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(L,F&E 30) Family can be a Pain

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:07 AM | #1
((This is a short fanfic and it is very different. I hope people enjoy it, as always, comments and or suggestions appreciated.))

<Korriban>

He sat alone. The wind howled and the dark sand of Korriban that is carried with it scoured the area around him. It didn’t bother him. He savored the moments that he could glean to be free of the responsibilities, rules and chores that it took to keep a group of beings in check. What bothered him was what he saw. Oh not with his eyes. No, nothing so mundane. Not that he HAD eyes… It had been so long. He had almost forgotten what real sight was like. Of course the last thing he had ever seen was his jealous older brother pouring acid into his eyesockets, but…

Something changed around him and he tensed, and then relaxed as the feelings became clear. He rose from his sitting position, turned and bowed to the one being he respected more than any in the galaxy.

“Master.” As always, his master’s presence in the Force wavered, as if he wasn’t really there, but the hand that grasped his arm was very real. It moved and he smiled as it guided him back to a sitting position. His master was smaller than a human, but size really didn’t matter.

“Ah my boy… What are you doing out here? The wind is cold, the sands are flying…” He nodded at his master’s words, but waited until he was sure that his master was done speaking before he did. His master may not have been overly strict, but being polite was always a smart thing. Growing up in a sect of bloodthirsty warrior monks taught you that if nothing else.

“Master, I worry about Sharlina.” He heard a sigh, then the same small hand was on his shoulder and it gave a squeeze. “She has never been the most subtle of people. And this… This situation is beyond anything she has ever faced.” He heard the his master sigh and he turned his blind eyes towards the sound.

“Sharlina… She needs more. More than we can give. Or she will consume herself. You know her better than many of us.” His cheeks heated a bit, but he said nothing. After a moment, his master continued. “I do not know what will come of this. After all your own visions show futures far beyond this current situation. But…” The young human nodded and they spoke in unison.

“The future is always in motion.” The human bowed to his master and then felt his master’s hand on his shoulder again.

“Idjit, there is nothing we can do. We have to trust Sharlina and Chari to guide events as they must be.” The Bladeborn seer known as Idjit slumped slightly, then nodded. “And now, its time for practice.” He nodded again and rose in a sinuous movement. Without even turning his head, he extended his hand to aid his master to his feet. Master Trugoy, the leader of the Bladeborn, snorted and batted Idjit’s hand away, but there was a teasing note to his voice when he spoke.

“I am not decrepit yet. And when YOU reach 700 years old, you won’t look half as good.” Idjit had to laugh. Then he followed his master into the cave that served as temporary home for the Order. It really wasn’t a good idea to have a permanent place of residence. Too many beings of too many kinds had…problems…with the Bladeborn. Which was one reason the Order was so small. They had been utterly devastated at one point in their history. Only two had survived the purge. One of those the being who walked in front of him. Idjit sniffed and smiled as he smelled his kin. With no sight, his other senses had sharpened greatly. He relied on the Force to see of course, but even without it he would be from helpless and that was a good thing.

Without warning something long and sharp sliced across his path, aiming for his legs, but Idjit was in motion. He could sense and smell his opponent. And his surroundings… He smiled as he landed with both feet on the flat of his opponent’s blade forcing it into the cave floor. Then somehow, he was kneeling on his opponent and she was flat on the cave floor. He struck carefully with his fist, once, twice, and his would be assailant fell unconscious. He reached for her and nodded as he felt her neck pulse. It was strong and he pinched a nerve cluster until she moved beneath him. When he spoke it was quiet, calm and totally in control.

“Good attack Caja. But next time, watch where your swing will take your blade. I could have broken it, and then would you be?” The female Mon Calamari snarled at him from where she lay pinned under his knees.

“Stabbing you with the end.” Idjit smiled and nodded, and then he rolled off of the student and pulled her to her feet. He stared at her, seeing far more than the outside, then sighed.

“You also need to practice landing. Go to Ona and tell her your right arm is broken here.” She did nothing as he touched her forearm in a certain spot, although he could feel her pain and he approved of her even more. Weakness was abhorrent to Sith. He smiled. “Roll next time. If you had rolled I wouldn’t have been able to land on top of you. And once she clears you, I want two hundred rolls forward and two hundred reverse.” He felt her acquiesce. He touched her on the cheek, gently. “Go.”

