Chapter Nineteen: “Breaking Points.”
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.
It has been three months since Loki and Thor had their meeting at sunset, on a forest planet in the Expansion Region.
The routines of Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka had pretty much returned to normal. Since finishing their business on Coruscant two months ago, they returned to active duty, with them being stationed on the Star Destroyer, Resolute, under the command of Anakin.
Though, with Obiwan no longer being the full time Commander of the the Star Destroyer Negotiator and the 212th Attack Battalion stationed on the Negotiator, the crew of the Negotiator was no longer doing missions in tandem with the crew of the Resolute and the 501st Battlion.
The reasons Obiwan was no longer the full time commander of the Negotiator was due to Obiwan now being a member of the Jedi High Council.
Obiwan still considered himself the teacher to Anakin, Padme, and Ahsoka. Obiwan had decided all three of them needed some more experience with diplomacy.
Obiwan arrange for his three students to be assigned a Jedi diplomatic ship. The ship has plenty of space for Anakin, Ahsoka, and Padme.
They took R2-D2 and C3-PO with them on the ship. Though, the two droids would remain on the ship.
Also, Obiwan wanted Padme to go as Thor so Thor could start gaining a reputation of being more than soldier in the war.
Padme agreed that going as Thor would be helped in her reputation as Thor, which even she admitted was not good in that most people fear Thor for the power she wielded in battle. Though, Padme has done her best not to abuse the powers Mjolnir gave her.
The mission was for them to head a Republic planet with an internal political dispute. The local planetary government had requested the Jedi come to mediate the depute and negotiated a peace resolution that everyone could live with.
The dangers were minimal, with the issue dealing with a minor business dispute. This was not in a life or death situation.
Obiwan was not worried. As an elected Queen of a Planet and later a Galactic Senator, Padme had plenty of experience with diplomacy. Padme's diplomatic history was mostly successes when is came to basic diplomacy.
Obiwan requested that Anakin, Ahsoka, and Padme work together as they negotiated the dispute to a peaceful resolution.
Obiwan even requested the bring along R2 and C3-PO coming along. R2 had long since proven itself a viable ally. And Obiwan had come to have a measure of respect for C3-PO, after C3-PO helped Obiwan negotiation a deal between the Hapes Consortium the Zeltros. With the deal currently holding, and keeping the peace between the two bitter sector neighbors, in the Inner Rim.
Though, this did not mean that Obiwan was not on his own mission. Presently, Obiwan was elsewhere, overseeing minor negotiations with some Republic farming worlds in the Republic held northeastern part of the Colonies. The parties involved had requested a Jedi to mediate matters. The location where the meeting would take place the farming world of Grandine, in the capital city of Hat'cho.
Grandine was located in the Grandine system. The planet orbited one sun in a stable orbit, with three moons orbiting the planet. The daily rotation of the planet was twenty-five hours.
The planet was a mix of plains, mountains, and oceans. The plains were used for farming and livestock, while fish and crustaceans were harvested from the oceans for food.
The weather on the planet was warm, with seasonal storms.
The population of Grandine of mostly made up of humans and duros, but there were also some near-humans and various aliens living on the planet.
The government of the Grandine planet was a democratically elected system of government.
While the Grandine government had a reputation of being strict. The Grandine government was not abusive towards those people living on the planet and those people visiting the planet. And their laws were not unreasonable.
Hat'cho city was a major economic hub between the local population and the galaxy.
Besides food exports, Grandine was known to be part of the swoop race circuit. Swoop racing use speeder bikes to race courses that could be anything from roads to paths of dirt.
There were both legal and illegal swoop racing circuits. Grandine had some of the most famous legal swoop circuits in the galaxy.
The most popular swoop course on Grandine was the Grandine Swoop Loop.
This race course use was located in interconnecting valleys in the northern part of the planet. The valleys were created from glacial erosion in the northern part of the planet. The glaciers were long since melted, but the valleys were still present.
There were many small towns along the Grandine Swoop Loop which catered to seating to watch the race first hand.
Swoop racing was a major tourist draw to the planet of Grandine. Both to watch and to participate in.
The Grandine swoop racing was regulated both the swoop races, the swoop bikes and the organization of the race courses on Grandine.
The Grandine government allowed regulated gambling on the swoop races on the planet.
Due to all this, Obiwan considered his mission to be a brief vacation from the war. A working vacation that would give him no problems.
Meanwhile, Anakin, Padme as Thor, and Ahsoka were sent on a diplomatic mission on another world. The location on the planet, Rustibar, in the northern Mid-Rim in the Churnis sector.
Rustibar orbited one sun in a stable orbit. Two moons orbited Rustibar in stable orbits.
One rotational day on Rustibar was twenty-two standard hours.
Rustibar was a Republic world. The planet was populated by mostly humans, various types of near-humans and various types of aliens. The population of the planet was sparse, with there being on ten million people on the entire planet. The government on the planet was a basic democracy, with a representative government. The elected government appointed a representative which met with five other representatives of the Churnis sector to appoint and oversee the Galactic Senator they sent to represent their population in the Galactic Senate.
The inhabitants of the planet enjoyed modern technology and conveniences.
The sparse population on Rustibar was due to the planet's surface being mostly deserts, mountains, and oceans of salt water.
Fortunately, while the surface was barren, it was found that there were several locations where there were natural aquifers of clean under the ground. Some of the aquifers were as shallow as a two hundred meters under the ground. This allowed for water to have cities, while the aquifers were deep enough that pumping water from them would not to cause sinkholes for buildings and roads.
The aquifers were refilled from the annual month long, through heavy rainy season on the planet. Though, the rainy season was not for another six standard months.
While the rainy season had heavy downpours, the ground soaked up the water quickly which prevented flooding on most parts of the planet.
Outside of the rainy scene, the whether was dry. The temperature was tolerably hot in the day and mildly cold at night. During the rainy season the weather was cloudy, raining, with windy, though little lightning came from the storms. The temperature during the raining season was cool during the day and cold at night, through not freezing cold.
The city where the meeting was taking place was was the capital city of the planet, where the seat of government was located. The city was called, To'Tan. The city of To'Tan was near a beach by an ocean. Like many of the beaches on the planet, the beach near the To'Tan was heavy in iron content, which gave the sand on the beach a rust color.
This is where the name, Rustibar. From the term, rust in the sand bar.
The water off the beach was safe to swim in and the locals enjoy spending time on the beach and swimming in the ocean.
While there were small fish in the ocean. there were no large predators in the water.
The city of To'Tan stretched from several kilometers along the beach and into the desert. The population of To'Tan was around two hundred thousand people. To'Tan was considered a large city for Rustibar.
The city To'Tan was made up of mostly small buildings that stretched across the coast and inland for several kilometers.
The people of To'Tan used large machines to retrieve clean water from under the ground. This allowed the inhabitants of the area to create a tropical oasis of city that bordered an ocean of salt water. Though, the salt water of the ocean was not connected the underground clean water of aquifer which the city pulled its drinking water from.
The coastal desert nearby was a mix of sand and dirt. With the clean water and irrigation, the allowed for the dirt to be used to vegetation and crops. With trees and bushes also planned.
So, instead of barren sand dunes, there was thriving city, with sections right outside of the city being partitioned for farming areas.
Though, while there were some factories on Rustibar, the planets population still relied heavily on imports.
Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka arrived on To'Tan of Rustibar during the evening. Anakin landed their Jedi diplomatic ship at the local spaceport at To'Tan. The three of them arranged for a meeting with the representatives on all sides for the next morning.
The mission itself was a minor issue import tariffs set by the local government. The local industries and farming businesses had lobby the government for high tariffs to maintain the prices on their goods, while retail business on the planet wanted the tariffs lowers so the retail stores could lower their prices of goods and still maintain their current profit margin. This would hurt the industries and farming businesses.
While land on Rustibar was a desert and mountainous planet, the local population has been able to irrigate enough farm land to produce enough food to feed the population of the planet. The local population also caught enough fish to help supplement the food the population of the planet ate.
The local government was fairly honest to the point the local leadership realized they did not want to attract attention from the sides fighting the war. As such, while losing the tariffs would reduce their tax revenue, they were willing to lower the tariffs to prevent a Separatist political movement from forming on their planet.
The local government asked the Jedi to mediate to issue as a way to keep from making either to production or retail side their enemy.
The Jedi agreed to do so. Obiwan learned of the mission and he used his position on the Jedi High Council to have Anakin, Padme, and Ahsoka assigned to the mission. The other Jedi High Council members agreed that it would be a good idea to assign those three to the diplomatic mission.
The next morning after arriving on Rustibar, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Padme as Thor, helped a meeting with the industry, retail, and local government representatives in a meeting room in a government building in To'Tan.
Anakin and Ahsoka had brought their lightsabers, and Thor had brought Mjolnir and her sheathed Black Solace. While all these weapons were holstered or sheathed, but Mjolnir, Thor made sure to hold the hammer in a nonthreatening manner.
Due to the meetings being private, Thor has also removed her comlink earpiece from her right ear. She has turned off the comlink and put it in one of her pouches on her belt for the duration of her mission on Rustibar.
Anakin, Thor, and Ahsoka were able to settle the dispute with in a few hour ago of the meeting beginning. They were able to achieve this goal both each of them talking to a side and then they would compared notes. After which, they would discuss the matter with each other, and then they would offer a workable agreement.
Anakin handled talking to the industry representatives. Padme handled talking to the retail representatives. And Ahsoka handled talking to the government representatives.
The agreement they were able to work out was that the government would lower the tariffs on the items being imported that were no produce on the planet, with tariffs items produced or grown on Rustibar.
All sides agreed to the compromise.
Since Anakin, Thor, and Ahsoka completed their mission early, the three of them decided to take the rest of the day off. They planned to leave the planet the next morning. had to leave the next morning.
Anakin headed back to the Jedi diplomatic ship. Anakin wanted to do some maintenance on C3-PO. Meanwhile, R2-D2 was updating some of its star-charts from the datanets. As R2 did this, the droid also listened in on various communication channels for signs of nearby trouble in nearby star systems. Fortunately, there had been no problems so far.
It was the middle of a slightly hot, dry day. There was not a cloud in the sky.
While Anakin had decided to head to the Jedi diplomatic ship, Thor and Ahsoka went to one of the bazaar marketplaces in the city of To'Tan. Their intentions were to do a little shopping. If something caught their eye they would consider purchasing the item.
Given Obiwan had requested that Padme perform this mission as Thor, Padme had decided to remain Thor for the duration of their stay on the planet. Thor was in her armor and helmet, with the Black Solace sheathed in its scabbard and strapped to her back. She carried Mjolnir in her right hand at her right side.
Ahsoka had grown to be almost at tall and as beautiful as Padme in Padme's normal form.
Ahsoka was dressed in among other items, a white short sleeve shirt. Over the shirt was a closed sleeveless dark violet vest. She had on a dark red pair of shorts that went down to just above her knees. She had on white white socks. She had on matching light red belt and light red boots. Ahsoka had her lightsabers holstered on the sides of her belt. The clothing Ahsoka's wore was one of the sets of clothes she had for a warm climate.
Thor and Ahsoka walked, side by side, Ahsoka was to Thor's right side. They talked as they walked through the bazaar looking at various items. The items ranges from local clothing, to perfumes, to pieces of technology, to knickknacks.
As they made their way through the marketplace, they walked down the middle of the paved black street, while they passed by vendors selling various items under small tents on both sides of the road, next to the buildings.
The street Thor and Ahsoka were walking down was roughly ten meters wide and stretched half a kilometers. There were no sidewalks on the street. Though, the street has been shutdown for vehicle traffic so vendors could sell their goods and items to the pedestrian traffic.
The buildings were light brown and made from a concrete mix from the sand surrounding the city of To'Tan.
The vendors were all adults of various ages, genders and species, whom wore clothing appropriate for their gender and species.
The tents were of various colors and patterns.
Under some of the tents, vendors sat in chairs, with a table in front of each of these vendors and there were the items on the table in front of each vendor. Some vendors sat on various colored carpets, with each of these vendors setting their wares in front, on the carpet.
The area of the street Thor and Ahsoka were walking down was not very crowd. Though, there were enough people to justify the number of vendors selling their wares.
Those people whom recognized Thor or noticed the lightsabers holstered on Ahsoka's belt, did their best not to draw attention from Thor and Ahsoka, as Thor and Ahsoka casually made their way through the market.
While they walked, Ahsoka turned to look to her left side to look at the front slits of the helmet worn by her teacher for diplomacy and manners. Ahsoka asked, “Aren't you hot?”
