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No Lords, No Masters


Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.18.2014 , 01:12 AM | #1
No Lords, No Masters
This story can also be read on Fanfiction.net
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Prologue

Holocrons. Immense repositories of the past, sealed away in the most insignificant of packages. Prisms of arcane knowledge. Sith secrets lay hidden within these crimson pyramids, unassuming to the untrained eye. But those who have dealt in the artifact trade, delved into lands forgotten, walked amongst the shadows, they knew the truth… that there was a hefty sum of credits to be made off of them.

Grasping the sharp, mystical object within the palm of his hand, a solitary figure looked upon the fist-sized pyramid with a glint in his eyes. The man was not the object's creator, nor its proper bearer. The Human could not even access its dark bounty if he tried, for the device would never release its secrets to someone so mundane. But he nonetheless gazed upon its edges, its facets, its scripts of olden words. The crimson holocron glowed bright, brighter than all that surrounded it. Though that spoke more of its dingy surroundings than its own splendor.

The figure and the surrounding room were of the same kind. Rough. Disheveled. Drably colored. Every facet of the chamber was unadorned and without decoration. In fact, the only furnishing the cramped room possessed was a single chair situated behind a single desk, at which the lone Human sat. Leaning back in his chair, feet propped upon the metallic surface before him, the man was content to gaze upon the dark magnificence he held between his fingers. The sole object that looked like it didn't belong.

The rough figure was garbed in layer upon layer of heavy clothing. Thick trousers and a jacket lined with countless pockets and pouches gave him the appearance of a hardy spacer. A bit of an oddity, considering the terrestrial nature of the office he seemed so comfortable in.

Windowless, the room's single source of light was the dim fixture that hung from the ceiling above. Not that it mattered. The man would be content to stare at his prize amidst total darkness. He appeared consumed with calm rapture, a serenity overpowering his otherwise coarse visage. Serenity that would soon come crashing down.

A loud quake shook the room, accompanied by the thundering boom off in the distance. The surprise was enough to send the man tumbling backward in his chair, crashing into the ground. Scrambling upon the cold, hard surface, the man made sure his grip on the holocron was secure before hurriedly panning his gaze. A few moments later, another bang rang out, sending him crawling to his desk. Opening one of the many drawers, the figure dug around with his free hand, eventually returning with a blaster pistol. With one hand wrapped around the holocron, and the other secured around the weapon's grip, the man quickly raised himself and stormed out of his office.

The hall outside the chamber resembled its predecessor. Dull and utilitarian, not a single sign of excess. The lone figure scurried down the hall, almost tripping over his own feet. With nowhere to go but straight, the man's destination had already been chosen for him.

Storming through the door ahead, the figure stumbled into a room of actual purpose. Terminals and computers lined the walls, but most important of them was the security desk situated in one of the corners. A vast array of videoscreens lined the walls above the station, nearly touching the ceiling. Each panel depicted the feed of one of many cameras situated throughout the mundane facility.

A lone Twi'lek tended the station, dressed in similar garb as the other man. Upon hearing the Human stomp his way in, the seated man quickly spun around in his chair, a look of dread upon his scrawny green face.

"We got trouble, boss!" the Twi'lek shrilly called out, headtails quivering.

The Human rushed toward his underling. With a snarl upon his face, the boss pressed the back of his hand against the Twi'lek's shoulder, practically shoving his face back into the monitors.

"I want to know what's going on, now!" the Human barked.

"We're under attack! Look!" the Twi'lek directed, pointing a finger toward one of the many screens in front of them.

The pair watched as the fuzzy image of the wall-bound camera sent its information to the station. A number of men moved into view, blasters in the hands of each, thick mercenary garb covering their hides. They came to a stop, only to release a volley of bolts toward some unseen target just out of view. As the boss narrowed his gaze, trying to discern some detail from the screen, a vaguely humanoid blur moved into view, quickly blowing past the armed guards before disappearing again. The pair looked on dumfounded when suddenly, a second stranger moved into view. Lacking the other's blinding speed, this one moved with a calm gait. However, just before the full silhouette could be revealed, the feed cut out as if the camera had been destroyed.

"What the hell was that?" the boss muttered through gritted teeth.

"I don't know sir… but look, we've already done dark on five screens," the Twi'lek stated. "They're knocking us down left and right."

"What do they want?" the Human asked, scratching the scruff of his chin.

"What do… oh… oh no. They want that…" the Twi'lek said, almost with a whimper. The boss saw his underling staring at the item in his hand with wide, almost watering eyes. The Human's knuckles went white as he tightened his grip around the holocron, its corners digging into his calloused flesh.

The boss passed his gaze from viewscreen to viewscreen. The blur would appear on one, knocking the posted guards aside like ragdolls, only for the feed to cut out a moment later.

"Stop them. I don't care how you do it, but just do it. Stop them! Right now!" the Human shouted into the Twi'lek's ear.

"But sir, I can't… I don't… what do you want me to do?" the Twi'lek asked, uncertainty dominating his every facet.

"Damnit," the Human offered with a grunt. "Get someone on the comm. Anyone!"

The Twi'lek quickly went to work tapping at the terminal in front of him. A few seconds later, a communications channel had clicked on.

The sounds of errant blaster fire streamed from the terminal, alongside frenzied howls and panicked screams.

"Boss!" a frightened voice called out. "It's the Sith… they… aaaaahg!"

Silence.

"Are you still there? Hey! Answer me!" the Human shouted at the receiver. "What happened?!"

The only response was the subtle click of the comm channel closing.

