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Korriban

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Mordecai saw the Sith approaching, and while he rested his hand on the hilt of his vibrosword, he didn't move. He barely had time to react after the Sith spoke, and as he was yanked forwards, he drew his blade. He only had moderate training, but he would use everything he knew here, or he would likely die. He moved with the pull, swinging upwards as he drew his blade, bracing himself for the inevitable counter attack that he had left himself open for. In desperation, he called on the force, but to no avail.

 

He had entered the viper's nest.

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As the swordpoint glimmered silver before him, Valinor brought the man further down the ramp, the speed increasing as he dragged him. The man had guts, holding such a blade before Lord Valinor, and a shallow grin spread across the Sith’s face, under a mask of ebony durasteel. He dragged the man into his outstretched hand, letting the humming blade crash off his angled armour with a jarring clang.

 

Valinor grasped the man’s neck his his hand and tossed him to the ground. Where he would land on his back against the red carved stone.

 

You carry bravery, even in the face of poor odds. Well done.

 

He reached out his black gloved hand and brought the man to his feet again. He gestured towards the temple up ahead and began to walk in front of him.

 

Come. As we walk tell me of yourself, what drives you? What thirst for power brings you here?

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Mordecai felt his stomach drop as his blow simply glanced off the man's armor, before feeling a pressure around his neck as the Sith Lord tossed him like a ragdoll. As he skidded across the ground, attempting to roll to his feet, he felt the same unseen force as before drag him to his feet. he heard the Sith's words, and had to struggle with the urge to strike again. Doing so would do him no good. If he did manage to even injure the sith, his death would surely follow shortly fter. The Sith turned away and moved towards the temple ahead. Mordecai fell into step behind him.

 

The next question caught Mordecai by surprise, though he supposed it shouldn't have. He considered spinning a tale, but once more, he doubted it would do any good. He was silent for a moment more, considering his words carefully. "I come to build a legacy greater than my father's before me, or his father before him. I came to become one of the greatest warriors who ever lived." he said, remembering his father's words on the Sith and the Jedi.

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Valinor’s laughter came as a bark of disapproval. His voice was soft and reproachful as they approached the great carved gate of the temple. The air became thick and dank as they walked through the dark doors of the ancient Sith Lords.

 

Your father was noone and by proxy you are as well. A better legacy than a hunk of nothing is an easy thing. Being a great warrior is more than that. It is a great journey that will take decades.

 

They paused before a great array of carven statues. He gestured towards the array, hundred strong that lined the corridor before them.

 

What do you know of the Sith?

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As the Sith spoke of Mordecai's legacy, he was briefly offended. The sith had a point, however. His father had only been a low ranking officer in the Imperial navy, as had the rest of his ancestors. He came from a rather bland line of low-ranking officers, which in the galactic scale meant nothing. His sensitivity to the force had given him a chance neither of his brothers had in their lives. Mordecai nodded. "I am prepared to train and battle for however long is needed to become a great warrior." he said. He was sorely regretting his decision to put off his training with the vibroblade now, especially after seeing the Sith Lord simply shrug off the blow.

 

Mordecai looked at the statues in silent, expressionless awe. Now this was a true legacy.

 

"Less than I would like to. I only know of their prowess in battle from my father's stories. I know nothing of Sith legends or culture." he said, "Something I would like to remedy as soon as possible."

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With a twitch of a finger the lights around the room grew dark, save one that was positioned over the stone figure of Jidai Geki once a mighty Sith lord and Emperor of the Galactic Empire, beside him in the shadows were the hulking statues of Black, Furion, Dagon, and Ar-Pharazon the Golden. Together the pair walked before the ancient looking statue that had in truth only been carved into being a decade and a half before. He pointed to the stooped figure of Geki. The Emperor Mordecai's father had likely served.

 

There before us is one of the strongest men, warrior, and emperors that ever lived, now all that remains is a wreck of stone and ire

Valinor spun on his heel and continued down the corridor pointing to nameless sith after nameless Sith master. There was laughter in his voice as he spoke.

