Thundering Force: Chapter 14: “Outer Thunder, Inward Deceit.”

“Thundering Force”

Chapter Fourteen: “Outer Thunder, Inward Deceit.”

By Paul Cousins.

Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.

(_)

The time was late morning on the ship schedule rotation inside the Star Destroyer Resolute.

It has been two and half months since Thor's mission to Dathomir.

The Resolute and Negotiator were currently in normal space in Republic territory held in the southern area of Outer Rim of the galaxy. To be exact, the two star destroyers were stationed in orbit above the planet Christophsis.

The Republic had planned and were presently executing an assault on both the planets Arkanis and Tythe, which were further within the Outer Rim.

Tythe was south of Christophsis, while Arkanis was southeast of Christophsis. Tythe was closer to Christophsis than Arkanis and Tythe was the closest Separatist planet to Christophsis. These reasons were why Tythe was included in the assault plans.

Even if the assault on Arkanis failed, if the Republic took Tythe, the Republic would further strengthen presence in the area, with Christophsis being in a better strategic position.

Arkanis was the planet the Republic was sending most of their military forces to in attempt to retake. The reason for this was the Arkanis star system was the southern gateway star system to the Triellus Trade Route which connected directly to the Corellian Run hyper-route. Arkanis allowed the Separatists to move supplies from the northeastern galactic holdings along the Triellus Trade Route to the hyper-routes connected on the Corellian Run to their holdings in the Outer Rim, southeast of Christophsis.

The Triellus Trade Route was a hyper-route which bordered the eastern edge of the galaxy. While the Triellus Trade Route was not part of the Hutt Space, the eastern side of Hutt Space border the hyper-route. Republic space border the western side of Hutt Space.'

Republic stationed their military at the Christoph system to blockade the Separatists from advancing any further down the Corellian Run hyper-route, which traveled deep into the galaxy, all the way to Coruscant.

But, the planet Tythe held some strategic value due to their natural energy plasma energy reserves.

While the assaults on Arkanis and Tythe took place, the Chancellor had stationed the Resolute and Negotiator in orbit over the planet Christophsis to protect from a rearguard flank attack by the Separatist navy during the assault.

The Chancellor had mentioned to the Jedi Council that he felt that he wanted to show the Separatist, the Republic did not need Thor and Anakin to win every major battle.

The Jedi Council had informed Obiwan of the Chancellors feeling. Obiwan then informed Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka of what he was told.

Thor, Anakin, Obiwan, and Ahsoka were not going to complaining about not being part of those planetary assaults. Both were well guarded planets, with several defenses in orbit and on the planet.

Due to them just being stationed as guards with no intention of them being sent to the assault on Arkanis and Tythe, Padme decided to ask Obiwan for leave, so she could handle her senatorial duties on Coruscant.

Since Obiwan know about Padme's portal abilities and that she was literally within minutes of him anywhere in the galaxy, and Obiwan could contact Padme in half a dozen ways, Obiwan granted Padme leave for a week.

While the secrecy of Padme's new portal ability of the utmost, As Thor, Padme had practiced and tested her portal abilities off and on since she learned of the abilities. Padme could now just send the ships she was with into Republic space.

Also, Padme found that background radiation and other environmental hazards did not pass through the portal. Padme was happy to learn this.

After receiving leave from Obiwan, Padme felt this was a perfect opportunity to use her now portal ability. For her to immediately head to Coruscant, to spend the week performing her senatorial duties, while the Resolute and Negotiator performed guard duty. Padme would returned to active duty within a week.

If there was an emergency, Obiwan could contact her and she could return within a few minutes.

Padme had offered to take Anakin and Ahsoka with her. Padme was sure she could convince Obiwan to allow them to take leave.

But, Anakin declined, as he wanted to use the down time help Ahsoka with some of her academic lessons.

Since the Resolute was assigned to guard a planet that was likely not going to be attack, Anakin felt this was good time and place for him to tutor Ahsoka.

Ahsoka agreed with Anakin. Though, she did tell Padme she wish should would come with her.

While Padme had been helping Ahsoka with her academic lessons, Padme felt that Anakin would do fine in tutoring Ahsoka, as Padme headed back to Coruscant to handle her senatorial duties.

Padme felt there would be time enough later to continue to help tutor Ahsoka.

Presently, Padme was inside the Resolute. She was in her enhanced Thor form. She had on her armor, helmet, equipment, and sheathed Black Solace in its scabbard which was strapped to her back. She held Mjolnir in her right hand, at her right side.

Thor passed by other members of the crew, as she walked down a hallway, with her heading to a nearby airlock.

Given the secrecy of Thor's abilities and job, she knew that no one would ask any questions when she left. As long as Obiwan had approved her to leave.

Thor soon reached the interior door of an airlock. Less than a minute later, she was out in space.

Before entering space, Thor had to open the inner door of the airlock, close the inner door, open the outer door, which depressurized the space. Once Thor was outside in space, she used the controls on a panel by the outer door to the airlock to close the door and pressurize the airlock.

With this done, Thor turned away from the Resolute and she used Mjolnir to fly in space for about a minute, away from the two Republic ships. Then, Thor came to a stop.

Thor turned back around. She could see the Resolute and Negotiator orbiting the crystal planet of Christophsis.

Thor saw that she and the two Star Destroyers were presently on the twilight side of the crystal planet. The surface of night side of the planet looked dark blue with yellow cities lights illumination the surface. The day side of the planet appeared to be cyan in color.

Thor looked at the sight before her for a few moments. Then, Thor thought of a portal, large enough for her to pass through, to Coruscant, in the sky above the Senate District, outside of the traffic skylanes, in an open, empty area.

The portal formed ten meters in front of her, a portal form, which was just large enough for her to fly through.

On the other side, in the distance, Thor saw the skyline of Coruscant buildings lit up at night. Spaceships were coming and going from the planet. Also, speeder vehicles in the skylanes closer to the planet moved in various directions through the sky, between the large skyscrapers, over the surface of the planet.

Thor thought, 'Given the traffic in Coruscant's sky, I have to be very careful. Though, the traffic makes it very hard to monitor small incoming and outgoing objects the size of a speeder vehicle, or smaller. Such as myself. So, I can keep this portal ability a secret and I do not have to worry about being caught. Should the Palpatine, or Jedi Council, wonder how I got here so soon, I can say I left earlier than I did. Obiwan said he would back me up on this alibi.'

Thor flew threw the portal. Thor came to a stop about twenty meters on the other side.

As Thor used Mjolnir to float in place, she looked around to make sure there were no ships nearby that might accidentally hit her.

Fortunately, there were no vehicles near her, nor heading in her direction.

Thor noticed that it was a clear night, with there being as many street and building lights below her as lights in the sky above her. The temperature was cool, but not cold. There was a gentle breeze in the air.

Thor knew where she was. She was on the southeastern side of the Senate District.

Thor thought, 'Given the time difference between the Resolute and the Senate District of Coruscant, it is still hours before sunrise. I guess I better head home, and wait until it is time for to head to the Senate in the morning. Fortunately, I already called Bail yesterday. And we have a scheduled meeting for later this morning.'

Thor focused her attention on the portal, as she continued her thoughts, 'Now, to close the portal and head home. I already had a full night's sleep. I may just watched to holovids when I arrive home.'

Thor focused her thoughts and willed the portal to close. The portal immediately began to close. A few seconds later, the portal fully closed and disappeared.

Thor turned and flew towards her apartment. The trip only took Thor about twenty minutes to reached her home on Coruscant.

Once Thor arrived at her home, she landed on in her large veranda. From there she landed and walked to the locked double-doors to her apartment.

Thor pushed in a code on the numerical pad by the doors. The doors opens and Thor walked inside her home. The doors soon closed and locked behind her.

As Thor made her way to her living room, she changed back to Padme.

Padme was dressed in a short sleeve blue shirt, white pants, and red slippers.

When Padme reached her living room, she set Mjolnir on a small, corner table, on top of its head, in the room. After which, Padme relaxed and kept herself entertained, she as waited for morning to come.

(_)

An hour later, in another part of the Senate District on Coruscant, inside a small hideout, a leader of a mercenary group looked at his subordinates, as they got ready for their mission.

The leader watched his team were doing the final checks on their equipment for their mission.

The leader thought, 'Everything is set. The routes have been mapped. The security systems have already been data-spiked. The proper officials have been bribed. The guard schedule rotation, numbers, and placements have been confirmed. My men have been briefed on this mission. In a few hours, we will pull off one the most ambitious missions of my career. Once we complete this mission, my reputation across known space will become legendary.'

(_)

Hours later, after sun had rose and the morning was in full swing, it was a clear day. It was cool outside, but not cold, with a light breeze.

Padme had stayed up in her apartment until it was time to leave for her job in the Senate. Before she left, breakfast, which was actually lunch for her.

Padme had left Mjolnir in her living room, on the small, concern table where she had set it in its head when she arrived at the home the previous night.

Padme made sure the sliding door to the balcony next to her living room was left open. Padme left the door open so if she needed the hammer she could summon it without damaging her home.

Padme wore a sleeveless red gown, with red slippers. She had a small blaster pistol in a holster, hidden on the outside side of her right thigh, under her gown.

Padme took a speeder vehicle she had reserved at her apartment parking level to the Senate Building.

Padme timed her departure so she would arrive a Senate parking area at eight hundred sharp.

Once Padme arrived at the Senate building, she headed to her office and she sent much of the first hour in her office going over documents on a datapad, as she sat in her chair behind her desk.

At eight forty-five, Padme left her office to head to a scheduled appointed she had with Bail, in Bail's office, at nine hundred.

Padme and Bail would be meeting with their five senate allies.

Padme Amidala Naberrie represented the planet Naboo and the rest of the Chommell sector. Bail Prestor Organa represented the Alderaan sector.

The other five senators were Mon Mothma of Chandrila, Lexi Dio of Uyter, Bana Breemu of the Humbarine sector, Nee Alavar of the Kanz sector, and Garm Bel Iblis of Corellia.

Padme was the last to arrive at nine hundred sharp.

All the Senators were wearing formal clothing which was expected for individuals of their status within the Galactic Government.

Bail Organa had on a white long sleeve shirt, a formal sleeveless white vest which was closed, white pants, black belt and black pants.

Garm bell ibis had on a dark blue long sleeve shirt, dark blue pants, a dark green formal jacket left open, a dark green belt and black boots.

Lexi Dio had a light red vest with a brown long sleeve coat. She had a light brown long skirt and brown slippers.

Bana Breemu were a blue light weight blouse, light blue light weight long skirt and blue slippers.

Nee Alavar had on dark green sleeveless gown that went down her ankles. She had a dark red sash around her waist. She word dark red slippers.

Mon Mothma had on a light blue long sleeve gown with a white sash. She wore white slippers.

Bail's office had a simple layout, opposite to the double-doors entering the room from the hallway was the desk, with a chair behind it, and two chairs facing the desk. The wall opposite to the doors had huge windows that rapped up to part of the ceiling, which that looked out at the cityscape of the Senate District.

The sunlight coming in through the windows provided plenty of light into the room to see with.

The floor was a large flat stone surface. The walls curved. The large windows in the room curved with the outer wall. The floor, walls, and ceiling, had large colored patterns made of various dark to light shades of the violet.

To the left of the doors to the hallway was a bar counter for drinks and snacks. To the right of the bar was a small area for a meeting.

There was a coffee small table, with three chairs facing the wall, and across the table was a couch that was set next to the right side wall.

The meeting began with casual introductions and well wishes for having a good morning. Then, they sat down and began to their discussions.

Mon Mothma sat in the chair closest to the doors to the hallway. Padme Amidala Naberrie sat in the middle chair. Bail Prestor Organa sat in the chair closest to the window.

In the couch sat four senators. The senator closest to the hallway doors was Bana Breemu. To Bana's right side was Garm Bel Iblis. To Padme's right side was Lexi Dio. And to Lexi's right side, at the right end of the couch was Nee Alavar.

Their conversations ranged from the Clone War, to internal happening within the Senate itself.

Padme for the most part silently listened, as she learned some of what was happening within the Senate during her absence. Events, both for good and for ill, that were not recorded, but still important to learn of and remember.

Also, Padme noticed the other Senators were making a few mistakes with the information they had learned concerning the war. Though, Padme did not comment on these mistakes.

Padme mentally lamented, 'I with I could tell you some of the things you know about the war are untrue. But, I would have to tell you how I know. And much of that information is classified. I could be in big trouble if I mentioned such information to you.'

Padme looked around the group, as she continued her thoughts, 'And then there are the troubles our group have been experiencing. We have been trying for years to quietly get traction on the anti-war effort. But, every time it seems our movement is about to gain traction enough for us to go public, something comes up. Sometimes an ally has an accident or falls ill. Sometimes it is a scandal by an ally which goes public by the press at the worst possible moment.'

'There were even political witch hunts for Separatist sympathizers. Fortunately, Palpatine seem to settle for the resignations of the accused, instead of having them arrested and imprisoned.'

'And while we could find no evidence of Palpatine's involvement, I am sure that Palpatine was behind such actions. He just uses third parties, including other Senators, to do his dirty work.'

'I cannot believe Palpatine sucked Bail, Lexi, and myself into doing these same types of witch hunts on Loyalist Committee during the beginning of the Separatist Crisis. While we were lead to believe that doing these investigating we were helping to prevent a war. But, I see now that by doing so, we likely made things worse and helped to start this war.'

'This was likely Palpatine's plan all along.'

'Well, now I know better. I have talked to Bail and Lexi about the matter in private. And they both told me they know better, as well.'

