Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind
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11.25.2012 , 02:09 PM |
“You will not die, my Wrath.” The voice filled her broken body, will alone sustaining her. Her body rebelled furiously, unsure how to live on with so much broken and missing. “You will not die, my Wrath.”
Through the haze and impossibility of her continued life her eyes flickered open, they met familiar grey, but they were dead eyes, blank. Her brow furrowed for a moment, her empty heart constricting at the sight of him. She had loved him once, madly, deeply, furiously, she had loved those eyes, so full of confidence and passion. A breath shuddered through her, through her single lung. She felt nothing, though she could not pull her eyes away from her dead husbands.
When Ardyth woke next it was on a pallet in a dark stone room. Her eyes met a red patterned face with golden honeycombed eyes, the face was wracked with pain. The longer she stared the more pain the strange red woman experienced.
“Please, I have no more to give.” The mystic gasped at her patient.
Ardyth pulled the strange healing energy to her. She breathed with two full lungs, her fingers twitched.
“Stop.” The mystic whispered fearfully.
“I will not die.” Ardyth rasped with a voice that did not belong to her, “you shall give all you have, for I am the Emperor’s Wrath, and I will not die!” Her body groaned as her arm lifted from its prone position at her side, fingers and palm wrapped around cool pulsating throat. Ardyth ripped every last ounce of healing life out of the young Voss leaving nothing but a husk in her wake.
She stood, her body naked save the bandages. Ardyth tore them away and inspected the angry scar that cut from navel to shoulder. She pulled the soft white robes from the dead mystic, and clothed herself in healers garb, her golden eyes flared red as she pulled her twin sabers to her waiting hands. As she left the small dark healing room she pulled the hood over her head, and ignited her sabers, they hungered.
Marek sat in his mother’s study in the Eldrazzi’s sprawling estate. The large desk sprawled in front of him, the bookshelves reached the roof behind him, on the opposite wall hung the lightsabers and blaster of his mother’s enemies, those foes worthy of recognition and respect. Mementos she had placed in her line of sight to always remind her to remain vigilant, Darth Baras’s saber held a prominent position in the collection, her former master. In that moment Darth Vowrawn entered, an old allie and a member of the Dark Council, Sith did not typically die of old age, however up until recently, Darth Vowrawn and his own grandfather, Lord Kaervrek had been notable exceptions.
“My dear boy, I’m afraid Intelligence may only be handed over to a Lord of the Sith.” Vowrawn said with obvious faux regret. Marek raised an eyebrow ridge from his reclined position, hands folded in front of his lips, he was in no mood to play the old man’s games. “Thus I am here to bestow on you title of Lord of the Sith. Now come greet me like the friend I am, Lord Marek Eldrazzi!” The older Sith allowed a long Cheshire grin when the Wraths son jumped from his seat with a look of obvious triumph.
“Finally, Intelligence requires stability if we are to uncover those who murdered the Emperor.”
“Take a lesson from your mother Lord Marek, remain vigilent, the vote was close, only four to three, I can assure you there will be assassination attempts until you prove yourself more than a green boy. Find the perpetrators quickly, crush these enemies, make them an example that will not be forgotten, only then will those who opposed your new position give you a moment of peace.” Vowrawn poured himself a snifter of good Dubrillion Brandy and sipped thoughtfully.
“And who are those who would deny me my birth right?” Marek growled, youthful pride insulted at the idea that his position was never a foregone conclusion.
“Darth Oculus, Darth Nox, and Darth Mortis. Mortis will be easy, over half of his informants also work for me, I can easily remove those not loyal, Nox is predictable, she will send apprentice after apprentice, she now has a reputation on Korriban, they refuse to give her anymore students with promise as they are wasted on her idiotic power plays, thus those she sends after you will be weak and fearful, easily dispatched.” Vowrawn chuckled at his fellow councilor’s folly, she had been close friends with Jaesa Willsaam and ever since her friend’s death her paranoia had increased almost tenfold, she would not keep her seat for long at this rate.
“And Oculus?” Marek asked.
“Far more difficult to read, a disciple of Jadus, she is our newest member, powerful, almost impossibly so, I would not put it past her to confront you herself. That is, if she believes you are worth the effort, she has much grander sights in mind.” Marek bristled visibly at being thought so little of, the older purblood laughed then swallowed the rest of his drink. “Trust me boy, when it comes to Oculus it is far better to be ignored then to be seen as a threat, win her to your side and you will have no greater ally, anger her and no greater enemy. Let her be, do your duty, build your powerbase in this time of upheaval, fail us and even I shall turn on you, no matter how much I admired your mother.” He still wore his mocking grin but his eyes were red like fired iron, his reputation rode on this gamble as much as Mareks.
“I will not fail.”
“You are my son, the child of Wrath of the ancient Eldrazzi, if you fail I shall kill you myself.” Ardyth lowered the hood of her stolen Voss robe, addressing her son at her full height. “Darth Vowrawn I would speak to my son in private.” She gave him a cursory nod, Vowrawn did well in hiding his surprise, even he had begun to believe she had been killed, he should never have doubted her.
“Mother, where have you been?” Marek felt himself shiver when he could only sense a void from her.
“A pilgrimage.” She touched her shoulder, pilgrims, it was what the Voss called those who sought the Shrine of healing. “The Emperor spoke to me, he has need of me, and a task for you my child.” She placed her hands on her sons shoulder, the action affectionate though immortality had robbed her of any motherly bond she had shared with her son, her one success.
“Mother…the Emperor is dead, killed by a Jedi, I saw his body with my own eyes.” The statement had him in the air flailing and gasping in his mother’s force choke.
“Do not blaspheme child, and do not be a fool. The Emperor lives, just as I do, what you saw was his vessel, his voice only, the true emperor, his true form cannot die. Fulfill his will and neither will you.” She released him, to his credit he landed on his feet and did not fall, if she could have she would have been proud of him.
“What is the Emperor’s will, my Lord Wrath?” Marek replied raw voiced.
“The Jedi, the one who struck down the voice, you shall bring her before him, alive, to face his judgment.” She turned to leave, but stopped at the door, “Rateah will betray you, I have seen her treachery in a vision, she alone can destroy what is to come. End her.”
The Emperor’s Fortress
Ardyth followed the familiar paths until she stood before the dais, she fell to her knees and waited for his release, the ice tracked down her back stripping away the void until her banished and unused emotions stood trembling before him. Her screams filled the space, fear, anguish, and ecstasy of feeling anything at all again, even if it was abject terror. She writhed and accepted her Emperor’s generous gift until her soul had been flayed bare, and the comfort of the void pulled back over her like a blanket.
“Rise my Wrath.” His voice was deeper, richer, but it still held an eternity, it still carried the death and voices of an entire planet. It was still the Emperor, it always would be the Emperor.
When she stood she met his eyes, golden pools of emptiness on a crimson face, the face of her father, Lord Kaervrek, the Emperor’s new voice.
dun dun dunnnnn. >.>
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind