T-minus 12: Grand Inquisitor Kael

"I had misgivings like everybody else, but I thought (the destruction of the Death Star) just might be a good thing for the Empire after all when I saw how it scared the hell out of The Emperor."

Remark attributed to Grand Inquisitor Kael in "Prelude to War, A History of the Rebellion against the Empire." by Malachi Sedrik

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The prisoner screamed like it was the end of the world, but Inquisitor Jerec would not let him die. He administered a mixture of pain killers, bacta and a small dose of kolto, a rare and wonderful healing agent that was slowly fading from the galaxy to the prisoner. "Now now now...dont want you doing anything foolish like dying on me before I get my answers now, do we?" the cruel Inquisitor said playfully.

Located on the planet Prakith deep in the fifth sector of Imperial space, The Citadel Inquisitorius was a dark, fear-inspiring tower jutting forebodingly from the mountains. Inside, it had features similar to those of religious structures found galaxywide, with vaulted ceilings and massive obsidian columns; it also contained a number of detention cells and torture chambers used to interrogate the most resilient and dangerous prisoners. Right now, Inquisitor Jerec was torturing a particularly resistant soldier of the Rebellion, who refused to simply give up names, only the names, of the survivors of the Battle of Yavin.

After repeated doses of the universal truth serum Bavo Six and many tortures, the Zabrak prisoner refused to break. Zabrak were notoriously resistant to pain, but this was taking far too long. Jerec was becoming more and more frustrated, and soon, Emperor Palpatine would want results. Or worse yet, Grand Inquisitor Kael would appear and take over the interrogation. How that insufferable know-it-all infuriated Jerec. How that ship-building non military half-breed freak had achieved the rank of Grand Inquisitor was beyond him. Once again, Jerec administered the electro-shock staff to the Zabrak, enjoying the creatures screams like the purest music in the world.

Finally, after hours and hours of torture, the Zabrak finally succumbed to unconsciousness. Disgusted, Jerec stormed out of the interrogation chamber and walked right into Grand Inquisitor Kael.

Jerec paused, and bowed at the waist. "Grand Inquisitor... this is a surprise... what brings you here from Kuat?"

Grand Inquisitor Kael smiled a rather pleasant smile. A near-human looking half-breed, Kael had facial features that could be considered handsome. He stood six foot two, was well built, and the only thing that mared his perfect human looks was his snow white hair and translucent looking eyes. Many said he was discendant of a human-Arkadian mixture, but that had yet to be proven. Kael looked at the door of the interrogation cell and sighed. "How long have you been torturing that pitiful creature? Six... seven weeks now? And he still refuses to talk."

Jerec stiffened at the Grand Inquisitor's questioning. "He is my prisoner, to do with as I please. He will give me the information that I want, or he will die a slow, painful death."

Kael reached under his red lined black robes, and pulled out a datapad. "Unfortunatly for you, Inquisitor Jerec. I have new orders from Emperor Palpatine himself. He has ordered me to take over questioning of the prisoner."

"What!?" Jerec said, snatching the datapad and reading it over carefully. Kael shook his head sadly. "I apologize, Jerec.. but orders are orders. I am to use any means necessary to glean whatever information I can from your prisoner. If you would excuse me." he walked around the dumbfounded Jerec and entered the interrogation cell, and closed the door behind him, leaving the infuriated Inquisitor Jerec in his wake.

Jerec read the datapad again, just to make sure there wasnt a loophole or something he could use to protest to the Emperor. His personal honor was at stake here, after his near death experience with that suicidal X-wing pilot and the thrice cursed Princeling...once he had the names, he would begin his hunt for the survivors... and especially whoever was in that X-wing..

Inquisitor Jerec turned to stare at the door to the interrogation cell and chuckled. Grand Inquisitor Kael might be good, but it would take weeks, maybe months before the Zabrak would talk. He turned to walk away, but the interrogation cell door opened and Grand Inquisitor Kael emerged with another datapad. "The names you are looking for are Jek Porkins, from Taanab... Wedge Antilles from Corellia, Keyan Farlander from Adumar, and a Leia Skywalker from Tatooine... oh yes.. he even threw in the name of the pilot of the freighter... a Han Solo from Corellia, and in the ARC-170 that actually destroyed the Death Star was... you are not going to believe this... General Obi-wan Kenobi."

Jerec stood aghast at how quickly Kael had managed to pry the information from his prisoner.. "... how!?" he asked, dumbfounded. "You were in there less than ten minutes!"

