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A Time Displaced Sith


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taxidermis
11.21.2018 , 07:23 PM | #41
just read the last chapter. Im intrigued and looking forward to more, that being said....

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OfficerDonNZ
12.02.2019 , 11:36 PM | #42
Chapter 24

Two Temples


__________________

Janson ‘Face’ Falon was a human male in his thirties with sandy blonde hair and grey-blue eyes. Currently the slicer was walking down one of the back streets in CoCo town cursing Coruscant Security, again. He’d not long finished an all night job for them and was looking forward to some shut eye.

How Face came it work for Coruscant Security was interesting and very embarrassing when you’re supposed to be one of the better slicers in Galactic City. He’d become someone else’s fall guy and he was not happy about it. Still working for Coruscant Security was better than being in prison. Last night’s job had cost him a hot date he’d been trying to line up for months. That’s one holonet star that won’t be returning my calls he mused. Face had one almost fatal weakness, women. The more attractive and mysterious the better.

Face looked up and saw he was near Dex’s Diner. The man smiled, he hadn’t been into Dex’s for quite some time. Going there always improved his mood. Sleep was overrated anyway, maybe he could spend a few minutes chatting up Hermione? She always seemed to enjoy the attention even if it never lead anywhere as he knew Dex was very protective of the girl.

____

Dex whistled a happy tune as he opened up his diner for the day. The Besalisk still couldn’t believe he’d spent two or had it been three hours talking to Nathrrya yesterday. It had been a fascinating experience not least because she had often spoken directly into his mind. Not surprising given what they had been talking about. After all, the woman was trying to keep a low profile. Dex had to agree keeping her true origins concealed was a good thing. The general population didn’t need to know there was a Sith Lord in their mist. Dex thought about the slicers he knew. Picking the right one was no easy task as he’d gained a good understanding of Nathrrya and what she needed.

The Besalisk was brought out of his musings when he heard Hermione laugh playfully. Looking up he saw the reason for her laughter, Face. The man looked exhausted but still managed to muster enough energy to flirt with his human waitress.

“Look what the wampa dragged in!” Dex called “Take a seat and I’ll get you a nice strong mug of caff.”

“Dex, caff is that last thing I need.” Face complained as he took a seat at the counter. “Finished an all nighter, and all I want to do is go home and sleep.”

“Yet you’re here flirting with Hermione.” The Besalisk countered as he put a big mug of caff in front of the slicer. “And that caff will be gone before you leave.”

Face shrugged as he took a drink. “What can I say, your caff is just that good.”

Dex chuckled “I have a proposition for you, Face.”

“What kind of proposition?”

“The kind that’ll see you earn considerable credits, certainly more than what Coruscant Security pays you. I have a... friend who needs a Republic ID and going through official channels isn’t an option.”

Face nodded slowly, more credits were never a bad thing but there had to be a catch. “What have they done?”

Dex chuckled “She hasn’t done anything, she don’t officially exist.”

The slicer blinked “How can she not officially exist?” Face narrowed his eyes “What aren’t you telling me Dex?”

The Besalisk grinned “Plenty.”

Face then realised what he’d said “She?” he asked intrigued.

Dex smirked “Thought that’d get your attention.”

“You have indeed. So when do I get to meet this... friend of yours?” the smooth talking ladies man asked.

“Give me some time to set up a meeting. And no I will not be leaving the two of you alone.” Dex replied.

Face pouted “Worried for her safety?”

The Besalisk shock his head looking serious “No I’m more concerned about yours. I need you to understand something, Face. The woman you will be dealing with is dangerous but at the same time is easy to get on with. Just don’t try and get her in between the sheets. She may not take your advances well. Believe me when I say this will all make sense once you meet her.”

Face nodded as he took Dex’s warning seriously. It made the slicer wonder what he’d gotten himself into this time.

_____

As Nathrrya walked down the hall towards the council chambers she was at a loss for the reason she was requested to be at today's council meeting. Once she was there, standing alongside the others did it made much more sense to her. Besides herself Anakin and Shmi Skywalker were there, as well as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. With this audience it seemed that the council were going to finally decide the boy’s fate. The Sith woman only hoped that the verdict would be in favour of training him so she didn't have to step up and take the boy under her wing. She would if she had to, but preferred the former option.

Master Windu looked at the collected group and addressed them. “You all may have surmised by now what this meeting is about. After much deliberation the Council has decided to take Anakin Skywalker into the Jedi Order as an initiate. The deciding factor was the knowledge of how dangerous it would be to leave the boy untrained. He is strong in the force and has great potential."

Thank you... Nathrrya thought with relief. The council seemed to have improved with this decision and it indicated to her that they started to use logic in addition to the rules instead of just blindly following them with such rigidity that they were beginning to crumble from the unchanging pressure.

“Anakin, step forward," Yoda said. The boy did as he was asked. Yoda looked at him calmly. “To begin the life of Jedi, ready are you?"

Anakin nodded solemnly in response. "Yes Master Yoda, I am.”

“Then a master you will need."

Qui-Gon stepped forward as Master Yoda spoke. “Anakin, would you do me the honour of becoming my padawan learner?”

The boy looked confused as he shifted his eyes between him and Obi-Wan. "I thought he was your padawan," he said. "Are you allowed to have two?"

"Yes, Obi-Wan is, but he is very close to his trials for Knighthood. I have very little left that I can teach him. Given your current circumstances the Council found it would be more beneficial for you if I were to take you early, since you are familiar with me and Obi-Wan already."

Nathrrya didn't bother to keep the grin off her face. She was pleased to see that the Jedi were beginning to work more on the logical side of things. She could only hope that this was coming from her presence and that it was having a positive effect. Time will see if this is true.

Anakin visibly brightened up after what Qui-Gon said. "Yes!" There was a large amount of enthusiasm mustered in that one little word and Nathrrya could feel it. Her grin turned into a smile. Anakin turned towards her, then, unexpectedly. “But, will I be able to train with Nathrrya too?”

No one in the room expected this to come from the boy's lips, least of all the woman who it was directed at. She was not normally caught off guard with things like this and he looked puzzled and stunned for a very brief moment. She was pretty sure the look on her face matched those of the others in the room, bar Yoda.

Qui-Gon suppressed a smile for he suspected this might happen. “I see no reason why not once you’re old enough.” The Jedi master looked about the room “Unless anyone objects?”

“Are you sure about this Anakin?” Nathrrya asked as she came to stand by the boy.

“Yes. The other Sith, Sidious? He’s still out there and he’ll want to try and tempt me.” Anakin said looking up at the Sith woman with an earnest expression. While Nathrrya had never told Anakin this directly, the boy had been smart enough to work it out on his own. “You’ll be able to teach me how to resist him... won’t you?”

Nathrrya nodded “Yes, I can and I’d be honoured to teach you.” She said with a smile “But as Qui-Gon says it’ll keep until you’re older.” She knelt to be closer to the boy’s height “For now, concentrate on being you. Put all thoughts of the Chosen One out of your mind.” She looked in the direction of the Council “All those present know what Anakin might be and it should stay that way. The pressure of being the Chosen One could easily destroy Anakin just as surely as Sidious making him fall would.”

The Jedi Council heard the warning in Nathrrya’s voice. Yoda nodded slowly in understanding “Great wisdom you show. Right you may be.”

“What makes you say that?” Mace Windu asked, he was genuinely curious.

“Experience.” The Sith said sadly “My apprentice Jaesa had a rare ability that allowed her to see one’s true nature through the force. Her Jedi master Nomen Karr was so determined to expose the fact that the Jedi and Republic had been infiltrated by deep cover imperial spies that he almost destroyed the girl.”

“Your apprentice was a Jedi?” Plo Koon asked shocked

Nathrrya smirked as she stood up “Yes. I had better start at the beginning so this could take awhile. During the Empire’s invasion of the Republic prior to the Treaty of Coruscant, Master Karr went undercover as a Sith Lord but was eventually exposed by Darth Baras, the two became bitter enemies.” She explained “Decades later when I was Baras’ apprentice his considerable spy network came under threat of being exposed by Master Karr and his mysterious young padawan. I was sent to both silence Baras’ comprised spies and track the padawan down.”

Mace frowned “You were to kill Jaesa?”

Nathrrya grimaced “Yes. However the more I learned about her I realised she would be far more valuable as an apprentice. I had no real idea how I’d manage such a thing and I’d worry about that once I actually found Jaesa.”

“Since she became your apprentice you were obviously successful in turning her to the Dark Side.” Ki-Adi-Mundi accused.

Nathrrya rolled her eyes. “Just because Jaesa became my apprentice dose not mean I turned her.” She snapped “Master Karr almost did that for me.”

Mace frowned “What do you mean?”

The Sith smiled “I eventually confronted Master Karr on Hutta...” she began her tale

_________

Nathrrya wrinkled her nose as she stepped off the shuttle at the Jiguuna space port. Hutta smelled as bad as it looked. She was followed by Quinn, Vette and a dozen House Palatine troops. The Sith was thankful they wouldn’t be here for any great length of time.

Half an hour later found Nathrrya and her retinue outside Nomen Karr’s safe house which was in the middle of the swamps that surrounded Jiguuna. The Sith turned to Sergeant Kaleb Antilles.

