TITLE: “Mon Mothma of Chandrila: Democracy’s Loyal Servant” PAIRING: None, technically. Mon Mothma is extremely dedicated to her job and all of the duties and responsibilities it entails. (T...
01.) Lure: The lure of politics isn’t power or prestige, but the thought that perhaps she can do some good and bring a little more light and hope and justice to the galaxy, and, though her parents seem to hope that she’ll grow tired of the burden of responsibility, from the moment she’s first elected to the Senate, she knows, absolutely, that she’s found her calling in life.
02.) Bounce: She can keep the ridiculously huge grin off of her face just barely, by concentrating and allowing herself a thin sliver of a smile, but the bounce she absolutely cannot keep out of her step, not after her first clear, clean win at dejarik against Bail Organa.
03.) Throne: She and Bail are often compared to each other, in the Senate, for Chandrila, like Alderaan, is a democratic constitutional monarchy; yet, whereas Alderaan has essentially always been ruled by one main family line (and its cadet branches, which have, over time, split off somewhat and evolved into three traditional ruling houses, some member of which is always the monarch of Alderaan essentially for life, once having proven him- or herself worthy of and suited for the position), Chandrila has always had seven noble houses from among which a new King or Queen is elected every ten years (with second terms being permitted for the same individual only after two terms out of the office, and with the same family being barred from ever taking the throne in consecutive elections), and so it’s been some time since the Mothma family has held the Chandrilan throne, though many residents of her homeworld were disappointed when she chose the Senate, given her gift for politics and diplomacy, evidently hoping that she would wait to pursue the monarchy, when a little bit older (since traditionally monarchs on Chandrila are not elected until at least halfway through their second decade of life, if not that far into their third), instead of going into the Galactic Senate as soon after coming into her majority as an adult (the age of Chandrilian majority traditionally being sixteen years of age) as she could prove herself worthy of being elected.
04.) Curiosity: She is the youngest human or near-human ever to be elected to the Galactic Senate, if not the youngest such ever to serve as a member upon it, and her curiosity about Sabé, the storied handmaiden and decoy for Queen Amidala of Naboo and interim and now newly elected Senator for Naboo and the Chommell Sector is so strong that she practically begs Bail to allow her accompany him when he goes to meet up with Obi-Wan Kenobi so that they can be there to greet her as the Senator returns to Corsucant from Naboo.
05.) First Impression: Her first thought is that Sabé Dahn is as coldly unnatural and perfectly beautiful as a rose carved of unliving crystal; yet, when the young, newly elected (and so no longer merely interim) Senator of Naboo and the Chommell Sector spies Bail Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi awaiting her practically at the foot of the ship’s ramp, her eyes and her face flood with life and light up with easy, open joy, and Mon has to admit that her first impression had been entirely false, for Sabé the woman is radiantly alive and stunningly gorgeous, whereas the mask of the Senator is an unnatural, cold, distant facade she merely puts on to protect herself.
06.) Friends: Sabé is guarded around her, at first, though she seems to regard Bail’s open approval of Mon and Obi-Wan’s gracious acceptance of her as a protégé of sorts of Bail’s as high marks in her favor, and so also seems inclined to be friendly; thus, though it takes a little while, after a few months, they manage to discover that they share so many similar are identical viewpoints on morality and justice and loyalty and basic sentient rights that they inevitably become fast friends and close allies in the Senate.
07.) Charm: It’s quite plain to her that Sabé adores and pines for and worries constantly about her Queen, but it’s equally obvious to Mon that the young Nabooian is helplessly in love with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and so she has to wonder, a little bemusedly, just how far that young Jedi’s charm extends, for it’s common knowledge among Bail’s staff that the young Queen of Naboo is just as besotted with Obi-Wan as Bail is, and Mon’s rarely known anyone to love someone else as loyally and as fiercely and as silently as Bail loves Obi-Wan.
08.) Forbidden: After about the dozenth time apiece in the space of about a week that she’s tried to comm Sabé or Bail only to find either him sharing an intimate looking meal with Obi-Wan or else her in the midst of an extremely private looking meeting with Obi-Wan (if not vice versa) she seriously starts to wonder why there aren’t more trashy holovid dramas made about Jedi having forbidden love affairs.
