A Revelation Already Known
“You also have a meeting with Senator Whitoe after the regularly scheduled senate-session, and then your schedule is clear for the afternoon.”
The Senator from Naboo, Padmé Amidala, popped the last crumb from her breakfast muffin into her mouth. “That may take up most of the afternoon: Senator Whitoe is very careful when choosing his words.”
“Dreadfully slow, if I may interject, Mi’lady,” See-Threepio, the senator’s protocol droid said.
“Shall I reschedule your dinner reservations then?” Moteé, one of the senator’s handmaidens asked, taping the datapad in her hand, searching for the correct application.
Padmé made a face and brought a hand to her stomach. “No, but have something available here in case the meeting goes too long. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to freshen-up for the day. Will you please set out ensemble A-81 for me today, Moteé?”
Moteé nodded to Padmé’s back as she retreated to the refresher room and a morning shower. “Of course, Mi’lady.”
The senator’s other handmaiden, Ellé, glanced at her counterpart as she unmade the bed. “You see this?” she whispered. “The bed was made. She never makes her bed!”
Moteé narrowed her eyes. “So?”
“Correction,” Ellé went on as if Moteé hadn’t spoken. “She rarely makes her bed, and rarely more than a day or two in a row.”
“Do you have a point, Ellé?” Moteé said from the depths of the senator’s closet.
“And when it’s made, it’s perfect! Look how tight these sheets are,” she observed, tugging out the ends of the previously mentioned sheets from under the mattress. “You could bounce a credit off of them and get change back. He must be military.”
Moteé popped her head out of the closet. “Who must be military?”
Ellé gave her a look. “Isn’t it obvious? Her lover,” she added with her softest whisper.
Moteé eyes flashed toward the refresher station, relieved to hear the shower running. “That’s not the sort of thing we talk about, Ellé.”
“Pardon, my less-than-sophisticated upbringing,” Ellé said, placing a fist on her hip and shaking a pillow in her counterpart’s direction when she disappeared into the closet. “This sort of thing may have been common place for you Theed Girls, but it wasn’t where I’m from, and it’s definitely something Captain Panaka and Captain Typho didn’t cover in our training.”
Returning from the closet with the skirt portion of ensemble A-81 draped over her arms, Moteé said, “No, it wasn’t but the less we know, the better.”
Ellé’s eyes went wide. “Moteé! She’s entrusted us with keeping secrets about having the Republic discuss a truce with the Separatists; that’s practically treason!”
Moteé stumbled over trying to find words for a response. “I-I don’t know. What do you want me to say?”
“I say we just ask her. For security issues, stuff like that,” Ellé declared, uncasing another pillow. “Who knows, maybe you’ll have to fill in for her some dark night and you might loosen up a little.”
Moteé’s cheeks went from pale-white to lava-red in an instant. “Ellé! I have to be the senator’s decoy for many reasons, but that is not part of my job description!” she said before ducking back into the closet. If there was a bucket of ice-water among the racks of clothes, she would have dunked her head in it.
Ellé smiled at Moteé’s embarrassment, but continued to think about the senator’s clandestine affair. After checking to see that the shower was still running, she turned to the protocol droid. “Threepio, you were here all night. Did the senator entertain any visitors?”
“I’m sorry, Mistress Ellé, but I have been asked never to reveal whether the senator had after-hours visitors or not, or their identities,” the golden-droid stated.
Uncasing another pillow, Ellé chewed on her lower-lip in thought. “Do you know the senator’s medical condition, Threepio?”
“Only the basic information that I have access to, which is the same information you are privy to.”
“So she hasn’t revealed anything new to you in recent days?”
Moteé shot out of the closet. “I don’t like where you are going with this, Ellé.”
“No, Mistress Ellé, she has not,” Threepio stated.
Ellé’s expression continued to be thoughtful as she focused her attention on changing the sheets on the bed.
Moteé didn’t like it. “Stop that.”
Moteé sighed. “The senator is not pregnant. Besides, her time isn’t for another week. We wouldn’t know anything before then.”
“There’s a war going on, Moteé and the senator is usually under a lot of stress. Do you honestly think her cycle will be on time? And if she’s sleeping with someone, don’t you think she’d check no matter how much contraception they’d use? And they call me the naïve one,” she shook her head, tucking a sheet corner under the mattress.
Having found the top of ensemble A-81, Moteé tossed it next to the rest before moving to Ellé’s side. The shower was off, but they could hear the senator humming to herself, so she needed to be extra quiet. “Let’s forget the pregnancy issue for now---.”
“Didn’t you see her go pale when you mentioned food?”
“Maybe that was something she ate for breakfast.”
“Then we should take her to a physician immediately. It could be an assassin’s poison.”
“She shared breakfast with you and you seem to be fine.”
Ellé gritted her teeth. “Fine, I’ll drop it, but what about the guy who’s making the bed? Any theories?”
Moteé thought about it for several seconds while Ellé continued with the bed and the senator continued to hum in the other room. “There’s only two I can think of.”
“Who?” Ellé clutched a freshly-cased pillow to her chest, positive that the great mystery would be solved.
“Threepio,” Moteé said, approaching the droid. “Do you know how soon the 501st will be shipping out again?”
“I heard that they were leaving for the Outer Rim some time today.”
“When did you hear this?”
“Master Anakin told Mistress Padmé this morning when he left.”
Ellé’s eyes went wide as she sunk to the bed. “Anakin Skywalker.”
“Yes, my husband.”
Handmaidens and droid jumped at the sound of Padmé’s voice. “Oh, dear. I believe I may have said something out of turn,” Threepio voiced.
“It’s all right, Threepio. I should have told you about this a long time ago, Moteé, Ellé. I apologize for not telling you,” Padmé said, sitting in front of the dressing table.
Moteé moved behind her to start working on the senator’s hair. “We understand, Mi’lady.”
Ellé caught Moteé’s eye in the mirror and mouthed, “We do?”
“I should confess to you that Anakin and I were married upon my return to Naboo after the Battle of Geonosis and due to the inappropriateness of our relationship, Jedi are not allowed to marry, we kept it a secret from as many people as possible.”
“Does Captain Typho know?” Moteé asked as she brushed the senator’s hair.
“Yes, and Captain Panaka. My family doesn’t even know.”
“Are there any other secrets we should know?” Ellé tried to ask casually, but she failed miserably in Moteé’s opinion.
Padmé lowered her eyes and sighed. “Yes. I just took a blood-test and the results revealed that I am pregnant.”
Ellé threw a pillow in the air and pointed at Moteé as if to say, “Ha!”
Moteé was glad the senator’s eyes were down so she didn’t have to witness the other handmaiden’s antics in the mirror like she did. “That is… quite the revelation.” It was a revelation she hadn’t expected to deal with as a handmaiden. Boring senators and devious assassins were one thing, but this… this wasn’t in the handmaiden manual. Senator Amidala seemed like a completely different species to deal with than dealing with the woman known as Padmé, who barely seemed to be a part of the person she was working for. She placed a hand on the senator’s shoulder. “What will you have us do, Padmé?”
Padmé raised her eyes and shared a glance with each of the handmaidens in the mirror. She gripped the reassuring hand on her shoulder and smiled. “This still needs to be a secret.”
“Of course, Mi’lady,” the handmaidens chorused.
“So we’re going to need to redesign my wardrobe.”
Moteé smiled a mischievous smile. “I’ll have Ellé get to work on that right away.”