Grand Inquisitor Kael shrugged. "I was ordered to use any means necessary... thats all you need to know." he turned to leave Jerec standing there, but the Miralukan followed behind him in awe. "No, no.. this was my prisoner.. I demand to know how you broke him! Did you kill him? How did you do it?"

Grand Inquisitor Kael paused in midstep and turned to face the eyeless Inquisitor. "You will not like it. In fact, you will protest, threaten to take it up with the Emperor, and all sorts of nonsense. And no, I did not kill him... in fact, he is the picture of good health."

"Protest?" Jerec asked, looking confused. "You got him to talk! I now have the names I need for my vengean...Wait." he looked over the names on the datapad. "Where is Prince Organa? why isnt he on the list? I faced him during the battle! I was sure of it!"

Grand Inquisitor Kael shook his head. "Unfortunatly, Prince Organa has never flown a snubfighter in his life. It seems you faced a... " he looked closely at the datapad. "A Keyan Farlander... apparently he is an incredible pilot. He was the only survivor in a Y-wing fighter."

"Impossible!" Jerec said. "Whoever was flying that fighter was strong in the force! I could feel it!"

Kael nodded politely. "Yes.. you did. Apparently, Farlander is an untrained force user."

Jerec nodded slowly.. "Thats besides the point... how did you break my prisoner?"

Kael sighed. "Very well, Jerec... on one condition."

"Name it!" Jerec demanded, his frustration showing.

"You will withhold any complaining you have of my interrogation techniques. You will not speak of it to anyone ever.. not even to the Emperor. If you do so, I will consider it a breach of the trust I have in you.." his hands touched the hilt of his two lightsabers on his belt.. one was a pure white metal, while the other was pitch black as obsidian. 'And that... will be a very, very big mistake. I promise you."

Jerec nodded slowly. Everyone knew that Grand Inquitor Kael was one of the best lightsaber swordsman in the galaxy.. second only to Darth Vader, and possibly Emperor Palpatine. "Very well... you have my word. I will speak of this to no one."

Kael nodded. "Thank you, my friend." He reached into his robes again, and pulled forth a small holoprojector.. he activated the unit and a small hologram of a rather pretty female Zabrak and a little girl laughing and playing together in a field somewhere appeared. "I simply showed him this, let him know that I knew where his family was... and promised him he could join them if he gave me the information I wanted."

"WHAT!?" Jerec almost exploded. "Your going to free him!? He's my prisoner! To do with as I please! He is a Rebel traitor scheduled to be executed! I will not..." he shut his mouth when he saw Kael's hands grasp the two lightsabers on his belt and swallowed hard. As skilled as he was with a lightsaber, he knew better than to face Grand Inquitor Kael. "I... I apologize, Grand Inquisitor. I forget my place."

Kael nodded slowly. "Im glad you quickly remembered. Yes, I intend to free him. There will be no more torture, and he is not to be executed. I gave my word, Jerec.. and you of all people know that once I give my word...I always... always... keep it."

Jerec could feel the fear that crept though him at those words. "Yes... yes my lord." he said quickly. "Will there be anything else, my lord?"

Kael nodded. "Yes.. it seems that the destruction of Emperor Palpatine's personal playtoy at the hands of a Jedi has frightened him immensely. He is calling a meeting of all the Grand Admirals and their requisite fleets. He has ordered me to step up production of capital ships and begin creating new ones. I want you to go to that meeting as my personal liason. Listen closely Jerec. There is much to be learned on Imperial Center... and many opportunities to be had."

Jerec still bristled at how bruskly his prisoner had been taken from him... and the thought of him being freed was nearly unbearable... but being chosen as Grand Inquisitor Kael's personal liason lessened the sting a bit. "Thank you, my lord." Jerec said, bowing at his waist. "I will leave right away."

"Good. Give Vice Admiral Thrawn my regards." Grand Inquisitor Kael said with a smile. "And remember, Jerec... you gave your word as well."

Jerec nodded quickly. "Not one word, my lord." and with that, he turned to leave.

Kael watched the Miralukan inquisitor leave and finally reentered the prisoner's cell. The Zabrak looked up at him with hope filled eyes. "Did he buy it? Did he take the information?"

Grand Inquisitor Kael nodded slowly. "Yes. You will be freed. And tell Mon Mothma that Operation Mimicry is proceeding as planned."