“My confrontation with Master Karr should eventually draw his padawan to us. You and your men, Sergeant are to ensure the girls safety and make certain that none of the locals poke their noses in where it’s not wanted.”

The veteran trooper saluted “Understood, Lady Palatine. We’ll keep the location secure and ensure the padawan’s safety when she arrives.” Kaleb knew the Jedi padawan was special in some way and that Lady Palatine was trying to capture her. That was all the information he and his men needed.

“Good.” Nathrrya said as she turned to enter the safe house “Vette, Quinn you’re with me.”

“I am so not getting used to you being called Lady Palatine, no matter how many times I hear it.” Vette remarked as she and Quinn followed.


________

Nathrrya, Veete and Quinn soon found their quarry meditating before an old Jedi statue.

“You two stay here, this is between me and Karr.” Nathrrya said as she approached the Jedi master alone.

Nomen Karr stood and turned to face his unwelcome visitors. “Your presence here tells me that my fellows Ulldin and Zylixx must have failed. Pity.” He said apprising the Sith now stood before him. “I should’ve known Baras couldn’t be trusted. As a man of my word... I’m here alone as agreed. Your master shows himself a coward sending you in his stead.”

Nathrrya smiled slightly “You almost sound surprised Master Karr, surely you knew that Baras would never come.” She also agreed with the Jedi about Baras being a coward but she couldn’t say that.

Karr sighed “I suppose I did at that.” he admitted “You’re young in the force, a mere apprentice. I’m a full Jedi Master.”

Nathrrya smirked she was going to enjoy this. “Are you certain of that Master Karr?” she asked sweetly as she dropped her mental shields.

Nomen Karr’s eyes widened in surprise as he felt the raw power that Sith woman in front of him cleanly possessed. “How?”

“Your padawan isn’t the only one with a special talent in the Force. Mine happens to be manipulating my force signature. Baras has no idea how strong I really am. If he did he’d have tried to assassinate me before now.”
Nathrrya said grinning. “As far as he knew I was just an above average acolyte when he noticed me on Korriban.”

The Jedi master nodded slowly in understanding “He saw what you wanted him to see.”

“Precisely, you’re learning Master Karr. Sith politics is boring, your padawan on the other hand is far more interesting.” Nathrrya replied.

“Yes Jaesa, this has all been about her hasn’t it?” The Jedi said “But she is far from here, safe.”

“I’ve gotten under your skin Masker Karr. I found you here and I’m guessing young Jaesa won’t be so far that she can’t come to your aid if she feels she must.” Nathrrya said with a twirl of her lightsabre.

“Your crusade has affected me Sith I’m not blind to that.” Karr admitted. “But I’ve wondered the line between the light and dark before. I’ve walked among your master and the Sith. My connection to the light survived them and it shall survive you.” He said falling into a ready stance.

Nathrrya frowned as she studied the Jedi master and what she discovered concerned her. “Master Karr you’re already in the dark; you just don’t know it yet.” She said matter of fact.

The Jedi master looked momentarily taken aback “You’re nothing but Baras’s pawn an especially resourceful and powerful one but still only that. I must put an end to you.” Karr replied hiding his own insecurity. “With you out of the way, Jaesa will provide the proof I need to open the Jedi Council’s eyes and expose Baras’s network of spies.”

Something clicked in Nathrrya’s mind. “This has never been about me or Jaesa, this is all about you and Baras. Does the girl even know that she’s nothing more than a tool for you to get revenge on Baras? What will you do once she’s fulfilled her purpose? Cast her aside? Palm her off to another Jedi? You’ve fallen and don’t even realise it.”

The Jedi master let out a cry of rage and attacked. Green and violet blades clashed and sparks flew as the two combatants were evenly matched. Nathrrya performed a back flip giving herself some room between herself and Karr before she realised a strong Force push which put the Jedi on his rump and sent him sliding across the floor before he slammed into the far wall with a thud.

Nomen Karr stood slowly. “Ahhh. The force is ... very strong with you ... I must dig deeper.” He said turning to face Nathrrya his eyes already taking on a yellow tinge.

“I warned you Karr. Stand down this need not go on.” Nathrrya said as she got into a ready stance, it looked like she’d have to do this the hard way. How much of the Jedi master would remain when all was said and done remained to be seen.


_______

“We fought and I subdued him easily enough however he would not surrender. He was determined to prove that the Jedi been infiltrated, Jaesa was the key and he would do anything to keep her safe.” Nathrrya explained “Karr’s time as a Sith had left more of a mark than he thought. To prevent me from getting to Jaesa, Jedi Master Nomen Karr fell to the Dark Side right before my eyes. Though I think he had fallen long before we met, he had been in denial.”

“And this made Jaesa turn?” Plo Koon asked confused.

“Almost...” Nathrrya admitted.

_______

Jedi master Nomen Karr collapsed badly wounded, his lightsabre falling from his hand, its green blade going out as it landed on the floor. “My... wound is mortal Sith at least I die knowing you’ll never find Jaesa.”

“Such dramatics, Quinn do what you can to stabilise Master Karr.” Nathrrya ordered “You’re no use to me dead, Jedi.”

“Understood, my lord.” Quinn replied as he unpacked the medical bag and approached the weakened Jedi master.

“No! Baras be dammed. I want... to die! Then Jaesa will be safe...” Karr raged but he was too weak to prevent Quinn from administering treatment.

“What we want and what we get are usually very different things.” Nathrrya said “Despite what you think Master Karr I’m trying not to kill your Padawan. I won’t deny that Baras wants the girl dead. I find that rather wasteful.”

Karr looked up at his Sith captor “I see your plan now Sith, you want to turn Jaesa and clam her as your apprentice. A scheme worthy of Baras himself.”

Nathrrya simply smiled as the exhausted Jedi collapsed unconscious.


_______

Jaesa Willsaam could feel her master’s pain but there was something wrong about it she couldn’t tell what exactly. She hoped she was doing the right thing by coming to the face the Sith that had been hunting her across half the galaxy. But the Sith’s actions in trying to track her down confused Jaesa.

The Sith had confronted Master Yonlach on Tatooine who had been the first to discover her special gift. The Sith had left the Jedi Master alive after getting what she wanted. Yonlach had conveyed his surprise that the Sith woman had acted with remarkable restraint preferring to use her brain and talk rather than her weapon.

What really confused Jaesa was when the Sith had found her parents, Gregor and Parvin on Alderaan. According to Jedi Volryder who had been protecting them the Sith woman preferred to talk rather than fight. The Sith had in the end convinced her parents to defect to the Empire. Jaesa knew they were still alive and were happy but they missed her terribly.

Up ahead, Jaesa saw several imperial soldiers guarding the entrance to her master’s safe house. One noticed her and tapped another on the shoulder before pointing in her direction. It looked as though they had been expecting her.

______

“I... I’m Alive?” Nomen Karr wondered as he woke up finding himself bound and unarmed. He looked around and spotted the Sith woman lent against a wall quietly observing him. “I see through you Sith. You only saved me so Jaesa would believe your heart is pure. I will not be the bait that draws Jaesa to you.”

Nathrrya snorted as she pushed herself off the wall and walked over to Karr. “Really, Jedi? That’s the best you can do?” she asked amused “Calm yourself Master Karr there’s no reason for you to become even more distraught.”

“I was supposed to expose Baras and open the Jedi Council’s eyes. It was my destiny! Jaesa is mine! The glory of defeating Baras is mine!” Karr raved paying Nathrrya’s words no mind.

“And that is why you fell.” Nathrrya stated flatly.

“Hey lookie boss, Jaesa showed up!” Vette called in a cheery voice seeing the young Jedi arrive.

Nathrrya looked surprised as she turned to face the padawan. “You came? I didn’t think this would work so easily.”

“Sith, I have come. It seems I was expected... your men outside let me pass.” Jaesa said. “Release Master Karr, your efforts to draw me out has been a success.”

The Jedi master looked horrified hearing this “Jaesa? No! I told you to stay put! How dare you defy me!”

Nathrrya chuckled “How amusing the padawan seems to have more fight in her than you thought Master Karr.” She smiled evilly at the Jedi master “Jaesa’s destiny lies with me now old man, you lose.”

“My sacrifice for nothing!” Karr raved “Stupid child, for all your power, you have understood nothing!”

Jaesa was shocked as she could feel the darkness radiating from her master but how could it be? “What have you... done to him Sith? Has this been inside him all along?” she wondered. Jaesa shook her head “No it can’t be. No one can hide such darkness. Somehow you’ve turned him...” she didn’t want to believe what she was seeing.

“Your master fell long ago.” Nathrrya said grimily “Look into his heart and see the truth of it for yourself.”

Jaesa nodded slowly “Master Karr taught me never to use my power as a crutch only when it was clearly necessary. I’ve never brought it to bear on him. But...” the padawan began to use her force talent and what she discovered shocked her. “I... I sense... pride and... envy and hate... and vengeance. No! What Sith trick is this?” the girl shook her head still in denial “I... I would have known if such darkness resided within him!”

“You saw what he wanted you to see.” Nathrrya said gently “Admit you’re wrong and move on.”

“Move on to where?” Jaesa asked genuinely confused “I... I thought I found something I could count on. The Jedi are... pure. You’re supposed to know where you stand with them right?”