The Human and Twi'lek shared a stunned look. The silence hung heavy in the chamber as the pair were slowly filled with a creeping dread. But still, the holocron owner refused to yield his enduring grip. Before either could speak, before either could formulate their next thought, a loud thud rang out from across the room.

Quickly looking to their rear, one of the doors leading to the room now bared an indentation in its center, the once-flat metallic surface now folding slightly inward. The pair almost couldn't process the sight as another loud thud rang out, and the dent pressed inward even further. After the third strike, the sturdy door had been knocked clear of its frame, flying across the chamber before sliding to a sc****** halt.

The room was soon filled with the slow, heavy thuds of boots as the first imposing figure stepped past the breached threshold. The man stood tall, encased below the neck in black armorweave beset by metallic plating. His face, unburdened by garb or protection, was that of a Pureblooded Sith, red-skinned and fierce. Stubby tendrils hung from his cheeks and chin, emulating a fleshy goatee. Dark hair with a slight red tinge was worn just long enough to be slicked back in an unobtrusive manner. In his gauntleted right hand, the warrior gripped a simplistic black hilt.

Entering shortly after, was a far smaller, but just as intimidating figure. As opposed to his well-armed and armored fellow, the Human at his side was covered head to toe in black, form-fitting robes, the hood of which obscured the wearer's face in a veil of mystery. What could be seen, told of a far softer individual than the rugged Pureblood beside him. Fair skinned, free of scars or baggage, the robed figure elicited fear from the determined stare that shined through his obscured visage. Eyes of gold peered from the shadows, settling on the holocron held in the mitts of the cowering spacer.

The hooded man cracked a toothy smile.

"Sith happened."
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Adwynyth's Avatar


Adwynyth
03.18.2014 , 06:01 PM | #2
Yes!!!! Please tell me these two are who I think they are! SQUEE!
Horrendously bad fan fiction: Sith in a Pretty Dress

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.18.2014 , 06:31 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Adwynyth View Post
Yes!!!! Please tell me these two are who I think they are! SQUEE!
That's right! It's Lords Tumul and Ra'kus, everyone's favorite Human/Pureblooded Sith duo!




Wait... that doesn't seem right...
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.18.2014 , 10:48 PM | #4
Chapter One: New Life

One month earlier…

0 ATC

Dromund Kaas. The heart of the Sith Empire, home to dark skies, darker jungles, and the darkest individuals. Rising from cavernous ravines and braving the surrounding flora and fauna, the metropolis of Kaas City stood as a defiant testament of Imperial will. A place of Sith and soldiers, housed amongst towering spires and strongholds. Hidden behind impenetrable walls, every individual was secure in their function and purpose. Every duty had been assigned, with every citizen serving the Empire to the best of their abilities. Every merchant, every curator, every sentient being fit into the cogs of the ever turning machine. Everyone had their superiors. Everyone had their inferiors. Like a magnificent web of duty and responsibility.

Whether a person be the highest of Lords or the lowliest of slaves, there was a place for them. It may not have been a place of their choosing, but it was a place nonetheless. Or rather, that was the intent. For two individuals, this system proved somewhat inadequate.

Housing district. Adjacent to the market district. A short commute from the citadel district.

Within one of the skyscrapers that dotted the gray cityscape, within one of the many homes reserved for those who had proven themselves a worthy member of Imperial society, two men slept side by side.

The bedroom of the apartment was a typical Imperial domicile. Dark and rigid materials made up the majority of walls and furnishings. Where color did exist, it came in the form of countless shades of gray. And red. Lots and lots of red. Within the bedroom, there was little excess decoration. The walls went unadorned and the various bedside tables served their purpose and little else, holding up simple lamps and housing incidental articles of clothing.

The room was simple, but its occupants had little need for excess. In fact, they had everything they could possibly need. Tucked beneath the black, silken sheets of the double-sized bed, the two figures gently slept amongst each other's embrace.

Amidst the cold, there was warmth. Amidst the rigidity, there was softness. Amidst the darkness, there was light. The typical turned atypical by merit of the pair's mere inclusion and existence.

A pair of Sith, Warrior and Inquisitor.

A pair of lovers, Pureblood and Human.

The smaller of the two, the Human lay curled up beneath the soft sheets, his partner's chest pressed against his back. As the Pureblood slumbered, his heavy yet comforting arm lay draped over his companion's shoulder. Together, there was a sense of peace and tranquility, a sense that one would soon purposely disrupt.

Whilst the Imperial city still found itself in the throes of early morning, the Human awoke, carefully opening his golden eyes. Feeling the weight of his companion pressing against his body, he would have been content to stay there the rest of the day. But there were matters that needed tending.

Carefully shifting beneath the covers, the Human moved in tiny increments, taking special care not to wake his partner. With a mixture of dexterity and grace, the Human slinked out from under his companion's arm, gently placing the Pureblood's red hand on his pillow. Lifting himself out of the bed with nary a vibration, the Human turned to see his partner had still not yet awoken.

With a smile upon his lips, the upright man crept toward the unlit room's exit, breathing a sigh of relief as he stepped into the hallways beyond. Clad in nothing but his boxers, the Human carefully navigated the darkened corridors of his home. Though his eyes had not yet adjusted, his trained senses prevented him from stumbling amidst the shadows. Passing a bathroom, a study, and a guest room, he eventually stepped into the main living area.

Fumbling his hand around the wall, the man flipped the light switch, illuminating the room and connected kitchenette. The sudden light stung the still-groggy man's eyes, prompting the release a soft grunt. Urging his almost naked form forward, the man scratched the dark, shoulder-length hair atop his head. The Human stood at an average height, and possessed a lean form sculpted by years of physical conditioning. But most remarkable was the scarring that ran up his right arm. Etched onto his pale flesh were burns and blackened, cracked skin stretching hand to shoulder. A corruption that marred his right side.

