Torrents of rain thump against the hood of Obi-Wan's cloak. He stays dry beneath it, with a little concentration and assistance from the Force. Nevertheless, the weather is irritating and he just wants to quickly check in with Anakin, so he decides to make his visit unofficial.
He jumps over the outer wall of the palace, bypassing the guards without a second thought. As far as he's concerned, the guards are only there for show, anyway. But it bothers him when he's able to pass through the palace garden without the rustle of his steps summoning Anakin to greet him. He passes cautiously through the patio doors into the sitting room of the Queen's suite.
No Anakin. No anybody.
He draws his lightsaber and treads softly toward the Queen's bedroom. He hears voices in conversation. Or rather, a single voice--the Queen's. Is she talking to herself? She does not sound alarmed. He sheaths his saber and moves up to the door to listen.
"...can't just give up and leave now," she says, "Not when progress is finally being made. If anything, the attacks have shown us all the need for a peaceful settlement between law-abiding systems."
"We cannot risk our life on this, Padme. Our people are more afraid and mistrustful of one another than at any other time in our rule. It's grown much worse since you left."
Her voice, but younger. Obi-Wan realizes she's speaking with one of her clones back on Naboo via holographic transmission.
"We can risk this one body, Dorme. Eventually, you and your sisters will have to bear on without me."
There is an uncomfortable pause.
"What is it?" asks Padme.
Dorme responds with hesitation.
"Yesterday...we were visited by our friends from Kamino."
"And...all attempts to seed from the rest of us have failed. Padme, you're the only one of us capable of mothering further clones. They say...they say our line has gone stale."
"Gone stale! What is that supposed to mean?"
"They say you have violated the Prime Requirement."
Padme sputters; Obi-Wan has never heard her so emotional.
"I--what--but--that's IMPOSSIBLE. I would KNOW if I were--"
"They say wanting is as good as having, as far as their process is concerned."
Another uncomfortable pause.
"Padme, we share your thoughts on this," says Dorme, "We are only telling you what the representatives from Kamino told us, when we raised these very same objections. Have you wandered so far from us in such a short time? Are we not Amidala?"
"Well, that's the question now, isn't it?" spits Padme.
Obi-Wan gasps, both at her words and at the sound of C-3P0 clanking through the front door. He's snooping on the wrong side, anyway. Time to retreat.
Jango Fett sails over the outer wall of the palace, the pounding rain concealing his rocket boosters from the guards. As far as he's concerned, the guards are only there for show, anyway. The Jedi Knights are the ones he has to worry about. He cuts his rockets and rolls to a landing, alert for any sign of them. Three breaths later and he's satisfied that, if they were aware of his presence, they would have been on him by now.
His sensor arrays sweep the grounds, and the display inside his helmet shows him the results: a ventilation tube without branching passages leading to the Queen's bedroom. Perfect. He makes his way there with masterful stealth.
He removes the lid of the canister and looks inside. Two giant millipedes the length of his arm try to escape, but they bump harmlessly up against the energy seal. Large ugly mandibles chomp threateningly at him. Carefully, he places the mouth of the canister against the entrance to the ventilation tube and presses the button to release the seal. The canister shakes as the creatures scuttle away.
Anakin enters the palace properly, letting the Naboo lieutenant in charge of security know he has returned. He waves off the lieutenant's assurances that the palace has been kept secure; he's dripping wet and distracted by the weight of what he has just done, and as far as he's concerned, the guards are only there for show, anyway. He makes his way directly to the Queen's chambers.
"Oh, pudu," he swears to himself when he sees Obi-Wan waiting for him.
"Where have you been?" asks Obi-Wan, arms folded sternly.
"Out for a walk," Anakin grumbles obstinately.
"What were you thinking? Abandoning your charge! I know you're a student, but surely you know better than this!"
"It was her idea!" protests Anakin, "I think she wanted some time to be alone. I don't think she likes me watching her."
"That is no excuse for leaving your post, Anakin."
"She ordered me to! She's my Queen! What was I supposed to do?"
"You've made a commitment to the Jedi Order," frowns Obi-Wan, "A commitment that comes before all else."
"Don't worry, no harm has come to her," says Anakin. "She's fine. I can sense everything going on in that room."
Obi-Wan raises a doubtful eyebrow. "Your senses aren't that attuned, young apprentice. Especially here on Toydaria."
Anakin shuts his eyes, casting his inner sight toward the Queen's bedroom. "She's sitting at her mirror, brushing her hair. She's still in her nightgown." A smirk of dopey pleasure crosses his face before he opens his eyes and says, "She's FINE."
"Be mindful of your feelings, Anakin, they betray you," says Obi-Wan, frustrated as usual with his padawan's resistance to even a well-deserved scolding. He eyes her bedroom suspiciously. "Don't forget she's a politician. They're not to be trusted."
"She's not like the members of the Senate, Master."
"It's been my experience that political leaders are only focused on pleasing those who please them," says Obi-Wan. "They are more than willing to forget the niceties of democracy to get what they want."
"Not another lecture, Master. Not on the economics of politics. Besides, you're generalizing. The Chancellor doesn't appear to be corrupt."
"I've observed that he is very clever at following the passions and prejudices of the Senators."
"Yeah, well, I think he's a good man. My--"
Anakin cuts himself off, suddenly sprinting toward the Queen's bedroom.
"I sense it, too!" Obi-Wan insists, following.
Padme turns to see Anakin burst into her room, heading directly toward her with his green saber ready to attack. She screams. The saber spins past her feet, and she looks down to see it slice through the two disgusting creatures poised to bite her.
Obi-Wan flashes through the room and leaps through the patio doors, leaving shattered glass in his wake.
Outside, Jango Fett rockets into the sky, but not before Obi-Wan leaps up and grabs his leg. Together, they disappear into the rain.