He saw her aspects in the Force change as she bowed to him, then she ran off to obey his instructions. The sound of muted clapping was heard. He turned to where Trugoy had been watching.

“Many Sith would have just killed her.” Trugoy’s words were unemotional, calm and precise. Idjit nodded, that was nothing more than the truth.

“We are not many Sith, we are Bladeborn. And having only been here for a week, she shows promise, if she survives.” Idjit’s words were just as unemotional as his Master’s and he followed Trugoy into the cavern they called home.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:10 AM | #2
<That night>

Idjit woke from his meditation, stunned. Sweat rolled down his face, under the bandage that covered his eye sockets and stung the exposed flesh. He ignored it. Being a Sith meant pain was a constant companion, and being a Bladeborn only made it more so. He took several breaths, and then he heard a soft voice.

“Idjit?” He smiled as he heard Ona. She was an anomaly in the harsh world that he and his family lived in. She was an empath, a healer. A lightsider surrounded by users of the Dark Side of the Force. And… it never seemed to matter to her. She could never match him or any of the others with blades or sabers, and it didn’t matter. She was family. He heard the squeak of her mechanical legs and then he felt the ground near him tremble as she knelt down next to him. She laid a gentle hand on his brow and spoke for his ears alone.

“You called out.” Her voice was calm, but underneath lay worry. He froze. That had never happened before. Always when he was in meditation, he was still. Like a corpse, was how Ona usually described it.

“What did I say?” His voice was calm, but underlying it was worry. Things were happening that never had. And he didn’t like surprises. Surprises had cost him his eyes and Ona her legs. He swore silently again if her ever caught up with the Sith lord who had managed to hurt his sister, he would kill the scum slowly. Very, very slowly. Ona took his jaw in her strong hand and turned his face towards her.

“Idjit, you can’t just go kill him, he has powerful friends and allies. We can’t just go around slaughtering people, you know that. And you know why.” As always her calm and kind words calmed the raging fire that dwelt in his soul. He nodded to her and changed the subject.

“How is Caja’s arm?” He asked to change the subject. He heard her snort.

“I set it, a clean break. But you knew that. You broke it on purpose.” In anyone else the tone might have been accusing, in her it was just factual. He smiled and didn’t speak. He felt the air move and her arm touched his.

“The more we sweat and hurt in training, the less we bleed in war.” They spoke one of the maxims of the Bladeborn in unison. She laid her head against her brother’s and he marveled again at the feeling of fur. Bothans had such fine fur. He massaged her shoulders and felt the tension she had from feeling his pain begin to dissipiate.

“She has to learn Ona, just as we all did.” He felt his battlesister nod. “What did I say, in the meditation?” He asked quietly when she didn’t speak. She stiffened, but when she spoke it was calm and quiet.

“Two words. Nia, no. And you didn’t call out, you screamed the second one.” He felt her fear and pain and he hugged her. Strange maybe for Sith to feel love for kin. but he wasn’t a Sith, not really, not by most definitions, which said that all Sith had to follow the Dark side. He walked a different path. As did most of his kin. He slumped against her, then stiffened as another voice was heard.

“Get a room, lovebirds.” Idjit had to smile as Jon spoke. He had to. His initial reaction to the insult was murderous rage. So he focused it in his wit. And laughed heartily.

“Now why would we want to get a room when we can sit here and aggravate you?” He heard a snarl and smiled again. Jon was not a subtle individual, he was also, to put it mildly, nasty. He was mean, crude and a lech. The only thing that kept him in line was the fact that he was surrounded by people who could and would beat the crud out of him if he stepped out of line. Which he did at least once a week. Only the fact that he was incredibly good with medical technology kept him from being sliced to pieces. Idjit knew why Jon was the way he was, but truth be told, he didn’t care. Once anyone survived the brutal initiation to the Bladeborn, nothing else mattered. The past was the past. You learned from it and moved on. He heard Jon move away and Ona spoke quietly.

“You know he was worried about you. We all were.” He nodded. “You need to sleep brother, not just meditate.” He shook his head.

“Ona, I can’t. I have to see, I have to know…” He froze on feeling a stick in his arm and his extremities go numb. If he had still had eyes, they would have blinked. “You…rat…” He felt himself falling and furred arms catching him and lowering him gently to the ground.

