I give you Fic.
Summary: The Naberries leave Naboo, with help from Bail Organa
MY WORST LETTER
i have wrote three letters today. One of them is supposed to go to the funeral to be put somewhere, so i wrote a very long letter and it mentioned mummy being angry so she tore it up and told me to write a better one. so i wrote a better one and she said well done darling, thats the best letter you ever wrote. so now i am writing this, and so it the worst letter i ever wrote. i put the title at the top because thats what we do at school and mummy says you’d have wanted us to do well at school so we have to go school even though a lot of people arent going to work. ryoo says its not fair but she got yelled at.
mummy’s crying a lot and saying how could she be so stupid and maybe it would have been better if the children had died. but then the other day she said how nice it would have been for us to know our cousins. we don’t have cousins so i think she’s going mad and its scary. daddy says she’d be alright in a few days but it’s been a few days already. i don’t think it was you fault though. it can’t be because your dead.
mummy said she was going to tell us something very important, that not all adults were our friends and not all of them were nice and some might wish we didn’t exist at all. she said we had to remember that and it was one of the most important things she’d ever say. she said she might not tell us the rest.
she also said that granny and grandpa might get into trouble and we had to be brave. we got new dresses to wear for the funeral and we got other presents too and mummy said was a really a good idea to give them so many presents because they might have to just give them up again
“I need you two to stay upstairs today…we have important guests.”
“What sort of guests?” Ryoo asked, at the same time Pooja said “Can we watch the holo while upstairs? Please?” She had her whiny voice on: they hadn’t been allowed to watch the holo in ages.
“No, you can’t.”
“Because…I’m very sorry, children, I am, but no. Maybe when Daddy gets back. Please stay upstairs.”
So they went to the stairs, and then Ryoo said “Who’s coming? Is he a friend?”
“Yes, he’s a friend.”
They watched from the windows- Mummy surely wouldn’t mind them doing that. They didn’t know what they were expecting, maybe a Jedi, after all, Jedi had come to see them before…but instead it was someone wrapped up in a grey cloak, looking straight ahead and looking as though he knew precisely what he was doing. They didn’t recognize him.
Mummy let him in -they heard the door open and shut- and then the talking began almost immediately- whispers, almost. Neither of the girls could hear.
“I want Daddy to come back,” Ryoo said.
“I want the holovision.”
Ryoo put on her older-sister voice. “Isn’t Daddy more important?”
Pooja climbed down from the window. “He’s only at work. He’ll be back later…”
“Mummy…mum…said that people might get into trouble. That means us,” she said, and she was whispering now. Pooja was worried.
“I don’t know. Mum said that Auntie, um, she died because…well, then she stopped saying…and she said that other people might get into trouble because she died, or something.”
Pooja just blinked.
“Maybe she isn’t dead,” she said thoughtfully.
So she started sniffing.
“I only said shut up. Please stop crying.”
She didn’t, but she looked out of the window again, and saw someone else. “Daddy’s back.”
Both girls headed slowly for the stairs, and waited there at the top. Mummy slammed the door shut as soon as Daddy was inside- he was running.
“Let’s go and listen,” Ryoo said. When Pooja didn’t move, she simply grabbed her hand and started leading her down. Pooja didn’t complain. They stopped in the middle of the stairs. It was hard to hear…the adults had closed all the doors between the girls and them.
They waited for a bit.
“Who’s the man downstairs?” Ryoo asked, almost to herself. She said it as quietly as she could, but it seemed to echo a bit. The house didn’t usually echo.
“I can smell smoke,” Pooja said, completely out of the blue.
“No you can’t, you’re not allowed to start fires without asking.”
“I can,” she said, and sniffed loudly to illustrate her point. Ryoo shook her head firmly, but she could smell it too now- somewhere, something was burning down.
At least it wasn’t their house.
“And there was smoke last night,” Pooja said. “And there was fire. Mummy closed the curtains.”
Ryoo opened her mouth to speak, but then the door at the bottom of the stairs opened. Mummy looked at them, perhaps a little crossly.
“I knew you girls would come back down,” she said quietly. “You mustn’t speak so loudly.”
“Can we come in, Mummy?” Pooja asked.
“No.” She shook her head. “Darred…maybe you should go upstairs with them.” Ryoo noticed Mummy looked different. Or…well…even more different than she had looked for the past few days. It made no sense to her.
Daddy nodded and stepped out of the room. Ryoo got a glimpse of the other man with them. He didn’t look evil. Besides, none of them would ever talk to anyone evil, or let him in the house. So that was all right.
“Come along, girls,” Daddy said. They walked up the stairs, and into the sitting room, where he not only closed but locked the door. Pooja opened her mouth to say something about that, but then she shut it. Then she said, “Let’s watch the holo.”
Daddy looked at them both, and then he sighed and turned it on. Both girls leaned forward, eager to see…but it wasn’t very interesting. Just people talking.
They were talking very quietly, and Pooja went to turn the sound up. Daddy stopped her, holding her back. She didn’t say anything- that seemed to be a first.
“Daddy, what’s going on?” she asked.
He didn’t answer.
