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Frond? Frond open up!" still no response Kel tried sensing his fellow jedi through the force, but was shocked to find he had simply vanished. what in the world is going on here? as if to answer his question, he received a transmission from master Vos stating that both Frond and Ficcabin gone into the force and to return to his ship. "Understood. I'll meet you up in orbit and follow you." Kel gazed at the ship's entry way briefly before slamming his fist upon the metal door. "I'm sorry. I should've gone with you."

After that Kel boarded his ship and returned to outer space where he reconnected with his ship's hyperspace ring and flew out to Join master Tobias and company for their next task.

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Shili. 

Ban hadn't been to this planet yet, but he'd heard of it before. Nice place, much like Corellia, or at least the rural areas of Corellia. Shili had its cities and settlements, but not some of the radical urbanite development that some of the more central galactic planets had. 

He stepped down the boarding ramp into the sand, looking around.

"So...where are we, exactly?"

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Kari smiled almost gleefully as her gaze shifted around, spreading her arms out as if she almost wanted to yell the thumping she felt in her chest as she stretched out her small toes in the sand that had risen from their landing. Just ahead of them was a small mountain range with a hut at its foot, the grass nearly as they were surrounding their sides and rear. Kari simply pointed in the direction of the small hut which mirrored in the distance just barely upon the horizon. Her worda escaped with both excitement as well as dread, perplexing as she uttered them. "We're home."

 

On the outside, Kari mimicked a small girl returning home after a long trip that took her across many worlds, lapping up the smells, taste, and sight of home. But on the inside, there was hesitation, gloom, and weariness, like someone who returned to a darkened manor full of horror and spirits of the past. And in truth, it was both for her. Motioning Ban to follow, Kari slowly made the half hour walk to the hut.

 

The hut sat in shambles when they arrived, much like it did when Kari and Faust came nearly a decade ago. As she approached the door to turn its handle, Ban could easily see her unwillingness. But despite this, she turned the knob and the door opened. The abandoned hut upon entry, sat a room to the left that held memoirs of Kari's past, mostly dusted pictures of Angela and what appeared to be their mother, none of them containing Kari or Tori and both standing alone. Kari's gaze barely adverted to it as she moved deeper inside, a room to the right past the living area that had been left untouched for nearly a century aside from the single impression that was left by Kari's former Master, his own dusted over since. And in the back stood a door with a lock dangling open, Kari's gaze fixated upon it.

 

She stood before the door for what felt like hours, her breathing labored by the emotions she fought to withhold, tears still managing to fall before she finally reached her hand out to open it and reveal its dungeon. Like the other two rooms, it was dusted over as if it hadn't been touched in many years, the sun barely shining through the boarded windows. But what separated this one from the others was the cage within that replaced where a bed should have been. Bending down, Kari reached her hand out and slowly slid her fingers across its metallic frame before unlatching it and letting its door swing open before she stood back up and walked back outside. It was evident that a part of Kari did not want to be walking down memory lane, but there was also the part that knew it was a path she must walk if she was to figure out her sister's purpose. Outside in the fresh air, Kari was frantic in her pacing, running her fingers across her montrals and headdress before grasping at her mouth to fight back the tears. Kari may appear strong willed and full of purpose. But this place always held a deep emotional scar and imbalance within her, and it was noticeable.

 

Taking deep breaths, Kari slowed her pace and looked off toward the mountains, distinctly the caverns that ran beneath it, the nexus within swirling with darkness that even the local fauna could feel. Turning to Ban, Kari questioned him, speaking for the first time, her voice slightly trembling with the emotions she was still fighting. "Do you feel it?" 

 

One could see why she had always worn boots, stifling her connection with both nature and her emotions that ran through her roots upon Shili. And in her barefooted state, the connection had returned with gusto, flooding her form with its entirety. But Kari felt the urge to feel it, to know it once again, and in return, become one with again. But this also posed a dangerous opposition for her, her hand tightly gripping the Sith Mask in secret through the lid of her satchel. "The nexus has grown unnatural."

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"Do you feel it?"

Ban felt like the half hour walk had been unnecessary, as there were several closer spots they likely could have parked the ship. However, it was likely that it would have taken some skill to pull off, which spoke mildly to Kari's piloting abilities. He still said nothing about it, there really was no need to. He could use the exercise anyways, and the views had been nice. Like she had said, the Force was strong with this place, thick in the air to the point it was like he was swimming in it. He felt...stronger. But it wasn't him, it was the Force. Ban had never been to a place like this before.

"You say it is unnatural, but my master used to say 'natural is subjective.' What might be natural for us might not be natural for someone else. If you mean do I feel the influence of the Dark side...then...yes. It's subtle, but it's there. I was not trained to know the darkness as an enemy, but rather a wild animal. If you understand it well enough you can prevent it from harming you, dangerous as it is. I am not a servant of the darkness, but it in and of itself is not my enemy. Light and Dark, the Force is as one, tying us all together and providing the current that changes the face of the galaxy as we know it."

He looked at the mask she held, then back to the rest of the hut, something still not quite feeling right.

"Still...the servants of the darkness are another matter. From your tone I take it it's not supposed to be like this here. The influences of those who would wish malice on others are hard to tell until they strike. What about this place feels unnatural to how you remember it? Perhaps we can uncover some of your mystery here and now."

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"Darkness and Light are but two sides of the same coin, existing within the nature of every living creature. It's as much a part of the Force as it is with you and I." Kari spoke, her gaze fixated upon the mountainous range and the caverns that ran below it, the catacombs where her people had buried their dead for millennia upon millennia. However, it was severely evident that what she felt was against the laws of the natural order, the Togruta curling and expanding her toes in a repetitive fashion.

 

"I cannot put in words the unnatural aura that I feel, only that I feel it, cold and crepid as it may be." Kari shifted her gaze back to Ban, a look of hesitation and subtle fear in her eyes. "It is familiar, yet unknown. And it calls to me, asking me to come to the Catacombs. I won't deny that it scares me, Ban, a sense of fear that I have never felt before in either life I have lived."

 

Yet despite the fear and unease that Kari felt, both she and Ban knew it was going to lead them straight down the rabbit hole so to speak, and while they still could turn around right now and leave, it would plague Kari worse than even her past two lives ever could. As Ban was left to briefly ponder on her words and what emanated from within, Kari's gazed shifted back toward the Catacombs, small bumps rising up upon her soft orange skin as her emotional state made her vulnerable to the fear she felt. Perhaps she wasn't ready to truly face what laid ahead of her, but she still had to tread forward even if Ban chose not to follow. But if he did, perhaps because he was there, she might just overcome it.  Perhaps this was why the Force brought the two together.

