This post has the following content warnings:
Dec 04, 2022 7:41 AM
Padmé Amidala asks no boarding operations of her people that she won't ask of herself. Meanwhile, Kina Skywalker and Count Dooku talk.
Next Post »
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 147
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"I find it quite interesting, Senator, that all of your impartial positions always seem to land on those of the Trade Federation."

Permalink

"Oh!" Teem says. "Is Sheev Palpatine accusing me of taking bribes? Whatever happened to your friends on Rodia?"

Permalink

"A vicious rumor with no more truth than anything else you spit - "

Permalink

"ENOUGH!" barks Antilles. "I think it's fully clear that we need order in this Senate. Regardless of any battles at Naboo, we have an election scheduled, and if there is anything the two of you can agree upon, it should be that this election can give you a chance to finish your selfish plots! I call for the election, now!"

Yes. This is working! He's presenting an image of the person standing above the other two bickering Senators! Hopefully anyone who isn't being bribed by one of them, if they exist, will be prepared to vote for him as a solution to all of this!

Permalink

Both of them try to stammer out objections, but Mas Amedda calls for the vote, and it seems nearly everyone is prepared to begin.

Permalink

Antilles's plan is, in fact, a good one. Most of the Senate doesn't actually care much about what happens to Naboo, and while Palpatine's been spending his time making sure to get an advantage over Teem, Antilles might be able to pull the election away from the battle between the two of them and take the remainder of the vote. It'll be close, but Antilles will have the support he needs.

Bribing this many Senators is going to cost SO MUCH and Plagueis will KILL HIM. Probably not literally, but just in case, he's going to stay in his apartment for the next two decades.

He can always use the money he stole from Naboo? No, they barely had any money. Fine, he'll invade somewhere else.

Permalink

Within an hour, the votes have been bought, cast, tampered with, and re-tampered with. The winner is Palpatine!

Permalink

(Track Palpatine, Teem, Antilles financials - esp. Palpatine, cannot imagine Queen standing for this so why is he goes into Kina's notes.)

Permalink

When the election concludes, Palpatine gives a long gratitude speech, and then in his first action as Chancellor, has the Trade Federation invasion declared illegal! Do you get your ship back? Good question! Looks like we're out of time for today, though. Don't worry - next year, we'll start a committee to handle it!

Permalink

Well, that went about as well as Kina expected and she's now giving a log-scale - in that you pretend that there's a log10 involved somehow because humans are very bad at math - 8 out of 10 on Antilles not being the Sith Lord.  (Well, if the Sith Lord is amongst the Chancellor candidates at all, but she can't really speculate on the broader possibilities right now; she simply doesn't know enough.)  Tomorrow, she's going to make some calls.  (Well.  Most of the calls she's thinking should come from the Jedi Order.  Nonetheless, she still thinks the calls ought to be made.)

...Actually, no.  She's making one right now, to Padmé.

Permalink

Padmé is unavailable at the moment! Would you like to leave a message?

...who the hell is shooting at her this time? The droids are off and the Neimoidians are supposed to have surrendered by now!

Permalink

...Well Kina's going to give it fifteen nail-biting minutes and call back, and if she's still unavailable, leave a message like so:  "Hello, Padmé, it's me; I need to talk to your boss about something critical and time-sensitive, please call back soon and be okay."

Kina spends the next hour hoping really hard that'll happen, and, eventually, can't stay awake.

Permalink

The next morning, Padmé has replied. The Queen is apparently very very busy but if it is somehow a higher priority than removing Trade Federation forces from Naboo, here's a link to her personal holo.

Permalink

"How important is determining whether the newly-elected Chancellor is the Sith Lord who arranged that invasion?" are the first words Kina says to Queen Amidala.  "Because I have a plan, but it relies upon you, as his boss, telling him, as Senator of Naboo, that he doesn't get to wall off Jedi investigators and to turn over his financial records, because Senator Teem wouldn't sling mud that he didn't expect to stick, and I don't think you'd authorize blatant bribery, especially on your constituents' credits."

Permalink

He what.

"Technically, I don't have legal authority over him anymore, but I can open an investigation on finances during his term as Senator, provided that there's sufficient justification. I certainly assure you that I had no part in bribery, but I also trust Senator Palpatine, and I doubt he would have involved himself in that either."

"...what was that about a Sith Lord?"

Permalink

"The Sith Lord that coordinated the invasion of Naboo, specifically to precipitate the snap election, ma'am.  ...Which, that implies he knows you personally well enough to factor in your likely reactions to his plans, which is.  Also not good.  There is evidence of his specifically wanting you left alive, to provoke the vote of no-confidence, that we seized from the assassin I'm sure you remember."

Permalink

"Yes, but I have a number of people who know me, and even then one of them could surely be reporting to the Sith Lord. Why do you believe it to be Palpatine himself?"

Although it was Palpatine's idea to have Valorum kicked out. And Palpatine did not state beforehand that he would be running...

"Actually, no, there's more you don't know. Palpatine did, in fact, arrange for me to contribute to his election, and not in a way I even realized until now. I wouldn't say there's cause to believe he is the Sith, but his intentions are likely not as pure as I hoped."

