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 "Ohhhh...so 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.