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Darth Malefous at the Academy (warning...a bit dark)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
Darth Malefous at the Academy (warning...a bit dark)

Lohir's Avatar


Lohir
02.01.2012 , 05:42 PM | #1
Chapter 1: Darth Malefous at the Academy

They called him ‘acolyte’. It was a term that could not be more insulting to the spiteful, force-wielding youth had he been called ‘padawan’. The young human hated Jedi above all else, but the clowns in this place who considered themselves disciples of the dark side were nearly as mislead and disgusting as the so called guardians of justice within the pitiful Galactic Republic.
Cerrus Amnotep knew he was something more than the pathetic pretenders who attended the academy at Korriban in the hopes to one day call themselves Sith. Cerrus already knew who he was and his time in this place was nothing more than a regretfully necessary step needed to obtain the base knowledge required for him to fulfill his destiny. Simply put, he had to learn what he could from the self-proclaimed masters of the academy until he was powerful enough to show them the error of their feeble inadequacy. One day soon, Cerrus Amnotep would reveal himself to these fools as Darth Malefous and he would bathe in the blood of the weak-minded aspirants who fancied themselves his peers.
If there was anything Cerrus was not, it was humble. He was as confident in his abilities as he was in the conviction of his ideals and concerning matters of his place in the world, Cerrus Amnotep did not bend. His sharp wit and rapidly developing cunning, coupled with his arrogant refusal to assimilate the propaganda of his instructors, had quickly earned him the scrutiny of the masters. The young man’s principles had set him on a collision course with those who were more powerful than he; a dangerous position among the murderous Sith.
Cerrus was not unaware of the peril he placed himself in, but neither was he afraid. Fear was a conduit to the dark side, but a true Sith warrior did not succumb to it; he fed off the terror of others. Cerrus wanted to be attacked. He yearned for the day one of the higher ranking students would gather the nerve to confront him. With each kill, he would grow that much closer to the point he could expose his barely concealed identity.
The temple masters had to have known how close the youth was to homicidal break-out. Cerrus had quietly murdered several of his peers already. There was no proof of his misconduct, of course, but the knowledge that he was the killer in each case; while carefully concealed from the other students, was common among the instructors. Such carefully orchestrated displays of calculated violence were admired among the Sith, but the masters feared upstarts nonetheless.
The academy life was excruciatingly tiresome to the young Cerrus who regularly opposed the tenants taught there. The Sith acted like killers. In dull classrooms, they learned history and anatomy and basic theory of force control; but it was the very classroom environment that proved the corrupted hypocrisy of the contemptible instructors. The dark side of the force was not a power that could be taught from a book. It was a living thing, and one that demanded its followers take constant action in pursuit of its knowledge.
The fools who learned from a holoscreen how to use the force or what refutable philosophical lesson should be learned in order to harness its powers could never rise above what they were taught in that pathetic school. Cerrus was far beyond his peers because he understood this and while the other acolytes were neck-deep in their book studies, Cerrus was delved even deeper in to the dark side, learning his lessons from cold experience.
That was not to say that Cerrus was completely negligent of the courses taught at the academy. He absorbed the useful points of his studies in remarkable time and discarded the rest, save what was necessary to complete the frequent examinations imposed by the masters. That edge of sharp intelligence was what kept him above his peers but forced him to perform at their substandard level. Cerrus knew that if he too often outperformed the others, he would become a target. The time was not yet right for direct confrontations.
Cerrus was admittedly not the most skilled student at the academy in the use of his lightsaber, but he did not fear a fight with any of the other acolytes. There was more to battle than the ability to swing a sword and Cerrus was not one of the fools who limited his repertoire to a single weapon.
Just as he did with his other studies, Cerrus downplayed his martial skills. It was a ploy to draw his enemies in. They would consider him weak and challenge him; and when they did, he would destroy them.
It was nearly time for Cerrus to attend his next lesson and he looked on the transition with a sense of filling anticipation. There was a structure to the academy life that, while frustrating in the regard of how Cerrus thought the dark side should be learned, was convenient for the way he performed. Structure was predictable and if there was one weapon a genuine killer could use against his enemies, it was time and place predictability. A certain fellow acolyte would soon learn the truth of that particular bit of knowledge.
There was little to gain in the murder of his peers, particularly since he was abundantly aware of their shortcomings. It was the older, more experienced students that he really wanted to test himself against; but this particular student committed the fatal blunder of insulting the dangerous Cerrus. Some certain affronts could be borne without immediate reprisal; particularly when it was gainful to savor the anticipated retribution. There were some slights, however, that Cerrus simply could not ignore. Worse, this particular student, Veran Talos by name, had subsequently displayed his own weakness. This was a fact that Cerrus, who did not wish to ally himself with the feeble, would not tolerate.
At the appropriate time, Cerrus left his classroom along with the other students. He had precious moments to perform his task as planned. There could be no mistakes, since any evidence of his crimes would force the masters to take action against him. It was a peculiar set of laws among the Sith. Killing a peer was not technically illegal since, of course, there was no law against murder; but getting caught in such an act was strictly forbidden. Due to the very nature of the dark side of the force, there was no law against murder within the Sith Empire, unless the killing crossed certain social class lines. The exception to this rule was that it was illegal within the academy to kill a younger student, as they hadn’t yet gained the strength and resources to defend themselves. The temple masters did not, after all, teach the young men to use the force just to have them murdering off all the students the recruiters had gone through all the trouble to gather.
Cerrus quietly separated himself from his peers in the nearest corridor, careful not to draw attention to his departure. It was imperative that no one link his absence to the time of the impending murder. At this very moment, his intended victim was in a similar, parallel hallway. He would separate from his classmates and, for a brief few steps, have to turn on a smaller passageway that was much less frequently travelled. During this particular routine change of location, the quarry would not be travelling to a class he shared with any individuals from his previous class. The moments the young man would be alone was the opportune instant for Cerrus to attack.
The manner in which the fool was killed was irrelevant, so long as there was no evidence that Cerrus committed the murder. Normally, Cerrus might try to make the murder look accidental, but such attacks were more difficult and normally more time consuming. This was the one time Cerrus could depend on catching his victim alone and it would be rather challenging to stage an accidental death in an empty corridor. The masters would investigate the attack, of course, but Cerrus would leave them nothing to definitely tie him to the killing. Word of the vicious attack would get around the academy quickly, placing many of the other students in fear. They would not know who the killer was or who the next victim would be. The thought of such possibilities was not unpleasant to the hostile Sith aspirant.
Cerrus rounded the corner of the target hallway and slipped easily in to the shadows, avoiding exposing his face to any of the other students when he crossed the hallway Veran had left. Cerrus slid effortlessly behind his prey and quietly produced the murder weapon from a fold in his robes. Cerrus had always preferred real blades over energy weapons and the knife he was using was hand-crafted from iron mined from this very planet, making the weapon impossible to link to him. He had taken great care to avoid making contact between the knife and his own skin.
Cerrus expertly closed the distance to Veran and, covering the weaker student’s mouth with one gloved hand, shoved his personally crafted blade in to the young man’s side. He slid the razor edges between Veran’s upper ribs, relishing the feel of metal piercing flesh and the satisfying pop as the sharpened tip pierced the membranes protecting the victim’s chest cavity. There was minimal blood flow from such a wound with the highest chance of fatality, since his blade easily pierced the lung. Cerrus could feel the dying student’s fear through the force and he took only a moment to savor it.
Novice acolytes were taught to defend themselves from the kind of attack Cerrus was about to finish Veran with, but with the trauma of the stabbing, the young man’s ability to resist was crushed. In that moment of absolute vulnerability, Cerrus reached in to the other acolyte’s chest through the force and stopped his heart.
In mere moments, Cerrus was back in the corridor pacing the other students who were walking to the next place of study, completely oblivious to the corpse of their classmate. The momentarily satisfied Sith-in-training smiled to himself as he considered the slaying, replaying the sensations over and over in his mind.