09.) Falling: There are times when she catches herself wanting to simply shout at Obi-Wan to look at her and truly see /Mon Mothma /– not just the protégé of Bail or the good friend of Sabé – and she worries that she may be falling for the Jedi’s considerable charm as well, so much so that she deliberately takes to avoiding him and to looking elsewhere than his direction and remaining silent while in his company, so he’ll have no such reason to take notice of her.
10.) Cursed: There are days when she hates her cursed fair skin and the way it makes her anger and her embarrassment so very plain for others to see so much that she catches herself seriously eyeing tanning products, even though she knows they’d make her look ridiculous and probably wouldn’t do enough to camouflage her embarrassed blushes and furious flushes anyway.
11.) Infuriating: Bail used to be a good friend of Garm Bel Iblis, back before the Corellian got married and his political views all seemed to shift just a little bit too far to allow them to agree on much of anything or even converse comfortably anymore, but personally she finds the man so infuriating that she can’t for the life of her understand why Bail tries so hard to remain on fairly good terms with the Corellian Senator.
12.) Ordinary: Mon can’t be bothered with elaborate wardrobe or makeup or hairstyles or jewelry (it isn’t in her nature and it isn’t really according to Chandrilian custom, either . . . at least not outside the traditional ceremonies and certain formalities that are still held to among the ruling court), and so there are days when she feels distinctly small and dull and ordinary – not to mention vastly underdressed! – when faced with the (obviously expensive) highly intricate and artful garb of Sabé the Senator or (worse, given that the complexity and richness of Amidala’s wardrobe and hair and makeup and jewelry can often make even Sabé’s most detailed and complicated costumes seem simple) of Sabé’s Queen.
13.) Message: The message Sabé left when she commed is so garbled that all Mon can gather is that the Queen of Naboo is in hysterics over her elder sister’s miscarriage and Sabé is with her but she couldn’t get through to Obi-Wan when she tried to comm the Temple and can’t seem to do or say anything to give her grieving friend and Queen any kind of peace of mind, and so Mon instantly drops everything to go and see if there’s anything she can possibly do to help, even though she isn’t certain that it’s proper for her to be there if Amidala truly is that distraught over a loss in the family.
14.) Abyss: It’s like any abyss has unexpectedly opened up beneath her feet and swallowed her whole, and she would have sworn only a moment earlier that she was smarter than this, more strong-willed than this, but nothing keeps her heart from flying out of her chest and landing squarely at Obi-Wan Kenobi’s feet, not after she’s arrived at the Queen of Naboo’s quarters (one floor above those given over to her world and her sector’s Senator) and seen how tenderly and attentively he’s taking care of Amidala.
15.) Avoid: She does everything in her power to avoid Obi-Wan Kenobi, after the realization that she’s more than halfway to being in love with the man (on top of simply quite helplessly loving him, for the wonderful kind and caring and considerate and polite and intelligent being he is), until Sabé flat out demands to know why Mon’s avoiding the young Jedi as though he were a carrier of plague, and she once again finds herself cursing her fair skin, as her blushes give her away (much to the initial amusement but also ultimately the shared sorrow and empathy of the even more thoroughly smitten Sabé).
16.) Unreciprocated: Mon knows that she’s not the first and that she certainly won’t be the last to suffer an entirely unreciprocated crush on this particular young Jedi Knight and Master, but it burns her, nonetheless, that she could be so foolish as to let herself fall in love with him, too, when she’s been so careful to try to avoid doing so and she knows so absolutely, from watching Bail and Sabé and even Padmé Amidala, that her love both of and for him will never be either fully understood or ever returned in any real way she might desire it to be and so will bring her nothing but a new source (as if she needs another!) of sorrow and frustration in her life.
17.) Real: Amidala became real to her as Padmé and as an actual living person (and someone capable of loving and worthy of being loved, in return) only after Mon had witnessed first-hand the extent to which Padmé was capable of suffering, of grieving, and she found herself feeling incredibly ashamed to realize that she’d actually thought so little of the woman, before, given both the way her handmaidens (young girls like Sabé!) seem to bear the brunt of all the real danger to her and her obvious infatuation with and reliance upon Obi-Wan.