As garish as it appeared, the injury seemed little impediment to the man as he entered the kitchen. Running his hands along the clean counter, the Human passed his awakening gaze over each of the well-stocked cabinets around him. Eventually, he wrapped his hand around the handle of the conservator. The metallic box stood as tall as he and held within a bounty of preserved and chilled foodstuffs.

Back in the bedroom, after almost an hour, the Pureblood slowly stirred from his slumber. Reaching out with his hand, the man's piercing red eyes shot open when he realized he was alone. Sitting upright, the red Sith quickly scanned the room, eventually settling on the dim glow that rest around the corner of the hallway beyond. Focusing his mind, the Pureblood could hear a subtle metallic clattering.

Tossing the black sheets off of his legs, the Pureblood quickly rose to his feet in one swift motion. The tall figure moved without an ounce of hesitation or fatigue as he righted himself and moved into the hallway outside the bedroom. With heavy steps, the Sith navigated the tight corridor before finally stepping into the light.

The underwear-clad Sith stood a head taller than his partner, and possessed a much sturdier build. Broad-shouldered with a chiseled musculature, his red-skinned form seemed to confirm the thoughts of superiority the Empire had instilled in the minds of its citizens regarding his species.

"Lorrik?" the Pureblood called out, curious of the scene in front of him. His voice was low and smooth. Powerful, but not dominating. And as soon as it met his partner's ears, the Human quickly spun toward its source baring wide eyes.

"Jresh!" Lorrik blurted out, his tone sharp yet simultaneously soft. "I had hoped you'd still be asleep."

Jresh saw his partner tending a busy kitchen, various pans holding various foods held over an electronic stovetop. As meats cooked and sizzled, the Human bounced his unfaltering attention between his cooking and his partner. All the while shirtless.

"Didn't you get burned the last time you cooked half-naked?" Jresh calmly asked. The stoic of the two, the Pureblood maintained a stalwart demeanor at all times, rarely raising his voice or offering intense displays of emotion. His partner on the other hand, wore his emotions on his sleeve, as sleeveless as he was at the moment.

Lorrik released a quick chuckle as he moved one of the pans off the stove, rubbing his hands together with a budding glee. "It was a learning experience. And I'm stronger because of it."

"There's such a thing as being too Sith," Jresh joked, completely deadpan.

The Human offered another gentle laugh. "Well, since you're up, go ahead and take a seat. Your plate's almost ready."

"Was this supposed to be 'breakfast in bed' thing? Why did you think that would go over any better the second time?" Jresh asked as he slowly moved deeper into the living area, eyes set on the couch sitting against the wall.

"That too was a learning experience," Lorrik admitted. "Honestly though, if you didn't feel the need to immediately leap out of bed the moment something felt off…" The Human trailed off, eventually clearing his throat. "There's such a thing as being too Sith."

The Human mimicked, and exaggerated, his partner's stoic tone.

"Regardless, I prefer to eat un-reclined," Jresh calmly stated as he took a seat.

"But today is a special occasion!" Lorrik said heartily as he plated his partner's breakfast.

"It is?" Jresh replied with a genuine unknowing. "I mean, I know we're meeting with Syrosk later today, but…"

As the Pureblood trailed off, the Human rounded the corner of the waist-high counter separating the kitchen from the living room, multiple plates in hand. With a beaming smile, he set them down on the coffee table in front of his partner.

Jresh looked upon his meal with a budding hunger, suitably impressed with the display. Short stack of flatcakes. Still-simmering meat patties. What could only be described as a pile of eggs.

"I was doing some thinking," Lorrik said as he made his way back toward the kitchen. As Jresh took his first bite of the expertly crafted breakfast, he kept an ear open as his partner continued to shout across the room. "What with me having been a slave of somewhat indeterminate origin, I don't exactly know my birthday. And in what I assume is an effort to obscure your origins, your parent never really told you yours."

The Human returned with another set of plates bearing his similar, but significantly smaller, breakfast. Setting the meal down, Lorrik took a spot beside Jresh on the couch.

"Then I thought, hey, we should celebrate our anniversary instead," Lorrik continued. "Of course, then I realize, do we use the day we met, the day we became apprentices, the day we kissed? All of which occurred when we didn't exactly have access to a calendar. So I decided, this'll be the day. From here on out, our new life begins. So every year, this will be our day of consolidated celebration."

"Well, it's going well so far," Jresh plainly stated as he directed another bite of food into his mouth. "So why does Syrosk want to meet? Is he still trying to get us to join that Logistics thing?"

"No, he says he's given up on that," Lorrik explained. "He also says he just wants to give us a final parting gift."

"The apartment wasn't enough?" Jresh muttered, mouth still full.

"Something to help us with our futures, or so he says."

"Well, he works for Logistics… maybe it's a shuttle pass," Jresh suggested, half-joking.

"That would help," Lorrik said, gently scratching his chin. After a brief moment, the Human perked up and his eyes grew wide. "Oh, that reminds me!"

The Pureblood arched his brow as he paused his intake of meat and eggs. He watched his partner leap up from the couch and rush down the hallway back toward the bedroom. He returned a few moments later carrying a wrapped and decorated box under his arm, neatly bound by a colorful ribbon.

"A day of celebration would not be complete without gifts," Lorrik warmly stated, setting his box on the table beside his meal. The contents inside gave off a subtle rattle as the package hit the surface.

