There was a knock at the door. Leia looked up, startled, as Winter showed in Maitrakh Khimbar and a young male Noghri she did not recognise.
"I'm sorry to keep you waiting, but the assassination attempt has the entire council in an uproar." Leia said. "Is everything fine on Wayland? And the restoration efforts on Honoghr?"
"Everything at home is fine" the Maitrakh answered. "It is about the assassination attempt that I have to come and speak with you. You remember the categorical denial we Noghri gave about our involvement in the assassination?"
"Yes", Leia said, frowning.
"I just learned that it is untrue. I feared to give you the information over the holonet, so I came myself. Kherkin, here, will explain further." The Noghri Maitriarch glared at the younger Noghri beside her, and gestured him forward.
"Lady Vader, the assassination attempt- it's my fault. My brother Khaler and I went to Bastion. We weren't trying to kill Pellaeon, you see, we were trying to get rid of that Thrawn clone they keep saying is his son." the young Noghri answered. "Admiral Pellaeon saw Khaler and jumped in front of the clone and got hit instead. We weren't after the Admiral at all."
Leia stared. "You mean to say that you and your brother tried to kill a thirteen year old boy. Why?"
"He's a clone, Lady Vader. Of the man who betrayed my whole people. I realize now that our attempt was badly planned- Khaler is dead and the clone isn't, but I still think it had to be done. After all, the New Republic wasn't doing a thing. So we did it- or tried to, anyhow." Kherkin replied.
thought Leia. Just what I didn't need right now. "I see. However, we do not even know that he is a clone. For all we know, he could actually be Thrawn's son, or just a random child of the same species. And clone or not, he is definitely a child. If you had succeeded, it would have been murder, and I cannot condone your actions. This is much worse than an attack on the military head of the Empire." Leia answered.
"Here, look at this," Leia said, taking a datacard and putting it into a reader. Pictures sprang up of a blue child doing various things. Leia spoke. "His adoptive parents sent me these." She stopped on a photograph of a small child covered in red and green stripes and splotches of paint, grinning wildly at the camera and waving a paintbrush. "Can you imagine an adult Thrawn doing this? I can't. It's too undignified!"
Kherkin looked at the pictures and hung his head slightly. "What do you want me to do now, Lady Vader?" he asked.
Leia sighed. "You will have to speak to the Senate and Council."
Kherkin looked alarmed. "I'm scared of public speaking, Lady Vader!" he answered.
"If you don't like public speaking don't try to do things that have disastrous interstellar diplomatic consequences! If I tried to hush this up, the truth would still come out eventually, at which point everyone would assume I ordered it, which would be a major blow to the credibility of the New Republic, given my position. Didn't you think before you went off and did this?" Leia asked.
Kherkhin mumbled something unintelligible in Noghri, and the Maitrakh glared at him and replied in the same language. "I will go and explain to the Senate and Council, Lady Vader. I am honour bound to speak" answered Kherkhin, looking thoroughly miserable.
The news of Kherkhin's confession reached Pellaeon and Thrawve. However, since Kherkhin was never actually punished for his part in the attack, Thrawve saw no reason to change his previous decision.