In the finale to episode three of this “Star Wars” fanfiction, ISB Agent Kaila Ores confronts her mother, mistress to Grand Moff Tretyro.
Jedi Nile Chinelo and her Rebel allies learn the identity of the new Force-sensitive Ahsoka mentioned.
Want to read from the beginning? Go to Episode 1.1 here! Go to Episode 3.1 here!
An hour after meeting with Grand Moff Tretyro and Naboo Queen Dalné, ISB Agent Kaila Ores finished refreshing herself in one of Naboo’s high rise residences just south of the royal palace. A corner lot, it had a beautiful view of the city to one side.
The other side held an equally impressive view of the forested areas and lakes just outside the city limits.
Standing in the main of the three rooms, Kaila took in the view of the forested areas.
It’d been quite a while since she’d been able to enjoy a bit of nature unbound. Her assignments were mostly urban-based or in regions so remote rebellion was something you did for amusement.
The sound of a chime interrupted her solitude. She’d expected the interruption sooner. Moving to the residence’s entrance door, Kaila checked the security monitor.
Unsurprised by the identity of her guest, she pressed the door release button and allowed the visitor in.
Looking at the woman outside was like looking into a mirror — if that mirror also added thirty or so years to Kaila’s near thirty years.
Contrasting Kaila’s sullen expression, the female visitor wore a beaming smile, though she used enough cosmetics — both surgical and cosmetic — to maintain the smile’s brilliance.
Kaila had lived with the woman for most of her life. She knew the look was merely a lovely façade, all the better for appearing in the Naboo court alongside her betrothed the Grand Moff.
“Hello, mother,” Kaila said, no warmth in her voice.
Kaila’s mother, Imeda Ores, looked her daughter up and down. Kaila had changed into local attire that buried her athletic frame worse than her ISB uniform.
“Not what I would have chosen for you,” Imeda said. She then took her daughter’s chin in her hand, turning the woman’s face to get a better look at her. “And are those shadows beneath your eyes? Don’t they allow you rest at the ISB?”
Gently removing Imeda’s hand from her chin, Kaila said, “Well at least you haven’t commented on the single pound I’ve gained since I last saw you.”
Imeda glanced at her daughter’s figure again. “No, you’ve maintained your attractive shape. Thought that outfit does its best to hide that.” Imeda walked past Kaila and into the residence.
“With all your running about the galaxy for Palpatine,” Imeda said, “how will you find a man to —”
“Domesticate me?” Kaila said, closing the door behind her mother.
Imeda looked to her daughter. “I was going to say take care of you. Maybe even make me a grandmother. Your father and I —”
“Do you mean my birth father?” Kaila asked, joining Imeda in the main room. “Or Grand Moff Tretyro?”
If Imeda could sense the disdain in her daughter’s words, she chose to ignore it. “Still on that, I see.” Imeda took a seat on one of the plush, earth-toned sofas. Kaila stood in front of her.
“How far back does your little romance go anyway?” Kaila asked. She took a seat opposite her mother. “Was it after father’s death? Or before?”
Imeda’s eyes narrowed as her pleasant façade began to show cracks. Kaila leaned forward in her seat as she said, “Or did it start much earlier? Maybe when he was framed and sent to jail for a crime —”
Pointing a finger at Kaila, Imeda said a bit too forcefully, “You would do well to remember Jasper —”
The daughter feigned surprise at her mother’s use of the name Jasper. “Oh, so you’re using his first name in conversations now? Not —” and here Kaila mocked pageantry — “Grand Moff Tretyro!”
“Jasper,” Imeda said with emphasis, “took care of you and your brother quite well when your father was in prison.”
“Father wouldn’t have been in jail had it not been for Tretyro.”
Imeda’s pointing finger turned into a fist. She lowered it to her side. She leaned back, melting into the sofa. Her pleasant façade hadn’t returned, but her anger had subsided in the face of her daughter’s accusation. “There is no proof of that.”
“Because he destroyed it!” Kaila said in a fury that attracted a shocked look from her mother.
Kaila hesitated. Her head turned slightly as she looked at her mother as if for the first time. “Or did you destroy the evidence when I had Ian gave it to you?”
Imeda rose to her feet faster than Kaila thought she could manage. The elder woman was about to shout but restrained herself. She balled both her hands into fists at her side. “No. I will not let you do this again,” she whispered.
Kaila stood to confront her mother. At just under two meters tall, she was a head taller than her mother, adding to the intimidation. To her credit, Kaila’s mother maintained her composure.
“I’m going to take him down, mother. If you support him or —”
“You listen to me, daughter!”
Kaila recoiled in surprise, but not because her mother matched her fury. It was the opposite. Imeda’s words were nearly a whisper as if she wanted to conceal what she was about to say.
Kaila stared at her mother as the woman continued.
“Tretyro is a powerful man in the Empire. He has the ear of the emperor himself. If you try anything —”
“I have the law on my side,” Kaila said in a subdued tone.
“The emperor is the law! By extension, so is Tretyro! Do you think the queen can save you?”
Kaila searched her mother’s face, looking for the cause for her sudden slide into fear. “She is the law too,” the ISB agent said, her voice lacking a sense of confidence.
“So was Queen Apailana! Until Palpatine and Tretyro had her assassinated!”
“She wasn’t assassinated!” Kaila said, regaining her investigative tact in the face of her mother’s bold statement. “The queen harbored Jedi fugitives, the penalty for which is death!”
Mother moved closer to daughter and shared a conspiratorial whisper. “Or was that simply the excuse used to have stormtroopers raid the royal palace and force her into the street where she could be executed by a sniper blast?”
The junior Ores was to speak, but Imeda’s revelation stopped the words in her throat. Knowing what she knew of Tretyro’s methods, Kaila realized her mother’s accusation wasn’t out of the realm.
Imeda turned from Kaila and walked to the window overlooking the city. “Think what he could do to your brother, Kaila.” Looking over her shoulder at her daughter, Imeda added, “Does he deserve the emperor’s wrath?”
Kaila turned away from her mother and sat back on the sofa. She wrung her hands together while her gaze fell to the floor. Moments later, she felt her mother’s hand on her shoulder. Kaila looked up.
In this rare moment, her mother looked sympathetic.
“I have a good life here, Kaila,” Imeda said. “You’re a respected member of the ISB, your brother a fighter pilot for the Imperial Navy. Both are positions you earned with help from Tretyro.”
Kaila turned away from her mother. Imeda touched Kaila’s cheek and turned her face to her. “All I ask is that you think about the repercussions of challenging Tretyro. Not just for you.”
The ISB agent inhaled deeply. “I am, mother.” Kaila stood and paced, her back to Imeda. “The man is corrupt.”
Imeda laughed. “Is there anyone in the Empire who isn’t?”
Turning on her mother, Kaila said, “What he did to my father is unforgivable.”
Imeda approached her daughter. “And revenge is the answer? The destruction of your family is the answer?”
Kaila’s gaze drifted from her mother. For a brief moment, she listened for her mother’s thoughts. To her surprise, Imeda was truly concerned for her daughter’s welfare.
However, she was equally concerned about what would happen to her should Tretyro fall.
The ISB agent took her mother’s hands in hers. “Mother, when Tretyro falls —”
Imeda tried to interrupt but Kaila shook her head, cutting her off. Kaila continued.
“When Tretyro falls, I will insulate you and Ian from any potential blowback. That’s what I do as an officer of the Security Bureau.” Kaila drew her mother in close.
“If I learn you have in any way aided him in his corruption…”
Kaila let her words hang between mother and daughter.
Listening to her mother’s thoughts, Kaila knew that when Tretyro fell, her mother may go down with him. It may turn out that Kaila’s father was that one honest man in all the Empire.
Kaila hated that he would not at all approve of her method of honoring his memory by destroying the man who took him away.
She wished she could find another honest person in the Empire to save her from falling to the darkness necessary for her mission.
Unfortunately, she may not have the time to wait for them.
Back aboard the Bevryder, Nile Chinelo’s head hung low. Her companions Piani and Corana sat patiently in the ship’s living area, giving the Jedi time to gather herself.
On a table between the women, the holographic image of Ahsoka Tano did the same.
Corana listened but was also occupied with a datapad running a decoding program.
“I slipped past the remaining clone troopers and reached their transport,” Nile eventually said.
“Stealing away, I tried to contact the Jedi Council on Coruscant. All I received was Master Kenobi’s message over the private Jedi channel informing all Jedi that a dark shadow had fallen and that all Jedi were to stay away from the temple.
“I was on my own. I wasn’t even able to retrieve Kanto’s body for a proper burial.”
“By Gog,” Piani said.
Without acknowledging the Twi’lek, Nile continued. “I remained in the Outer Rim, helping others when I could. Years later, Ahsoka found me.”
Looking at the hologram of the now thirty-five-year-old Ahsoka, Nile warmed a bit from her melancholy.
“It was the first time I’d seen one of my kind in over a decade,” the Jedi said.
A respectful silence fell over the room. Ahsoka gently broke that silence.
“I understand your pain, Master Chinelo,” she said. “As a padawan, I lost my master to the Dark Side during the Clone Wars.”
Ahsoka now had Nile’s full attention. The younger former Jedi had not revealed this before. “Master Skywalker?” Nile asked.
Ahsoka looked to all three women in turn. “You’ve all seen the evil a Force-wielding dark-sider can do. We can’t let a Force-sensitive fall into the emperor’s hands.”
“If it’s any conciliation,” Piani began, “Nile wouldn’t have to train this Force-sensitive, would you she?”
“No, she wouldn’t,” Ahsoka jumped in. “We just want to get them away from the emperor. Unlike the Jedi, who snatched Force users and forced them into the Order —”
Nile and the others detected Ahsoka’s disdain for the old Jedi Order — “we have others who can help the Force-sensitive find their path, whether they want to learn to use their powers or not.”
“But what if they ultimately decide to side with the emperor?” Piani asked.
Nile looked at Ahsoka. The togruta’s eyes left the other women, glancing instead at the floor. “We’ve been lucky so far that that hasn’t been a problem.”
“It may be this time,” Corana said. The other women looked at her. “According to the files you sent us, Ahsoka, this Force-sensitive already seems to have a path.”
The smuggler pilot turned her datapad toward the other women. On its display, they saw an image of a woman in her late twenties, with dark hair in a severe cut. She wore the uniform of an Imperial Security Bureau agent.
“Ladies,” Corana began, “meet ISB Agent Kaila Ores.”
To be continued in Episode 4!
Be sure to also check out Mark’s original writing, the “Shadowdance” action/ urban fantasy series!
Want more fanfiction? Check out Mark’s comic book-inspired stories.