"But I didn't get you anything," Jresh muttered.

"As I recall, you didn't give me anything the first time we were supposed to exchange gifts," Lorrik joked. "I gave you that holocron…"

"You gave me a fake trinket. Which Syrosk ordered me to destroy," Jresh corrected.

"And you, of course, did the Sith thing of not giving me anything, just to prove a point to our new master," Lorrik reminded.

"Which led to you being ordered to strike me with your training saber, just to prove a point to us," Jresh replied.

"Curious how our relationship has changed since then, isn't it?" Lorrik offered with a smirk.

"Regardless, we probably could have handled that better," Jresh calmly said.

"It was, what, a day after we first met?" Lorrik asked. "All things considered, I think things went rather well. What's a few bruises between Sith?"

The Pureblood offered a soft nod of his head. Setting his eating utensil beside his plate, Jresh reached out to grab the wrapped gift, only for his partner to snatch it away.

"Whoa, not now," Lorrik playfully chastised. "I reserved us dinner at that restaurant. You know, the one by the southeast munitions depot."

"I thought you'd want to cook for our special day," Jresh admitted.

"I already did, didn't I?" Lorrik warmly offered. "Besides, I booked us for three in case Syrosk wanted to join."

"You didn't ask him already?" Jresh asked.

"I figured he might be more inclined to accept if I spring it on him," Lorrik admitted.

"Have you noticed you've a habit of manipulating our former master?" Jresh plainly asked.

"It's not manipulating," Lorrik balked, setting the gift down so that he may cross his arms. Jresh offered the brief tilt of his head before resuming his meal. Scrunching his face, the Human narrowed his gaze as he stared at the hunched Pureblood. The silence filled the room, before being broken by Jresh's low, constrained chuckle.

A smile crept along Lorrik's lips. Taking a seat beside his partner, the Human offered the Pureblood a quick peck on the cheek. Side by side, the pair continued to eat their breakfast together. Turning in his seat, the Human began rooting around the nearby cushions before returning with a small remote in his hand. With the quick press of a button, the videoscreen situated on the opposite wall lit up.

Soon, the image of two impeccably dressed newspeople seated behind a desk graced the screen.

"…however the most up to date reports detail a surging increase in certain sectors of domestic production. Recently nationalized companies have shown a marked increase since the war's end, including textiles manufacturer…"
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Adwynyth's Avatar


Adwynyth
03.19.2014 , 02:24 PM | #5
Knew it!

I resubmit my SQUEE as a confirmation.
Horrendously bad fan fiction: Sith in a Pretty Dress

Kronosam's Avatar


Kronosam
03.21.2014 , 10:03 AM | #6
Yay, mah favourite 2 siths are back! good work, this is absolutely awesome!!!
Marauders can use double bladed lightsabers
Te end

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.23.2014 , 11:54 PM | #7
Chapter Two: Old Friend

The duo finished their breakfasts with nary a scrap left on their plates. With that, they were ready to begin the day, as nourishment always came first for a Sith. The pair cleaned themselves. The pair dressed themselves. The pair prepared for the journey ahead. With the thought of a pleasant reunion with their former master in their minds, the Human and Pureblood garbed themselves in simplistic black robes, rather than their typical working attire. Not yet achieving a position laden with chronic backstabbings, neither felt the need armor themselves for trips within the capital.

With almost everything in order, the duo made their way into the home's study. The quaint chamber matched its predecessors, with minimal decorations and furnishings amidst somewhat cramped spaces. Two desks lined the far wall. To the left and right of the entrance were physical and electronic cases intended to hold whatever prizes and bounties the Sith could procure, though they were remarkably bare at the moment. The cabinet possessed mostly empty shelves behind reinforced glass. The terminal of holorecordings and datacards was far from capacity. But directly ahead of the entrants, situated between the two desks, there was something worth gazing upon.

A mannequin stood upon a sturdy base across from whomever stepped through the door. The standard humanoid frame went mostly unadorned, but what it did wear was more than mere articles of clothing.

Its featureless head featured an equally featureless mask, a black plate designed to cover the entirety of its wearer's face. Surrounding the smooth plate was a shawl of dark cloth situated around it, giving the appearance of a hood.

Beneath, an amulet hung around the mannequin's neck. A deep red gemstone encased in gold that hung from a matching chain. The crimson jewel seemed to glow and darken, as if pulsing like a beating heart.

Encasing the inanimate figure's hands were a pair of heavy gauntlets. Composed of thick, black metals, the armored gloves were the garb of a warrior, and yet much more. Their design alone could not explain the otherworldly darkness that seemed to cover every facet of the gauntlets. In actuality, their form and function were the result of Sith Alchemy, baking the dark side of the Force into their very composition.

And so the mannequin stood, masked and gloved, with a gemmed necklace hanging around its neck, proof of the pair's past procurements. The Sith shot it a quick look, but paid it no additional thoughts as they stepped into the study, directing themselves toward their respective desks. Each opening a drawer of their respective fixture, the Human and Pureblood placed a hand in the shallow containers and each returned with a lightsaber.

Within the Pureblood's grasp, an almost featureless black hilt. The metallic cylinder lacked the usual knobs and switches of a typical lightsaber, its controls hidden amongst the weapon's inner workings. In order to even activate the lightsaber, its wielder required precise knowledge and the ability to use the Force.

Within the Human's grasp, a more standardized silver hilt. The weapon possessed the typical designs and workings of a mass-produced lightsaber, ones the Sith outfitted their fodder with for the war. No personalization. No frills. No sense of attachment in its wielder. A replacement.

