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Executors of Logistics: The Misfits

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
Executors of Logistics: The Misfits

Adwynyth's Avatar


Adwynyth
02.09.2014 , 07:47 AM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by LaxKnight View Post
I would just like to say you are doing a great job so far and...S*** IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN!!!
S***'s about to get real.

Oh, and SQUEE.
Horrendously bad fan fiction: Sith in a Pretty Dress

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
02.09.2014 , 05:34 PM | #12
Chapter Eight

Pacing about the quiet cargo bay, Fay and Graves occasionally stopped beside a fallen pirate for a closer look.

"Some of them are still breathing," said Graves. "What should we do with them?"

"Killing them doesn't seem worth the effort. Besides, without their captain they don't seem capable of much."

"I suppose we could use anyone who wakes up to spread a message," Graves suggested. "Put the fear of the Empire back into the underworld so something like this doesn't happen again."

As the armored warrior righted his stance, he noticed one of the unconscious bodies sliding across the cold floor, seemingly of its own accord. Looking to Fay, he saw her making subtle movements with her hands. The Kineticist was guiding multiple pirates toward her, eventually leaning them against a nearby crate. Lined up along the solid surface, the unconscious pirates seemed oddly comfortable in their concussed stupor.

As Fay looked upon her work with her arms crossed, she picked up the faint echo of a voice in her ear. Focusing her mind, she turned her head toward the other end of the cargo bay, hearing what sounded like shouting from the corridor beyond, quickly becoming louder with each passing moment.

"Do you hear that?" Fay asked.

"It's Asher, I think," said Graves.

A second later, the hooded Sith stormed into the chamber, nearly stumbling as he tried to stop himself. "We gotta go! Now!"

"You made the ship self-destruct, didn't you?" Graves stoically suggested.

"What? No, I couldn't find the option," Asher muttered. "But we got a bigger problem."

Fay slightly cocked her head to the side. "Did you manage to kill the captain?"

"Of course I did!" Asher shot back. "But we got another ship on the way."

"More pirates?" Graves asked.

"Jedi," Asher plainly stated.

"What?" the others simultaneously replied.

"One of their Defenders dropped into the system," Asher explained. "The captain transmitted the docking procedure before I could catch up to him."

"They don't need someone to actually let them onboard?" asked Fay.

"System's automated," Asher stated. "Didn't want to mess with it and wind up cutting ourselves off from the Fury."

"So what do we do?" Graves calmly asked.

"Uh, I think it's obvious. We get the hell out of here," Asher declared. "Mission's done. We can leave."

"No," Fay sternly replied.

"No?" the other two offered with contrasting levels of emotion.

"Suppose we leave, get back on our ship, try and navigate our way out of the debris field..." Fay calmly said. "What's to stop the Jedi from just shooting us down?"

Asher's jaw fell. "Have you seen the Fury? Thing's more than capable of-"

"Are any of us pilots?" Fay interrupted. "Do any of us know how to properly engage in a space battle? We can't focus on attacking the enemy and navigating the debris field simultaneously, even with the droid's help."

"So, what, you want to just stay here?" asked Asher. "Just welcome the Jedi with open arms?"

"Yes," Fay bluntly answered, taking a seat on a nearby crate. The other Sith weren't sure how to respond as their compatriot patiently sat, adamant in her position.

"We don't even know who's going to show up," Asher declared. "We don't know how many there's going to be. They could be Knights, they could be Masters, they could be-"

"Whomever they are, there's nothing they can do," Fay stated. "The war is over. We've done nothing wrong. If they want to fight, then so be it. But I'd rather it be here than somewhere I can't fight back."

The burned Sith threw back his hood, running his hands over his bandaged scalp as he paced about the chamber. "Look, you want to stay here, fine! But you can't stop us from leaving."

"You want to test that theory?" Fay sternly asked, almost at a whisper, but nonetheless piercing the recipient's senses. Asher froze as the Kineticist's sharpened gaze fell upon him with its burdening weight. Turning toward Graves, the burned Sith looked for some measure of support.

"Eh. She's right," Graves calmly stated with a shrug of his shoulders. "No point in running."

"There's plenty of points!" Asher shouted alongside the wild flailing of his arms. Bouncing his gaze between the other two Sith, the burned man's stance drooped amidst the others' resoluteness. He shot back up the moment a brief siren filed the freighter's halls.

"I think that means they've docked," said the scarred man.

"Do you? Do you really, Graves?" Asher squealed. Releasing a low grumble, the burned Sith gripped the borders of his hood and raised it, resigning himself to his fate. The three Executors waited, eyes toward the cargo bay entrance they had been led through. Any worthy Jedi would be able to sense their presence and seek them out.

The siren faded as quickly as it had arrived. In an unfamiliar space, under unfamiliar terms, the Sith could do nothing but mentally prepare themselves.

Minutes passed by in dead silence. Fay remained comfortably seated on a crate toward the side of the chamber. Asher took his position leaning against the opposite wall. Graves stood unwaveringly between them, wide open in the center of the cargo bay. Their eyes remained affixed to the corridor beyond the chamber's large, parted doors.

The enduring silence was interrupted by the presence of unseen footsteps. They were soft and numerous, belonging to a group of people light of foot. Stepping into view was a lone figure, garbed in conservative brown robes. He was soon joined by two similarly garbed figures behind him. There was a moment of hesitance in the lead figure's movements as he peered into the occupied chamber, but it was evident he was putting all of his energy into maintaining a calm facade.

Cautiously, the three Jedi passed through the threshold of the cargo bay, stepping into the revealing light.

The middle of the three seemed the eldest, but was still only a few years into adulthood. The Human male possessed an athletic build, but nothing outwardly strong. His youthful visage had been hardened by the trials of the Jedi and the war. His head was absent of hair, clean shaven across both his chin and scalp. A monk, whose mark of distinction was his lack thereof. Leading the other Jedi forward, he maintained his stoicism in the face of the Sith.

The Jedi to his right was the smallest, and youngest of the group. A Human female, aged just beyond her teens. Her face was soft, unburdened by scars or fatigue born from a life of battle. Her light hair was kept short and worn clean, accentuated only by the singular braid that hung behind her ear. The girl's frame was slight, its capabilities hidden beneath her encompassing Padawan's robes.

The Jedi left of the others was the most distinct. Resembling a Human in all aspects but one, a decorative band of cloth covered the male's absent eyes, denoting his species as that of a Miraluka. He too appeared to be just beyond his teenage years, but possessed a more mature visage than his female counterpart, despite his still youthful features. His head was topped with long, dark hair that fell to his shoulders like silk. His frame served as a middle ground between the other two Jedi, standing between them in height and figure.

All three of them possessed a lightsaber clipped to their belt.

The six figures looked to one another, none daring to break the silence, both sides frozen in place. Just as the tension was about to reach a boiling point, Graves made the first move.

"Hello," the armored Sith calmly said alongside the gentle wave of his hand.

The Jedi remained silent, offering only puzzled looks amongst their usual stoicism. Trying to get a hold of the situation, the Jedi noticed the hooded Sith to their left silently rubbing his brow. But more worthy of their attention, was the litany of motionless bodies littering the cargo bay.

"Sith…" the lead Jedi spoke up, his voice deep and utterly calm. "What is your purpose here?"

"I thought that'd be painfully obvious…" Asher mumbled beneath his breath.

"We came to retrieve data stolen from the Empire," Graves calmly explained.

"So you slaughtered the entire crew. Typical," the Miraluka chided.

"Didn't give us much of a choice," Graves replied. "They intended to kill us and steal our ship. There never were any schematics."

"And why should we believe you, Sith?" the Miraluka asked.

Graves remained utterly still, utterly calm. "What reason would we have to lie?"

"Since when do Sith need an excuse to lie?" the Miraluka barked.

"Well, he's got us there," Asher muttered.

"And why are you here, Jedi?" Graves patiently asked.

"We were investigating the sale of weapons schematics," the lead Jedi replied. "Our intent was to keep dangerous information out of dangerous hands."

"Would those be pirate hands or Imperial hands?" asked Asher.

"Doesn't matter, there never were any schematics to begin with," Graves explained. "It was a trick."

The blindfolded Jedi's nostril's flared. "And how do we know this isn't another one?"

"You don't," Fay sternly declared, still atop her crate. "There's nothing that can be done about it now. The pirates are dead. Most of them anyway. There are some survivors over there if you want to wait for them to wake up and give you their side of the story. But challenging us now is pointless."

"Pointless?" the Miraluka barked. "Your kind are a blight on the galaxy. You know nothing but death and destruction. Schematics or not, your continued existence only puts more lives in danger."

"The war is over," Fay said, growing firmer in tone. "You've no reason to fight us."

"There are plenty of reasons!" the Miraluka shouted alongside the wild flailing of his arms.

Asher offered the flippant wave of his hand. "Overly dramatic, isn't he?"

"Enough," the lead Jedi interrupted. "Jaruss, calm yourself. We needn't lose our heads. But I'm afraid he's correct, Sith. Regardless of your actions here, we cannot permit you to leave." The bald Jedi wrapped his hand around the hilt at his waist, unhooking it. "It's obvious you three are a danger to the galaxy."

"How is it obvious?" Asher spoke up as he pushed himself off the wall. As he did, his foot accidentally nudged the severed arm of a fallen pirate, its host unknown and unseen. "Oh."

"You'll be breaking the treaty, you know," Graves calmly stated, not even reaching for his weapon.

"We're in neutral space," the lead Jedi coldly replied. "The treaty has no sway here. Allow me to say we take no delight in this. It is simply for the greater good. Jaruss, take the man on the left. Nami, take the woman on the right. I'll handle the one in the middle."

The Jedi took their first steps toward their foes, drawing their weapons as they did. As Asher and Graves hovered their hands over their sabers, Fay calmly shoved off of the crate she had been patiently sitting atop. The youngest Jedi approached her opponent, her steps slowing as she recognized the Sith's immense stature. The Kineticist stood tall, towering over the young Jedi more than any of the other men, the top of the girl's head barely reaching the bottom of the woman's chest. Fay stood across from the Jedi, arms crossed, eyeing her with a sharpened gaze.

The disparity between the two was instantly recognizable, and in more ways than one. The Jedi was a girl before the woman. A child before the adult. A students before the master. But despite the differences between the two, the young Jedi would not back down.

"Draw your weapon, Sith," said Nami, almost struggling to vocalize, her voice as soft and small as she was.

"Don't have one."

The declaration baffled the young Jedi, but she remained firm in her stance. "Don't… don't think that means I'll take it easy on you."

"Tell me," Fay spoke up, dropping her usual sternness. "Is this what you want?"

"What?" Nami softly muttered.

"Your name's Nami, right? Mine's Fay," the tall woman introduced. "I'm asking if this is what you want. To fight us? To fight me?"

"It's not about what I want. It's about what's right."

"And you think this is right? Trying to kill people you know nothing about?" Fay asked.

"I know enough, Sith. I know you slaughtered these men," Nami replied.

"These pirates," Fay emphasized. "They lured people aboard their ship, killed them, then stole whatever vessel they arrived in, likely to pawn it off at the nearest port. They tried the same with us and we defended ourselves. You cannot say the same."

"And what other blood is on your hands? How many did you kill during the Sacking?"

"That was war. This isn't," Fay declared. "If you truly seek vengeance, I will not deny your pursuit. But do not throw your life away at the behest of these men."

The woman's words caught the attention of the eyeless Jedi from across the room. "Vengeance? This is justice. Don't listen to her, Nami. She's manipulating you."

"And these men aren't?" Fay asked of the young Jedi. "Did they consult you? Did they ask your thoughts before throwing you into battle?"

"She knows her duty," the lead Jedi interrupted.

"Well, if that's the case," Fay muttered. The Kineticist threw her arms out to her side, causing the young Jedi to flinch. When she gathered her senses, the girl saw the towering Sith remain motionless in front of her, arms extended, defenses lowered. "Go ahead."

Nami looked to her open foe before turning back toward her comrades, silently begging for guidance.

"Do it, Nami," the lead Jedi calmly advised.

"I… I don't…" Nami stuttered. Passing her gaze over the other Sith, she saw that none of them seemed particularly interested in battle. The scarred and burned men hovered their hands near their belts, but neither thought to ignite their sabers. "I can't just kill her."

"She's dangerous, Nami. All of them are," the lead Jedi firmly declared. "Remember Coruscant? Remember the temple? You have to do it."

"You don't have to do anything," Fay stated. The young Jedi froze, legs trembling.

"Damn it, Nami," Jaruss growled, making his way toward the right side of the chamber. With a flick of his wrist, a blue blade of plasma extended from the Miraluka's lightsaber. "If you're too weak to do what needs to be done…"

Jaruss raised his weapon high before bringing it down with a hasty swipe toward the defenseless Sith. Just as the blade was about to make contact, however, it stopped dead in its tracks. The beam of plasma hovered close enough to the tall woman's face to heat the very air she breathed, but it did not budge from its locked position. The young Jedi looked upon the Sith as she basked in the blue glow, unaffected by the halted strike. Her stance unaltered, Fay's arms remained outstretched to her sides, only now, a tightened fist had replaced an open palm.

"Inaction is not weakness," Fay firmly declared, maintaining her invisible control on the Jedi's blade.

"You see, Nami?" Jaruss growled as he tugged at his hilt, unable to move it. "It was a trick. She never dropped her guard."

"You couldn't have known that," said Nami, almost approaching a shout. "And I'm not weak!"

"You're right. You're not," Fay softly stated, face still basking in the blue glow, not a single bead of sweat present. "Not only are you a capable fighter, you possess the strength of free will."

"She's just telling you what you want to hear," Jaruss muttered, still tugging at his saber's hilt.

"I'm telling her what she needs to hear," said Fay before turning her gaze toward the young Jedi. "These people don't want what's best for you... they want to control you..."

Nami's head dipped. "No matter what you say… the Sith are still evil. You kill…"

"People kill. Even Jedi," Fay replied. "A Sith's actions are the actions of an individual. How we use our strength is up to us. My two compatriots and I, we belong to an organization dedicated to bettering the Empire. We are not soldiers. We're not monsters. We're people, doing what we can with what we have."

Lowering her arms, Fay forced back the Miraluka's blade with her mind. Finally regaining control, the Jedi stepped away, trying to maintain his composure.

"You don't understand," Jaruss spoke up, addressing the Sith rather than the young Jedi. "Nami, she's not-"

"That's enough, Jaruss!" shouted the group's leader, dropping his previously calm facade. "Nami, go back to the ship and wait for us there."

The girl's eyed widened. "But I…"

"That's an order, Nami," the lead Jedi barked.

"You're not my master, Leron," said Nami, almost whispering.

"That's because your master is dead," Leron sternly replied. "Killed, by Sith just like these. If you don't want to fight, fine. We'll handle things here."

The young Jedi's head lowered, her eyes focused on her feet. She took only a single step toward the chamber entrance before stopping. After a long pause, she turned on her heels, returning to position herself beside Fay. Shoulder to much shorter shoulder, the women now faced the same direction, opposing the two Jedi.

"No," Nami softly, but firmly, declared.

The two Jedi went pale as they found themselves staring down one of their own. Their attention so focused on the two women, neither noticed Asher awkwardly scratching his head.

"Wait… what the hell just happened?"
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

taxidermis's Avatar


taxidermis
02.10.2014 , 01:50 PM | #13
Loved this chapt.
RIP Begeren. new beginnings on harbinger

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
02.11.2014 , 07:16 PM | #14
Chapter Nine

The two male Jedi tensed as they struggled to maintain their composure under the combined gazes of the Sith as well as one of their own.

"What do you think you're doing?" Jaruss muttered through gritted teeth.

"What's right," Nami replied, her voice still soft, but now possessing a confident backing. "I'll not just stand by and let you kill these people."

"Nami… think about what you're doing," Leron calmly, yet firmly, said.

"I am. I did," Nami declared. "A Jedi does not seek violence. A Jedi does not needlessly take the life of another. A Jedi does not work against peace."

Leron narrowed his gaze. "A Jedi does what must be done."

"Which is what I'm doing," Nami replied. "I'm not leaving until you do. I'll not let you compromise the name of our Order."

"You're the one standing next to a damned Sith!" Jaruss barked.

"And? I swore to defend all life. I will not break that vow for unjust vengeance," Nami declared.

"Unjust? Have you forgotten everything their kind has done to us? Look at them!" The Miraluka thrust his arm out, directing a pointed finger toward the hooded Sith. "Do innocent people look like that? He probably burned down an orphanage!"

"It wasn't an orphanage…" Asher muttered, keeping his gaze lowered.

"They burned Coruscant to the ground!" Jaruss shouted.

"You can't even imagine the state Coruscant would be in if not for our mercy," said Fay. "The invasion was but a scratch on the surface, and in the end, concluded a war that would have utterly destroyed both of us."

Jaruss offered a sarcastic chortle. "A Sith speaks of mercy? You destroyed our home. Ruined our Order. You've wanted nothing more than the extinction of the Jedi ever since your return."

"And you've sought nothing but ours for past millennia," Fay replied. "You seek not only our defeat, but the annihilation of our history and culture. You want to erase every trace of our existence from the galaxy. If there is an Order of oppressive dogmas, it is yours, not mine."

"That's not true!"

"Oh? Because as far as I recall, my allies and I have shown no hostilities toward your group," Fay stated. "You, however, shoved a lightsaber in my face."

"She's right," Nami softly added. "There's no reason for any of us to fight. No one has to die."

"Do not be taken in by her kindness, Nami," said Leron. "It is a facade that only serves herself. Jaruss, tell her what you truly see in them."

The Miraluka paused, returning his weapon to his belt. Passing his eyeless gaze over the three Sith, the Jedi saw them not through organic means, but through the Force. Focusing his mind, the Miraluka saw the world through an array of colors and flows incomprehensible to the normal senses.

Each individual that stood before him possessed an aura about their frame. Surrounding the young girl, a lambent display of the purest light. The Sith, however, offered more sullied displays. Subtle in their dimensions, none of them possessed a particularly dominating presence. In actuality, each Sith displayed only a soft, murky aura around their disparate figures.

"They're… unclear. It's obvious they're masking their true natures," Jaruss explained.

"We're not hiding anything," said Fay. "This is who we are. No tricks. No lies. We're not perfect, but we're honest. Asher in particular."

"It's true," Asher briefly spoke up, not budging from his position.

"See? There's nothing more for us to do here," Nami said. "We can just go our separate ways."

Jaruss scoffed. "And have them follow us back to our base? No way."

"We don't have a way of tracking you through hyperspace," Fay admitted. "And even if we did, we could leave first if you'd prefer."

"So you can destroy our ship while it's docked?"

"If we wanted to kill you, we'd do it here," Fay coldly stated. "And believe me, we could if we wanted to. But we don't. Not unless you intend to keep us here indefinitely, in which case, we will go through you if we must."

"Just try it, Sith!" Jaruss barked, drawing his blade once more.

"Stop it!" Nami shouted. "We can't win this, Jaruss!"

The Miraluka snapped toward the girl. "We could if one of our own wasn't working against us."

Nami recoiled. "Working against you? I'm trying to save you. You've seen what she's capable of!"

"Hey, we're here too," Asher muttered, arms folded, foot gently tapping against the metallic flooring.

"Our best course of action to just get back on the ship and leave," Nami continued.

"Unfortunately," Leron said, his stoicism bitterly cold, "I'm not sure there's a place for you on that ship anymore."

"What?" Nami whispered, almost at a whimper. "What are you saying, Leron?"

"This isn't the first time your commitment to the Order has been called into question, Nami," Leron declared. "Your former master may have tolerated your eccentricities, but he's not around to protect you anymore."

"I don't… I don't need to be protected…" Nami muttered, eyes shaking as they drifted toward her feet. "I'm just… I'm just doing what's right."

"What's right?" Leron repeated. "You think it's right to interfere with our mission? You think it's right to defend Sith? Master Kyros was doing you a favor by taking you in. And this is how you repay him? I doubt you'll find such hospitality in the arms of the Empire."

The girl's lips began to tremble as her eyes watered. A soft whimper rang out within the otherwise silent chamber as the youngest Jedi struggled to maintain a hold on her emotions. Just as she was about to reach her breaking point, she felt a firm hand planting itself upon her shoulder. Lifting her gaze, she saw the tall woman looking down with what resembled a smile. In the shadow of the towering Sith, the Jedi found an odd sense of comfort.

