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The Exile's Order: The Phantom Menace

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     Amara couldn't help but marvel at the ship's interior. It was a thing of sheer beauty- sleek, dark, and smooth. She'd always known the Enclave's technology was more than several generations behind the Republic's, but this? This was a thing of splendor compared to the transports they possessed back on Dantooine, and it made her uncomfortable. Ignoring the technology gap had been easy enough when she'd first met the Jedi and their pilots. For all of their civilizations' advances, the traditional clothing of the Jedi had seen little change over the years, and the Republic's military branches were not known for their creative whims. Her own armor, as old and marred as it was, had not been a source of discomfort. Now, though? Now she was painfully aware of every faded blaster scorch mark, of every chipped surface. Thank the Exile her armor was the dark black and gray of traditional Echani coloring, for it helped disguise the advanced age and use a lighter color would have betrayed. Amara shook her head, burying her embarrassment as she felt the ship slow beneath her feet. Now was not the time for uncertainty, not when it appeared that they had finally arrived.

     "Captain," the Jedi Master before her spoke, prompting the female pilot to turn from her controls to address him.

     "Yes, Sir," she questioned, leaning towards the man as she waited for his response.

     "Tell them we wish to board at once," the Jedi instructed, his robe shifting as he looked up to return the woman's gaze. The pilot gave a small nod of acknowledgement, pressing what Amara could only assume was their primary communications button as she leaned forward.

     "With all due respect," the pilot began, their collective gazes drawn to the screen above as it flickered to life, "the ambassadors for the supreme chancellor wish to board immediately."

     "Yes, of course," their soon to be host replied. "As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal, and we'd be happy to receive the ambassadors." Amara felt herself relax slightly as the Viceroy's words. In truth, both the Enclave Headmistress and Khoonda's Administrator had been nervous about the possible reception she and the ambassadors would receive. The choice to send Jedi was, in their eyes, a veiled message to the Trade Federation. They were keepers of the peace, yes, but the Exile's Order was living proof that the Jedi could make capable fighters when needed. Perhaps they were wrong about the supreme chancellor's meaning, the Headmistress had allowed, but she had urged towards caution nonetheless. Having received permission to land, the pilot further slowed their ship, angling towards the opening hanger bay. Their touchdown was smooth, barely a jostle going through the ship as it finally settled and powered down. Amara would have to remember to compliment the pilots on their skill when the negotiations were over- they had remained professional and courteous towards her during her entire time with them, a rarity that she had deeply appreciated. As the Jedi stood, their robes rustling with the movement, she slid her gauntlets on. As with her armor, they were worn with use, and she tightened them as she checked her weapons. A small noise of slight disapproval brought the woman's head up, and she met the Padawan's eyes as he too looked up from her spare blaster pistol. Amara knew little about the man before her, but she could remember well enough his rumored views about weapons that were not lightsabers. What had he been heard saying, once? Oh, yes. Uncivilized. It made her want to laugh. War cared nothing for the types of weapons used in it, nor did it care about the elegance with which they were wielded. Amara stood from her seat, pointedly brushing the hilt of her own lightsaber as she once again looked him in the eyes. Ah, and there was the slightest twinge of discomfort as he turned away, continuing after his Master. The Fifth had taught their Order many things, the non-Force aided construction of lightsabers being one of them. With a last goodbye nod to the pilots, Amara descended the ship's ramp. What felt like hundreds of eyes, mechanical and glowing, turned to watch her every move. She didn't like this, Amara decided as she fell into step behind the Jedi ambassadors. These were battle droids, and far too many in one location for her to feel at ease amongst them. A silver droid greeted them at the door, its words sliding over her as she turned once more to look out at the gathered droids. There were too many, even for a flagship in a blockade. Just what were they walking into? As Amara moved to keep in step with the Jedi before her, she once again checked her gauntlets. No matter how things here ended, she would do her best to be prepared.