18.) Break: Her heart breaks when she finds out that Padmé’s older sister, Sola, has lost yet another child, in conjunction with a nasty wound she took in an attempt on her younger sister’s life, at the coronation ceremony for Padmé’s second term in office as Naboo’s Queen, and she wishes so badly that she could justify dropping everything and going to Naboo with Sabé, to be there with Padmé, that she breaks down and cries with relief when Sheltay comes and offers her a place on the /Tantive IV/, with Bail, who has graciously offered to carry both Sabé and Obi-Wan to Naboo for a week-long visit, for “diplomatic purposes and the keeping of good relations” with the Nabooian monarchy.
19.) Seer: She is beginning to suspect that Obi-Wan is, perhaps, an unconscious (or at least largely unaware) seer of uncommon strength, for every time something bad seems to happen that requires him to essentially drop everything else and go to Padmé to help comfort her and give her the strength and focus she needs to recover from some new disaster, it also seems as if Anakin rather conveniently is either off on some kind of group trip with other younglings or Padawans his age to gather supplies for the Temple, or undergoing seclusion with another instructor at the Temple for some private tutoring, or else ill enough to be quarantined in the Healers’ Ward and permitted contact with others only via comm or holopad messaging, thus allowing Obi-Wan to obey the High Council’s rather ridiculous and unfair and otherwise (if not for all of these odd coincidences of Anakin’s absence from Obi-Wan’s side for just as long as is required to keep him unaware of the time his Master is spending with Padmé, that is) seemingly quite impossible to abide by (in her not so very humble opinion) demand that Anakin be kept away from Padmé until much closer to his Knighting, so that the attachment he formed to her in the brief time they knew each other, during the Nabooian crisis with the Trade Federation, (supposedly) won’t be encouraged to strengthen.
20.) Puzzle: Anakin Skywalker is a puzzle to which she wishes she dared devote more time for the solving, for there are depths of kindness and intelligence and sympathy and patience and loyalty and love in the young Padawan that are evident in his more private interactions with his Master that somehow largely seem to subsume themselves in a mask of almost petulant boyish stubbornness and bravado and heedless haste and nervous energy when he’s in the company of many (especially if that company includes other Jedi), and she has a feeling there is a mystery and a story there that she is missing out on the knowing of and which she wants desperately to understand, though she does not quite dare to simply come out and ask either the Padawan or his Master why the boy is trying so hard to convince the Jedi Order that he’s as thoughtless and prideful and antsy and hormonal as any normal teenaged boy would be.
21.) Life: Once she’s come to feel as if she truly understands Sabé’s friend and Queen as /Padmé/, and not just Amidala, Mon cannot, for the life of her, understand what it is that makes Sabé and Padmé feel so constrained to remain apart, for it’s quite obvious to her that both women are desperately lonely and miss one another and love each other and would be far happier (and likely also stronger and more productive) if they were together instead of constantly separated by upwards of half the length of the known galaxy!
22.) Fascination: She’s never understood the fascination some beings have with the notion of true love or with there being but one true pairing for every sentient being somewhere out there in the galaxy, for she’s heard of and seen and personally known too many beings who’ve fiercely and truly and devotedly loved more than one mate of heart and soul, over the course of a lifetime, and she herself is quite certain that her quietly helpless adoration of Obi-Wan Kenobi will no more keep her from being able to passionately and truly love the mate her spirit, whenever she happens to eventually find that individual, than, say, the loss of a beloved spouse can keep a body from being able to find, fall in love with, and remarry another, after losing the first.
23.) Bare: She hates that damned Bel Iblis, with his swagger and his condescending mien and his knowing smirk and his suggestive little smiles (whenever he speaks of her and Bail or of her and Sabé or of Sabé and Padmé or of Padmé and Obi-Wan) and the way he can make her feel positively naked, just by looking at her a certain way (and not just unclothed, but positively bare, all the way down to her soul, as if he can somehow read the very shape of the thoughts in her mind and the movements of her heart in her breast, and takes infinite amusement in the form and tenor of both), and she does not hesitate to tell or to show the bragging, boastful, unbelievably arrogant and pigheaded man exactly what she thinks of him, though she has the feeling, later, that showing him her hatred has somehow only made her even more open and vulnerable to him.