"If you want a home, we can give you one," Fay whispered. A smile began to stretch across the Jedi's face, even as tears pooled beneath her eyes. The whimpers faded and the girl offered the Sith a soft nod of her head. Fay broke her focus on Nami to look toward the other Jedi. "I'd step aside if I were you. You're outnumbered and outmatched."

Leron and Jaruss remained where they stood, hands balling into fists. Even the stoic monk of the group struggled to maintain his composure. Fay maneuvered herself in front of the girl by her side as the other Sith took a step forward. The three Executors stared down the two Jedi, resolute in their stance, adamant in their presence.

The Jedi were powerless to oppose the combined might of three foes by themselves. With great hesitance, Jaruss lowered his weapon. Without utterly dropping their guard, the two Jedi receded. Slowly, they slinked to the side, never taking their eyes off the Sith.

Looking back to the young girl, Fay warmly beckoned her to follow. The girl turned to face the retreating Jedi, who offered only their cold stares in return. Without another moment of hesitation, Nami took her first step, following the towering Sith toward the cargo bay's entrance. As the two women approached the connecting corridor, the other two Sith calmly made their way out of the chamber. Just before passing beyond the threshold, Asher paused, turned toward the stilled Jedi and offered an aggressive juke of his chest toward them before continuing toward the ship.

As the Sith disappeared from view with their former comrade in tow, the Jedi remained silent and still, unsure of how to proceed.

The Fury still docked outside the freighter, the four men and women carefully made their way back onboard the parked vessel. Finding the manual controls for the exterior hatches, the Sith bridged the almost weightless gap between the two ships, joined by the young Jedi. As a group, the four figures made their way to the Fury's cockpit. Passing through the connecting corridors and rooms, Nami looked upon her surroundings with wide eyes, in awe of the Imperial ship's interior.

Stepping into the cockpit, the group was greeted by the ship's ever pleasant droid attendant.

"Welcome back, masters. I assume your mission went well," ALD warmly stated. The mechanical being's head turned toward the unfamiliar face gracing the cockpit. "I see you've brought a guest onboard."

"She's a friend," Fay declared. Looking toward the Jedi, the tall woman saw her shying away near the chamber's entrance, focus drifting toward the floor. "Go ahead and set a course for home."

"At once, master," ALD replied, spinning around in his chair to manipulate the ship's controls. Graves took his seat in the central chair in front of the main console as the vessel prepared to pull away from the freighter. The sounds of the ship's engines filled the occupants' ears as the surrounding terminals displayed an array of flashing lights.

Watching everything come to life around her, Nami's breaths grew more and more rapid as her eyes darted around the cockpit. Eventually, as the ship trembled, she did as well. "Oh no," the young Jedi muttered. "What have I done? This isn't right. This isn't-"

She was interrupted as she felt the familiar presence of a hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry," Fay assuaged. "It'll be alright. I promise."

"I can't… I can't just become an Imperial," Nami whimpered.

"You know, she might be right," Asher bluntly said as he took the remaining seat in front of the ship's main console. "I mean, I don't know if we can just show up on-"

"It'll be fine," Fay quickly replied. "We're Logistics after all. We'll just talk to Syrosk. See about making her an Executor."

"A what?" Nami mumbled.

"That's what we are. Executors," Fay explained. "Force-sensitives serving the public good outside the typical Sith hierarchical system. It'd be a great place for you."

"You think so?"

"Like I said, we're not perfect. But we can give you a home," said Fay.

"She's a Force-user," Asher reminded. "I think defectors still have to be put through one of the Academies."

Fay paused. "I'm sure Syrosk can-"

"That's okay," Nami said, brimming with a subtle confidence. "I've already passed most of my Jedi trials. I can handle more training."

"Girl, this isn't normal training," Asher bluntly stated. "The Academy's about survival. It's supposed to weed out the weak from the strong."

"You're not weak, are you, Nami?" Fay warmly suggested. The young Jedi emphatically shook her head. "She'll do fine."

"If you say so," Asher muttered.

As the vessel carefully navigated the debris field surrounding the freighter, it prepped itself for a jump to hyperspace. Putting the final piece of scrapped metal behind it, the Fury pointed itself toward its proper bearing. ALD engaged the hyperdrive and the stars beyond the viewport began to stretch. Soon, the interceptor was traveling faster than the speed of light, surrounded by the swirling tunnel of hyperspace, heading toward Dromund Kaas.

As the cockpit stewed in silence, the towering woman noticed the girl at her side almost shriveling, keeping her arms firmly at her sides.

"You should probably get to know the others," Fay calmly suggested. "Nami, this is Asher and Graves." The two Sith offered respective waves of their hands as they kept their attention focused forward. "And I'm Fay."

"It's… nice to meet you all," Nami hesitantly stated, trying to keep a straight face.

"Don't be put off by their appearance," Fay assuaged. "They're not that bad when you get to know them. Asher's annoying, but he's capable when the time calls for it. All in all, we make a fairly good team."

"How long have you known each other?" asked Nami.

"Two… maybe three days," Asher casually stated.

"Well, Asher and I knew each other back in the Academy, but we went our separate ways before meeting up again" Graves added.

"Not before he burnt most of my upper body off."

"Not before he cut off my left arm."

The young Jedi was puzzled by the lack of emotion behind the two Sith's words. "And you two work together?"

"No point dwelling on the past," Graves calmly stated. "And it helps that Asher thinks he looks cooler like this than he did before."

"And it helps that Graves can't feel pain," said Asher.

The young Jedi's eyes went wide with interest. "Is that some sort of Force technique?"

"No," Graves plainly answered. "Ever heard of Kinson's Disorder?"

"Um… no," Nami replied.

"Not surprising," Graves admitted. "Doesn't exist outside of Imperial space. It's a rare genetic defect that affects Humans with small amounts of Sith blood in their ancestry."

"Really? You have Kinson's?" Asher offered, genuinely surprised. "Didn't know it could turn you completely numb."

"It typically doesn't," Graves admitted.

The hesitance in the girl's visage was all but washed away, replaced with a budding curiosity. "What does it do?"

"It affects the nervous system," Graves explained. "In light cases, all it causes is an increase in pain tolerance, actually making it a desirable trait amongst military families. In moderate cases, however, it can lead to early blindness, deafness, and an overall dulling of the senses. Extreme cases cause someone to slowly lose control of their bodies until they completely shut down. Those cases don't survive past infancy."

"So which are you?" Nami softly asked.

"Don't know," Graves admitted. "Lost all feeling by the time I could speak. Shouldn't be able to move. Certainly shouldn't be able to use cybernetics. And yet I can."

"How do you explain that?" asked Nami.

The armored Sith offered a gentle shrug. "The Force?"

"It's explained weirder things," Asher admitted. "What's really odd is the fact that, despite not being able to feel pain, he's probably the most traditional Sith out of the three of us."

Nami's head slightly tilted. "How do you mean?"

"Well, I'm what you call a combat pragmatist," Asher revealed, taking delight in his own designation. "And Fay doesn't even use a lightsaber."

"Really?" Nami stared at the tall woman in awe. "Like… never?"

"The Force is the only weapon I need," Fay emphatically declared.

"And thighs that could crush a man's skull," Asher muttered. The tall Sith cast her sharpened gaze toward her hooded companion. Rather than endure the stare, the burned man spun around in his chair, pointing himself back toward the forward viewport.

The four men and women continued to converse whilst the vessel journeyed through hyperspace. With the passage of time, the young Jedi felt more and more at ease amongst the odd Sith she found herself with. Everything that had been instilled into her by the Jedi was being slowly unproven. Fay had shown her a kindness she'd not experienced since her master's passing. Since the war's end, she felt isolated. Cohesion and unity were a distant memory. Her fellow Jedi had grown cold. But in the strangest of places, amongst the strangest of fellows, she felt warmth for the first time in months.

After hours of travel, the tunnel surrounding the vessel collapsed as the Sith dropped back into realspace. Sitting beyond the Fury's viewport was Dromund Kaas, the chaotic orb of storms and darkness. Whilst the droid handled the ensuing approach, silently communicating with the starport planetside, the ship's passengers readied themselves for the landing.

Asher and Graves lifted themselves from their seats and the four of them made their way into the comm room. As the vessel passed through the atmosphere, the four men and women stood in a tight circle nearer the ship's exit.

"I know it may sound strange coming from me, but I suggest we proceed with caution," Asher calmly stated.

"Don't suppose any of us know the proper procedure for this kind of thing?" asked Graves.

"You mean spontaneously bringing a Jedi into the heart of the Empire? No. No I don't," Asher snarked.

"I…" a soft voice rang out beneath the Sith's notice.

"We're Sith operating under a Dark Councilor," Fay stated. "I think we'll be fine."

"No, we're Executors who belong to a fledgling organization run by an alien Sith Lord turned bureaucrat," Asher corrected.

"I don't…" the soft voice rang out again.

"Hey, you wanted to test whether Syrosk and Vowrawn really wanted us in their group," Fay declared. "Now we'll know for sure."

"They wanted us because they think we have potential," Asher replied. "That doesn't extend to Jedi we happen to bring in, on our first ever mission I might add."

"I don't feel…" the soft voice struggled to speak. Before the Sith could continue their heated discussion, they were interrupted by the sound of a loud thud. Turning around, the Executors saw the young girl had collapsed.

"Nami!" Fay shouted, taking a knee beside the stilled body. Carefully placing a hand behind the Jedi's head, she raised her partially upright for a closer examination. "She's unconscious."

"Ah. Should have seen this coming," Asher admitted, scratching his wrapped chin.

"What are you talking about?" Fay asked, momentarily tearing her gaze away from the girl.

"Dromund Kaas is pretty seeped in the dark side of the Force," Asher explained. "People not accustomed to it are subject to weakness or sickness. So for someone like a Jedi…"

"Who's likely heavily attuned to the light…" Graves spoke up.

"Precisely," said Asher. "Boom. Unconscious."

Fay carefully wrapped her hands around the fallen Jedi, picking up her entire weight with ease. Gently, she guided he stilled body over to one of the couches populating the communications room. Just as she did, the vessel offered a sturdy shake as it rested upon its struts.

Graves panned his gaze about the chamber. "We've landed."

"If we want, we can contact Syrosk," Asher suggested. "This just might qualify as an emergency."

Placing her head near the Jedi's chest, Fay focused her mind. "Her heartbeat's normal. So is her breathing. Seems like she's just exhausted."

