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Second Chances

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.21.2012 , 05:36 PM | #1
Act I: To Be Sith

Part 1: Jester's Code

“Peace is a lie.”

Na’sira smirked broadly, resting a hand on the broad pillar she knelt behind and sweeping her lekku back over her shoulders. The words of the pensive acolyte pacing with his cronies in the middle of the chamber echoed lessons and lectures she had heard too many times. She could almost hear Nirsod’s condescending tone in the fevered words. She, among a few others, never took the Sith Code particularly seriously. On an intellectual level it seemed pointless to take it literally. She carefully shifted in the shadows, eyes closed and guided by the force as she moved to another pillar that encroached on the centre of the chamber. The words were clearer as the shifting human murmured.

“There is only passion.”

Certainly that made more sense. You couldn’t quell passion. And certainly not Na’sira’s passion for giggling, grinning and jesting. There was little that unnerved her overseers more than fits of laughter erupting for no apparent reason – or worse, at the expense of their frequently predictable threats. She tilted her head, examining the centre of the enormous chamber with half an eye.

“Through passion, I gain strength!”

Enthusiasm was a bothersome thing. Unfortunately it helped with the amplification of passion that would give him the strength he needed to sense, see or swat Na’sira. She would have to move a little faster, but this technique was still imperfect. And whenever the tiniest twinge of technology was involved, it takes a crossed wire for part of the tactic to become a titanic problem.

“Through strength, I gain power!”

She asserted that she only needed to drift by two more inner circles of the rickety red-stoned pillars before she was well within stabbing distance of the acolyte. That would be more than enough to prove her technique worked, especially since beyond those pillars there was only the central obelisk that he squealed his Sith Code at in an effort to wake it up. At least, from the way his voice was going Na’sira assumed he was trying to wake it up. She almost wanted to pop out and say ‘That’s not really how it works...’ but this wasn’t the time. Still – she smiled at the thought.

“Through power, I gain victory!”

Victory. Heh. Heh heh. She giggled softly, and much to her surprise it went unperceived. An inadvertent aptitude test of her stealthy methodology; apparently sufficient none the less.

“Through victory, my chains are bro-ASDFrrrggghghg”

The acolyte shuddered as a high-amplitude current rattled his nervous system and a blade carved a clean path through his back and out the front. He got the faintest glimpse of the lightning stream on the back of the weapon that was electrocuting him before it was withdrawn and he collapsed. Involuntary twitching and spurting blood was all that followed. Now the final test, and a dangerous one it was. Na’sira swept back behind the inner pillar and closed her eyes, re-engaging the tech haphazardly set about her waist. Blaster bolts peppered the stonework as she carefully and slowly stepped out. She crossed in plain view, although a shadow was cast over her. The pair of blaster-wielding goons knew something was up... But they couldn’t put their finger on it.

It was too late by that point. Content that her method was sound and her objective achieved, she ploughed the blade into the side of the closest man, and left it there. She reached out with a hand, and lashed out with the force to bring the blaster of the other hired gun - a scrawny, roughly dressed woman - to her. The startled woman raised her hands and shook her head rapidly.

“No! I was just paid to... To...”

Na’sira sighed and shot her down in a single merciful shot, tossing the sizzling blaster onto her toppled corpse. She withdrew the sword from the first victim – who turned out to be still alive, and dragged his bleeding body over to the obelisk. His blood filled a shallow vessel at the base of the obelisk and the victorious Twi’lek finished – perhaps respectfully, or perhaps because it was relevant – the words the acolyte intended to say. She did, however, smile broadly and sing her heart out.

“... Throooo-ooough vict-or-eeeee, my chains are buh-roooooken.”

For all but the echoes of her voice there was a creepy quiet. A soft dripping sound came from the blood hitting the floor and spattering haphazardly in the brief interim of quiet between her ‘verses’. She edged the corpse off the blood-well and sang the final line.

“The Foo-oooooorce shaaaall set, meeeeee, fuh-reeeeeeeeee!”

She closed her eyes and bowed her head. The obelisk trembled and the well of blood sloshed about with the shifting of the Force in the chamber. That was the line she took seriously, in truth. The Force was the only thing that could set her free. It was also the only bulwark, in her eyes, against the ways thrust upon her. Garbled words bellowed out of the walls as if they contained disembodied spirits and she felt anguish. The weight of the feeling, equivalent to a crowd's hatred, loathing and sorrow as if they were all suffering through death, collapsed upon her mind. She smiled broadly and giggled. She called out at her bodiless assailants as they assaulted her with the negative storms of emotion.

“You’re all so... Silly!”

The rumbling shuddered to a halt. For a moment she grinned toothily as another emotion bled out of the walls; were they... Confused, perhaps? Or perhaps it was the bastion of indomitable happiness and unmitigated glee that dwelled ever-present within her soul. Perhaps she was to a certain extent utterly mad, but the happiness felt as real as anything. It, truly, was what drove her. Optimism, opportunism and of course – satire. Astounding amounts of her amusement came at the expense of what she believed the Sith status quo to be. A status quo so widely accepted and time-permeating she may have confused some incredibly ancient Sith. Their bemusement, however, did not last.

Tendrils of forked electricity crept over the inscribed obelisk. Once more the seething cauldron of emotion bubbled, stirring the blood in the well and delivering a spike of rage-induced lightning to the giggling Twi’lek. She gritted her teeth – in a grin you understand – through the entire thing. It seemed so funny and she didn’t understand why nobody found it funny. She didn’t so much as keel over and the obelisk trembled; as if acknowledging that she was strong enough, it toppled over.