*************

“Your young deviant has claimed another victim, it would seem, my master,” Darth Tul, one of the Sith warriors who served at the foot of Underlord Darth Callous told his disfigured master.
Darth Callous had sustained a multitude of wounds in the battles of his youth and wore them as a badge of office. His appearance was fearsome to say the least and many of the young novices at the Sith Academy were deathly afraid of him. They had sufficient cause, after all, since the underlord had grievously injured any number of students who had disobeyed certain temple edicts.
“I have felt the murder through the force,” Callous said in a voice utterly devoid of any sort of emotion. It was the type of cold, commanding voice that demanded the attention of any who heard it and struck a chord of dread deep in their chests. “This boy can no longer be ignored. Bring him to me.”
“Yes, Master,” the younger Sith warrior replied, dipping a respectful bow before turning to obey. Privately, Darth Tul felt of twinge of emotion that bordered dangerously close to sympathy for the young Cerrus Amnotep. Darth Callous was not known for his kindness.

*************

A half hour later, the door to Darth Callous’ official sitting chamber hissed open and the black-robed form of a young student entered carefully, though with surprisingly little show of fear. Cerrus Amnotep knelt respectfully and dipped his head to the floor, avoiding eye contact with the terrible master.
“You wished to see me, Master?” the boy said, looking at the floor.
“Would you insult me with your feigned subservience, Acolyte?” the scarred master demanded in his hollow voice. “Would you genuflect and prostrate yourself, pretending to be the willful servant when you have been openly disobedient to my regulations? Why the show of respect now, in the face of punishment?”
“I’m sorry, Master, I do not under…”
“Do not lie to me!” the master screamed furiously, stepping close to Cerrus who raised his head to see the terrible underlord coming at him.
“Do you think me a fool?” Callous demanded venomously.
“No, Master,” Cerrus replied evenly, “I do not think you a fool. The timing of this meeting can only mean that I have been discovered in my extracurricular activities.”
“Indeed,” the underlord replied, secretly pleased with the artful way Cerrus had calmly avoided admission to the murder.
“But you do think me a fool, do you not?” Callous continued. “Did you think your murders would go unnoticed? Did you think I would not know of your crimes? Did you think they would go unpunished?”
“I was fairly certain that you, at least, were aware of my actions, Master,” Cerrus stated. “There was no crime in my actions. It was the will of the dark side that the idiot die.”
“And what do you know of the dark side, Acolyte?”
“More than you might believe, Master,” the boy said with spiteful conviction.
“Is that so?” the underlord spat. “Are you now the obedient retainer to the force? You, who knows so much.”
“I am a warrior in the service of the dark side, Master,” the young man replied.
“Do you know what the force is whispering to me now, young Acolyte?” the master asked in a telling voice. “It screams for your blood. Did you know that? Will you submit to that penalty?”
“If it is the will of the force,” Cerrus said calmly. “But the dark side tells me something different.”
“Your impetuous mouth is more disturbing than your actions, Boy. I’m afraid a lesson is long overdue.”
Cerrus, who was unarmed and no match against his master in the ways of the force, could do nothing to prevent the incredibly painful raking of electric tendrils that burst from Darth Callous’ fingertips. The agony was unlike anything Cerrus had ever known. The lightning, fueled by the force, ripped through his body. It burned his skin and clothing and penetrated with electrical shock deep in to his muscle tissue, causing his extremities to flex, constrict, and tense violently. His facial features were twisted grotesquely in an agonized manner, soundlessly reflecting the torment of the deadly jolt. Darth Callous did not relent in his attack for many moments; moments that seemed an eternity to the Acolyte on the receiving end.
“Did you think you could disobey me with impunity, fool?” Darth Callous sneered, grating his teeth as he overwhelmed the student with another excruciating cycle of electric energy. Cerrus found breath only after the master retracted the blue tendrils and he screamed loudly in pain with the underlord standing right over him.
“You will pay the penalty for your disregard to my instruction,” the master continued, increasing the intensity of the next assault and holding it on the squirming, screaming youth longer than any of the previous attacks.
“Do you repent?” Darth Callous demanded, patiently waiting for the pain-stricken and disoriented boy to gather the breath necessary to answer.
After several long minutes of gasping, Cerrus was able to say, “Never…I’ll not ask your forgiveness.”
Darth Callous smiled wickedly and washed the boy in another awful wave of force lightning, eliciting screams that an expert Sith Oppressor would be proud of.
“Beg my forgiveness, Child,” Callous demanded. “If you do not, I will kill you; slowly and quite painfully.”
“Never!” Cerrus screamed in reply.
Callous clenched his teeth, funneling every bit of energy he could in to the fingers of lightning he emitted from his hands without focusing the energy enough to kill the prostrate student. When his lightning was exhausted, he knelt to the ground with one hand and lifted Cerrus’ head by the hair on one side. The boy could not move, as drained as he was from the furious onslaught. Wisps of smoke rose from the acolyte’s robes and the chamber was filled with the sharp scent of ozone and singed flesh.
“And how about now, Acolyte?” the master snarled in to Cerrus’ ear. “Will you beg me for mercy or shall I consider you worthless and end your pathetic life here and now? You think yourself great. There will not be so much as a story told of the life of Cerrus Amnotep, the boy who thought himself the equal of a Sith Lord. One last chance. Beg for my forgiveness.”
“Mercy…” Cerrus whispered in a hoarse voice through cracked, burned lips. “There…is… no mercy. Forgiveness is a lie of the weak.” The words ripped through the dark side of the force in a truthful manner that was unmistakable to Darth Callous.
“And now you know that is more than an adage and empty creed,” the dark lord said, shoving Cerrus’ head forcefully to the hard stone floor. “Return to me tomorrow that we might continue your training, Sith Aspirant. If you speak so much as a word of this to your peers, I will slice you apart. Do not think that further disobedience is appropriate. You will not kill any more of my students without my express authorization. Today’s lesson was one of humility. Now you understand that you live and die at my whim. Go.”