"So what do you want to do with her?" Asher asked. "We can't drag her through Kaas City. At least, not with those robes on."

"You're right," Fay plainly stated. "Give me your coat."

"What?"

"We'll take her to Syrosk, maybe he can help," said Fay. "But for now, it's best she doesn't look like a Jedi."

Asher tightly folded his arms. "One piece of cloth isn't going to fix that."

"It'll help," Fay declared. "Coat. Now."

"Fine," Asher offered with a huff. Unsinching the belt around his waist, the hooded Sith soon wasn't as he slipped his arms through the outermost piece of clothing covering his torso. Removing the hooded robe, the other Sith looked to the wrapped Sith in amazement.

"Wow," Graves muttered. Beneath his outer robe, Asher had a hidden array of devices strapped across his torso by various belts and bandoliers. Beneath his right shoulder rest a compact pistol resting within a holster. Across his left breast, a row of ampoules lay strapped to a bandolier. At his side, a single metallic orb was attached. "Is that a grenade?"

"Yeah," Asher plainly answered as he handed his coat to Fay. The tall woman went to work removing the bulky brown robe that made up the Padawan's outer layer.

"When did you get a grenade?" Graves asked.

"Back during the war," Asher replied. "Why?"

"It just seems an odd thing for a Sith to have," Graves stated.

"Sometimes you need more than a Force-assisted fireball. When that time comes, I'll be prepared."

"Did someone give it to you, or…"

"Took it from an outpost I was stationed in," Asher replied.

"Took it?" Graves repeated. "Like, took it, took it?"

"Yeah, why?"

"I just don't think the soldiers would appreciate you stealing their supplies," said Graves.

"Oh, if only we had fifty grenades instead of forty-nine we would have won that battle," Asher offered with a mock despair. The two men were interrupted by a low sigh emanating from their female partner.

"You're right, I don't think this'll work," Fay declared, handing back the coat.

Asher snatched the piece of cloth, slipping his arms back through the sleeves. "Told you. We should probably just leave her here for now. The ship has a bedroom. Go tuck her in there until we return to base. Lock this place down, make sure she can't-"

"That's it!" Almost with epiphany, the woman jumped to her feet and made her way toward the Fury's primary bedroom. The other Sith merely offered confused stares as heard the faint sound of rustling fibers past the threshold of the chamber.

----------

The entrance ramp of the Sith interceptor descended and Asher and Graves cautiously made their way down, scanning the surrounding hangar as they did so. With the area clear, they waved for Fay to follow. Stepping down the ramp, the towering woman held the Jedi's unconscious body over her shoulder, the young girl wrapped head to toe in a black bedsheet.

As Fay made her way down and toward the hangar's exit, utterly unburdened by the weight upon her shoulders, Asher could only rub his brow in frustration.

"This is such a stupid idea…"
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LaxKnight's Avatar


LaxKnight
02.11.2014 , 07:58 PM | #15
Quote:
"This is such a stupid idea..."
But those were great chapters. Reminds me of something similar in the Sith Warrior plot (trying not to spoil). That was a great read and I can wait for the next one to see how they explain this.
LaxKnight
"I'm not blind, I just see from a different perspective." - Serenity Williams, Miraluka Jedi Apprentice

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
02.11.2014 , 09:08 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by LaxKnight View Post
I would just like to say you are doing a great job so far and...S*** IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN!!!
Quote: Originally Posted by Adwynyth View Post
S***'s about to get real.

Oh, and SQUEE.
Quote: Originally Posted by taxidermis View Post
Loved this chapt.
Glad to see people are enjoying this one. Been trying to keep a healthy balance of seriousness and humor, action and inaction, without the whole thing spiraling out of control. I'm also happy that I've manged to put out chapters without weeks (or months) in between. Hopefully everyone enjoys what's to come.

Quote: Originally Posted by LaxKnight View Post
But those were great chapters. Reminds me of something similar in the Sith Warrior plot (trying not to spoil). That was a great read and I can wait for the next one to see how they explain this.
Any similarities between Nami and certain other Padawans/Apprentices are not entirely unintentional. Though there are reasons why her 'friends' were willing to let her go, but that will be addressed in the coming chapters. And I love the fact that you can't wait for the characters' explanation rather than the author's. Makes me feel like I've created something truly interesting.

I already have the next couple of arcs planned, set to involve some new places and some familiar faces. Thanks for reading everyone.
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Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
02.13.2014 , 06:45 PM | #17
Chapter Ten

"This was such a stupid idea…" Syrosk rasped with his head hung low, furiously rubbing his brow.

The elder Executor stood in his personal quarters, joined by his new charges as well as the unconscious Jedi. The young girl sat limp in a chair, still wrapped below the neck in a black bedsheet whilst the four Sith hovered around her.

"What were you thinking? Bringing a Jedi here…" Syrosk growled, struggling to keep his emotions contained. "Do you have any idea the trouble this could cause? For you? For me?"

"I take it this would be a bad time to discuss renovations for the ship?" Asher asked, the gravity his superior possessed utterly absent from his voice.

"Yes, it would very much be a bad time," Syrosk replied. "What part of your mission entailed taking a Jedi prisoner?"

"She's not a prisoner," Fay plainly stated. "She wanted to join us."

Syrosk snapped toward the tall woman. "And she's unconscious because?"

"She passed out when we touched down," Graves explained. "Kaas probably overwhelmed her."

A low grumble slipped past the alien's lips. "Never should have brought her here. Why didn't you contact me before bringing her planetside?"

"You said the comm was only for emergencies," said Fay.

"You wouldn't consider this an emergency?" Syrosk replied, raising his voice to a level previously unheard of by the younger Sith.

"See? Told you," Asher whispered.

The elder Executor narrowed his already sharpened gaze toward the burned Sith. "You're all equally responsible for this!"

"Did I give the impression I wasn't taking responsibility?" Fay bluntly asked alongside the arch of her brow. "She wanted to defect, so I brought her here. I thought if anyone could help her, it'd be you."

"Even if I could, you don't just smuggle an outsider onto the Empire's capital!" Syrosk declared. "And you definitely don't walk a Jedi through the streets of Kaas City!"

"We wrapped her in a bedsheet, what more do you want from us?" Asher muttered.

"You honestly think no one saw you?" asked Syrosk. "What would you have said if someone stopped you?"

"We were 'escorting' our friend, a newly promoted Sith Lord, home after a night of 'celebration' at the local cantina," Fay calmly explained. The alien continued to rub his brow as he released another wordless grunt beneath his breath.

"If it makes you feel any better, the mission itself went pretty well," Graves spoke up. "Confirmed the lack of schematics and took out the pirates."

"The mission… was to be a test of cohesion," Syrosk stated, slowly regaining his composure. "With your skills, it was never a question of whether you'd succeed, but whether you were capable of cooperating."

"Considering we came back with an extra teammate, I'd say we're the best at cooperating," Asher bragged.

"An extra teammate? Is that what you think will happen?" Syrosk asked, suitably baffled.

"You recruit Executors, right? Well, she's a recruit," said Fay. "I don't see the problem, Jedi have defected before."

"They are put through the proper channels first," Syrosk replied. "Given oversight. Made sure they're not spies or infiltrators."

"The Dark Councilor for Logistics is your friend. I assumed you were the proper channel," Fay admitted.

"He's not my friend, he's my boss," Syrosk clarified, forcing an extra helping of grit into his words. "I hope that does change after all this."

"Look, this was the best course of action," Fay firmly stated. "She boarded the pirates' freighter with two other Jedi. We could have killed them all, maybe causing an international incident in the process. Or we could have brought one of them over to our side."

"And these other Jedi, what became of them?" asked Syrosk.

"They're still alive," Graves quickly replied.

"And they just let you take one of their own?"

"Well, there wasn't much they could do about it," said Asher, brimming with confidence. "We could have beaten them even if they weren't down a member. "

Syrosk's eyes almost glazed over. "So you met a group of Jedi and, over the course of a single conversation, convinced one of them to abandon her home, to leave her entire life behind, to become a Sith?"

"From the way the others talked to her, it didn't seem like she had much of a home amongst the Jedi," Fay explained.

"I believe the word 'eccentricities' was used," Asher added.

"I promised her a new home," Fay continued. "She accepted. She knows what's expected of her."

"Does she?" asked Syrosk. "Inquisitors are going to want every scrap of information she possesses."

"Why? The war is over," Graves replied.

"For some, it'll never be over," said Syrosk. "If she knows something, others will want to know as well."

"What are they going to ask her, the location of the Jedi's nonexistent home?" Asher snarked.

"She's a Padawan, I doubt she knows any secrets," Fay stated.

Syrosk released a raspy sigh. "That's not for me to decide."

"Isn't it? You're in charge here after all," said Fay.

"What would you have me do?" asked Syrosk.

"Maybe take her as an apprentice."

"Assuming she survived the Academy, I still couldn't," Syrosk stated. "I already have three Sith that require all of my time and effort, if you haven't quite yet noticed."

Fay shrugged. "Then let her join our group. Make her Executor Six or whatever."

"You three were put together for a reason," Syrosk replied. "I cannot willingly change your group's dynamic."

"And what if I were to quit? Would that change our dynamic?" Fay asked, a tangible bite to her delivery.

Syrosk visibly recoiled. "And you'd be willing to do that for some Jedi you've just met?"

"I was willing to fight alongside Sith I'd just met," Fay stated. "Don't see why not."

"Why? What do you find so special about this girl?" Syrosk asked.

"I've spent most of my life surrounded by zealots, of both the Jedi and Sith variety, and it's grown somewhat tiresome," Fay declared. "You, you seem alright. These two guys, they seem alright. But let's face it, we're in the minority. If there's someone fit for this group, it's her. She's strong. She belongs with us."

Syrosk drew and released a deep breath before turning his horned head toward the other two Sith. "And you think this as well?"

"Well…" Asher muttered, scratching the back of his head.

"Sure," Graves plainly said. "Better she be with us than back with the Republic. And she seems capable enough."

"You call that capable?" Asher asked, jutting his thumb toward the slumped Jedi.

"She'll get used to Kaas eventually," Fay stated.

The burned Sith released a sigh. "Then… I don't know… I guess? Allies we can trust aren't exactly abundant."

"Can we trust her though?" asked Syrosk. "How do we know this isn't a trick?"