With their weapons in hand, the Sith clipped them to their belts where they would dangle, plainly visible and ready to remind all who gazed upon them of their owners' stations.

"You know, once we've started procuring more artifacts, we should really think about investing in more… secure forms of storage," Jresh calmly suggested. "This place is not exactly a stronghold."

"If someone wants to steal from us, they'll find a way to steal from us, regardless of whatever vaults or safes we possess," Lorrik replied. "Better to do what we can to reduce that desire in the first place, rather than wasting resources on protection."

The Pureblood released a restrained chuckle. "If you've figured out a way to dissuade Sith from being greedy, I'd love to hear it."

"Well, we just have to let people know that we're a pair of agreeable fellows that it would be unwise to cross," Lorrik said. "Cultivate an image of Sith people would rather work with instead of against."

"Consider how some Sith are willing to go against even Dark Councilors, somehow I have the feeling that goal might be beyond our reach," Jresh declared.

"It's not the first time we've given ourselves impossible goals," Lorrik joked.

"I suppose it isn't," Jresh conceded, a confident curl upon his lips.

The two Sith stepped out of the study, following the hall back to the living area of the apartment.

"Well, aside from meeting Syrosk, we've most of the day to ourselves," Lorrik mused, gently scratching his chin.

"Where are we meeting Syrosk?" Jresh wondered.

"Starport."

"Maybe he's planning to give us shuttle passes after all," Jresh commented, gently stroking one of his cheek tendrils. "Wait, don't tell me it's the one on the edge of the city."

"No, the Logistics one near the market district," Lorrik explained.

The Pureblood offered the soft arch of his brow. "I thought all starports were 'Logistics ones'."

'Fair point," Lorrik conceded. "This one's primarily for shipping, not much public transit. I guess it's where they got Syrosk moving in and out of."

"Well, I suppose if we're going to be near the market district, we could go shopping after our meeting," Jresh suggested. "That way, I can get you a present."

A smile crept across the Human's lips. "Sounds like a plan."

As the pair stepped toward the door, Lorrik made a quick sidestep to scoop up the gift resting on the nearby coffee table.

"Are you going to carry that around with you the whole day?" Jresh wondered alongside another arch of his brow.

"Well, if we're not coming back here, I might as well," Lorrik said as he held the box under his right limb. "Besides, if I tuck it under my bad arm I barely even know it's there."

"And you won't let me open it until dinner, correct?" Jresh asked.

"Yep," Lorrik quickly answered, preserving his beaming smile.

Together, the two Sith left their domicile, stepping out into the hallway of the apartment complex. Numerous doors lay at set intervals, featureless but for a series of numerals and adjacent control panels. Gray rigidity was the norm up and down the narrow corridor, the only light coming from the electronic strips lining the ceiling.

Punching a quick command into the panel beside their own door, the Sith locked their home and set out. Rounding a corner, the pair awaited the lift that would take them to the ground floor. After a minute of standing around in silence, the doors parted and the pair stepped into the cramped box, joined by another of the building's occupants.

The two Sith wedged themselves into a corner, standing shoulder to shoulder as they patiently waited for the lift to take them down. Meanwhile, the lone Imperial beside them kept his lulled gaze perpetually forward. The Human wore a uniform lacking any designation of rank or station, but matched the typical conformist set of gray clothes most Kaas citizens wore.

Almost unaware of the Sith, the Imperial's gaze began to wander, until out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glint of light reflecting off a lightsaber. Turning his head, the uniformed figure finally saw the pair of robed individuals, one of whom bared red skin of the pureblooded.

Quickly averting his gaze, the Imperial constricted his stance, tucking himself into the opposite corner of the lift as his eyes fell to the floor. His breathing slowed as he struggled to remain completely silent. But in his attempt, he hadn't realized that he eventually stopped breathing altogether.

As the lift continued its descent, the Sith couldn't help but notice the third occupant succumb to a short coughing fit.

"You alright?" Lorrik asked, shooting the Imperial a quick glance.

"I… I'm sorry… don't mind me, my lord," said the Imperial with an overbearing level of respect.

"You needn't worry so much," Lorrik warmly offered. "Not with us, at least. I mean, I don't know what kind of Sith you have to deal with on a daily basis…"

A sharp ding rang out as the lift came to a stop and the doors parted. Not finishing his thought, Lorrik reaffirmed his grip on the box under his right arm before stepping out of the elevator. Receiving a quick wave from the departing Sith, the Imperial stood dumbfounded as the Human and Pureblood went about their business.

Stepping into the streets of Kaas city, Lorrik and Jresh found themselves under dark skies and towering spires. Rigid paths stretched out with meticulous design, a strict order present in all things. Amidst the standard occupants, armed and armored soldiers protected the streets alongside patrolling battle droids.

Walking the militaristic streets, the Sith made their way downtown without fear of random checks or scrutiny, the weapons at their waist the only identification they needed out in the open. Stopping at a nearby transit station, the pair boarded a two-person air speeder that would ferry them to their destination.

The journey was made in relative silence, the duo content with each other's presence as they soared through the constricted skyline of Kaas City. Nothing more than light banter arose, aside from the occasional probe by Jresh as to the content of Lorrik's gift. The Human proved unwavering in his secrets.

Exiting the speeder, the Sith found themselves in front of a grandiose structure, wider than it was tall. A starport, from which a number of Imperial freighters arrived and departed with expert synchronicity. The cargo ships would appear and disappear amidst the eternally dark and crackling sky, plotting a course through the dangerously charged atmosphere.

"This is the place," said Lorrik, setting his sight on the grand entryway flanked by two equally grand battle droids.