**********

Cerrus spent the rest of the afternoon in agonizing pain, his very bones aching from the torment his master had inflicted. It was indeed a lesson, the aspirant thought, and one he would not forget. He focused his rage to a point that eased his physical discomfort and fell asleep to vivid contemplations of the extraordinary ways he would soon obliterate the hideously scarred underlord.
Despite his homicidal intent, Cerrus reported to Darth Callous the next morning as he was instructed. He knew he had passed a test the day before and regardless of his disdain for the structured temple edicts, Cerrus was eager to learn new things. He had finally advanced beyond his contemporaries, but the intelligent youth was mindful enough to understand that promotions did not equate to positions of safety among the Sith. If anything, Cerrus knew he could count on much more suffering in the time to come. But Cerrus Amnotep was Sith and he did not fear pain.
“So, my murderous young animal has returned to me, I see,” Darth Callous said with audible contempt. “You must fancy yourself superior to your friends now. You may soon wish that I had killed you yesterday.”
“I have no friends, Master,” Cerrus replied in a tone that matched the spiteful master. “I fear no pain.”
“Oh, but you will, my apprentice,” the master vowed. “You will soon learn pain and suffering as you have never known it. If you are wise and if you are not weak, you will learn to harness the energy of such things. When you tell me of your lack of fear, you only fool yourself and in your ignorant defiance fail to embrace a powerful tool. You cannot wield a weapon you do not understand. Never fear; I will certainly teach you of such things.”
“Tell me now, young Cerrus,” Callous said. “What caused you to murder your fellow students?”
“As I said before, Master,” Cerrus replied, “it was the will of the dark side of the force.”
“Murder is always the will of the dark side of the force,” the master said. “The question is what made you do it? Of all the people in the universe, what makes you think you are the hand of the force?”
“I feel that way because I am, my lord,” Cerrus said. “I am not like your other students and I never will be. I listen to the force and where they study in vain to try to learn it, I allow it to guide me. The students I killed were weak; they were not assets to our cause and they enfeebled the force with their continued existence. I did not murder Sith; I slaughtered mynocks.”
“Do you think yourself so much better than them?” Callous asked, though it was apparent in his voice that the question was rhetorical. Cerrus answered it nonetheless.
“I am better. I am stronger. That is why I am alive and they are all dead.”
“You think yourself wise for your indulgence in your hatred. By the very reasoning you expressed, should I not have snuffed your life when I had you writhing on the floor of this chamber? Do not think yourself clever. You are excrement and you would do well to remember that. Your pathetic killings do not impress me. They do not prove any worth to you.”
Cerrus made no argument, but the expression on his face showed the full range of his emotions; mostly anger, at the scarred master’s words. His silence was obviously strained.
“You are excrement,” the underlord repeated. “But that does not put you without a place here. There is potential in you but right now that is all there is. You lack focus and you desperately lack power. Above all else, you lack understanding. You are garbage now, but I will mold you. Through pain and torturous training, you will learn to use the force. You will learn or you will die.”
“And how, exactly, am I to learn?” Cerrus dared to ask. “The very structure of this place is sickening. I’ve spent years here learning nothing. Why do you think I killed the other students? This is not the way of the Sith. The true Sith academy is out there, where the dark side should reign, not behind these walls.”
“And what would you do out there, young fool? Would you go about murdering everyone you saw? Who would serve the empire then? How long would it before the people put an end to the great and mighty Cerrus Amnotep? There is a reason for this academy, even if you are too stupid to see it. You are not so much wiser than your peers, Cerrus. You think you know of a universe you’ve never seen. Your life has been here, sheltered for a reason. It is the same for the students you murdered. They, like you, belong to me and they, like you, live and die as I wish. Do not ever take that upon yourself again.”
“I do not mean you disrespect when I say it,” Cerrus said carefully, “but the force is not to be taught in a classroom. There is nothing you could possibly say to make me believe otherwise.”
“It is not a point I would argue. Do you really believe that I am a classroom instructor? Are you truly that pathetically stupid? Do you see these scars, Boy? Do you think I earned them from a holoscreen? If you wish, I can throw you on to the battlefield as you are right now. Do not think your life is to be comfortable here, under my leadership. You will know better soon enough and you will yearn more and more for that battlefield you so desire; but because you would fancy it a far more forgiving place than this temple.”
There was a brief silence before the master continued, handing Cerrus an unadorned wooden box that the young man took reverently; knowing full well what was inside. “Take this,” Darth Callous said. “Go to the forge. You have one week. You had better know what to do with this and if I were you, I’d take every bit of that week to do it correctly. Your life depends on it.”
Without further question, Cerrus retreated from the room and to the lower levels of the temple where the forge area was found. He knew he would not be interrupted there. This was a day he had long awaited. Cerrus did not have to look inside the box. Through the force, he could feel the perfection of the objects inside. Four blood-red corusca gems waited inside that box to be crafted and placed in a lightsaber; or rather two lightsabers, as Cerrus envisioned his project.

********

Jedi Master Thrace Peram stepped in to the hall outside of the auditorium at the Jedi academy and approached the newly appointed Jedi Knight, Wenda Celaine; who was departing after presenting a lecture on her final paper. He tapped the blonde female human on the shoulder and she turned to him questioningly. Upon recognition, she bowed formally and held entwined her fingers at her waist in front of her.
“I found your presentation most refreshing, Wenda,” the Jedi master said formally. “I read your paper extensively and I feel you presented your thesis in a remarkable manner. I would like to talk to you about it at some length when the opportunity is present.”
“Of course, Master,” the beautiful, fair skinned woman replied. “I have not received an assignment yet, so I’m available here at the academy any time.”
“I must ask you,” the master continued, “how deep are your convictions to what you wrote? I find this idea of combatting the dark side with compassion to be a revitalizing approach to the standard manner we’ve combatted the Sith in the past.”
“As I’m sure you know, Master, I’m hardly the first one to express such ideas. As I quoted from my research, there were several masters in the early days of The Republic who thought much as I do,” she said.
“Indeed. It is not a foreign concept; but the methods of employment that you discussed lent a great deal of weight to your ideas. How involved was your master in the formation of these ideas?”
“Master Pyus taught me much about the living force and has had some influence in almost everything I’ve learned but he did not feel the same way, Master,” Wenda stated coolly. “I think he believes me to be naïve and presumptuous in my opinions.”
“I’m afraid you will likely find that response to your sentiments to be a consensus,” Master Peram said. “I do not think the issue is as clear as you perceive it, but it is refreshing to see a Jedi knight so full of hope. I think your paper embodies the way we're all supposed to feel. I can’t see that I necessarily believe it would work. There is much about the Sith that you simply do not understand.”
“Not to be contentious here, Master; but it was you who denied my requests to learn more before presenting my paper. I requested access to the holocrons describing Sith society.”
“I know, Wenda,” Peram replied, patting his hands in the air, “but it was necessary. That particular information is kept under such security for a very good reason. The ways of the Sith are not so mysterious; but many of their teachings are artfully corruptive. Those holocrons describe things more terrible than you could possibly know and the ways of the Sith have a way of influencing the young and impressionable. Only masters with years of experience, fully protected by the light side of the force are permitted to examine that material; and even they are only allowed access when absolutely necessary. Even under such circumstances, we place the person accessing the information under direct supervision and careful scrutiny.”
“I understand, Master,” Wenda replied meekly. “I simply feel that I’m right and with more knowledge of the inner workings of Sith society, I may be able to further develop my idea to something that could be called a plan and really make a difference in the galaxy.”
“It is something I’m willing to discuss,” Peram said, “but no promises. I will have to discuss it with the Jedi Council and they will not be easily convinced on this matter. Would you be opposed to a committee? Perhaps I can sell the permission of such study under certain conditions, such as review of the subject matter by a panel of masters who could provide the pertinent information to you second-hand.”
“I’ll take what I can get, Master,” Wenda said enthusiastically. “I have no personal desire to see those holocrons. It doesn’t matter how I get the information; only that I have it to tailor my thought. The way we have fought the Sith in the past does not make sense. We are stronger than they are because of our principles. They have always been more powerful in the martial skills. I simply do not believe we can eradicate the phenomena by using a lightsaber. We have to attack them at the core root of their beliefs and spread the fire of virtue through their ranks if we are to win.”
“It sounds good, Wenda. It truly does. I hope you are right and that we can somehow find a way to do just that; but I really do not believe it will ever be that simple. The Sith are raised as children to disbelieve our principles. They live under the fire of the dark side and are imbued with hatred for the very ideas of virtue and compassion. They will not turn because there is no greater lie to them than the things we believe. It is not an easy thing to change the beliefs that are instilled at childhood.”
“We have to find a way, Master. It could be the galaxy’s only hope.”

