Chapter 6

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General Trajan strode purposefully into the white marbled temple of the Jedi High Council. His footsteps echoed off high-reliefs carved into the white marble, showcasing the great scenes of Jedi history: forming the first Council, uniting hosts of the galaxy’s force adepts, fighting the great wars against the Sith Empire, fending off the Vendikaiye, and recently defending the Republic in the clone wars. He pulled back his hooded robe to reveal a chiseled visage, swarthy skin, seeking gray eyes and wavy gray hair streaking into silver above his right ear. He was uncommonly handsome, and his good looks intensified his gaze and the magnetism of his personality.

The Jedi guards to the inner chambers saluted General Trajan as he approached, by placing their right fist onto their left breast, in the custom of the Jedi. They then parted and Trajan continued past into the brilliantly lit inner chambers.

Compared to the elaborately carved high-reliefs of the atrium and outer chambers, the inner chambers appeared spartan in comparison. A few wide, white marbled steps rose to a round dais in the room’s center. Twelve slightly raised platforms ringed the dais. The walls were bare, sloping in a dome to the source of the room’s brilliance: a brilliant prismatic light sculpture.

Ensconced throughout the temple’s architecture, a system of mirrors reflected sunlight into the inner chambers. The prismatic sculpture filled the room with daylight, and shone the five lines of the original Jedi code onto five points on the walls of the dome. Turning clockwise one could read the code:

Emotion, yet peace. 

Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force.

Trajan ascended the stairs and took his place on one of the twelve platforms. He took a moment to fix his gaze on the members of the council, some there in person and some there via holo-presence. Then he motioned to Master Wendell that he was ready to begin.

Master Wendell swirled his right hand, causing the light sculpture to rotate one position to the right. “This Council is convened. I thank you all for coming on such short notice, as there are no doubt many affairs which require your wisdom. Master Trajan, since you called this meeting, please tell us what matter requires our immediate attention.”

“Members of the High Council, two hours ago a terrorist force captured Skywalker Enterprises' headquarters, stationed on planet Rodia. A little over one half hour ago, the terrorists began to try, punish and execute human hostages in perverse judicial proceedings. Led by a fanatical leader calling himself Krul te Rosin, we have every reason to believe that the terrorists will continue these death trials. Without our immediate intervention, the terrorists are likely to execute each and everyone of these hostages. 

Master H’lale K’nok shifted to face Trajan, his fist-sized cold reptillian eyes narrowing to slits. The Fir’thissh looked down at the golden band on Trajan’s wrist, a gift the General had received from the Calrissian family, and sneered in disgust. This sort of material extravagance irritated K’nok. It was the very reason Trajan had worn it. Trajan opened his mouth to continue, but before he could, H’lale cut him off.

“Master Aviri - as our liason in this system - is our enterprising General correct? Or is he yet again rushing Council decisions, hazarding our Jedi and the Republic’s troops to realize his own ambitions?” H’lale seemed to spit the words, and this was only partly due to his species’ long, protruding tongue. Like the weak-minded Fir’thissh Trajan had met, H’lale used his tongue first and brain later. 

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