24.) Bound: Though the mask of Amidala has long since given way to the reality of Padmé, for Sabé’s sake, Mon’s first response is still affronted fury with the now former Queen of Naboo, for thinking it’s alright to just waltz in and take Sabé’s rightfully elected place, as Senator of Naboo and for the Chommell Sector, though Padmé so clearly would rather be elsewhere that her anger quickly fades first to puzzlement and then to sympathetic pity, at the realization that the young woman apparently feels so duty-bound to serve that she’s given up the desire to start of family of her own in order to obey the wishes of her newly elected Queen and take over as Senator, while Sabé returns to Naboo to help train proper handmaidens for the new Queen and Senator.
25.) Act: Though she is not, herself, convinced that it is the best possible response to the threat of Separatism to rearm the Galactic Republic, and she knows that the Senator adheres to and upholds (at least in the main) Naboo’s reputation for peacefulness, she is, nonetheless, at least a little bit surprised that Padmé should be so strongly set against the proposed Military Creation Act, given that so many worlds from the Colonies to the Mid Rim and Outer Rim Territories are so vulnerable to being seized outright or else bullied (by threat of force) into obeying the wishes of greedy and power-hungry corporations and conglomerates like the Trade Federation and the Commerce Guild and the Techno Union and that the alternative to raising a combined army/navy force with both the numbers and the armaments needed to truly guard against such threats is to rely ever more on the waning numbers of the Jedi for protection – something she has more than once heard Padmé argue against passionately, stating that the sentient beings of the galaxy have no right to demand that the Jedi do most of the work involved in providing much of the known galaxy with an atmosphere of peace and justice and safety, if those same sentient beings aren’t also willing to work to uphold and protect and even fight for such values in their own little parts of the galaxy themselves.
26.) Descent: The descent into war and chaos is like watching a wreck in slow motion: there’s an awful sense of inevitability to the whole thing, though one cannot quite help but hope that a miracle will occur and stop the disaster from happening.
27.) Holiday: It seems horribly wrong, to her, that the war should begin on a holiday, and she cannot help from feeling as if someone, somewhere, is laughing at them all in sheer maliciously malignant joy.
28.) Pride: When the continuation of the war has become inevitable and Garm Bel Iblis attempts to simply selfishly (and like the coward he is!) seal off the whole of the Corellian Sector from it by invoking Contemplanys Hermi and going into an unspecified time (to last the duration of the Clone Wars and whatever period of cleanup is required, afterwards, no doubt!) of self-declared political isolation, she takes a certain grim pride in pointing out that she never either liked or found the man to be very trustworthy, and ignores the pain that momentarily flashes across Bail’s dark eyes.
29.) Obsess: She tries and tries not to obsesses about him, like everyone else she knows and respects seems to do, but it’s harder to try to avoid acknowledging concern for someone so extraordinarily special even when she’s not speaking to her friends, and, in the end, she’s forced to simply give it up as a bad job and give in to the urge to worry about Obi-Wan while he’s out there, fighting, because of this damned war.
30.) Mystical: There’s an odd, almost mystical quality to the way most Chandrilans regard the Force, but she tries her damnedest to be logical and pragmatic about everything touching on Obi-Wan (out of some idea – probably ultimately useless but at least reassuring to her – that being rational about such things can help maintain a properly decorous distance between them), even though it gives her such a strange, shivery feeling whenever she’s in the presence of a Jedi using it that she often feels as though this must be what it’s like to have a truly religious experience.
31.) Text: By the end of the first year of the Clone Wars, the text is on the holopad for anyone who wants to read it; yet, the galaxy seems determined to ignore the truth about Palpatine, and so she hesitates not even a heartbeat before answering with a resoundingly firm yes, when Bail quietly broaches the subject of needing to gather allies in the event of a worst case scenario involving Palpatine and any attempt to dissolve the Senate’s power or structure.
32.) Melancholy: There’s a certain melancholy to Bail, whenever Obi-Wan goes for much more than a week or so without comming, and she tries desperately to avoid dwelling on that when she’s invited to visit Alderaan and meet with his wife to discuss certain matters touching on the relocation of war refugees, because she admires Bail desperately and loves him like an older brother or a beloved uncle and doesn’t want to have to admit (even to herself) that what he’s doing, with Obi-Wan, essentially amounts to taking part in a rather blatant affair of the heart.
