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Echoes in the Force

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
10.24.2012 , 07:31 AM | #1
This is my first fanfiction, got the idea from my last vs thread Nihilus vs Vitiate. Its sort of a 'what if' being what if Nihilus had never been killed. Its not too long and hopefully quite readable, please leave feedback, what you think about the end and maybe what else you'd like to see (I'm planning on writing a longer one in the future about Kreia and what she was doing after she was exiled and before discovering Malachor V)
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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…


STAR WARS
ECHOES IN THE FORCE

The galaxy is in ruin. Kreia’s plans to destroy the Triumvirate have failed. Meetra Surik, the only hope for salvation, has fallen, joining Darth Nihilus as his dark apprentice in her ever growing hunger for the force. Together they lead a savage campaign to devour all life in galaxy – none can oppose them…

I

The dark side is strong here, an oppressive force of evil it festers on the bridge of the Ravager and threatens to consume everything. It is a nexus of deathly shadow, with the grim, black figure of Darth Nihilus at its centre. The newly crowned Darth Vacuous. Exile of the Order. Pupil of Kreia. Bane of the Jedi, approaches the Lord of Hunger. She, like him, is a wound in the force, a shadow of a Jedi and doom of the galaxy.

“My lord.” She kneels before her Master, the tail of her obsidian-armoured robes flap about her legs.

“You summoned me?”

The Dark Lord spoke. No longer a man, but a lingering spirit within a hollow shell, his words an echo of a previous life, a deathly chant that could only be understood by those he chose.

Vacuous raises her pale visage to gaze at her master. “Yes, my lord. I sensed it too, a great power lurks in the galaxy, deep in the Outer Rim. We must… consume it”.

An echoing cry. Perhaps anger. Rage. Only Vacuous can comprehend his words.

“Of course, my lord. The prize is yours alone. I will continue my search for Sion; he cannot evade us for ever”.

Sion. Lord of Pain, hides in the Unknown Regions. Traya met her end on Malachor V when the Ravager destroyed what was left of the graveyard planet. But Sion escaped, and he must die, be devoured as the rest of the galaxy shall.

II

Deep in Sith space, buried in the Outer Rim, the forgotten world of Dromund Kaas seethes with the power of the dark side, and another nexus of evil lurks within its imposing Citadel. Lord Vitiate, Emperor of the True Sith, broods over his plans to destroy the Jedi and devour the known galaxy. But someone has beaten him to it.

The serrated throne of the Emperor revolves on hidden mechanisms to face red skinned Sith who strides across the dark walkway of his throne room. Lord Scourge, Wrath of the Emperor and betrayer of Revan kneels before his master.

“What is thy bidding, my Emperor?” Inside, he stifles the urge to kill. To strike down he who would see the Empire destroyed. But he knows another will defeat him, he has foreseen it.

The voice of the Emperor resounds across the chamber. A voice of power. A voice of the dark side. It seems eternal.

“I have sensed… a great disturbance in the Force. Countless deaths, spanning the galaxy. A powerful echo ripples across the stars. I hear it, but its source evades me.”

Scourge did not have to feign surprise, or fear. For the feelings were real. He had felt a disturbance to, a sickness in the galaxy – but not a strongly as the Emperor.

“What is to be done? This, power. It could threaten our Empire.”

The cracked, marred face of the Emperor is absorbed in thought. He has been ravaged by emersion in the dark side over millennia, but his eyes burn with the light of stars, red as blood. He leans forward, the force of his gaze bearing down on Scourge.

Rising to his feet, he descends from his throne, stopping only inches from the pureblood’s kneeling figure. A taloned finger extends, Scourge raises his face as its cold tip touches his for forehead. His eyes flash purple, the Emperor’s entity flows through his body, like fire.

The Emperor draws back. His cold presence lessening somewhat. “Now I shall see what you see, hear what you hear. You are my vessel, an extension of my will. Go. Take your starship, find the cause of this disturbance – I will guide you.”

“Yes, my Emperor.” Lord Scourge rises. Bows low. Then turns and strides from the Emperor’s throne room with new purpose.

