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Gungan to the left


Step Into My Parlor (G)


By : geo3

Archived on: Monday, May 5, 2003

Summary:
Why did the Jedi Council permit Anakin to accompany Padme back to Naboo after the Battle of Geonosis? This missing scene between Anakin and Supreme chancellor Palpatine offers a suggestion as to why.

"Yes? What is it?" His eyes were as cold as his voice as he glared at his assistant.

"I'm sorry to disturb you again, My Lord, but you asked me to let you know if young Skywalker requested a meeting."

"When. I asked you to let me know when he asked for a meeting."

"Yes, My Lord."

"Well?"

"He just called."

The Chancellor briefly considered treating himself by crushing the Rodian against the wall, but decided he was too busy to find a replacement just then.

"Give him a meeting tonight after my last appointment."

"Yes, My Lord." Sensitive as he was to his Master's moods, Dar Wac scurried out of the office as fast as he could without seeming to hurry. He was erased from the Chancellor's thoughts as soon as he left the room.

Right on schedule, Palpatine thought briefly to himself before turning his attention back to the larger matters at hand.


Dead, Anakin thought as he stared at his right hand. Dead, dead, dead. He rhythmically clenched and unclenched the golden metallic fingers, unable to imagine that he ever would be able to use them as effectively as his own. They were clumsy and unresponsive and above all they felt nothing. He refocused his eyes to watch the sheath of light that played around his living hand and arm. Then he looked at the artificial limb with the same focus. Nothing. Clearly the living Force wanted nothing to do with a machine, even if it was attached to you. He sighed, and then crossed his arms as he waited for the lift to stop at the floor of the Senatorial Office Tower that held the Supreme Chancellor's office.

Anakin's request for a meeting had received an almost instant invitation. He always had enjoyed good access to the politician and generally took it for granted. Now, with Palpatine's expanded powers as Chancellor and with galactic war raging, even Anakin was surprised at how readily his request had been answered. It was late in the evening, long after the close of the day's official business. But the Chancellor was still in his office waiting for him. Anakin made certain that he was on time.

The Chancellor's Rodian assistant bowed and showed him into the inner office. Clearly Dar Wac's days were as long as the Chancellor's. Palpatine stood silently by the wall of windows, a tall dark figure staring out over the vast, brightly lit city that lay far below.

"Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker," the Rodian announced, and the Chancellor turned, waving genially.

"Welcome, my boy! Come over here and join me at the window."

Anakin crossed the room in a few long strides. "Good evening, Chancellor," he said, bowing. "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice."

"You are always most welcome, my young friend." Palpatine smiled warmly at Anakin, putting him at his ease. Then he turned to his assistant and said, "Leave us now, Dar Wac. You are finished for the day."

"Thank you, My Lord," the Rodian said, and bowed. He left quickly. Anakin suddenly wondered why he had addressed the Supreme Chancellor as "My Lord," but he was immediately distracted by his host's warm attention.

"Tell me what is on your mind, Anakin Skywalker."

"Well, sir, when you visited me in the Jedi Temple you asked me to call on you when I was healed."

"So I did. And how does the new arm fare?"

Anakin was in the habit of telling his mentor what was on his mind, and so he felt comfortable offering the truth. "It's a clumsy thing. I can't imagine regaining full use of it, although I practice all the time. It's ... discouraging."

Palpatine looked at him keenly, allowing a silence to build up between them before he asked, "Is that the only thing discouraging you?"

Anakin dropped his eyes, feeling as he had so often before that the older man knew him almost as well as his Master did. The difference was that the Chancellor never judged him or lectured him, whereas nothing he did ever seemed to please Obi-Wan. Anakin decided to speak freely, if only to have the rare pleasure of being heard by a sympathetic ear.

"No." He sighed. "I keep thinking about how easily Master Obi-Wan and I were defeated on Geonosis."

The Chancellor smiled. "Surely not! I have been given to understand that you both fought brilliantly."

"That's just it," Anakin said, earnestly. "We fought as well as we ever have, even after having fought all afternoon in the Arena." He stopped, and his gaze seemed to turn inward, remembering being slammed into the wall effortlessly, by something that felt like a bolt of lightning - by something that drained him of his strength completely. "But I have never experienced power like that before." Anakin paused, but Chancellor Palpatine maintained an attentive silence. The room was still. "I know that Count Dooku was trained as a Jedi, but that he left the Order. I keep asking myself where he learned to use the Force in that way."