The fragile, ancient stonework shattered against the ground and revealed a tiny pyramidal holocron upended in a snug hollow. She retrieved it swiftly and peered at the shattered pillar. A thought crossed her mind and she smiled. Oh, what a prank she could pull!

She took her datapad – a disposable little thing that held the area’s co-ordinates and little else – and input a message into it.





She grinned and removed the data-core which fit almost creepily well into the dinky hollow of the obelisk. Ah, perhaps it was a match made in the Force’s eyes. Maybe the Force had a fantastic sense of humour. Or, at least, her sense of humour. This second part of her prank would require just a little more effort. But she let the giggles push her. Just the thought of the look on the overseer’s face in the future...

The shattered fragments of the broad, stumpy obelisk lifted off the floor. She smiled and closed her eyes, the force guiding her to piece it back together. To her surprise, each fused with the like-for-like fragments as soon as they fit together. Meant to be? Must have been. In short order, the ominous, stout obelisk concealing one of the silliest jokes she’d ever pulled stood proud in the centre of the chamber. There would even be three corpses and a stone bowl stained with blood to complete the image.

All it would take was for her to say ‘It reassembled itself... Truly a great thing to see such a bastion of the Dark Side able to restore itself to glory with impunity...’ to sound believably enamoured with the longevity of Sith architecture and the Dark Side and to convince them to pay it heed again later. Perhaps another acolyte would be sent to it as a trial.

Oh, she could only pray that she’d be around to see the embarrassment on the seeker’s face.

End of Part 1
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.22.2012 , 10:23 AM | #2
Part 2: Damsel in Distress

It seemed almost unnatural in the minutes that followed. Utter silence descended upon the small tomb and its array of cracked antechambers, countless symbolic claw-like pillars casting menacing shadows in flickering torchlight. Each of Na’sira’s steps was light and silent, and as she listened for the tiniest sound - even a distant tuk’ata’s growl would do - she could discern nothing. Only the shifting of the shadows counted for movement and the gentle crackle of embers provided a pitifully quiet soundtrack. For a moment she considered singing to balance it, but decided not to.

In fact she was possessed very suddenly by the realisation that she was hungry. A hardened nutrient paste bar was all she had but it would suffice as she sat beneath one of the torches and looked up at the wall. Though manically cheerful she still understood appreciation for age and culture – the ruins themselves were older than she could imagine and the inscriptions, though meaningless to her, carried a strange foreboding sense of warning. This was her second trial and both had already brought her into close contact with the intangible nature of many of the Force’s machinations. But none more so than this time around.

She closed her eyes and sighed, descending into a rare, peaceful silence. The blandness of the scarcely-to-be-called food in her hand was a great assistance in clearing her head. Though the serenity – the peacefulness – was highly contradictory to the Sith Code, she still liked it. If she couldn’t laugh, at least she could relax. However, she could do little that came close to relaxing. The stones of the tomb drew her attention again. She opened a single eye and smiled. It was a realisation she attained long ago that she was always going to be manipulated until she was above it, and thereby able to be the manipulator.

Whispers crept through the corridor. The crude stone statues that were symbolic of servants seemed to twitch and move, as if they were alive, even though Na’sira knew they weren’t moving. They weren’t twitching. And, rather unexpectedly, the voice became tangible. As if... She was being addressed. Directly. It wasn’t an ambient, ghostly whisper – but it was talking to her. It took some concentration to comprehend it, but she managed.

“I do love it when people know they’re being manipulated!”

For a fleeting moment, she actually considered raising an eyebrow in bemusement. And she did, but not before smiling broadly and setting her bar of tasteless nutrients aside. She spread her arms and bade the ghost welcome to her world. Perhaps they were kindred, mischievous spirits.

“Hello! I hope I didn’t make too much of a mess of your claw-chamber!”

Silence descended upon the corridor again. Perhaps she was just incrementally going crazier and suffering more-vivid-than-standard hallucinations. Or, as she believed with more conviction, it was a well placed silence by her new partner in the land of the dead to mess with her head. As if to confirm, another trace of audible, ethereal murmuring.

“Not at all. It’s a shame you’re leaving, though.”

Na’sira sprang from her position and grinned cheerfully.

“Ooh, I could sing something for you?”


“... Why do I have to find her anyway?”

The overseer folded his arms and stared the acolyte down. He was quite the upstart and the perceived safety the metal walls of the academy were giving him was doing him no favours. Na’sira wasn’t an incompetent acolyte even if she was an annoying one – if something killed her down there, it would dispose of this useless prat as well. And if he survived, all the more power to him. Survival of the fittest.

“It is your first trial. Find her or her corpse and bring something back to tell the tale of what happened.”

He twitched, snorted and bowed his head. Fists clenched he muttered through gritted teeth.

“... Yes, my lord.”

What had been described as a brief trip to the tomb turned out to be a titanic hike through an enormous labyrinth of awkward and unstable-looking walkways flanked by thoroughly cracked cliff-faces. It was, at least, devoid of tuk’ata and other notorious creatures as promised even if the path was long, hot and unforgiving. He was just an acolyte and he supposed that overseers only saw acolytes as minions to do their dirty work. At least none of them had asked him to make them a hot drink. Yet.

Then he rounded an abrupt and narrow corner that he’d half-expected to be a dead end to mock him – but it then fanned out into a field of jagged rocks that lay before a gigantic, trapezoidal entrance way – made of the same red stone it seemed Korriban was entirely composed of. For a fleeting moment he was awestruck that it was so well hidden for its size, but he pressed forward. Curiosity about its purpose reigned, but he would find out soon enough wouldn’t he? And likewise he had to be on guard – there was no telling what happened in there.

