Tales of the Temple Terrors: The Senatorial Incident
“This has got to be the most illegal thing we have ever done.” Kittenira Nite muttered.
She could understand pranks, and banister sliding, and master dyeing, those all had a purpose. This was just stupid. Sneaking into the senate chambers just to see Ani’s crush, who, by the way, happened to be twenty! Anakin was fifteen!
“Don’t worry, no one’ll see us. I just have to see her Kitty; this might be my only chance!”
His friend regarded him as if he were some sort unidentified variant of space slug.
“Who are you, and what have you done with Anakin?”
“All’s clear!” A cheerful, slightly whirring voice chirped. Both padawans turned to the little pink droid hovering in the darkened hallway.
Darkened because it was unused, and off limits. It was one of many unfinished passageways throughout the senate chambers, used in the original construction of the building then abandoned. A layer of dust coated the floor, and the air was still and heavy.
“You sure?” Anakin asked his droid.
“Great, let’s get out of here. This place is depressing.” Kitty started off, leaving her human friend to catch up. Not that it was very difficult for him,
Kitty was unusually small, and Anakin had always been taller than her, but about a year ago he had started growing at an alarming rate, and he hadn’t stopped.
At the end of the abandoned service hallway was a door, it wasn’t welded shut, but the control panel had been covered up, naturally it wasn’t anymore thanks to Kari’s tiny fusion laser.
Anakin was halfway through the doorway before Kitty could stop him.
“You are so not subtle.” She hissed, dragging him back into the service hall and palming the door closed just in time to avoid a maintenance droid working it s way down the already gleaming corridor.
Anakin blushed and stepped away form the door.
A minute later they were both creeping through the gleaming marble corridors, keeping to the shadows and avoiding senatorial aides and protocol droids.
“What box is she in?”
“Anakin!” Kitty groaned.
They were inside one of the unused box’s awaiting repair of some kind. Kitty stood balanced precariously on the rim, secure in the knowledge that they would not be noticed in the massive crowd.
Anakin searched desperately through a datacard looking for ‘Amidala’ on the list of visiting dignitaries.
“You had better hope she’s here.”
“Aha! Box 2,306!”
He jumped up and grabbed the macrobinoculars away from Kitty, joining her on the box’s rim and almost falling in his excitement.
“Easy there blondie, I don’t think the folks below us would appreciate having you fall into their laps, look at what happened to Obi wan when you fell into his lap.”
There were a pair of obese, many limbed, slimy, slug-like Plastiods below them.
Anakin shivered. “They do sort of resemble him though don’t they?”
“Not really. Unless he starts sprouting limbs anytime soon… or stops eating that organic junk and put on a little weight.”
“There she is! Kitty I can see her! Oh wow! Kitty it’s her, it’s her Kitty, its Padme’! Oh Kitty she’s so beautiful, she hasn’t changed a bit!”
Kitty had to pull him back as he ounce again leaned too far out.
“You wanna see Kitty?”
Kitty took the macrobinoculars from him and focused in on box 2,306.
“Actually Ani, I think it s a guy, and personally I’m really not into the wrinkly, gray-haired type, but hey, it’s your life.”
Kari snickered and Anakin blushed.
“Not that one bantha brains, the pretty one sitting behind him!” Kitty pretended to adjust the macrobinoculars.
“Oh I see! That’s much better; you had me worried there for a minute,”
“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” Anakin asked in a dreamy voice.
Kitty grinned; Ani was such a dork when it came to females! This on did look pretty nice she supposed, although she’d have looked nicer without all the head stuff and make-up. She didn’t really seem Ani’s type though.
“I dunno Ani; she doesn’t really seem your type.”
“What do you mean?” Anakin asked worriedly.
“She looks kind of like a, I dunno, decoration. A pretty but useless little glass bauble, you know what I mean?”
Anakin laughed in relief,
“You haven’t seen her with a blaster! She’s not really like that, it’s just an impression most people get until they meet her.”
“I’ll take your word for it.”
Kitty handed the macrobinoculars back and set about setting up a datafeed up to their box’s comm system with a translator speaker so that they could hear what was being said. The Supreme Chancellor’s voice filled the box.
“--- newly elected Senator Amidala of Naboo.”
“So that’s why she’s here!” Anakin said form the rim of the box, the macro’s still glued to his face, watching the Naboo box move out into the chamber.
“Crap, I can’t see her anymore!”
Macros still glued to his face, Anakin scrambled down from the box’s rim. Not looking where his feet where going, he slipped, his booted foot slamming into the control panel as he fell onto the floor of the box. The panel chimed obligingly, and came alive with flashing lights.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” Kitty said, pulling her dazed friend off the floor. Anakin glanced at the control panel and his eyes widened.