They kept watching, although Daddy didn’t seem to be interested anymore. There were pictures of things being knocked down, of people crying, of big crowds…they couldn’t hear it very well. Pooja couldn’t read the words running across the bottom of the screen, but Ryoo could, and it was something about the Senate, and the Empire, whatever that was…she didn’t know. But of course she knew what the Senate was, that was where Auntie worked. Had worked. She hoped they’d show the inside of the Senate, she wanted to work there one day, but they didn’t.
More people on the screen.
“Daddy, who’s that?” Pooja asked. She was pointing at someone in the corner of the screen- someone dressed up as a droid, or something…
“He’s nobody, sweetheart.”
So she was quiet, and then there were noises, people coming up the stairs, running up the stairs, actually…
Daddy opened the door for them. It was Mummy and the other man. Mummy looked at them all, cross again.
“Darred! Turn it off!”
Daddy did so. Then he said, “Sola, look, they ought to know what’s going on…”
“No,” Mummy said. “Not now.”
“They’ll find out sooner or later. Sola, they ought to hear from us-”
“They’re children!” she shouted. “Our children!”
Neither girl had ever heard their parents argue- not like this, anyway. Ryoo wondered if they should go back downstairs. Then the other man- he had black hair and a goatee, and both girls were quite sure they’d never seen him before today- went to the window. The other two adults didn’t notice, until he suddenly said, “Maybe this should continue later- they are coming.”
He sounded very calm, but Mummy and Daddy instantly panicked. Mummy held Ryoo’s hand, and Daddy picked up Pooja, and they hurried out of the door.
“We’ll go out of one of the windows,” the man said, still very calm.
“The girls!” Mummy screeched.
“Yes, them too.”
They charged into the nearest room- it was the room the girls shared. It was painted yellow, with flowers in the corner, and incredibly untidy. Ryoo looked around and suddenly realised something. She reached out and picked up a doll- it had been a present from Auntie. Pooja had got one too, but she couldn’t see that one anywhere. She reached down and picked up a scarf as well.
“Ryoo, don’t do that!”
“Actually,” Daddy said, “it might not be a bad idea.” He picked Ryoo’s schoolbag up from the floor, and stuffed some clothes into it.
The man was halfway out of the window now.
“Lower the children down,” he hissed, and Mummy nodded. Daddy handed Ryoo the bag, and she thought of something.
“There’s sweets in there. I got them from Jev at school.”
“Good girl,” he said, and messed up her hair. She thought he might not have done it on purpose, just forgotten that she liked her hair. Maybe she’d better take a hairbrush too, but there didn’t seem to be time- Daddy lifted her out of the window, bag on shoulder, into the hands of the black-haired man. In only a few seconds Pooja was standing next to her, holding a dress. She or Daddy must have snatched it from the floor- it was the pretty funeral dress. Ryoo wished they’d gotten hers as well.
“Be very quiet,” the man told them.
He lead them around the outside of the garden, underneath the trees. After about two minutes they heard a cracking sound, like a door being broken.
“They’ll burn it to the ground,” Mummy whispered, but she seemed calm as well now.
“Hurry,” the man said.
They climbed through the bushes at the back of the garden- it wasn’t prickly, but Pooja sniffed a bit. And after they’d gone a short way further, she was properly crying, although quietly. Ryoo was fiercely determined not to- she was nine years old, and not a baby.
Eventually they came across a speeder. Neither girl had seen it before, but the adults clearly had. The man jumped into the pilot’s seat, the girls and their bags were placed in the back, and Mummy and Daddy then climbed in with them.
“All ready?” the man asked. “Let’s get going.”
They were still going even after night fell. It got very cold. The girls had the dress and the other clothes to keep them warm, but Mummy and Daddy had nothing. They didn’t know what to do about that.
No-one had spoken for a while- not since Pooja had asked, “Is the house gone, Mummy?” and she had responded with a nod. No-one had wanted to speak after that.
But now Ryoo had a question, one she was surprised no-one had provided the answer to yet. She leaned forward and tapped the black-haired man on the shoulder. “Who are you?” she asked.
He turned around, even though he was driving. “Bail Organa,” he said, and smiled at her. “I’m a friend of your aunt’s.”
“Oh,” Ryoo said. She looked at her sister and saw she was awake, her eyes very wide in the darkness. Mummy and Daddy were awake as well, looking sort of wrong just sat there in the back…
“He’s going to look after us, Ryoo,” Daddy said. Pooja said nothing to this- she pulled one of the blankets off her, looked at Bail Organa and said “Were you Aunt Padme’s boyfriend?”
“She had a boyfriend,” Ryoo said.
Bail Organa gave a strange sort of laugh. “I suppose she did, yes.”
Mummy started crying.
“I’m sorry, Sola,” Bail said. “But what’s happened has happened, and now we must work to right it…understand?”
She nodded, and looked at the girls, and then was quiet.
When Ryoo woke up, it was very dark, and she had a moment of panic before realising there was a ship nearby, and her father was carrying her.
“I was hoping you’d stay asleep,” he whispered. “You’re very heavy.”
