Title: To Suffer in Silence
Summary: This follows Anakin's thought on the events that happened during the Lawless episode and the effect of what happened after.
Authors note: So far I'm on a role! Here is the next chapter, thank you to all of you reading this I am glad you like it! A special thank you to the-writer1988, Think up a name, Mo Angel and Jedi Master Misty Sman-Esay for reviewing.
Anakin all but jogged up to where Padmé had her office. He could not believe that he had not thought about her before.
As he walked into the waiting room he was not greeted by her usual handmaiden, in fact no one was there. Worrying that she too was not in he quickly made his way to the office door and palmed it open.
It opened silently and quietly he walked in.
He could hear voices coming from the small sitting area she had off to the right hand side of her office. He approached silently, not wanting to disturb and curious as to whom the other obviously male voice belonged to.
As he came into view their conversation halted and Padmé stood up in surprise.
"Master Skywalker, what a pleasant surprise." She began as her guest turned to face him.
It was none other than Bail Organa, Anakin should have known. Ever since Zigoola he had noticed that not only had the man become good friends with Obi-Wan but with his wife as well.
He bowed to the both of them. "Forgive me for interrupting. No one was outside so I let myself in. I apologize and will come back later." He began to turn to leave but was stopped by Organa's cultured voice.
"Please stay Master Skywalker we were about to conclude our meeting."
Organa stood up and bowed to Padmé, "I will see what I can find and let you know at your earliest convenience."
She smiled at him and inclined her head, "Thank you, Sabé will see you out."
With that the handmaiden Anakin had only just noticed came forward and waited for Organa to follow her.
As he passed Anakin he bowed once before resuming his course.
Anakin knew that the man was one of Obi-Wan's closest friends and confidantes and Padmé trusted him explicitly as well. However, try as he might he could not get a read on the man which was probably why he tended not to trust him. It could also be that he didn't like the close relationship he had with the two most important people to him. But either way he knew the Bail Organa was resourceful and could help him. So before he could walk out the door Anakin stopped him.
"Actually Senator Organa, I would ask you a few questions if I could?"
Organa stopped, not quite able to hide the surprise he felt at the request. But he wasn't a politician for nothing and quickly schooled his features, stepping back into the room.
"Of course, I am at your service Master Skywalker."
Padmé motioned them to take a seat once more as Sabé brought forth refreshments.
"What can we help you with Master Skywalker?" Padmé asked not completely masking the concern she felt.
Taking the cup from Sabé with a small nod of thanks he sighed, "I was wondering if either of you had heard from Obi-Wan or anything about his whereabouts?"
As he watched them he noticed their postures stiffen and he could feel the tension rolling off of them in waves.
"What is it? Have you heard from him?" Anakin asked sitting up straighter and putting his drink down.
Organa and Padmé shared a look before turning to Anakin. "He talked to us both a little over seven weeks ago asking some peculiar questions but not really offering more information since he didn't have any to offer. We looked into what he asked us to and are trying to put the information together. So far the picture it paints isn't pretty. We've tried to contact him but we cannot get a hold of him and we do not want to go to the Council since he more or less told us his was doing this, whatever it is, unofficially." Organa answered rather too vaguely for Anakin.
He understood that he didn't want to give too much information just in case Anakin was in the dark as to his Master's activities but at the same time he felt insulted. Schooling his features he knew he was going to have to play negotiator today, a role that did not suite him at all, but if he wanted answers he was going to have to play nice.
"Look I know you don't want to reveal to much to me since you think your protecting Obi-Wan, but I know Obi-Wan is in trouble and the only way we are going to be able to help him is by helping each other." He paused allowing them time to grasp what he said, to their credit neither of them asked how he knew or if he was sure that Obi-Wan was in trouble, they merely nodded their heads their expressions grave.
"What do you know Anakin?" Padmé asked him softly, her worry shining through her open gaze.
If Organa had asked him that question he might have refused to offer any information before he was given more, but since it was Padmé he would not refuse her.
"Obi-Wan came to see me about seven weeks ago as well, I'm guessing it was right after he had come to visit both of you since it was rather late." Both nodded their heads to confirm his suspicions but allowed him to continue without interruption.
"He told me he had received a distress call from Mandalore asking for assistance from the Duchess Satine. He didn't go into too much detail only that Deathwatch had taken control, he needed to borrow my ship and that he was going alone and against the Council's wishes. He said he felt there was more going on there then met the eye and it wasn't just Deathwatch that was worrying him. So I loaned him the Twilight and watched him leave, but I made him promise that he would call me should he need assistance. After about three weeks had passed I was upgrading Artoo when I felt a disturbance in the force centering around Obi-Wan. It was bad, but before I could see what had happened he blocked me off in a manner of speaking. This obviously sent up red flags so I went to check on the location of my ship to see if that would give me any clues. I also tried contacting him but just like you I received no response. To make matters worse I discovered that my ship had been destroyed two days before. I wanted to go see Palpatine to see if he had heard anything about Mandalore and their situation…"at this he noticed Padmé and Organa exchange a dark look but he continued none the less.