“It’s for your own good brother. Rest.” She held him as he slipped into unconsciousness.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:12 AM | #3
Ona watched as her brother slept. She knew he would be angry with her when he woke, but she would take whatever punishment he handed her with dignity. The fact that he was higher ranked meant little. Rank meant little. She had earned the title of Bladeborn before her… injury. That was all that mattered. She froze as a scream of agony tore through the cavern she drew her blade and ran towards the sound, cursing her slow metal legs. She came into a larger cavern and found her kin battling a horde of shyrack wyrms that had somehow found their way past the barrier they had put up when they entered the caves. She danced to the side as a form dropped towards her but a loud roar came and a huge blade cleaved the wyrm in two. A large furred form darted past her and kicke dteh still quivering form out of the way.

<Help the initiates!> Reekia shouted as she dove into the fray. Ona turned and saw the two remaining students backed up against a wall by at least four of the hideous beasts and she summoned the force. She wasn’t as physically powerful as her kin, but no one doubted her Force abilities. All four of the beasts froze as the stasis field encompassed them all. The students, one of them Caja, struck out and felled the beasts quickly. Ona turned back to the main fight but her kin had the situation well in hand. And then… She recoiled as sheer Dark Side power came flowing through the cavern.

A horde of Tut’aka, shyracks and even the shimmering in the air that heralded Hssiss came in through the breach. She threw stasis at the whole group and the sheer effort of it drove her to her knees. She looked up into the maw of a terretenak. She was too exhausted however… Then a brown blur flew through the air and landed on top of the dark side beast. In an instant, a pair of small silver bladed lightsabers ignited and cut deep. It bellowed almost in shock it seemed, and then fell over dead. The grandmaster of the Bladeborn dove into the rest of the fray, fighting in silence. And just like that, the tide turned. She knelt beside an initiate’s body, watching her kin tear into the horde of animals. She turned it over and didn’t wince as she saw the horrific wounds. There was nothing she could do. She shut the student’s unseeing eyes and turned back to the initiates.

“Are you hurt?” She asked quietly. They both shook their heads, but she snarled at them.

“This is not time for you to be stubborn. The claws of these beasts are often festering or toxic. Let me see.” They hesitantly came to her and showed her their wounds. Most were simple scratches, one however… She looked at the human boy whose eyes looked right through her. Such horrors as these children had seen would scar them forever, break them if allowed to fester. The Bladeborn knew how to handle it however. She touched the deep wound on his abdomen and concentrated. He hissed, and then stared at her as his wound healed from the inside out.

“That wound would have killed you Lokji. Slowly and in great agony. There is not dishonor in seeking aid for such wounds.” Both of the initiates stared at her. Then she realized their eyes were not on her, but behind her! She spun, but a heavy weight threw her to the ground.

“Well, well, well…” She didn’t shudder or react otherwise as she regained her feet. She saw the initates standing between her and.. Now she snarled and drew her vibrosword.

“Didn’t you learn anything last time, dog?” The black garbed man standing in front of her with an ignited lightsaber was not someone she knew. But she remembered him. He was the Sith who had maimed her. He walked slowly forward and Caja moved to block him. He grinned.

“More whelps to slaughter. So much the better.” He paused in his gloating as Ona looked at him, then at the initiates. When she spoke it was cold and hard.

“Move.” Both of them looked at her, then nodded and moved aside. The man seemed almost to hesitate, and then he grinned.

“I am going to enjoy this.” He smirked but then froze as she grinned.

“No you are not. I am no longer the weak little girl you bested.” She moved into a ready position, between the Sith and the initiates. He struck and her perfectly balanced blade shed his like it was made of air. Then she struck. She cut his face, not deep, just enough to sting. He growled at her.

“You will pay for that, dog.” She grinned at him again, and he seemed to lose some of his composure. But he regained it and struck, this time he scored a line of scorched fur on her arm and smiled. She just smiled back and showed the edge of her blade which was wet with blood. He looked down and saw a line of red coming from his leg.

