In desperation he reached for the Currents. They flooded to him from all over the Imperial Palace. He even took hold of the Currents that were starting to spark with the dreadful lightning. He turned them away from himself.

When the lightning exploded, it was thrown away from him into Palpatine himself.

Palpatine was thrown across the room, screaming, but not able to subdue the lightning he had created. It cycled through the Sith Lord as he himself pulled it from the Force. It burned through his heart. Palpatine gasped once and then the Void of death exploded through the room. The lightning died with Palpatine and the Force Currents from Palpatine shriveled away to nothing.

Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious, was dead.

I wanted Palpatine to cause his own downfall, as I foreshadowed in the very fist chapter. He is far more powerful than Luke at this point, but he can't see what Luke can see. Review and tell me what you think!

Chapter Text

The Servants

I do not own Star Wars, I am only borrowing it to play around with my art.

Luke was on his back, staring at the rag doll body of the Emperor with astonishment. He had never dared to raise his power against Palpatine, who roared with power in the Force. In a contest of strength, Luke would have been soundly beaten. It had been Palpatine's lack of Force Sight that had given Luke even the smallest chance.

The threads he had played with for so long had answered to him. When Palpatine tried to push his own threads into the Force to rip lightning from the violent collision of his threads with the Natural Force, Luke had been in touch with the Natural Force. He had had only a moment to push back with the natural Threads of the Jedi Temple turned Imperial Palace, reversing the electrical explosion. The result stunned him.

Cautiously he lifted his head, remembering the Emperor's teenage servants. They had all been knocked over and were only now lifting their own heads. Luke scrambled to his feet, wondering if he could defeat them without a blade and being so weak. All four made it to their feet and stared at him with surprise.

Then they knelt in front of him.

"What?" Luke exclaimed. "You don't want to fight me?"

"You have defeated our Master. By the Sith Code, you are now the Master. You are our Master."

"I'm your Master..." He echoed faintly. "That's unexpected. Does that mean you will try to defeat me so you can be the Master?"

"No! We are not apprentices."

"Okay," He said. "What does that mean I can do?"

"We will obey your orders, Master."

"Even if I said I am not going to take Palpatine's place?"

"You are the Master. You will guide us."

"Can you leave this place, or are you prisoners here too?"

"We are permitted to leave."

"Is there somewhere safe we can go? A place I can sleep? Can we get food?" He asked. Dubious as their sudden allegiance shift was, he had very limited options. "Can we hide him? I suppose there is a big government who will break into fighting once they know he is dead."

"Where do you want him to be hidden?" The oldest boy asked.

"Um, put him in the Void Cell. His death will not be so noticeable there."

They obeyed, tossing the dead body into the Void Cell only minutes later.

"The old Master has a safe room just below the entrance to the Palace from this prison," The oldest boy was now the spokesperson. "You may rest and eat there. We will guard you while you sleep."

"That is not as comforting as you might want it to sound," Luke grumbled, but let them lead him out of the testing room and down the corridor, past the Void cell and up some stairs. The Safe Room was luxurious. Luke didn't bother to explore further than the first room. He collapsed onto the nearest plush couch.

His four guards spread out. The tallest boy shut and locked the door and place himself in front of it. The other three passed into other rooms. A minute later the shortest, the red-haired girl returned with a blanket which she offered Luke. He took it. Soon the blond-haired girl returned, holding a cup of a sweet-smelling drink.

"Your stomach shrinks because it doesn't have any food in the void. This is what the old Master gave us when we were trained with the void. It will let you ease back into eating."

Luke took it and decided to risk drinking it. It would have been bland, but he had gained most of his nutrition intravenously over the last three months. The faint fruity taste was powerful to his unused tongue. After a few careful sips, he looked around.

"He did that to you too?"

"We had to be trained," the blond said.

Luke was too tired to argue. If he was still alive when he woke up and they meant they had chosen him as their new master, he would have to find out how Palpatine had taught them. He managed a few more sips, half of his drink, before he set it aside and curled up. Sleep came swiftly.

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The moment was passed, but none could say what the moment had brought. There had been no shattering loss in their senses. Whether Luke lived or died they did not know. Leia sat outside the Lars home, where her parents had brought her to rest, watching the setting of two suns. She felt empty, but not the emptiness of loss. Her lust for power was gone, subdued with her enraged attempt to kill her father.

Her parents had demanded no recompense or explanation from her. They had brought her to a quiet place, away from the war, from the Jedi, from her training. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru had fed them and sheltered them, spoke of the little things of their farming lives, and ignored the greater galaxy. Leia wished her family was a simple as her step Uncle. They would not be the spark and the fire of the Rebellion.

