Broken Ties

II: Pieces of the Past

Broken TiesLeia ran outside when she saw the red speeder approaching. It was Zai, her second cousin on her mother’s side and best friend in the world even though he was four standard years her senior. Zai only visited every once in awhile, because his a school was so far away. He was a beautiful boy with amazing brown curly hair and smart too.

“Zai,” she yelled hugging her cousin as she ran out the door.

“Leia,” Zai said swinging her through the air.

“Where’s your father?”

“I don’t know,” Leia said. “I think he’s with Morgana.”

“Who is she?” Zai asked.

“I don’t know. Some woman my dad knows. She might have worked with him a long time ago.”

“She could be one of your dads old girlfriends,” Zai said as they entered the palace.

“Don’t be silly,” Leia told her older cousin.

“What’s silly about it. I hear your dad–”

Her father came around the corner then with Morgana in tow. They both looked a little flushed, which puzzled Leia.

“Zai,” Bail said hugging his young relative. “Good to see you boy.”

“I feel the same way uncle Bail,” Zai told him, though Bail wasn’t his uncle.

“This is an old colleague of mine, Morgana,” Bail said introducing her.

“Pleased to meet you,” Zai said extending a hand. The woman greeted him kindly and then Bail said they had some arrangements to make. When they disappeared, Zai stared after the woman.

“I think I’ve seen her before,” Zai said. “But the name doesn’t sound right.” Zai turned back toward Leia. “You know Leia, she looks a lot like you, in the eyes.”

Suddenly, it was like a spark went off in he child’s head. She heard Mon Mothma’s words again, this time with a lot more clarity. <“Force, she looks like her mother“> Had  Mon Mothma been talking about Morgana?

“Come on,” Zai said. “Show me what stuff you‘ve gotten since I was last here.”

Leia followed her older cousin, but now she found herself looking after the mysterious woman with new eyes.

 

*******************

Lady Organa sat looking at the black screen, tapping her fingers impatiently. Finally the screen faded in on a human face. Another one of those annoying imperial officers, a grand something or other appeared in front of her.

“I said I wanted to speak to Lord Vader,” Lady Organa told him.

“I’m sorry but he’s unavailable.”

“But I have information that protects his interest.”

“If you would only tell me–” the Grand something or other began.

“I will tell you nothing, it concerns only Lord Vader.”

“The concerns of Lord Vader are the Empire’s concerns.”

“This one is not,” Lady Organa stated plainly.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t.”

“I wish to speak to Lord Vader and if I have to pull every imperial string at my disposal, I will speak to him,” Lady Organa said ending the transmission.

She exited the empty, unused, war room. No one ever came down here, so she knew she wouldn’t be discovered. Her plan was clear, bring Vader to Alderaan to spook her husband into action. Surely “Morgana” would be sped away once Vader was on his way. And that would be the end of it, her family would be hers again.

*******************************

Leia laid on her bed staring at the sky considering what Zai had said.

“Zai, do you really think I look like Morgana?” Leia asked as he fooled with her latest toy.

“I guess.”

“What does that mean?” Leia snapped.

“Don’t get all snippy, I was just making a random comment.”

“I have to go talk to my dad,” Leia said slipping out of her room.

 

 

Bail, as expected, was in his office. He greeted her with a smile, but she couldn’t return it and he immediately looked concerned. He got up and walked over to her. She looked up at him with these sad eyes and touched him gently.

“What’s wrong Leia,” Bail asked. “Your usually so excited when your cousin comes.”

“Dad you’ll always tell me the truth, right.”

“Yes,” Bail told her.

“Is Morgana my real mom?”

Bail was speechless for a moment. Leia had always known she had a birth mom out there somewhere, the fact she was adopted wasn’t hidden from her, but it was shouted from the rooftops either. The best way to hide a lie was between truths, so that’s how it went. There were bits and pieces of information and how they were put together by the child or anyone else was never talked about. From the moment he’d brought Morgana on planet, he knew Leia might figure it out, even though he didn’t want her to.

“Yes, she’s your mother,” Bail finally answered.

She didn’t react at once. She just looked at him with these empty eyes. Perhaps it was the shock.

“Do you want to talk to her about it Leia? It’s okay if you do.”

“No, I don’t–” Leia began. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“We didn’t think you needed to know,” Bail told her.

“Then why did you bring her here?”

