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The Young Inquisitor - Krae Varo

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
Krae Varo


Krae stood motionless in the massive library. The very feeling of the place haunted every part of her being. She didn't like it in here. She didn't like it one bit. And on top of that, Cronos wanted her to know pretty much everything about this "Inquisition" and "Atrisian Empire", two things that she hadn't even known existed until TODAY, by the time he got back.
Krae sighed, rubbing her temples. Calm down, Krae. You can do this. She walked from shelf to shelf, picking up any datapads that said anything about the Inquisition or the Atrisian Empire. By the time she sat down at a table in the back of the room, she had at least 100 datapads, and that was after she put at least 80 back on their shelves.

Krae sat in the room, reading for hours. There was just.. SO MUCH!

Eventually, Krae's head was cradled on her arms on the table. Her eyes were heavy, and datapads were strewn all around her.
________________________
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
I returned to the library to find Krae half asleep in a sea of datapads. Most any other Inquisitor would've punished her severely for such an infraction, and I knew that one day, I would have to do just that.

It was simply our way. Success was rewarded with a continued existence. Failure was rewarded with pain, if not death. Falling asleep when she'd been instructed to study?

That rated a flogging at the least. Electrocution at worse.

I did neither. With a wave of my hand the datapads returned to their rightful places on the shelves. I gave her a firm mental "shake", broadcasting my words directly to her mind, my voice unnaturally loud.

Wake up, Krae, or I'll dump you in a vat of boiling sewage.

She wasn't quite asleep, and I would never dump her in a vat of boiling sewage, but she didn't know that. I couldn't continue to make allowances for her, though. She would be crippled, in the long run, and she would never be an effective inquisitor.

It wasn't in me to be unnecessarily cruel, not to a child. No - my cruelty, when it came, would be a very necessary thing.
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae jumped out of her seat, landing on her feet in a stand of attention. Her eyes were wide.
"I did not do it, master," She said instinctively, almost forgetting that she was not on Tattooine, and that her last master was no longer with her.
Those kind of threats came often back then, and sometimes they were fulfilled. She looked down at the table, noticing that it was empty. And then she saw Cronos.
"No......No, no, no......I fell asleep?" Krae smacked her palm to her forehead. "Well, that's just GREAT........." She said. Turning to Cronos, she looked to her feet. "So, what should I do? I'm pretty strong, so I could carry heavy things up and down millions of stairs for a few hours. My fighting needs improvement, so you could always spar with me and every time I fumble cut me with your blade. Or, you could use heated rods to burn me. I've had that done before, too......" As she said this, she shook a little bit. She always had to suggest appropriate punishments to her masters, mainly because what they always wanted to do to her would potentially kill her, and they didn't want their most talented and sought after slave to be wasted on a thing as simple as a slow death. Krae knew that Cronos wouldn't kill her. If he had wanted to, he would've done so already. Even though the thought of torture never ceased to scare her to her core, she knew, somehow, that this was the punishment for doing what she did. So Krae simply stood before him, waiting for his decision, trying to fight down the blood-curdling fear rising up inside of her.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
__________________
She snapped awake, leaping from her feet to stand at attention. Her first words wore a denial.

"I did not do it, master."​
Didn't do what, I wondered? It was clear she wasn't all there. Maybe she'd been dreaming? Her distress was apparent - I didn't need the Force to see that much. Her eyes, still glazed over from her impromptu nap, focused on me, and I saw the cogs turning in her mind as her eyes cleared and she realized where she was.

"No! No, no, no... I fell asleep?"​
She smacked her head in a classic display of self-deprecation. I raised an eyebrow at the display, equal parts amused and perturbed.

"Well, that's just GREAT!"​
Her eyes fell to her feet, no doubt to hide the fear I felt building within her.

"So, what should I do? I'm pretty strong, so I could carry heavy things up and down millions of stairs for a few hours. My fighting needs improvement, so you could always spar with me and every time I fumble cut me with your blade. Or, you could use heated rods to burn me. I've had that done before, too..."​
The longer she spoke, the worse I felt. Perhaps I wasn't as far removed from the Jedi teachings of Cronos Aegir as I had hoped? I fed my discomfort to the Force, and motioned for her to sit.