 

But who has heard of these men and women? Once called the most deadly or most powerful beings in the galaxy?

 

He turned and looked into the eye of Mordecai, the red fire from beneath his mask glinting in the pale light.

 

This galaxy is so full of chaos and death that a legacy built on that is not lasting. For the waves of pain and death will overtake you and pull you into the faceless masses the moment you decide that you have done enough. Legacy is a harsh thing to achieve and I am afriad the only way you can build such a thing is to kill more than the last great Sith lords. And that is a task beyond your current power

 

A thousand voices whispered in unison, coming from the statues themselves

 

What does our ruin teach?

 

Valinor held up his hand and the whispers stopped.

 

That is a lesson for another time. The history of the Sith is long and we do not have the time to cover it now. But they will teach you their history should you wish to know of it. For they have many lessons to teach.

 

He pointed to a clearing among the statues.

 

For now you will sit there and meditate. Tell me what you feel.

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The Sith snapped his fingers and the room dimmed around all but one lone, weathered statue. Mordecai vaguely recognized the man from the descriptions his father had given him of the Emperor of his time. Mordecai frowned at this realization- an Emperor that was so recent's statue shouldn't have been so weathered and broken, and yet... this. He followed the Sith as he spoke, watching the Sith statues with intensity. When the Sith turned to look at him, all he could see was a glimpse of red under the man's mask. He listened to the man's words, and let that sink in. He would need to become stronger, that much he had already seen during his fight with the Sith Lord.

 

He was snapped back into focus as the voices spoke, only to be silenced by the Lord. Despite his words, Mordecai's mind was already working silently to discern the meaning behind the words, if there truly was any to be had. The Sith pointed to a clearing, and told him o meditate. He had tried connection to the force before, but now, with such history around him, it was almost permeable. He walked over, tucking his legs underneath his body as he knelt, closing his eyes. He took a deep breath, and reached out with his mind.

 

"I feel... the Force." he said. It was obvious, but his words failed to explain what he felt. The intangible feeling around him, reacting to his emotions and his thoughts. And yet, it was elusive. Whenever he would reach out, it would recede like a school of fish. And then, he had it. The force around him was his to use. "it's like.... clay. Mine to shape and use as a tool however I see fit.

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Good, you see the force for the tool it is

Came the barking voice of the Sith Lord. He slowly paced behind the young acolyte his boots almost silent in the great stone hall.

 

Take that clay and look closer, see how it permeates all that surrounds us? Extend your consciousness to the ground on which you sit.

 

As the man extended his feelings, the spirits of the ancient departed lords would leech at him. Speaking softly in his ear, claiming to give him power. If only he could bring them back to life.

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Mordecai reached out once more. Again he could feel it, and he could take it with less effort. He could feel the ancient lords, but he paid them no mind. Not only did he lack the knowledge and skill to revive an ancient lord, it would also defeat his purpose. He would simply be continuing another's legacy, which was why he had left his family's home on Carida. He was here to make his own, not support some ancient dead man's. As was instructed, he spread his mind to the ground, feeling the ancient dark side energy that seemed to be embedded into the stone. He went further, examining his surroundings from this new lens. he could feel the crackling energy around the Sith Trainer, the danger and hatred. He could feel the darkness of Korriban as a whole, but other than that, it was empty outside the room. He wasn't very strong, yet. But he would get better.

 

"I can feel it." he said, quieter than his normal volume.

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Indeed

 

The voice rumbled like an avalanche of stone rolling down the glacially carved mountains ranges of the valley of the dark lords. The force had come easily to this young acolyte, far easier than many, but he still had much to learn before he would even see the great libraries or carry a lightsabre. The Sith Lord strode around the edges of the meditation ring until he stopped next to a grey wrought statue of durasteel. From its cold drasp he pulled an old hilt, broken and pockmarked with rust, the battery long ago corroded into component dust.

 

He tossed it lazily into the ring in front of the acolyte. Where it clattered noisily on the solid granite surface.

 

Now focus on this, only on this, describe to me what it is, what it feels, what you feel, and the stories it hold buried in its depths.

 

((This part I leave to your imagination, describe in fullest detail the old lightsabre, its crystal, the lord that held it, and any story you wish to make up about it. Make the post a full several paragraphs.))

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Mordecai could sense the dark energy around the saber, a Sith Lord’s energy still thickening the air around the weapon. It was old- Older than any living Sith or Jedi.

 

“A lightsaber. Not originally of Sith make” he muttered, reaching into the weapon’s history. “An ancient weapon, from the days of the Old Sith Empire, in the days of the Old Republic. The weapon is slightly longer than most, held with two hands rather than one. There were intricate carvings on the hilt, long since eroded by Korriban. Not a Sith weapon- A Jedi’s, at least at first. A blue crystal, turned red. She was a Jedi” he said. Before his eyes, visions of the owner’s life flashed before him.

 

“She was taken as a child into the Jedi Order, like most. She trained under a distinguished master, a guardian of the light. She fought on the front lines of countless conflicts, supposedly keeping the peace.” he said, the memories of wars and battles long over and foes long vanquished washing over him.

 

“She became disillusioned with the Jedi Order. She had seen it’s lies, it’s hypocrisy.” he said, anger from the fallen lord seeping through his link to the blade, muddling his own emotions. “She left the order, wandering alone for a time. And then, the Sith Empire rose again, taking Korriban. She could hear the Dark Side’s call, and she answered. She came to Korriban to be trained as a Sith.” he whispered.

 

The sand blinded him as he stepped out of a ship, only to be greeted by a collection of Sith. “The Sith had sensed her arrival. She announced herself, and declared her power. One sith stepped forward, and she cut him down. There were others, and they met the same fate. She climbed the ranks, with little training, embracing the Dark Side, but using her training and experience as a Jedi to give her an advantage over the other acolytes, and then lords. She grew powerful, a warlord of the Jedi’s own making, a twisted child of both paths. She grew arrogant.” he said.

 

“Her arrogance killed her. She challenged the Dark Lord, and despite her skill and experience, was bested. Easily.” he said. “Her weapon fell to the grounds of Korriban, where it remained until today.” he said. “In the end, her greatest enemy was her ego. She rose too quickly, became to sure of her skills. She paid for that insolence with her life.”

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Silence greeted the acolyte in return to his long explanation, the force stirred in the room with a twitch of the Lord’s hand. Bits of dust and stone whipped into a frenzy, a hurricane of filth that should have been decades ago swept away. In the dust a figure was outlined, walking slowly counter to it. Outlined in shimmering energy that absorbed and reflected the sparkling dust, illuminated by friction and cast off light from the overhead displays.

 

She is here little acolyte...Her spirit lives within that ancient blade, clinging to it to escape the darkness of her spirit. For once you accept the dark, there is no escaping it, even in death it consumes, and pulls at you.

The figure knelt in front of the acolyte the shimmering reflection of dust and light beginning to peel away to show the nothing beneath. But the eyes remained, begging for him not to do what would be ordered.

 

Now destroy it, grasp that fleeting power and rip it from its vestiges.

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Mordecai didn't need to see the shape in the sand. he could sense her. Anguish rose from the blade, along with promises of power if he disobeyed there was something deeper, too. A fear of a proper death. He hesitated- the emotions had spilled over his novice collection, and destroying the spirit felt... wrong. But if he wanted to be more powerful, he would have to. He reached towards the hilt with the force, grasping the spirit, and tearing it from the hilt, separating it from it's final physical connection to this world.

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A mortal screeching echoed through the chamber, a young woman's last dying breaths spent in agonizing sorrow as she withered away, crushed and separated from her earthly devices. When the screeching ended, the silence was crushing. A life had been torn from the force without a second thought.

 

Now that the demon has been released, stretch forth your mind to the sabre, conform to it, and using the power from the force, try to move the wretched thing. Form a tendril of the force in your mind, touch it and finally move it.

 

Valinor stood beside the statue, his red eyes peering at the young man with hateful intent.

 

((Go into extreme detail on how your character visualizes the force, his presence, the act of stretching out, and finally how the force can move the object))

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  • Coward…

How dare you look at me like that! You filthy whelp!

 

  • As an acolyte, you must obey…

 

Her clothes, seemingly impervious to damage, were torn to shreds. The leather of her vornskyr armor was slashed in several places. Her knives triggered and whip-like were dragging their blades on the ground behind her. Her saber scored and crisped, still clung to her hip. Her body, a rainbow of cuts and bruises, still soldiered on, using the weight of her metal leg to support her march. Gashes that were impossibly large, stood out in the center of her back and across her abdomen. They were healed by the force but left hideous scars. And yet, despite it all, her eyes kept forward, staring toward the Praxeum.

 

Days she spent, wandering the wastes.

 

The taste of food had long left her lips.

The salvation of water was nothing to the barren sands.

 

There was nothing but sand, and death, and dark.

 

And, in the depths of that relentless darkness, voices would worm their way into every pocket of your mind, denying you rest and the naive fragility of hope. They muttered whispers: whispers of trial; whispers of murder; whispers of power; whispers of death; and whispers of despair that echoed in the dark. They were ceaseless reminders of inaction and failure; of peril and fright; of weakness and death...

 

Why are you here?

 

  • What do you have to gain?

 

Why?

These were familiar questions. These were questions Keenava had asked her captors when she was taken into slavery; these were questions she asked Furion when he saved her. And these were questions she asked when she joined the Sith.

 

Your purpose is aimless, your vision is lost…

 

  • You will fail. You are doomed to fail.


    • We shall purge them from the galaxy. They will know our wrath.

 

He’s not here to save you, little girl. No one is…

There it was, another reminder that he was gone. Of course, he’s gone, I know he’s gone. I’ve killed him. I hope he never comes back.

 

  • But you still need him…?

 

No. I don’t.

 

LIAR…

 

The buzzing of insects was all Keenava could compare it to. Their words did little to melt her mind. But, after days of deprivation, battle, and exhaustion, eventually, even the stupidest phrases would seem appealing.

 

The soft caress of sand against your face as you laid down to kiss the galaxy goodbye…

The warm feeling of being consumed so that you may prolong the life of a large beast...

The allure of cold death as it clasped your body in a loving, hypnotic embrace...

 

But the fire never went out.

It never did.

And it never would.

 

GO HOME AND DIE ALONE!

 

  • YOU SYCOPHANTIC NERF! ROT AND DIE. DIE SO THAT ALL THOSE WHO KNOW YOU, FOR ETERNITY, WILL CEASE TO MISS YOUR FRAGILE CORPSE. FOR THOSE WHO SEEK POWER, DEATH IS ALL YOU WILL KNOW…

 

 

 

“Well then…” Keenava said, a wickedly indifferent grin set upon the paled ebony of her dark skin. Her march didn't slow. The sandblasted texture of her leathery body cracked a little as she moved. It failed to show her exertion, even as the dim light of Korriban’s sun hit her, as she stepped into the perimeter of the Praxeum, making her way toward the Assassin’s wing. The usual sheen of sweat and effort was muted by violence; the violence of the elements and the violence of her soul.

 

The Sith Lord adjusted her neck with a loud crack and her ruby eyes glinted with hidden malice. “... I’m already doomed, aren’t I?”

 

It’s so good to be back home...

