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bright_ephemera's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 06:51 PM | #291
Soullessly and miserably working for the Emperor to carry out his dark will because she doesn't care anymore? Okay, moderately scary.

Handing someone back to Jadus as punishment, still not even caring? Now that's terrifying.

Love it.
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Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.

Vesaniae's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:06 PM | #292
Fifty-Six – In Darkness
Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
19 ATC

A’tro ran down the stairs towards the Emperor’s hidden compound. She could feel the summons pulsing in her mind like a beacon, drawing her forward. Darth Jadus had made his move, and she had to stand to the Emperor’s defense.

As she reached the bottom of the staircase, the sounds of battle became audible, and she slowed her pace. The door to the chamber had been forced open, the edges charred and blackened. The corpses of several Imperial Guards nearly obstructed the passage.

Arden Zariel lay sprawled in the entrance, the bright red of her armor nearly indistinguishable from the color of the blood pooled on the floor around her. Her helmet lay to one side. The sight of her dark blue eyes, wide and glazed in death, revived the familiar pain in A’tro. Power surged, fuelled by her emotions, and she rushed forward.

In the main room, more Imperial Guards battled Jadus’ cyborg guardsmen. Jadus himself was in the midst of the chaos, lightsaber in one hand, lightning blazing from the other. His mask was turned towards the shadow at the center of the room.

A’tro gathered the Force around her and leaped, hurtling through the air to land directly in front of Jadus. She drew her lightsabers with a flourish.

Jadus inclined his head. “Wrath. You should not stand in my way.”

“You should not challenge our master,” A’tro retorted. She leveled her lightsabers at him. “The punishment for treason is death.”

Jadus shook his head. “Continue to follow the Emperor, and it is you who will die.”

She smiled grimly. “You think I don’t know?”

“Then you are as blinded as the rest,” he concluded.

She shook her head. “Not blinded. I’m simply past caring.”

“Then why do you fight?”

“Because it’s my duty.” Because it’s what Malavai would have wanted.

A’tro lunged forward, blades flashing. Jadus neatly intercepted her attack and responded with one of his own. Every one of her senses was on the alert, the Force blazing through her. This battle would require every bit of strength that she possessed.

Nox had warned her that Jadus was powerful. It was one thing to sense that power, and another to have it directed against her full-force. She felt as though she were trying to fight a force of nature.

But she was a force of her own, now. She met each and every one of Jadus’ attacks full on, throwing her power against his. The dark side burned within her like a wildfire.

There was a pause in the combat. They circled one another, ignoring the fighting between the Imperial Guard and Jadus’ forces that occupied the rest of the chamber. The Emperor was a shadow at the edge of A’tro’s awareness, watching but not intervening.

“You are strong,” Jadus noted. “You could have been a formidable ally. But your insistence on defending this self-destructive regime has made you a liability.”

“Was Nox a liability too?” A’tro demanded. “Is that why she disappeared?”

The mask inclined slightly. “She was too dangerous to be permitted to live.”

“When I kill you,” A’tro told him fiercely, “it will be for her.”

She charged forward, and their battle resumed.

The Imperial Guards and Jadus’ dark guardians gave the two Sith a wide berth. One of the latter, stricken with a fatal blow, stumbled and fell close to their path. A’tro tried to use the obstruction to her benefit, but Jadus was unflustered, stepping over the corpse and pressing forward.

Given his reputation as a master of Sith sorcery, A’tro was surprised in spite of herself by his ability with a lightsaber. She knew it was a foolish assumption to make, but she had made it nonetheless.

Never underestimate an enemy, she scolded herself.

As skilled as Jadus was, however, A’tro knew that she was the better warrior. The dark side flowed through her, its fire fuelled by the never-ending well of anguish deep within her. She had never felt as powerful in her entire life as she did at that moment.

“You do not mask your feelings well, Wrath,” Jadus murmured. “You feed upon your own pain. It strengthens you, for now.”

“That’s time enough to end you,” A’tro retorted, slashing viciously towards him.

Jadus deflected her attack with apparent ease. “In time, the power will move full circle, and expend itself upon its source. Like a serpent devouring its own tail, you will destroy yourself.”

A’tro dodged his riposte. “Do I look like I give a damn?”

“No,” Jadus said coldly. “And that is why you will fall.”

