Welcome readers, as we continue the story of Tavek Dinaar, fallen Inquisitor! In Part 7, after feeling the shame of failure on Shili, Fourth Brother must travel to the Outer Rim on a secret mission for Darth Vader. What it entailed, however, remained to be determined….
[If you need to catch up on other installments, follow 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
I, Inquisitor, Part 7.
Although Lord Vader had indicated I’d be completing a mission formerly assigned to Third Sister, I could not escape the notion that I’d been given this next assignment as punishment for my failure on Shili. I’d not continue my search as an Inquistor for those that would force wielders would oppose the Empire. Instead Lord Vader commanded me to an occupied system in the Outer Rim on a fact-finding mission.
Darth Vader was nothing if not enigmatic.
His instructions were few, and devoid of any particular detail that would aid me in my task. Instead he’d simply told me that “the Dark Side of the Force would guide” me to whatever ends he’d sent me to achieve. I meditated on his instructions for most of the journey, searching deeply within myself and the Force for guidance. I’d found none, and relegated myself to the fact that I’d simply have to allow the Dark Side to guide me when I arrived at my destination.
My approached neared. I calmed myself as the swirling vortex of hyperspace morphed into static starlight and the planet came roaring into view. I’d arrived, and my blood hummed in my veins. Instantly I knew I’d succeed in my mission. I made my way to the planet’s surface deliberately, as a pair of TIEs flew out to meet and escort me down to my destination. City bubbles pocked an otherwise desolate, surface landscape. It was to the largest of them I’d fly, and there I’d meet someone to assist me in my task. I’d no desire to be there, but it was there I’d find my ways back into Vader’s grace and trust. There…
… On Mandalore.
The details of my operation were known only to the Grand Inquisitor, Lord Vader, and presumably the Emperor himself. I’d learn much later that, as much as Vader was the Emperor’s Hand, he too had agendas of his own. Whether the Emperor truly knew of my mission to Mandalore or not was a query I’d never pose to Lord Vader. Instinct bade me otherwise, and rightfully so. Subordinates found themselves devoid of breath for far less egregious attempts to understand the Lord of the Sith or his machinations.
What surprised me, however, was that he’d involved the Imperial Security Bureau in whatever task awaited me. I could only surmise that the secrecy and urgency of my mission were such that Vader did not want the local governor inquiring about the goings on of an Inquisitor. Further surprising me was that the ISB officer assigned as my liaison was not he whom I’d expected.
Allow me to explain. As you are assuredly aware, Vader’s appearance at the Emperor’s side during the closing days of the Clone Wars remains shrouded in mystery. There were no records of his existence prior to Order 66; no birth place, no service history. It was almost as if the Emperor had simply created this most evil creature from nothing. Still… To keen eyes it became evident that Vader nonetheless carried some degree of familiarity with respect to some within the higher Imperial ranks.
Vader answered to no one save the Emperor.
But… he did afford a great deal of deference to two ranking officials. The first was Governor Tarkin.
Take note, Senator Organa; Wilhuff Tarkin is no ordinary Imperial. He holds the trust of the Emperor, so much so that some even say he stands between the Emperor and Vader in terms of hierarchal importance. I’ll discuss Tarkin in greater detail as I continue. For now I turn to the other individual of whom I spoke. You’ll recognize his name, like that of Tarkin, from his years of service in the Republic Navy. I am of course referring to Colonel Wullf Ylaren.
The ease with which Colonel Yularen spoke with Vader, and the palpable absence of fear while standing in Vader’s presence, had always intrigued me about Yularen. It was not my place as an Inquisitor to ruminate on such matters, however. It is only now, in hindsight, I give it the thought it likely should have warranted at the time. Suffice it to say that it was Yularen I’d expected to greet me on the landing platform.
It was another, entirely.
The man who approached me, wearing the black, armored uniform of an ISB officer at war, was decidedly not Wullf Yularen. This man’s years numbered far fewer that those shown by the white hairs of Yularen’s mustache. No, this man was younger, stronger, more virile. He was tall and slender with dark skin, and walked with an aristocratic air. This ISB agent had greater ambitions than to be catalogue the names of Mandalorian dissidents. I could smell the contempt with which he held his current position, the stench growing with every step he took closer towards me. This man was not to be trusted, yet trust him I would, at Vader’s command.
I would not mask the disdain I immediately felt for the man as I strode past him, speaking over my shoulder in an implicit command for him to follow. To his credit, he did so obediently. He knew his place and was smart enough not to choke on his aspirations. He certainly would not challenge an Inquisitor. His time would come, though. His arrogance assured that. For that, at least I respected him.
“You are not Yularen,” I said as if the spoken words were needed to confirm that which was already obvious.
“No, Inquisitor, I am not,” he replied curtly.
“I am Gideon.”
“I don’t care who you are,” I answered. I’d no time for platitudes. “What I care about is what you can give me.”
“And what, may I ask, is that? My instructions prior to your arrival were what you would call less than forthcoming.”
I stopped and turned to face him. “Take me somewhere I can meditate.”
Gideon bowed his head with deference. “As you wish. This way.” Gideon held his right arm aloft, directing me from the acrid air of the landing platform to a nearby platform speeder. He accompanied me to one of the small, tiered terraces surrounding the Main Hall where years prior, I’d heard, Maul himself had battled the exiled Jedi Ahsoka Tano.
As beholden and betrothed as I, an Inquisitor, was to the yoke of Lord Vader’s command, I’d always found the stories surrounding Maul intriguing. That he’d crept into my mind in that instance was far from coincidence. Maul’s legacy clouded my vision, and my purpose there. Lord Vader was right to send me and no other to Mandalore.
Gideon instructed Stormtroopers to silently clear the garden to which he’d brought me. Again he bowed, leaving me to my peace. I said nothing. Instead I knelt in the cool grass and regulated my breathing. My mission, my true mission, would soon reveal itself. I closed my eyes, and the din of voices above and below, the whine of repulsors as speeder traffic ebbed and flowed through the city, all faded away to nothingness.
Maul. Maul was to be my focal point. Whatever Vader wanted me to find there on Mandalore, Maul was key. But how? And why? I remained there for what seemed like hours, until my muscles ached from remaining still for so long. It had been an extensive amount of time, I knew. Notwithstanding, I had no true concept of how long I mediated there. Visions came and faded as quickly as they’d arrived…. And then I saw it. I saw what Vader knew I’d see, and I saw it as clearly as if it had happened before my very eyes. I could taste the woman’s fear on my tongue. More importantly, I could sense the Jedi’s fear in every fiber of my being. His horror as the woman’s life violently escaped her body erupted forth as a molten geyser on Mustafar. I saw it all. I saw the Jedi weep.
And I knew my mission.
I rose and sought Gideon out. He’d not ventured far, true to his orders to “remain close to the Inquisitor” and assist me in any manner I say fit. Gideon, like I, now had definitive purpose there. I approached and stood before him, uttering but one, simple command:
“Take me to the tomb of Satine Kryze.”
(To be continued….)
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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.