 

"I am going in." Kari spoke without looking back, her fists clenched despite the trembling that engulfed them. "Prepare yourself if you follow, and remember my words of Ventras. She is a Master of Illusion and Manipulation. There is no telling what traps lay ahead of us."

 

And with that, Kari began her trek down a long winding crevasse behind the hut that delved into the mountain's side and led to a large cavern just inside it. It was there that the entrance to catacombs would be found, and at its heart, the nexus.

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Ban thought about what she said as he watched her leave the hut. For a moment, he considered going in unarmed, knowing that illusions often were only dangerous in that they caused people to hurt themselves. But he was Kosai, a servant of the Living Force. If he stayed true to himself, and to the Force, then they would safely find their way through whatever obstacles were in their path. 

 

Shaking his head of the doubt, he started after her at a brisk pace, intending to catch up. He couldn't let her go through whatever waited for her alone. It was not his purpose. Wordlessly, he followed.

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For Kari, the crevasse was familiar and full. But for Ban, it would likely be a dark and dank cave littered with bugs, humidity, molds, and algae. Basically any old cave he would trek through. But this passage had been trek more times than could be counted by Kari's people, a holy and sacred place where they buried their dead with hopes that their souls would rejoin the Force that gives life to all. But as they grew closer to the cavern within, an unnatural aura would begin to surround them and attempt to persuade them.

 

Kari walked with slight fear in her heart, and it seemed to grow as their trek drew them closer. However, it wasn't the aura that Kari seemed to notice, but it was something darker that laid deeper within, a power not of this world. Some would call it a scar, others would call it a wound. But the tear in reality that laid at the entrance only spoke of the unnatural feeling that Kari had spoken of earlier, something that her former Master was great at creating.

 

But this wasn't a creation of Faust, at least not intentionally. No this held the presence of another, a presence very similar to that of Kari's own, only more sinister. Kari stops briefly, the echoing voices calling at her name in unison as they neared the cavern's entrance. At first, she seemed spooked by it, but in a brief second, a happier aura emerged from within her and she dashed toward it.

 

"Mother? Angela?" She questioned as she darted ahead, tears flowing from her eyes leaving their imprints upon the stones that surrounded her in her dash. But what laid in the cavern wasnt possible, at least not in the natural order. For as Kari came into the opening of the large cavern, with it's natural display of light that reached in through the cavern's open ceiling, sat Angela and Kari's mothers rotted forms upon the pool of water that collected the rain. Kari gasped and screamed. "No Tori. What have you done?"

 

It seemed Tori wasn't just a Master of Illusions.

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The scene was grisly. Ban could feel the influence of the Darkness here, seeping against the light as it tended to do. This was not a natural balance like he had tried to calm her into thinking it was. Someone had done this, perverted the natural order to corrupt the light and enhance the influence of the Darkness, using that influence for...well, Ban could only guess, but it was rarely good.

For a moment, he let her weep. It was good to let her grieve, to have the moment to understand the pain and accept the loss. From what she'd told him on the ship, it wouldn't be a foreign process to her, but that didn't mean she would be any more comfortable with it. When the moment passed, he somberly stepped forward, placing a hand on her shoulder, reinforcing her grief with his own connection to the Force.

"Come. We can give them a proper burial. Honor them as your people would have wanted them to be. It's the least we can do right now. This place may be steeped in Darkness, but you heal scars...you don't meditate on them or allow them to control and define you. We should allow this scar to heal."

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Kari could hear his words, feel his serene sincerity, and nodded in agreement. But as she took a step forward, the rotting carcasses of Angela and Lynn both stood, arms reaching out as they called upon Kari. Kari, frozen by fear and want, could do nothing as they made their approach, tears flowing from the Togruta's eyes even as they embraced her, the feel of their rotted flesh upon her skin sickening her and yet she still could not move.

 

"Join us Kari." They spoke in unison, their voices like whispers upon the wind as they crossed the veil into the living world. "Come with us. Tori awaits us. We will be a family again."

 

"No!" Kari shouted in disgust and anger, her shout reeling with the Force as it shoved her mother and sister backwards, her sobbing hindering her thoughts and her heart breaking as her gaze fell upon them. "You're dead. You're all dead. Please. Rest in peace."

 

But despite her pleas, despite the begging she gave and the ache she longed for to return them to their graves, she couldn't, nor did they relent upon their calls to her and their reaches for her form. And all Kari could do was sob, one hand on her aching chest while the other grasped at her forehead. For most, this simple sight would be enough to drive them mad. But for Kari, it was worse. It was driving her to the point of wishing her own death just so she didn't have to choose. Despite what her mother and sister had done to her in life, they were family, and because of that, she loved them dearly, long forgiving them in her heart.

 

"Come Kari. Step through the wound." Angela whispered into her ear, a subtle caress of Kari's montrol. Lynn leaned over, kissing Kari's forehead like a dutiful mother would, only causing Kari even more pain as she had ached for such a thing her entire life. "Let us join Tori on the other side, like Lusef intended."

 

As Lynn spoke these words, a cold aura set upon the atmosphere around them, chilling the air nearly into crystals. Kari's sobbing quit, her form limber as her gaze lit with fire. The two rotting corpses squealed with unfelt pain as the twin indigo tonfas blazed to life through their forms before they slunk to the ground, seemingly lifeless once again. 

 

Her tone was void as she spoke, as was her emotions, as she stood there in her stillness, her gaze as lifeless as the two at her feet as it shifted past the wound and into the chamber beyond. "What did you say?"

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Now this was something unlike Ban had ever witnessed before. He'd heard of the Dark side manifesting in such a manner, but they were always rumors that came off more like urban legends than actual truths. But reanimation of corpses? This had to be the work of a powerful Sith. That was the only real explanation in his mind.

"Lusef. You said that name before. Wasn't he the Sith that trained you as he masqueraded as a Jedi?"

He found his lightsaber hilts in his hands but restrained himself from activating them, there was simply no need to at that moment. Kari had neutralized the threat posed by the reanimants, or at least it seemed she had. Ban was keen to keep his wits about him should another threat present itself, but there wasn't any other immediate danger.

