Series: New Sith Empire 6
Year: 44 ABY
Category: Drama, Angst,
Pairings: Jacen/Tenel Ka past, Jaina/Jagged Fel, Han/Leia, Zekk/Taryn Zel
Spoilers: Dark Nest Trilogy, Legacy of the Force series, Fate of the Jedi series,
Summary: Meetings set one’s whole life. Who you meet shapes who you are. Who you don’t meet can destroy your life. When two people meet it changes the way the war between the Empire and the Alliance. The galaxy is not ready for two women who have been scorned.
Notes: Allana is eight.
“Your children are beautiful.”
Tatiana turned around and looked at the woman standing near her table. The woman was older and smiled as she sat down beside Tatiana.
“I have seen you here over the past week since I’ve arrived. I have seen you come here each day and never have I seen a father.”
“I am sure the children miss him.”
“He’s never seen them in person. The Galactic Alliance has kept him away from them. I am not even sure of who he is anymore.”
“How sad. Does he at least get to comm you?”
“Yes.” Tatiana looked away from the kids for a second and then sighed. “He does.”
“You sound sad.”
“I am very sad.”
A small cup lifting off the table and floating to the boy shocked the older lady. He reached out and grabbed the cup and took a sip before reaching his hand back out and the cup floated back to the table. The older woman looked at Tatiana in shock.
“They are Force-sensitive.”
“Like their father.”
“Is this why? I know that the GA has been conscripting Jedi over the past two years. Is that why you are hiding here? To protect them?”
“Why are you here?” Tatiana didn’t answer the older woman. She just asked the question trying to put her off the scent. The woman was getting too close to truths that could harm her and the children.
“I am in hiding. My husband tried to kill me. It was an accident but still, his actions after have left a bad taste in my mouth. I hide for the safety of my son. Naboo is not where those who want to live go. There are so many tourists it’s easy to get lost.”
“My name is Tatiana.”
“Draga, at your service.” The older woman stuck her hand out.
Tatiana shook the hand. The two ladies just watched the crowds pass by. It was quiet other than the sounds of the twins playing in the small area set aside for children.
“I never asked, what are the children’s names?”
“Padme and Anakin.”
Draga turned quickly to stare at her.
“I read the history here. I was on the island they were wed on when I had them. It felt right.”
Draga didn’t say anything just stood up and moved to the left side of Tatiana. Tatiana stood up quickly and placed herself between Draga and the children.
“Stay back, Ani.”
Draga reached out and Tatiana started to reach out but stopped. Draga grabbed where Tatiana’s lower left arm should be but when Draga’s hand passed through, Draga gasped.
“My stars. Come with me.” Draga marched off and looked back at where Tatiana had been. “Tatiana, come with me. Where is your Rancor tooth?”
Tatiana started at that. This Draga knew her. Knew who she was. It was fight or flight. She reached with the Force and pushed at Draga who pushed back.
“Ani, Padme, with me. We are going to Draga’s house to play.”
“Yea!” the twins both screamed as they scrambled up. Tatiana kept them behind her as they walked. Naboo was peaceful and safe. That was why she had gone to Naboo when she went into hiding from the Galactic Alliance. She felt no danger in the Force. So far it was safe but that safety could disappear before she could do anything.
Draga lead them to a house that was beautiful and peaceful looking. She opened the door and entered the house first. It only took seconds for Tatiana to enter. Padme walked in and looked around for a few seconds before she ran to Draga.
“Padme!” Tatiana reached out to pull Padme back but the child slipped through her hands quickly.
“Auntie!” Padme screamed as she threw her arms around Draga in a hug.
“Oh my sweet child.”
“What is going on?” Tatiana demanded. She reached behind her back and pulled her lightsaber from its hiding place. She didn’t ignite it just held it in her right hand.
“Your husband sent me here to protect me after my husband tried to kill me. The universe thinks that I am dead. My nephew loves me dearly and is protecting my son from his father.” Draga reached to her hairline and started to pull. A wig started to come off. Under the wig of pure blonde hair was fire red hair, Tatiana knew that hair. Only one person could have that certain hair in the galaxy and know what she knew.
Tenel Ka moved forward to hug her. Anakin stayed back but did move closer, slowly. He was still wary.
“Jacen has no clue that he has twins does he?” Mara asked when she pulled back from the hug, settling Padme in a more comfortable position on her hip. Padme was not letting go of her. Anakin stepped closer so that he was touching Tenel Ka’s leg.
“No. Before I left I wiped his memory that I am alive. I was not aware that I was with child at the time. There was no way for me to contact him safely. I’ve had to stay here and raise them as best I can. You said…what has he done?”
“Have you not been getting the news?”
“I have heard about Jacen supposedly killing you and turning Sith along with Leia, Ben, Jaina, and Lowbacca. I have heard of them telling everyone else that Master Skywalker is the Sith. I do not know what to believe. Did Master Skywalker try to kill you?”
