by Autumn P. Torkorgana
Three standard days passed. Andriya and Obi-Wan returned five of the six children, each under different guises for the Jedi and Wherkane, whose parents were not recorded. Now on Naboo, the two Jedi bowed to the re-elected queen in the royal palace at Theed.
Andriya began immediately after their introductions. "I'm sorry, but we have bad news about Anakin."
A look of concern flashed across her painted face at the mention of her husband. "Where is he?"
"We don't know," Obi-Wan said. "The last time we saw him was three days ago on Yestou."
She could tell by the somber tone that something was amiss. "What's wrong?"
"He tried to kill us," Obi-Wan said in a low voice.
"Surely you're . . . you must be mistaken," Amidala stammered, her usual calm shattered.
"I wish we were," Obi-Wan told her.
"You and your child are now in great danger."
"You do mean children, don't you?"
"Do you have more than one?"
"Yes, I had twins."
"Then they're both in danger. You must come with us."
"I cannot leave my people."
"Not even for your children's sake?"
"For no reason."
Loyal to a fault, Andriya thought to Obi-Wan. "Then you must allow us to take them somewhere where they will be safe."
Amidala nodded. "By all means, they must be safe."
As Obi-Wan and Andriya followed Amidala down the hall, Obi-Wan took Andriya's arm. "It's not Amidala," he whispered.
"She's a decoy."
"Where is Amidala, then?"
"I think we're about to find out."
The three of them entered a beautifully decorated nursery. The handmaiden who'd posed as the queen knelt down in front of a woman cradling a baby. The two Jedi bowed to the real queen.
"You Highness, these Jedi come with news of your husband."
The real Amidala reluctantly handed the baby to the kneeling handmaiden and looked up at her visitors. "Obi-Wan Kenobi," she said with a smile. "What brings you here again? Do you have news of Anakin?"
"Nothing good, I'm afraid. You are in great danger."
"I usually am. Who poses what threat now?"
Andriya suddenly spoke up. "The man who betrayed and destroyed Anakin Skywalker."
Amidala's eyes widened. "Anakin is dead?"
"He is no more," Andriya answered in a manner that she thought was evasive, but Amidala took it as candid.
"Who is this man?"
"Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith."
"And he would now seek to take the life of my children?"
"In one form or another."
"And what do you propose I do about this?"
Andriya looked to Obi-Wan to answer. "With your consent, we recommend that the children come with us," he said.
"And where are you going to?"
"We're going into hiding."
"Hiding? I think that seems a little drastic."
"The Emperor has made threats on our lives."
"Why? What crime have you committed to warrant this?"
"The crime of being a Jedi."
"Has being a guardian of peace and justice become an illegal activity?"
"Apparently so--Emperor Palpatine decreed it."
"His recent actions have been increasingly appalling."
"We're inclined to agree."
They were interrupted by a baby's cry. A handmaiden brought the baby to Amidala. "This is my daughter, Leia," she said, showing the baby to the Jedi. A handmaiden holding the other baby walked over to the Jedi. "And this is my son, Luke," Amidala informed them. "I entrust them to your care."
"This is painful, but wise, Queen Amidala. Thank you for your trust in us. We will ensure that they are raised in a way befitting their position."
Andriya took Leia from her mother's arms and the handmaiden gave Luke to Obi-Wan.
"This is a dark day--I have lost my family."
"We're sorry to do this to you."
"I understand the necessity and urgency of action at this point, and I've learned to trust the Jedi."
"We thank you for your trust," Obi-Wan said. He turned to leave.
Obi-Wan! Andriya shouted to him mentally. Give her time to say good bye to her children.
Amidala rose from her chair and approached Obi-Wan. "Good bye, little Luke. You'll be safe with these guardians." She gently kissed his forehead before addressing Obi-Wan and Andriya. "What should I tell Darth Vader if he comes here?"
"Tell him the baby was taken. Do not tell him you had twins. And do not listen to whatever lies he may tell you about Anakin."
Andriya approached Amidala, who addressed her daughter in Andriya's arms. "Good bye, Leia. I love you." Amidala again addressed the Jedi. "You will let them know that I love them, won't you?"
Andriya nodded. "They will be told that circumstances beyond your control dictated your actions. We won't fail you."
Amidala turned away with tears in her eyes as the two Jedi left the room with her children. "Take them things they will find necessary," she instructed her handmaidens.
The handmaidens caught up with the Jedi in the hallway and gave them each a bag of baby supplies.
"Thank you," Andriya said to the handmaidens, who were already returning to their queen.