********

Cerrus sat cross-legged on the plain floor of the forge chamber in the depths of the Korriban Sith Temple, deep in contemplation of the dark side of the force. As he meditated, images flashed before his eyes. It was the dark side imparting knowledge to him, sharing ideas for lightsaber construction. Cerrus flipped through the ideas the force gave him, somehow absorbing the vast amount of information. He was looking for something different; he knew he was more than the average Sith soldier and required a weapon that was something more than his contemporaries carried.
The force drove him to the specifications he desired. The subtle and complicated process of building the weapons he wanted were engrained in his subconscious; in a place where he could not cognitively retrieve the information. When he paused from his meditation to consider the design he had chosen, he found he did not know how to go about actually building the weapons.
This was a curious development, but Cerrus immediately understood the problem. There was a reason only a force-user could build a lightsaber. The weapon was amazingly intricate, requiring a level of perfection in its construction that would allow only an expert weaponsmith to even dare attempting it. There were few races in the galaxy that possessed the senses and motor skills necessary to build one, even if they had automated tools and detailed construction plans.
It was impossible for anyone to build a lightsaber without the force guiding them. The crystals were exceedingly rare and had to be cut in just the perfect manner, which was at least subtly different with every blade. The light passing through the crystals had to be broken faultlessly, separated to laser intensity, and refocused at the handle to the perfection that allowed the beams to join. These had to connect so perfectly that the laser formed a blade which emanated almost no heat. Of course, Cerrus had a slightly different plan with his swords, one that was even more complicated than a normal lightsaber. There was simply no way the process could be replicated without the guidance of the force.
After what Cerrus thought to be the appropriate length of resting time, he returned to his meditation. This time, he did more than contemplate a design. He let the force move through him and guide his work as he began building the lightsaber. The force told him which tools he needed; tools that were all present within the forge, even those required for the altered specifications Cerrus envisioned.
The force did not simply move Cerrus of its own accord. A lightsaber was a Sith’s construction and an individual’s project. Cerrus still built the saber, he simply drew the knowledge from the force and allowed it to move through him to move the parts as required. He still directed the construction and the force drained him as it worked. It was not a simple task, even if the force was doing most of the work. The force might have been telling him what to do and moving through him to do it, but it needed his attention, his power, and his mind to do its work.
When Cerrus’ stamina began to fade, the force directed him to rest. He paused from his work and checked the chronometer, surprised to find that several hours had passed. He looked down at his work and was disappointed to see that little appeared to have been completed. He had parts of two separate handles with a great deal of circuitry and their protective coatings running against the inside. Cerrus knew it was the inner workings of the blade that would really be difficult. So far he seemed to have the shells, the triggering circuitry, a base for the lightsource and…something else.
Cerrus picked up one of the handles and inspected it more closely. There was something odd there; a crystal coating that extended from the bottom of the blade and folded in a sphere that was slightly wider than the handle shell’s thinnest point. The spheres on each handle were partially protected by three angular pieces that extended from the haft of the hilt and narrowed to sharpened points about 10 centimeters from the bottom of the orb. That had definitely not been included in the design he had planned with the force. He could not explain where the crystal had come from or how it had been included on the bottom of his lightsabers, or even what its purpose was. He inspected the circuitry on the inside of one of the shells, but there was no clue as to the crystal orb’s reason for existence. Perhaps it was just ornamental, something he had thrown in to the design for aesthetics.
He was drained enough that he had to sleep before continuing the construction of his lightsabers. The next day went much as the last and he was not able to begin the really difficult aspects of the project until the third day. For what Cerrus decided to do with his lightsaber, he had to take an unconventional approach to the crafting of the crystals. He had to slice away a portion of each corusca gem large enough to cut in to smaller portions that he could use for refocusing.
Cerrus was attempting to do something that had only been done a couple times in history and had not been accomplished in hundreds of years. The process was dangerous and Cerrus understood fully that the slightest misstep could kill him. It was the most dangerous lightsaber crafting technique he was aware of. It was dangerous indeed, considering he was on short suspense. He judged that working as hard as he possibly could, it would take at least two days just to form and polish the crystals. At the very best, it would take another day to complete the guts of the sabers and yet another full day just to set and focus the gems, completing the assembly.
For two days, Cerrus spent every waking moment in deep meditation, moving his tools and the corusca gems ever so delicately to cut the perfect angles. The task took every bit of his stamina in the force and pushed the limits of his mental capacity as he tried to understand the functions of the weapons through the force. The next day was spent assembling the functional parts of the lightsabers that would direct the light through the crystals and building support measures that would hold all the pieces rigidly and allow the weapon to absorb energy to prevent the inner workings from being damaged or misaligned during use or unintended jarring.
On the seventh day, Cerrus began the real tantalizing work. He had precious hours to complete the daunting chore of aligning the corusca gems; both the larger core gems and the smaller redirection lenses. The crystals had to align perfectly, refocused through an additional prism and filter that would bend the light after it passed from the blade. It had to be precise to the level that no individual who did not possess affinity with the force could possibly achieve.
The trick was getting it right the first time. Cerrus could not activate the lightsaber until the lenses and focusing crystals were flawlessly ranged. If he actuated the light source without the proper alignment, the results would be catastrophic. At the worst, he would cause an explosion or catch a misdirected laser beam that would kill him; and at the very least, he would destroy the lightsaber and have to begin anew with only a few hours allowed to complete the task. Cerrus did not much wish to face Darth Callous with his first instructed task incomplete.
Since Cerrus could not activate the saber until it was finished, he used the force instead. He had a couple of different techniques he used to get the positioning just right. With the force, he created small beams of invisible and powerless energy replicating light waves and passed them through the weapon, feeling where the particles hit the lenses and how they reacted. For the more delicate pieces, he knew, this technique would not work since it was a replication that could not exactly reproduce the same effect as actual light. With that understanding, he developed the second technique which was more dangerous by far.
Cerrus had to commit himself to triggering the weapon and feel the future results through the force, then stop himself before he actually activated the lightsaber and refocus his efforts based on the sensed results. This was dangerous because he could not go in to the action with the intent of stopping himself. It took incredible discipline that even Cerrus was surprised he possessed. If he did not commit fully, the force would not detect the action through intuition and if he did not redirect quickly enough, he would quickly see and feel the actual results for himself.
It took hours and hours and Cerrus knew he needed rest, but he did not have time. He paused briefly from his work when the force was telling him he was nearing the limits of his endurance and saw by the chronometer that he only had three hours remaining until the day was finished and he was due to report to his master. He absorbed the living force around him and attacked the project with renewed vigor, careful not to sacrifice intricacy for time. It was mere minutes prior to his appointment with Darth Callous that Cerrus finished his project.
The Sith aspirant put his tools away, confident that he had aptly finished the construction of the lightsabers. He stood away from the table where his two completed lightsabers lay and called them to his hands through the force. There was no external trigger. Cerrus had cunningly built it beneath the external shell so the saber could not be used by anyone who did not use the force. He had built a pressure switch in to the handle as well, to keep the blade from burning him if he dropped it or had it forced from his hand. Through the careful application of the force, he could keep the weapon activated without having it in his hand, but he ensured the blade could not be triggered on accident.
Cerrus triggered the light sources of both blades and smiled roguishly as they ignited, emitting powerful beams of crimson energy. These were far from normal lightsaber blades. Each blade extended a meter from the hilt and curved at a cunning angle. Cerrus had designed these sabers specifically to battle Jedi. The curving blades were exceptionally unconventional and would give him an edge when facing a force-user who was trained to fight against warriors with straight blades. The hooking angle of his blade would allow him to manipulate an intercepting lightsaber in ways that no conventional blade possibly could.
That was not the only nasty surprise to these weapons, however. Due to the bend in the blade, the laser energy could not be totally contained; therefore also unlike other lightsabers, Cerrus’ blades radiated a significant amount of heat after the point where the light began to curve. The heat began at a distance far enough from the hilt to prevent it from damaging the sabers’ interior or burning his hand, but would cause far more damage when it struck. These blades, Cerrus knew, would not cause the surgical, cauterized wounds of a normal lightsaber. There would be a signature to his kills, since his victims would sustain massive burns in a much larger area surrounding the wound.
If there was any doubt that Cerrus was worth more than his peers, it would be settled when he ignited his cunningly crafted blades. He had accomplished a delicate feat of discipline and force affluence that had not been undertaken in centuries. Completely satisfied with his work and confident in the production of his lightsabers, Cerrus strolled from the forge to make the underlord of the academy witness his skill.


