"Bail Prestor Organa: Reluctant Heir to the Alderaanian Throne and Eager Apprentice to the New Jedi Bendu Order"
01.) Question: For as long as he can remember, he’s heard about how his midi-chlorian count is supposed to be so very high that it puts that of many fully trained Jedi Masters to shame, and that he would have most certainly gone to the Order, as a child, if not for the fact that, even then, the question of who would inherit the throne, after Queen Mazicia, was already in the forefront of the minds of so many politically powerful and influential people, and, for as long as he can recall, he’s also wondered why, if being a Jedi is so very honorable and important and if he truly was so wonderfully well-suited to become one, political considerations and the fearful musings of individuals who almost certainly would’ve ended up with a highly competent ruler whether he’d remained in the running for the throne or not were, in the end, given more weight than his own personal suitability for the Jedi Order and the needs of the Order for someone like him.
02.) Dream: As far as he knows, for as long as he’s lived, Bail has been dreaming of a boy with luminously pale skin, hair so absolutely black that it almost looks blue, when the light hits it from certain angles, and pale eyes so brightly blue that, somehow, they almost seem blind (or at least as though the saturation of that icy color must give everything he looks upon a profoundly pale blue tint), and, when he was still very young, he would often pretend that this boy was, in reality, the best friend he would have had (the companion he should have had), if his family had only given him over to the Order for training as a Jedi, and spend hours upon hours imaging all of the things that they would have done, together, in the Temple, many of the details seeming to come to him not so much from the depths of his own mind than as if he were truly seeing them, somehow, unfolding in his mind’s eye, as if a holo were being beamed directly into his brain, for his viewing alone, words and actions and textures and sights all so very vivid that, for a while, when he was very little, he sometimes had a hard time separating out the real from the imaginary.
03.) Decision: Though he never actively attempted to rebel against the life his parents chose for him, when he was very young, Bail honestly couldn’t understand how his parents could have ever thought he would one day be high enough on the list of potential heirs to the throne of Alderaan to actually be able to become Crown Prince, and so (though he knew it would likely cause his parents pain, if they were to realize just how much he regretted their decision for him) he used to daydream quite a lot about the kind of life he would have had, as a Jedi (and not just because of the young boy who haunted his dreams and grew with him just as if he were truly a real person, though the odd vividness of those imaginings certainly had a great deal to do with the amount of time he spent daydreaming about the life he might have had), wistfully regretting the decision that had kept him from the Order.
04.) Problem: He never has any problems whatsoever remembering his mother, after her death – of all his siblings, only the youngest, Alaina, was so young when their mother was killed that she really didn’t get a chance to get to know Zamille all that well – and so he’s contented and even happy (for both of their sakes) when his father remarries to his mother’s sister (it’s what Mother would have wanted, for the both of them to have a chance to be happy together and to take care of each other, and he’s glad that they’ve chosen to share their lives in this way), coming to think of Mazicia quite easily as his second mother and growing to love her so much that he’s quite devastated, when she ends up being killed not much more than two years after their wedding.
05.) Choice: Even though he’s the eldest of his parents’ five children, Bail spends most of his childhood hoping that, if it ever comes down to it, the eldest of his sisters will end up inheriting the throne, given her love for politics and her prodigious talent for diplomatic negotiation and skillful debate; unfortunately, Merisol’s the first of them to go – dying when barely fifteen of a mysterious wasting sickness that, not long afterwards, is proven to have been a botched attempt by incompetent assassins (who, at least, are caught and prosecuted and have the decency to die fairly quickly in jail, apparently at the hands of each other) to poison their uncle, Bail Antilles (well, half-uncle, technically, but the familial lines involved are all so close that the distinction is largely an academic one) – and so, in the end, it’s just him and his baby sister, Alaina, meaning that he really has no choice but to shoulder the burden and become the one put forth by his family for consideration as the next Crown Prince.
06.) Position: If it were only up to Bail, he would happily allow his father to rule in his stead – Prestid Organa was, after all, the junior Senator for the Alderaan Sector (under senior Senator Agrippa Aldrete) for several years and well on the way to succeeding the senior Senator, until he married Mazicia and allowed the position to pass to Bail Antilles, at which point Prestid became the Viceroy of Alderaan, a position that he would continue to hold (with his family therefore becoming the Royal House or High Court of Alderaan, since Prestid had, in essence, become the ruling head of the whole of the legislative branch of government, the High Council of Alderaan) until his death – but unfortunately his father has less claim to the throne than either Bail (or his baby sister, technically, though it doesn’t much matter, seeing as how Bail would never be able to live with himself if he were so selfish as to force her to take the throne for no better reason than that he doesn’t particularly want to become the Crown Prince of Alderaan) or his half-uncle, Bail Antilles, which means that, short of abdicating and abandoning his duty, he really is well and truly stuck with the (so-called) honor of becoming the heir to Alderaan’s throne.
07.) Rule: Bail is aware that much of the greater galaxy finds the Alderaanian system of rule a bit peculiar (they have a Queen but no King; their constitutional monarchy is half hereditary and half a matter of pure merit, with the royal head of state and the elected head of government often either being married if not otherwise closely related to one another or technically existing in the body of the same person – with, perhaps, the royal title being shared with a spouse, even though the elected head of government is also the rightful successor to the throne – and with those two heads, in either case, having such a different variety of duties and range of powers that the line of separation between the legislative and executive branches is actually fairly clear-cut; and etc.), but it (usually) works quite well for them and has (supposedly) served them admirably (most of the time) since before the Galactic Republic even existed, so he sees no reason to change it and even less reason to apologize for it to others.
