During the flyer ride Janin focussed her thoughts as Darana had taught her until she was cool and collected and emotionless. Pinning her hair tightly she emerged at the Palace's side hanger carrying the armor case. Two red guards awaited her in the otherwise empty bay. Even at this hour it should have been active with droids, there were always droids. She walked at her usual pace towards them and stopped. She could not tell who was inside, she knew most of them by now but there was no leakage. "Janin Firestorm, you are to be escorted to the throneroom, without delay. You will not need this." The heavy case was taken from her hands and handed off to another guard in the shadows of the corridor. Not for the first time Janin was aware how cold the palace was. Psychological, but all the same. She shivered. * * * "Where are your Loyalties?" The Emperor began, thinking to catch her before she could think up some kind of cover story. Janin's jaw moved and closed, then she spoke. "To protect your person, to obey the orders I am given." She was prepared for this, 8 years now prepared by Darana for this question. There was resentment on Daranas behalf, but she knew he would expect it. "You hesitate, I believe there is more to it than you say. So I ask you again, where are your loyalties?" The rustle of fabric told her he had risen. He never used lightning from a sitting position.Focus. The floor was cold under her bended knee. Head bowed she muted her voice. "My loyalties are complete. But she is my aunt and teacher. This does not supercede my loyalty to you and to the uniform I wear." "A much better answer this time. I have no with to foster any ill feelings over this situation. The rustling moved away to the side, out of sight. Janin's eyes remained locked in place as she chewed the inside of her mouth slightly, but remained silent after a brief nod. That damage was already done but muted. Nothing but acquiesence would serve here. The rasping voice above her continued, thoughtful now. The worst was over, perhaps. "You have been a worthy Red Guard so far, and I would like to keep you on as such. Darana has taught you well, and I would hate to have it go to waste." A slight smile, pleasure from the compliment, and a touch of arrogance and pride. Darana had taught her very well but now was not the time to dwell on that. "Yes Highness." "You will return to the household, and gather your things, only what you need. You will return here, and be given quarters with other of my Red Guard. Your life is here now. Do you understand?" "I understand." She bows her head, shoulders slump slightly. It had been a nice life, but in front of the Emperor she turned her thoughts ahead to the new one putting past behind her. The Emperor held out a scroll "Show this to the Captain of the Guard at the household. He will escort you to your quarters, and make sure you can get to your gear. Then report back immediately." Deep head and body bow from the kneeling position. "Immediately, Highness." She rises, backs away into the shadows and exits to find her ship. What, she wondered, was she going to say to Michael. Certainly not good bye.
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