The Senate building is bustling with activity; the Senators are taking their places and talking amongst themselves already. Masters of the Jedi Council Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu have been called to represent the Jedi Order.
Honestly. Obi-Wan isn’t quite sure why their presence was demanded. It’s not as if they can cast any votes. To have Jedi in the Senate on occasion certainly isn’t a bad idea, but to demand their presence for a specific Session is rare, if not unprecedented.
Obi-Wan is tired; the war has dragged on for far longer than he would have ever dreamed or hoped. The Jedi hardly take missions outside of leading troops into battles these days, and the fighting and distance from their ideals is taking their toll on the Order and all the Jedi in it. Several Jedi have already left the frontlines, unable to cope, unable to keep going. Many of them have died. Their already small numbers ever diminishing.
“Welcome Senators, the emergency session called by Senator Ach’ki Mandai of the planet Haa’ndu as per Galactic Senate regulation FK23-5 will now commence.” Chancellor Palpatine’s voice rings out across the hall, which slowly falls silent. Many Senators casts more-or-less covert glances toward the Jedi Council repulsorpod.
Obi-Wan and Mace share a look, the tension in the room could be cut with a knife. Perhaps the Jedi are the only people here who don’t know what the Emergency Session is about.
“Senator Mandai, we will now hear you. The floor is yours.”
Obi-Wan could swear that the Chancellor cast an almost… cruelly smug look in their direction. He’s never liked the man much—for all that Anakin considers him a friend—but this seems out of character, even for him.
The Haa’ndu pod detaches and moves toward the center of room.
“My fellow Senators!” Senator Mandai straightens, her long scaled body glittering in the light, the feathers on her jaw and crown swaying as she turns around to address them all. “The war has been going far longer than any of us could have imagined. It has dragged on, caused more damage and cost more lives than any of us could have ever dreamed.” Her voice is strong, even without the voice-amplifiers.
Murmurs can be heard all around the Senate chamber. Obi-Wan watches the almost iridescent shine of the Senator’s black scales for a brief second before returning his attention to the matter at hand.
“The Republic is funding an army of clones. Sentient beings created and raised simply for the sake of dying in our war. I ask you, is this Just?!”
The room erupts with shouting. Obi-Wan shares another look with Mace. Most of the senators would benefit from some instruction in patience and serenity.
“In the midst of it all are the Jedi. Acting as Generals and Commanders of the Republic Army. An army made up of clones who are little more than slaves!”
Obi-Wan flinches slightly. He’s not certain where Senator Mandai is taking this, but so far the direction seems to be rather unfavourable to the Jedi. The glances in their direction and the demand that they take part in the Order’s own pod suddenly makes a lot more sense.
“This might be taking a rather unpleasant direction,” Mace mutters under his breath. Obi-Wan doesn’t say anything, but nods slightly in agreement.
The room turns silent again and Senator Mandai raises her arms in the air, the light glints off the long, sharp claws on her four-fingered hands.
“The peacekeepers of our Galaxy have been turned into army leaders. Forced to go against the very core of their own teachings, for the sake of this Republic. My fellow Senators, this cannot continue! Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has been incompetent since he was voted into office after the Vote of No-Confidence against former Chancellor Valorum! He’s been inefficient, slow to act, and allowed his own term to be dragged out without a new vote for far longer than any competent politician should have allowed! The war has dragged on because our Chancellor has done nothing to stop the powers that drive it, and it is the Jedi and the Clones that shoulder the weight of his incompetence!”
The sound in the chamber is almost deafening. Obi-Wan and Mace share a wide-eyed look of astonishment. The Senate usually have little concern with what the Jedi suffer in the line of their duty to the Republic. They usually only care when things haven’t gone quite the way the Senate would like.
Obi-Wan looks toward Chancellor Palpatine. The man looks like someone just slugged him in the face, his shock almost radiates off him.
“By Republic law B-45-SK-9, the Jedi Masters of the High Council are our fellow Senators. The Master of the Order, Master Mace Windu and his fellow councillor Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi—High General of the Republic Army and renowned as The Negotiator—are both in session today. With the direct backing of 134 other Senators, I call for a Vote of No-Confidence against Chancellor Palpatine.”
The noise becomes deafening again, voices shouting both for and against the vote. As it’s been called, it will be carried out, though the outcome is not certain.
Obi-Wan turns Senator Mandai’s words over in his head. Members of the High Council are Senators in the Galactic Senate by Republic law? He’s never heard about that before. More pressingly, for what reason did Senator Mandai bring it up now?
“My fellow Senators!” Senator Mandai’s voice cuts through the ruckus like a hot knife through butter.
Silence falls again, if begrudgingly.
“Yes. I call for a Vote of No-Confidence. However, that is not all.” She straightens up further, and Obi-Wan almost feels the Force swirl around her. There’s a niggling in the back of his head, telling him that this, whatever Senator Mandai will say next, is of utter importance to the future of the galaxy itself.
“I believe that we need to elect a neutral Chancellor. One who stands nothing to gain from war, one who has served our Republic to the utmost of his ability. I call for the Vote of No-Confidence to also be a vote to instate High Councillor of the Jedi Order, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, as the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.”
Obi-Wan stands in his own little kitchen, staring blindly at the cupboard in front of him and stirs his tea. The Senate had agreed to Senator Mandai’s proposal. A Vote of No-Confidence in combination with instating him, him, as Supreme Chancellor would be held in two days, to allow as many Senators as possible to attend.
He shut his comm off two hours ago and has been locked in his rooms since five hours ago. He doesn’t want to see or talk to anyone right now. Escaping the Senate building was a nightmare, reporters and senators everywhere. At least he had Mace to help him bulldoze his way through the crowd.
He sits down in the small arm-chair in the lounge part of his apartment and looks around. He’s been so busy with the war, has barely spent any time in the temple at all, that he can still see the two boxes of his meagre belongings by the door, unpacked.
Obi-Wan has never been very skilled with the Living Force, but right now he longs for the peace and tranquillity that he found in the rooms he’d shared with Qui-Gon during the last years of his apprenticeship, and those rooms had been stuffed with plant life.
Ignoring the possibility of the vote going through, Obi-Wan sits in his armchair, sips his tea, and wonders what sort of plants would be good to fill a Jedi apartment with.