08.) War: According to the accepted histories disseminated amongst the Republic, human colonists came to Alderaan from Coruscant via the Herglic Trade Empire around 2,500 Before Republic’s Founding, where they built a peaceful civilization in harmony with nature and would become instrumental in the eventual founding of the Galactic Republic; however, it is known on Alderaan (if not widely spoken of or recorded, outside of personal histories kept by some of the most ancient noble lines) that the reason Alderaan traditionally has a Queen but never a King (even if the Queen claims right to her royal title only through marriage to a Crown Prince who is the true heir to the throne of Alderaan) revolves around a devastating series of civil wars amongst the human colonists of Alderaan that occurred roughly synchronously with both the end of the Unification Wars, via the recorded declared founding of the Galactic Republic (via the signing of the first finished draft of the Galactic Constitution by the Core Founders), and the beginning of the final downfall of the Rakatan Infinite Empire, with the whole long series of bloody conflicts apparently having been sparked by a highly charismatic political figure who was initially made the first (and only, barring a few thankfully short-lived attempts by various megalomaniacal would-be tyrants sprinkled throughout Alderaan’s early history, as a member world and Core Founder of the Galactic Republic) King of Alderaan by popular declaration but eventually became both emotionally and mentally unstable (becoming first pathologically paranoid, jealous of his power, and increasingly bloodthirsty in the exercise of that power, and then despotic and tyrannical in his ruling practices), declaring himself the head of what would be a new Empire spanning the whole of the galaxy and attempting to begin consolidating his Empire by utterly purging Alderaan of all who would stand against him and his excesses, with several decades of often atrocious battles following, ending only when the self-declared Emperor’s former Queen (who’d been declared a blood traitor for siding against him in the conflicts and stripped of her title) allowed herself to be captured in order to assassinate the man: in all honesty, Bail finds it somewhat superstitious of his people to still insist on the title of Crown Prince; yet, since he’s not about to argue against a system that works and he doesn’t even particularly want to inherit the blasted throne in the first place, it’s the title of Crown Prince that he receives, at the tender age of twenty-seven, becoming First Chairman of Alderaan only a little later on his own recognizance (having already earned the right to be awarded the title by a vote of the High Council, since he’d already successfully served a full term on the legislative High Council of Alderaan) and promptly becoming required by duty to work towards the adding of Viceroy of Alderaan (by serving successfully as Senator while also fulfilling his responsibilities as Crown Prince) to his string of new titles, since apparently being the Crown Prince of Alderaan means that one’s various obligations and myriad different ranks become unending.
09.) Claim: The ruling in favor of House Organa has made it quite clear that Bail is expected to eventually wed one of the Antilles girls, to consolidate the strongest claim to the throne back in one specific family line, and he has been dutifully planning on eventually asking Breha Antilles to become his wife, when she is old enough to wed, so he is frankly stunned to discover himself suddenly falling deeply in love . . . and even more shocked to find that the object of his (nearly obsessive) affection is a young male Jedi Padawan a little over a decade younger than Bail is.
10.) Duty: He loves democracy, loves peace, loves his people; yet, some days he’s pretty sure that the galaxy at large would be better off if someone tore down both the current bloated and overly bureaucratic government and the overly rigid (some might even say ossified) Jedi Order and started them over again from scratch, and some days he’d like nothing more than to just throw everything over (duty, obligation, responsibility, power, prestige, privilege, everything) and just run off to someplace where Alderaan and the Republic and the Jedi have never even been heard of, so he could live a life free of both the expectations of others and the growing sense of futility and wrongness plaguing his oh, so very proper and responsible and privileged life as both Crown Prince and, eventually, first the junior and then senior Senator for Alderaan.
11.) Love: Bail understands the concept of love quite well, thanks – his father loved his mother, adored his second wife, and doted unabashedly on his third wife for the remainder of his far too short life – but he’s never experienced the emotion for himself (not beyond the regular bonds of familial love and love of home and of friends and of those things that are beautiful or precious to him, anyway), and, once he has, he’s not at all sure he cares for the sensation, for it clouds (and crowds) his mind and thoughts with foolish hopes and wishes and imaginings and fills his hours with useless, improbable daydreams and tantalizingly maddening (and even more impossible) fantasies, making his heart hurt and his body ache with yearning (his flesh burning with need) to be with one he knows, logically, he cannot and will never have, until the fixed singleness of his thoughts and the increasingly elaborate (and, more and more often, almost violently lustful) scenarios filling his dreams (all logic and reason to the contrary) begin to frighten him, a little, making him wonder if it really is possible for a person to go mad with lovesickness.
12.) Obsession: It would be easier, he thinks, if Obi-Wan were a flirt, or if he at least understood what he did to Bail, just with his mere presence (solely through existing), if he could somehow justify blaming his obsession on something specific, nameable, that Obi-Wan is or does (besides breathing, sometimes in close proximity to Bail); the Padawan is so wholly innocent of the flesh, though, and so entirely oblivious to his own (quite considerable) charms and merits that Bail has the sinking sensation he is entirely alone in his passion, and that the young man would, in fact, be flustered, shocked, even horrified to discover the tenor of Bail’s thoughts, his emotions, his desires, concerning Obi-Wan, and so he’s forced to suffer in absolute silence, terrified of giving himself away and ruining the association (the burgeoning actual friendship) between them.