I will find this threat, and lead it to the Emperor. For it must be whom I foresaw in my vision.

III


Even the greatest powers in the galaxy are not easily found, Scourge has learned this. His starship computer readouts tell him 30 rotations of Dromund’s great star have passed since he left the Emperor. And yet the only signs of his quarry are eerie worlds of silence. He thought Nathema was hell itself, but these worlds, these worlds are ravaged, blackened, their once lush surfaces annihilated, dead.

What could have caused such destruction? A single man? Such a being must possess immense power, power that could be turned against the Emperor…

“Scourge.”

The Emperor’s voice thunders in his head as he studies the display on his navicomputer.

“I am here, my Emperor.” Scourge needn’t speak, for his thoughts were enough for the Emperor to hear.

“You are yet to discover the disturber of the Force. This is most… unsettling.” His voice echoes in Scourge’s skull, threatening to overpower his senses.

“Forgive me, my Emperor. I have only found destruction, but not the destroyer.”

“I see what you see, Scourge. Here what you hear, the answers are before you and yet you do not see them… perhaps I overestimated your abilities.”

“I… I am sorry, my Emperor.”

“That is not the way of the Sith.” Pain, unbearable pain, it wracks the Scourge’s convulsing frame and brings him to his knees.

“You have disappointed me Scourge. But I am merciful, I will show you what you have failed to see.”

IV


Felucia, the planet thrums with the Force. A beautiful world, from above it is precious orb of sapphires, emeralds and amethysts. It shall all be consumed.

The Ravager drops out of hyperspace, like a thrusting dagger. It is a symbol of death consuming without end. Felucia is doomed.

Under the guidance of the Emperor, Scourge follows the trail of destruction to its source, like bread crumbs, but all the more sinister. He has found it. The source of the disturbance hangs like a plague above an unsuspecting world, teeming with life. Scourge’s navicomputer classifies the planet as unknown, as it has done with those before. The Sith Empire is small, lurking on the edges of the galaxy, it knows little of anything beyond. But Scourge knows it does not matter, for this world will soon be dead like the others.

The vessel has not noticed his presence. So he waits, for the inevitable.

The screams came first. The screams of a billion lives being slowly consumed and devoured as a great black hulk crawls across the planet. Dark, billowing tendrils weave their way across its surface like a disease. Before long, the planet is entirely enveloped in darkness and death, Felucia is no more.

Scourge has seen enough, felt enough, even a Sith does not delight in the deaths of millions. For the death of the Force is desired by few. Still undetected, Scourge’s starship approaches the battlecruiser. It is as dead as the world beneath it. Its hull is broken and battered, great cavernous holes pocket its surface, blasted open by a battle long ended. Its outer plating is scorched black, and sparks leap across its wounds and pulsate along its surface. It is a ghost ship, Scourge fears the worst.

Navigating his starship through exposed infrastructure, Scourge touches down in an abandoned hangar. The readings on his display indicate the exposed crater is wreathed in a thin shroud of atmosphere, only a veil separates it from the deathly blackness of space. Scourge steps from the boarding ramp onto cold, steel plated metal. With cautious glances he approaches the hangar bay doors. Rusted shut. He must cut his way through the dying vessel.

Even in death, the crew of the Ravager must defend their master’s ship. Slaves to his will they are shades of the past, dead men walking. Four sith troopers, clad in rusted silver armour take up positions either side of the durasteel doors. A ravaged acolyte, clad in black robes with a faceless mask stands ready.

Hiss! A crimson blade ignites with a burst of red hot embers, carving its way through metal and rust. The door’s ancient mechanisms fall apart, it bursts open. In seconds Scourge evaluates his opponents, summoning the force he projects a blast of energy at the acolyte, launching him across the Ravager’s decrepit corridor.

Hack, slash, thrust. The sith troopers fall one after the other, a slice across the gut, stab through the chest, beheaded, maimed, dead. The acolyte is upon him, blade against blade, a flurry of deadly red. But Scourge is stronger, his rage is his ally. The hunger of this place has ravaged his opponent, his strength in the force drained. The acolyte stumbles back, a pommel strike to the head, a slash across the torso. The acolyte crumples to the floor.