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The chamber doors began to creak as they slowly parted, a crepid old form draped in dark garments slowly pacing out of the inner catacombs, her face hidden by the cloak's hood. But there was no mistaking the montrols and lekku that it covered, nor the presence that emanated from it. Almost beastial, Kari's snarled at the form, her carnivorous cuspids exposed as she spoke. "Ventras"

 

"Greetings Dear Sister." She spoke as she lifted her face to greet her gaze. She chuckled, and poised Kari a question. "Why do you still despise me so after everything I've done for you?"

 

Kari's eyes lit with fire at Tori's words, as if capable of lighting her sister ablaze with hate filled intent. Spinning her tonfas within the palm of her hands, Kari gazed upon the decaying flesh that shown under the light from above, not nearly as rotted as Lynn's and Angela's, but just as sickening for Kari to see, and just as sickening as the hate she felt swelling in her heart for the former Sith Master. Tears still plagued her eyes, but her gaze remained void, fueled by the rising darkness within her heart as she stood there, a statue of her own making.

 

"You're unnatural, an abomination. You should have stayed dead after Lusef..." Kari's voice stopped mid sentence, realizing she still called him that despite it being a false name he chose to bare, something they both knew all too well "When Faust slew you."

 

"Death isn't permanent, sweet Kari." Tori spoke in return, taking the seat by the pond where Lynn and Angela had resided, a devilish grin crossing her face. "You of all people should know this. After all, your form now, your new life, is a product of my work. I made you dear sister, brought you back to life after it was ended so abruptly, gave you a second chance. That is the love of a sister, is it not?"

 

"You call what you did love?" Kari's voice spat back at her sister, spit spewing as her words escaped her hate filled mouth. "You stole the life of an innocent infant, and replaced its soul with my own, brought back from where it should have remained. And because of it, Angela suffered the same affliction that mother did, hating me for my existence and me not knowing why."

 

"Yes, yes. And then you killed her when she snapped and tried to take your life." Tori spoke, her words irritated and emphasized with the shooing motions of her hands. "I thought our dear baby sister stronger than that, but that was a miscalculated consequence of our mother's abuse." Tori stood up and made a cautious approach to Kari. "But that won't happen again. This time I can make it right. This time we can all begin anew. And we can use this body of yours to do it. All I'd have to do is erase the memories of Mother's attack and replace them with memories of love."

 

"No Tori. No." Kari pulled away, causing Tori to flinch back as well, Kari staring at her sister with almost horror now at such a suggestion. "How could you even think that? How could you think that I would even begin to consider letting you destroy more lives than the ones you already have? I have to live in this body until I die, a body not of my own, stolen from a soul that will never know the joys of life."

 

As Kari began to back away, a vague mist began to creep into the cavern and surround them, not limiting sight, but eerily creeping in around them from the catacombs below and empowered by the wound that resided before them. But Kari could not see this beyond the scope of her own disgust. All she could see was her sister and the foul creature she had become. To Kari, she was pitiful, pathetic, downright sickening. And her intent was to cause more of the same pain that she had inflicted upon Kari through this life and into then next not only to her, but to her sister and mother? Kari could no longer stand to see Tori like this. She had to be put to rest, here and now. Walking toward Tori now, she raised her blade out to her side, intent to strike Tori down when Tori screamed, causing Kari to stop.

 

"Kari, look out, behind you. Tori screamed in horror, her form bent down to one knee with a look of fear that even caused Kari to pause, the skin of her form catching a chill as she went to turn. "How is it even possible?" Kari questioned as she saw Faust behind her as she turned, those unmistakable blue eyes glaring back at her. "Quick. My mask. It will protect you. I can't have him kill you."

 

Looking upon her former Master's gaze sent chills up Kari's spine, his sheepish grin glaring back at her with intent. She knew he was still alive. That was her reason for leaving Tython. But meeting him hear of all places? Perhaps he knew more of Tori's intent than she thought and came to end it once and for all. Kari looked down at the mask in her satchel, briefly contemplating letting him. But as she deactivated one of her tonfas and reached in to grab it, she knew she had no choice. Tori may be misguided, but she knew Faust as pure evil with malicious intent. If she didn't kill him here and now, there was no telling what he would do with the knowledge Tori held. Placing the Blade upon her face, Kari reactivated her blade and readied herself. Faust would die here and now, by her hand, and Tori would find the rest she needed for eternity. 

 

"Your mine finally Faust." Kari yelled, charging in with the feriosity of a wild beast, leaping into the air with the intent of her right hand dropping the first of her blades downward at his head. "Today the Galaxy is free of your reign." Her voice echoed as she fell downward into her strike.

 

(5 post spar with predetermined outcome as agreed, no deaths, with Chris and Tim overseeing)

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As Tori revealed herself and tensions rose, Ban could feel the Force surge. It was strong here, reacting to their presence like an exposed nerve. But because of this, he was also strong here. Until now, his blades had remained extinguished, but Kari's strike necessitated reaction. The deep purple of his main hand blade sprang to life as he moved with practiced fluidity to intercept her, his offhand saber erupting in brilliant silver to guard against the follow up strike that came. For a handful of heartbeats they shared the staccato rhythm of lightsaber combat, Ban continually retreating as he could and never counterattacking. 
 

Kari represented a focal point for his future, it was something he could feel very clearly now. This was a test for him as much as it was for her, his actions here and now would determine the spectrum and hue on his future path. This was why the Force had brought him here: to test his mettle. His Master had once spoken of such events happening to him, but never described them extensively, choosing to keep them as private moments. Now, Ban understood why. As their movements came to a standstill and Ban managed to put some steps between them, he disengaged his sabers and motioned for her to stop, keeping them ready but lowered. He took advantage of the momentary hesitation by speaking clearly to her. Clearly she thought he was someone he wasn't, tricked by the Force. 

"Kari. Center yourself. Open your thoughts to the will of the Force, your eyes to the truth. You know inside this isn't right. Find your truth, and trust me to help you through this. Your emotions are understandably strong, but right now they only serve your sister."

He stood unmoving, refusing to attack her. Should she press forward, he would be ready, the Force guiding his movements with unmatched elegance. He was never much of a swordsman, rather relying more on the Force to make up for his shortcomings. As the Kosai worshipped the Living Force, they felt its pulls and listened to them more readily than others skilled in communing with the Force. Here however, the nexus seemed to magnify that beyond what Ban thought possible, his body's movements almost guided for him as he merely thought about the path he wished to take, a living conduit of the raw potential the Force offered. Not in control of it, but in harmony with its ebbs and flows. 

