The knock was an omen.
Meetings. It seemed as though the Vicelord's existence was simply floating from one holo-call to the next. From the moment the sun rose above Naboo's horizon to well past its retreat, there was always some urgent matter that required his signature. His "favorite" gatherings were the meetings about
meetings. Peak efficiency. But, such was the nature of the beast. With an election season having come and gone, new faces had cropped up all across the Confederacy. New mindsets, new ambitions, new ways of doing things - and all of them wanted to say their piece.
After many hours of that? Darth Metus clocked out.
Metaphorically, of course, as there was no time punch card for leading a nation. For a few hours, he opted to set his devices to silent. Maybe he'd see about filling the growing void in his stomach. Heaven knew he could go for something deep fried and smothered in chocolate. As per the usual, the office space was relatively quiet - save for the ticking timepiece on the wall. Darth Metus was seldmon fully alone, and in the case of this evening, only one of his Exarchs were present.
, ever the Pinnacle of Grace, sat with a straight back upon the sofa.
She, too, had her fill of meetings...and meetings about meetings. So when the Vicelord "clocked out", her datapad slumbered with a satisfying click.
"I'm feeling Atrisian tonight, what about you?"
he said, rising from the resolute desk. Strides laiden with typical fatigue bore him to his Apprentice's side - where he then unceremoniously plopped down.
"We have been consuming an unhealthy amount of take-out lately."
came her thoughtful reply. "Perhaps we should look into something lighter?"
The Sith's lips contorted in mock horror. "Lighter? We talking salad or Jedi?"
"I can see that you have corn covered."
"...Did you just call me corny?"
"I am simply stating fact. You clearly have consumed quite a bit of corn."
Darth Metus squinted. His lips parted, no doubt intent on dropping yet another corn-filled
reply, but he was rudely interrupted. Nowadays, any guests to his office were well scheduled in advance. Or, at the very least, they buzzed in. This time? The door itself was pounded upon. "Who the feth."
he breathed, rising. "Enter. And this had better be good."
His arms folded, impatience laden in his tone. It wasn't too much to ask to get a few moments' reprieve, was it? Immediately after he spoke, the door swung open - revealing a face he had not seen in quite some time. Shalita Verd
, blood of his blood. The freshly appointed Minister of Secrets briskly stepped across the room, pausing to nod in greeting to the Exarch. "I wouldn't bother if it was good, brother."
Darth Metus greeted her with an embrace and a light peck on the cheek, before nodding. "Alright, let's hear it."
"My Ravens picked up whispers. Bastion. It's..."
she began. Her tone faltered. Hesitation was not something the Vicelord had ever seen from his elder sibling. If anything, she ripped any bandage off better than most. He simply raised a brow and patiently awaited, racking his brains..
"Your daughter. Runi. She didn't make it."
As a leader. Nay, as a man, life was spent wearing a number of hats. Living in a number of boxes. For the most part, Darth Metus kept that box labeled "personal life" buried in the back of his mind - especially when he was on the clock. His children were all grown. All carving out their place in the Galaxy. And he? For as estranged as he was with most of them? Gave a damn. He did not crowd them. He did not try and make the southern systems into a family business. He simply kept the door open - a safety net if ever they needed. And should they scrape their knees? He'd be there.
In that moment, that personal life box was dragged out and dumped all over ever conceivable thought. Disbelief. Confusion. Wrath. Each washed over the man's face in a matter of seconds. Finally, after a small eternity, he uttered a single word:
"I'm still getting all the details...What I know definitively is that she was moved to Dromund Kaas immediately after."
"Then to Kaas we'll go."