“I don’t know, she’s my friend, I missed her,” Bail sighed. “And I guess, I wanted her to see what an amazing child she has.”

Leia fell on him, tears streaming down her face. He held her tight, not knowing if she was crying from joy or despair. At least she wasn’t angry at him. But was she angry at her mother?

“Please talk to her Leia,” Bail said.

“I can’t,” Leia said. “I don’t know what too say.”

 

***************

Dinner was a dead silence, everyone was keeping a secret inside them, so no one felt much like talking. There was a fear running through all of them that they would say something they shouldn’t. Leia looked at Morgana out of the corner of her eye. Lady Organa cursed the same woman in the back of her mind, plotting and planning her path to Vader. Bail and Padmè  had their secret kiss nagging at the back of their minds. And their young visitor, Zai, sat wondering who or what had spooked his favorite family. There was so much tension filling the room, the young boy felt choked by it and it hung like a thick fog over dinner. Everyone was doing more picking their food, than eating it. Finally, little Leia cleared her throat.

“I know,” Leia said to them.

Bail sighed, he was hoping Leia would get to talk to Padmè  before the knowledge spilled to the group.

“What do you know Leia?” Lady Organa asked.

“That she’s my mother,” Leia said pointing to Morgana.

“Bail,” both women said rising up together. “Why did you tell her?”

Zai was baffled.

“Don‘t yell at Daddy,” Leia said. “I asked him.”

“Leia go to your room,” Lady Organa told her.

“Daddy do I–”

“And don’t do that,” Lady Organa yelled. “I SAID go to your room. That’s the end of it, go.”

Leia lip began to tremble in anger. She broke away from the table and ran from the room. Her cousin followed.

“Did you have to be so hard on her?” Padmè  asked Bail’s wife.

“I am her mother,” Lady Organa said. “She has defied my authority one to many times.”

“We should have talked it out, not sent her to her room.”

“When you actually raise a child, you can tell me how to do it.”

“That’s not fair,” Padmè  said to her.

“Both of you, stop this,” Bail interrupted.

“This is so easy for you. The good guy, the perfect father,” Lady Organa snapped at her husband. “You don’t have to compete with Va–”

“Don’t you dare go there,” Bail told her.

“I didn’t want her to know Bail,” Padmè  told him. “We agreed it was easier if she didn’t know.”

“Like you aren’t pleased about it,” Lady Organa said.

“I’m not,” Padmè  told her. “You think I want her to know the truth?”

“Listen,” Bail began. “Leia asked me, very plainly and specifically, was Morgana her mother. I couldn’t lie to her.”

“It wouldn’t have been a lie,” his wife said. “Morgana is not her mother.”

“She doesn’t know the name Padmè , so it would have been a lie. I would have been saying, this woman,” Bail stepped behind Padmè  and placed a hand on her should. “No matter what her name, was not her mother and I can not look her in the face and lie like that.”

Lady Organa stared with contempt at the man and Padmè . “Yes, the noble Bail Organa, Prince of Alderaan, could never lie to his daughter, but he could do much worse to his wife.”

Lady Organa stormed off.

***************************

Leia lay curled up on the bed in a ball. She had caused this. She should have talked to Morgana alone like her father suggested, but sitting there she couldn’t stand it anymore and the words had spilled out. She wanted to ask Morgana a thousand questions: Who was her father? Why had she given her away? Did she have and brothers and sisters? Did she love her? But she didn’t have the words in her. She didn’t even know how to talk to Morgana.

She was barely aware of Zai, hovering nearby.

“You want to talk about it?” Zai asked

“About what? My parents lied to me. I mean I knew I had another mom, but I never thought they’d not tell me when I was looking right at her.”

The kids heard the door open and turned to see Morgana standing there.

“Your mother and father said I could talk to you.”

“I’ll go,” Zai said excusing himself.

Morgana came and sat beside Leia.

“Leia, I don’t know how you feel right now.”

“I don’t know either.”

“I wish I could say I could answer any questions you have, but I can’t. I can only tell you, you came from love. And if there was any way I could have kept you with me, I would have.”

“I don’t understand. Why would you come here if—”

“Coming here was a mistake Leia, I’m starting to see that.”

“But why did you come?”

Morgana sighed. Why had she come? She knew the dangers. “I guess, I wanted to see you.”

“And my dad?” Leia asked.