13.) Privilege: His life changed utterly, that day, when he first went inside the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and he wonders, sometimes, if it might not have been better for him if he hadn’t agreed to let his uncle take him there in secret, heavily cloaked, for the privilege of a private introduction to the High Council Masters . . . or if it wouldn’t have made any difference, in the end (or if he only would have made an utter fool of himself, later, without that first accidental sight of Obi-Wan to help prepare him for the reality of the young man, the way he all but shines, blindingly bright, not just with beauty and grace and goodness but with a sense of illumination, seemingly lit from within, like a lamp, with the power of the Force), given his chosen pathway and career and the High Council’s tendency to choose Master Jinn (and, thus, his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well) for many of the Order’s more diplomatic missions.
14.) Honor: Whether everyone around him necessarily realizes it or not, Bail is good at his job – it’s no brag, to recognize truth, and his name is spoken in tones of open admiration and respect (or at the very least honest pique, over just how annoyingly good he is at what he does) from the Core all the way out to the Mid Rim’s boundary with the Outer Rim Territories, if not further – and there are certain aspects of it that he certainly enjoys and perhaps even loves; yet, he’s never quite able to shake the nagging sensation that this isn’t at all what he should be doing, isn’t what he was truly meant for, and it often makes him restless in his thoughts and uneasy about his right to the positions he’s both been given and earned, over the course of his political career, unable as he is to stop wondering, quite seriously (and not just daydreaming about), whether he honestly shouldn’t have been given over to the Jedi Order as a child and the throne (and, eventually, the Senate seat) ultimately been given to some other, which is precisely why he so often wishes that the throne had fallen to his uncle instead of to him or that he had at least had the option of somehow ceding his right to the throne over to his uncle, even though Bail Antilles is such a fundamentally good and decent man that the ruling of the Jedi Watchman Jorus C’baoth on the matter (which, frankly, becomes more and more questionable the more Bail finds out about the man, personally, especially given how much stronger in the Force he knows he is, compared to his uncle, and how inferior the extremely arrogant Master C’baoth seems to regard those beings who are not overly strong in the Force) satisfied him to the point where he no longer has any questions about who should rule (in his uncle’s mind, the proper House, the correct Bail, is ruling, and that’s all there is to it) and would likely be extremely shocked to know that the nephew he’s taken under his wing and brought into galactic politics as his protégé desperately wishes that he could give that honor away or else go back, somehow, and convince Master C’baoth that he would not make a fit ruler.
15.) Good: Bail is well aware of the fact that many of the more powerful movers and shakers both in the Senate itself as well as among the power-brokers and moneyed business interests working behind the scenes (making deals and pulling strings and, in essence, dictating many of the policies embraced by the bureaucracy and shaping the reality of many worlds, from the Inner Rim out to the Outer Rim Territories and even beyond) regard him as a harmlessly naïve idealist and something of a social butterfly, given his extremely public interest in all things relating both to entertainment and the arts and culture in general (both popular and not so widely known or appreciated) and to hot topics of note (usually some form or another of injustice) in society; he is also perfectly aware of the fact that this misconception is, perhaps, his best camouflage and most protective armor, permitting him to work behind the scenes without attracting the attention of those who could easily do him and his causes huge (perhaps irreparably so) amounts of damage, allowing him to cultivate a wide and ever growing net of contacts, acquaintances, informants, friends, and outright allies, as well as numerous potential allies, all without exposing himself or his closest associates or the vast majority of their sentientarian (and sometimes not precisely approved by the governing body of the Republic) efforts (usually in systems far from the Core, where wealthy organizations and individuals can often get away with a surprising amount of illegal activities and abuse of both the locals and their resources, if others with enough power or influence to stop them don’t take steps to stop them) to those who might not take very kindly to such meddling, and so he cannot help but grin wickedly and even laugh brightly at the young Padawan when, at one of the feasts celebrating a treaty they’ve successfully negotiated, Obi-Wan Kenobi remarks, a little bemusedly, that Bail would likely make a very good spy.
16.) Bad Feeling: He doesn’t want Master Jinn and Obi-Wan to be the ones sent to Naboo – he has a very bad feeling about that place, a feeling such as he hasn’t had since he learned his father had decided to take Declin and Valyn with him to Galidraan, making him all but positive that something is deadly wrong with the place – but he knows, almost as soon as Uncle Bail tells him that Valorum has chosen to approach the High Council about the Trade Federations blockade of that world without the Senate’s permission, that they are the one who will be sent, and so he drops everything to run to the Temple, hoping to catch them before they can go, so he can ask Obi-Wan to please be extra careful.