Die!” He charged her and she couldn’t move fast enough to get out of the way so she didn’t bother. She threw stasis at him and he froze into immobility. She walked up to him and there was no emotion at all on her face as she drove her vibrosword through his ribs and into his heart. The initiates behind her watched in awe as she withdrew her blade, twisting just slightly. When she released her stasis field, he crumbled to the ground dead. She looked at the crumbled form then at the initiates.

“Look well students. This is the path of the Dark Side of the Force. Hate, fear, anger. It is swift and easy to use. It corrupts. The Light Side of the Force is much slower, harder to access, but it does not corrupt. Neither is forgiving.” She looked at the form again, then at the initiates. She looked around and saw the rest of her kin standing with blades dripping. She nodded to them, and then the floor came up to meet her.

When Ona woke, she found herself in her own bunk with Idjit and Trugoy standing beside her. She nodded to them, and they smiled at her. Sleep was coming again for her, but she had to know. Her thoughts must have been easy to read because Idjit smiled at her again and nodded. She nodded back, relieved.

“You told the initiates to beware of polluted wounds sister. You should have checked yourself.” His emotionless tone belied his relief at her recovery. She smiled at him. “You will be all right sister.” Idjit promised her and she smiled again as she sank back into slumber.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:14 AM | #4
Ona restrained a wince as she sat up. Weakness of the body was to be expected after such a wound. She shook her head, bemused that she had never even felt the raking talon that had sliced across her back. It had hit one of the areas where the nerves had burned out when the now deceased Sith had used her as a training dummy. That was one reason she had applied herself to studying the Force power Stasis so diligently. She felt the rough and ready bandages that covered her back and sighed. She wished she could use her power on herself, but… It just never seemed to work. She shook her head, enough ruminating on the past, her present had to… a throat cleared and she saw Idjit standing at the entrance to her cell. Any time they set up camp, they declared areas to be cells, therefore private. For meditation, rest, working out and just thinking. It was a good way to remove oneself from the mass of beings who called the cave home. In her case, her ‘cell’ was a small cave with a blanket stretched across the entrance and Idjit had pulled the blanket up to look at her.

“For assault on a master, dosing him with a sedative, your punishment is a week working in the kitchen.” She stared at him, but schooled her features into an impassive mask before replying. She worked in the kitchen every day anyway… She bowed her head and by sheer force of effort, she kept her amusement out of her voice.

“As the master blade commands.” He didn’t bat an… well… he didn’t give anything away. And when he spoke again, it was softer, less harsh.

“For failure to check you own self for possible toxic wounds… hmmm…” Now his face stretched in a grin. “You are sentenced to work with Jon.” She cringed dramatically. She worked with him every day.

“No… master, no… anything but that…” Idjit laughed and she shared it. He came into her space and extended his arms and she embraced her battlebrother.

“Well done, Ona. I couldn’t have killed that scum better myself.” She stiffened a bit. From him that was high praise indeed. “I don’t think even Sharlina could have made it so… perfect. Well done.” He repeated and hugged her again. She shook her head.

“Sharlina would have drawn it out, made him hurt more.” Idjit had to smile at her dubious tone. But when he spoke it held no humor.

“Maybe, maybe not. She always was… different.” Ona looked at him and his face was turned away. If he had possessed eyes they would have been looking off into the distance. She gave her brother a hug. She was always better at feeling than talking and the feeling she got from him, even through his tight control were… She blushed. He smiled at her. “Sharlina always did her own thing. Yes she supported us, but she always had her own path.” She looked at him and froze as she realized something. He was worried. Not overtly, but deep, deep down something was… She inhaled.

“How long was I out? They are facing the Trial now?” Idjit released her and stood back, now totally in control and she dropped her eyes. He was higher rank, no matter what they played at, or what he wished. He nodded and she shook her head. “How long?” She repeated.

“You have been out for two days. But… Caja and Lokji are as ready as they will be.” Now she looked at him with her features schooled and he just shook his head. “You know I have never been able to see the results. We just have to wait.”