"You aren't ready to fight me," I began, "even in a spar." I joined her at the table, taking a seat on the opposite side. Head tilted, I studied her for several long seconds, trying to ascertain the best course of action. She was no stranger to pain and discomfort - I could see that now - but I couldn't help but wonder what she'd been through in her short life, to go so far as to suggest punishments. Her slip - calling me 'master' - was telling enough. "Tell me what you've learned. Then we'll decide on a punishment."
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae nodded, still not looking at him. "I've learned that it's wrong to steal food, to try and help someone escape, to try and escape by myself, to tamper with security systems on force cages, to meddle in affairs that don't concern me, and as of today, to leave the Inquisition and fall asleep while studying." She started nervously playing with her lakku, knowing not what to expect as her punishment this time.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
______________​
"I've learned that it's wrong to steal food, to try and help someone escape, to try and escape by myself, to tamper with security systems on force cages, to meddle in affairs that don't concern me, and as of today, to leave the Inquisition and fall asleep while studying."​

Her answer was... adequate. She was understandably nervous, and probably suspected some sort of grim consequence for falling asleep, for she never looked up, not even once.
"Tell me about the Empire's history. Why we do what we do." I waited a pause. "And look me in the eyes when you speak to me."
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae's eyes snapped up to his. The fear was evident in her eyes. She swallowed. "Throughout history, the Empire has worked toward order, stability, and diplomacy. The Republic cannot see the good behind our actions. They are always trying to disband us, to cease our efforts for galactic peace. That is why we must thwart them. They stand in the way of peace. As do any who are against us. We do what we do for the good of the galaxy, and its people as a whole." She recited what she had learned from the datapads as best she could remember. She'd only ever felt this afraid when she was 5. She had tried to take bread from her master's kitchen and was caught. She remembered the icy fingers of dread lacing around her insides as she was sentenced to her very first beating.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
____________​
Her fear was palpable, shining through the light of her eyes.
"Throughout history, the Empire has worked toward order, stability, and diplomacy. The Republic cannot see the good behind our actions. They are always trying to disband us, to cease our efforts for galactic peace. That is why we must thwart them. They stand in the way of peace. As do any who are against us. We do what we do for the good of the galaxy, and its people as a whole."​

I held her gaze throughout her speech, revealing nothing of my thoughts. From the look on her face, her imagination did more to stoke the flames of her fear than I ever could. I let the silence drag, leaning back into the chair.

"Is that what you believe?" I finally asked, truly curious. "That we kill for the good of the universe? For the greater good?" I leaned forward. "Don't lie. I will know if do."

I felt something shift in the immeasurable rivers of the Force, a stream of possibility laid bare, a branch, arcing away on its own path.

This was a Shatterpoint. I could perceive them, when my mind was open to the sensation. Interpreting them was another story entirely. In this instance, however, the break was obvious. I had once asked myself the same question I now posed to her.

Her answer would dictate our relationship from herein. She would either truly be my apprentice, be the successor to my ideals, or she would simply be another Inquisitorial Agent, as bland and black as the rest.
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae looked down thinking. What did she think of the Empire? After a moment, she met his gaze once more.
"To be perfectly honest, I don't know. On Tattooine, The Republic, The Empire......They don't exist out there. You spend so much time trying to survive another day that nothing else matters. But, when I left, I started learning more and more about the Empire and the Republic. From what I've seen them do to each other, and to the people who get in their way.......... It shocks me. Everyone always says the Empire's evil. Well, the Republic can be evil, too. I guess, what I'm saying is, maybe if there are more people that care about actually finding peace instead of waging war, there might be hope for the galaxy after all....."
She fell silent, thinking about what she had said. It was honestly what she'd been thinking for a long time. If people actually started trying to fight for peace, instead of trying to destroy each other, maybe then the galaxy wouldn't be as broken up as it was right now.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
_______________________​
"To be perfectly honest, I don't know. On Tattooine, The Republic, The Empire... they don't exist out there. You spend so much time trying to survive another day that nothing else matters. But, when I left, I started learning more and more about the Empire and the Republic. From what I've seen them do to each other, and to the people who get in their way... it shocks me. Everyone always says the Empire's evil. Well, the Republic can be evil, too. I guess, what I'm saying is, maybe if there are more people that care about actually finding peace instead of waging war, there might be hope for the galaxy after all..."​
"The Empire is evil. As is the Republic, the Confederacy, and every other multi-planetary regime. Nonetheless, they are necessary entities - however bad the galaxy is, without order, all would fall to chaos."

I stood in one smooth motion, staring down at the young Rutian Twi'lek. She hadn't truly answered my question, but I knew what her answer would be. She wasn't a killer. Not yet.

"The Empire has many enemies," I began, voice mellow. "The Republic is only one of them. But I'm not concerned with the Republic." How to make her understand? How to make her see? "You will be ordered to kill in the future. Ordered to kill men, women - perhaps even children. Any and all Force-adepts unwilling to serve the Empire are subject to death. People just like you." I leaned across the table, resting my palms against the polished chrome. "How does that make you feel, Krae, knowing that you will be a harbinger of death?"
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae slowly looked down at her lap, her brow furrowing deeply. To kill innocent people.......To take a life in general......She had witnessesd that. She had seen what her masters did to slaves who could never be sold because they were too old or too young. To even watch it made her feel disgusted and angry with herself. But to actually do it............ "It makes me feel........ EVIL........." She said, clenching her teeth to keep from screaming. She balled her hands into fists, sadness and anger at war with her insides. she couldn't do this.......She couldn't kill............ But she HAD to. WHY DID SHE HAVE TO?!
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
_______________________​

She didn't have to speak. Her thoughts and feelings were confirmation enough, and unbidden, a smile blossomed on my face. Her presence in the Force waned and waxed as she worked through her emotions, and I was attuned to it all, intensely focused on this precise moment.

"It makes me feel... evil," she finally answered, her teeth clenched tight, hands curled into fists.​
Her feelings were strong, too strong, it seemed, threatening to overwhelm her. I remained silent while she worked through them, witnessing what had moments before only been a stream of possibility grow into a river of certainty.

"We take that evil unto ourself," I said softly, "so that others don't have to." There would be no punishment. Not tonight. "Your quarters are near mine," I began, standing upright, "in the northern wing of the fourth floor. You should rest... your training will begin first thing in the morning, and it will be the most difficult experience of your life."

I reached out to touch her mind, lacing my thoughts with hers. Do you remember what it felt like to behold the Force? To feel that power flowing through you? Seek that sensation now. Give your worries and anxieties to the Force.

Let your soul be cleansed.

I didn't expect her to succeed on her first try, not fully, anyway, but it was a very necessary step down a long and arduous path. She would depend on the Force more and more in the days to come, to ease her pains and banish her fears. She was innocent, pure of heart and soul, and this life would either break her spirit or strengthen it.

I hoped I wasn't making a mistake. Sometimes it was better to die than to break.
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae slowly rose from her seat. She closed her eyes. He said to give herself to the Force. Her breathing had quickened from the emotions she was feeling. She focused on that first. Breathe, Krae. BREATHE............... She took deep breathes, settling herself. Next, she focused on her thoughts. Her brain was jumbled, crammed with so many things that she thought she might explode. As her breathing slowed, Krae began to clear her mind. One by one, she let go of her thoughts, let them drift away into nothingness. She began to feel something inside of her that wasn't there before. It felt....... Light.........And warm. She stood very still, letting the feeling spread through her. It filled every place, every hole and chasm in her body until she felt as if she was wrapped in a comfortable blanket. The world around her echoed back to her. In the next room, she could hear people having a friendly discussion. Next to her, she could hear Cronos's quiet breathing. Far away, she could hear someone training with swords. And then, she heard voices. They were so quiet, whispering things that she couldn't comprehend. Amidst all of this activity, however, Krae had never felt more at peace than she was at that moment....

@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
___________________​
"What you feel is the lightside of the Force," I explained, observing her with my own Force sense. As her consciousness expanded beyond the limits of her body the Force filled the void left behind, imbuing her with its calming energies. "Tomorrow, you will learn to feel the darkside. The lightside is peace; the darkside is chaos."

I stepped away from the table, watching her now with only my eyes. "I will teach you to wield each, though I suspect you will favor the lightside." Like me. With a heart like hers, it was an easy conclusion to make. "You will meditate on the Force before you go to sleep and after you wake up, everyday, until I tell you otherwise."

Fleetingly, I reached out with my senses, and touched my mind to hers, to guide her back to the here and now. Her fear was gone. "What you feel, that connection between all living things... that is the Unifying Force. I will also teach you to observe and interpret the Living Force. Centuries ago they were expressed as two separate ideals, but I have come to learn that they are merely facets of a single whole.

Now come. I will show you to your quarters."

I swept from the room, heading towards the stairway that led to the northern wing of the Citadel. "Any questions?"
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae followed him quickly. "Yeah. My training.......I'm going to have to face my worst fears, aren't I?" She said, nervousness in her tone. Somehow, she knew she would have to. That alone began to disturb her.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
___________________​
"You worse fears," I agreed, "and things you've yet to even discover. There is much to be afraid of in the universe."

All quarters at the Citadel were beyond spartan in their decor, with little more than a bed and a place to put clothes. Personal effects were kept at a bare minimum, though some allowances could be made. I typed in the code to access the north wing, stepping briskly through the revealed opening.

"By the time I'm done with you, however, you will fear nothing. Not even death."

The halls were wide, dark, and empty, save for the menacing statues lining the walls, the same statues that dominated the foyer on the first level. They were twisted, ugly things, and I didn't see the need for them... yet they remained.

Krae's quarters were across from my own, down a narrow corridor that turned off from the hall of statues. Once we stood before my own quarters, I turned to face her, nodding my head towards the other room. "Your quarters are across the hall," I began, "but before you go to sleep, I want you to tell me of your past. I saw things in your mind, places and people... you were a slave, weren't you?"

I wondered how she had escaped. She was young, and didn't seem particularly violent, or rebellious. Had the Force enabled her to seek freedom?
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae heaved a sigh. "I was afraid you'd say that..." She breathed. She cleared her throat and began.

"I was born on Tattooine, I think. Or at least, I was raised there. My mom was a slave. I never knew my dad. since I was a kid, I've always been good with fixing things and stuff like that. My first master found out about it, and let me work in his shop for a while. I didn't realize that my mom was....... jealous. I know, right? Jealous of her own daughter... So anyway, she started getting onto me for little things like not picking up my room and stuff. You know, little stuff. But then, it got bad. She started feeding me less. She would blow up in my face at the worst moments. Finally, she just.......Boiled over. She smacked me so hard I nearly went out cold! My master sold me a few days later. That was the last time I ever saw her. And I couldn't have been happier."
She took a moment to let her words sink in, and to answer any of his questions.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
____________________​
I listened to her story, absorbing the words as she spoke them. I couldn't imagine turning against my own child, but I had never had a child, or even been one, for that matter.

"And what happened after your 'master' sold you? Why did you suggest punishments when I caught you sleeping?" I suspected there was more to her story than the little she had told me. I will pull the memories from your mind if I must.
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae continued. "I was bought by some scum bag who could only afford me because he'd won a pod race or something. He was ruthless. Everything I did, he found a reason to punish me. The first time was the worst. He burned me with heated rods on my bare skin." She lifted the bottom of her shirt a little to show some of the scars.
"It all escalated from there. He'd cut me, beat me, make me carry things that would make me fall and be unable to get up. He even made me hold my hands over a fire until he said stop...." She quivered at the memory. "I was lucky to survive him. I suggested punishments towards the end, just so he wouldn't pick something that would kill me. When he lost a bet to a Hutt, I was practically thanking the slug for winning.
I spent my time doing maintenance on his protocol droids, you know, the ones that get damaged when they translate an insult. While I worked, I met this little boy I liked to call Speedster. He was about seven or eight, and he was always running off to do errands for the Hutt. He was really fast. Anyway, someone accused him of stealing some of the Hutt's goods. I knew better than anyone that he couldn't do that. But that slug wouldn't listen! He sentenced Speedster to death! They were gonna throw him to a rancor! A rancor for a kid! I couldn't just let that happen. So the night before his execution, I plan to get us out. We get a good 20 miles away before they start hunting us down. Speedster got away, but I was caught. I was about to do the rancor in his place when low and behold, a Jedi happens to find me. He buys me from the slug, and once we're off planet, he frees me! when he told me that I was Force Sensitive, I didn't believe a word of it. He didn't try to show me, like you did. We got to Coruscant. He offers to train me, and I refuse. And since the Jedi are so nice, he lets me go. The rest is history..."
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 

Qhorin Solas

Guest
Q
@[member="Krae Varo"]​
______________​

Her story was certainly enlightening. It explained a lot. Her naiveté, the things she said, her reactions to my threats... She was no stranger to pain either, and those past experiences would serve her well when I taught her to access the darkside. The desperation and fear born of pain made it easy to latch onto the black energies of the darkside of the Force.

"Is your former owner still alive?" Killing him would help her harden her heart and strengthen her resolve for what was to come. From what I had heard, he deserved to die.
 

Krae Varo

I ain't no kid! Who do you think you are, my mothe
Character
Krae shrugged glaring at her shoes. "I don't know, and I don't care. If he is, then I can't wait to finish training. I'm gonna........" She said the last part through clenched teeth, punching a fist against her palm. "He will never see me as his slave again. I'll give him EXACTLY the kind of Hell he deserves, you mark my words...." She growled.
@[member="Cronos Aegir"]
 
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