“No, just you.” Morgana smiled. “Your father knew me very well. He was like my big brother, he expected so much from me and I think I failed him. Except in giving him a child. I don’t know, maybe you’ll fulfill all those dreams that he had for me.”

Morgana rested a cautious hand on her child’s head and kissed her softly.

“One day you’ll understand why I had to do what I did, but that won’t be today. Just know that I love you.”

“I love you too Mom,” Leia told her.

Then Leia thought about what she had called her, Mom. The word was out of her mouth before she had a chance to think about it. At that moment, it had just felt right. She looked up at Morgana and saw a tear fall from her eye.

“I’m sorry,” Leia said.

“Don’t be,” Morgana said softly. “I never thought I would hear you call me that. And I’m glad I did get to hear it.”

Staring at her child, she finally saw life had went on without Anakin. Sure she had dreamed of raising her children with Anakin, of braiding her daughters hair, of sharing morning meals with her husband and children. But it hadn’t happened that way and Leia had still turned out great. Leia could still get up in the morning and smile at the sunrise. Leia ran and played everyday. Despite the darkness that was infecting the political structure and their father, the children were safe and loved. Could she have asked for more from such a bad situation. There had to be a point where you stopped counting the bad and started counting the good.

 

 

It was imperative that she contact him now. As Lady Organa watched the screen open, she expected to find another imperial lackey on the end of her call. Instead, Vader stood before her in all his Dark Glory. He had always been tall, but somehow the suit made him seem larger than life. Some looming fearful shadow of darkness, no he seemed to be darkness. And Lady Organa could hardly believe that thing was responsible for creating Leia.

“I was shocked to discover the High Lady of Alderaan was in such dire need to contact me,” Vader told her in that horrible mechanically altered voice that made her spine shiver. “Considering her husband would be quite happy if Alderaan never felt my presence again.”

“Well, I believe there’s a problem here that only you can solve,” Lady Organa replied as coolly as she could in his intense presence.

“Would you care to elaborate?” The Dark Lord asked.

“No, I would not, because I’m not sure she is who she says she is.”

“And who does she say she is?”

“Padmè  Skywalker.”

The black mask, of course, remained emotionless. But she had shocked him because there was a definite pause.

“It’s a good thing I’m already on my way.”

“What?” Lady Organa snapped.

“You look disappointed,” the Dark Lord said.

If she could have seen his face, she guessed their would have been some smug expression. Is it possible the Dark Lord could sense the deception? She knew that was possible, but he wasn’t in the room with her and just the thought that he could probe her mind from so long a distance shook her. No, she guessed, this was just him trying to out maneuver his opponent. At least, she hoped that’s all it was. She wanted Morgana, Padmè , whatever name she called herself, gone, but she didn’t want Vader to actually capture her.

“I am a little disappointed,” the woman said. “When I have such important visitors. I like to plan for their arrival.”

“I will see you soon Lady Organa. ”

The screen went black. And Lady Organa sat there staring at the screen. She had made a mistake and only now did she see the full weight of it.

*************

 

Lady Organa strolled into the garden and saw her daughter and Zai sitting with Padmè . She didn’t know what they were talking about. They were giggling and pointing to flowers. So she guessed it didn’t have much to do with the past. Padmè  looked up and saw her and then the children saw her. Leia walked over to her.

“Leia, how are you?” Lady Organa said to the little girl.

“Okay,” the child said. “I talked to Morgana and Daddy.”

Lady Organa sighed. She didn’t even know Morgana wasn’t the woman’s real name.

“And how do you feel about everything?” Lady Organa said.

“Well, I have a family. It’s just different from other peoples,” Leia told her.

“I’m glad your okay.”

“Mother, I don’t know why Morgana gets you so upset but—”

“Leia, it’s okay,” she interrupted. “I actually need to talk to Morgana so can you and Zai go play someplace else?”

“Okay,” Leia said with a smile. She got her cousin and they left together.

“Bright child,” Padmè  said as she watched the children leave. “She knew the scientific name of every plant out here.”

“Yeah, she absorbs things like a sponge. Much like her mother I hear.”

“People said I was gifted, but not like her,” Padmè  said “I see her father in her.”

“I can’t,” Lady Organa said. “And I don’t want to.”