'Fortunately, while we have had these problems in getting political traction for a peace movement, Bail and myself have been able to keep morale within out small group here. The loyalty of our political allies outside our group has been, at best, strained. A few of our allies even quietly rescinded their support of us peace efforts.'

Padme's attention was draw back to the conversation, when Bana asked, “Did anyone here see the latest holo-news on the Coruscant Beast? There are reports that Coruscant Security found three corpses in a second level below the surface.”

Nee flatly stated, “That is second set of bodies this week found close to the surface, whose deaths have been attributed to that beast.”

Garm commented, “Yes. This creature is becoming more brazen by the day.”

Bana pointed out, “Night actually. There are no reports of the creature attacking during the day... At least near the surface.”

Bail said, “I guess even monsters have to sleep sometime.”

Lexi questioned, “Perhaps. Though, I do not see why Coruscant Security cannot just hunt the beast down and either capture the beast, or kill it.”

Garm pointed out, “The lower levels of this planet are a near endless, multilevel maze which is a lawless area that no sane individual would dare to tread. I am sure not even the Jedi have any interest in entering the deeper bowels of the lower levels of Coruscant.”

Padme looked over towards Garm. Padme thought, 'From what I know of the Jedi. You would be correct, Garm. No one wants to go down into that nightmarish maze. Not even myself, as Thor.'

Bail stated, “True. The creature has done a good job of evading capture by Coruscant Security.”

Mon said, “Perhaps it is a sentient being.”

Nee commented, with a bit of disgust in her tone of voice, “A sentient being does not murder and eat people.”

Garm asked, “Also, from what I have learned from various sources, Coruscant Security is not putting much effort into capturing this beast.”

Padme thought, 'They are not. That is interesting to know. Though, there is not much I can do about it. If complain, Palpatine might end up sending me, as Thor, to do the job. And I would not know where to begin.'

'It's not the creatures, nor the dark maze that would get to me. It's the smell. Thousands of years, with broken pipes, ranging from water to waste, leaking down through the lower level. There are likely places in the lower levels which are so toxic the very smell would make me sick even at Thor.'

'And that is not counting the dead air zones. Where lack of ventilation has left areas without breathable air. This is a very dangerous risk. A person can walk into the area and not realize they are being asphyxiated until it is to late too escape.'

'While as Thor this is not a problem. This is a fear for anyone that treads too deeply into the underworld of Coruscant.'

'One can occasionally tell where the dead air zones start from the smell of rotting corpses of people and animals whom were not so fortunately to heed the warning signs and avoid the area.'

'This is why most of the known population of the Coruscant underworld living near the huge fans that pump air into the underworld. If the fans give out, the local people will realize this and they will have time to evacuate up to the surface of the planet.'

'It is said by many people that fools do not live long in the underworld of Coruscant. And I believe that saying is true.'

Garm went onto say, “Still, could this person be a mutant that has come up from the bowls of this cesspool we call a planet? This would not be a first time for that to happen to people.”

Padme thought, 'That is possible. But, that would mean there would be other creatures like the beast. And from what I understand all the footprints and teeth impressions match being.'

Bail said, “I doubt that. But, for the beast to evade capture this long shows it is intelligent.”

Padme turned to Bail. Padme thought, 'I agree.'

Bana questioned, “If it intelligent, why does it kill and eat other people?”

Padme looked over at Bana. Padme thought, 'You are probably not going to like the answer.'

Padme stated, in a casual tone of voice, “Some people do not care for the lives of others. And some people enjoy making others suffer and they kill people for the sheer thrill of doing so.”

Padme casual tone in her statement caused the other senators to pause, as they looked at Padme for a few seconds. Though, Padme did not show any reaction to this. And no one questioned Padme's tone.

While Padme did not show any response to this on the outside. Inwardly, Padme realized, as she thought, 'I was too relaxed as I made my comment. I have been fighting the war too long. The thought of people dying does not bother me as much as it once did. I need to be more careful in how I phase my statements. Or, those here are going to start asking questions, while questioning my moral character and ethics.'

Bail looked at Padme with concern, as he thought, 'Padme. I do not know what you have been through, while away from this planet. But, whatever has happened, your experiences have taken a toll on your soul.'

Bail looked around the group, as he continued his thoughts, 'But, we need to continue this conversation.'

Bail stated, “Though, what concerns me more than the beast is that fact that the Chancellor has so capitalized the fear this creature has created on the population. I suspect that the Chancellor has had various press networks play up what the beast has done, and how dangerous it is, just so he can use such fear by the people, and even members of the Senate, for his various power grabs.”

Mon said, “Yes. It has turned my stomach at how much power the Chancellor has amassed on this planet from the fear of that single beast. And unlike any potential threat from the Separatists towards us on Coruscant. The Chancellor can point to the partly eaten corpses left in that creatures wake as proof of the danger it presents.”

“In doing so, the Chancellor has practically turned Coruscant Security into his personal paramilitary army. The Chancellor has increased their forces, and make them more heavily armed. But, he only allows a paltry effort in catching the beast.”

Nee stated, “That would be a shrewd way to take control of this planet without openly stationing armored clone soldiers everywhere.”

Bail commented, “Yes. It is worrisome. The Red Guard and the Coruscant Guard can already be viewed as two separate small armies stationed on Coruscant, whom are under the Chancellor's direct command.”

“And while the Chancellor has convinced the Senate to allow him to use the Coruscant Guard in concert with Coruscant Security, such efforts have not been that effective.”

“Counting both officers and droids within Coruscant Security, the Coruscant Guard still has far few personnel that Coruscant Security by a factor of a hundred thousand to one.”

“So, the Chancellor is clearly turning Coruscant Security into his army on Coruscant. A much larger army that the Red Guard and Coruscant Guard, whom will only answer to him, with no oversight by the Senate. Without almost anyone suspecting what is truly happening.”

Padme thought, 'While the droids officers can be reprogrammed, from my personal experiences with the officers of Coruscant Security, they do not want to be a military. They want to maintain the peace, not enforce the orders of a single politician. Especially, these officers do not want to follow orders which violated the civil rights of civilians.'

'Should Palpatine attempt this direct takeover, he shall not find the members of Coruscant Security so willing to obey him. And it will take time for Palpatine to replace these officers. During that time, the officers can use the bureaucracy of their own organization to slow Palpatine's more... distasteful orders.'

Garm complained, “True. And that is not the worst of it. The Chancellor has reached the point he refuses to answer any questions by members of the Senate. Did you hear how brazen the Chancellor was yesterday, in what he said concerning questions towards him, from various Senators, including myself?”

Padme turned to Garm. She asked, “No. What did he say?”

Garm answered, “We requested the Chancellor to meet with us concerning the abrogation of rights and arrests of anti-war protesters on Corellia. His response to us was that things concerning the war were moving too quickly for him. And that he did not have time to discuss such small matters with a committee.”

Padme with annoyance, 'Yes. That is Sheev.' She said, “Well, it is true that we are a committee.”

Padme thought, 'While Corellia was not able to remain neutral, it has not been attacked in the war. Was happened was that the anti-war protesters both in the population and the planetary government grew in opposition to the war, including Garm. But, instead of siding with the Neutrality Alliance, the government decided to remain in the Republic, with Garm as a voice of opposition to the war effort within the Senate.'

'I wonder what would have happened if Corellia had been attacked by the Separatists. I have a feeling Garm would not sit and do nothing. He is a man of action. But, he needs a reason to take action. That being said, with his personality, resources, and connections, he could raise in own militia and fight the Separatists himself.'

'With Palpatine now cracking down on those anti-war protesters on Corellia, Garm might be given a reason to do something. Though, I do not believe Garm will resort to violence unless Palpatine does more than arrest people for protesting. Which still might happen, but not at the moment.'

Mon stated, “Still, this has gone on for far too long. He has reached a point he is not willing to talk to us. In all likelihood, he will soon ignore the will of the Senate altogether. We need to reign in the Chancellor's authority and power before it is too late.”

Bail commented, “Unfortunately, every time it seems we have traction in gaining support, it fall apart. With either our would be allies withdrawing their support, or being embroiled in a scandal, which forces the Senator to resign. There have also been sudden, mysterious accidents, or illnesses by our allies, or their close relatives.”

Nee commented, “Scandals are unfortunately all too common in the Senate. As for the rest, we have no proof of wrong doing.”

Garm mentioned, “I have heard rumors that the Chancellor Senior Staff Aide is behind much of the instigation of scandals, only to later blackmail of our allies with those very scandals.”

Nee inquired, “Instigating the scandals? Or, uncovering these scandals?”

Garm answered, “I do not know.”

Bail said, “Either way, it is the same result. We need to focus on figuring out how to stop Chancellor's unchecked quest for power.”

Lexi asked, “But how?”

Nee suggested, in a slightly excited tone of voice, “How about we create a petition?”

Bana said, in a supportive tone of voice, “I like that. We will create petition signed by the Senators. I am sure many of them will join us. If we presented the petition in a way that would benefit them.”

Mon said, “I am sure we could convince a few of our allies from various system and planetary governments to sign the petition.”

Padme remained silent, as the others senators continued to talk in their support of a petition against Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.

Padme stared at the wall behind the couch four of the Senators were sitting in.

During her silence, Padme remembered what she had seen on the front of the war, as she grimly thought, 'Petitions... They believe petitions are the answer... Was I so naive as them, before I saw what was really going on outside this gilded cage we call Coruscant. Out there. On the front. No one on any side is following any law. They are all ignoring the rules of conduct. For them, laws are just guidelines only to be used when it benefits them. I need to stop this before my friends do something foolish that will get us all into trouble.”

Padme looked around at the at the other Senators, as she stated, “Petitions will not work.” Suddenly everyone stopped talking, as they allowed Padme to speak. Padme continued, “This is a time of war. Any petition we sign. Especially against the most powerful man in the galaxy. Could be used as grounds to have the signers of the petition be arrested for treason. Maybe even execution. The only way to solve this problem is to remove the war powers act. And to do so we need to have a Chancellor that wants to end the war. This is not something the current Chancellor wants to do. The only way to legally remove a sitting Chancellor is by a vote of impeachment on the Senator floor.”

Then, Padme realized what she had suggested. She thought, 'I cannot believe I just suggested we remove Palpatine from office.'

Though, to Padme surprised, the reaction on the faces of those people around her showed they supported the idea.

Garm let out a laugh. He smiled, as he asked, “I agree. The petition is a bad idea. Now, how should we deal with this matter, and throw out the Chancellor?”

Lexi said, “Any path we try would be very difficult. We would need a reason. A very good reason to do so.”

Bail came to the support of Padme. Bail commented, “We will just have to wait for the proper opportunity.”

Garm dropped his smile. He questioned, in a concerned tone of voice, “As much as I would like to do this. What if that opportunity does not come?”

Bail stated, “Oh, it will. The one thing a politician eventually has to deal with is scandal of some sort. The only question is when?”

Padme wondered, as she asked, “Where is the Chancellor now?” Padme grumbled in thought, 'Being off world so much, I do not have access to the finer detailed information on where everyone is, at any given time'

Lexi answered, “The Chancellor is dedicating a hospital wing for children, he helped gain tax funding for, in one of the smaller hospitals in the Sah'c District.”

Padme thought, 'The Sah'c District is not far from Senate District. Most of the district is owned by the Sah'c. The Sah'c District is not the most extravagant district, but a lot of working class people live and work there. By Palpatine helping to upgrade a hospital there and him bring attention to the district will garner him support from the working class families of that district. A simple political move, but a rewarding one for Palpatine.'

'Since this is funding is from taxes, what this dedication amounts to is working class people are thanking Palpatine for the privilege of taking their money through taxes to pay for the building of this hospital wing. He can even use the political angle of doing this for the children.'

'I have known Palpatine for years. He rarely pays for anything himself. He only does so when he has to. I am sure he is making a fortune from this war. But, he is only saving the wealth he is earning from his investments. When he desired something, he loot the treasury of the government he had access to.'

'I know this because when I was Queen of Naboo and he was only the Senator of Naboo and the Chommell sector, one of my jobs was to personally sign off on any requisition requested he had as Senator. All the requisitions were paid by the tax funded treasury on Naboo.'

'Sometimes I believe if I did not go over each requisition request from him, and allowed someone else to look over such matter, from his requests he would have bankrupted Naboo.'

'A number of his requests I rejected. Some of his requests I rejected due to being very menial, with him having the money to pay for the items he was asking others to pay for.'

'One time, Palpatine tried to convince me to sign off on having the Naboo government pay for seventy-five percent pattern etched gold utensils and plates, along with fine crystal glass cups with laser etched pattern engravings for him to use as a dinner setting on Coruscant. He claimed that having such high quality dining items would help with negotiations with Senators and other officials.'

'My experiences in politics have taught me such items only draw the wrong type of people to you.'

'I denied him the request. I stated if he wanted such items, he would have to buy his own from the salary the Senate pays him. From what I later learned, Palpatine decided to buy cheaper pattern etched silver utensils and dishes, with more basic crystal glass cups.'

'I am sure since becoming the Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine's taste for high quality items has only increased and he is quietly using the Galactic Republic treasury to finance for his high class extravagance.'

'Unfortunately, as Supreme Chancellor, he has the authority to use the treasury to pay for personal items. And there is nothing we can do without a vote with in the Senate, which Palpatine controls.'

'We cannot even make this a scandal do to have extravagant some Senators live. As high class a lifestyle that Palpatine lives, compared to some Senators, Palpatine lives like a pauper.'