Chapter 2: Broken and Rebuilt


“You have completed the task?” Darth Callous demanded when Cerrus entered the master’s spacious, dark chamber.
“Yes, Master,” Cerrus responded with unconcealed pride.
“Good. You have made the first step. Now tell me why a lightsaber is important.”
“It is a weapon, Master.” Cerrus replied in confusion. He was secretly hoping to show off his handiwork and was slightly perplexed that the master had begun a line of questioning, rather than having Cerrus present his weapons. “On the battlefield, it is the object that destroys a Sith warrior’s enemies. Also, it is a badge of our position, an indication of the force’s favor.”
“I thought you despised the bookwork, my stupid apprentice,” Darth Callous snarled in disgust. “No doubt the classroom instructors would be pleased with your inadequate response to a meaningful question.”
“I’m sorry, Master,” Cerrus said with uncharacteristic deference. “I’m not certain how you wish the question answered.”
“I want it answered truthfully!” the underlord screamed, bare inches from Cerrus’ face. “I don’t want an empty-headed retort that any second year fledgling recruit could give! Why do you think a lightsaber is important?”
“It is not important, Master,” Cerrus said angrily. “It is no more important than any other weapon a warrior might wield. It has its uses in that it strikes instant fear in those who see it and understand the connotations; knowing that the person carrying it is strong in the force. It is a symbol. Applied properly, it can be a very powerful weapon, but is it more effective than a blaster? Only in the fact that it can be used for defense, and that it does not run out of ammunition. It has its limitations and in the hands of someone who did not wield the force, it would be near useless.”
“The fact that a lightsaber kills at close range is useful to me.” Cerrus continued. “Being able to look an enemy in the eye as their life expires is beneficial. The fear that being able to close with an enemy and utterly destroy them when they think they have the benefit of range is what makes a lightsaber more than another weapon. But I do not prefer the lightsaber. The saber is a beam of light that kills quickly and efficiently and without mess. It makes a distinctive sound that once again has its uses in striking fear in the hearts of opponents, but limits the applications of the weapon. I favor a silent blade. I prefer to see blood. I want to feel the last heartbeats of my pitiful adversaries through the instrument that I used to kill them.”
“The mistake that Sith make is reliance on the blade. When one limits one’s weapons, he effectively limits his opportunities and, therefore, his value on the battlefield. I will use a lightsaber when it is appropriate and when it is not, I will use a knife or a blaster if I must. Whatever is most capable of destroying my enemies will be my weapon of choice.”
“Very good,” the master chuckled evilly. “Do you know why you are here, Cerrus?”
“I can only assume it is the next phase of my training here at the academy, Master.”
“No,” Darth Callous replied. “You are not to be trained with your peers, Cerrus Amnotep. You are being groomed for a much different position. Do not let this go to your head. You are still as useless as any of the other pieces of offal in your class. The difference is that you, perhaps more than any other in your class, understand certain aspects of the force that cannot be taught. These things require true understanding that can only come from within and cannot be forced. This means you have the potential for greatness, but it is not a point for contentious pride. You learned these lessons before your peers, but it does not mean they will not also come to the same understanding. There is still much you have to learn before I will consider your worth to be sufficient to grant you any true responsibility.”
“Some of your classmates are simple and always will be. They will be tools of the force. Some of them will be loyal servants and great warriors who will use their power appropriately, as they are instructed. They will be mindless but valuable pawns in the game we play. They will be tools that the emperor and his trusted servants use in the reconstruction of the galaxy. If you do not show weakness and if you learn the lessons presented to you, you may become an Inquisitor, a valued agent of the Sith Empire, a dark lord with dominion over the straightforward warriors of the imperial military. Would you like that, Cerrus?”
“It is what I was meant to do, Master,” Cerrus replied easily.
“Then tell me again, why did you murder your classmates?”
“The answer is no different than before, Master. I despised them. I heard the force calling and I killed them.”
“You acted as a child,” Callous said with venom in his voice. “You frustrate me, Cerrus, truly you do. I know your pride and I watched with some of my own as you crafted two weapons that most Sith would tell you were impossible to build. One moment you say something that shows your understanding to be something more than your contemporaries and the next, you say something that is so totally mindless and ignorant that it makes me want to strike your head from your neck.”
“Have you ever seen a craftsman with his children?” the underlord continued in a knowing manner that indicated he was making a point by the way of a parable. “He gives the child toys that mimic the tools of his own trade. These toys teach the child motor skills, keep him occupied, and teach him how to interact with the items he will one day need to persist.”
“Do you think the craftsman, who works diligently to procure such items finds some value to them?” the master asked.
“You are saying, Master,” Cerrus responded, understanding where Darth Callous was going with his comparison, “that I behaved like a spoiled child, breaking my toys.”
“I am saying that if you were who I expected you to be; if you were a fraction of what you should be; and if you were worth anything more than the excrement I have named you to be; you would have known all of this before I had to bring you in for this conversation. I noted your potential long ago. I was content to let you stay in the academy for a few more months, to let your anger build to the point of focus, that I might take you in and make you my apprentice, teaching you to harness that anger appropriately. You forced my hand. You, being the fool you are, made me bring you here for this discussion. Your training has begun earlier than I intended and because of your ignorance, it will also be more painful than I planned. Go and rest. Your training begins tomorrow morning.”
After Cerrus dutifully departed the room, the shadowed figure of Darth Tul appeared from the shadows at the far corner.
“What do you think?” Darth Callous asked his retainer.
“He is foolish, my master,” Tul replied without hesitation. “He is prideful, arrogant, and without understanding. He is dangerous. His loyalties are to himself, to the power he thinks he can achieve, and not to the Order. He is consumed with unfocused, self-destructive anger.”
“Yes,” Darth Callous agreed with an evil, self-satisfied grin. “He is Sith.”