As the Sith approached, they could feel the electronic gazes of the monolithic sentinels fall upon them. The metallic beings stood upon three hefty struts for legs, and their arms were little more than cannons with additional points of articulation. The droids' heads resembled mere boxes sitting atop their broad frames, surveying the nearby comings and goings through monocular eyes.

Nearing the open entrance, the Sith were greeted with the dull thuds of the one of the guard droids clanking toward them. Slowly bridging the gap, the metallic sentinel stood twice as tall as the considerably sizable Pureblood.

"State your designation and purpose," the droid demanded, its voice as guttural as it was monotonous.

"Lorrik Velash and Jresh Takuul, Sith. We're supposed to be meeting someone here."

The droid paused as it processed the information. A red light shined from the droid's singular eye, passing over the Human and ending on the box beneath his arm.

"All containers must be processed and cleared prior to transit," the droid barked.

"We're not actually going anywhere, we're just-"

"All containers must be processed and cleared prior to transit," the droid repeated.

The Human buried his head in the palm of his free hand. "There is no transit here. We're supposed to meet with-"

"By Production and Logistics Measure Number Five Nine Nine Nine Dash Two, unprocessed containers are subject to search and seizure. Please hand over the container."

"One, you can't even hold the thing," Lorrik combatted. "And two, no way. I'm with the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge, I think I'm allow to carry around a freakin' box!"

"Lorrik, please do not test the droid," Jresh calmly advised.

"I'm not letting it have your present," Lorrik declared, staring down the towering battle droid.

The machine raised its arms as a faint glow began to emanate from the attached cannon barrels. "If you refuse to comply with Production and Logistics Measure Number Five Nine-"

"When I invited you here, I was under the impression I would not have to worry about you accosting security," a low, raspy voice called out.

Looking past the droid, Lorrik saw a lone figure step from the starport's entrance, wearing the darkness like a second skin.

"Syrosk!" Lorrik warmly shot back.

The figure continued his approach with an uneven gait, obviously favoring one of his legs. Stepping into the relative light of the building's exterior, the Sith's former master revealed himself. Below the neck, numerous layers of heavy black robes enwrapped his powerful frame. Despite his sluggishness and age, the elder Sith still possessed a striking appearance, achieved in part by his visage. Syrosk was of neither of the Empire's favor peoples, being of obviously alien heritage. Sprouting from his cranium were two curved horns that traveled down, almost meeting in front of his chest. His right horn however was shorter and flatter, its tip having been severed in battle.

His rough, leathery orange skin was grizzled and wrinkled, wrought with hardship and possessing an almost permanent scowl.

Rather than reciprocating his former student's greeting, the alien focused his attention on the nearby battle droid.

"Let them pass," Syrosk demanded, not raising his voice yet firmly in command. "Executive Override X-Zero."

The droid lowered its arms. "Processing… processing… voice command recognized. Carry on, Executor."

Lorrik watched the battle droid back down, clanking its way back to its original position without another word. Turning toward the starport's entrance, Syrosk offered the wave of his hand, beckoning the two Sith to follow. They complied, quickly catching up with the sluggish alien.
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Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.25.2014 , 07:32 PM | #8
Chapter Three: New Ship

The three Sith walked through the starport together, Syrosk setting the pace. The aged alien trudged forth, arms folded behind his back, his former apprentices at his flanks.

As the trio progressed, they passed through a series of tight corridors before being deposited in one of many grand chambers. Whilst the typical Imperial decorations dotted the building, more prevalent were the countless screens and terminals displaying a litany of information on the comings and goings of cargo ships and freighters.

From this monitoring station, countless branching paths and hallways led to the various hangars and bays overseen by impeccably operating officers. None other than the newly arrive trio possessed knowledge of the Force. It was the domain of efficient bureaucracy rather than Sith machinations.

"I must say, kind of a nice setup you've got here," Lorrik commented.

"I don't work here," Syrosk bluntly stated, continuing his trek deeper into the starport. "My office is back at the Citadel. And it is much… much smaller."

"Oh," Lorrik muttered as Syrosk led them away from the monitoring station. Journeying down one of the nondescript corridors, only someone with in-depth knowledge of the various markings labels on the walls would have any idea where they were going. "Still, it has to be better than the Academy, right?"

"Just about anything is better than the Academy," Syrosk rasped.

"Won't get any arguments from me," Lorrik plainly stated. "So, how are things?"

"Logistics work is proving somewhat different from what I expected," Syrosk admitted. "When Vowrawn put me in charge of his new organization, I thought it would be behind the scenes, and yet now I find a full team of bureaucrats looking up to me. Respecting me."

"You say that like it's a bad thing," Lorrik teased.

"After spending enough decades being hated, positivity become somewhat unsettling," Syrosk rasped.

"I take it we unsettled you quite a bit then?" Lorrik offered with a smile.

"Just you," Syrosk bluntly stated, rounding a corner and coming to a stop in front of a lift. "This will take us where we need to go."

The trio stepped onto the cargo elevator, which had more than enough space to accommodate them and then some. As the alien manipulated the controls, the Sith soon found themselves descending into the bowels of the starport.

"So, how's the new leg?" Lorrik warmly asked.

"Serviceable," Syrosk plainly answered, tapping his right foot on the cold floor. A low metallic thud rang out. "How's your arm?"

"Weird," Lorrik curiously answered, shifting the weight of the box under his right arm. Looking to its hand, the skin was pale and cracked, an odd blackness filling the scars rather than anything resembling a tone of flesh. "The scarring doesn't seem to be going away. The whole thing's numb and yet I can still fully control it. Meanwhile, Jresh has made a complete recovery since Coruscant."

