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"I'm sorry, you don't have to continue if you don't want to, it was a harrowing experience I'm sure." The mood in the cafeteria was despondent. Usually this was a time when students would be filling the air with a nearly unbearable amount of noise. She had reverations about returning here, but she had a story to write and her editor insisted. "Um, hello?" She blinked and tilted her head at the student in front of her that she was interviewing. They weren't moving, in fact no one was other than her and Amber were moving. "W-what's going on? Oh no, it isn't happening again is it?" She scrambled to put her notebook away just as her wheelchair was yanked backwards by Amber. Glass scattered to the floor as a tendril broke through and impaled the boy before her.

"No! Amber, do something!" Thea screamed. Amber dashed forwards. She had little interest in saving the human's life, but knew Thea would make things difficult if she didn't act. The spirit produced a scalpel and cleaved clean through the tendril. Without missing a beat she yanked the wriggling appendage from the boy's chest and stuck one of her syringe's into his neck. If he wasn't dead already, he would be fully healed in a few moments.

"Is he alright?" Thea asked.
"We're leaving." Amber took hold of the wheelchair and began heading towards the exit. "The enemy knows we are here now. If it were me, I would ignore those incapacitated and deal with the problematic variable" She said, her voice as still as always.
Gonna be dropping out, just lack of interest.
wrong place sorry
Yavin IV

Kale and Lahana had landed on the moon minutes ago, choosing to come back to the temple for a number of reasons. Before searching for Aren in earnest, Kale needed to have maintenance done on his ship. The last thing they needed in an emergency was engine failure. While Kale spoke to a mechanic Lahana walked through the temple. She stopped by a training room and saw the droid she'd broken had been fixed.

Her hands clenched, and her breathing quickened. It reminded her of Alara, and Alara reminded her of... She let out a sharp breath and walked off. The other reason they were here was because of something her Master had felt. A disturbance in the force, and an ominous presence that called for his attention. She hadn't felt a thing, like always. Some Jedi she was.

So here they were, ready to defend the temple if need be, or go off moon to battle whatever force they needed to. She stopped to sit on a bench overlooking a fountain, hoping the shaking in her hands would cease soon.

Kale meanwhile called Luke's com-link. "Do you mind if the two of us talk, alone?"
"Amber, where are you going to put him?" Thea asked of her spirit as it carried the unconscious man through the school hall.

"Since you refused to leave him in the supply closet, I plan to place him in a sufficiently large locker."

"That's worse!"

"Nothing but complaints, if you have a better sou-" Amber abruptly stopped talking and careened her gaze towards a girl and a floating spirit. She dropped the man to the floor with a thud. "Who are you?" She asked, her question directed at the spirit.

Thea gasped, wide eyed at the girl. She was hurt badly, this wasn't the time for questions. "Amber, she's bleeding!"

"I can see that." The spirit said, it's face unmoving. "I have no reason to trust them."
Kale pondered his options for a moment. Traveling to Coruscant would be dangerous. It was heavily guarded, and even if Aren was there he could be anywhere on the entire planet. "I could search the system for weeks, but without a solid lead I doubt I will find anything. The Republic's spies may prove useful, perhaps you could speak with them, Luke. I will contact an old colleague, an information broker. If we can gain access to an imperial facility then searching through their records may give us the information we need." Kale nodded and headed for the exit.

He made his way to the hanger where his ship was docked, a light freighter of Corellian make. He moved to his comms console and made a call. "I need to speak to Talon Karrde."

The Holocall was redirected towards Coruscant itself, bounced off one of the hyperspace beacons and beamed through the vast network of semi material beacons that allowed communications across a Galaxy flung through hyperspace from planet to planet possible. It bounced from a star, to an orbital colony, to a Sky palace to a sort of stellar splitter at the edge of known space, which lagged, dividing and reconnecting a hundred thousand times, bouncing from one world to another in the endless maze of the hidden brokers vast Network. Hidden in plain sight perhaps, for after what would have seen like several seconds the face of a middle aged Muun appeared over the holoprojectors. He was sleeping from the sounds of his groggy voice and about him were mountains of datapads. "wha? See here now...One doesn't just ask for Master Karrde! What do you want boy?" the Munn blinked "oohh..ooohh...a Jedi! Why I haven't seen one since I was a boy..." the tall, lanky scribe canted his elongated head. "I thought you were all dead"

"We were." Kale said, eyeing the Munn. "That's changing now, at least it should be. Do you work with Talon? I'm sure he's busy, but this is important."

