AN: I'm sorry for the wait on this, I know its WAY past deadline, but work's been tough the last couple of weeks, and they've been working me like a dog, I actually can't remember when my last day off was, besides Christmas which the store is closed so no working anyway. From now on in the near future if I tell y'all a dead line just completely ignore it as it'll probably be unlikely to get there. In other news, due to the fact that I'm leaving in forty-one days in counting and once I'm gone I'll have no technological access for at least eight weeks, and even after that I don't know how much access I'll have, I have a new goal: finish Phantom Menace before then. I know a lofty goal but I'll try, so without further ado here is the next chapter…

A Ridiculous Farce

A battle droid sergeant and a dozen undesignated droids led their prisoner convoy, containing the primary leadership of the Naboo people, along the halls of the Theed palace and out into the plaza beyond, which was further fortified with all manner of ATTs, MTTs, STAPs, and battalions of battle droids. They were led silently across the plaza, and past the machines of war. They departed the plaza and turned down a broad heading towards the outskirts of the city and the new detention camps set up by the Trade Federation. The droids had just turned their prisoners down a quiet alleyway when they were brought to an abrupt halt by the sergeant.

In their way stood the three Jedi-Ben, Qui-Gon, and in the front Obi-Wan-each holding themselves in a loose stance ready for anything. For a moment, each group stared at the other in silence, until the narrow face of Jar Jar Binks made itself known outstretched from behind Obi-Wan in the middle of the Jedi's formation, "Heydey…ho?"

The droid sergeant took this as some kind of unknown signal to act, "Clear them away!" he gestured to his undesignated soldiers.

"I grow bored of this ridiculous farce." Ben stated in an uncharacteristic outburst. He knew someone important to him was now before him and her safety drove him to act, and as he knew that nothing would change due to his action he felt little restraint for such things. He waved his hand in an almost careless nature and the droids collapsed, there internal mechanisms disconnected.

This left both parties staring at him, the Naboo in shock at the ease that this Jedi had taken care of their captors, and the Jedi in shock at having never seen the elder master lose his cool to such a degree, though in this mission he seemed to be going further and further away from his typical display of emotions. Obi-Wan quickly recomposed himself and approached the Naboo party, gesturing to the young woman in the feathered headdress he inquired, "Are you Queen Amidala of the Naboo?"

The Queen flinched before coming back to herself and looking up to the Jedi apprentice, "You are the ambassadors sent by the chancellor I take it?"

The apprentice inclined his head slightly, "We are, we seek an audience with you Your Highness."

As the others came back to themselves the soldiers quickly moved forward to commandeer the weapons off the downed droids. Once the soldiers were armed Obi-Wan lead the two parties down an alleyway quietly, some of whom were still in awe of the display of indifference and efficiency, with the Jedi Masters bringing up the rear. Once they were in a more covered position Obi-Wan faced the Queen once again, "Your Highness I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, and these are my companions Qui-Gon Jinn, and Ben Antilles. We are Jedi Knights and, as you have already inferred, the ambassadors for the supreme chancellor."

"What may I ask did you deem so important as to take precedence over the negotiations, Master Jedi?" Governor Sio Bibble inquired with an air of indignation.

"My apologies Governor, but we were unexpectedly attack before we could begin." Qui-Gon said from the rear, an equal amount of indignation present in his voice directed at the Governor.

Before they could continue the argument Obi-Wan spoke once again to the Queen to regain the attention of those present, "Your Highness we must make contact with the Republic."

"We can't," The Queen's security chief, Panaka, volunteered, "They've knocked out the all our communications."

An alarm sounded nearby, and the sound of running, causing Qui-Gon to glance toward the streets, "Do you have transports?" he said with the smallest not of concern noticeable.

Panaka nodded in understanding, "In the main hangar, this way."

They began moving through the back alleys, meeting little resistance. The Jedi moved in a triangular formation with Obi-Wan in the lead, following Panaka's directions. In little time they began approaching a back entrance to the hangar that was entirely unprotected.