"My foot gets a bit itchy at times," Jresh joked, completely deadpan.

"Well, aren't you the lucky one," Syrosk rasped.

"There's no such thing as luck," Jresh declared. "You taught us that."

"And there's no such thing as fate," Syrosk replied. "You taught me that."

"Everything happens for a reason, except for when it doesn't," Lorrik joked.

"I've heard worse codes to live by," Syrosk rasped. The lift came to an abrupt stop. "We're here."

"Where are we going, exactly?" Lorrik wondered.

"It's a starport, Lorrik," Syrosk chided. "Where do you think we're going?"

The alien stepped off the lift, not bothering to check if his former students were keeping up. The Human and Pureblood shared a brief look before following.

"I'm going to guess… a hangar?" Lorrik supposed.

"Very astute," Syrosk sarcastically rasped.

"Let me guess, you're giving us another ship, to replace the one we lost on Coruscant," Lorrik suggested.

"Also astute," Syrosk declared, less sarcastic this time. "A pair of artifact hunters aren't very effective if they're beholden to public transit. I doubt you'll find Logistics willing to ferry you wherever you wish to go."

"Aw, but you meet such lovely people on the public shuttles," Lorrik joked. "Still, using them doesn't exactly seem fitting for a Sith."

"Because you're such a paragon of Sith tradition," Syrosk sardonically rasped.

Lorrik cracked a smile. "Oh, how I've missed your charm, Syrosk."

The group came to a stop before a large hangar door. The small, humanoid droids that guarded the area seemed utterly unfazed by the alien Sith's presence. He was free to step forward unburdened by security or protocol as he interacted with the nearby control panel.

"So," Lorrik began, staring up at the sizable barrier before him, "I take it this'll be the same shuttle you gave us before?"

As Syrosk put in the final command, the grand doors parted, granting the Sith sight into the equally grand hangar. Within, there sat only a single vessel.

"Not exactly," Syrosk muttered.

The alien removed himself from the control panel and stepped into the open hangar, his former students eagerly following. Larger than any personal shuttle, the Human and Pureblood slowly took in the magnificent starship that stood before them.

The vessel rested its impressive chassis upon three heavy struts, adequately lifting its frame more than a dozen meters into the air. Dozens more meters worth of dark metals stretched out in every direction, formed and shaped into an ordered menace of a thing.

The Fury was dominating by black and gray designs worn in a sharp, prismatic form. Flat, yet tall, it's interior was composed of neatly organized rooms and chambers equivalent in height to a standard home. The frame itself stretched wider and longer than the entirety of Sith's apartment. It was a capable thing, more than a base given flight. Heavy armament lay attached to its two winged prongs, heavy cannons on their exterior, missile canisters hidden within their interior. A military craft, yet a popular choice amongst Sith of all designations and specialties.

The trio of Sith slowly approached the vessel, Syrosk because of his sluggish gait, the other two because of their bubbling awe.

"They gave you a Fury?" Lorrik wondered in disbelief, trying to keep his mouth from hanging agape.

"A couple actually," Syrosk plainly replied, almost bored with his answer. "It was one of the requests I made to Vowrawn before I agreed to work with him. I wanted to make sure-"

Cutting off the elder Sith was the feeling of an arm wrapping around him. Turning his head, Syrosk saw the Human pressing against him, reaching his free hand around his back and squeezing tight.

"What are you doing?" Syrosk rasped, offering the arch of his brow.

"Giving you a hug," Lorrik bluntly answered.

"Well stop it," Syrosk commanded, somewhat perturbed.

The Human released his singular grip, backing off to stand at his partner's side. Looking to the Pureblood, Lorrik saw a glint in Jresh's eyes. The Human's own gaze began to wander, slowly lowering until they settled on the box resting under his arm. As he looked at the neatly decorated gift, the enthusiasm slowly drained from his visage.

"Crap…" Lorrik mumbled beneath his breath.

"You say something, Lorrik?" asked Jresh, tearing his attention away from the ship.

The Human immediately perked up, offering a forced chuckle. "Oh, no, just a cough or something."

"This should be the last thing you need to get started with your endeavors," Syrosk declared. "I've had some… alterations made to your record with Logistics. While Intelligence still has your full profiles, your pasts should no longer be a major concern. However, know that Sith do not quickly forget. People outside of our affairs knew of your placement in the Academy. Knew of your true statuses. Your future is in your hands, but know that you can never erase your past."

"Thank you, Syrosk," Lorrik warmly offered. "Truly."

"It's the least I could do after what I put you through these last couple of years," Syrosk confessed. "Besides, I believe you two can still do some good for the Empire and the Sith, even if you refused my offer to join the Executors."

"You have your path, we have ours," Lorrik said with a smile. "Besides, we didn't exactly want to rush back into the world of Lords and masters telling us what to do."

"But isn't that exactly what you plan to do?" Syrosk asked. "Be free-agents working for Sith Lords too lazy to do their own dirty work?"

"I suppose, but at least this way we hold control over our lives," Lorrik explained.

"I wish you the best," Syrosk began, somewhat soft in his tone, "but we both know that no matter your place in this society, someone will always be trying to control you."

"I know. But I think we're better equip to handle that now, wouldn't you say?" Lorrik warmly offered. "I mean, we took down a Darth. That's something people will remember."

"They'll also remember that you had a hand in earning almost a hundred aliens and slaves a place amongst the Sith," Syrosk declared. "Remember, every action has consequences, and no change comes without protest."