 

Here, for the first time in his life, he truly felt like a Kosai.

((1))

Edited by Ban Ulfson
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Sparks flew and rocks grew slithers of molten as Kari's attacks became unrelenting, the devilish display of her study under Faust apparent. As a Practioner of Form VI, the duel bladed variant known as Jar'Kai, Kari was well versed in keeping her opponent on the defensive, rarely yielding enough leeway for the tables to turn. Tori knew this, and it had played to her advantage. But for Kari, all she could feel was her blood boiling at the sight of her former Master. Again and again she strove to disarm and dismember him before her, the Mask adorning her face whispering the melodies of sweet revenge as it fueled her intent. Little could she nor Ban have guessed the true intent and purpose of the Mask as they two danced about the caverns.

 

The two were seemingly deadlocked in both skill and power, both knowledgeable of the Force, but capable duelests as well. Kari could almost immediately foresee every strike and blow before it came, the young Togruta's ability in the Fighting Sight developed by the Aiing Ti aiding her as the clash of blue and purple lit up what remained in the darkened corners of the cavern. And all Tori could do was remain bent over, her smile hidden beyond the shadows that draped her face until finally, Ban managed to provide space between them.

 

It was in that moment that Ban's voice managed to reach over the whispers in Kari' mind, and for a brief second, revealed the face of her opponent beyond the smoke screen causing Kari to grasp at the Mask that was bound to her face, unsure of what was real and what wasn't. A glare from Tori fell upon Ban, and before Kari could manage to free herself from its binding, Kari's form became constricted as it was lifted into the air, Tori's hand extended. "Tsk, Tsk." Tori spoke, her hand gripping Kari's form so tightly that the flesh began to peel and fall. "You should have played your part Kosai. Now I have no other choice."

 

As Tori's form fell limp and upon the ground behind Kari, the mist grew thicker as it began to swirl swiftly around the levitated Togruta before it became confined beneath the Mask, Kari's memories of Faust locking her away in her own hate filled mind, releasing her suspended form to fall upon the ground where it remained briefly. Ban would be able to hear Kari's screams though they were not verbally expressed, sounds of pain and terror escaping upon the ripples of the force as Tori took possession of the body.

 

"You may be stronger here, but I am limitless." Tori and Kari's voices spoke in unison as Kari's form came to stand, the Togruta in control stretching the form to her control. "I will have this body. My family will be reborn."

 

Kari's tonfas, as well as the red blade clipped upon Tori's demented and soulless form came to hover around her, encircling the witch slowly at first as she adjusted to Kari's body, but grew faster. With a smile, Tori reached out Kari's hand and sent one flying his way, striking at his blades before another soon followed as the other returned. Kari may have been proficient in using Jar'Kai, but Tori was never one for close quarters combat. And because of this, she was highly skilled in Telekinetic Combat, leaving her free hand open to gather the Force within its statically charged palm, and releasing the hate filled electrical current it ignited.

 

((1))

Edited by Jedi X
Duel Post Count

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Scipio, Headquarters of the IGBC or the InterGalactic Banking Clan, was R3-M0's next stop for Zalis. With Project Titan under way, it was time to implement Project Alimony. Project Alimony was a simple scheme, a contact within the IGBC purposely bought to for the sole purpose to house Black Sun funds and launder its nefarious assets into clean and legitimate funds. It was the perfect step to finalizing a grip into the criminal underworld and a small means to covertly operate within the Black Markets.

 

Project Alimony



 

Contact: Solivus Rez


 

Open legitimate IGBC account with secondary accounts under alias names tied to false Corporations. Solivus Rez will splice recently deposited funds from the secondary accounts on a monthly basis with other Legitimate accounts and replace with clean funds into the secondary accounts before rerouting funds from them into the Legitimate Account under the guise of alimony checks. Paper and digital trails will be nearly impossible to trace, posing as transfers of business. Negotiate to a reasonable sum. IGBC will provide contact protocol droid assistance.

 

Landing within the hangar, Remo rolls down the ramp to see a 3PX standing there waiting for him. Curiously, he rolls over and begins questioning ic the droid was his contact, unusual to see a 3PX droid within the Core Worlds.

 

"I am Z-3PX, designated as Zepex by the Intergalactic Banking Clan under  Solivus Rez." Zepex responds. If you are R3-M0, then yes, I am your contact protocol droid requested for translation assistance.

 

Remo stands there for a moment in silence, his droid mind leary of Zalis' motives here, but brushes it off as the singular fact that R3-M0 was incapable of communicating Basic. With a chirp and a whirl, Remo beckons the 3PX to lead the way. He was ready to get under way. After all, the faster he was done here, the faster he could return to Zalis and be done with the foundation she had laid to pave. After all, the droid hated outside contact, unless it had to do with filleting Empresses. 

 

With that memory sparking across his memory banks, Remo wheeled behind Zepex and followed the droid to his true contact.

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As Kari's assault started, the Force became tumultuous, a roiling ocean stirred to storm. Ban moved as the waves dictated, gently guided by its touch. Indigo and crimson met violet and silver again and again and again, their violent impacts showering the area with sparks and briefly spiking the illumination in the cave. He deftly caught the blast of Force lightning on one blade, maneuvering slightly to parry another of her blades to block in for him. So it went, move, countermove, attack, evade. Her onslaught was relentless, but his defense was near impenetrable, far better than he would have normally been able to maintain without the direct conduit of Force the nexus was providing him to direct the flow of his blocks and parries.

 

If he only had one blade, defending against three others that could attack from unorthodox angles with unorthodox strikes would have been a futile task, but he held his ground, moving only when he had to. After several moments, neither of them had exchanged much ground, and it was clear Ban didn't intend to. He softly spoke, his words clearly reaching her ears despite the volume, and yet as he spoke there seemed to be something else behind his words.

"It appears we share in our lack of limits. Kari, I know you can hear me, listen to my voice. You can fight this. You must fight this. Believe in yourself, and trust in the Force. I have no right to be your beacon in the dark, but I would still offer my light."

Ban knew if she didn't hear him, he would be forced to end this eventually. Injury or death in service to the Force he didn't mind, but he knew that if anything but the will of the Force happened here, the nexus would stay scarred, the manipulations of the Sith fueled by the pain and loss. There were two ways this could end for Ban, either Kari would overcome her internal struggles against Tori, or one of them would likely die. 
 

