Here comes Anakin...


The Skywalker twins stood on either side of their mother, Leia on the left, Luke on the right. They stood before huge metal doors with bronze designs threaded through iron. Leia reached out. They opened at just a touch.

"Presenting Senator Amidala and her two children, Luke Skywalker and Leia Skywalker." They walked into a room decorated in deep reds and blacks, a low throne at the end. Seated in that throne was a 17 year old boy with black hair and a burn scar blinding one eye. To his right was an armored man. His helmet covered the lower half of his face, but he had icy blue eyes. Very familiar blue eyes.

"Fire Lord Zuko. I am honored that you accepted the invitation." Senator Amidala nodded respectfully.

"Senator Amidala of the Galactic Republic. I am honored myself that your country would be kind enough to extend one." Zuko nodded in turn. The supposed Fire Lord had a tired expression and eyes that belonged on a veteran of war, not a young man.

"Yes. One question before we begin negotiations, though. Why is your planet divided by elements?"

"I cannot give you a demonstration, but my-" He paused here for a moment, unsure, "-bodyguard will be happy to." He nodded to the armored man at his side. The man stepped into the space between them and started to do the most incredible things the Senator and her children had ever seen.

The bodyguard moved with the precision and grace of a Jedi. But no Jedi could do what he was doing.

Fire leapt from his hands and curled and bent to his will. Orange fingers darted around him, throwing sparks into a complex pattern that whirled and whisked around the viewers. When he was done, the masked man simply stood and bowed to the visitors.

Senator Amidala caught a glimpse of those incredibly familiar blue eyes again.

Leia was the one to break the silence. "That. Was. So. Cool! You have to teach me how to do that!"

The bodyguard's eyes crinkled so that it seemed he was smiling. Then they unwrinkled, and he pivoted on his heel and strode over to Zuko. He bent down and pressed a button on his helmet, though the visitors couldn't see what it did. After about half a minute of whispering, he pressed the button again and straightened up.

"My bodyguard doesn't think it's safe for us here. He suggests a change in location."

"Where to, Fire Lord?"

"My uncle Iro is very hospitable. I am sure he will let us stay at his home. It will also give us a chance to speak more freely." Apparently, Zuko disliked formalities as much as Senator Amidala did.

"It sounds wonderful. When should we leave?"

"Is tomorrow alright?"

Amidala's shoulders relaxed slightly, something about four people in the galaxy would have noticed - and two of them were her children. "Perfect, Lord Zuko. Now, I believe we are done for today?"

"Yes. I will have my guards show you and your children to your rooms." Zuko snapped his fingers, and three guards came up behind them.

"It is an honor, Fire Lord Zuko."

"As it is for me, Senator Amidala." The Senator and her children graciously accepted the guiding hands of the guards. "I will see you tomorrow, to set off. You may also see...some other aspects of this planet."

Leia looked back as the trio was leaving and saw the Fire Lord talking with his bodyguard in low but easy tones. They seemed like...like...

Master and Padawan flitted across her mind. But that was impossible! These weren't Jedi!

Maybe not, murmured the Force to her. But they are Force-sensitive.


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