The Imperial Palace on Coruscant – One month since the Conclave on Kessel
From under the hood Inquisitor Raeynil Ashgnar eyed the two other people summoned to the Emperor’s office with suspicion. Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, stood at the Emperor’s side, his over two meters towering over the others in the room. Still much uncontrolled anger hidden under that mask, I see, Raeynil thought. No wonder Kessel almost proved your demise. The Inquisitor’s eyes narrowed. Your disobedience proved useful that time around, but attempt to undermine the foundations of the Empire again, and your grave shall be at my feet.
“My Lord, everything is going as planned thus-far. The girl seems to believe everything she has been told by her Master. Her loyalty to him is unwavering. And with him in the service of the Empire, we can be guaranteed of her loyalty to you as well,” the man in the seat next to Raeynil reported to the Emperor. “Things are going well.”
Ashgnar turned to watch him. Giman Tanár, an at first sight frail looking Shi’ido and one of the few non-Humans to have a position in the higher echelons of the Empire, this time did not hide the blue skin and slightly coned head that were distinctive for his species’ natural form. Don’t think we’ll let our guard down just because you’re not wearing your mask. An alien, your loyalty is even more questionable than Vader’s. I’m watching you.
For a moment Tanár gave the Inquisitor an uneasy look, then quickly turned back to Palpatine.
“Good. Very good.” The Emperor nodded at Tanár approvingly. “Inquisitor?” He looked at Ashgnar. “Is there something you have to say?”
Raeynil made a short nod. “Indeed there is, Your Majesty. I must object to Tanár’s conclusion.”
“What are you talking ab…”
Palpatine raised his hand to interrupt the Shi’ido. “Do tell us, Inquisitor Ashgnar. What seems to be the problem?”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Ashgnar bowed. “Tanár may be correct in saying the girl Shamila’s loyalty is very strong. But…” The Inquisitor sat upright in the seat. “In the past weeks I have seen her being treated overly soft in her current care, and she is growing weak because of it, both mentally and physically. Loyalty and weakness are only a viable combination if we were breading fodder. And…” Raeynil looked at Vader. “I believe that is not what Lord Vader had in mind for her when he took her here. Is it now, Lord Vader?”
“It is not,” Vader replied shortly. His voice sounded calm, but Raeynil could feel the Dark Lord’s gaze piercing from under his mask. The Inquisitor’s thin lips just formed a mocking, unnoticeable smirk under the shadow of the hood.
“She receives rigorous training daily!” Tanár exclaimed in an irritated tone while looking at Ashgnar from the corner of his eye. “I can guarantee you, my Lord Emperor, the girl is n…”
“Putting aside the borderline pampering treatment she recieves outside of it, that so-called training you speak of is worthless,” Raeynil interrupted icily. “Because she looks and acts like an innocent little girl, she is seen and treated like one. I, however, see the full potential that lies within her, much of it untapped. If this potential is to be tapped to the fullest, if we are to transform this girl into the most effective weapon in the Empire’s arsenal yet…” The Inquisitor’s invisible gaze fell on a nervous turning Vader during the short pause that followed. “We are to be harsh, and unforgiving, so that she may become this way too. She must know what it feels like to experience true pain, to have one’s mind broken, to feel the touch of death, so that she may bring that upon those who stand in our way. She must be ready to fight, to kill and die for the Empire, in any way necessary, in any given situation, at any given moment, and without question. To be the Emperor’s blade, delivering swift justice wherever His Majesty demands, that is to be her purpose. A blade so sharp it could cut through anything in its path, without breaking. A weapon our current smith is, unable to forge.”