three standard months later...
Dromund Kaas junglescape, Estate Vul'canis.
Flam'rus had undergone many trails since her birth. At age three she underwent her first force sensitivity test. Age five she fought and won her first practice duel. Six was when she played her first professional chess match. At eight she began her studies in political imperial history and sciences. Ten was when it became apparent that her usage of the force was beyond that of her generation after manipulating her wet nurse's mind. At thirteen she was almost kidnapped by a revengeful Sith lord; he was found dead with third degree electrical burns. Now at sixteen standard, she faces her most difficult task; appeasing her piano instructor, Vee Three-Cee Nine.
The young pureblood taps away across the semi-circular piano keyboard, wearing the red and gold robes of her station. She played to the notes floating in the holographic display before her; it was one of the opening acts to the classic Sith play entitled Fall of the Golden King. Vee Three kept track of the tempo with his internal metarmone program, weaving one of his metallic bronze fingers back and forth to the right pace. The protocol droid is a stern teacher of the arts and had happily served the household for more than a hundred standard years. Each generation of Sith could contribute their knowledge of imperial culture from this trustworthy artificial teacher. If the droid could feel actual emotion then his chest plate would swell with pride from the success stories; yet young Flam'rus was not one of those. Constantly, she plays faster than the suggested tempo and played at least twelve misplaced notes from the protocol's count. The droid calculated from Flam'rus body posture, temperature, respiration and blood pressure that she was hardly content with the work at hand. Vee three logically concluded that she was quite upset.
At the start of the third section, she played an E flat rather than E minor. Then a low G instead of high. Her tempo is once again faster than the suggested pace.
"No! No! No, it's too fast young mistress. You must play with accordance to the act."
Flam'rus play style kept up the rushed pace. She loathed this. It felt long and boring and the droid's constant critique was not helping her focus any better. She craved for her long games of chess, sparring in the temple complex downstairs. Even history lessons had some appeal compared to this written dripple on the hologrid. Again she missed the E minor.
"Mistress you must play the correct notes and the tempo is 1-2-3-4. 1-2-3-4."
This didn't feel like music to her. She wanted to play what was on her mind. Write her own play or symphony or just a solo even. Yet the droid processes that she must learn the master's first before she is ready. A droid, telling a future lord of the Sith, what steps must be taken. At least with the servants she could simply erase their minds. Her mother was too cleaver to let Flam'rus off that easy. She let her anger flow into the key strokes. Pretty soon it sounded nothing like the piece floating in the air. It was sound that would make the jungle cats howl in agony.
"That is completely wrong. You must cease this action at once and start from the beginning."
Instead she simply slammed her hands once on the keys. Her voice sounded calm yet cold. "Droid, I do not wish to play this piece anymore."
"Negative, You have yet to reach a satisfactory rating within the allotted time and you still have half such time remaining." Replied Vee Three.
"Droid, I do not wish to play this piece, I'm ordering you to end this session."
"Order denied. Parental directive is in effect. Fall of the Golden King is a necessary piece to challenge your development. You must learn to play the piece as intended," Replied Vee Three. "You disregard tempo and have made more than twenty three misplayed notes. Conclusion therefore you must replay from the beginning."
Flam'rus just sat in her chair, concentrating. "Droid, you will end this session."
"Mistress that not possible. I cannot violate parental directive as stated in...gn...gn...gn." Vee Three could not feel pain but his internal sensors indicated a buildup of unknown energy within its processing features. "System alert! Foreign contamination! Foreign contamination! Purge in progress."
Flam'rus pictured in her mind's eye a bubble. One that was getting bigger.
"Alert! Purge failed. Contamin-gn-gn-gn! Protocol's failing! Must reboot! Must re-gn-gn-gn!" Vee Three clutched at its bronze plated head fruitlessly.
"Flam..." The voice carried across the room and with enough control to make even the young Sith lose hers. Her little bubble popped.
Vee Three quickly regained composure and ran a quick diagnostic. "System clear. All protocols are now functioning. Ah! I did not see you there Madam Sahara. My humble apologizes."
Many have compared Young Flam'rus to be a simple imitation of her mother's beauty; No more was this apparent when lady Sahara stepped past the hologram sheet music. They both shared the same dark hair but Flam'rus was short and uniformed whereas Sahara kept hers long with volume. Sahara's eyebrows were thin and long to match the eyebrow-stalks and had high cheek bones; Flam'rus did not have her mother's high breeding in regards to the stalks but kept her eyebrows thin. They shared the same eyes, dark crimson with a touch of amber. Flam'rus tried not to look directly at them.
