Uncharted Glaciers, Hoth.
He had the dream again. Same as the previous night before. Even his meditations were haunted by the presence of Darth Vul'canis. Though long dead, this being still captive the imaginations of children told throughout the generations. His eyes burned like the light of a thousand suns. His cloak enveloped in the Smokey darkness of the night. His armored boots melted the ground he stood upon. He reached out, his glove dripping in molten magma. Vul'canis spoke in a tongue long forgotten and it put great fear into the inquisitor's heart.
Inquisitor Em'ber'us broke off his meditation. He felt steam wafting off his red body; his meditation carpet held a scorched circle underneath where he sat. He coughed till his lungs were clean of the black soot. Again his mischievous ancestor attempts to interfere with his shot to supreme power. It mattered little now. Em'ber'us stood and called for his saber with his mind. It floated with the grace of a butterfly into the palm of his thin hand. He wrapped his purple robes with red trim tighter as he exited his personal sanctuary into the cold unforgiving that is Hoth. Immediately the harsh winds threaten to blow Em'ber'us away like a leaf. Two Imperial troopers stood guard, silent as statues. Sith care little about pawns as he strode right past them, leaving behind fresh puddles of water melted by the seething hate within. Em'ber'us, the ever patient, was tired of waiting for the excavation team to finish securing the site. He could not risk to wait another hour. His body followed the footsteps of his team to the crystal gorge below. The tracks zigzagged down a natural staircase along the northern wall. Several times the wind threatened to push him off the ledge. The crystals around seem to rattle like wind chimes. He tried to ignore their eerie hum.
Vern the Rattataki stood watch over the slaves and scientists who labored countless hours to remove age old ice off the tomb's frozen doorway. Even with the most powerful torches and laser saws available the ice seemed unmoved by the efforts. Vern hollowred and curse and threaten to use lethal force but inside his mind he hated being here more so then the labors. He was once a proud member of Imperial intelligence; ruthlessness and ambition paved his way to the status of agent. Becoming Cipher was his dream and in seeking a ways to obtain it he found his services needed by Inquisitor Em'ber'us. Now he wanted to kill this pureblood and bury the evidence within the very tomb he seeks to open. Six months they were here, searching glacier after glacier for a lost relic. Now they were wasting time trying to undone thousands of years of heavy ice deposits. So engulfed he was in his secret hatred he almost failed to notice the Sith trenching his way to meet the agent. "Master, it's still not finished. These worthless wrechs-
"Are none of my concern! We cannot waste another day here agent. I want that tomb breached now!" Em'ber'us' golden eyes pierced under his purple hood. He continued his pace toward the tomb. "Drill into the ice and blow it up with charges if you must!"
"Sir the aftershock would undoubtedly trigger an avalanche. All of us would be swept up in the current of debris," Vern stayed close to the inquisitor's side much like a shadow. "I'm working on contacting the ship to fetch us some nano-droids to dig into the ice and devour it like Voss fire ants."
"No! No more outside assistance! Too many know already! I must have this tomb's secrets by night fall!" The power hungry Sith stopped five meters away from his goal and reached out with his long thin arms. "If flesh and heat and metal cannot grant me what I seek then I will take it by force!"
Vern felt strange tremors beneath his black sythweave boots. He heard the ice crystals begin to scream in unison. The gorge shook and its icy surfaced cracked like glass. The tomb before him seemed to want to lurch forward; almost as if the doors were being pulled open by invisible hands. The slaves cowered being of simple mind. The Scientists stared being of curious nature. The agent backed away being of cautious nature. The Sith being of ill patience.
"My lord stop! You'll trigger the avalanche!" Vern's pleas were ignored as Em'ber'us began to pour his force lighting into icy surface.
"OPEN! I COMMAND YOU!"
A final blast of energy undone all that resisted him. The doors blew off their hinges and crashed down upon the laborers. Clouds of snow enveloped Vern's sight for a few moments. Convinced that the world around him was trying to swallow them all he crouched down into a ball and silently cursed Em'ber'us' impatience. He felt large pockets of snow crashing down upon his frame, chilling him to the bone. Vern clutched his ears to shield them from the cold.
Then it stopped. Vern rose slowly from his premature burial and coughed out what tiny crystals had been inhaled. He looked on at what remained of the temple only to see Em'ber'us standing with not even a stretch on his person. The sith looked over his shoulder to the bewildered agent. His voice sounded claimer now.
"You expect me to do your work as well? Ready your rifle for we may need it."
The dark lord of the sith marched onward. Vern felt around for his blaster rifle before finally digging it out a couple of meters away. The agent again became the inquisitor's shadow as he followed in the melting path forged by the sith's hidden anger.
The antechamber was huge. It consisted of easily two to three stories in height with the roof held aloof with pillars shaped as defeated sith lords who failed to achieve glory. Green glow globes affixed on pedestals illuminated only a small portion of the massive space. The only other sources of light came from Vern's flashlight attached to the barrel of his blaster rifle as he tried to peer into the seemly void of this place.