Crossing the rock-field went without incident. Many of the jagged rocks were fragile and the sharp points broke away under his weight. Others he swatted aside with the Force or a swing of his training vibroblade. No matter of his low opinion of Twi’leks, he was well aware that it wasn’t this petulant excuse for a natural hazard that would have killed this acolyte. He moved on forward into the grand shadow that was the entrance. He drew in his breath sharply.

It was pitch black. He could see flickering torches but they scarcely gave out enough light to make an illuminated circle on the wall they were attached to. It didn’t seem to make any sense considering that the fires in the torches were not small or petering out. Perhaps he had misjudged just how large the chamber was? He closed his eyes; it would be a good test of his senses. He reached out with the Force to find his way, sweeping his senses this way and –


He groaned and fell back onto the floor, resting a hand on his forehead. He had collided with the wall. He lashed out in anger, illuminating the chamber with a burst of force lightning. The brief lightshow revealed that the entrance chamber was in fact tiny. There was nothing but a shallow dome-like roof structure and rudimentary supporting columns of stone. He murmured his irritations and pressed forward into one of the darkened corridors.

The further he went in the less comfortable he felt. The darkness did not scare him, but there was something about this tomb. The silence and the unnaturally faded lights didn’t even seem to be the most noticeable factor. Every step further he felt less... Secure. Occasionally a loose rock slid down the wall and clattered across his boot and he jumped. But nothing compared to what he started to hear, stirring the air like a breeze. Gently, softly, in the background he could hear a voice. Female. It seemed to swerve around the corner to him and the echo was easily discernible as he approached it.

Singing. He recognised the Huttese lyrics, and the longer he listened and the closer he got to the source he was more bemused. They weren’t even vaguely relevant to the Sith. In fact, he’d heard similar songs being sung in a Red Light district on Nar Shaddaa. He grinned at the thought, but it was so out of place. Perhaps tomb robbers had been Na’sira’s downfall, and not some ancient dwelling power in the tomb? And as he sauntered through the corridor, stepping on a bar of hard nutrient paste as he went, the singer stood proud between two claw-like tendrils of stone at the entrance to the chamber.

Na’sira tilted her head to the left and stopped singing. She focused her gaze on the acolyte and gestured with a hand.

“Aw, did you come looking for me, dear?”

He twitched. Alien scum, always out for an easy lay or a quick credit. Even those gifted with the chance to be Sith. He flicked the switch on his vibro-blade, casting a faint yellow glow where he stood. He was one trial behind her – he was told this much – but it would still be a boost to him if he brought her in disabled or dead. What did a trial further than him mean anyway? Extra dreary lectures between actual challenges?

He started forward and scuttled back in an instant. Although he could see a ramshackle, probably self-made, sword-like weapon on her in the light of the chamber, he noticed she held something else. Something cylindrical. And as a beam of piercing yellow light leapt out from it with the iconic sound of a lightsaber he was possessed by fear; and rage. Second trial? She had a lightsaber! What sort of trick had the overseer pulled now? Surely this was a bit much for a first trial?

He mustered his rage and released it in lightning into the chamber at Na’sira. He struck an obelisk standing in the centre of the room with it, which promptly shattered into pieces from the impact. The Twi’lek was nowhere to be seen. Had he imagined it? Was the tomb playing tricks on him? Incomprehensible whispers crept about the room, luring him to the shattered obelisk. Three corpses, one that appeared to be of another acolyte, lay beside a stone well that was stained with fresh, wet blood.

He edged forward, remaining wary as the whispers grew louder, but no more comprehensible in their ghostly nature. He rested a finger in the stone bowl, testing the blood’s consistency. A reflection of light caught his eye and the room was silent all of a sudden. Not a footstep, not a breath, not the hum of a lightsaber. It must have been a trick, a hallucination. But the metallic object in the hollow was real. He asserted that the obelisk usually concealed it – perhaps he had discovered something important. Perhaps his realisation that he was being played and his refusal to give up was his trial; and this chip his reward?

It fit his own datapad just fine. As he accessed the auxiliary drive he eagerly fished through the data and found only two files. One contained the co-ordinates of the cave – the same set he’d been given – and the other was a text file. His eyebrow lifted as he murmured the words as he read them and he almost crushed the datapad in fury. That scummy alien, wherever she actually was, had gotten to it first! ‘Nasi was here’, what a child!

In the blink of an eye he felt weightless. His feet left the floor and a thick demicot silk sleeve crossed by his neck. Something blunt was being pressed into the small of his back and he tilted his head. He caught sight of Na’sira's face. She was smiling from ear to ear and humming a merry tune. Could he do anything but cringe away from this blue-skinned cretin who had so easily ambushed him? Perhaps he would play along and satisfy the filthy urges of this gullible fool up until there was a convenient time to kill her.

“I think it’s sweet that you’ve come to save the fair maiden from the dark, dark room...”

She released him. He wasted no time in swinging his vibroblade and cleaving thin air behind him. Not a trace. Gone again – another trick! He was sure the alien was responsible and his anger was mounting.

“You could always try to find the light switch... Or you could stay for tea! Go and put the kettle on!”

He sneered.

“Do you take sugar? I might slip in some venom, I hear it tastes divine.”

A laugh and a few claps of her hands echoed around the chamber.

“Oh, no thank you. I’m sweet enough.”

He growled; he had already had it with talking along to this running gag. He infused himself with his mounting anger and sprayed forked lightning all over the chamber. Very few appreciated being toyed with by children, and being toyed with by an alien child was infinitely worse. But as his malevolence and hatred boiled inside him, Na’sira had seized the opportune moment.

Giggling. Fits of giggling rebounded off every wall and bombarded his ears. The acolyte shook with fury as it turned to raucous laughter. The mockery! His passion, his strength and determination being mocked by some common alien slave-refuse! But what was worse... Whispers in the chamber became tangible at last. He snarled as he heard ghostly laughter. The shattered pillar’s pieces drew his attention as if a crowd of people cackled at him from beyond the grave. He snapped.

“Enough! Show yourself, alien wench!”


Suddenly even the torches were utterly devoid of sound. The laughter, the singing and the echoes were all faded as if distant memories. The Twi’lek stepped out from behind one of the outer rings of pillars with her lightsaber humming ominously. No other sound. Just an enormous, glowing-white-toothed smile, and her lightsaber. No malevolence, or hatred. He couldn’t even feel anger or frustration ebbing from her. She looked happier than a child who’d just been given an expensive present and he couldn’t help but be confused. What was he missing that was making her so happy?


Na’sira smiled. Oh, she smiled. Another human who just couldn’t get the joke. The chamber was perfect. Although the central obelisk was rubble, there were still the three circles of claw-pillars surrounding the structures in the middle. She scooted in between them, growing ever closer to the infuriated man.


The acolyte was a young man. Crew-cut brown hair and a mud-stained face were all that stood out in the low light. The human was shaking with anger and by now sprinting toward her; she had the lightsaber but vibroblades were built to withstand them. Never underestimate a danger.

The two blades met as he launched into unrestrained aggression. Each swipe of the vibroblade was a clumsy but vicious swipe that clashed against her inferior physical strength. But the sheer balance of Na’sira’s Niman form kept him from gaining an advantage. Every blow was parried and whenever there was an opening the slightest push of force or feint of the blade could keep him back. In her eyes she could leap back and fry him on the spot, but why not take the free sparring practice?

It was a lesson in recital, despite the lethal odds for failure. Form VI was one of innovation; a pathetically unsustainable combat form unless she could combine it with curious and new uses of the Force. And at last, she had a test subject. A very, very angry and rudimentary wielder of Ataru, this acolyte could be just the practice she needed to get started on her, ahem, ‘theory crafting’.

Following a high parry she threw her weight forward, pushing his vibroblade aside and swiping out with her free left hand. She had intended to punch him, but as she brought the lightning to her fingers she had another of ‘those thoughts’.


Lightning racked his form and he went into a spasm on the spot. Na’sira plunged the lightsaber into the acolyte, putting him out of his misery in one clean, abrupt movement. For a moment she regretted never knowing his name. But now new priorities took over as she grinned and slipped her lightsaber back onto her belt after deactivating it.

She withdrew the auxiliary datachip - the one she had originally left the message on - from the fallen man’s datapad. She placed it carefully in the exposed central hollow. She guided the obelisk’s shattered pieces back together and span around, arms wide – addressing her new ghostly partners in mischief.

“It’ll never get old, will it?”

She smiled and turned to leave. The joke was still on. As if nothing had happened.

End of Part 2

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.24.2012 , 02:31 PM | #3
Part 3: Strength and Honour

“I cannot allow it. She would make a mockery of the Sith!”

The overseer turned about on the spot and stared at the wall with a hefty sigh, with his hands clasped behind his back. He inhaled deeply and lowered his head once again to think. Was he really going to try defying him?

“My hands are tied, my Lord. If you want rid of her, you will have to do so legitimately.”

He could sense the mounting fury in the Sith pacing in front of his desk. It wasn’t even masked in his voice either.

“Legitimately?! She is weak!”

Finally. He’d said exactly what he needed him to say and the overseer span around and levelled a finger with the Lord. For one, they were both about to get their way as he was indeed well fed up with dealing with the giggling Twi’lek but he wasn’t about to have her assassinated – Korriban filtered weak from strong, however annoying the strong happened to be. And this Lord was clearly displeased that the aforementioned puerile Twi’lek had gotten as far as she had at all.

“This Academy butchers acolytes in their hundreds for their weakness. If you feel she is weak, I suggest you prove it. Maybe you should arrange her third trial.”


Na’sira sighed quietly as the lift trundled down and made a gentle thud as it met the metal platform at the bottom. She stepped off and started back toward the Academy; she was already wrestling with her doubts about whether to stick around enough without someone pledging to offer her a way out. But no – Korriban was her freedom, her right and privilege. She would dispatch her enemies as they expected her to and prove that she could stand alone. She’d had it with running and now she’d hold her own. As she slipped under the cover of the grand academy once more and made for the archives, she was stopped by an Imperial officer.

“Your presence is demanded, my lord.”

She wasn’t used to being referred to as such and wasn’t sure if she liked it anyway. She smiled broadly at the officer to allay the inherent fear that always permeated their expressions so far from their parental military.

“Lead on, my dear! I have all the time in the world!”

As it turned out, the academy was more labyrinthine than she had originally considered. She paid little heed to the route as the officer led her around a dozen corners and through innumerable doorways. At the end of the long walk, however, was an ominous red-marked doorway. Wall decorations in the hallway reminded her of the walk to the overseer’s office, and she wondered if she had been transferred to another.

The door slid open and the officer stood aside with his head bowed. It was another room unlike every other – clinically clean as ever of course, but devoid very noticeably of chairs. She half considered asking to have a purple ergonomic chair installed in her own lodgings when and if she ever got any. Perhaps, though, she would struggle to get such requests through the ruthless Imperial furniture machine.

A hooded man sat behind a desk at the far end of the room. Hatred was all that Na’sira could sense from him and it made her smile; if he thought that his loathing of her or her heritage was new or discouraging he was about to get a wake-up call. However, his tone was dulled, bland and without perceptible emotion. Perhaps he was intentionally concealing how much he wanted her dead?

“I will be seeing to your third trial. Your overseer will corroborate.”