17.) Furor: The Temple is in a furor when he arrives – apparently, the Council had decided to send Master Jinn to Naboo, to negotiate with the Trade Federation towards a dissolving of its blockade, but Obi-Wan had already recently been sent out on a solo mission, to track down both a fellow Padawan gone missing whist trying to transport a Black Sun operative to a safe house and the Padawan’s Master (Anoon Bondara, who apparently went after her when she did not show up at the proper location at the right time, only to similarly vanish), and, in the process of finding the missing Padawan, Darsha Assant, Obi-Wan had also discovered a trail of darkness and wreckage and a pair of petty criminals (information brokers, supposedly) who had hooked up with Darsha in the process of fleeing from the alleged creator of all that mayhem, a Zabrak Sith Lord who, according to the vehemently given words of Lorn Pavan and his droid (and apparent business partner), a highly modified and surprisingly sentient seeming 5-YQ-series protocol droid known as I-5YQ, had been chasing them because they’d accidentally been caught up in an attempt by the Sith to recover a Sith holocron (allegedly stolen by Hath Monchar, a Neimodian Deputy Viceroy of the Trade Federation) supposedly detailing plans for the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo with some new droid army; though Obi-Wan had found Darsha in time to save her life, it hadn’t been in time to keep her from slipping into a shock-induced coma from what appeared to be a serious puncture wound to the left side (seemingly caused by a lightsaber blade) and multiple broken bones caused by a bad fall from a sizable height, and, though Obi-Wan seemed to believe Pavan and I-Five, neither his Master nor the High Council agreed with his judgment on the matter, Qui-Gon and the Council Masters firmly declaring that the Sith were extinct and that either it must have only been a Dark Jedi or former initiate within the Order gone bad or else that Pavan and his droid must be willfully attempting to deceive the Jedi, either in hopes of swindling the Order or else of getting back at the Order for letting Pavan go from his job in the Temple when the High Council chose to admit his son, Jax, to the crèche for training a few years earlier – and, surprisingly enough, Obi-Wan is in one of his rare defiant moods, arguing that he and his Master should not be sent to Naboo until Darsha wakes or that the High Council should recall Master Dooku from his current mission so that he can join them, since the Serennoian Jedi Master is one of the Order’s experts on Sith and Dark Jedi, so for once Bail has very little problem impressing the urgency of Obi-Wan’s need to be careful on the young man, and the grim (and plainly unhappy with the High Council’s decision to completely dismiss what Darsha and Lorn may have seen and what they might know and send Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to Naboo immediately, posthaste) Padawan actually moves to fold Bail into a brief embrace, clapping him reassuringly on the back as he promises to be as careful as he possibly can, before he turns to follow his Master down to the ship already waiting to take them away.
18.) Message: Bail has sources in the Temple (several of them workers in the Temple complex) who let him know whenever Master Jinn and his apprentice are returning from a mission, and so he’s hovering in the background when the ship from Naboo finally lands, more to make sure that everyone really is okay than to try and have a word with anyone (save, perhaps, to pass along a message of Alderaan’s support for the peoples of Naboo); he is, therefore, both quite surprised and pleasantly warmed when Obi-Wan, not only noticing him almost immediately but apparently having been expecting him to be there, motions to one of the Nabooian guards, who promptly turns aside to pass him a message, asking him to please come by the Temple at his earliest convenience to discuss an urgent matter, explaining that Obi-Wan and his Master likely won’t both be called before the High Council for their preliminary report and that it will probably be at least a day before their full report is asked for, given the complexity of the situation with Naboo.
19.) Story: He waits for about two hours (to let everyone settle in, first) before he heads to the Temple, allowing his feet to carry him to the Bendu Wheel of Remembrance, where a clearly less than calm (in fact, almost as agitated as Bail’s ever seen the normally unflappable Padawan . . . save, perhaps, for a few instances, in which the continued well-being of Master Jinn was in serious question) Obi-Wan Kenobi is waiting for him, and he barely even gets a chance to ask what’s wrong before a tersely concise version of the whole story comes flying out of Obi-Wan, from Naboo’s invasion and occupation to Anakin Skywalker and the creature who attacked Qui-Gon as they were preparing to leave Tatooine: Obi-Wan is convinced that the creature is the Sith Lord who nearly killed Darsha Assant, but his Master is so focused on his crazy idea that this Anakin boy is the Chosen One of ancient prophecies that he’s apparently halfway convinced himself that the Zabrak is just some kind of former Jedi initiate turned bounty hunter who’s been sent after the Nabooian Queen, and, with some difficulty, Bail pieces together that, first of all, Obi-Wan wishes to know if there’s anything Bail’s contacts can do to watch out for the Sith, in case he follows them to Coruscant, secondly, he wonders if Bail would please consider doing him the enormous favor of finding Anakin a safe, secure home somewhere the Sith shouldn’t be able to get to him (as he’s quite sure that the High Council will refuse to allow him admittance to the Order and he’s also fairly certain that the boy is going to need somewhere to go and that Naboo isn’t going to be safe enough for him, even if they do manage to free the world from the Trade Federation, given the apparent animosity the Sith carry towards the planet), and, lastly, if Bail himself will please be extra careful about his association with the Temple, as it is entirely possible that a Sith might decide someone so obviously friendly with the Jedi (whose people are also traditional allies, of sorts, with Naboo) makes a fine target for an attempt at an example, in case the action against Naboo is some kind of preliminary warmup for a full-out galactic war.
20.) Mask: Bail could tell, from the way Obi-Wan spoke of Queen Amidala’s party, that there was something unusual about its members, so he’s watching for something strange when he goes to formally pay his respects, as both the Crown Prince of Alderaan and a junior Senator, and it doesn’t take him very long to piece together the significance of the Queen’s stunningly intricate costume (with its enormously distracting grand jewelry and elaborate large headpiece and heavy ceremonial makeup that makes her lovely face resemble a delicately carved mask) and the young handmaidens who all (with one notable exception) look as if they could just as easily be dressed up and presented to the galaxy as Queen as the young teenager who apparently truly is Amidala.
