hree days later Leia visited Liane again. Liane seemed overjoyed when Leia entered. She stretched out her hands, took Leia's hands and pulled her to the couch in the corner. Her behavior was friendly and inviting, but Liane's exaggerated kindness, sharpened Leia's Force alertness.
'You still want to help me to escape' Liane said immediately using her voice manipulation.
Again Leia pretended, she was completely influenced by Liane's soft, but compelling, voice. It was important that Liane would trust her. Leia hoped that one way or another Liane would reveal enough details of her escape plan; especially the names of those behind the plan and their intentions.
"I still want to help you to escape," Leia answered slowly.
Liane put her arm around Leia and hugged her.
'You're a real friend. You trust me. You'll do everything I want.' She continued.
"I'm a real friend. I trust you. I'll do everything you want." Leia answered.
"After my escape I'm leaving this horrible planet and I'm going back to Morantan where I'm free," Liane said in her normal voice. "Do you know, Leia, why they have jailed me all this time? You know, don't you. The people of this planet are afraid of me, because my father put me in charge of his men on Morantan. The judges said I was the leader on Morantan. You must have heard what they said, for I saw you in court. You were constantly looking at that Jedi Knight, that Luke Skywalker, while he told the judges what he had done to me. Are you in love with him? You should be aware of him. He's a very dangerous man. My father has told me, that he knows a lot of tricks to manipulate people. You're too kind to let that happen to you, Leia. Why aren't you coming with me, when I escape and we could leave this planet together? We could flee to Morantan and make a living there. We don't have to live in my father's former stronghold. There are many lovely other places on Morantan. I can arrange it, if you want to join me."
"I like Irithim, Liane. I have many friends here," She answered.
"You wouldn't like Irithim, if you were locked up in a cell like me. Have you ever been in jail? You fought in the Civil War, didn't you? You were a member of the Rebel Alliance, weren't you, although you were a senator for the empire, because you represented the royal house of Alderaan, before it was annihilated?" Liane asked and looked inquisitively at her companion, "My father has told me, that you were forced to witness the destruction of Alderaan on the Death Star. Did you really see it, when it was obliterated? Did you witness the death of your parents, your family and friends?"
In a flash Leia saw the scene of the annihilation of her home planet, obliterated by the first Death Star. The memories of the loss of her foster-parents and all the friends of her youth caused an almost unbearable pain. She bowed her head, feeling how tears were welling up behind her lashes, when all of a sudden she felt surrounded by very strong soothing influences and comforting feelings inside the Force.
Leia looked up, and saw that Liane's blue eyes were filled with compassion. Hesitantly she placed a hand on Leia's arm in an attempt to comfort her.
"I'm sorry, Leia. It was very unkind of me, asking you these questions bluntly," she whispered on a soothing tone. "My words have hurt you. My abusive questions have upset you; I can feel they did. Please, don't start crying. I didn't mean to cause you pain, please, forgive me. I didn't want to hurt your feelings. You're my only friend here. I really like you're visiting me so often. Will you, please, come back, so I can talk with you again."
"Thank you for your concern, Liane, but I need to think about what you just said. I'll come back tomorrow. I promise I will. I like our chats too, you're nice girl and have become a good friend." Leia said as she walked over to the door and left the visitor's room.
Back in her apartment Leia sat down on one of the couches in the living. Liane's compassionate feelings and soothing, comforting words were still filling her mind, giving her an enormous feeling of solace. Luke had been right. Liane wasn't the agressive young woman as she pretended to be. Underneath her seemingly inpenetrable mask of aggression and angry outburst, and use of the Dark Side of the Force to hide her fears and uncertainty, there was a girl with a compassionate character, who wanted to do good with her Force power. It was this side of Liane that wanted her to join her as a companion, as a friend, when she would escape. Leia sat staring through the large transparisteel doors that lead to the terrace. Would she accept Liane offer and tell her she wanted to join her? It was now obvious that Liane had asked her that question deliberately, because she wasn't entirely sure about her escape plan. Leia recalled her earlier Force vision of a beaten up Liane. More and more it became clear to Leia that the plans of the ones who were manipulating the girl, were scaring Liane.
