Major Arden Zevrin had been silent for
far too long. She felt a change in the air and the manner in which many
members of the crew, from the lowliest bridge officer to the Grand Moff
himself, addressed her had changed for the worse. Someone or something
had turned them all against her ... she had her suspicions, but few facts.
As she sat at her terminals watching the events that were transpiring
aboard the ship, she continuously looped the footage from the other day
of the young Kia Kaen on the bridge of the Warspite. A very interesting
development, she thought silently to herself before turning his
attention to the comm. "Apprentice Inquisitor Kia Kaen?" she asked as
she cycled comm channels, clearing her throat before speaking. She had
decided she wanted to talk to this young developing Inquisitor in her
Sitting indian-style in front of a small
holo table, there were various data padds with schematics and readouts
scattered around her, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer
revolved in both wire-frame and model formats, key systems were lit in
matching colors to show which were linked and which were independently
ran. Leaning forward, Kia tapped the wireframe, enlarging the section
that held the controls for the tactical sensors and deflector shield
generators. So engrossed in her work, she missed the comm call the first
time. It was a voice she recognized from video only, and out of habit
she checked one of her monitors that showed what the cameras in Kia's
quarters were 'showing'. The teenager waited a moment, then answered,
''This is Apprentice Inquisitor Kaen. Go ahead.'' Her tone was bored, as
if answering the comm was the least important thing she could be doing.
"This is Major Arden Zevrin of the
Imperial Security Bureau," Arden stated plainly, as she coolly addressed
her over the comm. "I would like to congratulate you on your recent
exploits," she said, as she moved her mouth closer towards the
transceiver. "If you have a free moment I wonder if I might speak with
you in person. These devices are so impersonal," she complained in a
mocking gesture. Privately, she was eager to learn more about this young
Inquisitor, and wondered if she could get her to reveal something she
ought not to say.
So the aging spider wanted to meet her
successor, Kia was convinced she would be at the center of the web soon
enough. On one hand, she was supposed to be trying to keep on good terms
with both ISB and Intel, on the other, Zevrin was creepy in ways Kia
could not even begin to describe. ''I am aware of who you are.'' There
was no indication of adding a title or designation at all to her words,
''As for my exploits, I wasn't aware that they were something of an
interest. Thank you for your ... kind words.'' Kia looked at her
wireframe model and datapads, then shrugged. ''I do not think that
Master Thanor would object to my meeting with a member of the Imperial
Security Bureau. Where is your office, I will be over there
momentarily.'' She could not give away that she knew where the woman's
office was, she had no reason to know where it was.
Zevrin suspected that Kia knew where her
office was located, but she decided to play along ... for now. "Yes. Of
course. I am transmitting the coordinates now," and with that, she
pressed a button next to the comm panel that would send the location of
her office. "See you soon," she cooed softly, before ending the
transmission. She then rose from her desk and began cleaning her office,
gathering up all the datapads, and care packages that she had raided.
She wanted to make the right first impression when it came to the
Apprentice Inquisitor ... she so rarely had guests.
The teenage Apprentice checked her
appearance in the mirror in her quarters before heading out to meet a
spider. Her appearance was perfect as Serine usually demanded,
lightsabers clipped to her belt and no other weapons visible, she strode
confidently through the corridors and soon she stopped outside the
office of the ISB officer. Kia knocked twice, then stood still, she
looked composed and was managing to keep her expression blank.
Arden pressed a button on her control
panel and immediately the door to her office swung open. Inside she
stood in the unmistakable cream tunic of the Imperial Security Bureau,
her long-flowing blonde hair down below her shoulders in spite of
regulations. "Welcome, Inquisitor Kaen. Please do enter," she said
sweetly, plastering a facetious smile upon her face as she strode to
meet her. Looking her over it seemed she could pass for a typical
teenager if not for the two lightsabers clipped to her belt. Much more
civilized than the whip her master used, she thought to herself.
