As the elected princess and representative of the Dwarven mining coalition, Snow White met the Neimoidians representatives of the Trade Federation in the Great Oak Grove. Xpantian moss had been newly hung. The dwarves clothing had been washed and pressed. Their beards glistened with beeswax.
While she in her role as the Princess of a Representational Monarchical system, she had clothed herself in her most formal wear. Silk spun by the finest spider weavers that trembled with dew drops. In addition, her lips were painted as red as blood. Her hair was dyed as black as coal. Her skin was painted as white as snow.
The representatives of the Trade Federation tilted awkwardly on the small wooden chairs that she'd sung the forest animals into weaving that morning. The leader of the delegation, Nute Gunray, seemed to be distracted by the potential for non resilience in her garb. That was why she had worn it.
Nute Gunray said, "I am sure that we can come to an amenable arrangement with the Dwarven coalition that will bear discernible rewards."
She was familiar with what he offered. A sweet apple of a deal to deliver their goods in exchange for exclusive rights.
Snow White knew all about poisoned apples. Snow White waved her hand for a flock of birds to offer her guests root vegetable hors d'oeuvre. Her skin as white as snow remained a mask that did not change expression.
They did not yet know about the psionic enhancing powers of the wishing well. Snow White held that knowledge in reserve and smiled with her lips as red as blood.
Pocahontas listened to the Jedi Ambassador, Jon Smuinquargesimusth, as he met with her father.
Jon spoke of the Jedi and of the Republic. He spoke of the Jedi way. He spoke of the light side of the force. He spoke of the high midi-chlorian count on her world, which had attracted the interest of the Republic.
He spoke of the dangers that lay in the way of the Sith, who manipulated the dark side of the force.
Pocahontas served Jon and his companions maize cakes soaked in honey. Her father promised to think upon what he had said.
Pocahontas went to sit for a time in the branches of Grandmother Oak. "Do you understand what this Jedi has to say of the force and its dark and light sides?"
"No." Grandmother Oak's branches rustled. "I only know of the colors of the wind."
Pocahontas never was able to get a satisfactory answer. Even after she journeyed back with the members of the expedition to speak with the Republic. All she ever saw were colors.
It was an honor to be the head Lore Keeper for the Jedi Council. On honor for which she'd put aside love, family, and children. It was an honor. Belle repeated this fact to herself often.
Belle lowered the pitch of her voice. A little trick she'd read about as practiced by Anunder Sunrider, a Jedi Master given to arts and letters as well as the Force, to ensure that she didn't start screaming like a madwoman and certainly not the tone of voice fit for a Jedi Master. "And how is that a good idea?"
Yoda folded his little green hands together and said, "The Chosen One will bring balance to the Force he will."
Belle pinched the bridge of her nose. She was not going to say it again. She was not. She made herself speak very slowly. "The Jedi are in power. The Jedi use the light side of the force. The Sith are not in power. They use the dark side of the force. If there is balance in the force, the Jedi will become less powerful." By sheer force of will she did not emphasize less with air quotes, but it was a near thing. "How is that in our own best interests to want balance in the force?"
The members of the Jedi council stared at each other. They stared at Belle.
The conversation started over again.
It was shortly after that that Belle resigned from her position. She moved to a small collegium on Franconia.
If the council could not be forced to see reason, then she could do what needed to be done. Preserve the knowledge of the Jedi against the coming balance.
She slept in the cinders. Her step mother made her a slave on account of her father's debt to her. What this debt was, Cinderella could not have said.
Her step sisters made her run on their errands. She went without food. She went without sleep. She labored long into the night in her father's home. In the place where her mother once ruled. If she did not run fast enough, she was whipped across her feet. When she did not lift quickly enough, she was whipped across her back.
She ran and she lifted and she grew strong in her hate.
Her Godmother came to the kitchen door and spoke of how sleeping in the fire had made her strong. She offered to teach her to use her hate to grow stronger yet.
It was not a decision that was many steps in the making. She embraced her Godmother. She embraced her teacher. She embraced the darkness, black as the cinders in which she slept.
She whispered the code of her Godmother.
"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me."
She grew very strong.
Rapunzel knew nothing of midi-chlorians. She lived in a station in an asteroid field.
She knew nothing of the Force. Her mother kept her far away from such things. Her mother said, "Look at all the things I do for you," as she brushed her hair of gold.
She knew nothing of the dark side. Her mother never spoke of such things.
She knew nothing of the light side. The paintings that she drew on the station walls were full of light.
What she did know was that space was full of stars. Each year on her birthday, when the light probes floated across the void seeking something unknown, her dream was to fly among them.
The Emperor kept a clone army. The remnants of clone wars. They wore helms that hid their faces. Mulan nodded respectfully to them on her way to the market. They were the representatives of the most wise Emperor, who had done away with the strife of the Republic and brought order to the land. As such, they were due her respect.
The market rippled with word of the Rebels, who sought to rip the Empire from this age of peace and throw them back into those uncivilized times.
A phrase seemed to echo in Mulan's memory. "To preserve civility, one must present uncivil behavior."
So it was that she meant no shame to her family name. Nor did she wish to bring shame to her father, who had fought bravely for the Emperor in the Clone Wars. It was simply that she wished to do her own part.
So it was in secret that she applied to the Imperial Academy. So it was in secret that she clicked open on the light wave transmission. Her heart in her mouth, she closed her eyes and made Mushu read it to her. "You got in."
She squeaked and opened an eye.
She was to be an officer in the wise Emperor's army.
She left her family a note that they might know she was well. She could face their censure later. Surely after she had learned to face down rebels, she could face her Mother and tell her that she wanted no children.
Later, after she had faced the rebels.
Esmeralda danced at the cantina at Mos Eisley. It was a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Her kind of people.
She danced because she liked to dance.
She kept a blaster at her hip because she always shot first.
She'd have Clopin, her first mate, scope potential customers out while she watched them from the stage. If they seemed ligit, well, she wasn't about to take the Kessel run in less than twelve parsec. But the "Gypsy Queen" always made her deliveries. On time and on schedule.
And she always got paid.
That was how she was there the day a Sith, a Jedi, and an Empire academy probe all walked into the bar and got completely wasted on Alderian brandy together.
When Tiana was offered the opportunity to head up craft services at a new Empire Installation, it was too good to be true.
That's why she didn't take it.
Too good to be true was too good to be true.
Everyone knew the Empire rushed those places into full operation before they were ready. They took short cuts. She'd heard stories from some of the contractors that pulled construction gigs. Improperly sealed panels. Power ducts that with the right impact would blow the whole place up.
Tiana worked hard and hard work was near as she could tell the same in the old Republic or the new Empire, but she sure as anything wasn't going to end up sub-atomic particles because some governor had a deadline.
It just wasn't worth it.
Red Squadron was hers. Gold Squadron might get all the glory, but Ariel kept the heat off them with every trick she'd learned growing up beneath the seas of Naboo.
Beings that grew up dirtside paid too much attention to gravity and not enough to the possibilities of space. She took out another imperial. Those clone boys never learned to look up or down. Space wasn't on a single plane.
Aurora woke from her long sleep to find the Republic had fallen, an Empire had risen and fallen on the width of an Emperor's shoulders, and a New Republic had taken it's place.
She yawned and closed her eyes. They could wake her if something truly changed.