Recoveries

The next morning, Sheev was the first one up, followed by Yoda, and then Ben. They went to the dining room for breakfast and engaged in pleasant conversation until the next person arrived.

To their surprise, it was Elf.

"Hi is the tide this morning," Yoda kidded.

"Ugh. Not yet." she said. "Morning, all."

"Good news, we have," said Yoda.

"What's that." the elf asked.

"A celebration we will have tonight, and invited are you as a guest of honour."

"Don't you think he should be the guest of honour instead?" The elf asked, indicating Sheev. "He is the new emperor after all."

"Oh, that will come later," Sheev replied, "And I personally invite you all - and yes, that includes you too, Ocean."

"Thank you. I'll be there." she responded, but looked unsure.

"Oh, you are more than welcome." Sheev replied with a smile.

"And there will be no training today, and anything Anakin may require, we will handle." said Ben.

The elf scowled. "I will not stick around if I hear his name again."

"You won't have to. His idea was a big mistake. We will keep you two apart from now on." Ben assured her.

The elf heaved a sigh of tremendous relief. "Thank you." she said.

"You are welcome." Ben replied. "But since you have the day off, and you worked so hard yesterday, why don't you get some more rest?"

"I'll do that." said Elf.

Time went on. Everyone was in a festive mood, and soon had banners and signs out in celebration to the end of the oppressive regime and a start to a new era of freedom.

Besides Elf who was resting, the other conspicuous absence was Anakin. He remained in his chamber, and he did not welcome people checking in on him. He only came out occasionally to do what basically amounted to an "Are we there yet?" about his suit, which he really didn't need any more, and wondering where Ocean Elf had got too.

"She's in bed, Anakin," Ben told him.

"When she gets up, tell me, and give her a message for me?"

Ben nodded. But when he left, he decided to keep whatever Anakin said to himself.

Later when Elf was up again, Sheev invited her to accompany him on an afternoon outing, it was something he and Ben had planned for her.

Anakin came out of his chamber. "I thought I heard Ocean Elf up here."

"Yes, she just finished lunch and Sheev took her on an outing." said Ben.

He seethed. Sheev and Elf, gone out together? That would never do. Things were slipping away, out of his control.

Feeling Anakin's urgent negativity through the force, Ben asked, "Is something wrong?"

Anakin made a good save with, "I can't wait to get out of this suit!"

"I know, Anakin, I know." Ben said. "But Luke said you were already healed last night so you shouldn't still be needing it."

"I'm not healing as well since Elf hates me."

"Anakin, this is not going to make her change her mind." Ben said. "I warned you to prepare yourself for the worst."

When they were somewhere out of town, Sheev picked a place to rest, and made a request. "Can you show me an ocean wave?"

The elf looked puzzled, then suspicious. "You brought me out here just for that? Who told you I could wave anyway?"

Ben told me, he heard - " Sheev paused, trying to think of a way to say it without making the elf angry, "when you were abducted to Tatooine, you drenched your kidnapper with a wave."

"I guess everyone knows everything about every move I've made since arriving on this planet now." the elf said bitterly.

"Please don't be alarmed, they are very impressed with you."

She scoffed.

"Please? One wave? What could it hurt out here? And no one is listening or monitoring you, I promise." Sheev appealed.

After a few moments of silent consideration, the elf finally said, "I suppose, but why?"

"Oh, you won't regret if you do, believe me." he said.

"I just hope you won't either." she countered. "I'll try not to splash you."

"If you can manage to make it go a certain direction," he said.

She nodded.

"How about over there?" he suggested, indicating with a gesture where he wanted the wave to go.

"Okay," she said doubtfully.

"Here is a light saber," Sheev said, handing it to the elf. "While you're waving, could you activate the light saber and shine its light into the wave?"

"Sure," she said, looking even more confused.

To the elf's surprise, wherever the new emperor had taken her, must've had some strange properties, because the soft glow of the light saber turned into shimmering blue light that swirled throughout the wave until it passed and faded away.

Then from a distance, a lone figure haltingly approached, and as it came closer, it was revealed to be an older woman with a kindly but sad and bewildered face.

When all company introduced themselves to her, and she to them, the elf suddenly burst into tears and embraced her.

Emperor Sheev Alderaan looked on with his own eyes misting over.

Eventually the party of two that had left the compound, returned as a party of three, only the elf and the older woman remained in Sheev's vehicle while he went inside to call everyone together for a special meeting.

Once everyone was assembled, Sheev said he and Ocean Elf had a surprise for them. He excused himself, saying he would be right back.

There were a few minutes of waiting, and then Sheev returned, and closed the door.

"Good afternoon." he said. "Thank you for coming, everyone. Now, I'm going to tell you a story."

The room went completely silent.

"Once, there was a small child and his mother, who were once very close, but living in hard times. Eventually he grew up and went away. One day, she was kidnapped and went through unspeakable things. Her son found her on the brink of death and held her in his arms until the very end. - or so it was believed to be the end. What no one realized was the force was with him. His love combined with the force did not let her die, but put her in a state of suspended animation for many years, until this afternoon, when the force once combined with a wave of passion to awaken her and give her a new lease on life."

On cue, Ocean Elf entered. Sheev continued, along with an older woman.

"Here is your mother, and grandmother, Shmi!" Said Sheev.

At this, everyone rushed forward to embrace Shmi.

Elf looked on with tears streaming down her face.

Then Anakin Vader, not to be outshone, took center stage to show how he had healed. His suit fell away, replaced by a normal one. But unlike the others, he did not take Shmi in a warm embrace, even when she reached out to him once everyone had moved off. She hugged him and shed some tears, but he only returned her affection with a very stiff partial hug, looking extremely uncomfortable as he did so.

When he moved off, Shmi appeared confused and hurt.

The elf looked sadly at Shmi, then scowled at Anakin.

Despite this awkward moment, the celebration carried on, with so much merry-making, late into the night. The end of Palpatine in this form had brought about such wonderful miracles along with freedom.