((2))

Edited by Ban Ulfson
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The memories within Kari's mind kept her locked away, flashes of Lusef's face haunting her relentlessly as she struggled within. Their chance meeting on Haruun Kal where Kari had been raised as a Jedi Padawan after the death of Angela, her training under him on Tatooine where she was far removed from the Order for his nefarious motives, and Gala, where he revealed to her the hidden truth of her existence and of his purpose. Over and over again, the events that broke her played at her, plaguing her mind and her heart. Slowly she began to feel faint, as if a part of her simply wanted to fade away, her existence removed and her soul finding peace in the abyss, her vision clouding as she began to close her eyes. But then....

 

"Kari, I know you can hear me, listen to my voice. You can fight this. You must fight this."

 

Her gaze shot open as she screamed with all of her might, the Togruta within began to fight again against her sister, her oppressor. For too long had Tori held sway against Kari, the sister bond that bound them deeper than most could ever understand. But now Kari began to use that to her advantage. Even as the memories began to hasten their onslaught, Kari blocked them from her mind, focusing solely upon the voice she heard echo in the darkness, her hands stretched out in an attempt to reach for it.

 

On the outside though, Ban would see a different view. As soon as he spoke his words, Ventra stretched out her arm and grasped at his throat, the elongated invisible tentacle attempting to wrap its form around the intruder's neck as she hissed in her displeasure at him. "I told you to stay out of this Kosai. Know your place or else..." Yet, before she could finish her expressions of disdain, her body rocked, her gaze looking in sheer unknowing as Kari's fight within began, Ventra grasping at their shared mind and the two voices screaming in unison as her hands reached up in agony. Her form began to contort, and her exposed skin seemed to crawl as if something underneath was attempting to get out just as the two souls both began to illuminate the battle within.

 

For Ban, all he would see is the contorted souls both seeking inhabitance, only distinguished by their true visages and the body simply stood in deathly stillness, the visages of Kari and Tori nearly impossible to tell apart save for the auras they emitted and both different from the body they possessed. For for Tori and Kari, the playground was quite different on a plane where time stood at a standstill, incapable of moving within the empty abyss they dwelled in, floating upon the currents that breathed life into them.

 

"Leave me Tori." Kari pleaded with her sister, tears within streaming down her face from both what Tori had done to Kari as well as the loving bond she still held for the Sith Master despite of it. "I will not ask again."

 

"I will not dear sister." Tori replied, a smirk across her face as she laid their afloat. "Our family deserves this, a chance to be reborn, a chance to redefine their lives. And you were created for this very purpose. I will not let this chance escape us."

 

"This is not natural, Tori. This is an abomination of the Force, perverse and unnatural." Kari replied, her gaze shifting to meet the mirrored version of her sister's. "Nothing good will come it. Trust me. I would know."

 

"So you condemn us, Kari? Tori questioned, her own gaze meeting Kari's in return. "To let the lives that me, Angela, and Mother be the only chance we recieve?"

 

"The only one condemned is me." Kari spoke, a smile adorning her face despite the tears still flowing down her face. "When I die and leave this body, there will not be no afterlife for me. I have made my peace with this."

 

"Foolish sister. I won't let my life be for nothing." Tori spoke with fierce rage as foam flew from her carnivorous cuspids and lips. "I will finish what I started!

 

Before Kari could react, Ventra had regained control of the body once more, and this time locked Kari even deeper into her own mind with memories of her lives flashing before her eyes. Kari would know all of her pain, unbridled and without remorse on Tori's part as she severed the sisterly bond they shared and took complete control. And in that moment, a mere millisecond since their departure into their shared mind, Kari's visage all but disappeared as Ventras returned, her glare at Ban fueled with rage. "You were warned."

 

Ventras began to wail her arms in oddly motioned circles, sweeping her feet around in an almost rythmatic dance as she began her chant, the three blades around her encircling her in an unsettling stillness with their points pointed down. "Stig op og blive talt. Søg din hævn og ved, at det er herlighed." She chanted over and over, her gaze never leaving Ban until she finally stood erect as the blades drove themselves into the ground before falling upon the floor deactivated. And in that moment, ghoulish groans filled the cavern as Lynn and Angela stood upon their feet once more, their hollowed eyes matching Ventra's own as all three stared upon Ban.

 

Without warning, Lynn and Angela attacked. But unlike before, their forms were more limber and agile, encased in glowing auras that would negate any energy that attempted to strike them. And at the rear stood Ventra, her cold gaze and focus poised solely upon the action unfolding before her. It was nearly time, as the sun was beginning to set and the moon was full tonight. Just like it was that very night years ago.

 

((2))

Edited by Jedi X
Duel Post Count

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The game became one of keep away as Ban dodged and blocked the attacks of the two reanimated corpses. He didn't dare use his saber on them and desecrate them further, as doing so would only help cement the wound already present. But this time, it was less the wound in the Force, and more the one in Kari's mind. This was the connection, the misstep that Tori couldn't have planned for. 

"Look at them Kari...see them, remember who they were. Would they want this?"

 

Ban shoved from his position, flipping over one of the reanimants, avoiding a grapple and repositioning closer to Kari. He could feel his body growing weary despite being fueled from the Force's embrace. He wouldn't stop until his part had been played, but when he did he knew he would need serious time to recover. But right now, Kari needed him.


"She is feeding from your assumption that she is more powerful than she really is. We are, all of us, just puppets dancing to the music of the Force. You just need to see the strings."

He ducked, rolling backwards into a crouch that followed up with a spin kick, tripping one of the reanimants and leaving it as a barrier for the other to get through before it could strike at him again.

"The greatest illusion a Sith can cast is simply a lie that you believe. I know you can still hear me, Kari...seek the truth."

((3))

Edited by Ban Ulfson
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"Look at them Kari...see them, remember who they were" Came across as whispers to Kari as she was bound within her own consciousness, there to be heard, but not loud enough to drown out the hauntings of her own mine and noticed. For Kari was reliving her own past lives continuously, without Tori's compassion nor remorse, the Sith Master determined to hold her sister off just long enough to complete the ritual. For once the moon rose center, it's light falling upon the pool, the wound would empower Tori's spirit to rip Kari from her form and replace it with Lynn, memories made to grant a better life for the three that would grow within it's womb.