'Luke, dear brother, I've met the other side of Liane this afternoon.' Leia whispered, reaching out to her brother.
'What do you mean, Leia.' The voice of Luke echoed through the Force.
'I saw and felt her compassion, when she rather bluntly questioned me about the obliteration of Alderaan.'
'Tell me what happened, Leia' Luke said and Leia heard the tension in his voice.
'Maybe this is what you have expected to happen. Underneath her violent behavior, Liane has a very compassionate character. She seemed very startled when I couldn't hide the pain her words caused. She apologized for her rude manners and I felt how she was clearly using her Force skills, when she tried to comfort me.'
Explicitly Leia told her brother what she had experienced that afternoon, as she had been visiting Liane. She also asked his opinion about Liane's request to accompany her.
'Do you know more about the ones who are involved in her escape plan, Leia?' Luke said concerned.
'No, I don't. Liane is very elusive and doesn't talk about other people. I hope she will tell me more during my next visit."
'Be careful, Leia. Do you want me come back to Irithim?' Luke asked.
'I'll let you know, when I know what is going on. I need to find out if there are other people involved in Liane's plan and who they are. I'll also promised to keep the general and the Supreme Chancellor informed. They'll protect my safety, but I won't tell them about Liane's request to join her after her escape. Madine certainly wouldn't agree with it.'
'I trust your judgment, Leia. When are you going to visit Liane again?'
'Tomorrow. I hope she still is in the same friendly mood, as I have seen today.'
'You've accomplished more, than I did. I wish you good luck.' Luke said with a warm smile.
Leia left her Force trance and called Threepio and Artoo. Quickly she instructed her two droids to bring a message to the government building. The two droids were disguised as a pair of working droids carrying out a maintenance task.
The next day, as Leia entered the visitors room, she noticed that Liane had braided her hair the same way as hers. Amazed Leia looked at the girl, but immediately she fully understood Liane's intention and her escape plan.
"I like your hairdo with those braided loops around your head," Liane said in her normal voice and pulled Leia over to a mirror.
"Look, we could be twin sisters, couldn't we?" She said smiling, while she put her arm through Leia's.
Leia nodded in agreement.
"May I wear your beautiful coat for a moment, Leia?" Liane asked kindly.
Leia put her overcoat with the official insignia of the House of Alderaan around Liane's shoulders. It suited her perfectly.
"Look at me. Now I resemble you even more, Leia." Liane chuckled. "Your coat suits me. Oh, Leia, my dear, guess how you are going to help me to escape? I have a real good plan. Listen!!! "
Whispering like a conspirator Liane explained her escape plan to Leia about interchanging clothes. Leia pretended she didn't immediately agree with the plan and shook her head a few times, telling Liane she was a bit afraid of the consequences, but Liane became irritated and used Affect Mind to make Leia approve with her plan.
'You won't get problems. You promised to help me to escape. You're my friend, you said. You'll help me.'
"I won't get problems. I promised to help you to escape. I'm your friend, I said. I'll help you."
"'I will take care of everything here. I'll send the guard away, while we're changing clothes. The guards won't notice the difference, and bring you to my cell. I have made some friends here. They will help you to leave the detention building unseen afterwards. I can walk outside in your clothes and have my freedom back. I'll see to it that you will get your coat back later. It will be easy. There's no danger. You can trust me. I won't do you any harm. You know that. We are friends."
"'You will take care of everything here. You'll send the guard away, while we're changing clothes. The guard won't notice the difference; and bring me to your cell. You have made some friends here. They will help me to leave the detention building unseen afterwards. You can walk away in my clothes to freedom. You'll see to it that I will get my coat back later. It will be easy. There's no danger. I can trust you. You won't do me any harm. I know that. We are friends." Leia said slowly, looking in Liane's eyes.
Liane hugged Leia with shining eyes.
"Here's your beautiful coat back. Let's say that you will visit me again the day after tomorrow, Leia," She said with a warm smile on her face and pressed Leia's hands.
That evening Liane's guard Redo informed senator Zolgathrii, while Leia instructed Threepio and Artoo once again and sent them to the office of the Supreme Chancellor.
"Are you ready to carry out our plan, madam?" Redo, Liane's guard, asked as Leia entered the visitors room two days later.
"Is the princess inside?" Leia answered, neglecting the guard's question.
"She's waiting for you, madam, " the guard said and opened the door.
Liane immediately jumped to her feet. Leia felt Liane's anxiety and nervousness.
"Let's change our clothes quickly, before my guard returns," Liane said, while she started to undress fast.
Leia put her coat on the table and took off the ceremonial robe she wore underneath. Quickly Liane grabbed Leia's clothes.
For a moment Leia tried to reach out to the mind of the reckless girl.
'Liane, don't do this. It's a dangerous plan and you're not in control of the outcome. I'm sure the one who is behind this plan is manipulating you. Let me help you. Trust me! Come with me to the Supreme Chancellor and tell her who is involved in this hazardous plan.'
Startled Liane looked around her, surprised and alert. She fixed her eyes on Leia who immediately blanked her mind. She had promised Mon Mothma and her brother not to reveal her Jedi powers.
Liane shrugged her shoulders, shook her head and carried on to finish her metamorphosis. Arrogantly she ordered Leia to do her hair. Indeed she resembled Leia a lot, only the color of her eyes could possibly betray her.
In the mean time Leia had put on Liane's prison outfit. Liane hadn't noticed that Leia was wearing a second outfit underneath the official garments. Nervously Liane grabbed Leia's cloak from the table, put it around her shoulders and pulled the cowl over her head, so that it covered her face. She summoned Leia to call the guard who indifferently accompanied the disguised Liane to the exit of the building.
After some moments he returned and brought Leia to Liane's cell.
"Madam, her royal Highness has ordered me to lay the table for you."
'Redo, you have been a loyal help to the princess.'Leia said using the Force Affect Mind.
Redo nodded and said entranced.
"I have been a loyal help to the princess, madam."
Leia entered the cell and Redo closed the door.
"Enjoy your meal, Your Highness," he murmured, but in his eyes was a malicious glance.
Leia looked around in Liane's cell and was amazed about its layout. Next to a sleeping couch the cell was furnished with a comfortable chair and a table on which several plates had been neatly arranged. Slowly Leia sat down in the chair. Now she had to activate a hidden tracker under her Jedi tunic to warn Madine's special forces to arrest Redo and Liane's other guard and release her. The main part of Madine's plan was that his men would follow Liane after she had left the detention building. If she would attempt leave Irithim the intelligence forces would place a homing beacon on board the ship. Madine had the Tychorion on standby to follow the space craft and those who have been helping her. Leia sighed and wondered in which way she could protect Liane any further. Finally Liane would be arrested again and brought back to Irithim. If that happened, it would be very difficult to restore her relationship with the girl. Therefore she had suggested that the special guards would arrest her too, for her collaboration with Liane's plan, but Mon Mothma and Madine had refused.
Leia looked at the plates on the table. The dishes looked appetizing. There even was a little decanter of wine. She stretched out her hand to pour some wine, but her Force sensitivity told her that something was wrong. Suspiciously she put down the carafe and let the Force touch her mind. The wine contained a strong sleep-inducing drug. What was the meaning of this drug? Could it be that Liane secretly had been making a serious plan to take her with her? Did Liane really want that she should stay with her? Did Liane saw her as someone she could trust? Was that the reason why Liane had asked her to come with her? Through the Force Leia concentrated on Liane and she felt how scared the young woman was about her reckless action and her uncertain future. Liane clearly didn't trust the ones behind this so-called escape plan. Once again Leia saw the vision the Force had shown her earlier: Liane's beaten up and bleeding face. She looked again at the decanter with the wine. Then she nodded; she would not activate the tracker to warn Madine's men to set her free and arrest the guards. She would change the original plan and follow Liane's unspoken wish. She had to stay with the girl, otherwise something terrible might happen to her.
For a moment she turned inward and reached out to her brother.
'Luke, I'm in Liane's cell now. Liane has walked out the detention building in my official clothes. I think the ones behind this escape plan will pick her up and head for the space port. Madine's men are waiting for me to activate a tracker so they will release me and arrest Liane's guards, but I'm going to change those plans. I've told you about Liane's question to accompany her. She hasn't asked it again, but it's obvious to me now, that she has set up a plan to keep me at her side. She wants to take me with her as a hostage, but also as a trusted friend. The guard offered me a meal, but the wine contains a sleeping drug. I have also seen some disturbing images of the future.' She said.
Quickly she explained what the Force had shown her.
'It's clear to me that she wants me to follow and stay with her. I can't let her leave Irithim alone without one of us to help her, Luke. '
'I fully agree with your plan, Leia. Carry on, but don't drink the wine, Leia. I've almost reached Irithim.' Luke's voice said.
'I'll contact you, if I know what's going on.'
'Take care, Leia. What ever is going to happen, please, protect Liane. Take care that no harm will be done to her.'
'I will Luke. Don't worry. Liane will be safe with me.' Leia said with a smile.
Slowly she opened her eyes. Once again she stared at the decanter and nodded.
'No, my dear brother, I shall not drink from this wine, but I have to pretend I did,' She thought, and resolutely she poured some wine in a glass and took some sips of it. She didn't swallow the wine, but took the napkin and spit the drops in the cloth. She wiped her lips with the napkin before pretending to put some food on the plate, but she moved slower and uncontrolled, spilling a few spoons of food next to the plate. Slowly she got up, and swayed a bit to and fro, trying to get hold of the armrest of the chair, as if she couldn't keep her balance. With a deep sigh she let herself slip on the floor and closed her eyes.
Immediately the door opened and Redo and another guard entered. Leia felt she was lifted and put on a anti-gravity stretcher. Without a word the guards pushed the stretcher through some corridors to a rear exit. The door slid aside with a soft whoosh. Outside the whine of a transport speeder engine was heard. Redo and his aid put her at back seat of the speeder. Through her lashes Leia recognized the back of the representative of Ortel, senator Zolgathrii, sitting behind the wheel. Leia kept her eyes closed and listened. The door of the speeder slammed shut.
"I bring you princess Liane's regards. This is your reward." Leia heard Zolgathrii say. The words were followed by two heavy laser blasts. The engine whined and the speeder accelarated.
However no one had noticed that a gold-colored cyborg and an astromech model had witnessed the scene and the shooting.
Threepio stumbled against the prison wall and stammered a message to General Madine in his handheld infocom.
"General, ....... Sir! The princess ... They have taken her. She's in danger! Oh, dear, oh, dear! Artoo do something, don't stand there."
"Which princess? What are you talking about. Threepio! Do you copy, Threepio?" Madine's voice sounded sharply.
"Which princess?... Princess Leia, of course, sir. They carried her out of the prison. Artoo and I are at the rear of the detention building. Princess Leia wanted us to keep an eye on the emergency exits. The princess was unconscious. Oh dear, they took her with them in a speeder."
"Threepio, direction of the speeder, quickly! Threepio, do you copy! Who was in that speeder!"
"A big man, very mean face. He has a blaster. He has shot the guards who brought the princess outside. Oh, my oh, my, her Royal Highness. What should we do? Where is Master Luke, when we need him?"
Madine cursed and snapped through the infocom. "Shut up, Threepio. Tell me the direction of the speeder and fast."
"Direction?! Oh my, I didn't notice. What Artoo, what do you say? The space port. Yes, of course. Could they be going to the space port, sir?"
Madine switched off, not in the mood to talk to the lamenting droid any longer. He immediately directed all his men to the spaceport. He had to find Leia. Why hadn't she informed him as planned? Had the guards drugged her, so their opponents could take her with them as a hostage? How could he have agreed to such a ridiculous and dangerous plan? How would Luke take this? Outraged he rushed to the space port in his old speeder, the stabilizers of the vehicle yelling, squeaking and screaming at every bend of the road.
Meanwhile Senator Zolgathrii had reached the far end of De'olon spaceport. Three other speeders were waiting near the entrance of an docking bay which was still under construction. Quickly he ordered some of his men to bring Leia on board of an old battered space freighter .
"Put her in one of the holds. She's our main hostage. Start all the engines, full power, we leave immediately. Is the other girl also brought on board?"
His men carried the 'unconscious' Leia Organa on board. Zolgathrii's manacled her feet, then they put her down in the cargo hold. They left and Leia was left alone.
Madine and his forces had arrived at the space port's entrance gates. He ordered his men to close off the whole space port area. No ship was allowed to leave Irithim. With drawn blasters his men spread along the space port buildings and docking bays. It took precious minutes before they reached area at the far end. Zolgathrii's men had ignited all the engines and were ready to take off. Madine who had ran together with a squad of his troopers, tried to reach the freighter. The escapees used the onboard laser canons to repel attack of the general's men.
"STOP THEM! Stop that ship!!" Madine ordered on top of his voice. The droning noise of the engines swallowed his words. Desperately he tried to reach the still lowered ramp, but he had to seek coverage, when a laser blast from the ship nearly hit him.
The ramp closed and quickly the ship rose and gain speed. With rising frustration Madine watched the ship disappear into space.
He shook his fist in the direction of the rapidly vanishing battle ship.
"Don't you dare to harm her, you traitors, or I will chase you around the galaxy for the rest of your lives."
"Your anger won't bring them back, general," A quiet voice said behind him.
Thunderstruck Madine turned.
"LUKE! How did ..."
The young Jedi raised his hand and watched the disappearing ship for some moments with full attention. Then he turned to the worried general.
"So, the princess of Morantan has managed to escape and my sister has gone with her as a hostage."
Suddenly Madine felt deathly tired.
"If I hadn't agreed with your sister's ideas, she wouldn't be on that ship," He said with a sigh, turning to one his men, " Officer, is that homing beacon attached."
"No, sir, it was impossible to get near the ship in time. It was too heavily guarded." the young man said.
"Then get my shuttle ready. We're going to follow them with Tychorion."
Reassuringly Luke put his hand on Madine's arm.
"Stay calm, sir. Stop worrying about my sister. "
"If we don't follow them immediately, Luke, we might never know where they are taking her? We don't know who is behind all this. Your sister couldn't get any names," Madine said, showing his frustration and anger.
"Do you know a senator called Zolgathrii?" Luke asked.
"Zolgathrii? There are hundreds of delegates in the Senate, Luke. You should ask Mon Mothma. Probably she knows the name. She also can tell you more details of what has happened while you were away. We could better go and see her. I have to report any way," Madine said with slumped shoulders.
In the cargo hold of the freighter Leia hadn't the slightest problem to free herself. The tremors of the ship made clear to her, that she was on her way to the destination of her kidnappers.
Suddenly she became aware of her brother's comforting influence. Through the Force she answered his reassuring thoughts.
'You're alright, Leia?'
'I am. Tell Mon Mothma, that senator Zolgathrii is behind all this.'
'Do you know where they are going to?'
'Not yet. Zolgathrii is the representative of the Roghvi cluster. His homeplanet is Ortel.'
'I'll ask the Supreme Chancellor. I want to get permission to follow you and to get you and Liane safely back to Irithim.'
'We'll keep in touch, Luke.'
She relaxed and smiled. Luke would come after her and Liane as soon as he could.
She began to pull off Liane's prison clothes. She hooked her lightsaber off her belt and hid it inside her wide tunic. Nobody had to know her she was a Jedi Knight.
Without making any sound she practiced a few times so she could retrieve the weapon easily when necessary.
Satisfied she sat down on a crate and sighed reassuringly. All she had to do now was: wait and be patient. She couldn't intervene and had to be passive. Her thoughts wandered to a moment in her past, when Luke had been standing on the plank of Jabba's skiff. Her brother had shown an incredible calmness and peace through the Force, before he jumped into the Pit of Carkoon. Leia smiled and remembered that she hadn't known that he was her brother. Through the Force she relived the moment. She saw Han and Chewbacca standing next to Luke. Han?! Why had he never accepted the existence of the Force? Her dear Han! Her heart ached and longingly she whispered his name. Where was her unpredictable Corellian lover at this moment? Then she concentrated on her present situation.
"This isn't the right moment, Leia, to think of your own sorrows," She told herself. "There's an other, more important problem to solve."
Some rumors outside the door disturbed her contemplation. The door of the cargo hold slid aside. Two men entered and pulled her roughly to her feet.
"You're expected." One of them snarled.
They pushed her through the door. Leia calmly followed the first guard to the aft of the ship. She wondered why the guards hadn't noticed, that she wasn't manacled any longer. In front of a closed door the guard turned and grabbed her arm.
"Lady Liane Vader, the princess of Morantan, and senator Zolgathrii, the delegate of the Roghvi cluster want to speak to you."
He pushed a control button and the door slid aside.
Leia entered a large room, where Liane and senator Zolgathrii were standing near a flight control panel. Liane turned and ordered the guards to bring Leia closer.
" Leia, welcome on board. You know senator Zolgathrii, of course? We're on our way to his planet Ortel. We took you with us, because your presence on Ortel will prevent the Alliance to attack us. You didn't tell me you are a senator of the New Republic, but we expect that you, the princess of the House of Alderaan, will cooperate with us, the Liberators, to form a new order in the galaxy?"
Liane was using voice manipulation, when she spoke the last sentence, but Leia decided that her part in Liane's plans had lasted long enough.
"Liane, you're wrong." She said calmly. "I'm no longer a member of the Senate. You're misinformed, I'm an ordinary civilian."
Angry and with her eyes darkening Liane turned to senator Zolgathrii.
'You have provided me with false information.'" She said in her low Force voice.
"I have provided you with false information," The senator answered subdued, completely under Affect Mind Control.
'You came up with the plan to take Leia Organa with us as a hostage.' Liane continued.
"I came up with the plan to take Leia Organa with us as a hostage." Zolgathrii answered.
'You told me that she and the other senators would secure our future. Senator Organa was the most important senator to take with us.' Liane snapped still using her dark powers.
"I told you that she and the other senators would secure our future. Senator Organa was the most important senator to take with us." Zolgathrii repeated.
Leia listened attentively. So she wasn't the only person Zolgathrii and Liane had kidnapped? They taken other senators with them. How many? And who were they? Liane spoke of the Liberators. Sounds like Zolgathrii is planning a coup against Mon Mon Mothma. She had to tell Luke as soon as possible. Quickly she turned her full attention to Liane and her partner.
"Senator, why didn't you know that Leia Organa wasn't a senator anymore?" Liane snapped.
"Your Highness, I have only provide you with the names of the most important senators. I had to rely on the information of my men," Zolgathrii said in an angry and frustrated voice.
'Your men are inadequate and stupid. You have to come up with a new plan.' Liane said using her voice manipulation again.
"My men are inadequate and stupid. I have to come up with a new plan" The senator said.
Leia watched the two quarrelling persons in front of her. Surprised she noticed how easily Liane was able to overrule Zolgathrii's mind completely with Affect Mind. Leia knew Zolgathrii particularly as a senator who always opposed the policy of Mon Mothma. In the Senate he performed most of the talking and often succeeded to convince many senate members of his opinion. He probably had gathered a group of followers to make a serious attempt to overthrow the New Republic's administration, however Leia could never have imagined that Zolgathrii belonged to those weak-minded persons who could be easily controlled through the Force.
Without showing her relief, Leia looked at her two kidnappers. Zolgathrii had relied on outdated information, without verifying the data. If Zolgathrii's co-conspirators hadn't found out, that she had been forced to resign as a senator. It was also very likely that he knew nothing of the trial against Luke and her. So he probably also didn't know that Luke was her brother and that she had completed her training as a Jedi Knight.
Liane looked haughtily to Zolgathrii.
"Well, senator Zolgathrii, what will be your next step?"
Zolgathrii looked at Leia and then turned to Liane.
"Your Highness, princess Organa is the daughter of the late Viceroy of the Royal House of Alderaan, Bail Organa, and she is the heiress of that house. For the survivors of the Alderanian blast the princess represents the Royal House of Alderaan and she is formally their leader. The Supreme Chancellor, Mon Mothma, will certainly pay a high ransom to have her back safe and sound, otherwise the Chancellor will lose her credibility with the rest of the Alderanian survivors. We can use that money in our fight against the Alliance."
Liane turned again to Leia.
"My dear Leia, you might be useful to our goal. I'm going to let senator Zolgathrii figure out the amount of the ransom you're worth. You won't get your freedom back, until the Alliance has paid enough money for our fight against the rebels of the New Republic. Take her away!"
Her face showed a superior smile, but the Force showed Leia an nervous and anxious Liane, who really became more and more in doubt about the outcome of her escape plan.
"She has escaped! I warned you she was up to something. She's a Sith, full of evil knowledge," A exasperated Kalip said, tossing a datapad on Jerno's desk, "Now we are dealing again with a Sith at large in the galaxy. She escaped from the Irithim detention building and is now on the run together with a discontented senator, his militia and a group of supports. The senator has many grievances against the Supreme Chancellor. Our undercover agents in Irithim have heard rumors that he intends to commit a coup and take over the administration of the New Republic. This is a serious matter, Jerno. It's clear that those who would ensure that that Sith woman couldn't do any harm, have failed. For instance, that Jedi Knight who was supposed to keep an eye on her, wasn't in Irithim at all at the moment of her escape. Our agent noticed the arrival of his space ship at the space port of De'olon shortly before the ship with the senator, his minions and that Sith vanished into space. If their insurgence is successful, we have a serious problem, Jerno. We'd better seek contact via Quoith with their agent or, even better with the Supreme Chancellor herself, so we can work out a strategy together how we could capture that dangerous Sith woman again. Maybe we should advice the Supreme Chancellor to use the death sentence for once."
"Kalip, calm down. You're exaggerating. You know as I do, that it's unlikely that the New Republic will ever make use of the death penalty. They wouldn't. Never. Sit down and let me read the agents' report."
Jerno took the datapad. After having analyzed the information he put the datapad down and looked at the frustrated glance in the eyes of his co-leader.
"What do we know about that senator Zolgathrii, Kalip?"
"He was chosen as the representative in the New Republic's senate for his home planet of Ortel, a small insignificant planet not bigger than a large moon, in the Roghvi cluster. He seems to have worked himself up to a very prominent politician with a group of dedicated followers. During the reign of the emperor he was a strong supporter of the imperial policy of suppression. In his file numerous visits to Coruscant are mentioned. However, after the collapse of the empire he joined the New Republic."
"Isn't the Roghvi cluster in Coruscant's neighborhood? Jerno wondered and press a button on his desk.
A holographic map of Coruscant and the surrounding systems popped up. Kalip walked over to Jerno and together they watched the positions of the different systems. Kalip pointed at a small cluster of stars and planet at the outside of the Inner Circle. Immediately the holo map zoomed in and some captions popped up: Roghvi cluster. Four planets. Three uninhabitable. Ortel, property of the Zolgat-clan; sole remaining clan member and heir of Ortel's former wealth, senator Zolgathrii. Possessions: a manor with surrounding forest near a swamp. Unhealthy environment. The planet is of no real interest anymore as the old aludium mines are exhausted."
Jerno zoomed in on the planet itself. He turned the three dimensional image several time around as if he was looking for a certain detail. After some search he zoomed in on a particular spot and nodded in agreement.
"There it is: Dokanta. Since centuries the manor of the Zolgat-clan. An exquisite and superb dwelling for a tribe of criminals which has increased their power over a long time. He touched the spot and a detailed view of the building's outside and a map of its interior popped up together with some further information about the long bloodline of all the inhabitants. Kalip looked at Jerno who touched Zolgathrii's name. Another separate holoscreen popped up. Astounded the two leaders got some unexpected information about the man.
"He has been accused of murdering his two siblings, but he was acquitted for he could rely on an very solid alibi. At the time of the murders, he was here on Coruscant. There is indisputable evidence of his presence on Coruscant, as he was invited to celebrate the tenth year of the Emperor's reign. His name and signature appear in a document." Kalip read aloud.
"Nice fellow, but not really trustworthy, in my opinion. If he makes contact with one of us we have to be on our guard. I will inform Valann and all the other members of our council. It's not unlikely that this Zolgathrii guy might think that the Provisional Coruscant Council will team up with him and support his coup. Kalip, order your men to check the files of all the names on that celebration list. Find out where all the former guests are at the moment. If you think it might necessary, you have full authority to use surveillance probes or other devices, and, Kalip, send all this information with the highest encryption via the procon connection to our allies on Dalmaran. They might be interested. This information might help them if they are planning a raid on Ortel." Jerno said
"What will be our strategy if he really comes to Coruscant and seek contact with us. Will that Sith woman accompany him? The intelligence report mentions that she took the initiative for her escape from the Irithim detention building. She has disguised herself as Her Royal Highness, princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, wearing the official garments of the princess. The last two months the princess of Alderaan has visited that Sith woman very often in the detention building. I think, she has been manipulating the princess in such a way that the princess of Alderaan has come convolutely under her influence, for that Sith woman has taken the princess with her as a hostage."
"That Sith woman has manipulated a trained Jedi? Kalip, we know that Jedi Skywalker has trained his sister as a Jedi. How can it be that she has fallen victim to manipulation so easily. No, Kalip, I'm not sure that Darth Vader's daughter has manipulated the princess of Alderaan. Probably it's the other way round. "
"Jerno, for heaven's sake, this is serious! The daughter of Darth Vader, trained by her father in the Sith lore has escaped and is on the run with a senator with a criminal background. I thought we wanted to establish a period of peace and prosperity," Kalip said, expressing the frustration he still felt, "We've signed a peace treaty with the Alliance. We have serious obligations to them. We should help them to find a solution if that Sith woman turns up on Coruscant. She is dangerous not only for our new fragile government, but for both our governments."
"Kalip, do you really think she and that senator can start a war on their own with only a handful of possible followers. Even if Ortel should become their base, then they need a lot more men than the handful which went with them from Irithim. I really don't think that neither that senator, nor the daughter of Darth Vader, will be foolish enough to set course to Coruscant. Nevertheless, we must of course remain on our guard and fulfill our obligations to the New Republic. Transmit all the information we have on that senator. Tell them we will do as much as we can, but keep in mind that she is their prisoner, and they have to find a better solution to control her."
Kalip sighed, "One day you will be sorry for being so lenient, Jerno."
Jerno smiled, "On that day, you may reprimand me, Kalip, and take over my leadership, but until then we have to be very reluctant in our actions. Our remaining military forces can't team up with the former forces of the Alliance and the New Republic. After the victory at the Battle of Jakku they gained the support of many planetary systems. Our government represents only a handful of systems and most of them aren't still sure if they will stay with us, or join the New Republic. We have to be cautious. Believe me, being reluctant isn't a sign of cowardice, but of prudence."
Kalip nodded, "I understand your point of view, Jerno, and I know you're right, we're a minority at the moment."
"One day we will regain the same strength as the Alliance now has. If that happens our two governments will be more equal partner."