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Lohir
02.01.2012 , 05:42 PM | #2
“You think you know something of the force,” Darth Callous said in an accusatory manner to Cerrus when he reported for his training the next day. “I will teach you, starting today, that you know nothing. But you will learn, my young apprentice. You will not fail. From this day forward, you are a true servant of the dark side. You will live your life accordingly. The dark side brings a great many benefits, but it does not forgive. It demands your constant, dutiful adherence. If you made the mistake of thinking your life as a Sith would be one of comfort, you are doomed.”
“I had no such thought, Master,” Cerrus assured him.
“I thought not,” the underlord said. “Even so, you will soon learn that the dark side is a harsh master. You will see how little you understand. You will scream in pain and the weakness within you will cry for mercy. If you are Sith, you will learn to destroy all that makes you feeble. You will not submit to the frailty of your begging body. You will learn to transcend the humility of your flesh. With that transition, you will learn the true power of the dark side. It will not take you long, Cerrus Amnotep, but it will feel like a thousand lifetimes. When, through your hatred, you discover that source of ultimate power, you will be a Sith Warrior. Only then, after you have been consumed and bear the ability to manipulate that ultimate destructive force, will I teach you to wield it. I warn you that the following days will, by far, be the most painful of your life. Are you ready to begin?”
“I am not afraid,” the aspirant said a little too confidently.
“We have had this discussion before,” Callous sneered. “And now you will learn the meaning of fear.”
Darth Callous struck Cerrus with force lightning. The arcs of blue energy were not as intense as before, but that did not detract from the pain. There was a nasty twist to this particular assault, since the underlord did not limit his methods to the electricity. Even as Cerrus lay on the ground wracked in pain, the dark lord assailed him by various other means. It was overwhelming to the young human aspirant as he was attacked simultaneously in mind and body.
Cerrus yelled out from the burning tendrils of force energy that burned his flesh. Then his stomach muscles contracted and he was momentarily without air for a voice. The searing pain was soon forgotten, however, in the waves of emotion that suddenly struck him. Cerrus was beside himself, the pain of his immediate torture made distant by the feelings that rolled through his mind. Some of the sensations were familiar, some completely alien, and others were…something else, something he knew but had forgotten. The emotions lifted as quickly as they had come and Cerrus was once again consumed in torment.
The cycle went on and on. It was certainly hours that he was tortured by the underlord in one way or another, though there was no way for Cerrus to judge passing time in his state of perpetual torment. When the master could no longer strike Cerrus with lightning, he used other means, sometimes actual physical force. The apprentice could do nothing but curl up in a ball, moving pitifully from side to side in a futile attempt to lessen the sting of each blow.
Cerrus cried out again and again, but stubbornly refused to ask the underlord to stop, though he desperately wanted to make such a demand. Several times, he tried uselessly to fight back, but he did not have the strength. He was drenched in sweat and covered from head to toe in painful welts, deep bruises, and puffy abrasions. His hair was singed and areas of his skin darkened from scored burns. He was beyond pain, reaching a point where he felt hopeless and only wished for the agony to end.
Cerrus felt ashamed for the self-pity he experienced. He hated Darth Callous more than anything, but what could he do? He told himself that he would exact revenge, but the thoughts were beat away quickly in the horrendous assault and forgotten when the roiling storm of emotions assailed him again.
After what seemed an impossible length of time, Darth Callous, who had been striking Cerrus with a strange energy whip for the last half hour or more; kicked the young man in the ribs and walked out the door of the chamber without so much as a word. Cerrus tried to move his head but lacked the energy to even do that. There was finally reprieve, but Cerrus could not enjoy it. In the absence of the repeated strikes, the true pain of the day’s torture crept in to the acolyte’s very bones.
Cerrus could not move, he was beaten so badly, but it hardly mattered since there was no position he could assume that would lessen his pain. He lay there wishing he could strengthen himself with the force, but the agony was such that it would not allow him to focus the energy required to manipulate the force. He knew he needed to rest and that he would not feel the pain if he slept, but the tenderness throughout his battered body was far too intense.
For at least an hour, Cerrus lay on the ground, weeping and moaning irrepressibly despite himself. It was a purely reflexive response that he had no control over. The wracking sobs and spontaneous hiccups angered him profoundly. He would not allow Darth Callous to take such liberties with him, to reduce him to such a disgusting and pitiful state; but yet, there was nothing he could do about it. For the first time in the Sith aspirant’s life, he felt truly helpless. Darth Callous’ first lesson was taught.

