, 11:36 AM
Prudii pulled off his helmet as he walked into the Senate tower. He clipped it to the back of his belt and glanced around. He had been summoned by General Garza, and told not to go to her office but instead to the Supreme Commander's meeting room on the second floor. Prudii started through the tower toward the Grand Hall. He had just reached it when two troopers approached, arms crossed, and blocked his path.
"Hello, Prudii," one hissed.
Prudii glanced over his shoulder. Jorgan and Dorne hadn't arrived yet. Great. Clenching his fists, he turned back to the troopers.
"What's wrong, guys?" he asked.
"You," the second one spat.
"Our unit just was decimated by a team of Mandalorians."
"Sorry, guys. Really."
Prudii knew where this was going. He'd encountered other soldiers just like this many times before, even before Ord Mantell. They always took out their anger at Mandalorians on him, just because he had a Mandalorian name. Prudii still considered himself one of the Mando'a, but he'd distanced himself from the culture to spare himself some of...this.
"Sorry?" the first one repeated. "You're sorry?"
The second one stepped forward and shoved Prudii. Hard.
"Tell that to your Mandie buddies."
"Look, they're not my buddies. Mandalorian culture is–"
"Are you honestly going to give me a lecture on the people who murdered my buddies?" he snarled.
Prudii wouldn't fight back. These guys were just mad; he'd seen it a hundred times. Usually a punch or two later they'd calm down and move on. Unfortunately he didn't have time for a punch or two; he had to get to the Supreme Commander's office in just a few minutes.
"Guys, the Supreme Commander is expecting me. Move."
It was an order. They didn't take it as one. The second one moved in and grabbed him by the right arm. The first swung his fist toward Prudii's gut...and an armored fist caught the hand. Surprised, the first one turned and received a punch in the face. The second let go of Prudii's arm in surprise and suddenly snapped around and was punched, as well. Vik and Jorgan dusted off their hands.
"Get out of here," Jorgan ordered. "I'm reporting you both to your superiors. Go."
The soldiers hastened to do so.
"Sorry we took so long, sir," Jorgan said.
"No worries," Prudii replied. "Come on, we don't want to make the Supreme Commander mad."
"What was up with those two, anyway?" Vik asked.
"They were taking out their anger at a squad of Mandalorians on me."
"That can happen," Jorgan muttered.
Prudii sighed. "Should I change my name?"
"What?" Jorgan seemed taken aback.
"It seems to offend people, having a Mandalorian on their side," Prudii muttered. "The ugly black mark on their record of perfection."
"Don't ever think that way, sir," Jorgan said. "You be proud of your culture. It won the battle with the Dread Masters, remember?"
Prudii nodded. "You're right. Sorry, didn't mean to push a bunch of self-pity on you. Let's get moving."