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The bedfloor of sand that covered the expanse just outside of the Praxeum reminded him of an amphitheater that he and others would spill blood in for sport. It was a time when war ran deep between all factions, and indiscriminate murder was how one survived. The smell of sweat and blood still stained his nostrils, and he could never soak the stench from his skin. His scales reflected a profuse red, perhaps forever drenched in the life force of those he had slaughtered. The mildew of Korriban was different now, and the caliber of warriors that existed paled in comparison to what it once was. General Omm reviewed the responses from the children before him, noticing the another that had arrived at the burly gates. Sickly eyes, filled with the curiosity of a carnivorous reptile, searching all three men thoroughly. Their emotions, their body languages, and the tone of their voices all provided detail into who and what they were.

 

 

"Acolytesss Camik, Acheron, and Nieve. You three will be the firssst of many, to usssher in a new era. You have come ill-prepared for battle, but I asssssure you, that will change ssswiftly under my command. Wherever you carry yourssselvess, you must be prepared. Your life will be challenged. If you are not ready for thisss, your journey will end before you know it." General Omm reviewed the three of them, and extended his powerful arm to the West. "There exissstss an inssstitution to the Wessst, your admissssion into the Sssith beginsss there. Enter the deposssitory and retrieve the bassicss of whatever weaponsss you desssire. Tell them the General hass ssent you. When you've gathered yoursselvess. Take the carrier to the Wesst and you will come upon the Academy. I will sssee you all there."

 

 

  • (Access the small facility, take a starter melee/ranged weapon that will represent the combative direction you want your character to take on, and then take a small transport West to the Academy. It will be a new topic, which isn't created yet, but will be. So look out for that.)

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Camik was surprised by the speech the Trandoshan made. He had not been on the planet long and he already been weighed and measured. Glad he did not have to wonder around trying to figure out where he needed to be but was this the normal greeting for potential new recruits?

 

Hearing his name spoken shocked him but hearing the prospect of making him more battle ready made his blood sing. He had heard stories of his ancestors being great warriors, something he had thought about long and hard, what had happened to those warriors of old. How had they gone from respected warriors to slaves.

 

Pushing those thoughts out of his mind, he burst into motion. This was obviously a planet of competition where the strong rose to the top and he was not going to let the others push him down. Using the muscles that had been bread for running to their limits he swiftly moved into the dispensary to view the weapon options would be laid out before him. As he pushed past those guarding it simply telling them that ”The General has sent me to get a weapon.” The temptation was strong to simply grab a weapon but he doubted that would serve him well in the end.

 

Closing his eyes he turned slowly around the room to see if his intuitions gave him any hint, when he found himself stopped facing a table with a single metal stick. Why would he stop to find this? Picking it up he found several buttons. Pressing one he found the stick expanded to almost as long as he was tall. Pressing another button he found a blade was now protruding from one end. Smiling to himself he collapsed the weapon to its resting state. He was a creature with claws. It was in his genes to fight up close and personal. Sure he had used a blaster and even carried one, but that was not what made his blood sing.

 

Not waiting to see what the other two that were fall under the General picked up he quickly moved to the transport to be taken to the academy.

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Well, here you are again…

 

Bacta, your second home.

 

The amount of time you spend in bacta tanks should win you an award or something.

 

In fact, I’m surprised they even let you in here after what you did.

 

Will. You. Shut. Up… Seriously.

 

I’m just trying to help you.

 

No, you aren’t. You’re my inner monologue and you’re almost always negative. After what I’ve seen, I don’t need more negativity. Leave me alone.

 

Well, you need to stop talking to yourself then.

 

Yeah, I figured…

 

Keenava lay, sprawled out in a tank near the Assassin wing. Her eyes were closed, but small tendrils of lightning licked the tips of her fingers. Her body leaned to one side in a pose that suggested severe pain, but her expression was serene; impossibly, happy.

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Mordecai heeded the instructions of the Sith lord. He could still feel the lightsaber, now an empty shell. It lacked the presence that had made it so easy to latch onto, but it was still a physical object. It was like a spider’s web, reaching out and attaching each individual organism and force-imbued object to each other.