"Is there anything else I should know? Otherwise, I'll contact the Jedi and arrange an investigation. We'll need to move with caution; if Palpatine really is the Sith and not just their pawn, the standard police won't be able to apprehend him."

Permalink

"Because the Sith, as a political faction, wish to make a tyranny under their thumb out of the Republic - I have that as words from their very own mouths - and I highly doubt the one who meddles in politics got into that field of concern and proceeded to be unambitious.  That, and - success, as a Sith, is highly predicated on control.  Personal control.  Your boot stamping upon the faces of even those who are nominally your allies, let alone enemies.  I've - experienced enough of them - to be sure of that.  So it doesn't make sense, to imagine a Sith not trying to take their throne.

"There are two Sith the Jedi presently know of.  One is the politician, who is human or near-human, very likely a man, and at least a generation older than the assassin - which might well place him in Palpatine's age group, now that I think about it.  The other is a Muun, in charge of the politician as far as Sithness goes, and deeply invested in the field of biological immortality.  Does Senator Palpatine know any reclusive, likely rich, Muuns that happen to have personal interests in medicine, to your knowledge?"

Permalink

"Not that I know of. Then I'll speak with the Order now. Thank you, Kina."

Permalink

"May the Force be with you, Queen Amidala.  I'll let them know to expect your call.  And if Padmé can acquire enough blaster parts, she should consider the tactical implications of lightsaber geometry, in the meantime."  Kina clearly recognized her somehow.

Kina brushes aside the robe she's wearing to show her franken-blaster.  "Just in case."

"I'll not further impose on Your Majesty's time; good luck with the...everything happening."  And then, Kina hangs up.

Next stop, finding a Council member.  Also, setting C3PO to the task of digging through the tabloids.  There's bound to be plenty who're poking their noses into Palpatine's business right now, and if there's a reclusive Muun getting into his orbit, well...They'll notice.  They'll spin ten-thousand irrelevant theories, but they'll notice.  Maybe they'll even holocap him.

She does not actually expect that plan to work, but it's low-risk high-reward enough to merit at least trying.

Permalink

She knows. She definitely knows. And if Kina was capable of figuring out that the Queen was secretly Padmé, that only further implies that she can trust Kina when she says she's figured out the Sith Lord's secret identity. Wonderful.

After tasking Sabé with handling the Trade Federation, Padmé overrides Palpatine's password to access his bank accounts. But actually, there really isn't much that's suspicious, at least not to her. None of the names seem obviously faked, and Palpatine's total wealth hasn't really changed much over any interval of time.

(It hasn't occurred to her that Palpatine is both accepting and giving out bribes, and balancing the scales that way. And in any case, the major deals aren't with his own money.)

Still, it's at least worth checking with the Order. She'll call - actually, Windu's right here, she'll talk to him first.

Permalink

This is... not literally the most surprising thing he's heard this week, which is kind of ridiculous. It is still surprising. Bribery, he expected. Working for some nefarious cause, sure. But actually having a chance of being the Sith didn't seem to fit Palpatine. Still, they'll check it out. Windu sends a message to the rest of the Council, to analyze the data and look for any discrepancies. They shouldn't actually try to arrest Palpatine yet, though - if he is the Sith, Windu will need to be there personally, or else something will go wrong.

Something will almost certainly go wrong anyway, but hopefully less wrong.

Permalink

And when Windu's done talking, the Jedi leave the planet. It'll take nearly five days to get back to Coruscant, but hopefully that'll be quick enough.

Permalink

Kina - well, she's probably not going to be there herself.  But she prepares, nonetheless, in between basic saber-handling classes and studying up on Force techniques from the supply of holocrons the Jedi Order has (she's hoping to have Force Barrier soon enough to matter, and she really wants to learn Force Healing, it seems - perhaps the best possible thing in the universe if it might do what she thinks it could do...though if it doesn't, she'll have empathy for the biologist Sith Lord even though his way seems obviously-flawed) and hoping that Padmé gave enough of Palpatine's financial data to the Order to prove her hypothesis right or wrong.

She floats the idea of going on this mission anyway, because - she doesn't know why.

She'll ask the Force about it, because - just because she'll 'bring balance to the Force', and really what does that even mean, no-one's explained, least of all the actual Force - it doesn't mean that everything needs to be by her hand alone; that's the whole point of being here to begin with, not working alone, but this feels important to be present for, but - does the Force need her, for this?  Does it want her?

Permalink

The Force doesn't have a clear answer! Kina is obviously helpful at doing things, but it could be dangerous!

 

The Order manages to find a few suspicious things in Palpatine's finances! There's nothing directly criminal, but the views of the people giving Palpatine money for supposedly innocuous purposes have a 74% correlation with major changes in his voting patterns in the Senate, even after they've controlled for everything they can think of. In addition, after reviewing Senate footage that they did have access to, all of the somewhat falsified rumors about Teem's criminal record are from people who Palpatine met with beforehand. It's not anywhere near enough proof for a conviction, but they're hoping they can at least get a warrant to question him. The drawback is that questioning him is probably a really bad idea.

Total: 147
Posts Per Page: