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Author Topic: Visions in the Void  (Read 66 times)

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Offline Joshmaul

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Visions in the Void
« on: 02/10/19, 08:49:32 AM »
In time, even death itself might be abolished; who knows but it may be given to us after this life to meet again in the old quarters, to play chess and draughts, to get up soon to answer the morning roll call, to fall in at the tap of the drum for drill and dress parade, and again to hastily don our war gear while the monotonous patter of the long roll summons to battle.

Who knows but again the old flags, ragged and torn, snapping in the wind, may face each other and flutter, pursuing and pursued, while the cries of victory fill a summer day? And after the battle, then the slain and wounded will arise, and all will meet together under the two flags, all sound and well, and there will be talking and laughter and cheers, and all will say, "Did it not seem real? Was it not as in the old days?"

- Berry Benson, Confederate veteran, 1880


During the years the Republic spent under the thumb of Zakuul, he had been Commander Ediren Lorath, leader of the Republic Army's Sithbane Squad. He had been a Jedi Knight before, but had stayed to fight when the Order dispersed to the galactic winds, inspired by the rabid anti-Sith rhetoric of Chancellor Leontyne Saresh. That seemed a long time ago now. Circumstances had worked to change his perspective. That year he had spent on AZ-1194 had been an awakening. So had the period he had spent at "New Talaos", the sanctuary built by Master Alieth Taldir in the sands of Tatooine. And so had the battle for Coruscant, marking the end of the Eternal Empire.

Since then, he had not been seen in the "public" settings of the galaxy. No cantinas in Nar Shaddaa, no plazas on Coruscant, nor even on the battlefield of Iokath. He had donned his hooded cloak and concealing mask, travelling the spacelanes aboard his Defender, the Dream Voyager, with only the old astromech T7-J5 to keep him company...and sought to disappear. For the most part, he had succeeded. Few remembered him with any particular fondness, and those who did had their own lives to worry about. That was as it should be, so far as he was concerned. Worlds continued to spin on their axes, the stars continued to burn in the heavens, and life went on.

Yet there was a vision in his mind of late that brought him back to the Core...or at least to the edge of the Core, on the line between the darkness and the light. An ancient place, where toxic desert and snow-capped mountain combined amidst the ruins of the past. A place of importance in Jedi history, he could see, from the architecture, but he was not familiar with its name or location. He had been a warrior, not a librarian. He had not even known there was a colony here, which he discovered was the whole point of it - it had been established by a band of Jedi led by Master Gnost-Dural, the Order's chief archivist, as a sanctuary to hide from the Eternal Fleet - and they had been working around the clock to adapt farming techniques to deal with the radioactive soil.

Only then did he find out that he was in fact standing on the lost world of Ossus, and he began to remember the old tales he had paid half-attention to at the Academy on Tython, about how it had been the jewel of the Jedi Order for generations until Exar Kun had laid it to waste three hundred years ago. At that same moment, he saw figures he vaguely recognized, but only two of them he could put names to. One was Master Hawking Shatari, one of the leaders of the Jedi Custodum (the leader, he discovered later; Iaera Farworlder had gone off on her own voyage of seclusion, some months before). The other was the rogue Twi'lek Sith Lord, Quarasha, the mocking presence he had often seen at the old Dancer's Palace and other such places. And he could immediately see that they were here for a reason that had nothing to do with Gnost-Dural's colony.

It was then that he began to realize he was there for the same reason they were, even if he did not yet know what that reason was.

And that was why he approached them.
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows


Offline Joshmaul

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Re: Visions in the Void
« Reply #1 on: 02/12/19, 10:09:03 PM »
"Leaves, some the wind scatters on the ground—So is the race of man." Leaves, also, are thy children; and leaves, too, are they who cry out so if they are worthy of credit, or bestow their praise, or on the contrary curse, or secretly blame and sneer; and leaves, in like manner, are those who shall receive and transmit a man's fame to after-times. For all such things as these "are produced in the season of spring," as the poet says; then the wind casts them down; then the forest produces other leaves in their places. But a brief existence is common to all things, and yet thou avoidest and pursuest all things as if they would be eternal.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


The years had not been kind to Darth Malagant, Lord of the Sith.