"ooohh is that so?!" the Muun muttered with something that didn't quite dare to be disdain but was a fair approximation of aggravation. He leaned back, letting out something resembling a sigh as he steepled his fingers "You know, the last time Jedi were a thing in this dreadful Galaxy I was still a planetary creditor, now I'm the chief of operations for the Imperial loans accounts" So this was Hego Rogarre, after the clone wars the Empire had consolidated and then liquidated nearly every member corporation of the Confederacy of Independent systems leadership, the exception was the InterGalactic Banking Clan, deemed "too big to fail" and fearing a galaxy wide recession the Muuns were allowed to continue their financial enterprises albeit, under new management. They were the only organization still in existence except for the Hutts who could bankroll the Star Dreadnaught and Deathstar projects and in secret, through the Hutt clans, the IGBC also funded the Rebellion...In the new, chaotic Galaxy the IGBC was creditor to Zsinj, to the Empire and The New Republic, the civil war was clearly lucrative.

Lor Rogarre, the Muuns father was the money lender who was currently pressing Mon Mothma on rebel debts and threatening to back Garm Bel Iblis the moment elections resumed if she didn't make good on the backpay for the interest. Hego Rogarre was his father's counterpart for the Empire and if the disheveled Muun was working with or for Talon Karrde it spoke volumes for the level of the man's spy network, and his infiltration.

Fortunately for the Galaxy Talon Karrde wasn't another Tyber Zann who saw himself as King more than thug. Karrde just wanted to make money, lots of it and stay ahead of the curb.

all this explained the Muuns annoyance, of course it was important, why else would a Jedi be redirected to him and not some measly subordinate. It meant the Karrde organization likely already had an idea why he was calling.
"This wouldn't be over a missing Padawan would it?" Rogarre groaned "I know we Muuns all look the same to you humans, irregardless of age but I'm old enough to remember what happened the last time some hyperspace madness riddled Jedi with delusions of grandeur went renegade! THE GALAXY CAUGHT ON FIRE...More importantly the Empire regulated the economy! Restricted who we could do business with and manipulated the currency to keep inflation at bay! Do you know how many opportunities for speculation were lost?! pheh..You're a Jedi...what do you care about profit! Unless...Unless that field hand you call a Grand Master hasn't forced you all to take a vow of poverty" The Muun smiled, slyly enough to intimate that he knew Luke hadn't in fact repeated that mistake of the past order.

"I'll...Arrange..a meeting between you and Talon, he doesn't take holocalls..of course..Muuns aren't so uncivilized as to grant a concession freely. You'll have to..compensate me with some information..nothing that'll completely compromise Republic security of course.."

"You must be mistaken, I may work with the Republic on occasion, but by no means am I in a position to know anything substantial. Nothing an information broker wouldn't already know that is." Kale leaned back and grabbed a bag of credit chips from a compartment. "One thousand credits." He pulled out a handful of them and showed them to the munn. "This will suffice, won't it?" It was subtle, but Kale reached out through the force and placed the suggestion that the munn should in fact take the credits, that it would be rude refuse the offer even.

The Muun let out a laugh " your little sect is making itself independent of the Republic? How noble" he almost sneered as he leaned forward, his eyes sparkling with what was now a bit less of the annoyance of before and more curiosity. "Oh but I'm more than just an information broker, I'm the man who manages the truly cosmic in scope debt of the Galactic Empire! I'm their creditor, although I suppose I'm currently the creditor of a vacant throne" a long, skeletal finger tapped an almost non existent chin on his long face "Or perhaps you haven't heard? Sate Pestage was assassinated! By a space mad woman claiming to be a Jedi!" And here the Muun paused inclining his head in a way that implied a transaction had just taken place, that Kale had confirmed a thing that the IGBC and more importantly Karrde had suspected but was likely a closely kept secret, or unknown to the wider Galaxy. Namely that the Jedi took the Republics cash, but weren't an arm of the Republic, rather free range.