'Still, for the most part, the people of the Republic do support Palpatine. This is another problem. Palpatine has gained a lot of support from the populations of the Republic whom support the Republic's fight against the Separatists. Even if we are able to impeach Palpatine, we would have to have a very good reason for doing so, or Palpatine can use his influence of both the people, the press, and the military, to retain power. I do not believe the Jedi, and even myself as Thor, with Mjolnir, to stop that large a political and military movement against us.'

'If that happened. Palpatine would likely win, and he would become the dictator we believe him to be. He would purge the Senate and likely the Jedi Order. But, there is still the Separatists. The Separatists may take advantage of the situation and defeat us all. There are too many factors in this situation for use to rush into the project.'

'I do not want to tell all of you here my thoughts. Because doing so would discourage you. And I believe this is an avenue we need to look into. We just need to be careful as we do so.'

Bail commented, “That was not on his stated schedule. That was event suppose to be this afternoon.”

Lexi stated, “I learned that the change was done at the spur of the moment. Earlier this morning, the Chancellor decided to move the dedication up to happen right now. I am sure he gives his Security fits for making such changes at the last moment.”

Padme thought, 'While the Red Guard are Palpatine's more loyal clone troopers and his personal bodyguard. I am sure these sudden changes do cause them annoyances because these changes made it harder to plan out measures to better protect him.'

Bail replied, “I bet he does.”

Mon stated, “That is another point. He controls the press. And except for his victims, the public loves him.”

Bail said, “Such public adoration will not last forever.”

Mon commented, “The problem is the public might not wake up until it is too late.”

Padme stated, “Then, we should not rely on the public.” She thought, 'It is a major risk, but we may have to take action and later on worry about the consequences.'

Garm said, “To do anything like this, without public support, is political suicide.”

Padme replied, “I can live without this job. Though, if the Chancellor continues to amass power, our positions will continue to become weaker, to the point we will be out of a job. If we are lucky that will be all we will lose.” She thought, 'And if the situation reaches that point, I doubt Sheev will settle for only taking our jobs.'

Bail turned to Padme. Bail stated, “If we do not do this with the public behind us. Then, we would need high profile public figures that could pacify any serious public sentiments towards this.”

Padme turned to Bail. Padme said, “I know a few people. But, it would require a lot of preparation. And the timing would have to be flawless.”

Padme thought, 'I doubt I could convince the Jedi Council to support the Senate ousting Palpatine. From my experiences with them, they believe if such an action needed to be taken, they should be the ones to do so. But, I could likely convince Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obiwan. I could helped myself as Thor. Still, this is a matter that should not be taken lightly.'

Bail pointed out, “That we agree on. We would have to impeach the Chancellor very quickly. When he is not aware of what is happening.”

Garm commented, “The Chancellor is too sharp to allow himself to be put into such a position.”

Nee agreed, “True. And to plot to put him in such a position could be seen as treason.”

Lexi said, “Maybe we will be lucky and he would put himself in such a position.”

Bana commented, “That is a thought.”

Garm stated, “But, this goes back to the scandal issue. We would have to wait for a time when Chancellor would make a mistake. A time that may not come. Or, come when it is to late to stop the Chancellor's efforts.”

Padme thought, 'This is getting us nowhere. We need more time to think about this.'

Padme suggested, “I believe we have much to think about before we discuss this matter further.”

Garm replied, “I agree.”

Lexi commented, “I do, as well.”

Bana said, “This does require more thought and reflection than we have time for in this meeting.”

Mon stated, “No matter what path we pick, our choice will lead to a difficult journey.”

Nee said, “That is life in general.”

Bail stated, “If any of you decide to research laws governing impeachment. Do so personally. We cannot risk the Chancellor learning we are looking into such matter. And made sure you do not leave any record logs as you are looking into this matter on the Senate datanets. Do this research outside of your offices and use a alias you know is secure. So the research cannot be traced back to you. Though, I doubt we would find any legal loopholes that would make doing so an easy chore. The Chancellor is too shrewd to allow that to happen.”

Padme thought, 'Bail. You continue to pleasantly surprise me with your skills of deception and deceit. But, you use your skills for a good cause.'

Garm agreed, “Those are good points.”

Lexi said, in a supportive tone of voice, “I fully agree.”

Padme looked around the group, and at their facial expressions. Padme commented, “I believe we all agree.”

Suddenly, the hallway doors to the office slid open.

Everyone turned to see two men in causal dress walk into the room. Though, the details the group of senators noticed most of all was that each man held a blaster pistol in his right hand.

One man wore in a red short sleeve shirt, blue jeans, a black belt, and black boots. The other man wore a long sleeve green shirt, black pants, a brown belt, and brown boots. As they held their blaster pistols in their hands, each man had an empty side holster attached to the right side of their belt.

The man in the red shirt was a tan skin Weequay.

The man in the green shirt was a brown skin Zabrak.

The two men came to a stop.

Padme noticed the two individuals stood in place as they looked around the room. The one in the red shirt closer to them and the doors. While man in the green shirt was further towards the middle of the room and the bar on the other side of the room.

Both men faced the seven senators with their pistols pointed the senators.

Padme thought, 'Their are armed. And the entrance has a passcode to unlock. Even the droid secretary outside is programmed only to open the door with Bail's permission. The droid secretary can even lock the entrance to the point even the passcode will not work, with only Bail, or security personnel having clearance to open the doors to this room, which these two people clearly are not. Evidently, someone has tampered with the security programs in the building. And these men are here to take us hostage, or worse.'

The other six senators in the room also immediately realized they were in a hostage situation, and they did not say a word.

The doors to the office slid closed.

The man in the red shirt stated, in galactic basic, “Okay folks. This building is under our control. If you stay where you are and remain quiet, you will not be harmed.”

Padme thought, 'Someone has taken control of the Senate building. This is not good. And whomever it is much be very skilled, with these two fools likely only grunts. I do not know how many of them there are. And what measures of control they have over the building and its people. I need to handle this delicately. But, first I need to take control of the room.'

The man in the green turned to the man in the red shirt. The man in the green shirt said, “I hope the boss doesn't actually bring this place down.” He looked out the windows. He continued, “This place offers quiet a view.”

The man in the red shirt looked out towards the windows. He replied, “I agree.”

Padme overheard the men, as she thought, 'They are not alone. And they set explosives in building to collapse the structure. If they have made it this far into their plan, they likely know what they are doing. This means their explosives have likely been placed in key locations. Though, that is not the immediate concern right now. They are distracted by the view. Likely their first time to have such a view. It is not much, but I can work with this. Now to see if one of my friends can help me. Any help would be welcome to take these two out before they can return fire.'

While Padme back was to the criminals, Padme looked over at her group. She saw Garm looking at her in her eyes.

Padme saw Garm looked down at his right side. Padme looked at Garm's right side, and she saw him brushing his right hand by the outer right hip of his body.

Padme looked up to see Garm looking at her eyes.

Padme understood, as she thought, 'He knows I am armed.'

Garm continued to look at her, as she saw him use his right hand to point at the left side of his coat.

Padme realized, as she thought, 'He is armed, as well.'

Garm used his right hand, at waist left, to point at the nearest criminal, behind Padme, to her right. He silently lipped the word, “Yours.”

Padme thought, 'He is a plan. Nice.'

Garm used his right hand, at waist left, to point at the furthermost criminal behind Padme, to her left. He quietly lipped the word, “Mine.”

Padme nodded once in acknowledgment. Garm saw the nod, and he responded with a single nod.

Garm lipped the words, “On three.”

Padme nodded once.

Garm lipped the word, “Three.”

Padme used her right hand to slowly pull up her gown.

Garm lipped the word, “Two.” He used his right hand to reach into the left side of his coat, as he gripped his holstered blaster pistol.

Meanwhile, Padme had pulled up her gown to where she could reach her blaster pistol. She let go of the ground, and gripped the blaster pistol, as she upholstered it.

Garm saw Padme was looking at him. He lipped the word, “One.”

In less than two seconds, both senators acted.

Padme turned to her right, around the chair she was in, as she took aim at the nearest criminal, and fired, killing him.

Meanwhile, Garm stood up as he drew his blaster pistol with his right hand. He swiftly took aim and fired on the furthermost criminal, killing him.

Garm walked around the table to his left, and towards the two criminal that had dropped to the floor.

Padme turned back around straight, and she stood up. This allow her gown to drop back to her ankles. Then, walked to her right around the chairs, as she followed Garm.

Both Padme and Garm were careful not to point their pistols at each other, nor the other senators.

The other five senators in the room were slightly shocked at what they saw.

As Padme approached Garm, she saw Garm kick the two blaster pistols the criminals had dropped away from the criminals hands.

When Garm reached the dead bodies, he knelt down and he used his left fingers to checked the pulses of both criminals.

By then, Padme came to a stop a meter from Garm.

Garm stood up. The Corellian Senator turned to Padme. Garm stated, “They're dead.” He took his trigger finger off the trigger of his pistol.

Padme took her finger of the trigger of her blaster pistol. She replied, “Good.”

Garm inquired, “Though, I am not sure those outside going to hear this?”

Padme stated, “No. The walls are soundproof.” She thought, 'I remember Bail mentioning that on occasion.” Padme continued, “Also, given the size of this building and the manpower needed to secure this place, I doubt that there is anyone right outside.” Padme mentally reflected, 'Except for holo-monitors which are wired to be directly controlled by those using them, there are no cameras allowed in offices of Senators and the Chancellor. So no one outside this room will not what is going on.'

Garm said, “That comforting to know. It is nice to speak to someone else in the Senate whom prefers to be prepared.”

Padme commented, “Thank you. I believe in being able to defend oneself.”

Garm smiled, as he replied, “I fully agree.” Garm dropped his smile. He questioned, “Though, what about their team checking in with them? I am sure they have comlink in some pocket.”

Padme stated, “With luck, that will not be for a while. But, if they do. Try to fake it. Though, prepare for the worst.”

Garm smirked towards Padme. Garm said, “Not to worry. Corellians are taught to bluff at a very early ago.

Padme could not help but giggle a little at Garm's response for a few seconds.

By then, the other five senators had stood up, and they had turned to face Padme and Garm.

Mon stated, “I cannot believe you two have been armed the entire time.”

Garm and Padme turned to Mon. Garm responded, “It is a dangerous galaxy. And we have been talking about deposing the most powerful man in this galaxy. At this level. Legal or not. This is a dangerous task to undertake. As such, I am surprised that...” He turned to Padme, he continued, “Except for Senator Amidala...” He turned back to look at Mon, as he went onto say, “None of you are armed.”

Bail said, “Garm is right. Civility has its place. But, now is not the time.” Bail walked over to stand by Padme.

Bail was to Padme's right side, with Garm being to Padme's left side.

Padme looked down at the two dead men. She noticed a few things. Padme mentioned, “I do not see any slicing tools on them. In all likelihood, someone remotely open that doors for them.” She turned back to the group of senators, as she continued, “Along with their comment that they have a boss and that explosives have been set in this building. These two were not alone. It is going to require more than a couple of blaster pistols to take the rest of those criminals, and keep the building from being destroyed.”

Garm said, “You're right. But with those explosives these criminals mentioned. I am not sure how we should go about this.”

Bail notice Bana walking towards his desk. Bail realized what Bana was planning on doing. Bail turned to Bana. Bail stated, “Bana. Do not try to use the holo-comm. Those two were clearly not alone. And to enter this room means the security system has been compromise. Even if communications is still working, if you try to use the holo-comm system you will likely alert their accomplices overseeing the building security.”

Padme looked over at Bail. She thought, 'I see you were thinking the same thing as I.'

Padme turned to Bana. She saw Bana has come to a stop near the right side of the desk when facing the office from the entrance.

Padme stated, “Bail is right. It is not worth the risk.”

Bana responded “I understand. Though, how did they know we are here. There are no cameras in our offices... Well, except for the holo-monitors which we control.”

Garm pointed out, “They likely started taking over the Senate Building before we held the meeting and the cameras outside showed we had entered this office.”

Bana conceded, “That is possible.”

Padme thought, “While we can hide what we discuss in this office, we cannot hide there we is meeting. Bail may have enough contacts to keep the security personnel of the building from informing Palpatine of these meetings. But, if someone is watching from the main security room, then they saw us enter this room and sent those two men to watch us... I hope. They said is much, but in a life or death situation, I take such statements with a grain of salt. They could have been sent here to keep us under control, until they were later orders to kill us. Fortunately, we killed them before they could harm us. But, that is not my main concern...'

Padme looked around at her friends, as she grimly thought, 'Since we cannot call for help. Because doing so will put my friends here in danger. And I cannot be two places at once. It is up to me to solve this problem. I could take on the intruders as Thor. And I might be able to disarm the explosives or convince them to turn off the explosives. But, I would have to tell the my friends here my secret of being Thor. Though, the Senators and those inside the building are in danger. And this is more important than my little secret. Even if it cost me my career as a Senator.'

Padme looked around the group, as she stated, “Well, I might have a way. There is a secret I have been keeping from all of you. I only kept this secret to help the war effort.”

Bail interrupted, in a casual tone of voice, “Padme. We already know. Now summon the thunder.”

Padme immediately realized Bail knew she was Thor.

Padme turned to Bail. Padme asked, in mild surprise, “How did you know?”

Bail stated, “Your transmissions to us during your supposed diplomatic missions had the same time stamps and system locations as when Thor showed up. It did not take us long figure it out what was going on.”

Padme had a sheepish grin, as she said, “I will have to remember to fix that.”

Garm smiled, as he said, “This I want to see.”

Padme turned to the other four senators standing in meeting area of the room. All of whom were looking at her.

Bana commented, “For once. I agree with Garm. This I want to see.”

Mon calmly said, “Dear. We all have our secrets.”

Lexi requested, “Do it.”

Nee stated, “Do not let us stop you.”

