The Council Meeting
Kan burst through the Council doors, unable to push down his excitement. At last, he could go on a mission. What will it be this time? He wondered, gazing expectantly at the impeccable faces of the wizened Council. Civil wars? Secret assassins? A plot to take over the galaxy? Well, maybe not a galactic takeover, he amended, but it was bound to be exciting and, in his opinion, an exhausting trip. He stared into each of the warriors' faces, trying to discern an emotion; fear, anger, sadness? He couldn't tell.
He glanced at his Master who stood quietly beside him. Ruru Xelan's body was well-matched with his deep, commanding voice. Broad-shouldered and tall, Ruru captured the very image of a Jedi in Kan's admiring eyes. All the students had always been a little awed at his powerful stance as a Jedi Master, and when Kan had been chosen by him, he had been both honored and apprehensive. But over the months, the relationship between them had strengthened, and Kan had lost all mistrust of him. He held his Master in very high esteem.
Kan watched Zett Jukassa take his place beside his own Master, Mierme Unill. Unill was a Bothan male, a very large one for his species. His black pointed beard and glossy fur framed an intelligent face and violet-rimmed eyes. Because Meirme was a Bothan, he also had the power to become invisible if he so desired. Kan figured that was the chief reason Master Unill was considered to be the stealthiest Jedi in the Order. He spooked Kan a bit; he walked so softly you never knew that he was behind you. Kan was very careful never to annoy Unill, or any Bothans in general.
Jordin Skraps came up behind Zett and stood next to her Master, Jade Yil. Jade looked like a dark humanoid species with long ebony-black hair, but in reality she was a Clawdite, a being that could shape-shift. One of Jordin's favorite activities was to question what it felt like to change shape. Her Master, in her usual silent, crabby way, would just humph and change into a wrythler snake, a creature Jordin detested. Kan couldn't understand why those two were paired up, they were both so different.
A senior member of the Council, Mace Windu, nodded toward the Jedi in greeting. "No preliminaries," Mace said in his usual no-nonsense manner. "We are all much needed, so I'll make this as brief as possible. You are only a few of the ones I have summoned," he continued. "At this moment, all Knights and Masters are being summoned to act at this particular time." He stared each of them in the eye, letting them feel the weight of his words.
"I did not include Apprentices in the summons," Mace said.
Kan felt his face fall. No! He couldn't go on the mission? He'd have to stay? He looked at his Master for reassurance. His Master was staring straight ahead. Disappointed, Kan looked back at Windu and forced himself to meet his steely gaze.
"Your Masters are much needed," Mace said. "I cannot waste time on the details to you, but be assured that this is very important. You will all remain here at the Temple, but my Apprentice, Depa Billaba, will be spared to stay here and watch over you. As you might have noticed, Yoda is not seated at this Council. He is on a private quest now, so I will lead this mission."
Up until now, Kan had not noticed that Yoda was absent. He had been too excited to pay any attention to his surroundings. He felt like kicking himself down the hall. His Master was always telling him to pay attention to even the tiniest detail, and yet here he was, unaware that the greatest Jedi in the Temple, no, in the whole galaxy was gone. Sure, Yoda wasn't even three feet tall, but still...
Kan wrenched his attention back to Mace Windu. Focus, Kan!
"Will you do as I requested?" Mace Windu asked.
Kan felt a little flattered. Mace rarely asked anyone their own opinion. He didn't even ask Masters. He just assumed that they would obey him, regardless of what they thought. This mission must be important.
"Yes, Master." Kan heard himself say it, but he felt that he didn't put his heart into his answer. He couldn't understand why Xelan had to leave him at the Temple while he embarked upon a highly dangerous, and most likely life-threatening mission. It wasn't fair. But how could Kan say no?
"May the Force be with you," Windu concluded.