He disengaged his lightsaber from hers, taking a Force-enhanced leap away from her, and lifted his free hand. A’tro anticipated the lightning a second before he sent it streaming towards her. She caught the dark energies on the cross of her blades, staggering under the force of the assault.

Gritting her teeth, she started walking towards Jadus. He increased the power of the lightning, then dropped his lightsaber and raised his other hand to double the energies. A’tro determinedly moved forward, one step at a time, feeling as though she was pushing against the steady advance of a glacier. But she kept moving.

Jadus remained implacable, even as she moved closer and closer. Then, to her astonishment, he let the lightning die away as she came within striking distance.

A’tro dove forward. Jadus dodged her first lightsaber, then ducked inside her guard to grab her by the throat. She gasped in surprise and stabbed at him as he lifted her off the ground. Her aim was off; the first blade went through his shoulder rather than his neck, and the second left a red-hot scorch mark across his mask, but failed to penetrate the metal.

Before she could strike again, he threw her to the ground with a blast of lightning. She lay stunned for a moment, gasping for breath, trying to force her spasming muscles to respond as Jadus reached out towards the nearby corpse of one of his dark guardians, summoning the cyborg’s vibrosword to his hand.

Fresh energy surged through her, giving her control of her shaking limbs. The Emperor had seen his Wrath’s plight, and was assisting her. She smiled as the darkness wrapped itself around her.

A’tro started to lunge to her feet. Jadus whirled around with blinding speed and drove the vibrosword through her body and into the stone beneath, impaling her against the floor.

She coughed weakly, feeling blood bubble up in the back of her throat. The revitalizing energies that the Emperor had given her withdrew. She had failed, and no more aid would be forthcoming.

Jadus regarded his handiwork for a moment, and nodded to her in what seemed to be a gesture of respect. Then he turned towards the shadow at the center of the room.

With the last of her strength, A’tro reached up and jerked the vibrosword free, then collapsed back to the floor. Blood ran down over her sides, pooling around her body.

The pain started to fade, giving way to an annihilating numbness that crept over her like a cold mist. She closed her eyes and listened to her heartbeat. It pulsed dimly in her ears, slower and slower, until finally it stopped.
There's always lightning.

irishfino's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:12 PM | #293
Hah, take that you bitter bi[ddy]!
Knew it!
Stop censoring me!
Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

bright_ephemera's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:13 PM | #294
Quote: Originally Posted by Vesaniae View Post
Because it’s what Malavai would have wanted.
This reminder here. And, and, everything. And A'tro. Love.

As ever, your Jadus terrifies me in exactly the way Jadus should.
the Short Fic Weekly Challenge - 90+ authors to date. 2500+ stories. New prompts weekly!
Bright's Fanfic Threads
Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.

MilaniGrey's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:15 PM | #295
*hugs a pillow and sheds a few tears for A'tro*

.. but then everything was awesome, because you finished
The Islingr Legacy
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"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

iamthehoyden's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:22 PM | #297
Ack! I was wrong!!

I had two possible visions for the end of this. One was that the Emperor and A'tro would win. Everything would be destroyed and A'tro would live on, her feelings gone, dead inside. The other was that Jadus would win, A'tro and the Emperor would die, and other various main characters could survive in this scenario - I thought possibly Thera and Vector and maaaybe Nox and Ravage. When I came down to my bet with myself, I went with destruction of everything with eternal anguished existence of A'tro. I lost But survival of the galaxy is good! Hehe! (Still not sure if Thera and Vector are going to make it, we shall see )
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

Soteirian's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:29 PM | #298
Quote: Originally Posted by Vesaniae View Post
“I applaud you for your loyalty to the Empire,” A’tro said coldly. “However, you betrayed your master to bring me this information. A traitor cannot be trusted, even if their betrayal benefits you.”
This could actually serve as a great reason behind Quinn's betrayal: once you are bound to a master you are pretty much stuck.

Soteirian's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 09:53 PM | #299
Wow! That's not an ending I expected. Yet, it makes sense.
There's so such thing as happily ever after for someone so close to the ultimate evil power-that-be.
Of all the classes, seems like the Sith Warrior is the only one doomed for death eventually.

EDIT: in my shock of the ending, I forgot to say: that was incredible. This is such a great story. LOVE IT!

Earthmama's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 10:01 PM | #300
That was wonderful Ves! *applauds*