Welcome back, readers! this week we present you Part 3 of our exclusive Star Wars fan fiction, I, Inquisitor. If you need a refresher, or to continue the story, click the links below:
- Prologue – Part 1
- Part 2 – Bail Organa
- Part 3 – The Inquisitorious
- Shili – Part 4
- Part 5 – The Jedi
- Part 6 – Failure
- Mandalore – Part 7
- Part 8 – The Duchess
- Part 9 – Revelation
- Kenobi – Part 10 (Conclusion)
Former Inquisitor Tavek Dinaar has perished at the hands of Darth Vader. Before he died, however, he transmitted a confession and chronicle of his crimes to Galactic Senator Bail Organa. With this installment, Dinaar tells the tale of how he came to join the Inquisitorius.
I, Inquisitor, Part 3.
Six of us remained; all apprentices, all exhausted, and all hungry. What little we knew came in the form of rumor or conjecture. We could not inquire further for fear of revealing ourselves. The Jedi Order was gone, Masters, Knights, padawans and younglings, all murdered by their own clone troopers, the Emperor’s new enforcer Darth Vader, or others. Those that survived?
We called them Red Blades, those “others”, though we’d later learn that they were, in fact, Inquisitors. They constituted a fraternity of Force-wielders employed by the Empire for a singular purpose: destroy the Jedi and any remaining Force users in the galaxy. Well, those that wouldn’t be turned to the Emperor’s will, anyway. Darth Vader set them upon us, and the Inquisitors had been systematically tracking down and eradicating what remained of the Order. Six of us padawans managed to escape Coruscant during The Purge. It did us little good. Five weeks later we found ourselves huddled together in dusty fruit cellar on Ryloth. The Twi’leks had taken us in, concealed us, and sealed their fates in doing so.
By the time the Grand Inquisitor had pulled the cellar door from its hinges using nothing but the Force, every member of the Twi’lek family that had helped us lay slain, their bodies twisted and broken. He’d never laid a finger on them, and his lightsaber remained affixed to its harness on his back.
Nedo was the first to charge. Foolish Rodian.
If there was some solace for the rest of us that watched, it was that his bulbous eyes could extrude no further from his head as the Grand Inquisitor choked the life from his body. That was my first encounter with the leader of Vader’s Inquisitorius. The Grand Inquisitor was imposing. I should have been terrified of the ashen-skinned Pau’an with red tattoos and glowing yellow eyes. He existed, and stood before me, for no other reason than effectuate my demise. Yet I huddled there, mesmerized… drawn to him.
Kaffa was next to perish; he leaped towards our foe before Nedo’s body dropped from where the Grand Inquisitor had levitated my former classmate to his death. Kaffa’s blue lightsaber ignited and sliced through the air towards its target. I cannot recall exactly what transpired next; it happened too quickly for my eyes to process. Kaffa was Twi’lek, and the reason we’d sought refuge on Ryloth in the first place. His lekku dropped to the ground, or parts of them, at least. The ends were cauterized and charred by the red blade that had carved them. Kaffa screamed in agony and his lightsaber fell to the ground with a thud. Again the red blade swung, and Kaffa was gone.
The last of us to challenge the Grand Inquisitor stepped forward. I don’t remember his name. He was a human, perhaps a Zabrak; shamefully I can no longer recall his species, either. It doesn’t matter. All I remember is a cyclone of spinning crimson slicing through the air and cleaving him in two at the torso. The blade continued to spin, and I was about to accept my fate, when a booming, modulated voice sounded from somewhere unseen.
The next moments defied any reality I’d ever known, even as a padawan to the Jedi Order. The blade stopped in mid-air. I could feel its heat upon my face from where it stopped short of touching the tip of my nose. The Grand Inquisitor called it back and acknowledged his master.
“As you wish, my lord.” He bowed in deference and receded backwards.
Darth Vader himself stepped through the clouds of dust that the melee, short as it was, had kicked up in the earthen hut. He stood beside the Grand Inquisitor, hands on his hips, and breathed; in and out, in and out, rhythmically.
he said, and walked away. He’d pointed at me. The unfathomable occurred; Darth Vader, hand to the Emperor, Lord of Sith, stepped forward and stood before me. Tilting his mask back and forth, he examined me as if I were a specimen in a laboratory or zoo. He inhaled deeply, causing the rhythmic rasping of his breather to pause unnaturally. What he learned from my scent, if anything, he never did reveal.