Scourge kicks the cold corpse onto its back, his pommel has shattered its faceless mask, a scar shaped crack reveals a devastated face. Drained of life, a spider web of blackened veins lace across cracked pale skin, its eyes are a mottled white. Inhuman.

The crushing weight of the Ravager grows heavier as Scourge plunges deeper into its ruined belly. The soft clack, clack of boot on metal signals another patrol, the sharp sound pierces the silence. Another patrol dead, butchered by his blade. He takes no joy from killing, for these men were already dead. And every step takes him closer to the heart of the crushing darkness.

Darth Nihilus. Lord of Hunger. Surveys the blackened planet that was once Felucia. Yet his hunger is not sated, the faint sound of automated doors swinging open on their mechanisms breaks his meditation. His prey has arrived.

Scourge looks upon the colossal bridge of the Ravager. It is a great metal belly, dimly lit by malignant red lights that line the black struts adorning its rhombic structure. A long, shadowy walkway lies before him, he steps onto it. Looking up, a row of jagged spikes lines the ceiling, and wires hang precariously, lifeless. As he strides forward he notices the walkway is flanked with sunken pits, filled with a near-dead crew of mindless slaves, bound by their masters will they operate the ships flashing control panels.

But they are not the only dead here.

A silhouette in the darkness, shrouded in robes as black as the void of space itself. His tall form casts a long shadow across the floor, yet he seems a shadow himself. Scourge must not be afraid; he is a man, like no other. He will ally with him against the Emperor, or die.

The soft clacking of Scourge’s heavy boots halt, as he stops only metres away from the robed figure.

For a moment there is only silence, the faint buzz of the control panels seems to fade and the dead planet Felucia can no longer make a sound. The flowing robes of the shrouded figure make no sound as he turns to face Scourge, fanning about his legs. And as Scourge stares at his masked visage he sees not a simple man, nor a scientist, commander, sorcerer or warrior, but… nothing. He stares into the depths of a black hole, and screams…

V


Vitiate listens, as Scourge’s cries echo through the Force. He saw everything, the death of Felucia, the Ravager, the Sith Lord. He has a name, a Wound in the Force. Undetectable, unknowable, but deadly, devouring all life. And the murder of Felucia, it has a name too, feeding upon the Force, an ancient ritual forgotten by the Sith millennia ago.

But he has lived for millennia. After the Great Hyperspace War, the Lords of the Sith abandoned Republic space. They left the ritual behind, but he remembers. He remembered the ritual as he summoned the Dark Lords to Medriaas. He remembered the ritual as he consumed all life on the planet, and Medriaas became Nathema. He remembers now, and he remembers how to counter it. There is much preparation to be done.

Nihilus looks upon the cold corpse of Lord Scourge with hollow disinterest. For a greater power waits on the fringes of space. As the pureblood’s life ebbed away he peered into his mind, and felt another, the other staring back at him. He can feel it more than ever now. The Ravager is in the midst of hyperspace, rocketing through an endless blue tunnel. Every parsec bringing him closer to his prey. But his prey is moving, fleeing deep into the Unknown Regions. It must know there is no
escape.

VI


The Emperor is alone. In over a thousand years the Emperor has never been without his Imperial Guard. But they died not long after touching down on the surface of Nathema. There is no Force here, no life, only death. It is perfect. For how can one consume the inconsumable? This Sith Lord will fall before he even reaches him, and the Emperor’s triumph will be glorious.

But Nathema is friend to no one. Even he who sundered life from it so many years ago, even he is at the mercy of the Void. And as the Dark Lord sits hunched on his throne, eyes closed, in his long abandoned palace, the Void attempts to tear him apart. To avenge the death of Medriaas or simply to satisfy its hunger.

But the Emperor is not concerned with the Void; enshrouded in a powerful ritual it can do him no harm. A sphere of darkside energy encompasses him, as he waits for the disturber.

Like the birth of twin red Suns, Vitiate awakes from his slumber. It has arrived.

Finally. Trapped in hyperspace for too long, Darth Nihilus hungers for his prize. He can feel its power, across the plains of the force, it is great but it shall fall as easily as the others. Nihilus. Lord of Hunger. Gazes down at Nathema from the bridge of the Ravager, from the shadowy depths of his bone white mask. His prey is below. It shall die with the planet.

Vitiate rises from his throne, stalking towards the balcony of his chamber.

A gloved hand extends. Dark, black fingers close around Nathema.

Vitiate rests his hands on the balcony’s edge, blood red eyes gazing skyward. The Force amplifies his vision and he sees the Ravager, orbiting the planet. He anticipates his triumph.

Reaching out with the Force, Nihilus envelops the planet’s existence and gorges himself on… but there is nothing, the presence of his prey is wrapped in a vacuum, a void, and it is drawing him in. The Sith Lord screams in agony, his shadowy form seems to warp, his presence being pulled towards the dead world, like a black hole consuming a star.

A smile creeps across the cracked skin of Vitiates face, savouring his adversary’s pain for a moment longer he pauses. Then stalks away.

Like a pair of spinning tops two voids collide, two black holes clash against each other. An invisible force blasts into the Dark Lord. He stumbles. The Ravager shakes and tremors. Falling to his knees Nihilus is defeated, his strength drained, the pain of his unsatisfied hunger threatens to tear him apart. Behind him, control panels flicker and whir, their readouts inform the ravaged crew that a small, unidentified vessel is approaching the cruiser.

VII


The bridge is deathly quiet. Nihilus has not yet recovered from his conflict with Nathema. He remains on his knees, head facing the floor but vision elsewhere. The bridge’s doors swing open, breaking the silence. Two sith troopers turn to face the intruder, but are instantly flung aside by an invisible force. A figure clad in black robes of an ancient sith approaches the hunched form at the end of the bridge. His footsteps make no sound, and the enslaved crew give him a vacant stare as he approaches their master.

Two beings of darkness, the most powerful in the galaxy, stand metres apart. Vitiate stares at his opponent from sunken, blackened sockets. His pale, cracked tendrils quiver as he builds his rage.

“Your hunger has consumed you dark one, as I knew it would.”

Nihilus screams, a blur of black and red soars over Vitiate’s head and lands a few paces behind him, cape flapping about the floor. Blade ignited the shadowy figure rushes his assailant, in a single motion Vitiate spins round to face his attacker, ignites his saber and deflects the blow. The two Sith become a flurry of crimson swords cutting through clouds of inky dusk.

Vitiate disengages abruptly with an elaborate flip, fuelled by the Force. Then releases a thundering blast of dark side energy at his opponent. Like an exorcised ghost, Nihilus is flung across the length of the Ravager’s bridge.

“You are broken, a shadow of your former self.” But the taunting words of Dun Möch have no effect on the Sith Lord, for his hunger now dominates his mind.

Rising to his feet, Nihilus extended an upraised palm, malevolent tendrils of fiery ochre arced towards Vitiate.

It is difficult to defend against the full power of the darkside, to avoid being consumed. But there are those that can. The dark tendrils strike Vitiate in the chest, the darkness creeping across his body in a web of orange. Battered by its power he is launched of his feet, but an invisible net catches him. Suspended in the air purplish wreaths swarm about him, and a powerful glow envelops his body. A nexus of the dark side is forming around him.

Nihilus redoubles his assault, unleashing another blast of orange energy with his other palm. The nexus intensifies, the purple glow illuminating the once blackened bridge. Nihilus screams, eager to consume his prey. Around him everything dies, the slaves of his will collapsing to the floor.

Vitiate’s face seems one of inner calm, his eyes blazing purple. But inside his rage intensifies, his power grows, and boils over.