"Thank you, Syrosk," Lorrik offered with a respectful dip of his head. "For everything. I know I like to say you weren't the best master… but let's face it, you were the best we could have asked for."

"Thank you, Lorrik," Syrosk replied, maintaining his stoicism. "Hopefully, you two get the chance to accomplish what you set out to do. I'd want nothing more to see the Sith changed for the better."

Lorrik offered a firm nod. "Same here. I'd say good luck with whatever Darth Vowrawn has you doing with Logistics, but I'm pretty sure you don't need it."

"I wouldn't be so sure," Syrosk said, dipping his head. "I'm to meet three Sith Vowrawn wants me to look after later today. Somehow I doubt they'll be the students you and the others were."

"I'm sure you'll figure something out. You always do," Lorrik confided. There was a pause as the Human's enthusiasm momentarily faltered. "Wait… later today? So, you're going to be busy then?"

"Yes," Syrosk replied. "This was brief reprieve from my usual duties. I should be returning to the Citadel shortly. And once I've got these new Sith to oversee, I doubt I'll have much free time at all."

"That's a shame, I was planning on inviting you to dinner," Lorrik admitted alongside an almost embarrassed chuckle.

The alien placed a hand on the Human's shoulder. "Goodbye Lorrik. I'm sure our paths will cross again. You'll find everything you need aboard your ship." Removing his hand, the elder Sith looked to the nearby Pureblood. "Be sure to keep him out of trouble, Jresh. You'll be dealing with Sith far worse than myself or Tash from here on out."

Jresh tore his gaze away from the ship to offer his former master a confident nod. With that, Syrosk's business there was concluded and he slinked away with his usual trudge. The pair of stilled Sith offered the gentle wave of their hands goodbye.

"New life, new ship," Jresh commented. "I guess we're finally ready."

"I guess we are," Lorrik enthusiastically stated.

"A shame he wasn't able to join us for dinner," Jresh calmly said.

Lorrik released a defeated, but warm sigh. "Yeah."

"So, does that mean I still don't get to open my present until then?" Jresh wondered.

A shiver ran up and down the Human's spine as he tensed up. Tightly holding the wrapped box under his arm, Lorrik fell silent as he struggled to formulate his next thought. All that came in the following moments were mere stutters and noises.

"Well… uh, you know what? Let's just forget it. It was stupid anyway," Lorrik deflected as he turned on his heels, placing his body between Jresh and the container.

The Pureblood offered the curious arch of his brow. "Is something wrong?"

"No! No. Nothing's wrong, it's just, uh, well, do we really need to get each other gifts?" Lorrik stammered. "I mean, like you said, you didn't get me anything. It wouldn't be fair to me or you. Why don't we just forget about the whole thing?"

"A few minutes ago you were willing to defend the thing from a battle droid thrice your size," Jresh commented.

"I know, weird right?" Lorrik offered with a bout of forced laughter.

"Let me see it," Jresh directed, holding out his hand.

"No, that's okay. There isn't actually anything in here, it's just, hey-"

The Pureblood moved from his stilled stance, reaching out and around his partner, trying to grab the box on the other side of him. The Human resisted, tucking the gift away, trying to reposition himself to keep his distance. The pair of Sith darted around the immediate area, one on the attack, one on the defense. Jresh would reach out and grab with his powerful arms, incapable of getting a grip on his partner. Lorrik would duck and weave, protecting the container beneath his arm under continued protests.

Finally, as the Human spun too fast his grip loosened and he fumbled to keep control of the decorated box. Seizing the opportunity, the Pureblood reached out and grabbed ahold of the gift with the Force, tugging it away with a sweep on his arms. As Lorrik leapt toward it, Jresh lifted it higher and higher into the air, just beyond the Human's physical reach.

"No, please, don't," Lorrik pleaded. "It's embarrassing."

"Since when have you cared about doing anything embarrassing?" Jresh wondered, a slight teasing to his otherwise stoic voice.

"Since it involves you," Lorrik declared. "Now come on, just forget about it."

Still manipulating the gift with the Force, the Pureblood flayed the exterior wrappings, sending shreds of paper raining down onto the hangar floor. Fully uncovered, Jresh lowered the box until it rest in his hands. Lorrik finally settled down, but he still kept his gaze focused on the floor, his face scrunched in preparation.

Examining the box in his hands, the Pureblood was surprised to see a picture of the very same ship that sat beside them, along with the words 'Fury-class Interceptor', 'Model Kit', and "For Ages 10 and Up'.

"I dunno," Lorrik muttered. "I thought that since the only thing you've been interested in was astrogation and starships and the fact that you're patient and don't have any hobbies and you're so hard to shop for because you don't really go out much or like things the way I do which isn't a bad thing in fact it's one of the things I love about you but I still wanted to get you something even if I didn't know what for our special day but now Syrosk went and gave us a freakin' ship himself so it makes the whole thing look stupid and childish and we don't-"

Cutting off the Human's run-on mutterings was the presence of a hand pressing against his back. A moment later, Lorrik was pulled closer, until his head was in contact with his partner's chest. Locked in the Pureblood's one-armed embrace, the Human raised his gaze to see a smile awaiting.

"I think it's a wonderful gift," Jresh whispered. Lorrik's lips began to curl as he wrapped his arms around his partner's waist.

There the two would stand, frozen in each other's warmth, ignoring the various droids and officers that maintained the hangar.
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Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
03.30.2014 , 12:38 PM | #9
*edited for restructuring purposes*
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AKHadeed's Avatar


AKHadeed
04.09.2014 , 08:52 PM | #10
I love how much detail you put into your descriptions. Right now, I'm bouncing around catching up.