 

All Kari could do was lay within the darkened pool, watching the memories of her past unfold, feeling the emotions within tear at her heart. She could still see and touch the face of her first Master, the stubbles upon his human face as he smiled at her, her love for him tugging at her as it shifted to her last memory of him, the report of his death splitting her heart in two, her new Master's hands more wandering than what was formal as she cried. Then she witnessed his attack on her, his jealousy, his greed, his lust as he took from her what he prized most. and then the darkness that followed, the empty void of her death and the peace that she found within it.

 

As the battle ensued outside her mind, Tori's fogs of war left an enlightening view of Kari's mind and visions playing all around them, their point to distract him. He could see Kari's painful past being played out amidst the encircling fog as his attackers continued relentlessly, unhindered by mortal restraints and empowered by Tori and the wound. and all Tori could do was smile, her attempt at prolonging the inevitable becoming apparent as a success, the last rays of the sun disappearing behind the mountains and the cave growing dim and dark outside the illuminations of the sabers and mist. There was one fatal flaw in what she was showing, even as the ritual that led to Kari's rebirth began to play...

 

Next came Kari's rebirth, the cries and wails of the infants soul drowning out as Tori snuffed the child's soul as she called upon that of her sister's within this very cave on a night just like tonight, the full optical of the scope a rare and draining task. And then the twisting of the spirit's memories and suppressing the power that it held so that it wouldn't destroy it's creation as it was placed within the soulless form. and in a brief moment, the screams and cries return as Kari had been reborn, the tear apparent within the Force cracking as it did so. And as Kari grew, raised by her youngest sister until her death played out, it became ever apparent Tori's one fatal flaw, the wound growing as Kari's life grew harder and harder, just as her first life did.

 

"Kari...seek the truth."

 

The wound was not created by Tori when she rebirthed her sister. The wound it's self was Kari's own soul, and it's attachment to the place where it was reborn. Only here, in this place, would the pieces of the puzzle be put into place, and something even Faust had overlooked while here nearly a decade ago just before Kari went nuclear, the power this wound provided from two lifetimes converged into one place. Kari was the abomination, the wound upon the Force. and only she could close it.

 

((3))

Edited by Jedi X
Duel Post Count

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Desperation grew in the back of Ban's subconscious as he fought on, both from feeling the physical strains his body was put under as well as the lack of Kari's response. The two reanimants continued to press the assault, Tori having decided he wasn't worth directly attacking anymore. Instead, visions of Kari's past filled the cave, some events she'd told him about on the ship, others he saw for the first time. It was hard to pay full attention to them as he continually had to deal with the assault from her undead family members, but the idea Tori had intended to convey was painfully clear: Kari had fallen further into the illusions. Ban's influence was waning. The darkness had begun to swell like a cancer, and stopping its spread would become harder with every second.

 

One of the reanimants swung at him, which Ban dodged, blocking a strike from another, then evading with a Echani maneuver that spun him around the second reanimated corpse, repositioning him to start the cycle fresh again. The corpses showed no signs of letting up or stopping, and while both they and Ban were fueled by the rampantly strong energies of the Force, they didn't need to worry about preserving their bodies. Is this what Ban would become? A corpse, forever locked in battle in service to the Force, his will and mind long withered away, until they became dust once more?

 

No. More influence from Tori. More doubts and illusions. Ban redoubled his efforts, but he knew the seed of doubt had been planted. This was a losing battle. He had lost, he had lost Kari, and he had failed to maintain the balance. He could not win this fight on his own. The fractures of frustration in his subconscious widened, and he noticed a subtle shift in his combat flow. A counterattack every now and then, a shove here, a kick there, all to off balance them he told himself. Deep down, he knew the truth. He didn't want to desecrate their bodies, to add to the pain, but his own pain had already begun to do that. The pain of failure.

 

And then, something clicked. A soft realization, an answer that had been right in front of him this whole time. The reanimants punched at the same time, but he caught both their blows in his palms, his strength renewed. He had been fighting the wrong fight. This was a test for them both, and Ban had finally understood his own test.

((4))

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Tori chuckled vigorously at the sight of Ban's own torment, the visual plagues of her sister's pain playing upon his own amplified by her own justification. As the two corpses retained their assualt, Tori simply watched and waited, pulling on the power of the wound, focusing her energy on what would come next. The sun had set and by now the moon began to pierce the tomb's veil, its light illuminating the mist and Kari's memories just as they began to foretell the rest.

 

The mist began to grow even thicker, the illuminated scenes playing next the realization of Kari's past the first time, the young Togruta standing over the fallen form of Angela, a spitting image of Lynn. And then it spanned across Ventra's own as she wiped cleaned her sisters memory yet again and dropped her off at Haruun Kal as an orphan to the Jedi Order. Yet, something happened that Ventra had not planned on, the arrival of Vladimir Faust portraying himself as the Jedi Lusef Aryan, causing the Sith Master to come out of the shadows of her sister's life and be reintroduced.

 

As the scenes of Kari's training under him began to unfold, hidden in the mist, a figure began to stir after nearly over a half a century, its brittle form leathered by it's time within the catacombs. Lifeless, it rose from its tomb, the sounds of scratching and clanking as its bones climb upright, causing even Tori to glance in its direction in wonderment just as her form stiffened in its ensnare as the mist only grew thicker. And from the shadows a raspy voice echoed....

 

"Seek"

 

Tori's form floated stiffly into the air, horror filling her gaze as a flesh less hand erupted from the mist that surrounded it, causing both Angela and Lynn's forms to halt their attack on Ban and become stationary, the heavy breathing within the mist as grizzly as a beast, the power coming from it even stronger than Tori. 

 

"The"

 

The voice from beyond snarled as Tori's form flew across the catacomb's entrance and landed with a hard thud, knocking the wind out of her as the moon's light began to pierce the thick mist surrounding the lifeless form and reveal a third Togruta in skeletal form, its eyes glowing with knowledge and rage as it stepped forward into the light.

 

"Truth" 

 

It yelled as its hands out stretched to reclaim the tonfas that once belonged to it, igniting them upon reception as its gaze fell upon Tori. And amongst the mist, only a singular memory remained playing. It was Ban's voice echoing in the backdrop of Gala, intertwined with the memory of Aryian's own voice reaching out with the same words. And with that, Kari pulled upon the Force around her, her blades slicing Lynn and Angela down a second time as she charged toward Tori, the wound in the background crackling with kinetic energy. As Kari's blades met Tori's, sparks erupting with dramatic flare as they intertwined each other's ensnare, Kari's true face reached out to Tori's. "Die."

 

((4))

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Faith. Faith.

