Etain Tur Makan forced herself to look General Arligan Zey in the eye. They were in orbit around Coruscant, Triple Zero in military speak. She was incensed and she also knew that she was in such turmoil that Jedi Master Zey would have had to have sensed her coming from the moment she arrived on the ship if not from sometime before then. They, the Republic, her own commanding officer had taken her son. Her son. This was the final straw.
Apparently some di'kutla jetii had decided that Kal Skirata was an unfit caretaker for a child that was already obviously Force-sensitive. They had alerted the Temple and her child was now in the care of the Jedi. The exact opposite of the future she wanted for him. Kad Venku Skirata. A good Mando name, a strong name.
"General Tur Makan," began Zey in the calm tones of one attuned to the Force, "I fail to see why this is any of your concern. I know of you attachment to Kal Skirata and the RC Commandos, but why do you care if this child is taken to the Temple."
"Kal doesn't want the Jedi future for his grandson," she began, attempting to tamp down on her feelings. "He believes that the boy should be raised Mando. Without knowing his heritage, he believes that his grandchild will be dar' manda. Without a soul."
''The Jedi Temple is an excellent place for a child to grow up," General Zey responded, "Training, shelter, food, and education, the chance to make a difference in the galaxy. I mean look at Jedi Skywalker. He's an excellent example of what Jedi training can do."
"Nevertheless," Etain said firmly, trying to keep her despair and anger from leaching into the Force and failing, "The boy is NOT to go to the Jedi. It is in exact opposition to the parent's wishes." She was straining to control herself as she saw Zey's expression of longsuffering patience.
"The child's parents are still alive and the only authority figure is a man who claims to be his grandfather." Zey said bluntly. "The council sees no reason to return the child unless the parents come forth." He paused and looked at her, brow furrowed with concern, "Etain, are you alright?"
Etain was so angry she was trembling "NO I AM NOT ALRIGHT YOU DI'KUTLA JETII!" She exploded out of her seat in a fit of rage, shouting. "I will not have my ad'ike raised by a bunch of hutuun'la, adenn, aruetisse jetisse! I will not allow my son to grow up in a place where he will never know of his mother or his buir. I don't ever want him to think that he was abandoned by me, that he wasn't loved. His ba'buir is a good man."
General Zey sat back in shock, his mouth hanging slightly open. "Your son?" he asked finally, "The boy is your son?" Etain merely nodded, and took her seat again. "Who is the father? Oh no, a trooper? No… a commando." he said the last with finality and the assurance of the force.
"Kad Venku Skirata is the child of myself and RC Commando Darman Skirata." she said calmly, the storm having passed, "My child, you can have a blood sample if you like to compare DNA, it will confirm its mine, but seeing as there are 1.5 million clone soldiers with the exact same DNA as his father, you're going to have to take my word on that part."
"You can have your son back, but you'll have to leave the Jedi Order when you claim him." was all Zey said.
"I will." Etain paused and then added "But sir, you can't tell anyone who the father is; you know about the assassination squads; any news gets out of a clone 'rebelling' in this particular fashion and Darman would be a dead man. A very dead man. Please general, promise you won't say, a man's life depends on it."
"I will tell no-one." he General Zey stated gravely. "But Etain? Go someplace safe with your son and hunker down and see if you can't get Skirata to make the Omega boys just disappear some day soon."
"I'll be safe and so will my son." she said with a bit of a smile, "and don't worry; Kal' buir already has a plan in place for their disappearance." With a salute, Etain turned and left the office of General Arlington Zey for what she hoped would be the last time.
As the door closed Zey slumped down in his seat, supporting his head with his hands. First Jusik Bardan and now Etain. The disillusionment was spreading among the Jedi. Some days even he doubted whether or not he was in the right place. But he chose to stick it out. Maybe someday he would walk away… but not today. The Republic still needed him.