Thor turned to look at Ahsoka. Thor said, “Thy feels the heat, but the heat does not make thy sweat. Nor, does the heat feel uncomfortable.”
Ahsoka replied, “Lucky you.”
Thor smiled under her helmet.
Ahsoka thought, 'I forgot you are not bothers by the elements in that form. You are so humble around your friends you barely talk ably some of the less obvious abilities Mjolnir gives you. Now to talk about something I have had own my mind for the last hour.'
Ahsoka requested, “Could we possibly go to the beach today?”
Thor stated, “Maybe later. Though, we might want to invite Anakin to join us.”
Ahsoka lips curled into a mischievous grin, as she said, “You just want to see him without his shirt on.”
Under her helmet, Thor lips curled into a mischievous grin, as she admitted, “Guilty as charged.”
Then, they passed by two teenage boys to their right, whom were having a political debate. Though, one that was more a discussion, than an argument, in galactic basic.
The two women came to a stop, as the turned to look at two teenage boys, whom stood near each other, and they were roughly five meters in front of Thor and Ahsoka to their right, near a vendor.
Of the rest of the people present, those passing by walked around Thor, Ahsoka, and the two teenage boys. The nearby vendors did their best to ignore the teenage boys.
The discord between the two teenage boys caused Thor and Ahsoka to drop their grins.
One was a green skin rodian. The other a blue skin twi'lek. Both of them were wearing casual clothing. The rodian wore a light red short sleeve shirt, blue shorts, and brown shoes. The twi'lek wore a light green short sleeve short, light brown shorts, and white shoes.
The two teenage body stood a meter from the small tent belonging to a tan skin male human adult vendor, whom was trying to ignore them. The vendor wore a light white short sleeve shirt, brown light cloth pants, and black shoes.
The two boys look at each other, as the twi'lek boy said, “I am just saying the Republic is not blameless in this matter.”
The rodian commented, “I will give you that. But, to say the Separatists can just leave. Think of all the deaths they have caused.”
The twi'lek stated, “If the Confederacy had been allowed to peacefully leave, then there would have not been all this needless death.”
Thor remained standing in place, as Ahsoka walked over to them them.
A second after Ahsoka came a stop to stand a meter from the two boys, Ahsoka asked, in a forceful tone of voice, “How can you defend the Separatists like that?”
Both teenage boys turned to look at Ahsoka.
The twi'lek boy inquired, “What is it to you?”
Ahsoka stated, with disgust in her tone of voice, “The Separatists are animals. I want to know why you support them.”
Thor was more disappointed, than shocked to hear what Ahsoka said. In addition, Thor saw surprise on both of the teenage boys' facial expressions toward Ahsoka's comment.
The rodian boy commented, “I would not go that far.”
Thor noticed Ahsoka's expression darker. From Thor's years of experience in getting to known Ahsoka, as both a student and a friend, she could read Ahsoka's facial expressions. Thor could tell that Ahsoka was about to become violent towards the two teenage boys.
Thor rushed over to the three teenagers, as she thought, with concern, 'I have to stop this before we have an incident. And I need to talk to Ahsoka, in private.'
When Thor reached the three teenagers, she used her left hand to grip Ahsoka's right forearm, just enough that Ahsoka could not break Thor's hold, without harming her friend's arm.
Ahsoka immediately looked at Thor, with Thor looking back at her.
Thor turned to the two teenage boys. Thor stated, “Thou apologizes for the interruption.”
Then, Thor used her grip on Ahsoka' right forearm to forced Ahsoka to follow her, as they walked away and into the a nearby alleyway, on that side of the street.
The two boys silently watch Thor and Ahsoka leave their sight.
While the two teenage boys did not recognize Ahsoka, they did recognize Thor.
The two boys continued look at the alleyway which Thor and Ahsoka entered.
The twi'lek boy asked, “Was that Thor?”
The rodian answered, “I believe so. And I think I saw that the togruta girl had a pair of lightsabers strapped to her belt.”
The twi'lek commented, “She might be a Jedi.”
The two teenage boys looked at each other.
The rodian suggested, “Let's get out of here.”
The twi'lek said, “We can go my family's house. It is nearby. And it is not as far as you family's home.”
The rodian, “Good idea.”
The two teenage boys turned and ran down the street in the direction Thor and Ahsoka had come from.
Meanwhile, the nearby human vendor whom had been forced to watch all this was happy that nothing came of the situation.
At that moment, inside the alleyway Thor had dragged Ahsoka into, Thor and Ahsoka passed by a few people, as Thor continued walking, with Ahsoka all but being dragged on her feet.
The alleyway was five meters wide, with the buildings of the alleyway being one or two stories high.
While being pulled on her right wrist by Thor, Ahsoka demanded, in an annoyed tone of voice, “Hey. What is the meaning of this?” Ahsoka thought, 'If I try to use the force to break her hold, I might accidentally hurt myself.'
Thor look in front, as she said, in an even tone of voice, “We will talk in a minute.”
They soon reached an intersection with another alleyway. Thor had them turn the corner to their left, onto another alleyway. The alleyway was five meters wide, as well.
A minute later, Thor found what she was looking for. An abandoned building, which was to her right.
Thor saw the doorway, which was missing the door.
Thor walked through doorway, with her dragging Ahsoka behind her.
As they walked further into the warehouse, Thor saw they were inside a moderately sized, empty warehouse. The warehouse a twenty meters wide, thirty meter long, and ten meters high. The warehouse had floor and walls were made of light brown concretely, like the surrounding buildings. The ceiling was made of steel rafters and steal roofing.
The skylights windows of the roof were mostly broken. Though, the skylights provided plenty of light for them to see with.
While Thor continued walking towards the center of the room, Thor took a quick look around to see there was no one else in the building.
Less than a minute later, Thor came to a stop in the center of the moderately sized warehouse.
Thor let go of Ahsoka's right forearm. She turned to face Ahsoka, whom was less than a meter from her.
Thor stated, “Thee was going to harm those two children.”
Ahsoka replied, “No. I was not.”
Thor responded, “Yes thee was. Thou could see it in your face. They are not hurting anyone. And their opinions both have merit. Realizing how one thinks is how one achieves victory.”
Ahsoka casually admitted, “Okay. Maybe I was going to rough them up a little bit.”
Ahsoka' casual response to her comment only more deeply troubled Thor. Thor asked, in a concerned tone of voice, “For what reason?”
Ahsoka raised her arms in front of her chest, as she looked at slits in front of Thor's helmet. Ahsoka stated, in a strong tone of voice, “Why. You ask why. You have been fighting this war longer than I have. You should know the answer. The answer is simple. The Republic is good. And the Separatists are evil. Therefore, those whom support the Separatists are evil.” Ahsoka dropped her arms back to her sides.
Thor responded, “Nothing is ever truly black and white. Thou has personally seen those of the Republic commit horrible actions. Even before the war. And thou knows some of those whom joined the Separatists did not have a choice. But, whom did so out of necessity. And many of the Separatists whom joined willingly are not evil. They are only misguided.”
Ahsoka replied, in a snide tone of voice, “I never took you for a Separatist sympathizer.”
In response to Ahsoka's painful insult, Thor let go of Mjolnir from her right hand and she dropped the hammer to the ground in shock at what her friend had just said to her. Ahsoka's insult had deeply hurt Thor emotionally.
Thor could not help herself, as she immediately felt so much repressed rage well up inside her. To the point she barely had any control, as she reached up with her right hand to grip Ahsoka's throat and raise Ahsoka up to Thor's eye level.
Though, Thor maintained enough control not to crush Ahsoka's throat.
Ahsoka was unable to breath, as she looked passed the slits of Thor's helmets, and into Thor's eyes. Ahsoka saw fury in her older friend's eyes. A fury that scared Ahsoka to the point, she could not react, as she was paralyzed by the terror of her friend.
Ahsoka realized that all it would take for Thor to kill her was to squeeze her throat just a little more tightly.
Thor looked at Ahsoka in her eyes. Thor stated, in a dangerously low tone of voice, while using normal wording to show how much control she had over herself, “You know nothing of what you speak of. In the hopes of killing me, the Separatist leaders have put more death marks on my head than likely any other individual in the known galaxy. I have had people die to protect my life. People I personally knew and cared for. I spent years looking over my shoulder, wondering if any one of the countless people I passed by was an assassin in hiding, whom was looking to cash in by taking my life.”
“And all the while, I did my best to uphold the ideals to the Republic. I worked to prevent this war from ever happening. Only to be driven off of Coruscant and into hiding. While all the work I had achieved was undone within the span of a single day.”
“To add insult to injury. If history ever records these events. I know I will be held responsible for starting this war.”
“To make matters worse, I am fighting a war that I originally opposed. Making me the worst hypocrite imaginable. But, in my heart, I know if I do not fight this war, everything I care for will end in tragedy.”
“Though, I realize I am not fighting this war. I am fighting a single person. A person pulling the strings of both the Republic and the Separatists. A person I do not know the identity of. A person that is beyond my reach. Even with all the power at my command.”
Thor continued, in a tired tone of voice, “And here you believe everything is so simple. That a person is either wholly good, or wholly evil, based solely on their affiliation. And all I can think of is where we went wrong to teach you to believe such falsehoods.”
Thor let go of Ahsoka, and Ahsoka dropped to her knees, gasping for air.
Thor looked down at Ahsoka, as she ordered, “Get out of my sight. Head back to the ship. I will join you shortly.”
Then, Thor opened her right hand and reached down towards Mjolnir. She mentally summoned the Mjolnir, but the hammer only slowly made it into her hand.
Thor immediately realized she had done something truly evil. Something she should not done. That she almost killed Ahsoka in anger. She almost murdered her friend and student. And the hammer, Mjolnir, was upset with her.
As Thor held Mjolnir by the shaft in her right hand, she felt how heavy the weapon was. The hammer was very heavy her in her hands. Though, she could still hold it, even while in her stronger form, she could barely do anything with the hammer.
Thor held up the hammer in front of her, and she gripped the hammer's shaft with her left hand to help steady the heaviness of the hammer.
Thor held Mjolnir to where the head of the hammer was directly in front of her helmet. Thor saw the side the hammer facing her was the side with the upside words on the side of the head of the hammer. This was the side with the circular head of the hammer to her right and the axe head to her left.
Thor looked at the hammer, as she slowly backed away from Ahsoka.
When Thor was roughly four meters away from Ahsoka, she dropped to her left knee, couching on her right knee as she used her gloved hands to reverse the position of the hammer to set Mjolnir onto the floor right in front of herself, laying the top of the head of it on the ground, with the shaft pointed upward.
The hammer did not damage the concrete was it was set on the floor.
Thor has position Mjolnir so the words on the head still faced her. The words are now right side. Thor looked at the words on the head of Mjolnir.
While Thor did not understand the lettering of the words, she did remember the translation C3-PO and later Loki had told her of what was stated on the hammer.
The words stated. Whomever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.
Thor let go of the hammer with her left hand. Thor used her right hand to hold the shaft, as she used her left hand to remove her helmet from her head.
Thor allowed her helmet to drop out of her left hand, to her left front side. The helmet hit the floor, with a clang. The helmet soon rolled to a stop near Thor's left knee.
Thor took her eyes away from the hammer, and she looked at the floor, between the hammer and herself. Thor placed her left hand over her eyes, as she began to cry.
Thor was more angry and upset at herself than anyone else.
Though, this was a private moment for Thor. And as such, she did not allow her emotions to effect the weather outside. She did not want to risk anyone else disturbing her.
Nearby, while Ahsoka had finally gotten her breath back, she had moved a crouching position.
Ahsoka was upset at what had just happened. Still, she had heard every single word Thor had told her. She was upset with Thor. Though, she understood what Thor had said.
When Ahsoka looked over a Thor, she saw that Thor has become an emotion wreck. Ahsoka's feelings for Thor turned to concern, as she realized that she had said something that had truly hurt her good friend, Padme.
Ahsoka asked, in a concerned tone of voice, “Thor?...” Ahsoka found it slightly hurt to speak, but she did not care about herself at the moment. Instead, she cared about the welfare of Padme.
Thor did not turn to look at Ahsoka, as she quietly said, “Get out of here.”
Ahsoka asked again, in a more concerned tone of voice, “Padme?...”
Thor did not look up, as she yelled, “Get out of here!”
Ahsoka immediately realized she should leave. She jumped to her feet. She towards the doorway Thor and herself had used to enter the warehouse. Then, Ahsoka ran out of the building, leaving a sobbing Goddess of Thunder in her wake. The teenage padawan did as Thor told her to do. She headed back to the Jedi Diplomatic ship. Though, Ahsoka was not sure if she would talk with Anakin over what happened. But, she was sure Padme would talk to Anakin over the matter.