Someday someone would call it the Skywalker Rebellion. History would eventually use that name and Leia's grandchildren and great grandchildren would glory in their family history. They would speak of the brave Padme Amidala Skywalker who refused to let liberty fail completely, of the military genius General Anakin Skywalker, of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker who had turned the Jedi Council on their ears. Someday they would speak of Jedi Princess Leia Skywalker Solo, the Jedi Senator who carried no saber because she would refuse to raise it in anger again.

Someday they would all be legends.

Leia did not see this, but as she leaned against the cool, stone entrance to the homestead set into the sand, she saw a quiet secluded house in a green world. She was walking towards it, holding the hand of her little daughter and calling after her gangly teenage son. On the porch of that pretty haven were her parents, gray haired and with pronounced wrinkles, beaming at her, opening their arms to greet their daughter and grandchildren. It was their retirement and no galactic crisis would remove them. There was peace in the galaxy.

That was what her parents fought for, what they had not kept their children from fighting for.

It was what Luke might have died for.

Now it was Leia's dream. Now the Rebellion was hers as much as her mother's and father's. In the name of the beloved brother. And she was at peace.

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Luke cautiously opened one eye, expecting the event before his sleep to be a mere dream. No, the opulent safe rooms still surrounded him. The blond girl was now guarding the door, while the other three sprawled on the second couch and two arm chairs that completed the parlor's furniture. The need to use a rest room brought him fully awake.

They were all instantly alert as he stumbled to his feet. When he mumbled his need, they pointed him in the right direction. After relieving himself he came back out to the parlor. A new drink was waiting for him.

"Thank you," He said to the red-haired girl holding it out to him.

Surprise rippled through all of them. He was confused, but drank as much as he could of the drink. He could not manage much. After he was feeling full, he reviewed the rest of him. He was achy and bruised. He was also filthy and suddenly wondered if he could ask for some new clothes.

It occurred to him that he still didn't know their names.

"I'm Luke," He said helpfully. "What are your names?"

"We are the Emperor's Hands," they answered in unison.

"He just called you 'hands'?" Luke scowled. "What about your families?"

"Our Master was our family."

Luke shook his head. "None of you look like him. What about your birth families?"

"We don't have birth families. We've always been the Emperor's Hands."

"You had birth families," Luke promised. "You were probably some of the children Palpatine was kidnapping. My Uncle Bail helped some of them get away. I'm sorry you weren't among them. Can I give you names?"

"The Emperor told us what our names would have been if you wish to use them. I'm Mara Jade. That is Galen Marek, Ezra Bridger and Nula Moon."

Galen was the tallest and probably the oldest. Nula was the blond girl and Ezra was the shorter black haired boy. Mara was the shortest and seemed to be younger than Luke, though the other three were at least his age if not older. There appeared to be no lie in the names. Their Force presences all echoed their names as if a mother or father had spoken it over them.

"Can you explain why you think I am your Master now?" Luke asked.

"It is the rule of the Sith. When the apprentice defeats the Master, he is the Master. We serve the Sith Master," Galen explained.

"I am not a Sith. I am a Jedi and a Rebel."

"Then we serve the Jedi Master. You defeated the Sith Master."

"Well, actually I'm not even a Jedi knight yet. I'm just a Padawan, a learner," Luke mournfully looked at the place his Padawan braid had been. It had been cut off at some point, probably while he was blind from the carbonite hibernation. "My Master thinks I will be a Jedi Master someday."

It was so good to talk. The silence from his own voice had weighed heavily on him. He smiled to himself until he became aware of the awed looks of his companions. He blinked.

"What is wrong?"

"You are just a learner? The Jedi must be powerful indeed," Mara echoed.

"Some of them. You all have that potential, if you were trained fully."

Now their eyes were huge. This was not going the way he expected. Surely Palpatine had shown them his power. Why did it surprise them so much?

"We could never do what you did, Master. We never even stood a chance against the old Master. You defeated him even after being in the Void," Ezra said. "Are all Jedi really able to deflect lightning?"

"Oh, that," Luke rubbed the back of his neck. "I don't know. I've never seen anyone do it. I just wanted to stop him from killing me. It was an accident that it killed him instead."

All four immediately knelt, fear in their faces. Apparently, he was strange everywhere he went. Even his former enemies were shocked by him. Hopefully he could make them understand he wasn't to be feared. Maybe they could help him figure out how to get home.