33.) Honest: If she’s perfectly, brutally honest with herself, she has to admit that she’s had more than a few daydreams (and some not so very innocent nocturnal fantasies, too) that involve Obi-Wan and at least one of the three people she personally knows would unhesitatingly sell their souls to be with him, but it embarrasses her horribly to think about such things, especially when she has to work with at least one (and sometimes two) of them on an all but daily basis, and so she tries very hard to repress both such thoughts and such flights of fancies.
34.) Mundane: There’s a certain rhythm to the work that can, after awhile, make even the most desperately important of tasks seem tediously repetitive and mundane, but the day that she finds herself calmly discussing what amounts to treason with a dozen close colleagues (friends and strong allies in the Senate, all) over afternoon tea is the day she ends up locking herself in the ’fresher for nearly an hour and alternating between laughing hysterically and sobbing bitterly as the water beats down on her curled back, unable to bring herself to believe how completely and horrible wrong things have gone in so short a time.
35.) Worn: There is an increasingly care-worn and distracted air to the former Queen of Naboo, and Mon finds herself going out of her way to offer Padmé hot tea and nutritionally filling (and not just stickily sweet or bite-sized and inconsequential) refreshments and to make sure that she’s always comfortably seated, every time she comes to visit, as well as comming Sabé over and over, trying to ask if she knows if Padmé has been ill or perhaps received some kind of personal bad news from home lately, even though Sabé seems more and more tight-lipped and distant every time Mon tries to talk to her.
36.) Solitude: There are times when she craves solitude and quite in the same fiercely implacable manner she’s told that addicts crave spice, but the moods are quite infrequent and only rarely last longer than a few hours before she once again wants to be among the bustle and noise of the Senate or her busy offices, and so she generally manages to simply ignores them and goes about whatever it is that she’s doing when they hit.
37.) Jaded: This war has made them all jaded, even the Jedi, and it breaks her heart, when she thinks about it and knows how completely trust in the basic decency and goodness of one’s fellow sentient beings has left so much of the known galaxy.
38.) Depressing: Some get antsy and fidgety and snappish during the periods of waiting to see how a battle or a diplomatic mission (or some other, less than diplomatic operation) will go, but she just finds the times when all they can do is sit and wait and hope for things to turn out alright to be thoroughly depressing, such is her longing to be out and doing something measurably good.
39.) Anticipation: The anticipation of a move on Palpatine’s part against the Senate is starting to wear on her: her dreams have begun to resemble bad holovid dramas about suspected and traitors and wrongly accused criminals, where before she almost always dreamed of either the people she knows and loves or of home (or both).
40.) Sensible: It’s not at all sensible to support what’s plainly becoming a pro-human Core Worlds based oligarchy headed by a man who’s essentially already become a dictator in everything but name, and she wishes to goodness that more beings could understand that and stop looking at her askance every time she tries to challenge or oppose the giving over of yet more of the Senate’s power to that man!
41.) Power: The power wielded by the Jedi would frighten her, if she didn’t know how absolute their training (and their conditioning) to an almost unnatural level of selfless devotion to the Force and to justice and democracy and the Galactic Republic is, and so the thought of such power in the hands of some power-crazy psychopath of a Sith Lord frankly terrifies her.
42.) Hidden: It’s a delicate sort of balance to strike, keeping their activities hidden enough to avoid absolute detection by Palpatine and yet remaining open enough in their aims to attract new allies, but between her and Bail and Sheltay, she’s fairly certain that they’ve managed to do it.
43.) Desolate: Bail is utterly desolate, not just inconsolable but entirely unable to face even the prospect that the High Council might be right and Obi-Wan might have fallen in battle (like so many other Jedi have, since this war started), and she finds that she cannot blame him for his reaction at all, for what will the galaxy do, without the Team and the Chosen One (who seems nothing more now than a distraught child utterly in denial over the loss of a loved one) to save them and strike balance within the Force?
44.) Insanity: Joy and complete, absolute, utter relief combine to form a particularly sweet kind of insanity, and she’s been swept up by Bail and swung in several rapid, dizzying revolutions that trace a wild spiral across the room, her laughing face smothered with wildly happy kisses, and is responding and capturing his mouth with hers in a kind of frenzied abandon before her brain can catch up enough with what’s going on and where she is and who she’s with or any of the thousand other reasons why this is such a very, very bad idea.