“Jaesa, it’s all a trick!” Karr was becoming desperate. “Turn your power on the Sith and you’ll see!”

Nathrrya shrugged “Look at me as long as you like for I have nothing to hide.”

“Very well then.” Jaesa said as she used her talent on the Sith woman. “I see... mercy... fairness... even perhaps compassion. You have walked the lighter path. Sparing Master Yonlach and my parents are true reflections of you, but it is said that Sith embody darkness. How is this possible?”

Nathrrya smiled “Just because I’m trained in the Dark Side does not mean I’m a cold unfeeling monster. Let it be a lesson to you, you must never presume anything.”

“Don’t listen, Jaesa. It’s all a trick. The Sith has disguised herself and me to cause you to doubt your power!”

Nathrrya glared at the Jedi master “I’m beginning to think I should have had you gagged as well as bound!” she was becoming really annoyed by Karr’s antics.

“I don’t know what to believe anymore!” Jaesa yelled frustrated “You told me that there was order to the galaxy... that you would show me the truth! But nothing is true! Both of you are trying to drive me insane.”

“It’s Darth Baras! He is manipulating us all. Kill the Sith! Kill Baras’s liar and you’ll see!” Karr urged.

Nathrrya let out a resigned sigh “This ends now, Jaesa.”

“Defend yourself Sith!” Jaesa screamed as she attacked.

The fight if it could be called that was over in less than thirty seconds as Jaesa’s sabre flew from her hands and landed on the far side of the room, Nathrrya made as if to make a killing strike but stopped centimetres short of Jaesa’s neck before she deactivated her sabre.

“I am... no match.” Jaesa admitted holding her side. “You... had the opening you needed to kill me... and yet you held back.”

“Jaesa, Baras might want you dead but the man is a paranoid fool. I want you to become my apprentice. Besides killing you would be an avoidable tragedy.” Nathrrya replied honestly.

“Your actions reflect mostly light. You appear to be an agent of the dark side, but it’s a mask.” Jaesa said as she looked and her broken former master “It’s a rude awakening to discover that all beings wear a mask.” She turned back to Nathrrya “I expected it of you, a Sith. But Master Karr also wears a mask. And his deception is a much... uglier one.”

“We all wear a mask, Jaesa. Master Karr wasn’t always as he is now. His need for revenge on Darth Barars destroyed the good man he was.” Nathrrya said “His connection to the Force maybe flawed.”

“All my life I’ve put up with deceit and denial. I though the Jedi would be different. You’ve shown me otherwise. You’ve exposed master Karr for what he is. It’s your power that reveals a person’s true nature. You’re conviction and purity brings a reckoning that cannot be denied. I want that.”

Nathrrya smiled, she had the padawan now she was certain of it. “Then become my apprentice, Jaesa. We’ll trick Baras into thinking you’ve fallen to the Dark Side. From within the Empire perhaps we can forge a lasting peace with the Republic. The Empire will not survive otherwise.”

“Yes... I see the advantage of this. So much more can be achieved from within. At last I feel a sense of purpose. Something I can count on. What do you wish of me? And what shall we do with Master Karr?”

Nathrrya knew what she was inclined to do, but what did Jaesa want? “What do you think we should do, Jaesa?” the Sith asked as Sergeant Antilles and some of his men arrived to secure the Jedi master.

The padawan looked surprised as she thought about it. “Could we send him to Tython? Maybe the Jedi Council can save him from himself.”

“Jaesa I’ll see to it that the Jedi disavow you. You’ll be labelled an enemy of the order.” Karr threatened.

“Then I’ll finally know where I stand with you. You took me as far as your were able I hope this does not leave you bitter.” She told the Jedi master.

Nathrrya snorted at that “Fat chance, that’s what got Master Karr into this predicament to begin with.” She turned to Antilles “Sergeant, keep Master Karr here once I get back to the Rose I’ll arrange to have a bounty hunter transport him to Tython.”

“Understood Lady Palatine.” The trooper saluted.

“My lord I feel I must speak up. Is it wise to allow such powerful adversary to return to the enemy?” Quinn asked greatly concerned.

“I have my reasons Quinn. There is more to this than you know.” Nathrrya replied firmly.

“Of course. I have faith in your judgments, my lord.”

“You inspire such loyalty and trust. That is very telling. I am ready to learn your ways my lord. And look forward to aiding you in any way I am able.”

Nathrrya smiled “Then welcome to our little family, Jaesa. Once we’ve got you settled I think a visit to your parents will be in order as I’m sure they will want to see for themselves that their only child is safe and well.”

The expression on the younger woman’s face told Nathrrya all she needed to know. She had the girl’s loyalty and unlike Nomen Karr she would not abuse it.


______

“Jaesa arrived and my troops allowed her to pass. Her reaction to seeing Master Karr was what you’d expect shock and suspicion that I had something to do with it.” The Sith shrugged “I was just the trigger. I got Jaesa to use her ability on Karr and it nearly ended badly however once she used her ability on me it seemed to stabilise her. In the end Jaesa agreed to become my apprentice as she felt the Jedi and used and abandoned her. I arranged to have Karr sent back to the Jedi, for all the good it did.”

“Are you saying something like that could happen to me?” Anakin asked with a frown.

Nathrrya nodded “Yes, the pressure Jaesea was under because of her ability, the expectations of others nearly destroyed her. I’m concerned if it becomes generally known that you might be the Chosen One it could have a similar effect on you.”

__________

Nejaa Halcyon of Corellia entered Dex’s Diner with a thoughtful if concerned expression on his face. It seemed only days ago that the Force had shaken the Jedi Order galaxy wide to its very foundations. What had perplexed many was why the Force had been so specific about the return of the Sith Lord, Darth Avarice. The Green Council had dispatched Halcyon to Corcont to find out more. Before Nejaa went to the Jedi Temple he had an old friend to meet.
“Dex, you still slaving away in the kitchen?” the Jedi Master asked as he sat on a bar stool.

The Basalisk grinned “Who dragged your butt all the way from Corellia? You didn’t come all this way just to see me.”

Nejaa shrugged “I go where the Green Council tell me to. They need more information on something, so here I am.”

Dex looked thoughtful as he put a cup of caff in front of the Jedi “I’m guessing the something is more of a someone.”

“Not much gets passed you.” Nejaa admitted with a smile. “I doubt you could help Dex.”

“Don’t be so sure, Nejaa.” Dex said with a knowing smile. “You see that both just behind you?” the Basalisk pointed off to his left.

The Jedi turned to see the both that Dex and indicated “I do, what of it?”

“Yesterday that is where she sat along with padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Nejaa turned back to face Dex an incredulous expression on his face. “Are you telling me that...”

“A Sith Lord sat there and ate her meal in the company of a Jedi padawan?” Dex replied “Yes that’s what I’m telling you, Nejaa. I even talked with her for three hours after Obi had to go back to the temple.”

The Corellian Jedi Master blinked several times as he tried to comprehend what his old friend had just told him. “Was Obi-Wan alright?”

“They were both comfortable with each other. Obi wasn’t here under duress if that’s what you’re asking.” Dex then smiled a little “I think the lady Sith was more than just a little infatuated with her Jedi companion.”

Nejaa’s mouth fell open before he managed to close it “What do you mean?”

Dex rolled his eyes “I mean Nathrrya has a romantic interest in Obi-Wan. Not that she seemed in any particular rush do to anything about it. In this job you learn to read people and Nathrrya was giving off some pretty good signs that she was interested.”

Nejaa couldn’t help but be intrigued he’d also leaned Avarice’s name which was interesting in its own right. “You know the Jedi Code forbids attachments, right.”

The Basalisk snorted “That didn’t stop you now did it?” Dex shot back knowing full well that Nejaa had a wife and child. “Nathrrya isn’t a Jedi so she isn’t bound by the Jedi Code, Obi-Wan however is which I suspect is why Nathrrya hasn’t done much but flirt.”

“Flirt?” Nejaa repeated.

“Yep, I don’t know what happened but I saw Obi-Wan blush and Nathrrya had a very wicked if playful smirk on her face.” Dex said grinning at the memory.

The Corellian Jedi drained his caff “I know what I’m doing next. Going to the Jedi Temple to interview a Sith Lord.”

__________

“Obi-Wan, is Nathrrya in trouble?” Anakin asked as he, his mother and the two Jedi walked away from the council chamber.

“What makes you ask that Anakin?” Qui-Gon replied.

“We’ve been allowed to leave but they wanted Nathrrya to stay.” The boy said.

“I wouldn’t worry too much Anakin.” Obi-Wan said reassuring the boy “I know Nathrrya needed to speak to the Council.” But both he and Qui-Gon couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to change.

_________

Mace Windu leaned forward in his seat “Nathrrya it has come to our attention.” He indicated himself and Yoda “That you have spoken at length with Master Dooku and have offered to train him.”

The Sith smiled slightly at the shocked expressions of the other council members “Indeed, what of it?” she asked matter of fact.

“Why?” Was the head of the Council’s blunt question.

“Due to Master Dooku’s... condition he has a choice to make, seek the help of the Council in removing the dark side taint or find someone trained in the dark side who would be able to complete his training so he would not fall.”
Nathrrya explained. “Sidius will be looking for a new apprentice I don’t need to tell you what would happen to Master Dooku if he left the Jedi in his current condition.”

