Cross-post with combinations and edits.
From Brute to Apprentice
Some years later, he was picked up by Imperial officers. “Brute of the Jungle” they called him. He didn’t care what they called him. True, he looked a bit wild with his tattered shorts and shoulder length black hair, but he was mostly harmless with the Force dampening cuffs around his wrists. All was well until they reached Kaas City proper. “You’ll be a slave,” they said. “Harkun has been looking for another group of slaves to kill.” The young teen simply grinned, grabbed the nearest officer’s vibroknife, and killed any stupid enough to try to stop his escape. As he ran away covered in blood and rain, the remaining officers sprayed his back with blaster fire. He kept running and no one stopped him. Blinded by pain and rain and tears, the young teen slammed into the black robes of a Sith. The few brave souls who had gathered to watch the boy’s escape shuddered in unison. The boy was as good as dead. The Sith he had collided with stared down his nose at the boy, but otherwise made no move to reprimand him.
The officers who had opened fire were now running up on the boy. He felt them. He felt their anger and their fear. He wobbled to his feet, gave the Sith Lord a short bow then ran around him, continuing his escape. He made it a short distance before blood loss and hunger caught up to him. He collapsed, panting and full of rage waiting for the next shower of bullets to end his miserable life. None came. He heard the sound of heavy feet approaching him then saw the armored boots of the Sith Lord he had run into. No wonder they didn’t come for him. He was as good as dead already. A vice closed around his throat and he was lifted into the air. The Sith Lord brought him to face level and stared at him with a strange fascination. In that moment, the young teen gathered his hate, his fear, his loneliness, the pain of hunger and blaster fire into his hands and brought the vibroknife to life. The Sith Lord continued to watch as life blinked out of the boy. To his surprise, the boy brought the knife to his own face and began carving a pattern on his skin. The pain from his self-inflicted wounds was enough to give him a burst of energy strong enough to break the choke hold the Sith Lord had on him. He fell to the ground in a heap, coughing and sputtering for all he was worth.
“What’s your name, boy?” the towering Sith Lord asked.
“I no longer have one,” the young teen answered.
“You are a pureblood, but you have no name?”
“I was abandoned in the jungles by my parents. I abandoned my name years ago, my Lord.”
The Sith Lord chuckled quietly. “You know enough to have manners.” The Sith Lord paused then made a decision. “Very well. From this day forward, you will be known as Aldrdinar, apprentice to Lord Inusitus.”
The newly renamed Aldrdinar nodded weakly before his body gave out and he fell the short distance to the wet duracrete below.
Ald was never sure if Dromund Kaas actually had seasons. There were months of cooler temperatures, warmer temperatures, less rainfall, more rainfall, and a general comfortable time that found a balance between rain and warmth. They seemed to move in a pattern, but nothing that screamed “seasonal.”
The first two years of his new life were fraught with fear and misery and woe and death. He wanted nothing to do with this place. He wanted to go home. He wanted his bed. He wanted his toys. He wanted the parents who used to love him. The parents who used to read to him at night or sit by his bed after a strange dream or a moving shadow scared the daylights out of him. Or the nightlights, as it were. But he knew, he knew somewhere in his six year old mind that there was no going back. “The Jedi send their kids off to train at age six,” he remembered his father saying in hushed tones. That’s when he knew something strange was going on. They thought he couldn’t hear him, but the Force thrummed in his ears when his curiosity got the better of him. When his parents took him on a day trip to Dromund Kaas, he felt their apprehension and something else. Was it relief? He remembers the jungles being a bit chilly that day; what passed for Winter on the capital planet.
By eight, he knew the patrol schedule and encampment placements by memory alone. He was always on the move, there was no time and no resource at his disposal to make a permanent map. He’d learned that the hard way when Imperials managed to track him down via his poorly crafted map on animal leather. They were kind enough to leave him for dead. They were dead fools when he was through with them. Spring brought warmer weather and new life. And the Brute of the Jungle was born.
When the humidity became unbearable during the day, he knew it was Summer. By ten, he had tracked down enough material to create a mask to dampen its effects on his ability to breathe and be active during the day. He hunted, he killed, he stole, he lived. The Brute’s legend grew. Whisperings of tales told to naughty children reached his ears and he was delighted. He’d force the last Imperial lying in his own blood to tell him the story. He promised he would let them live if they would just tell him a story. And his legend grew by leaps and bounds. He did this for several years before the stories became too boring to sate his curiosity. And the Summer heat blazed across the jungles, led by the Brute of the Jungle and his child-like amusement.
When Fall came, he prepared for Winter. The winters were never harsh, but years in the jungle had taught him to be prepared for anything. And when his fall came, it was to his backside in Kaas City proper at age fourteen. He had collided with a Sith Lord. For him, Fall blossomed new life instead of signaling the death of life. And he fell from the title Brute of the Jungle to the rise to the title of Aldrdinar, Sith Apprentice to Lord Inusitus.
As he prepared his Winter quarters for the fight ahead, he couldn’t help, but bubble with happiness. He was finally wanted for his power. He would rise. It was the Sith way.
The first time he held a lightsaber in his hands he knew he was truly a Sith. Power thrummed from his hands, into the hilt, through the crystal, and into a blood red blade that hummed as he sliced at the air. He was mesmerized by the glow of the blade, entranced by its siren song, and emboldened by the power it represented. He could strike fear into many without striking any. This was power. This was glory. This was the means to an end and to a beginning.
Lord Inusitus indulged Ald his whimsies for the first few months. The young lad would often run off into the night and into the jungle for a few days. It was home to him. He pined for it. When it came time to focus, however, Lord Inusitus would find ways to keep him from the jungles. Ald’s frustration would grow and grow until it became anger. Anger begets rage. Rage begets power. Power begets strength. Strength begets victory. Through victory, the chains of the jungle were broken. The Force had cleared the jungle brush and led him to his current path. The Force had freed him while also keeping him captive to its whims. He enjoyed every minute of a power greater than himself forcing him forward.
He was a tool of the Force as much as the Force was a tool for him. And he loved it.