“Sorry,” she whispered back. He squeezed her hand.
“Where are Mummy and Pooja?” she whispered back.
“They’re just coming.”
Then she fell asleep again.
When she woke up Pooja was next to her- they were sleeping on blankets, on a bench, next to a window. On a ship. This was an entirely new experience. She’d never in her life been outside Naboo, and nor had her sister.
She looked out of the window. It wasn’t as interesting as she expected- just stars. But she couldn’t take her eyes off it. She wondered where they were going, and where their parents were-
Where were their parents?
“Mummy?” she yelled. “Daddy?”
The door slid open and Mummy was there. She hugged Ryoo and the barely-awake Pooja, and then spoke before any of them could ask questions. “We’ve been very lucky, girls- very, very lucky.”
“It’s breakfast time. You can get changed if you want, I’ll wait for you.” She smiled- it wasn’t her usual smile, but it didn’t matter- and they went to get food.
There seemed to be few other people on the ship. One or two pilots, and a few Gungans- they didn’t get to talk to anyone, though. Breakfast was with Bail Organa, and he smiled when they came in. Their father was sitting across the table from him.
“Good morning,” Bail said.
“Good morning,” the girls chorused; this was what they did at school.
Bail chuckled. “Sit down. We’ve got plenty of food.”
Both girls ate hungrily, not paying much attention to what the adults were talking about, and not noticing their parent’s voices becoming louder and louder as they talked- so it gave them both a shock when Mummy and Daddy suddenly started shouting again.
“Look, don’t you understand? It’s gone, it’s all gone, and we can’t even go back again! I can’t deal with it, and you’re saying…”
“No, you’re not listening! You just don’t understand….”
“No, you don’t understand! You’ve been twisting my words around for ages. And…you never even mentioned my sister, and she…”
“You can’t hide from the truth, Sola!” Daddy snapped. “She’s dead, along with thousands of others, but we’re still alive!”
Ryoo wondered why nobody ran into the room and asked what all the fuss was about. Bail Organa opened his mouth to speak, and then Pooja climbed off her seat and ran outside into the corridor, without giving so much as a warning.
“No, wait!” Mummy called, but Ryoo ran outside as well, not wanting her sister to get lost. She chased her down the corridor, past several rooms. There were footsteps behind her, and it had to be their parents, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that actually it was the man-dressed-as-droid they’d seen on the holo. Although that was probably very silly.
She chased her sister into a small room, and she had collapsed on the floor crying.
“Our house has gone!” she sobbed, and Ryoo wondered why that, out of all the things that had happened, was the one she chose to cry about. She was actually faintly annoyed, but put her arm around her sister nonetheless.
Footsteps came nearer, and it was Bail Organa, looking down at them.
“Where are Mummy and Daddy?” Pooja asked.
“I told them you’d be safe- and you are,” he answered. “I asked them to stay and finish their breakfast, and I think they’re doing that. You all need some food and more sleep, I believe.”
Both of them nodded.
“Your parents just want to protect you, girls,” he went on sadly. “But you don’t know what’s going on, and it’s not my place to tell you. So I’ll take you back-”
“No…tell them,” came Mummy’s voice.
The girls looked in that direction, and their parents were there, standing a little way down the corridor. Daddy had his arm on Mummy’s shoulder.
Bail looked at them thoughtfully. “Sola,” he said. “I don’t think…”
“Bail, they loved their aunt.” she answered.
Bail nodded, kneeled down so he was at the same level as the girls, and said slowly, “Girls, do you know how your aunt died?”
They both shook their heads.
“She was killed by someone bad…but he was someone who she trusted.” he said. “She never…realised…or expected him to do that. The bad man is still alive, and so are other bad men, and they…they have control of many people. And so the bad people…they might want to find you, cause trouble for you.” He turned back to their parents and gave a helpless shrug. “But your parents will protect you, understand? All parents will protect their children,” He looked incredibly wistful. “Your aunt…”
Pooja was trying to make sense of all this. She skipped past the they might want to find you part. “So who killed her?”
Daddy spoke up. “A man she was in love with.” Bail nodded.
“So why did he kill her?” she asked, confused.
“They are too young,” Mummy whispered. “Girls…”
“So he didn’t love her,” Ryoo said almost eagerly, wanting to bring an end to this as soon as possible.
“Yes.” Mummy answered.
So then there was silence. A very awkward silence. Both girls waited for something to happen, someone to speak, but no-one did.
“I thought of something,” Pooja finally said. “Where are we going?”
Bail Organa, who looked decidedly downcast, smiled again. “We’re going somewhere safe. You all will like it there…you can play with my daughter, although she’s only a baby so you’ll have to be careful. And it’s beautiful, just like your own planet.”
“Where?” Ryoo asked.
“My home planet, Alderaan.”
To Ryoo and Pooja Naberrie,
This will likely come as a shock to both of you, but after discovering you were still alive and on Naboo, I thought I’d better write. Me and my sister are your cousins- we found you while trying to trace our mother and find out if she was truly dead. She is, but as it turns out, you’re not. We would like very much to meet you. Please write back.