Yoda understood. “Give Sidious what he needs. Loyal to you and the Jedi Dooku would be.”

The Sith simply inclined her head at the Jedi Grand Master.

“This is something we will have to consider in more detail.” Mace said before the rest of the council got over their shock. “Is there anything else Nathrrya?”

“There is actually, firstly Obi-Wan suggested that I become more visible around the Temple, perhaps even teach some classes so that the Jedi Order at large can become more accustomed to my presence.” The Sith explained.

“The suggestion has merit.” Mace said thoughtfully. “But there is something else you wish to tell us isn’t there?”

“Yes...” the Sith nodded trouble was what she was about to say would turn the Jedi’s world upside down. The darker side of Nathrrya’s personality relished the chaos that was about to be unleashed. “When we returned from Naboo almost as soon as I entered the temple I felt the call of a great source of dark side power. What I found strange was why you Jedi seemingly had no knowledge of it. When I discovered the source, it all made sense to me.”

During Nathrrya’s explanation the Jedi Council had become more and more alarmed.

“What did you find?” Mace asked dreading the answer.

“There is an ancient Sith Temple directly below us, encased by the foundations that the Jedi temple rests upon.” Nathrrya announced seriously.
"Korriban’s a rock, mind the Sith." -Jolee Bindo.

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OfficerDonNZ
12.03.2019 , 12:07 AM | #43
Chapter 25

Two Orders


____________________

Total and utter silence settled over the Jedi Council chamber at Nathrrya’s latest revelation. The Jedi were simply too stunned to react. The Sith took the opportunity to study each member of the Council but she mainly focused on Mace Windu and Yoda as they were the ones she had the most interaction with.

Mace Windu, head of the Council looked as stern and grave as ever. He should have known that any Council meeting where Nathrrya was involved would not go smoothly. Mace studied the Sith woman through half closed eyes. He had concluded that Nathrrya was often blunt, to the point and said what was on her mind, even if you didn’t want to hear it. He actually found this refreshing though it made dealing with her no easier. Her willingness to train Master Dooku in the Dark Side was testament to that. The debate the Council would have about it wasn’t going to be pleasant.

Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order looked to be deep in thought, his ears had drooped which they always seemed to do whenever he heard some worrying news. For all of Yoda’s eight hundred years of wisdom and experience he still could not fathom the Sith woman’s actions. Nathrrya could have simply said nothing about the ancient Sith temple but instead she chose to tell them, why? They would learn soon enough. It was as if Nathrrya thrived on confounding the Council and by extension the Jedi as often as she could. She had already shattered the Council’s perceptions on what a Sith was supposed to be, how a Sith was supposed to act. The ancient master knew she was far from done.

As for the remaining ten members of the Council, they were all in various stages of shock and surprise. One master seemed more conflicted than most, Saesee Tiin reviled dark siders. For that reason alone Nathrrya wanted to thumb her nose at him, just because she could. The Sith was somewhat surprised that he hadn’t attacked her outright. Nathrrya’s eyes settled on one of the alien members of the Council, Yarael Poof. His near constant attempts to get past her metal shields was annoying in the extreme. He wasn’t the only Council member to try but he was the most persistent. The Sith knew her mental shields were good but she couldn’t help but wonder if their increased strength and resilience was another after effect of having the Force Spirit of the Sith Emperor in her head for over three millennia. What other gifts had Volkrion left her with that she didn’t know about? Nathrrya didn’t want to dwell on that.

Now that she thought about it Nathrrya had seen more non human species in the past month than she had during the entirety of her previous life. This wasn’t that surprising given the nature of the Sith Empire, its size, location and the fact that the Empire and Republic were at war. The Sith also suspected that most of the alien species she’s seen since being awoken hadn’t yet been discovered.

"How is that possible?" Mace Windu asked leaning forward in his seat and bringing the Sith out of her musings.

Nathrrya looked thoughtful as she spoke “I can tell you or... I can show you.”

“Show us?” Plo Koon asked confused.

“I can project my memories of what I saw and experienced while I was within the Sith Temple. However trying to do this for so many could be too much of strain for me.” Nathrrya explained.

“Assist Master Windu and I will.” Yoda said calmly.

“I am grateful Master Yoda.” The Sith replied as she sat cross legged on the floor in the centre of the Council camber before she fell into a meditative trance.

_____

The Jedi Council soon found themselves stood in what was clearly the hallway of a Sith Empire vessel if the Imperial banners were any indication. Ahead of them they could see a pair of large blast doors and stood before them was Nathrrya.

“Welcome to my mindscape.” The Sith said “This is the main hallway of a Harrower-class dreadnaught and behind me are the blast doors that would lead to the bridge but in this case they lead to what I want to show you. The Sith temple that lies beneath the Jedi Temple.”

“How is this so realistic?” Mace asked as he looked around.

“I’ve been aboard Harrowers on numerous occasions, even been in command of them a few times. This is actually modelled after the flagship of my home worlds defence fleet. A vessel I was very familiar with. To me the Accuser was the finest ship in the Imperial Navy.” Nathrrya explained with a fond smile.

None of the Council could miss the wistfulness in the woman’s voice or the fact that she’d commanded warships. She also hadn’t mentioned the name of her home world. Nathrrya turned to face the blast doors and with a wave of her hand they began to open. Behind her the Jedi Council watched in fascination and horror as the architecture of the ancient Sith temple was revealed.

________

Nathrrya trailed her hand along the wall as she looked around slowly taking in the ancient architecture which was unmistakingly Sith in origin. “I’ve only seen architecture like this once before and that was the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas...” she said to herself “Which was at least a thousand years old when I braved its depths looking for the Ravager for Darth Fat Arse.”

The Sith woman felt another presence manifest near her as she turned she saw the ghostly form of Valkorion appear “You’ve found the Jedi’s dark little secret. Impressive isn’t it?” he asked looking around “One of the earliest Sith temples in all the galaxy and the fools above have no idea it’s here.”

“The Jedi must have known this temple is here otherwise they wouldn’t have built theirs on top of it.” Nathrrya pointed out.

Valkorion chuckled “Indeed. It was the ancient Jedi that first built the structure that encases this one in the flawed belief that the presence of light side would keep the dark side contained. It worked for a time but as generations passed the knowledge that there was ever a Sith temple here faded and with it the power to keep the darkness contained. It has slowly been working its way upwards for millennia the Jedi above are so used to the darkness that taints their temple, they do not even notice it.” He smiled “But you did and here we are. It would make the perfect place to rebuild the Sith Order. Getting direct access will be a challenge.”

Nathrrya looked upwards, Valkorion wasn’t wrong for there had to be tens of meters of duracrete above their heads and as for finding the main entrance...

“Sidious knows about this place, doesn’t he?” she asked

Valkorion nodded “Yes, he may know of its existence, but you are far better placed to take advantage of this. You will have to convince the Jedi, but you always had the ability to get others to see things to your advantage.”

Nathrrya snorted “I can’t see the Jedi allowing me to rebuild the Sith Order but this would be the perfect place.”
“You will convince them.” Valkorion seemed so certain. “Even they will see the irony.”

Nathrrya nodded “Perhaps... but Sidious needs to be dealt with first.” She said thoughtfully turning to face her former emperor. “This temple dates from the Great Hyperspace War doesn’t it?”

“Indeed. It’s hard to believe but the Sith did occupy Coruscant for a time.” Valkorion replied. “And we both know how that war ended.”

“The Sith Genocide.” Nathrrya stated grimly. “I am the last of the Sith Order, of House Palatine and I will not let the Sith die with me.”


_________

The Jedi Council were in shock yet again, this seemed to be a constant theme where Nathrrya was concerned. They exchanged worried looks among themselves wondering if Nathrrya really did intend to re establish the Sith Order. What had concerned them more was what she had said about a Sith Genocide. That could not be correct, not mean what it implied could it?

By this time Nathrrya was stood once again waiting for the questions and accusations to start. However nothing happened as the Jedi looked... shaken. The Sith briefly cracked a smile but there was nothing to smile about. If her remark about the Sith Genocide got the Jedi to actually stop and think then all for the better.

“What do you mean by Sith Genocide?” Saesee Tiin asked at last. He may hate dark siders with a passion but the implication of the word genocide made him uneasy.

If Tiin were honest with himself he had to admit he was slowly warming to the Sith woman. Nathrrya might be a Sith Lord but she had made himself and the rest of the Council realise that just because she was trained in the ways of the Sith and the Dark Side it did not mean she was evil. Tiin wasn’t naive enough to think that Nathrrya hadn’t done some unpleasant things in her past and if he asked she likely wouldn’t deny it.

Nathrrya's expression darkened considerably. "I can’t say I’m surprised that you don’t know. I have to remind myself that I’m three millennia in the future. Records get lost, destroyed. The ancient Jedi may have even buried what they had done out of shame." Her tone grim "At the end of the Great Hyperspace War, the Sith Empire was in tatters with no military to speak of.”

