Chalia's brow furrowed as he once more failed to find the Force. He wiped the sweat from his face with his sleeve and breathed deep, beginning his meditation again. A long silence was followed by a frustrated sigh. He stood and stretched his arms for a moment before finding the switch that brought light back to the small, dim crew lounge of his ship.
"I reckon I'm gonna have to do this the hard way," he said as he stomped on his boots and headed through the door to the turbolift. He usually did not have problems with peaceful meditation. But there were times when the ways of the Jedi could not help him. Today, it seemed, was one of those days. If he were honest with himself, he would admit that it happened a lot more often lately.
"That damn apprentice," he muttered as he stepped off the turbolift. He slapped a large button on a nearby control panel and began the hatch open sequence. The humid heat of the Kuati summer blasted in as the scrapyard came into view. He had to utilize this place a good deal lately since the boy ran off. He stepped out into the open as the rust-stained ground crunched beneath his boots.
He came to a stop and closed his eyes. He hated having to do this, but he needed the power right now. He let out a whisper, "Kai…". The woman's face came to mind. He went through the motions he had done before. He relived the pain and sorrow, then came the self-hate, and with it, the Force, a faint aura emanating from him.
He seized his chance and reached out with a searching eye. He was in a dark room. It was small, not made for comfort. There were beds on one wall and a sabacc table on the other. The table contained many empty glasses. His mind walked through the corridor until he found the cockpit.
"This is the Outrider," he thought. Why show me Char's ship? Is the boy here? His mind shifted again to the crew quarters, but his apprentice was nowhere to be found. Damn, how could he let him get away. Why could he not find him?
He cursed again, his aura grown to engulf him, his mind shifted to another place. He was in the Senate Hall. Politicians and pages walked back and forth. He had a certain disdain for them, for having fought against many of them in various wars, but also for their shady deal making and schemes for amassing personal power. And now, they wanted to pillage the Empire for its resources.
His mind shifted again. He was before the Imperial throne on Byss. He looked on the seat for which he had struggled for so long before turning from it to gaze upon the flanking stone walls painted and engraved with murals of the Empire's history, his predecessors who built the most powerful war machine the Galaxy had ever seen, his own family, and even those he himself had fought against.
"It's time to move on," he thought. The Empire had no real enemy, no real threat. The wars had been won, and there was relative peace. There were still pirates, but what good are vast armies and massive fleets against such a foe? No, reorganization was necessary, as the Hutt in the Senate had told him. "It's time to move on."
He returned to the dark crew quarters he first searched out for. There was still no sign of his apprentice or anyone else. Where could the boy be? Chalia cursed himself. He should have paid more attention. He should have been a better teacher. Why did it happen again?
"It's time to move on," the thought came into his mind again. Chalia sighed and returned to the junkyard, his aura arcing out into nearby pieces of scrap metal as he left the Force leave him. He wiped his sweaty face once more on his sleeve and turned toward the ship. It knew what the thought meant, had already heard it several times before, and each time he resisted. With the Empire, with his son, and now this.
"I need a drink," he said shaking his head, "Ulrich is going to kill me."