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Author Topic: Tales From the Dark Side  (Read 2127 times)

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Offline Darshendros

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Trials of the Apprentice, Part II
« Reply #30 on: 12/31/17, 07:28:52 PM »
4 months ago

A cloaked Fury-class interceptor prowled around the Alderaan system. Piloting this ship was a HK-51 assassin droid. Darth Malephice was in the cargo hold, standing over a cryogenic pod that held a body in stasis. In his hand, he held before him a lightsaber with a bladed hilt and basked in the crimson glow of its blade. He swung the lightsaber, testing its weight. Perfect balance. He looked down at the cryo pod. His reflection stared back at him - the face of the acolyte he brought with him when they left Taerh. He looked at the face behind the reflection, sleeping peacefully inside the pod - the face of a Sith Pureblood. His face.

"Soon," he said and deactivated his lightsaber.

Mordatia sat on the floor in her quarters, surrounded by an assortment of junk and scrap metal, pieces to things that she felt she needed to collect along with a few extra things Malephice told her to find. Maybe they had a look or shape that appealed to her, but she was never really sure why or what use she'd have for any of them until Malephice began training her. He stood in the doorway to her quarters, watching her.

"The construction of your first lightsaber is a ceremony that marks the completion of your initiate training. You are not a proper Sith without a lightsaber. The Force is a weapon and I have shown you how to wield it. Focus on the pieces you have gathered around you. Feel them through the Force, how they fit together, and through the Force, construct a weapon worthy of its power."

"Yes, master." Mordatia closed her eyes and visualized the ring of scrap around her in her mind. She had been studying lightsaber designs since they left her homeworld, so she had a rough idea of how they were constructed. She memorized all of the pieces she had, but it was not enough to know what they looked like. She couldn't figure out how they would fit together, if they could at all. Malephice sensed her straining.

"Feel them through the Force," he repeated.

Mordatia concentrated, trying to follow her master's instruction. She expanded her senses to feel the Force around her, through the pieces surrounding her, prodding them with her thoughts. She picked the pieces where the Force felt faintly stronger, lifting them into the air. Her eyes remained closed, but she could see them in her thoughts. She knew this game. Wastelanders regularly made new things out of old junk. It was like an art form. As the pieces turned and rotated in the air around her, they began to gravitate toward one another, until all of the pieces floated in the air before her. One by one, they began to assemble themselves, uniting together in the shape of a cylindrical hilt with a slanted opening and a bolt on each side, a button switch near the middle, and a grooved pommel with a rounded end.

Mordatia opened her eyes and looked upon the lightsaber hilt floating in front of her. She caught it in her hand when it dropped and she grasped it, feeling its weight and solidness.

"It's lighter than I expected," she commented.

"It won't be complete until you've inserted a crystal into it, and for that, we must go hunting," Malephice said. "HK, have you found us a target yet?"

"Answer: Master, I have indeed," HK-51 replied over the intercom. "There is a distress call coming from a freighter in a nearby system. A Jedi has responded and is in route. Query: Orders, master?"

"Lay in an intercept course," Malephice replied. "Engage."

"I thought you could only find crystals on certain planets," Mordatia stated.

"Yes, but they are not the only sources for lightsaber crystals. While most Sith take the more convenient method of harvesting red crystals, they are often impure. Jedi lightsaber crystals, on the other hand, are not. I will show you a more effective way that I discovered long ago," Malephice said.

Their ship came out of hyperspace at the coordinates of the distress call. A Defender-class light corvette was chasing off a ship that had presumably attacked the freighter, which was listing in space. Pirates, probably. After the ship jumped out, the Defender returned and docked with the damaged freighter.

"Life signs on the Jedi ship?" Malephice asked his assassin droid.

"Answer: Sensors detect two meatbags on the Jedi ship," HK-51 replied.

"Take us in and dock with the freighter," Malephice said. "As soon as we're off, cloak the ship and get some distance, stand by for my call."

Malephice and Mordatia went to the airlock to prepare. He wore a hooded cloak over Sith armor. She wore a red hooded cloak over dark leather and metal armor. He handed her a vibrosword to replace the rusty blade she normally used, which wouldn't last long in a fight against a lightsaber at all.

"Assuming that Jedi still operate the same way they did five years ago, there will be a master and an apprentice. Leave the master to me. You take out the apprentice. That vibrosword should help you, but don't rely on it too much," Malephice explained.

"Yes, master," she replied.

When they boarded the ship, they found another shuttle in the docking bay along with the Jedi's. Judging by the paint and markings, they were definitely pirates. The bodies of several crew members along with a couple pirates were also in the hangar. They followed a trail of dead pirates with fresh lightsaber wounds still searing their flesh deeper into the ship, where the sounds of action were growing louder.

"Wait here. I'll draw out the Jedi's apprentice to you," Malephice said.

Mordatia nodded and went down a side corridor to wait while Malephice continued onward.