Panaka quickly opened the door after making sure the perimeter was secure, allowing the party to see inside the hangar. A handful of craft were inside, each guarded by battle droids from all sides. The security captain pointed to one specific ship that looked especially, aesthetically appealing, given its surroundings, whispering "The Queen's personal transport."

Obi-Wan nodded, "that one will do."

Panaka scanned the hangar interior, "The battle droids are too great in number. WE can't get past them." He stated putting particular emphasis on the word 'we' while glancing back the eldest of the Jedi.

"Perhaps, you cannot, but we can." Ben assured.

Panaka looked back at Obi-Wan who had so far assumed leadership and assumed the obvious, thus asking the 'leader' of the group of his opinion, though with little expectation of a different answer, "He's right," Obi-Wan agreed, "they won't be a problem." Obi-Wan then turned back towards the queen, "Your Highness under the circumstances, I suggest you come to Coruscant with us."

The young woman shook her head, the feathers on her headdress rustling softly, "Thank you, Ambassador, but my place is here with my people."

"That would be highly unwise Your Highness. Surely if you stay you will be slain by the Trade Federation, and then without your protection your people would be left unprotected to die in droves!" Obi-Wan countered placing a shred of doubt in Amidala's thought.

Governor Bibble, however, stepped forward, "They wouldn't dare!"

"They need her to sign a treaty to make this invasion of theirs legal!" Panaka pointed out, "They can't afford to kill her!"

Ben felt outraged at the potential for The Queen to be harmed, within this plan, and made his feelings known, "That's hardly the case in this situation! With the foul play I feel going on in the shadows surrounding this debacle I wouldn't be surprised if your signature wasn't simply forged onto their document to save them time! We cannot chance that the Federation will patiently wait on you to bend to their wishes pushing you until you can't refuse, and I assure you that they will eventually do so even if they do it by finding, and bringing before you your own parents for execution! They hold to great an advantage while you remain here, and even if you're right, you would pose a greater threat to them by standing before The Senate face-to-face than facing down Nute Gunray in front of your people!" Ben finally managed to regain control of himself, he hadn't felt that out of control in millennia.

As The Queen looked back and forth between them all, doubt growing within her, Qui-Gon pressed forward, "There is no logic to the Federation's actions here, Your Highness. My instincts say they will destroy you."

As the doubt crossed her mind, she steeled herself for one last push, "Surely, Master Jedi, with your power you could…fight off this invasion. Simply disable all of the invading forces," she was pointedly looking at Ben with this statement, "I saw what you did to that blast door on the control ship. You could move through the enemy's army as if it were flimsiplast."

Qui-Gon was quick to counter, "Your Highness we are Jedi, guardians of peace, not warriors. We cannot simply fight a war for you."

The Queen continued looking at Ben, waiting for an answer to him as it was primarily he whom she was questioning, he gave a great sigh before responding in a gravely and haunted tone, "Your Highness we are not, none of us, all powerful. Could we eliminate this threat, right here, right now? Potentially, yes if we were to attack properly." This drew an impressed raise of an eyebrow from Obi-Wan, who had no idea they were that powerful, and a frown from Qui-Gon as he thought of the implications, while all of the Naboo reignited a sense of hope in their eyes, "However, should we, is a much a bigger question. To act in such a manner would hold us above the laws that we are sworn to protect. What would your people think if you saw the Chancellor send a team of Jedi to settle, what from the outside appears as a simple peaceful trade dispute, and the offending party is completely wiped out? Certainly, claims could be made that unnecessary aggression was acted upon by the other side, but with what evidence? The battle droids which were destroyed? Could they not have been planted, or used by the victors or perhaps nothing more than tools of defense as they were intended to be? No in this situation even if we could completely eliminate this threat, which is still not entirely known, it would be too much involvement and too many dangerous repercussions would arise. I'm sorry, Your Highness."

With that speech the hope that was rising in the Naboo died and alarm began crossing their features along-side dread. Governor Bibble spoke-up slowly, "Perhaps you should reconsider, Your Highness. Our only hope is for the Senate to take our side in this. Senator Palpatine will need your help."

A shock of anger rose slightly in Ben at the name Palpatine, but he released it into The Force so quickly that Qui-Gon missed it, though he noticed something, and it certainly never reached his face.

Captain Panaka immediately, stated his doubts, refusing outright, "Getting past their blockade is impossible, Your Highness-even if we were to get off the planet! An escape attempt is too dangerous-"

Ben could see, though with great difficulty, the loyalty to Palpatine and his orders pass through Panaka's mind and stepped forward to counter, "I would hardly consider the task impossible, the shields on the craft should hold you just need a good enough pilot, which I'm sure one is available."

The Governor added his own assistance as well, while shaking his head at Panaka, "Your Highness, I will stay here and do what I can. They will need to maintain the council of Governors in order to maintain a sense of order. But you must leave-"

The Queen silenced the debate with a raising of her hand. Turning from all participants and towards her handmaidens, "Either choice presents great risks to all of us…"

Ben immediately knew what was going on. He had yet to see the resoluteness in The Queen's face as he had seen his sister's so long ago while she served in the Senate, a resoluteness he saw shine brightly on the face of one of her handmaidens. One whose features were so familiar that even after all this time he'd recognize them as if he'd seen them only seconds prior, even if they belonged to two entirely different people. It was this handmaiden, Padme, who spoke up firmly, "We are brave Your Highness."

Alarms blared, and Obi-Wan urged, "If you're going to leave, Your Highness, you must do it now!"

Queen Amidala straightened and nodded, "So be it. I will plead our case to The Senate." She turned to The Governor, "Be careful, Governor."

She comforted the Governor before choosing the handmaidens to come with her and comfort the others, while Panaka chose two of his four guards to stay behind and protect the Governor and the handmaidens. The Jedi led the way into the hangar followed shortly by Jar Jar and the Naboo. "Stay close," Obi-Wan said calmly over his shoulder resuming his leadership position.

Captain Panaka moved close to him, an intense expression on his dark face, "We need a pilot for the vessel," he pointed to where a group of Naboo were being held captive by a squad of droids, "There."

"I'll deal with it." Ben interjected forcefully as he began moving towards the group. Though his strides suggested he was walking he crossed the hangar with speed that would make it appear as if he were sprinting. Every step he took radiated power. White electricity began sparking all around his body as he began preparing a technique that he hadn't used in years and even then he never used it to this degree, and he had a feeling that in the coming years he would be using it with greater frequency than he had ever thought necessary. As the squadron began to take notice of his presence he unleashed the electricity in white arcs of ionic energy, so intense that they propelled each individual droid headlong into the wall behind them and shattering whatever components within the droids that weren't already short-circuited.

This garnered the attention of the entire hanger as every battle droid focused on the new threat giving the others an opening to make for the ship. As the droids began to take notice he began slinging them all around the hangar smashing every droid he lifted telekinetically into walls, the floor, the ceiling, ships, and other battle droids, leaving no droid untouched, and causing some much confusion that the droids could not possibly get a clear shot on the wall let alone the Jedi, or his soon to be charges. As soon as he got to the group he muttered a simple phrase that held all the authority he could possibly place in it as he motioned upward and toward the transport, "Come with me." And without questioning him simply from his display of power they rose and sprinted toward said transport, with the Jedi Master trailing to make sure they got there safe.

As he approached the ramp with both groups already aboard the ship he nodded to Qui-Gon and both followed the group on board, making their way to the cockpit. They entered crossing paths with Obi-Wan as he took Jar Jar somewhere, where he would not be a distraction. They each settled in and Ben began slipping into a slight meditation as he prepared to utilize the Ayna-seff to begin redirecting turbo laser bolts away from doing too much damage to the ship. He knew how much damage was necessary, as well as where it needed to be, and so settled in to protect them until they get to where they'll have to stop at Tatooine.