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12.06.2012 , 08:40 PM | #88
Chapter Fifteen: Seers (Part One)

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The galaxy at large knew nothing of the Sith Empire that lurked in the shadows. It had not yet known the calamity and chaos of the Great Galactic War. The Republic persisted and acted in its usual manners, unaware of those plotting, planning its eventual downfall. And Dromund Kaas was the same as it ever was. Dark and gloomy skies at each hour of the day. Beneath them, the various machinations of Sith Lords and their lessers.

Within the hallowed halls of the Citadel, prestigious Lords made their dealings shielded from the prying eyes of even their peers. Within one office, two individuals were engaged in polite conversation. One, an elderly Sith Pureblood, sat behind a tremendous desk, basking in the regality that made up the room’s design. The other, a plain, unassuming Human.

Male. Garbed in the simplest of black robes, the only piece of note was the jeweled amulet that hung from his neck bearing a dark yellow stone enwrapped with silver. His short, dark hair was kept tidy and combed in a rather formal fashion. He gazed at the Sith who sat across from him, watching with an unwavering stoicism as the Pureblood’s eyes poured over a datapad.

“Impressive. Most impressive,” the Pureblood said. “You and your men have secured all these names?”

“No men, just me,” the Human replied.

“I see. And they’ve been verified?”

“I’ve visited with each of them. Though not all have shown proper manifestations, I am sure they all have the potential,” the Human explained. “I’ve also provided recommendations for institutions based on the children’s inherent talents and status. Ziost, Odacer-Faustin, the local Academy for the most gifted.”

“I must say, your work continues to surprise us,” the Pureblood admitted. “You do the Empire a great favor in finding the potential Sith that manage to evade our notice. Honestly, if all parents would just put their children through the suggested tests it would save us a lot of trouble.”

“If they had the slightest reason to believe their child might be Force-sensitive, most Imperials would readily submit them to the trials. However, power unexpected is power unfulfilled. I specialize in searching for those with dormant Force-sensitivity. Those who belong to families unaware of their lineages.”

The Pureblood scoffed. “Wouldn’t be a problem if everyone were tested, regardless of expectations. Even if they can’t use the Force, it would provide a welcome challenge in their lives. It’s almost as if the populace has forgotten what we’ve spent all these years preparing for.” Letting out a sigh, the Pureblood set the datapad upon the desk’s surface. “I’ll send for the recruiters momentarily. Until next time, Lord Omnus.”

The Human Lord lifted himself from his seat and offered a low bow of his head to the Pureblood before exiting the office. With a gentle pace, Omnus made his way through the Citadel halls, arms neatly folded behind his back as he walked with seemingly no destination in mind. His stoic gaze drifted from side to side, watching the various masters go about their business, apprentices firmly in tow. He, meanwhile, continued onwards alone.

Outside, the skies above offered little indication of the time, but the capital was bustling in its midday activities. The people moved with a purpose. Omnus on the other hand, was content to stroll. With a distinct lack of haste, the Lord made his way to the city’s markets by way of speeder. As he disembarked and continued on foot, the Human began to feel a strange tingling in the air. Surreptitiously scanning the nearby streets, nothing was amiss with the local pedestrians. And even the nearby Sith hadn’t noticed anything.

Omnus paused his advance, closed his eyes, and focused his mind. Not a moment later did his eyes snap open as he began to search the surrounding scene. His gaze was frantic, and yet it was guided by some intrinsic knowledge. The Lord’s eyes would eventually come to rest upon a dark alley nestled between two buildings. An enduring, concealing darkness lay beyond. As he regained his usual stoic visage, the Human calmly ventured forth into the alleyway.

With each step, the sights and sounds of the city disappeared from his senses. There was nothing back here. And yet there was something. Some thing. Life. Yet everything was still. The alley continued, branching and winding with narrower and narrower paths. Eventually, the Human had reached a point where there was no evidence of a city behind him.

Omnus stood, basking in the silent darkness. What appeared to be one of the city’s outer walls stretched in front of him. Stacks of unassuming crates rested on either side of the Lord. Shutting his eyes, the Human took a deep breath as he felt his surroundings within his mind. Slowly, he came to, took a few steps, and stopped in front of a single sizable crate. He looked it over with a slight tilt of his head, before delivering a swift kick of his boot to the container's side. As he retracted his foot, the crate began to shake even further.

There was movement inside, until finally one of the sides gave way and a child came tumbling out. Cloaked in rags and shadows, the young one scuttled along the ground trying to put some distance between himself and the invader. Just as he lifted himself up from the ground, the child found himself being lifted much higher than expected. His forward movement ceased as his entire body began to rise and hover a short distance from the ground. Struggling and writhing, the boy spun to see the Human reaching out with his arms, clutching the air with a determined gaze.

As he held the child up with the Force, Omnus managed to get a better look at the strange creature. Alien, the boy had two horns emanating from his cranium, curving forward so that their tips strayed beyond the covering of his ragged hood. Even as his position was locked, the child refused to cease his motions, swinging his arms and kicking his legs as the Sith Lord looked upon him with the simple arch of his brow.

“Boy, you’re going to have to try harder than that,” Omnus muttered. The alien took pause and limply floated as the Human rotated him until they faced one another. The two figures locked their gazes, face to face.

The child’s eyes sharpened and the Lord’s confusion had peaked. His stoicism and concentration faltered as he felt a sharp scratch cut across his mind. Omnus’ grip loosened and the alien was once more on the ground. Not a moment later, the boy tried to flee, darting down the alleyway. Recovering, the Lord reaffirmed his telekinetic grip and dragged the alien back to his position. Throughout all the struggles, the child never let out a single sound.

The boy’s heels scraped against the ground as he was slid back toward the Human. His wits firmly about him, Lord Omnus studied the creature. There was a peculiarity about him. Uncivilized, but intelligent. He had tried to escape, but made careful note not to draw any excess attention to himself. And most peculiar of all, he had lashed out with his mind.

Closing the remaining gap, the Sith Lord took ahold of the child’s shoulders with a firm grasp and stared deeply into his eyes. “Who are you? What are you?” Omnus inquired with a tone falling directly between comforting and demanding.

The child’s eyes began to sharpen once more, eliciting a gruff chuckle from the Human.

“I’m afraid that won’t work a second time,” Omnus declared. The alien relaxed his gaze as he remained trapped by the adult’s grip. The Lord tilted his head with a curious intrigue as he felt an unknown force nipping at the back of his head. “Oh… you truly are something else. What is it you hope to find rattling about in my head? Information? Motivation?”

The Sith Lord’s lips stopped moving, but his words continued to reach the boy’s senses.

“You’re not the only one with a talent,” Omnus’ words bombarded the child’s mind. The alien winced as he felt an intruding presence claw its way through his mind. When the presence retracted, the child opened his eyes to see the Human's calm gaze placed upon him. “You’ve either the most well-guarded mind in the entire Empire, or you know as little about yourself as I do.”

The Lord relinquished his grip on the child, who took a calculated step away, his back against a high stack of crates. The Human straightened his posture and looked upon the child as he folded his hands behind his back.

“An amnesiac telepathic alien on Dromund Kaas,” Omnus said. “The word ‘peculiar’ doesn’t begin to describe your situation. I assume you’ve made your home among these back alleys, picking up scraps of food for however long you’ve been here, avoiding confrontation with your… skills. Sensing minds when they draw near, or perhaps…”

Stealthily, Lord Omnus unfolded one of the hand behind his back. Reaching out with the Force, the Human quietly lifted the small crate on the top of the stack behind the boy. Carefully he positioned it above the child’s head, guarding his thoughts from any possible intrusions. Suddenly, just before he released his grip, the alien darted to the side to avoid the soon to be falling object.

“Limited precognitive abilities… very interesting. I’d say these talents could be afforded to your species but I… sense something special inside you. You possess the gift of the Force.”

The boy’s expression changed little. He obviously understood the word, having read it upon the minds of countless nearby citizens, but held no measure of its meaning or worth. Slowly, Lord Omnus began to kneel upon the ground, hands placed upon his lap and eyes lightly closed.

“No explanation I could give would prove sufficient, so I offer my mind to you with no restrictions,” Omnus declared. “Allow me to shed some light on what rests inside you.”

The child took a cautious step forward. He knew the Human was in little position to prevent his escape. But he also knew the man possessed the same skills he did, to a far greater degree. They had touched each other’s minds. Each knew of the other’s presence, and could seek them out at their discretion. The alien stayed, gazing upon the meditative Human. Reaching out with his mind, the child searched for answers, and found many.

Visions began to swarm the alien’s mind. Flashing images of deadly and battle-hardened warriors brandishing swords of light against one another, energies surrounding and flowing from them. Those who basked in the radiance shunned and cast out their dark brethren. The exiles drifted across the vastness of space, until they settled upon a barren world of crimson men and their shadowed hearts. Blood mixed. Rites and knowledge converged. Those who persisted would call themselves Sith.

The child watched as countless years of history were condensed into mere moments. The rise and fall of the Sith peoples. Their wants, their creeds. The Republic’s attempts to utterly extinguish their order more than a thousand years ago. He saw an Empire hiding in the shadows, its citizens forged in the fires of combat. Their limits tested. Their potential unlocked. Bodies, minds, and spirits all driven toward perfection. Those most worthy ascending to power from nothing, ready to lead their followers to victory.

The alien broke his connection with the Sith, taking a step back as he tried to recover from the overwhelming feeling stirring within him.

“I am Lord Omnus,” the Human declared, rising to his feet. “How would you like to be my apprentice?”

The child raised his head, firmly locking his gaze with the Human’s and offering a firm nod of his head.