"Stand up. I'm not going to accidentally hurt you. I mean, if you don't attack me, I won't fight you," He sighed. "Look, I can see the Force, which most Force Users don't know how to do. It let me see what Palpatine was doing and deflect it. I can show you what I see. Maybe you'll understand then."

"You want to teach us your power?" Mara asked. "You want to apprentice us?"

"No. I just want to show you what I see. It's beautiful and useful," Luke sighed.

"Why would you show us this, if we could use it against you?" Galen asked.

"If you put it like that," Luke groaned, "I wouldn't want to show it to you. But I don't want to show you how to fight. I just want to show you how the Force looks. You can feel it all around you. It connects everything."

"Show me, Master," Mara knelt.

Luke drew her force threads to his chest, reaching through them to her mind. He pulled a couple of her threads into her head, connecting them to her eyes. Immediately her Force presence rippled with awe and delight, the lightest feelings he had yet felt from one of them. She reached out and grabbed the nearest Force Current, the one Luke had extended from himself. A shallow, quiet bond leapt to life.

"Oh," She gasped. "This is the Force?"

"Show me!" The others cried. Within a few minutes, he had revealed it to each of them.

"Master, where did you learn this power?" Mara asked, stretching her hand out to play with the currents of the Safe room.

"Um, I didn't. I could always do it. It made learning how to use the Force hard, because I didn't use the Force the same as my teachers did. I had to show the Jedi Council what I was seeing before they figured out how to teach me."

Evidently, he was not going to stop shocking them with his abilities. It did sound rather powerful to have to show the Jedi Council something, even if it just meant showing them what he could see so they could figure out how to teach him. Well, hopefully it meant they would help him out. Perhaps he could bring them home with him, so they could learn about having a family and names and using the Force for fun things as well as battle.

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Luke spent three days in the Safe room, gaining strength. His captors turned servants helped him find new clothes. They offered him Palpatine's light saber, but he chucked that into the Void Cell as well. This ended up making them laugh, the first time he had gotten something other than awe and fear out of them.

By the end of the third day he was determined that they would be given a new start. He had accidentally killed their Master and gained their allegiance so he was sort of responsible for them. They were used to the Imperial world so he had to first introduce them to a Republic world. So besides teaching them about the Force Currents and how Palpatine had trained them, he told them about his awesome parents and about how the world had used to be.

In his friendly, cheerful way he gave them a desire for his family. At first, they simply listened because he was their Master, but when he was talking about the Alliance, he dove down rabbit trails to tell them stories about playing with his sister, or racing through Tatooine canyons when he had free time. He would tell them about all his mother did as leader of the rebellion, but suddenly interject the time she had spent a whole day telling him stories while he was sick. They knew of his father's exploits but were suddenly introduced to the loving father who played roof top tag and pranked his friends. After fourteen years being trained as tools for a man they could never please, the stories made them find they wanted the fun, loving parents and sibling he had.

And that was how Luke Skywalker made friends with his sister's kidnappers and his captors.

Chapter Text

Homecoming

Any way. Here is the final chapter of The Skywalker Rebellion.

I do not own Star Wars. I am borrowing the Galaxy to play with.

Five teenagers in black travel suits were sneaking into the empty old Senate building. It had been abandoned when the Emperor had disbanded the Imperial Senate and for six years it had been home only to a few homeless. Imperial Armed Forces periodically chased them out, leaving the enormous building as a mausoleum for the dead Old Republic. No one noticed the young adults. The one or two who saw them soon forgot them with a little wave of the blond boy's hand.

Inside they found the corridors and halls and conference rooms and offices were covered in dust and remnants of the end of the Senate. Luke gazed around him awe. He could see the building bustling with thousands of senators, aides, and petitioners. His mother's stories peopled it with the great Republic. She had stood in this place, speaking for the good of the Galaxy.

His companions watched him meander around, curious about the awed look on his face. In a few short days, he had created bonds between them all. He had thanked them for their service to him and praised them when they caught on to the Force Sight. All the Emperor's torments had not broken Luke's friendly nature.

When they reached the great Senate Chamber and stood on the powerless hover seats Galen, Nula, Ezra, and Mara heard the echoes of a thousand generations of democracy. It swirled with honesty and lies, with the echoes of those who had spoken for money and those who had spoken for the people. It echoed with good and evil, with the great and terrible. The history that hung in this building was a testament to the terrible depths the galaxy could fall to and the greatest heights it could reach.

