Strength and Passion 6

I had fallen asleep in my chair, I guess I was more exhausted than I had realised. The com went off loudly, making me jump, the data pad on my lap fell crashing to the floor as I reached for the com and answered it. The officer of the watch ignored my bad temper and informed me I was to report to the hanger bay right away, that Lord Vader would be arriving shortly. I quickly gathered my work datapad and made my way through the corridors to the hanger bay. The place was busy and loud, space was being cleared and the klaxon sounded as the magnetic seal was opened. I watched from where from where I was Lord Vader’s TIE Advanced slid gracefully into the docking bay. The magnetic seal was locked back into place and the warning klaxons stopped. I walked down to the gantry that had been placed against the ship so that Lord Vader could exit and waited. From the looks I got from most of the men around me, they, like Jorae, were awfully glad not to be in my shoes. Lord Vader descended to the ground, gave his ship a quick once over, I followed his gaze and noticed the carbon scoring on the hull. Someone had hit it pretty good.

When he was satisfied, he spoke to the deck officer and ordered some further repairs on his ship then he turned to me, he said nothing but started to walk towards the exit of the hanger bay. I had to trot at his side to keep up.

“You will cancel all engagements in my calendar until further notice.” He said.

“Yes, my Lord.” I nodded making the appropriate notes in my data-pad.

“Have there been any communiqués from his Excellency?” he asked.

“Yes, My Lord. Two arrived late last night at twenty-three hundred hours and one came in an hour ago.” I said. “The encrypted data-pads are in my office I wasn’t cert …” he cut me off with a wave of his hand.

“You will bring them to me in my chambers, right away.” He said.

“Yes, my Lord.”

"What are you waiting for, I want those datapads now.!!"

"Yes, my Lord." I said. I ran to my quarters and picked up the datapad with the Emperor’s communiqués and then headed to Lord Vader’s chambers where he paced about like a caged animal.

He snatched the datapad from my hands read it, deleted the contents, then handed it back to me.

“We will be going to Coruscant, there you will accompany me. You will not be returning to this ship so do what you need to do to ready yourself. Do not waste time.”

“Yes, My Lord.” I said and waited to se if there was anything else.

Lord Vader turned away from me. “You may go.” He said.

I nodded. “Yes, my Lord.” I said but I paused, I wanted to know what had happened and I wanted to know what would happen when we reached Coruscant. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask when Lord Vader snarled at me.

“What is it, Miss Gabriel?”

I shook my head and then said without thinking. “I wanted to say,"I paused, “ that I am relieved to see you alive.”

Lord Vader stopped and turned around, regarded me for a moment, he was probably as surprised as I was by the statement, and then said, “Your concern for my welfare has been duly noted, Miss Gabriel. You are dismissed.”

“Yes, my Lord.” I said and hurried away from his chambers as fast as I could, not that I had much to pack, but I wanted to be as far away from Lord Vader as possible. He was furious and he was not pleasant to be around when he was in one of his moods.

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