 

By tugging on the web, he could lift the hilt, and he did so. The hilt rose slowly, and as he pulled the hilt towards him, he opened his eyes to see the blade drifting towards him, every so slowly. Frowning, he pulled harder. Too hard, it seemed, as the hilt flew past him and towards a wall. As it flew by, he struggled to regain control, stopping it inches before it hit. He tugged again, softer, but still firm, and the hilt flew into his hand.

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Again

 

Came the Sith Lords voice, echoing through the hallowed, haunted stone chamber.

 

And when you get it into your hand take this

 

A crystal landed at the young man's feet, followed by a battery. The crystal was sky blue, multifaceted, and sharp to the touch. It was ancient, grown in the crystal caves of some long forgotten world ere humanity ever stepped foot off their ancient homeworld. It carried the weight of the millennia, and had seen much tragedy in prior service , used in the wars by some nameless jedi who was slain by the hand of Marka Ragnos. His crystal and sabre brought here in one of the many treasure hordes of the ancient Sith Lords of Korriban. The battery was new, white cased, shipped from coruscant, labeled "Lemmabe 29A" And marked for use in data terminals. Both pieces lay upon the stone, in sharp contrast, ancient and newly manufactured. Both key to passing the first test.

 

And make the cursed thing sing again the song of darkness.

 

((Well done but more detail this time. Show me you character's feelings when he lifts it, the effort he puts forth, how the tendril of the force grasps the blade, how they fit together. Describe where the blade hilt fell, describe its weight, the carvings or lack thereof on its surface. Its up to you to paint the picture.))

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... Two exits. One is never acceptable.

No windows. Sith didn't need windows.

Heartbeat, always good.

Small footsteps, echoing off the stone; probably Acolytes.

No light. Only shadows...

Keenava tilted her head from side-to-side as she emerged from the bacta in adequate condition, letting her lekku fall and twitch as she stretched. Whispers of pain tingled in her back and abdomen, but little else remained of the wounds that nearly cleft her body in twain. She brushed her fingers over her bare skin; a silent test. Nothing else claimed her shell - nothing unexpected at least.

 

The Twi'lekk flexed her hands, feeling as her warm lifeblood surged through her cold frame. She breathed. Each movement - each articulation - was a choreographed routine. It was familiar. The only peculiarity was her metal foot, which was becoming more and more typical as time wore onward. The brisk air of Korriban's dead washed through the hall of Assassin's and whisked past Keenava as she dressed in plain clothes.

 

Note to self: find someone to fix my leathers...

 

She settled her small armory at her hips, crouched, and then quickly made her way down the hall. Many acolytes thought to stop her for questions. They wondered why she'd returned when it seemed she was dead set on leaving. But, just as their questions were posed, their quarry had vanished. They were left dumbfounded in the middle of hallways and studies. It wasn't until she'd reached one of the Praxeum's many libraries that Keenava re-emerged. She stopped for a moment and took a small supply of books on poisons - both mundane and magical - from one of the shelves, and then vanished into the Assassin Wing once more.

 

Every other hour Keenava appeared on a balcony reading quietly to herself. Just as an acolyte thought to approach her, however, she would vanish and re-appear in another alcove or balcony.

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Neive looked over the two before looking to the sith in front of him, bowing for the superior, but not falling to a knee as the other two. He stayed silent as he looked to the two between him and the trandoshan, somewhere in the back of his mind saying that if the man was hostile, at least there would be two between him and the sith. After a second, he spoke.

"By order of lord lockjaw, I have been assigned to train with the two you find before you, sir." Neive stood straight and at attention. "But beside the point, it is an honor to meet you." He saw his attire, and strings started connecting for Neive. "Wait... General?" He bowed again. "General Omm, it is a privilege to be in your presence."

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=======================

// Korriban, Academy

// For General Omm & Acheron

=======================

 

The ride to the temple was peaceful and quite. Perhaps the last time Camik would feel such sensations, so he relished in the moments while he had them. Despite trying to relax he found he was anxious, eager even to get to the temple and begin his training. He looked down at the stick that he now possessed. What had caused him to reach for it? IT wasn’t like he had seen something like it before or knew what secrets it held but instead it was like he had been drawn to it.