After that Lor Rogarre waved his hand forward dismissively as if the thousand credits were a pittance and to a Muun of his position who repossessed entire solar systems when one of the five warring kingdoms or the hundreds of other warlords out there failed to pay a debt, it might have been. Or perhaps the knowledge that the Jedi Order was more independent than many thought was worth a small fleet of starships "and Keep your sack of change boy, you've paid me handsomely already, but let it be said that Lor Rogarre is no ingrate, nor bad business man!"

Coordinates appeared, flashing at speeds most sentients wouldn't be able to see and at intervals most wouldn't be able to follow even if they could. But for a Jedi, it would be a trivial matter.

"There is a Star Destroyer in that system, painted red, it is converted into a grand series of bazars, hotels and casinos and brothels"
"The Star Destroyer is largely disarmed, except that it has a prototype for a ship mounted version of the Deathstars superlaser, not enough to crack a planet, but enough to tear apart a fleet....purely for defensive purposes, I doubt if the Errant Venture can even move anymore, its become a sort of orbital platform. You, will not inform the Republic of this, I trust....The right to self defense is integral to democracy and recent..well Galactic history regarding tyrants suggests Master Karrde is better off keeping it than entrusting it to either government"

Rogarre shrugged "When you arrive, there is a whorehouse managed by an albino Wookie, billet yourself and your apprentice there, Force users are welcome there for free. Wait a day or two, I hear your apprentice is an Echani? Enjoy the fighting pits on deck thirty, participate..try not to slaughter anyone and Talon Karrde will see you, when he sees you"
The Muun steepled his fingers again in contemplation "This conversation was lucrative, what you so dismissively revealed to me is worth a fleet of ships. Don't be so cavalier with your station as a Jedi Master and of the stability of your order in general young one, guard it well. I owe you a larger debt than this, you may count on me to fulfil that debt in the future"

Kale wasn't exactly fond of this munn referring to his apprentice, though he did find it strange. Lahana wasn't open about her past, and she didn't have a prolific background. The fact that he knew more about her than the relationship between the Jedi Order and the New Republic was odd. And then there was the news of the assassination. This was twice now that he'd heard of what he assumed to be the same woman. For her to kill such a man of high standing, she must be quite the threat. He pinned it in the back of his mind, he had Aren and the Holocron to deal with first.

"I'll keep it in mind. I appreciate the information." Kale closed the connection and began preparing to leave. Lahana didn't like crowds very much, but perhaps it would be a learning experience for her.
"Lahana is the same as she has been for a while. She wasn't too happy about how the mission turned out." Kale uncrossed his arms took on a more relaxed posture. Perhaps unbefitting of what some would consider the stature of a Jedi Master, but he wasn't always a Jedi. "I didn't come here for an apology, but I appreciate the sincerity regardless." He could tell Luke meant what he said, however he could also sense conflict within him.

"When you were a rebel I imagine things were much more simple. No worrying about who to please and to whom you should compromise your instincts for. Perhaps doing that which you know to be right is the best course of action." Kale reached into his robe and pulled out the same communication device he'd tried to reach Aren with. "The boy vanished right from under my watch, most likely along with the holocron. Where he went I don't know, but if we can log which ships jumped into hyperspace we may be able to narrow it down at least."
Kale adjusted his robe as he stepped off a transport. He was glad to be out of the stale air of the ship and in the crisp atmosphere of Yavin IV. It was a shame he wasn't in the mood to enjoy the scenery. He gave a nonchalant wave to those that greeted him on his way to the Jedi temple. Even now he wasn't quite sure what he was going to say to Luke, he had placed a great deal of trust in the young man and he was not met with the same.

As he approached the entrance to the temple the doors slid open and he was greeted by Mara Jade. "Master Kale." She said with a hint of a smirk. She knew why he was here, she must have found Luke's predicament amusing somehow.