* * *

The togruta Jedi Knight, Asena Lasho, felt a disturbance in the Force, but she was too preoccupied with deflecting blasters with her twin blue lightsabers to search those feelings. Her human Padawan felt it as well, but his resolve wasn't as strong as his master's and they distracted him long enough for one of the blaster shots to get past his defense and hit another of the freighter's crew in the head, killing him instantly.

"Focus, Padawan!" Asena reprimanded him. "We have to retake the bridge before more lives are lost."

"Sorry, master," he said, steeling himself once more. "I felt something just now."

"Yes, so did I, but we'll have to deal with that later," she said.

Three pirates had fortified a makeshift barrier in the corridor leading to the bridge and had them, along with several crew members, pinned down. The Jedi were the only cover the crew had, firing back at the pirates from behind them, but they were slowly making progress forward.

"Cover me!" Asena said before charging forward. She ran along one side of the corridor while the crew laid down covering fire along the other side, pinning the pirates down behind their barrier. By the time they came back up to return fire, she had sprinted forward and leaped onto the wall, running a few steps past another bulkhead doorway before vaulting herself over the pirates, landing behind them and cutting them down with a sweep of her lightsabers. The crew cheered. The bridge was theirs again!

Suddenly, the bulkhead door between them closed, cutting the Jedi Knight off from the crew. Asena felt a dark presence in the Force approaching her and took a defensive stance. She heard the sound of a lightsaber activating behind her. She spun around just quick enough to block of bolt of lightning with her lightsabers, but the impact staggered her back a step. A dark hooded figure wielding a red lightsaber stood in the hallway before her, blocking her way to the bridge.

"I never expected a Sith to be leading a gang of pirates, but I'm also not surprised," Asena said.

"I'm no pirate," Malephice growled from under his hood. "I'm something much worse."

"Padawan, get the crew to safety," she said over her commlink. "There's a Sith on board!"

"Master, we can't get the door open," her Padawan replied.

"Don't worry about me," she replied. "I can handle this. Make sure there aren't anymore pirates aboard."

"Yes, master. Let's go, you guys."

Malephice laughed. "You think you can handle me? Prove it."
* * *

Mordatia got tired of waiting after several minutes had passed by and decided to follow her master. She found a Jedi and some surviving crew members trying to open a bulkhead door that had closed in a corridor leading to the bridge. Some of the crew turned around and saw her and immediately began shooting at her. "Another pirate!"

"I'm no pirate," she said as she moved swiftly to dodge the shots, going from side to side, rolling, somersaulting, flipping off the wall, moving forward until she had gotten close enough to use her vibrosword to cut down the crew members.

The Padawan had his green lightsaber out and his back to the door, watching in horror as the people he had just helped save were murdered by this red-cloaked woman. "What are you?"

"I'm something worse," she said with a crooked grin and swung her vibroblade at him.

He ducked and rolled under the swing, getting back to his feet as he moved behind her, but before he could strike at her with his lightsaber, she had turned around and pushed him away from her with the Force, sending him sliding down the corridor on his back. It caught him totally off guard.

"You can use the Force? Are you another Sith? Where's your lightsaber?" he asked as he got back to his feet.

Mordatia responded with a volley of shots from one of the blasters she picked up from the ground, firing at him as she walked toward him. He deflected them with his lightsaber and then swatted away the blaster when she threw it at him, slicing it in half. He closed in to attack, swinging down with an overhead chop. Mordatia raised her blade and parried it and then thrust the curved tip at his chest, but he stepped back and parried her strike as well. She pushed the momentum, thrusting repeatedly and quickly in rapid succession, driving him back. She left him no room to counter. Realizing his predicament, he leaped back and turned around to run and put more distance between them.

"Running away already? You disappoint me, Jedi. You don't deserve that lightsaber," Mordatia taunted.

Sparks flew as she began slicing the walls and floor tiles around her. She picked up the pieces with the Force and began hurling them at the Padawan's back. He turned around and swatted them away, his lightsaber slashing through the debris and sending pieces flying all around him. He didn't see her hurl her vibroblade at him like a javelin. It lanced him through his right shoulder and knocked him back, dropping his lightsaber. It deactivated as it hit the ground. He cried out in pain and grabbed the pommel of the vibroblade, pulling it out and sending more wave sof pain through his body. Blood gushed from the deep wound in his shoulder and his right arm hung limp. He reached down to grab his lightsaber with his left hand, but it flew away from him.

Mordatia caught the lightsaber in her hand and activated it, casting a green glow on her grinning face. She gave it a couple of practice swings, twirling it around in her hand, and then stalked toward the wounded Padawan. He picked up the vibrosword and prepared to defend himself. Mordatia thrust out her hand and Force Lightning shot out of her fingertips. Vibroswords couldn't catch lightning like lightsabers did. He was defenseless against the attack. Screaming in pain, his body convulsed as electricity burned and coursed through him. He couldn't even let go of the vibrosword because of the muscle spasms in his hand and arm, not until she ceased her attack. He dropped to his knees, vibrosword clattering on the floor next to him. This was it, he thought.