 

As the speeder approached he couldn’t help but notice the structures. Despite traveling a good portion of the galaxy, delivering goods he was amazed at the monuments and the building that stood before him.

 

As he got out of the speeder, he looked around and thought to himself So this is where it begins

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The Best Behavior pulled out of hyperspace over Korriban and hailed the spaceport for guidance to land. After transmitting documents and responding to purpose of visit inquiries, the ship was given a berth to land at the academy hangar. At touchdown Ailbasí already had a bag ready and was moving down the ramp the moment it lowered. In times like this you just had to keep a forward momentum or the anxiety and trepidation would catch up to you.

 

Ailbasí was wearing one of her dig site outfits, a getup that her father had helped her put together for when she was studying in less civilized places. It was baggy enough to hide her figure, and even had some reinforced padding on it in case things got violent. She also kept the hood up to hide her long hair and obscure her face in shadow. Creeps were a universal constant on every populated planet in the galaxy, and there was no reason for Korriban to be an exception to the rule. She palmed her chemspray and carried her keys in a way that allowed them to double as an improvised weapon as she approached the massive building through a sprawling tent city.

 

The earlier conversation with the flight controller had included a suggestion to check in with the recruitment desk in the academy for reassignment. Ailbasí didn’t know if being reassigned had negative connotations in the Sith order, but she hoped that it would offer a new perspective. Her observations of Sheog and her own personal experiences with the Dark Side had made her feel less like she was controlling anything and more like she was being chained up and dragged along behind a speeder. It was too much, and maybe that meant that sorcery wasn’t what she was meant for. Or maybe she just needed to study harder. She had so many questions and not nearly enough answers. Even the other voice had been quiet lately.

 

The recruiting office was less than crowded but not empty either, with most of the people being sorted into what seemed like new applicant lines. One of the posted guards did a double take when he saw her and muttered something along the lines of surprise that she had survived. Thinking back to introduction to the Sith, he wasn’t wrong for his surprise at the revelation, so she decided not to make a scene. When he collected himself he gestured to a smaller line, perhaps meant for reassignment of already registered apprentices, and she joined that line. Everyone in line was quiet, either to project an image or to hide their own insecurities, and Ailbasí decided not to upset that status quo.

 

It wasn’t long before she was at the desk facing a man in what seemed like his late twenties, dressed in ceremonial robes rather than the business professional outfits that Ailbasí usually saw in academia. His face was surly and his lips held a not even bothered to be hidden sneer. The skin around his eyes was unnaturally dark like you sometimes saw in heavy Dark Side users and he had numerous tattoos.

 

“Here are my datadocs, I’m here for reassignment under a new master.”

 

The man snatched her multipass out of her hand and began entering data.

 

He eyed her up and down as her file came up on his screen. “Our records have you as Sheog the Mad’s apprentice, but the progress notes don’t have any actual notations of training milestones, just sketches of you in revealing leather outfits. So either you can take your skanky self over to the new apprentices line and stop wasting my time, or you can file a petition of your totally not fabricated tale of how you were totally training the entire time and submit it for inquiry, which may require months. The form must be filled out in triplicate, and all of my pens seem to have dried out, so you’ll have to run back to your ship and get one from there.”

 

Ailbasí felt like she had been slapped in the face. Her cheeks flushed red with embarrassment, and the realization that everyone in the room was now staring at her made her have to hold back tears. Everything she had done, everything she had survived over the last few months, invalidated due to clerical omission. How could they take that away from her?!

 

“Awww, is someone disappointed that their little modeling sesh didn’t get the results they wanted,” the registrar chided.

 

She felt something new inside of her, and Ailbasí realized that it was the strength that she had found surviving her ordeals. Unlike the unknowable vastness of the Dark Side that she had confronted in her earlier training, this was personal, this was hers. She seized hold of it with her mind’s eye, like a huntress grasping comfortably on the hilt of a blade, and willed herself to draw and brandish it.