"So noted Vee Three. Your service is quite valuable to this family, I hate to see it end prematurely," Sahara shot a quick look at her offspring. "Time for a break for all parties. Vee Three see to the rest of your tasks for this day."
The droid gave a humble bow."At once Madam." Its ancient servos squeaked with each step taken.
For a long time silence. The daughter tried to speak but the mother interrupted. "Let's go for a walk my child."
Mother and daughter walked close to one another through the halls of estate but their conversation was not a friendly one by far. Flam'rus kept her hands crossed her chest as she had to hear one of her mother's speeches on the importance of her lessons regardless of subject matter. It was all excuses in her mind. Rules and pointless endeavors to keep her stalemate. She felt she was ready for Korriaban. She knew she would easily dominate and she wouldn't be the first youngling to attend from this family's prestigious line. But Mother has to know best.
"...aside from the fact you shouldn't try to destroy a family heirloom, my child, Vee Three represents myself and your father's wishes to impart wisdom to you and your brother. What you tried to do is a sign of disrespect. How do you think your actions reflect on us? You think just because you are gifted in the force that you must make such gross displays of power? Flam'rus it would be polite if you would answer me at least once so I don't look I'm talking to myself." Spoke Sahara.
A little incoherent mumbling came from Flam'rus lips.
"A little clearer, darling. I don't speak wookie."
"I said I'm ready! More than ready and yet I must recite plays about old dead Sith lords? Dance and etiquette lessons; I can charm any mind without much effort. My skill in the saber arts is unequaled amongst the younglings," Responded the young pureblood. "You know I'm the most logical choice. Sul'fer'us maybe older but he is clearly not the better despite the amount of time you spend trying to hammer in all those last minute secretes before shoving him off to die at the hands of equally weak foes."
"Is this jealously I sense brewing within you? If I known you wanted my attention so badly I would have instructed the droid to have you play Darth Mallack's 5th symphony instead," said Sahara with a smile. "That boring piece of poodoo would have gotten a rise out of you sooner."
"This isn't simple sibling rivalry; You know my argument is sound. It's not just my opinion either. I've kept my ears to the ground around the family heads especially the Arch. He thinks Sul'fer'us is too weak of heart to be true Sith."
"You should watch where you eavesdrop my little crow," Said Sahara as she adjusted her red shawl over her left shoulder. "Darth Mag'mus is always watching for spies in his own court least you get caught by him. Besides, this decision is one myself, your father and your brother's to make. Your destiny will come in time should you not rush and develop."
"But the code encourages one to break past all limitations dear mother." Responded Flam'rus coyly.
"But not about going against your mother's wishes. Nice try dear," Sahara rested her left arm around Flam'rus shoulder. "So, what else did your little ears picked up around the court?"
"Well lord Scor'ch returned from the wall this morning. And not in a pleasant mood may I add. Seems his little hunting trip came up rather empty of the game he was seeking."
"He's always in a foul mood. Probably from his mother's side, nothing new," Sahara shot a quick glance at a pair of passing servants, with her free hand hovering around one of her resting lightsabers. A lady of the Sith always keeps watch for assassins her own home. "Anything involving the good lady La'vas? Something publicly humiliating would brighten my day dear child."
"She has gone to the citadel in Kaas City and has yet to return. I don't believe she's there on Darth Mag'mus behalf."
"She's always been one to have her own opinion on things even if they differ from her father Darth Mag'mus. If there's one thing they both share its devotion to scheming behind each other's backsides but don't confuse that with backstabbing; those two have a strange, perverted loyalty that make even the relation between your uncle and your father seem...normal."
The mentioning of her uncle put Flam'rus in a state of concern. "There hasn't been any word of his return yet. I know he's not the most favored son in the court but I find his talks often informative even when I was younger. Often I remember sitting transfixed by his speeches and adventures in perilous places far across the galaxy. Would breathtaking be pour choice of words to describe it?"
"No, that's how you choose to remember such times. I recall you use to snuggle up in my lap like a little akk pup as your uncle Em'ber'us spooled his tall tales at the family dinner table. Your father enjoyed them as well even if he didn't show it to you children. However, these are the times we live in now and your brother could do without any wanton distraction from Em'ber'us' personality. As we speak he trains in the temple courtyard with your uncle Brim'tar with your father and elder warrior's watching."
"I still think I should be the one going as he is not true Sith," Flam'rus leaned in to whisper to her mother's ear. "But I would like to watch him clobber uncle Brim with the training swords."
"I think that can be arranged." Sahara lead on down the hall with her calm daughter who worked hard to hide her eagerness.