"But before I could Master Yoda and Master Windu accosted me and wanted information on Obi-Wan, they were worried too. Afterwards I was unable to do very much because I've been so busy since then, but today I got my opportunity and came to see Chancellor Palpatine but he was not here. Now it seems that Obi-Wan knew more than he was letting on and has managed to get himself into more trouble than I had first feared. I haven't heard from him since I last saw him and no one knows where he is although my best guest would be Mandalore, but we need to find him because I know something's wrong…" he trailed off looking at both of them but not really seeing them.
At this Organa stood up and began to pace. Padmé stood up as well and walked over to the opposite couch where Anakin sat. She gently squeezed his arm, "We'll find him, don't worry Anakin." But he could see that she was just as worried as he was.
Organa cleared his throat and came to stand behind the opposite couch.
"As you surmised Master Kenobi contacted Padmé and myself saying he needed to speak with us. We met at Padmé's apartment where he proceeded to ask us if we had heard anything from the Mandalore government or Duchess Saltine in particular. We hadn't. He then told us that he received an urgent message and his attention was required off planet. Before he left he asked us to see if we could find anything out about the movements of Deathwatch, the Pyke Syndicate, and Black Sun. He also asked Padmé in particular to try and contact Duchess Satine or at least see if she could get any information on her whereabouts. He asked for our discretion and to contact him directly if we found anything, then he was gone."
"As soon as he left Bail and I got to work, I tried contacting all my contacts within the Mandalore government including Satine's personal and lesser known line but I received no reply. So I worked on sending one of our spies to infiltrate in order to see what information they could find. A few days after Obi-Wan had left I received a coded message from an unknown source. When I answered it, it turned out to be Satine's nephew Korkie. He informed me that his Aunt had been imprisoned and he was going to break her out but he needed help once they were off planet. I agreed to send one of my ships with a security detail to meet them at a pre-appointed location, but they never rendezvoused with them leading me to believe that she had been captured again. After that I lost all contact with them and had to wait until my source made contact." She finished and turned to Bail indicating he should continue.
"While Padmé was hunting down her own leads I looked into Deathwatch, the Black Sun and Pyke Syndicate organizations like Obi-Wan asked. What I discovered made me uneasy. Rumor has it that the Black Suns and the Pyke Syndicate are recently working together and under "new management". However when I try to find out who is the person pulling the strings I always run into dead ends. Another rather disturbing rumor is that they have also joined forces with Deathwatch. This is too much of a coincidence; the only thing that I cannot discover is who managed to unite these three ruthless gangs. As of right now I am still trying to find out who is in charge and who is responsible for the coup." He replied moving to retake his seat.
"How do you know someone is behind this and it isn't just Deathwatch?" Anakin asked.
"Because my source contacted me recently and gave me the information they were able to gather. Apparently Black Sun and Pyke Syndicate are working together with Deathwatch. Whoever their leader is they orchestrated a hostile take over by the Black Suns and the Pyke Syndicate in order to let Deathwatch take credit for getting rid of them while at the same time undermining Satine's rule. When my informant got close to discovering who was behind this he disappeared, I haven't heard from him since. Whoever they are they scare all three of those groups." This time Padmé responded.
Anakin abruptly stood up and begin to pace. "Obi-Wan had to know all this or at least he had an idea, why else would he ask such specific questions. Like you said it is too much of coincidence and we all know he doesn't believe in those. But why wouldn't he have told me, if he knew it went this deep and there was more to the situation then why didn't he tell me?" he demanded worry and anger rising within him.
To his surprise it was Organa and not Padmé who offered him the obvious answer. "Because he knew you would not have let him go alone."
With a sigh of resignation he sat down. "Kriff Obi-Wan…" he muttered placing his head in his hands.
He felt his wife's hand rest gently on his shoulder. With another sigh he pulled himself together and looked up.
"Did you bring this information to Palpatine, surely he needs to know that the Black Suns and Pyke Syndicate are working together with Deathwatch. With this information we could move against them and interfere on Mandalore." He asked feeling as if he had just solved how to help Obi-Wan.
At this Padmé and Organa exchanged another look. "We went to Chancellor Palpatine with what we had heard. But he still maintained that it was Mandalore's issue to deal with and as a neutral planet he would not be able to get the Senate to agree to send aid. Besides rumors are not enough proof to validate stretching our army thinner than it already is."
Both Organa and Padmé could sense the tension so in an attempt to placate Anakin Padmé continued more reservedly. "We went back to speak with him when we had more substantiated proof but he was gone. I'm sure if he had heard our intel he would have agreed to send help to Mandalore."
Taking a deep breath Anakin looked at the both of them. "So where does that leave us now?"