The Sith began to pace. “Supreme Chancellor Pultimo ordered the invasion of all Sith controlled worlds. Pultimo had the misguided belief that if he could destroy Sith culture then the galaxy would be a safer place." She turned to face the Council as her eyes slowly went from blue to Sith yellow. The passion and anger in her voice were also noticeable. "But to destroy a culture... you have to destroy the people. One man's order almost saw the total annihilation of the Empire’s population regardless of species for every man, woman and child the Republic and Jedi forces found no matter if they had been active in the war or not were slaughtered."

Nathrrya closed her eyes and took several deep breaths trying to calm herself when she opened them again they were their normal blue. "The survivors fled deep into uncharted space, my ancestors among them. Eventually they settled on the old Sith colony world of Dromund Kaas. The Republic wouldn’t hear from the Empire for over one thousand five hundred years before we returned to take back what was rightfully ours.”

The Sith woman let out a weary sigh. “Now... I’m all that remains. I’ll be dammed if I let the Sith die with me.” She gave the Council a hard, calculating stare “The Sith and Jedi Orders have been separate for too long and while they could never be one we could be allies. Something for you to think about while I hunt down Sidious.”

Without waiting to be dismissed Nathrrya turned on her heal and left the Council chamber. Silence followed in her wake.

“The symbol of the Sith Empire is almost that of the Galactic Republic.” Mace whispered horrified at the realisation. The rest of the Council shifted uncomfortably in their seats unsure of what to make of the unwelcome revelation.

_______

Nathrrya walked the halls of the Jedi Temple deep in thought. Had she done the right thing, done enough? She felt she had. Would the Council actually stop and think about what she’d said, had tried to say? Only the Force knew the answer to that. She didn’t want to be the last of the Sith Order for the rest of her life. It was lonely enough as it was. Discovering the Sith Temple had given her hope, hope that once Sidious was dealt with that she might build a life for herself in the galaxy she now called home.

Nathrrya knew she wasn’t the last of the Sith Order, there was also Tara imprisoned on the world of Belsavis. Nathrrya’s heart clenched thinking about the girl who had been like a daughter in all but blood. She wanted to go to Belsavis and see if there was anything she could do for Tara but Nathrrya was wise enough to know that if Sidious so much as got a whiff of what was on Belsavis then things wouldn’t end well. As much as it pained her Tara was best off being left where she was. Nathrrya was the only living person who knew that Tara was on Belsavis and she’d go to her grave before she’d tell anyone of her friends final resting place. The sound of her name being called drew the Sith out of her thoughts.

“Nathrrya, are you alright?” Cin Drallig asked with concern.

“I’m fine, just a lot on my mind is all.” Nathrrya replied noticing that the Battlemaster wasn’t alone for there was a Corellian Jedi master with him. “You needed me for something?”

“Are you expecting a ship to be delivered from Naboo?” Cin wanted to know.

Nathrrya’s eyes lit up, a genuine smile appearing on her face “I am as it happens. Captain Panaka contacted me not long ago saying they’d found what they believed to be Sidious’ apprentices ship on Naboo and as I was the one who killed him the Queen wanted me to have it.” She grinned “I’m sure Sidious would have been livid when he found out.”

“I see. Mystery solved it would seem.” The Jedi Battlemaster said thoughtfully. “By the time we get to the Temple hanger it should have landed.”

“Wouldn’t have this Sidious tried to claim the ship?” Nejaa Halcyon asked.

“He may have intended to but in doing so could have incurred some very unwanted and awkward questions as to why his public persona wanted with a suspected Sith vessel.” Nathrrya explained as the three made their way through the temple. “I told the Queen and Panaka that the apprentice was lying in wait then Panaka’s men find a ship hidden near Theed, it didn’t take the Captain long to connect the dots.”

“Now you have possession of said ship.” Nejaa observed dryly.

“Yes.” Nathrrya replied. “Tell me what’s a Corellian Jedi Master doing here on Coruscant?”

_____

“Can we believe what Nathrrya showed us?” Eeth Koth asked “Was it real or some form of Sith trickery and who was the man she spoke with?”

“Good point you raise.” Yoda replied “Real it was no deception that I sensed.”

“How can you be so sure Master Yoda?” Ki-Adi-Mundi asked “She has lied to us about being Sith.”

Yoda looked disappointed “Lied to us Nathrrya has not.”

“But...” Mundi began.

“We assumed that she was an Old Republic Jedi.” Mace said “Nathrrya let us keep our assumptions which we were the victim of. That is hardly lying. Don’t forget she did reveal the truth when the opportunity presented itself.” That was something the dark skinned master would remember for a long time.

“If what we saw was real then there is a Sith Temple below us.” Adi Gallia said “What of the Sith Genocide Nathrrya spoke of was that true or a lie?”

“It is the truth as Nathrrya knows it.” Saesee Tiin spoke up “Should we discount what she said? No but we also need to try and corroborate it somehow. There might be something in the Archives but it will be no easy task to find.”

“Wise suggestion you make.” Yoda said “Mediate on this I shall.”

“What of the similarity between the symbols of the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic?” Plo Koon asked worried.

“That is something we will have to ask Nathrrya about, see what she has to say on the matter.” Mace replied. “She is the most knowledgeable in matters concerning the Sith.”

____

“So the Green Council sent you here to see what all the fuss was about?” Nathrrya asked as she, Nejaa Halcyon and Cin Drallig entered the temple hanger.

“Pretty much.” Nejaa replied with a smirk “You haven’t disappointed. With what you’ve told me and what information I’ll get from the High Council it should keep the Green Council on Corellia happy.” He paused a moment “Do you think you’ll visit Corellia in the future?”

Nathrrya chuckled at the irony of the Jedi Master’s words “Eventually. I did help the Empire capture Corellia after all. Not that we were able to hold it for long.”

“Why would the Empire want to capture Corellia?” Cin asked genuinely curious.

“I thought that would be obvious.” Nathrrya replied “Not only is Corellia a core world but it is a major centre for starship production. The loss of Corellia would have been a blow to the Republic not only from a morale standpoint but it also would have hampered the Republic Navy’s ability to replenish its losses.” The Sith shrugged “Given that the Empire couldn’t successfully hold Corellia once it had been captured it made little difference.”

Before either Jedi Master could ask her anything more the trio’s attention was taken by the arrival of a most intriguing craft. It was about twenty-six meters in length with a bulbous cockpit/engine section at its rear with extra cooling fins protruding from the sides and it also seemed to possess a substantial amount of firepower for a ship its size.
Nathrrya grinned “Gentlemen may I present to you the Indigo Rose it’s not my Fury but Force I’m glad to have a ship again.”

Indigo Rose?” Cin asked amused by the name.

“What can I say?” Nathrrya smirked. “I like purple and flowers... Oh and chocolate, can’t forget chocolate.”

“Can’t argue with that logic.” Nejaa admitted with a chuckle.

Nathrrya wrinkled her nose. “Now I’m going to have to sweep the Indigo Rose for all the bugs and trackers that Sidious no doubt has on it.” She said as she watched Ric Ollie and R2-D2 descend the boarding ramp.

____

Grandmaster Yoda sat mediating in his private chambers seeking guidance from the Force about what the Council had leaned. Slowly the diminutive master became aware that he was not alone as he could feel the presence of two other beings. Yoda opened his eyes which widened in surprise for sat before him were two force ghosts, a man and a woman who were Old Republic Jedi going by the robes they wore.

“Greetings, Grandmaster Yoda. I am Master Casavir Therin and this is my former padawan Master Kira Carsen.” The Hero of Tython said introducing himself and his wife.

“Related to Nathrrya you are.” Yoda stated. “Cousin you are.”

Casavir smiled “Yes and as Nat’s cousin I’d really appreciate it if your High Council would stop giving her such a hard time. She’s trying to help and all your council can do is second guess her. Something I know she doesn’t like. I may not agree with her methods but I’ve never been able to argue with the results.”

Yoda blinked... had he just been reprimanded by a Force Sprit?

Kira tried not to laugh at the comical expression on the Grandmaster’s face “That’s not why we’re here tough guy.” She said giggling.

“I know but you’ve wanted to give the council hell.” Casavir replied slightly amused. Kira looked guilty but unrepentant. “We’re here because of the Sith Genocide. It came as a shock to our Jedi Order when the historian Master Gnost-Dural found evidence of it. It explained some reasons for the war we were then fighting.” The Hero of Tython explained “In the Archives you should find Master Gnost-Dural’s holorecording about it. That should be more than enough proof for your council.”

Yoda nodded as he turned his gaze to Kira. “Rumour there was Sith you were.”

“Even dead I can’t shake that can I?” Kira grumbled “We never did find out who started it.”

“No but Master Kaedan seemed the most likely after all he did try and have you imprisoned, like another Council tried with my cousin.” Casavir said unhappy about what had almost happened to Nathrrya.

“Imprisoned?” Yoda asked confused.

“That rumour about me being Sith... there’s some truth to it.” Kira admitted “I fled Korriban when I was ten and was eventually taken in by the Jedi, the rest is history.” She said keeping the details to herself. There were only a few people who knew her true story. Of those there was only one alive and Nathrrya would never tell.

______

Obi-Wan along with his friends, Garen Muln and Quinlan Vos entered the temple hanger coming to a halt as they saw a ship they didn’t recognise. The ship seemed to have most of its external service and maintenance hatches open. On the top of one of the wings there was a familiar blue and white astromech droid but what made Obi-Wan smile was the pair of green leather clad legs he could see. Nathrrya’s head, arms and most of her upper body had disappeared into an open hatch.