“He attacked at Jaina’s wedding. Luke did. He’d not been sleeping well. I didn’t think that it would come to this. I never would have thought. His visions were so horrible: A dark man on the throne with Allana at his feet. She was serving him. He was so scared. He thought that with Allana in the vision, the dark man had to Jacen.”
“Jacen? I…I can’t say that I could never see him going dark but as his path was when I left, I don’t think he was going to turn.”
“I knew that after your supposed death, Luke was more afraid of Jacen. Jacen never showed any signs though. He wasn’t mean and he ruled Hapes with a good hand. Luke was sure that the only reason that Jacen was even made King of the Consortium was because of the Dark Side. He couldn’t accept that Jacen was good. He couldn’t accept that his visions were not of Jacen.”
“Is he…becoming the man in his visions? Are his visions coming true by changing him to make him turn back?”
“I don’t know. The more I hear of what is going on, yes. I never thought that and I know that thinking I am dead is not helping but Ben and I would not be safe if he knew I was alive. You should have been there, Tenel Ka.” Mara stopped talking and looked at the children. “I have a small garden at the back of the house. I am sure that you will be safe playing there.”
Padme started to squirm and Mara set her down. No sooner did her feet hit the floor than she was grabbing Anakin’s hand and pulling him away. When Mara was sure that they couldn’t hear them, she turned back to Tenel Ka.
“Let’s sit in the kitchen and talk. We have much to go over.”
“I think that it is time that I rejoin this fight.”
“Luke would kill you or the Galactic Alliance would.”
“I wasn’t going to be out and be in the spotlight. I want to see what the Alliance citizens really think of this war and send help to Jacen where I can. He needs help in the Alliance. He needs friends in the Alliance who spread word of the truth.”
“And what of your children?”
“I am going to send them to Hapes. They would be safe there. Learning from their father and Aunt and cousin. I can do more good out in the universe than stuck on a throne. I never thought that my life would come to this. That I would be Queen but not Queen. I want my life back and this is the way to get what I want.”
“When does Zekk dock?” Jaina asked of her brother. Zekk made contact that he was coming home with two surprises in tow. Zekk had not given them any more information except that Jaina, Han, Leia, Jagged, and Ben needed to be present when he docked with the Voxyn Queen. The entire family was waiting on them in one of the living quarters on the ship that Jacen used to meet with people in an informal way.
“He’s is already docked.” Jacen pointed at a screen as he talked. Jaina looked up. The security cameras showed Zekk walking with several bags slung on his shoulders and in his hands. In front of him walked two children, a boy and girl, and two creatures of some kind.
“What are those?”
“Tusk Cats, from Naboo. I wonder why the children have them?”
“I want to know who the children are,” Han said from his place on the other side of the room.
“The Force swirls around them,” Leia stated touching Han’s arm to calm him down.
“Yea.” Jacen was distracted. There was something about them. Surely Luke would never send kids to kill him, thinking they would succeed.
“Your Highness!” A voice screamed over the comms. “Princess Allana and Anji have disappeared.”
“Find her.” Jacen punched a couple of buttons and was rewarded with the sight of Allana and her pet running along the corridor to Zekk and the children. “What is she doing?”
Everyone watched as Allana hugged both of the children. There was no sound coming from the speakers but Jacen could tell she was excited. It only took a few seconds for Allana to take off running and the other two children followed. In just ten seconds, Jacen could hear them coming through the open door leading to the suite of rooms.
“Daddy! I told you I would get some friends!” Allan bound into the room at a full run and jumped into Jacen’s lap. “Anakin and Padme are staying forever.”
“Anakin and Padme?” Jacen asked of the two kids standing in the doorway. He looked at them hard. There was a Force Aura around them. He didn’t’ want to pull it down just yet. The names though. He turned to look at his mother. Leia was looking at the twin children with a distinct air of scrutiny.
“And their pets. Their names are…”
“Shadow and Dalia,” Anakin and Padme said at the same time.
“You are Force-sensitive?” Jaina asked stepping up beside Jacen. She looked at the twins before reaching out with the Force and checking. She found what Jacen had, an aura around them that screamed of the Force.
“Why are you here?” Jacen asked looking over at Zekk who finally arrived in the room. Zekk set down their bags and moved closer to Jacen and Jaina. The twins looked up at Zekk.
“See this is where it gets odd. I remember meeting their mother and her telling me that they were bound for Shedu Maad and the new academy there but after that it gets fuzzy. Seems I agreed to take them to you to meet. I don’t know why I agreed but I wrote a note to myself with paper and ink. I have it here. Also all security equipment was fuzzed out.”
“What was their mother’s name?”
Zekk just shrugged. Anakin leaned over to talk to Padme. They whispered back and forth to each other for a few seconds before taking a few steps closer to Jacen and Jaina. Allana slid off her father’s lap and motioned them closer. The twins stepped up so that they were just inches from Jacen, who leaned forward in his chair. The two Tusk Cats started to hiss a little but a Force tendril sent out to them from the twins shut them up. Jaina nudged Jacen’s shoulder who just nodded his head.
