CHAPTER 14

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"Our records show no mention of anything called a Star Forge," Master Dorak said, scrolling through information on his datapad. "What's more we don't have any records of a pre-Republic Empire that spanned as much of the galaxy as you've indicated." The Jedi Chronicler looked up from his datapad to regard Bastila and Venar, standing before him and the rest of the four High Council members.

"Nevertheless," Vandar spoke up, "the star map they've brought us suggests perhaps our records are incomplete."

"We don't even know what this Star Forge is," Vrook spoke up.

"We will discuss this later..." Zhar said to the other Jedi, before turning back to regard Bastila and Venar. "You have both done very well in your handling of this matter. It is of course regrettable that Master Nemo did not make it back. We have sent to retrieve his remains and give him a proper Jedi burial."

"Of course, he was a great Jedi," Bastila acknowledged.

"We require some time to look over the information you've provided us and confer with the rest of the Council on Coruscant," Vandar said, "In the meantime, you may prepare your crew and your ship. It is very likely we will have an assignment for you soon."

"Of course, Master Vandar," Bastila said, "We will await your call."

"You are dismissed."

As they walked out of the Council chambers, Venar wondered how often the Council was secretive and reluctant to discuss matters in front of Jedi who were not considered Masters. Not to mention he found it odd that if the so-called "Jedi Masters" were the most powerful Jedi of the Order, why were they not on the front lines with the rest of the soldiers and Jedi fighting the Sith? One could wrongly assume they were hiding in cowardice.

At the ship they were greeted by Carth who was leaning against the wall at the top of the landing ramp. He was tapping his fingers against his sleeve, looking more impatient than usual. His facial scruff had grown in more and frankly he looked restless.

"Where have you guys been?" he asked a little more accusatory than he had meant.

"My trials are over," Venar said, "I've been accepted as a Padawan of the Order with Bastila as my glorious teacher..."

"Right... What about us?" Carth asked, "I've reached out to my superiors in the military and they said the Jedi requested me to remain with you here. What's going on?"

"We can't tell you anything until the Council deems it necessary," Bastila said, "I'm sorry Carth. However, it seems as if the Council will have a mission for us very soon. They have instructed us to begin preparing the ship and the rest of the crew."

"Perfect," Carth grunted, "More Jedi secrets..."

"I'm sorry Carth but the truth is there isn't much to tell," she said, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I must inform the rest of the crew."

As Bastila went aboard, Carth inched closer to Venar as if he were about to say something he didn't want overheard.

"So," he said in a lower voice, "you're in the loop now. What did the Jedi say?"

"Honestly," Venar said, "I'm not really even sure yet. We may have a lead in tracking down the source of the Sith's battle fleet but the Council is trying to determine exactly what it means."

"What do you mean source of the Sith battle fleet?"

"We don't think the Sith amassed such a fleet so quickly on their own," Venar explained, "We discovered a partial star map that Revan and Malak found. It leads to something called the Star Forge but we don't really know what that is."

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