"Mara." Kale nodded as he followed her inside. In spite of this building's history Kale often found himself uneased by the architecture. There was a presence here, like fingerprints left by those attuned to the force. When he saw Luke, the words he'd been struggling to put together suddenly settled. "I trust you know what I came to speak about, Luke." He walked further in, moving to be face to face with Skywalker.

"When I joined this order I did not do so under the impression that I would be forced to deal with the unsavory aspects of the Republic's bureaucracy. I do not intend to be a blind pawn in their political games." Kale let out a sigh and crossed his arms. "But you should know this already, which is why I ask you now. Why did you keep such vital information from me?"
Lahana found her mind clearing of any thoughts. Her worries faded as her fists flew into the padded hands of the droid. Sparing with a machine was nothing like training with another living being. There was no intent behind it's movements, no emotion. Fighting people on the other hand was like a conversation, through the exchange of blows a thread of empathy was created. She once believed this to be the case for everyone, but it was only after sparing with her master that she was told otherwise. A combination of her heritage and the force within her was what Kale had hypothesized was the reason.

Her mind wandered once it had settled too long in peace, as it always did. The tactile feeling of her fists smashing into cushioned metal dug up a memory she had no desire to experience again.

Slam. Slam. Slam. Her hands were suddenly flat against a surface, someone's chest. Her hands were wet, and not with the acidic water that fell from the planet's skies. Slick, sticky, crimson red. The body she was preforming CPR on had already stopped breathing, her still open eyes glazed over and lifeless. And yet Lahana was still pushing on her chest as if it would bring her back. She only stopped when she was dragged away by those that had forced the two of them onto the battlefield in the first place. That was the last time she made friends with a fellow soldier.

Someone calling out her name broke her out of her trance. She stopped swinging her fists, only realizing now that she had broken one of the droid's six arms. She looked at the dangling metal, then to the source of the voice. Lahana narrowed her eyes. "Alara." She said the woman's name as if affirming it to herself, telling herself that she hadn't simply heard it in her head. Alara, the woman that seemed to really like learning about other cultures. Odd hobby for a soldier she'd thought, but then again what did she know about normal?

"Um, hello?" Her voice was just barely audible, not the sort of voice one would expect to come from her considering she'd just finished assaulting a helpless training droid. "I... Wasn't expecting to see you again... not so soon anyhow." She removed a band holding her hair into a ponytail, only now realizing her hands were shaking. Suddenly she felt cold as well. Her attire wasn't very Jedi-like at the moment, instead looking more like a gym fanatic.
Lahana hadn't been in a particularly good mood once she got back to the Jedi Temple on Yavin. As far as she was concerned the mission had been a mess. What was the point of rescuing those people if Aren was just going to go missing? Her fists swung rapidly at a stationary droid with six arms, each one ending in a padded glove. The droid creaked as it moved it's joints to intercept her fists. She hadn't punched someone in a while, she was starting to get withdraw.

"Padawan, I can feel your animosity from down the hall." Lahana stopped as Kale entered the room. She grumbled and turned to face him.

"Sorry Master, but it's... Frustrating. I can't stand sitting around not doing anything. Has there been any word on Aren?" She asked, her voice trembling with anxiousness.

"Nothing, There is no way to communicate with Onderon. Anything short of going there ourselves will likely be a fruitless endeavor."

"So why don't we?"

"The planet is under Empire control, we would be blown from the sky before we even landed." Kale said. Lahana didn't like the answer, but that didn't mean she had a rebuttal.

"...And this was all for what, a holocron? Those things that hold information? Is something like that really so valuable?" Kale let out a sigh.

"Knowledge is a powerful thing, dangerous if in the wrong hands. Though what truly has me concerned is the possibility that it is a Sith holocron. I can't say I have experience with them personally, but I know they are a corrupting influence. It might be possible to train a legion of dark Jedi with the assistance of such an artifact."

Lahana grumbled once again and grinded her teeth. She went back to punching the droid. "So... What are we. Supposed to do!?"

"I will be talking with Master Skywalker as soon as possible. Being blindsided by this information was... Most unfortunate. Until then, rein in your anger padawan. Emotion is human, but be sure not to indulge the destructive force inside of you." Kale nodded and left the room, leaving Lahana to stew in her own thoughts.
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