Ona nodded, finished dressing, then picked up her blade and held it for a moment. She drew it and smiled. Idjit smiled back. It just wasn’t done for a Bladeborn to handle another’s sword, but someone had cleaned hers and put it back oiled. She had a good idea who. She sheathed her sword, finished her preparations and bowed to Idjit. He bowed back. And when he extended a hand she took it. As she exited her cell, she was aware of scrutiny. She looked around and smiled as she saw all of her kin working on the various tasks required of living in a cave. She let Idjit lead her to her assigned post, the kitchen and smiled a bit less happily as she saw the mound of dirty dishes. Some things never changed. Without power for recyclers, they had to do things the ancient way. By hand. She reached for the soap and the towels.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:15 AM | #5
<Korriban caves>

The Sith known as Caja sat and cried. She had failed. All this time… She didn’t remember her parents. Her first memories were of the Sith academy where she had been pitted against the other students to survive. Kill or be killed, scramble up over the still warm bodies of her fellow students, often times literally. And then… out of nowhere the strange blind man had come, pulling her out of that dark place and taking her here, wherever here was. The training was just as brutal, but… different. Here, they didn’t just curse and scream, here they praised as well. And they answered questions. Some were kind, some were not. She.. She froze. Something… She wasn’t alone…

When they had sent her into this cave they had simply told her she would be tested. So she had followed the directions she had been given, but in the dark she must have gotten turned around and now she was lost. And to fail in such a stupid way… She almost hoped whatever was stalking her would kill her so she wouldn’t have to face a humiliating execution from people she was actually beginning to like… She blinked in the darkness. She did like these people. They were Sith, but unlike any she had ever seen or heard of. She had heard rumors of the Bladeborn of course, who hadn’t… but… these were nothing like… She froze again as something brushed the sleeve of her robe.

“Sssssssiitttthhhh.” The word was drawn out, and it took all of her control to keep from screaming. She drew her sword, but… she couldn’t see anything and the Force… She blinked again and focused, but it was like a vid screen without a signal, nothing but static.

“I ssssmell you Ssssssith…” She cocked her head, trying to hear where the sound was coming from but the sibilants in the syllables defeated that. It seemed to come from all around. No one had said anything about a fight in here, but… She swung her sword and mocking laughter came back to her as she hit nothing but air.

Her fear was strong now, but she held it at bay, focusing herself to face whatever came. Then… Everything fell away.

<Somewhere>

She blinked. She stood in a circular room. The walls were decorated with carvings and the chairs looked comfortable, but the beings that stood in front of her drew her attention away from her surroundings. Five beings in cowled brown robes. A human, a Wookiee, a Mon Calamari, a Nautalon, and a Twilek. All held ignited lightsabers. Green, blue, yellow, violet… Jedi… She looked at them, and then at her sword, whish was still unsheathed. She shook her head. She sheathed her sword, fighting was out of the question. The Jedi all deactivated their sabers and sat. One motioned her to a chair and after a moment, she sat as well. The Nautalon spoke.

“You have courage Sith, and sense. That is a rare combination.” She didn’t reply, just looked around the room. She counted twelve chairs, but only five Jedi. That was odd. The Jedi studied her, but she remained silent. Finally the human spoke, it was a female, old but still spry.

“Do you know why you are here?” She stared at the Jedi then shook her head slightly, bemused. The female human cocked her head and spoke again, softer. Almost gentle, almost…

“You are here to be judged.” She froze at the Jedi’s words. Then she shook her head. The Twilek laughed sourly.

“Do you really believe you can win against us?” She shook her head again and now they were all looking at her intently. The Twilek spoke again. “This can go two ways. Easy or hard. Easy will be much less painful.”

She laughed, not sourly, or sarcastically, but honestly amused. It seemed to baffle the Jedi. She shook herself and stood, and then she bowed to the Jedi and drew her sword. They also rose and drew their lightsabers, but the Mon Calamari spoke. And it had her voice!

“There is no need for violence sister, tell us what we wish to know and we will be easy with you.” She spoke, quietly, but fierce.

“You are no sister of mine.” She assumed a ready stance and the Jedi ignited their sabers. The Mon Calamari attacked and she defended herself. She dodged, wondering why only one Jedi was attacking, but put it out of her mind. Until she saw an opening and she took it. The Jedi’s saber deflected high and she struck, hard, fast and sure. As her blade sank into the body she saw under the cowl and stared into the eyes of… herself…

<Korriban>

She came back to herself screaming. Strong hands held her in a warm embrace as she cried hard. The voice she had heard before spoke in her ear, still sibilant, but much kinder.

“Eassssy girl. It isss ok. You are ok… You passssed thissss Trial.” The warm embrace did wonders to calm her and she relaxed for the first time in… She had no idea how long she had been here. She felt…good… She looked up and saw a scaled face. She knew this being. Caja smiled. The face smiled back and she took the image of that smile to slumber with her.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:17 AM | #6
She woke. For just a moment, she was unsure of where she was. Then she smiled as she smelled him. She opened her eyes and Idjit sat beside her bunk with… she stiffened as she saw the small brown from sitting beside him. Master Trugoy spoke.

“Be at peace. You passed the Trial.” She nodded, unsure of what to say or if she should say anything. He continued. “Extend your arm.” She froze, then steeled herself and did as he said. Idjit took her arm in a grip of steel and Ona came forward with a length of metal that glowed redhot. Trugoy spoke again.

“Do not think that this is an end. From this moment forth your training will only get harder. But, from this moment on, you are one of us." they had actually discussed what she wanted to be called, but she hadn't dreamed it would be this soon.

"Tiana of the Bladeborn.” She met his eyes and didn’t flinch as Ona brought the brand down on her arm. She ignored the pain, the smell, the noise. It was almost a shock when the pain ebbed and the iron withdrew. A cool cloth was laid on her arm and Ona gave her a gentle squeeze on the non-burned area. Idjit released her arm and moved back a step. Ona bowed and left the cell. Tiana, pulled the cloth up and looked at the angry red mark, a stylized sword. Then she put the cloth back on it and she looked at her master and the master of the Order and smiled. Trugoy bowed to her, and then left silently. Idjit sighed.

“Rest, Tiana. Tomorrow your true training begins.” He turned to go, but she made a soft noise and he turned back. She spoke quietly.

“Lockji?” Idjit shook his head, and Tiana sank back into her bunk. Sleep was long in coming.

<A few minutes later>

Idjit stood outside the medical area and shook his head. When he walked into the room where the medics were finishing up, he could hear the laughter even muffled by the straitjacket and gag. He felt Ona’s sadness, and Jon’s anger at the boy. He sighed.

“It is not his fault, Jon.” His words were calm and even, but the other human recoiled as if slapped. Ona reached out and took her fellow medic’s arm in hers and led him out f the area. Idjit sighed, and then raised his sword. For just a moment through the Force he saw the boy’s eyes looking at him, the madness gone for just a second and his eyes filled with gratitude.

And then… it was done. Idjit cleaned his sword and walked out of the room. He slumped and Ona touched him gently on the arm, sharing his pain. He looked at her, smiled sadly and walked away. Another day in the life of a Bladeborn…
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:17 AM | #7
((And that is the end of that. Everyone give a welcome to the Bladeborn. Irritate them at your own risk. Comments or suggestions always appreciated. Flames... Well.. Don't... just don't...))
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.20.2012 , 09:22 AM | #8
((THis is a short additional piece giving some background to what is about to happen, what will happen, what may happen. And what some pray doesn't happen.))

<That night>

Trugoy sat and thought hard. Something had to be done. The Emperor’s command had to be obeyed… Setsiuna Andal had to be taken and remanded into the care of Dark Council Member Darmuk. But… Grabbing Sharlina’s sister would not be a good idea. He shuddered to think of how Sharlina might react to that. The Force only knew how much he treasured that girl, but… She was impulsive and entirely too prone to jump into problems swords first. Not that many of the other Bladeborn didn’t have the same problem. Case in point…

<The Emperor commanded it. She will obey.> Reekia was not your stereotypical Sith. Being seven feet tall, at least two hundred kilos of fur and muscle, the massive Bladeborn was also not the best at thinking unconventionally. Which was one reason the Emperor tolerated her. Well, that and her devotion to the Empire was unquestioned. Sith she might be, but Reekia retained the Wookiee sense of honor. <Sharlina will obey. That is all that matters.>

“Will she?” The hushed voice came from the shadows and even Trugoy had difficulty seeing the speaker. Even in the Force, Leeto seemed a shadowy figure. Which made sense, he was the sneakiest of the group. The one best suited to evasion and well… sneaky stuff. The Rodian, sensing his master’s notice, smiled a bit and straightened from his habitual slouch. Then he looked back at his battlesister. “Sharlina has only ever had us as a family, after Illum.”