Padme smiled towards them, as she said, “Thanks.” She turned to Bail, as she offered him the small blaster in her right hand. She inquired, “Here. You might need this. I will have to break window in this office and that might alert security. Do you know how to use it?”

Bail answered, “Yes. I know how to use a blaster. And if I need to do so, I will. Also, this office has a few good choke points. My desk and bar counter blaster-proof, creating a nice killing box for anyone that comes in through the hallway entrance.” Then, Bail gently took the blaster pistol, and he gripped the weapon his right hand, with his trigger finger resting on the trigger guard, as he pointed the barrel of the weapon towards the floor.

Padme smirked, as she stated, “Good. Now, let's have some fun.”

Padme reached out with her right hand towards the windows of the room.

Padme warned, “This will take a minute. It would be wise to avert your eyes from the windows and move towards the back wall.

The other six senators did so.

Across the cityscape, to Padme's apartment, Mjolnir flew out of the Padme's living room apartment, through the open door to the terrace.

The hammer then curved towards the Senate building.

As Mjolnir flew through the Senate District, at high speed, the weapon obeyed Padme's requests to avoid buildings, vehicles, and people.

Several seconds later, the hammer reached the Senate building, it flew around the Senate Building, to its left. The hammer continued along its path until it reached Bail's office windows.

Mjolnir curved hard and smashed through the left side window of the office, near the bar area, and away from the Senator.

The shards of glass did that fell into the office did not come near the senators.

The hammer's shaft came to a stop in Padme's open right hand, while the hammer's head was pointed upwards.

Padme closed her right hand around her weapon's shaft, as the power of the Mjolnir turned her into her Thor form, armor, helmet, equipment, weapons, and all.

The other six senators turned to look at Thor.

Thor looked over at the senators. She came to a stop, as she gazed towards Bail.

Under her helmet, Thor smiled. Thor said, in her stronger form's voice, “This never gets old.”

Bail was close enough, he could see through slits of the helmet that Thor was smiling. Bail returned Thor's smile. Bail calmly stated, “I do not doubt that.”

Bana stated, “You look good in that armor.”

Lexi complimented, “You're stunning.”

Thor turned to Bana and Lexi. Thor replied, “Thank you.”

Garm requested, “Senate Amidala. While now is not the appropriate time. I doubt I will get another chance. You are more welcome to one of my parties in that form.”

Thor let out a laugh. She turned to Garm. Thor stated, “Thou has heard of your bombastic parties. Even in this form, thou has doubts thy could survive the experience.”

Garm shrugged, as he casually replied, “That's likely.”

Bail grinned, as he stated, “Be that as it may. That is for later. Now, please go take care of those nerf herders.”

Thor turned to Bail. Thor happily replied, “With pleasure.”

Thor turned around, she walked passed the two corpses on the floor and over to the doors to the hallway. Thor came to a stop by the door. She pressed the button on a panel, by the door, to open the door. But, nothing happened, with the doors remaining shut.

Thor turned to the other senators. She stated, “It's locked. But, thy can handle this.”

Thor turned back to the doors, as she thought, 'The doors are locked from the outside. This confirms my suspicions that the criminals have control of the building. Some of the intruders are likely in the security center. That is where I will head to first.'

'I am glad that Bail had it so that security cameras are not turned towards his office doors from the hallway. While the cameras still show we are heading towards the office, the cameras do not show the office door itself. This makes this easier. Also, I know the lock controls and lock sensors are on two different systems. Which was mandated by the Senate body itself. This is due to too many senators accidentally locking themselves out of their office. Or, security showing up at various senators offices during inopportune times. Which sometimes created a scandal for those senators.'

'The locks will not trigger as a breach unless full lock down has happened. This is not the case, considering normal lightning would stop working and the emergency red lights would come on. Though, given the security system has been compromised, communication systems are likely cut off. And if the holo-comm does work, Bail is likely correct there is a real risk that the holo-comm system is comprised. Attempting to use the holo-comm will alert the rest of the criminals whom have taken control of the Senate Building.'

'I do not hear anyone outside in the hallway. So, I do not have to worry about someone hearing, when I open the door and enter the hallway.'

'Now, to start this mission and save the Senate... I like the sound of that...'

Thor set down Mjolnir on its head. She used her gloves hands to force open the two doors and slide them into the walls.

With Thor's super-strength, she found it surprisingly easy to open the doors.

The doors stated in place.

Thor used her right hand to pick of Mjolnir by the hammer's shaft.

Thor used Mjolnir to fly through the doorway and into the hallway. A second later, Thor turned to her right down the hallway, as used Mjolnir to swiftly, and silently, fly through the corridors of the Senate Building.

After Thor left the sight of the other senators, Mon commented, “Let us be happy she used the doors. I do not believe she would any problems going through the walls.”

Garm commented, “Either way would be fine with me. Both would be entertaining.”

Bail looked over at the other senator, as he stated, “Padme has always been one to think about the consequences of her actions. Better her to have this power, than some other people.”

Mon agreed, “You are preaching to the choir.”

Garm looked over at where he had kicked the two blaster pistols, belonging to the two dead criminals, on the floor. He stated, “I will collect the two blasters these criminals had.”

Bail turned to Garm. Bail cautioned, “Be careful not to get any fingerprints on those two blaster pistols. They will be evidence for Coruscant Security.”

Garm continued to look at the blaster pistols on the floor a few meters from him. He held his own blaster pistol in his right hand, with his right trigger finger resting on the trigger guard.

Garm complimented, “It is good positive thinking on your part that this place will still be standing.”

Bail stated, “I have full faith in Padme's ability to handle the situation.”

Garm agreed, “So do I.”

Garm used his left hand to pull out a white folded cloth kerchief from an pocket on the interior left side of his dark green formal jacket.

Garm stated, “I will use my kerchief to pick up the pistols. I will set them on the bar counter if we need them.”

Bail complimented, “That is a good idea.”

Garm when to use his kerchief to pick up the blaster pistols one at a time and put each weapon on top of the bar counter inside the room.

Bail turned to the other four senators. Bail asked, “In case there is a problem. We have two extra blasters. Do any of you know how to use a blaster pistol?”

The four female senators in the room turned to Bail.

Mon answered, “I do. Though, I was not planning on dealing with a siege this morning. But, I will help.”

Nee stated, “I was taught how to use a blaster when I was a child. But, I would choose not to use such weapons unless I have to.”

Bana commented, “I will leave this to you...” She looked over at Mon, as she continued, “Mon...” She looked over at Garm, as she went onto say, “And Garm.” She turned back to look at Bail.

Lexi commented, “I prefer not to use violence. This is why I am a part of this group.”

Bail thought, 'At least I know where everyone stands.'

Bail replied, “Alright. Mon, Garm, and I will handle the matter, if we have too. If there is trouble the rest of you can hide behind the bar counter.”

Bail turned to Garm. He saw that Garm had finished placing the two pistols on the top of the bar counter. Also, Garm had placed his white kerchief back into the jacket pocket he had pulled the white folded

Bail saw Garm looking back at him.

Bail thought, 'Good. He is done.” Bail looked around the room, as he continued his thought, 'Now what are we going to say to Coruscant Security? I will get my friends here to leave out agree to leave out Thor. And I will get them to agree not to talk about Padme being Thor. But, we do have two corpses on the floor with blaster wounds. Some officials in Coruscant Security owe a few favors. I will call in those favors so this is swept under the rug. We will keep our mouths shut and we will be fine.'

Bail looked around at the other five Senators in the room. Then, Bail went to work.

(_)

Thor quickly flew pass passed by the droid secretary at its desk, near the entrance to Bail's office.

Thor saw the secretary droid was shut down, with the droid leaning forward towards its desk.

Thor turned to her right. As she flew through the hallway, she thought, 'The droid is shut down. Likely the droid was data-spiked. All the droids are connected to the Senate datanets and to the Senate security system. If the droids are shut down, that means the automated security systems are also shut down. This might be a good thing, because if that was not the case, when Mjolnir broke through the windows, it would have alerted security. That is why I left my blaster pistol with Bail. I need to get to the main security room and see what is going on. And I know exactly where that is.'

Thor silently flew through the hallways and corridors of Senate building. As she did so she saw the hallways were empty. Thought, Thor noticed the lights in the hallway were off. But, between the sunlight coming in through the skylights and windows, along with her enhanced vision, she could see fine.

As Thor flew, down the hallways and staircases, she thought, 'While the lights are off. But, between my enhanced sight and the sunlight coming in through the windows, this is not an issue. This will be more to my advantage than the intruders. I did not notice the two criminals having any nightvision equipment, so their accomplices likely do not have any such equipment either.'

'Though, with the lights off, this likely means the turbo-lifts are off. Even if the lifts worked, I do not dare risk using them. I will have to get to the main security room by way of the various hallways and staircases. Fortunately, Anakin and Obiwan taught me how to move quickly, quietly, without being seen. As much as I would like to take out the other criminals, doing so may alert the rest of them. That would lead to the possibility of hostages being harmed or killed to flush me out. Or, even some of the explosives being used. Though, when I get to the security room, I will have to time my attack between their check-ins. With my hearing and other powers, that will not be too difficult.'

After spending years working within the Senate Building, Thor knew where the security cameras were. Along with the layout of the building.

Thor was able to fly both swiftly and silently meant no one at the security monitors would notice her and no one in the hallways would hear her.

The hallway lights being off meant there were dark shadowed parts of the hallways, which Thor could see fine in, but the criminals and normal camera setting could not.

Fortunately, between Thor's enhanced hearing to listen for anyone in her path, along with her fast reflexes, she was not worried about hitting anyone at high speed, even around corners.

The main problem for Thor was getting between floors unnoticed. Fortunately, most of the Senate floors had large open alcoves with staircases going up and down. Though, for day to day work using the turbo-lifts was quicker and easier.

Since the turbo-lifts were not an option, Thor took the staircases along the quickest route to the security center.

The first location Thor headed for was the control room for the security personnel.

Thor was able to quickly pass by a few intruders playing patrol duty as she headed for the control room. Though, except for a few patrols by the intruders, the hallways were empty.

Thor had not problems quickly slipping by these patrols, or going around them, without being her being noticed by the patrols.

When Thor reached the control room, down a hallway. She slowed and came to a stop right by the door, with her the soles of her boots gently touching the floor.

Thor leaned her helmeted head close the door, as used her enhanced hearing to both listen on the other side of the door, and to listen out for anyone approaching the door.

Then, Thor patiently waited.

Thor enhanced hearing near some basic chatter on various topic from those inside. But, none of the statements were able what was going on in the Senate Building.

Most of the conversation on those inside the room dealt with sports and betting on sports.

Fortunately, as she waited, nor one came down either sides of the hallway. Nor, was the door opened from the inside.

A few minutes later, from inside the room, Thor heard what she had been waiting for.

A male voice on the other side of the door, from a radio speaker, stated, “Team Three, check in.”

A male voice within the room replied, “All clear here. And nothing on the monitors.”

Thor thought, 'Good. They did not see me. I found it hilarious when Bail informed me that there is not a camera by the door to this room. That is just pure arrogance on the part of the Blue Guard. But, in this situation, this oversight on their part will be helpful to myself. Though, this is what I am waiting for.' She slightly tightened her grip on the hammer's shaft in her right hand, as she continued her thoughts, 'I am now on the clock.'

A second later, Thor used Mjolnir to break through the door. Then, she rushed into the room. The room was a series three of rows of desks. Each row was six desks wide. Each desk had a computer console. The rows of desks overlooked a grid of monitors on the far wall. The monitors showed various locations inside the building, and outside of the building.

Across the room, Thor quickly saw three men standing next to each other. The intruders were casually dressed like the two men whom had broken into Bail's office, through these criminals were more heavily armed. Each man had a blaster rifle.

One of the men had a comlink in his right hand, while he had his blaster rifle slung over his right shoulder.

The men turned to look at her.

But, before the men could aim their weapons, Thor used Mjolnir to sent a lightning bolt that hit all three of them. Though, Thor was careful not to hit the electronic equipment in the room.

The blast knocked the criminals back, leaving them either seriously injured, and unconscious for the next few hours, or dead. Thor did not care which.

Thor noticed something to her right.

Near her, she she saw a pile of five bodies on the floor. The corpses were wearing blue long sleeve shirts, blue long sleeve pants, and black dress shoes.

Thor thought, 'From blue uniforms, I would say they are part of the building's security personnel that aids the Senate Guards.'

Thor did not hear any heartbeats nor breathing from the bodies.

Thor turned to the three criminals lying on the floor. She thought, 'Damn criminal scum.' She turned to look at the monitors on the far wall, as she continued her thoughts, 'But, I have more important matters to deal with. I have to make this quick. Either the team I took out in Bail's office, or this team will not check in at their scheduled time. Then, we will all be in trouble.'

Thor saw that outside Coruscant Security had closed off the plaza surrounding the Senate Building.

Thor thought, “At least Coruscant Security already knows that something has happened. This would not have happened a few years ago. Damn Chancellor Palpatine and his paranoia.'

'A few years ago Bail and I learned that Chancellor Palpatine was attempting to replace the members of the Senate Guard with clone troopers from Coruscant Guard. We stopped him from doing so. We convinced the Senate to pass a bill to prevent this. We did this by pointing out that the clone troopers were all trained the same way. And the clones troopers were not taught to think outside of their training. This meant that if there was a flaw their training it could be exploited. While Senate Guards are trained to both follow their training and improvise when needed in their duties of protect the Senate.'

'Due to the issue directly dealing with the safety of the Senator body, the vote by the Senators was almost unanimous and the vote was large enough that Chancellor Palpatine could not veto the bill.'