“What the hell?” Garen asked surprised.

“Haven’t you seen anyone doing ship maintenance before?” Obi-Wan said grinning.

Before Garen or Quinlan could reply Nathrrya extracted herself from the maintenance hatch she’d been working in.
“Found you.” She said to small object held in her hand “Artoo how many does that make so far?” the droid beeped a response “Really, that many? Sidious seems more paranoid that what Baras ever was.” She then tossed the object over the side of the wing and it joined a small pile of seemingly random ship parts on the floor of the hanger.

“What is she doing?” Quinlan wondered.

“Stripping her ship of tracking and listening devices, left over when it belonged to Sidious’ apprentice.” Cin Darlling informed them.

“Her ship?” Garen asked shocked.

“A gift from the Queen of Naboo.” Obi-Wan told them smiling “Nathrrya mentioned it to me when I took her to Dex’s the other day.”

“And how did that go?” Garen wanted to know “You’d think the two of you had gone on a date with the way Siri was carrying on. Fortunately Bant and Shylar managed to talk sense into her.”

Kenobi coughed lightly to cover his surprise. “It went well enough. I’ll have you know it was just two friends out for a meal, nothing more.”

“You consider yourself friends with Nathrrya?” Quinlan asked. He remembered seeing her and Master Jinn at a distance when he was on Tatooine undercover. The Force had given him no indication that anything had been amiss which was why he hadn’t approached his fellow Jedi.

Obi-Wan frowned as he thought about his answer then he smiled nodding. “Yes I consider myself and Nathrrya to be friends.”

______

Mace Windu and Yoda had been in the Archives for hours it seemed but they had at last found the holorecording Yoda had been told to find. Master Gnost-Dural’s accounting of the Sith Genocide had made for grim viewing and both masters were still trying to processes it all. What was clear was that what Nathrrya had told them was the truth. They would have to show this to the rest of the Council.

“I still cannot believe that the Republic and Jedi did that.” Mace said as they turned to leave.

Whatever reply Yoda may have made never passed his lips as both masters saw Chief Librarian, Jocasta Nu approach them.

“Master Windu, Master Yoda I have been more successful that I dared hope as I’ve manage to trace the Therin family back many generations.” She said handing the head of the Council a data pad “It’s this entry here that I think you will mind the most interesting.”

Mace and Yoda read through the information that Master Nu had highlighted. It concerned Nathrrya’s father Marrick Therin. The records stated he’d been posted to Axxila as a senior investigator in the Republic’s Justice Service but the world had been annexed by the Sith Empire, from that point on he seemed to have vanished.

The two senior Jedi looked at one another considering what this meant.

“Half Jedi Nathrrya is.” Yoda said at last. The idea was frightening.
"Korriban’s a rock, mind the Sith." -Jolee Bindo.

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Phoenix_Bird
12.03.2019 , 12:38 AM | #44
Fantastic, I really love this...
"Second star to the right, and straight on till morning".
Squadron 367

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OfficerDonNZ
12.03.2019 , 01:31 AM | #45
Chapter 26

Coruscant Departure


_____________________________

“Nathrrya now that you have a ship what do you plan to do?” Obi-Wan asked as they walked side by side out of the temple hanger.

“For one go to Tatooine as there’s some outstanding business I need to see too. After that, there are some other locations I might visit. I also need sometime away just to think.” The Sith replied mindful of what she should say.
After freeing the Twi'lek girl that looked like Vette, Nathrrya planned on going to Vaiken Anchorage to see if anything remained from there her next stop would be Dromund Kaas to recover whatever had been left for her. Last on her list would be the location of the hidden Imperial fleet. There were two other places she might visit but she wasn’t sure about those just yet.

“I see.” Obi-Wan remarked thoughtfully. You don’t fully trust the Council do you? He thought. He couldn’t really blame her as no doubt Nathrrya wanted to see what had become of Imperial space without the interference of the Council.

Obi-Wan’s comm. beeped the padawan retrieved the device from his belt and was surprised to see an image of Dex appear.

“Obi-Wan, is your girlfriend Nathrrya with you?” the Basalisk asked a wicked grin on his face.

“And you say my humour is bad.” Obi-Wan replied he could hear Garen snickering behind him.

“I’m here, Dex.” Nathrrya said somehow managing to keep her expression impassive which was no easy feat as the look on Obi-Wan’s face almost had her laughing.

“Good could you come by in say half an hour?” Dex asked “I think I’ve got what you were asking about.”

“I’ll be there Dex.” Nathrrya replied before the Basalisk’s image faded out. “I’ll see you when I get back Obi-Wan. Let hope the Council don’t come looking for me in the meantime.” She said rolling her eyes.

“If they do I’ll tell them you’ve gone to Dex’s.” Obi-Wan replied as he watched Nathrrya walk away.

“So... girlfriend, huh?”

“Oh shut up, Garen.”

_____

Darth Sidious was in a rage and currently he had nothing to vent his rage on. Knowing all your carefully planted bugs and trackers would be found was one thing but to watch as each was found and rendered useless was galling beyond words.

It was clear to Sidious that this Darth Avarice must have done something like this before but that didn’t explain her extreme familiarity with starship systems even with the assistance of an astromech droid she’d expertly pulled the ship apart one system at a time putting everything back together as she went.
Darth Sidious cursed Darth Avarice in every language he knew.

_____

“Do you have to go mom?” Anakin asked sad at the thought even though he’d known it was a possibility.

“Yes Ani, Tatoonie for all its faults, is home and now that you’ve been accepted into the Jedi there’s not much need for me to stay.” Shmi said giving her son a hug. “I’ll miss you.”

“Anakin, just because your mother is leaving doesn’t mean you won’t be able to talk to her sometimes.” Qui-Gon said “I think we can arrange a long distance comm. call once in awhile.” The maverick Jedi knew he’d be breaking quite a few rules but didn’t care.

Anakin needed to be handled differently as he’d spent the first nine years of his life with his mother so couldn’t be expected to forego all contact with her. Besides if the Council gave him too much trouble he was sure Nathrrya would soon put them in their place. It was strange to think that the Sith was an ally in training the boy that might be the Chosen One. Qui-Gon still found it hard to believe.

“How will you get back home, Shmi?”Obi-Wan asked thoughtfully.

“I thought a commercial transport.”

“I might have a better idea.” The padawan smiled “Nathrrya now has a ship of her own and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind taking you as I know she has some unfinished business on Tatoonie.” He said thinking of the Twi'lek salve she intended to free.

______

Janson ‘Face’ Falon looked up as Dex ushered his mysterious female friend into the Basalisk’s office. Human, red hair, intense blue eyes, athletic and well toned figure not at all ashamed at showing it off but when Face saw the weapons the woman had he was not happy... at all.

“Spast, Dex you could have warned me that your friend was a kriffing Jedi!” the Slicer complained bitterly “It’s because of them I’m working for Coruscant Security.”

The Basalisk facepalmed as he muttered something uncomplimentary about Face under his breath. The slicer noticed that the woman looked mildly offended for some reason.

“Face you’re an excellent slicer, you should be able to work out that Nathrrya here isn’t a member of the Jedi.” Dex said in a tone that suggested he was trying to explain a fairly simple concept to a child.

It was the slicer’s turn to facepalm. “If she were a Jedi she wouldn’t need a forged Republic ID.” Just what have I gotten myself into? Face wondered. “If you’re not a Jedi then what are you?” he asked.

“What I am isn’t important.” Nathrrya replied folding her arms over her chest. “What is, is why you’re so upset with the Jedi?” her tone saying she wanted answers... now.

Please don’t do that. Face thought. Because it’s really distracting and sexy as hell. Her accent wasn’t helping any as the slicer was sure she could read something as dull as the Coruscant Holo directory and he’d find it mesmerising. Dex was right, Nathrrya was dangerous.

“About three months ago I got a job to test the security of some big corporation, nothing out of the ordinary or so it seemed.” The slicer explained doing his best not to stare at the red haired beauty. “So I did the job hacked the mainframe with the programs I’d been given and that’s when things started to go wrong. One of the programmes would leave a permanent untraceable backdoor in the mainframe.”

“What!?” Nathrrya asked in disbelief. “You’re a professional slicer and you didn’t even test the programmes you were using!? Sounds to me as if the size of the credit chit overwhelmed your logic.” Disapproval and disappointment clear in her voice.

Face sighed he wasn’t going to try and argue for he knew she was right. “Two weeks after I’d done the job I was to meet my contact to get paid. I’d gotten caught in Coruscant traffic which for once turned out to be a good thing as I hadn’t even made to the meeting place and it was swarming with Coruscant Security. Turned out my contact had been wacked but the odd thing was he still had all the credits that he was to have paid me.”

Nathrrya looked thoughtful but nodded for the slicer to continue his story.

“About a week after that the bounty hunter that’s assumed to have wacked my contact turns up dead.” Face said.

“Makes sense, the bounty hunter left a loose end, you. Whoever hired the hunter wasn’t happy about that.” Nathrrya said considering what it could all mean.