 

That was Ban's test. That it was impossible to bear the burdens of the galaxy on his back alone. Sometimes the Force might call him to a place where he couldn't directly help, but it was still his role to be there and play his part. That was what it meant to be a servant of the Living Force, to truly surrender one's own will and exist in harmony with a power greater than any mortal could ever be. One day, Ban's path would end. But the moment he tried to take the burden of others onto himself instead of simply acting as the catalyst of the Force's will, he would fail, because his own power paled in comparison to the infinite majesty and intricacies the Force offered.

It wasn't faith in himself, however, and while it was faith in the will of the Force, it was also largely faith that Kari would pull through. And pull through she did, violently even. Ban had hoped to not desecrate the bodies of her family, but she carved through them in rage as she dove for Tori. It was then that Ban reacted, reaching out through the Force and connecting with her, fueling her but also sharing his thoughts and emotions.

"Kari, wait! This only serves the darkness. If you strike her down in anger, you only seal away the pain and allow it to fester. Remember, the greatest illusion a Sith can cast is a lie you believe. She is powerful because you give her that power, she influences you because you let her."

Ban extinguished his sabers, taking a slow step or two forward, still ready should he need to be, but clearly trying to de-escalate Kari's blood rage.

"I know it's going to be hard. Maybe the hardest thing you've ever done. But you need to let her go. Forgive her. You told me on the ship you'd already forgiven her, but you need to be willing to be at peace no matter what she does. I'm not saying disown her, she is still your sister, and you can still love her, but you don't have to let her darkness become your own. She has made her choices. Let her go."

 

When the last words left Ban's lips, so did the Force's influence from his body. Wearily, he dropped to one knee, barely able to hold himself off the ground. They were still connected, but he had given her everything, his resolve, his tranquility, and his compassion. His role had finished, and whatever happened moving forward, he was at peace with it. The Force would find balance, and he was content to be its instrument.

((5))

((It's been a pleasure writing this. Ball's in your court, send it off with a bang!))

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Nature...

 

At its primordial core, Nature was beastial, wild and untamed, neither dark nor light, balanced and intertwined by life and death. And Kari was stuck between both, neither dead nor alive, neither light nor dark, beastial, driven only by her primordial nature as her gaze found its self fixated upon Tori and the crimes she had committed both against their family, herself, and the Nexus which fed them. The Force had weighed her heart and found her severely wanting, Kari's soul there to collect Tori's toll after finally being freed from the prison Tori now inhabited.

 

And yet Ban defended Tori, Kari's glowing gaze shifting from her sister's toward his own with a beastial snarl. She had corrupted the Force, twisted its currents and bound her soul in such an unnatural way that it wounded the Force its self and left it bleeding. And he defended this? Kari's soul could not believe this. Tori had to be punished. The natural order demanded it, entrusting her with the price Tori would pay for such heresy. Even as the indigo and crimson blades scrapped against each other in the struggle of the two Togrutas, Kari's focus solely fell upon Ban in this moment of disbelief. And it was because of this, that Tori managed to land a blow that sent Kari sliding backwards into a stooping slide as she grasped at the hole where her ribs once were. Kari snarled again, standing and flipping toward Tori with a solid kick from her position as the blades struck and intertwined on multiple occasions, Kari's plight relentless as she turned a deaf ear to Ban's words.

 

Blow after blow would land, sparks erupting about like the celebration of Yavin's Day, when the Rebel Alliance managed to defeat the Empire nearly two centuries before, as Kari vowed to finish Tori here and now, her crimes unforgivable and knowing she would never stop no matter how many times she chose to overlook her out of love. And once Tori had met her end, Kari, finally, could be granted the peace she so desperately desired and return to the Force and its eternal embrace. It had to be done. There was no other way. To close this wound, to restore the balance of nature here, Tori had to answer. And despite Tori's attempt to defend herself and stave off her sister, Kari proved to be the better as with a final swing, cleave off her left arm and leg, leaving Tori at Kari's mercy. And in that moment, Kari would not give her any.

 

"Kari, stop!" Angela cried out just as Kari brought her blade up for the final blow. "She did this for you, for us. Mother always blamed us for his actions, blamed us for her misery. Don't you remember?"

 

Kari lowered her blade and deactivated it upon hearing her sister's voice, feeling the true presence of the youngest sibling within the corpse behind her, feeling her grasp at her legs. "I am as guilty as she is, both of us choosing to give our family a second chance. It was a part of my soul that was used in the ritual, a part I gave gladly so that we would be whole again." Angela's hands grabbed even tighter as she ached to climb Kari's form just to reach her face. "We didn't anticipate what it would do to me, so if she is to blame, then so am I."

 

Kari bent down, falling to both knees as her hands cupped Angela's face as Kari's soul began to ache knowing this. They should have known better, they should have left well enough alone, Tori especially because Angela could not touch the Force like she and Kari could. There were some things even the Sith knew better than to delve into, equivalent exchange being too heavy a price for anyone to pay, and this cost Angela a part of her own soul, the part that was capable of love and endearment. It was all beginning to make sense now, and in that brief moment, Kari wanted to forgive.

 

"Angela" Kari cried out, embracing her sister for the first time since she slew her so many years ago, the shimmering of Kari's soul illuminating outside the leathered form of her true corpse as tears flowed from her face. And in that brief moment, Kari turned to reach for Tori too, only to see her sister laying there at her feet as the moon encompassed Kari's form near the pool. "Tori? Nooooooo!"

 

"Vekjið móður og endurfæðist á ný og látum okkur endurfæðast í gegnum ykkur." Spoke Tori as she grasped at their souls, the wound behind them ebbing by the moon's flow. "Láttu vilja minn ganga í gegnum sálir okkar."

 

((5)) Great spar.... I've really enjoyed this despite the fact that this turned really more into a plot than a spar.

 

@Delta73 @Fieldgrey

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Solivus Rez was a common Muun, capable enough to have the ears of the upper echelons, but held no real power himself. As soon as R3-M0 gazed upon the man, he knew why Zalis had chosen him as a contact. Not high enough to become a problem, but just the right position to make the scheme work. It truly was a flawless setup, unsurprising of Zalis. As soon as Remo wheeled up, Solivus spoke.

 

"You must be the representative that Zalis Krales informed me of." The moon spoke slowly, his elongated fingers crossed as he sat behind his desk, Remo gazing around the restricting study. Remo replied in Binary, to which Zepex translated. "I am R3-M0, and you must be Solivus Rez"

 

"That I am. And what does the Lady wish to give in return for my services?" He spoke, his eyes shifting at the possibility of recieving a higher commission, evident by his tone and picked up by his elevated heart rate. Zepex once again translated Remo's reply, both nearly gasping at such a low number. "Ten Percent."