Kia did not hesitate in stepping into
the woman's office...lair..? office. Looking around with a feigned
interest, the office was even more boring when she was here
legitimately. ''Thank you. What did you need to see me about? Master
Thanor may not mind my speaking with members of the security bureau, but
I do have my studies.'' It was not said disrespectfully, and it was
true, for the most part, even though she had finished the bulk of her
studies for the day already. There was always more time for practice
with the Force. She did not bother smiling at this woman, she knew the
kinds of things that she was capable of and thought her lazy and
"It is your studies that I wish to speak
of, Inquisitor," Arden said, as she moved to the pair of sofas that sat
opposite one another separated by a small coffee table. "Please have a
seat," she said, before sitting down on one of the sofas herself. There
was a decanter filled with caf, and two cups at the ready. Pulling one
of the cups up, she began to sip at the hot beverage, her eyes never
leaving the Inquisitor.
Kia was doing her damnedest to remain
dignified, making her way quietly to the other sofa, she perched on the
edge of it, watching Zevrin watch her, ''I wasn't aware you were
interested in the Inquisitorius. Most questions would be best addressed
to Master Thanor, however, if I can I'll try to be helpful.''
"I have observed you on the bridge quite
a bit these past few days," Arden said briefly, before taking another
sip of the caf. "You seem to have taken quite an interest in the
operations of the Warspite ... certainly more so that Inquisitor Thanor
ever did," she continued, before the placing the cup back down on the
table in front of her. "How would you say the experience has been going
thus far?" she asked, a seemingly innocent question, as she did her best
to gauge the young one from the perimeter before questioning her more
Kia managed a bit of a sheepish grin at
the mention of her time on the bridge, ''Oh, that. Captain Anson has
been polite enough not to kick me off the bridge for wanting to learn
more about the way the ship works. You probably read my file ... if you
haven't though, my parents were research and design engineers. I love
knowing how mechanical things tick. This ship when you think about it,
is just a really big machine, knowing how they work is fascinating. I
don't think the rest of the bridge crew is too fond of my being there
though.'' She was keeping her answers to things that were readily and
easily known, determined not to let this spider get the better of her.
''Well, the tactical officer and Captain let me fire the turbolasers, so
that was neat. Overall I like the experience so far.''
"File?" Major Zevrin asked curiously, as
if to act like she had no idea what the young Inquisitor was speaking
of. "Has your Master been telling you about ISB boogymen making files on
everyone?" she asked wryly, before bringing the cup of caf back up to
her lips and taking a prolonged sip. "So then your background is in
technology is it?" she asked, not particularly caring, but every piece
would contribute to the larger puzzle. Of course she knew most of the
woman's background, and her experienced with Tremayne, but there was no
reason to reveal that.
Kia tilted her head, studying Zevrin.
''I'm well aware from dealings my parents had with the Empire, that you
keep records on everyone, and everything they do. I may be young, but
I'm neither ignorant or a child. Please do not insult me by treating me
as such.'' She remained perched where she was, not touching the caf.
''More so in design, I enjoy knowing how things work.''
"Oh of course you're not a child. You
are a member of the Inquisitorius," Arden said, offering a kind smile as
she paid the young girl a compliment. "I understand you recently
underwent your first trial," she said, before finishing her first cup of
the caf. "How did you find that experience?" she asked, tilting her head
slightly to the right as she waited a reply. "I see you haven't samples
the caf. Would you like something more mild ... blue milk perhaps?" she
asked, as her eyes went down to the untouched caf in front of Kia.
Kia was determined not to let this
cretin get a rise out of her, simply inclining her head at the offer of
something more child-friendly than caf. A half smile that did not reach
past her lips and she thought she was doing really good at controlling
her emotions. ''That is correct, I am an initiate of the Inquisitorius
now, as such, being handled with 'kid gloves' is incredibly demeaning.
You wouldn't want to come across that way to a fellow member of the
Intelligence community, since that is what the Inquisitorius falls
under, would you? That seems like it would be counter productive to your
duty. As for the records of my first trial, those are public to any with
the clearance for them, If you wish to know how I did, I am still alive,
that should be answer enough.''