21.) Mien: He surprises himself by bursting into tears, when Liana Merian tells him about Master Jinn, his first thought (surprisingly enough) not for those left behind but rather for the light that has gone out of the universe, never to return again: though he’d certainly (at least mostly) respected the man, he had not realized, until just then, precisely how much he admired Obi-Wan’s Master or how much the man’s often stern but kindly mien reminded him of his own father, and it grieves him immensely, to know that now he’ll never have a chance to try to tell the man how much his advice and guidance (and his quiet allowance of piteously lovelorn Bail’s infatuation with his Padawan, given that Bail has no doubt whatsoever that the man must’ve noticed his wholly impossible yet nonetheless undeterred love for Obi-Wan) has meant to Bail, in the years of their association.
22.) Transparent: His uncle should have won the chancellery – he undeniably would have been a shoe-in, for the next Supreme Chancellor, if things had gone their normal course and Finis Valorum simply served the whole of his term, for Valorum made no bones about the fact that he considered Bail Antilles to be his rightful successor (his heir in training, as it were) and he had both the highest overall approval ratings and the best record, when it came down to actually getting things accomplished, instead of just spouting artful words and transparent promises or pretty lies to placate the populace – and he can’t help but feel as if Palpatine blatantly cheated (if not literally then at the very least figuratively), by suddenly putting himself forward as an option (when everyone knew that Valorum was only being ousted because the Trade Federation had invaded Naboo and everyone also knew that Palpatine hailed from Naboo and that he was something of a mentor to the scrappy young Queen who had, against all odds, managed to outsmart the Trade Federation, various Tatooine thieves and thugs, and one very nasty supposed bounty hunter – in fact, a Sith Lord, though that would not be widely circulated until much, much later – in order to get to Coruscant, to report on the invasion and illegal occupation of her planet), and to desperately wish that he had not allowed himself to be carried away to the point of seconding Amidala’s motion of No Confidence in Valorum, as he cannot help but feel that things could have been handled in a far better manner and he missed seeing it, swept up as he was in his desire to help both the beleaguered peoples of Naboo and his uncle to more quickly gain the position that everyone (except, apparently, Palpatine and his opportunistic supporters) seemed to realize Bail Antilles was all but born for.
23.) Curious: Anakin Skywalker is . . . not what he’s been expecting, whatever else he may or may not be, and Bail is oddly discomfited by the boy’s piercing gaze, the way that the former slave looks at him as though he can see effortlessly right through him, as if he’s judged Bail and found him to be lacking in some vitally important way, and the defensiveness prompted in him by that steady gaze, no matter how hard he tries to remain unaffected by it, flusters and discombobulates and infuriates him so much that, more than once, he is certain that he can feel Obi-Wan’s eyes on him, curious and puzzled and far more probing than he is comfortable with.
24.) Danger: There is more to this whole thing with Dooku leaving the Jedi Order after Master Jinn’s death, he’s certain of it (can sense it in his very bones, which speak to him of danger and treachery); regrettably, though, there’s nothing Obi-Wan that can do about it, stuck at the Temple in Coruscant as he is with Anakin (the two of them virtual prisoners, until/unless the High Council deems them safe enough for an active mission), and Bail badly strained his working relationship with both Temple and High Council when he made his opinion on the way that Obi-Wan and Anakin were being treated clear (openly and quite vehemently stating that it was wrong and that the two would be more than welcome at the Alderaanian chapterhouse if the Coruscanti Temple didn’t welcome or appreciate them), so unfortunately there’s little he can do about it, either, aside from try (and mostly fail) to hire beings capable of keeping tabs on the "Lost" Jedi Master, now that Dooku has left the Order behind.
25.) Extraordinary: Amidala is . . . phenomenal is the word that pops most readily to mind, though perhaps extraordinary would be a more accurate term, given how very remarkable the young women (handmaidens) she surrounds herself with also are, and he finds himself charmed and intrigued and fascinated and liking her a very great deal, initially, even though she is, inadvertently, responsible for quite a bit of upheaval and discord in both his family and his personal life, and she is, moreover, apparently quite smitten with the young Jedi Padawan (now young Knight) who helped to deliver her and her planet from peril . . . the young man who has, for some years, been the unknowing owner of Bail’s heart.
26.) Beautiful: The luminous Sabé Dahn – a ridiculously gifted, ludicrously beautiful young woman, who acted as Amidala’s primary decoy until her interim appointment to the Senate seat vacated by Palpatine, in his taking of the chancellery, when she was given the ceremonial name of Kandala and sent to Coruscant to act as the Chommell Sector’s new Senator – reminds Bail of a cross between Obi-Wan and Bail’s demi-cousin (and good friend, whom he expects will one day be his protégée, if she remains anything like what she is now as she grows to maturity), Mon Mothma of Chandrila, so he finds himself eagerly making a concerted effort to win over and befriend her, and not just because Obi-Wan thinks so highly of her.
27.) Clueless: The longer Bail works with Lady Sabé Kandala (and, by extension, with Padmé Amidala), the more firmly the reality is driven home that he’s not the only one affected by such an uncontrollable love and longing for Obi-Wan, and the more he halfway wishes that there were something that they could, all together, do about it, either by confronting the clueless Jedi en masse or by somehow seeking greater comfort amongst themselves, as he’s heard that those addicted (in much the same way as they are to Obi-Wan’s presence and friendship) to other . . . pleasures . . . will meet and seek comfort amongst themselves, by sharing both of their weaknesses and of their strengths.