Jacen reached out with his hand and touched Padme’s face.
“Who dropped you here little ones?”
“Mother and aunt.” Anakin answered.
“She was so pretty. Sad but pretty,” Padme leaned into Jacen’s hand.
“Where is your father?”
“Mother told us that he was fighting a war and that when he was done, we would be together again. Then she changed her mind. She said that we were safer with our father and sister.” Anakin bounced on his feet like he wanted to start running again.
“Sister?” Jaina asked, crouching down to look Anakin in the eyes.
“Jacen…” Jaina stopped and touched Jacen’s hand that had pulled away from Padme’s face.
“Mother says that I have her hair while Anakin has father’s.”
“What is going on?” Han asked stepping forward. Leia grabbed his arm.
“Jacen, what have you not been telling us?” Jagged asked.
Jacen looked up and every single face in the room was on him, even the three animals. He sighed. He couldn’t keep his secrets secret anymore. Mara was going to have to live with some people knowing that she was alive.
“I…I promised that until it was safe and she was safe that I would tell no one but Ben that she was alive. Ben decided to have me suppress that memory. I can unlock it later.”
“Are you saying that Mara is alive?” Han asked taking a few steps towards his son. Jacen just nodded. “Why weren’t we told?”
“She wanted none to know. I sent her to Naboo to hide away. She has been there since she was fully healed. Once those who dropped her off were back, I wiped their memories. It was what she wanted.”
“Why?” Jaina asked as she patted Jacen’s back. She understood why he did it; she knew the others were a little mad.
“She wanted to be the last resort. While she was lying there with the blade in her stomach she had a vision. She saw the galaxy fall to him. She saw him creating a Sith Empire that was just as bad as Palpatine’s. She saw worlds fall and races die out fighting him. She knew in that moment that she couldn’t die and she didn’t. Instead she had me hide her away and wait. She was going to kill him if it came to it. She was going to do what needed done if I died.”
“She would have killed him?” Jagged asked.
“She would have done what was needed is what she told me. She knows him better than anyone.”
“What about Tenel Ka?” Jaina smiled as she asked. Jacen could see the hope in her eyes. As much as he wanted her to right, Tenel Ka was dead. He had sat with her body the entire night. He had laid his wife to rest. He just looked at his twin and shook his head no. Jaina’s face fell.
“I buried my wife. She is not alive.”
“Actually, My Lord,” a voice said from the doorway. Jacen turned quickly to look at the woman standing there. As always, for those few seconds, Jacen swore that Tenel Ka was standing there. Instead it was Taryn Zel. “I am loathed to admit that my sister and I have been lying to you these past five years. My cousin is very much alive and is on Naboo with her aunt by marriage.”
Silence filled the room. All eyes were focused on Taryn, even the two sets of small child eyes.
“And since the time has come, I also regret to inform you that when Tenel Ka left, she was with child.”
“Twins it seems,” Jacen said pointing at Anakin and Padme. Taryn’s eyes focused on the two children and she move forward and crouched in front of them. “They are under a Force glamour. I am sure that I could remove it but I want to be under a ship lockdown when I do. Zekk?”
“Jace, I don’t know…”
“Zekk helped us yes but Tenel Ka was the one to use the Force to mess with his memories.”
“And I think that she did it again,” Zekk said as he moved closer to his girlfriend. When Zekk got closer to her, she stood up from her crouch and pulled him to her.
“This could go so wrong.” Jacen knew that he could claim the children but that would make it known that Tenel Ka was alive.
“Taryn and I could claim the children. I am sure that they look enough like Tenel Ka that they could pass as Taryn’s and my features are close enough to yours that once I claimed them, no one would look for another’s features. Allana and them are rather close in age, it would seem right to train them at the same time here in Fountain Palace.”
Jacen nodded in a general way. He would have to think on it. His gaze was drawn to the children; Padme was pulling something out of her pocket on her overcoat. She held it out. It was a holo chip. It started to play automatically. Tenel Ka’s face filled the air above Padme’s hand.
“Beloved, it has been five years since you have set eyes on me. I left Anakin and Padme in Zekk’s care knowing that he would see them to you safely. I am sure that Taryn or Trista will tell you how they came to be. I can no longer sit on Naboo and watch the world pass. I am a Jedi Knight and a Queen Mother, I have to act. Our aunt and I have decided to take the war to the Alliance. You will not find us until we wish to be found. Rest assured that I will strive to live until we are united. Take care.”
The holo shut off and Padme dropped it to the ground and it started to smoke.
“We have a lot to do.” Jacen stood from his seat and held out his two hands to his twins. Both of them took a hand and he led them to the family suite of rooms where they would stay with Allana. “We have to get you two settled and used to everyone. I am sure that you will love your grandparents. I will have to recall Lowbacca so that you can meet him.”
Anakin and Padme just smiled as he talked to them about what was going to be.
To Be Continued in: War