While Ahsoka had left, Thor did not bother to change back to Padme. She really did not care what form she was at the moment.
Instead, Thor spent the next half an hour thinking over what she had just done. And almost had done. How her life had reached the point where she was not only willing to kill a friend. But, a friend whom was only a child in so many ways.
By then, Thor had calmed down.
Thor has long since let go of Mjolnir.
Thor used her hands to picked up her helmet and she put it over her head. Thor made sure the slits were properly positioned over her face so she could see out of the helmet.
Next, she fully gripped Mjolnir's shaft with both her gloved hands. Then, she picked up the hammer, as she stood up.
Thor noticed that the hammer was no longer heavy in her hands. But, it was still slightly heavier than it had been before Ahsoka had so fiercely angered her.
Thor realized that Mjolnir was maintaining a slightly increased weight in her hands as a reminder that she needed to remain in control of herself.
No longer did Mjolnir feel like it was a light as a feather in Thor's hands. Instead, the hammer felt like what a metal weapon of its size should weigh. Though, with her super-strength, this was not much of a problem. But, the weight was noticeable. And Thor realized that when she was in her normal form as Padme, she would still be able to carry the weapon. Though, in her normal form the weight of Mjolnir would be a burden if she tried to wield the hammer.
Thor left go of the hammer with her left hand. She held the hammer in her right hand, with the hammer at her right side.
Thor turned and she walked out of the building from the way she came into the warehouse.
When Thor reaching the outside, in an alleyway, she quickly got her bearings. Once she figured out which way it was to the spaceport where the Jedi Diplomatic ship was located, she began walking towards the spaceport.
Thor could fly. But, Thor did not want to create a scene. And the spaceport only a few kilometers away. She would walk the distance without difficulties. Beside which, she had a lot to think about.
Roughly an hour later, Thor made it to the spaceport. Once as the spaceport, she quickly reached the Jedi Diplomatic ship.
Thor was able to slip inside the ship, and to her personal quarters, before Anakin and Ahsoka could confront her about what had happened earlier that day.
At the moment, all Thor wanted to go was go to her personal quarters and rest. While she thought about her life, and how she could make up for what she done to Ahsoka.
Later that evening, in the Jedi Diplomatic ship, Padme had changed back to her normal form. She wore casual clothing, which was among other items, a blue short sleeve shirt, a light red long skirt that went down her ankles, and red slippers.
Padme had finally decided to come out of her room.
Padme had left Mjolnir in her quarters. Though, beforehand she did lift Mjolnir in her normal form. She found she had both been correct in her guess on Mjolnir's weight, and that she was disappointed with herself. Both due the actions she had taken against Ahsoka, and Mjolnir intentional weight increase being a reminder of what she had done.
Padme walked down the hallway, towards the ship's pantry and kitchen area to get something to eat.
When Padme reached the kitchen area, she came to a stop. Across room, standing by the refrigerator, she saw Anakin standing, with him looking at her.
Anakin was wearing a white short sleeve button up shirt, brown pants, black belt, and brown boots. His lightsaber was holstered on the left side of his belt.
Padme admitted, “I was hoping not to have this conversation so soon.”
Anakin said, “I could sensed when Ahsoka, and later you, returned to the ship. When Ahsoka arrived, I could tell something was wrong. When I confronted her, she would not tell me what happened. Her voice was slightly hoarse. I asked where you were. She said you would return in a little while. She then left my sight. When you came, I sensed that you did not want to be disturbed. I did not need the force to realized that something happened between the two of you. I wanted to give you both a few hours to calm down.”
Padme commented, in grateful tone of voice, “I appreciate that.”
Anakin stated, “Though, after I finished with my maintenance on C3-PO, I decided to talk with Ahsoka. We finished our discussion twenty minutes ago. She told me the basics of happened. But, I want to hear your side on this matter.”
Padme stated, in a firm tone of voice, “Not much to say. I will not make excuses. I lost control. I own what happened. And I am too tired to argue over the matter.”
Padme continued, in a more serious tone of voice, “But, we need to do something about Ahsoka. In the market, we ran across two boys were having a conversation about the war. One was supporting the Republic. The other Separatists. But, it was more of a casual debate than hard political stances. Ahsoka was about to hurt one, or both of the boys, for not taking a complete stand against the Separatists. I had to physically pull her away and find someplace private to talk with her about the matter.”
“Unfortunately, when we found some place private to talk. She insulted me. She called me a Separatist sympathizer. And though that is no excuse, her comment hit a raw nerve, and hurt me deeply me to the point I snapped. While I was able to stop myself from permanently crippling her. Or, even kill her. I wish I could take that all back.”
“Still, Ahsoka took any support about the Separatists as an act of evil. A person whom views things in absolutes cannot function in society. Ahsoka is beginning to see things in absolutes. She is starting to develop such drastic black and white views on morality that she may eventually snap. Even that happens a lot of innocent people may be hurt, or even killed by her actions.”
Anakin was silent for a few seconds. He thought, 'This must be what Obiwan thought, when I told him what happened to my mother. And how I killed those sand people.'
Anakin stated, “You are right. And I have only myself to blame. In teaching her, I focused on the war and techniques. I did not focus on the morality of the situation. A Jedi is suppose to be compassionate. But, I did not teach her how to accept compassion, and how to show compassion.”
Padme said, “It is not too late.”
Anakin agreed, “No. It is not. She is a good kid. She is my student, and a good friend. And in some ways I view her as a daughter. In a similar way I view Obiwan as a father.”
Padme said, “I understand. I have similar feelings when is comes to Ahsoka as a daughter. And I think of Obiwan as an uncle.”
Anakin responded, “I realize this.”
Padme commented, “Ahsoka is really blossoming into a young woman...” She continued, in a slightly tired tone of voice, “And we are all getting older.”
Anakin replied, “I know. Ahsoka is practically an adult.”
Padme pointed out, “Actually, togrutas age more slowly than humans. She has a few more years before she is reaches adulthood.”
Anakin stated, “That could be seen as a good thing.”
Padme commented, “True. Also, Mjolnir is not happy with me. It has become a bit heavier. Not enough to effect me in my stronger form. But, I tried to hold it in my normal form a few minutes ago. And Mjolnir is now too heavy for me to wield in my normal form.”
Anakin stated, “I am not surprised. There is not much we can do about that. Though, for right now you can use the Black Solace when you are sparring in your normal form.”
Padme agreed, “That will work.”
Anakin said, in a reassuring manner, “If Mjolnir is like a person. Chances are it will eventually calm down and forgive you.”
Padme replied, “I hope so.” Padme stated, in a sober tone of voice, “You know next week is the six year anniversary of when this war started. When I got Mjolnir on Geonosis. When we became soldiers.”
Anakin admitted, “I did not realize it has been that long.”
Padme said, “Yes. And we have been fighting in this war every since. The last two years have been a stalemate with neither side really gaining, or losing to the other.” She continued, in a softer tone of voice, “The scary part is that it does not feel like it has been six years.”
Anakin commented, “Yes. Time can get away from us, if we are not careful.”
Padme sadly stated, “We have gotten nowhere in our relationship. If we still consider this a relationship?”
Anakin firmly responded, “I do. And I can sense that you do, as well. But, life can be what happens when one is making other plans. And we both have a war to fight on many fronts.”
Padme asked, “Is that life can be comment an old Jedi proverb?”
Anakin responded, “No. I heard the quote from Loki, when she was giving a speech being broadcast across the galaxy. That part of her speech focused on treating people with kindness. Even though the speech was clearly slanted for the Separatists, it was a surprisingly well made and fair speech concerning the situation on how the war has created so many refugees.”
Padme said, “At least with the Neutrality Alliance of Planets, there is still a place where war refugees can flee to.”
Anakin replied, “True.”
Padme stated, “And while we fight on opposing sides, I will admit that woman seems to be as wise as she is insane.”
Anakin commented, “Senility and wisdom seem to go hand in hand.”
Padme agreed, “That is true. I am surprised that you were not upset when you found out about my working behind the scene to stop the war. Even if it is through a peace treaty, with the Separatists being allowed to coexist along side of the Galactic Republic.”
Anakin stated, “At this point, I would like the war to end just as much as anyone.”
Padme gave Anakin a weak smile. Padme said, “I am glad we agree on that. Still, we do need to work on having some private time to be together.”
Anakin stated, “I know. We will figure out a way to do so, without the others finding out.”
Padme dropped her smile. Padme pointed out, “But, the question is how?”
Anakin said, “We will think on it. And later, we will privately talk about it.” Anakin continued, in a concerning tone of voice, “Still, we have to focus on the present. What is done, is done. At least we can learn from this. Tomorrow, I will start teaching Ahsoka on ethics and morality. But, for right now. You need to speak to Ahsoka. And you need to settle this matter. Letting this fester will not help anyone.”
Padme asked, “You're right. Though, what are you going to do?”
Anakin answered, “Contact Obiwan and ask him how he did it.”
Padme questioned, “Did what?”
Anakin answered, “Raised me without going mad?”
Padme held back a giggled, as she smiled. She complimented, “That is very mature of you.”
Anakin responded, “Thank you. Now, got talk to Ahsoka. She is in her quarters.”
Padme replied, “I will.” Padme turned around headed for Ahsoka's personal quarters.
After Padme left the room, Anakin headed for his own personal quarters.
Anakin had left C3-PO in a chair, powered down, in his quarters.
Meanwhile, R2 was still in the cockpit. R2 had already finished updating its star-charts. R2 was still monitoring communication channels for any signs of trouble in nearby star systems. Fortunately, so far R2 has not found any trouble.
A minute later, Padme reached the hallway door connected to Ahsoka's personal quarters.
Padme stopped and she faced the door. She used her right hand to gently knock on the door Ahsoka's room.
A few seconds later, the door slid open with Ahsoka standing across the doorway from Padme.
Ahsoka and Padme looked at each other.
Padme calmly asked, “Can we talk?”
Ahsoka said, with her voice being slightly hoarse, “Yes. I guess so.”
Padme said, in a sober tone of voice, “Words were said. Actions were taken. What I am trying to say is I apologize.”
Ahsoka calmly responded, “I didn't know you had it that hard.”
Padme did not expect Ahsoka to respond in this manner. She remained silent, as she allowed Ahsoka to continue her comment.
Ahsoka said, “While I knew you were a Senator. And you were once Queen of a world. I did not know you had that hard of a life. That you were under such threats, That you have lost people you cared for.”
Padme commented, “Just because one lives in the upper castes of society does not mean that their life is easier.”
Ahsoka replied, “Isn't that the truth. And I apologize for what I said. It was uncalled for.”
Padme said, “We need to learn from what we did and move on.”
Ahsoka agreed, “True.”
Padme asked, with concern in her voice, “How is your throat?”
Ahsoka answered, “It hurts when I talk. I checked with the ship's medical droid. I should be fine in a few days.”
Padme replied, with relief in her tone of voice, “Thank goodness.”
Ahsoka said, “I hope you are not annoyed I told Master Skywalker what happened.”
Padme stated, “No. I am not. I expected you to do so.”
Ahsoka asked, “What was his response?”
Padme answered, “His response was surprisingly mature.”
Ahsoka questioned, “Him?... Being the voice of reason between the three of us?”
Padme commented, “Life is full of surprises.”
Ahsoka gave Padme a weak smile. Ahsoka stated, “Yes. But, that way it never gets boring.”
Padme returned Ahsoka's smile.
The two women continued their conversation for a few minutes, until Ahsoka decided to head back to her quarters, and Padme headed back to the kitchen area to get something to eat and drink.
Meanwhile, Anakin had reached his personal quarters. He sat in a armchair, at a desk, as he used a holo-communicator built into the desk to contact Obiwan.
Anakin used the encrypted data channels that he had Obiwan had set up. While the communication would be audio only for both sides, if Obiwan was near his starfighter, or his quarters on a Jedi or Republic ship. Obiwan should be alerted to the call and answer the call within a few seconds.
As Anakin finished patching into the communication, the holo-monitor began to ring.
Anakin thought, 'I hope Obiwan is already finished his negotiating at the meeting he went to on Grandine for today. He gave me the basics. And I checked the time different between the two planets we are on. It should be early evening in the Hat'cho.'
A few seconds later, the ringing stopped, and Anakin heard Obiwan's voice say, “Hello.”
Anakin stated, “Hello. It's me.”
Obiwan recognized Anakins' voice. He replied, “Hi Anakin.”