45.) Chagrin: It’s more than chagrin, but it’s not quite shock and it’s not quite shame and it’s not quite regret, and her brain and her heart just can’t quite keep up with what’s happening enough to sort everything out quickly enough for her to get a handle on the emotions that flood her, after that single wild kiss, because the comm chimes again, and the news this time is that Anakin is bringing Obi-Wan back to the Temple for healing after his long imprisonment by Asajj Ventress, and there’s no time to do anything then but hurry to where they’re going to be.
46.) Facade: Her facade of distant coolness and serene remove is utterly broken: she runs for the ship (and the obviously distraught form of Padmé Amidala, somehow already there and waiting and shivering in an agony of worried anticipation by the place where the ramp should, by all rights, be lowering at any moment now), hiking up her white skirts and racing along at Bail’s heels, desperate not to be outpaced or left behind, desperate to be there when they offload, so that she can see for herself how badly Obi-Wan’s been hurt by that karking bitch Ventress.
47.) Man: She isn’t sure why she’s never noticed before that Anakin Skywalker is a man, now, and not a boy any longer, but the fiercely protective look her turns against all of them – from her to Bail and even to Padmé (someone he would normally allow anything) – as he orders them to either get back and make room for the Healers to get to Obi-Wan or be prepared to be moved back, by him, following by the frankly tender and loving care he lavishes on his unconscious Master, as he helps the Healers get the badly battered (and obviously tortured, from what little they can see, from where they’ve been forced to withdraw across the landing bay) Jedi Master down to the portable bacta tank they’ve wheeled out for him, is enough to convince her that the child has not only grown into a man, but has become a man who’s even more thoroughly in love than any of the three them (or Sabé or anyone else who may’ve happened to fall for the young Jedi Master) with (and, in turn, more well loved by) Obi-Wan Kenobi.
48.) Tears: Padmé is crying silently, tears rolling down her face like fat raindrops, as they watch Anakin and the Jedi Healers rush Obi-Wan away, into the Healers’ Ward, but she doesn’t even notice – too caught up in the sudden revelation that Anakin Skywalker has become a man (and a man in love, and a man who is, in some way she cannot quite lay her finger on, loved in return in a way that differs from the obvious affection Obi-Wan bears for people like Bail and Padmé and Sabé, though she’s sure that it’s not a romantic love . . . at least not yet) – and it isn’t until Bail awkwardly pats her shoulder and murmurs something about how he’s sure they’ll both be alright and that the Healers will let them know, if Anakin doesn’t, and Padmé breaks down and begins to sob, with the kind of helpless abandon that comes from too much grief and exhaustion, that she even notices how upset her friend truly is.
49.) Hatred: There’s no escaping some facts: she loves Obi-Wan Kenobi, though not nearly as much as Sabé or Padmé or Bail, and though all of their love taken together probably wouldn’t add up to a fraction of the love someone else indubitably feels for Obi-Wan; and what she feels for Asajj Ventress, for what she did to Obi-Wan Kenobi (and, by extension, to her and to Bail and to Padmé and to Sabé and, Force bless, to Anakin/, whose love for his Master is so very like a beacon that she can’t even begin to understand how she ever could have missed seeing it, before), is pure, unreasoning, blood-boiling, /“I’ll gorram well kill the bald bitch with my own two bare hands if I ever happen to see her in person,” implacable hatred.
50.) Dream: Nestled in amongst her dreams that night is a shockingly intimate image of Anakin and Obi-Wan, curled together in a tangle of bare limbs and sheets, wound so closely around each other that she finds it almost impossible to tell where one body leaves off and the next begins, and she stuns herself by waking from the dream smiling, cheeks wet with tears.
51.) Secret: Bail doesn’t seem to think anything of the brief moment of madness when their mouths collided, perhaps because he’s lived with the fact of his unfaithful heart for all of the years of his marriage to Breha (having been in love with Obi-Wan long before he ever agreed to wed), but she feels awkward and strange and oddly guilty for what amounts to little more than one rather less than peaceful kiss at the end of several dozen rapidly and randomly bestowed kisses of peace, as if she’s keeping some awful secret, and her bizarre dreams don’t help matters any (especially not when she realizes that Bail still sees a recently freed slave child when he looks at Anakin Skywalker, instead of the shockingly strong, startlingly beautiful, gilded-golden young man he’s become!), but eventually she manages to put it out of her mind and go back to concentrating on their shared work and trying to figure out how much Padmé might support them in their endeavors, if they ever gather up enough courage to ask her to join them.
