A Coruscant Conspiracy

By Ticklesivory

Chapter One

Galactic HoloNet News

Vol. 531 52/22.10.4

Galactic City, Coruscant

The body of Senator Havriso Looruya was discovered in his private offices this morning. Initial toxicity screenings indicate that the Yir Tangee Senator died from exposure to a substance yet undetermined. The cause of death has similarities to the death of Senator Lex Dio of Uyter last week. Although initially believed to have been an accidental exposure to the apparent lethal substance, Coruscant officials suspect that the two deaths may be linked and now believe that foul play is involved.

Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is demanding an investigation into the deaths of the Loyalist Committee members.

"My fellow colleagues held a tireless devotion to the Republic. It is a shame that we have lost two of its greatest leaders. However, I am confident that if indeed a crime has been committed, the criminals will be brought to justice quickly." Said a confident Chancellor this morning.

An inside source has informed the GHN that the Senate Bureau is heading up the investigation and is to be assisted by the Jedi, as well as the Coruscant Judicial Department.

The body of Senator Looruya will be transported to his home planet of Yir Tangee following the autopsy. Funeral services are to be announced at a later time.

d.h. marshall/GHN Reporter

Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi sat outside the Galactic City Coroner's examination room, his impatience revealed only through the occasional running of a callused hand through his auburn beard.

It was these moments of waiting that tested his Jedi serenity. His former Master had often warned him of this particular failing, but he had yet to defeat it. It was a personal fault that he meditated upon on almost a daily basis. And once again, he found himself being tested.

Obi-Wan glanced up to the chronometer hanging against the stark white wall opposite of where he sat and took a deep breath. Two hours had passed without one word from the coroner.

Did autopsies usually take this long? He wondered to himself.

He only wished his younger padawan, Anakin were here. He could at least count on the boy to keep him company. But the council had decided that the situation was too graphic for such a young age, and Obi-Wan agreed. Anakin had just turned thirteen standard years old, and although he was not naïve, he wished to protect his padawan from the harsh realities of death as long as possible: Well, at least another year until such time his Jedi training reached a new level and he would begin to accompany his Master upon more dangerous missions.

Obi-Wan scratched through his beard one more time just before the examination room doors slid open with a hiss. He stood to meet the fairly young-appearing, dark-haired coroner who stepped out, pulling off the long black vinyl gloves before he approached, his hand thrust forward in greeting.

Obi-Wan took the offered hand and shook it firmly.

"Jedi Kenobi? I'm Dr. Sorenzo."

Immediately noting the tiredness and the exasperated tone in the young man's voice, the knight spoke without hesitation. "I know you are a busy man, so I will get to the point of my visit. I need to know if you discovered any anomalies in your autopsy of the body of Senator Looruya."

The young physician's frown increased before he turned away. "I've already transmitted my official report to the SBI." The man stated flatly before re-entering the examination room. To his surprise however, the Jedi Knight followed.

"Then, if your investigation is complete, I don't suppose you would mind if I took a look at the body."

"Be my guest." The coroner replied with a grin, noticing the slightly disgusted crinkle of the Jedi's nose.

He led his robed visitor to the large metallic examination table located in the center of the darkened room and then reached to flick a switch which activated a nearby droid medic, who immediately spun to turn on the overhead lighting as well as uncover the corpse that was lying on the table.

Without a flinch, Obi-Wan donned a pair of gloves he took from the dispenser underneath the table and began performing a pupillary examination.

Curious as to the Jedi's apparent confidence and comfort in such a situation, the coroner stepped away and watched the young knight look over the body.

"What exactly was the cause of death?" Obi-Wan asked as he looked at the fingernails of the deceased senator.

"Acute intoxication." The doctor replied.

"Internal?" Obi-Wan questioned as he pried open the mouth of the victim.

"Obviously." The younger man replied, immediately regretting his slight sarcasm. He hated working with government officials, but this Jedi didn't actually seem all that bad.

"Did you obtain all the usual samples?"

Well, maybe he didn't like him after all. Who did he think he was? A first-year resident?

"Yes." He answered momentarily after noticing that the Jedi was waiting for an answer. "Toxicity, blood, urine, organ."

"What about epidermal?" Obi-Wan responded, moving to the opposite side of the table.

"Uhm…no." The young doctor answered hesitantly, moving closer to the body and began to put on another pair of gloves.

Without commenting on the omission of such an important test, Obi-Wan reached behind him to a small shining metallic table and retrieved a sharp scalpel.

"Do you mind?" He asked, glancing up into a curious face. The coroner simply shook his head in response.

Taking the scalpel, he focused on the upper right arm of the lifeless body, removing a small portion of the being's outer and inner layers of skin.

"Did you note the slightly green hue of the victim when he was brought in?"

"Why, yes." The physician stammered. "But I assumed it was typical post-mortem reaction – for the species, I mean."

"Slightly more blue, actually." Obi-Wan responded, placing the skin sample on the silver tray next to the examining table. Then, to Dr. Sorenzo's astonishment, the Jedi removed and activated his lightsaber, touching it to the portion of skin which immediately shriveled and gave off a wisp of green smoke.

"Just what I thought." Muttered Obi-Wan.

"What? What was that?" The coroner waved his hand through the air to dispel the offensive odor.

"Senator Looruya was poisoned with a chemical called Otagornum." The Jedi disengaged his lightsaber and hooked it back onto his belt underneath his robe.

"I've never heard of that particular substance."

"Probably not. I doubt its been catalogued or referenced." Obi-Wan smiled gently at the completely befuddled appearing coroner. "In small doses it is merely a deliriant – a psychedelic. But in larger doses, it is lethal. Taken internally, it is quickly shuts down all the body's functions before being absorbed into the epidermal layers. The green hue of the deceased is what gives it away."

"And just how do you know all of this?" The coroner began to pull the drape back over the body as the Jedi removed his gloves.

"During my travels, I have become familiar with the species that harvests this chemical in its raw form from the plant growth in their underwater home." Obi-Wan explained.

"An underwater civilization?" The physician replied while escorting the Jedi back out into the hallway. "That's pretty rare, isn't it?"

"Yes. About as rare as that drug."

"May I ask the location of this watery village? For my report, of course."

The physician looked on in concern at the sudden change of expression on the Jedi Knight's face. If he didn't know any better, he would say that Kenobi looked worried.

"Otoh Gunga…on Naboo." He stated solemnly.