As the four former Emperor's Hands watched with their newly gained sight of the Force, the thin young man who had defeated their master and gave them their new ability drew the Force Currents to himself. He closed his eyes and they watched as every current in the room reached for him, until he was the nexus of the room. Then he pushed his own knowledge into the currents. The Emperor was dead. Even now the Empire was shaken, wondering where its Master had gone, bereft of the Will that had pressed into the Empire. The first stones were crumbling from its foundation.

"It's done, Mama. The Emperor is defeated. Maybe peace will come," He said.

"Without the Emperor, the Empire will fall apart. All of those who believe they are powerful will try to claim the throne," Mara pointed out. "He has no heir. You were meant to be his apprentice and heir."

"We need to get to my family. The Alliance needs know this is the time to move," Luke declared.

"That could be difficult. The Red Guard is already searching the Palace. When the Emperor's body is found, they will be searching for all of us," Galen warned. "We are loyal to you, but we may need help."

"Oh!" Luke exclaimed. "I can get us some help."

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Ley? Dad?

Under the speeder, Anakin was fixing for Owen, he banged his head as he tried to sit up. Leia's tools clattered to the floor. Anakin rolled out from under the speeder. His daughter's eyes were wide. She had heard it too.

Luke?

Dad! I need some help!

Are you okay? Leia was trembling as she clutched Anakin's arm, listening.

What? Oh, yeah. I accidently killed Palpatine and I need some help getting off Coruscant.

Accidentally killed a Sith Lord Emperor?

You're safe? You're free? His son was in a much better mind set than the last time he had touched Anakin's mind. He felt stronger and happier.

Yeah. I sort of became the Master of some of his Hands by defeating Palpatine. I need some help getting us out of the Core worlds. Even across the bond Anakin could hear the sheepish tone. After all the dread and worry, the growing belief that Luke was dead, his son was calling for help because he unintentionally killed a Sith Lord and made friends with some of the Emperor's servants.

Dad?

I have a lot of questions for you, Luke, but they can wait. Caleb Dume is on Coruscant, looking for you. He should have a way back to the Mid-Rim.

Ok, Dad. Tell Mama I love her. Hey Ley! You're doing better!

Leia choked and began to cry.

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Luke, I thought you were dead four days' past! We woke up and we knew something was happening.

Luke was surprised. No wonder everyone had been sending him affection and encouragement. He felt sort of bad for not opening the bond then. He just hadn't wanted them to feel his death.

I'm sorry, Ley. I didn't know that and I've gotten so used to not having the bond open that I didn't think of opening it until now.

Her exasperation was clear, but he could feel her smiling.

Get yourself home.

I promise.

He didn't shut the bond down completely, enjoying the return of his sister's mind touching his. She was bursting with happiness.

"We might have a ride," He told the watching teenagers. "Apparently, they sent a Jedi Knight and some help to try and find me. Give me a minute."

Caleb Dume was one of the few who had caught onto to Force Sight right away, learning to conceal himself with ease. It was a little longer than a minute, since Luke couldn't find his Presence and therefore had to pull the hundreds of thousands of currents from around the Imperial Palace and Senate Building to search for a familiar face. By the wide eyes of his companions it was something cool to look at. He never did find Caleb using that method, but the sudden movement of the Natural Force attracted the knight's notice.

Caleb unshielded himself long enough for Luke to connect to his mind.

Luke? Was that you?

Yes. The Emperor's dead and I want to go home. Dad said you could help?

I have a way off planet. Did you say the Emperor was dead?

Yes, and we need to get off the planet before his body is discovered. There will be a manhunt when that happens. Do you have a ship that can land on the Senate building? I wanted to see where my Mama was so good.

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A week later the Cloud Rider landed in A New Hope.

A skinny, pale young man came dashing down the ramp as it lowered. He leapt to the floor and looked up to see his mother, father, and sister running. A huge smile burst onto his face and he flung himself into their arms. Even the precious Force bonds were not equal to the power of physically holding onto all of them at once.

In their arms the weight of what he had suffered was safe to face. He was falling, but they were keeping him upright. Sobs began to break. The elation of being free died now that he had what he needed. In the haven of their love he began to wail.

They were weeping with him, whispering his name, refusing to let him go. Those able to see the Force Currents watched it swirl around them. They appeared as one Force Presence, their threads tightly woven together. The Skywalkers were together again. The Leader, the General, the Seer, and the Ambassador as legend would call them.

"What are they doing here?" Leia exclaimed, catching sight of her brother's new friends.

"They're my friends now. Well, they think I'm their Master. I can't seem to make them think anything else. They helped me after Palpatine was dead and kept me safe from the Red Guard."