52.) Technology: It isn’t that they don’t have the technology to end this war – if they wanted to, one way or another, they could destroy every single planet the Separatists have a foothold on or have ever even touched with their presence – but the thing is, they’d prefer to keep as much of the planets and populations of the galaxy intact, and the thought of actual genocide’s thankfully still enough to give even Palpatine and his Sand Panthers pause.
53.) Astrology: She puts absolutely no truck whatsoever in things like sabacc card readings and astrology, but she has to admit that there’s something a little bit unsettling about the fact that all of the fortune tellers and soothsayers and diviners are claiming that the omens all point to the ending of an epoch very soon.
54.) Breakdown: The breakdown in the democratic process is ridiculous, and there are days when she feels like they have no right whatsoever anymore to claim to be a Republic . . . and that, perhaps, it might not be so very bad, after all, if this war does turn out to mark the ending of an age.
55.) Machine: Really, though, if she’s honest, she has to admit that the political machine isn’t so much breaking down as it’s being stripped of all its vital components and in turn weighted down with so many extraneous parts that it just does not and cannot work properly at all anymore.
56.) Miscommunication: There’s been so much misunderstanding and trickery – so many acts of unintentional miscommunication and so many instances of deliberate bad faith – committed between the Republic and the Separatists that, on bad days, she finds herself wondering if they ever will be able to broker a real, lasting peace if both sides are still standing when the war ends.
57.) Variety: Variety is supposed to be the spice of life, but the kind of variety that comes of being attacked instead of a resident of the planet responding to some other Separatist attack elsewhere is something she could frankly well do entirely without!
58.) Sarcasm: There’s a hint of sarcasm in Padmé’s voice when she refers to the Chancellor as their fearless leader that almost makes her break out into hysterical laughter, and only the all too grim of the two Jedi searching for Palpatine – coupled with the thought that those Jedi would give their lives up for the Supreme Chancellor’s safety, if called upon to do so – keeps her from at least breaking out into a spate of giggles.
59.) Garden: Somewhere in the midst of all the running and searching, the thought occurs to her that Palpatine has them playing seek and find like children in a garden maze when the city-world itself is all but in flames around them, and that it is entirely possible that he does suspect them of sedition, after all, and has deliberately engineered his rather conveniently timed disappearance to keep his all too caring, humane, and loyal (even while essentially being borderline traitors to him, personally, if not to democracy) colleagues busy inside the Senate Rotunda, so that they’ll be in an obvious zone of fire for the attacking Separatists, but the thought is paranoid even for her, and she soon dismisses it.
60.) Transmit: She’s in the midst of transmitting their current locations and destination to their three frantic separate senatorial staffs when she distinctly hears Bail whisper, “The price is too high – Force forgive me, but I can’t ignore that any long,” just before he half turns in his seat to shout, “Everyone hang on!” and Threepio wails something about being doomed and the whole world seems to explode into noise and pain and darkness.
61.) Mutual: The rule is supposed to be that you see your life flash before your eyes, when you have a near-death experience, but instead all she hears and sees (as she’s rushing towards a collision with the back of the seat in front of her that will end up plummeting her into brief spate of unconsciousness) is every single mutual memory she has with the two people in the skimmer (and one person conspicuously absent, hopefully safe on faraway Naboo) with her of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and an odd sense that a door somewhere that had been barricaded firmly shut is being quite forcibly blasted back off of its hinges.
62.) Hell: Hell is regaining consciousness in a crashed skimmer (which happens to be carrying two of your best friends in all the worlds) in the midst of a very literal war zone and having more than good enough reason to suspect that you either are or will be the only survivor of the crash.
