The Inquisitor, part three
The lightsabers clashed. Taran tried to strike down her opponent, but Olen was too good at deflecting her blows. Olen narrowed her eyes.
“You are full of hate and anger. How can one so young be so full of hate?” Olen asked as she withstood more attacks from Taran’s lightsaber.
Taran didn’t respond but instead redoubled her efforts to overcome Olen’s defences. Olen began to apply more power to her blocking forcing Taran back into the corridor. As she followed her down the corridor she began to counter Taran’s attacks with her own. Taran tried to stand her ground but was forced back by the strength of Olen’s counter-attack.
“You are outclassed here. I don’t want to kill you. Maybe you should consider leaving.” Olen advised her.
“You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.” Taran responded trying to hold her ground.
“Are all you Dark Side users programmed to say that?” Olen asked her. Taran just grunted at her.
One more thrust from Olen led them both outside of the cave. In the distance Olen could see the Star Destroyers in the upper atmosphere raining down destruction onto the planet’s surface only a few miles away. A warm wind was rising.
“You brought all this destruction here just to find me?” She asked critically.
“It allowed me to locate you.” Taran admitted as the lightsaber hummed in her hands.
“Whatever the cost?” Olen asked pointedly.
“All methods to locate and destroy the last remaining Jedi will be used.” Taran informed her. Olen just shook her head sadly and then made another attack at Taran.
“You know what’s unfortunate? Underneath all that hate in you there is still a good person in there. I can feel it.” Olen said after Taran parried her blow.
“I must obey my orders!” Taran stated.
“If you let go of all that hate. I could train you.” Taran spat at Olen when she suggested this.
“A Jedi train me?” Taran looked at her incredulously while striking her lightsaber in anger. “You Jedi are the reason why I serve the Emperor! He has shown strength while all the Jedi did was show how weak they were!”
“Not true! Your mind has been poisoned by him.” Olen said as she parried a thrust from Taran.
“If it wasn’t for the Jedi my parents would be alive!” Taran screamed at her. Olen frowned.
“What do you mean?” she asked her.
“The Jedi couldn’t stop my planet from being invaded by the Separatists. They did nothing. It was days before they showed up and by then my parents and everyone I knew were dead. So you and your Order are to blame!” Taran informed her as she paced angrily and Olen deflected her blows.
“It was a galaxy-wide war. We never had enough resources to protect everyone. We couldn’t be everywhere. I’m sorry your planet got invaded by the Separatists, but there were many tragedies like this through the war, and you can’t blame the Jedi for this.” Olen explained. As they got further away from the caves she noticed the fire and destruction from the Star Destroyers were getting closer.
“Then who is to blame Jedi?” Taran taunted her.
“If you’re looking for someone to blame you should blame your master, the Emperor. He was playing both sides to gain more power. The Clone Wars wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for his machinations. Those Separatists that invaded your world were ultimately working for him.” Olen informed her. Taran looked enraged at her. She launched a violent flurry of blows onto Olen with such force that it caught Olen by surprise and she found herself backing away.
“You lie!” Taran cried vehemently. “The Emperor ended the conflict and brought peace to the galaxy!”
“Yes he brought “peace”. Once the galaxy was his after he destroyed the Jedi and all serious opposition to him was defeated.” Olen said while backing away from Taran’s relentless blows. “It was his fault and he has turned you into his own instrument of evil doing acts of destruction in his name, when it was his own hunger for power that resulted in the death of your parents and many others on both sides.” Olen was able to strike back. She saw a moment of hesitation and indecision in Taran’s movements and tried to force her back again. But then Taran renewed her attack.
“No I don’t believe it!” Taran cried. Olen saw the Star Destroyers getting even closer. A hot gale was rising. Taran’s long dark hair was flapping around her head like a dark halo.
“Are you aware your forces are getting closer? Are they coming for you to? Has your master betrayed even you?” Olen asked her. Taran looked to her side. Olen could see the concern in her eyes.
“They weren’t meant to come this far north!” She turned to face Olen. “I should kill you quickly then.” She launched another violent onslaught at Olen. Olen parried. Taran held out one hand and Olen found herself abruptly pushed back towards the caves. Taran advanced on her.
“You know my words are true. Your master is not on your side. He has manipulated into becoming this monster and he will dispense with you when you’re no longer needed.” Olen warned her. Again she saw the indecision on Taran’s face. “Come away with me! I will train you. I will help you get rid of all that hate you carry in your heart. It is eating you away.” Taran looked at her and then with a look of resolve she renewed her attacks. The Jedi was stripping away layers inside her. She could feel the old hurts, and the gaping black emptiness inside her. It was making her feel naked. It had to stop.
“There is no saving me.” she said as spun around catching Olen by surprise. Taran’s red blade plunged straight into Olen’s chest. Olen dropped to the ground with a look of surprise on her face. Taran then dropped to her knees beside the dead figure seeing the gaping hole left in her chest. For the first time since she was that small frightened child living in the ruins of her home tears ran down her face. She started to cry as the world behind her exploded. She cried for her lost childhood, her dead parents, and the evil she had done in their name. She continued crying as the turbolaser blasts got ever closer.
She had followed her orders. The Jedi was dead. But she hadn’t passed the test.