A Difficult Decision to Make
Written by: Jaysen Erdon and posted on: Sep 28, 2007
(A submission for the "Day As A GMF" competition)
Their entire trip back from Osiris was spent in silence. Members of the Ministry council sat quietly as the Grand Moff read over the final pieces of legislation and signed them. Most of the time his ministers were envious of the power he wielded, but today they envied him not. Productive trip. Grand Moff Erdon thought to himself trying hard to keep the real matters at hand from weighing down on him until it was absolutely necessary. He had spent countless nights unable to sleep as he writhed with indecision on a most important issue. In Imperial space the Grand Moff wields an unimaginable amount of civic and administrative power. Grand Admiral Astatine has a man like Duke Erdon around for a reason – so that he doesn’t have to deal with managing the Empire on a day-to-day basis. Unlike any day previous, the Grand Moff cursed his superior silently as his personal Lambda-class shuttle, Deluge, settled to the landing bay platform below.
It was dusk on Aurora Prime now and that was arguably the most beautiful time of day. The Grand Moff never even noticed as he quickly strode past the guards that stood rigidly at attention. With each step he replayed images from his childhood – endless grass fields and a light breeze – rising from Chandrilla to become one of the most powerful humans in the Imperium. But tonight he was set to make a decision that cut him to the core.
“Your Excellency.” Adrian Furaad, the Duke’s personal assistant chimed in as he rounded the corner to his office.
“Are all the papers in order, Adrian.”
“Yes, sir. Would you like me to establish a holonet connection to you’re –.”
“No. I’d like to be left alone for now.” The Grand Moff cut in.
With a nod the entourage that had follow him from the landing bay dispersed through the many doors that lined the foyer to his office. Now alone with his thoughts the walked slowly to the doors that separated him from his office, from his desk, and from the execution papers that rest there.
It was a well-known fact that the Grand Moff’s brother had a streak for rebellious ideology. In the university they both attended his brother wrote a thesis that systematically dismantled the New Order and dragged Palpatine through the mud of Dagobah. For this he was expelled and practically went off the grid. That was until reports surfaced that the flesh and blood of a successful and powerful Regional Governor was staging attacks against various outposts of the Emperor’s Hammer. As Jaysen rose through the bureaucracy he always kept a lingering shred of fear that it would be him who would one day have to deal with his brother’s infractions.
The pen felt so heavy in his hand, much like his heart. He knew that his signature was a necessary hurdle in order to bring to an end the murderous campaign his brother had waged against their Empire. For weeks, since confirmation of his capture came through, Jaysen tried in vain to find another solution that might spare his life. In the end, the Ministry Council made it clear that the only recourse was to make an example out of him.
So one more time the Grand Moff allowed his mind to wander back to his home planet where everything seemed unspoiled and innocent, before the realities of the galaxy would tear them both from normalcy. As the memory faded away he allowed himself one tear as he signed his name to the execution order. Tapping the intercom he called out, “Adrian, please bring the Adjudicator in.”
Within minutes a small contingent of men entered his office and approached the Grand Moff.
“Sir?” The adjudicator asked.
“Here is the order. Make sure his death is made well known to those he associates with. We will make it clear that this sort of rebellious action will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.”
The look on he faces of those in the room was one of both pride and terror. They knew that Duke Erdon was capable of sacrifice, but not like this. Of course the real surprise was burning within the Grand Moff who knew he had to sacrifice his own needs for those of Empire.
And then the sun set over Aurora Prime.