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Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.

Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:4:23) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.
Major Kerrie Kiley and Inquisitor Serine Thanor.

*Whap* the sound of Major Kerrie Kiley's fist connecting with a punching bag echoed through the Warspite's training facility. Sweat poured down the young woman's forehead, matting her braided hair to her forehead. She was wearing a white undershirt with her last name stenciled upon it that was clinging to her carefully mimicked human flesh, with a pair of dark shorts hugging to her hips. Her hands were taped, but the blood continued to flow from her battered knuckles as she continued to work the bag to relieve her tension. "Ugh," she groaned as she slammed her left foot into the bag, thrusting with a tremendous force that spent the last of her energy. Panting now, she hunched over and placed her hands upon her knees, as she struggled to catch her breath. She had considered the offer made to her by Major Zevrin, but she would never forgive the woman for what she did to Htaere. The Clawdite commando rose after a moment and walked to the door, determined to confront Inquisitor Thanor regarding her actions of the other day.

Inquisitor Thanor had been extremely busy despite the Admiral's absence, receiving a formal invitation by the Emperor himself, though Serine felt perhaps the man did not deserve such an honor. She was very occupied training her new found apprentice, Kia Kaen. The girl would be by her side now almost constantly, not wishing for her to leave her sight for more than a few hours a day, but it was also a precarious situation due to the secrecy Serine wished to keep, until the time was right of course. This forced the woman to stay within her quarters almost exclusively. There were whispers that the Inquisitor had captured a young girl and was feeding her to her nexu, but that all that she allowed to slip by, keeping the truth well guarded for now. But she knew the truth would escape eventually, and she of course will report a promising candidate for the Inquisitorius, but not yet... Kia would not be ready for that endeavor for a long while, still so young ... there was so much she needed to learn. Serine could not keep the girl cooped up in her chambers forever, they needed some actual exercise, the girl would need to start improving her physic. She decided the best course of action was to acquire the use of the training facilities, private use that is. It would not be the first time Serine had seized full control of the area for her own personal training. How odd that Kerrie's image flickered in her mind, she had aggressively attempted to muscle out the Major one time before, that ended catastrophically. As she approached the training facility door, it opened revealing Kerrie Kiley! She would have thought it was a hallucination if it was not so ridiculous and surprising. Just for a split second the Inquisitor looked shocked but it quickly disappeared into an unreadable appearance of indifference. For now, Serine was not aware of exactly what the Major knew. She felt she had no reason to defend her actions and would fully admit to leaving her to die if asked by anyone, including Kerrie. This confrontation suddenly became very complex, it was difficult to gauge what the best possible response should be, so she went with that felt the most natural. "Major, I shall be taking control of this facility for now. I trust you are finished for today."

Kerrie's right hand balled into a clenched fist the moment she laid eyes on the Inquisitor, a trickle of blood running down her hand and splattering on the durasteel deckplating below. The rage fueled through her diminutive frame, but she maintained her composure and did not strike. "Inquisitor," she said sternly, as she stepped aside to allow her entry into the room. "I believe we have a matter to discuss..." she continued, biting at her lower lip to maintain a neutral facial expression. She had not felt such betrayal since her squad abandoned her on Rodia years earlier and it seemed to be a recurring theme throughout her life. She went into no further detail, her breathing still very rapid from the workout as the sweat began to slowly air dry on her stank smelling form.

Though Kerrie hid it well, Serine could tell she was holding back a tremendous amount of anger. So, the other knew, or knew enough to be outraged. Things could get ... interesting from here on out. Now the Inquisitor was very curious on the Major's next action as there was quite a lot of angles afforded to the other. Once Kerrie stepped aside to allow Serine access to the room, she peered inside without taking a step forward in order to recon the area. No other occupants were inside, which is what she wanted for Kia's sake, but that was before she found herself in a budding conflict with Major Kiley. After taking a long look inside the compound, her gaze fell upon Kerrie once again, regarding her for a long moment before answering. "Indeed, you have yet to give me your full report of the dealings on Esseles while I was unconscious." Absolutely no hint towards the real matter at hand, Serine was purposely approaching this situation as if Kerrie's abandoning was a separate issue from the Major's duties. She considered the location of their little chat with heavy contemplation, remembering the last time they were alone in the training facility. The Inquisitor was not against finishing what she had started those many weeks ago, but only if pushed to do so, for she had other more important matters that were occupying her. Accepting the other's yield to enter the facility, she walked in with purpose before turning to face the other, almost anxious to witness the Major's next move.

Kerrie's eyes trailed over the Inquisitor's every move, imagining all the hateful words she would like to spout upon her ... but nothing would be gained from that. She turned, slowly following her back into the training facility as the door closed behind her. "I have served you and the Empire faithfully..." she explained slowly, attempting to state her case in the professional manner of an officer. "I am not an instrument that is to be discarded when you are done with it," she continued, the pitch of her voice increasing as she flashed just a hint of anger. "We could have left you to your demise at the bottom of the falls at Fort Cravus ... but we did not," she said, letting out a tired sigh as she went over the events in her head once again. Her eyes lowered as she considered what next to say, wondering if anything was even registering with her. "Obviously there is more to the terrorist I captured than I originally thought. I should have been rewarded for that action ... not left to die," she finished, locking eyes with the woman defiantly as she awaited a response. She had thought there was a mutual understanding between the two and she was hurt on a personal level by the other's actions.