Anakin asked, “Hello Obiwan. So, how has your trip been?”
Obiwan responded, “Everything seems to be doing fine. I was able to convince all parties to a basic agreement that will work for the moment. You?”
Anakin said, “The mission went fine. Everything is okay for the moment.”
Obiwan asked, “So, why did you call?”
Anakin admitted, “Obiwan, I have come to realize that I have shortcomings in my teaching methods. And I wish for your counsel on these matters.”
Obiwan could tell something was wrong. He firmly inquired, “What is the matter?”
Anakin asked, “Obiwan. How did you take a wildchild out of the desert and teach him disciple enough to understand right from wrong.”
Obiwan chuckled a little. After Obiwan calmed down, he said, in a casual tone of voice, “Oh. Is that all. You weren't that bad.”
Anakin stated, “I had my moments.”
Obiwan guessed, “Yes. You did. And I can guess you need advice on dealing with Ahsoka, on matters outside of combat?”
Anakin replied, “Yes.”
Obiwan inquired, “Why don't you talk to Padme about this? She likely has more experience in such matters.”
Anakin said, “I thought of that. But, for right now I wanted to know your thoughts on the matter.”
Obiwan replied, “Okay. I will tell you what I know.”
Obiwan began giving Anakin advice on being a mentor and segregate parent. By the time Obiwan was through, Anakin felt he had a firm grasp on what he needed to know to accomplish the task before him, in helping to raise Ahsoka to be an emotionally mature, thoughtful adult.
The next morning, after receiving take off clearance from the local spaceport control, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Padme, were in the Jedi diplomatic ship, as Anakin flew them into space.
Soon, the trio, and their droids, jumped to hyperspace, and off to their next adventure.
On the same day Anakin, Ahsoka, and Padme had left coastal city of To'Tan, on the northern Mid-Rim world of Rustibar, Loki's personal passenger ship was in hyperspace. Loki's ship was in the northeastern part of the Outer Rim, which was held by the Confederacy. Loki's ship was heading to its next destination.
Though, Loki Laufeyson dealing with her own problems.
As the two human pilots in the cockpit, John and Michael, oversaw the controls of the ship, Loki was sitting in comfortable cushioned high-back armchair, in the living area of the ship. Loki was wearing some casual clothing, which among other items was a green loose short sleeve shirt, green loose pants with a brown sash on the waste, and green slippers.
In front of Loki, on a small circular table, was a holo-monitor, with a small hologram of a humanoid Siniteen man, whom wore fine clothing fitting his station. The hologram of the man faced Loki.
The man was Bec Lawise. He as the former leader of the Confederate Parliament Leader, and he was the current Head of State of the Separatist Council.
The Head of State was the chairman of the Separatist Council, head of the Parliament of the Confederacy, and leader of the Confederate military.
While the Head of State of the Confederacy of Independent System was similar to the Supreme Chancellor's position of the Galactic Republic. Unlike the Galactic Republic, which had one chamber of government, with the Chancellor and the inner circle of his Administration, the Confederacy had two chambers of government.
Those chambers being the Separatist Council and the Confederate Parliament.
The Separatist Council was the ruling body of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Separatist Council governed over the Confederate Parliament. The Separatist Council dealt with the military issues of the Confederacy, while the Confederate Parliament dealt with the budgetary and civilian issues of the Confederacy.
This divide also deal with foreign affairs, where the Confederate Parliament dealt with civilian trade issues, while the Separatist Council dealt with military and border defense issues.
The Head of State of the Confederacy oversaw both chambers of government.
Though, the Head of State has to sign or veto any measure passed by either the Separatist Council or the Confederate Parliament.
The Confederate Parliament oversaw judicial appointments and civilian court issues at the galactic level of jurisdiction. The galactic level being above planetary and system government, at the level of the jurisdiction of the Confederacy
The Separatist Council handled military court issues and judicial appointments.
When it came issues of government. While bureaucrats, security officers, and judges could be fired by anyone above said position of rank in government. A member of Confederate Parliament or the Separatist Council first has to be suspected of a serious crime.
The Parliament regulated itself and could impeach a member with a trial and two-thirds vote.
For the members of the Separatist Council, including the Head of State, the member first had to be unanimously voted against for impeachment by the rest of the Separatist Council. Then, there would be trial in the Confederate Parliament which required a two-thirds vote to find the accused guilty and expel that person from their position in government.
Though, being expelled from either the Separatist Council or the Confederate Parliament did not carry a punished outside of being forced from office.
That required a another trial in the Confederacy civilian court system at the galactic level of Confederate jurisdiction. And it was known that judges of the galactic level of jurisdiction claimed to be impartial, but every galactic level judge in the Confederacy remembered it was the Confederate government whom voted for them to have their jobs and authority.
The Parliament Leader in the Confederate Parliament acts in a similar role as the Lord Speaker, also known as the Vice Chair, of the Galactic Senate. That being the Parliament Leader is the second most powerful position in the Confederate Parliament, like the Lord Speaker is the second most powerful position within the Galactic Senate of the Galactic Republic.
While Bec Lawise was the official face of the leadership of the Confederate government, Loki control the Confederate government from the shadows.
After Loki took over the Confederacy, sent Dooku into exile, executed the previous members of the Separatist Council members, she became the secret ruler of the Separatists, with her clandestinely pulling the strings of both the Separatist Council and the Confederacte Parliament.
While Loki killed the Separatist Council in secretly, on a planet. With her later disposing of the bodies. The official story was that the Separatist Council were killed in a tragic hyperspace accident with transport they were secretly meeting on. This story claimed that Dooku was with the Separatist Council when the accident happened. Hyperspace accidents still happened and such accidents left no evidence.
Though, this story was kept quiet outside of the Confederate Parliament.
With the Separatist Council gone, including the Head of State, it fell to the Confederate Parliament to replace the Separatist Council, started with the Head of State. Once the Head of State was confirmed by the Parliament, the Head of State would nominate the rest of the Separatist Council, with each appointment being separately voted on.
Loki was behind the Confederate Parliament appointed Bec Lawise as the Head of State. Due to Bec Lawise previous position of leader of the Parliament, his support for Head of State in the Parliament was unanimous. All of the Parliament representatives voted for Bec Lawise to be the Head of State.
The members of Parliament felt what they would have better control of the Confederacy with Bec Lawise as the new Head of State. And to degree, Loki allowed the Confederate Parliament to have a greater say in the direction of the Confederacy.
After which, Bec Lawise nominated the members of the new Separatist Council. Loki and Bec secretly worked out who would be on the council. Some of these members were secretly picked out by Loki. Some of the members were genuinely picked out by Bec. Many of these appoints to the Council were to help shore up support by members the Confederacy. Though, Loki and Bec made sure none of the new council members would have power unless they both deemed them worthy of having power.
They had not problems with the Confederate Parliament approving their nominations.
For the most power, Bec let Loki handle the war, while Bec handled the internal matters. Which both of them keeping in regular contact to make sure the Confederate government and military ran smoothly.
Loki had just called Bec for an update on the Separatist Council and Confederate Parliament. This was a regular scheduled call that Loki made to Bec, to see how things were doing within the Confederate government. The communication was over an encrypted channel that was regulated to high level Confederate government and military officials.
Loki said, “Hello Head of State Lawise.”
Bec replied, “Hello Senior Adviser Laufeyson.”
Loki calmly stated, “While I am very much aware of the war-front.” She thought, 'Considering, I am overseeing much of the war.' She continued, “Is there anything on the political end of the Confederacy that requires my attention?”
Bec answered, “Yes. There is. We are having problems from one of the representatives within the Parliament.”
Loki commented, “I would not think that would be to much of a problem for you.”
Bec admitted, “Normally. No. But, the person behind this is Representative Mina Bonteri of Onderon. And while her loyalty to the Confederacy is without question. Her views on the directions we should take are concerning.”
Loki inquired, “How so?”
Bec stated, “She wants to attempt to negotiate a peace treaty with the Republic.”
Loki commented, “While that is a noble goal, I believe that goal is unattainable at this time.”
Bec responded, “I agree. If I believed that there was a chance for a treaty which would hold, I would not be against her efforts. Unfortunately, that is not the case.”
Loki said, “More's the pity. I believe there are other complications.”
Bec stated, “Yes. In that Representative Bonteri has able to convince a large number of other representatives and Confederacy planetary governments to sign a petition that they will stop all support for the war effort if the Confederacy does not open up a dialogue for peace negotiations with the Galactic Republic.”
Loki commented, “We are not going to use this list against them.” She thought, 'I am not going to be like Palpatine and the petition of 2000 in the original timeline. Where by, after he became Emperor, he used that list to purge the Senate of those whom disagreed with him. Those of the Confederacy should be able to speak their mind. Petitions are a peaceful way to do so.'
Bec firmly said, “Of course not. I have friends whom signed that petition, as well.”
Loki asked, “Good. Now, what does Parliament Leader Voe Atell have to say about this?”
Bec answered, “I already talked to her. While Leader Atell is against peace negotiations, she has tried to keep the manner civil. But, Leader Atell informed me that she cannot hold Representative Bonteri for much longer. Though, she was able to convince Representative Bonteri to hold off her resolute for a standard week.”
Loki responded, “That is good. That gives us time. I will personally handle this matter.”
Bec replied, “I am happy to hear that.”
Loki inquired, “Are you planning to directly involved yourself in this situation?”
Bec answered, “I would hope now. I believe my presence would weaken Leader Atell's authority.”
Loki questioned, “Where are you located at the moment?”
Bec stated, “I am currently not on Raxus Secundus. I am overseeing the building of a ship yard at a secure location. I cannot tell you over an communication. Even an encrypted communication.”
Loki said, “I understand. I will handle this matter quietly”
Bec replied, “This is what I was hoping you would do.”
Loki requested, “Head of State Lawise, keep me in the loop, and your good fortunes will continue.”
Bec said, “Of course, Senior Adviser Laufeyson.”
Loki leaned up from her armchair and she used her right hand to press a button on the holo-monitor to turn off the encrypted communication.
Loki leaned back in her armchair, as she thought, 'Peace with the Republic... Not with Palpatine at the helm. Asking for peace from him is like sticking one's hand into a pit snakes. Same results. You get bit and the poison may kill you.'
'So, the Senator of Onderon, Mina Bonteri is finally creating a fuss. Why am I not surprised?... I was expecting this. But, not this soon.'
'Now, I have to stop all the projects I have going so I can take of this. Like a mother having to take care of her immature children. But, I will do it because that is what a leader should do. And there is no one else whom can handle the job.'
'When I reshuffled the Separatist government, after I killed the first Separatist Council, I went to a lot of trouble to keep a lot of the Separatists happy. Favors were exchanged. And I placed key people in certain jobs I knew they could handle, in a manner that would go in the direction I desired.'
'I have also worked behind the scenes to keep the corruption, backstabbing, and assassinations between the government members, their planetary governments, and system governments to a minimum.'
'Bec has been one of my greatest successes. I had him replace the position Dooku held as Head of State of the Confederacy. And he has done well. He oversees the Separatist Council, but he understands delegating powers. He lets Parliament run the day to day operations of the Confederacy. Also, he lets the generals and admirals run the war.'
'Bec knows I put him in his position. For that and the good work I have done for the Confederacy, he is loyal to me. He is competent leader, he believes in the ideals of the Confederacy, and he is not power hungry. He is exactly the person I want as the Head of State of the Confederacy.'
'Meanwhile, after I arranged for official title within the Confederate government to be Senior Adviser of the Separatist Council. This allows me to have a voice in government without it becoming an issue. Also, I hold the rank of High General within the Confederate military. Technically, Bec could overrule my orders for the military, but he knows better than to do so.'
'Except for Bec and a few other government officials within the Confederacy, most people within the Confederate government refer to me as Lady Laufeyson. It took a while to convince people to do so. But, that is the title I prefer to be called.'
'After having Bec promoted from the Parliament Leader to Head of State, I needed someone to take his place as the Parliament Leader. From the short list I had, Representative Voe Atell was the best choice.'
'Though, when I had Bec arrange for Representative Voe Atell to replace him as Parliament Leader, I knew she was young. But, she also believed in the Separatist cause. And she was against any peace treaty as long as the war went on. That would help keep the Parliament on the course I desire. She has not disappointed me, yet. The fact she was able to stall Mina for a week is proof of her skills. Though, even she and Bec have their limits. That is why I am going to handle this on my own.'