The box pulled away from its moorings with a groan of strained metal, abruptly throwing its occupants on their collective behinds. Outraged shouts poured from the speakers as the box accelerated to the middle of the massive chamber and stopped suddenly, sending Anakin and Kitty back into the edge of the box and almost sending Kari into space. Anakin snatched her back and stuffed her into his robe pocket with a quickly muttered apology as the box changed direction again, this time going up. Senate guards sped out on speeder bikes, yelling for them to halt.
Losing patience with the idiots quickly, Kitty leaned over the edge and yelled at them as loud as she could, “We’re not flying the thing you morons!”
“Kitty, get down!” Anakin yelled. Their box was headed straight for the Naboo box. Thinking fast, Kitty grabbed Anakin by the arm and leaped to of the box, gesturing wildly towards the pilot of the Naboo box. Catching on, the pilot moved his box fractionally so that the two boxes would pass with barely a foot between them.
“This is so embarrassing.” Anakin groaned, and together they leapt into box 2,306, landing in a heap at the elegant feet of Senator Amidala.
“They’re only children!” A surprised aide said, lowering his blaster and helping them up. “Where did you to learn something like that?”
The more experienced pilot, having recognized their clothing and braids, laughed.
“They’re Jedi apprentices Jok; I seriously doubt they had much trouble.”
“Easy for you to say.” Kitty muttered.
The aide peered at them closely, and an annoyed Kitty met his gaze with narrowed eyes and an almost imperceptible growl, tail twitching back and forth behind her. Anakin elbowed her and an echoing “Be nice.” Filled her mind.
“And what are two Jedi apprentices doing at a senate meeting?” An amused female voice spoke from behind them. Anakin looked ready to die.
“Um, well, you see your, er, highness, or um, I mean senatorness, er…”
Anakin’s eyes were glued to his toes, his face bright red and apparently unable to form a coherent thought.
“Oh we just were curious was all.” Kitty breezed, stepping hard on Anakin’s foot.
“whats is two jedis a curious about mesa wonders?”
Anakin’s eyes widened in his red face. He had been so caught up in seeing Padme’, he hadn’t even noticed Jar Jar.
“I really don’t know. It wasn’t my idea. You see ANAKIN here—“
“Kitty!” Anakin groaned in her mind.
“Ani, that yousa?” Finally raising his face from the ground, he smiled sheepishly,
“Hey Jar Jar.”
“Ani!” The funny creature swept him up in a bone-crushing hug, making Kitty laugh.
“Jar Jar, you’re killing him.” The senator laughed. The tall alien set him down apologetically.
“Yousa so tall mesa not recognizing you Ani!” Kitty took a moment to take a closer look at Ani’s Padme’ while the others were focused on greeting Anakin, and decided she looked much nicer up close. Or maybe she just looked nicer now that she was smiling. As she stepped forward and greeted Ani, it was as if a mask fell from her painted face, and Kitty decided she liked it.
“Who’s your friend?” She was asking.
“Huh? Oh yeah. Uh, this is Kitty. I mean, her names Kittenira Nite, but everyone just calls her Kitty. She’s my friend.”
“Nice to meet you Kitty.” Kitty bowed out of habit… her master would have been proud.
Throughout the course of the conversation, the box had returned to its moorings, and the senate had disbanded for a brief recess and lunch.
“Anakin!!!” Anakin winced and Kitty groaned. Standing at the entrance to the box was Obi wan Kenobi, open mouthed, shocked and steaming.
Anakin and Kitty exchanged glances, duplicate images of the council in the same state of shock running through their minds.
“Kitty?! What are you doing here? Please tell me you didn’t have something to do with the out of control senatorial box I’m here to investigate.”
“Never mind, I don’t want to know.”
“Obi wan!” Jar Jar Binks ran forward and swept the slack--jawed Jedi into a overenthusiastic hug.
“Jar Jar, are you trying to reduce the Jedi population today or what?” The aide suggested, noticing Obi wan’s purpling face.
Only when Jar Jar stepped back did Obi wan’s brain register the presence of the others in the box.
“Senator, its good to see you again. Congratulations on your recent election. He greeted with a small bow, ounce again the distinguished Jedi Knight. “I see you’ve met the Temple Terrors.”
“The worst pranksters in the Jedi Order.”
“No damage done I hope?”
“No, its perfectly alright.”
“Tell that to the Council.” Obi wan said, one hand on each of the Padawan’s shoulders. “How did two you get in here?”
Kitty winked. “Trade secret.”
“Okay, Okay. So you see, there was this really big hawk bat. And it stole Ani. And it flew into the Senate building. Now, of course I knew that I shouldn’t go in, but the hawk bat had Ani. Otherwise, I never would have come in of course. So anyway, I followed it here, and I through my lightsaber at it, and its head kinda popped. You know, like a big pimple? So Ani was falling, and I ran into the box and started it up and whizzed out to get him, but I lost control , and it was flying all over the place, so we jumped into this box, and that’s what happened.”
