A Solid Lead

By John Medkeff

Iridian sat in one of the Silverstorm's darker corners, watching the
crowd. Students mostly, unwinding after classes. The pirates at the next
table looked a bit out of place, but not enough so, that the other costomers
would pay attention to them.

He took a sip of his whiskey. It was passable. Iridian was dressed in
academic informal. On the table in front of him was a copy of the current
issue of the Imperial Journal of Philosophy. In between watching people
come and go he read.

The door opened and a dark haired girl dressed in green pants and
blouse, decorated with flower patches entered. She wore a big floppy hat
and had a book bag slung over left shoulder. Iridian tracked her with his
eyes as she went up to the bar, bought a beer and walked over and sat down
in the other chair at his table.

"Hello, Professor Owens, I have I question about today's lecture," she

"Aren't you overdoing it it a bit, Tal." he answered.

"I suppose," Talasa leaned back in her chair. "What did you want to
see me about, Owen."

Iridian studied her for a moment. Was this one of the days when he
should trust her? "In the last couple of months six Jedi have disappeared.
Five of them from an obscure Alliance planet called Gaisheeda." He stopped
to watch her reaction.

Talasa didn't blink, not that he expected her to. "Six Jedi gone
missing. Well, that's certainly interesting. Who?"

"Octavia Synn-Jinn, Medenna, Darien Lell, Alida D'med, Kaliandra Daroa
and Tory McNeil."

She sat there for a moment, sipping her beer and thinking. "Not a very
prominent group. Except for the two who count themselves among the
so-called lost Jedi. But what does this have to do with me?"

"We have witnesses to some of their kidnappings." He studied her
reaction again. "One of the kidnappers was a woman who posed as a street
muscian." He paused. "That witness said she looked like a photo of you."

Talasa smiled. "Yes, we have Darien. I wasn't aware of any of the
other cases."

"Where is he?"

"Darien is a guest at Steele Manor."

"Why did did you take him?"

Talasa laughed at that. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Well
you might but the Jedi won't. In any case I think I'll let Darien explain
it when he gets back to Yaven. It be far more amusing that way. Wish I
could be at that meeting of the Jedi council."

"When he gets back to Yaven. Then you intend to let him go?"

"Of course. If he stays too long some of our Darkness might start to
rub off on him, and that wouldn't suit our needs at all."

"When..." he started to ask.

"I think," she interupted him,as she stood up, "we'd better move over

Iridian stood and followed Talasa's lead. "Why."

"The Force says to..."

There was crash and a blaze of laser fire as a swoop crashed through the
wall of the Silverstorm.

"move," she finished. "I wonder what that all about."

"I think we sould take our leave, Tal."

"Guess so."

They quietly slipped out the back door.

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