His doom seemed premature when he suddenly saw the bulkhead door opening. He looked down the corridor, hopeful. Mordatia glanced over her shoulder, grinning.

"Master?" he whispered.

A black cloaked figure stood on the other side of the door. At his feet lay the withered body of Jedi Knight Asena Lasho.

"Stop playing with your food, apprentice," Darth Malephice said.

"Yes, my master," she replied and turned toward the Padawan again, his face one of pure horror and fear as she struck him down with his own lightsaber.



Offline Darshendros

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Trials of the Apprentice, Part III
« Reply #31 on: 01/01/18, 08:41:46 PM »
The freighter had been set to self-destruct, alarm klaxons and emergency lights flashed warnings all over the ship.

"Warning. Emergency. You now have one minute to reach minimum safe distance."

What few crew members remained went straight to the escape pods. The ship exploded after Darth Malephice and his apprentice boarded his Fury and escaped. The explosion also took out the Jedi ship with it, leaving nothing but a debris field and questions.

Malephice led Mordatia to the cargo bay where he kept a compact version of a Sith lightsaber forge. She brought her unfinished lightsaber along with the Jedi Padawan's she had taken and placed them both on the forge.

"Good job, apprentice, but now comes the hard part," Malephice said. "First, you must extract the crystal from the Jedi's lightsaber without damaging it. I would suggest using the tools from the forge rather than force, but it's your prerogative."

"What happens if the crystal's damaged?" she asked.

"It explodes and we all die," he stated flatly.

She wasn't sure if that was an exaggeration or not, but decided to play it safe and use the forge's tools to disassemble the lightsaber. It only took her a few minutes of studying its design to figure out how to take it apart. She even found a few pieces, such as the power cell, that she thought of adding onto her own saber. Once the green crystal was exposed, she used a pair of forceps to remove it from its housing.

"Good. Now place the crystal in your hand and concentrate," Malephice said. She did as he instructed. "Focus on the Dark Side of the Force. Channel it through you. All of your emotions - hate, fear, sorrow, passion, love - pour them into the crystal with all your strength. It will resist you. Fight it. Force it to bend to your will and change. Like this."

Malephice took a different lightsaber from his belt. She didn't recognize it but assumed he must have taken it from the Jedi he had slain. Unlike the instruction he had just given her, he used the Force to levitate the hilt over his palm and take it apart, letting the pieces fall to the floor until only a blue crystal remained. His eyes glowed as he channeled the Dark Side, waves of dark energy radiating from his hand and surrounding the crystal. It pulsed with a light but it grew dimmer as darkness enveloped it. Its color darkened, almost completely black, but then faded as a new crimson color took its place, filling it up from the inside like blood dropping into water. The crystal was red now, pulsing with a malevolent energy that both excited and terrified Mordatia. Malephice closed his hand around the crystal.

"Now, you try," he said.

She nodded and began repeating the actions her master had just shown her. The green crystal floated over her palm as she closed her eyes and began concentrating upon it, channeling the Dark Side. She could feel the crystal in her thoughts, its purity and light. She bombarded it with her thoughts. Fear, hate, passion; she filled the crystal with these feelings, bending the Force to her will and smothering the light to submission. She could see the light side and the dark side battling and poured more strength into her attacks, until finally the darkness consumed the light and she felt a new sense of energy from the crystal. Opening her eyes, she looked upon the red crystal in her hand. She held onto it, panting for breath. The effort exhausted her more than she expected.

Malephice nodded approvingly. "The first time is always rough," he said with a grin. "But the hard part is over. All that remains is for you to place the crystal into the housing in your lightsaber, turn it on, and hope it doesn't explode."

"You're kidding, right?" she asked incredulously.

Malephice shrugged. "Maybe. Only one way to find out."

Mordatia opened up her lightsaber and attached the power cell to the end of the pommel and soldered some wires to connect it to the emitter. Using the forceps, she placed the red crystal into the housing and put the lightsaber back together. Malephice took a step back. She took in a huge, nervous breath as she held her lightsaber in front of her. She pressed her thumb over the activation switch.

TSHEEW! It activated successfully with a solid red blade and a steady hum. Mordatia sighed in relief. "I did it!"

"Good, apprentice. Very good," Malephice complimented. "You have exceeded my expectations. Take some time to become accustomed to your new lightsaber. Try not to cut your own limbs off swinging that around."

Mordatia deactivated her lightsaber and turned to face Malephice, bowing her head. "Thank you, master."

She left to her quarters to begin practicing. After she had gone, Malephice took out the Jedi Knight's other lightsaber and repeated the process he had shown his apprentice with the first one. He placed the crystals into a box in a secret compartment in the lightsaber forge with three other red crystals, nestled into slots on a foam pad. There were five more slots that remained empty.

"Soon," he said as he closed the compartment.