The situation in space was getting worse. The red blips were growing in number as the green ones winked out, and they swarmed the planet, bombarding it. The Senate building remained untouched, though Emain could not guess why, and although communications were still jammed, word had reached him that the Jedi Temple had been taken by the Sith and many Jedi were being held prisoner.
Perce stood looking out the viewport, his hands clasped behind his back, as he stared at the flashes of lights in the Coruscant skies.
‘I believe you have only one option, sir.’
Emain was almost startled. Perce had not said a word in hours. ‘And what is that, Perce?’
Perce turned to face him. ‘Surrender.’
‘Look at the charts: you’re overwhelmed, outnumbered, and outmatched. The Sith have trapped you here. They have trapped the Jedi.’
‘And I recalled them.’
Perce smiled. ‘Surrender now, sir. It is in your best interest.’
‘You do not order me, Perce, I am…’
Suddenly, Emain felt an invisible hand on his throat as he brought up his own, trying to loosen the invisible grip, and he saw Perce’s own hand up, shaped like a claw.
‘I’m not asking, sir. Coruscant is taken by the Sith. You are no longer in command. Although you never really were.’ Perce sneered. ‘You spoke the words I commanded you to. I recalled the Jedi. It trapped Coruscant. The Sith forces outnumber yours. You cannot escape.’ Perce released the grip. ‘I am in charge now.’ He clipped on a belt he had pulled out from his briefcase, and then he reached in again, and pulled out and donned a cloak over his shoulders.
Feeble, yet recovering, Emain took a step towards Perce. The man who Emain had trusted brought up his red lightsaber in such a fast motion; Emain was thrown aback and fell right into his chair.
‘The security codes, I need them,’ said Perce nonchallantly.
‘I will never divulge Coruscant’s secrets to you,’ the Senator declared defiantly.
‘Once again,’ said Perce, this time more menacingly, ‘I’m not asking. Coruscant is mine!’
Perce closed his teeth, yet his mouth remain in a smile. He took Emain with the Force and threw him across the room. Emain’s head banged on the wall.
‘Now, we can do this the simple way, where you tell me what I need to know,’ said Perce, advancing in on him, ‘or we can do this the hard way.’
Perce was choking him again and he was flown back into his chair. Perce then clipped his lightsaber to his belt, clasped his hands behind his back and smiled.
‘Now, the codes, sir…’ He paused briefly, waiting, as Emain stared agape. ‘Now!’
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