'Though, unlike Bec, Voe does not fully realize I was the one that arranged behind the scenes for her to become Parliament Leaders. As far as she was concerned, Bec and a few others helped her gain her position of authority. That way Bec would be able to more directly reign in Voe, because Voe would feel she owed Bec for her job. Still, everyone there knows I am important to the Confederacy. Though, most do not realize how important.'
'Most people only know me of my reputation of helping the Separatist cause, Separatist members and their families. More than a few of them owe me favors from those adventures.'
'But, a few suspect that I hold much authority in the Separatists movement.'
'Among many problems I solved, I helped deal with various problems dealing with the planet, Onderon, where Mina Bonteri is from. I put a lot of work, and I went to a lot of trouble in solving the Onderon mess. I do not want that work to go to pieces.'
'Politics is not just about substance, but symbolism.'
'While Onderon may not do much exporting, how Onderon helps in symbolizing the legitimacy and morale of the Confederacy is priceless.'
'Onderon is known for their fierce independence. Even while part of the Republic. They are the type of people that when they bucked the system, other groups would rally around them.'
'Also, the Jedi have a dirty history with Onderon. Every time the Jedi got involved with that planet, or the people of that planet, things go wrong for them in some way.'
'Given a lot of people do not care for the Jedi, this only adds to the mystique of the Onderonians.'
'Having the Onderonians fall out of favor with the Separatists would only cause problems for everyone. And it would damage the morale of our war effort against the Republic.'
'Because of this, when I solved the Onderon mess, I cut a deal between the previous king of Onderon, Sanjay Rash, and the deposed king, Ramsis Dendup.'
'This was one of the many treaties I brokered to strengthen the Separatists organization. It only aided our side, when I stopped rebellions on Separatists worlds, before the Republic could step in and exploit those situations for their side.'
'I made the offer to Sanjay and Ramsis. In exchange for offering Sanjay a place on the Separatist Council, he would relinquish his authority of the planet of Onderon, give a formal pardon for everyone involved, and Ramsis would take control of Onderon. Along with the Separatists offering labor droids and supplies to rebuild the city of Iziz. Which is really the only city on the planet. And the Separatists would recognize Ramsis' rule as legitimate.'
'In exchange, Ramsis would support of the Separatists.'
'Sanjay immediately took the deal. Why control one planet, when one can control many worlds. And Ramsis was not real happy with the deal, but he went along with agreement. Things have since calmed down on Onderon.'
'While Sanjay was a tyrant, he also supported the Separatists movement. So, I used that against him. He is too much of a corrupt fool to be allowed to have any real power. But, killing him would have caused problems'
'Sanjay did not know that I tricked him into joining the Separatist Council so I could have a better handle on him. He is now member of the Separatists Council. He thinks he has a lot more power, but I made sure Bec and the others council members secretly prevented him from having any real power and they only gave menial responsibilities on the council. And the fool believes otherwise. And everyone knows to let him to keep thinking that way.'
'Now, Mina. Dear sweet Mina. I regret not being able to save her husband... But, that is in the past. I need to focus on the present... If I kill her, that will only create a schism between the Separatists and Onderon, with her son Lux taking the charge in fighting to get Onderon to leave the Confederacy. But, if I also killed Lux, the schism would likely cause a full break with Ramsis using both deaths as an excuse to have Onderon withdraw from the Confederacy.'
'So, I will have to handle this delicately. Like I usually do to maintain control over the galaxy... Well, controlling parts of the galaxy. I really like saying that, and meaning it.'
'At least the capital planet of the Confederacy, Raxus Secundus is nice. The planet is on the northeastern part of the Outer Rim. The city of Raxus Central, where the Parliament government is located has gently rolling plains with forests scattered around it. I am so happy the capital was not located somewhere foolishly inhospitable. Such as Hoth or Mustifar. If that had happened, I would have immediately relocated the capital to somewhere nicer. One's capital should reflect one's nation in a positive light.'
'I have considered taking a vacation to Raxus Secundus, but I am just too much of a tropical island girl. Because tropical islands with cities on them reminds me of one of my nicer homes and groups of people I knew.'
'Since this is a formal visit, I cannot just teleport in. Questions would be asked if I did. I have to take this ship there. Though, Raxus Secundus is only a few days away from where I am at. And I can relax until then.'
Loki pushed a button on the right arm of her chair, which turned on the intercom system to the cockpit. She ordered, “Pilots. Set course for Raxus Secundus. The city of Raxus Central.”
In the cockpit, Loki's two human pilots, John and Michael, heard her orders.
Over the speaker built into the chair, John replied, in galactic basic, “Yes, ma'am. We will change course at the next hyper-route relay point. Which we should reach in around an hour.”
Loki said, “That will be fine.” Then, she pressed another button on the right arm of her chair to turn off the intercom.
Loki laid back in her chair and she relaxed, as she thought about how she was going to handle Mina, when she reached Raxus Secudus.
Roughly an hour later, Loki's ship was able to drop out of hyperspace, at a hyper-route relay point. John and Michael used the ship's navigation system to change course and plot a route to Raxus Secundus. After the course was laid in, they jumped the ship into hyperspace, towards the Confederacy capital world of the Raxus Secundus.
A few days later, Loki's passenger ship reached the planet of Raxus Secundus, on the Outer Rim.
The Raxus star system had one star. Though, the Raxus star system did have a few inhabited planets and moons.
While the planet was heavily guarded by a fleet of Confederate naval ships and defense satellites, the ships and defense satellites were on guard for a full scale Republic attack force. Due to the logistics of imported goods needing to constantly come onto the planet, security was lack for small ships such as Loki's passenger ship, as long as they identified themselves and had the proper security code.
Fortunately, Loki's pilots, John and Michael, identified their ship to the local authorities and they had the proper security codes. Therefore, they no problems gaining clearance to land on a spaceport in Raxus Central.
It was a warm, partly cloudy morning in the city of Raxus Central. There was a slight breeze in the air that gently blew passed through the city.
During that morning, Loki's ship landed on the spaceport of the city. The spaceport in which Loki's ship landed on was located on the southern edge of Raxus Central.
Due to Raxus Central being the center of the Confederate government, the city had a regulation that only government security vehicle were allowed to fly in the air. All other speeders had to stay at street level.
Spaceships coming to the city had to landed in a path that did not take them over the city. That was why the spaceports to the Raxus Central were located on the edge of the city.
Failure to obey these laws risked the violators being shot out of the sky by turbo-laser batteries. And if the violators survived, they faced heavy fines and five years in prison.
But, this regulation was a double-edged sword. Because anyone allowed to fly a speeder over the city would likely be an important government official. And being in the air made the people in the speeder an open target. As such, most politicians that preferred to fly their speeders at street level.
While law enforcement presence in the Raxus Central was not heavy outside of government building areas, crime was low for a city of its size, as such the politicians felt more safe traveling on the ground than in the air.
Raxus Central was a spirally circular shaped modern city that stretched out across the plains of Raxus Secundus. The center of the city was the location of the main government for the Confederacy. Among these buildings was the Parliament Building.
After Loki's ship fully landed at the local spaceport, the pilots kept the engines of the ship running, as the ramp to the main exit of the ship extended and lower onto the tarmac.
John and Michael were under orders to have the ship read to take off at any time, just in case there was trouble. The two men took shifts in the cockpit, while the other pilot rested, or handled other matters, such as fueling the ship and resupplying the ship.
As the ramp lowered, two four door, enclosed speeder vehicles, with tinted windows, drove across the spaceport to come to a stop near where the ramp of Loki's ship lowered to the ground.
The speeder vehicles came to a stop ten meters in front of the ramp. The vehicles were stopped in a row, with the right side of each vehicle facing Loki's ship.
The motors of the speeders were left running, as the front right door and both back doors of the second speeder vehicle opened. Also, the right door of the lead vehicle opened.
The driver in left front seat of each vehicle remained in place.
Three bodyguards got of the second vehicle and one bodyguard got out of the lead vehicle.
The bodyguards were not droids, but humans. Two men and a woman from the second vehicle. And a woman from the first vehicle.
All four adults were dressed in security uniforms. Each bodyguard had a blaster pistol holstered on the right of their belt, and an comlink earpiece in their left ear which was set to an encrypted channel the Confederacy security services used.
The three bodyguards in the second vehicle shut their doors. Next, they kept a vigil of the area. They were ready to act at the first sign of trouble.
Meanwhile, the woman bodyguard in the lead vehicle shut the front right door to the vehicle she had exited. Next, she took a few steps to walk over to the back right door of the lead vehicle. She opened the right back door and held the door open.
The person whom stepped out of the back of the lead vehicle, was a young, slender humanoid woman with green skin, red eyes, and small row of horns going along the sides of her bald head, above her ears.
The green skinned woman was Parliament Leader Voe Atell. She wore her Parliament gown over her clothing. The parliament gown was in three parts. The blue long sleeve gown which went down to her ankles, a brown belt around her waist, and sleeveless tabard over the gown and belt. The tabard went down the front to below the waist line. The tabard has brown color around the neck collar, white and brown borders on the edges of the tabard. White near the shoulder areas, which brown embroidery. Going down the middle part of the chest and stomach of the tabard was a red border with black background and gold symbols on the center.
When performing their government duties, this was the standard dress for Confederate Parliament members regardless of their gender.
This was in contrast with the Galactic Senate of the Republic, whose Senators wore various types of formal clothing, but the clothing was based on their age, gender, species and station.
Also, Voe wore blue slippers on her feet which matched her blue gown.
While the clothing was a little warm for the climate, it was tolerable to Voe.
Voe stood by the stood by the speeder door she had exited. Voe looked up at Loki's ship.
Meanwhile, the doors the ship exit slid open. Loki walked out, to stand at the top of the ramp. Loki was wearing some casual clothing, so as to not attract any unwanted attention. Loki's clothing included a green short sleeve shirt, brown pants, black belt, and black boots.
As Loki walked down the ramp, she looked around the area. She quickly spotted Voe and the bodyguards.
Loki made her way down the ramp at a casual pace, as the doors to her ship slide closed behind her.
While walking, Loki's attention turned the bodyguards, as she thought, 'One of the security measures I put in place was to put people as security, not droids. It is easier to remote control a droid than to infiltrate an organization with proper security screenings.'
By then, Loki had made it down the ramp and she was approaching Voe and the bodyguards.
When Loki reached five meters from Voe and the bodyguards, Voe looked at Loki, as she stated, “Lady Laufeyson. Thank you for agreeing to this meeting on short notice. When I heard you were coming, I wanted your input before I met with my allies in the Parliament on the matter.”
Loki looked at Voe, as she approached the Confederate Parliament Leader. Loki responded, “Parliament Leader Atell. I appreciate you contracting me, yesterday. I am more than willing to talk with you in person.”
Loki thought, 'You may not know how connected I am. But, you realize I do have some pull. And since Bec respects me, you respect me. I made sure my flight here was known to the officials of this spaceport a few hours ago. As I excepted, you have contacts in this spaceport whom alerted you of my arrival. You contacted me and hour ago, where we discussed the basics of what we wanted to talk about, and how we would arrange for this meeting. Such contacts are handy as an early warning on high profile arrivals to this planet.'
'And if you had no contacted me. I would have arranged a meeting with you by the end of the day. Because, I wanted to meet with you, before I discreetly talked with Mina.'
Voe said, “Unfortunately, my meeting with my allies within the government, in the Parliament Building, begins within half an hour. So, we will have to talk as we ride.”
Loki replied, “That will be fine.” She thought, 'I would have come earlier, if I could.' By then, Loki came to a stop two meters from Voe.
Voe said, “If you will follow me.”
Voe turned and got into the back of the lead vehicle. Voe moved over so Loki could get into the back steat which stretched the wide of the vehicle..
Once both women were inside, the female bodyguard holding the door gently closed the door. Then, the bodyguard walked over to open the door to the front right side of the vehicle. She got into the vehicle, and closed the door behind her.
Meanwhile, the three other bodyguards open their doors to the second vehicle. They got into the vehicle, and they closed the doors behind them.
Once everyone was inside, the lead vehicle hovered across the tarmac, towards a nearby gate, that lead to a road that went directly to the Parliament Building. With the second vehicle following close behind.
As the speeders approached, each driver sent a code to the sensors on the gate. The gate rolled open a few seconds before the lead vehicle reached the gate.
The two speeder vehicles passed through the door and onto the road. The drivers had coded to use the traffic lights to stop traffic, so the two vehicles did not have to stop.
A few seconds after exiting the spaceport, the gate in question rolled closed.
As the vehicles reached the road system and headed for the Parliament Building in the center of the city, inside the back seat of the lead vehicle, Loki turned to Voe. Loki saw Voe was looking back at her.