The holo-comm in Traek Jasper’s simple Correllian apartment buzzed, indicating an incoming transmission. The middle-aged man with graying brown hair sighed as he stood to answer, grimacing at a twinge of pain in his back caused by the movement. Traek was just recently retired from the Republic Army and had been enjoying his solitude, when it wasn’t interrupted by family members wanting him to visit or old military companions wishing him well. Traek just really wanted to be left alone for awhile.
Groaning against the discomfort and yawning loudly, Traek walked over to the comm unit and keyed the display. He was a little surprised to see the official Republic Army insignia appear as the transmission was connected. He was further surprised when the holonet broadcast connected and the very familiar face of General Tylon Vath appeared. General Vath was not a unit commander. He was one of the directors of the Republic Army’s intelligence service. This was certainly not a routine call.
“General Vath,” Traek said with a nod. “This is quite a surprise. Is there something I can do for you?”
“There is, Captain,” the general replied in a gruff voice, using Traek’s former military rank.
“I’m not a Captain anymore, General,” Traek said with only the smallest amount of annoyance evident. “I’m retired now.”
“Yes,” the general said. “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Have you started a new job yet?”
“Not yet, General. I managed to save properly. My pension’s not much, but coupled with some inheritance money and the fruits of a few previous venture’s, I’m at a point where I can take some time for myself before I have to start looking for work.”
“Well, I’m sorry to interrupt your vacation, then,” General Vath said. “I have a proposal for you if you think you can come out of retirement earlier than planned.”
“If it weren’t anyone else on the holoscreen right now, General, I’d tell them to get lost. I’ve always got time to hear what you have to say, though.”
“Excellent,” the general stated. “You know, of course, that I can’t give you all the details here.”
“Of course.”
“Now, I’ve already lined you up a spot at Corsec if you agree to this. The thing is, I need some people I trust in key places among the more prominent law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies. Exactly what I need you to do is the matter that we’ll have to talk about face-to-face, but I can promise that it pays well and, assuming all goes to plan, it shouldn’t be that much work. Also, you won’t have to leave Correllia often.”
“You’re not wanting me to spy on Corsec are you, General?” Traek asked, implying just how distasteful he found such a request to be.
“Not at all,” the General replied sincerely. “Never had any reason to distrust them boys anyway. Corsec does a great job of policing their own. No, I just need a liaison of sorts. I need someone who’s got their foot in with the Corsec boys to pass information to the locals more easily and at the same time, I need an agent with his ear to the ground there on the planet.”
“Who are you fooling, General?” Traek snorted. “You’ve got at least a dozen men in Coronet alone.”
“Yeah, those are spies,” Vath said irritably. “That’s not what I need. This is more of a protection issue. You’ll get the details if you agree, but suffice it to say that my budget’s getting strained. I have key people moving all over the place and it costs me a lot of money sending people ahead and negotiating resources, manpower, and all that every time I have to order someone to one of these places. Besides, it’s terribly inefficient. The locals are looking for one thing and the spies are looking for something else. I need someone dedicated to this particular issue. Having someone on the ground with the framework for these missions kept in place will be a lot cheaper and more effective than the way we’re doing it.”
“Yeah, it seems I made a suggestion like that once,” Traek said, referring to an idea he’d once passed to his commander when he was on a protection team for the Correllian senator.
“Yeah,” the general nodded. “I didn’t call on you by accident. You know what I’m trying to do and you have an idea how to do it already. I’m not going to put you to work for every government official who makes their way to your rock, but I’ve got enough higher ranking officials going in, out, and through Correllia to warrant standing up a permanent protection office. That office is going to need a commander. You interested?”
“It’s tempting, General. I’m going to need some details.”
“Good to hear it. Go see Chairman Vann at the Corsec Coronet headquarters. He can get you to where I’m at, all cost on the Republic.”

For Cerrus Amnotep, the torture went on forever. Every time he awoke, he was assaulted by his dreadful master for hours on end. Darth Callous was unforgiving and presumably stopped only when he decided Cerrus could not endure any more. Then he was allowed to rest briefly, enduring bitter hours of aches and total exhaustion until his body could finally unwind enough to sleep. But the underlord did not allow his apprentice to recover. It seemed, every time, that no sooner had the darkness of slumber settled than he was again awoken to blasts of terrible force energy, lightning, and telepathic suggestions.
For how many days this went on, Cerrus could not tell; but he knew he was nearing the end of his endurance. A normal human would have expired in the first minutes of the furious onslaught, but Cerrus had the force as an ally, not to mention an indomitable will that refused to allow him to give up. He could not focus his anger, but it was there, swirling within him, snapping back at the foul hands of his tormentor, just a moment too late each time.
Cerrus was angry and hurt. He felt somehow betrayed. Through his constant pain he was unable to analyze that particular emotion, but if he had, he would have thought how strange such a notion was. Betrayal required trust and if there was one sentiment that prevailed in the mind of Cerrus Amnotep, it was certainly mistrust. Suddenly, between strikes from a force whip, Cerrus realized something profound. In his torment, he was beginning to feel something significant. It was raw emotion, feelings he’d never before experienced. How was this possible? He had always been detached, devoid of any feeling but hatred and contempt. He could not name the sensations he was experiencing, but as horrible as they were, they made him feel…good.
As if the revelation were some kind of cue, Darth Callous grinned wickedly and threw his whip to the floor. Then he left the room as he had every time before. Somehow, Cerrus knew the beatings were over; but he also knew his trials were by no means at an end.
As always before, Cerrus lay in the fetal position, every joint throbbing against the pain enveloping his entire being. He moaned and cried tears of anger and frustration. This time, though, there was something more. There were elements to his agony that were supplemental to his physical discomfort. He had…desires. Strong desires. These were not the petty wishes he had known before, the willingness to commit murder or to become a great Sith warrior. These were real, personal. And they were deep.
Cerrus had made a discovery and he knew it was significant. He had exposed something within himself, though he couldn’t describe it. He could not put a name to it. It was as if he had learned something profound, but yet, did not fully understand it. Even more than that, it was as if he had acquired some knowledge that he did not know he possessed. He knew something. He just couldn’t say what it was that he knew. He could not assign it a name and he could never teach it to another person. He could not even retrieve it on will.
Cerrus tried to develop the idea further. He focused every bit of his available mental capacity on the subject, but it was elusive. It was real, but it could not be touched. He thought that perhaps it was like the force. Could it even be an element of the force? Normal people knew nothing of the force. Was it possible that Sith knew less than they thought? Were there strings of power floating around throughout the universe that no one knew how to harness? Could it be that Darth Callous was telling the truth? Had Cerrus lived a self-induced lie his whole life, thinking he was something more than he truly was? It made a lot of sense.
But how could this previously unnoticed power or knowledge or whatever it was be obtained? What good did it do him to know something was there but not know what it was or how to handle it? Did it even matter? Could this whole thing just be his imagination? Cerrus did not doubt that he could be losing his sanity. He had certainly endured far more than any living creature was meant to bear. Surely, men had been driven mad by a mere fraction of what Cerrus had gone through.
It was not his imagination, Cerrus decided. He decided, too, that perhaps if he was going mad, he would do well to embrace it. What good was sanity in a place like this? What did sanity even matter? Was there even such a thing? What was real to one person was madness to another, after all. On what world was it normal for a five year old child to move stones with his mind? The entire universe was insane, why should Cerrus be any different?
Studying these ideas removed Cerrus from his pain. He did not even recognize the significance of his ability to do so. The mere fact that he was able to think was a vast improvement from his previous condition, but he was so lost in his thoughts that he did not notice. He soon fell asleep, lost deep in his contemplations.
Darth Callous, watching the growth of his apprentice from a separate room, chuckled in a hollow voice that echoed eerily against the onyx walls of the Sith temple. Everything was going according to plan. Finally, his apprentice was beginning to understand. Soon, the blood would begin to flow and Cerrus would have to be sent far away to protect the other students of the academy from the underlord's most terrible creation.