“Yes,” he said in answer to some unspoken question, letting the syllable hang in the air. “Perhaps this one can be useful.” And that was all the Dark Lord said. He clasped his hands at his back and spun away from me, his half cape flowing in his wake. Vader was gone as mysteriously and as quickly as he’d appeared. The remaining others looked to me for reprieve I could not offer.
When the Grand Inquisitor approached me again, his eyes seared through me.
And in that moment I felt something.
I couldn’t recognize it at the time, but a well of dark energy brimmed within me. I had already begun my downward spiral to the Dark Side and I didn’t even know it. Suddenly I was full of anger; uncontrollable, unrepentant anger.
And the Grand Inquisitor smiled.
“You understand, now, don’t you boy,” he asked of me. “You see. For the first time you finally understand the Jedi’s folly, see through their lies. The Jedi have brought you nothing but loss, pain, and death. It was they who abandoned you. And now here you stand, alone. Join us, and be free. Fulfill a destiny far greater than you would have ever achieved as a Jedi.”
Part of me wanted to cut him down… but a desire burned deeply inside me. He was right, after all, from a certain point of view. As a young padawan, and then as an apprentice scheduled for his Jedi trials, I had experienced little more than loss. Friends with whom I’d trained were gone; clones with whom I’d fought, dead, all lost to Separatist droids during the Clone Wars. Master Koth, wasn’t even my first master. She I’d lost previously…
… to Maul and his Dathomirian brother, Savage Opress.
I could no longer control the fury and emotion that burst from the depths of my soul. It erupted as my tears streaked my dust-covered cheeks. Everything I’d been taught for years to suppress boiled to the surface. My eyes closed and I screamed a furious scream. The guttural sound of my own ferocity at first frightened, and then fueled me. I’m certain now that I was manipulated into such a state, though my judgment was too clouded at the time to realize it.
The Grand Inquisitor laughed, and Jedi apprentice I had become was already gone. I had a new master.
“Learn the true power of the Force. Join me,” said Grand Inquisitor. I couldn’t help but to obey. Though I’d not commanded them to do so, my legs moved me towards him.
“Tavek, no,” someone shouted. I don’t know who. I didn’t care. I’d been given a new life, a new purpose. No one would take it from me. With barely a thought, my lightsaber leaped from my belt to my outstretched hand, I ignited it and turned back to face my former brothers and sisters. They stood immobilized; whether by fear or disbelief, it made no difference. I swung. Though I remember them falling, I felt nothing.
The Grand Inquisitor clapped.
“Well done, my new apprentice. Come. We’ve much work to do.” He turned, and I followed. I looked down to the lightsaber in my hand, examined it, and tossed it aside. I knew I’d have a new one soon enough; one that would glow as red as the fires of Mustafar. Lord Vader stood at the foot of the shuttle’s gangplank as the Grand Inquisitor and I approached. He said nothing. He made no acknowledgment of me whatsoever, nodding silently to the Grand Inquisitor instead.
I sat in the shuttle’s crew compartment, awaiting my future.
As Lord Vader strode by me on his way to the command cockpit he uttered four words to me without ever so much as turning his helmeted head in my direction. Four words I’d never forget; four words that haunt my soul now.
“Welcome to the Inquisitorius.”
As difficult as my journey towards becoming a Jedi Knight had been at that point in my training, my path to becoming an Inquisitor was more arduous, tenfold. I thought I’d die, and desired to, those first days. It could have been weeks. My mind cannot, or perhaps refuses to recall everything I endured. Still, shards of fractured memories from that time continue to pierce me. There was one, the Second Brother, who together with Lord Vader and the Grand Inquisitor fashioned the rest of us into the Inquisitors we became.
I had never learned so much as I had as an Inquisitor.
They taught us to hone our skills in the Force, to turn our bodies into weapons. And on many, if not most occasions, Second Brother nearly killed us in the process. My body bears many scars born of Second Brother’s blade. In hindsight, I was fortunate. Some of the others had lost limbs, or their lives, to Darth Vader. Still, Second Brother’s screaming voice fills my ears to this day.
“How do you expect to kill a Jedi,”
he had barked at me on one occasion as I tried vainly to deflect his blows, “if you cannot defend yourself against me?” I know now that the Grand Inquisitor ensured I’d forever remember the moments that followed. With a force push, Second Brother thrust me backwards. Before I could recover, his blade sliced through my torso. My hand immediately went to my midsection where I felt the warmth of my own blood wash over my fingers. The lightsaber blade seared the edges of the incision, but that did not prevent my intestines from pressing against my fingers in an effort to escape my abdomen.
