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Old 09-28-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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Chapter VIII

''The secret to successful analysis, Car'das: whenever possible, reduce matters to a single variable''
Grand Admiral Thrawn

A day later. A lone shuttle approaches the deserted planet of Ossus. Its two suns were rising above the horizon and the Jedi Praxeum. Cade casually walked in the sensor chamber, holding a cup of Norvanian Grog. He took a sip of the alcochol and took a look around the room. He noticed Shado sitting behind the computer console and staring at various sensor readings. Master Wolf Sazen was standing behind him. They were commenting on something, but Cade was not yet fully awake so he couldn't hear exactly what it was.

He took another sip of his drink and quietly approached the two. He stood there, behind Sazen for a minute or two more, staring at the readings with them, or at least pretending to stare while slowly drinking his Norvanian Grog and then Master Sazen finally turned around only to make a frowned face, showing his disgust for the strong odor of Cade's drink.

''Mornin'.'' Cade said casually.

''Good morning, Cade.'' Sazen replied calmly.

''So, what's so interesting on that screen that made you guys not even notice me entering the room.'' Cade asked, slightly affected by the alcochol, but more awake than a minute ago.

''Just because we didn't react doesn't mean we didn't notice, Cade. We are Jedi, remember that.'' Sazen said with a lecturing tone.

''Right, right. Still, that doesn't answer my question, Sazen. What's on the screen?'' Cade said cooly.

''Take a look for yourself.'' Sazen said.

''It's a ship.'' Shado finally spoke up, ''A small shuttle, I've detected only one person aboard.''

''We think it's an agent of the Sith, probably sent here to do a routine sensor sweep of the planet. It wouldn't be the first time.'' Sazen explained as Cade took a look at the magnified video feed of the shuttle.

''Well, I can tell you straight out that you couldn't be more wrong.'' Cade said.

''What? How can you be so sure?'' Sazen asked with astonishment.

''Because I recognize the markings on the shuttle.'' Cade replied, ''See that symbol? It's the symbol of Rav's group.''

''Your former employer?'' Shado said, ''What would he or one of his subordinates be doing here?''

''Let's find out.'' Cade suggested.

Deliah Blue was sitting in the shuttle's cockpit, watching the double sunrise as she waited for the shuttle's sensors to finish their job. Besides Tatooine, this was the only planet with two suns she had visited so far. The sensors beeped to report their findings, or rather to report that there were no findings to report. They haven't detected anything. ''How is this possible?'' She wondered. She was already on Yavin IV and the place there turned out to be completely abandoned. If the Ossuary was abandoned too, then her judgement on Cade's and the Jedi's whereabouts was completely wrong. She wasn't going to find Cade. And then her communications system beeped. A transmission from the surface. She keyed on the comm and a familiar face appeared on the viewscreen.

''Hi there, Deliah. You're a long way from Socorro.'' It was Cade. A slightly tidier, but still familiar version of him.

''I came here searching for you. Something's happened.'' She said with a slight relief.

''Why don't you come down and you can tell me all about it in person?'' He asked, humor intended.

Cade's face was gone and a set of coordinates appeared on her screen, Deliah punched them in along with the landing vector. A lot of Ossus' surface was destroyed thanks to Darth Krayt's sabotage of the Yuuzhan Vong terraforming efforts. The plantlife produced during the vongforming has long since extinguished, rotted and disappeared. The surface was all dry land now. In the distance Deliah could see a lone building rising from the ground. Minute after minute it grew ever larger as her shuttle drew ever closer to it. The Jedi Praxeum of Ossus.

As Blue landed her shuttle she saw Cade standing in the courtyard, already waiting for her. He was just as excited about seeing her as she was excited about seeing him, but he tried not to show it as much. The last time he saw Blue was a little less than six months ago, just before he left Rav's organization. The shuttle door opened and a pink skinned, blue haired girl appeared at the door. It was her.

''Cade.'' She waved as she descended down the shuttle's ramp and walked towards him.

''Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.'' He joked, ''What's up Deliah?''

''We've got problems.'' She said, ''We need your help, Cade.''

''Let's go inside.'' Cade replied, now with a serious tone, ''We'll sit down, have a few drinks and you can explain everything to me in detail.''

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