He paused to read her reaction and grimaced away from the enormous grin plastered on her face. He gritted his teeth and continued.

“Remember, acolyte. Should you succeed, you will be Sith and required to find a master – or, more often than not, they will find you if you are worth their time.”

Na’sira scratched her nose. In fact, for a moment she feigned picking her nose – much to the Lord’s disgust. He turned around in his chair to await her response. After a minute or so of her absolute silence, she decided to humour him.

“They’ll be queuing up around the corridor!”

She could almost see the shiver of crawling irritation along his spine and but she felt the spike of anger in the Force was entirely more noticeable. Whoever he was – remaining nameless for now it seemed – thumped the table.

“Shut up, rat. Your trial.”

He drew in a breath, calming his irritation as he could do without electrocuting her on the spot this time around. But he had a plan settled and ready for this. He wouldn’t have to put up with it for too much longer.

“I will send you to a small plateau. Within it there is a circle of stones, and an ancient device that when activated lures Korriban’s many dangerous creatures to you.”

He hadn’t intended to pause and he regretted doing so as the Twi’lek bounced on the spot and clapped her hands with a laugh.

“I’ll look forward to seeing you there!”

It was fairly typical for Sith to approach breaking point with her, but the torrent of lightning that streamed past her cheek and into the far wall was a wake-up call. She fell silent, even if she continued to smile.

“Silence! You will defeat whatever comes, or you will die! Now go!”


The trek was long. Na’sira’s main gripe with it was that it was like every other trial so far; in fact she was sure half of the decrepit statues she drifted past she had seen twice before. But another feeling, a fairly unfamiliar one, started to well up inside her. However curious as to why a Sith Lord was orchestrating her last trial as opposed to the overseer, she was filled with anticipation. This was it – the last trial. It was earlier than normal by far and none of the circumstances were anything but lacking in suspiciousness. And yet – not a care was given that day.

The mountainous, rocky ground started to level out and the hot sun beat down on Na’sira as she came out into the broad plateau. But now she noticed something was wrong – very wrong. The entire ground was covered in fresh tuk’ata and k’lor slug corpses. Someone had gotten here first and it all started to come together. He didn’t tell her to bring any proof – it’s as if he would know. As if he would have people watching her. For once a serious air came over her and she clenched her fists. Resolve and purpose filled her; she would walk into this trap and she would come out. That would be the ultimate proof.

She sauntered to the old stone construct in front of her, just on the edge of the ring; by the worn metal cabling it may have been a pulley system. She nodded and threw the lever. She closed her eyes as the cable rapidly uncoiled and a deep, resonating thud sounded from beneath as if a giant boulder had crashed into the ground. She pondered – perhaps that was what it was, in some deep cavern. And indeed, surely, had such a deep and loud sound been emitted before the beasts were all slain, it would have lured them. But this was different.

Lightsabers. She discerned the sound of three separate lightsabers activating and the three wielders stepped into the ring. She drew a heavy, heavy breath. This could be ugly. This could be very, very ugly. An insane resolve possessed her and she grinned, drawing her own. She wasn’t meant to have one, she smuggled it in, but either they’d leave in body bags and that secret with it or she would be too dead to receive the slap on the wrist. She inhaled and grasped the hilt in both hands, holding it down at an angle to her right. ‘Niman, don’t fail me now,’ was all she could think.

It was almost instantly certain she wasn’t going to hold her own. Her usual practice of relying on parries and follow-ups wasn’t working at all, especially as she was scarcely avoiding many of the strikes. It was only the blur of red blades interrupting each other that protected her. She inhaled as she retreated with a skip and for once, her happiness... Took a back seat. She coughed sand and felt the sweat streaming down her skin already; the three masked Sith didn’t look even slightly tired and her limbs were already weary.

She skipped backwards with a giggle, narrowly avoiding losing a hand and a foot from the blizzard of red carving the air in front of her. She panted frantically, with some desperation starting to seep in. She couldn’t land a single blow. She wasn’t good enough; she actually couldn’t do it, she didn’t possess the knowledge of lightsaber finesse to fight three well-trained enemies at once. She briefly pondered how she’d gotten this far. Then she remembered. Opportunism.

Now at a distance, she wrenched a rock from the ground with her free hand and hurled it at one of the Sith, charging the farthest one with her lightsaber; she drew him in with the Force while he was distracted for just a second, and lunged to carve into him with her lightsaber in a classic Niman technique; he parried high and her eyes widened with déjà vu. She threw all of her might forward, shoving his lightsaber right and slapping him so hard across the face, delivering the lightning straight to his nervous system.

He was by no means dead as he clattered to the floor in a spasm, but she hadn’t the chance to finish him as the other two were upon her. She trusted in her reflexes and lashed out with a foot, kicking one in the side of the knee to take him out of the fight just long enough to Force-push her third assailant away. Unfortunately, she had planned to finish the floored Sith now but he had already recovered and barrelled into her with his sizeable weight. She crashed into the dirt and her lightsaber left her hand, clattering across the dusty rock.

Her ears rang and she could almost feel death creeping over her as the humming executioner loomed above her. But at the last moment – a voice. One word was all she heard.


Blue light flared just above her nose as the red clashed into it. Na’sira opened her eyes, and wasted no time. She rolled out of her predicament and pulled her lightsaber to hand, leaping to her feet and engaging it again. One glance to her saviour was enough to take in the appearance; she was a proud, tall pureblood Sith woman with two blue lightsabers flaring brightly; they were spinning through the air and it was a mere second before their wielder was as well, leaping triumphantly through the air and unleashing a battering assault on the startled defences of one of the Sith. They had made a crucial error in switching their attention solely to the acrobatic pureblood.