In the months since Heermann had disappeared and the Wild Space Command began to lose importance in the grander scheme of things, Malagant had begun to rely more and more on his younger brother, General Andav Undjo, as his link to the Imperial military. Andav and his superior officer, Moff Matthias Caudell, had decided to reveal the truth of Andav's survival to him. Admiral Bardin Krysiak, the commander of the 14th Fleet, had elected to follow Caudell, a fellow naval veteran, after Heermann had vanished, and were no doubt seeking glory elsewhere. Then a message had come to Malagant from another Moff, Arik Daltyn, the military governor of Reydovan Prime. The former general had expressed displeasure at the hands-off administration of Darth Metheius, who had not left Dromund Kaas at any point since assuming control of the sector.

Malagant had elected to take that matter into his own hands, both as a means of expediency - Daltyn would officially take control of the sector, without a Sith holding his hand (he didn't need it, so far as Malagant was concerned) - and as a means of getting back at Metheius for years of humiliation. Accompanied by a pair of HK droids, he had entered Metheius' residence in Kaas City. While the HKs killed all of Metheius' bodyguards, Malagant himself had entered Metheius' sanctuary and impaled the other man with one of his lightsabers, forever removing any chance of his interfering with Malagant's life and work again. As he had watched the sorcerer slowly die at his feet, he had wondred if he had not done Acina a favor by removing him. But Metheius had also been a devoted chronicler of ancient history, just as Malagant himself had been trained to be.

So, as half-insult, half-compliment to his slain rival, he had decided to make Metheius a part of history. He laid out the body in a sarcophagus and left it in the audience chamber of the Temple of Introspection, his old sanctuary on Yavin Four. Then he had sealed off the temple, marking the entrance stone with the dead Sith's name and the markings that had been branded in the Sith tongue on Metheius' face: "Knowledge is the path to power, and ignorance is the true enemy. Power is good, but only in the hands of those who can wield it wisely. The sadist and the powermonger cannot be trusted." As a final twist, Malagant had added: "Let this be a warning to those who do not heed their own advice."

Then he had abandoned the temple and left Yavin behind - with all its ghosts, its leftover Revanite holdouts, and all the money he had spent on that damn place. Perhaps in a thousand years or so, someone would rediscover the temple...

He had decided to search for a new sanctuary, and found it on an uncharted planet not far from Voss, just inside Imperial space. He named the planet "Kelenek'che'sa", meaning "Halls of the Blind" in the ancient tongue, which referred to the magnetic asteroid field that made it difficult to navigate. He had established himself like an old hermit in the wreckage of a downed Republic cruiser. Near the wreck, he had also happened to find an old sky carrier, much like that used by the InterStellar Regulators on Makeb during the Republic's war with the Hutts. Andav had been good enough to loan him a few engineers to restore it. A place to look over my new domain, he mused.

Malagant presently sat alone on the makeshift terrace of his new home, gazing out across the beach where his ship was landed, and contemplating the weight that time and conflict had put upon him. His hair and beard, starting to show gray little by little over the years, were now entirely the color of ashen snow. He tired a lot more easily of late, and his body was plagued by aches and pains that the kolto injection system (put into him after his near-fatal victory over Exarch Jadre on Reydovan Prime some years before) could not alleviate. He began to face the realization for the first time in his life that he was merely mortal, no matter how many times technology, the Force, and sheer willpower had brought him back from the brink. He had begun to wonder in recent days if he would be better off retiring from active service, and instead pass on what he had learned to the new generation of Sith - essentially becoming like the old overseers back on Korriban when he was a boy, who he had mocked for being confined to the Academy while he got to go out and see the galaxy...

Gazing out towards the setting sun, Malagant couldn't help but laugh at the irony.
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows