Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:F:4) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle) and in the Naboo system: Kwai and Naboo (Emperor's Retreat).
Commander Kerrie Kiley, Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Major Sierra Rodney, and Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod.

Grand Moff Claudius Rodney stood silently on a balcony on one of the upper levels of Rodney Castle. Since returning to Delaya with his beloved life he had spent time reconnecting with the castle staff and refamiliarizing himself with the rooms he had played in since he was a young boy. The one area of the castle he had avoided, however, was this balcony, for it was from here his mother had plunged to her death following the Battle of Delaya. He had avoided it as if it were dangerous and whenever he passed nearby he felt a chill flow through his entire body that caused the hair to stick up on his arms and goosebumps to form on his arms. His mouth went as dry as some barren outer rim desert world and it felt as if Lord Vader were once again using his telekinetic abilities to asphyxiate him. He knew there time here was growing short and today, at last, he willed the courage to venture forth. There was a sadness that filled him as he moved towards the railing, which he quickly grabbed hold of for support. His grip tightened, causing his knuckles to whiten. His head lowered and he exhaled a deep sigh as he silently reflected on his mother's passing. No marker had been placed, nor had any monument been erected most likely due to the fact that the wound was equally as painful for his brother as well. He fought back the tears as if it were a rebel fleet, but with greater success.

The Rodney Castle held a huge significance to Sierra Rodney. With Alderaan gone, it was all that was left of her past. There were fun parts that came with being reminiscent. She had joked with Claudius about all the times she and Jelena had been absolute idiots as teenagers. However, there were many dark memories associated with the Castle, like the great hall where she had nearly lost her life and all the corridors where she and Claudius had silently suffered as Duchess and Duke. Now it was all over.

She had been looking for him following a playdate with Zara's twins. When she failed to find him, she knew exactly where he must be.

Sierra slowly stepped out onto the balcony in which Livia Rodney had plunged from. Her heart sunk deep in her chest. She missed Livia, but it was nothing like how Claudius missed her. His sadness swept over her. She knew he needed to be supported by something stronger than the railing before him. The woman came up behind her husband. Her hand ran over his back to let him know it was her, then her arms wrapped around his waist and drew him backwards into her. Symbolically, she was trying to hold him up. "It's okay to cry. I've got you," she whispered to him. That time in their lives had been so insane. Life was moving too fast for either brother to properly mourn their loss. Maybe now was the time.

Although he did not have his son's gifts he nevertheless could sense his wife approaching. Her presence was familiar to him and her movements carried with them a rhythm that he could feel from a distance. When she came up behind him he did not feel apprehension from the sudden touch of a stranger, but instead the soothing comfort of she who was his wife. "No tears, my love. Stiff upper lip. Family tradition," he began, after awkwardly clearing his throat. "Mother would have insisted," he added, before sharply inhaling through his nostrils as if vacuuming the tears back into their ducts. "I shall miss this place, but until we make it safe from future Rebel attacks it is wrong of me to rest here," he said, nodding his head several times before focusing his gaze on a flight of thrantas in the distance.

She rolled her eyes behind him. "Family tradition..." *My ass* was implied. Just because she had no love for her birth family and wouldn't shed tears for them didn't mean Claudius had to be held to the same standard. "She was something, wasn't she?" Sierra moved to his side. Her hand rested on top of his, squeezing it gently. The thrantas were flying in V formation. She wondered if they were running away. Papius Arundell had already killed so many of the winged beasts. It made her blood boil to think of that man. She let out an exhalation and calmed herself.

"A time will come when we'll return. Once this war has ended, home will be home again. Everything will fall into place. It's part of the reason why we fight, right?" She turned towards him. The balcony had a terribly cold feeling to it. There were so many times where Sierra wished she could go back in time and save the woman from the inevitable. The only way they could make Livia proud was by restoring Delaya to its former glory. "We don't need to return to Esseles yet. I understand if you need more time."

Claudius smiled when she said he could have more time, but as nice as that diversion seemed he knew they could not shirk their responsibilities indefinitely. "It's a thoughtful notion, Sierra, and an idyllic one at that," he said, affectionately, as he turned his body around so that he could look at the one sight more majestic than the Delayan sunrise ... Sierra's eyes. He leaned forward to place a tender kiss upon her lips, closing his eyes where he was able to recreate a perfect image of her in his mind's eye. When the kiss broke and his eyes opened he looked towards her, raising his right hand to brush a strand of her blond hair out of her face. "If we don't go back we risk having nothing to go back to," he added, somewhat reluctantly, as he considered their next move.

There was worry in her eyes. She looked into his. Castle Delaya did have a lot of terrible memories, but some of the greater memories involved falling in love with him. There hadn't been a moment of doubt since he'd dropped to his knee before her and asked her to marry him. They were in this together no matter how dirty it got. She practically melted when their lips collided. It was the kind of kiss that swept her away and made her heart skip a beat. It was the kind of kiss that reminded her the depth of her own love...and his too. Her eyes closed, her hands clasping his face.

The kiss ended bittersweetly. The cold reminder of what they were so close to losing made Sierra's glance fall serious. "That isn't going to happen. We have lost enough. I won't let you lose any more, Claudius." She may have been a tiny little woman, but she was as fierce as a rancor. She was tired of life pushing her around. It was time for it all to change. With a sigh, she took his hand and started off the balcony. She purposely avoided Zara and Marcus as she made her way back to their room to collect their belongings and return home. "I bet Nea missed you." She teased him.

Before Claudius could respond to his wife's barb there was a sound at the door that captured his attention. "Damn," he muttered under his breath to her, rolling his eyes as he swiveled on his bootheels to face the door. "Come," he said in his strictest voice, reserved only for formal occasions. He suspected it was merely his brother, sister-in-law, or both coming to see them off. The truth could not be further off and the quixotic expression that formed on his face illustrated this more effectively than any spoken words could have ever hoped to.

Commander Kerrie Kiley strode through the large, ornate marble doors that separated her from Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and his wife. The castle had been a place of mixed emotions for her as at times it had been both the cause of happy memories and painful ones. As she came to a stop in front of her liege, she dropped to one knee in front of him and bowed her head like the obedient kath-hound that she was. "Th-the Emperor com-commands your pre-presence, milord," she reported, albeit with some difficulty as the revelation had caused quite the noticeable stammer. Although she did not physically raise her head she did attempt to redirect her eyes in the direction of Claudius and Sierra to gauge her reaction. Unfortunately there had been times when the policy of 'kill the messenger' had been enacted and thus she was prepared for *anything*.

Sierra didn't even have time to grab her suitcase when there was a knock at the door. She cursed softly under her breath. As much as she loved her in-laws, she had hoped they'd be able to quietly escape Castle Rodney without ruffling too many feathers. She stopped what she was doing, turning to watch the door. The person who marched through the doors was far from the ones she'd expected. It was Kerrie. A chill ran down her spine. What was she doing here? Had something happened back on their command ship? A tightness spread over her chest. It had always made her uncomfortable how Kerrie knelt down before them like an obedient servant. She glanced down at the Clawdite, wondering what had brought her.

The words she spoke caused another chill to sweep through the room. Emperor Palpatine wanted to see them. She could feel sweat immediately roll down her neck. The last meeting with Vader had nearly been the death of Claudius. She imagined that Palpatine wasn't happy with them. They'd made no efforts to destroy the Rebels. The shock was visible on her face. She cleared her throat. "Thank you, Kerrie. Please leave us and prepare our ship for departure. We will be leaving immediately." She kept herself as collected as possible. Beneath the surface, she felt like this was it. She was going to lose Claudius as she had feared. While Kerrie made her escape, Sierra's fingers gripped his. She waited until they were alone before she did anything. Wordlessly, she rounded in front of her husband. She pressed her forehead against his and closed her eyes. "I'm going with you. There's no debate here." She told him. "We will face His Majesty together."

As Kerrie relayed the news that the Emperor had once again beckoned him a series of thoughts violently swirled through his mind. The first and most prominent was of Bruce. It was supposed to be years before Bruce was taken from them, but for a summons like this he was not prepared to rule anything out. His face went pale as all of the blood rushed from his cheeks. A cold sweat began to form on his forehead as the room in front of him vanished and he suddenly felt as if he was looking off into oblivion. It was only when Sierra took his hand and pressed their foreheads together that reality came rushing back revealing only her before him. If he had truly reached the end he was glad to have her with him. "I have learned never to debate you," he said, before offering a half smile and turned his attention to the half packed bags. "We should endeavor to make haste," he said to her, stoically, as he suddenly found himself with an unnerving sense of time.

She wouldn't bring Bruce this time. She refused to allow her baby boy to be taken from her. It didn't matter if an all-powerful Sith lord stood between her and making that happen. She sighed, nodding her head. "Just leave everything here. Let's get this over with." The stress sat on her chest like a thousand pound weight. She was dressed far from her military uniform, though she didn't care. If Palpatine was going to kill them, he was going to do it regardless of what clothing she wore. She took her husband's hand. She began to lead him up to the top of the castle, but decided to veer right at the last moment. There was one reason to keep Palpatine waiting. That reason was their children. While the girls were in Esseles, Bruce had come to Delaya with them.

Quietly, she passed through the door into Zara and Marcus' nursery. The twins were busy with their parents, but Bruce was here. He was curled up beneath a knitted blanket asleep in a crib. The nanny droid lingered close. She stood over the crib. She watched the little boy's chest rise and fall as he slept. "He has no idea that everything we do, we do for him." Her eyes turned sad. She lived with the fear that she would never see her son grow up. Now she found herself scared that Claudius would die, or that she would not make it to see another day. Death had surrounded her husband for so long. Try as she might, she simply couldn't keep it out.

The trip between Delaya and Naboo was silent and uneventful, but perhaps more swift than either of them would have liked. "You know, I don't think I've ever actually been to Naboo," Claudius noted, as he looked out the viewport at the glistening Mid Rim world. It was an odd thing for him to note at a time like this, particularly given the fact that it might be the last world his eyes ever gazed upon. He reached over and took hold of his wife's hand as the Kwai began its descent to the Emperor's Retreat rest of the city of Moenia. The Imperial presence was significant as no chances were likely to be taken given the aggressiveness of Rebel strikes following their victory at the Battle of Yavin. The sight of massive All Terrain Armored Transports (AT-ATs) came into view, their large, mechanical legs causing a loud sound and vibration as they stomped into the previously undisturbed grasslands below. A flight of TIE Strikers took formation on either side of them as they were guided down onto a private landing platform where a large amount of Stormtroopers had gathered.

Discomfort had bred inside of Sierra. They were entering this situation blind. She didn't know if they'd die, or if they'd be threatened. Regardless, she had a feeling that something unfortunate was about to happen. She felt a knot in her stomach looking down at the beautiful environment of Naboo. She cleared her throat to find her voice. "I've been here once. I played at the Royal Palace in Theed once years ago. It reminds me of Alderaan in some ways. The beauty is alike." She weaved her fingers in between his. "If we'd come on different circumstances, I'd love to show you the sights." The Imperial presence was even greater than at home. She could see the AT-ATs slowly making their way through the city. There was no fear of a Rebel attack here. Palpatine had the city locked down. No one was that stupid ... or suicidal. Not even Iyah Xergo.

Her other hand clutched her stomach. She felt like she was going to throw up. The descent felt bumpy and full of turbulence (or maybe it was just in her head). Regardless, they'd arrived. She unbuckled herself and rose on unsteady feet. A large part of her was angry...angry if it ended right here. Another part of her was overwhelmed with sadness. As soon as he stood, she embraced him. They would stand together.

There were rows of Stormtroopers awaiting them outside of the Kwai. A single trooper stepped forward to begin leading them into the Emperor's Retreat. She had no time to envy the beauty of Naboo. Step by step, she was led inside of the retreat. She had been holding her husband's hand up until then. At that point, she clutched it. There was no way he didn't feel the slight shake in her hand. Sierra was scared.

As Claudius and Sierra were arrive another was departing. The Emperor controlled vast reaches of the galaxy and while his meeting with Grand Moff Rodney was the most important event in Claudius' life it meant little to the Emperor. Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod marched briskly from the Emperor's retreat towards his own shuttle when out of the corner of his eye he spied Claudius and Sierra descending the ramp. Ever the sniveling bureaucrat he switched his path and moved to intercept them. "Grand Moff Rodney, Lady Rodney," he said, in a pleasant, confident voice as he nodded at each of them. "I see that you, too, have been called before the Emperor," he said, wondering if the timing had anything to do with the meeting he had just came from. He was careful not to say too much, although he desired others to know the honor that had been bestowed upon him ... particularly those of superior rank and standing.

Claudius mind was fixated jointly upon his wife and their impending meeting with the Emperor so much that he did not initially notice the arrival of Moff Jerjerrod. "Oh," he finally said, coming to a halt before almost crashing into the man. When he began his career Jerjerrod had been of a higher rank of him and even served among the Joint Chiefs, but the sector governance decree had seen Claudius rise swiftly to Grand Moff and surpass many who were his superiors including the man who stood before him. "Sierra allow me to introduce you to Moff Jerjerrod of the..." he began, before pausing, and shifting his gaze skywards as if to search for the answer. "...Quan- Quanta sector!" he said, loudly, as if he were a contestant on a HoloNet game show. "Tiaan this is my wife, Lady Sierra," he said, with a nod, before sizing the man up. At least he had gotten through a meeting with the Emperor unharmed. "What business did you have with the Emperor?" he asked, not expecting an answer, but anything that bought more time was worth it to him at this moment.

It would have been their best interest to scurry inside like fearful little mice and rip this bandage off as quickly as possible. The anticipation was the worst part of being, *forced* to come see the Emperor. She spotted a man she didn't notice making his way towards them. She looked at Claudius. The man seemed to have come from a good meeting. He held himself like a pompous asshole. Sierra clearly wasn't amused. She was less amused when he successfully intercepted them then promptly stuck his nose in their business. He made it very clear that he knew who Claudius was but then again who *didn't* know who he was?

Claudius made the introduction. Moff Jerjerrod. What a mouthful. "Ah, it's a pleasure to meet you, Moff Jerjerrod." She said, forcing a little, polite smile to appear on her face. On a scale of Papius to Arden, she wondered where this man fell. She knew very little about the Quanta sector. It was just a dot on the map to her. She didn't expect an answer either, but appreciated the inquiry. "You left His Majesty's retreat looking pleased. A good meeting, I presume?"

"Moff of the Quanta sector no longer," Moff Jerjerrod replied, briskly, as he sized up both of the Imperial officers who stood before him. It was well known that the Grand Moff of the Ringali Shell had taken the protege of the nefarious Arden Zevrin as his bride. A Grand Moff with connections to the Imperial Security Bureau was a powerful and dangerous man indeed. "I have recently been named Director of Imperial Energy Systems, but ... but that is all I can say for the time being," he said, squirming somewhat uncomfortably as he looked about the landing platform. He saw too many pairs of ears, but what he did not see scared him even more. "Well I shall not keep you from your meeting any longer," he said, nodding his head to the Grand Moff once. "Lady Rodney," he added, with the briefest of glances, before turning to move towards his waiting transport.

"Ah. Then congratulations are in order," Claudius replied, unaware of what Imperial Energy Systems was. "Safe travels," he replied, too anxious about his own pending meeting with the Emperor to notice the junior Moff's change in body language as he hinted at his new position. "Well then," he said to Sierra, as he took her hand and began moving from the landing platform towards the massive blast doors that led to the interior of the Emperor's retreat. The halls were a form of high quality marble common throughout Naboo. The retreat was more opulent than the Theed Royal Palace, but the presence of the Imperial military was everywhere. It was more fortress than palace. These elements combined to unnerve those who were called before the Emperor, reminding them of both his stature and power.

Sierra was carefully watching him. She had been trained to read body language and read into words that were unspoken. It had been awhile since her primary job involved psychology of battered soldiers, but now she was putting that knowledge to good use. It wasn't surprising that he had received a promotion of some sorts. However, he seemed uncomfortable when the topic came out. He looked around like he was paranoid. Jerjerrod's meeting with the Emperor didn't reflect how Claudius' meeting would go. Jerjerrod would have been suicidal to stand within the Emperor's eyesight and talk about this horrible position he'd been given. She glanced towards Claudius, wondering if he saw what she did.

"Congratulations, Moff Jerjerrod. I apologize that we do not have much time to talk. Good luck in your new position." She said to the man. She didn't look back at him once they were moving forward again. Her thoughts trailed away from her fear of death. She glanced up at the massive marble structures once they were granted access inside of the palace. Their presence was expected. No one even argued about Sierra being present for this meeting despite being a low-ranking officer. The palace itself would have been quite beautiful if it didn't feel like the dead of the winter inside of it. Sierra felt underdressed. Goosebumps arose on her arms. A guard walked before them. He escorted him through the halls, closer and closer to the source of the could. She sensed that they were being watched.

As they moved deeper into the Emperor's street the ornate marble gave way to harsh durasteel as the retreat transitioned from palace to fortified bunker. The crimson armor of the Emperor's royal guards popped against the dark, cold durasteel. The bold, vibrant colors of the guards stood in stark contrast to an Empire that was dominated by shades of gray. At the end of the corridor there was another set of doors that led to a circular chamber that was so dark its true size and dimensions could not be determined. As Claudius moved forward his hand did not relent from its grasp of his wife's hand. As he stepped out into darkness he could no longer see the corridor behind him, nor the vibrancy of the guards. There was darkness ... only darkness.

It felt like the colors grew more drab the further they walked. The Emperor seemed to have a bland sense of color schemes, not that Sierra was judging the man who could have killed her where she currently stood. Once inside of the circular chamber, it felt like they were at the core of the ice planet Hoth. She shivered in her boots. The only sense of warmth she had came from her husband's hand, still firmly holding her own. She couldn't even see him where he stood behind her in the deep darkness. At that point, her mind starting playing tricks on her...or was in Palpatine? She looked to the side and vividly watched the decrepit old man holding Bruce in his hands. Her son looked at her, reaching out for his months. When Sierra tried to reach back to him, the illusion disappeared. This time, she was alone. She could no longer feel Claudius' hand. "C-Claudius?" She called out.

A second later, she was back at the manor on Esseles. She stood at a door ripped from its hinges. Lightsaber marks were singed into the walls inside of the manor. Her heart broke in two when she found Callista, viciously murdered, lying at the base of the stairs. She could hear Ewwiekewwieikkie crying out for her father. Melickielickie was nowhere to be seen. As the visage broke Sierra again and again, she raced up the stairs which blood spilled from like a slowly flowing waterfall. Everyone was gone. Dru, the two squibs, and even their animals. Their slaughtered bodies littered the house. Sierra didn't need to look to know Bruce was gone.

Another blink and she was back in the cold room. Tears streamed down her face.

"I am here, my love," Claudius assured her, squeezing her hand reassuringly. Was it cold in the chamber or was it merely another trick of the mind being played? He did not know, but he certainly felt it, which caused him to shiver. Then seeming as if the darkness would last forever the lights rose revealing they were in the presence of the Emperor himself. Almost immediately he dropped to a knee in the manner of Commander Kiley when she delivered the message back on Delaya. In this moment of suppliance to the Emperor filled with the feeling of fear and degradation it was lost on him that he made his junior officer feel the same way. He did not speak, but instead remained in silent obedience until given permission to speak.

For his part the Emperor did nothing. These small matters meant very little to him and he preferred to delegate them to his suppliants. However, as a Grand Moff the sniveling wretch of a man that knelt before him was one of his chief delegates. His inefficiency to attend to the tasks laid out before him had forced the Emperor take notice and issue this reprimand. "Governor Rodney the Rebel presence in your Oversector can no longer be tolerated," he said, from behind a hooded robe that cast a shadow down upon his gnarled exterior. His piercing yellow eyes were visible and directed solely at the Grand Moff. "The planet Ralltiir whom your predecessor subjugated will be stripped of its remaining resources," he began, with each word seeming to be coated in a layer of vitriolic acid. "These resources will be transported to Imperial Energy Systems at Sullust. If even one shipment is slightly delayed I will hear of it," he continued, before rising from his throne and taking a firm grasp of the walking stick that was as twisted as his face. He slowly moved down a trio of steps that would lead him down to the couple's level. "I tolerated your shortcomings as a military strategist because it diverted the pathetic rebellion into thinking they could achieve victory and foolishly commit resources to a losing effort," he snarled, as he moved closer still. "...but should you fail to protect these shipments you shall be *removed*," he chided, with a snarl of his teeth and an heretofore unseen intensity in his glare.