Asher leaned in close to the young Jedi's unmoving body. "That's a pretty good trick."

"We can trust her," Fay declared, utterly confident.

"You'll understand if I don't take you at your word," Syrosk muttered, moving himself closer to the unconscious Jedi. Gripping the young girl's chin with his rough hand, the alien began softly rotating her head back and forth as he cast his discerning gaze upon her soft face. Carefully, he straightened her posture in the seat as well as he could, before holding his hands to either side of the Jedi's head.

"What are you doing?" asked Fay.

"Taking a look at her thoughts," Syrosk replied, maintaining his focus on the girl. "Someone's going to have to dig through her mind, might as well be the one telepath in the Empire with an ounce of finesse."

Fay bounced her gaze between her superior and the unconscious Jedi. "This won't hurt her, will it?"

"Not if I can help it."

"So, this means we're helping her?" Fay asked.

Syrosk released a low sigh. "I can see about getting her into one of the Academies. Beyond that, there's not much else I can do. But before I do anything, I'm going to make sure she's not a threat to us. Now, if you would please give me some space… and some silence."

The other Sith complied, taking a few steps back. Within the compact chamber of the alien's home, Asher, Fay, and Graves pressed themselves against the nearby walls as their boss calmed himself and closed his eyes. Under the younger Sith's gazes, the two figures appeared frozen, neither acting in the slightest. Not even through the Force could much be gleaned from the exchange. Everything that was occurring was known to Syrosk and Syrosk alone.

"This… this can't be right," Syrosk muttered, maintaining his hold on the girl's head.

"What is it?" Fay spoke up.

"Never in my life have I seen such a guarded mind," Syrosk admitted.

"You seen many Jedi's?" Asher asked. "Maybe theirs work differently from ours."

"Any mind can be defended from intrusions, but something like this would require decades of training and a conscious effort to maintain," Syrosk explained.

"Maybe she's just naturally gifted," Graves suggested.

The room seemed frozen in a moment of time. The five figures were stilled, three closely observing the unfolding scene, two sharing a mental and physical link. As Syrosk failed to even scratch the surface of the Jedi's mind, he did not notice the young girl's eyes shooting open.

In an instant, the robed alien found himself flung back, crashing into the nearby wall with tremendous force. The entire chamber shook as a wave of kinetic energy washed over the occupants, upsetting the other Sith's stalwart balance. The young Jedi's hands tightly gripped the arms of her chair as she hastily scanned the room.

Across from the Jedi, Syrosk lay slumped at the bottom of the wall. Beside him, Asher struggled to regain a proper footing. "What the hell was-"

Before he could finish his thought, the Jedi had pushed herself up and out of the chair, flinging off the black bedsheet whilst simultaneously flinging herself across the chamber. Ending the hooded Sith's sentence was the young girl's balled fist slamming itself into Asher's nose. The burned Sith stumbled backward, clutching at his injury as blood began to pour from his nostrils. Graves was closest to the Jedi, but before he could even react, she was on the move. Darting for the door, she had almost made her escape when the towering woman interceded. Maneuvering behind the fleeing Jedi, Fay reached out and wrapped her arms around the young girl's shoulders. In an instant, the tall woman lifted the girl's insignificant weight, halting her escape. The Jedi's legs lashed out and kicked as they dangled, but Fay maintained her grip, trapping the girl between her arms and chest.

The young girl struggled to break free, but had no hope of surpassing her captor's strength. Wriggling and writhing, the girl began to release disoriented screams and shouts.

"What is this?" the Jedi barked. "Where am I? Who are you people?"

The young girl continued to offer nondescript growls and grunts as the others picked themselves off the floor.

The alien patted himself down as a snarl crept across his face. "Not a threat, you say?"

"Maybe Kaas had a bigger effect on her than we thought," said Graves, still utterly calm.

"This wasn't Kaas' doing," Syrosk declared.

"Then what was it?" asked Asher, voice sniveling and nasally as he gripped his injured nose.

"Let me go!" the Jedi shouted. "You're Sith, aren't you? Don't think you can keep me here!"

"Calm down," said Fay, still maintaining her grip. "You wanted to be here. We're trying to help you."

"Like a Sith would ever help anyone!" the Jedi barked.

"Well, she's obviously lost her mind," said Asher, the bandages wrapping his face stained with a red flow. "She was much nicer aboard the freighter."

Arms still clamped around the Jedi, Fay shot a harsh glare toward her boss. "What did you do, Syrosk?"

"This wasn't my doing either," Syrosk rasped.

"She's like a completely different person," said Graves.

Reaffirming her grip, Fay tilted her head as the young girl continued trying to break free. "What's your name, Jedi?"

"Mina," the Jedi shouted.

Maintaining her hold with one arm, the Kineticist pulled the other one away, balling its hand into a fist. Fay delivered a quick knock to the side of the girl's head and her thrashing came to an abrupt end. Holding the once-more unconscious body of the Jedi, the other Sith looked to one another with confused stares.

Asher, Fay, and Graves shared quick glances, each unsure of what to say or do.

----------

Deep within the heart of Republic space, floating weightlessly upon the astral sea, was the Enduring Light. A Valor-class cruiser, the large capital ship was surrounded by an array of support vessels and currently served as one of the interim homes for the Jedi Order. Without a temple or world to call their own, the fragmented group was forced to adopt temporary shelter even months after the war's end.

Within the grand corridors and chambers of the capital ship, the Jedi onboard struggled to replicate their lost temple. Masters trained and instructed their students surrounded by the sterile white environment of the military vessel, forced to live out of the various hangars and barracks. Though the galaxy was at peace, the Jedi were not. The Order was not of one mind, countless mentalities plaguing the Jedi in the months following the war's end. Some thought accepting the treaty a necessary evil, others opposed its stringent concessions. With many of their best and brightest lost to the Sith Empire, the Order's voice was scattered. There was little to guide them in their darkest hour, but all they could hope to do was persist.

Gathered in one of the capital ship's mess halls, a number of figures garbed in conservative robes were receiving their day's ration of food. Sitting across from each other at a folding table, two elder Jedi conversed amidst the soft rabble of their congregating fellows.

"Not much to these meals," one of the men muttered with a low drawl. The Jedi was wrinkled and bald of head, a Human in his later years. Staring at his food with heavy eyes, he offered the occasional prod and poke with his utensil.

"Food is food, Verdon," the other plainly replied. The other Human's head was topped with short, graying hair, and though he was aged, he still had a few decades before matching the man across from him. The roughness worn on his face was born from battle rather than an excess of wrinkles.

"Direct as always, Kyros," Verdon offered with a chortle.

"Someone around here has to be," Kyros replied. "People are far too content to sit around and do nothing. If only the war hadn't taken Master Joren from us."

"There's little we can do without a proper home," Verdon stated. "Be patient. Master Shan will come through. She has the Force guiding her."

"Meanwhile, the rest of us go without guidance," Kyros declared.

"We are never without guidance, Kyros. Whether we realize it or not."

"I don't know about you, but the Force has been frightfully silent in our time of need. It doesn't tell us where to go or what to do. Those decisions fall to us, but apparently we lack the resolve to make said decisions."

"In due time," Verdon calmly added. "Answers will come. We just need to be patient."

"Patience does not necessitate inaction," Kyros muttered. Interrupting the pair's conversation was a muffled electronic ringing beneath the younger Jedi's robes. Reaching beneath his coat, Kyros returned with a small holocommunicator in his hand. The silver device flashed and the grainy image of two men appeared. "Leron. Jaruss. How goes your investigation?"

"Master, I'm afraid we have grave news," Leron said, a forced calmness in his voice.

"What's the matter?" Kyros asked, possessing a stoicism far beyond that of the Padawan. "Where is Nami?"

Leron dipped his head. "That's the thing, master. I'm afraid we lost her."

"She's dead?" asked Kyros, maintaining his calm.

"No. When we arrived, the pirates were already dead at the hands of Sith. We tried to block their escape but… the Sith manipulated her, turned her against us," Leron explained.

"We tried to stop her, master," Jaruss added. "We did everything in our power to convince her not to go, but the Sith's hold was too great. We couldn't risk hurting her, and with her condition…"

"I understand, my students," Kyros stated. "You did as much as could be expected of you. Are you two safe, at least?"

"Yes, sir," Leron replied. "We're on our way back now."

"Very well. We can discuss our options when you return." The two Jedi on the other end of the device offered the dutiful bows of their heads and the communications ceased. As the holographic images faded, Kyros released a low sigh as he returned the communicator to his robes.

"You don't seem that upset," said Verdon.

"Any loss to the Sith is regrettable, but this one could have been avoided," Kyros bluntly stated.

"We cannot foresee, nor prevent, every loss."

"We could have prevented this one," Kyros declared. "She never should have been let into the Order to begin with. She was a danger to herself and those around her. Only her master was capable of keeping her in check, and without him, she's unstable. Never should have agreed to pick up her training."

"I know I said we're never without guidance, but that doesn't mean we can just discard Padawans that don't turn out perfect," Verdon scolded.

"You don't know this girl, Verdon. Some people are lost causes," Kyros declared. "But it matters not. She's not our problem anymore."

The elder Jedi was taken aback, stewing in silence as the younger man lifted himself from his seat. Kyros straightened out his thick robes, leaving Verdon alone without a second glance. As he left without another word, the tail of his heavy coat bounced along each step, the long hilt of his double-bladed lightsaber dangling from his belt.
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Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
02.22.2014 , 12:50 PM | #18
Chapter Eleven

The Sith were left standing in a dumbfounded circle, silence overtaking the chamber as Fay still held the unconscious Jedi in her arms. None willing to speak, the only sound filling the room was its owner's labored breathing. As Syrosk cast his deadened stare upon the young girl, it became obvious that the blow she had stricken him with had taken its toll. As did the one delivered to the burned Sith, who still covered his leaking nose with his wrapped hand.

"Someone want to explain what just happened?" Asher nasally barked, words muffled by his hand.

"For once, our thoughts align," Syrosk rasped.

"You heard what she called herself, right?" Fay asked her compatriots.

The alien arched his brow. "What significance is that?"

"She used a different name," Fay explained. "When we met her, she said her name was Nami."

"So… different name, different disposition, different personality," Graves stated. "But why?"

"If it wasn't Kaas, and it wasn't Syrosk..." Asher muttered.

"We can't rule either of those out," Fay firmly stated.