"If Darth Vader can get here," Obi-Wan whispered to Andriya, "Amidala will not live."
"And Darth Vader will most definitely be here," Andriya finished for him. "The only question is whether he'll be able to find the babies."
Obi-Wan stopped walking and looked back down the hallway. "We can't just leave her here to die."
"Will she leave?"
"We have to ask." They turned back and bowed again before the queen.
"Is something the matter?" Amidala asked.
"We cannot allow you to remain here--Darth Vader will surely kill you if he comes."
Andriya spoke out of turn. "You must come with me. I'm taking the children. Obi-Wan has a different destination." She lied to ensure security--when Darth Vader came, the handmaidens would have no idea who it was that had taken their queen.
Amidala silently looked from one Jedi to the other, before nodding. "Lead on, Jedi. I will come."
The following day, Andriya and Obi-Wan arrived on Coruscant, deciding to go straight to the Jedi Temple.
It was a strange and desolate sight to see the normally bustling Temple deserted. Around each corner lay piles of slain Jedi's cloaks and lightsabers. Outside of her office, Andriya found Myndex's lightsaber handle and added it to her collection, as well as her father's lightsaber which hung in her office.
"Who ever did this just left them here--lightsabers and cloaks," Obi-Wan observed.
"I don't sense anyone. . . . Do you think we should split up?"
"No, we'd better stay together."
"Then let's go to the Council Chamber."
"Don't you think they'd go there first?"
"This Temple has many features that you have no knowledge of, Obi-Wan."
"What do you mean?"
"You'll see when we get there."
They arrived outside the Jedi Council Chamber and looked up at the massive doors.
"Cut through them," Andriya instructed him.
"Are you sure?"
"Wait--first, search the room." They were both silent for a moment as they probed the room with the Force.
"Master Yoda!" Andriya suddenly yelled to carry through the door. "Are you in there?"
"Here am I," came the faint reply in Yoda's special brand of garbled speech.
"Okay--go ahead and try to cut through."
Obi-Wan's lightsaber easily passed through the outer door, but that was all it could cut through. He tried again at a different spot, and found the same result.
"What is it?"
"An energy beam between the two sets of doors."
"Like in a generator?"
Andriya shrugged. "I've never been in a generator."
"How will we get in?"
"That I don't know. . . ."
"In a generator, the energy beams open and close. Do you think this one does?"
"It might." Andriya handed him one of her lightsabers and took two of them herself. They waited in silence, using the Force to monitor the energy beam between the doors.
"Now!" they exclaimed in unison as the beam opened. Before it could close again, the two Jedi were inside the Chamber.
Master Yoda was the only Jedi in the Chamber. Andriya and Obi-Wan both bowed before him, but Yoda dispensed with the formalities with a wave of his hand. "Go now, we must. Where your ship is, hm?"
"Come with us, we'll take you there," Andriya said, turning to the wall.
"Remember the command, I could not. Remember it, you do, hm?"
Andriya nodded as she entered a disarm code in a hidden panel in the wall. The energy beam deactivated and the incomplete doors slid open.
"The last of the Jedi, are we, hm?" Yoda asked rhetorically as the three slowly made their way down the empty hallways.
"It would seem so--but others are out on assignments, aren't they?"
"Hunted and murdered, they have been," Yoda pronounced with grim finality. "The last, are we. Betrayed, are we. And by who, hm?"
"Anakin," Obi-Wan murmured.
"Hm," Yoda hemmed in his gravely voice. "Now, no safety, his family has."
"We have his wife and children."
"Children?" Yoda paused for a moment. "Yes," he said slowly, "twins. A proud father, he must be."
"He has never seen his children. He doesn't know that his wife had twins."
"Safer this is, for one child. More protected, the other must be."
"Master Yoda, will you go into hiding?"
"Hide, think you, I must," he stated.
"If necessary, hiding is . . . to Dagobah, will I go."
"Where is Dagobah?"
"Find it without my help, you will."
The procession stopped as they all sensed a dark presence somewhere in the Temple.
"Returned, he has."
Andriya spoke for the first time since they'd left the Chamber. "Master Yoda, we must hurry. We have to get his family out of here before Vader finds them."
Yoda paused to tap Obi-Wan on the foot with his gimer stick. "If hurry, we must . . . carry me, you must."
As Andriya looked on, clearly amused, Obi-Wan knelt down and allowed Yoda to climb onto his back.
"Wow, Master Yoda," she said after Obi-Wan stood, "I've never seen you at eye-level before."
"Size matters not," he admonished her. They were the last words any of them said before they rushed to the ship.