All of them looked away at that. They knew what had happened there. Another voice came and all of the somber faces lightened a bit when Ona spoke. She had that effect on people. The healer was one of those rare beings who could defuse any situation. One of the many reasons she had stayed with her kin after she had been maimed.

“Chari says she knows that Setsuna is her sister. You know how she feels about us. Do you really think she will let anyone take Setsuna from her?” All of the circle looked at each other. Idjit shook his head.

“What if… someone else tries to snatch her and we happen to help? Maybe extract them both, sequester them together somewhere. I have to say, no offense Reekia, but Lord Darmuk might…” The seer broke off. They stared at him and he shook his head.

“Idjit?” Trugoy finally prompted. Idjit looked at him and spoke slowly.

“When I spoke to the council, something was off… about Lord Darmuk.” Reekia scoffed.

<Much is off about Darmuk.> But Idjit shook his head and she looked at him.

“When I showed the council the vision, the reactions of the rest of the council were fairly uniform. His was… guarded…? No… No… that isn’t it….” He broke off and the others waited for him to speak again, but he stiffened and would have fallen except Ona jumped to his side and propped him up.

“Get away Ona!” Trugoy’s barked command had her scrambling before she comprehended the words. “You know better… he is seeing.”

<Outside of time and space>

He kept seeing the same thing, it was frustrating that no matter what he asked, what he tried to see, it always came back to the same thing. The same vision he had shown the council.

So when he saw the same scene as always, the Andal girl crying over a body with a rusty helmet.

Suddenly everything around him cracked. They started at the girl, no...on the girl? He could see it, see the fractures as she stood up and started moving. See them widen until parts of her started snapping off. The galaxy seem to break with her, stars fading out of existence as people fell to that strange illness he had seen before.

Finally the girl known as Setie simply collapsed on the ground in front of him, shattering to pieces entirely. The ground shattered with her dropping him into nothing.

He saw faces spinning past him. Some he knew and others he did not. Sharlina, the Emperor, Trugoy, a kiffar jedi, a merc, a twi'lek dancer in some club, another jedi somewhere he didn't catch....

They were all screaming, all searching for relief as that illness he had seen ate them alive.

Something was dripping from his nose...blood? He was suddenly so tired. He just needed to close his eyes for a minute...

No! He would stay up, he had to follow the vision though.

Suddenly the spinning and sensation of falling stopped. There was a small amount of light around him as a black robed and masked person came forward.

The mask was silver and canine in structure. A skull full of teeth ready to pounce and devour. Hunger hung on it like a the black cloak. Growling ringing in the ears.

Then another stepped forward to the first one's left. Robed the same so one couldn't tell who was underneath. The bronze mask was a grinning skull with darker markings that looked like infections on flesh. He could hear someone laughing maniacally.

Still another stepped over, the left of the bronze one. This one's mask was more of a ancient helmet that one wore to march to war, done in a red as dark as blood. The face hidden under cloth and lenses like the form was under black robes. He could hear alarms ringing.

They all stared at him a moment, then behind him.

Idjit turned and an odd sense of fear gripped him, he shrugged it off as it just being the disturbing nature of the vision.

The one before him now, like the rest, wore black. There was no face though, no mask. A glint of steel was all that showed as he tried to see under the hood. His ears strained but he heard nothing. No even his own breathing.

The figure stepped forward with a skeletal hand outstretched. Idjit stared at the bones in confusion as they gave the lightest brush against his robes...

His vision went red as blood poured from his eyes.

The agony was horrible. Something was burning, eating him alive from the inside. Who did this to him? Everyone had, they were all to blame, slaughter them all for it. Slaughter them all! KILL THEM ALL!

Something was inside him, pulling strings as he watched his own body, his own sword start cutting into people like mad. His sisters...his brothers...Master Trugoy

The same thing kept repeating in his mind. Kill them all, kill them all, kill them all...

Suddenly Idjit simply shattered in a blast of blood and bone



<Back with the Bladeborn>

Idjit came back to himself swinging his sword. And screaming. Nothing he had ever seen even came close to what he had just encountered. A stasis field settled over him and he turned his gaze from his inner horror to his kin. A flicker of recognition and Ona released him. He slumped to the ground.

“Its coming…” Was all he managed to get out before he fell unconscious.
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