"Yes, we can," Syrosk replied. "I know madness. This was no madness."

"She just up and attacks us, forgets who we are or why she's here, and you don't think that's madness?" Asher barked, words still muffled by his now blood-soaked palm.

Syrosk turned toward the tall woman still holding the unconscious Jedi. "You're telling me she showed no signs of such behavior prior to arriving here?"

"She was calm, soft spoken, diplomatic," said Fay. "She trusted us."

The alien released a low hum, somewhere between a curious grunt and a tired growl. The elder Executor scratched his leathery chin as he took a closer look at the unconscious girl. "I'll need to take another look into her mind."

"Because that worked out so well for us last time," Asher snarked.

"This time I'll know what to expect," Syrosk replied. "Bring the girl and follow me." Not a second after his direction, the Sith turned on his heels and started walking deeper into his residence. Pausing before passing into the next chamber, the alien looked back to see an unmoving Fay. "What are you waiting for?"

"I'm not going to let you root around in her brain," Fay declared. "It's obvious you did something and she responded."

"All I did was flip a switch," Syrosk explained. "Whatever the cause of this… it existed long before she arrived on Kaas. As fortified as her mind was, I'm starting to believe it wasn't to keep others out… but keep something in."

"What the hell does that even mean?" Asher blurted out, waving his free, non-blood-soaked hand.

"We won't know until I take another look," said Syrosk. "Now come. Let us get this sorted before she wakes up. Because next time, you might not catch her… and if she makes it out that door, she's as good as dead."

Fay conceded to the unrelenting Executor, shifting the girl's weight in her arms. Reaffirming her grip, she carried the young Jedi's limp body deeper into the alien Sith's home. Beyond the simplistic foyer they had stood in prior, the group found themselves in a room of function. It possessed the same dark colors and facets as the rest of the Citadel that had preceded it, but catching the guests' eyes were the terminals and cabinets lining the walls. A quaint repository for Sith knowledge and possessions.

But tucked away in the corner, rather than a chair, was an angled slab. The metallic fixture possessed a roughly humanoid shaping, as well as electronic restraints where an occupant's wrists would rest.

Syrosk gestured toward the slab. "Place her here."

"Should we be concerned that you have something like this in your home?" Asher said through his injured nose.

"This place was repurposed upon my becoming an Executor," Syrosk explained. "Prior to becoming my residence, it belonged to an Inquisitor."

"Was it a place of business, or...?" Asher trailed off, receiving no response from his fellows. Brushing past him, Fay carried over the unconscious girl and placed her upon the slab as gently as she could. The young Jedi's small frame seemed even smaller upon the cold, oppressive fixture.

"Put her wrists in position," said Syrosk as he made his way toward the nearest terminal.

Fay crossed her arms, shooting the alien a tired look. "Is that really necessary?"

"Do it."

The tall woman released a quick sigh before complying, gently maneuvering the girl's wrists into position. Hovering them over the 'arms' of the slab, the elder Executor punched a command into the terminal. A moment later, bands of energy wrapped around the Jedi's forearms, locking them in place.

Fay took a step back, joining her fellows as they watched Syrosk scurry about the chamber with his uneven, yet surprisingly quick, pace. The alien circled around the restrained girl, examining her without getting too close. The three younger Sith stood shoulder to shoulder, casual observers to what was about to occur. Just as Syrosk reached out with his rough, leathery hand, Asher took another step back. Fay and Graves turned toward their skittish companion, casting the arch of their brows.

"What? I don't need her screwing up my face a second time."

"I thought she already screwed up your face for the second time," Graves said in his usual deadpan manner. Asher offered a brief, sarcastic laugh as he continued to clutch his nose.

"Quit being a baby," Fay chided.

"Easy for you to say, you didn't get punched in the nose."

"That's because I wouldn't let myself get punched in the nose."

"Well, that's because I doubt her fist could even reach your face all the way up there," Asher muttered as he gently prodded his nose. "Can't even heal the thing until I get it set-"

The burned Sith was interrupted by Fay batting his hand away. He could only watch with wide eyes as the towering woman pressed her thumbs against his injured nose. With a quick application of strength and the Force, the woman straightened and cleared out the wrapped Sith's nasal passages, prompting him to release a harsh yelp. Removing her hands, Fay watched Asher contort his face before raising his wrapped finger to soak whatever poured from his nose.

"Better?" asked Fay, more stern than concerned.

There was a pause.

"A bit," Asher admitted.

"Any progress, Syrosk?" Graves asked, still focused on the elder Executor. The others turned to see the alien clutching at the girl's temples with his eyes closed, locked in the same trance he had been in prior.

"Only skimming the surface," Syrosk replied. "The barriers in her mind seem more like partitions. I can't go deeper without upsetting her mental state."

"I'd say her mental state is already pretty upset," Asher snarked.

"As rigid as her thoughts appear, they also seem to be shifting of their own accord. Unconsciously moving toward some natural state," Syrosk explained.

"Then maybe the next time she wakes up, she'll be normal again," said Fay.

"Normal…" Syrosk dwelt upon the word. "Normal may be beyond her reach. This girl seems to possess two identities, each with their own personality and memories. Distinct, with no overlap. One always in control."

"Is that… natural?" asked Graves.

"The mind is a curious thing," Syrosk rasped. "Easy to break, hard to mend, and harder still to comprehend."

Asher's head dipped. "So, what, she's actually two people?"

"Depends on how you define a person," Syrosk replied. "The girl possesses one mind, it's just comprised of two self-sustained halves."

"What could cause that?" Graves asked.

"I'm not sure," Syrosk admitted. "Perhaps a childhood trauma caused her create one of the personalities as a defense mechanism."

"Well, the one we just saw was pretty damn defensive," Asher muttered.

"Would that mean Nami's the original identity?" asked Graves.

"It's unclear," Syrosk rasped. "Both identities seem to exist in equal parts, one had simply been suppressed. It's likely the Jedi saw her condition as a corruption to be healed through the Force. When they were unable, they instead locked away one of the personalities as a means to 'fix' her."

"Gotta love that Jedi wisdom," said Asher.

"Then again, we don't know anything for sure," Syrosk admitted, backing away from the unconscious girl.

"Then we wait for her to wake up," Fay suggested. "That's the only way we'll get answers."

"If she has any answers to give," Syrosk rasped.

"She will," said Fay, utterly confident. "Just wait."

"And how do we even know who we're getting when she does wake up?" Asher asked.

"We don't," Syrosk declared.

The four Sith fell silent as they each cast their gaze upon the slumbering Jedi. Unconscious, the young girl's unassuming figure spoke nothing of the mysteries hidden within. On the outside, she appeared to be nothing more than a normal Padawan in traditional garb. Unburdened. Without scars. Soft faced and still holding onto her youth. But it was becoming abundantly clear that there was something more to her.

And so they waited. Time slowed to a crawl as the group did nothing but watch the secured Jedi, unwilling to be caught off guard again. It was a brutal, agonizing wait, but the minutes eventually passed, one by one, each bringing the Sith closer to the point of awakening.

Suddenly, just as time was about to lose all meaning, a soft grumble passed through the young Jedi's lips. The Sith immediately shot to attention, stepping forward and surrounding the restrained girl. Her head sluggishly turned upon the metallic slab before her eyes fluttered open. All she could see was four shadowed figures hovering over her.

As she quickly regained control of her senses, the young girl struggled to get a full grasp on her surroundings.

"Where…" the Jedi mumbled as she shifted upon the slab. Just as she attempted to move, she realized that she couldn't, her wrists firmly locked down with bands of energy. "What? What is this? Where am I?"

The girl's breathing hastened as she tried to wriggle free. The first clear figure she could lay eyes upon was that of the horned alien, casting his cold glare upon her. A soft squeal slipped past her lips as she shrunk with nowhere to go.

"Fay? Fay?" the girl called out, soft but with an increasing panic.

"She's back to normal, turn off the cuffs," Fay called out. The alien heard her, but remained right where he stood.

"What's your name?" Syrosk coldly rasped. The Jedi remained silent, shying away upon the slab. Fay quickly took a step closer, making sure her face was illuminated by the room's lighting.

"It's okay," Fay assuaged. "Just tell him your name."

"N…Nami," the young girl eventually said, almost at whisper. The tall woman immediately shot her determined gaze back toward her boss. Syrosk received the glare with little alarm, slowly making his way toward the nearby terminal. With an absence of haste, he punched in the command to power down the restraints.

The bands around the Jedi's arms dissipated and the girl immediately clutched at her wrists. Fay reached out with her hand, offering it to the young girl. Nami looked at it for a moment before accepting, carefully stepping off of the cold slab.

"What's going on? What happened to the ship?" Nami softly asked.

Fay slightly bent her legs, inching her face slightly closer to that of the Jedi. "You don't remember anything that happened since arriving on Kaas?".

"No. All I remember is feeling really sick, then I woke up here," Nami explained. The girl maintained her grip on the tall woman's hand, and Fay was not about to rip it away. The Kineticist paused as she formulated her next words, but quickly found herself overtaken.

"Would you mind telling us about Mina?" Syrosk bluntly asked.

Fay could feel the Jedi's grip tighten around her hand. The girl's breathing, which had since calmed down, slowly began to ramp back up. Her eyes grew wide, wider than Fay had ever seen on the girl, as they slowly began to shiver. As the inquisitive eyes of the four Sith fell upon her, Nami grew increasingly uncomfortable. But as she tried to shy away, she was overcome by a stinging feeling in the back of her head. Prodding the sore spot with her finger prompted a sharp wince in the girl's face.

"Ow…" Nami mumbled.

"Sorry, had to… you know…" Fay politely offered before mocking a quick backhanded motion.

"So it's really true…" Nami said, almost whispering, eyes drifting toward the floor. "You met Mina…"

"I wouldn't call it much of a meeting," Asher stated, words muffled by his raised hand. "You just knocked us around and tried to bolt out the door."

"No, I didn't! That… that wasn't me."

"Then who was it?" Fay asked, her words both calm and patient. "Help us understand."

"Mina, she's… she's been a part of me as long as I can remember," Nami explained. "But I'm not her, and she's not me."

"You just share a body?" Fay suggested.

The girl nodded. "Yeah."

Fay offered a quick nod of her own before straightening out her stance. "And how often does she take over?"

"Almost never! At least, not since I began training with Master Daedan. He taught me how to stay in control. But... he's gone and... sometimes I can't help it..."

"Like when you're in danger?" Fay suggested. The girl offered a hesitant nod, to which the tall woman gently scratched her chin. "Well, how are you feeling now?"

"Pretty normal," Nami admitted. "My head still kinda hurts…" The girl's voice trailed off as her gaze slowly panned over toward Syrosk. Eyeing the elder Sith, the Jedi offered a look of trepidation, laced with a bubbling interest.

"This is Syrosk," said Fay, jutting a thumb toward the heavy-eyed alien. "He's our boss."

"I… didn't know the Sith had aliens amongst them," Nami admitted, a softness continuing to lace her words.

"They typically don't," Syrosk bluntly stated, maintaining his harsh glare.

"Well, it's… nice to meet you," Nami struggled to get out.

The horned Sith released a low grumble. "Do you have any idea what you've gotten yourself into? If not for Fay, you'd be dead right now."

There was more than one way for the Jedi to take his words. Fay's refusing to fight aboard the pirate ship. Fay's willingness to take her in. Fay's prevention of her escape when she lost control. Raising her gaze to meet the tall woman's, she decided upon the meaning that brought her most comfort. But the comfort was fleeting amidst the girl's current circumstances.

"What's done is done," Fay declared. "What matters is where we go from here. Do you still want to join us, Nami?"

The girl offered a silent nod.

"That's not for her, nor you, to decide," Syrosk rasped. "And besides, does she truly know what she'll be put through if we take her in? Does she have any idea what it means to be a Sith?"

"No less than what you know it means to be a Jedi," Nami replied.

Maintaining his cold stare, the rough alien leaned in close, his pointed horn nearly catching the girl's robes. "I know exactly what it means to be a Jedi. I met enough of your kind during the war to know how you think, how you act, and how you live. I have suffered pain and prejudice at the hands of my own brothers and sisters for decades now, and still I would rather continue suffering that burden than associate myself with your Order."

"I may have been trained as a Jedi, but I'm not one of them," Nami quietly admitted. "Not anymore."

Syrosk released a brief harrumph. "You can keep telling yourself that. You left because they rejected you, not the other way around. Deep in your heart, you remain one of them. You know nothing of our methods, of our culture, of the dark side. Stepping foot on this planet literally rendered you infirm."

"She didn't seem that weak when she flung you into a wall," Fay declared, arms crossed beneath her chest. "And she seems to have acclimated rather quickly, wouldn't you say? Even you must find that impressive."

The elder Sith straightened his posture, diverting his harsh glare toward the tall woman. "For someone so intent on defending her, you seem keen on sending her to her death. What do you suppose will happen when she enters the Academy? Once the other acolytes realize her past? Do you honestly think they won't break every rule they can in order to see her killed? Only the strongest can survive the trials, and that's when they don't have a giant target painted on their back."

"Every acolyte has a target on their back," Fay firmly stated. "If she wants this, I'm sure she'll find a way to succeed."

"She's right. I want this!" Nami confidently added. "Sith are about strength and freedom, right? I want to be strong. I want to be free."

"Freedom comes only to those willing to take it," Syrosk replied, an extra chill behind his usual rasp. "Are you willing? Willing to kill? Willing to deceive? Willing to betray?"

"I thought the entire point of the Executors was to avoid the normal trappings of the Sith," Fay admitted.

"The Executors, yes. But I've no influence over the Academies. Not anymore," Syrosk admitted. "You will not find a more rigid institution in all the Empire. You do not bend its rules without heavy consequence."

"Maybe we don't, but you know someone who could," Fay declared.

The alien's eyes sharpened. "I am not going to ask Vowrawn to grant her special privilege!"

There was a heavy silence as no one opted to speak.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.05.2014 , 01:31 AM | #19
Chapter Twelve

"And that is why…" Syrosk struggled to say, almost mumbling, "I would ask for your… assistance… in this matter."

The Executor stood alone in his home's interior chamber, accompanied only by the flickering projection above the room's holoterminal. The fuzzy electronic image of man looked down upon the horned Sith, their features masked by the shoddy device. Little more than the outline of a fairly thin figure garbed in extravagant robes could be seen, but still the Dark Councilor for Production and Logistics managed to exude a powerful presence.

"They brought back a Jedi?" the voice of Darth Vowrawn poured out of the terminal's speakers. It carried only the slightest hint of surprise, instead possessing a charming regality instilled into every syllable. His words were smooth, an utter contrast to the raspy grit that poured from the alien, despite belonging to a man of similar age.

"Yes," Syrosk hesitantly replied.

"On their first mission?"

"Yes."

"And she wants to become Sith?"

"Correct," said Syrosk as calmly as he could.

Suddenly, the electronic image leaned back, and a chortle poured out of the speakers. As the Darth partook in a short fit of restrained laughter, the alien looked upon his superior with abject bewilderment.

"Sir?" Syrosk softly spoke up as the image of the jovial Councilor returned to a calmer state.

"I pride myself on my ability to expect the unexpected, Syrosk," Vowrawn admitted. "But this…"

"I understand it's less than ideal..."

"On the contrary," Vowrawn interrupted. "I believe this served as an effective measure of the Executors' skills, did it not? We need problem solvers. We're not the Ministry of War, for Emperor's sake."

"It's one thing to turn a Jedi to our side, it's another to sneak an unprocessed one into the heart of our capital," Syrosk rasped.

"You were the one that requested your people be given priority clearance on transit."

"So you've no objections to their actions?" Syrosk asked, slightly taken aback. "None at all?"

"Assuming the Jedi is genuine in her desire to join us, then no, I haven't," Vowrawn admitted. "Of the countless troubles I face on a daily basis, I'd consider this one fairly innocuous."

"So, just like that, we welcome a Jedi in our fold?" Syrosk muttered through gritted teeth.

"Do you have any idea how many Jedi we've placed in the Academies since the war's end?" Vowrawn asked. "Ideology doesn't mean much when you've no home and the chance to join the winning side. She'll be tested like all the others. If she survives, she'll find a place amongst our Order."

"A place within your Sphere?"

"I suppose it would be a good addition," said Vowrawn, the Councilor's fuzzy image scratching its chin. "Vengean has his defectors. Baras has his spies. It'd be nice to have a fallen Jedi of my own."

"The trio you gave me... they wanted her to be an Executor," Syrosk explained.

"Hmm," Vowrawn muttered, still scratching his chin. "It'd be months before she made it through the Academy, assuming she possesses some semblance of skill. I suppose when the time came there'd be a place for her in the organization. Operations will have likely expanded by then."

Syrosk fell silent as his head dipped, hesitant to speak. "Fay… suggested letting her join their group. Your group."

"My group?" Vowrawn shot back, removing the hand from his chin. The alien offered a brief nod. It was now the Darth's turn to fall silent as his image came to a halt. "And it was Fay that suggested this?"

"Correct."

"Was it a suggestion of necessity or desire?" asked Vowrawn.

"The woman seems quite attached to her for some reason," Syrosk explained. "She's done nothing but try and accommodate her since her arrival, perhaps even prior."

"Is that so?" Vowrawn mumbled, a slight increase in the Councilor's pitch.

"Don't tell me you're actually considering this," Syrosk rasped as he leaned forward, palms gripping the edge of the holoterminal.

"Would you be capable of handling a fourth?" Vowrawn asked.

"I thought the entire point of this group was the fact that these three were special cases?"

"They are. Which is why we cannot risk losing the trust of one of them this early," Vowrawn declared. "It is a minor concession to ensure the health of the group moving forward."

"A minor concession?" Syrosk repeated, mouth almost hanging agape.

"What is one more to a man who once trained eight apprentices?" Vowrawn asked, bordering on teasing.

"As atypical they were, none of them were former Jedi!" Syrosk firmly stated.

"But they were aliens, slaves, outcasts… people who had no right learning the ways of the Sith. And yet, you taught them. You brought the best out of them. Which is what I expect of you now. And if you must do it to a fourth to accommodate the first three, then so be it."

"And what shall we do whilst the girl is put through one of the Academies? Hmm?"

"Wasn't your plan to train the Executors after they succeeded on their first mission? I'm sure you'll still have plenty to do for the time being," said Vowrawn.

"These Sith are capable. They'll be ready to proceed long before the Jedi makes it through her trials," Syrosk declared.

"Now, I'm not entirely sure of that," Vowrawn replied. "I've a rather firm presence on Ziost. I could always expedite the process. Certain Overseers there are known for their… efficiency. The challenge is greater than usual, but the results are rather potent. Of course, the only way she'll officially graduate the Academy is with a Sith Lord ready to accept her as an apprentice."

"I'm sure you've enough Lords within your Sphere to find one suitable," Syrosk rasped.

"Of that, I have no doubt," Vowrawn stated. "But most would want her for themselves. There's really only one way to ensure her a spot within the Executors. A spot in the group."

"You're not suggesting that I…"

"Make her your apprentice?" Vowrawn cut the alien off. "It would solve all of our problems, wouldn't it?"

"Not all of them," Syrosk mumbled.

"Is there something I should be aware of?" Vowrawn asked as the electronic image cocked its head to the side.

The alien softly shook his head. "No. But what about the fact that I'm no longer a Sith Lord?"

"You'll always be a Lord, Syrosk," Vowrawn replied. "Your title of Executor merely takes precedence." Syrosk's head dipped as began gently rubbing his brow. "Don't worry, this is just a formality as she moves through the system. Once she's out of the Academy, she'll be an apprentice in name only. She'll be an Executor just like the rest."

----------

"How do you think it's going in there?" Graves asked.

Situated nearer the entrance of the alien's domicile, the three Sith and their Jedi friend stood patiently near one another, bouncing their gazes between themselves and the shut door that obscured their boss.

"I can sense the subtle shifts in tone, but nothing definitive," Fay admitted, arms crossed, back against the wall, eyes shut.

"So… he's really talking to a member of the Dark Council in there?" Nami softly asked. "Like, one of the leaders of the Empire?"

"That's who he works for. And that's who we work for," Fay explained.

"Technically, every Sith works for at least one of the Councilors, it's just matter of how long the chain of command separating you is," said Graves. "Everyone in a particular Sphere of Influence can eventually be tied to its respective Council member."

"What sphere do you belong to?" Nami asked.

"Production and Logistics," Graves replied. "But that's a recent change for all of us."

"Where were you before?"