With a blast of electric power, Vitiate launches as Nihilus. Gliding towards him, unperturbed by his vicious onslaught. A trail of force lighting emanates from his outstretched hands, propelling his advance. In moments he is upon him. Igniting his lightsaber he slashes at the shadow. Lurching away, Nihilus disengages his attack and meets the blow with his own blade. Vitiate pushes him back as their blades meet and his feet touch the floor, a tiny supernova seems to erupt at the collision.

The flurry of blades begins again, fiercer this time. But Nihilus is unknowable. A wound in the force. He cannot be seen or felt. He is a shadow in name and body. And a shadow cannot be fought. With an invisible move Vitiate is dealt a fatal blow across the chest. He collapses to the floor, crackling with the dark side as his body begins to die.

But Nihilus is not done. His final triumph will be the consumption of his foe, his hunger will be sated. But Vitiate is not done either.

“If I must die, everything dies with me.”

His voice echoes through the depths of the Ravager, shaking it to its core. The bridge shudders, groans in agony. Nihilus staggers. The metal struts bend and snap, broken panels dislodge from the ceiling, shattering on the floor. Buzzing monitors explode, electrical sparks scattering aimlessly. Nihilus screams in a savage rage. His prize is taken from him, dissipating into nothing.

The Ravager, bent and broken, sustained only by the will of its master, finally dies. In the depths of space it shatters to pieces, explosions scatter its remains in all directions.

And when the last generator bursts. When the last hunk of metal collides with another. When the last echo ripples through the Force… all is silent.

Rayla_Felana's Avatar


Rayla_Felana
10.24.2012 , 08:06 AM | #2
Very well done, but it isn't the same as Vitiate's ritual, the Ancient Sith techniques Kreia talked about are NOT referring to Nihilus, but the Sith Assassins themselves, they were techniques used so they could perfectly gouge their prey and kill them, but the Exile grew too powerful, too quickly for them.

Nihilus is a random case that randomly happened due to his proximity to the MSG's detonation on Malachor V, he was a larger wound than the Exile because he was much closer, the Exile only felt the shockwaves, something she was able to resist due to her innate ability to sever force connections.

Nihilus can only be weakened enough if you force him into using his hunger on deadened worlds or people, like the Exile, he ended up absorbing some of the Exile's death and it nearly killed him, the Exile finished off the job.

Nihilus would be something the Emperor would never see coming, just like the combined Jedi Order couldn't.

But regardless the writing of this is top quality.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
10.24.2012 , 08:46 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Rayla_Felana View Post
Very well done, but it isn't the same as Vitiate's ritual, the Ancient Sith techniques Kreia talked about are NOT referring to Nihilus, but the Sith Assassins themselves, they were techniques used so they could perfectly gouge their prey and kill them, but the Exile grew too powerful, too quickly for them.

Nihilus is a random case that randomly happened due to his proximity to the MSG's detonation on Malachor V, he was a larger wound than the Exile because he was much closer, the Exile only felt the shockwaves, something she was able to resist due to her innate ability to sever force connections.

Nihilus can only be weakened enough if you force him into using his hunger on deadened worlds or people, like the Exile, he ended up absorbing some of the Exile's death and it nearly killed him, the Exile finished off the job.

Nihilus would be something the Emperor would never see coming, just like the combined Jedi Order couldn't.

But regardless the writing of this is top quality.
Thankyou, but I would disagree. I based the whole scenario of Vitiate being aware of Nihilus's power on what Kreia said to the Exile (DS only):

“It is also possible to draw upon the strengths of others, to increase your own. It is similar to drawing upon the Force as Jedi do, but when it is touched by the power of the dark side… it is something else, something deadly. These Sith we face… they have learned how to do this. It is a technique that has been lost for some time, not seen in the days since the ancient Sith. They can use it to consume other Force Sensitives and at the highest pinnacle of power, use it to consume anything that lives. The blind seer, her Master has harnessed this technique, and he is rapidly approaching the height of its power. I fear he may even rival some of the ancient Sith.”