Face shuddered at that. “I haven’t told you the best part yet, sweetheart.” He got an irritated look of disgust that cleanly said, don’t call me sweetheart. “A few weeks later I was arrested by the Jedi because I’d hacked their mainframe and as far as I know the backdoor into their systems is still there.”

Nathrrya swore in ancient high Sith for the best part of a minute. “Sidious will be furious when he finds out you’re still alive. When he does you’ll be very dead very quickly.”

“Sidious?” the slicer asked clearly confused and worried.

“Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith.” Nathrrya clarified “Whom you’ve helped penetrate what was supposed to be one of the most secure mainframes on all Coruscant!” Face paled. “Fortunately I’m trying to stop the bastard. Unfortunately there are two active Sith Lords in the galaxy. Sidious is one the other is me.”

The slicer fainted hearing this.

Nathrrya looked at unconscious man then at Dex. “I think I broke him.”

_______

The majority of the Jedi Council felt uncertain for they were about to view the holorecording of Jedi historian Master Gnost-Dural, a Kel Dor that had lived during Nathrrya’s time. What had shocked the Council more was when Yoda had revealed that he had been visited by the Force sprites of Jedi Masters Casavir Therin and Kira Carsen who had not only told him about Gnost-Dural’s recording but had also expressed their displeasure at the current Council’s treatment of Nathrrya.

Mace leaned forward and inserted the holodisk into the room’s holoprojector. Moments later the holo image of the long dead Jedi historian appeared.

“It is as many of us feared the Jedi and Republic are once again fighting the Sith Empire. This had led me to try and understand what happened at the end of the Great Hyperspace War. What I have discovered worries me greatly.” Gnost-Dural said worried “After the defeat of Naga Sadow Supreme Chancellor Pultimo was of the belief that if he could destroy Sith culture then the galaxy would be a safer place.”

“It was at this moment that the Republic Chancellor made what might now be considered a mistake: To destroy a culture you have to destroy the people. The Sith no longer posed a threat to the Republic, but Supreme Chancellor Pultimo was unsatisfied.” the holo image said. “Jedi and Republic forces were sent to Korriban and other Sith planets to ensure no remnants of the Sith Empire would survive.” Dural’s holo image looked down and sighed “The death toll would have been horrendous, millions maybe even billions dead on the misguided orders of one man. Part of me is pleased that some Sith managed to flee.”

The image looked up a mixture of emotions in his eyes. “Now we are fighting a renewed and much stronger Sith Empire that has one of the best motivations for fighting, revenge. I cannot help but wonder if Supreme Chancellor Pultimo’s actions unwittingly planted the seeds to the Republic’s demise all those centuries ago. One day historians many generations from now will be able to answer that question.” Gnost-Dural’s holo image faded from view.

Silence filled the council chamber. The twelve Jedi looked among themselves no one wanted to speak. To do so would make it true even if they knew it to be so. They slowly began to understand Nathrrya’s anger and her burden. She was the sole survivor of a civilisation that had flourished almost four millennia ago. Yet she was trying to build a life for herself in galaxy not her own. The council silently vowed they would grant her one desire. They could never replace what she had lost but maybe they could help ease her pain.

_____

“That was fun.” Face grumbled as Dex handed him a large glass of Corellian whisky.

“You should feel better after you’ve had that but take it slow.” Dex said sitting down in his office chair. “You did a good job. No one will know that the Republic ID Nathrrya now carries is a forgery.”

The slicer snorted “I didn’t have much of a choice my life literally depended on it.”

“As long as you remember that when dealing with Nathrrya you’ll be fine.”

Face sighed sipping his drink “I’m really in deep this time.”

“We both are.” Dex reminded him “I’ve got your and Nathrrya’s back in this, whatever this is.”

The slicer nodded as he slowly consumed his drink. Both men sat in silence as they considered their future and their association with a certain red haired, blue eyed Sith Lord.

_____

Almost as soon as Nathrrya stepped foot inside the Jedi Temple she was told the Council wanted to see her. I wonder what they want this time. She thought as she made her way to the Council chamber which by this time was a well trodden path she could walk with her eyes closed. She was looking forward to seeing how much she could tweak the Council’s nose once again. The Jedi Council for all its faults was easier to deal with than what the Dark Council had ever been.

The Dark Council or what remained after the war with the Republic was something Nathrrya hadn’t thought about in a long time. At the outbreak of hostilities there had been twelve councillors by the end there was only six and that didn’t take into account replacements during the war. Darths Mortis, Marr, Vowrawn, Ravage, Nox and Acina along with herself were all that was left of the ruling body of the Empire by end of the war.

Nathrrya grinned as she was often considered by many to be the unofficial seventh Dark Councillor though she never held a seat or oversaw an aspect of the Empire like the others. Her role as the Empire’s Wrath was to keep the Sith Order and Imperial High Command in line. If someone made too much of a fuss she was to deal with them by any means necessary. That ranged from simply talking all the way up to silencing the troublemakers. Nathrrya was often the tie breaking vote when the other six became deadlocked. She had kept the Empire together and prevented it from imploding by sheer force of will or so it had seemed.

Nathrrya frowned thinking about Darth Nox even now the woman evoked mixed emotions in her. She had despised Nox in life and wanted nothing more than to murder the woman not least because of the way Nox had treated her supposed daughter and the man who had gotten Nox with child. The only way Quinn would ever sleep with that dark ***** was through the use of Sith sorcery. Part of Nathrrya hoped she was wrong about that as she’d never been able to figure out Nox at all. Baras had been painfully easy to figure out. Nox had been near impossible and Nathrrya suspected it had to do with the darkness the woman seemed to draw around herself like a shield. It was painful to admit but Nathrrya had never known the real Darth Nox and that bothered her.

Even so just the thought of Quinn ever being under some Sith enchantment got Nathrrya angry. Quinn was such a humble and honourable man and loyal to a fault once he gave it. She squashed that memory viciously for she had forgiven Quinn for that long ago. Nathrrya could never bring herself to stoop so low for the sake of a bed partner. She wanted someone who’d willing please her and enjoy it just as much as she would. The thought of having someone as little more than a sex slave was an insult to Nathrrya’s womanhood.

Then Ziost happened, that was something Nathrrya didn’t really want to think about as it still held too many painful memories. So many lives lost too many people she and Casavir could never save. Nathrrya might have hated Nox with a passion but the fate that had befallen her on Ziost was something she wouldn’t wish on anyone. She looked up and saw the Council chamber doors just ahead. Time to clear her mind and see what they wanted.

______

Nathrrya entered the Jedi Council chamber and knew right away something was different. She looked around and noticed the twelve Jedi were softly talking among themselves. This had to be the first times they’d done so in her presence. There was something else as well less obvious but just as important. There was a feeling of warmth and quiet acceptance of who and what she was. That had never happened before and it sent her mind racing. Just what the kriff was going on? She wondered.

“You wished to speak to me Master Windu?” Nathrrya asked as she stopped in the centre of the room before bowing acknowledging the head of the Council.

Mace leaned forward smiling slightly “Indeed I did Nathrrya there are things the Council and I need answers too and you are the only one that might have those answers.” He said as he activated the room’s holoprojector. An images of the records of the fate of Marrick Therin appeared.

Slowly a grin spread across Nathrrya’s face as she began to chuckle in amusement. “It took you all long enough to make the connection. I haven’t hidden it, no reason to.”

Mace gave her a look that said please explain.

The Sith’s amused grin became a smile. “You have to understand I was the heiress to an ancient and noble house of the Sith Empire the last to hold the title of ancient and noble in fact. Technically I still am the heiress of House Palatine. If the ancestral home and lands still exist then I have the right to claim my position as head of House and my title of Lady Palatine.” Lord Palatine-Kenobi has a nice ring to it she thought amused.

“And this is relevant how?” Mace asked with a frown.

“It isn’t really not now at any rate.” Nathrrya said “Back when the Empire existed it most certainly was relevant. The fact my father had ties to the Jedi and that in the eyes of the Sith it made me a half-Jedi...” she paused looking completive trying to decide how to comminute just how grave the situation had been. “If the knowledge had become known I would have been killed closely followed by my parents soon all of House Palatine would have been killed. Considering how much political and military power House Palatine possessed as the last ancient and noble House of the Empire it would have been a severe blow. At the least it would have badly crippled the Empire at worst it would have set off a chain of events that would have seen the total destruction of the Sith Empire.”

Silence settled over the camber at Nathrrya’s words

The Sith made eye contact with each council member as she spoke “The truth that my father was of Jedi linage had to kept secret. I was the product of the marriage between two people who between them had the legacy of the Jedi and the Sith in their veins. I was the result of their love for each other, something I’ve always been grateful for. It was my biggest fear that I was nothing more than a genetic experiment. Thank the Force that was not the case.” Nathrrya took a breath then continued “People died because of my families’ greatest secret. Some willingly gave their lives to protect it others died trying to discover it. Now I no longer need to hide my heritage but nor will I advertise it.”

“Why would a Sith family go to such lengths to keep you and your fathers origins such a secret?” Master Adi Gallia asked.

