Sep 29, 2022 3:18 AM
Padmé Amidala asks no boarding operations of her people that she won't ask of herself. Meanwhile, Kina Skywalker and Count Dooku talk.
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Padmé would have wanted to come to the funeral, had she been able. However, she has another pressing engagement at the moment. Specifically, she's storming a Trade Federation battleship.

She knew from the start that her day wouldn't be normal, exactly. First they landed in the Gungan swamps, pleading with Boss Nass to send his troops against the battle droids, knowing all along that they wouldn't stand a chance. Then they stormed Theed, and captured Nute Gunray, which should have meant the end of the fighting, if not for the fact that his second-in-command really hated him, and also was looking for job opportunities. When the news came that the Gungans had lost quicker than expected, Padmé's advisors were already telling her to surrender.

Except that another piece of news came in, that a starfighter pilot had scored a hit on the Trade Federation battleship before being killed, and that for the ten seconds immediately afterwards, the battle droids had all frozen in place. It seems that the Federation was actually cheap enough to just not install operating systems in their droids, and they were all controlled by the central station. So Padmé had the bright idea of sending the ace pilots of the Jedi Order to capture the battleship, and just win by default.

Master Windu wasn't a fan of this. As he told Padmé, the Jedi have no authorization for offense. All they can do is protect and accompany Padmé and oh shit she can't be serious.

She's serious.

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A half-dozen Naboo starfighters, the very last in the small fleet, race towards the Trade Federation battleship. Mace Windu has never flown a Naboo starfighter. He will not allow this to be relevant.

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After carefully waiting for a vulture droid to send a shot in Padmé's direction, not because it really matters but just in case, Windu tears into the Federation fleet, the other four Jedi backing him up. The vulture droids are quickly disintegrated, but more quickly appear. "Let's board this ship before they mobilize," he says, and veers off towards a hangar bay, targeting missiles at the shield generators.

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Unfortunately, while the Jedi and Padmé do successfully make their way into the hangar bay, they are not inside before the droids can be mobilized.

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Padmé follows the Jedi, trying to stay out of sight, as she doesn't have much experience either. Once the shield is down, she crashes through the hangar with the others. After taking a few seconds to recognize her possibly imminent death, she hops out of the fighter.

And droids! A lot of droids! She takes a few shots at them, trying to duck behind her ship in the process, but by then the Jedi have already gotten to their target.

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The standard battle droids don't really stand much of a chance against the five Jedi. Within a few seconds, the initial group are all in pieces, and Windu's beckoning Padmé to hurry up.

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R2-D2 also happens to be in your ship, Padmé! Please don't leave him for the battle droids!

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Right! With R2 behind her, she follows the Jedi, not entirely sure where they're going. She will stay calm. The Jedi will protect her. She will save her people and survive the process. Probably. No, definitely. Definitely probably.

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And the Trade Federation keeps throwing bad droids after bad, seeming to erroneously believe that they can make five Jedi have problems with droids seven abreast in the corridors - but do they know where they're going or how they're going to get there, actually?

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Not really! They aimed for one of the central hangars, so they're pretty much just walking in the direction of the big round thing in the middle and hoping someone important is there!

This ship is big, though. Padmé is already getting tired even though she's only been running for a minute and why has she not exercised enough the Jedi are doing fine!

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Pretty soon, they arrive at the hallway leading to the command center, which seems to have quite a few blast doors in the way. Kit Fisto and Shaak Ti get started with their lightsabers while the others defend, but it's going pretty slowly.

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And that's when the droidekas start showing up!

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Wonderful. Windu spins his lightsaber to deflect the blasts, not really aiming at them because of the shields. Calling Ki-Adi-Mundi and Plo Koon to his sides to deflect the blasts from the other droids, he runs forward and slams into the central one with all his power. The shield breaks, and he finishes it off with one more slash before starting on the next.

But there are more coming, and he can't hold them off for long. Looking at the blast door, which by now has a hole in it, he pushes the droids away with the Force, not actually doing any damage but at least repelling them for a moment, and then leads the group through the door.

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Padmé fires a few shots, which don't seem to do anything, and then mostly just tries to dodge until she gets the chance to crawl through the hole. There are still a few more doors in the way, and there could be any number of droids after that, but for now, they can't get through the hole, so she can wait until the Jedi break the next door.

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They repeat the process a few more times! Fisto and Ti burn through the door, the others block the hole with their lightsabers, and then they all climb through! Until, of course, they break through the final door, and find themselves right outside of the core.

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Where someone with a small bit of competence has deployed all the remaining droidekas.  Uh-oh.

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On second thought, we're staying behind this door for now.

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Unfortunately, this does not stop the tide of battle droids!

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This they can handle. As the others protect him, Windu grabs the battle droids from both sides and slams them together with the Force, crushing most of them in one attack. Unfortunately, there are now more battle droids than they started with.

"Why did you think this was a good idea?!" Windu shouts at Padmé, shoving another batch of droids into a wall.

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"I never did say it was a good idea! I just did it!"

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"Okay, that's it," Windu growls, and then he leaps through the hole in the door, flying over the crowd of droids to land in the center of a group of Neimoidians. They won't shoot him with their own soldiers in the way.

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You wanna bet?

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The Nemoidians don't want to stay near you, either, Mace!

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Okay, apparently they will shoot through their own soldiers, and now all the soldiers are either dead or have run away. And his arm is now very very in pain. Fine! He only needs one arm! He runs to the one who gave the order to shoot, who hopefully is important enough not to sacrifice, and holds his lightsaber to his neck.

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The droidekas do not shoot Mace Windu through Daultay Dofine!

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While the droids have their backs turned, the Jedi manage to cut through quite a few of them using the hole in the door, and they hop through to the other side. Hopefully this is over.

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