The sheer glee, relief and happiness that she had a saviour and a friend only mounted the amount of energy she could muster. Lightning forked at all three of her assailants and struck them in their exposed sides; they stumbled and the two flashes of blue soon cleft through their unprotected legs – and then their throats. The one remaining one – who just so happened to be the one she had shocked previously – stumbled back. The woman with the two lightsabers bowed her head and stood back.

“The honour is yours, Na’sira. Prove you are Sith.”

Now it was a one-on-one duel again. One to another, her yellow blade clashed with the red; she was tired, but he had been electrocuted twice. The flurry of colour and sharp noises as energy exchanged and curses spat between the two. An attempt at a sneaky foot-stomp missed and chucked up a cloud of thick red dust into the air. She slammed her blade into the broadside of his directly (as it was practically all she could see anyway) and unleashed a viciously nasty knee for his gut; a move he may have predicted but could not prevent. He doubled over and Na’sira mercilessly ploughed the blade clumsily through his shoulder and into whatever other organs lay in the way. She listened to the sudden silence for all but the lightsaber hum and the sizzle. She withdrew it and breathed hard. She panted.

A crimson skinned hand rested on her shoulder, followed by the pureblood’s voice.

“Hello again, Na’sira.”

She slumped onto her knees to gather her breath, but smiled up at her in recognition.

“Corsie! I was hoping I’d bump into you!”

The black-haired pureblood smiled thoughtfully and gestured vaguely.

“May I be permitted to, as you put it, “talk a lot”? And please – it’s Corsula.”

Na’sira chuckled and slumped back against one of the rocks of the circle and nodded cheerfully, letting her lekku rest along the back of the soothingly warm stone. Corsula knelt down to her and furrowed her brow.

“I hope you do not mind my intervention. But it is not a test of strength to throw three trained Sith at an acolyte that – as far as they know and care – does not even have a lightsaber. It is a badly disguised execution and the perpetrator is a coward.”

She paused, and her sincerity permeated Na’sira’s mind. Normally, sincerity came in the form of joyless fury and poorly masked reservoirs of hatred and despair. But she had sincerity in purpose; surely as greater a master of her emotions as any Sith, but did not let them get in the way of her principles. And in this she could feel the determination. Corsula closed her eyes and sighed quietly.

“We will get you your first lightsaber, Na’sira. I am your overseer and the task I will accompany you on your true final trial. It is not officially true, but trust in my conviction that you will not be questioned. The Lord who sent you here must die. But before this, my acolyte, my friend – you must tell me why.”

Na’sira inhaled quietly. She smiled softly, she knew Corsula well and exactly what she wanted to hear. How dearly her mind urged her to jest, but her saviour deserved better.

“He betrayed the Sith with his cowardice, and it is my right and privilege to have vengeance.”

The pureblood raised her eyebrows but nodded firmly. She rested her hands on Na’sira’s shoulders.

“It means a lot to hear you understand. Harness that vengeance, Na’sira.”

It took a minute for her to realise just what she had just gotten herself into. She was going to what, murder a Sith Lord in the middle of the Korriban Academy? Her doubts were strangely short-lived – it would be a terrible lie if she said she didn’t want vengeance. She was cheerful as ever and prepared to giggle at everyone’s expense, but for once, she was driven by a dislike or disapproval of someone else. She was certain that her watcher in the Inquisition would at least call that progress.

The pureblood clenched her fists and led the sweat-drenched Twi’lek to a parked speeder fairly nearby – so near, in fact, she was surprised none of them had noticed her arrive. Perhaps she had waited until she knew her intervention was needed? As they sped off into the distance back toward the Academy that sense of anticipation was back. Her age of servitude could be just about over. At long last, perhaps only the Force would be there to tell her where and where not she should go. She grasped at the small chain of silver around her neck and bowed her head. She whispered softly.

“For you, Nerra.”

End of Part 3

{ { I pass along my compliments to mousestalker and their hilarious thread here: which inspired me to make the Lord's room chairless in homage. } }

almostinsane's Avatar

02.26.2012 , 08:18 PM | #4
I have to say that your characters are very well done! Na'sira is rather unique and Corsula is believable as a light-side Sith. Thanks for writing this. I can't wait to read more. God bless!

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.27.2012 , 01:38 AM | #5
Thank you kindly, sir! The next part is the end of Act I, and that's coming today. Still haven't fully identified what I'm doing in Act II but I'm going to try and keep it going.

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.27.2012 , 09:59 AM | #6
Part 4: Graduation

She clung for dear life to the sides of the speeder as Korriban zoomed past. The spiralling canyons vanished in a plume of red dust and suddenly the harsh, sun-beaten trek seemed redundant as hours of walking vanished in minutes; Na’sira pouted at the thought but enduring constant strain was important practice – it was much the same as listening to Sith talking after all! Still, there were no complaints as they drew to an abrupt halt outside of the academy. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught someone scrambling and sprinting back inside as soon as they’d seen her. If Corsula had intended to make it a surprise attack, it seemed less likely now; she indicated this tacitly to her pureblood companion with a shrug of her shoulders - she, however, looked confident as she whispered.

“Worry not.”

For whatever reason she trusted her crimson-skinned saviour implicitly. She did have a slightly developed reputation for unwavering honesty and apparently infallible commitment to honourable conduct, but she was still ‘another Sith’. She smiled brightly and giggled along, dragging Corsula indoors by the wrist with a skip in her step – much to her visible chagrin although said awkward disapproval did seem to conceal a small amount of mirth, especially as a sizable number of the Sith they passed by covered their eyes with their palms.