"Perhaps you feel that your Masters have left you at a disadvantage?" Palpatine suggested, ever so gently.

The Chancellor's words cut straight into Anakin's heart. For weeks questions had been rampaging inside of him, questions to which he was being given no answers. If there were forces and powers greater than those taught by the Order, how were Jedi expected to face them? What was the point of years of training if he and Obi-Wan could be sliced up and tossed aside like rag dolls? He clenched and unclenched his artificial hand again. How much more would he have to lose at the mercy of powers he was not allowed to understand?

"They have taught me nothing about these powers," Anakin said bitterly. "They always warn us to beware the Dark Side of the Force, but I never knew what they meant." He sighed, and looked out the window into the night. "Now I do."

Palpatine looked at Anakin with an expression of deep sympathy on his face. He said kindly, "That must be very frustrating." The words were simple, even neutral; yet again Anakin felt them like the edge of a scalpel. Feelings of frustration and rage began to pour out as though from a wound.

"The Dark Side took my first Jedi Master, Qui-Gon. I'm sure of that now," he burst out. "Those same powers almost took Obi-Wan." He looked down at his unsatisfactory hand. "They left me with this dead thing." He took a deep breath and plunged on. "I don't understand why my Jedi Masters act as though they don't exist. I don't understand why we aren't trained to match them."

"Have your Masters ever told you about the twenty so-called "Lost Jedi", and why they left the Order?" Palpatine asked, with great delicacy.

"No." Anakin shook his head. "It's not something that has been spoken about." Even in the midst of rising resentment he managed a wry grin. "At least not with me."

The Chancellor nodded and smiled, acknowledging his young visitor's feelings. "Do I understand then that our reverend Jedi Masters are still concerned about containing - shall we say - your enthusiasm?"

Anakin grinned again, somewhat ruefully. "I think it's fair to say that they are concerned that I don't fit the mold well enough." Then he grew serious. "I have tried, I really have. I respect my Masters. It's just that?" He stopped, feeling that he needed to be careful with his words. He couldn't afford to raise suspicion about his loyalty to the Jedi Order. Not now.

"It's just that your Masters don't seem to understand?" Palpatine suggested, just as delicately.

Anakin suddenly felt that he was at the edge of a dangerous precipice and needed to step back from it. Caution began to take the place of anger. "Please understand that I don't mean to sound ungrateful," he said.

"Of course not, my boy, of course not." Palpatine stirred himself once again to genial hospitality, as though he had tested the waters and made a decision. "I think that you have been through a difficult time, and that you would be happier with action than with waiting around for your next assignment."

"Yes," Anakin laughed. "I would, but that will depend on the will of my Masters."

"Even so, my boy, it occurs to me that I have a task for you that, provided your Masters concur, I would be most grateful if you would agree to undertake."

"Of course," said Anakin. "If it is within my power."

"It's Senator Amidala," the Chancellor said earnestly. Anakin used every skill he had ever learned to stay calm and not jump at what he thought he was about to hear. "She needs to return to Naboo, and I don't want her to travel without a competent escort. Especially not now."

"I would be honored to accompany her," said Anakin as his heart began to pound painfully, "but to be honest, I believe that my Masters are unhappy about my friendship with the Senator. I doubt that they would give their permission."

"I see." Palpatine scrutinized the young man's face carefully, saw what he was looking for, and proceeded. "I respect your Masters, of course, but the Senator's safety is my responsibility and my first priority. I know that she feels confident in your abilities to protect her."

Anakin scowled and looked down at his golden hand. "I wonder whether I can?now."

"Senator Amidala told me herself that you have a knack for saving her life." Anakin was unable to suppress a look of surprise and delight at the idea of Padm? praising him to his mentor. The Chancellor saw it, and continued. "It seems to me that in the present trying circumstances? the War..." he allowed a look of pain and grief to mark his face "? friendship among staunch allies is to be encouraged."

Anakin said again, "I will be most happy to accompany her, if my Masters allow it." He doubted whether they would, but he would have to comply with his Masters' wishes in order to keep his secret safe. Still, Chancellor Palpatine seemed to have a good relationship with the Jedi Council...perhaps this was the chance he and Padm? had been waiting for?