 

And it listened.

 

It felt rapturous to hold, a righteous and justified anger that the soon to be recipient deserved to have loosed on him. She focused on his face and yanked it towards herself, sending the man sprawling over the desk, his face an inch or two away from hers. The flesh sizzled and popped where her projected hand touched, and the man began screaming in pain until she seized his throat with her physical hand.

 

“I’m not disappointed, I’m angry. I did not kill my enemies, consume the weak to overcome my wounds, raise their corpses to do my bidding, and rend the soul of a krayt dragon just to have some wannabe conduit of the dark powers who users more eyeliner than my three old roommates and I combined try to push me around. So here’s what is actually going to happen. You are going to get me a cup of caf from the office, and then you are going to immaculately write out my petition for me, because real Sith don’t do clerical work. And about those pens not working…”

 

She wrapped her hand around the mass of pens in the cup on the desk and brought them down hard on one of his hands supporting him on the desk. He tried to pull them out but she stopped him.

 

“You can take one out at a time to write my petition, and if we need more pens, then I will find new and exciting places to put them.”

 

She released her hold on him and he ran back into the office to get her caf. The actual petition itself didn’t matter at this point, it was about defining her qualifications through action, pushing back against the people that pushed her. The man came back with a cup and its contents were as dark and bitter as Ailbasí’s current mood, so she through the steaming hot liquid in his face.

 

“Sugar and creamer you moron, who the pfask taught you how to make a cup of caf?”

 

People were still staring at her, but it wasn’t with judgement or mockery anymore, and it felt very, very good.

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The Helios, its sleek Nubian hide reflecting the burnished bronze of Korriban's surface, appeared alongside a Grakk Megahauler registered to Lemnos Industries, Nubia. Without delay, the ships were granted clearance, and in short order proceeded to the surface. The stark dry heat of the Korriban desert contrasted sharply with the temperate climate of Nubia, and even the jungle heat of Ryloth was not a direct comparison. The moisture in the air deep in the dark jungles of Ryloth bore all the same heat, but the humidity at least made the temperature slightly bearable. Here, the scalding sands lapped at her ankles, warming her feet through her boots, the harsh wind like a vast ocean that sapped all the vibrancy of her silken skin.

 

Wrapping the velvet cloak about herself more firmly, she crossed the dusty ground of the spaceport. The journey to Korriban had seen her grappling with how much to present her true self: was she simply Director Kitaara Shiri, executive representative of Lemnos Industries? Was she Darth Angelia of the SIth Empire, confirmed by the hand of Haphaestus and blessed with the welcome of Lord Exodus? Dare she be both?

 

Once her feet crossed the threshold into the Academy proper, however, she knew the answer. Tossing her cloak back, she shook her head-tails free and smiled wickedly at the current of power running through her, that which had been cultivated on this planet for countless millennia. The darkness was palpable, delicious; while the atmosphere itself was arid, swimming in the undercurrents of the dark side was like biting into a ripe jura fruit and letting the juices run unchecked down her chin.

 

She was afforded all the courtesy of a visiting dignitary, especially having revealed the gift she had traveled thus far to bring. Her personal droids shouldered the bulk of the task of unloading the shipment of Enyo-class droids into the Academy's belly, taken to be reprogrammed and assigned according to need. They would serve as worthy adversaries for training, extra soldiers for the Empire's conquests, and guardians of its halls.

 

Kitaara had been waiting only a few minutes for her staff to return, in a small office off of the main intake lobby, when a commotion just outside kicked up dust in her impression of the Force. Slipping through the door quietly, she watched as a young entrant, a female Cathar by the look of her, asserted her dominance over a clerical peon who had presumably denied her entrance in some unfavorable way. Leaning casually against the side wall, she grinned at the young Cathar, the muscles in her jaw tightening against the ornate harness she wore over her lekku.

 

"What did it do to offend you?"

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