Despite her openly gregarious companion, Corsula seemed focused and determined. But just as Na’sira made for the corridor-maze to the Lord’s office she was redirected away. She was led to a sealed door, flagged with the typical Imperial warnings for ‘Authorised Personnel Only’ and flanked by an armed Imperial soldier. He stepped in front of the door and lifted his free hand.

“Halt. You’re not authorised to enter this room.”

A brief glance around revealed that the short corridor leading up to this door was empty. Na’sira noted that her friend was already going for her lightsabers when she intervened. She lifted a hand toward the guardsman.

“We are authorised to enter this room.”

A pause. It was always a nerve-wracking pause, but the result of force persuasion was always satisfying; she briefly considered adding to it, but there was more to this evening than jokes at others’ expense. One could hold off on harassment when the stakes were high.

“You are authorised to enter this room.”

Corsula nodded thankfully in a way that highly implied she was reluctant to kill him and gestured within; it was quickly apparent that it was a security control room, as the innumerable screens depicting birds-eye views of a ridiculous amount of the academy implied. Na’sira began to realise how much she had planned this – perhaps she was one of many reasons this honour-driven pureblood had to end this man?

The sprawling screens were operated by a number of sleepy looking officers. One or two of them did not appear to be awake at all, much to Na’sira’s amusement which she didn’t even bother trying to hide. Her giggling was ignored by the rather more upright and poker-faced Corsula who spoke clearly and politely.

“I believe you are conducting maintenance on the holocam network in sectors five and six. I would politely ask you to first check sector seven.”

For a moment Na’sira wondered why there wasn’t a trace of a false story about tampering, errors or orders from higher authority – it would have made it less risky than just barging in and asking, surely? And, as if sensing this bemusement, the pureblood turned her head and elevated an eyebrow at Na’sira in much the same way she may have done if she’d been offended, if not very much. ‘Ah. No lying. Right,’ she thought and smiled apologetically.

The dozing technicians shrugged vaguely. Although they didn’t even so much as recognise the Sith in front of them, there was a silent consensus that it was best not to ask. Besides, even if they were up to something dodgy in sector seven, it was probably just another episode in Sith politics that they were helping along.

“Yes, my Lord. Daniels – bring sector seven down first for the thirty minute maintenance.”

They were practically already out of the door. Thirty minutes was more than enough but neither was about to waste time. Na’sira became edgy and apprehensive as they descended into the foreboding steel labyrinth that was the route; despite knowing that they had – presumably – disabled security recording in the sector, she knew that it wouldn’t matter if they died in the process anyway. The doubt niggled and very visibly stirred enough emotion to catch Corsula’s attention - who then abruptly pushed her into the wall by her shoulder and levelled a finger with her, practically right on her nose.

“Focus, Na’sira! I need you in this fight one-hundred and ten percent. Do not doubt in your mastery of your emotion, and do not doubt in mine. Find your purpose – success at this academy or solely in vengeance does not matter – but find it.”

Her furrowed brow betrayed anger and frustration she was not used to seeing. Equally she knew that looking guilty would make it worse; she nodded firmly and brought forth a cheerful grin, nudging her away with a hand.

“Understood! Let’s go slap him silly, Corsie!”

Although she received little more than a nod she was sure there was a smile waiting in the wings. The corridor was devoid of activity and guardsmen, a coincidence that Na’sira was sure was simply premeditation on Corsula’s part now. As they opened the looming door to the office, a thirst for vengeance filled Na’sira unexpectedly. She was used to being messed around and even tortured, but lying to her almost at the expense of her life was apparently a step too far. The masked head tilted to watch the pair as the door slid closed.

His seething hatred turned to a smug condescension as he rose and and walked slowly around the table.

“Corsula. I always appreciate your visits, but I would much rather you left me with this acolyte...”

The Twi’lek of the pair looked about ready to leap forward but Corsula stood to attention and shook her head.

“With the hindsight of your attempt to have this acolyte assassinated, I would be doing her a disservice to leave her alone in your presence.”

He edged closer with his hands clasped behind his back, expecting to bask in the fear emanating from his guests only to be taken aback by sensing only rigid determination.

“I see.”

Fury. Bountiful amounts of it seemed to bleed out of the imposing man’s pores, only mounting at the stalwart pair blocking his doorway as they demonstrated an absolute absence of doubt or fear of him. He was clearly considering the consequences of cutting them down on the spot as he eyed the pair up and down; he made his decision with a single press of the switch to engage his lightsaber.

“Then I shall have to cleanse the Sith of this acolyte myself. Do not get in my way.”

Corsula drew her lightsabers and tossed one of them to Na’sira before she had an opportunity to reach for her own – the illusion that she didn’t have one had to stand – and glared forward.

“You would strike an acolyte not even appropriately armed to fight a Sith Lord... I don’t think she is the weak-willed one here, my Lord.”

Na’sira burst out laughing. The Lord simply stared at her and frowned deeply lashing out with a hand and casting his Force Lightning out at her; and, much to his surprise, she lifted her lightsaber, engaging the blade (with barely a second to spare) to absorb it and lunged at him, flanked on the right by the acrobatic Corsula in mid-air and the fight began in earnest. Blades clashed and muscles groaned with the effort of dodging swipes, and the air was thick with emotion, but there was a noticeable absence of emotion from the Sith pureblood. She was utterly calm, every vicious strike a precise and carefully choreographed movement; if she was fuelled by hatred or lust for battle, it did not possess her. Her utter focus on the progress of the fight was enviable.

