Even so, she had to admit that the people she was working with against the Chancellor were a little more eccentric than the Senators. When she approached the entrance to their secret headquarters a bit below the more prosperous areas of the Senate District, she found herself thinking that it might be a lot more eccentric.
She stopped at the door and knocked. That was one thing, because nobody knocked on doors on a planet like Coruscant, but it at least made sense, since ringing a doorchime might leave an electronic record. This was classified as part of the Senate District, after all.
The door slid open a notch, and a voice whispered, “Password?”
Padmé also had to admit this was clever. Someone trying to infiltrate their organization might try a fake password. And they would be exposed as a spy because the password wasn’t actually verbal.
Padmé’s tunic had several pockets sewn into its inner layer. In one of them she kept a tiny black capsule, small enough for her thumbnails to easily crack deeply into. She retrieved it now and cracked it. The air around the door was filled with the smell of a certain pungent herb from a planet known as Duroon. Padmé did not like the way the herb smelled at all, but it ought to grant her entrance.
“That doesn’t smell like tale,” the voice informed her. It sounded like Sufe, who had chosen their current scent, and was known for being very unpredictable in his behavior.
The best way to deal with him, Padmé had learned, was to be unpredictable right back. “What does it smell like?” she asked.
“Tats resin.” Padmé didn’t even know what that was.
“Look,” she pleaded, “I don’t know what tats resin smells like-”
“Not even pronouncing it right,” Sufe tsked.
“You never even mentioned the existence of anything called tats resin,” Padmé informed him. She was going to act as if he was certain it was her; he probably was. “But as I said, I’m assuming that they smell similar and you have the two smells confused.”
“Excuse me? I chose this smell!”
“And you gave me this!” She held the cracked capsule out in front of the crack in the door. She wasn’t sure if Sufe could see it, but she was sure he could open the door just a little more if he couldn’t.
“You presume I believe what you’re saying,” Fufe sneered at her from the other side of the door.
“You know it’s me.” She was dead certain of it now; that tone of Fufe’s fooled noone who knew him.
“No, just not an idiot.”
Padmé couldn’t think of what he’d say next. But apparently, neither could he, because for the next minute she got only silence. By the end of that minute she’d decided she’d had enough of this game. “Sufe,” she said warningly, “Let me in.”
“I can’t. You didn’t provide the right smell.”
“Yes, I did. You’re lying about the whole thing.” At least she wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was. "Does tats resin even exist?"
“I should release poison out this door.”
“You don’t have any with you.” He wasn’t that unpredictable, thankfully.
“Padmé.” To Padmé’s relief, she heard their leader, Ronderu, coming down the corridor. She was a reddish reptilian creature who never took her mask off, and it was said she and a male of her species had been gods of war on their homeworld of Kalee before his death. She cracked her capsule open and the smell of tale, which had begun to dissipate, filled the air once again. “Is Sufe giving you trouble?”
The doors slid open. Sufe did not mess with Ronderu. “Welcome, my lady. Come in, both of you. Ferus and Roan aren’t here yet.”
“Next time I chose the smell,” Padmé informed them as they all went in.