"Krek, You could fit a capital ship in here..."
"Focus." Replied Em'ber'us.
Vern took out his portable scanner out from his belt loop and started making brief sweeps at everything in the darkness. "Low reading of biological and chemicals aligns. No E.M. signatures detected. No threats are present."
Em'ber'us strode on with Vern in tow. Only a total fool would trust something as flimsy as technology. He knew that there was still power here, ancient and unbound. The force awaked his senses to the dark corners of the chamber. To his rare surprise this wasn't a tomb dedicated to a single sith but rather a necropolis of fallen force users. Em'ber'us could smell the bone dust that filled the inner linings of the walls. But there was something. A presence that kept itself hidden to the darkness. It was waiting and Em'ber'us knew it was tied with the artifact he was searching. A confrontation was inevitable.
Laying in the antechamber rear was an altar constructed of two large featureless statues holding a red pyramid on their backsides. Vern insisted that he scan it first to check for booby traps, the sith simply ignored him and went to work studying the interrogate design of the pyramid. His mouth began to salivate at the prospects of achieving long sought out power. His red long fingers tapped against the surface of the pyramid feeling for switches or pieces to move.
"Sir, perhaps you should wait till I can get more acute readings."
"It will matter little at this point. Either I get what I seek or we both die here." Em'ber'us heard a click within the pyramid. Like a kitten with a ball of yarn in its paws the inquisitor worked with a feverish pace to unlock the artifact's secrets.
Vern kept busy by casually scanning his flashlight into the dark unknown but he was really planning on killing that fool of an inquisitor. He was well past regretting. Now he had to bind his time waiting opportunity to surface, then plunge his vibroknife into the sith's backside for a quick kill. He was sick of all this force wielding madness and this fool's desire to get everyone killed. He could get away with it too, people die all the time on dangerous worlds like this. But it had to be at the right time. The inquisitor was powerful intuitive.
Then he saw a shadowy blur move past the backdrop of his light. Vern froze for a second. He looked over his shoulder to see the Inquisitor in deep frenzy over working on his puzzle. Vern then butt his rifle against his shoulder as he kept watch of any movement. He couldn't put his finger on it but there was something watching them both.
The green glow globes began to dim...
Em'ber'us scrapped his fingernails across the grooves and edges of the pyramid. He was so close now. All that he sacrificed now was bearing fruit in the lure of this huge puzzle box. Another click. No bounds shall hold him once this opens. One more click is all he needs. But where to apply pressure?
"Inquisitor, you need to hurry..."
"Silence." Em'ber'us would not be denied this day. "I just need one more lock open."
Vern's flashlight caught a short passing of the shadowy blur as it vanished behind one of the humanoid pillars. Vern wasted no time setting his rifle to full auto. "Inquisitor! This area is not safe! We need to book it!"
"No. Not yet! The power! The power..." Em'ber'us became so enthralled with his pursuit that he didn't hear Vern unsheathe his vibroknife. He didn't feel it plunge into his spine until the blade's vibrations tickled down the length of his cells. He didn't see the shadowy reflection of Vern's face as the darkness of death began to intensify in his fading vision.
"Keep it." Vern lift his vibroknife in haste as he gripped his rifle to double back.
Em'ber'us didn't fall, his fingers gripped into the lines of the red pyramid as his life blood trickled away. He stared into the crimson reflection, the face of despair; the face of Vul'canis. His fiery eyes staring straight into Em'ber'us' essence as if he was trying to burn the inquisitor from the inside out.
The Rattataki ran like frighten wampa rat. It wasn't long before his attention picked up the shadowy presence. It always stayed at the corner of his vision, taunting him. He light up the dark with red blasts as panic and fear became his true masters. He screamed and cursed and wailed at the black nothing. The barrel glowed hot. Before Vern could reload a fresh power cell he felt a tingle like static building up around him. He looked around to see Em'ber'us channeling force lighting from his body into the pyramid. The statues tasked with upholding the relic cracked and fracture under the concussive power.
"You Krekking idiot! Can't you just die!!" Vern steaded his rifle against his shoulder. He aimed with the scope at the back of Em'ber'us' neck. He slowed his breathing.
Then the darkness wrapped around Vern's neck and lifted him into its embrace.
Em'ber'us felt his power working into the mechanism of the mysterious relic. Quickly the pyramid responded; its surface unlocking and opening. The antechamber shook with such unnatural energy. Em'ber'us slide off as his strength fade from his body. As he drew his last breath he felt the dark presence encroaching upon his dying body.
At a nearby Chiss surveillance outpost their sensory picked high amounts of brief seismic activity from the uncharted glacier regions. Later, fly by reports from snow interceptors found a recent avalanche occurred in a ice-crystal gorge. They are unclear as to the cause to this present date...