28.) Group: He is glad to formally sponsor Mon Mothma (who reminds him of his sister – of both of his sisters, actually, though her personality is perhaps a little bit closer to the one he lost – so much that it does his heart good, to hear her referring to him affectionately as m’caoim’ach and to see her smile when he calls her his becc siur), to take her under his wing as his uncle once did for him (not only because she is a distant cousin, of sorts, given the close ties between both Alderaan and Chandrila and their families specifically, but because she is a passionately caring, extraordinarily gifted young woman easily capable of doing great things, if only given half a chance), and he is distinctly amused to find her absolutely fascinated with Obi-Wan and easily flustered around the young Jedi Master in a way she is not nervous around even such powerful political figures as the Supreme Chancellor himself, mentally adding her to his little group of Kenobi-addicts, even though she seems more intensely curious about and interested in than actively attracted to the young Bendu Master.
29.) Courage: As Breha comes of a marriageable age by anyone’s standards, he finds he can no longer justify putting off his duty to consolidate their families by wedding her, and so, though everyone in his family seems to disapprove – and his chief aide, Liana Merian (who stayed with him after his uncle resigned from the Senate, even though he knew that she blamed him, at least in part, for his uncle’s failure to win the chancellery), actually resigns when he declares that he is returning to Alderaan to propose, her voice sad but firm as she tells him that she cannot bear to stay with him any longer and watch him continue to ruin his life – and the prospect makes his heart ache so badly that he has difficulty breathing (the sense of pressure gripping his chest is so great) and his stomach feel vaguely nauseous, he gathers his courage, steels himself until he is fully resigned to what he must do, and finally formally proposes to her, even managing to muster up a soft smile for her when she accepts his offer.
30.) Warn: He’s been trying for years to warn the Order or the Senate or both about Dooku and the proliferation of armed droid forces among the corporations and conglomerates allied with the Trade Federation, and, when things finally begin to come to a head over the proposed Military Creation Act, he’s not particularly surprised to find out that Dooku is the declared oriflamme of this so-called Confederacy of Independent Systems, though he is horrified to discover that the man not only is seemingly quite willing to start a galactic civil war to have his way but that he’s apparently also allied himself with the Sith in order to do it.
31.) Vote: In the end, though the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach warns him that he’s about to be ill-used by circumstances and that he’ll end up regretting what he’s about to do, Bail has no choice but to vote to give Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers, in response to the brewing disaster on Geonosis: the Separatists not only clearly have no interest whatsoever in opening or entertaining diplomatic negotiations, they have Obi-Wan (and Anakin and Padmé Amidala) and are planning a public execution based on some ridiculous trumped up charges of treachery and malicious spying, and he can no more sit back and do nothing and allow Dooku and his Separatists to carry out that execution than he could force himself to stop loving Obi-Wan through sheer determination of will; since the Senate is in a panic and obviously not planning to approve using the army of clone soldiers found on Kamino by Master Kenobi, there’s nothing for it but to vote to give Palpatine the power to act without the Senate’s approval, despite the fact that he’s already well past the end of the legal term limits as Supreme Chancellor, and pray that the clones and the Jedi will be in time to stop Dooku.
32.) Nightmare: The mission through Wild Space to find Zigoola is a nightmare from start to finish, with arguments (increasingly violent, especially as they draw nearer to the planet and the multitude of Sith spirits entombed on the barren world begin to try to influence them both, dozens of the hideously ghoulish ghosts eventually working together in an attempt to raise enough power to take over Obi-Wan completely) erupting between him and Master Kenobi so often that he fears, for some time afterwards, that trying to report the information passed along to him by Alinta (a member of the clandestine organization known as the Friends of the Republic and one of his most trusted secret informants) may have inadvertently resulted in irreparable harm being done to their friendship, especially when Obi-Wan seems to withdraw from him when the mission is over with, as if he cannot bear to be long within his presence.
33.) Save: It is only in the aftermath of the Senate hostage crisis, in which Anakin Skywalker is only just able to save several Senators (including Bail) from being blown to smithereens by the bounty hunter Cad Bane, in a double-cross during negotiations to trade the captured Senators for the freedom of Hutt crime lord Ziro Desilijic Tiure (then still being held for his part in the CIS kidnapping of his great-nephew, Rotta, son of the notoriously powerful Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure), that Bail is finally reassured that the disastrous (and essentially entirely of no real practical use) mission to Zigoola has not caused Obi-Wan to reconsider (and perhaps even to decide to end) their friendship, for Obi-Wan comms, afterwards, to urgently request a meeting, and, in one of his rare but wholly indubitably real displays of emotion, rushes to enfold Bail in a tight hug the instant he’s stepped within the Jedi Bendu’s private quarters, clearly relieved to see that he hasn’t been physically harmed during the hostage ordeal.
34.) Guard: Sateen Vestswe has been Bail’s personal bodyguard since he first began serving in the High Council of Alderaan, having been chosen specifically by his family (loyal servants and guards of the Organa House for over forty generations) for the task, and he’s certainly never had any complaints of the man; yet, the longer the war drags on, the more aware he becomes of his own vulnerability, and so he is glad when, of his own accord, Sateen asks Giles Durane – an idealist and prodigiously talented young fighter (so skilled that many refer to him as the Weapons Master, rather than by his proper name) Bail has come into contact with several times since the start of the war, who’s chosen to put his talents to practical use by fighting for the Republic and his ideals – for additional weapons and general defensive training, so that he can continue to keep his charge safe.