Loki stated, “Parliament Leader Atell. As I said in my communication, I will agree to mediate this matter on two conditions. This is done quietly and behind closed doors. I will not be mentioned, and I will not get any credit to these meetings.”
Loki mentally reflected, 'I do not want Galactic Senate, especially Palpatine, to realize how much control I have of the Separatists. While the local spaceport officials known I am here. With my magics, the spaceport computers list my ship under an alias. And I am not listed in their computers. No matter how many times they try to list my name as coming here today in their computers.'
Voe said, “That will not be a problem, Lady Laufeyson. I will handle things on my end.”
Loki thought, 'Now, to directly deal with this problem.' Loki inquired, “Where is Representative Bonteri? Presently?”
Voe answered, “The Parliament body is in recess today. Representative Bonteri is with her teenage son, Lux Bonteri. For security reasons, they felt they needed to move around a few times. Their present home is in the southern part of the city not far from here. To the west. Her homes is a two story building, at the corner of Dewback Drive and Corellian Lane.”
Loki thought, 'I do not need to. Nor, do I want to go to the Parliament Building. The less people that know I am here, the better.'
Loki requested, “Thank you. I would like to ask if you could stop this vehicle. I will find my own way to their home.”
Voe replied, “That will not be a problem.”
Voe turned to look at the front seats. Voe ordered, “Please stop the vehicle at the earliest convenience. Also inform those in the other speeder we will be stopping for a few moments.”
As the driver and bodyguard did as instructed, Voe turned back to look at Loki. Voe asked, “How will I know you have accomplish your mission?”
Loki said, “If I am able to accomplish my goal, Representative Bonteri will likely contact you, herself, with the offer to withdraw the petition in exchange for some sort of compromise.”
Voe questioned, “What type of compromise?”
Loki admitted, “I am not sure. I am still working on that. But, it will not be anywhere near as troublesome as formal negotiations for a peace treaty.”
Voe said, “I have faith in you.”
Loki replied, “Thank you.” Loki happily thought, 'I love it when people say that to me.'
Less then a minute later, the two vehicles came to a stop, with the nearby sidewalk being to the right side of the vehicles, on the road with light traffic. And there were very few people walking down the sidewalk the speeders were parked by, but this was normal for the time of day that area of the city.
Loki opened her own door, on the back right side of the lead vehicle. She got out of the speeder.
After Loki fully got out of the vehicle, while on the sidewalk, she walked around the door she opened and she gently closed the door behind her.
A few seconds later, Voe's two vehicles resumed heading towards the Parliament Building.
Meanwhile, Loki turned, as she began walking down the sidewalk, as she headed west, towards the southern part of the city, as she sought Mina's home.
Two hours later, it was later in the morning, as Loki made it to the proper corner of Dewback Drive and Corellian Lane.
Loki stood on the sidewalk by a large fence, which stretched around the two story building, which was Mina Bonteri's home. The nearest gate connected to the fence was several meters away.
The building was made with a red brick facade outlining dark wooden paneling. The room was made of light brown tiles. The fence was a three meter high and made of white concrete blocks, and the fense surrounding the yard of the home. The gates parts black railings which were attached to the fencing. The gates were over the driveways of the home. The gates opened by remote control and the gates were large enough for a speeder vehicle to pass by.
Even from Loki's vantage point, she could tell that there was a large yard between the fence. Also, she notice several cameras stationed from the top of the fence, looking out at the street.
Loki thought, 'Magic is such a useful tool. People and cameras will not see me, unless I want to be seen. Also, I can use magic to sense others, like the Jedi do the force. I do not sense anyone in the yard, except Lux. And Mina is inside her home. They do not even have any droids servants, nor bodyguards. I believe the best impression I can make towards both of them is to first speak to Lux. Then, I will politely ask him to lead me to Mina. Besides meeting Lux and Mina, I do not want a record of my being here.'
Loki walked over to stand by the the fence. Next, Loki jumped over the fense.
A few seconds later, Loki landed on her feet, in the yard of the home. The yard was mostly green grass with a few small green trees there were roughly four meters high.
Loki headed to where she sensed Lux at.
Loki calmly turned to her right, as she slowly walked around the yard, towards where Lux is.
When Loki turned the corner of the building, she saw Lux standing in the middle of the yard, with his back turned to her.
Loki came to a stop, as she looked at Lux. She saw that Lux was slender, teenage, human, boy, with short brown hair. He wore casual clothing, which was a brown short sleeve shirt, white pants, brown belt, and brown shoes.
To Lux's right side, was an easel, with canvas set on the easel.
From the angle Loki was at, she could see that Lux had a pen with black ink in his right hand. From the well drawn, though half done picture, Loki could see that Lux was drawing a simple pink flower in bloom, which was growing on the ground two meters from Lux. After finishing the outline of the picture, Lux would then paint the picture.
Loki thought, with admiration, 'Such a classic hobby of painting to appreciate and learn. Even in this high tech age the classic styles of art are not forgotten. And he has skill in his drawing. Now to introduce myself.'
Loki calmly walked out, to stand four meters behind where Lux was standing.
Loki calmly said, “Hello.”
Lux immediately turned around to look at Loki. He was slightly startled at seeing Loki.
Loki thought, 'I should have expected that he would be surprised by my sudden presence. I can handle this. With my reputation with the Separatists, this should not be a problem.'
Loki calmly asked, “Do you know who I am?”
Lux calmed down, as he stated, “Yes. You are Lady Laufeyson.”
Loki replied, “True. But, you can call me Loki.”
Lux asked, “Well... Loki. Why didn't you use the gate?”
Loki commented, “I would have to use the intercom. And I would prefer to maintain my anonymity. I am not here by accident. I know you are Lux Bonteri, and your mother is Representative Mina Bonteri. I have come to see your mother. Could you please take me to come meet with her.”
Lux replied, “Sure.”
Lux turned towards his easel. He set the pen in his right hand. Lux looked over at Loki. He said, “Follow me.” He turned and headed towards a nearby door into the home.
Loki followed a meter behind Lux.
When Lux eached the door, Loki saw the door was an old style door, with a knob.
Lux turned the knob, to show it was unlocked. And he gently pushed open the door.
Lux walked inside.
Loki followed and she gently shut the door behind her.
As Loki continued to follow Lux through the home, they walked through the kitchen area, a dinning area, and a hallway.
The windows in the home provided plenty of sunlight to see into the various room.
Loki found the interior of the home to have an upper class furnishings that she would expect from a high level government representative.
Less than half a minute later, they made it to the living area, which was on the ground floor of the home.
While Lux continued into the room, Loki stopped at the open doorway.
Loki looked at the around the room. She saw the living room was as well furnished as the rest of parts of the home she passed by.
Loki saw on the other side of the room, facing her, was Mina Bonteri. She was sitting in a cushioned high-back armchair. Mina was a slender, fair skin, middle-aged, human, woman. She was old enough to have a few gray hairs, in her otherwise short brown hair. She wore a short sleeve, dark violet color dress. The dress was not constrictive to Mina's body.
Also, Mina wore dark red slippers on her feet and a earring in the lope of each ear. The earrings matched. Each earring was a chrome metal chain that was a few centimeters long and ended in a flat two centimeter long, one centimeter wide chrome metal symbols. The two metal symbols were identical. There was a small chrome metal piece below each metal symbol. The small metal pieces were identical.
Loki noticed that Mina did not react to the arrival of Lux and herself. Also, Loki saw that in Mina's hands was a small datapad that she was reading.
Though, from Loki's vantage point, Loki could not tell what the datapad about. But, given the slight amusement on Mina's face, Loki guessed, as she thought, 'I believe she is reading a comedic novel.'
Lux soon came to a stop a meter in front of Mina. Lux calmly said, “Mother. There is someone to see you.”
Mina looked up at Lux. She turned to look at Loki. She looked back towards Lux. She said, “Thank you, Lux.”
Mina turned towards Loki. Mina went onto say, “You must be Lady Laufeyson.”
Loki responded, “Yes. I have come to speak with you, Representative Bonteri.”
While Mina continued to look at Loki, Mina moved her datapad to the top of a small table by the left side of her chair. Mina said, “Please come in.”
Though, Loki did not show expression on the outside. She felt concern, as she thought, 'You are far too calm for this situation. But, I do not want to be rude.'
Loki calmly walked over to stand by Lux, to Lux's left side, a meter from Mina.
Mina turned to Lux. She requested, “Lux. Could you give us some privacy. I believe Lady Laufeyson and I have some matters to discuss.”
Lux replied, “If you need me. I will be outside, painting.”
Lux turned around and he headed out of the room the way he had came.
Both women turned to look at Lux, as he left the room.
Once Lux was outside of the room, Loki turned to face Mina. Loki complimented, “Your son is a very polite young man.
Mina turned to look at Loki. Mina responded, “Yes. He is. And I am proud of him. I only wish his father was still with us, to see the man that he has become. Please, have a seat.”
Mina used her right hand to gesture towards towards another cushion high back armchair a meter to Mina's right side.
Loki turned to look at the chair. Loki walked over and sat down in the chair.
As Loki got comfortable, she looked over at Mina.
Mina looked at Loki. Mina stated, “Before we begin our discussion. I wish to know why did you not use the intercom at the gate? If you had done so, I would have received the call from inside this room. And I would have come to see you in, myself.”
Loki thought, 'She has me there.' Loki said, “Fair enough. I desire to have as little electronic records concerning my visit as possible.”
Mina said, “You are as modest as I had heard...”
Loki thought, 'Someone saying I am modest is not something I have usually hear in person, that is associated with my character. Though, I will take this as a compliment.'
Mina continued, “I can appreciate being discreet. Though, I believe not using the intercom of my home is being a little to cautious.”
Loki stated, “I mean no offense. But, in this game of galactic politics, there is no such thing as being too careful.”
Mina said, “No offense taken. I can appreciate needed security measures. I have moved my son and I a few times after coming to this planet. Though, as a Parliament representative, I do not have the luxury of anonymity that you can have. I can guess that you prefer to not let people know where you are, to keep them guessing, as a way to control the situation.”
Loki replied, “Yes. That is it. Exactly.” She thought, 'You are sharp. As sharp as I expect you to be. If I can convince you to see my point of view, you would make for a very useful ally. And after thinking on this matter for a few days, your statement confirms what I suspected.”
Loki stated, “Clearly there is more to your actions in this petition than you have allowed others to realize.”
Mina admitted, “Quiet correct. While the petition is genuine, I wanted to use this situation to flush you out and have you come to me.”
Loki thought, with mild interest, 'You played me. And I did not even realize it. That is a rarity. A rarity of skill I can respect. But, first we need to find out the reason.”
Loki asked, “Why did you do so?”
Mina stated, “You are not the only one with contacts within the Confederacy. I know you are the real power behind our nation. And from the way you act, in taking advantage of every situation before the events even arise shows that you are from the future. Or, at least a future. With you changing events from your knowledge of that future. That is how you took control of the Confederacy.”
Loki replied, “You are partly wrong.” Loki thought, 'If I admit to her being right, I fall into her trap. But, admitting to being partly wrong is not an admission of guilt.'
Mina calmly asked, “You are now planning to kill me? If so, leave my son out of this. And do not make it look like a suicide.”
Loki stated, “I have not intention of killing you. Anyone with a brain would eventually figure out what you just stated. But, for right now I have the advantage. We have the advantage. The only reason I came to talk with you is to convince you to rescind your petition and allow the war effort to continue.”
Mina pointed out, “I do not see why I should. This war is slowly turning the galaxy into a wasteland where only the dead reign.”
Loki though, 'That is not a bad line. Though, I loath to ask this next question. But, you are a politician. You have to have a price.'
Loki sighed. Loki asked, “What type of bribe is it going to take for you to rescind your petition?”
Mina calmly answered, “I want peace for my son and my people, within the continued existence of the Confederacy.”
Loki commented, with mild amusement in her tone of voice, “So, you hide the real agenda, in a fake agenda, within a real agenda. I am impressed.”
Mina smiled. Mina said, “Thank you.”
Loki calmly responded, “Peace is something that cannot be done at this time for very important reasons.” She thought, 'If I want to resolve this matter, I need to tell her at least the basics of what is going on. Besides, Lux is outside, we are the only two people in this home, and my magics will not allow any electronic recordings of this conversation.' Loki continued, “Do you know about Lord Sidious?”
Mina replied, “Sidious is a myth.”
Loki stated, “Sidious is very real. He has control of the Republic. And for a time he controlled the Confederacy through Dooku. The goal of this war was to allow him to take completely control of the galaxy. And if events had been allowed to play out as they have, the Confederacy would have already been crushed, and the Republic would become an empire, with Sidious as the emperor of this new empire.”
