The Zhar system, aside from the moon bases of Kile and Gall it was an otherwise less-than-noteworthy stellar body. Fortunately for T’balan, the only need he had here was fuel. Having stocked up at the automated platform, he was nearly ready to continue his journey from Ryloth back to Yavin. T’balan had just finished sending his report back to the Temple from his routine mission on Ryloth. A local Hutt crimelord took it upon itself to cease supplying and trading with a local council of small villages recovering from the war. The slimy Hutt had even gone so far as to harass their trade caravans. A simple negotiation, a few heated words and promises to resolve the conflict once-and-for-all, and the problem was solved for the interim. But T’balan just knew that would come back to bite him in the posterior someday. As he plotted his course back to Yavin on the navicomputer, something pinged his sensors. A freighter, in a decaying orbit around Zhar itself. T’balan sent standard hails on all frequencies toward the ship, but received no reply. Nor was he one to turn his back on a mystery. Tib directed his HWK-290 toward the freighter in distress, and locked it in a synchronous orbit to extend the external docking port. But before he disembarked his vessel, T’balan transmitted his location back to Yavin, along with a message saying he was stopping to investigate the freighter. Once he reached the external door to the freighter, he discovered it was powered down. Gloved hands reached out to jam fingertips as far into the crack between the doors as possible. T’balan took a deep breath to channel his physical strength, enhance it with the Force, and pried the door open after the first real grunt. Not even the pragmatic detective could have forseen what awaited him inside the dark cargo hold. But into the breech he went, sidearm at the ready for his off-hand, lightsaber for his main. Tib landed with a quiet thud on the deck, and within a few moments his eyes adjusted to the shadowlands-like darkness inside the hold. T’balan took a cautious few steps, taking in the scene as it all came into focus. Corpses—or what was left of them anyway, strewn about. Blood smeared on the walls. By the smell, it couldn’t have been more than a few hours old. The urge to vomit receded, and he pushed onward, though the carnage only seemed to get worse the closer he got to the natural chokepoint that was the entryway to the next section of the freighter. One body of note by the door, seemed mostly in-tact, but became noteworthy for lacking any manner of skin about the torso. Another was missing its face, and all seemed to be missing at least one article of clothing. The urge to remove his gloves and use psychometry on, literally, anything in the room was high, but he knew all too well how much of the Dark Side he would expose himself to—the fear from the crewmen as they died in agony, the malicious intent of the killer—let alone whatever could have prompted a being to flay skin from bodies, remained suppressed. This would have to be one investigation that got solved the old fashioned way, though Tib was starting to wonder just what kind of jackpot he’d gotten himself into this time.