"I'm grateful to you, my boy, I really am." The Chancellor's words broke into his thoughts, hurrying the conversation along. "I will speak to your Masters personally, and we will see what can be arranged."

Anakin bowed, assuming that the meeting was over. When he looked up again, the older man was regarding him intently. Anakin found to his surprise that he was unable to pull away from that gaze.

"The Galaxy is vast, my boy," Palpatine said softly. Every word he said seemed to drop like a stone into Anakin's consciousness. "It is full of unlimited possibilities. I am certain that it also contains the technology to provide you with an arm that will respond to the Force."

Anakin looked at him in surprise. "You know about that?" As soon as the words slipped out he stopped as though he had been slapped. He had the overwhelming feeling that it was not his place to speak. Not now.

Palpatine continued to speak with soft intensity that made Anakin lean forward slightly to catch every word.

"The Jedi are not the only ones who understand the ways of the Force. From my vantage point here," and the Chancellor made a circular gesture as if to indicate the realms that lay at his feet, "I have access to knowledge of all kinds, both ancient and modern."

Anakin felt impelled to listen with his whole being. He could not have formed words if he tried.

Palpatine continued to speak. "I can tell you about the Lost Twenty. I can tell you about the powers that Count Dooku has mastered. And I can tell you about the future I foresee for the Galaxy once these dark times have passed."

Involuntarily Anakin looked down at his mechanical hand, and then back into the face of the Galaxy's supreme politician. Something felt wrong, terribly wrong, but he couldn't make sense of it. For the briefest of moments his head felt as dead as his arm.

Suddenly he felt his freedom to speak return. His wits did not return quite as quickly.

"I? I would like that very much, Chancellor," Anakin stammered, not knowing for the moment what to say. "Thank you."

"Very good," said Palpatine. "I look forward to speaking with you upon your return from Naboo."

The rush of pleasure Anakin felt at the mention of the journey with Padm? completely washed away his earlier feeling of disquiet. Clearly the Chancellor had no doubt that his request to the Jedi Council would be honored.

"Thank you for everything, Chancellor," he said sincerely.

"Not at all, my boy," said Palpatine, waving him away. "Not at all."

Anakin left the Chancellor's office feeling, for the first time in a long time, that things were going his way. All he needed to do for now was to sit back and wait.


Too easy by far, Darth Sidious thought to himself with genuine disappointment. You'd think a boy with that kind of talent would put up more of a fight. He remained at the window, staring thoughtfully into Coruscant's multicolored night.

On the other hand, the Jedi had saved him the trouble of providing a good basic training in obedience. The boy was no trouble at all. The thought made him smile to himself.

Once a slave, always a slave.




Original cover art by geo3. HTML formatting copyright 2003 TheForce.Net LLC.


Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 9.3 in 161 total ratings.

 as:
Reader Comments

Add a comment about this Fan Fiction

Author: Darth Breezy  (signed)
Date posted: 5/5/2003 9:08:06 PM
Darth Breezy's Comments:

At long last!! I'm so happy to see that Mistress Geo has at long last been recognised here in the archives! Her mastery of character is a true gift!

Looking forward to seeing more!

Author: darth carious
Date posted: 5/5/2003 9:48:41 PM
darth carious's Comments:

i loved it. i'm a big fan of the fanfics and this is one the best i've ever read. keep it up.

Author: Cat
Date posted: 5/6/2003 8:15:50 AM
Cat's Comments:

Wow. This was great. Spot on characterisation of Anakin--but you always do. And Palpatine, tempting, seducing, smoothing the path to the Dark Side. Eerk.
Once a slave, always a slave.
It's the story of Anakin's life, isn't it? Genius.

Author: Leah Bee
Date posted: 5/6/2003 10:14:52 AM
Leah Bee's Comments:

great last line-ties in everything. :)

i enjoyed reading your version of this possible scene.

Author: Annalee  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 10:53:40 AM
Annalee's Comments:

"...said the spider to the fly."
Loved your characterization of Palpatine- you really get a feel for his cool, calculating presence.
I should mention the title, since no one else has yet: quite fitting. The symbolism is frighteningly apt.