Kreia is making it clear here, that Nihilus has harnessed the power used by the Ancient Sith and possibly know to Vitiate. Of course what Vitiate did on Nathema is not the same, i should have made that more clear, I think he is instead attempting to replicate it. Because the power is instinctive and therefore those who possess it are something of an anomaly as you said. Vitiate probably tried to perform the ritual himself but instead deliberately and therefore needed complex preparation to complete it. But in the end, I think he was aware of the ritual and therefore knew how to counter it.

As for not seeing him coming, no he wouldn't, which is the reason Vitiate was ultimately defeated because despite being right infront of him he could still not 'see' him. But Vitiate could hear the echoes he created, the deaths of millions can be felt across the galaxy by force sensitives, like Obi-Wan did with Aldreean. So Vitiate would have sensed the echoes and sent Scourge to investigate. The reason Vitiate helped Scourge find him, and I didn't actually mention this, is the patterns he saw in the dead planets which showed the path Nihilus was taking, like following bread crumbs.

Hope that explains it a bit more, a thanks for reading it

Rayla_Felana's Avatar


Rayla_Felana
10.24.2012 , 09:31 AM | #4
She never outright stated that Nihilus is the way he is because of that technique, only that it's how he harnessed the hunger he gained.

This is further revealed when the Exile can reply with 'But those Sith on the Harbinger were quite weak' or a random version of that line.

If she was referring to Nihilus himself I'd agree, but she isn't, in-fact when you ask her about the 'Lord of Hunger' she never makes any reference to the Ancient Sith whatsoever and calls him an Echo of Malachor V, clearly he's a special case that only happened due to his emotional state and lack of force sensitivity beforehand.

But regardless, I don't want to hijack your thread.

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
10.24.2012 , 09:38 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Rayla_Felana View Post
She never outright stated that Nihilus is the way he is because of that technique, only that it's how he harnessed the hunger he gained.

This is further revealed when the Exile can reply with 'But those Sith on the Harbinger were quite weak' or a random version of that line.

If she was referring to Nihilus himself I'd agree, but she isn't, in-fact when you ask her about the 'Lord of Hunger' she never makes any reference to the Ancient Sith whatsoever and calls him an Echo of Malachor V, clearly he's a special case that only happened due to his emotional state and lack of force sensitivity beforehand.

But regardless, I don't want to hijack your thread.
Don't worry about it, I would agree with you here. I doubt Nihilus has any real knowledge of the ancient technique, it all seems very instinctive. Nonetheless, from what Kreia says it must have some links, I agree that is very far off from what happened on Nathema though.

What did you think of Darth Vacuous (AKA DS Meetra) do you think she's a character worth exploring?

Anysao's Avatar


Anysao
10.26.2012 , 10:36 AM | #6
Interesting story! But for the record, you posted what kreia says to the exile dark side ONLY.
I think it would be fair to put what she said for light side.
Kreia doesn't tell the exile about how the Sith were trained, she tells her that these were not the true Sith, And the true Sith plot at the edge of the galaxy, AKA, vitiate's empire.

So, yes, I enjoyed the story! Honestly, it could be half-canon! I could just imagine it.. Pure awesomeness
Ooh! In WildStar, I get double jumps, path choices, and massive PvP! That sounds cool, but one question, where do I get a lightsaber?
I will never take someone who says "EAware" seriously.
You cannot escape the Moonbanger!The Ebon Hawk Starfighter Enthusiast.

Klannad's Avatar


Klannad
10.26.2012 , 11:04 AM | #7
I could care less about the canonicity of this fan fiction like others. This was amazing. Really good. Rarely am I able to read other fan-fiction on here. This was brilliant

Eightus's Avatar


Eightus
10.30.2012 , 10:10 AM | #8
One of the best fan fictions Ive read. I think if the two were to ever face each other, this would be the most logical outcome. Overall, it was enjoyable and easy to read, really good writing skills as well.

Canino's Avatar


Canino
11.03.2012 , 07:53 AM | #9
This is excellent! I don't normally read fan fictions, but this was spectacular! I also believe that DS Meetra is a character worth exploring, I want to know what happened to her!
STATEMENT: I'm just a simple assassin...I mean bodyguard, master. You have nothing to fear.
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