“Fortunately, I stepped in. I took control of the Confederacy from behind the scenes. I removed Sidious' influence from much of the playing field. Forcing Sidious to restructure his plans.”
Loki thought, 'I will leave out Mjolnir and Padme from my explanations. Padme's secrets are not mine to tell. I will also leave out that in the other timeline, you, Mina, would be dead by now. And your son's whereabouts would be unknown.'
Mina said, “If what you say is true, then everything we have fought for is a lie.”
Loki commented, “No. This heart of Confederacy is not a lie. What lead to the creation of the Confederacy is not a lie. The Republic government has become corrupt and complacent. With those in the Senate ignoring the needs of the peoples of many star systems. There would have eventually been a breakdown and secession movement within the Republic. It is that Sidious and Dooku took advantage of the situation, and they moved up the timetable compared to when events would have naturally played out.”
“The Confederacy needs to exist, as a counterbalance to the Republic. If we can attain peace between the Confederacy and Republic, this will force the Republic government to clean up their act, because the people will have an option to turn to if they do not like what the Republic is doing to them.”
Mina realized, as she said, “But, that can only happen after Sidious is dealt with.”
Loki responded, “Not to worry. I already have plans to deal with Sidious. Though, these plans are in the early stages. But, if I can play this out right, then Sidious will be dealt with in a manner that will only require a modicum of bloodshed. And once Sidious is out of the way, then we can have the peace you hope for and seek create. In a way that will not burn half the galaxy, and will prevent a new dark age for everyone.”
Mina commented, “I can understand what you are saying. But, I am not sure I can go along with this. Because I believe I have put myself in a political bind. Should I rescind the petition for peace, doing so would wreck my political career.”
Loki smiled. Loki stated, “Oh this is nothing. Let me tell you what you need to do. And how you can save face while declaring this a victory for your side. All I ask is that you do not associate my name to this matter.”
Mina said, “I would like to hear your suggestion.”
Loki explained what Mina needed to do and Mina agreed to Loki's plan and Loki's terms.
Soon they finished their conversation. After which, Loki quietly left the Bonteri home without disturbing Lux.
Meanwhile Mina contacted Voe Atell by encrypted holo-comm.
After Bonteri explained her offer, Voe agreed to the peace plan Bonteri presented.
The next day, the members of Parliament held a meeting in the Parliament Rotunda of the Parliament Building near the center of the city of Raxus Central.
The meeting has begun that morning, with it presently early afternoon.
While the Parliament Rotunda had much of the same technology as the rest of the galaxy. The ascetic style of the room was very old-fashioned. The room was shaped like a rectangular cube.
The room was wooden paneling on the walls and ceiling. The floor was titled with white and light brown patterns.
During the same the room was illuminated by sunlight from the windows on the outer walls of the room and from the skylights. During the night the ceiling lights illuminated the room.
The Parliament Rotunda had two floors. Upper floor encircled the lower floor. Both floors The lower floor was for parliament members only. While most of the upper floor was for parliament members. Though, a small part of the upper floor was partitioned for invited bureaucrats and guests to personally view the process of the Confederacy government, with the Representatives of the Confederacy conversing, debating, putting forward, and voting on various resolutions dealing with budgetary and internal matters of the Confederacy.
Instead of like the Senate Building Rotunda of Coruscant, this room had rows of pews encircling the room on both floors, instead of repulsorpods set up like a honeycomb.
Each floor had three rows of pews surrounding the room. Each row was set a little high than the row closer to the center of the room. Each pew was cushioned and covered in green cloth. Each pew was long enough for four people to comfortably sit on. The pews were set in rows of three. The was a space set between the pews on each column.
The space went up all three rows in the front of wooden steps that had green carpet going up the center of the small staircases. At the top of each set of steps was a brown wooden door leading out of the room. Each door slid open by pressing a button on a panel by said door.
There was enough space between the rows of pews to stand up and walk by those sitting down on the pews.
There was meter high brown wooden parapet on the lower row of the second level. There was similar meter high brown paneled partition on the lower level. Though, there were spaces set between the lower level partition which lined up with the spaces between the pews going up the rows, that lead to the center of the lower floor.
The center of the lower floor was open except for two elongated table set beside each other the middle of the lower floor. There was a space in the center of the room between the two tables.
The two elongated tables had built in holo-monitors, with multiple monitor in the center of the bottom floor. This allowed a number of representatives to offer holographic examples of their viewpoints at once.
There was another holo-monitor in the room located in the middle of the bottom level, in the center of a set of pews on one of the short ends of the room. This holo-monitor was to allow the Head of State to attend a Parliament meeting by holo-comm. Though, Head of State Lawise had no intention of attending the meeting, as a way to allow Parliament Leader Atell to handle the matter.
Though, earlier that morning, before the Parliament meeting, Parliament Leader Voe Atell had contacted Head of State Bec Lawise, by encrypted holo-comm, to tell Bec of the proposed bill. Voe has been informed by Bec that as Head of State he supported the bill and he would sign the bill. Also, Bec stated that the Separatist Council will not protest the bill becoming law.
Except for the Head of State, the entire membership of Parliament was present, either in person, or by holo-comm, with their holograms projected at their assigned places in the pews. Though, three quarters of the Parliament membership were attending in person.
Among those present was Parliament Leader Voe Atell and Representative Mina Bonteri.
Except for Voe Atell, all those present in the room were sitting in their seats among the pews.
The members of Parliament wear their proper Representative gowns and tabards for the meeting. The clothing being a blue gown, a brown belt and a tabard with insignias and symbols patterned on the tabard to symbolize the Confederacy they represented.
Parliament had a bill presented that morning. And after much debate that morning, stretching into the early afternoon, they had finally voted the bill into law.
At the moment Parliament Leader Voe Atell was preparing to give a speech that was to be broadcast across the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
While the Parliament meeting during the debate was held in private. Parliament Leader Voe Atell wished to give a public speech after the vote was concluded and the bill in question was passed into law.
Holo-cameras placed along the walls around the room were broadcasting the meeting to the rest of the galaxy at various angles. This was so the various peoples of the Confederacy would see the speech Voe was giving.
Parliament Leader Voe Atell was standing by one of the monitors attached to one of the elongated tables in the center of the room.
Parliament Leader Voe Atell spoke, “We of the Confederate Parliament are happy to announce that we have reached a consistences on an important matter. That matter being some within the Confederacy desiring to seek peace as a means to end this war. One of our Representatives, Mina Bonteri of Onderon has brought forward a unique compromise which all parties involved within the Confederate Parliament have agreed upon.”
Voe looked over at Mina, whom at the mention of her name stood in front of her assigned seat at a pew, in the bottom level, second row, near the center of the columns on the other side of the room.
Mina looked back at Voe, as she nodded once towards Voe in acknowledge Voe's statements.
Voe look around the room, as she continued, “In addition, Head of State Lawise and the Separatist Council have given their blessing in allowing us to pursue this plan. While we fight this war. We do not fight by choice, but for survival. In truth, we would gladly end the fighting, in exchange for peace with the Republic, which would respect our existence, and the sovereignty of the Confederacy we have worked so hard to create.”
“It is unfortunate that at this time we feel that Republic would not reciprocate our feelings. Though, that does not mean we should prevent Representatives within this room from seeking peace.”
“One of us alone may find progress in this endeavor, where we as a group have not.”
“Less than one hour ago, the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution to decree that any member of Parliament can send out political feelers, including personally going on a mission to talk with Republic officials, in the effort to bring peace and end this war. In exchange for the continued freedom, existence, and prosperity of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. “
“Though, this will be allowed as long as the representatives first present their plan to the Parliament leadership, and keep representatives the leadership appraised of their progress.”
“To those Representative whom seek peace under these conditions. And follow the rules we set forth on this matter. All I have to say is. Good luck.”
The rest of the Parliament members stood up from their seat and they gave Voe a standing ovation for her speech.
At that moment, in the air, south of Raxus Central, Loki's transport ship had just taken of from the Raxus Central spaceport.
While John and Michael, the two pilots in the cockpit of the ship guided the ship into orbit, in the living area of the ship, Loki was sitting in a comfortable armchair. Loki was looking at a holo-monitor on top of a small table in front of her chair.
On the holo-monitor was the holographic scene of the Parliament members standing as they clapped in response Voe Atell's speech.
Loki reached over and she turned off the holo-monitor. Loki leaned back in her chair, as she thought, 'Voe is doing a fine job on her end. This speech is clearly from her heart. I am proud of her. And from the looks up it, Mina and the rest of the Parliament are happy with this agreement, as well. Also, this is a win-win for the Confederacy. Those Republic communication channels that pick up this broadcast will allow the Republic to see that the Separatists do desire peace. But, that we feel that for there to be peace the Republic needs to respect our sovereignty.'
'Even Palpatine will not be able to fully censor such a message.'
'Now, to get back on track with my other projects. I have a schedule appointment in two days, which I intent to keep. This is another forum visit that will require me to come by ship. I have already informed my pilots of our next destination.'
Loki's ship soon reached orbit over Raxus Secundus. Once the ship clear the Confederate naval fleet in orbit over the planet, John and Michael had coordinates set in the navigation computer and they had Loki's ship jump to hyperspace, towards Loki's next destination.
Two days later, in the northeastern Expansion Region near the Outer Rim, in Separatist held space, Loki reached her meeting on time.
The meeting was on the flag ship of the Confederacy Armada. Though, the ship was no where near the front lines.
The ship was a subjugator class heavy cruiser. The most powerful battleship of its class. The name of the ship was the Malevolence. The heavy cruiser was over four point eight kilometers long.
After giving the proper security codes and receiving clearance from the officers of the Malevolence, Loki's passenger ship was allowed to dock in a hangar bay.
The hangar bay doors in question opened and Loki's ship was slowly flown into the bay.
Once Loki's ship had landed on the floor of the hangar bay, the bay doors close and the bay pressurized, Loki exited her ship from the main doors and ramp, with her walking onto the floor of the hangar, towards a door leading further into the heavy cruiser.
The outer doors to Loki's ship closed behind her.
While Loki's pilots oversaw her ship, Loki headed towards her destination within the ship.
As a high general, Loki's had ordered that this meeting be discreet. As such, no one met Loki at the hangar bay her ship had landed in.
Loki has been down the hallways of this ship several times. The meeting was scheduled. Like almost always with the individual she was going to be.
Loki even had an office on the ship and personal quarters assigned to the ship for those times she had to spend extended periods of time on the Malevolence. During those times, Loki had her two pilots take a vacation in another part of the galaxy when was controlled by the Confederacy.
The personnel and droids Loki passed by knew not leave her alone.
Soon after walking down several hallways and taking a few elevator rides, Loki made it to the doors she was looking for.
Loki put in the code on the numerical pad by the doors. The doors slid open and she walked inside.
Loki walked further into the large, dimly lit room, as the doors slid closed behind her.
Loki soon came to a stop on the other side of the room
A meter in front of Loki was large black desk. Behind the desk was a Kaleesh man sitting in a chair, whom was calmly looking at Loki.
The Kaleesh man wore a Confederacy officers naval uniform which was blue and not much different than a Republic naval uniform, save for the color of the uniform being blue instead of green or gray.
The Kaleesh species had had a humanoid shaped body.
The Kaleesh man was roughly one hundred and seventy centimeters tall. The Kaleesh made had a average build. He has orange skin and a bald head.
Also, the Kaleesh man wore a white bone mask over his face. Though, the mask did little to hide the man's pointed ears and the two horns which protruded down the sides of his jaw. Two smaller horned protruded at the very bottom of the jaw, between the larger horns. A brown leather strap and buckled wrapped around the back of the man's head to keep his mask in place.
The man calmly stated, in a masculine tone of voice, in galactic basic, “Right on time.”
Loki smiled, as she stated, “As always, General Grievous.”
Loki thought, 'While it is odd for Grievous to wear a bone mask, that is part of his alien heritage. And since it does not effect his performance as one of the major military leaders of the Confederacy army and navy, I do not say anything about his mask.'
'Still, after restoring his body back to perfect health, from the wreck it was, he has been a lot easier to deal with. He has been very pleasant and polite towards me. And he now has a very masculine and commanding voice.'
'While his body was healed, I have forbid Grievous from not being in any direct confrontations with the Republic, he has still lead the Separatist military from a distance. His strategic and tactical skills in the naval battle and military operations for the Separatists have improved greatly since I gave him a body like his original one.'
'As such, he has won us several battles, with a number of stalemates, and only a few defeats.'