“Well, that’s because you never really got to know Anakin,” Padmè  said letting her hand lightly glide over a flower. “He was a beautiful boy and an amazing man. Anakin saved me in so many ways. I was so much a politician, I forgot what it was like to be a girl and he gave me that. He also allowed me to be a woman.”

“I saw you kiss Bail,” Lady Organa stated plainly.

Padmè  paused for a moment. “I’m sorry about that. It was a fluke and it will never happen again. What I said before still stands true. I’m not looking to fall in love with Bail. There was a time I had a crush on Bail Organa, but it was a girl’s crush toward a mentor, I never truly loved him.”

A day ago, she would have though Padmè  was psyching her out, playing with her head. But having seen that dreamy gaze in her eye when she talked about Anakin, she now knew better and she hated herself. This woman had given her the greatest gift in the world, her precious child. Yes she had lost a child, but at the end of the day she was given a gift to fill her loss and Padmè  had nothing. One child could not replace the other, but she had had something to hold onto, Padmè  had only had lost. She’d lost a son, she’d lost a daughter, she’d lost a husband, she’d lost her entire life.

Why hadn’t she seen it sooner? Because she knew, whatever Padmè  ‘s feelings, Bail had loved someone before her, more than her. But it was time to stop blaming Padmè  for it.

“Bail’s like the big brother I never had. I don’t know, we clicked right away, like we had grown up together. But I think that was the beginning and the end of it. Bail actually helped me by bringing me here, by telling Leia the truth.” Padmè  smiled to herself. “I actually think I’m ready to live again.”

Padmè  didn’t know it, but with those words she had taken the knife of guilt and plunged it deeper into the other woman’s heart. Lady Organa fully intended to warn Padmè , but she’d lost the ability to speak. Speaking her sins out loud suddenly seemed impossible.

“What have I done?” she said to herself.

“It’s okay, if I had seen someone kiss my husband I would have acted the same way.”

Padmè ’s words made Lady Organa ill. The guilt weighed down on her suddenly and she had to flee.

“I’m sorry Padmè ,” Lady Organa said breaking into tears. “I have to go.”

Padmè  watched the woman run off perplexed. She knew Lady Organa didn’t like her, but there was something unsettling in her reaction. Padmè  decided to seek out Bail.
She found Bail in conference in his office. He was conferring with a regional governor of some sort. She’d known him casually long ago and decided to wait the meeting out. She avoided meeting too many people one on one that might recognize her. You couldn’t be sure who was a part of the underground movement and who wasn’t. When the man went down the hall, Padmè  entered the office.

“Bail,” she said stepping into his office. “I’m worried about—”

“Padmè ,” Bail said getting up. “ I’m glad your here.”

It was then Padmè  noticed the worried look on face.

“What’s wrong?”

“Vader,” Bail said. “He’ll be here by tomorrow and I don’t know what to do with you.”

“What do you mean he’ll be here by tomorrow?”

“He’s on his way. Apparently there’s a leak. They told Vader you were here.”

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been so wrapped up in my family issues, so wrapped up in having you.”

“Having me?” Padmè  questioned. “What do you mean having me?”

“Having you here,” Bail quickly corrected.

“Are you sure that’s what you meant Bail?”

“Of course.” Bail answered. “Why would you think anything else?”

“Your wife saw us kiss Bail. And I know we both agreed it was a mistake, but–” Padmè  sighed. “I don’t know. Something has been happening between us recently. The kiss didn’t come from nowhere.”

“Don’t dwell on it,” Bail insisted.

“I have to, this is my daughter’s family at stake.”

“Padmè  you’re a beautiful woman, so I can‘t say I haven‘t had a single improper thought. You were hurt and I wanted to make it better,” Bail told her. “But I’m not harboring any secretly buried romantic love if that’s what your asking.”

“Then you need to talk to your wife and tell her this.”

“Right now there are more important issues. Have you forgotten about Vader?”

“I can handle Anakin if I must. But I couldn’t live with breaking up Leia’s family.”

“I’ll go talk to my wife,” Bail conceded. “But you remember Padmè , Anakin does not exist. Vader is some twisted thing, he’s not Anakin and he‘s not your husband. You owe nothing to him.”

Padmè  nodded and Bail left her to seek out his wife. She looked after her old friend.

“There’s only one problem Bail,” Padmè  said to herself. “I don’t believe he’s just some twisted thing. He’s my Ani. Somewhere inside, he’s my Ani.”

 


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