"Fair enough," Arden said, leaning back
against the plush upholstery of the sofa, while crossing her right leg
over the left to become more comfortable. Her eyes ran over the young
woman's form before locking onto the two lightsaber hilts that she so
proudly wore. "I see you are now adorned with two lightsabers..." she
said, lifting her head softly to lock onto the young woman's eyes. "Did
you make them yourself ... using your knowledge of technology?" she asked,
as her hands ran over one another, making the unconscious gestures of
''I'm not at that stage in my training
yet, to build my own, these were obtained during my trial.'' If all this
woman wanted to do was grill her about things she probably already knew,
Kia had better things to be checking on and doing. ''I can imagine that
you're rather busy, the doings of a teenager, even one in the
Inquisitorius, can't be that interesting.''
"On the contrary, my dear Inquisitor, I
can assure you that you are the most interesting individual on board at
the moment," Arden said, quite truthfully, as she uncrossed her legs and
leaned forward towards her. "Obtained, you say? Very interesting. Do you
know who the prior owners were? Such legends make for entertaining
stories," she correctly pointed out, before reaching over to take the
youngsters cup of caf. There was no need for it to go to waste, so she
began earnestly sipping it.
''Thank you for the compliment, as
unlikely as it is to be true.'' Kia resisted the urge to touch and make
sure the weapons were still clipped to her belt, ''One of them, you
likely saw Master Thanor wearing. It was the lightsaber of the Jedi she
rescued me from. I do not know who owned the other one, it doesn't
matter really, it's mine now, and I have no intention of parting with
either for quite some time.''
"Ah, yes. The mad bomber Ty Anzion. I do
not think anyone will be forgetting him for sometime. Particularly
Maj-," Arden began, but then stopped herself noting the Clawdite likely
no longer had a rank. "Quite attached to it, are you? That is good. It
is good to be proud of the things that we have earned," she said
confidently, nodding her head as she spoke. The smile that was on her
face was now genuine, briefly obscured as she took another sip of the
Kia nodded a few times, letting her
right hand rest atop one of the two sabers, but she did not ignite or
remove either weapon from her belt, ''Did you have any other questions,
thinly veiled or otherwise? I really do have to get back my studies,
Master Thanor will be displeased if I don't get everything finished that
she assigned for the day.''
"Of course, Inquisitor," Arden said, as
she placed the cup down on the table before standing. "I do not want to
hold you up any longer," she continued, as she began to lead her towards
the door. "Do give my regards to your Master," she said politely, as she
opened the door so that she could leave. "It was a pleasure meeting you
... formally ... as I am sure we have both heard a great deal about one
another," she concluded, blushing slightly as she lowered her head
The teenager stood gracefully, allowing
herself to be led back to the door. ''Thank you for your
understanding.'' She managed to remain civil and at the least distant.
''Likewise, I do enjoy meeting new people as well.'' Kia paused to
think, or seem to, as she stepped out of the office, ''Actually I
haven't, Master Thanor doesn't speak much of those beneath her...'' It
was a remark with just enough barbs to it that it was barely on the edge
of polite, but it still made her snicker inside.
When the young Inquisitor was gone,
Arden made her way back over towards her comm panel. "It would seem that
she likes your present," she said with a soft laugh, with some
satisfaction of knowing High Inquisitor Tremayne had monitored the
developments. On her terminal was the biographical material of Jerasea
Ginhers ... the Jedi whose lightsaber the young Kia wielded. Of course
Arden had already known the answer to every question she asked, but
sometimes the reasons for asking questions are to learn the way they are
answered ... not the answers themselves.
"Indeed she does, Major," the voice of
High Inquisitor Antinnis Tremayne replied through the comm, having
monitored the entirety of the encounter from his meditation chamber
aboard the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Interrogator.
"Attachment is a dangerous path for one so powerful. Especially when she
does not yet fully realize what she has attached herself too," he said
in a serious tone, before unleashing a mocking laugh. He was quite eager
to learn if placing the lightsaber of Serine's former Master in the
hands of her Apprentice had weakened their bond, but that was as yet to
be unseen. "Be mindful, Major. I sense ... uncertainty in your region,"
and with that, free of any pleasantries or goodbyes, the transmission
terminated and silence fell over the comm.