35.) Battle: With every battle in which it could have been possible for Obi-Wan to have been killed, he finds a part of himself dying, and nothing seems to fully revive again him but Obi-Wan’s all too infrequent presence on Coruscant or Alderaan, away from the bloody fronts, so it is perhaps unavoidable that, when Asajj Ventress nearly makes him believe that he’s lost Obi-Wan forever, he finally comes to personally, entirely understand what it means to hate – to loathe so completely and to burn so absolutely with furious disgust that he could happily do a victorious dance not only upon the evil witch’s grave, but upon the grave of her entire species, just for having had the ill-luck to produce her – and the emotion is at once so ugly and so strangely sweet that he finds himself truly, fully understanding both the lure and the hold of the Dark Side for perhaps the first time in his life.
36.) Comfortable: The Battle of Boz Pity ends up turning Bail into something far closer to an actual soldier than he feels truly comfortable with being (especially since, in the aftermath, it takes everything in his power to stop from defiling the body of Asajj Ventress . . . an act of supreme will that he must exert again, less than a day later, when the medical ship carrying her body vanishes, and it appears that the witch may somehow, however seemingly impossibly, have escaped both justice and death yet again), and, afterwards, he begins to seriously question the assumption he’s at least half held to be the probable truth his entire life (namely, that he should have been given over to the Jedi Order for training, as a child), since, in reality, he certainly doesn’t seem to make a very good warrior.
37.) Ugly: Satine Kryze, Duchess of Mandalore, is both incontrovertibly strong (to the point where many refer to her as immovably stubborn) and unarguably (almost overwhelmingly) beautiful (all long lines and supple curves, tall and slim and so pale and bright that she’s like a beautifully burning candle with those almost incandescent blue eyes and that gorgeously smooth glowing white skin and that brightly burnished light golden hair), and the relief that he feels when the war finally all but forces her to return (retreat) to Mandalore seemingly permanently is so complete and so entirely ugly (worse, even, than the perpetual jealousy and petty dislike that has plagued him for the entirety of their acquaintance, since she is also incontestably close to Obi-Wan, respected and liked and cherished by the young Jedi Bendu to the point where others have attacked her in order to try to hurt him) that, on imagining Obi-Wan’s undeniable grief at her departure, Bail very nearly manages to hate himself.
38.) Worth: The desperate mission to Metalorn, to save Master Shaak Ti from the Techno Union, is much more an attempt on his part to reassure himself of his worth than anything else, and no one is more surprised than he is (save, perhaps, for the Togruta Jedi Master in question) when the captured Jedi’s lightsaber leaps and dances in his hand as if he’d been born with the hilt clasped in his hands, answering to his need and his will as though he actually had been trained to the use of such elegant weaponry and not spent the whole of his life answering to duty and tradition and fulfilling political roles that (despite excelling at) he’s never quite been able to convince himself he truly wants, allowing them both to get to the Tantive IV and flee from the supposedly inescapable prison of the Unreal City.
39.) Fear: It is when former Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum is murdered in a supposed terrorist attack on the Star of Iskin, soon after visiting Bail in his private residence (as opposed to the apartment at 500 Republica he also keeps, as a Senator) on Coruscant, Cantham House, to accuse Palpatine of having likely masterminded things so that he could attain the power he held and being far too covetous of that power to ever give it up again, even if the war should end, that Bail truly begins to fear that the current Supreme Chancellor is not at all what he appears and that they need to start preparing for the worst, should it ever come down to that, and it is then that he approaches his cousin (and chief aide), Sheltay, and his good friend, Mon Mothma, about beginning to make such arrangements.
40.) Like: He desperately wants to still be able to like and accept Anakin Skywalker, if only for Obi-Wan’s sake, but the longer the war goes on and the more fanatical the boy gets about defeating the enemy, no matter what the costs, the more Bail’s danger sense screams that Anakin is both unstable and dangerous, and it amazes him, a little, that Obi-Wan doesn’t seem to sense that the boy is spiraling out of control and could end up seriously hurting not only himself but everyone else around him, should he fall to the darkness dogging his heels.
41.) Harm: He worries, sometimes, that Breha does not truly understand that, while he certainly cares for her (and why shouldn’t he care for her? She’s a lovely, accomplished, warm, caring, passionate young woman who really believes in democracy and peace and truly wants to make a difference in the greater ’verse), he never has and never will be able to love her as one might the mate of one’s heart and soul, and fears that he may have done her irreparable harm, in marrying her, despite the fact that he has always been completely honest with her about both the nature and the extent of his affections for her and his reasons for choosing to wed her, having carefully explained the matter to her (including both the constraint he felt to do his duty, as the Crown Prince, even though he had no particular desire to wed, and the unswerving love he felt for one he knew he could never have, despite knowing perfectly well that nothing could ever come of it) prior to requesting her hand.
42.) Trust: He is not sure, at first, that it is a good idea to bring Senator Amidala in on their plans, even for the sake of the Petition and Delegation of 2000 (to try to force Palpatine to give up the chancellery, which he has held far, far past when he should have been forced by law to legally give it up to another) – she is still a friend of Obi-Wan’s, in a way (though she seems to spend far more time with Anakin Skywalker than with Obi-Wan, these days), but that does not mean that Bail necessarily trusts her, especially given how much she has changed, over the years (not for the better, in his opinion), and that Obi-Wan seems to be friends now with her more out of a sense of obligation and pity than real affection – yet, despite both his personal reservations and her apparent ill health and initial hesitance about working with him on such a project, Padmé quickly proves to be a highly passionate, steadfast, and (perhaps most importantly) deviously clever ally, winning Senators to their side that he never would have thought would have the sense to support the movement to call for an end to the emergency powers granted Palpatine essentially at the start of the war.