A strangled sound escaped Leia. She grabbed her brother's head and forced him to look at her.

"You are insane, Luke!"

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It was an exciting day on Tatooine. The Republic Alliance, the Rebel Council, and the Jedi Council were all gathered in the large hangar to watch the knighting ceremony of one of the Skywalker Twins. Most of the Alliance and the Council had never seen a knighting ceremony, since it had always been considered an internal Jedi affair. When the news had broken in the Empire that the Emperor was dead, confirming Luke Skywalker's story, the Alliance realized they had a chance to end the war.

The leaders were all gathered to plan the end of the Galactic Civil War. During this time the Jedi Council had met with Luke Skywalker to hear his tale of facing the Emperor. When the awful tale was told and they looked on the young man, they realized he had faced the Trials. He hadn't just glimpsed the Dark Side, he had been face to face with it and had suffered under it. Yet he came back to them still compassionate and courageous.

His blue eyes seemed older, his shoulders sometimes weary with the burden of his trauma, but he had come back to them with no desire for the power that twisted Palpatine and had so nearly destroyed his own sister. He had displayed, by accident he said, the power to deflect lightning, had been able to spread himself through vast amounts of the Force Currents, had become one of the most powerful Jedi that would ever exist. Yet Luke Skywalker hadn't even cared for that, wanting only his family and his freedom and to share his wonder in the world around him.

He was dressed in a white tunic and tabard, with the common brown robe over all.

He was grinning like an excited little boy as he stood in the center of a pleased looking Jedi Council. There was no Padawan braid to cut off, removed by the Emperor who had been his Trial.

"Luke Skywalker, you have faced the Trials in your bravery in facing the Emperor. It is the decision of this Council to name you a Knight of the Jedi Order. May the Force be with you, my brave Padawan!" Grand Master Shaak Ti said. She flicked her saber on and let it hover over his right shoulder, where the braid would have been.

That was the extent of the ceremony, a simple affair suited to the minimalist Jedi. It was met with applause and cheers from the watching audience.

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Epilogue

Three Years Later

The young man in a simple brown tabard and cloak weaved through the Theed crowds with ease and grace. Nothing, not the savory smells of the food section, the colorful, shouting signs of the entertainment section, or even the calm, erudite aura of the education section, distracted him. There was a large crowd still in the Grand Avenue of Theed after the royal parade celebrating the morning's ceremony that crowned the latest Queen of Naboo. This was the first election since Naboo had been freed from the Empire, and Naboo's most famous Daughter was not only present, she had moved back to Naboo.

Luke had been present at the Ceremony and parade, but had then met his father for lunch. Anakin was on a yearlong leave from the war as he and Padme settled into their new home that Naboo had gifted them. The emperor's death had not end the Empire, but it had shattered it. Dozens of high ranking officials had tried to claim the Imperial throne. The Empire had broken into civil war and for about six months the Alliance had quietly built their numbers, until an enormous battle on Coruscant had shrunk the number of would be Emperor's to five. Two years later and there were only two contenders and the Empire was half its final size.

A third contender had bowed out after gaining nearly two thousand worlds, which was now called the Chiss Empire.

At the main entry to Theed Palace, Lei was waiting for Luke, her arms crossed and her foot tapping. She had passed her trials just two months previous, but rarely wore a lightsaber openly. She served the Alliance Council as an Ambassador currently. Her brother grinned sheepishly at her.

"You are running late."

"I know, I know," He waived a hand. "Dad and Galen were full of stories."

The Four Former Hands had become Jedi Padawans. Galen Marek, the eldest, had become Anakin's Padawan. Mace Windu had taken Nula, Caleb Dume had taken Ezra, and Shaak Ti had undertaken Mara's training. All four had spent a year with Yoda first, as the ageing former Grand Master had undertook to unwind the dark tendrils and indoctrination. Luke had spent that year with them as well, both to heal and to help them when they needed a 'master' to tell them what to do.

"Captain Andor is waiting for us, let's go."

The twins headed down to the Theed hangar, where the rough, weary looking Captain Cassian Andor stood waiting for them with his droid companion.

"Ambassador Skywalker, Knight Luke, are you ready to go fetch Jyn Erso?" He asked.

I am not promising a sequel, but if I do write one, it will put the Skywalkers into Rogue One and change that story too! For now, use your imagination to picture Luke and Leia, now the age they would have been in a New Hope, in Rogue One! (You can thank Rogue One for this story. It fired up my somewhat cool appreciation of Star Wars.)

Please, review, tell me what you think, how I can improve, if this inspired you!