It was not often that someone she hand picked to die came back to complain about it to her personally, but that was what was so terribly fascinating. The Major decided to discuss the matter with her openly instead of using this opportunity to attack her, or blackmail her or any number of other possibilities that could have been exploited. It was commendable, but not nearly enough to sway Serine's negative outlook on the Major and for reasons she was fully willing to explain. Obviously the two shared completely different views on the matter at hand. "A faithful servant to the Empire would not disregard direct orders, and in doing so, endanger the entire mission. A mission that I took personal interest in, a mission that 'you' requested of me. I was under the assumption that the act in of itself was to be 'rewarded' as you said but apparently that was incorrect of me." Her voice was cold and words were precise. "A faithful servant of the Empire would have waited to report appropriately instead of taking the most idiotic course of action possible that jeopardized 'everything'." Silver eyes washed over Kerrie's sweaty form, bleeding slightly, it was as if this was the normal her, being filthy and bloody was something she craved. "You have survived, is this not enough to satisfy you?" Serine could have easily murdered her by hand, instead leaving her there to her own devices. "I can only imagine you managed to escape on your own or received help. So which is it Major?" She sharply asked, glaring at Kerrie dangerously, not at all appreciating the other's tone with her.

Kerrie listened silently to Serine's words, but her cheeks flushed red at the word 'idiotic.' Her face began to shake and she bit her lower lip so severely to keep from an outburst that she began to draw blood. When the Inquisitor had finally finished, she let out a deep breath and attempted to continue her verbal joust. "You were unconscious, Inquisitor. That ... 'child' ... is a known terrorist. Her associate murdered my squad and nearly murdered me," she said, her face trembling as the emotions began to overwhelm her. "I wanted answers ... I needed answers," she paused, looking down as she turned her back to the woman. "Well it would seem we both got our answers," she said as her booted foot scuffed at the deckplating in frustration. "No. It is not enough to satisfy me. I want to know why you left me there to die. It does not matter how I escaped the situation..." she continued, as she turned to face the woman once more. "What matters is that you were the one that put me there! We are supposed to be part of the same team working to achieve our objectives. I would never, ever leave a teammate to a fate like that!" the emotions becoming overwhelming as tears began to well in her obviously overwhelmed eyes. She closed her eyes and squeezed her hands together, refusing to allow herself to break down in front of the woman. "Why?" she asked, her drying eyes opening once more.

She scoffed at the other bitterly, bringing up Kia was not a subject she felt comfortable discussing yet, but she certainly will in order to detail just why Major Kiley is a failure in all regards. It will either cause her to go into an uncontrollable rage, break her indefinitely or maybe, just maybe, force her to acknowledge what is truly keeping her back. But for whatever reason, Serine seemed a bit hesitant to continue, usually so freely willing to explain in long winded responses her true feelings on every subject down to the very last pitiful detail. "Children are easy to talk to, I was able to learn all I needed from Kia and more. Now she is on her way to becoming an excellent and dependable agent of the Empire, perhaps even the Inquisitorius. Could you have accomplished that? No, because you don't think. You never have. All you had to do was wait for me to regain consciousness Major, did you really think I would perish because of that disgraceful so called Jedi? You practically begged me to avenge your partners and insisted to come along to watch him die. So who was really risking their life?" Did Kerrie really need her to explain just why she left her to perish? So be it, the consequences be damned. "I can't stand to look at you, Major Kiley. You remind me of everything that is wretched and pitiful. Your existence is painful to watch. You used to be so much more, now you are a shell of a woman you once were, your essence beaten and broken beyond recognition. Now a mere pet to the Admiral, spayed and subservient. I left you there because it would have been an easy death. You would have slipped to the beyond none the wiser. It was merciful." It was very apparent that Serine was telling the truth, her honest feelings towards the other, though no one ever liked to hear the truth, but Serine never lied, never. "Now are you satisfied?"

Kerrie stood there silently as she took the dressing down, never once speaking up to interrupt her. It was painful to hear ... embarrassing even ... but there was a truth to what the Inquisitor was saying. Just three short years ago she was one of the galaxy's most feared assassins and now she was babysitting the children of the man who ruined her life. Fate in the galaxy was cruel and it seemed she had been cast a poor lot in life. When the Inquisitor finished she tilted her head down and brought her left hand up to rub at her cheek fiercely. She pulled her hand down revealing a bloody hand print that had been left behind. Her head tilted up slowly and she locked eyes with the Inquisitor once more. She swallowed slowly, her throat bulging as she tensed. A single nod was given to the woman, before she turned on her feet and marched silently out of the training facility. There was clearly much for her to think about, but for now a night of laying in bed crying with her 'booki' was the most likely outcome.

Serine stood silently, watching the other turn and leave her presence. It was hard to determine if Kerrie was destroyed by hearing the truth, or if there was a shred of hope that she could improve herself and change her disposition. It was not impossible, and if she showed that she was not a complete waste of time, it was not unfeasible that Serine's opinion could be ... modified, but that train of thought was far too optimistic for the Inquisitor. Now with Kerrie removed from the training facilities, and no one else present, it would be the opportune time to escort Kia here. The girl was just beginning the long road ahead of her.

Kerrie reached her quarters and found herself seated on the foot of her bed. She remained there motionless for hours in her native Clawdite form, the Inquisitor's words echoing through her mind. Her hand finally reached for her KYD-21 blaster, trembling lightly as she examined it. She closed her eyes and let out a tired sigh, wondering what she should do about the situation. She slowly raised the blaster pistol, putting the muzzle against the side of her head as she had done so many times she entered her indentured servitude. She wanted very much just to go home, but that no longer existed for her. Her eyes darted to the stuffed bantha that her parents had given her that was cradled next to her pillow as tears began to stream from both of her eyes. She let out a primordial scream as she tossed the blaster carelessly aside and slammed both of her fists angrily upon her knees. After a moment she found herself laying in her cold, rack, grabbing hold of her 'booki' for emotional support. Sniveling like a child she began to cry helplessly into her pillow wondering if this is what the rest of her life would be like. How far she had fallen.

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