Paul Gadzikowski


"We plead that you allow us to govern you in this, Your Highness," said Mace Windu.

"I can't," Queen Amidala told the two Jedi High Councillors kneeling in front of her throne, "if I am to govern my people."

"In the immediate future of the Republic the curse of Sith lies," said Yoda. "On your throne - figuratively and literally - must you be. Why you, we cannot see ... but if not, all doomed is. However, if so, new hope shall there be."

Windu and Yoda had traveled to Naboo and requested a private audience to make their plea. This alone, obviously, communicated to the queen its urgency. Unfortunately, what they wanted was impossible.

Amidala sighed and repeated herself. "If I fail to make the traditional apprenticeship progress, I shall not retain the throne." She'd also mentioned that it had already been put off as long as possible.

Windu bowed his head a moment, then looked up thoughtfully. "What does this apprenticeship progress entail?"

"When the elected ruler of Naboo is of the ancient royal house, she must in her early reign travel the galaxy as a commoner, with no company but a mentor, for one Naboo year."

"If postponed no longer may it be," Yoda asked, "then in some manner be shortened the time can?"

"How can I travel for a year without being gone for a year?"

Her question was one to tax even a Jedi's wisdom - unless it was their prescience that had brought them to her throneroom just in time to hear the rhythmic, mechanical wheeze of the Doctor's TARDIS materializing ...


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