'I believe he misses being able to personally fight his enemies. But, he is too important to risk. I cannot allow him into such battles because he has no longer has any advantages in battle that would allow him to survive a dual with Jedi. Let alone Thor. Still, I plan to soon solve this problem.'
'Now, let us get this conversation started.'
Loki inquired, “How are you doing, General?”
Grievous answered, “Fine. And you, Lady Laufeyson?”
Loki responded, “I am good.” She looked around, as she coyly said, “I see you have managed to keep your flagship from flying into any moons.” She turned to look at Grievous.
Grievous looked at Loki. He commented, in a dry, slightly sarcastic tone of voice, “Well, that is because you ordered me to not directly use this ship, save for support.” He continued, in a more serious tone of voice, “Though, this ship was built to command at the front.”
Loki said, “I promise, when the time is right, you that will lead this ship from the front. Still, your leadership has been invaluable to the Confederacy.”
Grievous responded, “Thank you. Though, you have shown some tactic skills, as well. A few months ago, when you requested I figure how to accomplish some movements to our fleet, I did not understand why you desired to do so. But, I complied with your orders. I slowly moved our battle lines in contrast with the logical advancements one would expect our fleet to take. At the time, I believed you were in error. But, I am beginning to see what you have planned. Still, you still keep your true plans to yourself.”
Loki stated, “Not to worry. I trust you far more than anyone else in the Confederate military hierarchy. That is why I am here to offer you even more power.”
Grievous commented, “I have plenty of power. Just no where to apply most of the power at my command.”
Loki responded, “I am not talking about military power. I am talking about a more personal level of power. I have an offer I believe you will like. And an offer which I believe you will agree to.”
Grievous said, “After everything you have done for me. I am willing to listen to your offer.”
Loki made her pitch. By the end of Loki offer, under his skull mask, Grievous smiled, while he chuckled a little.
As Grievous calmed down, he commented, “I have missed being able to directly be a part of the battle. You have a deal.”
Loki's lips curled into a wicked smile. She stated, “Excellent.”
The two individuals ironed out the details to their latest agreement.
Elsewhere, in the Senate District on Coruscant, it was nighttime.
Inside the Senate Building, in his office, a high ranking Senator was conducting a quiet, through official investigation. The Senator had been informed of a potential spy within the Senate. The investigation lead the Senator to the empty office of a deceased individual. Though, the deceased individual was associated with one of the more mysterious members of the Senate.
The investigating Senator was only beginning his quiet and thorough investigation.
“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit.” From a plaque President Ronald Reagan kept on his desk.
To be continued.
Rustibar and Grandine are listed as planets in the Star Wars galaxy maps. But, not much is mentioned of the two planets. So, I used these two planets for this chapter.
The name of the capital city of Rustibar, To'Tan, is a joke. The city is by the beach. So To'Tan is a joke 'to tan' at the beach.
Hat'cho is just a name I came up with for the capital city of Grandine.
Though, the Grandine Swoop Loop is mentioned in a Star Wars novel titled the Millennium Falcon. It is easy to guess what that novel is about.
This chapter allowed me to do several things. Including, begin setting course for the final act of this story. This story has a ways to go tell the ending. But, the ending is in sight on the horizon.
While I have been playing a little fast and loose with the timeline, I needed to set at least one hard date down, with this chapter being at this point, around six years after the original battle in the arena on Geonosis at the start of the story.
Now, given that this story has nineteen chapters so far. With the chapters averaging time gaps of two to four months between chapters, for the cast, six years at this point is not that far a stretch. And time can fly.
Now, about Padme and Ahsoka.
While Padme tires her best to lead by example, even she is not perfect.
Ahsoka still has some critical flaws in her personality that were put their by the Jedi and their black and white outlook on morality and life in general.
Unfortunately, Padme is starting to feel the burden of everything that had happened to her and her friends.
Remember, in this chapter it was Padme whom mentioned the six year anniversary of the first battle in the arena on Geonosis.
Padme is very aware of how long she and her friends have put their lives on hold to clean up a mess which her absence from the Senate before the start of the Clone Wars helped to create.
Padme did give Jar Jar her proxy vote and Palpatine used that proxy vote to start the Clone Wars.
With so much death and destruction caused not only by the war, but directly by Padme decision to give Jar Jar her proxy vote all those years ago.
I wanted to show how all this stress is starting to get to Padme. That Padme is reaching her breaking point. She is not going to crack. But, if pushed in the right way, she can slip.
Padme personally seeing Ahsoka act so callously towards other people, on top of that, having Ahsoka make an insult towards her of being a separatist sympathizer finally caused Padme to snap and almost kill Ahsoka by nearly crushing Ahsoka's throat.
Fortunately, Padme stopped herself in time. Padme and Ahsoka both patched up their mess later that night.
Also, Padme and Anakin resolved to work with Ahsoka on moving away from such black and white insanity.
Still, Padme harming Ahsoka in that matter, especially while using the power Mjolnir gave her, was wrong.
Mjolnir knows this. Mjolnir is as much as character as anyone in this story. And Mjolnir is no fool.
With everything going on, Mjolnir knows it does not have time to find another worthy wielder. Too much is on the line for the galaxy for it to deny Padme its powers. Besides, even Mjolnir realizes what Padme did was partly instigated by Ahsoka and Padme stopped before her actions would have turned tragic.
Still, Padme almost killed Ahsoka for some casual reasons that Mjolnir wants to reign Padme in by showing some of its weight to Padme as a reminder for Padme to not slip again.
In Marvel Comics, various versions of Mjolnir have slowly increased its weight when the wielder began to act unworthy, with Mjolnir removing the weight for the wield when the wield when back to acting worthy.
For Padme, Mjolnir no longer weights at light as a feather. Instead, Mjolnir weights as much as it appears to be. In her normal form, Padme can carry Mjolnir. But, she cannot use Mjolnir as a melee weapon in her normal form.
Fortunately, Padme in her stronger form, with her super-strength, using Mjolnir is still not a problem.
While Mjolnir may someday change its mind on how much weight Padme feels when lifting the hammer, it may be a while before Padme can prove herself most worthy towards Mjolnir.
Another point I enjoyed to write in this chapter was to show in this chapter how Anakin has matured, when compared to the main Star Wars timeline, with Anakin's maturity in this story being very gradual.
In addition, about Ahsoka's age and physical maturity. The original clone wars was three years. In this story, I doubled that to six years. One would think Ahsoka would be an adult by now.
Well, a few points on this. Once, it is stated that Ahsoka was born 36 years Before the Battle of Yavin IV, BBY. The clone wars began in 22 BBY.
With Ahsoka joining Anakin soon after the start of the Clone Wars. Making her around 14 years old when she met Anakin. By human standards, during the Clone Wars movie, Ahsoka did not look 14. She looked to be 12 years old.
At the end of the fifth season of Clone Wars, when Ahsoka was expelled from the Jedi Order, she looked 16 years old at most. She was still not fully matured.
This is clear when you look at Ahsoka in the Star Wars Rebels series, set several years after the Clone Wars, where Ahsoka has become a fully mature adult woman.
Ahsoka is a Togruta. It is clear that Togruta age more slowly than humans. It is likely that legal adulthood for Togrutas is a few years older than for humans. For humans, this likely 18 years old, considering that is the legal age of adulthood for most of the modern world on Earth.
I am not going to deeply delve into this topic in this story. But, this is a note on that matter.
Now, while those whom created Star Wars like to thrown around a lot of government terms around very loosely, I find this annoying. And I can see how this could be confusing.
Those that created Star Wars believe that such government terms are interchangeable. With monarchs even being elected by democracies.
To simplify things, I separated the terms a little bit between the Republic and the Confederacy.
For the Republic government, it is the Senate and Senators.
For the Confederacy, it is the Parliament and Representatives.
The Confederacy uses Parliament and Congress to refer to the same chamber of government. Both Parliament and Congress can mean the same chamber of government. So, I simplified the titles by only using Parliament.
While most of Confederacy/Separatists terms for government uses Separatists in their title. If one thinks about it, the Galactic Republic refers to them as Separatists. They refer to themselves as a Confederacy and Confederates. So, their titles of government would likely use Confederacy or Confederate. The one exception being the Separatist Council which was formed before the Confederacy/Separatists. The Separatist Council is just a holdover name.
While the Confederacy/Separatists has two chambers of government, the Separatist Council and the Confederate Parliament, it is clear that the power was not divided like the Congress and Senate in the United States. Where one body creates a law, but both chambers have to pass the bill and the President has to sign the bill for the bill to become law, unless both chambers override the veto.
It seems the Separatist Council and Confederate Parliament handle different matters of the Confederacy/Separatists.
The Separatist Council hands to the military and the Confederate Parliament handles the day to day civilian issues.
The Confederate Head of State is similar to a president, but he is appointed within the government. The Confederate Head of State is the leader of both the Separatist Council and the Confederate Parliament. And since the Head of State controls the Separatist Council, the Head of State controls the Confederate military.
In this story, Loki killed the first Separatist Council, as such it was the Confederate Parliament whom had to vote on replacing the members of the Separatist Council, starting with the Head of State. Then, the Head of State would make nominations for the rest of the Separatist Council for the Confederate Parliament to confirm by majority vote within the Confederate Parliament.
I threw in that Parliament oversaw civilian judicial appointments and courts matters, while the Separatist Council handled the military court issues to settle those matters.
I arranged that the Separatist Council govern themselves, outside of impeachment which requires action both within the Separatist Council by the rest of the members of council voting against the accused, then a trial in the Confederate Parliament, and finally a two-thirds majority vote the Confederate Parliament. On the other hand the Confederate Parliament handle impeachment of its own members by internal trial and two-thirds vote. And even this the only punishment both a member of either group is to be removed from office. The criminal trial would have to happen after the impeachment was successful and even then the criminal trial would likely fail.
Galactic level of jurisdiction is a term similar to federal level. If the planetary and system governments were states. The Confederacy of Independent System and Galactic Republic would have federal jurisdiction, as in galactic level of jurisdiction.
There have been governments on Earth with more than one king, or head of state. A certain points the Spartans had two kings at once.
Before the time Emperors, during the Roman Republic, the people of Roman, actually the male Roman citizens whom were owners of land of Roman elected two Consuls whom held power as dual heads of state. Except in times of emergency when a dictator was appointed for a six month term. Eventually power eroded to the point the consuls and dictator positions merged into became known as the position of Emperor.
So this system of government by the Confederacy/Separatists is not that far fetched.
Now, I could not find the name of the capital city on Raxus Secundus where the Parliament Building was located. Just calling the city the “Capital City” seemed to be a wasted opportunity. So, I called the city “Raxus Central”. This seems to work well.
Also, this chapter gave me an excuse to flesh out the Confederacy government under Loki's secret leadership. Who was where. And how things were situated.
While the timeline has changed, that does not mean everything has changed. A number of players in this political game are still working towards their agendas. Such as Mina, with Mina shown to be crafty enough to flush out Loki to meet with her, while Mina still was ablet to achieve most of what she wanted out of the compromise Loki brokered behind the scenes.
As for Lux being shown to be an artist. I threw that in for fun.
Given what I revealed in the previous chapters, that before the force pulled Loki to this Star Wars reality, Loki was a big fan of the Star Wars franchises. Loki knows what would have otherwise happened. Loki used her knowledge to prevent a lot of tragedies from happening, while she also helped countless numbers of people.
Still, Loki is very intelligent and very clever. Loki knows if she is out in the open she will be a target for almost anyone whom is against the Confederacy. From Sidious, to the Jedi Order, to the Hutts, to some of those within the Confederacy.
This is why Loki works from the shadows. Loki does not want to be a dictator. She only wants to guide the Confederacy. Loki arranged for people to be place in leadership roles that will do the job of helping the Confederacy be a good nation to live in, with those leaders being willing to help protect the Confederacy.
Barring a few minor examples, Loki is not taken control of the Confederacy solely for her personal gain. For Loki, her actions are to prove the point that while she loves power, she can still care about people.
Also, Loki has learned that violence outside of the battlefield should be avoided as much as possible. Loki pointed this out in the form that if she had Mina killed over that petition it would create several problems for Confederacy and Loki herself. While the compromise Loki arranged benefits everyone involved, with Loki allowing Mina and Voe to take the credit for the compromise.
This is how a trickster works. Tricksters work behind the scenes. Whether for good, or for ill, depends on the trickster. The same bag of tricks work both ways. Though, for this Loki, she truly does want to help not only the people of the Confederacy, but the populations of the entire galaxy which she now calls home.
Until next time. Have fun.
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