Author: Quiller  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 11:49:46 AM
Quiller's Comments:

Very good. Your characterization of Palpatine was wonderful. Such a master of manipulation. Powerful last line.

Author: ami-padme  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 12:22:48 PM
ami-padme's Comments:

A great little vignette -- I've enjoyed it each time I've read it. I'm glad to see it added here!

Author: bobill  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 2:28:50 PM
bobill's Comments:

Very manipulative! I could definently see where lack of using the Force could make Anakin turn to Palpatine like that... and I like the Rodian, a nice way of showing both sides of Palpatine!

Author: X-Wing Ace  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 3:37:00 PM
X-Wing Ace's Comments:

Pretty good. Definitely a plausible begining for Anakin's trip to the Dark Side.

Excellent job!

Author: rhonderoo  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2003 6:36:47 PM
rhonderoo's Comments:

I'm so glad this got archived Geo! I love your characterization!

Author: Fox7
Date posted: 5/7/2003 10:17:23 AM
Fox7's Comments:

Very impressive! A great read. Love the last line.

Author: Jedi_Niomi
Date posted: 5/7/2003 7:47:31 PM
Jedi_Niomi's Comments:

All I can say... Wow... Your characterization is right on, and your way of Palpatine seducing Anakin is... Wow... Keep writing fan fics!

Author: The_Count_Of_Monte_Coruscant  (signed)
Date posted: 5/7/2003 7:59:52 PM
The_Count_Of_Monte_Coruscant's Comments:

As everyone has already noted, you capture the reality and the persona of each character. Very good job. I'd be interested to see if you are just as successful with original characters. Perhaps an original story. Once again, though, good job.

Author: Idgie
Date posted: 5/8/2003 6:38:22 AM
Idgie's Comments:

Great little story!I really enjoyed this a lot! :)

Author: Darth Postal
Date posted: 5/8/2003 1:19:24 PM
Darth Postal's Comments:

This is one of the best I've read. It would so fit nicely into AOTC, and the lines, the timing of the moments, would be perfect, yet not too revealing if it actually had been in the film. Bravo!

Author: Destiny  (signed)
Date posted: 5/8/2003 3:36:01 PM
Destiny's Comments:

Hi, Geo! I read this at fanfiction.net and loved it! :p I'm glad to see it got archived - it was truly chilling. :)

Author: Isbeth
Date posted: 5/8/2003 4:17:53 PM
Isbeth's Comments:

Well written. This story has given me something to think about.

Author: themostpowerfuljediever
Date posted: 5/8/2003 7:29:27 PM
themostpowerfuljediever's Comments:

This is wonderful portrayal of Palpatine's cunning and expertise, as well as Anakin's vunerability. Great job!

Author: Merry
Date posted: 5/8/2003 10:25:28 PM
Merry's Comments:

It was well written! Well thought out, and you have the characters right on. But what was really chilling was "Once a slave, always a slave." It fits perfectly! Keep writing fanfics!

Author: Marcin szlempo
Date posted: 5/10/2003 11:58:34 PM
Marcin szlempo's Comments:

This fan fic rocks, it really shows the connection between Anakin and palpatine.

Rock on

Author: Jedi Dajuan
Date posted: 5/12/2003 7:49:31 AM
Jedi Dajuan's Comments:

This was an awesome story!! I'm not sure I agree with how Palpatine "force-mind-melted" Anakin, but the rest is incredible.

Author: Bant428  (signed)
Date posted: 5/21/2003 9:47:14 AM
Bant428's Comments:

WHOAH!! *dizzy* gosh! *recovers* erm... yeah
great story!

Author: Jane Jinn  (signed)
Date posted: 5/22/2003 12:47:19 AM
Jane Jinn's Comments:

Excellent story. Both characterizations were spot on. I was particularly fascinated by Palpatine, the way that he gently used his words and his facade of benevolent interest and sympathy to slowly but carefully lure Anakin into trusting him and feeling that Palpatine understood him better than his masters did. I also liked the way that Anakin did feel there was something wrong, but couldn't make sense of it, because his head suddenly felt as dead as his mechanical arm. Powerfully written!

Author: Steve
Date posted: 5/31/2003 12:57:56 AM
Steve's Comments:

As a fan of Palpatine, I was very impressed with this story and it fits perfectly into Attack of the Clones. I sure hope that Palpatine gets this sort of treatment in Episode Three because I really want to see his character revealed more. Anakin was also done brilliantly. Great job!