'The bill immediately became law after it was passed and this law forced Chancellor Palpatine relent on replacing the Senate Guards with clone troopers.'

'This was one of the few victories we were able to have on slowing down the Chancellor's path to absolute dictatorship.'

'Though, in response, Chancellor Palpatine spent the last few years slowly removing the presence of Senate Guard organization assigned to protect the Senate from the Senate Building. He even had the headquarters of the Senate Guard move to a from the Senate building, to a nearby building.'

'As far as Chancellor Palpatine was concerned, if he could not have people he picked, whom were completely loyal to him, in positions to protect him and the Senate, he would control such groups by limiting their access to the Senate.'

'The members of our small senatorial group all realize this line of thinking does not bode well for the rest of us in the Senate Building. Both the Senators and other personnel whom worked in the building.'

'All the while Palpatine has been growing his Republic Red Guard organization. Though, he has not stationed the Red Guard to protect the Senators. He only uses the Red Guard to protect himself. When Palpatine is not here, his Red Guard group is not accompanies him, and they are not here in the Senate Building.'

'A few months ago, I learned from Bail that the Senate Guards only have a skeleton crew maintaining security in the Senate Building. Palpatine's excuse was that he did not want the guards to have a major presence in the Senate Building because he felt the Senators should not feel they are living in a police state.'

'Oh the irony.'

'Still, a skeleton crew of guards is enough to stop a single unarmed attacker, but not an organized, armed resistance.'

'Though, I also know that if an alert is given the Blue Guard, as we like to call them, can be here in under a minute. The problem is these intruders have likely sealed the building so the Blue Guard cannot get inside.'

'Due to these cut backs by Palpatine, the Blue Guard is likely letting Coruscant Security handle the matter.'

'It is possible these people might be the only Blue Guard members in the building at the moment.'

'That means I have to handle the matter.'

Thor looked at the controls of a nearby desk. Thor thought, 'Unfortunately, I do not how work the security controls to unlock the outside doors. If I tried, I might do more harm than good.'

'Also, if I was able to open the outside doors and Coruscant Security stormed the place, them doing so might cause the intruders to detonate some of their bombs. Or, start killing their hostages.'

'While I do not know how to use the controls to select different monitors. I can at least view what is happening on the monitors that are selected. Let's see what is going on, before I make my next move.'

Thor looked at the monitors and the locations on the upper right parts of the monitor, which stated in small text, as to where the monitor was located.

Thor saw a number of the criminals paroling the hallways.

Thor mentally reflected, 'It looks like there are not many of them. They are just clearing the hallways. I can guess they used the security locks to contain everyone in their offices or rooms.'

'It might be best to left those doors sealed. While I could manually open the doors one by one. Doing so would take time. And there is the chance of alerting the intruders. Some of the Senators and other personnel would want to leave their offices. These people would likely be caught in the middle of a battle between the intruders and myself. No. It is best they stay put and out of the way of any possible fights.'

'Our group in Bail's office likely had guards as a secondary bargaining chip is the bombs did not work. We might have been one of the large groups meeting in an office at the time. I am glad we were able to keep them from using us in that manner.'

Thor looked further and she noticed a few locations had bombs planted on various walls.

Thor thought, 'The bombs I see are all placed near load bearing pillars. I can guess there are more bombs that the cameras are not showing. Still, if the arrangement is how I suspect it to be. Then, the bombs could be used to cause the building to collapse in one itself.'

'Due the number of bombs I see on the monitors and that I only count about two dozen intruders. They have been here a while, doing this under our noses. And they only recently recent sent two of their subordinates to Bail's office.'

'I believe it is best I go to the nearest bomb and see what I am dealing with in the first place. I will decide what to do next from there.'

'But, I need to find the leader of this group. If she, or he, is even here. It is possible the person orchestrating this mess is doing so by remote communications.'

Thor noticed on one of the monitor someone she knew whom was a room she recognized. The room being a large auxiliary room near the Senate Rotunda. The room had no windows, but the lights in the room were on, and this allowed Thor to clearly see the layout of the room, and whom was in the room.

These was no furniture inside the room. The room was intended for people from the Senate to talk, as they stretch their legs and walk around a little after sitting down in their hover pod for hours at a time during a session of the Senate in the Senate Rotunda.

Thor saw there were a dozen hostages sitting in a corner of the room. The hostages faces the wall they sat by.

There were three criminals standing in the middle of the room away from the hostages.

Two of the intruders were each holding a blaster rifle. But, the third intruder was whom Thor noticed.

From the person's clothing, Thor recognized the person from a previous incident.

Under her helmet, Thor's lips curled into a wicked smirk, as she thought, 'Cad Bane. After our last run in, I looked you up. With your ego, you would not allow yourself to be a follower in a mission. That means you are the leader. And this gives me options.'

Then, Thor noticed that Cad Bane was holding a control detonator in his right hand.

Thor thought, 'You always are prepared. While the others can be killed, but I need you alive. I could end this mess by forcing you to surrender and you ordering your subordinates to surrender. Though, I will look at the bombs first. You are too cagey to rely on as a main plan. If I can find a way to take the bombs out first, that will put me in a better position for negotiation. Politics and experience has taught me well in how to force a negotiation to go the way I desire.'

'Fortunately, I noticed a bomb being placed in a nearby hallway on this level.'

Thor turned around. She used Mjolnir in her right hand to fly out of the room, and to her right towards the nearest bomb in a nearby hallway.

It took less than a minute for Thor find the closest bomb.

Thor landed by the pillar the bomb was planted on. The pillar was part of the interior side of a outer hallway. On the opposite side of the hallway were windows.

The sunlight coming through the windows provided plenty of light to see with.

The pillar was located near an intersection to interior hallway three meters to Thor's right side. But, Thor had her attention directed towards the bomb she was looking at.

The bomb was a third of a meter wide, in a circular shape. The bomb was fully enclosed, and Thor saw no way to get into it. There were no lights, buttons, knobs, nor displays on the shell of the device.

Thor looked at the device as she thought, 'If what the Jedi and Republic military taught me about such explosives and bombs is correct. If the bomb is removed from the pillar, it will go off. Also, there are likely separate sensors within the bomb that if the bomb is moved with the pillar still attached to it, will explosive.'

'The case itself is probably wired in such a way that the bomb will explode if there is any attempt to remove part of the casing.'

'To make matters worse there is nothing but a metal shell around the bomb. There are not lights, nor controls, to indicate that it is a bomb. Let alone an active bomb.'

'I know that this is a real bomb. I can smell the explosive particles emanating from the seams of the casing. I know the bombs are active, because everything I have learned about Cad Bane points to the fact he does not bluff.'

'In addition, from experience with those demolition droids, Bane already has experience in wiring explosives to prevent even Jedi from disarming them. That means multiple detonators that are linked together. If a Jedi tried to use the force to disarm one detonator, the other detonators would go off.'

'The only good news is given the type of person Cad Bane is, the bombs set across the building are not link together. One of the bombs going off will not set the rest of the bombs off. With the only probable way of the bombs being set off at once being the detonator in hands of Cad Bane.'

'I have known people like Bane all my life. He wants total control of any situation he finds himself in.'

'Bane's ego will not allow him to go out in a blaze of glory due to the foolishness of someone else. If cornered, he may set the bombs off himself. But, in his mind that would still be him in control of the situation.'

'So, if one bomb is set off, the explosion will not set all of them off... Unless the building shakes to much. I hope not.'

Then, Thor heard a female voice to her right say, in galactic basic, “Surrender. Or, he dies.”

Thor turned to her right to see three meters from her, standing at the hallway intersection, facing her, was a female brown skin Weequay, in a white short sleeve shirt, black pants, and white belt, and brown boots, with a empty pistol holster attached t the right side of her belt.

The criminal was holding a blaster at a hostage.

Thor did not recognize the mercenary, but she did recognize the hostage as Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar Binks was wearing formal purple robes, with white long sleeve shirt and white pants underneath his robes. He did not wear a belt and he did not have shoes, or socks, on his feet.

The criminal was to Jar Jar's right side, while slightly behind him.

Thor mentally berated herself, 'I was paying too close attention to the bomb that they approached me without myself noticing them. If I am not careful, and do not learn from this incident, this could lead to a fatal mistake.' She continued her thoughts, while mild annoyance, 'And Jar Jar. How do you keep getting into these messes?'

While Jar Jar was a very slender tan and white skin, gungan man. He was several centimeters taller than most humanoid individuals. He was a head taller than both Thor and the female criminal.

Due to this, the mercenary stood behind Jar Jar, slightly to Jar Jar's right, with the criminal's left arm wrapped around the left side of Jar Jar's waist, as she held her blaster pistol around Jar Jar's right, to point the end of the barrel at Jar Jar's lower jaw and face.

Both the criminal and Jar Jar faced Thor, as the criminal forcefully ordered, “Drop the hammer, or he dies.”

While Thor was instead planning to rescue Jar Jar, before she could react, she saw Jar Jar's eyes narrow, as his face became a scowl.

Jar Jar swiftly used his right hand to bat away the blaster pistol, across the hallway. Then, he turned around to his right side, as he brought his left fist up.

As Jar Jar fully turned to face the criminal, his fist made contact with female Weequay face, sending her down onto the ground, on her right side. Jar Jar walked around to the face the criminal's front, and he used his left foot to kick the mercenary twice in the stomach, to make sure the criminal stayed down.

Thor was mildly surprised to see Jar Jar defend himself in a brutal manner.

Thor thought, 'Some people forget how strong and tough a gungan can be when said gungan wants to do something. While I am Padme, I am glad I stay on his good side.'

Thor complimented, “Nice job.” She thought, 'I did not know he had this in him. Maybe I underestimated Jar Jar.'

Jar Jar face relaxed. He turned to Thor. He replied, “Thank you. Mesa does not like being treated poorly.”

Thor stated, “Thou understands. Please go to somewhere safe. Thy will hand this.”

Jar Jar said, “Mesa will do.” Jar Jar turned and he ran down a hallway that would take him to an hour area of the Senate building. Jar Jar's long ears flopped in the air as he ran.

Thor turned back to the intruder. She thought, 'Now to make sure you do not go anywhere.'

Thor walked over to the blaster pistol, and she crushed the blaster pistol with her right boot. Then, she used her left hand to pull out some basic cuffs from one of her pouches on her belt. She walked over to the female intruder. She lead down and she cuffed the bounty hunter's left wrist to a nearby metal railing on the wall.

Thor thought, 'That should hold you. And I am not worried about you calling for help, because I am going to see you boss and end this insanity before more people are killed.'

Thor stood up. She held Mjolnir in her right hand as she used the hammer to fly off towards where Cad Bane was, in hopes she could stop this madness before matters further escalated.

(_)

Meanwhile, in the Sah'c District, near the Senate District, inside a hospital, in a press room, there was a press conference was being held.

On the floor there were several reporters of various sizes, ages, genders, and species, with holo-cameras floating above them.

The reporters and cameras were facing a raised part of the room, which was a platform. On the front center of the platform was a podium with microphones on the top of the podium. Behind the podium was Chancellor Palpatine in his in his Chancellor's dress and robe.

Palpatine faced the reporters and cameras.

Palpatine was flanked by four of his Red Guard bodyguards. All four guards wore red cloaks concealing their bodies, and red helmets concealing their heads.

There were two guards behind Palpatine, and a guard on each of his sides.

The press conference had begun as a dedication of the new hospital wing for children. But, the hostage crisis at the Senate Building went public during the press conference. Though, not much was known, except the Senate Building has been sealed from the inside, with an unknown number of intruders inside, while the senators and staff were being held hostage. While the Blue Guard was allowing Coruscant Security to handle crowd control and seal off the plaza surrounding the Senate and place officers at tunnel access points leading into the Senate Building from below the surface of the place.

Though, it was reported that these underground access points were also sealed from the inside.

Given Palpatine loved the attention and adulation the press gave him, Palpatine did not mind changing the subject to prolong the press conference.

Palpatine has just pointed to one of the reporters to ask him a questioned.

The reporter inquired, “Chancellor. What are you thoughts on the hostage crisis in the Senate Building?”

Palpatine responded, in a dignified demeanor and tone of voice, “Unfortunately, the situation is currently unfolding. No real information being released. Not even for myself. I am in the dark as much as you are.”

Palpatine warmly smiled, as he continued in a calm tone of voice, “All we can do is have faith that Coruscant Security can handle the matter. With us hoping things will turn out alright.”

Palpatine held back a chuckle, as he maintained his smile. He thought, 'I really do not know what is going on. Though, I am glad the force warned me to leave the Senate Building earlier this morning. I was already planning to have a press conference this afternoon, at this hospital. I just moved up my schedule, from this afternoon to this morning. No one is going to argue such a request coming from me, their Chancellor. And these two events today will only make me look better in front of all these peasants.'

'Still, I do wonder how Padme got here so quickly from Christophsis. Not that I really care. I was not going to use her on the Republic military assaults on Arkanis and Tythe.'

'Though, this means she might be keeping secrets from me.'

'I am sure I will find out later. Her surprises are almost always enjoyable. Besides, she and her little group of Senators do keep my on my toes, which keeps me sharp in our war with the Separatists. Especially against Loki.'

Palpatine continued to point to reports and answer questions from the reporters he pointed towards.

(_)

Back in the Senate Building, Thor had remained undetected, as she made her way to one of the double-doors which leading to the large auxiliary room, where Cad Bane, two of his subordinates, and twelve hostages were.

Thor found that no one was guarding the door.

Thor came to a stop, with her feet touching the ground, right in the double-doors.

Thor took a deep breath, and she slowly let it out, as she thought, 'Okay. I need to do this very carefully. Take out the two fools with Bane, so they do not do something foolish to get us all kill. Then, I have to convince Bane into surrendering. Easier said than done. Bane's ego is the type if someone tries to order him to do something, he will likely do the opposite out of spite. But, I have a few ideas on how to do so.'

'If I am at the set of doors I believe I am, the hostages will be to the back of the room to my right side. With Cad Bane and his two subordinates in the center of the room.'

'I need to be mindful not to hit Bane. Or, I will end up killing us all. Because I am sure Bane has set that detonator in his hands to be deadman's switch to this elaborate trap.'

'Now let's do this.'

Thor gripped Mjolnir with both her hands. She swiftly slammed the flat of the hammer against the doors in front of her, this blow destroyed the doors by twisting the doors to the sides. The opening allowed her to quickly enter the room.

Thor saw she had been correct, and the twelve the hostages were sitting by the far right corner of the room, with the hostages turned to face the wall they sat by.

In the center of the room was Cad Bane, with his two subordinates flanking him to his sides. Each of his subordinates held a blaster rifle. While Cad Bane held a remote detonator in his right hand.

Fortunately, no one was looking towards Thor, as she broke into the room.

Thor came to a stop a few meters into the room. Thor was five meters from Bane and Bane's two subordinates. Thor was fifteen meters from the hostages.

Thor quickly looked around to confirm there was no else was present. She saw there the only people in the room were those she saw from the security monitors.

Then, in a matter of two seconds, while Cad Bane, and the two subordinates were turning to look at her, Thor let go of Mjolnir with her left hand. She took aim with Mjolnir with her right hand at her targets. She used Mjolnir to fire two precise bolts of lightning. A lightning bolt hit each of Bane's subordinates, knocking them to the ground, leaving them unconscious, or dead, while Cad Bane remained unharmed.

Cad Bane looked over to see Thor, whom he noticed was looking him. Thor and the hammer's head pointed at him.

Cad Bane turned to look at his two subordinates lying on the floor. Cad Bane then turned back to look at Thor.

Thor continued to look at Cad Bane, as she aimed Mjolnir at Cad Bane. Thor stated, “We meet again.”

Cad Bane admitted, “I did not expect to meet you today. A few Jedi. Perhaps. But not you.”

Thor stated, “Thee know thee cannot beat thy.”

Cad held up the detonator in his right hand. He said, “Oh can't I? Even if I die, I take the senate with me. And even if you survive, you will be buried beneath the ruin for months. At least. That would break anyone.”

From under her helmet, Thor lips curled into a smirk. She commented, “If thee detonates the bombs, it is likely no one knows you were even here.”

Bane was caught flatfooted by Thor's comment. Bane replied, “Huh?”

Thor explained, “The Republic government has very strict information controls on the press. While thou saw Coruscant Security out there. The press and public have likely only been told there is a hostage situation, with no other information being given to the outside galaxy.”

“In addition, thy doubts thee has show yourself until thee are ready to give your demands to those outside. Which is clearly yet to be. Things have moved too swiftly for such matters to come to pass.”

“So, no one knows thee is here. And even if your body is found. They will not say it was you. The Republic will instead try to tie this to the Separatists. Not a bunch of... Criminals.”

Cad snorted, but he did not otherwise respond.

Thor offered, “It is clear thee is doing this for your reputation. Surrender, and thee will be taken alive.”

Thor thought, 'Since you only care about yourself, I will not mention your subordinates.'

Thor continued, “Thee will be remembered as the man that held the Senator for a morning. Not many would even be able to reach this point. If thee are alive there is a chance of escape. And thee will still have gained some notoriety from this attempt.”

Cad conceded, “You may have a point.”

Thor inquired, “What were your demands going to be?”

Cad chuckled a little. He stated, “Credits for the hostages. Lots and lots of credits.”

Thor conceded, “If thy was not here, thee might have gotten away with it. Now surrender.”

Cad Bane used his right thumb to flip a switch on his detonator which turned off the detonator. Then, he slowly knelt down and gently set the detonator on the floor next to his right side.

Cad Bane stood up. He turned to Thor. He said, “Done. The explosives are now deactivated. Let me order my men to surrender, as well. Before they do something foolish.”

Thor continued to pointed Mjolnir at Cad Bane. Thor stated, “First. Walked away from the detonator.”

Can Bane backed away three meters from the detonator, and from Thor.”

Thor said, “That is far enough.”

Cad Bane came to a stop.

Thor stated, “Now go ahead and make the call.”

Cad Bane reached into a pouch on his belt. He pulled out a communicator. He said into the communicate, “This is Cad Bane. Stand down. We have lost.”

While keeping Cad Bane in sight, with Mjolnir aimed at Cad Bane, Thor walked over to a holo-comm monitor mounted into nearby wall. Thor used a number for the Coruscant Security Forces.

Once Coruscant Security picked up the call, Thor informed them that the intruders had surrendered.

Thor was kept in the line until twenty minutes later, when a squad of eight armed Coruscant Security officials made it into the room Thor, Bane, and other people were inside of. The officers entered the room though the doorway Thor had damaged to come into the room.

After Coruscant security officers arrive, Thor stopped aiming Mjolnir at Cad Bane, and she lowered Mjolnir to her right side.

The Security officers immediately recognized Thor and treated her as a friendly agent of the Republic.

Coruscant Security Forces had worked with Thor on a number of missions and the Security Officers knew they could trust her as an ally.

Thor hung up the holo-monitor and talked to the security officers.

Thor explained the situation to the officers. Also, Thor requested the officers downplay play her involvement in solve the incident. The officers she spoke to told her they would see what they could do.

The Security officers checked on the two people Thor had used lightning. They found the two individuals were alive. And the officers found the hostages in the room were fine.

Thor watched as Cad Bane had his coat removed. His hat taken off. His boots, with rocket jets, taken off. His breathing tubes on his cheek detached and filter pack the tubes were connected to, which was his back was removed. He was disarm of his many weapons. And his wrists were placed in stun-cuffs behind his back by a Security officer.

Once Can Bane and his two subordinates that were present, were in stun-cuffs, Thor used her authority to walk away from the situation. She intended to let Coruscant Security handle clean up of the hostage incident.

Thor headed back to Bail's office. Though, she took her time, as she held Mjolnir in her right hand, at her right side. Thor realized if she rushed through the hallways she may startle some Security officials, whom might accidentally take a blaster shot at her.

Thor had no desire to cause any more problems for the officers and herself.

(_)

Fifteen minutes after Thor left Coruscant Security handle the clean up, Thor made it to the hallway entrance to Bail's office.

Thor held the hammer in her right hand, at her right side, as she walked through the doorway into Bail's office.

There was plenty of sunlight coming in from the windows to see with.

Once inside the room, she noticed the two bodies of the criminals near the middle of the room. Then, she looked further into the room and she saw that Bail standing by the right side of his desk, with her small blaster pistol on the top of the desk, by Bail.

There was no one else in the room.

Thor walked around the two corpses, as she approached Bail. Thor asked, “Where is everyone else?”

Bail answered, “Chances are they are in their offices waiting for the all clear to leave the building. I convinced them that it was best for myself to talk to you alone. Not to worry. We along since had the discussion. And we all agreed not to discuss you secret with anyone outside of our group.”

By then, Thor had come to a stop a meter in front of Bail. She commented, “That is comforting to know.”

Thor thought, 'While the Chancellor knows about me, I do not want him to know that my allies in the senate know about me. Now to change back.'

Thor turned back into Padme. As Padme changed back, her clothing returned to her sleeveless red gown, red slippers, and her small empty holster strapped on the outer side of her right thigh, under her red gown.

Bail did not act surprised at watching Thor change back to Padme, with her clothing changing, as well. The only thing appearing the same was Mjolnir being held in Padme's right hand.

Bail questioned, “That never really gets old? Does it?”

Padme answered, “No. Now, one moment.”

Padme turned towards the broken window. She held the hammer towards the window, and let go of the hammer.

Mjolnir the went flying out the window, and back to Padme's apartment, where it had been before. While it avoided any possible obstacles in its path.

Bail watched the hammer leave the office. Once the hammer was out of sight, he turned back to look at Padme.

Bail asked, “Do you command that hammer with your thoughts?”

Padme turned Bail. Padme answered, “In a way. Yes, I do. Actually. I make mental requests for the hammer to do what I desire. Fortunately, I do not have to have my mind give every detail. For example. Right now, Mjolnir. The hammer. Is heading back to where I left it. I gave it instructions on how to do so. Including not hitting anyone, or anything, as it returned to where I left it.”

Padme thought, 'It will take a few minutes for the hammer to return to the small corner table in the living room of my apartment, with damaging anyone, nor anything. Though, I do feel sorry. But, as a security measure, I do not want to let anyone know where I keep Mjolnir. I alternate where I keep the hammer. Not even Anakin, Ahsoka, or Obiwan, are sure where I keep it. If an enemy learned I kept Mjolnir in my apartment, that enemy may blowup my apartment building to bury the hammer in rubble. It might be buried so so deep it would not be able to come on command. In which case it would likely take months to dig out.'

Bail replied, “That is an interesting ability.”

Padme asked, “Yes, it is. Were there any problems while I was gone?”

Bail responded, “No. Their team did not even check in with them. When we heard the all clear from the building's communication system, I convinced the other to leave. Is everything truly fine?”

Padme stated, “Yes. The guilty have been captured. The bombs have have are being deactivated. Casualties are light. On a few injured, and fewer dead on both sides. Coruscant Security is handling the matter. I left things to them, because I realized at that point I would get in the way.”

Bail complimented, “That is a good move on your part.”

Padme responded, “Thank you. I requested that the Coruscant Security Officers I spoke to as Thor to downplay my involved in resolving this matter. I do not want to raise too much attention.”

Bail stated, “I will use my connections to help with that. Coruscant Security could use a win. And Thor being seen here might create problems. Even for the Chancellor. Especially, Thor being the one to solve this mess, instead of the local authorities.”

Padme said, “Those are my concerns, as well.” Padme looked to her left, at the broken window by the bar counter. She continued, “I apology for the doors and window.” She turned back to look at Bail.

Bail responded, “Better the window and doors, than the walls and ceiling. These repairs are not that serious. I can explain them away without mentioning our connection to your other self. The intruders destroyed the door to get into the room. And in the ensuing conflict the window was destroyed. Both of which will be repaired within a day, or two. With the bill being paid for by the Senate discretionary funds for the maintenance of this building.”

Padme complimented, “That's brilliant.”

Bail stated, “Thank you. And I convinced our friends to use that story if anyone interviews them. Though, I told them it is best that we all remain silent on the matter. Also, I will make sure my friends in security lose the recording of you coming and returning to this office as Thor.”

Padme said, “Wonderful. Though, given those guilty are captured or dead. And the death toll was small. I believe the details of this indecent will be swept under the rug. With few questions being asked.”

Bail replied, “I agree. The Chancellor will spin this to his benefit.”

Padme stated, “That goes without saying.”

Bail inquired, “Do you find out why the intruders did this?”

Padme answered, “The leader stated he did it for money.”

Bail asked, “I have heard of worse motives. Any connection to the Separatists?”

Padme admitted, “I do not know. I didn't ask.” She thought, 'Though, given what I have read about Cad Bane, he likely did it for money. And questioning his stated motives at the time was too risky.” She continued, “Though, if that was the case, they would have a very good reason for doing so, besides just taking us hostage.”

Bail questioned, “I agree. If that is the case, I wonder what that reason is?”

Padme commented, “I doubt we will find out. Just another mystery in a building full of mysteries.”

Bail agreed, “True.” Bail towards to the pistol on the desk. He carefully picked up the pistol with his right hand. Then, he turned and handed the pistol towards Padme, without the barrel pointed towards her.

Bail stated, “Here is your pistol back. I suggest you do stop carrying that blaster in this building for the next weeks days. Just in case Blue Guards do a basic sensor sweep of the building for weapons. I made the same suggestion to Garm. He agree with me. And he will do the same.”

Padme gently took the small blaster from Bail's hands, as she replied, “That is a good idea.”

Padme thought, 'He's right. I will have to do that. I am glad that Garm saw reason on this issue as well. I do not want him to get in trouble over such a trivial issue. This is a small issue compared to everything else. I will start carrying my small blaster pistol on me again in a week. After things have calmed down.'

Padme clicked the safety on the pistol. Then, she held the pistol in her right hand. She leaned down and used her left hand to pull up her gown.

As Padme did this, Bail averted his eyes away from Padme.

Padme holstered her pistol in her holster on the outer side of her right thigh. Once the pistol was in place, she allowed bottom of her gown to drop back down to her feet. Next, she leaned up and look over at Bail.

Padme saw Bail looking away from her.

Padme said, “You can look now.”

Bail look at Padme.

Then, Bail turned to the two blaster pistols on the bar counter. He looked at the two bodies on the floor. Bail stated, “I already called Coruscant Security to come collect these to bodies and their weapons. They should be here in an hour.” Bail looked over at Padme.

Padme asked, “Do we need to be here when they arrive?”

Bail said, “No. The person I called in Coruscant Security owes me a few favors. Given the situation they are not going to ask any questions. As long as we remain silent on the matter, we will be fine. But, if they ask questions we already have a cover story. Though, it would be best that we are not here when they arrive.”

Padme commented, “Alright. Thank you for handling this matter.”

Bail replied, “You're welcome.”

Something occurred to Padme. She thought, 'I have to ask.' She inquired, “While I am sure the others left without much trouble. How hard was it to get Garm to leave?”

Bail turned to look at Padme. He stated, “While convincing him to leave his blaster pistol home for a few weeks was easy. I had to do everything short of bribing or threatening him to convince him to leave. But, I was able to persuade him to leave.”

Padme let out a laugh. She said, “That figures.” She the continued, in a sober tone of voice, “I apologize for lying to you. But, I had to maintain my cover.”

Bail stated, “This is politics. We all know that we have to keep some secrets from others. But, your secrets were meant to not only protect yourself, but help others. You did not harm us with your secrets. And for that, I accept your apology.”

Padme gave Bail a warm smile, as she said, “Thank you.”

Bail asked, with curiosity in his tone of voice, “So, what is it like to have the kind of power you wield as Thor?”

Padme answered, “Intoxicating would not be a strong enough word. It is like a high during sex. Where you feel so great. Only this feeling continues while I am in my stronger form.”

Bail realized the implications of Padme's answer. Bail responded, with concern in his voice, “If that is the case, does that power impair your judgment?”

Padme said, “Surprisingly no. I am very clear headed when I use this power. Though, I feel very good when I do in my stronger form.”

Bail replied, in a more relaxed tone of voice, “Well, that is relief.”

Padme stated, in a more sober tone of voice, “Though, from having this power, I have come to understand more about the Jedi and why they are so careful with the power they wield. Such power can be very destructive and corrupting. While I do not use the force, the same can be true for the power I now wield.”

Padme shrugged, as she continued, in a more casual tone of voice, “Though, the trade-offs are nice.”

Bail questioned, “Has being a soldier in this war changed you? I have noticed that during your time away from the Senate, you have become a bit colder and more distant. But, only a bit.”

Padme turned her head away from Bail, as she answered, in a sober tone of voice, “Yes. The war has changed me.”

Padme turned to look at Bail, as she stated, “But, I have done a lot of good as a soldier for the Republic. While some view me as a giant stepping on ants. I have been very focused and careful with my abilities. Because of this, I have saved lives on both sides of this war. When I go into battle, the Republic military does not need to bomb a city to rubble, when I can take that help take that city with a minimum loss of life.”

Bail silently took in what Padme said. He calmly replied, “I believe I understand.”

Padme responded, in a serious tone of voice, “I do not believe you do. I have been on the front lines. While as a soldier, I have tried to adhere to the principles of the Republic. That is been very difficult to do. I have seen what is really going on out there. Outside these Senate Chambers, no one is respecting the law. Especially not the Chancellor. Any petition will at best will be ignored. At worst, it will get those whom signed the petition killed. They would be signing their own death warrants. And by doing so they may even be dooming their family and friends with them.”

Bail said, “Given what you are telling me. Do not worry. I will makes sure there will be no petition. If the situation reaches a breaking point, we might as well just start planning a rebellion.”

Padme sighed. She replied, “I hope not. But, I would not be surprised if the situation reaches that point.”

Bail commented, “Let us hope it does not come to that.”

Padme stated, “I agree.”

Bail asked, “No offense intended. But, as Thor, what is with the odd speech pattern?”

Padme giggled a little. Padme said, “That oddity came with the powers.”

Bail replied, “That is what I thought.” Bail smiled, as he offered, “So, do you want to go for an early lunch? My treat.”

Padme returned Bail's smile, as she said, “Sure.”

Bail inquired, “Any suggestions?”

Padme commented, “Well, if you do not mind. I would like to go to a place called, Dex's Diner. A lower end diner on the surface of CoCo Town.”

Padme thought, 'Obiwan just had to introduce to that restaurant. And while Dex, Hermione, and FLO were interesting to meet. And the food is so good. But, bad for the waistline.'

Bail questioned, “A sandwich and burger shop.”

Padme replied, “Yes.”

Bail shrugged, as he casually said, “I could go for a nerfburger.”

Padme commented, “You never struck me as one to eat such common food.”

Bail stated, in a slightly humorous tone of voice, “I am from Alderaan. Nerf meat is practically its own food group on my planet.”

Padme smiled. She replied, with amusement in her tone of voice, “That is a good point.”

Bail stated, “We will take my speeder. And before you ask. I made sure to lock anything important in my office, in my hidden safe, in this room.” Then, Bail began walking around Padme, to Padme's right side.

Padme turned to face Bail, as he passed her. Then, Padme walked beside Bail, to Bail's right side.

While walking, Padme asked, “That is good thinking. Though, as we leave, do you think Coruscant Security will give us problems?”

Bail commented, “I believe by the time we reach my speeder in a nearby parking garage, the all clear signal to leave will be given.”

Padme replied, “I hope you're right.”

A few seconds later, they exited Bail's office, with Bail letting Padme exit the room first, with him following behind her.

Bail was soon proven correct. By the time they reached the parking area in the Senate Building, where Bail's speeder was, Coruscant Security had used the building intercoms to give the all clear for everyone to leave the building.

Bail drove Padme, in his speeder, to Dex's dinner. Where they had pleasant lunch.

Given what happened in the Senate that morning. Everyone working on the building had been given the day off, so Coruscant Security could carefully remove all the planted bombs, and make sure the building was clear of any other bombs.

That afternoon, Bail dropped Padme a parking garage in Padme's apartment building, with him then heading to his own home.

Padme planned to use the Senate valet service go get the speeder that she had been using from the Senate Building and drop it off at the parking garage of her building later that evening.

Padme headed to her apartment.

When Padme reached her apartment, she checked to make sure that Mjolnir was where she expected the hammer to be. Which the hammer was. Then, she walked to the holo-monitor in her living room, and she used the holo-monitor to contact her friends on the Resolute.

A few minutes later, Padme was able to get in contact with Obiwan, Anakin, and Ahsoka. To let them know she was fine. Due to them being on duty guarding a planet, they were under a news blackout.

They had not learned about the hostage crisis. Padme did not give details about what happened. But, she did say she and her friends in the Senate were alright.

During the conversation, Padme asked Obiwan to extend her leave for extra week or two.

The excuse she gave Obiwan was some sensitive matters had come up. Which was not a lie. The fact her allies in the Senate found out she was Thor concerned her. But, she did not tell anyone they knew. Because that would put them at further risk from the Chancellor and likely even the Jedi Council.

Padme did not want to have her secrets create further friction between the Senate and Jedi Council.

Obiwan had accepted Padme excuse, and he allowed her leave to be extended from one week to two weeks.

Once Padme finished talking to Obiwan, she used use the holo-comm to contact Palpatine.

After an hour of trying, Padme was able to Palpatine. Padme knew that Palpatine would learn of her involvement of stopping the Senate hostage crisis as Thor. Padme did not want this information to become well known.

Padme requested from Chancellor Palpatine to play down Thor's involved. That Thor being able to handle the matter alone could be seen as a sign of weakness towards the security personnel on Coruscant.

Palpatine agreed with Padme's reasons.

Also, Palpatine did not ask Padme how Padme was able to reach Coruscant so quickly from Christophsis. Padme did not mention the topic, and she was happy Palpatine did not inquire on the subject.

After Padme had talked to Palpatine, she contacted Bail by holo-comm. Padme and Bail had talked about the matter to get their story straight and how to talk to the members of their group.

Between Palpatine influence and Bail's connections, Thor was not mentioned in the press, nor in the official investigative reports by Coruscant Security, as being present at the Senate Building during the Senate hostage crisis.

The official story was that Coruscant Security was able to handle the matter.

Padme found that she did not even have to answer any questions from Coruscant Security. That everyone wanted to sweep the matter under the rug as Bail and herself expected would happen.

This also had the added benefit of not having the Jedi Council nor her friends learning her involvement of the hostage crisis. All that knew was she was in the building when the event happened and she handed the matter.

A few days later, Bail had informed Padme that he talked to the members of their group and they understand Padme's modesty on the matter. Also, Bail mentioned he learned from his contacts that Cad Bane and his subordinates would have speedy trials and likely be sentenced to long prison terms on various prison worlds. Padme was happy to hear some justice come from the matter.

Fortunately, things settle down. And by the end of the week of her returning to Coruscant, Padme was sure her allies would not divulge her secret.

In addition, Padme took further precautions to maintain her cover and keep others from learning she was Thor. Padme set up so that when she was away from Coruscant, her communications to the Senate datanets would go through a secondary communication hub to redirect her encrypted communications between the Resolute to the Senate, so that she would not be traced back to the Resolute.

When Padme's leave was over and she contacted Obiwan by encrypted communication to return to duty, she learned that the Resolute and Negotiator had finished their assignment of guarding Christophsis.

Once Obiwan informed Padme of the location of the Resolute and Negotiator, which was in normal space, Padme ended the holo-comm transmission, retrieve Mjolnir, she turned into Thor, and headed into space.

When Thor reach an empty space in orbit over Coruscant, she create a portal to where the Resolute and Negotiator were.

After Thor crossed through the portal, she saw the Resolute and Negotiator nearby. She closed the portal, and head to the to the Resolute, to resumed her role as Thor, the Storm Bringer and Enforcer of the Republic.

(_)

Two and a half weeks after the Galactic Senate hostage crisis ended, inside an office, a person was sitting behind a desk. The person was watching a newscast from a small holo-monitor on top of the desk.

The located was a city on a forest planet. It was the middle of the comfortably warm, sunny day for that part of the planet.

The small hologram of the pretty, human female newscaster, in a violet business dress finished her report, in galactic basic, “Fortunately, due to quick actions of Coruscant Security, causalities were light. While the intruders motives are unclear, their court hearings will be scheduled for tomorrow. Given the situation, these trials are expected to take place over the next few months, with quick resolutions. We will keep you up to date as the situation unfolds.”

The person watching turned off the holo-monitor. She then leaned back in her chair.

That person was Loki. Loki was casually dressed in among other items a green short sleeve blouse, brown shorts, red belt and red slippers which matched the color of the red belt. This was a casual wear suited for the warm weather outside her office.

Loki lightly chuckled, as she thought, 'That Padme is a real piece of work on so many levels.'

Loki stopped chuckling, as she mentally reflected, in a more serious manner, 'I know from my contacted on Coruscant that as Thor, she stopped the hostage crisis. Not the Coruscant Security Forces. But, she used her connections to prevent mentioned of her involvement from being leaks to the press.”

“Padme likely did this because her direct involvement would raise questions on how she got back to Coruscant so soon. I am not sure myself. I will find out later. Though, my whole plan hinged on Padme nor Anakin being anywhere near Coruscant.”

“During the hostage crisis, they both should been guarding Christophsis in the southeastern Outer Rim. From Christophsis it would take the Resolute and Negotiator a week to reach Coruscant in the northern Core Worlds.'

'Thors have always been hard to keep track off. They are very cagey in their travels. Padme has likely found a way to use her hammer's magic to travel across the galaxy swiftly and undetected.'

'The question is not if Padme could do so. The question is what method did she figure out. The power that Mjolnir gives her allows her to do anything from portal magic to teleportation.'

'I have similar abilities. The experience I have with such travel abilities allows me to plan around this issue.'

'I will just make a note of this. But, Padme knows better than to abuse such an ability. As such, the Separatists and myself will be fine on this matter.'

'On related concerns, I will not do anything to my intelligence branch for getting this wrong. Because there was no way they could have known.'

'Besides which, my intelligence resources are correct ninety percent of the time. And that accuracy is good enough for me.'

'Also, while Thor's involvement is being censored, Palpatine is making sure not much information is being released on the incident. This is an embarrassment for the Galactic Republic. He will sweep this under the rug.'

'Though, I know Cad Bane will keep his mouth shut. It would take a lot to get him to crack. He has a stronger will than most Jedi Masters.'

'When Bane and I came up with this plan, we made sure none of Bane's subordinates knew Bane was being funded by me. And we structured the mission so that if this did happen, they would not be traced back to the Separatists. Instead, Bane will take full credit, while offering a believable motive. Which was greed. Hostages for money. With Bane taking credit for coming up with the plan. Bane's reputation for greed and thinking outside the box will make this simple motive easy to believe.'

'I doubt Cad Bane and his subordinates will be killed. Palpatine knows of Bane's reputation. He is second only to Jango. Killing them might actually martyr them, in the eyes of various anarchist groups. They will just been sent off world to prison worlds with life sentences.'

'That way, Palpatine might someday decide to make use of their abilities, should he desire to do so.'

'This is why I had Cad Bane lead this mission. If he was successful, his reputation would have made sure this mission would not be traced by to me. If Bane failed and was caught, it is a small matter because I know Palpatine will not immediately kill him. And Cad Bane knows better than to cross me.'

'Actually, it is good that Palpatine was not in the Senate building when this happened. It will lead him to be less likely to take more personal measures against Bane. Though, I wonder why he was not there during the incident? From what I have learned, he made a sudden schedule change to leave the Senate Building that morning. Perhaps the force warned him. Not that I really care either way. I already know that part of using the force is that the force warns its users of danger.'

'The explosives were very real. There was a real chance of Cad Bane blowing up the Senate. Though, that is only because Cad refuses to intentionally deal in bluffs. I respect that about Cad. And if the Senate had been destroyed, it would have been a sad day. I would not want to kill so many people. I have no desire to do so. Though, except for the low level employees and a handful of Senators opposing Palpatine, the rest are followers of evil. And thus I will not grieve to much for them.'

'Still, if the worst happened, I am sure Padme would have survived. But, if this was traced back to myself, I would probably have an earful and some lightning from Padme for killing Bail and her other friends in the Senate.'

'But, such an explosive attack would a major blow to the Republic. Thus helping the Separatist cause.'

'Though, the downside would be this would insure Palpatine becoming a dictator. But, the Jedi Council might make use of the situation to learn on Palpatine until political appointments could be made by the various world government sot replace the Senators whom were killed.'

'There would be too many pieces in play to accurately guess would would happen.'

'The explosives were purchases and put together in ways that the parts would be traced back to the Hutts. The explosives and parts were purchased through third parties not directly connected to the Separatists, nor myself.'

'If there is an investigation, the manufacturing ties and financial ties lead to the Hutts would have gotten the blame. Not the Separatists.'

'I would be more than happy for the Republic to use this incident for justification to attack Hutt Space.'

'The Hutt Cartels are some of the most corrupt people I know of. In some ways they are more evil and corrupt than Palpatine could ever be. The Hutts are responsible for much of the criminal and slaver trade in the galaxy, dating back tens of thousands of years. I have no problems having the Hutt Cartels and their membership destroyed.'

'As an added benefit, creating a three way war with the Republic fighting both the Separatists and the Hutts would weaken both the Republic and the Hutts. This would allow for the Separatists to move in and take over various systems. While not doing such a quick manner as to cause the Republic and Hutts to unite against the Separatists. With the war ending sooner than I expected. With the Separatists being the winner.'

'Though, such an act would likely allow Palpatine to declare himself emperor sooner. But, his position and power would not have change. So, that is neither here, nor there.'

'But, with this matter being swept under the rug, I doubt Palpatine will try to attack the Hutt Cartels while fighting the Separatists. He knows doing so is too risky for himself and the Repulbic.'

'Palpatine knows the Hutts are not foolish enough to attack the Republic Senate. That the Hutts are being framed. Though, he will not be able to figure out who is really behind this attack and the motives for doing so.'

'And the real reasons for this attack are simple enough to understand.'

'The success or failure of this mission was not the important part. This mission was a to see if a small team could breach the Senate Building and take over. And that has been proven to be the case. As such, the overall mission is a success.'

'Even Bane did not know this part of the mission. Given Bane will keep his mouth shut, no one will be the wiser as for the true reason for this mission.'

'I am sure Palpatine will eventually drop the matter for more immediate concerns. Except for being a mild embarrassment for the Galactic Senate, he would consider the Senate hostage crisis to be a none issue due the bombs not going off and the Senators still being alive.'

'Though, this attack is one of many plans I am working on in how I would decide to eventually deal with Palpatine. A small team would likely not work against him. Unless I used a weapon of mass destruction from within the building, with him inside.'

'The bomb would have to be placed inside the building, considering the building was designed to withstand orbital bombardment.'

'But, the force would likely warn Palpatine of such danger, as what happened on the morning of the Senate attack.'

'Though, that type of attack plan is still an option to have on the table. If I am forced into a situation where I had to use this plan, I will do so.'

'If I did so, I would try to minimize the casualties, to avoid upsetting Padme and Anakin too much. I tried to do the same for the Senate attack.'

'I told Bane to keep the casualties to a minimum. But, from what I have learned from various sources, he and his team were not as restrained as I hoped they would be. When is comes to giving Bane orders. Once has to be exact, because he will follow his orders to the letter, but he may not follow the intent of those orders.'

'If I do create an assassination mission from this plan, making a small team to personally attack Palpatine might be a good idea, just to distract Palpatine, as the bombs are placed and detonated.'

'It would be a suicide mission for those fighting Palpatine. Thought, I would make sure it is a voluntary suicide mission. Beforehand, I would give those on the team a general idea of whom they would be facing.'

'I am happy Bane shared his route into the Senate Building from the tunnels underneath the plaza. And the tactics he used to take control for the Senate Security Systems. I will have to keep that in mind if I use this plan again. Because if I choose to do this missions, I would have to figure out different routes into the Senate Building and different methods in dealing with the Security systems and personnel.'

'But, that would not be too difficult a task for someone as cunning as myself.'

'Though, these are thoughts for later.'

'I will let Cad Bane cool his heels in jail. Though, I am sure that Palpatine now has an eye on him. I may have to wait until after the war before I get him out.'

'But, this is a minor concern.'

'And this is why I hired both Jango and Cad. In case something happened to one of them, I would have the other to take care of my jobs.'

'With Cad Bane out of the picture for a while, this leaves Jango with a wider selection of assignments. Besides which, the way Jango is progressing in training young Boba, I will soon have another very skilled bounty hunter to employ.'

'In the meantime, this does open up a position in my organization for another bounty hunter. And I know just who to contact. I believe Jango will be more than happy to help me contact her.'

'I made sure she was not on Cad's team, in case they were captured. And now that they have been captured, I believe I will go ahead and contact, and hire, the bounty hunter, Aurra Sing.'

'For her first assignment I have something in mind that is a bit risky. I could lose two very valuable people in doing so. But, the payoff is too big not to take the risk.'

'I will need to think on this. The time needs to be right. The introductions have to be perfect. And the mission parameters are required to be flawless.'

'But, if I get this right, I will be one step close to my overall plans.'

'Speaking of which, I am looking forward to having Asajj soon visit for me some more lessons. I already let her know when and where I want her to meet me. I sent this message by encrypted transmission to a datanet servers she uses to check her messages. So, the message will not be traced back to where I am currently located.'

'Also, I need to figure out the next missions I will offer Asajj. I am not sure if I want to her have a mission requiring violence, or negotiation. Asajj is getting better at diplomacy. And her fighting skills are becoming better, due to her learning how to better focus and channel her anger.'

'Perhaps I will ask her which type of mission she would prefer. Knowing her, she might surprise me and pick a diplomatic missions.'

'Yes. Asajj has come a long way. It was wise of me to invest the time and patience to help make her a better person. Which in turn, makes her a better agent for my designs.'

'Though, while the Senate attack happened a few weeks ago, there were other concerns occurring in the galaxy.'

'It unfortunate that we lost Tythe to the latest Republic assault. But, we held Arkanis.'

'Of the two star systems, Arkanis is the more important star system we control. The Arkanis System is our doorway into the southeastern galaxy from our northeastern holdings, through the Triellus Trade Route. We cannot lose Arkanis.'

'While the losing access to the Tythe natural energy plasma reserves will hurt us, we have other locations in our holdings with similar reserves.'

'Though, I believe the real reason Tythe was a secondary target was due to it being the closest Separatist star system to Christophsis. By taking Tythe, they have strengthen their position at Christophsis, which prevents us from using the Corellian Run to go deeper into Republic space in that area of the galaxy.'

'That is good thinking on their part.'

'I am not sure who was the Republic officer commanding the assault on Tythe. But, whomever it was did a marvelous job on their Republic forward assault.'

'They waited until Arkanis assault was fully committed and the we had to shift some of our defenses in the area to help Arkanis. Then, four Republic Star Destroyers came out of hyperspace just above Tythe's atmosphere. The two of the capital ships headed planetside, while two star destroyers headed into space.'

'The two star destroyers heading into space caught the flank our orbital defenses. The local Separatist ships and defense satellites station above Tythe were located higher in orbit and grouped to handle an classic attack of dropping out of hyperspace in high orbit and coming towards the planet.'

'The two destroyers and their fighters and bomber squadrons made short work of our space defenses.'

'From what I can gather from reports. The two star destroyers diving into towards the planet immediately launder their fighters and bombers from the hangars located on the top of the ships.'

'The starfighters and bombers stayed in the shadows above the two star destroyer, which protected them from the entry heat and atmospheric fiction of entering the planet as all of the ships slowed down.'

'When they clear entry, these squadrons immediately dealt with their targets. The starfighters provided cover as the bombers destroyed key defenses stations. This happened so quickly the anti-aircraft defenses had yet to fully come online.'

'Within ten minutes of the invasion, both our orbital defenses and key ground defenses were destroyed.'

'The entry trajectory in the planet's atmosphere took the two star destroyers to a landing area outside of the capital. Within twenty minutes of the invasion both star destroyers had landed outside of the capital. Within thirty minutes of the invasion the star destroys had deployed their land vehicles and the capital was under siege.'

'One hour after the invasion, the planetary Separatist governor surrendered. I fully understand why he surrendered. He was out played at ever level.'

'It was beautiful, audacious, surgical attack. Most of the cities were intact and civilian lose of life was at a minimum.'

'I do not know who was commanding the Republic attack. But, the commander is a genius. This person is likely someone I may have never heard of. A reminder I do not know everything and as the timeline changes, other skilled individuals may made themselves known, when they did not have the chance in the original timeline.'

'The same can be said for members of the Separatist military. I will keep an eye out for such diamonds in the rough... I loved that movie.'

'I find it interesting that the Palpatine did not field Thor and Anakin in either of these assaults on Arkanis and Tythe. Instead, he had the Resolute and Negotiator stationed in orbit of Christophsis to protect from a possible military flanking action by us which never came.'

'Palpatine might not want to risk losing Thor or Anakin on such a major assault. Sure one on one, or a small mission is one matter. But, the bigger guns in both sides can kill Thor and Anakin. Some Sith Lords have been known to be takeout of action with use of the weapons from capital ships.'

'Since Palpatine no longer controls the Separatists through Dooku, he can longer anticipate what the Separatists will do during large scale battles, with the bigger, more powerful weapons not being held back if Thor or Anakin are in the field.'

'This is good for the Separatist. We can now rule out Thor and Anakin in being a part of large scale Republic operations.'

'And by extension, Obiwan and Ahsoka will likely not be present in future large scale assaults by the Republic. Still, as with Tythe, there are plenty of skilled commanders, both from the military and the Jedi, whom have the ability to out maneuvers and defeat us with ease, if we let them.'

'We could still lose this war. So, we will need to be at our best. I will have my contacts in the Separatist Council order a compiling a report the assault on Arkanis and the defeat on Tythe. After the report is ready, in a few weeks I will have our the Separatist command officers be ordered to read the report so they can learn from how Tythe fell and how the defenses were used to hold Arkanis so they can create better tactics to counter such a defeat.'

'On a related matter. I wonder if Palpatine realizes I am charge. Maybe. Maybe not. With his cunning, he will figure it out. But, I am not going to make it easy for him.'

'So much to think about. Fortunately, the war effort is doing fine for the most part. And I have the time to think about such matters. And when I am ready, I will prepare and implement my plans in ways no one else will expect.'

Loki continued to mentally reflect on various plans she had in mind for the war effort, and what she was planning to have for lunch.

(_)

“Evil people rely on the acquiescence of naive good people to allow them to continue with their evil.”, Stuart Aken.

To be continued.

(_)

Author's Notes:

Think about how populated in Star Wars the planet Coruscant is. Even taking into account Coruscant Security uses droids as low level officers in some situations, Coruscant Security has to have an incredibly large number human, near-human, and alien personnel to handle policing such a populated planet.

Compared to the number of Coruscant Security officers, the number of clone troopers stationed on Coruscant is likely very small.

One of the points I wanted to make in this chapter was to show how naive and closed off the Senators of the Galactic Republic was to what was happening in the rest of the galaxy.

The Senators in Star Wars during the Clone Wars were really this naive. In Episode Three movie of Star Wars, in the deleted scenes, the Senators did believe that a petition by the Senate and other political figures would stop Palpatine. This petition was called the Petition of 2000. This petition signed by the Delegation of 2000. This petition was used in the Star Wars Expanded Universe to explain what happened to the “good” Senators and political figures after the end of the Clone Wars. The answer was they were in imprisoned, or dead.

Instead of helping those people whom signed this petition, the petition was used as their arrest warrants, and sometimes death warrants.

At the Clone Wars ended, after Palpatine declared himself an Emperor of the new Galactic Empire, he used this petition as evidence of sedition by those within the Senate, and elsewhere, allowing him to purge those political figures he had no use for.

Many of those political figures, including Senators, and their families, were either imprisoned, or outright executed.

Though, this time around, Padme, as Thor, has taken a more active role in the Clone Wars. She has seen what is truly happening beyond the gilded halls of the Senate. She realizes how a petition is both useless against Palpatine, and how a petition would be dangerous for those that sign such a petition. And so, Padme stated her opinion in this chapter of how a petition will not work.

On Cad Bane's attack on the Senate, it makes sense the force would warn Palpatine of such an attack. Palpatine merely used that warning to move up his agenda that day to look good towards the press.

Some of you may have noticed that through out this story, I have pointed how the press and much of the public of the Republic are support Palpatine as Chancellor. With the exceptions being anti-war protesters and those with Separatist leanings.

The Star Wars prequel films only really showed Palpatine's support among the Senate. Nor does the Clone Wars series do not really show Palpatine's support among the Republic people.

Though, reading between the lines of the plots and results of Palpatine's rise to power, it is clear that when Palpatine became Emperor at the end of the Clone Wars, he had garnered a “cult of personality” around himself, with the Republic press doing his bidding.

On the hostage scenes itself. This was inspired by the Clone Wars series Season One Episodes Twenty-Two, Hostage Crisis.

But, these two incidents were for very different reasons.

The mission in the Clone Wars series was about getting Xero the Hutt released from a prison on Coruscant.

The mission in this chapter was about Loki having Cad Bane test the security within the Senate Building, for possible future assassination missions against Palpatine. Loki feels that all in all, while Cad Bane and his group were captured, Loki was still able to gain her money's worth from Cad Bane concerning this mission.

And no. As Loki pointed out in this chapter, Aurra Sing was not among the mercenaries in Cad Bane's group. I have plans for Aurra Sing. Plans I believe many of you readers will enjoy.

On the taking of Tythe by the Republic, I wanted to show that Loki realizes she does not know everything and there are skilled individuals on both sides of the war whom she is not aware of.

Also, Palpatine is being cautious with Thor and Anakin.

An interesting note about Republic Star Destroyers. That type of Star Destroyer has hangars that open from the top of the ship.

Until next time. Have fun.



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