Silence greeted Kitty’s confession.
“And that, Senator, is why Jedi make crappy politicians.” Obi wan told them.
“What! You don’t believe me?”
“Of course I believe you Kitty. After all, hawk bats regularly kidnap Skywalkers and have pimple like heads that pop as they fly--totally unnoticed by anyone save for little Feralians—through intergalactic Senatorial meetings. Hmm, now why would I have any reason not to believe you?”
“I’m glad you have such faith in my honesty.” Kitty said nobly.
“Maybe she wouldn’t make such a terrible politician after all.” The pilot muttered to the aide.
“I don’t suppose you have anything to add?” Obi wan asked his poker-faced apprentice.
“Actually, I’m rather hungry. Getting kidnapped by hawk bats tends to have that effect on me.”
“Anakin, everything has that effect on you.” Obi wan reminded him.
“Yes, but pimple-popping hawk bat heads have a proven effect on the appetite.” Kitty said.
“Yes, I was just noticing that.” Obi wan looked a little green.
“So, what’s for lunch? Anakin asked.
The amused Naboo delegation had watched the scene with barely contained laughter, and Padme decided that it would be refreshing relief to have lunch with some old friends.
“Actually, we were just on our way to lunch, would you like to join us?”
“Sure!” Both apprentices responded enthusiastically, although Obi wan looked doubtful.
“Are you sure you want to risk it.”
Padme grinned at Anakin. “We’ll risk it.”
Jedi weren’t known to frequent expensive restaurants, and although Anakin had been in one several times, he had never eaten in one, or paid much attention to his surroundings, having always been on Council business.
They were seated in a particularly famous one at the moment, Alderrani in style, with a beautiful view of an indoor-forest and a small lake on the upper most level of coruscant.
The food sounded pretty good, although some of it was just plain weird. Kitty had taken the first opportunity available to loudly point those out.
“Plicadi and yagi cheese-stuffed blacusoin bladder soaked in laso fermented Chul urine? What kind of perverted whacko’s eat this stuff?”
Apparently, the people at the table next to them. Obi wan was mortified, and Anakin chocked on his expensive fruit drink, his face ounce again red as some of the almost-neon green juice dribbled out of his nose.
Obi wan was, at present, hiding behind a large flower arrangement, while the Naboo delegation struggled to keep their own drinks down.
Luckily, the food came soon, offering a much needed distraction. An intelligent conversation had started up at some point, and between bites Anakin gazed fixedly at Senator Amidala.
“Where’s your master then?” The Senator asked Kitty. (Kitty had decided she liked her after all.)
“She had to go on a mission without me, so I get to stay with Ani and Master Obi wan. Its pretty fun, but neither of them can cook because everything Obi wan cooks is made with this healthy ‘natural’ stuff and smells almost as bad as what that weirdo over there is eating, and last time Ani tried to cook they evacuated the temple because they thought someone had poured poisoness gases through the ventilation system.”
Both the aide and the pilot were in stitches, Jar Jar was already on the floor, and the Senator was struggling to swallow while laughing at the same time. Obi wan eased back behind his flower arrangement, and Anakin banged his head repeatedly against the table edge.
Kitty continued eating, ignoring her companions odd behavior completely.
“First decent food I’ve had since Master Yara left. Sheesh Ani, you’re gonna dent your head!”
“I’m glad I got to meet you Kitty. And it was good to see you again Obi wan. You to Ani.” Leaning forward, she placed a quick kiss on Anakin’s cheek, which immediately reddened considerably. He was surprised to realize that she no longer had to bend down to reach him, they were of the same height.
“Always a pleasure.” Obi wan smiled and dropped a short bow.
On impulse, Kitty gave her a quick hug catching the Senator completely off guard. Stepping back, she grinned, “You’re not so bad. I actually like you- and you’re a politician!”
Obi wan shook his head, “What a diplomatic thing to say Kitty.”
“Its alright, I like you to.”
“good bye then.” Obi wan said, placing a hand on either of his charges shoulders.
“Bye-bye.” Jar Jar chimed in.
Turning, the delegation walked away, back to their senatorial duties.
“Well, that was interesting.” Was Obi wan’s comment.
“She’s good, I approve.” Was Kitty’s.
But Anakin just stood there and watched until the delegation turned a corner and was gone.
Anakin leaned his head back against the turbolift wall, trying to quell the butterflies that rose in his stomach. It had only been four years ago, but had she changed? Obi wan wasn't at all pleased with his padawans continued affections for the senator, Anakin knew. He'd have to be careful, the last thing he needed was to get himself kicked ou of the Order...
But as the turbolift door opened, and his eyes fell on the surprisingly small form of Padme' Amidala, he found himself wondering if perhaps she was worth it, after all.