 

"Surely your lady knows better than that. My services cost no less than forty percent at worst." He spoke in return, almost insulted at the number that Remo had offered up at his own behest. Remo gave a binary chuckle, or at least one that resembled one, Zepex turning the the little one in a quiet surprise. "Surely you jest at your Master's price." Remo went silent, his glare causing the 3PX unit to nearly tremble into a shut down before he responded, allowing Zepex to unwillingly translate. "R3-M0 states that his Master only allowed him room to negotiate to twenty percent and no higher, with instructions to terminate you should you ask for more?" The last of course coming from Zepex as more of a question than a statement as he shifted to Solivus who gazed at R3-M0 in disbelief.

 

"Surely you jest... why I have never... impossible... the payments to keep the others quiet would take half that." The Muun replied, tripping over his words both in insult to injury as well as the fear falling upon his face as the small R3 unit sat in eerie silence. "Thirty Five would be lowest I can go, and even then I cannot promise anything."

 

Remo remained silent, his gaze firm and sturdy upon the Muun as he gauged the sapient. Thirty Five would displease his Mistress and Remo would not have that one bit. And as the Muun began to realize this severity of it, his heart rate and blood pressure began to rise as sweat began to leak from his flesh, Remo pondering briefly how it would cut against his saw. Zepex quickly noticed the wheels turning in the R3 units head and began to worry when it spoke up for Remo.

 

"Master Rez. Wouldn't it be pertinent that we agree to a thirty percent cut, and offer myself up as a liaison to Master Krales in hopes of a better standing relationship?" Zepex spoke, turning its gaze from Remo to Solivus in order to please both parties. "It seems R3-M0 is not in the mood to displease his own Master at such a higher rate than they are likely used to dealing with in smaller operations. Perhaps I could express the necessary costs of such a larger and more secure operation."

 

"Fine." Solivus spoke, the disdain in his voice evident despite his lack of awareness that Remo had long drew his saw blade earlier which prompted Zepex's own negotiation. "But be sure to express that such an operation can not fully function at less than thirty five percent, barely covering the cost."

 

With that, Zepex lead Remo out of Solivus's office and the two began their trek back to the ship Remo had arrived on. As the walked Zepex questioned Remo. "Were you really about to cut Master Rez because of the higher price?" Remo beeped in a reply, causing Zepex to pause in his stride at the R3 unit's response. "Murder him?

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At the requests of the sparring partners here is my presumptive ruling

 

In the future i may be better to refrain from a tonne of character development and conversation in a duel as this makes finding the relevant attacks and defenses hard to judge. Or alternatively highlight the attacks. Overall it was a great spar with very much no direct clear winner since there was no attempt to have one by either opponent. Instead both Ban and Kari chose to conduct offensive actions and defenses in a very limited manner. 

 

In a narrow victory, Ban pulls off the win. A united and singular objective, as well as having an effect on his opponent at the end pulls off the narrow victory. Both wrote extremely well and since there are no deaths at the end of this fight I can only say good luck and I look forward to reading where this ends up. 

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Kari could feel Tori's power coursing through her soul, through Angela's soul, through all of their souls. Through Tori, they had all became connected, and in that moment, Kari held a revelation of clarity. She could see everything, from Angela's intent and broken heart, to Lynn's own pain and regret for what she had done, and even Tori's own hate filled and misguided deeds to resurrect and restore the family she had always believe should have existed. Fueled by the moonlight upon the nexus, and their souls hovering above their forms, Kari felt and knew all as Tori began her final preparations. With a humbled sigh, Kari closed her eyes. 

 

Tori may have knew how to wield the power of the nexus, the darkness created by the wound fueling it farther in its despair. But Kari could see the truth behind the wound as clearly as if she had created it and understood her role as her mind melded with each. "Róa Storminn" Kari's voice spoke as her form stood up against Tori's pull. "Láttu náttúruna eins og hún var." Her voice echoing of the language of Tori's knowledge as Kari used the wound created by her birth to counteract her sister's own. There was no more hate, no more pain, nor pity or endearment with her ghostly gaze as Kari gazed upon her sister. Only the gaze of neutrality, of knowing the natural balance and the way things should be stared back at Tori through Kari's eyes and in that moment, Tori knew.

 

Tori released her grip upon the otherworld, turning her plight one last time upon her sister in a last ditched effort to bring her dream to fruition. But it was in that moment that Tori sealed her fate, Kari not even activating her blade in retaliation as Tori's red blade found the Tonfa's guards deflecting her kinetic attacks as Kari stood there. Slowly the nexus began to grow unstable, the price of the darkness fueling it no longer capable of feeding off Kari's emotions, and turned its attention to the only darkness that remained to sustain it. And though understanding filled her heart, Kari still wept as the nexus began to attack her sister, using the very same methods Tori had used against Kari as it prayed upon Tori's own.

 

Visions of Tori's life began playing upon the mist, from her fall after Kari's death in search of a means to restore her sister, to her delving deeper when Kari killed Angela, to here and now as Tori viewed Kari's act of betrayal. And in her final moments of despair, Tori's final attempt to reach out to feel her sister's touch one last time as Lynn and Angela's forms lept to devour what remained of her darkened soul as the nexus claimed her as it's own, sending a wave of energy that resounded in all directions and leveling even Kari and closing the wound that once resided within it. Darkness claimed all as the moon above eclipsed, and when Kari stood up, igniting her blade to see, she stood in disbelief.

 

Kari knew that when Tori fell to the darkness of the Nexus, her own fate would be sealed with the destruction of the form she had been imprisoned within, effectively sealing the wound as well. But as the indigo hue enlightened the area, she found her own form whole, flesh and bone once again after nearly a century in rot, her organs functioning as she could feel her heart beat and her lungs breath as she gazed to where her family was last seen, only dust and cloth remaining. Walking up to the pile of dust and cloth, Kari dropped her Tonfas to the ground and hit her knees in tears, the only sounds echoing throughout the cavern were drops of water and her wails as she finally let herself weep.

 

((Shout out to @Ban Ulfson for this amazing development as well as the idea behind this final post to end Tori's reign of terror upon her sister. Finally, after a decade, this chapter of Kari's life has closed.))

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