Every second seemed drawn out for infinitely longer. The fight could have lasted an hour or five minutes, but it seemed utterly incomprehensible in the maelstrom of emotion, adrenaline and glowing blades as all three fought for their lives. However, the superior years of experience on the Lord’s part were giving him the upper hand, even over two assailants, and he managed to spare a moment as Corsula was preoccupied avoiding his lightsaber; lightning coursed out and struck an unprepared Na’sira, who promptly crumpled over onto the floor. True to her nature, Corsula fought on without blinking an eye; it was just her and her combat acumen until the Twi’lek could come round.

She fought ferociously, much more so than the Lord was expecting. She caught his grip loose and disarmed him with a strike of the lightsaber’s pommel; but she was left open and an abrupt force-push blasted her aside and sent her own clattering across the floor. However – as he looked about to pull his own saber back to him, the still invigorated pureblood leapt at him and socked him clean across the jaw with a clenched fist. This proved unwise, as he returned the favour and clouted her across the cheek with his right fist. It was a second more before she was lifted into the air with the Force constricting her throat.

Na’sira opened her eyes instantly. The strength had been sapped right out of her and the burns were severe. She was vaguely aware that the entire thing had barely taken minutes by now; but it was looking bleak. An insane urge possessed her and she threw out her hands. She leapt off the ground, however awkward it was to do so, and force-pulled the Sith Lord’s lightsaber to her hand and ignited it, sweeping it cleanly towards his legs. He was caught utterly unaware, and he separated from his knees downward with a sizzle and a thud.


Corsula tumbled to the ground and dragged her own lightsaber over, nodding firmly to Na’sira to indicate she was thankful.

“It is your honour he sought to challenge. His death should be at your hands.”

The burns sapped her strength away with every passing moment. But force once, she really did thirst for vengeance instead of a pun or easily-misconstrued comment. She giggled victoriously as she knelt down, and clenched her fist. Although she still held the red lightsaber, she chose to Force Choke him, just as he had tried to do to Corsula. If one was to say she didn’t enjoy it, it would be a lie; she cherished the moment as his life extinguished. A guilty pleasure.

The world went black and she toppled over; in a moment the adrenaline had gone and the burst dam of emotion fuelling her calmed. The damage the lightning had done finally kicked in again.


“... Tried to kill us – is she stable?”

“Yes my Lord. She should be coming around now.”

“Na’sira? Can you hear me?”

She pulled a silly face, very deliberately making it as silly as she could – much to the mirth of the medical officer operating a probe. Said probe appeared to be strategically applying kolto shots to the various lightning burns littered beneath the seared holes in her clothing. It was, unsurprisingly, an excruciating process. She then noted the third figure – other than Corsula who she was sure had spoken first, and the medical officer – whom very clearly resembled her original overseer.

“You may have had help, but defeating a Lord of the Sith – when he struck first? My commendations to you both.”

The overseer spoke clearly. He was reluctant but he could not deny the strength of his lone remaining acolyte now, could he? How could he even begin to think about sending her on another trial after successfully completing the Lord’s trial and then killing him after he tried to do the same to her? He drew in a hoarse breath. He could scarcely believe it.

“I never want to see you again, and I won’t have to if I’m lucky. We have tested your strength and you have proven it.”

That much he said with a heavy tone of sincerity and to a certain extent, relief. Na’sira sat up on her hands and looked to the Lord’s lightsaber – whose name she had still never heard – and widened her eyes. She smiled so broadly.

“You are Sith.”

Na’sira giggled manically and clapped her hands. Corsula applauded, as did the medical officer, much to the Overseer’s irritation as he proceeded to place his palm over his face. It was only made worse as the Twi’lek’s spontaneously high-pitched voice dug under his skin.

“Aww, aren’t you going to miss me?”

End of Act I

almostinsane's Avatar

02.27.2012 , 03:30 PM | #7
Awesome! Now the galaxy shall learn to fear and love Na'sira, Manic Lord of the Sith!

Does she have a boyfriend? :P

You should post this on There are so few Star Wars: The Old Republic fanfictions.

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.28.2012 , 02:28 AM | #8
Not quite a Sith Lord... Well, yet, anyway.

She does not have a romantic interest.

I may post it on the ff site if only to make sure it isn't plagiarised, however unlikely it may be.

Hope everyone who's read it has enjoyed Second Chances so far. Stay tuned, and feel free to leave feedback in the interim before I get started on Act II.
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

ConspicuousTree's Avatar

02.29.2012 , 04:56 PM | #9
Act I: Interlude 1: A Holo to his Lordship

>> To: os17_avartine@01k.h
>> Subject: A Request

My Lord,

I would like to request that I be permitted to inform his lordship in the Inquisition of Na'sira's progress on Korriban's behalf, for reasons of personal pride in her development. As her overseer, it falls to you to grant me this privilege should you wish.

For the Emperor!



>> To: corsula_404@01k.h
>> Subject: Re: A Request


permission granted.

for the emperor!


>> To: Lord Taeghen (address witheld)
>> Subject: Progress Report

My Lord,

It is my honour and privilege to inform you that the acolyte you sent to Korriban to complete her training has categorically succeeded and impressed her overseers in the process.

Na'sira Lybot is currently being correctly instated as an Imperial citizen and her archaic slave status revoked. She has been restricted to Korriban while this process is being completed and is advised to seek out a Master (or await one finding her) for the time being, as well as to continue her studies beyond what the Academy demands she learn.

For the Emperor!



{ { The last message is actually one I sent in-game. The wording was different but I forgot to note it down. Ahem. @01k.h is an H-Mail suffix I use for characters based off Korriban. Feel free to use it if you fancy =p } }
The Hale Legacy - The Progenitor

Wynternight's Avatar

02.29.2012 , 07:19 PM | #10
I adore Na'sira; she's exactly the kind of character I would play, and have played, in tabletop games. Very well done. I look forward to the continuation.
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