43.) Fragile: As the Outer Rim Sieges drag on and on, Padmé’s fragile health and her state of mind (if the redness of her eyes and the darkness of the circles hollowing them is anything to judge by) worsen steadily, and he is becoming genuinely concerned for her continued well-being (coming to admire and even like the young woman, as they grow closer through their work together) when the unthinkable occurs, and it’s no longer necessary for him to worry about her safety, sanity, or health any longer.
44.) Crash: He does and he does not remember the crash, and, afterwards, he cannot quite shake the nagging feeling that there is some other reason (besides the actual physical trauma he suffers during the accident and apart from the mental and emotional trauma of finding himself in the midst of a Coruscant remade into a battlefield by the attacking Separatists) behind the fuzziness of his thoughts, some power to blame for his inability to completely piece together the whole series of events leading up to the collision and crash landing . . . a force at work so mysterious that he cannot even begin to make up his mind as to whether it might or might not be sinister and whether or not he should or shouldn’t push at the strange sense of fogginess clouding his mind to try to get at the truth.
45.) Burn: He thinks for a moment that the Temple is burning – it’s not just a trick of the light and the smoke: he sees it, a vast twisting cone of greasy smoke above a charred ruin, phantom flames still licking their way through the halls and dancing in the windows and doorways, the smeared ghosts of anguished screams and cries of shock and horror and agonizingly grieved tears and wails floating on the funereal ash-choked air – and he panics, just flat out panics for the amount of time it takes Raymus to take their speeder down to the Temple and obtain enough answers to reassure him that the army isn’t actually attempting to burn the Temple down around the ears of the Jedi and younglings within it
46.) Sensation: The sensation is and is not surprise, is and is not dismay, is and is not relief, is and is not something that feels surprisingly close to both terror and joy, and he can’t quite help thinking, as he becomes both the first of the New Jedi Bendu’s recruits and the first Padawan to be shared amongst multiple (two, to be specific) Masters in the New Jedi Bendu Order’s history, that, of all the things that he ever could’ve dreamed of happening, this is going to be both the most wonderful and the most awful, as he scrambles to make sense of a galaxy where literally everything he’s ever thought of as known (as true, as unalterable and immovable) has been unceremoniously turned on its head.
47.) Bond: Qui-Gon Jinn and Yannis Kitsou Dooku having apparently returned from the dead (or at least survived the deaths/dissolutions of their physical bodies, in however odd a manner) is somehow less surprising than discovering that Anakin has somehow convinced Obi-Wan to bend enough to truly love him . . . right up until the moment when they initiate the bond with him, at which point he cannot help but feel and know the reality of the love that binds them together, Anakin’s love for Obi-Wan and Obi-Wan’s love for Anakin so bright and so beautiful and so far beyond anything that he could ever compare with that he can’t do anything, at first, but just stand there dumbly and weep . . . and let them build the bridge of power that will permanently anchor and tie him to the both of them (and, through them, to new Grand Masters Dooku and Jinn).
48.) Care: Much, much later, it will occur to him that his uneasiness over being left behind, when his new Masters went to Utapau, after General Grievous, had much less to do with any danger they might’ve been heading towards and much more to do with the simple fact that news of the death of his wife could have easily caught up with him on Coruscant, when he was alone and had no one around him able to bring him back out of the depths of his grief and self-blame, if he hadn’t taken it into his head to make sure that the arrangements to return Amidala’s body home (to Naboo) were not only done properly and well but with care and real love.
49.) Outrage: The fact that Padmé’s only sibling, Sola, apparently allowed herself to be seduced by and made an apprentice of Darth Sidious doesn’t really sink in, fully, until after the attack on Naboo in which the woman (or her body, at least, her consciousness having apparently been accidentally – but no less irreparably for all that – destroyed) vanishes and Queen Apailana is very nearly killed (and doubtlessly would have died anyway, from her injuries, if Obi-Wan and Anakin hadn’t discovered some seemingly impossible method of channeling the Force in such a way as to create portals of some kind physically linking together two places, apparently no matter how far distant, and permitting individuals strong in the Force to transport themselves all but instantaneously from, say, one world to another entirely, allowing them to quickly take Bail with them from Alderaan to Naboo and later go back again), and his outrage is such that he truly begins to recover from the shock of Breha’s murder, his righteously affronted anger and his passion combining in such a way as to drive him to do everything in his power to stop individuals like Sola and those responsible for the cowardly attack on a mourning Naboo and to become the very best Jedi Bendu that he possibly can, so that he can help keep the whole of the galaxy safe for good people like the young Keiana Apailana.
50.) First: After they return to Coruscant and the Temple and his Masters seem to be distancing themselves slightly from him, he begins to suspect that Obi-Wan and Anakin may be attempting to keep something from him, possibly for what they perceive as being his own good and perhaps involving something to do with the three different young men they’ve been visited by, through the Force, claiming to somehow be Obi-Wan and Anakin’s children and to be in need of being found and rescued as soon as possible . . . and, when he goes to sleep and dreams for the first time in years of a slim young man with blue-black hair and snow-white skin and predator-pale icy blue eyes and berry-bitten plush red lips, Bail is certain, all the way down to the core of him, both that his suspicion is correct and that he has no way of truly knowing whether or not the assumption that what they’re doing is for his own good is actually false, given the dangerous glitter in those blindingly blue eyes when the young man had smiled silently down at him . . .