********

“The force seeks balance. Do you understand?” Wenda Celaine, at the request of the Master Peram, was once again delivering a presentation for her controversial theory concerning a different approach to battling the dark side of the force. This time, her audience was composed of more than one ranking member of the Jedi Council, as well as several of the more respected Jedi masters who were not sitting members of the council.
“We who follow the ways of the force are ever at odds with it. Are we presumptuous in our edicts? Are we vain and overly impressed with our own ideas to the point that we attempt to twist the truth of the force to something that matches our nature? The question has often been raised that if there is a light side and a dark side and balance is sought, why do we not live in a gray place? I cannot say that I have a certain answer to that.”
“What I do know are these facts. There is a light side of the force and there is a dark side and they constantly clash violently, each attempting to gain an advantage over the other. What does this mean? Is balance the goal? Should it be our goal? Or are we correct in our attempts to strengthen the light over the dark? I submit that we are, in fact, doing the right thing. The force may indeed require balance, but the light has a balance of its own.”
“I do not believe that death, a necessary element to life, need be categorized as the sole jurisdiction of the dark side. We who live in the light understand a peace in death that is certainly not within the realm of the dark side of the force. It is, in fact, an unfortunate truth that we will all one day die and that in many cases, the prosperity of some beings or welfare of certain places, people, or creatures, may come at the expense of others. This need not be a product of the dark side.”
“I believe, as you all do, that the dark side of the force is a corruption on the universe. It may very well have its place, no matter what we believe, but it is not meant to rule us. I am young and inexperienced and I do not see things the way so many of you do, but I am not without eyes. I am not without my own understanding of the force, as limited as it may be. I understand that the dark side feeds off of pain, fear, and death. Are these things not the most fruitful products of war? How might we combat the dark side with violence, when every act of aggression, even in self-defense, feeds it further?”
“I am not suggesting that we sit and do nothing and wait for the followers of the dark side to overwhelm us. I am merely pointing out the fact, or rather my thought, that we are attacking symptoms when we should be curing the disease. For every Sith lord we kill, another takes his place. By eliminating that immediate threat, have we done anything to weaken the power of the dark side of the force? We have not. As we fight, our enemies continue to multiply.”
“I am not calling this a plan,” Wenda said. “I am no wiser than any of you. I simply believe that we should attempt to find a way to directly battle this enemy of ours, rather than merely attack its tools. I am certain that the answer we seek will be found in compromise. We must fend off these foul weapons the dark side sends against us even as we drive a beam of light at its blackened heart. Thank you.”
The auditorium erupted in applause as Wenda stepped down from the platform. The masters were all nodding at her and smiling. It was apparent that she had sold her idea. What they would be able to do that would further her cause, Wenda did not know. There simply was no answer before her.
Still, she was one step closer to the ultimate victory she envisioned. She was gaining support and hopefully some of that support would eventually lead to a real plan. It all came down to those children. The Sith would not be easy to turn. They had to be shown a better way before they were corrupted beyond repair.
Wenda knew something of the path that was laid before her. She knew it would not be easy and the force told her of terrible trials ahead. She was a Jedi Knight now, and would not succumb to any fear of what was in store. She would gladly enter the darkest pits of the Sith underworld, carrying the shining beacon of the light side of the force the whole way.
She could feel the corruption of the dark side spreading through the fabric of the universe and she understood as well as any other Jedi that time was running short. If the dark side of the force could corrupt a galaxy so quickly, though, Wenda thought; why could the light side not do the same thing?

Chapter 3: Total Corruption

Cerrus wept bitterly in his agony. It had been days since he had seen anyone, including his brutal master. He had not been fed and had not been provided so much as a drop of water. The door to the single entrance of the room would not so much as budge and Cerrus could not muster enough strength to move a pebble with the force, let alone a solid plasteel sliding door.
Although Cerrus had not seen Darth Callous since his last beating, he knew the master was watching. He could sense the underlord’s presence and he knew the frequent intrusions to his mind came from his master. Over and over, Cerrus was assaulted by vivid images and memories he couldn’t have possibly recalled without assistance.
Cerrus had been at the Sith Academy for as long as he could remember. He literally had no memories of a time before he attended the school. All he had were vague, passing impressions of early childhood. He knew he had once had parents, but he could not remember their names or their faces, or even what planet they had come from. In truth, it had never mattered before. Cerrus was Sith and had been raised as such, discarding concerns of such ridiculous notions as family before he could properly read or write.
In the back of his mind, Cerrus knew what his master was doing. The dark side fed off of pain and suffering. It was hard to make a person who cared for nothing suffer for anything. The physical assault Darth Callous had dealt was an attack on the only thing Cerrus possessed; himself. Now that Cerrus had overcome the torture and learned from the painful experience, it was time to wash the remnants of feebleness from the depths of his thoughts. In places Cerrus could not reach, he had feelings of some kind for people he did not even know.
Cognitively, Cerrus had no concept of this procedure. All he knew was pain, hunger, thirst, and longing for people he had not seen since shortly after his birth. In the darkness of the temple depths and absent the presence of any other living being, Cerrus Amnotep cried for his mother.

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Lohir
07.07.2012 , 12:46 PM | #3
No love.

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Adwynyth
07.07.2012 , 03:10 PM | #4
Actually, I'm enjoying this immensely. It must have just fallen off the first page quickly back when you originally wrote it.

Please, continue!

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Lohir
07.07.2012 , 06:40 PM | #5
yeah, i had it up before the game launched, but they redid the forums and deleted the original thread. I reposted it and it's probably like you said. I need to get back to writing it. Thanks!

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Lohir
07.17.2012 , 04:23 PM | #6
admittedly just a reply to throw it back up to front page one more time

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Lohir
12.03.2012 , 03:33 PM | #7
setting it back up. may repost the whole thing, i have a few more pages written, about ready to post

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thatghost
12.03.2012 , 05:02 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Lohir View Post
they redid the forums and deleted the original thread
Ouch!

Well, I've subbed to the thread so if you keep writing I'll keep bumping because I like this quite a bit- dark is good

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Lohir
12.03.2012 , 05:42 PM | #9
thanks. i really will have more soon.. i'm almost to where i'm ready to post it. i'd say two days or so.

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silvershadows
12.06.2012 , 06:34 AM | #10
You might want to reformat this and add some spacing between paragraphs.

It's a jumbled wall of text and extremely hard to read.
Avatia
Deception Assassin
<Tave Naefas Lazea>
A Sith endures.