Author: Master Rubella
Date posted: 8/5/2003 10:55:32 AM
Master Rubella's Comments:

This short scene is fantastic, it's the most gripping conversation and i wish it was in ep2! Good work!

Author: JediMasterMariana
Date posted: 9/10/2003 6:34:49 PM
JediMasterMariana's Comments:

I've always wondered how Palpatine convinced Anakin to the dark side.

Author: aifdsc
Date posted: 11/11/2003 7:17:38 AM
aifdsc's Comments:

Excellent story. I really liked the implications of Palpatine's phrases. However, I was under the impression that Sidious and Palpatine were two different characters. At the end of AOTC, Sidious is greeting Dooku at the same time that Palpatine is reviewing the Grand Army of the Republic.

Author: leia__naberrie  (signed)
Date posted: 2/9/2004 1:06:52 AM
leia__naberrie's Comments:


I almost did not rate this story. Like Anakin's midichlorian count, its quality was simply off the scale. However, I was forced to compromise and I rated it a mediocre 10.

My problem with reading a great story and having to write a review is penning one that articulately expresses with mundane language just why that story is great. Invariably, I fail but in the words of a revered Jedi Master: It is better to fail at doing something than to succeed at doing nothing.

One of this story's numerous charms is the fact that it delves into the realm of character exploration with sacrificing its dramatic pacing. There is nothing superfluous or extraneous. We move swiftly from the Chancellorís ominous conversation with his secretary to Anakinís brooding in the elevator, the visit and finally, the Chancellorís self-congratulatory introspection at the end. The story moves in a full circle with Palpatineís perspectives sandwiching the main event (Anakinís visit) and tells us, with the subtlest of hints, that, like everything else in the Prequel Era, this is just one more puppet show orchestrated by the Puppet Master.

The one flaw I did find in the archived version of this story was the elimination of some very original, mythological aliases for Sidious/Palpatine: The Master of All Miseries, the Manipulator of Minds and the Digger of Dark Holes. These Ďtitlesí intensified the otherworldly sense of the story and it was a pity that they were eliminated, for whatever reason, in this version. However, it was a loss I felt only because I was privy to read the original story on the JC Boards. It does not diminish in anyway the subtleties of the characterisations, the rhythm of the story and the very tangible mood that it communicates to the reader: one can almost feel the binds of silken threads as Palpatine the Spider spins his webs around Anakin, the Jedi and the Republic.

Author: MonkeySprayE
Date posted: 4/26/2004 5:44:44 AM
MonkeySprayE's Comments:

i like cheese

Author: Darth Imperious
Date posted: 9/23/2004 2:52:24 PM
Darth Imperious's Comments:

Excellent. It's not often that many authors have characters use deciet as a weapon.

Author: Monica
Date posted: 2/24/2005 10:20:18 PM
Monica's Comments:

I enjoyed reading your story! The last line, "Once a slave always a slave," reflects how Anakin is really never free. Not from himself, the choices he makes and those that manipulate him so easily like Chancellor Palpatine. Great work!

Author: K9: The First
Date posted: 5/10/2005 5:28:11 PM
K9: The First's Comments:

*whistles* Dang, Palpatine sure knows how to pull strings dosen't he? I had vaugly wondered, at the back of my mind, about that whole thing. Think it's possible to do a sequel of sorts where ol' Palpy makes his request to the Jedi? ...I doubt it. This thing is QUITE old(internet wise) and I doubt you'd have much interest. Oh well, grand penmenship, and highly baleivable characterisation, rock on.

Author: Lady_Nomad  (signed)
Date posted: 4/28/2009 1:08:59 AM
Lady_Nomad's Comments:

Wow, that was interesting. Anakin saw how powerful the Dark side can be. And that was the first part in his temptation to the Dark Side. He's one of those types to do stuff when he's ordered not to do that, even as a boy.

Author: Paulina
Date posted: 4/24/2016 6:05:44 PM
Paulina's Comments:

Jos olisikin jotain, millä leivän voisi korvata helposti ja edissulelti! Vaikea kysymys on myös, että mitä kunnon aamupalaksi, jos ei mysliä, puuroa tms?


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Archived: Monday, May 5, 2003







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