I lost consciousness in that moment, and awoke days later floating in a bacta tank. The Grand Inquisitor stood there, again with his hands clasped behind his back, grinning. He turned away. As he did, the bacta began to hum all around me as electricity charged the viscous fluid and attacked every surface of my body. The pain was excruciating.
If I couldn’t find a way to end it, I would die.
Each nerve of my body burned with the fire of a thousand suns. I was on the verge of losing consciousness, perhaps forever. Still, somehow, somewhere deep inside of me, I found my anger. Anger for what Second Brother had done to me. Anger at the Grand Inquisitor for letting him do it. Fury and rage at the Jedi for their nearsightedness and blind faith in the Force. I found traitorous fault in everyone and everything, and my power grew.
Despite the torturous pain, I closed my eyes and channeled what energy I could muster. The bacta tank began to tremble. The glass fissured, slowly at first. And then, with a final push of the Force, I was free. The tank shattered and bacta cascaded to the floor in waves. I tumbled with it, riding the bacta to the ground. I ducked into a roll upon striking the deck, leapt to my feet, and called the Grand Inquisitor’s lightsaber to my hand. I’d barely gotten it ignited and raised before he laughed. He knew I’d not strike him.
Perhaps, subconsciously, the act was my way of proving my worthiness. I’d overcome certain death yet refused to revel in the moment. Instead I was immediately ready to face my attacker without thought or preparation.
I’d pleased the Grand Inquisitor.
“Welcome back. Go to your quarters. You’ll find a gift there for you. Then return to me on the bridge.”
The gift was my Inquisitor’s uniform. It consisted first of a black jumpsuit, similar to those worn by Imperial pilots. This was more form fitting, however, and stretched with my every movement. Armored plating covered my upper thighs and sheathed my forearms, while more armor covered my chest and shoulders. Upon each shoulder pauldron was emblazed the new Imperial insignia. Form-fitting gloves covered my hands, while armored calf boots protected my feet and shins. A ridged neck cowl covered what little flesh would remain exposed once I donned my helmet.
The helmet was something to behold. In some ways it reminded me very much of Lord Vader’s. The helmet cap flared out slightly, below my ears, the facemask bore the same crescent eye slitI’d come to recognize on the helmets of the Emperor’s elite guards. The remainder of the mask formed around my face and closed beneath my chin. Extending in front of my mouth were two breathing vents, likely adapted from Imperial Stormtrooper equipment. It was… everything. The visor even contained a HUD display, but I seldom used it, so strong had I become with the Force. There was only thing missing from the ensemble:
my new Inquisitor lightsaber.
I dressed, placed my helmet upon my head, and joined the Grand Inquisitor on the deck of the Star Destroyer Demolisher on which I’d been trained. I stood beside him, and could feel the apprehension and fear of the officers surrounding me. Inside my helmet, I grinned. We stood in silence for some time before he spoke to me.
“I have a mission for you. We have reports of a Jedi lightsaber found on Shili. You and Third Sister will travel there to retrieve it. Your mission, however, is not the saber. I sense that in seeking it out so too will you shake another Jedi from the shadows. I’ve felt his presence in the Force. He is powerful, a former Jedi apprentice, like you, now advanced to full Jedi Knight. Go and investigate, and do what you must to draw this Jedi out of hiding. He will come to you, and together you and the Third Sister will destroy him. Use whatever means necessary. For now, you can begin with this.”
The Grand Inquisitor handed me a single-bladed, black-hilted lightsaber. He needed no clairvoyance of the Force to sense my disappointment. He knew I’d seen him, and the others, wield their spinning, double-bladed sabers to murderous effect. I’d even held his in my hand. I wanted one.
I needed one.
“In time, Fourth Brother. In time.”
He dismissed me from the bridge, and my days as an Inquisitor had officially begun.
(To be continued….)
The preceding is a work of fan fiction based upon and utilizing locations, characters, and/or plot points from the Star Wars universe, originally created by George Lucas and trademarked to Lucasfilm, Ltd. The author makes no claim whatsoever of ownership of the Star Wars name, characters represented, or the Star Wars universe generally. This work is created of the author’s own imagination and is intended for entertainment purposes only. It does not purport to be an “official” Star Wars story or part of existing Star Wars canon in any way. The author is not profiting financially in any way as the result of the creation or publication of this piece of fan fiction.