Her hand was hooked with his once more. The images of their dead children still played before her eyes. The moment the lights rose, she was blinded. She didn't have to look to know that it was the Emperor who stood before him. Like her husband, she fell to a knee and submitted to him. Ultimately, if it was their day to die, they were going to die. There was no use in groveling or begging. She would die with her honor intact. Slowly, she crooked her head up to look upon His Majesty. The old man looked more horrifying each time she saw him. His had the yellow eyes of a serpent. Fury was apparent in them. This was going to be a *bad* meeting. The chill seemed to grow as his crackly voice cut through the room.

She listened to him berate Claudius for his loses in the sector. It was clear that Emperor Palpatine did not intend to kill *him*. This was his way of effectively putting Claudius back into high speed. She bit down on her lip. His walking stick pounded on the ground with each step he made closer and closer to them. Her eyes fell back to the ground. Her hair hide away her eyes. Palpatine revealed to them that he had placed Claudius where he had to focus Rebel activity on their sector. It had worked too damn well. The Rebels had focused hard on them, but it seemed Palpatine was ready to switch gears. She glance sideway at Claudius but she said nothing. She knew better than to let her tongue slip in front of this man. His threats cause her to wince.

The Emperor took great satisfaction in knowing that the charred remnants of worlds that were too outwardly sympathetic to the rebellion would be stripped to construct his new, more powerful Death Star. With the rebel forces concentrating within the Ringali Nebula and scattered throughout the Outer Rim he knew its construction on Endor could continue unhindered. "Lord Vader has informed me he has assigned the Third Sister to watch you," he said, as he circled around them like a predator until he came to a stop behind them. "We have the power destroy a planet. It is nothing to destroy a man..." he said, before turning his head to look towards Sierra. "...or a woman. And Alderaan and Alderaanians are such fragile things..." he said, with a uncontrollable, menacing laugh that seemed to come from deep within. He then moved back around them to slowly walk up the stairs to take his throne once more. "Now leave me and let me hear no more of your failures," he said, as he released the grasp on his cane. "For your sake ... and for the sake of your family," he menacingly added before darkness once again began to fill the chamber.

The Third Sister. Jessa Thrope was a menace that had become a cancer in their lives. No sooner had she convinced herself that the woman was gone did she show up again. Her eyes carefully followed Palpatine until he was behind them. His words...his words were so cruel. Before them, he all but revealed that he knew exactly what happened to Alderaan. Papius had told her before but she was spectacle of the man. there was no doubt. Alderaan had been destroyed by the Empire they so loyally served. It was like taking a punch in the gut. His sickening remark about how Alderaan and Alderaanians were so *fragile* made an impact. Anger began to bubble up inside of her. She rose to her feet quickly, her hand curled in a fist. The chamber filled with darkness. She wanted to scream at him. Alderaan had been home. It was a home she missed badly. Her eyes were filled with angry tears. She said not a word as she took Claudius' hand and helped him to his feet. Her heart was beating hard. The thoughts of betraying the Empire piled up in her mind.

And then they left.

Once the Kwai was headed towards Esseles, Sierra rose from her seat and wandered back to the comfortable compartment in the back of the ship. She was angry and hurt with nothing to do with it. Her husband was Palpatine's military pawn. Her home planet was gone. Her family was not safe. She drew her head into her hands and sighed.

The solemn march from the Emperor's audience chamber back towards the Kwai were like a funerary possession. Claudius did not even recall issuing the orders to Lieutenant Anson to proceed to Esseles as he was in such a state of shock. He collapsed into his seat in the rear compartment of the shuttle as the implications of what the Emperor had spoken flowed through him. His daughter had tried to convince him that the Empire had destroyed Alderaan, but he refused to listen. He could not believe that the Empire he had sworn to protect and served for two decades was capable of such a thing. Now it was indisputable. He had heard it straight from the fathier's mouth ... the Emperor himself.

It was not until the shuttle jumped into hyperspace that Claudius felt anything and is he drew further from the Emperor's presence he gradually came around. He would have preferred that the Emperor had assaulted him rather than presented the devastating news that what his daughter had tried to warn him about was true. "Jelena ... was right," he revealed to Sierra, painfully, as it was always difficult to admit when one's child was right and he was wrong. Then there was the news that the Emperor thought so little of him as a commander and that was the true purpose of his promotion and command of the priority sector. It was a humiliating rebuke from a man he had admired for bringing peace and order to the galaxy following the Clone Wars. Added to it was indignity that the Inquisitor was watching ... always watching. He had been shown a great many truths in what was but a brief encounter.

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