Nathrrya smiled a genuine happy smile “The Palatine House motto sums it up best. Family, Allies, Empire. Loyalty to family comes first in all things, to betray family for a Palatine is unthinkable. Family for me was Tara, Vette, Quinn, Jaesa my parents, my cousin and his wife Kira. I would die before betraying any of them.” The Sith grinned wondering how long the Council would take to realise the revelation she’d let slip. “Then there were my allies the most notable two were Darth Marr responsible for Defence of the Empire and Darth Vowrawn responsible for Logistics and Production. We may not have agreed on things all the time but always had each other’s backs when it mattered. Lastly was the Empire. It was my home and would defend it as such but would never throw my life away doing so...”

Nathrrya was going to say more but her mind had other ideas. A sudden painful realisation tore through her psyche at light speed. It had always been there since she’d been awoken at the back of her mind but she’d been so busy to do anything about it trying to figure out her place in the new galaxy she’d found herself in. Now it would not be denied and had demanded her attention.

Nathrrya sank to her knees before falling forward so she was supported by her forearms. As she raised her head a soul rendering mournful scream tore from her throat that echoed around the Council chamber stunning the Jedi present. Nathrrya then fell on her side before curling up into a fetal position sobbing uncontrollably. Reality had finally caught up. She was the last of her family, last of her allies and last of the empire. Nathrrya started to grieve for the loss of her old life on the floor of the Jedi Council chamber.

_____

Obi-Wan stood in the kitchenette of Nathrrya’s room making her a cup of tea, something he hoped she’d appreciate. As he did so he thought of the woman lying on her bed that seemed to be asleep in reality she was unconscious due to extreme exhaustion. Two hours ago he, Qui-Gon and Siri Tachi had all been called to the Council chamber what they found inside shocked them. There on the floor curled up into a ball crying was Nathrrya with Master Adi Gallia at her side trying to calm her down.

Obi-Wan had been further surprised and delighted when Siri’s jealousy and distrust seemed to vanish the instant she saw Nathrrya so vulnerable. Siri was initially at her master’s side trying to assist her as best she could. After awhile they had gotten Nathrrya coherent enough to stand on her own and with the assistance of both Obi-Wan and Siri with Qui-Gon following at a rather sedate pace behind them had gotten Nathrrya back to her room.

Obi-Wan was brought out of his musings by Nathrrya letting out a pain filled groan.

“What happened?” she asked sounding tired as she tried to work out where she was.

“Grief.” The padawan said simply as he brought her the cup of tea he’d finished making placing on her bedside table. “Your grief at the loss of your old life finally caught up to you and overwhelmed you I’m afraid. It wasn’t a pretty sight.”

Nathrrya sighed “I can imagine.” She closed her eyes for a few moments. “I cried didn’t I?”

Obi-Wan nodded “Yes. It was distressing to watch. On the bright side you shouldn’t have any more problems with Siri.” At her questioning look he continued “It seems seeing someone as strong and powerful as you in the state you were in did wonders for curing Siri of her jealousy and distrust.”

A faint smile appeared on Nathrrya’s lips “Good that’s one less thing to worry about.”

“Indeed.” Obi-Wan said. “The Council wanted to see me once you were awake. I know they still want to talk to you more but it can wait till you’ve got yourself back together. I think Siri will be along later to check on you. Maybe it’s time to make another friend in the order?”

Nathrrya grinned “Oh I do so look forward to opportunity of corrupting another padawan to the dark side.” She said playfully.

Obi-Wan chuckled it was good to see some of the Nathrrya he knew make an appearance.

“Then I shall leave you to your scheming, my lord.” Without thinking the padawan bent down and kissed Nathrrya on the forehead he turned and left her room before the Sith woman could react.

_____

Obi-Wan exited the Council chamber with what could be best described as a thoughtful scowl on his face. He couldn’t quite believe what the Council had ordered him to do. It wasn’t the part that he was to face his Trials for Knighthood for he’d been expecting that. No what had Oni-Wan Kenobi upset was that he was to spy on Nathrrya for the Council and all that implied. They hadn’t said it like that of course but it had certainly been hinted at quite strongly.

Obi-Wan for the first time in his life felt nothing but disgust and contempt towards the Jedi Council. He had thought they were actually beginning to trust the emetic Sith woman now he wasn’t so sure. Something must have happened before Nathrrya had her grief induced breakdown but what? Obi-Wan also thought that the Council wasn’t in full agreement over their latest move. That wasn’t anything new but it could have some very serious repercussions if Nathrrya were to discover the betrayal as he knew she did not take such things well.

Obi-Wan let out a sigh he would need to mediate on this and decide a course of action before too long. However his gut reaction was his loyalty to Nathrrya which surprised him. He would not knowingly betray her trust. If that meant going against the Council’s wishes then so be it.

_____

“You’re looking better Nathrrya.” Siri said as she took a seat near the Sith woman’s bed.

“I am.” Nathrrya replied “What do I owe this visit to padawan Tachi? I was under the impression that you didn’t like me all that much.”

Siri had the decency to look awkward “I have been a bit of an arse haven’t I? I guess I just didn’t know how to act or react around you yet Obi-Wan seemed so at ease. Am I making sense?” she asked.

Nathrrya nodded “You are. And now?”

“After your emotional breakdown in the council chamber it made me realise you’re just as fallible as the rest of us and there isn’t anything to fear. So can we start over?” Siri asked hopefully.

“I’d like that Siri.” Nathrrya agreed

The padawan smiled “In that case what’s got you in such a good mood?”

Nathrrya grinned “Obi-Wan Kenobi is a man of many talents some of them very pleasant.”

Siri felt her mouth fall open before she snapped it shut. “What did he do?” she asked at last.

Nathrrya’s grin became a smirk “That my dear would be telling and where is the fun in that?” she glanced at the empty tea cup. “And it was more than the cup of tea he made me but it certainly helped.”

Siri leaned back thinking about Obi-Wan could have done to have such a positive effect on the Sith woman. Suddenly she snapped her fingers in realisation. “He kissed you didn’t he?”

Nathrrya’s smile was all the answer Siri needed.

“Where?” The padawan asked at last.

Nathrrya frowned slightly thinking it over before she grinned and indicated her forehead. “It was just what I needed.” She admitted.

Siri couldn’t help but smirk. He has it bad. The padawan realised. I wonder if he knows. For some reason Siri couldn’t explain she found the thought of her friend Obi-Wan having an infatuation with the attractive older Sith woman not nearly as terrifying as it had been. Siri would have to think about it some more.

____

“You’re looking better Nathrrya.” Mace Windu greeted as the Sith entered the Council chamber.

“I still have a long way to before a fully heal but I do feel better.” Nathrrya said “Now what else did you need to talk to me about?”

Mace activated the holoprojector and two images appeared. One was clearly the symbol of the Sith Empire which Nathrrya easily recognised the other if she had to guess was the current symbol of the Galactic Republic. The similarities between the two the Sith found quite unnerving.

“Okay... the symbol of the Sith Empire and the current symbol of the Galactic Republic?” Nathrrya said as she slowly walked around the two projections. “When did the symbol of the Galactic Republic change? I remember it being a graceful stylised bird motif.”

“We believe it was sometime after the Ruusan Reformation.” Mace said

Nathrrya looked at the Council sharply but said nothing and went back to studying the two symbols. She didn’t speak as she continued to slowly walk around the two projections clearly thinking. Nathrrya suddenly stopped and spun to face the Council.

“Son of a Bantha!” she exclaimed “The situation with Sidious is far more serious than I had thought. It’s no coincidence that the Republic symbol has more than a passing resemblance to the Imperial crest. This order of Sith Lords that follow this rule of two have made their end game clear as day and it’s been under you very noses for almost a thousand years!” Nathrrya’s eyes had turned yellow she was so angry. “Sidious intends to destroy the Jedi Order and recreate the Sith Empire on galactic scale. Well not if I have anything to say about it he won’t!”

The Sith turned and stormed out of the Council camber not looking back. Nathrrya had plans to make, places to be and planets to visit. She was done hiding it was time for the galaxy to feel the Empire’s Wrath!

_____

Nathrrya was prepping the Indigo Rose for departure as Shmi and R2 were already aboard so the Sith was doing her final walk around before boarding herself.

“Nathrrya, can I speak to you?” Obi-Wan asked as he walked up behind her.

“Come to see me off?” she asked turning to face him.

“In a manner of speaking.” The padawan replied “The Council have requested that I accompany you on your travels.”

A myriad of emotions passed over the Sith woman’s face before she started to rant. “I’ve got a good mind to tell the Council they can go kriff themselves and to kriff the hell off! They think because I’m half Jedi they can snoop over my shoulder when I’m trying to save the galaxy... again.” She pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration.

Obi-Wan blinked “Half Jedi?” he asked bewildered.

“I’ll tell you later.” Nathrrya replied dismissing the matter. “You being told to come with me... doesn’t have anything to do with your Trials, does it?”

Obi-Wan just nodded.

“Of course it would.” The Sith let out a defeated sigh. “You can come, as I’ll be glad of the company. But on one condition.” she said raising a finger to emphasise her point. “There may be planets I visit and things I do that I do not want the Council to know about... yet. Am I clear?”

“Yes, master.” the padawan replied with mirth.

______

All up to date again. I was hoping to have another chapter ready before Christmas but I don't think I'll manage that sadly.
"Korriban’s a rock, mind the Sith." -Jolee Bindo.