"Defense of the Empire," said Graves.

"Military Offense," Asher spoke up, his nose having ceased its discharge.

"Military Strategy," Fay stated.

"Really?" Asher and Graves offered in unison. The tall woman opened her eyes, only to offer a brief shrug of her shoulders.

"The Spheres don't really come into play until you become a Lord. Until then, you're just an agent of your master's will," Fay explained. "Besides, everything tied to the Ministry of War sort of bleeds together anyway."

"I see," Nami muttered, processing her brief insights into Imperial culture. "But with the war over, you were forced to join a different group?"

"In a manner of speaking, yes," Graves admitted. "Until a few days ago, we were still a part of our respective Spheres. Even in peacetime, the military Spheres are alive and kicking."

"But since our masters died, we didn't exactly have much to do," Asher stated. "We had affiliations, but no one wanted to affiliate with us."

"Until we got word that someone from Logistics wanted us," Fay added. "That's when we met Syrosk."

"The alien?" Nami asked.

"The alien," Fay replied. "Now we're Executors. Fixing the Empire from within, and apparently saving Jedi from themselves."

The young girl bit her lip. "Do you think they'll let me join you?"

"Well, you're Human, so at least you've got that going for you," Asher snarked.

"I'm sure they will," said Fay, paying the burned Sith no mind. "For some reason, Syrosk and his boss seem intent on keeping us happy. Which means if they don't want to see me angry, they'll find a place for you."

"But isn't it dangerous to stand up to them like that?" Nami softly asked. "Would you really risk your livelihood just for me?"

The tall woman let out a brief chuckle. "Risk starts to take on a different meaning once you become Sith. This is nothing, trust me."

"Speak for yourself," Asher muttered. "Everything we've been given can just as quickly be taken away, and I don't fancy losing my new starship."

"Your new starship?" Graves spoke up.

"Fine. Our new starship. Speaking of which, if it's going to be housing a fourth, we definitely need to renovate it."

"We can ask for some upgrades later," Fay dismissed.

"Later?" Asher shot back. "You're willing to brute force a Jedi onto our team, but asking for some furniture is too much?"

"Yeah, got a problem with that?" Fay sternly replied, casting her sharpened eyes toward the burned Sith. Saving Asher the trouble of responding was the sound of the chamber's interior door opening. Stepping from the confines of the domicile's communications room, Syrosk joined the group, his head held neither high nor low.

"So what's the verdict?" asked Fay.

"Come with me. All of you," Syrosk instructed as he made his way toward the exit with his heavy, uneven gait. Without another word, the elder trudged out of the domicile and into the halls of the Kaas Citadel. The other four were left standing around, dumbfounded as they quickly shoved off of their respective walls. The Jedi and Sith left the chamber, following the Lord without a second thought.

As the group caught up the with hasty yet sluggish alien, they saw only the back of Syrosk's head as he continued to march forward, stopping only once he had reached the Executors' headquarters. His leathery hand hovering over the entrance's control panel, the Sith Lord finally turned to face his underlings.

"Before we continue, answer me this," Syrosk began, casting his cold gaze upon the young girl. "Your condition. Can you control it?"

"I think so," Nami hesitantly offered.

"You either can, or you can't. Which is it?"

"I can," Nami quickly replied with a firm nod.

"Good. From now on, it stays between us," Syrosk declared. "No one else is to know about it, understand?"

Nami gave another nod.

"Then we can proceed," Syrosk muttered. With nary a pause, the Sith Lord opened the door before him and stepped into his organization's heart. Following him, the three younger Sith soon found themselves amongst the same terminals and monitors as before, in the company of the same bustling Imperials hastily crossing paths on their way between stations. For the fourth, however, it was a brand new sight.

There was something intriguing about the scene. People with no true understanding of the Force, operating with some measure of organized chaos. There was a procedure to be gleaned from the erratic motions for any who cared to study them. There was also a vibrancy amidst the cold, gray environment as lights flickered and flashed, each carrying its own distinct meaning.

"My lord, you've returned," a woman's voice called out from the compact assemblage, soft yet confident, the posh Imperial accent immediately recognizable to the young Jedi. The clean cut youth stepped toward the entering Sith with datapad carried firmly in hand. The gray uniform that covered her slender frame maintained its pristine order amidst its wearer's enduring urgency and haste. "Is everything alright? You were gone for quite some time."

"Everything is fine," Syrosk calmly stated, somewhat of a return to his usual gritty stoicism. "I need you to make a tentative entry for Executor Six."

From behind the alien, the young Jedi perked up, her eyes growing wide. Turning her head, she looked up to see Fay offering a reassuring, confident smile. Meanwhile, the datapad-wielding Imperial leaned past her superior's shoulder to see the increasingly giddy girl that stood behind him. She could only puzzle at the sight of the young girl in bland, beige robes.

"Executor Six, sir?" the Imperial asked for confirmation.

The elder offered a brief nod. "Her name is Nami. She'll be receiving the same treatment as the other three."

"Understood, my lord," the Imperial offered with a dutiful dip of her head. "Is that all?"

"For now," said Syrosk. "The girl will be training on Ziost for the foreseeable future. I just want an entry started in the meantime."

"Very well, my lord," the Imperial replied. "Shall I retrieve her file for review?"

"Don't bother. She doesn't have one."

The Imperial offered an arch of her brow as she peered over toward the young girl, whom offered a warm wave of her hand. "I'm afraid I don't understand…"

"You're not alone," Syrosk rasped. "Nami. Executor Six. Tentative entry. Understood?"

"Of course, my lord," the Imperial replied, tapping away at her datapad. As the woman disappeared back into the bureaucratic fold, the Sith were left to tend to themselves at the chamber's entrance.

"Did you say Ziost?" asked Fay.

"That's right," Syrosk replied. "Logistics has a heavy presence there. Vowrawn is going to pull some strings, get Nami on the fast track through the Academy."

"That's good right?" Nami offered alongside a beaming smile. For once, none of the others reciprocated, not even Fay.

"In a Sith Academy, an instructor's mission is to teach and prepare acolytes for the trials to come. An Overseer's mission is to give said trials and whittle a group of acolytes down to one capable apprentice," Syrosk explained. "The process of moving between training, evaluation, and apprenticeship can takes months. In reducing that timeframe, you'll be forced to face even greater dangers than usual."

"You're handing her off directly to an Overseer, aren't you?" asked Graves.

"That is the intention, yes," Syrosk replied.

"But Overseers only evaluate acolytes for interested Lords," Fay stated. "Does that mean…?"

"Yes. If she succeeds, she'll become my apprentice. Just to give her a formal position before becoming an Executor."

Fay placed a warm hand on the young Jedi's shoulder. "Hear that? Already moving up in society."

Asher scratched his chin, wrappings still stained with red. "But wait, if she fails, doesn't that mean you're stuck with whoever beats her as an apprentice?"

"She won't fail, right Nami?" Fay asked.

"Right!" Nami replied, matching the tall woman's confidence.

"Do not speak with such certainty," Syrosk rasped. "The Academy is dangerous to all who step within its boundaries. Your trials will be especially great. If you are to succeed, you must prepare."

"Prepare how?" asked Nami.

"It will take at least a week before you're entered into the system. Your training will not begin until then, so prior to your induction, you will receive training," Syrosk declared.

"You're going to train her... to prepare her for more training?" Asher snarked.

"Not I. Vowrawn is not the only one with friends on Ziost," Syrosk muttered.

"Maybe I can help too," Fay offered. "I trained there, and I'd be more than happy to lend a hand if she needs it."

"No. You're needed here. As am I," Syrosk declared. "I'll escort her to Ziost. From there, she controls her own fate. If she desires a place amongst the Sith, she must walk the Sith path." The horned alien cast his heavy stare toward the young Jedi. "If there's anything you'd like to say, now's the time to say it. You won't be seeing each other again for some time."

The young girl looked to the trio of Sith, and the woman who had granted her this new life. Her lips began to curl into a gentle smile. "Goodbye, Fay."

"This isn't a goodbye," Fay warmly stated. "We'll see each other again. I know it."

The girl offered an appreciative nod before finding the Sith Lord's hand shooing her toward the chamber's entrance. The girl offered one final wave of her hand, which Fay and Graves reciprocated, before disappearing alongside Syrosk into the halls of the Citadel.

Standing shoulder to shoulder, the three Sith were left alone, backs to the persistent movements of the uniformed Imperials behind them. Taking a deep breath, the tall woman released it a moment later, turning toward the scarred man at her side.

"Thanks for going along with this," said Fay. "It was kind of selfish to spring this on you and Asher."

"Saw no reason to object," Graves admitted. "She seemed nice. Though given recent revelations, are you sure she won't be dangerous?"

"A dangerous Sith? What would that be like?" Asher snarked.

"It'll be fine. She's strong. She'll adapt," Fay firmly stated. "She just needs a home. And a purpose."

"Understandable," Graves stoically offered.

Turning his head, the scarred man had expected to see his two fellows beside him, but was surprised to see only one. The burned Sith had already stepped away, but not toward the chamber's exit.

"Oy, miss!" Asher called out, waving his hand across the small sea of attendants and monitors. The woman from before, the young officer carrying a datapad, noticed the call and quickly made her way across the room.

"Yes, my lord, can I help you?" the Imperial patiently asked.

"Yeah, we need to, uh, requisition some improvements for our ship," said Asher. "You're the person to talk to about that, right?"

"Uh, I suppose so," the Imperial admitted, "but I'd need to hear from Executor Zero first-"

"Well, this is coming straight from Darth Vowrawn," Asher declared.

"Darth Vowrawn?" The Imperial perked up at the mere mention of the name. Her stance went rigid, straining in its attempt to be as upright as possible.

"That's right," Asher stated. "The big guy says we need to maintain a certain level of operational efficiency, and to keep up with our duties, we need to make some renovations to the Fury."

"Renovations? Like what?" the Imperial asked, datapad at the ready.

"Oh, you know..." Asher coyly began, "a more evenly distributed living quarters, onboard refreshers and showers, padded seats in the cockpit…"

As the burned Sith spoke, the Imperial dutifully jotted down notes on her tablet.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

kneedan's Avatar


kneedan
03.08.2014 , 08:11 AM | #20
Just found this thread and have read it all in one sitting :-)

Really good story and characters, especially the idea of not all sith being 'sithlike'. Can't wait to see what happens in the future!