63.) Encounter: She remembers her first encounter with Padmé Amidala vividly – she had been in a closeted meeting of one of the Senate sub-committees she was a member of the previous evening, when the Queen arrived on Coruscant, and so missed her arrival altogether and assumed she wouldn’t see her at all, until issued a formal invitation to visit, and so she’d been sitting with Sabé, discussing refugees from the pre-war troubles in the Outer Rim and expecting company not at all, when the sound of laughter and running footsteps quite suddenly heralded the young Queen’s arrival as, flushed and disheveled, she burst into Sabé’s solarium from out of the rooftop garden’s hedge maze, crying out, “Obi-Wan’s after me – you have to help me hide before he sees me: I want the game to last as long as possible!” – as well as the thought she hadn’t been able to help having (as the two eerily similar young women quickly joined forces and darted off into the interior of the apartment complex, bare moments before an oddly non-Jedi-ish, laughing and rumpled young Knight swiftly bolted into the solarium and took off after them), about how only lovers could or would have indulged in such playful antics, and yet still Mon cannot quite keep her jaw from dropping at the sudden implication that perhaps she might have been right all along.
64.) Invisible: She feels invisible as a ghost as Bail is taken from her and the Healers and med-droids swiftly set to work on the badly injured Crown Prince, and it occurs to her that she’s very likely in shock, but she can’t summon enough presence of mind to do anything about it, her thoughts too occupied with the shocking revelation (that she’s fairly certain she heard a-right and is interpreting correctly) of Padmé’s last words.
65.) Twilight: Twilight has long since fallen on the day and the subsequent coming of night has been broken by two sunrises and is reigning unbroken by daylight again before they are finally certain enough of Bail to declare that he’ll not only live but should take no true lasting harm from any of his many injuries, and it’s only then, after Mon has collapsed into exhausted slumber and regained enough energy and focus to wake up enough to finally start thinking about getting out of the emergency medical center, that she learns that the Team has pulled off yet another miracle and made it back to Coruscant with the Supreme Chancellor safely in tow.
66.) Data: The data just doesn’t add up, no matter how hard she tries to process it and make sense of it all, and so she finally makes her way straight to the Temple and demands entrance, declaring that she has news that she must and will only share with Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and that she’ll wait as long as she has to in order to do so.
67.) Wasteland: The instant Obi-Wan comprehends what she’s trying to tell him (and what Padmé had been trying to say, irregardless of what Mon might’ve thought she heard), a wasteland blooms in his eyes, and the strength of his pain is such that it hits her like a solid body blow, violently driving all the air out of her lungs and stopping her heart painfully within her chest.
68.) Embrace: She badly wants to embrace him, to try to provide him with at least some small measure of comfort, but she doesn’t quite dare to touch him again, and she wishes desperately that he would look on her with the kind eyes of a friend and ally instead of the coldly remote stare of a stranger.
69.) Scars: However cliched it may sound, the simple truth is that there are some scars that never fade, and she fears that the wound her friend Sabé will carry on her heart from the pain of Padmé’s death is going to be one of them.
70.) Poison: Knowledge of the Sith Lord’s identity burns in her gullet and sears her blood and brain like a poison, and she wonders, helplessly, how they could’ve all been so very blind for so very long a period of time.
71.) Enigma: The whole Chosen One spiel of the Jedi Order has always been something of an enigma to her, and it’s only when it becomes clear that the High Council has been entirely mistaken about the identity of their Chosen One that the prophecies even begin to start to make any kind of sense whatsoever to her.
72.) Scramble: She feels like she’s desperately scrambling to keep up, like someone up in the mountains caught on the edge of a shelf of rotten ice crumbling rapidly away beneath her feet will scramble to find something solid to stand on or to at least cling to, and, every time she thinks there’s solid ground beneath her feet, something new comes along and crumbles it out from underneath her again.
73.) Exchange: She wouldn’t actually exchange her job or her responsibilities or just about any part of her life involving her work for any one else’s life in the galaxy, but there are days (often when the tiredness in her bones feels like it could crack her open and shatter her to pieces, with a single wrong move) when, just once, she’d like to be the one people turn to for answers and cares enough about to do anything for, instead of just another young ally of Bail Organa or the now deceased former Queen and Senator of Naboo.
74.) Collapse: She deliberately pushes herself to the point of collapse, to prove herself worthy of Bendu Masters Kenobi and Skywalker’s extended clan, and it’s all worth it, to see them look at her and truly see her and to receive those gorgeous smiles of welcoming.
75.) Born: This is what she was born for, to help her new family with the restructuring and saving of the entire galaxy – Republic and Jedi Order and all – and, though the price is indubitably high, she knows, somehow, that, in the end, it will all be worth it.